copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org
For me, it all began near a week ago. There was no word of it on the Nightly News. Nightline offered no interviews. Articles did not appear in popular, or prized periodicals. Even the National Enquirer had no exclusive accounts. Bloggers did mot blast me with rumors of what might have been. The story, while sensational, did warrant banner headlines. After all, neither person was as widely known as former Presidential aspirant John Edwards is. The woman may or may not have had a history that would titillate many a reader. I know not whether this thirty or forty-ish female was the mother of what the media would wish to label a "love child." I feel certain that her name is not Rielle Hunter or Lisa Druck. She is not the fictional character, Alison Poole. She was but a real person looking for love, as was he, in a parking lot.
I am not sure whether this is the first time, I have seen this particular pair. Often, over many years, before or after my daily swim in a public pool, I gaze upon a couple of cars positioned far on the fringe of the city acreage. The automobiles are not always the ones I saw days earlier. However, the coupes are consistently stationed at the farthest edge of the property. Each vehicle is expensive, a late model sedan, sports car, chassis, or coach, and always, the two will occupy spaces adjacent to the other. This time, the cars were identifiable; perhaps because, I was closer to the area reserved for lovers.
On this hot summer day, when I initially arrived at the commons, I sought shade for the "Silver Sweetness," or what others might think of as my vehicle. My swim is long. I thought it would be nice if my metal friend could be to be cool and comfortable as I stroked through the water. After, my dip in the pool, I returned to the parking lot. It was time to travel back home. As I approached my automobile, and saw the man and woman outside what, in that moment I thought might be their respective automobiles, I could not help but think they did not desire as I had. Noticeably, the pair had other priorities.
Unlike on other occasions over the many years, when cars were tightly closed as they sat alone on the edge of the lot, on this day no single car steamed from within. The windows in each of the two ostensibly joined vehicles were dry and clear. On this day, I observed the automobiles parked in "the spot" did not appear to be unoccupied for hours. Instead of the usual sight, cryptic cars, I witnessed people "in love."
They couple cooed, and warmly chortled in a public parking lot. The duet may have defined dalliance. The two whose cars sat empty, embraced as they leaned up against the side of what I later learned was the fellow's top-of-the-line BMW. Bavarian Motor Works can craft quite a coupe and this chap, apparently, had crafted quite a practice, medical I assume as I considered his attire. I think the automobile may have been an M6 convertible. If it was a lower priced model, the vehicle was certainly not near the bottom of the product-line. The sleek, streamline steel blue frame and navy canvas top were truly fine, speaking as one, who, as a child was a connoisseur of cars.
The gent, who wore hospital scrubs, and the woman, well-coiffed, in her casual and professionally tailored clothing, wanted more of their moment than I did of mine. I craved only protection from a blistering sun, for my metal companion. I sought a place to park and a swim, nothing more. It seemed my desires were far less significant than those of the twosome.
Bodily thirst and secrecy appeared to be their priority; at least that is what I surmised. Dalliance, in that moment was delicious. I could think of no other reason for two, so completely entangled, to escape the sanctity of home, or office and meet in a parking lot.
They had not come to swim. Bathing suits were not worn or stored in bags visible at their side. The two did not stroll. Nor did they travel away from the automobiles intent that they might swing rackets in the nearby tennis court. As I walked to the Silver Sweetness, and tried not to watch, I realized I was distracted, less so with their "actions" than my reaction.
I wondered; was this encounter a celebration of love. When people experience each other fully, hugs and kisses can be quite delightful. Was this one of these special, spontaneous, moments? It did not seem as such.
The flirtatious energy did not suggest that the two were formally intertwined forever. The playfulness did not express itself as familiarity frequently does; or at least what I witnessed was not as my experience when in a solid, secure, stable, and serene relationship. I felt a sense of ambiguity, awkwardness, or anxiety in the motions of this man and woman. Perchance, I interpreted what I saw incorrectly. I am willing to be wrong and admittedly, frequently, what I assume is in error.
Hence, I was haunted by the questions I felt a need to ask, but knew I could not. Were the two married or even emotionally, intimately involved? Perchance. Was this a tryst, an affair, an adventure, or excitement for those who yearned for exuberant enthusiasm in at least one avenue of life? I knew not, and did not dwell on what might be for either of these individuals. What I observed reminded me of times when I was infatuated, involved, or otherwise engaged.
The chestnut-haired woman smiled ever so broadly. She gazed into his eyes longingly, and held on to his body tightly. The long and lean man looked at the voluptuous frame of his female friend and visibly responded to her buxom body. The fellow looked into her face. Yet, he appeared to focus more on what he felt. He cupped her buttocks in his hands. Even from a distance, I could see his eyes darted to and from her ample bosom. The two laughed as they caressed each other's bulk.
As minutes passed, and I came closer, I pondered. Why would a couple comfortable in their relationship come to a public park only to stand together, smile, and smack lips, or rumps? I could think of no reason for such an adventure. Nonetheless, I acknowledge the truth of the adage, 'Different strokes for different folks.' I trust I cannot quarrel with what entertains another.
I looked away content in the knowledge that I could never know what is real for this couple or any persons. We are all so unique. I struggle to grasp what is within me, let alone presume to know what might be true for these two.
