Friday, January 9

 
My Math Tutor: Sex and Warmth

When the lights are off, there is no talking in the bed. If one were to speak to me, they would be met with either no response or a puzzled expression, the latter of which would be worse for it disrupts the mood.
Instead, when we have sex, I would be able to tell what he was feeling by the vibrations that would transfer from his body to mine. My hand on his throat would tell me the depth of his groans, the more deeper the vibrations, the more he was enjoying himself. My legs around his would let me know if he is excited, be it the tension of his muscles, the speed of his movements or even the range of space between his legs. If he was relaxed, his legs would soften, if he was very aroused, his legs would reflect the hardness of his shaft.
His breath on my face would also give me clues - much like his legs - relaxed, soft, excited - hard.
But there would be no other communication. No pillow talk, no cursing, no suggestions, no asking if I might like this or if I may please do that for him.
I'm accustomed to this style of lovemaking - when I don't have much choice otherwise, it becomes the norm. But it can be novel for new lovers - sometimes unsettling, other times frustrating but like me, they adapt. They learn to speak more with their bodies. To show me what they wanted by molding mine as if I were a store mannequin, place my hands here, turn my head there, turn my hips more to the left, pose my legs just so. Keep me still if they were too excited by grasping me by the core and stop me in mid-movement. Make me move faster by wrapping their hands around my ass and controlling the tempo of my movements.
For me, this is how I expected lovemaking to be. All about my body being manipulated.

