I am at a barbeque. Sticky in the evening, legs glowing sunshine against white short shorts and baking in the sputter of backyard campfire. I am the show piece tonight. I’ve been introduced to Geophysicist’s friends, all of whom know exactly how crazy I am. One of them asks me if he’s bought a ring yet. He yelps when his girlfriend smacks him.
My fingers find Geo’s in-between the lawn chairs, meeting in the dark and pulling me closer to his ear.
‘Do you wanna get out of here?’ I murmur.
We are cocaine strung and a powder keg of enthusiasm. Doing handstands and high kicks, chattering about business goals and his family. About meeting them.
‘You’re getting ahead of yourself.’ I twist and turn on my stool, awkward but smiling because I like him.
He is also getting nose deep in trouble and his eyes shade crazy for a minute in the kitchen. Finally, his patience with me makes sense.
The whole day is romantic. I am cooling in the alpine air, hair curling in the damp of my neck when I see another rainbow. I beam at Geo.
The other rainbows had hung over kilometres of mottled evergreen forest, suspended in the clouds by our perch on the nose of a mountain. A crowning glory to that moment he had me screaming naked in his lap; together alone amidst the peaks and hundreds of meters above red rice grain canoes.
I am humming with hunger and four glasses of Manhattans. Geo is sharp dressed, spoiling me at dinner under centuries-old wooden wine cabinets. Vaulted ceilings and matching windows capture sunset in the mountains like a picture frame. I am tipsy and he is sulking. Stuck on a short text from a grumpy friend.
‘Don’t worry about it,’ I say again, soothing variation number nineteen.
This is getting ridiculous. I just want to tell him to shut up and start enjoying himself but instead he tells me to get used to this if I’m going to keep dating him. I sit silent, sip the Bourgogne, and await my veal.
Sunlight splashes summer lakes and forested ranges. He is fishing and we are quiet. Calm and comfortable. We’ve been hanging casually between the back-road honey stand and the epic setup of his camping gear. I’m so unsure about how cool the weekend’s been that his hand is a hot stain on my back when he peeks over my shoulder to admire pictures.
It is late and we are soaked in camp smoke when he calls to me across the site.
‘I can’t sit here looking at that ass anymore.’
Then he is in the tent, instructing me to take off my clothes and I am melting to his mouth on my neck, fire running through my femurs and my shoulders. Banked heat all night, cuddled on our single cot.
The next day we don’t touch much. I love hands-on affection; he is distant when he tells me he’s ‘jaded.’ I know almost nothing else about his past.
The girl-squirrels are racing around my head and the room between us. Again he is quiet, packing, and I am doing my own thing; debating him as an idea but enjoying the food and the evening. I stop his preparations by sitting down next to him on the edge of the bed.
‘Can I distract you for a moment?’
And he kisses me, this time soft and wet and welcome. Not the dry lips and quick peck he doles out outside of bed. My thoughts are still too loud to feel him, to loosen up. I wonder what I’m doing and, why, here. Am I going to crack him open? But his hands are persistent and find every button until I am drowning in ecstasy and nothing speaks but my body.
Another fast kiss when he sneaks out in the early morning. I awake alone in his apartment later, lock-up instructions and a towel at the ready. Easy, I guess.
By day, T is a… I’m not supposed to tell you. By night, she’s… I’m not supposed to tell you that either. She writes at dusk and twilight, except when she doesn’t.
BONUS: Listen to Mountains & Moments, read by the sultry voiced Elisa Kae:
text © T 2017 c/o YYC Queer Writers
photography © Jennifer Weihmann
used with permission; ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ABOUT THE PROJECT:
SCREW CHOCOLATE: 14 Queer Valentines To Help You Survive February 14 is a collaborative project by YYC Queer Writers. We get together intermittently to… write. Also, laud our lovers. Commiserate about our exes. Read each other what we wrote. Explain what we want to write. Try to justify why we aren’t writing it. Go home and write it. Come back. Share it… repeat.
curated by M. Jane Colette
photography by Jennifer Weihmann
Valentine 1: Mountains & Moments by T
Valentine 2: Karma, in Pronouns by Marzena Czarnecka
Valentine 3: The Long Commute by L. Sara Bysterveld
Valentine 4: It Happens Like This by Dana Stan
Valentine 5: Try by M. Jane Colette
Valentine 6: Sunrise by Brooke Nicholas
Valentine 7: Want by T
Valentine 8: Get The Fuck Up & Love by Dallas Barnes
Valentine 9: Elizabeth by Nola Sarina
Valentine 10: Instructions by PW Zelli
Valentine 11: Unmentionables by Alyssa Linn Palmer
Valentine 12: The Shy Girl’s Guide to Sexting by M. Jane Colette
Valentine 13: Delivery by Elisa Kae
Valentine 14: Alter Ego In A Red Tie by Lotis Cervantes
WANT TO LISTEN?
You can listen to several of our sultry Valentines, as read by voice artist Elisa Kae:
Valentine 1 Audio: Mountains & Moments by T
Valentine 5 Audio: Try by M. Jane Colette
Valentine 7 Audio: Want by T
Valentine 12 Audio: The Shy Girl’s Guide to Sexting by M. Jane Colette
Valentine 13 Audio: Delivery by Elisa Kae