Friday, May 21, 2010


So he sat, trying not to watch her, and often succeeding, focusing on formulating the next sentence and trying to limit and shape the sentences that might flow from it, but what a superb specimen she was, though he recognized that the term 'specimen' was a distancing device, a way of bringing into ironic control the sexual emotional responses he sometimes wished he didn't have and loved having.
For a few moments, longer than usual, he lost himself in what he was writing, until a voice hovering just above his right ear said 'you're interested in the Catholic Church?'
He looked up, already knowing it was her, seeing first the smooth elegant young arm reaching for the small plate and the drained glass before him, her skimpy gingham top, the bone beneath the pale skin, her scapula and shadow. Her face wore a quizzical, tentative, ironic expression, as if she too was trying too hard to play the 'specimen' game.
'Oh - the Catholic Church - it's a blog I write. I'm not religious. I sometimes like to focus on the Catholic Church, it's about knowing your enemy.'
She smiled, a wondering smile, and slowly began to wipe the little table, moving directly in front of him, aware, he knew, that he was no longer staring at his laptop screen, but at the beauty she was modestly flaunting.
She straightened and their eyes met, smiling, a mingle of warmth. 'Well...', she said, and he saw the familiar struggle with words.
'You're not a Catholic are you?' He was surprised at how easily he spoke, but then he was the elder, by far, and he needed to take responsibility - or he felt she wanted that.
'I went to a Catholic school for a while, but I'm not a Catholic.'
'Yes, that seems to be a common experience, or situation.'
'It was a good school, academically, but I was lazy. So, what else do you write about? I notice you're always writing.'
'Whatever takes my fancy. Not much personal stuff though. I write about the world. History, politics. Science.  How things work, how I'd like them to work. To get out of myself. Though of course it's all about myself.
She nodded and lingered, swivelling slightly, balletic. 'I'd like to read your blog. It sounds interesting. Focusing outside yourself's a good idea. Just what I need to do. My name's Annie. I have to get back to work. Let me know the address of your blog before you go. Promise?
'I will.'

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