The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Soul Mate Part 5

So here we are. I'd gone right through the energies necessary to attract sex pretty much at will (a new experience for me!) and defined my life path by learning what a woman who touched my heart desired in a life partner. I committed to settling for nothing less thna the best I could get, and also to using nothing less than utterly honest and direct communication to obtain it. I was prepard to be utterly alone the rest of my life, if that was what it took, and I meant it. I was disgusted with myself, and anythign less than the kind of interactions I would want for my daughter, my sister, or my mother.
In other words, I was ready.
The next morning coming out of my room, the girl in the next room came out at the same time, and asked me if I was Steven Barnes. When I said yes, she wanted to know if I was going to breakfast. I said yes, and ivited her to join me. I thought she was cute, but didn't really register much beyond that. She turned out to be Tananarive Due (who I had heard a little about. A friend had asked me if I'd heard of her, and described her as "incredibly fine.") I was a little distant and formal, figring that she was a neo-writer who needed a role model. Over the next couple of days I watched her. We watched "Seinfeld" in her room that night, and I was EXTREMELY polite, stayed very carefully on my side ofthe room, was the perfect big brother. What I didn't know was that one of HER friends had told her about me, and that she had seen one of my "Outer Limits" episodes ("A Stitch in Time"--my best) and was intrigued. When I read a few pages from her novel "My Soul To Keep" realized that this was a mature and impressive talent,and decided to help her in any way I could. But it wasn't until I heard her describe how she got Steven King to give her a cover blurb that I really grasped how smart and focused she was. Understanding that somehow freed me to see how attractive I considered her...and I was dead. Jsut dead. Every other woman in the world might as well have vanished at that instant. I saw my entire future unfolding before me. She was fun, a great dancer, had a terrific body, sweet, smart, ambitious, DAMN she was everything I was looking for. My only task was to let her know I was interested, in no uncertain terms. Then, of course, it would be up to her to judge whether I was what SHE was looking for.
My tactic was totally unfair. If I hadn't been serious, it would have been one of the least ethical things I've ever done. I looked around the room, found a woman with a baby, borrowed it, and played with it on the floor right in front of Tananarive. Hah! Believe me, I'd caught her interest. About thirty-six hours later, we were sitting in the Atlanta airport holding hands like a couple of kids, talkign about how we could build an empire together. She had desired and saught a mate, a partner...a lion, as it were? as much as I.

More later

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