FICTION: THE FUTURE OF INTIMACY

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

By Constance Taylor

I am scared. Well, scared is a loaded word. I would say I am nervous. It has been months since I last had Intimacy.

I am long overdue for my fix. He is naked when I descend the stairs and enter the room of the venue chosen by Intimacy.

“Number 54-D-3A2?” “Uh, yeah. Hey.” He’s new; I can tell. Intimacy has been part of my life for six years now. It began during my last year of high school. Like most others, I was alone.

Nothing spectacular about that; a thousand and one lousy teen poems harp on the topic. One day I bitched about the issue to Stan. I informed him that I needed to get laid.

“Do you? You’ve got fingers.” “Excuse me?” “Everyone wants sex at our age. But we’ve got it in the palms of our hands, haven’t we?” “Well, no.” “No? Explain.” “What we desire is not the contact of another’s skin to ours.

No, we live in an era of space-age vibrators and gortex vaginas.” “So what do we really want?” He pushes a crumpled piece of paper into my hand. “625 Bathurst St. E. Skin to skin, with a little extra. 7 p.m., come alone.” “What’s this?” It dawns on me then, slow, like the actual dawn. “Stan? This& this is some kind of underground sex club, isn’t it?”

“Is it sexual? Is it about a mere physical spasm? People don’t want a fast fuck, Constance. You can get that anywhere. What people really want is Intimacy” I lie on top of 54-D-3A2 the way Intimacy dictates; his legs are spread akimbo and I lie between them. I manage to recall the ritual breathing prescribed. I lay my hands inside his and stroke the palms as gently as I can, analyzing his biofeedback to know how to proceed.

I deal with neck, lips, nipples and the rest. The key to successful Intimacy is surpassing all the usual pleasures, shudders, spasms and understanding their worth as secondary to the gentle touches and caresses of the Engagement.

Trust can be effectively constructed by the ridiculous convulsions, the preposterous movements; the ejaculation of his defiling fluid inside of me, while I feel safe in the knowledge that I don’t find his inner man rank; the mandated half-hour spent in one another’s arms afterward; the nudity; the solitude; the Intimacy.

By some unprecedented coincidence, 54-D-3A2 and I are assigned to each other once more. The following week, we are sent to a farmhouse Most of the house is used to breed and whelp Border Collies. His body is warm under the blanket, yet I cannot shake the sensation just between my diaphragm and navel.

Something is happening, other than the usual tensions and releases of the affair. “Was it okay?” I ask. “Hmm?” “You know; the Engagement. Was it all right?” “Oh! Uh, yeah! Yes, it was correct.” “Good, good.” “Y’know, I, uh, had one once.” “Hmm?” “A border collie. Y’know, when I was a kid, and all.” “Really? What was his name?” This is not a subject we ought to be discussing. “His name was Lucky.” He laughs. “He was hit by cars twice and lived. Y’know, until the third car. He was too old that time, y’know?” “Hmm. I am sorry.” “Thanks…23-M-4B3.” He erupts in laughter and I cannot help but join him. “That’s my name; don’t wear it out!” “What is your name?” I don’t know how to respond. Surely he has read the Intimacy Theory. He must understand why I hesitate.

Perhaps I can change the subject. “I…had a Pekingese. Dora was her name.” “What happened to her?” “My father& He left her in the Jeep one summer.” “Ouch. That sucks.” “Yes.” He grunts and sits up. Our 30 minutes are done. I find my neatly folded clothes in the corner and dress. We will see one another again. I am sure of it. As we exit through the farmhouse door, the fatal blow is struck. “I’m Michael,” he says. Michael: of Hebrew origin. ‘Who is like God.’

Anything can be found on the Internet these days. I have read the Theory many times over since our coupling; as I expected, it states–in no uncertain terms?–that no participant of Intimacy is authorized to know the name or identity of any other. When I signed on to this organization, its intentions were made clear: to secure the ability of all citizens to achieve Intimacy. Contact comfort is a basic requirement of human survival (see Harlow, 1958); the social convention of pair-bonding, eliminates Intimacy. In choosing to bypass these irrational social mores, we are able to guarantee access for all. The divulging of names or other personal information will jeopardize the availability of this right.

Am I willing to neglect this high duty and fail to report Michael to the Intimacy Administration? Where do my interests lie: in fulfilling my responsibility to all citizens of this country? Or in following mad impulses? I have moved from the office to the shower to the street. It buzzes with activity; I take in the intoxicating odours of car exhaust and other humans.

Look at the way two dogs greet one another in the street; within seconds they are covered in one another’s saliva and are frolicking around. We are the same way. We are meant to be together.

Not just two of us; all of us. It is so clear now. A choice between hoarding an individual and upholding the principles of the organization is not a choice. I have not participated in Intimacy in a week; the Theory states that one must abstain from activity when undergoing a formal complaint procedure.

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