Come to me this evening Violet, I have a lovely bottle of wine, nuts, the new Leonard Cohen…
Um nope, you come here. I have whisky, veggies, ice cream in the freezer.
We both hesitated. It had been a while. We needed to redefine our territory.
We needed neutral ground.
I arrived first and chose a lovely corner table. He arrived and immediately suggested we change tables.
We changed tables.
He had control.
He gave me a delicious box of chocolates. A peace offering?
I set them aside.
I took back control.
And then without waiting, I explained why I wouldn’t come to his home.
I know we’ll end up having sex, I said. And I don’t want that anymore.
He looked at me, mostly with surprise. He asked what I meant.
I mean, I do not want just sex. It is not enough for me. I want kindness. Gentleness too.
I said this to a man who cannot commit. Who I believe has intimacy issues.
I want to be held. I want someone to stroke me. I want to feel fingers, gently, running down my back. I may even want to be held. And hugged.
Quite hard for me to say these words. I too have intimacy issues.
Am I not gentle Violet? I have only ever been gentle.
It’s true. He has always been a gentleman.
He is a gentleman.
It goes back to commitment, I said. You’re never going to commit to me, and…
Maybe you need to tell me what you want, Violet. You’ve never told me. Is it commitment you’re after?
I couldn’t answer that.
Because I have no clue what I want.
I don’t know, I said. But I want more than what we have.
I got up to go to the bathroom. He got up too. I thought he was being polite.
Instead, he leaned in and over and hugged me.
A very hard, tight, warm, cosy, kind and gentle hug.
And I realised that I had been getting myself rather mixed up.
That not all men have intimacy issues.
And perhaps this one is more gentle than I think.