What We Do for the Pandemic

written back in March 2021

When we arrive, they take our temperature. We stand there in the reception area as they point the temperature gun at our foreheads and take our temperatures, although they don’t check what the reader says. Even with our masks on, this is a strange place to be in the midst of a pandemic. Some of us wear masks. Some of us wear masks all the time. Not even for kissing will we take them off. Some of us carry our masks like armbands, light blue, like we’re remembering the dead. Death is with us, the way it has always been, a hint of it, our condoms a nod towards it. Now we wear masks. We are here in our masks and towels. The pandemic has taught us that it’s possible to tell how beautiful someone is even if they’re wearing a mask. You are not in a mask. You have a beard and thick black hair, and you are not wearing a mask. I think you’re beautiful. I say think because I can’t be sure because I don’t wear my glasses in here. I wear my mask, though. I and many others here, and today we are many because it’s a Friday and there are always many of us here on a Friday even though we are not as many as we usually are. Before the pandemic there were very many of us here almost every day of the week. Now there is a pandemic and there are less of us.

There is a man on a low stool sucking my cock. There is a man on a low stool whose face I cannot see but whose mouth I can feel and whose skin I can feel and whose cock I can lean down and touch, and I can touch his hair, soft wispy hair, which might mean he is old but his skin feels young, not as young as your skin, nor as young as the skin of the young man who was very young, as young as twenty five, although I don’t always get my numbers correct when they’re in Spanish. Everything here is in Spanish. We are in Madrid in the midst of an epidemic and the few words that are spoken in this place are spoken in Spanish. Your name and where you’re from. With you we did not speak much, but my god you were beautiful. You are beautiful, your skin more than anything else, the combination of you smooth skin, hairless except for the hair on your head and then the bulkiness of your body, you tell me you work in security and do not ask what I do, nor do you ask my name, although you do ask me where I am from and when I tell you you ask me where that is, even though there is both a compass direction and a continent in the name of my country.

“I’ve been to Morocco,” you say.

My fingers are still alive with the memory of your skin, your body under my hands, your body close to me, you leaning back into me as I sat there on the sofa and you came to sit next to me so I could massage your back again. The sex was good, but this is better. This, my whole body is alive from, my fingers tingling, it is a kind of tingling, an electric current, who can know what cliché to use to describe this, this memory that your skin has left in my fingers and all I can do is write to keep my fingers alive to keep you alive your skin and the bulk of you, that’s what I loved, and the way you sat hunched over so I could massage your back, along the sides of your spine, and every now and then run my fingers across your front and feel the folds in your flesh, and you didn’t try to hide them, I would hide them, but they are so beautiful, your body is thick and muscled, you have bulk, and so smooth, like glass, like rubber.

Eyes closed, skin under my hands, massaging, the warmth of gratitude, no resistance, just you and me here on a sofa, and later in the labyrinth where others cruise around us and you press your back against my chest and your arse against my cock and we move to the music and I massage your shoulders, your neck. We had sex about 20 minutes ago, so this is not for the sex, although I am hard again and I lift your towel up like it’s a skirt and place myself between your cheeks and someone else stops beside us and you and him start kissing and I like being in this moment of your back against my chest and my hands touching you, your skin is mine to touch wherever I want, and I don’t hold back while you and him are kissing.

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