Hands

God, I had forgotten about hands, his hands.

They were ungodly perfect in the way they touched, kneaded, teased, heat moving wherever they moved.
In one touch, I found myself not caring about anything else but that they didn’t stop, and I don’t beg.

These hands made me beg.

I was not in control of them, but somehow they commanded me, a deep pleasing vibration came from them, and I loved them, salivated for them, my mind never leaving them, watching them, asking them not to stop, to never go away.

They were sweet, impossibly sweet, in their attention, a mindful impossible tender attention to detail, to me.

How could hands be so sweet?

The forgetting was as unbelievable as the touch themselves, and so my mind churned as they touched,
pressed in the wanting and asking of me.

How could hands be this way? I wondered what they wanted from me.
I thought of other hands, the way they moved with simple suggestion.

I thought of awkward hands, the way I moved them for them, just in case they did not know.

I thought of my father’s hands on my mother’s neck.
This thought made me begin to sweat. She trusted those hands too.

What if I were like her, trusting hands that seemed made for her?

My heart pounded now, and I felt sick, wondered if I just weren’t ready for hands, not sweet ones, because what if hands that felt this good were the ones you don’t trust?

Hmm. This made sense.

I thought of asking him to stop, but how? What do you say? He wouldn’t understand.

The hands were moving sweetly and elegantly, to music and candles, but now what felt wonderful started to
claw, scratch, burn.

Maybe I just needed some water, or a pill, an anxiety pill, of course.
No. Maybe, well, no.
No, these hands were wonderful and kind. No. NO. I was fine. These hands were fine.
Or were they?

How would I know? My heart now started beating rapidly, but not in the good way,
the pain and burn of them circled with the churn of my thoughts, racing, racing, running away, or at least trying.

Where could I run? I was trapped with these hands, hands so beautiful they made me want to cry.

“You okay?” It came from a sweet voice, its question made me feel like a complete fool.

The room got dark, because I turned off the light.

The hands paused and I wanted to rock and scream and yell to stop, that they hurt, that I was burning,
that they hurt. But, this couldn’t be true. They were sweet hands. Nice hands.
“I’m okay,” I lied.
I don’t know how to love hands yet.
I don’t know how to trust them.
These are the words I wished I said, but what would have happened?
What if the hands went away?
They most certainly would go away, wouldn’t they?
This made me certain. I had to have done the right thing.

And so I lie. I lie and I lie and I lie…..

Margaret

When it comes to matters of the heart, I used to believe the highest form of love involved passion, the inability to think, breathe, or move when the one you loved was near or far. Romance is definitely a beautiful thing, even for me, a cynic with a lot of dark humor and dry wit. I think most fairy tales are toxic codependent relationships. Lola loves The Little Mermaid for her red hair, and yet something makes me cringe every time Ariel gives her voice box to the sea witch to capture Prince Eric‘s heart. I realize its not that I don’t want my girls to believe love isn’t out there, I just want them to have the real thing, something so much better.
I want them to keep their voices in the process.
I have learned a lot about myself in finding my dearest friend Clyde. We are going on a bear hunt (that is code for adventure between the girls and I) to pick up 5,000 bees on Saturday. Yes, he has decided to become a beekeeper, and has a bee suit and everything, even though he lives in total suburban land. He loves bees. I know all kinds of facts about them now, bits of information I find surprisingly fascinating.
Did you know the Queen bee gets one week to go out and mate with as many bees she wants? She gets to be as selective as she wants, collecting their semen to bring back to the colony. Did you know when she gets fat and pregnant, the other bees have ways they make her exercise? Who knew?
It makes me laugh till I hurt imagining him in his back yard dressed in full suit retrieving honey as his neighbor, a famous drag queen in Atlanta, looks through the window. I think about how we have evolved, how blessed I am, how dear he has become to my heart. When M first waved her blind date wand at me, I wanted to run for cover. Actually, I wanted to break her damn wand and lay it at her feet, my arms crossed, pouting in protest.
I had been tending to my wounds, recovering, and she was telling me to take off the bandages, believe her that no man was as good as Clyde, to suck it up, get back on the field.
So I went out with him and as always, the battle was within myself, with this notion that romance and sex would somehow make my life great, complete, whole. The conversation was fabulous, the phone calls endless, the energy between us felt real, healthy, and being around him felt better than good. I would not use the word romantic to describe it. More like delight.
There was just one small problem.
Her name is Margaret. I would change it for the purpose of this blog but I just can’t. The name itself describes her in my mind, and she is everything Clyde has ever dreamed of, and she was the center of our first talk, him letting me know he was having a hard time letting go of his ex.
That was the understatement of the year.
I disliked and feared her at first. She was a ghost, someone I would never live up to, and no matter what I did or would become to Clyde, she would always be first. I was cautious, a little in denial at first, thinking he might just be stuck. He would come around. I felt my heart strings pulled and in reaction, I wanted a magic wand to make her disappear so that I could run into forever after land with the man I love to make laugh, the man I could spend every second of my day talking to.
Where is my fairy godmother?
It was hard at first listening to him speak of her, his relentless agony over how he let the best thing that ever happened to him slip away. He went over and over the details in his mind over what he had done to lose her, how he struggled to move forward. She always reminded me that my dreams were silly, that I wasn’t good enough.
And despite bringing up all my insecurities, she has began to grow on me, and I knew she had to be special and beautiful for Clyde to love her so, and I took her side in many of her issues with him, my jealousy easing over time.
I saw a book that had changed my life spiritually, excited he had the same one, picking it up just to see her handwriting on the first page, an obvious gift sent from her. It was the first time she spoke to me, her energy burning through my hands, staring right into my heart, asking me what I was doing and if I belonged. I clearly did not.
I went home in despair, and knew I had to face myself or I would lose him, and I was exposed for wanting what did not belong to me, and it hurt. And yet, it was the first time I saw something real in me for a long time. I saw that I didn’t really even want the passionate tearing off of clothes, tearful goodbyes, the romantic ending. I wanted Clyde. He was enough. I want to be someone’s Margaret. I want to be living the dream, not chasing it, asking it to change its mind.
This realization was transforming for me. I see now that in loving myself enough to ask for what I deserve, I got the best gift of love in return. I got a best friend. The magic is not always in our expectations. Its in our courage to face our fears, and this is the truth about my happy ending. Never lose your voice. Its all you got to bring you home.
As for Margaret, I don’t know if she can imagine how loved she is. I watch Clyde struggle still, talking about it just today, and I heard him say he had lost all hope. And yet, I can’t let him. His desire to move forward, to work on himself, to accept defeat has made him the hopeless romantic, completely heartbroken Prince women dream of.
I have to hope that one day she will return to him.
It goes completely against my nature to pull for her, the cynic in me never seeing these stories end well. I believe false hope is a terrible waste of energy, that lessons are in the hardest places, that Clyde and Margaret are exactly where they should be.
It is a silly ridiculous notion indeed to dream. It could possibly break you wide open, hurt you, humiliate you, send you spinning into a darkness so great you may never recover.
Or it just might find Margaret.

