Tag Archives: memories

Shaving

You held the razor with confidence.  Confidence borne from muscle memory; the constant grooming ritual you have engaged in since you stood on the doorstep of manhood.

I watched from my seat on the toilet lid, my hair wet from the shower and still wrapped in a towel because my attention was fixed on watching you shave.

My eyes followed the razor’s path across your cheek, from your neckline over the curve of your jaw – a curve my fingers and lips have traced a hundred times.  Your jawbone peeked out from behind the foamy white shaving cream and my fingers longed to touch.

You turned to look at me and I felt the heat of embarrassment engulf me.  A red shame from the fact I got momentarily lost in a memory and you caught me.

I was remembering my father going through the same motions.  Feeling a familiar warmth inside me – only this time absent girlish innocence.  Where in the past I felt the warm safety of my father’s presence, now my skin tingled with liquid honey; the sensual heat that signaled yearning for my lover.

It was both really.  Staring at the lines of your naked body, hearing the scratching of the razor over your neck, I was both sensual woman and little girl.  Lover and baby.  My independent nature disapproving of the way my heart craved the sexually charged security of a daddy figure.  My secret desire peeking out from behind ribbons and bows.

You smiled at me, maybe even asked me what I was staring at.  I don’t remember now.  I just remember looking away, hiding my eyes and all the emotions they contained.  I busied my hands, pulling my hair out of the towel and drying my hair while sneaking furtive glances at you.

I could not hide for long.  My fascination with watching you rake the razor over your face took control of me.  The sheer intimacy of being there with you, of watching you stand naked in front of the mirror and shave your face consumed me.

You did not see the moisture shining in my eyes.  You were focused on your chore, something you likely viewed as a mundane task of manhood.  But to me it was a moment as intimate as any we have shared between the sheets.  It was tender, cozy, arousing and poignant.  It was indelible.  Burned into my memory forever – cleaning up after one of our messy outdoor adventures and stealing a cherished moment with the man I love.

I often wonder how many of those moments we have left.   As the days tick away and the choices, events and opportunities pass us by, I wonder if they will continue.

I hope yet I doubt.  I feel protected in one moment and utterly exposed in another.  I am a proud woman – yet sometimes I feel as though I must beg.  I ask myself why I keep fighting.  What is the reason I stay when you lie – when I feel insignificant and overlooked? Am I just another wet pussy in your bed or is there something about ME that fills you with longing too?

Why do I keep playing the hand when all the cards on the table seem to say I should fold?

And then I think about cherished moments like these.  I think about the times when I could feel your words even when you would not say them.  I try to tell myself it is not all a figment of my imagination.  That somewhere inside of you is an echoing refrain of the feelings inside of me.  I try to hold fast to my faith but it can be a slippery fish sometimes, especially in the cold absence of reassurance.  But that is the true test of faith, isn’t it?

So I hold on to what I can.  I hold on tight to the cherished moments.  I seek big faith in small moments.  Like watching you shave.

 

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Good and Gone

Memories gently tugged down by gravity, like the last snowflakes that mark the end of storm.  Both grateful and wistful.  Both beloved and painful.  Never too far from the edges of my mind.  The voices of my past, and the memories of ghosts that reside there.

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Killingsworth

I drove south on the freeway today, my mind turning to you as I passed it.  The Killingsworth Exit.  The exit that once led me to your door.

There was a time when driving past that exit would require a white-knuckle grip on the steering wheel to keep the tears at bay.  Now, there is no extraordinary grip required.  There was a time when the wounds were fresh, still bleeding freely and refusing to heal. They are but scars now.  The faint lines across my soul where it was once torn. 

There was a time when the mere act of passing the exit would send me reeling backward in time; back to stolen moments spent with you – laughing, sharing music, doing that anticipatory little dance in the kitchen before our mouths invariably met, melded and yielded all the sensual fruits we craved. 

They were stolen moments.  As surely as if we had snatched them from the shelf of the local convenience mart and furtively shoved them in our pockets, those days and nights together were purloined goods.  They were moments that never should have been ours in the first place.  Maybe that is why they felt so thrilling, tasted so unbelievably sweet.  Maybe that is why there was such an empty hole left behind when they were gone. 

