My Lovers #1-5, or Why I Hate Kenny Rogers
What follows is by way of explaining what happened last Sunday, when I had more of a brush with sex than I’ve had in the five years since my divorce. What follows may explain my disappointment.
You see, the first man I fell in love with turned out to be gay and hung himself from a tree along Highway 1 in California.
The second left me when I got pregnant. He was much shorter than me but had lovely lips and gentle eyes.
The third seemed promising: great sex, red-gold hair, tall. We met in a magical way. At a certain time on a certain day of the week, we passed each other going opposite directions on the campus of the University of Kansas. This was the sidewalk near the Student Union, which was burned down by hippies in 1972. I may have known one of the people who did it but I’m not positive about that. If it was the person I’m thinking of, he’s now an executive at an insurance company in Florida, with two kids.
Back to how I met #3. When I noticed him walking on campus, near the Student Union, I thought, That guy’s really cute. He usually wore a jean jacket. Gold wire-rimmed eyeglasses, a red gold beard. He may have worn cowboy boots but I’m not sure.
I do remember that #1, the first man I really fell in love with, who turned out to be gay and killed himself, wore wonderful white tennis shoes. He bounced in them as he walked, and his smile spread all the way across his face.
I know it is unfair to reduce these men, all of whom are as wonderful as people can be, meaning they are imperfect, to numbers. The men I’m telling you about are not men I hate, and in fact I probably don’t really hate any men. But sometimes there’s a particular gut reaction I have that can feel like hate, or a neighbor of it, like it did last Sunday.