book

Chapter 10- Day 167- XXX

(Yes, the XXX means it’s R rated, read at your own risk 😉

Today, is my birthday.  Nothing special. No one to tell. No one to give me hugs and kisses, praises and gifts. I am alone, completely and desperately alone. Just as I wanted it.

I roll in my sleeping bag. I had returned to camping when my funds dropped dangerously low. Not the one with the stunning waterfall and serial killers. Definitely not the one with a peeping tom moose. I pay $20/night and it’s secluded, somewhat. Only three campsites per clearing. Positioned a ten-minute walk from Qualicum Beach (half-hour drive to Parksville) but at least I can walk into town.

My novel is coming along nicely, since Sadie left I’ve cried more. Nights feel longer when you’re alone. Even camping, fires seem useless with no one to share with. I have cried many nights but have also learnt the art of meditation.

To truly listen to my inner voice and and how to soothe it when it’s sad and ignore it when it’s loud. My writing has taken me into another world, one that I can make as happy as I want whenever I want.

Without camp fires, most of my evening meals have become chips and Diet Pepsi’s. Every once in a while, I will find myself at a pub drinking a beer and eating chicken wings.

People have this glamourous idea that when you’re still somewhat young decent enough looking, staring at the television in a pub that you will have men flock to you. This idea is wrong. Everyone at the bar sit with their faces in down, looking for something better at the end of froth. There is nothing better.

I tried once or twice to strike up a conversation for shits and giggles. Not searching for a hook up, just boredom and alcohol induced boldness.

This one guy, in his early thirties, had loved his wife since high school. Shortly out of high school they got married and sadly one day (while playing with a bee bee gun) the man shot his eye out. The woman stayed for several more years, but then she lost a bunch of weight. This seemed to boost her confidence to a point that she left the broken man. The moral, did she ever really love him?

The man had cried while gulping his beer. Allowing it to leak from the corners of his mouth, he looked pathetic but my soul still bleed for him. I ordered him another round and put my arm around him. Overcome with a feeling that this man may never be whole again, I felt as if I were comforting a child that broke their favorite toy. He was not a bad looking dude, and I thought he was wearing tinted glasses to look cool. He took them off to show me his eye.

“All our friends sided with her,” he had wept, “saying that I let myself go and didn’t care about the relationship!” I rubbed his back as old friends would do. I had cracked my third beer and with the way his form swayed on the bar stool, I assumed he was well past three. To vent on a stranger about your woes is amazingly cleansing. The tears feel fresher, a deeper heart wrenching talk that you typically would not tell your friends or family in fear of judgement. I cried with him.

“I never let myself go! I’m not fat!” He had grabbed his stomach roll and shook it. No, he wasn’t fat but he had a good handful. I hid my grin behind a swig of beer. Never given enough time to warm, the coolness refreshed my own nerves that were being drug down by his depression.

“They came w’her. Fuckers, when I was working. Middle of the day, fucking neighbours saw them clear out my house Never said a word. Took ‘rything, even the dog!” His slurred words hit a new note in me, how people really can be dirty. Nasty.

I had felt sorry for him and ended up paying for his cab. The driver had asked where the drunk one-eyed guy lived. I said, “pfft, ask him,” as the man snored in the back seat. I avoided that pub for weeks afterward. I had enough on my emotional plate, I couldn’t carry someone else’s woes too.

Which, coincidentally happened to be the only pub in town. Leaving me no where to go to get drunk on my birthday today, unless I end up at Boston Pizza. Which is just awkward, day drinking while kids color oversized bird mascots. Breaking, throwing and eating crayons.

I opened my laptop and allowed body warmth to bring it to operating temperature. The weather was beginning to change.

It took some time but the screen flicked on and I stared at the date of my birth. It’s Saturday. A thought of a ferry ride back to the mainland to visit my son, crossed my mind. Problem was, my whole family disagreed with what I had done. With how I had taken off and no one yet knew Sadie had been taken by her father. My throat tightened just at the thought of approaching that matter.

I pictured them sitting in a room waiting for my arrival, with a bald Dr. Phil looking man to say, “welcome to your intervention,” while holding a pressed white coat for me.

I pulled a small mirror towards me, one I had tied to the inside tent pole. I may be alone but I still look after my vanity. I also taped the hanging mirror to the side of the tent while I slept to prevent my twisted subconsciousness from hanging me in my sleep. Vanity doesn’t cure mental health.

