My guess is she was attracted to my youth, or if not that, at least my notable absence of maturity. She was divorced, though I didn’t like defining her by it, or that she defined herself as being so. It became increasingly apparent, in knowing and bedding her, that she equated the failure of her marriage to a failure in life — which never made a great deal of sense to me, but then again, I can’t say that I’ve ever been married.
She danced at every occasion and I loved that about her; I think it made her forget that she was nearly twice my age. There was a sparkle in her eyes which was ever present but doubly luminescent when she moved to music. The hips which had at one point borne a child swayed with such cadence and vigor that it became easy to understand why she was made pregnant so young. “Pretty Girl”, I always called her. She loved that, craved hearing it.
From what I hear the kid was nothing like his father, which is to say incorrigible and charming in ways that would get him far enough in life to support the belief that opportunism and self-service are viable ways to lead it. I never really bothered to connect with him, the kid, in part because I knew my tryst with his mother wouldn’t last (but principally because I don’t much care for kids his age). Those eyes were his mother’s, though, a green the color of life itself. Perhaps that’s why she could never say no to him.
Nor did it seem could she say no to me. My wishes were her demands, and I quickly learned to make the most of them. Her husband had not been a giving lover, so it didn’t take much to blow her mind; this saddened and flattered me in ways I haven’t quite found words for. She couldn’t get enough of me, and it baffled — especially seeing as I’d had more than enough. I guess, too, that she would’ve stuck around for good had I let her; that baffled even further.
I was given the devil’s own job trying to figure out how her body had sustained the gruesome battle with childbirth so gracefully. There were no signs of the usual wear and tear, no indications that this was anything other than a vivid and unutterably gorgeous specimen of youthful femininity. Whatever they’ve been adding to the water in Lebanon seems to be working, by all evidence available in the luscious confines of this loving mother’s flesh.
When she straightened her hair, I found myself put off by it; not to the extent of putting me off her (I’m not quite that mad) but it seemed to take something special from her spirit. I think it tamed her in some way, and I liked the wildness about her curls and curves to remain unhidden, unashamed. She felt so much shame for so many things. I wanted only for her to shed it, along with insecurities, inhibitions, and notions of failure abounding.
Nothing I did seemed capable of putting her off, somewhat to my dismay. I was not exclusive to her in my sexual ongoings. We would go weeks without speaking, despite her most devoted efforts. She picked my drunken ass up on at least one occasion, and dealt patiently with whisky dick on more than one such. If only some of my shamelessness had somehow been imparted on her, she might know and be compelled to stay away from future affairs with the wrong sort.
She supported my writing fiercely, wanted more than anything to read it. No, actually, she wanted more than anything to be a part of it. We both loved Kahlil Gibran and the way his words made you feel at one with the light of the world. I saw that very same light in her eyes, but chose to hide more comfortably in the shadow of my own. She used so deeply to wish for me to have something, anything to write about her; that should have spoken volumes — and did — but fell on the most stubbornly deaf of ears.
However nurturing, our affair proved brief, as many are fated to be in this world. It was over from the beginning, but ended when the novelty of her affinity ran dry, like a spinster in menopause. She needed more; I wanted less. For such a common equation in the mathematics of romance, its solution seems impossible to find. As to how she stuck it out for so long as she did, your guess is as good as mine. My only hope is that Pretty Girl leaves her curls untamed, more often than not, and commits to a life of being slightly less ashamed for things in which she ought take pride.