When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Friday, February 29, 2008

Some Exemplary Women

Continuing a "give flowers to the living instead of at their funeral" theme that I've adopted, I'd like to point your attention to a trio of women that moved me this week.

First, Vi. She'd accomplished this before I'd ever 'met' her, and there's a chance that you will miss the actual pictures by the time you read this post, but Vi is the only person I actually communicate with who lost what looks like half her bodyweight and is keeping it off. Not only this, but she used her success to create a weightloss consultation business and is helping others lose their weight as well. This she has done, and is doing, while raising two sons as a single mother. Meanwhile, her energy keeps her blog one of the most vital and active journals of a vibrant and vivacious life that's I've ever read. Before I'd started reading her regularly, Vi suffered the devasting loss of a cherished boyfriend to suicide. I wasn't there when she struggled past what I think would be guilt, depression, loss, and grief unimaginable. But when I 'met' her, she was recovering. Some days high and some days brought low. A few weeks ago, on the year's anniversary of his death, Vi and others planned a celebration of his life, complete with pictures. Now that is some recovery fo' yo' ass. That is what grief recovery looks like, ladies and gentlemen. Vi is an amazing woman and I'm glad to 'know' her.

Second and Thirdly, Fringes and her daughter Jordan. I haven't 'known' fringes that long, but I'm always knocked out by her writing. Her mind is like a steel trap and her use of language is like a massage for the mind. When I hopped onboard her blog, she had already joined with the love of her life, Q, who recognized how amazing she is through her solo blog and makes a 650 mile trip every week to be with her. I also learned that she is raising two kids as well. One of them is a 13 year-old daughter who suffered a brain injury (again way back before I knew anything about her). But recently, Fringes lobbied the doctors to perform a spinal surgery on her daughter that has brought about an improvement in Jordan which, in being described, brought me to tears. You see, in my day job, I work with the developmentally disabled and whereas I never thought I would, I find I adore this population and I work for them to have the best standard of living they can achieve. And that's what Fringes has done for her daughter. It's an example that I'll add to everything I do. But what especially touches me is that Fringes describes a battle with depression that she herself goes through periodically. So how amazing is it, that while she goes through her own struggle, she also has the strength to be a single mom, a working woman, an intelligent and amazing writer, and Jordan's biggest and best advocate? Now that is a mother's love fo' yo' ass!

The world is full of amazing people and it's so rare that we get a chance to actually meet any of them, however briefly or through whatever means. It's my honor to treat you to three more of them.

Oh, and before I go, I can't help but shout out my blogfriend Grizzbabe. Let it be known, high and wide, that I am fully aware that Grizzbabe gots a man.



But if I found another woman like her, who had the spiritual sensibilities as Grizzbabe, the open and welcoming heart like Grizz, the lyrical intelligence that Grizz uses in her blog, and the willingness to uplift and encourage a brother with words of healing and compassion that Grizz has -- I think my life would be complete. Thank you Grizz, for stopping by and taking an interest in This Redeemable Life.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

And Speaking Of The Personal Nature Of This Blog...

I took my pictures down because it's true what Childhood Bud said, and I grew increasingly more paranoid as the replies came sailing in. Thanks, everybody. I want to inspire hope in my clients, not horror, so I took the pics down to prevent even that little chance that a blogsurfer may go, "Hey! I know that guy!! He's my therapist!!"

I am keeping the little one up though. The other ones looked more and more increasingly goofy everytime I opened my page. I looked like a left-back senior at Doofus High.

In fact, I feel the onset of a self-loathing spiral. I want to accept the compliments on the pics, but it feels like, given time, you will come to see the ugly guy that I started to see there. I think I take such awful pictures because I just know--as the ass with the camera fumbles to eventually snap the effing thing--that it will expose me for the mess that I really am, instead of the dashing rogue inside that I want to be.

Well, so, Match.com awaits me. And eHarmony. Before I got sick of my pics, I knew I could use them for the dating services and put myself out there.

