I met a young woman at work, tattooed and petite. She performed her assigned tasks diligently and cheerfully. We talked of many things, of science fiction on TV, and Japanese anime and manga. Comics or graphic novels, and TV and movies from Japan are great fun and not just for children any more. The best U.S. comics ever come from Marvel. The best heroes are everyday people who can do extraordinary things, even while dealing with criticism, stress, bills, adversity, family and relationships. Marvel does that best.
She is sweetly sexy. She showed me each of her tattoos. On her arms, her lower back, and her legs. She let me touch them. I felt privileged and turned on. I grew excited every time I saw her. I wanted to see her more often. I began to daydream of possibilities, of eroticism and passion.
“Let’s go to lunch sometime,” I boldly offered.
She smiled so genuinely and warmly.
“Sure,” she answered, “Fridays are best for me.”
“This Friday then?” I asked.
“I can’t go until 1 o’clock,” she said, and she looked at me expectantly.
“1 o’clock it is,” I said, happiness in my voice. Her face smiled through her glasses from her deep brown eyes, along her diamond-studded nose and to her open friendly lips. I could have kissed her right then. I didn’t know her that well yet. She had work to do, and so did I.
Friday came and she was there. We walked to the cafeteria and ordered Frito Pies – my favorite and hers too! Hers she smothered in green chile and I smothered mine with red. We talked and talked and laughed and smiled. It was more fun than drinking beer or wine. Although my initial attraction had been sexual, my brain was astonished at her loquaciousness and knowledge. My heart recognized a kindred spirit. She walked back to work with me.
“Let’s do this again,” I said, smiling and giddily happy.
Although we had not made a specific plan to do so, the next Friday, she was there, waiting for me down the hall, and the next Friday too, and the next. Some Fridays she waited by the break room where she sorted mail. Sometimes, even though we’d not mentioned it at all, she was there, waiting in a chair for me to come around the corner. I had never even fantasized that we would have lunch every Friday, but she was there, always. I could not believe it. She did not work every day, and certainly not every Friday, but she told me that she came in anyway. I was astonished. Sometimes we walked quickly all the way across the huge campus, 15 minutes to a restaurant. Sometimes we took the shuttle, run by the University. I loved sitting with her. I wasn’t always sure what to say, and she told me that she hated it when people thought, nervously, that they had to fill every moment with talk. I think I fell in love with her right then. I loved walking with her, or sitting by her side. Talk was unnecessary. Once we stopped by the big pond and ate our lunch there. She had worn heels, and her feet were sore so she took them off there on the grass near the little waterfall. It was my idea to walk to the pond, and I felt guilty looking at her delicate feet. I noticed the swollen redness. She was not really used to wearing heels, or at least walking such a distance in them. I wanted to caress her tired, red and sweaty feet. In another time, in another place, I certainly would have. As excited as I was to be with her, to know her, and fantasize about us, I was married. I loved my wife, or it would not have bothered me. I felt the paranoia of the cheater. Who might see us? What would they think? Would someone tell my wife? But, I was not ashamed. This woman in front of me tugged at my heart. I would not have believed it possible for me to feel that way about anyone but my wife. For the first time in any of my many relationships, I’d been entirely monogamous, entirely uninterested in other women. I had believed that maturity had finally come to me, that I’d learned to love truly and honestly, that I had found monogamy without searching for it. Now, here, in front of me, were the lovely feet, tattooed legs, and smiling face of a woman who fired up my deepest passions, yet, I could not touch her, or her pie.