From secret to smithereens

You never know whether it’s gonna be a silly tickle behind the ear. Or a poke into the wound of the heart.

Such is the nature of writing prompts. From “A Writer’s Book of Days,” today’s reads: Write about a secret revealed.

He wore it well.

As well as he wore his tight bell-bottom jeans, pointy cowboy boots, T-shirts and long hair to midback, often in a ponytail. Hair black and thick like a horse’s mane. Rare hair — for a Japanese man — and it made him very sexy amongst males in Japan. Not my country of birth but my country of resonance, affinity and life for more than a decade.

He wore it well.

As well as he wore his black leather jacket, cut to the waist, tight to his slight frame. Unnaturally skinny he wasn’t. The man could inhale 2, 3 bowls of rice and a plate of cooked sliced beef and veggies and maintain a slim, healthy and strong physique. No gym. No workouts. Just naturally virile. Scrappy. Fucking sexy as hell.

He wore it well.

As well as he rode his big Kawasaki motorcycle. Fire-engine red and powerful. Lordie I loved perched on the back, my thighs tight against his, arms clasped around his waist as we zipped here and there, usually from his abode or mine to our rock-n-roll hangouts in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

As a child, I loved a being passenger on my dad’s bike too — though we never went out nearly enough. Hardly ever in fact. 

Dad mostly rode that Triumph to escape family and stresses and enjoy solitude or time with other bikers in the California desert for a weekend. When I was a girl, I didn’t fully understand him taking off like that. In adulthood, I absolutely got it — and discovered the same need. Get away from people, from life. Solo road-tripping saves my soul, likely as it saved his back then.

He — the former Japanese lover — wore it well.

As well as he wore his particular scent and the smell of tobacco. Not just of Marlboro, yuck, which due to its hideous cancerous odor he was banned from smoking inside my tiny 6-tatami-mat room but of unadultured genuine tobacco from a bag.

I taught him how to roll.

He practiced, oh how he practiced! He was artistic, quite deft with his hands and detail-oriented. Together we’d lay long on futon on tatami, with papers and loose tobacco, often Drum — and roll, an art I’d long before mastered. Only after he’d developed his skill did we compete for whose smokes were better. Tighter. Smooth with evenly distributed tobacco, wrinkle-free paper perfectly sealed along the gummed line.

I gotta admit, he got very good very quickly. And he was very competitive. Often our rollies were too close to call.

He wore it well.

As well as he wore his smarts, sexiness, his sweetness, sentimentalities. He wore well his strut, part swagger, part surety of self. He exhibited unconventionality and the bravery to be a black sheep in a straitjacket society that insists on white sheep and their conformity.

He wore it well, the secret.

The secret that ripped us apart. It gutted me, shattered my heart, cost me one of the great loves of my life.  He fucked another woman. In the very bed where we slept.

He betrayed me with his friend, my friendly acquaintance. She’d long lusted after him. Wanted what he and I had. She didn’t get THAT. But she, backstabbing cunt, got him.

The secret that he — whom I still meet in slumber 15 years later — wore so well for a time altered everything yet altered nothing. 

The secret revealed altered us, shattered all we had and were, love, to smithereens. In an instant. Profoundly, permanently.

And it altered nothing of everything else that he wore so damn well.

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