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That Man in the Corner of Your Eye

What are you looking for?

That’s how you notice him.

Just a flicker, the movement of a hand brushing aside a lock of hair, in the corner of your eye.

Turn your head just a little bit to the right and there he is in plain view. He’s tall and muscular, and you absorb in every detail you see. He’s casually dressed in a bluish-gray t-shirt and Calvin Klein jeans, the t-shirt says “Relax, Reflect, Return” which makes no sense, it crosses your mind to ask him what it means. His matt black hair is cropped behind the ears, with just the bangs rushing forward like a wave of painted fine black lines, and below that two deep-set eyes, hazel you suppose, but he’s just too far to tell. His eyebrows are thick and defined, his face angular and the only creases are that which ease into a relaxed smile. Your eyes linger on the gold set watch with a black leather strap, then wander lower, tracing the folds in his jeans all the way down to his black tennis shoes.

You’re interested, he just seems so confident in the way he stands and stares far away. What is he staring at? Well perhaps he is waiting for someone.

Just the way you are waiting. But with you, you don’t know who you are waiting for. You come here to do just that: wait and wonder why you wait, why you are not satisfied with that which you already have.

After all, just two miles away, your boyfriend is waiting. He thinks you’ve gone shopping for some new shoes. Because you love to buy shoes, you love to show them off to him as well, love when he tells you how great you look in them, how beautiful and sexy you are, how much he desires you. Then one thing leads to another and the night is gone and it is the next day and you are back here again, on the crossroads where people come and go.

Should you strike up a conversation? Sure, he’d probably be interested. But it would only be for a short while. As soon as time passes he’ll be gone with the wind. The wind is quite strong and you press down your dress with both hands, its thin, flowing skirt billowing out like the sails of a beautiful adventure-bound ship.

To your left is the crossroad sign, “Renter Avenue,” and “Simon Road.” You glance at it as a small sparrow flutters to it and perches upon the rotting wood. The man moves in the corner of your eye again, shifts and you suddenly find yourself facing a fierce glare. No, he is not glaring, it is just those amazing green eyes, so deep and knowing, and he smiles at you. You smile back, the heat rising to your cheeks, the wind filling up your sails again, your hands clutching your sides.

You look away.

You look back.

He’s looking you over, he’s saying to himself, now there’s a pretty girl. What is she doing all by herself at a lonely crossroad? But it suits you, yes it does, because you are standing in the wind in a flimsy summer dress and your long golden hair is flying away, the perfect wind gauge for your courageous little ship. In every direction is the sea of cornfields, in every direction there lies freedom, and here, at the crossroads, you are stopping for a moment of commitment.

He likes what he sees; you recognize that look on his face. And you love it, you really do, and right now, this is what you are looking for. This moment of unreasoned, irrational natural attraction, to a man with a strange t-shirt and beautiful eyes, this is what sustains you.

“Hey” He’s walking over, his hands tucked in his pockets, his belt you notice now, is shiny black with a simple buckle of bronze and on it the design of two crossing arrows. Suddenly there is no one else at the crossroads, or was it always like that? Who knows? You weren’t paying attention. But you can see his eyes now, and they really are beautiful, not hazel, no, just emerald green, exotic shoots of light reflecting off the inner bright shade, enhancing the effect of the darker green on the edge of his irises. You find those eyes so fascinating!

“Your eyes are beautiful.” You blurt out, you bring your hand to your mouth in surprise, half your sails fill up with wind and hurtle your ship forward. You stumble and you hear his gentle laugh.

“Thank you. The wind is very strong today isn’t it?”

Yes it is strong. The wind is strong enough that you could fly. Don't you want to fly?

“Ah yes” You bundle up the thin material of the skirt as best as you can, twisting it around your bare legs.

“Are you waiting for somebody?”

“No.” A pause. You pretend to look out over the sea. You watch him, but just in the corner of your eye.

“Are you?” You break the rushing silence with curiosity. Does he burn with it too? Why is he there? Why are you?

“No.”

You and him both, burn as you stand. This deserted crossroad is so void of passion but you sense an undercurrent. You are almost ready to leave, if he will come with you, does that mean you have found what you came here to look for?

“I am here to think. Why are you here?” You blink at him. “I am here for no reason.”

“A queer answer from a mysterious girl. Would you like to go somewhere for a reason?”

And your phone rings.

Your head clears, your mind awakens. What are you doing here? Your boyfriend is waiting for you. You have shoes to buy!

“I do have reason to go somewhere.” And you take your leave, to return to the freedom of your known life.

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