* * * * *
Without a Tune
Table de Haute
Steps without a Tune
Introduction . . . . . 4
Ms Utley . . 6 With Grace . . 6
Ms Bologna . . 7 Perceptions . . 7
Ms Pecorraro . . 8 Goose Stepping . . 7
Ms Belinda . . 10 Love and Lore . . 11
Ms Ebbie . . 12 Groin Pains . . 14
Ms Messina . . 15 Origins of Sin . . 17
Ms Gloria . . 18 Oh, Oh, Ohhh . . 20
Ms Sandee . . 21 Ode to Virtue . . 23
Ms Letitia . . 24 Hot Tamale . . 27
Ms Elynor . . 28 Impetuosity . . 32
Ms Jenny . . 33 Giovanna . . 35
Ms Kathleen . . 36 Beautiful . . 38
Ms Lili . . 41 Odilie . . 44
Ms' Cellaneous . . 45
Walking with Jesus . . 47 Psalm 90:17 . . 50
Steps Without A Tune
I guess I could have been haughty and called this a book of "Hits and Ms's", or with tongue in cheek, "Ms'guided", or "Les Ms'erables", or "Ms'led", or "Under the Ms'letoe", or "Ms'takes", or "Ms'd Out", or "Product of a Ms'carriage", or even "Ms'tiqued".
But, No!, absolutely none of the above. I may be Ms'chievious, but, assuredly, all of the women in my life have been most dear to me. Each, in her own way, has rendered something which has been captured and remains with me forever. For the shared dreams, enjoyments, difficulties, sorrows, tears, smiles, and many wonderful, yes, most wonderful experiences.
I dedicate this book to each and every Ms in my Life.
As we struggle through the past, we eventually arrive at various points in the future. What we do with it today allows us to ask of ourselves if we have truly taken the time to absorb an enjoy the fruits of our journey. Through an evolution of many short and long steps we orchestrate our dance through the verities of human-kind.
My life's vicissitudes have been without a tune. Or, rather, what might better be called a sustained muteness, but not without sensitivities. Certainly, I have not just marched to any Drummer. In this regard, my steps have been unplanned and absent of a scheme unless one contributes it to karma or some such metaphysical paradigm. There was a time, not too long ago, that I would have accepted this analysis blindly. Today, however, I am not in concurrence with the psychic deliverance of my current presence. Nevertheless, I do feel that my steps have taken a path incurred from certain experiences learned and administered as I grew from infancy.
I know for a fact that many people have never experienced as early a retention of memory as I have. I feel inclined to summon one such visual experience which occurred at the age of two or perhaps three years. However, in relating this vivid recall, I don't believe that it had any consequence on my pilgrimage.
I was sitting on a table with my younger sister beside me. I presume that we were being "baby-sat" by the two waitresses in white uniforms. The two girls had their skirts hiked up and two men from the park maintenance crew were prodding each of the waitresses on separate tables. One of the girls was on her back with her feet extended into the air and the other was bent over a table with her feet spread out on the floor.
No one ever needed to explain to me what I had seen, because even as an infant, never having a prior vision, I already knew.
During one of the few contacts I had with my dad following my first marriage, was his expressed concern that I should have a son. He claimed that I was the last of the heritage line of his clan of Ellis's. This made me feel like the Last of the Mohicans. Result? . . . I spawned five lovely daughters and not one single son.
Herein, my steps through life are serialized by nostalgic episodes which have signaled my quest through time. During which, I have lived the good life. Like most Christians, I have always tried to do good towards others and to follow just principles. I realize, however, that the balances do not work equally for all concerned. I have always felt more comfortable with females as friends and companions. Therefore, I have provided an elucidation of those cherished persons who most significantly influenced me. Not withstanding the episodes related in my "Steps without a Tune," I find myself now, with a tune in my heart and a song of joy in my soul. For the rest of my life, I intend to perform in the light of the following words.
Righteousness shall go before Him;
and He shall set us in the way of His steps. Psalm 85:13
She was probably my first real love. She moved about with such grace. In fact, that was her name, Grace. But, using her first name was just not something I felt comfortable with. My dreams and my heart always spoke the words "Miss Utley", both in whispers and aloud. She was a very beautiful woman. And, of course, I readily realized how intelligent she really was.
I remember gazing upon her charm. I remember yearning to be alone with her. I remember the experiences of thrilling day-dreams. These brought on many happy delights. Ms Utley! Oh!, how I cherished the cozy feeling of being near Ms Utley. Each day, I would sit; imploring her to return the adoration I unfolded. Each moment became explosive within my deep-rooted anxiousness to be near her.
Third grade was not what I expected it to be. The bubbling zeal of my affection for Ms Utley would diminish into disappointment and gloom whenever Ms Utley would call upon me to go to the chalk board. She would instruct me to print my name, followed by examples of English conjugation from the Study Lesson.
Ms Utley had so affected my inner cohesion, such that, my command of English grammar has been seriously influenced ever since.
Love was my Heaven,
Until Summer came,
Then I was but seven
And mortally lame.
To you, my Love,
I long to return;
Yea, with you my Love,
But, no, .... not to Learn.
The bell rang out for the morning assembly and all hands joined in rank and file in the basement of the school compound. From the sound system, the Principal led us all in the Pledge to the Flag in addition to pronouncing a short morning prayer. On the way to Homeroom Class, I was puzzled by some comments which I overheard. Whispers came from two girls a little older and apparently wiser than me.
I tried to grasp the full meaning of their statements. I became confused with my own understanding of the anatomical make up of the female body. Since, I was the oldest of my mothers's children, with no father to discuss certain things. I felt the subject matter to be a little too complex to ask my mother about. For some reason, I didn't want to share the overheard comments with my street buddies. I pondered the whispered words which were mixed with the laughter elicited by the two girls. In consternation, I finally reached out to two older school mates in Ms Bologna's class. We really called her Ms Baloney.
However, not being fully aware of the full measurement of Ms Baloney's plight, I confided in the two boys. They laughed and made me feel embarrassed, thereby, causing me to laugh also about her chest surgery.
Thereafter, we called her "Ms Baloney One-Bump".
Grade Fourth-A was my class assignment,
Not long ago, yet past "Half a Cent".
The meaning of which I knew not what,
Two girls atwittering about this and that.
When all is said and all is done;
Words spent not in anger, rather in jest and fun.
A person's hurt judged not, but sad;
From kids knowing not, not good, but bad.
Herr Gusto was not one of World War II's German generals of great valor. Instead, he was domiciled in New Orleans and carried the name of Gusto for many years with both pride and great consternation, never knowing when to stand proud or when to defend himself against the conferred honor.
Carved on my fifth grade desk-top, may yet be found a Swastika representing the Pledge of Allegiance to our own clandestine Gestapo Squad which was fashioned by our leader, Herr Schwarkle. In time, my fellow Gestapo associates lost their Swastika Klub names. However, I became endowed with the Gusto name for many years thereafter. Herr Schwarkle never let it leave me. Of course, our desk top etchings were discovered. And, of course, I was the one to be punished. For that reason, I continued harboring my feelings of great anger against Ms Pecorraro. Any mishap that would occur, caused her to incarcerate me in the classroom cloak closet. She frequently attacked me verbally and accused me of wrong doing.
She charged me with having promoted ill feelings and bad conduct on the part of my innocent companions, Herr Schwarkle, et al. Afterwards, Herr Schwarkle congratulated me for being a good member of the Gestapo for not revealing the real leader and instigator. This made me revere my leader even more in my pride for taking blame even when I was so wrongly and unjustly accused.
Thereafter, Ms Pecorraro was to be scorned and treated with great malice by all the members of the Gestapo Squad. Ms Pecorraro was big and fat like a pompous, plump Turkey. She had those full bounteous bosoms and full beefy buttocks. She was dutifully ridiculed by the Swastika Klub members. Herr Gusto was frequently cast out to stand in the hallway or sent to the closet for championing defiance.
Ms Pecoraro sprayed forth with venom and spittle upon my face on many occasions for recriminations, deserved and undeserved. For these attacks upon a loyal soldier of the Gestapo Squad she was foreverafter dubbed "Ms Niagara Falls". As school let out; each and everyday for the remaining school year, she was to hear the repeated cat-calls or Turkey-calls of "Peck-peck-peck-peck, Peck-a-rhara"; "Peck-peck-peck-peck, Peck-a-rhara".
