We sit at the bar. He asks my name. I find him attractive. He is 40 to my 68.
He drinks his gin martini, as I sip my cucumber margarita. Conversation flows: “Have you seen NC Stage's 'Angels in America' – it's wonderful. He agrees and shares “I'm currently directing ACT's 'Summer and Smoke'.” He pulls out a ticket – hands it to me -- “Please be my guest...”
His scallops in butter sauce and my kale salad topped with sockeye salmon arrive. He orders a bottle of Butter Chardonnay for us to share.
I feel visible, attractive and desirable. Then, the black cloud hits as this young man, who I am developing a crush on, confides: “It's been one year today my mother died. You so remind me of her. Being with you is like being with her one last time.”
The dagger I feel in my heart brings back familiar feelings of this 68 year old woman of being invisible, unattractive and undesirable. I attempt to embrace the reality that my aging face tells. I respond... “I see your love for your mother in your eyes. I'm so sorry for your loss.”
Our bills arrive. He picks them both up. I thank him for the theatre ticket. I give him a motherly hug. He kisses me as a son would – on the cheek. “Good-bye” he says.
I head home again feeling the incongruence of how I experience myself with how the world sees me – as if a stranger to myself...