I came from an upper-middle class family. Sufficiently ‘upper’ to belong to a top country club, an exclusive yacht club, and to have a fine city home and a fine summer home on a lake. The catch is; I hated it. I liked having a speedboat, a sports car and a free credit card; after all, I was a teenager. At the same time, I hated the kind of people among whom I lived. I hated the country club ways, and the people that gathered there. If you’ve seen ‘Goodbye Columbus’, you get a look at what it was like. It wasn’t for me.
I like simple people. Honest people with car payments and rent problems like average people. So I lived among simple, hard-working people. I became a simple, hard-working person. I worked in a wholesale fabric warehouse, assistant to the shipper. But I was always separate. Most of those people are devoted Christians. I’m a devoted Atheist. I speak in a more accurate way than my neighbours, and it’s obvious to them. I know some things about art, theatre, and music. They know country music, agriculture and animal husbandry. The people in my area tapped the trees and boiled sap into maple syrup. I helped neighbours with that, just for the love of the experience.
After a few years, I had some friends in the area, but still at arm’s length. I dated women I met on the Internet, so I could seek some that were from a somewhat similar background to mine. They were just small social events among people who wanted to spend less time alone. I believe some of the women would like to have formed relationships with me. To avoid misunderstanding, I always made it clear that my intent was to enjoy with her, some dinners, some movies or concerts, some picnics and goodnight. Each always agreed that it was simply keeping company. These women were usually up to twenty years younger than I was, and a relationship wouldn’t work.
I felt fed up with being semi-accepted in my community and in my private life. I decided to change up, although I’m not sure that the wealthy community is up and not down. Especially during the era of Trump. In any case, I sold out and took my talents into advertising. I used my art and writing commercially. I also created and wrote a television series. I was soon able to buy my way into the pinnacle class of Private Clubs. The average member family had at least a billion dollars. I wore the right suits, I spoke the right words and dated the right ladies. Still, I was again on the fringe.
It was the reverse of the simple, hard-working people. These people never worked. They only lived high and wasted excessively on grandpa’s efforts and innovation. They collected art by price more than quality. They supported operas but rarely attended. Their children were ghastly and destined to replicate their decadent parents. I didn’t fit in. I couldn’t stand them.
Finally, I realized that I’m deeply antisocial, and all of these different levels of society don’t fit me, nor I them. I took a job as a lighthouse keeper. Now I sit out there on that rock, the sea around me leaping and dancing, while I make lunch. Sometimes I paint pictures. Sometimes I watch seabirds, plunging and rising with their struggling prey held tightly in their sharp beaks. I have my dog. He and I have an excellent, calming relationship, and all is well in the lighthouse. My flock is me and my dog.
A second life does not mean an afterlife or reincarnation. I want to imagine being me, with the opportunity to live an additional life. I think I’d like to begin at eighteen, knowing everything I know now. I’m eighty years old, and I’ve always lived an interesting life with many challenges and many changes. Changes are naturally traumatic to most people, but I seemed to flourish amid many changes.
I crank myself back about sixty-two years, and I am immediately stuck between a rock and a hard place. As I have grown old, I have learned of lifestyles and career potentials that never entered my mind. In the 1950s, television didn’t present such wonderful insights into the Earth and the Universe.
In recent years, I find myself sitting in front of a television screen and watching wildebeest plunge into rivers amid crocodiles. Cheetahs chasing elegant antelope were also stunning videos. Somebody was there, witnessing and preserving splendid events. I could have been that person, had I chosen to educate myself for that.
But a naturalist cinematographer was not the only thing I’d like to have been. I met people, ‘starving artist’ types, and realize I could be that way, living day to day, being creative among eccentric friends. I could have lived in Paris, and been one of the characters on the streets. But that’s not all.
I would have loved to be a sailor. I would have enjoyed being a steward on a private sailing yacht, or a crewman on an international freighter. I would have loved being an architect, designing buildings. I would have loved being a Park Ranger, living alone on a fire tower in the forest. I would have enjoyed living alone as a lighthouse keeper.
Now I realize that it would be difficult to live another life. It’s been tough enough living this one. However, after stumbling through a couple of decades of ignorance I was led to the creative field by a wonderful YMCA Guidance Test. Thereafter, I became a happy, satisfied writer and artist. All the same, filming on the Savannah…
I can’t tell you the reasons why Bernie and I went to Miami in 1959, because I can’t remember. It was a stupid thing to do. We were both eighteen, and broke at the time. We borrowed a credit card from Johnny Maxwell, a broke, out of work stagehand. We put our stuff in Bernie’s new ’59 Ford convertible and set off for Miami Beach
I vaguely remember having some kind of crisis on the road south, but I can’t remember what it was. I just remember being pulled off on the side of the road in a place where the road was the only sign of humanity. One of us finally caught a ride to the next town and got gas or oil or whatever this brand new Ford needed. We eventually got to Miami and checked into the Aztec Hotel. We met the pool boy there, a short, Mickey Rooney sort of guy. He was wild, and took his job to be making love with any older women and their daughters that stayed at the Aztec. But that’s another story.
