|Halloween - 1952 - Susan Stone is the girl laughing on the right|
Primal Urge II Brian Aldiss
These evenings and nights I have succumbed to taking sleeping pills as I think lots about my current state of affairs. I eat, take care of the cats and with no work in the garden until, perhaps next month, this leaves me with writing. And of course there are all those menialities like vacuuming and doing my laundry. I think about what I want to write, knowing that this is good therapy when one has little to do or need to do.
Last night I was thinking about my relationship with the women who were part of my romantic life. I have written about it, the two links are above. I believe that I can add some fresh approach to my feelings. As I have included before in these blogs, many writers including Joan Didion wrote, “I write to find out how I feel.”
Today I found a new Argentine word “ñoño” which translates to nerd. I have been a nerd all my life and was even one before the word was coined. Now I would like to amend that by saying that what I may have been was a precocious nerd.
It was in kindergarten in Buenos Aires that I would lift the
skirt of one of the Argentine quintuplets María Fernanda Diligenti. In Spanish
a kindergarten is “jardín de infantes”. The word infante does not have the
negative connotation of infantile. What did I know about the relation of a
little girl’s underpants to my feeling some sort of attraction? I later graduated to shooting spitwads to girls I liked.
By the time I was 10 I felt differently about girls. This brings me to the crux of the matter of this blog. It was then, that without knowing anything about the birds and the bees, I understood that there were some girls I liked. I am not sure that I thought of the word attraction in relation to girls.
It was about this time that there were two American girls in my 5th grade class that I enjoyed looking at. One was called Susan Stone and the other Mary Lou Chase. They were good friends to each other.
I am not sure how a chauffered Cadillac came to be part of my life. Perhaps my mother interceded as she was teaching at the Belgrano R, American School while I was going to the nearby grammar school. Susan Stone’s father, the General Manager of General Motors Argentina,would dispatch his Cadillac to pick me up in our middle-class neighbourhood of Coghlan so that I could play with his daughter in their sprawling mansion in Belgrano. It was there where I saw my first TV. I have no memory of what Susan and I did for fun.
It was at night in those days that when my lights were out I would think of her and of Mary Lou. I had no concept of sex or anything related to the erotic. I would think (dream?) situations where I would gaze on their lovely smiles. No matter how I pushed wanting to dream of the two, I would soundly go to sleep.
|Second row top -first 2 girls Mary Lou Chase & Susan Stone -1952 I am bottom right.|
It was not until my 8th grade in Nueva Rosita, Coahuila, Mexico where my mother taught in a two room school to the children of the engineers of nearby American Smelting and Refining Company that I began to see girls differently. My mother taught 8th,7th and 6th grades. With five other boys I was in Grade 8. It was in Grade 7 that I immediately noticed a lovely girl with black hair and eyes called Anna María Ramos. When I had arrived I had been given the plum opportunity of having her as my dance partner in a school dance. By then I was well into becoming a ñoño and I could not dance well. I felt awkward. The closest I ever became of being some sort of beau of hers was to accompany her to the edge of the American colony where we lived where she was met by her Romeo (called just that) who she eventually married.
I cite my experiences with women here to explain the curious fact that while Rosemary and I had good sex for 52 years even until a couple of months before she died, I now have memories of her no different from those that I had for Susan Stone and Mary Lou Chase. I see her face in my-before-I-go-to-sleep evenings with that curious unsexed, almost neutral but very lovely emotion that is devoid of any passion.
|In this fuzzy photograph on our way to Vancouver 1975 this is how I see my Rosemary |
It would seem that I am going back to my emotional routes of when I was 10, but I will skip any thoughts that might come to me to want to lift a woman’s skirts.