Thursday, May 14, 2009
Written on an airplane en route to Chicago today.
When I was 20 years old, I flew to Madrid for a wedding of a Portuguese friend. We had a blast, and I met a nice young bridesmaid at the wedding, Delphina. She was originally from France, but her Andalusian blood meant she had an incredibly textured face full of character. We hit it off immediately.
We spent the rest of the week together in the countryside: riding horses, wrestling in the thorngrass, patching each other's wounds and massaging out the other's back after a tough day of trotting and galloping and falling into one another. Every day was a scene out of a bad romance novel. The day before her and I both left for home, we spent having our first bedroom experience together. It is still memorable today as if it was yesterday.
At 20, I was barely traveling internationally for work. I still didn't have my name in the market, so jobs were tight domestically and internationally. I was lucky to have found a good new customer at that huge wedding, and they invited me to Paris and Toledo twice in the next 6 months. Each time I went, I contacted Delphina, who took the train many hours to see me for just a few. She was lovely, happy, and content with any time we spent together. Sometimes we reached a bedroom, other times we just talked over biscotti and tea. It was hard to leave her, but neither of us were ready for any form of relationship or commitment.
When I passed the age of 21 and she 24, I ended up doing a short summer stint in a town not far from her. The company I worked for provided me a car, so we saw each other at least once a week. Sex with her was passionate and fun. She slowly became my girlfriend in Europe, the one I would call to check in on. How is school? How is work? How is the family farm? We'd talk on the phone (at probably 25 cents per minute) for hours when I was in the States. I'm not a phone talker, usually.
As we aged, we'd see each other less and less but our time together was magnificent. She could call me if she was truly down, and I would hop the next flight to Madrid and the train to her town within a few days. Sometimes I'd travel just to see her for 3 days. Once she came to visit me when I was working in San Francisco.
It was a long distance love affair, and neither of us had any jealousy or frustration over the fact that the other would likely find themselves in the arms of someone closer. I had lovers and girlfriends, she had lovers and boyfriends. She was even engaged once, days after I made love to her on her family farm, itching and scratching from days from the haystack makeshift bed.
As we both fell into serious relationships, we still talked and eventually emailed regularly. If I was in the area, we'd find a way to train to a central town to meet up, eat heavy fatty foods, run around the town like lovebirds on their honeymoon, and share in the passions that were bred from our mutual frustrations in life. I loved her dearly, and she me.
When I was 27, she told me she was engaged and set to be married. I flew out a week later and we spent 3 days straight in bed. The maid was never allowed into the bed and breakfast room we rented. She asked for me fully and I obliged. I don't think we were Sane and Delphina those three days. We were lovers who lost touch after a war, with only a few weeks before the next bigger war comes around. Her orgasms were foreign and remarkable. Mine were long and quiet, with my eyes locked into hers.
We taught each other our bodies over years, and we learned each other's souls as well. I was present at her wedding, bringing a girlfriend from back home who fell in love with her face and body and contagious laughter. Her husband was a top notch man, and when she took me aside a few days after the wedding and gave me my last kiss, I felt like I was letting a good one go.
"You're my first true love," she told me. I respected that by admitting the same. "I will never forget you and I hope in time I can call you brother and friend." She could. Today she is like an adopted sister to me. We still speak, and she sends me photos of her children (they look like her) and her happy home and life.
I was lucky to spend those years with her in my arms, in my bed, as my friend and my lover. Our time together is memorable because of the distance separating us. The cost to me was great in terms of money and time expended traveling, but the relationship was solid in every way. If I asked her to marry me, she would have said yes (she told me this years after her marriage). When she said she loved me, it was rare and cherished and real. When I returned those words, they were perfectly timed and never overdone or dramatic.
If you have the chance meeting with someone in a distance city or even country, don't let the spark disappear. Take advantage of the time now. Don't hope for something serious, but hope for something soulful. Cut back a little bit at home so you can see them, or they can come see you. Don't fall in love in a daily sense, but fall in love in the romantic sense. Even if you both have to share the other with their own local lover, you can still have something amazing and special and memorable.
I don't miss Delphina, but my love for her has only grown. She's my pal, my big sister, my ex-lover and one who comforted me with her body and her touch as I went through many changes. With luck, she will read this and smile, knowing I didn't leave anything out.