Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Why I Like Girls

It was raining hard in New York. (Sorry, Harry, it wasn’t Frisco.) My Aunt clutched my seven-year old hand and led me to shelter in the lobby of an old, just-off-Broadway hotel. It was the Edison Hotel. It’s a place in time and space that I won’t soon forget. As we settled into some oversized, over-worn, leather chairs I couldn’t help but notice the woman sitting across from us. Well, at least I noticed her legs. And, from that moment on, I might very well have prayed that the rain outside would never stop.

I had no clue as to why those long, lovely limbs held such fascination for me. But there I was, experiencing what might have been my first sucker punch from the opposite sex. I remember experiencing all sorts of powerful feelings that can now only, regrettably, be distilled down to “the warmies.” Make no mistake about it. This was a sexual experience. I just didn’t know enough about what that meant to do much more than stare, mouth most-likely agape, and let the warmies flow.

That was almost five decades ago. And here I am, remembering the first woman of my dreams, with great fondness. I’ve often wondered if I could track her down and thank her for making my shelter-from-the-storm such a remarkable and memorable experience.

What no one told me (warned me) was that once you turn that blasted heterosexual corner, there’s no turning back. What lured me that afternoon, what continues to lure me what eludes all rational definition, would continue to haunt me every waking (and many sleeping) moment of my life.

But why bring up the obvious? I have a sneaking suspicion that I am not the only man who has come to find himself attracted to women. I bring it up because, despite the efforts of our “top scientists,” our endless fascination with “the other,” curves, femininity, continues to remain a mystery. It’s certainly not a mystery why it occurs or even that it occurs. We’d have hardly earned our place in the evolutionary parade without it. But given how much we’ve tried to quantify and understand everything around us, there will always be the “who knows;” those things that can be discussed but never fully explained. Some choose to fill in those blanks with religion, science or cheeseburgers. (I’m in the latter category.) In the end, though, that’s the best we can do – fill in the blanks.

I’m writing this because I want to say --- Dammit! I love the blanks! I love that I can pretend to be a fully rational human being, engage in what might pass itself off as “intelligent conversation” and yet still have my heart, my head and my warmies yanked hard to the left or right when an attractive girl or woman walks by. Sigh. Bless those curves, celebrate that “otherness.” The curve of a shoulder, the arch of a back, the turn of calves into ankles can keep me occupied for hours. (Okay, years.) My Yang-y life would be a dismal place without their ever-appealing Yin.

Perhaps it all comes down to my acceptance of the fact that there are things beyond our control. (Don’t get me wrong, TiVo is great, it just has its limitations.) Some are horrible, some are simply joyful. Accepting those things serves to heighten my sense of wonder. I know how to operate a motor vehicle, trouble-shoot computer problems – useful, but hardly inspiring. It’s the things that are too big for my wretched brain to comprehend that often excite me, making anything seem possible. I like that. I can’t say that I get to revel in these feelings on a daily basis. There’s garbage to take out and disappointment to be wrestled with. But alongside it all, there’s a woman I never met, who had terrific legs, who -- sometime in the late 1950’s -- sat across from me in the Edison Hotel.

As I get to the end of this, I realize that I never really explained “Why I Like Girls.” Or maybe I did. Either way, I’m delighted to be able to say, “I have absolutely no idea.”


Blogger knowwhereman said...

Thank goodness for curves and
mysteries and "blanks" that lure and tease us. Some insightful person made the observation that it's the gaps ("blanks?") in music that make it music. (That takes nothing away from the music
itself, for without sound you wouldn't have music either). But I suppose this also means it's the gaps, the mysteries, the
"unknowns" in life that makes this existence worth living. If so, this is a bit distressing. It seems it's our very not-knowing so much that defines much of who we are and what our lives are about.
The pain or annoyance we can experience of not knowing something can be bad. But perhaps, the pain of knowing too much might be much worse.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Larry Hertzog said...

"The pain or annoyance we can experience of not knowing something can be bad."

That depends on who's filling in the blanks. By definition, the blanks are an empty glass. How we fill it and with what makes all the difference in the world.

I still say, "celebrate it." We're stuck with it anyway. There are enough depressing realities (bad burgers, west coast pizza, etc.) I see the empty spaces being better filled-in with wonder and awe (okay, and fear.) There, you have it.

7:54 AM  
Blogger knowwhereman said...

"That depends on who's filling in the blanks. By definition, the blanks are an empty glass. How we fill it and with what makes all the difference in the world."

Without getting too religious here... isn't this part of what the Genesis creation story (and
those of other traditions) is all about? "The earth was a formless void". Sounds like a great big
gap/blank/empty space to me.
Sounds like The Big Guy was the first to begin a process of
looking for ways to impose meaning
on the gaps. And for those who
don't think there is a Big Guy it would seem the universe all on its own decided to impose definition on
its omnipresent empty space in a
process to assign meaning or some purpose to its empty space. Either
way, there's plenty of room here for wonder and awe.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Laindessiel said...


What exactly is your blog about?

12:13 AM  
Blogger Larry Hertzog said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:04 PM  
Blogger Larry Hertzog said...

Why does my blog have to be about something?

1:04 PM  
Blogger 'Mash said...

I have a feeling you and I could just sit in a bar and watch women all day.

Trying to figure out why one women is more attractive then another because of the type of drink she ordered, and being totally caught up in a child like fascination of the mystery of it all.

I pray I never figure women out.

1:09 AM  

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