In the car with my parents and brothers listening to Genesis, Styx, Fleetwood Mac on a family vacation. My father at the wheel young and healthy, telling us jokes and my mother at ease by his side loving life, loving us and forever moving forward with her hand closed around mine.
Friday night dinner with my grandparents at the table looking around at all of our faces and listening to our stories, laughing, smiling already having learned the art of treasuring every moment as if it is your last.
The first time I fell in love without questioning that love, without feeling like I was falling but like i was floating, rising above everything to a place of wonderment and acceptance; a place that felt like no other.
Meeting my 7 yr old and 9 yr old stepsons for the first time - instant motherhood - instant time to put myself aside and them first - the scary feeling in the pit of my stomach - the warm feeling in the depth of my soul - hoping we would connect and everything would be alright - a connection I had hoped would stand the test of time.
In the country walking, running with all of the dogs that have enriched my life and shown me love in a way I would have otherwise never experienced - all before their sudden exits that were so awful and so painful but that taught me if it can hurt that much to lose a dog, it is all the more reason to go and love another one.
To be back in high school hanging out with my friends who were also my family. Having no idea what life had in store for us and knowing how to live in the moment even as the moments slipped by. There would be marriages and splits, children coming into the world, parents leaving the world and friends succumbing to illness, to stress and vanishing into thin air. Ringing the doorbell at my parents house (the house I grew up in) and being greeted by my Dad asking 20 questions and making hysterical remarks, comments and observations. Our Yorkshire Terrier Casey running up and down the hall as if he had not seen me in 100 years and my mom in the kitchen cooking up a storm. To sit at that kitchen table just one more time with both my parents sharing stories, laughing, crying, mending our souls. I would tell them everything I was afraid of and how lost I have been even though I have found a new path to follow. And reassuringly they would say "Everything happens for a reason - you'll be okay" even if they were not sure I was going to be okay.
And while I think of each of these moments, I am in another that will surely pass.
All of the moments of our lives eventually fall from the reel onto the floor. We have to catch them mid air and hold onto them for as long as we can because once they land, the only way to replay them is by heart. What would be your moment?
A day to stay in your sweat pants on the couch streaming a show about a chemistry teacher in the desert in his underwear?
A day to take the kids to karate, ice skating, basket weaving and someone else’s house (now you’re getting the idea)?
A day to go to the $ store for something you really don’t need and that really doesn't cost a $ ?
Well - how about sex on a Sunday?
As a matter of fact (completely fictitious but read on), on a recent Sunday I decided I was going to explore the Atwater Market right here in our great city of Montreal (for those of my readers from around the world - the Atwater Market is an outdoor/indoor market where vendors sell fresh produce).
Once I arrived there I really had no idea what to shop for or how to “work” the market so I headed over to the nut aisle and found a barrel filled with almonds. Now according to Dr Oz who should really be performing heart surgery and saving lives because he is a heart surgeon but instead has a TV show because him and Oprah hit it off a while back when she realized Dr Phil (who should just do the TV show and skip the practice) was heading downhill and even his wife no longer wanted to have to stay and watch the whole show just to hold his hand at the end, pretend to being saying something to him and exit stage left).
Yeah so Dr Oz told me to eat more almonds because they are good for me or better for me than the bag of chips I eat for lunch and the frozen pizza I eat for dinner (and now you know why I should visit the fresh produce market more often).
I bent down stuck my head in the barrel with one of those scoopers in my hand and just as I was coming up for air someone else’s head collided with mine.
I placed one hand on my head - which really does nothing and the other over my eye - which really made no sense because I did not get hit in the eye. With my left eye still open I saw right there in front of me a particularly sexy man with that shadow - "I barely shaved but shaped it" trendy look - ash brown hair - green eyes that were sort of baby blue like a husky wolf mix - a full tattoo sleeve running up his right arm - in various shades of green and clay illustrating trees in the forest and little birds flying around and a running blue stream - his hair was that awesome length where it falls just at the mid ear and so he has to sweep it back ever so perfectly to keep it from covering his eyes - a chin so square and chiseled with a slight dimple that I immediately wanted to nibble it.
