Marcus Mumford goes to Cougarland

September 13, 2015




2006 FILE: A cougar at Wildlife Prairie State Park June 28, 2006, near Peoria, Ill. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune) ..OUTSIDE TRIBUNE CO.- NO MAGS, NO SALES, NO INTERNET, NO TV.. 00264062A Tra Peoria Park

“Your soul you must keep, totally free.”
Awake my Soul
Mumford and Sons

I gave all things Mumfordy a wide berth for a while there.

Their songs were on the list of things that transport me back in time, once enough time had passed, I found myself smiling.

Because you see, dear reader, it was never Marcus Mumford I heard singing he songs he wrote, instead t’was Young Un the first.
The boy that growled like a monster sang beautifully too.
I’d feel a cool breeze coming in my car window, the lights of the oncoming traffic tickling my irises And his face feeding my eyes in the glow of a lit cigarette. . 2am drive back to my house.

We were driving back from a gig of his. I’ve been bandboy girlfriend-type-girl before, but this was different. I was used to hours left alone before, during, after. Content being a wallflower and carrying gear. If the girls watching think they can fuck you, you sell more merch. I know my place, or I thought I did. This was different, he had his arm around my waist almost every minute he wasn’t on stage, and in absentia I was surrounded by a protective circle of his friends.

We were both glowing on that car ride home, and after.

I had my girl howling the next day with my recollection. “It was like having a Golden Ticket. Inside the factory surrounded by fabulous manboy candy. But I only had eyes for that one.”

“How do we first begin to covet Clarice? … We covet what we see every day.” Silence of the Lambs

I did see him every day for a while. It became hard not to covet. I tried not to, I swear.

But (always a *but) there are rules here.

  1. Thou shall not covet the young uns. If they come, let them, but don’t try to keep them.
    (it is actually more rewarding that way, having them return over and over without implied obligation or imaginary lockdown)
  2. This too shall pass. Bask in the now, don’t think ahead. Or else the consequences will be yours to suffer alone.

Still learning.

Some days I am the reigning Queen of Cougarland, some days I disguise myself in peasant garb and just wander around, enjoying the scenery.

My girl just got back from Burning Man. Explained the policies which allow this to continue. Sooooo unlike other festivals that leave chaos in their wake, this one has a carry-it-in carry-it-out policy. MOOP (material out of place) is forbidden. Nothing is left behind, the hardpack is squared off and fine combed for the last little bit of glitter and feathers. Leaving it as pristine as it was before 70 000 people did their thing in the desert. Ensuring the reverie can happen again the next year.

Too bad we can’t do this with people. Come in, enjoy, camp out and then leave with just memories, without scarring the landscape.

I meet these boys, 20 somethings. They flirt and I try to shut it down by telling them how old I am. Every time it’s like I flipped the switch on some giant electro-magnet. Eyes get big and lusty, bodies move closer to mine, smiles go supernova. Aaaaand I’m done. Hard not to melt in that heat.

Angry-texting Ex likened me to the Subway guy. Meh, think what you want. We have already established I am not the right Madonna for him, he wants virgin with a halo. I have lovers half my age. No Gollum arms, thank fuck, the company I keep is where the comparison ends.

I’m a MILF, there is no way around it. I looked forward to turning 40 so I could claim my Cougar title complete with sash, crown and sceptre. I had practiced for years before I got here.

I was 26 he was 18.

I was 36 he was 27.

I was 38 he was 26.


I was 40 he was 25.

I was 41 he was 22.

I was 41 he was 22.


I am 41 and he turned 26, 27 soon.

Fucking Scorpios (sigh).
Saturn returns; that is what he does.

I am still learning.

Just “do not ask the price I pay I must live with my quiet rage, tame the ghosts in my head…”
Lover’s Eyes (M&S)

He said once that he wanted to love a woman that much, like in the song. I was sitting next to him thinking ‘I’m right here’.
But I didn’t shake the baby, not that time anyways, that came later.

Every amusement park has a haunted house. Whether or not you walk through it is up to you. Let’s not.

I’ve been accused of having a selective memory like it’s a bad thing. What is so bad about forgiveness, enjoyment and unconditional love. This is what I want to visit when I trip down memory lane. Who takes pictures of the ugly bits?

These things I do, these boys I let in to my bed. It’s like Disneyland, but for cougars, so Cougarland. Full of joy and wonder…just a little more adult-themed. There are rules clearly posted. Break them and you get asked to leave the park.

Don’t fucking break them.

The unwritten rule is “you cannot live here”. I mean you can, you can buy a condo at Disney, but I can see the magic wearing off with that easy access and all the fees and sub-clauses and you never really own a condo, you just think you do.

You cannot just bring a sleeping bag and claim squatter’s rights in Cinderella’s castle. You know its hollow right? Nowhere in ‘happily ever after’ does it state you have to stay together to be happy.

You are more than welcome to ride the rollercoaster 9 times in a row until your legs are shaking, perhaps you will be gently encouraged to take a little break, walk it off, have a snack. The rollercoaster will still be there, just give it 5 minutes.

And when it’s over, don’t remember the bad stuff. Yes, the lines are long and filled with sweaty interlopers, rides break down. Instead think back on finally riding the carousel horse you dreamt of since you were 7. The cotton candy, the sunshine, dancing instead of walking because there is music everywhere. The explosions of fireworks lighting up the sky in a symphony of splendor. These are the things you take away with you. It’s a magical place if you let it be. The most futuristic it gets? Tomorrowland. Not next week or next year. Just tomorrow.

And that’s alright.

“Love it will not betray you dismay or enslave you, it will set you free, be more like the man you were made to be.”
Sigh No More (M&S)

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