Reiterating her need to get things done today, but not seeming to really want to do much about it, Rori and I got up and moving around 10ish. She had her leftover Gomez for breakfast and I made myself a kind of breakfast burrito from fried eggs, salsa, black beans, and a tortilla.

After we’d eaten she finally got to show me the poem she wanted to the night before but couldn’t because we had to leave for our date. The poem was very powerful and covered a lot of what is really important and meaningful in a human life. I highly recommend anyone reading give it a look. It’s called The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.

We talked about which lines of the poem we felt like apply to us more than others right now, listened to music, and sat in her big sunny windows while she kept asking herself what she really needed to get done today and how.

This went on for probably a couple hours while she went in circles rehashing the same handful of to-dos in her mental list of things to get done but then conceded that some of it just couldn’t be scheduled and done during the weekend but would have to wait till the week. During this time we also did some rolling around on her living room floor and she challenged me to benchpress her so I did a handful of times and then tried to hold her up like an airplane with my legs. I was able to do it, but not with much control or any grace.

We kept getting side tracked by fun little distractions with each other and would keep coming around to what she was going to decide to get done. At one point I was going to drive her to get her car worked on and then we’d go to a place nearby to play laser tag but it wasn’t in walking distance. Eventually she gave up on almost everything and we had gotten hungry so we went to grab lunch.

When we got to my car we saw that I had a parking ticket from misinterpreting the street sign. Since I had to move my car anyways I drove and she directed me to a lunch place that didn’t exist anymore so we turned around and went somewhere close to where we started.

After a big lunch that filled me up I think I was feeling a food coma coming on and said I needed some coffee. She guided me to a nice unique coffee shop she liked and we almost got in a couple accidents on the way. Once we had my drink and her cookie we sat on a couch and discussed our feelings about the different love languages. I accidentally crossed the line and pulled back a couple times from being too affectionate with her in public since she was concerned about being a distraction to people working.

went somewhere else before getting her grocery shopping done together. She was fast, didn’t get much, and bought some stuff for her kids that she didn’t have to which I admired.

This time when we got to her place I parked at the cheap 24 hour library lot a couple blocks away.

We put the groceries away, then almost immediately took some back out when we decided what to make for dinner. Some kind of burrito bowl thing I think. Good though.

Rori decided to send her friend Michelle a photo of both of our bowls to see if she put together that she was on a date. Rori makes it seem like she’s very reluctant to let almost anyone know when she is seeing anyone, and I’ve heard her say more times than I can remember that “I don’t date.” She seemed to me making some kind of exception for me, but I don’t know what that means or really what to think of it.

We moved to the couch and watched a pretty good movie after dinner. I’m sure we were talking about other things now and then throughout the movie but I don’t remember what exactly. She kept checking her phone waiting for her friend Michelle’s reaction and eventually decided to take another photo where just my hand wrapping around her arm was visible. Michelle finally put it together and I think sent a few messages and then called. Rori gave me the phone to answer and I said hi to Michelle and there was just a confused and maybe stunned silence on the other end. Rori snatched the phone back, told Michelle she’d talk to her later, and hung up. It all felt reminiscent of the kind of ‘reveal’ moment that I haven’t had for a very, very long time.

I forget exactly how we got to this topic exactly, but shortly after the movie was over she mentioned her crazier college days. I wasn’t really able to share similar stories, but could only talk about how I was able to retain so much of my innocence through undergrad and how I actually like my innocence but how I think it can cause confusion with women specifically. Though I’m very honest and straightforward about my interest in them, I think they assume that comes with more expectations than I actually have. When they might think that I’m trying to stick it in, in reality I am trying to just cuddle and kiss them all night.

