Thursday, June 10, 2010
One Competing Version
I admit there is an everlasting fascination with the sexual apparatus -- what makes it go, how it finds pleasing distractions that are fantastic enough to hold sway and feasible enough to role play. But my lazy shorthand state of the sexual union is pretty much the opposite of the locker room talk of my male peers. Not only am I not the athlete -- I'm not even sure I'm in fighting shape to perform as spectator.
I took some heart when a beloved lifelong pal called me an early influence of sexual handcraft. Regrettably my modeling license has petered thin. I am powerless to impart some of that resourcefulness to my own son. Only the answered prayer of a wet dream visited upon him by the angels of his own imagination can grant this deliverance.
My gratifications with women have taken on a decisively sexless turn. Drawing tears from my wife when I finished help moving her to NYC easily out-conquested any jarring thrust imagined or real within the boundaries of my imagination. This was a woman who had made her unilateral choice months ago (to live on her own again).
Now I was helping to make that choice happen knowing that I too was pulled by the same allure. But it wasn't sexual freedom that fired my desire. It was breaking free the pattern of what my pal has exquisitely meted out as the law of "diminishing returns" -- i.e. coming home every night to set the same table and face the same cable -- the vast universal remote of the empty nest.
Unlike my fact-based phallus-ies I have a completely ungrounded theory working on the origin of our less private evidence of aging. Rungs in a tree trunk are traceable to the annual pedaling through the season cycle. A wrinkle that buckles back on an eye lid or redoubles as a sagging tub of girth under a chin warble? That's evidence of a concealment. It's the carriage of an unrelenting secret. It's the mental scorecard required to track competing versions of the same story -- which version did I give to so-and-so? Did I cc him when I bcc'ed you?
No, I don't believe that the number of narratives we need to keep straight is analogous to the footprints of crow's feet that shuffle their way into our complexions. DNA owns the science and I will not be circuiting the talk shows to dispute this. But I would challenge a panel of the world's best compensated plastic surgeons to deny evidence of the inner torment that infests just below the surfaces they restore. We live by the skin of our vanities. The not-so-secret ingredient in our anti-aging ointments? That we stress over the inevitable.
I wonder what simmers through the bonfires of former U.S. Presidents when they sit for their legacy portraits? Are they thinking about the bullet they took yesterday for some team that will excoriate them tomorrow? Are they letting go or holding on to the idea they can keep all the brightest hopes under the shades of their discretions and directions set by internal compasses? LBJ said that "they'll forgive you for everything except being weak." What could be a more accelerated aging formula than that?
In terms of the sexual rungs around my soul trunk I have this to say to the male youth of America: a dick that limp is more sincere than an engorged one. Hard to swallow, yes, but an erection is not a terrible thing to waste.
- Marc Solomon
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