The Crossword Puzzler

The Crossword Puzzler

There’s a zen-like quality to getting old. Younger people see you sitting on your own in a diner everyday doing crossword puzzles  and might assume you felt an overwhelming loneliness. When he sat in that diner sipping from his cup and trying to figure out 9-across (Pot pusher’s vehicle, 7 letters, first letter “T”) he felt a peacefulness that a Himalayan monk might envy. He looked up from the newspaper to ruminate on those 6 inscrutable letters while watched the other patrons come and go. The world gyrated around him, with all it’s haphazard velocity and random momentum, but in his quiet bubble, he had the certainty of knowing nothing out of the ordinary, nothing even mildly chaotic was going to happen to him. His sixty four years of earthly existence told him this with near certainty, save for an unplanned meteorite strike in the neighborhood and the ensuing descent into social anarchy. But meteors can sometimes take the unlikely form of a young woman in her early twenties on a mission.

He was reading 2-down (Eye-covers for the naive, 4 letters, second letter “O”) when she sat down opposite him. “Do you mind if I sit here?” was what he heard before he raised his head to find her looking across the table at him. Through the upper part of the vari-focal lenses in his spectacles, the unblemished features of her slightly nervous young face were in sharp focus. He replied that he didn’t mind in the slightest but politely reminded her that he was a man of modest means who wasn’t about to buy anything she might be selling, be it religion or something more personal. “No, no, I just wanted to talk to you. I’ve seen you in here many times and I always wanted to just say hello”.

He folded his newspaper and sat back as the waitress came by to take her order. “What would your granddaughter like?” was what automatically came out the waitress’ mouth, as though it could be the only possible explanation for her customer’s age difference. The young woman took control of the misunderstanding. “No, I’m not his granddaughter. And I’ll have a decaf with a vanilla muffin.” The waitress scribbled on her pad while she threw his new companion a sharp glance that said: ‘I’m watching you.’

As the waitress departed, the young woman sat up, put her hands together on the table and leaned earnestly towards him as though she was about to address the people about a national crisis. “You see, it’s really hard to meet older men. And you’ve always seemed like an older man I’d like to meet.” So far, this was making sense to him but he still wasn’t sure where this was going but she continued and it became clearer. “I feel such a mess inside. It’s all a big mess of feelings and emotions at my age. Boy’s my own age, I think they’re an even bigger mess and they never make me feel safe, make me feel truly secure.”

Her coffee and muffin arrived and the conversation went on like this for an hour or so. She talked about her life, it’s emotional confusion, her disappointments with conventional romance. She leant back more, her body became less stiff as she bared her young soul, as though he were a priest in a confessional. There seemed to be many things she just wanted to tell somebody. Somebody male and much older, someone who would understand. But then the conversation took a much more personal turn. She glanced around and lowered her voice. “You see, I look at porn late at night. There’s a site called tumblr. Maybe you’ve heard of it. It has porn blogs with pictures and stories. I always go to the age-gap blogs.” Her faced reddened as she looked down at the table with a little embarrassment. “I get so wet when I look at those blogs. But I’m tired of fantasy,” she raised her head and looked directly into his eyes, “I want it to be real. What I want from you has three letters and is a type of symbol or appeal.”

A few hours later he was kissing her young lips in his apartment. He had already taken her top and skirt off and as he slid his hand into her panties and began to stroke her very wet pussy, he suddenly thought of the perfect crossword clue to describe the evening: Streaker at night hits the earth, 9 letters.

(Answers to clues: 1.Teacart. 2. Wool. 3. Sex. 4. Meteorite.)

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