Frankly, I didn't think I'd ever meet him. I didn't think he'd cycle two hours in the blistering sun to see me, or that we'd need more than an afternoon to write each other off. Or that we'd fall so fast down the chute to Wonderland. Who knew? I certainly didn't.
Maybe I was a bit naive. Nod in unison if you will. Hence, it was on the bliss of such ignorance I'd purported that perhaps Mr. X's New Thing involved selling his Gigolo Wares on Sunset. In fact, before we met I refused to ring him on account of "how it may possibly distract your clients when your python thong starts blinking with lights & vibrating madly as you slide down the pole, after all where else would your phone go? I wouldn't want you injured in mid-gyration, or upsetting your generous gay clients." We laughed about it, even more so after we met as clearly, gay or straight, he wasn't cast from the Gigolo mode. Unless one had a thing for mountain climbing.
I look at him like he just smacked me upside the head with a two by four, "Values?!," I choke out, "WHO at your age says values??" He looks at me utterly charmed, and resumes the looming. "Oh, no, NO, NO, NOOOOO.." I try inching away," and my thinking. So you're kissing me because of my thinking. Since when did thinking involve kissing." He giggles at my panicked puzzling and throws a trunk of a leg over me.
He quickly answers, "Because I am. You KNOW we're alike." He looks at me perfectly still and just an inch away, intent on reading my face. I squeak helplessly,"Ok, fine. Just..just tell me, you're not really a gigolo.. are you?" I shut one eye worriedly and open another in case by some fluke, he'd admit he was.
"No," Mr. X declares firmly and proceeds to take his time with a kiss so thorough, I began to wonder if I'd have lips left once he was done. Or if I'd remember my name. I feared through the entire kiss, for the soft deflation I could feel for B who I somewhat blamed for letting this happen, and for how I'd feel after. They say a kiss is just a kiss. But we all know there are those kisses which amply demonstrate why atoms collide and create life. The ones which make you understand boring physics terms like force and velocity. The exothermic process. Or even - simple harmonic motion. Was I helpless? Probably not. I guess..just humbled in the face of something that felt bigger than both of us.
I rarely hesitate to exercise my freedom, it's my right, I'm unencumbered.. but also, because I'm not beholden. To a lover who's laid claim to me. I don't belong to anyone, and no one, really belongs to me. At least, not formally.
Still, belonging is an interesting thing. We seek it and find it in different ways, through careful building, through affiliation, through commonalities, through some sanctioned bond made with blood or inked on paper. But belonging can be organic and mesmerizing, it can just.. happen. When I was telling Mr. X all the reasons why this wasn't a good idea, it wasn't just for his sake but also mine. How often do we find our intimates in our heads, turning to them even when they aren't there the minute we find something funny, when an idea pops in our head and we know only they will GET it, or when we're in the grips of a broken feeling.
How long would it take before his voice would be in mine?
Other people would be more practiced about this, but I never seem to be. When I say we ought to sleep, I actually mean the state of recuperative unconsciousness in natural suspension. Mr. X doesn’t appear to ever hurry, I’d left out a toothbrush for him and I hear the rhythmic sounds of it going back and forth in even strokes. I find it soothing, sleepily thinking it would take but a few more moments of that dwindling tempo and I’d be far and away.
I feel myself relaxing despite my hair still being wet round my shoulders. The last light switch goes off and I hear the cotton of his clothes brush down to the floor. It’s alright though, surely after the Tour de Sur he’d be exhausted right? “Hmm?,” I hear him query. I reply muffled under the pillow, ”Not taking pillow off, don’t want to be blinded by your whiteness. Sleepy sleepy, snore snore.”
“Hmm-mm,” is all Mr. X says and he plucks at my nondescript tank top, “I like this.” I shake my head still hiding, my $6 Target tank top, the height of devastating seduction, really? I burrow further into the covers, until he flips me gently over to smile at me. I can’t see it in the dark of the room, but I feel it. And the only thing I can do is return it with a silly grin, “You have got to be tired. Sleep?”
He laughed. I guess not.