Mystic Writer

Peeking out to see if there is a real world out there...

Thursday, December 30, 2004

The party begins

New years eve arrived draped in bright snow sparkling under a frigid white moon. The car engine groaned reluctantly as it turned over, and I peered through the tiny opening in the frost on my windshield. I drove slowly on the snow packed roads and arrived at the party later than I intended.

I styrofoam crunched my way up the walk and opened the door to a blast of warm air and loud music. Jeff and Kirk were seated on the couch getting sloshed and four girls rushed to the door to greet me.

Darla, my friends sister, took my coat and introduced me to the other three girls. I missed the names in my half frozen and music overwhelmed state but figured it probably didn't matter. Darla led me to a cooler and then to her kitchen table. The other girls were already seated and we started playing a drinking game involving cards and shot glasses of tequila.

Jeff and Kirk joined us and I proceeded to lose or maybe win and I downed shot after shot. I thought that I was getting an abnormal amount of attention, but decided it was the tequila. Wish fulfillment is so much easier when I'm toasted.

One of the girls plopped into my lap and kissed me. She was soft and warm and kissed wonderfully and I lost myself in the moment. When I emerged I noticed the game had ended and people were thrashing around in the living room and I concluded maybe they were dancing. It looked fun so we joined in, jumping around until we collided with a couch, then toppling into a tangled embrace.

Dick Clark went off the air and the party started to break up. I closed one eye to reduce the number of people in the room and attempted to see if Jeff or Kirk were still around but everyone still doubled and smeared. I closed both eyes and was watching the colors when I felt a hand on my arm and Darla said “"You'd better sleep here tonight".

She led me to a darkened room and I took off my shirt and shoes, set my beer on the headboard, and dropped into the queen sized bed. Just as the spinning room was whirling me off to sleep, the door opened and the girl I'd been kissing came in "This is the only bed with room for me. Would you mind if I shared it with you?".

I'm guessing I said it was OK because she climbed in and a moment later we were kissing again. Always the class act, I broke for a moment to sip my beer and clumsily dumped it on her shirt. I apologized and she said it didn't matter and that we'd better go to sleep.

I was terribly embarrassed but drunk beyond repair so I kissed her goodnight and rolled on my left side to sleep. I can't sleep any other way and was sorry this put my back towards her, but thought that I had already messed things up so much it probably didn't matter.

I was mostly asleep when I felt her sit up and heard a rustle of fabric. A moment passed and then I felt an arm slip around me, her hand resting on my chest. Her bare breasts pressed into my back but I was too far gone to do anything and I wasn't sure what I wanted, so I just lay there pretending to be asleep. Pretend became reality, and as I passed out I thought I heard her breathe "I'm going to marry you someday...".

Tuesday, December 28, 2004


Jean unlatched the door and got out of the car, re-entering on the passengers side just as Peter exited the bank. When Peter got in I told him I needed to get going and asked him to drop me off at school. Jean asked if I needed anything there, and then to my negative response she told Peter to just bring me to my house. On arrival I jumped out and waved goodbye, desperately trying to avoid Jeans gaze.

I thought about calling Peter but wasn't even sure what his last name was. I didn't want to have that conversation anyway and I decided I'd just not do anything and hope for the best. I've always liked the head in the sand method of handling difficult situations.

Around 8:30PM I was thinking of what I would tell Thea in my nightly talk when the phone rang. My mother snatched it up and I prepared to run downstairs so I could talk to Thea in private. Mom looked puzzled for a moment, then laughed and said "Sure, that won't be any problem. I'll tell him you're coming. Bye!". My mom hung up and said "That was your friend Jean - she asked if she could drop by and give you a ride in her new car. I told her you could, and she'll be here in 5 minutes. Who's Jean?". I replied "Someone from school, mom", and bolted before she asked questions I really didn't know how to answer.

I ran to my bedroom and threw on different clothes, then ran out the door in time to see a beater tan malibu drive up. My mom stepped out and murmured "New car?". I muttered "I have no idea" and got in Jeans car. She pulled around the block and stopped "I'm sorry about all this, but I had so much fun talking today and I wanted to see you, and I was afraid you'd say no... I told Peter...".

I looked at her, trying to catch up - "What did you tell Peter?".

"That I wanted to talk to you tonight. We've only had three dates, and it really wasn't going anywhere, so ..."

I tried to make sense of it - "So... Is Peter OK?".

"I think so. We could never find anything to talk about, and I think we made each other nervous. If you don't mind, I'd like to drive around the lakes and watch the sunset".

I liked sunsets and had really liked talking with her. I didn't know what to think and so I vaguely nodded assent while resolving to talk to Peter whenever I next saw him.

She took off, driving confidently, and we were soon deep in conversation. We finally noticed that a couple hours had passed and she dropped me off, letting me know that she lived just on the other side of the field from my house.

