Friday, June 25, 2010


At first I thought that she was just loitering around our store as she perused through each section of costumes that hung on the racks. I watched as she lifted piece after piece of clothing and marveled over the detail of workmanship. I could not help but notice her thick mane of hair that had a glowing essence of a bad hair color job as the glow was muted pink and my eye for hair detail told me me that there had been no "loving care" applied when it came to this store bought color. I noticed that she was very curious about our company and asked the questions that so very few people asked in such a professional demeanor. She was there to procure costumes for a professional job that she had been hired to do and needed a specific theme to them all.
I listened with the great detail given and I knew that I would need to get the design experts out to go over the information needed to answer all her questions. I had no idea at that moment that she was soon going to be flying as a passenger on the same flight that I would be sharing with her through this particular life experience. Before I removed myself from the meetings of the design team, I made it very clear that she was far too young to walk around with pink hair and in my aggressive manner made it a direct point that she get herself to the salon and have that removed pronto as it was not a hue that would denote her amazing talent for detail. The minute she smiled I knew that she instinctively knew that I was right and when I turned to leave I quietly hoped that she would appear again as I knew that karma was playing her hand in that first physical meeting.

She appeared again alright, as a matter of fact she graced our presence in the store almost daily going over the preparations needed for her client and won the hearts of all involved in the projects that we had been hired to do for her. She would carry the crown of "THAT GIRL" and would wear it proudly.
She was our first big production contract and who knew that she would bring even more clients after that event. In fact she was her own advertising company and would relate her experience with our store to many who walked in which added to the success of our store.

She waltzed into our lives and made it clear that she was there to stay. The plane door had been shut and we took off for the flight of a lifetime.
Her stature exuded a tone for directness. You never had to worry where you stood in her eyes. You always knew that you were her friend and the dedication gave you the rare sense of safety when she was around. Her tongue was pointed and candid which fit into the survival of all involved in our business. She could derail you with her wit and use of language, perhaps sweet sometimes and it created great paragraphed sentences with many four letter words involved, if need be. It could put you over the edge with laughter. She was a unique woman who did not move down the same trails as most women. There was a distance that she kept in matters of love. There was not the usual flailing unrequited stories of love gone wrong, or gnashing of teeth in gaining some sort of control over a man. That part of her life played out like a silent picture seen or heard only by the chosen few who would belong to any knowledge of the whereabouts of her lover. The dignity and respect of keeping her personal life close and personal was in deed an attribute that many could learn from. She chose her emotional comfort in doing things her way and knew the consequences of her choices. It only would make her the stronger of the bunch and in her solitude, on some occasions, make her dyingly sad.

There were too many people in her life to allow down time for too much self pity and she would always be the leader when it came time to work or having a party. The finesse to which she moved in a gathering of people was an enviable trait that I learned a lot from. She could command a room full of executives and keep them entertained by her professional way of taking charge.

If you needed someone to talk too, her ear was always there listening and never judging her right from your left. Everyone was an equal. She grew up in a small Pennsylvania town and had a firm family unit. As usual for a Mother and Daughter there was the tension that would create the distance to which made for a safer relationship on the parental side.
Her Mother was truly a defined woman. While short in height, she would make it up by using innuendo swipes at the one daughter who took the punches with impatient aplomb. Her MOTHER had married a man that held her up to the highest standard that is usually lost in a marriage as time moved on. Yet she maintained the ability to raise the most responsible woman I have ever met. Whenever her Mother would visit it would create confrontations that would send her happy demeanor flying out the door which would take her to the nearest friends house that held libations and natural herbs. It would be there that she would release the demons that needed to be set free and respect that "Mother" was tearing her physche apart. I always respected how she would walk away before the cutting of the tongue appeared. I always held a special place for the "TILL" and still smile at the graceful way she could sting you with her directness. She was loved by all who had the privilege to meet her and was always a welcomed family member.

