Sex is a powerful hypnotic. Pre-coitus is tension, desire, shaking, like the symptoms of any craving. Then with achievement, the whole body relaxes, and the smile of peace and pleasure descends as of a great accomplishment, and one slips away in sleep as deep as after a day of fruitful toil. The smile would remain throughout the following day, my step a little lighter, my head a little higher. It was the narcotic to which I was addicted, and yearned to return for my next fix.
Today, all is still. Nothing stirs but the frustration of unfulfilled desire, for impotence has struck. It is the great pain of age, adding mocking anguish to the already ailing body. It is not a happy prospect, unhelped by unbidden frustration for my wife also, who bears the brunt of my pain.
Next week I go to hospital for cystoscopy and a scan, so this now is the triple blow, adding to the first of prostatism and haematuria, and to the second of having knowledge of all that may be involved. For as a post-grad medical student, I spent six months on a GU ward in my surgical house job, inserting catheters and peering through the telescope attachments of cystoscopy tubes, assisting the surgeon as he cut or fried the tissue.
Now the only morning rise is to the toilet for a 4 a.m. pee, and watch as it dribble in the pan, and hope all is voided before I pull up the pyjama pants. The frustrations of age are endless, and seem to grow with the lengthening shadows, assuaged only by writing this in the pre-dawn of another restless night.