Tag Archives: older woman

“Bottoms Up, Bottoms Up! Up!”

I had a dream about you, baby tall.

Last night, in the midst of a city very much like New York — my city, not your city — we stood in between two slow snowfalls; and you were suddenly taken.  It’s the way I had seen too many fall for my city — not your city — when all that grime and mess and neuroses had been covered by the endless, fresh sheets of snow; suddenly making life seem not so hard.  Not so bad.  (It would happen a lot, in my city, unless those in the midst of it had arrived with some stubborn arrogance in tow.  But if they hadn’t made up their mind, most of the time they would fall, for my city.)

In a nook of a miniature park, in the cove between two high-rises, the air was warm, windless:  It was waiting for the next fall.  Generally, it had been true, about my city:  It never failed to give it a rest, but not until one was hopelessly fed up; on the verge of losing one’s mind.  And then the city would let up a little, for long enough to grant a breather.  Just as we were now:

In a nook of a miniature park, you and I — were in the midst of a breather, in between two slow snowfalls.

You always stood so tall:  more of my son than any others that came before you.  Sometimes, I would catch your blue-eyed gaze deciphering something I could not have known.  (A life?  A love?  A dream, a game, a sport.)  You’d see me looking up and you’d wink:  Busted, baby tall.  So very much busted.  I did look up this time, again, but at the heavy clouds patching up the night sky — little foam baths for shiny stars:

“How long is the breather?” I wondered.  “How long can we have, here?”

But you always stood so tall, so there you were:  Right above me, winking.  And suddenly, all that manhood that someone had taught you to put on — the control, the knowledge, the groove I had always secretly worshiped in you — all that fell away.  Two step was all it took for you to make it over to a hilly flowerbed (because you always stood and walked so tall); and before I could say, “Love?” — you were on the ground, awkwardly for your height, but still, very much my son.  Your long limbs began to swing around, as if swimming in a giant pool; and you began to laugh in a way I had never heard, in the midst of our breathers:  abundantly and out of control, as if no damage had ever happened to your child.

“What are you up to, over there?” I asked, chuckling; and I felt my tear ducts kick-in.

“So good!” you answered, “Really:  So good!”  It’s what you’d always say when you wanted my participation.  And back into the giant pool of your laughter you dove in.  Out of control.

It would take my slow descent onto the patch of snow underneath my feet; for I was always older than you, flaunting those years as aging big cats do when teaching their cubs how to hunt.  I was wearing that same black coat from college, but it now sat a couple of sizes too big on my tauter, more disciplined body.  So, it asked for some maneuvering to land onto my back.  I spread the bottom of of the coat like a giant tail and reluctantly began replicating your strange, unlikely behavior.

“Oh,” I said — I finally got it — and looked over at your blue-eyed gaze deciphering something.  “Is baby tall making snow angels?”

“Yep.”

But then, you stopped laughing, back in control — in the knowledge, in the groove of all that manhood someone had taught you to put on.

In the midst of a city very much like New York — my city, not your city — I thought:

“Here is — to NOT happening.”

It has been my toast to every morning since I’ve learned to wake up without you.  It has become my prayer, my chronic chant as I continue to flaunt my years in front of other cubs that have happened since you.  They can’t hang, can’t groove, can’t hunt; and they definitely don’t know how to follow an older woman’s lead.  And so they leave, soon enough, for younger, simpler loves.  And I don’t even itch with resistance:  I let them go.

“Here is — to NOT happening,” I think.

Sometimes, a love story is not a go-to novel, pregnant with favorite quotations, that rests on a bookshelf dusty everywhere else but in its vicinity.  Sometimes, it’s just a vignette:  a pretty design on the spine of someone’s history.  A short story.  A lovely fable.  A melancholic lullaby.  And so fearful we are, sometimes, of our own mortality — of our irrelevance — so stubbornly arrogant, we leap into a sad habit of making a mess out of our break-ups and departures.  And we just can’t let it go.

But not this time, baby tall.  Not with this aging big cat.  Because you were more of my son than any others that came before you; and because my age had asked me for much slower maneuvering in that tauter, more disciplined body of mine.

So many had come before you, and they had taken so much; I am still surprised at how easily I am ready to love.  But even if they have vanished entirely, after our messy break-ups and departures, I am too wise to dismiss them.  They are still — my lovely fables.  My melancholic lullabies.  And no matter how long the healing, with the next magnificent love, I inevitably have come to know:

“Here is — to NOT happening.”

Oh, but it’s a good thing, my baby tall:  to not have happened!  “Really:  So good!”

