Tuesday, November 07, 2023


I believe our friends become like our family at some point; that is, if they stick around long enough to get tagged with the moniker of "family." I have a few long-term friends who are the sisters I never was blessed with having. Some would say I was lucky because I missed having to share my clothes, toys and secrets with someone who could get me in trouble by snitching on me. While a sister might snitch, a true friend has lips so tight nothing can pry them opened. My sisters from another mister or two/partners in crime are Lynne, Margie, Lisa, Theresa, Carol, Joyce and Linda.

We meet many people throughout our lives and some of those people have a profound effect upon our lives and destiny. Some people enter and remain with us always while others enter and exit remaining just long enough to alter the path upon which we walk. Although Lynne faded from my life for a period of time, the footsteps she left has remained with me always. I'm truly grateful to Lynne because she entered my life at a point when I needed to be saved...mostly from myself because I was hell-bent on burning the candle at both ends. My demons had led me down a narrow path of darkened, self-destruction and then I met my savior, Lynne. There are many who would disagree with me by saying Lynne fed my demons, but those people didn't see how I teetered on the edge before she came into the picture. They didn't see how Lynne saved my life by befriending me, by extending her hand to pull me away from the edge, by giving me an alternative to my misery. They didn't see my pain, but she did. She may have never totally understood it, but she saw it and was there for me.

To say I was in awe of Lynne is a severe understatement…everyone was in awe of her! She was the quintessential woman every young teenage girl dreamed of being. I remember the first time I ever saw her. When I opened the kitchen door returning home from gadding about and walked inside my house, I heard voices coming from my brother, Brian's work out room. Ever since he had come back from Vietnam with the title of Heavyweight Champion of the 7th Fleet, he seemed obsessed with the three B’s: boxing, body building and babes. My middle older brother was Mr. Body Beautiful of Bangor, Maine (a fictitious title I gave him.)  Needless to say, he spent a lot of time pumping iron so he’d have a perfect physique. And oh, how he loved the females to admire him and yes, admire him, they did! I opened the door and poked my head inside to let him know I was home and also to be a little nosy. I wanted to see what female he had back there trying to impress with his biceps and other things!

When I opened the door, standing in front of me was a vision of everything I thought I wanted to be. She was a tall, dark-haired beauty with beautiful brown eyes. (Maybe Bob Seger wrote his song Night Moves about Lynne or someone like her.) Her body was perfectly shaped and she stood confident in her hip-hugger bell-bottoms and a shirt unbuttoned just enough to show some tantalizing cleavage. Her blue chambray shirt was tied in a knot around her midriff to show off her abs. No fucking way! Did she work out also? Later, I found out she was a go-go dancer at some local nightclub and that’s how she met my brother.

She smiled at me as she eyed me up and down. I guess I passed inspection or maybe I failed because she immediately took me under her wing. I thought it was only because she was dating my brother, but opportunities like that don’t come often, so I just played it cool and went along for the ride. Whatever the reason she had for befriending me didn’t matter to me. I was just a kid, but the road I walked on with Lynne gave me an education I’ll never forget.

Shortly after meeting Lynne, my brother told her to NEVER give me any drugs. NOT EVER!!! At 14, I was already experimenting with most illegal substances, but the availability seemed to widen immensely as soon as she came into my life. Although she never gave me any hard drugs and didn't do any herself in my presence, being in her inner circle gave me the contacts to get anything I wanted. She and I would occasionally smoke a joint together, but that was more a social thing to do than it was to get high. Smoking dope for me was never really any big deal…it was just something everyone did. Adults had their cocktails as a social lubricant and the younger generation smoked weed. From where I stood, everyone appeared to get lubricated somehow!

