Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I suspected something was up when I entered Mother's bedroom to say goodnight one evening and she quickly snapped closed a book and stuffed it out of sight. I acted coy and pretended not to notice but it made an indelible blot on my memory to research the next day after school. I had no idea what I was looking for but I knew it was a book of some sort, so then I dug deep under the mattress and found my buried treasure of literary sin. It was not to been seen or read by just anyone. The scandalous book that shook Hollywood and created quite a stir on the best sellers book list. It was the talk of women everywhere and wherever you turned to look you could see the book fastidiously pressed near their face. I found all the hype exciting as a young teen and yet was unable to purchase the book outright due to the age factor, which made it even more necessary to procure a copy. It was always checked out at the library and was a hard thing to find a copy locally.
What a find.....I held before me the bible of Hollywood trash that everyone had to read. One thing though, I had to devise the way to read it without getting caught. There was only a small window of time that I could have reading time and that only existed between the hour of 3:30 and 4 in the afternoon. After 4:15 my Mother would arrive back home from working. I had to make it seem like the book was not touched and to put it neatly back in it's hiding place, to keep from getting found out that I was reading the ultimate dirty novel.
The vultures of upper literary degrees tortured it but it was all the smut and decadence that made it extremely popular. It also referenced the no similarities to persons living or dead, but we all knew who the people were in the story. With every word that I read and every page I turned I inched closer to the top of Mount Everest
and found that "THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS" became a mantra that would follow me through the rest of my crazy adult life. To this day my reference to "Dolls" has been handed down to all the newbies who have never heard of this classic book.
For the time it took me to peruse my way excitedly through this classic, the fear of getting caught made it even more titillating. For every close call there would always ensue a disaster pending while trying to put the book back just seconds before the front door would open.
Take for instance Mother's bottle of "Evening in Paris" perfume that stood artfully on her dresser. In my rush to get the book back in it hiding place, I slipped on the bedside rug them smashed headfirst into the dresser which in turn shook everything on top and a few things came crashing down. First and foremost was Mother's midnight blue bottle of Parisian perfume that smashed into a million pieces all over the bedroom floor which created a smell that would have given a french bordello a run for the money. I had only seconds with which to clean it up which would never have been enough time, so I did the next best thing and grabbed the cat and threw him in the bedroom so that she would think that he knocked it off the dresser. In a split second I made it into my bedroom, shut the door and started the stereo.
My plan of attack worked yet the aroma lingered on my pants so I quickly ran them in the washer to remove the last of any clue that I may have been involved. I felt gleefully happy in my strategic quick thinking yet everywhere in the house it reeked of that scent of "Evening in Paris". The poor cat walked out shaking each paw to try and remove the odor then he got scolded and put outside but the book was where it was hidden and I awaited the next day to continue my adventure of romance with "dolls".
I made it through almost half the book before the second dilemma arose. I was deep in the chapter with Neely and Ted Casablanca when the front door opened and Mother walked in 10 minutes early. I heard no warning of tires crunching on that shale driveway so I reacted swiftly and jumped quickly into her closet to hide behind the dresses and shoes. Unfortunately I had to use the bathroom, actually needed to thirty minutes earlier, but could not put the book down, so with a full bladder and book in hand I leaped into the closet and hoped for the best.
I knew that she would come in and change and usually did not require the closet right away, so I awaited her change of clothes and knew that she would make a fresh pot of coffee in the kitchen and then go and sit in the Florida room to have her welcome home cigarette.

As many times as I saw this repeat day after day, the phone suddenly rings and my Aunt decides to have a long winded conversation with her while I danced a soft jig in the closet trying not to pee my pants. Out of the corner of eye I noticed a bit of light coming through the door and illuminating the shiny top of a jar that held my Mothers previously used nylons. I could see the mirage that was shaped like a toilet begin to form in my head and knew that jar could help relieve the built up pressure that I felt from having to use the bathroom. I meticulously and quietly unscrewed the top of the jar and dumped out the nylons and slow and carefully relieved myself, filling the jar almost to the brim. I had dropped, in my haste, the top of the jar and was unable to locate it so, without spilling the full jar I held it tight and waited patiently for their conversation to end.

