Download "All My Writings"

The Valley                                                                                                                

Cabin story

Judy donkey

Lodge in mountains

Comp 105 notes on Jesus

End of the world

Came as a lark

Notes on Cabin

Notes on church




Mountain camping

{eon} = end of notes

Gold mining in the valley notes

The Valley

The cabin overlooked the high mountain valley we had just walked across. A small lake created by the beaver was fed by the snow melt of the peaks. No doubt the water was so cold even fish wouldn’t survive the winter freeze. Maybe later we would see if there was any fishing gear in the cabin and try our luck. The whole valley was the head water of Cripple Woman Creek. Near by was a railroad tunnel cut through the mountain. All the tracks were gone. Very little evidence of past civilization remained just a few foundation rocks, some logs, and a trail. The only reason this cabin had survived was it’s inaccessibility and hidden nature. To the east of the cabin was the opening of a hard rock mine. This was the reason for the cabin then. The miner had put an iron gate to seal it off. No doubt more an act of responsibility than protection. Maybe all is tools were back there. We wont bother his workings. Hospitality doesn’t go that for. My claim was further down the valley and yet undisturbed. Prospecting is great fun if you don’t have to do it for survival. I didn’t. I remember the first color I’d found in my pan. My heart nearly jumped out of my chest. It was as exciting as a first kiss. I had to sit down and let my mind calm down. Man! There it was. Right there in all that black sand two nuggets and about twenty colors. I know I had it then. It seems strange that no one had jumped my claim while I was gone. I’d never had a chance to file my claim in accord with the law. After the shock of discovery, I worked upstream until the color ran out. Then I worked my way back down. When the gold began to appear again, I stopped then took a long hard look at the geology of the area. Gold don’t just appear, it comes from a vein. Really, you want to work both ends of it alluvial and hard rock. Alluvial gold is deposited in the stream bed as the water slows around turns and bends and rocks. The stream doesn’t remain in the same place for ever but moves back and forth as erosion, natural disasters, nature, and man dictate. So you claim a steam bed and both banks and have enough work to keep you busy for a long while. According to old mining law, you were allowed xx number of claims joined together . Then you would form a company and claim more. Then claim a hard rock mine or two. The problem is with keeping and working all of it. You had to do $100.00 worth of improvements of each of your claims a year sometimes you just didn’t have that much cash. Hard rock mines are expensive. Alluvial mines are easy to improve and work so you would work the alluvial deposit to get money to improve all your claims. Keep in mind you have only three months to work. About half of June, July, August, and half of September. That’s why this cabin is vacant right now, it’s early June or at least it must be. I’m probably boring you with details but I backed off and took a geologist’s eye at the strike. The gold normally lies many feet under the surface until a plate shift causes a rift and mountains turn everything on end. Fault lines are formed and this plate tries to stack on top of the next forming peaks and valleys. I watched it, I really did. Now the strata that was thousands or hundred of feet below the surface are exposed. The quartzite that gold lies in is open to the elements and freeze and thaw of the seasons crumbles the quartz ant the gold is freed. Snow melts and washes the gold down the mountain and into the streams to be found and traced back to the quartz layer it came from. This is what I was looking for. Sounds simple but the only problem is a landslide may have covered the lode. I had to find that out. It looked like it could have come down the slope to the west. That in mind I decided to call it a day and begin at first light. I worked my way up the slope cutting down some two to four feet. I would take a sample pan full and wash it out and see how the colors looked. The n I would move over ten feet or so and take another sample. If the color was on the top, then it was a recent occurrence, deeper meant earlier. And so it went for better than two weeks. I had a fair pole of gold by the time I’d found myself at the face. The gold was now some seven to eight feet below the flat. This indicated that my lode was down there also. I began right at the face ad dug down to my eight foot level. Hard brutal work when some of these rocks weight nearly a ton. Bars, tackle, hammers and work around it clearing off the face. Two days, three days, ten days, twenty days, a month passed until I had uncovered the lode. Oh my god, it was nearly five feet of quartz. Whit as snow, clear as a bell and hard as hell. Solid, not fractured, nor rotten, but laced with gold. A filigree of beauty, that’s my claim. I was heading down the valley to claim it. I’d covered it back up with riff raff not wanting anyone to openly and easily find it. Gold is hard to find but even harder to keep. My claim still unregistered lay there all the while we cruised the universe. I’ll register it first thing when I get out of the mountains. This is my valley.


This is more of the last set of notes.

My friends set me down in the same valley we departed from. The valley was changed. Here and there were new trails, the water still ran fresh, cold, and pure. My claim stakes were long gone. My cairns still stood. The piles were less than they were as years had passed. I’m not sure what the date is now. It’s spring in the Rockies, columbines, grass, and animals in abundance. We’re here before the spring rush of four wheelers. Oh yes, they’ve been here. The signs are quite evident. Thankfully, the they stay on the trails this not damaging the valley tundra. My donkey is long gone. Probably ahead of the first snows at the end of the first summer. I hope so anyhow. We were close. My constant companion, my friend, my watch dog, my gold finder. The question is in your mind, Why didn’t they go back in time and set me back at the place I left? We could move in and out of time but we weren’t privileged to alter events. To drop me at the point and time of departure would have altered the future and now the past that would have been lived be lived. I can alter circumstances of my life now, not tomorrow or yesterday. Only now. If I were set down in the day and year I left then this would alter the lives of the thousands of lives I didn’t touch while I was gone. They had already written history and I couldn’t change it. Not back in time but in the present everyone I knew would be just that much older. I have no relatives. Everyone was gone when I wet to the mountains. Everyone, no doubt, figured I died up here.

Rocky mountains in the spring. No more beautiful place in the whole world. I t hadn’t changed because the mountains are timeless. What ever man builds here will only last for a short time. Overhead was a vapor trail streaming across the sky. There is no sound but a gentle breeze. They ere gone. While I stood daydreaming my interstellar friends left this age. After so long a time together, I felt a great sense of loss, of sudden loneliness. I wondered ; where was-------? I looked around. Guess I assumed she would get off the craft with me. Where was she? We walked to the port together, I remember. She went back to get something she had forgotten. Maybe, I didn’t read her right. What she said was true. I felt that. I walked the ramp alone. No! I didn’t take one step past the port. I was transported to the ground without her. Who was she? I thought she was real, I’m sure she was. My love for her as real. Why did they do this to me/ I feel betrayed. My emotions trifled with. My love slighted. “I love you Marlea.” The thoughts planted in my mind. I am real and not a dream. I am coming to you now. The only answer I could give was “come my love, I await your presence.” Two seconds later she stood by my side.  Then she was in my arms. Wonderful is the love of one for another. There’s no grater feeling then a hug by your lover. My face buried in her hair, my heart locked within hers. One standing together as one. Two spirits, two souls, lives locked in one. Who needs wedding vows? True vows are found without words, they are bound in the hearts of lovers. It was getting late. The sun doesn’t tarry long at sundown. The towns are a good seven to eight miles away and there wasn’t anyway we could ever walk that distance in the two hours left of light. I don’t have any problem sleeping in the open but now I have a responsibility to another. It gets downright cold at night this early and this high in the Rockies. I began to look around. I mean, I looked around before, but that was to absorb the beauty of the valley. Now it’s survival. A trail ran up the side of the valley to a place behind the trees. We’re near the tree line and just where the trees turn to rocks, there, I spotted a cabin. “Marlea, look up the valley to the edge of the trees. See the cabin?”

It was old, weathered, and chink missing all over the place. To the side was an outhouse. The back was obviously rocked up at one time on another but now it was given to the 30 degree slope. It will never get full and no doubt you won’t sit long and think much in the winter. Marlea

This is part of the mountain valley story about the Johnson’s new cabin.

We headed for Lake City, Judy and I. Judy’s my donkey, named after an old girl friend I used to know. She was hard headed too. Seems like a good name for a donkey. We had been out all summer, since about May. There was the bite of snow in the air. We’s up about 12000 ft. Just kinda felt like taking a new way to the city to winter. Been ten year since momma passed away. Memory of it is as new as yesterday. She’d have liked this mountain living. We’s always talking about it but just about the time to retire she got called home. Seems like I’m real close to her out on these here mountain tops. Just a bit of heaven here on earth. I love you Barb, sure do miss you a whole bunch. Must be getting a cold as my nose is running. We’d prospected here and there, Judy and I, and were packing about 8 lb of gold. Figured to send some to the kids. Have to go east for the holidays. O Be Joyful Pass out of the     range. Exactly where I shant tell you. As you’ll know my digs. Ain’t no body going to know that cept my kids after I go to my long home. Set that up with the preacher back home. Trust him lot further then I would a lawyer. Them kids going to be rich. Pure delight hi grade ore.    {eon}

At the top of this next set of notes, is a date of Sept 3, 1973.

We were coming back a different way as was our usual method Judy and me. Judy’s my donkey’s name. Named after a friend of my departed wife, She died just after I was going to retire at 62. I took to the mountains shortly after in 1968.   She was as balky and hard headed as a donkey too, Judy that is. As we topped out the saddle of two mountain ranges, the smell of winter was in the air. The sky was clouded over and our heads were just about in the clouds. We were about 12000 ft up ( hard for an old man to breath) Too high for this late in the season. The aspens had long since turned there shades of yellow and the tourists were long gone. All that was left up here was me and Judy and that cabin in the valley with smoke coming out of it’s chimney. Cold, colder than a witch’s heart. It must have been dropping by the hour. Looks like we should have take the short cut. Well, the kids Will wonder where I’m at. Good thing that cabin is there from the looks of the sky shore looks like a mountain snow storm. Cabin looks twice as large as any I’ve ever seen up here. Must take a pile of wood to heat. Look at that out building, Judy. Must be their wood supply. Enough for two winters. Got a covered tunnel from the bunk house to the head shaft so’s they could work the mine all winter. Roof’s got a trap door and the chimney goes up 10 ft above the roof. We’ll just fire off a round to let them know company is coming. Kerack. There the cabin door just came open. “hallo the camp”. “Hello, your self. Come on light and sit. We’ve got the table spread. “ ell we rode up to the cabin. Here let me take your animal around to the corral. You go and get yourself warmed up. No fine, I can take a care of Judy here, she’s brought me many a mile without a complaint. Thank ye though. D  Well let me come and give you a hand. You can throw the pack over in the corner there. Nice and dry. Want I should help you? No, I’ve got it. Man those saddle bags look heavy, let me help you. I’ll throw your nag some hay. I looked around to see if anyone was around. I didn’t want to throw my gold and have some dud steal it.

Fine, I’m finished here. We walked back to the cabin. I looked over my shoulder checkin the place out. Closing the barn door behind us just as the snow started down. Flakes the size of quarters. Now it was coming down so hard we couldn’t see the cabin. Looks like you put in here just in time. Ya, but I’d hope to make town tonight. No chance now with this blizzard setting in.

We can get you out when the snow stops.

Oh you can, can you? Maybe you’ve got a magic carpet?

No, better than that.

How’s that.

Just you never mind. We can do it. If you had an airplane you couldn’t land or take off in this powder.

As it turned out these people had a bell helicopter in the big shed. What a setup. They may be cut off from the world but not quite at all.


July 09, 1982 in the mountains

Buy Colorado property seen on vacation


Build Cabin

Find Gold

Check deed for mineral rights

Expires in two months


Opens load sinks shaft

Injunction by mining company

Court fight

National news

People come


Expand cabin

Win court battle

Open lodge

Big success

Working too hard

Don’t hardly know each other anymore\

Go on vacation

Decide to sell

Buy new valley

Build cabin

Old timer comes by over the mountain

Discovers their cabin

Snowed in

Tells of his strike

They tell of theirs

Helicopter in shed

Takes prospector out

Prospector tells grand kids about these people

Takes grandson back to see them

Grand son knows where grandpa’s strike is

Grandpa dies in the mountains

Grandson brings him out

The next set of notes ar the character development for a story that kept knowing at my mind for years. I never did get it finished. Rj

Character development

People and personalities at the lodge

Personalities of

Lawyers for the mining company

Lawyers of the Johnson’s

Name of the lodge

Area of the lodge

Area of old man’s mine

Area of Johnson’s new cabin

What type of mfg was g son involved in (robotics)

Character of grandpa

What incidents will be used by story telling for lodge customers

Mine and placer mining for lodge guests

One year after gold discovery

Couple needed supplies

Low on cash

Took placer gold into town

Sold to buyer

Told where got

2 months lawyer man shows up from mining company

exercise option on mineral rights

told expired 1 year ago

claims because of gold discover before option expired

that option is extended

LA paper reporter (AKA Mike Royko type)

On vacation in mountains

Back packing then stops by cabin in wilderness

Ensuing conversation reveals lawsuit to him

Sees human interest story

Soon (real people) picks it up and does tv special about it

(this appears to be more notes on the previous set about the Johnson’s)

notes at the top of the sheet;  Divine Amnesty. Balkan=little foxes. Nicolas=liberty. Antinomians=no regard for the pulpit.  5:00 A.M. Are you willing to stand out even in the congregation?

Mountain valley

Large. 230 acres

Columbines, alpine flowers

Pines and aspens

Snow in the shadows and mountain sreams

Deer pasturing, big horn

Marmots, camp jays

Frost in the morning

3 or four mines closed up blasted shut

cked old claims our (not valid)

not until found gold.

Didn’t want anyone coming into our valley and mining – pollute streams with cyanide and arsenic- leads and sulphides. Killing off vegetation and animals

Worked mine – placer for 2 years until injunction

How injunction without mineral rights- unknown

(claim entire mountain valley)

held by couple

purchased free and clear

discover work

found X deep wide

how many oz.


How close


How much sold for


This looks like notes for a composition class I was taking.

Hard to reduce to 50 words someone as great as this. I told you his attributes but not about him.     (circled 112 at the top of the notes)

Extremely kind, understanding a true friend you can talk to and it doesn’t change his opinion of you. Most people believe anything you say about yourself and disbelieve anything you say positive about yourself, but not him. Not pretentious, not intimidated, never seen him intimidated in any situation. Always ready to help you with anything you need. I couldn’t believe someone of this caliber would want to be my friend. He’s rich, rich, rich, rich. Mega rich and he is actually teaching me how to handle great wealth. He says I’m not able to handle it yet but when I am he’s going to share the whole of it with me. {eon}

This is a short that I wrote on the last of the world. It appears to be around January of 1990 or so.

I’d traveled for 20 miles across the broken hills. Little was to be seen. Bareness, destruction on every hand; man’s inhumanity to man. It was late spring May the 10th 1942 when the bomb dropped. We’d been in the field since sunup working the cotton. Bo, Jeff, and me. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the first bomb destroyed all of downtown Jackson. It just simply disappeared from the face of the earth. Panic, fear, disbelief all scrambled my brain. Who, why, why, why? And a thousand other questions scrambled my brain. Another bomb then another and another in progression decimated the horizon marching as a giant of destruction one foot in front of the other. God, I hate war. The dreams and hopes of millions wasted because of someone’s political views. It aint right, it just aint right. These thoughts prevailed my mind as we stood watching the destruction Bo and Jeff were vaporized. Disappeared, vanished, extinguished.  A large rock had deflected the rays protecting me from this destruction. Protected? Or left behind for some other torture of life yet to be unleashed. Who was the lucky ones? My family was vaporized in the first blast. I was the only one left. The more I walked the more I came to realize I may be the only one alive anymore. I know, I’ve read those books too. Where a man searches and searches for others, using radio signs and so on. You think I’ve written this for you to read don’t you/ but then isn’t’ anyone alive . I know it I’ve walked the face of the earth for 10 years now. No one is here. No one! Why do you put this to pen and paper? Because I must talk to someone, even if it a tablet. Relate my thoughts to someone. Ha; something is a better word. The stores still/ you ask. l have tablets, pens, canned goods, clothing, protection from the elements. Why walk Why not drive? Why? I ask. What is the hurry? I have my whole life. (sic) God it’s lonely without anyone else around. If only I had Barb together, we were complete. As complete as any two could be. I miss her so. A vital part of me is gone. God why did you allow this to happen? Why didn’t you allow me to die also? It doesn’t seem fair. This kind  of talk is the conversation of my day. Barb was real churchy and always talked of prayer and God talking to her. Me, I’d had enough of church people to last me a life time. Those in power always carried what they called a special mandate from God. Yet when I studied the word I saw it different. Those the crucified Christ Had a special mandate from God. I’d been cut sliced diced and burnt by every friend I knew. 17 years and I quit going to “ The end of your search for a friendly church,” and god cares we care land. You know what? No one cared. Ha! Jesus said the shepherd would leave the 90 and 9 and search for that one lost sheep yet this group wouldn’t\t even mane a telephone call. The children know where the dinner is served. If they get hungry they’ll come to the table. Empathy, sympathy, pathetic. Is the word. Compass sea and earth to make one convert Jesus said of the Pharisees and make him a child of hell. You neither go in nor let others in. Religion was a complete turn ff. no need to worry about that now. There aint any churches left, no people except me. Now life is reduced to subsistence. I passed through a saddle where two ranges meet and in so passed from barrenness to a fruitful land. Spread put before me was the most beautiful valley I’d ever seen. Trees, grass, streams all were perfect proportioned. Could this be the garden in Eden in Colorado? Well, this certainly looked like a garden in Eden. It would take the rest of the day to get to the edge of the valley. Not knowing what I would run into prompted me to camp half way down the mountain near a clear small stream. I’d been drinking runoff water since the beginning and not caring if I died or not. Fallout isn’t a concern of the last man on earth.  10 years without companionship. There isn’t even an animal on this whole earth anymore. I long for the sound of a cardinal. See a robin tug a war with a worm. I long to see the routine of a camp robber jay again. How totally cruel it is to leave just one man on the earth. I’ve never been this lonely before. God, this isn’t fair. I’ve always loved your works, the mountains, the forests, the animals, the seas have always held me in awe. And now I have no one in the whole world to share it with. Only my tablet.

Dawn broke over the mountains, the sun began to thaw out the sleeping scenery by injecting it with warmth. I crawled out of my sleeping bag and started a small bait of fire. Just enough to make coffee. Warmed my hands on the cup, I thought about the day laying expectantly in wait of the earth’s sole survivor. Dawn and a new day always bring a new perspective. Lonely yes but the whole world waits at my feet. Ha Ha. All humanity lives for me. For the first time in my life I’m someone. I remember a man called Jeff who liked word plays. He spoke of a time in Japan while he and another were waiting for a train, stood there as the Japanese poured out of the train in a massive mob. In this setting, turns to his companion and says, “There sure a lot of Japanese here, isn’t there?” his companion w/o thinking says “there sure are.” Another time in a jury room conversation “I wouldn’t want to be on the township board, It’s too political.” There are my first humorous thoughts in 10 years. Too bad it had to be a pun. Life is like that through a pun, a spoonerism, a play of words, only appreciated by those who know the language.

My trek down the mountain was uneventful except for the quartz outcrop laced with jewelry gold. Imagine that, life is filled with paradox. Years I looked for riches. Panning for gold on mountain vacations I the Rockies,, trying to get a diamond mine in Africa yet no successes. Mow when Gold is totally worthless I find it s elusive beauty. The noble metal. Paradox, paradox, paradox. The trip took all day so I camped at the base of the mountain near an ice-cold crystal clear stream. This looked like a good trout stream. I could uses some fresh meat. All animals were destroyed in the bomb blasts and fallout including the fish. The stillness that comes in the twilight, just as the day dies and evening is born, seemed empty w/o the tweeting of the morning doves. God, how I miss tall the beauty of life. It all seems in vain, nothing to enjoy such beauty except me. I built a friendly fire back against a large rock. Sitting there with cold hands wrapped around a hot cup of coffee, I heard the splashing of feeding fish. I heard what? Jumping up, spilling my coffee, I ran to the stream. Sure enough, the tale tale ripples of feeding fish disturbed the streams surface. OK stupid, just what would the fish be eating? There aren’t and bugs. Sterile that s what this frigging world is. Just a rock that had fell from a overhanging outcrop caused the ripples and the splashing sound. Disappointed, I went back to my solitary confinement and a fresh cup of coffee. It will be a while before I’m fooled again.

Depression settled over me like pressure in a chamber. I screamed at the top of my lungs so hard that my throat hurt afterwards. God, why did you do this to me? Why am I the only one left? Why, why, why? This was the first time that I’d ever voiced my feelings since the bomb. Strange that it should be to God since I’d given up religion 17 years ago.  Maybe it’s not so strange considering all those I have to talk to. Just me and my shadow. I must be drifting awful close to the edge, what with screaming and thoughts like that. Day after day passed as I remained at the edge of this veritable verdant Eden, undecided as to what to do actually not feeling any necessity to do anything as there wasn’t any pressure from outside sources to excel. I had given up. Such is a sad commentary for the soul heir of the entire earth. I hadn’t given too much attention to this Eden, if I could call it that. But the trees and vegetation wasn’t native to this country or altitude. I figure to be at 8000 ft above sea level. Aspen country. Just aspen, pines, columbines and pretty alpine flowers. This forest had to be older than ten years yet the strange radiation from the war did weird things to all life. Have you ever seen a 35 lb tomato? How about an apple the size of a watermelon? Or just the inverse, a cherry sized apple. Jack and the bean stalk vines. On and on the list goes. I didn’t eat any of the new fruits for fear of some toxic poisoning that may have developed. I whish I could describe this mountain valley to you in apt terms. It is totally unique. Temperature is around 75 – 80  degrees. Humidity near 50- 60%. Keep in mind this is June at 8000 ft. There should be snow up here. This valley lays 20-21 miles X 7 miles wide. Mountains towering 13-20000 ft on all sides. Clouds hang on the peaks. A stream about 7 to 10 ft wide meanders through the middle with feeder streams coming from the peaks. Peaks, much like the snow fed one I’m camped on. Trees with oily green slick leaves. Looks like some kind of citrus fruit trees line part of the stream. Some trees that appear to be apple trees grow near the feeder I’m camped on. 3 beautiful young women walk out from the house in the valley. No, I’m just kidding. Sure had you fooled, didn’t I? Who the hell do you think your talking too? There’s no house, no girls, no one.

Two weeks have past, maybe I should call it 14 moons seeing that I’ve reverted to a primitive life style since I’ve last talked to you, my paler companion.

This valley holds a complete fascination for me. I’ve never seen such a unique assortment of vegetation in any one area. Here grows everything from cranberries to bamboo, just depending on which are of the valley your in. This is a complete eco system independent of the world. That’s unique too. I’m independent of the world I’m in a an are independent of the world. I traveled for the company I worked for before the event. China, India, Canada, Africa, South America, and other points long forgotten. Each place had it’s own vegetation, own culture, own set of rules. Here, it is the same. Deep in the valley where I first explored, tropics seem to dwell. Bananas, citrus fruits, date palms, coconuts. Mangos, everything but the tropical insects and animals. Walking further up the valley I discovered the fruit and vegetation of the central US region. Apples, peaches, tomatoes, watermelon,, peas, corn, pears, walnuts, acorns, maples, elms, cucumbers, lettuce and so on. The climate had also changed from tropical to moderate and still no insects or animals. Walking to a higher elevation; further from the central valley, the vegetation turned into Birch, pine, some hard woods, cranberries, wild rice, cattails, peaches much like Michigan or upper Wisconsin. This all took on the appearance of concentric rings of climate from tropical to alpine meadows. A cornpula of climates the geology of the area followed this same pattern. There is an abundance of all strategic and valuable minerals form gold and silver to quartz, as if someone needed it. Valuable? Not to me and if not valuable to me then not valuable to the whole world. Just beautiful rocks and minerals seemingly put here and there, as one hangs pictures of some unknown place or person on the wall to decorate a room.

This is a summarily beautiful place. I have always loved God’s creation and marveled at the orderly run of it. But here there seems to be an exception to every rule He ever wrote. Maybe we just thought they were rules.   I mean, after all, who set up this world? God or us? Whose rules are they anyhow? If I build something as a creation, a house or plant a garden, who tells me how and where? If I fabricate a complex structure using many chemicals and materials, I have just used the rules that God has given me. I cannot create anything, but a thought; everything I’ve use has already been created, Think not? OK, gentlemen create me a new mineral out of nothing. Ha, you cannot do it can you. Speak it into existence. Pull the atoms together to form the reaches of the universe. Make them stay together by some unknown attraction then make it stand up on two legs and say, I love you God. I’m waiting? So is the whole universe; angels, devils, and God look expectantly toward you oh man. Let’s see what you can do. Poor man who thinks himself so lofty, can only sit in the middle of the floor with tools scattered around and with a dirty wet diaper on, crying to be changed.

Oh,  are we waxing eloquent today. High and lofty thoughts pervade my mind.

Today I walked east. Near the band of moderate climate, a beautiful meadow decked out with wild flowers in shades of blue, yellow, and orange, appeared to be a perfect place to establish a permanent residence. Everything I need is here ; water, food, variety, and climate. Why here? Why not? Living under the stars for the rest of my life is not what I really wanted so a permanent type of structure needed to be built. Just how to get building materials I needed would pose a problem for I had no desire to cut down trees and make my own. I pondered this p[problem for a fortnight. How is that for a Robinson Caruso word?  One fortnight equals two weeks for your information. I decided it was time to learn to fly a helicopter. With a large helicopter I could airlift my materials up here and take the waste out. I have no desire to mess this utopia up with all sorts of garbage and building scrap.

I figured the stream running to the center of the valley has enough head to power a generator for electricity. I could pick up a TV and all vcr and all the tapes I could ever watch. I could have running water, washing machine, drier fridge, deep-freeze, all the things a man could ever want or thinks  that he wants.

For ten years now I searched this world for life to perpetuate mankind, now I would just live for me. Did I really search the world for mankind or was it for me? Was it actually altruistic or selfishness? Well, who cares now? Do we actually have a moral values for man kind or ourselves? Etiquette is the lubricant that takes away the friction of living together. There you are. For mankind. Strange as it may seem I can’t lie, steal, rape, murder,  or commit any crime now. No more seat belts, speed traps, zoning ordinances or lawyers. Their laws are of man and for man. Oh there are laws here but they are higher laws; laws of survival. If I stay in this cold mountain stream too long I die. If I eat a poison plant I die. And so on. I just thought of something missing here. There are no thistles or weeds here. No poison ivy or sumac. I’d never noticed that until now.

And so the philosopher waxes eloquent. Emptiness pervades my inner being.  Life day to day has to be taken  one hour at a time. Now there's thinking for you. What of an hour? Does there remain such a thing? Clocked time is relative to more than one. Sunrise and  morning star, then the breaking of day, evening and then the night.  I’ve never felt such a sense of worthlessness. When you have only yourself to live for it becomes a rather small reason. “No man is an island entire of it self; every man is a piece of the continent, apart of the main, if the clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of they friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee” John Downe  {EON}

Tuesday morning brought rain, cold, dreary rain. It looked like another day of meditation. I messed around the camp for awhile. I was dry and fairly warm. I had the foresight to bring enough pine knots in to keep warm with. I also had a primus for tea of coffee.  I’d always loved Zane Gray and I’d picked up half a dozen from a book store before I’d left town. They don’t weigh much and are worth their weight in gold. It was with a warm cup of coffee and on of those I’d curled up to wait out the rain. My mind wandered back to a message preached at a revival somewhere back in the past where David gathered together the children of God to bring home the ark of the Covenant and a man reached out and steadied the arc and was slain . Carrying the ark improperly. Know ye not that your body is the temple of God.

