It was a warm, sunny afternoon. Hot enough that a coat would be too heavy, but still cold enough that a light jacket was easily comfortable. His jacket was blue and gray, soft, clean. The sky, only slightly lighter than his jacket, was inviting, seeming to say to me “it’s going to be beautiful” as I hung upside down and waited for him to react. The smell of mulch, a sweet muddy earth, filled my nose. The insides of my knees groaned at the hard metal swing set supporting them, and all the blood rushed dizzyingly to my head as I stared into his eyes.
In my upside down view, those eyes were the only thing that grounded me. Warm hazel specked with gold as the sunlight danced in them, an enveloping fire in the hearth at grandma’s on Christmas Eve. He took a step closer, and muddy earth was gone, replaced by the scent of a freshly felled tree. A different sweetness, more soft and soothing, overcame my nostrils. His warmth, with the constant strength of an ancient Redwood, hovered only inches from my skin.
The inches became centimeters, then nothing. We collided, as softly as a leaf landing in still water. Me, hanging upside down from a swing set, and him, standing in the wet mulch. Two worlds, one where the sky was the ground, the other rooted and solid, coming together in one point. His lips tasted like everything I never knew I wanted, like the answer to a question I had never known to ask. It was over in an instant, the cold metal too painful against my knees, and I put my hands on the bar and swung my legs back to the ground. But the flood that went through me at being his spiderman lasted long after I dismounted, wrapped me in a warm blanket and tucked me off to sleep that night. His gentle, nervous laugh that came moments later was a lullaby that could comfort even the most uneasy of hearts.