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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Adrenaline: Best served sucked directly from the skull.

It is our most physical link to our most animal past. Adrenaline. Fight or Flight.

I have done my share of substances that suddenly 'get your attention.'

This was stronger.

A spark of static electricity? God blinked? All I know is something happened.

They bolted.

Did shooting me mean more trouble than they were willing to get into, or were they not the hard men they thought they were?

Or was it something else. Sound returned into the vacuum with a rush. And the volume was up.

Jumped into the car, fumbled open the bag and pulled the .38.

Started it and flew into reverse, then the direction their baggy assed-jeans were seen, picking them up and laying them down.

There was blood in my throat and at that moment I certainly could have killed, pushed into it with very little effort.

I was racing down a wrong way street. They were gone. I went NUTS.

An older citizen in a pickup was trying to pass me in the opposite direction. He had just entered a very wrong situation for all the right reasons.

I raged at him to get out of my way. He was not impressed. I screamed at him that I was A POLICE OFFICER AND HAD JUST BEEN ROBBED AT GUNPOINT, YOU FREAK SHOW!

Now he was really not impressed.

He stopped his truck and the door flew open. Pretty spry for a guy with the posture of a jumbo shrimp. He read indignant and morally 'right'.

I might get the chance to kill somebody after all.

Friday, November 28, 2008

They did not cover this on 'Career Day.'

Time can standstill. And you can get focused.

My attention, at that moment, was burning with a white heat as I concentrated on this firearm screwed into my skull. I assure you I was so very focused it was as if this was the only mass produced, illegal 9mm in the entire world. It was certainly the only one pressed above my left eye, at the time.

I did not see my life pass before my eyes. Tunnel vision, a loud roaring in my head. Slow.

I kept my voice even and low and talked my way to the back of my car.

Two of them. Teenagers. With a grown up pistol.

I thought of the .38 where I could not reach it. I realized in an instant I had made a life changing mistake.

If I had reached my gun, would I have used it? Easy to say...harder to do.

I had given them my wallet, and it opened onto my I.D. and badge. The shield gleamed in the glow of a cheap gold tooth.

I realized that within the time it would take for a few more blinks, my children would not have a father, and my body would be on a slab in Parkland. This was not fucking fair.

The one with the wallet told the other one to "Shoot this motherfucker, he's a COP!"

The hammer was thumbed back. That bit of information did not matter all that much, depending on if the automatic was single or double action, although it will in the film, and the scene will appropriately kick ass.

What concerned me then were the last moments of my life and how horribly fucked you can become just for turning off James Brown in a redneck parking lot.

I looked at his trigger finger. I would love to report that I pulled some sweet hop-socky moves on the both of them, saying something pithy as I handcuffed them.

I didn't. Forever passed in an instant. His finger moved.

And I wondered if it would hurt.

I skip the masquerade and fly right by the 'agenda'.

Things get narrow. And as my denial system is similar to a force of nature, I start to believe my own shit. Bad idea, each and every time.

I start to think that maybe this new profession was a way of 'giving back' to a community I more or less turned my back on. For all the foul shit I had done, this was a way of measuring out the scales.

Water seeks it's own level, too. I made arrests and felt fraudulant. I knew I was playing 'cop', and I seriously did not want any one getting injured, especially me. So I made up for the fear with going the other way.

They needed a 'first in', going into a potentially hostile room? I'm you're boy. First to arrive on scene. Ditto.

Took a first responder hostage negotiations course. Language. All about the relationship of the language to the given situation. Want to de-escalate, not kick it into an accidental blood bath, with a poorly phrased request.

I slammed it into overdrive. Full time 9-5 at the DA's office, eighteen hours a week on armed patrol, another twenty at a security job and early morning college classes downtown.

My plate was full. (As my last publisher so eloquently put it; "Get a bigger plate.")

The sleep was managed with a very strict, (fast) sleep schedule, to fit the whole thing into someone else's workweek.

Average Wednesday morning: Parking my car a couple blocks away from my class downtown. It's early, no one's out yet. I was the only one on the lot. Book bag, with .38, on the seat next to me; one foot out the drivers door, turning off the radio.