Carrying the ark improperly. {eon}



I don't know how long it was before I awoke, but there it stood in all it's radiant glory the like of such I've never seen.  Near twenty meters tall with bronze rings around the middle, near the top was a window lined with what looked like pure gold.  Arms, or legs if you prefer, reached down to the ground supporting the entire mass of the thing.  A weird high pitched noise emitted from the openings around the base.  A modulated tone washed over this whine.  It reminded me of what was said of the Lorelei that bid the ancient mariner to death.  Weird.  Attractive, like the red hanky calling the dali sheep.  Curiosity, overriding the fear, drew me nearer and nearer to the hatch at the top of the ramp that touched the ground some ten meters from the object.   Maybe I'm having high mountain hallucinations, Maybe I've been away from civilization too long.  I knew it would get me sooner or later.  High altitude sickness must be like nitrogen poisoning under water.  You see things, feel things, believe things that aren't real.  That's why you never dive alone.  I should have never went into the high Rockies alone.  Here I am, twenty miles of difficult trail between me and civilization Ten thousand feet above sea level.  Just me and my Jenny.  Oh God, get me out of here.  Give me a clear thinking mind so that I can get my feet on the ground again.  My hand reached out by itself and touched the ramp.  It had to reach out by itself because I'm too scared to move.  The ramp had a warm greasy feel like the black ore called molybdenum, like a teflon skillet.  Nothing happened when I touched it. I thought some electrical surge of power would knock me off my feet.  It was real, or at least I thought it to be real. At this stage it's hard to determine what is real and what ain't.  For a long while, I just stood there with my hand on the ramp, staring but not seeing my mind thinking a thousand thoughts.  Then the modulated tone that emitted from the door way began to make sense.  I could understand the words that were forming in my mind.  Weird like when you talk to yourself and never put it to voice.   "Don"t fear, don't fear, don't fear." Repeated over and over again.  After fifty years of government, when some one says, don't worry, your first reaction is to run.  But I didn't, I wished that I had but I didn't.  Slowly ever so slowly I climbed the ramp into the ship.  The light coming out of the doorway was a strange color the likes of which I've never seen before.  It changed the perspective of every object around the ship.  Gave it an eary glow like when you put an ore sample under the black light.  I looked at my hands as they glowed in the twilight of the setting sun.  They showed spots of fluorescence from some ore or thing that I had handled.  Now, I could see into the ship if that's what it was.  No one was present.  I wonder where they are?  The inside of the ship looked like something I don't know what.  Slowly, ever so slowly, I crossed the threshold of the port, and even the threshold of my life.  Evidently my passing set off some kind of alarm for the light in the ship began to dim then grow bright dim then bright, over and over again.  Behind me the sound of the port closing made a swoshing sound that left chills and a "I've been caught window peeping," feeling.  I wish I'd had as much sense as my Jenny.  She probably hasn't stopped running yet.  Materializing before me was a slim figure.  As it began to take form, I saw that it was the shape of a woman.  Slender. Light brown hair.  Large brown eyes, I think they were brown, light brown with shades of gray.  Intelligent looking.  Fear was replaced with a pleasant desire, not sensual, but a desire to get to know this creature of beauty and intelligence from some unknown place. Suddenly, I realize that I'm on the ground out side of the thing. I've known fear like when your in a rock mine and the ground shifts, that's the kind of fear I felt. When I came to my senses enough I turned and ran.  I mean ran like I've never ran before.

I'll not stop'n till I get off this mountain and I'm in the heart of town. I rose in the air as I ran.  Felt sort of like fallin. Kind of a tingling sensation and a helplessness. I kept looking down at my feet and the ground that was some two hundred long feet below me.  Panic.  Total panic. I mean real panic.  I don't know how I got up here but there ain't nothin to walk on. My feet seem to hammer down on some kind of a thick invisible carpet. It kind of moves under me. How do I get down from here? I can't just keep climbin.  There isn't anywhere to go. I did the only thing that was sensible, I stopped.  The invisible carpet ramp, or what ever, moves under me like when you walk across a water bed. Waves like. It don't feel too safe for me.  But how do I know, I've never been three hundred feet off the ground with nothing under me before.  I wonder if I can just turn around and run down this "what ever"? Before the thought was out of my mind, I was falling. I knew it, I knew it. It's a rotten trick Their playing with me. I'm a dead man. I know this is just a dream.  I'll wake up any second now. Oh Jesus help me now. Save me Jesus! There ain't a whole lot of time to do much of anything when you be a falling. My whole life didn't unroll before my eyes, but I did some tall repentin like that Pentecostal preacher was a talkin about.  Me and the LORD we got right chummy on that there fall and I ain't never been the same since.  That ol ground was a commin up to where I was almighty fast. I was a flippin around like a cat, tryin to do something, anything I could when I hit that big ol spruce tree.  Branches was a breakin right and left with me a falling through them. Hay, hay, maybe I'll make it ok. It was all working out until my head hit that rock at the base of the tree.  I felt pretty good even though I blanked out.  Floating on top of the water, it felt like.  Just float'n on that great big lake back home.  The sun felt so good. I could feel it warm'n my old bones. My ol artheridus aches was all feel'n good. Warm all over like take'n a bath in one of them jacuzie bath tubs in Chicago. Then the lights just went out. Seemed like I slept for days. I woke up in kind of a twilight, like the brief evening before darkness settles down on you in the mountains.  But darkness didn't come it just stayed in that twilight. I lay there gatherin together my self, not moving least there be some critter around the tree.  My eyes ain't open yet.  I'm just gatherin all the sounds around me.  There ain't any night sounds that should be here.  I'm not on the ground. What's this bed that I'm layin on?  I ain't under no tree.  Can't smell the pine.  No ground smell.  No smell, no sounds, twilight, humming noise.  Oh God in heaven I'm in that thing, that ship. I found that I can move my hands so I slip down to the colt on my hip.  Ah, she's still there. Taking a grip around her handle and puttin my thumb on her hammer, I draw, ear back on her, sit up and swing my feet to the side and take in the whole room in one move.  A soft force pushes me back down, eases the hammer on my Colt and puts her back in the holster.  I'm as helpless as when I was buried under that snow avalanche last year. I can breath.  I can still move my fingers and toes. I can panic.  I can flex ever muscle I have but I can't get up.  It don't hurt none but it don't help all the panic wellin up inside.  Darkness narrows my vision and I go back to a deep sleep. Still there is a voice that comes from the center of my head. I can hear it as well as if you were talking to me.  It's seems to be a perceived voice more than what would be known as a real sound caused by vibrations in the air.  This is like the decifered sounds that you hear with your brain.  Your ear hears it, but your brain interprets it.  This ain't like that.  This is just there with no outside input or sound. "Josiah, we don't intend to and won't hurt you."

"Now how did they know my given name was Josiah? I've been Joe to every one since I was old enough to defend myself."

"To you, then, Josiah is not a name that you wish to be called, is this true?"

"Man, I've never communicated with thoughts before."

"It is much better than verbal communications with sounds, because we are not hampered by rather or not there is an atmosphere to carry the sound waves."

"Well, friend of mine, I need air to breath in. Sound is the least of my worries."

Ah, you consider us to be friends yet your mind is full of panic. Though we understand your thoughts, your logic is beyond us. You wonder why we have brought you here. We did not want it to be known that we are here, but you have discovered us while you were searching for Au. Now we must process the memory of this from your mind.  This will take a while for our systems to delineate your thought processes.  We must be careful that we do not disturb any other memories for if we were to inadvertently erase a very important memory it would or could give you some indicator that we have been in your mind. We don't want that.  There are other humanoids approaching from below.  They are about six kilometers away, We must leave the area.  Sorry, Josiah but you must go with us for a while.  We will bring you back to this place when we have reverse engineered your thought patterns and erased the memory.  Until then, as your mind says, enjoy."

Enjoy, he says.  He ain't the one locked to this table, I am. How can I enjoy." "Josiah, when we are in flight we will allow you to tour the vessel but now you must remain where you are.  Sorry for the inconvenience."

"Sorry for the inconvenience,  you sound like some kind of diplomat or something.  Why did you make me to run up that ramp of nothing?"

"We were simply stopping you from getting away and did not realize the thing you call will would drive you along so far. Were you hurt?"

"Hurt don't have anything to do with it, it was "SIMPLY" the experience.  I'm not used to walking on thin air and then having that pulled out from under me." Free falling three hundred feet would be a good experience if it didn't end so abruptly.  It ain't the fall that kills you, it's the sudden stop.  The fear of the sudden stop ruins the fun of falling."

"Is this what your mind calls satirical humor?"

"That's it Trertre. Hey, is that your name?"

"That is what I am called."

"This mind thing, communication through thoughts is really handy.  I kin da like it."

"Josiah there are areas of your mind that I cannot get into.  You have more control of your mind than you think you do. You have shut out my inquiry on several occasions.  To unravel your thought processes I think we may have to tranquilize you."

"Jesus, Trertre I thought that's what you've already done.  I couldn't be more restrained than I am."

"No, Josiah we must put you to sleep for a while.  It won't hurt you and we don't intend to do more than remove the memory.  You will wake up beside your animal, with no memory of this entire incident."

"Trertre, that donkey hasn't stopped running yet.  And you think that I'll wake up beside that animal somewhere on the mountains of Colorado."

"We have also stopped your animal and she is waiting for you to come back to your camp area. We are in control of your destiny as you call it."

"Well, I reckon that could be just what you would call it when your bound and trussed by something and someone that you don't know about. I can't see you, why don't you get over here where I can put my eye on you.  I'd like to see what you all look like."

"We have no set form.  We are forces that take the shape of what ever is familiar to those we are communicating with.  When you saw the woman, as you called her, she was the thought of your mind.  We put her there.  She was modeled after your thoughts. She was your creation not ours. Here, let me demonstrate."


There arose in my mind such a display of people that I had never seen the likes of. Then a panorama of a world that I had never seen.  Before me spread a great valley.  In the middle of this great valley stood a city of the size I had never seen before. It reminded me of Mexico city, or how it must have been when the Aztecs had it. Everything appeared to be new.  It just gave off that appearance. Clean and neat. Near the edge of this great city there was an airport the likes of which I'd never seen. I just knew it was an airport, like I knew Trertre's name. Shapeless shimmerings like the heat off the prairie rose and fell in this area.  Because of the forces involved it was necessary for them to move from this area only. If they could do this then why did they need a space ship? Next was pleasure like I've never known before. Like being with someone you really love.  Just a sense of well being. Just? Like when you would go to sleep on your mother's lap. Contentment. A wave of pure pleasure swept over me. Like when you are with a woman. Another wave then another. A vision of my first love raced across my  mind. Then there was my first born.  My son. The first time we went hunting together. Camping.  Then a vision of my one true love, my wife of  fourty one years.  As she was before I lost her to the death angel.  My dad and his peculiar ways. There was the professor from college that remembered me after eight years. Wave after wave of pleasant and bitter memories raced across my mind as though they were just now happening.  Then it occurred to me, they were looking for the links. The things that bind and classify the memories in my mind.  The necessary things that allow a memory to become that and retrievable. I couldn't pull myself out of the fog.  The visions kept coming. I was overpowered in my mind and lapsed into unconsciousness.

"Awake Josiah. We are finished with our exploration."

It seemed years before I awoke. In reality nearly three years had lapsed. I later discovered that time was only an enemy to those of earth. To these beings, time held no sway. They had thoroughly explored every recess of my mind.  It had been thoroughly reverse engineered as these beings had called it. Now they would understand how the human mind worked and be able to remove the memory of this experience without harming anything else.

"You are much more complex then we had imagined.  We had thought that earth creatures were simple and basic in construction but have found that you are very complex in your thought patterns and operation. So much so that it was impossible for us to remove your memory selectively.  Your memories are linked to one another and imbedded in each other so complex that it would take your life time to unravel this one thought."

Me, I'm still groggy from my Rip Van Winkle sleep.  Trying to get all my thoughts in order.  I feel like someone has rifled all the files in my head. I don't feel very good.  Nausea, out of balance. Much like being sea sick. Hung over. My entire being is working to set everything right and in order again. I shake my head, desperately trying to clear away the fuz and the groggyness that won't let me think right. I am overawed, similar to  one standing in the middle of the Library of Congress. I am trying to find a book. Just one volume among tens of thousands.  Thousands of thoughts running in my mind at once. I'm seeing things I've never seen before. Beginning to understand all the mysteries, real or imagined, that have lodged deep in the recesses of my mind. Memories thought to be long forgotten. I feel somehow expanded. Larger, deeper then I was before. Suddenly I know. What I know is not yet understood by myself. But, there abides within a greater understanding then ever before.  No, this is not ego.  Somehow that doesn't even enter in to the picture anymore. Clarity, now I have clarity. I can understand somewhat of this alien life force.  

"What have you done with my mind?"

"When we began to explore your mind resources, Josiah, there was a vast amount of your capabilities not being utilized. This was a curious thing to us. We also found that you are a spirit being, a life force, much as we are. You were limited to in mind power and to the physical body that you dwell in. We found an aging area in your mind. You were limited to some seventy years of your life span as you call it. This was curious to us.  We could not erase the memories.  We explored your mind to erase memory but the interconnections between memories were too complex to simply erase only one or two memories.  Then we found that your mind had the capacity to function outside the area of time. You were using less then 6 percent of your mental abilities.  We also found that you were limited in the powers and abilities of your mind and spirit or life force by a simple command line.  We have altered that.  You were limited.  You are now complete, Josiah. Limited only by this thing you call imagination."

"Trertre, this thing that you have done, scares me. You have delved into that, which the Creator, That thing we call God, has limited due to what we understand to be the original sin. I don't know rather to be happy or fearful. Man is by nature of this sin, mean, cruel and wicked. There is no limit to the debauchery that a man would do.  How will that work in my life now?  How will I handle this great thing that you have done in my mind?  This is a very large responsibility you have released, if I understand the full import of this mind alteration. How will I handle it?"  

"You mare a gentle man Josiah, we have found this in you.  You are not the kind of life force that would use such a thing to further your own interests. You are much like us except that you were limited to your vehicle.  You are no longer limited to that body that has trapped you for all your life.  Now you may freely move about without being encumbered by your flesh.  You also have the ability to travel outside of the realm you know as time.  You are no longer subject to time. You are as we are; a life force.  Yet you still have a vehicle in which to live.  There are advantages to this Joshia; you can enjoy pleasures we can only simulate.  You can touch where we cannot. We have long ago lost the ability to enjoy taste, touch, smell, sound, or sight. These can only be enjoyed by those that have flesh as you call it. Don't be quick to give up this gift though it may seem to hinder your body free life.  It is easy to lose your body, there are many energy beings looking to possess your flesh.  You must be very careful for once they have your body it is very difficult to regain possession. We know for that is what happened to us.  We did not value our homes and soon through neglect we lost them.  Do not leave your body empty of your life force though you will desire strongly to do so. Enjoy the limits of your flesh, you will have only one.

We traveled the universe, spanning galaxies. discovering new stars, new to me anyhow. I had never seen such a diversity of life forms yet all intelligent beings were in the form of homoerectus, primates with opposing thumbs. As we cruised the galaxies I couldn't help but wonder at the complexity of it all.  In the state of things, all is in an organized pattern. No life form exists without another.  Each in support of each other.  Dependent yet in there thoughts independent. I could check that now.  No living thing's thought patterns or mind was a closed door to me.  It filled my mind with many diverse view points or paradigms.  I could block the probing of others into my thoughts.  Shut the door on them.  Stop them from looking into my mind. To them it was as though I was one of the gods, for no one could block their probes, so they thought.

Beauty and organization prevailed across the galaxies. Though some of the areas we visited were uninhabited. My hosts needed to restock on some energy resources needed to power the vessel.

The universe, a great mining ground. No one struck claims, it was first come first serve.  I found Gold, palter, palladium, all manner of ore and minerals.  Gold was a necessary item for protection of my frail body.  I wore a gold suit when we would actually go out to the surface.  My hosts didn't need such inhabitances and encumbrances as they didn't have the advantage of a body to take care of.  I some areas they were subject to some type of force trying to steal their life force away.  I also felt the drawing power of them.   

We landed on a planet much like earth, well, much like I would have perceived that earth was in the very beginning.  On this planet there was such beauty.  The skies were a clear azure blue each sun phase we were there.  As the sun broke over the horizon each phase, the sky would be shot with such a spectrum of colors that it would simply dazzle your mind.  The same was true at the end of the phase.  We would cruise this beautiful planet as life forces.  there seemed to be a lack of opposing life forces and my hosts perceived that it was safe for me to leave my human form behind.  The travel by life force is so much faster as we weren't limited by the enemy called time. Over the hills along the rivers, by the trees, up the valleys, cruising, looking for some life form to communicate with, and just enjoying exploring.  This was a young planet.  Not young in conception yet young in form. The hills were not high nor the rivers deep.  There weren't any clouds in the sky.  When the sun phase was on the backside of the planet the moisture would rise out of the ground and form ethereal clouds over the land.  Wet with dihydrousoxide, it would refresh the plant forms and replenish the moisture lost in photosynthesis.  The leaves would drip moisture, like the rain forests of South America. Primordial earth is what it reminded me of. No, it was predulivian earth.  Now where did that memory come from?  The sense of the lack of an opposing life force was refreshing when all your known life you have been assaulted with it. We moved over most of this planet and I felt a strange emotion that was akin to the one you feel about home.  I felt that I belonged here. Such peace. such innocence, yes that was what it was, innocence.  I hadn't felt that since I was a child. Innocence.

As we crested the next hill, I caught the presence of a life force. Others has also detected this presence. there stood the most beautiful creature I have ever seen. And it was a male.  It's form was very similar to a human being. In fact, it was a human being. All my senses were working full time. I couldn't detect any hostility.  Perhaps it hadn't detected us yet.  Or maybe it didn't have the ability.

"Who are you?" spoke this creature.

It definitely had the ability to sense our presence.

"You are not THE STRONG BREASTED ONE. I don't recognize you. Who are you."

It, no he, could communicate with life forces without any problem even though he was using his audio communication mode.

I couldn't recognize what language he was using but that's not unusual as earth itself had some two thousand or more languages and dialects. To travel the galaxies and expect to hear someone speak english, moreover American, would be ludicrous.

I wonder where I heard all these big words?

Trertre communicated first.

" I am Trertre, and my companions and I are of another galaxy, we have traveled from the stars."

"Trertre, traveler, Your presence and speech are much different from the one who created me and I recognized this in you, and that is why I asked who you were."

Trertre asked this man, "How do you know the meaning of my name, Who created you? Can you tell his name?"

The creature spoke, "HE is the "STRONG BREASTED ONE" the CREATOR of all things.  He created the universe and all the stars in it. He is YHWH; GOD."

I could feel the reverence that was felt by all my companions and myself also for this situation.  We had stumbled upon the beginnings of a society, of a new race of humanity as we know it. This man that stood in our presence was an Adam.

I couldn't restrain myself; "Do you have a companion who has your form?"

"Yes, GOD has given me a mate to keep me company and to enjoy what GOD has given us."

Not only an Adam but an Eve also. This is a Garden of Eden.

Around us there were suddenly a thousand life forces, each had an awesome power and presence. Not threatening nor were they of any negative force; just protective. None spoke they were simply there. They stood as guards without the threatening presence you usually feel when you are around human guards. They waited for some command to act. None acted on their own. We tried to communicate with them but none would respond to our questioning.

Then this new Adam spoke up, "They are the angels of the LORD, they are here to help us. Don't be frightened of them they won't harm you."

That was how this Adam felt about the angels surrounding us at the time.  He was innocent of all evil that lurked on the face of my home planet.  I hoped that he would be able to resist all the temptations that would come on he and his helper. I wanted to warn him about the apple trial but I was restrained by these angels.  They  blocked my ability to communicate with this Adam.  We had wore out our welcome on this planet and it was time to leave. I wished to remain on this planet forever.  It would be like a long everlasting vacation. I loved the total innocence of the place. So refreshing.

We made a graceful exit and transferred back to the ship, myself slipping back into my sleeping human form.  

The ship itself had never landed upon this planet, it remained in orbit around it at some 42 miles from the surface.  It simply wasn't necessary when we were traveling as life forces.

We traveled from planet to planet.  What we seemed to be looking for I don't know but it seemed to be an eternity that we traveled the universe and the galaxies. The life forms were diverse and varied.  Some were intelligent while others were simple one celled creatures. It seemed that the whole universe was alive with some form or the other. Only on the planet where Adam and Eve dwelt did we find any UPRIGHT humanoids of any intelligence.

part 2

I spent a lot of time in my cabin.  The craft was furnished with just about anything a person could want. You wonder why it would be that a spirit being or a life force would need any diversion, well, the only difference between them and us is that they don't have a body to live in except when the need to appear as some life form.  Then it isn't a real body only a thought or vision that is placed on your brain.  As I lay in my bunk there came a knock on the door. Slowly the door opened a bit and this very feminine voice drifts into the room, "May I come in?"   Who am I to resist this personification of all of my dreams?  "Most certainly, please if you will."  "I have wondered if there were any other humans aboard this ship," ravishing beauty says.  "Tretrete told me you were here and gave me a vision of you. I hope you don't think me forward by coming to your room alone.  I had to see you."   Her mind was pure.  I found that all she really wanted was to talk.  I mean just talk with another human.  I guess all the time we had been on the ship auditory communication hadn't really been necessary.  After awhile it was like when you had been away from home for so long a time and you just missed home cooking.  You've eaten plenty but none of it seems to satisfy.  My Mind began to probe her mind.  I wanted to find out if she was real or just another mind game the aliens liked to play. You could trick them by thinking some outlandish thought and making it to be real. Strange that our mind could actually do that.  I found it out by trying to throw them off the track of what I was actually thinking by masking one thought with another and yet keeping the real thought in the background.  They would pick up on the most evident thought and translate it into new thoughts to plant in my mind.  It was supposed to entertain me but I got more enjoyment out of tricking them, I think I was tricking them anyhow. So, I began to think thought of palm trees in New York and how I used to love to walk through Central Park and drink the milk from coconuts.  If she was real then she wouldn't talk about this thing unless I let the cat out of the bag by thinking too much about it. I tried this then a few other ploys.  She seemed to be real.   "Why are you probing my mind so?  Do you not think me to be real? What difference would it make to our relationship if I were just a figment of your imagination?  I'm here now and available for communication with you.  Why do you doubt that I am real?" Her voice had such a melodic sound to her voice.  A woman.  a real woman.  Nothing can take the place of the feeling a man gets when he's around a real woman.  The bells don't have to ring.  Stars don't even have to sparkle in his eyes. She don't have to touch him or even become very friendly with him.  What is this thing, this inner playing of the harp within?  Melodies.  The gentle strumming of the strings of his heart.  Women. They give a man a feeling of self worth.   I was so glad to see her.  I don't know who she was or where she came from, but I sure was glad.  I suspected my friends of manifesting themselves as her.  Yes they do have gender.  We spoke of her home town of Denver of far away places that we both had been to and wondered at the similarity of our experiences.  She had taken nearly the same type of classes in school as I.  Our interests  were  divergent and intermingled.

how long we talked is still unknown to me.  We had many things in common.  And we enjoyed each others company.  She reached out and touched my hand.  I had not felt the touch of another human especially a woman, in what seemed light years. Her fingers felt like fire on my skin. My heart rate must have increased to dangerous limits.  "Please." One word and she could have the world if she wanted to. "Tell me how it is that you are here?" It sounded like "What's a girl like you doing in a place like this?"  I'm glad she said it instead of me, I'd have felt like a fool.  "I mean, how did you get here, in this ship, with this alien force?" Her hand rested comfortably on my arm.  I enjoyed it.  Hoped she would never move it.  But she did.  She drew it back but slid closer to me. I'll take that.  "It was a fluke.  They were trying to recharge their systems and I happened along.  It was their intention to erase the memory of their appearance but about the time that they were making some progress others happened along and we had to leave. I've been with them ever since. I don't really know how long it has been now but age is not a consideration on this trip."  "Where do you come from?" I mean, what planet are you from?"  "I'm from earth like you.  I lived in Peoria, Illinois all my life.  At least until this group found me. I had lost my wife the year they found me and I had taken to wandering around in the mountains that we loved so much.  She is part of the mountains, the spruce the columbines the sky, the mountain streams,  She is there when the marmot whistles or the elk walks across a mountain valley.  She is with me when I find a new ghost town in some hidden valley.  Oh I'm sorry to bother you with this memory." "Oh no it is so beautiful, I mean, this love you still have for her." Her hand was again on my arm. Soothing was her touch. "You grieve, but I like your special kind of love for her."

What happened after that was a memory.  I'm not sure it was real.  It could have all been done in my mind but then again who cares.  I have never been so, so, well, just so, in my entire life. Her touch was as the angel's touch. Her kisses as the breath of spring.  Her figure, as the grace of a breeze on the waters. Everything was perfectly Delicious; this would aptly describe the interlude. She became my constant companion.  In visits to another solar system, exploring the reaches of the universe, delving into some new and hidden pleasure, she was with me. I never really knew if she were real or just a life force masquerading as a human.  She was the composite of all my dreams, I rather think she was an image.  It didn't really matter, I enjoyed her company evenly and she enjoyed mine. It seemed as though fate had picked this time, this place, and this experience to bring us together.

Such was my experience in witnessing creation. Across the deep space of Tultul to the winds of Zara,  deep within the  abilities of Astura unto Topaz. Illiamar had give me the key to the universe. The secret of creation was mine. Mine to hold, to share, or to use. Zeapar had given me the reason for creation. Examples of such deep and mysterious enablement caused sleepless nights to grace my bedroom. Thoughts of creation, reasons of creation, methods of creation, each turning in my mind. Have I actually gone mad? Is this real or some aspect of my mind creation process? Am I lost or have I been given great truths? My mind immediately corrects my thinking with, “All truth is great. Truth is creation There are no small or large truths. Truth stands by itself, alone, absolute.”  Why did that come to me? It came from the One who created all things. The primary. The beginning. And the ending I suppose. And then the question of all the ages, “Who created him?” And if someone, read entity, created him then is he , it, not the creator who created all? And my computer answers with, “Circular reasoning.” Is the universe a creation of some thought of God? Are we real or just a thought such as my friend? Am I the creation of my own mind? The words of Ashcraft come into my mind as a reminder, “Find something to believe in and believe in it.” Wise advice to the Solomon’s of the day. Reasoning will only lead to more reasoning and the depths and reasons for the universe are beyond human reasoning simply because of the limits that were instilled within. These limits were removed, altered, changed when the memory of the landing was being sought to remove. Now, the limits of the universe have become mine. Yet, they are impossible for me to express. The criteria given by the world we live in does not contain the octaves of understandings necessary to communicate these great truths. Walk then mortal in the truth you are given and do not probe to the depth of misunderstanding. Always, I say always, keep an anchor for your soul. Find something to believe and believe in it. This is the anchor.

Where have I been, what have I Ben involved in? Is it all true or some???

Perhaps it is irrelevant. Absolutely what difference does it make if it is imagination or creation? Are they not in essence the same? To the man who has lost all semblance of sanity, is not his mind the creator of his universe? He knows no other. Are we right in trying to work him back into our existence? Is he not a part of this existence as he is? Is psychiatry not just a salesman’s job? Selling this creation that the person might lay down theirs for his. My God have I gone mad? But if I enjoy my world, who are you to take it away from me? Who’s the mad one now? “Speak to this mountain,” saith the Word of God. “And it shall,” is this not creation? Perhaps we as an organized religion have sold the world short by our, keep your feet on the ground, attitude. And the world shouts, “Here, stay in my world.” No, No friend of mine, get out of the way of creation. Stand aside you hypocrite and let me grow in creation, in my own creation. Stand aside hypocrite, and let the king by. Stand aside you Pharisee and let me show you truth. Stand aside tradition and let me show you reality. Forward thinking young man. Forward thinking old man. Let the church of creation by. There stands on the shores of creation, a man beckoning, calling, speaking of the great things of life and creation, “If any man”, so goes the word. “Follow me,” “Put your had to the plow,” Watch as I show you what I want you to be. Speak to the dead man, speak to the sick man, speak to the broken hearted, speak to this mountain. Creation in the process by the creator who says, follow me and I,  ....Lost in time are the words of creation. Lost in time are the steps of the creator. Lost in time are the winds of creation. Lost in tradition are the essence of truth. Break out oh might one and walk in the footsteps of Christ. Open up the creation of your mind and listen to the voice of the creator. Can’t you see? Can’t you hear? What does hinder your growth? All obstacles are gone except your unbelief, your doubt, your desire to remain as is. Break forth as the morning sun and burn away the dew and sleep of your mind. Reach out your hand and look. Is this not a marvelous thing? You know what it takes to do this. You understand the beating of the heart. You understand the Spirit of life. You walk the ways of the dumb man. The things you do are ludicrous and amateur. Immaturity in the mouth of the wise man. What is it that is said about foolishness in the mouth of the wise man? Put aside your childish behavior and walk in the

I found that light did not have speed but was the constant by which all things are given velocity. That light gave creation and not creation light. I speak of the creation and not the creator. Light gives substance to all things without light there is no creation. It simply does not exist. A man blind from birth sees no creation. Only the  world of touch are his to enjoy. No perception of form enters his mind. To the blind man you say, “It is round.” And no vision of round forms in his mind. The tree is leafed out and a beautiful green. Green does not exist in his world of feel. Beautiful does not fit in his world. Color does not exist therefore there is no creation for him. Inner and outer darkness grace his day. Actually, day doesn’t exist nor night. Never sees a sunrise only feels the results of it. Never sees a sunset but feels the air grow cold.

