The Dry Season by George Radak

This is such a sweet, intimate story about sex and love on the other side of fifty.  George writes with candor and charm about how he and his beloved wife of thirty years faced and overcame challenges to their sex life as they entered mid-life and how ultimately they were able to deepen their love even more by doing so.  This is a topic that not many on this side of fifty would be willing to write with such vulnerability and openness.  Yet I am sure many can relate.  Thanks to George for his openness and willingness to share.  

I haven’t had intercourse with my wife in years.

Eight years ago she said “ouch” while we were in flagrante delicto. I stopped. She said ” It’s OK, just finish”. I did as she requested but it was not OK and it kept getting worse. She was running dry quicker and our lovemaking became shorter and shorter.

I insisted she see a doctor. Her gyno said it was nature taking it’s course and sent her home with a tube of hormone creme. We tried it and my first impression was unfavorable because the potion smelled like “ass.” Unfortunately I have no filter so when I realized that I’d said this out loud she was already crying and turned away from me so no sex that night.

The following month was a mixed bag of success and failure so it was hard to tell if the creme was working or not. I came home one night and found her in front of the computer with a look on her face that had me wondering “Who died?”. It turned out she’d been doing research on Premarin and she found out how it was made. The screen showed pictures of horses in pens with some sort of contraption strapped to their hind quarters.

“It’s made from the urine of pregnant horses” she said. “They stand in these stalls all day as it’s being collected until they give birth. They are immediately repregnated and the foal is shipped off to auction, usually to be slaughtered. When mare is no longer able to get pregnant….”

For a woman who had been horse crazy since she was big enough to pick up a crayon and draw one this was devastating. She started crying softly and couldn’t continue then she looked at me and said “What am I going to do?”

Women, they look at you and expect you to read their minds. The funny thing is, live with one long enough and you can. What she wasn’t saying was coming in loud and clear. I grabbed her chin, lifted her face and kissed her then I said “Go upstairs and throw that shit away”.

As she walked away she threw over her shoulder this remark “It also causes cancer.”

One problem was solved and another one popped up. Lovemaking became so painful we started avoiding each other. I fell into the worst depression of my life. It seemed that life was only one challenge after another to test my ability to handle loss. Favorite pets when you are young. Beloved grandparents. The big game or that special love as teen agers. Parents as we age.

Now this.

If we had been having vanilla sex it wouldn’t have been so bad but we didn’t. We had sloppy, wet, scare the children, break the bed, up against the wall, neighbors at the motel pounding on the wall for quiet sex.

Aside from the gymnastics there was the spiritual component that I mourned the most. Great sex mixed our souls together so that we were joined at the pelvis and the mind.

 It was profound. It was sacred. It was gone.

I wondered aloud ” Have I lived too long? Maybe 55 years is enough. I don’t want to feel like this anymore.” So I had a heart attack.

Lying on a bed in the hospital that October a surgeon was trying to install a stent when he suddenly stopped and said “Uh Oh”… and withdrew the cable he had threaded up to my heart. They scheduled bypass surgery for the day after next giving me 36 hours to examine my life.

I decided that overall my life had been rough but full of wonders including a true and powerful love. Even if I couldn’t fuck her I wanted to spend the rest of my life (as short as that might be) with her. I decided if I woke up after surgery I was going to do everything I could to live.

Later, during my recovery I told her of my thoughts just before the heart attack. She looked at me as if I had just given birth to a frog . “You wanted to die because you couldn’t have sex?”

I groveled and came back with “Well, when you say it like that, it does sound a little…”

“Stupid?” she interjected.

“Maybe” I allowed

We still have sex now although an abbreviated version. We use cremes (not the bad one) and oils and our hands. My wife found an industrial strength vibrator that sometimes does the trick. Laying on our backs looking at the bedroom ceiling one night after a mutually satisfying event I had a thought and began to laugh.

“Care to share?”  she asked.

“My dear it occurred to me that at least your pussy did not fall victim to atrophy. We wore the thing out.”
She laughed , we kissed, and then we fell asleep holding hands.

older holding handsGeorge Radak is a Playwright, Essayist, and Master Mechanic. He lives on a horse farm outside of Akron, Ohio with his beautiful artist wife and too many rescue animals to count.


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