Sometimes the Universe conspires to really make a point that I should take stock of what I have and where I am.
It was just last Saturday afternoon, a post-coital kind of morning for us. I was stretching lazily on the bed when my lover was loudly reminded by his Bengal cat, Kilter, that feeding time was long overdue.
(Kilter and I have a push-pull relationship vying for my lover’s attention; that morning, I had definitely won.
Well, I cheat–what can I say?)
As he arose to tend to the needs of the mightily indignant feline, I sprawled in bed for a few moments more, exulting in that lingering afterglow of total bliss.
Meanwhile, Kilter sat on the couch and glared at me, his blue-green eyes narrow and judgmental.
I smiled back.
We both mutely acknowledged that I had resorted to devious and under-handed tactics, as well as perhaps over-handed and on-top tactics, for several hours at least. From the kitchen my lover opened the refrigerator, and that broke the stare-down as Kilter nimbly leaped down to assist him.
Laughing quietly, I finally got up as well, with a stretch and a yawn. I wandered over to the infamous bank of floor to ceiling windows, sitting on the concrete ledge that jutted out at shin level. It was a grey afternoon, yet there were still many people hurrying to and fro down J Street, carrying packages and coffee cups and shivering in their bundled up clothes, while I lounged naked and content, watching them flee to warmer climes.
Across the street a fancy white car caught my eye as the driver struggled to parallel park, first reversing into the curb too sharply, then over-shooting the front parking stripe. A big burly man emerged, swearing I imagined, circling his car as if it were a prize race horse, inspecting the rear tires especially where he had bumped the sidewalk.
Curious, I leaned towards the glass from my perch high above, avidly observing the drama unfolding below.
Despite the weather he was not wearing a jacket, only a short-sleeved collared shirt with an unfortunate thin pink stripe that did not flatter his florid complexion. His shoulders were tight with insecurity, creating too much waggle in his swagger, while his bull neck continued to redden above his collar. As he stepped to the passenger side to (carefully) open the door, I recognized his face–
I recognized his face!
Months and months and months ago, this man had contacted me via my (now defunct) online dating profile. His first few messages had been very courteous, but those that followed had quickly devolved into a bullying sort of pattern. Before we had even met, he was quick to point out that I had taken overlong to reply to his texts, that I had said I was meeting X for drinks at Y, but my Facebook status indicated I had gone somewhere else, etc.
I should have never met him, even for drinks, but what can I say. It had been a long dry spell, and I am the type of person who usually believes that things are my fault, at least initially.
We met twice, once for coffee, once for dinner. That uneasy acidic build-up in my stomach told me that this was no good, that I did not need any man telling me what to do, where to go, or what to wear. The very idea of the kind of confrontation necessary to sever all ties gave me a headache.
However, he must have sensed my hesitation, because after that wretched dinner where he listed which friends I could keep and which ones must go, based on his research of their Facebook profiles, he never spoke to me again. No texts, no phone calls, no more strange midnight messages on my social media account.
As bizarre as his behavior was, I felt reprieved. I deleted and blocked every known connection to him and counted myself lucky to have escaped so easily.
Now there he was, down below, helping a frizzy-haired woman out of his beloved sports car with its custom vanity plates. She grasped the upper edge of the window frame, leaning on it for leverage to extricate herself from its low seat; he leaned forward, bare inches from her face, her hair blowing back onto his brow, and I could imagine the conversation they were having.
Don’t. Ever. Touch. The. Car.
With a shiver I drew back from the window. Kilter rubbed against my knee, ready to be friends again now that his belly was full. I sidled up to my lover and wrapped my arms around him from behind, deeply grateful for the gift of his affection, his kindness, and his presence in my life at this moment.
“Ready for a shower?” he asked, turning around in the circle of my arms and teasing my nipples.
“A hot shower,” I replied, grinning, running my hands over his chest.
“That’s right; it’s only a hot shower if you’re in it,” he replied, smiling back at me.
“You got it!” I crowed, completing our private joke.
Together we adjourned to the bathroom, never quite able to take our hands off each other, while Kilter resumed his station on the couch, now glowering once again, knowing it would be at least an hour, maybe more, before we emerged to entertain him.
It was just another Saturday, similar to Saturdays that had come and gone with him before, but it was also a lovely reminder to be grateful for these moments, and never to take for granted the happiness of simple things.
**Photo Credit: http://goo.gl/DRxnra**