"I would love your hands, even if they weren't yours." She said this to me over Christmas while we were laying on our backs, and she was holding my hand up in the air inspecting it to see how much I'd been picking my nails lately. She pronounced my nails to look awful, then took my hand between both of hers, patted it gently, and held on. We kept watching the movie. I laid my head on her shoulder, and she leaned her forehead against mine. It's how we always sleep when we're together.
A snapshot, a moment in time -the intimacy between the deepest of friends and none of it sexual in the least. But the intense closeness of a connection that is felt deep in your bones -this, I can only feel with a few. A secret place that nobody knows.
I say this as my life seems to be turning into an episode of Sex and the City -without the sex. Perhaps more aptly named, "Fool Around in the City." An old flame has recently returned to my city to live (long-time readers will remember him as "guy in Seattle" from last spring) and that quietly rekindled, and now our flirting takes on a new level, with possibilities behind them. Possibilities in which we occasionally indulge even though we know he and I will go nowhere as a couple.
My first date last week went well, and while we barely know each other, I like him and we're going to the movies tomorrow. I'm taking it slo-o-o-wly and I like it that way.
As I always do when I first begin dating, I start thinking of past relationships. Or in my case, rather, past hook-ups that lasted a few weeks. I've never really had a deep relationship with a man. My emotions, my true self, my heart has always been reserved for those closest to me. And those have primarily been the women in my life. I keep men at arm's length, and I hesitate from throwing all my cards out on the table.
I found an old flame on Facebook recently, and I looked through pictures of his oldest daughter, born while we were in the midst of our tumultuous high school relationship...thing...that we did for quite some time. I looked at him, and her, and it was like a tiny glimpse into a life that, were I a different kind of person, may have very well been mine.
My sisters and I have begun texting each other almost daily. We don't ask about our days or our little day-to-day things. I have no idea, really, what they do between the hours of 8-5, and I'm not involved in the minutae of "so and so had an accident at school so s/he lost a sticker on the behavior chart" drama. They say simply "Hi, I love you. Stay warm."
I never dreamed we would be this close. One of the best blessings of my life.
These women in my life -the one who knows the words of my story and run fingers through my hair and hold me when I can't stand up anymore on my own. And the men, both those I have known and those I will, who also run their fingers through my hair while we lay there, and I wonder when I will find one who loves me enough to stick around. Until then, I proceed with caution, but with a heart that is -finally- ready to try.
It's been a long time coming.