I counted freckles.

The older I get, the more obvious it becomes that life is not black and white.  It’s not a straight path, though all lead to the same end.  The Neighbor and I made love again last night.  Or maybe we fucked.  Our groans and kisses braided together with our breath and sweat, our hands rough and tender simultaneously, my bed once again a stoic witness to our inability to stay apart.

Saturday I agreed to do a 30 Day Clean Living thing with him for September.  He thought it could be a gift I could give myself.  I’d been considering it on my own and thought, Why not?  This weekend last year found me drunk from Friday morning to Monday night, my heart bent and trampled from the finalized divorce and my first birthday truly alone.  This year I wanted to come at it collected and sober, my strength gathered beneath me.

Yesterday, the one year anniversary of my divorce, I woke up tired, but thankfully not hungover.  I turned my back on the luxury of my bed bed only when the grumbling in my stomach forced me to search for food.  My refrigerator laughed at me with a gaping, spare mouth.  I would have to leave the cave for sustenance.

I stepped into my yellow dress, pinned my hair up in a loose chignon, and applied minimal makeup.  I look fresh-faced.  I completed my look with a pair of ballet flats.  With surprise, I realized that next to my empty belly I felt something else: I wanted a little retail therapy.

Naturally, I texted TN to see if he’d like to join me.  He’d stopped by every night of the week and we’d had plans to watch a movie Saturday night which were conveniently foiled by an overly-friendly Downstairs (drunk) Neighbor.

He knocked a few minutes later and said he’d be delighted.  He was wearing the t-shirt I’d made him for his birthday two months ago, the cum stains I’d dared him to leave there from the week before were obvious to only my eyes.

He took me to eat and told the sandwich maker it was my birthday (though, it wasn’t) and the guy handed it to me for free; he got me more napkins when he noticed I was low and raced to open all the doors for me as we headed to the mall.

At Nordy’s we tried on sunglasses and I laughed when he paired giant, round frames with his boyish, 1950s looks and 5 o’clock shadow.  I made my birthday purchase and we meandered to the men’s section, picked out some t-shirts and headed to the dressing rooms.  I sat in a plush velvet chair in the waiting room content to wait, but he called for me to join him instead.

My heart froze.   And then it began to beat as I found my limbs lifting me up and my legs walking me back to him.

The room was smaller than the last time we were there and it was hard to find space.  Our camaraderie, our third partner in all of this, took up a lot of space as did our sexual chemistry, our fourth little friend.   There was a menagerie in a 3 x 5 foot space.   I could see in the little mirror hanging on the wall that my breasts strained against the confines of the cotton just like the two of us did against our meager friendship boundaries.  I would never enter the dressing room of any of my other male friends.

And in this little box we laughed riotously over some of the graphics on his chosen t-shirts despite the awkwardness.  He chose a $40 graphic T of weiner-dog-boom-box and we left.

Stuffed inside another little changing room I helped him pick out some more shirts.  His broad shoulders and chest hair taunted me; the ever-present bulge in his jeans jeered at me, but I remained professionally friendly and a respectable distance away.  He was careful to avoid grazing my breasts with his knuckles when I rolled up his sleeves and held still as a church mouse as I slipped my fingers beneath his shirts to straighten them out.

He carried my iced coffee as often as store employees mistook us for a couple.

I made one last stop at the lingerie department as we left Nordstroms.  I disappeared into the changing room alone and he wandered the store patiently.  I settled on a beautiful pale pink bra and matching panty and gleefully had his name paged over the loud-speaker to return to me.  The salesgirl laughed with me as I jumped up and down and clapped my hands together with glee as I heard, “Attention Nordstroms customers: would The Neighbor please return to the lingerie department?”  His name was slowly and clearly enunciated.  I heard him say, “Very funny, Hy!” from a forest of clothes behind me even before I saw him.

On the way to my parents house with me to water their plants while they’re out of town I told him I felt weird.  How could I possibly explain that my heart was heavy, I was sad and lonely, but I felt the continued relief that’s accompanied me all year-long that the divorce was the right thing to do, and that I was in the company of someone I really liked on a day I’d rather not spend alone??  “Weird,” was the best I could do.