Mother finally took her stroll into the kitchen. I peeked out from the closet door then pummeled myself thru the clothes as quietly as I could, stepping over the shoes and made it out without spilling much of the liquid from the open mouthed jar. I was on the home stretch when I saw her rising out her chair and heading toward me. Panic ensued and I was trying to find a quick solution to the jar that I held. The bathroom was too far away for me to get to so I ducked into my brothers room where I ungracefully tripped over the pile of dirty clothes that were strewn about and the jar and its contents went flying across the room landing precariously on my brothers bed. Not much sound was heard and no breaking of glass, but the bed was covered in the liquid from the jar. Luckily she heard nothing and breezed by not noticing anything. The wet aromatic catastrophe left it's trail, but I decided that trying to clean it up was not a possibility as the room smelled like a locker room from dirty teenager clothes anyway so I left it to dry on it's on. I cleaned up what little was on the floor with some of the soiled clothes and left the room shutting the door to keep it's secret within. I figured I would blame it on the cat once more if asked, but it never came up or was discovered.

I celebrated the conclusion of the book yet I felt sad that my secret reading had come to an end. I knew how it all ended up, yet it left me with wanting to be a part of it all. I yearned to be an adult and live like they did and have what they had. Bigger seemed better and fame was the race that needed to be run.
Little did I know what path that would lead me to and how that would always beckon me on to have more and when that would be accomplished, restart the whole process over
When I recall those days of reclusive reading, I had no idea that this book would turn out to be the cult item that it is today. It's content was not of words from a great novelist but it created a world that all who read it wanted to be a part of. The makings of any great book seems to be based on drugs, sex and money, with unrequited love in the mix. For me it gave me the fantasy of what every young star struck person wanted and that was a view into the life unknown but by only a chosen few.
To be rich and famous and have the ability to have everything your hearts desire resonated in the pages of "DOllS".
I wanted my appearance to get me places like Anne Wells. I figured that if I was handsome enough I could be taken to new heights and and have the class attitude that came with "classy looks". Money would fall all around me and I would have my pick of many lovers.

I wanted my body to be a chiseled form with a firm torso and firm limbs that were envious to all who gazed upon it. My body was to be like an "art film" just like Jennifer North starred in. The only "nudies" I would appear in would be alone in my shower leaving everyone to wonder what biology might have done for me.

The true raw and savage talent that plagued Neely O'Hara, I wanted running through my veins. I wanted to expose my gift of voice for everyone to listen to and I wanted to feel the sensation of "mass love" without the self destructive personality. I secretly wanted to know what the "Dolls" actually did, afterall they were fashionably mode to take and it seemed everyone participated so why not me?

So.............now I have come to know the reality hidden between the pages of "DOllS" and what life did bestow on me and those chosen few. Life did appear to be a climb only now you realize that you never should have left the valley floor. The struggle to get to the top was always a let down and an illusion. When you felt you had peaked, you realized the it was not what it seemed when looking up at it. Staying firmly on the ground was the safest spot and the rush of exhilaration you thought you would feel in the climb became elusive.

The intensive work and time that it took to have a firm solid body took away precious moments of time that could have been used enjoying the things that really moved your heart instead of a workout machine. Physical time, that would have strengthened your senses to your surroundings and the people that surrounded you at the time.

The gift of talent that one possesses is innate and comes from within. You just have to be aware that it exists. It appears at various times yet distractions can cause it to fade into the back, yet it is always ready to be noticed. I used to think that fame would drive my talent and singing or making a movie would put my star ahead of everyone else. In many ways, while not in a Hollywood movie, I always had my star right there with the rest. It was always bright and shining and it took me to places only few have been chosen to see. At times it seemed "better living through chemistry" but when all was filtered out, there was no self destruction. I am still standing and had created my own "living legend", something that we all do from the talent that was there all the time.

