We are watching television. He sits on the ground beside the couch, at my feet, a cushion I bought for ten cents at the school fete under his arse to keep him off the cold tiles. The ‘butt cushion’ I have dubbed it. I can feel his energy as he sits there quietly, it emanates from him in waves, invisible threads drawing me in. I feel the pull in my fingertips, in the pit of my stomach and I know if I reach out and touch him, he will lean into it and silently vibrate with pleasure, not asking for more, but wanting more.
I shift slightly and he turns his head a little, acknowledging my movement, ready for me to say something, do something, want something. I wait until he settles again, like a restless pet finding a comfortable position. It makes me smile. I reach out and touch his hair, crew cut and baby-soft, my puppy head. I stroke it, enjoying the feel of his fur, the way it grows in different directions, the soft resistance as I pet him. He tries not to move, to accept my attention without comment, but he adjusts his body bit by bit, slightly, almost imperceptibly as the stroking gets his attention.
I make a rhythm of the petting, a metronome of movement and I hear his breathing deepen as he sinks into it. I know he is not watching television any more, he is just concentrating on my touch, on the repetitive stroking stroking stroking. I can almost hear him whispering, ‘please please please’, but he is silent, the slightest leaning into my fingertips. We are watching television.