This Poem Could Be Our Song

The World yawns

Stretches and braces for

a New Day.

Leaves unfurl

Grass shakes off its dew

And I lie here sleepless

Thinking of you.

Missing the voice

That cradled

My heart

Soothed and

Calmed

My Fears.

Whispered gently

Trust me

I got You.

Missing the smile

That twinkled

those eyes.

Bringing out the

Impish boy inside.

Missing the hands

That healed

The wounded.

Prayed to

the Creator

And caught

Hold of mine.

Carefully guiding me

Beside not behind.

Missing the mind

Lightning quick

Complex/collecting/processing/storing

Zoom Zoom on multiple tracks

A Beautiful mind

Reserving cerebral space

For my thoughts.

Missing the passion

The volcanic eruption

Bubbling over

Spreading its fiery

furnace

Over my sacred land.

Missing my smile

My lightness

My glow

That touched all

Who know.

Missing the love songs

The CDs

Mixed tapes

in my email

And my playlist Reply

Phyllis. Oleta. Ledisi.

I’m calling you/ Get Here If You Can/Pieces of Me

Missing the kitchen

The Back forty

Farmers Market

After church

Redbox movies

The lake

The woods

Damn

I am missing you.

THE EXCITING/ADVENTUROUS/NO GOOD/HORRIBLE/ TERRIBLE VEGAS TRIP pt1

Recently, several people have inquired how I got into the business of Blogging. Although my profession was teaching, I fancied myself a writer having authored several nonfiction texts for young people and labored over the Ultimate Memoir/Fiction tome-All The Lies Are True.

I was also a modern day Griot (storyteller) and known for regaling party goers, polite strangers and insomniac phone callers with my tales.

After a life changing visit to Vegas, I found myself retelling the adventure over and over to the delight of the listeners. (Funny how people take pleasure in others’ misery).

So I decided to start a Blog and post the Vegas Tale there for all the world to see.

It is a long tale. But each segment ONLY takes 6 min. To Read

I will be posting it in weekly segments… always conscious of the time constraints of busy Readers.

Part 1 awaits…..Enjoy!

It all started back in March when the Unnamed one asked me to accompany him on a trip to the wild wild west for a family reunion.

Mind you, this is not his true family, but some kind people he lived with as a teen and who considered him their ‘brother’.

I had previously accompanied the Unnamed one a few years prior to the lovely Myrtle Beach for a similar event and made note that June in MB is akin to running with scissors.

But the chance of going to Vegas made me go blind and lose my mind for a moment and I said yes.

Blinded by the visions of desert, cactus, prairie flowers, casinos, bright lights, and the Bellagio fountain, plans were made, Expedia was googled, booking a wonderful package via Delta complete with a room with a view at the mgm grand.

My first hint that something was askew happened when Delta changed our return flight time. This meant we either checked out of the hotel and wandered the halls of the grand (must be a marketing ploy for the casino) or pay for a whole ‘nother night and remain in the room a few hours until flight time.

But problem solved when I remembered I was in possession of a coupon for a free room in Vegas courtesy of eldest daughter T who had sweet talked me and my cash into going with her and youngest daughter J in the dead of February to Atlantic city via the ‘hound’. That is another Adventure not to be regaled here.

For all of you horror movie fans, this is when the music changes and you start to clutch your seat.

What I failed to notice in the email from Delta was not only had Delta changed the flight time, they had also assigned us new seats which were 12 rows apart from each other!

Did I mention that neither the Unnamed one nor I had been on a plane since 911? I, who used to blithely fly from LA to the East Coast and then anywhere else my wandering soul wanted to go, suddenly found myself earthbound and limited to snail travel.

But we rationalized it would be foolish to drive or take the train to Vegas. The only way to go was in the friendly skies and besides we would be together if something happened, wouldn’t we?

And we’re off…bright, sunshiny morning. Bags weighed and measured, liquids and powders in right sized containers, easy to remove shoes…we were the perfect travelers.

