"It's Manchestering* again," I commented as I settled myself into the Pirate's car.
(Manchester, v. to drizzle pitifully, as it does every single fucking day of the year in Manchester.)
We approached a T-junction on a country back-road. The windshield wipers were squeaking.
"Clear to port?" asked the Pirate, looking out his window to the right.
I looked out my window to the left. "Clear to port, aye Sir," I responded without hesitation.
The Pirate turned at looked at me with bewilderment.
"If you didn't expect me to respond in nautical terms," I said, "Why did you ask the question in nautical terms?"
"Habit. I've just never met a woman who knew what I was talking about without me having to explain it first."
I smiled. He pulled the car out and rounded the corner to the right, still shaking his head.
When we got back to his place there were a few awkward moments of How do we keep this night going? We were both afraid of that dreaded declaration, "I'm off to bed now, goodnight." He showed me the guest room. I sat down on the desk and started chatting. Anything to postpone saying "goodnight." I asked him if he'd ever been to America.
"To New York. Would you like to see the photos I took?"
"They're on my computer." (Of course they are.)
Which was, naturally, in his bedroom. Are you guys aware that one of the best ways to cozy up to a girl under reasonably innocent pretentions is to get her to squeeze onto your desk chair so that you can both see the screen? Do they teach you this in High School? They should. It's brilliant. We were jammed together, each with one butt cheek haning precariously off the side of the chair. The Pirate put his arm around me to hold us up/together/on the chair.
We looked at the pictures. I commented that he had a good eye for composition. And then it happened. That moment. You know that moment when your eyes meet, and you know that you're going to kiss, and you know he knows it too? That moment of perfect understanding, inevitability, when you think 'This is it. Here we go." He leaned toward me slowly, agonizingly slowly. It must have been 10 minutes from the moment our eyes me to the moment our lips followed suit.
Kissing the Pirate was unlike anyone I've kissed before. (Grand total of, um, 5.) None of your random, willy-nilly, hither and thither tonge flailing. Every movment of his lips and tongue was, not so much calucated, but deliberate. It was like the difference between listening to a child bang enthusiastically on a piano keyboard because he delights in the noise, and listening to a composer at work as he trys new things, new combinations, but always with the confidence that precise knowledge of exactly how each key sounds will bring. In that way he played me. For hours and hours he played on my mouth. He composed sonatas on my neck, symphonies on my breasts.
And here I must end the continuous narrative. By now you know where this is going, how it ends, but to continue on this line, to reveal every delicate detail of the night would be to profane the memory of the experience. I won't give the minute by minute breakdown, but I will share with you these highlights:
He was wearing smaller underpants than I was. I don't know what that signifies. Probably that I need new underpants.
Mount Olympus is going to ring any minute and demand their body back, because the Pirate is blantantly walking around in what can only be the stolen body of a Greek god. You think I'm exaggering: I'm not.
More than just physically marvelous (which it was), the Pirate was completely in tune with my emotional state. He said several things to me over the course of the evening that showed he was aware of and appreciated the many sides of my personality, and liked them all. One thing in particular (I wish I could share it with you, but some things are just too intimate) I keep playing in my mind over and over. In one sentence he demonstrated that he had me completely sussed, that he saw me as I saw myself, that he saw all of me, and not just the facade. I've got friends who have known me for years who never got that far down into my psyche, and he did it in a couple hours. Almost scary.
It was full light when we finally went to sleep.
So where does that leave me now? With one hell of a dilemma. You guys know how nuts I am for His Hairyness. He's generous with his time, his affection, and his resources. He's extremely hard-working, but very chilled out; never stressed or high-strung. He's a contientious lover, great friend, and a good man -- better than I deserve.
But I'm not in love with him. We never had that chemistry, that spark. I've been with him for 4 months, waiting to see if it grows. I had intended to wait longer, at least a couple more months. We've booked a holiday together in France this September, rented a cottage for a week in Bordeaux, just the 2 of us. Uber romantic. I've really been looking forward to it.
On the other hand, the Pirate and I clearly have amazing chemistry. Or do we? That ball was one hell of a Cinderella night. Was it him? Or was it all glitter and lights, music and magic, ambiance and alcohol? Am I willing to abandon a wonderful man who cares about me for a young swashbuckler after one night of tumbling in the dinghy?
Hairy has been more kind, more giving toward me than any man in my life. I'm not willing to cast that aside lightly. But then, it's a rare thing in this world to feel the kind of deep, instant connection I felt with the Pirate this weekend; a very rare thing indeed. I'm not willing to dismiss that lightly, either.
Why did I go home with the Pirate if I care about Hairy so much? Fair question, fair reader (as Babs would say). I've been asking myself that a lot the past couple days. There were a lot of reasons of varying degrees, but the over-riding one was this: I wanted to test drive another model.
I've been with His Hairyness about 4 months now, and he's the only man I've ever been with. You lot all know that. I've been wondering about the implications of that in the long run. I knew that if we carried on much longer, eventually I would start to wonder what else was out there. Fundamentally, dating is shopping. At least is is for me. (I know different people have different views on this, but for me, it's shopping.) You wouldn't automatically go and buy the first car you drove, would you? Of course not! You might come back to it in the end and decide you liked that first one best, but to know that it was the right choice you would have to take a few others out for a spin. And that's just a goddamn car, not a life long committment!
I know what I did was underhanded and deceitful. I should have been upfront, just said that i didn't want to have an exclusive relationship, that I wasn't ready for that kind of committment. (We've never explicitly agreed to exclusivity, but after so long I think it kind of becomes understood. Maybe I'm wrong about that.) But I didn't. Partly because I'm a coward, and partly because I didn't realize how strongly I felt about the matter until I was toes to toes with another man under a disco ball. My curiosity got the better of me.
My mom was surprisingly sympathetic. I didn't get the bollocking I expected. (Not that I told her, mind. She wheedled it out me, the telepathic bitch.) "Babe," she said, "I don't blame you one bit. I was young and hormonal once too, you know. And frankly, this is not the worst problem you could have. You waited a long time for this kind of attention, and now you've got two wonderful men who are both attracted to you. Face it, kid, a year ago you'd have dug your own eye out to be in this fix. So take your time, think carefully, follow your heart, and in the meantime, go ahead and enjoy it, just a teeny bit." (Reason number 4,113 why I love my mom.)
So there you go. That's my love life for the time being: caught between an angel and a calm, shallow sea.
Go comments? Oh, yes you do!