I am too vein a creature to never look at myself in the mirror and though I had not packed any makeup, I had acquired some over the months. The days when Sadie got bored and we went on shopping sprees. Flavored Chapsticks, sparkling Chapsticks, bulking mascara, bronzing blushes, and other crap I would never use on the norm. It’s amazing how on days when you’re feeling blue and bored with no one to see or speak to; applying makeup can be so fulfilling, even when I apply it and sit on the beach by myself until I sleep.

The murkiness of my tent gives no color to the natural highlights of my hair. Deep cooper red that only the sun brings to life. My own dreads were firming up quite nicely (another project that is entertaining when you’re bored, spinning and twisting and knotting your hair.) Also, as a throw back to my youth, I had purchased Kool-aid packets and sat many hours in the wet sand with cherry red juice particles burst all over my hands as I force the ruby shade into my strands.

The marrow of my dreads near black from the lack of shampoo but dry shampoo kept the ends neat and my roots clean. I chopped a few of the front ones off as they were heavy and irritated my eyes. They are now short spunky bangs, far above my eyebrows. Which have become creative beasts on their own. Un-plucked and twisted in every direction. Bangs are the window to your soul, not the eyes. You can hide your eyes with makeup, but you have one crazy day and cut your bangs short as Betty Page and everyone knows how you’re feeling.

The hazel color of my eyes seemed to have lightened. I recalled reading once that hazel eye color is the only eye color that can shift depending on light, your clothing, your mood, age and even the shade of makeup. Of course, also if you have ingested any type of substance since that will change the pupil size. With no drugs or alcohol in my system, they appear a foggy green today. Bordered on gray, not sure what that means.

I paint makeup on my face, highlighting my deepening cheek bones (from lack of sustenance) with bronze. My beach living tan picks it up nicely. The thick mascara makes my upper and lower lashes so thick, I look like Alex from Clockwork Orange.

I paint my lips with a 24-hour lip stick that requires you to hold them open for at least two minutes. I am near drooling when I finally close my mouth and examine the orangey red, I imagine Katy Perry’s I kissed a Girl, lips to have looked like these. The best shade of lipstick for your face is the closest you can come to your, uh, other lips.

My new summer dress, purchased from a thrift shop, is perfect for my birthday. James never would have approved of it. Spaghetti strapped, low cut back and fit tight to the contours of my body. Black with blue and yellow large flowers. The up swing of a triangular crinkle for the front lands only inches from my under garments. James would have run a finger underneath and smirked, “who you looking so good for?” A frown planted itself on my face as I sat crossed legged on my air mattress, in my tent, on a desolate beach done to the nine and still falling back to what my husband would have thought. Allowing his impressions and thoughts to shape what I felt.

I felt it drag my soul down. My non-existent husband produced even here. I tripped and fell out of the tent to get away from my thoughts and the dress rod up exposing my boy cut panties. I had stopped buying sexy panties long ago, those were perceived as “for someone else.” Out of the tent, I land myself straight into the damp sand. My legs are horribly grotesque and need a dry shave. This time I cannot stop the tears from smudging my makeup. As I pull the razor up my leg a sharp memory hits me.

James had been out of town for a week or more. I had texted him my usual

Good morning my love, with an added, five more sleeps til you’re home.

His response started off innocent enough,

Good morning beautiful, can’t wait, make sure you shave.

I had chuckled and replied with inappropriate emojis and said,

Always do for you.

In my heart, I was excited and turned on that my husband was looking forward to a romantic homecoming. This changed quickly with his response.

Bet you’re over grown now, picture proof required.

Eww, no

Why? Did you shave for someone else?

Obviously not.

Then prove it, send me a picture.

The feeling of sending that photo was shameful, embarrassed to feed into the over bearing nature of my husband and to realize the depth of his mistrust. Embarrassment that my husband was requesting proof of my monogamy. Embarrassment that the photo did not make me feel sexy. Embarrassment that he responded saying, good girl. As if he controlled me and was proud that I had not deviated from what he requested of me.

I choked on my sob into the empty beach. Finished my dry shave and pushed those emotions further down, into my toes and I buried my toes into the sand.

