Ms. Fraser is a native New Yorker who enjoys going places to see and experience what different people do. She observes them and loves to write out their stories. She has published essays, reviews, as well as short stories."
The One Perfect Love Story We All Wish We Had Lived
We had connected a few times before when the invitation came. In person, over awkward coffee in pseudo comfortable Berliner cafes; sharing inappropriately early drinks by American standards; after bottles of finished red wine and love songs; by exchanging letters electronically whenever we felt like it. When the invitation came to see him in his house, in the surrounding state where he lives, I accepted it. I had planned on celebrating my birthday at the Depeche Mode party because dancing to misplaced and anachronistic nostalgia is awesome. I had planned on celebrating my birthday, which here happened to fall during a weekend made longer by a Christian holiday I had never even heard of, with dancing and boozing and not sleeping and making out with strangers and finger fucking girls in dirty bathrooms and maybe even being taken home by total strangers because they were hot and tall and spoke in tongues.
There was no moment of asking myself whether to consider his invitation, it was obvious I was going to come to him. It was an open invitation to begin with, so come to think of it the choice to align it with my day of birth was actually, truly, entirely mine. You took me in and said I could come and go as I pleased, you had the time and would be home.
I woke up on Saturday after little sleep and showered. After grabbing a few irrelevant items and a bottle of vegan wine, I made myself late for the train I planned on catching. I took a taxi. There was a massive cultural carnival all over Berlin and traffic cost me quite a few moneys and the possibility of only seeing you hours later, but - I made it. I made it onto the train with less than a minute to spare, still sat by the window and listened to Young Americans because that album is so awesome. On my way to becoming another year older, I felt fresher, younger, prettier, more American than ever. I loved the inching of the train that was taking me to you as the minutes passed. My Americanness exuded through every pore in the form of heavily-accented German spoken and a general fuck off attitude I love to lavish onto Europeans, specially those of the German kind. They're so tidy and I can futz with them by not sitting up straight and having my bag next to me unapologetically, which is pretty funny and juvenile.
So completely unromantically, you weren't there when I arrived. I came up and looked around a few times and just right before total insecurity set in I reached for my phone. Not to call you but to pretend you had so total strangers around me wouldn't think I was a loser who traveled to see a person who wasn't there. It was four minutes later when I saw you on your bike.
I was immediately happy. Your face smiled at mine with eyes and teeth even, the full grimace of the being. I never asked you why you were late and you never said a word, which was exactly how I would want the world to run but it doesn't. You're tall so I looked up to see your eyes, those pretty borderline squinted greenest of green eyes. Sometimes they're framed by glasses, sometimes they're not, and if they are you look intellectually advantaged, if they're not you look smart as fuck. I have no idea what we talked about because my thoughts immediately moved on without my demanding them to to the baser parts of me. You're essentially gd's gift to every woman who's ever said her prayers right when asking for an intelligent and handsome man. I must've gotten on my knees to get this according to the Church of the Ever Horny of the Glory Days, though I don't remember. I've gotten down on my knees alright, but never to pray though I may have said god and jesus loudly and repeatedly.
We talked adultly as we walked to your place. The town is adorable and I had seen it once before when I first came to your place, so it felt familiar. What we talked about mattered little but how we adjusted our energies again in the same squared footage air mattered most. There was comfort. Nicelties and perfectly measured head movements adorned the outer image of you, me, everyone we've ever known, our mothers and saviors. Mostly though you just looked hot and tall and I hoped we would kiss again.
Getting up the steps I felt the weight of what it meant to be in your space. I respect you so much I would never want to intrude and so I hoped the time we had set aside to be alone together would be just right and not too much. We had a glass of something, was it wine I don't know. It was early but we clearly drink alcohol indiscriminately which I enjoy. We sat for a minute and I had picked the chair away from you so I could face you but also not be close to you, not yet, later. I was ready as ever, but feared wanting to touch you so much that our pleasant introductions would've been ruined. You suggested a walk, I was up. You offered me socks and even shoes like the gentleman you simply are, or like the decent person I'm not used to. I declined since I'm never cold and when I am I enjoy being that. Plus I had my own shoes. The colors outside were magical, some yellow a hint of orange and up high blue and white like clouds and over there gray. It was everything and I was glad I wasn't egotistical enough to feel this hodgepodge represented my current emotions. Plus, they didn't. I was calm. I was happy. I was wet. That was about it.
