Archive for September, 2011

Confessions of a Transition Man – Part Two

September 23, 2011 Leave a comment

I was eager to learn all about transition men from transition man Kevin Knight.  We rolled along comfortably in the slow moving train from Rome to Florence and relaxed with our Brio while Kevin warmed to his subject.

He explained that, since his divorce five years earlier, he had “cut loose” as he phrased it.  He had spent 23 years in a marriage that could best be described as boring, he said.  It had become a plodding, tiresome, sexless relationship, the pair of them sharing little emotion and less affection.  There had been love and respect in the beginning, as an impoverished young couple starting out in life.  At that time, Kevin had been an average working man, spending his days in a fabrics warehouse, shipping and receiving.  To make a long story short, within a decade he was CEO of his own wholesale fabric business with warehouses and retail outlets across the country.  His wife was not comfortable with a husband who was high profile and who brandished a considerable degree of power and influence.  Kevin had taken on a change in his personality, and it led to the stresses that led to divorce.

The newly divorced man at about fifty years old found himself suddenly single, retired, his were children adults on their own, and he was free to spend or waste his time in any way he wished for the first time in almost three decades.  He listed himself in a social website called Friends Or More, and was astounded to see that he was inundated with responses.  He did not expect this, and it didn’t take him more than a few seconds to decide to enjoy it for all he was worth.  After years of coldness and rejection, Kevin Knight was up for all the warmth and sex he was offered.

Kevin was delighted to find that there is a plethora of attractive, intelligent, lonely women.  Many are married but unhappy, others are separated or divorced and so out of touch with romance they simply don’t know what to do, and some have been subjected to abuse and are too cautious to be open to romance.  Each of them needs a transition man to help her find herself, and establish a happy life of her own.

The older woman that was with Kevin when he entered my compartment was an example that he chose to tell me about first.  She is fourteen years older than Kevin, which would make her between sixty and sixty-five.  She had been widowed the previous year when her husband of forty-six years died suddenly in his lover’s bed.  It had been a loveless marriage, more or less arranged by her ambitious father to unite his family name with the groom’s family, a wealthy and powerful industrial group.  The lady had enjoyed a luxurious life among yachts and travel, homes in Paris, Rome, and Palermo.  Suddenly on her own, she was at a loss as to what to do.  She used the Internet, and found Kevin Knight, and learned that he was vacationing in Rome.  She arranged to meet him there.  After a number of quiet meals in small, excellent restaurants over the next week, the lady felt the courage to go with Kevin to the Piazza Navona.  The atmosphere of the warm night, the musical splashing of the fountain, and the splendid bodies of the gods depicted in the statuary, the effects of the excellent wine they’d shared with dinner combined to enhance the signora’s courage.  In a momentary impulse, she agreed to go with him to his suite in the Hotel Rafael, around the corner from the famed piazza.

Kevin had made love to the signora.  He referred to it as “making love WITH…” rather than” TO” a woman.  He said it can only be good enough to liberate the lady from her natural inhibitions if there is totally mutual participation.  In this most recent case, the lady, suffering considerable embarrassment, asked Kevin to show her EVERYTHING… everything she had always heard about, wondered about, fantasized about, but had never experienced.  Needless to say, Kevin was eager to please, and pleased to fulfill the eager lady.  When I asked him where the signora was bound for, now that all her fantasies had been realized.  He sat back in his seat, swallowed the last of his Brio, and muttered half to himself that he had helped her with a transition to a convent life.  She would become a nun.

I asked him if he would tell me about some of the lady’s fantasies with which he’d “helped” her.  He replied that it was imperative that he be depended upon by the ladies to keep his experiences with them strictly private and personal, so he could not divulge the delicious details.  He simply told me that I could find it all in my own mind – I merely had to imagine every fantasy and debauchery that I would like to experience.  So I did.

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Confessions of a Transition Man – part one

September 19, 2011 Leave a comment

The Sunday afternoon train from Rome to Florence was the “milk run” one might say, with stops at many small villages along the way.  The views from my compartment window were especially inspiring for me in my professional position as a freelance journalist photographer.  We rolled slowly into and out of various villages along a track that bordered the back yards of poor villagers.  It was not uncommon to see goats tethered to spikes in the ground in some yards, chickens scratching around in wire mesh enclosures in some others, and pigs wallowing in sturdy sties in still others.

While the train had been rumbling along for about an hour, a porter with a small cart with sandwiches and soft drinks trundled down the narrow passageway outside the compartments.  The porter’s progress was very slow, given that the passageway was crowded with people who held third-class tickets that did not allow them to occupy compartments.  My first-class ticket gave me full rights to a compartment, but no exclusively.  I had the spacious, classically ornate compartment to myself for the early part of the journey.  About midway along, a casually dressed middle-aged gentleman rapped courteously and slid the door open a crack to inquire if he and his companion might join me.   I acquiesced with pleasure, hoping for some interesting conversation.  I didn’t know then that I was on the threshold of a source that led to this series of stories.

He immediately stuck two first-class tickets into the window frame, and I assumed it was his way to let me know that he and his companion were legitimately entitled to ride in a compartment.

