Small moments of intimacy

and how women of a certain age get them where they can. Flash Fiction Ep 6

Photo by Kira Ikonikov

Louisa Greene doesn’t really miss intimacy with another human being. Well that’s a lie. She just doesn’t miss all the stuff that goes with it — all the things you have to agree to, to get the things you think you want with another warm, living, breathing, human being.

Louisa Greene remembers her intimate moments fondly. Like when a lover once reached across to brush the hair from her eyes

or took her arm as they walked down the street

or nudged and grunted as they browsed best sellers in their favourite bookshop

or played footsies under the laminex table at the cheapo, too brightly lit, Pakistani Resto.

Louisa Greene remembers all the intimate moments of her life, but to her surprise it seems she can count them all on two hands. Surely she has missed some— surely she has censored, filtered, sorted, leaving only the most memorable. Surely in a long luscious life of six and some decades she has had more intimate moments than ten!

Now she gets them mostly from medical men, whose impressive qualifications and awards line the walls of their rooms. (Though there’s usually only one room and it always mystifies her why the receptionist uses the plural when she answers the phone in her perky, don’t mess with me or you’ll go to the back of the queue, voice).

Louisa Greene doesn’t visit her medical men often, usually once a year, unless there has been an extra important reason to call her in.

He opens the door and greets her as if it was only yesterday and after a bit of chat and throwing of her most intimate x-ray pics up on a light box, invites her to go behind the curtain and strip to the waist. There he begins a most tender annual ritual; a slow, section by section rolling, pressing and stroking of her mammary organs, in a way no other man has ever before, or will do again. When he is done he rests his hand on her shoulder for the longest second as they chat away, then gives a little tap and turns on his heel.

All fine, says her breast man.

That’s the problem with intimacy, she thinks as she bends down to gather up her clothes , it never lasts long enough, and you are always left wanting more.

Lucky for Louisa, in a good year, there are a number of other appointments to attend.


the full body treatment from the skin cancer doc as he moves his hands across all her bare surfaces, brazenly gazing his special light into her bra and panties, searching for the mole that got away.

the lung specialist, a new addition, who visited her every day when she was in the hospital, and wants to see her again as often as possible.

her dentist of twenty seven years for whom Louisa has recently again been opening wide, so wide that she feels like she is practicing giving deep throat with a dental dam (the same dental dams she admits she never got round to using back in the day when they were in vogue).

There’s the eye man, the osteo, the acupuncturist, the pathology nurse, the masseuse, the podiatrist, the physio, not to mention the G.P.

And then there’s Frank

but that’s a story for another time.

To be continued…

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo

Jan Cornall is a writer/performer/teacher. She has written plays, screenplays and her books, Take Me To Paradise and Archipelagogo are available here. She is currently working on a literary travel memoir about following the footsteps of the French writer Marguerite Duras in Vietnam and Cambodia. Jan also mentors writers and leads international writing workshops and retreats.

Next trips heading out:

Moroccan Caravan, Mar 4–18, 2018. A camel riding/writing adventure into the Sahara, with optional add on 5 day residency.

Haiku Walking in Japan, March 27 -April 3. Following the footsteps of Basho along the Nakasendo Way in cherry blossom time.

Mekong Intensive,Luang Prabang, Laos, May 2018 - a writer’s bootcamp in writer’s heaven.

Haiku Snow Walk, Japan, Feb 2019 - exploring the winter wonderland of Kawabata’s famous novel, The Snow Country.

© Jan Cornall 2018

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Jan Cornall

Jan Cornall

Writer,traveler-leads international creativity retreats. Come write with me at

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