My night ended with me back in Sully’s (my man)boudoir. He had been the designated driver so was now relaxing with a Scotch, eyeing me thoughtfully. I felt dark and twisty inside, like the the damp air before a storm. I dug through my tote for my face cream and he got up and walked over. He lifted my tote onto his dresser, opened a drawer and scooped his/the contents, tossing them to the nearby chair. Then one hand in my hair, he kissed me hard and told me to leave what I wanted. Tell him what I needed. Let him care for me until we could care for us. Tears of hope mingled with angry fears of realistic.
He opened his wardrobe and handed me a stack of his shirts which I love to sleep in. Another drawer found his soft thick socks. A sweatshirt joined the pile….If I have it, it’s yours, he whispered. The pain cut like splinters of broken glass. This is us. This is what my whole foreign aide team was built on. If its mine its yours. If you need me I am there. If you hurt I will hold you. If you are wronged I will avenge you. If you are in danger I will always protect you. You are never alone as long as we all have each other.
How many lives had we lived together? Bandaging each other’s wounds, external and internal before we set out into the noonday sun to bandage the world’s. It made us and in the end, broke us. All I could see in the dim light of Sully’s bedroom was Africa. Red dust, mosquitos, rotting foliage,big skies and violence. Tonight was coaxing the unwanted memories in. Our reunion with the crew had been short and filled. Unspoken stories recalled with hands held. Drinks toasted in whispers for the men missing from our crew. We were at the table and Tipp began to tell Eric’s lady the story of heat walking. I went through a spate of night terrors in the field where I would sleepwalk and wake up screaming. They all took to putting my cot in between two of them to shepherd me through the nights. They would whisper facts to me about the coldest places on earth that people lived. Build me ice castles in our imagination. Sully who is where I am from in the deep deep South, would remember me the innocent joys of a snowball, a tri color popsicle, an ice cold abita beer.
I swallowed the past like a knot of sick trying to push its way out. I wasn’t the only one. Sully is so strong of heart but just as hurt, bitter and worn as I am. He writes, slanted loops of his soul in blue ink in leather bound books of good paper. We are the only two who have always journaled out of my crew. As if scribing it so we never forgot even a moonbeam, a name, a tear, a tumble or a song… His wavy shaggy hair fell over his still sunburnt face and he looked at me like all he wanted to do was cry rage kiss fuck fix. It had been an impossible night for us both. So I pushed my full breast into him. I tiptoed and held on to him. I let him crush me to him and I held on as the ship went down.
Fear took over. A place that took forever to get to, was suddenly moving so fast. The unsettled anger that always lives within me rose.
I unbuttoned his jeans and played at the zipper. His full lipped smile turned on a certain ambience that had a wicked rush of lawless creeping. He kicked his jeans off, I ditched mine, I unpinned my hair as I crossed, turning on the ipod, dialing up the tunes. We danced. I mean let the rhythm take us and shape us. There we were.. song after song, next to each other but apart. We just danced the confusion n sorrow out. Stopping seconds for sips of drinks. Laughing as he did the robot or as I taught him to jive….
Then Solomon Burke came on… I pushed my back into his chest. His arm came around, hand pushing into my soft waist. He ground into deep dips with me. Other hand roughly moving my hair as he bent and kissed a trail down my neck column.
The ceiling fan ticked in time. We were dirty dancing like we had come up to do. His wood floors were the juke joint of a faded pastel memory of our youth. I was struck by the fact that he loves to dance, he always has. Turning me, he held my back in one hand and took my hand in his other. He led with the grace of Cary Grant and the promise of Frank Sinatra. He moved his shoulders, shrugging with elan. His eyes reflected the beats. Mouth tightened, teeth grinded as he fell into the lost get back boogie.
Songs wandered, I stood straighter. I found the adrenaline of the lost and blinded. I swayed into the softness of Tuesday’s Gone…I popped and acted criminal to Nelly’s Hot in Here..I lay on the floor with Sull, hand in hand as we listen to Springsteen’s Backstreets… tears dripping from us, for what was lost. How the crew still sang the same songs even as life mocked us by changing. Our memories sinned and confessed and in the music found absolution.
The time passed and you realize that night is becoming a memory. One that you will recall in the future whether together or not. As Tina Turner explained how Proud Mary was gonna play out we shimmed against each other dancing . Each mimicking the words… As the tempo picked up, hips went wild… our mutual floppy hairdos like Animal from the muppets. His infectious grin filling me with trust. We were two kids in the basement again listening to records, waiting for the perfect song to kiss to.
Cold beer appeared and a window was cracked for a rainy breeze. We ran thru hip hop, Old skool cool, sweet rock and roll. A slow ballad of Leona Lewis and he pulled me in for the high school prom dance. Suddenly I was the girl who got the guy. He moved us in a sway. Kissing me as Leona went on about life passing her by… He shucked his t shirt and pushed me down on the bed, stealing my panties down my legs. Explosions of the word Happy climbed out of the speakers as he enticed me to give up my tshirt and bra. And on the last note.. He shut off the ipod, tuned into me and played me a song of sighs.
I wrote this at 7am this morning. Sitting on his window sill watching him as he slept. Once done, I put my cell down and went to greet our houseguests whom I heard stirring. As I was putting the coffee on I heard the tap running in the bathroom and a chuckle….Nick sang out in a shrieky male soprano… I just wanna be Happppppppppppppppy……….A blush stole over me as I giggled. Sully woke, Lance staggered out…. and I realized the storm of the past had passed. My Lie and Die team rides again. There are none like us..and none like us. And ever thus was so.