Jesus Christ said two thousand years ago, “I am the light.” {eon}

These are more notes on “THIS IS A STORY THAT BEGAN AS A LARK” story that I had penned sometime or rather.


We spent 3 days up at the cabin. The togetherness, the solitude, the sharing all was just too delicious. The streams up this high are snow melt and very cold. Usually it doesn’t take but a few minutes to bath, get wet, soap up, and rinse. I was reluctant to go back to civilization as we know it. I didn’t want to share my new found friend with anyone but it was inevitable and must be done. So one bright beautiful Rocky Mtn spring day we headed for the bright lights of the city. I don’t know why because no one was waiting for us not was there anyplace for us to go. I couldn’t go back to my family because it didn’t exist . My friends had long ago passed away t least I assume that, due to the a perceived amount of time that I’ve been gone. Time may have been compressed according to Quantum Physics and earths benchmarks. You drop into a town and just be a visitor but residency takes time. You must fit into the towns infrastructure once you move out of the realm of visitor and that takes acceptance by the towns people. They have to make room for you in their lives. Strange isn’t it? Even if you want to be a hermit they still have to accept the fact that you want to be a hermit and make room for that in their lives.


This is just some notes on??

It’s a Saturday. January the twenty ninth. I don’t know what that is in Spanish, I’m not even sure it means anything but that is my way of thinking. Strange morning this. It seems like the harder I try the harder it becomes. All I want to do is live for God. But each day brings back the old troubles and trials that I’ve fought throughout my life. Once fallen how does one get the victory over the old life again? Then again, how does one want the victory over the old life? Therein is the key. The want to because old is comfortable. Familiar, easy to keep on as you are. I think of the binding that comes with going to a certain assembly and shiver. Tithe, be here when the doors are open, be involved, meetings, sermons heard fifteen times, endless talking about nothing, it must take two or more hours to be a good sermon and so on. I got so that my mind would go on sleep mode soon after the preacher started. You don’t have to beat me up to make me feel religious. Just tell me how to live for Christ.  It’s not a good sermon unless you can make people feel bad.??? So I fall back into the mode of lusting and dreaming and whatever wishing for an end. Disappointed when it don’t come want to get out of life and the appending problems, work and the Jerks therein. Guifoy and Potter and Ferrel and Theresa ,I don’t understand. I guess that I am in the position of policeman or drummer as the case may be. It began as a lark. It was easy going as not hard at all. The hill was gentle and the wind just right for sailing. Easy and gentle the way I like life and women. Soon the wind shifted and the waves became large huge even. My boat wasn’t all that large either. Twenty-five foot of fiberglass sail and engine. Suzann was with me as she always is. She isn’t a complicated person and easy to be around, not at all like me. It takes an easy person to be around me as I’m so difficult and moody. Anyhow. The wind had picked up to thirty or fourth knots, what ever that means. Waves could easily over come our sides, gunwales actually. Pronounced gunnels for you hillbillies. Reminds me of a church that I used to go to. Southern to hillbilly. Trying for sofication in the north yet never able to overcome the hills. Wanting to fit in class but never realizing that you have to be born into class. This is not something that you achieve. You are born into it or it takes years of true living to become class. No, you have to be born into it. I am class. If I let it show through. And I believe that I shall from now on let class show through. I will let my heritage burst through as the noon day sun. So shall it be. Baseness depart from my life. Now and forever. I command it in Jesus name. I no longer want baseness. I by the grace of God, shall become class and bring my family with me. So shall it be.  I’ll begin Tuesday. (Isn’t that the way we think? ) Later dude. Someday it came and then the wind blew and it blew away. People try so hard to be good. I guess they have been taught that they must become good of their own efforts and not to let the Holy Ghost do it. I couldn’t believe my ears as someone was telling me about Lucky Meadows having an adult toy party. Then another would tell me about a party where the wall decorations were things that he didn’t want to tell about. Mixed couples. This girl having this guy and preachers abusing their adopted daughters and getting by with it. Homosexuals in the pulpit, preachers doing the board members wives. Children of one woman looking like the children of another family. Passes made at by different women. Preachers daughters walking behind my chair and rubbing their breasts across my back on purpose. Women wanting to bed me. Young girls playing footsey with my leg. Pastors wives rubbing their breasts across my back. Women standing in church and showing you their mound or breasts. Women on the front pew not concerned about their decency. Young people handy with each other. Girls hanging around with each other until people talk, going on vacation with each other then going topless on the beach. Drinking, carousing, partying, having sex. Queering each other. It should not be so brethren. This is not the Church the body of Christ. This is Galatians, or Corinthians all over again. What is going on? I want reality and not sham. I would go to the Lord’s Table but for several reasons, one is that I don’t want to be those people from Lashley’s church, two is they don’t believe right. Three is I don’t want to. Ha ha ha.

Help me I’m drowning.


The wind was out of the south east and running about 10 knots. We had set sail from Barbados on the tenth of June. Many thought that it was crazy for an old man and two young ladies to take this kind of trip. We didn’t particularly care what others thought because they didn’t really have a part in our life. Smooth sailing is what they call it. Our boat was fifty eight feet of beauty. I’ll say, we stole it from a couple that just wanted to get back home to greener pastures.  56 thousand dollars and a full garner of food. She would sail before the wind as easy as any ship you ever saw. Fast as a catamaran and as safe as dry ground. The ship with the hatches buttoned down was water proof. I won’t say that she couldn’t sink but the chances were cut to a minimum.

What prompted me to begin this sailing trip? The loss of a wife. The changing of the guard at work. A general dissatisfaction with life in general. I knew it was time for a change when I awoke one morning, two mornings, three mornings no a whole cycle of mornings that I woke up and started the day under duress. Only knowing that change was emanate kept one foot moving ahead of the other. I would spend hours on the internet browsing one web site after another, staying away from all the nasty sites because I loved my wife. And I knew she was watching over me. I didn’t want to offend her. I still love her with all my heart.  What of these young girls? You ask. Don’t they offend your memory of your wife? No, not in the least. My ministry was to the young hurting girls and ladies. There is no sexual relations going on here. Are you queer? I can see the question as it forms in your mind. No, by no means am I queer. I enjoy watching these young ladies sunbath, shower, dress, parade around in what ever state comes to their mind. They are beauty. Yes, we’ve slept together, and I mean sleep. Though I will tell you that having two warm young firm bodies leaning up against you at night can be arousing. We’ve explored each other. There are times when nature must be satisfied and we find this in satisfying each other without the ultimate act. The rest I’ll leave to your imagination. Whatever it is.

Prevaricating, I believe that is the term. Prevaricating.

So we set sail for islands unknown. Drifting with the winds of time. A ship without direction or purpose. Adrift upon the sea of life. Wind tossed sometimes while other times firmly at anchor. There are times of direction. When docking at some unknown place, the problem with that is you don’t know if they are friendly or not.

East of Eden near the gates of Alcazar, was our docking place.  The girls have put cloths on. I just can’t run around that way. Them being naked all the time becomes common after about an hour or so. Just flesh. Browned, beautiful flesh. Breakfast is usually fish, fish, fish. Lunch is a bit different with fish, fish, fish. We try to be different with supper though, with fish, fish, fish. Where’s the nearest Micky D’s? It won’t be in this country. The harbor master met us at the dock. Papers, examination of the boat, payments, bribes, visas, passports, registration papers and all the usual stuff to tie up to a foreign country. We stuck with American registry because we wanted the  protection of the US Government. That may seem to be a slight joke but to register with a country that don’t have cahonas does not seem smart. America is a strong country, believe it. We have clout. In spite of clout 10,000 miles away, keep a low profile, keep your nose clean, and behave. {eon}

In the scribe of things, it seems that this or that one would say, no one recognizes my ministry. Saying so without thinking that they alone are the ones with their ministry. Why aren’t you doing something with it? Who’s ministry is it anyhow? You wait for someone to give you a little push to get you started on the way and it just isn’t going to happen Jack. Why? Because if you don’t recognize your own ministry and do something with it that God has put on your heart to do, then you either don’t recognize your own ministry or you want to ride on the coat tails of someone else.

You say, “I wish that I knew what God’s will is for my life.” Wanting God to take you by the nap of the neck and shake you. You say, |”I have a burden for this or that or this or that.” And still want to preach from some other man’s pulpit. Really what you are looking for is the prestige of the name, preacher. OK Preacher, let’s see what you’ve got. There is a pulpit on every street corner. There is a ministry in every hospital, there is a great work to be done. Don’t say, “I’m called to Ethiopia.” Because if you aren’t  doing anything here, you sure aren’t called there. Ministry is in the heart of a man. A man’s ministry will never leave him. The cloak of it remains firmly attached until he dies. Man of God, don’t look for someone to direct you. Don’t look for someone to tell you that you are called to minister to this or that group. If you don’t know and aren’t confident enough in your calling to speak to your pastor / leader about it then don’t wait for someone to touch you on the shoulder in some kind of wild prophetic meeting and tell you that you are called. I’ve seen ministries nearly destroyed by following the words of another. You will run into opposition so make your calling and election sure. It will be your rock. This is not an ego trip. If you are looking for strokes, then please stay at home be cause you will never be effective until you learn in who and where your strength is.  {eon}

This next set of notes are a book started long ago and never finished.

February 16, 2009

Monday, March 09, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Friday, February 26, 2010

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Monday, May 03, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

Troy is Alex’s deceased brother.

Alex Lasko is the primary.

Alex is a writer. Single, never married, successful having written many books, lives alone somewhat reclusive yet he is not a recluse, gentle, intelligent, giving, loving, kind, happy and self assured, rich, likes quiet elegance, flies his own plane, skis, doesn’t drink all that much, ahs groups over, has several female friends that adore him, somewhat obtuse in relationships and is looking for a long term relationship including marriage. Good looking yet not handsome, quick in business matters, neat but not obsessive,  light brown hair, ice blue eyes, 175 lbs, 5’10”, dresses casual usually and never sloppy, an uncluttered life.

Alex goes through relationships that never seem to materialize into his dream plan.

A few are near perfect but somehow wind up broken though not by him.

He is a very successful writer and had a number of good friends both married and single.

He handles himself well in social events and is comfortable where ever he is.

He is somewhat of a gourmet and likes good wine.

Alex finds his dream girl only to lose her to some unknown issues that she must deal with.

She doesn’t reveal these issues to him and he assumes the worst and feels the relationship is terminated.

She is far from terminating the relationship because he is everything she has ever wanted.

She tries to get him to communicate with her about the issues

To let him know that the issues aren’t about them

He doesn’t respond and childishly bows his neck

(((need issues))))

Alex goes through a time of morning of his relationship and gets his feet back on the ground

Friends try to set him up with their friends yet he resists because of an inability to open his heart again so soon.

She tries to contact him several times but he refuses to reply.

Dinner party

Home alone

Writing again most of the night

Sleeps long in the morning

Lynne wakes him, passing the gate because she has the code.

Was concerned

Makes coffee


Elana Aliveraz Finch = was Troy’s secretary (he loved her) she married Finch later

Flinigan’s is a restaurant of Fifth Street

He lived in New Hampshire before moving to Germantown

Mary C Hazel eyes is an independent thinker

John is his publisher

Lynne is a friend who is setting up the sitting

Leroy is a friend

George and Barb Atterburg is a publisher trying to get Alex on a contract with world Publishers

Harold is one  of his contacts with his current publisher

Harvey Stoneking of Wingate and Stoneking handles the contract

June and Earol are Friends in Aspen Colorado

Amanda is one of Alex’s squeeze

Alivea is Amanda’s close friend

 I stood alone in the receiving line. No one can stand with you at your brother’s funeral. Many passed by to give their condolences but personal grief is never shared. Each has his own cross to bear and that was why they were here. Troy was a great friend and loved by almost everyone he met. If he had enemies, I never met them. He’s gone now and as some say, how they know I don’t know, to a better place.  “God called him home or so the saying goes. No folks, death took him from us. Who said, “ the good that a man does dies with him but the bad lives on.’ Or something like that. How the hell do they know?  Some remember the good and some remember the bad. Cancer, cancer, cancer, cancer, cancer. Why? Ten thousand questions about life, death, and so on. All that ever comes up is, Why? Where does a person go? What has left? What is the reason?

I walked over to Troy, or at least what was left of the earthly Troy, and touched his face. Cold, unyeilidng, no life left in there. It didn’t even feel like Troy’s face. There is no heat there, no life, just substance. What was Troy is now gone somewhere unknown to me.

The whole process of funeral and wake are still a blur in my mind. Thankfully.

Life goes on, or is it death?

When I would walk into a room, nothing has changed yet everything had changed. Troy is gone now.   Mom and dad had passed away many years ago and now it was just me. God, it feels like my gut has been ripped out. I am so numb from head to toe. A large part of me is gone



. Troy’s gone.

Elana Aliveraz had waited; She walked up; laid her hand on my forearm,

I meant it about being a help to you.” She slipped her card into my hand, hugged my neck, turned and walked away.

Years would go by before I ever saw her again.

After the funeral, I went back to Troy’s place to finish up the estate. His place was sizable but extremely neat. Troy was that way; big, neat, and everything in place. Me, I’m just the opposite. Polar brothers. I spent the night at the house and then I left Troy’s. I caught a flight back to Peoria and began to bury, wrong choice of words, myself in my writing.

Three years would pass before I ever saw Elana again. By that time the last name had been changed to Finch. I was back in New York on publisher business. Now the popular writer. I simply wrote what was the passing of my life. For some unknown reason it was interesting to others though not to me. My life in the flesh was boring. Just another day in the life of Joe average. I was in Flinigan’s, a restaurant on Fifth Street, when she walked in. I knew her immediately; she had made that kind of impression on me. She took a table not ten feet from mine. She hadn’t paid any attention to those around her and didn’t see me. At least, to recognize me. But, the young woman with her did. Elana had taken a chair with her back towards me and the young woman said something that caused Elana to turn where I was in her field of view. Recognition was immediate. She jerked her head to where I was in her direct view. To do this, she had to twist clear around in her chair. “Alex” She said, as though she were in command of a regiment. “Alex, oh Alex.” The other young lady was taken back at Elena’s response. I did the manner thing and push back my chair and walked over to her. She stood as I approached and grabbed me and hugged my neck. “Alex, it’s been such a long time, where have you been?” she asked. “Mostly in New Hampshire, writing and just passing the days.” I said. She turned to the young lady at her table, “Mary, this is Alex, Troy’s brother,” a look of astonishment came to her face. “I, I didn’t know Troy had a brother.” She stammered. I’m perplexed. I can’t figure why she should be so upset by the fact the I’m Troy’s brother. “Please join us, Alex.” Elana said. My waiter was approaching my table just then. I asked him,” would it be alright if I joined the ladies?” “Oh, of course sir, I’ll bring your drink over.” Picking up my glass, he walked to the table and placed it between Elana and Mary. As we sat down, Elana grabbed my had, “Tell us about you last three years, Alex, You lead such an interesting life.” The thought went through my mind, “Yea, like taking the garbage out, or waking to dishes in the sink. Or the emptiness of my house, in my life. All such interesting things. Or the time the basement drain was stopped up and the water heater exploded. Water two foot deep in my newly carpeted basement. That won’t happen again, I put in a backup sump pump. Interesting right? My argument with my new neighbor about property rights that caused him to take his fence down and move it over three feet. Interesting. “Oh, please tell me about yourself, the last time I saw you, you were Elana Aliveraz and now your name has a ring to it.” I said. “Strange that you should notice such a thing Alex.” She said. “I’m now Elana Finch two and half years and loving it. I met Eric, that’s my husband, in Aruba. I was there working on a package tour for a church group. Eric’s into real estate. Commercial that is.” “How about you Alex, have you found a woman yet?” I’ve found a lot of them but none that are precious as rubies. Most are zirconium; they sparkle but the color just isn’t there” Alex, you sound so put off. You haven’t recovered yet, have you?” she said. “ No, I’m afraid I haven’t. I’ve tried to bury myself in books, travel, and writing, anything as a diversion. None of this seems to blot out the loss.” I said. She was still holding my hand,  “Alex, oh Alex, Troy would be upset with you. Let’s talk latter. I think I can help. Where are you staying, I’ll call you this afternoon.” “I’m at the Sheraton, room 410.

I’ve an appointment at 2:00, I’m afraid it will run into late evening.” I said.

How long will you be in town?” Elana asked, deep concern in her eyes.

I’ll be here all week, leaving next Sunday for Denver.” I said.

Mary, I’m so sorry to leave you out of this conversation,” Elana said.

I understand.” Mary said.

I exhaled, and said, “Sorry, I’m afraid I may have ruined your lunch. I didn’t mean to put a damper on your day.”

The waiter came up to the table, “Have we decided what we would like?”

Could we have a few more minutes?” I asked.

Certainly. I’ll bring you fresh drinks.”

There are few indecisive moments in life that are so poignant as trying to decide what you want for dinner. I think that we should live in a country like China where “dim sum” is not a Chinese dish but the lunch of the day. Dim Sum, like soup de jour is just that. Lunch is served from 12:00 till 1:00. You aren’t there to eat, too bad. You don’t order off the menu, there isn’t one. No choice, no confusion.  Salmon? No, too much food for lunch. I wanted something light like a salad.

I think I’m going with the Cobb Salad.” I said.

That sounds good,” Elana said.

What’s good for you Mary?”

Funny how one decision can cause others to follow. Independent thinkers, those who have their own mind, have already decided what they want in just a few moments. Others do not influence them, they are independent.

I want something warm. I’m going to get the Zapata soup and salad.” Mary said.

Hmm, interesting, an independent thinker. Unusual for a Mary. You would have expected her to take the chef salad or Cobb. That’s a Mary’s thinking. Mary gives me an image of one who is peaceful, complacent, one who is the worlds’ concept of Christ’s mother. Mother Mary says to me, There will be an answer; let it be, let it be. Or so the song goes. Hmm, Zapata soup and salad. Pretty too.

I like the Zapata soup,” I said. “ The sausage in there is sooo good. “

To spicy for me.” Elana said.

Such is life. That’s why they have Chevy, Ford, Nissan, Mercedes and Lincoln, choices. Preferences. One likes Zapata, one doesn’t. One likes Cobb salad another like’s chief salad. Oh my god and I going to go off the deep end? I thought. Thank God that people can look right into your eyes and not tell what you are thinking. Mary has hazel eyes. Wow, are they deep. Makes my heart race a bit to look right into them, almost like the first time I went skiing. Jump brother, jump. And down the slope I went, in control, out of control, in control, out of control, all the way to the bottom. Heart racing with a sugar buzz. Looking into her eyes was the same thing. A challenge induced and accepted. Help, I’m drowning, came to my mind. I wonder if Elana can feel this, she’s still holding my hand. Glancing over at her, I see she does. A smile of satisfaction turns the corners of her beautiful lips up. She knows.  We ordered, talked, and passed the time. I was going to be late for my appointment if I didn’t leave right now.

Sorry but I have got to go, I’m close to being late for my appointment.”

The usual battle over the check occurred and I won.

I’ve had a wonderful time, thank you both.”

We’ll be here again tomorrow, if you would care to join us.” Elana said.

Ill do that. Same time?”  

Yes, and don’t forget to call me.”

 My meeting went quite well. The publisher wanted a new series. We outlined a general direction and nailed it to the wall. Supper and talk afterwards went as all business suppers go. Endless. I rolled into the hotel about 12:30 in the morning. Took a shower, watched a little rerun TV, and went to bed. No wake up call. I am going to sleep in. Thoughts of Elana, Mary, Troy, spy cameras in clocks, TV’s, lamps and smoke detectors, dreams of Troy and me, Elana and me, Mary and me, haunted my sleep. Needless to say, I woke up at 5:30 and couldn’t for the life of me, get any more sleep. Gave up about 6:15, got up, looking at the smoke detector, clock and TV, reached for my pants and headed for the shower. Funny about the things you can get paranoid over.  I made up some coffee in the in room coffee pot, turned the TV on, sat back for a moment and reflected on strange turn of events. At the publisher, John had requested more steam in my writing. I’m not one to put adult stuff in my books. Perhaps it’s time to seek another publisher. The bad part is, that I have a contract with them for six more books. The contract is for my books, not my life. I wonder if I can write under two contracts. No, it’s an exclusive contract.

I ate breakfast at the hotel. Then spent most of the morning working on my next book. I like to write on my laptop, it gives me portability. I can write anywhere. Block out the world, climb into my own and write. Exclude everything but cold and rain. I love writing. I can live in a different world and still be here. I don’t think about what I write, I just write by inspiration. While I’m writing, I’m thinking about how to lace romance into my next book, yet it doesn’t affect this one. I wonder whose story you are really writing? New Age stuff I guess. I’ve never studied it but I wonder. Something like; “I came out of the west looking for a home.” And the story goes on from there. My stories just seem to flow. I don’t have any idea what I’m writing. Strange but true. And so it goes while I’m writing. Mary had beautiful hair, eyes, body, everything. I’m not ready for this yet. Yet? Troy has been gone for three years and I’m still moping around. I need to talk with Elana. She’s beautiful too. I somehow manage to write about ten pages of story in the morning. Break for coffee or a walk; sit in the lobby and write, or by the pool. The morning goes fast for me and soon it is time to meet Elana and Mary for lunch.

It was a number of years before I saw them again. Many paths had been crossed, wars fought, bridges built. I had been to many of the great spots of the world. Peoria, Chicago, Milwaukee, the great Mississippi river. China, Berlin, Russia, The land of the Hebrews, Africa, Madrid, Brazil, Holland, Great Britain, all around the world I had traveled, the occidental traveler as Mark Twain called him. It sounds good but in reality, I had moved to a small Midwest town called Peoria. Peoria sits nested in the crook of the Illinois River. A beautiful valley town of 75 thousand yuppies, 10 thousand preppies, 15 thousand blue collar workers and the rest kids. Peoria named after the Peoria Indians who weren’t there when the trading post was formed. Indians were nomadic. The Peoria Indians, now in Oklahoma because we moved them there, had moved south before the Catholics had hit the area. A fort was built close to the water at the foot of what is now known as Oak Street. It did not last long. Fort Creve Coeur was established on the East side of the river South of fort Peoria. Now proclaimed to be high up on a hill. Why would a fort be up on a hill, one mile from the trade river? Ah, present day advertisement you say. Peoria valley, beautiful in the spring, summer, fall, and winter. Climate as variable as a woman’s moods. People, friendly yet aloof. Helpful yet rude. Such is Peoria. I have a nice home North East of Peoria, situated back in twenty acres of woods. Hard to get to, secluded, but beautiful. Deer, squirrels, turkeys, birds and the spirit of Indians long gone. I like my home. I can go outside and sit in the evening without having to deal with neighbors. No, neighbors are good. I’m not a recluse, but I do like my privacy. It’s a modest sized home that rambles down the hillside. I designed it myself. I’m an Aynn Rand fan and wanted to build something out of The Fountainhead. I said it was modest sized, but definitely not modest priced. I like quiet luxury. Slates, rich woods, colors and the such like. I like the touch of real and not sugar substitutes. I traveled a lot in book signings at various places in the States. It’s part of the job description. No real relationships developed with the opposite sex. It’s hard to find one that fits into your life. I had been alone for forty-two years of my life and really set in my ways. Oh, I would change whatever it would take for the right woman. I do like the companionship of the opposite sex. Women are easier to talk to then men. I guess that had to do with my upbringing. Dad was always working at two jobs. Seems like he didn’t really like to be around.

The ringing of the phone breaks my thought pattern; elaborate plans for social engagement began to cloud my day. Lynne was to come over and prepare the house for a sitting. What’s a sitting? You ask. It’s a social gathering. People come for socializing and talk about concepts, principles, ideas, to tell stories, present theories, postulates, and such like.  That’s a sitting. Just a social gathering. Actually, I like having them. I like to be around people when I choose to be around people. It’s called control of your life and, people at any other time are an invasion of privacy. There is plenty of ramble room for guests. I have two guest rooms over the garage and two in-house. Enough for as many as I feel comfortable entertain as overnight guests.   Breakfast is served in the mornings for my guests. As a special treat, I gather orders the night before. Breakfast is served promptly at 9:00 on sleepovers. I expect the guest to be there. It’s mandated. Miss it and you don’t stay over again. Point and period and understood. Rash, you say in your mind. No, not so, for a person to not show up; shows great amounts of self-centered rudeness. Morning is a great time for fresh conversation. Point taken... It was to be sitting of twenty-five or six people. Some are couples, some singles and such like. Affiliation, religion, or social bent does not take part in the selection of the group. Diversity brings conversation. Any subject is acceptable.

What about social grace?” you say.

That is the only rule while engaging in conversation. Social grace is the grease that smoothes the ways. Do not breach this rule. To do so destroys the sitting. This rule is understood but never spoken. We are here for fun and not debate. You would be surprised at how much of these sittings become subjects of my writings. Intellectual pursuits if you may.

You’ve already forgot about the phone ringing, didn’t you?

Hi Lynne, Que Pasa?”

I wish you wouldn’t use that Spanish, it irritates me.”

Sorry. What’s happening? Is that better?”

Yes, immeasurably. I have some things to bring over tonight.”

OH, you mean that you are going to stay the night? I would enjoy you being here.”

No! Alex, I don’t mean overnight. I mean for the sitting.”

Well, there is always hope.”

I’m going to take you up on that sometime, then what are you going to do? “Lynne purred.

 “I would be ecstatic. Overflowing with joy.”

Alex, you are sooo, I don’t know why someone hasn’t grabbed you yet.”

I guess I’m ungrabable. Been by myself too long, Lynne. Want to try?”

She ignored my comment.

Alex, I’ve got to come over tonight, this afternoon is full, and tonight is all I have.”

Lynne, can you hold off till about 9:00 in the morning, I’ll have breakfast fixed. You can drop the stuff off, and we can talk. What’s your favorite breakfast?”

You don’t have to do that, Alex. I’ll just drop by.”  

No, I’d really like to do it. I like doing breakfast with you.”

Alright Alex, you know how I like my eggs. Make the bacon crisp this time, whole-wheat toast, put the butter on while the toast is hot, and milk. With ice.”

Hoo, and would you like anything else mum? Perhaps some Hollandaise sauce, cranberries, or a sprig of parsley?”

You asked, I told. See you at 9.”

It will be ready when you pull in the drive. Bye now. Love you.” She had already hung up.

I went in, took a shower, and went to bed early. Woke up about 5:30 and took another shower to get going.

My god, he takes a lot of showers.” You say.

I like the clean feeling, O.K.? I pay the water bill, it’s my life, and if I want to, I’ll live in the damn shower.”

I sat on the porch for a while with a cup of coffee and my thoughts, then went to my den and started writing. For some unknown reason, I always password protect my budding novels. I think it is because they are my thoughts revealed and I don’t want anyone to see, snoop, or read them before I say so. People generally use passwords that are familiar to them and then they use it for everything.

