Just as I reached the sidewalk the other day a young boy and his mother passed by. He smiled directly at me. He smiled a sweet wide open smile. It struck me because I've been thinking about that Louie riff specifically the moment when, after having been boldly confronted with his inability to see her as a possible romantic relationship, he takes the woman's hand and then looks around to make sure no one sees them. The moment contains such a small sweet thing, the reach for a hand and such dull but real thing, the look around.
Once I read George Clooney talking about the paparazzi and what a drag it could be. He said something about being next to a fat girl at the airport and they get a picture and say it's his girl friend and it's just such a drag. I thought about his aunt Rosemary, who I think he probably loved. She was very fat. I wondered if he wanted her to have love and kindness and respect. Probably. I guess if it's your older auntie you don't imagine them as a full person. But what if a man was ashamed to be seen with her? How would George feel about that?
In the Louie rant (let's remember he wrote it) she talks about being a flirt. She talks about how the really good looking guys flirt right back but the guys who aren't secure in themselves don't want to seem interested. I feel that way sometimes. I can be a crazy flirt. It feels easier to flirt with younger, handsome men. Men who are my age won't meet my eye but younger men can be very playful.
These are generalizations. Of course.
And after the rant and the reach for the hand the woman is never seen again. She was just there so Louie could confess. Everybody talked about it for a day or two. And?
When I swim there is an older (which is to say my age) couple who walk the pool for a half an hour. The first time I met them I didn't like her because she seemed kind of naggy. But as I've been around them more I've become quite fond of them both. She is a bit naggy. But they are also sweet and playful and flirty with each other. They take pleasure in just looking at one another.
It isn't always about flirting or romance. I've been meeting a lot of new people. When I first got here I was wide open. I loved everyone I met. I met a lot of nice people. And I saw that look. The look of dismissal. Like I could not possibly be interesting. I wrote about this not long ago.
Young people are often shy or reserved. A smile from a young boy ... really.... a young man, something that should have no real big meaning, something that should be matter of fact, was quite lovely.