Friday, July 29, 2016

Virginia

There once was a girl named Virginia. They called her virgin for short, but not for long. She was from Chicago and I worked near her in the University hospital kitchen. We were cooks. She was very cute and built like a goddess. She was also just a genuinely nice person. The intimate part of our relationship didn't last all that long as she had a boyfriend that she lived with. While she did move out we went our separate ways eventually. She was soft, warm, and caring and a delight to be with, but she couldn't have an orgasm. She had never had one, she said. I ran into this issue several times with other women before I realized there was a connection. All the women had been raised in the Catholic church. Coincidence? I can only rely on my own experience and can't say if this is common among Catholic-raised women, but it does arouse my curiosity.

Oh, sure, I took it as a challenge to be the first one to be able to give them an orgasm and I think I actually had success in one instance. But the Vatican is a powerful force, using guilt, funny chants, mumbling into their hands, dead languages, fancy clothes and hats, and lots of gold and ornate googahs. Then the Pope and the nuns, priests, cardinals, bishops, knights, kings, queens, and one-eyed jacks all get involved in the rituals. It must be a hard cult to break out of if you want to. Lots of sinning, confessions, and then more sinning seems to make an endless cycle of guilt and shame. 

Ginny did give me a small ceramic cup she made with her name on the bottom. I still have it out in my shop having kept it now for over forty years. Guess I'm just sentimental or some other kind of mental.

   

Thursday, July 28, 2016

LSD Honeymoon

You probably wonder why a guy married for over 30 years still thinks about old girlfriends. Maybe because my marriage always gave me doubts. Rather than jump in and out of it I decided to stay. There must have been reasons.

I lived with my spouse for a few years before we got hitched. I moved out for about 9 months once because of that trapped feeling one can get. I had doubts, but got over them and didn't see anyone else so I figured I might as well go back. Besides I was spending half my time at her place anyway.

When we got married it was a smallish informal wedding with good food and a nice serene setting. We immediately set out on our honeymoon determined to get away fast. We were exhausted and found a cheap little motel that wasn't anything I would recommend, but any port in a storm. It was early spring and we drove hard the next day out to the mountains to stay at a hot spring resort.

We did some recreational drugs back in those days. Mostly just marijuana, but a little speed and extremely rarely LSD. Someone gave us a couple of hits of LSD and we took them along. For those of you who have never used the stuff it is usually good to be in a good mood, relaxed and have a plan or two of what you would like to do. A walk through the woods or hanging around with your friends, maybe listening to a little music. Going to public places is not always a good idea unless a lot of other people are in the same condition. I digress.

We get checked in to our room and after driving all day I thought it would be good to relax, get a bite to eat, and take it easy for the evening. Maybe make passionate love to officially consummate our marriage. This was her third and my first so I guess it meant more to me. She popped the acid before we were unpacked and after a while I begrudgingly did the same. We were up all night, of course, running around in a strange place, but it was late spring and there weren't too many people around.

I should have known then what her priorities in life would be. The alcoholism that surfaced a few years later should have been no surprise.

I still want to be with you

Dear e,

I think I could have loved you and you could have loved me. Being married makes that not an option for either of us. Were you ever married? Ever in love?

Twenty years with little or no affection has done me in and I don't know if I should wait and try to outlive her or just divorce. Everything she and I have, materialistically, is right here. It would be tough economically, but I have been poor before. I have a lot of thinking to do.

It's probably too late for you and me, anyway. Yes we are friends, but you won't go beyond that. I understand. I know you've been hurt before falling in love with a married man. I know you did the best you could, but it cost you dearly.

Even though I am fifteen years older than you I don't feel a difference. Do you?  It's times like this I really hate my life. I think I'll just go out to the garage, play some guitar and cry in my beer. Alone. I've been that way for so long it feels normal, but I don't think it is.

You'll never see this. It's just between me and no one, but know that I wanted to be the man you could love and trust. I know it won't happen and maybe I'll just fantasize now and then about a life that could have been. Not the life I had. If it wouldn't hurt you so much I would tell you that I love you and that you could react without restriction.

Damn.  

Unrequited love/ Friend zone

Dear e,

I remember when you first introduced me to your father. You first asked if I noticed the family resemblance, but any time you walked in the door the light was on you and the rest of the people and surroundings just faded into the background.

Today he came in for a few things and I recognized him right away, calling him by name. Pretty impressive, eh? He does look like you only older and less feminine, of course. I guess the nut doesn't fall far from the tree. The handful of months that have passed since first meeting him has been enough to get past the not recognizing anyone else's existence so the pain of not being able to be with you is lessened. Yet, you are still constantly in my thoughts.

