Men are childish, women are women.

November 6, 2017 Leave a comment

There’s a big deal on television. It’s called the Super Bowl. It gathers a vast amount of attention and costs people a vast amount of money. It doesn’t mean anything. The Super Bowl is meaningless, yet a great deal of false meaning has been injected into it. Fanatics pay thousands of dollars for seats that are worth thirty bucks. They could even watch it for no charge, in their own homes, with their own snacks and get a better view to boot.

Any sort of fanaticism is not a good idea. Things like Nazism, Aryan Brotherhood, Super Bowl and so on. This obviously doesn’t include harmless fan preferences like fans of Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, Harrison Ford, Dolly Parton and so on. Not all Super Bowl fans are childish and some women do as some men do for the big game.

Although some people paint their faces and even their bodies in the colours of their preferred team, it is childish. It’s fun, it’s troublesome and it’s childish. There are women who cook and serve special snacks to be consumed during the game. It is a game, remember. It’s only a game that for some reason commands great attention and much money.

Well, not for some reason – for the reason that it’s a business enterprise. The people that own the teams, the stadium and the series of games, spend much money to hype up the interest in their business. Fanatical fans should remember that it is not really a game, as in a game people play for pleasure like bowling and poker. It is somebody’s business. The painted faces and heaps of snacks are all in celebration of someone’s very successful business promotion.

We all know that men are childish. It’s true that little boys grow up to be big boys with big toys. It’s true that little girls grow up to be women, and they take care of life more properly than do men. We have to mention that while men behave childishly, women also have their oddities.

Women prepare their faces like painting on a canvas. Black lengthening material is applied to lashes. Colour is applied to upper lids, sometimes with sparkles in it. Dark lines are drawn around the eyes and beyond their corners. Skin is enhanced with skin coloured crème. Lips are enhanced with colour, sometimes two shades on one lip. Cheek bones are accentuated with highlights and shadows carefully applied. Breasts are usually prominent when the woman is proud of them.

There’s not room for all the hair and body enhancements to be described, so we’ll end here… except to say that women are odd too and should willingly forgive men for loving their trucks and painting their faces to show their fanaticism.

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Why I Started Smoking

November 4, 2017 Leave a comment

In the summer, we had a little cave-like hollow in a ravine across the street. Our little hollow was deeply hidden by thick bushes. We tried to smoke cigars of dried oak leaves that we rolled. They were foul, and wouldn’t burn.

One year in shop, I made a bow and bought some arrows. Down in the ravine, in the dry summer grass, Dave and I tried to figure out how to shoot an arrow properly. On one of my shots, I pulled the string as far as I could and let go. I stumbled as I let it fly, and wasn’t sure where it went.

An old garage stood on the edge of the ravine. Some earth had crumbled and slid down from the garage and left a corner jutting out in the air. While looking for my arrow, we wandered around in the grass near the exposed corner. I glanced into the open hole at the bottom of the garage and saw a printed box. I pulled it out.

It was a carton of 20 packs of Lucky Strike cigarettes. I looked up through the opening and saw that the garage was full from wall to wall with thousands of cartons of cigarettes. Smuggled cigarettes, I realized when I noticed that the tax stamp on the top of each pack was American. They were cigarettes from the USA about which Canada customs and excise knew nothing.

We took a few cartons of Luckies and a few cartons of Camels. We hid them in a variety of places, and fetched them, a pack at a time, when we wanted them. We smoked them, and enjoyed them. Non-filtered, strong burley tobacco typical of USA brands of that era had us hooked in no time. I continued to smoke the American brands until I quit. I had been a smoker for 40 years. I haven’t touched tobacco since that day in July, 1992.

I was sitting in my car at a red light in the heart of the city. While waiting, I was enjoying looking at a tall, beautiful woman standing on the corner, waiting for the green light as was I. As I admired her, her hand that I had not seen came up and put a lit cigarette to her lips.

She sucked at it eagerly, and then frenetically flicked her fingers on the smoldering cigarette to drop the ash. She became completely unattractive at that moment. I thought perhaps that I looked like that kind of weak fool. At that moment, the car radio announcer said, “It’s quit smoking week, folks, so let’s do it!”

