I'm a bit of a night owl. In fact, too much of a night owl. You'd know me, I'm that girl who comes "just a little late" to the office every day. In the beginning, I come about 15-20 minutes late, and you excuse it as "traffic problems", a few months down the line, 30-45 minutes late becomes normal, and before long, you don't schedule any work with me before lunchtime.
But work gets done perfectly and punctually, so you don't really ask, pry, or demand.
So, what do I do at night?
I write. Sometimes I write when I'm naked, like right now. Sometimes I touch myself when I'm writing naked, like right now. I have one leg hanging off my bed and my laptop propped on the other. Even as I write this, I'm thinking about you. You, yes, you! The one who is reading this. Stop gawking already.
You're a man or a woman, younger or older, judgmental or just amazed. Maybe you're even secretly excited because what I'm about to say is... so you! But you've never known for sure.
I. Am. A. Deviant. Sly. Nasty. Sexual. Exhibitionist.
Not that anyone's watching, but I like to know that they could have turned around and seen a flash of something- a boob, maybe.
At first, I thought I was some kind of "cool" girl who would be open to having a threesome. Given that I live wherever I live, I find it hard to make that happen. Then again, I have no interest in actually involving the third person. I just want her to watch. I want her to beg to be in my place. I want her to feel helpless and jealous.
Before long, I realized that I don't really care about having multi-player sex.
I install my body in a risque fashion sometimes, and I realized this completely by accident.
Remember how it feels when you go to the bathroom and after you're done, you realize that the door was unlocked the whole time? It's that little bit of a shock, followed by a huge relief that nobody walked in on your business. Except, I don't feel that relief. The first time this happened to me, I stepped out of a shower in a men's hostel bathroom (drunk sleepovers are for another story). My first feeling was jubilation. Those poor suckers could have had something and they didn't.
Eventually, I started leaving the curtain on my bedroom window more than "slightly" open. It doesn't hurt that I live on the fifth floor, but I'm still 100% naked. Later, I was sitting by the same window, naked and masturbating, watching truant college boys playing cricket in the field across the road.
I would wonder all the time- can they see me? Will they see me? Are they going to lose focus, drop everything, and come right over to grab me? The thought still makes my head spin. I'd use the appropriate words to describe how it feels, but right now I'll just say that you'll find them in my search history.
I know you've not stopped reading. I'm a bloody tease.
Back to what's at hand (FYI, it's soft and firm, and just enough to grab on to if you've played junior basketball)- my body. It sure as hell is not perfect. I'm overweight, but I don't look like it. Everything has got just the right amount of jiggle. And while I write naked at night (sometimes touching myself), I also steal myself a cigarette break every now and then.
Since my bedroom is a smoke-free zone, I have to go to the balcony, and who has the patience to wear something, right? But just for decency's sake, I sling on a button-down dress, buttoned all the way down- the flaps clinging on by the mercy of my cleavage.
It's 2 am or something like that. I'm looking across the street at dark windows that have some familiar faces behind them- like Lakshmi aunty and her 22-year-old "B.Com Fresher" son, or that girl with the weird-looking dog. And for a second, I consider pulling my dress closer around me but then, I decide to let my arms swing loose. I tie up the loose ends of my hair so that I don't burn it in the lighter's flare. As my arms go up, the dress pulls a little farther from the centre.
I pull out my cigarette and my lighter from the pocket. For the next ten minutes, I'm smoking. One, then two.
A few weeks later, I did that 4 am also. And after that, I thought, '5 am is hardly any different from 4 am'. And these days it's more or less 6 am.
There are only one or two joggers on the street below. The morning sports coaching session might start any minute in the field that I can see. But I'm not so indecent that I might be booked under, um, section 294 of the IPC. Wikipedia says the punishment is only 3 months of imprisonment.
I say "only" 3 months because when are women ever strangers to imprisonment? You know what proves that? Your reaction throughout my entire confession. If you really think about it, I'm just a chubby girl in shoddy clothes. But no, you made it mean something else entirely.
So I want you to do something for me right now. Ready? Cup your free hand and look into it. Imagine that you're putting everything you know about how a human body into your hand- all the do's and dont's, the "private" parts, the "obscene" bits, stuff that you can't talk about in the open- literally everything. None of your thoughts was ever original. You have no idea where they come from or why they are as real as the ground beneath your feet.
Now, tighten your hand into a fist slowly. Imagine crushing all of them in your fist. Feel your wrist aching and your veins tightening against your skin.
And now, slowly raise your middle finger to all of it. Fuck all the conditioning and shame that was ever rubbed into you. Your body and my body is the bomb! Go be a pataaka.
As for me, the sun is up, so it's almost bedtime. You know me, I'm the girl who writes naked at night (sometimes touching herself), and you can't expect to schedule a meeting with me before lunchtime.