Friday, October 20, 2006

Rolling Stones and the Blues

I glanced at the photos and wondered why they didn’t affect me. The cover photo was of someone dressed scantily – seductively – in underclothing designed for the imagination but not for reality. As I sat in the reception area and continued to wait for Julie, I flipped the pages of Rolling Stones magazine and saw more photos of the “20th Annual Hot List”.

Who is Fergie, “A Good Girl Gone Bad”? I didn’t have a clue. I recognized Jennifer Aniston who was lying on her stomach. Two of her cheeks wore a designed expression and the other two wore nothing and I felt nothing.

Well, that’s not exactly true. I felt a slight irritation, a sense of being mystified and amusement. Forty years ago I would have looked at the photos and felt something distant from irritation but I’m no longer nineteen and I ponder why I’m glad I feel irritation rather than lust. I was amused by the reaction of other men in the office. One of them had cut the cover from the magazine and they were laughing and making comments – juvenile comments, comments that men have learned they are expected to utter when gathered around photos of young women.

I guess what I used to find sexy is obvious but that changed years ago.

During the last of 25 years of a bad marriage I enjoyed watching the closing scene of Hill Street Blues. I don’t remember the actors or any of the episodes but I looked forward to watching the ending. A couple sat in bed clothed in pajamas. No unnecessary or gratuitous flesh was exposed. Both held reading material and they engaged in adult conversation. Both were professionals. As I remember it, he was a police captain and she was an attorney. Often during the episodes they opposed one another professionally and defended their positions with passion and determination. When the day ended they returned to the bed they shared and sat beside one another discussing something significant. I found that scene erotic and sexy.

Imagine it! A woman who is intelligent, educated, spirited, independent, determined, confident, powerful, opinionated, and bold -- a woman who can and will look a man in the eye and say “Hell no!” and never blink – a woman who challenges a man as an equal – a woman who can stand beside a man and be fully half of a union rather than a wilting violet to be protected and carried. Can anything be sexier than that?

I longed for that experience but knew it was hopeless. Such women existed only in movies and if they did exist in real life then I would never experience it. I was trapped in a bad marriage by choice and guilt.

Surprise! They do exist. Life can be a whimsical and playful puppeteer and one day I found myself single, living in Texas and standing opposite a co-worker whom I was meeting for the first time – a woman, just a woman.

She turned out to be more than just a woman.

One of my greatest joys in life is gazing at Julie and noticing the once-red hair that is revealing more and more grey. There are new wrinkles born of good times shared on sunny, windy trails. I look at her hands and see the beginning of frail hands that one day will take my hand and make my pulse simultaneously calm and quicken.

She is sexy and keeps getting sexier with each passing year.


Blogger Buffalo said...

Interesting how similar our experiences have been. So often when I see the picture of a nude, or semi-nude, young gal I feel older than the hills because I often find them not particularly attractive and too damned young to have anything worth looking at or hearing. There was a time, maybe yesterday, when I wouldn't have given a billy be damned what they had to see. Notable exceptions would be Selma Hyak - even though I probably misspelled her name.

I'm thinking that we are both damned lucky men to have been so richly blessed with so much.

10/20/2006 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger Whitesnake said...

There is still life in the ole dog yet.

10/20/2006 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Yes, I appreciate those cute little wrinkles that have formed around Cuppa's lips. She's earned them, and they're cute.

10/20/2006 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger Malcolm said...

Just so much I can identify with here!

10/21/2006 07:33:00 AM  
Blogger Alex Pendragon said...

Dammit, Paul, you're gonna blow image of being dogs!

10/21/2006 04:09:00 PM  

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