The times that I have shared with this flight partner still resonate through me at least once a day. She was there when I had my first fight with GIN and the aftermath that was left in her car when I lost the battle from motion sickness. She put me to bed where I remained for three days healing from the physical wrath that it put my body through. We spun through Europe nearly dead with some kind of dreaded influenza that tore our lungs apart from coughing and still she smiled even as a dental malfunction took precedence with tongue craziness. I got the opportunity to tackle the thickest head of hair that I have ever seen in my career and she trusted my instincts for change.
She adored my dog and could create a scream from my canine that only she could get out of him. "Aunt DeeDee" was cherished by my pup and whenever her name was mentioned his ears would perk up in happy anticipation the she would walk in the room. The joy that my pup created for her encouraged her to take the plunge and adopt the cutest white bichon puff ball. Rosie dog would steal the hearts of all who got to spend time with her. She would be the ultimate love in her life and surround her with the unconditional love that she so deserved. When both dog children had to depart our lives, together she and I spilled the many tears of joy that those two animals put inside our hearts. Their heavenly love still surrounds us everyday in remembrance.

The connections we now share are in a long distance mode in this cycle of our life but the silent communication still travels within me. I know that I am being thought of with never having to talk to her. I have been lucky to be able to travel throughout this karmic life with knowing her . She unknowingly imposed a wealth of knowledge and compassion to me that I have used to better myself as a person. Whether spinning around in a MAIRE ANTOINETTE dress or being disguised in a picnic costume I could always pick her out of a crowd as her ray of light was a bright spot in my life.

I am looking forward to the renewal of our next cycle of life, as our maturity will gather us together again and we will be warm in the 4Th of July sun. There we will splash together on our floating island in the pool of water known as "FRIENDSHIP"

Thursday, June 24, 2010


It is always interestingly silent when I sit down to write out the words that flow like water down a river, inside my head. Yet today, although starting off extremely fatigued from a long night of anxiety, I was awakened to the sunlight that has been so evasive over these last few seasons and as I lay there gathering my courage to get out of the bed and make the first step on to the floor, I thanked the weather gods for removing the grey clouds that have been hanging around for way too long. After getting my share of dog licks and turning on the tea kettle, I turned and noticed the view on the deck just outside the glass french door. It was there that a couple of spiders were furiously making their webs and the sound of the clanging top of the squirrel feeder as the squirrels feasted on their daily portion of nuts. I opened the door and as I was about to step outside, suddenly whizzing by, was our favorite hummingbird as it was ready to drink some of its morning nectar from its feeder. I had heard that if you hold out your finger near the feeder they would perch and not be afraid of you to do them any harm. At that split second of sleepy foggy memory I slowly opened my hand and down it perched, staring straight into my eyes to sense my human aura. I was so caught up in the nature of this and his satin red neck and white underline that I did not realize that I was a couple of feet from the feeder.
I slowly moved in toward the feeder and he sat on my finger and drank his early morning nectar meal. After drinking for a minute off he flew to continue his day, or so I thought. I then made my way back in for my cup of tea and as I finished preparing it I walked towards the door and my bird friend returned looking for me near the door. Once again he perched upon my finger and I calmly moved him in for more nectar of which be obliged greatly, only this time when he finished he looked at me once again and flew towards my face and bumped his beak to my lips ever so quickly and flew off. I could taste the sweet nectar drop that was left behind and felt that I had been given a great big nature kiss from such a tiny bird.
All day long the vision of that particular incident moved around in my brain as I searched for some kind of meaning to it. Only I did not need to ponder it with such intensity as the answer was there all the time. All I did was reach out to help a friend, albeit a winged friend, but still it was all about trust between two live entities. This fast flying bird moved at such a speed that would equal the pace at which we all move on a day to day basis.
All of us wanting to so desperately trust each other that we keep the chaos in our lives so we don't have to take the time to notice who needs help and to reach out to help each other.
He delivered his thank you in the only way he knew how. The one beak droplet of sweet nectar was like a potion of happiness. I felt that I had been given a renewal of sorts. The sun was streaming and all was beautiful and green. It was amazing to witness such a vision and to finally be more aware of all things free that surround me.
I could not shake the feeling that the universe was definitley delivering a major message here and while I sit and write this, I don't have the clue as to what it may be, but I get the feeling that my plane is being refueled and checked for malfunctions on board. The detailed instructions as to where the destination is, has not been given to me exactly yet, but I know that the map is being drawn and I will be reading it very soon.