I turn to my left and meet a 9mm pressed against my temple.

The morning just got real...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The end of Summer's promise...

I was a Father. Again.

Enormous responsibility.

I had yet to hear of the phrase, "If you are ungrateful for your gifts, they will be taken from you."

But I would.

It was the end of summer and I was the proud and scared shitless Father of twin girls. Little angels to be sure. My faith was stronger then.

As I write this, these two are in college, and I wade through a small crisis of faith while paying every spare penny to child support. It doesn't amount to much, but I keep plugging.
For three grown kids. Don't ask.

My bad.

Anyway, so here we are entering the 'holiday season.' Shite.

Thanksgiving, more so than Christmas-for some ironic reason tended to be more violent within my family.
Growing up someone would be punched and someones wife would cry and insults flew like hot giblets. I remember there was Scotch. (The pre-recovery as a family period...more 'issues' per room than waiting for the Dr.)
I had been elected Goal tender for my Dad's personal mental hockey onslaught, so it always had a warm place in my heart as a 'special' time of year.

And that was just on the way to dinner. Dad, driving with one hand and punching me in the teeth with the other, blood in my Peter Frampton hair.

The army seemed like the easier, softer way; so one Thanksgiving I asked him to sign the enlistment papers. I would leave for basic the first of January. A tour in Germany. I could graduate in the army. And don't forget College.

My Dad signed without hesitation. I had him at "I want to join..."

Saturday, November 22, 2008

All those who believe in psychokenesis, please raise my hand.

We had a small class about psychics and law enforcement. I liked it, but for the most part, the class was met with derision and howls of disbelief. Law enforcement officials are very much concrete, black and white thinkers. The realm of the spirit is lost on them. You can't handcuff what you can't see.

The rest of our classes were what you would expect. Physical training, chemical weapons. (Yes, pepper spray hurts. Like you can't believe it hurts. Whatever you were doing or planning on doing before being sprayed goes right out the fucking window. You just want the pain to stop...somehow. It is truly terrible and quite effective.)

We learned the psychology of crime, in that some folks just don't have any 'do right' in them. They can't help it. They will lie, steal and cheat when the truth would actually benefit them. And the truly criminal minded are not stupid. It's the wanna-be gangsters that may in fact be retarded.
Jesus. News flash...not pulling up your pants, does not make you a hard man. The phrase 'you know what I'm saying' repeated after every other word does not make you a criminal mastermind.

Get a job, pull your pants up and shut the fuck up. There.

We had a couple of weeks to go, almost six months of learning the way the 'other half' live. I was, in a way, proud that I had accomplished this, my past being what it was. My parents didn't know what to make of it.

(The professional psycho babblers would dissect this and have a field day with it, but graduating the academy is one of the most single proud moments of my life. The other moments were the births of my children.)

My twins decided to be here for my graduation. I was in class when I got a 911 beep on my pager. The balloon had gone up and my wife's water had broken. OH my God...I ran from class and drove in excess of 100 miles an hour through late afternoon traffic, without incident, to the hospital, adrenaline leaking from my ears, screaming at cars to get out of the way. Then I remembered, I was armed. A dangerous mix, but I held it in check.

She was not dilated to the proper dimensions and the Doctors were waiting it out. She wanted me to rub her back. I did so grudgingly. I was too caught up in what I was feeling, what I was going through. Party of one? Yep, Mr. Sensitive, at it again.

My best friend joined me for the wait and we smoked cigars on the loading dock, listening to the wail and wup of incoming ambulances and the summer specific song of the locust waiting for the moment. We talked about my kids, and the life they would have and what I could expect.

We had no idea. I failed to realize that no matter how much I loved my children, I was just not cut out to be a long haul parent. No matter how deeply I was involved in that fairy tale and still wanted to be.

Couldn't make the grade with the spouse, couldn't find someone to truly believe in 'for better or worse'.

Vows? A car warranty carries more weight.

I couldn't believe in me. And my children have suffered for that. (I am also ridiculously proud of my girls, for getting out of a dead end situation without my help and without my guidance and attending college on their own merit.)
I know my children have suffered because of me and am remorseful ...up to a point.

