Janina was one of my more adventurous, fun loving and fearless friends. Her adventures continued to the end of her life (skipping out of hospice to go to the theater, because as she said, “I’m not dead yet!”). This is a story of her romantic affair in Italy at 79 years young.
I was at Janina’s apartment in New York City, when I saw this picture of a beautiful man in his 40s or 50s (turned out he was fifty). He had that look in his eyes like we shared something beautiful, deep and hot… remember?
When I asked her about this she laughed that delightful laugh of hers, deep and yet carefree and said he had sent her this photo with the message, remembering beautiful nights. She said she met him in a swimming pool in Italy.
It was a beautiful evening under the stars and there was a “waterfall” coming into the pool that she went under. It was so delicious that she laughed that fully delighted beautiful laugh. This gorgeous “young” man (Janina was 79 at the time), was so enchanted by her laugh that he swam over. They had a fun conversation and then it was time for her to go back and meet up with her friend and invited him to come to dinner with them. She was traveling for a few days with a friend, who wasn’t quite as adventurous as her (not many are) who was back in their room.
He said he couldn’t go to dinner, but he could meet her after. After she thought … hmmm that sounds deliciously intriguing (especially the inviting way he said it). So she said she would see how it goes and give him a call.
After dinner with her friend, she said, “I’m going down to the senior center (apparently there was one close by) and watch a movie, do you want to come?”
Her friend declined saying she was going to sleep. So Janina called him and arranged to meet him and also “arranged” her clothing so that they could make love in a tight space as she thought might happen. This was a woman who called it like it was, naturally authentic. I never witnessed her in denial.
They did make love and when I asked her didn’t it hurt? As she hadn’t had a lover in awhile and as women age usually their skin is thinner.
She laughed and said, “No, he fit purr-fect-ly!” She laughed again telling me, “I said to him, you’re perfect” yet I know he had no idea what I was talking about…laughing.
The next day Janina’s friend was supposed stay with friends in another town, leaving Janina alone and with a “bedroom” for the next few days. But her friend said she wasn’t feeling well and thought she should stay. Janina convinced her to go saying she’ll be better once there as she loaded her onto the train (more laughter as she told me this).
She had three glorious “perfect” nights with her beautiful Italian lover.
She never said never, always open to what would enhance her life.
PS Janina told me she wrote about all her adventures (of which there were MANY) and saw them someday in a book. I look forward to reading them and who knows… sharing them.