I got pulled over by the TSA as soon as I walked through the scanner. The frisker said it was my cell phone. What? it’s in the bin like the sign said. Wand waver took out a special cloth and calmly wiped the phone around the edges, slid it across a machine and smirked, You’re okay…have a nice flight.

And a nice flight was had by all. An hour and a half later, we descended into ATL with enough time to grab lunch and run/walk/take a people mover to the gate for our connecting flight.

Did I mention that the Unnamed one sustained an insect bite while we were in the ATL airport? (I think they are attracted to people with high alcohol counts in their blood).

This Reader, is what is known in literary circles as Foreshadowing.

We arrived in Vegas tired but happy to be on the ground. The temperature was a mere 100 degrees as we waited for a pricey shuttle to take us to the mgm grand. They did not offer free service, one of the many things I was about to learn about the not so grand, grand.

Business was a little slow at the front desk, however, a couple next to us was engaged in a serious discussion with the clerk about the condition of their room.

Words like substandard, dank, dismal were being tossed around by the angry, red faced man. Having been the recipient of some poorly outfitted hotel rooms in the past, I was all ears and calmly asked the clerk about the room we were being given.

She looked at me as if I had had just arrived from Pluto and said tartly, It is a king like you requested, ma’am and is 350 square feet!

She then pointed to pictures from a notebook showing what seemed to be a modern, stylish room.

After paying the abhorrent daily ‘resort fee’ (not mentioned in the Expedia small print), She politely directed us to the West Wing where we were instructed to walk down a long corridor, turn left, pass through the bar, continue on to the row of elevators that would deliver us to our suite.

Hah, words fail me. The corridor was indeed long and dark and painted with some metal gray color left over from a battleship. The rug reeked with the scent of wet feet and musk. I could barely breathe by the time we got to the room, as we were in what appeared to be the basement of the grand.

And the room. Someone must have photoshopped the picture she showed us. Yes, it had a king bed, but there was no desk, no drawer, no tub…only a shower and the view of an alley. It didn’t even have a coffee pot.

I later learned that Starbucks was doing booming business selling caffeine craving guests their expensive $10 a cup coffee.

Motel 6 had better rooms, I groaned. But this was the great mgm grand. Beyoncé and Jayz had stayed here. Surely, there had been a mistake.

I was disheartened but summoned up the strength after our $70 dinner of Mexican food (isn’t that just beans and cheese?) to call Expedia and complain about the accommodations.

Any of you readers who have dealt with these third party booking services already know what I am about to tell you.

The representative was in the Philippines. He was reading a script. He was sorry I was having a problem. But there was nothing to be done.

Oh, you want to speak to my supervisor? She is in a neighboring country, but hold on a minute.

20 minutes later. The supervisor connected. She listened patiently. And then informed me that she would note my concern about the room and the misleading information on the website for Future use.

BUT I would have to take up the room issue with the grand because Expedia had NO relationship with them and no power to change the room. Is there anything else I can help you with?

The heat, the stifling air, the loud noises of partygoers in the hallway, the sudden 4 hour time change And the two margueritas And shot of Patron together with the $70 nouveau chille relleno all conspired against me and I surrendered to that wonderful panacea…sleep.

I would deal with this, or rather I would have the Unnamed one deal with this in the morning.

But wait, tomorrow was our trip to the Grand Canyon and the bus was scheduled to leave at 6 a.m. sharp…was that eastern or mountain time…so the room issue would have to wait.

And so will you dear Reader for Part 2 of the Exciting, Adventurous, no good, horrible, terrible*Las Vegas trip.

(*Reference to popular children’s book about Alexander)

Love and Light! Comments always welcomed.

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MEN ARE MARS/WOMEN VENUS

Author and relationship expert, John Gray, PhD. really nailed it back in the 90s with his book Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. The premise of this couple’s manual is that men and women have such different needs and expectations, they may as well be from different planets. The book sold millions of copies and spent over 100 weeks on the best seller list.

