Some enchanted evening
You may see a stranger,
you may see a stranger
Across a crowded room
And somehow you’ll know,
You’ll know even then
That somewhere you’ll see him
Again and again.
Who can explain it?
Who can tell you why?
Fools give you reasons,
Wise men never try.
As often as I listened to this song as a child, as often as my young heart yearned for such a romantic encounter, I never believed love would come to me this way.
It did. It came exactly like this.
One evening, I opened a door and stepped into a room of strangers. My friend, Alexandra, made the introductions. Only one of them mattered. He stood at the back of this room in a cabin on the edge of the wilderness.
His name was Alan.
I was the last to arrive for this Memorial Day weekend in the early 1980’s. All eight of my fellow adventurers bustled around, unpacking their bags, stowing groceries in the refrigerator and cupboards, finding room for boxes of wine bottles and a cooler full of beer. I hauled in my stuff and stood by the door getting my bearings, while these new acquaintances offered suggestions and instructions to each other and to me.
Alan was quiet as he moved around the room, glancing my way but not saying a word. No suggestions or instructions came from his lips.
Yet I knew where he was every instant. Even with my back turned, even when I unpacked my bags in the room I shared with Alexandra, I knew exactly where this silent man was.
How did this happen? Who implanted a magnet in my body that connected to a magnet in his? What mysterious force of the universe turned on an electric charge that flowed unnoticed through walls, doorways and other humans, only to zap at high current into us?
As the song says, only fools give you reasons. I won’t try. What I can tell you is that I am living, breathing proof that it happens.
That weekend exhausted me. Not only because of the canoeing, hiking, ping pong games, cooking, eating and drinking until late at night. No, all that additional energy that Alan and I expended in our mating dance wore me out.
All Saturday we canoed through the wilderness. Nine people, three canoes. By early evening, all of us tired, all of us chanted in time with the flap of the oars on the water, “Beer! Steak! Shower! Beer! Steak! Shower!”
Alan and I were seated in the middle of different canoes when our two head paddlers decided we’d move more efficiently if we joined efforts. Alan and I were told to hold the canoes together. We held tight to the edges, my right hand next to his left hand, his right hand next to my left hand. Our hands rested close to each other, but didn’t touch.
I knew then, if I’d entertained any doubt, that the attraction was not only mutual, but equally strong. I knew that if our hands accidentally brushed against each other, the earth would heave, the trees would crash into the water, the lake would split open and we would all be swallowed up; swallowed up in the immense power of that touch.
Accuse me of hyperbole if you will, but that’s how it felt. For both of us. Ask Alan. He’d describe those moments in the same way.
That was Saturday evening.
By Sunday evening, I was aware that Paula, another woman in the group, also thought that Alan was hers for the taking.
She tried binding him to her through conversation about holistic healing, a common interest of theirs. She’d lean in toward him and drop words like chakra, acupuncture, healing minerals, her earnest eyes saying, “See all that we share. See how we belong together.”
How could she not see that he was being polite, nothing more? How could she not tell that his attention was focused on me, sitting next to her?
Her own romantic desires blinded her and led her stumbling on, until she tumbled right off the edge of the cliff.
“How fascinating that you’ve studied a different type of massage than I have. I’d love to compare our techniques. Let’s do it now!” she said.
This is how Alexandra and I ended up lying face down on the bed we shared, naked from the waist up, with Paula straddling Alexandra’s hips and Alan straddling mine.
Deluded Paula. She didn’t weave her spell around Alan. Instead, she handed him the gift of close physical contact with the woman of his desire. Me. Georgia Stone.
“How do you start your massages?” Paula asked.
Alan squeezed cream on his hands, rubbed them together to warm up the lotion, rested both hands gently on my naked back and paused.
“Now let me show you how I learned to start,” Paula said, and proceeded to demonstrate whatever it was she’d learned on Alexandra.
As if Alan gave a rip. As if he paid the least bit of attention to what she was doing. He was locked in a private world of only two people, even if four occupied that bed.
His hands pressed down my back, pushing just a bit below the waistband of my jeans. Then his hands slipped across my back and down my sides, with the outer edges of his palms gently brushing my breasts.
I turned my head and looked at Alexandra, lying close to me on the bed. She smiled. She understood what was happening.
I have had technically better massages. But no massage ever, ever aroused in me the sensations that Alan’s touch aroused in me that Sunday evening in late May.
What an unconventional start to a courtship. Long before he found the courage to kiss me, Alan was handed the opportunity, by a woman trying to court him, to caress my bare flesh.
These three consecutive enchanted evenings led to a Monday afternoon of packing cars and heading back to the city, with Alan and me knowing, deep in our bones, that we would see each other, again and again.
I can’t imagine what would have happened that first evening, second evening or third evening if I had been wearing the perfume Ubar. Enter the drawing to Win A Rare Perfume and you may have a chance to find out what it can do for you some enchanted evening.