I already never care whether I'll have something to say. Whenever with people I assume I'm the most interesting party and I let the rest take care of itself. If the person engaging can stretch what I even consider considering, I'll likely have something decent to bring up and debate and we'll have a nice time. With him it's even better: I don't wait for enticement. The allure of his thoughts was blatant and so very abundant from the first moment we exchanged language of some kind, and novelty became norm as we exchanged more words through time. This dynamic creates a destination with no bridge. With guessing discarded, destinations arrive at the speed of virtual reality in a sci-fi movie and then I'm there. Except I'm there, with you, and together we'll explore the newfound place and I'll get to look at your handsome face and perfect features too. Without questioning our ability to get there, someplace, any place interesting as all fuck I get to respect you more. I get not to judge the smartness of what you say. I get to trust.
It would seem the undeniable and plain ridiculous trust I have in you got cemented in my perception once your intellect matched my understanding like a fitting first sip of morning coffee. A series of one-liners really, just one fucking perfect thing said probably made this happen. I am inclined to feel ashamedly shallow, but fuck it. I'm shallow. I like smart and handsome and having had a bit of both here and there and sprinkled everywhere, to suddenly feast on these lavishly feels like freaking heaven. So as we walked outside your home and into some place I didn't wait for what's to come but instead just knew that somehow I'd end up somewhere wonderful.
There the streets are cobble-stoned and narrow, the houses are mostly old as fuck and quite a few are empty. Young people of the common kind don't come here to live, one would have to be self-sustained in many ways and pretty darn interesting to live here. Like you are. Between details of buildings and things along the way that meet the eyes, a destination arrives and it is meditation. Which took us to background information about my personal experience, Vipassana, Buddhism, emotional makeup, self, unity, release, forgiveness, forgetfulness, historical figures placed within those parameters and standards. Of course it is all shallow and it doesn't matter, of course I wouldn't sit here and write about how this is the most interesting conversation two people have ever had, but the space in between each thought and utterance and sexiest of all - all the things we don't say - are worth mentioning. I take most pleasure in these instances of communicating with him when I process the amount that's taken literally for granted, and rightfully so, because we both understand. If it matters a tad more, we fully disclaim the following statement with a "I know you know this", which we never had to discuss or agree upon using. It just happened.
There was a bridge and cows over there and a river below and a woman on a bicycle with the really pretty smile being freely offered. Sun shone, raindrops were lightly felt, mild winds blew and I walked with you. We questioned and answered but mostly created a safe space for these thoughts we may not usually care to share in the world. The absence of filter, it turns out, created the vulnerably secure space where courtesy thrives most. We headed back slowly and enjoyably, like the short description on a cereal box of what it's like to spend time with you.
Once inside your house, I sat next to you on the couch and after a few minutes of a video that played on a screen I found my head leaning towards your person and finding your shoulder. Without seeing your eyes or hearing you say a word your whole body accepted this formation change and it wasn't long before our hands touched. It was the first touch of the romantic kind we were sharing this time around. I felt a zing go up my entire body. From toe to head, like a sought-after sensation in a Vipassana-gone-wrong course. It sounds sexual, and it was, but it was also much more. I felt like heaven. A few minutes later and you said you were going into the kitchen to prepare dinner and I should stay here and lay down and get some sleep because I was tired and haven't slept much and then you came back with a comfy comforter and a big pillow and you put on violin concertos by Bach which you typed up in German because duh and the window was then opened and the wind blew softly and the trees moved about and the abandoned house encircled this fable-like image on a Saturday afternoon the day before my birthday. Over the next ninety minutes I experienced the image, the space, the sounds of secularly sacred music, the smell of your gorgeous cooking, the light touch of the wind, the drifting in and out of sleep as my body laid on your couch comfortably and the perfect weight of the bedding you provided and my fairly constant questioning of how just how I may have gotten so lucky. You came out and I woke up and together we brought out tons of small dishes with wholesome food from the kitchen. He made everything, he made lentils and paprika, hummus and arugula salad with tomatoes, he made asparagus and potatoes, dough that turned into bread, bread we broke together as I asked if they say that in German too and you said yes they do. We ate, we talked, I had to focus on relaxing about the fact that this man had cooked this entire meal for me. Sensorial overload in the best of ways, with the light coming through the window just right and adorningly, I sat there next to you and thought of nothing else. We leaned in and looked and nearly kissed a number of times and every time we got closer to touching lips I enjoyed both the anticipation and the future event itself. Vorfreude. I love that word.
