Quite Contrary

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In church, my mind cannot help but wander.

Mary Magdalene was not a prostitute. There is not a single piece of historical evidence that suggests she was a woman of ill repute by any definition. As a matter of fact, she might have been the “chosen” disciple, Jesus’ best friend, and his confidant.

I envy the women who knew him. I would be glad to share my wine with him, walk in the desert beside him, and onto his feet, rub perfumed oil. I fantasize that I am in his circle of friends there among Martha and Mary of Bethany, his friends from adolescence, and of course, Mary Magdalene. I know there were others, but the past month or so; I have been fixated on the two Mary’s.

When I am hiding from myself, I am Martha, in constant motion. Busy with the details, busy with the preparations, busy with everything but what is fundamental. My mother is a self confessed Martha. She is happy with her Martha status, I am not. I am trying to be more of a Mary. Nurturing the relationships, exploring ideas, making positive changes in myself, taking the time to cherish and to learn from everyone I meet. But I suspect, if transported back in time, I would still be the woman busy in the kitchen and not the one kneeling on the floor beside his chair, my head on his knee, or washing his feet in perfume, drying them with my hair.

But I am trying to be more of a Mary. I am trying.

Two weeks ago, I was late for church. I slipped in the side door and waited in the back until the beautiful soloist finished her beautiful song, beautiful husband and beautiful baby watching from the front row. It was too much beauty for one paragraph in my life. What happened to the darkness I used to embrace? It is all too close for me to enjoy it now. It is much more romantic and interesting to watch the darkness in others, or to live in self invented darkness, knowing you do not have to live inside, no escape in sight.

When I was a girl sitting in church I used to scan the congregation to look for trends in how people styled their hair. Now I tend to watch the congregation and wonder about their sexual lives. Was it like the hairstyles? Did some wear their sexy outfits, fuck me pumps to church when in fact they were sitting on a frigid piece of ice? Were the perfectly dressed women with every hair in place, were they afraid of their own fires burning that they needed to give the image of control? The ones with the loose wild hair, seemingly unbrushed, did they roll out of bed that morning thighs still wet with last nights passion, without time enough to primp?

It was not any news to me that outward appearance had anything to do with the secret sexual lives of my fellow Sunday morning friends. Jennifer, the woman who always wore the black leather pants, too low on her hips, with tight short shirts showing off her navel and the hollow of her back. She walked into the narthex like she was walking into a pick up bar. She dripped with the promise of sex. However, I knew for a fact that she never slept with her husband anymore, or anyone else for that matter. She had told me, when she wanted to get pregnant, she climbed in bed, laid on her back, gave her husband a dirty magazine and said “Do what you have to do, I am ovulating.“ It was the first time they had sex since she became pregnant with their first son, and probably the last time since.

I know the math teacher who sang in the choir, always wearing flowered cotton dresses and white Keds sneakers recently left her teenaged children, husband and career because she was weary of keeping her S&M fetish to the dark hours. She just left. Did not take one flowered dress with her either. The things she packed to take away to her new life were all hidden in a trunk in the attic.

It is hard to tell. Anything is possible. I think this as I look for my sexy old man. He always sits in the third row. Certain weeks, he wears a black turtleneck, jeans and a big black belt. When I stand to sing, my panties always need to be readjusted as the moistness causes them to stick. He is not an older man as in fifty years old, I would estimate more along the lines of 75. He had grey hair cropped short in bristles, and a stern face with skin that was smooth save the deep crevases on the sides of his mouth and eyes. I was certain he was an artist of some sort.

On the Sundays he wears the black turtleneck, I am frightened to stay for coffee, because if he should stop to speak to me I am afraid I will look him in the eye, and if that happens surely he would see all of the nasty thoughts I had been having about him during the service. I did not quite trust myself so close to the fantasy, would I someday forget that it was real now, and reach around his waist, untucking that black turtleneck from his jeans, sliding my hands up his back as I press my hips into his, leaning back and smiling as if we had been lovers for years. I imagine lying in an unmade bed in some European flat, naked, while he blows cigarette smoke out the tall window, his mind somewhere else. Maybe canlı bahis şirketleri there is an old typewriter on a whitewashed desk, splintered in the back.

