Do Smells have Names?
Few days back I realized that I often try to remember my experiences as if they occurred in a linear trajectory. When in fact different timelines keep messing with each other. I am trying to put jumbled thoughts together. I don't know what beginnings to give, and what endings to expect...
I woke up in the middle of the night because I thought I smelled him. They say you can't 'feel' smell but I felt it heavy on my skin. I felt him on my skin. It travelled from my nose to the back of my head, slowly caressing its way down my spine and then suddenly - that feeling, that smell vanished just as quickly as it had arrived. Few days later I smelled him again. It hit me at an odd moment. Standing in the moving subway. Somewhere between 51 St Station and Astor Pl on the 6 Train. Even after almost two years of living here, I am still surprised by how carefully, strangers inside NY subway avoid touching each other. Even in crowded moments, even when you are carrying heavy luggage, you have to maneuver your way around people - around bodies. It felt strange smelling him while I avoided my leg scraping the leg of the woman standing next to me. I felt like someone had touched me - even when people around me avoided touching each other.
The city feels new to me even though I keep going in and out of it. Having barely explored the full depths of it, I think I know my way around. A little bit. I avoid opening familiar (yet unfamiliar) apps because I don't want them to mediate the way I experience a space. Whatever happened to meeting people outside of these apps! Maybe that's why I had reluctantly agreed to meet him. Because he hadn't reached out to me through those annoying apps.
I was so scared when I was on my way to Brooklyn to meet him for the second time! New York is a lot like New Delhi. People are obsessed with what exciting spots you are going to next. Or who you hang with. Quick to tell you whose parties to avoid. Perhaps I thought I was becoming a New Yorker too? Which is why I thought I was going to be an unnecessary addition to an equally unnecessary clique at your home.
I wanted to know his body before I made any move. It's a strange thing - wanting to know how someone's fingers would feel before their lips, or tongue. An obligatory hug when I met him didn't do much. Honestly, I wasn't expecting anything out of that first interaction. In this fast moving world, who the fuck knows what is 'socializing' and what is flirtatious! But over the next few hours, sitting on the couch next to him did something. I don't know whether it was the bareback gay porn playing on the big screen in the bar, or random video cuts of atomic bomb explosions in between those scenes of men fucking, but somewhere in between those scenes I found myself moving closer and closer to him on the red velvet couch. When did our bodies touch? When he went to the bar to get the next round of drinks? Or when I came back after peeing? Our bodies touched and my fingers found his and that's when I really started to know him.
When I was going to meet him again, I decided to leave the apartment that I was staying in absolutely drunk. I needed courage. I needed a little lack of direction even when I was clinging desperately to the directions to his house! Somewhere on the 4 Train, I started listening to music on full volume. Sometime before Borough Hall I noticed two desi girls loudly gesturing at each other and people around them noticing. I took my earphones off and overheard one girl shouting loudly in Hindi, "I think we are supposed to get off here?" and the other one say "Where have we come!?" ("yeh kahan aa gaye hum"). Then a white woman offered to help and after talking to her, they got off at the next stop. I wanted to run behind them! I wanted to tell them that I was lost too! That I knew where I was headed but didn't know why I was headed to that place!
TBH rarely have my hookups gone as I would liked them to. I wasn't expecting my fingers to make the decision for me. I usually let my dick decide. Lolz. Even after minutes (or was it hours?) of our entangled fingers and the stories they were telling each other - I realized that we hadn't kissed! It was the perfect setting! Our heads were leaning into each other's, I was devouring every word of his, I was still figuring out the color of his eyes, and more importantly - I had a raging boner! My dick felt so hard that I thought it was going to tear itself out of my pants. And then I asked him if he would like to come back to my place. He said yes. We still hadn't kissed.
God, what is with me and constantly living in nostalgia! When I started talking about figuring out the subway with him, I instantly thought about someone else. I wanted his responses to be the same as that 'someone else'. Because that 'someone else' is an urbanist. Lolz. Ever since meeting that 'someone else' - I carry him wherever I go. I want to experience places the same way he does! Alas! I could never create memories with Crown Heights because Lajpat Nagar got in my way. I think that 'someone else' was the first guy I told my caste to. I don't usually bring that up on dates. You know...cause I am still ashamed of mine, even when I pretend that I am not anymore. And then him. He was the second guy I told my caste to. On a first date. And I tell everyone now. But I immediately feel exhausted after I tell people. Like I have given something intimate away? But I didn't feel exhausted with that 'someone else'. Sigh. People move on. Wait, where was I?
Over the years, many men have said many memorable sentences to me while fucking. Once I took his clothes off and kissed him, I started feeling his chest hair. GAWDD!! HE WAS HOT! His nipples felt warm and it took all my will power to not greedily run my fingers all over his torso. Instead I kissed him even more. God, I could have kissed him for hours! I leaned back a bit, looked him in the eye and said, "You are really fucking hot". I meant it. Within a second, he replied, "We look really hot together" And I swear to god - that's one of the hottest things anyone has ever said to me in bed.
I try to remember the smell now. I think I left it behind with the city and the train. Or maybe Trump impeachment took over and his smell got too busy saving the world. Why should I care for someone who has time for revolution but not for love? Lol - I think I write these posts to see how randomly abstract yet oddly specific I can get.
|New York, December 2019|
P.S. My blog completes 10 years in 2020! Thanks for sticking with me! <3
I discovered this vlog recently in my quest to find realistic queer experiences. And this has been a great find. Your writings take me back to my own experiences. Have lots of fun. Also, you look cute!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much!Delete
These are so worth the wait. Just keep em coming; don't stop, ever!ReplyDelete
You are too kind :)Delete
Hey, that's for letting me know you're still alive. I still check back here twice in a month. Just keep writing dude.ReplyDelete
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Do you have an email? Can you send you the name there? Lot of police crackdown happening on places these days so don't want to write it publicly.
Loved it A, as I love everything you write ! Keep 'em coming! - In love, in smells, in the devouring of words, and in eternal solidarity - Mabel.ReplyDelete