I talked to Peter and found that Jean had pretty accurately summed things up. With that behind me I started talking to Jean whenever I could, and we would go for drives any time she could get her parents car. After a while our friends started treating us as a couple and, unlike Susy, they loved Jean. Jean had a rapier wit and could converse well on a variety of topics. She could be cultured one moment and telling dirty jokes the next. She was a joy to be around.

It took a long time for our first kiss, and I was fine with that. I liked our friendship and liked Jean just the way she was, confident, independent, and fun. I didn't really want anything to change. The first kiss was on a subzero day in a minimally heated cabin where we were staying with a group of kids and counselors. We were talking as always and scrunching closer together to stay warm, and suddenly we were kissing. It went on for hours. We didn't care who saw us or knew.

We became more physically intimate as winter broke, and as spring came into fullness we started going to drive-ins. Jean's parents car was pretty small and what we could do was limited, which again seemed like a good thing.

In mid-summer we were out hiking around and we stopped hand in hand to look at a field in bloom. I was telling Jean how beautiful I thought the yellow butterflies floating through the purple and gold flowers were, and she replied "I'm falling in love with you". My heart thumped and something twisted inside of me.

I didn't really know how I felt, and the times I'd told Susy I'd loved her without really knowing what that meant rose up in me, and I pulled Jean into a hug and kissed her deeply and with all the passion I felt for her. I thought then that it was enough.

A couple weeks went by and Jean and I spent a lot of time together. Everything seemed normal to me, and I was both relieved and disappointed that Jean hadn't talked about her love. After dinner one night at my house, Jean and I set off across the field to walk her home. We stopped under a huge tree and kissed, and under a full August moon Jean pulled me down to the grass with her.

She unbuttoned my shirt, kissing my chest, and with my willing help we removed her top. Her hands were everywhere and I was immensely aroused. She kicked off her pants while we were locked in a kiss, and forced my hand between her legs. I touched for a while and then she gasped for me to make love to her. I kissed her harder and removed my hand. She asked again and I moved apart and told her of my resolve to save myself for my wife. I tried to hold her and kiss her but she pushed me away, starting to cry as she dressed herself.

She angrily set off towards her house. I tried to walk with her but she kept shoving me away and I finally settled for following her to make sure she got home OK.

After that she never called me. When I called her she would be courteous but brief, and after a couple weeks I found out she was going out with someone else.

The funk I had felt after Susy hit me with redoubled force. I now truly believed that there was something bad about me. Why couldn't I have told Jean I loved her? Why did I work so hard to stay with Susy when I didn't feel good about her? What the hell was wrong with me? I resolved to stay out of relationships until I could figure out some answers, and after a couple of months the funk passed and I got back in the swing of things.

I was asked out several times, but it was never serious. The longest time that I went out with anyone was with DJ, and that was only a couple weeks.

After two years of staying out of relationships, I felt pretty emotionally strong. I didn't feel so isolated and was pretty comfortable being a loner even when I was around other couples. I had graduated from high school and was just finishing my first semester of college, and I was wondering if maybe it was time to start dating again.

Out of the blue I received an invitation to a new years eve party hosted by the sister of a girl I had known in high school. When I talked to my three best friends, they told me they had gotten the invitation too, and they wanted to go. No one knew why we had been invited, and we were all curious...


The meadow was lush with spring grass and tilted into the sunlight. Pine and birch swayed gently in the light breeze and the patterns in the tree tops down slope were hypnotic. We kissed and solemnly spread our blanket. Our eyes met and we stepped toward each other, first gently and then more fervently kissing.

Our fingers fumbled with the buttons of our shirts, and with a swish of fabric our bare skin met. Panting a little, kisses hotter, I lay her down on the blanket and straddled her. My jeans pulled tight and her breathing came quickly as she looked me over.

I bent forward and she closed her eyes. I gently kissed each eyelid, then moved to her mouth. The kiss was soft and deep and lingered. I moved lower, kissing each breast with reverence, marveling at the golden tones in the warm sun.

Still lower, I kissed her bellybutton, and then with ragged breath I unbuttoned her jeans. Her hips canted upwards and my heart pistoned as I began pulling them slowly down. I saw her shudder and her breathing changed. I looked up in time to see a tear trickle down her cheek and when she saw me looking she started to sob.

The stew of hormones made thinking difficult and I couldn't understand what was happening. I fumbled for a moment trying to pull her jeans into place, then lay down beside her and pulled her into my arms. She buried her face in my neck and I kissed her hair and asked gently "What's wrong?". She sobbed "I want to be able to tell my husband he is the only one who has ever touched me there. I pray to God that that man is you, MW, but until that happens I want to wait. I want it to be something special for my husband...".

I lay there for a moment, a welter of emotions running through me. I told her I understood and admired what she said and that everything was fine between us. I pulled her tighter and we lapsed into silence, letting the yellow sun warm our bare upper bodies.

She relaxed a little and I thought about what she said. I never thought anyone could want to marry me and I chased that thought for a while. She had told me she loved me often, but it never seemed real to me. Marriage? I had never really thought about the future, it always just sort of happened to me.

