No Pulse, Just a Finger

Charlie Boy Inside

Inger got him arrested. Her time in the Bay Area included a year at Sennin Kai. When she got back to Richmond she started over with Eric at Richmond Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Inger trains because it keeps her sane. All that boomer childhood whim indulgence and self-empowerment was worthless. It filled her with anxiety. On her first night at Sennin Kai a Tai Kwan Do blackbelt questioned one of the instructors whether Aiki Jiu-Jitsu was effective. She didn’t see what happened. She only heard the groans of the Tai Kwan Do dude as he lay on the floor trying to recover. He signed up. Shameless Yoast SEO pander: No pulse, just a finger

So, Charles (Boy) of my previous post about Inger, went to jail. Inger had a quiet year. She rented a place a couple doors down from me. The Stuart Street house? It’s still there. She still has it. It’s too bougie for her, she says. So she splits her time between East 15th Street and Stewart Street. If you ask me, Stuart Street has too many bad memories of Charley Boy.

Escalade, No Pulse, Just a Finger

All’s been well until recently. Inger knocked on my door last Saturday. She’d seen the Cadillac Escalade parked in front of my house for a couple weeks. She thought maybe it was mine. Curiosity drove her to peek inside.

That’s Not Happening

What she saw pushed her that last little bit to my door and an insistent knock, “ALAN! FUCK! ANSWER THE DOOR! There is a finger, a human finger on the back seat of that whip!” I hate answering the door in my PJ’s. She kept pounding and shouting about a finger on the back seat of the Cadillac Escalade in front of my house, “Give me a minute!” I put on some jeans and my old Eagles t-shirt.

Inger was at the front door. Two locks, open it, she blows by me and takes a horse stance next to my couch, “A fucking finger on the back seat of that whip. Oh my fucking God!

Oh yay! My Saturday routine just got disrupted. Never mind couch slugging with PBS on until mid-afternoon. Now I had Inger going on about a finger she saw on the seat of a sketchy looking Cadillac Escalade. Life in the ghetto for a WASP. Woo.

No Pulse, Just a Finger

So . . . it’s Saturday. Priorities. I made coffee, a French omelete and home fries. Inger wasn’t hungry or happy. She couldn’t stop worrying about the finger on the back seat of the Cadillac Escalade. Was it a guy’s finger, girls? How did it get there? Now with breakfast made I called the cops. They got to us in about a half-hour. And . . . closed the street.

Cops leaving East 15th Street, No Pulse, Just a FingerAwesome. My car was parked behind the Subaru. Forget going anywhere for a while. The one time I park in front of my house Inger finds no pulse, just a finger.

Inger doesn’t drink coffee. She found the loose tea I had and made herself a cup of Oolong. Wait?! What?! You pig. Taiwanese tea, asshole. OMG! Racist even.

Talk about awkward. I’ve got a SHYT in my kitchen amped up about some suitcases she found in the Escalade. Inside was powder cocaine, cash, and clothes. The front seat was strewn with bags and wrappers from a late-night drunk food binge. A couple Four Loko empties were on the floor, shotgun spot.

Party Remains

The powder cocaine was in bricks. A couple kilos. By now the cops had tape closing the street at both the Edwards and Gordon ends of the block. A CSI unit showed up. It’s not like TV. They are very methodical and slow. The clothes were early gone-to-the-club casual. Thongs, bras, jeans and oversized t-shirts. Inger didn’t see anything that looked like guy stuff. Except maybe the glimpse of surplus army boots in the way-back.

Inger knew too much. She denied going through the Escalade. She said she only stood outside and took pictures with her phone. Uh huh. In my cab-driving years, I gave rides to thousands of drunks and addicts. Many of them were  Cartel members. It was my job to make snap decisions about the likelihood of a given fare ending with payment and polite goodbyes. By dint of repetition, I got pretty good at it. Inger’s version of the events leading to her hugging a cup of Oolong tea in my kitchen did not add up.

I asked her how much cash she saw, “Not that much. Some benjamins.” Her purse was on the floor next to her. I could see at least one bundle peaking out. Inger’s family has money so it’s possible she’s walking around with 25% of my annual salary in cash. It’s possible. There is an abandoned Escalade in front of my house being scrutinized by criminologists. I’d bet there are more possibilities Inger isn’t ready to confess.

