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Category Archives: Life, Living and Loving

Life, Living and Loving: Goodbye 2022

It seems like only “the other day” when I sat down to write my first scribble for 2022. Where did the year go and why did it go by so quickly? I guess it proves that time flies when you’re having fun, huh?

It’d be more fun if I could remember what fun I was having to make the year feel like it just flew on by. Still, I remain grateful to still be here to wonder where the year went. My sister did what she was supposed to do and got our late mother’s house sold and I felt… wistful to get the check because of what her house meant to me. Remembering how excited she was to have been able to buy it; going with her to see it being built and in its various stages. The good feelings about moving out of the projects and the bad feelings of leaving so many friends behind – but not so much since I was going back to the neighborhood that I grew up in albeit in a house that was built on a spot that, first, used to be some kind of factory and then a park.

So many memories. Makes me miss my mother even more.

Otherwise? Not a hell of a whole lot happened in 2022. My health is… stable. Not getting any better but not getting any worse; shit, my biggest health issue has been giving myself a high ankle sprain and one that can’t seem to make up its mind to heal and… I’m going to have to mention this to my doctor and see what can be done about it because I want to be able to walk without my ankle and foot feeling like someone’s beating it with a pipe when I’m walking or feeling like I’m being stabbed in the ankle when I’m sitting down. I know how I did it; I have a habit of sitting with my right foot turned onto its side and getting up to do something and “forgetting” to put my foot flat on the floor before getting up and… ouch. After my stroke, I had to get used to my right foot not being on the same page with the rest of my body and I still have a bad habit of jumping up and moving and like I could do before I had the stroke and, um, sometimes, my body likes to remind me that I shouldn’t do that.

But this time I did. At first, I thought that I had just tweaked my ankle, but it’s proving to be more than that. I’d watch football and hear of players being out due to a high ankle sprain and, truthfully, I thought such an injury was some kind of bullshit… but you can believe that I don’t think it is now. So taking care of his is on my list of things to do in 2023… and right along with scheduling an appointment to see the urologist I’m going to have to set my angst toward aside and for the greater good – but that’s a 2023 thing, too.

Otherwise? Where did 2022 go? I’m thankful that I’ve been able to keep myself occupied and I’m not sitting around wondering what there is to do and, oh – I have a new drum kit! It’s an Alesis electronic set and I’m having fun trying to figure out how to play it. Yeah, that might sound strange coming from someone who’s been a drummer for as long as I’ve been one but it’s… different. Not so much in the way it sounds but how it feels. The kit is smaller than a regular kit and I’m still having an “issue” over how I assembled it; I need to change some stuff that I hope will make me feel more comfortable… and I haven’t quite figured that out yet. I’m used to regular drumheads and cymbals but this is a mesh kit and the drumheads… don’t behave the same way as regular ones do… kinda. I’m probably going to have to get different drumsticks from the ones that came with the kit; they’re… too light but it makes sense that they are… but.

There’s a way for me to connect my iPad and/or my computer to the kit and there’s software available for recording or whatever and I’m looking into these things but, first, I need to relearn how to play drums and a somewhat daunting challenge because my right foot, again, isn’t on the same page as my left foot and I’m a right-handed drummer. I probably could switch stuff around and learn how to be a “left-handed” drummer but, yeah, okay, imagine how I just sighed thinking about that. But first things first: I gotta get used to this drum kit… and I will.

Otherwise? Every day seems like “more of the same” for me. I have a routine that rarely gets interrupted and like it did yesterday when we woke up and had no TV, phone, or internet because of some snafu with the cable company and it took them longer to get things fixed than they had said it would take. And while I’m trying to troubleshoot and fix the new computer I got my lady for Christmas that decided to have some issues right out of the box. I had to reach out to the manufacturer to get it up and running – and then discovered that it didn’t install things properly and, crap, there’s a reason why I was happy to retire from my job as a systems engineer and all-around computer geek. I know how to fix it and it’s going to take some time before I find out if the fix is going to work: I had to reset the computer back to its default settings and, yeah, that’s taking a long time and, as such things go, I won’t know if the reset worked until it either works… or fails.

If it does fail, me and the manufacturer are going to have a long and very serious conversation and one I’m not looking forward to. Keeping my fingers crossed. And praying that they won’t have to talk to me because I don’t have a sense of humor about shit like this. And now, it’s time for more coffee and maybe more scribbling…

 
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Posted by on 29 December 2022 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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Life, Living and Loving: 24 December 22

24 December 1984. On this date and about the time it is now – 12:09pm – I’m standing in a cemetery and the ground is wet, muddy, and just messy and there are little piles of snow here and there and I’m there so we can lay my brother to rest. All the words have been said and everyone is heading back to their cars but I’m still standing there, looking at his casket and really wondering why we’re here. The cemetery staff is politely waiting for me to walk away so they can lower his casket into the ground and fill the grave; I look at them and hold up a hand and say, “I want to do this.”

I reach down for the little lever I know is there because I spent a couple of summers working in a cemetery; I flip the lever and watch as his casket slowly glides down into the concrete vault and… I don’t know how I feel as I watch it go down and when it finally stops, I reach down and flip the lever back to it’s original position and… I walk away and not even caring about all the mud and muck all over my shoes and getting my socks wet. I couldn’t save him… but I could send him on his last trip. It was the least I could do.

Five days prior, his girlfriend stabbed him in the chest, killing him. I’d been haunted by it all because I tried to save his life even though I knew that when I saw all that blood jetting out of his chest, he was already dead. I wasn’t fast enough to prevent the killing blow. Right along with people expressing their shock and sympathies, I had to hear some shit from my uncle about what I should have done and my older sister decided to put her two cents worth into the conversation and… I had snapped on both of them and telling them that if they had been there, neither of them would have or could have done a goddamned thing to prevent this from happening so get the fuck out of my face and do it right the fuck now.

My uncle was a bad-ass Marine and even he knew not to fuck with me. Not now. My sister and I used to fight like cats and dogs on steroids and she thought twice about saying anything else to me. They turned to pounce on my wife with all that, “Why didn’t you do something?” shit and I told them to leave her the fuck alone and what she did do was catch his girlfriend after she fled the scene of the crime and brought her back so she could be arrested.

For me, it was bad enough that I spent an untold amount of time being grilled by police detectives and I wasn’t really worried about them because I know that I didn’t kill him, but I was very worried because I knew my mother would be on her way and I would have the task of telling her that one of her children was dead and how it happened. Almost right on cue, there she was, and I knew that she knew he was dead but she wanted to hear it from me. It didn’t surprise me one bit when the first question she asked was, “Did you do it?”

That’s because the animosity between me and him was very well known and she knew about all the fights we had that left him bloodied and bruised.

“No, I didn’t,” I said. “If I had, I wouldn’t have used a knife; I would have used my bare hands.”

My mom just nods… because she knows I’m telling the truth. The detectives are questioning my wife and that gives me the time to tell her how it all went down… and she is so calm that I’m worried about her as she just nods from time to time. I finish telling her what happened and she sighs, says that she’ll see me later and leaves. The police get done with us and take us back home and the sight of his blood all over the floor adds to my shock; after changing my clothes which were soaked with his blood, we collect our children – and his – and go to my mother’s house where the rest of the family has now gathered. They’re shocked and angry and demanding answers and giving me shit by asking why I couldn’t prevent this and, yeah, what they would’ve done and my uncle saying what he did just shoved me over the edge.

My mom took me aside to (1) get me away from the rest of the family and (2) to tell me that there was nothing I could have done because as fast as I could move, I wasn’t faster than God. She was right – she’s always right – but I had a hard time finding comfort knowing that she was right. Some folks from the church had stopped by and asked for my house key so they could go in and clean up; I handed it over, still feeling shocked and numbed and two hundred percent pissed off because I didn’t know why he just stood there and let her kill him. I’m back to talking to my mother and she can easily see that there’s something else on my mind and she asks about it and I say, “I don’t know why. Mom, he just stood there and let her kill him and I’ll be damned if I know why. He could have moved, could have grabbed her hand, punched her in the face – something other than what he did.”

She nods and says that we both knew that he was living a hard life; she reminds me that we knew that one day, someone was going to kill him because when you live by the sword, you die by the sword. This time, I nod because – again – she’s right; we all knew this, and we let him know that we knew this and with the hope that he’d turn his life around. And just like we had told him to stop abusing his girlfriend because some shit might happen.

He didn’t believe us then. He refused to listen or see any of the writing on the walls. When I was kicking his ass to keep him from beating on her, I told him then that he should just walk away and leave her alone because there was no telling what she was going to do. He said that she didn’t have the nerve to do anything to him which explained the very shocked look on his face when, minutes later, she plunged a knife into his chest… and the last thing he said was asking her, “Why?”

Going back home was hard. The blood had been cleaned up and the living room looked like nothing had happened just hours ago. Ten minutes later, representatives of the housing authority show up asking questions and threatening to evict us because a crime had happened and again a whole bunch of rules that they were citing but I wasn’t really listening to because all I could “see” was the events of his last moments of life replaying over and over and me thinking that… I had done all I could have done. The housing authority reps have decided that despite what had happened – and they were sorry for my loss – we wouldn’t be evicted and had the nerve to say that if something like this happened again, there would be consequences.

Really? They showed themselves out and I… just stood there. Seeing it all over again. Everything I said and did and thinking that all of this went down… because he thought she was fucking his best friend when he came by looking for him. He didn’t want to listen to me telling him that, yeah, homie stopped by; he didn’t want to hear that I had told him that he wasn’t here and that he said, “Okay, well, tell him I’m looking for him!” and left. And everything went to shit and over dumb shit.

Days later, we’re downtown and talking to the Victim’s Compensation Unit so they can determine if he precipitated his own death. The short version is they ruled that he hadn’t and because there was a lull between all the fighting and when the fatal blow was struck. It was bad enough that all of this was haunting and plaguing me; it was worse having to go over everything again and in even more detail.