She shifted a little and her breathing slowed. I kissed her hair and shoulders gently with a new feeling of respect and affection. She was saving herself? It wasn't a new thought, but hearing it from her affected me profoundly. I liked what it said about her, and as I pondered the implications I had a minor epiphany and realized I wanted to save myself too. I wanted that feeling of having something special for someone that I was really committed to. I felt a warmness spread through me and I let myself go with it. We lay in the afternoon sun, watching the shadows shift around our little meadow, and when the cool shade finally reached us we put on our shirts and went home.

As spring turned to summer I came to realize the dynamic between us had shifted. I really liked that core part of her I had glimpsed, but it was rarely exposed. Our mutual agreement to cease our explorations of each other robbed our relationship of a lot of it's excitement, and we had to fall back on talking and activities. Our styles and interests were different and we didn't converse well, and activities are limited when you are 15 years old.

Summer peaked and faded, and in the dog days of August she told me she thought we should date other people. She was gentle and kind and loving and her final kiss melted off my lips as we cried together.

In the weeks that followed I fell into a funk, becoming more and more convinced that she had seen the badness I knew was inside me. I had thoughts of becoming a hermit and retreated to reading books and endlessly walking the fields near our house.

In October the school held a science fair. I had to attend because I had a display as part of a mandatory class assignment. Peter, an acquaintance I didn't know too well, stopped at my display and introduced me to his girlfriend Jean. The three of us hit it off and ended up walking around the fair, joking and talking about all the displays.

We were having so much fun we decided to go out for pizza and the three of us piled into Peters car. We had dinner and drove around for a while, Jean and Peter in the front with me in the back, music blasting as we drove along with the windows down. Peter decided he needed money so he drove to his bank and went inside.

Jean arched around and looked at me for a moment, then climbed over the seat into the back. She put her hand on my leg and said "I like you. Can I call you tonight?"...

Monday, December 27, 2004

Sacred Seven

The kiss was all I cared about, and it lasted long. A door clattered and a "Susy?" echoed. "I'm just saying bye to MW, Mom", Susy called back, and with a quick kiss and sliding touch she scampered around the house.

I slowly got on my bike, carefully positioning myself on the hard seat. I pedaled home slowly at first, and then with exuberance, taking the dirt trail through the oak woods at full speed in the dark. Her taste and scent lingered, and I kept feeling her hands on my waist.

I hung out with my friends the next day and never mentioned the kiss. Jeff, who had been at the previous nights gathering, kept pointing out annoying Susy statements and I just grunted noncommitally. A part of me agreed with my friend, another part was already coming up with explanations for Susy's behavior. I just wanted to get lost in the kiss again.

The next day I avoided Susy at the start of school. I had come to the conclusion that it was some sort of misunderstanding and I was just living in a fantasy that someone could want to touch me. In third hour we had a class together and I took my regular seat as far away from the teacher as possible. Susy normally sat in the front row, but she beelined her way through the door and sat down in the desk next to mine. I managed not to cringe and smiled a "Hi!".

The teacher told us that we were going to watch a film for class that day - after the lights went out Susy's desk scratched along the floor and a moment later her hand slid into mine. She slowly leaned until she was just touching me, and I sat awkwardly, acutely aware of her and worried that someone might notice. We maintained that pose till just before the end of the film when Susy carefully resumed classroom mode.

Susy walked beside me as we left the class and suddenly the teacher was beside us. "I don't expect much from MW, but you know better Susy. Don't do it again...". He peeled off and we walked in silence to my locker. As I turned towards her she laid her hand on my chest, looked a little scared and said "I'm so sorry about that. I just needed to touch you. He shouldn't have said that about you.".

She was so vulnerable I just wanted to make her feel better. I instinctively gave her a comforting hug, understanding and cringing at the implications of her happy sigh. I felt her softness press against me and was just starting to give into the feeling when I noticed my friend Jeff giving me a dark look and disbelieving head shake. He turned and walked off, and I resisted the urge to push Susy away.

From then on Susy took every opportunity to be near me, and I couldn't bring myself to ask her to leave me alone. She brought me little gifts and wrote beautiful letters and slowly wooed me into playing the role of boyfriend. My doubts always went away when we kissed and touched each other, and when the doubts resurfaced I pushed them away. Deep inside I felt that Susy was the best I could hope for, and I suspected that she was better than I deserved.

The only friend who was willing to put up with Susy and I as a couple was Thea. We still talked daily and called each other nightly, happily gossiping and talking about anything that occured to us. We never talked about Susy.

Winter kept Susy and I from having any alone time together, and all our kisses and touching occured in theaters and dark corners at school. As spring arrived we finally could spend time together, and I would bike to her house whenever her parents were going to be out for a while.

Ever so slowly I explored her body. It took weeks before she was comfortable with me stroking her rib cage. Still longer to where I could trace the outlines of her breasts beneath sweater and shirt. I didn't really want to push her beyond her limits, but I still found talking to her annoying and I was addicted to that breathless feeling I had when we touched. Occasionally I stopped exploring and after a while she would start moving my hand to her breasts.

