TALES OF AN ORANGEPEELER
an archive of pleasures, wounds, sublimations
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Sligo-born and around 60 years old, my new friend is astute and elegant, with a killer blonde bob, twinkly blue eyes, and an easy grace that reminds me of Helen Mirren, queen, assassin, and detective chief inspector. She is young at heart, which is lazy shorthand for being curious, engaged, and more likely to spurn shopworn approaches to feelings and everyday phenomena.
So far we’ve gone on two walks with her two rambunctious Maltese puppies along a deserted beach with a view of Benbulben and the hills of Leitrim. After the last walk, we went for chai lattes in a converted cottage beside the sea, faces stinging from the chill and salt braided into our hair, as if we are mermaids come ashore.
She had pointed at the buttons on my jacket, retrieved from boxes I had stored at my parents’ house in California. Those are nice, she said. One of them was emblazoned with NO TO EMPIRE in big block white letters against a red background; a souvenir from an anti-war demo in San Francisco I had attended 15 years ago. She smiled at me, Apropos to our times, no? I smiled. Yes, yes indeed. I like her, I like her alot.