To my surprise, Juniper hasn’t called the cops yet. We went to another teacher’s farewell party on Friday; by chance, as we say in Middle Earth, we ended up sitting next to each other for four exemplary hours. Discussing an obnoxious student, who had treated her like a skivvy when she brought him coffee, i nobly offered: “Next time, i’ll give him his damn coffee. i’m not nice like you. i can be cruel.”

She murmured in a kind of “I’m not sure I should unleash you”/”It would be amusing” way, so, encouraged, i continued:

“i can be cruel for you, if you want. Ask me, and i’ll crush your enemies. Let me be cruel for you.”

She looked suitably nonplussed/pleased/horrified/entertained. Later, i reflected that this is the most romantic thing i’ve said in over a decade. After midnight, i walked her most of the way home. She is very capable and brave but, as i said, “if i let you walk alone i would worry about you all weekend”. We parted before the end, as she a) didn’t want me to go out of my way for her, and b) she probably prefers it if no one knows exactly where she lives, and c) she probably wanted to get in a fight and kill someone without witnesses. i should see her tomorrow at work, and since we both finish at around 4, i might invite her for a spontaneous coffee, though it wouldn’t really be all that spontaneous, since i’ve been fantasizing about it all weekend.

i reflected that i have until Thursday evening to establish some manner of connection, and she is exceedingly guarded against intimacy. She likes me but she relishes solitude and privacy, aloneness; as do i. She is almost Finnish. She seems wholly uncorrupted, non-human, even. She drinks ginger tea. She “does sport” to burn off aggression. She is soft and gentle and lovely. She speaks Spanish. She is capable and brave and quiet. She is amused by me and my ways. She has been to Durham. She drank Cuban rum with Castro. She wishes she could be a cat so she could “lie about in a very comfortable place doing nothing and not feel guilty.” Her eyes are pure lake blue, the Lady of the Lake indeed. She walks like a dancer or a killer. She is taller and probably stronger than me. She dresses like Jason Bourne. She is Jason Bourne.

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