That’s what we were talking about, sitting at the bar, sipping our beer, Ben, my suitor of the moment, and me. But, as conversations often do, it veered unexpectedly.
The bartender was the catalyst. Of course, he was tattooed. Aren’t they all? Our waitresses, waiters, bartenders, don’t they all sport permanent body art?
This bartender’s right arm was branded with a single word spreading down its length. Surrounding it in random patterns were cross hatches, as if he were keeping score; sets of four vertical parallel lines,
Okay, I’ve done it. I’ve bent them to my will; taken what they had and used it to meet my needs. I’ve kidnapped them
The first time was on a rainy night in New York City. Have you ever tried to find a cab on a night like this? Impossible.
Alan (my former husband) and I were newlyweds, bar hopping in the Big Apple with Marius (see Valentine’s Day Two) and his current squeeze, Pamela. We were trapped in Soho, miles from our final destination. Drops of rain fell on our shoulders, on our hair and dripped off our noses as we watched full taxis pass us by.
Drastic action was called for. I took it.
Like Claudette Colbert in the movie It Happened One Night, I edged away from my companions, slid one foot off the curb and manufactured some wardrobe malfunction that required sliding my skirt high up my thigh to fix.
Clark Gable is looking at Claudette Colbert just as Alan looked at me as I fixed my own manufactured wardrobe malfumction.
Flamenco is the perfect art form for people of mature middle age. The music and movements express profound sadness, passion, joy, grief and love. To communicate all that requires a deep well of experience that takes years to fill.
One freezing, snowy Friday night 15 years ago I headed out to the airport to pick up Alan, who was still my husband and the object of my fantasies, and who had been gone on business for the last two weeks. I was insulated from the elements by thick leather boots, a heavy wool coat and a long wool scarf.
Fifty-six percent of men say the words, “I love you,” for the first time by accident. According to a study published in March in Britain’s Daily Mail, for over half of men the words just slip out of their mouths.
Twenty-three percent of those surveyed blamed alcohol. Thirteen percent said it because of sex. Eight percent reported saying these three words, “Because she was crying.”
Like Joan Baez sang, this makes love sound like just another four-letter word.
You’ve read about how I met my husband in Some Enchanted Evening. I invite you to share the inevitable next step of our courtship.
How about a little fun? How about a story about a first kiss, that led to a second kiss, that led to years and years of kisses.
This is where Alan kissed me the first time, in my kitchen, with his body pressing mine into the edge of the counter.
A midsummer’s eve, with us racing up the back stairs to my apartment so I could grab something and we could rush out the front door to his car and the next place we had to be, the next party of friends who were waiting for us.
Here’s another essay I wrote while living in Paris in the 1980’s. The Men of Paris was the first.
April is the cruelest month
Breeding lilacs out of the dead land
Mixing memory and desire
Stirring dull roots with spring rain
So begins The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot. My theory is that he was inspired by an April spent alone in Paris.
For one beautiful, radiant week in an otherwise dreary April I walked the boulevards and strolled through the parks of a city superbly designed for love. I was alone.
Alan and I drifted off to sleep Sunday night in a city caught in the final throes of winter, with a cold rain pounding against the bricks of our courtyard and a northern wind rattling the wooden shutters closed tight over our windows. Early the next morning as I waved from the balcony as the taxi took him to the airport I saw that, voila, the amazing yearly miracle had happened over night.
Are you prepared for yet another side of me, from a different medium?
A few weeks ago a reader approached me and asked if I would like to be part of her new project. I like new adventures, so my answer was yes. With her help and that of a friend or two of mine, we put together a vaudiotext of the story Valentine’s Day. The result is that a piece of The Diary of the Vixen Divorcee is now on YouTube.
If you’re interested in learning more about vaudiotexts, or making one yourself, go to www.vaudiotext.com.
When Alan loved me, his love wrapped around me like velvet; tender, caressing, sensual. I moved through the world as if I were always enfolded in the black velvet cape he gave me for my 50th birthday.
He remained infatuated with me at the time of this birthday. After knowing each other for 20 years, he still beamed like a boy as I pushed aside the white tissue paper and unfolded the long, hooded cape from its box. He knew me well, knew I’d be delighted with this gift. Still, I could see in his eyes that bit of doubt. “Maybe she won’t like it, maybe it’s all wrong,” he was thinking.
I threw it over my shoulders, pulled the hood over my head, admired myself in the mirror as I stroked the soft fabric, then twirled to enjoy the feel of it billowing out around me. I looked at him, at the happiness in his eyes now that he was sure of my pleasure at his gift.