He was in uniform: jeans, seersucker shirt over a black tee shirt, and Buff covering his head, except that he was also wearing a sports jacket. The sports jacket took it to some new place, and I liked that place. I had actually suggested he bring a jacket, though I wasn’t thinking a sports jacket at the time. I thought he might need it if we went out to the gazebo after dinner. He texted that he was hoping I would keep him warm in that event but agreed to bring a jacket.
We had originally settled on 7:00 p.m., but when he offered to come at 6:00, knowing I had been up since 3:30 a.m., I took that as a pleasant level of eagerness, which was confirmed by a text saying, “Okay, cool. I get to see you an hour earlier then!”
We had the caviar and cheese with prosecco at the kitchen chopping block. He’d never had Greek caviar and liked it. When we moved to the dining room and sat down, he immediately moved the large candle I had in the center of the table, saying it blocked his view, and he wanted to be able to see me fully as we ate and talked.
I wondered if he practiced saying all the right things or if it just came naturally and reminded myself that he had already confessed to being unfiltered. What was in his head came out of his mouth. That trait gave him a rather charming demeanor of innocence. It was likely to be an interesting evening.
It was a very interesting evening in many ways, but innocence–his and mine–was forgotten with the first kiss. Derek was considerably taller than me, but there was a step down from the living room to the dining room, and that step made all the difference in physical contact. I had used pretty much every step in the house over the years with my husband, so the idea of finding a little elevation when embracing was natural to me. He found it amusing and appealing.
What I found appealing, alluring, tempting, engaging, and endlessly fascinating were his ability and our compatibility when it came to kissing. It was the stuff of which legends are made. It would have been knee-buckling, but we were so well matched and I was so present to the experience that instead of being knee-buckling, it was like stepping into the role of archetypal goddess engaging and engaged with the archetypal god.
And as is often the case when things take on mythical overtones, time seemed to slip sideways. He might have been the archetypal god wooing the archetypal goddess for minutes or hours or days. Maybe even lifetimes.
We punctuated gently devouring one another with more eating and conversation. As with our lunch date, the conversation swung from one topic to another in no particular order and often without segue. Derek was bright, funny, and multifaceted, making him the perfect dinner companion.
But we kept returning to that step and the activity that made us feel like teenagers who had just discovered how to kiss and couldn’t get enough of it. One of the most compelling elements of that experience was Derek’s personal scent. I had long understood that the right man just smelled right. I knew I was not alone in this because I had talked with many women about it, and we usually agreed that the man you could fall in love with had a personal scent that was intoxicating. It was more than mere pheromones. It had something to do with chemical resonance, and it was an important part of what made for great chemistry between a man and a woman.
I couldn’t think of anywhere I would rather be or anyone I would rather be with. I couldn’t think of anything else worth doing at all, as if nothing else in my life had ever been quite as important, compelling, or fulfilling as being in this man’s embrace. In fact, I couldn’t think at all. I just experienced.
And if an Earth-destroying meteor had hit Colorado during those moments, I would have died believing that the last moments of my life alone had made for a life well lived.
I was in deep, and it was only our second meeting.
Note: The name Derek is fictitious and has been used out of respect for the man involved.
Copyright 2016 by Melanie Mulhall