Charlie Boy

I wondered why she would risk pissing off drug dealers by helping herself to a couple bundles of Benjamins. Inger was a Daddy’s girl and her family had money. All she had to do is ask. Yet she’s in my kitchen wearing designer clothes that have the scent of a thrift store. She looks like she hasn’t slept in ages. She smelled of stale beer and sticky sex.

Charles (Boy) had been stalking her. Inger went so far as to get a restraining order. He ignored it. She was in a manic/paranoid mood of late, texting me incessantly that her laptop would power on and alert her to a tweet from someone who seemed to know exactly what she was doing right then. Inger even started taking the battery out at bed-time. No effect. Still, messages came. She could solve this just by replying to Charlie Boy, maybe joining him in Sid Meier’s Civilization for a while.

Inger bought a gun instead. She was against guns but this asshole was getting scary. Let that fucker violate the restraining order. Then Inger wondered out loud of the finger was Charlie’s. That seemed to make her smile.

Exit Out the Back

Inger and I were getting fidgety. We peaked out my back door and discovered that the cops had not closed off the alley. Good. Processing the crime scene was going to be an all-day thing. Let the cops do their job. She and I closed up the house, headed to the alley and made a right turn toward her house. This wasn’t over.

Some Housekeeping

I’ve given up on the popular conversation about Trump. I voted for him so I guess that makes me a racist, Nazi asshole who hates everybody and especially the golden children of the left–LBGTQ, brown people, and women. I am a born-again Christian, so that adds to the depth of my evil. I’m done trying to engage with those who believe with cult fever that God is on their side in this fight for the soul of our democracy.

I’m resigning my seat at the table where the task is to throw rhetorical bombs at the other side. I don’t want to talk about it. There are plenty who are talking about it. I can opt out.

I’ve said my piece on philosophy and religion. I’ve written a statement of essentials in Nutcracker Ushers. There are 277 published posts on this blog covering current events, religion, politics, and philosophy. At an average of 1500 words each, there are 416,000 ways to be pissed off at me for something I said. I think that’s enough.

I’m more interested in Inger and the other characters I’ve created in this space. So, for now, I’m going to concentrate on a serialized novel telling this story: what happened to that finger, the cocaine and clothes in that Escalade. There was no pulse, just a finger.




Plus One Deplorable

This is the thing. I’m normal. Kind of. A reason to be happy? Not for me. A theme of my life has been the need to have my needs met and an itch to be loud. I wanted life to mean something, to have an impact on more than my immediate circle of kin and friends. Explains this blog, maybe. The ways I wanted to go about being loud have put my serenity at risk. There was jail. And homelessness, more than once.

So, since leaving my son and his Mom in 2002 to find a way of ending the insanity I’ve returned to a bad hobby. It’s so common as to be laughable. Lolita. It was a play then it was a movie. It’s taboo. Old fart loving on nubile young thing. Not good. And way too common. In Hollywood, and among the rich & stupid, it’s almost de regueur. You get to a certain level, a certain age and you get awarded your own SYHT. I may be the right age. I’m a little low-brow to qualify for that lottery drawing. It doesn’t stop me from some rather deplorable late night fantasies.

Lisa Brooks, a student of mine, SYHT 2 & 3, one of whom was a stripper, a waitress at Richbrau, SYHT actual, who inspired the initials I gave her, Aimee, whose Dad is an elder at a local church, a local web developer and graphic novel writer, and lately, Felina Ramos. The bad hobby? I keep trying to catch me a kitten and failing.

What’s knocking about my heart is Felina Ramos. I should run the other way when Felina meows and leans against my leg. Did I? No. I tried to scoop her up to feed her and she bit me. Serves me right. Four hours from the time I left work until I hit the door at the house with the mind racing at the depravity possible. She wasn’t where I thought she’d be. She was an hour away in a completely different part of our metroplex.

For Felina, I am an absurdity. I’m an older guy who is attracted to her but my impulses run to being Pappa rather than boyfriend/beard. Felina’s experience with men is that they want her cookie and not her. She may say she likes guys for more than just a 3am romp. But too much of life has taught her that it all comes down to that, to bumping uglies in the wee hours of the morning. She can’t look at me, look at any guy, without a little anxiety, a little question, “when will the abuse start?”

