Tony Vagneur: Saddle Sore
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO, Colorado
It was time to sift through an accumulated pile of communications populating a portion of my bookcase, and as I gathered up the boxes of cards, newspaper clippings, and letters that documented certain triumphs and sorrows of my life, an unusual envelope with a faraway post mark fell innocently to the floor. Simply by glimpsing the distinctive penmanship, my mind relived a night of tender lovemaking with a tantalizing woman who came quickly into my heart and left again almost as suddenly.
The enclosed card was telling; a photo of three polar bears caught on an ice floe in the middle of nowhere and inside, a quickly scrawled, “I love you,” followed only by her first initial.
She lay half facing me, head on my shoulder. The great quilt comforted us as we watched the dying firelight dance on the old cabin walls. Tentatively, I reached down and grasped her hand, drawing it up to my chest. We must not move and alert others sleeping in the small space. Our touch was soft at first, but quickly became hard and firm, caressing each other urgently through this outwardly innocent connection. Our desire became more intense for each other, and our hands pressed together as hard as humanly possible.
It was a passion that longed for release, a passion stronger than either of us had felt before. We were one as our feelings for each other coursed through our bodies, the impending climax that would never come imminent nonetheless, and as our souls orgasmed on a plane beyond the physical, our lovemaking became less urgent and more tender. Her breath was deliriously hot on my neck as she whispered an almost inaudible caution of “shh.” I carefully moved her hand to my mouth, slowly and delicately loving each curvature, each single nuance, the very uniqueness of her, reveling in her taste. It was a dance of syncopation, her hand responding to my mind and tongue as I sought the most tender and vulnerable areas. She, in turn, caressed and stroked my hand, the wetness of her mouth creating audible and profound pleasure for us both. Slowly and quietly, the passion ebbed, its urgency spent, and as our entwined hands relaxed, we drifted off into tortured sleep, knowing this brief and futile interlude was our only allowance, made by a monogamous world sleeping nearby that, if it knew, would judge us for the tenderness we felt for each other.
What is this about? Stolen moments, forbidden love, infidelity, or natural desire? What sparks the sudden connection, at a perfectly innocent, week-long holiday get-together, that drives us to reckless behavior which might better remain unrealized? It is about love, that is true, but one cannot have such without beauty, and beautiful thoughts are what remain long after the assignation is no longer real. During her remaining days in town, we managed a couple of hurried and private interludes behind closed doors, delicately and deviously trying to hide our feelings from friends and family, thinking we were buying time, but it was an impossible situation to maintain. In an unusual fashion, I would have risked destroying her marriage and perhaps both our lives for the chance to pursue such a unique dalliance to the ends of the earth, but an unspoken tremor of common sense echoed in our thoughts, not in any concrete or decided manner, but more in the way we just painfully, and eventually, let it dissolve. Until she boarded the plane for home, we nimbly jockeyed around each other, fully cognizant that large families seem unerringly designed to keep everyone out of trouble. And in the end, it simply became a mystical romance that might have been more in another time.
With a wondering smile, I placed the card back in the envelope, thinking that life is but an accumulation of small moments, the most precious of which come together to create an unbreakable, priceless thread of reflection upon our existence.
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