The nights are hot and sticky. It should not be this hot in April.
I woke up twice last night.
Both times, it was because I felt his hot breath against the back of my neck. The tender kisses he planted on my back. His hand stroking my back and my hip.
I murmured my approval and fell back into sleep and dreams and all the darkness.
This weekend, the temperatures here have been in the 90s.
I've spent most of the past two days wearing as little as possible (thus, avoiding our shade-less windows) in the coolest room of the house: the north-facing living room. I've got a fan pointed right at me and the only light is the glow from my laptop. I caught up on television programmes and dozed, two days of rest after an intensive work week that has messed up my sleep schedule. My body is under the delusion that three or four hours of sleep is appropriate and normal, so this weekend has been a relief. Somewhat.
The past intensive work week, my horrid sleep cycle, and the intense heat has not been great for my sex life. It hasn't vanished - it's just not as rigorous as I would like it to be.
Couple that with watching the outrageously sexy Tahmoh Penikett's Paul ravish the outrageously beautiful Miracle Laurie's Mellie on Dollhouse, I'm more frustrated than I would prefer. Watching that scene resulted in a mid-day cold shower, as if my nipples weren't hard enough already.
I can't wait for a return to cooler temperatures... at least a short spring respite until the proper heat of summer arrives. The summer tends to put a bit of a kibosh on frequent physical playtime and what exists tends to happen in shared showers. Not that I don't mind some fun shower times either, it's just that it's nice to lie down once in a while.
Otherwise, there will probably be more frequent cold showers in my near future.
I like to think that I'm comfortable in my own skin: despite my faults, my neverending quest of the Truth, and the ever-present drive for self-improvement, I like who I am.
I do not like my skin.
As a child, I would dream of having paler skin. All the beautiful people around me were pale and my skin is naturally darker. I hated it. There are photographs of me at seven in paper crowns, my face clearly powdered to look lighter by my uneven hand. I avoided the sun, still do, as I do not like tanning. However, I've come to realize that a little sun makes my skin glow. It makes me look healthier in the summer and lifts my tone. It has taken me years to acknowledge this.
"I love your skin."
"In this light, it is beautiful." Moonlight streamed in from the window. The moon seemed abnormally full. The bed was warm and I stretched, allowing myself to relax deeper into it.
"It's so even - you have very few blemishes." I felt his finger touching my back lightly in a handful of places.
"I guess I should put off getting that tattoo I wanted."
He laughed. He rested his arm on my back. "And I enjoy the contrast of your skin color against mine. It's aesthetically pleasing."
He began kissing my back. I purred in response.
I still do not have any tattoos.
The summer is the only season I dislike. Not just the heat, but the higher presence of the sun. The sun means tanning and the potential for sun-triggered migraines. Humidity doesn't help, either, but the increased humidity does make my skin less itchy. As much as I love the autumn and winter months, the dry air sucks all the moisture out of my skin. By the end of the winter, it is painfully itchy.
And I am a scratcher.
Typical morning and I join my partner in the shower. He looks at me and points to my upper left breast.
I look down and notice, for the first time, the angry red blotch. It is still fresh, a study in pointillism, tiny dots indicating where the capillaries burst.
"Uhhh." I don't know what to say.
"Stop it." He looks at me sternly. He knows that I rarely realize I'm scratching my itchy spots. I just do it. Instinctively. And I wake up with long lines of scabs across my body. The one-inch scar on my right breast is the reason why I keep my nails short these days. He looks at me disapprovingly because he knows that by reminding me in such a manner, I might become more aware. I am learning. Slowly. I am grateful that he tries to help me remember, even though I am initially ashamed at being caught out. It is difficult to change one's nature.
My skin was very bad over this past winter, very dry, and my reaction to it was, to put it mildly, excessive. "People will think I abuse you," my lover said, looking at the dark bruise-like patches on my hips.
My doctor took one look at them and without hesitation named it, like a magician discovering the name of a demon.
I now possess a script for a topical steroid. I hope it gives me relief from my skin.
There's a knock on the bathroom door.
"Yes?" I call out from the shower.
"Coming in," he says.
The curtain rustles as he enters and I hear him running the sink tap and moving about. As I turn to look for the soap, the curtain draws back as he opens it.
"Just letting you know that I'm leaving now." He's already in his fedora and jacket.
"Ok." I smile at him. "Have a good time!"
He leans forward and purses his lips in anticipation of a kiss. I carefully plant one on his lips, trying to make sure no water gets on him.
"You've got a little bit of a tan from the weekend." A few days earlier, we had spent a glorious afternoon in the park, the cherry blossoms drifting like snow all around us. I look down at my naked body.
"I don't see it."
"You can tell from the back."
"Ah, you enjoy it then!" I giggle and smile at him.
He smiles widely back at me and closes the curtains. "Bye," he calls out as he shuts the apartment door.
"I love your skin."
My lover has his back to me. His face is buried in a pillow in a vain attempt to blot out the sun for a few more moments of sleep. I can see blue sky through the skylights. I stroke his back and his shoulders, my finger tracing the nape of his neck, the rim of his ear. His skin is so deliciously pale and freckled. I love trying to kiss each mark, covering him in kisses. I shall never grow tired of my playful games with his skin.
I draw hearts all over his back with my finger. My short nails prevent me from scratching them into his back like I used to. I'm not sure if he misses that or not.
I move to press my body against his, to maximize our skin contact. I imagine what it would be like to have his skin. I press my cheek against his back. I want to crawl inside him. I think about the lyrics to "The Origin of Love". I consider waking him, perhaps for some lazy morning lovemaking. The bed is so warm. I kiss his back one last time and I drift back to sleep.