Death, it seems, doesn’t get really real until it comes knocking at your door. I had attended the funerals for a lot of people I knew, and funerals are disturbingly surreal and no one wants to be reminded of their own morality but, sadly, that’s them and not you or anyone else in your family and especially your immediate family.

His death hit me hard. It hit all of us hard but I was there. I couldn’t get some family members – and some other nosy folks – to understand that it wasn’t like I walked in and saw him dead on the floor; I was there. I saw it happen. I reacted to the threat and just like I was trained to and… I fucking missed grabbing her arm by a split-fucking-second. By the time I had grabbed her arm, the knife was in and out.

Listening to more shit about what I should have done and what they would have done. The only “bright spot moment” came when the insurance guy came to my mom’s house to take care of this bit of business. He knocked and I had answered the door and… he looked like he was seeing a ghost. Okay, what the fuck is wrong with him? He comes in and tells my mom that, first, he was sorry for her lost and tells me that he was momentarily shocked because he thought that I was the one who died. It made sense because we knew each other and probably didn’t really know that my mom had two sons.

“Oh, okay, because I didn’t think that anyone could get that close to you to kill you,” he said. And he was right about that, but it made me laugh for the first time in days.

And… life went on.

It took me a few years to stop being haunted by his death. I saw… some irony in it all given that he had died sixteen days after his birthday and the very somber mood of his funeral and burial being on Christmas Eve. We still had our traditional gathering at Mom’s house but, obviously, it wasn’t the same; we all told our favorite stories about him and the good times and purposely stayed away from the stark reality. Things started to pick up; the menfolk went out to get the tree and we got lucky to find a really nice one at a good price. We had to do some pruning – and I told my mom’s husband that the damned thing was too tall – but we took care of it, and those who were there started getting into the boxes with the decorations.

I’m standing off to the side and just watching what’s going on; my older sister’s husband comes over and says, “Man, I can’t imagine what you went through and how you’re feeling. It feels weird; it’s like you just know he’s gonna come busting in and talking his usual shit.”

“Yeah, it does,” I said, and I wasn’t going to mention how many times in the last fiv days where I was waiting for him to come in or being in another room and imagining hearing his voice… and having the reality slap me in the face to realize that he’s not there and he never will be again.

I remember going to tell my father what happened. Getting totally pissed off listening to him blaming my mother for this when I knew that my now-late brother got put on his destructive path because he was an alcoholic and was doing “more harm than good” for the family and, yeah, Mom tossed him out. My brother couldn’t handle it and, yeah. I cut my father off in the middle of his tirade and read him the riot act and reminded him that if he had been able to keep his fucking ass out of the goddamned bottle, his son – by only brother – would still be alive right the fuck now.

My grandfather and cousin had to “come get me” just in case I decided to knock my father out… and I was thinking about it. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t understand that if there was someone to blame, it was him and not my mother. He was drunk when I showed up to tell him and he was drunk the day of the funeral.

And he wanted to know why his son was dead.

On the day of his funeral, we arrived at the church and got all lined up to go inside and standing like an honor guard was his friend – and the same one my brother had accused his girlfriend of sleeping with. We made eye contact and he nodded, and I did, too, to let him know that if no one else appreciated him standing there, I did. Once we were all inside and seated, he came and said something to my mother, who kissed him on the cheek, and he left, never to be seen again.

It doesn’t get really real until the person lying in the casket is that close to you.

Today is one of those rare moments where I remember all of this. It never really leaves my mind, but his death had left a huge hole in my life and just as other holes were chiseled in when my older sister – then my mother, more recently – died. Not that big of a hole when, first, my mom’s mother died, then my uncle died and then my father died… then his father, his mother, and his youngest sister. Christmas Eve became… just another day. A day of remembrance and not so much a day of celebrating the holidays and more so when, a lot of the times over the years, I had to work and was just busy enough to not let my thoughts wander.

I had had to drag myself out of a “pit of despair and anger.” I should have been able to prevent his death. Every time this thought crossed my mind, I could hear my mother’s voice saying, “You’re fast, but you’re not faster than God.” It had galled me to hear the police say, when they showed up, that I was brave to have disarmed her because she could have made a move to use the knife on me… and I looked at the officer like he’d lost his mind. There was nothing brave about it. She had a knife. She stabbed him before I could stop her; I disarmed her but in doing that, that gave her the chance to haul ass out of the apartment and with my wife dead on her heels. In that same motion, I grabbed him before he hit the floor and started CPR… and knowing it wouldn’t do shit, but I had to try.

The paramedics arrived five seconds after I saw and felt him die. His eyes had just glazed over when they barged in and shoved me out of the way and took over my attempts to revive him and… I knew they were wasting their time and I dimly remembered asking them why they were bothering as the police was getting me out of the apartment and there’s cops all over the place asking questions and then here comes my wife with his girlfriend in hand and, good, my wife is okay. The cops cuff her and hustle her away and…

The rest is history. Dying is an… abstract kind of thing when you’re alive and well. Funny how that works. You hear of people losing their lives almost every day, but it doesn’t get real until death comes to pay your family a visit and, for me, all up close and personal. We didn’t like each other and made no bones about that and it did lend itself to a grudging respect for each other. Yeah, he’d threaten to kill me and I’d invite him to try it and, yup, a couple of times, he really did try to kill me… only to get a mud-hole stomped in his ass and having the inner strength to stop short of taking his life… but letting him know that if I wanted to, I could take him out any time I wanted to… and easily.

We were “moral enemies…” but he was still my one and only brother. Some time later, I would be sitting and thinking about all of this and I remembered a conversation I had with him just days before his death and him talking about being tired and I understood what he meant in that he had been living “on the wrong side of right” and now he was finding it very hard to straighten up, get a decent job, and really making an effort to… be the man he knew he was supposed to be and that we all knew he could be. I found it ironic that given all the shit he’d been into that could have taken him out, it wasn’t until he was starting to turn his life around and… that happened.

The thing that would bug me for years was… not knowing why. Did he really “commit suicide” by just standing there like he did? When he said that he was tired, did he mean that version of tired that means being tired of living? Maybe. And I was pissed because I couldn’t ask him why we had to bury him and on Christmas Eve at that. Many years later, I would see one of those Facebook things that ask if you could talk to someone who had died, who would you talk to and I thought and wrote that I would very much want to talk to my brother so he can tell me why he let her kill him.

Because I have never been able to shake the sense and feeling of knowing that’s exactly what he did. Today, I remember him and really remember him. Taking some… comfort from this because I was with him in his last moments and despite our “hatred” of each other, he knew I was trying to save him… because I had to try.

Because he was still my brother.

My mom had asked me if he had said anything before, he died and I told her what he had said or, really, asked: “Why?” My mom got the same look on her face that I had when I heard the question because, um, why do you think she did what she did after you were trying to beat on her and over something that never happened? My mom… just blinked and just like I realized I had upon hearing it.

“We’ll never know, will we?” she asked.

“Nope,” I said but, in a way, I kinda lied to her because, again, I think I do know why, and I even mentioned it to her, but he was truly shocked and surprised because he really thought that she, of all people, wouldn’t do what she wound up doing. But we all warned him about this possibility. And it became his final reality.

 
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Posted by on 24 December 2022 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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Life, Living and Loving: 08 November 22

I read the TMI Tuesday stuff every day but I don’t always contribute but, yesterday, I made a rare contribution and all because of the very first question asked… which is and can be a major clusterfuck. For those of you who don’t follow TMI Tuesday, here’s that question:

You unexpectedly had sex with your friend’s partner. You feel guilty. Your friend’s partner keeps texting you begging you not to say anything about the two of you having sex. Would you tell your friend or keep mum?”

I found the question interesting because of two aspects: “Unexpectedly” and feeling guilty. I found the choice of “unexpectedly” interesting since it implies that whatever happened wasn’t planned but there are those who firmly believe that you can wind up having sex with someone that you didn’t intend or expect to have sex with and that such things should never happen to begin with. I was forming my answer to the question – and you can see it here: TMI Tuesday: Coupling | Kdaddy23’s Blog (wordpress.com) – and going back in time and the early days when me and the fellas were chasing girls and with the hope of (a) having sex with them and (b) having them as a girlfriend and we would “invariably” wind up having sex with each other’s girlfriend either on-purpose, “accidentally” – that means that it just happened – and, yes, unexpectedly because we would learn that you do not ever do anything with your friend’s girlfriend other than speak to her and that includes not even looking at her and like you want her for yourself.

It made being able to fight rather mandatory; it also tended to result in a broken friendship and most assuredly a lot of hurt feelings. I think that what made this situation kinda/sorta less hurtful was that you could have a girlfriend today, she’d sleep with another guy tomorrow, and she could wind up being your girlfriend again on the third day. It was a very weird period and one that we all go through as we stumble and fumble through being able to establish a relationship and keeping it intact and in accordance to what we’d also been told about this: You can only have a relationship with one person at a time. Yeah, usually but not really because not only by the time I got into junior high school there were guys with more than one girlfriend, but there were also girls with more than one boyfriend.

Lots of fights and hurt feelings would often ensue. I remember the first wedding I went to and the part where the minister had them repeating the “for better or worse” parts and it “confirmed” what my parents had told me about being married and, well, okay. I remember them explaining being engaged – that meant that if you were engaged, you couldn’t “be” with someone else and having sex with someone you were engaged to was, at the time, still considered to be very bad form and this was very much in-line with them telling me that you should only have sex with (a) someone you loved and (b) someone you were going to marry.

So there were two things one had to be mindful of and adhere to: The Friend Code and marriage vows. I don’t exactly remember when I saw the similarities between these two things, but I would, one day, be very aware that people in a relationship but weren’t married are held to the same rules as being married, i.e., for better or worse, in sickness and in health; forsaking all others and keeping only unto yourself. And then… the reality I had already been introduced to that made me wonder about some stuff. I would understand why that part of the marriage vows existed and, yes, it has everything to do with making babies and having a good and viable gene pool and more so when all kinds of birth defects plagued humanity in its early stages. Okay. Makes sense.