We always like a good book on an air flight to pass the time. My own private "Valley of the Dolls" has one incredible epilogue and enough footnotes to spawn a new novel. My journey to the top led me to the bottom where I now look up to see the sky that holds my own personal star which is still shimmering. It's falling dust now light's the path for my tomorrow.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Today I viewed the morning with alarm. Once again the sun had decided to take another hiatus and spend its time elsewhere instead of shining on me. I felt unstable with the impending clouds that mounted the skies as the day wore on. There seemed to be an impending uncertainty looming off in the distance and blanketed me with an uneasiness that took time to shake off. The aura of insecurity followed me wherever I went and I kept looking back for something and never could focus on what seemed to be creating the mood that spilled around me. The amount of answers needed for all the impending questions filled my head and oozed out onto my reality and it messed with my psyche.
I have become the ultimate middle aged male sliding into the autumn of my years with the same trepidation that was created on my first day of school. So many questions yet to have discovered answers.
I was certain that these next years were supposed to be easy and less complicated. I have made it my goal to make that attitude ring true, but this transition is killer and I have too many reservations and destinations to figure out. I am truly standing at my crossroads...left or right....day or night....wrong or right. My sweet enemy called time patiently waits and my heart searches to know which gate I will walk through next.
My present life career is winding down and a new one beckons me on. I have the furtive desire to risk everything and the secret desire to roll the dice and bet it all at once. My snake eyes are glaring at me from afar and producing the stare-dare of the future. I keep looking into those eyes for the sign that will illuminate the next door that I will walk through and be given the invisible guide that keeps the road clear and free from unknowing debris that may fall.
There lives from within me the knowing power of chance and what exhilarating things arise from grasping it and yet I feel the impatient factor of not having control. It is like waiting for that long awaited gift at Christmas. You wake up that one morning and there lies what your heart desired. In that split second of achievement you have the elated feeling of a joy that is very reclusive and diffident. As it covers you it makes the impact that keeps on giving through the memory banks when called upon to help you smile.

I look forward to a meeting with joy very soon, and I hope that coming out of it's dormancy will be the spark that will ignite the candle that will light my path toward autumn happiness and contentment. My soul depends on it and I can't let it down.
In the age of miracles I know this day will end and a new one will dawn. If my discontented alarm should go off again as the morning light appears I will hit the snooze button, turn over and in my new dream, create a new more positive mind sight. The sun may be in hiding again, if that is the case I will fly above the grey clouds and view the sun blazing the horizon that beckons me on.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


The many times in my life that I have been asked, "How did you know what you wanted to do in life?" And each time I answer that it came from within, a sort of biological DNA makeup. My genes had it all planned before I knew it, the only thing I did differently from anyone else is that I paid attention to my mind's guide and moved with the instincts that took me in the right direction to my life career destination. It offered more than anyone could tell you about and molded me into the skilled professional, emotionally intuitive person that I am today. I became the term that I made up called a "THAIRPIST". I possess the skills to rearrange the follicular sproutings that grow outside a client's head, but I also seem to be the designated THAIRAPIST to help with the jumbled mind sprouts that exist from within a client's head.
Learning the "art" of hair care does not simply mean that you have the ability to work a pair of scissors, or hold on to a pair of clippers, and can apply a color from within a bottle with rapid speed. No, there was a lot that did not get written into a Malady's Cosmetology Book. There was no chapter in PSYCH-HAIR-ITRY and even if there was you could never have learned it from any textbook. That ability comes from within and your sensitivity to human psyche turns on the conversing link that makes the person in your chair feel open enough to expel information that would not be available to just anyone. Most times, more than you would expect to know about someone. I have been privy to information that has definitely shaped the way I feel about the emotional psyche of people. It has helped me to be more aware and understanding and it has crossed my lines of too much information that I really did not need to know.
I have clients who wear their insecurities for all to see and clients who possess the ability to hold their uncertainties inside. They all come to be reinvented in the way they view themselves. The information that is added creates the aura that makes them flow with their decision to change their look and to be noticed. The idea's that present the picture inside their heads usually do not end up as they presented it to themselves, yet they adjust to the new view and are very satisfied that a visual change has occurred and they feel better about themselves. Through concentrated conversations the merger of the minds occurred. Others have tried to push me to do it their way and after a power struggle the final result is usually the professional one.

