I remember that day we revealed ourselves to each other, our skin like a canvas documenting little events in the past We were both laying naked in my bed, just holding each other. To tell the truth, I don't think I've ever been really comfortable with anyone seeing me naked besides her, so it was a new experience. I remember that I just sat there, staring at this wonderful naked girl in my bed, and smiling, because I couldn't believe that we had really done what we had just done. And then she was just smiling back at me.
"Why the look Pretty Baby?" I ask, 'Pretty Baby' being my pet name for her since practically the beginning. And she just lays there, smiling up at me.
"No reason," she smirks, running her hands up and down my back. Now, you and I both know that there's always a reason when smirking is involved, especially with her, and I wonder what it is.
I sit here on her tummy, just grinning down at her, drawing pictures on her upper stomach with my fingertips. I like to do this, make her guess what it is I'm drawing. She just lays there with a twinkle in her eyes, laughing, calling me a goober. I love times like this. I take my hands and place them on her shoulders, slowly running them down the lengths of her arms, closing my eyes, memorizing the feel of her skin. Suddenly I stop, open my eyes—above her right elbow is a jagged scar. I run my fingers over the pale raised skin, furrowing my brow.
"What's this?" I ask, inquiring about the scar I turn to look at her. This is before I've committed every inch of her skin to memory, like a road map my fingers travel upon. She is still smiling at me, and gets a confused look on her face, not knowing what I'm talking about until she looks down at the arm herself.
"Um…" she's trying to think and I can see the little gears turning in her head, eyes squinting, lip biting—she's so cute sometimes. "Fish tank," she finally sputters, and nods to herself as the memory comes back to her. "I was about five or six and we were cleaning out a fish tank, and it busted, and I cut open my arm." She squints down at it, "I should've gotten stitches, but I never did… I was too scared."
I bend down and kiss her scar, like its some sort of recent injury and I have the ability to magically heal it and make it all better. Of course I have no such gift, and of course it doesn't hurt anymore, but the thought is still there, like I should do something. That's when I look down and examine my own body, looking for something to show her.
"See this?" I blurt out, pointing to a small raised circle on my inner thigh, "Chicken pox, when I was four. I couldn't stop scratching." That's when she laughs at me and pulls me down to her, kissing my lips. I sit back up and smile. "Wait, I have more," I nod as she grins back at me. Then I proceed to find every scar on my body and tell her the story behind them.
"This is from my cat, Sweetums," I say, pointing at a few small jagged lines on the top of my hands. "As you can see, at the beginning, he wasn't very sweet." I wink.
"Mhmmm," she laughs, then points to a tiny line by her left eye. "This is where Mom's cat, Molly, got me when I was little. That bitch almost clawed my eye out."
Its my turn to laugh and find another scar to show her, as this has turned into somewhat of a game. "Ah ha!" I cry out, pointing at a silvery pinkish bump on my right knee, "this scar's from Herman!"
"Herman?"—a confused look from my beloved.
"My wart," I beam and wink. "When I was about ten or eleven I had this wart on my knee that I hated because all the kids at school would make fun of me when I wore shorts or skirts. So my parents finally decided to take me to the doctor and freeze it off. Well, the doctor was a weird guy and said something like, 'Why are you getting rid of Hermanious Maximous Williamious Wartsmith (Herman for short)?' when he came in. I told him about the teasing and he nodded and was like, 'Oh well, then I guess Herman will have to go.' Ever since then my wart's name has been Herman."
And the game goes on until I show her my tuna fish can scars, and my skating scars, and she shows me her biking scars, and scars from working on the truck, until we're finally down to the shameful scars, the scars neither of us are proud of.
"These?" she asks, running her fingers along the lines like railroad tracks along my forearm. We both know she doesn't have to ask, she has some of her own, though not as many or as dark.
"Track marks, love," I mutter, "from the blades and the safety pins." I rub the inside of my arm, biting my lip as I continue, "I think there's about a hundred of them, maybe 150… I do them in fives, and parallel, they can't cross."
She nods silently, then points to the top of her left hand, "Lonnie's name," she whispers, tears in her eyes, "I carved it there the night after he used me and promised myself to leave it until he's dead." I take both of her hands in mine then, bring them to my lips, and kiss them softly. The hands of my pretty baby…my beautiful lover.
You look at her, and her persona and you think "dyke," big bold beautiful bull dyke, then you look at her hands—they're so delicate and tiny. My hands are actually bigger than hers, my fingers longer, but her hands, they're so beautifully soft. She's got tiny calluses on the tips of her fingers, from playing guitar, but nothing so blatantly obvious like mine from my pens and clarinet thumb-rests. Her nails are cut short, filed smooth, not long and painted like mine. I like to say that she has guitarist fingers, which she does—short, thicker, the perfect make and model for pounding down the strings and strumming chords and rifts.
I start thinking of all the things these hands have done, all that these hands have "seen," and then it sinks in, they're mine. These beautiful wonderful soft sweet hands are finally mine, along with the perfect woman that they're attached to. Now I feel like crying, and my girl takes those beautiful hands of hers to my face and asks me what I'm thinking about that's making my eyes tear up.
"Your hands," I say, bringing one to my lips and covering the other with my own, "they're tiny… they're perfect." She gives me one of those looks she like to give, you know, the one out of the side of her eyes with her eyebrows raised that seem to say: "I don't know what you're thinking about but I love you all the same."
I don't remember ever in my life getting so teary eyed about something as ordinary as hands, but I guess its just one of those moments. I wrap a little strand of her hair around my fingers and lay my head on her shoulder, nuzzling her neck as she pulls my flannel blanket over us.
"I love you," I whisper.
"I love you too," she whispers back, kissing the top of my head and laying her hands on my back. I close my eyes thinking how much I love those beautiful hands… how much I love her, and drift off to sleep.