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King’s Life

May 8, 2017 Leave a comment

Bartholomew King was proud of his eccentricity. He knew that he was regarded as a shallow, slow-witted, trust-fund child. By the time he was 28, he was well established as a wealthy nut. Fortunately for Barth (as people liked to call him), he never had to earn a living. His parents had accumulated a substantial fortune in the medical marijuana industry, growing and distributing through their burgeoning chain of greenhouses. Unfortunately, they lost their lives prematurely, while testing their design for a four-seated hang-glider.

Of course, Barth immediately sold the marijuana business and closed down the development of the hang-glider design. As a result, he was sitting on almost three million after-tax dollars. He did regard himself as the king, at least in the large county where he was highly influential. As such, he demanded exclusivity – in everything.

He had a ranch built to his own, eccentric design. He had Brigham Coachworks build a custom body of his own design. He had it built on the chassis of an Alpha Romeo Disco Volante, the most exclusive car he could find. The Disco Volante body was discarded and the new body was constructed of aluminum.

There were many opportunities for a prolific social life laid at Bartholomew’s feet. He was hesitant, because he was never certain which woman might be the most exclusive. He attended dinner parties, if the guest list was sufficiently exclusive. He attended sporting events only if the event was rare, such as polo for blind players. He was introduced to many very beautiful women, but he was unable to feel certain of the one of a kind that he sought.

On a rare evening out, with one of the women who hoped to be The One, Barth saw The One. It was not the woman with Barth. Rather, it was a woman who sang on the small stage of the club they were in.  After they ordered, Barth looked casually toward the stage. A woman stood at the microphone in baggy, blue denim bib overalls, singing a twangy country song. A keyboard player, a guitarist, and a drummer backed her up. The woman’s face made Barth’s stomach flip. She was gorgeous, almost exactly the face he created in his mind to be the exclusive one.

She appeared to be more than 6 feet tall. Barth was an average 5’9”. Barth’s problem was, he didn’t like country music, or the rural wardrobe. The drinks arrived at Barth’s table, and he clinked glasses with his date and sipped his Highball. The country song ended and Barth turned to look at the stage again. The woman had dropped the baggy overalls and kicked them aside. She stood in the spotlight in a blazing green Spandex body suit. It fit so tightly, it looked painted onto her body. She had the shape of an oversize mannequin, virtually perfect. She began to sing a love ballad, “The Nearness of You,” and the mellow tones of her deep voice infused Barth with passion.

Barth knew that this woman was the exclusive beauty he sought. He unashamedly ushered his date out the club door and put her into a taxi. The outraged woman made a scene throughout the club, and people knew that it was just Bartholomew King being Barthish. He gave the driver one hundred dollars and asked him to take her wherever she wanted to go.

Barth returned to the club and boldly went backstage. In an open area, the trio of musicians were sharing a joint. In her dressing room, the woman… The One, was sitting at her makeup table.

“I’m Bartholomew King,” he said. He extended his hand. She ignored it.

“I know who you are,” she said. “Where’s your date?”

“She had to leave,” he said. “I wonder… would you come to dinner with me tomorrow evening?”

The woman stood up and looked down at Bartholomew. She put her hand on his shoulder and walked with him toward the dressing room door.

“I want you to know something, and remember it,” she smiled. “No. Never, nay, no way. I only date exclusive men. You are so common.” She gave him a gentle push out into the passageway, and closed the door. He heard the click of the lock.

Helplessly, I Watch The Decline

April 20, 2017 Leave a comment

I have mixed feelings about the general decline in society. It has been accelerating during the past couple of decades as wealth and profits came to be respected above integrity and quality. At the same time, the quest for wealth and profits has resulted in the rapid advance of technology and the proliferation of information. At the same time again, the hunger for wealth and profits is most rapidly satisfied when one squeezes one’s suppliers until they barely profit enough to stay in business. Profits are then maximized by charging the highest possible price for the product you paid the least for

The last sentence in the paragraph above, illustrates the decline in written English. It’s the only sentence that I have ever ended with a preposition. I didn’t like it. It made me feel creepy. I won’t do it again. I did it this time because just this afternoon, I heard an English language expert explain the rules on, “Fresh Air with Terry Gross,” on NPR. It seems the rules are based on Latin, not English, and are therefore not valid. So, from now on, ending sentences with prepositions is okay, and you can begin a sentence with “because.”

