One December morning in Goa, I sat in a shack overlooking the beach – within reach of all things comfortable – hot water with ginger lemon & honey, a pack of ice burst, the book I was reading (Machado’s In the Dream House), kindle bookmarked to Miranda July’s short story called The Man on the Stairs (a woman sleeping next to her partner wakes up to sense a man walking up the stairs, towards the bedroom – he takes forever to arrive and she waits for him, often almost going back to sleep but everytime he shifts his weight, she wakes up again), a notebook, sunglasses.

Two shirtless white men are playing frisbee yet the only other nakeder thing on the beach is a lone tree bending awkwardly to its knees – it changes posture every now and then – depending on who it is imitating. Presently, it is bent to catch a frisbee that no one throws at it.

There are women in white bikinis who don’t rush into the water like I had just a few hours ago, in a yellow bikini that had made me feel small, unattractive, pleased. The women I am watching from behind the safe, cool shadows of my sunglasses – are, despite their composure (they don’t rush out of the water either) pulling me furiously into their bodies and I arrive at a wetness in a sudden poof that I cannot recognise.

It hadn’t taken more than a gentle squeeze of one of the thighs to produce. It was unfamiliar but welcome. I felt grateful to not have had to imagine anything more because everything I would ever want was there in that moment. I figured I enjoy watching women so much, it didn’t matter that there were two Hindi-speaking men at the next table who I wanted to beat up with their sunglasses because they were imagining perhaps the same things that I was.

After years of vaguely saying bi-things, I had arrived at an epiphany – an epipoofy. It was easy, like vanilla ice cream.



Sex, dirt and other Freudian fantasies

I like waking up to a room full of mess. It is sadly reassuring because I know exactly what I am going to be doing with my morning. Too bad I don’t normally wake up to filth. But let’s say I did, that would be my ultimate sex fantasy. Picture a pair of clean, naked feet trying to grope for slippers under the bed only to feel a plate of curd. Now you curse and step on a crushed bottle, now you open your eyes to the dismal yet liberating view of papers everywhere, books lying open and scattered, clothes all out of the closet, and the bathroom, a pigsty.

Now picture the slow, almost orgasmic uncluttering of all this, breathing in every moment of objects cleaned, of spaces washed, of clothes arranged and rearranged, of books carefully organised randomly, of cursing the tragic lack of hangers and of fresh synonyms of high that only a bottle of Lizol pine fresh can bring to your bathroom. 

An ink pot lies broken and you watch with horror and amusement as the tsunami of royal blue ink begins to decorate your marble flooring. It’s a beauteous sight. Deep blue against pure white. You take an even whiter cloth and try to absorb some of the magic from the floor. The dustbin looks cheerful to be accommodating half the room’s wealth. You peel old and stinking bed spreads from its partner and dump it into the washing machine. Two rinses plus one for the nice smelling clothes conditioner. You watch as the mini waterfall begins to envelope dirty sheets. Dump three spoons of Surf and watch the merry go round of dirt squeezing itself out and into the soap. It is oddly gratifying to watch dirt coming out. Almost soul cleansing.

The red bed sheet you have chosen today is perfect for a Sunday morning. Clearly, the sun is brighter on Sundays. The red stretches its canvas out as you spread it on your bed, it yawns now before claiming all 4 corners of the bedpost. The sunlight sleeps on the red now, bouncing its long golden ladders on the pillow. Proud as you are of your room’s giant ventilation, you make your way towards the windows to see the dust off. They sit there like they always have, in books and in movies, of ancient times and recent. A bottle of Colin apparates into your hands. As it hisses open a fresh batch of spray, you can smell the air of clean, knocking out that intoxicating smell of dust.

Now you move to your cupboard. All your tees are neatly folded and kept far away from the main clothes – those that you wear everyday. Your sweaters are hung neatly, all the hanger points facing the same way, color coordinated and all. You open the windows to let Sunday inside. A new pack of incense sticks – sandalwood this time and soon you see wafts of sandalwood inviting more of Sunday morning inside.

You save the party project for last. That bottle of yellow Lizol lemon and bits of surf excel to give the commode a thorough, warm, and fuzzy wash. 

Satisfied but not thoroughly yet, you leave a kettle of water on the stove for that first cup of tea. And now the little cherub of an orgasm peeps at you from the clean corners of your room as you embrace the day.

What would Uncle Freud say?