Somehow I came up with the notion that kissing the 'sacred seven' points of our bodies was a goal for our love. I defined the sacred seven as eyes, lips, nipples, bellybutton, and RIGHT THERE. Slowly she accepted the premise, and on a warm late spring day we set off, blanket in hand, for a private little grassy spot in the woods...

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Gently fumbling

I just realized I have a pair of anniversaries coming up on new years eve, and having just read a number of blogs on relationships I thought I'd share some thoughts on earlier years in preparation for the story behind the upcoming anniversaries.

My parents wanted humble children. Any praise of family members was quickly met with a disapproving "You'll swell his head". If perchance you ever accidentally said something good about yourself, you got the ever popular "Don't toot your own horn". If someone outside our family praised one of the children, they were quickly assured that the accomplishment was purely happenstance.

The icing on the cake was that my parents were always looking for positive things to say about almost anyone else. Aside from the belief that a good child is always humble they were largely excellent parents, and in some ways that made things worse because I never could really credibly complain about them.

So here it is. I AM COMPLAINING ABOUT MY PARENTS! And on a blog no less, will wonders never cease.

My siblings all have their own issues, but I won't go into that (who cares - let them get their own blogs). I came to believe that even though superficially I was a pretty good and likeable person, deep inside I was seriously bad. I believed that anyone who got to know me very well would see how rotten I was and immediately be repulsed. It made me really uncomfortable about letting people get close to me.

Layer that on top of the fact that I am, in fact, a bit odd (read the rest of this blog for some inkling of what that means :) ), and you might get a sense of how isolated and disconnected I felt growing up.

At 14 most of my buddies either had a girlfriend or had at least had some relationship with one. Thea was a friend who happened to be a girl, but I never considered her my girlfriend. We talked most nights on the phone and every day at school, but something never clicked in me. Knowing what I know now, I realize she felt differently.

Susy was the new girl in our school. She was basically a good person, wanting to do things for others and always trying to be pleasant, but she lacked a sense of what others needed and frequently annoyed the hell out of everybody. She was one of those really smart people who doesn't quite know how to connect.

Thea was sympathetic and started inviting Susy to all our little clique's gatherings. Thea wanted Susy to be included so she pressed me into service, and I did my best to be nice to her.

On a beautiful fall evening our little clique of six had all gathered at Susy's house to play board games. The evening was fun, full of laughter and friendship, and I felt at ease and happy. I had ridden my bicycle and had no specific time I needed to be home, so when all the other kids had been picked up by their parents I stayed behind to help Susy clean up (at Thea's whispered suggestion, of course).

Susy and I chatted politely as we tidied up, and then she followed me outside. I bent to unlock my bike, and when I stood up she was right in front of me. My shirt had ridden up a little when I bent over, and Susy touched the bare skin at the top of my jeans, and then slid her finger across my stomach, slowly tracing the top of my jeans.

I couldn't breathe. I'd never been kissed, never been touched by a girl, and here I was with a finger moving less than an inch from RIGHT THERE. She looked directly at the bulge in my jeans and then lazily traced her finger back. She placed her other hand low on my hip and pulled me in. I struggled to inhale and found a pair of lips, slightly open, moist and soft, and so I wrapped my arms around her and savored it all - thighs and tummies pressing, chest against breasts. I had my first kiss, and it was luscious.

More later...

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


The lake stretched out ahead, snow covered and untraveled. It was 10 below but I was dressed well and was comfortably heated from the exertion of snowshoeing a couple of miles.

I stepped out on the lake, feeling the ice under the snow with my poles and fell into a rhythmic swaying stride. I resumed my reverie, thinking of a movie where frogs fell like rain.

I tripped a little and snapped to attention. I was on the far side of the lake and my snowshoes were butting into reeds. They stretched across most of the edge of the lake on this side, and I looked for a path through them.

Failing that, I bent down and unlashed my snowshoes, attaching them to my backpack so they spread out like a pair of wings. I enjoyed having an angelic shadow.

I lifted my foot to step into the reeds and the ice let loose. Instinctively I fell forward, spreading my arms and grabbing the edge of the ice as my legs and torso plunged into the lake. The bottom was organic glop, offering nothing solid to stand on. I tried clawing my way out and the ice was too rotten to gain any purchase.

In desperation I pushed back and felt a solid edge of ice against my back, and in a surge of panic I flailed myself out of the water, ending up on my back with most of my weight on the spread snowshoes.

The cold was biting, and I could see the water on my boots already beginning to freeze. I gently rolled to the side and unhooked my snowshoe, and then ever so carefully put it on my foot. I unhooked the other snow shoe and torqued to put it on, sure that at any moment the ice would fail and dump me head first into the lake. Death by freeze brain!

