"Baby, come look she is finally here!" It was hard to contain my excitement as I called to my husband to come look at her through the window. She was so much prettier than her picture. Butterflies filled my stomach as I thought about how much fun it was going to be kissing her. She was dressed in a long black trench coat, hopefully hiding the scandalous outfit I asked her to wear. Her long, dark brown, hair was shining in the sun, and her curves showed slightly as she walked in her knee high, black leather, stiletto boots. Her skin was clear and pale, lashes long and black as night, ruby red l... Continue»
I am NOT the author.am simply sharing
With humble and joyous thanks to Gypsy Isabella.
Beloved, my heart is full to the brim as we celebrate two decades together. Will you accept these words as a small tribute to our love?
As I look into your eyes, I see you as you are now, and I remember the evening when you first shared my table.
Since that wondrous night, we’ve grown from boys to men. We buried friends and raised a god son. We celebrated holidays and simple days with the incredible community of those we hold dear. Through it all, I’ve been blessed to watch your handsome face in the light of a thousand candles.
My treasure, you are the sun in my universe. Before you, there was no center to my galactic travels; they were wild, erratic, reckless, and restless. Now I revolve in your orbit, tethered to your pull, inspired by it, seeing it as the gift that it is. How can I ever show you the full magnitude of what you mean to me?
Tonight, the candles’ soft light reveals the fine lines at your eyes where your smile has worn its welcome. Strands of silver dance through your hair, as though the moon has kissed you. The deepening richness of your voice is a feast to my ears. You still seduce me with just a word, a laugh, or a cry. Your lean body is essentially unchanged, merely gaining strength and flexibility as your dedication to morning Tai Chi and evening swims never waivers.
Do you remember the circumstances of our first meeting, at that funny little Lutheran church in the country? Friends of yours were getting married, and I was there by happenstance, a casual date of one of the guests. The acolytes could not light the candles with their long flames to save their sweet young souls, and the lady playing the wedding march on the organ made it sound as if it were played by a calliope. The soloist was so terrible, I thought at first she was a comedy act.
When I slipped into the row behind you, my date introduced me to you. From the moment I saw you, your deep green eyes bewitched me. We shook hands and you pulled yours away as though scorched by the heat that passed between us. On the drive back to the city that night, I schemed how to pry your number and more information about you from the hopeful man at the wheel, who was doomed to be disappointed by me.
Then came three long months of orchestrating seemingly chance encounters at your favorite tea shop, mutual friends’ houses, or concerts I learned you’d be attending. Finally, I risked inviting you to my house for supper. Fearing you would say no left me nearly paralyzed with anxiety. Never before had I been able to care so deeply for someone. I knew my reputation preceded me, and that you had heard much about me. I could not deny or explain away those things; all I could do was open myself up to you, to counteract and to balance what you knew by hearsay.
Later you told me that my reputation had frightened you. You heard, “He’s deep into that kinky stuff; he’s used to always getting what he wants. He’s just too intense, dangerous, competitive, serious, and smart for his own good. He’ll walk away at the drop of a hat. He’s incredibly restless. Stay away from him if you know what’s good for you.” Nevertheless, you took my calls, and you moved into the dance. You told me that your parents -- the two dear souls whom I now consider to be my own parents -- encouraged you to hang in there and get to know me.
The night you came to my house was really the first time I had the luxury of drinking you in with my eyes. Welcoming you at the door, I ushered you into the tiny candlelit dining room. When you sat, the candlelight sparked off your eyes. You wore a black v-neck cashmere sweater that hugged your arms, shoulders, and chest. The sight of you left me breathless.
In our nervousness, neither of us could stop talking. You babbled about comics you loved. We argued over the quality of light in John Singer Sargent and Albert Bierstadt works. Your leg bounced against the table as my heart bounded across my chest.
The table at which we sat -- the same at which we sit this evening -- is one I salvaged and restored, sanding the gouges, repairing the legs. My friend and mentor , a master woodworker, taught me to fix things made from wood. He insisted that I learn only with hand tools. “You will never get to know the wood if you have a piece of machinery separating you from it. Let the wood show you how to bring it back. You must learn to feel it.”
As I sanded, I exorcised the struggles of a troubled youth. As the slow reemergence of the wood’s native beauty revealed itself, I came to realize the work on that table was also a resurrection of my own life. Tonight the table sits in a different house, one we built together. It is still lovely, and the curly maple whorls are as familiar to us now as the backs of our own hands.
