“I hope to arrive at my death late, in love, and a little drunk.” Atticus.

“I will arrive at my death late, and drunk with love.” Charlie Mathews.

I never thought I’d fall in love. I am not talking about that delusion that’s a bit like a moulded jelly dessert – which, when left out in the rain – quickly loses form, and dissipates. I am talking about that love where you are intellectually and emotionally visible to another human being in a way that makes your eyes moist and your knees tremble.

This is very rare, particularly given I’m no mass market commodity. I am what you’d call a niche of a niche. Queer, gender fluid, introverted, atheist, sceptical, fat, complex – these are some of the many aspects that don’t make me the Marmite to everyone’s slice of toast. Then there’s the matter that I yearn for shared meaning – or what a person on a dating site once told me was: “Terrible hard work.”

I knew if I was to find something exceptional, I’d discover it on the interwebs, but I didn’t get a lot of encouragement. My therapist (at the time) told me: “Look. If you want to date you’ll have to lose weight.” I was in my late, late, late forties when I told this counsellor to fuck off, and trundled online in search love – my definition of love – deep connection, shared values, abundant bliss and serotonin surging lust. When I married I settled – now I wanted more. I wanted everything or nothing.

It took me three years of almost daily dating, a year of celibacy, and an algorithm created by a mathematical genius called Chris McKinlay, to eventually find my Jon – who is to me the most remarkable human I’ve ever met, bar some crazy bastard called KC Jones*.

I write this now while Jon says goodbye to someone he’s loved a lifetime – at a time when he’s dealing with death.

Being in love, drunk in love, at fifty-something has revolutionised my life. The only death I fear now is of those miracles of deep shared connection. Death and loss is, of course, the price we pay for love. But I am alive now, and so are those I love, so I will drink, drink, drink.

Cheers Atticus – I too hope to be late, no, beyond late for my death. I confess I have it so good now I’d like to say: “Fuck you!” to death too. Between you and me, dear philosopher, I’m hoping to survive the singularity and enter the everlasting matrix, because I’ve found someone I want to be with forever.

(* KC Jones is, of course, the best thing that came from my failed marriage. He is my incredible son and was conceived out of wedlock.)



Charles Lee Mathews

Writer who likes to draw.

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