Monday, May 20, 2019

18 yo - The Latvians

Baiba was Latvian. Naturally as a Canadian I knew nothing about Latvia.  I was immersed in the propaganda of my country taught pretty lies in school and rather boring history.  Older I’d come to know the extraordinary tale of Louis Riel, how the Feberal Liberals loved prostitutes and how ouija boards were used in the legistislature of Manitoba.  As a child I was subjected to the heavily censored chalk tasting history of my country. I was given a geography that told no tale of why these countries were as they were.  The truth wasn’t the Marxist lie of ‘good guys and bad guys’, the paranoid position of the binary but rather a wonderful tapestry of family, passsion, romance ,intrigue, bullies, and the brave.
Vecsmanin, Baiba’s grandmother had received her Bachelor degree around the time of WWI.  Her husband had been an Army General in Latvia, on the inner council of Stalin, until he was one day purged along with so many others.  Stalin, Lenin, Molotov et al had been the Bolsheviks who overthrew the moderate Mensheviks. The Bolsheviks distinguishing feature was their blood thisty nature. The Mensheviks hadn’t wanted to assassinate and get their money by robbing banks.  The Bolsheviks with their superior knife and pistol debate and endless cash funding  beat  the leftist intellectuals who preferred endless trivia hair splitting, sloganeering,  drinking coffee and vodka  and having sex with underage girls.  
Alexander Kerensky, Prime Minister of Russia, the last democratic leader before the Lenin’s military coup backed in part by Wall Street money, « dictatorship of the proletariat’ which has to date been ‘communism’ or ‘international socialism’ it’s other name.  International socialism was distinguished from the National Socialism of Nazi Germany. There the Brown Shirts were the low brow thug equivalent of their Bolshevik contemporaries.  
Canada’s history was surprisingly dominated by communism in my teen age years despite the fact that Russia had targeted American (Canada included) with nuclear weapons short years before.  Quebec was a hot bed of binary intellectualism and Pierre Trudeau who would become Prime Minister, a card carrying communist.  At the time I liked his red carnation. 
Maija, Baiba’s mother escaped Latvia with Vecsmamin fleeing before the Communist hoards of WWII, the ones who would see the destruction of Germany as the beginning of the Communist overthrow of the world for themselves.  Only after the pablum propaganda of Canadian history teaching would I learn of the division of Berlin, the Berlin air lift, the Ptomkin villages, the Katyn Massacre and the hundreds of millions murdered around the world by communists.  I remember Maija sharing personal stories of their time under Communist rule and being careful not to shock me too much. It was very much like a Matrix red pill or blue pill situation as the immigrants would share their stories which were ignored by the government.  The liberal  promoted was propagating terrible lie. 
I remember when Aleksander Solzhenitsyn’s heavily censored books appeared exposing the slave labour camps that were the back bone of Russian industry.  Maija would send her family in Latvia money for tires because though the central government had finally produced cars that could be bought they’d not produced tires to go with the cars.  Even today I find myself feeling like I’m in an endless loop of Invasion of the Body Snatchers as I listen to Canadians old and young who simply refuse to believe the truth of those who have experienced first hand what every year a new politician proposes as the communist/socialist utopia. 
 I would talk with my father and he’d tell me that what I was learning was true and that he and my mother had to accept the nonsense we’d learned in school about the world so we could learn mathematics and sciences. I remembered coming home and sharing the learning I’d had at school as a child and their later hushed arguments.  But now I was an adult and set out to learn the truth that my education and government denied me. 
 Years later I’d talk to Serbians and Rhodesians and live in Mexico,  London and the United States only to return to Canada and again be in this kindergarten dominated by bureaucratic bullies who refused to read Arendt’s studies on the ‘banality of evil’.  Finally as a psychiatrist I’d love to read Scott Peck’s A Road Less Travelled and later the follow up People of the Lie.   The more I traveled around the world the more I’d learn but feel that in Canada so much was censored and could not be shared because there was this big ‘lie’ , the prevailing narrative. 
Communists were aetheists. The religion of the state had replaced all other religions. There would be no other gods but the State and Lenin was his first prophet.  A Chilean professor would pull out her hair sharing with me how putrid the politician discussions were at the university where the Canadians were so ‘apathetic’.  Here ‘apathy’ is considered a virtue, Apathy is what defines jail and asylum populations.  
At Maija’s table and in the Latvian community I’d meet for the first time White Russians who had fought for democracy against the dictatorship of communism. I’d meet Germans who had fought for the Germans in WWII on the Eastern front. I’d later meet Russians who’d show me that the American Hollywood propaganda about WWII was simply not true in Europe. The numbers of dead simply did not lie.  Without Russia the Nazis would have prevailed. Yet Stalin and Hitler had initially been best of buds and formed an alliance of dictators against the western weak democracies.  The tales of the Pacific War were closer to truth but the American Hollywood approach to the European war would be anathema to my learned friends in London.  My parents were Scottish Irish, Old Canadian, British Stock and we’d talk about school and wheat prices over the linoleum kitchen table.. Meals were primarily times to eat.  Discussion occurred while working under cars among men or while having tea with Mom.
