[Come summer heat, much of my blogging momentum melts away. Hence an experiment until Labor Day: fifty minimalist posts about whatever.]

It’s generally not a good idea to share details of one’s romantic and sexual history with one’s current partner. But when you’re getting old, it seems less imprudent. Thus Bill and I have indeed told each other such tales. I can then enjoy scolding him for bad behavior with some women he knew in days gone by, while he can enjoy cutting down with wry nicknames some of his predecessors and near-predecessors.

One such near-predecessor was a cyclist with thighs of phenomenal power: at the gym he cycled in black spandex shorts for two hours daily at 120 revolutions per minute while doing complicated higher mathematics in his head. (He was a software designer for an international Japanese company.) I know the speed because I used to cycle behind him, although not for two hours. They were truly thighs of steel.

Eventually we got into conversation after the cycling, which led to his asking if I liked to eat, which led to me unwisely exclaiming it was my second most favorite thing in the world, which led to an immediate dinner invitation, which led after the dinner to a long  passionate kiss in my living-room during which what was happening below his waist pressed hard against a responsive area below my own waist, which was certainly pleasing but led to my suggesting it was late and perhaps we could continue another time. My suggestion was not driven by false modesty but by the thought that he was no more than forty-five whereas I was sixty-nine and the alarming realization there was no way I could lie only on my back in the pitch dark once we reached the bedroom and shed our clothes.

We both became more sensible over the next few days; there was never “another time.” And soon afterwards I met age-appropriate Bill, who now always refers to this near-predecessor with the phenomenal thighs as “cock of steel.” (An assumption for which I was never able to make hands-on verification.) But that’s not his most creative nickname. There’s someone else he’s named “tongue like a drill.” I’m not telling you that story. You’ll have to imagine it for yourself.