Wednesday, August 18, 2004

PART 34 - So Into You

I feel sure that I can say, without reservation, that I was the only 7 year old to see the Atlanta Rhythm Section at the Great Southeast Music Hall here in Hotlanta. This place was like a love-in. Nothing but open floor and people reclined on pillows and the pungent kiss of smouldering doobie in the air.

Ahh, the 70s.

So Into You
Atlanta Rhythm Section

When you walked into the room
There was voo doo in the vibes
I was captured by your style
But I could not catch your eyes
Now I stand here helplessly
Hoping you'll get into me

I am so into you
I can't think of nothing else
I am so into you
I can't think of nothing else
Thinking how it's going to be
Whenever I get you next to me

It's gonna be good, don't you know
From your head to your toes
Gonna love you all over, over and over
Me into you, you into me, me into you

Come on baby
Driving me crazy
I'm so into you
Love the things that you do . . .

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The next morning, I awoke to Don's sweet kisses on my neck and back. "Morning sunshine," he murmured in my ear, as I stretched luxuriously. Had I ever slept that well in my life?

"Been up long?" I asked as I turned to him, still cradled in the crook of his arm.

He traced down my breastbone with a forefinger. "A little while, but you were sleeping too good for me to wake you any earlier. But I figured since it was close to noon, we might want to get up,"

"Noon?!" I nearly shrieked. I couldn't believe it. I never slept much past 8:00. "You've ruined me already!" I joked as he pulled me closer. Nuzzling my neck, his moustache tickling along my throat, in that deep, gravelly voice he murmured,"Ruined ain't the HALF of it, sweetheart."

An hour later, after I had once again been completely transformed at his hand, I lay there, helpless, panting for breath, glistening with sweat. I looked at him incredulously, "How do you DO that?!"

He was propped on one elbow, calmly and cooly looking down at me. Damn. He had perfect swirls of black chest hair that marged into a perfect trail down to his navel. His green eyes glimmered with mischief, a small smile playing at the corner of his mouth. In mock surprise he said "Do what, baby?" His dimples were even more pronounced than I remembered from the night before. I was in big trouble.

"So, what's on your agenda today, what's left of it?" he asked me. As if on cue, the phone rang. My mother. I had forgotten that we were having a 2:00 cookout that day for one of the nephew's birthday. Could I bring soda and chips?


I thought about cancelling. Stomachache. Something believeable and easily gone by tomorrow morning. "You go be with your family - I have to get back home soon too." Where WAS home for him? He lived on the outskirts of my ex's hometown. Interesting. "Let's don't delve into THAT too deeply, who knows what skeletons might pop up. Chances are we know ALOT of the same people," he said with a chuckle when he saw the surprised look on my face.

We showered and dressed and left together, pausing for kiss after kiss when he dropped me back at Nashville Sound to get my car. Getting out of his car with me, he leaned back against my car and pulled me close, his hands on the small of my back. He gave me a deep, soulful kiss that took my breath. "Should I call you later?" he asked, those eyes glittering, that dimpled smile making my heart jump.

"Absolutely," I answered, fighting myself to pull away. He was like a damn magnet. Finally extricating myself, I blew him a kiss as I drove away.

Later that evening, I was talking to my (initially just a bar friend but now my best) friend Angie. "Damn it, I miss ONE WEEKEND and all this good stuff happens!" she lamented. "Tell me about him . . . What's his last name?" Yep, she was from the ex's hometown, and she popped THE QUESTION. I told her and she dropped the phone, screaming. Finally coming back to the phone, she said, "PLEASE tell me that you didn't just say Don (last name)!"

"Yeah, why?" I asked, wondering what in the world would have caused THAT reaction.

"Oh, shit, Rita . . . I can't leave you alone for a MINUTE!" Talking to herself, she muttered, " . . . hooked up with that asshole . . . what the hell . . . " Completely confused, I began to get defensive and asked her what the problem was. "Oh, damn, what ISN'T the problem?"!"

She knew Don. Knew him well. Her (shady, on again off again, bastard of a) boyfriend had grown up with Don, and she had known Don for years. "Well, first of all, he's too old for you, Second, he's a lazy asshole. Third, he has three kids. Fourth, he's crazy. You deserve MUCH better. Trust me."

How could this be? I trusted her completely - she was a very loyal, matter-of-fact friend. But the man that I met in no way resembled the guy she was describing. "Nah, you're mistaken, hun. He is a sweetie," I countered.