The failure of my marriages was a dual proposition. It really does take two to destroy a marriage.

I own up to my part, and fear I am alone in that regard.

I'm also afraid if I let go of my grief, I will have nothing left.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

They say the uniform makes the man...I say it should make my lunch.

I was in class with about twenty five other cadets, all from outlying agencies within the metroplex. I had two agencies sponsoring me; one south of Dallas and the other an even smaller department northeast of Dallas. Both of which were non-paid positions but good experience while in the academy. Plus I had a uniform.

Don't let anyone ever tell you anything different; there is something about a police officer in uniform that does something to a certain type of female. I don't know why...the gun, the handcuffs, the big black baton? (I just made myself queasy.)

All I know is I got hit on more as a police officer than I ever did as a bartender. If I had wanted I could have gotten more action than Jodie Foster's knuckles. It was ridiculous.

Think Sean Penn-1988-Colors.

I, however, had my eye on a larger prize.

The District Attorney's office for Dallas County sits like a monolith in the shade of Dealey Plaza, across Stemmons freeway and the underpass that was the last thing to register in John F. Kennedy's brain besides a high powered bullet.

An Investigator for the D.A.'s office. Nice ring to it. Plus I looked better in a suit and being around attorney's put me around a better class of criminal than being on the street. (John Wiley Price notwithstanding.)

My cousins' husband had a connection. One that garnered me a letter of recommendation into the intern investigator's program from Henry Wade. Yeah, that Henry Wade.

Roe Versus Wade. That guy. Recommended me. I know. I shake my head too.

But it got me the job, while I held onto the part time position at the small town south of Dallas, working in uniform, writing traffic tickets. Until I stopped the Mayor's wife.

She had been doing about seventy in a fifty-five. I had planned on writing her a warning. Until she asked me if I knew who she was. And she told me.

I was not impressed and began writing the ticket after securing her license and insurance.

"I thought you officers didn't give pretty women tickets?"

"We don't. Sign here."

My Chief was waiting for me when I pulled into the station. Like I didn't see that coming.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

In God we trust...all others are suspects.

So I merge. I merge into the right and true, or at least what passes for right and true for the moral majority. I started working out, I even got a crew cut.

I became hyper vigilant and studied hard and went to the pistol range a lot.

Turned out I had a knack for handguns as well as collecting evidence. Who knew?

I became friends with my other cadets, leaving out my past. I appeared average; pregnant wife and all, working my way through the academy and I learned about the 'The thin Blue Line', the line that separates civilians and officers.

It is real and it is wide.

The line can separate an officer from his wife, his parents, his lifelong friends. Why? Because those that don't, just don't know, and those that do...put it on the line, in uniform or out.

And when an officer goes down, the line wavers but never is real and true and civilians are stupid.

It is an unspoken code, a look from one who straps on a gun to go to the toilet, lest someone get the drop on him with his dick in his hand. Or her, for that matter. Some of the finest officers I met were female, with balls larger than my own.

I started working as a deep nights security supervisor for the World Trade Center while tending to class in the evening. We had moved in with her parents to save for the girls' arrival and I learned that those in security are frustrated police officers and have a very dark sense of humor as well.

One of my fellow supervisors would make his security rounds through the kitchen of the Trade Center, helping himself to a sandwich, invariably pissing in the soup tureen left out for the following day. He thought it added a little something for the snotty upscale employees who looked down upon us as blue collar turds in their crystal punchbowl. He may have been right.

They always sold out of soup.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I reinvent myself and I am unrecognized.

The dull monotony of my life was as suffocating as the bottom of a dumpster on an August day at high noon. Her parents and mine were quite content with the 'nothing' I had achieved by way of career, so not much was expected of me, other than staying sober and paying bills. (The first kiss of a deadly make out session)

I began to withdraw into literature again as the ever increasing girth of my bride was causing me more discomfort than it should. I read Lawrence Block and a lot of Joseph Wambaugh, and as it seemed, the more I read, the more my life dovetailed into that experience. It is a phenomena that has happened on more than one occasion.

