Sunlight poured freely into the vacuum of the bedroom. Those well-worn legs seemed to swing themselves off and outward like the yard of the mizzen of a skiff flapping off too freely in a stiff wind. Dreams of push buttons, boiled off too quickly to be caught in the clarity of intellect as if morning mist suddenly revealed to day. “Sudden“, was the operable terms he thought of as he walked besides the strange little woman. The one that he preferred to believe so. What was so strange about her? He dared not voice it aloud to himself lest it ferment into one of his usual little empty petty fantasies that ended up nowhere. “Goddamn it!” he dared not say it. He really was attracted to her! Something he could not recall, save in an eon before the birth of this present time. This was a cliche of course! A path given to meander through the prosaic nature of a forgotten little fossil of a main street delivered somehow from over a century or more past. It’s two blocks showing its wear? Sure! But not so much as that spot of new paint here or there did not sufficiently gussy enough to freely allow for idle thoughts of a kinder nicer times. He had almost kissed her on the bridge! His doubts of how that might be received flowing past over the swiftly flowing current of the river! “Almost” being translated most correctly not as a matter of an inch or less. But of light years in the count of the foolishness in the age tarnished standard of his own concrete reserve. The sign post metaphorically in front of the act that he projected supposedly saying, “RESPECT“. But if any cared to tool around the whitewashed clapboard to the back of the tent, the wormwood bespoke simply habitual fear. A fear of being unwanted on a scale so legendary as to make the torment of Prometheus seem passingly trivial by comparison. Sixty plus revolutions of Earth about the Sun that had left things undisturbed in that quadrant and basically undisturbed. He was a loner. A loser!
She had her own share of dings and dents served up by an unkind Gaia. Some more than others! People dying, health issues some creating both mental and physical scars that would not run the risk of further betrayal by exploration of eyes that might or might not understand and care enough not to take them in. They both had sachet’d about in the same distractedly indirect way. He was a charter member of the hopeless fraternity of hapless older men. Though he was unable to cop to his age. A special variety of a kind particularly toxic to other female counterparts of a similar eras. Fickle and untrustworthy in their likes and mercurial the next moment in their dislikes! They were fun for a day or two here or there. But that was as long as anyone who was sane would dare to take it. Those pretty little phrases like paper doilies that he sorted through his head obscuring clarity as they both continued walking side by side were for her, honeyed with pepper. Still there was something that had happened twice to him that set his own ship’s course to steer nearer the rocks of fatal doubt. When they had first seen each other this time around, she had stood before him waiting. Waiting not quite as if she was at a loss for words. But . . . but just standing there looking into his eyes for interminable centuries waiting on him as if she was waiting for a spark of some sort to be found. “Maybe to start a fire?”, he thought so guardedly to himself. He could not help but continue to ponder as they walked? He was too far out of practice. All thumbs! What could these smoke signals mean? He officiously professed silence to the inquiry resounding within that jury room between his own ears. He knew it! He was lying! The intuition of his own hear knew the score exactly. BUT! Was he ready to follow up on it?
How could one feel so caring and yet so infatuated with someone else? Was he still a teenager? For him the mix of oil to vinegar was too likely to turn out ascorbic! His feet were lead bricks too experienced in being parked so comfortably sinking deeply in his tongue. Not able! Or just habitually unwilling? To allow the right words take a flying leap out of his mouth traveling by trapeze into her ear. An eleven years old he had demonstrated more grace and style by pulling pigtails with less panic. “What did she need with another encumbrance?“, he rationalized to himself. There was ever so much on her plate as it was! He thought he knew better? The spots upon his own back were not that kind of firehouse dog well trained and domesticated enough to hop up on board engine with the next fire bell. Not one to go charging blindly into inexplicable vagaries both day or night. In so many past years, he had tried and tried and tried! The fact of his current marital status with the lack of demonstrable history of well-intentioned ‘college tries’ spoke volumes! As if bold text read from the prologue of charges by an indifferent magistrate paying particular attention to making these unfair allegations sting at the inquest. How could anyone on the delivery end of this sort of sentiments ever be able to interpret them any other way? He walked on with her hoping for that rarity of ‘the right moment‘ to demonstrate the opposite. But hopes in this version of the ‘ real world’, it never would come to fruition without those right impulses that were too safely abandoned back on the bridge! They seemed to be there for him in the earnest sense, as words to be read upon on paper. The mooring cable had slipped its stanchion and he could only have supposed himself as some old indefatigable battered hulk bounding too dangerously close to foundering upon much older ocean waves. Much in the same manner that he always had. And much in the way that she by this point expected it to be. He was now his own prisoner. It had happened before. And like so many times before him, he was resigned to reside upon this watery prison unable to swim. He wiggled his toes in the carpet as he thought about the day’s events ahead from that perspective of its ultimate climax. The final kiss from her was an over polite pucker God help him that he quickly seek out swimming lessons!