And again her friend asks, softly “What’s he like, tell me about him”???

I come back to her, watching me across the table, curious, sympathetically.

“He looks like a rockstar, a dancer, a violinist, a drug dealer, out of work Actor, footballer, movie star, waiter”,  I look up and grin at her….and she grins back encouragingly…”go on”,  I discover its effortless to describe him, so vividly is he etched upon my mind’s eye, “he’s sleek and swift, agile, lean and strong….always laughing, focused, hard working. He has very beautiful bones, intense blue eyes – slanted, I can’t remember his mouth, his hands, although I’m deeply aware of his body, but his eyes hold me, enthralled….I feel him before I see him, and there’s that daily drop and fall, surge and rise of emotions.

When I see him, I feel fully alive.”

And now I feel so naked, exposed in the spotlight’s glare, and if she says,

“Girl, you’ve got it bad”,  I’ll push her backwards off her chair!!!  But she doesn’t like cliches any more than I do, just sits there in sympathy.

“What are you going to do about it, him?”

“I want him” I tell her, “and spend a great deal of time lecturing myself on every practical, sensible, ruthless reason, why I shouldn’t *have him*, on what earthly possible reason he would want me, on what do I have to offer him….certainly not youth and beauty” I say, sardonically.

She reaches out across the table, takes both my hands in hers, grips me, shakes me, just a little.  “If it were me, telling you this story instead of the other way around, what would you say to me”

I feel myself unwind, the tension in neck and shoulders fall away.

“ I would be very annoyed with you, tell you how very lovely you are.

Tell you that long years lived,  bring not only the lines and scars of age but great depth, compassion, empathy, wisdom, understanding….this my dear, is great beauty. Perhaps that is what draws him to you!!!”  Now without warning, tears start flowing down my face. We stand up, walk into each other’s arms, embrace.

“All those long years alone, single parenting, the endless menial jobs….I lost that true essence …that other me. The fully functioning sexual woman. It is so….long, since I have been with a man. I am as terrified as I am hungry”

She knows, she nods, she smiles with complete empathy.