i don’t drink it every day. i wonder why? it’s so delicious smelling, and warming, and makes me feel so much like a writer, and today was the most coffee-drinking day i could have, so here i am, cup in hand.
fall has always been my favorite season; i love the colors on the trees. colors i don’t always know the names for. colors that capture my attention and whisk me away into a surrealistic painting trapped somewhere in my imagination. i love the smell of fire places and burning leaves, the smell of snuggling. i’ve always loved the coolness of the weather, and the advent of sweater wearing – though sweaters decidedly lose their novelty after several months of harsh winter. still, with football and crunchy leaves, Halloween and cider, fall brings a bucket of joy with it.
today’s walk through the park led me to a new tree-friend. a twinkling yellow tree, whose leaves were so happy and energetic, i had to go say hi. millions (or lots) of little yellow leaves waved at me as i came closer, and i saw that there was a sign under the tree, declaring it to be a Gingko Biloba tree. i had no idea my local park had a Gingko Biloba! i gathered up a pocket full of the little flyers from the ground and thought my day to be quite magical thus far.
pockets full of treasure i journeyed on, past my little Poncho tree who is all decked out in yellow, past the squirrels digging out or putting in a stash of nuts, past the stone lions and their diligent perseverance, and past the ghost girl who sits in her attic room practicing the flute. my other park had a blanket of leaves waiting for me, and as it began to rain steadily, i visited the river to say good morning, and finally lay on my back under a tree. i know i’m crazy, so don’t bother reminding me. it’s not usually something that is far from my mind. i know that if anyone was actually out on a day like today (the weather channel calling for severe thunderstorms) they would have wondered what the *#&! was wrong with me. but i couldn’t resist. i was tempted to make a leaf angel, but the whole park was so gloriously decorated i couldn’t bare to disturb the scene. so buried under leaves was the park, i couldn’t tell where the grass met the path, and just plundered over everything until i collapsed at last, like i said, on my back.
and there i lay, looking up at the sky as the rain beat down on me and chinked off the trees, pavement and wrought iron fence. and the leaves came tumbling down around me. this fall, since the trees have been shedding, i’ve been telling myself that i have wonderful great fortune every time i see a leaf fall. sometimes my great fortune is so great, i can’t keep up, and just stand in a shower of wonder. so as i lay under a sky of wet kisses, i called off my wonderful fortune as the stars fell on me, and listened to the murder of crows gathering in a nearby tree. and the love of the universe just fell all around me, and the peace of life just embraced me in its arms. and i walked home finally, soaked to the skin, deliriously drenched, and supremely content. i peeled off my wet layers of clothes, slipped my turquoise satin robe over my bare skin and set about making my cup of coffee. for wondrous things happen when you combine coffee with a fall day…
This is the intro and first chapter to the autobiography I am writing:…
I didn’t intend to have this illness, this MEN-ITIS that I’ve had all my life. When I was a girl people called me boy crazy, which made me laugh. When I was a teen people called me fickle, which was probably – well, certainly true. When I was in my twenties people called me a tease, which was mean. But sometimes accurate, because though I didn’t intend to, I did in fact send out mixed messages. I was trying to be good, trying to behave. I was going to be a virgin when I got married. But what can I say? I love men.
Men are fabulous and fascinating, dark and dirty, intoxicating, impossible, and sometimes just plain idiots. And I love them. They have brought me laughter and pain, they have delighted and devastated me, but through all of the ups and downs of loving men, one thing I can say for sure – they have kept me alive.
Oh for sure, some of them have tried to kill me. Or at least threatened to do so. So it hasn’t all been hearts and kittens in my dealings with the opposite sex. But because of my predilection for falling in love, I have been able to withstand a strange, wobbly, sometimes bizarre life, and come out fairly balanced.
Some people survive their difficult experiences with the help of religion. Some with alcohol. People use sports and gambling, sex and drugs, and sometimes overcoming issues to overcome their issues. Everyone needs something. My vice of choice has been love. Not lots of love, as in I’m a porn star. Or too much love, as in sex-addict. Just falling-in-love, which though up until now has not produced my better half, has nonetheless undeniably saved my life.
Chapter 1 ~ My First Kiss
If my life had been a reality show, and people could have decided which early childhood experience would set me on the path of infatuation and adoration of the male being, I imagine most of the votes would go toward:
A. My First Kiss. I suppose some viewers might choose B: May 18, which is my birthday. These would be New-Agers, who know that being born in May makes me a Taurus (sensual) and being born on the 18th of May makes me the horniest of all people (look it up). Still others might choose C: born in the year 1969. After all, the sixties were all about love. Free love, group love, experimental love, all kinds of love (and don’t pretend you didn’t notice the significance of my particular year of birth). But the correct answer, and the one with 90% of the votes I’m sure, would have been A. My first Kiss.