I’m not an impulse writer. But this morning, I just couldn’t get started. Lynne wasn’t due here for another two hours. What to do? I sat and cleared my mind of all my thoughts and began to write what came into my mind. It’s the way I write. Soon, my fingers would fly over the keys like some kind of Harry Potter thing; thoughts flowing through my fingers to the keys. It isn’t “One dark and stormy night,” thing but a flowing, living thing that ran from my fingers. Before long, I had written nearly two thousand words and it was time to start breakfast.

The security system called for me to open the gate. One glance at the monitor let me know that it was Lynne. I punched the toast down, started the eggs, and unlocked the door.

The table set up on the back deck. The view was woods, a valley, birds, squirrels and what ever else came my way. Timber here was all old growth; most trees some 18 to 20 inches through. Undergrowth was none existent. Just leaves. The house was bordered by about two acres of grass, kind of a fire stop from the leaves. I bought this land for taxes. Ten whole acres of woods bordered by ravines, gullies, and hills. It is privacy, pure privacy without the exclusiveness given by fences. If you want to walk the property without coming up the drive, you have to climb brother, and climb steep.

The house sat in a clearing and rambled down the hillside. There were four connected levels. Across the back is a deck that wraps around the left side and joins the ground there. From the front door, you can turn left, walk a flag pathway and come out on the deck. Each level has a patio joined to the next with a path of flags, sand, pea gravel and grass. This path is bordered with flowers, plants, bushes, and trees. The house has lots of window ventilation. You can rely on the breeze and coolness of the forest to keep the house comfortable. All the windows are controlled by a central command center, for want of a better word. Draperies, door locks, lights and windows can be opened and closed, turned on, dimmed, turned off, locked and unlocked from there. Stone, redwood, Berber carpets, slate tiles, stone window sills, burlap wall coverings, off whites, shades of male colors, masculine or neutral, as is your pleasure, it is a man’s house. I love it, I designed it, contracted it, and it’s me.

By the time I got done explaining what my house looks like, Lynne was walking through the door. God, she looked good. Slimiest, pixie thing you ever saw with a perpetual smile. I love her. No, not a lover kind of love, but the kind that makes you glad she’s around. “I brought some things over for the party.” She said, sitting the sacks in the living room. Cleared of that, she came over and put her arms around my neck, and kissed my cheek. “Hey, are we having sex before breakfast?” I said.

She hit me. “I can’t even give you a hug without you going of some deep end. No. There’ll be no sex, I know you so well it would be incest.” Lynne said. Well. There’s an opening for you. She loves me like a brother. I feel crest fallen and happy at the same time. “Lynne, you are such a sweetheart. I love you too.”

Fresh coffee, help yourself. Half and Half is in the fridge. Sugar is over here.” I said pointing at my lips. She shook her head in mock disgust. “You need help.” She said, accented by the toaster rejecting the toast. I buttered it hot, took the plates from the warmer, finished her eggs and bacon and sat it all on the tray than served mine up.

Pour me a cup, straight up if you will. Use my Life is Good cup, I like that in the morning.” I said. “Breakfast is ready. Let’s eat.” I grabbed the tray, Lynne the coffee, and we headed for the patio.

The rest of the day was a blur. The party wasn’t until six and Lynne wanted me to pick up some things. I don’t like running, but someone has to do it. While I’m riding around, I listened to Janice Joplin CD collection. It’s such a shame that such talented artists would basically commit suicide by taking drugs. “Life’s a bitch then you die.” “If it feels good, it is.” Life was one big party. “If you remember the 60’s, you weren’t there.” “To me, the sixties is a blur.” “Make love, not war.” Values determined and set by the music of the day. And so it goes. “Give me control of the music your youth listens to and I’ll control the nation.”  

I stopped by Alwan’s to pick up the meat; steaks, brats, chuck roast and butterfly pork chops. Alwan’s had the best meat in town. Picked up some meat marinade from George’s’ a small specialty gourmet shop on Oak street, some mesquite, charcoal and lighter at K Mart, ice at our County market, ad infintum.

You having a cook out this weekend?” Judy at County Market asked.

Really, it’s one of my sittings, I thought I’d throw a cookout in the mix. I’m going to do the buried barbeque thing again. Hey, Jude you’re welcome to join us. The shindig starts at 6:00 Friday night, you’re welcome to stay over for breakfast in the morning. I’ve one single bed left in the den. I saved it for you.”

Judy has the biggest blue eyes I have ever seen. She never married, has a daughter, and works her fingers to the bone. She’s an interesting person with different ideas and she would bring something to the sitting. Besides, she’s good looking as all get out.

Do you really mean it?” Jude asked. “I can take Bre over to mom’s for the night. I don’t work this Saturday so I won’t have to be going anywhere. Do you really mean it?”

Yes mum, I enjoy having you around.”

You could have me around all the time.”

I love you baby, but you’re a bit young for me.”

Age is nothing, when its ok between couples.”

There’s more to age than numbers, Big Eyes.”

We could work all that out, if you wanted to. Want to try it for a while? Let’s talk about it over the week end.”

We’ll talk, but I don’t see that there is a solution to age difference. Adjustments between couples of the same age group is tough but adjustments in the fifteen year range are astronomical.”

You sound like, you would if it weren’t for the age.”

I don’t know what I would do with you if it weren’t for the age. I’m not, so that’s a moot point. I really enjoy being around you, let’s keep it at that level if we can, Jude.”

No harm in trying, trying, trying. Love you.”

Woo, I get a ‘love you’, and no stamps?”

Get out of here, your motor is running.”

And so the day went. Doing this and that, running here and there. It was fun though tiring. I got back to the house about six that evening. Lynne was waiting. The dear had actually fixed supper. She set it all up on the patio. We spent a quiet evening together and she spent the night. Morning brought with it a new day, a new set of problems and a new set of solutions. Shower, breakfast, coffee on the patio, writing while fresh. Conversation was light and compact that morning. Lynne hadn’t stayed over in years. I really enjoy her company. We fit like a set. Isn’t that scary? She’s not overpowering or demanding of full attention. We both have our own personality and it doesn’t interfere with the other. We complement. Some day the relationship will want of switching to permanent and then a new set of problems and decisions to deal with. Not now, leave that for a latter date. The morning sun was beautiful. It was like an early spring morning when the winter desolation is finally past. Somehow warming your bones to the marrow. I guess Lynne being here had helped that somewhat. Bachelor life is not what it is cracked up to be. Man is not a solitary creature but part of a set. Man is not complete without woman. I know that goes against the grain of feminists and male chauvinists, never the less it is true. Nature shows just this in all the Nobel creatures that dwell on the earth. They are not solitary but a set.

And so it goes; mate-mate, pair au pair, Hans-solo is not the source of nature. Few creatures in nature can reproduce by themselves.

It’s just that, my life can be so complicated that it is difficult to demonstrate love at the moments when you must write. Writing is not just sitting around writing; it’s research, research, and research. It may be an extended trip to some part of the country and staying long enough to fit into the local favor. To pick up the culture of the people. It may be days, weeks of library research into the history of some forgotten subject. It may be just sitting, dreaming, living the life of another in your mind.

Developing a marriage is time intensive. It is not fair to a mate or to your readers to spread your life too thin. And so bachelor life consists of female friends who want to share just a portion of my life for portions of moments, days.

But,” you say,  “you’ve written enough to keep you financially set for the rest of your life. Why not quit and enjoy life?”

Because I’m a writer. I create.” “I think, therefore I am.” Descartes said.

I write, therefore I create.” Says Alex.

And so, it will be hard to fit another person into this already packed life. That is, beyond short periods of time.

Let’s go for a walk. I want to show you a new path that I made. I planted some wild flowers and herbs on the hillside where it passes. I put in a bench down by the big oak. The stream didn’t make enough noise so I put some rocks in it.”

We headed down the path towards the hillside. It wound around through the trees until you couldn’t see the house anymore. Just trees. The sunlight found release through the leaves and splashed the trail with glory. It was a glorious morning. “Oh”, and I caught myself. This all feels too good. She is too much company. Much too much. I swallowed my jitters and walked on arm in arm down the path, with my friend.

What kind of herb is that?” pointing at chickaree.

That’s chickaree. The pioneers and westerners used to take the roots and roast them for coffee. It makes a real dark coffee that isn’t coffee. I’ve some up at the house. I’ll make you a pot when we get back. This is Crier French stuff from New Orleans though. I don’t mess with harvesting all this stuff. Except herbs I like to cook with. Fresh herbs have so much of a different flavor then stuff bought in the store.”

You remind me of a book that I picked up at a used book store. There was this guy that harvested wild herbs for a living. It took place up in northeastern Indiana. Limber loss I think the name of the forest was. He had this dream cabin back in the woods. The road in wandered past a lake and up to the house. He had a dream, or vision, one evening of this beautiful, ethereal, filmy clad beauty floating across his lake. He had a dog that he treated like a human. He talked to the dog about the woman and the dog didn’t like it a whole lot. He believed in his dream woman so much that he built on to his cabin for her then furnished it with things that he thought she would like. He had transplanted wild flowers around the cabin and on the hillsides. From the description, it reminded me of you.”

Well, I don’t know how. I haven’t seen a vision, built on to the house, and I don’t harvest the herbs. There, that’s ginseng over there. Now, that brings a high price. The last time I looked, processed ginseng was selling for sixty dollars for 58 grams.”

That sounds like a cash crop.” My friend said.

It would be but I simply don’t have the want to. There’s a man, Harry is his name, that does harvest from time to time. He doesn’t do it for a living but just for a walk in the forest type of thing. I told him, that he could harvest whenever he felt like it. It doesn’t hurt anything to be friendly. Time to time though, I have caught him harvesting naked.”

The look on her face was worth the lie.

He does what?”

Oh,” I went on with my bold faced lie cause this was too good to miss, “one day I saw him climbing a tree. I guess he was getting the lay of the land. It’s rough climbing a tree naked. Then another time he was moving from tree to tree like an Indian. I wasn’t worried though, because it’s hard to conceal a weapon on a naked man.”

She was buying every bit of it.

Well, I’m not walking in your woods anymore. It isn’t safe with a naked nut running around.”

He’s harmless. Anyway, he gives me fresh herbs.”

Are you serious?” she asked.

No, I made it all up. There isn’t no naked man running around her like an Indian and climbing trees.”

She gave me a good cuff on the arm and took off running through the trees. The pursuit was on. Suddenly she disappeared. She had stepped behind one of the big oaks and I couldn’t see her. Looks like a game of hide and seek. I moved through the forest like an Indian. It’s real had to move without making a sound in the woods. Sticks, leaves and all kinds of stuff make sounds. I was close, and then she took off running. If I let her get over the edge and into the valley, I’ll never find her. About that time she dropped out of sight passing over the edge into the valley. She must have darted sideways because there were no marks of her passage. I stopped just over the edge to try and find which way she went. This is primeval, man chases woman, grunts a couple of syllables, and beats his chests and roars. Sniffs the ground a finds her track. I kind of slipped into writer mode there. I didn’t do such a thing. I simply stopped, controlled my breathing, and listened. It took a moment for the forest to get quiet. In my ears, anyhow. There was a slight breeze that rustled the leaves. They would hit against each other making rustling sounds. A squirrel was giving something hell up a tree. Birds had begun to speak to each other again. Two flew out of a tree to my left. I watched. Quiet. I began to move to that tree confident she was hiding behind it. Slowly, quietly, placing every foot carefully so as not to make a sound. I was almost there. “Alex?” she called out and I didn’t answer. Too quiet and she thought she had lost me. “Alex?” she called out louder and said something else. By this time I was on the other side of her tree. She started to move, to go back to where we had started when I grabbed her as she went past. It wasn’t fair cause she screamed so hard and loud I was sure they heard it for two miles. “Damn you.’ She said. But I had her in my arms.

It was one of the more pleasant days that I have had. We spent it together with no commitment to be or do anything. It was idyllic and young. Fun. Just fun. This wasn’t the first time we had spent this much time together. It had happened several times. We were friends. Deep, personal friends. I lived a life that was unpresumptuous. I thought that she had no other aspirations other than being close friends. The thought that she might want something deeper, marriage wasn’t even a thought that crossed my mind. I guess I was naive. This would be the thing that would later destroy our relationship. I think that the breakdown between people is caused by them not saying, communicating, what they want. There should never be an assumption that you are communicating without the other person acknowledging and responding. If you want something, say so. Don’t think that I understand you. I may be on another station. Have different aspirations; feel different than you think that I do. Communication will drive away all assumptions. You may not like the answers but there they are anyhow. And clear. No fog of misunderstanding to present hard feelings when things don’t go as you planned. This is what broke our friendship.

But for right now, it was young, childish, innocent, and beautiful. We enjoyed each other immensely.

I’ve got to get back to earth.” Lynne said.

Me too,” said I. “I’ve got to get writing. I’ve a deadline to meet. My publisher. God, that sounds so stuffy, my publisher. Like he sat around and waited for me to finish my book. My publisher, like; my underwear, my car or my kitchen. I own it or him or them. Anyhow, I’ve got to get busy. I hate to break this spell. This has been wonderful. I would have said great but that didn’t describe it.”

Always, Alex the writer.” Lynne said.

It’s what I do.”

We walked arm in arm up the path of life to the house and back into reality.

George had called while we were out. George is another publisher that had been after my work for ten years. I rang him up.

George, this is Alex.”

I tried to reach you on your cell. Why the hell don’t you carry that thing with you? Isn’t that’s what its for?”

George, I pay for the thing and it’s for my convenience, not yours.”

Never mind, what I called about is that I have a great deal for you and we want to talk about it.”

George I told you I’m bound by contract for the next three years. I can’t get out of it. Really, I don’t want to. Harry has been great with me. I don’t see why I should change now.”

Alex, will you listen to what we have to say?”

Sure George but I have to give Harry Stone king a contractual heads up.”

That’s as it should be Alex. When can we talk?”

Wait a minute while I look.” I found my appointment book, thumbed through and found next week, Monday was clear but I hate Mondays,

How about Wednesday 9:00 and I’ll buy you lunch. That way I know we’ll be finished by noon.”

I’m open for Wednesday at 9:00 till one. I have a commitment then. It’s set then? Wednesday at 9:00 with lunch. Great.”

George, I’m having a sitting Friday night, I’ve one opening, how about you and Barb joining us?”

I’ve heard about your sittings, Alex. Amazing is usual the description. I’m afraid we can’t make it; Barb and I have to go to ------, I just can’t this Friday, Alex. Try us another time please.”

Lynne was in the shower by the time I finished up the telephone calls. I just slipped in with her.

So much for writing.

Morning found me on a 747 headed for New York. Some kind of book promotion dreamed up by the publisher of my book. There, I said it right. Not my publisher but the publisher.  I wonder why people can’t fly to where I am? I think that I’ll throw that in the next contract. Be a good negotiating point. That means I’ll lose that point but gain another. Better though than losing something else. Now there’s a title for a book; “Negotiating Point”. It’s a romance, figure that one out.

Lynne would make the final arrangements for the sitting Friday. I don’t really know how these things actually come off. This kind of thing is normal in my life. Gone in a New York second. It’s what I do.

I caught a taxi outside of Kennedy.

Where to Mac?”

I’m headed for the Sheraton.”

Which one do ya want, I got a dozen?”

All the way to New York Hotel on 7th.”

Gotcha bud.”

Where in the world are you from?” I asked seeing as how he wasn’t a foreigner.

I mean, aren’t all taxi drivers Indian, Arabic or Iranian?”

I’m from right here. The Bronx, actually. Why?”

Well, it’s kind of unusual to catch a taxi with someone with a New York accent and speaking English, if you know what I mean.”

Ya, I know what you mean. They all come over here and don’t pay any taxes. Ain’t right you know. Just ain’t right.”

Sometimes they have to pay taxes to their own government. And, if they stay here too long, they become expatriates. Kind of like, without a country. Not a citizen of anywhere. Now, that would be a strange feeling. Have you ever been out of the country?” I asked.

Ya, me and the old lady went on a cruise once. Went to Cozumel, Jamaica, St. John’s, you know, the usual trip. Lots of time on the boat but little time to look around an island. Jamaica was sad man, I mean sad. These people were living in caves. We wouldn’t have seen it if we hadn’t taken a tour to some water fall. Just wasn’t enough time. The tourist coast was great but we didn’t have time to look around. We went to some garden. The wife couldn’t believe the size of the philodendra leaves. I mean these things took over trees like poison oak or something. Funny how it’s weeds in one country and exotic plants in another.”

You sound like a anthropologist, the way you observed things and people.” I said.

I like to look around, People are interesting, and that’s why I drive a taxi. Like where are you from bud?” he asked.

I’m from D.C. originally but I move to Peoria about ten years ago.”

Arizona or Illinois? I’ve got a cousin in Peoria, Illinois. They say it “Illinoi” He said. “She lives out at a place called Weaver Ridge.”

I’m out in Germantown,” I said.

Here we are bud, good talking to you.”

Thanks, you made the ride short, thank you, “ I gave him a ten dollar tip, “Keep it, and thanks.”

I travel light so all I had was one carry on. That didn’t matter to the guy at the door. He took it from my hand and carried it for me.

It’s good to see you again Alex. Your room is ready.”

They don’t hand you a key at this price. We traveled up the elevator and stopping at the door with key in hand, he unlocked the door.

It was just as I remembered. The view is breathtaking if you like city. The bell carried my one bag all the way to the room. “Shall I unpack for you Mr. Alex?” he asked.

No, I like to take care of that myself. John.”

I handed him a five.

Thank you Mr. Alex.”

And he left.

I did what I usually do after a flight. I stripped and took a long hot shower. I slipped into my comfiest and lay with arm flung out across the bed. I can relax in a very short time that way.

My snoring woke me up some thirty minutes later. I should have checked out the window to see if my snoring had caused anyone to call for emergency backup, but I didn’t.

Television doesn’t interest me so I dressed and headed to the lobby and the restaurant. I’m not a big fan of eating out, so whatever fare in-house is fine with me.

It turns out that the featured dinner of meat, potatoes, vegetables and bread was very good. Service was prompt, efficient, cordial, and good looking. For a man who is extremely hard to please, I gave it an eight.

Definitely a four star experience. I liked it so well that I left a two-dollar tip. No, really, it is pathetic that the customer has to pay to get good service. It is pathetic that restaurant owners are allowed to pay below minimum wage. A wage that is taxed based on the restaurant’s sales. Some waiters and waitresses get weekly checks of $25.00 for forty hours and you, mister customer; pay the rest of the wages along with an expensive meal. It just isn’t right. But that is the way it is.

I walked around the hotel as though I had never been there before and found myself in the lounge. There was a table by the piano that looked inviting so I accepted the and sat down. I wonder about people that drink alone and here I am totally alone and about to drink.

The waitress, name tagged Amanda, came over to take my order.

Could I bring you a drink?” she asked.

Do you take orders to go?” I asked.

Yes sir we do but not for drinks.”

OK,” I said, “Get your coat and meet me at the door.”

I wish I could claim that for an original but I overheard a Marine use it once.

She laughed, “That’s the first time I’ve ever heard that one

At least he was pleased with my flirt. “I’ll have a Squirt with ice and one shot of tequila.”

Does that drink have a name?” she asked.

Not yet, but I’m looking and open to suggestions.”

I think you’ve had your limit of suggestions for tonight with that “Orders to go “ thing.”

I didn’t think it was such a bad idea, really, are you open to dinner, movie, dancing, or a walk in the park?”

I don’t get off until 12:30 tonight.”

Actually, I meant later, like tomorrow afternoon or evening.”

I’ll have to work again tomorrow night, every night actually. I’m tied up with school in the afternoons mostly. I’m sorry.”

Me too. I visit here often; maybe we could keep in touch and make a connection sometime. Here’s my card.”

Your a writer. Successful?”

Somewhat, that’s my reason for being in New York tonight, I have to see the publisher tomorrow.”

Let me get your drink. I’ll be back.”

It was a slow weeknight and the entire place was empty but for me.

I wonder what she is going to school for? She’s a nice looking woman. Must be about thirty or so. I like green eyes. Wow. She must work out too. I’m glad she is wearing slacks and not one of those mini waitress skirts. No, I’m not a prude, just old fashioned a bit and always feel more comfortable around a woman decently clad.

She brought the drink back and sat down across from me. It’s a thing waitress’ do to get a bigger tip. But, in this case, the place was just empty, like I said.

What are you taking?”

I’m majoring in business, I intend to get my Masters before I’m through.”

You’re doing this on a waitress’ salary?”

No, Dad sat up a trust for me. He said it was important for a woman to have a good education. His idea was; that education is passed on to children. When you have an educated mother she requires that of her children. She sets the bar higher for them. “Education is never wasted on the hand that rocks the cradle.” was his philosophy.”

Did your mother have a degree?” I asked.

No, but she read a lot and I don’t mean Romances. She liked to explore all the riches of great men from Adam to Moses. She read and studied math, Physics, quantum physics, chemistry, geography, anthropology, her reading list was impossibility long. She even read Louis Lamour and Zane Gray. And she read to us.”

The conversation went on for about an hour or so. The usual type of casual passing the time conversation. Who, what, where, when questions that tell us all we know.  I made it to bed about 10:30 or so and slept like a rock. My meeting was scheduled for 9:00 so I got with the program, ate breakfast, caught a taxi, and headed up town. I was just a short distance from blagh blagh and blagh but just to lazy to walk. It was a New York hot anyhow and sweat was the last thing I wanted this morning.

The usual, through the lobby, up the elevator, big oak door with names on it, beautiful receptionist, and fine carpet type of office structure.

May I help you?” asked fine, beautiful, good smelling, receptionist.

It wasn’t like I hadn’t been here before I just thought that you might like to see it too.

Yes mum, I’m Alex Lasko and I’m here to see Mr. Stone king.”

Do you have an appointment?” Asked Miss Smell Good.

Mr. Stone king is expecting me.”

I see your appointment here, sorry but so many try to get in to see him.”

Personally, Miss, I would like to be at my home in Germantown.”

She picked up the phone, dialed a number and “Mr. Stone king, Alex Lasko is here to see you. Yes sir, O.K., thank you sir. I’ll send him right in.”

By this time the Oak door opened and Harry Stoneking walked through.

Alex, it’s so great to see you. It’s been a long time.”

Not long enough, Harry.” I replied.

Usually Harry had some great thing for me to do. Like a book tour, a talk show, a book to write. My contract was for three books a year and he was always trying to get me to write more. The truth of the matter is, I could write one a month without really straining. Usually, I’ll set down and hit it hard for two months and write all three. I don’t let them know that though. I’ll send one in every four months.

Alex, that’s no way to greet a friend.”

Harry, you’ve always been a friend, but usually you have some great idea for me to do.”

Not this time Alex. I wanted to talk to you about your conversation with George Atterburg. Come on in.


Sure, I take it straight.”

Thank you for calling me about George. I want to know what he offered you.”

Harry, don’t you think that smacks of price fixing or something like that? I feel really uneasy telling you what he offered. I’m not a bargainer. Usually, I pay or take what is offered and let it go. I’m under contract with you but that doesn’t mean you own my personal life. You only own rights to my writings for the period of the contract.”

Your contract says.”

I know what my contract says, Harry. Is it that you want to open negotiations? I owe you three books a year, not my soul.”

Take it easy, Alex. I didn’t call you here to fight.”

O.K. I guess I’m being a bit paranoid. But, I called you about George because it was my contractual obligation. I would have called you anyway, contract or not. You know that. What’s this all about, Harry?”

I told Frank that you had talked to George at World Publishers and he went ballistic. You are our best writer, Alex. He doesn’t want to loose you.”

So, talk to me Harry. If Frank wants to keep me, he sure has a funny way of showing it. How about a pat on the back, or some kind of acknowledgement of his appreciation. This all leaves a bad taste in my mouth, Harry. I was set to stay and negotiate a new contract but all this makes me want to look around a bit.”

Alex, Alex, take it easy. We’re not trying to force you into anything. We just want to know what it will take to keep you. You’re very valuable to us and we don’t really want to offend you. I’m afraid that has already happened though. Please stop a minute and let’s talk of something else.”

What do you want to talk about, Harry?”

I left Harry sitting by himself. It didn’t take long to make it back to the hotel. I called the airline and rebooked a flight for the morning. Enough of this, it’s time for life.

The phone rang. “Hello” it was Amanda from the lounge.

Alex, I’m free tonight, would you think it forward of me to invite you to dinner?”

That sounds like just what the doctor ordered,” I said.

I have a car,” she said.

She has a car in New York? This is a special girl. This is one of those daring, “I’ll do it myself”, girls.

Parking costs a fortune downtown, I suppose the hotel lets them park free.

Why don’t we ride out to my place and then go out from there.”

That sounds like a plan to me. Where do you want me to meet you?”

How about the lobby in fifteen minutes?”

How’s that for a quick evening set of plans. One minute you’re ready to fly home and then the next you’ve a date for the evening.

I took a quick shower, shave, and change of cloths and was in the lobby three minutes late.

Ready?” she asked.

Lead the way.” I said.

Are you ready for this? She drives a 62 Vette in New York.

It was my Father’s. He actually built it. It’s a retromod and not your usual 62 Vette, everything underneath is from a 2004 C5 Vette , LT1 with intercooler twin Garrett turbos and a six speed transaxle. It goes through the corners on rails, accelerates like a rocket, and stops on a dime. Top speed is totally unknown. Somewhere over 200 I suppose. Want to drive?”

Not in New York”, I said. “Too many taxi’s to break the glass.”

It took over an hour to get to her house. “I thought that you lived in New York,” I said.

I do. New York is a state you know. Rather large too.”

I had to say the usual things, dumb, when you think of it; “And you drive this every day?” did think she flew every now and then?

Only when I have to work,” with a slight smile.

We drove up a winding driveway through the pines. The last curve revealed a lodge. At least it looked like a lodge. Actually, it was more like something that Howard Roark built in the book “Fountain Head”. If fit with the environment, not in place of. I was astonished. How in the world does a waitress working her way through collage afford this? Native rock incorporated into the building. Flowing, like “Falling Waters”.

I suppose my astonishment was revealed in my expression.

Beautiful, huh.” I heard her say.

I wanted to ask but propriety kept me from it. She knew I wanted to ask but only smiled a bit. Just the corners of her mouth. Not much, just a hint. Hazel-Green eyes flashing.  The garage door opened of supposing it’s own accord. Like a puppy waiting for it’s master. Drive in. Door close. Lights on. The garage was finished on the inside. No single bulb hanging down from the center, but well lit. Floor painted in black and white squares. Spotless, perfect actually. A man notices these things. Next to food, a garage is the way to a man’s heart.  Tools? Virtually anything you could want.

what is all this?” asked the astonished one.

They were my Dad’s but I use them.” I heard the distant sound of her voice in reply. “I was my Daddy’s boy. Whenever he would build or work on something, I would be there to hand him tools or as a third hand. I learned a lot from him. A lot about life, actually. He was my idol.”

Tears were running by then and tears in a woman are the heartbreak of a man. No sobs, just tears. I reached out to comfort her, I didn’t know if I should but my heart was right. She laid her head on my shoulder as I held her as a father would. She appreciated it.

Well, I sure didn’t expect that. I guess my mind was on Dad. I miss him.”

I found it notable that she wasn’t wearing any makeup. The tears revealed that. Just natural beauty.

Turning toward the door, “Let’s go in, I want to take you through Dad’s house. We built a lot of it, him and I. Mom was there also, I don’t want to leave her out of the running. She was my soul mate. I had a wonderful childhood. So unusual in this day and age. I miss them.”

The door wasn’t locked and this led into a foyer / mud room.

You think it strange that a woman in a bar would load up a man she had met one time and take him to her home in the country. Me too.

I won’t digress about the house. It was beautiful and that’s enough.

Make yourself a drink. Ice is in the fridge.” She said over her shoulder as she walked down the hall.

I won’t be but a minute.” She faded into the sunset.

It is too early for something stiff. I poured myself a Squirt with ice. No gin, I got deathly sick (read drunk) on Gin and Squirt once. And once is enough. Never again.

Somewhere down the hall, miles away, was the sound of a shower running. My mind shifts into overdrive and I resolve; not to go there.  I’m a Puritan, I’m a puritan, and I’m a man and, well. Never mind.

