D e c e m b e r   2 0 0 2

Guest Writer

Game face
by Mark Victory

areful not to obstruct the view of another patron, she stooped low while taking orders from the cushioned clientele in the first five rows adjacent to the basketball floor. A serving tray balanced in her left hand, her eyes connected with a well-dressed man: “Is there anything I can get you?”

When I gaze down at the dancers with their exuberant and suggestive routines, your dark, cascading hair and beaming smile always catch my eye. Something in your graceful poise strikes me as more fascinating than the gyrations of the dancers. I observe your actions as a scientist in hope of recalling the long-buried thought I link with your demeanor.

Mesmerized by such unexpected beauty clad in waiter’s garb suddenly kneeling at his side, the well-dressed man wasn’t sure what role to take. Her features intoxicated him instantly: sparkling eyes demurely framed in smooth Mediterranean skin. His mind raced for something charming to say: “Do you have a Chardonnay?”

From my distant, frequent perch, your smile, so genuine and beautiful, stirs ancient associations, dust-covered hopes and teary-eyed fantasies. Warmed by these abandoned notions, the artist in me ponders how to capture your radiant countenance so I can eternally draw upon it as my wintry soul melts to reflection under the dreamy flame of the fireside glow.

“Of course.” She turned to her receipt book. In the momentary lapse of eye contact, he scanned the details of her face, the lines of her body, the fullness of her hair, the absence of a ring on her finger. There is never enough time in such situations. “Will there be anything else?”

Perhaps you don't see the probing looks, or you are too innocent to suspect that you could inspire such thoughts. Or you simply file such reactions under the category of occupational hazards.

Still feeling guilty that perhaps she caught him staring in a way that may be construed as “inappropriate,” the well-dressed man felt the heat mounting in his face. Conditions never being perfect, his rational mind came to the rescue with another prudent response: “No. How much do I owe you?”

I conclude that the hunger you inspire is not for sex. In this world of masks, where conversations lack truth and each side seeks to manipulate, a singular expression of radiant sincerity can be an adamantine bolt, shattering the frail material of our disguises. For the poet, the artist, we see and comprehend the significance more than others. My sympathy extends to the neophyte who lacks a frame of reference to define his sensations. I hope that he doesn't confuse the message with the messenger.

With a delicate hand, she counted change from loose bills on her serving tray, then gently maneuvered to the next patron, graciously repeating the same routine. And like Aurora warming the winter morning sky, she bestowed her enchanting smile to each as she leaned close to hear their order.

How many times has my heart been moved to act on such displays? Have I not learned that complimenting the sun does not alter its brightness? What do I hope to gain by sharing such ideas? I do not know. I cling firmly to the idea that it is Life seeking to present through me, and to submerse it is a detriment to my health.

Woe is the artist without a means of expression but worse still woe is the individual who does not act on their impulses. My introverted nature considers how I can communicate my thoughts to you without raising concern at my unorthodox observations of what others merely consider normal actions on your part.

I will write a letter. I will draft my notions to paper and see if the whole is not worthy for an anonymous submission. Yes, anonymous. It cannot be any other way. I deliver my words and perceptions for you to take with whatever measures you choose without feeling the pressure of some odd fellow you don't know.

The next time I see you, perhaps I'll say: "What a lovely smile you have." And you will know the eyes of the man who appreciates your Presence.

E-mail Mark at markw@pacifier.com, and visit our archives.

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