I turn the corner to join the line waiting for fish 'n chips.
Moving too fast, I bump into her, knocking her clipboard out of her
grasp. "I'm sorry" I say, reaching down to pick it up and put it back
into her hands. That's when I really see her face for the first time.
Her hair is elegantly cut shorter than I've ever seen on a girl. Her
eyes drill mine. It's instantaneous.
"I love you"
I think to her. "I adore you" she says to me later.
It's her innocence. It's her generosity. Her natural gift is sharing
herself. This is long before I've ever heard the term sharing
myself. She's ahead of her time, waaay ahead of her
time - in so many ways. We sit watching the passing show. We walk hand
in hand down avenues. We're not walking so we can go anywhere. We're
walking so we can hold hands. We talk. She speaks. I listen. I speak.
She listens. Hours go by. The sound of her voice vibrates in my ears
with a resonance so sweet, so pleasing I never want her to stop
She teaches me how to
Not the physical part. Our bodies already know how to do that. That
program is embedded in
What she teaches me ie what she leads me to in our
together isn't the deliciousness of our bodies together but rather the
who we are
as human beings together, with physicality. And in order to really
be with each other, our bodies surely have to merge. I
can't get enough of her. I can't get enough of her not getting enough
of me. I want to breathe her in. I want to inhale her as
she inhales me. When we
in each other's arms, lips to lips, nose to nose, she breathes out as I
breathe in, I breathe out as she breathes in. It doesn't
any other way. Sometimes I'm
when she finds me in the evening crashed out on the couch
after my day's work. She wakes me gently. I can smell her deliciousness
even before I open my eyes. I wrap my arms around her and hold her,
gently rocking both of us with the sheer joy of it. "En
nou?" she says tersely (that's Afrikaans for "And now?",
pronounced "Enn - like the letter 'N' - know"), feigning seriousness.
"May we please
I ask, wanting her so much. "Of course" she says.
not realizing we've left the radio on. In the middle of the night
something wakes me. She's in my arms, her exquisite face nestling into
my neck. Over the radio comes
The 5th Dimension seguing
Let The Sunshine In.
It's the trumpet's clarion call which has woken me, heralding the start
of a new age. And in this moment I now know forever what it's like to
be deeply, passionately, vibrantly, breathlessly,
thrillingly in love. My life will never be the same again
- thanks to her.
The way she visits me in my dreams is otherworldly. I've never
known anything like it before. I've never known anything like it since.
I never know ahead of time if I'm going to dream about her - as I know
ahead of time if I'm going to dream about other people, places, and
events. When she comes to me in my dreams, I find her waiting
there for me. It's always a certain kind of dream she appears
in. She's there in the best places. She's there when I'm
dreaming I'm experiencing deep love. She's there when I'm dreaming I'm
experiencing validation. She's there when I'm dreaming I'm experiencing
triumph. She's there when I'm dreaming I'm childlike and innocent -
we're babes in the wood. And sometimes when I'm
alone in sultry summer nights and I'm
she's there in those dreams too.
A lot. I'm probably the only person you'll ever know who at one time or
another has held the local version of what these United States call a
green card from five different countries. That's how far
and how long I've stayed in the places I've visited. It doesn't really
for me to be away from her. Yet I'm pulled to go toward my
destiny. But even when
I find her in the most unexpected places.
Watching a movie alone one afternoon in le Quartier Latin
of Paris France, there she is on the screen. No
really! There she is. Not in my wishful thinking. Not in
my fantasy. It's really her! I leave the theatre, averting my eyes so
the other patrons won't see the tears welling up.
I'm stranded on a desert island in
To be sure, it's a great place to be stranded. If you've ever seen
photographs taken from the air of stranded people who've laid out rocks
and pieces of anything they can lay their hands on to spell out
"H ... E ... L ...
P" or "S ... O ...
S" so a searching aircraft can see them from above, you'll
know what I do next. I'm naked on the beach - both spiritually and
physically. I collect as many rocks and pieces of anything I can lay my
hands on, on that tropical
lagoon beach, and I arrange them to spell her name in enormous letters
so big I want them to be seen from
It takes me all day. When the sunset comes I'm pleased with my work.
Soon the high tide will erase it. But I don't want to be around to
watch it happen. As I leave the beach I cover my footprints and get
rid of any evidence I was there. All I leave on that tropical
lagoon beach is her name - visible from
Over the years we drift apart, we come together again, we drift apart,
we come together again. With many years between each encounter, we have
four distinct passionate affairs ... "I love you" / "I
adore you" ... in which the stages keep changing but the song
remains the same. We're under the radar. It's our world ... in which
everyone else gets to
playbut only if we allow them to. If we ever let go of each other's
hands, it's only to let a few years to go by so we can grow a bit more,
and then hold hands again, just
along together ... oblivious to any world other than our own.
Somehow, impossibly it sometimes seems in retrospect, I
get married to someone else during one of our non-affair
episodes. I show her the engagement ring I've designed and had made. I
ask her if she likes it. She does. I can tell. She says so. Then her
eyes drill mine and she says "It should be for me.".
Indeed she may have been right. However fate, as it turns out, has
other things in mind for both of us, and eventually we each follow the
beat of different drummers - entirely different drummers.
I never set eyes on her again.
* * *
That doesn't seem to do much to stop her. She still finds her way back
- again and again and again into my hot sultry summer nights dreams.
And when I hold her, when I smell her deliciousness again, she turns
her face towards mine and says "En nou?".