Then she thought of Leon. The very first thing she thought of when she envisioned Leon was his smile. She had never known a man who managed to embrace her (and, she thought sometimes, bed her) with his smile alone. Leon smiled as if he were smiling for the entire world.

She had once read that at the age of 46 -which she was now- sometimes women had men come into their lives who resembled the sun. With his warmth, big strong body, expansive personality, red hair and crinkling blue eyes with multiple smile lines, she felt the sun rose in the room when he walked into it.

And yet she had been so determined not to like him when she’d met him. It had been at her second FAP event. And the FAP women were literally swarming over him, hugging, kissing, goosing, embracing, sighing, and yes, loving. She understood why, but was not about to be a part of his fan club, she told herself.

She removed herself from the loving fray and went to stand near the drinks table, where she refreshed herself with a root beer, blessing them for having it, since root beer was her favorite.

She was standing alone, drinking her root beer, when he said from nearby, “And who is this mysterious lady with a touch of danger about her?”

“Are you referring to me?” she said in as close as she could get to a monotone, or as close to one as her cultural heritage and musical training would let her.

“I was,” he said.

She liked that he didn’t toss it off with a joke about referring to someone else, and that he hadn’t backed down. She saw instantly that he was confident enough not to feel he had to back down. His size and attitude probably carried him through most conflicts without his feeling that he wanted or needed to back down.

“I am not dangerous,” she said.

“You are,” he said, pouring some root beer into a glass and tossing a couple of ice cubes in. “To me.”


About franniez

Author of FatLand: A Novel and editor/author of Fat Poets Speak: Voices of the Fat Poets' Society, along with Kathy Barron, Anne Caplan, Corinna Makris and Lesleigh Owen.
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2 Responses to HBTE 14

  1. This exchange has real tension:

    “I am not dangerous,” she said.

    “You are,” he said, pouring some root beer into a glass and tossing a couple of ice cubes in. “To me.”

    Whatever else it is, it is erotic. Now if that erotic tension is coupled with political antipathies, what a story we will have!

    It’s also very funny, makes me see Groucho, whom I’m never liked, twirling his cigar and his eyebrows.

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