Eventually it happened. We kissed. I barely know where it actually came from but then we know where it came from. What beautiful, soft lips you have. So do I. They match. It's wonderful. You're such a gentleman and your gentlemanly qualities show every time you by design put your hands here not there and I enjoy it because I know it won't last long before rawness happens. Wine glasses kept being filled and cigarettes rolled by you and smoked by us. Music kept on playing and we talked about things and laughed at stuff and it just felt like all good things I adore into one scene repeatedly and rapidly following another of different content but same kind. Without a script, two people doing stuff with and to each other that all happen to magically align with who they are and who they think themselves to be.
He taught me about the Eurovision Song Contest I knew nothing about. It's been decades, rules were this now they're that and the judges and the calling and just the sheer ridiculousness of the two of us sitting there in the middle of nowhere watching the European American Idol except not really because this one here came first. The things I find funny happen to be humorous to you too so we appreciate together the hilarity of these situations. We both know when we're being obnoxious and we both know not to indulge, maybe sometimes. Midnight happened faster than I expected. You wished good birthday wishes with a hot kiss and a graceful smile. We migrated to your bedroom and we meant to watch a fantastic European choreographer and his recorded work, but the touch and the hands and the kisses and the lowering your body under sheets to slowly spread my legs apart and play happened. Every time I think about that moment even after days my breathing is out of control and I shake my head no because the craving is such. I'm not sure what you did or how you did it but I actually lost all sense of being separate from my body and came hard and long and hard and longer and it felt like nothing else could happen that would ever be like this.
You left the room to bring back condoms and wine and after you placed yourself next to me we kissed and I woke up next dawn. On your chest, on the sweet delicate soft and beautiful skin that covers your chest I had fallen asleep despite the prospect of getting fucked on top of all the hotness of the night shared. Then came the embrace, the tightening of your arms around my entire person when you realize we're both slightly awake is stuff we read love stories and listen to love songs to understand. That one moment of matter, that one squeeze tighter than the previous grip, that extra yes I'm here and I'm holding you moment is all exactly oh fuck it's just what a girl without a father turned woman without mother could ever possibly want from a man.
How do you do it? I never told you. You barely know me. I still won't call it love because precision.
Especially in language.
We slept a few more hours, many more hours, we slept until we felt like it and didn't care. I woke up in your arms though our bodies had switched positions and I felt like nothing had ever hurt me. This wasn't the promise of I'll never hurt again because fuck that's a lie, this was the erasing of all that which came before. For once the present mattered so much I could live it without forcing the eternal monkey mind to stay. It had simply nowhere to go because it was too good here.
I was healed right then and there. And you hadn't even shoved yourself inside like I thought so many times next time I get fucked harder and faster, that's when the pain will end. You set me free and all it took was all of this in perfect amounts in pockets of perfect timing.
I was happy to meet your eyes when mine were open. It was a cloudy day, my favorite kind of day. We exchanged a few sleepy words but the ones that mattered meant you were happy to wake up next to me. So was I, so very much, but I didn't say it. We rubbed bodies, we touched parts, we morning kissed, which was a first for me. There was slowly getting up, there was coffee on the couch looking out the window. We spoke of the romance of others and relationship parameters not as research but more as observations. I thought to myself how most go through so much to get a quick glimpse into this bourgeois free-spirited pleasure-driven hours spent. We just had it, here, we were given. I checked that it was still alright for me to be here. People do that because they know is right, I guess maybe, we were doing it because we could. Had he said I've had enough company I want to be alone, I would've left truly completely I fuckingmeantitly without a problem. We both felt like hanging longer, so I stayed with you.
He was about to go play basketball and I went with him. I had a magazine with me, an issue of the New Yorker as it were, and we waited downstairs for his friend to pick us up. At the park, I saw nice structures for leisure and no one enjoying it. Towns like this one are happening all over the U.S. so I'm familiar with how this works. You told me about it when you took a break from playing. I'm introduced to your friends as my name which is really all I ever wanted to be. I'll never be something we title preceded by a possessive pronoun that refers to you and this we said, in a two-sentence exchange, the first time we met on purpose. Was it a date? What's a date? I like inside jokes too, you see.
I found a place in the shade under a tree that I didn't really look for. Your friends, two of them, played basketball on a sunny Sunday as I read chronicles of my hometown. Raindrops fell at one point and no one moved at first, which was totally right. Eventually we took ourselves under shelter that looked nothing like pictures literature of the English countryside could describe. Then again this isn't England, or the nineteenth century, or a Jane Austen novel. This is the realest community center park thing in the middle of a dying town in the middle of Germany and your friends were a guy who grew up here and never left and the other was a refugee from Iran whose wife and children were left behind and he spoke of German lessons and the last four months here in his new home I guess that's that. There were rooms behind doors locked for the weekend which I thought odd and we sat on a table outside under a thing, if this was a house this would be the porch. It rained harder then thinner and dust moved about and never really settled anywhere. We spoke English I heard mostly German and was delighted by the sound of his German-speaking voice at every turn. German is hot and so is he so you see. We hadn't touched at all in a while so when you sat next to me on the table and the back of our hand came into contact with the back of my hand it was zing and a little bit of hm.
