Sunday, December 20, 2009


"Death," my sister used to always say, "is the great equalizer."

So, apparently, is time, which, I suppose you could say, is death's closest living relative.

Last night I ran into the ex-boyfriend of a girlfriend of mine. I hadn't seen him in about two years. The last time I saw him, it took every ounce of self-control in my then-only moderately toned body to stop myself from jumping on top of him and ripping off his clothes. He was that cute. My friend was such a lucky lucky thing.

Like most guys, he turned out to be pretty much a loser, a first-class philanderer. After months of turning a blind eye to his wandering you know what, my friend finally gave him the boot. I don't know about her, but I hadn't thought of him since.

So last night he caught me totally off guard. When he first came up to me, for a second, I didn't even know who he was. He was heavier. His face was bloated. There were only traces of the looker who once had nearly driven me to sexual aggression. The devil, I thought, as he stood before me, wouldn't recognize him. He had that same old Argentine swagger, but sadly, there was no longer anything to back it up. And I wouldn't give him more than 26 years.

It's the fourth or fifth time in several months that I've run into someone from my past who had more or less let his looks go to hell in a relatively short period of time. The first one was the ex whom I ran into on my birthday and didn't even recognize. Some people clean up well, others age gracefully, a lucky few manage both. These guys do neither.

The other night at dinner, my friend Jeffrey and I were wondering aloud why so many porteños seem to fall victim to the rapid-aging syndrome that afflicts children on daytime soaps. We couldn't decide if the culprit is the bright rays of the sun in this global deep south, the chain smoking, the heavy meat consumption, or just unfortunate genetics.

Whatever it is, unlike in New York City, where the average urbanite physically peaks in his or her 30s or 40s, here in BA, 24 often seems to be as good as it gets. No wonder the kids are all angling for guys my age. At least they know what they are getting in the long run.
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