Thursday, May 21, 2009
Spending time with the firecracker Anonymous Female Chicago Blogger #2 yesterday opened up some recollection of a gal I dated many years ago. They didn't look like each other, but her attitude was a natural match for bringing up the old memory.
I pulled up my journal going all the way back (it took me about 2 hours to find it, I need to better tag and sort my old journals!) and copied and pasted it (with spelling errors intact).
Maria was a Spaniard from head to toe, inside and out. Born in Germany (a Navy brat) to parents of Spanish descent, she had a little bit of every accent. Her voice drove me nuts.
I met Maria through a chance phone call to my best friend at the time, Mark. Mark and I haven't talked in years, sadly, but he still replies to my hand written letters every summer. I called Mark trying to see if he wanted to go out, but Maria answered. I later learned Maria was staying with Mark and his parents because her parents were coming to Chicago (north suburbs) for their next assignment, but she finished up at college before they moved in. Mark's uncle is in the Navy, so he got her the fold-away bed at Mark's house to sleep on for a few weeks.
We chatted that day, and I was intrigued with her accent. Her voice was melodious without being screechy or too high pitched. Taught in proper English, her cadences and clicks to certain consonants really had me motivated to find out more. She said that Mark was out of town with his girlfriend, but would pass on the message. A few days later, I called back to see if he'd returned (he hadn't), and she kept me on the phone for over 2 hours.
I'm not a big phone person. I hate the phone because it ruins the conversations you should have in person. You also can't read body language, see if someone is bored, etc. Our talk was mostly fun banter, me trying to impress her with my less-than-appropriate knowledge of Spanish, German, Portuguese and French. She was fluent in all, and I only knew how to take a woman to bed and order coffee for us in the morning.
On Saturday, Maria called me (thank you, Caller*ID) and asked if I wanted to get together for some coffee. I told her I would love to get coffee with her (which I said in Portguese and it came out as "I would love to spill coffee on you.") Eu amaria derramar o café em você.
She laughed, and said I can only spill coffee if I was willing to replace the dress she was wearing. A dress! How perfect. I made plans to pick her up from Mark's parents' house later in the afternoon. The weather was perfect at 75 degrees, I was dressed in my Saturday best (white pants and shirt, light brown slip-ons), my car was clean, my hair was freshly razor-cut, and I was feeling pretty good about life.
I arrived, on-time, at 2pm. I walked up to the door and rang the bell. The woman who answered the door was a lot more mature looking than the 21 year old I had expected. Maria was gorgeous. Her face wasn't perfect, her teeth far from straight, but her smile and her eyes lit me up inside. I mumbled my hello, not being as confident then as I am today. She giggled at my stammer and said I should just say it in English. Sadly, I DID say it in English.
We drove to my favorite cafe, one that looks terrible on the outside (and on the inside). They had the best espresso machine in the country and were an outfit front for an organized crime syndicate. Let's say that the number of locals who ventured in was ZERO, other than Maria and I. Maria said the place looked like shit (her words), and I told her it WAS shit, but the coffee was fantastic.
To explain this cafe is to wander into fantasy-land: the inside was old white tile that hadn't been white in decades. The back wall was covered top to bottom with Italian porn VHS tapes to rent. The counter, if you'd call it that, had not a single uncracked piece of glass on it, showcasing antique electronics that no one would ever buy.
The man behind the counter was 6'3", probably 350#, with hands bigger than my head. I ordered an espresso and a cappuccino, he nodded, and went to make them. Maria looked for a clean chair, but none were to be found. I ran to my car, got my summer linen suit top, and placed it on her chair for her to sit. She didn't want to touch the table, even.
"This is how you impress a young woman?" No, this is where I come for the best coffee in the world. The beans were grinding behind me and she looked past my head. "That man is a coffee guy?" No, but he makes a mean cup. Trust me. "I'm not sure anyone can trust you." You will.
Big Italian came around with our coffees. Maria looked at her cup (chipped, on a chipped plate) and waited for me to sip my espresso. I opened my chocolate piece next to the espresso, dipped it in the coffee and took a bite. "See? Even you won't drink it," she said. I smiled and took a sip. My eyes obviously displayed an orgasmic roll inside my head. She nervously grabbed the cup (with her sleeve over her hand) and took a sip.
"Oh my god. This is amazing!" I told you. "No, really, this is the best coffee I've ever had." Smell it more. "It smells of flowers almost!" That's fresh roasted coffee, roasted in the back of the place. She looked to the door leading to the back room, practically falling off its hinges. "I wouldn't go back there. How does HE get through that little opening?" she said, thumbing back to point at Big Italian. I have no clue, I've never seen anyone actually go through it.
