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The Birthday Dance - Friday, Dec. 20, 2019
Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019 @ 1:04 pm
I swim after work, the pool brimming with lithe teenagers: the diving team, the swimming team, the water polo team. I swim length after length, keeping pace with the two men who share the leisure lane. I realize that I am now swimming a thousand meters at a time without a lot of thought. I remember when linking three strokes together was a challenge.
I haul myself up out of the water and make my way to the hot tub and sauna. Nothing out of the ordinary happens. I feel calm and at peace with myself, a radiance, a quiet joy.
At home, I bake a galette. Pressing the butter into the flour with my hands. Slicing the apples and tossing them with cinnamon and starch. While it bakes in the oven, I practice pirouettes in the living room.
He comes over late in the evening, after his dance classes. He shows me what he’s learned. We eat the galette and after drink the whiskey that I bought on our trip to the States. I can’t keep my hands off of him, and eventually he relents and lets me devour him.
He sleeps in my bed. As the hours pass, I feel the oxytocin pulsing through my body in waves. The warmth in my chest. The overpowering desire to say I love you. He wakes briefly, shifts to hug his arm tightly around me, kisses my neck, and then returns to softly snoring. Rain falls outside. I breathe in the cool, humid air. Feel his warm chest pressed against my back. Feel him stirring against me.
In the morning, I rise and shower and make coffee. I bring him his cup of coffee while he reclines on the bed. I tuck in beside him with my own cup, and we wake up together under the heap of crisp white cotton and eiderdown.
While he showers, I pirouette in the living room in my socks. He sees me and watches. Comes in beside me, and I teach him the basics. He practices a few turns, laughs at his awkwardness, then takes my hand and he counts out a beat, and then we are lindy hopping at seven-thirty in the morning to imaginary music. The sun breaking through the clouds. The trees sparkling with raindrops.
He drives me to work. I kiss him goodbye.
“I’m going to miss you. I’ll see you on Saturday night?” I ask hopefully.
“Yes, for sure. Have fun on your trip,” he says, “and remember that distance makes the heart grow fonder.”