He apologized for the slight accident, asked if I was okay and then we continued down the nut aisle together without any almonds (sorry Dr Oz). We got into the kind of conversation you have when you first meet someone - what you do for a living - that you like dogs and your favourite fruit is a vegetable - and you have 12 siblings and 6 of them are named Hutch and your aunt’s name is Starsky but she looks like Tom Petty (not that there is anything wrong with that) and then he said to me..
“Do you want to explore the market together and get something and have a picnic by the water?”
So we picked up a baguette (for my readers from anywhere in the world who do not know what a baguette is - that is ok - it is bread - a stick of bread - crusty on the outside and warm and chewy on the inside and if you slap some cheese in there - you are set) and a few interesting cheeses from various regions of Quebec (that is a province not a country - think that one over), some grapes (purple in case you are wondering) and a small bottle of wine. Oh yes and some dark chocolate for later.
There we were on a beautiful Sunday at the market enjoying a picnic and talking about how both of our grandmothers loved to knit mint green sweaters (spectacular) - when suddenly he "tongue fed" me a grape - that's right folks - he moved toward me with a grape delivery disguised as a tongue kiss and then before I could chew or swallow he tongued it back.
Then he chewed and swallowed the grape and came toward me again - fruit free - and licked my ear lobe - much like a dog would do.
Now keep in mind this man is delicious - perhaps a bit off - but I haven’t seen anything this beautiful in a long time.
Then he says to me “Hey - you want to come to my place?”
So naturally not knowing if he is a psychotic serial killer - I say “Sure - I’d love to go to your place.”
He ends up living maybe 4 minutes from the market in a loft that over looks the canal. Upon entering his home the first thing I do as I always do when entering someone's abode for the first time - I take a deep inhale to smell his smell because we all have a smell and some are better than others and if that smell is not a smell I like - I have to exit to the right with Dr Phil - however this smell is nice - sort of like wood carvings - oh wait - there are wood carvings everywhere.
What are these wood cravings of you ask? Well they are of tongues in different shapes and forms jetting in and out of holes or parts of the body to be more exact.
And at that moment I realized that perhaps the psychotic serial killer scenario should have been considered more seriously.
But turns out those sculptures sell for 6 figures and he is actually famous.
Just as I am taking it all in, he leans over and kisses me - just brushing my lips with his - the tongue absent for the time being.
We end up undressing one another - which is much more exciting than just tearing off your own clothes and tripping over your underwear or even worse having them attached to your ankle the entire time you are having sex.
We make love.
We make love again.
His tongue, his hands, his ripped stomach and incredible chest - more tattoos across his body - everywhere - anywhere - his movements - his taste - his hugs - his kisses - and again and again his tongue - yes - yes - I am loving Sunday afternoon.
Finally we came up for air and had some wine with a blanket wrapped around the two of us - talking, laughing, singing (ok we didn't sing) and then it was time to go.
Moral of the story - Try to do something different on Sunday instead of making it a sleepy boring day. Go somewhere you rarely have been if at all and explore everything you find by looking, tasting, listening and following your gut. A word of caution though - if you are going to stick your head in a barrel of nuts, chances are you will find one.
PS - Mrs Dr Phil - I strongly suggest you visit the market instead of walking off stage with your husband - you deserve a day to yourself and if it’s cold - you can borrow my grandmother's mint green sweater. No almonds were harmed during the writing of this story.
Do you ever catch yourself in that perfect moment when you are conscious of breathing? Making love, being held, sleeping on a hammock in the shade with your arms wrapped around your lover, walking in the silence of the forest with your dog.
Do you ever breathe through someone else? Their lips dancing across your body awakening every molecule of your being.