Big Italian was reading some gambling receipts and totalling them up. There was probably $20,000 in cash sitting on the counter top by the time we were leaving. "Don't you have to pay?" I don't think so. Never have. "Do you know these people?" No. I just like their coffee. "Isn't it dangerous to come here?" As far as I know, they probably think I'm either in their organization, or related to someone. No one's ever asked me before. I've never really seen anyone in here other than a few guys in $10,000 suits. "This is crazy." Welcome to my world.
We drove around for a few hours as she had never been in Chicago before. I took her to The Alley (she wanted a City of Chicago patch like I had on a jacket hanging in my car). I took her to Boystown and Andersonville. We stopped off at a restaurant, now gone, and had a glass of wine each. She told me about her life so far. Nothing too exciting, but nothing detrimental.
We walked a bunch, laughed a bunch. She hooked her arm into my arm and we sloppily stopped at a few bars, drank a locally crafted beer, told each other stupid stories and just had fun. She was a fun girl. She asked me if I had a girlfriend, to which I replied no. It was truthful. I was sort of sleeping with a girl who I went to high school with, but it wasn't serious and she was moving in a few months anyway.
We went on a few dates like this over the next few weeks. I kept phone calls to a minimum, faking busyness. On our 4th date, Maria was the first woman in my life to call me handsome. I blushed, as I still do, when she said it. "You don't think so?" Not really. Cute, maybe. Handsome? Ridiculous. "I think you are." She stepped up to me and put her arms around my waist and kissed me. The first kiss was electric, both of us being of the right height to just linger on it. Her lips and mine were both done with the kiss, but she lingered so long on my mouth. Bad day to be wearing linen pants.
"That's not very gentlemanly" she said, looking down at my predicament. I smiled, letting her know that a lingering kiss is too passionate for this city boy. She smiled back and said "I guess I haven't been very lady-like myself for the past hour." It took me a moment to understand what she meant. I blushed again, and she smiled at me. "You're not shy, stop that." It's true, but I do get shy once in awhile.
She grabbed my hand and we walked back to the car, talking about nothing exciting. She was hoping to get into grad school in a year and a quarter, working in Chicago to save enough money to live on for the few years it would take to get her degree. She was going to move to Boston for it, another town she had never visited.
Our affair lasted most of the summer, when she found a job in Boston. Sex was always passionate, kisses moreso. With her, I learned the art of resisting a woman. She would move to kiss me and I would pull back just enough to say no. It made her hungry for my lips. I learned how to tease a woman's body by not attacking the parts that porno actors do. It made her hungrier for my touch. After the condom was on, I would resist penetration, which made her hungrier for me inside of her.
I resisted with her, and she gave in to me, letting me take the reins only after she proved what she wanted. She wasn't submissive, she wasn't dominant. We swapped those roles playfully, teasingly, and constantly. She would get on top of me and try to tease me, but I used my hands and arms to pull her back down. She was a firecracker in bed, in life. We rode horses competitively, we played soccer that would turn into wrestling matches, scoring our outfits with grass stains and dirt.
Sexually, she hadn't much experience. She'd been with one boy in high school, two in college. Sex wasn't her thing because her drive for education was so high. Our summer together showed her the sexual creature that she was. There was nothing she wouldn't try with me, and nothing she didn't like. We completed each other at a time when we needed exactly what we had been given: passion, some romance, tons of teasing, and her breaking through every resistance I walled between us.
At summer's end, the company she was interning for offered her a paying position in Boston, a year ahead of when she was to leave. There was no breakup. We saw each other at least once a year for a few years, until she landed a serious boyfriend. I still write her letters a few times a year, and she writes back. We are penpals, but both of us also have fine and fond memories: I learned to resist, she learned to break through.
I still use the art of resisting when I woo a woman who has shown interest in me. It's not a game I play, it isn't a tactic. It is an art that women almost need to be presented with. When they yearn for your hands on their body, your lips on their lips, or even you inside of them or on them, their desire for you magnifies. Their bodies, their minds and their hearts respond, bringing the union to a more expressive climax in any situation, sexually or otherwise.
Summer days on a horse, or kicking a soccer ball with the neighbor's kids, or having a stain cleaned from my linen suits always reminds me of Maria. She was a woman at her young age, and I feel I completed myself into manhood through my relatioship with her. She was my firecracker, and I was her flame. May the explosive bang never stop echoing in my mind.