I changed from shorts into a skirt on my way out; the man watching me across the street when I walked in was enough to want to put a condom over this gaping erotic flesh I call my knees. In France, shorts are for sluts.
Sir Ian McKellen once said, “Stop looking at your phone. Don’t you know the love of your life just walked by?”
Maybe these men all just love Sir Ian McKellen. Maybe as I plug in another podcast to listen to more Sir Ian McKellen, they’re actually hearing him.
I hold down my dress in the wind, I pull back my hair, I keep my eyes down and try to tune everything out.
Their eyes are open, looking, ready to love anyone and anything.
*Even the construction worker, the one who wasn’t even bad looking from a distance, even he stopped his shoveling to watch her walk by, an arm’s length away. Grabbable. He wasn’t hesitant to provide a tender “Bonjour” to the love of his life. Or maybe to the ass of the love of his life. As she picked up her pace, he looked at his blistered hands, coughed, and got back to work.
*And the bald guy on the stoop, the one she casually crossed the street to avoid. He had taken time out of his day to go outside and enjoy the afternoon sunlight. Done with the worries of the home, he let his eyes take over his mind. And when she glanced over, he gave a side-smile and a nod to the love of his life.
*And the old man just outside my window. The one with the friends. The one who’s probably too drunk to go home to his tired wife but too sober to look in the mirror. The one who didn’t stop whooping and shouting at the love of his life until she turned down a side road. The one who looked back to his laughing friends, who, 50 years ago, were high-fiving him for stealing Pierre’s lunch money.
The love of your life wants to walk down the street for one sunny afternoon without shivers down her spine. The love of your life wants to wear her goddamn shorts without a fucking old guy heckling her because it’s fucking hot outside. The love of your life is tired of fighting to hide her bra straps and pull up her tank top and make sure that nothing is riding up. The love of your life hasn’t gotten used to you looking at her. She tries to reason that “boys will be boys” but always takes the long road home. The love of your life isn’t asking for you to love her right now. She’s not even asking for you to respect her. She’s asking you to get your mind out of your teeny tiny ballsack and stop pretending that a catcall at 3pm on a side street will get you laid. She’s asking you to not tell her she’s beautiful.
Interesting, isn’t it? The love of your life doesn’t want you to tell her she’s beautiful. But you have such good intentions! But you are just being friendly! But you just want to talk! You’re so fucking nice undressing her with your nice words and touching her with your nice eyes and fucking her with your nice smiles! You’re just trying to point out when a lady looks good today! She should be fucking grateful because she’s not even that good looking anyways because she hasn’t showered or brushed her hair and didn’t sleep well last night! The love of your life should be getting on her knees right now in goddamn gratitude!
Too bad. The love of your life just walked by.
So I don’t know, Ian. Maybe they should keep their eyes on their phones. Even if I’m the love of their life, they’re sure not the love of mine.
Excuse me while I go shopping for a burka.
*These three things happened in a span of a 10 minute walk. As I kept my head down and cringed, I got excited to write this blog. Maybe I’ll share it with them. I hope they’re literate.