I broke our quiet cease-fire inside my folks’ empty house.  “Too bad we aren’t fucking anymore because there’s nothing more I’d love to do than fuck in their house right now.”  He remained nonplussed and only laughed.  We got back into his sleek, fancy car and headed home.  I felt like I weighed 1000 lbs.

At our doors with our bags of wares dangling like deflated balloons from our hands we said goodbye.  I had plans to float in the pool and read my book, weightless and crispy brown.  He, I could tell, needed to be alone as well.  “I don’t know if I’m gonna be up for a movie later,” he said referencing rescheduling hopes.

“Ok,” I said, “That’s fine.”  The words felt slick in my mouth and real in my heart.  I sat down in my club chair and cried.

Not for him, but for the day: my loss, my broken heart, my loneliness, my grief, my happiness, my luck.  I texted my exhusband and thanked him for being wonderful and told him I was grateful he was still in my life.

With tears still on my cheeks I picked up my book and began to read the final chapters of A Dance With Dragons.  I’d get to the pool eventually.  Ser Barristan Selmy had just slewn the pit fighter when there was a knock on my door.  TN came in wearing his swimming trunks.  “Lets go swimming!”

“No.  I’m reading.”

“Come on!!  You can read later!”

As if in a fog I agreed and dog-eared my page, demurely shut my bedroom door to change and emerged in my emerald-green bikini.  “I should have shown you my new bra and panties,” I casually mentioned as I gathered my pool things.

We played in the pool for two hours throwing tennis balls and leaping off the sides to catch a toss and laughing, laughing, laughing.  My heart began to lift with each throw and giggle that’d erupt from my lips.  I love to play. 

When we tired we convened on some steps and floated and chatted, the bath-water warm water cooling us only barely.  TN submerged for seconds at a time, weightless and away from me.  I pulled down my bikini bottoms and showed him my white bottom.  I asked him, “Did you see that??” with a twinkle in my eye when he rose for air.

“No.  That’s inappropriate, Hy.”  Rebuffed I laughed it off and said I was ready to get out.  As we gathered our things a girl with a lithe, athletic body appeared, her fake breasts pert melons under white triangles of material.  I watched TN watch her.

“They’re fake,” I loudly whispered as we made our way to the gate.

“Really??”

“Yes.”

“How can you tell?”

“Well, take mine, for example.”  He looked at my tanned swells.  “See here?” I pointed at the slope.  “It’s seamless, no crease.  Hers have a crease.”

“Lemme see under there,” he said wiggling his eyebrows.

“No, TN.  That’s inappropriate.”

We climbed the stairs and said goodbye again.  I showered and wrapped myself in towels and realized my belly was once again empty.  I padded out to my living room and sat down at the computer and began ordering a pizza online when my frail castle walls knocked again.

Naked but for my towel wrapped about me and the towel on my wet hair I opened the door.  TN stood there silently looking at me with a DVD in his hand.  “What?”  I asked.  He said nothing.  “Are you ok??”  Nothing.  “Is something in your mouth?  What’s going on?”  He remained mute and looked helpless then pushed past me into the foyer.

I followed him into the room.  “Here’s the deal.  My knee still hurts from hitting it in the pool and I realized I’m not going to run 3 miles tonight so I’m also not going to start my 30 Days of Clean Living Tonight. I’ll start tomorrow with you.”

“Good timing, TN.  I’m ordering pizza.”

I ordered us pizza and got dressed in pj shorts and a white mens Hanes tanktop and took the DVD from his hands.  “What’s this?” I asked.

“Stranger Than Fiction.”  He loaded it into the player and sat down to watch.

“I’m not ready yet,” I said and went outside for a cigarette, my desire first, then filled a glass of wine.

The movie was brilliant and poignant and a fuzzy reflection of my own life.  The buttoned up hero a loner in life, regimented and safe; his love interest a passionate soul with color and scuff marks.  They clashed at first until they fell in love.  My husband, then my lover, two shades of this hero and I a closer shade of rose to the artist than I cared to admit.

