I’m on the back of his motorcycle, holding him tight, sucking in the cool Perth air on this winter morning. I remember when we met. It was my ex-husband who introduced us.
“Just a warning S, he’s really, really straight,” D said.
D and I were Goths so anyone who didn’t listen to the Cure and Jane’s Addiction couldn’t possibly understand us. Yeah, we were really on the fringe – spending time at the Loft, where those that didn’t fit in could go and feel some sort of cohesive agreement that they were okay, and perhaps that they mattered.
So I met him and I thought him a nice chap. The kind you did take home to mum and dad. The boy next door. Not for me at all.
Years later, here I am. With him. My husband. Number 2. And I wonder when I grew up and realised it wasn’t about how much Alternative music you were into or how hard-core you could debate about Aleister Crowley.
D was angry at first but then almost complacent, as if he knew all along. Anyway, I think he was excited about that whole lot of Asian he was going to get with me gone. We were overseas in an Asian country at the time of the Break-up.
So I’m on the back of a motorcycle with this straight-laced man who finds quantum physics exciting. At first I thought it a most unlikely partnership. He plays WoW as much as a heroin addict fires up their spoon. I like to run. His idea of a holiday is sitting by the pool with a good book. I like to scale mountains in Nepal. He smokes. I detest cigarettes. Worse still, he likes Bruce Springsteen. I don’t know how I got over that one.
And yet, I hold on to my man with his honey-tinged fingers, yellowed from rolling too many cigarettes. His freckles dance out over his face giving him a boyish look even though he’s well on his way to 40.
“It’s like shit that’s been thrown at me through a fly screen door,” is how he describes them. I laugh. He tells me how he likes my breasts. It’s real. It’s more real than all the poetry and love letters I’ve ever received. I want this kind of love because I can touch it and it’s not in his head. It’s not in my head.
And we ride through the streets of Perth, watching the soft tones of the river move up and down, wondering where it’s all leading.
I ask him what he’s thinking.
“Folding space,” he replies.
I smile. No sentimentality. It’s nice.
“Your breasts look really good in that too.”
We laugh, he revs the bike, I squeeze my thighs into him and we move off into this small town of ours.
© running with the beagle 2010