I’m sitting next to a man with eyes as black and shiny as obsidian. He’s showing me a picture of himself, white bearded, wearing a stocking cap with NY on the folded up part. He’s sitting on a wall, his hands folded in his lap. He’s wearing a pea coat and new blue jeans. His shoes may indeed be polished. He has a slight grin on his face but because he’s wearing sunglasses in the photo, it’s hard to tell if he’s looking at a woman he’s about to embrace or at an old enemy he’s finally going to finish off.
Not all old men can wear the clothes of young men without looking foolish, but he has that sense of his body that boxers have. In the photo, he’s clearly all present–physically and emotionally.
And sitting next to me, he’s very present as well. He has this way of sitting in the chair so that his back is turned slightly towards you, so that you must lean in and over him to look at whatever he’s showing you. It’s not contrived. It feels very intimate.
It makes me suddenly homesick and I ask him if he’s ever heard of this town in Spain in the Málaga province of Andalusia. He has and he says the name of the city once to make sure we’re talking about the same place and then again, more slowly, just for the joy of rolling the r. He smiles at me. I smile back and he says it again.
He starts to tell me about the Moors.
I am trying not to stare, but his eyes are beautiful.
It makes me think that, in this matter, there are three types of men: men who have no clue, men who know they are bad ass, and men who know that women enjoy them. I’m sometimes still a sucker for a bad ass man, but I’m coming to appreciate the men who seem confident that women enjoy them.
I guess maybe it’s bad ass, still, but in a way I hadn’t really understood before.