Imagined Desires

Most weekdays I get up at five thirty. I start the day with a cup of tea, a cigarette, and watch German breakfast television as I take my medication, eat breakfast and do my make-up. But every other week I get up half an hour earlier, a sacrifice I make because I have a crush on a presenter who is only on every other week and who normally only presents the first hour of the breakfast programme. Attraction is irrational and I still struggle to explain what I see in her, but a crush this definitely is.

I don’t spend the half hour fantasising, but rather watching and adoring. This is a lovely feeling and one I haven’t known since I fell in love with a school teacher over forty years ago. I look forward to this half hour in the stillness of the early morning. On the days I oversleep and miss her I can be in a foul mood all day. When I have worshipped I leave the house in the winter darkness with a spring in my step. The tiredness I suffer later on in the day is very much a price worth paying. Sometimes I take out my notebook on the train and write her a short love letter, one of the “letters I’ve written never meaning to send.”  And I live in hope that she will one day follow me on Twitter.

So I, as a fifty five year old woman, find myself in love with an unattainable woman young enough to be my daughter. I will never meet her in real life, my love and devotion will never be returned. I know this and don’t care. I am sharing with you a part of my inner life, something that makes me happy.

This is something too that gives me emotional release and which helps in my depression and anxiety. Even though I don’t actively fantasise about her, and have never masturbated to her, she fuels my erotic imagination. A few days ago, it was a Saturday, my body clock woke me up at five. I rolled over in the darkness and searched for the alarm clock. Two more hours in bed I thought before I need to get up to go running. I dozed off into the light sleep where dreams unfold.

She came to me, stood before me. No words were said. I knelt before her, kissed her boots, gently and with devotion. I reached up, unbuttoned her jeans, pulled them down a little. I moved her panties to the side, gazed in awe at her magnificent cunt. I moved forward, wetted my tongue, then buried my face in the coarse, luxuriant hair and began to worship……

I woke up wet and with a deep feeling of contentment. I grabbed the notebook I keep on the bedside table and began to write. Some of my dream might end up in a story. Some of it will be transferred to real life. Then my lovers will feel for themselves the beauty of the crush, the magic that can be wrought by unrequited love.

More Than Skin Deep

I am of the generation that had Athena posters on their walls. I had a number of them over the years but the one I most fondly remember is an Art Decoey black and white backlit studio shot of Marlene Dietrich, silver hair, cheekbones sculpted, seemingly, by the interplay of light and shade. This I proudly displayed on my wall for three undergraduate years, enjoying the admiring glances it attracted, and the knowing looks aimed at me. Marlene had become for me an icon. She remains one and that is why I had her tattooed on my right arm a couple of months ago. Wherever I go from now in, she will come with me.

Whilst doing German A Level at school  we were encouraged to read around and outside the syllabus, to equip ourselves with a fuller and more rounded knowledge of German literature  so that we could set the prescribed books in a wider context and, hopefully, bring a greater understanding to bear on them.  One of these was Professor Unrat by Klaus Mann, the story of a pedantic schoolmaster who attends a club where e hazard his pupils are wasting (his view) their evenings. He becomes besotted by the cabaret’s star singer and this leads him to perdition. He dies alone in the school where he once taught, a broken man, publicly humiliated in the town where he had once been a respectable and highly regarded member of the community.

Reading the book led inevitably to seeing the film “The Blue Angel” in which Dietrich plays the singer Lola Lola with Emil Jannings co-starring as the doomed schoolmaster. This was her most celebrated role in German speaking cinema before she left for Hollywood in 1931. She combines sensuality, eroticism and a cold streak of malevolence which is seen in her palpable enjoyment of the indignities and humiliations she inflicts on the man who has become her husband. In this role she is intoxicating and totally believable.

I fell in love with Dietrich all those years ago but only came to appreciate her fully some years later. She is an icon for me because she was openly bisexual, because she experimented with gender fluidity, because she enjoyed sex and didn’t care who knew it. But she was an inspiration for other reasons. She was a German who rejected the regime that had taken over her country and was to lead it to disaster. She turned down financially attractive offers from Goebbels to  return home to appear in propaganda films (her erstwhile co-star Jannings took the Nazi shilling) and returned to Germany only in 1945, a US citizen in American uniform.

Some Germans never forgave her this “betrayal”. When she toured Germany in 1960, her shows were the target of boycotts and demonstrations. She left Germany vowing never to return. She did return, but only after her death in Paris in 1992. She is buried in a modest grave in Schoneberg Cemetery, in the sandy soil of her native Berlin. Marlene has many visitors, who leave stones, lipsticks, powder compacts, cigarettes, and even occasional flowers. I visit every time I am in Berlin, just to spend quiet time with her, feeling that she would understand the paths my life has taken. She would just “get” me.

My tattoo is, therefore, not just about Marlene and my feelings towards her. It is a statement of who I am. And when I think of Marlene it is above all of her as a lover of women, as I am a lover of women. She will always be there when I make love, she will fire my erotic imagination. She has already made me love my body. And that is the best thing of all.