A Post-postscript Karen Interaction


Karen at the ACE

Karen at the ACE

Although it occurred last June, I did run into Karen one more time. In my fevered imagination, she’d be single and open to dating. In one of the convolutions and permutations of my old obsession with her, I imagined that, even were she pregnant, she’d be single, and I could convince her that I’d be a good dad to her baby, or even that she was a single mom, and we’d hook up, whereupon we’d subsequently live together, probably in marriage. Such was the depth of my obsession that I always imagined there was some slim chance that we’d still get together.

Now, of course, I know there is no such chance, ever. I saw her, spoke with her, was dissed by her. She’s an ass, really. I was taking photos at the Albuquerque Comic Exposition last year, and saw someone in my viewfinder that looked like her. I think I’d recognise her profile anywhere, under any circumstances. She was standing near a booth in a crowd. I snapped a couple of quick, badly focused long shots. I think she saw me, but she moved away. I saw where she was going and circled around the area, so that I would be walking directly into her as I came around a line of booths. It worked. I walked directly at her as I came around. At first, she gave me her nod, the nod that says: “I know you. I see you, but there is no need to speak to each other.” Fat chance of that. I walked right up face to face and said hello. She was polite. I asked her if she still worked at the medical school (where we used to see each other). She said: “Yes, but that may change soon.” I asked: “Why? are you going back to school or something?” She said: “No.” It seemed she glanced down because my eyes traveled to her stomach. She appeared to have gained weight since I last saw her, both in the face and in her abdomen. I was trying to think of what to say, not sure what she was hinting at, when she just turned and walked away, right to a nearby booth she had already been to and chatted up the proprietor. Rude, but effective. She really doesn’t want to ever have anything more to do with me, never talk, or be friends or acknowledge my existence, really.

That settled that fantasy.

But, I did realize what she meant: she is pregnant. There’s no mistaking that bulge. That would explain why she’d leave a good job in an uncertain job market. Whether she married or is still living at home I have no idea. I suspect she has a husband to support her when she quits work.  I’d have asked her, if she’d paused long enough, but she was in a hurry to get away from me. I would have congratulated her on her pregnancy. I know how much she likes kids, and I remember how much time she would spend with her nieces and nephew. She loved reading to them and playing with them and taking them places. I knew she’d make a good mother. I dreamt so often of impregnating her myself, of being the father of a kid or two with her. In my mind, it would have been heavenly. I’d have adopted a kid with her, since she often spoke of adoption. Such deluded fantasies I used to have! Oh, well.

At least I can shut down the little loop in my mind that still entertained the possibility of hooking up with her after a random meeting.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Fuck you Karen. I hope I never run into you ever again, or hear anything about you.

 

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A New Dream, of Math!


Extraordinary!  I woke up at 4:30 am after dreaming.  That in itself is not unusual.  For years I have been doing that, waking up at odd times of the night, sometimes from nightmares, other times from dreams of longing, or sexual excitement, or violence, and often, fear.   It’s hard to get back to sleep after that, even if I need more than 4 or 5 hours sleep.  Today was unusual in that there was none of that.  I had a teaching dream.  I dreamt I was a substitute teacher or guest lecturer at a grade school.  I was there with the teacher, whose other appointment had been canceled, so she was there.  We were trying to come up something for me to do.  I asked about lesson plans and where the kids were in their studies, when all of a sudden I decided to lecture about the number/concept of one.  I found a green chalkboard on the side of the classroom, and the teacher had the kids rearrange their desks to face me.

I talked about one, and how, of course, one times something is still one something, how division is just a question of finding out how many of some thing are part of something else.  I used the traditional example of one, starting with how many of those ones are there in, for example 25.  There are twenty-five.  Twenty five times one is twenty-five.  But, that is not the whole story. The things under analysis don’t have to be the same.  I could have 25 apples and 4 oranges.  The question, represented by mathematical symbols, could be how many apples are there in 25 apples and 4 oranges.  Well, there are still 25 apples.  There could also have been 21 apples and four oranges; 25 pieces of fruit.  The question itself has to be defined, and it is, just using symbols.  That, of course, led to questions from the students, and more discussion.  I spoke of how numbers were originally used to represent philosophical concepts,  how useful the number one was to represent the concept of a thing, and other symbols were invented to represent other things under discussion, and how that enabled counting, and the representation of sums, and how zero had to be invented to represent the concept of no thing, or nothing.

