Last night I slept with a man I met at the hotel bar. A Sailor visiting dry land for the holidays. He told me he lives weeks at a time aboard his submarine. Submerged in the deep and the dark. His world is a place most of us would do anything to avoid.
My God your body is beautiful, he said when we lay down on the bed, and I thought – living under the sea must do strange things to a man.
But I looked to see, just the same. I lifted the sheets to make a coy appraisal of my flesh, marinated in the salt and oil of summer, this skin that I will peel and shed back home. I took in the chipped red of holiday nails, the grains of sand in the curve of my foot, and the nerves still pulsing in my flexing toes. I looked at my pliant muscles, and the startling white of my hidden parts. I could see all of the ways the ocean had left its mark on me, too.
This man tasted of rum and cherries. And when he kissed me again I wanted to say –You are not the only one who has emerged from the deep.
Last night we both looked beautiful when held up to the light.
~ Lucy, LOVED
I posted an early version of this exactly five years ago. Like so many of my musings here, the scene found a perfect place in my novel. Eventually. Funny reminder today that you never know where you’ll end up. You. Just. Keep. Going. Here’s to an exciting second half of the year …
Here lie the bones of our beginning. No flesh pressed around them, no strained muscle or arched, aching nerve asking to be felt, to be seen. Just bones, bare. A scattering of calcified possibility, clean and cold, with no cracks through.
The only way out is through they say, but sometimes the ending happens too soon. I was only at the start of you. Just learning to read the line of your jaw and the set of your mouth. A tentative translation of your every, and your nothing.
Nothing comes from nothing, this too they say. But I have always known that potential contains its own kind of miss, its own kind of mourn. That you can still lose that which could have, should have, might.
We might have put flesh to bone. We might have strained and arched and ached toward each other. Pressed down and around the bare to warm that clean and cold. We might have cracked through to something new.