There's a blogger at Wordpress who calls himself Romantic Dominant, and who calls his blog A Faded Romantic. I rather enjoy reading him, and I do follow him on social media. He's a fine writer, and I suspect that he and I are much of an age, although I'll add that I'm sure he's been far more successful in life than I've been. I enjoy reading his thoughts on age and loss and his valedictories to those who've been his friends and mentors down the years. Here on a night in a month of fallen leaves, I will recommend him to you.
November is a birthday month for me. I'm far past the stage in life where I could conceivably look forward to birthdays, mind you. November is a time for reflecting on losses and how faces and names recede into the mists. November is a time for walking down city streets at night and looking at empty shop windows and hoping that you won't see your own reflection, and that ghost girls won't appear in the glass and fade away again.
Novembers so late in one's life make you all-too-aware of loss and decay. A lovely young friend wrote me from somewhere in Great Britain the other night to tell me she'd dreamed of dancing with me on a hotel roof looking down on city lights. She wanted, she said, to wake up in my arms in beach house somewhere on the coast of Portugal. Lovely thoughts, and I do treasure her. But in November such things make me look in the mirror and realize that I've lost the ability--- or at least the will ---to do those things.
I no longer trust my body. I no longer have faith in it. I no longer think I can be touched, or allow myself to be touched or seen. I've never thought of myself as handsome or physically attractive, but I have thought I could make myself seem at least acceptable. Or that I could employ enough distraction to have my physical self go unnoticed. Tonight, here in what may be a bleak November, I can look in windows as I pass and think that I'll never feel safe again in any situation where flesh and touch are required, or where I have to believe that the fleshly me isn't open to derision.
Kissing ghost girls, or offering caresses: those things I'd do. But I can't allow my flesh to be seen, touched, tasted. I can't allow anyone close to unclothed flesh. I can't allow it; I can't risk it. Flesh, or at least the flesh I'm inside, would be repulsive and unclean.
Here in this November, so close to my birthday, I can't risk being touched or seen. Standing on city streets, looking into windows, all I can hope is that the ghost girls won't appear, that the creature in the glass will be able to hide away from his own flesh and all things fleshly.