I was visiting my son at his house in Washington a couple of years ago, and I was up and about Saturday morning, but they were still asleep upstairs when the knock came on the door. I answered and two witness sisters were there, one looking to be about 36 and the other about 16. The morning was nice, warm enough for shorts and a short sleeve shirt (which is what I was wearing), with pleasant floral scents occasionally wafting on the breeze. As the 36 year old introduced herself and her companion, I sized up the situation and decided that standing outside in such nice weather, having a conversation with an attractive woman who, to judge by her mannerisms and speech, was feeling awkward and slightly embarrassed to be there, was okay by me. I stepped outside and closed the door. I would have invited them in, but the living room still contained the aftermath of a party, including stinky ash trays full of cigarette butts (my son, his wife and their friends smoked at that time; the wife has since quit) ...nah. It was nice outside.
It must have been the older one's turn to make the presentation; she was the one doing the talking, and I was glad. At my age (I guess I was 43 at that time) sixteen doesn't have the appeal it had when I was 17. What looked so devourable then now looks like the green bud of a flower just beginning to open its petals outward. You can appreciate its fresh beauty and potential, but you don't want to pick it; what you want is the flower that is in its full-blown glory. Maturity has sex appeal that freshness cannot attain. You look at 16 and you see your own children petulantly refusing to pick up their dirty clothes out of their room, so ignorant of life that they aren't even aware of their ignorance. You look at 40 and you see experience, wisdom, understanding, and readiness; glowing embers radiating heat and needing only the right stoking to burst into flame.
She moved awkwardly through her presentation, fumbling with her bookbag and magazines while she spoke, avoiding the eye contact which she feared would nakedly expose her embarrassment to me. 16 took shelter behind her and occasionally peeked over her shoulder.
When she reached the point where she offers the magazines, I wasn't ready to let her go yet, so I asked a question about something she had said. This accomplished several things: first, it alleviated a great deal of her embarrassment and set her at ease, because it indicated that rather than being irritated about their knocking at this hour of the morning, I was accepting of their presence. It showed her that I had been paying attention to what she said rather than just waiting for her to stop so that I could say I wasn't interested. And it suggested an interest beyond mere politeness in her message. And, most importantly, it kept her there, speaking earnestly to me while I was drinking her in.
Eye contact is such a wonderful thing. Two conversations at the same time; one public, neutered, generic, a stream of words from anyperson1 to anyperson2, transmitting a mundane concept. The other private, intensely personal, highly sexual; a stream of energy transmitting awareness rather than thoughts: "Yes... I see you. We are here, together, aren't we... here, now, you and I." All your potential, all that could be, flows between you on that shaft of energy from eye to eye.
She forgot where she was. :)
And so, bringing the conversation back around again, I decided to give them an added boost. She had offered the magazines for "whatever you'd like to contribute." So I asked them what they thought the magazines were worth... wording it that way on purpose to give them an opening. And you should have seen their eyes light up as they saw it.
So, they told me what the magazines were worth to them (priceless... the price and the telling) and I gave them a couple of bucks and took the magazines. We said our goodbyes, she promptly forgot all about me, and I still remember her to this day. Lovely little darling of the doorway. :)