My little droplet of sweet nectar still coats my lips with the joy that I was trusted today and perhaps tomorrow someone else will hum the meaning of trust that is long awaiting in their lives.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Since my itinerary was blank and I had no scheduled flight outings on this particular night, I decided to take the time and visit my local club and have a cocktail and proceed with whatever the evening may have to offer. While it always seems like the thing to do in going out on a Saturday night, it was one thing I always dreaded doing. Upon entry of any club I would always sit facing the exit sign and usually make an early getaway. On this particular night, a new flight passenger traded in his ticket for a night in the town and promptly procured a seat next to me. I did not make the initial conversed contact but somehow we ended up speaking and enjoying the time just sitting and passing the time. It was one of those moments that you realize intuitively that you have something in common with this particular human presence and at that spark of connectivity a new friendship blooms. Twenty nine years later a person like me writes about the person that I have had the privilege to know in an era of time.

He was certainly unlike most of the people that I would call acquaintance or friend. The life information that I was privy to on that meeting definitely set him apart from the rest. It seems he was from the great state of OHIO and grew up in a wonderful loving close family and had just recently moved to the fair city of Atlanta. College had just pushed him out the door and he was making his way into the city life of the south. It was a bit of a shock to his system, but his naivete and his youth were his saving grace. He was intriguing, funny and offered me insight into the world of theatre and costume design and made it clear that was where he wanted to make a living. I dug deep to reach areas of his brain and asked him in detail about all the things of which he shared on the topics of his interests.
I was mesmerized to find out this wealth of information and that created a seat on my next flight destination into the world of theatre and all its entities.

He made it out of the baby boomer generation by being born with a 1960 birth year. Eventhough eight years separated us there was a bit of a generation gap, and I took on the role in a rather fatherly way of offering a helping hand in the future that we would share as friends. At the time he was sharing an apartment with a uniquely different chap who at times spooked my new friend and he was researching a new place to live and as fate would have it I offered space in the new home that I had just purchased. I had not lived with a roommate but it was a decision that definitely sealed the long term friendship. The amazing gift of decoration spilled out of him as easily as an artists rendering except with material appliques. He could arrange anything and have it stand out as an art piece. His eye for color and texture was amazing. The ability to sketch a costume and see it unfold in its material was as beautiful as a rose unfolding before your eyes. The intrinsic detail with which he worked was something to watch.
He was laden with many ideas of what to do and where to go with his brilliant talent. Soon Dame Fate showed him her card and then another bout of college carried him away to procure his higher degree. It was there that the he walked the halls toward a theatrical costume master education that he would unfortunately grow to detest, at least for a time period. The political endurance's that came from within the teachings of college would have an effect on his psyche and would lead to conflicts in learning to resign oneself to an authority figure. That one area we both shared, as being told what and how to do it was not our best area in complacency of life. As father time moved on he completed the degree and came back to start a more focused direction into his chosen talent.
It was truly a love hate relationship when it came to matters of design, fabric and materials. Deadlines and time restraints would always be pushed to the very second of that particular timeline and days and nights would meet one another and somehow he would always pull through to complete what was expected of him. It was maddening yet curiously enviable to watch it all smooth out in the end. We shared the common fact that most people annoyed us which created some very hilarious moments if others were to be involved. He was much more outgoing than I and his family roots kept him grounded. We experienced the passing of our Mothers, both within a short time of our newly found friendship. I envied the strong family unit that moved him through that experience with love and grace and remains that strong to this day.

