October 16, 2012 § 162 Comments
From yesterday’s Times:-
To my astonishment, a new and wonderful twinkle has emerged.
A rather inappropriate one in some folk’s eyes, possibly, but not because he is married. He’s not. It is simply that he is younger than me. By quite a lot, but not so much as to be morally wrong. The gap is just not enormously common (this way round, at least; plenty of men my age with women of his), so qualifies as enough to raise a few eyebrows were things to go anywhere further than they now stand, which I would describe as regular flirtation. Even promising flirtation. That would be if I could ever acknowledge anything as promising ever again. Almost impossible these days because I have been mistaken so many times over the past few years that I presume my idea of promising is anyone else’s idea of dead in the water.
Anyway, there he was, right under my nose, needing to come round about once a week for an in-house cause. I thought him extremely charming at first but, delightfully tactile though he was, I didn’t really clock any frisson between us because he is so young and sex was far from the context. Then one day recently, he detected I had been crying. He stood up and simply said, “Come here”, and gave me a huge and lingering hug. So, naturally, I cried more, because it was a pathetically thrilling moment and the stomach did that thing of feeling as though a wave had passed through it of liquid mercury; that uncommon but very forceful lurch we all know and crave, which makes you feel that life is worth living.
Since then, I have been getting drunk with him, heady as a student on talk of literature and life and music, and accompanied by cigarettes. He glances at my cleavage (which gets more unbuttoned by the day) and mentions sex in a provocative way, but of course I cannot be sure how provocative because I wonder how such a heavenly younger man as he could possibly be interested in me, even if when I look in the long mirror I believe that my body, far from having deteriorated, is in fact better than it was when I was seventeen.
I am not expecting the earth, but just some fun; and a nice time, goddammit, however fleeting it would necessarily be. Only how to know what the hell is going through his mind? How to interpret signals which may not be signals at all? How to move this thing on without making a total arse of myself, and before the souffle of my body and hope collapses entirely?