Today, everything about you is more indescribably exquisite to me than it was even then. At that time, the softness of your voice, the lushness of your lips, the gracefulness of your movements were new to me, and to this day, remain unique to my experience. Your hair was a bit long, and the rich brown curls you sported made you appear boyish, younger than your twenty years. You were at ease in your own skin as a man, and that could only have come from your two extraordinary parents, and your upbringing in various places around the world.
After dinner, we sat at the table and sipped cognac. I excused myself to build a fire in the living room, then returned and offered you my hand. You swallowed nervously and I smiled at you, aware I was exposing more of myself than I had ever dared.
“You’re afraid,” you said. A statement. An accurate reading.
“Indeed, I am.”
“I have never wanted anything or anyone as much as I want you. I don’t simply mean to bed you. I mean I want you; all of you. And I am afraid of losing you.”
You nodded. You still had not taken my hand, which remained extended. “I am afraid, too,” you confessed. “Should I fear you, Daniel?”
“I have never cared for the well-being of anyone else; you are a first for me. I realised I would risk everything just to keep you safe, and this part of myself is new to me. I can’t say with complete honesty that you have nothing to fear. The notion of causing you harm in any way seems incomprehensible to me. That is all I can tell you.”
Slowly you reached out to me. I’d queued up music in the hope you would dance with me. Leading you to the living room, I took you in my arms and we began to dance. You moved with me, eyes shy as you effortlessly followed my lead. Your heat and proximity intoxicated me, your youth and apparent innocence intimidated me. Before that moment I never worried about being too intense, straight forward, or powerful. But I knew that in my arms I held the man who would one day teach me to be the man I wanted to become.
We danced for an hour. I sang into your ear and at one point, you harmonized with me -- a gloriously rich tenor counterpoint to my baritone. I stopped dead. Of all the senses, it is the auditory sense that most enriches my experience in the world. Music, performance, and listening are my guideposts. Tears came to my eyes, as you utterly stunned and captured me.
“I’d very much like to kiss you,” I whispered to you.
“At last,” you sighed.
I wrapped my hands in your curls and drew your face to mine. Your extraordinary eyes widened at the feel of our lips meeting. Those first moments exist in my mind as separate freeze frames even as they go by in a blur. Moans came from both of us, our cheeks were wet with tears; yours? Mine? You were not shy and your tongue sought mine. Your response telegraphed your hunger and I felt the mounting evidence of our mutual need as we pressed our bodies tightly against one another.
Do you remember how we felt in that moment, my beloved? I recall feeling as though I had two beings -- the physical one that was engaged in the call and response of love, lust, and longing, and the metaphysical one that was enthralled by the energy and awareness of an Other, my one and only, my sun; nothing less. With that awareness came the fear that I was heading toward a reality that you didn’t share.
I pulled away from our kiss. You read my fear.
“What?” you asked with such concern in your voice. “You are afraid again.”
“Yes.” My heart pounded and my body began to quake. Never had I experienced the gut wrenching vulnerability of that moment.
And then, with the precious confidence that belies your soft vulnerable visage, you took my head in your hands and kissed my eyes, my nose, and then traced my lips with your fingers. Your smile held such kindness, so much love, as you said, “No need. I already knew when I arrived, Daniel: I don’t intend to leave.”
Stunned, I wept. My amazement only grew when you stepped away from me and undressed. Naked in front of me, I beheld you, incredulous. Before me, you fell to your knees and said as you bowed your head, “Command me.”
“That is not necessary. Not...not for you. I cannot...”
From your knees, opened widely, in a position of utterly perfect submission, your face turned upward as you simply asked, “Did you think I fell in love with you while overlooking the legend? I’ve done my homework. I too want it all. Now, how may I serve you?”
“But, for you... you do not need -- I could be --”
“I know. For me, you would separate yourself from your instincts, from your core. But then you would not be yourself, would you, Daniel? And, who would I be to ask that of you? I want to be yours, I demand to be yours, fully. Please.” Tears glistened in your eyes.
And I, the cynical skeptic, believed you. With those words, my Love, you healed my life. Every song of joy, every laugh, every success, every remarkable, outrageous, amazing thing that has come my way since, I trace back to that moment.
In your love, I never waiver. In your love, I always hit my note. In your love, I am fearless. In your love, I am now a man who no longer fears his own softer instincts. In your love, everything is possible.
Twenty years, my treasure, and still we grow together. Humbled by that which continues between us, we face each morning with hope -- and as evening draws nigh, we sit at this table, with the candlelight dancing off your emerald eyes, and my heart melts, all over again.