Maybe I was too hasty in writing off boys. Was it simply a reaction to the former Boy Toy’s memoir in progress—Sleeping with Cougars?
Only a teenage girl investing romantic qualities in a dolt who has none is more romantic than the aging man—and, of course, his affections are perhpas more likely to be handed to the woman barely out of her teens than to one nearer his own age.
My friend A, into his fifties, tells me: “I was an asshole to women until I was treated badly by one woman I loved and at the same time began experiencing erectile difficulties. I was devastated.”
Dramatically changing his lounge lizard persona, he became the consummate romantic man, turned pleasing women into an art form and recently married the “love of my life” (who is half his age.)
Now my friend Hugh Hunte, into his fifties, confesses he is trying to fall out of a crush. He is hurt by her rejection. But in three months of gentle pursuit, he didn’t even get a passionate kiss. How can he be clinging to his sadness over what strikes me as a minor loss—and, certainly ten years ago, would have struck him as laughable? (Hugh, darling, I can hear the younger you laughing at “the poor schmuck” who pursued a woman after she put him up in the guest room when he stayed over.)
They met at a Harlem jazz bar. An amateur musician, he was playing sax. She was in his line of sight; and he played to her (as I’ve watched him do before.)
“I kept looking at her. Basic black dress, great shoes, strappy high-heeled sandals"--Hugh likes the ladies’ shoes---“Graceful, slow moving. I sat down and talked to her but I got no special treatment. She was cordial. When she came back two weeks later, I put on the full court press,
“Who are you, what do you do? We had a quiet, gentle conversation.”
A month later, she invited him to her home in New Jersey for dinner. He slept in her guest bedroom, no sex, and she took him to the train in the morning.
“I wasn’t disappointed because I thought I was moving forward, I thought this could be something serious. The seriousness of it was interesting enough for me not to push her.”
She reminded him of his beautiful late wife, who died of cancer.
“She was quiet, reserved. Talking about past lovers, I could hear the last one’s laugh above the crowd, but I couldn’t hear this woman. She was a lady.”
But there was no warmth. She rarely made eye contact when they dined out—and always took the calls on her cell phone.
“We didn’t even progress to the hand-holding stage. That was the longest time I’ve ever gone out with someone in my life without having it go somewhere.”
Hugh is retired from the NYPD, the elite ESU, Emergency Services Unit. He’s a marksman, a scuba diving instructor, certified sailing captain—and more. He lives most of the year on his estate on St. Thomas, in the rainforest with a private beach 1100 feet below. When he calls to chat, I hear him against a chorus of singing frogs, cochins. In fact, he is Manhattan now to meet with investors about turning the place into a boutique lifestyle hotel.
“I knew it was not going to happen one night when I was out with an old friend, sharing wine and cheese and olives –and she was more engaged with me than this woman ever was. I told my friend that I was energetically passionate about a woman, but I feared if I got her into bed, she’d never make a sound.
The graceful lady ended it with a text message that said, “I don’t want what you want.”
He replied with a Barbara de Angeles quote: “You never lose by loving You always lose by holding back,”
Was she “holding back”—or just not that into him? He’s an aging boomer guy craving intimate connection. Wistfully, he said, "I want someone to ask me about my dreams because I still has them."
He wants to want to hear her voice and to share a dog with her.
“Did you try to kiss her?” I asked.
“I was prepared, teeth brushed, breath mints, bottle of Listerine in car. I was ready to say to her, ‘I want to hold you and feel you breath in my arms’ but the kiss did not happen and barely a hug.
“Someone had been cruel to her, but it wasn’t me.”
Maybe she just wanted to be friends.
I might give Hugh a teasing bad time about this crush if I didn't have one of my own on a voice and projected persona of the Sexy Morning Man.
But Hugh, darling, you are about to change the luxury island travel industry. Do you have time for this anyway? Keep your eye on the ball.
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