A short story by Moshe Sipper
She was just too beautiful — and he, too shy. Would that he could work up the courage to ask her out. But, alas, affairs of the heart are never easy. Not by far.
For hours and hours every day he would gaze upon her, observe her, study her. Every minute detail of her fine-boned visage he would scrutinize with unending yearning. How he craved to caress that magnificent shock of raven hair. How he longed to touch — ever so gently — that noble neck.
In his dreams they were so happy. She, his loving, adoring wife, and he, a rhapsody of passion. Together, they would walk through fields of poppies and tall grass, the wind breezing softly, parting the flowery bed just for them — a miracle worthy of Moses. But not one of parting, no, it was a miracle of uniting. In his dreams everything was so perfect. Until the cruel claws of dawn would tear him away.
Bleary-eyed, before washing or shaving, he would go directly to the telescope, imbibing the first glimpse of the day, like a weary desert traveler who stumbles onto an oasis. Quaffing the magnified image of the woman of his dreams, now that reality had so brutally asserted its dominion.
His friend Marco would often jeer at him. “Leo, my good friend,” Marco would say, “she’s just a woman. Contrary to what you may have heard” — here Marco would chuckle lightly — “they’re quite human. Come now, my good man, you march up to her house right this instant and woo her!”
Countless a time they had had this conversation. But it would never advance the state of the (non-existent) affair. Marco was so confident, so worldly, so adored and adoring. Sure, for Marco it was all too easy — just a game.
But Marco refused to give up. He would nag, tease, persuade, cajole, snap, plead — all to no avail. Once Marco had even threatened to smash the telescope! But seeing the look of horror that had spread upon his friend’s face, Marco’s apology had followed with breathtaking swiftness.
The days would fly, riding the waves of time with frightening rapidity. But still he would not, could not, did not.
Until Marco had had enough of it all — and had dragged the damsel in question to his friend’s house one bright spring morning. And when the latter had been revived with the aid of a stiff drink, introductions had finally been made.
It had taken a while therefrom, but love had eventually sprung, and a wedding finally took place. After much dancing, laughter, and wine, Marco — slightly inebriated — sidled up to his friend and asked, “What will you do now with the ol’ telescope, Leo?”
“Hmm ... Maybe point it upwards? I’ve always fancied studying the stars,” Galileo answered dreamingly.
Copyright © 2012 by Moshe Sipper