Friday, July 26, 2013

The Girl at 36:34

    I’m in love again. This time safely at a distance with no possibility of being rejected. She doesn’t know me or that I’m infatuated with her. I don’t know her or her name. She’s probably Italian since I “met” her while watching a YouTube video of a 2008 Andre Rieu concert [Romantic Paradise - Part 1] in Cortona, Tuscany, Italy.

    The video was moving in and of itself but this young, ethereal, mesmerizing beauty appears for a second or two at 36 minutes and 27 seconds — enough of a glimpse to invoke a bated breath hoping for another glimpse which, fortunately, does happen. The second and clinching appearance is at 36 minutes, 34 seconds.  Her appearances occur after the orchestra’s moving rendition of Verdi’s Grand March from Aida with actual heraldic trumpets and during the rousing Italian National Anthem, “Il Canto Degli Italiani (The Song of the Italians)”. Music aside, her beauty stands on its own; no music necessary to strum my heartstrings.

Bella Signorina
[This link no longer works because of possible copyright infringement I was not aware of.
It may still be accessible through the YouTube video of the Andre Rieu concert mentioned above.]

    My ancestors are from Bavaria but who’s to say they didn’t venture over the Alps for a visit to Italy only a couple hundred kilometers away. Perhaps there’s some Italian in my Heinz 57 ancestral make-up.

    I studied the Italian language in Naples in 1964 and later that year spent a weekend in Florence less than 100 kilometers from Cortona. Had I known of the beauty that would later be in this village, I‘d have made a side trip. Of course, it would have been this lady’s mother (or grandmother probably) I would have happily met. I knew enough Italian by then to have intelligibly greeted her with a cheery, “Buon Giorno, signorina”  [She would not yet have been signora]. That would have gotten her attention; an American sailor speaking to her in her own language.

    I don’t know why certain assortments of physical features are so heart-stoppingly, captivatingly exquisite while others barely arouse a second glance. Many words exist to modify and enhance the word ‘Beauty’ yet there are times when no adjectives added to the word can ever effectively cover the entire spectrum of descriptives. It’s as though some beauties most be seen to be experienced; that any attempt to describe with mere words is doomed to failure. With this young lady, all it took was one look.

    In the meantime, I continue working on my Master’s thesis on “How to Accept Rejection Gracefully and With a Smile”.  Until that’s completed, though, love at a distance is the best I can hope for. It’s much less rewarding but it is not nearly as painful.

    It’s less frustrating to want the impossible and never get it
than it is to want the possible and be denied it.

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Happily Never After or One Man's Life Long Journey to Death

    A sobering, jarring realization hit me a day or two ago. I am facing the prospect of spending the rest of my life with nothing to look forward to, nothing to be joyful about getting out of bed for. Why? I’m too old to be regarded as having much value anymore. Not that I ever really did.

    Before I lived long enough to become old, I had the possibility of one day meeting that special someone with whom, for better or for worse, I could hold hands with while we walked through our sunset years together. Had we met in younger years, we’d have enjoyed growing older together. Now, having reached my older years alone, those potential ‘significant others’ regard me as too old or are (for any number of reasons) totally uninterested or are (for any number of reasons) themselves not appealing enough because they’ve made no effort to age gracefully. Aged and frumpy are two not very effective qualities of attractiveness and are, quite frankly, supreme turn-offs.

    That I am attracted to younger women I will not deny. Does that make me a reverse cougar? Or a dirty old man? (Come on. What is a dirty old man? A man whose eyes are still able to distinguish beauty?) My body may have grown older but my perceptions have never been sharper. A younger woman’s beauty does not become less apparent as a man ages.

    This reverse cougar business bears a bit of thought. Reverse cougars are not very well regarded as in “Why don‘t you find somebody your own age, Old Timer?” Unless you are Hugh Hefner or Aristotle Onassis which renders it OK. Don’t know whether it’s their great personality, their notoriety or their wealth which makes (made) them attractive. (That’s a difficult one to figure out, isn't it?) That also calls into question the type of women who flock in from the sidelines.

    So without being famous and without being rich, a man who has the audacity to live long enough to become old should plan on hanging it up and stop hoping to meet someone who’s genuinely attractive rather than someone who might simply be available. “There’s a calamity of such long life" (Thank you, Mister Shakespeare) that the greater the success at remaining alive, the fewer the rewards for doing so.

    And please don’t invoke that childish palliative of the gold-lined streets and all the harps and happiness to look forward to in the afterlife “The undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveller returns.” (Thanks again, Will.) There are those whose eyes are fixed firmly on the Pearly Gates but whose feet are planted firmly in mid-air. I am here, now, on Terra Firma. I yearn for a here and now solution to a here and now emptiness in my life.

    On the in-touch-with-reality side of the coin, I fully realize that all I have to offer is me. I have no property, I have no wealth, I have no boat but the fact that some of the women I’ve found attractive seem to be in a relationship with a man who doesn’t revere them allows me a glimmer of hope to go on. They may one day wake up to the fact there’s someone who would happily treat them with the respect they deserve. Maybe age difference will become less important then.

    I can easily dismiss the superficial, promiscuous teasers once it becomes evident that’s their game — nothing substantial can grow from superficiality. A woman who flaunts her sexuality and taunts with a recounting of her many sexual exploits in the presence of a long-time involuntary celibate commits cruel and unusual punishment. They’re the type of person who would pull the wings off of a fly.

    After being a Good Samaritan to a troubled woman, I wasted 35 years believing a brother-sister friendship with that troubled woman would grow into a deeper, more sustaining, friendship as the years passed. I was wrong and the suspected friendship neither expanded nor deepened but instead became toxic. I finally disconnected myself last year. I then entered the barren emptiness of the world of dating after age 50, the ultimate Good Samaritan reward. Bah!

 All I really want is to be half of a couple, sharing, laughing, dancing 
and watching the sunset while it‘s still on the faraway horizon. 
I’m not ready to die.

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