We embarked on a business together, it would be something that would garner us both a bit of local fame and local pain. It was a choice we would both commit to and see it through to its end. It perhaps was the biggest struggle in dealing with the people that annoyed us the most and knowing that we had to rely on each other for backup in any situation of executive decision making. That put us into a drivers seat which would take us down roads with ruts and potholes yet we would always find the asphalt after the endurance test. It strained us both physically, mentally and emotionally and still we held tight to that hidden friendship line that no one else could see.
We always knew that the universe would deliver the time when we would walk away from our success with a positive outcome. When that time appeared we graciously celebrated the finale and could feel the weight removed from our shoulders. To this day we smile and have come to realize that we took a chance and lived to tell and carry with us the incredible story of what great success came from sharing an idea.
When the business sold we took our resources and recreated new home environments. He moved on to his separate living space and once again worked his magic in designing the areas of life that he occupied. There would be people who moved in and out of our lives and still the our bond was there for each to count on as it is to this day. I always hoped that I encouraged the right things and felt that we showed each other experiences that altered our lives in a positive way.
I look at him as a late bloomer and can see that he carried himself through all the good and bad. The trials of another business would be successful but it would take its toll on his private life that was so needed to balance any existence. Still, all in all he would move on to become the enigma that he most detested in the world of college life.
The role of "teacher" and mentor was to be his gift of next career path. This would create a better understanding to what was annoying at another time and place in his life. As with most of us, impetuous youth will always trigger a lack of patience and selfish thinking. It was in this role that he would look at things in the same way that his mentor did and would come to understand the answers to those questions asked long ago.

My long time flight partner would have held many accolades if Hollywood and Broadway would have called. Ah...but then again that would include too many people and would have to bring about too many unavoidable groups and paparazzi that would have been witness to the tongue lashings that would have been the front pages of Enquirer and Star magazine.

Often I hold silently an awe of inspiration that comes from knowing this person for many years. The joy of returning back for visits and evening reminiscence is a private delight to share. A telepathic link connects us even when we are not in contact for a period of time. We will still have the opportunity to take new flights together and though we have mileage between us the shared memories will soar us to destinations past and will define the airspace for the future shared flights.

I look forward to sharing the cocktail cart on that celebratory flight to his life's half century mark. I am sure that the spirits will flow through our veins, and the next day after the partying, I will know for certain that I will no longer have to be the only one getting the special discount on meals and cocktails. We then will be traveling together in the well deserved senior first class sharing the incredible view of what autumn in life has to offer.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


While the grey storm clouds move swiftly overhead, the rain that pours down over my psyche keeps me aware that something is brewing within the compounds of my mind. The endless rain keeps the mood at an all time low and the inability to see any sunlight keeps my doors shut tight to stay warm and ward off the impending dampness.
My soul feels afloat on a plane to nowhere yet the burning desire to be somewhere else leaves me with a feeling of unknown destinies that are creeping into my reality.
The last time I had this feeling, my MAN-O-PAUSE was developing and it developed into a sling shot that sent me clear across the US of A and landed me in this very staid environment, of rain and absence of sunshine that fed me the energy that eludes me now.
Of course I would love to write about the person responsible for this madness but I have no one to blame except my arrogant and newly humbled self for the changes that occurred by my life change. This adventure in the land of granola and trees has brought attention to myself and all things nature in life that I missed along the paths of yesterday. I definitely was unaware of all the things that I never took the time to finish in the yesterdays of my previous environment. That led to the realization that the very people, places and things that cloaked me in distraction were about to be greatly missed by my life destination choice. I ever so arrogantly created this blank unidentifiable wall that no one could penetrate with information that might have altered this choice. I defiantly kept my focus on my selfish attitude and walked forward deaf and impenetrable from all negative information. This definitely shrouded me from changing my mind, my arrogance got in the way of information that would have altered where I would land in my future destination.

