Beat > The Instant
- AUTHOR: Beat
- TITLE: The Instant
- CATEGORY: Drama, Romance
- RATING: PG-13
- SUMMARY: ďYou can only truly describe something once youíve lost it Ė Ďyou donít know what youíve got until itís goneí and all those things.Ē
- AUTHOR'S NOTES: This is my attempt to write a Matrix story that transcends the usual parameters; characters, timeframes, settings. In this story, those things donít matter. All that matters is the voice of the narrator Ė itís up to you to figure out who it is. Could be anyone, depending on how you choose to listen to the voice.
One of the few things I have genuinely missed from my old life, maybe the one I have craved most of all, is the sensation of wetness. I donít know why, it does seem vaguely absurd to obsess over such a seemingly insignificant sensation and value it higher than other things long gone, like great art or literature. But then, who ever said that the human mind made sense? If thereís one thing Iíve come to realise, itís that it doesnít.
Wet, just the word, the taste of it, still reminds me of bliss. Thinking about it, bit by bit starting to obsess over it, just having to feel the sensation behind the short, one syllable word. Itís ridiculous, Iíve been unplugged for a long time, have long since grown adapted and accustomed to this new life, the real world. But still. The real things that I feel here often feel like nothing more than poor ersatz products. I suppose it serves to remind me that reality isnít pretty, that most things I remember with a smile were constructed to make me smile and keep me passive. But stillÖ
Donít get me wrong, I would never, ever trade what I have now for a swim in the sea. Never. My friends, my family by choice, by destiny, and in battle, are here. I love them. Most importantly, the thing I share with one other person, something nobody else will never quite grasp, is here. Itís more real than anything Iíve felt in my life, and I wouldnít Ė ever - trade any of this for anything. But I digress.
What we speak of as we say the word ďwetnessĒ in this, our home, is nearly an insult to the feeling I associate with the word. I suppose the programs designed a good simulation of it, because if my mind ever ached for something, the feeling of wet and moistness in its true sense must have been it. I wish there was a way of explaining itÖI suppose though, that you can only truly describe something once youíve lost it Ė you donít know what youíve got until itís gone, and all those things.
Imagine the cool, humid air on an early summer morning, walking home from a club. Five in the morning, head still throbbing lightly with the beat of silent music. And the air. The way it would fill your nose, throat and finally lungs, leaving you refreshed and shocked at its sheer purity. Clean air in the city, sure, youíd think. But the point is the humidity, moistness, of the air. It cleanses, comforts. And then imagine it gone forever. Imagine the same happening to the slowly melting ice underneath your palms after youíve fallen flat on your face because you canít ice-skate properly. Imagine it gone. Or rain, any kind of rain Ė autumnís cruel blizzards or gentle summer showers. Imagine them gone. Even picture your back never sticking unpleasantly to a car seat in a traffic jam in August, ever again. You see? But you donít have to imagine them gone Ė they already are.
The air in all our rooms is dry and cold, and though it does its job of keeping us alive as we fight, speak and lie in bed just like I am at this very moment, it doesnít hold any comfort. Comfort is important to people. I always felt like a complete idiot at even vaguely romanticising my old life - a life I never really lived, a lie in its true sense Ė though I guess sometimes even the most pathetic thoughts and fantasies serve as comfort.
No, the air here doesnít hold any comfort at all, and the absence of simple things like rain, even showers, always made my bones ache in frustration. I would often catch myself wishing for a mug of proper water instead of this vaguely metallic liquid. This is proper water, Iíd remind myself and curse my childish behaviour for days afterwards. Sometimes I wish I could just have a normal shower instead of rubbing my cold body with disinfectant powder, but though Iíve often doubted its efficiency in the cleaning area, it is a great way of saving energy and vital water supplies. It just didnít seem fair sometimes.
Up until this very moment I thought I knew what I missed. And Iíll be humble and honest, forever after this I will laugh at my pathetic cravings. Why? Itís all very simple.
I am aware that Iím flat on my back in our narrow bed. My hands, surprisingly hot but completely dry, are drawing random patterns over the very familiar but no less welcome back that hovers above me. And it is right then, in one blinding instant, that everything changes and suddenly all I feel are the soft words being murmured into my ear.
ďI suppose we should stay quiet, hmmm?Ē
That sweet, sweet voice, those gorgeous lips nipping at my ear. And oh, the wet kisses it leaves, the glorious traces of saliva on my skin that disappear, vaporise as my temperature rises, but are replaced with new ones as lips paint a trail from my right ear down my jaw. The cooling puffs of air that cover the moistness, leaving my skin prickly Ė but for a good reason this time Ė and me aching for more. Lips and tongue donít stop there, oh no, they continue along my throat and collarbones and my breath sticks in my lungs, I have to remind myself to breathe. Breathe, damn it. My hands, I notice, are now far from dry and I know that the burning wet trail will not stop until much lower on my body, that it will be long before I am released from this beautiful agony. Thank God for that. I finally let out a breath, my exhalation too loud and desperate to be discreet. And it is then, as my lover chuckles quietly above me, resuming the pattern across my chest, I promise myself never to miss the sensation of wetness again. Good simulation or not, nothing will ever come close to this. Nothing, ever. This is it. This is it. This is. This.