When I go into stores with a drink or if I pick up breakables/valuables or ride on the cart, I still fully expect people to reprimand me or give me dirty looks. But that doesn’t happen anymore because I live in an adult body now. My inner child screams with delight.
Aidan was still in Ottawa and I had planned to go surprise him at his university dorm when he got back, but when I got there he was having sex with Dahlia. He was really drunk and was trying to explain how she had been in a relationship since she was thirteen and it was open so there was no jealousy, but I couldn’t listen. I was so hurt. I went out on a run without shoes or a bra. Running was easy. I had a lot of energy ad my muscles didn’t tire. I ran past two middle aged women with very thin and fit bodies who were taking a break from jogging to smoke. They commented on my lack of attire and I gave them the middle finger. One of them yelled “you kids these day have no respect!” And the other one commented on how I was a fully grown woman. I yelled back “how old do you think I am?” And she screamed “28!”
I said “that’s almost a decade too much!”
We went out to dinner at a restaurant where everything was bite sized portions and you sat on the black floor on white cushions.
When you talked, your voice reverberated, but only the person you were talking to could hear it.
We stayed up talking all night in the restaurant. When the sun rose he invited me back to his house. We were in San Francisco at the market and I was familiar with where we were and was showing him the best vendors to buy produce from (even though we were going back to his house, he was not from here and had a bus ticket back ‘home’ for the afternoon and wanted snacks for the trip). We were talking about making natural dye out of beets for pink, but then couldn’t decide between turmeric for yellow or a green from parsley.
We are at his house and there is a large mural painted on one wall, and skylights. There’s four dogs in the mural. I find myself standing away from him. It feels like there is great distance, though it is only a few feet.
One thing leads somehow to another and I find myself stroking his skin, pleased and content with what I’m doing, but surprised by it also. He doesn’t object, also surprising.
He lifts me up with ease and holds me a moment before carrying me over to a counter and setting me down on it.
We kiss. It is slow, warm, friendly. We’re curious for each other, hesitant of what were doing.
It feels good.
Next I remember we are entwined together in a pile of pillows and blankets. His face was very soft and he stayed with me right up until the last minute when he had to catch his bus. Kissing, holding each other.
We weren’t supposed to, but we needed to.
Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could
if you found a piece of paper and the only thing written on it was ‘Basil leaves’ you wouldn’t be able to tell if it was a shopping list or a tiny story