Bernie had a prosthetic right leg from the knee down. A Toronto street car had severed it in an accident when he was twelve. I helped him out in the water or on the beach, although he was far from helpless. We were exploring all the tiny creatures in the shallow water close to shore. For a couple of days, the water had been black with a vast school of fish, Mullet I think they were called. I saw a kid about ten years old standing by the water. He had a diving mask, flippers and a spear gun.
I went over to the kid and asked to borrow the mask and gun. I didn’t want the flippers, and besides, they wouldn’t have fit me. The kid didn’t mind, so I took the mask and gun and swam out into the midst of the mullet school. I ducked under and was faced with a wall of fish swimming toward me and gently parting to flow around me. There was no space between fish, the water was totally filled with them. I figured I couldn’t miss, so I just shot the spear into their midst. I guess they felt it coming because they parted just enough for the spear to shoot harmlessly through a tunnel of fish.
I re-loaded the spear gun, and this time took careful aim at a nice, plump Mullet. I nailed it, right through, just behind the gills. Suddenly, a large, dark shape swam past me. I freaked out. What if it’s a shark, and I’m here with a bleeding Mullet. I Saw it again, and it was a shark, about four feet long. They said it was a Sand Shark. I was afraid to make any frantic moves that might mean ‘injured prey’ to a shark. I learned later that a film crew was filming one of Lloyd Bridges “Sea Hunt” episode down the beach a ways, and one of the guys on the crew had a Sand Shark Chomp on his leg. They got him on shore and had to slash the belly of the shark several times so they could cut enough muscles to get the jaws open and free the guy’s leg.
A moment later, another large shape swam past me and almost touched me. It was a Porpoise. I saw two other porpoises, and I swear, the three of them were circling me, keeping a couple of sharks at bay. Apparently, a shark can be disabled by a hard hit in the side from a Porpoise’s snout. Sharks stay clear of Porpoises, although in this case the sharks were feasting on the same school of Mullet in which I was hunting.
I made my way to shore under the protection of porpoises. I returned the mask and spear gun to the kid, and left the fish on the spear for him. I’d had the adventure; I didn’t want the fish. The kid’s parents had the hotel dining room prepare it for their next meal.
After meeting some women and having some Miami challenges, we headed for home, 1600 miles away. At a later date, Bernie and I became independently solvent and bailed out good old Johnny Maxwell.
You probably don’t know this scrunched old man. When you a see an old person who looks feeble and weak, remember that person was not always that way. This old man is Jack Brabham, and he wasn’t always old.
Jack Brabham was a simple mechanic in his youth. He sometimes worked on racing cars. He had a better idea: he designed and built his own racing car. When he wasn’t satisfied with the performance of his drivers, he decided to drive himself.
Many old people achieved great, daring, difficult tasks. Some people were driven by need. Some were driven by desire. Some of us just love a challenge. Australian Jack Brabham went after challenges as if they were necessary for life. For him, they were.
Formula One Grand Prix racing is the ultimate level and maximum challenge above all other forms of automobile racing. Jack Brabham is entitled to be a geezer… and so am I, although my achievements were much smaller than his were. Jack Brabham was a world champion driver/designer/builder in that most exacting sport.
Lenore walked right up to the flustered Naomi, and took her face in her hands and kissed her full on the mouth. For a second, Naomi pulled away. Then the soft warmth of the thick lips enveloped her mouth and then her senses and she kissed back. She opened her mouth and accepted the long lingering tongue that Lenore pushed against her own tongue. Suddenly filled with guilt and doubt about her feelings and urges, Naomi struggled away from Lenore and began pacing back and forth. Lenore went to the plump, white sofa and reclined languidly, letting her gossamer gown fall open, displaying the magnificent long, dark legs and firm, lean thighs.
The maid entered with a tray and delivered vodka gimlets to both of the women and departed silently. Lenore sipped her drink before she spoke softly, almost in a whisper. Again, the silken voice pulled at Naomi’s emotions.
“I didn’t mean to offend you,” Lenore said. “I’m not a lesbian, and I’m sure you’re not either. However,” She paused to take another sip from her drink. “You’re a very attractive person… and even though we’re both women, it’s a treat just to look at you.” Naomi blushed.
“Thank you,” she said, looking away. “The truth is, you’re the most beautiful woman I think I’ve ever seen. Being with you… uh… near you… seems to be exciting. But I don’t know why.”
“Yes you do,” Lenore said. “We’re both vital, exciting people, yet our unique professional and social situations cause us to be alone… and lonely”.
