Meeting Mr. S

Screw it. Let’s talk about Mr. S.

I first met Mr. S in the early 2000s. He had recently moved to Lurkville from New York City to live with his new girlfriend Ms. R, whom he had met via the Internet.

I first got to know Mr. S while volunteering. He was in his mid-50s, balding, overweight running to obese (but in a way that made him look more wide than fat), had chest hair like a rug, and a gorgeous New York accent that made me weak in the knees. Overall he was a solid 6/10, and I was smitten. He was also straight as an arrow.

Being attracted to completely inappropriate people is nothing new to me (one day I ought to take Jesus’s good advice and gouge out my lustful eyes) but Mr. S had additional qualities that drew me to him. Firstly, he talked with me as if I was an adult, which I was completely unused to from grownups even though I was in my twenties. We could spend hours jawing about politics or his past or social movements. Secondly, he had a huge heart. He was outgoing and made friends with so many people, which I am always a sucker for. When he felt people were down he would go out of his way to talk with them and cheer them up.

And he had a history. He had been in the National Guard in the 60s, and involved with left-wing social justice movements. He had gone to trainings in the Human Potential Movement that he claimed were life-changing, and his speech was peppered with catchphrases from those trainings. He was an interesting guy.

His heart was also on the left. He despised GW Bush and felt ashamed of his warlike policies. Even though he had served in the National Guard he opposed the Vietnam war. He found Lurkistan much less crazy, and described himself as a refugee from the USA.

I began to socialize with Mr. S outside of volunteering. I would go to his house and spend time with Mr. S, Ms. R and their three cats (one of whom, a gray longhair named L, I grew very fond of. Ms. R had one of the biggest hearts I have ever known. In some ways she was fragile — she had suffered abuse as a child and was recovering from PTSD. But she was also perceptive and wise. I thought of Mr. S and Ms. R as “hippies”, even though they insisted they were no such thing. There were some downsides to my visits, of course. Both of them were heavy smokers, and their house smelled of smoke. Also I was even more oblivious than I am today, and sometimes I would show up at their place after volunteering, without showering in between. But overall I treasured my time with them.

Then something happened. Do I even need to spell out what? I am pretty sure we can all guess.

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