That destructive siren, sloth, is ever to be avoided. ~ Horace
Out of passions grow opinions; mental sloth lets these rigidify into convictions ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
Under the slow sun, fresh breezes from the river kept us cool. We lay on silken pillows and drank from crystal glasses, hanging grapes above our open mouths – like baby birds. Her eyes were deep like chocolate, wells of wisdom, but devoid of knowledge. Her body melted, slender into the dips of our makeshift bed, and as she extended her tapered fingers to beckon me closer, I covered her delicateness with the male broadness of my palms. We made love, over and over, always nestled in the grooves of our unleavable bedding. Barely moving, slowly touching, caressing. Orgasms enjoyed in lingering pleasure. Like the exotic sweets she laid upon my tongue, ordered me not to suck, to let them dissolve. Likewise, I felt her body dissolve with each gentle press of passion.
We didn’t get up for two weeks. Two weeks that grew longer, further, encompassing months and then years. The cold didn’t touch us. During the day we slumbered and entwined in the endless afterglow of our peaceful nuptials, and at night we looked at the stars, watched them shoot when Michaelmas came round.
We lived so slowly it took me a long time to soon know every trembling inch of warm skin, the brushing of fingertips that raised the pink peaks of her curved breasts, the gentle convex of her belly and the roundness of soft hips, supple under my eager pressing. Not forgetting the sweet moistness, aromatic, between her thighs. Twice daily I dipped my head to her sex and drank, inhaled, infused my senses in her femaleness. And nothing could surpass the feeling, my manhood rising and pushing up into her welcoming palm, searing her passive skin. So many ways to feel my erection scorch her, pressed against her rosy cheek, beneath one blinking eye, darting tongue, over slender digits, letting her slip down over my thrusting, on her back with legs wide to welcome me, or lying supine to receive the unseeable invasion of my lust. But never fast nor rough, never did I hold her, but with the downward movement of my impassioned body. Hips met hips and slid, friendly, together.
She came from this, from the lap of luxury. Spent her childhood, adolescence prostrate, waited on. And now she had initiated me to the simple pleasures of nothingness. Her rose lips, her porcelain skin, and the words that washed so sweetly over me made me forget plans, lose track of time, throw away desires and wishes, all for her. Not that I rescind responsibility. I had seen legions of men fall at her feet and had scoffed at their pitifulness. Before my own downfall. I couldn’t tell wherefore she had decided that as I fell, she would catch me, but she did. And now I never got up. Never raised myself from the horizontal. When we were hungry we sent for food, when we were thirsty, ordered that jugs of water be brought from the river – not twenty feet away – and when reality burned bright and clear we called grape-pressers to make us wine, upon which we grew tipsy, enveloped in drunken love making.
All the while growing closer, creeping to demise. Unwittingly I threw away our lives, buried my flaming loins in the immediacy of pleasure. I lazily observed as the river banks rose above the drying water, unworried, unhurried, drinking it until it was no longer there. It no longer sustained us. Our helping hands no longer came, and I thought it was the lack of water that had moved them on.
With great difficulty I lifted her sleeping body in my weary, unworked arms, and carried her to the next town, scuffed my feet on rough sand and came to a bank. Our funds, like the river, had run dry. No hotel would open it’s doors to us. Bodies maintained like princes, with empty purses. My hands were soft and supple, nails filed, lacquered and slothful, as they grasped at pennies on the filthy street.
My faithless wife awoke and looked at me with furrowed discontent, slipped from my grasp and flung her arms around the whiskey-drunk neck of an oilman. The dust billowed and stuck to my oily skin, legs coated in dirt as her fiery eyes peered at me over broad shoulders, already comfortable in the nook of his possessive hold, driving me hence. I wept, penniless, forgetful of my trade, longing for the silken comfort I had grown to know and only know.
I had lost, snake eyes leering from every side, and still my weak limbs clamoured for help, gave up and let me fall to sleep on yesterday’s newspapers.
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