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A brand new month. Looking on the bright side – it's not a month since we've been together, but another month closer to seeing you again. I will kiss you until you once again tell me, "There's such a thing as too much kissing!" and we'll stumble to a bedroom reintroduce our bodies, who never forgot each other. I'll roll around on you and press against you until your scent is permanently absorbed by my own skin. I will kiss every centimeter of you and take you in every position we can think of. I will kiss you again. And again.
Let's not reunite in the airport, but in the ocean. I'll arrive first and will paddle out farther than I've ever gone, floating above the ocean floor, suspended in schools of fish, snorkeling and waiting for you to arrive.
Just as I've submerged myself in the water, your plane will land. You'll get a taxi to our hotel and before you get to the room, you notice the red of my bathing suit floating in the water - you'll watch for a few moments before diving in after me.
And in the middle of the blue water, we will kiss.
I can't think about sex. I can't use the seaweed scrub soap. I can't listen to Peter Murphy, One Dove or BT. I can't cook tofu. I can't eat at Tampopo. I put off going to sleep each night for as long as possible. I can no longer let myself imagine kissing you. I can't go see Spiderman 2. I can't look at your pictures. It all reminds me too much of you.
I know that I'll see you again and have many years of waking up to you, but I wish it were now.
I miss you so much.
After alternating between kissing and floating miles from shore, we'll slowly drift back to the beach, hands never letting go. We'll stop to order lime daiquiris and margaritas from the smiling Latin bartender and grab mangoes off the trees for sustenance, as we know we'll be in our room for hours. Maybe days. You'll feed me slices of mangoes as you hover over top of me, juice dribbling all over my mouth and then we'll switch so that I am on top, pressing into you, dipping my fingers into the margaritas for you to lick the salt off my fingers.
The first moment I spotted you – sitting outside Cosi, leaning back in a chair, long legs stretched out in front of you, head down reading the paper like you didn't have a care in the world. I knew that I was going to fall in love with you, hard.
I knew as you walked beside me, boots clacking on pavement – I knew I'd fall in love with you fast.
When we sat in your apartment watching movies, and you fell asleep beside me, I kept peeking over to look at your handsome face - I knew I'd love you forever.
I want to lay my mouth on every inch of you. I want to kiss your lips, your cheek, the narrow slope of your nose, your ears, your hands, your knees and the backs of your knees, the tops of your feet, your long fingertips, your bearded chin, the top of your head and all your gray hairs, your thighs, the curve of your belly, your belly button (not nearly so deep as mine), your rounded bottom (each side!), your chest and every small brown freckle on your shoulder. And when I've kissed every spot, I'll start all over again.
I want to see you NOW, and get a fix to tide me over. Hop on a plane and meet you for just a kiss or two, a few orgasms each, a stroke of the beard and a proper spoon.
Just one fix in every position, knowing it would leave me jonesing for another - I'd beg for just ONE more, like a junkie. One more, one more… I'll shake and shiver in between fixes, alone with poor substitutions trying hard to keep quiet, not say your name so no one hears and I have to confess to my addiction.
I could do this - I feel confident enough about myself, sexy enough to send those pictures to someone else, force the comfort and intimacy until it were natural. Learn to feel unrestrained passion, teaching someone the right moves to make me scream into the pillow as you did. I could make someone else love me, become enthralled with my voracious sexual appetite and I would feel no shame.
I don't want to. I want this body to be yours and yours alone and for their to be only one man who to give me 15 orgasms in one night.
Waking, my heart thumped in protest realizing you still weren't there.
Every morning, hoping the past weeks were just a bad dream – that I'll open my eyes to see you laying next to me, eyes closed, mouth parted, breathing quietly in a deep and peaceful sleep. My leg slung over yours, my body slightly twisted towards you, hand on your chest, I lean in to kiss your cheek. You wake, and smile, rolling over and extending your arm to scoop me into a deep spoon. I reach around to pull you tighter against me, never letting go of you again.
He's turned me into a masturbating recluse, a lone sexual fiend using toys in ways I learned from him when he experimented on my body with gleeful abandon…
Now I'm alone, apart from him for months on end and I find that all I want to do is roll around in bed simulating his presence. Every orgasm is a day closer to seeing him so I have 3 a day, sometimes 4. I strike poses in front of a camera for him, all the things he used to do and I… I can't help myself. I go for a 5th!
I am returning to Prague, a city I once swore I hated. On my own terms. I'll buy my own ticket and go during the season I like it best – fall, when the tourists have emptied out of the city and I can wander the streets in peace again, when I can hear the echoes of my own footsteps on cobblestone bouncing off the centuries-old buildings. I will find my own flat where I will sit in the corner on a red chair and read, enjoying solitude, pausing to look around the room and smile in satisfaction – I did this.
