What happened to my favorite long talks in the middle of the night? Lying naked together. “Cuddle me,” he’d say and roll over. I would press my face into that little place between his shoulder blades that I loved and breathe in the masculine scent of him, draping my arm over his broad chest, thrilled to have such a beautiful lover to call my own. And he is beautiful, all long arms and long legs and long back. His smooth skin taut across his muscular frame. We would laze there, pleased with life and each other, and just talk.
What were those long conversations about? Life, politics, neighbors, colleagues, love, sex, music, books, religion, we covered it all. Oh, and those baths. He would scrub my feet and I would wash his back, counting the moles and freckles, pretending they were a star map of the night sky.
We spent hours in the hot soapy water, just talking more long talks and laughing with each other. After a time he decided it was too much time spent wasted, and our long baths were cut.
What went wrong? When did the snide remarks become stitched into the fabric of the words we had to say to each other? When did he start to sneer at me and mimic my words in a whiny, nasal voice? When did his criticisms cross the line of being constructive into destructive?
How I cried in my pillow like a lost child. There was a time in those long conversations that I felt I had found a home. In that lengthy, lean body and in the strength of those exquisite hands, I found safety. He said when we last saw each other that he gave me his heart. Yet, he doesn’t seem to realize that when I held it most carefully in the palms of my hands, when I cherished it and relished in it, he ripped it from me. No, you’re too old, he said. Then, of course, he left me standing there to go skating with another woman, a younger woman. There’s no home to be found in that action. So now I’m lost, flustered in my confusion. Wasn’t I once perfect? Wasn’t I patient and kind? Wasn’t I amazing and strong? Wasn’t I beautiful and talented? Home, home was wherever he was and now I don’t know where he is but in India, perhaps with another young woman, the world his oyster and the sea full of fish. And I feeling lost of house and key, with no home to call my own.