I was at work one winter evening, watching sleet pelt the window, wondering if the spirit of the guy in the bathtub wandered the building, hoping he did, while not really wanting to see it.

Four guys in jeans and heavy jackets entered the building and slid up to the desk. One flashed a badge. Undercover? Cool. This would be new. They wanted information on a tenant, and I was so bored I happily obliged.

He wasn't in and they left a card. Call when I see him. Sure, why not.

He was a young middle eastern dude who would slip in very late, usually with hookers , slide me some cash to look the other way, eyes dim pinpricks over the occasional nosebleed. Very animated, very loud, and about as stable as Gary Busey.

Sure. Why not.

It was a phone call. Sure I saw him. I made the call and let them in the building. I called his condo and told him I had a package he needed to sign for. He sounded congested. Go figure.

The cops slid up the stairwells, silently, and came down on the elevator. A bundle in tow. Knot over one eye, towel stuffed in his mouth.

Worked for me.

The one who gave me a card said they could always use somebody who was observant and could keep his mouth shut.

Me? A cop? He didn't know me or my background so he could be forgiven. A cop? I doubted it.

But the thought lingered, so one day, I made a call. It was a matter of paperwork and a couple of interviews. Oh, hell, why not. Just go through the process, see how far you can take it.

I had lived halfway around the world, drinking and drugging my way through far away bedrooms. Before I could romanticize it, I remembered I had shit my pants in three foreign countries. This shouldn't take long.

But I got passed from interview to interview. Letters of recommendation coming from people who had only known me sober.

The next thing you know, I was to report to the Regional Police Academy in Arlington. Night academy, six months.

Are you fucking kidding me?

Another example that God drinks.

Friday, November 14, 2008

In a real dark night of the soul, it is always three o'clock in the morning, day after day.- F. Scott Fitzgerald

In the theater of assisted suicide, the show is usually private. But not always.

I had flirted with the concept of taking my own life in my more morose moments, but extreme cowardice and a glimmer of hope always saved me from myself.

One botched attempt many years before (which amounted to chugging a bottle of NyQuil, case of warm Budweiser, two packets of Unisom sleep aides and a small bottle of Chaps cologne,) resulted in the grandmother of all headaches, shit filled trousers (my own) and very interesting smelling breath.

It also left the act very far to the back of the drawer in which we keep our most selfish possessions.

Most days I would forget it was even there.

One day the very real, very ugly reality reminded me what it could be.

I was at work, meandering about the building, floor to floor, keeping all within the building secure. I had a partner at the front desk manning the phones and I kept in touch with him by radio. This was an extremely boring exercise in that nothing ever happened and I never had anything to report. No terrorists storming the building; so I could hide in the stairwell and somehow save the day; no fires to run through thereby saving an extremely grateful heiress-just empty hallways and the occasional smell of onions in one of the elevators.


My radio crackled to life and my partner (sounding like he had been smoking weed by the dumpster instead of filling out the activity log) told me to report to a unit on the 9th floor for a possible water leak. Oh boy, wet socks for the rest of the night and a bullshit report, but it broke up the boredom.

I could hear running water as I approached the front door and saw the carpeted hallway in front of the door a darker, squishier shade of green than it should have been.

I knocked loudly, announcing myself in the largest, most authoritative voice I could muster.

No answer.

I used the master key and opened the door. The sound was coming from the bathroom to the right of the door. The door to the bathroom was closed, but brownish, brackish, foam poured from underneath the door and past my shoes into the main hallway.

I opened the door.

Big mistake, but what was I to do?

The male tenant was in the tub, clear plastic bag tightly over his head, the tub water brown with his own shit, flowing over the sides. His head was half submerged. What I could determine of his face was infested with open sores and lesions.

Oh, fuck me Tilly...this was bad.

Two attempts on the radio alerted my partner to call 911, my voice within an octave of a Bobcat Goldthwaite imitation and the guy in the tub began to twitch like Stephen Hawking at a limbo party.

Without thinking I grabbed him under the arms and tugged upward, losing my balance and falling into the putrid water on the floor, ass first, which caused him to actually submerge momentarily. The water was hot. The air fetid and foul. This was NOT worth seven bucks an hour.

