Attraction is a clean thing. With zero interest in the male sex, or anyone, for over a month (so complete has been my utter absorption in my writing and myself), attraction comes on from out of nowhere, a pure sensibililty—familiar, forgotten, exciting—
The way it takes hold with a sudden yes of the body, a pricking up of the senses, a clench of the groin and a girlish desire to be noticed.
Well, noticed, I was, since I knocked over a table in my nonchalance, cool as hell, sending the staff racing over to help with plenty of “sorrys”—from them, and insane blushing from me.
Luckily, as I located my self on the balcony, it’s possible no one knows it’s my fault for putting my leg up on the table in an ultra relaxed, not-caring-if-anyone-sees manner. However, if I was drawing the attention of the attractive one, as was my intention, I certainly think they probably did notice.
The attractive one is broad, with his black hair pulled into a tiny bun and a shaved under head. He’s wearing fancy boot shoes and moves with a confidence I want to lean on. These must be his friends here, the ones who run the café, the ones who hang out here too.
Everyone seems to be friends—the place only opened a few days ago and the crowd is clearly of the inner circle. It’s like I wandered into a party of the too-cool-artsy clique and everyone tries hard to pretend I’m not there: a dorky westerner among the hipsters of Sai Gon.
But this guy. Damn. I felt him from across the room. Exposed cement walls covered in blotched cream and yellow paint with large paintings. I’m on the second floor which is an open, wooden loft—on one end a sort of bar/counter looking down to the broad open hall of the apartment building and on the other, a wrought iron railing that looks down on the rest of the café.
I’m on the café side, and looking down I see open French doors that open onto a balcony that overlooks the street.
The space gives the feel of an effortless elegant-cool, like so many vietnamese cafes opened in old colonial French buildings, out of spaces that could never be zoned for business in the states. It is half apartments, half businesses, and to find the café you must weave through hallways, people sleeping in doors, and signs for businesses written on the walls with arrows and directions on how to navigate the building.
And in this old elegance, this cozy but hip, rustic and timeless space where I’ve managed to tuck myself away in a solitary existence, moving with an openness to the magic (but not into conversation), a modern boy walks in. His smooth face. He must be young, he seems young, but then, Asians age so seamlessly, their physical bodies content in youth, and so it is impossible to tell an age, at least to my untrained eye. In my dream, he is 35. Wouldn’t that be sexy? But since something like 60% of the population is under 30, I’m guessing he really is a youth.
He sits with a friend, out on the balcony over the road and begins grinding tobacco (I assume).
Not for the first time, I wish I was a smoker, so I could saddle up and ask to roll a smoke, so cool, just like that. But, a single drag would have me dizzy and anxiously deciding between running to the toilet for a diarrhea and the fear of fainting if I stand up to move in that direction. Not so sexy.
Better to stay here and pretend not to look.
Attraction is funny—it pulled me up from my fixation on my computer and what I was writing (how to intro a dog to a cat…). It’s as though an invisible energetic chord pulled me to him, waking up my nerves in a way I haven’t felt in some months.
Suddenly, I feel hot, a bit of energy and I need to move. I switch to other side of the table, which, as it is not blocked not by an old speaker system in a boudoir, puts me more in the way of a cross breeze between hall balcony (with big open windows) and coffee shop balcony overlooking the street.
Glancing frequently towards the balcony where he sits, I want to grab his attention, want him to notice me. But I want to be nonchalant and cool as hell, so I put up my leg, just easy like and rest it on the table, in a relaxed kind of way, a way that says, “I’m not noticing you, I’m just completely chilled out in my own world, minding my own business—don’t I look interesting? Don’t you want to uncover my mystery?”
I stretch luxuriantly.
And down comes the table in a great crash.
The leg was broken, which I was quick to point out to the waitresses, lest they think it was my fault. Still, they didn’t offer to fix it and I managed to push it into a precarious balanced upright position.
I’m quickly absorbed in my computer again following the incident. But unable to keep from laughing, I look up and notice the friend of the attractive one, looking up at me with a large grin. We are both laughing at my expense, and just like that, my attraction shifts allegiance. Perhaps nothing is more attractive than a shared smile.
Appropriately, a fellow comes up and changes the music from old-timey Vietnamese music that was quite frankly croaking in my head, to up beat daft punk: something about us. Much better.
By and by, the two attractive fellows get up and leave and so absorbed in my computer, I miss looking up in time to make potential eye contact—though I’m certain, from my peripheral expertise, he’s noticed me— well of course he has you dimwit, I remind myself.
They are quickly replaced by a pair of alternative hipster girls who likewise prepare their cigarettes.
Is there anything less sexy than writing about introducing a cat to a dog?
I’m glad to know I still have the attraction bone in my body, though living without it is a relief too. Now that the one fellow has awoken the feeling, I think I’ll find many more attractive, cause that’s how it works—see that one, there, arranging the sunflowers, with glasses and long black hair pulled up in a loose bun? He’s got a nice frame, sort of slight.
I suppose it’s me. So close to my moon, it’s no wonder I’ve awoken to the attraction again.
Attraction is clean, though it can make a mess of my body, the clutsy thing.
Attraction is a clean thing.
The way it takes hold with a sudden yes of the body,
a pricking up of the senses, a clench of pleasure and a girlish desire to be noticed.
Attraction is clean,
the way it comes from nowhere, just from inside, and pulls
you like an invisible rope, to another human being
who is only be-ing but nothing else.
Out of nowhere, zammo, out of mystery, you sense another body
so acutely, that you don’t even need to look to see their light,
the way it shines out of their body, proving the existence of their soul
(almost blatantly lighting their soul around, causing unease among the atheists)
And out of nothing you feel your own body
in a familiar, but deliciously forgotten, way
that comes back fresh, like standing in a rain storm
your senses awaken the way a plant opens in the falling water
and like a living thing,
you are clean.