She’s very smart and insightful so she asked some good questions and I ended up telling her about my current feelings about sex and partner selection. How the only person I’d been with since was someone who I met at a  philanthropic event, who I found out volunteered and I could tell was a good person, but, kinda like Rori, had some walls up. We laughed about that a little. I talked about how thoroughly I tried to explain my situation to this girl out of fear of hurting her and she told me to shush, that she knew my situation, and to let it be. That was a gift. I also had a lot of meaning and personal conversations with her that I later found out meant enough for her to write me a letter thanking me for showing her it’s ok for her to be herself and how grateful she was for having met me. That has kind of set the standard for how meaningful, if temporary, I would want any future sexual relationships to be.

We headed to bed right after that conversation because she was wanting to go to church in the morning. I really couldn’t say exactly what I picked up on, whether her body language or verbal responses were distant or short, but once we got into bed I had to ask her why she felt distant.

It took some encouraging and questioning, and for a while her responses were too vague and evasive that I couldn’t understand what was happening. It became clear that our conversation about my innocence and commitment to holding onto it had brought something up. At first I thought maybe she was remembering and feeling the loss of innocence for mistakes she felt she’s made. I tried to tell her that I thought as long as mistakes were learned from that she didn’t have to lose anything, but could gain it back. Her response was that the mistakes she’s thinking of were someone else’s, not hers, and that she had any choice in the matter taken away from her.

I told her I was sorry and that I understood now. Knowing that there was really nothing I could say to her, the only thing I could think that made any sense to say was to tell her about the ways I had been taken advantage of as a kid and how it has been a source of guilt and confusion for me.

Her response was pretty funny and typical of her, giving her professional social worker opinion on how textbook my case was and that any guilt or shame on myself was misplaced. Regarding her own traumas, she shared a little more of how they happened. I didn’t show any reaction but let her know it made me want to kill someone and cry at the same time. She told me that she doesn’t like telling people because then they feel a need to protect her, even from themselves, and she doesn’t need to be treated differently like that.

Not long after that, in part to prove to both of us that I wasn’t going to treat her any differently, and mostly because I just wanted to, I climbed on top of her and started thoroughly kissing her. She weakly tried pushing me off her with a smile on her face so I didn’t let her move me. She’d previously told me that I do a good job of knowing when she’s wanting to play-fight, and when she really wants me to stop something. She does a good job of flatly using her words if I’m accidentally doing something she doesn’t like.

I kept kissing her and let my hands roam all over her. Again, I knew that I wanted, and was ready, for something, and that she could easily stop me if she wanted to. I led my hands around her hips and steadily between her legs, paying close attention for any indication to stop. She gave me none that I could tell, and instead gave signals of acceptance and encouragement, so I kept going. As much as I’ve fantasized about meaningless sex, I don’t know if, in reality, I could enjoy it very much or in the same way. To me, the trust, gentleness, and acceptance that is required for physical intimacy makes it just as much, if not more, emotional than anything else I can think of. Being let into knowledge of someone’s body is an incredibly personal and irreversible thing. That is even still the case in “meaningless” sex.

Once it seemed she was satisfied, I stopped and she almost went right to sleep, but she fought it and started kissing my chest. Working her way down my stomach, she had a lot of fun playing with how I would involuntarily twitch if she kissed me in the right places. She kissed her way down my stomach and kept kissing as she passed it. The knowledge that someone is choosing to take care of you in a way that doesn’t give back to them except for the knowledge that you are putting your trust in them is pretty emotional and beautiful too when you think about it.

Maybe I’m putting too much into all this, but when you’ve been in one relationship for the entire nine years of your adult life, it’s easy to take those things for granted unless they are violated, until they become fresh again, or both.

After a while, she said she was ready and would rather have me somewhere else. I told her I’d been thinking the same thing. This wasn’t the first time I’d been with someone since my relationship ended. There had been one person before, but this was the first time since I had made major steps in  grieving and fully moving on from it. It felt a little different; more real, since I’d gotten to know Rori better in a way that I have a great amount of respect for her personal values, honesty, integrity, toughness, and kindness.

I did my best to pay attention and do right by her, and from her non-verbal cues, I think I did an acceptable job, but her inability to verbally express anything positive that insinuates someone else has any power over her keeps me from really knowing for sure.

I went to sleep happy and content.