"Oh no you don't fuckhead!" I screamed and grabbed him by the head while he slapped at me weakly.

We wrestled while I gouged a hole in the plastic around his face, causing him to gasp and wheeze and blow nasty bubbles and tried without a lot of success to roll him from the tub onto the floor.

I heard someone scream shrilly from behind me. My partner. This was not something he should be seeing stoned.

"Turn off the water, jackass!" I yelled, trying to keep our victims head out of the poop smoothie he was laying in.

He did and I heard voices in the hall. Police and Paramedics. I let them in to do their thing and stood in the hallway, soaked in shit (someone else's) and shook for a while.

The Police took my statement and someone from down the hall gave me a jogging suit to change into after I showered in the exercise locker room in the basement.

The victims sister arrived, filling in the blanks. He had been diagnosed with AIDS and was next to through anyway. Depressed and despondent.

I guess he wanted to call it on his own terms. I don't know.

Did I save him?

No. He died in the ambulance.

I thought about curling up with a bottle of Bushmills but curled up with my pregnant wife instead.

We didn't talk much about it. What was there to say?

It took me a long time to fall asleep.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Black is east and up is white...and we get pregnant.

As usual, I was bored. Dead end job, hated the people I worked with/for, no idea what the future would hold, yada, yada.

Christmas was coming and some fool thought I would be a great candidate for a Discover Card, with a pre-approved $1200 limit.

My first credit card. One of the most dangerous things that could happen to a person like me.

I say that for the following reasons: (I learned this about me the hard way and thank God I have gotten better about it over the years, but back then, if I were out of sorts, and meetings were just the same tired rhetoric and the world turned that particular shade of grey, I would do some things, perform certain acts to break out of the mold and get back at 'you', if there was a you at all.)

I will either drink "at you"; I will use drugs "at you", I will have sex "at you" or I will spend money "at you". Sometimes all at once.

This time I went nuts shopping for Christmas. Small items...a lot of small items. Our Christmas tree was piled with presents, some very stupid presents, (fitted sheet holders for the corners of the bed? Are you serious?) but bunches of them. I was briefly satisfied and thought for a minute about making a card payment, then thought better of it. Fuck 'em, as it were, this was my Christmas and they sent the card. That should teach them.

I can't remember if we discussed having a baby or if it just happened. I seem to recall it was a mutual decision, and we tried several times, checking the ominous little plastic strips with alternating waves of hope and dread, and then, finally it was positive.

I was excited. A second chance at normal.

A baby, one that I could be there for, one that might be the glue that could hold this ever crumbling union together (I thought at the time) unlike my first daughter, who by the way I had attempted to find on several occasions to no avail.

(Years later I found out why. My first wife told the judge-as she stood in front of him, looking twelve, bottom lip quivering, her new family behind her, smirking, to include the 'little girl' now grown up, that I had left behind-she thought I would kidnap our daughter, so she went into hiding. Are you fucking kidding me? )

Was it a make up child? Maybe, or maybe a solid, physical means for staying on the straight and narrow, and let me assure you, it gets very straight and as narrow as an Elvis Costello tie, with no room for expression, at least for me.

Because now it's pay bills, work hard, more bills, work harder, she's getting fat, so what, look at the other miserable bastards , shuffling behind these huge breeder bitches at the Mall like the walking dead (who seem to think it's not so much a vagina as it is a clown car)... their lives, their dreams, finished and dead.

Oh yeah...I was happy.

So our parents were thrilled, she got bigger, and after three sonograms we learned we were having twins. The Doctor broke the news by pinpointing Baby A, then Baby B, both girls. I remember I was stunned as if bludgeoned and could not form words. The only time that has ever happened.

The gravity of the situation then became 'doubly' apparent.

Oh my.

And I stepped through the looking glass.

Friday, November 7, 2008

When you dry hump the American Dream, wear a condom. You don't know where this country has been.

The stripper eventually moved out, and we were back to having a duplex to ourselves. And our dog, and now three cats. (I am not a pet guy, never have been, but normal people have pets.)

