Peach Bellini’s & Protein Shakes 

Happened to watch the better part of the super bowl with an 81-year-old woman named Virginia. 

Former professor at Georgetown University, now living bicoastal between Manhattan Beach and New York. 

Previously had her own practice as a Psychologist, having counseled many women in her years and a mother to two. 

She currently has a 69-year-old boyfriend with whom she still has sex. “He’ll walk around with an erection,” she quipped, “but his problem is he’s a Baptist, and I’m Buddhist, and he’s got custody of his daughters two kids, six and eight years old.”

I was surprised to hear her having sex at 81! I mean who knew? And she said that after so many years being married she didn’t think she would have those desires, at least not for sex, certainly though the cuddling. And that I can get. I loved cuddling with my beau. My head on his hairy chest, listening to his heart beat, his right arm around my back, pulling me close, naked, our legs intertwined, he has a habit of touching my feet with his. It’s my favorite place. Other than his face between my legs 🙂 but seriously. I love that place. The Nook is what I call it. I love to be there, it’s my happy place.  

I shared with Virginia how he’s pulled away from me in the past few months. She said that must kill you. It did. For two weeks I didn’t eat. I subsisted off of Peach Bellinis and Protein Shakes. I was an absent minded vacant mother and employee, quick to burst into tears if anyone dared to ask me a simple, “How are you?”

I was gutted. Eviscerated. I could t believe it was over. That the last time was the last time. But it wasn’t over. We have still been intimate. And I wonder, why did I put myself (and all those around me), through so much drama? And why did he do that to me? Or did I do it to myself?

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Is/Is Not

I wish that I could put my feelings on a shelf
High, out of reach, where they can’t be seen or even felt.
I wish that I didn’t love him
Didn’t pine for his sweet touch
Craving the feel of his body upon mine
His tongue cunnilingus between my thighs
His piercing blue eyes, staring deeply into mine
Wanting so to hear him say You’re ever mine, I’m ever thine.
I find that I am oh so mad
But the anger is really all me
How can I be so upset with him
When I knew about the boundaries?
I know my place in his world
I know where I stand,
He’s not really “my Man.”
He looks at me
With loving disdain
A distant admiration
I appreciate you his constant refrain
I cannot be mad, disappointed, or upset
I knew what I was getting into
Can’t cry, can’t fret
It is what it is,
And sometimes even what is not
But always will I want him
Love him, Crave him
He’ll never be forgot.

Hot Thing

The first time I heard Prince, it was from my neighbor across the street, a pretty red boned girl named Yvonne who had light green eyes and good hair.  She and I would ride our bikes across the beat up sidewalks of Pasadena near Lake and Villa, down south to Poo Bah’s Record Shop.  It was a dusty little slip of a shop on the South East corner of __ and ___.

Though small it was filled with albums, full LPS and smaller 45s, posters new and old adorned the walls and ceilings like rock and roll wall paper, telling stories with their images, causing emotions to rise and fall like the detritus of dust motes dancing around the room, made more evident by the sunlight beaming through the windows.

It was a magical place, a place to get lost in, your choices made not by listening to a track but just buying the album in its entirety or the 45.  There were no headphones to plug into and listen to see if you liked what you heard.  It was enough to know you loved that one song, and that was enough to get you into that store to buy it.

We would ride our bikes down there, not even bothering to lock them up, but dragged them up the four steps leading to the front door, where there was ample room from the wide porch, typical of old Craftsman style homes.  You see Poo Bah’s was once a cute little Craftsman Bungalow that probably housed a family of four, or a teacher from nearby Caltech, a nurse from Huntington Hospital.  It was old and full of character, its wooden floors no longer burnished and gleaming, its built ins no longer holding China, but records.  Who knew that old built ins would be so ideal for records?

records

 

Yvonne and I would peruse the album covers, walking back and forth between the aisles, excitedly pulling out an album that interested us, gazing upon the cover, anxiously flipping it over to see and read what was on the back, the heft of the album lending it an almost trophy like quality and presence.  Not like the flimsy CD’s of today or their predecessors, the cassette.  Only the 8 track and an album had brevity, had weight.  I think there’s a direct correlation between the message of the music and not just when it was released but in what capacity was it released?  Meaning, the good, soulful, blow your mind, crazy good and that’s some poetic shit music was released on 8 tracks and albums.  The more pop, bubble gum, aggressive type of music a la Britney Spears, Marilyn Manson, Blink 182, Ariana Grande, that’s all CD.

