This story is by ross and was part of our 2017 Fall Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
THE THRILL OF THE CHASE
For some of us, the thrill of the chase and its result is what we savor most…
The Thrill of the Online Hunt–Anticipation
Ironically, online foreplay is the fun I enjoy most often. It is happening now, in my favorite season, Fall, 2018, in my favorite place, Santa Fe, in the Land of Enchantment. I get another chance to get it right, to enjoy the highs of intense infatuation, perhaps even to fall in love. When I get the courage to venture out in this condition, I feel lighthearted, silly, quixotic and alive.
Thank the ultimate force I had the good sense to log onto infatuated.com, just as soon as Warren Buffet bought out match.com and eharmony.com and merged them into his new global online dating company that I subscribe to.
As Frank Sinatra sang:
“…I am falling; love is calling; why be shy?…
Let’s take a chance, to make a go of it…
Why be afraid of it?…
Why shouldn’t we fall in love?”
Sounds simple. Not so much in my reality. One never knows when the next opportunity is going to arise. We live, breathe, hope and pray that it will. When that day finally comes, our hearts start pounding, breathe is short and we tremble with teen-like anticipation. I feel possessed, enchanted, hypnotized, exhilarated. If this is not love, what else could it be?
This search for the (next) perfect partner is the greatest drug that the ultimate force ever bestowed upon us. Apparently legal, with no unwanted side effects, just pure joy, merriment, wonderment, optimism. Perhaps even fulfillment of our lifelong vision of absolute satisfaction with our new(est) partner.
Even for a decorated veteran of such online encounters, each one seems to hold more opportunity for overabundance and fulfillment than the last time. I yearn to dip my toes into the serene river of love. In between the encounters however, I grow skeptical that the most recent failure will have been my last chance.
These online dating websites are fraught with inherent danger for both men and women who populate them. I won’t relate the bad, ugly or dangerous circumstances I have sometimes found myself in when letting my guard down. One needs to be careful when venturing out into the realm of cyberlove.
First dates are scary, wonderful, flirtatious and terrifying all at the same time. Hormones and genomes and pheromones all mix together in the passion blender and course throughout our bodies wildly. We are dizzy with the ethereal possibilities that lay ahead. Our façade betrays the truth. We act coy, appear cautious, but are obviously interested, pretending not to be, at first. We hold our dating cards close to our vests, or so it seems.
When it goes well the conversation flows easily like a fountain of chocolate syrup we dip our organs into and giggle as our partner licks it off. We start interrupting and finishing each other’s sentences, a good sign. We drink moderately, smile constantly and eat our food as neatly as we can, trying not to commit a fatal faux pas.
We tell each other our censored life stories. Only the good, positive stuff that will paint us in the best light possible. When this daliance goes well, it is the highest high and the best elixir ever. This is our chance, online flirtation No. 1,234. We savor every one of them, no matter how badly the most recent one may have ended.
I prepare for these interviews scrupulously, hygienically, psychologically and emotionally. I have learned from experience never to discuss former lovers/spouses, politics or religion. I am focused and ready to engage.
My Raison de Etre—Gone Hunting
I have always been attracted to single ladies, many of whom had children still at home. They are kind, loving, caring, and devoted to their children in a way that I respect and adore. Those same traits make for good partners and paramours.
Virgo is my most recent, scintillating lover. We met online. She lived less than a mile away from me. She was estranged from the father of her children. Due to “circumstances” she still lived under the same roof with him and the kids then. A large family of origin support group helped her raise her kids. A divorce was pending. Both parents wanted it.
I was older than her, but she demonstrated a maturity and flamboyance at our first meeting that engaged me. Vivacious, she displayed a love of her life and kids and pride in who she was. That confidence, along with her loyalty to family and kids, was an immediate turn on.
Her world view was positive, her optimistic demeanor an inspiration to her family, friends and to her newest friend. We met for “coffee” though neither of us drank it, both a bit shy, and reserved. We chatted quietly at first, then we stared into each other’s eyes and soon knew this one was “special.”
The Capture–Feasting on the Hunt’s Bounty
Mostly the ladies I seek out are intelligent, attractive and sensuous. I make them laugh and smile and that gets us started. I let them talk and me listen, as that is my job in the world. I love connection, eye contact, passionate discussions about life, the human condition and how each of us fits into the whole. I ask them who they are and where they are going. After a few dates, if all goes well, and it usually does, we talk about where we may be going, some day.
It took me years to get back onto the dating horse after a nasty divorce, fueled by infidelity. Nowadays, not so long. Virgo had been psychologically divorced for many years and thus our first few “dates” after our coffee meet were simple. She loved to be held and to have us tell stories, her kids, my kids, her growing up and mine. We had much commonality, some differences. We appreciated who each of us had been and who we now were.
She was taller and more graceful. I was funnier and more adoring. Neither of us could recall our first kiss, but it had been a mutual embrace, like in the movies, only better. Starved for affection, we devoured each other’s lips, with the raw excitement of passion rekindled. We both agreed we would go slowly on our third date, hugging preciously and loving the touch of an empathetic and knowing companion.
But the next time we met, she led me into the bedroom. We proceeded to break our vow, slowly at first, but then ravenously. It had been a long time since either of us had embraced our carnality. Our bicycle ride together was smooth and easy, all downhill. An explosion of her appreciation and reciprocity rocked my soul. We were together every night thereafter for a month, her slipping away after the kids were asleep, under the watchful eyes of her about to be ex.
Neither of us made any assumptions, we just enjoyed each other’s company and played house. I took her to meet my best friends and showed her off. She did not talk about her “situation” and no one asked. My friends thought her as delightful, as I did. Our time together was totally satisfying. Talk, hug, make love, and talk some more.
She would steal away into the night to return to her kids’ home and be there in the morning to get them off to school. Her early leaving was bittersweet, but the thought of her nightly return mitigated that disappointment.
We both marveled at our capacity for everyday pleasures, and at the magnitude of our corporeal union.
Denouement—From the Ashes
Then, one morning, she kissed me goodbye and left. She inexplicably disappeared for three days. I could not reach her, voicemail, text or email. We had planned to slip away out of town that night for an overnight. I was worried about her, as her ex was extremely violent. She had never cut off communication before, nor been absent, physically or otherwise.
She stood me up. I was hurt that she would just shut down and go away. There was no explanation or excuse.
Later she said it had been a family problem, not very convincingly, nor with any emotion. I said, I could not handle that abrupt disconnect after what had preceded it.
I declared it a breach of our arrangement and we parted company. She had broken a cardinal rule. I had been blown away by the magnitude and quality of our daily passion. But a rule is a rule.
Six months went by and then divorced, she started emailing me again, as if nothing had happened. We chatted warmly and candidly, like before. We confided missing each other a lot. I helped her find a puppy for her kids. She wanted to get back together. I gave it serious consideration.
But, Phoenix-like, I had already arisen, and renewed my hunt for her replacement.