To my beloved I am a stranger

by Marilyn Jaye Lewis

By then, I had no more words to express my loss. In that regard, Id finally become empty. A world had leaked out of me and there I was, unloved and discarded. And as it turned out, Id begun rotting at my core. I could still expound upon how it was when wed first met, though – or should I say, when wed first collided? I had plenty of words left for that; words that described destiny manifested; passion and combus-tion. Or I could talk about magic – the shooting sparks of it. It was through our eyes that wed become those magical beings: our eyes – of the same immeasurable depth – were so similar that it was uncanny. One fiery glance exchanged between us and one of us ceased to exist, melding into the other, as if the twin souls that dwelled behind our eyes had in fact been the same soul all along and for there to have been two of us from that moment on became redundant.

I had celebrated this discovery, realising with joy that we were truly connected. I was eager to subjugate my soul to his, or to even forget mine altogether. He tried to embrace it – this redundancy of our souls – but ultimately could not. It was something

about his having stuff to do. Hed explained vaguely: Im overwhelmed right now; Im sorry. Give me some time. People other than me were also counting on him: to show up, to work hard; to do the honourable thing.

So I chose to wait until our bliss would be more convenient. Oh, I waited and waited – patience being one of my more exasperating virtues. I made a vow of chastity to the bedroom mirror. I would wait in purity, I decided, until his schedule freed up.

His schedule, however, would not free up. The days turned into weeks, the weeks into months. I didnt really notice the time passing at first, because I was that en-thralled with the eroticism of my chastity. It was luxurious and deep. To me, chastity meant forsaking all others who werent him; it had nothing to do with leaving myself alone. In expensive black underthings, purchased specially – mostly tight-fitting and crotch-less; boned at the waist, to enhance my usually meager curves – I revelled in my bond to him, to our future orgy of togetherness and to how singularly soulful it promised to be. I bought a smooth phallus of silicone; it arrived by mail. My orgasms gushed from me all

over the bed then, or sometimes down my trembling legs, all over my spiked heels and straight to the hardwood floor. Passion, unsatisfied, stirred ceaselessly in me, like some ravaged shark, harpooned but unwilling to surrender. My lust to know him carnally kept me up nights. I lost sleep over it; my need to be penetrated by him both haunted and entranced me. When at last I did notice that it had been some time since wed exchanged that riveting glance of desire, I called him on his cell phone. My call went straight to voice mail.

Its me, I said cheerily. Hey, how about dinner this week – my treat. Surely, you can make time to meet for a meal? You still have to eat, right? Call me, okay?

*     *     *

Very early one morning, I sat in my room on the edge of the bed and looked down thoughtfully at my long, pale legs, at my bare feet, and then something hard kicked inside me aiming straight at my heart. It was so early that the sun had not yet risen. In that blue-grey light that always fills my

room at that early hour of the morning I contemplated how many days it had actually been since Id left that voice mail. Per-haps it had floated off into some mysterious wireless void and hed in fact never received it. Why else would he not return my call?

/ Passion, unsatisfied, stirred ceaselessly in me, like some ravaged shark, harpooned but unwilling to surrender. /

Well, it was either that or he was still too busy, I decided. Without turning on a light, I pulled off my nightgown and dressed. I dressed more simply during the day, in a pair of black cotton pull-on slacks and a blue tee shirt that fluttered demurely at its flounced hem and its loose cap sleeves.

*     *     *

Most men found me attractive; many even agreed that I was beautiful, so it wasnt for lack of other potential partners. But what does beauty have to do with the soul, I wondered, as