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the sadness of middle-aged men…

October 14, 2014

The female body has always been the playground of my dreams. That hasn’t changed with age – only now it remain in my dreams – nothing initiated – nothing spoken – nothing leered – nothing smiled – nothing implied – discretion being the better tact of middle age.

I simply quietly marvel to myself in the way one does when standing before Michelangelo’s David… Or when standing in a field of horses, the summer sun on my face…

At a student cafe where I am meeting my partner, I watch (over her shoulder) as a man in his late 50’s tries to saddle up beside an attractive young woman sitting alone by the window. She appears to be no more that 20, maybe 21.

She had been sitting by the window the entire time we were there, diligently working away on her studies. She was now forced to smile politely at the man, finish up her coffee in a gulp, and leave. Her solitude ruined.

A happy moment of solitude and contentment gone.

How many times in a day this happens to women I cannot count.

And how sad the old man looked, who had remained behind, who now sat there and sadly looked out the window.

But this sadness I feel for him is not filled with sympathy. No, that lies with the unknown young woman, whose solitude was ruined by the incomprehensibly delusional actions of this man: – to think that  – at 58 – that he could charm a young woman by the window in a cafe!

Do I laugh at him? Scold him? Smack him?

Should we put him in jail?

No, the sadness I felt for him as I watched him now get up to leave was sadness of knowing that at 58, this man, (and so many more like him) – are so unaware of themselves, or their actions, or the reality that they live in.

It’s the sadness of his cluelessness – of his delusional thinking, of his lack of social decorum – the fact that he thought he had the right to intrude into her solitude and obvious serenity-of-the-moment…

…for what young university woman does not like the pleasant idea of herself studying diligently by the window of a bustling cafe, the fall colours blowing on the breeze…

the whole world just on the other side of the glass…

just beyond her fingertips…?



2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 17, 2014 2:45 am

    Perhaps she was simply amused and flattered!

    • S.J. Hines permalink*
      October 17, 2014 8:11 pm

      Statistically speaking, how often does a 20-year-old feel flattered and amused when an old man sits down beside her and interrupts her studies? If she was “amused” and/or “flattered” why did she almost immediately get up and leave?

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