It's a time of year when gods are discovered, and sometimes die.
Iconoclasty occurred again just the other day. Andrew is a barista at my local coffeehouse. He is absolutely beautiful and at least 16 years younger than I am. He looks somewhat like Daniel Henney.
There, that is enough to go on.
Yes, I have had a crush on him for quite some time. I don't think he feels the same way. I'm certain of it. Perhaps elsewhere I will show you, but here I will tell you. I projected, I wished, I desired. I colored his attentions with the tapestries and trompe l'oeil artwork of volition, of interest and desire.
I needed faith: The way he said my name. How beautiful he would feel behind me, slowly waking up on Sunday mornings. Even sharing the profound responsibility to our dream of an open road and a full tank of gas. I needed that faith more than anything, save, perhaps for the coffee.
I read Internet articles about dating younger men. I had my nails done. I actually had someone else cut my bangs. He complimented me on these changes in a general way. Our connection seemed to be growing.
"Ada, it's called customer service, not love. He just wants a good tip. That's all," my illustrator offered one time I took him to see Andrew, as if Andrew was a orchid of some exotic extraction in a hand thrown artisan bowl. "It may not even be contrived," David continued. "He just likes people and customer service and it brings its own rewards. If I was gay, I'd have a crush on him too, if that helps."
No, I had to see him with her, walking through Seattle University. She was beautiful, young and a bit shorter than him. (Which I am not). They were holding each other's hand in that stiff, romantic way when both people are cold and they are walking quickly together to warm up. At one point, they turned and kissed.
Then he saw me, and waved. They came over. She asked him something I couldn't hear.
"Oh she's a customer that comes into the store all of the time. June, this is Ada."
He said it with honesty, sweetness. She looked at me, so in love with him and having nothing to worry about from a 46-year-old-maid-stork-of-a-woman, that she smiled at me as well.
"Hi, nice to meet you." She wasn't even jealous. I used to be able to do that sometimes and it was gone too. But ironically it wouldn't have worked anyway because Andrew is in love with June and he would never cheat on her. That very quality is something I adored. If he wanted to cheat on his lover with me, he wouldn't be someone I would want. I told myself this prayer often.
They walked off, presumably into the sunset which is where lovers always go.
I thought about June. I had thought about her before, but I didn't have a name. Before, she was a complex abstraction. The younger woman he was with invariably because she is closer to his age. She has a smaller nose. She isn't tall and skinny. She won't bore him to death talking Foucault and Spaghetti Westerns. He won't have to politely "enjoy" her modal jazz collection.
Beneath all, she is a confirmation of fear. I never had to really open myself up to him. We can't do such things in the world. I will get my heart broken. Again.
So instead I had faith in June. I believed she existed even though I had never seen her. And then, finally, empirical proof stood before me and said hello. I walked away, diametric to their course.
My god, of whom I was bereft, lay there on the pavement bleeding into oblivion. The bells of the St. Ignatius chapel mourned him, for like Mary, I had given him birth and therefore killed him.