May 16, 2011 by Lynn Beighley
Wolfgang talks to us in his Arnold Schwarzenegger accent, but that’s the only thing he has in common with Arnold. Wolfgang is tall and thin. He’s a bike courier, and owns a company in Vienna. He’s got that biker’s physique, thin, wiry, muscular. He’s clever. He makes jokes about the exhibits in the museum he is leading us through and I’m riveted.
He seems to notice me. He really does. I get the majority of his eye contact. I’m not listening anymore. I’m daydreaming. I imagine my life being different. Me, on my own on this tour. Me, able to stay in Vienna and go out to dinner with him. Him kissing me, holding my face with his long, strong hands.
I’m in love with Wolfgang. It happened within three sentences. It happened in ten eye blinks. It happened like a pickpocket snatching my wallet from my bag. And he’s attracted to me. You know, you can tell. He thinks… something. Am I smiling too much? Laughing too loudly? I tone it down.
We walk into a room full of royal robes. He stops next to me. Close enough that I can feel the warmth of his body. I move a little closer. He is looking only at me.
On this tour, I’m pretty much the youngest adult female. I think, well, I know, I’m also the most attractive. Do you do that? Constantly compare yourself to other women around you? I do. Someday, when I start losing a lot more, I’ll stop. Seems like I’m still winning, at least today. He smiles at me. I grin back.
And I think we’ve reached the end of the tour. I wish there was some way I could talk to him. Slip him my business card. I think we’d have a great time together. Not that it’s even possible, but, I don’t know. I just want him to know me.
He says his goodbyes and he’s gone. I’m disappointed. Sad. Quiet. I won’t do this again. I won’t fall in love again, I’m such an idiot. Who falls in love at first sight? Me. I do, I do it frequently. I tell myself it’s not real. It’s never real. I imagined his interest, I imagined things about him that couldn’t possibly be true.
Joe notices how quiet I am. I tell him I’ve got a headache. We find a restaurant for lunch and I drink too much wine.
Later, in our room while Joe is reading a book, I surreptitiously look up Wolfgang’s bike courier business. It’s not difficult, there aren’t many such businesses in Vienna, and only one owned by someone named Wolfgang. I could email him. He’s on Facebook, too. One click. I turn off the computer.