I had resigned myself to not working as a writer, listening to the opinions of people who had no passion, or soul, telling me I should simply get a job, pay my bills and be married. The same people who willingly go to Wal -Mart as a shopping option.

Christ, that's a prison sentence for someone like me, but I tried it. Pretending my heart was not creative was very difficult and I would secretly buy Writers Digest magazine and stash it in the closet like most guys stash Ass Spank Quarterly.

I had obtained employment working as a security officer for a high rise apartment building on Turtle Creek. Her Father worked the deep night shift and got me the job.

I sat in a cubicle, signed in guests, watched the other security officer and apartment manager pretend they weren't sleeping together and let the wealthy view me as subhuman, holding the door open for them as they did so.

I had lunch one day with my best friend, his little sister and his Mom. His sister was very much like my own and I knew she had great things in store for her. I will always cherish these people.

A week later I got one of those phone calls; the kind that rings and you know it is terrible news before you even pick it up.

His little sister had been driving down Northwest Highway, near Abrams, when a car came across the median into her lane, hitting her car head on.

She died instantly, and a piece of my heart died with her.

We buried her in a little Nordic Cemetery in a rocky, West Texas field on a clear, big sky day.

I bought my friend a white and black Australian Shepard pup to help take his mind off his loss, gradually, and give him something new to love. He named her Ruby and she lived with him for seventeen years.

I dream his sister plays with Ruby in a huge, emerald colored field of clover and Ruby is young again.

When I wake up... my face is wet.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Our government couldn't cover up cat shit at the beach...but plausible deniability works for me.

I was flat footed busted. She knew it. I knew it. And as our voices escalated, our neighbor knew it. However; I stuck to my guns.

"What's wrong with you? I was simply trying to let the dog out and I find a naked chick in our backyard. Was I staring...hell no, I was just shocked, you don't see that everyday. What do you want me to do...demand she put clothes on. It's her yard too...".

Maybe defending her right to be bare -assed in our yard put her over the edge...I don't know, but I wound up having to talk to our landlord about it. He lived next door, was my age, and had an extremely hot girlfriend, and I secretely wished I was him. Especially right then.

I felt like I was the biggest whipped loser in the world. My balls? Somewhere in one of her cavernous purses apparently.

I knocked timidly on his door, knowing she was watching me from our porch, arms folded, curdling milk and neutering small animals with her gaze. I felt her stare burn holes in the back of my shirt.

He answered, Van Halen on the stereo, a margarita in hand. My junk shriveled even more.

"Hey dude, look, uh, we have, I mean my wife has a problem with our neighbor."

He looked at me quizzically.

"She's naked in our back yard...suntanning...our neighbor, not my wife."

"Sweet...what's the problem, she need help with lotion," he grinned.

I suddenly felt like a Ken doll. Kick me in the crotch, you'd only hit bone.

"No, my wife, she's upset, uh, says it's rude or inappropriate or some kind of wife thing, I don't know dude, she's just really I told her to get naked or something."

He laughed. "Can't help ya amigo, she's a dancer...needs to look good for work. Tell your old lady to broaden her horizons...later." He shut the door.

Damn. This could only get worse before it got better.

Oh, sure, I could see me walking into the yard, asking her to cover up. Not.

The thought of my wife doing it...not so much...while the idea of a half naked, oily, bald cat fight was strangely appealing I felt like sleeping with my eyes closed...inside the house, so that was out.

She glared as I walked on to the porch. "He said we have to deal with it..," I said sheepishly. She grabbed her purse and hurled herself into the car, backing out with great haste.

Shit. This would be a long night.

My dog had peed in the front yard so I did not have to let him out the back. But I did peek to see if she had gone inside.

Nope. Still there. Still naked. And still glistening.

I made popcorn and placed a kitchen chair by the window.

What? It's not like we had cable.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A writer is a true voyeur...until he's caught; then it's research.

And so our idyllic little home was intruded upon by a neighbor. A very attractive, Australian neighbor. She kept to herself and worked odd hours so we had very little interaction.

