What kind of person can develop an easy fixation that spans years on a stranger without once introducing oneself to that person? A total loser, you might say? I won’t deny it. But there are worse things than being so socially inept that you remain sensitive to the finer points of appreciating casual obsession. I have slept with only two people, but I have had countless one-sided sweethearts, an eternity’s worth of lifetimes in the glances of passing strangers.

I’m a stranger myself-- who else would I love?

I have no friends to speak of; I walk to work and walk home, with the library and the market as the only detours in my path. I look after my father, who mostly just wants to be left to his telly when he’s had his meals and medication, and the rest of my family have better things to do than step backwards to the old house on Spinner’s End. I’ve never had a boyfriend who lasted over six months, and most of the few relationships (or vaguely relationship-like things) I have had were considerably shorter than that. The sort of man I am most attractive to is married, lies about being married because he wants to screw me, and once he learns I don’t live alone and he can’t come to MY house to screw me, reveals he’s married and breaks it off with the excuse that of course he can’t take me to his own home for a fuck where his wife is scrubbing the sinks.

A stranger has more potential, i.e., that which I imagine for him. I don’t push my luck-- I keep my dreams conservative and within the bounds of realistic expectation, no fortunes or royal lines or mystical sex powers.

Even the most common, unremarkable man is an orchid to be cherished, given the proper soil to grow in.

Mine is a hidden garden, cultivated behind tranquil walls undisturbed by weeds and the rampage of wind and weather. Solitary and contained. The blooms are modest, but lovingly cared for. Simple, earthly pleasure, tending my plot of ethereal soil.

Of late I am lingering in an older, well-trod area of my internal garden, with its own little bench installed for further enjoyment of the foliage, because the other the day my fellow in black passed by the window of the shop.

I don’t see him often this time of year. In the summer months I may see him a few times, out for a rushed jaunt, taking a harried stroll in the fine air, but most of the year his house is dark and empty. Perhaps it’s his holiday home, ahahahahaha, poor bugger. Christmas is coming up. Maybe he’s back home for the quaint, cosy charm of tenement housing.

Seeing him in December is warming, though. I associate him with the sunny season, and look forward to summer, because I anticipate further sightings of the rare bloom. He’s such a dour thing, I imagine he wouldn’t care to know some woman compares him to a warm breeze in the confines of her addled brain.

He shouldn’t be out in all that cold and drear and wet and ice. He should let me keep him in the safe, balmy atmosphere of my conservatory. I’d prune him daily, oh my.

The End

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