I talked of using mathematics to run a warehouse.  I gave many examples of ways to understand inventory.  I came up with an example of a warehouse that sells two things.   One day, the owner had everything in the place counted, but she was only given two numbers: 634 boxes, of which there were 389 boxes of, say, can openers.  However, she needed to know how many knife sharpeners she had in stock but everyone had gone home for the day already.  So, it’s simple, the students said, you just subtract.  Certainly, and many of you can do this in your head, or we can put this on paper, or on the board here: 634, less 389 is 245.  634 minus 389 equals 245.  634-389=245.   So there were 245 boxes of knife sharpeners.  However, she needed to know how many knife sharpeners  she had, not how many boxes of them.  Fortunately, she knew that each box of sharpeners contained 24 of them.  Then we were back to mathematics, and multiplication.  245 boxes of sharpeners, 24 to a box, so  245 boxes of 24 sharpeners is 5880 sharpeners.   245 times 24 is 5880.  245 X 24 = 5880.  “Classic representations of  problems, but using symbols,” I said to the students, “that you all know by now.”  Simple.  But, it could also be represented other ways, using other symbols, for more complex calculations.  Boxes could be B.  Can openers could be C.  Knife sharpeners could be represented by S.  389 plus 245 is 634.  C + S = B.   This led to more questions, and I went on the show them how this little statement could be even more representative of the actual inventory.  It could also be written as say, 15C + 24S = T, or total number of items on hand.   So, knowing, at any given moment, how many of each item is available depends on knowing the values of those letter symbols, in this case boxes of each.

I went on to explain how this use of symbols can more useful.  I used the same example, but the warehouse had three types of things: can openers, knife sharpeners, and knives.   So, we had, on the chalkboard, C + S + K = B.   “OK,” I asked, “what if the owner had a similar problem, but had different types of things to be determined.  For example, she knew that she had  389 boxes of can openers, 245 boxes of sharpeners, and she did not know how many total boxes she had of everything, but she needed to know how many knives she had in stock.   So, using our symbols, C is 389, S is 245, but K is unknown and B is unknown.  I asked the students how to solve this problem.  They said, just count all the boxes.  “But,” I said, “it’s too late to do that, and everyone has gone home.  She needs to know, right now, how many knives she has.  “She has to work all night, by herself, ” a student offered. Yes, I said, that’s one way, but there are other ways, and it doesn’t solve the problem of telling the manager on the phone, right now,  how many knives they can ship tomorrow to the various stores the company has.  He has to know, so he knows how many each store gets, and they each want to know today how many to expect.  “Can’t be done, ” a student called out.

“But,” I said, “what if she has other information?”  For example, what if she knows that for every set of six knives sold, she includes one sharpener.  “Could it be done then?” I asked.  This riled the students up.  Many of them had suggestions, and some said we needed more information. The discussion was lively.  The students were engaged in the problem, and things were beginning to click in some heads.  Math was no longer esoteric and boring.  This is, as I said, a teachers dream.  I had opened a discussion, gotten students involved, and pushed them to think.  That is what motivates any good teacher.  It is what drives some to become teachers in the first place.

Well, this is all very interesting, you say, but, what the hell has it to do with you?  You’re not a teacher.  What has this to do with Love, and Madness?  This blog is about those things, not teachers, not math, not symbols, or the philosophy and use of symbols.

True.  But, this is the extraordinary thing.  I never dream about such things.  I have been caught in a loop of unrequited love, an emotional roller coaster of ups and downs and confusion.  My dreams were about her, about the possibilities of life with her, and the impossibility of that ever happening.  There was no solution.  My marriage broke up, but there was no solution to that, and even that was no solution to my problem.  In fact, I was far worse off.  My dreams became worse, my sleeplessness increased, my brain spun out of control, and I couldn’t focus, couldn’t think about anything else.  I retired.  Work was nearly impossible.  On my own, I got worse and worse. Depressed. Dysfunctional. Remote. Alone.

