Lord have mercy. The eyes. They got me every single time. 80% of my terrible, awful, no good decisions were because of the eyes. As long as they had a hint of mystery, who was behind them was of no consequence. That’s all it took. No words needed. C’s baby blues comes to mind first. The first night I met him, not a word was spoken, but he sat across the table from me in a room filled with smoke, and shot holes through me with his deep pools. He lived in a trailer park in Garner, North Carolina. It had brown and beige shag carpeting and plastic doors. The trim was a dog turd brown, and the speckled gold and egg-shell blue floral wallpaper came factory installed onto the hollow doors and walls. His construction job was obviously not enough to build a decent set of steps outside, because there was an old, rusty set of metal ones at the front door you could use, but you had to be careful, since they were not attached to the tin-can home. Outside, he had an old, patina colored broken down car with no tires that was surrounded by wild grass and unkempt weeds. Next to it sat his beat up small flat-bed silver truck. It always tilted to one side for some reason, giving it an appearance of toppling over at any moment. The master bedroom was only big enough to contain his King- size water bed. It had a red plastic covering and a dark brown headboard with mirrors. The room had thick cream colored country curtains with lots of dust. The sofa appeared to have once been beige, but his dog had a bad habit of jumping on it after he had been out playing in the red clay mud. I googled him today and found his short bio on his Instagram account. It says “ Southern man. God first, then family. Love playing golf, dressing up, trying to stay fit, and eat healthy. Let’s get it! “ Turns out he also owns all of the land where the trailers sat, and even has his own subdivisions. While I am glad that he appears to have cleaned his life up, this is hardly a description that would catch my attention today. In fact, I would run the other way. And its not the God part, or the Southern part, but what tends to happen to a person when you combine the two. And to think this was the guy who dumped Me, and led me to cleaning up my act, since he said that I drank too much.
The next set of blues came attached to the father of my child. He looked like the guy from the Marlboro billboard ads we would pass on the way to the beach when we were kids, lying in the back of the brown-paneled station wagon. His skin looked like a fine, weathered leather from being out in the sun too long and for too many years. His eyes were a piercing bright blue with a fine map of wrinkles that gave him an appearance of holding onto a mysterious thought or some deep observation that only he knew. The gazes he gave me from across the classroom absolutely melted me down to my very core. And gazed he did, and often. He always had just the right words to say, the best ones being “will you marry me”? and “I will take care of you. ” Those words, combined with those eyes, slid down my spine like warm maple syrup on a hot buttered biscuit. He was a 6’4” drink of water, with tattoos that told the stories of his life. An old life, he said. He was a bad boy gone good. His past was a contrast to who he said he was today; a homeowner and a soon-to-be graduate of The school of Law. The stories on his arms failed to mention the most important parts of his past, the details he neglected to tell me. We had been dating for a little over six months when he said the magic words. I was his and an elopement sealed the deal. It was only about a year into our marriage when a sheriff knocked on our door very late one night. In his hand he held a piece of paper with a mugshot. I told them they had the wrong house, since the man pictured had very long hair, a beard, and a warrant out for his arrest for failure to pay child support. My husband didn’t have a child , and he certainly didn’t look like the man in the photo. Well, I slept alone that night as he was carted off for an evening in jail. I had done some crazy things in my life, but most of them were laughable offenses. And none ever involved the police. Only the people on the news who talked with those strange southern accents had cops at their doors. And we had a word for them. White. Trash. Oh crap! What had I become? While this guy would have loved to have seen me barefoot and pregnant, it was only the latter one he succeeded at. I put on my best shoes and walked the hell out of there and did not even give it a backwards glance. My current husband, bless his heart, had to go through a complete screening, including a background check, before I would even consider looking long and deep into his kind, gentle eyes. Today, thanks to google, facebook, Match.com and tinder, I am privy to a full resume of what has been before I will skim the surface of the longing that lies on the surface,in those mysterious windows to the soul. Age breeds practicality, and I just ain’t got no time for that kind of drama anymore.