California girl

She is the woman that has always attracted me – all dark hair and dark, sparkling eyes and a smile that is open and honest.

We started innocently enough. She was new here, while the vagabond in me had been coming and going for the past five years. She wanted to know some of the better places to eat, where to find the best coffee (there was no Starbucks for her here), where to find this or that.

So I told her.

Sometimes we would go together, and I would show her. My passion for smoothies, and hers for coffee often sent us in search of the odd, the out of the way, the unusual.

Naturally, we would talk. Or, rather, she would talk and I would listen. She was the quintessential California girl, born and raised: popular in high school, with good grades and plenty of friends.

And one more thing – she knew where to find the most scrumptious junk food in the entire state, a matter sometimes near and dear to my heart too since I was often on the road.

Eventually I returned home, mildly infatuated – to say the least – with this marvelous woman that I had let invade my life.

I knew I was in trouble by the time December rolled around. I came back down for a week, ostensibly for a celebration of sorts. By the end of the week I was completely smitten, but on my way home yet again.

When her Christmas card arrived in the mail, I knew she was too.

*     *     *

Sometimes we flirt – outrageously – a glance, knowing looks, gestures, gentle touches with fingers and warm hands.When she walks into the room I search her face for that instant of recognition, that split second of acknowledgement that always comes, that has come for days now.When she leaves the room, I can’t wait until she returns.

She’ll be talking with others, deep in discussion, distracted, yet when I look over at her I see her brief glance, her smile, and then her attention returns to pick up the thread of the conversation.

In my heart I know that this woman is capable of sending me back to desolate African deserts one more time, but I don’t care.

I am happy.

* * *

She brings me flowers, and I pull her close and we hug. Later, she watches me as I brush the hair from her forehead with gentle fingertips. I am tempted to ask what she sees.Long ago, I learned not to ask.

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