I fantasized, mused and mustered over this reserved, well-heeled guy often seated next to me on the couch.
After months of sofa sharing, we actually met on the corner of 79th street and Columbus Avenue waiting for the light to change. That’s the thing about New York, you think it’s so big, but then you meet someone clear cross town as if you lived in Hooterville.
It’s funny how quickly I exhumed my flirt muscle that must have been buried in such shallow dirt. My voice dropped to a low simmer while my shoulders shimmied as I said, “Hi there, and how are you today?”
“I’m Susannah Bianchi,” I crooned in a celebrity voice I didn’t quite recognize.
“Tom (I’ll call him), Tom McKinley.”
“Hi Tom. I see you at the library all the time. You seem to love reading as much as I do.” Now my shoulders were swiveling so much they looked as if they needed oiling. Boy, am I out of practice.
“Oh yes,” he said, his voice a tad high for his age (late 60s). “I go whenever I have an hour to spare. I love it…yeah…really, really love it.”
Okay, now that we got that straightened out, I marveled how different curb life was from couch. He always looks so sad and mournful reading Greek, when now it’s as though he has a flask in his pocket with the top off.
Brings me back to the universal theory…things are never what they seem.
In the sunlight he was paler than wax, but with a smile that made up for it. It was clear he was no stick-in-the-mud after all, though short and a slightly stocky…kind of like a gnome in a Brooks Brothers suit, but that impish quality has a certain amount of charm to it. At least my shoulders thought so.
My years on the planet told me, this funny, little fella had stories to tell.
Of course what else was gleaming in the sunshine was his wedding band…like a gold halo standing between me and my next move.
The last thing I need is to be the other, older woman. Been there, done that, and believe me when I say…as much as you long to murmur, let’s have a drink, before running out to buy that new dress you can’t afford…DON’T.
Do yourself a favor.
Take it from someone who could lecture on the subject.
After drawing a disappointed breath donning my best Connecticut drawl I said, “It was very nice meeting you Tom. Will see you in the stacks…well, you know what I mean?”
I’m not sure I did, but he gave me his best devilish grin, and was off.
I think what impressed me the most was we talked through a good 12 traffic lights.
At least I held his interest.
Not bad for a rusty Thingirl.