My tears rolled down my cheeks and I excused myself to the bathroom.  I sat on the toilet and sobs came roiling up.  I flushed then splashed some water on my face trying to erase the sudden ruddiness of my face.  When I walked out into the living room TN was juggling.  He stopped.  “Were you crying??”

I stopped short.  “Maybe.”

“Yeah, maybe a romantic comedy wasn’t the best idea.”

“It’s ok.  It’s a wonderful movie.  Let’s keep watching.”  We sat back down and I curled up into a tight little ball, knees to my chin, as my tears splattered on my kneecaps.  I didn’t care.  The heros were so like me and mine my heart constricted, my soul tripped.  I simply ached.

When the movie ended we talked about magic and life.  I asked him what he’d do if life was all just a big joke.  He claimed he already knew it might be and that he’d live it to the fullest.  I was so weak I didn’t even have the emotional muscle to scoff.

Laying on opposite ends of the couch our knees touched.  I cradled his feet propped up on the pillows by my head.  He began running his hand absentmindedly on my ankle and calf.  “What do you think happens when you die?” I probed.

“It just ends.”

“Does that scare you?”

“No.”

I told him about the baby a friend of mine lost at 32 weeks and tears welled up in me again.  He squeezed my leg.  I began running my fingers lightly from the inside of his knee to his instep, his skin a pale cream under a light dusting of dark hair.  “A soul never recovers from loss.” I said.

“No, it doesn’t.”

“It just becomes part of our patchwork; we learn to manage it, but we never forget or don’t feel the pain.”  I know he was thinking of the brother he loved and lost.  I was thinking of my monster father, my marriage.

We had slowly begun to stretch out further and I’d flung my leg across his lap, his erection hot and hard beneath me.  “You have a freckle right here,” I noticed and pressed on his foot where a little crumb of a freckle stood out.  “Did you know that?”

“No, I didn’t.”

“And you have one here,” I pressed my fingertip on another little fleck on his calf.  “Did you know about that one?”

“Nope.”

“And one here,” it was further up his leg.  “I wonder if you have any here,” and I slipped my hand into his shorts.  My fingertips explored his warm, fuzzy sack for freckles.  “Hmm, I don’t feel any here,” I quipped.

“Are you sure??  You should check all over.”

I laughed and he stretched like a cat as my digits roamed over his shaft, its mouth was sopping wet.  We lay like this on my couch, a million miles from another million miles with billions of other breaths and lives throbbing around us.  Only the pillows and man beneath me had my attention.  And the familiar tugging in my womb.

“Lets see if you have any freckles,” he suggested rising and pulled me up with him.

In my darkened, watching room, he filled me and kissed me and emptied his seed into me.  I rained my relief down around us and cried with every inch of my body.  His cock atonement for my sins, I felt him buried deep in my belly, my heart only inches away.  I came twice with his warmth deep inside of me and shook and cried when I let him use his hand on me.  I spilled hot ejaculate into the cup of his hand and he crooned to me with pride.  He loves what he can make my body do.

I crawled over into his arms and we talked.  Not about us.  No, never us.  We are the fifth passenger when we are together.  There’s me, him, our camaraderie, our sexual chemistry and then the omniscent WeWe never do what we want, what he wants or what I want.  We continue to come together in times of need, emotional and physical.  We ignore plans and promises and we have no care for ramifications.  Because we might know something we do not.

I sat up and groped for my robe in the dark and slipped it on.  I wanted to be alone.  I was exhausted, still.  He quietly gathered his clothes and  headed to the front door.  I opened my arms and he stepped into them.  I kissed him on the cheek.  “Thank you,” I whispered as we held each other tightly.

He chuckled.  “Yes.  Thank you for fucking me.”

“You know what I mean.”

The door closed behind him and I went to sleep in our wet spot.

42 thoughts on “I counted freckles.

