Saturday, February 6, 2010


She was a fascinating woman. Not particularly attractive. In fact, she was pretty average looking. Yet, there was something about her that was mesmerizing and she had a way of captivating your attention to the exclusion of everything and everyone else around. Her appearance was entirely unremarkable, except for her long, waist length, strawberry colored hair. Her face was plain and she never wore any makeup. She dressed casually in jeans and tee shirts with prints of various humanitarian projects she had been part of, and carried a back pack that invariably contained some new, obscure, and highly intellectual book she was reading. She read extensively and attended workshops that most people had never heard of, such as ice cream socials with naked women reading poetry on stage.

I tried to put my finger on what it was about her that was so alluring, but it was an elusive quality. It definitely had to do with her intellect and the things she would say, or perhaps it was how she said them, the way she would formulate her thoughts. She had a tendency toward an anxious character, and at one point she needed to take medication to help calm her nerves. She didn’t like how the medication made her feel and explained that it was "like apathy in a bottle". It dulled her senses, made her feel numb, and she eventually stopped taking the pills.

She spent a great deal of time talking about one of her ex-boyfriends. They had enjoyed a very intense physical relationship and she would often say how, even though it had been years, she could still sense his physical touch. She referred to her ability to feel his touch after all these years as her "kinesthetic memories". Granted, that is probably the correct technical term for what they were, but who uses that kind of everyday language? She did, and it was her way of expressing herself that utterly intrigued me. She would take any mundane opinion and make it sound like the most exotic idea ever conceived. I really admired that about her.

For instance, I distinctly remember one conversation we had. We were talking about sex and masturbation. Given her strong liberal convictions, I would have expected her to be highly in favor of masturbation, but she completely rejected the idea for herself. It wasn’t that she was against it in principle; it was just not something she wanted for herself. "I don’t fancy masturbation" was how she put it. Her reason for rejecting it was "I have a fetish for the enthusiasm of others". She felt that sex was just not enjoyable unless it was a shared experience and she’d rather abstain than enjoy the physical pleasure by herself.

I always looked forward to our conversations because talking with her was like unwrapping an unexpected gift, excitedly curious about its hidden contents. We would meet at our favorite coffee shop and talk for hours. But, she was one of those people you knew wouldn’t stick around for too long. An ethereal beauty or nymph that would soon fade and vanish into the depth of the forest and be gone forever. We enjoyed a profound friendship for a few months, until she drifted away and ultimately, disappeared. I’m not sure what happened to her, if she moved away or became absorbed by different pursuits. I haven’t seen or heard from her in years now, and I often wonder what happened to the woman who had such a fetish for the enthusiasm of others.


Gail said...

Charlotte, I loved your discription of your friend. Very beautiful. Can't wait to read your next entry.

Charlotte said...

Thank you, Gail. But remember, some entries are real, some are partially true, and some are entirely imagined...