The ice held, and I carefully rolled to my feet, first gradually walking and then moving to a full rolling run, scared that at any moment hypothermia would set in.

The run generated so much heat that I was trailing plumes of steam in the frigid winter air.

I was dry and laughing about it by the time I got back to my car.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Flat Stanley

On a very warm day last fall, I was lying in the basement on a makeshift bed trying to get cool enough to take a nap. I had made the bed by throwing a piece of plywood on a pair of cots and putting an air mattress on the plywood. I was alone in the house.

I was lying on my stomach facing a wall when I had this odd sense that my younger brother was standing behind me and trying to warn me of something. I knew he couldn't (and wouldn't) be there because the house was locked and we don't get along all that well, so I lay there trying to figure out what was going on.

All the sudden I felt an odd bumping down by my feet, sort of like a puppy playing around. I started to turn my head to see what was causing the feeling and instantly I was smashed down into the mattress by on overwhelming force.

My first thought was "this is trying to kill me!". I started to struggle and get free, but the pressure was immense and uniform, heaviest at my head and shoulders and tapering to somewhat less near my feet. I had the sense that my head was 'clamped' in place. I wasn't able to turn it. I was able to slide my hands out a little to my sides, and I started to push up against the pressure.

I could feel the cots bending and I thought they might collapse, and then suddenly the pressure was gone. I lay there motionless because I was afraid if I moved it would come back. I could hear the cot legs scraping on the floor as they unbowed, and I could feel the air mattress shifting as it slowly resumed it's normal shape.

Gradually the normal house sounds became noticeable - my sense is that they were gone during the struggle. Finally I turned my head and looked around, and seeing nothing I got up and looked through the house. It was still empty and pretty much the same as it always was.

I've since slept in the basement several times with no incidents, and my little kids don't have any problems playing down there. I'm very sensitive to feelings and I didn't really get any sense of motivation (other than "this is trying to kill me").

If it was a dream, it was the most realistic dream I've ever had... Well, it was utterly realistic except for the fact that it was totally bizarre.

I'd be interested in any thoughts you might have...

Friday, December 17, 2004


My cousin Ad was mad. I had made him sit on the dune with me while I pretended to meditate. I can be infinitely patient when working on annoying my cousin.

After a while I relented and he alternately waded and bounded across the dunes back to our rented Grand Am. He was polishing off a beer when I got there.

I grabbed a beer and jumped in the passengers seat. Ad, intent on winning our endless dominance game, got in the car and floored it and we tooled off through the sand, Ad looking for every opportunity to scare me with high speed traversals of the lower slopes of the dunes.

I don't scare easily when I'm hammered, and I was enjoying the wind and scenery and the ear shattering music we were playing.

Off in the distance Ad spotted the top of a palm tree. His scream of 'oasis!' merged with my screamed 'mirage!' and he jerked the wheel for a closer look.

The oasis came clearer as we rapidly approached. Palm tops. Four palms. A little pond. Green grass. Three curvy women in bikinis.

Ad rammed on the brakes and we stared as we slid to a stop. The roostertails of dust that had been trailing us washed over the scene and we heard someone yelling. Angrily yelling. Ad turned off the car and we both looked left.

A person was threading his way through a couple of huge cameras. He looked seriously pissed. I nervously slugged my beer as the man yelled some more.

He broke into a run and my cousin, galvanized into action, fumbled with the keys as I screamed "drive!". The engine caught and Ad floored it in reverse, did a perfect rockford, and flinging dust everywhere we roared off into the dunes. Looking out the back window I noticed the 7-Up backdrops around the set and finally got what it was we had interrupted.

I snagged a couple more beers, cranked the tunes, and settled in, waiting for our next moment of enlightenment in the desert.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


A long time ago, about the time we added 'in a galaxy far far away', my friend Joe and I were out riding bicycles.

We pedaled leaning back, hands off the handlebars, enjoying the warm night and cool breeze. We alternated between talking and singing and as we crested a hill and started heading down we were fully into 'Little Pink Houses'.

Midway down, right at the height of an "Oooh Yeeah", the bug hit. I'm assuming by the way it clogged my throat it was a Junebug. A big Junebug. With claws that dug into the base of my tongue. Really scary little scrabbly claws.

I screamed and veered. Joe screamed and dodged. I rammed my fingers into my mouth and our bikes collided. The three of us hit the curb, and Joe and I flipped from our bikes and rolled down the cool suburban grass. Somewhere in the rolling I stopped feeling the claws.

I still try not to think of where the bug went.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Future memories

Not too long ago I was telling TB about a series of hikes I had taken. For three consecutive days I had heard a lonely loon calling down on the south side of the lake where I was hiking. On the fourth day the loon called again, and then from the north side I heard the call returned. I loved the romance of it all, and I was really into the feeling when I was relating this to TB.

TB smiled in that way I love, said something about how sweet that was, and then commented "Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could live near nature, day after day, so you could learn all the animals stories...".

At the conclusion of that sentence I was hit by an overwhelming memory of somewhere I've never been before.

