Cold late night so long ago
When I was not so strong you know
A pretty man came to me
Never seen eyes so blue.
– from “Magic Man” by Heart
He looked over his shoulder at me, we both looked away. Started reading again. Trudy it was just like in Mills & Boone. I was reading Keats. Then he didn’t look. I felt overcome and not in a good way or a way that felt like it was something positive but I felt sort of magnetized.
“Your book’s a bit heavy for being on holiday.” I said.
He looked as if I’d just woken Rumplestilskin. A young-old man, beautiful but old, ish. And kind of like a child when woken, grumpy-faced but full of light.
“You all right?” I said.
“Hmmm?,” he said as if still waking up.
“Heavy… yeah… but it’s important.”
Important I thought, how academic of you to say. I was making fun in my head but at the same time enchanted by his sort of otherworldliness, his dirty-blonde hair and those blue eyes with all the universe in them, his strong face, Norwegian or some such.
“I read important books in winter,” I said.
Silence, long silence. The sound of the trains’ wheels punctuated it.
“I want to write.” he said finally.
“Like Joyce?” I said sort of harshly, I hate James Joyce, right up there with Kafka with writers to committ suicide by. “He’s a dark sort. Stuck in his head. Catholic to the core. Sad really.”
“Well no, but he’s important if you want to write.”
“I write bits for the New Yorker. Just short bits really, ‘Talk of the Town’.” I said knowing this would impress him.
He was dumbstruck.
“Right on,” he said.
I just kept looking at him waiting for him to wake up. He seemed impressed but the light wasn’t completely on. The train brakes engaged and we started to slow down. Poor soul. He got up to grab his rucksack. I was still looking. Why hadn’t we talked two hours ago?
“I’m getting off here,” he said.
“I might go to Marrakesh.” I said. He didn’t hear this, he was still asleep and looking at his book as he got his bag, trying in vain to find where he’d left off. “Lagos is nice,” I continued, “I’m going to the south of Spain, Ibiza.”
His eyes glazed over like he was daydreaming, I could see him go away, maybe to Ibiza with me.
“Drive safe…,” he said.
I furrowed my brow and smiled at the same time. He’s a nutter I thought, a bit odd but sweet.
“…I mean… have a safe trip.” he finished.
“Nice chatting with you.” I said conjuring my softest, sexiest, kitten-like voice.
“Yeah, take care.”
I reached toward him and his hand brushed mine. His hand was soft but strong and bolts of warmth ran into me. My heart felt like it was beginning to germinate and my nipples felt like the first sprouts of spring. Something happened at that moment Trudy. As awkward as he was there was something there, happening.
He turned away and as he did I saw his cheeks burning and knew he was feeling something too. I smiled at this knowing but knew also I couldn’t stay here with him, wasn’t ready. I was still cool enough to stay still. Not ready to burn or not ready for a fire I knew I couldn’t tend. I’d see him again. I know I will.
He walked funny off the train, adorable. I saw myself holding him like a child. But that’s what I didn’t want. Mum did that for dad. He wasn’t there yet and neither was I. We’d meet again. I moved to the window to watch him go. The last of the sun shot straight into my eyes and he seemed almost like a mirage, the reflection of the sunset and his backlit figure was to me like a thing in dreams, not of this world. He had battles to fight, a mission to distant lands and I hoped I would be his grail. I prayed it, invoked it. I grabbed my little goddess figurine, squeezed it, invoking, voluptuous marpesian stone. Renewal, I am the mother but will not be a mother to him, invoking.