"Sweetie, my ass. Wait 'til I see that bastard," she said, half promising, half threatening.

I recounted the evening to her, and she could tell from my voice that I was completely taken by him. "Well, you know, I knew him really well several years ago. Maybe he has changed," she softened. That had to be it. She was thinking about him from years back. Hadn't we ALL changed over the years?

Nothing could tarnish his shine in my eyes. Not then, not yet.

He called me at work on Tuesday. I had to stifle the giggles, I was so tickled to hear from him. "How bout I meet you at your place after work and cook you dinner?" he asked. How sweet! Work had been pretty stressful the past few weeks, and seeing him for a few hours was a welcome diversion from the pressure.

Just as promised, he was there waiting for me when I pulled up. He had a couple of grocery bags and handed me a bottle of wine as we made our way toward my apartment door. Once inside, we set everything down quickly and kissed hello. Again. And again. Placing a finger over my lips, he said, "Wait here," and went into my bathroom with a small bag. I heard the tub water running. When he emerged a few minutes later, he beckoned me into the bathroom.

It had been transformed into a retreat. The bright flourescent overhead light was out and candles were lit on the counter and the lip of the tub. Towels were waiting, and fragrant bubbles sat like fluffy clouds on top of the rising steaming hot water. I was too shocked to speak. "You soak here . . .dinner will be ready in about 30 minutes," he said as he began to undress me. When all of my clothing was in a pile on the floor, he held my face in both hands, kissing me softly. I had never, ever felt so cared for. He held my hand as I stepped into the bath and settled in for a long, long soak. He left with my clothing and returned with my bathrobe and a glass of wine for me. I was just . . . speechless. As I sipped my wine and luxuriated in that hot steamy water, I wondered how I had been so lucky to meet such a wonderful, caring man.

I felt silly sitting at the table with my hair wrap and robe, but he insisted that I stay wrapped so that I wouldn't get chilled after the hot bath. Was there no end to the pampering with this guy?

Dinner was incredible. This man could COOK! He divulged that he had been a cook for several years, and it was evident. The salad was cold and crispy with just the right amout of vinigarette, the seared steaks were perfectly peppered with the slightest strip of pink in the middle, and the whipped potatoes had just a hint of garlic and parsley. When he brought out the strawberries and took my hand, I thought I would fall over dead.

He brought the candles into the bedroom, and placed them in front of my dresser mirror. The whole room was illuminated. He approached me as I stood against the foot of the bed. He opened my robe and slid it off my shoulders and onto the floor, kissing my exposed shoulders as his hands followed the descent of the robe down my back. Stepping aside for a second, he reached into the darkness and produced a huge, ripe strawberry. He teasingly dangled the luscious fruit just higher than my lips, inviting me to take a bite. Giggling, standing on my tiptoes, head tilted up, I allowed him to tease and trace my lips before I bit through the thickest part of the ripe strawberry. The strawberry juice trickled down my chin and into the hollow of my throat, which he softly kissed and licked away.

He used the juicy remnant of the strawberry to glaze my nipples with chilled strawberry juice, rewarding him with an immediate and visible reaction. Moaning his approval and his desire, he laid me gently back on the bed, my legs hanging over the edge, my toes barely touching the ground. The candlelight reflected and illuminated the wetness of my breasts. My back arched toward him involuntarily as he bent over me, worshipping and caressing my breasts.

He was a true giver; he seemed to take endless delight in witnessing my pleasure, and he would gently, but continually rebuff my attempts to please him. "I'm guessing you have done enough of that in the past, and I KNOW I have had plenty of that before, let's concentrate on you for awhile," he would whisper kindly each time I tried to pay back all of the pleasurable things he would do for me.

I had never known there were men like this, I had never known that lovemaking could be like this. There is no way to overstate the effect his patience and unselfishness had not only on my neglected body, but moreso on my abandoned and lonely soul. I was consumed by him, and it happened quickly and completely before I even knew what had hit me.

Angie summed it up pretty succinctly a few weeks later as we sat together at Nashville Sound. Don wasn't there, he was home with his kids for the weekend, so it was a girls' night out. As she took a long, thoughtful drag on her Virginia Slims menthol, squinting her eyes, she resigned herself to the idea and exhaled a perfect plume of smoke, shaking her head and declaring that he and I were both "eat up with it."

What more is there to say?

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