I am thinking about my last boyfriend, who inspired a world of numinous solitude much amplified by the self-soothing I learned as an only child, and about the boyfriend who inspired my Old Hell Freezes Over Friend (OHFOF) to get into girls.

There is a tipping point, in geriatrix dating, where powerfuckers — of career, money, or girth, the space you take up — can change your gender as well as your class identification. Susan Sontag, in a little noted phrase, said that at some point in her middle age, men stopped fancying her and Lesbians were the only people who made eye contact. The Guardian got her on the record, denying, by the way, that she and Annie Liebovitz were an item:

She will talk about her bisexuality quite openly now. It’s simple, she says. “As I’ve become less attractive to men, so I’ve found myself more with women. It’s what happens. Ask any woman my age. More women come on to you than men. And women are fantastic. Around 40, women blossom. Women are a work-in-progress. Men burn out.” She doesn’t have a lover now, she lives alone.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2000/may/27/fiction.features

I’m not sure that men burn out; Eddie Said’s Late Style indictates that it is possible for a philosophical and stoic (git your Montaigne yayas out) man to become hotter than ever as he shrivels. I met one such man in the garden section of Lowe’s the other day, an old Chicano with a Yorkshire terrier in the child’s seat of his grocery cart. Those teeny teacup dogs are the Baby Girls of all the scariest Hispano gangsters here. You see 400-pound Breaking Bad narco terrorist XXXtras stomping down the street with five pound Chihuahuas on a leash. This Yorkie’s brown eyes were as calm and alert and playful as Don Juan’s own. You don’t often see a two-pound meat loaf dog carrying herself with gravitas; you do here, and it may be the finest thing about the Land of Enchantment. (There are also a lot of Hispano guys resurrecting shelter pit bulls with fringed cartileges into lovebirds.)

Columbia professor Said throws a stone at an Israeli guard house.

Maybe white men in the chattering classes Sontag was cruising burn out. Maybe men of color who live to be old are hotter. I proffered the back of my hand to the Yorqui Princesa to sniff, and we talked a little. He said she helped him in the garden. I said I bet she did.

Clearly I’m not into girls.

Well, about the man who inspired my OHFOF to give up white boys. He was “separated” from his wife? Or, come to think of it, not. One way the dating pool of white boys grows skanky for the geriatric dater. He was married. He was Catholic, and always would be married. God was forcing him to cheat. But, as amenable as he and his rusty gentlemen’s pneumatics were to my OHFOF’s liberated sexual mores, there was one thing he would not do. He would not come. It kept him faithful to his wife. The minute OHFOF stopped counting the ill-gotten Monopoly money of his amazing stamina, she flipped the fuck out. And went out and procured herself butch blue collar Catholic girls twenty years her junior, frighteningly smart tranny dominatrixes whose loving lashes did not assuage Ms. Tran’s paranoia about getting a passport. Lack of European travel finally put the kibosh on loving women. OHFOF was truly courageous and went back to boyz after a while not just because women are poor, and trannies have this problem with papers, but because — well. As one happy femme bisexual explained it to me once, while girls may be the only ones who rilly know how to do it, they don’t have anything to do it with.

I’ve known of another Catholic cheater with the something like the same ontological problem as the gender-shifter, and this loser — who could also not afford a dirty weekend away, or flowers, or dinner out — kept another geriatrix dater friend of mine in sexual torment for months. (Part of the geriatrix dating deal is, erhm, patience.) My friend was afraid to confess this to me. As well she should have been. I was mean. I said to myself, Wait. He’s married? He’s broke? And he can’t get it up? MARRY THIS ONE.

(c) Jeannette Smyth, 2012-2017, all rights reserved.

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