In doing so, it would be me hopping back on the treadmill again. Time to work out the dating muscles.

But right now, I've stepped away again. Now that I hate the pictures again, I don't want to use them. I don't want them to be seen with my present mindset. Because I'm sure some will see it and say, "Who is this LESTER? Trying to get a date? Pathetic wretch."

And too I think how it aches just a very little bit more to know that those to whom I already do feel a connection are unavailable or unwilling. I think of how comforting it would be to tuck into the arms of someone who already knows me. Someone who already cares about me enough to let me rest in them.

It's as if my skin is awash with the sheer absence of love.

Welp, sorry my newbies! I sometimes am like this. To my credit, it has been a while, but I feel it coming back around.

and just like before, I'll eventually be alright. Still lonely perhaps--but alright.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

This Professional Life

Let me ask a question--would you guys put a link in your blog that led to your professional bio at a workplace website? I dunno if that would make me a little too vulnerable, what with the workplace address on the site, and my name and picture...

*Edited for content*

Saturday, February 23, 2008


This actually the first time I've ever been tagged and quite an honor it is! It is from Fringes and Q.

1.Post these rules before presenting your list.
2. List 6 actions or achievements you think every person should accomplish before turning 18.
3. There are no conditions on what can be included on the list.
4. At the end of your blog, choose 6 people to get tagged and list their names.
5. People who are tagged write their own blog entry with their 6 suggestions.
6. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged.

Actions before turning eighteen
#1 Save all your comics. Bag and board them and put them somewhere safe.
#2 Make three friends that you want to have for the rest of your life.
#3 Ask the person of whom you are terrified, but can't sleep without thinking of, out on that date. They can only say no.
#4 Find 10 reasons why you actually love your parents, and then tell them, for God's sake--if it isn't too late by your 18th. This too will not kill you.
#5 Allow yourself to admire, even adore, one of the adults in your life and let them share their wisdom with you.
#6 Develop the skill it takes to forgive yourself, and therein doing, love yourself.

I resist the instruction to tag people, lest they grow angry with the imposition. But I'd really love to read what Grizzbabe, Vi, Solaris, Alex, Scott, and Mike would say.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

What To Do, What To Do ...

First of all, before I go deep, let's have this blast from the past. Grizzbabe & Fringes, if you can do what the girls do at the 00:25 & 00:34 marks, then I will fight your men for you! That's right Q! I'm callin' you OUT! I joke, I joke...

And here's interesting! This video is evidently an uncensored version of the song! Check out these lyrics;

I got a natty natty
And a natty natty
For everything I do
I do just for you
I'm a little bit a' old
And a bigger bit a' new
The true niggaz know
that the Peas come through
We never cease
We never die, no
We never decease
We multiply like we mathmatists
And then drop bombs like
We in the Middle East
(The bomb-bombaz
The bass boom drummaz)

I'm not feelin' that need to drop the "niggaz" in there, because I can't justify it no matter what hip-hop wants to say, but everything else about this song makes me want to make a total fool of myself on a dance floor somewhere.

Okay, back to our regularly scheduled program...

I've blogged a few times about Valentine's Day Girl since the first entry four years ago. Well, since a pre-emptive date and few years ago, and a lecture gig she gave me (which I think I tanked), she's been dropping me mass-mailing e-mails off and on. A few weeks ago I inquired about her well-being and she sent a one-on-one email detailing some plans she has to move out of NYC with her kids. I left that alone, but on Valentine's Day, I sent her the following e-mail;

"Hey, Happy Anniversary! It was exactly 4 years ago today that you rang me up out of the blue to say hello.
And so, hello right back atcha!
How's the house purchase going? Funny, I've moved into the city and you're moving out...

To which she countered,

Lol! You wicked, wicked, man.

I don't understand what that means.

I'm different now than I was four years ago. For instance, I can now afford to date. And my tolerance level is a litttle higher now for the imperfect woman. But I also know that I'm feeling some desperation here, and Valentine's Day Girl, while sexy and fun, scares me with her potential for being too manic.

