Sunday, August 29, 2010

L'enfant

I've never been interested - not even casually - in a boy* who was substantially younger than me.  As with most women my age, I've routinely dated older men--not by design, per se, but organically so.  My first long-term relationship involved a man who was seven years older than me; my most recent was with a man three years my senior (expectedly, I've noticed that the older I get, the less that an age gap is involved).  It seems that this familiar, reliable pattern may soon undergo a profound change prompted by a chance meeting.

A couple of weeks ago, I became acquainted with a boy, nay, an infant (he can't be more than a few years out of high school, at most) who works at a local record store that I've begun to frequent.  He is a remarkably young and fresh-faced person with these searchlight blue eyes, which brilliantly shine forth when he smiles at me.  He has this unspoiled air about him-- no bullshit, no emotional wreckage, no insurmountable barriers.  His youth is nothing short of stupendous to a love-worn woman pushing thirty.**

Baring the occasional one off here and there, I haven't purchased a goodly number of new CDs in quite some time.  L'enfant happened to be working on a night that I was floating on a musical high, arising out of the ten or so albums that I had then intended to purchase.  On this particular evening, I cheerily gallivanted around his store for the better part of an hour, often summoning him for assistance in finding obscure artists and bantering with him about musical trivialities such as the evils of selecting collections over the original fully cohesive albums.  Since that night, I've returned to his store on several more occasions (coincidentally, with him working on staff each time) in order to supplement my newly flourishing collection with CDs I had forgotten to purchase earlier. 

L'enfant is so unbelievably young that he utterly fails to intimidate me.  I am my true unadulterated, goofball self when around him.  I am sarcastic, and generous, and playful all at once.  I am a connoisseur of music comfortable with other connoisseurs of music.  I. am. a. force.  Consequently, I've often wondered what would happen if I did, in fact, decide to date him.***  I have this ongoing fantasy that the interaction would somehow cleanse my love life, as easily as I might reset my laptop after it freezes up.   That I'll have some sort of highly beneficial How Stella Got Her Groove Back epiphany about the simplicity of love and romance and, thus, act accordingly.    

I am positively sure that my younger self would have wanted to date this boy.  He is knowledgeable about music (obviously - he works at a record store); he is unassuming; he is witty; he is respectful.  But he is also an awkward mess with bad skin and untamable curly hair that freely undulates atop his head.  He reminds me of our fledglings at Wild Bird Rehab - so cocksure, so filled with life, so unable to fly.  His flutterings unmoor me.  I am cast out to sea.  Possibility abounds - even so close to shore.  Luckily, I have his searchlight eyes to guide me.

Om shanti,
la Contra Yogini




*Girls, yes; boys, no.

**Albeit, a woman who looks much closer to his age than her own - he flashed me an unfettered expression of astonishment when he inspected my ID and, assumedly, saw my 1981 birth year.

***According to Julia Rose - who is acutely attuned to these happenings, being a boy-crazy, hormone-addled teenager - he is most definitely interested in me.  When we last saw him (she was with me when I first met him, too), she exclaimed, "He only has eyeballs for you!  And such pretty eyeballs, too.  I'd like to scoop them out and put them in a jar, but he never even glances in my direction because he is too busy looking at you."