daily preciousness

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Saturday in Del Ray

It’s a gorgeous Saturday morning in Del Ray. I just stopped by the open-air market to buy some ornamental pumpkins (5 for $2!) and two aromatic rosemary plants. I want the rosemary to wrap my room in a fragrant embrace. The pumpkins I’ll probably just paint little faces on and spruce up the place.

The reason why I felt joy in my heart and sang out loud to Erasure in the car this morning wasn’t because of the sunlight. It was because of my sparkle-fresh existence.

I’m still in a giggly, cheerful mood after visiting Ale and Dave last night for a delicious pasta and salad meal. Ale made the most flavorful salad out of the simplest ingredients. I was impressed by his expertise. I would’ve made a terribly boring salad if I’d had a hand in it. But he saved the day and made it tasty.

The evening offered a simple but thought-provoking epiphany for me. I realized that nearly every time he and I run together, which is about once or twice every two weeks these days, I seem to have a new object of lust and affection. I’m in a constant state of enthusiasm, optimism and heady joie de vivre about my so-called love life and he generally has to bare the brunt of my ravings. “Oh, Mr. XYZ is the best – he’s funny and sweet, very intelligent and has great eyes,” I’ll say. He, the supportive friend smiles and asks polite questions. All the time, though, I’m sure he’s asking himself, “How long will this one last?” And he’s right to wonder. Why don’t I wonder about that? Why don’t I ask myself that question?

I’m probably just too wrapped up in the thrill of the chase, drunk with the possibility strings that envelope my optimistic spirit. Is it happening again? Am I following that same threadbare path into Mark? Who knows… least of all me!

Emily and Sarah are coming by this weekend for a conference. We’re going to have a little fun in the city. We’re also going to go to a fancy restaurant. (I’m not sure which one yet, but we’ve got a nice selection to choose from in a fabu Post Food section article that I sent them last week.)

I also had a kayaking session planned with Mark Levine. We had thought we’d go to down below the Key Bridge and visit Jack’s Boathouse. But Mark’s got a pulled arm muscle and I’ve got a marathon to run tomorrow. So, we settled for something (as yet unimagined) to occupy our time during this, our third time together. [Heart-chilling realization: Dare I even call it a date? Does he think in that terminology? Would he laugh to himself, look me earnestly in the eye, hold my hand and tell me he doesn’t think of me that way? I don’t know.]

I do know a few things.

I know he picked me up on a night when the moon was full, Saturday September 21st. I know I stared into his eyes for the first time and I felt a rush of warmth all over my body – not just my crotch. I know he flirted with me as he passed the Braddock Road Metro Station. I know it was just after dusk and the bright green signal light put an odd sparkle in his green and hazel eyes. I know he leaned over towards me in the comedy club and lovingly massaged the back of my neck. And I know that at that moment, I was laughing outside while my heart was laughing inside.

I know he smiled at me in the full moonlight. I know that we played on the swings together and then stopped to stare at each other, quietly fascinated by the company of the other. I know that he wanted to come up after we shared our first tentative kiss as we sat precariously in those ratty playground swings.

I further know that we held hands Wednesday evening. We sat in his basement, on the comfy couch, hand in hand. I rested my head on his snuggle spot (you know, the perfect headrest formed by the pectoral and the shoulder?). We watched Ken Burns’ re-mastered Civil War documentary. It was obvious right from the start that Mark knew far more about the Civil War than I ever thought him capable of. Just a pretty face he is not. He is much more than that. How much more I don’t know, but I’m enjoying finding it out.

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