But the reality doesn’t much care about this. I don’t know about anyone else but at some point, you learn some shit about attraction and chemistry that just flat out defies the rules we have in place to ensure that things between men and women are one man, one woman, and no exceptions. “Dating” and beginning in junior high school was a bitch and that’s being nice about it because, again, your girl could your girl this morning and someone else’s girl right after lunch. It would be so terribly heartbreaking to find out that some other guy stole your girl and, yeah, he fucked her, too. Cheating was just… par for the course, to put it that way and I would learn one day that there really is a difference between having a girlfriend and being engaged/married and that difference was that you were still held to the same rules but… loosely.

Yeah, sometimes, I’d wind up sleeping with a friend’s girlfriend or, um her boyfriend, and… I didn’t feel bad about it all that much. Like I said in my answer to the TMI question, I knew what the Friend Code said but I also knew about consent, too. If the party of the first part agrees that having sex with the party of the second part would be a very good idea, let’s get it on but if either party had a boy- or girlfriend, well, neither party can let it be known to their boy- or girlfriend that they had sex with each other because you knew what was going to happen with both parties when the boy- or girlfriend found out. I’m not going to say that I got involved in this purely because of intent or “premeditation” although, sure, if I could steal a guy’s girl from him, why not and more so when guys had no problem stealing – and fucking – my girlfriends. It was… dog eat dog and feeling bad about screwing your friend’s girl was, well, you kinda felt bad about it and you didn’t so much.

Messy. I don’t know how many times a guy introduced me to his girl, and I could feel the sexual attraction and, oh, yeah, if I could do her, I most certainly would but The Code prohibited it. You just don’t do your boy dirty like that but I would learn that sexual attraction is some damned powerful shit and to the point where I knew that breaking The Code would be very bad but the two of us knew we had to have sex with each other. This, again, was intent which isn’t the same as being caught up in the moment and, yup, unexpectedly having sex with your friend’s partner. Oh, shit. The rule says that the parties of the first and second part should, in the moment where sex is about to happen, say no, and run away as fast as one can and tell their partner about the incident.

Yeah… and even I found out that it doesn’t work like that. One might think that unexpectedly having sex is an impossibility, but I can assure you that it isn’t and the times when one of us has said, “We shouldn’t be doing this…” and we’re doing it just the same. I would “feel bad” and I wouldn’t because unlike my peers, I understood some stuff about attraction and that “chemistry” that tells you to have sex with someone and how this seriously conflicts with The Code. You don’t want to make an enemy out of your friend but, on the real, that urge to have sex can be damned hard to ignore and one minute you’re sitting there talking to her and the next thing you know, the two of you are going at it and you want to stop and you know you should and, nope, it’s too late at this point and, oh, shit. Well, I’m sure as fuck not going to tell him that I boned his girl and I didn’t mean to because he’s not going to believe that I didn’t mean to and, shit, I really don’t want to wind up getting into a fight with him but that’s pretty much a given that should be expected.

That sense of betrayal is a motherfucker to have to deal with, but this is one of those things that can be “filed” under, “Things happen when they’re supposed to” but this isn’t supposed to happen. I remember all too well how I (a) fell in love with my friend’s wife, (b) how she had the same feelings for me, (c) how we both knew that we shouldn’t feel this way about each other, and (d) we also knew that there was no way in hell we could have the sex with each other we both knew we had to have. And despite our best effort, it happened anyway. Okay. Here’s the thing: Neither of us felt guilty about the five hours we spent having sex that first time, but it was obviously clear that letting our respective spouses about this even though my marriage was open, and my wife and I were free to have sex with anyone of our choosing. So I was “good” on my end but, of course, she wasn’t. She made me promise that I would never tell my wife about this because they were friends, too.

And I never did. I did, in fact, break the rule my wife and I had between us to fully disclose all encounters with others and that just compounded the situation but, okay it got weird because promises were broken but kept and “all because” human nature does not give a fuck about the vows and promises we have created for ourselves. I’m not gonna say that my wife didn’t suspect that there was something between us but she never called me out on it. I would, many years later, find that she eventually told her husband about us – and many, many years later – and when I had asked how he reacted, she said that he was rather calm about it… because he kinda/sorta knew.

I would go to work every day and see him every day and I did not feel bad about the relationship I had with his wife, and it didn’t affect our friendship and working relationship but, then again, why would it when at that time, he didn’t know. Or, realistically, he knew that we were… friendly but not, perhaps, how friendly we had become. But, now, this.

Was there intent to, well, fuck shit up? No. Was it unexpected? No and I say that because we both felt the pull the moment we saw each other, and it was crazy and unlike anything I’d ever felt in my life. We knew we were going to have sex. We knew we shouldn’t have been thinking or feeling this way, and we both knew that we were going to fail to keep our hands off of each other, but I’ll ask you to believe me when I say that we tried and starting with stopping talking to each other and… that just didn’t work since, sometimes, she had to call me to find out where her hubby was and what he was doing. Shit.

Whether it was intent or “unexpected,” I screwed a friend’s partner and I did not feel guilty about it and there was no way in hell that I was going to tell him about it and even if she hadn’t made me swear by all that meant anything to me to not say a word about it to anyone. The Friend Code… busted. Marriage vows… busted but they were already busted on my end because I learned a lesson about how the vows don’t mean shit when someone is compelled to “do what they gotta do,” to put it that way. Zero guilt and I remember us specifically talking about this a few hours after our marathon first time. She asked me, “Why do we not feel guilty?” and… I didn’t know but I got to thinking about it and saw that, well, hmm, we both consented to it and as adults are “allowed” to do. We did something wrong, but it was the right thing to do, and I think we both got schooled on what chemistry can really be like and how fucking powerful it can be. When she asked, “Are we gonna do this or what?” I knew in my heart and soul that I could not and would not say no… even when I damned well knew that I should and because of The Code and the legalities involved when you’re married.

A very watershed moment in my life and… I couldn’t tell anyone about it. She didn’t have to “beg” me not to tell because, again, we both damned well knew that telling was out of the question and in direct violation of being open and honest with your spouse/partner. Yeah… I found out that she told a couple of her girlfriends that she trusted, and I’d met both of them one day and they both let me know that they knew, and they weren’t even mad at me and both said that they were happy for us… and jealous, too. I told my closest friend because I knew he wasn’t going to say anything to anyone else about it.

Tell our spouses? Hell, no. She asked me not to tell mine and she knew I was supposed to because she knew about our open marriage and that was because I told her about it when it became clear what had to happen and, yeah, it was a given that we weren’t going to say shit about it to her husband and my friend and coworker. We didn’t even think that it was going to be a one-time thing because we knew it wasn’t going to be.

The biggest sigh I’m capable of at this point. There are the rules we are to always follow and without exception, but you learn that human nature doesn’t give a fuck about stuff like that. It was a lesson I had learned growing up and getting into the “relationship game” but it wasn’t until this moment in my life that everything that I had experienced – and including my wife cheating on me and it leading to us being open – that everything that I believed in was seriously proven to be… flawed. Honestly? I knew it was before I got that kick in the balls and, shit, sometimes, we were having sex with our friends’ partner while the partner was right there and all up in the mix. That was different. What I just told you about was a whole very different thing with a lot of implications and a slew of consequences that included some that weren’t palatable but a lesson of when you’re an adult and you consent to something like this, you accept the consequences even if the worse-case scenarios never happen like, um, we talked about her getting pregnant and having to explain that one to our spouses. She didn’t believe in using condoms and birth control as a whole so it was on me to get out of her before the fact, but we were both also aware that my “pre-cum” could contain active sperm. And I knew that if I got her pregnant, I had to own it and accept whatever consequences that happened.

And I was prepared to “take the whooping” I could expect to get if she did get pregnant because, well, I’m an adult and I’m not a coward in that sense. You do the “crime,” you do the “time.” At the end of any day, it wasn’t about intent or one of those “shit just happened like that” moments that really do happen. The “moral of the story” – and I can appreciate the irony in using the word, “moral” – is that if you do it, what’s the real point in feeling guilty about it since both of you consented to do this and in defiance of The Code and how we go about having a relationship like you’re married and even if you aren’t legally bound to each other.

I can, in a way, cite “unexpected” because I never expected to fall in love with her and I knew – because she told me – that she was even more shocked than I was. She’s the one who taught me that there’s nothing you can do about the way you feel – you can only do something about how you act on those feelings and if we had a problem, it was that we knew how we were going to act on them and… okay. Resistance was futile but, again, we knew that, too. Not telling our spouses about it and, believe me – she was well worth having to break my promise to my wife and I’m not just talking sexually and, yes, I felt worse about that than I did over what the two of us did. Still, zero guilt in that regard, and I think that was because we both understood human nature and, yeah, again, we both got a lesson on what “having chemistry” with someone really means.

She talked about fate a lot. That this was meant to be and, as such, she accepted fate; I felt the same way minus “fate” but I will say that if I never believed in fate before, I had a damned good reason to believe in it. Still, if we consent to doing this thing we are never to do because (a) The Friend’s Code and (b) the way all relationships are handled like being married is, yeah – some seriously messy shit all across the board and, once more, the fact that reality, in the form of human nature… doesn’t give a fuck. We are designed to be sexually attracted to each other and while we do our level best to not be so attracted when we’re in a relationship, I honestly do not know many people who have never felt that attracted to someone they weren’t supposed to be attracted to. You can’t help but to feel it and, yes, you go out of your way to not do a damned thing about what you’re feeling but, um, yeah, sometimes we fail to abide by the rules and as we know them to be.

