We are celebrating our seventh wedding anniversary. Seven years of wedded bliss of the kind I thought would never be possible for me. But for the breath of Fate I would have missed you, and would never have known the wonderful life I have now with you. I can, with my hand on my heart and my soul laid before you, tell you I have not regretted a single day. It hasn’t been perfect, but it has been as close to perfect as I’ve ever had, or ever hoped for. Knowing you as a person has been a gift for me. Knowing you as a woman has been my privilege. Knowing you as a lover has offered unequaled pleasure and passion. Knowing you as my wife has made me a better husband and a better man. And I was already pretty good.
For seven years we have lived and loved, lost and gained, tried and failed, succeeded and grown. We have made love many times but every time it is special to me. If I have one prayer it is that I never take the gift of our couplings for granted. I give to you the focus of my desire and passion, and you open to me the doorway to your heart. When I’m with you and we both come it is like clouds part beneath me and I plunge into an ocean of love and peace. We have sex, we knock boots, we fuck like bunnies… we make love.
Can you remember the first time? I can, when we were trying to be all cool and spent hours playing around and tempting each other and trying not to be serious because we were just friends and we were only doing this because we both needed it and we liked each other after all and it would be okay since it wasn’t leading to anything. Then ”what the hell!?” we found it felt so right, it seemed so good, we meshed really well and maybe there was something going on here. Let’s try again… and again… and again…
And our wedding night, when we finally got to bed at about 3 am, sweaty from dancing, drunk on champagne, faces aching from grinning? We had decided to withhold from each other for three weeks before the wedding to make it special. That lasted about 30 minutes until I saw you standing by the dryer in just your t-shirt and panties, waiting for your jeans to dry. There was no way I was waiting 3 weeks and I don’t know if that dryer ever worked right again. We were so exhausted that night and my sister was in the guest bedroom (what were we thinking, houseguests on our wedding night?) but you were my wife and I was your husband. We set a land-speed record for consummation that night, I think, and we clumsily gripped each other’s left hands, wedding bands rubbing together before we fell away into deep remorseless sleep.
A year later we went back to the place where we had exchanged our vows and had dinner at the restaurant, able to choose from the “real” menu. We talked and laughed and gushed about the year and how good things were starting to take root for us. We still didn’t have a lot of money. We could pay for dinner but opted to park across the street so we wouldn’t have to tip the valet. We finished dinner and two bottles of wine and you told me you loved me and you wanted me, and you didn’t want to wait until we got home. We went to the car and had sex in the incredibly small back seat and even though it was a rather cold October evening we steamed up the windows and our sweaty skin stuck to the vinyl seats. Afterward you said you wanted some dessert so we went back to the restaurant, disheveled and glowing, and had chocolate cake and shots of bourbon. We went home and you laid me out and mounted me and took total control. You wouldn’t let me come for thirty minutes and when you did I almost blacked out, gasping as you roiled and heaved and took from me all I had to give.
Our second anniversary we were in Savannah. We walked and shopped and took a horse-drawn carriage ride. We went right past the park bench where I proposed to you nearly three years earlier. We dressed and went to that really cool Japanese restaurant where you have to take off your shoes and sit cross-legged at low tables on cushions. You went to the restroom and when you came back you lifted the edge of your skirt enough as you sat down for me to see you had taken off your underwear. You sat opposite me cross-legged and I can’t remember what you said or what we ate or what was going on around us. I led you by the arm quickly back to our hotel and molested you with kisses and caresses on the elevator. We got into the room and I ravished you on the floor just inside the door, your skirt up but not off, my pants down but not off, fast and feverish and intense. Later we took more time and housekeeping had to rouse us the next morning, still naked and damp and drowsy and sated.