All the good people in the fat part of the curve have all the usual tropes about women like her. “She must like it” [Hell no], “You can tell by the way she dresses. She brings it on to herself with the men she goes with. “. [Law of attraction, I get it, but unfair.] The thing is, when you are that far down, that deeply captured by the dark side, you resonate dissonant.

You attract crazy and abusive. Dissonance feels normal. We (yes, “we”) tend to attract to us the things that represent our unconscious signals, good and bad. I am absurd to Felina but that thirty-something musician who wants to be Marilyn Manson 2.0, him? Felina is all about him. He confirms for her what her broken heart believes about men–we are dogs, pigs and goats. Nothing from men is free, “ass, gas or grass . . .Matthew 5:1-12 is insanity for her.

I could easily stand on my heritage as a WASP, on my blue-bloodline and my upbringing. I’m Presbyterian, for God’s sake. I could stick to the party line about how everything has to come to me without any agency of my own. I could say it’s because of Felina that I have done foolish things. In the popular orthodoxy, I’d be right. Also, in the orthodoxy of the day, Felina is a goddess. She, with her downtrodden story, is to be worshiped as confirmation that all men everywhere are the same–dogs, pigs and goats. What say I? Yep.

If anything, in this post, I am writing a confession rather than an accusation. Felina is God’s business, not mine. My business, my dog in the fight, is my 0-8 record at luring a kitten to me. I’m annoyed at my failures. Felina, or someone like her, is catnip to me. Failing, though, is probably the better thing.

Felina is about five years out from being sick and tired of being sick and tired. When the street becomes too much she crashes with some thirty-something guys in a home that is sometimes subdued but on the speed dial of the local cops. Remember the movie Hangover? Yeah. But, like, a suburban house that is like that all the time. That is Felina’s milieu.

The old reliable, my awkwardness and stubborn insistence on some personal tropes with women disrupted the dastardly plan. The other thing is something I had to get used to. I’m not abnormal. The bipolar vibe that was so attractive back then just doesn’t click with me. Felina, as I think about it, was perhaps hoping she’d make it past my front door and then who knows? I bought dinner for her at Chipotle. Buzz kill.

Then last night, which ended up being four hours on local roads driving, parking to send some texts, driving some more, rinse, repeat. Felina had been talked into moving a friend after work and instead of the promised easy couple hours it had spun into an all-nighter. Meanwhile I’m wandering about Metro Richmond hoping to find my stray kitten. Since, Felina has made me a ghost.

My win-loss score with this bad hobby is 0-8. The closest I’ve come is a really odd, awkward, naked afternoon with SYHT actual. Parts of me feel a bit peeved at this. Eight attempts and all I got was some necking with SYHT.

I got the house. I got the car. I filled the house with the stuff I thought would be attractive to her. Stuff that my Mom would like. Stuff that my son’s Mom liked when we were still married. I don’t have the HiFi yet. I did get a TV. FIOS got cancelled when I couldn’t pay the bill last spring. So far, it’s just me in that house.

I’m sort of like that puppy that catches a squirrel and doesn’t know what to do next. Propriety should lead me away from my hobby and a realization that I’m old enough to be a grandfather. I have no business messing about with women young enough to be my daughter. 0-8 so far. Over 950 words about a lot of fantasy and a night on the road going nowhere with a hope that cannot be. I am still a fool for love.



Felina Ramos

Felina Ramos is in her twenties. It’s been hell getting here. I was all set to write a blog post about the speed at which many tag a given narrative as proof of rape culture and in so doing, cheapen the phrase. Check your narratives people. And, yes, I am hinting that my story of a young intern flipping out because a coworker smiled at her will continue in this space. Felina, though.

pigface-flowerFelina’s story killed it. I know she’s an outlier, that most women don’t have such an outsized story to tell. I am one who loves to point out that the stories we publish are the ones that have a larger than life aspect to them. Only a small percent of us are black and bullet ridden. Only a few women have survived as much as Felina. The 99% will never have a story worth a blog post. Felina does.

Felina dresses goth, has a bloody rose tattoo on her left arm. She’s in Richmond trying again to get her grades together to return to Stanford where her full ride scholarship awaits. Her uncanny attraction to pigs is a bit unnerving. She’s not attracted to them. Too many come at her with attitude she reads as, “I could get from flirty to dirty sheets pretty quick with you.”

