Continuation of previous post Cougar in the Hunt Part 3: Here’s to You Mrs. Robinson
I have drawn the fool card so many times in my life; the first tarot card ever drawn on my behalf was the Fool, though it was not the first time I was dealt the fool. The Fool card is not necessarily attributed to the foolish qualities we associate with people who make poor choices or the naiveté understandable in youth. Did I draw the fool card that fateful moment Mr. Man’s hand made contact with my knee?
It would seem that I did, but at the time I was certain Mr. Man had drawn the fool card. After all, he was hypnotised, taken in by my unintended prowess, exaggerated and romanticized by his lack of life experience. I was so cautious of his natural fool stage of life, afraid of him falling over the cliff, I did not realize I was the one on the edge of the cliff as the true fool.
The cougar mythology was never curious or tempting to me, or my paradigm. I don’t enjoy the company of kids in their early 20s. My ego doesn’t crave validation that I look younger than my age; when I look in the mirror it is clear that age has only created subtle changes, which I attribute only to hereditary, not luck or some magic-potion-cosmetic concoction designed to make money from women afraid to grow old. My attraction to Mr. Man, even mixed with repulsion, was a feeling, and had nothing to do with defying my age. I never feel the need to convince myself that I am like a woman in her early 20s; what I experience is my real biological age. My encounter with Mr. Man revealed an additional curiosity. Why would any mature, accomplished woman want to relive her tumultuous youth?
As the gathering at J&P’s was winding down, from a collective cognizant of the impending dawn, Mr. Man said with a tone of confusion and worry, “Oh no! I just realized something. My car is at the bar!”“Yes, you came in my car and as such I will take you back,” I replied.
“Okay” he responded with relief and I wondered what would make him feel stranded all of a sudden.
I was not going to leave without making sure that Vanessa had a safe ride home. I wasn’t entirely sure if she wanted to go home with Tin-Man, though I did know Tin-Man was determined to take her home with him. I inquired with Tricia, a few times and since I didn’t have enough gas, Tricia said she would make sure Finesse made it back home. As we said goodbye,Tricia let me know that Finesse decided to go home with Tin-Man. The four of us piled into my car, Finesse and Tin-Man in the back seat, Mr. Man and I in the front, me at the wheel, this time around.
As we reached the parking lot, still affected by alcohol, Finesse, Tin-Man, and myself became loud enough for Mr. Man to tell us that we ought to keep our voices down. I immediately said, “You are right, we are too loud and after all it is 4:30 am.”
“No, I didn’t mean you,” Mr. Man said, with a tone of worry, at the mere idea that he may have let me think that I had come down from the highest pedestal, so far out of his reach. “It is okay,” I said with no more authority or assurance than he had given me, “…nothing wrong with pointing it out. The two of them are souzed and I am well aware of my gift of projection,” It was clear that to Mr. Man I could do no wrong. The problem with being lifted up on a pedestal is the eventual and inevitable fall.
I gazed over in Mr. Man’s direction, as I began anticipating the pending goodbye, knowing the desires he had made poignantly clear, thereby imagining his pending expectations. As it happened, his physical stance was as unassuming as it had been all evening. There were no schemes to force me to be alone with him in the darkness of predawn. He did not manipulate any situation so that he could pull me aside or steal moments alone with me. The only discussion was the logistics of going to Finesse’s house so they could get her dog and go back to Tin-Man’s place. Much of my mental energy was on Finesse and if it was a good idea for her to be swept away by Tin-Man. Despite my reservations, I was impressed with Tin-Man’s willingness to accommodate Finesse’s dog and again, it made me think of Mr. Wonderful doing the same for my bunny Galaxy, every time we were together. I did have other assurances as to Finesse’s presence of mind during the short car ride from J&P’s house.
In the back of my car, Finesse made it verbally clear to Tin-Man what her physical boundaries would be during their impending sleepover. She systematically listed what they could do together and what was off-limits. I was relieved to hear this, and I also felt a confused frustration coming from Mr. Man in my passenger’s seat. As I turned into the dirt parking lot of the Saloon, I said to Vanessa in a playful stage whisper, “He touched my knee! He touched my knee!” I heard and felt Mr. Man shift quick and sharp in his passenger’s seat, as he said out loud to himself “Now, I am confused.” I never figured out what he meant. Was it possible that he had no ideas that he had touched my knee?
When we did say goodbye, he said, “I really had a great time with you
tonight,” as I reached down to hug him. As his arms reached out from his blanket jacket and around my waist I said, “I would invite you over for breakfast, but that is only a couple of hours from now.”
