Lost walk

After dinner with a friend, I decide to walk back from downtown to my hotel at the Vondelpaark (pronounced fondle-park and apparently, according the number of used ‘Charles River Whitefish’ in the bushes, living up to its name).

We had eaten very hot Thai in a funky dive downtown, and my first few streets were very much the red-light district. In the outer reaches of canals, the women are older and blousy and heartbreaking in that they are still in the red-lit windows. The girls downtown are much hotter, in studded bras and butt-floss, crooking you in with the finger of one hand, while they talk on their cell phones with the other. Nearly 40 years ago when I was here, I was too naive and scared to take them up on their offer, but now – however much I know about feminism and equal opportunity – I cannot see these girls as anything other than my potential daughters – what if Misty took a turn here? Ay-yi! After a while I cannot even look any more, these hopeful faces atop the black-lighted perfect bodies – it’s all incest and incestuous, and I strike out up a main canal with my blinkers on.

It is not more than 3 miles, I would say, but Amsterdam is so curvy and confusing and (I have noticed this in the woods as well) I have a tendency to veer to the left. Thus, while it seemed I was crossing the canals in the right order, etc, I was actually headed over to east Amsterdam, and when I found myself bordering an industrial district, I realized I had gone badly wrong.

It took me two hours to get home (and I have foresworn the ‘coffeeshops’ after my one encounter with the GMO hybrid carefully cultivated weed they purvey here, so being loaded was not the reason). I don’t usually get lost; it is in fact hard for me to get lost, but this city leaves me wondering whether I should be going this way or that way down a main road I encounter, and a bus map on a signpost orients me enough to get me near. Finally I recognize the National Theater and wend my way successfully to my hotel and gratefully to my bed.

A few other rolfers we happened to meet at the restaurant were on their way to a sex show. Apparently they watched several couple make love. How boring could that be? The mechanics of lovemaking can be acrobatic or interesting, but hardly erotic or edifying. Or am I just too old? or too snuggly comfortable in the depth of gentle connection that characterizes Quan’s and my leftover steam from the volcano of our earlier days? I find it all a little sad, a little amusing, a little despairing, and not at all attractive. I have become adamant about fidelity (more to oneself than the other person) in my older years, but it is without prudery or moral ascendency, but simply as an expression of inner integrity. May writing this not bring me to the fall that goeth after pride.


One Response to “Lost walk”

  1. Amanda Cizek Says:

    RE: Fidelity… a man after my own heart. I am allergic to the alternative, myself. No fall for you Tom.

    RE: Veering to the left… take a couple of MELT classes and you may go straight 😉

    The conference sounds amazing & I am greateful you are writing about it.

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