Because of his accident, we always make love with him on the bottom, his legs dangling beneath my weight like collateral damage, his stomach flattened from the air seeping out of his lungs, arms skinny from nerve deterioration, his member hard as nails.
He never liked his disability to get in the way, putting on a brave face and cracking jokes about the swiftness with which he can run errands in his wheelchair, but anyone close to him knew this was just a front. At night his monologue of tears was heard from the bathroom, as he struggled to move himself onto the toilet, his youthful vanity all but a distant memory.
“Be just a minute” — his English accent would ring over the sound of the toilet flushing.
His masculinity never wavered in front of me but behind closed doors, he turned into nothing more than an infant, reminiscent of the child he once was when first told that he wouldn’t be able to walk as an adult; it became noticeable to his family after the infrequent stumble on North London pavements became routine, his falls soon happened too many times to count.
Keeping the tears at bay was something I was tasked with, ensuring that we led as normal of a marriage as we could. The inability to behave spontaneously in the bedroom paved a way for us playing more adventurous roles: the maid, the nanny, the doctor, the wheelchair technician. Basic acts of love making were inhibited by his condition, but once we got into a secure position that made him feel strong and powerful, I was able to relax into a familiar warmth of safety that I had grown to love and expect.
His member retained its youth, despite how quickly the rest of his body desecrated, our organized breathing created a tune to the rhythm of love that we had created over the years, the only role play we wished we could partake in was that of able bodies, intertwined, forever.