There was excitement in the air leading up to my jaunt across America. I sold my house and took several months to neatly pack all the items into the many boxes that would arrive at my new destination at a later date. I never noticed that the material things that got packed, would hold more than I put into it physically. With each item there was attached unveiled and unresolved issues that hid themselves inside the objects I held so dear.
The time to begin my adventure seemed to never arrive soon enough. When I put the key into the ignition and had the dogs in the car, and my best friend with me to start the journey, the tires began to roll down the highway which put the extra mileage on unresolved issues that would lead me down another highway toward myself.....and that was a VERY LONG JOURNEY to the end of that highway of life.
It was titillating and fun to be silly and laugh cross country. Of course the Xanax and cocktails along the way kept it all light and wistful but the arrivals at our destinations along the way inched me closer to my airport for the crash landing that would occur at a later date. I never took the time to look at what I had built in my previous life port and what I destroyed with the sledgehammer of arrogance and stupidity. I defied the laws of yin and yang and rolled into the person that I ran from so discretely.
As the first few months of life in my new environment ticked by, I was like the kid in the playground. There were new sights, sounds, people and new surroundings. It was like an exciting feeling of a new drug that didn't tell you of it's side effects. I felt no need in trying to relate to the past so I did not keep actively in touch very often with the past that I left. As the time passed by I began to have too much time on my hands and the very friends and things that kept me distracted so well were no longer present and I had to listen to the information that began to crack open and pour through the brain cells that had been altered by chemical living. The ultimate reality would not hit me until that big truck arrived months later filled with the boxes that would build the fort of cardboard that would surround me and hide me from the outside world that I was currently living in. It however did not do much good to shield me from the world that I left behind, no, that came packed ever so neatly inside the boxes of selfish pride and arrogance.
I never meant to start that climb into the depths of the hell that my new valley held. I took the first step down when I opened the first box of the neatly packed possession's which unleashed a possession of it's own. As I began to unveil it's contents and hoping for no damage in transit, unbelievable reality eerily creeped into my vein's, and spread though me like a disease ready to infect every cell of my being with it's corrupt virus.

What have I done?
I looked around at the fort of boxes that crowded the living space I now called home and realized that I had packed up the same misery that I so wanted to leave behind. It came in the forms of material things but came attached with the viral load of unfinished problems that were pushed aside and never dealt with. It would start the spiral downward and put me on the floor shattered with realities spreading out from my injured misguided emotional mind like blood seeping it's way out of an injured body, releasing the life source that sustained it's very existence.
I began to bleed out the unfinished, unrealized, realities of the person that I was before and would never be again. It was devastating and took me to the floor where I stayed hidden inside the fortress of boxes that were stacked highly around the domain I named "HELL".

The following months were hard to recall as I lived within the confines of boxes, booze and barbiturates. The most labor that I did was the screwing off the tops of bottles that held my existence within. It was a crutch that held off the impending doom toward the arrival to myself. With each pill and cocktail that I took, the side effects just unwrapped more unfinished business. The only music that was played or heard was the "Song Of My Life" and boy that was one warped recording. It would take many long days and nights that led to many months before the courage to open those boxes arrived.
That particular day was not a pretty one. Much like today with the rain, grey skies and dampness all around, it ignites the memory of the day when I fell into the pain of all the befores.
The day arrived like all the rest, a hazy blur of the twenty fours before, the present twenty fours hours arrival. Only this time I awoke, not in a bed that smelled of liquor, but in the middle of a staircase leading up to the next floor above. Through the glass in the front door an actual ray of sunlight pierced my eyes and silently invited me towards it's warmth. I had no recollection of what happened the night before except the knotted muscles that ached from the contorted positions of how I slept on the stairs for god knows how long. At that very moment of awakening I had to make a decision to either stay down or get up. I was in no position to make that choice, yet humility took control and I stood up and moved upwards to the next floor toward my fort of material loneliness.

