For me, he is Paris and cigarettes.
He takes me to a time when I was younger and the world was gritty: a time of experimentation and wonder.
I have not passed into antiquity, but I have passed into experience. When he comes to me, I return to that raw, passionate time. He takes me back. Back to first times. Newness. Introductions. To the me that was purely myself. He transports me. It is his time now, as it once was mine. He makes me remember. My body remembers. My senses remember.
It is where I came of age. Have you ever been there? If so, you will understand. Perhaps your city is a different one. But Paris was mine. It is a city of innate sensuality. It is unmistakably real, with palpable beauty. Not like some other cities, whose realities are harsh and dirty and damaging. Paris’ beauty lives in the moment and in the senses. Its only harshness is that it is a place where you must find yourself, or someone else will inevitably show you who you should have been. Paris does not suffer fools. Only visionaries. And if you embrace it, you can share in that. Its dirtiness is only in that it has an underbelly, as all great cities do. But in Paris, it is an underbelly full of the history and creative excesses of life that you will love to explore. You will revel in it, go home, take a well-earned shower, and then do it again. And the only damage it does, is make you look at yourself in the clear light of the morning. It doesn’t judge. You get to do that yourself. Do you like what you see? Sometimes I did. Sometimes I did not. Always I understood that I was becoming.
He is becoming.
Fuck, that time was good.
We travelled the world and we were beautiful.
We ate. We drank. We experienced. We filled ourselves with anything and everything we could find. It was all new. Experimenting and exploring. Our senses, insatiable. Attentions so pure. Sometimes we floated on top of them and sometimes they pulled us under as we immersed ourselves in another person or indulgence. Sometimes they were fleeting, our interest only needing a taste. Always, they were real. Bodies and minds: we brought them together in creativity and the dance that is youth. We lived to experience sensuality and the city gave it to us.
Our sight gave us first impressions. We entered new places and saw new faces. Art. Architecture. Humanity. Sometimes our eyes were treated to beauty and we were smitten. Sometimes to ugliness and we were repulsed. But mostly, we simply experienced the new and the different. We sat in the museums and on the street corners and in the cafes and we watched it walk by. We were fascinated and we wanted more.
With our ears we took in sounds. We listened to words and the visceral onomatopoeia of passion. We listened to ideas and emotions. We listened to new languages. Some we understood and some we had to decipher. We listened with our ears and our bodies. We let the sounds flow over us. They came from the mouths of our lovers and from the world around us, and we let our own sounds emerge, meet, and mingle with them.
Our noses treated us to the most raw of experiences. We walked through the city and took in its basest cues. Restaurants. Parks. Riverside paths. Alleys behind clubs where crowds of bodies sweat together, blending alcohol, smoke and musk into the unmistakable aroma of indulgent recreation. We smelled the smells of nature and of humans. They lodged in the backs of our throats and on our tongues. And when particular pheromones reached us, we took lovers, greedy for their essences to also lodge in our throats and on our tongues.
With those tongues, we tasted. We opened our mouths and brought the world into them. We imbibed and consumed. We tasted life and love and youth. Sometimes it was too much and we vomited. But when that happened, our friends held our hair back and nursed us back to adventure with laughs and the understanding that they would be next in line. When it was just right, we could close our eyes and devour the exquisite experiences of food or flesh.
Our skin. Oh, that was the ultimate goal. Touch. We reached out with our hands to feel the world around us. We touched earth and sky. We touched food and drink. We touched bodies and art. We touched bodies that were art. We lost ourselves in this sense and found paradise.
Through him, I return to that paradise. My senses reawaken and I remember.
I see his beauty. Smooth skin. Muscled form. Mischievous smile enticing, inviting new games. He sees mine. Softer, fuller, my gaze answering his with the seductive knowledge of where these games can go.
I smell him. Fresh and light. Clean. His skin, sun-kissed citrus and lavender mixed with new musk. His breath, coffee and mint. My scent...you would have to ask him, but I can tell that he likes it. His scent intensifies with the expectation of pleasure.
He reaches out, exploring, knowing that I welcome whatever his hands might want. In turn, he allows me to explore, absorbing my touch as I lose myself in the perfect details of his body, my attentions turning him on as much as me. I know this because I can hear him.
I hear his sounds. His intake of breath as my fingers tempt his most erogenous zones. His exhale as my touch firms, pleasuring, satisfying; his words making his desires clear. Mine saying “Yes. Take me there.”
I taste his flavors. His skin. His mouth. His sweat. His seed. He joins the feast. Mouths covering. Lips caressing. Tongues mingling.
Together we reach a climax that only the mix of new and experience can achieve.
Do you smoke? Well, after, there is nothing more perfect than a cigarette.