For our third anniversary we went to a nice, expensive restaurant. We could finally afford it and the tip for the valet. We wined and dined and celebrated not only our love and commitment, but a milestone for you, too. Your longest relationship of any kind, ever. You were in new territory now, and you couldn’t think what would come next. You were on the verge of believing I would not up and leave you out of boredom or fear or wanderlust or the grim knowledge of all your faults. I kissed your hand and the inside of your wrist and told you I was yours forever. We copulated that night in our own bed, slowly, with more love than raw passion. But you hooked your legs around mine and drew me deeply inside you and as I climaxed you clutched me and whispered in my ear “I want a baby” and it was like you told me you loved me for the first time again. We tried and failed, and tried and failed, many times. There are some measures of happiness God has seen fit to withhold from us, it seems. As I said, it’s not perfect. Not yet.
Our fourth year married was a few days before our big Halloween party and we were crazy with decorations and planning. We didn’t go out, I fixed us a gourmet dinner and you recounted the reasons that I was “a keeper”. It had been a difficult year but we were doing okay and we were happy and we had each other. We broke out our Halloween costumes and lit incense and candles. You were Cleopatra and I was Julius Caesar, or Marc Antony, or some manly Roman stud, and we were seducing each other on a silk strewn dais on the royal barge floating down the Nile. Nearly naked slave girls waved frond fans and peacocks unfurled their kaleidoscope tails. You held court over me and fucked me like you were a queen; proud, arrogant and royal. I held you down and showed you what it meant to be conquered. Vini, vidi, vici, then vini some more.
On our fifth anniversary we could not have intercourse. It wasn’t the right… time. You were disappointed and you hoped I was not too disappointed and of course I was. But we lit candles and played music and I took the bottle of almond-scented massage oil I had gotten you for your birthday. I laid you out naked on the bed and starting from you scalp and forehead with the oil on my palms I slowly and deliberately ran my hands and fingers over every inch of your body. In the creases behind your ears, around the nape of your neck, over the swell of your breasts, across the flat of your stomach, into the nooks of your elbows and behind you knees, the soles of your feet and in between your toes. I left nothing untouched. We cuddled and kissed and you put oil in your hand and brought me release and I felt I knew you better and loved you as much that night as I ever had.
Our sixth anniversary was the year we were going to New Orleans for the big Halloween bash. We were knee-deep in preparations and plans and coming back from the costume shop when I turned and asked you “Do you know what today is?” You told me it was Sunday like I was a dope or something. I waited until you figured it out and the look on your face was hilarious. We laughed because we had both totally forgotten. We were driving by Stone Mountain Park and I pulled in and parked. We took the blanket out of the back of the Jeep we had wrapped around the wooden chest you’d bought and took one of the trails through the woods and up the backside of the mountain. We wandered off the trail and found a place under some maples where the autumn leaves provided a thick layer over the ground. I unfolded the blanket and we made chilly, cold-assed love outdoors and under a canopy of riotous fall colors. It wasn’t totally private and we feared discovery, so you suppressed your moans and sank your teeth into my neck deep enough to leave a mark. But the risk and the thrill and the love made you come quickly and when we were finished we left and got cheap Chinese food for our dinner. You surreptitiously pulled a red maple leaf out of your hair and tucked it under your dinner plate.
Tonight we are celebrating our seventh anniversary in our new home. Not just a house, but a place for our spirits to grow and our lives to change. Not one day do I regret. Not one day would I change, save a certain couple if it would spare you pain and tears. I am not just happy, I am contented. We have opened the champagne and toasted our new lives as homeowners. It almost isn’t real, but here we are. I light a fire in the fireplace and as it crackles and pops we strip and kiss and join together before its flickering orange glow. You’re happy because you have never made love in front of a fireplace and if you had a list of 43 things to do, it would now be 42. For myself I feel like my chest has been opened and more love than I can hold poured in. You have healed so many wounds in my heart. You have blessed my coarse and rocky soul. You have bestowed upon me hope and vision and confidence and restored a gentleness I thought I had lost in the ravages of love’s wars. When I am with you, when I am in you, I feel I am within you. I feel I touch your most sacred spirit and the wellspring of your godhood. You are more than my partner, my spouse, my lover, my companion, my friend. You are my mate. You and I are mated. I love you and I am yours forever.