Delicate: I am in Love.
Again: As a human being, I am interested in love more than lust. But as an erotica writer I am interested in the intersection of love’s road and lust’s avenue. In this fluid life, wherein love and lust lay on the same continuum, I believe that the hottest love and the most intoxicating lust happen when the two are blended in the hottest of fires, in the whitest of light. I am unabashedly shouting it from the rooftops of our cities: I am in love.
This piece is yet another articulation of what is transpiring in this blessed moment in my life:
Our first kiss was on a wintry white street.
She is a snow girl. And on the winter slopes of boards and skis and lifts, I picture her flying downhill as a snow angel. Flying, with wings, in the same way that she appeared in my life.
After four hours of conversation and food and wine and our official first date in this gentle courtship, it was a quick kiss. It was almost as though I stole it from her, just as she has been stealing the breath from me since I professed my crush and supreme attraction. But on this breathy white night, I did not learn the landscape of her lips; and while I wanted to, I was satisfied with the simple fact that yes, indeed: we have crossed this threshold.
We work together, and for the next several days at work, I sat at my desk – unable to completely engage in any company work. Her office is close-by and my overwhelming impulse was nerve-wrackingly close to walking straight-in and taking her in my arms, into my body’s life; opening my mouth and telling her everything I so desperately needed to with my lips and my kiss.
Anything else seemed false. Stodgy. Pedestrian. Uncertain.
On that snowy street, walking away from our first kiss, full of butterflies and apprehension about my approach, what I knew was: something is happening. Something that terrifies me and makes my palms sweat. At all times: When I talk to her I stutter and stumble through my words and tremble when she is not looking.
This girl makes me nervous. Anxiety-ridden.
Quickly, I am learning that love does not make you look very cool at all.
Arthur Schopenhauer, one of our fathers of existentialism, had a phrase that described the sum total of everything in universe: the stars, planets, cosmic dust, oceans, people, cities, pencils, books, shoelaces and gumballs – everything. He called this “the totality of beings”.
Schopenhauer believed, in line with many existentialists, that our human mind does not have the rational ability to understand “the totality of beings”; and everything, taken in pieces or all at once.
However, he did believe that we are given glimpses of this totality of beings. Through emotion. More specificially, through non-directed or irrational emotions. Like anxiety.
I have come to further the basket of emotions that give us this taste of the totality of beings. I believe that the melancholy gives us these glimpses. So does love.
She – this girl, the girl – is the most beautiful girl in the world.
It is as though the universe opened its annals and granted me something that even I did not, could not, expect.
Everything about her is manicured and moreover, musical. From her words, to her laugh, to the way she holds her wine glass and looks me in the eyes when we toast.
But I, I look away, because she makes me that nervous.
She has long legs. Her lines and curves would be the envy of every sculptor if they knew her name. The curves in her neck are poetic. The way that her back curls down like a bass clef to meet her legs is intimately interlaced with song. Even the crooks of her arms are perfect.
Her eyes may be the most striking I have ever known and make me look away like a little boy.
The words that come from her mouth find their provenance in her gut, her second brain, and they are so powerful that I am certain not even she has an inkling of how big they really are.
The way that she kisses me tells me everything that I need to know: She is the intersection between my holy erotic and biggest of loves. The biggest and most erotic.
There is part of me that wished for a casual encounter with the girl. For a situation wherein I could display everything cool and alluring and mysterious about me; for her to see me as the kind of man that I’ve always wanted to be seen as.
But what has transpired is that I am unable to be cool around her. Completely, unable.
In front of this girl, I am just a little boy who, when he takes her hands, becomes short of breath and sweats at the heart of his palms.
If I am cool within any of this, it is only in how I kiss her: delicately. Because while my whole body wants to devour her with every primal cell in my mammalian frame, I kiss her delicately. I touch her sweetly.
Because in all of this, I think that I am saying something else.
In all of this, the strangest and most profound of interactions has transpired: I think that she is seeing me as the kind of man that I’ve always wanted to be. Not the man that I think I am. And for this I am more grateful than I could ever express.
Because, sitting in front of her, and I think that I actually could be that man. And maybe, I already am that man.
Anxiety can change our physiological state.
Nausea, chest pain, shortness of breath and stomach aches can accompany a sense of anxiety. External signals of anxiety can include sweating, trembling and pupillary dilation.
Love can also cause these same symptoms.
Biological models of love and lust tend to equate the grandest of the hearts emotions with hunger and thirst.
Our first protracted kiss came cabalistically, after work.
This was the first time I came to know the power in her kiss.
After a moment of obvious and heart-racing, heavy sexual tension and breathy air between us, we agreed that we should meet after work. And what told me most about all of this was: it was her idea.
So, we drove a couple of blocks away and met in a hotel’s parking lot. In the pink failing light of a day, she climbed into my car. It was cold outside, and when she came this close to me the air around us stalled into a jellied freeze.
