beginnings of a story, pt.1

My weekend bag and all of it’s contents smell like a camping tent.

He liked to hold hands like I do. Full contact. Full squeeze. He liked to run through the forest and giggle and laugh and play with the sound of his voice echoing out in the vastness of the universe. He liked to full belly laugh over our good fortune at being together, never having to explain what’s lovely about holding hands and bellowing.

There was always song and improvisation. There was always some strange, twisty, groovy beat that we could dance over with our voices. It made us twinkle at each other how much we did it the same way, or complimented each other’s other way. We were unspoken.

I always had the feeling that he was perpetually thanking his lucky stars and suspicious of his own good fortune at being with me each time. “You’re still here!” he would wonder aloud, “I can’t believe you are still here.” Sometimes he looked at me with terror in his eyes– terror and desperation that this, surely, must be the last time. It was not in his history, he would say. It was not written for him to have so much beauty in his life, for he was not a king but a monster, undeserving under all that gold. Someday I would understand, he used to say.

* * * * * * *

I thought we had made a beautiful home, but when I took moments, I saw that I had made it. I thought I was safe, but in most moments, he was dreaming of another home that someone else had made, where he was not loved but longed to be. That’s why he put eucalyptus in the room. But the scent of it never took. Not with me there.

He used to talk about bastard men. He called them boys and protested that he, on the other hand, was a real man. Perhaps that was his own round about way of manifesting, since in his mind he did not believe in manifestation, and therefore never gave himself permission to do it with admission.

Reading stories. Writing stories. Suddenly I see my role. The role I’ve been assigned. The plot-twist that is me. This group of highly educated, over privileged, under stimulated young adults devouring people and feelings for gossip and entertainment, throwing around meaningful catch phrases like “love”, “kids” and “guilt” to ensure a flavor of authenticity. Turning real lives into virtual fiction. Little computerized telenovelas. Dramas to spike their punch-less malaise. In the throws of this snarky “in” crowd, one feels their own disposability.

Somehow I thought shacking up, signing a lease, going through the hell of a move might motivate someone to take a situation seriously, to take me seriously. It gets tricky, though, when someone doesn’t know what that means.

What does that mean? He says, “I love you”. I say it back. But we forget to find out what language we are each speaking. Each time I recover from the chaos, I vow that the next time those words are exchanged I will say, “Ah…that sounds lovely! What does it mean?” But the moment comes and I fall prey to my own desire for it to be as I wish it…and I fall into Samsara. The cycle begins anew. Plot-twist.

Longing, the desire to be loved is thoroughly engaging. It pumps your blood. It can give you the shakes of 5 cups of coffee. It keeps you motivated, alert. Almost obsessively. Women can tolerate being on the receiving end of that kind of infatuation. They will even tell the man they can be friends and pull him out of her purse from time to time to use like a flattering mirror. But men cannot stand it.

* * * * * * *

He liked rough summer feet. When his mouth was greedily slurping me up, I would rest my feet on his shoulders and he would mmmm and pause to say, whistfully, “Summerfeet”, followed by a wide, love-drunk grin. Then he would gleefully dive back in. I liked that he liked that. I liked that he noticed. I liked my own summery-ness and it was another celebration between us. The sweet, musky, salty chanterelle smell of my armpits, the vitamin D smell of my arms, the rough skin around my heels, hewn by reveling in the feeling of earth beneath my feet. He liked the roughness and the sensuality of which it was born.

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