Category Archives: Love Stories

My answers to Nosy Questions #2

  1. Tell us how you met your partner. Please be specific in telling your tale. He was reading his poetry at a coffee shop in Santa Monica, California. I was 38 years old and had never been married but when I saw him, I immediately recognized him as the man I’d been waiting for. I didn’t go up to the stage afterwards as there was a crush of other women there wanting to talk to him. I was going to the University of Iowa that summer for their writing program, but when I got there, I thought, “What am I doing here when the man I’m supposed to marry is back in CA?” So I walked out of the dean’s office without registering  and went back to CA. A few months later, he came to one of my poetry readings (I still hadn’t met him at this point) and I saw him in the audience and changed the poem I was going to read to read one that dealt with my breakup with my boyfriend so he’d know I was available. It worked. He came right up to me after the reading and a year later we were married. It was my first marriage and his third. I had no children. He’d had 10!!! Four were still small and I helped raise them for the 15 years before his death.
  2. What is your most romantic experience, again with details? I fell in love with a man in a very remote spot in Africa. After about a week, we decided it was not going to work and I left to work my way northwards and to eventually make it to England, where I would find work. Events, however, made it necessary for me to stay on and not to immediately leave for Khartoum, where I was to meet a travel companion. In a few weeks, the matter that had detained me taken care of, I was ready to leave on a plane the next day when a letter arrived for me in poste restante. It was from my lover. In it he said it was the biggest mistake of his life sending me away and that I should come back and live with him until we were driven out by the rainy season and that then we would travel to all the places we had discussed and eventually get married. There were no phones in the remote area where he worked and so I had no way to reach him, but I cancelled my flight to Khartoum and got a flight on a small plane to fly to where he was. When I climbed down the stairs of the plane, there he was… his arms full of flowers. Later, when I asked his friend how it was that he knew I was coming, he said, “Judy, he met the plane with his arms full of flowers every day for a week. The Seven Olives hotel gave us permission to cut flowers from their garden.”  That night we went to dinner at the Seven Olives, the only small hotel in town. To get to the dining room, we had to walk through their gardens. They were totally devoid of flowers!”
  3. What is the most extravagant purchase you’ve ever made, and why did you buy it? A Jaguar SJ6. I’d met a man, a poet, at the Santa Barbara Poetry Conference. He was a man who got along on a lot of charm and very little money, which did not both me, but when he came down to visit me in Huntington Beach, he very quickly  wore out his welcome. He was getting grouchy and demanding, so one day we drove to Newport Beach and on the way stopped by the Jaguar agency to test drive a car just for the fun of it. This was supposed to be a lark. I’m sure he thought I was as down on my luck he was as I was staying in my friend’s guest room and, having run away from my life in Wyoming and come to the coast by train with one suitcase, I seemed to have very few worldly goods. But unbeknownst to him, I had just sold my house in Wyoming and had few expenses as my old friend’s estranged husband was paying for half her very low house payment and I was just splitting the other half with her, so when the salesman started negotiating, I bought the car, writing out a check for the full amount. My “friend’s” jaw dropped and his face was still frozen in a flabbergasted expression as we drove home in it. On the way home, I asked him when he was heading back to Santa Barbara. He left that night and I never saw him again but I surely did enjoy that car.
  4. What is your favorite swear word or expression, and when are you most likely to use it? “Asshole!” I’ve used it a lot since Trump came into office. Prior to that, I’d reserved it purely for rude drivers!!
  5. What is your favorite kind of pie? With or without ice cream? Chocolate pie with vanilla ice cream.
  6. While we’re on the subject, what is your favorite ice cream, and where did you last eat it? Pistachio Gelato. I last had a double dip at the Laguna Mall food court in Ajijc a few weeks ago.
  7.  Who is your most unique friend and why? (May be someone from the past.) My most unique friend is Forgottenman. He has the cleverest and quickest mind of anyone I’ve ever met. He’s quirky and loyal and corrects my apostrophe errors on my blog. And I love his bald head.
  8. What is your most irritating habit? My sister would say it is humming under my breath.
  9. Who was your favorite teacher and why? I’ve written about him HERE.
  10. Do you like being alone and if so, what would you probably be doing? Yes. I would be blogging or doing art or playing spider solitaire or in the pool, throwing balls for Morrie to fetch.
  11. What is the most outlandish thing you’ve ever done? Rented a WWII tank carrier to sail around the coast of Portuguese Timor through waters inhabited by Bugis pirates.I was young and stupid. you can read about it HERE.
  12. What superstition do you always follow? I never walk under ladders and if a black cat crosses my path when I’m driving, I turn around and go in the opposite direction for a block or so before going around the block and continuing on my way. I do not dislike black cats. I think they are beautiful and I would have one as a pet., just as I would climb a ladder. I just don’t walk under them or cross the path of a black cat. I also throw spilled salt over my left shoulder. Always.
  13. What famous person or animal have you met? Tell us about the meeting. HERE is my story about meeting John Wayne.

