The Romance

As I write this I have just left my love at the airport, I do not know when next we see each other.

A few weeks ago, or a few months ago, I sat at The Front – an art café – with my laptop writing a journal entry. She sat opposite me and we talked all day, the sun slowly moving across the old wooden table counting the time in a timeless meeting.

Ten days passed that encounter, we met again at the poetry slam, her invite prompting the confrontation of stage fright and public speaking.  The night was full of fun, I wrote about it in a previous journal entry so will spare you the detail. Afterward I gave her and her bike a lift home, I could feel her trepidation accepting a ride from a stranger to her house late at night but once we started driving that feeling vanished, we hung out in the van at the front of her house, going through my suitcase of books, reading passages and poetry to one another. Eventually the night had to end, we both were working the next day. I slunk home to bed.

The next night, I was about ready to go to sleep when I received an SMS. “Feel like a swim?” It was a hot day and although I was tired from the night before I was keen for an adventure – working in an office was contrary to the life I had been living on the road. I picked her up from the city and we drove to Kambah pools, a part of the Murrumbidgee River that widened into a lush freshwater swimming hole. By the time we arrived it was midnight, the moon was nearing full and there were patchy white clouds in the sky, we were occasionally bathed in blue moonlight as we progressed down the quiet bushland path to the river.

Often when talking to a woman I went through varying stages of lust; thoughts and feelings would arise and I would end up sabotaging the encounter. The passion was inside me and wanted to come out but in an attempt to prevent awkwardness I would stifle these feelings which hilariously would create awkwardness. The last month or so at the gathering had been the focus on these animalistic urges and I was more and more seeing the other lovingly as a person instead of an object.

The experience with this woman was different than most, meeting her at The Front was devoid of lust and expectation and it resulted in an amazing afternoon spent. She had been on my mind this day so innocence was turning into interest but at the same time the expectation in my mind was released, I would let life happen neither attracted to nor averse to outcome.

We sat upon a beach by the river that during the day may have been shared by many cooling down in the heat. We had it all to ourselves, a moonlit swim unencumbered by clothing, the water feeling good against my naked body, the night silent apart from our splashes. We spoke as we danced in the shallow water, momentary eye contact and smile bought us closer, still circling, now gazing at each other, close enough for contact, we hugged, hands softly touching hair and skin. Everything was in slow motion as our heads moved back, cheek touching cheek, corner of lip touching corner of lip, this ultra-sensitive part invoking the inner electricity and evolving into a slow embrace, her soft kiss a balm like no other as we stood entangled waist deep in the cool water.

That night we made love in the van.

This was how it was for the next few weeks, fleeting moments of intense romance, the month or so we were together only allowed us two or three mornings to sleep in, she was away with family or work on the weekends so we used the week nights to come together, a film on the grass in the Botanic Gardens, an evening swim, or dinner at her place, these short meetings however were intoxicating. I followed like a lost puppy while she took me on spontaneous adventures at every meeting. She is also a Leo and I saw in her so much of my own personality, the aloofness, the self-absorption with a playful attitude and enormous heart poorly disguised.

The last weekend came, we were both finishing up work, our last few days together and after which our ways would part – this passing thought of future loss quenched by the intense feeling in proximity to this girl. We retreated to the forest and spent the night lying under the stars listening to the sounds of nature while gently resting in each other’s arms. In the morning the sun peeked over the pine forested mountains to wash the valley with colour, the deep green of acacia shrubs bursting with luminescence against the sandy yellow fields of grass.

The next day we sat by the Cotter River, our picnic site on the water’s edge under a beautiful casuarina tree – visited by birds, butterflies and a curious snake on its way to… somewhere. We swam, we played music, talked, read and swam some more – in absolute bliss with each other and the world around us.

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It was Monday, we woke up at her place, she had one last day of work and I had one last day of packing and cleaning. I would drop her off at the airport early tomorrow morning. We met in the city late evening and went back for dinner, both of us silently thinking about the morning – after the meal we went to her room and spoke of the upcoming separation, lying down her head resting in the soft embrace of my arms. We reminisced of our experiences, the joy we bought, we spoke of our trust in each other and softly, strongly, without fear, declared our love.

On but a fragment of sleep we awoke again and set out for the airport, she had to board straight away, we stood there at the gate facing each other, looking deeply into eyes, the boarding announcements reduced to a quiet muffle as time slowed down once again in a final embrace, the electric touch of lips, the light soft feel of hair and the powerful, gentle hold of each other’s arms. We parted as she scanned her ticket at the entry and glanced over her shoulder to connect with my gaze as she disappeared from view down the walkway.

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