The ability to care so much about what other people think of my personal decision is mind boggling. Why we have to care if someones critiques our choices is frustrating and demeaning and should not determine the outcome of any personal choice that is made. My knowledge has served me well to understand any situation of my profession that I embark on and the wisdom to know when to not move forward. Unfortunately my patience for the unhappy ego is not as prevalent as it once was. I find now that blatant honesty is my best approach for the aggressive insecure individual who feels the need to dictate how I will approach the situation. In any pending scenario I try to judge the best qualities and zoom in on those which always brings out the best in the individual. It is within the confines of my THAIRAPY chair that I get to create and learn about people and the way they view themselves. I get the opportunity to help people through their knowledge that has been handed to me and I get to share that to help others.

In the future when you come into the salon for a head makeover, remember the PSYC"HAIR"ATRIST is in so relax, close your eyes during that wonderful shampooing and tune in to yourself and let the results become a rewarding experience both physically and emotionally.

Friday, April 9, 2010


It started off in the usual manner....hat, coat, neck scarf, gloves, water bottle, and dog leash all in that exact order. A beautiful morning glistening, as there was an unusual golden orb in the sky sharing it's light toward the dog walk trails. It was a miserable cold, damp and rainy week of April. The existence of any sunlight at this time is a rare and appreciated moment. Ah, but this morning was different, the rain last evening had made everything sparkle with it's droplet's of water hanging on till the sun would steal them away to make more rain. I pondered heavily and hoped that it would be somewhere other than around our city. Rain does make some fun for my dog as she loves anything that will make her wet and the little holes of water are always necessary to step into and make for muddy paws. I could tell of the happiness in her gait as she trotted off to the next waterhole and taking a moment to engage in the stream of sunlight that lit the trail. As I continued onward I could not help but take in the fresh smell of the clean air that surrounded us in the park forest. I have seen so many trees in my lifetime but today they looked massive and even more beautiful being illuminated by the streams of light showered on them. I found myself almost recognizing them for the first time, and the spring flowers that were busting their way to the top to reach the warm sun to make their impending flowers bloom. I watched my dog run quickly for the squirrel that scampered quickly up the massive tree and then noticed her sniff the flowers that gathered around the trunk of the tree.
At that moment I realized more fully the term of stopping to smell the flowers or roses. It was then I realized how little we really need to make us happy when most everything we have within our reach is free. Take away the chaos and just look around you. You have heard the expression "On A Clear Day You Can see Forever" and today I felt I had done just that.
I have worked very hard to attain all the things that I have in my surroundings. I have spent countless hours perusing Ebay for the things that I thought that I must have to complete my desire. Hours of shopping to procure that must have to have item of clothing to wear. Moved up to the big house with acreage and plenty of squirrel friends and woodland creatures. Finally, last but not least, the proper vehicle with which to drive to make the explicit statement "I have arrived" only to be pulled into the garage to be parked till needed. All of this came with a price tag that was not of monetary value but of personal expense. Instead of looking around at the things that I already have I felt the need to acquire more which diverted my attention to the things that really mattered the most.
Today, the morning sun just added a new "light" dimension to the reoccurring realization of acquiring the unneeded and confirmed the fact that my overhead storage was ready for a major clean out. This would make my next flight out have less baggage in transport. Funny thing about clean out, it's what you do to the empty spaces after it is cleared that will determine what is to be put in it's place. One would hope for nothing and just keep the space empty to move around and get more in touch with having less. It will be a long overdue dismissal of everything that had an acquired urgency to procure and yet the interest has been rearranged and it is not as important anymore. Noticing the trees and seeing the leaves bust forth is amazing and how the cycle of life reappears at the first sign of spring. Spring cleanout as they call it, is repeating and giving you the opportunity to view and renew.
I look at the things around me and realize the state of inertia that exists for these pieces of desires,long faded away, have no big impact anymore and therefore must be replaced with simplicity. I can feel the winds of change beginning to blow underneath my wings. Removing the dead weight in the overhead storage will make for an easier liftoff. My urgency to appreciate the nature of things has taken hold and I want to land on greener pastures free of inanimate objects. I have friends that will keep the wind strong so that I won't fly alone and I will find the sunlight that is long awaiting me. I will always keep my desire for peace of mind alive because it is the hope just at my fingertips.
We will keep hiking our trails together, my dog and I, and now everyday I will bear witness to the renewal that spring offers and the changes that each season brings. When the fall whispers to the trees and tells it to shed it's leaves leaving the naked branches to withstand the winter's cold I now understand what is coming around the corner. Rest assured that the tree also cleans out it's overhead storage and patiently makes way for the spring renewal. The answer to your wildest and most amazing desire was there in front of your eyes all the time.
Clear the leaves of collected debris away and and let your branches reach out to new freeing destinations. Stay on your trail and look up to find your stream of light guiding you towards simplicity and an empty storage bin.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


