In the Circle of His Arms

The door opens into an almost empty room.  Wednesday night at the Rec Room (remember this spot from The Cougar Pack?), and only a few drinkers are seated under the fluorescent light of the bar.  The dance floor is empty; truly empty with  bare board walls, scratched and dented tables pulled together in the center of the room and a lonely deejay lost behind  his equipment, spinning his discs out into the void.

We head toward the deejay, and my companion asks, “Do you have any swing music?”

“Swing?  What’s that?” the deejay asks.

“Oh, you know, you must know, ‘50’s and 60’s rock and roll.”

“Like Elvis Presley?”

I say, “Yep, you got it, Elvis Presley.”

My companion looks at me, scrunches his face up and says, “I hate Elvis Presley.”

“I don’t like him, either, but if it gets us danceable music, who cares if it’s that silly old Jailhouse Rock.”

“I’ll look,” says the master of the music, while he puts on a tune by The Byrds.

It’s a cheek-to-cheek number, so I head for a table and pull out a chair.  After all, the rule with this companion is that we never touch each other (You met him in Toying).  He’s married, so this is the deal.  No swaying slowly to the music, no cheeks or anything else pressed together.  Not with this guy.  Not about to happen.

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Not So Humiliated

Guess who I called Monday morning after Sunday night at The Comedy Club? (read Public Humiliation)  Marlys, of course.

“You won’t believe the mess you got me into last night!” was how the conversation started.

She, of course, found it hugely entertaining.  Had way too much fun laughing at my public humiliation.

Thursday evening she called me.  “Hey, I talked to my friend who works at The Comedy Club.  They loved you!  She said, ‘That woman was your friend?  She was great.  The other guy on stage was a jerk, but your friend was hilarious.  We loved her.  We wanted to bring her back up on stage.  We were so disappointed when she and her date left.’”

Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin

I could go either way. Become a comic like Lily Tomlin, or an actress like Meryl Streep.

 

Public Humiliation

It was all Marlys’ fault.  The idea was hers; a double date, Marlys and her husband Peter, and my date, Bennett, and me at The Comedy Club.  A young friend of hers had just gotten her first acting job as a member of the troupe.  A Sunday evening of improvisational comedy and beer sounded like fun.

Then Marlys and Peter cancelled at the last minute.  Bennett and I went anyway, only to find out that Sunday wasn’t just improv night.  It was also trivia quiz night.   Almost everyone was in teams of four to eight, except for the two of us.

The improvised skits are clever and Bennett and I laugh heartedly.  That is, until the topic for the quiz segment is announced:  Movies and Television, topics about which we know little.  When the questions are read, we know few answers.

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Speaking of Sleep

Sleep.  That must have been what we were talking about.  I can’t think what else would have gotten this particular group of women talking about this particular topic.

I was meeting with six colleagues, all women, ages 35 to 65, all professionals.  Our leader was late, so we chatted idly in the way that co-workers who aren’t close will chat.  One of them, I don’t remember which one, asked the question.

“What do you wear to bed at night?”

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Lying in the Arms of Morpheus

Lying in the Arms of Morpheus

Carrie planned thoughtfully for her first night lying in the arms of Morpheus, the god of dreams.  Her husband moved out that day, so she knew the only arms waiting for her in that big brass bed upstairs would be those she conjured up in her dreams.

She covered the bed with fresh sheets.  She sprayed those sheets with her favorite perfume, Escape, by Calvin Klein.  Drew a hot bath and luxuriated in the old claw foot tub until the water turned chill.  Rummaged through her grandmother’s wooden hope chest to find the tissue paper packet enclosing the nightgown she wore on her wedding night ten years ago.  Slipped it on.  Climbed in between the crisp sheets, inhaled the scent redolent of sensuality and love.

She made love to herself.  Made love to herself because she knew she deserved it, even though she and love had been strangers for quite some time.  Made love to herself because she was determined to keep that spark alive in herself, ready for when the time was right to invite someone else besides Morpheus to lie in bed with her.

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Yes and No

On a perfect Sunday afternoon in June I bike across the city to the park.  Life is good.  The world is full of happy people holding hands, pushing kids in strollers, soaking themselves in the spray from fountains, amusing themselves with the fanciful art.

I have everything to make me content; a comfortable bench to sprawl on, a cold lemonade to sip and popcorn to munch.

My bubble of contentment bursts when I spot him striding across the plaza, headed right in my direction.  Chet, the guy I broke up with months before (Breaking Up is Hard to Do).  Chet, holding hands with a woman, both of them beaming.

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Getting Naked Again

Getting Naked Again

This book came to me through my girlfriend network.  Recent divorcee, Darlene, regaled my married friend, Susie, with tales of the contents of the book, Getting Naked Again.  The book gave Darlene the impetus to hop on a plane for a weekend of adventure with a single male acquaintance of hers.  Her goal was to get over her fear of sex with someone other than the man to whom she’d been married for 25 years.

 

 

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Your Naked Body

Memories

By Spector & Cohen
From the album, Death Of A Ladies Man

Frankie Lane, he was singing Jezebel
I pinned an Iron Cross to my lapel
I walked up to the tallest
and the blondest girl
I said, Look, you don’t know me now
but very soon you will
So won’t you let me see
Won’t you let me see
Won’t you let me see
Your naked body?

Listen to Leonard Cohen sing this, with all that boy anguish, desire, impatience pouring from his raspy voice.  I’m sitting on my bedroom floor, eyes closed, listening to the CD and seeing the 16-year-old boy cross the gym floor, struggling to control his body, his throat tight with a thousand inchoate needs and thoughts.  I see the girl, controlling the moment.

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Adventures Happen

“Adventures happen when you’re around, don’t they? Bennett asked.  “Some people, nothing ever happens when you’re with them.  With you, things happen.”

This scene played out over dinner on our second date.  Something amusing did just happen.  Little did either of us know this would be the theme of our relationship.

A beautiful Sunday in early spring.  We headed out in his vintage Jaguar sportster for a drive in the country, ending up at a charming old hotel for dinner.

Jaguar sportster

Great fun driving down country roads in this. Must say, I liked the attention we drew.

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