When I go to a nice restaurant it's a Big Event, only for me it's like a celebrity sighting in reverse. I feel the spotlight is on me the entire time as the biggest fraud in the place; completely nerve-racking. I can't help the feeling I'm arriving on the red carpet to the world premiere of a highly touted film. No amount of rationalization or attempted reasoning can drive it from my head. I'm on display for all the world to fear and loathe.
This time it was a downtown outdoor café patio on an unusually pleasant late summer day. There was something about the noon sun that day that was quite friendly. Even we prisoners of the world were welcome. So I took up that invitation hoping I wasn't being foolish (yet again). I managed to seat myself comfortably and placed my order without incident, a casual master of my domain. Stuck feeling like a celebrity - and having to live up to that profile - these minor victories gave me a major boost. I was feeling a tad heady on that glorious weekday afternoon.
What am I going to do to fuck this up? That's the usual question that pops up in these situations. But I had a hard time containing my excitement. I stopped to think that if someone were to ask me why I felt so excited at that moment I could provide no explanation. "The sun, the air, the people, the time of day...I don't know." How could I explain to someone that in my extremely dire circumstances it felt good to be alive? Yet, there I was.
And then She came in, sitting alone at the table next to me. Now I had a hundred spotlights on me. Fucking God must have read my mind on exactly who and what I wanted to happen at that moment. Sure, I was opening myself to the universe like I rarely do but I did not expect this to happen. I will fail in describing her. Purely feminine in every way but not frail. She had a face that would let her get away with any desire but she never used her looks. She was warm, exciting, fun and fantasy all rolled into one. Most guys would be too wrapped up in fear to ever approach her - me included.
"Whoa, boy. You've only got a glance at her. Maybe you're just making her up - as you're wont to do." I thought my heart was going to explode as I made my confirmation look. Wow. She really is the real deal. Sheer perfection. She was a star dropped from the heavens. Normally I'm not in position to come across a personage such as she; our paths would never cross. It was then I realized this had been my secret wish all along.
But we were coming from two different directions.
I was a trespasser in this world, living beyond my means. When I do things like this I confess it to no one. I don't want to hear the vicious criticism of the mental ankle-biters chastising me for my lack of fiscal prudence. Yes, they too may be victims of the insane, just passing it on, but keep it out of my world. Beyond the scope of explanation, pushing back my own voices of doubt, I do on occasion like to step out and get a taste of the living world. Technically, I should never do this, preserving my income for the rainy day that is today.
Frankly, I expect to be punished for these episodes, not rewarded like I was today with a surprising feeling of invitation from the universe. I can recall even years afterwards these forbidden interludes as I suffer to survive a glistening shining pain in my head in my hour of joy. I start to wonder who I am, why do I believe like I do, where am I going. It's certainly a heady feeling walking in the clouds on borrowed time. God forgive me.
But She was comfortable in this domain, her natural habitat. She rolled out some sort of map or diagram of a place she was going to visit on vacation south of the border. Truly, she lived in a world far, far from mine. She was poring over it, using this what I assumed to be a rare alone time to make plans. I check out the other guys on the patio and they're all making furtive glances at her. You could feel the inflamed hearts but I didn't have my usual pangs of jealousy I felt when seeing an A+ Dallas babe.
I began to feel detached, disoriented, like the President making a state of the union speech, posing in a sea of lies to maintain my false position. People paint others with their own brush, She probably thinks I come here as naturally as She does. I'm rescued by the arrival of my French Dip sandwich as I pretend to be occupied in a self-contained manor. Much as I'm dying to talk to her, just to be in her sphere for a few moments, I must stick to my guns of better to keep my mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. Believe me, I've removed all doubt on many occasions before.
Now you can love me!
If only I had money! I could join her in this world! I muse between bites. Then I wouldn't have to sit here like a fraud waiting to be exposed - that it might be an entire year before I splurge like this again. Just imagine if I could roll up here in a Maserati, a member in good standing. Walls of poverty are the hardest to scale. Why am I not feeling the hate like I usually do? It's her innocent air, yes.
I realize a breaking point is coming, a time when I'll boil over. I don't care if I make a fool of myself, just a few seconds of her captured attention would nurture me for years. I start to feel woozy with pangs of despondency. Indefensibly, I turn bitter at my denied feelings for her due to my lack of proper funds. If I had the money then I'd...I'd...what? Would I be any more of a person then? More able to please her and take care of her? Do I use my poverty as a way to wall out my failings?
She deserves a real life and a real person for a mate. She's not flashing those fine limbs as a ploy like I've seen so many short skirted women do on a downtown Friday night, drenching me with agonizing envy. I've always lamented my life without a woman like this angel; mightily cursing the world. I never stopped to ask what my life would be with a woman like Her. I'd still be separated by walls of poverty no matter how much money I have. I should have known this pleasant excursion was nothing but a trick by the universe after all.