This is a follow-up to my post Asymptote Of Vindication. If you recall, we last left our hero -- me -- slightly chagrined that his entire liberal arts education in general and college Latin studies in particular had not been vindicated by a young lass he had encountered in a local pub. After finding out said lass was studying Catullus, an obscure Latin poet (which is to say a Latin poet), said hero was able to proudly declaim a couple lines of a love poem written by this very Catullus guy in Latin, fully expecting the astounded lass to leap upon his waiting frame and be carried off to ecstasy. Unfortunately this did not happen, but the consolation prize for her was to be the hero giving the lass a cherished Catullus book as a present the following day.
Unfortunately, this also did not happen, and your hero who is tired of referring to himself in the third person was stood up. And nonplussed in the process.
Whew. So now you're up to speed.
All this is background for an update: I ran into the very same comely young lass -- did I mention she was comely? she was -- in the same public house a couple of nights ago while meeting a couple of squirrelly young lovers. Molly is her name by the way, and she also works the NY Times Crossword for giggles; Hullesfodder if ever you saw it/some/her/whatever. Good lord, I hope I get through this post; even I'm all tangled up at this point.
Anyway, Molly came up to me at the bar and chatted for a bit and apologized for standing me up. She explained that her grandmother had been ill and needed her, and she felt badly for blowing me off but she had no way to get in touch with me to let me know she couldn't make it.
I know what you're thinking, but it's all true. I hadn't given her my phone number, which makes her the only woman in Saint Paul that doesn't have three or four of my business cards scattered about her house, all of them virginal and pristine and unused. And she was obviously being sincere about her grandmother's illness. Who lies about their grandmother? Not me, not you, and most assuredly not her, bless her heart.
The thing is, she was so damn sweet about everything. She was visibly distressed that she had blown me off, even though she had a perfectly good reason for doing so. In fact, she looked so chagrined about the whole affair that I found myself trying to reassure her that everything was okay (it was) and that she had no other recourse available to her at the time (she didn't) and that everything is just fine between us (it is) and that I hold no grudge whatsoever (I don't) and why am I getting trapped in these bizarre sentence structures? Help me, someone, please help me.
After chatting with me for a bit, Molly left to do some things but said that she'd come back to talk again before she left. "Sure you will," I thought uncharitably, but damn me if she didn't come back after a short while and plop down next to me at the bar. We talked a little bit more and she seemed even sweeter to me than she did earlier, if that's possible. Not the cloying sweet, but the angelic sweet; big difference. I was spell-caught in spite of myself.
As she rose to leave, she leaned over and gave me a kiss on the cheek then left.
Blink. [This is the very same blink I did when she said she was reading Catullus, if you want to go back and check.]
Now those of you who have read me for a while know that I'm not very shy about physical affection: "sex 'em down early and sex 'em down often and avoid transporting 'em across state lines" is generally the ethos by which I live my life. But in this case I was actually blissed out by a kiss on the cheek. In fact, it's not too much to say that I was stunned. A good stunned, like when you find out you've won the big Powerball lottery, not a bad stunned, like when your ex-wife tasers you because your alimony check bounced.
I retained the glow I had from the Molly encounter and kiss for the rest of the evening, and must confess that even writing about it now a little of that glow comes back, sort of like drifting golden threads. A kiss on the cheek is such a small thing, but it can sure make a big difference in the kind of day you're having. Remember that prior to Molly's arrival I had been in the company of squirrely young lovers, and there's nothing like SYLs to remind you that your own life is a dismal hell of loneliness and sorrow and empty refried bean cans and taser burns.
So that's it -- I just had to tell you the happy ending to the Molly story. Or maybe it's not the ending after all: she mentioned that she'd still like to get together and talk about Catullus and other stuff sometime.
I hope she lets me know early enough in advance so I can rent a U-Haul to carry all the books I'm going to give to her.