One One Cocoa Full Basket
Though the dream always changed slightly, at least once each week, I found myself standing at the edge of a vast sea, struggling (without success) to dip my toes into its cajoling surf. Way beyond a desire to simply frolic, I yearned to submerge myself in the ocean’s crystalline waters and float undisturbed in its tranquil abyss. Unquestionably, my soul was searching for peace.
* * *
The first time I saw him, he was sitting near the rear entrance of a grocery store on a white, plastic deck chair. I happened to be driving past to cut through traffic when I noticed him – an idle cat most likely on a break from work. All alone, he sprawled leisurely: legs apart, fingers linked behind his head, elbows wide. Predictably, his eyes were shut.
When I slowed down to take a closer look, he must have felt me watching him because, at that very moment, his lids cracked open and he gazed directly back. With the face of a pharaoh, he had eyes as dark as night, a sable brown complexion as smooth as the creamiest hot chocolate, and a mouth that told me he didn’t care much for gawking white girls. In addition, his lips were parted, as if he were too tired to hold them closed, and when my face blushed a bright shade of pink, I thought I saw him hint at a smile.
Embarrassed, I swung my head away quickly, still peeking at him through my rear view mirror as my old Honda sputtered past. From the outgrown fade to the outdated jeans, I knew he was not the kind of man to catch a woman with his money or his style. It would be his way with words, his strong sense of self and his abilities in the bedroom that would do it.
Of course after that day, my choice of shopping locations was easy and I proceeded to frequent his store until I saw him again. When I did, he was unloading cereal boxes, his well defined arms bulging magnificently. Pretending to need a jar of molasses, I parked my cart beside the oats and surveyed him out of the corner of my eye. He worked the way he sat, relaxed and with what seemed like no particular goal in mind. For all he cared, it seemed to me, the stocking of shelves could’ve taken ten years to complete. Entranced, I imagined his muscular legs writhing against mine and I accidentally knocked a bottle of maple syrup onto the floor. “Oops, I can’t believe I just did that!” I yelped, stepping back to avoid the brown sticky mess that was oozing across the aisle.
“Don’ worry. Me get a mop,” he sighed indifferently, strolling away. Unable to bear a confrontation, I fled the store faster than a jackrabbit with its tail on fire.
* * *
A couple of weeks later, confident enough to return, I found him in the produce section sorting through the apples. With hands cemented to the cart’s handle, I walked past trying to appear casual, possibly looking more like I was stuck in quicksand. When he glanced up, my heart immediately jumped.
“Dem betta hide de syrup!” he laughed quickly, sending rounds of giddiness throughout the space. Likewise, his eyes twinkled like sparklers and I knew that I needed a quick comeback.
“Maple syrup is good for lots of things,” I offered pathetically.
His eyebrows lifted. “Me know. It taste good pon de pancake dem.”
“I really like pancakes,” I sputtered, and although he had me tongue-tied, our banter continued that day and over the next couple of months, progressing from talk of groceries, to the weather, to current events, until I found myself discussing the more intimate details of my life with him.
Our incidental chats revealed an abundant number of similarities too. We were both graduate students at the same university (albeit different faculties) with part-time jobs to pay the bills. We both loved foreign films and we both adored our pets to a fanatical extreme. In fact, we had so much in common that it was almost scary, and as time passed, I eagerly anticipated my conversations with this man. Things, as they say, were getting interesting.
One chilly, autumn afternoon, cruising the frozen food aisles in the hopes of furthering our growing friendship, I spotted him behind a stack of juice flats. When he saw me – armed with my small basket of non-necessities – he beamed from ear to ear.
“Hello, Anna,” he said provocatively, his deep voice vibrating in my chest.
“Hi,” I replied, hoping that it wasn’t going to be just another day of benign conversation. When he unexpectedly leaned in close and whispered, “You look cozy in dem clothes,” I was thrilled.
“Ummm, OK.” His eyes were the darkest shade of brown I’d ever seen.
“You mus’ be hot. You wan’ me fe hot you up some more?”
I paused, “Ummm, I don’t know…”
“Den say yes,” he stated simply, like it was my only option. “Meet me after work ‘ere about six, a’right?” When I couldn’t speak, he continued, “A hot you hot fe me eenh? Just mek me touch you.” With my face burning, I wondered if he thought all Caucasians pitiful, our skin colour such an obvious indicator of our emotions.
