I had made a promise to keep my life simple, clean and directed. But then I met her, by accident, and her love embraced me without asking permission.
It started out innocently enough. My bed was vacant, as was my home, a condition I knew was only temporary but I was enjoying the solitude. And it was a Friday, the end of the day, and Steven coaxed me into joining him for drinks after work at a place named The Lark and the Dove. The “Lark” was a steak house that turned into a lounge after eight, and it featured live music. A local group was playing. They were friends of Steven’s performing a combination of pop, Latin and smooth jazz, just what I needed after a hectic day. Besides that, the lounge served wicked martinis. I think that’s what opened my door.
I was sitting at the bar when the band finished their first set. Steven introduced me to it’s lead singer, a sexy gal named Stephanie. She was definitely eye candy, and as we sat close and friendly-like, exchanging light conversation, I began to feel that familiar vibe heat the air between us. If I had asked her to come home with me, she would have. This, I knew. She was sending signals. But unlike most times, this rapport sent me into conflict. As I just inferred, getting involved here might need damage control later. And I didn’t want to take that chance.
Honestly though, I couldn’t stop the attraction. I didn’t ask for it but she was packaged in a frame that met all my requirements, at least physically, with a tight little body that would meld onto mine like syrup dripping over ice cream. I’m not a big guy, and so I’m biologically wired to find a match my size, which she was…exactly. I have no control over this drive. I respond to hormones installed at birth.
But I’m not a dog sniffing sex parts. I have foresight and a conscience. So with mind overriding body, I pretended nothing was sparking and ordered a glass of water.
Then…someone else joined us.
My gaze shifted from Stephanie to two beautiful eyes; blue-gray pools of wisdom, framed by long silky blond hair parted in the middle and hanging past her shoulders. I almost fell off my stool. What was happening with me? Why was I meeting attractive women when I wasn’t supposed to?
As I soon discovered, Stephanie knew this lady, and having made the appropriate introductions, the singer returned to her band to start the second set. That left me seated inches away from those beautiful blue-gray eyes. They seemed to know me.
We started a conversation, and it wasn’t idle chit-chat. Every word she said was important. Her ideas fed my mind, and what they were about went deeper than TV news. She was well read, educated and involved in current affairs. She wasn’t exactly sexy, in a purely physical kind of way, but boy was she brainy.
The band started a slow one. “Would you like to dance?” rolled off my lips. I didn’t expect to say that, and I didn’t expect to get a nod with a smile.
I slid off the stool. She was slightly taller than me. I glanced down. She was wearing heels. Without them our height would be even. But as we walked to the dance floor, those pumps were still on, and I wasn’t exactly comfortable with that.
I know. It’s petty. As I said, I’m not beefy or tall and I think I read someplace where the guy’s supposed to be larger than the girl so he can carry her out of a burning building. These thoughts were crazy. Why should I care? It’s just a dance. No way was I going to get involved with this woman. Or any woman. My future had been set. And it didn’t include meeting anyone new.
Still, here I was, attracted to two women in one night, and for two entirely different reasons. Stephanie was wild and sensual, a lure that pulled me toward her for all the reasons that make me a man. But with this second lady, there was something much deeper going on, and her blue-gray eyes were inviting me into her life.
I took her hand and turned to face her. Without hesitation she moved into my arms like a best friend I haven’t seen in years. Her hands moved to my back as mine went to hers, and with our chests touching and my gaze directed over her shoulder, we slowly moved in time to the lyrics. I closed my eyes. What I was doing was not dancing. It was more like prayer, calming and reassuring, as Divinity touched my face. Then she whispered, “It’s going to be okay.”
She knew something I didn’t.
I wanted to grasp her hand. Sensing my wish, our fingers intertwined. They felt like they belonged with me, like they had always belonged with me, affirming, I’m here now.
As we turned in unhurried circles, her breathing nuzzled warmth to my neck. I sunk into it and raised my hand to stroke her hair, knowing she wanted me to. We were melting into One, with no past, no future, only that moment. I felt like I had known her forever.
The song ended and we returned to the bar. Once seated, grace and kindness seeped from her heart, which knifed through the silly illusions of physical appearances. It didn’t matter what she looked like anymore, or whether she was tight and tiny like a pixie, or shorter than me. None of that mattered. All I saw was an angel, and we talked and talked and talked.
Stephanie returned to us, letting me know she was open for connections. It would have been exciting, playful, lustful; a ride of fire. I turned it down. I was worlds away from her by then. I had entered a temple of trust with the woman of blue eyes. And I was falling in love.
But this love was different. Much different. It wasn’t so much about a rush of feelings as it was about KNOWING. It was about understanding in some profound, intrinsic way that uniting with this woman led me also into myself, shedding all fears, doubts and estrangements. She was gifting me the freedom to be me, with all my faults and flaws. She was forgiving me before I needed to be forgiven, and accepting the challenge to take on my life, defend it and add to it, asking nothing in return except truth and faithfulness. All this she offered without uttering a word. Her eyes expressed it all. They still do today.
That night, stepping into the Lark and the Dove, I fully expected to cut off all ties to Atlanta, Georgia and to move to New York City for a restart of my life. I was single and I wanted to remain that way until I got my career in order and money coming in. It didn’t work out that way. I had met my best friend again, in this life, and we agreed to face another long road together.
That was thirty-six years ago. The journey has yet to stop. I don’t think it ever will.