Hailed by the couples’ therapy community as the bible of male/female understanding, this book finally threw all the cards on the table and enlightened millions of bewildered men and women (mostly women) who made their way through its pages. A shrewd marketing person even came out with the book on tape version making it accessible to those non-readers who could gain enlightenment on their morning commute.

Being a lover of all things Venus, I too purchased a copy of this book and after devouring its pages attempted to have a conversation with husband #3, the Keeper of All Knowledge.

Blah, Blah, Blah…was all I remembered from that conversation as he immediately tried to discredit the author. I even purchased the book on tape version as a birthday present, but it remained untouched. His commute, he said, was only a few minutes and he preferred listening to country music…more relaxing…less enlightening.

So, with that and more recent lack-of-communication-events in mind, Ladies, I want to revive my call for the “Let’s Take a Holiday From Men Day”.*

Regardless of how blissful your current relationship may be, I believe that all women need some Me Time. Here are a few suggestions on how to spend your Me Day.

1. Begin by downloading Heather Headley’s In My Mind. This is soulful, Caribbean almost church with a beat music. (Did you know Me Time was co-written by Baby Face and mixed at a studio in Va Beach).

All things being equal

I always put you first

You know that I’ve been down for you.

Through better and through worse

All things being equal

Boy, I’ve been more than cool

So it seems only natural

To expect the same of you.

…I need some Me time…Not some you and some I. Just some Me time…that’s all.

Turn the volume way up and dance around in your Victoria Secrets as Heather harmonizes the anthem of Women Worldwide.

2. Next, set the TV so that No channels with balls being bounced, tossed, passed, chucked or dunked can be shown. Clean the remote (studies show it contains more germs than your toilet) with a cotton ball and a little listerine. Set the remote so only shows from Bravo, Lifetime, WE, OWN, Hallmark and PBS run continuously for 24 hours.

3. Make a special trip to the Mall and buy that purse, pair of shoes, designer dress…something that you have been eyeing for months and take it home without removing the price tag. Display it proudly, unashamedly in the front of the closet for Him to see.

4. Pull out your stash of cookbooks and clipped recipes and prepare a Meatless Gourmet Meal that is not only healthy but looks exactly like the photo. Serve your meal on the fine china you reserve for his mother together with real napkins and a long stemmed wine glass full of something French and expensive from the top shelf at Total Wine.

5. Scour the bathtub of all those male (and dog) body hairs and have a Spa experience with your favorite scents bubbling in the tub surrounded by a roomful of candles with Luther or Kem crooning softly and lovingly in the background.

6. Lastly, pull out those expensive satin sheets hidden in the back of the linen closet. Put on your most comfortable nightie…no thongs or g straps… those are for him.. unbonnet your hair, moisturize your face and have the most restful sleep you’ve had in months dreaming about how you are going to celebrate your Next Holiday from Him.

* Reblogged From 2014.

Love and Light!

Comments are always welcome, fellas…smiling

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SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY

Is what He calls it

When He takes you to bed

After you have taken himTo Court.

Like an elaborate chess game

The 20 year relationship

two moves forward

One move back.

In the background Gladys moans

Neither one of us Wants to be the First to say Goodbye.

And yes Shakespeare

Parting is such Sweet Sorrow

But breakupWe must.

If I am to survive

If I am to breathe

If I am ever to find

My smileAgain

My laughterAgain

My Romantic Again

And Be clothed

In my Right MindAgain.

Vows broken

Cast carelessly aside

Another woman

in My marital bed

Head perched

on my satin pillow.

Secret phone calls.

Thousands of texts.

Midnight Rendezvous.

All belie My Innocence

And the lies

the lies

the lies

All starting to sound like the truth.

You know I will always love you hon. You ain’t got nothing to worry about with ME.We gon’ always be TOGETHER.

Singing Garth love songs

To me at karaoke

Where you thinkingAbout Her

and Not Me?

