Part 27: Still Got The Blues
The music cried in the night and it seemed to mirror how I was feeling. Both lost and found at the same time. The music’s volume would increase from time to time, as if someone was opening the door to the barn and heading in to hear the music. This rise and fall of blues just seemed to add to my melancholy. The band kicked into “Right Next Door” by Robert Cray. I imagined myself back in the 80’s and wondering how life would have been different if I had met Summer then. Of course, she would have been just coming out of her teens at that point and we truly would have made the talk of the town no matter where we went. I smiled at this thought, imagining all the people speaking in hushed tones at this May-December couple causing such a scene by – gasp! – holding hands in public. I laughed and Summer looked at me with a quizzical expression. When I told her what I had been thinking, she laughed too.“Ooh, the shame of it all,“ she mocked, sounding like a little old lady gossiping at a fence. Then the music changed again, and Summer’s countenance went rigid. Oh no, I instantly thought, another song to bring back unpleasant memories for her.
“I absolutely love this song,” she said.
“Oh, no buts about it. It’s just a beautiful song.”
Someone opened the barn door again and I could hear it clear as day, an electric guitar letting out a sorrowful mourn. I knew what it was. ‘Still Got The Blues’ by Gary Moore. I nodded my head in approval. He had been one of my favorites before his passing last year.
“This song is sad,” Summer said. “But it has this romantic slow dance vibe going on.”
“Yeah I like it,” I replied. “They sound pretty close to the original. Gary Moore. I saw him in concert once. Amazing guitarist.”
Summer didn’t seem all that interested in my inner music nerd at the moment though. She was instead looking at me with a lonely smile. “Would you dance with me now?” she asked.
“You owe me a dance before I go, remember. And I need to do something wild before the night is up too,” she said with a wink. “So come on, get up and dance with me.” She got up and tried to pull me to my feet.
“Really summer, you know I can’t dance.”
“You’re not getting out of it.”
I allowed her to pull me up, but I wasn’t sure this was a good idea. “Remember the last time? I did horrible.”
“That was country music. Maybe you just weren’t feeling the groove. But this is the blues. You got to feel the blues.”
“I feel the blues. But my feet don’t.”
“Just follow me,” she said and I couldn’t help but let her lead me from the porch to the edge of the orchard. “Here. Put your hands on my hips.”
She guided my hands, placing them palm first against her hips. She seemed to press them there to make sure they would stay. Then she put her hands on my hips in the same fashion. Her fingers gripped me just enough to make my hips sway with her own to the slow blues beat. I tried to match my movement to her own, but the sensual rhythm of her body made me forget everything. Her hips moved against my hands and I tried not to clutch her too tight, but soon found my hands moving her in much the same way as she was guiding me. I felt both her rhythm and the melody of the song coursing through me, one through my ears, the other through my hands.
I could feel Summer’s eyes on me. I looked down to see her dark brown eyes staring into my face. I had seen this look before, once outside the restaurant, again in the car by the roadside, and earlier today before we capsized our tube. It was a look that compelled -no implored me – to kiss her. I never once saw such desire in a girl’s eyes. I had shared a kiss before, that was obvious, but never so much with the eyes before the lips. Her deep eyes were kissing me already, and I could see the need – no the want – for me to take her in such pleasant passion. I felt myself leaning into her, first at the hip, then my chest, which pressed softly against her breasts. My face closed the gap between hers and mine.
In the movies, the perfect kiss is rough, hard, and desperate. They grab each other in a mad assault of passion and look like their faces are mashed together in a hungry lock, but in real life it’s not mad, and it’s not rough. It’s tender and beautiful. My lips lightly touched Summer’s as if I were gently pressing my nose against a flower to catch it’s sweetest scent. Our lips met at the corners, and then fully pressed together. I could taste peach flavored balm on her lips, and knew in an instant I would forever associate the taste of peaches with her mouth. Her lips parted against mine and her tongue ran playfully across my open lips before welcoming mine within hers. She moved her hands from my hips and around to my neck, lacing her fingers together, drawing my body even closer to hers, as we danced to the music carried to us on the breeze. My hands left her hips too, sliding around to her back to clutch her to me.
We spun, open mouths and lips hungering for the other upon them, as ‘still got the blues’ played around us. No longer did it seem like it was coming from far away, but now I could hear it in my head, keeping the beat with my steady thumping heart. Unwrapping her arms from around my neck, her hands found my face, placing her palms flat against my cheeks. Her lips left mine for a moment, and we both took a breath before finding each other again, moist lips pressed tenderly, yet full upon each other’s mouths. The tip of her tongue touched mine and ever so playful, she sucked at it, drawing me further into her mouth, until all I wanted was to be swallowed up by her; to let myself go and drown in the very depths of Summer. Still that song played in my head and ears, born on the wind and carrying us to a place where tears and joy co-mingled upon our faces, and our kiss could not remember a time when it did not exist. In this moment, I knew that unlike the song we kissed to, I would never have the blues again as long as Summer was in my arms and upon my lips.
Her eyes, now closed, ever so slowly opened to look deep into mine. Their dark brown color had turned to golden amber as if my very kiss had warmed her soul from within to pour forth from her eyes. I wondered if my own shone in the same manner, and her smile soon confirmed that they did. In the heat of her warm touch, I could only whisper, “Summer..I…”
She put her fingers to my lips to stop the rest from tumbling out, replaced them with a kiss, just as intense as our first, and we danced, pressed perfectly to one another as if we were molded for each other’s embrace. The music played on, blues crying in the night, as our kisses counted minutes to hours, the waning moon watching over us like a curious spectator to the first stirring of a new couple’s longings.
Hours later, after the blues in the night had faded, and silence descended over the orchard, we retired to the comfort of the house, where we managed to stop kissing long enough to fix up a pot of coffee and stare at each other from across the kitchen island.
“I told you I wanted that dance,“ she finally said, with a sly smile.
I reached across the counter and took her hand. “And you did do something wild and spontaneous.”
She winked. “So did you.”
“Did you think I wouldn’t?”
“I hoped you would,” she confessed.
I smiled. “Then what are we doing staring at each other from across the table?”
In a flash she swept everything on the table to the side and crawled over the top to kiss me again. I dragged her the rest of the way over, picking her up and carried her into the living room where we collapsed onto the cushions of the couch, fumbling hands and kisses in the dim light of the room.
It would have been so easy, and perhaps natural, for us to go further than we were. We could have went around the hallway to my room, or she could have led me up to hers, but something held us back from letting our kisses and touches cross the line between making out and making love. Maybe other men would have done different, staying under the same roof with this beautiful woman, but it was enough for me that night just to know her kiss, to have her arms wrapped around me, feeling her breath in my ear as I nuzzled her neck on the couch, never once thinking what could lay ahead, for fear it would all end in that instant. it was enough to know for once in my life I felt truly wanted, and for the first time since Ashley, I felt good about the future.
“Orchard House & The Heart Of Everything” 2016 Paul D Aronson.