During our winter in back east, the city was socked with sixteen blizzards; each on closing down Broadway and allowing those crazy enough a chance to skip in knee high snow down the middle of the street. Right before Valentines Day of that year, I was one of those who plodded and fought my way to the subway, and I made it to Macys.
One of our favorite destinations when we moved to New York was Macys. Its rickety wooden escalators on which he would ride backwards, facing downward while going up because he said it was more fun that way, and the sheer vastness of its inventory could keep us entertained all day long. One day we had a perfume fight. It started with me sneaking up behind him while having to walk through the half block of cosmetics and spritzing him in the back of the head. Without a beat, he came right back at me and soon we were weaponed with bottles of Jovan Musk or Calvin Klein, and we were taking no prisoners. No. We were taken as prisoners by one of the largest men we’d ever seen as he escorted us out the door.
The weekend before Valentines that year, I bought a bright red and white striped terry cloth bathrobe. One time he confided that one of his fantasies was finding me in a robe, watching a game on TV, and he would slyly reach over and let one thing lead to another. For Christmas that year, he had bought me a long thick bathrobe and his hand found its place more than once followed by his warm, soft mouth. That year, though, I imagined us sitting on the couch, each in our bathrobes and each available underneath. I snuck the Macys box into our apartment and hid it in the front closet.
The night before Valentines, we went out to dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant and came home a little dizzy from all of the food. He walked into the apartment and turned on the lights. I followed him, lit some candles, and switched the lights off. I went to the closet and brought out the box. He spied it and said, “Noooo,” giving the simple word more syllables for playful emphasis. He jumped up and ran to the bedroom, coming back with boxes of his own. His arm jerked out with a card in his hand. I opened it and it said, “You’re my guy, that’s for sure. I’ll love you now and forever more.” Following his little poem, he wrote, “I love you so much, Terry, I really do.”
“You know I mean that!” he emphasized.
“I knooow,” I answered in our song. We snuggled on our green leather loveseat and we watched TV, swathed in terry cloth. He put his head on my chest and soon I started to hear the rhythmic and unmistakable sounds of his sleep. I kissed the top of his head and nudged him to go to bed. Sleepy and playfully pouting, he took my hand and soon we were spooned, his pencil eraser nipple tucked in the web of my forefinger and my middle finger. In a blink, I was drooling and snoring in synch with him, feeling a level of comfort never known to me before because I knew that I had finally found my Valentine.