“Yes,” Naomi agreed, and looked up into Lenore’s eyes.
“And the truth is, if either one of us was a man, the other would want to be his lover, right?” Lenore proposed.
“Yes, I guess so,” Naomi admitted.
“I want to make love with you,” Lenore said, “even though you’re a woman and so am I. I am drawn to you… in fact, I hunger to see you naked and to feel you… taste you…”
“I… I feel the same way toward you,” Naomi admitted reluctantly. Lenore looked at her with an amused smile and spread her long legs. Naomi turned and put her face in her hands. Lenore stood and went to her, put her hands on Naomi’s shoulders and turned her around.
“Don’t be afraid. You would love to feel wanted right now, wouldn’t you?” Naomi admitted that she would. “Well,” Lenore said while she gently pushed Naomi back in her chair, “Please.” Lenore knelt in front of Naomi and pushed her skirt up past her thighs. Naomi shuddered. She thought that not only was it a long time since she’d been with a man, but no man had ever made her feel this way… this free… to do anything she wants, to realize her fantasies.
I’ve enjoyed my life as an adventure. I never took anything too seriously, except my obligations and commitments. Those I took very seriously and fulfilled them promptly, to the best of my ability. To make certain I did the right things for my obligations and commitments, I refrained from wasting time and energy on things that were not my responsibility.
Recently I have been bothered by urges to care about things that are not my responsibility. The behaviour and the words of the Murderous Muslim Fanatics make me care about things that go on far from me and my loved ones. I don’t like to feel that I want to do something to stop them.
Of course I can’t do anything about it. That’s frustrating and irritating. I’m old ‘way beyond my ‘best before’ date, and I’m a peaceful, non-violent person. I can draw and write, but I don’t have access to media distribution. What a feeble thing it would be to write blogs about how I feel about the present state of the world.
The USA is totally nuts. The Eastern areas of the world are totally nuts. The cops are trigger happy. Billionaire sociopaths are ruining morality among lawmakers and courts.
Wealth is an addictive commodity. People who are addicted to it become sociopaths under the illusion that they’re correct about everything and are more important than other people. They are wrong about that, obviously, and must be taught a lesson.
I believe that the pen is mightier than the sword, and the only thing I can do for the resistance against the oligarchs is write. Unfortunately, I haven’t the patience to figure out how one ‘promotes’ their blogs. More importantly, I just don’t want to waste time promoting when I could be writing… which I enjoy very much.
Here I sit, safe from some kinds of attacks. We live in a tiny village of small homes. A wide, former highway runs through the middle of the village. Now it’s just an enormous road that is a quiet ‘main street’. There are no stores, markets, gas stations or restaurants from end to end. There is, however, an enormous, cathedral-like church, and a delightfully picturesque, ancient cemetery behind it. The village is virtually like a little cluster of homes in the midst of broad, fertile farmers’ fields.
We live a lower risk way of life, so we feel fairly safe compared with our former ‘big city’ homes. I can now only fight the oligarchy with my pen. I would never take up a sword.
“Come on, girl. It’s the weekend, and us boss-girls deserve some relaxation too, don’t we?” Lenore said. She took Naomi’s hand and led her to a corridor at the back of the dining room. At the end of the corridor a small, private elevator opened and they stepped in. After a short, quick, upward surge, the door opened and Lenore led Naomi into the huge, splendid apartment.
“Make yourself comfortable,” Lenore said. “I’ll be right back. If you like, there’s a powder room just over there.” Lenore went quickly and smoothly up a winding staircase. Naomi went into the powder room. It was tastefully decorated with large tiles on the walls and floor, and well-lit mirrors. She checked her hair, her lipstick, her clothing, and realized she was behaving as if she was with a man she’d just met.
Naomi returned to the spacious living room and chose a comfortable, white leather easy chair to sit in. A few seconds later a uniformed maid entered. She was a petite girl with very black, smooth skin.
“What will you have, miz?” she asked, smiling with a wonderful array of gleaming white teeth. Naomi asked for a vodka gimlet and watched the girl walk away. Her legs were long for her height. There was something about her that puzzled Naomi, but she didn’t know what it was. ‘Am I so desperate’ she asked herself ‘that I’m turning into a lesbian?’
Lenore descended the stairs with flowing movements that gave one the sense that she was floating, weightlessly. Her tall, lean, muscled body was wrapped in a sheer gossamer gown that trailed down the stairs behind her. Naomi could see her magnificent contours through the almost transparent green garment. The long legs were the most beautiful she had ever seen, and the woman’s waist was almost too small to support the broad back and chest with it’s small, tight breasts. Her hips flowed smoothly into firm thighs and she walked toward Naomi with gliding strides like a runway model. Naomi gulped as she felt a gush of awkward embarrassment.