Two significant events occurred this week. 1) I had another birthday, and 2) I finally read “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
What is the link between these two seemingly unrelated happenings, you might ask? Even if you don’t (ask, that is) you know I’m about to tell you. My birthday, of course, forced me to confront the reality of my chronological age. Even more depressing, the book forced me to face the possibility that my potential for acting out sexual fantasies may very well be over; novel erotic positions are guaranteed to give me leg cramps.
As I’m sure all of my literati friends already know, “Fifty Shades of Grey” is about a kinky relationship between a very unreal 27-year-old drop-dead gorgeous male who is a self-made gazillionaire, and a somewhat unreal beautiful 21-year-old female recent college graduate who is still a virgin. She is an English literature major with a perfect grade point average who nevertheless expresses her emotional astonishments by repeating the phrases “holy crap,” “holy shit,” and “holy fuck” on alternating occasions.
In an interview, the author, E. L. James, says she wrote the Grey trilogy, which has been phenomenally successful, in response to her mid-life crisis. Well, what can I say? I am long past that mid-point and still have not written my magnum opus. So I had this idea. Seniors deserve a turn-on they can relate to. I will rewrite “Fifty Shades of Grey” for the geriatric set. I don’t like to think of my effort as plagiarism, but more like a Fifty Shades franchise.
Since my version will be written for those of a more advanced age, it is both responsible and legally prudent that the book come with a warning. Opening the cover, or firing up your Kindle, may be hazardous to your health. Consult your physician before reading. Perusing this volume may result in: shortness of breath, atrial andor ventricular fibrillation, spiking of blood pressure, shingles, varicose veins, loosening of dental implants, and short circuiting of hearing aids.
All of the above notwithstanding, I offer you my first installment.
Judah Gold (shortened from Goldberg) encounters Anna Steelman at a class reunion taking place in Boca del Mar y Lago, Florida, where fifty shades of grey refers to the hair color of all those in attendance who have given up on Clairol.
He remembers her from high school as a pretty cheerleader with sexy legs, whose pom poms used to give him an erection. He approaches her. “Anna” he calls out, noting the name tag on her left breast just to be certain, casually sweeping his eyes over to her right breast as well. He takes in the rest of her with an appreciative eye, noting that she is still very attractive, and that he finds her love handles a turn-on.
“Holy cow,” she says, “Judah Goldberg. I haven’t seen you in over 40 years.” She does not fail to appreciate him, as well, noting his still handsome face, almost full head of hair, trim physique and expensive clothes. “If he can still drive at night,” she muses to herself, “he would be a perfect catch.”
“It’s Gold now, Anna,” he says in a rich sophisticated voice with just a hint of a Long Island accent, “Judah Gold.”
“You look wonderful, Judah,” she remarks. “You’ve kept yourself very fit. Clearly, your Medicare supplement includes the Silver Sneakers program at the gym.”
“I have a personal trainer, Anna,” he corrects her, somewhat haughtily. “I’m very wealthy.”
They chat and catch up on the intervening years. Both are widowed. He informs her that he is retired, and living full time in Boca, except when he used his private jet to visit exotic locations, or his helicopter to take him shopping in Palm Beach.
“And how are you keeping busy?” she asks.
“I have a new hobby,” he replies. “I’m into domination.”
“Domination,” she repeats querulously, “is that anything like canasta?”
He is instantly stimulated by her naivete, and tries to quiet his throbbing prostate.
He tells her he will explain in due time, and they continue talking. He is becoming aroused by thoughts of bringing her to his home, where he has turned his Florida Room into a tropical pink playground of submission.
By the end of the evening, Judah has asked her out for dinner the following week. Anna’s inner yenta urges her to accept. Because he wants to sweep her off her feet, he resists inviting her for the early bird special. Although he is wealthy, he is also very frugal when it comes to restaurants.
On the evening of their date, he has his driver, Barber, pick her up at 6:30. Judah is waiting at the restaurant and escorts her to the table. “Sit,” he commands her. The waiter brings the menus and he orders for both of them. In a short time, the appetizer arrives. “Eat,” he tells her. During the meal, Judah’s cell phone rings. As he excuses himself and walks away to take the call, he instructs Anna to “stay.”
Why does he talk like a dog trainer?, she wonders to herself, but is distracted by the delicious food.
Dinner is very pleasant, and Anna is becoming giddy from the wine. Judah decides to make his move tonight. At this age, one cannot afford to waste time.
She agrees to go to his house for a nightcap, after which Barber will take her home. She is overwhelmed by the size of his estate. “How do you manage to get around all these acres,” she asks him. “Remember, Anna,” he responds, “I’m very wealthy. I have my own golf cart.”
Anna “oohs” and “ahs” at his beautiful art work, the expensive furnishings, the 14 kt. gold grab bars in the bathrooms. He escorts her through all of the rooms but one. He is conniving to make her curious. She takes the bait.
What’s this room?” she asks, glancing at the closed door of the former Florida Room.
“That is where I play at domination,” he responds in a suddenly curt and clipped manner.
“My,” thinks Anna, “he certainly is moody. Nothing like my Harry, may he rest in peace.”
“So let me see,” she implores. “Perhaps it’s a game I can teach to the girls at the club.”
Again, he finds her naivete a turn-on, but tells her that before he can show her the room, she has to sign a disclaimer that she is entering at her own risk. She is puzzled, but consents. He produces the paper as she searches through her handbag for her reading glasses.
Once the formality is accomplished, he proceeds to unlock the door. Anna steps inside and gasps. She has never seen anything like it. In the center of the room is an ornate king-sized four-poster bed covered in expensive satin fabric with a palm tree motif. Little monkeys decorate the matching pillow shams. Silk ropes are tied around each of the posts. On one wall, at least twenty very expensive Gucci and Pucci silk scarves are hanging on hooks. Another wall contains a rack with canes of various sizes. To the left of the bed is a rhinestone-studded walker. Could those be handcuffs attached to the grip? A wheel-chair upholstered in genuine snakeskin, and equipped with restraints, stands by the window. Ropes with leather wrist cuffs hang from the ceiling. She spots a tie rack with clearly very expensive men’s ties. At this moment, Anna is not sure if she has stepped into Neiman-Marcus, or a rehab center.
Anna nervously begins biting the knuckle of her right thumb. A woman biting her right thumb knuckle has always been the sexual tipping point for Judah. He can stand it no longer. He pulls Anna to him. His hands caress her love handles. He kisses her squarely on the mouth, his tongue finding its way between her teeth, as he backs her onto the ornate king-size four poster bed.
(To be continued. Maybe. I’m working on two chapters of insipid e-mails between the main characters. In the meantime, watch for the movie, featuring Barbra Streisand playing Anna. To be shown in select cities only!)