At that time, I didn't realize, that I was cutting a path to brandish the cross for many instances of situations I did not create. But, I would recount on numerous occasions to come, where I would accept the blame. Now, I know how foolish this was. It was childish, negative, restrictive and unfruitful. I received nothing by accepting blame for something I did not do, because in the end, it was really a lie.
Furthermore, I know now that poor Ms Pecoraro, was made miserable by me. All, because of my insistence for misplaced illusions of camaraderie, peer submission and false ideology based on frail friendships.
Long ago when things were true,
Long before the midnight blue;
Up above the stars so high,
Clouds were moving; Why, Oh, why?
Summers come and Summers Go
Classes end, and Classmates grow,
Though the Teacher teaches naught,
Students frown and brains are fraught.
Excitement stilled, Emotions quelled
Yet, alone, and friends dispelled,
Herr Gusto stands and fends his lot?
Gaining Friends?, For goodness, Not!
Oh, what a love feeling I had. What beautiful, glorious feelings of rapture and wonder. I was in love and wanted the whole world to know about it. I thought about Belinda all of the time. Such wonderful, beautiful, captivating feelings of elation that I would encounter whenever I would but look upon Belinda. Her eyes were ever so bright and shining blue. Her hair was blonde and filled with sunlight shimmering in each curled lock and tress on her head. Her laughter was penetrating and filled with joy.
I was made fully aware of Belinda's beauty because everyone else in our Sixth Grade class was also madly in love with her. She graced the halls and corridors of the school compound. She even charmed the teachers with her bubbling conversations.
I developed a crafty plan in order to meet her outside of school, so I befriended her brother who was in my class. Joseph finally invited me to his home to see the radio set that he had built. Summer was soon coming, so I delayed my visit to make sure that no one but me would be invited. On the first day of Summer recess, I visited Joseph. My real purpose, of course, was to see his sister, Belinda. I envied Joseph because he could see her everyday and I couldn't. I prepared for the visit and got there a half hour early. Belinda wasn't there, so I prolonged my stay for four hours. However, much to my dismay, I learned that Belinda had taken off for the Summer to visit her cousin in Ohio only the day before.
I continued to visit Joseph off and on during the Summer just to inquire of Belinda's return. On opening day of the new school year, my heart pounded in anxiousness for my Belinda. But she didn't show up until the following day when one of my closest buddies came bounding up and hailed that Belinda had gained an extra pair of straps to suspend over her shoulders. He urged me to check her out in the Hallway where she had taken up conversation with a couple of fellows. My throat tightened and my muscles twitched as I went out to the hall. There she was in her most beauteous splendor talking to two older, bolder, boys who were obviously flirting with her. My heart lurched, as Belinda turned my way I could not help but notice that she was flirting back with the boys. I was devastated.
My Sixth Grade heart was not capable of containing the anguish which filled me. My Belinda not only blossomed into becoming a young woman but she evolved into a Jezebel. She had not remained true, nor had she remained innocent. There she was, shamefully exposing the lace from her camisole. Her topmost button was very much unbuttoned.
LOVE AND LORE
So in L-O-V-E was I,
Yea, sweeter than Apple Pie.
So youthfully and wondrously in Love,
My eyes, my heart so enchanted by my Dove.
And , What of Love? Love, Won, then Lost,
No greater Love have I, Than a Love at any cost;
Young and Old, Old or Young do not really matter,
When fluids flow, Then, what chemistry will lather.
Now, If I were to tell you that I were the first person to fall under the consequences of another person's charm and yet realize that that person was absolutely not compatible in any way . . . Well, yes, I did that, her name was Ebbie. I loved Ebbie very much. With no uncertainty, I loved her very dearly. I carved her initials with mine at the Street Car Stop, which was a broadcast station much like the current style of painted graffiti. I also wrote a message of deepest love and sealed it in wax within a tin Aspirin box and placed it into my secret hide-away container and buried it in my most secret hide-away place.
Ms Ebbie was a year older . . . and six inches taller. She wore glasses and was slightly cross-eyed to boot. She had a bike to ride and I had none. She talked incessantly and I didn't. Her parents had plenty and my folks had little.
In Seventh grade, who really cares. Ebbie was smart and had all her lessons fully prepared and was the first one with her hand raised to respond to a teacher's question. She was the first one to leave the black-board with her math problem neatly written and of course correct beyond doubt.
I invited Ebbie to a dance. I really can't remember how it was initiated, but I picked her up on a Sunday afternoon, in my mother's car, and of course, with a Chauffeur, ...my mother. It was a typical "End-of-School Dance".
Near the close of the evening, Ms Ebbie exclaimed, "Well, shouldn't we dance at least once?" I awkwardly placed my right hand up and attempted to place my left arm around her waist and watched her juggle in maneuvering her left's to her right's in order to follow my lead. She thanked me for a very clumsy performance. I had rocked back and forth on her feet much like straddling a "Hobby-horse". After all, what can one expect when being overwhelmed by your date infinitely towering above by a head and a grin.
Following that calamity, I was determined to take her out again, but first, I needed to begin dancing lessons and growing lessons. I asked my mother for guidance and she gave me a "Fred Astair foot chart" with "his and her" foot prints to follow. My eyes learned to perform the Tango and the Waltz while my feet bolted in all directions.
Each day I went into the garage to perform my newly acquired growing routine. I didn't need any help, because I already had it all planned out. I tied a heavy rope around my feet and threw the loose end over a rafter and then pulled the rope hard as I hoisted myself upside-down. I hung from the rafter by my feet everyday and for hours my head swayed, brushing the cement floor with my hair.
I was not properly accomplishing the Tango or the Waltz, so one evening after school, my favorite aunt Vi, volunteered to shove me around the floor until I was doing what she called the "Fox Trot". But I couldn't perform very well because my ankles were still swollen from hanging upside down just the hour before.
Summer passed and we started school again. Arriving at the school yard early, I suddenly caught my breath. There was Ms Ebbie talking to some boy I hadn't seen before. Two girls strolled by twittering about Ebbie's new boyfriend. My heart collapsed, I turned yellow on the outside and mealy on the inside. One of my friends ran up and acclaimed that a new girl just started school and stated, "and there she is!"
What a beauty! Immediately, I fell in love. I marveled at her captivating smile and I was overwhelmed by such an enchanting person. I can't remember her name, but when I got home I pulled out my aspirin box from its secret container. I then proceeded to melt the wax, threw away my sworn note of undying love to Ms Ebbie and replaced it with a new note of deep abiding love for my new girl friend. I never hung by the rafter ever, ever again, but, I was greatly inspired to learn the "Fox Trot".
Growing Pains!, Is that where it's at?
Sometimes now, sometimes yet to be gat?
I grow, I growing; I grew; No, I growed,
In Love everlasting, I'm in love, I crowed.
From whence did this natty feeling come?
A flighty Bumble Bee to make me succumb?
Was I to be a-twitter in the throngs of emotion?
Am I me?, or, Am I that?; ruled by a Love potion?
I was born a Lion, and must play the Lamb,
Deep inside I'd Lust for Love, T'was not a sham.
My mind, not imagining the thrills to abound,
Love strokes, causing me to buffoon, to loon, to Clown.
My after-school hours were scheduled by cutting the half acre lawn in and around the house. This always seemed endless. It took every day of the week to manicure each blade of grass before I had to start the following Monday with the same routine of getting out the mowers. Yes, plural for mowers, one was for the mass of grass. It was a gas powered motor lawn mower and the other was the standard push and pull variety of the times. I used it to get around the flower gardens and the tall pines. However, mindful that I best not scar the bark on the trees, otherwise I would get my hide scorched. Not by hand, but by a verbal attack of sheer, free-flowing venom from my mother. Her words would cause my skin to wince with agony and shame.
Anyway, while whiling away my late afternoons, I would lay back languishing on the lawn fully preoccupied by the cloud swells merging in the sky. For long moments I would watch them colliding into one and other. Their formations were apparitions to stimulate my dreams which were a promise of great moments yet to be.
