Today, I captured the essence my partner’s lips on me.
I woke up this morning and for a fleeting moment, I felt my partner’s breath on my neck, just below my right ear. I felt his lips move to say my name, which he sometimes does in his sleep. Sometimes, he mumbles “Jac”, right against my ear as we sleep and wake in our Spoons position. It used to be arms entwined and lips locked in the heady early days, but with time, we seemed to have morphed into a pair of comfortable old Spoons. I often lie here quietly in his arms in this position, waiting for him to stir, feeling his breath on my neck, counting his heartbeats.
The feeling of him that I had as I woke up this morning was very intense, despite the fact that he is halfway across the world from me. The fine hair on my nape literally quivered. So I got dressed quickly, put on my running shoes and ran along the beach to the tattoo parlour on the seafront.
“Here, and here, and here,” I pointed the locations out to the tattoo artist. “Just right here.”
“What do you want to draw?” He asked.
“I don’t know, I haven’t really thought about it.” I just felt it, I haven’t thought about it. So I went to sit outside on the steps of the tattoo parlour, looking at the sea. At this hour on a Sunday morning, the beach was empty. As it was the beginning of the rainy season, the sky was grey and the sea stormy. I thought about my partner. I thought about the thousands of miles he had flown for me, arriving with a big smile on his face always, the joy thundering in our hearts.
“Can you feel my heart, Jac?” He would say. “I feel like a teenager, though I am an old man now.”
I thought about him driving across Battersea Bridge like a bat out of hell one November night as I waited for him in my eyrie. I thought about the long bygone days of Jakarta, seeing owls in Kemang and sitting in traffic jams that didn’t matter. He gives me wings to fly, but perhaps more importantly, he is someplace safe on earth that I can always come home to. Didn’t matter if I crash down to earth, for he is good at mending my broken wings and broken spirit. There are a thousand symbols I could choose to represent what he means to me, and perhaps, this will all be on my body one day.
The tattoo artist came to sit beside me, smoking a cigarette. I began to tell him the story of how we came to be. He listened without interrupting, deep in thought, and then he inked the story of the big, strong man with tender kisses on my flesh, right where the kisses come alive ❤
Ik ben in u.