[a chapter excerpt from my book BABY BOOMERS’ LOVE-BETRAYAL, a sardonic romance noir, on Amazon under the pen name Ben Leiter]
I didn’t recognize the handwriting on the envelope. When I opened it, a familiar perfume smell escaped.
I could see dead mackerel eyes, but couldn’t identify the owner. Maybe I don’t want to read this?
Dear Mr. Peters:
My emotions are mixed in writing to you. In fact, I don’t think I have sorted them out even now, six months later.
I see you smirk as you note a woman referring to “emotions.” I suspect that to you, putting the two words “woman” and “emotions” in the same sentence is redundant. We wouldn’t want to be redundant, repeating in the same sentence, would we?
I have used “Mr.,” to keep this as dispassionate as I can, although that is not how I feel.
After you didn’t call for six weeks, I knew we were done; might-as-well-stick-a-fork-in-me done. You stuck something else in me, many times. You used me and cast me aside for some new, younger adventure.
I’m not naive. I heard about men like you and steered clear of them. You leave pain in the wake of your emotional crimes.
A short note for you about women, and this woman in particular. We are a gift from God. We create and carry life. We nurture with fierce love. We give and give and give. When we open ourselves to you, it is more than physical.
There are some men who just take, and then move on.
You are one of them.
Enjoy your fleeting romantic exploits because you will never know the constant warmth and security of a faithful woman who is there for you, every day, and especially every night.
How can I describe the wonder of being loved by someone who knows you and still gives you permission to be you? You could have had that. It’s called true love, an old-fashioned term that you have excised from your personal dictionary like a tumor.
You play-act as if you are searching for the holy grail of true love. But the truth says you are unable to change into a real human being able to trust an other with his heart.
Being in my late thirties, I have learned a thing or two. One is that the universe will likely pay you back. It’s not a guarantee or a threat, just a probability.
I know when the change occurred. I could see it on your falling face the last time we were together — when I came out of the bathroom sans camouflage, completely naked: no bustier; no stockings and high heels; and especially no makeup, which I usually spackle on to hold back the tide of mortality.
Just me. And, I did not kneel down in front of you for our usual oral ritual where I play your love slave.
That was on purpose. My suspicions about what went on in that head of yours demanded to know if you were with me, as me, or captive of a fantasy. I found out, didn’t I?
You had trouble with The Love Machine that night, as you so affectionately refer to the equipment in your middle region. You would say that one or two of your eight cylinders was misfiring or some such juvenile car reference. Anything to avoid dealing with a real woman in a meaningful relationship.
I don’t need to sign this letter, because you know who it is. With what affection I have left for you, I hope you find what or who you are looking for before it’s too late.
You could have had it all.
P.S. My experiences with you had one happy outcome. I began to reconnoiter a feminine part of myself that I had suppressed for years since I was brought up a strict Presbyterian. Thanks to you, I can now come out and declare myself a practicing “Lesbiterian.”
Geez, I thought, what do you do with something like this? Since it’s the twenty-first century and women are smart now, I could be in trouble.
If I could plead my case before Judge Judy, would she find me guilty of trying to turn a bunch of little loves into one big love?
Book summary: Seventy-six million Baby Boomers, retiring at the rate of ten thousand a day, want to know: “What happened to true love?”
MEET BILL PETERS, an aging Boomer grasping for romance on his life quest for the love grail.
Has society’s siren song of carefree sex betrayed his generation?
Will Bill find what he is looking for?