The One Who Got Away

 

I was waiting tables six years ago when he wandered into my section with a mutual friend, and I believe he ordered a couple of draft beers, something dark, and later, a cup of coffee, black.

He was very quiet, with a plaid shirt, tats, a hat he took on and off his head nervously. I noticed that he stared at me a lot.

Even more, I noticed how much I liked him staring at me and it made me flush deep shades of red, my hands shaking every time I filled his coffee.

He stared right through me, like he could touch me with his mind.

I didn’t know you could feel naked completely clothed, not like that.

He was there a few hours and I don’t think I noticed one other person in the smoky bar but him. Our mutual friend chit chatted about this and that, my stomach turning as I talked, feeling him stare straight through me.

And then, out of nowhere, as I talked fast and nervously, he interrupted,

YOU’RE MARRIED?” He asked it like he had just found out someone shot his favorite puppy.

I blushed. “Yep!” I shoved my ring out in front of the table, shaking, wanting to cry, not really understanding why.

He laid his head down in quite a dramatic way, and I felt this horrible rush of guilt as I wondered for the first time as a married woman what it would be like to be completely free, having not made any vows, any commitments to a mortgage, a child, and a husband. My husband and I had long began the process of leaving one another when this gorgeous stranger appeared from nowhere, reminding me what it was like to feel again.

Our mutual friend kept telling him it was time to go, and it was. We were smiling way too much, connecting in a way that felt uncomfortable, and we both knew it wasn’t right. When he got up to leave, he put his arm around me in a friendly way, and leaned over and smelled my hair.

Mmmmm. God, your hair smells nice.” And just like that, he walked out the front door.

I relived that moment in my mind over and over for years, after having another baby, a separation that ended terribly, and finally, a divorce. I wondered about him a lot, but knew all hope had been lost, feeling for sure he was married himself, and that moment had been built up in my mind, completely forgotten by him.

And then he found me. He lived hours away but he still found me by searching my name through Myspace, and had just gone through divorce himself, and on top of everything, he was convinced that I was the only woman for him. It was a fairytale, and I was finally Cinderella. We fell in love over texts, hours of phone calls, and a trip promised, planned, just like our future together.

I waited for him in the rain, freezing, as he jumped off the train to see me. I felt like my life had just jumped off the pages of a romance novel, and everything I experienced with this man was so magical, so breathtaking. It was like I finally realized what I had been missing.

Until our last day together. He was distant, nervous, anxious to get home. I didn’t know what had happened or why but something had completely switched, and I knew by his eyes that something was so wrong.

I can’t do this, I’m sorry. I can’t.” He could barely look at me.

I started to sob, and he just left. He left me there without even turning to say goodbye. Just like the first time he walked out of my life, but this time, his steps haunted me.

It was brutal for me and I could hardly get out of bed for the next three months, my grief so heavy and my heart completely broken. Every day was a challenge, and I didn’t know it could hurt that bad to just be alive. Its a testament to the human spirit that just when I thought I couldn’t go on, I did. And slowly but surely, things healed and my laughter returned. Days turned to weeks into months and now more than two years later, having nothing but that biting moment of being left by a man I loved with everything I had, I get this text from work.

U were never meant to be mine but I love you. It has always bothered me that you weren’t sure about that. I’m moving even farther away- I wont be back.¬† I just pray you know how much hugging you would mean to me- how smelling your hair would make me feel eternal- how watching you eat would make me feel alive. I have lived on the memory of seeing you two Springs ago. Your an amazing woman. I will pray to cross your path once more. Be blessed.

Two years later and I can finally receive the closure I have always wanted. I can’t be angry anymore or sad that the fairytale he promised didn’t exist.

I can finally stop blaming myself for somehow not being enough, and I cried tears of relief that I had not been crazy, that he did love me indeed.

I can finally breathe gratitude for a boy who stopped me dead in my tracks. Its like a ghost from my past has stopped by to remind me how deeply I am capable of loving, how much I have to give.

He will always be the boy who stopped to smell my hair.

He will always be the one who got away………………..