Continuing story of Cougar in the Hunt 2: Did You Really Say 21?
Having a companion rabbit is a magic that creates an incredible life balance. My Galaxy leaves me wanting for very little. Galaxy’s unique wisdom of the universe and many ages past, provides remarkable insights that would otherwise be hard to realize.
Is the power of intense attraction a force of nature or a force to be reckoned with? As empowered, free, a liberated women, how do we balance personal discretion and our myriad of choices?
Appreciation from a suitor, especially with a broken heart, is intoxicating and for me this reach was far beyond addiction. It was a rip-current literally pulling my body further out to sea. Swimming against the power of this current, for the rest of the evening to follow, was exhausting.
As the experienced adult in the situation, I kept the door to physical and personal intimacy locked with a dead bolt. Throughout the night, Mr. Man tried any number of keys in the hopes that one would fit and he could finally unlock the barrier keeping him from having me. Unrealistic promises were spread out like a royal rug at my feet with him on his knees eager to kiss and caress them.
Had I been in my early 20s the night I met Mr. Man I would have been fully taken in by these overtures. Mr. Man was not taking me anywhere, since I knew better, at least not by these means.
He continued to verbally corner me with his desire to be physically closer to me by inquiry. The Tin-Man and Finesse were displaying their affections out in the open. Their public physical displays were not vulgar or offensive, just not within my personal comfort zone. The intensity of his eye contact was impossible to miss or escape, as it followed me with skill and precision.
The only time he took his penetrating green eyes off of me, was the moments when he was observing Tin-Man and Finesse across the coffee table. Clearly, Mr. Man looked to the Tin-Man actions for guidance.
“Why can’t we be like they are?” His voice reverberated eagerness, longing, hope, and least of all, a question I didn’t know if he wanted to be in bed with me or wanted to put his hands on me to navigate a future encounter. The alcohol and the hour of the night continued to wear me down, not to his explicit desires, but to my ability to discourage him or divert the conversation. All I could say was a few broken words that I know I could have articulated better.
“They have known each other for years. You and I just met” There was no way he could dispute my logic, though he would negotiate with a solid strong will.
Determined to negotiate my terms he began, “We are-” Sharply cutting him off I said, “…talking, just as we ought to be. There is nothing wrong with that.” He had already characterized himself and me as “we.”
For all his bold and explicit verbal expressions, he did not make a single physical advance, covertly or otherwise. He didn’t manipulate me or anyone else in an effort to trap me into being alone with him. All advances were verbal and while he was manipulative with words, the only physical overture was sitting shoulder to shoulder with me.
Earlier that evening, I made it clear to him that I did not like cigarette smoke. He had said he would throw his entire pack out for me, though I did not believe him. He got up from the couch, where we were sitting together and excused himself to go outside and smoke. Of course I let my disdain show, so he repeated his willingness to throw out the pack, but this time with a condition, “What am I going to get?” as if my body was the bargaining chip for his ability to save his own life. I couldn’t dignify this with an answer not just because it was absurd, but also because I wasn’t prepared to even consider all that he wanted. His direct communication was beginning to get obtrusive and I was feeling the pressure.
When he returned, the smell made it hard for me to breathe given that he reclaimed his position, right next to me our shoulder touching. I got up to plug-in my phone that was running low on battery and showed him more photos. The air coming in from the wide open door of the J&P’s studio distilled the nicotine smell that was making it difficult to breathe so my inhibitions were relaxed and relatively balanced. For some reason I was opening my personal life to him by showing him family photos including baby pictures. I opened Facebook infant photos most of which included my eldest sister, at six, followed by a current photo of her. I took the built-in opportunity to point out the contrast between my nearly identical mother and sister due to my mother’s chain-smoking. He was touched by the photos of me as an infant and the sight of my artwork photos raised the level of his infatuation.
At some point we went outside for fresh air where we continued to talked as I coughed.
“You don’t have to cough. You don’t like it, I get it.”
“It isn’t that. I grew up with a chain smoker who never opened windows, so I have chronic health issue and sensitivity. Even the resin on walls or clothes makes it hard to breath.” I went on to intimate to him that I watched my mother cough up chunks of green mucus at least once a day. His face was pensive and tried to express as much empathy as his lack of experience could accommodate. He also looked suspicious that I was trying to manipulate him, weakening his resolve to claim my body in exchange for nicotine abstinence. When I told him I was getting chilly he followed me back inside and we took our place on the couch.
With the prospect of morning drawing near he widened his tired eyes and adjusted his position to deepen his contact with my eyes, as if he could magically be permitted to touch me by hypnosis. His green eyes scanned my face as if they could capture me and carry me away. Somehow, if he could captivate me in the dark of the predawn maybe the sun wouldn’t take me away from him.
Eyes penetrating me he persisted, “So? What are we doing?”
“We are talking,” I replied with an authority that sounded weaker in my fatigue.
“You know what I mean?” He said with a frustrated tone that he tried to soften with a growling whisper. My only ally was the strength of my adrenalin.
“At this stage in my life,” I said, trying to remind him of my advanced age, “I can’t afford to be impetuous,” He asked me to define impetuous, as if this was the golden key that would let him enter. I explained the word impetuous and he needed more so I said “Being impetuous is my nature, but I have learned to control it and use discretion.” He repeated my words back to himself as if he needed greater clarity. I knew I needed to tell him there was no way anything would happen, but my impetuous-attention-craving early 20s were creeping back in such a subtle manner, that I didn’t notice. Part of me enjoyed the attention that was constant when I was in my early 20s and the other part of me was exhausted. The other part of me might have felt it was far too obtrusive, but there was no question I had the upper hand and he was enslaved to his desires for me. He wasn’t satisfied, so he pretended to need more explanation and I knew he was young, yes, stupid no. I tried a subtle diversion tactic. Again calling attention to the severe gap in our stages of life. “When I was 19, 20, and 21 I was wild…” I was cut off by his face lighting up, like a second wind, so I hastened my tone. “…I was reckless and very impetuous. I only got away with it because I was so young; I would never live through the things that I did then at this stage in my life.” He turned forward, reflectively, though not willing to concede. I continued “I believe, rather I know that there are special angels that work overtime for young people since they don’t know better.” He was impressed with my thoughtful expression and ability to articulate and while fully attentive to everything I was saying, he was not distracted from his acquisition.
As our gathering neared 4am, I asked him if he was tired, suggesting it was time to leave. I warned Mr. Man that Finesse would be slow-moving getting to the car. While we got ready to leave J&P’s after party, something happened, shattering the only resolve I had been clinging to the entire evening. Regardless of how flattering the overt attention felt, I had to be equally resigned to the reality that he was only 21.
As Mr. Man rose from being sunk down into the couch with me all of my resolve was shattered in an instant.
Once he was sitting fully upright, the palm of Mr. Man’s calloused hand landed on my knee. The skin of his palm touched my knee cap and each finger fell and wrapped around my knee. As his skin touch mine and a I felt the his grip an ignited desire traveled through my leg and to my pelvis. With his touch, I felt my stomach tighten reaching up to grip my chest as my entire leg trembled, though motionless, steadied under the weight of his grip. Clearly, it was unintentional, given that the entire evening he had not tried, even covertly, to force physical contact with me. While his forceful words were an overt expression of want of physical contact with me, this was the only time he actually put a hand on me. In this moment, the whole situation shifted from a clear logical decision to do what is right to complicated and compelling temptation. There was no denying that his hand on me caused me to feel strong sensations and the situation would no longer be a simple discretion. As of that moment, the struggle between the wisdom of my mind and the desires of my body would begin.
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