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The Raven
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08-17-2019 05:40 pdt

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Phase Lock


"The loop. I did it. I figured it out on my own after the other guy left. Standing in front of the daunting and intimidating RF rack, I knew it was possible. I had seen it. He did it all the time considering the importance of the equipment involved. The industry required standards and we had some of them. Not many due to the size of the lab, but enough to keep us going for a couple of years. Those machines had been alien to me upon beginning that type of work but soon enough the understanding began. I fucking figured out the phase locked loop on my own and with very limited resources. I locked the fucking thing. Eighteen billion cycles per second and displaying accuracy to one part in one-hundred-billion. Never before had I analyzed, studied, and agonized over something so complex. The phase lock.

Double entendre from hell.

As I slowly realized that the equipment was not beyond my ability to understand, an odd-sounding horn drew me away from all of the fans. It was the catering truck. Hmm... Coffee and a donut as a reward for me working through one of the most technically difficult puzzles ever left before my eyes? Yes, why not. I decided to take a short break and wander to the back alley for a snack. Another puzzle soon formed, and one which would dictate much of my life from that day forward.

Our shop was between two others, all very smallish, and every now and then we would confer with them on mutual issues or ideas. The business to my left was also an RF lab similar to ours, yet their focus was on manufacturing rather than troubleshooting. I had visited them on several occasions and was familiar with the owner's daughter, Lelia. She had been kind and pleasant from the beginning. The suite on the right was a bit of a mystery, and on one occasion I had spied fair skin and dark hair through the door as I entered work. Other than knowing that they brokered similar equipment to that with which we serviced, I rarely considered what went on in that office. The face through the glass was there at times, and though I felt intrigued by the slight glances I received, nothing became of it throughout the course of more than a year. And then the phase lock brought me joy and pushed me to head out the back door for a snack. To this day I still see that right turn around the corner and my head exploding as I met the gaze of her. Yes, a 'her'. One of the first. Maybe THE first. Remember 'Our Man Bashir'? Well, she could have been the first, too. I do not know, but the woman in question on that fateful day twenty-three years ago is in my head and heart right now.

Yep. All this time and the woman is still in there.

Just that morning before tackling the tough system with which I had been mostly unfamiliar, another project sent me to a local electronics supplier. The small store had only a counter and one woman who took orders and went back to pull whatever parts were needed. The woman in question -- Hispanic and more shapely than I could handle at times -- was very courteous and extremely well-dressed every time. That morning standing outside my lab found my eyes drawn to a similar shape and one that I could not understand. The woman at the electronics supplier was all business all the time. I never entertained the idea of complimenting her or any other type of platitude which was outside the typical conversation in that shop. I needed to throw words at her, however, and holding back had brought me to a stale state on more than one occasion. Due to her being in my head so early, I was already in mind of the details which drew me to such a woman. She was so beautiful and unique that I had fallen all over myself with each visit.

Back to the morning in question and my reward for such a trial.



579



I grabbed some coffee and attempted to mix the cream within while failing to keep my eyes averted. Nope. Her draw was too much, so I let go and looked toward her with a smile. Right back at me. Oh my.

There she stood near the truck. Heels and jeans, slender, captivating, and stunning. I was so caught off guard after working in an industrial complex for a year that I froze in disbelief. Rarely had I been so pulled from sense. And that was so many years ago. She appeared around the time of the woman on television yet years before the one at the car wash. I understood none of it. Her form struck me in such a way as I had not been accustomed. I stared -- against my better judgment -- and tried to take in the dynamics of her legs and stomach. The clothing was beautiful and fit so well that my head tried to process exactly why. She was slender yet curvy, and with breasts which stood in stark contrast to what was above and below. The top fit her very well and left nothing to my imagination as to the disparity of her midsection. Long, wavy hair was held behind sharp shoulders which left each aspect of her torso on display. Every few seconds she moved her feet slightly for comfort while standing, and when she turned her body toward the man selling I saw radii before my confused vision which spoke to me.