I think about you from time to time.  When I do, I feel no anger or bitterness swelling up inside me.  I no longer feel the stabbing pain in my gut as the thought pierces me over and over:  Why?

Now, when my thoughts turn to you they are simple.  Are you happy?  Do you spend your weekends with your daughter as you dreamed?  Do you thrive in your job and have you set roots down in your new home?  Have you decorated your home and what car did you replace the Pearl with? Do you grill flank steak and drink Iron Horse? Do you listen to Mule? Do you sleep well at night, knowing you are writing the chapter in your story you wanted?  And sometimes I even wonder, do you ever think of me?

I don’t have any answers.  That once drove me nearly mad – the lack of answers and the endless swirling questions.  But like a tornado in my heart, the winds have died down.  That funnel of wind, fueled by grief and silence, fed by the unknown and unattainable has faded.  I won’t say my soul is at peace.  That would be stretching the truth too far.  But I will say that storm within has passed. 

Now, when my thoughts turn to you as I drive past the Killingsworth sign, I raise my eyes momentarily to the clouds above and say a prayer that you are well.  I pray you are whole and thriving, that your world is everything you wanted it to be.  I wish you well and even if you don’t want it any longer, I feel the ties of friendship that for me, were never severed. 

And I keep on driving. 

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A Puppy Off Her Leash

The packed sand stretched out low and flat along the horizon.  Tire tracks made lazy zig zags up and down the beach where vehicles had driven from one end to the other.  The ocean, moist and vocal as a woman in the throes of something deeply erotic, welcomed me home once more.

I hid my giddy excitement from my camping partner.  Like a puppy looking out the window of her master’s truck, I knew I’d be sprung from my iron cage soon – that I’d be free to chase the seagulls and grip sand between my toes.  I didn’t want to seem childish to him, so I bit my lip to keep my smile in check and forced myself to stop bouncing in my seat.  The smile he threw me called my bluff.  He could see my ardor, even if he could not discern the source.

It had been over a year since I had set foot on the ocean’s edge.  The last time, a mournful journey to relinquish the pain and sorrow of my divorce, was a trip that led me to a doorstep with wild daffodils clutched in my hand and wild notions in my head.  Now, having come full circle from that flower-strewn path that ended with its own form of sorrow, here I was once more, on the cusp of something new.

Why is it that a precipice of earth and salt water always seems to mark the beginning and end of my life’s chapters?

None of this mattered on that overcast Friday afternoon.  What mattered was the joy of the moment that stretched before me.  An overnight camp on the beach with a friend and the virtual guarantee of a relaxed evening of laughter and fun.  An evening of disconnecting from the electronic world and forging a connection of an earthier nature.

We parked the truck and set about putting up the camp.  It was a simple affair, the most complex step being the digging of a fire pit.  Once the fire was roaring and we were parked in our chairs with the first round of cold beers in our fists, my inner puppy began to whine.

While I was relaxed with my camping partner, I was not completely at home in his presence.  The walls that recent experiences had built up around me left me guarded – constantly vigilant about the words I chose, the expressions on my face, and how much, if anything, of my true thoughts I revealed.  I secretly wondered if I would be able to stop myself from playing in the water; a tradition so much a part of trips to the beach that I instinctively packed extra pants to wear while the first set dried.  And when that puppy whine began to build inside me, I stuffed it down with beer and reminded myself that 41 year old women did not frolic in the surf like careless canines.  Well okay, most 41 year old women don’t do that.

Or do they?

After a campfire dinner, a hazy sunset, a few more beers, and the addition of some whiskey that my fellow camper surprised me with, the puppy broke its leash.

I was staggering back over a sand dune, having successfully navigated peeing in the outdoors without hitting my feet or my pants, when I glanced up to get my bearings.  I was standing on the rise of sand dune that ran the length of the beach.  From my vantage point I could see the campfire, the dark outline of the truck, and the moonlight breaking through the cloud cover and shining on the water.  With a shrug I knew the battle was lost and I called out to my bewildered camping buddy as I hurried past the truck, “Back in a flash!”

