‘Is 22 still too young?’ I asked as I watched the object of my distraction lie naked say for a few well-placed bubbles, in a bathtub on my local Hoyts cinema screen.
My friend heaved her fist back into her popcorn for one/ for both of us to share.
‘Yes, she said, in this case it is.’ She took a sip of hers/ mine diet coke. ‘We’ve known him since we was like 13 years old.’
‘But surely if there’s grass on the wicket it’s kosher to play cricket?’
I glanced at the now ex-Harry Potter actor on the screen, dressed in nothing but a samurai sword and a belt, the subject of our discussion.
‘That’s a bit anti-Semitic Lou’
‘It’s a saying, it means good.’
‘Ok, but here’s a hypothetical, if say there isn’t grass on the wicket then my guess is it isn’t kosher to play cricket, right?’
‘So in that case it’s anti-Semitic because it’s a negative.’
‘It’s just a word, there’s no anti-Semitic sentiment involved at all.’
‘Ok, let’s say I believe you, the other glaring problem is you don’t play cricket, nor do you understand it.’
‘I’m a full MCC member. If anything that gives me carte blanche to wax lyrical about young Hollywood youths who have come of age.’
‘No, no it doesn’t. You treat your MCC membership like that Bikram yoga course you never took.’
‘I took it.’
‘Once Lou, once.’
‘It was full of women that didn’t need to wear supportive underwear even when they bent over.’
‘If you stopped blaming gravity you too could live without a bra. It’s all about will power and you know, if it you had less skin.’
‘So? It’s my membership; I can do whatever I want with it, even if that means never using it.’
‘If I was your membership I’d despise you. Year in, year out leading it on, paying for it so it’s always at your beck and call, getting it’s hopes up every time there’s an Ashes series or a Grand Final but never following through on your promise of attending, so it sits there in the stairwell staring at the phone, a single tear rolling down it’s cheek, masturbating to your forgotten touch, praying that things could be different but knowing deep down inside that you’re never going to change, that you’re never going to change.’
‘We’re not talking about the cricket anymore are we?’
‘Don’t Lou, don’t. It’s hard enough I have a Jewish friend and enjoy the cricket because I’m a big supporter of diversity but I’m afraid if we keep talking you’ll offend me with some remark about nuns and flying and you know how I feel about the church Lou and nuns because I wanted to be a nun once so let’s just watch the movie.’
As instructed I turned my attentions back to the movie now with a slight feeling of guilt wafting over me, either that or it was the smell emanating from the gentleman sitting on the other side of me struggling to hold a conversation on the phone with someone I figured was his wife because he kept telling her the store had run out of control top panty hose in her size and he was in line like a West German matriarch waiting for a bread ration to find them for her and would be home soon – in the middle of a crowded picture theatre. Bless him, maybe we should’ve all pissed off and given him some privacy, after all no one likes to have people eavesdrop on them, especially at the movies.
This wasn’t the first time my interest in someone younger than me had been shot down in a flame of ‘you’re over 30 now; you’re beginning to look more sex pest and less elegant aging beauty.’
In my defence it’s not predatory, it’s not like their age has ever ended in ‘teen’, it’s just that I general date more ‘Magnum PI’ types, you know the sort that could harvest a coconut plantation thanks to the ecosystem that exists in their chest hair’ and less ‘I think it’s a guy, could be a girl, but I’m pretty sure he’s a guy, he’s just very pretty for a guy, maybe if I’m lucky I could teach him how to drive, or maybe his parents will let me take him to Luna Park for the day, or maybe I can pick him up from the airport when he gets back from schoolies week.’
I’ve gone younger only on two occasions; and only once without knowing. The unknowingly bit on the side was a camping fling and he seemed wise beyond his years, well we didn’t’ talk much and he smelt of absinth but I knew he could drive and he was taller than me; everything pointed to him being over 30.
‘He’s 26’ our mutual friend told me when she discovered the extent of our association.
Spitting my luke warm tea all over my Gado Gado I proclaimed ‘But he has arm hair!’
‘That doesn’t mean he’s legal.’
‘It would help’ I couldn’t help but scoff.
‘You’re being an idiot, he’s hot, and you’ve got a really big tent. It’s like fates colliding.’
She was right. He was hot and no one had ever complained about my big tent – there’s always been plenty of room for everyone.
My only other Harold and Maude moment came in my mid twenties, in Sydney when my staple wardrobe consisted of vintage mini dresses held together with staples, fish net stockings and cowboy boots held together with gaffer tape care of my film school. It sounds hot. It wasn’t. Think about how you might dress to attend an
‘I’ve never had an orgasm party’ and you’d be bang on the money.
His name was By, 21 years old. He told me my legs were like a stair way to heaven. It was a nice thought, but if anything my legs were more a rope ladder to Wobby’s World, complete with disused helicopter and that look of 100s of disappointed children realised they weren’t at Disneyland.
Our affair was brief; it had to be that way. He had much to do like move to London to live in a squat and pursue an acting career only to develop a predilection for c**k, an addiction to crack cocaine, and chronic STD that would eventually land him in prison – who was I to derail his dream?
As the film credits rolled I realised maybe my friend was right, that 22 was still too young.
‘I think I’m just going to look and not touch.’
‘Great. You know who does that Lou, men in parks that stand in bushes watching women jog by and wear pants with elasticised waists.’
‘So you wanna see the new Harry Potter next week?’
‘Do I have to put you on the sex offender’s registry?’
‘Not yet’ I smiled. ‘Not just yet. I’m on 31, it’s not creepy yet’