Have you ever breathed for a family member, a loved one as they sat bent and broken; their head to their knees looking down because they could not find their way up?
Do you ever breathe through your art? Your creative spirit taking you to places you have never been while it whispers in your ear “This is where you paint, sculpt, draw - this is where you share your craft - your gift with others.” And your masterpiece, a wedge of your soul, whisks them away in it's beauty and they are reminded to stop and breathe.
Have you ever sat by the bed of an aging parent and breathed for them for all the times they breathed for you? The failures that they never saw as failures just the passages of life. The bad decisions that they told you weren’t so bad because they taught you how to make good ones. The times you were a scared little kid convinced that there was a ghost under your bed. Your mother stayed with you, held you and made sure you knew that you were safe and that if just for a second you could not breathe; she would breathe for you.
The breath you take for a loved one before the breath you take for yourself isn't a sacrifice; it's an offering and a display of the love you have for them.
We all take our first breath and we all take our last breath. It’s the ones we take in-between that make the difference.
For my brother Chuck who stood by me inhaling, exhaling - not leaving until I could breathe on my own.
myself sitting on the side of my bed – a familiar place, lost, alone and wondering how my life had gone so off track. I needed to escape the four walls of the small loft that had become my living space but not my home.
the cage to the elevator and took a left out of my building and then a sharp
right onto St. Laurent.
I made my
way to an all-night diner for people like me who find themselves wide awake while everyone else sleeps. All members of a club with no name and only one rule; don't judge because there is a very thin line between me being you and you being me.
I was in need of comfort food. I was in need of a gentle hand stroking my back and a soft reassuring voice saying "it's all going to be alright". And as much as it scared me, I knew what I was really there for - I needed to hold someone and be held. I needed to spend time
with someone who knew nothing about me and who wouldn't ask the questions everyone asks. I needed someone to stay without leaving and leave without staying.
Two stools down the counter, sipping coffee and reading an old messed up copy of “Beautiful Losers” by Leonard Cohen; sat a attractive man with salt and pepper hair. He was wearing a white t-shirt, faded Levis and Converse runners. His arms were graced in tattoo half sleeves, his biceps defined, his veins alert.
The funny thing is when two people know exactly what they want without all the bullshit and guessing; it takes very little time to make it happen.
So with very few words, we left the diner and headed back to my place.
soaked to the skin by the time we arrived so we undressed immediately and met in the middle
of the futon.
me with full lips as his tongue explored my mouth. I kissed
his neck and moved my way along his body.
him the way you smell someone the first time you are naked with them –
breathing heavily, bare and beautiful.
I tasted him - sweet and smooth. We rocked back and forth, his hands gently caressing me as if we had been lovers for years caring for one another whenever the world was cruel.
The barter complete, in each other's arms, no prying into the other's life, no judgment or assumptions, nothing but two people breathing in and out.
We fell asleep, our hearts beating in unison - masters of our souls.
passed and we began again.
A rhythmic waltz transcending our minds to a much better place away from the noise simmering everything down to a whisper.
He held me closely and carefully as if he would never let me go. Awakened were parts of ourselves that otherwise would sleep in a dark oblivion.
We hugged, kissed, sipped coffee and smiled with little to say sitting upward on the couch now disconnected, barely co-existing.
He kissed me one last time and vanished behind the closed door as if it never opened.
For those few hours he made me feel whole, the scent of him still in my pores, the suds unable to wash him away. I fell asleep wishing he was still holding me - his taste still upon my tongue - all the while knowing I would wake up the next morning on empty again.
So I say this to you - reading - This never happened to me except for once or twice in another place and time. Maybe this is your story as much as it is mine. In the beginning or the middle and certainly in the end We are all BEAUTIFUL LOSERS.
Waiting Hoping For someone to come and reveal a slice of light Upon our lonely blank canvas If even for a moment In our darkest hour SWEET DREAMS....