A white puff of dreamy cloud would at first appear as a nuzzling cat which then would be transformed into a beautiful princess waiting for me to reach out to grasp her hand. At that moment, my arm would extend and my fingers would stretch out to fondle her wrist. But, then, she would turn into a goat walking through the pastures of other clouds of goats, thus scattering my dream pose. I would then move my eyes from right to left, in search of my princess gone, only to be captured by the vision of a castle. I would be invited to enter the golden doors, whereupon, the sun would spread it's rays, beaming open as the doors cascaded into steps revealing a beyond that was more than my immediate perception.
All of a sudden I would become interrupted with the clamor of youthful screams of "Here comes the Witch!". "Run for your Life!"
"Sticks and Stones might break my Bones, but you little 'sumbeeches' will never hurt me!" . . . screamed Ms Messina in her strong Italian accent. She was on her daily pilgrimage from who knows where, to the "Dago" family next door. I would recall, that I too, used to holler out at her in infantile fear of the unknown and childish banter from an apprehensive, cruel heart.
Ms Messina never hurt anyone, but she would carry a stick and raise it into the air as if casting a spell upon all who would cross her path. Ms Messina was always dressed in black clothing even with black stockings and a black shawl around her head and shoulders. She could appear menacing with the wickedness of a Witch as her seventy odd years would make her appear even more scraggly and haggard. Every kid in the neighborhood feared her. They would toss stones at her feet, not intentionally to hurt her, but to make a statement of anger by her presence. The fear of her apparition alone, would conjure up demonic spirits. She would also return fire by throwing crystal marbles at the fray of young kids who mimicked dogs mashing their teeth at a lame lion. All the boys traded off these cherished marbles as if they contained spells of witch-craft buried deep within their core.
Not until growing up and shedding such childish misconceptions, did we ultimately realize that we were guilty of harboring grave untruths. We really didn't want to learn the truth or appreciate those that were different.
We really didn't want to know that the poor old lady was a widow dressed in black conforming to her Catholic Italian heritage.
We really didn't want to know that she would walk for miles to visit the Italians next door. --- And, we really didn't want to know that this was her haven where she was fed. And, further, we really didn't care that in that refuge, the old senile, poverty laden woman was given comfort and aid in reminiscing about her family from the "old country".
ORIGINS OF SIN
Not alone by ignorance,
but more with rancor and malice
Not alone by knowledge,
but more by a snipe's wickedness
Not alone by innocence,
but more with kid's pranks
Not alone by maturity,
but more by devilish cranks
Not alone by anger,
but more with childish fear
Not alone by boredom,
but an urge to lear and jeer
Nay, not by Love,
but by deep untamed feelings
Nay, not at all by Love,
but with raucous sin dealings
If ever I had loved before, it was puppy love lost in the confusion of immaturity and childish oblivion. There had never before been a basis for comparison. This was Adult Love. It was real love. It was also a love affair, both with love and with life. I had just turned thirteen and was introduced to the sweetest smile emitting from such a gorgeous, provocative, radiant face. An olive, tanned, supine body with long tresses of dark brown hair shimmering in the sun light as well as the moon light. It happened one day after school. Ms Gloria attended the neighboring girls' high school. I was in my junior year at the Military High School in which my mother enlisted me. My mother wanted me to learn the manly arts of soldiering. The girls at the neighboring high school were fascinated by the little tin soldiers all dressed spotless in "blues and grays".
By this time, I was a fabulous dancer and very mature for my age. Ms Gloria caused me to wallow in the adoration she showered upon me. Little did I know that four years of my life would be placed generously in her lap. She occupied my last two years of high school and my first two years of College. I say occupied, because following my "pinning" her with my High School emblem, we thereafter, dated every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, of every week of every month for nearly four years.
That's truly being occupied. I was actually and fully engrossed from ages 13 through 17 with Ms Gloria. Those were my conversion years. I was being converted from being a man to becoming a Man.
I had but very little childhood to remember. Oh, yes, I made mud pies and sold them to the other kids in the neighborhood. I cut out movie stars from newspapers and traded baseball cards. I made little wooden crafts that would overturn and drown while running the gutters during a rainstorm. I would play "hit the can" on the corner at nights. I would collect newspapers and milk bottles for return value. I collected clothes hangers to bring back to the Dry Cleaners to get one token in exchange for four good hangers. At that time, ten tokens made a penny. To this very day I will always stoop and pick up any and every penny from any floor and put it in my pocket.
But, on with Ms Gloria. At 13, I was immediately a man. I try to search my memory as to "Why?", and I truthfully don't know why! But, I think I was middle aged by the time I turned fifteen.
I had just enrolled at Tulane University for its Summer Session at age 15. During the following regular session I enrolled in Tulane's Engineering Division. While keeping up with my four night a week dating habit, I continued not to study. It finally caught up to me. I failed every course but Physical Education. In examining my grades, I came to realize that the only reason I passed PhysEd was because I had only missed one day's attendance, which therefore gave me a "B", however, all my other grades were undoubtedly "F's."
No shame, I was just not cut out to be an Engineer and Ms Gloria agreed with me. I then enrolled in Tulane Evening Division and took two courses, English Eehh and Spanish Eehh and continued full time credits with Ms Gloria.
At sixteen, I re-enrolled in Tulane summer school completing the summer successfully. However, the Tulane admittance office did not agree that I should be re-admitted to their regular University session. Thus, I put them in my past and enrolled in a Business Secretarial College just to take Typing One and Typing Two. Here, once again, I encountered my good pal Tony from Military High School. He had also failed his college program along with two other friends who had registered at Soule Business College.
As a result of taking typing, there was no need for homework or study preparation so we discussed high finance and what futures were to be developed. One of the guys stated that the military was going to pay high salaries for any one getting into aviation. A career path was then developed where the four of us would enlist in the Louisiana National Guard. We would then switch to the Air National Guard once we were accepted into a full four year college program. I was the youngest and had to lie about my age on my enlistment forms in order to be accepted by the National Guard. So now, I had military drills and sessions imposed, but I still made sure there would be no conflict with my four-day-date-week with Ms Gloria.
My friend Tony called me a month later to relate that he had found our destiny for Scholarly pursuit. A little ol' college called Southeastern in little ol' Hammond, USA. And, it was just one hour drive from N'Awlins.
Would you believe?, Ms Gloria and I were still able to keep our Four-nite-a-week dating habit active for another year. It was rocky at times though. Having been raised a Catholic, it had become too much of a hardship to go to Confession every Saturday afternoon before a date with Ms Gloria. On attending Mass the next morning, I found myself on my knees but not at the altar. I couldn't receive Communion. This weighed heavily on my mind, where at one point in our relationship, I even proposed giving up our sinning ways. We abstained for two whole weeks. But, then, we decided to forego being full-time, true-blue Catholics.
OH , OH , Ohhhhh . . .
Oh, what it means to fall in Love.
Oh, what it means to fall head over heals in Love.
Oh, what it means to be ever so bountifully in Love.
Oh, what it means to touch, to hold while deeply in Love.
Oh, what it means to kiss each others faces.
Oh, what it means to explore exciting places.
Oh, what it means to recall your love's embraces.
Oh, what it means to know for whom your heart chases.
Oh, what it means when two are forever bended.
Oh, what it means when everything can be up-ended.
Oh, what it means when aptitude can go untended.
Oh, what it means when Life, itself, can be suspended.
The following Summer, I traveled with my most favorite Aunt Vidalia to New York City. There I met Ms Sandee who was visiting her sister who in turn was Aunt Vidalia's favorite friend. I had my mother's car for transport around New York where I stayed for two weeks. During this time, Ms Sandee and I took a fancy for one and other.
She created in me a desire to cool my heretofore heated passions, whereby each date brought us closer to states of mental and emotional infinity, but I warily maintained my refrain. I remained truly gallant and a gentleman.
Ms Sandee lived in Shreveport, Louisiana. A distance from Hammond of six hours and fifteen minutes. Upon returning from New York, I made numerous trips to visit her. We wrote each other during the week professing our love for one and other in such rapacious tones. However, when together on a weekend date, our amorousness was kept cool by abiding to light hugging and light kissing with my strained insistence. I proffered upon Ms Sandee an aura of Spiritual Virginity. I praised her for her purity. I pledged to keep her innocent of fleshly ways while at the same moment my boiling blood was hampering to be my natural uninhibited self. As my passions escalated, her temperature gauges were also intensified. I departed from her each weekend with various degrees of futility. I tempted my mastery by forgoing my basic needs with non-compliance. I told myself that the love I felt for Ms Sandee was greater than surrendering to the demands of carnality.
