I arrived at my favorite chair at the coffeehouse to find Josh already there, mug in hand.
“You’re looking for me, I take it?” I asked, setting my things down.
He looked up at me, brown eyes laughing. “You were looking for me.”
“You are going to give up my chair, right?”
Grinning, he moved to the other chair. “You have some questions for me, right?”
I study him — a slight young man with brown-black hair barely long enough to pull into a tail; big brown eyes, slightly oblique; a long nose, a full lower lip, a fey smile.
I cut to the chase: “Why Jeanne?”
“You make the assumption everyone does, that there’s no sane reason I should be in love with someone old enough to be my mother. Is there a sane reason to be in love with anyone?”
“Probably not, come to think of it,” I muse.
“So, let’s look at the insane reasons,” Josh continues. “No woman has ever stood out to me the way Jeanne does. It’s like walking through a forest in a fog, and you can’t see any of the trees clearly so they don’t seem real, and then there’s one tree you see with perfect clarity, and you realize that’s the tree you’re looking for.”
“Except the tree is a woman, and the woman is Jeanne.”
“Exactly. And she wasn’t just a good enough tree — ” Josh chuckles. “Enough of that metaphor. When she said we should just be friends and see what happens, I couldn’t be mad because that’s what needed to be said. And that’s another insane reason — we balance each other. Like the taijitu — the yin and yang. My yin, her yang and vice versa.
“And then there are the visions …”
“Visions?” I ask.
“When I first met Jeanne, I had a vision of her as the tender of a riotous garden with vines and plants and trees laden with fruit. More greens than I could put a name to, and she, a voluptuous woman, stood in their midst. How could I not engage with such a woman?”
I consider telling him he’s not the typical twenty-year-old male, but that goes without saying. “What do you think the vision is about?” I ask.
“I think,” he reflects, “it’s about Gaia.”