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Abigail Thomas
November 4, 2022

One Antidote

The Antidote

It’s been ages since I defined myself by what I looked like or the men I attracted.

I used to be fond of saying I could get pregnant in an empty room if the radio was tuned to a rock station and something good was playing-- The Stones doing “Sweet Virginia,” or Leon Russell’s rendition of  “Jumpin’Jack Flash,” or any one of hundreds of other songs. I’m an old woman now with an old woman’s worries—four children, twelve grandchildren, one great grandchild—there’s always someone with troubles. I love being old, life is so much simpler, but age doesn’t free you from worry--young lives headed into an uncertain future on a planet getting ready to shake us off.  

It’s been ages since I defined myself by what I looked like or the men I attracted, ages since sex was part of my life, but I still love to get turned on and rock&roll is still my drug of choice. Talk about a pick-me-up. Consider that moment in the Concert for Bangladesh when George Harrison says, casually, “Coupla numbers from Leon,” and then goddamn, there he is, Leon Russell and Jumpin’ Jack Flash, and even at eighty one,  I’m a goner. Who knew lust could be an end in itself? When I was young, this kind of heat was just the beginning. There was always something to be done with it, done about it. But now? It’s no longer the means to an end, it is the destination. I’m enjoying the hell out of feeling this alive.  “Coupla numbers from Leon,” and you better believe that for a little while  it’s all right, yeah, it’s all right now.

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