I wake up with arms around me. He is everywhere; legs entwined long limbs reaching diagonally across the bed. I trace the path his hair takes from chest to navel and get lost in the journey. We are soaking each other in. Finally, after all this time, I haven’t disappeared with the light of day. The pleasure in his lingering kisses are no longer mixed with equal parts guilt. I can enjoy him now without hating myself for it.
We wake and fall back asleep all morning and explore this playground in between. His every touch sends shivers through me. I can feel him trace the outline of my ear when he thinks I’m sleeping. I wish I could tell you that he fell short of my expectations. I wish I could say that, in the end, it was all in my head. But our chemistry is palpable. It crackles in the air; across the room like tiny sparks in the fire.
I once got lost in suburban Arizona in the heat of summer while searching for a library. I remember wandering for hours dizzy with heatstroke. Staring longingly at a sole car as it drove by and wondering why I didn’t stop it to ask for directions. Finally, I knocked on a random door and a middle-aged man answered. He immediately invited me in and gave me glass after glass of water until my mind cleared enough to find the newest of my father’s many address changes in the phone book. I never made it to the library that day. He drove me home and I remember children’s toys on the dashboard and the sticky vinyl interior burning from the desert sun. I have never been so overwhelmingly grateful for the kindness of strangers.
I have been lost in that suburban desert for years. Growing more dizzy and more weak with each passing day. Searching blank eyes for the right direction; the way home. You are probably thinking that The Crush is the man that saved me in this scenario… he isn’t. He is that very first glass of water; the relief of the cold liquid as it re-hydrated me from lips to fingertips. He is clearing my head. The muddiness of my past relationship and the path it had put me on is being questioned and rejected with every butterfly he lets loose in my stomach; with every kiss that isn’t just a kiss, but a message received in every corner of my body; with the electricity that vibrates in the air around our heads as we catch eyes in a crowded bar. He isn’t the be all and end all of men for me. But, he is the promise of more. The realization that I need more; the first cold glass of water that begins to quench my thirst and the first stop on the way home.