Two days ago, I resolved the problem caused by my obsession with Karen.  She helped.  She told me to lose her address.  Finally, a clear message from her.  I liked it.  It was what I had wanted all along.  In fact, I hadn’t been able to resolve my feelings, my emotions, or lack of them.  I was stalled out.  I no longer felt anything at all, but I didn’t seem to be moving on either.  Karen’s message to me hit home.  I had carefully avoided being angry with her for any of this.  She had done nothing wrong, had always been straight with me and could not be blamed.  However, the typical scenario for getting over a lost love, failed marriage, or even death usually involves several steps, of which anger is one.  I was angry with Karen now, even though I brought that on myself.  For a brief moment, I hated her.  I wrote it down.  I said, in this blog, “Fuck you Karen.”   Never before had I thought such a  thing or wanted to direct any anger or negativity towards her.   I was wrong, very wrong.  That was precisely what I should have done long ago.  What a relief!  Fuck you Karen, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you.  CLICK HERE It was a mantra for me.  It worked.  For another brief moment, I wanted to die.  Seriously, my depression came back full force, and I really, really wanted to kill myself.  But, it passed.  My head cleared.  Logic does not apply to emotions.  I would never have solved these equations:  Me plus Karen equals happiness, and Me plus Karen is impossible, and Me minus Karen is death, or zero, anyway, nothing.  Does not compute.

So, I don’t think the dream meant I wanted to be a teacher.  The reality is usually far different from that anyway.  I could try being a substitute, bring in a little cash. Hell, the damn retirement board just decided, upon careful analysis of my pension, that they had made a mistake, and I was being given $7.80 more a month than I was entitled to.  They sent me a letter, stating that, and the fact that, since I have gotten $7.80 a month too much for ten months, I now owed them $78.00!  And the motherfuckers have already deducted the entire amount from my next disbursement.  Well, fuck  ’em.  I’ll survive.  My budget was tight enough.  Actually, in their complicated math, I will get not just $78 less, but $84.25 less this month.  I don’t know how THAT works, since, if I was getting $7.80 too much, then the ten months of that is $78.00, and $7.80 less for the current month would mean I should get $85.80 less.

So, really, I may have to get that part-time job I’ve been dreading.  Hmm. Substitute teacher? Always in demand. Flexible hours.

Well, at least, my head is clear now. Maybe I can be more creative. Maybe I can get on with my life now.  

Thujone Dream


Dreamt this morning that I was in a room with two women.  We were all sitting on hard-backed chairs.  We were waiting for something. We also had to sleep. One woman nodded off, while I was talking to the other.  The two of us were flirting.  All three of us were sitting very close, so I grabbed the sleeping woman to keep her from slumping off the chair, while I continued my conversation with the other woman.  We couldn’t leave our chairs.  I got sleepy myself.  My arms were around the sleeping woman anyway, so I leaned my head on her shoulder, and dozed off.  Oddly, I had a similar dream several nights ago, in which I was in a crowded movie theater, sitting next to two women. In that case, I couldn’t see all of the movie screen, so I was leaning over close to one of the women in order to see more of the screen.  It was uncomfortable, so I rested my head on her shoulder; she didn’t mind.

In this morning’s dream, however, I didn’t just doze off.  I woke up to find the woman I’d been flirting with naked, on her hands and knees next to me in bed.  I felt the smooth contours of her body and was aroused.  (As if the sight of her naked wouldn’t have been enough!)  I clasped my entire hand over her vulva, slipping  a finger, then two, into her.  She opened like a flower and I suddenly realized that I had my clothes on: heavy jeans and a t-shirt.  I had to get those jeans off.  They were tight, and I had to really work to get them off.  Fortunately, my erection hung in there.  I mounted the woman then, not bothering with foreplay.  I left my shirt on.  My underwear hung off one leg.  I plunged deeply into her, as her vagina was now very wet.  It felt wonderful, better than the fabled bliss of nirvana.  I moved slowly, enjoying the sensation, reveling gloriously.  Of course, then I woke up, no surprise, with an erection.

Maybe I should have a shot of absinthe before bed every night.

Dreams of the Wine


There is a story by one of my favorite authors John D. MacDonald called Wine of the Dreamers, which has more to do with mind than wine.  However, I did dream last night, and I think it was because I had two glasses of wine.  I had made dinner for my stepdaughter Maya, spaghetti with browned Italian sausage mixed into a marinara sauce  with red chile.   There was bread too, and chilled water, and a sweet wine.  I had bought the sweet wine for Maya.  The food was great, and we had a great time talking all through dinner and a desert of strawberry ice cream.  It was probably because of Maya that I dreamed about her mother, the one I call the Dragon. 

