Officer Alekzander or Aleks for short had recently graduated from the Academy and found himself stationed at our local precinct so that he could learn the job while under the watchful eye of someone who was a considered a friend of his very large Irish family.
He was supposed to start today but arrived 30 minutes late, offering up his best laid back deliver of "sorry man, won't happen again." I had been asked to let him ride with me just for today as a favor to the family friend had some last minute bullshit come up.
I had met Aleks once before and I knew immediately the sudden arrival of this kid will make it difficult for me to keep all of my issues in check. I didn't expect my limits to be tested so soon and within the confined space of the front half of a squad car.
As he was getting dressed in the locker room, I went over what he can expect from the day's itinerary. I was still annoyed about his coming in late and was a tad aggressive in establishing my dominance which of course was a given so I became self conscious and embarrassed. For his part, he kept up his end of the conversations with enthusiastic volleys of "for sure" "absolutely" and "that works for me." But during the micro seconds it took him to utter those sound bytes, I found myself watching his lips move as if in slow motion. I was aware of what my eyes were doing but it was an involuntary response taking over and I recognized from previous experience i am no longer in control of the situation. I was suddenly silent having lost my train of thought which prompted him to ask if I was OK as he finished putting on his uniform and started walking toward me. I know it was game over if I looked up and saw his eyes, I would not be able to stop staring until it got not only awkward but dangerously close to harrassment. I said I needed a minute to get pills from my desk to treat the sudden migraine and would meet outside in the lot.
Our patrol car was parked near the gate on the other side of the massive parking lot. I could hear him start the engine and drove towards me the moment I stepped outside.
In his mind, he was preparing for disappointment as he thought my abrupt onset of illness was a prelude to another announcement calling off the ride-along . He felt responsible for his contribution to the day's start by being late. And perhaps he did come across as respectful and sincere enough with his apology.
He vacillated between "how can I make this right" and "fuck it" and I could definitely see the change in his eyes going from remorse to resentment as he stopped the car in front of me. Since I didn't really have a headache I almost asked him to get out of the driver's seat.
But then he looked at me and asked if I was doing OK. This time my eyes wandered from his lips to his well-defined jawline, his masculinity enhanced further by stubbles that were already chafing my neck as I began to loose my tenuous grip on reality and basic instincts began to take over.
I was suddenly clear and decisive in my mind what I wanted to happen quickly got in the passenger seat and proclaimed "Drive" in my most authoritative tone.
I could smell the cologne, deodorant and sweat being activated by his increasing nervousness. As my attention became fixated by the way the hairs laid neatly on his arm. He noticed my fixed gaze and before he could muster the courage to voice his discomfort I quickly deflected with a commanding "Keep your eyes on the road when you're in the driver's seat". Then I quickly followed up with a gentle notion to soften the reprimand.: "I'll keep my eyes on everything else."
With his face forward, arms on the wheel and without skipping a beat, he said in a relieved tone , "works for me."
I gave him instructions which finally led to a quiet unassuming neighborhood. My two story sprawling Spanish hacienda home was a stark contrast and my blue-eyed driver who still lives at home was sufficiently impressed and in the mood.
All that physical manifestation of masculinity from the heavy brows, abdundand and rapid facial hair growth, deep voice and penetrating gaze were not his doing but rather the physical onset of masculine traits combined with excess testosterone none of which he had control over or gotten used to.
His emotional and sexual needs have not caught up to his physical self. Those piercing eyes I was so afraid of looking into were actually masking doubts, curiosity and insecurity. Those too cool too casual phrases are a great defense against any expectations of a protracted conversation on any meaningful topic that might reveal the lack of experience and worldliness of one who still lives at home.
Those eyes are not ready to judge and reject as I had imagined and projected upon this physical manifestation of my ideal man. Those eyes are also beginning to function autonomously in social settings causing awkward situations and creating perceptions of reciprocal interest that are not fully based on reality but rather desire. These are the grateful eyes of a sexually inexperienced young man who has found a mentor and sexual gratification in one unexpected afternoon on a tree-lined street during what was supposed to be his first day at work.