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" Burning Bright | 2008 | Get Real "

02.03.08 12:11 a.m.

In my opinion, the best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you, the right person will still think the sun shines out your ass. That's the kind of person that's worth sticking with.  

-Diablo Cody


Dating Intensive

"The good news," I call to tell Melanie from the parking lot of the doctor's office, "is that I have excellent kidney functioning. And was exposed to, but am also immune to, Hep-B. Otherwise, I am the picture of health."

"And the bad news?"

"The roads are icy. We aren't going anywhere today."

She purrs into the phone. "That isn't bad news. Get home. Now."

I drive the mile back to my apartment, back to her. Originally, the plan had been that I would pick her up today, but I fortuitously and eagerly stole her Thursday, just as my shift ended at 10PM. Before I got to the first turn in Anemia last night, I had a text message from her reading, "You are mine now." I smiled to myself then at the thought of belonging to someone.

When I picked her up, I asked her what she had told her friends about where she was going to be for this weekend. She stated that she would be out and they shouldn't worry. Her trust is well placed and I am grateful she is such a marvelous judge of character, at least as far as it pertains to me.

While I have as recently as a month ago spent the night with a woman, having Melanie in my bed last night felt so quite new. At the very least, it has been years since last I fell asleep next to someone with whom I did not have an explicitly sexual relationship and I felt keen to try again. It had only been a bit over a month since Emily left me - her possessions still pop up to be stored in the erstwhile meditation room for her retrieval - but she always made full use of the space afforded to her in our queen sized bed. She would wrap herself up in her blankets and could just as well have been alone. I woke briefly at four last night and Melanie was there, watching me with her deep eyes, beckoning me back into my new bed that has never been so inviting. We kissed and talked for an hour, one that flew by and I did not miss, until I convinced her that I did need to sleep. I have never had a lovelier four AM and she later references this as the moment she knew she was falling in love with me. When I woke the next morning, Melanie was still touching me and I slid out from her caress to rouse the boys for breakfast. I dressed silently and watched her sleep, feeling protective and fond. I kissed her gently on the lips before departing to fulfill my duties and she did not stir. I don't tell her until the morning that I was so eager to have her in my bed this last night of January so I could technically say that I had been sleeping with her for two months, even if it turned out being only this one night.

I won't say that I wouldn't have suggested that she spend this night with me, but I became confident in soliciting her company when she sent me a baldly honest account of our first date a day after it. She worried that this would be cause for me to never wish to see her again, but I so crave honesty right now that it won me. I would rather know her sincere thoughts because it is with these that I will fall in love.

When I returned from calling the boys to breakfast, she was still asleep, half covered with a dark blue bed sheet and in an artistic state of undress. I slipped into bed next to her, enveloping her in my arms, totally dizzy with the feel on her skin on mine, and vanished into sleep until I had to leave for my appointment.

Melanie's problem and charm is that, every time I momentarily give doubt lodging in my head, she says or does something that totally wins me over for another five hours. Some little phrase or action she barely notices, but which freezes me in my tracks. One of my reasons behind this weekend was my expansion of trying to find a flaw in her grave enough, though I only realized this after Friday morning, after walking entangled in her. I so enjoyed being single, having done it long before Emily made it official, but I had to know if how she could make me feel and how I felt for her outweighed the comfort of pure independence.

We spend our weekend doing next to nothing - a walk through a park, a lunch at Red Robin, an aborted game of Scrabble - and yet it feels the most productive I've been in a very long time.

Soon in Xenology: NonCon

last watched: Juno
reading: Franny and Zooey
listening: A Light of Some Kind

" Burning Bright | 2008 | Get Real "

Thomm Quackenbush is an author and teacher in the Hudson Valley. Double Dragon publishes four novels in his Night's Dream series (We Shadows, Danse Macabre, and Artificial Gods, and Flies to Wanton Boys). He has sold jewelry in Victorian England, confused children as a mad scientist, filed away more books than anyone has ever read, and tried to inspire the learning disabled and gifted. He is capable of crossing one eye, raising one eyebrow, and once accidentally groped a ghost. When not writing, he can be found biking, hiking the Adirondacks, grazing on snacks at art openings, and keeping a straight face when listening to people tell him they are in touch with 164 species of interstellar beings. He likes when you comment.

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