:: the black panther cert x ::

LOVE MIGHT FEEL IMPOSSIBLE

I was working my way through the Inbox. Spam. Spam. "DPS. You have musical talent. Why don't you do something with it, stoopid?" Spam. Spam. "Hey DP. More people have heard your stuff than a zillion gigs around the pub toilet circuit. You must be smarter than a whippet in a freakin spaceship, man." Spam. Spam. "Dear Sir. Your creative 'output' and your 'column' are rude, peculiar and unpalatable. I'm no Hands-off Annie, but there isn't a place in this new millenium for these vulgar close-up shots of rock and roll at work. I sit in my kitchen and shiver at the thought that you are strutting about the same borough as me and mine. Kindly express your individuality in a nightclub of your choice. A lurid one, no doubt. And, no, we do not wish to interview you. Mrs Cecily Bainbridge. Islington Gazette" Blah-de-blah. Then something surprisingly tender:

"Hi. When I was a little girl I saw a panther in the zoo. I knew it would jump on me if I opened the door. You pace up and down your website like that panther. I think you're sad and I know why. In the past only bad relationships failed. But these days, good relationships fail too. It doesn't mean the human race is a seething mass of selfishness, ourselves included. People just want more, and sometimes love might feel impossible and trust will make you vulnerable. You're hiding in a basement writing songs to avoid the world and because you think that might change things. You should come round to see me tonight at eight. Trust me, you won't be disappointed. - X. P.S. Yes, I do mean sex. There will be a key under the mat, I'll be upstairs listening to Fantastic 80s P.P.S. People thought The Beatles and the Ramones and Kraftwerk were novelty acts too when they first started."

GENUINE SEX IN THE CITY

Novelty act. Cheek. But I wasn't sure what to think. There followed an address and a JPEG attachment. As I opened it I remembered deciding that there should be no shame in using DPS to meet people. Why not? If alpha males like Dave Gahan can dribble incoherently on top of a thousand groupies who mean nothing to them, why should I feel funny about a cyber-encounter or some genuine sex-in-the-city? She was a perceptive person and I guess I'm less of a stranger to her than someone she might meet in some bar.

Hers was a pretty, serious face, with real humanity in her eyes. Intent but, curiously, somehow unfinished. I tried to remember what my type was, back when I had one. My thoughts went round in circles. I went to the sink and looked at myself in the mirror. Maybe you have been down in this bunker too long. I looked around at the mess of cables and equipment, the mattress in the corner. Sex had never been a problem. But learning to work at a love that can last, that takes re-evaluation. Serious digging and change. But now the songs and this website consume me. What have I been trying to avoid? I think I've built up so much with DPS and then an e-mail like this makes me see what a fantasy it all is. I looked at the photo again. She was lovely. I went to run a bath.

TAKE MY BREATH AWAY BY BERLIN

On the way to the house I started feeling nervy. This was stupid. I knew nothing. She knew more about me than I cared to think. I prefer to make the first move. And usually need to get to know someone. But this was an exciting new arrangement, the cyber-encounter. Buddy Holly, it was said, regularly had to be pulled off some cornfed teenager by his management and pushed on stage with the icing still piping down his inside leg. This, at least, would be more sophisticated than that. I found the house and slowed my pace as I passed, staking it out, looking for signs of god-knows-what. I was early so I had a decent brandy in the local pub. The sun was going down.

As I walked up the path I could hear the pulse of music reverberating against the first floor window. The closing bars of Feels Like Heaven by Fiction Factory. Heaven is closer. Heaven is closer. I found the key and looked around. Suddenly this felt wrong. Er, X? Hello? - I shouted up the hall as I closed the door behind me. But my voice was drowned by the powerful sustain on the opening chords of You Take My Breath Away by Berlin. As I mounted the stairs the haunting polyphonic synth riff fluttered into action.

I tried to remember sex. What it was like. But the feelings that came to me where feelings of love. Sex can often not feel like love until you add time. Jumpy touchings on the back seats of cars. Full-on shenanigans in a student halls of residence. Even the wild taste of cocaine in the mouth of a young media professional. I remember these much more as love than sex. But now, along the corridor, at the top the stairs, a door was slightly ajar. The song grew louder as I approached. Watching in slow motion as you turn to me and say My Love Take My Breath Away

Frightened as I was, I pushed open the door. Hi. X? The room was dark and warm, lit by two large candles on either side of a simple double bed. There was a rich musk perfume in the air that complimented the song. Looking down on the bed - a large framed print of a black panther. Slightly psychedelic - the flames seemed to dance across its eyes and teeth. Shhh - a female voice whispered and the flames blew out, leaving us alone together in the dark.

NOTHINGS GONNA STOP US NOW BY STARSHIP

The melody was moving repeat to fade as I heard her approach me. Through the dark her hand took mine and she placed it against her chest. Her heart was thumping. So you know I'm as nervous as you. Even so I felt like I had to state I haven't done this .. But her mouth was on mine. I raised my hands, then relaxed and put them round her waist. We French kissed while caressing each others faces. It felt bizarre, intimacy in the dark with a stranger. Then exciting. The smell of her skin, and her breasts pushed against me. I span her around and we fell across the bed to the opening drumroll and synthetic sparkle of Nothings Gonna Stop Us Now by Starship.