I continued on to my car. I chose to enjoy the day and my own doings, just as this duo did. Soon after, I had the sense the "friends," or "lovers" saw me. I felt four eyes upon me. I tried not to notice their glare. Yet, I recognized the energy had changed.
The mirth melted. The time for enchantment faded. The satisfaction expressed in smiles and soft giggles fell into silence. I had not meant to disturb them. Perhaps, their now evident need to dash had nothing to do with me. The time for afternoon-delights may have naturally come to an end. I know not. I was only certain I did not wish to intrude or be the cause of an abrupt closure.
I entered the Silver Sweetness and started the engine. I hoped that my anticipated exit might settle the minds of the two who now seemed hurried. As I placed the car [oh, how I hate to use that word when I describe the metal baby that has been so good to me] in gear, I looked out the windshield and saw that my move to leave had not eased the minds of this duet.
I reminded myself, what they do is not my choice. I cannot please, appease, affect, or alter individuals that I do not communicate with. I must accept that their actions are separate from me, although I felt a need to apologize. I did not wish to disturb. I could not say "I am sorry." That would have been more odd than any engagement they or I imagined.
Nonetheless. Through the corner of my eye, I observed the woman quickly slip into her Lexus roadster. Once snug in the single front seat of her pearl white luxury automobile, she placed the vehicle in gear and backed out. She drove a few feet to where her beau stood, and thoughtfully spoke a swift good-bye. Then, she sped off.
I decided not to follow her lead, and left more slowly. I did not wish to travel too near or flee too soon. I felt a strange need to give the woman her space. I placed a bottle of water to my mouth, and drank a bit. After, I departed. As I drove away, I wondered would the fellow follow.
The road from the community park to the main avenue is a long one. It may be half a mile long. As I turned onto the back boulevard, I saw the pearl-white Lexus coupe was long gone. Far off into the distance, I saw the woman was about to enter the main street. The chap never appeared in my rear-view mirror. Only thoughts of what had occurred were visible.
I thought of the times in my life when I was immersed in infatuation. Thoughts of another could fill an entire day, weeks, months and even years. I recall how I might do what I did not desire or delay more meaningful activities. More than once, in retrospect, I pondered what might have been if my head and heart were one.
How many hours had I wasted as I sought love and settled for lust? As I journeyed home, my mind was filled with the folly of intimacy and how often, when in a whirlwind relationship, people to do not really relate. They take no time to meditate. Most couples barely deliberate. Sincere discussions can be a distraction when individuals just want to do it!
Often, I realize depth in a love liaison is void. Conversation can be vacuous. Veracity is too often vacant. The vigor and vitality felt is vast, more so than any authenticity. What passes for passion is frequently fantasy. The illusion is fantastic, and the involvement is just for fun.
I think of what I have heard from men and women alike when they speak of past loves, or even those they bed in the present. So often, in retrospect, a man once intent on an adventure such as I observed, will muse.
"When she wasn't out at nightclubs, she was taking acting classes. We dated for only a few months, but in that period, I spent a lot of time with her and her friends, whose behavior intrigued and appalled me to such an extent that I ended up basing a novel on the experience," [he] recalled.
Indeed, only today a chap I am acquainted with described the woman he once hugged, kissed, and met away from the office, or his home as "an ostensibly jaded, cocaine-addled, sexually voracious 20 [30-40-50 . . .] year-old." As he spoke, I wondered of his former female friend. I wondered; what might this lovely lady have said of him? Would she say of the man who stood before me, "He is a cute and conservative chap whose . . .
idea of wild is argyle socks. [The once wondrous woman could also soundly state] But it's okay, I like straight guys, I'd never go out with anybody who's as irresponsible as me. Most of the guys I know have really high-powered jobs and make up for lost time when they're not in the office. The Beserk After Work Club. I seem to attract them in a big way, all these boys in Paul Stuart suits with six-figure salaries and hellfire on a dimmer switch in their eyes."
Perhaps, the inamorata, who many would define as traditional, a conventional sort might conclude when with friends she trusts, "Men. I've never met any. They're all boys. I wish I didn't want them so much . . . I hate being alone, but when I wake up in some guy's bed . . . and he's snoring like a garbage truck, I go - let me out of here."
Each of us can only imagine of others, and consider our own truths. What motivates us, moves us, and what is in the minds of those of us whose story does not appear on the Nightly News. When we dash towards and dither in a relationship that takes more time than it might be worth, what are our thoughts.
My own experience tells me, in each of my close encounters, I avoided, as much, if not more than I approached. Sex was perhaps easier than a cherished connection. In serious conversations with many, I have discovered my interactions and I are not as rare as people may wish to propend. Dalliance is not quite the dream we would wish it to be.
A gent is often more comfortable with a sweetie he can spoon, than one who he might wish to wed. Gals may prefer to engage with men they rather not marry. For some the excitement entices; for others convenience is cool. A few express concern they cannot find the one and only. These individuals sing, "If you cannot be with the one you love, love the one you are with."
No matter what those of us who do not make the news say or do, I suspect each of us can wonder; what might an observer say of our escapades, our affairs, the excursions we make to the park, the hotel room, or any of the other out of the way places we go. Our exploits are yet to be exploited. Might we inquire, could we take the scrutiny we often impose upon others. I know I could not. In truth, as I observed the couple in my community, I could think only of me. What had my "love" life been and why?
The Power of Passion Perused . . .