Jun 072013

Dear L,

You desire older men, you write in your Diary*. Not long after this longing of yours began In 1963, when you were 15 and I was 13 and just about through puberty, I also began to long for you. “As luck would have it” like you say. But you, being two years older than me, were always unobtainable. So my adolescent male sex life began.

Ten years later in 1973 like you I had the “inevitable depression” too. Unlike you I didn’t end up in psychiatric hospital, the male preference being for suicide. As it happened I got through more or less silently and on my own, and still longing for you probably helped. Then by 1983, you were in the Women’s Liberation Movement, and even more unobtainable than ever. Us getting together was impossible, in fact, I agree with you, it was pretty much “taboo”. Silent again

Being a man then my only resort seemed to me to join the caring professions, which I duly did, and it is now 30 years on, and I have grown to become the older man you have always desired. Have I also matured as a man is the question you ask in your Diary. Well, although I have never given you up, I know the meaning of restraint, and I have realized that you, being always two years older than I, are forever unobtainable.

But let me tell you as an older man I have not learned the responsibility you also ask for in your Diary. I am more foolish ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ male, less clever and more curious than ever, for instance about the increasingly porous boundaries of my sexuality, and about many other previously secure frontiers. Irresponsibly, I care less and less about my so-called dignity and vaunted male identity.

Naming older men desires, perhaps we should finally agree to hang out together. You know where to find me.

(* Diary (Jenny Diski) : London Review of Books, Vol 35 Number 11 (6 June 2013) P 35)