I had three Camels in the pack in my shirt pocket. I wrapped the pack tightly closed with an elastic band and threw it into my briefcase. I never smoked tobacco again.

We Are Not The Ultimate

November 3, 2017 Leave a comment

Neither oligarchs nor the homeless are the ultimate. The surgeon is not the ultimate, nor is the rocket scientist and astronaut. You are not the ultimate, nor am I. We are all a mere plateau on the evolution of our species. We will be like Neanderthals compared to the beings we will evolve into.

We hustle through our busy lives, thinking only of ourselves and those that matter to us. We rarely think about the relative meaningless of our existence compared to the importance of the artists, musicians, engineers and chemists who live among us. How puny is the importance of the real estate developer compared to the importance of the one that has mastered transplants; hearts, kidneys, livers, and some day, everything.

We trudge through life, seeking work, seeking income, seeking ways of life. Some people who possess wisdom spend their work life in agriculture. It’s a tough, risky life, dependent on weather and seasons and more or less all of nature. The payoff, other than an income when it goes well, is that one is never in a meeting room, never at a desk in a room that has windows that cannot open. When he is toiling mightily, the farmer is in the field, smelling the fresh-cut hay, hearing bird songs. The farmer is also not the ultimate.

We might be wise to remember, as we climb through life, that we, and our achievements won’t amount to a hill of beans in the fullness of time. Ahead of us is infinity. Ahead of us is eternity. These two unimaginable concepts represent endless time and endless space. Within those vast parameters, people will evolve into the long predicted large head, small body as the ways of life evolve.

We owe it to ourselves to enjoy our time through life. It might be a waste to pursue wealth or adventure. It might be too simple to work just for security. It might be worth some risk-taking, as some people do. People hunt for sport, or race cars, or play hockey and ball sports. We have limited time in which to make a life, and we can make it fun, if we want to. A person’s life could end in a split second, by unknown and unseen forces.

In The Dark When It’s Quiet

November 1, 2017 Leave a comment

If not for the pieces of moonlight that filtered through the overhead foliage, Percy would not be able to see the walking path through the suburban forest. He had just hopped off a train a few hours ago and set about finding a place to sleep. He saw the forested park when he emerged from an older residential neighbourhood.

Percy turned off the path and pushed through some foliage until he came to a smooth place among the tree roots. The ground was covered with leaves from previous seasons and made a soft, dry mattress. He shrugged off his backpack and laid out his sleeping bag. The night was warm and clear, so he didn’t need any more shelter.

He lay back on his sleeping bag and just looked at the sky. Most stars were obliterated by the glow of the moon, but many were visible close to the horizon.  Percy reached into his backpack and fished out a sandwich and a bottle of water. While he sat on the ground snacking, he heard footfalls coming on the path. He saw to people jogging by. He knew from their voices as they chatted that one was a man and the other a woman.

A short time later, another jogger passed. Percy assumed it was a man because of his size. Every minute or so, a jogger passed. He lay down in his sleeping bag and set himself to sleep. Sleep eluded him as he found himself lying awake listening for joggers. He wondered how much time had passed. It seemed to him that it must be past midnight. He heard another jogger approaching and he climbed out of the sleeping bag and stood up to see over the bush behind which he’d been lying.

The jogger was a slender young woman. As Percy stepped over the bush he startled the woman. She reacted instantly, jumped back and pulled out a nine millimeter Remington automatic and shot him in the face. He just wanted to ask the time.

The Dealer’s Place

October 31, 2017 Leave a comment

The only interesting thing about the dealer’s place was the people who gathered there most evenings. The time I saw them, they had gathered to enjoy “Star Trek” together. I am uninterested in Star Trek, but I lingered to observe the group. I admit that in my case, I was there to buy some grass from the dealer. The dealer was a very nice, shy guy, about 6 feet tall, 30ish, and considerably overweight. His name was Gregory.

Greg also had a small travel agency, where he struggled to make a living. He didn’t like dealing grass, but the travel agency was barely getting by. I later learned that he’d been orphaned while in his teens, and had been making his way in life as well as he could. His disadvantage was that he was not cool… not smooth. Greg was awkward, and that was probably why his apartment was ground zero for a group of socially awkward people.