But Prince.  Prince came out in the 70s, his music on albums and later cassettes.  His first album, For You, released in 1978, when I was five-years-old.  By the time I made it to Poo Bah’s record shop, I was 11, and it was the summer of Purple Rain, reigned over by Prince, who had the number one album, movie, and song in the United States.  Yvonne, being two years older than me, was far more familiar with his work, having been allowed to see the R rated Purple Rain because she was 13.  At 11, the closest I could get to Purple Rain was gazing upon the album cover at Poo Bah’s, something about the white background, the flowers, the brazen Purple Rain written across the front, it stirred me, riled me up a bit.

 

purpleraincover

I distinctly remember hearing “Adore” while getting dressed one hot summer day.  The lyrics then and now resonate with me, they are the quintessence of love unconditional, just beautiful.  I remember thinking, “Wow.  Those words are SO pretty! I wish someone would feel like that for me!” because at the time Adore was being played on the radio, I was 13-years-old, tall and thin, with a frizzy head full of curls that refused to be tamed, and Coke bottle thick red framed glasses that were constantly sliding down my face.

Yvonne was 15 by then and not really interested in my company anymore, so I would often ride my bike by myself from Pasadena up to Altadena. My reward would be cruising downhill, the wind blowing my hair back, my muscles relaxing after the uphill ride. I would think a lot on those solo bike rides, and I would pray to have a best friend and to be pretty. That’s what I pined for, that and to be one day be adored like in the Prince song of the same name.

Seven years later I went to Prince’s nightclub in Downtown Los Angeles. Glam Slam. On the corner of 3rd and Boylston. I had a fake ID that I had memorized, and was all smiles and googly eyes at the burly security guard. I always believed you get more with sugar than with salt, so a sweet disposition would be more beneficial for my 20 year old ass to get into the club.

I remember being on the dance floor with my English girlfriend Julie. She was wearing my white knit body suit, her straight brown hair cut blunt and long, bangs hanging over her eyes. We were dancing when yet another security guard barreled his way over to us. My heart sank, sure I would get asked to leave for being a minor.

He was coming straight for me. I stopped dancing and looked at him, wide eyed, without guile.

He took a breath and said, “Would you like to meet Prince?”

NOW my heart REALLY sank. Sank and came back up with the force of a gunshot from the barrel. Would I like to meet Prince?! Are you f*cking kidding me?!

“Yes,” I said, and he quickly turned on his heel to show me the way. “Excuse me,” I said, and he turned back to me. “What about my girlfriend?” I asked, pointing towards Julie who was at the bar getting a glass of water.

The security guard looked her way, from feet to face, and back to me. “No,” he said, “just you.”

And away we went, up the stairs to a closed door. He opened the door and stepped aside.

There he was. Prince. Sitting on a sofa in a suit and sucking on a Tootsie Roll Pop.

My body was shaking uncontrollably, as though I were having a small seizure, or I was freezing cold and could not get warm. I remember sitting across from him, our knees touching, and tensing the muscles in my legs to stop them from shaking. I was nervous, anxious, excited, exhilarated. Prince. He wanted to meet me! To talk to me!

And it all started with Adore and me walking through a door.

Music is my Silence

Johan. 

I try to keep my music neutral, opting for the type of lounge/hotel music that tends to appeal to almost all types. 

The type of music that gets your toes tapping but not so distracting as to be too much. 

When I pick up Johan, Miles Davis’s Freddie Freeloader is playing. 

And so begins our discussions of music. 

He said, “I know so much that it’s kind of like watching a movie and reading the script at the same time, sometimes I wish I could just turn my brain off!  And now with the philosophy classes that I take, I think about so many things…I love music, it’s my one time in the day when I can just be calm, like meditation.” 

Speaking of meditation, he likes to listen to “ambient calm on Spotify.”

I dropped him off at LMU. He is the oldest of three boys, mom a classical pianist, he loves jazz. The youngest brother is a junior in high school and the middle son is studying piano at CSUN. He hated piano when first introduced to it, “I wanted to play Power Rangers!” 

