It's a well documented fact that healthy women in their sexual prime often vibrate with powerful hormonal emanations. Frequently I feel like little more than a provocative beacon for every hunk within a 2-kilometre radius.
My pharmacist, tall and dark-haired, with a slight accent, can't keep his eyes off me. True, I've been loitering in front of the condom carousel and occasionally peeking at him from between jumbo boxes of King Kong-doms, but does he have to gawk? His brows are furrowed, no doubt in an attempt to fight his attraction to me while at the same time maintaining a sense of professional decorum.
I thrust my prescription for a medication for my hideous recurring rash into his warm hand and instantly Janek wants to know everything about me. He demands my name, address, telephone number and even e-mail. I jokingly ask if he'd like to enter my chest size (36 almost B) and the fact that I enjoy giving hot oil massages into his computer as well!
Janek's hazel eyeballs roll back into his head. Is my presence making it hard for him to breathe? It's unbearable to think that any organs underneath that firm, slightly tanned chest are struggling for oxygen because of me. Curse my intoxicating aura!
I turn to face the growing queue forming in front of the prescription counter and sense their dismay at Janek's utter lack of discretion. Can he not see that his actions, though understandable, are making me, the object of his flirtation, very uncomfortable? I flee the drug store.
To this day my medication sits in Janek's drawer, well past its due date. To retrieve it would be a sign that I am his, and that is a sign I cannot give.
I seek solace in the tranquil, bubbling aisles of my favourite pet store, Fred's Tropical Fish Palace. I often saunter through the store for hours while engaging in aquatic-friendly conversation with the bevy of nicely groomed gents on staff. How could I have known that on that day my magnetic presence would transform what is normally a cool blue zone into a red-light district?
Two of the fish consultants have been eyeing me from the moment I enter the store. I spy them whispering and going ga-ga over me from the other side of the giant gourami tank.
Before I can even move on to the peppered catfish, I'm ambushed by the dynamic duo, Zach and his associate, Adam, who are both sleek and of a skimpy-Speedo-appropriate age.
"Do you want to breed?" asks Zach. My jaw drops. "The platies. We've got a two-for-one special." The bleached-blond whippersnapper licks his lips.
How dare he pretend his obnoxious come-on is about fish! Adam has the dipping net ready, flexing it between his sinewy hands. Two for the price of one, ha! More like a menage à trois right in the aisle, with the platies and neons watching.
I bolt to the koi pond. Surely, these boys have girlfriends and hobbies to occupy their time. En route to the exit I crash head first into a display of fish books and immediately feel the needy crush of Zach's muscular arms.
He leads me quickly to the door, all the while frantically groping my flailing body. It's his dance of love. I pull myself from his lustful grip and head away. Obviously, my presence in the palace is too distracting for the poor heart.
Hiding behind the Sports Shoe Company sandwich sign, I see Zach, clearly in anguish, shaking his head of gel-tipped curls. I cannot be ensnared in his net of love.
Jerome, the manager of the Sports Shoe Company, is instantly drawn to my crouching figure. Shiny dreadlocks cascade from the top of his head like the feathers of a wild peacock. The locks bob in a seductive dance around his smooth, brown face. He makes sure I can see how his slightly unbuttoned referee shirt struggles in vain to conceal his pectoral muscles.
"Do you want to sit on a bench and take your shoes off?" Jerome asks with a beaming Crest Whitestrips smile. I know his game. Two soccer balls, symbols of the capabilities of his man region, are balanced low on his thighs. How subtle.
I've often thought of making myself look hideous in order to repel the attention, but what would be the point? Hormonal emanations have a way of seeping out of the package no matter what the wrapping paper.
My wits and will to survive prevent me from descending into an endless cycle of frivolous yet dazzling love affairs, yet is there harm in some intermittent dazzle? Sometimes I wonder if maybe once a month I should jump the bone as a public service to help ease the tension of the male population.
Alas, it won't always be like this. I look forward to the future when I'll be able to relax. I'll shop for running shoes, buy a jar of tropical fish food and even pick up that prescription for my rash.