In my dream that night, I visited the dragon, and there was nice talk and a sweetness in her voice that I don’t recall ever hearing.  It seemed we were to be friends again.  Maya was with me, and we all talked.  Something happened however, and the dragon was gone.  Maya and I had to find her.  Somehow we knew she was in a different house.  There was something about a note left saying she had to leave.

Maya and I made our way to another house where the Dragon was supposed to be, and sure enough, she opened the door to us.   I looked at her and recognized her face, but something wasn’t right.  She was too tall, and her face would not remain still.  As I watched, her face took on qualities of another face.  I realized I was seeing my first wife, Irene, the nice one.  But the face was neither one of them, the face was both of them together.  I could not understand it.  I felt a wave of sexual attraction to the woman, or women.  At the same time, there was fear.  There was an ugliness about the face I looked at.  It did not stay still, would not coalesce into either Irene or the Dragon, but had elements of both, switching around, morphing, swirling.  I stared at the face, feeling fear rise in me.  I was attracted and repulsed at the same time.  I moved towards the woman/women and woke up.

I should know better than to drink anymore.

Especially wine named Plum Loco.

Sex dream. Smuggling in Peru, Part 1


Weird dream about sex again.  I was visiting a woman in another country and was staying with her family (which I once did in Peru).  In this dream, it wasn’t that same woman, but she was young.  In Peru, the woman I visited turned out to be a virgin, but that’s another story.  In my dream, I was really interested romantically in this woman.  We had not had sex, or made out, but now was the time.  We ended up on a couch or bed and were wrapped around each other kissing.  Her blouse came open and I put my hands on her boobs, which were round and smooth. Her nipples were erect.  I was turned on, on, on!  I opened her shorts and put my hand on her mound, and as I did so, she said: “I like to touch myself there.”  I began fingering her.  Her cunt got juicy.  Talk about being turned on!  My penis was trying to break out of my pants, so I set it free,  I was working on getting her pants off when her two sisters came into the room.  They noticed us, but seemed uninterested in what we were doing, and went about whatever it was they were doing, chatting with each other.  I was suddenly watching myself!  I saw myself stand up, with a rock-hard erection, and people were walking around the room while I stood there.  I looked at myself and noticed the penis was very pale, and pointy, not like my own.  Weirder and weirder.  Then, her father came into the room!   He was also not shocked, but did speak to me.  He was speaking a language I didn’t understand, but smiling and gesturing to the young woman and me.  He stopped, pointed once more at the young woman, and said, in English, “Do you want to marry me?”  From this I understood he wanted to know if I wanted to marry his daughter, so I said yes. “Then ask her,” he said, pointing again at her.  I opened my mouth to ask, but starting remembering who I was and how I had been ready to do anything, go anywhere at one point recently, and then remembered that I have not felt any emotions lately, no passion for life or people.  I thought about how I probably shouldn’t get married, given my state of mind, and then there was a distraction, which I commented on, and we all seemed to be talking about something else.  I was still pondering the marriage question when I woke up.

