No matter where you are in the world, chapped lips is an issue that everybody experiences at some point. Having lived in Australia and England, I have experienced both ends of the spectrum, and I am here to tell you that no matter the circumstance, this secret works a treat.
A handy trick I personally use whenever I have chapped lips, or better yet before I go to bed each night; in order to remove and treat the dried skin around my lips is to take a little bit of vaseline and to put it on your toothbrush. Don’t use excessive amounts unless your lips are in a bad state (which I experience whenever I go camping). Gently scrub in circular motions to remove the old skin and to moisturize at the same time.
If for whatever reason, your toothbrush doesn’t work, which, when I had one certain toothbrush it didn’t, try using raw sugar for the scrubbing action.
I would love to hear about your secrets.
The sanguine thrum of the base underlined in each upbeat techno song vibrated against my skin, the energy of the room moving just as fluidly as the music wafting through the muggy air. It was so often the dips and rises in any musical composition that got my body moving, I could detect the mood of the piece within just the first few notes and from there my body would respond naturally with movement. Though tonight it wasn’t the music I was dancing to, or rather for. It was you, the strangely familiar boy with a messy head of brown curls.
As our bodies pressed closer my head bowed towards your neck, your scent of distinctly masculine cologne that was pleasant to my senses, not overbearing in the slightest. This was usually a thing I’d take the time to stop and compliment though I decided against words and instead let my body do the talking, hips grinding into yours slowly as our chests met. Alcohol was clearly present in my system and half the reason I was less inclined to get to know you before getting so close, but it didn’t seem to matter that I hadn’t even learned your name. In fact I knew nothing of who you were or what your intentions may have been but in that moment it didn’t matter. All I knew is that you fit perfectly in my arms, so right against my body; and I wanted more.
Though I had only previously desired to cop a quick feel of your backside it was impossible to keep my fingertips from dipping in deeper, for in that moment your body arched and my hands were suddenly full of you, solidifying my grasp as my intoxication made me bolder. My eyes were heavy lidded, staring forward but unseeing as your lips pressed to the structure of my ear and continued downwards to suckle its tender lobe. Every inch of my skin burned under your touch, rising heat to the surface of my skin wherever you were to roam, and I swear I let moaned as each place was touched with such gentleness. My eyes eventually fell closed and at some point your lips had found mine. I could hardly believe what was happening, barely put two and two together through the cloud filled haze which was my brain – everything choppy.
You were soft.
So soft against my mouth, your lips against mine and tongue slipping its way through so slyly. I could hardly tell were you begun and I ended, so lost in your embrace that it was to my chagrin when your body was pulled from mine, and having been so relaxed against the strong support of your body I nearly fell forward from the sudden lack of it. I managed to catch myself, against something taller, colder. Caleb. My gaze widened as I stared at him, fingers rising to touch my lips still warm from your kiss. “Caleb. We were jus—“ I began to speak though he swung his fist in your direction before I could finish. “CALEB, STOP.” It was obvious that I was wasting my breath with him as he was always the kind to act first and speak later, especially with a bit of alcohol in his system. This deemed me inadequate to diffuse the situation. I was much about as tall as him but nowhere near as muscular. I tugged at his shoulder but he shook me off, his eyes turning on me, all but red with rage. My expression begged his compliance but he only huffed his disgust in my direction before turning back towards you, fists balled.
There are certain memories that stick with you no matter how far back they date, some even seemingly silly and pointless to have held onto throughout the years. Like the one I maintain of an old, perfume soaked vanity, my mother’s vanity. Scrawled across it were various items of fascination to my adolescent hands, strands of pearls and tubes of chrome wrapped lipsticks that I’d spend moments beyond my parents knowledge examining. There was, however, one item in particular that I was always drawn to - positioned dead center amongst the clutter. A jewelry box constructed of a fine mahogany wood, engraved with an intricate floral pattern which physique my fingertips would eventually come to blindly memorize. Back in grade school they used to tell us we could grow up to be whatever we wanted. They preached those words like poison to our underdeveloped minds, prodding us to dream. As a child I was quiet, and when asked what I’d like to be my answer always came in the form of a timid shoulder shrug, the concerned look on the teacher’s face lasting no more than half a second as four other children, with so much more enthusiasm than I, blurted out a string of typical answers. Fire fighter, police man, veterinarian, lawyer. I never said it a loud, not back then, but I knew what I wanted to be. I knew from the moment I flipped the top to that jewelry box and out sprung the most beautiful thing I’d ever laid eyes upon. A small, hand painted ballerina who twirled in time to the soft tune which waned around her.