Until I met my math tutor. He was an impoverished student from Iran who was close to completing his doctorate in mathematics. I hired him to help me navigate through the incomprehensible world of fractional gebra. Although I was majoring in history, I would it would be wise to take math to exercise my grasp of logic. If this, then that. Outline the steps to led to the conclusions, exercise the argument for my premise in a deductive fashion.
One night, when he came over for a tutoring session, he decided to make a traditional Iranian dish with rice, spices and chicken that needed to be simmered for hours. While the pot sat on the stove, we sat at the kitchen table, sparring over my homework assignments. He would explain a concept to me, I would argue his methods, we would throw up our hands in disgust, smoke cigarettes fervently and then try again to find a meeting point of mutual agreement. The aroma of the chicken, spiced with cinnamon and cumin would waft over our heads, weaving itself into the expanding cloud of cigarette smoke.
At some point, just an hour away from the chicken being perfectly cooked, he surprised me by saying that it is easier for me to grasp mathematics, that it comes more naturally for me because unlike him, I did not need to write out the argument that led to the correct answer. We were opposites that way. I could do it in my head but did not know how to write it out on paper. He needed to outline the steps first with pen and paper before he could reach the answers. This revelation dispelled my mounting frustration that was about to explode into a screaming match. I was so stunned that this man, who was just weeks away from completing his doctorate, who had been making a meager living as a professor's assistant, would say he envied my natural grasp of math for I had been limping along in algebra 101.
So stunned in fact that I could only stare at him disbelievingly. He laughed at the expression on my face and gave me a playful slap across my face as if to chastise me for being such a difficult bratty child. Instinctively, I raised my hand to slap him back but he grabbed my wrist in mid-air and gave me a teasing grin as if to say "what are you going to do now?"
At first, I tried to wrench my hand from his grip then brought up my other hand but he grabbed that too so that I was helpless. I paused to think of what to do next and then stepped on his foot. He laughed and wrapped his legs around mine so that I would be completely rendered immobile.
I scowled at him, half seriously while he laughed, waiting to see what I would do next. Pretending to surrender, I relaxed my arms and legs waiting for him to let me go. He loosened his grip slightly, not quite trusting that I had truly given up at which point I tried to once again fight back but he was quick and held me down even more tightly than before. What must have my neighbours downstairs thought, hearing the chairs above them scraping across the floor? Did they think that perhaps I was in danger? And wait a minute, if they did, I must remember to thank them for showing some concern.
On those chairs, he and I sat, wrestling madly, as a way to let out all the anger that had been building up during the tutoring. It was not personal anger, it would be more accurately, pure frustration over our discordant communication. His methods were confusing me, they were so different from what I was being taught to do, I was pissing him off because I dared to question this man who made his living in math.
We wrestled until we were running out of breath, we wrestled until we began to laugh hysterically, draping our arms around each other trying to catch our breath only to collapse into another fit of giggles. Eventually, those fits would dissipate into panting as we tried to catch our breath. It did us a world of good to wrestle like this, far better then launching into an exchange of violent angry words that we wouldn't be able to take back, even in regret.
Then he remembered about the chicken and quickly jumped up to check up on it. Nope, not yet, he said, while turning down the temperature so the dish wouldn't burn and I groaned. The dizzying smell of the chicken that escaped when he lifted the lid made me realize just how hungry I really was. He and I were both very poor students, we had virtually empty apartments, a few sticks of furniture, the bare minimum of dishware. it was the month of February, we were studying in the kitchen because the stove was keeping us from shivering. Food was what kept us from falling into that dangerous place that entrapped many university students during the coldest month of the year. it filled our tummies, gave our brains energy and gave us comfort where we had none.
He turned out at the sound of my complaints and with a wooden spoon, scolded me for being so impatient. I rolled my eyes in response to which he let out a gasp and ran at me. I laughed and this time, it was me who grabbed his wrists. He leaned in until his nose pressed up against mine. Perhaps it was in the heat of the moment, perhaps all the physicality of our interactions had me aroused but I couldnt help but kiss him. It was obvious he was having the same sort of feelings for he did not act surprised but instead kissed me back without delay. While his lips were still on mine, he sat back down on his chair and pulled me in until I was sitting on his lap. In this position, we kissed as if we were desert survivors who just found water for the first time in days. We kissed as if we were trying to get into each other's skin. We kissed as if this was going to be the last time we would ever kiss each other again.
It was a cold month, the time of year when we would shiver day in and day out, warmth being something that we would find only in the classrooms and in the student pub. It was a need that we had to constantly keep fulfilled to survive. Perhaps that explained the intensity of our embraces, we were each other's source of fire, we were keeping each other alive.
I would have quite gladly made love to him right there on the kitchen floor if it weren't nearly as cold as ice. The floors in my apartment were so cold that I always wore shoes to keep my feet warm when I was not in bed or on the couch buried under layers of salvation army blankets.
I broke away from him long enough to grab his hand and pull him along quickly to my bedroom to the safety of my duveted bed. We jumped in, and undressed each other underneath the duvet, laughing at our cowardice of the cold air. In between stripping off each layer of clothing, we would kiss fervently and hug each other tightly, grateful we were for the valuable warmth our bodies lent each other. I would gasp as his hand, icy cold, reached underneath the ridiculous flap that buttoned to the seat of my red old fashioned long johns and wrapped around my naked ass. He would flinch as my hand, equally cold, reached inside his jeans to find the haven of warmth in his crotch. We were acting out two primal needs, sex and warmth. Once all the clothes were tossed out of the bed, we tightly wrapped ourselves around each other, letting our skin warm each other, and we stayed this way for a while, reveling in the relief from the the daily onslaught of ice, snow and wind we faced from the time we woke up till the time we went to sleep.
It was pitch black in that bedroom, and he knew I would not be able to lipread him. But being the brilliant man he was, he decided to write on my skin. He would trace the outlines of his words, letter by letter, telling me what he wanted to do to me, what he wanted me to do to him. It was slow going at first. He would write out a letter on my breast, wait for me to repeat it out loud, then move onto the next letter and the next until all the words were spelled out. I quickly learned though, so quickly that he did not need to finish the word before moving onto the next one.
No one had ever done this before,talking to me by writing on my skin. It created a kind of intimacy I never had experienced before. It created a kind of naturalness between us, in such a way that although we were making love for the first time, it was as if we had been lovers for a long time. In between each love bite, he would write on my skin and if I guessed correctly, my hand on his cheek would feel him nodding in confirmation. When he was on top of me and inside of me, his hand would write on my cheek, on the side of my hip all the things that he wanted to tell me. How good it felt to have his cock inside me, how he loved the sounds I was making, the way my hair felt against his skin.
For the first time in my life, I was able to talk with my lover in the dark.
It was the first and last time that ever happened.
He was found frozen to death just outside his apartment door a few nights later. He came home late, rather drunk, and passed out just when he inserted hs key into his door. That night had been declared the coldest night of the year according to the six o'clock news. It was nowhere near as cold as the shock I first found out. For the rest of that long winter, there was no stove hot enough, no blankets thick enough, and no sweaters woolly to get me warm again.

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