What makes a man

Turn and walk away

After you’ve given him

Your Everything?

Sacrificed your very soul

Just to be with him.

Gurl, what you see in That man?He ain’t even yo type.Definitely ain’t on yo Level.

Mama said there would be days like this

days like this…

Put yourself in Jesus Hands

Insomnia is now my bedmate.

Sleepless nights that never end.

And no this ain’t no fairytale.

No Stranger on a white Horse

galloping to save me.

Save yourself, gurl

Run, Run

Anywhere

Away from Him

Away from Hurt

Away from Disbelief

Away from Disappointment

Away from Shame

Hmph hmph hmph

26 years ago

Over half My Life

IWish I Could

GoBACK

ToThe Day

BEFORE WE MET

And SKIP My REGRET…

YOU.

Cheaters…A Guide

Technology has become an ally

In the war against

CHEATING.

Ask any Woman (or man)

Who has suffered

At the hands of

An unfaithful spouse

Boyfriend, Significant Other.

Cheating Hurts

No denying that

But how to know for sure

The one who vowed to

Love honor and

Cherish

Is not keeping his/her Word

Simple

Check his/her Device

It does not lie

And keeps a History

That when read

rivals any

Best selling novel.

The inventor of these little

Rectangular emissaries

Of Communication

Probably had never

Seen Cheaters or Maury Povich.

Never heard Nancy Wilson’s Guess

Who I Saw Today…

Guess who I saw today my dear

Guess who I saw today

Guess who I saw today

I Saw Youuuuuuu

(the Anthem for all who had been

wronged).

These mediums tried to bring attention

To this breaker-up-of-happy homes.

But Hello have you met

the iphone, Galaxy, Android.

Its first telltale hint is

The call that can’t be taken

The call made from the secrecy of the bathroom

(duh, Sound travels you idiot)

The call that must be taken

outdoors .

The call that elicits a sudden

change of voice

And Behold the Android produces

The Evidence.

Who knew those telltale Selfies

Sexy texts…I’m in Your bed..waiting for you.

Calendar reminders…meet Her at the Hilton..

Could become ammunition for

The Divorce Attorney?

Cheaters never win

It’s against the laws

Of Nature

Frowned on by the Monogamy

Crowd

And the Creator doesn’t think

Much about it either.

So ladies/gentlemen don’t fret

Don’t fume

And have more sleepless nights

Thoughts of homicide

Suicide.

Tuck that Device under your arm

The next time He or She is

Sleeping soundly

(No doubt dreaming about that THOT/loser)

Pour yourself a glass of favorite Wine

And prepare to be

Informed

Amazed

Shocked

Disgusted

Bewildered

And

HURT.

*(that ho over there)

Is Fido the “New Black” Or What’s Up With Man’s Best Friend?

Okay, okay, let me make myself perfectly clear- I DO like dogs.

Not the ferocious I wanttoeatyouforbreakfast kind of dogs, but rather the panting, wide eyed, cannot wait for you to get home and slob your face..What can I Do For You Master?...kind.

In fact, I have been the proud owner of several pooches in my 60 plus years, as well as the adopted owner of two such canines- Lucky and Lil man.

Some of you may remember my Award winning…seriously folks….Blog about daughter Js beloved Lucky who came to visit and never left).

It was the Most Read of all my blogs in 2013! And was selected for publication in an online magazine.

Certainly, a testament to America’s love affair with fido (and just possibly my writing skills).

This girl never gets tired of tooting her own horn, does she?

So, why I am proposing that Rover is now the New Black?

It all started when I was on an impromptu trip to MYrtle Beach during the frozen tundra winter of 2015.

Searching for some sunshine and warmth, I boarded a Greyhound to MB in mid- January for what I hoped was a respite from the El Nino induced winter weather plaguing the East coast.

MB, apparently, is the place where hundreds of Canadian “snowbirds” flock to each year from January to March..an alternative to Florida shores..in search of the Sun.

