Thursday, February 7, 2008

Friendship Candy

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Sweet and Fun

We have been meeting quarterly for the past couple of years, though we missed each other for the past six months while Pat and I were in India. Once again, it's just the two of us.

Tonight, we lean in close for the first time, and I flatter myself during my drive home that the servers must have noticed us and totally misread our body-language.

After he returns from the men's room, I say softly, "Your trip to the men's room gave me a gorgeous view. The woman directly behind you -- no, now, you can't turn around -- is stunning."

And I sneek one more peek, just to be certain. Yes, she does have yellow-silk hair to her shoulders, blooming cheeks and lips, plus eye-glasses with glossy-black, plastic frames, sitting on a straight bridge of a noble nose; the glasses make her look like a female Clark Kent -- her appeal, unsuccessfully hiding behind the lenses. And she's wearing a mauve, woolen scarf around her long throat.

And then my friend leans in to tell me about the amazing guy he saw at the gym the other day -- "black hair, blue eyes -- a killer combo -- the sort of beard that even when it's shaved leaves a dark-blueish shadow, which is just so masculine, and he also had high, beautiful cheekbones and a square jaw," he says, holding his hand around the top of his athletic neck.

Both of us are monogamous with our long-time partners, and we agree that life is full of such visual gifts in any case, thank God. "I'm convinced: My sexuality is the engine that makes my whole life work," I say, grateful for his friendship, and the comfort around him to say aloud such a bold sentiment.

"You're reminding me of the theologian whose work I featured in my thesis;" my friend went to seminary before joining IBM. "There was a great book about his theology, *Eros Toward the World*."

I just went hunting and found the following review excerpt:
This original and important work retrieves and develops the often-neglected but extremely fruitful notion of eros in Paul Tillich’s thought. Alexander Irwin’s recovery of Tillich’s rich concept shows how eros is a crucial dimension in human existence and a driving force in all human creativity—in art, social ethics, politics, and religion.

Desire drives my creativity.

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