  1. Jealous. I’m jealous that you know how to manage your happiness. And I know you may be bewildered by my comment thinking, “This whole blog is partly about my struggles with finding true happiness…” but it seems to me you’ve got things under control. For the most part. I am not perfect, I make mistakes. My boyfriend is one of them. Because he really isn’t my boyfriend; I’m delusional for thinking he is. He is someone else’s boyfriend. Or husband. Or let’s just call him a partner. I don’t blame you if you judge me and you were likely not expecting this but I feel very vulnerable right now. Reading this post made me smile but it also makes me think if he and I could ever have a relationship like yours with TN. It’s bittersweet all the tome and motherfucking hard sometimes and then at other it seems …right (as twisted as that sounds). I have never been this girl…I had never set out to be, but here I am. I am smarter than this and I know I deserve better but my life would not be complete without him. He’s never told me he loves me but I know he cares deeply. He struggles with his emotions. Typically a comment to a post should have something to do with the content of the post but I just…I’m just ranting…and if my comment does not receive moderation I will not be upset. I envy you, even though you sometimes fall apart you know how to fucking function without TN, I know you do…I dont. Is it a sin to want someone in your life, someone who you know shouldn’t be there in the way he is at least, is it a sin to feel so innerly happy with a forbidden friend…I’m fucked up. I’m sober, and I don’t smoke, and I don’t cut anymore…but it’s getting really fucking hard to stay sane.
    I’m sorry for this rant.
    I feel like I’m pouring out from every pore and I might as well transfer some of me into a place where I know people will see…I need some fucking help…not therapy or psychology but I need to talk to someone…all of our friends are mutual…I have no one. Fuck. My. Life.

    Xx

    • S, I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to reply to this – I’ve been pecking away on my phone most of the day. First of all, never apologize. This is a sacred space for not only me, but all my readers as well. If you felt like letting your heart pour out of your fingertips here, so be it. I don’t mind. My readers – our fellow friends – would never turn you away, either.

      I’m sorry shit’s so hard for you right now. Do what I do and repeat this to yourself ad nauseum: THIS WILL NOT LAST FOREVER. And what I mean by that is the pain, the anguish, the discomfort. Of course, I also mean the happy bits, too, but we can all sit with happy. It’s the stuff that hurts that we care to avoid. But I’m serious. The thing that makes a situation 10x worse is its seeming endlessness.

      Something in your situation will give eventually. It always does. Take heart in that much at least and don’t beat yourself up for finding a holding space of some relative comfort. Everything else be damned. However, if you hate it more than you love it, then change it. xx Hy

  2. This is a very good post for all of us to smack our faces and realize how much you have been through, and how far you have come in 1 short year. I hope you will pardon me for my sometimes relentless pushing. I only wish you to have what you need, and then what you want. You tend to prefer the order reversed.

    I am sad, though, that you could not share this day with someone very special.

    Mike

  3. Is all of that what you call “bittersweet”? hugs to you for all you’ve pulled yourself through, and TN seems sweeter …I don’t know of course, I’m just interpreting through my own lens. By the way – I LOVE those underwear so much – SO SO cute. I could just bite your butt!

    • I suppose it is, Jayne. We played in the pool again today. On my terms, when I wanted to. Then he stuck his head out twice on the balcony to talk to me and my friends. Here’s what I’ve finally concluded: He hates being in love with me. It’s that simple. And if that isn’t bittersweet, I don’t know what is.

      • You’re killin’ me girl – at least you have the physical connection. I know my comment will go against everything I have said when you are hurting but things have changed and you are right – life is not black and white. It’s only black and white to machines – ones and zeros. He seems conflicted but he seems more real when you have boundries… I feel like an idiot for thinking I can actually judge him by your posts and I know my view is very constricted but something is different since you have changed your approach. I think it changed in a good way. My .02

      • When I was hurting so badly you rallied for me. You wrapped me up in your loving embrace and told me I’d feel better soon. You were no idiot.

        My voice and my lens then was different than today. Today I see a man who will likely search his entire life for me in a “better” package. He honestly thinks that what we have he can have with just about anyone. I know differently and my understanding of this protects me.

        He is a wonderful guy, a confused young man, a sweet, tender, and loving fella, but he is also short-sighted and stubborn. I will continue to set my boundaries, say NO, and work my magic as I see fit. I feel wonderful today. Only having him securely in my life and heart could be better.