The worst example of this for me? That would be my best friend’s wife accusing me of fucking her when I stayed with them while in their city and looking for a job there. He was understandably livid and left his home and came to mine to face me with the accusation and he was ready to fight. I, too, was livid because I knew that heifer lied on me and, at the time, I was 100% about abiding by The Code and, sure, I might have done that to someone else… but never to him. He was ready to kill me and understandably so but cooler heads prevailed, and I got him to see the truth and I had assured him that if I had fucked her, I would have told him myself that I had – and then took the blame for it even if she somehow managed to seduce me and, yes, I told him this to his face. He had some shit to talk to his wife about but this is a situation where The Code was upheld and on top of the fact that I had zero sexual interest in her. Come to find out, she tried to use me to make him jealous so that he would divorce her and, well, that poor girl had… issues, to be nice about it.

And an example of how The Code and the other promises we make just aren’t proof against human nature. I should, even now, feel bad about that… and I still don’t. I know that I should have “been strong” and said no when she asked if we were going to do this… and I didn’t and I knew I wouldn’t and I knew I should because the rules say so. She knew it, too and she asked, and I consented, and we did it like neither of us had ever had sex before in our respective experiences. It felt right despite being all kinds of wrong but, shit, it’s all a part of being an adult and owning the decisions you make. You never really expect something like this to happen – I know I didn’t – but there’s a lesson in this, too: Always expect the unexpected.

Does it make sense to feel guilty over that which has to be? I really don’t think so but I’m sure there are those who’d read this and not be of a mind to agree with this… and that’s understandable because I know what the rules are and there were other times when I’d find myself sexually attracted to a friend’s partner and… nothing happened… but I never saw this coming and, in retrospect, I should have but it wouldn’t have made a difference because it’s way too easy to saw what you shouldn’t have done… after you’ve already done it.

But I understand human nature because I got schooled in it and beginning with my first day in junior high school and at a time when trying to establish a relationship with a girl was expected and this kind of stuff happened as a matter of course. It’s complicated but, on the other hand, not so much when – or if you can – look at the reality of things and I do not mean the skewed version we’ve all been fed.

 
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Posted by on 8 November 2022 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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Life, Living and Loving: Mrs. Fever’s September Song Project 2022: “In My Dreams”

There’s a guy I used to work with who was a singer/songwriter and he had aspirations of making it big as an R&B artist. In some of the lull moments on the job, we would sit and talk about music and, I dunno, he didn’t believe that I was a musician or that’s the impression he gave me at times.

We’d gone to a local music store to look at keyboards. He was a fan of Yamaha keyboards and had his eyes on a model that, right now, I can’t remember (but you know I’ll remember it later today and when I’m not thinking about it). I liked Yamaha’s keyboards but some of their sounds weren’t… quite right for my ear. I already had a Technics keyboard and it was frigging amazing but that day, a Kork workstation caught my eye and I was drawn to it like a bee to honey.

I found its power switch and fired it up; I laid my fingers on the keyboard and played a simple warm-up piece that I’d been taught many years before that was designed to enforce proper fingering (and, okay, let this pun stand for the moment) and after doing some idle tinkering, I was hooked. I had to have this instrument and the $3,000 price tag didn’t bother me one bit and more so when I knew that I had a huge bonus coming my way that made that $3,000 look like chump change.

The money hit and cleared my account and… I went on a buying spree. First, I bought the drum kit that you can see in my “Give The Drummer Some!” scribble for this project because that store was like five minutes away. I dropped them off at home – my wife had her “oh shit” look on her face – as I told her that I’d be back in a hour. I hauled ass to the store where I fell in love with the Korg workstation and had a bad moment when the guy at the store said that he didn’t know if they had any more of them in stock and outside of the demo. A couple of things about that.

I had the sense that he didn’t want to sell me the keyboard; I had the sense that he thought that I couldn’t afford it. He’s telling me that he can order me one but it’ll take a month to get it and I called him on his bullshit and I was uncharacteristically irate and even said that if he didn’t want to sell me one, just fucking say so and I might have mentioned that if he thought that I couldn’t afford it, get the fucking keyboard from the back and run my card and find out what happens.

I guess he said, “Oh, fuck me – this motherfucker is for real!” or something or maybe he just wanted me to stop embarrassing him or whatever. He goes in the back and, what do you know? There was one back there after all! Punk-assed bitch. He rings me up; I give him my card; he slides it and gets this surprised look on his face when the sale was approved. I’m still too pissed at him to gloat but I let him know that I wasn’t happy with him. Paperwork in hand and… now I gotta get this thing in my Honda Accord; it’s the 77-key model and I admit to not have taken its size in mind but I got it in the car and hauled ass home.

I tell my boy at work that I got the keyboard and since I figured that he wasn’t going to believe me, I took a picture of it sitting in my “living room” area and it’s set up on the dual keyboard stand with the Technics but despite this, he wanted proof that I could, in fact, not only play but compose and challenged me to write and play something and record it so he could hear it.

Challenge accepted. It took some doing but I got my hands on the stuff I was going to need to pull this off from the MIDI stuff I needed to the SONAR software and to the Tascam recorder/mixer I’d need to, eventually, burn whatever I came up with to CD. I spent the next couple of days giving myself a crash course in how these two very different keyboards could work together via MIDI as well as another crash course in the SONAR software. My boy is getting impatient and giving me his best “you’re full of shit” look, which I ignored. I came home from work that day, sat down at my new MIDI keyboard rig, fired them up, tinkered with some setting for a moment before putting my fingers on the keyboards and… just let them do their thing.

Two hours and a lot of error corrections, I had the new and original song put together including manually recreating a pre-set drum track that the Technics already had – yeah, I was showing off at this point. I had some bad moments transferring it from the computer to the Tascam but I figured it out and, as my proof that I wasn’t full of shit, burned the new song to tape so I could hand it to him, which I did the next day.

As I was replaying the song from the SONAR software my wife and our live-in girlfriend were listening to the song it… got them feeling some kind of way because they dragged me from my setup, took me to bed, and wore my ass out for the rest of the night and into the wee hours of the morning. The next day, my very exhausted ass handed my boy the tape and all I said was, “Here you go – give it a listen.” We take a break and go out to his truck; he puts the cassette in, and presses play… and the song is surrounding us and he’s said, “You really did this.”

“I told you I could,” I said. “It took me longer to get it on tape than it did for me to create it.” Ah, but he wasn’t quite “impressed” and asked if he could take the tape home so his wife could listen to it and I said that he could since, now, I can put it on all the tapes I wanted to. The next day and when he gives me back the tape, he says, “My wife wants to talk to you.”

Um, okay. He calls her and hands me his phone and the first thing she said was, “That was one of the most beautiful pieces of music I’ve heard in a long time! Why did you choose oboe for the solo instrument?” I tell her what I was thinking and feeling in the moment and, well, I’ve always thought that the oboe is a sexy instrument, and it was also the solo voice on Wendy (formerly Walter) Carlos’ rendition of Bach’s “Air on A G-String.” She talked about this one chord change in the song that, whew, it just grabs you and I knew what she was talking about and she even said that after hearing the song a few times, she made her husband’s night… interesting. She asked what the name of the piece was and I said, “In My Dreams” and, no, I couldn’t tell her why I named it like that but… it fit.

He’s impressed but challenges me to compose a different piece and just for piano. That was easier and eventually convinced him that I was the real-deal musician I said I was – and I named that piece, “Infinity” because as I composed and played it “on the fly,” I realized that it could go on “forever” and my biggest problem was trying to figure out how to end the song and when I got it as cleaned up as I was going to get it, whew, it’s 8:20 long. My boy liked “Infinity” more than he did “In My Dreams” but that motivated him to get with another musician friend of his and throw down a song of his own: “I Know You’re Out There Waiting.” It’s a damned good piece of music, too – but I had no doubts about his bona fides as a singer/songwriter.

I eventually burned both songs – and few “practice pieces” to CD as well as saving them to the computer and added them to my music collection as well as being on a playlist. Doing them… stretched me on the technical side of it and I wish that I could include “In My Dreams” here – the file size of the song is too big for WordPress and my free account. Oh, well. I listened to this song last night and, years after I originally wrote it, I still sit and shake my head while thinking, “Damn… I really did that, didn’t I?”

I’d taken a copy of my CD to Japan with me when we’d gone to visit my son and his family there so he could hear it and give me some feedback since he, too, plays piano/keyboard. He listened – and I saw the look on his face when that chord change “punched him in his soul” and when it was done he said, “Damn, Pop – that was sweet! And it only took you a couple of hours to throw it down?”

His feedback meant more to me than the guy at work’s critique did.

We had had a barbeque one nice summer day and I was doing double duty as the grill chef and DJ and I hadn’t realized that, when I was loading up the dual disc player with music, I’d stuck my CD in the pile until I heard it playing. I thought, “Oh, shit – I didn’t mean to put that in the pile!” but the folks in attendance heard it and… stopped whatever they were doing and talking about.

Someone asked, “What’s the name of that song and who did it?” and my wife told them that I did the song and, yeah, I had to prove it by getting the computer to play it on my keyboards. One woman said, “I could fuck to that song – how can I get a copy of it?” Her husband got this look on his face that I interpreted as him going to be in deep doo-doo when they got home… and you know I gave her a copy of it (and after making sure that my rights to the song weren’t going to be usurped).

I would play it for the woman who joined our family and after she heard it, she kissed me so deeply that it not only took my breath away, but I think she took part of my soul, too – and then she jumped my bones and finished stealing what was left of my soul.

The song is… sexy. It wasn’t intended to be but when I write music, I write whatever I happen to be feeling in the moment and this song wasn’t any different… as far as I was concerned. It’s not easy to explain how I came up with the song but those of you who have written a song or have just come up with something as you sat at the piano or some other keyboard, you know how that works. You start with a few notes and it just… comes to life from there.

And I finally remembered the keyboard my friend was looking at that day and bought – after I’d gotten mine, of course: The Yamaha Motif 8. It took a quick trip to the bathroom for me to remember it.

