Hello and welcome to A Swing and a Song! I’m Amalie, the author and you’ll find that I write just
about everything and anything–sometime funny, sometimes poignant, sometimes painful, but always with candor and I hope, authenticity.
I’m a single woman with swagger, living in Pittsburgh in a renovated (with much love and sweat-equity!) house. I have a career in sales but break loose the creativity with my blog, which I launched in January of 2012. Thank you for stopping by and leaving your comments!
I was reading over some of my past posts and came across the one titled “Restless” from March of earlier this year. In that post, I talk about the sense of unquiet that I was feeling deep within me, that I felt like I was searching for something. I concluded that perhaps it meant I was open to new opportunities and that a bit more risk-taking would be in store for me this year—and that this would be a very good year indeed.
Since that post, I have been laid off from my job of over four years, applied to countless positions in my determined job search, only to be told that I’m over-qualified or that I made it to the final round of interviews onl y to be beat out by one other candidate. I’ve trimmed every ounce of fat off of my already tight budget, anticipating a long haul before I am gainfully employed again. I worry that, at 48, my age is becoming a factor in weeding me out as a viable prospect. So I worry and worry, and worry some more…
I find myself working out more than ever, to use up all this restless energy—running 6-10 miles a week, working out with a barbell program 4-5 times a week and one session of yoga. It’s a way to funnel this unsettled energy into something productive.
Interestingly enough, all this exercise and restive thought is igniting my libido. I feel like the perpetual crouching tiger is prowling within me, searching for release and as I lie awake in bed, my mind fills with wanton sexual fantasies. A girl could go crazy for lack of sex!
I realize that a part of me feels like it has been on hold for 20-some years–my health, my emotions, things that I want to do and experience. I want someone to ask me what I need, what will make me happy. And care about the answers.
I feel like doing something delightfully rash, like pulling out a few grand out of my meager savings and flying off to Europe and wandering the streets of Paris. Just shaking loose of Pittsburgh and these Etats-Unis. Being uninhibited, unfettered, impractical. God, I’ve been practical and reasonable for so long, about so many things.
Writing this makes me resolute: my time will come. I just need to plow through this short-lived period of unemployment and separation from what I really want, and then…and then…I am going for it. And what will be, will be.
Paris, here I come.
I remember when I first met my lover. I was an earnest 23, barely a year out of university, and Alex was a young man of 27. We both worked for a large Fortune 500 company.
I was flown to company headquarters to take part in a sales training course. There was a couple dozen fresh-faced twenty-something’s, eager to demonstrate our sales expertise and network with upper management at the hallowed halls of corporate.
Our instructors for the course were up and coming managers, expressly picked for the assignment for their sales acumen, charisma, and corporate vision.
Alex, with his broad shoulders, athletic grace, and easy smile, readily stood out from the other moderators. He was blond, with twinkling, inquisitive eyes, and he surveyed us with a friendly, open gaze. I liked him immediately and my sales radar registered, “sharp guy.”
The next few days were busy with sales and role-playing exercises, how to work with prospects and clients, how to close the deal. Rigorous, methodical sales training but the moderators kept it light and moving along.
On the last day, I woke up in agony. Several years earlier, I had been diagnosed with endometriosis and occasionally suffered bouts of debilitating cramping. Knowing that calling out sick was not an option, I pulled on my suit and stumbled in my heels into training. I knew I was pale but I maintained my composure and applied myself to the tasks at hand. I looked up to see Alex eyeing me curiously. Embarrassed, I looked away and started a conversation with a teammate. Suddenly I heard a quiet voice say, “Put your feet up on this, you might feel better.” It was Alex, and he had moved a chair toward my legs. I was speechless and completely moved by his sensitivity. I muttered, thanks, and dutifully swung my feet onto the chair. He was quietly kind to me throughout the day, without calling attention to me.
At the time, I simply thought he just being thoughtful, looking out for his “flock”, so to speak, and really didn’t think I’d run into him again. He lived in Boston, I lived in Pittsburgh, and worked in different districts so no reason to interact. So I thought.
A few months later, Jenny, one of the other reps in Pittsburgh, came back from the same training very excited and all atwitter. She had met this “fabulous” guy at training, he was one of the moderators, and he was coming to Pittsburgh as he had an account here that he had to call on every month. We would be taking him out for a night on the town. Since I lived near the airport, I was going to be picking him up and meeting up with everyone. I said, no problem, who is this wonderful person? With the exaggerated infatuation that only a 23 year old can have, Julie nearly swooned when she said his name, “Alex!”
“Amalie, you had him too, when you went through training. He remembers you!” I was taken aback. “Really?” I was surprised, I was one of so many young sales people at the training and he was an up and coming manager with the company. It seemed extraordinary that I would stand out. I was flattered.
As scheduled, I picked up Alex at the airport. Conversation was lively and friendly and he was exactly as I remembered. A bit taller and still as good looking. When we met up with the other girls, the games began. I have never seen such fawning and flirting in all of my life. Alex was the center of such attention! I almost felt sorry for him. My friends were jockeying to sit next to him, to buy him drinks, it was amazing. It was as if someone had cast a spell over them and I watched in amusement as they all tried to one-up each other for his charms. Alex handled it all with aplomb and didn’t become cocky or even seem to notice.
But I did, and my interest grew. So I stayed cool. I remembered some background on Alex that I had gleaned at training, that he was an English major in college. I had a strong English background, having been in AP English in high school, and almost majoring in English myself. So I casually dropped a few literary allusions in the conversation. Bingo! Attention successfully caught! Soon, Alex sidled up to my side and we were deeply ensconced in conversation. Woebegone faces soon surrounded us. But we were too entranced to notice.
The evening ended with me driving Alex back to his hotel. We sat in my luxury Aries company car with the vinyl bench seat and chatted for what seemed like hours. As he prepared to leave, we paused and looked at each other. The kiss was inevitable.
As our lips met, mighty Zeus looked down from Mount Olympus, carefully aimed his lightning bolt and struck home. My Aries car shook, we trembled, and everything shimmered with the impact of that lightning strike. Pause now for the operatic aria.
So, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but that is what it felt like. I’d been kissed before but never like this. It was gentle, passionate, searching, loving and possessive, all at the same time. Every inch of my body was on fire and tingling. The last thing I wanted to do was try to drive home. I had this sudden clarity of “this is the man I want to spend the rest of my life with”—I just felt it with such assuredness. This from a girl who was fiercely independent, wasn’t going to get married until she was at least 35, was defined by her career, blah, blah, blah, and more BLAH.
I don’t know how long the kiss lasted, (a moment? Forever?) but the repercussions were felt to this day. No one has loved me, devastated me, supported me, understood me, more than Alex. He is the love of my life. It has been an unconventional relationship, one I don’t think many people would understand. But it is not for others to judge or approve.
That kiss, ah, I can still taste it, feel it, even today. The hair on my arms stands up at the memory of it. It still has that power to thrill me. And so does the man.