March 8, 2012 § 113 Comments
A big thank you to Catherine for today’s guest blog:-
I joined the plankton order probably around eight years ago, thinking confidently that it would pass. I left behind numerous devious affairs and also the abusive father of my last child, thinking that the peaceful Italian countryside would provide new and enriching delights. The peaceful Italian countryside very quickly threw up farmhands and bigots, while a brother-in-law kindly reminded me that I have MOTHER OF FOUR CHILDREN branded on my forehead. For whole stretches I lived without touch or warmth.
Originally a sporty lass from a sub-tropical country, I found winters here uselessly long and decided that the only way to unwind my depression would be to dump my kids on a ski slope at the nearby Dolomites and learn to ski. Each winter thus became a triumph of young male ski thighs and glowing fitness, a row of peaks on my plankton graph. Initially, I enjoyed the allure of young 20-somethings, who enjoyed the allure of a red-headed Anglophone. For the first time in my life, I advertised myself as a foreigner and led the sheep into my pasture. Muscled, fresh-faced mountain men like tenors in a choir. At one party I spotted three lads I had Bo-Beeped in one room.
Next, for a couple of winters, I had one main interest. The story evolved in a mischievous drunken way, and proceeded with some pleasurable outdoor and off-season encounters. I made it point to remain friends or mates with the others, and have divine memories of alpine nights, sheer descent the morning after, a rib cracked by that tall bloke who didn’t know his own strength.
Throughout however, I have tried to maintain an interest in men my own age (end 40s), and did enjoy some trysts in this department, but found the gentlemen were watchful and harsh, getting flabby, a little toneless. After my colossal emotions with the fathers of my children, there was no love on the menu.
Lately, this plankton has tired of the young uns, and having kids who are between teen and adulthood makes me want to step away from the self-centredness and thriving of youth. The pickings have suddenly become rare. A certain older and extremely fit man my age is missing a tooth. Why does that absolutely destroy me? And his gestures while generous seem those of a wooden old man. Another seeks to know all about my ex-husband and once made me bob down in his car at night. And the one I truly desire, the one I would love to unwrap and whose smile careers through me every time, well, he is spoken for.
So it’s plankton time in the mountains, which I believe were once an underground sea. The rockpool has dried out, and I am a fossil pressed between cold stones.