Doing the safe thing, I browsed her bookshelves. Gibbon’s, THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, hum, one volume, must be the condensed version of THE HISTORY OF THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE. Heavy reading,

On the list goes, romance, mystery, westerns, educational, history, poetry; it was like a public library in diversity. Over to the side were ring binders labeled with titles. Ring binders seem to have some kind of built in security device and it’s hard to open one. I didn’t. I move to the window and the view was forest. Beautiful, I like forest.

Hey, I’m through.” She said as she walked into the room.

Stunning but simple. Slacks, Dad always insisted we call them slacks and not pants, blouses and not shirts, and a blouse.

You look stunning,” say I.

Thank you.” Says she.

There’s a small road house just out side of town that serves huge steaks, are you in the mood for steak?” she grins.

We headed for the kitchen door that leads to the garage. Yep , the Vetted was still there. What a fabulous piece of machinery. The kind of work and car that makes you want to climb under, around, over and in. The detail was magnificent. I mean, magnificent. This was built as a love affair.

Want to drive?” tossing the keys over her shoulder.

My heart raced. I don’t know if I can take this. I’m as excited as I was driving my first L88 Vette. /Door open, slide in, seat belts, start engine, tap the throttle once, twice, three times.
Builds “R’s” as fast as a rice burner.

Light flywheel, I comment.

Ten inch twin disk aluminum. Dad had it made.”

The ride to town was exhilarating to say the least.

When I pulled on to the highway she said,” Get on it,” and I did. Lightning with a saddle. The G force pulled me back in the seat. No wheel hop, excess burning, just bullet straight.

Want some more,” she opened the glove box, flipped up a red switch cover, and tripped the switch.

Three stage nitrous, when you hit quarter throttle, half, and full. Hang on to the wheel and be ready for a thousand horse.”

I was already going seventy when I lit it up. Houston, rockets are a burn. My god what an animal. I never got to full throttle; I had to pull out of it at 148. I’m on a two-lane country road and my heart was racing like a teenager on his first date.

The turn off is just ahead,’ she yelled above the wind noise. I saw the sign and slowed for the turn. We pulled into, what I would have called a roadhouse. Old, no paint, gravel, at one time, parking lot, potholes, and a sign with bulbs out. It was a picture of a greasy spoon with bikers fighting in the parking lot.

We were the only car in the whole lot. “I’ll park right up front,” I said, wanting to protect the car from adverse elements.

Don’t worry about it, this is country, people don’t do hurtful things out here.”

Where I live they do.  Rude is a way of life. And if you aren’t careful it will make you cynical after a while.”

It was dim inside, no, no smoke hung in the air with a jukebox playing honky tonk and leather vested long hairs sitting on bar stools. Over to the right was a bar area, clean, clean bar tender about forty or so. Nodding his head in greeting, “Sit where you like folks.”

The dining area had white tablecloth draped tables. Candles in the middle were lit. Walking across the floor was reminiscent of a log cabin. Thankfully, the lights were dim.

I did the man thing and pulled out a chair for Amanda.

Thank you, it’s been a while since I’ve had that done.” She said as I slid in the chair.

We sat with our sides to the door. Western thing I guess. You know, chair in the corner, back against the wall. She could see the bar, I could see her. Her actions spoke of her background and teaching. Not really you’re usual bar maid type. Incongruous. “This is some place,” I said leaving the comment completely open.

She said; “Dad used to bring us here. Mom and me, as a family.” Stumbling words. I waited for the rest, but it wasn’t to come. I wanted to ask about her family but it just didn’t seem right. The quiet in conversation was, what seem for a long time, deafening. Maybe her thoughts were racing back to a time in the “not to distant” past. As a person shaking themselves back awake she broke her mental reminisance with; “How long have you been writing?”

I’ve been writing for ten years.” I stopped my sentence short, no adverbs or adjectives, wondering if she would pick up on the question in my voice and the answer to her question.

Where do you get your stories?” she avoided my question.

Actually, I’ve found that life provides it’s own stories. Most successful writers have extensive libraries of their favorite subject. They travel, or have traveled, to the area they are writing about. They’ve experienced the story either in real life or in their imagination. They have read the history of the story. It becomes theirs. ”

What do you write about? What’s your story?” she responded.

Note: This is what conversation is all about. She has turned the subject to me and avoided her story. My writer’s mind runs through the reasons for this switch and decides that there isn’t enough information to form an assumption.

People, I write about people. I study them, take hours just watching, I do things like sit in the park and watch. Stand on a street corner and watch; sit in an airport and watch. I write in my head, playing out the scenario unfolding before me. Try to figure out their story. It’s actually fun.” I said, saying more than I really wanted to. The thought comes to me; it’s time to turn the table,

People have stories that are never written, what’s your story, the points I seen so far have been intriguing. Fill me in on a few of the finer points.” I said, not wanting to use the same technique she was using; six honest serving men.

What can I get for you folks, what would you like to drink?” The bar tender said.

He actually had a towel draped over his arm. Missing was the pad every waiter writes on.

I’ll have iced tea with lemon,” I asked.

She looked a little strange at me. “I’ll have the same.” Was her reply.

Looking puzzled, “You don’t want a drink?” said she.

I’m not a big drinking man anymore. I’ve always though that anything that you have to get used to can’t be good for you. I like a good wine every now and then. The trouble with wine is that most people won’t listen.” I answered.

Funny, real funny.” Sarcastically.

What’s good on the menu?” I asked

Try the prime rib, it’s beyond description, that’s what I’m having Alex.”

George, I don’t know if that is his name, but I’ll call him George, was back with our drinks.

Do you folks need more time? Let me suggest the prime rib, it’s our specialty.” George with the towel said.

I figured it would be the gentleman thing to go first, “I’ll have the rib medium, a baked potato, loaded, salad with Roquefort, and rolls.”

Amanda ordered the same but chose ranch dressing instead.

I sat looking at her, into her green eyes, at her classic beauty. Perfect nose, chin, lips, neck and thinking how a person could fall in love with her without trying.

What are you looking at?” she said blushing.

Here is the time when most conversations of this type fall apart because the man is too self-conscious to say what he means.

I was thinking how easy it would be to fall in love with a classical beauty such as you.” There I said it.

Women are not thrown for loops like men are and she countered quickly.

Thank you for telling me that. What about you?”

What do you mean; have I fallen in love with you or that I could?” I countered, sparing.

I mean just that; have you or could you fall in love with me?”

Where do I go from here Lord? I don’t know what to say. I ‘m caught, in a quandary. I know, aw, “I mean; I find you very attractive.” There, that should answer the question.

She looked at me with one of those sly female grins and changed. “Your leaving New York in the morning. Weren’t you planning on staying the week out?’

I was, but I finished early.” I said shortly.

She picked up on the accent, “I guess things didn’t go as you expected them to, then.”

No, my publisher wanted more than I’m willing to give. I left with it as strictly business. No more friendship.”

I’m sorry. Who’s your publisher, Wingate and Stoneking?”

How did she know that, oh, the only publisher close to the hotel was Wingate and Stoneking? Simple deduction, Watson. She’s a thinker.  

I don’t want to get all dragged down in details so I answer simply, “Always.”

What do you write, romance, mystery, westerns, science fiction, action? What’s your style?”

I prefer romance and science fiction sometimes I wish it would be a western, but that’s not my background.”

Did you ever start a book and found that you couldn’t finish it? You know, stonewalled?

Sure, I do that all the time. Usually it runs about 10 thousand words then leaves.”

You sound like; medium or something. Do I detect that you don’t feel like it comes from your heart but form some outside source?”

For me; that’s true. I just sit down and begin writing. I guess, I shouldn’t tell you all of this. It’s kind of my trade secret. Like a manufacturing process. Hershey chocolate or Godiva. Some kind of barbeque sauce.”

Our food was here. I was waiting for the salad but it came with the food. That’s different!

My god, this isn’t a steak, it’s the whole roast. I’ll never eat all of this. The size of this potato, it looks more like a small watermelon. Holy cow!”

I cut my steak, it was perfect. This whole thing sounds like a story written in the 1800s, every thing turns out wonderful.

The next week found me in Germantown. You ask what happened to the rest of the evening? I’ll leave that up to you to decide. Scenario 1; did Alex spend the night with her scenario 2; did they drive back to New York and she spent the night with him?  Scenario 3; did she drive him back to New York then come home? The possibilities are unending but really what happened was; their conversation turned back to her question about his ability to fall in love with her and then she asked him if he would like to sleep with her. Actually it went like this;  “You said, that it would be easy to fall in love with me. What would it take to make it so?” she asked seriously.

Just being with you for a while would do the trick nicely.” I answered.

And are you planning to do so?” she asked.

I hadn’t planned on it but the aspect of it is indeed enticing. I think that I would enjoy it tremendously.”

What does hinder? I can take the time off, all I need to do is call in.” Said this irrespirable beauty.

Well, I’m my own boss so I don’t have to call in. But I have a party scheduled for next Friday night. There are some things I need to do in preparation for that. I think that I can do most of what I need by phone from here but I need to be back in Germantown by next Wednesday” I said thoughtfully.

I looked up, it was starting to snow.

We finished up dinner and headed back to her house. The roads were already covered with a good amount of show. I drove, but with so much power under the hood it was difficult and the trip back took the better part of an hour. “I guess we’re snowed in. There’s no way to get you back to the city now, we’ll be snowed in for weeks. It looks like you’ll just have to stay until the road can get plowed. What will we do? How can we spend our time?” she said with tongue in cheek.

Going up her drive was a nightmare there were trees on both sides and with the slopped driveway I kept sliding to the side. By now the flakes was the size of golf balls. At least that’s what it looked like. The ground was covered with six inches already. It looked like God had upended the basket of snow. The trees were beautiful. A winter wonderland. A Christmas scene painted by Kincaid. “Pull the Vette in the garage,” she said as the garage door opened. “The drain will take care of the melted snow. Dad made it that way.” Answering the question of my mind before I spoke it. I sat for a moment after I shut off the car and let the tension drain out of my body.

Let’s go in, you get a fire going and I’ll fix you a hot toddy.” Amanda said cheerfully. “We can sit warm by the window and watch the snow fall.”

I kicked my shoes off by the door and proceeded to get my socks wet in the snow. “Dang, that’s cold,” shaking my foot to get rid of the snow.

Someone had set wood in the fireplace. I turned on the gas valve and lit the fire. “What do you think of my fire starting ability?” I said laughing.

I walked over to the window, “I think the snow has picked up to blizzard proportions. There’s nearly a foot of snow already.”

Amanda brought the drinks over to the couch. “I fixed hot buttered rum instead of a toddy. It just sounded better.”

I don’t know if I’ve ever had hot buttered rum.” I said sipping the concoction carefully. “Mmm, that’s good. It makes me warm all over.”

We drank about three or four and I was getting real tipsy. The snow had increased to whiteout now and it was impossible to see even the ground. The fire felt good. The lights were turned down real low and it was more than romantic. The problem was; we both fell asleep on the couch. I woke up around four in the morning and we were cuddled up on the couch like two spoons. Thankfully she was behind me because I liked it real good. I dropped back off and we both awoke around six.

Are you comfortable?” Amanda asked in a husky voice.

Extremely, “I responded. Somehow we wound up with a blanket over us and it was warm and cozy.

I could feel her breathing on my neck. It was so sensuous, the warm breath on my neck, the cuddling, and the snow. I didn’t want to ruin the whole atmosphere by getting up, but the drinks of last night said it was very needful. I guess it was like taking the first donut because Amanda was right behind me.

I made it back before her and folded the blanket, sitting it on the hassock. It was still snowing but not at white out proportions. There must have been three foot of snow out there. It was piled up to the bottom of the window.

Amanda came out of the hall way looking like I felt. I mean, four hot buttered rums in one evening? My head felt like, I don’t know what. My mouth was like sand, eyes like the desert, I ached all over. I had set more wood in the fireplace and lit the gas starter. It was the only warm fuzzy feeling this morning.

Would you like some eggs, sausage or bacon this morning?” Amanda asked with a sly grin.

I was up and off that couch in two seconds and that lit her fuse too.  A few moments worshiping at the porcelain throne and I was covered with sweat. I guess this isn’t the thing good writing speaks of, but never the less it was true. I think I’ve read stories where they both wake up naked, in each others arms, have sex again, take a shower together, have sex in the shower, dry off , have sex on the vanity, go to the bedroom and have sex again and all of this with a hang over. Right. Not! This morning sex played a roll in my life somewhere around level 110. I’m looking at the death angel, at least that is what it feels like.

I’m taking a shower.” Amanda expelled. “There’s some fresh clothes in the bedroom at the end of the hall. You can use the bathroom in there. Help yourself.”

I must have spent an hour with hot water running over me. I guess, I thought it would wash the sins of last night away. I admit though, I felt better. I wrapped the towel around me and walked out of the bathroom, Good thing because Amanda was standing in the bedroom doorway. “I thought I would lay out fresh underwear for you. It looks like you need it standing there like Adam.”

I’m sure I turned four colors of blush. She grinned, turned, and walked away.

I woke up around 10:00. I must have dropped off when I sat on the bed to dress. I had lost my towel. I dressed, did the usual oblations and went to find Amanda.

As she was fast asleep on the couch, I went ahead and made coffee. She looked like the cream and sugar kind of girl so I fixed her a cup.

With my kitchen stealth ways, she had already waked up and was sitting in the lounger. The drapes were open and it was snowing again.

What’s the poop on the weather?” I asked, like she had been watching it on cable.

I don’t know. Are you sure you wont to break this solitude by looking?” she asked.

No, I’m fine. All they can tell you is that it snowed and is snowing again.”  I quipted. “I like to take the day as it comes, People watch the weather then feel disapointed because they wanted it to be different today They plan for some big event then get upset early in the morning because the weather provaricator said it was going to rain. They change thier plans only to find out he was wrong. I read somewhere about a farmer that wouldn’t plant corn because it was cloudy and might rain. Windy and it might storm, late and it might get dark. And that’s enough of the philosiphy of life. How do you feel?”

Like I’ve had too much to drink and it’s the morning after.” Spoke the voice in the darkness.

I’m great at fixing breakfast, would you like some?” I asked somewhat hesitant.

After breakfast, we put on snowshoes and went for a walk in the snow. It was beautiful, cold and deep. “This is more snow then I’ve seen since 1978 in Peoria.”

It must be the freak weather patterns we’re having now. All the hurricanes, storms, earthquakes. It makes it sound like the midnight hour.”

Do you believe in all that Appoclips stuff?”

I don’t really know if I do or not. I studied it once only to find out that the interpretation was flawed. I came to the conclusion that; one must live their life one moment at a time and not be concerned about what is going to happen.”

Isn’t that kind of an ostrich syndrum? Kind of like self denial?” She said.

It would be except the second part Dad always said; “Plan like you’ll live forever.””

Did he do that?”

No, he was a philospher and not a person to follow his own philosphy. I think that’s how we all are though. Don’t you?” I spoke above the wind.

We better head back, It’s getting bad again.” She said.

The wind had picked up and it was moving into a white out again. The blowing snow was covering our tracks as fast as we made them. I could have wound up totally lost if Amanda hadn’t been along.

don’t worry,”she said “I know every tree i this forest. I was raised here.” And she did.

We made it back to the house unerroringly. Straight as an arrow.

See, I told you.” She teased me

It was three days before they plowed us out. Needless to say, we were intimate by then. Probably more than intimate. Real close. You have to find something to do when you’re cooped up in the same house with a beautiful woman for three days. Wow.

Yes, I had called the hotel and they knew I was snowed in.

It was back to normal and the party Friday night. Uneventful flight until I got to Chicago. The hop to Peoria was having trouble as it was about six in the evening. Never get to Chicago and expect to get a flight home at six in the evening. Usually there’s not enough passenger for then to make the flight, so they postpone until they do. I’ve waited until 10:30 at night. Excuses? Oh, they have them. Really though, would you want to fly on an airplane that has enough trouble to be grounded for four hours? It wouldn’t be bad but it happens every time you try to fly from Chicago to Peoria? I got bumped once because they had too much fuel on. Figure that one. I wound up taking a bus to St. Louis. How’s that for air travel? Really though, I’d rather take a beating than to fly. I only fly when I really have to. As I think about it, I believe I’ll take flying lessons, buy my own plane, and fly it to where ever. Yes, that’s what I’m going to do. Maybe I can hire a stewardess. Eat peanuts and drink horrible coffee. If I have a rough flight, I can blame the pilot, me.

Lynne met me at the Greater Peoria International Airport. PIA in airportese.  It was hard to find her among the three people waiting for disembarking passengers (15).

Lynne greeted me with a huge hug and a kiss. “Welcome home, stranger.” She said. “How was your three days snowed in with a woman? I’ll bet you ran out of things to talk about.”

We quit talking after the first day.”

What, did your conversations reduce to animal grunts and groans?” she said sarcastically.

I believe your jealous, Lynne.”

Your damned right I’m jealous. You fly away to some desert island with a beautiful girl and leave the work to me. What do you think I am, your slave? Yes, I’m jealous and mad and hurt.”

Suddenly, a light cane on in this dense, stupid head of mine. Lynne is in love with me. How did this happen and I didn’t even know it. I guess I’m naive about women. I thought that she liked to be with me. Do things with me as a friend. Really though, we had become quite close over the past few years. Maybe I need to reassess this entire relationship.

Lynne, I’m sorry. I wouldn’t hurt you for a million. I didn’t realize that you meant so much to me. Please forgive my stupidity.” I said quietly. I had hurt her deeply. Two big tears were falling from her cheeks. She felt that I had betrayed her and I didn’t even know what she had felt for me. Yes, I know that we had sex with each other but in this generation that doesn’t mean a whole lot. I guess that somewhere along the line, the direction of our relationship changed into one of permanence.

Lynne began spending more time with me. There were nights, days that we didn’t separate except occasionally. Our bond became almost unbreakable, or so I thought. I continued writing daily. I had three books a year to produce. Actually, I was writing ten or so novels and who knows how many short stories. I would bank them against cold stormy days when nothing would come. The publisher would get the ones he specified and I kept the rest.

Lynne had prepared the party to the nth degree. It was perfect.

Christmas came and with it spring. Lynne and I had been together for four months now. She was changing somehow. She became removed, harder to communicate with. I was concerned. It was in March that she told me it was over. Her reason? Bored.

I guess life is like that, people want to be entertained continually. Life is not a video game played continuously. Life has it’s quiet, it’s noise, it’s excitement and it’s quiet again. I recon my spending hours at writing wasn’t exciting enough. Really though, when I’m writing, I’m in a world of my own. The only people in existence are those in my story. Everyone else, including this world, doesn’t exist. I guess it’s my escape.

No! It’s not my escape but my career. It’s what I do. It’s not a factory or office job where I go in at 7:00 AM and come home at 4:00. This is my life,  I’m terribly sorry that Lynne couldn’t understand that and accommodate my life style. It’s really simple with lot’s of free time to spend with someone I love and enjoy being with.

I decided that it was time for a sabbatical. Not to stop writing, but to find and get into someone else’s life. I needed a place, an area, a country, a city, a mountain, a wilderness, and a cave to hide in. A place to crawl out of and look up at the sky and exclaim, “It’s raining.” Simplicity for a while. I sat on my patio drinking coffee and wondering after this dilemma. My stupid cell phone was wanting attention. I forgot to shut it off. Ignore is the word and action. And so I did. I went to get another coffee and a slice of toast, turning off the voice on my land line and muting the cell. Let’s see, phones are off, computer is off, television is off, no radio, and the gate is locked. I’ve become a recluse. I can’t do this for long because there is danger in hiding. Your cave becomes your grave if you aren’t careful. Yes, I’m deeply hurt. When I fall for someone, it’s real hard. One life, one wife kind of guy and we weren’t even married yet. It was bred into me by my mother and her family.

I spent the day drinking coffee on the patio. Sunset and darkness became my friends.

I’ll snap out of it, I just need my grieving.

I opened my laptop and began a story of sadness, romance, tragedy, gladness and mystery. Wove together five lives in four areas of the world. Threw in a multitude of people and circumstances and wound up married with children. Happy ending. All this in ten hours.  Life is simple on paper but, as it is with any great project, fraught with problems to solve. I had written all through the night. I don’t remember when I had gotten so involved in a story. I had moved my writing to the living room fell asleep in the final chapter.

It was now five in the afternoon and I hadn’t eaten in two days. Just toast, so you don’t think I forgot to eat, I just lost all of my appetite. I really love this girl. I haven’t fallen for anyone this hard since I was a teenager. I don’t understand. I can't get a grip on it. It just doesn’t have any handles that I can grab and make this all seem logical.

You can go after her and convince her that she should be with you.” You say. I’m too old for the teenage games of romance.  If she has decided that she doesn’t want a relationship with me any longer, so be it.  Harsh, you say but why should I convince her against her will that she needs me? Ego? My ego is shattered but my heart is destroyed. I need time to heal, to get my life back into perspective, to make order out of my scrambled life. I have to get out of my cave, and now! Without getting mundane, I shower, dress, get in my car and drive to Texas Road House for some steak. The noise in there is defining and drowns out the demons that whisper in my ears. It’s unusual to see someone eating alone in Texas Road House but that’s how I want it for right now. Maybe forever. I’m really tired of all the palaver of life. No, I’m not suicidal just discouraged and hurt. To get a different perspective, that’s why I’m going to Texas Road House, to drown myself in noise and food.

There’s only a half hour wait which is unusual for TRH but it’s five in the afternoon. Senior time and it’s not crowded.

After supper I headed over to the River Walk and a Blues Festival that was doing. Music sooths the savage beast type of thing. I can get into music. I like Jazz, Blues, classical, Rock and even Janice Joplin, know as Pinky to her close circle of friends. Dead to the rest of us.

The group playing was entirely unknown but very good. Most were older, I guess playing Blues is a middle aged thing.  It was late when I got back to my cave and crashed on the couch. Then came the breaking of the day spread across the sky with the brush of divinity. It was a new day and along with it brought a new perspective. It’s entirely too bad that today is colored by yesterday. Faded coloration, but none the less tinted or tainted as the case may be. You wonder how long I’m going to go on in this state of depression; wait a moment and you’ll see the break.

Coffee then the usual morning oblations. Nothing extraordinary to write about. Water is wet, cold is cold, observation and action.

I sat on the patio for about an hour watching the squirrels chase each other around the oak trees.  My observations were interrupted only by the panic banging on the front door. This is strange, I have a security system that is supposed to be fool proof. Some fool has found a way through it I guess.  Someone was using a key in the door. I glanced at the monitor to see who it was. It was Lynne; I hadn’t gotten the pass key back from her. That explains the security breach. My first inclination was not to even open the door. What could she want of me now that she has my heart on a platter, blood too? But, by this time she had the door open and was in the hallway.

Excuse me?” I let her know by the tone of my voice that she was intruding in my private cave.  

Troy, I’ve been worried about you. You don’t answer your phone, no one has seen you in days. I, I thought that you might have fallen down the stairs and couldn’t get to a phone. I was worried. I’m sorry for the intrusion.” She said as she turned to the door to leave.

Wait, No, go. Thank you for caring.”

Troy, snap out of it, O.K.? we’re big people now. Handle it, O.K.? I didn’t reject you, I’m just moving on. It wouldn’t have worked anyhow all we had was a few months of togetherness and great sex. I’m not cut out for your life style. Sorry.” She was crying as she went out the door.

Wait, I have something to say also. I want to tell you about people. Listen to this; It’s strange and inexplicable what people will do in the name of self and blame it totally upon something else. Why can’t we be honest with self? If you want something and yet don’t want something, figure it out. What is it you want, what is it you don’t want. Point and period. Quit lying to your self. Don’t blame it on not being your life style. If you wanted that, I would have changed the world for you. What you wanted was out. Just say so and don’t blame it on me. It’s you and totally you. Grow up and take responsibility for your actions, quit blaming other people. I love you.”

Well, it wasn’t tears she had in her eyes when she slammed the door and nearly broke the glass.

I guess I must have touched a nerve or something. I’m glad she came over. I feel better now that I got that off my chest without loosing my cool. I’ll never understand. I thought we had a lot going on together maybe I smothered her with my devotion, I would have done anything for that girl. Anything; even quit writing and get a job at the local Casey’s. Anything!

Such is life and life is such. Now it’s time to get a hold of this thing. I looked around viewing the destruction of the last few days of feeling sorry for self. It wasn’t nice. I had left cloths all over the place, there weren’t any dishes because I hadn’t felt like eating anything. There was just a general disorder about it. I folded up the blanket I was using when I slept on the couch. Picked up the clothing and put them in the washing machine. Spruced up the kitchen and picked up all the coffee cups. By this time I’d noticed that the ringer was still off on the phone. The answering machine was completely full. My cell phone answering box was full. One from Harry Stoneking wanting me to call him, one from World Publishers, miscellaneous friends wanting to know where I am at. “Alex, this is Amanda. I’m going to be in Chicago next week and wanted to know if you would meet me there. Call me back at home. Love you. By.”

Isn’t it amazing how things work? Here I am in the depth of being thrown off and who calls but Amanda. We had become very close during our three day sabbatical snowed in. Intimate, might be more explanatory. The call was two days ago and it is Friday.

I picked up my cell phone and thumbed through the numbers. Finding hers, I dialed, read “SEND” the number. Three rings then the fourth, I thought it was going to be a message then Amanda picked up the phone. “Hello, hey Amanda this is Alex.”

Alex,” she said, glad to hear from me. “I figured that you weren’t going to call.” she said being overjoyed that I had called. “I called Wednesday and left you a message. I’m so glad you called.” She said.

I’ve been deeply involved in several emotional situations and this was the first chance I’ve had to check my machine. I’m sorry I took so long. I was afraid that I would reach you.” I said accenting ‘miss you”.

What’s up,” I said.

I though I would call and let you know that I’m going to be in Chicago week after next. I wanted to get together with you again. I miss you so much. We had soooo much fun when you were in New York. I wanted to relive some of it.” She said longingly.

How long are you going to be there?” I asked, not knowing what to say right then.

I have meetings for three days then I’m free for what ever. If you could join me, we could take in a show or two, eat as some fabulous restaurants, take a drive along the lake, head up to Wisconsin, find a bed and breakfast and just enjoy. I miss you Alex, very much.”

I was hesitant not knowing how to answer; I think I’ll follow my heart. “I can do it. I’m free to do what ever. Why don’t you come here and we can fly up there for your meetings. I bought a plane right after my last flight from Chicago. Hell, I can come over and get you. Save you the hassle of airports.” I said.

Alex, why don’t you come now, if you’re free, and we can spend time here, there, and at your place”

I think I will.” Said I capriciously. “I’ll clear up here and leave in the morning. I need to let some people know I’ll be gone for a while.  Is there somewhere I can land near you? I don’t need much.”

I’m so excited about this, I miss you so much, and I must be a teenager the way I feel right now.” Was her giddy answer?  “I’ll call Fred Steele and see if you can use his landing strip. He’s not far from here.”

She didn’t know that, if there is a flat spot when you’re in the air and you need to get on the ground, It’s available. Private airports, bean fields, rivers included. That’s why the landing strips are on the map. I wanted one close to her so she wouldn’t have to drive all over to pick me up. Besides, an emergency landing and one where your plane is going to sit for a while are two different things. I needed somewhere to tie my plane down for a while.

I’ll call you back in a little bit.” She said.

And she was gone. Well, I needed somewhere to get away from here for a while. This will do nicely. I checked the rest of my messages; god there was a bunch of them. Three from Harold trying to get a hold of me. Two from Lynne, one from Leroy ad infintum. I called Harold back, really not wanting to after my New York experience with him. “Harold, this is Alex, returning your call.” It seems like you can never talk to a real live person. Always, leave a message. I picked up some more coffee cups; I never realized that I had that many coffee cups. The whole kitchen area was declared a disaster zone. It looked like I needed to call Homeland Security. I think I need Polly Maid.

