How to Reach Nirvana

You sit across from me, eyes closed, face tilted upwards. My eyes are supposed to be closed too, but your face is a work of art that is rarely still, and I want to look at it in one of its rare moments of stillness. You look like a goddess accepting worship from her faithful. Your dark skin is glowing in the moonlight, and I would worship you if you let me.

We do this almost every night, sit in the front yard of my house, get high and regale each other with ridiculous tales. We both like to read, and we’ve formed an unusual habit of retelling each other the stories we read, with our own reconstructions. In the middle of your retelling today, you stopped and asked that I meditate with you.

We’re supposed to have our eyes closed and imagine something the voice from the app in your phone is telling us to. When you mentioned it, I’d assumed that you were doing it to make fun of me. It’s partly why I’m not taking this seriously. You never bring up meditation unless you want to tease me about my “new-agey” ideas. 

You let out a breath through your lips and I want to capture it with mine. I want you. I’ve known for two months and three days. I don’t have the courage to tell you, because I’m terrified of rejection. I don’t know if you feel the same way and I don’t want to jeopardise the friendship. 

“Okay, this is silly.” You open your eyes and I quickly avert mine. To distract myself, I take a deep draw of shisha and let the smoke out through my nose. 

“I agree. Doesn’t work for me.” I didn’t try. I was doing a different meditation of my own, and your face was my mantra. I was imagining how it would look like when you’re coming, wondering what picture the lines on your face would paint. 

“Really? How do you do your meditation shit then?” You sound genuinely interested, and I am almost convinced that you mean it. 

“Lari, do you really want to know or are you just messing with me as usual?” 

You take the hose from me and take a drag. “I actually want to know.” 

“I don’t believe you.” 

“I understand that.” You blow smoke out your nostrils and sigh. You don’t pursue the matter, which means you’re serious about it. It is one of the many things I find curious about you. When you really want something from someone and they’re unwilling to give it, you don’t force it. You accept their refusal graciously. 

I sigh and pour myself some tea from the flask next to my knee. You surprise me by speaking again. “I really do want to know, V. I’m not making fun of you this time.” 

“Why?” I take a sip of my tea and wait for you to answer. You’re different tonight. I can’t put my finger on it. There is a seriousness to your manner that is never there, a kind of melancholy that is almost haunting. 

“I can’t tell you that. But I’m serious.” You take a draw again, and I sigh.

“There’s no one or correct way to meditate,” I begin. 

“How do you meditate?” You sound almost eager, and my suspicion levels rise even higher. 

“Well, I sit comfortably and focus on my breathing. Deep breath in, deep breath out. I hold my breath sometimes in between because it helps me get calm quickly.” 

“Can I try that now?” Your voice is low, almost shy. I’ve never seen this side of you. I don’t know what’s up with you, but I’m curious to know. 

“I don’t see why not.” I take the hookah hose from you and set it down. 

“Do I have to close my eyes?” You shift on the cushion you’re seated on. Every tiny move you make fascinates me. 

“You can, but you don’t have to.” 

“Do you close your eyes when you meditate?”

“Not always. On an evening such as this, I probably would ‘cos the air is delicious and the insects are chatty. I wouldn’t mind losing one sense so the others would heighten.”

You nod, and I watch your eyelids flutter shut. You’re still again, and I am enjoying looking at you. Your chest rises and falls as you breathe, and I’m watching your breasts move. You don’t have a bra on, which isn’t new. There’s a cool breeze, and I watch your nipples harden. Your lips part slightly as you exhale, and I’m imagining what they would taste like.

I almost expect you to burst into laughter, but you’ve never taken your teasing this far. I’m genuinely intrigued. 

“What do I do next?” Your soft voice breaks through my thoughts. 

“That’s up to you. There’s no one way to meditate.” 

“What do you do?”

“I let my mind free to think whatever it wants, without interruption or judgement.” I say. 

“What does that even mean?” 