I thought this woman was Black. What she doing in Myrtle Beach with some Canadians..Hmph!

It was on one of my early morning strolls down the sparsely populated MB beach ( the temperature was a balmy 60 degrees) that I encountered not one, but several men of a certain age taking a similar outing.

Each was accompanied by a little puffball at his heels, or in his arms, or in one instance strapped to his chest in a dog carrier.

Each of these older gentlemen seemed in some state of otherworld bliss as they walked fido stopping to offer encouragement, bag poop, or feed a perfect sized expensive, Organic treat to their small companion.

After day 3 of observing this ritual on the beach, in the Mall, down deserted side streets, it occurred to me that something was missing.

Where was the gentleman’s spouse, girlfriend, betterhalf, or even sidepiece?

Being the inquisitive, never miss an opportunity to talk- to- a -stranger-kind of person, I posed this query to one of these happy go lucky dog walkers.

The answer? Wait for it…Wait for it. There was none! She (or he) had been replaced by FIDO!

I told you something was wrong with this girl..how can a dog replace a girlfriend…she done had too much Sun down there in MB!

To shore up my observations, I began to pay closer attention to men (and women) in my age group who were partner-less, but ..aha..had a relationship with a canine.

I will proffer the ‘One Who Remains Unnamed’ as my final piece of evidence. (Many of you remember him from my Vegas Adventure which was the catalyst for my first Blog).

His ongoing relationship for the past 16 years with a black Pomeranian exemplifies the point I am trying to make.

Not only has this 6 pound ball of black fur become the source of his constant attention, recipient of specially prepared meals…(Rachel Ray dry dog food topped with Kroger baked chicken chopped precisely, a little wet Ceasar dog food, a vitamin…one minute in the microwave..All lovingly stirred together.)

He is also the recipient of expensive treats..when did dogs start eating duck jerky?

A place at the foot or side of his Master’s bed, special planned outings in the car and other niceties generally reserved for women.

Meanwhile, All I received were constant admonitions by said dog owner:

Hon, I got to go home and see my dog… he’s been in the crate too long…that movie/dinner/flat tire..whatever.. Will have to wait!

Huh?

Reader, do you get my point?

And no, I am not jealous of a dog. I just believe all God’s creatures have a place in this world. That Humans were made for each other’s companionship, misery or whatever.

So have we taken this dog thing too far? Is having a relationship with another human too taxing, too much work, a relic of the past?

I believe a dog Can be man’s best friend..but best Girlfriend?

Oh well, time to go watch The Dog Whisperer.

Until the next time.

Ciao !

Looking Into the Abyss or The Pleasure Dome

(Memoir/Fiction)

60 is a very pivotal age for the Baby Boomer. Ten years apres finding that First AARP in the mailbox… the lilting ring of I’m 50 suddenly replaced by the thudding sound of Yeah, I ‘m 60.

The reality that there are more days behind you than ahead… and depending on your world view… this could be the beginning of staring into the Abyss or racing into the Pleasure Dome.

After all, we were the generation that was going to change the world…Baby if I cooould channnge the world…Remember.

So here I am almost sixty (technically I am still fifty nine) but when the ball drops next month I will be throwing rocks as they say, at sixty so why not claim it now…it will lessen the shock…and make it easier to mouth the words when some Uncoth type asks me my age.

Not that I have any problem telling them…but why is it really important? Does it tell them Anything really relevant about who I am, where I’ve been, what I’ve done, and more importantly what I am about to do. Like leave this establishment as soon as I finish this drink because this conversation is boring me to thoughts of suicide or better yet homicide and I could easily put him out of his misery.

When did I become so impatient with men… especially men in my age bracket…knowing what they are about to say before they engage their brains and let their mouths belie their intelligence. Able to spot an Old Playa from across the room or right up in my face whispering that I should remember His phone number without bothering to ask mine.

