“…I’ve been up, down, tryin’ to to the feeling again
     All around, tryin’ to get the feeling again
     The one that made me shiver
     Made my knees start to quiver
     Every time she walked in…”

My front nine was a journey marked by milestones: first bicycle, first day of school, first car, first love.

Time passed. One moment I was at a Passaic, New Jersey wedding and Walt was witnessing the ketubah as my father-in-law was telling Alan to take his shoes off the table. Whoosh—–next thing I knew it was forty years later and another wedding—-Wieder’s. Marc and I (with Mary—he’d picked her up along the way), were upstairs in a bedroom, sneaking peaks at the second half of OSU-USC.

The back nine moves quicker, with fewer firsts. Cars don’t thrill me; school’s done for this life. And fall in love? I forgot how.

‘ Used to think I didn’t have enough decimal points for Jewish girls. True though
it is, ‘tis not the whole story. Stacy, for one, says it’s me. She thinks—no, she insists—I’m too picky. Can it be?

“All I need, “ my story went, “Was someone nice, with a smile, a half a brain, and a fragrance”. Was I lying? To myself? How many “nice, Jewish girls” with a twinkle and a scent did I find boring? Me? (As my father would wonder: Does he think he’s another Tyrone Power?)

Ed thinks it’s funny. He swears that with me, it’s all about the chase. Some guys, he notes, get their rush from sex. Me? He says that the moment I know someone likes me I back off. He may be right.

So the question remains: why?

Is it fear? Is it because all I really want is to know someone thinks I’m OK? Do I seek the validation my wife never gave me? Clearly it’s not my schedule. Busy as I am, my time’s always elastic.

No, it’s not fear…and not even insecurity.

Am I lazy? Or am I too content with my “today” to invest in my “tomorrow”?

This very morning’s paper wrote of a Hollywood scribe ensconced in a second marriage. Eighteen years and running, and proudly the guy affirmed that they’d never spent a night apart. I want that.

I need that side-by-side style…the rhythmic repetition of familiarity…of comfort.

I’m questioning, though, if I’ll ever have that luxury again. Gnawing at me is the sense that it’s like a trip to Barnes And Noble. How often have I been to the book store, traipsed aisle by aisle, and found nothing of interest?

It’s not them. It’s me. At least now I know it.

And I’ve tried…believe me. A few years ago Michael was saying “Dad, why do you say you need someone with ‘an edge’”? So I changed my game, dramatically. New attitude, new outlook, new horizons.

I dated nice girls—only. And even a Christian, once…just to see… (After all, friends counseled, You’re not having kids anymore).

     “…I’ve looked high, low 
     Everywhere I possibly can 
     But there’s no tryin’ to get the feelin’ again
     It seemed to disappear as fast as it came…”

The nice girls were just that: nice. And the shiksa: I sensed we had nothing in common from Moment One. It was mid-day and lunch was in order:

“Where would you like to go?” I asked, (figuring she’d have no preference and, stunning as she was, I’d walk her through Corky’s).
“Cracker Barrel”, she said.

Still, the lass was so sweet, so attractive, that at Ed’s insistence, I called her again. We had, in fact, plans to meet when, mitten direnna, out of nowhere, she texted me that there was a beautiful woodpecker in her backyard. (Is this what I need? I think not!)

But I miss the magic, whatever that is…and I wonder if I’ll feel it again.

Of recent vintage I’ve seen someone who, on paper, is perfect. Jewish, brains, looks….”gets me”…. All systems go.

But I can’t pull the trigger—can’t get myself to feel that feeling, like if I don’t hear her voice I’ll die.

And I crave that feeling.

I need that compulsion: the reverie when together and the angst when apart.

Maybe that’s what I missed not dating in my teens. Maybe I’ve seen too many movies. But I’m being honest here—brutally honest.

I’m only 62, and if I stay healthy I can get those eighteen years. Starting today, or tomorrow, or….some enchanted evening.

     “I’m trying to get the feeling again.”

                   B. Manilow

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