My Incurable VoyeurismTuesday, September 25, 2018
The word voyeur in its Frenchness sounds romantic. It may be a word used to describe a man like me who formerly as a young boy could have been considered as such.
Perhaps a key element of the voyeur is an inability to communicate with the person one is watching (spying?). In my case my voyeurism was all about my shyness in thinking I was a nerd (before that word came to be coined). I sometimes wonder if my voyeurism could have become dangerous. Was I a stalker?
When I was 16 and living in Mexico City I went in buses. In some buses young girls, pretty young girls leaving their private schools would be on the bus at the same time every day. I would sometimes take a bus knowing my adored vision would be on board. I would stare on the sly and imagine what it could be if I could only come up to her and say, “Soy su admiradora. ¿Cómo te llamas?”
One particular vision of my delight was a young woman with very white skin and black hair who always would get off her school bus around the corner from my house. The school bus was for the Colegio Hebreo Sefaradí. She was as exotic as my concept of the Jewish Spaniards who had been expelled so many years before by Queen Isabella. I never had the nerve to speak to her or to meet her eyes if she happened to look at me as I "casually" walked by the bus that had stopped at her house.
By the time I was in a boarding school in Austin, Texas I avoided the school dances or sock hops as they were called because I did not know how to dance and I was much too shy to talk to girls.
But I did manage to find a girl that I could talk to who talked back to me. She was a very short Mexican/American cheerleader called Judy Reyes. Because I played the alto saxophone for the school band I could spy on her while playing with the band at school football games. The girls from the Catholic school across town called St. Mary’s were the girls we were supposed to associate with.
I believe I may have found the nerve to dance with Judy a couple of times and I even remember that the song (one for slow dancing) was called A Summer Place which was sung by Sandra Dee.
Until I was able to extricate my shyness in one very important occasion and talk to that lovely long blonde haired (with lovely legs) Rosemary Healey who became my wife in 1968, all my previous girl friends were women who aggressively picked me up!
These nights at age 76 I sometimes dream of these women and I wonder if looking back at them is somehow a version of my incurable voyeurism?