All dolled up and no where to go, I stayed in the morning dewy beach and took in my surroundings. Allowed the pain from distant memories flow over me, drown me and slowly I brought myself back up to recover.

The scenery itself wallowed to bring me back. Trees that were short and leaved trunk to crown framed the ocean. They swayed angelically, waving to me, beckoning me toward the refreshing water. As lovers would but I am alone, I walk along the slight edge of water to sand. My mind goes blank and I walk. The salt musty scent of the ocean loses my mind and a new calm enters.

Allowing my thoughts to drift naturally, they return to to James. My husband. I have been gone for, what? Nearly 6 months. Living by my own rules. Living by my own emotions yet I am still drowning. I shouldn’t worry what he thinks, I never should have. I should have always stood on my own feet, my own emotions and principles.

The conversations that would ruin my evening after work, even when they started okay. I would be left wondering what I did wrong. Did I say something or did he misunderstand something? But to not have to worry about another’s thoughts or emotions was refreshing. So why were my own so horrid still? The only person that made me cry now, was me. The only person that made me glad now, was me.

Somehow, that didn’t seem right for my birthday. I wasn’t about to drown in self pity on my own accord, not on my birthday. I turned from the beach and walked to the bus stop. Picking out kitten heel shoes (also from the thrift store) on my way past my new home, the flimsy tent.

 

The bus was loud which stole me from my toxic thoughts perfectly. I put my nose in a book and mentally pictured myself as Belle, the Disney princess with her nose in a book.

I Let You Go, seemed a fitting pick when I bought it. That’s what I did, wasn’t it? I let my husband go. I let him go to seek whatever else it was to make him happy. Our fights had reached a level that I wasn’t sure were progressing. Yes, everybody fought but ours weren’t from a place of love. They were derived from jealousy and resentment. Guilt and anger from years of fighting over children that did not belong between the two of us. Words never spoken in fear of hurting the others feelings but it left a wall between us.

The bus crawled to a stop, end of the road. For me anyway. I was the last on the bus. The driver glared hard at me, I could read his, “you have to leave now.”

I never decided where to go but once again I found myself walking blindly down the sidewalk and there was only once place I was sure I would end up.

My book sat in the nook of my armpit. As if: if the world crumbled to hell right now I could still sit down in the middle of it and be somewhere else. It also gave me confidence. It was a foreign feeling to me, something that had been wiped off me too easily. Leaving a stain of self doubt.

Rose-colored sunglasses hid the layers of makeup I had plastered on. Women glared at me for my dress, as if we could no longer acknowledge one another as equals but all as competition. They pulled their husbands closer as I would pass. As if I were a virus that could get into their man’s mind and make it wander. Don’t worry honey, I thought to myself, I want nothing of that sort.

The sun swung past high noon and the streets filled in more with happy shoppers. I was about to give up when my hand fell onto a cold familiar handle, Specific Brimm Café.

The shades are drawn, the café is darker today than the last time I visited. It seemed a precognition on my behalf when I step through the door and realize there is a live band in the corner. Tables and chairs pushed out of the way as the elegant new pop jazz music fills the area. People are tapping along on their table tops, a young couple sway in the middle and the café is popping.

I walk to the counter to meet my mysterious barista in dreads but my heart falls slightly when I see she is not there. There are two new young guys working and an arrogant looking girl. At least I don’t look silly any longer in my evening dress in the middle of the shopping rush. Now, I stood in a darkened, dancing café.

Hunger creeps in, a deep urging one that I have not felt for some time but the smells of bruschetta and roasted turkey and melty cheese speaks to me. I order the biggest sandwich from the menu, no messing around trying to read the menu. I said exactly that, “I want the biggest sandwich on the menu.”

“Do you want a drink with that?” The young girl behind the counter had to nearly yell for me to hear her. The jazz turned swift into a bodacious boxy sounds of a violin. Not an instrument you hear often but it takes the spot light for any venue, especially a small café as this. I turn to examine the band in the corner, there are two guitarists, a drummer and a lead singer. My mouth drops open as I examine the lead singers elegant jaw ling as she holds the violin sensually between her chin and her naked shoulder.

The top of the black velvet stops short of shoulders and clings beautifully to her body. It smooths down and falls wide as a stunning asymmetrical dress.

