It’s official: I’m in love. With an almost-octogenarian. Like so many women before me, I have fallen for the charms of Mr Leonard Cohen. And as a token of my deep, undying devotion, I’m changing my name to Suzanne Marianne Cohen. As of now I’m not yet styling myself “Mrs C,” but maybe in time…Though, as even Mr Cohen would admit, time isn’t exactly on our side – our combined age currently adding up to a tidy 140 years. Never mind. In the meantime, let me recount the ways in which I love this man.
We met at one of his concerts a few months ago. When I say “met” I mean in the metaphorical sense, a meeting of the mind and heart. Across a very crowded room (9,999 others, actually). It was an immediate coup de foudre. The moment that dapper figure skipped onto the stage I was utterly smitten. I could sense the smouldering sparks behind the cool formality of the suit and hat, and when he launched into Dance Me to the End of Love, I was completely ready to leap onto the stage and accept his invitation.
But the timing wasn’t right. The concert had just begun and first I had to share him with all the other fans, including the many older women present. When he sang/murmured A Thousand Kisses Deep, a thousand boomer hearts revved up, some to slightly worrying cardiac levels. But we hung in there with our man onstage, who gave us his all with the stamina of someone half his age. That night, there were no casualties, except of the emotions. I fell into a swoon from which I have yet to recover.
And so it continued as he sang his way through his mesmerising repertoire. He took us to the Chelsea Hotel, where Janis Joplin so kindly entertained him. We shared his longing for the enigmatic Suzanne, we sighed sadly when Marianne had to go. A lifetime of emotions in just a few sweet hours…
All too soon, he was belting out Hallelujah and I knew the end was nigh. It was now or never. I had to get onto that stage and stake my claim before he disappeared into the night and out of my life. It was the last show of his tour, he told us, and though we might meet again, nothing in this life is certain. It was one of those defining moments when all is either won or lost.
Blame it on my blissful state but I missed my window of opportunity. Before I could get up there and proclaim, “Mr Cohen, you’re my man,” he’d gone. Just like that. It was all over. Finis. The end of all my hopes and dreams.
But not entirely. Oh, if only it were that easy to erase him from my heart. I feel those pangs especially in the quiet of the night, when it’s just me and Mr Cohen, crooning on the ipod. Nothing to distract me then from the bittersweet pain of longing. It takes two to tango, and it ain’t easy throwing those shapes all on your lonesome (especially the back bends).
Still, I try to make the best of it. I do what I can. Changing my name to Suzanne Marianne Cohen is a start. And I’m spending quite a lot of time down by the river, lying in wait for Mr Cohen (see pic). As they say, hope springs eternal.
Will Mr Cohen requite my adoration? Or will it all end in tears?
Watch this space.