We're driving up the coast of Portugal, winding roads on the cliffs overlooking the sea - you are in the driver's seat, I am beside you, hand in your hair, stroking the back of your neck, watching you, smiling. You look over at me and smile back. I take pictures, tell you again how handsome you are, lean across the space between our seats and kiss your bearded face. I turn around and wave goodbye to the past, falling far behind us, then turn back to the front to face the future, smiling once again.
You're the one for me.
I will be a cliché and not worry about being a cliché as I sit in dark, wintery cafes on the edge of cobblestone streets and alleys, writing essays and travel columns, emails and lesson plans and drinking my too many Viennese coffees. I will be wearing those glasses that he loves and my favorite black turtleneck with the brown boots that lace up to my knees, just in case he would happen to surprise me. He'll fly to Prague to sneak up behind me to kiss the back of my neck and whisper in my ear, "I missed you."
I want to kiss for hours on the coast of the Mediterranean. Grope like rowdy teenagers in the car at night on the side of some Portuguese backroad under stars. I want you to fuck me like it's the last thing you'll ever do, hands tangled in my hair as I brace myself against a wall in an alley in Spain, grunting my name. I want to hold you in my mouth in a cheap hotel in Tangier, climb on top of you, make you lose control. I want you tell me you'll always love me and we'll always be.
It's like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Except we're choosing what memories to keep, and which ones to wipe clean. I'm keeping the memory of our first kiss, of falling asleep next to you, of watching you inhale the thousand dinners I happily made for you. I'm choosing to remember your smell and your name and how very much I love you.
I remember that you hate raisins, and you got me to love artichokes and spinach. I'm keeping all our photos and the wonderful cards you gave me.
I'm choosing to forget…
Well. It seems I've already forgotten.
You drove me to the station in time to catch my train to Prague.
I left you at the platform in Portugal. I smiled at you, kissed you again and said, "See you soon." I didn't cry, didn't turn around to look at you – I marched onto the train with bags full of hopes and wishes.
I settled into my cabin and went to the on-board café for espresso. An hour into the ride I feel the familiar scratch of a beard against my cheek and I look up…
"Let's get off in Austria and make-out some more," you say.
We parted on the platform as I boarded the train taking me from you, from Lisbon to Prague. You kissed me goodbye - I pulled myself into a hard shell to keep from crying.
"I'll see you soon," you said. I just bit my lip and nodded, turning without no words, handing my suitcase to the porter.. I walked into the train, turned down the aisle towards my cabin, never looked back.
Strange behavior, silence, coming from me. I hoped it would make you wonder, a little tense, not knowing it was killing me to not look back at you.
The train pulled out of the station, away from the platform where you stood. I hoped you were standing there watching, waiting until the train left, hoping to catch a glimpse of me in the window.
But I knew you walked away the moment I vanished into the train.
You aren't one for mulling over goodbyes or prolonging moments. I hoped you at least pondered my silence, my lack of the usual, "Tell me we'll be ok?" line of questioning.
The space between us stretched out like a band of rubber. I wondered how far it could go before breaking.
I worry about the past four and a half years being lost, like memories scraped off the bone until all that is left is the fact that we were together. Memories that will run through our heads like something watched and enjoyed in a movie. All the promise of our yearning faded and now he's just wistful for something that was good that he once had. Two heads on a pillow, an intimate knowledge of another person never known by others, dinners shared, spoons and plans and love made, photos taken, hands held.
Trampled by the heavy footfalls of time.
My personalized astrological forecast for the future tells me a new era is beginning. "Already, you are starting to see the difference. Aren't you? Do you really think that everything is carrying on just as before? Do the recent changes really seem minor and inconsequential? Or could it be that you are playing their importance down? Maybe, through a fear of disappointment, you are deliberately refusing to raise your hopes too high. Carry on being cautious if you wish. But if you do feel a little flutter of hope in your heart, don't crush it."
If only astrology were true.
From Christmas to New Year's I am making a home-cooked feast. I'm making all the favorites. Apple pancakes dripping with berry & peach compote, slathered in ice cream and chocolate syrup. A vat of matzoh ball soup with extra carrots and celery and mountains of matzho balls. A dozen loafs of banana bread. Gourmet macaroni and cheese with steamed broccoli. Two pans of szechuan tofu and brown rice. Tofu dripping in wasabi and honey glaze. Rolls and rolls of vegetarian sushi. Crepes.
Don't plan on seeing me for awhile, I'll be in a food coma for at least 2 months.
