I met a man and had a touch that exists without frame, without reference points, without time before or time after.
The day I arrived I saw him and couldn’t stop noticing him. The way he walked and smiled, hugged people, smiled. Those teeth like perfect pearls, making me smile for absolutely no reason. Like a painting that tickles you every time you see it. Why? Who knows. But I’d rather have the feeling even if I can’t explain it than not have it at all.
It became apparent that he had been seeing me the way I was seeing him. Wanting to speak, wanting to touch, Wanting to uncover the mystery; why can’t I stop noticing you?
Walking alone under an open and unjudgemental sky I told him,
I want to touch you with curiosity. Just run my hands on your skin without shame or fear and see what I find.
That sounds amazing. I’d love to connect with you that way.
After years of thinking the same thought in relationships and situations where it’d not come true my brain was flooded with anticipation. What would it be like to get what I’ve always thought I wanted. Really though.
I tossed and turned imagining luxuriating in the temperature of his chest, grazing my fingertips along his lips, those lips that smile like he’s about to tell me a secret. By the time the time came I was high on my fantasies, vibrating, embarrassed to have passed a whole day with this elevated awareness of self, of color, texture, grinning stupidly about someone I don’t even know.
Reality was different of course. Curiosity means listening, responding not to what you had imagined but to what actually presents itself. What I found more intoxicating than the skin I’d wanted to caress was the muscle beneath it and the intention it held. Like a lionness stalking her prey, he put his hands on my arms and moved me through space, enjoying the way we walked like waltzers, hands full of information, structure, satisfaction.
Enjoying each others willingness to lead and be led, see and be seen.
Before I learned about the mechanics of sex this is what I thought it would feel like in my chest, the tightness and release in my throat, the tingling all over and inside my head, the freedom. He ran his hands down the sides of my torso like a builder looking for warp to address, stopping to notice muscles, ran his hand to the space just below my belly button and collapsed his weight into me, enjoying the roundness and warmth of the intimate no man’s land right above my underwear band. Not sexual, just private, pleasurable in it’s own rarely-noticed right.
Tell me some thinking or feeling words.
This is such a wonderful destination. Just itself.
He held my arms out to my sides floating in space,
Keep them there.
And I did, in the chilly night air, luxuriating in his palms scampering from fingertip, across the soft insides of my elbow, glancing off the lump of my shoulder, skateboarding across my collar bones, and out the other side and back again, breathing and watching his face gleam with joy at my skin.
Not long after that I put my shirt back on and we rejoined the world.
Heading back towards other people with all their eyeballs and opinions I remembered who I was, who he was. This was not the new couple, triumphant, announcing themselves, inviting the tribe to rejoice at their starting a journey as a pair. Just two people who shared a moment in the woods returning, ever so slightly changed, to their own lives. The idea of having to back away before being noticed, to not be seen as some romantic leech clanged around inside my chest.
I’m important to this person! I swear it, you should have seen how he worshiped the shape of my neck just a moment ago!
The knot rising in my throat at the inevitable “she’s not with me” implicit in the return to society. This person is allowed to be important to me, but not in a way I can ever adequately describe, and that makes it feel un-respectable.
The shame trapped me under it like a waterfall, the flow locking me in. Then I got what I’ve always wanted. In a room full of people, an unselfconscious arm around me.
Thank you for not making me feel like something to be ashamed of.
You aren’t something to be ashamed of.