When my brother and Lynne broke up, we continued being friends. In fact, by that time we spent most of our time together. I was blinded by Lynne’s aura, but I doubt if I had seen my role in the grand scheme of things it would have changed anything I did. I saw Lynne as my ticket out of Bangor, Maine and so when she suggested leaving, I jumped at the chance. She was older than me and was street savvy. I felt safe with her and as long as I was with her everything seemed to flow in what appeared to be a positive direction.

Lynne and I developed a strange relationship on the streets after we left Bangor. I could do as I pleased without any questions asked, but she always insisted on knowing where I was. I complied with her request because she took care of me and for that I was grateful. The streets of Boston became my new playground and Lynne became my guardian angel and surrogate mother. I watched how Lynne operated and she did whatever she needed to do with the grace of a cat to support us, but I was on a need-to-know basis so many things just weren't discussed. I complied by not asking too many questions.

Eventually, I started doing stuff intentionally to piss her off because after all I was a snotty teenager. You know how teenagers can be! I pushed her buttons often, but she rarely got angry at me. I certainly deserved a swift kick in the ass, but she never gave me one. One evening while she was "out," I got into a poker game with a group of guys who lived in the same building as us. They liked to party and so did I. When I foolishly lost all my money, I got cocky and used Lynne as a bet. When I lost, I immediately had an “Oh shit!” moment. I couldn’t believe I had done that! I really caught hell on that one, but I deserved it. Lynne graciously paid off my bet and made the winner a very happy man. I never played poker with that group again but was frequently asked to do so. Go figure!

It was a fast crowd and although I was readily accepted into it, there was an unspoken rule that no one was to mess with me in any way. I was COMPLETELY OFF LIMITS! I simply became the one who everyone liked to laugh with, hang out with and get high with. And Lynne was the one they all lusted after. I accepted my role and knew my place. I never tried to actively change it because I knew what I would be going up against. But the day did come when I was noticed first and Lynne was virtually invisible. That day immediately changed everything and my path was permanently altered once again.

I look back on my time with Lynne in those early days with many emotions. It's hard to believe she's gone now. Her Golden Years were filled with some major health problems that eventually led to hospice care and ultimately, her death. The waves of grief that consume me come at odd times and luckily most of them are when I'm by myself so as the flood gates open, I don't have to explain why I'm crying. 

Story to be continued...

Tuesday, September 26, 2023


In my absence, I've had surgery and almost 6 months of physical therapy. While I do have use of my left arm once again, it's still weak and has a ways to go before I'll consider it up to my standards. The depressing thing is that I'm facing the same surgery for my right arm and shoulder, but until it gets to the point where I simply can't use it, I'm going to hold off on having more surgery right now. 

Yesterday, I started tackling my sorely neglected yard. My yard man only cuts the grass. Everything else in the yard got put on the back burner until I could get to it. Saying that my flower beds were a mess is not an adequate description of the sorry state they were in when I started cleaning out the weeds yesterday that had over taken the beds. This time of year I always fight the same weed called Devil beggarticks. OMG! If you aren't familiar with this highly invasive weed, let me tell you that if you own dogs and have beggarticks are in your yard, your dogs will come inside the house coated with fine black needle-like seeds that cling to their fur. This time of year I always just about lose what little mind I have left pulling the damn stickers out of my dogs' fur every time they go outside. 

So yesterday I spent all day (6am til about 5pm) outside pulling up three foot plus "devil" weeds by the roots in hopes that I can eliminate them before they go to seed. I pulled and pulled and then when I had my first pile stacked I started burning them. While I burned all the debris I had gathered yesterday and tended the fire, I snapped some pics of the smoke while it swirled and danced in the breeze.

Friday, August 18, 2023


I know if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's supposed to be a duck, but I've spent my entire life on the back side of the closet door because... well hell, I guess I did it because being an atheist isn't a popular thing to be and I always seem to go against the flow challenging anything in my way or that smells like bullshit. There I said it! I've finally came out of the closet. I'm a heathen through and through!