Your friend who had spent his whole life in one place said he woke up humming a song and wanted to hear it, Three Little Birds he said I couldn't place it I guess I never heard it connected to its name sing a little I asked and he set melody to don't worry about a thing and we proceeded together to say every little thing is gonna be alright. This same friend pulled up his phone and after I said Bob Marley he found it and played it and these four completely different people with completely different narratives about what it's like to be human sat there and sang along while it poured even harder than before when it was softer after it had been hard. The smile on these faces whose joy derived from this one song coming from these tiny crappy speakers and years of all the stuff we're made of tried not for a moment to be cool. There was nothing cool about this crew and I felt so cool and happy and ready for life that I never remembered Brooklyn. He hates reggae as it turns out.
It was sunny again. They played some more. Handsome played soccer for leagues of some size in the long ago. So he played, I watched, we were doing nothing here on this Sunday except it was the first day of my thirty-fifth year and all the value I tried to find in the years that came before never came close to giving me this feeling of how much I wanted to be here, how much I enjoy being alive. That we should praise youth at all costs is lost on me since I cried at twenty one and was now simply having the best simple time. Oh yes, commerce. Must sell things to susceptible young people so that they too can wear it and use it and market it to others free of charge. Time passed by delightfully and this makeshift Austenic garden of sorts in the wrong country in the wrong century gave me all the right feels. Sense and sensibility and zero pride and what is prejudice I had all the gusto of a Bennett minus the annoyance of a young woman. This right here was Mr. Darcy in the way of politeness and great words and well-timed lip hugging, none of the stubbornness.
This right here was no promise of there ever being any more than this. This right here was no pressure on any performance of any kind and no expectations from my person and what then - what's left to offer is the purest it can be.
I felt the truest. I felt the purest.
We talked about choreography and things that matter to me. The options, the possibilities, the near future and what it may hold. We talked about German bureaucracy because what could be easier than that. He listened and I never tried to look pretty or cool or sexy or role assigned to me by the perception of others and it felt so freeing. I felt free.
We went back home. He was hungry. So was I. We still had all afternoon and all night because I was only leaving in the morning. I showered. We sat. We ate. We laughed. We kissed. We touched and rubbed and dry humped and loved one another's skin. He kissed all places and at one point I felt myself nearly losing consciousness when coming long and hard for the third time in a row. I said fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck and he promised he would. He loved my taste and I love his. He said he loved my body and it certainly loved him. The windows were open and the breeze and the music and the touches and all senses and sometimes we'd seriously stop and laugh at how ridiculously ridiculous and perfect this was. How could this be? I felt he knew my body better than I have managed to acquaint myself with it and I've lived in it this long.
We had champagne. After a while he wanted to make an apple cake - which really was very much like an apple pie, as American as that sounds - so I cut apples while he brought me beers at perfect intervals. I played my favorite songs and sometimes sang along with little consideration to pitch control. The day turned to dusk and by then we were intertwined again in enjoying our physical selves. I sat on his lap facing him. We played Heinrich Schütz and German hip hop. He brought out the work he's done and I was happy to see how proud he was of it. He said he's translating it so that I may read it. Who does that? He read poetry in German, I read the translation in English. He asked language questions we talked about those and America and how could he say I want to sleep with you?
All parts surreal, all parts adorable. Under the covers and by now it was actually pretty late, we drank whiskey and smoked final rolled up cigarettes. It wasn't long before his body was inside mine. I appreciated his gentleness and his manly touch alike and he said he loved my ass.
We spooned but not really and my hips moved out of sheer desperation, his hands cupped my breasts his breath was on the back of my neck and his lips kissed skin on the surface of all and various places; after he had made me come more times than I could ever care to count, we fell asleep again. Two exhausted lovers in a room dimly lit by candles.
"Look around you", he had said at one point. I didn't have to. This was an unbelievable setting to what had been a surreal weekend. We woke up a few hours later, and couldn't resist the presence of the other. We fell asleep again. We woke up a few hours later and couldn't resist these bodies we live and love in.
I finally got up he made coffee I packed my things he walked me to the station.
"I don't know what to say."
And I still don't.