Washing out one cup, I poured myself a coffee and headed for the sunroom. It’s time to regroup. The sun was delicious. It soaked all the way to the center of my bones. I think I’m actually feeling alive again. Amanda called back to let me know that I could definitely use Steele’s airport. This is common practice among private fliers that own airports. Seldom do you see an owner in the middle of a landing strip, waving his hands and saying, “You can’t land here.” We set up that I would fly out there on Friday the 10th. The sooner the better for me. I went in the house and picked up some more, showered again, and sat down to write. I just felt the inspiration for the first time in a while. My fingers flew over the keys as I opened my mind to the driving force of what ever is in a writer to create. The words flew like rain. Life was beginning to look up again.

We had spent three wonderful months together. Most of it was at her home in the woods doing what comes natural. The time of the year was late winter , early spring so there wasn’t much to do out side but go for short walks. There wasn’t enough snow left to ski so that left a trip to the Adirondacks was out. It was a dry winter anyhow and not much base. I really wanted to ski. Thursday came as it does on every week; after Wednesday and before Friday. “Let’s go skiing,” was my suggestion. “Where?” Amanda asked incredulously. “Only where the snow is still good; In the high Rockies. I bought a condo in town and it just so happens that its not rented this week. The season is really over but according to the manager the base is still good.” We loaded up the Beach craft and flew to Aspen, Colorado for a week of fantastic skiing. How did Amanda get the week off,? You ask. She had resigned her position as bar maid around Christmas last year. She was now writing a book about this girl whose father had passed away and left her a fortune. It seems as though she had wanted to experience life as a working class person and used very little of her dad’s estate. The book paralleled her personal life. More of an autobiography then novel. Yes, our time together was a hot chapter or two or three. The snow base was great and a late snow storm gave us a day of powder. Amanda was a good skier but she was outclassed. I have spent a lot of time in the snow and wasn’t to be outdone by a New Yorker. We sat around the fire place at night, ate some of the most delicious steaks, drank some of the finest wines and had a great time together. I had nearly forgotten about Lynne. That reminds me of the song “Help help me Rhonda.” I used to think of a drag racer by the name of Gas Rhonda every time I heard that and thought that the guy was using drag racing to help him forget his girl friend. Maybe it was. And so it was that I gradually forgot Lynne. Actually, I didn’t forget her but the pain eased somewhat to bearable. Skiing has with it a thrill paralleled only by a few things in life. ‘When you first begin, seldom are you in full control , One said that it was a gliding fall.  Later, when you get to the black slopes, skiing is a real challenge. Borders on the edge of life and death. Racing down a mountain is thrilling to say the least. Like I said; Amanda was no slouch when it came to keeping up. Sometimes it was I that had to keep up. Man could she ski. We would spend evenings sitting in front of the fire. Just being together. Mornings would be spent enjoying each others company. At times inspiration would come and I would write. Usually, when I write, all the world a round me disappears and I live the life of the person that is key in my book.

We ate, went into town and shopped, we skied, we read, we wrote, we enjoyed each other immensely. Friday came and brought with it a balmy 50 degrees. The sun this high is intense and you must always wear sunscreen. But the beauty of it is that the sun warms the person to the marrow. We were out in the hot tub when June and Errol came over.

Join us if you would like.” I said.

Sorry, but we didn’t bring any suits.” Errol responded.

There’s spares in the guest bedroom, third drawer down. Different sizes if you need. Help yourself.” I said cheerfully.

Alright , we’ll take you up on that. Any coffee?” Errol asked.

Fresh in the pot, Maui blend.” Amanda said.

By this time I was running my feet over hers and up the front of her chins. Amanda gave me one of those “knock it off” looks. I responded by moving my foot up her leg and she responded by splashing hot water on me. “It should be cold water to cool you down, you animal.” Amanda said in a mock indignity. I pulled my feet back to behave. It wasn’t two seconds till she was rubbing my shins with her foot and grinning like a school girl.

June came out in a red one piece suit cut high on the hips. The suits now days don’t do a whole lot to hide very much. I remember mom in her skirted swim suit and this definitely was not a matron type suit. It may have been fifty out but in a bathing suit it was cold, you could tell. She move at mach two from the shelter of the house to the pool, slide in, and sighed. “Oh my god, this is great. I feel warmth driving the cold out.” June said.

Errol came out and he was wearing a matching red suit. I never have seen a man in a woman’s swim suit before. No, I’m just kidding, it was a typical man’s suit. No thong, thankfully and thank you very much. “Oh, that feels sooo good. I can’t remember when hot felt sooo good.”

The pump was turned down to just keep the water moving and hot from the top to the bottom. No bubbles, foam or such like. It was real pleasant.

June said swinging her arms back and forth in the water. “How long are you guys staying? A long time I hope.”

Amanda sat up where her arms were out of the water. She was as red as a lobster. “We don’t have any time set to go home. This is so good maybe August would be a good time. Or September, or December.”

Easily dipping into conversation, Errol wanted to know how the book was coming. “How’s the book, Alex? What’s it about?”

I’m writing two currently; one is about a man that meets an unusual woman at a party in Malibu. They separate after a brief relationship, she to her career that takes her to a business trip to Europe, he continues on with his life and career anticipating her return from the business trip which lasts several years. They continue to correspond but can’t seem to make the connection again. Another relationship develops for both but the memory of each other lives on in each. And I’ll leave the rest for your imagination. You put the ending on the story and enjoy your thoughts.”

Alex, what an ending. So we are supposed to put on our own ending and buy the book to see if it comes out that way. Do they finally make connection? Does the story end with the death of one of them? Are they never to meet again? This isn’t fair Alex.” June quipped.

Amanda joined in, “Come on Alex, give us a clue how this will end.”

I can’t because I haven’t gotten to that page yet. It won’t be your usual ending though, you can count on that.”

Nothing Alex writes is usual. I love reading his drafts. It’s like turning the garment over to see how it’s made. You get to see the real Alex in it.”

Thank you Amanda for the complement.”

what are you writing Amanda?” June asked.

About all I can say is; it’s a romance too. I’ve got it all drafted in my mind but I don’t have all the details worked out yet. I kind of work from a very loose outline that is very flexible and changes with my mood. I’m afraid you’ll have to wait.”

Can’t you at least give us a hint?”

Ok, I’ve two started also. Here’s one; Life was changing rapidly for Trent, the leaves of time dropped from the tree of life with increasing rapidness. He didn’t have long to live and his was not a good way to go. Amyodorosis, the body doesn’t convert protein and just uses it’s own. There was no one around him. He hadn’t been to the doctor or seen any medical people in a long time. Where he was at, there wasn’t any. He didn’t care. His life had quit a long time ago. Memories were all that dwelt within his heart now. Memories of forty years of wonderful life.  and that’s all I’m going to tell you. Remember, you insisted.”

That’s not fair, you left us at a cliff hanger. Come on Amanda, give us more.” June cried out.

Anybody want anything to drink?” I asked as I was climbing out of the hot tub.

I took their orders on the run. It may be June but it was cold this evening. Grabbing a towel on the way past I headed for the John and then back to the kitchen to get coffee and hot chocolate. It didn’t take long to get back in the hot water. Everyone grabbed their drinks and we all settled down for an evening of conversation. June and Errol left about 10:30. I had fixed steaks on the grill with corn on the cob, steak fries and mixed veggies. Man, I like them grilled I had built a fire in the fireplace and we enjoyed each others company. It turns out that Errol knew Amanda from high school. That shows you how small this world is. You better watch out what you do because someone you know is watching you.  “To thine’s own self be true,” is a portion of Shakespeare. I never did get around to reading much of him. I couldn’t get past the old English. I like The Song of Sol. What a romantic this man was. “I the rose of Sharon,  the lily of the valleys.   As the lily among thorns, so  my love among the daughters.   As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so  my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit  sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me love. “

Sunday brought it’s own pleasures. We slept in till about noon then got up for breakfast. Afternoon was sunny, bright and a comfortable 60 degrees. The snow was melting fast. Actually, in the valley there really wasn’t much left. Spring comes to the mountains and with it new life. The greens were incredible. The snow flowers, the little intense deep blue flowers, the whites and so on. Hiking was definitely a necessity.

We hopped in the jeep and headed down the valley to a trail head and taking just a little with us, we headed out to follow a mountain stream. It was running deep, fast and colder than ice ,bank deep, mountain fast.. The sound was almost deafening, no wonder the gold is replenished every year or so. The whole side of the mountain moves downstream. There was still snow in the shadows of the trees. Well, it really didn’t look like snow, more like  ice crystals in a pile. We stopped in the sun and sat on a log that lent it’s self as a bench. This was life as it was supposed to be; Sun warmed, with a companion of like persuasion, talents, and wants, enjoying all of creation. Like a child, worries, cares, troubles, or time, all don’t even exist in this world. Surely this must be paradise.

It struck me somewhat hard; I think this friendship has changed cloths and become the beginning of something great. Springtime and I’m in love.

I couldn’t declare this to Amanda. I was afraid of breaking the spell. I’ll wait and see what happens in this relationship. My fingers, my heart, my mind were still smarting from the last encounter with romance. Permanent relationships just seemingly didn’t exist in my cards. God knows, I’ve tried.

At a time like this, when your heart feels like exploding, there is only one thing that is safe to do. I did it. My hand went up to the back of her neck and I pulled her over close and gave her one of those special, “I love you,” kind of kisses. You know, the ones that your heart goes to your mate. They feel it, they are overwhelmed by it. They accept it. She pulled back after we broke and had a strange bewildered look in her eyes. “What, what was that?” she said trying to gain composure and breath.

Sometimes there isn’t anything else to say but “I love you.”

I held my breath waiting for her reaction. The puzzled look in her eyes turned to one of caution. I began thinking that I had just blown the whole relationship. She didn’t say anything at all. Quiet. Real quiet. Her head turned and she starred out across the river to the mountain peaks in the distance. We sat there for what seemed like two hours but was really five minutes. In my mind I was stammering out an apology but in reality I was hoping. What can you say at a time like this? You don’t know what the other is thinking. You may say the right or wrong thing so I just held my peace, hoping.

Amanda got up, “Let’s walk.” Was all she said.

I had just come out of a bad relationship and was I on the rebound? I don’t know, all I know is that I enjoy being with Amanda. A thousand thing went through my mind as we walked slowly. Amanda stopped, bent over and picked one of the alpine flowers. It wilted almost immediately.

Our relationship is like this flower; beautiful and full of life until it is removed to become the individuals possession. Let’s let this flower grow. Let’s not pick it, it’s too beautiful in it’s natural environment to destroy. Let’s not make such statements of our feelings for each other, let’s just demonstrate it, enjoy it, view it, smell it, feel it and appreciate it. Love, is an easy word to say, love is not spoken but demonstrated in a touch, the sound of a voice, a thoughtfulness a thousand ways. I love you too Alex, but I want to savor the fragrances of our relationship until they turn into one entity.”

She turned to face me. She took my hand and pressed the small flower into my palm. Gently took my hand and moved it to my nose where I could smell the fragrance of the crushed flower. She let go of my hand and slid hers behind my neck and gave me one of those “I love you’ kisses that aroused me to my toes. My whole body was tingling with life. I felt nothing but that. I have never been kissed like that, ever, before in my life. When I could finally open my eyes, I was looking deep into hers. Her eyes were open wide with the look of surprised astonishment if there is such a statement. I don’t think she knew that she felt that way about me. Her breath was short, fast. Her face flushed. Heart racing. I afraid I don’t know what mine was doing because all I could feel was this tingling all over. My ears were ringing. This is a chapter out of some romance novel. This doesn’t happen in real life, does it? But here it was. Reality. Rivers of unknown feelings, bank high, mountain fast, but definitely not ice cold. This was not lust but was what is conceived as love. A relationship between two people that has only the others concern at heart. One mind, purpose, intent. Not the tearing of cloths and the hurried breathing of fulfillment but the lofty feeling of esticy of life in its purest. Inner, deep, long living, with roots, feelings. Not the picked flower of life but the essence of it.

We didn’t kiss again, we didn’t speak all the way back to the Jeep. We didn’t need to. The ride back was the same quietness of spirit. We got out of the Jeep, went on in the house. I started a fire. Amanda made a fresh pot of coffee and we sat quietly watching the darkness fill our windows, enjoying each other’s company and the warming fire.

About eight June and Errol stopped by. We all sat a while then played some cards. “What’s different between you two?” June asked.

I guess she could tell the difference in our relationship. I suppose Amanda and I hadn’t spoke ten words since we kissed last. We just sat close, little touches, brushes, and favors for each other. My heart felt so full I think I was going to burst.

There was nothing to say to June about us. How can you explain this? I can’t even describe it. Get a handle on it. Find the Adverbs, nouns, verbs, prepositions, to put it into words. It was truly beyond description. A look of puzzled bewilderment was on Amanda’s face. June was perceptive enough to figure out what happened and graceful enough to let it drop.

We have to leave, Monday” June said. “Errol has to get back and meet with some people. We’re going to miss you two.”

Let’s plan something for August, Maybe about the tenth or so. On Alex’s birthday.”

We could all come up here.” June said.

Have a big party.” Errol said. “Invite about four people or so. Real blow out.”

So we set it in action. August the tenth for a week in the mountains. The four of us and a party of a few of the locals that are close friends.

We stayed on for another week after Errol and June left. Skiing was no longer a possibility. The snow was leaving bare spots all over the slopes. We shopped, walked, read, wrote, and enjoyed each other. I finished my book and was rereading it. I like to do that. I’m a sloppy writer and my manuscript needs editing about twice to make it readable. Amanda was still working on her tome. We would sit around the fire and read or manuscripts to each other in the evening. Sharing thoughts, stories, and time.  Friday came and it was time to fly out. We both had left a great deal of things undone to make this trip. It was just for a week two months ago that we left civilization and responsibilities to share this time together. The beauty of it was that very few knew where we were. My friend and counselor and the protector of my grail, my lawyer, and Amanda’s close friend Alivea.

Amanda was up before dawn, you’d thought that she wanted to get back to New York or something. She was like a kid going to Disney Land. I was slightly perplexed, paranoid even. “What’s going on?” I asked.

I don’t know. I’m just excited about flying. I love flying with you, up high above everything, like some kind of god looking down on everything, watching that your creation doesn’t get hurt, enjoying the beauty of all. The flash of sun light off the windshield of some car moving at a snail pace across the land, towns lit up like crown jewels, the hills and valleys you never knew were there, the vast expanses without anyone living in them. The world would have you think the earth is crowded but a person who flies knows better. Teach me to fly Alex. I want to fly. I want to do loops, barrel rolls, dive to rise again, sore with the angels. Dive through a cloud and burst through to see nothing but the tops and miles of fluffy fields. Teach me to explore these regions I’ve never been to before. Send me on my journey into the sunset. Please?”

All right, all right I’ll teach you to fly. Don’t blow up with excitement. I’m afraid if you blow up I’ll loose you. Pieces everywhere. Not good.”

I’ll say she was excited as I’d ever seen her. It didn’t take too long to pack that’s for sure. She was partially waiting in the Jeep. Virtually bouncing on the seat.

I’d called ahead and had the Beach craft topped off and ready for us.

We were in the air by 7:30, I love flying in the morning. The real experience is seeing a sunrise from the air. Breathtaking. Well, the flight back was an experience. Once we cleared the mountains and got to an area where there wasn’t much, I began to teach Amanda how to fly. Really, she’s a natural but it was hard to keep her back. She wanted to push the envelope before it was time. “You need more hours under your belt before you put yourself into a situation where you don’t have the expertise to get yourself out of.” I told her.

We had to stop twice for fuel and that gave us a welcome break along with a good dinner in Chicago. We checked in the Marriott and spent a very comfortable night. Around 9:00 we tumbled out of bed, showered, dressed and got some breakfast. Amanda needed to stop by her publisher for a touchdown. I went along for fun.

Toward afternoon, we made the decided to make it another night and checked back in to the Marriott. We spent some time together in the hot tub, swam awhile, went to the room, showered together and watched CSI.

It was beginning to look like we were a set. Married people can take showers together and not hop into bed. The romance is gone out of their marriage and each looks for someone else to pull their chain and ring their bells. I resolved never to let that happen in our relationship. I would continue to always ring Amanda’s bell.

Where are you at? You look so intense. Is there something wrong?”

As an answer to that, I rolled over and pulled her down to the bed. My kiss was intense, long and hot. I ran my hand behind her head and ran my fingers through her hair. Massaging her neck, I gave her a tender sweet kiss. I ran my fingers over her eyes, nose, forehead, and upper lip. Placed my hands on her cheeks, thumbs gently in her eyes, worked my way through all of this and kissed her lips.

We slept late. There wasn’t any reason not to. I called for breakfast while Amanda did here morning oblations. You know, hair, teeth, ad infintum.

Ho hum, I guess you’re about dead with this mundane stuff. Well. Let me spice it up a bit for you. Our flight back to New York was anything but mundane. We were over Ohio when the lighting came out of the clear blue sky, hit the plane, and we were on our way down. We were close to three hundred feet above tera firma when the engine that I was frantically trying to start, caught and built RPM. Trees were dangerously close by this time and Amanda had her head bowed down with her hands on top of her head. She knew we were goners. I think we brushed the tops as the plane began to climb when the cell phone tower popped up in our flight path. “Got towers?” ran through my mind. I lay the plane on her side, hit the pedals, pulled back on the wheel,  this burnt up a bunch of air speed and we began to side slip. I jerked, twisted, prayed and got the plane right side up. We were losing altitude and we didn’t have a lot to lose. Thankfully we were over a pasture by then but with more trees coming up. We were probably thirty feet off the ground with air speed building. Hopefully enough. We cleared the trees and built altitude when the high line towers came into view, I banked to avoid them, running parallel, until we could get back on course. My air speed picked backup and we began to climb. I swung around and put us back on course. Amanda, by this time, was white as a ghost. Maybe the improper use of Ghost but nevertheless she was white. “I think I’ve wet myself,” Amanda said.

Unbuckle and get in the back seat. There are some towels in the kit under the seat.” I replied.

Me, my heart was going so fast I thought it would jump out. I’ve had close calls before but not to this magnitude. What happened? My mind was going over ever inch of the aircraft. What was the noise before the engine shut down? What did the gauges say? Did I miss something? Amanda struggling in the back seat caught my attention. Hum, I wonder how good this autopilot is? Well, back to flying.

Everything went well for the end of the trip and I banked to line up with the landing strip. Took my flyby and turned for the upwind leg. Setting it down in a perfect landing, the only indication was the sound of the tires on the pavement. I guess I was ultra careful. Taxiing to my tie down, I let the engine cool down and shut her off. Now the adrenalin was working out of my system and I was nearly dropping.

I wiped the sweat out of my eyes, “Well, that was thrilling.” I said.

Amanda said, “I wouldn’t call that thrilling, that was life or death. We were so close to buying the farm that I actually was praying. God, that was close. I don’t know if I’ll ever have guts enough to go flying again.”

It was a little intense there for a while. Those wires about had us. I had a friend that bought the farm over highline wires. Let’s get out of this thing.”

You don’t have to ask me twice. I’ll get out if my legs will work for me.”

Amanda walked in front of me but she was as stable as a drunk. I can’t say that I was much better though. We walked over to what appeared to be an office, knocked and walked in. Amanda’s friend was reading a paper and drinking a cup of coffee. “Fresh coffee in the pot there. If you want a cup.”

I took a fresh coffee cup, asked Amanda if she wanted one, poured both of us a cup, toke both and gave one to Amanda.

My hands were still shaking.

What happened?” Amanda’s friend asked. “You two are as shook up as a pair of teenagers in a panty raid.”

I gave him the whole story and he was amazed. “Man, you must have done some real trick flying there. To pull that little rig out of that situation was pure luck, believe me.”

I believe you, I was in it. I used to be real religious and I know the hand of God when I see it. That was the hand of God.” I blurted out.

Amanda had a funny look on her face “I felt that too.”

Well, I’m sure that is just what it is, too.” What’s his name said.

Is there an engine mechanic about?” I asked. “I need to find out just what happened before I take it up again.”

I have Eric come in and do my maintence. He’s certified and as good as they come. I’ll give him a call if you like. He’s not far away.”

Sure, I’d appreciated that.”

It wasn’t five minutes later and he came back, “Eric is on his way.”

Later that day, Amanda and I took a swim in the lake behind her house. This lake was surrounded by trees and meadow, it was idyllic. We had splashed around until we were tired of it, then lay on a blanket and watched the birds and bees do their thing. It was simply a beautiful day. Only scattered puffs of clouds graced the sky.

My flight back to Peoria was totally uneventful. Turns out that there was an intermittent short in the fuel delivery system that was causing Amanda and me such consternation.

Life was not the same. I’d been gone too long and too many life changing things had happened in my life. It seems like when a person is gone from an area for any length of time, the area moves on and you can never come back. Someone is living in your cave. You have to chip a new one out of the rock of society. People you meet say such things as; “Oh, hi, how are you?” and move on no longer interested in you or your life. Someone has filled your gap. I hardly recognized the area. I’d only been gone for several months. Homes were being built all over the place. The lake that once was hidden in the valley, now became Oak Meadows. Hundreds of expensive homes now filled the view. God only knows how much these homes cost to build. Wernsman’s restaurant burnt down and a new place was being built. Marchand’s restaurant was gone and a bank in it place. Mel’s market became a funeral parlor. Welte’s Standard station was now on Woodlawn road. The Soybean field that bordered Tuckaway was a shopping center. The fields along  Hoffman road are filled with homes. My sanctuary is nearly gone, saved by only the fact that the land around me is landlocked. Someone will figure how to gain access to the surrounding acreage then my sanctuary will be gone. Rally though all this didn’t happen while I was gone, just part of it. It was becoming evident that if I was to retain my sanctuary I’d have to buy Reynolds’s surrounding land. He is a retired electrician that lives on the corner of his lower property. This was land locked also but a good neighbor gave him an easement to this corner. I Had talked with Mr. Reynolds and his neighbor and also was given easement to my property. I put in a ten foot culvert and cut a road up a ravine to the property that sits on top of the table. Gates and fences give me exclusive privacy. I like it this way.

Nothing had been touched. The place was just as I left it. But just a little overgrown with the lack of maintence over the past three months, but no worse for the wear.

I love the garage door opener thing. Open, drive in, get out, push button, close door. The garage door is just off the kitchen so the first thing I saw was the half consumed glass of sherry on the counter. Yes, I left it there. Dropping my bag in the living room, I walked around and opened the windows to let in some fresh air. I made myself a pot of coffee and took a shower and changed into shorts and sandals. I poured a cup and headed for the deck and some rays or z’s as the case might be.

My coffee grew cold as I fell into a deep sleep and  in my dream;

It seemed I was drifting. Drifting is some kind of limbo of my own control. Why didn’t I make the connection? Loosely walking around the room as if trying to find the something that I seemed to miss, I shook my head to clear it of the fog. You love her, don’t you? This was the question in my mind. Did you enjoy the two months together? What’s wrong with your commitment? rang the question in my mind.  

Things would be so complicated. Relocating after so long in one area, but no one seemed to miss me. She has a house in the woods just like me. I guess that’s one of the reasons we connect so well. Kindred spirits. But then, would she move here or me there? I guess I rushing things a bit. Love is a passion to give. Self doesn’t figure into the equation of love. Self get’s lost somewhere after infatuation.

My cup falling from my hand and crashing to the deck awoke me.

I got the broom and dust pan from the kitchen to clean up the shards of my dream. After putting my dream in the trash, I poured a fresh cup of coffee, sat back in my favorite chair and relaxed, sipping the hot brew. After a period of reflection on my dream, quietness engulfed me and soon I dropped back off. There were no dreams for what seemed a long time, then a dream within a dream; “It wasn’t until the first light of dawn that my mind’s eyes were opened and I began to dream. Seemingly walking through a haze of smoke, materialized the vision of life dedicated to love. I was enthralled in the vision of this greatness. Enthralled in love, hope, peace, joy. All this was found in love deep abiding love. I found myself wishing to capture this with my life, with my pin, with my relationships. It was the greatest dream that I have ever had. I remember every detail, every nuance, every portion, and every word. My life was changing dramatically. I knew that I would never be the same Alex as before. I felt tingle over my entire body, my mind was clean, and peace was on and in my soul. This was the clear definition of love. I was changed . I awoke with a start. The light of day burned through the haze in my mind. It was a dream. I couldn’t hardly believe that it was just a dream. It was so real. S very very real. More than that, I felt changed. Had this been one of those out of the body experience or such like? I don’t really know, never the less it felt so good to be clean inside and out that I really didn’t care one way the other. It felt real therefore it is real. One thing for sure; now I know the definition of love.  Overriding my pondering of the dream was a deep sense of hunger. Food kind of hunger. First I need a cup of coffee to get the system going, clear away the cobwebs in my mind and get the gears set. After setting the pot to brew, I opened the frig only to regret not cleaning out all the perishables before I left for New York. They had indeed perished leaving behind a new growth and indescribable smell. So much for breakfast. Well, a fresh cup of coffee and soybean cream will help. I found some crackers in the cabinet and opened a fresh package. Taking about half a dozen, I headed for the shower and a fresh attitude. There’s something about a hot shower that washes away the cares of yesterday and gives a fresh outlook fort the day. I reveled in the shower for half an hour. Perhaps too long but it felt so good. Brush my teeth, shave, weigh, walk nude back to the kitchen for a another cup of coffee and then to the abed room for fresh cloths. It feels good to walk around nude. I always thought that people that walk around their house nude were perverted. Well, maybe they are right and we are perverted. So what, it’s my house and my body. If I want to set out on my patio nude I will do so. There’s a fence around the property and that means if you see me naked, you’re trespassing. Point ant period. What do you think of that? With that in mind, I forwent the cloths and stepped out on my patio for a cup of coffee and to feel the breeze blow over my entire body in a feeling of freedom that you only experience nude. God, I sound like a commercial for a nudist camp or something. Remember when you were a kid and went skinny dipping in the creek? If you didn’t you missed it. One thing I felt was weird though was going to the Y and swimming with a bunch of men nude. I never could understand the logic of a Young Men’s Christian Association swimming nude. Wow, we’ve taken up quite a bit of time discussing this nude thing haven’t we?
Would you care to join me in my nudity? Dressing, I decided to go in town and get breakfast.
What is a man to do with his life? Is life to be used of the entertainment of self or in a pursuit of helping others? Life is involved in the life of others. Life cannot be lived on a single plane of self. Fullness of life comes through the evolvement in the life of others. Live to self die to self.  Or die in selfishness.

Where is all this philosophical jazz coming from? I guess it comes from the study of other lives. Part of a writers tool box. I never thought this way before.
Why now? It can only be linked to the changed feeling in my heart from the dream. I find my self wondering about the lives of others. The waitress at Angie’s looked worried but I was hesitant to be nosy. Is it noisiness or concern? Who knows or cares. “Would you like more coffee?” she asked.


She poured the coffee with care.

You look worried. Is there something that I can help with?” I asked.

No, it’s just my boyfriend. He wants an open relationship. No commitment I guess.”

How long have you been together?”

We’ve lived together for three years this month. Now he wants to go out and date others and still live with me. He calls it an open relationship.”

What do you call it?” I asked.

I call it stupid if he thinks I’m going to let him go out and have relations with other women then come home to me. He can go to hell if he continues.”

what are you going to do?” by now she was crying and I was sorry that I brought it up.

I really don’t know, that’s my problem right now. I really don’t know. I’m  not going to let him get by with it that’s for sure. I’m not stupid. Damn jerk. Are all men jerks?”

Only the jerks.” I said without thinking.

She broke out laughing. “That’s good. What a philosopher you turn out to be. Only the jerks are jerks. Profound revelation Newton. Or is it fig Newton?” she grinned.

I laughed at her insight. Such a revelation I managed to break her sadness anyhow with my revelation.

By this time Angie had come out to see why the rest of her customers couldn’t get service. Giving me a hard look she then returned to my waitress and said, “That’s enough time with one customer. Your food is up and getting cold.”  Turning to me Angie said, “I ought to add that to your bill.”

Lady, you go a head ad do what ever you feel like doing but remember one mad customer breeds ten more. She has problems and I was helping her to cope with them.”

