Meet Kansas City

jcnfountainAfter Kansas City left Tuesday morning, I drove in circles on the highway, killing time.  My bedroom was still full of him, my shower, my kitchen, my brain.  KC and I met for the first time Sunday night – but we already knew each other.  As we lay entwined while Monday became Tuesday, counting hours of sleep vs. hours together, he whispered to me: “I loved you the whole time.”  I nodded, brushed his lips with my thumb.  His hand followed the path on me from shoulder to hip that had become familiar in just a day and a half, and pulled me closer. Warning: the following is going to sound a little like lines from When Harry Met Sally.  I can’t help it; it’s the truth.  I haven’t mentioned Kansas City before, because dating him wasn’t within the realm of reality.  At least, that’s what I thought.

The first time I “met” Kansas City, nine years ago in an online writing community, we hit it off right away and often shared our lives over IM and email.  Eventually we lost touch, each wrapped up in our own long-term relationships and educations and careers.  The second time we “met”, three years ago (due to utterly unbelievable online coincidence), we were thrilled to rediscover our friendship.  And we fell in love.  Hard.  Over email, text and phone, we re-learned each other and couldn’t get enough.  There were only a few obstacles: the distance.  His monogamous girlfriend.  We shelved things after a few months. So when we got back in touch for the third time, even though we were both single, we kept the romance quiet and became best friends instead.  We shared everything: work, school, relationships, family, and everything else.  In our more honest moments, we talked about love – but we were also honest about any kind of “us” being practically impossible.

And then we met for the fourth time, five days ago.  Finally face to face. We planned it about two weeks in advance.  I let myself believe it about two days in advance – and a constant low thrum of excitement and nervousness vibrated from my chest to my lower belly.  KC rang my doorbell and started down the five steps to my apartment, and I had to step hard on my heart to keep it from beating out of my chest.  The sun was shining behind him so I couldn’t see his face, but I didn’t even need to.  The space between us was electric.  “Hi,” I said, trying to keep breathing, looking into his eyes and at his smile splashed across his face like he’d just seen his first rainbow.  “Hi,” he said.  And I started a sentence about nothing that I never finished. With the words, “Come here, you,” KC pinned me to the wall with his mouth to mine.  If there’d been a film crew, they’d have been rotating around us to give you that world-spinning feeling.  KC’s hands were on my hips, on my shoulders, in my hair.  I realized my own hands were flat on the wall behind me, and solved that problem by pulling his hips against mine and holding him there tightly.

We rushed and we meandered, silently arguing with ourselves and each other over whether to take our time or just finally end all the waiting. As KC hesitated for a moment, arms around my shoulders, hips pressed tight between my thighs, looking down into my eyes, I knew I loved him.  As always.  I closed my eyes as the feeling spread through me, hot and golden and so, so good.  Kansas City said my name, and I opened my eyes, drank in his face.  “I love you,” he said.  And he slid home inside me for the first time. We spent the weekend half in bed, laughing and kissing and fucking, talking about absolutely anything that came to mind.  We wandered hand in hand through the city, discussing my history here and just being together.  We sat on a fallen tree and watched the river, nestled into one another, wishing it wouldn’t end in only a day.  We stayed awake most of Monday night, holding each other and telling truth.

When he drove away from me the next morning, he took my whole heart with him. I spent one day in a mess of emotion, thrilled and ever so in love, frustrated at being separated, and confused by all of it.  But my usual reaction to intense, overwhelming emotion is a burst of logic and pragmatism.  And by Wednesday night, KC and I had planned a schedule of visits through December.  We looked at maps together and picked a halfway point, six and a half hours from each of us.  And we’ve already begun talking about how to combine our lives in the fairly near future – who moves where and when.

It’s terrifying, to start planning life changes like where to live and where to go to school based on the very beginning of a relationship.  Part of me says: we were together for 36 hours, of course it was perfect.  But I have both logical and non-logical reasons I know this is the right thing to do.  Every time I think how foolish this is, I immediately feel another tumbler click into place on my internal certainty meter – the instincts I rely on to make all real, important decisions.  This part of me has no ability to make sense.  It just knows.  I have rational reasons as well.  As a woman in my 30s, I’m too old to wait for things to “just work out”.  I’ve begun making things happen in my personal life lately, including a new direction for my career.  It feels good to be more involved in my life’s trajectory, and chasing what I want?  It’s the best feeling in the world.

