I remember the first time. You sat in a chair, paying me little attention as I caressed your feet. Perhaps you were so unused to tenderness that you didn’t recognize it as a first step. And so, I strode forward, stroking you here, kneading you there, working simple shiatsu as if it were magic. Within minutes, your stomach rumbles ceased, and soon, the rumblings inside your too-busy head subsided as well. I had not told you my secret skills, or of those before who yielded to an innocent touch.
It was a short measure to your calves, your thighs, and across your drawbridge to your moat-sequestered heart. I remember the way your eyes closed, clenched, shuttered and how you shuddered as you let yourself fly.
“Fireworks,” you called it as you gasped, and you were right. We set it all ablaze that night, and many nights, until the dopamine burned through and all the love crack had been used up. I understood then, when it was over, the logic of the addict, because for that brief time, we were addicted to the words and the touch and the orgasmic gasps and the fireworks erupting from each other’s core.
We called it love crack in those days, and it fit, and not only because the effect on the brain of the two drugs — cocaine and love — are the same. Nothing else mattered but the drug, and we gladly spiraled into its embrace. We inhaled each other as the love addict must. But like the addict, our resistance grew. Within two short measures, though still we inhaled, all it wrought was dust and residue. And finally, on a summer’s day, I held my hands before me, and realized I no longer remembered how to touch or you how to feel.
My hands still remember the touches – how your skin yielded, how you bristled against me, the way you’d pretend to be asleep against my advances, not to deter, but to draw me closer, ever closer, to your fireworks.
And I see the others: too hot or too old, or like you, too young and too cold, and no longer wish for fireworks. I’ve sworn the reformed man’s lifetime oath against the drug. But there, sometimes, I see her, tattered, scarred, unable to see in herself what is glaring to me, and I wonder about fireworks. She is calling me, the love crack, and I begin to remember how to touch.