Her letters to me more than suggested that her greatest desire at sweet 16 was to place herself under my care to do with what I may. She extolled me for my will power and control but tempted me to abandon my guardianship over her chasteness. She exclaimed in her written notes that she wanted to share the heat of my pent up carnal desires. She begged me to set her free to explore the depths of passion as she could assay the thrills of joy in surrendering to me. She promised that at each next meeting that she was prepared to present herself to feed my voracity. I was forced to suppress myself as I felt the heat of her blouse elevated by the fire from her breast scorching my innermost soul. I kept her from harms way. I kept her Unsullied.
I looked forward to her letters of boiling passions which were repressed during our weekends together. In these messages she poured out a frenzy of boundless delight scrawled graphically in perfumed epistles of pledged concupiscence.
Following a torrid weekend, I received the following letter from Ms Sandee which was bordered in burnt ashes and simply read:
I loved you --- but you did not return my love. I gave myself to you in my deepest desire, only to be shunned by you.
You have offended me along with my womanhood by false pretenses of Sensuality. You are nothing but Scum for having me hold back my body's demands.
I found someone to thrust upon me their sexual needs where now, at 16, I feel greatly accomplished as it was meant to be. . . . But not by you!
Forget me, because I have already forgotten you
Ode to Virtue
Love, unrequited with passions unadorned
Never again for me, to be so scornfully scorned
Not one ounce of passion, to evermore be unborn
Not to be plagued by ache, or a fool yet not worn.
Whence does one do right, when right is wrong
Whence does one do wrong, when wrong is right
Where does one find that Life; when left alone
Is never a Life, unless two are in mate and might.
Seeking and Sowing is not all that bright
but its better than nothing for the rest of the night
Not true! one would hear from afar and the rear.
Not true! says the church which I prior held dear.
Hello Dolly, Whatayaknow,
I'm here to take you to da show
After which we sway and then we twitch
Only to find, I can't stand you, you Witch!
But, yet, Without true love there is no meaning
Without meaning there is no love
One day, more time than years careening
Repent! I yield! To the Lord high above.
Life at Southeastern Louisiana College was easy. It was a small college with less than 2000 students. Half lived on campus and the remainder commuted from neighboring towns. The pace was not at all hectic and most leisurely. It mellowed the mind to go lazy. It ingrained a profound state of tranquility. This resulted in a less studious environment which did not enhance or strengthen the educational processes for which I was there. Being free from commitments to any one girl let me make a Honey Bee flight from one flower to another dispensing and picking up the fragrance and pollen of each new blossom.
I decided to buckle down for my last two years of college. One of my new classes was Biology which was a required course. I sat next to a real beauty. She was well structured and needed no repair work to her jutting personality. On my left however, was the "One who got hit by the Ugly Stick." But she was brainy. Beauty to my right, and brains on my left.
When it was exam-time, I found that Beauty was copying off of my paper while the Professor was deeply preoccupied by her legs by letting his high beams unleashed. He was oblivious to all the cheating. So at each Exam, I would copy the answers from Ms Brain while Ms Beauty would copy off me and Professor Google Eyes was having an eye hemorrhage while stoking the pits of his vision.
I received my first "A" ever in a College course. But for the second half, I didn't have the same seating arrangement so I challenged myself to Ace myself on my own. Lo and behold, I did it. I received an "A" on my own recognizance for the first time in my life. I finally realized that I could, indeed, learn by studying. I was never so convinced of this before, but I proved it to myself and never ever forgot it. My grades in general from then on became greatly improved.
The Korean Conflict was looming ever more closely. The draft began dipping into the College student population. I was still participating as a WeekEnd Warrior in the National Guard. There was concern that the group might become activated into the Army.
My mother convinced me to take a trip to Central America. It was planned that I would stay long enough to terminate my agreement with the Guard and then return to finish my courses within a year.
This was simply arranged by boarding a Freighter which took two weeks to drift to Havana, Cuba and then to La Ceiba, Honduras. Once there, I took a flight to Tegucigalpa, Honduras and then on to San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. I became an International Honey Bee spreading pollen to new blossoms. At age eighteen, I was in a statistical haven for all but the lonely. Costa Ricans were endowed with 10 females for each male. In the home where I stayed there were seven women and Ms Letitia.
She had short brown hair cropped at the shoulders. She had a slender, petite body. Her eyes shined brightly spreading smiles that started deep from the core of her soul. As she strolled around the room, the very air was charmed, causing breezes to stir and shimmer in cadence with her aura. The sound of her voice instantly brought chords of vibrant bells to ring in exaltation.
She ignored my presence when first introduced, only to find a note on my pillow requesting my attendance the next evening at a neighboring Cafe. I was in quiet anticipation during the following day while waiting for the encountering hour. On three occasions during the first day, not once did she even acknowledge my existence. It made me wonder if maybe she wasn't the one who was my clandestine señorita.
I arrived at the appointed hour. The Café was dimly lit, so my eyes probed the cubicles seeking out the graciousness of the Lady Letitia. There, yes, there she was. The very same who ignored me, now spreading her smile and motioning me to sit next to her. She explained that her mother had punished her from meeting or dating anyone even with a Chaperon. She rubbed my hand with her sweating palms exclaiming about the warmth. She placed my hand to her heart as I could feel the palpitations of the beat imbedded deep within the mound of her chest. She then took my finger tips to her lips protruding the tip of her tongue to play on my extended middle finger. And then, she bit down with devilment and laughed as she saw me catch my breath from the pain she created. Then she jumped up announcing that she had to return home immediately.
Each time during the next month, as I would try to talk with her, she remained cold and enigmatic. No one would have known that on my second night in Costa Rica I was ecstatically being electrified by this wondrous creature. What was she? My mind searched for an answer. All the other women in the home where I stayed kept up conversations with me in Spanish and halted English. But, no Letitia to be found underfoot.
She kept to her room except for dining. Just before Christmas I found another note on my pillow. Ms Letitia said she missed me and was looking forward to meeting with me again. But to see her during the day there was still no clue as to when I might actually have another encounter. She built up my anticipation only to let my pent up passions dwindle in frustrated desperation.
The Christmas holiday season lasts for a full month in Costa Rica and I was soon to leave for New Orleans and return to College. I had shopped for some gifts to bring with me on my return home. Completing my shopping, I returned to my room. Then, I spied a note. I did a rapid read and showered for a change of clothes. I was to meet Letitia at a private club where an orchestra was playing the most current Mambo rhythms. There she was hailing me from the far end of the Cantina. My heart rushed and my mind raised, both creating tantamount havoc within my trepidation upon seeing the vibrant spirit of this very stimulating girl. I didn't know what to make of it. We drank several Cuba Libras as we danced to the syncopation of the band's most extraordinary performance. She was a power dancer, she was superb, everyone applauded our Mambo techniques. We left, this time unhurried. I held her close as we strolled along the cobbled path to her home. She pulled me into an enclosed doorway and raised her lips to mine nibbling on my upper lip. I lowered my lips to kiss her neck when all of a sudden I felt something hard jammed into my side. I pulled back and she patted a menacing .45 revolver. She exclaimed, "this is my Chaperon!", "Do nothing unless I tell you."
Nothing less, my beautiful Señorita
With eyes, and a voice of splendor
I toast to a sparkling Letitia
Remembering what was not in surrender
Both, of mice and of men
To the World, she snares with a yen
Shedding light in her spirited dance
In her smile, and her pose, and her stance
As passing thoughts of Letitia
Cause reasons for no bland nostalgia
Dispensing Life from her Menu
Creating joy to her milieu.
It was mid-term. I noticed a willowy, striking and fashionable girl along side me at the Admissions Desk waiting to enroll at good ol' Southeastern. We struck up a conversation that went on and on for many nights thereafter. As circumstance will have it, she was a room-mate with another girl who was already part of the tribe of friends that I re-inherited upon my return. So we were cast into the same social circle day after day.
At that time, if you dated someone on campus it was not considered as serious as if you started dating that same person when you went home. Ms Elynor was from New Orleans and she had her own automobile. On one weekend when I did not have access to my car, she invited me to ride home with her. I should have declined, because I got hooked. The very first night we went out, I was thunderstruck by her stature, by her walk, even by the cloth of her clothes. She was of a different type of beauty. She was a classic.