I know what I want when it comes to relationships.  I want a partner in crime.  Someone who understands me without needing explanation, someone I am always having fun with, someone with whom communication is effortless.  Someone who is game for adventures and challenges and even struggles, because we can do anything together.  When I meet someone like that, I fall in love.  Quickly, deeply, and authentically.  I’ve met four people in the past fifteen years who made me feel like that.  Recently I met a fifth.  He’s worth chasing.  This feeling is worth chasing.  In fact, I won’t be happy unless I do it.  My happiness is worth chasing.  So here I go.

Meet the Communist

commparty

The communist party don’t stop!

 The Communist and I met under circumstances you might call “different”.  (You can read about it here.)  I didn’t much expect to see the Communist again after that first night, but we kept in touch with a text message or two every few days.  The first night he invited me over, we sat on his couch talking for hours while he decided if and how and when he should kiss me. I got tired of it, and kissed him instead.

The Communist kisses me hard, mashing his mouth against mine and biting my lower lip a little harder than a nibble.  He leaves tiny toothy bruises on the tops of my collarbones; he grins to himself when his kissing my neck makes me catch my breath and whimper.  He waits for me, always, to start the undressing, and sometimes I am only half finished with the buttons on his shirt before he pulls my top off over my head and unsnaps my bra.  The Communist’s skin is remarkably soft and smooth, and I am amazed over and over again at how good he feels under my hands or pressed against me.

He plays me music every time I visit, and tells me things about the bands, the songs, the genres, that he thinks I ought to know.  It’s Billie Holiday, Young MC, Mozart, the Pogues.  I have to remind him at least once during each of these educations about our age difference.  “This was a great drinking song in the late eighties,” he says, tipping his glass toward my beer bottle.  “Mmm,” I say, dropping my icy hand on his forearm over the big red and black tattoo splashed with the words JUSTICE and EQUALITY.  “I was eight when the eighties ended.”  He wraps his fingers around mine.  “Come here and kiss me,” I tell him, and instead of moving, he just gives me a cheshire grin.  I crook my finger at him.  “Come here,” I say, and he meets me in the middle.

Three cats live with the Communist, and they are fancy breeds, exotic and strange in comparison to my own Maine coon mix.  They have exotic and strange names, but I have been calling them something else.  One is a Devon Rex, with wiry curly fur … so I called her Curly.  Of course the others are now Larry and Moe.  The Communist is a bit peeved at my reactions to their strange faces.  I don’t exactly find them beautiful, but I am constantly intrigued by their unusual looks.  “Most people,” he says pointedly, “would just adjust to their majesty.”  I look up at him from underneath my eyelashes.  “Their majesty,” I repeat. He listens to me with a skeptical look on his face.  He is, half the time, inscrutable, with uncanny self-possession.  “What are you thinking?” I’ll ask.  His response is almost always to raise his eyebrows at me and half grin.

He tells me stories of his days in the world of comics, his time at boarding school as a kid, his days of “working with the party”.   He shakes his head slowly if I mention politics, and I usually distract him quickly, sliding my fingers underneath his.  The Communist makes an art of hand-holding, somehow, and it is one my favorite things. He is careful, still, calm and self-possessed even when turned on.  He has whispered to me during sex exactly one time, even though I talk to him.  I give him his name, occasionally, and his response is to kiss me.  “You have a wonderful tongue,” I tell him.  He gives his wry smile.  “The Democrats didn’t think so,” he says.  I laugh, and throw one arm across his chest while he starts again to play the notes of tonight’s Beethoven against my back.

Meet the Architect

Sexual Tension Existing in Architecture Fifteen Minutes Before the Birth of Frank Lloyd Wright, by John Pacovsky

Sexual Tension Existing in Architecture…
by John Pacovsky

I spent a long time deciding how to write this introduction.  While the Architect traced circles over my collarbones in bed one night, I told him I was having trouble writing about him just yet.  He waited, knowing he didn’t need to say anything to ask me for more.  “I just want it to be about you,” I told him, “and not just about how I feel about you.”  He nodded, dropping tiny kisses on my shoulder.  This is a concern, you see, because how the Architect makes me feel could cover page after page.  He is the only married man I’ve ever loved, but that’s not what makes my feelings for him unique.  To be honest, I am suspended in disbelief every moment I am with the Architect, or thinking about him, daydreaming his voice in my ear or his lips on my thigh.  If I let myself use logic – even for a moment – to try and explain anything about my Architect and me, my thoughts are muddied.  Love needs no logic, even if (especially because?) it always does make sense in a way.