Ah gurl, she sounds like a man hater…Consider that I have been a lover of men for as long as I can remember. I think most Boomer women would appreciate it more if men just knew how to graciously accept their age and flow with it. This obsessing over younger women who see nothing but $ when they look at them and the constant need to put down the women who really are in their age category has made many of my sisters declare that the war is over.

I should be stick me with a fork done but every now and then I allow myself to traverse down that road. Often because of an unexpected gift- a smile- given to a Stranger as I am leaving say… a business mixer.

He said his name was L and the smile on my face made him think I was up to something. I was. Trying to get home after two drinks of Grey Goose from a friendly bartender at the first stop of the night followed by another more generous pour at the place I was exiting from. The silly grin was I admit Goose induced and he just happened to open the door as I was trying to gracefully ease out of the place. After depositing my distinctive blue business card in his hand and declining to remember his whispered digits, I found myself mildly entertaining thoughts of his phone call and what might ensue. He was charming enough and had the balls to approach me so I was intrigued.

And then reality set in as day three or four since our encounter and no phone call. I put thoughts of him out with the smelly trash and immersed myself in grading yet another freshman essay about the horrors of abortion, war, and gun control.

And then he called – very formal tone- as if he wasn’t sure I would answer. The conversation was brief. He was on his way to have his car inspected and thought he would ring me up on the way. Not too impressive I thought for a first call since I seemed to be part of his errands for the day. And then when he abruptly arrived at his destination the call ended and his promise to return the call shortly did not materialize for another 24 hours.

This time it was at my insomniac hour. I guess he didn’t believe I would really be awake but unfortunately for him I was already engaged in a conversation with a close friend and ironically at the moment he called was sharing something about Him with Her.

I told him I would call him back which I did…some two or three hours later… all is fair in love and war…and got his voicemail.

The phone remained silent for the rest of the day and finally later that evening over sushi and a second glass of wine in a new spot downtown, I did break down and call him as he had suggested just to see what was his reason  for ignoring me.

Yet another voicemail that signaled he was otherwise engaged.

This is going nowhere fast and time to pull the ripcord, so I decide I will not entertain this nonsense any longer because those freshman essays are still piled on my living room floor ungraded.

Friday rolls around and I decide to treat myself to some seafood in the form of Cioppino which I usually reserve for holidays or special occasions. The ingredients…shrimp, clams, mussels, cod, halibut, salmon are so costly …but I tire of reserving things for special occasions.

I trek to Whole Paycheck and purchase the necessary ingredients together with those for Muffaletta, a shamefully greasy spicy ham/three kinds of cheese and a slathering of olive salad on French bread N’awlins style of sandwich that had become my latest passion.

Armed with these pricey ingredients and a bright yellow blast of daisies, I surrender to the peaceful hum of my kitchen and prepare the succulent seafood stew. The phone rings and surprise, surprise, It is none other than Elusive stranger.

I decide to just slice through the small talk when he tells me he is on his way to a Sushi joint near my ‘hood. And announce that I am making the best seafood dish ever and invite him over to sample it. Within minutes he appears at my front door, not as dashing as I remember from the dim lights of the club doorway but congenial enough and anxious to see if I can really cook.

Since he appeared without so much as a bottle of wine, I offered him some cheap Sauvignon that I was using in the stew.

The conversation was pleasant, informational, non threatening as I put the finishing touches on my shellfish feast. He had never had Cioppino before. I instructed him on how to slowly sop up the broth with the Italian bread. Instantly, I could see the pleasure spread across his face with that look which says he has eaten something truly divine.

Before I had a chance to offer him some fruit and cheese for desert –organic pears and buttery smooth Havarti- he announced caveman style that he had other plans for the evening and had to get home and prepare himself.

I smiled sweetly to cover up my agitation. A smart guy would never have been this rude and a young guy would have been anxious to see what was for dessert.

Now I could really see him for what he was…an old has been who needed a good hearing aid instead of that earring in his ear. Who fancied himself a Playa when Senior Citizen more accurately described him.

I quickly closed the door on both the cold winter night and Him.