‘I’m broody too, you know’ the handsome young grip said, and he looked at me mournfully.
I gazed back at him, raising my eyebrows in mock sympathy. ‘Oh of course; and being 24, you’d know all about desiring kids.’ I shook my head in mild exasperation.
‘Actually I’ve wanted kids since I was 19’ he said. ‘So the last five years have been quite frustrating for me, still being single and all’.
I studied his expression for a moment, trying to detect the usual film-set sarcastic banter. His face was serious; too serious. I couldn’t figure out if he was for real.
He continued. ‘Look, I know it’s probably not cool for me to say it, but I do want kids. I want to settle down. I want to meet someone special and share my life with them. I’m not getting any younger’ he added.
Yeah; try being a woman with a ticking biological clock, I wanted to say to him. There’s only a few years left for me before my ovaries go on hiatus from producing fresh eggs; if I don’t get them fertilised soon, they’ll end up useless, like some old battery-farmed hen being killed for cat food.
‘Well’ I responded. ‘You still have plenty of time. You’ve got ages yet before you’ll be an old, incapable dad, who’s too tired to play footy with his kids. So don’t worry about not meeting someone; it’ll happen’.
He smiled at me and I wondered what he would look like naked. Granted he was very young and I would probably tire of his childish ways quite quickly, but perhaps I should be bedding someone like him, rather than the men I have shagged over the years who wanted nothing to do with commitment and children. Admittedly, neither did I - then - but I suspect I have tended to fall for a ‘type’ in the past and that type are generally known as bastards.
He interrupted my train of thought. ‘The girls on this film, they’re a bit young, aren’t they?’ He pointed at the few females on the set, caked in foundation and mascara (make-up department) and tight jeans (costume department). Then he looked at me and I became aware that my trousers were still muddy from filming outdoors and that my t-shirt had stains over the nipple area where I had accidentally managed to drip oil from a smoke machine I was helping carry. I suddenly felt embarrassed and self-conscious with this young man's eyes all over me.
He smiled at me again and I realised that perhaps he was trying to make a point: I’m now a mature, confident woman at ease with who I am; I have no need to prove my sexuality to men, by covering myself in make-up and sexy clothing at work; I now want something more than just a succession of random fucks, lined up in my future. And this was attractive to him.
For a moment, I fantasised about what it might be like, were him and I to be a couple. What would we talk about? What things would we have in common? What would we do with our spare time together? What would sex with him be like? What would our kids turn out as being?
As I watched him grin at me and awkwardly run his hands through his hair, I felt a desire to reach out to him; to touch his face and tell him that everything would work out, given time.
But time is not something I have – at least, that’s how I feel right now. I don’t want kids tomorrow – not even in the next couple of years; there’s still a lot of fun to be had before then and I plan on having it – but alongside a partner.
However I do want kids and I want them with someone I love, someone who wants them too; someone who is old enough to be my peer, not someone who will look back on their twenties and wonder where their youth went.
Fuck around, I wanted to say to him. Enjoy your youth; experiment; discover what it is that you enjoy; who it is that you can be. And when you’ve done that; when you’ve come full-circle and know you’re finally ready, that’s when it will be the right time to meet someone like me.
I looked at him and in his unwrinkled smile, saw my own youth reflected in his face. There was a time when I would have been jealous of that; wanted my unlined face back. Not now. When I saw his young features staring back at me, I saw my past – and I’ve moved on from that. I don’t want to look back anymore; I’m ready for my future.