If….I were a single girl on the prowl, Magneto Man Mars entering my sign, Cancer, would put me on the high tractor beam for hot and steamy rendezvous…Add to that hotsy-totsy Mercury in Scorpio, which just entered my solar house of Flirtations.

House of Flirtations, is that a new club? sex-city-parker-davis-nixon

As it so happens, I met Mercury in Scorpio at the gym.

I picked up a men’s Esquire magazine and hopped on the treadmill next to Mercury.

She was on the elliptical cross trainer, studying her anatomy textbook. Which I noted because A) you can’t help but notice what the person next to you is wearing and reading at the gym and B) Mercury being in Scorpio, I was eavesdropping.

Whereas mixed sex gyms can be meat markets, mine is woman only. And we woman don’t talk as much as you’d imagine. Most of us are focused on burning through the day’s stressors, watching the Food Channel or examining the latest issue of trash talk, to release and relax. It’s unusual to either overhear or have a conversation at the woman-only gym. Sometimes I even want to get to know the lady next to me, but I’m too shy.

When she asked me, “Have you ever read that magazine before?” my subconscious thought: Is she flirting with me??? as my mouth said, “Why, no, I haven’t.”

What is it about Mercury in Scorpio that give the most casual interchanges a touch of naughty?

“There’s this great section called “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Woman” and it’s so hilarious. Women give guys pointers. You should check it out, it’s online too.”

She continued: “I read Esquire because it’s intelligent, kind of like Marie Claire but for guys.”

Ooh, she’s smart and hip.

peacockI asked if she was studying to become a nurse, how long she’d been coming to the gym, what town she lived in. All those get-to-know-you qualifying questions you’d ask… a potential date. It was then that I realized I was sizing up my next door neighbor for friend potential. It was then that I realized how similar the process of finding a lifelong friend, and finding a lifelong mate, are.

It dawned on me, as we were talking, that she reminded me of certain friends in other parts of the country, girlfriends I’ve missed and longed to have in my present. If you’ve ever had an amazing girlfriend connection, you know these friendships are profound, life-changing love relationships, as powerful and romantic as any heterosexual one.

There are more common threads.

As I observed her mannerisms and energy, I began comparing Mercury in Scorpio to a long-distance friend whom I dove into deeper intimacy with by going to visit her (and her toddler!) down south recently. We’ve spent hours on the phone together, laughing and appreciating each other. I’ve noticed the compulsion to call her at strange and inconvenient hours -late at night. Whereas once it was a form of bonding, I am thinking this is an uncouth thing, the late night phone calls, now that we’re adults with families and kids. I wish I could spend more time with her, but alas, we are apart, i.e. the long-distance relationship.

Another girlfriend recently moved to the East Coast (she decided it was time to move on). And I still wonder about the ex-BFF, who I recently reconnected with. Is the spark really still there, or is it over? Am I just pining for the way it used to be (sleeping with the ex)?

I realize I subconsciously compare and contrast many of my new friendships to the original BFF. Even entering new friendship territory is fraught with the insecurities of the past ones, the ones that didn’t work out. Once bitten, twice shy – the same wisdom applies to friendships.

Another funny thing is I can’t qualify the great characteristics of my fascinating LA friend, because my descriptors sound so lame. She’s got a sense of humor, she’s intelligent and funny, earthy and real, deeply caring…all true, but blah, blah, blah. It’s a feeling. It’s mutual appreciation on the deepest of levels. Okay, here’s what it really is: love. I love her. I know she loves me. I can feel it because she tells me (she told me first – I told you, I play it safe). In fact, I brag about her to my husband: she loves me, she loves me!

So Mercury and I continued talking and I read the Top 10 , and it was funny. It turns out we live in the same town and I told her she should come to the Fairfax Haunted House. Then, on a schedule, Mars in Cancer had to run. I said it was fabulous talking with her, and she repeated my name with such lov-ily sweet lilt it made my heart melt a little, and reminded me of my sunny LA girlfriend

“Yes, Jessica!”

I said hopefully, maybe, we’ll see each other around town. She joked that we might not recognize one another.

It’s hard to know protocol after briefly meeting a new, potential friend. You don’t know if you’ll ever see her again, or if you do, out of context, say in the supermarket, she’s suddenly…I just can’t quite put my finger on it… a ghost, a figment of someone you may’ve known…but from where?

And of course the question…was the spark there?

So upon exiting the locker room I ran to my car. And I rushed back in with a business card. I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t. It was a brave act, I did, but Mars in Cancer was feeling courageous. What have I got to lose? I handed her my business card, muttering something about “hanging out sometime” and that maybe now she’d recognize me, having now seen me in street clothes. I felt about as awkward as age twelve.

Mercury in Scorpio was cool and unfazed. Maybe a little surprised, but gracious as ever.

I walked away feeling triumphant. I flirted with a new friend, a fifth house Mercury affair. Fifth house affairs aren’t permanent, they’re ballsy and risky, with the quality of sporty play. In short, to the question: will I see her again or not? It’s a gamble.

But it is dating, the fifth house. And friend dating is not unlike the yin-yang thing. Putting yourself out there, risking rejection and fears of past failures, running into those same dating stumbling blocks – all apply to cultivating friend relationships. Recently, a new girlfriend of mine described her vulnerability of reaching out to new friends:

“Now that I’m meeting people I want to hang out with, I wonder, should I wait 2 days before calling? Or am I calling too often?”

I reassured her to call me as often as she likes, and to not interpret missing a call, or being to busy to talk as rejection.

Still…It’s a vulnerable spot. Sometimes we run a friend-ly dry spell; sometimes they’re only available from a distance. And sometimes they’re simply unavailable – and we may never know why.

Who knows if I’ll see Mercury in Scorpio again? But I repeated her name on my drive away, committing it to memory, just in case.

scan0001