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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