As we increased our outings, she began to match my ardor for passion, but she still held me in tow. This was quite new, for me to be held to such uncompromising abstinence. However, I became deeply challenged by the rigidity of the restrictions put upon me.
As I maneuvered my hands into confronting positions she was quick to parry without offending my maleness. She would chuckle and start talking as soon as an embrace became longer than 10 seconds. Oh, but she could kiss. And the fragrance of her breath was most enticing. I found myself becoming more and more attracted to her ways.
One weekend while double dating with her girlfriend she allowed herself to indulge in a few drinks more than usual. We parked in a Lovers Lane.
I took my liberties and found no resistance on her part. In fact, I was stunned by her complete lack of inhibitions. For that matter she startled me with a spark of open aggressiveness which definitely astonished me. Since she had more to drink than usual, I suggested a walk around the waters edge to cool her exuberance. Actually, I wanted her onslaught while being sober. Never, ever, in my Don Juanistic encounters did I ever force or take unfair advantage of a situation. I always succeeded with "foreplay", never with "foulplay". She thanked me for being gallant.
But, I told her, "in the future, No holds barred, for I was stepping up my demands". My cravings would no longer continue to be deprived.
Following this occasion there were many episodes to follow where she rejected my advances. I was left in steamy episodes of being so close to target, but a mile in missing the mark. She slowly engaged in ardent embraces which were consoling, but not in the least fulfilling.
Ms Elynor was the only daughter of a deceased Baptist Minister. I did not rally round her faith, but did give her due honor in adhering to her virtuosity. One night she revealed to me that she had come to Southeastern in order to get away from a former boyfriend. She stated that he had asked her to marry him on several occasions but that she was not ready. She exclaimed that she was not fully convinced of her love feelings. She further revealed that on an occasion of a College cocktail party she had become intoxicated. This honest revelation caused my sense of chivalry to plummet, since I conjured in my mind that I was now escorting "tarnished goods".
I sulked that night and summoned visions of her sullied intimate embraces. This caused me to resolve in taking that which was rightfully mine. I decided that this Jezebel with whom I was tarrying for the last several months, was mine for the taking.
"Vini!, Vidi!, Vici!" was the only Latin phrase I remembered from my Latin class in High School. These words were impressed more upon me than sharing a genuine love feeling on the evening that I plundered the Flesh.
We were only going together about three months when I was being pressed by her room-mate to make some definitive commitment to marriage. Otherwise, I was told that Ms Elynor was obliging herself to return to her former beau in resolving their relationship.
I took inventory of my situation. I was not yet 19 years old! I had almost one year of college left before graduating. I had no income. I was facing the Korean Conflict draft procedures. I didn't know if I were truly in Love. I didn't know what to do and no one to talk with.
Her girlfriend increased the pressure on me, while Elynor continued in sweet repose. Nevertheless, I was forced to realize a decision had to be made within the month, otherwise I would lose my new found "love" forever.
I chose elopement. We decided not to tell either of our Mothers.
Taking up my life's savings of Thirty-Five Dollars, I found myself fortuitous in being able to purchase a used wedding band from a little Jewelry shop on Rampart Street. We made our vows before a Justice of the Peace and loped off into the Wilderness of the World.
At that time, I had started weekend management of a Nite Club and Lounge that my mother owned. This provided me with some sustenance income. I renovated an area to the rear of the Club to provide a private Honeymoon habitat for my new bride.
Ms Elynor returned to live with her mother at the end of the School term. One night her mother caught us in a much too compromising circumstance which resulted in revealing to her our marriage. This, then, prompted me to tell my mother also. Both mothers took the predicament at its face value, accepted some shared guilt for themselves, and decided to help us make a go of it.
Thereafter, Ms Elynor and I took up Homesteading in a Bedroom in her Mother's house. I continued on to complete my final classes at Southeastern. In the meantime, Ms Elynor became employed as a legal secretary while I remained as part time manager of the Lounge during my weekends in New Orleans.
The trip from Hammond was just an hour, so we made the best of the situation and played "House" in our one bedroom enclosure at her mother's home. We easily fell into embraces of tenderness and caring.
Upon graduation from Southeastern that following January, I initiated my required commitment to active service with the U.S. Army. I placed myself in the hands of destiny. That was probably the frame of mind for everyone else facing the Apocalypse of War. I was overcome by a numbness, a waiting, a question. Was it all for nought?
By mid February, I was stationed at Fort Reily, Kansas in performance of four months of Basic Training. Since I was to attend Officers Candidate School for the next eight months, we were permitted to bring our wives to join us in off-camp family units. By this time, Elynor and I were married almost one year. I will always remember that when she descended the Greyhound Bus, the image I retained in my heart and in my mind was not at all the person before me. I realized for the first time that I really did not know her.
We took up family living at Camp while I reconciled myself to the fact that I should be happily married. We made certain not to germinate in pregnancy as both of us realized that fate had not, as yet, unfolded itself.
My military excursion to the Orient with the rank and file was dutiful and uneventful with the exception of one night of matrimonial betrayal during a short trip to Japan. Thereafter, for thirteen years we remained together in marital harmony while raising our daughters. In spite of many accusations and charges due to Elynor's excessive jealousy and possessiveness. I remained always faithful, until the inevitable end.
My only deep abiding guilt rests in my spiritual immaturity. In our early years, I could not accept her declaring her love for God to be greater than that which she felt for me. I protested with anger and undue consternation upon her proclaiming pledge of Love for God above all else.
Thereafter, each time she made the comment, I would attempt to force her to amend the statement to profess her love for me first above all else. One night, she yielded to my ever pressing demands and thereafter, Ms Elynor stated that it was me she loved before anyone or any God. What did I Win? Indeed, what did I win by invading a persons most private and intimate spiritual desire for God?
We created four wonderful, sweet, charming, gracious daughters. But, Ms Elynor is fully responsible for their upbringing. She devoted all of her strengths and time to the four girls. She and her mother groomed them, cultured them, and succored them through all of their early years into young ladies, marriages, and now doting on the grandchildren.
Ms Elynor was blessed with goodness and the heart to sacrifice and to give of herself. Her reward is in the love which pours forth from each of the four girls who understand in their adult lives the sacrifices made in their behalf. Now it is their turn, for they too are responding in kind to their own children.
I m p e t u o s i t y
Not for Now, but forever,
Not for Now, but for always;
In confronting each endeavor,
Ployed and paired in different ways.
Life and Love, yes, not synonymous
Life and Love, yet, prone to amorous;
None the less, fate having been impetuous
For neither each two hearts, analogous.
When souls twain, multiply their gain
By influx of tiny feet asunder;
Two hearts entwined commit with no refrain
Frail-built upon lust; lost time; no wonder.
One with God, the other with deep Question,
Unfaithful faithfulness with no contention.
Gone with the Wind, and Gone were the days;
Gone was the Love, that once was ablaze.
Finally, one comes to understand the meaning of Love.
Spelled L O V E. Life or fate may afford to give one the ultimate in love affairs where the chemistry is ecstatic and the promise is truly everlasting. Blessed by maturities from both of us in our meeting, we consummated our lust and slowly the smoldering embers were stoked from which the heated flames created a love that was strengthened by time and togetherness. I could not apply myself without her daily presence. Because of the era, our attitudes, and her daughters, we satisfied our lusting ways by obscuring our desires in creative work activity.
Ms. Jenny and I became partners in a series of business ventures which satisfied our mutually deep abiding need to be industrious. We worked together and developed an ever deepening friendship. We enjoyed each moment together and each instant was showered with tender and sensual bliss. We yearned for always new and continued experiences to share. Never ending our search, but to find that we were so mutually satisfying to each other in every pleasure and in every experience that was anticipated.
If a woman ever inspired me, it was Ms Jenny. She doted on me and inflated my self-esteem. No woman before or since has ever spurred my ego to cause me to feel that I could climb any mountain. Her Italian father and Polish mother instilled in her strong beliefs in the old traditions. She truly felt that the man was Lord and Master, to be catered to and followed by his devoted mate. She was a strong woman, infused with a towering inner strength that motivated me to succeed with top performance.
