Ask Dave: Andy Writes Back

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Not every day does someone follow my advice and then write back to me. So I can’t help but publish the response I got from Andy following our original correspondence. I’m sure he won’t mind my sharing this with you.

Dear Dave:

I don’t know you or what your credentials might be for dispensing advice. You were just a random online dude and I clicked submit before I meant to because I happened to be in the midst of a deep personal crisis.

And yet, I followed the recommendation you gave me: I asked my daughters for their views.

What did my twenty-something daughters think about a 63-year-old guy asking her if she liked to sleep with older men, or if she would enjoy a surprise kiss on the lips, or a hand unexpectedly exploring the curve of her breast?

They didn’t like any of those ideas.

They also talked to me about the complexity of the situation.

My daughters said context and consent are extremely important in any romantic or sexual exchange. They said the woman might have felt vulnerable, even intimidated by my overtures, and have had zero romantic interest in me. She might have been shy and unable to respond. She might even have felt curious or intrigued by the man or by proximity to power, at least until that question got thrown in about sleeping with older men. That was basically a request for a sexual relationship, said my daughters. And that’s true, because I didn’t know how else to approach the subject.

My daughters also said a woman will signal her interest in a man, if not verbally, then through expression and body language—the universal language of flirtation. They also said my position of power throws the entire situation out of balance, that there was no way we could have been on equally footing. I understand that. I’ve always had a way of getting what I want, one way or the other.

So I may have crossed the line—I did in fact cross the line, but it wasn’t due to a sense of entitlement, Dave. It wasn’t because of my position of power.

Honestly, it was pure desperation.

I can’t tell you how lonely I am.

Andy

Yes, desperation. I can’t tell you how lonely I am. How worthless I feel inside. I know you’d never think that of someone like me. But I’ve made many mistakes and I’ve driven away many people. You’ve heard what they said about me—that I don’t have any close friends. It’s true. I’m a bully. I’m alone. I’m in pain. I’m getting old and I wanted a beautiful, younger woman to find me fascinating, and virile, and special. Is that so awful?

As for a woman signaling her interest: You can’t always tell whether a beautiful woman is really interested. You can be clouded by hope, by your own fantasies. You can misread that dazzling face of hers. It’s possible. And that alleged kiss—it wasn’t entitlement, it wasn’t ownership or a brute display of power. It was a Hail Mary. Nothing but a desperate heave on my part.

And about that groping accusation—I can’t comment on that. I don’t remember that event at all. If it did happen, I’ve blocked the experience from my consciousness due to deep shame. If it didn’t happen, well, then I might have to start questioning things. Maybe my memories aren’t right. Maybe hers aren’t. It’s all very confusing, going through life a lost and lonely soul.

People are calling on me to resign from my position. Even C and K have turned against me. Everyone has. This could cause great harm to my brand. I’m presidential material! What should I do, Dave?

–Andy

Read Part 1 of my correspondence with Andy.

By David Klein

David Klein

Published novelist, creative writer, avid reader, discriminating screen watcher.

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