He was the most genuinely joyful man I had ever met, rakish and effervescent. I'd met him a small handful evenings, whenever the wind would blow him into port. Each time, he's met me at the door, his barrel chest wrapped in a plush five-star hotel robe.
His emails always made me smile, he never just secured the booking. After my final confirmation message nailing down date, time, location I'd receive a "roger roger!", a "right on!", a "¡Muy excelente!" complete with the inverted exclamation. He was unadulterated fun.
Mid one afternoon, I received an email: "Too long since we last shared shenanigans. I'm in town all weekend."
I couldn't wait. I emailed him immediately, "Tonight? What time?"
We secured the date, he sent me his address. I knew I had to wear something special. It was something that only he could truly appreciate.
I'm not a fan, in general, of trashy lingerie. I like classic styles as a rule - not out of prudish reservations - but a girl with my figure needs her support.
There was this one little slip of a thing - lace, chiffon, and spandex - however, that I had been saving in the back of my armoire for just the right audience. A laughable garment really. Perfect for him.
Our date drew near, I slipped the silly thing on under my dress and off I went.
He met me at his door - wrapped in the hotel robe, naturally - and invited me in. After our hello kiss, we kneeled on the bed like two teenagers. Conversation flowed easily. We swapped stories and I laughed genuinely. He was irreverent, hilarious, a little mad. He explained the twists and turns his life had taken since our last date. He'd been travelling full time, wining, dining, and fucking his way though his long leisurely days.
My puritan side reared up. "But how long can you keep it up? Before it gets old?" I asked.
"Honestly, Nat, I've never been happier. I get up when I want. I eat amazing food. I spend Tuesday afternoon in pubs chatting up disenchanted housewives. I'm fucking half of Philadelphia. I live the life of a fallen aristocrat."
It took me aback. This is not a story I usually hear. I find myself soothing the overworked, the stressed, the put-upon on a regular basis. What I don't usually run across is a man, unapologetically in love with life as it is for him. Wandering but not lost, if you'll forgive the Tolkein-ism
My life, however, is frenetic. I have a multitude of irons in a plethora of fires. I make my living, partially at least, in pleasure and hedonism of the highest (or basest) order. Yet, how often do I truly indulge? Get my hands dirty in the delicious day to day of life without succumbing to the pressure to manage and to propel my life forward toward another level of achievement?
I raised myself up on my knees. "I haven't even taken off my dress yet," I teased, "and let me tell you, you are going to scream when you see what I have on under it."
"Oh, I can hardly wait," he grinned.
I pulled my knit dress over my head, put my hands to my hips and raised my chin in challenge.
The scrap of tacky lace covered nothing at all, nothing that mattered. It outlined my most private parts - breasts, ass, pussy.
"What do you think?"
His smile widened and he broke into a laugh, "It's preposterous! I love it! It's like a reverse bikini."
"It's brilliant, isn't it? It's like a belt with shoulder straps," I giggled. "Have you seen the back?"
I turned away from him, so he could get a good long look of my ass, framed by lace.
"Phenomenal," his voice lowered as his hands began to roam.
My giggling was soon replaced with quiet breathing, a soft smile. I turned back to him, kissing him deeply. He responded in kind until the kiss met it's natural end.
"I knew you would love it. I was saving this for someone who could truly appreciate it."
"Oh, I do." More kissing, a giggle overtook me again.
"I can't believe you called it preposterous. It really is the perfect word for it."
"Well you look ridiculous."
"Mmmhmmm," his hands moved south, "and I fucking love it."
Caresses slowly turned hot, our lazy deep kisses grew hungry. He pulled back an inch.
"My dear," he smiled, "would you join me in the blow job chair?"
He settled in the awkwardly small chair, robe now open. I kneeled on a pillow between his knees. A chaste kiss, considering where I was, and he sighed with content.
"You know," he said, "I've been all around the world and in every single hotel room there's a blow job chair. It's completely impractical for literally any other activity. It's not facing the television. You can't eat dinner in it. It's not even the least bit comfortable."
He looked down at me.
"Unless you've got a beautiful woman between your thighs," he gave me that rakish grin.
I tasted him, attentive to the sound of his breath, his thigh muscles tensing, his body tightening. I paid attention in a way I hadn't in a long time. My living is pleasure, I thought to myself. What a gift. What a wild, delicious gift. And oh, how he tastes...
It's easy to get lost in this life, I think. The stakes are so high, all the time. I love this life. I chose this life. Once I found the novelty of the demimonde thrilling. But when your business is pleasure, what happens when pleasure becomes rote?
And what of the very American drive to push for more? More money. More success. More advancement.
But what can happen when we give ourselves permission to delight in life? To fuck at 10am with great gusto and follow that up with a three hour nap? To chat up a stranger in a swanky bar at 1pm? To revel in how the thrill of life shows up for us? To get back to the basic hungers: food, drink, sex, music, art, adventure?
I want to find out. I want to wake up every morning in love with the pleasure I get to share. I want to dip a ladle in life and drink deep. I want to lick life off my fingers. It took a fallen aristocrat to help me remember that.
And if I do forget occasionally? Hey, we'll always have the blow job chair.