A little help, blogfriends?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Circle of Life

Walking to my car tonight, I was reflecting on, y'know ... stuff. I was in the afterglow of my client's words tonight as I terminated our sessions together. He said, "Could I recommend you to some of my co-workers? I told them I was seeing a therapist and they said they needed to see one too."

When I told him I was available, he said, "Well ... would you be this good with a woman client?"

I had to laugh. I told him I was glad he thought I was good, and fortunately since I also have a female client with whom some good work was done, I could truly tell him, "Yes. I do the same work with women."

And on the mile-long trip back to where I parked my car (because I'm rushed between 5 and 6pm, racing into New York from the day job, I just park it legally closest to midtown and take the subway the rest of the way. At night when I'm done, I have the luxury of walking back to the car--which I do because it's New York City at night. It's magic.)

Anyway, I'm walking and thinking and realizing that my life is not so bad after all, even though it's Valentineless Day. I generously give smiles to those who make eye contact. I think nothing rancorous about the couples hand-in-handing past me. In fact, I wonder where they have just come from or where they're headed. Like Karnak The Magician, I could see a bed in their near future or immediate past.

Lots of oochin' and ahhin' going on tonight, I jibe with my inner voice. I look up to the lighted windows towering above Broadway and think, "Y'alls nekkid right nowww...! All sortsa kissin' and a' lickin' and a' rubbin' and a' massagin' going DOWN right now, baby, YEAH!"

And I wonder how many babies are getting started at that very moment. Whimsically I stretch out my fingers and count when these little sprogs are going to slide into our world later this year.

February. March. April. 4, 5, 6, 7 ... 8 ... o sh!t.


Babies made on Valentine's Day get born on the average in October.



You have got to be fookin' KIDDING me.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

But Just This Once...

The Valentine's Day Grinch has gone on his way, so this is borrowed from Lara and passed on to all my ladies out there who deserve these and a thousand more.
With an honorable mention to
(yeah, yeah, I know--some of you GOTS a man. But still. A friend can give a friend roses, no?)

And I'm out...

Love Overload

Okay, okay. I'm not quite sure what's gotten into me, but I'm suddenly extremely anti-romance at the moment. The place or places I go to on the internet for reading about the wonderful loves occurring across the globe has got me ready to pitch my laptop onto the blacktop of Broadway.

I'm fairly sure that I still feel supportive of the opportunities for happiness that others have taken, but ugh. I need to stay off other people's blogs for a little while until this hearts-and-flowers thing blows over.

Because damn.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

War Child

To the left is the logo and info of a charity that my blogger buddy Vi has started with a friend of hers. A click on the link in the promo text will tell you much more about it.

It's funny that it's called "War Child" because I feel a lot like exactly that. A child of war.

I edited this original piece and submitted it to her for publishing. I want to post the edited version here for you now because ... well because I want to.

A Pair Of Eyes (Originally August 21, 2005 from This Redeemable Life, http://thisredeem2.blogspot.com/)

Tonight, coming down 145th from the A train, I started taking the steps of Jackie Robinson Park to make the diagonal cut over to my block. Going through this darkened Harlem park is like having my right fist pumped for the way I've developed a comfort zone with my inner-city brethren. I fear no mugging within the park’s shadowy depths!

On the topmost set of steps, a woman about my age had helped a more elderly woman climb to the level I was on, as I gathered from the elder's grip on the younger's hand. The elder had a lopsided gait as she took the steps slowly, and as I witnessed this, her posture triggered a sprinkle of faint remembrance bells at the back of my mind.

When I met the gaze in the elder woman’s eyes, the memory no longer remained faint.

In the eyes of a person who relies on another for help, you can read a thousand emotions. There is a great swell of pride clutched in a death-grip. Then there is the glow of fear in those eyes--a startled realization that they are not what they once were, or thought they were--and a terror that they will never again return to their former glories. There is a steely determination in those eyes. They may need help, but they'll be damned if by taking it, they'll admit defeat. Then there is a gentle surrender in those eyes. There is a gratitude. There is a trust.