“Sorry, yes.” I stuttered, where did my confidence go? I could hardly feel the physical presence of my book and the café was too dark to read.

“And that would be…”

The dread locked barista’s arm swung upward to a tall flute-like resonation and my mind swam. The music moved along my skin and goose bumps made not of fear crawled over me. A wave of adoration was astounding and a vaguely recalled nodding when the girl behind the counter irritatedly asked if I just wanted a mocha.

She was a ghost of the background and the barista with the violin was my calling. I sat at the closest table to her and smiled widely when her eyes opened just enough to acknowledge me. She was lost in her music, in another world from us spectators but I could feel the passion she had for her music. It filled the cafe and it brought an ambiance that healed your soul.

I sat with my eyes closed, even when the young barista brought my sandwich and mocha. I vaguely heard her announce the arrival but could smell the rich hot chocolate mixed with coffee aroma through the stupor of admiration.

The music dies down, voices rise up and I am reentered into the awkwardness of sitting in a cafe in the middle of the day with an evening gown on. I pick up my book and try to pretend to read. I eat my sandwich, which is delicious. Pickled beet juice runs from the sourdough bread and down my palms. The crunch of lettuce makes me forget my fear of approaching the smoldering dread lock barista once more. The steam kept me hot for weeks after my initial visit.

She doesn’t even need to speak, she doesn’t clear her throat or pull the chair to sit with me. I close my book and already know she was standing there. Her velvet tight dress boasts her curves as if made just for her. Her hand  on her hip as if to say, ‘what took you so long?’

Her persona emitted friendliness, it promised acceptance and it told me I was right where I needed to be. Her blonde dread locks pulled away from her face with a black lacy head band.

“What’d you think of the show?”

“Show?” My initial thought is the amount of cleavage bursting from the tight velvet dress that runs horizontal across her front and straps around her mid arm before spilling into long sleeves. I hardly felt the rush of blood to my face since my lips were numb from anxiety as I bit my sandwich.

“Yeah, my band,” her gracefulness as she sits in the chair across from me doesn’t surprise me.

“It was amazing, I’ve never heard someone play the violin up close before!” I speak too fast and forget I have food in my mouth. With my numb lips, fear runs my mouth dry and I nearly choke.

“Wow, hey. Ease up on your sammy.”

“Sammy?”

She laughs and my nerves settle with sight of her toothy white smile, her smell is even striking. “Your sandwich.”

“Oh.”

She untied her scarf as she spoke and let the dreads fall around her hour glass figure, her skin smooth like cream and I imagined my fingers on the softness of her flesh. She popped one of my fresh baked chips off my plate into her mouth. Her eyes brought me in, all of me. The goosebumps followed where her eyes went, as a flutter of butterfly kisses from head to toe. I waited for a comment about my own dreads that I had begun. They were forming but still loose and messy as if beach waves matted and dried with sand. I wondered if she would feel insulted that I to copied her hairstyle.

“Well, enjoy,” she began to stand up after the silence stretched far past the comfortable time.

“Thank you, but really. I came to see you,” I sputtered out, I didn’t want her to leave. All this embarrassment and effort, I need her to stay. “I, I just really, well. Needed a friend today.”

“Oh? Am I your friend?” She cocks her head to the side and I wonder if I misread her but then a dazzling look comes over her face. Her features soften even more, melting my heart.

“I hope so,” I put the sandwich down, not even half eaten. “It’s my birthday, I just, I don’t know. Wanted someone to…” I’m not even sure what I want to say now. I drop my eyes and shake my head. This is turning so awkward.

“Then you should be out partying!” she chuckled and sat back down. Another chip of mine went into her mouth without so much of a flinch, she’s so easy going. I reach out and touch her hand and pull my eyes up to hers. I just need to feel closeness, with someone. Just today, just a little bit. Her eyes widen but her thumb naturally moves to the inside of my palm and squeezed. “I have a boyfriend, Hon but maybe we can have a quick toke before my next set.”

She holds my hand tight, with her confidence and aura, I am pulled through the cafe to the old familiar back door. I had wanted to invite her out for tonight, I guess that was my ulterior motive. My heart sunk realizing I will actually be alone on my birthday. She would have a pity toke with me then I would end back at my tent, cold and alone.

Just as her hand reached for the door handle, I stopped walking. My eyes fell as my self-esteem shattered. Tears fall freely that I had not intended.

