In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"

Christine

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Christine drifted away somehow. Our friendship was brief, maybe just 8th grade–and not all of it. But I remember regarding her with pleasure, feeling the oily warmth in deeply inhaling a thick smokey waft of spicy jasmine incense while listening to something folky on the stereo, putting me in that dreamy edge of sleep and fantasy. Christine distilled the essence of lavender and lovely. 

I was tentative with her, wanting to be her friend too much, not for my loneliness so much as the urge to be near her, in her presence. The incandescent beauty marked by imperfection and perfection in angles; perfect white squares for teeth and the violet of her eyes were like the sheen of sweat on the lean definition, muscles of a lover’s back, sleek liquid–inviting. She made me feel pelvic warmth without sexuality. 

My induction in sexual knowledge was yet to come though the advancement toward it was steaming with chance, sensation, hint, samplings, and, by the end of my days as Christine’s friend, shrapnel. Remnants of longing stayed with me, accumulating in my chest, and by 14, I was full blossom cloistered in my own dreams and sadness. 

I wrote, read, sang and listened to music. Those were the black and gray years, darkened rooms, smoke, incense and fusion rock, endless albums of continuous synthesized pianos and riffing guitars and basses over long trilled scales across the length of the taut strings of the instrumentals and strands that united a heavily rocked out adolescent of the 70s. I felt. The teeming moody years hammocked me.

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