Let me tell you about my new girlfriend.
I’m not sure where to start really because she has so many amazing qualities, so I’ll begin with how she looks. That’s what we notice first isn’t it, it’s the essence of what we find attracts us to a person, the other stuff appears in time, if there is time for it to become apparent, of course.
She has an open face. Possibly you’ll understand what I mean by that, but then again it may mean nothing to you so I’ll describe in more detail. Her large brown eyes are set wide apart and that forms this impression when combined with the fact that her forehead is broad. Her face tapers to a pointed chin which might look odd if it weren’t for the nose that somehow balances the equation by not being too fine, slightly broader in the bridge and wider in the nostrils than a merely pretty nose would be. Her mouth, comprising a full lower lip seeming to signify generosity and sensuality, and a delicately shaped top lip which I read as displaying humour and intelligence, brings beauty of a more conventionally recognised kind. Of course, it’s possible this may be all my imagination, formed by a projection of my own ideal of attractiveness onto her blank canvas. So, not glamour model material, but that is a plus, in my opinion. A sweep of wavy, reddish blonde hair gives context to this shape, framing her face, unless she wears it tied back which is often her preference. Importantly, for me, she wears little or no makeup, the absence of artifice is refreshing with so much fakery around.
The other immediately noticeable measure of attraction is the physical body. Sometimes I wish it were not so and I were possessed of more depth of character, but I do count the physical appearance as important. The measure of care a person puts into the maintenance of their vehicle means something to me because it’s something I count as important in myself. I’m not sure if it’s fear of death or of being dead that drives me to always be doing some activity which improves, or at least maintains, my physical condition, possibly it’s just vanity. Certainly, I would like to live long provided my body and mind are in a good state of repair, so I don’t understand a mindset that doesn’t consider this essential to life. Pardon the minor digression, this lady’s body is evidence of the benefits of regular exercise. She moves easily, smoothly, and I observe, with my slight knowledge of anatomy and biomechanics, that she is largely free from time-ingrained patterns and imbalances of movement. In the moments when she stands still her delicately sloping shoulders are level, despite being left hand dominant, she does not show any bias to that side. She is not tall, perhaps halfway between five and six feet, but I’ve never measured her so can’t say with any more accuracy, it’s of no importance anyway, is it? Her body is not what I would call slim although her shape is defined, slim at the waist flaring to the hips, legs that are not defined as those of a gym person would be but show to my slightly educated eyes the signs of that bodily maintenance that I mentioned before. Definitely more swimming than running, or weights. Her backside is very firm in the leggings that she often wears, with the undercut being sharply defined, and even in less form fitting trousers or dresses, its shapely presence is pleasantly apparent. The back of her thighs, I notice because it is an area of interest for me, show a curved hamstring which speaks of flexibility as well as athleticism. Shapely and developed calf muscles, slim, well shaped ankles, and smallish feet which are perfectly parallel when she is at rest, complete the impression of a person who moves well through life. I’m wary about describing her other physical attributes because that may show where my interest really lies, but I’ll have to take a chance on that. She has breasts which are not large, her chest swells impressively but they do not dominate her frame, they move up and down a little when she walks quickly although never looking like they’re going to get out of control, well behaved is the expression I’ll use. It is obvious that she is a person who understands the purpose of a bra and someone who has availed herself of the fitting service.
So enough about the physical, I’m sure you want to know about her character, her intelligence, sense of humour, and I would like to be able to tell you about them. This dwelling on description of her physical shape makes me look shallow, and has shown me where I have always gone wrong in my choosing of women. Giving so much importance to body and face, the assets which will fade and disappear with the progress of time, and not beginning this piece with a sentence like ‘I have met a wonderful girl, we laugh so much together, and she exposes the frailty of my knowledge of grammar with her delicate yet perspicacious analysis. We discuss literature and art, world views and local perceptions…’ Now, that would be a more useful way to begin, highlighting those features which will only develop and grow with age and shared life, but sadly I am unable to tell you anything about any of that because we haven’t met. As I watch her go about her life, I can grant her any attributes I wish, she smiles as she speaks to friends and I believe this means she is a kind and happy person. Sometimes I see her with an intense expression on her face as she leans forward in conversation, intelligence in her eyes. The way she brushes the hair back and behind her ears when it is being worn loose, tells about her carefree nature. It would be true to say that she is perfect because I am creating her, there is never a crossed word or the chance of an argument. The mundane never intrudes in our existence, we both enjoy perfect freedom in the absence of possessiveness.
You object, what about the physical side of a relationship. In my imagination I can fill in those bits, with all the dysfunctional dealings I have had with women there have been some utterly sublime moments, all I need to do is cut and paste them into my pastiche. It is hardly necessary to repeat the physical movements, the exchange of fluids, the mess, the beginning of retreat at the moment of denouement as, in that instant, it becomes too real. That, and the inevitable feeling of insecurity which sex always brings into a relationship, and finally I end up in a relationship with the only woman that I don’t want to have sex with. No, you can keep that aspect along with all the others. I was accused once, was it an accusation? yes, I think it was, albeit delivered in a sidelong manner, that the women in my life were interchangeable one for another. It made me angry then, but now, in the rearview mirror, when the person who said it, very dear to me which added to the hurt and, therefore, the anger, is gone from my life, I see the accuracy of the words. I speculate that probably it is the same for most although to an extreme for me, and I wonder who the original was that I have been seeking a replacement for, all my life.
Possibly (probably?) it is the female archetype, and that is why she will never be found. As each real person shows their imperfect humanity, I run away. Now, at this moment in my life, on the threshold of old age these revelations come. Now, I think I could perhaps overcome my timidity or my fear with the correct circumstances, but I have thought that before and it was a chimera, a fantastic and improbable beast.
So, this one will remain perfect. I will go and buy my coffee, I will sit and play chess on my phone, I will glance up and perhaps, if she is not serving at that moment, I will meet her eye. With none of the baggage of knowing even her name, I can smile without fear at this attractive woman, who may smile back. It will never go further because I know what I am like.