The bruises and the pain are both enhanced today. This morning the design has changed radically, the purple color has darkened and the red spots have grown so that they bleed into each other forming small red clouds over the purple sky of flesh. The dozens of distinct lines have darkened as well. Under the purple masses deeper violet streaks stripe my inner thighs. Next to the horizontal slivers that were so prevalent yesterday there are now long vertical stripes (four on my left thigh and three on my right) traveling from the bottom to the top of the bruises. The marked areas span eight inches long on each leg. I think you would like the vibrant mosaic you painted onto my flesh, it is unique and unpredictable. My thighs, wrapped in tightly stretched skin are swollen, bulging and deformed. My legs rub together and chafe as I walk. I think I will be carrying the inflamed sensation throughout today, and perhaps tomorrow. This suffering is like a scalding burn, it gets worse before it gets better.
We began negotiating this particular ordeal of copious pain over dinner during a cheery reunion after too much time apart. It was well before the preparations for sleep, still wide awake and feeding each other with catch up stories. The recent separation illuminated how much we had missed each other. There was that slightly uneasy anticipation that makes it hard to stay focused, like being on a first date. After arriving he held me in his arms for an extra long time.
There was talk of it even then, in our first hours back together, casually, as we ate our supper and while the wine loosened us. It was circuitous, hypothetical talk about extreme pain and suffering that never quite referred to me or to him. I never said that I was courting pain or tempting him to bring it to me. He never said that he desired the experience or that he was feeling that sadistic side of himself conspicuously bubbling to the surface. In fact, he implied the opposite.
“I wonder where my limits are.” I contemplated.
“Would you like to find out?” He asked, inferring that it was all my choice and that his interest in my interest in being beaten was somehow out of a charitable generosity and not self-gratification. That is how he works it to keep his conscience clean; he makes me ask for it. He offered to beat me if I made it known that I wanted it.
For himself, he declared, “I can take it or leave it.” He added, “Now tying you, that arouses me endlessly.”
I did not deliberate long. I could have (but, did not) note that he seems to harbor a hidden thirst for beating me. I have seen the craving in his eyes when his desire escalates and dirty suggestive talk collides with opportunity. A notorious smile etches out of his face when he raises the cane high above my paralyzed body pausing threateningly in the air before…. but, I am getting ahead of myself again.
At this point, over dinner he was still surveying the territory as he inquired about my lascivious eagerness. I was indeed in the mood for pain and he could smell it.
“In the past, in the history of my life, I don’t remember fantasizing about violence.”
“Hmmm, so this is an acquired desire?” He asked.
“No, it feels like it comes from deep inside of me. Arousal from being beaten feels like a buried hunger.”
He laughed out of amusement, I laughed out of insecurity.
“Is it terrible to want pain?” I asked him. “It seems to me that it’s a little deranged.”
“How does it feel?” He asked, carefully stacking perfect bites of food onto his fork in predetermined order.
“Vulnerable.” I said and the word lingered in the air for a long time.
He did not mind my silence. Then suddenly, perhaps incited from consuming half a bottle of wine, I fell to pieces weeping while sitting unbound on a chair at the kitchen table with my legs folded under my hips. He did not reach out to embrace me while I cried big tears from raccoon eyes. He did not try to alleviate my pain with his comforting arms. The more I cried the harder it was to tolerate him watching me. When I could not take it any longer and rose to clear the table in a paltry effort to deflect emotion, he interfered.
“Sit again. Tell me, what’s causing your tears?”
“I am so afraid of love.” I sobbed, meaning, I think, to say something else, something more specific.
The veil of protection I have worn my entire life melted away the more he wanted to know me. Wrapped in his compassionate gaze my ribs bent inside my chest to make room for my heart as it expanded with love. The fine veil that keeps my vulnerability scarcely guarded fell away and I cried out the pain from a lifetime of holding my deepest demons at bay from the rest of the world.
“You don’t have to be afraid,” he said.
“There is this wall that I have kept up to prevent myself from being hurt. I have been keeping myself secluded in plain sight and have felt so alone and unknown.”
“I can feel the weight of your struggle to keep it all together,” he said. “You do not need that protection any more. Are you ready now to give it up?”
Soon he took me to bed where he made slow vanilla love to me. Without bondage, without cruelty, just soft and sentimental lovemaking, except for those last few minutes of impassioned fucking when he lost himself in my sex and nearly split me in two with the fervent, thrusting force of his wild hips.
Exhausted, done… it took all of his energy to tie me for sleep last night.
The bruises are bizarrely arresting. The orange-red has become blood-red and the purple gradations range from deep violet along the inner softest parts of my thighs to an innocent, lovely lilac dotting the fringes. The streaks have formed clearly now, they are short, distinct red lines. They look as if they are about to bleed, as if the blood is being held inside by just one gossamer layer of skin. What fascinates me the most is the great, clean hole that has formed in the middle of each large colorful mass. It is almost as if you missed those spots. On each leg there is one unblemished circle, they are the shape of fists, deep wells enclosed by fiery rings of anger. The center is the color of my natural flesh, unmarred and clear. In your madness could you have missed those spots? No, you couldn’t possibly have neglected those areas; that is not like you at all. Each deep hole is over two inches in diameter; I have measured them with my ruler. The aperture on the right leg is slightly lower and wider and considerably more painful. The bruises do not match in color, size or shape. Just looking at them one can see that you were easier on my left leg than you were on the right. Both legs are still swollen, though less so than yesterday. And now the pain is much more prevalent on the inside, almost as if the pain itself is clinging with sharp claws to the underside of my skin.