Kevin the Canadian. Chris the relationship that never should have happened. Steve the tattoo guy. Jonathan the other one that could have been. Simon from England. Sam the friend and long-standing fuck buddy. Chuck the hockey player. Kenny the first. Chris the asshole yuppy. Jason innocent Catholic boy without a clue. Jim the drunk. Ralph the whirlwind love affair and almost-but-thank-god-not spontaneous marriage at city hall. Ray the creepy psychic. Chris the Peace Corp guy who looked awkward in cowboy boots. Doug the doesn't-know-he's gay guy. Bernie who was obsessed with me. Yuri the young Russian. The countless one-night stands.
I lost my virginity 2 weeks after my 16th birthday. His parents were away for the night and during a heavy make-out session the week before, I'd promised tonight would be the night. We both lied, saying this wasn't our first time, but our fumbling could have given us away. The black bra I'd bought for the occasion stayed as everything else came off.
All our friends were gathered - and they taunted us from the living room. I heard someone yell, "He's doin' her!"
Afterwards all I could think was, "That's what the fuss is all about?"
I've faked as many orgasms as I have smiles. Maybe more.
I was honest once – he said he was making it his life's mission, trying for many years, but no go. I didn't really want it to happen. But for all his efforts I thought he deserved to think I at least had a small one. But just a small one.
It was easier to fake it than to let them just keep going. Otherwise I had to listen to them tell me to "relax" every 30 seconds.
I am relaxed, you twit. I just don't like you very much.
I am someone who can get on a plane to travel solo in Europe.
I am someone who will wholeheartedly follow their bliss.
I am someone who can knit 2 scarves and code out a website all in one day.
I am someone who can cook meals that will have people clamoring for seconds and thirds.
I am someone who can take heavy blows in life and keep running back for more.
I am someone who can love with religious devotion.
I am someone who shines so fucking brightly it will light up anyone lucky enough to be with me.
"I want you to love me with every step you take."
Switches flipped. Tables and tides turned. Points of no return. Time and distance stretched.
Push and pull, give and take, honesty, love, friendship, passion, black and white and shades of gray, forgiveness, commitment, second chances.
Trains, planes, manual transmission.
Portugal, Prague, Spain, Morocco, Austria, Hungary, Philadelphia, Mexico, Germany, Belgium, Iceland, Ireland, Argentina, Costa Rica.
Apple pancakes, broccoli and cheese crepes, matzoh ball soup, macaroni and cheese, banana bread with chocolate chips, szechuan tofu, vegetarian burritos, vegetarian sushi.
Spooning, sleeping, holding hands, dreaming, planning, traveling, songs, movies.
Fight for me.
I'm floating, naked, in the pool. Eyes closed, I start to pretend I'm in Portugal, in the pool of a cottage overlooking the ocean.
I snap myself back to location and go back in time instead, years earlier. I hear you in the house getting a glass of water. The back screen door slams as you come outside. "You're naked!" you mock-exclaim. I'm hit with a wall of water as you jump in and swim over to where I am, pretend you're going to tip my raft over and instead lean over to close your teeth gently on my bottom.
It was 25 years before anyone but myself could cause an orgasm.
Oh, others tried - until I was completely fed up and would pretend just to get them to STOP! already.
And then he came along. (No pun intended.) He never even had to try and it was so good I didn't care. Then one day I was sitting astride him, hands on his chest, leaning in, my mouth by his ear – I was so surprised I think I said "oh my god!"
After that, we were unstoppable. Hands, mouth, all the right parts, he could do no wrong.
Tonight I'm thinking that the neighbors must have heard us every night, as I lay on the bed face down, hands pushing up against the wall that separated their house from ours for leverage, sometimes slapping the wall as he rhythmically slammed into me from behind.
I'm wondering if the neighbors knew that when we were quiet, it was because I had him in my mouth. I wondered if the wife ever got jealous, hearing me, wondered what it was he was doing to me and if she was counting along with us the night I had over 15 orgasms.
I'm thinking about being asleep next to you, and you wake up before I do. You look over at me and kiss me until I'm only half awake. Still I'm unaware, so you sit up in bed and position yourself, resting your parts against my lips, kneeling over my face… you nudge me until I'm awake. I keep my eyes close, smiling as I realize where you are. I open my mouth and reach around to pull you in, sliding down my throat.
Mouth full, I mumble happy noises at you and think, "What a wonderful way to wake up."
The tour bus was full of people – fathers yelling at children to behave, mothers smearing sunblock on their faces.
We sat well away from them all, in the back of the bus.
My hand was in his lap, as usual. We smiled at each other, made jokes about having sex right then and there.
Instead I undid the button on his pants, slid the zipper down… I glanced around, double checking, winked at him and put my head down. He fought to keep quiet and look "normal," and I finished him off in plenty of time before reaching our destination.
The Tip Jar