If I were a Christian, I'd really be pissed off at God. I mean, here sits this omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent perfectly benevolent being doing what? Definitely not being all-powerful, all-knowing and all present! Oh yeah! That's right! We, the imperfect sinners were given free will so we can royally screw things up. I guess that's where faith is supposed to factor into the whole equation. Suffer now and get rewarded later? Be a good, faithful follower and the best one can hope for is to watch people around us suffer and die. Lead a good life and never know when it's all going to end or be taken away in some dreadful flash.

And the hereafter? I'm sorry, but I don't want to spend my eternity singing and playing harps with angels. I think this is where one might insert a puke face emoji! I don't want to reach a state of perfection when there's nothing more to strive for... I don't want to be reunited with people who irritated the crap out of me during my brief tenure on this earth. Nope, I prefer to believe I'll become part of the vast cosmos eventually.

The first law of thermodynamics states (here she goes getting all quantum and acting like she actually knows something) that energy can be changed from one form to another, but cannot be created nor destroyed. IF science has it right then my life force will simply transform into some other "energy" at the moment of my death. Perhaps it's like water becoming ice or steam depending on whether heat or cold is applied to it. It's still water, but in a different form. It looks different. It has different properties, but it's still just water. I'd rather believe that someday I may be particles of stardust floating throughout the universe and perhaps, if I'm lucky my particles will find their way to some newly forming planet or star. How groovy would that be? (Did she really use the word "groovy?)

Since I have free will, I choose not to buy into an ageless god who has sat back watching our world decline and has done nothing to intercede on its behalf. I don't want to believe in a creature who would allow horrible things to happen to good people. I detest any being who allows wars to be fought in his/her name and who shines a glorified light on the self-righteous who judge others and who claims their way is the only way to some afterlife paradise. 

Nope! I just don't buy it. I'm a show me type of person and unless I see some grand stand miracle, I'm going to live out the rest of my life believing life is just life and nothing more. Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people and sometimes good things happen to good people, but bad things don't happen often enough to bad people (I think that one needs to go in the suggestion box). Who ever said life is fair or just? Life is life! It's a short ride filled with many surprises...some good, some bad. And if I'm wrong, well, I'm sure I have many people praying for me and my willful ignorance. Maybe their God, will want to keep me around for awhile for a few giggles and grins!

Gratitude statement: I'm grateful the closet door is
ALWAYS unlocked and easy to open!

Tuesday, August 15, 2023


Repost from 2011 and edited:

From the time we're small children we're taught that growing old is something to be feared, dreaded and avoided at all costs. Just look at what advertising is geared towards! No wonder so may people go through severe upheavals as they reach middle age and start to show signs of wear and tear.

Vanity tells us that as our outer beauty fades we become less desirable in many ways. We see the fate of the elderly and know that someday we will sit where they are. As we furiously diet and exercise to stay fit, is our strife solely for health purposes or is it just a feeble attempt to hold onto our vanishing youth a little longer? Are the botox injections, breast implants or cosmetic surgery another step closer to the fountain of youth or something that society pressures us into considering as a desired partner in the aging process to help us through the mid-life vanity crisis?

Should we focus on the outer beauty and struggle to stay youthful or should we concentrate on the inner beauty and wisdom that comes with age? Shouldn’t we be able to know and feel good that within each of us is the same person we were years ago without feeling self-conscious that the physical part changes? I think I’ll stick with the philosophy "aging is inevitable, but growing old is optional…" That way I can just do whatever feels right for me regarding gray hair and wrinkles, but at 35, I have a few more years before I have to worry about my fading youth. I'm glad to see my sense of humor hasn't declined as my waistline has thickened and my hair has thinned and gotten white along with the myriad complexities of growing older.

This is yours truly at 67. My daughter took this photo of me being my normal goofy self at the Beyond Van Gogh, The Immersive Experience this past Saturday August 12, 2023. I look at it and still see the person I was many years ago and to me, that's a wonderful thing.