Prologue: Two months ago, when “writersplace.net”, our authors web site began looking for the three most popular, most widely followed commercially unpublished poets, Barbara’s name came up and the three were invited to a poetry competition in Chicago.
Poetry with permission of Elizabeth J. Russo
A Three Day Lifetime:
Friday, June 18, 2009
Day One: Evening
The shower off now, standing within the tub pulling the towel from side to side across my back, I watched as Barbara stood nude before the mirror applying eye liner.
Still wet, Barbara’s dark hair lay loosely to the middle of her neck. Her deep waist accentuating her ample buttocks, Barbara’s thighs – which didn’t bother me because I imagined those thighs held tightly to either side of my face – Barbra’s thighs were on the pudgy side, but her calves and ankles shapely.
Actually, my favorite female body type had always been a bit on the zaftig side and I could never quite understand my marrying an eternally thin woman or falling in love with Helen, who was also a thin woman.
Now, looking at Barbara from behind, loving what I saw, unable to resist, “Hey, honey, tell me to kiss your ass!” I said.
“Glancing over her shoulder, “Hey, Mitchie, kiss my ass!”
Which I did, on both sides, then again and, for luck, or really because I just wanted to, I kissed them again.
Just being with Barbara! I thought, It Feels so good just being with Barbara!
“Ruth’s Chris,” I told the cab driver.
Turning from the waiter to me, “Know what I’d like?” Back to the waiter, “A Margarita, please.”
“Blended,” he asked, “with salt?”
“Bombay martini, dry, please.” I was about to say, “stirred, not shaken,” but wasn’t in a James Bond kind of mood.
Sitting across from each other, our hands held atop the table...
Savoring here and now, not wishing to speak, quiet for a couple of minutes...
“Feels kind of surrealistic, doesn’t it?”
Almost startled at the sound of her voice, taking a deep breath. “Yes! My God, yes!” I answered.
“This, now,” Barbara said, “is so unbelievable that I feel like I’m living a dream.”
The waiter returned.
Lost in this dream, the dream of actually being here, of actually being together. Afraid if I released Barbara’s hand the dream would dissolve. Afraid if my eyes strayed from Barbara’s eyes I would awake and the dream would dissolve.
Quiet again, neither she or I spoke.
Sipping my martini, knowing the dream would end in another day and a half a deep sense of sadness coming to me, “Yes,” I said softly, as though the words, “I feel like I’m living a dream.” were spoken seconds ago, “it is a dream.”
Emotion tightening her throat, afraid to say anything, Barbara brought the tip of her finger to her tongue, then, lifting a bit of salt from the rim of her glass, touched it to her tongue.
Attempting to lighten the moment, “You like salt do you?”
Hesitating, bringing her emotions under control... smiling, “Yes, I do like salt.”
There have been many actresses and actors who’s smile helped to launch their careers, so let me say that if any newcomer were able to duplicate my Barbara’s smile they would be a shoe-in for success.
“Hmmm?” Kind of an innuendo, “I may have something salty for you, then.”
Catching what I was intimating, now smiling evilly, “Yeah?” seductively running the tip of her tongue over her lips. “I’ll look forward to it.”
Offering Barbara the martini soaked, toothpick speared olive, which, smiling again, she closed her teeth around and pulled off the toothpick.
Our eyes shifting upward.
“Would you care to order now?”
Barbara looked at me.
“Yeah,” nodding, “I know what I want..”
“Porterhouse, medium-well. Mashed potatoes, spinach and, for the salad, uh, Italian.”
“Serf and turf, please, medium-rare.” I said. “Baked for me with all the stuff, spinach, too, and blue cheese dressing.”
Waiting until the waiter left, “We’re learning a lot about each other, aren’t we?”
Taking her hand again, “Yeah,” unable to shake my sudden depression, “that we’ll never need again.”
“Mitchie,” bringing my hand to her mouth, she kissed it. ”Please,” she said, her eyes becoming misty, “let’s not think about that now.”
“I know, baby.” Sighing, taking a long pull of the martini, “I know.”
During our months of Emailing, when our friendship went from friendly/formal to, minimally, flirtatious, when we began to feel a stronger bond than “minimally flirtatious” we spoke of our lives and she knew of my frustration over my long term relationship with Helen and, of my now confused feeling towards her, and I knew of Barbara’s lock-down life and of her uncaring, unfeeling, more than slightly controlling husband.
These conditions, of course, became our rational...our excuse for this weekend, for our weekend together.
Except, really, I am a single man.
Taking another swig of my drink, feeling the gin, “Tell me,” I asked, “so often, your poetry... so often I had the feeling that you were writing to me, only to me.”
Drawing on the straw, “You’re right, baby, I was. A lot of what I wrote, I wrote just for you.”
“You did you job good, then, honey, because I really felt it. Reading you... What you wrote, sometimes I actually imagined myself with you.”
Taking another sip of the margarita. “Mitchie, that’s what I want!. I want you to feel it...I want you to feel me as you read each line. I want you to feel my mouth.” Her eyes intent, staring into my eyes. “I want you to feel each kiss traveling down your body,” she said passionately, “I want you to hear your name being whispered between the kisses, I want your skin becoming wet from my tongue.” Stopping, blinking her eyes a number of times, taking another drink. “This is what I want when I write. I write for you as if it is happening at that very moment and, baby,” squeezing my hand, “I actually feel it myself, I actually feel my lips touching your bare skin, I actually hear myself whispering your name, tasting your skin and, oh, God, in my mind I’m actually holding you and I feel your excitement.” Stopping, forcing the passion and emotion down, her eyes fixed on my face, “That’s what I always try to put into whatever I write about us.”
Hesitating, speaking softly, she closed her eyes:
“My lips render promises
in a path of kisses
from the Nirvana
of your neck
to the vale
of your navel
as I whisper your name
with each breath
breaking your silence
as you sigh
into the night.”
Tears coming now, from Barbara, from me...
“I love you!” Bringing her hand to my lips, I kissed it, turning her hand palm up, kissing it again, “I love you!”
Placing her hand flat onto the side of my face, “I love you, too, Mitchie.”
“Want anything else, Barb?”
“You, Mitchie! What I want, Mitchie, is you.”
Reaching into my pocket, “Honey,” removing a small pill bottle. “You’ve got me.”
Knowing it takes an hour on an empty stomach and longer after eating. “Insurance.” Popping the lid, shaking a little blue pill out, I washed it down with water.
©May 20, 2010 / Mark M Lichterman