Sunday, January 31, 2010

#44 – DESIRE

It was hard to realize it had been so recent that my Philippines book appeared and gave me no satisfaction, that I had been to the Bahamas with the sleek blond photographer lady from Rome, and that that was no better, and then to New Hampshire where I saw my nearest and dearest as they really were, and then the blackest of black depressions, not quite cured by a trip to Vermont, but then this program where people of all ages, and with no preconditions moved deep into the sort of past that I had thought could cut off life. And now, just a few months later, I knew more people than I had known in places where I was connected, even here in New York. Also, I was aware of how, despite people I had known for years, I had spent so much of my time alone. And, mysteriously or not, I had in these months gone longer without depression than I could ever remember anywhere on any of the continents I had lived on, or seas I had sailed on, or places to which I had traveled in my head.

One thing about these meetings, everyone seemed interesting, which was not the way I had thought of people in groups. And moreover, there was no lack of appealing women. It was not just Annie and Janet and Tina and Susannah and Bonnie and Bonnie’s soap opera friend. There was Mary, who looked a little like a Scandinavian doll, and in a meeting talked about a waking dream in which she was in fact a doll and lashed to the front of a tractor-trailer truck that kept crashing into all vehicles in its way. I saw her one day standing, looking pert and ready as if headed out on a date, at the open door of a #6 subway car that I had just left by another door at the 51st Street stop. As we were connecting, her door slid shut and she was smiling a “What can I do?” smile as the train pulled away.

A touching woman in her late thirties who had moved out of New York and away from the Manhattan ACOA meetings, appeared at Smithers, and announced she was back and had just signed a contract to do a children’s book. “And that’s pretty neat,” she said, with a smile that seemed a smile though tears.

A big bouncy girl had all male, and quite a few female, eyes locked on her as she described her difficulty with relationships, but this within the framework of describing how at first she and her current boyfriend had rolled around like puppies. And a very young, tightly wound, girl at the Thursday Corlears meeting sat there looking calm and very pretty, even when a new guy who said he was a “recovering sex addict” moved his chair close to hers and stared at her chest.

And then on a Sunday evening I saw someone new in the circle at the Sunday Corlears meeting. A blonde woman. A blonde girl. Wearing what looked like thrift store clothes. She did not seem beaten down. The clothes seemed to drape, rather than hide, what was underneath. An expression of interest and amusement and curiosity on her young seeming face. Not saying much – just her name, Gillian, when people gave their names at the start of a meeting – but letting it be known she had recently been living in India. A girl/woman with a body that, though covered, seemed to flow as she sat there playing with the tresses of her hair, twisting a lock between thumb and forefinger, pulling the hair up, then letting it fall down, rippling over her shoulders and, like her clothing, around her breasts. I hoped no one noticed that I was not paying attention to anything else going on in the room.

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