Chapped Lips

My lips were chapped. His fingertips fluttered across the dip in my waist, and I could feel the warmth of his breath, but all I could think was, my lips are chapped.

We’d casually met at the bar that night—me in my typical, all black everything, him in a blazing pair of deep, brown eyes as my blue eyes dressed him. Perfectly fit blue jeans slimmed his thighs, only to be blemished by an awkwardly placed hole just under the pocket. A slight pull of his plaid boxers peeked out, and when he asked me my name, I glanced down at the condensation of my glass and then down at the ripped hole—he didn’t seem to notice.

“Ellie,” I whispered, almost into the depth of his beer glass—my eyes still hadn’t caught up to his height, maturity, and obvious interest.

Now, those jeans could be thrown any which way across the carpeted floor of my apartment bedroom. I imagine the humorous look on my roommate’s face if she were to walk in on—not us—but simply the architectural creation, the wreckage, our clothes created by decorating the bedroom. My scattered black garments cluttering the desk, hanging from the drawers, and fulfilling their starfish prophecy across my soft, grey carpet. He’d tried to be gentleman-like—at the first sign of my fingers mechanically unlocking his belt-hinge, he gently slid his jeans off and draped them over the wooden rocking chair—how gracious.

Me, on the other hand—I twisted and turned and enthusiastically ripped my dress over the roof of my head. I danced to him and draped my arms around his neck as I kissed down it. My palms rushed down his back, then hips, then under his shirt as I casually flipped it inside out, over his head, and then to the floor to contribute to the masterpiece we’d been working so hard on.

It was ok. We did it like old people, and I fake-moaned because I’m convinced guys have a better time when they think they’re doing well. I personally don’t like that part all that much. I take more pleasure in the creating of the masterpiece—the fantasy, foreplay, and imaginative idea that we aren’t just a couple who met at the trashy bar tonight. We are so much more than that.

He’s glorious, generous, and rarely confined to the ideas and opinions of those around him. He’s realistic but wants to change the world, and he’s cynical of life but only in the sense that he craves the mere possibility of enjoying every minute of it.

The sheets draped over me and the fluttering of his fingers, and the warmth of his breath—they are not unknown to me by many. I know these things. I know the feeling of someone’s skin—smooth, rough, warm, or cold. I know the emotional intensity of casual sex and the high of drunken pleasure. I know the lies of the man I kiss at the bar, and I know the lies I tell myself. What I don’t know, is how to walk away from it all in hopes for something better.

My cotton sheets, light and dangling over my shoulder and across his chest, have been in my life for years now. The sheets are the same. The fluttering of his fingers tickles against the cold tenderness of my waist, but my waist and the fluttering has never been different. More than anything, my lips have been chapped before.


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