For several years, Marco and I crossed paths at conferences and festivals. He was thick, planted, and meaty with the intelligence dogs reflect in their unmasked eyes and anxious brows. It was an absurd attraction. They are all absurd. He was ending a marriage and in love with another woman. I was 58 and believed this kind of thing would not happen to me again. When has anything you thought about the future turned out right?
The thing about arousal is that when you are not feeling it, you forget how you exist in it. Marco was smoking at a table in a bar. His body reminded me of the bodies of other men I had known. I cannot say for sure it was his body, but if I was near him, I became aroused and could not see or hear things clearly. I moved to sit beside him, and we began a conversation, or rather I listened to him talk about Midsummer Night’s Dream. He said, “In Shakespeare, you love the one you’re with. Sex doesn’t mean anything. It’s passion that can ruin you, the way it does Marc Antony.” He said, “Power, not sex, is what matters in Shakespeare.” I was silent, watching his lips circle a cigarette and perch on the rim of his glass. Neither love, respect, nor knowledge has ever stripped me of my inhibitions.
-- by Laurie Stone
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