At the beginning, money wasn't important because we didn't have any. She had left her husband taking nothing but two children and I had left my wife taking nothing of the past. I had even quit my teaching position and launched into a business venture altogether new to me. Having had no prior experience, nor any training for the new quest was of no great consequence.
Ms Jenny and I, high on hopes, high on spirits, high on joy, and high on Life endeavored upon a new course that neither of us was familiar with. Each having an ardent determination and a will to surmount, we were instilled by a determination to make our new found love last on and on.
We inaugurated several computer enterprises. Each new business succeeded the previous with more work and more successes, and then again, more work. We worked together nights and weekends in addition to the normal work week. We developed staff personnel and trained many other people into the Computer field.
We genuinely shared a Lust for Life, a Lust for Work and a Lust for Lust. In that order, no less. However, with great respect for her children, there was no thought of living together without marriage. Yet, marriage was out of the question for the sake of her children. As time went on it was better for the business to be partners rather than lovers, so our love life was one based on strong friendship with intense clandestine moments slipped in. Family considerations came first.
Blissful challenging work; blissful wondrous play; and blissful invigorating companionship was something for us to look forward to each morning. As we arose from beds in our own separate apartments we would call each other to see who was picking up the other to have coffee, toast and newspapers for breakfast.
Ms Jenny agreed to being my secretary and assistant. But, as the businesses grew, she became the Administrator and I became the Promoter Manager. We made a fine team each step of the way because we complimented each others needs and wants. There was always an easy solution to any problem which might arise. In fact, problems were enjoyed as something to conquer.
Eventually we lived together as the children had arrived at acceptable ages. Then, we became a family and Ms Jenny and I married.
There were many trips, many parties, many happy moments, many surprises, many successes, and always much, much work to do.
Work had its compensation in bringing in money to buy all that was wanted. We bought a Spanish style Southern three story mansion on the Lake front and succeeded in many other endeavors and experiences.
Eventually work and play became our destruction. Ms Jenny kept on working with an unrelenting drive to accomplish more. She continued putting in more and more late evening hours. Our togetherness became less and less as time went on. Our joys became more and more strained. My promotional work always resulted in business and social drinks in prominent Restaurant Lounges. While waiting for Ms Jenny to join me, I wound up having more and more to drink as part of the daily routine.
There was never any question of a lack of fidelity between us. Our faithfulness was untarnished until the very end. Boredom and idleness resulted in our destruction after 20 years. During the final year, while Ms Jenny kept herself preoccupied with late evening work, I eventually found philandering with young maidens to be my new compensating preoccupation.
Then winter set in. The leaves had fallen one by one. We tried to re-capture what we had, but to no avail. The wine had soured and the roses no longer bloomed.
Endearing Days of Wine and Roses
A Love, much ripe with Life discloses,
Joys and dreams mustering reposes
Rapture serene, capturing cameo poses.
Aflame with love, on and on everlasting
Close companions, forever in life's casting
To work, to play, to love while lusting
To wake, to touch, to hold entrusting.
All which was held in esteem now ruined
By toiling, embroiling; our love bankrupted,
All, possessed so dear now ruined
By soiling, foiling; our lives corrupted.
Thoughts of places yet with fragrance,
Bearing memories, now of woes,
While old friends convey remembrance
Of Wine, . . . and petals from a Rose
Ms Kathleen became entrenched in my heart in a way that never before had occurred. She was a most exciting woman with many ingredients mixed in with her composure. She was invigorating in being very much alive. Her testimony was truly with God and to her son. If her mother were alive, then the next priority of her structured love and devotion would be for her mother. Then, lastly, for her mate. In that order. But, because she had so much love to give, everyone had their share.
Ms Kathleen basked in her destiny and was oriented by her spirituality. She was ever prepared for death, for heaven was her destination. She often stated, "You die everyday; therefore, each day you are ever closer to God!"
Ms Kathleen was physically a beautiful woman. She had an outstanding graciousness in her manner, her walk, and her stance. She exuded energy. Not only men, but also women, followed her as long as they could keep her in their vision range.
She was dynamically attractive and much aware of this fact, however, unwavered by it. Actually, Ms Kathleen sometimes needed reassuring, but only from her close knit circle of family and friends. Even though she was gregarious in her charm and wit, she didn't easily place favor on anyone that she would meet. She held everyone distant except those of her immediate private circle. Very few were asked to do the Queen's bidding and Ms Kathleen was a person of majestic persuasion.
She made demands and expected everyone to respond in acknowledgment and obedience. By nature, she was insistent and commanding and therefore could offend her retinue. She was quick to anger and quick to defend herself if stepped on by impropriety.
Ms Kathleen was lovable, youthful, and flamboyant. She would strive for seclusion but could not withhold her need to step out in expensive and fashionable attire. She didn't dally at preparing cosmetics or styling her hair. She could ready herself in short order. In everything she fancied, she was quick and tenacious.
But she was also disorganized and therefore, slow about those tasks she disliked. If she truly abhorred something, it was greatly delayed or never accomplished.
Ms Kathleen praised God daily. She enjoyed her charismatic Catholic upbringing marked by the Pentecostal gospel as rendered by strong Christian preachers and Evangelists. This unfolding took place in front of my eyes. We went to mass each Sunday attending various churches in search of a Priest who would most satisfy our mutual quest. It wasn't long before I realized that Ms Kathleen had a preference for Priests who were charismatic in their presentation.
At the time I first met Ms Kathleen she had produced a video tape for Women who are in need of exercising special pelvic muscles. I had participated in helping her marketing support and in ghost writing a handbook which accompanies her video.
Ms Kathleen was a gift from Apollo, Zeus and Bacchus. She had great sexual demands and was both the recipient and giver of masterful physical pleasures. She had read every chapter from every sex manual — and she artfully practiced each paragraph and sentence to complete fruition.
Ms Kathleen was an adventure. The ship we sailed had no instruments or gauges. I never knew when a storm was brewing or what the smog might hide in the shadows.
Solomon's Song of Songs
(as modified from the New International Version)
You are beautiful, my darling, Lovely as the graceful swan,
Majestic as the stars in the far away heavens.
Beautiful as the most precious diamond,
Milk and honey are under your tongue.
How beautiful your sandaled feet, my Princess!
Your graceful legs, the work of a craftsman's hands,
Like a lily among thorns, is my darling among maidens;
Your neck, like an ivory chalice; strong, smooth to touch,
Your eyes are the radiance of stars shining long from afar.
Your nose is like a crystalline mosque of Damascus dawn,
Your head crowns your beauty like Carmel at sunset,
Your hair is like royal tapestry; held captive by its tresses.
Your navel is a rounded goblet, never lacking blended wine,
Your waist is a mound of goose down encircled by lilies,
Your stature is like that of the sacred palm,
Your breasts like the clusters from its ripened fruit.
I say, "I will climb the palm tree; to take which is mine.
Your breasts like the firmness of grapes plucked off a vine,
The fragrance of your breath like nectar from a peach,
And your mouth like the scent of its wine.
Your breasts are like twins from the statues of Goddesses.
Your temples behind your veil the scent of pomegranate.
Your cheeks are beautiful with suspending earrings,
Your neck pulses with strings of brilliant jewels.
How beautiful you are, my darling! Beautiful, Indeed!
Your eyes behind your veil are like pampered doves.
Your hair like a flock of swans descending the mountains.
Your teeth like pearls of rain drops cascading from heaven,
Each has its twin; not one of them is alone.
Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon;
Your mouth so lovely to caress,
Your neck is like the tower of David, built with elegance,
On it hang a thousand shields; Shields of warriors gone.
Your breasts are like fawns,
Like twin fawns that browse among the lilies.
All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you.
You have stolen my heart, my bride; yea, stolen my heart.
Who is this that appears at the dawn?
Fair as the moon, bright as the sun,
Majestic as the stars in dancing procession?
But my dove, my perfect one, yea, most unique.
The daughter of her mother's love,
The favorite of the one who bore her.
The maidens who see her call her blessed;
The queens and concubines praise her.
The mandrakes send out their fragrance,
At her door is every delicacy, both new and old,
That, which I have stored up for you, my love.
Before realizing, my desire set me among the Royal Guard.
How beautiful you are, my darling! Beautiful, Indeed!
With one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your smile.
How delightful is your carriage, my love, my bride!
