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another woman’s bed

Old men are impossible. Implausible.

They pass by mirrors knowing full well how the imperfect image reflected there must not be glanced at lest they be judged vain. Therefore also imperfect. This is their blindness.

Though they age and sag and bend down before the burgeoning weight of gravity, and despite their bodys’ grievances they sport themselves vainly amongst the youth and strive for places that are only awarded them through charity, and patience, and the perceived notion that to honour old men is to honour old times.

Times forgotten, dismembered and buried – sunk beneath the weight of marble and edifice.

Warriewood is not a long beach, and it sits beneath an ampitheatre of homes that accept the onshore south ‘easters and the septic stink they carry ashore from the offshore sewer pipes.

Five laps, slow jog. The old man drifts down and back in an easy lope – he’s here every day, every day at the same time and every day he runs the five laps –


She came down the steep stairway at the southern end, the young woman, and she walked directly to the sea and across the the old man’s path. They almost collided.

He ran through her air, and he took up his breath, and he filled his lungs with that rare fragrance, that untouchable gift.

Minutes from her bed.


Header pic by imogene cunningham – the unmade bed.

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. I don’t know how you move from a septic stink to the beautiful, delicate poignancy of your final two lines … but you do. This is one of my favourite posts of yours. I keep reading it. (I tweeted the link to it.) Fantastic pic, too. BH

    August 31, 2011
    • just hope that the little lady doesn’t read it – but it was 20 years ago – ta bh

      August 31, 2011
  2. Lived there once – remember that smell – the scent of a woman was definitely preferable. Nice capture Mr.Bowes…

    August 31, 2011
    • it helps if you close your eyes Mr Bear – I was told long ago by a dark-haired girl that a woman’s perfume should only be made available to a man when he is three inches distant from her skin –

      August 31, 2011
  3. joe green #

    older you get the hornier you get.must be the mid life.

    August 31, 2011
  4. ‘He ran through her air, and he took up his breath, and he filled his lungs with that rare fragrance, that untouchable gift.

    Minutes from her bed.’

    Wonderful, Pete!

    February 6, 2012
    • bardess – you realise the risk you run coming here with that moniker don’t you? – glad you liked it – she hadn’t brushed her hair either .. no need.

      February 6, 2012

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