I played “In My Dreams” for my mom but didn’t tell her that I wrote and performed the song; I wanted her to listen to it “unbiased” and as she listened, I just watch her facial expressions that would tell me more about what she thought of the song than what she might say. The song ended and she said, “That’s pretty – who did it?”

“I did,” I said to her and for a moment, I felt like that little kid I used to be and needing her praise for doing good at something, which is a pretty weird feeling for a guy in his 40s. I told her how I put it together and it felt so good to my heart and soul to hear her say that out of all of the music she’s ever heard me play – including the song I wrote in memory of my brother – it was the best ever and I knew she wasn’t doing that “mom thing” and blowing smoke up my butt. Her only real critique was… there were no lyrics for the song.

And there still isn’t. I tried to write some but that’s not where my talent lies and my friend and former coworker, who is a lyricist, couldn’t come up with anything either. But there is music for which there are no words for when it comes from the heart and soul.

I’m going to listen to it again… because it’s pretty and quite sexy.

 
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Posted by on 30 September 2022 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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Life, Living and Loving: Another Year!

Today’s my 67th birthday and I spent a few moments thinking that I wouldn’t mind being 37 again and I smiled to myself to think way, way back to a time when it was inconceivable that I’d be this old because I couldn’t wait to be a teenager, then be 21, and… now I’m 67.

It is said that at some point, your birthday becomes just another day; it’s an important one, of course, but yeah, it’s being thankful to be around to contemplate being a year older and, shit, another year closer to the end of things and it makes celebrating every day a good thing to do. It’s… weird to know how old I am but my mind isn’t so much in denial about my age but I don’t think like I’m this old, which is a good thing.

I got out of bed and the moment my feet hit the floor, my joints sounded off like a box of Rice Krispies and I did what I’ve been doing for a while upon hearing these sounds: Rolled my eyes. Sheesh. The other day, I had a kink in my shoulder and, fuck – what happened to those days when something like this would happen and I could literally shake it off and like it never happened? Now I work on getting the kinks out and I have to be careful not to hurt something else in the process.

I remember my late and beloved mother saying when she was 40-something, “This getting old crap is for the birds!” I remember thinking that she wasn’t that old and, of course, I would understand that I really couldn’t relate to what she was saying given I was 20 years younger. Now I know exactly what she meant; I remember talking to her when I turned fifty and told her, “You were right; this getting old crap sucks!”

And she laughed… for quite a bit of time, too.

Thinking about being much younger and resisting the urge to roll my eyes every time I heard someone say, “When I was your age…” and I’m telling younger folks the same annoying thing. I happened to be looking for something on my phone and ran across a picture of me holding… my great-grandson. And then even weirder thing of “noticing” that the old guy in the picture isn’t the guy I see in the mirror every day and, hmm – it is weird that a camera can see something that your own eyes don’t.

I had my yearly (and “mandatory”) exam for my insurance carrier and I’m in pretty good shape for a guy my age and given the stuff going on with me and… when the fuck did I become that guy my age? One of the first birthday wishes I got was from… my first grandchild who will be 32 tomorrow. Thirty-two. He’s still miffed that he wasn’t born a day earlier but, yeah. He’s gonna be 32. I have twin second cousins who were born on this day; I have a first cousin who was born 363 days after I was and I have always loved giving him da bizness to wish him a happy birthday and remind him that for two whole days, we’re the same age.

A moment of sadness to think that my brother and older sister are gone. Another to think that I’m an orphan and that with the exception of my cousin’s mom, that generation of the family is no longer with us. I know that the clock is running down and I’m not even looking forward to the day it runs out. I sigh and… I need to get my passport renewed, I finally got around to getting the new wallet I’ve needed for a while now as well as doing something as mundane as getting a new belt and even that was long overdue. And… what’s for dinner?

Today is… just another day but one that I am more than grateful to be around to complain about shit. I’m having one of those senior moments because I’m trying to read the instructions that came with my new belt for attaching the buckle and… I can’t see that shit. Well, that’s because I didn’t have my glasses on and… I roll my eyes and set the belt and buckle aside for later. Taking a moment to not only clean out my old wallet but trying to figure out how I’m going to get the stuff I need to carry in the new wallet… and seeing my AARP card and… I still have my original Social Security card which, in the old wallet, was in the plastic sleeve and behind… my Social Security card.

I was giving my cousin da bizness (as usual) when texting him a couple of days ago and I asked him if he’s gotten that letter from Social Security congratulating him for reaching retirement age. He said that he hasn’t gotten it but when he does, he’s gonna frame it and I allowed that mine is… filed away somewhere.

Yeah, this getting old crap is for the birds… but it’s good to get old even when your joints like to sound like a Fourth of July fireworks display. All you can do is… laugh. It’s funny – and not so much – when you can now sprain your back just getting out of the bed. But life is good… and that’s why someone invented Icy-Hot. I have a neighbor who’s a few years younger than I am and he can’t seem to believe that I am, in fact, older than he is and probably because, I dunno, I either don’t look like I am or, more likely, I don’t think like I am.

I talk to the guy I’ve been mentoring in the ways of bisexuality, and I find myself saying to him, “Wait until you get to be my age…” or yanking his chain to remind him that my youngest child is older than he is and, yeah – who’s your daddy?

Another year older. Allegedly wiser and, all things considered, I’m really not bad for a guy my age.

 
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Posted by on 23 September 2022 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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Life, Living and Loving: Mrs. Fever’s September Song Project 2022: Gospel Music

There’s a song entitled, “He Looked Beyond My Faults And Saw My Needs” that our church choirs loved singing. It’s set to the music for, “Danny Boy,” a song we’d sometimes play in the orchestral part of being in the school band and usually as the musical accompaniment to the school choir belting it out and in all its harmonic glory.

I found out that when the church finds out that you can play, they want you to play and they expect you to automatically know of every gospel song ever written. My God… that used to make me insane because whenever our regular pianist/organist couldn’t be there, I could expect someone – usually my mother, mother-in-law, or our revered pastor to come ask me if I’d play for whatever choir was singing…

And like I knew what they planned on singing and, yep, I already knew the song and however it was arranged or, as usual in Baptist churches, rearranged. Most of the time, I… refused such emergency requests because I knew that I didn’t know the music even though I could sit at the piano/organ and play a song from the hymnal as written which, when I did step in, yeah, the membership wasn’t happy with the music because I didn’t put the gospel twist on it.

Well, that’s because I didn’t know how to play gospel music. They didn’t seem to understand that, yes, I’m a classically trained musician but that doesn’t mean that I can play music from every genre that exists unless you have the music for it and I have x-amount of time to learn the piece and if I’m to put a twist on it, figuring out how to twist it. What made it “worse” for me is that the pastor’s very young son was a prodigy and, admittedly, played organ way better than I did and he learned on his own which had the effect of people asking me why I couldn’t play church songs like this kid could and not understanding that (1) he was some kind of prodigy, (2) his father is pastor and he’s been exposed to this music in a way that I hadn’t been and (3) this is not the kind of music I’m used to playing.

There were two times when I didn’t mind playing in church. The first was when my baby sister got married and she – and my mother – had asked me to play the “Wedding March” for the service (as well as “churchy” stuff prior to the ceremony. Fine. One thing, though: I had never played it before. Heard it? Yes. Played it or seen the music for it? Nope. And as such things tend to happen, I was asked to do this (expected to) and I only had three days to find the sheet music specifically for organ and learn it. My mom had come over to my place and I was at the organ feverishly hacking my way through the piece and even she asked me how come I didn’t already know how to play it and I will say that at that point, she should’ve been glad that she was my mom because I was on my way to an epic meltdown because it had taken me two of those three days to find the fricking music, leaving me a whole day to learn it.

My sister’s big day comes and… everything went well as far as the music went. The next time was when my mom had been invited by another church to sing at an event they were having which I thought was cool because mom could sing (even though she didn’t think she was a good singer). Here comes the “bad” part: She asked me to play for her at this event and the song was the one I opened this scribble with. I knew this song like I knew the back of my hand but when we rehearsed for this, whew, she would stop singing and ask me why I was playing it that way or complain about some of the notes being too high for her and now I’m “rewriting” and rearranging the whole cotton-picking song to be able to play it the way she wanted me to and she drove me insane with this and being paranoid about singing in front of a bunch of people to begin with.

I’d often stop playing because she was so nervous that she couldn’t sing the song. I don’t know how many times I’d told her that even though I’ve played in front of a whole lot of people, I’ve always been nervous before the fact and sometimes during it but once I started playing, all I’m thinking about is the music and the people listening don’t exist until I’m done playing. If this had been anyone other than my mother, I would have refused to play. No pressure, right?

Her big moment comes. I go to the church’s organ and… it’s a Hammond B3. Uh oh. I can play an organ. I had one in my home. I had never played a Hammond B3 before and the B3 was the variant that had the full pedal manual… that I hadn’t had much to do with in years. And I have, oh, about two minutes to figure it out before mom gets called up to sing. I’m furiously resetting the organ from where the church’s organist had things set up; mom’s being announced and I am not ready because while I know what tabs control what voices, I couldn’t “test” them to make sure I had them right for the way we had rehearsed the song.

She’s at the mic and does what I had asked her to do; when you’re ready, look at me and nod and I’ll play a lead-in just like practiced and when I nod back at you, face the back of the church and find something to fix your eyes on instead of looking at the people… and sing your heart out. Between my mother’s voice and my rearrangement of the song, by the time we got done, there wasn’t a dry eye in the place. My mom is smiling at me and came over to hug me; I whispered in her ear, “I told you that you could do this, didn’t I?” and it was the first time I got to hit my mom with, “I told you so!”

Otherwise? Nah, don’t ask me to play in church. Ever. I can play gospel music like “it’s supposed to be” played but as I learned when I was “forced” to be the director of our senior choir, when you’re dealing with a bunch of people who have had zero musical training – and your mom is one of them – rehearsals usually got ugly because I’m playing the song with gospel twists and they’re telling me that I’m playing it wrong and at one rehearsal, I went ballistic and medieval on them and it was an epic rant that almost got me bitch-slapped by my mom for being “disrespectful” to the choir members who were all way older than I was.

