While riding on the Metro 70 this morning, I saw the man beside me reach over to his female companion and pick something out of her hair. A year ago, I wouldn’t have thought twice about the gesture, but that was before I met CK.
CK is one of my closest friends at college. But more than that, she is also the first and only woman I have ever been romantically interested in. That fact is as public knowledge as it is a running joke. But it is also the truth.
Her hair and I are deeply involved. Poofy, unkempt, and unapologetically black, it shuns chemicals that threaten to smooth out its kinks. It has a life of its own. It has a spirit. My job is not to break that spirit, but to calm it. CK looks different when her tangles are neatly pried free. I wish I knew better how to handle black hair, because if I did, I’d pick out her hair completely for her. She rarely does it for herself, and so I find myself constantly retrieving odd pieces of paper and dust from her fro, when not busy taming it with my fingers.
CK doesn’t conform to traditional beauty standards — at all. And yet she has managed to capture my heart while piquing my sexual interest, no small task when considering that I am decidedly preoccupied with what our culture deems pretty. Here is a picture of her, if you can close your eyes and imagine: brown skin, full lips, big mouth, wide eyes, slender legs, round nose, and rounder bottom.
To me, CK is always attractive — but this is not merely an empty compliment I offer all my girlfriends. She is beautiful in a way that wine is better tasting once you have had a few sips to start. She is beautiful in the way that a lover is always beautiful. When she is fresh out of the shower, I sneak glances at her breasts and backside as she changes, because I might catch something new I havenâ€™t discovered before on these seldom-seen spots. I have long determined through close observation that I have never seen a more beautiful body than hers.
For starters, CK has an amazing mouth. It is full and juicy, the most kissable I’ve ever encountered. Sometimes slick with gloss but usually bare, CK’s mouth is a contradiction of sorts. Peeks of metal and colored plastic hint at a tongue piercing, unexpected of this chaste Southern girl. The precise manner with which she bites down on her lower lip is altogether coy and disarmingly seductive. CK is a virgin. But of course.
Invariably, I am tempted to request a kiss, but the rare lip-to-lip contact she makes me crave often comes when I least expect it and never when I outright demand it. She is a frustrating lover who operates on a whim, most affectionate when least solicited.
CK is a small woman, and that too is part of her charm. She is compact, portable like me. Even with all her curves, CK is adorably petite, possessing a slender frame and the features of a cherub. Now that I have known the build of her body, I question whether I could ever be attracted to an Amazon, a taller, broad-shouldered species of girl. And the truth is, part of CK’s appeal lies in the fact that she reminds me astonishingly of me. We are girls who can be broken if squeezed a bit too hard, if pulled more forcefully than expected. And there is a kind of solidarity in living in the same five-foot-tall world.
This started as a piece about my relationship with CK’s hair but I realized in the middle of writing it that there is so much more that must be explained about her body and about her quirks in order to communicate the intimacy of my fingers working through her locks. So I will try, for the first time, to write more clearly than I ever have about what it means to love someone.