These occasions happen so rarely they always catch me by surprise. I realize it's coming about 45 minutes before it arrives and almost never have a plan.
So I usually find myself at a coffee shop reading, writing, planning, thinking, listening to music, and otherwise recharging my batteries.
I'm an extrovert (I think...) but these quiet hours where I can direct my brain to ends that I get to decide give me a boost like I was an introvert. I can take stock of my emotional landscape, re-evaluate decisions I made recently, browse my spiritual health, input my cultural quotient and just generally goof off.
It is a gorgeous 76 degrees. The sky is light blue still even though the sun is dying quietly right over my right shoulder. There are contrails in the sky instead of the thunderheads the weather man promised us this morning. People are in a good mood because we recently got some icky weather and these Floridians are persnickety people when it comes to rain and clouds.
I am observing these people. The twenty year old guy in the ICP shirt who brought his own Chinese food to the cafe table outside. The tiny gay Asian guy with the cream colored cashmere sweater tied around his shoulders. The weird looking male barista with the girl face and the Leif Ericsson beard. Red hat who keeps trying to read this over my shoulder. The girl who parked at the table with the outdoor outlet hours ago and just won't leave already.
What are they doing today? Why did they come here now? What are they doing later?
Will they eat well tonight? Will they be kissed? Will they experience a life altering moment in just a few hours? Will their dreams tonight make them sad? Is anyone getting laid?
Many times, when I'm people watching alone, I feel like an Anne Rice vampire. I am ageless and watching these puny mortals like ants in a plastic box. Years ago, I learned about creative visualization. It helped me with my confidence and in situations like this, I try to live in a space I call the Goddess Persona driven by a sense of immortality defined by Anne Rice for me when I was a teenager.
I have just arrived like Botticelli's Venus de Milo on the half shell from pink clouds in the sky. Birds and woodland creatures are on their way from the park across the street to help me smoke my cigarettes and sing songs about missing my Prince Charming who is ever so faraway. My chin is high, my hair looks good in the lack of humidity (not for long...this IS Florida) and I imagine I radiate lovingkindness energy.
It's not about being superior or holier-than-thou. It's about honoring the divine within me and requiring those around me to honor it as well, as I honor theirs. The latter being often forgotten about by modern women and something I encourage my female friends to do as often as possible.
Kids and animals react to me in this state like I was Cinderella. Women almost commit girl-on-girl crime, think better of it and smile at me instead. Men vary from hitting on me to simply giving me my space. Cashiers are more pleasant, I'm more confident, and my bed gets made by chipmunks and deer.
I share this with you, Dear Reader, to give form and shape to the Goddess Persona concept; something I've not articulated before.
That said, this is the space I find myself during this precious free time today.
Free time I'm currently using to imagine private strip routines to Depeche Mode's "Corrupt" or Magnet's "Lay Lady Lay." To think of how to incorporate significant song lyrics into sonnet form to impress an English teacher. To decide whether I want to go get that pedicure I've been wanting to indulge in so when I shave my legs later in antici......pation of tonight's events my legs will be exfoliated and super-smooth. To daydream a little about a weekend with no kids. To re-live choice moments of the last month.
I can't turn off my brain.
It's like I don't get a say in the paths my neurons choose. I can simply observe or not. In observing, tangential nothings sprout in my mind like an Aeon Flux episode leaving messages in my teeth on separate trains of thought.
I am full speed ahead despite hearing myself say the responsible thing. I can deny it for only a little longer which I think I will do because somewhere in me I know down the road I will be thankful I took that time, even if it wasn't necessarily needed. Too many times I've overridden my sense of caution to my great detriment. Never again, I once promised.
I laid out a partial message that didn't convey all the colors. I painted a response in the dark and everyone knows colors need light to be seen. I am grateful for the dim lighting because the blushing I've been doing is embarassing.
I have a reputation to uphold, ya know? I'm tough as nails. I don't take shit. I serve it up. I can do it myself. I don't need no ______. I pretend I am a fucking island. I calculate and play puppet master. I'm not malicious but I can be cold.
Half of it is protective. Methods of dealing with skeeveballs who want to buy me a drink and be paid in pussy. With female bosses and their accompanying shoulder chips. With late buses, bad hair days, and feeling exposed. With the coconut fiber walls up around my heart. Hard to tear by hand but easy to knock down.
