SWORDFERN
Rooted, I used to think.

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The Ranch - Sunday, Jul. 12, 2020
Loved - Wednesday, Jul. 01, 2020
Safe Haven - Monday, Jun. 29, 2020
Cat Crack - Friday, Jun. 26, 2020
Appreciation - Tuesday, Jun. 23, 2020


Monday, Jun. 29, 2020 @ 11:22 am
Safe Haven



I spend the day on the snow in the mountains with the mountaineering club learning how to extract bodies from glacier crevasses. I work methodically with the ropes and anchors, digging into the old, frozen snow with my ice axe, rigging pulley systems with carabiners, and swatting early-season flies from my face. This is far from glamorous, but I am so very happy. A grouse whoomps from the woods for hours while we practice.

I arrive home in the early evening and stand under a hot shower until the chill is released from my bones. I put on a sundress - so different from the layers of wool and down and goretex - and head over to Russell’s.

He’s been to a party and has been given something to try, something legal and edible. I’m not sure exactly what, but he’s relaxed. But then he begins to feel off, and so we go to bed.

He curls up and describes the vertigo, and that it’s better laying down. I reach over him to draw the curtain, and his hands reach up to touch my body.

“Your skin,” he says, “your skin is so soft. My god, your body is so beautiful.”

He touches me and moves against me, and I take advantage of the moment.

“What do you like about my body?”

I listen to his response. The drugs have made him loose and he says over and over that I look like a supermodel while kissing my neck and running his hands along my hips.

“You feel amazing. You look amazing, the light across your body. Your curves, your soft skin. This feels amazing. I am so lucky.”

Later in the weekend, we sit on the deck of a riverside pub, grimey and sweaty from a full day of climbing.

“What do you think compliments your personality, when it comes to dating?” I ask him, after he describes how one of his friends is finally in a complementary relationship.

“You,” he says. I ask him to elaborate.

“Well, intelligence. I want to be able to have conversations. A partnership, someone who contributes. Someone adventurous and outdoorsy. Oh, and someone cuddly, and you get huge points there. You are the cuddliest person that I’ve ever met. And someone who doesn’t blindly follow convention, like how you said today that you’d never dye your hair to look younger.”

“I call that laziness, to be honest. I can’t imagine going to the hairdresser more than twice a year. I’d rather go on an adventure than spend a half day in a salon.”

“That’s not laziness. That’s priorities.”

“Fair.”

The food arrives, and the conversation moves away from this.

The cuddles? I need the cuddles. I am so hungry for them - the comforting warmth, the safe haven - after years of laying on the far side of the bed. When he strokes my head with his large, gentle hand, my body relaxes and my breath deepens.

I never imagined that I would find this kind of relationship, that I’d be living and writing this magical narrative. The admiration, the adventure, the passion, the tenderness.

And there are four more of my needs.


Roots | Shoots