Inside the gleaming tiled bathroom I watched his first three fingers spread lather across the right side of his face. Eventually his razor revealed perfectly tanned smooth summer skin. The first time we kissed Nivea for Men was the scent he left with me. The last time we were together in a meaningful sense I couldn't figure out the shower faucet. The night before we had slept together. I hadn't wanted to move but my traitorous body couldn't wait to use the bathroom. Normally my memory is good however I have no idea who instigated our first kiss of the day.

Whenever I hear the expression the morning after I think of that particular love fest. Every caress, each stroke, the way my greedy mouth fastened on him was my way of showing him that when it came to sex I could be just as powerful as he was. Previously I had heard women bragging that they liked giving head to men. With a great deal of secret smugness the naive me pronounced them liars. No woman could really enjoy the salty taste of warm ejaculate sliding down her throat. Wasn't that why they were always running to the sink and spitting into tissues? 

The truth is when you love the person you're with your work can easily turn into a labor of love. Before he left I stole his canister of Nivea for Men. Late at night after a bad day the clean fresh scent reminds me of him. Today he uses a new brand of organic citrus shaving lotion. The recyclable green tube smells sublime but I have to be honest: he's changed and I'm still desperately clinging to my image of a man I used to know. The one who shaved with Nivea for Men.


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