I’ve been wanting to write a blog post with this title for quite some time, ’cause… puns! I give my readers notice that this will be one of those “talk story” blogs (Bio Hazard category) in which I, your sexegenarian polytheist Lokean sexologist, attempt to please no one but myself.
When Loki entered my life and my daily devotions, I naturally gravitated toward online communities and blogs where I could learn more. I can’t tell you how many times I have read the words “Loki saved my life” from so many different people. This is truly a being who has made it a point to gather up (and often productively shake up) people who feel broken and outcast. And here I’m gonna testify myself: “Yeah, Loki saved mine too.”
It was during a period of intense, soul-killing shame. The shame was so great I did not think I could bear it. The shame was triggered by a really ridiculous, almost romantic encounter (completely unlooked for and unsought) in which someone figuratively fell at my feet, practically begging for a certain kind of relationship, declaring himself to be wild with interest and capable of profound devotion. It was a peculiar form of “love bombing” I suppose, though it wasn’t love exactly that was on the table. So I (being unutterably lonely at the time and reeling from the consequences of divorce and another bad break-up) frakkin’ fell for it.
All my hibernating capacities for intimate, human contact roared to life. (I’d been smashing them into dust out of self-preservation. Just thinking about being with another person again had been inconceivable!) And then this feckless, self-centered man had his little crisis of “feeling scared” and withdrew after our first video conversation. Well, I think I know why. I do know why. I was “too old.”
I’d never misrepresented my age. And, frankly, I’m not “into” people who are much younger than I am. Given a choice between Gandalf and Legolas, I’m more likely to pick Gandalf. My last two important relationships have been with people 16-18 years older than I am. But this strange “last chance” for another kind of intimacy seemed so surprising, so much of what the doctor might have ordered (if the doctor had been Charles Moser!), that I tried to overlook the difference in age. Yes, I’m hinting at something a bit kinky here, so why not come out and say it? The fellow in question was interested in what’s called a “female-led relationship.” Calling the shots, being the boss: what could be better for an aging woman, especially one as emotionally leery and battle worn as I was?
The upshot of this sudden withdrawal, this squirrely-ness on the part of my formerly ardent suitor, was that I saw myself through another set of eyes. The vision was…unkind. Every single stabby phrase of Colette’s, aimed at old courtesans who “prey” on younger men (read Cheri and The Last of Cheri), flooded my mind. I saw myself grotesque and self-deluded. I remembered scenes from Entertaining Mr. Sloane. Oh, I beat myself up but good, even though I was the injured and innocent party, hardly the “predator.”
Yes, how dare I–divorced, dismissed, disrespected, and old–aspire to another, a new form of love? One of Colette’s quotes is “You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiam.” Well, you can only wear that one well if you’re young(er). (She, however, did find happiness in her third and final marriage, with a much younger man!).
This bizarre roller-coaster ride happened not once, but twice! More fool I! Though wary, I was gulled by contrite behavior, excuses, accounts of his genuine life crises (if I am to believe anything he said), further expressions of interest. And so even though I know to believe actions, not words, I sat back as if to watch and see what would happen next, with just the tiniest dollop of hope.
But I knew what would happen.
And because I was giving this polite fiction less and less energy, whatever energy “it” had has gradually dwindled to just about nothing. Which is more than fine, I assure you. These many months I have watched the trajectory of this man’s diminishing communications with a sceptic’s eye. The discrepancy between what he says and doesn’t do no longer hurts me. I no longer care.
But back to Loki and his life-saving mercy, which is much more interesting to me.
You see, even as I was filled with shame and self-loathing for being so “stupid, stupid, stupid!” I was redeemed (yep, using that word deliberately) by the unexpected attention of a cosmic “god,” a being so awesomely compassionate and yet so iconoclastic that he could rescue me–poor, shattered me–and help me put myself back together again with equal parts of tough love and world-breaking humor.
Loki doesn’t do it for you. He loves you as you do it for yourself. Therein lies the appeal.
I can barely even recall now how all the Loki signals came flooding in, but it was precisely at the worst moments of the first crisis that I became aware of him running up all kinds of “signal flags” in the forms of pop culture references, books, images, you name it. The signal flags arrived with a sense of a presence just as I was contemplating how good it would feel to not be alive. That’s one thing about me, interesting phenomena can always capture my attention. Loki’s strategy worked.
Yes, I believe in doing “foolish things” with enthusiasm. Before I knew it, I was Loki’s own. Devoted, oathed, and quite happily embarked on the adventure of a life-time–well, what’s left of it, anyhow.
Loki likes all kinds of humans. He’ll like me even as I come to resemble La Môme Bijou. (And why shouldn’t I too deck my aging flesh with rhinestones and artificial pearls?) And if I occasionally feel myself to be grotesquely hopeful about one day meeting someone who will love me (A Gandalf? A Maurice?), I can offer that up to my patron god and he’ll accept it (along with the sweets and cinnamon tea that are his usual lot). Though I’ve got major “trust issues” with mortal men, I have complete confidence in my patron god. Though a trickster, he’s never cruel. He now makes sure that people show their true selves to me–quickly and without artifice. He knows I have little time to waste and he saved me from cutting that time short.
Colette once wrote about the “absurd courage of girls.” The absurd courage of aging women is even more astounding. My patron god grants hope that causes no shame.