The gaze in the elderly woman's eyes were the same gaze in my mother's eyes during her last few months of life. She too walked, in her last days, with that lopsided gait. Half her body was weakened by a compromised nervous system being intruded upon by a brain tumor. That same tumor robbed her of any coherent speech. Her face and expressions were full of determination, but her voice, once virulent with insults and crisp with scorn, was silenced. She would grip my hand as she toddled back and forth to the car during the trips to chemotherapy to which I chauffeured her. She would watch kiddie shows and laugh aloud as a child. I once bought her a stuffed Fievel from An American Tail, and she was so surprised by my gesture and the image of the great stuffed mouse wearing a hat that she at first cawed an incoherent cry of joy, then bawled, alternating with laughter for five minutes solid. One time, after she died, I lay on her bed and gripped Fievel and I bawled too.

I hate that my relationship with my mother ended so raggedly. Before I ever realized it, I had already lost my chance to settle things with her. While I expected her to recover and then maybe gain a new affection and appreciation for all the times I'd been there for her through her illness, her brain had already been inalterably damaged and her personality had been forevermore eroded away to a childlike state. All I had left of her were cackles of glee or sobs of frustration. Epilepsy had wracked what was left of her autonomy, and while I gnashed my teeth at my inability to cook meals that she’d be willing to eat, she was slowly slipping away into a world beyond my reach.

Could the neighbors not see how much of this woman they had lost? Could they not have warned me what to expect? Could the doctors not have taken me to the side and given me that famous speech? I mean, what did I look like to them, at 27yrs. old? Did I seem to be a child to them? But I do err. There was one who warned me. A girl from my church who had just passed her nursing test happened to be working on the same floor that my mother had been checked onto at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, NY. When I was visiting mom, in the earlier days of her illness, this church sister of mine told me how bad the illness was and what I should expect. Now, I'd already known this girl from church as a mother of several strange children and the wife of a strange man. Never one time did she impress me as a medical professional with rank and privileges enough to give me this kind of news. I easily dismissed what she said as inexperience. Not to mention a lack of faith! Thirteen years later, I now realize what a fool I had been.

My last night with my mother was in a Sears & Roebuck at the Nanuet Mall, her favorite store. All my school clothes had come from there several years in a row. We were waiting on line for something, I have no idea what. I looked away for some reason and suddenly someone gave a sharp gasp. My mother had tumbled backwards from a standing position and fell as deadweight onto the smooth tiled concrete. Her head rebounded off the tile floor with a sound I can't ever forget. Her wig tumbled off, revealing her smooth bald head. When I heard it hit the ground, I also remember suddenly crying out like a child lost in that department store. That sound meant that I could no longer avoid the fact that something was terribly, fatally wrong with my mother. Store managers came running and customers surrounded us with a curtain of curiosity, everyone checking to see if she was still alive. I was checking to see if she was alive too, but I didn’t know exactly what I was checking for. Oddly, she still was. She had had another epileptic seizure and was coming out of it with the acute awareness that she had banged her head and that it had hurt.

“Ow,” she said.

When the ambulance came, they took her to Nyack Hospital. From that hospital, they discharged her to a nursing home. My visitations were nightly. I was seeing a girl from my church in those days, who herself was a single mom with two children, and she had practically adopted me and mom. Her caretaking ways made me think she could one day be my wife. One night the nursing home called me to tell me that mom had swallowed some milk the wrong way and was having respiratory problems, so they sent her back to Nyack Hospital. I went to go see her and found only her emaciated body, laboring to breathe. This was my mother's system finally collapsing under the cancer. I called my pastor to come to the hospital and be with me. He brought his wife and daughter. His wife and daughter seemed to talk a mile a minute as we waited for news. I believe one of the three used the term "death-rattle" when they heard her breathing. I can't recall which one it was. Not subtle people, were my pastor and his family. Not sensitive either. The doctor or doctors told me I should go home and wait for them to call me, and that they were doing all they could for her.

