The International Writers Magazine: Living Forever
Never too old to Kiss
The retirement community I live in advertises that it’s for active seniors. At Christmas, there are a lot of parties. This one was at the home of Jim Parsons, president of our tennis club. The house was big, the largest model we have and I was trying to find the bathroom when I saw two people kissing in an alcove.
The woman was Parsons’ wife Suzie, but the man wasn’t Jim, it was Ronald Messier, a new member, a younger guy, athletic, a pretty good tennis player and already reputed to be a ladies’ man. I was a little shocked. A scene like this wouldn’t have been unusual at the parties we had back in the 1970’s, when sexual inhibitions had gone out the window and we were much younger. But here, in our retirement community? I’d thought we had gotten past such goings-on.
I pondered over whether I should tell Jim Parsons what I’d seen. I didn’t feel especially close with Jim, but I’d known him for a good while and did consider him a friend. A few weeks later we happened to play a set of doubles together and I asked him how Suzie was.
“She’s about the same as usual. Why do you ask?”
“No special reason. She’s become pretty friendly with that guy Messier, hasn’t she?”
Jim laughed. “Aha, so you’ve noticed something?”
I guess my attempt at subtlety had been pretty clumsy. “Actually, yes.”
“That Messier guy is something, isn’t he? I think he’s hit on at least half a dozen of the ladies.”
“Then you’re not worried?”
Jim laughed again. “Hell, no. Hey, if he wants Suzie, he can have her.”
“You’re not serious.”
“Never more so. Suzie was lots of fun way back when. Now she’s become a kvetch. Nothing I do is right. She drives me crazy. I’d be happy for him to take her off my hands.”
This was interesting as I’d considered Jim and Suzie one of our more attractive couples. I did recall a few times when they were playing doubles together and Suzie had yelled at Jim for poaching on her side. You never knew. A few weeks later I mentioned Ronald Messier to my wife Amy. “I hear he’s hit on a few of the ladies,” I said.
“He’s not very discreet,” she said. “He likes to brag about his so-called conquests.”
“Really. Who’s he conquered?”
“You probably don’t know them, mostly the younger set, in their fifties and sixties.”
“How about Suzie Parsons?”
“They were having a fling a little while ago. I don’t know about now.”
“What do the ladies see in him?”
“Well, he’s not bad-looking. He makes the ladies think they’re still attractive, not too old to have, you know, a good time.”
“Hmmm. Has he hit on you?”
“And if he did?”
“Are you jealous?”
“I’d tell him I’m happily married.”
A few weeks later I came upon Ronald Messier in the locker room of our fitness center. I had to admit he did look better than most of us old geezers, like myself. Of course, he must have been ten years younger. As Amy had said he liked to brag about his conquests and he mentioned Suzie Parsons. He said Suzie had actually told him she was ready to divorce her husband Jim so that she could marry him.
“Is she divorcing Jim?”
“Are you kidding? I’ve already been married, twice, and never again. I like being fancy free. I told Suzie it had been fun, but that was all. She’s a bit of a nag, you know. She’d drive me crazy.”
So Jim was stuck with Suzie. I thought about what my wife Amy had said. The ladies wanted to feel there was still some life in them yet. I hadn’t considered that active seniors also meant sexually active, but maybe I’d been short-sighted. Amy said she would have told Messier she was a happily married woman. Was she? Was I a happily married husband? I decided that I’d better start paying a little more attention to her.
© Martin Green June 2014
Lately I’ve been thinking about the time I lived in an apartment on Octavia Street in San Francisco.
My day usually begins with a slight jolt when I see myself in the bathroom mirror. Who is that bald old guy with the bumps on his head and the funny-looking ear
The Bad Neighbor
Frank Mancuso was awakened by a noise from outside. He sat up in bed. “What the hell is that?”
“That plant of yours don’t look too good, Roy. How’re you feeling?”