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His eyes are mercurial. It is possible that his most alluring quality is the most unnerving to me.
His eyes will rest on me. No, not rest—land on me.
You can feel the tremulous hum of something that only lands briefly, only lands to have a place to launch from. A moth’s conviction, a slight touch that can reverberate through your being with tingling, feathery impermanence.
I have borne the weight of many gazes—men that were obsessive (a Dane), fanatical (a soldier in The Middle East) and absurdly enraptured (a dancer, in San Francisco). But none had startled me, given me the impulse to act, to maintain what I had acquired, by chance, quite like his gaze did.
Like it does.
He is the first man that I wish to write about in present tense—that presumptuous, possessive tense—the most naive and myopic narrative, fragmenting its footprints in folly.
His quicksilver eyes of greenish blue, so wide and large, not possessing childish naivety, but childlike wonder—a most interesting amalgamation of awareness and awe.
He is approachable, accessible. People are drawn to him in a different way than they are drawn to me.
He evokes a kind of benevolent camaraderie. A sort of friendly alliance is struck up in moments.
He has a genuine laugh that belies his flashing eyes—a laugh that is so warm and present, it pardons their flighty nature. It absolves them.
For most people, that is. But not for me.
In that laugh I can hear him escape commitment, reproach, anything.
That laugh is a magic one. It is the musical clinking of Houdini’s chains after he’s escaped the trick. When I met him, I knew he’d escaped a fair amount of tricks.
He’s beautiful, possessing a Teutonic refinement, but evading its severity with a Latin infusion that gives a swarthy lushness to his brows and the set of his mouth.
A bold nose, not prominent—only because the changeable pools of his eyes diminish all other features with their glorious glinting. They can be devious and despotic. Their beauty usurps any attention directed towards his face.
Moving through life, love has always had a possessive nature. A nature perhaps originally instilled by my mother, but reinforced by affairs throughout adulthood. Interactions that left me feeling the oppressive weight of love’s presumption, before I left.
When I met him, I knew it would be different. I knew he valued freedom as much as I and scoffed at love’s sweaty grip.
He did, with an airy laugh, what I did with a derisive smirk—the deflection of amorous confinement is rarely a pretty thing.
I realize that we are both escape artists, traveling tricksters. Our love nest was a tent. Symbolically erected in my bedroom, it represented both adventure and impermanence. It soothed us both in the beginning.
I realized this would be different as soon as his eyes rested on me. Landed on me, rather.
Author: Maren Zweifler
Assistant Editor: Hilda Carroll/Editor: Caitlin Oriel
Photo: Gabriel S. Delgado C./Flickr