North London this afternoon was dull and cold, and as I watched the light drain slowly from the sky I felt myself fade with it. I am grey in January. A fuzzy grey too: blurred and damp, rather than the clear, crisp chill of a sunny winter’s day.
I pottered and fidgeted. I paced out the same triangle, again and again. Kitchen table to kettle. Kettle to sofa. Sofa back to the table, and to the laptop perched accusingly on top of it.
Too much pent-up energy to sit still. Too many blurred, damp thoughts to focus on any one activity. The silence broken only by muffled, distant street noise, and the occasional wailing siren.
I am grey in January.
By 5pm the last of the light had disappeared, replaced by the pale yellow glow of first one window, then two, then 10, as my neighbours returned to the warmth of their houses and flats. I made one last cup of tea and settled on the sofa, a book in my lap to anchor me in place.
It was only when the heating kicked in that I realised how stiff and numb I’d been. How cold and grey. I burrowed deeper into the cushions and put my hand on the radiator, feeling the first tentative flush of warmth spread across the metal ribs.
I made myself read. I buried my chin deep in the thick, woollen neck of my jumper, and let my body relax. Feeling returned to my fingers, my knuckles, my bare feet. Slowly, reluctantly, the blood started to pump around my body again, like an old car engine being coaxed back into life after weeks outside in the rain.
I thought about other January afternoons, on other sofas. Other afternoons where inertia felt more like rich, indulgent laziness. Other sofas where the warmth came not from a chipped white radiator, but from the person snuggled into me, book held up alongside mine – her other hand resting on my stomach, fingers flexing and digging into the coarse fabric with idle, rhythmic repetition.
Because sometimes it’s better not to be naked. Sometimes I don’t want to make a big fuss over it. I just want her to scooch down the sofa, pop open the button fly on my jeans, and reach inside for my cock. When I go to put down my book, I want her to stop me: to shake her head and smile; to push it back up towards my face with gentle, silent insistence.
I want her to lick and suck me like a cat cleaning its paws. Nothing flashy; no tease. Just methodical. Precise. Efficient. Muscle memory kicks in, from all the other afternoons we’ve spent together; she can literally do it with her eyes closed.
After she finishes, I want her to flop back down next to me and reach for her book. Smile as I kiss her hair and press my warm cheek against her, a bubble of laughter rising in my throat, threatening to spill out in a burst of light and colour.
I am not always grey in January.
(I’ll be honest, I didn’t want to write this as a story. I wanted to write about sofa sex, and the joy of lazy winter afternoons with someone you both like and fancy, where any shagging is almost incidental to the main pleasure of hanging out in a warm room on a cold day. I was going to use this photo in that post, so when it turned instead into a slightly depressing story about my own super-boring afternoon, I felt honour-bound to include it anyway…)