How About . . . No

I see what the pigs see. I also saw the steel and concrete in her eyes buttressing a deep river of anger that made me decide that I’d regret checking her off on my bucket list. The weather has been good so she’s been living on the street. It’s not as if Felina hasn’t been offered help. It is this. The last time she agreed to take a bed in a shelter she woke up to find the overnight worker fondling her. The place promised to be safe, to be somewhere where she could try again to get healthy, was a place hosting a predator.

Felina spent a night in jail recently after she slapped a well meaning woman at the bus stop who offered, “everything happens for a reason. You have to look for the lesson in this.” The things that Felina has survived defy explanation.  The lesson life has taught her is worse than a night in city jail after bitch-slapping that woman.

Felina, 24, born in Haiti to a Peace Corp father. Dad came to Haiti as an aid volunteer for Hurricane Gordon (1994). Mom was Mormon at the time, in Haiti to soak up the sun, eat, and maybe find out about her family’s connection to the island. Dad’s roots were Moorish and Mom’s were Catalan. Felina grew up in Puerto Rico. A fine beginning that went further south for Felina at around age 12.

The thing that has been so stunning is her inability to escape predators. Monsters under the bed? She’s got men wanting her in the ugliest way. Mom & Dad wanted her to break the family curse and so sent her to boarding school. Their idea was that if they sent her to a good boarding school she’d be safe and set for college and success.

Good Plan . . . Gone to a Nightmare.

Boarding school had a janitor (pig #2) who liked them young. His special pet was Felina, who gave herself to him until she graduated with honors. She got a full ride at Stanford, as far away from Georgia as she could manage. Nightmare over? Not even. It was as if she had some sort of invisible nametag that said, “abuse me.” It wasn’t even limited to men. Women would coo that it’s safer with a girl and then bust out the latex and whips.

Childhood in Carolina, Puerto Rico before boarding school was a little better than what TV loves to show. Her parents did better than most. They both worked, her Dad sold shaved ice (Pure Mountain Water!) to tourists and her Mom as an office manager in a doctor’s office. She had one sister two years younger than her and an older brother she seldom saw. The brother was a soaring vulture who was only home when he wasn’t in jail or had run out of money. But, they had a house and a car, which was more than many of her childhood friends.

Felina’s reason for wanting to go to boarding school was a Bambalan (pig #1) friend of her Dad. This bichote started with her when she was eight. Then she got her first period and he told Papa that she was spoiled and could never marry a Catholic. Es lo que hacen los hombres.

Felina Ramos Knows

Felina knows a couple things. She knows that some men are weak against her and will do nearly anything if she asks them the right way. She knows that no one has ever been able to contain her behavior. She can and has done many taboo things. Lately, though, she knows that between bicho and a good book it is the book that feels better. Some rosehip tea, a fleece robe and something by James Patterson are way better than pene apestosas.

She’s on meds and most days her life trying to hold it together almost makes it to sundown without drama. She’s was living at home in Carolina helping take care of her parents for a couple years. She became the parent in the family for her sister and her gilipollas brother. Then a friend of the family told her she could come to Richmond and study at John Tyler to get her grades up and go back to Stanford. One more gallo del paseo who had her crotch in mind. She still hopes to make it back to Stanford some day.

I was ready to launch, ready to yell at those who cheapen the phrase “rape culture” by spewing it with abandon. It was one of those odd moments I’ve had. I saw what the predators saw. She comes across as an easy fuck. Sometimes, she is. Her heart is walled up behind a deep stone fortress of too many men assuming she’d like it quick and rough. She’s been abused too much, taken for granted too many times, had hands and bicho invade her safety. She is the exception that kills my glittering generality. Her story is too oft told, too old for a young woman.

I’m still there. I live here too. I see that the devil is hard at work eating souls. He’s made an oven for us and we are being baked in depravity until we are nicely golden brown and bubbly. I’m past the age where every woman I see is one I want to fuck. If SYHT reappeared in my life offering a bit of bacchanal it wouldn’t be an obvious yes. I flirted with Felina. But I’ve driven too many miles in a cab, carried to many Felina’s to be captured by her spell so easily. Not Felina specifically, but many like her who got with a guy hoping to use him as a lily pad and discovering he was a drunk, an asshat and worse. Women whom I pick up between 3 and 5am who had something in mind that didn’t happen and now need me to get them home.