How much more pleasing is your love than wine,
The fragrance of your perfume much smoother than spice!
Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride;
The fragrance of your garments is like that of cedars.
You are a garden locked up, my love, my bride;
You are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.
Awake, north wind, and come, south wind!
Blow on our garden, that its fragrance may spread,
Much like a garden fountain, a well of flowing water,
My lover comes from our garden, I taste her moist fruits.
Place me like a seal over your heart, a seal on your arm;
For love is as strong as death,
Like a mighty flame, unyielding as the grave,
It burns like the very flame of the Lord.
May your wine come straight to me, my lover,
Flowing gently from lips cupped gently;
I belong to my lover, and her desire is for me.
Come, my darling lover, let us go down to the countryside.
Waters cannot quench my love; Rivers cannot wash it away!
Let us go early to the vineyards to see the vines bud,
Let us spend the night there, I will give you my love.
How beautiful you are! How pleasing your blessed delights!
Yea, how beautiful you are, my darling! Beautiful, Indeed!
This was the first woman in my life. We shared a distant closeness and a close distance for most of my life. She gave birth to me at the age of 20. She remarks that the only reason my dad married her was because he had never bedded a Virgin. I didn't get to know my dad very well even though he died when I was about 30. My mother had divorced him when I was three years old with good cause. In my early years, my mother was burdened with four successive pregnancies with her second husband. This literally kept her flat on her back for six years while trying to recover from a protracted maternity leave. Ms Lili was a very beautiful woman when she prepared herself. Unfortunately, she didn't have a happy life. She sometimes gathered moments of pleasure as granted through the lives of others close to her. Her youngest sister was also my favorite aunt. Ms Lili, would spend hours buying shoes and clothes for Vidalia. Vi was always ecstatic with excitement. My mother would become thrilled by the fusion of affection and attention which Vi would spontaneously broadcast to everyone near and far. Vi thoroughly enjoyed basking in the shower of gifts and the rainbow of adornments.
Early on, my sister, Evy and I took care of the products of my mother's pregnancies. We changed diapers for three brothers and one sister. Prepared their bottles. Fed them. Took care of the up-keep of the house. Washed all the clothes. Hung the clothes out to dry. Took the clothes off the line. Folded the clothes and put them away. Believe me, there was a large mountain of clothes to attend to on a daily basis.
I even had to wash, starch, and stretch linen curtains on curtain stretchers. Cleaning wood work, mopping floors, waxing wooden floors on my knees, and cleaning scuff marks off tile floors was part of a continuing list of chores. These were in addition to cutting the grass, tending the flower gardens, and grazing and feeding the horse on a daily basis.
Needless to say, these tasks were rewarding in the sense that they caused disciplines of cleanliness and an attitude toward work to be properly incurred. My mother taught us cleanliness at the expense of doing it ourselves. I have ever since, prided myself in being able to handle any project. This has allowed me to spoil my favorite people with undaunted domestic services.
I have always prided myself as being the perfect home companion. I can cook, clean and serve for that woman that is deserving.
Upon departing from my first wife, I asked my mother, Ms Lili to take care of any and all crisis problems that could arise with the family I was leaving behind. She has and she did to her last day.
Upon leaving my first wife, I talked with my eldest daughter who was aged 10 at the time. I charged her with the responsibility of helping her younger sisters. She has and she did to this day.
Little did I realize that this preparedness of departure would leave a string of broken hearts and tortured souls. Just my taking care of financial matters, would never be enough to sooth the kindred spirits of the family left behind. But, I was no longer in love and I really felt that I was doing the right thing for all concerned.
Only on one occasion, Ms Lili remonstrated me for being with someone of whom was not to her liking. We had "words" that evening which led to an extended "silence" for nearly nine years. Yes, can you imagine that Mother's Days, and Birthdays passed during nine years of unrelenting silence which was contributed to by both of us? Each not forgiving or forgetting or relenting?
Well, I am an example of one who knows that it does happen, but, yet, I do not understand exactly why, or for that matter, how a situation as such could continue to persist for such a great extended period of time. I acknowledge this behavior but I have no rationale as to how or why this fact exists as part of on-going experiences between loved ones.
My sister, younger than me by one year, is a testament to silence. As children, we had our little differences which seemed to originate as early as seven and eight years of age. We evolved into an aggravation toward each other that developed further into a "code of silence". We not only stopped talking with one another but we avoided each others presence. This lasted for almost 50 years. I finally became ashamed of myself for not breaking the silence. One day I decided to embrace her and have done so ever since. I never could understand why Ms Lili allowed this to happen and further, why she didn't intercede in such a disruptive family matter.
A brother, with whom I was very close, worked with me for 15 years. Following an altercation, we did not talk to one and other for seven years. What is this? We now embrace each other with fervor.
Of six daughters, only two speak comfortably with me, the others harbor grudges for various reasons. Although there is no condemnation on my part towards any of them, it does seem appalling. I love them all, regardless. I ask myself if I have extended my hand in forgiveness. The answer is, Yes. Did I extend my hand in pursuit with diligence? Yes, but, perhaps not enough.
I remember my Dad being alone most of his adult life. I recall experiencing a little guilt for not reaching out to invade his loneliness more often. I remember that I did not take the time. He died alone at 88.
Ms Lili is composed of strong determinations and loving admiration for her breed. She has five sons and two daughters. She praises each one for their strengths and coddles the weak ones for their weaknesses. She is straight forward with her analysis of each of us.
Because I herald the honor of being "First born" not only of my mother, but of the grandparents' clan. Spanish Heritage caused me to benefit by some sort of special designation. This conjured up in the minds of all my aunts and uncles and all my cousins that something had set me apart. I know it is there, but it is something I can't wear, smell or touch. It is a psycho social symbol that is supposedly a badge of honor that may be more brass than gold. One aspect is that all my brothers, sisters and cousins have their children honor me as the oldest. Much like a don in Italian heritage, or a patron in Spanish customs.
Ms Lili's sons, all five of us, some years past, celebrated her Sixtieth Birthday which began as a supper, then proceeded into many hours of pleasant revelry in the French Quarter. Surely, Bourbon Street has never been the same ever since. We toasted Ms Lili's birthday all through the night and on and on to a Breakfast at Brennan's for a final cup of champaign. More recently, Ms Lili and five sons celebrated her belated Eightieth birthday in Costa Rica from where our roots originate. Of course she was thrilled. This trip allowed all of us, for the first time ever, to attend church services together.
Since Ms Lili's two daughters did not make the trip, we pledged to attend another church service with all her siblings in a church nest where Ms Lili could properly be the spiritual mother. Our pilgrimage brought enough of us together so that we took the first two pews in a little Mississippi Christian church.
It became clear that Christ Jesus had gathered in his flock of lame and lost lambs. We all enjoyed the family unity as well as the spiritual unity which ultimately manifested within our souls to bind us in a manner to which heretofore we had no previous experience.
To live a Life and live it blessed,
Then one must learn to be at rest,
When all is not what once it were,
Then now, praise God for all we are.
Themselves, from mothers to sons reveal,
And sisters and brothers share their appeal,
To one and other their renewed life's yen,
Ask naught from each other, only but when.
A mother's arms need not withhold
The tempers and sorrows that go untold
But all is answered in times of grief
Because mother will join God with final relief.
Oops, . . . I didn't intend to use this type of metaphor, but now that it's out, yeah, there have been other women in my life. Many were meaningless in terms of influence, others did at times strike a chord for good and sometimes for worse. Like the song, "Seeking Love in All the Wrong Places", oft' results in many strange faces. Likewise seeking love in an unplanned manner, or with unresolved attitudes, can be quite catastrophic.
Suppose an architect wanted to build the most beautiful building in the World, or an engineer wanted to build a straight canal through a land covered with hard rock mountains, ravines, and soft clay, or a physician makes the last attempt to save his heart diseased patient. Without the drafting tools, the surveyors tripod, the scalpel, none of the above could be accomplished. Well, here I am, Mr. Macho Romeo, I have lived like I have had all the tools. And, I would seek Amor, Amor, y mas Amor, but I didn't know how to say "Por favor". This means please.
