By Debbie Lynn

In less than a second, I was overcome; eyes to the ground. With the sudden rush, all the blood went to my head as if I were standing upside down—I was embarrassed, so hideously embarrassed….and for what?

I hadn’t done anything and I hadn’t said a word, though maybe I should have. Maybe there was justification for the intense shame I was feeling, but I had no idea what that could possibly be. As I looked up I got the nod of sweet consent.

Damn you.

Squirming inside and trying to hold it together only made the situation seem more acute (it wasn’t), and the heat was on. I was committed to finding balance, resuming a normal skin color, and lifting my eyes upward. It was difficult at best and I needed to collect my self, lock into strength, but I couldn’t.

The more I tried, the more flustered I became and I cursed you in my mind.

Again I met your gaze and you melted me. I could feel every inch of my being turn to dirty water on the ground—a puddle that you could simply stomp in like a child if you wanted (I think you wanted to). But you stood calmly over my insecurity with that contemptuous smile and I pooled even more. I felt small, weak and brilliantly yours.

Damn you.

This was my problem, even though I was desperately trying to lay blame on the way you had control. Frozen in time for what seemed an eternity, I scanned your essence (my goddess your energy was enormous—larger than life) and that “essence” kicked my ass.

No one had ever filled me like that.

No one had held my pride, my interest and my heart the way you did with one gesture. No one caressed my thighs, burned their name in my soul and looked through me like you. I knew I met my match—game over. “Once upon a time” was in my face and it turned my brown skin crimson. I didn’t often think of forever in relationship terms but in that minute, I did. Double damn you, this was crazy stupid. Now what?

I parted my lips as to say something deeply important, relevant, but all that came up was a sly and questionable, “Hello.” My M.O. was my diffidence wrapped in leather-and-lace but so blatantly obvious to you. You cut through it like butter. Now I was the damned one. Damn you.

You reached out, took my hand in yours and there was instant lightening.

The noise in my heart was thunderous. I turned to stone. But with gentle persuasion you softened my wary inquisition, like a persistent wave of granite you smoothed my concerns. It seemed so natural, it was easy, it was right. I surrendered. Damn you.

So the story goes.

The past has a way of chaffing our light and making us distrustful. It scars us sometimes to the point of no return and for good reason—we suffer. But we often don’t see the repercussions of our guarded self. We incite the past to invade our present when there is not one relative cause in the moment, and if we are not careful we can lose a perfectly beautiful person because of our jaded ego.

We have to soften, reel in our suspicious mind and find a kinder way to allow uncomfortable to live in us. A little discomfort goes a very long way. At our edge we can protect our emotion, but a wall that is too hard for someone to climb over will deter any new experiences from coming in.

I adore the memory of my crumbling self. It exposed my vulnerability gave me a new perspective of unbearable vulnerability. It opened me up when I allowed my heart to allow a foreign smile to enter. It gave me love and that love is still with me and proved to me once again, uncomfortable never felt so good.


Photo: Peter Schaller

Editor: Peter Schaller