The name of the …game?
Somehow it feels as though I’ve forgotten how to flirt. Or maybe I just stopped believing in it.
But here’s how it’s been going: Last session, he came in ever day for a Rice Dream hot chocolate. He’s the yoga instructor on campus right now for two sessions (5 weeks). He’s from the Pacific Northwest so from the beginning, we had plenty to talk about. I remembered his name, his drink, his time of day and always asked about how his yoga classes were going. We discovered we both meditated and I told him about the shrine room where I live and he told me, yes, he saw me in a big red truck driving down off Fork Mountain just a few days ago when he was up there to hike. We talked topos, peaks summitted, staying fit, exploring new terrain.
And so. It is agreed he should come for dinner, blond hair, blue gemstone eyes, yoga-fit body, smile, meditating-self and all.
Yesterday after work, he came by the coffeehouse and we sat outside overlooking the llamas in the pastures atop Conley Ridge and talked. Then he followed me in his car to the bottom of my driveway, hopped in the truck, and up, up, up the gravel drive we went. I put myself in charge of dinner: organic andouille turkey sausage, brown rice, black beans w/ a chipotle chevre sauce, spinach, and onions. He sat on the tile counter while I cooked (after offering to help, of course) and we got along fine. There were things to discuss – the housing arrangement, the view, the topo maps on the walls, the responsibilities of a caretaker, the isolation I’ve felt since my ankle injury (he suggests some poses I could try to increase circulation in my ankle joints), the balance of the writing life and the coffeehouse life. Then there was him – his life as hardcore partier, then glassblower, then the total shift into his life path as a yoga teacher, his early studies as a philosophy major, living in Venice, living in the Bay area, living in Seattle, discovering the craft school, etc. He burned his finger blowing glass just last week and so I helped him with the dressing, then offered Harema healing ointment that I have which provided relief.
Dinner happened at sunset on the porch, overlooking a bowl of mountains as big as my heart felt. We talked Chinese medicine, he knew about the moxa sticks I burn to heal my ankle, told me about retreats he goes to annually in New Mexico. Once the mosquitoes kicked us inside after dark, he cleaned every single dish while I sat on the tile counter and kept him company. At the night’s end (say, 10ish), he presented me with a hand blown glass pumpkin. A gift. For me, he said. A smile, a hug. The story of how he made it. His fingers across the glass. His wide, wide smile.
When I drove him back down the mountain to his car there was a quick hug and peck goodnight. I don’t know what “kind” of goodnight it was. Which is why I wonder if I’ve forgotten this game, or maybe it’s not a game at all. I just felt like being myself and so I was. And a kiss goodnight was part of that. The whole evening was satisfying, though I can’t seem to write a creative word about it. Tomorrow – we meet up at Eichelberger’s going away party. Then in two weeks he leaves. Such is the life of the barista at the nationally famous craft school, where everyone wants to come see, and most people eventually have to leave.
But oh, oh, he is such a good guy. Oh Lordy.