Now? He loves it. Twelve years of age was the shift for him. After he leaves my car I park and grab a coffee from the vendor on campus, and walk over to where the campus overlooks the hills of the city. 

The day is still, the sun is bright, not a cloud in the sky because of the wind from the night before. 

I gaze at the city – to the West I see the Pacific, and East I see downtown. It’s so clear I can see Hollywood and the beginning of Century City. It’s so serene and I’m thinking wow, I get to see this! Something so simple, yet so pleasing to see. Similar to the sounds of music, melodies in my ear, the sounds of silence and serenity. 

From Play Date to After Hours

11:00 am and I’m sitting on the floor with two five-year-old boys, an eight-year-old boy and girl and an eleven-year-old boy, surrounded by Legos, a game of Chess, and Mario Monopoly.  The scent of freshly baked, made from scratch cinnamon rolls fills the air, and my NMF (new Mommy friend) is sitting on the worn and cozy leather sofa crocheting an eggplant colored baby dress.  The children flit back and forth from Legos to Monopoly to the outdoor trampoline like bees searching for nectar.


Hours later and I’m at work, clad in tight black pants and a fitted denim shirt with push up bra that puts my girls on display.  I’ve traded the young children for grown men and women and instead of Legos and Chess, the games being played are cat and mouse, women and men flirting and commiserating, equal parts shy, coy, and titillating.

Because my boys are with their Dad this weekend, I decide to be spontaneous and go to an after hours with one of the girls and two of her friends whom we both know from the club.  We take an Uber to downtown LA, to an after hours strip club that actually has a line 15 deep, replete with security decked out in suits and ear pieces, quick to pat down every man that gains entrance and search every woman’s purse.

We are ushered into a decent sized foyer/lobby that is designed in muted earth tones with burgundy accents. 

Money exchanges hands and a heavy black door is open, the once muted sounds of bass becoming louder as we cross into another room, where in the middle sits a circular stage with a gold stripper pole in the middle, and all around the stage are men, huddled and close, the kind of close that under normal circumstances would be a total invasion of personal space, but when it’s men trying to get a glimpse of some ass and titties? Hell, there’s almost no such thing as too close for comfort. As the guy in front of me says to no one in particular, “Air-E body trynna see that shit rye hear.”

Of course “that shit rye hear” is a dancer named Sinammon. I think back to my morning play date and laugh a little. Something tells me ain’t no other Mommies in my hood going to after hours strip clubs let alone even a regular strip club!

Choices 

“She’s seeing someone else,” he sighs, gazing over my right shoulder to where she stands, flirting with a customer.

The music is loud, the lights are low. He takes a sip of his Jack and Coke and again, sighs.

“She met this guy, and he’s totally loaded. He’s basically taking care of her. He lives in Texas so she doesn’t see him too much, which is probably why we even still see each other because if he were here, I don’t think she’d have the time or even want to see me.”

He pauses and takes another healthy sip of whiskey. He looks at me, “But she needs me, because of her son.  She can’t drive now and if she wants to have her son for the weekend, she has to have a means of transportation. And it can’t be Uber or Lyft. The Dad said so. So, I help her. And he’s like my kid, you know? We’ve been together for six years and he’s 11 now. So I kind of feel used because she’s seeing this guy in Texas and she says she’s in love with him, but…..”

“He’s supporting her?” I ask

“Yeah. So I feel like she’s using me but, I know, I’m letting it happen but I also feel kind of responsible because I wasn’t a good boyfriend. I wasn’t treating her right, and I feel like if I hadn’t made the choices I made then maybe SHE wouldn’t have done what she did and we wouldn’t be where we are now. It’s like, she’s become this other person. She’s not the same girl I used to know. And I feel partially responsible for that.”

I take all this in, all this information from a man, and I hate to say it, but a man I honestly only kind of remember. Someone whom I haven’t seen in a good six years, and he’s just, completely confessing to me, sharing his story.

When “she” spoke to me, she told me she was doing well. She stood in the same spot as he did at the bar, except she was regaling me with her experiences since we last saw one another.

“Do you remember me?!” She asks.

