I had a breakfast meeting in the city this morning followed by half an hour window shopping and buying a couple of business shirts. Heading home I hopped on board a Collins Street tram and sat down.
Sitting diagonally across from me was a dark skinned woman of about 40. She was of indeterminate race, more Asian than African, and with the petite build of an Asian woman. She was casually though stylishly dressed, was attractive without being beautiful and had the air of easy sensuality.
I sat and listened to my music becoming gradually more aware of her as the tram chugged down Bridge Road. We began talking, lightly, casually, intermittently, pausing between fragments of idle conversation before starting in again. She was bright and breezy and just a little interesting.
The more we talk, the more I feel her close proximity, the more I want her. That's not an uncommon feeling, but generally it's transient. You catch sight of someone, a well turned leg, a radiant smile, a tumble of luxuriant hair, a charming manner, whatever, and you feel the quick pulse of desire like some kind of life affirming endorphins flooding through you. Then you move on generally, the moment passes, you take separate doors and real life intrudes.
It was different today because the moment didn't pass. We were locked there travelling in the same direction, the feeling and the knowledge in both of us, unsaid, unspoken, hinted at only in the flash of the eyes or a quick smile. What I felt for her I think she felt for me. It felt good, an innocent indulgence if left alone, something more if not.
We talked and as we talked I imagined what it would be like to kiss those lips shaping words to me even as I watched. I measured the heft of her breasts with an appraising eye, took in the slightly, womanly belly, imaging them naked before me, and her knickers, white I thought against her darker skin, and peeling them off.
I could tell - or thought I could - that it was something she would enjoy. She seemed for all her assumed elegance a woman with an earthy delight in the pleasures of the flesh. It was easy to imagine, easy to see how it might happen, easy to see even with my eyes wide open her naked body beneath her stylish clothes. Easier than most times.
There was a big diamond ring on her left hand, a wedding band nestling up to it. Did that matter? Not to me. To her perhaps it did, but even so I considered a quick and anonymous fling over inside of an hour might count for less. Maybe it's not the done thing, but everyone needs spontaneous and illicit pleasure sometimes.
By now that was on my mind. Do I ask her to alight with me, for a coffee, and...? A latte, a breathless and joyful romp, and then back on the tram with her bag of shopping, eyes alight.
That's what I wanted, but when my stop came I got up, inclined my head to her, and left. I wish I had have made some gesture. What was there to lose after all? And I still feel that ache, unsatisfied.