Late to bed. Early to rise. Heavy with sleep and black swollen eyes: the raccoon disguise of serious thinkers and hardcore drinkers.
And passionate love. The healthy sounds of intimate pleasure now a fresh morning memory, a strong musky smell between my legs, the aromatic mixture of sex, warming, rising, and percolating with the coffee.
I realize that I am smiling.
I’m waiting. Empty cup in hand. Full heart.
My ears still hear. My eyes still see. How explosive and hungry at first: bed frame squeaking, headboard banging, the begging, clutching, gripping, flipping, twisting, bending, writhing. Her legs trembling uncontrollably afterward. Giggling and peeing together in the bathroom. Then back to bed. Like two hedonists. Where the best is saved for last. The calm reentry. One flesh. Eyes wide open, mine into hers, hers into mine. Like a wedding. The solemn exchange of vows. Then the long, thoughtful, controlled kisses. The deepest connection, hot and smooth as the wax candles burning all around us—a mix and match, tall and short, skinny and fat—dancing with us, expending with us, melting with us, overflowing with us, dripping into beautiful stalactites, multicolored, pooling and cooling onto the polished wooden nightstand.
She didn’t care. I played with her hair. Off into dreamland she went, somewhere, somewhere, in there, out there, up there, down there. I don’t know.
All I know is this: she left a dark purple mark on the neck of my soul. Now I’m wearing it into the day. And everywhere I go, people will see it and know. That she’s taken me—that she took me—forcibly and hard. Some men don’t have to search for love but find themselves ultimately submitting to something or someone who’s already there, the one with the seductive stare. Omnipresent. Everywhere.
The coffee’s finished but I can still hear the comforting crackle and drip of percolation—no—it’s precipitation, an almost twin sound. It’s raining. God is moistening the grains of the earth with filtered water from the clouds.
A breakfast blend of petrichor rises from the forest floor—plant oils, essential oils—mixing with geosmin as heavy sprinkles from the sky drill holes into the thirsty soil. The scent of rain and earth floats up, up, up like a prayer to meet with ozone in the air.
I pour a cup of coffee, adding some French Vanilla. I step over an open copy of Charles Dickens and an empty bottle of port wine. I smile at the two crystal glasses. She likes whenever I read to her—like last night upon the carpeted floor.
I open the door, inhaling long and deep through my nose. I remember a garden hose on soaked summer sidewalks and lawns. Sprinklers. Slip-n-Slides. The innocent smells of youth and coming of age. That one unbearably hot summer, suddenly sizzling and steaming under a cold and gracious downpour. We were caught in that storm, our first shower together, and our first wet kiss. Dizzy with shock and desire, I was unable to tell the difference between the dangerous lightning in the sky or the dangerous fireworks of lust booming inside my brain, electrifying my heart, and the thunderous rage within the tightening crotch of my jeans.
Yes, I remember the smells, but I was still too young to know all their names.
Petrichor. Ozone. Geosmin.
These freshened memories and aromas of nature are ushering me by the elbows down the hall to where she sleeps. Quietly, I open the bedroom window and wait for a moment. And here it comes. On the breeze. Everything I have just described.
Fluid as a curbside stream, I slide beneath the sheets, edging up against her naked body in heavenly repose, engulfing her. With closed eyes, I kiss the carotid pulse of her neck, relishing her lifeblood as it warms the gentle graze of my lingering lips.
“Mmmm…” she says.
Her skin is the scent of rain.