Doreen - II

by J. Mykell Collinz

My duality, it's karmic. Everything about me is dualistic. Not bipolar or anything like that, alternating between manic and depressive moods. Not chronically. An astrologer read my horoscope. She's a friend of a friend. He invited her to a party and I felt obliged to show interest. I loved her schtick, very entertaining. Gave her fifty bucks to do my chart. Sun in Gemini, moon in Aquarius, Cancer rising. Didn't believe a word of it. She looked like she needed the money. Maybe that was part of her act. I don't know.

I immediately found myself using the astrological interpretation over the scientific to understand my duality; and I worried about where it could be leading me. Was this my Dionysian nature asserting itself? Shifting the balance with its Apollonian counterpart? Was I becoming more emotional, passionate and irrational as a result? Did that explain why I dropped out of college in the middle of the semester to take a job digging ditches?

One day after work, laboring on a road construction crew in a neighborhood adjacent to the university, I stopped by the campus coffee shop before going home, hoping to cross paths with Doreen. I had mixed feelings about doing that but it was on my way. I had been sweating heavily under a hot sun all day and, with tee shirt no longer white, Levis and work boots stained from sand, cement, and dirt, to go along with my well tanned muscular arms, neck, and face, I knew I would stand out among the coffee shop patrons.

When I saw Doreen alone in the back, I nearly panicked and backed out the door. Momentum carried me to her table and I said hello. She turned her head, looked at my crotch, my arms, and then my face before giving me a sweet smile of recognition. I asked if I could join her. The look she gave me said: Do you really need to ask? I searched my mind for something to say, yet nothing seemed important enough to interrupt the silent bond developing between us through eye contact.

I felt a distinct impression she was telepathic. As that thought crossed my mind, she smiled broadly and returned my quizzical stare. It caught me off guard, wasn't what I expected. I thought we would talk about art, music, and philosophy. I would show her how intelligent I was, that I could still read, listen to music, and appreciate art even though I had dropped out of school to work full time. Yet it may have been better for me that we didn't talk. Many of her friends were professors and grad students. What could I tell her about art, music, or philosophy?

A woman came to sit at the table and then an older man. Doreen gave them both the same silent treatment through eye contact. The man started talking to the woman like I wasn't there, something about art. When he noticed her staring at my arms, he turned to me indignantly as though I were intruding on him. Before he could say anything, another man walked up and addressed him directly. He held me in his gaze for an instant longer then he stood and departed with the new arrival. Doreen looked at me with an amused expression on her face as the woman moved closer and asked if I would model in the nude for her evening painting class, mostly women. I got a hard on just thinking about it and I told her I had never modeled before but I'd be willing to give it a try.