You can begin with “because” if you wish to, and I might be tempted to do it some time, now that I know it’s actually okay. The decline in our formality of rules in English is acceptable, because I know that any language is like a living thing, and will always grow and change as new words develop and old words evaporate. Just today, I received a criticism of one of my recent blogs. It was valid, and it was intelligently written, except; there was no capital (upper case) letter at the beginning of any sentence, nor was there any capital “I.”

I see that kind of shit a lot in recent years. It’s the evolution and devolution of the English language as technology enables, and even requires, unreasonable rapidity.

All My Friends But One Have Died

March 29, 2017 Leave a comment

It’s something one is unlikely to think about until one is very old. The people and pets that have occupied your life begin to die off. Several pets pass during our lives because their life span is about 15 to 25 years. Cats, dogs, horses, fish and birds live a full life in fewer years than do us primates. I admit that I enjoy being older than most people, and I love the phrase I stole from Gloria Steinem: “Most people my age are dead.”

I suppose my condition will decline before I pass away, but for now, on the cusp of 80, I’m okay. I walk, I drive, I played with my Doberman until last week, when she died of old age, at twelve. I guess I’m one of the lucky ones who inherited good genes. It’s true that I take 16 pills a day, but in my defence, I never felt the need. Each medication came into my routine when doctors had me tested during annual examinations. One of Canada’s true blessings is the health care system. They apparently realize it will cost a lot less to strengthen the age-weakened than to let them fall apart and then have expensive care to keep them going.

So Joey died first, leaving a troubled wife with three young children. He was extremely, morbidly obese, and it killed him. I believe his food addiction was because he was only about 5 feet 4 inches tall, and might have led him to take on size in the wrong direction. We’d sometimes meet for lunch in a favourite deli. My bill would come to six or seven dollars – his bill would be about ten or twelve dollars. He once told me that when he had business lunch appointments, he’d go early, eat first, then eat again when the associates arrived. That’s not all. After the lunch meetings broke up, he’d stay and eat again, alone. He was a witty, humorous friend, and I did my best to get him to control his diet, but it was impossible, and he died at 44.

Mitch died next, at seventy. He had lived a tough guy life, had been convicted and jailed when a young man, for robbery and again for marijuana marketing. He was a wonderful, colourful guy whom I completely trusted. He had much higher moral standards than do many police personnel. His wife had died from cancer decades before. One of his sons turned out to be gay, and voluntarily disappeared from Mitch’s life. Very sad. His other son, however, is a fine, handsome man, married with children that thankfully Mitch got to know before he died. The son is a successful television writer and producer.

Dave died most recently. He was never quite right, emotionally. Although very intelligent, remarkably articulate and good-looking, he could never have a typical relationship with a girl. He liked girls, and they certainly liked him, but somehow, he couldn’t ‘feel’ the mutual emotion. Frankly, he enjoyed prostitutes, and felt friendly toward them. Obviously, they represented sex without emotional stress. He declined as he aged, as I heard when I lived in a distant city. He spent 10 years like a vegetable on his aged mother’s sofa. He had been a late life child. His two older brothers and one older sister didn’t sympathize with him, which is something I never understood.

The oldest brother took over the family business, a successful retail store in a priceless location. Jack Nicholson once shopped there for things to wear in “The Last Detail.” The eldest was really just golfing while letting the business die.

The second brother was a successful pharmacist with a thriving store. Both brothers were, bright, humorous storytellers, as was Dave. The sister was just cold. She had married a foreign hustler, lived with him in Rome, in luxurious accommodations while driving around the ancient city in a Lincoln Continental convertible. The hustler husband eventually got nailed and was jailed. His wife, the sister, came back to Canada and existed as an obese welfare recipient.

I had a hobby farm in the mountains when in my sixties. I kept horses there. Dave had always been a riding fan, and had even owned a horse and beautiful tack, saddle and all. I heard he was living on his mother’s sofa, so I got in touch with him and brought him out to the farm. I gave him simple chores in horse care, in which he’d been educated, and set out to restore him to normalcy. I kept him there for six years, paid him, housed him, got him his drivers’ license back, paid income taxes to gain him pensions.