        I thank you a thousand times for your wonderful two cents. xx Hy

  4. I’ve only ever watched that movie once–not because it was bad, but because it was excellent, and because it made me bawl like a little bitch in the movie theatre, and it made me contemplate a lot of heavy shit that I cannot deal with, as of yet.

    Congratulations on making it through what will probably one day be thought of as one of the longest years of your life. Congratulations on working on finding the balance, on working on finding what Hy needs. Happy Birthday, whenever it may be, beautiful.

    Your post is bittersweet, and my heart aches for you, just a little, just for all of those little, quick moments of despair. It makes me happy when I read the joyful moments though too.

    Much love, darling. <3

    • Thanks, Fatal. I kept the movie; I want to watch it again.

      You’re probably right about how I’ll view this past year. It’ll certainly be, “Yeah, I went a little crazy after my divorce” kind of tale.

      And thanks for the love, as always. xx Hy

  5. So Hy, get this. Been trying to convince my friend I am the one for her, and she has been coming on to me for a few weeks in this long distance thing we have going, then out of the blue she tells me she doesn’t see me as the one and it won’t work out and bla bla bla bla. I am drunk at this point, and I hang up on her and cry about it. I take a day off from communicating with her (because I tore my phone in two pieces in a symbolic fuck you to long distance b.s.), and the next day I shell out ninety frigging dollars for a new one and then I send her a picture to her of my rockin’ abs and my hard-on in my hand and say, “My dear friend, I love you, and blow me.”
    And I’ll be damned.
    She’s all lovey-dovey again. And we’ve been exchanging dirty pictures and masturbating to each other, which is nice.
    The point of this story is that without you, the act of sending her a picture of my cock wouldn’t have crossed my mind. Actually, it would have crossed my mind, but as a bad move.
    Thank you, is what I’m saying here. You are a teacher. You might have just saved the possibility of this relationship, which I consider about as iffy as her emotional state at any given minute, because it really does change that often, but I have new-found confidence!
    This guy is totally going to get laid.
    Thank you again you beautiful flower!
    I wish she could squirt, cause that would be hot. But then I’d probably call her my little Hyacinth flower and she’d be like, “what does that mean?” and I’d be like, “Oh, nothing, just a pretty flower, like you…”
    Don’t worry, internet girlfriend, you’ll always have a special place in my heart. But you won’t touch my penis, so you understand, right?
    Actually, I might introduce her to you, and it will be like a threesome, only not really, but sort of. How does an internet girlfriend fit into the picture anyway? You’re in there one way or another. I really think the two of you would get along very well. And she does like girls, but loves dick…
    Anyhoo, good stuff here. You’ve been writing like a champ lately, by the way. You have a wonderfully engaging style, which I imagine reflects how engaging you are in person.
    To whatever the future may hold, cheers to you : )
    As always, I wish you the best. And, as your internet boyfriend, I apologize for a long silence. I didn’t mean to neglect you. I’ve been really busy. And I’ve been working hard. I’ve just had a lot to do. It’s not you, it’s me! Stop looking at me like that. Oh right, sure, fine, it’s all my fucking fault. Whatever. You know I can’t tear my eyes from your words and pictures, don’t be angry baby. I’m sorry. Truly. I’ll try harder to communicate better, I swear. i want to be a better person for you, really. Oh, yeah, roll your eyes, that’s awesome. Just because it’s a cliche doesn’t make it a lie. Christ… Ok, look, let’s talk about this some other time. What do you mean I always say that? Oh right, like you’re so perfect. What did I do wrong!? AGHHHHHHHH! (Insert here a penis into a vagina, some make-up sex). Ahhhhh. What were we saying? I love you internet girlfriend. You’re so good to me.
    Geez, that was weird.
    Thanks again. Did I ever use the “Won’t you be my neighbor?” bit in a comment on your blog? I think I almost did, and then I felt that tying Mr. Rogers into this would have been going too far. I mean, even though he had a smidge of the weird child molester thing going on about him, it just seemed kind of sacriligious. But, fuck it. Won’t you be my neighbor?
    Wait, there’s more. Wait, no, I got nothing. I’m done. But just you wait. I will comment the shit out of one of your posts again one of these days. And it might even be about whatever the post is about. I didn’t read this one yet. I’ll do that now. Good night.
    My fingers smell like my grundle…
    And google just taught me grundle is an actual scientific term. Probably should have known that since I have one. Huh. Learn something new every day.