“It’s hard to explain. Lots of people would tell you to clear your mind. I think that’s silly. These thoughts and ideas live with you anyway. Why try to dissociate from them? Besides, where are you sending them off to when you clear them? Ignoring isn’t the same as clearing, and I recommend neither. “

You nod. You keep your eyes closed, dedicated to your cause. Suddenly, you say to me, “How about we try the app’s approach, except this time you’re the voice telling me what to do.” 

“Why?” 

“It’s probably just the weed talking, but you sounded quite wise a few seconds ago. Plus, I think it would be easier.” 

I don’t know if I should continue playing your little game.  This is all very irregular, but nothing about our friendship has ever been regular. With an inward sigh, I light the discarded blunt, take a hit for courage and begin. 

“Keep breathing. Relax your shoulders. See where you are, but in your mind. The darkness of the night, the gentleness of the wind kissing your face __” 

You follow my instructions as I say them, and it is unusual to see you so still, so solid and unmoving. I want to move closer to you, share your personal space. Instead, I take a breath and continue my pseudo-instruction. 

“Breathe, and listen to the sounds you don’t usually hear because you’re not listening. The rustling of the plants along the wall, the chorus of frogs emanating from God knows where, the occasional clang of the gate when the wind disturbs it. If anything else pops into your mind, don’t chase it away. Allow the thought to exist and run its course.”

I fall silent and leave you to your imaginings. I want to look at you some more. Your dark skin calls to me and I am lost to its pull. You look regal, and I want to worship your body. I want to lay myself on the altar of your body and sacrifice myself to all the pleasure that could be. I want my moans to be a sacred incantation, my hands on you, a pleading litany. I want to reach nirvana while chanting the mantra of your name. I want…. 

“Even if the thought is sexual?” Your softly spoken question makes me envy whoever it is you’re thinking of. 

“Yes, Lari. Even if the thought is sexual.”

“That’s just a recipe for horniness.” 

I nearly laugh. I let you be and the minutes crawl by. You finally open your eyes, and there’s a steel in them I’ve never seen. 

“Seriously, why did you ask me to help you meditate?” My curiosity gets the better of me and I let it. 

“Because I’ve realised you’re always clear-headed after you meditate, and I need that sort of mental acuity right now.” 

“What for?” 

“To be absolutely certain that I want to do this.” 

I freeze when your lips touch mine. Your touch is tentative, as if you’re not entirely certain you want to do it. Or perhaps, my lack of response is giving you the idea that I don’t want you to touch me. I lean towards you and cup your neck. That’s all the encouragement you need and your lips cover mine entirely. 

I’m heady with the feeling of kissing you. Your lips are soft and gentle, and when your tongue seeks entry into my mouth, I let it. I put all my longing for you into this kiss, into this melding of our mouths that feels like a melding of our souls. 

When I pull away, it’s not because I want to stop. I want to be certain this isn’t all some very elaborate dream. After all, I’m high as fuck. You move again, and it’s to straddle me. Your arms settle on my neck and you lower your head to my ear. I’m shivering, and it’s not from the wind that’s rustling our clothes.

“I want you, V.” I close my eyes as your breath tickles my ear. You bite my lobe and your tongue is tracing patterns on my neck. I sigh with the pleasure of it. You push me down unto the grass and your body is a comfortable weight on mine. You kiss me again, and I decide that I’m not hallucinating. You’re really atop me, your lips are seducing mine and the hands in your hair are actually mine. 

“That was a pretty roundabout way to go about seducing me.” I nearly giggle at the silliness of it all. 

“Shut up.” You smile and kiss me again. 

I need to feel your skin against mine, I need to satiate the longing that I’ve been suppressing all this time. I break the kiss and attack your shirt. You like my idea and help me along and soon, we’re both gloriously naked from the waist up. You sit astride my hips like they’re a throne made for just you, and your naked skin is a lure I cannot resist. 

You’re giving me the gift of your body, and I will worship you as you deserve. Your name will be my mantra, and I shall ascend to nirvana on the waves of pleasure your touch induces in me. 

Written by Delasi Sanenu

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