While having lunch recently with a neighbor in Maine, we started talking about the love life of older people, people like us. Maine has the oldest population of any state, so it’s not an unusual subject here.
As I tucked into stuffed haddock I began telling my neighbor about Gary, a man I knew in San Miguel de Allende. Gary was in his mid-60s when I met him in Mexico. He had spent most of his life in the San Francisco area, but moved south after the millennium. Gary didn’t speak Spanish. For that matter, he didn’t like Mexicans much. What he liked about San Miguel, apart from the cost of living, the food, and the climate, were the women.
San Miguel de Allende has a plethora of attractive, graying gringas. Most of them seem to have money and claim to be artists. Gary had it made there and never lacked for a female companion, even though he ignored the majority of older gringas. All of Gary’s companions were at least twenty years younger than he was. It wasn’t that Gary was rich and handsome either. He had a bit of money, but nothing special. He also had a thin fringe of white hair and a paunch. But Gary knew how to woo women. He would cook, travel, attend art shows and concerts, dance, go to parties. Gary had stories to tell. He was a charmer. If I used his real name you could Google him. Gary was a big light-show artist in the San Francisco rock scene in the 1960s/1970s. He toured for years with a famous Bay area band and had bedded some rock and roll goddesses, including Janis Joplin.
Another thing about Gary is that he got high nearly every day and had done so for over forty years. When I met him he was heavy into oxycontin and tequila. Gary loved his drugs, and he loved the company of women.
One day Gary and I were sitting in a café ogling women young enough to be our daughters – or worse – grand-daughters. While we were fantasizing, I noticed an attractive older woman and pointed her out. She had dark hair turning gray, a handsome face with character, and a way of moving that said she was comfortable with herself.
Gary scoffed. “I don’t want no grandma p****,” he said.
I left San Miguel and didn’t see Gary for a year. By the time I returned, Gary was in love. All he wanted to talk about was the new woman in his life. Finally, I was invited to Gary’s house for dinner and to meet the girlfriend. I recognized her immediately. She was the “grandma” walking past the café the day of Gary’s infamous quote. Darla was from Texas. She was divorced, had money, and was my age.
For a year, Gary and Darla fought, made up, fought, made up, fought …. Each time they separated, Gary was devastated. He even went cold turkey for Darla, no more oxycontin, no more tequila drunks. It didn’t help. They still fought, made up, and fought again. Finally, Darla dumped him. The only woman close to Gary’s own age was the one woman to break his heart.
Gary never got over Darla. He did drugs again. He pursued younger women. He died two years ago in San Miguel de Allende. Alone. There is a moral here, I guess. I’m just not sure what it is. Personally, I no longer date.