I reach over to the nightstand for the bottle that I always keep there. It is a bottle I am fond of, the words “Chanel” on the label, with that distinctive Chanel chic squareness, not Number 5, but the one I have always worn in extravagant moments, which sometimes means everyday, for days or even years, sometimes not at all when I have forgotten or perhaps when I have intentionally closed my senses off from the effect.

I think of the times I have so carefully prepared for meeting a lover. The bath and the bubbles in the scented water, actual shaving cream to aid as the razor glides down my vulnerable skin, the warm towels freshly washed in a bathroom freshly cleaned, the tidying of my always messy existence as if to say yes, yes, this is something extraordinary, you are. The lingerie, selected with care.. color in consideration, favorites, lace, drama for the day, the lingerie dress with its red and black and garters attaching themselves to the nylon that I carefully roll from my painted toes right up my shaved legs.

The kindling for the heat of an embrace–ah yes, the ritual. Peonies on the nightstand, enormous flower ring on my right finger, a spell is cast in this luxury, I find myself there…

I look at the clock as I roll to find the square bottle–nearly midnight now–as I remove the equally angular top and spray a faint spritz of magic into the air above me, letting it fall and disperse. The witching scent seduces me, makes me follow it somewhere beyond the absence, into the real, the warm, the kiss, my hand slipping down beneath panties as if the hand were not my own. It is an extravagance, to sleep like this, I think, thinking of a lover as I drift off, thinking perhaps of you.

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