I’ve almost forgotten how yesterday evening you lay back on the ledge in the steam room and let me stroke your body. This wasn’t the first time, but the first time I’ve forgotten, or almost forgotten, because there is the vague memory – it must be there somewhere, because you remembered and told me what we’d done and I’d said, yes, yes, that sounds like me. You’d been reminded of what we’d done when I’d stroked your back earlier, when we’d first seen each other in the steam room yesterday evening and looked at each other, me on the top ledge and you on the ledge below and I’d leaned over and we’d been eye to eye and you’d said, is it? and I’d said, I’m not sure, does it start with a D?
And you’d said: What, my name?
No. But we have met before.
A few months ago. What had reminded you was when my hand had gone from your back to your arsehole and you’d lifted your arse off the ledge just a fraction so I could play with your hole, go deeper, which is when you’d said: Yes, now I remember. And you told me how we’d gone into a cubicle together and left the door open so men could come and watch me finger your arsehole then fuck it.
That sound like something I’d do.
I’ve almost forgotten how your cock got harder and bigger and became one of those cocks that reach the edge of the body when it lies sideways on the hip. You were beautiful and your cock was beautiful and you lay there on the ledge inviting others to join in but nobody joined in, not even the black guy who sat near us.
He’s not joining in, I said.
No, he’s not, you said.
He was much more amendable earlier, I said.
But you weren’t, said the black guy, with the nice nipples whom I’d played with in the darkroom upstairs until a lean Indian guy I’d been cruising came to join us and sucked on my tits the way I like it and because of that, and because he was the one I’d wanted all along, I left the darkroom to find a cubicle so him and I could be together, just the two of us.
You didn’t see him. I don’t think you did. He wasn’t there in the steam room with us, and he wasn’t in the darkroom later when so much else happened.
All this was yesterday, and I’d wanted to write about it last night when the gratitude was still in my blood, when my whole body was grateful for men and men’s bodies and their cocks and their beautiful arseholes that are welcoming to a faggot like me. And their mouths, too.
How could I almost forget the tall Malaysian guy who sucked my cock with such devoutness – almost devouring it – there on his knees in the darkroom, where I’d gone after the steam room that was too hot and you and I, I’m not sure what, you and I were in two different stories. But maybe it was the heat, and I’d moved from the shower to the darkroom where a tall black guy, not the one with the nice nipples, but a tall guy with dreads and a buffed up chest, much darker than the guy with the nipples. Yes, he was there, but before that there was the tall guy who liked sucking cock.
I love your cock, he said. Coming up for air, his face looking up at mine, pleading for something, or showing gratitude, while I kissed the tall guy with the dreads and the big chest and the beard that was nice to touch and scratch and run my fingertips against. I like that gesture, when you put your open palms on a man’s face and kiss him, and he is nice to kiss and he is a good kisser.
And then there you were. I could forget all this so quickly, and sometimes wonder if writing it all down only means you forget, you let it go, onto the page, the screen, into words, no longer trying to hold onto those minutes when we were there together, you coming closer, and me and the black guy, and the tall Malaysian guy on his knees going from my cock to yours to the other guy’s, and how strange that both your names are Ben, you and the black guy whose family is from Trinidad and his boyfriend was at another sauna while we were there in the darkroom together, because Friday is their day to fuck around.
And then you were gone. A while before you left, before you removed yourself from our foursome, men gathering to watch, pairing off with others, but you left. I didn’t want you to go and I reached out my hand to touch your towel, your arse, to show you that I wanted you to stay.
The three of us continued. Trinidadian Ben said, will you fuck me? And I’m like, of course I will, baby. And he says, like last time?
That, too, has been forgotten, almost forgotten, bits of what we’d done come back to me, bits of what we’d said, that I’d said we couldn’t meet again, that what happens in the sauna stays in the sauna. Although I’m sure I’ve never said that, and it’s definitely not a rule.
There was more. There was more before Ben and I went into a cubicle together.
Your name is Ben, too.
But you left. We all left. The other Ben left. Back to his boyfriend. Back to South London. The Malaysian guy left. The Indian guy left. I saw him later in the changing area while I was getting dressed and we nodded to each other, bowing slightly, a gentle acknowledgement of the intensity of our meeting, how we’d held each other, how I’d been inside him, how he’d licked me and I’d licked him and nothing was shameful and nothing was forbidden and whatever the mouth wanted it got. And I Ieft. I left happy. I left full of gratitude. It was just like that, a fullness, as if I’d gone to get something and I’d been given much more, much much more.
Here, they said, take. Take.