The more you love, the more you can love — and the more intensely you love. Nor is there any limit on how many you can love. If a person had time enough, he could love all of that majority who are decent and just.
Diary Entry: Summary 1980 (Aunt Sarah)
It has been a while since I have written specifically about Aunt Sarah. Time has passed and so have the circumstances that impinge of family life. I am older, more mature, more developed in my mind and body. And tragedy has struck our family: My Uncle, Aunt Sarah’s husband, is dead from a catastrophic accident. Through that time of turmoil I reflect on and now realize I had suppressed some of my feelings and longings for Aunt Sarah but I am compelled now to write about them as a means of clearing the air. I want to put a name and face on my desire. My Uncle’s death only served to bring me closer to Aunt Sarah and I began to feel guilt for my casual feelings I had generated in my interest in my Aunt and the mode of that interest. I was not simply a friend or family member interested in her well being and grief. I was now a man that could see many different sides to my Aunt that no one else could see. With some shame mixed with selfishness and need I wanted to be more than a nephew to her. I wanted to console her: To be her special confidant.
I am compelled to admit, like some drug addict, that I, at the height of the tragedy, sat in that church at that time of grief thinking about that stolen moment not hours before when I had crept downstairs, like Dr. Jekyll to his lab, to pander to my basest instincts. I needed my Aunt Sarah fix. I HAD to see her under garments. I needed to know what she was going to wear at some time in the near future and if I would be lucky enough to recognize the style, cut and colour of her stockings.
I was relieved that at the funeral I did not see what I had viewed hung in the basement but on the drive home from the funeral and wake I had an opportunity to muse and reflect on several singular moments.
The times I yearned for most was Christmas for at that time at Aunt Sarah’s home the greatest opportunities existed to go downstairs on some pretext to retrieve a chaffing dish or an old jazz album would offer the glimpse of my desire. I would often get a visual fix by seeing several stockings and girdles hanging to dry or lying in a pile to be hand laundered. The stockings changed in hue slightly: honey, charcoal, coffee, nude and off-black would greet my wondrous and hungry eyes and slake that visual thirst I had come to crave at regular intervals. Her lingerie began to reflect the changes in her body as well. For in the past there were only panty girdles and open bottom girdles had been supplemented by full body open and closed bottomed girdles. As always virginal white was the main colour but now she was wearing nightshade gray, light yellow and beige girdles hung from that cord.
I began to understand why Aunt Sarah took so long to go “to the ladies room.” It had to be a somewhat onerous process to disrobe almost completely to attend to her needs. This delay only served to increase my curiosity and desire. Curious to know about a woman’s intimate ministrations in all aspects and desire because the delay acted as a catalyst for my imagination as I sat at some restaurant with my family waiting her return. Sometimes I would become so distracted in my musings that I missed conversations directed at me and I would blush in deep embarrassment if they only truly knew why I was not paying attention to the repartee rolling round the dinner table.
Thinking back from my last entry about Aunt Sarah I remember these singular moments in my quest for visual enticement:
Aunt Sarah in a boat in a summer weight white blouse and, unbelievably, a mid-length pencil skirt, totally non-nautical attire, jumping to the dock in crepe soled shoes and the flash of stocking seam as she bent down to tie off the line.
Going to the Opera and opening the passenger door for my Aunt and as she slid out of the seat her dress rising and glimpsing her stocking top. Her hand rushing to correct this most sinful of displays and in a flash the image gone from sight but etched into my mind forever.
Morning one day at her home when everyone was out early except for Aunt Sarah and I. I was eating cereal in the breezeway and she was passing through in a thigh length nylon dressing gown and through the sun shine I could see the outline of a lace full body girdle.
Moments like these were the fuel, like an atomic pile being activated slowly, that sustained me from one family get together to another.
As these moments were rare I reveled in the opportunities that presented themselves to ingratiate myself with her and become her favourite nephew – not all that hard since I am an only nephew – and given her tacit and, later to become, obvious pleasure in having me be near her. The odd time our bodies would touch outside of the obligatory greeting and leaving hugs – a momentary brush against her thigh as we sat on a bench seat in a restaurant would sustain me for months.
Through all this experience and momentary reward it was my secret. I only had one secret I held closer to me than this and no one knew either secret. I had no Confessor…no entity to share this with but the stark whiteness of paper and blue ink of my Journal. There was no longing for I knew that what I desired was met by what I would garner from my infinitesimal machinations to see only objects that represented her. I never got drunk and acted inappropriately to Aunt Sarah or stole a touch on the nape of her supple neck as I hugged her. For everyone, save me, I was the example of what was once called courtly love. I was mildly chivalrous and attending but never fell into a saccharine sweetness of behaviour that would expose my true feelings.
My admiration for Aunt Sarah was perfect in its intent. There was only desire satisfied by the self-imposed strictures I had created.
I look forward to seeing Aunt Sarah soon. Christmas is just around the corner!