The Momentary Prince

Ever felt the glow of living a fairy tale? I did – once. Briefly.

It was in my second year of law school. I was invited to a get-together at the family home of one of my classmates. Turned out to be lofty digs indeed; the sort of place where the ‘billiards room’ is a lot more than a rec room with a pool table; a smoking jacket wouldn’t have looked out of place at all.

Early on, I met my classmate’s younger sister – a breezily confident, drop-dead gorgeous close facsimile of Kate Jackson. She regaled each of the guests with just the right amount of polite attention, then disappeared for the balance of the night.

It was getting late. Some of the guests had left; the remaining ones were I know not where. I was alone engaging my (then) facility with a pool cue, earned not in billiards rooms, but many seedy pool halls late into the night. I looked up to see “Kate” watching me with interest.

Ever been on a roll where everything you say (and do) seems just perfect for the moment? Well, I had one of those moments that night. I don’t know why. This rich and beautiful girl was certainly unsettling, and I was (as now) far from facile with the ladies, but somehow, I kept her entertained, laughing and obviously amused.

As my thoughts wandered over to just how to broach seeing her again, my classmate arrived to call her away. She said she’d be “back in a minute”. She wasn’t. I hung around just long enough to realize it would be awkward to have to be given a hint to leave.

For about an hour or so, I understood that feeling of easy enthrallment with another person that didn’t seem to be like any kind of work at all. I may have fallen prey to the equivalent of Disraeli’s  gift for  making another feel like a great conversationalist. Or, maybe, it really was a fairy tale. It just ended too quickly.

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