The cold ocean water met me as I nearly ran into the surf.  As always, the waves of water at my feet called forth the waves of emotions locked deep inside me.  The chill of the salt water and sand brushing my legs was as welcome and familiar as my mother’s embrace.  I felt the tears before I could stop them and I whispered my usual greeting as the waves licked across me.  In that moment, the world fell away – the man with the truck who was waiting for me, the men who sought to claim me, the family and obligations that waited at home, the expectations and memories, the ghosts and the past that followed my every step vanished, washed clean by the Pacific.

As the water washed away the clutter of my life, what I wanted – what I needed – became abundantly clear.  This puppy needed to be unleashed.

I am not a woman who can be tethered.  I wear no collar and serve no master other than myself.  I am free to pursue what I want, how I want and I do not answer to anyone when it comes to what makes me happy.  I need no justifications.  I need no permission slips.  I am free and intend to remain that way.

I splashed a moment longer, thanking the sea for the magic of healing and cleansing this ritual always gave me.  I stopped for a moment, turning my head toward the orange glow of the campfire, contemplating the dark silhouette of  the truck whose cab housed my bedroom for the night.  I thought of him and smiled, blew one last kiss to my Mother, and headed up the beach to the warmth of the fire waiting to embrace me.

The water had washed away my reservations.  It had washed away my fear.  For one shimmering moment on a Friday night in May, the walls themselves had been swept away.  The puppy was free from her leash and running in the surf.

 

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Do You Remember?

It wasn’t that long ago you held me in your arms.  Do you remember the feel of my skin beneath your fingers? Do you recall the sound of my voice as you made my pleasure soar to the breaking point and beyond?  Do you remember that little, sultry laugh?

As the days flow to weeks and the weeks become months, the memories of you are fading beneath the stroke of new hands.  I do not often pause to reflect or wonder now, as I did in the early days.  Now I simply accept the void; the empty space you left behind.  But there are moments in the quiet dawn when I wonder if you remember? I wonder if you ever miss that space we filled together.  Is there anything at all about us that you miss? Do you have moments of your own in the quiet dawn or darkened hours of the night?

Do you remember?

 

 

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Insomniac’s Lament

The fog is gathering outside the bedroom window of my apartment.  A nearby traffic light splashes colors in sequence on my bedroom wall, red, green, yellow, red.  I should be sleeping but the oblivion of sleep is not mine to be had on this cold night.  I am being kept awake by the clanging of memories in my head.

Moments from a not-too-distant past come back to me, tiny snippets return home to nest in my mind.  The sound of your laugh. The feel of your long fingers as they touched my face.  I still sigh when I think of your touch.  The only person I have ever known who could make me feel fragile and beautiful, utterly revered, with simply a touch.

I find myself searching to recreate some of those moments.  A good meal, even better conversation and the story of my life spinning on the CD player.  Laughter and companionship.  Open wounds examined and analyzed,  carefully tended to and healed.  Freedom and expression.  Romance and redemption.  Rebirth.

I search in vain.

It is easy to go back in my mind, and paint over the painful parts.  To cover the awkward moments, ignore the signs and signals that you flashed along the way.  You left a bread-crumb trail for me to follow – and in my haste to reach you, in my rush to be by your side, I missed them all.

I see them now, thanks to the benefit of my old friend: 20/20 hindsight.  I hear the messages you carefully wove in your words; the cautions, the warnings that this was indeed a temporary state of bliss.  My foolish optimism knew no bounds and I hoped, I believed.  All the while, the realist in me knew that with each step, as it grew into something far beyond its humble beginnings, that it would not – it could not – last.

But when I close my eyes and rest my head on my pillow at night I can feel your hands on my face.  While it is the memory of your touch that haunts me, it is the friendship I miss the most.

You tried to tell me.  I just didn’t want to hear it.  There is no way this could have been a lasting thing.  Rebounds are like snowflakes – fragile, unique and never meant to stand the test of time.

 

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