He is investigating my constitution each time he encourages me to reveal my boundaries and undisclosed desires. He is probing to discover my fragility. He notes my interests and stows them away in his mind to use when he disarms me later. He will butcher my fantasies when he manifests them into reality. He will expand upon the deviant fascinations that I make up and take them far away from my romantic notions. The rope tied to contain my body, the one I have begged for, will have some sort of added trial. Like when he ties a noose around my neck and traps the loose ends between the frame of a window and its pane, forcing me to balance on the tips of my toes and frustrate my breathing. I must gasp for air while he waits a fair distance from me, keeping an eye out, I suppose, for possible damage or authentic distress. He will take my simple curiosity about pain and introduce me to the very edge of my limits of endurance. He is good like that, it is one of his best techniques.
On this morning he wakes me early by untying and retying my wrists. He pushes me down onto my stomach and mounts me from behind. He fucks me until savagely exploding onto my back and ass. He does this without releasing my neck from the rope which is laced to the headboard and without stripping the tape from my lips. It is morning and he is aggressive. My body is strong though, and has surpassed the pain. Tolerance of pain is the only thing I control and I am mastering my endurance and ability.
He rudely rips the tape from my lips before collapsing and falling asleep for a few minutes. My skin feels tight, especially where last night’s tears have dried on my cheeks. When I wake again, I notice there is a knot of rope pressing hard on the back of my neck in the depression where spine meets with skull. I open my eyes and he is already awake, he has been watching me.
“Are you ready to be undone?” He asks.
I am thirsty and hungry and my skin smells of sweat and dried semen.
He unties me completely and leads me into the bath.
The bruises have become ugly now. The right leg is much worse than the left in every way imaginable. On the right thigh the colors are darker and have more range of color. The sensation on the left is less pronounced. In comparison, the bruises and marks on my left thigh look insignificant but taken alone they are still mean enough. The right thigh tingles sometimes when I walk and always when I bend and always when I place my hands on my lap which I do deliberately, particularly when I need to remember my own abilities. Two sets of vertical tracks have mysteriously appeared overnight, I had not anticipated these unusual formations. Each set runs along the insides of my thighs from the bottom of the bruised area to the top. The longer of which (on the right, of course) is six inches, the left is just short of that. A dozen or so smaller lines dart horizontally along each bruise. They are actually slightly raised up from the skin. The little lines are so precisely spaced and identical that it is clear you were paying attention to the outcome when you went clipping me with that dangerous old cane. They are bright red and angle in from the front and tops of my thighs to lower thigh where they have moved closer to the inside. The long vertical tracks are the ones that are most livid now having just been born from under the already esteemed marks. The deep, natural colored circles have also transformed, they have grown more discrete, they are like protected areas surrounded by all that darkness and angry slashes that give the illusion of bloody cuts. The circles look painless but when I touch them there is more sensation than on the deepest violet colored blossoms.
I struggle through eating my breakfast because a prophesy of extreme pain now hangs in the air causing me to lose concentration for minor tasks. The morning conversation has been light and playful, perhaps owing to the purging of sadness last night. When I am not suffering he has a desire to repair that. He finishes every bit of food on his plate and even eats my leftover slice of toast. He can wait to be satisfied. I do not find it so easy to be patient.
After breakfast, we take a walk to feel the crisp autumn air on our skin. We laugh at how seldom we need to leave the house, preferring instead to stay indoors with the rope and the torture and the undistracted conversation. I tease him that he only wants to spend time with me in our sexual escapades.
“I am joking…. mostly,” I say.
He takes a sharp left and steers me back toward the apartment immediately.
Inside again, he tells me to take off all of my clothes.
He is the same as he often is, presumptuous, carefree and laughing easily when the mood strikes him. I must watch him very carefully to see his poetic transformation into serious meanness. I am easily diverted by his overwhelming domination which commands all of my attention. I must remind myself to stay focused on him if I want to observe his evolution; despite the distracting obstacles he introduces, I must keep myself sharp.
He sits me on a straight backed chair that he has brought into the living room and positioned so that the warm rays of the sun shine through the window and onto my thighs. He attaches my knees and feet first to the legs of the chair. Then he confines my arms, chest and stomach to the wooden chair seat and back by winding hundreds of feet of rope around my body. He uses the darker hemp with the tight, itchy braid. This is the hemp that smells of the earth and leaves patterns imprinted onto my skin that do not disappear for many hours afterwards. He is working hard. I cannot tell if the sweat that is forming on the back of his neck is from effort or illicit excitement. The light expression on his face during breakfast is mutating into a stony dark grin as he pulls rope and more rope around my form. He stops, smiles and unbuttons his white shirt, strips it from his body and drapes it over the back of the sofa. He does this after resting a bamboo cane on my lap so that I can contemplate my future.
My body is heavy with the weight of hundreds of feet of rope. Terror, suffering and unspeakable pain are closing in on me. He will teach me about having expectations. I am embarrassingly aroused. And although my sex is screaming out to him, he does not reach his hand down to feel the dampness between my slightly parted legs.
When he has finished securing me, he leans his face in very close to mine, so close that his breath blows along my skin as his words enter my consciousness, sexy, as I like it, better than that, better than I wish for.
His mouth and nose graze along my body and the tiny hairs on my skin rise to meet his breath. He could take a bite out of my neck or my shoulder or just as easily place velvety kisses all along my flesh. Instead all I notice is the sound and the feel of the light air whispering from his mouth.
“Now, what is it that you want?” He asks, deep voiced and serious.
I remain silent, hoping that he will not force me to say the words and claim responsibility. He seems surprised by my resistance. He takes a step back from me and cocks his head to the side…