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from "Adventures In Erotica"



relationships • 30.12.08

He was forever prone to infatuations. For as long as he could remember. Early on they were sweet, lightweight and trouble-free. Into adult life they became exciting, a source of fascination, intrigue and romance. With sex in the mix they were rocket-fuel. But by then they could have a terrible consequence. The downside could plunge him deep into a pit of despair. In maturity he was better able to see the nonsense of it all, considering infatuation to be verging on a sickness. He doubted if the giddy heights of love and attraction had much to do with what makes for good relationships. They were too extreme, too intense and too removed from the ordinariness that was the most part of any life.

So, by de-valuing big love and its romantic excesses, he thought himself less likely to fall prey to its clutches and thereby avoid its downside. He liked to believe that with time he might not only have become able to disregard the powerful impulses of desire but that the impulses themselves might fade into benign retirement. This was palpably not to be. Although rare, he was still given to being catapulted into a rapture around some goddess or other.

Only recently he was innocently smitten by a stranger. They had been noticing each other and unless he was very much mistaken - always possible - she appeared to be posing for him. One day in her workplace she stood just a few feet away and spotting him, did that sexy, self conscious, hair-fixing thing before pulling her jacket back and resting her hand on a shapely hip all the while carrying on a conversation. It was a blissful few seconds, far too short, leaving a huge longing in its wake.

The following week, same again. She saw him from the other side of the big room. With eye-lines intercepted by pillars and posts his crush positioned herself just so, standing behind a glass partition as if in a picture frame. Even from a blurry distance every curve, every proportion was perfect, cunningly designed to summon his desire. What a cruel mistress was attraction. For hours he thought of nothing else: planning, scheming, hoping, fearing and above all feeling so stupid, both at his tendency to such captivation and also at his impotence, these days anyway, when it came to doing much about it. Inaction followed by tortured obsession was the way of things now.

Yet despite contempt for his inertia and inability to act there was some wisdom in the demurring. He did have previous when it came to the follies of stealing beauty – which was probably what this was. To have such overwhelmingly powerful feelings for someone you have barely uttered a word to, whose name you don’t know, whose personality you have absolutely no knowledge of, is a bit ridiculous. Every time without exception when he had fallen into this kind of vortex it had turned out bad. Although the sexual follow-on could be everything the fantasy promised, he seemed to lose interest when the person became real. And how could it be otherwise? Having elevated someone to such great heights of adoration, the only way sooner or later is down. The reality is grounded. The fantasy is way up there.

He wondered if this scenario need always play out the way it did? Or could there be a better mix of the alchemical forces involved? Would the fall to ground always be such a downgrade? As soon as the mundane ordinariness of relationship life kicked in, its routines, its baseness, the small not-so-attractive details of intimacy, would he always be turned off and start to look for the escape path? He always had until now. But was this inevitable? Or more hopefully, was it that the particular women in the past had been simply bad choices for reasons more complex? How many times might he roll these dice before a good thing happened? How many more times could he endure the disappointments and near meltdowns, the veritable slings and arrows, that had always accompanied these romantic adventures?

Infatuation was indeed a curious and powerful phenomenon. It was something of a mystery and for long enough a source of intellectual wonderment. Poets, musicians, writers and artists were never far from the subject using the high value of its experience as material for their art. But it would be so much better he thought to find a resolution in the ways of how to deal with it. After a lifetime of trying he seemed no closer to that holy grail.