Last night, someone’s lips met mine.
It started as a bit of fun.
Four Italian brothers, also guests at the Cuban themed party.
G is Italian, her son L was with us and they immediately bonded with him, so we formed a bit of a group.
A gang of raucous ‘ragazoos’ with their aunties for the evening.
Then the band struck up and salsa music filled the air.
It all seemed so safe.
G and I took turns dancing with them all, and they were such good fun! Fooling around, shaking maracas, taking photos, dancing around with someone’s wig on.
It felt like family.
Latin folk are naturally tactile, plus salsa is a pretty intimate dance, so I probably had more skin to skin, man on woman contact last night than I’ve had for a long time.
And the best part?
It felt safe.
G and I were old enough to be their mothers and the presence of young L underpinned that status, so we could relax and have fun without any misunderstandings.
So I luxuriated in their company, their warmth and frequent hugs and embraces on and off the dance floor.
At one stage we were outside and I was cold, so this guy, P, took off his coat and put it around my shoulders, and that one simple gesture lit a small, hopeful flame in my heart. One day I would meet someone my own age as sweet, attentive and solicitous as this.
Then at some part of the evening, I went upstairs to find the bathroom and found myself alone with him.
Utterly comfortable with this, because I felt safe, I stood with him and we chatted and bantered whilst we were waiting to use the loo.
You know when you’re pissed and you have a ‘deep and meaningful’ with someone and were in hindsight probably chatting a load of shit, but at the time you really felt like you were putting the world to rights? It was like that; a true meeting of minds. About what I can’t remember, but we just seemed to gel and agree on just about every topic you can think of.
He smiled and said something like ‘You are so cool.’ and held his arms out to hug me. I went into them gladly. So big, so warm, so comforting, I soaked up his embrace like a cactus sucks up water.
Then he pulled away and kissed both of my cheeks.
It was lovely; If I were a cat I would have been purring loudly.
Then he kissed me on the mouth.
For a split second, I paused, probably out of bafflement more than anything, then I pulled away, smiled, gave him a big hug then shot into the bathroom feeling a little uncomfortable and foolish.
I remember replenishing my lipstick, going back to the party and chatting to the host for a while and by the time I go back to our gang, it was fine and we were both able to act is if it hadn’t happened, so it didn’t spoil the evening.
In the cab home G confided in hushed tones (so that L who was sat in the front didn’t overhear) that one of the other brothers tried it on with her, so we laughed about it, agreed that it was kind of flattering, and that all men were dogs and went home to our respective beds.
And now I’ve remembered everything and for some reason that kiss has stayed with me all day.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t kid myself that this guy wanted anything other than a one night stand, and I’m not hankering after him, but his mouth was a revelation.
Full, soft and sweet, I can only pat myself retrospectively on the back for not caving and snogging his face off, especially as I was so plastered.
It is at least two years since I have been kissed so tenderly, and today it feels as if his mouth has left an indelible imprint on mine.
I know some of you would say (and have said) that I should just go for it, but I can’t. I’m too proud and insecure to be someone’s ‘last chance saloon’ shag, as let’s face it, a 29 year old would not date a 50 year old seriously and I am not good at rejection.
I’m one of those stupid people who go out on dates and worry more about being rejected by a guy than whether I actually like him or not. He could look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame and I’d be obsessing and fretting if he showed any signs of not fancying me, so am not comfortable enough in my skin to risk going on booty calls.
Then later this afternoon I went on Facebook and saw that D https://sistasertraline.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/shattered/ had uploaded his wedding photos and felt such a visceral wrench it was like someone had reached into my belly and yanked hard on my guts.
The one that got away.
Yesterday was such a great day. I met with good friends at lunchtime, overcame a big panic attack, made myself go to my party, and had a great time, but tonight?
I feel a little sad.
You know on those old TV game shows when the contestant fails to reach the requisite score and the host puts his arm around their shoulders and says ‘This is what you could have won!’ as the curtain rolls back on stage to reveal a brand new car?
Well in this episode, God is the host, I’m that gormless donkey of a contestant, and D or someone like him is the car, and the message is ‘This is what you could have had, had you got your shit together thirty years ago! But never mind, here’s a Blankety Blank cheque book and pen….’
And now? I feel like a 20 year old trapped in a 50 year olds body. At my best I’m childish, playful, mischievous and fun and can’t help but doubt that I’ll find a man my own age who would want or appreciate this in a woman of my advancing years, and I’m too mental and intolerant to settle for someone mature with a ‘middle aged’ personality who watches ‘Extreme Fishing’ with Robson Green and wears M&S slacks and novelty ties.
I strongly suspect I’m not on my own with this feeling, and tomorrow I will put my best foot forward and not mope about it, but right now?
As futile and stupid as it is, I have to say this.
I would give anything to be able to go back in time thirty years and do it right this time around.
There, I’ve said it.
‘Last night I felt real arms around me.
No hope, no harm.
Just another false alarm’.