outpost

A Morning in Love

Originally published in The Outpost

I hate the smell of cigarettes everywhere but in her mouth and everywhere but on her fingers. A beam of light brushes my eyelids and I stretch my arms, blindly groping for her fair skin. My hand settles on the far edge of the mattress and I realize she’s gone. We’ve been lovers for about two months and I’ve never seen her asleep because I’m always the first to pass out and always the last to wake up. It suddenly hits me that I’ve never seen her eyes shut and it makes me wonder if she ever dreams and it captivates me even more. I struggle to sit up and squint toward the large window facing the bed and there she is. A beautiful silhouette. Picturesque in contre-jour. Slow motion video. Smoke circling her slim phalanges and rising toward the frosted panes before vanishing into the cold winter sky. A perfect shot.She glances in my direction without making eye contact. She’s not very giving with words either and we only talk about things that matter. Never about the weather or about other people. It’s like a mutual therapy. No censorship and no pride and no holding back on our soft sides. With her I’m naked and vulnerable and I know there will be a time where this is going to hurt but right now I’m happy and I don’t care.

My eyes skim through the hundreds of books aligned on the shelves, standing tall on the right side of the bed. I instinctively start reading through titles I’ve read a thousand times because it’s my morning haze habit and I don’t have the urge to find something to say, unlike the first time she slept over. And I just love to look at her. A delicious neckline and a never ending pair of legs, bare and beautiful. Delicately lounging on a dark grey carpet, light like a feather. And long lean arms, careless and brittle. Tiny wrists and tiny ankles and tiny breasts and tiny waist. A visible ribcage hiding behind a Knicks jersey, Sprewell’s number 8. And wearing nothing else. Long brown hair landing gently on her shoulders, deep brown eyes shying behind a cocky fringe, effortlessly cool. High cheek bones and a flawless face structure. Gorgeous pouty lips, small and innocent, and a rare smile, carnivorous and wide.

I remember the first time I laid eyes on her. A moment in history. Nightclub entrance and cigarette conversations. And suddenly a voice: “hey, you’re Mark’s brother, right?” I turned around and there she was. A childhood fantasy. Sophie Marceau and Brooke Shields and Kate Moss and Donna D’Errico and Xena the warrior princess and Liv Tyler and Selma Blair. All combined in a timeless little black dress. A real life Balenciaga poster. The type of girl that never used the bathroom or had dirty feet or even stumbled on the street. The type of girl who could eat French cheese and still smell like lavender, and she could not shower for a week and you would still devour her. A masterpiece and it was instant love.

“Yes, you know my brother?” I finally mumbled, thank God for Tanqueray.
“It’s nice to finally meet you, Mark always talks about you,” she said, “I’m Kate.”

She didn’t go home with me that night and it was unusual. I saw her another time and nothing happened. I saw her again another time and nothing happened. And a few more times and nothing happened. And then a kiss. And then magic happened. David Bowie in the background, ground control to Major Tom. And I couldn’t believe it. How does a 10 year old suburban kid from Lebanon who was too shy to ask for a chocolate bar at the store down the street grow up to be with a woman like her? A beautiful mystery. She was the epitome of success. Never mind living poor for the rest of my life. She grabbed my arm to high school reunions and my rich friends envied me. Bankers and doctors and lawyers and corporate greasy haired bastards in suits, they all envied me. The center of attention everywhere. Boho chic everywhere. The tortured writer and the intellectual model. Both gorgeous to the bones. Bohom glam everywhere. I never felt as proud as when she walked by my side. Holding hands and long promenades and stone bridges stops. Sunsets over the river and love scenes from a postcard on the left bank, she’s a postcard woman and I’m in a postcard life.

She finally gives me a smile. I sense a little something in my stomach and it’s probably my heart dropping. Nothing makes me happier than the sight of her elusive teeth. It makes me feel like an accomplished human being. An existence complete. And I smile back. Her crisp, skinny body casually gathers into a single vertical shape, long and lean, slowly moving closer. Slowly leaning forward. Small nipples showing from the side of the sleeveless jersey. She lies on top of me and her bony hip crushes my waist. She’s too tall for a perfect fit – Correction: I wasn’t tall enough. Because she is perfect. I rest my nose on the top of her head. A smell of smoke and ginger bread and a tender kiss that lasts a moment. And I want it to last forever.

I was once told that in every true love lies a little corner of hate. But my love for her is round shaped and there are no corners and no hate.

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