Now why would they do that? Why wouldn't they let me stay?

It took her a few hours to die, gasping in some strange medical bay at Nyack hospital, all alone. They called me finally--who knows what time of night it was? I happened to work overnights as a mail clerk in Mt. Vernon, NY back then. I happened not to have gone to work that night, of course--can't remember if I was already off or if I had called out sick. I eventually called the girl I was seeing to tell her my mom had died. I felt she should know after all she had done for us. On the other end of the line I heard the phone bang to the floor. Someone answered it after a little while later and hung it up for her. I don't remember if they spoke to me or not.

This is just another dimension of life that I carry around with me from day to day. It's not easy to avoid having bipolar tendencies when just a pair of eyes can trigger this kind of tidal wave of regret and loss and longing.

Call me simple-minded or a fool, but this is why I need religion. I need to know that there is something bigger than this tragic little comedy we call life. I need to know that I can survive the next time a pair of eyes trigger this roller coaster of emotions.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Scare Tactics

Whites to be minority in US by 2050: study

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Immigration will drive the population of the United States sharply upward between now and 2050, and will push whites into a minority, projections by the Pew Research Center showed Monday.

"If current trends continue, the population of the United States will rise to 438 million in 2050, from 296 million in 2005," an increase of nearly 50 percent, the study by the Washington-based think-tank said.

More than 80 percent of the increase will be due to immigrants arriving in the country and their US-born children, who will make up nearly one in five Americans by 2050 compared with one in eight in 2005, it said.

Whites, who currently make up around two-thirds of the US population, will become a minority (47 percent) by 2050, the report said.

The Hispanic population, currently the largest minority group, will triple in size and double in percentage terms from 14 percent in 2005 to 29 percent in 2050, the report said.

The Asian population will roughly double in percentage terms, from five percent to nine percent, while the black population will remain static at around 13 percent.

The projections are based on trends over the past 50 years, during which legal and illegal immigration have played an increasing role in US population growth, the report said.

From 1960 to 2005, new immigrants and their US-born descendants accounted for 51 percent of population increase, and for 58 percent from 1980 to 2005, the report said.

But, the report warned, "possible future changes in immigration policy" could impact the projections.

Illegal immigration has become a top issue in the race for the US presidency, especially among Republican candidates, most of whom favor of a crackdown.

Now that your heart rates are sufficiently escalated, please ask yourself "Why does this matter?"

Now back to your regularly scheduled bloglines ...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Now Now, Girls ... There's Enough Of Me To Go Around

TakiyahJ and Renee Thomas, ladies and gentlemen. I just met them--okay actually, I haven't. But I found them on YouTube and discovered that people don't need American Idol to be appreciated in the public eye.

Originally, this song was done by Brandy and Monica--and yes, I thought they too were referring to me. About the last few seconds of this version--well, I disavow any knowledge of the creation of this video. The song officially ends at 4:51. LOL

Excuse me, can I please talk to you for a minute?

Uh huh, sure you know, you look kinda familiar.

Yeah, you do too but, umm, I just wanted to know do you know somebody named …

Oh, yeah definitely, I know his name.

I just wanted to let you know that he's mine.

No no, he's mine!