The most visible person was David. He was noticeable because he talked a lot, always  with unnecessary urgency. One could almost see him vibrating, so tense was he. I later learned that his mother was severely depressed, and drove him crazy. I’m thinking, he’s about 30, why is he with Mom? He expressed shame that he worked at selling ‘diamond futures’, knowing full well that it’s a worthless product and he’s bilking people. His weirdness kept him from getting a regular job, so telephone hustling is the best he could do.

There were two females, as different from each other as possible. They were not together in any way. Sitting on a black bean-bag chair was a very pretty girl in her 20s. She was dressed in Goth style, all black, some veils, thigh-high boots of black leather and a black shawl. She smoked a joint, did not pass it around, and shrunk back into an obscure corner at the back of the room.

Every person in the room was facing the television set. I sat on a straight chair to the side. On the sofa, Greg joined the two that were already there. Next to Greg was a young woman midget. She appeared to be tiny, seated by large Greg. On her other side was Nick, a rather good looking man in his twenties. He planned to be a rock star singer with a band. He was in the process of auditioning bands. Good luck with that.

Awkward people gathered together, perhaps for safety in numbers. The midget asked me to fetch her a coke. Why me, I thought? I rose and stepped toward the kitchen and turned at the apartment entrance hall and left the apartment.

Requiem For A Friend With Benefits

October 31, 2017 Leave a comment

I really didn’t expect anything special to happen; I just wanted to see Julia again. I had a delightful affair with her several years before, and we were always as much friends as lovers. She had a beautiful face. I find that faces almost always fit into a ‘type’. Not that they might look almost exactly like the celebrity, but would be that type. Julia was, believe it or not, an Elisabeth Taylor type, and really remarkably similar in nose, mouth, face shape and dark hair.

Whenever a single mom is saddled with a special needs child my heart breaks for that mom. They are trapped in a way of life that is irrevocable. Julia’s story is one that is, unfortunately, too often repeated. She grew up in a small city where social contacts are limited by fewer opportunities because of fewer people. Often, the prettiest girl in town is from a working class family. Julia’s father worked at the Ford plant and Julia was the prettiest girl in town.

Almost as if it was decreed by an irresistible force, the boy from the richest family in town wanted the prettiest girl in town all to himself. He married Julia, to the great disappointment and disapproval of his parents. Some said he did it just to irritate his parents, but I don’t believe that. Julia was not only pretty; she was an intelligent, educated professional woman with a responsible position in a law enforcement department. That rich boy might not have been able to feel a deep love for anyone but himself because of his background, but he certainly could lust after Julia.

Julia became pregnant and the marriage was all it was ever going to be: a standoff between two people, too young and not really compatible. They were together when the baby was born. The infant should have aborted naturally because she was riddled with defects. The child very soon had to be raised in a special hospital that was capable of the trying task. Her mind was not very capable. She was blind as well and generally capable of very little. In short order, the rich boy husband and father was out of there like a shot.

About a year after that, I met her and we had a wonderful affair. I was married and had two children so many people would consider me a louse. I loved my wife and desired her every day… and every day she rejected me, saying “That’s all you ever think about.”

Well yes, I was a turned on kind of guy. And I was really in love with my wife and found her very desirable. She was slender and pretty and typical of her type. Just for the record, I was not a dog myself as I learned from several women other than my wife. For no apparent reason, she decided making love was not for her.

I knew people who were friendly with Julia, and from time to time I’d hear about how she was doing. I’d learned that she’d married again, to a younger man and again became pregnant. The child was happy and healthy this time. However, it seems the pregnancy triggered dormant Multiple Sclerosis within her. The young husband took off.

I got her phone number from one of her friends and called her for a lunch date. The next day I picked her up at her small flat in an old house and took her to a sidewalk café on a small street of high fashion shops and restaurants. I knew she needed canes to walk, so I chose a place where she could get out of the car and go straight into the restaurant terrace and sit at an umbrella table. We ordered lunch and chatted.

“Why did you always welcome me into your apartment whenever I showed up at your door?” I said. “I was a married man, yet I could show up at your place at eight in the morning or three in the morning and you welcomed me with a pretty smile.” She showed that pretty smile again, across the small table at me. It was a hot July day with just enough breeze to make it comfortable in the shade of the umbrella.