What are you a priest or something. If she needs help she can get it on her own time.”

Your warmth impresses me Angie. I’m sure your mother really didn’t hate you. Lighten up you’ll live longer.”

Well there was another first in my life. I’ve never been kicked out of restaurant before. I’ll put Angie in my next book you can be sure of that. Well, I still hadn’t eaten so I went to Bob’s and got me a good breakfast. I managed to keep my mouth shut this time and enjoyed a great breakfast. My waiter was a man named  Harold and a former Marine in the Seventh Marines. Good man. It turns out that he has been a worker in a circus, waiter at Steak and Shake, now a waiter at Bob’s. I mentioned Angie's and it turned out that the had a brief stint there as a cook. His friend also managed to last three weeks there.

Leaving Harold a good tip I decided to get groceries because I have an aversion to eating out. I simply don’t like it. I don’t like the conglomerate founded by a man in Arkansas named Sam.  I refer to it as the great sucking sound draining the independent blood from an area and reducing the quality of goods to a level controlled by cost.  Go ahead and buy Chinese if you wish, buy the lowest priced meats and fruits, buy the mediocre quality required by their buying policies. I picked up a package of ground steak and it said that it was 92% and 8% fillers. What the hell are the fillers? There was no indication what the filler was. Brains, hoofs, bones, soybeans, dirt, tail or what? Your call. I prefer one of the older stores that have been here for a number of years.
when I get ground steak, it is ground steak. No bones about it, ha ha. I was out of everything or everything was spoiled. I plan my meals as I walk and never shop when I’m hungry. Checkout produced a tab of one hundred and eighty dollars but I eat good.

Where have you been?” the clerk named Cari asked.

Cari is a cutie but engaged. Besides, I’m in love with a girl from New York.

My fiancé and I went to Colorado fro some late spring skiing.” Replied the wise one.

Skiing? The snow has been gone for four months.” Cari replied.

Up high in the mountains, snow stays until mid June or so. We ;had fresh snow twice while we were there. Fresh powder skiing in June. We were so thrilled.”

,”Wow, I’d like to try that sometime, I’ve never been on ski s before. Is it hard?”

No, not really. Beginners usually don’t get hurt. Its folks that get to hot dogging that break things. Some ski trees, mogels, cliffs, or virgin slopes. All that is dangerous.”

 “It sounds like so much fun.”

It is. Be seeing you Cari.”

By now and have a good day Alex.” Cari said as I pushed my cart out the automatic doors.

Once home, I cleaned out the frig and washed it down with bleach water to kill the smell of growing life. I emptied out half the freezer and defrosted it while the fridge was thawing. I  threw away the cereal, green bread, cheese, milk, flour, sugar and loaded all up with fresh. I’m set now. I fixed my self a sandwich as it was now 13:00 and my flesh was crying; “Feed me, I’m hungry.” A glass of milk, a cheese, dried beef, and onion sandwich and a handful of chips. “A loaf of bread, a jug of wine and thee my love.” Satisfaction is not costly. Yes I’m clothed. Pondering the day so far, I thought that I would give writing a chance and see what changes had been wrought in my style b y last nights dram.

Judy and I had walked along the beach each night of the party. I was growing quite fond of her by this time and looking for a long lasting relationship. The problem with this was that she traveled around the world for the company she owned. Long term relationships don’t exist in corporate America. Her feeling for me was mutual.

I’m leaving Monday. I won’t be back for six or eight months. I have to fix problems in our European company.” She said.

Six or eight months? With the connection that I’ve formed with you, that’s an eternity.”

It may be an eternity but we have a start with each other. I have to go because of my company, Why don’t you come along with me? I would except the at I have obligations here also. Maybe you could come and visit for a month or so. Call me when you get settled in and I’ll come for a month. We can see the Eiffel tower, browse the rouge eat French food and enjoy each other,

I will do that. I look forward to the break from work. I’m burnt out with the usual that’s why I was at the party to watch. Me too. I thought it would be different to go and see how the other people behave or misbehave. And I saw. Best of all is that I met you. Me too. I’ve found you to be a very bright spot in my life and I enjoy it immensely.

We turned around and began our stroll back to the house. I found a sand dollar and handed it to Judy. “Here, keep this with you and when you feel the freedom, break it open and find the doves inside.  Maybe that will refresh our vision.” “There are doves inside?” “Well, really they are bones but they look like doves.” “I’ll do that when I get to France. You’ll  see when you come for the month.”

The surf pounded the beach and rocks. The sound was so refreshing that we sat for a while upon the sand and watched the surf, the sand crabs, the seaweed that washed up  on the beach, the fauna associated with surf.. I wonder where this all came from and said so. Worn pieces of wood that looked like beams, a glass net float, Pieces of thick rope, bark less tree branches.  “ I wonder where all this came from? Are they pieces of someone’s crashed dream? There has to be a story behind each piece” “Look at this piece of glass. The sand has worn it into a jewel. It looks like a piece of saphire.” I dug my toes into the sand flipping sand and digging a hole of sorts. Judy was drawing circle. It was as though we both were in deep though. “where do you think this is going?” she asked.


Our relationship.”

I’m not sure we have a relationship or direction yet. It’s just two people that met at a party right now with he basis of possibility. I want it to develop into something, don’t you?”

I think so but I’m not sure how to make it fit.”

Me either. Why don’t we just let it mature by it’s self. Let’s not push anything right now.”

And so we did. We made it back to the party and then we went our separate ways. I didn’t hear from her for four years. When I did it was pure chance. I was at O’Hare airport flying to Beijing for a meeting with the import group and there she was. I was waiting for the flight to be called, sitting and looking at people when she came from the side and sat next to me. I was in deep though and didn’t notice her at first. Then without fanfare, she held out her hand with three doves in it. When I saw the doves, recognition was instant.


Hi,  John. Long time no see.”

You never called.”

I know, I was in Paris for only one week, then to Berlin. From there I went to Johannesburg. I’ve been globe hopping ever since. I’ve thought of you often.”

When did you break the sand dollar?”

In Johannesburg on my first time around. I was sitting in a hotel wishing you were there, and I decided that it was time to break out the doves. I’m glad I did because they have been my help ever since. Looks like my prayer came true. Here you are four years latter but with God time has little meaning. I missed you so very much.”

I figured ours was a chance meeting in the night and that I would never see you again.  Actually, I’d given up ever seeing you again. Moved on so to speak.”

Your not married with family, are you?” she said in a kind of panic.

No, I never married. Fact is, I haven’t even dated since you. No one ever met the qualifications for a second look. You ruined that for me. Your too perfect of a fit for me and no one else could measure up so I didn’t even look.”

Oh John, it’s been the same for me. I looked but I knew that you are my soul mate and no one else would ever measure up to the standard that was set by you.”

It turned out teat we were going to the same meeting. We would be in China for five weeks. We made it into three months touring the country since it was now open.

And so the story went. After about three hours I was tired and took a nap. I dreamt of Amanda and the great times we had in Colorado. Then the dreams turned to me trying to climb through a dusty attic composed of dry rotted boards. I won’t bore you with the details.

I sat on the deck for a while until it was getting dark, decided to go to Peoria and see what was happening on the river front. I hopped in my duce and headed out. Something was going on at Hooters because the whole parking lot was loaded with Hot Rods. I pulled in and found a spot, backed in, and no more got out of my roadster when people started coming over. My car is little unusual because of the Trident V10 and the color combination. I was getting real hungry and as I’m not a real fan of Hooters, I headed for Joe’s Crab Shack and some great shrimp.  Have I told you that I don’t like to eat alone? Well its true I don’t. I don’t like cell phones n a restaurant either but this was an exception. I dialed up Amanda. “Hi girl. I was just alone and feeling lonely sitting here at Joe’s eating by myself.”

I just wanted to call and wish you a happy birthday.”

It’s not my birthday, silly. Don’t you remember when? Do you have me confused with one of your other friends?”

Amanda, you are my only friend. I didn’t confuse you with anyone. How could I? Your so unique.”

Well I’ve been called a lot of things in my life but never unique. Just what do you men buy that?” She teased. “Do you know what the Latin is for uni que? It means one horse silly. Do you mean that I look like a horse/”

Do you mean night mare?” I asked.

By this time the waitress was here waiting for my drink order.

Hold a minute sweets, the waitress is here.”

I’ll have a glass of chardonnay, TJ’s if you have it.” I ordered.

Would you like water with that?” she asked.

She is a real cutie. Imagine that? Talking with my one and only making a comment in my mind like that.

Yes please.”

Amanda, I’m back.”

Well, what does she look like?” Amanda asked.

She’s about five two and two hundred and three pounds. Has light pink hair and a big Harley tattoo on her forehead. Her left ear has been torn of in a biker fight. But other than that, she’s a real cutie.” I responded

She really looks so good that you have to make up that kind of lie, huh.” Amanda made herself sound miffed.

What she looks like is not relevant to this conversation. You’re the one that I miss. I feel like half my life is gone with you in New York. We are going to have to do something here. This is not going to work because I’ve spent too much time with you.”

You’ve spent too much time with me? Just what does that mean? You want to spend less time with me or what?” she asked.

No, silly. It means that I can’t live without you being close by. I’ve spent so much time with you this summer that we have become one in spirit and soul. I’m thinking marriage you fool.”

There was nothing but silence on the phone.

Is this one of those dropped calls I see on the tube?” I asked.

Did I take your breath away?” silence still remained.

Alex, I’m, I’m not ready for that.” She stumbled.  “I love you with all my heart but I can’t see myself married. All of my friends have gone through two or three marriages. Alex, marriage just doesn’t work anymore.”

My mind was racing three thousand miles an hour. I am speechless. Trying to think of some answer for her response. I’m not sure one way or the other. Back and forth races my mind. Do I get angry, do I just drop out? What should I respond with?

personal issues that must be resolve before I can enter into a lifetime relationship with you, Alex.” She explained.

I was really puzzled by this time. Here she said that I was the man, that I fulfilled all her dreams, that she would marry me but not right now because she has issues to deal with. Figure that one out.

What the hell are you talking about?”

Don’t cuss Alex, it lowers your image.” She scolded.

I’m sorry, I’m just frustrated, trying to figure all this out.” I apologized.

I have this image in my mind of a nice close wedding, Selling my house and moving to New York. I see a boy and a girl in our life. I see happiness. I see joy. I see deep love in us, in our family, with our friends. I need you Amanda.”

Alex, this doesn’t...”

Words mean nothing. The thoughts and actions behind them speak so loud that it drowns out all.

I must get a hold of my emotions right now.  I could feel all my dreams come crashing down.  I had cut her off.  ‘Will you give it a chance? You cannot categorize our relationship with all others. ours is different. Individuals make up a relationship not statistics.” I pleaded without the pleading voice intonations.

Haven’t you enjoyed the summer we’ve had together? The winter snowed in at the woods. The spring in the mountains, me teaching you how to fly. Amanda, our relationship is stronger than death and you know it. Why are you doing this?”

Alex, this doesn’t...” I cut her off again.

I love you more than life, Amanda. Don’t you understand that?”

Alex,, I didn’t say anything about walking out of your life. I just said that I’m not ready for marriage. I don’t want to sound like a soap opera but I need more time with you. You don’t need improvement but I need time to adjust my mind. Marriage is a big step for me. I value marriage. To me it’s forever. One life, one marriage. You are the one for me. There is none other. I’ve never met anyone like you, you fill all my dreams and all that. You are the only one for me Alex” She quickly said.

I was really puzzled by this time. Here she said that I was the man, that I fulfilled all her dreams, that she would marry me but not right now. Figure that one out. Dropping a ten dollar bill on the table, I moved outside, ignoring the puzzled look of my waitress. Moving around behind a concrete pillar, I spoke once more; “There is no way I can let you walk out of my life Amanda.”

You didn’t hear a word I said. Open your ears Alex. I said that I love you. There are issues that have to be dealt with Alex. Wait, please?” she pleaded.

What the hell are you talking about?”

Don’t cuss Alex, it lowers your image.” She scolded.

I’m sorry, I’m just frustrated, trying to figure all this out.” I apologized.

I have this image in my mind of a nice close wedding, Selling my house and moving to New York. I see a boy and a girl in our life. I see happiness. I see joy. I see deep love in us, in our family, with our friends. I need you Amanda.”

I need you too, Alex. Please give me more time to straighten this all out.” She pleaded.

God, my heart is racing so fast I think I’ll have a heart attack.” I said. “Your answer took away my appetite, my breath, my hope. I felt so cast away by your answer Amanda.” I took a deep breath and tried to calm down.

Don’t you dare have a heart attack.” Amanda pleaded. “I need you too much to lose you now. You mean everything in my life. Do you think that you’re not my hope? “

I didn’t know for awhile there. I wait but you can bet that we will be together a lot while I’m waiting for your cleanup project to be completed.” I took another deep breath. “Matter of fact, what are you doing a week from today?”

I’ll be waiting for you to take me to dinner.” She breathed a sigh.

My God, Amanda you gave me a scare.” “I new I was marrying you when we first met in the hotel. Your my soul mate Amanda.”

And you’re mine Alex.”

Now, this sounds like a soap opera. She loves him, he loves her but they can’t get married because of circumstances. Romeo Romeo where for art thou? And Shakespeare strikes again.

People were walking along the riverfront. Night sat it’s dark blue cloud on the landscape marred only by Wal Mart across the bay. Down town had convinced the state that blue lights would look nice on the bridge and they do. A jazz festival  filled the air. Some folks sat around in lawn chairs others on blankets or on the grass. A patrolman came by riding a Segway. Now that’s different. I walked upriver a bit and discovered the LST some ex Navy men had saved from the scrap overseas. Seems as though they had received enough donations to bring her home to Peoria.  This whole riverfront is so changed since the time I was a lad. Sears is no longer here. Someone got the wild Idea that Peoria needs a museum. This sounds like a real money maker for Peoria.  I walked back to the Jazz festival and bought myself a brat. Heading back to Hooters I ran into Jeff and Judy, old friends from some past. Jeff used to have a 1956 Ford Victoria but had long since sold or gave it away. Jeff had retired from Cat and moved to that great state of Florida. They made a strange couple as Jeff was  a basketball player in high school and looked it and Judy could pass for a midget. I often wondered how it was when they had sex but never got the courage to ask. You know how it is, in your imagination you can see Judy kissing Jeff’s naval because she couldn’t reach all the way up to his lips. “Jeff, Judy I haven’t seen you in years. How are you two doing?”

Their reception was less than cordial. But I guess that was because we hadn’t seen each other since high school. As I think about it now, it really was because They are of the affluent set. You know, Caterpillar management. Novae rich people now and not associating with the rabble. The book, “THE MILLIONARE NEXT DOOR” was written about them. They have a winter home in Florida and a summer home in Wisconsin. I believe the word is “snobbish”.  Actually, we had a car club onetime and Jeff was president. Someone stole his intake manifold and he blamed me for it. Our friendship fell apart after that.

Enough of that. Life is too short for memories such as that. We talked a bit then parted again to our separate ways. I walked around the cars in the Hooter’s parking lot and found a lot of unique rides. One group, called “The Bombers” had several cars there. One coupe that sat all the way on the ground. Air ride or something called that. It didn’t have any paint or finish other than rust. The top was chopped so far that the driver’s head was above the opening in the roof. It was well done but strange. Another was a pickup truck that was cut up, welded back together, welds ground flush, and not painted. This is a strange thing to do in my book. I prefer the completed works of art. It’s strange but most of these people are professionals in their alternate life.  There were some two hundred or so cars tonight. There was no fun in what I was doing. The evening was a complete bust. No supper, no wife, no friend, no enjoyment. Several things turned out good, the night was a dream night, I spent two hours talking to a rodder named Beverly and watched a few real good burnouts. Aw shit, I decided to get in my car and head for the ranch.

My  heart ached. My head hurt. I poured myself a stout round of tuaca neat and went out to the porch. Nothing like a little liquor to ease the mind and take the wrinkles out. Schubert was softly playing. I love the classics, piano concertos. I’m lonely, I’ve finally gotten to the place in my life where I’m lonely. There was an emptiness in my life and the only one that could and can and does fill it is Amanda.

Morning comes just as sure as the evening passes. Day beyond day and so on ad infintium. Breakfast, dinner, and supper on and on in repetition, repetition, repetition. A close friend and wise man told me that the thing he hated about redundancy was that it was so repetitive what ever that has to do with the situation. Life goes on about you and no one notices your hurt in the heart. Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be played? .Social amenities require one to say “How are you?” but in reality they don’t really want to know. I’ve tried it before. Telling them what is going on in my life and they really don’t want to know after all, they have their own problems to deal with.

I spent some time wondering around in my woods, sitting on the hillside and watching the world go around.

I continued with my writing, reading, listening to classics, and meeting with friends but life seems to miss a great deal for me.

I had to pull myself out of this slump it was affecting my writing style a great deal.

I started a book with an “I don’t give a rat’s a— attitude”. Just writing with the idea that no one would ever see the results. Hell’ I even password protected the thing just to give me the security of being able to write without a chance of anyone ever reading it. Pure unadulterated freedom to write what you feel. Open your mind and let it fly. It’s amazing what is in the heart of man when no one is listening or looking. I found myself changing as I wrote. Day after day and week after week at each free inspired occasion, I would write. Sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night wide awake, get up and pound the keys for a while just for fun. Strange kind of fun you say. To each his own, I say. Fantasy’s, anger, bitterness, love, hate, anger, bitterness, victories, discoveries, losses, wins; I was having a great time.

I was becoming reclusive though and I didn’t like that direction. My mother and sister were recluses and died as such. “Who was this strange woman that walked beside me.? I don’t know her anymore. Life is strange to toss such obstacles in the path of a man. She had a stroke and now doesn’t even remember who I am. She treats me as a stranger in our house. No longer do we sleep in the same room. She locks the bedroom door at night as though she were afraid of me. I’m so lonesome for my wife of times past. The Doctor said that she might recover some of her memory of things past. We sit at the kitchen table and I bring out the family albums. Picture after picture I explain who it is and where it is and she don’t remember. Doctor Adams said that a blood clot blocked the part of the brain where the memory of these things resided. She can bowl. She can play golf. She still has her piano skills but the memories of us are gone. God how cruel How cruel.”    On the story went. Page after page. I’ve got to break out of this tragedy type writing. It’s getting boring for me. I put away the writing, took a shower and headed for town. I’m not a bar hopping type of guy but tonight I started at Sully’s on Adams Street. Friday and the place was hopping. There must have been over a hundred people in there.  I looked around for someone that I might know. Nope no one.

Three hours later, I’ve went through two beers and three shots of Patron. I am feeling absolutely no pain. How the h am I going to get home? Comes the question in my mind. This young woman sat down at my table, looked into my eyes and said, “Your smashed.”

No shit.” Started in my mind but what came out was some kind of garbled nonsense.

Do you normally drink alone, or is this a special occasion?” I’m soo

Special occasion, it’s my birthday,” I lied. “Really though, I’m some kind of stupid fuck that lost his girl a month ago and can’t seem to get over it. I don’t drink like this, normally and I’m not the kind that drowns his sorrows in a glass of beer. I’m just lost trying to find my way out of this forest of loss.”

Glass of beer. I’m just lost trying to find my way out of this forest of loss.”

You don’t look like a stupid fuck.” This girl said.

I guess I’m not, but I just needed to get out of my dungeon and see people. I like to be around people. The longer I sat here, the less people I could see and the deeper into the glass I sank. Hell, now I can’t drive home and I’m too drunk to walk.” I garbled. “Guess I’ll crawl into the back of my car and sleep it off.”

We can go back to my place.” She says haltingly.

I looked around the bar that was near empty. Looked at my glass, my hands, my watch, shook my head to clear it a bit. “Tell you what; if you would drive me to my house, I can climb in my own bed and sleep it off.”

Where do you live.” this stranger asked.

Germantown, in the back woods. Not too far. I’ll give you gas money if you like. I’m so trashed.”

I offered didn’t I? There be no money changing hands for this service to public.” Pretty woman said.

What will you do with your car?”

I’ll have a friend bring me down later and pick it up. Tomorrow is Sunday so I shouldn’t get a ticket though that would be a cheap price to sleeping in the back of the car. My names Alex.” I offered her my hand.

Gripping it, “Mine’s Mary Anne. I‘m from Roanoke. See, it’s not even out of my way to drop you off.”

 What does a man say to a woman when he is so drunk that it’s easy to make a fool out of himself? Not wanting to show my foolishness, I withheld conversation a bit. I chose my words with care and forethought, hesitating, stilted, garbled conversation. You may think I’m drunk but what you don’t know is that \I’m drunk beyond repair. I’m at the “I’ll never do this again,” stage.

Let me see, who, what, where, when, why, and how, the six honest serving men. Conversation begins and ends with them. |Which one of the noble fellows should I begin with?

Why are you taking pity on this poor old drunk man?’  I started with Why.

You looked to be in desperate need of help so I have become your knight in shining armor.” Spoke she.

I am and was in great need, but you’ve come on a white charging horse to rescue me.” Here’s where one would make a fool out of himself if he followed his instinct by saying something like, you’ve saved me now what would you like to do to me? But I didn’t. I wanted to but I didn’t. “You were going to take me all the way to Roanoke?” came my where.

No, my friend lives in the Towers. I was going to take you there.” She said. “she has the whole top floor and plenty of room.”

Wow,  I thought, I’ve always wanted to see from the top floor. I guess it would be harmless to say so. “I’ve always wanted to see the city from the top floor.” I responded and that sealed the bid.

We were walked (read that I staggered) up Adams to Fulton and then the Twin towers. She had more than a passing recognition from the doorman and also had a key card for the elevator. The elevator took forever to make it up to the top floor. I hate it when the damn thing goes past then drops down and jerks to a stop. The doors opened into the living room of this top floor mansion.  There were windows all around. Glass everywhere. Tasteful décor not opulence graced the entire area. I hate ostentatious opulence. It stinks to high heaven.

Follow me sir.”

And so I did. We finally wound up in a bedroom that faced the river. She pushed a button and the drapes closed silently.

The bathroom is over there and don’t throw up on the floor.” Was her instruction and command.

I’m not sick I just can’t walk or see.” But it stumbled out of my mouth.

I had already kicked off my shoes and fell across the bed.

Turn over, you drunk.”  She said with a laugh.

I rolled over on my back to accommodate the lady and she removed my socks, my shirt and my pants.

Get under the covers, you lush.”

And I again accommodated the lady. That was the last thing I remembered of that night.

Morning light and then the breaking of day, to plagiarize and corrupt a poet, and sleep began to wash away from my mind.

My spirit felt that there was someone in bed with me. Actually my butt, back and legs touching her snuggled up real close to me told me she was naked. It felt so good to spoon that I found myself falling back asleep. Much latter I felt her get out of bed and opened my eyes to see her walk quietly across the bedroom floor to the bathroom. The door quietly latched and I wondered what the hell is going on? Watching as she walked back to the bed, I could only marvel at her beauty and perfect shape.

Well, I see that your finally awake.” Says this Amazon.

Hardly, What are you doing in my dream?  Never mind. I’m enjoying this too much to wake up.”

Your really awake. Do you want me to pinch you?”

What are you doing? I asked. Here I am in your bed in the middle of where? Your naked and I’m naked and what has went on? I don’t even know your name.

As for what I’m doing, I’m keeping warm. As for where your at, on the top floor of the twin towers. As for being naked. Why not? Mary, call me Mary and I don’t mean that I want to even though you asked me last night.

I did what?

Yep, right after you gave your car to the waitress.

Holy shit. I gave my car away?

You sure did. But she wouldn’t take it.  As for the marriage proposal, we got married last night and I’m so excited. I need to call mom and dad.

I, we did what? We’re married? Really married?

No we’re not married but I sure had you going there.

That’s not funny at all.

You mean that I’m not sutible to be your wife?

That’s not what I meant. Not at all.

Then you will marry me? Now I’ m really excited. When?

I ah well ah, I ah, oh shit I don’t know what to say.

I’m just messing with you. You didn’t ask me to marry  you but I don’t know if I should be angry or glad.

Me either. Oh I remember now. It was at the bar. Jes I was really smashed and you took me in. I couldn’t even walk up the street. Too much tequila or something. What, how, how did we end up naked?

It’s simple silly; you were too smashed to care and you weren’t going to sleep on my nice sheets with your shoes on. So I just took everything off. You looked so cozy that I stripped and climbed in with you cause there wasn’t any sense in wasting a good warm body to cuddle.

So you just got naked and climbed in with a man you didn’t even know?

Why not, you weren’t a threat to anyone and I needed to cuddle.

How about now? Am I a threat now?  I’m sober.

You may be sober but sex is the last thing on your mind.

You know so much, tell me what is on my mind?

Simply making your head stop hurting and your stomach settle down.

And do you have any suggestions to do that?

Sure, quit drinking.

Funny. Real funny.

Yes I’ve got a cure for snakebite. I’ll fix us one.

I don’t know if you have ever seen a nude woman walking to the kitchen or not but this one was the picture of perfection. Nothing, and I mean nothing needed improvement.

I used the time to take a nice hot shower. I looked around and found a ladies razor and cut down the crop growing on my face. I didn’t feel like walking to the bedroom with Fred hanging down for whomever to see so I wrapped a bath towel around me and headed back to the bedroom. Mary was about half dressed when I arrived.

So you decided to make yourself decent.” Mary said.

Well, I don’t know if a towel would constitute decent or not but yes. “

I sat on the bed and pulled my socks on. I’m a organized dresser. Socks, underwear, shirt next and pants last.

Mary handed me a glass of some tomato colored liquid.

Here, drink this down. It’ll settle your battle with the flesh.”

I took a tentative taste and found it scorching hot but drinkable. It didn’t take too long to put it all away.

I don’t know if that will do the job or not but it sure was hot.

It will do the job. It really will. It always does for me.” Mary said.

My whole body was on fire. I couldn’t breath, speak or even cry. My stomach went into convulsions. It was like a hiccup that didn’t have the second part. My face turned beet red, my eyes watered, tears rolled down my cheeks. “My god, what was that?”  I asked when I could breath again.

Mary laughing, “That was a secret concoction made by a little old Cajun woman down in the bayous of Mississippi.”

Was she into voodoo too?” I gasped. “That stuff would embalm a body or raise the dead.”

Chills ran through my body then heat. I shook form head to toe with uncontrollable motion. I felt like I’d lost control of all my body functions. Was this some kind of poison she gave me? Like a black widow or something. Will I get out of this alive?  I know how this works, it makes you forget about your hangover because you know that you are dieing.

The morning wore on as Mary prepared breakfast. After that cocktail of muratic acid, my stomach felt like it was done for the rest of my life. The smell of bacon wasn’t helping a lot but I tried not to show it. Soon, waffles, eggs, bacon and milk sat ready for our pleasure. I was nursing a hot black cup of coffee. Actually it was the second pot so far this morning. My headache was beginning to reside to a tolerable level. My eyes were no longer crossed and blurry. Finally I could walk across the kitchen without stumbling around. My hands still tingled a bit but the feeling was coming back in my tongue. Mary didn’t seem affected at all but I guess she didn’t drink like I did. Wow, I haven’t been that drunk in a long time. Enough of that shit though. It’s time to get on with life and explore the possibilities of this Mary thing. Really though I don’t know a thing about her. After all, she is the one who picked me up out of the gutter so to speak.  

Where did you come from? I asked.

What do you mean by that?”  Mary asked back at me.

I mean who are you? Bouncing back at her.

Where did you come from and why were you getting drop dead drunk? I think my question is more important than yours.” Mary said.

I came from Germantown and I was getting drunk for the fun of it.”  I lied.

Your not the type to get drunk for fun. You’re lying to me and I can tell it.”  The accusation came across as just that.

This is a time that I wished that I had a candy bar to take a bit out of while I though of a comeback.

Thinking quickly through the fog cause I am a writer aren’t I.

I just finished a book that I was writing and thought that I would celebrate.” It was kind of the truth as I did just finish the damn thing.

I was beginning to sweat from the cocktail or maybe it was being on the hot seat that was doing it.  

