And I Wrote This Book.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Cleaverness & Scorpio Man and Me, II.

It's December, so I'm going to mix in year-end sillies with my Scorpio story. Remember the cleaver guy? This was his dating ad headline: *Insert cleaverness here*. I responded: Okay. *Ward, I think you were too hard on the Beaver last night.* 
 The "thrushworthy" fellow was also in that batch.

A few of your stellar responses: 
Just Keepin It Real, Folks! These dudes clearly did not get the memo that yesterday was the busiest day of the year for online dating. However, if you don't half to look no more, go with a caped crusader 'cause thrush is nasty, you might not wanna get down, and there was somethin' not quite right about those Cleavers.
Elsie Amata Reason #375: Are you sure it's not Norman Bates? "Coming, Mother!"
Alex J. Cavanaugh Like the last one, Robyn! Although you never want to be too hard on the beaver...
Birgit I think that Ward was looking for his gril friend but may have ended up with thrush

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Me and Mr. Scorpio, II~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Good morn." I texted the next day. "Possible to resched 4 tmrrw?" I wasn’t ready to have my life taken off-course, as if one day would make all the difference.

"Thats fine," he wrote.
    Scorpio drove towards a prime destination for hikers known as Upper Park in Chico’s glorious Bidwell Park. We gabbed like two besties who hadn’t seen each other in years, sweetened by a layer of I want you.
    "To tell you the truth," I rambled, "I don’t want to rush things. When things start too fast, they end too fast, and I don’t have good luck. I mean I have rotten luck with men and I self-sabotage by sharing too much and I get angry, really angry and emotional, when I'm hurt and you don’t mind if I write about you, do you? . . . "
   "No, that's what you do. When you cancelled yesterday, I thought 'What did I do wrong?' But then you checked in this morning, so it's all good. I had a big smile on my face since Friday night. People were like 'what's he so happy about?'. . ."
   Fresh Fall air enticed us, as we shut the car doors. We chose a popular and semi-rigorous trail. Hand in hand, Scorpio and I worked our way down steep slopes of dirt and scattered shrubbery. Eventually, we settled into a soft sandy patch of earth. Scorpio opened his backpack and pulled out a box of crackers, small block of cheese, salami, and a pocket knife. We munched slowly, taking it all in. The sparkly, cool water – run-off from the Sacramento River – was livened by mini-waterfalls.
    Interim kissing and gentle hugs landed amid his expressions of gratitude for having met me. I felt free and just plain 'ole happy. At the same time, yeah, what’s going to go wrong? Maybe nothing. Maybe he's a keeper. Right? And he's a good challenge. See, I’m a close-minded snob about education and job status (as if I, or anyone, has the right to be). Scorpio is neither a high level professional nor well educated. But he's bright and doesn't likely spell "college," "collage." Plus, he was a meth addict and terribly addicted years ago. I’m a good girl who never even touched a bubble gum cigarette.
   "So what about tattoos?" I asked. "Am I the only one without a tattoo or drug history in this town?"
    Yep. He confessed to having two, on the back of each shoulder. Kind of exciting; I’d never dated a tatted man before.
. . . Hours later, same day, on my cushy loveseat, he affectionately ran his fingers through wavy locks of hair along the side of my face. We kissed, and we kissed, and repeated the same.
   "I know we should take it slow," I said softly. "I mean, I was determined to."
   "It feels so right," he whispered.
    That near climactic movie screen moment arrived: Will she see his tattoos? Will she see anything else? Will she take photos for you?

to be continued.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Me and Scorpio Man

   You know I don't believe in love at first sight, my friends. But I was instantly drawn to Scorpio Man when I spotted him in a crowded club this past September. The handsome, clean-cut guy grinned in appreciation of the music. He sat alone at a table, one small glass of alcohol in front of him. I kept dancing. And looking his way. And scheming. 
   Finally, I casually placed my glass on his table. Then I went back to dance to one more song. Then I returned to his table and lifted my glass for a sip (of water, which I'd finished hours earlier). Lucky me, a nearby chair was free. 
   "Do you mind?" I asked.
   "Sure, go ahead." 
   Conversation easily spilled from there. Scorpio works in construction and moonlights as an artist. He's divorced with a grown daughter. His marriage ended due to infidelity on his wife's part . . . Though he has a drug history, Scorpio cleaned up his act eight years ago and never looked back. I shared about my work and writing, marital demise, what brought me to Chico. 
   He  listens too, I thought. What's his deal? "So what do you think of Trump? You don't like him, do you?"
   "No, he's scary." 
   Phew. "Definitely scary."
   "Last call for alcohol!" the bartender shouted, as the music faded. "We're closing in five minutes!"
   We proceeded to stroll around the semi-busy downtown area, chatting away. I felt as though I could comfortably fall into Scorpio's arms. We'd be a good match, he informed. Scorpios and Cancers get along great.
   But I had to go potty, and it was nearly 1:00 am. "It's way past my bedtime," I told him. As Scorpio walked me to my car, he put my number in his phone.
   "Do you want to go for a hike tomorrow?" he asked.
   "Yeah, sure." I paused. "I have a few things going on, but that'd be great." I was interested. Yet I didn't want to move too quickly. Actually I did, but I knew I shouldn't. 
   Scorpio warmed me with a generous hug. "So nice," I said softly.
   "I want to kiss you," he whispered, and then he did. A brief chemical, firework-y kiss. "Wow, that kiss -"
   We parted ways. 
    -to be continued.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Fear and Bridges, Kol HaOlam Kulo

  In my nearly eight years of blogging, I've never felt stuck like this. It's not a "writer's block" stuck. That one's easily cured by a brisk walk or a nice, warm chocolate chip cookie. Or two. [Okay, three, and then I'll stop for now.] No, this sensation resists a quick fix. It's more profound and contentious than that.  
   "Go write through it," I tell myself, watching my fingers meander the keyboard. "Go . . . write . . . through . . . it." But how? What do I write? Back to sillies? More dating-fails? Pretend life goes on as usual?
   Dears, I'm scared. I'm scared for humankind; scared for myself; scared for my loving nephew; scared because the number of visits to Out of the Darkness (for suicide prevention) keeps rapidly increasing; scared of much more than I can articulate. And this damn fear creeps in, time and again, dropping me into a numbed stupor followed by brief bouts of tears. 
   There's a song in Hebrew: "Kol HaOlam Kulo." I learned it decades ago, and it's been sung widely for centuries. The hymn's message is this: "All the world is a narrow bridge. The most important thing is to not be afraid." That translation never quite worked for me, though, because fear is human. Instead, I take from the song: "The most important thing is to not be stopped by fear." 
   And so I won't. I haven't. We won't, and we can't. There's too much at stake. We need to realize that the elite few want to keep us not only paralyzed in fear, but divided as well. 
   We need to push through fear together, to manifest and appreciate moments of humankindness. It was in every earnest fist bump and "I'll miss you too" that I received before Thanksgiving from teen boys who'd been  demoted to alternative high school for "delinquent" behaviors. It's in a child's handwritten sign on the front lawn of a Berkeley Elementary School: "Love trumps hate." It's in my friend Ken's message from across the country and the other side of a false political divide: "Don't be scared pretty lady. Keep writing."
   Humankindness. Community. Love. It's our most powerful weapon for building bridges that will ultimately lead to a better world. Together and in spite of fear, that's not just our challenge. It's the most important thing.