    • Nevermind, I think grundle is pure slang. That would make sense. Perineum is the scientific term, which, by the way, you have on occasion made into a sexy word. Congratulations on that. I don’t think I could pull it off. What if I said, And I carressed her mammary glands softly with my tongue? Yeah not so hot. Some pressure on the perineum though, hey. Not so bad. It rolls off the tongue kind of well for a technical term.

      • Thank you Hy : )
        I did read your post. My favorite line is, “I love to play.”
        And I don’t like to think too much about Stranger than Fiction because that shit makes my head reel. Great movie.
        I’ve laughed at, been helped by, cringed away from and nearly cried over your words here. You are a wonder. And really, I don’t want to jump the gun, but you might have shown me how all my romantic and sentimental b.s. doesn’t amount to shit without a cock-shot and some manly confidence. When you were in a rough spot there a while back I should have sent you one instead of offering you a shoulder to cry on. That was stupid. If I sent the picture, you might have come over… Dammit… Live and learn. If things head deep south for you ever again, there’s a cock pic for you in it. Don’t do it though, that was very stressful for me. I care about my girlfriends, virtual or not.
        My friend is about to get the news from her ex who gets custody of their son. It’s possible she’s going to need a shoulder to cry on and a whole lot of cock pics too. I might have to hop on a plane right away if it doesn’t go her way. I think she’s prepared for the worst but it’s always hard to tell. You are very fortunate your ex isn’t a narcissistic control freak with a lot of money to spend on lawyers. The guy has the same first name as me, which feels like bad juju.
        Might be a rough night here. What’s a good story without some drama, though? Real life is always stranger than fiction.
        Keep writing, you. It is a gift. And that ass, oh my!

      • You’re the best IBF ever, Justin. And you’re right, had you sent me a cock pic instead of a shoulder things would be very different between us!

        I’m sorry your girl is going thru that; can’t think of anything worse, honestly.

        You can still send me the cock pic, btw. IGF likes those ;). xx Hy

      • Well, she lost custody, due to her ex’s douchebaggery, but she seems to be ok. And I called her out on the cock pic being the thing that rekindled her interest in me instead of me listening to her talk for over an hour every night and supporting her emotionally and trying to help her through all this these past weeks. “Fuck you,” she said in admittance. I couldn’t help but rub it in her face. And when I see her, I think I might slap her in the face with my cock, and I won’t be the least bit surprised if that wins her heart forever. And now this news from you! Holy shit, the power of a cock pic. I feel like I just stumbled onto the most profound secret of this modern age. It’s like I finally understand women, and I’m trying to hook up with the one that is supposed to be the one when I’ve had so few, and I just discovered the secret to get them all!!! What do I dooooooooooooooo!?!?!?!?!!!
        Maybe I will take my knowledge, wrap it in a box, take it to a monastery somewhere, harbor the cock pic and its power and keep it out of the hands of men. Yes, this may be my calling in life. The cock pic is too dangerous for most. What if my secret got out? How many politicians would lose their jobs in sex scandals? How many women would file restraining orders against creepers? And how many dudes would be laying women that I could have laid? Definitely, I must run away with this to the ends of the earth and hide it forever. But I’ll send you one before that happens : )

    • JA Leonard I am very intrigued by your comments, do you have a blog? Can I be your other internet girlfriend if Hy doesn’t mind? I can squirt, too.

  6. Hy, keeping comments short these days I’m waaaaay behind on reading/posting. Hugs and happiness to you sistah and it sounds like you’re weaving a beautiful quilt out of all your experiences. We all have the good, bad and ugly in our quilts…..its all good that you can step back and admire your handiwork from time to time. xoox

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