If there was a guarantee for life that things would work out in the end just the way you always wanted it to be and you could know how it was all going to go down in the end, would you buy it?
Would you want to know every step along the way before it happened? Would you want to know how people would come in and out of your life and change you? Would you want to know if they leave you or if they stay?
Would it make you happier, in the end, if life was guaranteed to work out just the way you planned it?
He is genuinely interested in seeing the abbey when we arrive at our destination along the walk, which is what I keep calling the castle, I mean its got a frigin draw bridge and I can't say I've seen very many of those in real life, so its a castle to me... and this is all playing into the fantasy that's unfolding around us. I have to say, though, that I wasn't aware, you know, I didn't know I was descending into the fantasy... which is the best part, right? You don't want to be completely aware of what's happening when its actually happening because then you wouldn't actually be living in the moment, you'd be documenting the experience in order to make your facebook post about it later....
We entered the tiny streets by foot and climbed upward through the ubiquitous tourist shops selling crap with Mont Saint Michel stamped on them. He asked me what do I think? He's heard stories of tourists coming to tears upon the sight of the Mont because of its presence and grandeur. I admit (shamelessly) that I'm disappointed by how the authenticity of the place has been compromised by trying to capitalize on the mediocrity of masses.... we're at this ancient castle out to sea and they're selling crepes and ice cream cones and spoons with Mont Saint Michel stamped on them. "I'm buying you a spoon to commemorate this experience." "NO. I want a shot glass." "NO. You'll have a spoon. I'm buying you a spoon." "We're here, and I want a fucking crepe and an ice cream cone." Our banter goes on like this, laughingly, as we ascend the gradient of the rock through the foot paths. "I'm getting you a fucking spoon for coming with me. That'll be your thank you gift." "NO. I want a fucking crepe and an ice cream cone." "You're going to get a fucking spoon." We laugh, walk, stop, laugh, take pictures. Its steep in places but the scale is pedestrian. I remember, at least its the way I remember it, that we stopped and we kissed, not in a dramatic way, just a casual way that people kiss when they're affectionate and enjoying each other's company... but it had been so long, since I'd had been kissed in this way that
I noticed my own gracelessness in the situation...
But the kiss took it away. Took me away.
And I'm not sure what he was trying to say, because it is funny, though his English is rather impeccable compared to my French, things get lost in translation between us during conversation. I think he meant to compliment our chemistry as we stood there kissing on the rising mont in the rain. "I like the way you kiss" he said.
And God, I just wanted to melt, because I loved the way he kissed. In fact, I can only think of one other person in my personal life history that I have enjoyed kissing as much as him. The way he says it in English though is "you're in my top 50%"..... and I laugh, and laugh, "I'm in you're top 50% percent? What does that mean? that I'm in the top 50 of 100 or I'm in the top 1000 of 2000? Being in your top 50% just makes me average in the big scheme of things!" We laugh, and I get that that is not the point he's trying to make... and I'm just covering my ass because if I did the math accurately he'd be in my top 99.9% of all time... but that's not a statistic I'm willing or confident enough to share with him.
And under his grey peacoat and handsome grey pullover I know he's wearing a ridiculous purple striped tshirt with a Japanese anime character on it and later when we fall in to our hotel room I'll discover below his undone belt and when reaching for the top button of his jeans ...
he's boasting superhero underwear.
And somehow I'm fine with all of this because if he walks with me and talks with me and kisses me like that.................................
I have booked a hotel room in Saint Malo for our first night, because online it was only 50 minutes away from Mont Saint Michel and that seemed rather close to me, in America that's like going to the mall, but I come to understand that in France its a totally different story, a totally different region and totally a different place and not necessarily like driving to the mall.... we leave the mont after the sun has gone down and its black out in the countryside. Nothing more than rotary after rotary and I'm second guessing my decisions about the direction of the trip, we had already determined earlier in the day there was no way we were accomplishing my extremely ambitious itinerary for the next 4 days.
I'm slightly unsure how this is all going to work out. Will he regret his decision to trek with me for 4 days, will I regret it? What if I made a bad choice? I don't make bad choices! But I certainly don't want to make a bad choice with someone else here to witness it.
I'm so used to being alone.
We check into our small but lovely little room with the floor to ceiling windows that open up to the balcony on to the beach on to the water. And when we get in, we open the floor to ceiling windows and stand on the balcony in the wind and the rain and we can't see anything but we know that the deep ocean is right there because you can feel the magnetic pull and weight of the ocean in such close proximity.
Our chemistry is tangible and real, we've already tasted each other, we've already had each other and now I know how good it feels to be a woman with him and I want to surrender to the pull. I don't want to be so fucking practical about matters of the heart anymore....He hasn't shown a drop of insecurity along the journey and he's displaying genuine assurance in his Spiderman underwear. I packed lingerie.
We've undressed each other with the black sea at our backs and I think this Superhero must be sucking the oxygen out of my breath because I'm high from oxygen deprivation.
He says things like "and then I asked my little pinky finger." Which was his way of saying he listens to his intuition and he makes decisions based on his instinct (or the voice of his little pinky finger). He wears his spiderman underwear with pride such that I could have mistaken for it wittedness, except that he had such a comfort in his body and his way with me was so natural that it was obvious I was the only one quoting self-help material in my internal dialogue, and that in and of its self was encouraging and completely liberating.
I was liberated from my own thoughts and judgements and for a time I was suspended and cradled moment to moment in that magic foreign place. We asked the lady at the front desk for dinner recommendations and she sent us down the street to a "good place". There was a dumpster on the street out front and the interior of the place was deconstructed and there were piles of bricks and rubble heaped in the dining room. This is the "good place" she recommended, wtf? And we laugh and walk down the street in the opposite direction. We quickly land at this place with windows overlooking the ocean and it looks a little fancy inside and I get instantly nervous, is this too much? I don't want him to think I've had expectations all along of wining and dining our way along the seaside in some romantic fantasy, but that is exactly the experience we're having. And he hugs me and isn't phased by my nervousness or my questions- we're just rolling with it.
Inside we're sat and he's interpreting the menu for me, I ask him to order dinner for me because he can communicate with the waiter but perhaps not so secretly I am giving into the romantic fantasy. He orders the seafood platter and I order the escargot to start.... in my heart I wanted the seafood platter, but I was too unsure of what it entailed and went with the safe option of snails in butter sauce.
I didn't know that how a man picked his crab and unfurled his curly sea snails with a fork could make my heart swoon.... and yet, as I watched him partake of the bountiful seafood platter generously hand feeding me equal shares of everything on his plate, my heart was opening, expanding and liquefying, merging with the vastness of the sea and syncing with the magnetism of the tides.
Can you fall in love with a man because of his joy in picking and consuming sea snails, and sharing them with you? The experience of being fed bites of seafood off his plate touched me in my core, my defenses had been penetrated and neutralized by an offering of squiggly sea snail. I manage to hold it together when he asks if I want to walk on the beach after we eat.
I don't remember what our conversations were about, but I remember that we were still enjoying our meal after the couples came and went around us.... and I remember walking on the beach in the dark and it was cold enough to wrap my head in my scarf but I don't remember being cold. I remember, that we came together for a second time that night after walking on the beach and I remember for the first time since my 30th birthday, I made love to a man.
Love; it will not betray you
Dismay or enslave you, it will set you free
Be more like the man you were made to be
There is a design, an alignment to cry
Of my heart to see,
The beauty of love as it was made to be
-Mumford & Sons
How this story begins...
In the middle...
How this story ends...