Slouching towards La Guardia

For the last couple of months, Ian* has been suggesting that I go up to NY and visit him. I eventually took a few days off work and flew north. 

The visit didn't start badly, although he showed up at the airport in a new BMW X5 that I didn't know anything about. Turns out he had leased it in the expectation of turning in his VW. He's making quite a profit on the VW deal since it was one of the "hacked" diesels, and VW is buying his Passat back for quite a bit more than he paid.

But my timing wasn't very good. Ian had just learned that he hadn't gotten the promotion he'd asked for; instead, a younger person was brought in and was being paid $40k more than Ian. So he was angry and wounded. We talked about it for a couple of hours, which I didn't mind. We Idealist Counselors know our role in life. 

The next day we went to the 9/11 memorial and museum. A couple of the museum exhibits upset me to the point of tears. But Ian didn't notice. 

The next day Ian spent most of his time on the phone with his insurance agent, the BMW dealership, and his daughter. She was having some sort of crisis coaching her teenage lacrosse team. I began to feel as if I were in the way. 

The last day of my visit, we took a ferry from New Jersey's Liberty Park to Ellis Island. Being an amateur genealogist, I liked this quite a bit. The main building had been restored and made into a museum. Afterwards we sat outside and talked while we waited for the ferry back, and this was about the height of our interaction.

On the ferry ride back I tried to take a photo of the both of us, mainly because I don't have one and I wanted one. But he flat-out refused to cooperate. I ended up with a photo that described the state of things pretty well; I was smiling at the camera and appearing foolish while Ian stood behind me, glaring at the Hudson and half-turned away from me.

We never had sex although I did try a couple of gestures that, in the past, had worked pretty well. I confess I nosed around his apartment searching for his Cialis prescription, but the bottle wasn't there. I didn't ask him where it was. 

The next morning he went to work and I took an Uber to La Guardia. 

More later; I'm still feeling a certain sense of ennui about the situation and undecided what to do.

* See The Usual Suspects at right.


I kissed a girl

Although I have yet to mention it here, I've sometimes wondered if I had a faint bisexual gene. I say this because, every once in a great while, I see a woman I find attractive. Usually they are shorter than me with an hourglass-type figure. Not skinny. 

I still remember a petite blonde colleague at Getalife who I would watch as she walked, as she had this wonderful bottom. Not too big, but still there. Rather Marilyn Monroe-ish. She hated her body of course. I thought this was sad.

But back to the present. After several months of occasional correspondence, I recently began lunching with a woman the Cub* had initially met on an adult web site. We quickly found out that we both were members of the same infamous adulterers' web site and we discussed that quite a bit. Most of it consisted of complaining about how most male members of the web site were poor correspondents and a few assumed that any woman on this site was either a slut, desperate, or a desperate slut. 

Our initial plans - a foursome with her and her adulterous boyfriend (both were married to partners with no libido) - fell through when the adulterous boyfriend Martin decided to behave. This was disappointing as I found him attractive during our one meeting several months ago (before my lunches with Alison began), although these complex pursuits almost never make it to fruition and I was prepared for that.  The girlfriend - let's call her Alison - wasn't there that evening so she wasn't heavily discussed.

During this year, both the Cub and I kept in touch with Alison, even after Martin departed. About a month ago, I began meeting her for lunch. And when the Cub snagged a one-night trip to Dallas earlier this week, we decided to get together for some adulting.

Like any other first time experience, there were highs and lows. One thing that particularly fascinated me is how different it is to kiss a girl. Other observations:  there's no major difference in how women feel or taste (although  my anosmia may have contributed), our ladytowns were built just as similarly as I had suspected, and I didn't feel jealous. 

But I felt a definite sense of sadness afterwards.

I think a major part of this is that I hadn't been able to spend any solo time with the Cub before or afterwards. I hadn't seen him since February.  And his departure was necessarily swift as he literally had a business colleague in transit to the hotel as Alison and I left. But then I haven't heard anything at all from him since. 

I suppose I will have to console myself with the fact that I taste better than Alison.

* See The Usual Suspects at right.


fret reduction

Recently I realized I've spent an awful lot of time fretting over the past few months. I haven't been able to further reduce the cat population or save additional money for buying another house. The Cub* has not visited my neck of the woods for a while. I've not been able to lose much weight or lower my cholesterol (although my doc recently informed me that I lost nine pounds since my last visit. WTF?).

I am yet still waiting to hear about a raise at work, although if I had read all HR emails I would have seen they would not be announced until May because they kindly bumped the minimum pay hike from 2% to 3%. 

But my final visit to my therapist (who didn't retire - she was moved to another part of the hospital system) was well worth the hour invested and $20 copay. I decided to quit fretting about a lot of stuff. I mean, why worry about saving money for a house when the market is not a buyer's market? Especially when I have rent-free accommodation? It's a bit like That 70's Show but it's comfortable, especially since I ripped the carpet out of the bathroom. 