The inside. Inner radii the likes of which I had not seen in front of me, and certainly nothing I had tried to understand. The draw was unbelievable and left me unable to consider anything else in the surrounding area. I was overwhelmed with the deep desire to look closely and from all angles so that nothing could be left out. Those lines made me crazy inside... crazy with need. I had to see. The draw felt wonderful and terrible at the same time. The curves were different for some reason... Not just because the woman was stunningly beautiful, but somehow I was able to clarify the nature of the inside of a woman's thigh and the striking dynamic nature of the way the lines change direction as the eye follows from her knee up to that most intimate of areas. I did not understand a Goddamned thing during the time that I looked upon her form, and even now I have no idea what the catalyst may have been. Perhaps the transition from one elevation to the next, perhaps not. The jeans left nothing to the imagination except the critical things.

I wrestled with myself over staring at her body out of guilt. Wrestled over and over throughout mere moments. In the end I became helpless to avert my eyes. The lines spoke to me in a way I had not heard before. Again she turned to face me and my eyes met hers briefly. A smile. Small, slight, but a smile nonetheless. I approached out of a compulsion unlike anything in my world.

'How are you?'
'Ok I guess. You?'
'Trouble concentrating but otherwise ok.'
'Be well. Do your best.'

She turned back to the truck, reached up for her snack, and then tossed me another smile before strolling into the building. The motion of her stretching that torso revealed exaggeration all over the place. Rear end sticking out, breasts pushing forward and up, tummy slightly revealed. Long arms reaching with manicured fingertips. One heel off the ground briefly. Holy shit. That would represent the literal end of my technical day. Worthless, dreaming, and full of a desire I had not felt in my life. There was a pull of needing to see her again like a giant spring against which I was powerless to resist. I imploded a bit at the sight of her being so fucking unique and shapely, and watched as she turned and walked back next door. I dropped as far as I ever had -- if not further -- due to the need being so alien to me, different than the simplicity of an attractive woman that I wished to know. Closeness? More than that... I was overwhelmed and distraught at the same time because the sight of her had gone away yet left me with an image I had to see again. The feelings pulled at me from all directions leaving my head a painful mess. I needed it.



580



I returned to my lab. Being there alone allowed me to make a choice: Stay and attempt to think clearly or go next door and say something. But say what exactly? Tell her I needed to stare at the insides of her thighs? Heh. No way. Tell her she is beautiful? Hmm... Very likely she heard that quite a bit. Platitudes accomplish very little and I feared coming across like a silly boy. Whatever I might say just had to be interesting enough and respectful enough to avoid offending her. So what to say? My head blew the fuck open knowing that artwork of a goddess was right there sitting in the lobby. I froze. Never before had I felt such a compulsion to act in some way because of a woman’s physical appearance.

I decided to try. Out the door.

She was sitting inside the glass with her hair draping the desk. I glanced inside to see legs crossed and her busy with something. Fuck it. Door opened. She looked up and I nearly swallowed my tongue. A smile and another hello. Jesus holy Hell I could have leaped across the desk. I greeted her again and asked if she had a moment to talk.

'Sure.' Full attention on me. Oy.

I tried to be as polite as I knew how, and that knowing full well that my walking into her workplace had absolutely nothing to do with business. What to say? Too late for faltering at that point, so I did it. I told her how much she struck me in the alley. I gushed just a bit -- respectfully -- and assured her that I was not trying to get anywhere, like giving her some sort of line, and my words caused a blush and more smiling.

'You're sweet to say so.'
'Something compelled me and I had to come here.'
'Well, you have me curious but you should also know that I am with someone right now.'
'No worries. I simply had to tell you.'
'Please sit, ok?'
'Um... Ok.'

Wow. She told me that hearing such words was uncommon, even from her partner. Wow, again. And for the next several minutes I attempted to get across just what I felt upon seeing her beauty by the truck earlier along with how my brain no longer cooperated with work as a result. I also regaled her with the phase lock I accomplished earlier and that it likely had been the last complex series of thoughts which would take place that day due to my head losing function. She laughed a bit and said she was floored by my words. Intrigued, too. There had apparently been quite a lack of appreciation in her life for a while so to hear me and know that I noticed her to such a dramatic degree really boosted her self-esteem. That was not my intention, but I could see it.

'I have to focus here now. Maybe coffee tomorrow?'
'I would like that.'