“I do,” I reply, “I remember your face. You definitely look familiar. But I can’t remember how long or anything.”

“Yeah it’s been awhile. I’m a dominatrix now!”

Her eyes sparkle and she leans into me as she says this, and my eyes widen in surprise and absolute interest. Because hello! A dominatrix!! And her!? She’s eye level to me in her stripper shoes, so maybe 5’8″ and about 125 pounds. Long, wavy chestnut brown hair and brown eyes, she looks like an AWG (average white girl), the GND (girl next door), certainly not a dominatrix.

Like Veronica, her disposition and demeanor scream dominatrix. With her long, jet black hair, pale white skin and sparkling blue eyes, she is striking. Her mere appearance commands attention and then she speaks – with a Russian accent no less, by way of Siberia. She is 5’9″ without heels, and is a presence. SHE looks like she could, and would, make you her bitch. And you would enjoy every moment of it.

But this little whippet before me? The AWG? The GND? No.

She explains to me, “It started off as just fun, like foot worship and the like, and then I got really mad at the guy I was dating and I just, really wanted to beat the shit out of someone. The people I knew from the foot worship stuff were like, well you know…..” she gives a sly grin, “and so my life as a dominatrix began!”

“Wow,” I say, truly interested about this world of domination and submission.

“Like the other day, I was with my boyfriend and my kid and we were having just, such a nice day. We went to the Santa Monica Pier, hung out, came back home and ordered pizza, all three of us piled into the bed and one of my customers, he kept texting me. Just, would not stop texting. He wanted me to come over for two hours and I told him I couldn’t. But the more I said “no” the more he kept raising the price. Finally when he offered $1000 for two hours I was like, okay. So I went over there at six in the morning, beat the shit out of him for two hours and then left!”

I’m thinking, a thousand dollars for two hours is amazing, but then I think, at six in the morning!? Until 8am? By then the sun is coming out and, being California, it’s all sunshine and blue skies. Being tied up, whipped and gagged doesn’t mesh with sunshine and coffee. Maybe he has blackout curtains. I giggle quietly.

“No wonder you’re tired!” I say with a smile.

“Exactly.”

I put the two stories together – his about her getting into the lifestyle because of him not doing what he should have done and her being pissed at a boyfriend which lead to her lifestyle and I realize how the choices we make, we don’t realize what the consequences will be when we make them.

Would we be so quick to make those choices if we knew what would happen and that our feelings would change? That we’d have a change of heart, and what we thought we wanted, isn’t what we want at all.

ONLINE ENROLLMENT

Online School Enrollment

 

This online school enrollment is definitely easier than standing in a line and waiting your turn, but damn if it isn’t annoying.

 

You spend 20 minutes completing the form, and if you’re like me you’re constantly getting up to find the insurance ID cards, to scroll through the list of contacts in your phone to try and find the Doctor’s number, the emergency local contact numbers and addresses, and what’s the fucking group number for the Doctor? The zip code? Seriously? Is that really necessary? Like if my kid gets sick at the school, it’s absolutely IMPERATIVE that Nurse Diana knows the zip code to the Doctor!?

 

And I have two kids, so one enrollment form down, one to go. It’s kind of reminding me of when I put the boys to bed, how just when you think they’re ready to drift off to sleep or actually asleep and you silently tip toe from their room, exhaling that sweet breath of relief at some blessed “Mommy” time, and then you hear a plaintive cry, “MOM! Can you leave the door open just a crack?”

 

Or, “Mom! Can I have a glass of water? I’m thirsty!”

 

Or, “Mom! I need to pee!”

 

Or, ‘Mom! I’m scared!”

 

All these little platitudes draw you back in, much like the forms for school that you THINK you’ve filled out completely, you click SUBMIT, and then the screen screams at you “Must complete the items in RED that are REQUIRED before submitting.

 

FUCK! I just want to submit and be done with it, kind of like how I feel when my husband wants to have sex and I’m not in the mood but I know it’s easier to just give in and get it over with than explain exactly how much I am not in the mood.

 

I’ve spent far more time talking about why I don’t want to fuck that I could have fucked him twice, three times, maybe more!

 

But I don’t even have a husband so it’s really a moot point. But you get my point!