The other half of it is narcissism. I want to be known as a bad bitch. Someone not to be trifled with. Someone who genuinely likes you because she took the time to construct and crack a joke at your expense. Someone who means what she says and will fight to the literal death for those she loves.
The second half won't change. It will probably evolve into other forms of attention-seeking behavior because I have to acknowledge that it's part of my make up and needs to be fed lest it, like lightning, seek out the shortest path to the ground.
The first half is temporary by design. There is a cobwebbed Now Hiring sign on the hut door and an engraved invitation sitting on the stoop next to two sleeping Dobermans. I always want the space to defend myself and do for myself but the bomb here is:
....I want Prince Charming.
Please don't tell the other feminists. My card will be revoked if they hear about this.
It's not that I am somehow invalidating my feminist streak or making it okay for misogyny to enter my life. I'm not saying the feminists are right or wrong on any particular issue or that as a woman, I don't deserve equality.
What I am saying is that sometimes I want to watch a sexy man change my tire for me so I don't have to.
In the dark, in private, we both know how much power and control I have (50%, if you're wondering) but out and about, I want my drink ordered (correctly) for me, I want douchebags fended off in a show of bravery, confidence, and possession, and I don't want to be the one to lead when we dance. I will gladly play the sammich-making Little Woman as a role because it's fun, satisfying, titillating, and worth it in the sexual dividends with the right partner.
I will never commingle funds. I will never get married. I am on the fence about even sharing living space ever again.
But damn if I'm not a quivering mess in the arms of an alpha male.
As I sit here in Starbucks, it's easy to pick out who is alpha and who is some other Greek letter. There's a physical aspect to an alpha male sure but it's not always necessary. I've known alphas who could have been the love child of Napoleon Bonaparte and Carrot Top. It's an attitude. And under other circumstances, that attitude rubs me completely the wrong way. I take special pleasure in taking alpha males down a peg when unwelcome advances are made. But done well....
...it's about a combination of confidence with slight arrogance, strength of conviction, level of self-actualization, sense of entitlement (this is where they get in trouble with me), and a glittering in the eye like a hungry predator.
It's a little dangerous and that's kind of what's exciting about it. You may be nuzzled by a tiger but there is no guarantee you won't be eaten alive.
It's when the desired alpha male makes a declaration of intent that the bond that grows between the human who leaves meat out each night and the wild wolf who knows where to look. There is a trust that takes root and (hopefully) grows into a sturdy oak where I can allow the delicious danger inherent in baring my heart, sharing my secrets and leaving myself in what I think are capable hands.
It's a powerful thing to be vulnerable. It's not something I'm always good at and I've lost some opportunities because I didn't want to be vulnerable in front of an unknown variable. When I'm the only safety net I've got, and then you throw my kid in the mix, I have a lot to be protective of. To allow any old jerkoff to step in to that inner circle too soon would be irresponsible and dangerous in a scary real way.
But if the jerkoff isn't a jerkoff at all and in fact has my very best well-being and that of my son in his mind like it was actually important, there is a delicious unveiling of all the fascinating colors I'm painted with that I don't allow many to see.
It's such a funny thing...that it takes so many conditions and boundaries in order for my comfort level to be that where I can be laid bare before another. But when it does happen I hold on to it for dear life. Because that is why we're all here in our sublime little fascinating mortal lives.
Scurrying about from obligation to obligation. All of us just dying to be exposed in safe environments. I bet we're all interesting varied souls with so much beauty and kindness that it would just break your heart to be immersed in such a force.
We come into the world and build ourselves brick by brick. Making our choices. Defining and carving from obsidian who we become, for better or worse. We learn. Or we don't. Either way, our vulnerability will show it all. All our laziness, selfishness, apathy. All our love, gifts, altruism.
When there are no walls, there are no locks. It's all just arches and breezeways. Candles are blown out in favor of opening blinds. Sunlight illuminates dustjackets and grit in the corners. Red velvet drapes actually look red and the crush of the nap is outlined in every fiber.
You could have a free pass. You could be permitted to wander. Abandon all hope ye who enter here since you won't need it anyway. The trip is earned, guided by the original, and cannot be told in less than a lifetime.