Remembering is a good thing.--Martha Stewart

Well, let's grope and hope.--Humbert Humbert,


Grandfather Figure/North Seattle/Sat April 20/12:30 pm: This afternoon, a 37-year-old man was sitting next to an 80-year-old man on a Metro bus heading north. The younger man (whom we shall call Marcel) had met the octogenarian (whom we shall call Charlus) previously on the bus. In fact, Marcel regarded Charlus, who is a retired mathematician and an active Christian, as something of a "grandfather figure," and an "Orthodox Christian gentleman." "He is always dressed in a professional, yet stylish manner," Marcel later explained to the reporting officer, McLaughlin, "and is very easy to talk with."

While having their easy conversation, Charlus placed a hand on Marcel's leg. At first, Marcel felt uncomfortable about this, but thought he was overreacting, that this was just an "old-fashioned friendly gesture." A few moments later, the octogenarian said, "You feel so good to sit next to." Again, Marcel felt uncomfortable, but, again, he thought he was overreacting, and that this was "just an outdated way of communicating." A few moments later, Charlus said, "I bet we are the same kind, aren't we," and slid his hand up Marcel's thigh, then down to his crotch area, and began groping his genitals. The younger man immediately stood up and walked to the front of the bus. Officer McLaughlin writes: "[The] victim was too embarrassed to say or do anything at the time. He just stood at the front of the bus until his stop. Today, after a sleepless night, he decided to call the police to assure that it doesn't happen again."

Le Temps Retrouvé/Rainier Valley/Mon April 22/12:05 pm: No less than two days after Marcel's Metro encounter, the author of this column had a similar experience in the back of a number 9 bus. The older man in my case was black, and 80 or 90 years old. The old man said "hello there" when he sat next to me. I offered his courtesy raw silence because I'm usually rude to strangers. Moments later, I sensed his intense stare, and when I looked over at him I realized that he was masturbating through his pants. His free left hand reached out to touch me, but I stood up and walked to the front of the bus.

I did not, however, lose sleep over my bus incident, nor did I think it was that creepy. In fact, something rather special happened to me at the moment I realized I was the object of an old man's desires: I was thrown about 23 years back in time, to what was my boyhood. I felt like a boy and had the emotional boundaries of a boy, and my heart throbbed like a boy's heart. Had this old man not projected his decaying fantasies onto me, I may never have relived the taut sensations of my youth.