A Penchant for Pirates/ March ’06

by feyruhan

from cinecultist.com

I’m walking out of the building, out of class, and I spot him walking up the street, away, in the direction of fifth ave.  I’ve been debating whether I should go to Fogelman Lib on fifth ave or back to the dorm on Union Square; I catch sight of him and I’m decided.

My feet follow his, casually, and I think, in a daze, of all the names I’ve given him.  First he was Jack, or Captain Sparrow.  He wears a brown bandanna and long dark brown hair spills out of it.  He has something of a beard and a mustache.  He wears a full-length billowy brown leather coat and boots the style of Doc Martens.  He has a smile that makes me anxious-nervous in a good way.  Sometimes his eyes hide behind sunglasses, like now.  I’ve seen him several times around campus, I’ve wondered about his name, I’ve wondered who he is, I’ve wondered what he does.  He is a pirate, I think; he is rough but not quite raggedy, he is tall but not too-thin, he has long hair and short facial hair, but he isn’t carefully trimmed.  He is the fruit of my imagination, because no one, no one, could be that way and still be approachable; I would have nothing to say to him.  What does he do?  What is he like?  Is he a flirt?  Is he a tease?  I stood in a circle with my peer advising group and he walked between us, I saw him smile, bemused; he walked into the circle and out between two people, in again and out the other side.  I asked them later if they’d seen him.  They looked at me with bewilderment, and said no.  I had seen him smile.

His other name is Fanyen.  He is a far-away person, the protagonist knows him only vaguely; he is attractive and distant; he smiles but he doesn’t approach, he doesn’t speak.  I saw him at the cafeteria once, I was having lunch alone.  He sat on the other side, in one of the leather seats–seats, not chairs–lounging with a plate or notebook of some sort.  Was he with friends?  I recall people talking around him.  I looked and found his eyes on me.  When I looked up again they weren’t.  The next time I looked, they were.  He left eventually, or I did.

This is what I like.  This is what I want.  The wanting, the circling, the silent, watchful, corner-of-your-eye teasing with a perfect stranger or a distant friend or a colleague.  I don’t want a relationship; I want the fantasy, the anxiety and the tension; I want to think about it.  I want to think about it and… can I say this–can I let myself say this–feel that place burn with excitement and–can I say this word, can I let myself say this word–arousal.

This is all I want.  I don’t want a role, I don’t want a connection I have to sustain, expectations I have to fill, or disappointments I have to inevitably face.  I don’t want bad sex or ugly breakups; I want awkward courtship with eyes and smiles and paces.  No words.  No promises.  No touching.

One Comment to “A Penchant for Pirates/ March ’06”

  1. Ooo…this gives me goosebumps! Great post. You should fashion something like this into a novel one day. It’s just the sort of thing that people would yank of the shelves and fight over!

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