So, here is — to this breather, in between our falls, in between our dreams.  And yes, here is — to the next magnificent love, or the next vignette.

Sex — with My Motha

As every woman I know, I have the type of relationship with my “motha” that makes me smile sardonically when speaking of her and roll my eyes back (far back enough to lose my contacts in my skull) when hearing other daughters bitch and moan.  “My life had stood—a loaded gun,” wrote a suffragette nearly two centuries ago.  I could easily misquote her, and on the topic of mother say: “My love had stood—a loaded gun.”  (Want irony?  Mother’s name does indeed translate to “Love” from Russian).  Or I could accept that the trials and tribulations woven into my life by my mother’s hands (her hands:  always baby-soft, manicured but with a grip) have made my life worthy of storytelling.  Our three-decade long love story is one of an absurdist comedy, an exhausting epic, and a heartbreaking tragedy.  She is my rock of Sisyphus.  My Ariadne’s thread.  My Pandora’s box.  My cross.  My heart.  My very Love.

To this day, she sneaks into every character of my fiction whom I adore and despise equality.  Every woman of tremendous beauty and charm that I think up (or fall in love with on a daily basis on the street) is—Mother.  Before I am aware, I hear her roaring laughter in my pages, her passive-aggressive sigh and overly dramatic delivery.  I see her flirtatious hair-flips and shoulder jerks, and the darting of her feline eyes.  Her killer sexuality that makes men act like moronic children is not one I could’ve thought up as an author.  As I age into my womanhood, I observe her lines come through on my face and hips, like a superimposed image.  As I mature as an artist, I accept that she is the main source of my inspiration and work—the very point of it all; and the sooner I surrender to that, the sooner my art will flourish.  Mother:  had not only granted me my life—she granted me my livelihood.

All this—is just a prelude, my comrades.  A little 101 on my Love.

The other day, with mother on a speaker phone in my car, I had to pull off the road; for this rambunctious, loud, dangerously charming woman had me in tears from her bit on dating.  Regardless never having read my blog, mother had decided to contribute.  Nyet, nyet:  More accurately, she demanded her own column!  To this wisdom on her dating life as an older woman, I subject you, my readers; for you—as I—do not have a choice to avoid my “motha.”  (Although I do wish, you could hear these words for yourself, heavily laced with a Russian accent, directly out of the woman’s gorgeous mouth—and you’d lose your shit as well):

I.  “The second you call a man your “baby”—he starts shitting his pant.”  Mother was never a nurturing type of woman, as I have learned in my own childhood.  She is sort of like Stalin when it comes to love:  The more they fear you—the better they love you.  It is understandable then that she never catered to her man; and one certain way to make my mother retract her affection or watch her phenomenal hips sway side to side as she walks away and leaves your ass for good—is to act needy.  Herein lies the lesson for the mankind:  Unless sick or on your deathbed, don’t let a woman see your weakness!

II.  More on that topic:  “I am not mothering another human being—unless it comes out of my vagina.”  In my childhood, my mother had reiterated a few times that I had stolen all of her love.  Her love was very tough, but apparently—it was love.  Anyway:  No man, she said, including my father, could ever claim her heart—for it already belonged to me.  Although I have yet to experience my own motherhood, I agree with this unforgiving philosophy:  A child should always remain a parent’s priority.  Add to that the priority of nurturing and perfecting the self, and I predict that when a mother, my hands will be full.  However, this is not a single-edged sword because I will demand the same from my man:  When raising a child together, grant most of your love to our offspring—and take care of your own shit (for I have neither the time nor the patience to do it for you).

III.  “It’s too late to be switching to mineral water—when your liver is falling out.”  Like mother like daughter, I too possess high expectations when it comes to my man’s health.  However, my opinion had to be developed with time; and as my last love story proves, I should’ve listened to my mother sooner.  Unlike hers, my belief has little to do with the man’s appearance though, but everything—with his longevity for the sake of our children (and consequentially, for the sake of our partnership):  One’s health is one’s own responsibility.

IV.  Finally, because mother was never the one to beat around the bush, here is the best summary of her high dating standards:  “If he gave me a tub of borscht in wartime, I still wouldn’t fuck him.”  Clearly, authentically and to the point—that’s the gist of mom.  I wish I could think this shit up on my own, my comrades, but because I can’t, live and learn from the woman:  Do not lower your expectations, for if you do—you alone will suffer the consequences.

She is good, ain’t she?  But as I have learned for myself, mother is good in small doses.  So, process these four bits of enlightenment for now, my comrades; and start jonesing for her return.

(P.S.:  Mom!  If you’re reading this, don’t call me with your edits!  I’ll call you.)