Sandora = Sexual Pandora
Let’s say you are a SB, in a bar on a Friday night. You have been divorced for, let’s say, 1 year. You’ve been out on some dates, had some wild one or two night rides with women met online, or on line (like at a supermarket- people say supermarkets are good places to pick people up but I’m not buying it). And a several-month diversion with a MILF 5 years older and definitely dirtier than anyone you had ever had before, though ultimately looking for a father figure to slot in to the missing part of the family picture which was not where you needed to be at that juncture of your existence.
And now, you find yourself standing near a woman surrounded by a gaggle of friends, giggling, laughing, lovely, girlish, wearing glasses that are just stylish enough, she keeps pushing loose strands of streaked dirty blond hair out of her face. You are a little drunk, your friend is chatting up one of her friends, you are feeling a little at loose ends and having a fight or flight moment wondering whether to call it a night, but you can’t stop looking at her. You don’t know her, but yet something in you feels like you do, déjà vu of some vague sort. But you are not going to use that hackneyed line. You hear her remark to the nearest friend who herself is not hard to look at with low cut jeans which just reveal her lacy black thong, and jet black hair to her waist and a serpent tattoo slithering up her all but naked back, “I need some you know what tonight.” And she licks her lips in a lascivious way that could launch a thousand- ships or fantasies.
And then, you wake up. No, actually this is real life. And then you manage, uncharacteristically, to say, “What are you drinking? It’s really green.”
A crème de menthe actually. A sensual throwback, you realize, to a former girlfriend, or as you now refer to her, girlfiend, who had a predilection for those disgusting things. The blond looks at the raven haired girl, and you can see without actually registering that a lot hangs in the balance in that moment, a word of ridicule will seal your fate for the evening. The blond then turns to you and says “What do you have against green? It’s the color of money.” And smiles.
Five hours later. You walk out of the bar with the black haired girl who has a name, it’s Alice, the blond having long ago disappeared with some guy wearing a white collar striped shirt and suspenders from Wall Street circa 1985 central casting. She has her arm in yours, and you are heading downtown, to the East Village , to her place.
When you wake up, you are as disoriented as you have ever been on a Saturday morning. Squinting into the shafts of sunlight coming through a high window, the room gradually comes into focus. A red velvet bedspread envelops you and is beautiful in the sunlit rays. There is stuff in disarray everywhere. It’s small, and it’s a one-room apartment which you can tell from the kitchen stuff on one side of the room, small round dining table in the middle, and couch and chair near where you lie on what you think is a double bed. You smile, because you are remembering last night. That serpentine tattoo sure looks beautiful in the mirror, in the smoky pre-dawn light, that memory will be seared in your brain, you don’t realize, forever.
Forever is a long time. Somewhere between 50 and 60 years from now, depending on a variety of factors beyond your control. And- speaking of beyond your control- during your personal forever, the rest of the minutes hours and days that make up your life- this woman, the raven black hair, the serpentine tattoo, her ghostly white petite and curvy buttocks undulating over you as streaks of dawn illuminate the downtown sky like a vision of heaven or hell in a Renaissance painting- will be etched in your brain like a deep scar. Because- though you don’t know this as you read the note scrawled in red on a napkin lying on your chest saying “be gone before I get back, I had a great time!!! JJ” – you have fallen into deepest love and lust.
Which finally brings me to the point if there is one. How long, how many roads, does it take for a SB to have a clue of the right one? How is it that any of us arrive at a point where we can say- I will take the one less traveled on, and that will make all the difference. Or instead where we can say, fuck the less traveled on, I will take the MORE traveled on so I don’t end up in a suicidal self-pitying heap on some psychiatrist’s couch muttering about who she might be sleeping with tonight, how it never ever ends, why there isn’t there some drug, what about electroshock or some surgically induced sunshine of the spotless mind, why can’t I find someone I really like who likes me, why can’t I shake that soul searing image of her over me, why, why, why?
You coulda made that decision before you left that bar conscious with a kind of tingling anticipatory pleasure of her arm resting lightly on yours. Coulda woulda shoulda is one of the key languages of love.
As is- the fork in the road theory of life. Let’s rewind. Let’s say that the blond had stayed at the bar, and the raven haired East Village girl with the serpentine tattoo had gone home with a multi-pierced forked-tongued heavily inked denizen of that same place or maybe Williamsburg . And you had stayed with the blond, who lived on the Upper East Side and was a junior lawyer at a midtown multi-national firm, and that night, you had the best sex you can have on the Upper East Side, maybe not the seared into your memory kind but plenty good, and that led to another date, and another and… flash forward 20 years. She’s demeaning you for yet another transgression having to do with not sending out the 10th application to another prestigious and impossible to get into middle school for your daughter notwithstanding your wife’s partnership at the firm and the 2 frenemies she has on the board of directors. And you haven’t had sex in a year, maybe two, who’se counting. And you don’t look back at that night, you rarely think about that night when you took the fork in the road because it wasn’t even a decision, you slid right into it like you slid later that night into…
What’s my point already? We make the most weighty decisions on the scantest of evidence (or clothing, as the case may be) at the most inappropriate and early of ages driven by the narcotic of sex, or in the career context, money (see an upcoming word I just thought of- hich, happy rich). That’s what. And no, I have absolutely no solution for it. Except maybe- as SBs, we stop look and listen, or perhaps stop, drop and roll- before we take the next fork?