I played and directed them for that one Sunday and told all of them, “Never again.”

I think about that song at times, and it always brings back these memories and more so when my mom passed away; I can still hear how she sang it and I am… comforted. I think about the song and remember – and like it was yesterday – literally sitting at my organ with my manuscript pad and rewriting the song. Playing it later on with my MIDI-connected keyboards and, yeah – I wish I had had them when my mom had to sing that day. Hah – I would have programmed them to play the song without me doing anything other than pushing one button. I would (and still can) take a soulful church song in the gospel mode and turn it into one hell of a song with loads of instrumentation that no real organ can reproduce.

And, oddly, it’s the only church song that I can play without having to think about how to play it. Well, other than “Amazing Grace” – I would sometimes play it for my mom just to hear her sing. I’m getting all choked up at this point so… I’ll leave it this alone for today.

 
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Posted by on 5 September 2022 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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Life, Living and Loving: Mrs. Fever’s September Song Project 2022: “Moon River”

My girlfriend’s father was an imposing man. Shorter than I was but built tough from years working at a local company and messing with concrete. His hands looked like he had hams attached to them and every time he said something to me, like, “Boy, don’t you have a home to go to?” my flight-or-fight instincts would try to kick in.

He clearly didn’t like me seeing (or screwing) his daughter. He wasn’t shy about telling me about it, either. She had told me that her father had chased off all other guys who were trying to get with her and that was fine, but we truly loved each other, and I wasn’t going to let anything stop us from being together… but this man scared the shit out of me. Her mom was openly hostile toward me from the moment I met her but she didn’t bother me all that much because she wasn’t always telling me that she was going to punch me in the face.

One day, I showed up at her house so she could take my braids out and redo them. I spoke to her mom, who gave me yet another evil eye and overhead, I could hear her dad leaving his bedroom and heading for the stairs and when he reminded me that I didn’t live there – and I said that I’d just arrived – he balled his fists up and I thought, “This is it – I’m gonna have to fight him to keep my woman!”

But he sat down in his favorite chair which had the misfortune of being right next to the piano bench I was sitting on while my love was messing with my hair. He’s grumbling and cutting his eyes at me then says, “I hear you can play that goddamned thing…” pointing to the piano.

“Yes, sir, I can,” I said, wondering what this was about.

“I’ll tell you what,” he said with a sly grin on his face that made me want to pee on myself, “If you can play “Moon River” on that motherfucker, I’ll allow you to keep seeing my daughter.”

Here’s the musical problem I’ve always had to deal with: People thinking that because I’m a musician, I can play any instrument and any song that was ever written and regardless to whether or not I’ve ever heard the song, knew who performed it, stuff like that. True enough, at the time, I could play four instruments (and in the order I learned them): Organ, trumpet, piano, drums. Indeed, I had met my soon-to-be girlfriend at church and before a choir rehearsal having been invited by my best friend. I was at the organ and playing my rendition of “Over the Rainbow” and she came over and started talking to me and, well, it was love at first sight for us which led to this moment where I have a few seconds to think about two things:

Do I remember the song… and could I really play it? I’d heard it before and several times, but it was one of those songs that you hear and you… just hear it. I knew my father’s father loved the song and apparently my girlfriend’s father liked it, too.

“Well? What the fuck are you waiting for?” he asked, his voice becoming even more menacing. “Get to tinkling the ivory or get the hell out of my house and never come back!”

Shit. The only thing I had going for me was that I had played this piano a few times before despite it being in need of retuning. I’m racking my brain thinking about this fucking song and with her dad literally standing over me and breathing down my neck, I started playing. I glance up and over at her and she looks… worried. To this very day, I’m still not sure how I pulled that off but, again, that damned thing that has some people believing that if you hear a song, you can play it.

Which is true if you can remember ever hearing the damned song and I knew I hadn’t heard it in over a year. My hands are shaking and it was like I’d never laid my fingers on a keyboard before as I make my way through the song. It didn’t help when I heard him kinda whisper, “You’d better play it with feeling, too, you sumbitch!”

No pressure at all, right? In that moment, the song just… landed in my mind and I played like my life depended on it because it did; I loved her. I knew she was The One and we were already talking about having kids and getting married and knew we were… fated to be together. Being in that moment also reminded me to get some… revenge on my friend because he had admitted that he had set me up to get fixed up with her and I have never forgiven him for it, and I never will… but we laughed about it even though I have never meant something as much as I did this.

No, don’t ask.

I finish playing “Moon River.” The final notes and chords are fading away and I knew that this was now one of those defining moments of my life because if he didn’t like my performance, I had no idea how we were going to keep seeing each other and I was so frustrated that I wanted to cry while I awaited his verdict. Indeed, my girlfriend has tears running down her cheek and I turn to face her father, who is giving me his “death stare” and he’s clenching his hands.

“Not bad,” he finally says after staring at me for one hundred years. “Just as I remember it, too. You must’ve played this a lot of times, right?”

“No, sir – first time,” I said.

“Hmm. Okay, you can keep seeing her… but you’d better keep your motherfucking dick out of her or else!” he said with a growl… and a bit of a smile.

I asked to be excused and if I could use the bathroom… because I had never needed to go so bad as I did in this moment. As I’m running up the steps, I can hear him saying something to her and I hear her laughing at whatever he said to her and, no, I never found out what he had said.

Not long after we were married, we were visiting her parents. Her mom hated me even more because we’d already had a child together before we got married and it just got worse after we got married. Her dad and I got along fabulously after I finally stood up to him when he said he was going to kick my ass because I had knocked her up and I’ll say that I don’t know what the fuck I was thinking about when I got back in his face and pretty much cussed him out while professing my deep love for her and even told him that I was going to kick his old ass – and, yeah, I was fairly sure that I could, at the least, let him know he was in a fight – but I did that and he said, “Oh. Okay.” And we were cool ever since.

On this occasion, we’re talking football and how his Minnesota Viking “weren’t worth shit” when he stops talking, smiles, and says, “You know I was fucking with you that day, don’t you?”

For a moment, I had no idea what day he was talking about since there wasn’t a day in those early days of our relationship where he wasn’t fucking with me. “What day are you talking about, Dad?”

“Moon River,” he said. “I really didn’t care if you could play it or not, but I wanted – I needed – to see if you really loved her or you just loved fucking her.” Yeah, this dude was about as blunt as they came. “But you proved to me that you were willing to do something I knew you weren’t sure you could do because you did love her that much… and the pussy had to be that good, too.”

I was caught up between being a bit ticked off and being embarrassed about the “good pussy” thing (which was true but, still) and he sat in his favorite chair and told me about every time he tested my resolve and why he didn’t give me any shit the day I formally came to him and asked if I could marry his daughter; I had expected to fight for that and he tripped me out when he had just looked at me and said, “Sure. Go ahead. About goddamned time, too.”

“Play it for me one more time?” he asked.

I went to the piano which, by now, was very badly out of tune. The song came back to me, and I played it for him and with a lot of feeling. I kinda looked over my shoulder to see him sitting behind me with his eyes closed and kinda swaying to the music and was he smiling? As I played, her mom came into the room and I saw her roll her eyes at me and heard her mutter, “Damned heathen…” and, yeah, that’s yet another musical story I might share tomorrow.

I finish playing it and turn to him with my “how did I do” look. He nods, smiles even more and said, “Wasn’t that worth being able to keep getting in that pussy?”

Yeah. That man. I had gained so much respect for him even though he had gamed the shit out of me and made me prove that I really did love his daughter (and not just that good pussy). The day he died was a really dark day for me and to this very day, I can’t think about “Moon River” without thinking and remembering how me made me prove to him how much I loved his daughter.

 
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Posted by on 3 September 2022 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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Life, Living and Loving: Mrs. Fever’s September Song Project 2022: “Give the Drummer Some!”

I remember my first drum set. A neighbor was selling his kit and had asked me if I knew anyone who’d be interested and… I was so interested that I might have had an erection. The problem was that I only had $50 and I guess he saw the very sad look on my face and asked me what was wrong and I told him that I’d buy the set if I had the money and all I had was $50 and, well, damn.

He’d asked me what I would do to be able to buy it from him and… I misunderstood what he was asking and, um, it wasn’t one of my finest moments but I wanted that set so bad that two seconds after he asked me this, I, um, I had his dick out and sucking on it like my life depended on it. He didn’t stop me and I don’t know if he had a shocked look on his face because I wasn’t looking at him but five minutes later, his cum was blasting into my mouth and that’s when I learned that I had misunderstood him.

“That was nice, little bro, but, um, that’s not what I was thinking about when I asked what you’d do,” he said with a smile. “I was thinking about asking for your $50 as a down payment and then you pay me when you can but, uh, since, well, okay – gimme the $50 and the set is yours!”

Oops. Man, talk about being totally embarrassed! He showed me how to break it all down so I could take it home with me; the good part was that he lived three doors down from me so I didn’t have far to go and you should have seen the look on my mom’s face when I started bringing it all in. She said, “Oh, no…” I told her that I had bought it – and he had arrived with a bag full of drumsticks and stuff and confirmed that I did, in fact, pay for it in cash and, of course, neither of us mentioned the other part of the, shit, payment.

I practiced every day except for the days my mom was off and at home. The neighbors on either side of us weren’t happy with all the noise I was making but I guess they understood (or mom got them to understand). One day, one of my friends from the old neighborhood came by while I was practicing and he was so excited to see that I had a drum set that he turned right around, probably ran home, and came back with his bongos and… we were grooving together.

One day, he’d helped me lug my kit over to his house and we were in his backyard kicking it together and I had to admit that we sounded good together. We’d drawn a fairly good-sized crowd and from the crowd, three guys approached us and asked if they could jam with us. We said they could and they hauled ass up the street and returned in a car minutes later with their guitars and amps. We got them plugged in and the jam session began in earnest.