 Baiba’s family always had white table cloths and meal time was a time of conversation.  Vecsmamin was the greatest of Latvian cooks and I’d be the envy of the community because I’d be so close to the fountain of flavour. .
« When my grandfather was killed everything that we had was lost,, « Maija told me.  « Overnight there was no income no home. We were essentially outlawed by the state.  Vecsmamin had to do whatever she could so we could survive. Those were hungry times.  She sewed for neighbours, got odd work from friends and she cooked. When we were in the refugee camps everyone said that Vecsmamin could make shoe leather taste like a feast. »
I’d go on expeditions with the two of them in the forest where they’d find fancy mushrooms. My father had taken me into the woods with him and taught me the plants which the Natives had used for food. My mother taught me the nutritional and medicinal value of the plants she grew and here I would often be in the woods with this family learning what herbs they’d used to make water taste and be nutritious when there was no other food.  The trouble was with translation. They knew the Latvian names for the plants but not the English worlds. 
Dad had been the same. « These are good for salads and these are like potatoes. I’ve eaten them especially when we were hungry. But I don’t know what they’re called., Billy »
For me, raised on meat and potatoes the Vecsmamin cuisine  all exotic and wonderful.  As well there was always wine and conviviality. Baiba was the most beautiful girl in the world. Her brother Paul, a very funny handsome young artist,  and Baiba‘ s younger sister, quiet but wise and soon  to become a sultry beauty like a young Elizabeth Taylor..  
We all danced too. As a family they came to the functions of the Ken Mathews Dance Studio. Later we’d attend all the Royal Winnipeg Ballet season.  Baiba had been a ballerina from childhood.  
Vecsmamin did yoga in the living room each morning. That wasn’t what the grandmother’s were doing in my neighbourhood. The first time I saw her doing a head stand I was admittedly surprised. She’d demonstrate her hatha yoga technique and turn out to be a human pretzel. She’d continue doing yoga until she was over a hundred.  By then her activities once counted as bizarre and foreign were admired by all. 
I was interested in spirituality and art.  Maija and her family were too. They were nominally Lutheran at some time but the conversations went more to the strange mix of Christian and pagan spirituality of old Europe.  I’d later love Herman Hesse and grasp the flavour of this deeply spiritual tradition in his Nobel Prize Winning books like Steppenwolf  and Narcisisus and Goldmund. I’d love Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann and later love Joseph Cambell and Carl Jung.   I began reading the great European Traditional literature.  This would continue but began in the discussion at the Vecsmamin  table.  My artist friends at the time were becoming Rosicrucians and Buddhists. It was an extraordinary time of exploration among the creative artists of the day. Everyone was sharing authors and artists and insights they’d found. 
The house was full of plants too. An orange tree with miniature oranges stood in the corner overhanging the table. There was an oleander tree as well. My aunt loved oleander and would take us to a favourite restaurant in Toronto where we’d sit among oleander. Here was this house that was half conservatory. Like my mother Maija had a particularly green thumb. 
The Assiniboine Park Conservatory with little paths in a jungle had been my favourite place since a child. In winter when I was a child and we had visitors , usually my aunt, my father asked where I’d like to go, I’d shout ‘the jungle.’  As a family we’d don parkas and overshoes and drive to Assiniboine Park. Then we’d walk around the little paths, a tiny space really, the adults talking, the humidity and heat a delicious treat in the cold and dry freezing Winnipeg winter. I loved to throw pennies to the fish there.   After we’d go to the elegant Conservatory restaurant where we’d have tea and eat pastry.  
Now here was Baiba’s family with their own conservatory.
Baiba and I by now had an illicit relationship.  Somehow a sexual nuclear bomb had exploded between us and we did our best to keep it a secret.  She was a year younger than me and had become a student at the dance school.  It was about her 18th birthday that matters changed. I don’t know the date or technicality. Before Baiba sex was exciting but after Baiba it was transformative.  Somehow the local biplane acquired rockets and the sky was no longer the limit.
I used to drink red wine and find the world became rosy. Girls breasts always seemed bigger and rounder and more inviting too.   I was fascinated in those days by the Tarot of the Rose and studying the tarot deck.  I ‘d later be interested in the rose as the virgin mother symbol.  I loved studying Robert Graves.
At the University of Winnipeg I was taking my economics to complete my Gr. 12 and later would find Paramahansa Yognanda’s book, Autobiography of a Yogi in the United College Theological Library.  I began studying theatre and took Literature of the Bible with Dr. Carl Ridd and studied DH Lawrence in English.  The world transformed from black and white to a myriad of colours.  It was so dynamic once the dance and Baiba and the oleanders trees filled my world.  I was alive in a way I’d not been since Nina and that had been such a brief time.  A boy in love is a wonderful thing. For him. I suspect others found me tedious but I wrote poems and songs and danced and couldn’t wait the extra second to be in the presence of this Venus.  Every word and move she made became sacred.