I didn’t want to drag out all of my laundry for her to see. Personal is personal. What do I say? Ah ha, truth is stranger than a lie so here goes.  “It involves several difficult personal issues. I really can’t say. Sorry.”

There was a look of confusion and astonishment coupled with admiration which prompted her to say; “Oh.”

She turned and walked into what was our bedroom and closed the door.

I sat there, myself astonished. What now? The coffee maker said a gurgle or two that required me to use it’s services and pour another cup of black coffee. I walked across the Italian marble floor to the glass door leading to the balcony. A light mist of rain hid the view of the river. I took a deep breath and let it go. “What now my love. Where to from here?’ I said to the view.  Setting my cup down on a new by table, I walked to the elevator, pushed the button and went to the street. My car was still in front of Sully’s. I know, I gave the keys to the waitress but I carry a spare key in my billfold too.

The streets were nearly empty. Sunday is always that way. Reminds one of some syfy movie where all life on earth is gone. All is needed is a few pieces of paper and leaves blowing across the street. The stop lights still work. Man being the law abiding person he is, stops at each light though he is the only person left on earth. Pavlov’s dogs I guess. Instead fo going across the bridge I headed up Adams to the old bridge. Slower drive and today not so crowded. Actually nothing is crowded right now. Wow, what was that all about? Questions in my mind over last night and this morning. What a weird generation I was born into. The drive home is quiet. I just love this area. Pulling up to the gate I stopped by the mail box and retrieved Saturday’s mail and hit the button to open the gate. It’s a beautiful drive to the top and my house was still there. Another button allows me to park In the garage. I sat there for a moment to contemplate the last evening. No answers came to the forefront so I got out and walk in through the kitchen door. I dropped my jacket over the back of a chair, threw the mail on the table and make a pot of coffee. While the thing is making coffee I checked the voice messages on the answering machine.

Alex, this is John D give me a call back when you get in please. I have information for you about your last book. Thanks.” I pinned a note to call John.

Alex, This is Terry. Were having an informal get together next Friday night and we would really like to have you there. Call me back please. That’s 309-337-0012 by.”  I wrote Terry’s number down under the message to call John D.

Alex baby, this is Lynne, Give me a call back please.”  I haven’t heard from Lynne in a while. I always liked her. She’s quiet, refined, peaceful kind of farm girl. She’s helped me a lot of times with my sittings. I wonder what she wants.

Alex are you there? Alex? Give me a call when you get in please?”  Well I sure would if you hadn’t blocked your number. I guess if they want to talk to me, they will call back or leave a name or number.

May I speak to Alex please? Alex, Alex.”  Telemarketer with a new twist.

Alex, this is Amanda. I miss you Baby. Please call me so we can talk this out. Please? “

Oh god it’s Amanda and I thought this was over. My heart feels like it’s been operated on. It hurts like hell and there isn’t any relief for the pain.

Hello, your warrantee is about to expire on you automobile.

I cut that short with a delete.

Hello, we can help you with your credit

And I delete that one.

Alex, this is John D, call me.”

End of the messages on the answering machine.

Picking up my cat from the back of the chair, and moving to the hall closet to deposit the coat, then to the banyo for relief.  It’s early yet so dropping across the bed, my eyes fall closed with the visions of Amanda stenciled to the inside of my eye lids. What to do? I don’t know. Do I want to continue? Or do I want to leave it alone? The relationship was good enough to save yet investing in some kind of relationship that has baggage I don’t know. Enough of this. I virtually spring off the bed, landing on my feet and head for the kitchen again and a cup of that coffee. “Damn, I burnt my tongue.” Stupid! of coarse you did cause you just poured it. Wiser now, sitting on the deck and watching two cardinals play in the branches. Squirrels jump form branch to branch chasing each other like they were on the ground. Amazing. They can run on the underside of the branches like they run on top. Red squirrels they are. Big fluffy tails, fat, probably good fried up with a mess of potatoes. I’ve never eaten squirrel before and I don’t really want to now.  I called my publisher and found that he had a book signing in Chicago, Denver and LA that he wanted me to attend to. So it looks like next Monday will be taken up in the big city. I don’t like Chicago but I do like book buyers so I will be there. I need the diversion anyhow. Actually, I’m excited about it. I’ll bet that I can burn a month or so doing this. When I get done in LA I’m going to go to Maui.

The phone rings and I pick it up. “Yo, this is Alex,” I answer.

Alex, this is Abigail, how are you?”

I’m fine you beautiful girl. What’s going on?”

Alex, June and Tom, Wolf man and Linda, Rev and Marge are coming over for supper tonight and we wanted you to join us.”

Hum, last minute invites mean that someone has backed out. It’s a free dinner anyhow and I like the group.

“”Well, Abby,  nothings going on in my world tonight, I am so delighted to accept you invite. What time?”

Make it around six or so Alex.” Abigail said.

Want me to bring anything?”

No of coarse not silly. “

OK so be it. Hay, I’ve got a bottle or two of Chataue dfeddfdsa 2001 I’ve been saving for a special occasion. Guess this must be it.”

What time?

Around 6:30 would be great. We won’t eat until 7 or so.

Be there with bells on. By.

So now what\/ I went down to my bedroom and set up to take a shower. Stepping into the shower, memories of my showers with Amanda swept over my mind. We had some really great times together. I really figured she was the one I would spend my life with. I should call her back but I’ll think about it first. Rinsing off, I step out and towel off.. Hum, getting a little belly there Alex. You need to cut down on what and how much you eat. Lather up and shave. Damn, that razor is dull. There were no new ones in the drawer. Well, I’ll make the best of it. Little can be done now about my situation but sail on. Dang, I need to rethink this all. I’ve got to get some life back into my existence. Maybe tonight. I’m going to be different tonight. I’m going to be different tonight. After repeating this about four times I THINK IT IS ACTUALLY TAKING. Dress and out of here. Where the hell did I stash that bottle of wine? Basement, basement, it’s in the basement. And so it goes, Life is like that you know. Trying to remember. Where, when, who and they such.  Shit, I don’t feel like going. Get your out in the car and get. This conversation goes on with self for several minutes before I loose and go to the garage.   I haven\t driven the Porsche for a while so that’s the car to go with. Crap it’s about empty. Gas is 4.75 in Germantown so ten gallons it is. It’s not far to Abigail’s house in Far Hills. Her house overlooks the river valley and you can see the lights of the city at night.  I really love the place.  It’s one of the few unusual homes in Far Hills. Far Hills was created in the late fifties and the homes are ranch style for the most part. It was the upper subs of the season. Homes were going for as much as 50 thousand dollars.  It’s nice, real nice and not as ostentatious as those on the other side of the village where you are required to have at least 4000 square feet. Very few of them are that small. Yuppy land supreme. Dad and mom both have to work to live in status city. “Where do you live?’ comes the question of life. “Oh we live in Great Oaks.” Comes the answer. “Oh, I’m impressed beyond imagination. You must be in debt up to your ears. I remember it as being a corn field.” Joe says.

Taxes from Texas in size. Taxes, taxes, taxes. At least Far Hills in in East Peoria. I parked on the street. The driveway was full of cars. I thought maybe that I was early but not so.  It looked more like I was the last to arrive. The house was a prairie design somewhat after Frank Loude Wright fashion. Long low planter in front. Deep overhangs and lots of lines. Timeless design. Long and low with cedar shingles, Double hand made entry doors flanked be sidelights. Door knocker and door bell. \Planters here and there. Abigail opened the door as I had the knocker ready to drop. She is one beautiful woman, hazel eyes, right height, weight, sizes, a beauty queen to bad she is married. Oh Alex you dumb shit. It’s good to see you.  F@@! Very much Abigail. I missed your pug face and rat hair. How’s your trainer?  Alex, your such an idiot. I don’t know why I even called you. You’ll ruin the whole dinner thing. Can’t you just go home?”

Not until you’ve filled me with your ptomaine special so I can spend tomorrow in the bathroom getting purged. Are you drunk yet? ”  “That’s you that gets drunk Alex. I heard about your adventure.  Meet any strange girls lately? Oh, I’m sorry, the only girls you can get are strange.”

That’s not fair Abby. Your cutting a little close.”  

I’m sorry, ha ha, come on in and meet the Wilsons.”

The foyer was elegant with black slate on the floor, burlap on the walls, The ceiling was trayed with indirect lighting. Walking through the formal dinning room to the family room I noticed a huge, about eighteen inch, crystal fish vase on the coffee table. It looked big enough to be a fish bowl itself. The floor in the dining room was made of mesquite, some of the most beautiful wood in the world. The table was handmade in the finest of craftsmanship. Nothing from American here. I love fine wood work. The family room was a cozy little room of about 600 square feet with ceiling to floor windows on two sides overlooking the river valley. A stone fireplace occupied the north wall. The stone hearth was raised about ten inches off the Belgian marble floor. The end of the room with the fireplace was set up as a conversation pit. A large handmade American Indian rug occupied the area. Comfortable leather chairs ringed the area. A large square coffee table sat in the center of the Chair group. Most of the chairs are already occupied.

Hay, everybody, Alex is here.”

Alex, you know everyone here, don’t you?”

Sure, Hi Rev, preaching much? Tom, Wolf, hi Marge, Linda, June. It’s been a long time. What you all been up to?”

Abby went to the wet bar to get me a drink. She brought it back and sat next to me. Close. We’ve been good friends for a long time and such behavior was acceptable between us. After all, she had made it through a bad marriage and a brutal divorce several years ago. She had leaned on me a lot for strength.

What do you think of the POTUS’ slant on the gulf spill?” Wolf Man asked.  “That guy is a total idiot in my book. He’s going to  fine BP for the spill. For god’s sake, make them pay for the cleanup.”

It’s going to cost us, just wait and see. BP and the others will use it as a reason to raise gas prices. Christ, it’s already four seventy five a gallon.” I answered.

More reason to curtail drilling in the gulf.” Tom said.

This whole world is reeling back and forth. Earthquakes all over the place, Rain, storms, tornadoes, war, death, destruction, I’m beginning to believe the Mayan calendar theory.” Rev said, preaching voice.

My god, Rev. your going to get me saved here in a minute.” June said laughing.

Rev isn’t a real preacher, we just call him Rev for some unknown reason. Wolf Man picked up his name because of his imitation of Wolf Man Jack DJ in California. Man, he can do it good. We’ve all been friends since high school. Ran around together, dated together, cruised together and the such like. Best men for each other. Bridesmaids for each other and so on everything but slept together.

I think France is at the bottom of it all.”

Wolf man you read too many of the novels that Robinson wrote. France doesn’t have a thing to do with the oil crisis any more than we do. It’s all about control of the world, you control the oil, you control the world.”

Gees man, BP is British, Shell oil is British, who’s left? Gulf oil?”

Tommy you don’t know nothing. There’s far more oil companies than three in the world.”

Well go ahead Wolf and name a few.’

How about Atlantic Petroleum, Chevron Corporation, Citgo, Sinclair Oil, and more. There’s fifty major plus and untold number of minor companies. The Brits don’t own them all.”

Well, what about refineries? There’s just a few down on the Gulf. Like Houstin and Port Arthur. We need more refineries.”

Google it Tommy.” Wolf said.

Got it. My god, look at this. There’s 45 pages of refineries in the world.”

So what is with the oil crisis? Are we being lied to? Is this all about prices?”

You got it Tommy. It’s about money.’

It’s a conspiracy. The government is behind it all. They set the Gulf spill up. They set the World Trade Center thing up, Pearl Harbor, WW2, Isn’t that what you right wingers think? Tommy?”

Let’s not get personal here Wolf. You know how radical Tommy can get when he’s crossed.”

Be careful Wolf. Tommy’s been taking kick boxing and he’ll kick your    .”

I’m not a right winger Wolf. I just believe that BP ought to clean up their own mess. My god they ought to stop up the well now. It’s been going on for over a month now.”

Well, Tommy. I can’t understand why they don’t use the automatic shut offs that Europe requires.” Alex said.

It’s got to be corporate irresponsibility thing. The valving must be expensive. I’ll bet it would affect someone’s bonus.” Rev said.

Look at this guys. There’s over 40 thousand oil locations in the world. There are over 500 thousand oil wells in the US alone. What kind of shortage is that”

Tommy, close that computer and get back her with us.” Wolf chided.

Hay Rev. what do you think of the 2012 Mayan calendar thing?” Alex asked trying to get the subject changed to something maybe positive and not so political.

Aint gona matter one way or the other.”

Huh? How can you say that. This could be the end of civilization as we know it.” Wolf, with red face stated.

Wait a minute Wolf and listen to Rev. He must have some insight on this.” Alex said, trying to keep Wolf down. “Let’s hear it Rev.”

My god, can’t you see? It aint going to matter one way or the other. If it happens, it won’t matter, if it don’t happen it won’t matter. One way we aint going to be here and if it don’t happen we’ll still be here so it don’t matter.” Rev reasoned.

Aw shit Rev. You just ruined the conversation with your reasoning.”

Well you were the one that asked Alex so don’t get testy with me.”

Nice weather we’re having. Do you think it will rain, Linda?” June said.

“”I don’t know but who do you think will win the pennant this year?”

Sounds to me like the girls are trying to get us to change the conversation.” Wolf Man ob served.

What do you think, June? Who’s fault is it that gas is so high? Is it supply and demand or controlled supplies?”

Alex, you always put me in the corner on these discussions. I don’t have the slightest idea. Can you tell me how to make flaky pie crust?”

No problem June. The secret is using ice water in the mix and I use only Crisco. Will that help?”

You’re a smart ass, Alex.”

Why? Because I answered, your question and you didn’t answer mine. That doesn’t seem to be a fair assessment.”

I agree with June, Alex. You are a smart ass. Let’s take a vote girls. How many of you think Alex is a smart ass?”

I do.’ Said June.

Me too.”

Me too. There its unanimous Alex. You are now Mr. SA. That good girls?”

Wait, wait a minute girls. Us guys didn’t get to vote.”

Go for it. All of you men that think Alex is a smart ass raise your hand.”

Not one guy raised his hand.

See June, we men stick together. We’re a brotherhood that believes in unity and strength from that unity.”

Well, do you guys want to go to war with us girls? I think we can bring you down to your knees in no time at all.”

Take it easy June, we don’t want war with ourselves. We need you girls too much.”

Oh sure Tom, suck right up there. Keep blowing the smoke cause us girls like it.”

Marge, you’ve always been my friend. Don’t change now.”

See Alex how easy it is for us women to control you men? Your all so predictable.”

well, who can know a woman’s mind? Not even a woman has control over her own mind.”

oh Rev how little you know. Women are easy. You just have to get on your feminine side to understand.”

I don’t know about you Tom but there aint no woman side in me. I’m all man.”

You’re a knuckle dragger too Rev. climbing around in trees, making noises like Tarzan and beating on your chest.  I’m a man. I’m a man , I’m a man.”

At least give me some credit for being a man, Marge. Don’t chop me off at the knees. We men do have an ego to protect.”

Ya, and it’s as big as the Empire State Building. Do you want to know what a woman wants? Do you really want the key to her heart? She just wants to be loved and needed that’s all. ”

Sure June, and a great big credit card that she can buy us into debt buying shoes and dresses and pants and stuff that we don’t need.”

You really piss me off Wolf. You didn’t hear a word I said. All you want is someone to get you a beer and fix food for you. If you were my husband, I’d fix you some really special food and shake your beer can for you.”

All right, all right, Marge, tell us what a woman really wants.”

She has simple needs Alex. There’s nothing complicated about a woman. It’s not about cloths, shoes or any of that stuff. That’s all just filler. A woman could be perfectly satisfied on a desert island if she has just one thing; a man that loves her more than anything in the world. He loves her more than a football game. More than his friends. More than his car. More than his own comfort. I read what a wise man wrote, “Love is stronger than death”. Figure that out and you have what a woman wants. And you though this would be hard.”

Four men respond in unison; “Huh?”

Let’s go fix supper girls. These guys are too dense to understand the simplest of things.”

The three girls got up and headed for the kitchen leaving the four men to puzzle over the simplest of things.

I think we’ve been given some deep stuff here.” Expounded Tom.

Boy, she boiled that down to thick soup. There wasn’t any answer to that.”

You know,” said Wolfman, “It seems like the longer your married, the more you expect out of each other and you really never appreciate any of it. You just expect it. Something goes out of the relationship.”

This is getting way too deep for me. I’m going to the head.” And Tom walked out.

The echo of Linda commenting rings from the kitchen; “Amen Wolf, you hit the nail right on the head.”

Hay, Marge. Bring me another beer. Will you?”

Rev, if you want a beer, get up and get it. I’m your wife not your slave.”

Ohh kind of touchy there.” Alex said. “Maybe you ought to try some loving kindness cause it looks like it’s missing from your relationship.”

Mind your own business Alex. She said that I could be boss today and that’s what I’m doing.”

Well it looks like you have it all under control,” says Tom as he walks back into the room.

If you men can tear yourselves away from you masculine meandering, the food is ready.” Marge retorted with sarcasm dripping from her voice.

We all meandered into the dining room where the buffet was set..

Marge was directing the seating..

Tom, your seat is over here and Alex here, Rev, Wolf.” Marge pointed at the individual seating.  The only thing missing were name cards placed by our individual plates. Here was a buffet type dinner assumed to be casual with all the formal trimmings. Puzzling but intriguing. In a somewhat informal way, the salads were already in place. A red wine in the glasses. Feeling magnamous, I held the chair for Marge and slid it in for her as she was seated on my right. Actually, all the wives were seated to the right of their man. Humm! Marge, tapping on the side of her water glass, commanded everyones attention.

I would like to propose a toast before we begin. “

So each of us took our glasses of wine, stood while Marge proposed.

I would like to toast to the Lord of Glory for giving me friends such asyou. For giving us this bountiful spread, for giving us life.”

Somewhat astonished at this toast, we overcame and touched glasses with whoever was near and drank a toast to the  Lord of Glory.

Here, here,” was the salute.

Dang, Marge this some good wine. Rich, full bodied, fruity with beautiful color.” I said taking another sip.

“”Alex, this is the finest box wine Wal-Mart had. Twenty dollars a gallon.”

Funny, Marge, funny. This is not a box wine. This is vintage wine.”

So now you’re a wine conasuer too, Alex. Tell me oh noble one, what vintage is it?” Wolf chorded.

I took a drink of water to cleanse my palette. Swishing the water around in my mouth to remove all taste of the wine.  Holding the glass up to the light, “It’s  a beautiful clear dense purple color.A superb intensity deep and rich.”  

I had everyone’s attention now. I played it for everything it was worth.

I swished the wine around In the glass like a professional then put my nose in the glass. I made loud sounds as I sniffed it with four deep inhales.  Swished it around again and four more deep inhales then four sniffs. Contemplating deeply, I said; “Just a touch of  spring flowers, raspberries, blueberries. I just can’t get a hold of this hidden flavor. Sniffing again, “It’s a deep flavor, maybe crème de cassis. Yes, that’s it.”

By this time they knew I was a connoisseur of wine, at least it sounded like it.

I sipped some making large slurping sounds as I took in air with the wine. Sloshing it around in my mouth I breathed in across the wine savoring the bouquet or so it seemed. .  

“Hum, it’s full-bodied with a great concentration, high tannin, good acidity, it has massive layers of richness.

It builds in increments on the palate. “

“What the hell are you talking about, Alex? “

“You wouldn’t understand Tom, all you ever drank is Morgan David. Let me finish. I think I know this wine.”

“Go ahead Alex.”

“Yes, this is good.”

“True,” piped in Linda.

“Ok, ok.”

I took another sip to refresh the experience.

“Mmm, cabernet Sauvignon blend. Ahh, it’s blended with Merlot. Ahhhh, Ducru Beaucaillou 1982. No, no, it’s 2005. Rare only 10000 cases made. Probably the best vintage since 1982.”

Oh dude, I had them in the palm of my hand. Stranger things happen sometimes. It wasn’t over a week ago that I read this wine review. I never read wine reviews so this was just a chance thing that I saw the bottle in the kitchen and could put it all together.

“My god, Alex. You surprise the hell out of me.” Marge said astonished.

“You hit it right on the head. I ordered it special for tonight.”

“Marge, we all feel very special in your eyes. First you actually found a bottle, second because you must have paid three hundred bucks for it. Enjoy the wine folks because it’s a rare wine.”

Tom picked up his wine glass and took a deep smell then tasted it. June did the same as well as the rest of the guests. I suspose it was the first and probably the last time they would ever taste three hundred dollar wine. I know that is was for me.

Dinner was quiet with little conversation going back and forth. It was as if each was intense on eating.

Asparagas soup, parslied new potatoes, a wondrful waldorf salad, buttery fresh rolls, prime rib as you’ve never tasted. “My complements to the chief. Exceptional spread. “

“Thank you June.”

And it was that. Dessert was strawberry rubarb pie from the Red Oak resturant in Bishop’s Hill. No one can duplicate this pie or pie crust. There is no use in even trying. It’s worth killing for . Homemade ice cream on top again from Bishops Hill.

A small glass of cointreau to finish off the meal and clean the palet.

Wolfman, to show his appreciation of the meal, rattled the windows with burp that lasted two minutes.

Linda hit him agood one on the arm. “You embarrass me, Wolf. Don’t you know how to behave yourself at a formal dinner?”

“I’ve always wanted to do that after a formal dinner. The only way it could have been better is if it was at French Toast.”

Linda hit him again.

“Ow, you hit hard.”

“Anyone want more wine?” Marge asked.

“I’ll take another glass. “ I said.

Tom, Wolf Rev actually all of us agreed to another glass.  I don’t know where she found two bottles of this fine vintage but there it was. A bit of heaven in a glass. “Shall we retire to the porch?” Marge asked.

Somehow arather we all found the seats we sat in before dinner. Marge came over and ploped herself down on my lap. This surprised the shit out fo me because it never seemed that we had anything going. This brought hoots and howls from the guys and girls. She turned on my lap and planted a great big kiss on my lips. “You look like you need that.’ Marge said.   I’m totally at a loss for words. Marge got up and walked to the dining room and started clearing the table while I sat there like a ventroliquest dummy not saying a word. Astonished. “My god, look at Alex.” Wolf exclaimed.

I’m sure it was funny looking. Tom was laughing out loud in his deep voice. “Well Alex, you sure didn’t see that coming.”

“No June I sure didn’t.”

“You really needed that Alex. From the way you’ve been quiet all evening and kind of moping around, somebody needed to put some fire back in you.” Linda quiped, “At least you’ve got a smile on your face now.”

Everyone was quiet for a few seconds as lulls in conversation happen from time to time. All were looking reflective.

“Where were you last week Wolf?” wolf is a photographer for Cat and travels all over the world taking pictures for them.

“China, Ping Sho coal mine. Cat wanted to do a shoot of the operation there.”

“did you get to th Great Wall?

“ A long time ago Marge. Once you’ve seen it that’s enough. It’s interesting but I don’t know how it was defended.”

“Why is that?”

“It climbs all over the hills and the steps going up and down are not really climbable.”

“How has it survived all these years.? Wasn’t it built before Christ was born?”

“Some of it didn’t survive. Some of it has been rebuilt and some villagers used the blocks to build houses. The part outside of Bejing has been rebuilt. I noticed the ruins of at least two other walls on the trip out.”

“I wish I could travel on someone elses tab.”

“Really, Marge, it is really boring. Hotels are lonely. Usually the language and culture is difficult though most people are frendly. It seems like they put all these mines in the most inaccessable spots with not even a good resturant or hotel around.  Real third world stuff. You sleep in beds that yo don’t want anyone to know about. Hell’ I carry two cans of Raid fumigant with me. Kills the bed bugs.”

“Oh, that’s sick.”

“That’s the way it is Linda. It aint vacation for sure. I’ve pictures of nearly every area I’ve been in though. Did you know that Ansel Adams was a professional phitogapher that took his landscapes while on assignment?”

“I used to have a Poloroid that took great black and white pictures.”

“Oh, wolf, your crazy.”

“No, really, it took great pictures. Real fine grained stuff. Real high speed film too. You had to use some stuff on the pictures and let it dry or you would loose them. I’ve got tons of pictures from alll over the US.”

“Digital is the way to go now. Wolf and I toook a trip and took fourteen hundred pictures. Wolf said to point and click and I did.”

“How long did it take you to cull out the rejects Linda?”

“About two weeks.”

“And that’s better than taking twenty rolls of 35 MM film?’ Tom said. “No seriously, I love my digital cameras. I can shoot all day, go back to the room and cull as needed. By the time I get back to the office, I have a portfolio that can be presented immediately. I can shoot personal pictures and separate them at the same time. And no post processor to lose my film.”

“I’ve had that happen before. A whole vacation of pictures gone in sixty seconds and all you get is; We will replace the film. How about replacing my foot cause it’s hidden in your ____.”

“Don’t hold it in Rev, let it all out. Tell us how you really feel.”

“What’s up with you Alex? I heard about you party the other night at Sully’s. My informant said that you couldn’t hardly stand up.” Said Linda.

“Ya, well, ah, I was kinda drunk.”

“Kinda? They saw you staggering out the door with a ten. Where did you disapear too?”

“Linda, if I told you you wouldn’t even believe it.”

“Try me love.”

“OK here goes; she took me up to the twin towers to her floor.”

“Whatever, you probably slept it off in the back of your car.”

“I told you you wouldn’t believe it.”

“did you sleep together?”

“June, I don’t even remember sleeping let alone anything else.”

“Boy, that sounds like a lot of bull fanticy stuff dreamed up by an over intoxicated Romeo dude out on the prowl.”

“Tom, you don’t believe anyone can have a serious experience with a stranger, let alone someone you know.”

Well Linda, thank you for your untrue input. I’ve been married to a stranger for years and it’s real serious.”

“You can sleep on the patio tonight Tom for that comment.”

“Enough of the love fight you newly weds.”

This went on until the late hours of the night. Soon each coulple drifted home. Alex and Abigail were the last.

want to spend the night?” Abigail asked.

Alex, June and Tom, Wolf man and Linda, Rev and Marge are coming over Abigail


These are some writings of Barb’s done for a Composition class at ICC. The date is uncertain.

WE had experienced camping before, but always in a State Park Campgrounds. This time we decided to try something different. We arrived at the Nicolet National Forest late that evening as the sun was setting. We had to hurry to get camp set up before it was to dark to see. There was a picnic table, but no other facilities. By the time it was dark, we had the tent set up and were eating a late supper y lantern light. The table was light enough, but the perimeter of the camp was in total darkness.

Suddenly, I felt something run across my feet. I grabbed the flashlight to see what it was, There were field mice running around under the table, and rabbits in the camp area. They didn’t know that they were supposed to be afraid of man. That’s when we first realized how wild this area could be, and we didn’t have any kind of weapon to protect ourselves. About that time we heard a loud crashing sounds in the woods coming towards us. We panicked. It had to be a bear making that much noise! Right? The animals aren’t afraid of us, there’s a bear coming at us, and we don’t have a weapon to protect ourselves. Making a lot of noise, to scare the bear off, we had the tent down, the table cleared, and everything, including us, loaded in the car in 15 minutes flat. We drove off into the night never knowing what it was in the woods.

This was our first attempt at wilderness camping, however we have succeeded many times since then. To look back on that time, it’s funny now, but it wasn’t then.


This is another of Barb’s writing.

I would like to share with you the exhilarating experience of wilderness camping. You cannot fully appreciate the tranquility one feels until you have been there. To be in harmony with nature, seeing and feeling the beauty of God’s majestic mountains and alpine meadows makes you stand reverently in awe at this supernatural occurrence.

You can’t just jump into wilderness camping. We first tried our hand at camping at State Park Campgrounds. Camping with other campers we obtained valuable information with this on hand experience we learned exactly what equipment we needed or didn’t need. You will have the tendency to over pack at first. You would be astonished at how little you really need to survive. We took too many cloths and supplies that just sat around and got in the way. Thru this exposure we soon learned to take what was absolutely necessary. {eon}

And another one by Barb;

If you happen to like these writings, please let me know.

Along with your comments.