Early spring mornings hold a chill in the air and the pre-dawn March day of my ...enlightenment had been no exception.
Most every morning found me up before sunrise, ready to run a prescribed length of the bike path. Reentrance to the house would always be from the back, to the half-lav off the kitchen for a quick wash. My movements well practiced, efficient, for that had been part of the ritual. Before the run, I would prepare the electric teakettle and upon my return, I gathered the tea implements. Each cup a measure of tea, a measure of water, brisk stirring and it was done.
Often I would stand looking out the back porch windows, reviewing the days past and the one upcoming. It had been ingrained in my system to always be prepared, reflecting on possible mistakes to prevent them from occurring, and knowing what was expected to be ready.
Most of the time, I would sit at the kitchen table starting one of my lists. I'd found writing lists had been a way to cope.
Always before, during the war and in training, my life held structure - its path defined, I knew what to do and what was expected of me. Peace found me lacking, unbalanced and unsure. I'd drifted for awhile, trying various endeavors; none stopped the turmoil raging inside. Homeless, my belongings packed in a duffel, I called the one person I knew who would understand.
The moment I crossed the doorway to his home, a calm settled and I knew I would stay as long as he'd let me.
My lists were simple - a few words to describe an idea, an emotion, or an event, past, present or future. I would write, sip my tea and let my mind wander down pathways giving light to thoughts normally kept in the dark.
It had been two days since our trip to the marketplace, and I allowed myself to remember. Remember the smell of the flower, the sound of his laughter, the flushed look as he touched me and the electrifying feel of his lips. Shocked, I'd left him. Though it wasn't what I'd wanted to do, it was what I needed to do; I had to have time to sort through and re-categorize my thoughts and feelings. Since then, I'd avoided doing so.
If not for my unexpected action, Duo would have remained under the heading as friend regardless of the best title. Uncertain, my hand had moved automatically, providing me a word picture of what he was. When I'd stopped writing, my eyes skimmed the list seeing what I'd always known of him and how I'd felt. One word stood out, stopping my breath.
I had no idea of when that word had inserted itself, only that it wouldn't leave. As tenacious and audacious as the one it described, I could not cast it aside either.
Another cup of tea made, I began another list.