The thing that stands out for me about that moment was that the five of us not only didn’t know each other, we had never played together before but there we were improvising and playing songs by Kool & The Gang and other groups of the time – and like we’d been playing together for years. Someone in the crowd had produced a box and people were dropping money into it and… I know I was hyped and I guess the other guys were, too, and we kept right on playing for maybe another hour…

And only stopped when a guy was driving by, stopped, backed up, jumped out of his car and ran over to us asking if we’d be interested in making some money tonight. That got our attention, as you might suspect. Apparently, the band he had contracted with to play a gig cancelled on him for some reason and he’d been running around the city trying to find a replacement band. He was highly excited; the other guys were, too, but, yeah, I wanted to know some details and especially how much money he was talking about. It took maybe a half an hour of bargaining, but we agreed to play the gig for $200 for each of us and he had to provide us transportation since, um, none of us were old enough to drive.

My biggest concern was where we were playing: The local Longshoreman’s Hall which was really more like a club and they served liquor there, and… I was 15. The guy said not to worry about it since we wouldn’t be drinking booze and could we hurry up and get our act together because the gig started in an hour! I had to run home and tell my mother about this and I, um, left out the part that I’d be playing in a bar because she would have forbade me to take part in this. Oh, and I showed her my $200 – the five of us had insisted on being paid now instead of later. I got the okay from mom and hauled ass back to my friend’s house and off we went and it was pretty hectic because now we’re trying to pull a playlist out of our respective asses and, well, we were just going to play it by ear.

We get there and get hustled through a backdoor and onto the stage where we hustled to get set up. The hall had microphones, which was good but, uh, well, I know I could sing and my friend could but I didn’t know about the other guys and, well, let’s worry about that if we have to. As I set my kit up, I could hear the crowd noises on the other side of the curtain and it sounded like a lot of people. Butterflies flew off of their aircraft carrier to land in my stomach and I didn’t know if I wanted to throw up or go to the bathroom on myself. I snuck peeks at my new bandmates and they weren’t looking too sporty either; the guy who hired us was running around us telling us to hurry up and, oh, yeah, what’s the name of your band?

Name? We didn’t have one! Kinda technically, we weren’t even a band; we were just five guys who happened upon each other! The club had been playing music to keep the crowd occupied and I heard, “Well my mind keeps going through them changes…” and the others heard this, too, and we all blurted out that the name of our band was Them Changes. The guy dashes through the curtain and I’m behind my drums and I’m feeling petrified even though this wouldn’t be the first time I’d ever played before a lot of people since, duh, I was in the school band and orchestra, and we routinely played… but this was different. My friend, who was set up to my right said, “I don’t know about this, man…” and before I could tell him that I didn’t know either, a loud voice was introducing us and the curtain was parting and, fuck me – that’s a lot of people!

I think the five of us were… stunned. Okay. Stage fright. The crowd is waiting for us to start playing and we were frozen in place; I couldn’t think of anything and then the only thing I could think of was the begining of Sly and the Family Stone’s “Sex Machine” and I called this out to the guys; our “lead guitar” played the opening notes and now I got to find out how good I could do that seamless and perfect roll that I knew followed those notes and…

We jammed. We got into “Sex Machine” and I know I got hyped when I heard someone in the crowd say, “Oh, shit! That’s my jam!” People were dancing in their seats and quite a few people were on the dance floor; the five of us are looking at each other like, “What the fuck?” We went from one song to another song and the guy who hired us snuck behind us to tell us to play a slow song and it took us a few seconds to decide which slow song we all had heard… and maybe knew how to play and I would remember thinking that the people who were having so much fun listening to us play had no idea that, for the most part, we had no fucking idea what we were doing.

We took a much-needed break and I literally ran someone over getting to the men’s room. A patron was in there and did a double-take to see a kid pissing like a racehorse… in a bar. “Dude, how fucking old are you?” he asked.

I”m 15,” I said as the urine continued to flow – and then I’m trying to pee as fast as I can because our break was only to be 15 minutes and I had to get back so I could help us figure out what the fuck we were going to play after the break. I got back, we put our heads together and hashed out a playlist that would carry us through the rest of the time we were supposed to be there… like we were supposed to close the joint. We played our hearts out. I still can’t believe how well we played together for a bunch of guys who’d just met a few hours ago.

We were playing “Superbad” by James Brown, and we were into it. People were rushing to the dance floor and, man, it was like I was high or something to see them grooving to my and our music when I heard someone yell, “Give the drummer some! Give the drummer some!” I got to know what it was like to be a deer in the headlights because not only was all those people now staring at me, the guys on the stage with me were staring, too, and like, “Well, what are you waiting for?”

And. They. Stopped. Playing. Let’s not talk about that they stopped perfectly and I almost stopped, too, but this was my “solo moment” and… I had no fucking idea what to do. None. I just made it up as I went along and the crowd was losing their fucking minds. My solo only lasted for about a minute and a half but to me, it felt like a couple of hours before the other guys jumped back in and like they had never left me to play for the crowd all by myself.

After the show was officially over, people were coming to the stage and congratulating us and marveling at how young all of us really were. The guy who managed the hall came to us and asked us how much we got paid for this and we told him… and he turned around and cussed the guy out who hired us and said that we deserved much more than a “piddling $200 apiece.”

He paid each of us another $300, packed us up in his van, and took us all home. My mother was shitting kittens because I didn’t get home until almost 3:30 in the morning. I had to explain myself which included where I’d been all this time and… more kittens got shat out along with a couple of cows for good measure. I had showed her the $500 I had earned, and she said that she felt… a little better to know that I didn’t do it for nothing but, still. In a bar? Really? She then asked, “Well, how did y’all do?”

I told her about all the people dancing and grooving to what we were able to do. When I got to the “give the drummer some” part, I could see that she was… proud of me… now take your ass to bed before I decide to beat your ass for not telling me all of this before!

What a day that was for me and the four other guys. We “officially” became a band and one of the many bands that sprouted up in the city. We weren’t the best of them but we were good at what we did and we’d wind up playing… in bars and clubs in and out of the city and we got a chance to play at The Apollo in New York City as one of the “warm up” bands keeping the audience occupied before the main act took over. We had dreams of making records and hitting the big time and, indeed, we cut a record in a local studio and with our original song we’d created called… “Them Changes.” We played together for two and a half years before we just… kinda broke up due to other interests.

My mom had visions of me being a star – but not in what I’d call a selfish way; she wanted me to be the best musician I could be except I didn’t want to be a professional musician in that sense because the five of us had learned how… cutthroat the music business could be and we knew of other guys who took off for LA seeking fame and fortune… and never found it – and those guys were way better than we were. And after a weekend where we had played in three cities in two days, I knew this wasn’t what I wanted to do with my music. This was… a love of mine. More than just a hobby but I just didn’t have any aspirations to be a “rock start.” I just wanted to create and play the music that came from my heart and soul.

While trying to avoid playing in church – but that’s another story for another day. I’d had my “fifteen minutes of fame.” I reveled in it and with our groupies and, yeah, sex. Lots of it. After that first night we played together, I don’t recall there ever being a time after that when, after we performed, we weren’t getting laid. Or I’d be in school and girls who wouldn’t give me the time of day wanted to fuck me and, yeah, guys who wanted to blow me and/or be fucked by me. That “drugs, sex and rock and roll” thing was very damned real… but despite all of this fun, it wasn’t the life I wanted to live.

And here I am, decades later… still playing the drums!

 
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Posted by on 2 September 2022 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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Life, Living and Loving: Mrs. Fever’s September Song Project 2022: “Sheep May Safely Graze (Cantata #208)”

I woke up thinking about this song and the first time I heard it and as performed by Walter (now Wendy) Carlos on an amazing instrument called a Moog synthesizer and on the album, “Switched-On Bach.” That album changed how I looked at music and, yeah, I wanted to learn this. I was already learning how to play both organ and piano but this Moog thing fascinated the shit out of me because it was an organ, piano, and a shitload of other instruments… and none of them.

On the album cover, there’s a picture of the Moog Walter performed on and the thing that blew my mind was that every piece of music performed was done one note at a time! Today’s keyboards are all polyphonic, meaning they can play more than one note at a time but the album was recorded in 1968 and I’d heard it not long after it came out and, again, it blew my mind. We were learning Bach’s music in music class and playing some things orchestrally – as well as going to hear the Philadelphia Orchestra play and I was already in love with Bach’s music but this, wow. This.

I’m in the shower and hearing the piece in my head and remembering my… feeble attempts to play it on conventional keyboards (organ and piano) and, whew; playing it as composed for organ pretty much made me insane and I’m lathering up and laughing at that younger version of myself and thinking, “Yeah, ya didn’t know about MIDI back then, did ya?” I was also laughing to remember how me playing that album over and over drove my mom batty because she hated the “tinny” sound of the Moog synth and compared to the more modern synths, yeah, it didn’t sound all that great…

But my mind was blown just the same. Bach’s music isn’t what I’d call… uncomplicated. Indeed, music of that period tended to be rather complex in composition but seriously expressive at the same time. One other piece on the album, “Air on a G String” stole my heart. I’d heard it played orchestrally but on the Moog? Masterful. Soulful. One frigging note at a time and even more mind blowing when I saw the score for this piece; mind forever blown to see the score for “Sheep May Safely Graze” and, again, I went through some shit learning to play it on organ… but I learned it.

But I wanted to learn synthesis. I wanted to play Bach this way. I would, one day, sit down at my keyboard rig and with some software and a mess of MIDI cables, I played “Air on a G String,” not exactly how Wendy did it in 1968 but close enough for government work. I never tried “Sheep” but I was sure I could have pulled it off. I’m still showering, and this piece is “on repeat” in my head and if you’ve never listened to “Switched-on Bach” – but have heard orchestras play it – it’s… the same but not really. It’s fucking amazing that Walter (before he was Wendy) was able to express Bach in the way he did… one frigging note at a time.