The visual portion of the memory was a home, built into a hillside facing southwest. There were two stories exposed on the side away from the hill, and each of the stories had windows across the entire side of the house.

The upper story had a porch with wood railing. The roof overhung the porch with plants hanging from hooks and a table and chairs. Inside the house on the second story was a living room that stretched the entire length of the room. There was a fireplace set into the west wall and comfortable furniture.

On the north side of the house was a kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. The bedroom had a skylight and a large bed that mostly filled the room.

The lower level was setup as a craft shop. There was a long bench with seating for two, good lighting, a kiln and wheel, and a variety of tools.

Off the patio there were well worn paths on the hillside. I sensed that the center path went down the steep hillside to a creek or lake. To the right was a path that led to an outcropping of rock, and to the left was a sidewalk and stairs that led around the house to the driveway and garage.

I had the overwhelming sense that I walked that creek every day, and that I frequently had a companion that loved it as much as I. I sensed I sat on the outcropping of rock and occasionally wrote, but more often just meditated.

The living room made me think of small gatherings of intimate friends, and everything, especially the bedroom, had this feeling of a happier more complete me than I've ever been, utterly mingled with a familiar other presence.

I wrote a scene staged in this house the way I imagine things to be. Despite the fact that this came to me as a memory, it had the same real feeling that my other visions have had. A part of me believes that this will happen.

Certainly if wishes came true it would.

Stop digging!

Well, those last two posts pretty much tanked my rating.

You would think I would learn something from that.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Sharp shade of winter

When I was 17 I was the leader of our high school's downhill ski club. The night before an outing to a local ski resort, I was lying in bed listening to my stereo. The only light was the green glow of my Harmon Kardon 330b receiver, and I was lost in reverie while listening to Demons and Wizards by Uriah Heep.

Suddenly the music faded out and was replaced by the swishing of skis. My eyes refocused on the brightness of a night lit ski hill spread out below me. I had a tremendous sense of deja-vu as I scanned down the slope.

I noticed DJ halfway down the hill, cutting nice long turns. I'd been noticing DJ a lot since she'd joined the ski club. She had the thinness of youth and the hair and breasts of a Nordic blonde. Her figure intimidated me, and I had never even thought of talking to her.

DJ took a long sweeping turn and started traversing above a slushy spot in the slope. I could see the glare ahead of her and knew she was headed for ice. The tails of her skis kicked out, and she overcorrected and her tips caught the slush. The deja vu feeling had already propelled me into turning, and I pushed off and headed down slope.

As I descended I saw DJ's ski torque up and sideways, the safety strap continuing to twist her leg after the binding broke free. She went down hard, grinding her knee into the slush and ground beneath. As she rotated to a stop I pulled up next to her, released her safety straps, jammed her skis and poles into the snow, yelled across the slope to a friend to grab the skis, and picked her up.

The deja vu persisted and I knew where the first aid station was. I skied to it with DJ in my arms, somehow kicked off my skis, and carried her inside placing her on the padded table I knew I would find.

Uriah Heep suddenly filled my ears and I was back in my world of green light. Again I knew the vision was somehow real, and again the feeling was kind of familiar. I didn't go to sleep for a long time.

While skiing the next day I kept waiting for it to happen. I kept a watchful eye on DJ, loosely following her from slope to slope. Eventually everything aligned and it happened exactly as I had seen the night before. I would never had been able to perform so flawlessly if I hadn't already experienced how to do it.

The person manning the first aid shack examined DJ and told her she should have it looked at, but it wasn't broken and she could wait. We called DJ's parents and as she was in considerable pain we decided to meet at a nearby hospital. One of the club members had a station wagon and I pressed them into volunteering to drive us to the hospital. I stayed in the back with DJ's head cradled in my lap and we held hands for the 45 minute drive.

We left the hospital with DJ's knee wrapped and iced with a prescription for pain killers. She and I sat shoulder to shoulder in the back of her parents car for the ride to my house.

The next day she looked me up and asked me out on a date, and I accepted. We were an item for about as long as it took her knee to heal, and then it was over. Our friendship continued till we headed off to different colleges.

Her breasts were everything I had imagined.

Friday, December 10, 2004

The vision thing

OK, you say - we get the writer part, but what's up with that mystic thing?

I'm glad you asked! If you've read Fuzzball, you know I think I can sense the possibilities along future paths. Sometimes it gets a lot clearer than that.

When I was 13, I was riding in the back seat of my parents car, heading north in the late winter. I was daydreaming and looking out the window. My inner daydream vision suddenly became much more vivid and detailed - richer in a way that is hard to describe. The sense I had was not unfamiliar. Somehow or other I knew what I was seeing was real.

I was looking at myself, my two brothers, and my cousin. We were in a rough line, shoulder to shoulder. We were much older and noticeably broader. We were sporting a variety of facial hair, from two day unshaven to full beard. Our dress was ragged, multiple layers of jackets and sweaters with rips showing the layers beneath. Our clothing and skin was grimy and our hair uncombed. There were blood crusted scratches on our exposed skin.

