It Was a Dark and Stormy Night...
Chatting with a friend about her difficulties with driving, it reminded me of an unforgettable cyber pal years ago in Seattle who had experienced a major panic attack on the San Diego Freeway, so now she only drives surface streets.
She was funny, very smart, cute, had a job doing scut work in a plant nursery and wrote poems, and I was interested in dating her. But she got involved with another guy before I could meet her. She stayed in touch online, erratically, mostly about our shared interest in gardening and in cracking wise, and then later, about her requests for relationship advice... a man's point of view about why her guy continued to like strip bars so much when their sex was good ... that sort of thing. Pretty lightweight stuff, no flirting, just friends. After about a year she was back for advice and a shoulder to cry on more and more frequently.
Finally, it was over. They had been fighting a lot, and the guy just dumped her, she said. And I helped her with that, too, mostly listening, saying a few things that she needed to hear. Then she said, "You know, you've been such a good friend to me the last year, so supportive, it's odd that we've never met. How'd you like to get together for coffee?” I said "Sure."
Since she lived about 40 miles away in the boonies, and had an issue with driving on highways, she asked me to pick her up and we'd head for a coffeehouse she liked nearby. It was a dark and stormy night, really nasty, and her house was hard to find, so when I got there she suggested we just stay in, that she'd made some fresh coffee, c'mon back to the kitchen.
Her small townhouse was tidy, inexpensively but tastefully furnished, and she had a lot of pictures of her two daughters on the wall. One was married, one was finishing college. She was short, a tad chubby, alive and chirpy and altogether adorable. When we got to the kitchen she showed me her collection of salt & pepper shakers, which were kitschy but fun. She offered me wine if I'd prefer, and I did, so she turned off the coffeepot and joined me.
We chatted easily, a little casual history on each side, but mostly it was her unloading about her recent failed relationship. I made supportive noises, and added a few comments when she stopped to breathe. We were two old pals who'd just met, hanging out in the kitchen on a stormy night, cozy. After a while she asked me if I was hungry, and of all her suggestions a nectarine seemed the most compatible with the white wine we were drinking. It was as sweet and juicy as any nectarine I've ever tasted. Great choice.
"How is it?" she asked. "Is it good?" In a moment of genius I still can't explain, I answered her question by taking a fresh bite, then leaning over to push it into her mouth with my tongue. She later described the sensation as a jolt of electricity that went straight from her tongue to her clit. She slowly chewed the bite, savoring it fully, while looking at me wide eyed. After a moment, without a word, she took my hand and led me upstairs to her bedroom.
She turned off all the lights, explaining that she was very shy about a patch of psoriasis on her stomach, then in the very dim light remaining from a skylight, we flowed effortlessly into the most amazing sex together I've ever experienced. It was like the wettest of my wet dreams brought to life. We danced, simply danced the night away, running through a Kama Sutra of positions... the Cliff Notes version, anyway... matching each other's rhythm and tempo changes seamlessly, melting into each other as if we had been having sex together forever and knew each other's every move, yet every shift and change seeming fresh and exciting. Finally, exhausted, we fell asleep in each other's arms around 5am.
A few hours later she woke me from a deep, deep sleep and said she needed to go to work, but could she have just a little more, please? Even our quickie was off the charts. It was as if we were each born to have sex with the other. It was flawless, breathtaking. "Sleep as long as you like," she purred, "but I have to go now. Just lock the door behind you when you leave. Talk to you later!" And she was gone.
When I finally arose and stumbled out the door into the brightness of mid-day, I was in a cloud. I'm not sure how I managed to drive home without catastrophe. Then when I arrived, I hit the sack for another long nap. My entire system was reeling. I wanted more dreams, not a return to reality.
When I rose again, late in the day, I wondered if she was home from work yet, because I wanted to call her, I wanted another delicious taste of her energy right away. Checking my email, I found a message from her. "I'd love nothing more than to see you again tonight. But Himself called me, wants to talk, and after a year together I think I owe him that."
What followed was several days of blackout, in which she didn't answer my calls, didn't respond to my emails, nothing. Finally, a message arrived, and I read it, disbelievingly.
"This is hard to say after spending such an amazing night with you. And I know it would have gotten even better between us over time. In that department I've never met a more perfect match. But what He had to say was an apology. A big apology. And he asked me to marry him. I've done a lot of thinking the last few days, and I've decided to accept. The sex is good with him, but nowhere near what I experienced with you. But I've got a year invested in my relationship with him, and he's a generous man who makes a very good living... you know how hard my job is on me... and my daughters like him a lot. So I said Yes. Sorry. I know this is disappointing news for you. For me too, at least a little. But a girl has to do what a girl has to do. Thank you for everything. I'll never forget you."
And she was gone, like that. I never saw her again. But I never forgot her.
Years later, she popped up on my radar again. I don't remember quite how, and by now I was living on the East Coast. I have a vague memory of her posting something about a guy with a big boat in San Diego wanting to date her but she wasn’t sure, and me recognizing a familiar phrase in what she wrote, but I'm not sure. In any case, when we exchanged emails I found out that it was indeed her, and she was back in San Diego and using a different name. She was in hiding from her now about-to-be-Ex, because he had turned out to be abusive and possessive. It had been a dark, stormy marriage. After years of enduring it, her kids had helped her to escape, literally, while he was away.
"You wouldn't recognize me now," she wrote. "In order to have money of my own I took a job as a pastry chef in a busy bakery, and I've put on about 40 pounds since you last saw me. Still can't drive the freeway. Oh well. Hugz."
And with that she was gone again, doing what a girl had to do to get by. Doing what she had to do.
Every once in a while, on a dark, stormy night, I think of her, and that one extraordinary time our paths crossed for real. And to this day I’m uncommonly partial to very ripe, juicy nectarines.
Photo & text © 2010 David Kinne