It was the 70’s and ‘all we need is love’ was the theology of the contemporary day. The Beatles still prevailed. I loved Simon and Garfunkel.  Maija made fun of my liking ‘folk music’ considering the  American folk country scene as contemporary cowboy music. She loved Mozart and considered folk music the ancient music of Europe. The Latvians were great singers and were held together by the truly uplifting and beautiful music of their nation.  
I’d join the Latvian Dance Society and learn these lovely quaint dances which we’d take to compétitons with other ethnic groups. Soon I was mixing with Philipinos, Italinans,  Germans, Scots, Africans, Brazilians.  Baiba’s family were very much involved in the Winnipeg Folk Festival and her brother Paul would eventually become the Mayor of the annual event. Each ethnic community would put together a venue showcasing their food and customs, songs, dances and costumes.  Baiba naturally became the Latvian queen. She’d made all her clothing with her mother who was a great seamstress in her own right. The two of them would make their gowns for the ballet and all of Baiba’s costumes in the basement where Vogue patterns would be spread about the room reminding me of Dad with his room full of blue prints.  
The house was an actual university factory with everyone creative.  I’d entered into this university factory where a thousand activities were going on each day.  The smells of Vecsmanins kitchen, the sound of Maija’s sewing machine, Paul painting and Baiba insisting I join her in complicated dance choreography in the living room where her sister was reading a book. 
Maija told us stories of the war and translated for Vecsmamin.  Visiting dignatories, great religious and political leaders would visit to pay homage to Vecsmamin as much as to eat her famed soups and delicate pastries.  I’d be introduced, then Baiba and I would leave so they could speak freely in Latvian and Russian. Looking back I’d be amazed at who I’d meet and the ideas I’d encounter there and then.
Maija had loved a man who was known for his spirituality, a politician and mystic and talked of the sacred in her land where the spirit and spiritual had been so important to the freedom the youth experienced before the war and before the invasions by the Germans and the Russians.  
« Journey to the East’ by Herman Hesse talked of the spiritual revival of the Lutheran and European community of the time and this rise of intellectualism and spiritualism  in  art and consciousness.  The Latvian and other East Europeans I met had such grief for the losses they suffered. Years later I’d read Hitch. Hikers’ Guide to the Galaxy when the Vorgons , a bureaucratic empire building race destroyed the Earth so they could build a super highway through the galaxy. I thought of the Vorgons, these great stupid poeople who were so like the  Communists with their paranoid binary low brow thug thinking which they thought so brilliant. Vorgons.
I’d begin meditating then. The Paramahansa Yogananda Foundation ‘s Self Realization Fellowship had a series of teachings mailed weekly in what we joked was ‘mail order enlightenment’.  I’d begin to study Patanjali and read Emerson and Thoreau. I’d become a pretzel like Vecsmamin.  Vivekananda had been the first Indian representative to the world congress of religions coming to America in the late 1800s while Yogananda came for the second World Congress of Religions in the 1920’s. He stayed and developed an Ashram in California near San Diego.  I’d eventually join a group of men in Winnipeg, one who was a member of the symphony and another who would become a lawyer. We’d gather in a house with incense burning and a few straight backed seats facing forward. We’d not talk but chant a few of Yognandas’s song accompanied by the Harmonium I’d eventually learn to play. Then we’d meditate for an hour before leaving without any adieu or words. But this would come later, after I’d met the Quakers in Oxford where Baiba and I would do pretty much the same thing but with many more people together sharing the silence.  I’d love years later learning that my Dutch  mentor Dr. Bernie’s favourite prayer had been « Come, Holy Spirit Come. ». 
Mostly I loved making love with Baiba, being in love with Baiba, being young and a dancer and so deeply involved in the passion and spirit of youth.  
My roommate Fern was just as in love with the woman he too would go on to marry and have children with.Each of us  thought our love was unique and original and never known by anyone else before. Meanwhile everyone was doing it.  Everyone in Ken Mathew’s would go on to marry. Everyone was falling in love in the dance world, meeting and marrying, students and teachers alike.  All of us teachers would laugh and talk about the students being smitten while the students would laugh and talk about us teachers and our encounters with Cupid. .
When Baiba and I finally admitted we were dating, everyone knew.  Ken and Marie at the dance school  thanked us for our discretion but we were so  glad we were’out’ .What had been taboo and the forbidden fruit, hiding our love from family and work, now just became part of the community and even more fun.  Baiba passed from student to teacher and life continued. 
My parents loved Baiba though my mother didn’t like Maija at all. Dad of course did but the family as a whole was an organic force. Families were entities of their own and each had it’s character and dynamic.  I’d love to watch our families in love over the years with all the foibles of neighbours. Mom and Dad both liked Maija more when Baiba and I divorced. Dad thought Paul was a great guy. 

