She would like it when I touched her head in public. She'd close her eyes and lean into my palm and twist. It made a sound that would have been a symphony to any creature small enough to pick out the individual vibrations her tiny hairs would make against the grain of the calluses that dotted the skin of my grip.
To us, it sounded like sandpaper: like conflict--like polishing a rock toward smoothness against its wishes.
I would come to know that it was this conflict that she enjoyed: the contrast of my tanned skin on her pale knee, like the dark ink that painted her body just below the surface; my masculine strength depressing valleys into her thighs; my massive cock dissapearing into her abdomen; my intransigence about how I wanted to live my life and her desire for me to want her the way she needed.
She liked to be the outlier, the exception, the standout. When everyone else was cutting their hair like hers she cut all of it off. Her brother tattooed flowers on her left arm when she was new to the tribe, so she put a demon on the right arm because she liked to be feminine, yet dangerous.
"I don't want to feel like just one of your women," she said when we were negotiating how we'd work.
I didn't know how to give her that: a "feeling." And in the negative.
I knew how to love her, to love her how I love. But that would always include others. She would never just be one of many in the way she implied, at least not to me. But that's not what she meant. She wanted to be separate and distinct, in opposition to everyone. She revelled in it.
My love put her in a bowl with everyone else. Like chex-mix.
It was an important part of our connection: our shared separateness. Hers on purpose, mine of necessity. The same stubborness that prevented me from genuflecting the love actions she desired was what drew a line around me and carved me out from societies and communities.
The separateness she saw resonate in me was what ultimately separated us. Because she wanted the line drawn around her feet to intersect with mine and congeal. My Venn diagram was unsatisfying to her.
So when I'd reach my hand out to caress her head, to engage with the line around her feet, she'd close her eyes and try to congeal.
And I'd pull her in and kiss her with separate lips and separate intentions.