I'm not sure the atmosphere's exactly right ---in this cinematic aftermath, with this soundtrack, with the tail end of tonight's stormy cold front arrival blowing lazily in the window, and with Rob B's "fantasize!" horoscope advice for me this week just beginning to worm its way around up in my brain ("Let your imagination run far, far away with you")--- to try to tell you this thing about girl watching, but I'm going to give it a shot.
Was it today Arthur told me about the about-to-prowl expression "pressing suits"? And I had to stop myself from singing to him my follow-up with "standin' on the corner, watchin' all the girls go by"? Maybe that was yesterday. Coulda, or shoulda, been today.
I had a napkin folded up in my back pocket with two words on it in magenta crayon. Not in jazzberry jam. That's the same color, or darn near, but I insisted on the crayon with long roots.
Somewhere more than 5 but less than 15 hours after I first "slept with" (and slept with) a woman, I found myself being (attempted to be) jumped into the art of girl watching by my two (practically-as-newbie) lesbian companions, one of whom, having earlier slept with the other, was not supposed to know that I had just done the same. The scene was a small second-floor parlor in an old house in midtown Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.A.; the focus of the lesson was a television set showing the national collegiate cheerleading competition.
Lord only knows, given the not-exactly-transporting quality of the shenanigans that had, er, gone down the night before, why I had sufficient enthusiasm about lesbianism as to play along at all. It's true, I didn't know then how mediocre the sex had been. And anyway my attention was mainly on maintaining some sense of social equilibrium, there with the half-secret, situated as I was between differing presumptions about the nature of this inculcation on the parts of the two young women providing the tutelage. (Hey, that's the first time I've ever used that word in writing.)
See, they both were somehow assuming that I would want to come to understand, and maybe even feel in my very flesh and bones, the glory of oogling the ladies. And that I could be taken some distance in this direction with a little guided narration and some footage of "teams" of acrobatic people from a subculture we had all theretofore, as far as I would have guessed, despised.
But there was also the factor in the air, it having been established as essential that the one not know what was up with me and the other, of the other jumping me, whenever the one left the room to get us drinks, for as rousing a bit of action as could be managed, before the one got back, to make it all feel ever so daring. For my new lover, anyway. For me it was all a surreal mess from which I felt oddly detached, but in which I was certainly more than merely willing to participate.
I can't say my heart was really in the ostensible lesson: how to look at the cheerleaders, get really into 'em, be turned on, and, I dunno, earn somebody a toaster oven with extra bells & whistles. Anyway, it didn't work. But at least I could appreciate some of the humor in the whole business. I'm sure there was much laughter.
I was not, at the time, entirely without experience of the lusty gaze at another female. Such lusty gazing had been occasional, and was a little vague, perhaps, in ideas of exactly what all might happen if the lustiness got its way, but it had occurred. There had been, for instance, the opera classmate (& campus music/freak star) I was so drawn to, and the day she fell asleep in the tired old overstuffed chair in the listening room, with just me there with her, the afternoon breeze coming in the window. There had been that sorta jock-y Sarah, from another life at the school, who'd flirted so mightily, sneaky thigh stroking under the table at the mass Thanksgiving meal---I had a gaze at her whenever I saw her after that, you can bet. Who was the other one I was just thinking of? Dang. Somebody.
Oh yeah--- at the Ferlinghetti reading in the church meeting room in Baltimore that February. All the dykes in the ladies' room, two of 'em making out, and then, back in the meeting hall during the reading, that chick (I can still see her) sitting up high on the deep sill of the big arched window, feet casually flopping about, long braided pigtails dangling down from either side of her old-fashioned leather pilot's hat. Goggles? Were there goggles? There were oggles! ogles... oogles. w/e! Oh, my. That was a most lusty gaze, and not terribly vague in related desires, if you know what I'm saying.
Anyway, the point I'm trying to get at is that it didn't come naturally to me, some simple visually receptive hook into what's a hot babe, among babes I don't know---and, all this lesbianism later, it still doesn't. At least not enough for me to be likely to be able to tell you right off whether I find a particular movie actress you name, or that dame there across the bar, hot. And not enough, anyway, for that stuff to feel anything like what's really hot. Which has some of that in it, yeah, in (what I suspect is) a quick feedback loop that reinforces itself in that department, if nothing messes it up, but which has that something else too. That something more.
And so I wish to complain about this situation here, and be rewarded somehow with the ability to snap my fingers and change it. Thus expanding greatly my skill of being instantly turned on to, say, the mere recollection of a photograph of some stranger---or by the proximity of every fourth or fifth live-in-person stranger---or every tenth, or even fiftieth---passing by on the street. I've been in something like that state before, I know, now and then. And being in that state now could translate, you see, into a broadening of attraction, here in these May days of Ought-Seven: a broadening that seems, so many of these days, as if it'd be a relief.
Is that what I wish Rob were telling me is coming soon to this wandering soul?
If you can't stop feeling something, you've got to consider the possibility that you don't want to.
The two words on the napkin, in keeping with what Rob is saying, are NEW CONSTRUCT.