I’d go on to marry Baiba in the months to come and we’d be married a short time, merely a couple of years, this whole time of my life with Baiba relatively brief. I’d stay in Winnipeg for medical school and Baiba would follow dance to the big city of Toronto. She’d done all she could to advance her career in Winnipeg. After London it had been hard for her to shift gears whereas I having been enriched in my study and learning in Europe and England found university alive and meaningful. When I’d left it before I’d thought it staid and old.   We parted while I stayed friends with the family, her brother Paul, who became one of Winnipeg’s most avante garde artists continued a close friend.  I loved to return to that table under the oleander tree and visit with the family.  Maija a midwife had in many ways inspired my going onto medicine. I was so impressed by her and her nurse friends and the work of medicine. In Oxford I’d meet the Quarker medical student and be moved by the university which I’d found before so slow and stifling. Eventually I’d approach Dr. Carl Ridd my Christian mentor and take his advice to pursue excellence and scholarship.  

One day in the University of Winnipeg Chapel I’d be on my knees praying, asking God what I should do.  Stepping out of the chapel I encountered my friend Glen who said he was going to write the MCAT. I thought I’d tag along. I signed up for the test that day and thought if I do well on this it might be my answer from God. If I do poorly I can return to my other plan to be a play wright.  Without any study or preparation I aced the exam.  But by then I truly loved biology and chemistry had become sacred.  Possibly that was the experience I’d had with LSD’s partial influence.  But that’s another story.  L Baiba and I became lovers, married and went on to bicycle across Europe and live in London before returning home to start radically new lives. .  
  

