In this silent night the ripples of the lake
come and go like sisters Left and Felt
who intermingle in our ephemeral lives
where all seas and mountains finally meet,
where tomorrow’s already today’s yesterday
of three women I encountered in their journey.
The first, Laura, began to speak of Left and Felt:
Two concise words dressed in the same letters,
only their arrangement changes the meanings.
However, they are so closely related.
One came after the other like two sisters:
The one born first and the one that followed.
Or are they twin sisters born at the same time?
In my case Left appeared one day in early life, sad,
because of what it meant. If someone or something
suddenly leaves, you’re thrown into profound emptiness,
even though such a thing might appear contradictory.
Since emptiness means nothing, how could it possibly be profound?
Yet emptiness greated me because of Left
so the immediate consequence was sister Felt
for I was sad and felt loneliness.
Left brought my husband’s death.
No, Laura says, I do not miss the sex life we had.
I always wanted to control him, afraid of pregnancy.
But when I finally had my two daughters
and my womb was later removed for medical reasons
I had no more to fear so I let loose, but still…
I am fine now. Really.
I do not miss sex.
For men that’s more important.
And I am fond of reading, yes,
my book’s about psychology:
Rafael Andreu’s L’art de no amargar-se la vida.
In English, the art of not bittering life.
Selina, the second woman,
tells a different story even though
it bears a few similarities:
My first love must have been gay
but I didn’t know then.
We only kissed and held hands.
My second love was much older than me
An introvert, intelligent,
with a great sense of humor,
read books but he felt
too much responsible for me.
He was afraid to penetrate me.
There was no future as a couple
only as what we are now:
Good friends that see each other
from time to time.
After breaking up I had
several one-night stands
unable to reach orgasm
too afraid of pregnancy
despite any protection,
always wanting to control
whatever those men could do.
Two years later I went to a dance event and met my husband:
intelligent, sensitive, introvert, good person and well read.
Love at first sight for both of us, a bolt of lightning.
But again I always needed to control him
and my fear of pregnancy
became even worse.
Little by little
our sex life
That is where we are now and I ask myself:
Should I continue this relationship?
But if we’re both happier with that
rather than parting from each other:
Should we not continue this way?
Wanted to know how other women thought
about sex with men and so I read Siri Hustvedt’s
A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women.
Great read but I could not find what I needed.
I think what really happens to me is this:
I am afraid of animal nature and physical violence,
another couple of siblings in us, human animals.
And so when I sense a situation where people,
even myself, could act more animally than intellectually
I feel truly scared, as if I am losing control of life
and of every little thing that surrounds me.
The physical violence of October 1 in Catalonia
seems to have affected me more than other people.
I am scared of being beaten up by the Spanish police
or whatever security forces they would love to send us.
Yet I still take part in our peaceful rallies.
For the moment no violence at sight.
As for sex with men I have never been able
to enjoy it fully for fear of getting pregnant,
perhaps also for fear of men’s animal nature
that often leads to physical violence and harm.
So this is it, these are Left and Felt for me.
The third woman, Maria, writes me long emails:
I am terribly infatuated in this guy who will never
show the slightest interest for me again. Why so?
It was my introversion and uncontrollable panic
at the chance of getting closer to him, the mere thought
of shame or of risking rejection once made me lose
any possibility of a love relationship, even though
that man does not live far from me. Chance lost.
No, she tells me, he’s not polyamorous, me neither,
has a girlfriend now and I do not really think whether
I’d be afraid of getting pregnant while having sex,
I guess I’d use normal protection and would enjoy,
but, I first need to get him out of my mind and heart.
Completely. It will take me time but I am on my way.
The book I am reading now is about how to do it.
These are sisters Left and Felt for me.
And that is the end of how the two sisters have come
to dwell in three women’s lives, all of them afraid
of experiencing complete love with a man, with sex.
Left and Felt have filled their everyday universe.
Would you still say they are three abnormal women?
© February 2018 Marta Pombo Sallés