I have just done a couple of things that I never thought I would do (again). At 52, and having been divorced twenty-two years, sworn off dating or even so much as considering romance a possibility for the last eight years, a man is prompting me to ‘pull out all the stops’ – go figure.
I made a double strength pot to make Vietnamese Iced Coffee (decaf, I wouldn’t even subject myself to me on caffeine). I took three pages of Crane stationary – the remnants of some long ago fancy with having my own copperplate engraved stuff – and sprayed long discontinued Niki de St Phalle fragrance over it, pulled out my favorite shade of red lipstick and did up my mouth so I could leave a lip-print on the last page, and, more incredibly, just snipped a lock of my hair and bound it up in lavender embroidery floss. I am about to respond to two emails this incredible man wrote to me earlier today and provide comment on a picture he has sent to me of himself taken in Martinique in June. There is no doubt after the morning and early afternoon of thoughts as to why I am doing these arcane things steeped in history between lovers – none at all.
It would be ‘more efficient’ I suppose to simply fire off an email covering all – in fact I did respond to each but hours of quiet reflection since have brought forth a level of intention, of making a gift of the span of what I am thinking and feeling in response that is more equal to the transparency the man has daringly offered of his own mindset.
How odd. We have never spoken a word to one another as yet – my French being in disuse for more than a decade and his confidence over his spoken English determining that ‘for now’ our exploration of becoming familiar is limited to the typed word. How we are communicating is tender, slower, filled with anticipation and hopes. The graphic sexual desire and content that has accompanied so many other men met through OKCupid has, over the course of more than 100 bits of communication, been blissfully absent. I have been happy with the pace of our mutual discovery, it has made me calm, thoughtful, laugh, has made my heart leap and my butterflies flutter in my stomach. And yet, today something shifted for me as a result of his words and in combination of a benign image of him I really started to consider him as he signed off in the last as “your French lover”.
Is there a woman on the face of the planet who hasn’t secretly longed to have an interesting, passionate, desirable man think of himself as her lover long before their eyes meet or their lips touch? Hours earlier I had expressed his need to ensure that I had sufficient space to not be scared off, and suddenly I could actually feel his hands in my hair, hear his whispered passions, taste his mouth as he kissed me and feel myself swoon. This is how I come to have assembled this tableau of romance before me, why I write this now before I settle in to write him a second scented letter, so he will know it’s forthcoming and the anticipation of that knowledge brings us closer to the eventual meeting when we will either confirm this has not been a delicious fantasy and something that requires bolder steps toward bridging the 6000km between us, or goes down against our mutual histories as something pure and delightful than men and women in the year 2013 rarely have the skills to cultivate.
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