Maybe I am getting past the infatuation part. You know, the one that makes my stomach hurt when I can't be
near you. I can't believe that still happens at my age. I am trying to get used to the fact that as long as I am married there is no hope of a relationship. Do I want to chuck my life, such as it is, for the chance of happiness in my later years? Or do I want to stay in a blah relationship with economic security and never experience real love again.

Do I want to be a disappointment to everyone or just myself? You seem to be outwardly able to keep me in the friend zone, but when you confide in me I think maybe you are really in more need of my company. If I were free would you give me a chance? I know you've been burned before. We all have by this time in our lives, but we still are drawn to that fire. To make that kind of connection with another human being is the most we can hope for in this life. As the president remarked and wrote about the audacity of hope  want to experience the audacity of love. I don't know if it would work, but I think that taking the chance of something like that isn't one I would regret.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Linda





Sometimes we lose track of people we once cared for. Sometimes it’s for a very long time. We lived together back in the mid seventies for over a year and thought we were in love. I guess we probably were. We left Iowa together to search for new adventure in the Big City of Minneapolis and found it. Unfortunately, her adventure wanted to be with someone else so I picked up the pieces and moved on. It took a while to get over her, but I had friends that could boost my ego and keep me occupied so I wouldn’t stumble down into the hole of loneliness. I was lucky that way. I would see Linda from time to time. She was honing her interior design skills and dancing as she had always done. We would run into each other and it was always friendly and warm. It was good to see both of us smile together. She met someone who was the love of her life and quite a bit younger. Heck, she was three years older than me, but it was no big deal once you’re past your teens. I think they got married eventually and so did I before leaving the city behind after about an eight year run. 

I thought about her now and then, but never had the time to look her up and see how she was doing. I tried the social media when I might remember, but only a few times over the years. I remembered again today when something triggered a thought to make me try a quick search, but this time I thought I might look up her parents. I found her father’s obituary. I had remembered him from some amazing cribbage games we had played. He had been a champion cribbage player around the Mason City area and was a formidable opponent. I figured his obit might mention his daughter. It did, right after the words ”preceded in death by”. She died on her birthday in 1992 at the age of 44. I was shocked and saddened, but it explained why I could find no trace of her the past couple of decades. I found a picture of her grave when trying to find out more. All I could imagine was suicide which saddened me even more. I could find no more information and don’t know any of her friends anymore. Too much time had passed to even find an obituary. I don’t know where and how she died, only where she was laid to rest. The only thing I know for sure is that she is no longer here.

Surprised by the pain it gives I only hope that time will make it go away. We were in love for a while and I had even asked her to marry me. She had said yes, but that changed as our relationship faded. This is the part of aging that I find the most painful. The physical deterioration is annoying, but the loss of friends and lovers is much harder to take. I am pretty good at hiding my feelings from others, but not myself. Sometimes I just need to scream.     

Andie

I live with two very smart women. I am married to one and the other is a good friend who lives in the downstairs suite (a fancy word for the basement bedroom and bathroom). I think they keep me around for brawn and eye candy, but as the years pass I am less sure of that position.

 After this last trip abroad I realized that they still want to keep me around for a while, so I must still be useful. I don’t get to travel much, as the last time was six years ago. After coming back I confessed to having “fallen in love” with three German women one day.

 They worked on the farm I stayed at in Northern Iceland and I found them to be smart, kind, and attractive and, of course, much younger than me.  It was one of those, “If I were single and twenty years younger,” moments that occur now and then. Nothing ever comes of those moments except in the movies and with politicians. I do have a grip on reality, you know. 


To make a long story longer, neither of the home girls particularly like to fly (to put it gently) over great distances, so they came up with a good plan to make sure I came back. You all must know that European women are exotic and attractive and there is always a possibility, although extremely remote, that I might be attracted to one. To counter this possibility they recruited their (and my) friend Andie. Recruited may not be the right word as I am normally not a conspiracy theorist (unless all the evidence points to it), but somehow she became my travel buddy. It was a brilliant move on their part. Andie is attractive, very smart, talented, young, strong, and kind and the plan worked. I barely noticed the rest of the women in Europe, except for one who was about 6’6” tall. I was even returned in better condition than when I left. Amazing!


Being a man there are some things beyond my scope of understanding, like the strength and power of women. Why they are not in charge of the planet I don’t know, but they cannot possibly do worse than the men in charge if for no other reason that women aren’t as full of crap as men.

Andie is still my friend, too! While I do desire her in the usual ways I don't believe she desires me back in the same way. We talk or email sort of regularly and we do rely on each others experiences to help out with problems. It doesn't get too personal, though. I mean she doesn't want to hear that my wife's desire fizzled out two decades ago, but mine didn't. It sucks to be me.

