Saturday, July 30, 2005

The woman who loved men

I looked again, this time more intently, for a few fractions longer, trying to establish if my first instinct about the man's attractiveness was true or not. Normally, my admiration is more absent-minded. But today was strange. I was in the food court, near the university, getting a mid-day snack. It was there that I felt that today of all days was filled with a sensuous longing. When handsome men stand out in sharper relief, bodies glistening in the California sunshine, reflected a thousand times in their sweat prisms. It's the kind of longing that does not seek out sexual epiphany, though perhaps there is always erotic desire lurking beneath the purely aesthetic indulgence. Yes, he is handsome. And so is the other one, the one in the corner, intently arguing inanities while chomping down a sandwich.

Such callously charming men! I was looking for some songs to listen to online and I came across a Turkish singer whom I had heard a while ago. Watching his video I found him so attractive, with his tall, broad body, his silly attempts at channeling Turkish folk dancing on a beach, sand flying between his toes. The outstretched arms, the little shoulder jerk, he must know that women find it very irresistible. One of his teenage fans was even crying in the video. Callous cruel men.

As I drove around my neighbourhood this afternoon (running an errand for a friend), I thought of Joaco. Not entirely random, I did pass by his house once, I think. My memory is not to be relied on too much, I saw that house but once, and marvelled on its Kandinsky and Modigliani prints and some interesting original artwork. It was dinner prepared by Joaco, vegetarian food by the man from the land of premium steaks. After dinner, he offered to take me home. In the car he held my hand, breathing heavy and said, "You know, I've always been attracted to women who dress well". When Joaco had first come to LA, I mean the day I first saw him on campus, the first thing I noticed about him was his hair. Luxurious brown ringlets, tightly curled in places, loose and wavy at times, light and shadow slithering down their undulating landscape. That hair was gone in a few months, replaced by shaggy clumps where the curls should have been, forced into subjugation to a harsh, unrelenting scissor and comb. The wardrobe had been shabbied, Joaco the carelessly careless dishevelled student had taken over. And yet sometimes that upperclass upbringing managed to sneak a peak, in a predilection for women who dress well.

In the evening Em and I met up with an old neighbour and friend, one who has moved to another state for doctoral studies. We decided to go for dinner and were accompanied by two friends of the guy. One of the friends, reserved and refined, seemed like an interesting person. We got into Em's car, me in the front co-driver seat, and the other three in the back. We started talking about different things, the reserved boy spoke at times, although less than the others. Suddenly, I realised that I had been isolating his voice from the others, trying to trace out its contours in the midst of the confusion of voices in our crosstalk. His voice has a warmth that is not overpowering and yet, envelopes you with its sensuality. The voice of a cosmpolitan American, returning to native shores via Beirut. His low tones were lost in the buzz of the diner, as Em, old neighbour and I tried to outdo each other with our anecdotes. On the way back, I tried to draw him in needless patter, trying to soak in his cadence, I wasn't sure if I'll ever see him again. "Nice to meet you, we'll keep in touch". There is no overpowering desire or necessity to do so, no dating games to be played, no motives to be second-guessed. But sometimes, that's all there is, just so.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Sanity Starved said...

:-) That was teasing throughout. You want to know more about the well-dressed lady. Nice.
Will be back to find out more! Adios!

12:10 AM  
Blogger Heh Heh said...

As much as i tried, i could not come up with anything smart enough to say about this post. :)
You write well. Please update..

3:03 PM  
Blogger IndCoup said...

Nice prose: your writing flows well and you have a wide range of vocab.
But it’s a tad too conservative, IMO. Let yourself go just that little bit more, and I’d love to see what you could come up with…

1:05 AM  
Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

@sanity starved: Is the well-dressed lady so tantilizing :)? Thanks for your generous comments

@fingeek: it must have been the coffee, you are usually so very lucid. Thanks again for your encouragement.

@indcoup: Sorry for the rude comment on your blog (the one on the third-last post), I was a bit flamed! conservative? As in sexually conservative or just miserly with my imagination?

Will spend a busy weekend, so I guess the update will have to wait a few days.

1:56 PM  
Anonymous AB said...

Nice post. Reminds me of all the good looking specimens of the male species that I drooled over during school days. There are none here though. I think they have migrated along with you from Delhi;)

12:03 AM  
Blogger IndCoup said...

Time of the month, eh?

You don't have to apologize: I know I can get a bit obnoxious at times...

> conservative? As in sexually conservative or just miserly with my imagination?

Bit of both perhaps; you could have come up with something a bit more juicy in that story...

1:52 AM  
Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

@AB: Damn! The men were the best part about growing up there! But being in LA works just fine for me.

@Indcoup: No, not the time of the month, but just irritation that you seemed to miss the point altogether.

If it was a story, I could have taken it places. But I was just documenting stuff, so no leeways there.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous albert said...

you write like anais nin
:)

2:23 PM  
Blogger aa said...

As I write this post—longhandOffice 2010in a spiral notebook—I’m 20,000 feet above eastern Washington, having Microsoft Office 2010just crossed above the Cascades on my return flight Microsoft wordto Chicago. I visited Seattle for the weekend to Office 2007and I have known each other for 20 years now. They Microsoft Officehad a lovely ceremony, and the trip in general was fantastic.Microsoft Office 2007In the 13 years since I left Seattle, I’ve Office 2007 keyvisited six or seven times, and I always return to wherever has Office 2007 downloadOffice 2007 Professionalbecome home with mixed feelings about the place. It Outlook 2010both alarms and pleases me to see howMicrosoft outlookthat once-familiar areas seem almost foreign. ForMicrosoft outlook 2010neighborhoods have changed, to the point Windows 7 as have cookie-cutter, here-today-and-gone-tomorrow nightclubs that cater to the shiny shirt crowd.

11:56 PM  
Blogger aa said...

As I write this post—longhandOffice 2010in a spiral notebook—I’m 20,000 feet above eastern Washington, having Microsoft Office 2010just crossed above the Cascades on my return flight Microsoft wordto Chicago. I visited Seattle for the weekend to Office 2007and I have known each other for 20 years now. They Microsoft Officehad a lovely ceremony, and the trip in general was fantastic.Microsoft Office 2007In the 13 years since I left Seattle, I’ve Office 2007 keyvisited six or seven times, and I always return to wherever has Office 2007 downloadOffice 2007 Professionalbecome home with mixed feelings about the place. It Outlook 2010both alarms and pleases me to see howMicrosoft outlookthat once-familiar areas seem almost foreign. ForMicrosoft outlook 2010neighborhoods have changed, to the point Windows 7 as have cookie-cutter, here-today-and-gone-tomorrow nightclubs that cater to the shiny shirt crowd.

12:01 AM  

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