Dark Chocolate, Darker Love
Last night he grasped my hair in his large, strong hands, bent my head back and forced a kiss upon my lips. “You like that, bitch?” he asked rhetorically. He slipped a piece of bittersweet chocolate between my teeth and grabbed a breast, squeezing hard. I smiled, giggled even. Yes, I like that. Even without the chocolate.
Love is a funny thing and not always in a ha-ha kinda way. It can tenderize hearts the same way pounding steak tenderizes meat. It can harden them the same way. Like many, my heart has taken its share of whacks with the love mallet. It had certainly taken a blow to the aorta the night I fell down drunk at the feet of this man who became known as the Keeper of the Darklady.
It had been a night of dancing for me and my then-lover, Polymnos. I was elegant and tragic in my black chiffon blouse and skirt. He had been dapper and distant in his suit and suspenders. Afterwards, my mood had crashed along with my blood sugar levels and instead of snacking sensibly I had sought solace in the amber friendship of a bottle of rum. Oblivious, Polymnos had socialized with friends and then spoken unexpected, distracted words of love before heading out into the night and back to his home.
The next morning I found myself naked in my own bed, earrings scattered on my pillows, skirt and stockings hung across the shower curtain rod, car keys where I never leave them, Darkladymobile parked and sans dents in the driveway – but not a shred of memory about how I or it got where we were. It didn’t take long for my friends to begin calling to make sure I wasn’t dead – and tell me how much I owed this new and exotically handsome man who had entered my life and whose life I was only beginning to complicate.
We were valiant in our resistance to love, neither of us being in an ideal situation to welcome it; each of us with our pre-existing and complex poly love entanglements. How can one trust the romantic notions that spring from a night like ours? Although other friends had tried to comfort me, only his kisses, his embraces, his reassurances had come close to doing so – and even then legend has it that I curled up in a whimpering ball at his feet, sniveling something about how cruel love had been to me in spite of my drunken and self-proclaimed “fucking genius” status.
But just as love can beat at the doors of the heart, softening them until it bursts through, so can it rub against them patiently and persistently like a cat waiting to be let in. Such was the case with us as we cautiously gave in to the pull of our yearning for one another. And so we come to this night, with a hand in my hair, another on my breast, and his lips against mine. And I like it, even without the chocolate.
– Originally published in Playtime Magazine –