Regarding the Cub, I realized I haven't been fretting. I miss him, but I bear no ill will toward him as he has been honest about things. I suppose it sounds ironic to discuss honesty within an adulterous situation, but marriage itself seems to contribute to so much dishonesty.

I haven't yet felt compelled to seek out a replacement which is frankly a relief. Historically, it's been so difficult for me to find a suitable candidate. It's not so much pickiness as lack of interesting men. And if and when I eventually manage to find someone interesting, there's the additional, vital element - mutual chemistry/lust - that may or may not appear. 

So I'm going to concentrate on more yoga, more reading, better sleep hygiene and less pursuit of the erotic. And I am still hoping to take the Amtrak Zephyr across the West - it runs between Chicago and San Francisco - before funding is cut.

* See The Usual Suspects.



Future marriage prospects

Yesterday there was yet another baby shower at the office. While I don't mind them, I sometimes try to add up how many baby gifts I've purchased over the past 20 or 30 years. It will never be my turn to cash in, but considering my age, temperament and inability to stay home with a baby, this is not anything keeping me awake at night.

After gifts were opened and we all played a repulsive "identify the baby food" game, the conversation turned to future plans. A couple of the young unmarrieds decided to interrogate the marrieds about plighting one's troth. What they should keep in mind when choosing a future spouse? I usually keep quiet during these conversations and yesterday was no different, until someone asked me point-blank if I would ever consider getting married again.

My initial answer is always a flat no, and I explain that I can't see the point at my age, and I don't have much to offer a husband as I'm not wealthy and have certain eccentricities. 

Perhaps my subconscious disagreed with all this, as last night I had quite a long dream about getting married. John Savelle* traveled from the UK and unexpectedly showed up in Texas, determined to talk me into it. He was wearing a very nice tweedy suit, and of course we all looked much younger. I was living with my mother in a smallish house that had never existed in real time. And she was much younger too. 

She was happy to learn of his proposal and although I don't remind me ever accepting it, we eventually went out to find a place to live. I was intrigued that John had flown to Texas from the UK without contacting me first, and hadn't any problem locating me although we hadn't been in contact for a long time. He just shrugged and said "it's easy when you want to know".

But then I was watching Netflix last night and spotted the perfect husband for me: Gomez Addams.

Think about it. He has a libido that never naps. Nothing ever upsets him, even when his children throw their new sibling off the roof.  He likes to blow up things. He's not big on housekeeping either.

The more I think about this, the more sense it makes. Even if I were just dating him, I could take up fencing again and get free lessons. 

* See The Usual Suspects. 


Extraordinary things, courtesy of Jimmy Webb

Anyone who listened in on my Pandora choices would think I'm very odd. They might even take notice of how I often choose songs written by Jimmy Webb.

Webb grew up in Oklahoma where his father was a rural minister. He was expected to accompany his father musically so he was given piano lessons. We're fortunate he liked piano and later began writing new lyrics to what he considered boring Baptist hymns.

Later, the family moved to California, where the teenage Webb entered college to study music. Upon his mother's death, his father decided to return to Oklahoma but Webb had already decided upon his career. He would later recall his father warning him about his musical aspirations, saying, "This songwriting thing is going to break your heart." Seeing that his son was determined, he gave him $40. He told Jimmy "It's not much, but it's all I have."

It appears that $40 went a long way back then.

The primary reason for my fascination with Webb's music is that he turns the ordinary into the surreal. I heard the song Wichita Lineman when I was around five. I remember this as I remembered the ugly little radio that was in the kitchen of our home in Mesquite. 

Why did a blue-collar worker hear his love's voice through the power lines he spent his days repairing? Webb had an almost-surreal talent to write about ordinary people thinking extraordinary things. 

Another favorite of mine is The Highwayman. It appeals greatly to my hidden romantic side. I would have liked to meet every character described.

I decided to see if Webb talked about his inspiration for this song, and like some of the rare fiction I've written, its origin was dream:

“I had an old brace of pistols in my belt and I was riding hell-bent for leather down country roads, with sweat pouring off of my body. I was terrified because I was being pursued by police, who were on the verge of shooting me. It was very real. Without even thinking about it, I stumbled out of bed to the piano and started playing "Highwayman”. Within a couple of hours, I had the first verse."

 One half-exception is the song MacArthur Park. It's just a bit too weird for me, even though Webb eventually gave up attempting to explain the storyline, saying instead "just think of it as an expressionist painting."  And Richard Harris cannot sing. He should have taken the Rex Harrison route*. 

* Before filming My Fair Lady, Rex Harrison was enrolled in a singing class. However, his vocal range turned out to encompass exactly three notes; therefore he talked his way through his musical numbers. Which worked well, in my opinion.