With every holiday there are traditions that are carried on eventhough there may not be any family present. Your mind space carries on with the familiar feelings. Memories spring up of the past and your faced with the realizations that things have moved on and your just a bit further from what was. There are the moments that really tug at your heart and are forever emblazoned within its chambers. Those emotions release the feelings that make you relive the specialness of it all.

The Easter bunny hopped decisively quiet that special day and he carved a trail that led to the sweetness of teenage discovery. Within my secret basket lay the treasures that would soon come to pass, or as I call it my passover to realization.
I must say that it all happened quite easily as biology did its part to distinguish me to be different from the rest and so with the finesse of mother nature I answered my calling. The odd part came as fate and fate had it all planned from the beginning and I just acquiesced and followed the plan as it was deigned for me. Fate played her hand and I followed suit.
There was a multitude of people everywhere at this pre-holiday party. It was the day before Easter and a celebration the day before made it seem less obligatory for the family reunions the next day, so we partied it up the day before. Still a minor in the eyes of the law, a private party celebration took away all the dangers of getting caught drinking the liquid spirits that would be easily accessible. I was still a novice in learning the libation laws but I had a wonderful teacher who guided me safely through the etiquette of social sipping. He was always on the lookout for any unnecessary spillage that could cause an embarrassment for either party involved. I seemed to pass this with flying colors as I was still intact after it was all over.
On this special evening, I would encounter a person that would become my first real adult intimate connection, but little did I know just how much we would know about each other and end up having in common. Now remember, I was very naive and extremely provocative when it came to matters of the intimate nature. In other words a lot of thought and no actual realities. I feared no boundaries and everything was innocent and there was never enough time to get to tomorrow.
The happy atmosphere swirled around every room and everyone was playing the social game. I acted as if I had done it before and bluffed my way through all the conversations. I am sure I was fooling no one and my guardian best friend just kept the correct amount of distance to be sure and within eyesight should something go amiss. I was excited to be at this party as it was my first foray into adult socializing and I wanted to make a great impression. There were terms for young men who were naive and still virgin to experience and I fit the bill to a T. I acted as if I had done this many times before and no one was a stranger to me that evening. I encountered people who made suggestive innuendos that flew completely over my head and people who took the time to tell me to be safe and careful. It was all vibrantly exciting and my enthusiasm showed. The cloak of fear was nowhere to be found. I soon stuck up a friendly conversation with a most attractive gentleman sitting at the home bar area. I wanted to get another drink and suddenly, just like that, my cocktail guardian appeared and suggested strongly that he make the drink for me. Warding off any liquid disasters, I made no contest to try and do it myself.
It was at this moment that I made an effort to talk with this man. I could sense that my head was light from the previous cocktail which made for the ease to converse with a stranger who was older than you. We started with the usual pleasantries and ventured into topics of which I had little experience in. This was both scary and titillating at the same time. The more he talked the more I was entranced with the sound of his voice and his calm mature demeanor. It reminded me a long lost memory that resonated with familiarity. He made the conversation bend for my comprehension and realized that my youth played into my unawareness of a few things he spoke about.
The conversation was lilting and hypnotic as I sat there quietly melting on the bar stool with secret thoughts of indecent proposals I wanted to make, yet had no clue on how to proceed.
At one point my guardian best friend arrived and noticed my focused stance and came into the conversation to see what was going on between us. At that point I came back to reality and just tried to act nonchalant but he was right on cue for what was happening between us. After a few minutes he left feeling that the situation was safe enough for me to proceed, and that I did. However there would be a huge turn in the road that lay ahead. I restarted my verbal engine and we merged once again into conversation. I could not stop feeling that I had spoken to this person before or had a chance meeting as the resonance of his voice felt all too familiar.
