Friday, July 25, 2014

Nostalgia

Spencer Dryden


The word brings up jumble of thoughts about movies, life, society, heroes and villains. I'm a subscriber to XM satellite radio. They have a channel dedicated to the 60's. Great stuff.  Memories come floating in with each old song. Unless you were there or study music, it's hard to appreciate how much the Beatles changed pop music, and not necessarily for the better.

Speaking of awakening memories of the '60's, I went to an old time burger joint recently and had a glass of liquid memory, otherwise known as a malted milk. To someone my age, malted milk is the flavor of youth-drive inns, hot cars, hot girls. McDonald's eliminated the flavor of malted milk from the pallet of Americans.

All that said, I've never had a period in life that I wanted to live over again—except for few years in the 80's—but I messed those up as well, and besides, a gentleman never tells.

When I tell people I was in college in the late 1960's they say what a great time that must have been. It wasn't for me. First of all, there were none of the reputed hippy-chicks ready to make love at the drop of a roach. At least I never found them, and believe me, I looked. More importantly, there was this ugly situation in Vietnam, waged by old men looking to fight Hitler again and fought by young men trying to stay alive. The ruling class expected me to go there and die for the worst foreign policy decision our country ever made. A theory, the Domino Theory, the fucking Domino Theory, that Vietnam was Armageddon, the place where freedom loving people would put a stop to the spread of global communism. I managed to avoid the draft by going to college and by luck of birth. Guys a little older than me bore the brunt of that misadventure. So no nothing worth a re-do there.

The 70's. A terrible marriage and a couple of jobs I hated, and hated myself for having to do them. Back to school to earn an MBA which proved to be equally as useless as my degree in Psychology. The economy was in the shitter then. Remember? We hemorrhaged whole industries to the Japanese tsunami that obliterated lives and communities and lots of living wage jobs. Who'd ever want to go back to that? Not me. Not even for disco.

Ah the 80's. Single again. Still wouldn't want to relive those years unless I could avoid the stupid stuff.

The river flows on.

I've had the love of my life with me for 25 years now. Our story isn't over so there's nothing to be nostalgic about, we're still living it.

What's the uniting factor across the decades for me? Sex. Mostly my lack of it during my most virile years, but it's a more than the sex I didn't get, it's female allure that has always had me. I have been captivated by female allure since I felt that first stirring in my pants at the sight of a naked woman over fifty years ago.

So now I'm in my 60's, approaching the supposed golden years. A quick check of my bank account says otherwise. I'm not fearful of aging but what I'm beginning to miss is my sex drive, more specifically the fascination with the female form and spirit. Watching the boat sail away should be a  relief. Sex has been the source of so much misery in my life. It's not that I need the performance enhancing blue pill and I'm not about to get sucked into that low -T thing. Decline is a natural part of aging. I accept that.  It's just that some of the color has gone from life. A smile from a pretty girl, a shapely ass in a pair of jeans, a set of breasts trying to burst their containment vessel—all could brighten up a day and launch me into fantasy without an inappropriate word exchanged. It was like walking in a beautiful flower garden. Now it's fall and the flowers have lost their bloom. That's what I'm nostalgic for-female allure.

Let me be quick to say that vast amounts of brain space have been freed by this transition. There's room now for lovely thoughts and bombastic ideas. I can form more words now and sometimes even get them on paper. I love the writer's life and hope to be able to pass the time well in this new found adventure. I just hope that the color doesn't fade completely.

14 comments:

  1. Oddly enough, my appreciation of female allure increased as I approached sixty. Or possibly not oddly at all. I've known since adolescence that I was bisexual, but I guess the dwindling of the biological imperative that came with menopause let me notice the lesbian side more.

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    1. Sacchi:
      Fantastic! How sweet is that?

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    2. Sacchi sounds like what Polyamorous folks (recent article in Atlantic Monthly online) refer to as a "unicorn" a rare and highly sought after creature.

      Garce

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  2. The word nostalgia implies a comfy feeling about the past. The positive things. Too bad you don't have much in that area, Spencer. I have lots to be thankful for, but it's easier because I tend to be a positive person, and consider the negative things as learning experiences.

    Easy to say, I know. It's not that the bad times weren't there, but they're not what I focus on.

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    1. An excellent point Daddy:
      How did you avoid the draft?

      Like so many seniors I have grown happier with time. I've never been happier than I am now. I only wish I had a deep well of happy experiences to draw upon.

