In his mind, she was also beautiful. To him, the meaning of beauty cut through several boundaries: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. They had engaged in so many mental conversations, sometimes he was amazed by the way her mind worked, other times he was dumbfounded. Literally and metaphorically speaking. It seemed as if his brain just became numb and he found himself searching for something witty to say at the right time, mentally scanning through the files in his brain, praying, as one does with an aged Microsoft PC, that the “search for” tool worked faster.
Even when he came up with something that was not quite profound, the light in her eyes at anything he said made him feel like he was a superhero. He knew she was different and when he was around her, she made him feel complete. But he felt that he had to keep up with her. He was not sure he could work “that hard” in the long-term.
She was smiling now at him, willing him to return to earth, this present state of conversation, as they sat at their table in the freezing bar, sole customers, sole sojourners in the alcohol-filled, trance-inducing bar. She wondered aloud why the air conditioner was set at this low a temperature, and reached for her pashmina in her bag. “She always carried one of these”, she explained; and again he wondered at just how prepared she always was for everything, as if life could hold no surprises for her, and even if it did come along with surprises, he was sure that she had the strength to face them head-on. Or so he thought. Well, to him, it appeared to be that way.
“Will she ever date me?”, he thought to himself, “if I hurt her, will she crumble? Will she cry,” he thought again, and shuddered at the next question that came to his mind “Would she even let me know I hurt her?”
And a great fear came over him, he felt hot all of a sudden, and as she showed concern at his obvious discomfort, all he kept thinking was that he needed to be alone.
To go home.
And smoke his joint.