It was atypical of a boy to aspire to be a dancer and as I grew I discovered other seemingly abnormal things about myself, like my affections for other men and how I desired them the way I should, according to society’s standards, long for a woman. Now, don’t get me wrong, I admired the female form. I admired her for her grace, her beauty, her elegance, her strength. Though when it comes to intimacy I’m closed off in that department, not even a tickle downstairs. Throughout my high school career I did my best to keep such things to myself. I was shy, I was quiet, and behind closed doors I’d express everything I didn’t in the real world through dance. Every sorrow, every frustration, every joy. It was a sad life, but I suppose in a way I was thankful for my hardships, they gave me passion and I do believe if it wasn’t for that I’d have never ended up in Julliard. I was raised in a broken home with an alcoholic cheat of a mother and an abusive father. I began working various part time jobs to keep out of that house, saving every penny I made until I was to graduate. I swore to myself I’d get away from here but it came as a shock to not only me but my parents as well when that letter arrived in the mail, not just any letter, but an acceptance letter. To Julliard. I hadn’t only kept my love for dancing to myself but I also failed to mention I’d applied to any schools other than the community colleges within a reasonable commute from my house. But to be honest, I didn’t think it was worth bringing up. I had no formal training in the sport and to get into a school like Julliard without so much as a single dance lesson.. Well, it was a long shot I didn’t think I would make. Needless to say, I was more than thankful that I did.
It wasn’t until I arrived in New York that I began to truly open up, to accept myself and live without a mask. Dance was still my outlet but I no longer felt the need to hide. I began making friends in my classes, something I never did back in Minnesota, and it was in my freshman year at Julliard that I began my first serious relationship. It wasn’t exactly ‘love at first sight’, to be honest, I kind of hated the guy. His name was Caleb, but he might as well have been named “number one” as he most often referred to himself, as untrue as that statement was he still managed to intimidate people, never missing a chance to one up anyone. I wasn’t an exception to his cockiness but once he realized how evenly matched he was up against me he became interested, there was tension, and I think it was the tension that brought us together, though it was also the tension that kept us from truly connecting. He was controlling, jealous, and not to mention a bit of a prick. But here we were six months later and I was still stuck with the guy. We were both starting our sophomore year at Julliard and in way of celebration were decided to stop in to one of the local gay bars, x’s marring the backs of my hands to shame me as “under twenty-one”. I flirted my way into intoxication anyways and once I had my fill of that liquid pleasure I found my way to the dance floor, Caleb nowhere to be seen.
The florescent lights were a comfort to me, taking me back to the stage I considered my home, where everything and everyone would vanish and there was nothing save the hard wood beneath my feet and the soft trill of music on which my body was carried. The heat from their vibrancy combined with that of the many bodies which packed the dance floor filled me with energy, all hips to the thrum of the base. My gaze was directed upward, mesmerized by the multicolored lights, though a blur of movement followed by the hot touch of a gasp on my hand had me whirling back to reality – and reality was found in a toothy grin on a handsome face. Your face. It was impossible to keep from smirking back, your brown hues illuminated by the lights above, or perhaps from your own internal light. One which burned within you. I’d seen those eyes before, that dark head of curls. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but I knew you.. from somewhere.
I felt natural in your arms, weightless, and before I’d even realized it was happening I was twirling into your arms; and bursting into laughter. I was so much happier here in New York, but I don’t believe I had ever felt so sincerely blissful my entire life. And we hadn’t even shared a word. Without thought or hesitation my hips pressed into yours, our chests meeting as my arms found their way around your waist, fingertips hungrily running down your back and being so bold as to slide right across the surface of your backside. This wasn’t like me, then again, what did I even know about me? The boy who kept himself on a tight leash and willingly locked himself behind bars? All I knew was that I felt something. That was it. I felt.. something.