A Collective Pain. A Collective Pleasure.

A Sexual Fantasy

— By shiv

I am a young adult with cancer. Even though my tumor is stable and I embrace my situation, I am often reminded that I’m “too young for this.” My fantasy is that there will be another young adult in the oncology ward and we have a sexy encounter.

I’d be sitting in the outer room waiting my turn. My name is called and I head down to the basement with the MRI machines. It's a rote action by now; I take off my jewelry and change into the shapeless hospital gown, walk out and sit in the hallway, holding and turning over the makeshift keychain to the cupboard that holds my clothes.

I imagine that as I wait, I look up casually and walking through the basement hallway of the hospital comes a fellow young human. They walk past me in the small space and we lock eyes. I recognize with fierce interest that this is a fellow patient and not a caregiver or a family member. I instinctively rub my legs together under my gown as they go into their changing room and I am called away to my own scan.

After my scan finishes I rush to my follow up appointment, casually wondering if I might run into them again. I hurriedly put my jewelry back on as I skip stairs to meet my doctor. As I walk, breathless into the next waiting room to see my oncologist, I look around and notice they are sitting in the waiting room too. I try to act casual, and as I get my insurance card back I see there are no seats open except across from this person. I’m thrilled and anxious as I walk to sit near them. I sit down and we catch each other's eyes again. Sheepishly I break eye contact and look anywhere else until I gain the confidence to return their hungry stare. They then get called back to their appointment and within a few minutes I’m called to my own.

I go through my exams and thankfully receive a stable diagnosis from the latest MRI. Left alone by the doctor and nurse I take a breath and gather my things, prepared to walk quickly out of the hospital. Instead I open the door and practically run headfirst into them. We stare at each other for a moment, before they gently place their hand on my chest, the tip of their middle finger resting in the hollow of my neck and firmly guide me backwards into the room, shutting the door behind them.

We are two young patients in the exam room, our version of a seedy motel. There we have a bed and chairs and walls all to ourselves, a rare moment of patient autonomy and power within the healthcare system. They ask if I mind if they take their mask off and I reply no. They then look at me and ask if they can remove mine. Breathily, I reply yes. They slowly take my mask off and tuck wayward strands of my hair behind my ears. Their hands are warm as they bring my face to theirs and kiss me hard and without reserve. We proceed to be aggressive and furious and tender and empathetic and utterly consensual and equal with each other.