Ironically, I discovered later that my cream-colored flesh excited him though I don’t think that even he realized it until we’d been a couple for some time. From the print of a hot slap, to a mottled purple hickey, my skin was his tool: a device with which he could declare his manhood, a bulletin board for him to tell others that I was his property, and an instrument that signified my ever-increasing state of arousal when we were together. “Me love de way you neck an’ you chest red up like dat,” he’d proclaim, leisurely tracing over the patterns of blotchiness he’d expertly created.
Admittedly, he wasn’t the only one fascinated by our contrasting physical qualities either. For me though, it wasn’t about manipulating his darkness that held particular appeal, mostly because it wasn’t so easily manipulated in the first place. In that sense, among many others, he represented an immutable strength. No, what captivated me were those features that he had – the ones that I didn’t. His dense bush of ebony curls – both the ones eloquently crowning his perfect head and the extra-tight ones down below that encircled his penis – kept me enthralled for hours. Similarly, the timbre of his voice with its exotic syllables and sounds thrummed straight to my heart and in turn, activated a slow drip between my legs. Undeniably, he could bewitch me with a single word.
So later that day, when we met and he uttered my name upon greeting, I knew I’d be his willing prisoner forever. Then, like we’d been lovers for years, he kissed me on the cheek, took my hand, and led me to his car. Through a break in the buildings, the setting sun was visible – a huge orange fireball melting into the horizon. “The gods dem a’ rest tonight,” he said. “De sun is happy you know…” He seemed content to believe that the world was at peace, our decision to be together having been approved at some higher, more spiritual level. When he squeezed my palm tight, I felt the sudden influx of warmth inundating his veins and I knew he was excited. So was I.
On the road however, he drove unhurriedly, as though his rising passion had no bearing on his actions. Back straight, eyes focused forward, he was a fairly convincing portrayal of a man in total control, and with each breath his chest rose only marginally higher than it should have. When I grazed his neck with my fingertips however, he nearly vaulted out of his seat.
“A wha’ you a do? You a try fe kill us?” Knowing what little I did, I figured that he was annoyed at my ability to affect his composure with the slightest touch.
“Jumpy are we?” I kidded. “Ahhh… it’s just that you are so sexy, I can’t seem to keep my hands to myself.” It was a brave comment and although I said it jokingly, it was how I really felt. Nevertheless, he didn’t so much as crack a smile.
It took me a while to figure out stuff like that – his apparent apathy at times – but eventually I realized that it was his way of forcing me to pay attention to the intricacies of the relationship. There was a definite craft to loving this man and it was all in the details. Any other less determined or observant woman may have given up on him, but for me, it was not an option. I needed him, though at that point, I still wasn’t sure how much.
* * *
Now, after the angst-ridden, seat-ejecting incident in the car, my master of steel nerves transformed yet again into a driving automaton, leading the way without question or concern for my wishes, and as with all the other things he said and did, I went along for the ride.
Cruising along through the city streets, we shared our childhoods, comparing our preferences for things like ice cream and grapefruit juice. We discussed seriously whether we thought microwave ovens were more dangerous than cell phones, and we decided that two storey houses were definitely better than bungalows for raising families. There were no awkward silences – it was as if we were already the best of friends.
Before I knew it, we’d pulled into what I assumed was the parking lot of his apartment building. Up until then, our date had been uneventful – comfortable – but when he turned off the engine, all the talking stopped. Shifting in his seat to rest against the door, he then began nervously stroking the short, curly hairs of his beard. I too was fidgeting in my seat, not sure what to say, when suddenly he growled, “Show me you’ behind.”
Stunned, I hesitated long enough to bite a good-sized dent into my bottom lip but finally, I managed a question, “Don’t you want to go inside? Surely we’ve come all this way for a reason, Cornelius.” My thinking was that if he’d wanted to have sex in the car, we could have done so at the mall. Now, maybe he didn’t hear me or maybe he was simply waiting for me to pull off my pants. Whatever the reason, he didn’t reply – he just stared, tracking the contours of my body from the hollow of my throat to the crux of my thighs.
Again, I pressed for some kind of verbal response. “My behind? You mean you want me to show you my bum? Right here in the car?” He had me rattled but when he reached over and began undoing my jeans himself, my brain turned to mush and my body lit on fire. In the split second that it took for him to unhook the fastening, I went from slightly concerned with, to completely oblivious to my surroundings. My libido had definitely kicked into high gear and I couldn’t wait any longer to have his hands on me.
In the end, I wrestled the snug denim down myself and with my ass in the air and my thong halfway off, he pried at the hole that only moments before had known everything about decorum. Twisting around to observe his face, I saw that his eyes were as big as saucers and my muscles contracted in response, my body instinctively trying to shut what he was so desperately trying to open. And just when I thought I was about to be penetrated with a neighbor peering through the window, he stopped altogether and mumbled raggedly, “Come nuh baby, put on you clothes dem an’ let’s go.”
