A few months ago, I remember a conversation I had with a person, a boy, who'd mentioned his intrigue and fascination in the delicious curves of a woman. And he used those words, too. Trust me, he used them. Had he not, they wouldn't have been able to rent out this space in my head. They wouldn't linger there, still. I remember the same person placing his arm around me, delicacy to my waist with his fingertips. First, he pulled me in tight, leaving no space for nonsense or conversation, and soon after, he left invisible prints with his lips down the strong part of my neck: the most brilliant part of a person's body. A part you remember another person leaving prints.
It is all plain and fuzzy, that month. Easier, even, to fall out of affection with it as it was to fall in. Beginning and ending with holiday parties and a tiptoe or two of something similar to faith in believing it could be done--the falling in and the falling out. I remember all of that, but can't for the life of me recover the details I crafted into it! All I can find are the words. He commented, once, on my own delicious curves, and I remember wondering which curves he spoke of. My mother used to comment on the fact that I was born without them. Curves, that is. I've got slight ones, I suppose. In my jawline. I've got one of those faces that's shaped like an orange. A soccer ball or the geometric profile of Provolone cheese. But no other curves. Stubborn excess that hangs just above my obliques, yes. The absence of negative space between my thighs, but curves? He must've dreamt those up. And it is peculiar that he would've, considering the fact that he never really even dreamt of me at all.
The first time I invited someone to my lips. April twenty-sixth. In the middle of a street in the city I grew up in. Yards from a soccer field when I was sixteen. Long, blonde hair that he didn't dare touch. I was the same. Too timid to tousle, tease, or lock my wrists around his neck. He used tongue and after that, I wanted to go home. But that's not what we're speaking of here. Those are the lips. Two of them together, I've learned, breeds insignificance. Two sets of lips, alone, supplies overused, under-appreciated, tasteless clichés. And those exhaust me.
Here, I speak of the finer things. Novelties like that spot on the side of the neck. The one that, when occupied by another person's lips creates a soft and sudden aching awareness of the both of you. That it's working, oh, it's working between you, even when it shouldn't. It fires a desperate longing for Sunday morning pancakes, furniture shopping, and spontaneous trips to Yellowstone for as long as God would permit you to extend your stay on this Earth. The strong part of the neck, when prompted so right, begs you to want the things you couldn't understand wanting before. Things you find yourself refusing to live without now.
One time, there was a neck thing, among other things. A lovely neck thing. It is sewn in my brain with impossible sublimity now. At the root, there were blanket statements about politics and there were belly laughs. The kind that make you hurt and almost bruise; the kind you more than just-a-little-bit remember. The details you often recover just before falling asleep some nights. Having nothing to do with the delicious curves of a woman's body. Having everything to do with pancakes.
For the record, it was my favorite thing. Even of all the things I've ever had.