 

These are my answers to my own question Challenge, Nosy Questions.

Ta Da!!! Finished. Now you tell me your stories!!!!!

The Taste of Love in a Time of Cyber Romance

photo snapped on Mar. 12, 2020 by okcforgottenman, in direct response to Judy’s post.

The Taste of Love in a Time of Cyber Romance

We met on OK Cupid. I was in Mexico, he in Missouri, 1600 miles away. What we feasted on in those first stages when nine hours was too short a conversation was words.  Thanks to Skype, these words could be either written or spoken and could be accompanied by sight of each other.  The rigors of wearing makeup 24 hours a day were nothing compared to the agony of not talking for from 4 to 9 hours a day. He later admitted he couldn’t tell the difference between me in makeup and me without, but I had to admit this made little difference, for it is a peculiarity of Skype that the other person can’t see you unless you are seeing yourself, and to see myself in the pure unadulterated natural cramped my style. How could I be a vixen when I didn’t look like one? He granted the point. Why shouldn’t he, if he couldn’t tell the difference, anyway?

This point taken care of, we passed on to the next stage of computer dating: our first dinner date. He watched on his desktop computer as I prepared a salad. This was a long and lengthy process followed as closely as was possible using the camera from my laptop. He had not yet purchased a laptop, so when he repaired to the kitchen to prepare his meal, I heard sound effects but little else. When he returned to his desk in the living room, he laid his meal in front of his computer. I had yet to see it as I, in turn, placed my salad in front of me and proceeded to take my first bite, watching closely my technique according to my Skype image. I chewed politely and then smiled, revealing the lack of lettuce shards on my front teeth. I looked up. He was watching me as lovingly as usual. Now, it was his turn. 

“What are you eating?” I asked. “Ham,” he said. This said, he lifted a huge hunk of ham on his fork, taking a dainty bite and chewing happily. 

“What else?” I asked.

“Just ham,” he answered. And so he demolished the entire pound of thick ham steak, now and then washing it down with a healthy swig of rum and coke.

Rum and coke. It had been one of our bonding experiences to find that the drink of choice of each was not only Rum and Coke, but Bacardi Rum with Caffeine-Free Diet Coke. How could this not be a romance made in heaven? 

But as for our culinary compatibility? From 1,600 miles away it seemed to be less of a problem than it was three months later, when we first made physical contact.

Well, there was a resolution. He started munching on carrots. We both found a like mania for potato chips, but true romance bloomed when I found the full bar of Hershey’s Chocolate atop his refrigerator. Who says we need to concentrate on our differences? Hershey’s Chocolate? Yes. Our first true taste of love.

 

For fandangos-provocative-question-60: How did you meet your mate or current love interest?

Footnote to the Revolution

Footnote to the Revolution

The red clay from the cane field in your hair,
leaves pressed into my neck from lying in the tall stalks,
we heard in the trees
the movements of the shepherd
who had watched.
Later, at the Filowaha baths,
we washed ourselves from each other
and slept in a room
rattled
by the eucalyptus.
I would have wanted you more in that room
if I’d known about the bullet
already starting its trajectory through the minds
of men spending youth fresher than ours
in revolution.
I remember watching your shave
in the lobby barber shop,
your face mummied by the steaming towels.
I tasted bay rum afterwards
as we shared cappuccino.
Parked at the roadside near enough to hear our parting,
I imagine they drank katikala,
its bite sealing brotherhood
your blood would buy in the street
outside the Filowaha baths.

 

 

 

 

In 1973-74, I journeyed to and lived in Ethiopia. It was not my original intention to do any more than visit and pass through, but fate had a different plan in mind. I was first detained by violence, then by love. The Filowaha baths in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, were probably the equivalent of the “No Tell Motels” in Mexico, but for Andy and me, they were a place to be alone, to soak in hot water together and to make love with no listening ears. I guess that is what they were to everyone who visited, but there was nothing illicit in our relationship. We were both single and in what at the beginning we thought was a committed relationship that would end in marriage. His family had accepted this. My parents, thousands of miles away, had long ago given me the message that they did not want to know anything that, as my mother had stated, “would make them feel bad.” My sister knew, but they never did.

This poem actually chronicles two different visits to the Filowaha baths–one near the beginning of our relationship and the other our last night before I departed to fly back to the United States. On this second visit, we both knew we would probably never see each other again. Once again, we had figured out that the relationship wasn’t going to work, and our own feelings were complicated by the revolution that was already raging around us. We had both just spent a month in the hospital–Andu Alem recovering from the bullet that had gone all the way through his body as he defended me from a man whose intention was to kill me. Not able to return to my house, I had stayed in the hospital with him so we could both be guarded by his father’s soldiers.

