11.6.2013 Journal Prompt

Image from Lost in Translation
Image from Lost in Translation

November 6, 2013: Touch.

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2 thoughts on “11.6.2013 Journal Prompt

  1. Lindsay

    In those first days, we didn’t touch. We stood close enough and breathed in each other’s air and felt the yearning tug of wanting, but uncertainty held us back. They say the young are bold, but in love it is not always so. And I remember we walked for miles, or weeks, or months, counting stars or swallows or snowflakes, and talking so all our silences were filled, and there was a slow and slow coming upon what we had.

    Then one day – and though it should be marked on a calendar somewhere, I do not know when or recall how – my hand held in his and his in mine and I did not know if we could ever let go.

    His name was Donny and he worked at the all night bakery and he smelled of flour and butter and milk, and Wednesdays he smelled of cinnamon and orange peel. His arms were thick as knotted rope from all the kneading, and tattoos of women with sit-up tits and yellow hair. And Donny made offerings of bread baked in the shape of hearts and still warm, or small buns he’d iced with kisses and flowers. And we ate that bread and those cakes, breaking off pieces to feed to the other, his fingers touching my lips and my tongue, and my fingers touching his. And maybe we dropped crumbs so we could find our way back again, like in that story of the the two children and the house made of gingerbread.

    I had a small apartment up on Claremont Drive at that time, small enough you could stand in the centre of the bedroom and stretch to touch all four walls in turn. And the bed there filled the room and we filled the bed. And I remember his fingers picking at my buttons and I remember I wanted to help, was impatient for his hands to find me, all of me. And then to be discovering the small hidden pockets of feeling in me, and my skin all new and pricking, and the breathless rush of snatched air.

    And we were always touching after that. His hand at my waist or my hand at his cheek. And we did not care that the world could see. And we kissed under streetlamps or sunbursts, and we did all that without thinking and with all the carelessness of first love – and first love is fleeting, but we never knew.

    Now, years on, and Donny sleeps in the day. And he still smells of flour and butter and milk. And he does not like me touching him like before. He sleeps with his clothes on sometimes, as though he intends not to sleep. And I close the curtains and I lie beside him, curled into listening to his sleeping breath and hearing the small mis-shape of words that slip from his lips, like the broken bits of his dreams. And slowly, I reach one hand towards him and I put it lightly on his arm or his chest and it is all the touching we do now. And I do it so gently that he never knows and never wakes. And just then I feel again that yearning that stopped us touching at first and I wish we could find the breadcrumb path back to that time and start over, just so that I could treasure the short years of touching that I missed and that if I had again I would pay more heed to.

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