As I looked down at my trembling hand, I asked her if she was nervous. She said, yes. Even her words quivered.
I said, I am too. I am nervous.
Then, slightly outside of myself and with an unabashed resilience, I leaned in to her and found her lips with mine.
In hindsight, it was one of the sexiest kisses I have ever had in my life. It was as though I had finally found the lips I have always been looking for. In the moment, however, and I was so terrified that I was almost nauseous.
We made our encounter short. And I felt fortune in this. This despite the fact that I was stuck between a place where I wanted to tear her apart with every notion of lust I have ever developed and the overwhelming sensation that I just wanted to lay, horizontally, gently, next to her and listen to her breathe and tell me the stories of her life as I run my fingers up and down her naked arm.
Since that moment, and possibly for the rest of my days: Her lips are the only lips I want.
Because science strives for testability, it also strives for categorization. Since Aristotle, scientists have sought to compartmentalize, in order to categorize. In order to create meaning from testable hypotheses.
Studies have shown that those who are infatuated, or in love, have neural activity that resembles a mental illness. In short, love creates some of the same neurological activity that hunger, thirst and drug addiction does.
On the same hand, anxiety affects the amygdala and the hippocampus: two emotionally charged centers of the brain.
Without any access to CAT Scans: I would posit that love affects the same centers of the brain.
And while we can locate these affectations in the human mind, we are also dealing with emotions; the component of human activity that is at once irrational and unpredictable. Almost untestable. And just maybe: the irrational dimension to existence.
“There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche
She has written me some of the most powerful letters I have ever received. And while they are not, categorically, love letters – they are so close that they may even be larger than any love letter I have ever received.
After every letter I write her, even my small text messages, I am ridden with anxiety; and hoping, blindly, only that she gets it.
And every time she has amazed me. She has responded, more than favorably, she has responded appropriately and smartly. Beautifully. Perfectly.
In this terrifying process, of courting this girl, the girl, communication has been the one element that has saved me from perceived, certain death.
And then it happened. The words came:
Only a couple of days ago, I received the biggest news I have ever read with my eyes. In only five words, her text message said: I think I love you.
Soren Kierkegaard, one of the other fathers of existentialism, articulated a notion about our birth. He thought that we were born into this life, with a sense of despair.
Kierkegaard believed that we possess this notion because we also possess a false sense of self. The true self, Kierkegaard said, was found through a relationship to the Absolute or Ultimate Reality. Or, as the Christian Kierkegaard believed, through a relationship with God.
Love is God.
Or if not that, then it is as close as we secular beings may ever get to the notion of God, incarnate.
Standing outside in the cold and I am looking at my phone and the five words that she sent me: I think I love you.
I see God. I see me.
For the first time, I am laying on her bed. It is morning and I, the professional sleeper, no longer want to sleep – because she, the girl, is laying next to me.
Finally, I have a sober moment to touch her. Here I am not nervous. Here, I am hyper-present and unafraid of myself in that way that waking up next to a girl whom you respect makes you unafraid.
We kiss and touch and touch until the pads of my fingers are raw with learning. Learning about her body.
And then, slowly, she moves down my torso. I am naked and open and exposed and my heart is beating so loudly that I fear she will stop her progression for fear of me having a heart attack.
And then, she takes me in her mouth.
In absolute unbelief, I close my eyes.
It is here where my blessing becomes a curse: I am so over-analytical that I can feel it in my toes. I am thinking: I am inside of her. She is taking me in her mouth. The most beautiful creature I have ever come to know has me inside her mouth.
I try and try and try to relax. But despite the fact that I have never been taken like this; and despite the fact that this may the most amazing girl to be at my midsection; and despite the fact that she may be taking me with the perfect aptitude – the one I did not even know existed – I am still thinking. And I cannot stop.
Slowly, the blood drains from me.
She looks up and says, are you okay?
Short of breath and I cannot explain anything. In our dance, she comes back up to me and I take her strongly in my arms.
Later I will do my best to explain my situation.
I tell her that this may be the grand expression of how in-love I am with her.
Days later and I go back to my phone. I pull-up her message to make certain it wasn’t a dream. And I read those five words over and over and over again. I think to myself that these are the words I’ve been waiting for all my life.
I make mention of the words to her. She says she is scared.
I tell her, your heart is safe with me.
My eyes are forever fixed on your heavens.
I have given you my heart and with it, every grand virtue and ideology and passion that I have ever conceived of. You are now my integrity. You are the embodiment of that and possibly, more.
And I want everybody in my world to know this much.
In the rooms I inhabit, everyone knows that I am in love. And rightfully, they know her name. From the city of New York to every street light, and from atop of every figurative building I inhabit I have called her name. And the universe, with its millions of stars, has twinkled back at me.