She lay back and let me explore her body. I touched her delicate cheek and lips. Slipped my hand into her blouse and across her belly. So warm. Her breathing got slower and deeper as I unbuttoned her and took a breast in my hand. I had to kiss her again but she turned her head. I unbuttoned her and she sat up to roll out of the shirt. Caressing from her neck down her back as she did so, then I put my hand right inside the cup of her bra. She sighed. Laughing slightly, she tilted her head back and I kissed her. She bit my lip gently as I traced my hand around her breast, then reached up her skirt. She leant over to take a sip of some wine. I squeezed her behind and she fed some wine into my mouth. It's taste was doubly potent in the dark. I drew the skirt zip down. She pulled my shirt out of my trousers and ran her hand once over my cock.

I THREW OFF MY TROUSERS

I removed my shirt as she lifted a foot against me. I undid her laces, slipped off the shoe and kissed at her leg. She unbuckled my belt and I took care of the other shoe. I was so full of raw anticipation I started to shake. She shifted round in the dark. Don't move, I heard a whisper, I want to just lie here with you there. I sat back and listened. I want to just touch my pussy knowing you're there. Listen to me fingering myself. The intensity of my desires grew as I pictured her stoking herself. Her breathing got sharper and she moaned and whimpered. I couldn't take it any longer. I pulled her knickers aside and licked at her. She wrapped one leg around my back and held my hair. Her body tensed palpably as she drew towards orgasm. She pushed me away.

I threw off my trousers and shoes. She was in front on me. My cock was out, in her mouth. She sucked gently, licking the end. Her nails dug into my ass. I was so hard. There were slurping sounds and she licked along it. I felt her pushing me onto the bed. I lay there as she sucked more. She kissed my balls and belly and inner thigh and then ran her tongue inside my mouth. More wine. She swung her leg over and we sixty nined. I pushed my tongue inside, kissed her ass and nuzzled at the soft flesh of her inside thighs while she started wanking me in time to the ethereal opening bars of The Sun Always Shines On TV by A-ha.

As the powerful sequencer and action chords kicked in, I got on top and slowly pushed my cock into her. She drew her arms round me and held me tightly. We just stayed like that, breathing one anothers breath and rocking slightly, right up to the chorus - touch me believe me and I slowly pulled out and sank in again. We kissed and I began moving back and forth. Slowly gaining speed. I was going to explode. I withdrew. She sat up and kissed my chest, span around in time for the moving string section of the middle eighth I reached inside myself today I eased into her from behind, fully undid her bra and cupped a breast. We screwed like this. My passion intensified. With both arms, I pulled her up and kissed her. Ouch, she fell forward. My head was spinning, waves of pleasure about to rip through my body. I slapped her ass and stood up. I groped about for the wine and drank some.

I REALISED HOW LONG I'D YEARNED FOR THIS

She removed her skirt and padded over. Break before round two? I wanted to ask questions. Who was this woman? Who else was in this house? What would we do when it was over? Please, I said. She stepped back. I said you wouldn't be disappointed. I'm not, I answered truthfully, are you? She came forward. I could partly see her features now, silvered by a crescent moon that had risen at the window. A pretty, serious face. She leaned forward and whispered something that sounded like lyrics from a song. I didn't know it.

She pulled me back to the bed and I laid my head on her chest and looked at the moon wavering through the curtains. It was nice but I had to sit up. I could just make out an outline of her eyes looking back and forth into mine. I touched the wet hair of her pussy again. This whole thing was incredibly sexy, I decided.

She opened her mouth. I dropped my tongue in. I looked at her watching me as I traced round a nipple with two fingers and then kissed it. She grabbed my back. Come up here. I knelt by her and she sucked me hard again. We'd been through There Must Be An Angel Playing With My Heart by Eurythmics and I was hoping for something that kicked a bit to come on. The brooding beats and synth whips of M.A.R.R.S Pump Up The Volume did the trick. I ran my fingers round the back of her neck and started moving back and forth against her tongue. She stood up and laid me back, eased me inside and rocked back and forth on top. I traced a hand up the groove of her ass. She rode me aggressively, I swore at her, she spat wine on me, I scored my nails into her back then sat up abruptly, span and fucked her deeply and powerfully for some time. I realised how long I'd yearned for this. I kissed her neck and she called out as she came. Her pussy contracted and pulsed rhythmically and she gasped and put her legs around me and kicked me to keep fucking. My own orgasm was seconds away, my balls tightened. She looked in my eyes. I kissed her and came inside, pressed tight against the walls of her pussy. I raised myself slightly as the fluid left my cock and tingling spasms of intense pleasure swept me. My body shuddered and I fell back into her arms.

She kissed me and I suddenly felt cold. I kissed her and rolled off and we held each other. We crawled under the duvet and kept holding on to one other. She reached somewhere and gave me paper tissues. I wiped myself. She pressed some between her legs for a bit. I wondered what she was thinking and came to the conclusion it was best not to ask. She turned round and I held her from behind, kissing the back of her neck occasionally.

I'd like to stay here for the night, I said. If you want, she replied.

+++

I woke early and left. I looked at her face briefly, asleep in the sunlight. I considered leaving a note but didn't. As I walked down the road I wondered if either one of us had used the other. She seemed like the kind of person who'd say if there was anything else she wanted out of this. They say a relationship that begins based on sex stays that way. True - but many others begin based on love, only to be scuppered by sex. I wanted more answers too. She was still, essentially, a stranger. I wondered what I might say in an e-mail.

I'm sitting in the early morning light drum programming and trying to remember what the lyrics to that song she whispered were - if they were lyrics. I'd like to write something like those. It was classic stuff about being who you want to be and doing all the things you want to do, but said in a unique and fresh way. Eternal values. Sometimes I even ask "why sing at all?" The pleasant birdsong outside this basement go some way toward reminding me.

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