Years later, when I made my first assemblage boxes, I made this music box that told the story I’d already told in the poem years before. The song it plays is “The Way We Were.” I’m now trying to tell the story a third time in a book. Now that I know the true ending to our story, I might have changed the poem, but I leave it as I once thought it was. There are many truths in our lives, according to which vantage point we are telling them from.  This story is as true as the very different story I will eventually tell, if I have the courage to face up to it. Please enlarge the photos go see the details which should be self-explanatory. The hand I sculpted out of clay. I photographed the assemblage box on the table where I had been rereading letters I’d written home from Ethiopia as well as letters Andu Alem and other friends living in Ethiopia had written me once I returned to the states.

Spendthrift

Spendthrift

Bliss can be a private treasure,
a thing of dreams and mist.
Not all worldly pleasure
 is within a lover’s tryst.

I exist in silence­­—
hidden from gross eyes
until an instant ambush
rocks me in surprise.

Pierces all my “shouldn’ts,”
spends my hoarded dimes,
melts my frozen assets
saved for future times.

We dare not look too closely,
lest we see adventure’s end.
If we knew what came of it,
we’d doubtless never spend.

We cannot live for endings
lest the story never start,
for all that lives in memory
is paid for by the heart.

The prompt today is bliss.

Love Stories

 

IMG_0304

What fewer love stories there would be if we could see their endings—so many middles of romances left unread by those who read their last pages first. When I remember each past first kiss, it is in a mirror half obscured by the future reflected in it. One love is forever caught underwater where it gasps for air. Another is ashes floating out in rings to touch the edges of a lake which is shrinking inward from its banks, as though in complicity to aid their settling along its edges. Another lies in small droplets of blood on a road where it was ambushed, too late to be a message of anything but regret for love that died before the lover and a lover who died too soon. There are all these deaths of loves—like a class for the unfortunates who, kept in after school, are made to trace their lines again and again in the belief that love is taught by repetition and that wisdom comes from practice.

 

Just Testing

Bloggers know this, but today I’m just reminding us all that best friends need not always be close at hand or even living in the same country. I’m leaving in a few hours to fly back to Mexico. My bags are packed and for the first time, although they are stuffed to the zippers, I’m leaving the U.S. with the same number of bags with which I left Mexico. What I’m not taking back with me are all the close friends and relatives who have made the rigors of traveling worth it. Prime among them is someone you’ve gotten to know a bit during these last few weeks of my trip. A bit of an agoraphobe, he has nonetheless not only paid host to me in his home but has also driven me through six states to visit other loved ones. I release him now, back to his computer and the grass that I am sure he’ll be mowing tomorrow.  Oh, and to Little Duck, for whom he has sole custody, while I merely have visiting rights. Although he goes by the name of okcforgottenman on his blog, he is far from forgotten.


dsc08669

Just Testing

If I were to choose from all the rest,
you are the one who’d ace the test.
You left your warm and comfy nest
to drive around at my behest.
I do not say it often, lest
you come to see me as a pest,
but though we tease and joke and jest,
you are the one I love the best.

 

The prompt word today was “test.”

Spinal Tap: NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 10–“Book Spine Poem”

Today’s NaPoWriMo Prompt: Write a “book spine” poem. This involves taking a look at your bookshelves, gathering a list of titles and using the titles to create a poem that is seeded throughout with your own lines, interjections, and thoughts. (Did I take the fun out of it by putting all the book titles in italics?)

Spinal Tap

The artist in his studio may anguish behind bars
while right outside his window are nights of rain and stars.
No kindness goes unpunished, my friend’s mother would say
in infinite jest­­­­––she knew that our hearts were young and gay.
She’s all blue shoes and happiness and feasts on cakes and ale.
He looks through a glass darkly as he nibbles on his kale.

When the sun also rises, he goes west with the night––
never seeing sunlight when it is at its height.
Books, paintings and poetry are the edge of man.
We have not seen the whole of him. In fact, we never can.
It is the face behind the face by which he must be gauged–
that face we never see at all if he keeps it caged.

We have the full cupboard of life, although it is not free;
and this world of the makers (whoever they might be)
is ours to pick and choose from, though we must pay the price
when we add our unique nature to others’ sage advice.
Our lives are jigsaw puzzles that each of us must solve
to form a different picture as our lives slowly evolve.

Reading adventure stories of someone else’s strife
cannot compensate us for an empty life.
Revolution from within cannot be won by reading.
To use The Joy of Cooking also takes some kneading.
Dust on my heart collecting–every year there’s more.
A little life is not enough. I must open the door.

We need new names and faces, some are heard to confess,
so who we are inside of them, no one will ever guess.
The husband’s secret shared only with the woman upstairs,
is someone else’s love story. Nobody really cares.
There is a village in the sun. I keep my real life there;
and someday, someday maybe I’ll join it if I dare.

 

http://www.napowrimo.net/day-ten-4/