R A C H E L A. L E V I N E
CREATIVE WRITER & Visual Artist
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S o n a r
"Honey," I said, "you think you've found yourself a girlfriend but you've discovered an ocean. I've got depth. You're gonna need sonar."
I mean, this man walked up to me through the rainfall minus an umbrella and introduced himself with a nod. He said my name too. Just like that. As if I wouldn't realize the passionate process he must've underwent to find out my name. All that day I swear I heard my name coming from this stranger's private longing. I have to say he got to me. When I told him about my ocean he didn't complain about seaweed and slime. No sir. He told me he was waiting all along.
"Baby," he said, "You've got a mind like a mouth and I do appreciate your hunger." Now I had never heard myself put into those exact words before and I tell you it was the first time a man made me blush. I'm not easily embarrassed. I know who I am. I am just a large cool ocean.
"Honey," I said, "You're not much to look at in spite of what your mama told you, but behind those eyes you have what I want." All he could say was how did I happen to know it? So I told him about my ocean and I waited for him to ask me to take him there. As if he didn't know he had already arrived. But this stranger minus an umbrella, all he did was smile.
"Sweetheart," he said, "I'm probably just a ten gallon tank compared to you, but I know what you mean." Now most men don't know what you mean. They're too distracted. And when they do, they neglect to tell you. So it's not in the telling. Never is with a man. Never was with this one either. It's in his bones in his sleep. In his eyes when he first opens them from his last dream. And don't make the mistake of thinking it has anything to do with sex. Sex can't tell you a thing about a man. Though he will try to convince you otherwise. Sex is just his body singing its own private song and it's just dying to teach you the words. Most men mistake lust for passion and most women mistake passion for love.
This particular man ventured out into an annoying drizzle just to introduce himself, and he even got my name right. But what interests me is the passion. Not the rain or the lack of umbrella. But, what was he doing before me? Where was he going? That's what matters.
"Baby," I said, "I want to know where you woke up these past one hundred mornings, and never mind who told you my name. What I want to know is how you figured out who to ask." It was the workings of his mind I was trying to get at. If he'd have winked I'd of kept on walking. But there I was just getting rained on.
"Sweetheart," he said, "If you think the rain just created me like a mushroom, if yesterday I wasn't, and today I am, then you are mistaken." Now a man like that, he knows about passion. The way it is that his met mine and he wasn't making any apologies. Passion is what gets a person on the street in the rain with some other person's name on his lips. And I'll tell you a secret: a man who didn't know where he was going before he bumped into me, he'll never know which way I'm going even after I get there. He's still asking but I'm not telling. The guy's got one foot in the past, the other in the future, and he's pissing on the present. If I tell him about my ocean he thinks I'm talking about the puddle at his feet.
But this gentleman, well, here's the difference. When I told him about my ocean he just grinned. "Darlin'," he said, "It's okay by me if you were all the seven seas combined. I have my wet-suit on anyway." Now another man, standing there without so much as an umbrella, he couldn't have made himself credible.
"Stranger," I said, "If you stand out here in this dampness much longer, you're going to need more than a wet-suit. But Sugar, you're going to need more than that anyway to get to the bottom of me."