I saw his face shadowed by the darkness, while tinted with the artificial lights around us. I saw longing in his expression, though it could have been his exhaustion. Tin-Man hugged me and in the first serious tone I heard all night, he said “It was so nice to meet you, it was really fun.” As the three of them were about to enter Mr. Man’s car, I said to Finesse, “Can you him my phone number” I felt my arm flex as I pointed in his direction as if there were several choices available and he was the winner. As soon as the words came out, I realized what I had said and when I asked myself why I had made this gesture, I did not have an answer. Whatever I was doing was of my own free will, yet I felt like I was relinquishing control to a force outside of me. I honestly felt like I was under the mysterious spell of the hi-desert breezes whispering subliminal messages in my ear.
I arrived home just after 5am and my mind was racing about everything that had happened. The tailspin in my mind provided no clarity or answers. I had been touched Mr. Man, in a variety of ways, but this did not change him being young enough to be my offspring. As I settled down to go to sleep, amid text message exchanges checking in with Finesse, I found a text from Mr. Man. He addressed me and announced himself, then said “…I really had a great time with you and I hope we can do it again real soon..” Given the time between our goodbye and this moment, he must have sent this message to me the moment he dropped off Finesse and Tin-Man. Finesse told me later that he had referred to me as “really cool” and asked for my phone number before he drove away from Tin-Man’s apartment. As I looked at his text, my heart spun and the centrifugal forces caused a subtle vibration in my chest that caused my nipples to tingle to the point of feeling a sharp sensation. My finger was on a button, sensitive to the touch, yet I kept it there simply because it felt good.
Knowing I was acting on my own free will, but still feeling as if I was under a bizarre spell, I replied to the text with “me too.” As I tried to fall asleep, I asked myself why I would say this when I was resigned to not give into the attraction that transpired.
Despite the message being short and simple I read it several times. As I tried to fall asleep, aware of the sun coming up just outside my window, my mind raced with graphic fantasies of Mr. Man. My body could not help but stir restlessly amid fantasies of the unique shape of his body fitting right into mine like a hand entering a perfect fitting warm glove. My vivid imagination played like a movie picturing his absent leg and how the sensations of his odd and unique body shape, might feel. Despite a long life of a wide variety of unusual experiences, the feeling of a deformed body would be a first for me.
As the sun graced Valentine’s Day morning, I finally fell asleep as my fantasies created a spiral effect in my brain and spread throughout my entire body. I woke up around 1pm and checked in with Finesse allowing me to temporality escape my drama as I listened to her. She was at Tin-Man’s house with her dog and they had spent an innocent, above the waist night, together. By this time she was claiming to hope for things to work out with her co-habitant who had brutally dumped her. My frustration over her ability to forgive him, for all of his cumulative misdeeds, in addition to this cruel abandonment proved to be a distraction. By this time, I was also embarrassed at what had happened only hours prior, events that were fully transparent in the honest light of the midday sun. At the same time her sleepover with Tin-Man was also experiencing full sun. During our phone call Finesse was walking her dog, while looking for a place to eat outside Tin-Man’s apartment. As we spoke, literally, Tin-Man was with an impromptu female visitor bearing a Valentine Card.
On my side of town, the other half of Finesse’s drama had just darkened my front door, disrupting my thoughts of Mr. Man I was unable to escape in sleep. An unfamiliar car pulled in front of my house, while I was still in my nightshirt. I saw that it was Finesse’s boyfriend, who had dumped her, his face distorted by the sunlight making my face feel hot. When I realized who he was my face got hotter as I demanded, “What are you doing here?” I heard how angry I was in the tone of my voice and felt it on my tongue as I spoke. He wanted to know where Finesse was and reasoned that he was worried. To avoid more anger, I looked over at the car and saw Finesse’s mother in the driver’s seat, therefore I had no choice but to keep my cool. The awkward situation forced me to make up a scenario that everyone would believe, without lying, withholding the details since Finesse had every right to be anywhere she wished. I told them not to worry about her that I had just communicated with her. No one was satisfied and insisted on knowing where she was. I mentioned that we were together until 4:30 am and that she went to a friend’s house with her dog and would be back later. My words did little to diffuse the imposed drama. It was like they blamed me for her not being at my house.
I mentioned this to Finesse who had communicated with everyone via text messages earlier. Mr. Man and Tin-Man would be taking her back to J&Ps place. She notified me later that Mr. Man had seemed really sad. I had not rejected him yet, though I had intended to send him a “Dear John” text at some point that day. I feared that if I waited too long I might change my mind. I knew I couldn’t trust my mind that was proving unreliable under the intoxicating influence of my reckless body.
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