We stood with an air of triumph. The light behind us was a flat gray on dead trees and torn up pines. Our faces were reflecting a golden flickering light, and we had this expression of happiness and exhaustion, and something extra - an uninhibited sort of wacky confidence that I had never seen before.

I'm unsure of how I knew who it was because we were all thin teenagers when I had the vision, and the people in my vision were broad across the shoulders, with thick necks and big hands.

The vision faded and I was back in the car. With my comic book education I sort of concluded we would be fighting in some apocalyptic battle somewhere in the future. After many years had passed I had largely forgotten the whole thing.

In 1999, a massive storm ripped through northern Minnesota, blowing down thousands of trees in the BWCA. The storm didn't stop there and many miles away it struck again, taking down hundreds of trees on a piece of land owned by my extended family. This piece of land has deep spiritual significance to all of us, and the damage to it felt very personal. We were terrified as the summer wore on without rain. We knew we were living on borrowed time and a massive fire was inevitable if we didn't reduce the fuel load.

Summer turned to winter, and finally several large storms dropped a couple of feet of snow. My brothers and I met my cousin on our piece of property and we started a bonfire in a clearing and began dragging trees out of the woods to burn. We started the fire on Friday night on top of two or more feet of snow. We dragged hundreds of trees into the fire and by early Sunday it had grown to more than 10 feet across. The high for the weekend was 8 degrees below zero, and we spent the entire time dragging trees, briefly sleeping on whatever dry spot we could find in the warmth of the fire, and drinking heavily. It was tremendously fun despite the grueling work and cold weather, and we all got along wonderfully.

Late on Sunday afternoon we had let the fire burn down in preparation for us all going back to our homes. The four of us were standing shoulder to shoulder just sort of tiredly grooving on the fire, and suddenly I realized this was the vision I had seen 27 years ago. There we were, wearing our grubbiest clothes, much the worse for wear, scratched from dragging trees through the brush. We were triumphant and happy because we had almost certainly saved our forest from wildfire.

And that look I didn't recognize at the age of 13 - the look of something extra, a sort of uninhibited wacky confidence? Beer!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

He ain't heavy

One midwinter day I was looking for something to do, and perusing the papers I noticed there was a hot air balloon rally in a neighboring town. I bundled up in my marshmallow man winter garb and headed out to the frozen lake where the rally was launching from.

I watched for a little bit, and then was asked if I would like to help out. Apparently someone had noticed a similarity between me and ballast, so my job, along with many others, was to hold on to the basket while the balloon inflated enough to take off.

I wedged my puffiness into the crowd and grabbed onto the basket. As usual when confronted with new circumstances involving people, I shut down, and somehow or other missed the signal to let go. The balloon leaped into the air and I found myself dangling.

I quickly tried pulling myself into the basket and someone swatted my arm. I looked up to a scowl and headshake, and lacking other options, I let go.

Luckily I didn't know how far the balloon had risen, or I would have panicked. About the moment I realized I was still FALLING, I hit a snow drift, thankfully deep and not yet compacted. The drift and my voluminous winter garb averted the tragedy of me splatting or cracking through the ice for a plunge in the lake.

I climbed out of the snow drift and looked around sheepishly. Several people were watching to see the results of my accidental flight, but no one came to help, possibly fearing stupidity might be contagious.

I slunk off to my car, pride goneth after the fall...

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Blowing the bear

About 6 years ago in October I went on a solo backpacking trip. The temperature was well below freezing and the weather wasn't great, so I had most of northern Minnesota to myself. When I arrived at my intended campsite I decided I would skip it, because I was making much better progress than I expected and it was too early to turn in, so I set off in search of the next one.

The next campsite turned out to be perched on a 200 foot sheer cliff, and the wind was blowing hard enough that I was pretty sure my tent would blow out into space, giving new meaning to the phrase "air bed". Needless to say I skipped this one too, and set off with the intent of going to the next campsite.

I got to the Bear Lake campsite after another mile and a half, and I was tired. The sign for the campsite pointed down a trail which followed a crack downwards through the face of a 200 foot tall rock face. I went down the trail, and got to the base of the rock face and found there was a narrow trail that ran between the rock face and Bear Lake.

Bear Lake is a glacial cut lake, and it looked like it was at least 50 feet deep about one inch out from the shore line. The rock face was about 8 feet from the shore, and there was scree sloped from the rock face down to about 1 foot from the shore. The path went between the scree and the shore, and as my eye followed the path, I located the campsite about 200 yards away. It was complete with a bear. I looked for a little bit, and then decided I was too tired to climb back up the rock face, so I filled my water bottle from the lake and watched the bear.

The bear didn't do much, so I dipped another bottle full and set about purifying the water, and then stood up and noticed the bear was gone. I drank some water and redid my pack, and then stood up ready to hike to the campsite. I heard a little noise to my right, and turned to find the bear up on the scree slope about 3 feet away from me.

