The pirate teases me, calling me Messy Meg. I tell him, I am not messy, disagreeing with him, saying the truth is that messes just happen to me. As I say this I am squeezing some lotion onto my hands, but the tip is a little dry and I squeeze out 5 times as much as I could ever need. It squirts onto my sweater. He mentions hoping we are not stopped by police because they will wonder what is up with my upturned palm completely full of creamy white lotion. He takes some and I still have enough for four more people. He has to open the glove box and give me napkins to wipe off my hands, I completely soak three of them.
I recall the time this happened with my Mom, my brother came out to the kitchen where I was…. Combing my hair in the little corner mirror? Washing dishes? Peeling potatoes? I don’t recall, what I do recall is that he had a lovely dollop of whipped cream in his hand, want some? Sure I said and I stuck my finger in the whipped cream and put it in my mouth. I sputtered, and spit. Yuck what the heck is that? It’s lotion.
But how like me, to squeeze a little too hard, and make a mess, to dip my finger in and stick it in my mouth without enough information. It is all about my reactions. I want to jump in head first, without checking the depth of the water. I want to respond as though everything was just as they say it is in the glossy, glossed over pages of a superficial magazine. I cut out a page, how to tell if your man truly loves you. I check off one, two, three maybe, but two of them not yet fulfilled. I promise myself I will hang it on my fridge, to remind myself just what it is I SHOULD be getting. I react, to the text, no I won’t call you, I am going to bed. Grr. Jerk. Then the phone rings, he has called anyway. There it is that finger dipping into the lotion and coming out with bitter soapy lotion.
I realize bit by bit that this relationship is the healthiest and most normal one I have ever been in. He intentionally takes his time. I worry my self, picking at the wounds already scarred over, it should be moving faster, I tell myself. It isn’t moving along quick enough, I say in the dark hours of the night. He tells me, relationships take time, they are built baby step by baby step. Uh huh. Right. I recall exactly one year ago today, how I tried to jump in head first, and found my self with a mouth full of sand. Taking a step back, I see that patience is wisdom. I feel so much respect for this man, that I am shaken by it. Profound.
We wake more or less at the same time, our body clocks seem to be on a similar rhythm only he goes to bed earlier than I do naturally, and sleeps better. We are so playful with each other, another comparison, I say I know my breath is kicking, he says yes it is and somehow invites me to tease him breathing on him through the sheets that cover his nose, licking him and telling him my saliva is like Alien acid drool and I am sure right now he can feel it burning his flesh. The thing is, that is has not been patience that has kept me here, I am not patient, not even with this, rather it is the friendship, the notion that I would be friends with this man, no matter what, because he is so like me, and the ways he is not like me, are perfectly okay. But it is a value system too that we have in common, ethically, we are so alike. And there is this other thing too, this sharing thing that happens between us. At lunch he leaves two shrimp on the tray, you only tried one, have another, he insists, I take it. How are those potatoes I ask, because I was torn between them and the collard greens, he lifts his fork and offers it to me. I try to take it, and feed myself. He pulls his fork back and waits for my hand to drop, and he feeds me. I have to learn to trust, my trust in him is always rewarded. Perhaps I need to be patient with myself.
As I write this, which I have spent the last four hours trying to say something. I am finding it so difficult to express what is inside me. All I can do is mull over how he managed to check off two of the list of that stupid article in a matter of a few hours. How can I tell if he truly loves me?
Because he turned over and looked into my eyes, and told me.
Note to self: Stop squeezing the damn bottle so hard, and remember to find out what you are sticking your finger into before you put it in your mouth. Let patient loving kindness and compassion be your reaction.