It had been a long dry spell, so my friend, Stacy, suggested we go to New York. By long dry spell, I mean verrry long, verrry dry spell. I was feeling (and, I suspect, looking) like a middle-aged frump, and I badly needed to reconnect with my younger, naughtier self.
So, I abandoned my bridge group (please note earlier reference to middle age), and trotted off to New York City with Stacy.
The first couple of days passed unmemorably enough. Despite Stacy’s begging that we hit the lesbian bars, I used all my passive aggressive powers to avoid them. When she suggested we go to happy hour at Henrietta Hudson, I led her to the Algonquin, where I ordered her doubles of everything on the cocktail cart. Soon, she was too drunk even to remember she was gay.
My confidence had been shaken from a miserable period of no sex and even less flirting. I feared my magic charm—New York City, where, incredibly, I’ve always had luck with the ladies, much to my delight and my luckless friends’ dismay—would fail me, too.
Finally, I couldn’t resist Stacy’s demands any longer. So, on our final evening, we went to our favorite bar, the Cubby Hole. Before we entered, I was feeling bloated, and resentful that God had given me a glorious youth, only to snatch it away from me before I was finished abusing it. But as we took our seats by the window, I cheered considerably. The reason I was happy was that we were surrounded by girls.
I have been living in semi-self-imposed exile for the past few years, so I had kind of forgotten what a girl looks like. Almost immediately, I began to feel my inner scamp reemerge from its long hibernation. I began scanning the bar, searching for a target to make meaningful eye contact with. I found a couple of candidates whom I exchanged charged glances with before they gave up, and drifted out of the bar.
But, then, a miracle. Stacy whispered in my ear that a pretty blonde was giving me the eye. I looked up, and caught her staring at me. So, I stared back. Age has its privileges, and I figured if she got offended that I was starting at her, I always could explain I simply can’t see anything through my cataracts.
But she wasn’t offended. Instead, she looked up at me coquettishly. This conversation of glances went on for an hour. I knew that eventually, one of would get drunk enough, and work up the nerve to approach the other. And because I have an early bedtime, I hurried things along by lingering at the jukebox, so she could have an excuse to talk to me.
Sure enough, she was by my side, suggesting songs. We talked for several minutes, during which time my interest faded from enthusiastic to bemused. She was too young, and I didn’t care for her taste in music.
In the old days, lust would have trumped any niggling complaints about a woman’s personality. But I’ve been through enough to know that the person rarely disappears after you sleep with her. Instead, you find her the next morning fully alert, criticizing your decor, and demanding that you get rid of your pets.
So, I left her standing at the jukebox with a stunned expression. As Stacy slapped the back of my head in disgust when we left the bar alone, I skipped down the street knowing that someone very attractive wanted to sleep with me, but I walked away. Suddenly, I didn’t feel middle-aged. Rather, I felt in control.