Sometimes I talk to Andie just to get my  head out of the clouds. She will distract me from whatever endless loop of thought I am in. Like if I have a temporary crush on some attractive and intriguing woman. Just talking to her will snap me out of it, at least for a while. Being married is a big turnoff to other women, so I am upfront about it when I need to be. It helps to make them not want to get too close. That tears me apart sometimes, but it is still the right thing to do, I guess.

The downside of Andie is that she lives a long way off and I only get to see her once or twice a year. Probably just as well to help keep me from getting too attached to someone I can't have. That's just the way it is.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Stepmother

My father struggled for a year or so with two very young boys and widowhood and then met a slightly older divorced woman at work. She was attractive enough and was more than willing to take on two young boys. Within another year they married, she quit work and became a stay at home mom. She started spending the summers at her father's cottage at the beach and keeping the boys with her there while my father worked all week and came to the beach on weekends. My brother was still in need of more parental attention, but he was cute and stayed near his step mom much of the time. I needed less supervision and was on my own except for meals and a place to sleep. This went on for about another fifteen years during which time my father built a cottage for us near the family one where we had been staying.

When we would go back to the suburbs and school stepmom, B, would stay home and knit (she was always knitting), watch TV, go bowling or play bridge with her friends, she did some light housekeeping, laundry, and cooking, but my father eventually took on much of that, especially on weekends. She would stay up late at night watching TV and knitting. My brother and I would get ourselves up, dressed, fed, and ready for school before she got up in the mornings. That pissed off my grandmother to see B send the boys off to school without a warm breakfast especially in winter. Dad would leave about 7 and we would leave for school about 7:30. Sometimes she would be up and sometimes not.

All this may have been forgivable to some people.  The thing that I ( and my brother) had trouble dealing with that was really irksome was her inability to admit wrongness or any mistake. She was also a horrible bigot against any  non-WASP person. She was an authoritarian and while that is necessary to some degree as a parent, she took it to an extreme.

By the time I was fifteen I could barely stand to be in the same room for any length of time. Not that that is atypical for a teen, but we were opposites on almost everything which never changed. I learned to tolerate her views eventually, because I saw her so seldom after I graduated from high school. I worked away from home and went off to college even farther away. My father was at least sympathetic to my plight and helped me hold on until I became of age. How he held out was more than a miracle.

He did love her "in his own way", he told me after she died, but I suspect his loyalty was like mine. He made a vow and intended to keep it, no matter what. They rarely fought, but her control issues and what to me looked like laziness made her less than an ideal mate.

B had a son who was about ten years older than me. I kind of liked him, his wife, and their kids, but didn't have that much interaction. As I got to know them better I saw he was abusive to his wife and lost a lot of respect I may have had. They divorced after their kids grew up and he flitted around the country as a carpenter and heavy drinker. He was living in Hawaii when he died at age sixty. His oldest son had moved there to be with him and adopted the same lifestyle. They would ask B to send them money for beer and she would usually oblige sending them a hundred or two every month.

When she was dying she insisted that smoking didn't cause her lung problems. She was on supplemental oxygen for about the last five or ten years of her life. How she made it to 91 I'll never know. The miracles of modern medicine, I suppose.

She was very jealous of my father. If he paid any attention to another woman or got a friendly hug from anyone who was not a relative she would see red. My father did have a woman or two that were confidants and B couldn't stand that, even in the last couple of years when she was mostly bedridden and he cared for her like a 24 hour nurse. He may have had an affair at some point years ago, but I never knew one way or another. My brother thinks he did.

The last ten or fifteen years of her life were made possible by my father's care giving abilities. Of course, that took everything out of him and he died about five months after she did. That was ten years ago.

I know she meant well, but was unequipped as a compassionate human being to do a great job. I have been able to let go of most of my resentment and learned to be kind to her and tolerate her views for the sake of my father. It's all over now and long past time to move on.  

Saturday, July 16, 2016

I was young once

Long ago on a hot July day my mother gave birth to me. She loved me as did my father. I could see it in their eyes in the old black and white photos. She was just 22 years old and my first relationship with a woman. I was breast fed, as we all should be if possible, just like all other mammals. It is supposed to make a strong bond. It must have, but I really don't remember much. When she was pregnant with my brother a couple of years later they discovered a problem. There was something else in there besides my brother. I don't know to this day if it was another fetus or a mass of some sort. She gave birth to my brother nearly three months prematurely and she died of complications of that process and whoever/whatever  was in there. It was about my 3rd birthday that she was gone.

My father was devastated, but carried on as he had two little boys and a lot of medical bills to take care of.  The whole process had an effect on the three of us, but I think my brother got the worst end of it and we all hurt in one way or another. All three of us needed her and then she was gone. I am no psychologist, but there are probably things like abandonment issues that effected all of us. Maybe they still do.

Next: Stepmother