You’re walking up the broad sidewalk of a downtown street. It’s early evening in autumn and light is slipping away. The buildings that surround you are large, with hundreds of offices above large stores on the ground floor. Walking toward you is an attractive woman in an airline uniform. Your eyes meet for less than a second, and each of you jerks your glance away, to rest on something harmless. But what happened in that semi-second?
There was a connection. Some instinct told each of you that if the pair of you was together, it would be a mutually pleasurable coupling. These moments are a mystery. What could it possibly be that a fraction of a second would having you thinking of her while she’s thinking of you and both are wondering “What if?”
We never know if we are bypassing the one who would nurture daily happiness for us. We never know if the next person that attracts you is a needy mess, while the one for whom you had no time would have been ideal. But she was on her way to something that mattered, and so were you, so it was just not the right time. It might have been the right person, but not at the right time.
I can recall a time, many years ago, when I met a woman – a married woman – that I found arousing to say the least. There was never a moment when I felt confident enough to try to seduce her, but left obvious clues that I wanted her. Finally, one day she called me, but I was in my car with important visitors from overseas, and was committed to hosting them for a week. She could not know the reason for my reticence because I couldn’t explain things then and there in the car full of people. I have always regretted that the call came at that inconvenient moment. I could have re-connected with her, I suppose, after my guests had moved on, but I felt the moment had past. That ideal moment that would have led to some wonderful hours was missed.
On the other side of the inexplicable instant love syndrome, there is the inexplicable absence of that attraction. When I was in my late teens at a dance hall in a beachside summer resort I saw what is still today the most beautiful girl I had ever seen in my life. To this day, I’ve not seen, personally, a woman as beautiful. I asked her to dance, we danced, she was a few years younger than I was but acceptable. I think she was fifteen and I was eighteen.
Recently, this stunning woman located me on facebook, and is not shy about telling me that she always loved me. Interestingly, in spite of her beauty, her wealthy background and shared cultural influences, that powerful desire thing just wasn’t there. Who knows why? She’s still gorgeous and very rich… but I don’t feel anything deeply about her.