What Size Are You?

The thing that bugs me is that the young women burning up the tubes with accusations of rape culture present it as a fact as immutable as the sunset. It is again the assignment of a narrative based on the stories of women like Felina as proof that all men are pigs needing castration and a training bra. And again the stipulation that the victims have no agency. They must just accept their fate as jaiva for bicho. They were born this way.

The genius of Christ was this. His revolution started within. He asked us to examine our own lives and the ways we are broken and in need of repentance. I can’t offer an answer to Felina that explains why life has been shitting down her throat. I can offer her hope that the shit-show can be less shitty. I didn’t start out well at age 19. The ending will be a lot better.

Felina and I are connected through social media. Lately I’ve become a ghost to her. If I were younger and hornier this would be a problem. Now? Meh. Some people are with us for a season and are gone. We get to keep the memories. Felina, when I told her I prophesized that she’d be ok, at first got angry with me and then got quiet, mascara and eye-liner leaking down her cheek.

We owe ourselves and Felina a little introspection and as needed, some effort at behaving better. And yeah, this site is for the pigs, the outliers and malcontents, God made them too. I still hope Felina will find the right support and be able to end the nightmare. And . . . allow me my hope that maybe the pigs will get a shock of recognition and perhaps chill the fuck out.


You Look Like Dollars

This says something about you if you know what I am talking about. A guy driving a car, sometimes a cab or an Uber, sometimes not, stops for a woman on the sidewalk. She conveniently walks up to the front passenger window. They chat for a bit, the gist of which is that she’s willing to trade sex for a ride. It happens. The video stops before she gets to her destination. The video was never about the ride.

uk drunk womenI became a cab driver at age 21. I was the youngest member of Taxi Unlimited up to that point. Even then it mattered that my passengers got where they were going and I got paid. Later on Taxi Taxi got the contract to carry abused women to secret shelters. We were under contractual agreement to keep the shelter location and the details of the ride secret. Most of these rides were short. I did them happily.

Uber launched in Richmond in August 2014. I was one of the drivers who started at the launch. Very quickly I developed a trade carrying drunk, young women home from that night’s debauchery. There were some women from the University of Richmond who wondered if I would cross that line and do the porn trope that started this post. I will not. My job depends on the trust of the women who ride with me. My sense of right & wrong does not include my fat ass nekkid and dancing the horizontal bop with a young woman who began as an Uber rider.

There have been court cases in Houston, Chicago and other cities of Uber drivers who went there. They slept with (?raped?) a rider. Those guys were convicted in at least one case. They deserve the sentencing and labeling as a sexual predator. Assholes.

Riders look like money to me. I know that if I complete the ride I get money. I know that my bills are a bottomless, hungry maw I have to keep shoveling cash into. Riders are one way I get that cash. So, the UofR women and men who toyed with the fantasy in the porn trope are asking me to give up my money for some bump & grind. The ask is too big.

On initial contact with a rider I care about four things, am I going to get paid, is this rider safe, how much trouble will it be to get them out of the car at the end, and do they want to talk? I care about doing my job well. As the ride proceeds I care about completing the ride well. But, you, dear customer, do I care about you? Not really.

So, if this is now an unpaid incident with you, I need you gone ASAP. I actually like it if you cuss me out and storm off. It’s faster that way. Plus, if you had ideas about robbing me, I, pissed off and rude, don’t make an easy target. Gun? You better fire that thing in the first 5 seconds. If I have a chance to take it from you I will. As I do, I’m going to hurt you. Then when the cops show up I’m going to cry like a little bitch that you tried to kill me. You owe me $120.00 for the 2-3 hours I have to waste dealing with you and the cops.

Badly behaved customers make better content. Nobody really cares about the majority that get in my cab, get driven where they are going, pay me and get out. The customers that get remembered are people like Mary Garst, who wanted me to cut down a pecan tree in the front yard of a home in the Berkeley Hills. Or the guy who wouldn’t get out of my cab until I got out and began to wait for a bus to take me home and decided to also wait for a bus. Or the thirty-something puking customer. Or the coke-psychotic guy who spent $500.00 riding around the Bay Area to escape aliens who were spying on him.