I slowly turned to face the bear, and tried to look big. The bear seemed bored. I tried to whistle, which is apparently not possible when you are scared out of your wits, so I spent a while blowing air at the bear. The bear tilted his head side to side, maybe enjoying the sensation. I then tried swearing at the bear "You goddamn f'ing bear! You're ruining my f'ing vacation". I tried several variations on that, and the bear went back to being bored. I finally couldn't think of anything else to do, and I *really* didn't want to climb the rock face, so I sidled my way down the path to the camp site. The bear promptly moved down the scree and plopped his butt square in the middle of the foot wide path.

I looked around at the campsite and found huge claw marks in the ground. A bear had broken a hand made picnic bench, had made teeth marks in the metal fire ring, and had pretty much tried to destroy everything man made at the site. On top of that I could see a lot of wolf tracks - apparently the camp site was smack dab on a prime path for animals heading for the lake.

I decided I couldn't stay at Bear Lake, and as the sun was getting low I decided I had to get moving. The bear was still meditating in the middle of the path, so I tried to make myself look as big as I could as I started down the path towards him. The bear blinked a couple of times as I approached, and then lumbered to his feet, turned around, and started leading me up the cliff face.

At one point the trail required a scramble up to a flat ledge. The bear did the scramble and disappeared. I couldn't see beyond the edge of the ledge, and I was sure the bear was just sitting there.

I took my hiking pole and popped it above the ledge provocatively several times, and getting no response, I slowly inched my head up above the edge. The bear was gone. I climbed the rest of the way up, and then hiked several miles to the next site.

I set up my tent in darkening twilight, and eventually slept.

When I woke up, there was a pile of bear poop just outside the tent door.

Monday, December 06, 2004

The song of the horse

My last post received a lot of comments, and for that I am grateful. For a while the comments seemed to be giving me permission to separate from my wife - that doing this would maximize my wife's, my son's, and my own happiness. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to buy into that.

A lot of the reasoning for separating concerned the lessons that I was teaching my son. There is no doubt my son will learn poor lessons from me not being able to love his mother completely, but those lessons are pretty mild to the lessons he would learn from us separating and him having to live in two households - and he would still learn poor lessons about love.

My wife and I do really well as long as we don't talk very much. We are physically quite affectionate, and family cuddles are a daily thing.

The problem as I see it (and I'm sure she would see it differently) is that she cycles from self pity to sadness to worrying to anger. The first three are hard to be around but I think I might be able to deal with them, but when she explodes in anger it drives me away emotionally. Each one of these little incidents hardens my heart just a little bit more. The only good thing is she *never* blows up in front of my son.

I wrote my last post after enduring an hour long episode of middle of the night angry screaming. The outburst had it's usual cathartic affect, and Saturday night my wife and I spent a couple hours making love - naked massages, twining, several positions and orientations. Somewhere in the middle of it all, I gasped out 'I love you', which is true in several respects, and for the moment my wife is happy again.

There are plenty of opportunities for joy and happiness in my little family. They just don't involve a supportive and loving relationship between my wife and I.

So I'll continue to help raise my son the best I can, and wait for better options to present themselves. And who knows, maybe the horse will sing...

(and thank you to those who offered support, sympathy, and commiseration. I really appreciated your comments).

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Into the unknown

I think I've gotten into some trouble.

I have been living a bargain I made with myself. My goal was to stay in my marriage and to try to keep things happy and civil until my son was grown enough to handle my wife and I going separate ways.

I've been living this way for a couple years now, and things have gone reasonably well. I've encouraged my wife to spend time with her friends, and I've been spending a lot of time hiking and exploring my spiritual side and trying to spend as little time with my wife as I can get away with.

This seems to have been working, but for the last several weeks I just haven't been able to say 'I love you' to my wife, and it's understandably starting to bother her.

Other than my son, there is nothing to hold us together. What little we had in common at the beginning has been poisoned by our arguments. I know we would both be happier if we went our separate ways, but I can't bear the thought of hurting my little boy.

I don't know what is going to happen. I feel very alone and not sure of what I want or need.

For now I will just ride the current and try to deal honorably with whatever issues present themselves. This is all so sad...

Friday, December 03, 2004


TB comes home today but I won't see her for a week. I miss her terribly. I wish wishes came true.

I've had several transcendent moments while she has been gone. I've seen...

Two deer silhouettes bounding impossibly high along the black horizon, backs arched and legs parallel to the ground.

The white blade of a shooting star, slashing the winter night.

The three quarter moon in the waves while lying on the beach in 19 degree weather.

Three bald eagles flying in the last gasp of orange sunset.

Snow tufted pines following a ghost lit snow trail, stretching out like promises.

TB is the only person I know who feels transcendent in this way, who finds and becomes love in these moments. I would give anything to package up all the beauty I have seen and all these moments I have felt, and give them whole to her.

I miss her terribly.

I wish wishes came true...