I rather enjoy tending to the comfort needs of people when they are ill or in distress. Maybe that’s a mitzvah thing for me too. I also have a very short attention span, though, so I might not do well in the long term chronic situation — after a while I get a bit annoyed if my charges have not miraculously responded to chicken soup and Emergen-C. [Read more…]
No, I do not like routine, especially obligatory routine, as in I must _____ every _____. FIll in the blanks how ever you like, even with really good stuff, and as soon as must/every works into the dynamic I’m done. but I do do things over and over, usually in some binge fashion. And I have recurring rituals — I make coffee and return with it to bed pretty much every morning. I love it. I love to do it. But I am in no way obligated to.
Now, I don’t mind having to do something, even something difficult, like today — I must make cornbread for stuffing, photograph the Memorial Coliseum at sunrise, design an art auction catalog. After I finish my coffee.
I once pursued my mild but extremely titillated interest in BDSM by having a “session” with a very experienced dominatrix. She was an acquaintance from my social circle, and, as it turned out, a rather well and highly regarded member of the BDSM community on the national level, as a submissive, rather than a dom. She had apprenticed for years as a sub to a renowned dom in New York, for whom she travelled regularly around the country to various events. Our session, in the context of the above, was rather small potatoes for her.
Me, I was thinking more along the lines of an erotic encounter with BDSM fashion trappings. But in the spirit of adventure and exploration, I was willing to go along with whatever happened; I trusted she would not do any permanent damage. [Read more…]
I remember walking into our house on Juanita Avenue in Redondo beach one afternoon and finding my father sitting on the couch with a woman. I must have been four years old. I’ve had to piece together some understanding of the event as an adult, and only began thinking seriously about the logistics of it recently, so here is some background as I have reconstructed it from memory.
When I was four my family lived on Juanita Avenue in Redondo Beach. It was a very different time, 1960, and things were a bit looser vis a vis kids in those days. I realize now that I must have been under the care of Mrs. Golding, who lived a few houses down from us. I don’t remember ever going to a nursery school, or being taken elsewhere while my mother was working as a substitute teacher. But I do remember spending a lot of time at the Goldings’, going to a shopping center with Mrs. Golding and her son Danny, watching and listening to one of the Goldings’ Mexican laborors play the guitar slouched back on the couch (oh, my first guitar exposure!). [Read more…]
We fight because we love. Strange, no? We struggle with the easiest things, and with ease turn hard and sharp. So easy to pierce the softness of a smile. A thought. Find a way around wonder with certitude. A girl and a boy, in love with each other with fist and nail gouge a space in each others’ hearts and flesh. Blood of the mother, wound of the child, a broken body, another pile to honor the love of a man for his god. Might as well use a pitch fork to stack that load.
We started out with care, lifting each drained body with awe and humility and placing it carefully alongside the last, with a prayer beneath our breaths and an ache in our chests. But the sun rose swiftly on such a foreign day, and soon we were grunting under the strain. The children were easier, lighter at least. We gave way to the need, and soon worked with speed despite the heat and glare and dust. And the smell no longer forced a pause to retch. First our loved ones. Then we found there was little difference between one broken body and the next. We made crude jokes knowing each would return to us as we slept, if later we slept at all. By then even a child’s foot still in its sock and tiny shoe could not inspire a tear.
Toss it on the load. Get it out of here, there is plenty of blood left in the dust for the flies. But a shard of mirror still attached to a bit of its cheap plastic frame reflects the white sky above. No bigger than your thumb, but there, just enough left to recall its whole, hanging in the market stall, reflecting the widow’s face screwed up in calculation — was it worth the eggs and oil she would have to do without to gaze again into the eyes that had reduced that powerful young man to tears of desire, that had coaxed from him his best and glowed with pride in his victories, and had sent him from his bed to drink himself to sleep by the fire, stinking of another woman? The dust, the bodies, the stones and bricks and twisted metal, the living bent to clear the shattered street, the groaning city surrounding and the vast miles of sand beyond, even the sun above the blank white sky pauses in its journey to pivot around that one point of reflection, and careen off in a new direction, uncharted, unconsidered, unpredicted.