It is like Leonard Cohens “Chelsea Hotel.” I can imagine us never leaving. I imagine him wanting his fingers on my body all the time. I imagine him with 60 years of fantasies to paint onto the canvass that is my body. Then I imagine I am the brush.

This Sunday, I sneak in down to my usual row, right in the center of the congregation and to the left of the center aisle, but there is a woman sitting in my usual seat, so I sit several seats from her. I am fascinated by her mere presence. She has captivated my attention. She demands nothing less. I have never seen her before. I would have remembered.

She has wild hair that spikes in all directions. It looks a mess, but I know it has taken her quite some time and a variety of products to get that look. I can’t keep my eyes from returning to her feet, the web of thin leather straps wrapped around her ankle, the red toe nails, the tendon running from each toe up her slender foot. Her legs are bare, no stockings, and as my eyes run up her leg from her ankle past her calves, over her knee and between her thighs where her skirt interrupted my journey, I couldn’t help but think that there was nothing covering her under that skirt either. As she stood for the hymn, there were no lines under her smooth skirt which fell softly over her rounded ass. My hands tingled as my brain imagined them sliding up the back of her dress, underneath, Our glances pass by each other all throughout the service.

I find myself subconsciously looking at her hand, scanning for a wedding ring. A wedding ring! This is something I have never looked for on a woman before. I was so happy when I find her hand was ring-less, my heart is pounding, what does this mean?

Offertory, there is no avoiding each other’s glances. She smiles and we both stretch our bodies to pass the basket, eyes joined. Did she see? Did she see how I longed to take her feet into my hands, untwist those leather straps from her ankle, remove the sandals and worship her body, starting with each toe. I could spend an entire day exploring her body.

After the service is over, I know I must speak with her, yet she is tied up in another conversation with the man sitting in the row behind us. I decide to go to the coffee table and wait, maybe she will come for me. It will be a sign. She does. I am so glad that I wore my new little black dress. Sleeveless and fitted with a v cut neckline trimmed in a short rough cut of black taffeta. I am tall, so dresses are always a little too short on me, but this one was designed to be short, so it’s length this morning approaches illegal. I know I look good. I stand tall and feel confident as we stand equal height, eye to eye.

We immediately talk and laugh together as childhood friends. A huge and hairy man joins us. He is talking and talking and talking and I want him to leave and leave and leave. When he leaves, she lifts her eyebrows and rolls her eyes with an unspoken “finally.” Soon after, a woman, who I discovered worked in Mary’s office for all of five days, comes over to reintroduce herself.

“Hi! It’s Mary, right?” She smiles in the recognition, and then begins asking questions.

Mary, firm yet friendly, says “I am sorry, I don’t talk about work outside of work.”

She is very clear. The woman leaves and then returns minutes later, asking Mary if she could ask another question! Mary stands firm in her rules. She answers the question very briefly and with attitude.

“You can call Simon on Monday, or just go to the website, all of the information should be there. I really do not talk about work outside of work.”

When the short-term co-worker leaves, Mary apologizes that my first impression of her is being such a bitch. The apology is unnecessary. I am impressed at how she stood her ground and I tell her so. She knows what she needs and she does not waiver. I want to hear that tone of voice again. I want her to scold me.

Mary is 36 and tells people she is almost 40 and they tell her how great she looks. They are right. She is a social worker and she lies about her career so people do not ask her to solve their problems or hide their issues afraid that she might try to fix them. She does not want to think about the homeless when she is not at work. She does not want the complications; she does not want the responsibility of too much knowledge. I am fascinated by her brutal honesty combined with the ease in which she lies. I never detected ambivalence.

“How long have you been coming?“ She asks.

“Since last October. It is crazy; my brother in Tennessee first went to the UU church down there the same week I first came here. Isn’t that bizarre?“

“Oh my God, I love coincidences,” she confesses. “I know they must mean something. My friends all think I am crazy, they just don’t get it!“

“I do!“ I answer.