She drops her face to be in my line of sight.

My over productive imagination told me she was lying about having a boyfriend, that I had divulged too much drama at our first meeting and she wanted nothing to do with me. But really, all I had said was I needed a friend?

“Hey,” she put her hand below my chin and lifted my face. I was embarrassed my cheeks were soaked with stale emotion tears. “just a toke, okay?” She wiped the dampness off my face and I nodded as we stepped outside of the cafe.

The back door closed behind us and I leaned against the brick wall next to her. Assuming the same position. She lit the joint, had one small puff before passing it to me. There were no words between us, I didn’t know what to say and I hadn’t wanted to put her in a position of feeling the need to say anything to me. I inhaled lightly on the marijuana joint, I had gotten too blasted the last time and didn’t want a do over. The paper stuck slightly to my dry lips and ripped when I pulled the joint away. I fumbled with the flimsy paper, I was not suited for this type of stuff. I don’t smoke weed, I’m awkward even when sober. This just amplified it.

She plucked it from my fingers and licked a new zig zag. Wrapped the glue strip around the tear and took another pull, as if nothing happened.

What the hell had I been thinking? I turned to make an excuse to her, to get myself out of this insane position. This isn’t me, all dressed up. Smoking weed? My mind spun to find the right lie. Sweat beads built on my upper lip as the apprehension of leaving her spun inside me.

I turned my face to vocalize my escape but was enthralled to watched as her full lips puckered around the joint, as if an old friend. It seemed to wrap around her, the cloud formed around her sharp features. Her high cheek bones, deep set eyes and square nose. A familiar friend, marijuana seemed to compliment her. Her large chest expanded as she inhaled. I hadn’t noticed her necklace before but as she exhaled, the silver elephant danced happily on her breasts. A crystal gem set for the profile side view of it’s eye. The sun caught it and created a prism effect, shooting rainbow streaks into the cloud of smoke we stood in.

Suddenly her hands were on my cheeks and I looked up to realize she held the smoke gingerly in her own cheeks. Before another beat of my heart, she locked her lips to mine. She kissed me deep and allowed the smoke to billow between our lips. Our tongues touching and dancing as foreign lovers. Lost but once more reunited.

The smoothness of her hand was refreshing, no calluses, no harsh scars. Her skin was as silk. Her hands just as needy as my emotional being. She explored my body quickly as her lips remained pushed firm against my own. Her hand down the back of my neck, the tiny hairs lit in erotic excitement.  She ran her hand down my back and settled to the small just above my bum. She turned her body to encase me in her arms and pushed her knee between my legs.

A gasp of lust echoed between the two of our bodies but I couldn’t say which emitted the first groan. Her fingers dug into my flesh and sent electric thrills down to my toes. Her lips moved from my own and kissed up my cheek to my hair line, followed the line down to my neck and her tongue went down from there.

Her hand on the back of my dress peeled the material up slightly and she pushed her own body harder against mine. My head fell back in a motion of utter delight.

With my eyes closed, her kisses on my chest were hotter, wetter and stronger. The hand that had slid my dress up followed the curve of my hip up to the front of my dress and met her mouth to my breasts. The strength of her hand tested the firmness and I began panting beneath her touches. The taste of marijuana dissipated from my mouth but a new sweet flavor filled me from the sensual barista. We melted into the brick wall together. Such lust I had never felt before. Her hand ventured further down my body until she found the under side of my dress.

There was no resistance or hesitation on either party. Our movements became frenzied, the kissing intensified with no concern of onlookers. Anticipation spilled into body heat when her hand found the edge of my pantie elastic. Her fingers ventured past the line and we were thrust into our own world. Touching, caressing and loving each other.

 

“I have to go now Becca,” She pulled away, leaving me panting, spent.

I was breathless for several moments as I fixed my clothing, she stepped toward the door before I had time to speak. The words finally materialized in my mind through the fog she had created, “how do you know my name?”

I still didn’t know hers and I didn’t recall telling her mine. She laughed as if I were joking. Maybe I did know her name? Somewhere, deep inside the layered stoned conversation we’d had? I couldn’t remember. All I could remember was her hands touching me, goosebumps crawled over my everything as the memory spiked me again. I surprised myself.

She opened the door and turned to leave, “Happy birthday.”

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