peru.lima.jauja In my real life, in 1984, I had traveled to Peru to visit a pen-pal.  We had been writing for some time; she invited me to visit.  I had just lost my job.  It seemed the perfect time to travel, except I had no money.  The bank I used was the same one used by my employer, a printed circuit board manufacturer, and I had free checking there through some reciprocal agreement between my employers and the bank.  The company did a lot of work for airlines, NASA, and US weapons programs.   I told the loan officer I wanted money to travel to Peru.  He asked me how much I needed.  I asked for $800, since I knew the airfare was about $700.   I really didn’t want to get too much in debt.  I had a little money left in my checking account, so as I was at the airport waiting to board the plane, I called the bank and asked if I could get some more money.  The limit on money machine withdrawals was $100/day.  They asked me for my account number, which I somehow managed to remember, and they OK’d the increased amount.   I grabbed the extra money from the machine and boarded the plane for LA International Airport.  I had packed my 0.38 special.  The Sendero Luminoso, or “Shining Path” Maoist rebels were fighting a guerrilla war all over Peru, so I wanted the comfort a gun could give me.  shiningpath Then again, I was supportive of rebellions and guerrilla warfare at the time, so I thought I could even offer my gun to them if I ran into them on the long train ride I’d planned.   I had noticed a sign at check-in that said all firearms must be declared, so I did.  The counter person seemed shocked, but explained the procedure:  I had to put it in my checked luggage, of course, and put the gun in one bag, and the bullets in another.  Then they attached a special warning ticket to my bag and sent it on down the conveyor belt to be loaded onto the plane.  I didn’t give it much thought until later.   In LA, there was a problem with my ticket. The flight was announced, but the man at the check-in counter wouldn’t give me my boarding pass.  I waited and waited, until it was near the time for the plane to takeoff, when he suddenly called me over and gave me my pass.  I ran down the moving walkways and up the indoor ramp to the plane.  There were two men flanking the door.  They stopped me, and I nervously told them the plane was going to take off.  They said to relax, that it wasn’t going to take off yet.  Then they questioned me about how much money I was carrying.  I told them I had three hundred dollars.  They asked me why I was going to Peru, and I told them about Elsie, my friend I was going to visit.  They seemed satisfied with that, and handed my passport and wallet back and waved me on to the plane.   I was directed to the only empty seats, just behind a partition.  I had noticed that everyone else had plenty of leg room, but I wasn’t going to be able to stretch out.  It was going to be the longest flight I’d ever taken.  I heard someone say that I must have been the person they were waiting for.   Resignedly, I waited for the plane to move.  It was already past time for departure.  There was one empty seat next to me.  I was glad, because that meant I might stretch out that way.  Just then a man ran onto the plane and sat down next to me.  Shit.  Oh, well.

As we traveled, I enjoyed the flight.  The food was amazing on Varig Airlines, a Brazilian flight I’d found that was cheapest.   We had warm towels to wash our hands, and linen napkins and appetizers and drinks.  It was the best restaurant I had ever been to!  My fellow traveler was chatty, and ended up asking me a question that led me to volunteer that I was packing a gun.  He also seemed surprised, but I told him it was in my checked bag, and I explained why I’d brought it, and the procedure I’d had to follow to bring it.  He had told me he was not just a businessman, but also a smuggler.  He said he often smuggled electronics into Peru inside of washing machines that he imported, and that no one ever checked inside of those.  I was impressed.   Of course, much later on, I realized he had been leading me on, pumping me for details, and hoping to make me trust him.   I did trust him, but I had nothing else to tell him.  As we neared Peru, he told me that my bags would most likely be searched at customs, and that it was illegal to smuggle arms into Peru.  I was horrified.  I imagined they’d find the gun and arrest me.  I thought I’d end up in a Peruvian jail, with no way to ever get home.  I didn’t know what else to do, so I queued up with everyone else in line.  They weren’t doing very thorough examinations of each bag, so I began to relax, hopeful that they wouldn’t notice the gun or the bullets.  My seatmate from the plane was ahead of me, and they asked him what he had, and poked through his clothes.  It was my turn!

I pushed my bags toward the custom inspector, but he just patted them and waved me on.  I looked at him, but he gestured emphatically for me to move along.   Whew!  My new buddy was waiting for me, and offered to share a taxi.  I asked him where I could stay, and said he knew of an area frequented by American tourists.  He dropped me off there, but before leaving asked if I might sell the gun and gave me his number.  I thought it might be a good idea, because I was suddenly worried about getting back into the USA with it.  He said he had a friend who might be interested.  Later on, I found out that washing machines were a rarity in Peru, even in the suburbs of Lima, and there were no laundromats at all, but I didn’t know then just how odd my traveling companion’s story had been.

What the hell am I?