* * *
Inside, his apartment was modest and well kept – by my standards, not too clean, but not too messy either. It smelled of spicy food and some kind of lemon cleaner, possessing a coziness that made me feel right at home.
Interestingly enough, as he showed me around, he avoided all talk of the curious incident in the car. “De bat’room ova deh so, extra toilet paper in de closet. Me nuh have much in de fridge, but wha’ fe me a fe you too. Take anyt’ing you need.” Halfway into the kitchen, and none too timidly, he unexpectedly stopped, took my hands in his, and pulled me in close. “By-de-way, what is it you need?” There was a distinct change in his tone.
“I don’t really need anything,” I answered plainly. When his sensuous, full lips turned down at my ambivalent reply, I was confused. “What’s wrong?”
Tightening his already unyielding grasp, he pushed me against the wall. “You no need nut’ing?”
“Well, I guess I need you.” He had me pinned.
“How you mean?”
Attempting to sound both confident and sexy, I said what I thought he wanted to hear, enunciating each syllable, articulating each word, “I… need… you… to… fuck… me.”
“Is all you need?” He was disappointed again, though I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why. Even still, he began rubbing the hardness in his pants up and down against my belly.
“What else is there?” I thought that fucking would’ve been more than enough.
“Maybe you a dream dat a scary, black man a tek you,” he said seriously. “All a de white girls wan’ dat.”
“That can’t be it. I know you would never hurt me.” I knew he never would.
Finally, I’d said something right and he leaned in and kissed me softly. As his lips teased mine, my recurring dream came rushing back and I could almost feel the water swirling around my feet as I waded in the shallows, the turnover of each wave foaming between my toes. An incredible warmth and serenity existed in the strength of his hands as he kneaded my waist, but there was something else, something in his depths – something harsher, more virile – that I knew had the potential to wash me away completely.
That night though, I knew he was purposely holding back, lingering over my mouth and exploring the distinct features of my face with an almost painful drowsiness. Keeping the intensity at a sufferable yet passionate level, he only allowed me to trifle just inside the buttons of his shirt and to sample the salty fervor that glazed his collarbone. Reserved or not however, it was in his presence that evening that I realized I’d found my destiny.
* * *
We didn’t actually have sex until six months later, and I should’ve known that I’d be the impatient one. Oh, I knew he felt the same sort of urgency, but for some reason, he never seemed to let it show. I did manage to trick him from time to time, but for the most part, he was always trying to divert my actions like a traffic cop, chopping at the air like I was on-coming traffic. “Come this way. Don’t go that way,” he’d signal and in retrospect, I think that he just wanted things to go at his own speed.
Once however, about four and a half months into his reverent reign, I got lucky. It happened one night while we were watching television together. As I was always on the prowl for some action, I’d positioned myself strategically on the floor with my head only inches from his crotch. When I leaned back to pass the popcorn and my hair skimmed his pants, he abruptly grabbed my shirt and pulled me up onto his lap. By the voracious look in his eyes, it was clear that I’d been given the green light, but it wasn’t until I actually got his pants down and had his penis in my mouth that I felt the magnitude of his hunger.
At first, he pumped into me methodically – arms soldiered to his sides – but as things progressed and the combined profusion of my saliva and his premature juices increased, he pulled my head hard onto his groin, filling my throat and stretching my lips so wide that my cheeks hurt and my chin stung. Fiercely, I sucked and swallowed until he finally began heaving his whole body in an increasingly spastic rhythm.
Past the point of no return, he was indeed like a wrecking ball to my face, but when the first drops of semen began to spurt, he reverted back to his old self and everything settled down. Stuck in a slow motion sequence – his hips, my head, his cock, my lips and tongue all undulating back and forth into and onto each other – I took him as deeply as I could, opening for what he gave. When he came fully, it was in copious amounts, his cock detonating a liquid bomb into the recesses of my mouth, and I vehemently swallowed the flood of his life force. When it was all over however, he once again transformed into the very same waveless macrocosm that he’d always represented.
* * *
One hundred and eighty-one days after our first date, the fateful moment occurred when we were finally together in the biblical sense. Early one afternoon, while cuddling on my sofa – something we seemed to do a lot – I asked the question I’d been dying to ask for a very long time. “What’s going on here, Cornie?” I said, frustrated as hell that we hadn’t had sex yet, not to mention the fact that he’d looked down the private chute of my anus before even once having kissed me on the lips.
