SOUL MATE #5: A lioness wants a lion
So here we are. I’d gone right through the energies necessary to attract sex pretty much at will (a new experience for me!) and defined my life path by learning what a woman who touched my heart desired in a life partner. I committed to settling for nothing less thna the best I could get, and also to using nothing less than utterly honest and direct communication to obtain it. I was prepard to be utterly alone the rest of my life, if that was what it took, and I meant it. I was disgusted with myself, and anything less than the kind of interactions I would want for my daughter, my sister, or my mother.
In other words, I was ready.
The next morning coming out of my room, the girl in the next room came out at the same time, and asked me if I was Steven Barnes. When I said yes, she wanted to know if I was going to breakfast. I said yes, and invited her to join me. I thought she was cute, but didn’t really REGISTER much beyond that. She turned out to be Tananarive Due (who I had heard a little about. A friend had asked me if I’d heard of her, and described her as “incredibly fine.”) I was a little distant and formal, figuring that she was a neo-writer who needed a role model.
Over the next couple of days I watched her. We watched “Seinfeld” in her room that night, and I was EXTREMELY polite, stayed very carefully on my side ofthe room, was the perfect big brother. What I didn’t know was that one of HER friends had told her about me, and that she had seen one of my “Outer Limits” episodes (“A Stitch in Time”–my best) and was intrigued. When I read a few pages from her novel “My Soul To Keep” realized that this was a mature and impressive talent, and decided to help her in any way I could.
But it wasn’t until I heard her describe how she got Steven King to give her a cover blurb that I really grasped how smart and focused she was. Understanding that somehow freed me to see how attractive I considered her…and I was doomed. Just doomed. Every other woman in the world might as well have vanished at that instant. I saw my entire future unfolding before me. She was fun, a great dancer, had a terrific body, sweet, smart, ambitious, beautiful…hot DAMN she was everything I was looking for. My only task was to let her know I was interested, in no uncertain terms. Then, of course, it would be up to her to judge whether I was what SHE was looking for.
My tactic was totally unfair. If I hadn’t been serious, it would have been one of the least ethical things I’ve ever done. I looked around the room, found a woman with a baby, borrowed it, and played with it on the floor right in front of Tananarive. Hah! Believe me, I’d caught her interest.
About twenty-four hours later, we were sitting in the Atlanta airport holding hands like a couple of kids, talking about how we could build an empire together. An accomplished, ambitious, energetic, capable and independent woman, she had desired and sought a mate, a partner…a lion, as it were? as much as I.