Sunday, May 19, 2019

The Catch and Release Woman

When I was 18 I met an older woman who was utterly remarkable in every way, beautiful, sophisticated, loving, talented. She had but one flaw. She baited the men of other women.  She was not interested in any of the single successful handsome and rich men who wanted her. Like other single women with children she’d have a dozen excuses for why she didn’t date.  Some indeed were truly valid. Society is so constraining  on mothers, especially the truly gifted and intelligent.

But when her girl friends or other women brought their husbands and boyfriends over she’d go into erotic hyperdrive enticing the men, or « baiting them « as one young man once observed. Then when she was sure they were all but trussed up and hung in the window she’d turn them down. 

She had demonstrated that she could have the men but didn’t take them, she retuned them slightly used emotionally, not physically,  to their partners. They didn’t much  appreciate the handling of their men. She did create a false impression, always feigning innocence. She was unsettling to  the always dubious harmony of long standing relationships and community.

I coined the term ‘catch and release’ woman because she didn’t like fish. She just liked knowing she could put the hook in the cheek, extract it and throw the fish back in the sea.  

No one knew what had happened to her when she was young .  Those who knew her then said she’d loved a married man who did not leave his wife for her though she’d believed he would. She believed she had more to offer than his wife and she would show him.   Ever since ,she’d repeated this emotional trauma proving she could,and unwilling to accept that she hadn’t.  She couldn’t even be angry at the man and might well still be waiting. 
  

She was sad for one so beautiful.  She appeared  doomed to love the memory of a  man she never really knew. But that’s just what some said. 

I only observed the behaviour and encountered it again and again in my work where dreams and myths were so often safer and more controllable than reality.. The adventure of living was no less because these ‘beautiful losers’ as Leonard Cohen described them lived where others merely existed. She was big on a broad screen and famous in her little world where she did  so much good. She was kind especially to children. She taught the young so much especially of a lost time of romance and love. When warriors really did ride on white horses and fighter planes flew over head. Before so many young men died never to be replaced. 

 She grew wise and even more beautiful with time. Everyone forgot her dancing on toes and hearts. Who cared really. It was all so far in the past. Just  to be touched by such glorious magnificence was such a thrill for the lonely.  

When I throw back a fish I sometimes  of her. The catch and release woman.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Revenge

The girl saw that he was powerless in the bed, unable to control his limbs.   As he lay smiling she extracted his semen.   She took his seed in her mouth and then spat it out. She used her fingers to insert it elsewhere.
When she was done she went to the hospital and claimed she’d been raped.  They used the rape kit.  She didn’t mind the cold stainless steel inside her.  His DNA was there.  She’d needed that.
She said that her assaillant had sexually attacked her.  She claimed she was a victim and that he’d controlled her by his position and with his mind. She’d written her statement weeks before and liked how it sounded. She held back giving the name of the man at the hospital. She ‘d said she was too afraid and cried. No one pressed her. When she was ready.
Then she approached the man’s wife. She demanded $500,000 and told her what she had done. If the wife paid her she said she’d not expose him. The much older  woman looked long at the young woman then paid her.
The husband had  a  friend who was another neuroscientist working on  removing the brain and  transplanting it into  a cyborg body. It had worked with monkeys but he’d not yet done a human trial. He agreed with his friend’s wife. They didn’t see the need to discuss this with the husband. The wife would make all the arrangements.That night her family, their sons and daughter, collected  the girl in their SUV. Just scooped her from the street and took her to the friends lab. She called the bank and cancelled the cheque as well. She explained it was an error. No one could reach the girl.
He removed her brain. He  implanted it into a Japanese sex doll cyborg body he had handy, big lips, big breasts, big butt. The Kardashian model.  Her consciousness was connected but like her victim she had no control over her limbs and movements. These were programmed by the user. There was a key pad and voice operated control system that worked from without. She had no volitional control herself. She couldn’t communicate.
The doll was sold to an asteroid mining corporation which kept a brothel for Miners. The sex dolls were for the poor or cheap miners   who couldn’t afford the live girls.  
She was used over and over again. She was aware.  She just couldn’t do or say anything.  All the holes of her cyborg body  were sowed repeatedly. A maintenance Man cleaned her  each night before the new days clients.
Thanks to the advances in brain transplantation that she had contributed to, her victim one day received a fully functional cyborg body himself with complete sensation and communication. 
One day with his wife’s approval he visited the asteroid belt and used a particular doll rather roughly. Only the maintenance man noticed. He’d thought it odd for a cyborg to request a cyborg.
It was eventually noted her brain had putrefied because a customer complained of the smell. It was  returned to the scientists lab. The scientist  cleaned it up and sent it back simply mechanized. The miners said it performed better.  Previously they felt resistance and hostility. No one knew how she had felt..  
The scientist thought it would have been nice if he’d been able to interview her but that would increased the risk of being caught.
The wife loved her husband till he died then she too died., their children present for the funeral of the great man. And later his loving wife.
The scientist lived a long life. His research continued to help those made vulnerable by neurological   diseases. .He died famous and happy after a long loving life with his family. 