I could not recall anything that may have connected us, yet the whole scene had a sixth sense of awareness that made it all surreal. The alcohol took away all inhibitions and since I am a notorious for asking too many questions, our conversation wound down to likes and dislikes of all things. This lead to favorite this, or that and then the favorite music category came up. I was still in the swell of the moment and I felt a glow unlike anything before and my physicality pressed in closer as the evening wore on.....I could not relinquish the feeling of familiarity that hovered around us but I still had no clear channel to hone in on to clarify my concern. There could have been a lot going on around us but it all went unnoticed as we just kept on talking. While he was not very strong on details I could sense that he was being cautious, not just because of my age, but also because he knew that I had someone watching out for me and did not want to make any uncertain advances until the signals were clearer. Many times I kept repeating that we must have met at some time, yet I knew we had not, but somehow I knew all about him. It was as if this
secret person had magically appeared and you just moved forward with no fears attached. I wanted the evening to go on forever as it all felt so right.......until........the magic question was asked.......
What kind of music do you like and who is your favorite singer?????? His response was very pointed,candid and explicable. Then it came my turn to answer the same question. Fate zeroed in and then fired.... the bullet struck him abruptly and he took a gasp and then silence fell upon him. He made no move to speak right away. To this point in our conversation we still had not introduced ourselves with actual names so the first thing he asked,after the heavy silence,was my name. With no trepidation I replied and the look in his eye was all telling that something was wrong. I asked his name and with his reply nothing connected.....YET
Neither of us had given a last name yet but it was all to much for him to hold off asking so he inquired and I replied and then he replied with his last name. Still, for me, there was nothing to connect us but he had made the connection and I was too young to get it right away.
It would have appeared that I was not clear thinking as the slight intoxication of the drinks made a synapse of brain information but then the light began to shed it's glow on the situation. My favorite singer response sealed the connection.
I quickly blushed with anxiety and became suddenly shy with whom I had been speaking with all evening.
His voice penetrated me from the beginning and I could not shake the familiars but I had no clear identifying picture to connect it too...till now. Of course, I had known him. as a matter of fact we had known each other for almost ten years. Not by an actual meeting, we spoke daily on the phone. Sometime we spoke to each other twice a day. You must understand this.....he was the disc jockey from our local radio station that I had called one, two or three times a day to request a song from my favorite singer, of which he gratefully obliged and always sent a special dedication to me. The connection of my name and favorite singer suspended us in the moment and we melded together in a long overdue embrace,each of us saying thank you for being there all those years. He told me how he would look forward to my calls and would go into his time slot and keep my favorite records close by as he always expected my calls and knew when I was home from school. I recalled some of our conversations and how encouraging he was to me during those parental moments and long school days that seemed to never end. I was extremely infatuated and drawn to this man because I knew him and felt the safety from the years of talking to him. He was mature enough to know that I might be heading into something that I could not possibly know how to handle and he took the slow approach. He schooled me in the finer things life could offer and he opened my eyes to his profession of radio and reporting. I met some amazing celebrities and was accepted and welcomed by his friends. The personal times we spent together made an encouraging impact on me. Fate had brought us together for a reason and time proved to be our friend. I was just teenager and he was an unknowing mentor that offered hope for the future.
He would go on to be a stronger radio and television personality and I moved on toward my future. We kept in contact for a while but he was to be transferred to another area station and we lost touch.
The most miraculous thing would happen eight years to the date of our first physical meeting. I was visiting my best friend in Washington D.C. and we stopped off for a happy hour drink in Dupont Circle that afternoon. This bar had a jukebox and of course I would always play my favorites. At the exact moment my favorite singer began singing, the door opened and in he walked. I was stunned and walked over to say hello......he was surprised and happy to see me and, of course, once the music was recognized we connected yet once again as if time had not passed. There was an amazing reality to it all and to this day, I am so thankful for our special moments of life we spent together.

He has since passed on but his memory still is ever present for me and for many of us who still remember his voice and his DJ name.
How was I to know that he and I were on the same flight for ten years yet we had different seat assignments.
That is until we got bumped up together to First Class and had a drink together.