Pleasure In Punishment, Lessons Learned


The Phoenix Sky Harbor airport is busy.  I make my way to baggage claim with my trumpet on my back, laptop case in my hand, and a carefree walk.  Ready for two weeks of relaxing with no responsibilities.  Well, no responsibilities other than playing one gig and hopefully having a wonderful time with her.  I stop at one of the shops and find a crossword puzzle book.  Not just any crossword puzzle book but the kind that has other puzzles too.  I hit the mind training jackpot! I usually buy one of these books about once a week when I am on the road.  I will start off doing the regular crosswords, Sudoku, Crypto-quip, then other random puzzles.  They are fun for me, but it is funny seeing people look at me doing a fist pump when I complete a puzzle.  My gait continues to be of the carefree variety as I approach the baggage claim.  I stand behind the throngs of people trying to position themselves to be the first to grab their bag and leave.  I am a patient man.  I am also a man that knows that if you want something, but do not get involved in all of the hype and nonsense that becomes the craze at the time,  you will get what you have been wanting.  Know what you want, and when that want is known, sometimes it will come to you.I have always been a people observer, yes, I know the cool phrase is a people watcher.  But, I look, study, learn, and marvel.  So many people, so many directions.  As I scan to my right, I see a family that obviously does not travel much.  Dad is standing with a book open that appears to have a picture of a red sand desert on the front, a guide book possibly.  He has the oldest child standing next to him while mom has the youngest in a stroller and the middle child on a dirty, teddy bear, backpack leash.  I watch for a few seconds as the kid becomes a human yo-yo.  Running to try and escape, reach the end of the line, fall, whine, get up and run to mommy so she can kiss the boo-boo, he then turns and once again runs away, reaches the end of the line ad nauseam.  I turn my head and think, well, that kid has them trained well. almanbahis  I watch my suitcase on the luggage carousel, as it passes all of the people jostling for a closer position.  I am a patient man and have no desire to look like the yo-yo kid trying to get through the people crowding the conveyor.  Plus, the conveyer snakes around right behind me.  So, I will let it come to me and not have to worry about doing the airport ballet of baggage claim.  I knew what I wanted and it came to me.My Uber driver shows up as I exit the baggage claim area and proceeds to the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort.  Once I arrive I check into my room and set my trumpet and laptop on the bed.  I instantly open up my suitcase and put my clothes and toiletries where they belong.  I have been on the road for a long enough time to know that when you live out of the suitcase you will never be able to relax.  So, it became a habit to clean out the suitcase and make it feel like a home away from home.I power up my laptop then go and brush my teeth while it is booting up.  Another habit I started on the road.  I then return to the computer, pick it up and recline on the bed.  Fresh breathed and all.  I log onto my email to see if she has arrived.  Log on. Email up. New message.    “Hey, you!!! The plane had a malfunction, we had to get all of our stuff off and now we are waiting for them to either fix it or bring another plane.  So, now we have been in the terminal waiting for about thirty minutes.  Oh, there is the announcement and we are to go to another gate and board.  See you in a couple of hours.”The message was sent about an hour ago, so I can go ahead and shower before meeting her for lunch.  As I am getting ready to step in the shower I look over at my laptop and see that I have another message from her.   “We landed and I am heading to the baggage claim!  See you soon xo.”  After a quick calculation in my head I realize if I take a very quick shower, I can call an Uber, get dressed, and get to the restaurant close to the same time she arrives.The Dressing Room almanbahis yeni giriş is the perfect spot for a simple lunch date in my opinion.  Artsy and comfortable.  After walking in and allowing my eyes to adjust, I do a quick scan of the room to see if I can see her.  Unless she is in the restroom, I have arrived before her so I confirm my reservation and am seated at the table.  While looking at the menu, I hear, “Hey, it really is you!”  Looking up, I see her standing on the other side of the table wearing a top that shows a little cleavage, a mid-thigh skirt with leggings, and short boots.  I quickly get up and reach out to her.  Once we hold hands, I am speechless. I look at her with a big smile on my face and I find myself swimming in the depths of her eyes.  The eyes I have only seen through the screen of electronic devices over the long months.  The eyes, I have felt myself falling into. The deep warmth of the real person I have not met in real life.  Without thinking, I lean down and kiss her on the cheek then pull her in for a hug.  “It is so nice to see you!” I say.  Pulling away, she looks up at me with a tear running down her cheek.  “You are here!  You are standing right here, I felt your lips and you hugged me in a firm hug.  It is really you!”  She says as she still grips my hands and steps back looking up at me with a smile.  I feel my throat tighten and barely above a whisper I say,  “Can I kiss you?”  For a second she just looks at me.  I feel her hands loosen their grip on mine and release.  Her eyes widen and I think she is going to turn and walk away.  Instead, she steps in and puts her hand on the back of my head, and draws me down to her lips.  Slightly open lips meet mine.  I reach my arm around the small of her back and hold her to me.  The kiss is brief, but so much was said, felt, wanted, and needed through the exchange.  Pulling away, our eyes meet once again and I feel a flood of relief.  The relief of stepping into a shower when you are chilled to the bone and the water is hot enough to melt your inner almanbahis giriş core but massage your outer skin into total bliss.  I pull her chair back and assist her with positioning at the table.  I sit across the table and fold my hands and look at her once again.“I need to be honest, I thought I was going to be a blithering idiot today at our first meeting,”  I say in low tones as I lean in towards her.  She smiles and motions me closer with her finger.  Leaning even closer, she whispers in my ear, “I thought I would too.”Whatever tension that had built up prior to this meeting has dissipated as we laugh.  I thought that I was going to lose all contact with her because it had been so long since our last chance to chat.  For too long, I had hidden behind my work and busy schedule.  Too long, I allowed myself to make excuses to hide my emotions and feelings.  But, I realized I needed to get past those feelings of wanting to isolate myself and be a socializing human again.Our lunch is pleasant, fun, and a little flirty.  While we are waiting for the waiter to refill our glasses I reach across and offer my hand.  She places hers in mine and we continue to talk while holding hands.  My heart feels as it is swelling, it had been so long since I had felt the touch of a woman that I cherish each second of the contact.  I pay the bill and put my hand on the small of her back as I open the door to the exit.  Once outside, I extend my hand with the expectation of hers being in mine as we walk and browse the local shops.  While walking, she asks about any plans.“Well,” I say while lifting her hand to my lips to give it a little kiss, “You know that I have a rehearsal in a couple of hours.  I would like to go back and explore the amenities of where I am staying before the rehearsal starts.  I would also like for you to accompany me.”As we walk a few more paces I feel her pull my arm to guide me to a shop window.  “Is that the only thing you have planned?”  When I turn to look at her, I feel as if she is able to dive deeply into my mind and desires.  Her eyes widen and I feel her hand tighten in mine.  I release her hand and put my arm around her, kiss the top of her head, and above a whisper, I say, “Of course not, dear.  You should know better.  So, will you accompany me?”

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