(dedicated to Eric, enjoy recognizing your actual quotes… and the other bits, too)
We are at the beginning of this intellectual romance when the pages matter, not the cover. I hover near the computer and log in and out. Unaware or unsure of what I am looking for, here, in the oddest of places. You aren’t online so I turn the computer off and climb back into bed. Picking up the first book in my “to be read” pile I try to focus on the words but my mind is racing. I close my eyes and with them the distance between us.
We are lounging on opposite ends of the bed, legs meeting entwined between us. Your hand is absentmindedly playing with your hair as you turn the pages of your book and I steal glances at you over the pages of my own. You bite your lip as if in thought and then look up suddenly, catching me in admiration, grinning. Startled, a laugh escapes me and I drop The Blind Assassin losing my place somewhere in the sheets.
“Enjoying the book?” You ask mockingly as I blush.
“Actually,” I begin explaining, “I was just going to say how much I love reading about the rewriting of history and how Atwood uses inexhaustible versions of truth to–” I stop because you are cocking your head at me mischievously as I ramble.
I pause and then finish lamely “…because there is no truth, only our perceptions of it… does that make sense?”
“It would make sense, if it were true.” You laugh, “History isn’t relative, though. The true history of an event isn’t. There’s the truth, and then there’s what everyone saw.”
I can feel my blood get hot under my skin, rushing to my face. I love a good debate and you are just begging for it. I take my time answering as you study my face, gathering my hair in a loose pony tail with my hand and then letting it fall back over my bare shoulders. I can see you getting a little distracted so I decide to take my unorganized thoughts and fling them at you. I don’t need a strong opinion to argue, I think.
“I disagree. Nothing exists without the meaning we give it. What you think of as “truth” doesn’t exist on its own outside of what you perceive it to be.” I laugh when you recline, hands behind your head, eyebrow raised.
I continue, “Think of it this way, throughout time we have established what we have thought of as ‘unshakeable truths’ and then down the road, we have ‘discovered’,” I throw in hand-singled quotation marks just for fun and continue, “that these supposedly infallible truths were somehow mistaken and were really just a stop on the way to finding a newer, more real, ‘truth’.”
You frown and I think I’ve won but you stretch languorously and smile at me from below your brow.
“If all experience needn’t rely on truth there would be no reason for physics. I’m telling you that if everyone on Earth died this instant the world would keep turning. We’re not that important.”
Some of us are important, I think to myself and run my foot up your bare leg. You grab it, bend down and softly kiss my painted toe. You are still leaving little kisses up my leg when I decide I can’t let it go.
“Well, I’m saying that the world… is what we make it and what you call ‘the world’ wouldn’t exist if you weren’t there to construct it. The idea of ‘the world’ is in your head and if we aren’t here to construct that idea, if we all die… well, the world won’t keep turning because it wont be ‘the world’ anymore.” I grin and mentally calculate a point for myself.
“Ok.” You say grabbing both my legs and pulling me underneath you in one smooth movement. We are face to face. My heart pounds and I wonder if you can hear it. You must be able to feel it. I want to say something but I am hypnotized by your eyes.
“Ok,” you say again and I swallow, “I don’t have a solid grasp on quantum mechanics. This has no effect on my life. Yet, my life is still under the demands of those laws.”
You trap my arms over my head with one hand as the other finds the edge of my white cotton tank top. “Lets say, a man takes acid and thinks he can fly, so he jumps out a window,” You are paralyzing me with your eyes and I can’t help but gasp when your hand finds the soft skin of my belly and moves slowly up my side. “It is his perception that he is flying.” Your hand meets the swell of my breast and lingers there. I hold my breath. “And right up until his brain spills out onto the pavement, he believes he is.” Your finger traces the outline of my nipple and I bite my lip, hard. You abandon my arms and taking the edge of my shirt in your hands you pull it over my head. I shiver, and then your lips are tracing words on my stomach. I am watching you, my heart in my throat, when you look up at me, chin resting in my navel, “But he wasn’t flying, Lindsay, he was falling,” you finish triumphantly. My thoughts are gone, blurred beyond recognition, floating out the window and into the brilliant afternoon sky. I want to argue, more. I want to hold you down and make you see my side, woo you with intellect. But, instead I am reaching for you. Finding your lips, at last. Wrapping my legs around your waist and holding on tight. So tight.
Maybe he really was flying, I think as I close my eyes and let go, giving in to the mechanics of my body. The urges that won’t be denied. I am bubbling up from within, you have me on slow boil. The conversation is abandoned completely as we peel the clothes off of eachother slowly, each discovery better than the last. We are all hands and lips and skin, parting and then finding each other again and I can’t help it, I can’t deny it, I can’t understand how it happened; that all this time when I thought I was learning to fly, I was really just falling. Falling for you.