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    2. Well I told them I had other plans! :>)

      That in itself wouldn't have done the job, so I didn't wear underwear's when I went for the drafty physical. Guys who saw that scene will understand how I … uh… stood out.That also had something to do with my 1-Y classification.

      As you guys have read on these pages that Momma and I lost our 20's to her illness, with her too close to expiring over twelve years or so over the 60's and 70's.

      And yes, it is becoming easier, not having to struggle to make a living. Between the social security checks and our savings, we'll probably get through okay.

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  3. Spencer, my parents rescued as many draft dodgers as possible, after we moved to Canada in 1967. I was told that was the first televised war, and the images of napalm victims on the nightly news were horrible to watch. I wouldn't want my worst enemy to be drafted into that war, but most of my male classmates seemed to be knee-jerk patriots who looked forward to the experience. (A young man whose mother was first cousins with my mother was one of these gung-ho warriors. He was killed in the war, and his body was sent home to his parents.) I'm very glad you were able to stay out of the war without having to leave the U.S. At the time, draft dodgers thought they could never go home again.

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    1. Jean-- You were born to saints.

      But even with that prior experience of Viet Nam, the US still thinks it can help countries with problems we can't relate to or exert change.

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    2. Jean:
      Ditto Daddy's comments. It's only fitting that the company that gave me my first publishing contract, Breathless Press, is located in Calgary, making me, in my estimation, an honorary Canadian citizen.

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  4. In the 70's anfd 80s and part of the 90s I was deep in my religious years. So I was sheltered from a lot of the dumb stuff and missed out on the opportunity to explore a lot of the wild stuff.

    What a strange aggregate of people we are here, sexually that is.

    Garce

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    1. Garce:
      How true. I feel like the oddball here as I write vanilla, m/f erotic romance from a male POV. My exception is the novella posted here, "Bliss" which is not erotica or romance and it's from the heroin's POV.

      Did you enter the Blasphemy anthology call from Burning Books?

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  5. The Beatles did not change pop music for the better? Oh, Spencer, we could argue about that!

    Music definitely kindles nostalgia in me. Sometimes I'll hear an old song that came out when I was in high school and I'm back there in a flash.

    The Vietnam war was this terror looming over us. Avoiding the draft. Marching in demonstrations (yes, even my mother!) Knowing that horrible evil was being visited on human beings in the name of my country... so ugly.

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  6. And nothing seems to get better - talk of wars I always hoped was a thing of the past, but now we're up to our necks in it again - or have we ever really been free of wars? Can't feel nostalgic about any of that.

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  7. Spencer, you may be the only contributor here who writes vanilla, but I do too. That's all I write. One man/one woman, HEA. My only brother's wife called me "vanilla" years ago and it took me a while to realize she meant it as an insult, to denigrate my success in getting published. So I stopped giving them free copies of my books.

    I was in high school and college during the 70s. I was one of those dick-loving "hippie chicks", and Garce jokes that he wishes he knew me then. I'm sure I'm older than him, so I might not have given him a tumble...or I might have enjoyed playing "Mrs. Robinson." Sometimes I remember things I did and laugh...other times I really miss that sense of freedom and irresponsibility that I only enjoyed until I graduated from college. And sometimes I marvel that it really was me, since I feel so boring and "normal" now, having raised 4 kids, been a PTA volunteer and a Girl Scout leader. About the only remnant of my crazy youth is my many tattoos...that and I can still shoot a mean stick (we had a pool table in the basement of the house I grew up in, and I learned how to play once I could see over the top of the table.)

    As for memories of Vietnam, when I sub in high school classes that are reading books like "The Things They Carried", or in history classes, I tell the kids that I knew people who lost loved ones to the draft. When I hear the chicken-hawks bleating about how great war is, I remind the kids that Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush-the-shrub, Rush Limbaugh, and Ted Nugent, were all draft-dodgers when they were vulnerable, but now that they're too old to be drafted, suddenly they're all waving weapons around bragging about how tough they are. Fucking sniveling cowardly wimps. But I remember when lowering the voting age to 18 was a huge deal, because if you were old enough to kill and die for your country, at least you deserved a say in WHO the commander-in-chief was, who was going to send you to war. So I've been a volunteer registrar for many years, and I register mostly young people, so they can begin their lifetime of civic responsibility. My sons berate me, telling me that today's young people are dumber than a rock, so I shouldn't give them the ability to vote because their votes will cancel out mine. I remind them that, in the immortal words of Crumb comics: It has always been thus.

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