Beyond you who are my present task, I care about getting home safely tonight with enough money. That frat boy fantasy of some beers with a hot, docile sorority sister, the porn trope one, is a nightmare for me. I lose the time it takes to traverse the narrative from, “do ya wanna” to blissful exhaustion. Time is money so it is money lost. I also lose whatever I spend on the way to cuddling after. Plus, and this is huge, there are so many ways that this could go south for me that it just isn’t’ worth it. I need to get you where you are going, get paid, get you out of my car, and get to the next ride.



SumYung HotTea

First Posted 27-Nov-2014

She isn’t anyone specific. She’s a porn trope, if anything. Nubile, servile, likes to get drunk and high, shameless hussy and for me, dark brown hair, olive skin, blue eyes, and petite. The girl of this narrative was a damsel in distress. Her boyfriend had beaten her again, had kicked her out, in a cocaine fueled meltdown in which he accused her of stealing all his coke and sleeping with his best friend. I can believe the stolen coke bit. She was bisexual so the cheating thing may not be all that the boyfriend thought it was. She was homeless, needed a place to stay for a couple days, and thought I’d let her stay with me.

party-girl-3SumYung HotTea starts her stay on Wednesday night in the other bedroom and it’s about normal. Then on Friday, “would it be ok if her lesbian girlfriend came over?” She decides to cook an elaborate meal for said girlfriend. Steak, shrimp cocktail, green beans,  baked mac & cheese and chocolate mousse. We go to Save-A-Lot to shop for all this. She starts cooking at 1pm for a 6pm service to the girlfriend. We eat at 9pm. The kitchen is a mess. She burns the mac & cheese so bad the pot she used is ruined. She still tried to serve it. They go into the other bedroom at 11:30pm. I smell weed. I hear arguing. One of them has old L.L. Cool J. rap playing low. By 1pm I am asleep and the house is quiet.

I’m a dishwasher by trade. I’m also a foodie and sometime line cook. Her menu is an hour, tops, including prep and cleanup. 8 hours to make a mess of my kitchen and leave me with an overdone steak, watery green beans, burned mac & cheese with nasty curdled eggs and instant chocolate pudding spattered on my kitchen walls from her attempt at whipping it into a mouse isn’t fun or sexy. No hint of her showing interest in the mess she made. “It’ll be great.” No, it wasn’t great. Pissed me off.

Saturday morning I don’t see them. I do my usual, keeping NPR streaming in a window on my laptop. I get ansty and head out for coffee. I’m back by 3pm or so. I’m mad. I live in a neighborhood that is trying to shed itself of addiction and all the satellite crime that comes with it. My lease specifically says drug use is a violation of the terms and cause for eviction. Plus, with the ways that I am a hot mess I can’t do addicts. Recovering addicts, maybe. Actively using addicts? No.

SumYung HotTea resurfaces around 4:30pm Saturday. She looks like hell. She has a fat lip. Her neck has finger marks on it. I ask her if she’s ok and I get hairy eyeballs and a flipped bird.

I let her in assuming that she’d heard me when I said she could only stay a few days until she could find another place to crash. Now it’s been a week and my weekend featured my own personal porn trope that was the furthest thing from sexy. It was drama. I didn’t see most of it. Instead of a personal sex-tape with two hot lesbians I had one of them still in my house hungover with a fat lip.

Saturday night was quiet. She spent most of it in the other room watching YouTube videos of various rap artists. I went to church Sunday and knew I couldn’t let her stay any longer. Between the addiction and the apparent abuse I had she brought two of the four horsemen that destroy relationships into my home. She had made my house unsafe. She had to go.

At church I talked to a couple friends who volunteered to come over and help me make it clear that she had to leave right then. It was an angry hour as she told me what a shit I was for kicking her out. She left, though, and my house settled back into it’s usual calm.

I want to help. I want to serve those who can be served. I am also deeply broken with a past that I am not only but I am. That past means I choose to live an intentional life with boundaries that keep me safe. I’m sorry SumYung HotTea suffered for my failure to recognize my own limits and allow her into my home. But, the blog posts that this one stands in for remind me that I made the right choice. It might make a great porn video to have two sexy lesbians smoke weed, get drunk, play rap music and have sex with fat old man. It’s a really stupid thing to attempt IRL. SumYung HotTea’s been gone a year and that’s good.


