The setting is a high end restaurant, the kind of place that lawyers take rich clients (but bill them later for the service!) We seem to always end up at this particular location late in the afternoon because we just work through the lunch cycle..(interior design and construction right?!?)
“So are you gonna show me? Or just talk about it?”(she is looking at her glass but her eyes are staring about a 1000 miles away,) Her phone rings, on the 4thring she picks it up and a string Portuguese is pouring out of her mouth, her eyes narrow , and her breathing slows and deepens, the set of her face is changing and so is the tone of the words coming out of her mouth, strong, strident and firm..it is at that moment that I notice a freckle on the left side of her face, we have worked together for 5 years and I never noticed this freckle, it is slightly darker than the rest of the skin on her face, and when I look closer I see more freckles, funny I never noticed them before but today I see them, I can see there is a relationship as they are scattered across her cheeks and at the perimeter of her cheek bones then fade into the surrounding skin, they look to me like sun-kissed days, and a joyful childhood spent in the slums of a nameless Brazilian city..
It strikes me then and there when I realize that I like the freckles, even though to some they are a defect, not to me though..she is on her phone yelling in a language that I can neither understand nor even understand her culture, we are sitting in this fine restaurant, a place we conduct much work at, but today we are drinking martinis, and today I asked for my martini to be strong and dirty (and I always crack the same joke: I want my martini like my women “Strong and Dirty”)…and it was, and so was the second one..which is sitting half drunk on the table next her martini which happens to be her second one also but she has only sipped the second one.
While she is still talking , my mind is detached from the clinical observation that her freckles should not be aesthetic to me but they are, and at that moment I realize I am in love…over conversations of kids, clients, dreams, and even tattoos.’ I am staring into the abyss of her dark brown eyes while she works the phone like a boss..I am entranced and would be happy to watch her do her thing…
<snap back> the phone clicks on the table…I smirk and say the usual “Beige” which is a slang word in Porto- and it means “kisses” and I have throw it out to all the Brazilian contractors I worked with, it was 3 years and 9 months after she was working before she taught me that “beige”ment kisses..it is an inside joke now…here I have been telling all these construction workers “Kisses!” when I thought I was saying “Ciaow!”
“When did you do this?” I asked her, (I’m talking about tattoos but I’m actually thinking about my heart.)
“Will you show me?” she smiles and grins “yes” a mischievious look upon her face, she starts pulling up her shirt and just under her left breast is a tattoo of an anchor, with a cross and heart worked into the ironwork and the rope is not fouled but is tailing off upwards and dissolving into a flock of birds.. the symbolism is striking and I say so to her. “Can I touch it?” she nods, and I see her adam’s apple bob and she swallows and as I slide around the booth to her side she takes a sip of her martini and as I slide into her side of the booth she pivots to the right so that her left flank is exposed to me and she lifts her shirt and arches her left shoulder up and back to expose the tattoo, I reach out with my right hand flat but just my index and middle finger touch her skin right at the bottom of the anchor and begin spreading upwards,, She shivers and her face dips forward and down when I touch her, her eyes are almost closed, but my focus is on her skin, my thumb is now anchoring my hand as a surge of electricity moves through my own body, my fingers are moving so gently and softly around and touching each individual bird and I look to her face…which now her eyes are mostly closed and her lower lip is pinched between her pearly teeth I can hear the gentle noise of her inhaling in through her lips
…I lean in, close…
”does it still hurt? Is it tender? “ she doesn’t answer she just nods and shakes her head, the motion is a yes and no…I think the tattoo hurt, but it was the process of getting the tattoo not the actual needle. I think the pain from the needle was actually cleansing to her…why is this? Because her mark was for her a cry, a battle cry to herself, of who she is, and what she is about..
<Blink> My fingers and palm can reach across the entire length of the completed artwork. And I press my entire palm into her flank, a caress but also a pressing motion. I can feel the subtle rise and bulge of the flesh that is just before her bra, I am safe doing this because her breasts are small and might best be described as the “Idea of a breast” than an actual breast. My emotions as my hand rests just below her heart, are electric, my own pulse has slowed to a crawl and time seems to distort, and yet I can feel a fire in my palm that seems to shoot straight into her chest..and rolls up and down her spine. It is delicious….I pull my hand back, and do my best to pull a smooth deep breath but my tummy is quivering.
“thank you…for sharing this…I am honored..” I manage to croak out of my tight and dry throat…for fucks sake I’m an adult so why does this feel like highschool?
I slip back over to my side of the booth, and we talk about some other things but gravity has shifted, the world is about 15 degrees off kilter…we finish our meal, and we stand to leave, I have always helped her with coat, and in fact I usually will lift and pull her hair up and over the collar of her coat but today…as I help her with her coat she leans back as I gently lift her hair and my fingers caress her neck and smooth her hair over her coat..I can smell her scent….today she lingered as we did this completely casual but so intensely intimate act…putting on a coat..I never would have considered putting on a coat to me an act of intimacy but it was this time…
As we walk to the valet to pick up the car, we don’t talk, but its not strained, it is just easy…comfortable…in a way that two soldiers in a foxhole have nothing to hide, they can shit 2 feet away from each other, and in this moment we have nothing to say, we are transparent, flawed, unbreakable, scarred for life, but hungry for more…we are bonded but not really, stepping into the car, the valet opens my door but not hers (fucker wants his tip, right?) but I ignore him and walk around to her side, she lets me open her door, and I feel like a Lion stalking around his rocky perch as I cross to my side of the car…at this moment, I am proud, aggressive, dominant, and supremely confident in my masculinity and prowess…How can this woman in an instant make me feel like a million fucking dollars?
As we ride back to the office it is pretty quiet, we are both in our thought worlds..its not awkward, but we both know how close to the edge we are…but as for me, I am feeling more alive than I have in years…I am intoxicated, not scared but curious…my entire life has been about doing the right thing..I am not worried about this… I want this so bad…but I have wanted so many things for so long..that not getting something I want feels normal so even if this is just another head fuck…so what..the feelings right now, right here are enough for me…