Dirty Reiki

I’m fertile and the mens, they can smell it. Standing in the airlock of a subway platform in august my only respite is when the wrong train pulls up and its opened doors spill out cool air that dances around my knees while the rest of my skin exudes sweat. 

Drops become streams become the fingers of the lover who most recently left me trailing down my back. My tits sag in the moist weight of my once fancy brasierre and I hunt in my broken purse for a hand fan with the spines still intact. I want out of this personhood but it’s on – as soon as I start sweating, the mens around look at me with their cock full eyes, see my cock-empty legs and feel a need, no a right to change that.

I sweat and men smell my empty womb, my fresh ovaries, the ability of my body to withstand years of abuse and continue to give. The smell my power steamed in with my genetic capacity for pain and denial and they want to put it in me. And that’s the mens.

I know they can smell me because the girls tell me so. Girls pull me aside in the dark corners of bars where I waste my pretty face on cans of cheap beer and they whisper in my ear, “you smell like sex,” and I choose to believe they do not mean my degredation but rather they smell the ache in my cunt and they smell my need and they smell my ability to give the good with the bad.

“you smell good.” My body is prepared and it is calling out through the skin. My sweat says something to the pants of every person who walks by, it says words I refuse to say because they have broken me and they have saved me before and I never know which one im gonna get. My sweat says more eloquently than I can what I want. Every syllable a catch in my throat that seeps out my skin.

Those who know me call it out in abstracts: like a basement, like a person, like… “You smell…like you.” I appreciate the call outs because it lets me know I am alive in this body that threatens me. A need is a place I have not gone but do not wish to leave.

Ive never had a problem being filthy as fuck, and actually – getting all uptight on personal cleanliness always seemed like more of a substantial problem than a few dirst streaks and fluffs in my hair.  The neurosis about it would be the problem.

So it was with great horror and an unsettling feeling in my guts that I listened to my dinner date describe her twice-daily shower routine, “I just like to feel … clean.”

Did she mean…vaginally? Because if so, that was Too Much Information for our first date.

“Huh – I like the way I smell after a day or two,” I said, but thought “or three or four.” She looked at me like I was surely going to come around sooner or later and wiped her mouth clean with a napkin.

We finished our mediterrainian food and I covered the bill. I get off on it, I mean – how often do ladies get to have baller moments? We walked out of the place, and she grabbed her bike. I’d walked even though I was running late and surely could have taken the three minutes to put air in Petra’s tires, I just prefer to take my time when I know I have the option to. I mean usually, you don’t – you’re running in your platform heels trying not to break your ankle and not get fired and not forget your housekeys or your best friends birthday or your latest poem in your mind and then one of the above happens anyway but you’re so behind you can’t process it. So I in my exquiste unshowred beauty walk to dates.

We meandered through the back roads of the neighborhood, towards my house or a bar while she told me about her reiki practice, and I wished for last week’s date who’d entertained me with stories about haunting the boy scout supply store and buying size14 husky shorts and a hat.

I half listened while tightroping the curb as she explained the heightened consciousness that came with her practice. Her hand on her bike had the nice kind of veins that pop out a little and make it look like she’s done some goddamn labor in her life. I wondered if it was unethical to fuck her based soley on the possibility that healing touch might be good for me, or that maybe through osmosis I could pick up the ability to focus.  I wondered if she;d think I smelled like sex.

“I think that…OW, FUCK!”

I tripped off the fake-suburban curb and fell forward, twisting one ankle beneath me and spilling my purse. My platform shoe had flown off one foot and as she retrieved it I pushed myself into a sitting position. Handing me the shoe, she looked at me and I knew. She wanted to use her powers for good and not just money, like the rest of us. This was her version of a butch moment. We locked eyes and I could tell: she wanted to Perform Reiki On Me.

Poised over my ankle was my very own touch-healing lesbian! I admit, it was attractive, the thought that she could possibly heal my awkward ankle. We both looked at my foot and it was dirty, the dust of the street having swirled around the toes, the ankle a few inches off the ground and less filthy and possibly the cause of my fall. Or not.

While she slowly warmed her hands one against the other, I thought of the other people I knew who mind-melded through touch healing. My old boss whose magical jewelery collection stretched up the loft level to the ceiling of her rent stabilized UES apartment; my ex-lover who did actually manage to make me feel better doing the stuff.

Back in reality, she had her increasingly hot-looking nail bitten stubby tipped fingers on the edge of my remaining shoe, and was trying to take it off like a boy tries to unhook your bra without you noticing. It was distracting me from the impending healing, this wanting to fuck her hands. I couldn’t help it, the sweat collected under my arms in preparation to smell like me, and my dirty hair itched a bit in anticipation.

The question was: could I let her energy – not – touch – heal me and still respect myself enough to fuck? Would the healing kill my mood or blow her load? I smelled the rich stink of my sweat begin to rise and looked at the dust and twigs on my skirt and the random street paper I’d thrown into my purse when collecting my belonging back into it. I tried to remember if id showered after the gym today – did just a sauna count? It had to.

Her hands hovered, one went to my arm and she said, “Hold still, I can help you,” like a EMT worker trying to put my leg back on. I looked at my filthy little ankle and figured some energy moving wouldn’t hurt.

“Hey, ok, do your thing.” And I watched her fine hands the whole time and thought about sex.

Later, at my apartment, my square and well-veined hands, the outward indication of my sharecropping – gone working class – gone hustling class people worked double time and I am sure it was not the reiki or dinner that gave me energy. I put her fingers in my mouth and took in the smell of my own in my room, and that was inspiration enough.