I can still smell her on me. We hugged, three times. Once in greeting, twice in departing. My wife, whom I haven't lived with since 2006. 2001 - 2006. We married in 2003 in Canada, Niagara-on-the-Lake, just weeks after Ontario passed a law making it possible for us to legally marry.
Her perfume is familiar, although I couldn't tell you the name of it. It goes nicely with my Old Spice. I would have you believe that she knows that.
We share a lot of common desires: good food, silverware that is both elegant and heavy in your hand, expensive glasses frames (although she got laser surgery), good food. She wanted to take me to dinner for my birthday, which was Monday. We went to a Japanese restaurant well known for their skewers. Their sushi was exquisite. I knew it would be. My wife don't play. Not when it comes to food.
With her I learned to appreciate fine things. I learned about blending two tastes together, two scents together, to make something completely amazing. With her I learned how to be quick and nimble, not physically, but financially and socially. I called her Rocketgirl. She was a true lion, a Leo all the way. I fancied myself a lion tamer, specially qualified to understand, moderate, and love.
I do still love. The rest, I know is folly. I love because... because I do. She has an apartment in my heart, next to some other important suites and residences.
Still, I worry, am wary. For all the fabulousness there were pitfalls, things I wouldn't describe in detail here. Enough, I would say, to give reason to the split. Faults were many, on both sides. I know so much more now. Who can say what could've happened otherwise.
So I sipped sake and listened, interjected occassionally a story, or simply exclaimed about the food. It is really good. We let the chef feed us whatever. I opted to set aside my half-assed kosher following and eat the funky fish and shellfish. I tasted the porkbelly, the first ever in my life. It was divine. The sake she ordered was light and bubbly and cold. I started the evening with chilled vodka straight up, so I was good and ready for this very drinkable sake.
She gave me a gift: a soft leather bound journal with unlined pages. And a card that said, mostly, "sorry."
So close. So soft. Known, with memories sown into the corners. Smells so good. But I don't lean in. I don't. I don't flirt, but I am looking, watching her eyes. Remembering. And then thinking about what is real, now. Words are one thing. Action something else. Will I even give enough room to move? I am fixed, for now. Time, says the 42-year-old part of my brain, is the key. That gives a pattern to movement, movement to intentions.
No. Part of me will still get lost. Gets lost between vodka and black sesame ice cream. That is enough for now. Back to me.
I hailed her a cab.