I would read about how the album was produced and the ground-breaking techniques that had to be created; I thought that I would have not wanted to be the recording engineer who had to put all of this together – and get it right.

I had, a long time ago, ripped the CD to my computer and while I’ve been typing all of this, I’ve been listening to the album and… it still stirs my heart and soul. I would get “Switched-on Bach II” and, later, get the “revised” version of “Switched-on Bach” that Wendy Carlos did using modern day synths and it was nice… but I still love the original recording. “Impossibly” done one note at a time. All those patch cords. Understanding that synths like Robert Moog’s had “kinda” been around for a while but no one had used one like this. It was brilliant. Genius. Took classical music and turned it on its head.

Ah, man. Sitting at my keyboard rig with my son who is also classically trained on piano, and we’re both taking turns playing it as written but accepting the challenge of using MIDI and Sonar – the software I used to “put it all together.” Doing some editing to, um, clean up the mistakes I made. Playing it back for the first time and my son and I looking at each other and grinning and as if to say, “Fuck yeah.” Making the challenge of it even harder because I could have just used my Korg workstation to do all of this but to use it and my Technics keyboard? To understand the music as well as the science behind MIDI that would allow me to take two different keyboards and make them work as one?

What a day that was. It tested everything I learned about music and instruments. How to shape sounds and between both keyboards and the Sonar software, it was comparatively easy to do and considering how Walter/Wendy did it back in 1968.

One note at a time. I had it easy since both keyboards were polyphonic and by default. Looking at the sheet music and recording it one piece at a time and with the different voices and as many of the nuances that I could manage, like pizzicato violins. Getting the soulful tones of the oboe just right. What a day. It took me almost a week to put it all together since I was doing it after a “hard day’s work” doing my job and in between my normal day-to-day-at-home stuff. Yeah, I had to explain to my wife and poly wife why I was bothering to do this when, duh, I could just play the CD and, yeah, maybe they couldn’t understand what it meant to me, as a musician, to be able to do this myself.

They thought I was crazy and maybe I was… but I did it. And now I’m trying to remember if I still have that recording. I might and might not. I’ll look for it but don’t hold me to it because it could have gotten lost somewhere along the line. I still have my Korg workstation and enough of the MIDI stuff for it. I’d have to get some software to really make it all work as well as getting my hands on the full score, but yeah, I think I can do the song that is now stuck in my head about sheep safely grazing.

To bring this first offering for Mrs. Fever’s September Song Project to a close, I can easily remember complaining my ass off about practicing when I could have been doing other stuff (like getting laid in particular); I can remember spending hours not only learning whatever music I was trying to learn but developing the proper techniques to get the best out of whatever instrument I was practicing on, like spending x-amount of time with trumpet, then more time with piano. Being reminded by my mother that the only way I can be better at this was to keep practicing and even when I didn’t feel like it or felt that it wasn’t even necessary.

And it paid off for me the day I took on Bach and Wendy Carlos. I remember how I felt to hear the playback once I got it into some kind of decent shape and… fuck yeah.

 
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Posted by on 1 September 2022 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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Today’s Bisexual Thoughts: 28 July 22

Today’s Thoughts are a kind of two-for: Bisexuality and polyamory and how one can beget the other. I was re-reading an old post about two questions that, in my poly relationship, I got tired of hearing and trying to answer.

The first was, “Why would you do this?” and the other was, “How can I do this?” and that old post, I can see, was more about how those two questions would frustrate me more than really answering them… and I’m not trying to answer them today, either. One of the questions I learned to ask those who were looking to do this – and depending on the makeup of their proposed extended family – was, “What are y’all gonna do when the girls/guys start making love to each other?” because I had learned that bisexuality can be quite… contagious in that situation and more so when the group has sex together and the more they do, the more likely it’s going to happen.

I spent a lot of time thinking about this since I had good reason to and I’m not going to get into all of that again but I will say that at the very beginning of my poly relationship, the “logic” strongly suggested that if the three of us kept making love together, something was eventually going to happen and more so when my then-wife was bisexual. And, boy, did it ever happen! I had expected a lot of shit to hit a very big fan… and it didn’t, and I was… “pleased” with myself to have foreseen this happening but it gave me more questions than it answered, like, what is the possibility of an extended family – and regarding of the makeup of it – having bisexuality pay them a visit?

On the one hand, it doesn’t seem to be all that probable when you consider that not everyone is bisexual or even has this on their mind in any way… but in creating the bond between them – and sex is the best vehicle for this – well, let’s just say that I’ve told people about this and they didn’t quite believe me and, as a result, everything fell into disarray. I learned that you can sit and plan something like this and talk about how it’s going to work and, yeah, agree to exclude some stuff but the “mistake” I’ve seen made is such a proposed extended family believing that no same-sex stuff is ever going to happen.

It’s not a guarantee that it will but from what I’ve learned personally and from so many others who were brave enough to accept and take on this very daunting, life-altering challenge, yeah, it’s a likelihood that should be talked about so that everyone is aware so that should it happen, no one is going to really be all that surprised.

I’ve had guys say that, nah, they ain’t like that and no shit like that would ever go down and this is quite typical and, well, I’d be thinking that they didn’t know as much about having sex as they thought they did and, yup, some of them got quite the surprise just the same and the biggest surprise would often come into play because the same-sex thing wasn’t something anyone planned on happening – it just did and now it was all about adjusting to it but I would think that if you were aware of the possibility and included it – but not so much as an exclusion – if it happens, then the surprise isn’t going to be all that devastating.

Not all poly families or groups have bisexuality pay them a visit… but the potential, I think, is always there. That and I’ve seen group sex situations have… visitations and, again, not expected but that level of intimacy and being wholly in the moment can open the door and even if for that one moment, like the guy my [then] wife and I had sex with along with his girlfriend and we had set the boundaries for what was to happen but once things got heated up, most of them went out the window but with agreement but imagine my surprise when I’m sitting there watching the two women doing a number on him while sucking his dick and he suddenly grabs my dick and shoves it into his mouth and started sucking me!

Now, um, I didn’t mind that at all but I was stunned because I knew he had no interest in such a thing, yet he’s sucking me like an old pro. The other surprise was when the women turned on each other and, well, I knew my wife was bi but didn’t know about the other woman but, wow. Later and during a much-needed break, they both said that they hadn’t intended on that to happen, and I gave them major props for admitting that it just seemed to be the right thing to do and, nope, it wasn’t bad at all. Let’s say that round two got very interesting…

But I was intrigued at how this could happen without any prior intention and learned more about the power of sex and how it can influence things once inhibitions get kicked to the curb. I was of a mind that this was just something I was seeing and in the early days of our open marriage, it was something I saw happen a lot of times, both intentionally and not so much so, hmm, there must be something to this; I could have been “wrong” about that first time but what’s the possibility of my being wrong in the other times I witnessed this?

Not all that likely and I would go on to learn some stuff about this and how, in a poly setting, sex can bind and in unexpected ways so why not expect it or, really, have a lot of awareness of the possibility since should it happen, it’s going to upset the whole dynamic of the extended family. I would learn that in this setting, forget all that shit you think you know about having sex and how you prefer to because anything can happen and if you’re not prepared for it, yeah, that’s a problem, ain’t it?

It would lead me to tell anyone who would be interested in this that they’d have to unlearn everything they know about love, sex, and relationships so they can learn a totally and whole new way to go about these things. And I’ve seen quite a few potentially good extended families crash and burn and all because of something they didn’t believe would or could happen.

Those two questions. Still not going to answer them the way I should and have answered them. That first one just mystifies people because it contradicts what we believe about relationships and monogamy, but I stand by what I say in this regard: Cheating wouldn’t be the problem that it is if needs are being attended to and/or met and when they aren’t, guess what could happen and more so when monogamy leaves no room or has any recourse that isn’t the dissolution of the relationship.

And it’s not cheating if you have permission. It’s called ethical non-monogamy or, my favorite, negotiated infidelity because you best believe that a lot of negotiation takes place to get to his point. To those who got mystified by this, it’s yet again one of those “Yeah, but…” moments where the mystified can intelligently understand the reasons for this but, emotionally? Just doesn’t compute and can’t “hold water” against what we believe about things.

As to “How can I do this?” well, I’ll partially answer this one: The best way you can and good luck. Seriously. I learned how to do it via OJT and trial and a lot of errors. There is no “one way” to extend the relationship like this and you just gotta figure it out for yourselves and, as I always say, come up with a vision of what the extended relationship is going to look like and work that everyone involved can be invested in and not just be a part of or being of a mind to think “me” more than “us.”

And then leave room for a visitor who just might come a-knocking. This isn’t, um, fuck, how can I put it? This isn’t about fulfilling fantasies as much as it is most definitely a way to live that has benefits other than some pretty amazing sex. It does take a village and the more people you have working toward common goals, the better the chance to have those goals met and exceeded and to the benefit of all.

And the more you can learn about yourself and those you love who are with you in this. I maintain that doing this is way harder than being married and monogamous but, yeah, it’s worth the efforts involved and there are a lot of them that must be endured and handled to ensure that the extended family works well all across the board and, yup, even if/when bisexuality drops in to stay a while. Fighting against the possibility is, in my opinion only, a mistake because it is… disruptive to the whole of the gestalt.

Unless this is going to be formed because bisexuality in the relationship already exists, it just does not pay or do any good to deny or insist that such… shit cannot be allowed to happen because this stinks too much of how monogamy is in that it doesn’t allow for people in the relationship to change and any changes tend to be summarily rejected out of hand because, well, that’s not the way it’s supposed to be. Which also taught me to tell others that if you try doing this and hanging on to the rules of monogamy, you’re going to fail and that includes creating rules to protect the core relationship that will prove to be to0 restrictive and inhibitive and, again, will disrupt the whole dynamic and make it fail.

Okay. I’ve gotten this out of my head…

 

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