whoami Yeah, yeah, I know; the question of who am I has been asked a trillion times.  But, I really don’t know myself anymore.  I had this conversation recently with someone who told me he has become a different person many times. What I said was that I have always been able to think of myself as the same person I was from my earliest memories.  There was an unbroken chain stretching all the way back.  I remember sitting in my grandmother’s house as a child, looking at her copy of the painting The Gleaners. I remember her cuckoo clock chiming.  I remember when my brother Pat was born, and I was only 6 years old.  I remember many events, of course, as most people do, but I also remember who I was, how I felt, and what I thought.  I can remember the curiosity I felt when my mom came home with this new brother.  I remember that my brother John and I didn’t want him tagging along with us when he was old enough to walk.  He got into our stuff and broke things, after all!  🙂   I remember how stupid my parents sounded when they were fighting.  I remember loving them both and going to them when they were fighting, so they’d stop.  It embarrassed them when my brother and I would walk right into the middle of them while they were fighting.  Sometimes we laughed; sometimes so did they. So many things, people, and events bounce around in my head.  My father going to Eisenhower’s inauguration alone – without us!  Watching the TV on John Kennedy’s election night, hoping, praying, that he would be elected. I was 10 years old, but my teachers at school were excited about him, and told us how great it would be to have a Catholic in the White House.  I was so happy when he won.   I remember what I was like in grade school after being out for 6 weeks after my appendix ruptured at the age of eight.  I was behind, and worried about it, but my mother drilled me in my lessons every night, and the nun seemed more sympathetic than I thought she would be.  I was ecstatic when I caught up to the class.  But, outside, I was told I shouldn’t run or do anything strenuous.  At that age, the schoolyard was for playing, running, roughhousing.  At first I had to stay inside the classroom while everyone else when out for recess.  Out of boredom, I raided the round tin of chocolate bars that my teacher kept to sell to us (for a nickel).  When they finally let me go outside again, I felt like an alien.  I was alone and apart.  I didn’t know how to play the new games, and no one would talk to me or hang out with me.  They had all known I was in the hospital; they’d been told to pray for me, made to send me a card.  I wandered around the schoolyard looking for candy that had been dropped.  Loved sweets.   My grandmother always had candy in a covered cut-glass bowl.   My godfather,  the cousin of my mom’s that we called Uncle Fred, always brought candy bars with him when he visited, which was every week.

I remember the time a classmate died, in second or third grade.  They said he drowned.  I was shocked, appalled that anyone my age could die, but I was also fascinated.  They said he drowned, chocked actually, drinking a glass of water or kool-aid, something like that, watching TV.   The details are a little sketchy, because for years afterwards I looked for every instance of  how one could die in small amounts of water, or even drinking water.  I never forgot that death, although I had not known the kid at all.  It was humbling to learn early on that death could happen at any time.  Shortly after that, I was in the hospital taking penicillin every four hours for the peritonitis that results from a ruptured appendix.  I remember hiding in the bathroom when the nurses were coming with my shots.  They’d given me pills at first, but I threw them up.  They switched me to drinking the penicillin after that.  It was a foul-smelling, foul-tasting tall glass of thick liquid that I hated almost more than shots.  I remember that there were older patients around.  One of them told me to hold my nose while I drank.  It didn’t help.  I remember how relatives brought me gifts. rubber bands Someone gave me a rubber band board.  With a pile of multi-colored rubber bands, I could stretch them on the white pegs covering the all-white plastic board, and create designs.  I enjoyed it.  Someone tried to make me give it to them, which upset me, because I knew how angry my parents could get if I broke a toy.  I would be in trouble if the board got broken or the rubber bands lost, but a nurse accused me of being selfish.  I had no way to make her understand why it was important not to lend things, so I did it anyway.  I was easily shamed, cajoled, or influenced by almost any adult figure, and did what I was told.   I never forgot that it is important to share, even if it was potential trouble.  I began thinking about sharing as a way to have friends.  I always shared with my brother John.  Later on, I always wanted to give my sisters and parents presents.  I enjoyed giving.

I remember moving then at the age of ten, the new school, but the same apartness.  New kids never fit in right away, but I didn’t know that.  I remember Kathleen in 5th grade; I tired to date her, but her parents said no.  Sometimes I rode my bike to her house and watched her skip rope. She must have told me where she lived. I even had her phone number.  Not the first time I’d gotten involved with a girl.  In second grade I had proposed, but got into a name-calling fight after her mother said no.  Got punished by a nun when she found those notes.  Of course, in fifth grade, I was older, but not any wiser. schoolgirl I wrote a love-drenched letter to Kathleen, passed it to her, but I had enemies in class, especially another girl I’d once passed a note to also.  She sometimes had a friend of hers trip me as I walked up the aisle to my seat.  She was the one, that Janet Blickenstaff, who persuaded Kathleen to give the note to the teacher.  The fucking nun read it to the whole class, cementing my reputation as a fool.   The nun even called my father to come get me, and he took me home for a spanking with the leather strap.  I have no idea why.  He didn’t say much.  He had read the note.  I can’t remember much of what I wrote, just the shame of it, and my father’s anger.  Maybe I put in that dream I’d had about snuggling naked in bed with her?  I don’t recall the specifics.  I remember that dream, but I had no idea of anything about sex then.  The embarrassment and beating sure got me sworn off of writing notes anymore.  Never spoke to Kathleen after that.  The next year they put me in an all-boys class.   I went to an all-boys high school after that.  It never even occurred to me that there wouldn’t be girls in high school, but I was more interested in school work then.  Except, except, well, there was my cousin Teresa that I dated, and fell in love with.  I remember how that felt.  And how it felt when she made out with another guy at a party I took her to.  And how it felt when I heard she’d run away to Texas with an older guy.   After that I stayed largely to myself, and in myself.  I thought about all of these things, obsessed about them, replayed every word and action, especially what I should have said or done.