The Smoke

He stepped out into  the alley . He’d just wanted  a last smoke, and a moment alone. He was thinking of his bride, the wedding,the dance. Right now she was with her family. Shortly they’d be changing to their going away clothes. The last hoorah. He’d needed a cigarette, and a moment alone.

The two men saw him. Standing there alone.

‘Mick, look.’ Raj said to his mate.

Mick, smiling, nodding to his friend,  was already pulling out the short bat he favoured.They walked the very short distance down the dark alley as if they were going to the light beyond. Mick had his bat tucked up his sleeve. Raj had a knife he’d only use if needed. Neither liked when things got bloody.

The groom was savouring the last of  his smoke watching the rings rise in the air , looking above to the  dim new moon in the oily black sky. He only heard the men approaching.and ignored them, lost in his revelry. He took that last drag on his cigarette, prepared to stub it out before turning to return. His mind was on the white gowned goddess who was now his wife when blackness fell. 

Mick struck the groom on the side of his head behind the right ear. Years ago Mick had practiced with his bat hitting cantaloupes and coconuts to improve his aim and get a feel for the thing. Over time he’d become adept and experienced. He took pride in his skill and trade.

The groom fell in a heap to the dirty soiled alley pavement. 

Raj was on him in a second

“ Mick, I’ve got his wallet, lets go!”

Mick was  standing there looking at his partner who was fishing through the tuxedo of the groom and slipping the smart watch from his wrist. Mick eyed the groom’s  beardless face and slim athletic body.

“I fancy him, Raj.”

“Not again.”

“Yes again”

Raj furtively looked about  spying  the space behind the dumpster.

“Alright then help me pull him over there,”

Together they dragged the groom behind the dumpster. Raj used his knife now to cut open the pants. He slipped off the shoes then pulled down the pants and white underwear leaving them all in a pile to the side. He stood back for Mick.The groom lay face down, his ass  gleaming white  in the soft neon light  from the distant street.

Mick unzippered his black trousers and pulled out his  massive cock. He always seemed to get hard these days when he did a job. Tonight he was particularly aroused. The grooms tuxedo, the musky cologne, the smooth shaved face.

He kneeled down, then lay full  on top of the groom, positioning  himself on the young man beneath him. He didn’t even bother using his hand to direct the thing. He rammed it in. The tight dry hole tore open for his manhood. The soft body jerked in unconscious revolt. With a couple of thrusts Mick  came almost immediately dumping his pile  into the hot ass with a grunt of animal satisfaction. He withdrew and standing placed  his spent thing into his trousers a zippering up. He didn’t wear underwear. They  slowed him down, he said.

