“The Red Kerchief “Claud Monet
I wanted him to notice me.
It wasn’t that difficult to see what I wanted.
In winter he stayed inside all the time.
Painting. He was.
All the time.
Winter, always a danger to everyone, young and old.
No freedom in winter.
Too much freedom for him.
I wandered by that day wearing red,
A reminding flag of conscience,
I’m waving a shawl of belonging,
frayed and thin. Notice me.
Out the car window on the way home
To be honest the other night I pretended I didn’t mind this man was a Trump supporter because he was so handsome and I couldn’t take my eyes off of his mostly craggy face. At 80 his arms did not look too bad either. Though I could not see them, I could see their outline through the crisp blue check of his shirt. It was all I could do to keep myself from reaching across the table and stroking them. “Will it bother you if I tell you I am a Trump supporter?” he asked, as we sat down at a local restaurant meeting for the first time at the suggestion of a friend.
I do not think I even heard his question as I was mesmerized by his arms and found them around me, holding me closely, gently kneading me like brioche dough, though I could still see them attached to his shoulders. I wasn’t tempted to walk away particularly not without those arms. That’s what shows me just how desperate I’ve become for male companionship.
It might also be that I drank a half glass of wine before walking down to the restaurant to calm my nerves. My nerves need a lot of calming these days. I am monitoring my wine intake. I must or I might just get to drinking first thing in the am before toothpaste. Once I saw my husband grab a half-finished Scotch from the night before’s party and swallow it right down. I always liked his style. For years I remembered that drink with deep admiration and knew I was not up to it.
Well, I am now. I like this Trump supporting man. I like his obvious masculinity, his low testosterone filled voice, and his arms. I think I will take him home and keep him. He could live happily in the freezer.
From time to time I could partially defrost him and have dinner with him quickly before his brain unthawed.
Flash 2 My House
I live alone people think but in fact my house has so many inhabitants I have to be careful when moving through it. There are many men lurking about in my closets and bedroom all of whom seem angry and hungry. The kitchen contains some young ones with damp, slightly curled hair who cook gravy. I happen to hate gravy unless it’s on turkey which is tasteless without it. So many things are. I walk slowly through the detritus of my life so as not to stumble over hillocks of bodies and chirping young friends who think I am hopeful so I am. To them. I need young friends. The doors are unlocked and the flowers wander in and out flagrantly fragrancing the hours and the hallways making memories melt into the cracks and settlings of bones and earthquake reinforcement. People ask don’t I want an elevator but why would I when I can wander in an elevated state up and down and sideways into the dining room where the chairs are always filled with brilliance and I can sit with the thoughts of so many nights, so much laughter, the best wine, and no gravy.
Last night no one knew if it was
the sun setting or the moon rising
but it was orange: hung there by a
wire moving around our sky, currents
of warm air lifting and lowering its round
shape enough to light the narrow, soft roads
crisscrossing the sandy summer peninsula.
One young woman pushing her
old cruiser bike silently, leaving Book Club late after
a chat about amphibians, taking the
long way home, blond hair falling in a
triangle down her back, white Keds glistening,
she thinks of fall when everyone will be gone
and suddenly there in the mist she becomes
invisable except for the sound of one repentant
bicycle spoke grinding it’s rhythm until she’s home.
I like young old men.
Men whose twinkle never faded like some
lust or the memory of really good vanilla ice
cream. I like the round muscle of their arms,
the temptation of golden skin,
and the quick way they look at me for
what seems like a long time while we are
kissing. Each time I open my eyes there
is that gaze, eyes so clear and full of intent.
I don’t know what to do with that gaze.
It never varies. I’m so unused to direct
and constant I’m checking it, closing my
eyes and then quickly opening them again
like a child thinking it will be gone. The kiss
goes on and on like undulating waves in
a warm climate with hopeful palm trees
that clap their fronds for any passion seen
I think it’s over but something like
one finger on my cheekbone
begins the spiral again.
It would not be sensible to want this
on a regular basis but everyone does.
Desire and to be desired.
We all wait.
A remembered afternoon in summer.
For the longest time I thought I might become
I could be Norwegian and learn the language well so people would say how
no one could tell I wasn’t a native.
My hair would miraculously turn blond.
It would be ok to like sex.
I like the sounds of their desserts.
Or I could be a lawyer in Manhattan wearing crispy tight suits in black with very high heels and click click click across the court room floor stating my case with brilliant red lips and always winning.
Rootless like a malformed carrot I
refuse to flourish in one place.
I know this is a problem this rootlessness.
It’s prevented me from
applying myself to much of anything: love, housekeeping, friendship, home repair… you get the story. I kept a suitcase filled with cash hidden in my house and a bag packed with essentials which changed from month to month.
Now my rootlessness fits right in. No one is going anywhere but everyone would like to be rootless.
Where will I go when I can go anywhere?
Hawaii because I can’t get the music of palm trees out of my head.
Like Eloise, I could move into the Four Seasons hotel on the Big Island and go down to dinner every night sitting at the bar overlooking the lapping ocean generously tipping the bartender so that he always saved my seat.
And oh yes there is the spa with palm leaves that rattle above your hut while you are having a massage. Preferably a Lomi Lomi massage and I don’t know what that is.
I have entertained myself all day thinking of places I would like to go when I can go anywhere. Frankly, it may be better in my imagination. That’s been a life long problem of mine.