I made the repeated promise during my hot shower to take the plunge and get those damn boxes out of my sight. Now, realize that I had been procrastinating this same monotonous promise for months and still no action had occurred on the issue. However that shower and it's healing warmth seemed to do the trick. I like to believe it was magic water that sprinkled over my body that numbed me for the reality that I would soon embark on. The second the water was turned off, I once again began to avoid the inevitable. My best choice of an excuse to stall was to take the dogs for a walk and that would put more time distance between the dance I had to do with the boxes. I had myself pretty convinced that I would put it off another day, when I received a call that some dear friends from the past were making their visit my way. If that was the case then they would find out that I was a fraud and living like frightened, scared, lost human mess. I would have to pull it together and had less than 2 weeks with which to do so.
I reached for my liquid courage, took a huge gulp and once again opened the first box that I had so eagerly sealed back months before. I carefully and slowly lifted out the contents and assumed my position on the placement of each item. All the virtual memories surrounded the items and added more weight to my already laden brain overload. I endured hour after hour of paper and bubble wrap that surrounded each piece and anguished over the next box that I lifted from the stacks still standing. At times it felt surreal like someone else was doing the unpacking and I was the observer. Day after day I repetitiously opened, emptied and placed the contents from within all those cardboard containers. Each day my vision of solitude became more and more apparent only now I had to look at the items that stimulated my view from the past. To say I was in shock, was mild. I was extremely overwhelmed and frightened beyond anything I have ever experienced. Those final words from my previous psychotherapist became decidedly true. As I approached to leave his office for the last visit in finding out about myself he pointed out most directly one main thing to be aware of. Eventhough I went thru my deck of cards which represented my personality one card at a time, he made it very clear that the patterns of behavior, eventhough recognized, will reappear if you are not on guard to stop them before they repeat. That thought consumed me throughout my unpacking process and it would be the awakening statement that I needed, once again, the guidance of a professional or else discontinue life as I knew it at the moment.

I made it through the unpacking process unscathed of any physical damage, but the internal workings of my mind were no longer spotless. It was one big cloudy jumbled mess of unsolved emotions that needed to be put into some kind of order and a perspective to which I could relate to. Unfortunately winter had made a delayed exit and the water never ceased to flow from the clouds that languished by everyday. I did not know or want this kind of environment and my urge to flee and retreat became my objective. How could I run away and admit defeat without giving in to the fact that I did not completely think this transition through completely. After confessing that in a private session with the head shrink, I awkwardly realized my own answer to that pointed question.
If I HAD thought it through and walked in the fields of "WHAT IF'S, I would not be recognizing all that needed to be dealt with if I HAD stayed put, where it all seemed safe and serene, yet unfulfilled. I knew at that moment that I had to bear the pain of this life choice recognition before I could move forward toward any peace of mind. I left that office extremely nauseous and made it home in time to vomit out the first load of pain that encapsulated by entire being. Yes my new friend would be Mr. ToTo Porcelain, and with each arrival of recognized truths about myself, he would always be waiting for me to release a little more bile of crap that projectiled out of my mouth and into the bowl of water that would be flushed away, with hopes of never returning again. As each day passed and the seasons changed, I began to adjust to the choice that I had made. I began to venture beyond the confines that I felt so safe in and which overshadowed the future that I had planned to conquer when I arrived high in fantasy of a new life.

I asked my genie for a new life, and the universe delivered just like it always does, however I forgot to include more details when I asked for my wish. I discovered that you can always get what you asked for, just be careful that you know EXACTLY what IT is in detailed order. The aspects of which you didn't prepare for will rise up making you to have to think in ways you never knew existed within you.

I planned for a safe landing on arrival to my NEW self, however this time I crashed. It was a crash landing of momentous proportions. The plane on which I traveled blew apart and left the pieces of my ego spread across the three thousand miles that I traveled to the destination known as.... ME.