Off Line Chapter 2—Elaine Bonow
s I looked out on the quiet street before me, I wondered what had brought me to this point, then I remembered the first time I saw her. A supermarket is not the best place to meet a woman. She might be shopping with her husband or for the family, and in this neighborhood with its proximity to the ballet and opera, most of the females who frequent this particular market are young ballet students, their mothers or totally focused opera singers with no time for dalliances.
I feel so lucky that I have a job a pianist for ballet classes and opera rehearsals. My job is fantastic, especially for someone who should be retired or doddering in a rest home. I get to do what I love every god dammed day of the week playing everything from Chopin Mazurkas to the Sound of Music. The best part of all is being around artists, dancers, singers and musicians, everyday all day long.
Being a professional musician is the end result of my early bohemian life and a long life so far. It keeps me being a very modern fellow compared to the other men I know of my generation, especially when it comes to dating and sex. That’s why this particular woman intrigues me so much, so much so I had to find a way to get to know her.
Truth is my fantasies about her were getting under my skin, just like Sinatra sang:
I said to myself: this affair never will go so well.
But why should I try to resist when, baby, I know so well
I’ve got you under my skin?
She was so different from the divas I dealt with daily. I overheard her talking to her friend one day and she had such joie de vivre. The ballet crowd from young to old, were so thin, so puny, so boring with their obsessions about proper food intake, how to enjoy eating salads without dressing, drinking eight ounce cokes mixed with water and smoking American Spirit cigarettes.
The opera singers were even worse, so self-centered and neurotic about their mouths and throats. God, I remember this one diva, Carolyn was her name, a stunning woman I courted that would have silent orgasms for fear of damaging her vocal chords. I got so tired of the silent grunting and the hissing humidifier I had to end that dalliance.
My life has been one long indulgence in art, music, dance and theater. You name it and I am there. I could never exist in a cubicle or even before the cubicle, the office and its atmosphere of oppression. I have avoided the routine life of family, kids, the inevitable series of affairs with even younger women until the wife leaves you and remarries’ your best friend who’s wife left him for the widowed high school English teacher.
I avoided all this type of scandal by never getting married. I love women too much. I can fondly recall all of the women I have bedded since the first; well it was she who bedded me when I was just a lad of fifteen. Ah, sweet Suzanne, my mother’s second cousin who was quite a bit older than me.
I have been discreet and loving for the thirty-six conquests I have counted. I don’t consider myself a rogue or a Casanova or a Simenon, the French writer who claimed to have bedded over ten thousand women. I think of myself, as a normal bachelor of a certain age who like Simenon, adores all sizes, shapes and hues of women. I don’t claim to be that prolific but at my age and reflecting on my life I’m glad to be free to chose what makes me happy and hopefully I have made a few women happy, at least for a while.
Right now I am glad I have something to look forward to, my date with the lovely Georgina, “but everyone calls me Georgie.” The first time I saw her I was intrigued by her vitality. Her appearance was unique from head to toe. I recognized those Fleuvogs she wore, shoes that look old fashioned but terribly hip. Most women of her generation wore those awful multicolored tennis shoes with those terrible clumsy white neoprene soles.
Watching her these past few months I noticed that she had quite a few pairs but my favorite were the lavender suede ankle boots. I do love short boots on a woman. Georgina was of medium height built of soft curves and glorious breasts. I couldn’t help notice because she seemed to always wear soft v-neck sweaters, her neck swirling in scarves, like a Parisian grand dame accenting those luscious breasts of hers.
It was easy for me to find out a little about her from the store clerks. I found out she was single and had a thing for expensive chocolate which in my vast experience meant she like to be indulgent and in my humble opinion that particular weakness of hers was an omen of sweetness in a lady.
My opportunity came somewhat easily or should I say I took advantage of her in a nice way. As her back was turned I was able to carefully bump right into her backside as if by accident. Working in the theatrical world for years had given me a certain ease in this world, nothing forced, nothing untoward, no moves that might seem ungentlemanly.
I caught her eyes of surprise at the initial bump and looking surprised, myself backed away as if embarrassed. In the next aisle I gave her a smile and a little bow, and started a little chat. I waited for her to checkout and escorted her from the market. She didn’t resist and I made a suggestion that we should meet for coffee the next afternoon and that I would love give her a tour of the opera before the performance, only if she thought that I wasn’t being too forward.
That was only yesterday. Standing here now in the window of my quaint flat I do hope that our rendezvous will go well. I have everything planned in case she falls for my charming self.