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Amore Saca Amore

When I first said I wanted to wait she understood. I explained how I wanted to build a firm foundation, how I wasn't ready yet. She said that she would be patient. I tempted her too much though. Two weeks later she erupted.

I brought her back down slowly. She said she didn't feel beautiful. She didn't feel loved. She needed release, and she needed it from me. I solidly refused. "I am not ready,” I said. It was true.

She made me think though. A lot of what was stopping me was dreams. I dream of the divine. I dream of making love outside for the first time. I never doubted that it would be her who initiated me - but I was waiting for dreams to come true.

With these thoughts in mind, I bike to dance. I'm late today, and feel sick from biking fast uphill. I dress, wash, and pause before entering. Chelah is here, this is rare, and I see no one I do not recognize.

I begin very slowly - lying on my back to get grounded, moving slowly to stay that way. I feel the old pull as I enter into the dance today, and I find myself dancing with all my old friends. I'm usually wrapped in the new. It's nice to dip back into the old.

The old joy is here. I find it refreshing wrapped with the old pain. I tempt Chelah a few times without response. Chelah is Chelah. I cannot expect anything else from this woman. I recall the first time I tried tempting her. I remember all the times after.

I first saw Chelah on the dance floor three years ago. She dazzled me. Chelah is beautiful but she is more than that, she radiates a raw sensuality that inevitably draws. Her lips cry for kisses her limbs for caresses. When I first saw Chelah I was inevitably drawn.

She would not dance with me. She would not dance with anyone who did not touch. I had never danced with touch before. The new and my attraction warred, until on the last day I learned to touch. She danced with me then.

Years passed. Chelah rarely came to dance but whenever she did it was a troublesome and teaching experience. Sometimes I had the courage, other times I fled. I nicknamed her priestess of Namah. Her sensual power spoke of a hetaera’s skills. She seemed to me a force of nature. Something to adapt to, never to be changed.

I first met Chelah outside of dance when she moved into the Yurt we were moving out of. I still went over often, to play with my adopted family next door. Her children mixed with mine. She was often about. I got to see her in the morning with frazzled hair. Shouting at her children, wandering through the house in a towel. I learned that she likes to drive fast. That she's greedy sometimes and as shallow as she is deep. I learned that she was both human and beautiful.

That first day she saw me outside was the first time I felt recognized. I would become a regular part of her life after that, but we sidled and seduced rather than connecting straight on. I told her I was frightened of her. She tried to prove she wasn't - but on the dance floor she inevitably was. There is nothing more frightening than caring what someone thinks of you and then acting in a way they might dislike. Dance is about pushing boundaries - pushing past dancing alone and into dancing with another. It's the boy's job to push.

Still, as we began to form a relationship outside of dance, I grew less frightened. It would take a lot of pushing to destroy what had taken years to build up. I began to trust in the foundation time had built, and trust my knowledge of what she likes. Chelah loves touch.

Even now it's a constant guessing game. I don't know her mood and Chelah can growl like a wolf when unwanted attention is coming her way. I watch for the first signs of a bite. Ready to retreat when I first sense a snarl. Today I circle and find nothing. Not a desire to dance or a desire to be alone. I circle several different times. Testing.

She's wearing black and red. Her pants are elastic around her thighs, flaring at her knees. Her top is black and simple, edged in some sort of lace. She’s wearing black and red. A tattoo of stylized lips I think runs red along her inner arm. Her hair cascades black down her back like a curtain of night. She is wearing black and red, and for some reason that’s important . . . important . . . Important . . . I snap.

I sink to my knees - they slide outward so my bottom touches the floor. I didn’t know I was flexible enough to do this anymore. I sit like this wondering why. I’m trying to put into words what just happened. I know I’ll have to explain. I’ll write all this down. What will I say?

Black and red used to be my favorite colors. I still like them, especially together. I remember my twelve-year-old bed. It was draped with black velvet lined in red silk. I never cleaned so every time you shook the drapes you sneezed. That was fitting. I stole impulsively then. Anger and selfishness warred for control. Dust settled across my soul, and I needed someone to shake those inner drapes. Eventually I did.

Before that I liked green. I was adamant about nature in the way only a child can be. Before you realize that everything eats everything else. After I discovered this cruelty I came upon its cyclical nature. Death and rebirth. Infinite recycling. My favorite color became yellow.

Beautiful and human, Chelah is dressed in black and red. Those colors were the colors of the powers I meddled with when I was twelve. They weren’t evil. They were simply powerful. They didn’t care about this particular incarnation of me. If I died I would be reborn, infinitely recycled. They subsumed me, and instinctively this incarnation of me fought to stay alive. I turned to the most expedient tools I had at my disposal. Anger and greed kept me alive. At least I would exist to pay the consequences of my actions.

Identity is a curious thing. A strong identity can afford to be broken. A broken identity leads to great growth and learning. A weak identity must fight to remain whole. It cannot afford to doubt. If it doubts it will move on to the next incarnation. There are many things that can break an identity. Questions are a potent hammer, but so are things that make you lose control. Drugs, being raped, dealing with the divine, addiction –all these will destroy. So will sex if your identity isn’t strong. It will take over your life.

A child has not had the time to build a strong identity. Like my relationship with Chelah, an identity built on strong foundations cannot be broken by a single thing done wrong. A true grownup cannot be subsumed - a true grownup is strong enough to allow themselves to be subsumed and come out stronger.

Chelah is a beautiful human dressed in black and red. Her beauty has subsumed me, but she has not taken advantage of a young boy’s infatuation. I have not been destroyed. I have won my way to her beauty through trying new ways to dance. I am not in control, but I am held by a dance of old friends around me. Chelah is here in black and red and throughout the time I have known her I have grown from an impetuous and selfish child into a relatively strong identity. I am an adult.

I don’t think any of that. I simply know. I know that I am ready. I know that my reticence is for a reason that isn’t relative anymore. I know in that place of knowing which is for me a line that can be traced from above my head to below my feet, that it is time. I know that it is time because Chelah is there dressed in black and red.

As I sit others dance around me - old friends. Dance brings out the strongest emotions, and so it is not uncommon for one of us to snap. Most people cry. I cannot. Instead I sit. I watch as grownups allow themselves to be subsumed by music – movement and the divine.

At last I stand. It is time for me to thank Chelah for what she has unwittingly given me this day. I circle her, and softly touch. I trace my thanks across every inch of open skin and in this moment I think she feels it.
theologian theologian 18-21, M Apr 9, 2012

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