Dave declined even at the farm, doing the work he dreamed of. Finally, I gave up and took him back to his oldest brother. I drove away and have no idea what happened after that. Somebody sent me an obituary on Dave. I’d never seen one like it. There was a big photo of him, smiling, in a suit jacket and shirt and tie. I’d never seen Dave dressed like that in thirty years. I’m baffled by where the photo came from, and why. Why was he dressed like that, and why had an emotionally challenged failure gained this final notoriety? I’ll never know, and I’ll always regret that I was unable to re-light his life.

My dearest friend is still very much alive. We live about 350 miles apart, and speak on the phone two or three times a day, sometimes for more than an hour. He’s 8 years younger than I am, at 72, and we share a tenuous connection that stretches back fifty years. He and I are the survivors. I will likely go before he does. Although my mother lived to 94, his grandfather lived to 109. He’s also very active. He plays tennis almost daily, and in winter, is a successful competitive snowboarder.

I’m much more sedate. In our day, we were both amateur race car drivers, and I’ve done a lot of wilderness camping. I even lived in a wilderness cabin for four years, lacking telephone lines, cell towers or Internet. It’s a pleasurable, all day job just to survive out there. Now, in my home in this small farm village, I just draw pictures, sculpt clay, paint canvas, and most of all, write stuff like this to relax.

Terrorists Have Changed My Mind

March 22, 2017 Leave a comment

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.

Marissa Act 3

June 4, 2015 Leave a comment

It was stupid of me, I know, but I couldn’t stop stewing inside over the fact that Peter was fucking that boring bitch Rhoda while ignoring me. Men never ignore me! It was a new experience and I wasn’t enjoying it. The frustration grew within me, and grew and grew until it almost occupied my whole life. I know it was stupid. I know that I should have just picked up another guy and it would be over.

At that ad agency where I was sent as a temp, there was a senior vice-president who looked a lot like Paul Newman. Really – believe it or not. So I decided to fuck him and I did. He took me to a really nice hotel suite where we showered together and had as much sex as a forty-year-old married man could deliver. In the shower, before and after the sex, we lathered each other, caressed each other and it was really fine. Very nice, and the guy was a generous lover as well, and really loved eating me, which was great, of course. There was only one thing wrong. It didn’t work. I was still tortured with frustration over Peter’s insulting rejection and his preference for that Rhoda bitch.

I used to date a cop, an old guy who was a detective inspector. I knew he’d run to me if I asked him to. I got him into my bed that afternoon, and I showed him a real good time. His last good time. As usual, he fell asleep after I’d fucked him dry. I went over to the chair where he’d thrown his clothes and stuff and took his gun out of the holster that hung on his belt. It was a Smith and Wesson .38 revolver and it was loaded with six live bullets.

I walked over to the bed and got my pillow which I wrapped around the gun to muffle the bang. Up close to the old guy’s face, I blew his life away. I went into the shower, refreshed myself and dressed for the office.

About ten that morning Peter came in and went to his office. I watched from the secretary pool to see if he crossed the hall to Rhoda’s office or Rhoda to his office. Sure enough, it was less than fifteen minutes until he went to Rhoda’s office. I took the gun out of my purse – nobody noticed, of course – and got up from my desk. I walked straight down the hall and turned at Rhoda’s office. She and Peter were chatting when I appeared at the doorway. They both turned to look at me.

I stepped up to Rhoda, too close to miss and blew her face away with her life. Peter was, of course, frozen with disbelief. He tried to knock my gun hand aside, but I dodged his swing and shot him in the heart. When I walked back to the secretarial pool they were all freaking out and running down the other hall away from me.

I had given a lot of thought to where to put my bullet. I didn’t want to ruin my face or my hair, so that ruled out anything like the gun in my mouth or something. I also didn’t want to ruin my lovely boobs. In the end, I sat down at my desk and snuggled the .38 under my left boob and put the bullet through my heart as I did through Peter’s heart.

I guess it’s true after all that there’s no difference between a psychopath and a sociopath. I never felt I was a psychopath who would use violence, but I knew I was a sociopath because I never cared, really, about anyone or anything. I wish I could have cared about the loved ones of the people I’ve killed… but I couldn’t so I didn’t.