You Need Me

First Posted 15-Jan-2015

So, I nicknamed somebody, “SumYung HotTea” to make a point. The character was a collage of folk I’ve known. I thought I was done with her. Not. It’s never good to try and go blow for blow with a writer who owns a domain. This is why: This medium, blogging, thrives on conflict and strife. Being an ass in this space draws attention. Attention draws page views and drives traffic. Traffic makes me money. So, there is no reason for me to be reasonable here. Sending me nominally private communications on Facebook is almost guaranteed to get you written about here. Odds improve greatly if you argue with me. This is my turf. It’s my sandbox. I get to be as much of an asshat as I want.

You Need MeWhat prompted this? A note from SumYung HotTea that I need her. That actually, the things I said I didn’t value in her were things I should like about her. And the thing I thought was good was an attribute she didn’t care about. Right.

I need a dry drunk/addict lesbian with a huge idea that she’s good at things that are supposed to be hot. Good at sex? No. Good at house cleaning? No. I had to clean my house after she cleaned it. Good at . . . art? Music? Writing? Yeah, uhm, let me think . . . No. Can she cook? She cannot. Knows how to make Chinese tea? Not even. Hold a conversation? Sure, if you want to talk about drinking, getting high, lesbian sex, or Tupak and speak in monosyllabic slang punctuated with, “Feel me?” Feel her? Eew.

I’m running out of positives here. I need her for . . . what? I do have core beliefs. Bad or good, I have them. One of them is that for a relationship to work there has to be empathy. There has to be a sense that both parties would do self-sacrificial stuff for the other without hope of return. That it isn’t a barter, where there isn’t some sense of mercantile interest in the transaction. Not, “if you’ll take care of me I’ll do stuff for you.” Do what? Clean my house? Bump uglies? Feel her? Yeah, how about . . . no. Another belief is in humility, in selfless surrender to the relationship. I’ve become as healthy as I am, and I am far from healthy, because of a long string of sacrifices to God of the hurts, habits & hangups which have kept me from Him. Putting someone in my life who does not compromise, does not sacrifice anything to God or anyone else, would be painful. It’s so not hot.

I come from a family who does not compromise Our currency is long, intense, faux psychoanalytical conversations about what’s wrong with so and so. We believe that the world is messed up and we would be better off if it’d just stick to our orthodoxy. This next relates, work with me: my aunt asked my granddad, her father, why he never complimented the performance of my cousin. He replied that our family does not praise each other because it’d give us a swollen head. Maybe so, but a multi-generational diet of words about what’s wrong with us, with our family and the world, and a stipulation that the answer is to adhere to our orthodoxy, doesn’t set a course for healthy relationships.

My grandfather would not listen to any suggestion that you could puff & dry fruit without oil. He argued with us when we told him painting the interior of his contraption with lead paint made it useless for cooking fruit in oil in a vacuum that people would buy to eat. It’s part of our family insanity. More people like that, who have no room for me in their life unless I understand they are right? I’ll pass.

SumYung HotTea sends me a message and blow for blow, debates each of the elements of my message intending to set expectations. She tells me why my expectations, my hopes for the friendship need to be what she tells me they will be. Why? Why would I go back into a relationship where I have to fight for simple basics like empathy? Why be friends with someone who goes quiet when I tell her I only have $4.00 and tries to reschedule for Friday when I get paid? How is that a reason to fantasize about her naked? Maybe a couple decades ago, maybe when I’d rub uglies together with anyone that would rub uglies with me, today? Nope.

It’s the other way. I’m the one with the domain, the running web site, the sandbox in which folk can play. I have a house where so far, the bills are getting paid. I have a car I don’t owe money on. I was born a citizen so the INS is just a far off, faint aspect of my government. Relative to her, I’m rich. It’s what I have that is attractive, not what I am. I had that in with the wife I left. Wife 2.0 will love me for what I am, for who I am, not just for what I have. SumYung HotTea, as I listed above, she’s got nothing for me. Here I am trying to bury the ghost of Webb’s past with the stuff about my grandfather and this, a woman so like us, so like the worst of our craziness, making the case that I should be happy to rejoin the mess I’ve tried so hard to heal because I need her. Yeah, I need her like I need bullet wounds.