Most do not understand canlı kaçak iddaa her. I do. There are people we are meant to be with, to learn from, to grow with. It is not coincidence. To fight it is to limit your potential.

I restrain myself from telling her of my current fascination with the two other Mary’s. She would think I was a psycho, but it is just the truth. It is not something I formulated to be a meaningful coincidence. If her name had been Martha, I would have run. I have been bored with so many Marthas.

“Well, maybe I will see you here next week?” She asks. Her pointed chin twitches slightly and she runs her long finger nervously across the tip. Could I be making her nervous? Is it possible she is feeling the same buzzing between her legs?

My eyes sting, I realize I have forgotten to blink.

“Oh, I will be at out of town next week.” I am disappointed.

“Okay, well then in two weeks?”


We walk out of the church together, but my son’s teacher stops me. She does not recognize me at first, and is startled. My new cropped hair, my little black dress, the make up on my face, my being without a child hanging onto my body, and of course my newest infatuation…I want to follow Mary but cannot ignore the teacher who continues her commentary.

As I finally make my way to my car, Mary drives by in a black convertible, top down, “Bye! See you in two weeks!” I imagine her telling me how likes driving with the top down most at dawn and at twilight. The loneliest times of day. The longest shadows. The emptiest roads with nothing blocking her way.

Two weeks pass. I will see Mary tomorrow morning as promised. Saturday night arrives, and I dye my hair before schedule. I even fix my eyebrows. I have prided myself in the simplicity of owning only two pairs of shoes, until now, until I met Mary. Friday night, I bought a pair of black sandals. No extraneous straps around my ankles, no red polish, but sexy enough to stay in the game.

Sunday morning, I wake up early so I can fix my hair, put on make up, make sure my legs are perfectly smooth under my short wrap skirt. I wear nothing under my short wrap skirt.

I arrived early and got a cup of coffee to keep my hands occupied, and soon after, she arrived with a man. My heart contracts and sinks into my stomach with its increased density. We must have seen each other, but it seemed like minutes passed before she smiled to me and I waved to her from across the room. We met in the middle and spoke for a while, it was not as natural as our initial encounter, and there were nerves involved. There had been fantasies and dreams and anticipation since the last time we had met. I could not tell if they were just mine. Then she began telling me how she had volunteered to teach the third and fourth grade class.

“Would you like to help teach? It could be fun working together.” She says cooly.

How could I say no to her? I believe that there is a reason we have met, and I will take every opportunity to make myself available for that reason to happen.

Besides she already has me hooked. I couldn’t escape if I tried. She just held onto the line, waiting to reel me in.

Bells ring. It is time to go in. She stops mid-sentence, turning her head to the side, “I’m sorry, I came with a friend,” she says, suddenly noticing his absence.

“Actually my ex-husband.” She whispers. “He must have gone in already.”

Sunday afternoon, I am walking with my son in the jogging stroller. I love pushing him for long walks, he is quiet, he is calm, and he demands nothing of me as long as I keep him in motion. We are both in our own worlds, nowhere in this world at all. I find myself thinking of her, and I realize that when I think of her, I begin to become her. She takes control of my very being. I am looking through her painted eyes over a pointed nose. My cheekbones are raised both in structure and enhanced with rouge. I stick out my chest, shoulders pulled back but not stiff, kind of lowered, lazy, relaxed, as if not trying to be in perfect posture, all the while being in perfect posture. I arch my back and suck in my stomach. My chin is up. I cross over my feet so they pass in a straight line, as if I am walking down a runway, being watched by thousands of people. They cannot stop looking at me. I squint my eyes as if I do not care. I feel their eyes on my body. It feels like hands.

This is how Mary walks. Today we taught our first lesson together. She wore dark red pants, a loose checked shirt, buttons opened to her waist, collar up, over top of a tight white camisole with a low-scooped neckline. She wore a heavy necklace with a large silver chalice that dangled right to her cleavage. There was no way anyone, be it a man, woman or child, could keep their eyes from her chest, and she knew it.

She knew it. She would not have it any other way. She raised her ex-husbands child, but her own tight body never carried a child and her breasts have never been heavy with milk. canlı kaçak bahis They are as firm as coeds and there they are, right there, defying gravity. Anyone would tell you, they are perfection, and she wants to share them with us, like a work of art framed by the collar of her blouse.

