Monday, February 04, 2008

Dear Bella

You were so beautiful.

I was drunk, of course, but not just on the rum. I was intoxicated with the freedom of an international vacation, with the thrill at having travelled independently for the first time in my life, with the luxury of my foreign surroundings. And from the moment we locked eyes, I was heady with your vision, and then your scent, and eventually, your taste.

You were beautiful, as I said. You smelled like coconut. You tasted of pineapple, and later, of me.

We danced without talking, without even exchanging names.
We attracted quite a lot of attention, your black hair floating around you, my blonde locks twisting around your fingers. You were tall and graceful and your dark brown skin was smooth like rich chocolate while I was pale, just barely pinked by my two or three days in the Mexican sun.

Our lips were either the first thing to touch, or the last thing to touch. I can never remember. Either way, it was a kiss that left every man in the bar aching to go home with either you, or I, or both, and it was that kiss that inspired us to leave only with each other.

I remember snatches of that night: the roundness of your belly; my legs spread like the wings of a butterfly; the smell of the crisp hotel sheets; the sound of the waves gently lapping at the beach just outside; the way the shadows kissed your curves; the salinity of your skin; the way your name felt in the back of my throat.

You left on a plane home the next morning.
I'd never been with a woman before, nor have I since, nor am I likely to again.
You were enough.
I loved you briefly, but hard.

And sometimes I love you still, but only in dreams.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Dear Joshua

Fuck butterflies.

I'm thinking today of that night, that first, perfect night.
I'm thinking of your purple shirt that smelled of detergent and street party and you.
Of the way you held both our drinks in one hand so your other could be low enough on my back to not really be on my back anymore as you guided us to the badly-lit booth in the back.
The feeling of your hand on my leg as you leaned in closer to hear my stories, the way you looked at my throat when I tilted my head back to laugh, then looked down the deep vee of my dress with greed and without embarrassment.

It was a seedy bar with sticky tabletops and gritty floors. I remember the tinkle of the bell when we walked through the door as friends, and the tinkle of the bell as we left it as more. From the moment you touched my hair, the inside of my wrist, I knew our friendship was doomed. Over before it really began. It wasn't butterflies you gave me that night. Fuck butterflies. It was a pack of wild stallions stampeding around in my stomach, a feeling so intense and so urgent there was no question that I could or would ignore it.

Husband? What husband?

I remember that you held my hand, sweetly. I remember how our limbs brushed together repeatedly as we walked along too closely. I remember standing in front of a hoover store, the St Clair crowds slowly thinning in the lateness of the hour, and you wrapping your arms around me as if it were some romantic spot. It wasn't, and it was.

It all happened so fast, didn't it? Only a couple of hours from near-strangers this. To you pointing out stars to me that we could barely see. To me asking if you wanted to come up. To you saying yes, desperately.

And so it was.