In life there is both fact and fiction As a writer my job is to live life, experience it, and then manufacture stories that are palatable for my readers. If I don’t have an actual experience about something I conjure it up like a well rehearsed sorcerer. So when my close friends posed the question as to whether my relationship was fantasy or reality I answered it as honestly as I could: Reality.
But is it? I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking. I think about things, I think about people, and I think about fantasies. I dwell on ideas until they’re curdled in my mind. I tend to second-guess my instincts, and alas, I have learned recently that I often shoot myself in the proverbial foot.
Artem was the first to challenge my caution when he said, the now infamous question, “do you really give up so easily?” Yes. Precisely at the worst of times. Christ! I don’t even wait for the bell to sound the end of the round. I mean, I don’t have any problem pursuing whatever it is that I want. But Jesus, just when it’s right in my god-damned hand I throw a wrench into the whole gear assembly bringing my machination to an abrupt and screaming halt!
But not yesterday. Or last night. Or this morning. Working off a prompt from Scott, an old and trusted friend in the states, I decided to venture out into Paris and experience it first hand. But you see, it wasn’t Paris that I ventured into. No, Paris came to me.
Last evening I invited an extraordinarily handsome man with an enchanting smile and deep blue eyes set amidst a boars hair beard to dine with me in my chic hotel in the 8th arondissment of Paris. This striking young buck cleared an already scheduled dinner to dine with me. I was still unable to understand why men, and especially younger men found me so attractive, I was wholly unable to own my own attractiveness.
And so we dined, he and I, languidly, closing down the restaurant, reminiscent of that scene in Pretty Woman where Richard Gere was quietly playing the grand piano in an otherwise closed restaurant when Julia Roberts walks in. I love that movie! I think I love it so much because they too, found love in the most unlikely of places. But here we were, he and I, surrounded by waitstaff preening the tables for tomorrows morning rush while we talked. And talked. And talked some more. And like Guiseppe to Pinnochio I promised my guest that there were no strings attached. That both he and I could be normal boys. That I had boyfriend moored in South Africa that was a rich and gorgeous male model, and I was simply awaiting his arrival in Paris before we jetted off to Salzburg or Santorini or Milan to shop, then headed back east to Chicago where we’d select a second residence yada, yada, yada . . .
But were we? Really? I mean really? Or was this whole “relationship” just one more catastrophic illusion fueled by my hope and ignorance? To quote the American adage, Isn’t one bird in the hand better than two in the bush? I was so conflicted I ached. I had to use the restroom as did he so I suggested that we return to my room to evacuate our bladders and that nothing would happen to compromise our integrity.
But to quote Steinbeck, “the best laid plans of mice and men oft goes astray.”
And soon it was morning.
But before you begin to question any motive, implied or otherwise, we conducted ourselves in the most gentlemanly of manners. Things did happen of course. Magical things. I grew into myself. For the first time in decades I finally owned, wholly, unfettered my attractiveness. I saw it in his eyes. I felt it on his lips. My hands touched. My hands caressed. And once, before drifting to sleep he placed my hand on his hardness and it felt so magically natural, it was as if it had been made precisely to fit into my hand.
Upon waking there were his blue eyes and his smile. His naked chest and wave after wave of chest hair which lead to the tiniest trickle of dark brown hair which trailed to his navel; legs which peaked out from beneath the summer’s comforter; feet which tickled my feet; hands which held my hands; lips were as soft as the velveteen found on rose petals.
So now what?
To quote my new friend when I asked why he kissed me: “I think you think too much.”