“We should get together sometime.” she had said casually. “Get coffee or something.”

“That sounds great!” I try not to sound too enthusiastic, too desperate to be sitting across a table from her, out side of church, potential unlimited.

As I walked with the stroller, I felt myself becoming her and I liked it. She was the kind of woman who projected herself right into you, making you an extension of herself, a tool that she could control. It worked on me. I was so easy to catch, so easily reeled in. I have heard about women like her, I have watched my male friends reduced to dust, sucked dry by women like her, my friendship re-hydrating them until they were strong enough to move on to the next one. I never understood the draw until Mary.

Yet as I type this right now, my feelings towards her are already changing. I am beginning to despise her! Why? Because she has possessed me so easily? Because she represents so many things I do not value, things I do not possess and have never really wanted before now? The desire to be led? To be controlled?

Today, I find I do not want to wear her collar, being pulled along at the end of her rope, but still I feel it happening. Tonight after she falls asleep, I will take off the choke chain and hide it between the mattress.

But I wake up thinking about her. The collar is secure.

I try to keep my eyes closed to remain in an uninhibited dream state, but my daytime barriers have already begun to close in on my imagination and try as I may, my level of intimacy with Mary does not move beyond sitting with her at a table, drinking coffee, reaching my hand out over the table to touch hers and smile, our eyes locked together. She does not pull away, nor does she turn it over for me to hold on in a more conventional manner, so in my dream, I had a great difficulty getting up the courage to move beyond. I am intimidated by her power.

Giving up, I open my eyes and find my way to the shower. Although I have tested the water with my fingertips, on my body the water first feels too cold, and upon adjustment, it scalds my skin. Finally the right temperature rains down on my burning flesh. I am still thinking of Mary.

I soap my body and I try to imagine myself standing behind her and touching her in this way, sliding over her breasts, down across her belly, over her hips, down her thighs. My imagination cannot transform my body into hers while feeling the touch of my own hands moving across my skin and the skin itself. It is too hard to imagine that the body is hers.

So I try imagining that my hands are hers and she is exploring my body, washing behind my neck, down my sides, over my waist, across my ass… The same problem exists because while my fingers are very pleasing to my own skin, I can still feel my fingers, making it nearly impossible to imagine that my fingers are actually hers.

I am disappointed in my own lack of imagination, frustrated with this unsatisfying fantasy.

Finally I come to a compromise with myself. I imagine that I am Mary, in her shower, touching herself. My hands are her hands, my breasts are her breasts, under her hands, nipples between her fingers, her teeth biting her own lip, her voice making little sounds of pleasure as her fingers slide between her legs through the folds of velvet flesh into the slippery source of the warm juice that wets her fingers.

This is working. Mary, and I, we are very aroused. I wonder to myself what it is Mary likes. How does she like to be touched? Does she like to have her breasts touched lightly, in circles beginning at the outside, each with a smaller and smaller circumference until the fingers encircle the erect nipple to it’s center? Does she like a firm squeeze of the breast, gradually ending with a pinch of the nipple between thumb and forefinger?

I try both and imagine which one she prefers. She answers with her arching back and quick breaths that she wants both. An alternating pattern of gentle and rough in an exhale and inhale rhythm, with a pause in between to allow each nipple to want more.

Re-lathering my hands, I wonder if Mary have a sensitive ass. Would she like me to dip my finger deep into my own cunt, covering it with my thick slippery juices and then slide it between her ass, circling around, and maybe even inside? She does, of course she does. She insists on it, she insists on more than I even imagined.

I finally move my fingers, her fingers, towards my clit, her clit. I separate the folds to find her button, and I begin to circle, around, above. I slide over and back again slowly until I reach the slow rhythm she responds to. Her whole body sinks, as her muscles weaken. She turns to the shower wall and her forearm presses against the tile, her head rests on her arm, shower beats down on her back and ass as her fingers circle down from above the clit, giving a little extra pressure at the top, pushing the root into her pelvic bone.

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