Treats from The Treat
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Contrast.
Ye Gods, but that man is hot! He just wanted to remind me of Â that amid a very difficult Â week when raw sexuality has been the last thing on my mind. I guess he knew it would make me smile.
Last night, in a meditative dream, The Treat was front and center Â again. Heâ€™s been really busy getting his new life lined up, but Iâ€™ve felt him on the periphery in the past week. Close by, like his presence is next to me, concerned and watchful. He knowsâ€”or at least Iâ€™ve told himâ€”that itâ€™s his mental machinery that sets him far above all other men. I really like the way this man thinks. But last night, he wanted to remind me that thereâ€™s more to him than his mind. (Like I didnâ€™t know this.)
One of my favorite memories of him took place during a Â particularly difficult time for both of us. I used to frequent Â a Â little Â restaurantâ€”very Â close Â to Â his Â officeâ€” about every one to two weeks Â with friends. My friends and I met there long before I realized he was in the parking lot more than I was. We would almost always sit in the Â window or, if the weather was nice, sometimes outdoors.
On one spring morning, I looked up in time to see him pull into the parking lot, just out of speaking distance. Maybe it was my imagination, but I donâ€™t think so, and neither did my lunch-mate. Â Instead of grabbing his fast food lunch and hiking into work quickly, The Treat verrrrrrrrry slowly walked around to the passenger side of his Â car, Â retrieved his bag lunch from the passenger seat, and stood there for the longest with his back to us, letting us get a good long, appreciative look at his physique. Then he slyly Â looked Â over Â his shoulder Â in ourÂ direction Â and smiled Â before Â heading Â inside Â his Â building. Â I burst Â into laughter. It was very sweet, sexy, and â€¦ seemingly calculated for maximum effect. Yeah, he got my attention.
Sort of like in last nightâ€™s dreamâ€¦.
We are in some kind of campsite. I realize later that Iâ€™ve Â been Â dreaming Â of Â this Â campsite Â for Â a Â couple Â of weeks. Â Itâ€™s in the woods, Â unknown territory for both of us, and we are not alone. Â There are other people with us, friends or acquaintances of his, Â I think. Â Maybe business partners. Â Weâ€™re Â all Â sharing Â this Â new Â territory, Â bringing baggage with us from our past in neat little suitcases because Â the Â newness Â of Â this Â territory Â is Â only Â temporary. The lodging is more like a cabin with cots, Â cement floors, closets,Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â and a TV thatâ€™s off. The TV has a metal Â antenna. Mostly, Â Â Â Â Â Â this Â place Â is Â sparse Â right Â now, Â but Â we know itâ€™s Â temporary. Â Â However, itâ€™s not small. In some ways,Â Â Â Â Â Â Â it reminds me of a Â double-wide Â trailer. There is plenty of room, but it doesnâ€™t have many modern conveniences. And Â we intend to be here for a little while, sharing this new space together, and perhaps with others he knows in the same space or most definitely close by.
He has a backpack Â and a computer Â case Â with him, now on his cot. My small red suitcase is in the corner of a space I share with him that has a high and wide window above dark paneling. It looks exactly as it did a few days ago on the floor of my old bedroom in my momâ€™s house, exactly where I left it during the funeral with clothes just thrown in, mostly skirts and sweat pants because I was so disconnected when packing that I Â forgot Â to pack shirts and ended up with nothing but my â€œYou Had Me at Hell Noâ€ shirt and a sleep Â shirt that said â€œLove Â Goddess.â€ Our things Â are neatly packed, and my messy suitcase is closed. I open it and go through my old wardrobe, canâ€™t find what I want to wear, and pile the leftover clothes on top, but theyâ€™re still in a neat corner.
He is himself, full of energy, a little nervous, not quite knowing where he is or where heâ€™s going, interacting with these friends I donâ€™t know well, joking a little, but really not saying much to me directly. He doesnâ€™t really Â know what to say right now. But his presence is strong and covertly sexual. I keep stealing glances of him because he just looks so damned good right now.
We mill around the living room and he jokes about watching something Â low-brow Â on TV in the afternoons. Tabloid TV, I think, to see how people interact with one another at the basest level of society. Itâ€™s dumbed down TV, yet he puts a psychological spin on it and Iâ€™m hoping to curl up on the floor and watch TV with him.
We have Â to go somewhere. Â Iâ€™mÂ not sure Â where. Â A meeting Â or Â something. Â We have Â to change Â out Â of our traveling clothes. He goes to shower and change clothes and when he comes back looking professional, neat, and (ahem) hot, he seems irritated aboutâ€¦my clutter. He didnâ€™t realize how much I had. My thought is that he must be disgusted Â with it and I go Â to clean Â up my suitcase while he leaves temporarily to take care of business. Heâ€™ll be Â back Â to Â get Â me. Â I Â shower Â and Â undress Â to Â change clothes, wearing only lingerie and eventually Â a short kimono wrap I Â donâ€™t often wear. My wardrobe from the funeral suitcase is still piled where I left it, thought definitely itâ€™s been pulled out and looked over thoroughly. In the living room, Â I find more suitcases Â I didnâ€™t know I brought with me. I donâ€™t think I brought them. Theyâ€™re just here. They are full and open, with my clothes pulled out and strewn all over the Â floor. Â I cannot step without landing on this dress or that dress. Who did this? It looks like my closet exploded!
I am so embarrassed. Iâ€™m not the packrat I used to be, but thereâ€™s Â no Â denying Â that Â these Â are Â my Â wardrobes, though from Â the Â past. No wonder he thought I was so messy! But is that what he Â thought? Or was he uncomfortable Â that Â he Â has Â old Â baggage Â of Â his Â own Â to Â wade through? Perhaps issues with his own parents that arenâ€™t too differentÂ from the ones Iâ€™ve been working through with mine? I donâ€™t know because whatever the reason for his discomfort, he keeps it close to his chest and quiet.
While heâ€™s away, I start picking up the clothes that are strewn around Â the living room area. These arenâ€™t in the bedroom. They are definitely in the living room. I pick up a dress that Mama made for me in college. One Iâ€™d forgotten about. It makes me smile. I pick up another dress from underneath it. Itâ€™s a cocktail dress I wore in college. Another is a business suit Iâ€™d thought was special. Dress after dress that I have Â forgotten, long ago outgrown or outworn and watch Â go out Â of fashion. Â Old wardrobes long ago put away and not worn since. I look at each piece, no longer in disgust for the mess on the floor, but with love for each and what it meant. I honor each and carefully fold and put each back into the suitcase. People move in and out of the building as I work through each suitcase, and I pull my kimono closer Â though it sometimes gapes.
At last I have looked closely at each piece and put it away neatly. Â My Â suitcases, Â even Â the Â old Â ones Â I Â didnâ€™t know were there, have been repacked, Â closed, put away. The floor is no longer littered. Nothing is messy now. But I still have to change before The Â Treat Â comes back for me.
I look down and realize Iâ€™m dressed. Iâ€™m wearing a long, beautiful Â kimono-type Â dress, light blue and cream with some pink in it. Itâ€™s new and every bit my style. Itâ€™s perfect.
When I stand and turn around, The Treat is walking back into the living room. And all I can think of is how hot he looks.