He kicked the groom in the head before joining Raj who had stood by the dumpster edge watching Mick and the groom and watching the alley. They now sauntered away to where the neon lights were brightest. Mick feeling pretty cocky was smiling. Raj opened the wallet and showed him the thick wad of cash inside. They sauntered  on now, scot free. 


Mere moments later the groom came to, not knowing where he was, his head aching. He struggled to his feet, standing unsteadily, then staggering  towards the light of the street. Two men were turning the corner.  He tried to call to them for help but the words wouldn’t come. At the street he saw the bright lit vaguely familiar entrance to the hall and stumbled up the stair holding  into the banister as he pulled open a large glass door,

Music came from within, He staggered forward through swinging doors and walked into a crowd of happy well fed well dressed people. He thought he should know the faces turning towards him with ill concealed embarrassment.

The most beautiful girl dressed in a long white gown stood staring. An old couple were turning towards him as the music stopped. Everyone was now turning and staring in the slow congealing silence.

Blood,mucous,semen and shit oozedfrom his torn anus and leaked down the back of his naked legs. 

A couple of men at the bar laughed seeing him naked from the waist down his shrivelled member dangling like a juicy worm in search of a fish.

A collective horror was rising  from those behind him as he again staggered  forward towards the girl. She covered her face with her hands ashamed and embarrassed before turning and sobbing, ran from the room. The pretty  bridesmaid with a scornful look at the groom, turned and followed the bride.

The groom stopped ,not knowing what to do. His throbbing head hurt terribly. A searing pain and wetness from behind  competed for attention. 

Watching the most beautiful girl leave , all eyes turning and following her exit, they now returned and stared at him. He just  stood slightly swaying. His mother with eyes full of sadness looked at her son. Her husband, his father moved quickly forward , removing his own coat and wrapping it around the waist of his son. As he did so he saw  the reddening bruise on  his sons forehead where Mick had delivered his parting kick. Up close he also saw the early swelling of the rising egg behind his son’s  ear. His nose recoiled from the  pungent smell of sex and shit.

Blood,mucous,shit and semen pooled on the hardwood dance floor. 

“What happened, son?” The father said. 

“What do you mean?” The groom found the forming of words difficult. Memory was juggled. 

“I had a smoke.”




Mick was caught selling the watch Raj had given him. He himself was beaten to death when he raped the wrong boy in  prison. The boys mates hadn’t meant the bludgeoning to kill him, They didn’t even know he was dead when they raped his body one after another in the prison shower.

The groom never knew what happened any  more than the speculation of the coarser of the two police.police.   “Stole his wallet and valuables. Then he was bred. Case closed without more evidence”

.When Mick was caught his DNA was a match. He said he didn’t remember. 

The bride couldn’t get over the image of the groom  or the stories. The idea of her husband publicly exposed  with shit and semen running out his anus and down his legs was something she just couldn’t bear. When  he was discharged from hospital the groom read her note leaving him. With the help of a psychologist testifying to her trauma the marriage was annulled. 

HIs motherr said ,”You can’t blame her”.

He gave up smoking.  

The bride was eventually abducted by aliens and used for sexual experiments. She was picked up walking naked down a country road.

The groom never learned of this. 

Raj found another partner and continued his dirty work

     

