We take each other's breath away.
He takes mine with his hand around my throat.
I take his with my beauty.
Which do you think scares me more?
I am not used to people being smitten with me.
I accept his assertions that I am beautiful.
I look in the mirror and yes, I can say that I'm beautiful.
Not in the way that models are, or movie stars.
But yes, I can see it.
And yes, I know that I'm smart and funny and sparkling and talented - and that for some reason he brings out versions of all that without the oddities that make me incomprehensible to so many. It feels extraordinary to be seen and understood and appreciated and whatever it is that he feels for me in lieu of love though these days I'm starting to wonder.
But he's smitten with me.
I'm not used to people being smitten with me.
I'm not used to people looking at me the way he does.
Smiling with happiness the way he does because we are now a We.
Sending me lists of romantic songs he thinks I'll enjoy.
Saying he wants me to watch the Borgias
because he'll be watching it at the same time
and the sexy young thing being fucked by the Pope
has god damned red hair
and she's making him crazy.
I love him and I get so scared.
He closes his hand around my throat
and I get scared of the power I have.
It comes in little flashes.
I snap out of my loving, submissive haze
and I wonder: who is this man?
And then it's over.
And I'm swimming again in the sweet warm pool of our union.
I'm 62 years old.
I've been married twice.
Nobody has ever treated me like this,
even those who claimed to love me.
Why do I keep believing that I'm not worthy
and that anyone who thinks that I am
must not be worth loving?
Why do I feel that it threatens the imbalance of power which works for us, which binds us, which exalts us, and which makes us happy?
I need to accept.
There is a balance.
We admire each other.
We love each other.
The word that must stand in for whatever else.
We are grateful to each other.
But when it comes down to it,
he owns me.
So I'll focus on that,
I'll hang on to that,
I can understand that,
and I'll concentrate on the pull of his chain around my neck.
Love can make things very complicated.