We all carry it.
And like drug mules bluffing their way through customs, we all lie about what we carry.
It’s not that we have anything necessarily worth hiding, but baggage just happens to be a dish served best in installments. We all carry a vast collection of issues small and big, most of which we hide regardless of how naked we get.
Yet while we aim to hide our baggage from those we position to pass judgment over it, we reach out to people for the very purpose of having them lighten up our load. The phrase get your load off has way more levels than most Guys are willing to admit, because baggage.
In terms of baggage I didn’t reveal, Guys #125 through #129 all had sex with me in the weeks leading up to my mother’s death.
As women with ovarian cancer so often do, they die. My mother was no exception. She spent her last month in a hospital bed in her living room, surrounded by loved ones such as myself, her weakness overpowering her strength bit by bit, day by day, until her final day, when she told me:
I don’t want to live. I don’t want to die. I just want to float.
Looking back I realize I followed a similar philosophy with the Guys I dated in those weeks. It’s natural for parents to die before their children do. It’s natural for parents to be with their children when they die. And I guess it’s natural to want to float when the air of death quite literally fills the room like a cancer.
So I went online, looking for Guys to float with.
I must have told my mother I was going out for a walk, when in reality I went out to meet Guy #125 in his car on a parking lot, where we exchanged oral for a good ten minutes. He had no knowledge of my baggage, nor did I inquire about his. We were just two complete strangers wanting to float for two completely different reasons.
God knows why I agreed to have sex in a car. I hate having sex in cars and I wasn’t even that much into Guy #125. He was simply the most available Guy within walking distance. With Guy #125 I drowned more than I floated.
It felt good to leave him behind and get back to taking care of my mother.
I met Guy #126 on another one of my ‘walks’. It was at his place. To his credit, he got me to climax three times in a row just by using his mouth, a feat unsurpassed by any other Guy since. One could argue he got me floating three times, if ever so briefly.
Apparently my mournful self had gotten Guy #126 to float too somehow, as he kept asking me to come over another time. Before I had met Guy #126 I had been okay with leaving my mother’s side to explore the possibilities a stranger offered. Now that I knew exactly what he had to give me I couldn’t bring myself to favor him over my mother a second time.
Guy #127 and #128 I ran into in a sauna, where we had sex that cuddled its way into a conversation. Guy #127 studied something, Guy #128 had a job at the airport. I evaded talking about myself altogether. Blowjobs can do that.
I actually ran into Guy #127 a little over a month later, after my mother had passed. He was excited to see me, but despite his raging cuteness I felt incapable of giving him any more attention. In the time between our two encounters he no doubt studied some more, whereas I had buried my mother. It wasn’t the kind of baggage I could ask a faint acquaintance such as Guy #127 to carry, nor was it the kind I was comfortable sharing. Some loads are just too heavy to be carried by strangers, no matter how good their blowjobs are.
Guy #129 would go down in history as the last Guy I ever had sex with before my mother died. He was a physiotherapist whose massages were unexpectedly disappointing. The sex itself was moderately okay, were it not for the fact my mind was constantly split between two places: The here and now, which consisted of Guy #129 and me going it at like rabbits, and the there and now, which consisted of my mother fighting a battle not even God could win.
During sex and before the massage I may have floated a little, but my baggage no doubt weighed me down considerably.
Guy #129 was kind enough to let me spend the night at his place. Sadly though, he only had one pair of sheets barely big enough to cover his own body, let alone mine. I spent the night under a tiny blanket that felt more like a towel, shivering and thinking about all the times my mother inquired about my love life, all the times she expressed her wish for me to find someone to be happy with, someone to live, die and float with. Shivering my way through the night I couldn’t help but feel I had disappointed her somehow.
There was another Guy, someone who could have been #130. We agreed to meet up on a Thursday, but on the morning of our date my mother told me: “I don’t want to live. I don’t want to die. I just want to float.”
So instead of venturing out on yet another sexual conquest me and my family gathered to say one final goodbye to my mother. I told my date-to-be I couldn’t make it because I had a “family thing I really needed to be at”, quite possibly the whitest lie I ever told anyone.
I never contacted this Guy again, nor did he contact me. I can only imagine he too had baggage he didn’t feel like sharing.
These days I still see Guy #125 on Grindr every so often, always less than a mile away from me. Occasionally I ignore Guy #126 when we pass each other at the local train station and Guy #127 recently dug my pictures on Tinder, though no conversation will ever sprout from any of it: There’s too much baggage for casual sex and too much sex for casual baggage. Blowjobs can do that.
I quietly assume Guys #125 through #129 were in it for the floating as much as I was, albeit it for completely different and forever unknown reasons. Dates are exciting because of what we don’t say to each other and sex, by its very nature, is both the best and the worst way to lighten up our load.
Oh, the traveler moving on the land, behold I give you,
I give you the traveling man
And he’s very heavy laden with the questions in his burden
Lo, and I give you the traveling man
He has crossed the mountains, he has forded streams
He has spent a long time surviving on his dreams
Many times he’s tried to lighten up his heavy load
But his compromises fail him and he ends back on the road
Oh the traveler he is weary, the traveling man he is tired.
For the road is never ending. In his fear he has cried aloud for a savior
And in vain for a teacher, someone to lighten up the load
And he’s heard the sounds of war in a gentle shower of rain
And the whisperings of despair that he could not explain
The reason for his journey, or the reason it began
Or was there any reason for the traveling man
At last he reached a river so beautiful and wide
But the current was so strong he could not reach the other side
And the weary traveling man looked for a ferryman,
strong enough to row against the tide
And the ferryman was old but he moved the boat so well
Or did the river move the boat? The traveler could not tell
Said the ferryman: “You’re weary and the answers that you seek
Are in the singing river, listen humbly it will speak.”
Oh, the traveler closed his eyes and he listened and he heard
Only the river murmuring and the beating of his heart
Then he heard the river laughing, and he heard the river crying
And in it was the beauty and the sadness of the world
And he heard the sounds of dying, but he heard the sounds of birth
And slowly his ears heard all the sounds of earth
The sounds blended together and they became a whole
And the rhythm was his heartbeat to the music in his soul
And the river had no beginning, as it flowed into the sea
And the seas filled the clouds and the rains filled the streams
And as slowly as the sunrise, he opened up his eyes
To find the ferryman had gone, the boat moved gently on the tide.
And the river flowed within him, and with it he was one
And the seas moved around the earth, and the earth around the sun.
And the traveller was the river, was the boat and ferryman,
Was the journey and the song that the singing river sang