My first kiss was incredible; the stuff movies are made of. Magical, romantic and thoroughly imaginative. I don’t profess to have a great memory. I do, in fact, have a dissociative disorder – meaning that when I got into situations, experiences or environments that overwhelmed me as a kid, or perhaps involved emotions I couldn’t understand or process, well I just removed that information. I’d grab up the situation at hand and tuck it into a corner of my mind. Or sweep it under the bed of my brain, hide it in the bottom of my drawer of thoughts, or sometimes just toss it into the bin of bad ideas. This is incredibly helpful when you are a small person and living in a chaotic household. Not so helpful when you are older and are trying to remember various details in life. Some times of my life I just don’t remember. Things I’ve done, people I knew and may have hurt, or facts I should know just can’t be recalled and seem to be erased from my memory bank.
But not the kiss. The first kiss I remember. I’ll always remember.
I’m five years old and a sort of free spirited child. My older sister Angie has a thing for this boy Dan, and while Dan’s okay it’s his brother Monty that I have my baby blues set on. Lucky for me Angie and Dan are sort of sweethearts, which means every day we get to play together and the chance of me running into his brother is greater because of it. Dan is about my sister’s age – just two years older than I am – but Monty is twice my age. I’m already five years old, and he is the sexy older boy at a whopping ten. Oh, the allure of dangerous men!
We all live in the same large apartment complex, with its identical little homes all promising conformity, their outer brick skins suggesting protection and safety as well. Untended mounds of dirt and pits of unfinished construction work sit in the sun like abandoned toys. There are fabulous areas to roam and play at this apartment. There is a playground with swing sets, bars, wide open spaces and a merry go round. There are tennis courts that seem marvelously mature and forbidden, and a swimming pool always full of scantily clad beings and hyperactive children. I love the smell of the pool, with all the suntan lotions and sun-kissed bodies. The big fashion statement right now is crocheted bikinis with little peek-a-boo cutouts in the butt or on the breast. The girl in the red bikini has a little heart shaped hole on her butt, where her tanned skin pokes out, winking scandalously at all the boys. Some of the girls have butterflies or suns that are carved out of the fabric, and I wonder how the material stays together around it. Shouldn’t it come unraveled right around the empty hole? And what would everyone do when that happened, when her little boobies are suddenly flying in front of everyone, or her one ass cheek is hanging in the wind with a tiny tan heart on a bare white bottom. The radio sings Afternoon Delight while all the boys in sight dream of little freed boobies, and the warm noisy atmosphere tastes like summer.
But today I am not at the pool, I am at the playground, where all of us kids like to hang around and work on burning off our sugar high from breakfasts of Cocoa Puffs, Count Chocula or Fruity Pebbles. There is also the delightful Cap’n Crunch with Cruchberries, which leaves a strange ripped up feeling on the roof of my mouth, but tastes like heaven. I will discover later in life that I am allergic to strawberries, and wonder if it was the juice from the delicious berries that caused this uncomfortable flayed feeling after a delicious bowl. But for now, I revel in the sweetness and ignore my mouth of ribboned flesh.
We are playing around with something. Monty and I are over at the jungle gym (or monkey-bars, I don’t know where you live so I’m not sure what you called them growing up). He is being a show off on the bars, and I laugh, eyes wide and full of admiration for his reckless abandon and masculine strength. I pretend to be busy with other things, but I can’t help watching him out of the corner of my eye; he’s so cute. My grandmother would probably say his dark hair is too long and shaggy, but in 1974 he is very much current with the styles of the day. Anyway, Gramma always appreciated a good head of hair on a man, so I think she’d find a way to forgive him. Is Monty calling me over to talk to him? Or is it just that I can’t ignore the pull of the male essence? Perhaps it is the light breeze blowing on my skin and the sound of the leaves on the trees rustling, banging up against one another in a little frenzy of leaf ecstasy that makes me stare at him so intently. Something draws me to Monty, and I find myself standing in front of him, while he continues to show off for me, now hanging upside down in a gravity defying, high wire, trapeze artist kind of way. And then suddenly, he is pulling me to him and planting a big fat kiss on my lips while he dangles upside down.
Very romantic. Very sexy. Very Spiderman, super-hero kind of moment, and if you don’t get the reference there’s another fun thing for you to look up besides the astrological significance of my birthday. Now with all of that involved in my very first kiss – the amazing energy, the age difference, the creative positioning and the playfulness behind it all – how can I help it? How can I resist? With a first kiss like that, it is virtually impossible for me to escape a life of incorrigible boy chasing and villainous man admiration. This kiss has changed my life forever, and set my feet on a particular path, and like the prince waking Sleeping Beauty with a soft press of lips, so has this boy whispered the secret of life into the mouth of a small and wounded little girl.