With sixty staring me in the face, I’m deluded enough to assume that the timing of this incident might not be entirely random:
Think of that poor sap, General Petraeus, and how his sexual desires and fantasies took hold of him at sixty and turned him into a kind of satyr. Deeply flattered to be admired by an attractive younger woman with an equal need to be embraced by a brilliant hero, and you have the adage of “no fool like an old fool” especially when he’s not feeling so old and his wife is not in his league or that of his mistress.
How long had Petraeus been laboring under the sad illusion that he needed a new soulmate of carnal perfection? Was it a pornographic mind, a simmering of fleshy delights that ate at him, teased him, or the yearning for what Jung called the anima to his animus, the perfect female half to his masculine selfhood?
I suppose I should consider myself fortunate to be utterly unnoticed by attractive younger women, given the dire consequences that seem to accompany that sort of thing. Of course, I’m not married, and I have no reason to think I ever will be again. (Weirdly, I dreamed Saturday night that my ex had thrown in her lot with Roger, and she seemed deliriously happy, though I couldn’t really tell if this was due to his merit or my lack of same.)
Still, the General has earned a “WTF were you thinking?” And the fact that we can pretty much guess what he was thinking — it’s the possession of two heads, only one of which is functional at any given moment, a condition practically universal among men of my gender — does not obviate the need to ask, if only to remind ourselves of the possibility that our calling, as a species, might be a trifle higher than the purely carnal.