…pleasurable things

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A soft café chair with a tall cup of rhubarb and ginger tea, daffodils in milk bottles, buds on the cusp of opening.

The tattoo needle on the summit of your shoulder, like having an itch scratched that you never knew you had. You’ve heard it’s a pleasurable sensation on the face too, but you’re not convinced.

The creek on opening a new hardback book.

The aftermath of a migraine. That sensation of being a caged bird freed into a clear blue sky, everything light, everything interesting, pure sensory pleasure. Your eyes are hungry to take everything in.

A dog’s smile and beating tail. The snug curve of a sleeping cat. Even the haughtiest cat might allow you to slide your fingers into her bundled centre, the warmth reminding you she’s a living thing.

Your lover’s touch, like swimming in a warm river. His fingertips tapping Morse code onto your collarbone.

Your lover leaving for his own house. When you close the door you’ll retreat into blissful solitude.

An invitation that ends with ‘I’ll cook us dinner’.

The perfectly twirled fork of spaghetti with no dangling strands.

A new Leuchtturm notebook; the pages a pale buttery yellow; each page softly numbered at the corner; two bookmark strands; elastic strap to keep the thoughts inside; blank contents page at the opening; pocket at the back for free-range thoughts; labels for finding thoughts within the filled Leuchtturm notebooks on your shelf. You have an ex-lover to thank for this particular pleasure. You can’t think of anything else you should thank him for.

New pens. Always blue.

Codeine and a glass of crisp white wine. You imagine a doctor would disapprove, but your osteopath has told you he gets very drunk when he needs to be reset, so surely he wouldn’t quibble the addition of two innocent-looking tablets. It doesn’t even matter if you still feel the pain, your body is balanced by the warm glow of the grapes.

Dancing salsa in your bedroom before breakfast. Sometimes you enjoy 1970s funk too. Stevie Wonder’s Suspicion is a favourite, it reminds you of dancing at your mother’s wedding when everyone you loved was there.

The smile when you suggest to the woman behind you at the supermarket checkout that she can go before you with her three items.

The smile when you give your parking ticket to a new arrival at a car park, especially if there are two hours remaining.

The smile when you ask a stranger how they are.

Discovering a new place. The astonishment at realising only a moment earlier you didn’t know it existed. There is pleasure too in knowing this sensation is inexhaustible, you will never see all the places, just as you will never read all the books.

The yearning pleasure of anticipation.

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