May-December on Mt. Olympus

First Posted 14-May-2015

I was asked if I’m being somehow secretly self-revealing in the use of the name SumYung HotTea and the phrase “horizontal bop”. As much as I have written about how I really don’t think it’d work out for she and I, this writer is suspected of desiring her. And I’m accused of being disgusting in my undeclared desire. Yet, one of my friends is fond of saying that SumYung HotTea has an undeniable attraction difficult to ignore.

pretty-girl-quoteThat’s a porn trope. Older guy and hot young thing. Little god and mortal marry. It must be a thing because it has hung around literature since at least the Greeks if not earlier. Lolita is a much liked movie. So, there is an audience for that fantasy. I am not immune to it. I have a kind of devil/angel on my shoulder thing working. I get the fantasy of hot romance with a girl young enough to be my daughter. If it were just that maybe I’d go for it. It’s never just that. The rest of what being with a woman means arrives soon enough to intrude in the short burst of ecstasy hoped for. Total buzz kill.

Hugh Hefner is a bit of a legend. He had a coterie of young women living in the Playboy Mansion for decades. Even Hef has slowed down over the years. The Playboy Mansion’s heyday as a swinging place has faded over time to be transformed into a family home. The yelps of young women in erotic play have been replaced with the squeals of children at innocent play. For every Friday night bacchanal launched there is a Sunday morning hangover recovery. There was a story recently that the Playboy Mansion is for sale. Even Hef has chilled out over time.

Yeah, that happens. Old dumbass and yungin hang out & hookup. A member of my church passed from cancer recently. He leaves behind a wife in her forties, a daughter in her teens and a grandson. He was in his late sixties. Do the math. This family, though, is the annoying minority to a too oft told majority of bad choices with relationships between old folk and yungins.

I’ve crossed the midline of fifty-something. A diligent reader of this blog will learn that my choice to not live the life I thought my Dad wanted for me has come out well but the road here has been tough. Along the way I’ve learned and experienced things that are hard to translate for SumYung HotTea. It’s as if I’ve made it to the top of Mt. Olympus to walk among the gods. There are some things I’ve become that are hard to explain to the yungins. You kiddies just don’t get some of what I say. I ain’t mad, though. I don’t imagine I’m one of the rare ones who could catch SumYung HotTea and have it work out the way I wanted. She has shallow roots and short wings. She hasn’t been where I’ve been or been beaten down like I have. She hasn’t risen from the dark places I’ve been.

I wouldn’t want that for her. Part of SumYung HotTea’s charm is her naivete. I am the sum of my story, of what I’ve lived in my fifty-something years. It is what will keep me from SumYung HotTea’s bed. It’s worth it, though. *She*, the next girlfriend, needs to be old enough, road-worn enough, that some of my hard times do not trigger a starry-eyed fan-girl admiration of me. Dr. Laura famously said this, that love is not enough. The initial heat of a relationship is great. That nervousness, disruption to a previously calm life, is thrilling. Life, though, includes hungover Sunday mornings with unwashed dishes and stinky laundry. It includes regrets. There are hours where she is riding you about one thing or another. There is so much more to a relationship than dating and bumped uglies.

You need that experience, that willingness to stick it through, for the mornings when it’s that Sunday–the one where your head is killing you, you are about to puke (again), the honeydo list is way long, church . . . CHURCH!? yeah, He’s important so . . . church, her, oy. and you get the needful done. Try to put the ass-spew in the toilet and aim for the bathtub with what is coming out of your mouth. It’ll make the cleanup easier. Just saying. Didn’t happen that way? Yeah. Been there, done that. Sorry. Pinesol. That’s my last word for you. Pinesol. I hate the smell of Pinesol. Too many hours cleaning bathrooms with it. You need it on Sunday mornings like this one.

This is where I want to end. It’s beyond where I stopped the post last time. SumYung HotTea sings melody. Her rhythm is complex and syncopated. I have a hard time finding the root chords, the key signatures, the bass beat. I was all treble clef and melody for a long time. Even married I only gave a small nod on the upbeat to the bass clef and root chords. My life has been a tension between G above the clef and d-minor down on the floor. I’m tired. A lot of Sundays though I can sing tenor I drop into a baritone groove and stay there. I see her, I see SumYung HotTea. I hear her melody. It’s nice. The heart stirs still. But as time passes I like the 4-4 beat in d-minor rocking alone with B.B. and Taj Mahal. I got a good thing working and it needs a good old woman to work it with me.