The concept of a chill struck my mind. My back to the world, its the reflection of the cars passing a front my favorite sidewalk coffee shop that busies my laptop as I try to focus beyond at the words on my screen. I turn to iTunes for music to bring the focus with a failed attempt at the finding the Ozark Mountain Daredevil’s—wrong iTunes library— opting instead for Bob Dylan.
It’s programming you see. He and I tangled encoded cords between each other. I allowed his access for nearly a year and a half—surely I’m still on his mind?
Early on he sent his manuscript, supplied with Russian vodka and vermouth to accompany my reading. Next came chapters written for me, each addressed with a letter and a mix tape style custom-made CD, each with their own custom designed cover and inside sleeve, music for me to listen to as I read, drove, or lingered over my laptop on a gray and dreary day at the coffee shop.
It’s by those memories that suddenly I feel more than just the concept of a chill. The acuity of the moment felt like an expired breath seeking the intimate exposures of my skin, my neck flexed momentarily as I wished to glance over my shoulder, but resisted.
Yes, it’s programming. The scripts are simple, and something that I believe women had a command of, before, well, before some point in history. Now men reach out for the power of persuasion with Bible bound Neil Strauss inspired manuals, and for those who know both the powers of romance and persuasion possibilities seem limitless.
Where could I find someone with whom I might banter over the idea of the sociological influences in transitions from matriarchal to patriarchal societies? I hear there’s a woman who has written about some sort of archetype of a man, considering from the Nephilim to Luke Skywalker, and I wonder what conclusions she’s come to…? I decide, if I could be anyone in Star Wars, I’d be an Ewok.
He sent me books. Yes, real books—real, bound books—mostly printed by Vintage. We shared a passion for the noir of Raymond Chandler, but he was the one to introduce me to Cissy, and the civilized drifter’s life behind the scenes.
It went from being a modern age Facebook stalker kind of thing to a bona fide romance of the mind. A slow seduction kept so through the chastity of Internet inspired indifference, though he was a suitor without regard to if I’d read his letters and his writing, listened to his CDs, or considered his martini.
Maybe he doesn’t know that I merely stacked his affections, eventually ending up with an entire collection of CDs, a bookshelf of books, a bottle of wine, and finally the beginnings of a complete outfit one-item-at-a-time like winning items clothing from a game of strip poker.
The night we were to finally meet in person couldn’t have been anything I’d have dreamed up. Beyond the reason everyone gathered for me that night, of first shock there was my mother from whom I’d been estranged for the past ten years in from North Carolina, then it turns out that my friend just happened to be in from Boston, and was headed south from Orange County in his rental car to come see me, and finally was the what had been the best laid plan to finally lay my eyes on the flesh of the dandy. Managing two men, an old friend, and suitor of love, before my mother’s eyes was an exercise in performing reality on the crowded stage of surreal.
That night as he was leaving he kissed me. I could barely hear the whisper of his breath as my ear lingered too close to his lustful heart beat. As I broke the embrace I knew—we are what he writes of.
Drawn to my side again, we shared a morning of Robin Henkel at my coffee shop, we walked the beach to small cove amid the rocks of the small cliff where the ocean meets an abrupt end and settled in on the sand. I set aside W. Somerset Maugham, my words giving in to his embrace, his kiss. My body was distracted by the strength in his, my mind fell with my shoulder to the sand as distance lost its way in the space between us.
The next time we’d meet would be the last.