Always, I was the same person.  I learned more, figured out how to talk with other people, even how to kiss, make out and have sex.  I got a job right out of high school.  It took me awhile, but I managed to get along with new people who weren’t family.   I read a lot, went to movies, plays, music festivals.  Had more unrequited loves, but real lovers came into my life too. I never considered that I was a different person at any time. Same guy, same issues, same problems.   Traveled a lot, met a lot of people.  Had a lot of sex.  Lived with a lover for a short time. Got married twice.  Always I was the same person, the same guy who wanted to please other people, to be liked.  I went from a proponent of using nuclear weapons to a ban the bomb, stop war, fight racism, end hatred, fight for justice kind of guy.  Marched. Chanted in demonstrations.  Visited courtrooms, picketed outside jails, picketed the White House, got arrested, learned about unions, and strikes, and boycotts.  Felt I was part of a world-wide movement to change the world.  Worked in a physics lab, for a carnival, in a bronze foundry, for an electronics plant, and ended up in medical research.  Finally got a University degree.  Always, I was the same person.  From my earliest memories through every thing I did, wherever I traveled, however I was with.   I wasn’t always happy with who I was, but I constantly strove to improve myself – nothing less than perfection would have really satisfied me.

Now, suddenly, I don’t care about anything, or anyone.  I’ve been seriously depressed now for at least a year.  Lost interest in life itself.  I have dreams now, not about having sex, or being in love, or changing the world, but of  killing someone.  I wouldn’t mind dying.  Most of this fit into who I was initially, but one day I realized I was totally different from who I’d always thought I was.  Selfish, uncaring, boring – real indifferent to the world.  That was never me.  This me is not the me that grew up, traveled, worked, fucked, married, helped raise kids, negotiated union contracts, worked for an end to war. This me doesn’t care about any of those things, and I don’t recognize myself anymore.  My memories are there, but only as echoes of who I was, what I used to feel, what I used to think.  I appear to be a different person altogether, and for the first time ever, that’s OK.  I just wish I knew who the fuck I am.  I appear to be a selfish, careless, rude asshole, who could do anything, would do anything at all.

Now that’s different.

Kissing Gets Me High


kiss Ah, here we go: a dream about kissing.  Kissing was always one of my favorite things. In my dream, I am kissing a woman I know, but it is not anyone I know now.  Her features are distinct, as clear as if I know her.  Her face is narrow, more narrow than a face usually is, but she has dark hair and large, deep, brown eyes.  As the dream started I was approaching her, then kissing her as soon as I got close enough. And this was a real kiss, not like those pecks one gives to family.  My ex didn’t like to kiss at all.  Her idea of a kiss was a peck on the lips, fast and over with quickly, kind of the way she liked sex.  Anyway, this kiss was a real kiss: sensual and passionate.  That may seem redundant, but the sensual part was kissing lightly all over each others lips and face, and the passion follows from that.  A good kiss excites me, both emotionally and physically. I was really enjoying this kissing, and pressed my lips down deep into those sexy lips one last time, because I woke up right in the middle of the kiss.  Damn!

And, yeah, I certainly had an erection.   I’ve no idea who the woman could be.  She didn’t resemble anyone I’ve ever known or anyone I’ve seen lately at work, not that I remember.

Well, that’s certainly what I want: a relationship like that, full of sensual kissing, touching and passion.  But, that doesn’t just happen, and wishing won’t make it so.

I’d better start kissing as many people as I can.  But who would kiss an ugly old fool like me? crazy_old_man

(not really me, but close enough)