Instead, I would strike out into the Wilderness of the Amazons to hunt for prey, but only to find that the prey is also hunting for the same thing. Then each steps out to eat the heart from the other. It's a good game, it's fun, it's great, it's terrible. Once you select your mate it's like a "shooting star". The brilliance of it's passing through the heavens is blinding, dazzling, and of great wondrous beauty. But then not only the star, but its tail burns out only to leave one with another tale to remember or discard. Sometimes it was like reaching out to a bunch of grapes hanging from a vine. I would eye-ball which of the plump, shiny, soft grapes to pluck between my wet puckered lips. Picking and selecting like a connoisseur until picking a sour one with more than a sour note to leave behind.
It was like threading pearls one after another on a string, never thinking to tie the ends together and quit. I am reminded of being in Kindergarten. The nice little teacher told me to string colored wooden cubes and balls on a very long shoe string. She would watch to see what kind of pattern would be created in determining my creativity and temperament. Regardless of what selections made, I would always get a pat on the back. Because of my great affinity for dancing, I would go the "Singles" lounges. I would dance the night away and leave by myself in great contentment.
But, then a "Shooting Star" would catch my eye. Sometimes it seemed like "Haley's Comet", but even the comets burned out as they made their glorious path across the diamond studded sky.
After all of the "pomp and glory" of romance, negative things would creep in. I didn't want to be "controlled". I didn't want to be "changed". I never knew what "Being Generous" was until I found out that, "No Pay, No Play" was the tune for the loon. I could be generous up to a point, but after all, they had me, Mister Macho Man. What more do they want? What more could they have?
In reviewing those periods of my life when I would be floundering for a mate, I would wonder why humankind in today's age of fast transportation, quick communication, and large data-bases had not developed a better mate-screening process. There are pen-pal clubs, singles' ads in newspapers, photo clippings of the girls from the orient and far-away-places, computer dating. You can get your Psychic aura polished, get Tarot readings, palm readings and even go to support groups for the lonely, stressed, distressed, abused, drugged, alcoholics, homeless, battered and splattered. You can call upon your Angels and let them cut a path through the myriads of lascivious, hungry, paramours waiting for their Don Juan to bring them home to chains and bondage.
Cynical, no, never. It's just the plain truth. Why not try Water Witching? Divining as it is called. Very scientific, my friend. After all, when you find that your goose is cooked and it wasn't what you wanted, then you are told "It was just-dessert", "It was deserved", "It was Karma. By golly, sometime you have to come to terms and tell yourself that you have paid your debt. Or, better yet, that at some point in life it is necessary to take stock and look for a change in course or a change in pattern or a change in Life. Not a change for change sake, but a change for the better.
If the ship we sail has no instruments or gauges, we will never know when a storm is brewing or what the fog may hide in our pathway. We can only prepare for the worst and the possibility of a tumultuous journey. We need a helmsman, a truly spiritual guide who can part the waters and generate waves of genuine love. We need spiritual inspiration to keep us bound in the true values of the Family structure. A course of Righteousness must be established with charts of the waters being bound by the love of God and the love of family and the love of spouse. But most of all, it starts with me.
WALKING WITH JESUS
As expressed previously, I was not leading a life seriously bent in a state of grace. However, I was not living a notably faulty life. Naturally, this conformed with my catholic upbringing which upon death would let me gain a seat in upper purgatory for my best efforts. And, of course, with good behavior, I would get time off and proceed to heaven to return to my loved ones.
My mother seldom attended church, but she did urge my sister, Evy, and me to become baptized. The conferring priest at Sacred Heart Church was Father Hope. I was 9 years old. I started attending catechism classes at Sacred Heart and later continued at St. Dominic's Catholic Church in Lakeview.
Later that year I became confirmed. I can remember being dressed in a white suit with short pants. I was last in line because all the others to receive confirmation were six and seven years old. It was the first time in my life that I was in a group in which I was the oldest. I became a Catholic and did what all other young Catholics do. I went to church every Sunday under penalty of mortal sin. I went to confession once a month and took Holy Communion the following day. On several Holy Thursdays I made the Holy pilgrimage to Nine churches by foot with my Aunt Vi and my sister. I fulfilled church services more as an obligation than a preference. But, I never really felt religious. I knew I was a Christian, because I was taught Jesus, Joseph and Mary. I was somewhat aware of the Holy Ghost and the Holy Trinity. I obeyed Catholic teachings by not reading the Bible. I revered the nuns and the priests. I was indoctrinated with catechismic memorization, but not once did I know that I was supposed to have spiritual emotions. In later teens, I usually stood in the rear of the church to refrain from boredom and to keep from going to sleep.
When I joined the military I was asked what religion I favored. For some reason I said, "none!" My dog tags were stamped a "Y" rather than "C", "P" or "H". Thereafter, during active duty, when asked what religious preference I was, I remarked "Yogi!" I believed in God and Jesus Christ.
But, my prayers were mimicked regardless of which services I attended, Catholic or Protestant.
Now, when I recall the time I demanded my first wife to proclaim her love of me to be greater than that of her love for God, I realize now, how very demeaning I was.
I did not at all understand what I was demanding of her. Little did I know what sin I was asking her to perform. Little did I know that I was the Master of Sinners in making such an immature, selfish, ego centered request. Little did I know how shallow was my own self esteem.
I stopped practicing Catholicism at age 16. No one counseled me as to whether this was a good or bad decision. I concluded that my social life was in conflict with the church and that was it. When I married Ms Elynor, we attended Baptist services for the sake of the children. That was perfectly acceptable to me. During the years with Ms Jenny we would drop in at a Cathedral to make our blessings from time to time. In this way we did not set a good example for the two daughters.
Following my second divorce, I attended mass sporadically. I would rise, sit and kneel when others lead the way. I was inclined to believe that I would feel better in finding a Church that would properly feed my inner senses and the outer senses of my eyes and ears.
Today, I tend to believe that I was searching for a path, but was blinded by my steps. I was yet in the World of wine and dine, dance and prance. I preferred to lead the "Life of the Corinthian."
As I would engage a new female, within short time, my natural feelings was to invite her to church. When one certain lady entered my life, our initial leaning was to find a Catholic church which would serve our mutual quest. But it wasn't long before I came to realize that she was already seriously with God. She prayed to Jesus with a spiritual intensity which eventually led us both to Pentecostal services. At first, in attending various church services; I maintained a critical eye and also an analytical one. I was clumsy in my pursuit for that which would inspire me. I was a little edgy and sometimes even a little aggravated by this lady's pronouncements of praise to God and Hallelujah to Jesus. After a period of adjustment, I came to discover that she had adapted to the Charismatic arm of the Catholic Church early in her life, much as her mother before her. With more confrontation, I soon realized that the differences between Charismatic Catholics and Pentecostal Christians are not easily perceived.
We explored a small, comfortable country Pentecostal church on the Gulf Coast. My initial participation placed me in mixed states of wonder and puzzlement. I asked many questions of her and also from a Pastor of a small church that my brother, Ed and his family participated in.
Ever so slowly, my curiosity was peaking. We joined in weekly Sunday services. I began to enjoy the singing and then I started to sway. And, then, I started raising my hand in response to the Pastor's call for those in need of prayer. And, then, I commenced going to the front to kneel in prayer. And, then, I started on my own, going forward to the altar. . . . An excitement was starting to build within me.
I was realizing that most of my years had been in acknowledgment of God, both in His name and in that of His Son, Jesus. But now I am thoroughly aware that I had been talking to God, but not walking with God. Not until I have come to be blessed with grace and the persuasion of the Holy Spirit have I held a true meaning and perception for this Life.
I HAVE BEEN TALKING TO GOD; BUT,
I HAVE NOT BEEN WALKING WITH GOD!
Now in my quest to do the bidding of God, I thank him for each day. I wish now that I had acknowledged Jesus Christ as I do now, ever earlier. I now read the Bible with fervor. I want to make up for lost time. I repent for all my sins. I repent for all incidents where I may have hurt someone intentionally or unintentionally. I am now in a new life which has a bright light to follow. It casts no shadow. For shadows are behind us and as long as we keep our eyes on the Light of God, the path has true meaning, the path has direction, the path is the Way of God, in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ and inspired by the Spirit of the Holy Ghost.
Thy will be done!
For Thine is the Kingdom,
and the Power,
and the Glory.
And let the Beauty of the Lord our God be upon us:
And establish thou the work of our hands upon us;
Yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.