“Wha’ you mean?” He grabbed my big toe playfully.
“Well, don’t you want me?”
“You nuh see dat?” He rubbed his hand over the bulge in his jeans.
“Then why don’t you want to have sex with me?” I was almost afraid to ask.
“Oh, that,” he said quietly, looking at the floor.
“Yeah, that.” I needed an answer and he knew it.
“Me nuh sure you will understan’ why, but …” He sat up straight, stared directly into my eyes and launched his explanation. “A man must have patience. He need fe focus and preserve him ene’gy. He know dat to receive somet’ing easily means it nuh wort’ much, and to give somet’ing away wit’out t’ought, is to waste it.” And although he spoke the words as valiantly as a prince, he then proceeded to break out into a fit of laughter, clutching at his stomach and slapping vehemently at the cushions of the couch.
“You’re right. I don’t get it.” I shook my head and giggled anyway, his merriment infectious.
“A’right, how ‘bout dis…” he said in earnest, “If you have a bowl of de best ice-cream in de world, would you nyam it all up one time?”
“Ummm, I guess not.” I was beginning to understand, and elated that my feelings didn’t go unmatched, I leaned over and put my arms around his neck. As his hands caressed the sides of my face, I once again perceived the waves of his inherent ocean lapping against my body, the water now sloshing up into my bellybutton over and over again. I was in deep and thankfully our rendezvous was destined to escalate.
In the next instant, he whispered, “Me wan’ see you breast dem.” Overjoyed that things might be going somewhere, I promptly pulled down the front of my shirt. Diving into my bra, he twisted and turned my nipples until they ached, and just when I thought I would scream from too much stimulation, he licked his lips, righted my clothing and told me to get up.
“What now?” I asked, desperate for more.
“Come,” he replied gruffly, leading me down the hall into the kitchen. “Now, bend ova de counter.” I must have looked confused because he then helped me with his intended arrangement. “Put you knee up,” he said. “Ee-heen, just like dat. Now, lay down.” Not about to argue, I placed my cheek and chest flat on the cool countertop and waited. In a quiet voice, he added, “Look outside a de sky, an’ tell me what you see.”
I turned my head. “Well, the sky is blue and there are a few fluffy white clouds.”
His hands were on my thighs, stroking gently up and down. “What else?’
“There are some birds... ummm…” But as his fingertips got closer to the edge of my panties, it got harder and harder to answer. “I think they are starlings… ummm… or something and ah… there is a plane…”
Suddenly, he bunched my skirt up around my waist and pressed his nose directly between my legs. “Me know seh you would be mine foreva when we first touched hands.” Hearing this, it was all I could do not to melt onto the floor, but thankfully, he held me up, yanking at the damp fabric of my underwear to expose my engorged lips to his fierce gaze. “Gwan girl, now tell me more…”
“What?” By then, a simple sentence was beyond my comprehension.
Luckily, Cornelius also seemed entranced. “You mek me feel like de birds dem,” he mumbled, wedging two fingers into my vagina. And as he played, I clung to the tap, arching my back and lifting my tailbone to allow him easier access.
Finally, when he took his fingers out and settled in with his mouth to lave and whirl over my clit, it quickly became apparent that his calm persona was changing again. The formidable swells of a raging sea had risen and he was reeling faster than ever, venturing everywhere with his tongue in reckless abandon. The crush of his hands also kept up this frenzied pace and he pinched and squeezed at my cheeks in concert. And as the contractions of my muscles intensified, I could sense his waves crashing over my head, his waters flooding my eardrums and ringing the contents of my skull.
“Hold on baby.” He unexpectedly stepped back.
“Don’t you dare,” I started to yell, but in a flash he’d returned, this time with his penis.
What happened next was mostly a blur, but I can say that I felt a supreme distension and filling of my vagina. And as I held onto the rigid silver spout and bounced backwards over his thick post, he drove into me wildly, holding my hips to keep me in place.
When the convulsions began, I cried out, succumbing to the potency of this man’s depths and testifying to my joy in a loud, libidinous release. And even though my head slammed into the backsplash at the climax and I ended up with a big bruise on my forehead, through it all, I’d never felt safer or more at peace in my whole life.
* * *
Besides introducing me to the wonders of love, Cornelius has taught me how to dream, how to use my imagination to make good things great, and contrary to my own rapaciousness, he’s shown me the importance of patience and contentment. For all of those things, I am forever grateful.
I must tell you, we remain together even now – some twenty odd years later – and when I am clutched in his embrace and he lulls me at his watery bosom, I am home. No longer am I that lonely mermaid stranded on the shore.