The Safe Word
One squeeze= Someone just said something totally ridiculous.
Two squeezes= We are the only two people who understand how funny this moment is.
Three squeezes= I’m here.
Two pats on the hand= I am letting go .
Biting the bottom lip= I might be saying I’m okay— but I am definitely not. Ask what’s wrong.
Pushing cuticles back= It really is time to go now.
Hand squeezing my waist= It’s time to get out of here and on with our own night.
KIss on the forehead= I love you.
Kiss on the hand= I’m sorry.
Arm around my waist= I’m not going to let anything happen to you.
Two pats on your hand. Slamming car door. Mascara stained cheeks. Back against the cold wall of the bodega on E. 88th. Goosebumps on my legs. Blisters on my heels. Cast on my right arm. Blood staining through my shirt. Dead cell phone. Passing cabs, Ubers and buses that don’t even know we exist in the dark pocket of this night. Someone flings their cigarette and it leaves a small burn on my leg. Another person throws their soda can on the sidewalk. It rolls to the tips of my Jimmy Choo’s.
You are(were) my safe word. But I needed saving from you.