You need to give it up
Had about enough
It's not hard to see
The boy is mine
I'm sorry that you
seem 2 b confused
He belongs 2 me

I think it's time we got this straight
Let's sit and talk face to face
There is no way you could mistake
Him for your man,
Are you insane

See I know that you may be
Just bit jealous of me
Cuz you're blind if you can't see
That his love is all in me

See I tried to hesitate
I didn't wanna say what he told me
He said without me he couldn't make
It through the day
Ain't that a shame

Maybe you misunderstood
Cause I can't see how he could
Wanna change something that's so good
But my love is all it took

You need to give it up
Had about enough
It's not hard to see
The boy is mine
I'm sorry that you
Seem to be confused
He belongs to me
The boy is mine

Must you do the things you do
You keep on acting like a fool
You need to know it's me not you
And if you didn't know it
Girl it's true

I think that you should realize
And try to understand why
He is a part of my life
I know it's killing you inside

You can say what you want to say
What we have you can't take
From the truth you can't escape
’Cause I can tell the real from the fake

When will you get the picture?
You're the past, I'm the future
Get away it's my time to shine
And if you didn't know the boy is mine

[Chorus 2x]

You can't destroy this love I found
Your silly games I won't allow
The boy is mine without a doubt
You might as well throw in the towel

What makes you think that he wants you
When I'm the one that brought him to
This special place that’s in his heart
Cause he was my love right from the start

[Chorus 2x]

You need to give it up
Had about enough
It's not hard to see
The boy is mine
I'm sorry that you
Seem to be confused
He belongs to me
The boy is mine

Not yours

But mine

Not yours

But mine

Not yours

But mine

I'm sorry that you
Seem to be confused
He belongs to me
the boy he's mine

Down Time

I went to see a play tonight, which was recommended by the Geeks I Know And Partied With some months back. I've been trying to get together with them again, but they seem to have intermittent unavailability whenever I try. We're talking suspicious unavailability. Like, "They're Just Not That Into You" suspicious.

Of all the struggles I've contended with, the least was the fear of unpopularity. I've always had people in my life who I liked a whole bunch. I think they're called "friends" in these parts. The extra dimension of intimacy is what I've had a hard time crossing over to. Only in the last two years have I taken steps to reveal my feelings towards others, which I've learned from the blogworld. I've learned to let my guard down and tell people how I've really felt about them--and by "really felt" I mean just the positive stuff. It just feels good to uplift my fellow bloggers, especially when they deserve it.

As I headed off alone to the play tonight, I really felt the absence of my friends. It was a horrible but controllable aloneness. It's Saturday night in NYC, and I'm going to a play about superheroes. Something made me think I should have been more happy. But not so much.

The play was fun, though. "Save The World" was a gritty, mature treatment of individuals who face world crises and try to meet the challenge while being no more than flawed, ordinary humans with extra tools for the job. The stage direction projected the powers more with suggestion and sound effects than with flash or pomp. It was inspired.

During the intermission, a kind of bumbly guy in front of me suddenly waved to a girl in another close-by row (it was a small theater---very artsy, off-Broadway affair). They smiled brightly at one another and had the following conversation in hushed tones, but wide open mouths;

He: "Heeyyy! I just called you! Like, ten minutes ago!"
She: "On my phone?!"
He: "Yeah, I didn't know you were right there!"
She: "I couldn't answer it! I was at a play!"
He: "What play was it?"
She: "I don't know the name of it, but it's about superheroes...!"

This was all tongue-in-cheek, mind you, gaging their facial expressions. It was just a nice witty little exchange which led him to usher her out of the theater so they could continue the banter before the intermission was over. They were both just all teeth and impressions and happy. Boy meets girl.

So I'm a little sad tonight and a little lonely, with a little self-pity thrown in. It does feel like I should try to get used to The Alone Life, but it's hard when nobody else seems to want to do it too. :-)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


The other night in Times Square, I saw a group of five twenty-somethings, looking like they had fallen out of the dorm at Columbia University, or out of an L.L. Bean catalog, campaigning for O. Loudly. Waving their "O" signs and taking names on their clipboard. Two boys and three girls. Looking like the cast of Dawson's Creek or The OC. And I thought to myself, are they really for him? And by extension, me?

Tonight I started down my Blogroll list to peep into your lives, and I opened up My Other Hero's page and I saw the video he posted. I'd never heard a mumbling peep from him about his stance on politics or the world, or race or even religion. He's a science fiction author and an essayist, and a humorist (and a poet and singer and songwriter). Through none of those mediums had he ever expressed his views on much else than that he was a nice creative guy with a wife he loves and hopes and dreams for a successful career.

