Picture him lying on his back on a dusty road, naked from the waist up. I’m standing over him, in a short, tight black dress and black shoes with monstrously thin high heels. One of those stilettos is on his chest, pressing into his heart. A drop of blood seeps from his chest and rolls down to the heel of my shoe.
His head is turned toward you. His expression pleads
with you. “Make it stop. What did I do to deserve this?”
Like the chorus in a Greek tragedy, you respond, “Nothing. You did nothing, poor Bennett. You just fell for the vixen divorcee. She’s as cold as ice.”
I do love to dramatize. Reality was a bloodless telephone conversation following a date with an unsettling end.
I should have been prepared, based on his declaration at the end of our opera date (Opening Night at the Opera). First he announced he had a difficult time keeping his hands to himself and then he demonstrated the truth of this as we parted company at my front door.
Our next date ended with a repeat performance, this time in the front seat of his car. Remember the sweaty fumbling of teenage boys, parked in the driveway of your parents’ home? That’s pretty much it. The big difference was that, despite their awkwardness and inexperience, I responded to those cute dull-witted 16-year-olds. Despite his experience and intelligence, this 60-year-old left me unmoved.
When he called two days later, he started out by saying, “My son and I golfed Sunday afternoon. I couldn’t stop thinking about you, about how undignified I felt Saturday night. All that mental cringing wrecked my game.”
Now, that’s a real man; self-aware, with a good sense of how he wants to be in the world, and direct. How I wish the chemistry was there for me. It just wasn’t. And if it wasn’t at that point,
it never would be.
I returned the courtesy of his directness. No need to play out my end of the conversation for you. You could write the dialogue yourself.
Two days later he emailed me. “Look, Georgia, you and I have a date at the history museum booked for Sunday. How about if we keep it? We have a good time together. I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather poke around those exhibits with. I’ll be sensible and back off. Bennett”
He kept his word. I had a lovely time, first sharing our responses to the displays and later chatting over lunch.
Two days later I received this email. “Georgia, I can’t do this. In five years as a divorced guy, you’re the first woman who follows my thoughts, gets my allusions. You’re charming, kind of cute, easy to be with. Around you, I’m the best me I’ve ever been. I don’t get how I can be attracted to you and you don’t reciprocate. Sunday was painful, having you right there beside me and untouchable. I just can’t see you again. Bennett”
I feel his pain. I really do. I know that stab in the heart and the blood seeping out. I just can’t do a thing about it.