I was home alone one afternoon as the wife was probably at Emeralds to Coconuts (her favorite store) spending money we didn't have on shit we did not need.

Our Labrador was in need of some outside time so I walked to our kitchen prepared to let him out. I was not prepared for what was in the backyard.

Apparently our neighbor had the day off, or, a stark naked, bald headed alien was sunning herself in our backyard.

Holy shit.

I stood at the backdoor window transfixed; unable to move, my breath forming condensation on the glass. She was tan. Really tan. Everywhere. And she was liberally applying oil to places only her Doctor could be proud of. Wow.

My dog whined to go out and I gave him a sharp kick to the slats. "Not now, you moron..." I had no idea why she was bald, I simply knew it was wildly attractive and much like an old joke I was fond of.

"Do you know the similarity between a 9 volt battery and a woman's butt hole?"

"You know it's wrong but eventually you want to put the tongue to it."

Her breasts were magnificent but her head was gorgeous. Tan and shiny and smooth, it was like a third breast on top of her shoulders, put there to keep the rain out of her neck.

I suddenly felt the need to pleasure myself, much like Cardinal Richelieu at a Boy Scout Jamboree, and then I felt someone behind me.

The wife had returned.

"OH, " my voice cracked, "You're home?"

She could see past me through the window and I felt her next question entirely superfluous.

"" she hissed, giving me a look that could wither flesh, and did, if I recall.

I then reverted to thousands of years of male conditioning, responding from the deep end of my gene pool.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

There never was a great love that was not followed by a great hatred. (Irish Proverb)

These events were almost twenty years ago.

Yeah, time flies. Much like a shit laden diaper hurled at your head from across the room.

School was going great and I did what I usually did when faced with success. I quit.

Now, I did it under the pretense of having to support us as the book store gig was laughable and I needed something more.

But the reality was I couldn't face being successful...too much would be asked of me and I was so much more comfortable with failing. The tragic flaw of the Greek hero.

We failed to meet the rent in my childhood home, which in a way was good because there were things going on emotionally in the house (because of the house) that were decidedly unhealthy and weird.

We found a duplex near my Grandparents (Mom's side) two-story home near Lakewood. It had burned down but I remembered the area, specifically the back yard.

My Grandfather; a large, white haired, red and ruddy faced Scotsman was a lineman for the telephone company. My Grandmother was a stern, hatchet faced, East Texas emasculator.

She had been given a new vacuum cleaner the size of an iron lung on wheels and would clean the gargantuan house and leave the monstrosity in the front hallway, much to the displeasure of my Grandfather upon his return from work.

It happened several times and he finally told her if she left it in the hallway one more time he would see to it she had no vacuum.

My Grandmother was not a great listener, especially where my Grandfather was concerned.

He arrived home one day, tripped over the torpedo shaped machine and drug it, without a word to the back yard.

He removed a shovel from the garage, rolled up his sleeves, took a pinch of Garret snuff and began beating the blue eyed Jesus out of the vacuum.


My Grandmother watched silently from the kitchen window, taking a big slug from the bottle of Old Overholt (Grandad called it Old Overcoat) she kept under the sink.

These were my people, and it was within these memories that we moved a few blocks away.

The other half of the duplex was empty so we set up house, allowing our Lab free reign in the back yard.

Then the bald headed, Australian stripper moved in.

My new disclaimer...yeah I know.

Okay, the old disclaimer was tired. The ideas were outdated and keeping me stuck in a place I don't want to be now for something more refreshing.

I have recently changed my views regarding women. Seems I had some issues with the fairer sex due to past pain and self- centered fear. (Yes...duh applies.)

I'm done with that.

Being in recovery has helped me change my entire life, perceptions and attitudes. I cannot change my history but I can change my today and my future.

I recently realized that the women I know in recovery are some of the strongest, bravest, most gentle and kind teachers I have ever had. You exemplify integrity and spiritual growth, and I hope you know who you are.

Some may know of my past marital and relationship history and been a participant in them as well. It's past and that's where it the past.

I own my part in those failures but claim no more responsibility in any misery you may be experiencing. I am sorry, but it's time to get off the cross. We need the wood.

Thank you all...