The greatest part of any love I have ever had was the deafening stare exchanged between my eyes and those of the man sitting next to me – the man with me in the booth across from the bar, any bar, any place at all. He faces me, the window. I face him, the crowd- we practically watch time make us older and wiser.
I find him again in a coffee shop, years later when we are different, but the stare is the same. Not the same as the gaze afforded to and from the man with whom I have just made love. In my bed, in his bed- that man, that stare is different. (All other beds are “ours".)
Beside him at the dinner table or after a game- a pause. On the roof of a building, passing a smoke back and forth between us like the few and familiar, slight but delicious, words of one poem spoken over and over. It lights our faces from the bottom with rich pre-autumn glow in the windy city night. Our silhouettes facing each other are their own brand of stare.
Then the stare of the potential lover- the man I am meeting. The briefest stop in our handshake- a break, a touch, a stare. The burning stare of a man whose look I refuse to return. The whimpering stare of a man with whom I am ending a relationship.
These stoned silences stored up in a place that memories and pictures own before words. The stare- thru a wall, from down a hallway, from a car- driving away, looking back. A final curious stare after the person you just left telling you you will never see them again.
And you are a different person for acknowledging what kind of time-mad reverence this brand of stare offers you. Stares speak. They touch on living tissue and become parasite memory. Our eyes and brain the perceiving host accosted by unrelenting heartbeats sound of blood bringing love, love, love. No stare without the lasting speech of love’s dynamic voice. The final verbal look transcending syllabic function. The deep smile in a man’s stare- revealed or hidden. The tears he finds, unwarranted in his still-dry expression. These are the shaman. These are the teachings and the practice.