New Genre of Love Song
When we met I wore floor length dresses from the hospital thrift store (hand-me-downs of the dead) ripped up fishnets and combat boots. Blonde haired and golden skinned, he had the face of a Playgirl angel, a GQ devil, mischievous and sweet. Will I ever get over how pretty he is? Those cupid bow lips and sea green eyes and the lean, muscled body of a dancer? He'd been a stripper in DC, a social work major with a minor in dance. He knew the city and the wilderness around it like different sides of the same beautiful hand. He took me into both, like an adventure guide to explore what drew me in and terrified me. I was a wreck all the time, learning how to smoke and read French poetry, staying up all night crying and pining. He'd take me dancing in the city, skinny dipping in gorges, to hear music beautiful enough to make even me want to sing. We slept chest to chest in the closet he rented, or in my dorm room, smoking and drinking. And then we drove cross country, camping in the Rockies. He lent me his jeans because I'd only packed dresses. We climbed through arches and wind river valleys, rode ferris wheels and horses, cooked on fires and slept under tarps and blankets in the freezing cold and howling wind. We painted constellations on gourds and traced stars with our fingers. We explored the world like hungry, fearless children. Embarrassed by my own voice, I even sang for him, summertime and the living is easy. "If I married a woman, it would be you and we would have babies," he told me and I was free to love him with all of my entire heart, safely. He could talk to anybody, but when we were together I only wanted to talk to him. He has traveled all over the world in the last two decades, with handsome, exotic men while I moved back home to the house I grew up in. Still, he sends me music and I send him stories. I have an entire collection of love songs that are just like driving with all of the windows down, somewhere off the map, singing into the wind. It's a new genre, where my heart is never broken. Seven years ago, the last time he was on the East Coast- close, I drove through highways and traffic, to D.C. to see him. Lost and drowning in the ocean of becoming someone's wife and someone's mother, I clung to him like an island, like that part of myself that had kept on living. I absorbed him like sound, like a memory, sorry for any scrap of clothing or conversation that built even a thin wall between us. I have found myself again, since then. He held onto it for me until I could get it back.