The Architect and I had our first date at a local bar under less-than-ideal circumstances.  I had one of the worst colds of my life, and although I’d disclosed this before our meeting, the Architect had assured me he didn’t care.  He presented quite a picture, waiting for me at a table as I walked slowly over to him.  The Architect’s compact athletic frame makes him equally well-suited to be a wrestler, a runner, or a rower.  He is that kind of “black Irish” with inky dark hair and snow-white skin; his eyes are quick, rich brown, but he has admitted his brothers and sisters have the characteristic blue eyes of his breed.  He wore a red sweater; likely a nod to the note in my profile about red being my favorite color.**  I nursed a beer and finished half a bag of cough drops while we talked about the standard safe subjects.  The Architect kept giving me a look I termed “serious face”.  I asked him about it:  “What are men thinking, when they give me that face, that ever-so-serious face?”  He claimed innocence, and I found it charming over exasperating.  We had plenty to talk about (although I can’t remember a single topic), and when we said goodbye in the parking lot that night, he hugged me. I glanced around over his shoulder, picking an aging bright yellow sportscar as his, and drove away laughing when I was right.

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Meet the Kid

CougarThe second of my boyfriends I’d like to introduce you to is the Kid.  (I’ve had to stop referring to my nephew as “the kid” because of him.)  The first line of the Kid’s OKCupid message to me was, “I know I’m a little young for you, but…” My eyes flicked upward on the page.  NINETEEN?!  No way.  Wait, this could be hot.  Very hot.  But nineteen!  I kept reading, and he was saying all the right things.  Girls his own age bored him and lacked the self-confidence and comfort with their sexuality that older women projected effortlessly.  He had a girlfriend at his university and was looking for a low-key FWB situation.  And he wanted to try anything and everything.

I took him to a quirky mom-and-pop coffee shop for our first date, and although he had promised me he would be terribly awkward, he wasn’t.  We had plenty to talk about, and he was nervous, but sweetly so.  He had me throwing my head back laughing more than once.   The one quality I need in a partner – absolutely can’t live without it for even a second – is authenticity.  The Kid was so comfortable with himself that I forgot the age gap almost entirely.  Eventually, he allowed himself to be caught looking down my shirt a couple of times.  So I took him home, to meet my kitten and make out on my couch.

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Meet the Teacher

Seven Dates a Week

When your boyfriend’s father draws your portrait in crayon, well, that means … what does that mean?

The first of my boyfriends I’d like to introduce you to is the Teacher.  He’s your typical nerd, into science and gaming, so awkward socially that one wonders where he might fall on the autism spectrum.  He looks like your typical nerd, too, a bit too short, a bit too balding, and could those glasses flatter your face any less?  Perhaps this says something about myself (please, tell me, what?!) but I’m charmed by his awkwardness and drawn to his intelligence.  I’m fascinated by how his brain works because mine is nearly the completely opposite.  The Teacher loves data.  I love beauty.  The Teacher can look at the sky and tell me the next three days’ weather; he can enthrall me with a bedtime story of how and why the cycle of sunspots affects the aurora borealis we might see in the coming winter.  Once, I told him he could use science on me any time he wanted.  He thinks I was joking, but honestly – it turns me on to watch him talk authoritatively about stuff he loves.

Stuff the Teacher loves includes me.  I met him on OKCupid in 2009.  He wore a bright red shirt and pretty silk tie on our first date – I was convinced this was because my profile mentioned red as my favorite color.  He insists it was just what he happened to be wearing to work that day.  We talked on that first date for four hours straight, over dinner and a long cold walk around the January city with some hot chocolate to warm ourselves up before we said goodnight.  The Teacher and I wound up in bed on our fourth date, when the third couch makeout session made him bold enough to pull off my top.  He spent the night, which is something I rarely allow, but I liked him.  And then this happened.

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