“You were safe,” she said. “You were married, so there wouldn’t be any commitment problems for me. I was out of a really painful marriage and I had no desire to get into another one at that time. And you were very good looking.”

Our meals were brought to the table and we continued to chat over lunch.

“You still do it,” she said with a broad smile on her lovely face.

“I still do what?”

“You still look directly into my eyes while we talk,” said Julia. “I loved that about you.”

“Don’t all men do that?” I said.

“You’d be surprised how unique it is,” she said. “You’re a special man.”

I drove her home. The Georgian style red brick house was three storeys high on a beautiful old street of fine old homes and shady maple trees. She invited me in for coffee and I accepted.

In her flat the air was cool after the blazing hot summer sun. The heavy curtains on her first floor windows were drawn. The rooms were in dim light that spilled through the edges of the curtains. Julia put her canes aside and made her way toward her kitchen with careful steps while she used the wall for stability.

I went to her and put my arms around her and held her close. She clung to me with desperation that told me how lonely she’d been. Her mother had sold a property she’d inherited and moved to Jamaica.

I found fasteners for each of her garments and made her naked while we held each other. I lay her back on her bed.

“You have to move my legs,” she said. I lifted her legs onto the bed.

“Does it hurt?” I said.

“It doesn’t hurt,” she said. “There’s no pain.” I heard in her voice a fear that I might not continue, afraid of doing harm.

I made love with her. It was good to be with her again. She was a very good person. Pretty, light hearted and witty. I often wondered how she could be so positive after all she’d been through. She had a disabled first child and abandonment by her husband. Then she had a healthy child that launched her MS followed by abandonment of her second husband. She had a good, close relationship with her mother. She was to join her mother in Jamaica until the illness struck her and changed her life again.

“You’re even better now than you were in the old times,” she said.

“We live and learn,” I said.

We had our coffee after we’d bathed together. At last I had to leave, and we both knew that we’d not see each other again.

“Thanks for lunch,” she said, “and especially the take-home dessert.”

We laughed together and wished each other good luck. We kissed and I departed. That was many years ago and I’ve since learned Julia passed away and her child is being raised by Julia’s mother in Jamaica.

Men are childish, women are women

October 30, 2017 Leave a comment

There’s a big deal on television. It’s called the Super Bowl. It gathers a vast amount of attention and costs people a vast amount of money. It doesn’t mean anything. The Super Bowl is meaningless, yet a great deal of false meaning has been injected into it. Fanatics pay thousands of dollars for seats that are worth thirty bucks. They could even watch it for no charge, in their own homes, with their own snacks and get a better view to boot.

Any sort of fanaticism is not a good idea. Things like Nazism, Aryan Brotherhood, Super Bowl and so on. This obviously doesn’t include harmless fan preferences like fans of Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, Harrison Ford, Dolly Parton and so on. Not all Super Bowl fans are childish and some women do as some men do for the big game.

Although some people paint their faces and even their bodies in the colours of their preferred team, it is childish. It’s fun, it’s troublesome and it’s childish. There are women who cook and serve special snacks to be consumed during the game. It is a game, remember. It’s only a game that for some reason commands great attention and much money.

Well, not for some reason – for the reason that it’s a business enterprise. The people that own the teams, the stadium and the series of games, spend much money to hype up the interest in their business. Fanatical fans should remember that it is not really a game, as in a game people play for pleasure like bowling and poker. It is somebody’s business. The painted faces and heaps of snacks are all in celebration of someone’s very successful business promotion.

We all know that men are childish. It’s true that little boys grow up to be big boys with big toys. It’s true that little girls grow up to be women, and they take care of life more properly than do men. We have to mention that while men behave childishly, women also have their oddities.

Women prepare their faces like painting on a canvas. Black lengthening material is applied to lashes. Colour is applied to upper lids, sometimes with sparkles in it. Dark lines are drawn around the eyes and beyond their corners. Skin is enhanced with skin coloured crème. Lips are enhanced with colour, sometimes two shades on one lip. Cheek bones are accentuated with highlights and shadows carefully applied.

There’s not room for all the hair and body enhancements to be described, so we’ll end here… except to say that women are odd too and should willingly forgive men for loving their trucks and painting their faces to show their fanaticism.