To me, posting this video is like reaching out an giving me a hug. Not that he posted it for me. He probably wasn't thinking about me at all. But I've said it before--it's important to me. It would mean so much. It would go so far. Sometimes I feel ornery and I just want rednecks to hiss and spit (treat ME like a second class citizen, will you?). But most times, when I dare to hope--allow myself the vulnerability to dream--I know how good it would be for your kids and my kids --all of OUR kids-- to see a black man as the Executive Officer. As the Leader Of The Free World. As More Than A Basketball/Football Player. As More Than A Rapper/Entertainer.

As Someone.

I've said it for a while now, just to throw the idea out there and see if it made any sense to anyone.

It makes sense to My Other Hero. And to all the other white people out there who are casting their votes.

And for the first time in a very long time, I feel like my country can accept me for me.

Can you, America?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Yeah, So, How 'Bout Them Giants...?


And now onto other news.

Yesterday, I actually went to My Friend The Doctor's daughter's first birthday party. Readers of more than a year here might recall how I had some angst when this child was born. And how, again thanks to this blog, and you readers, I was able to make an emotional adjustment. I still don't know who that Anonymous person was that gave me the kick in the pants, except that they were from Texas. MFTD and I share a friend from Texas who used to come and read the blog, so I hoped it was him. But whoever it was, I was glad for it.

I took a slow train out to Connecticut, just because it was a Sunday and I didn't want to put out much effort on my weekend. I had a stack of comics to read and I was content for the most part. I bought a $10 birthday card (from here) to enhance the child's life (lol) and off I went. Gladly, my comics kept me from realizing where I was actually going and what I was actually about to do.

MFTD's mother and father were there. And his four brothers. One of his brothers is back from Iraq, safely. Thank God. He won't be going again. But he is trying to join the NYC Police department. Clearly, he's found his calling. Walk softly and carry a big gun. His brother closest in age to him brought his wife--yes, MFTD gained a sister-in-law over the last year, and she is great with child. I mean Sherman-tank-great. They all said she was about to pop any minute. Wouldn't that have been special? The three unmarried brothers had girls on their arms.

MFTD's wife's mother and father was there as well, from the midwest (where he found her. If you'll recall, he and I went to the midwest together. He got a wife and a doctorate out of the deal, and I just got the hell out). They were there with their other daughter, who is turning out to be a nice young woman. She was unaccompanied by a partner, but she's younger than MFTD's wife, who is younger than him, and he's about nine years younger than me. So, no.

Then another school chum of ours showed up (who lives in Connecticut because he was raised in CT, although we first met him out in the midwest when we went out to school. Funny how things turn out.) He showed up with his new wife, and their two-month old baby boy.

You see where this is going right?

Oh, also, MFTD's pastor was there with his wife and three of his eight kids.

So I involve myself with speaking to MFTD's father-in-law, who I actually like, and I speak to MFTD's pastor and wife, and I hang out with our college buddy, and I chew the fat with the ex-Iraq soldier. And I coo and burble as MFTD's little daughter is plied with gifts and attention enough to set her up as one of America's intolerably spoiled princesses (lookout, Paris--you about to have some competition in a few years when you're raising the next Britney). And I stay almost busy enough not to think.


You see, I was able to present myself in the most positive light I've ever done in my life. I live in Manhattan, I'm a full-time Assistant Director in an organization, and I do therapy in a midtown Manhattan counseling center. My sh!t is tight. So I got through the night pretty well.

Until MFTD took me back to the train station, and started complaining bitterly about his mother-in-law. Now, I love MFTD like cooked food, but enough is f*ckin' enough. That boy has more love in this life than I have ever known or will ever know. And he's never happy. Sh!thead! He made me so mad I could have slapped him.

