Joy of Man’s Desiring
I stood in a kind of rapture, as I watched Maria walk away — her slim tan legs in fluid stride, even in high heels. I kept watching her move up Calle Comercio — until she was a willowy figure in soft peach a full block away, passing Darsena Plaza. I imagined that’s where the professor was waiting for her; though, it hardly mattered now.
By the corner of San Justo, she turned around and looked back towards me. She knew I would be looking after her with my “puppy eyes,” (her phrase). She saw me outside the terminal and shook her head as if to gently scold me. Then I felt doubly sick –- standing so far away as her beautiful, spring-loaded hair bounced and glistened. Maria knew I desperately longed to hold her right then, to smell the warmth of her chestnut hair, kiss her cool cheek and neck. Carry her off.
But she wanted me to wait. I knew that, because she has always flirted with me that way. I actually love that about her, because the cool reserve behind her warmth reminds me to be considerate of her. Still, I’ve been back on the island a whole week already. I waited four years before coming back. All that patience has got to count for something.
Once she turned and went up San Justo, and I couldn’t see her anymore. I decided to walk up Tanca toward San Cristobal. I might look for an apartment, get to know the neighborhood better. Maria assumes we’ll meet up tomorrow, though we have made no real plans. Maria never sweats stuff like that. She seems to trust that what’s supposed to happen will happen. Maybe she has always known I would find her.
I can’t describe what I’m feeling.
On Calle San Francisco, I find a church. I kneel and pray. I praise God without knowing how, without words. But my heart thumps, and my soul sings: Thank you, most wonderful God, for Maria!