112. Tuesday Morning

Part 1 of the 'Tuesday' series.

WHEN HE WAKES UP, Felix is in his lover's bed. She is lying beside him. He has been woken by the peal of the nearby town hall clock. He is late. He is always late. As usual he can't remember anything of what he has dreamed. Her eyes are closed but he knows she is awake because she is smiling with the pleasure of being between sleep and wakefulness. Her small lithe body is naked. He complains of a sore back and weariness. She sympathises. They begin to kiss. Within minutes they are fucking. They fuck for what seems to be a long time, considering it is a Tuesday, and he has to get to work. But his work is boring, and sex is not. She likes to talk while she fucks. She talks about fucking, mostly, like a commentator commentating on her own fucking. They have been together a week. No woman he has ever been with has talked like this while she was fucking him. He doesn’t know if he likes it or not. He learns things he never knew before. All this time he has been labouring under certain misapprehensions. It always takes him longer to come in the morning. He doesn't think he is going to get there this morning, but he doesn't want it to stop. He never wants it to stop. They fuck for a long time, slowly, effortlessly, talking some of the time, other times concentrating on the fucking, or else just daydreaming. Eventually he does come after all, long after she has, lying on her back. He withdraws and realizes the condom has slipped off his penis. It’s somewhere inside her. He frowns. She is not an expert when it comes to condoms, and nor is he. Often they fuck without one. It will worry him later, throughout the days and weeks ahead, but they will by then already have stopped seeing each other, and he will never know whether she fell pregnant or not. While she searches for the condom, he dresses and puts on his watch and realizes he should already be at work. He knows it's going to be a difficult day because he hasn't slept much and his work – which consists of moving small pieces of information from one database to another, with minor modifications – sends him to sleep. He lifts the blind from the window and peers behind it. The view outside is of a narrow cobblestoned street, with a pub on a nearby corner, and the town hall clock tower further back, above which always flies an Aboriginal flag beside the Australian flag, behind which are the housing commission flats. He loves this part of town. His youth was spent here. The last item of clothing he puts on is his beloved leather jacket, which he found the previous year on a rubbish bin in a backstreet on the other side of town, after leaving a concert. He'd tried the jacket on as he and his friend walked down the street and it fitted him like a glove. He’d found four dollars and eighty-five cents in change in the right pocket and it had smelled so strongly of cigarettes he’d had to get the jacket dry-cleaned. He thinks of it as his good luck jacket. And yet one day, nine years from now, on another Tuesday, he will be wearing that jacket while riding a motorcycle down a busy street a short walk from where he is right now. The girl he has just fucked will be an occasional, pleasant memory. He will be cut off by a car turning right from the opposite direction, he will fall from the scooter and his life will never be the same. But all this is nine years away. For now he kisses his lover goodbye, and goes to work, trying to invent a plausible reason to excuse his lateness.