Happily, I let none of it out. We all have a right to complain about whatever, and MFTD's experiences are his own. I just suggested that he not let himself get so upset about things that aren't that serious, because life could be a lot worse for him. He replied, "Yeah, I know. And I shouldn't be complaining about this to you." Which of course made me backpeddle 0 to 1000 mph because, oh hell no, you will not pity me, you lucky, loved, golden child bastard.

Upon reflection, it was better for me to be angry than to be sad. And I wasn't even that angry.

When I got back to NYC, I walked up 42nd Street from Lexington all the way to 8th Ave to get the A train, just occupied with thoughts. The lights and spectacle of Times Square went a long way towards keeping me from the darker spectrum of my emotions. And too, the facts are true--I do live in Manhattan, I am a full time asst. Director, and I do have five clients a week in a midtown Manhattan counseling center, for whom I am doing a lot of good. The look on each one of their faces this past week as they left my office was like a full-on hug from the dearest of you guys. It was like medicine to my soul.

So, my life could be worse. Hell, it was just last year when it was worse. Much worse.

So yeah.

How 'bout them Giants? :-D

Sunday, February 3, 2008

New Joy!!

No, sorry, Dream Girl hasn't contacted me yet. A dude wrote a book for ladies entitled "He's Just Not That Into You." Clearly, this is the case for me as well. If she were into me, she would have called, e-mailed, txt'd ... something. But there's been nothing at all. And I'm okay with it. It was a fun ride of imagination and dreaming and potential.

So I continue to take my joys were I can get them, and this is what I found today;

Oh I wish this would break out on one of my subway rides! Lordy, how I cackled and clapped right here in my room--no telling what I'd do watching it live, coming from nowhere! Pure JOY!!

Friday, February 1, 2008


Continuing the meme theme (see what I did there?), let me bring out another question and break down the answer in verse and video. And get ready for it.

How do you feel today?
"Rock The Boat" --Aaliyah

Boy you know you make me float
Boy you really get me high
I feel like I'm on dope
Cause you
You serve me on a regular
Boy we need to tie this rope
Before we drift any deeper
There now hold me close
Let's take this overboard now

I want you to
(rock the boat)
Rock the boat, rock the boat
Rock the boat, rock the boat
(work it in the middle)
Work the middle, work the middle
Work the middle, work the middle
(change positions for me)
Change positions, do positions
Do positions, do positions
(now stroke it baby)
Stroke it for me, stroke it for me
Stroke it for me, stroke it for me

Ooooh baby I love your stroke
Cause you, cause you get me to where Im going
In a jury youll get my vote
Cause I believe, I believe you know just what you doing now
Baby now we can coast
Just dont get in a hurry
Thats too slow
Go ahead and put that thing in motion

Chorus 2x:

I need you to use yourself
Like you never ever used it before
To explore my body
Until you reach the shore
You'll be calling, calling for more

Chorus 3x:

(rock the boat)
Rock the boat, rock the boat
Rock the boat, rock the boat

This right here is simple. This is sex. This is how we do it. The singer is my girl and I'm her boy. Serving her on the regular. In the morning when I'm so turned on that I can't roll over without a major injury, I have to crawl over her to get out of bed, but I get stuck. My leg slides along her inner thigh.

She wants me to rock the boat.

She calls me baby. She loves my stroke. I get her vote. She believes I know just what I'm doing. Because I'm getting her to where she's going. She don't want me in a hurry, but then I romanticize too much. I'm going too slow, thinking I'm some kind of vampire and that there are violins playing. "Boy, what you doin'?" she purrs. "Go ahead and put that thing in motion..."

She wants me to rock the boat.
I work it in the middle. "Work the middle. Work the middle. Change positions." I change positions. We do positions. "Do positions."

"Now stroke it for me."

That last voice was mine.

Something about this morning is different. She wants me to use myself like I "never, ever used it before" to explore her body until we reach "the shore" where she'll have me calling for more. As much as I can stand, anyways. Fortunately I'm in my forties. I can stand quite a bit.

She wants me to rock the boat...