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Jack Nicholson, love, Viagra and me.

It seems fame and fortune – like money – cannot buy happiness. Not even for an A-lister as well-heeled as Jack Nicholson.

Regardless of his big bucks, big house and even bigger ego he is now just one of the lads. The ageing lads. The guys who, as the saying goes, may have snow on the rooftop but still have a fire burning down below. Or, if not a roaring winter blaze, at least some smouldering ashes.

According to the Daily Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/11339505/Jack-Nicholson-I-am-single-and-lonely-and-likely-to-die-alone.html the fears and doubts that assail we mere mortals have now struck Lothario Jack. He, just like the rest of us, has woken to the fact that there is a use-by date on one’s romantic appeal. Such realisation comes all the harder for those who have enjoyed what might be termed “an interesting life”.

We can accept the failing eyesight (disguised by contact lenses or laser treatment), the onset of deafness (long hair hides the hearing aid) and the shift to a soft food diet (false teeth look good but make poor gnashers and chewers). But it is the lost of libido that hurts the most, that is hardest to accept, because it is accompanied by the discovery that one has been consigned to the shelf of unwanted goods by those with whom most wishes to consort.

Taking the initiative in such matters is just not on. As Nicholson observes about the potential for chatting up the opposite sex: “It just doesn’t feel right at my age.”  So true. Not only does it not feel right but there is an over-arching fear of failure, of rejection, that was rarely there in earlier times. At least then to be turned down meant merely one moved on;  eventually there would be a meeting if not of bodies, at least of  minds … and with a hope still burning of things moving on to something more intimate.

And if not, at least there was companionship and a closeness that made a reasonable substitute for love.  Move into one’s seventies however (Nicholson is now 77) and the scenario changes rapidly. The “pulling” power of the past diminishes at an alarming rate, aggravated by the nagging knowledge that to make the first advance of old is simply not on.

What comes with this is the fear that the inevitable end of life is approaching at an alarming rate. We have passed man’s once accepted lifespan of three score years and ten. The end is nigh. Many of our contemporaries are long gone. Those featuring in the obituaries are all of our age or younger.

And we are alone. Truly alone.

Although the years have been blessed by marriages (good and bad), relationships, entanglements and one-night stands, there have also been many periods when we have lived in a state of singledom. Yet although we were alone, statistically, we were neither lonely nor lacking companionship if we wished it.

It is only now, when age is no longer viewed as just a number, that we are alone for the first time in our lives. And it is hard to bear – not the aloneness, but the lack of  love and intimacy.

In Nicholson’s words: “What I can’t deny is my yearning. I’m definitely still wild at heart but I’ve struck biogravity.”

These are sad times indeed for ageing Lotharios everywhere, rich or poor. And not even Viagra can help if there’s no other in the bed.

Welcome to the real world, Jack.

 

 

 

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