A letter I won’t send.

Dear,
Yes, I knew you were attracted to me, I just managed to ignore it. It would not be useful, at any level, to pursue.

I’m older than you are. You have that ease of freshness and youth and breezing through a charmed life that always tastes like magic to me. A boy, in the way that boys are attractive to me, and men aren’t. I know the pain an impulsive choice could lead to. Would lead to.

Yes, I knew you wanted me. I knew that you would not make any move toward me. I knew that if anyone would cross that electrical divide, it would be me. But I would not. I will not. I touched your hand, once, and a spark jumped across. That’s when I knew our poses, relaxed and friendly, were just poses. That in spite of that, I would not follow you up the stairs.

But in my imagination, something else happened. In my imagination, I walked across that divide. The first thing I noticed was your hands, narrow, with long fingers. Expressive. I always notice hands. So different from my hands, which are square and sturdy, craftsman’s hands, that hold all the work that I do. Mine, that carry and schlep and wash and dig and clench, and also, when not too tired, that try to bring music from the body of a guitar or a mandolin. When not too tired and careworn, or worn of spirit and soul. Music takes a little bit of energy, and so often now I have none. I sing, even with no energy left, I sing. I learn the blues. But to play as well, so often now there is not enough of me, right now, to play.

In my imagination, those hands started to touch me. Just snuck across the divide, and stroked my arm. And we both pretended it wasn’t happening, and kept chatting, with most of our senses focussed on that hand. My skin tingles, even thinking about it now.

But then my hand reached over, and wove it’s own fingers into yours. That’s when we stopped talking, and eyes took over. So blue, like falling into the sky in a wheat field. Then I reached across and touched your hair. Those curls, so different from my own straight darkness, I want to rub my face in those curls.

I imagine the hands, then starting to explore in other ways. Tentatively at first. We still haven’t kissed, although when you were talking, I did think about the shape of your mouth, and the shape of your words. Wanting to kiss you. Wanting you. Those hands reach over to the side of my neck, and stroke down, running across my collarbone. How did you know? How did you know so easily, so well, how to touch so that I burn like fire? Those hands……..

A button undone. Two. Skin, revealed. A question in the eyes. We should not do this, but soon it will be too late to turn back. I feel the tug of war, the fight we both are fighting in our heads. Suddenly grins split apart, almost simultaneously. Laughs.

Another choice. Again, my imagination takes two paths, one in knowing that I will not, would not follow you. The other, that I would, and in my mind, I do. We take hands, and I follow you up the stairs.

It seems so quiet, it is so late, here, the smell of eucalyptus filters through the open window. I rub my cheek against yours, roughness of a day of beard against my smoothness.

You take my hair out. Most of the day, it is wrapped, or braided, under control, out of my way. Today, as I write this, its still wet from the morning, from having to throw it into a bun, and having no time for anything else.

In love, my hair takes on a life all of its own. The only time I really like it long. I’ve only recently realized how much it is a measure of my emotions – tight back, I’m trying to concentrate. Don’t bother me, I’m working. Braided once it is convenient, and symbolizes me in efficiency. No nonsense. In two braids, and wrapped over the top of my head, it symbolizes my playful self, my kid side, playing in the woods. But loose, it becomes something else. Silky, it wraps down around us, enclosing us in another layer of darkness. You reach up, and start to run your fingers through it. I close my eyes, to better feel that sensation. Heaven. You pull me down toward you. Wrapped in a cocoon of silk, we finally kiss. It jolts through me, turning from this soft sensuousness to raw desire, in one moment so sharp it is almost painful. We are together, surrounded in the dark by the crowded space that is bursting with too many things, the stuff of my life, the paintings, the books, the sketchbooks piled to the ceiling. We are together, and it feels right.

I won’t write the rest of the story here. But yes, I knew. And I know, and you will never, how many times this has replayed in my head. I get a lot of mileage out of fantasy, now, since that’s mostly where my love life lives. I don’t mind a lot of the time, I’m not sure I have time for a lover. I would want time for you.

I would want so much time, freedom, emancipation from all the cares that weigh me down. Time to stand in a garden and watch our tomatoes grow. Time to stay up late, letting our minds wander where they will. Time for silly word play, sharing the flavor of the language that we love to mess with. Time to make love, so slowly, by a campfire, with a sky spilling with stars overhead. To grin at each other’s sillyness, and yes, I would cook you dinner. I would cook you many dinners. I want that time. Time, which so often feels like there is much too little of.

You are a dreamer. I see those dreams leap out of you, so many. You remind me of myself. I want to see you make those dreams come true. I want to be a part of making them come true, and I can, but not in the way that I want. Or that, at least at this moment, that I want.

This then, is a crush. I call it that, knowing it is more, but that is all I will name it. A crush. It will pass, with all likelyhood. But for now I will enjoy the flush, the flow of energy, the spark it adds to my day. A glint in my eye, a rosy cheek, a flush rising over my breastbone as I think about you. About your hands.

About your hand, that I touched. Once.

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