He turned to me and introduced himself as Kevin Knight, and offered a warm, confident handshake.  His companion, an elegant woman clearly much older than Mr. Knight, had already taken a seat opposite me.  He introduced her at once as Le Signora de Montecenetti.  She leaned toward me and extracted a slender, steady hand from her white kid glove and extended it gracefully.  Almost the instant our fingers touched, her hand withdrew as if it was a fluttering dove.

Kevin Knight explained that Signora deMontecenetti did not speak English, and he was merely accompanying her to the next village along the train line.  Her villa, he explained, occupied a hilltop high above the village.  It had been her family’s feudal home for several centuries, and the village folk had been their tenants.   Meanwhile, the lady merely sat silently gazing out the window.  There was something in her manner that led me to believe that she was enjoying a kind of comfortable peace that she had sought for some time.

The train began to slow as it approached the small village station.  Only then did the lady move, to lean toward the window and look up at a splendid castle on the top of a tall, rounded hill, covered with rich, green foliage.  A smile of satisfaction illuminated her lovely, thin face when she saw it.

The man explained that it was the Signora’s home, and said that he’d just see her to the platform and return to ride on to Florence with me, if I had no objection.  He’d not had an English conversation for some time, and was eager for opportunity.  I said that I’d noticed that he sounded rather Canadian.  When he said he was,  I revealed that I, too, am Canadian.

When Kevin Knight returned to the compartment and the train rolled slowly out of the village station, he volunteered that I might be wondering about his relationship with the Signora.  I admitted that she was an unusual sort of woman, and that I was somewhat curious about how this Canadian man with an eastern Canada accent came to riding an Italian train with an older, elegant Italian aristocrat.

Kevin, as he asked me to call him, sat back comfortably and said that he was a transition man.  I asked him what a transition man does.  He appeared to be eager to explain, but was interrupted by the steward with the refreshments cart at the door to the compartment.  I offered to buy my traveling companion a Brio, which he accepted, and I took one for myself.  Thus refreshed, I prepared to listen and Kevin prepared to spin his tale.

(to be continued in Part Two)

The Reasons for African Famines

September 16, 2011 Leave a comment

We see it all the time, in all media.  Hoards of starving Africans in one country or another.  I admit that I am unable to understand how this comes to be.  In contrast, the country of my birth and life is frozen solid four months of each year, and one-and-a-half months declining into winter and the same again recovering from the long freeze-over.  That leaves just five months per year for planting, protecting, nurturing, and harvesting a vast amount of succulent, healthy foods, from wheat and other grains to fresh fruits and vegetables of every kind, as well as poultry, seafood, beef, lamb, pork and more.  This leaves me puzzled about the famines in Africa.

The farmers and food processors in my country, with its adverse climate conditions, are able to produce vast amounts of fine, high-grade, healthy and delicious foods of all kinds.  Why are the farmers and ranchers in Africa unable to produce the food products so desperately needed on that continent?  Why are we called upon so often to supplement with food and money the unfortunate masses on a continent that appears to have vast amounts of terrain, fertility, meat-on-the-hoof, good weather and many waterways?  It haunts me to see the piteous please for help, featuring spindly-legged children, flat-breasted mothers, and squalid families crouching on dirt.  How do they get that way?

I live in hopes that some day, some evolution will occur that will cause African people to successfully cultivate fields, ranch livestock, and process foods in large amounts of healthy produce, grains, meats, poultry and fish.  I don’t understand why they’re not doing all the time, and have not done well for centuries.  There are countries like mine that stand ready to provide seeds, equipment, education, and opportunities for the African Continent to become self-sustaining for all its people.  I can’t imagine what is causing the failure to improve.  I can’t imagine why the African people continue to face their dire circumstances, and never seem to find the way to prosperity.

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Cheney is a big, powerful, ugly Dick.

September 12, 2011 Leave a comment

He made war to make profit. He manipulated a spoiled brat president who should never have been. And somehow, the American people let the two of them get away with murder. Why?

I believe that the American education system hammers it into students that to be American is special, superior to the citizens of any other land. Part of their teaching, I can only assume, is that when you elect a president, he is a faultless, moral person to be followed and believed no matter what.

The result, as I see it, is that the American citizen has been pillaged and robbed, humiliated and deprived, all through the power of the big, ugly Dick Cheney. He jerked the little president putz around like a child, and chided him into revoking basic rights while raking in billions of taxpayers money.

They got away with it. Why, Americans, why? Cheney delivered so much ill gotten gains to Haliburton that they must all be swimming around in liquid gold in their platinum swimming pools now. No justice pursues them, no arm of the law, apparently, can reach them. So they got away with the killing of hundreds of young Americans, the raking in of billions in stolen wealth, and then have the nerve to write books about their wonderfulness. They’re both trash, and the only one that’s trashier than Bush is Cheney.

So Cheney publishes a book with a slightly erroneous title. In honesty, he would have titled his ghost-written tome, “In My Crime”.

Hello world!

September 1, 2011 1 comment

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