Moments in Drinking #2: The Cross

A mother lion, away from her den, flashes the slightest of grins as she gangsta leans against the leather behind her. One panted thigh slowly folds over the other. No hosiery or heels. Her hair is shorter than it was back when we were in school. It’s in this moment, some 20 years after our first meeting (whenever that was), that I realize how pretty she was, and how that “pretty” has matured into a fluid beauty, a beauty that will last.

It isn’t the vodka that drives this thought process as much as it is about my own maturing. When you’re a man in your 20s you’re drawn by what jumps out at you: a plunging neckline, a skirt resting above the labia, an ass that makes denim stretch.

But where I am now, sitting at a distance, watching my old schoolmate, now wife and mother and employee know that she’s looking good, and that the rest of the room knows it too, assuages one of my old fears about getting older: that women don’t get hotter.

I like to think that little grins of hers was about her being away from her husband and her kids, spending a night remembering her life before, her life with us. I imagine some private joke between she and her husband that she happened to remember at that moment.

There’s a woman who grins that way when she thinks of me. I look forward to seeing her again.