There he is again. Interested, playful, handsome in the truest sense of my mind’s construction of a handsome man. We made out in private as the world waltzed past without notice. The sense of joy to have been in one another’s arms again held us together with electromagnetic force. “I’m married,” I confessed. “I’m involved,” he laid out truthfully. She came in the room. Without drama she told me she was glad to have met me as she led him away.
“We will be together again,” Handsome called back over his shoulder to me. My husband shouted, “Your breakfast is on your plate!”.
My eyes opened. Awake, damnit. Staring up at the top of my bedroom, I am crestfallen, watching the dust stuck to the blades of the ceiling fan. I feel as motivated to move as the dust would be to get up and boogey. I don’t want to get out of bed. Staying in bed I can feel the force of the mutual attraction. Breakfast is not on my plate. The Husband is down in the basement, tapping away on the computer keyboard, designing a dream home for someone other than me. Six years ago Husband had some renovation started on the interior of our house (without consulting me) and some of the holes are still open in the walls and ceilings. The rest of the day will be like this; solitary full of holes. I will go to bed in the evening far from having had any passion. I want to slip back into the dream, spend more time with Handsome. We had so little time together.
Sitting on the edge of the bed I reviewed how I met him. How we hit it off. How in the morning he promised to come and see me again. He worked as a merchant sailor, didn’t exactly know when he would be able to return. I lived in northern Michigan. He lived in Florida. I forgot to give him my phone number, and despite holding out hope he would call or return, I had enough experience with men at that early stage in my life not to hold on too tightly to the notion I would ever see or hear from them again. We were two ships that passed in the night, that was all, I convinced myself.
A couple years and a few months later I looked up from my barstool to see him looking at me with a deep intention to get me to notice him. We left the bar. I remember his touch as he held my hand and we walked along the waterfront joined in the same electromagnetic force. It was never so easy to be with someone else. The time sped by, he had to go on watch, go to work. His ship was leaving the port within a few hours, headed for the next load. He was an officer, had to hold up his end. I respected him for that. I was in pursuit of the same work. Before we parted he asked me to come to visit him in Florida during winter when we were both free to spend as much time together without worry of the time or exams. In the time between then and our first meeting, he had come back to visit me. He gave me facts only gathered by having been there. I trusted our shipping lanes would cross again. Handsome gave me his address. “Please write,” he asked with a sincerity I trusted. He knew how to find me, I sent him my phone number. I never heard from him.
The next time I saw him was in the dream. Handsome was the same as forty years ago. Why in the Freudian world was I thinking about him? So much has happened. My life has been turned upside down, righted, floated to different destinations. The only part of me that has not changed is the desire to feel what I felt when I was with him, appreciated, wanted.
The fellow who sets me up with the chosen Medicare company has the same last name as Handsome. He looks uncannily like him. I called my the agent to ask if he would talk to a friend of mine about Medicare even though she lives a good distance from our town. Yup, of course, he’s a salesman. “Its a common Swedish name,” Mr. Medicare explained when I garnered the courage to ask if he might be related to Handsome. Secret from Husband, I was hoping he knew him.
An election recently was held for all the city commission seats in town. The candidate running for the seat from my district whom I chose to vote for also has the same last name as Handsome and Mr. Medicare. When I voted for the dude I didn’t entertain any notion of relation. I just voted.
The day before the dream a woman stood at the corner of happy and healthy holding up a campaign sign for Candidate Common Swedish Last name. I gave her a thumbs up (I hate it when I make that gesture. It’s so un-lady like).
I find myself day dreaming about Handsome. I think about the people who may know of him, what happened to him. How to reach him. Wait a minute, I remind myself. Two encounters over forty years ago, what am I thinking? I wonder about Handsome, tell myself something came up for him. Maybe he isn’t even alive. Maybe he was painfully shy. Maybe, just maybe I could find a way to reignite some passion between Husband and I. I’ve crashed and burned a number of times. But like a good dream, I have a hard time letting go.