581



Holy crap, she asked to see me again. My day was over and the victory on the big RF rack fell away in favor of walking into her office and speaking. We said our goodbyes and I stumbled back to my lab and dropped into an office chair with my head spinning. I could not get the image of those radii out no matter the effort. The woman slammed me like the ceiling falling on my head. Never before did such a situation or a female body affect me so deeply. Still I needed to stare. Still. The lab sat with all of the fans whirring while I tried to understand myself. Nope (and more than two decades later I still do not). Upon realizing the gravity of what my eyes took in along with our short conversation in her office, the remainder of that day had me nearly useless other than the simpler, more straightforward tasks related to my work. The technicality melted like a chocolate ice cube on a hot summer sidewalk. I was worthless. Cut to early afternoon and I took to the long drive home still full of thought and trying to work it out. The woman remained in my head for the drive, through dinner, and into the wonder of haphazard sleep.

The next morning I found that sleep was not easy. Tossing, turning, and all the while seeing that woman reaching up and destroying my vision. And then those curves. Inside, personal, elusive. So fucking amazing. I needed to see more but had to convince myself that the chance was remote enough to basically give up on the idea. But I wanted to see and that thought hurt me deeply. Coffee, into the car half past four in the morning, and down the empty road toward what seemed the most strikingly beautiful woman I had ever seen. And the inside curves. I had no illusions of being able to focus upon work, and considering the equipment with which I was tasked had been used in national defense, well... not good.

Early arrival as always. Shortly after five. Empty office and lab save for me. Within thirty minutes of me powering up all of the standards and perusing emails, I heard three quick beeps. That was the sound of the front door opening. Butterflies that early in the morning are difficult to calm. That fucking dreamy goddess rolled into my lab holding a tray with coffee and two croissants. Holy fuck in a Goddamned coin purse, she came to visit looking even more gorgeous than the previous day. Smooth, form-fitting jeans, heels, a thin blouse and fur jacket just above her tiny waist. I lost it as the wondrous radii showed themselves even more clearly than before. Lost it. Fucking gone out of my head. And then she peeled off the jacket as my temperature-controlled lab was nice and warm. Wow. Spaghetti straps, breasts well-outlined, shoulders, arms, and completely smooth skin tone as if she used all the lotion. And I could smell it. A moment or two passed as I tried to reconcile myself with the fact that such a woman was sitting right there looking so beautiful that I did not know what to do. So I decided to softly tell her everything. All of it... From the tiny details of her jeans to her shoes and upward. Every fucking thing in my disturbed head came flooding out my mouth and straight into her pretty eyes. She blushed, smiled, laughed nervously, and that caused me to worry. I backpedaled and told her that I was just a person appreciating the most beauty I had ever seen. She looked down, back up to me, and then addressed me clearly.



582



'Your eyes are soft, so I am not worried. You seem genuine and not weird at all. I'm just caught off guard.'

From there the conversation went in other directions. Relationships, society, work, expectations, and the philosophy of men and women as it has developed throughout the centuries. She was intelligent and well-spoken. As we sipped coffee and took down the pastries, I felt that I had to go a step further while assuring her that my intentions would not go beyond conversation. At hearing my words, she rose and hugged me while beginning to realize that it was work time. We embraced again and I watched her walk out of the lab with my eyes glued to her movements. Still in disbelief, I turned to the equipment awaiting my attention and tried to wrench my brain out of her clothing. That was tough, but I eventually succeeded. Deep depression set in throughout the course of that day leaving me to realize that the exploration was just beginning. I felt tremendous loss in not being near her beauty and those details that were available to my eyes for such a short time. Painful feelings and worry over why I felt so tormented by something I did not even know was there until so recently, coupled with the fear that I might never see such extraordinary shapes again. She spoke with me and displayed softness in her eyes. She was kind, patient, and understanding of the fact that I obsessed over her unreal look. As the day and work went on, my insides twisted into a knot on and off. I failed to extract any of it. Failed. The woman became a part of my mind.

What I would soon become as time passed was frightening. IS frightening.

Less than a year later, our little business -- having fallen behind the larger labs -- was forced to close its doors. Along with all of the valuable assets and standards, I was sold to one of our competitors across town. I went to work for them and never saw her again. To this very second her image and absolutely stunning voice are cemented in my being. I will never forget the morning we shared coffee and spoke quietly. She is in there forever and I still miss that short visit we enjoyed more than two decades ago. It felt as a connection the likes of which I could not imagine. The woman phase-locked my life and will never know. She is gone, and I miss her to the point of tears.

I might have fallen in love with her in the course of a single hour. I still remember. Everything.

Does she remember me?"



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