It was a clear black night, a clear white moon in early August on his boat. There was nothing insidious or dark about it. Just a couple of kids in their mid-thirties having fun, howling at the moon, doing a little light trespassing and giggling like the teenagers we wish we still were.
We hooked up the night before at the town pub and then I smuggled him into my room at the local inn. I only say smuggle because my cousins, sister and their spouses were also staying at the inn and I was trying to be discreet. That’s something you’re supposed to be when you’re in your mid-thirties and not yet officially divorced, right? But I’ll be honest, the more I have ever tried to be discreet in life, the more obvious I have been.
We were loud the night before. I mean, LOUD. And not just the sex. I couldn’t remember my room number so I tried a few other rooms before realizing #3 was clearly printed on my key chain. I’m also pretty sure there was some tripping over an area rug and a lot of giggling. (More laugher. It’s a new post-divorce requirement.)
I call him Local Boy, because he lives in the cutest town in upstate New York and I’ve always wanted to hook up with a local while on mini-holiday. I promise – I was just there for some weekend wine-touring with my family; I wasn’t looking to find a guy but when I checked into my room, alone, the inn-keeper gave me an extra pass for breakfast the next morning, in case I had “an overnight guest.”
I guess it was fated.
We both came with baggage – complicated ex’s, kids (me) and a recent family death (him).
So we laughed. We talked about real stuff, but we laughed. And kissed. And I’m not ridiculous enough to say that we made love, but I think I can safely say; we made like. And it was sweet and funny and good. And I’m glad it was him who was my first, post-seperation hook up and not someone else who would get dark or meaningful or be somehow rude (you hear horror stories).
At some point before I told him we needed to sleep because I had to start wine-touring in 5 hours, he asked me what I liked.
And I was so confused, I laughed.
A combination of total cluelessness and complete endearment, left me speechless so I ignored the question with kisses until he asked again. He seemed intent on giving a shit. And it confused me more.
Probably because it felt too vulnerable.
Probably because I’ve never been asked.
Probably because I don’t know.
The most peculiar part is, when we carried on with my blank slate of preferences, there was no pressure to perform, no concern about not pleasing him, no judgement about what I might say that I liked or wanted him to do – just simple, salt-of-the-earth, acceptance.
There was something so basic and instinctual about that moment that my soul, which for a decade has been thoroughly soaked in the complicated, rested in the pleasure as it came and went and came again.
The water was warm and the stars were shining. And for those few moments on Lake Keuka under the stars and then later in bed, I was light and funny and young – and I learned a few things I like.