He climbs my stairs like Tigger, full of bounce and light.
I’m waiting in the kitchen drinking wine, the ceramic tile smooth and cool under my bare feet, the anticipation of him hot and prickly.
He grabs me roughly and we kiss until our lips throb. He gets a hard on, steps back for assessment purposes.
Nice, I say sincerely.
Like that? he asks.
Of course, I reply. It’s so difficult to find a guy with a big cock and a big vocabulary.
He spits out a laugh. Is that right?
One or the other is easy, I explain, pulling him by the belt buckle toward me, but not both.
Not both? he echoes, suddenly kissing me too hard and pinning my spine too tightly against the kitchen counter. I push him off to breathe.
Don’t, I protest. We have reservations.
He sighs, retreats and cracks his knuckles. Where are we going by the way?
Aldo’s. Does it matter?
Absolutely not. You look incredible.
So do you.
I can’t wait to fuck you.
Can you not say that? It makes me feel pukey.
Who says pukey?
Plenty of people, I play along, stuffing an ID, debit card and lip gloss into a clutch.
We jostle each other down the stairs.
At the end of creme brulée he confesses, I’m having feelings I’m uncomfortable with.
Everything you feel I feel, I breeze, pouring a last glass of wine.
I don’t know if you do, he says doubtfully, throwing his napkin on the table and settling back into the shellacked rattan chair.
I swirl cabernet and sigh. Yes you do know, because I’m telling you. And isn’t that the best part? How mutual this is?
Satisfied with this, he smiles at me. For me.
He beckons for the bill and pays. He always pays.
I’m having a traffic jam in my mouth, he says hoarsely. I have so many things to say and they’re all piling up in there.
I gnaw the insides of my cheeks.
You’ve taken over every inch of my heart. And you keep spreading.
Genuine or not, original or not, this kind of talk has a narcotic effect. I reply by ardently initiating the baptism of my new sofa.
When the tempo becomes unmanageable he rises from the sofa, stands in front of me and holds eye contact as he finishes himself off, cups it.
Through the sliding glass door comes the cheap tinkle of my next door neighbor’s windchimes, melodic for the first time.
I detangle knots from the shower while admiring the juxtaposition of his summer tan, his freeweight hardened body, against my multicolored butterfly sheets.
A dirty sort of pride fills my little black heart.
I turn back into the bathroom, catch myself smirking in the mirror.
Every day at least twice and usually more people ask about the scar.
His flat, white, ear to ear, not aesthetically displeasing scar –
The sandwich artist, the valet parking attendant, the bartender, they all want to know what happened, how you can be walking around with a scar that says you really shouldn’t even be walking around.
It’s rowdy, that scar, impossible to disguise with a hat or bandana. It invites inquiry, almost begs for it.
Not my scar and not my story, yet one side effect of being his sometimes companion is that I am constantly irritated at humanity.
How casually we risk hurting others with our reflexive curiosity.
We are not boyfriend and girlfriend.
So kissing him goodbye or not is a constant dilemma. One generous morning I am leaning down and he stirs, pulls me back into bed.
Call in sick, he pleads, yanking the covers over us despite my work clothes.
I never call in sick.
Exactly! All the more reason.
Why not? We can stay in bed all day and I’ll make you scream like you were screaming last night.
That’s not going to happen. I can’t drink this early in the morning.
He smiles, half-annoyed and half-amused, and yawns. Oh, so it was the booze?
Pretty much. I’m going now.
Sucks to be you.
Thanks. Have a great day too.
At first I am impressed: he never deflects, never shrinks from the curiosity. He tells the scar story with verve, with flair, with all the hideous details. He never gets tired of the territory, never grows bored of the repetition.
But I do.
I think you actually like the attention.
Like the attention? I went through five fucking years of surgeries. I’ve earned the right to talk about it. I’m not embarrassed.
I’m not saying you should be embarrassed. I just would not enjoy telling the story twenty fucking times a day.
You know, I’ve met some amazing people because of my scar. It’s the best conversation starter ever.
I see that. But how about, just once, saying ‘I’d rather not talk about it’?
Because I do want to talk about it. It’s part of who I am.
I would just get tired of the story.
Well. That’s you then.
Yeah. That’s me.
Like most informal relationships, our affair ended quickly, irrationally and with bad feelings on either side.
And so it goes.
The scar from our parting is much smaller than the one he has to wear forever, and in all likelihood it will fade until neither one of us remembers ever having it.