Smelling Roses & Eros On A Linoleum-tiled FloorWednesday, March 12, 2014
I have been thinking that 14 years ago, seem not too long ago but time has passed in a way that I am reminded that 14 years (I am 71) from now statistically speaking I will be dead. So little time, but time enough to remember and contemplate.
Getting out of the tub is now a chore that I must accomplish with great care. I know that tons of old ladies fall in the bathroom, break their hip and go to the hospital. Most always never return home. Now I am not a little old lady but… and going up and down the stairs is another painful activity. I am sure that if I filmed a week’s goings up and down I would notice that incremental slowing down.
Food is not so important. The idea of food is, but like the smell of coffee and sex, perhaps, the actual consumption of it does not match up to expectations. It could be that I am losing, little by little my ability to taste. I over-pepper my food with no appreciable improvement.
But smell, the smell of roses, is a sense that was hyper good for me last year. I cannot understand that if smell and taste are intimately related, why the divorce now?
By now many reading this will have left suspecting I will go on a rant about getting old. A pity for them because this is not a rant.
My eldest daughter, the one that lives and teaches in Lillooet told my Rosemary a few days ago, “Now that you are retired you can do all that.” My wife had complained that lately she had been sleeping in and doing little. To this I can add that sometimes (hey sometimes I feel I am cutting edge) I must stare at my iPhone 3G to find out what day of the week it is.
Retirement if one does not park incessantly in front of a TV can give one time to reflect, think, invent, plan, compare. It seems that my wife’s complaint of inaction can be easily converted into something quite transitive in a verb/grammatical sense. René Descartes would approve.
If food is not as pleasant as it used to be and a large, very hot and very strong mug of good tea now pales to my former idea of it, I must latch on to other events of my existence that might give me pleasure. Reading is one of them an since I stopped buying books some three years ago my VPL has provided me with lots of reading material as well as some of the best old or uncommercial movie DVDs.
They say that eating and its opposite are two almost supreme (superior to skiing they say) pleasures. Of the latter I can attest that I have no problem and I enjoy in the process reading Pauline Kael’s 5001 Nights at the Movies and The New York Times The Best DVDs You’ve Never Seen, Just Missed or Almost Forgotten Edited by Peter M. Nichols and with an Introduction by A.O. Scott.
At age 71, as I may have hinted above, the idea of sex like the smell of coffees is supreme.
I sort of know just about everything I need to know about the sex act and I am not in the least naïve about it.
And so I can now get to the reason (justification?) for inserting the pictures you see here. I will be perfectly honest. I looked at them in a file in my computer and I asked myself how I could write about them so that I could put them up and perhaps begin to fill some of those blog vacancies of the last few weeks. The slicing off (rose clippers) of the tip of my middle finger rendered my ability to type in a most limited way. It is better so here we are.
The justification? When I looked at these photographs I could remember the smell of the tiles of my old studio on Robson and Granville. I do not want to reveal here the identity of the two women but they were and are my friends. I especially appreciate their sense of trust and their understanding of what I was trying to achieve. I remember their laughter and the smell of those Doc Martens. The stocking did rustle.
In this age of pornography, of unsubtle pornography, of banal pornography, of boring pornography, of unimaginative pornography, of lurid pornography, these images do more to erase years from the age of my imagination that I feel young again. I feel young enough to look forward to smelling my roses this May. Now where would I find women, in this age of facebook (not that it must be written in lower case) willing to trust this dirty (?) old man?