Friday, May 17, 2019

18 yo - 1970

1970 Biafra capitulated ending the Nigerian War. I just remember a picture of Biafrans starving. I’d later cut it out of a magazine and put it up on my refrigerator because food was being wasted and I thought others should think about Biafra. It didn’t make me popular.
Meanwhile Mick Jagger was fined for possession of marijuana. Black Sabbath released the first Heavy Metal album. I didn’t like heavy metal until decades later when it was no longer loud, not just because I was becoming deaf but because everything was being pushed to the max. 
 March 17 the complete New English Bible was published. My mother bought this for me when I told her I’d signed up for Dr. Carl Ridd’s « Literature of the Bible’ course at University Winnipeg.  
Richard Nixon banned cigarette smoking advertisements on television.  Apollo 13 moon shot was aborted, but splashed down safely after the explosion on board. 
The Kent State shootings occurred May 4. I would remember it most because of Buffalo Springfield’s iconic song,
« Something happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear, man with a gun over there,....people carrying signs, mostly say hurrah for our side....you’ve got to stop, hey, what’s that sound, everybody look what’s going down. ». 
The Beatles released their final album « Let It Be ». The Who performed Tommy at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York. Edward Heath of the Conservatives won. the British election. 
Thor Heyerdahl’s Papyrus boat Ra II arrived in Barbados. I remember following Thor Heyerdahl’s adventures at sea. 
The Isle of Wright music festival occurred. I ‘d read about it years later when I read a biography of Leonard Cohen who played there. 
Salvador Allende won in Chile. The Vietnam War was raging with anti war demonstrations in America. 
The Front de Liberation du Quebec (FLQ) kidnapped James Cross leading to the Quebec October Crisis when PM Pierre Trudeau in an unprecedented over reaction  brought out the army and turned the tanks on the citizens. It was extraordinary at the times because I was in the Peace Movement and here was this man who had mocked the military over reacting in this cowardly way and turning to the very force he loathed to protect him.  La Porte was killed then James Cross wasreleased after the FLQ were granted safe passage to Cuba.
The Khmer Rouge began the civil war in Cambodia. This aetheist communist group would go on to kill half the population of Cambodia, millions upon millions. 
Garry Trudeau’s comic strip Doonesbury debuted. 
Havez al-Assad came to power in Syria following a military coup. The trial for the My Lai Massacre took place.  
The USSR Vénéra 7 spacecraft landed on Venus. The F14 Tomcat came into being. . The north tower of the World Trade Centre was completed. 
Alvin Toffler published Future Shock which I loved.  
Mariah Carey, the Diva, was born this year as was actor Vince Vaughn and actress Uma Thurman.   Melania Trump  was born April 26, 1970.  Sadiq Khan who looks older but acts younger was born this year. Matt Damon who acts older and looks younger was also born this year. 
Meanwhile, Canadian artist Lawren Harris died. I loved his paintings.  Bertrand Russel the great aetheist philosopher and logician whose book I studied in University of Winnipeg philosophy died. His ‘why I am not a Christian’ coupled with C.S.Lewis ‘why I am a Chrsitian’ letters were two of my favourite reads in the years to come. Muscicians Jimmy Hendrix  and Janis Joplin died separately of a drug overdoses.. 

18 yo Ken Matthew’s Dance Studio

When I’d turned 16 yo I was so excited because with my mother’s help I received my Canadian Social Insurance Number. This allowed me to get my first regular ‘job’ at the Fort Garry Pancake House.  I started washing pots and pans and dishes. Thank you YMCA Camp Stevens for the portable skills. I then moved to waitering and got tips.  Tips are incredible when you’re working full out in a busy diner.  By the end of my time there I was a short order cook sliding along the floor flipping pancakes and responding to the constant demand relayed from the hungry by waitresses and waiters to the few of us tasked with taking raw material and transforming it to heavily creations. The apple pancake made there was insurpassable.  Recipes are gold.

The Jewish family who owned and ran the place were the best.  The old man had his little booth at the door where he sold things like watches and lottery tickets and odd trinkets . It wasn’t about the incongruence of the ‘stuff’ in his booth with a restaurant. It was all about family. The son was one of the finest gentlemen I’d meet. He loved his father.  The family truly cared.   They cared for their staff too. It had a family feel. I’d see this paraded as marketting on Hollywood as a Jewish schtick but here it really was true.  Loving people who cared for the quality of the product, ran a really good ship.  They rewarded the good workers and provided a truly fine product consistently that brought in the customers continuously.  It’s no small feat.  The whole family worked hard. There’s all this anti sémitism today in Canada but there weren’t ‘hand outs’. The Rockefeller’s weren’t giving this family money on the side.There was no easy way. They lived and worked and paid attention.  I ‘d learn a lot working for these Jewish businessmen.  My dad admired the Jews in business and was glad that I could see the level of excellence they strove for. Dad admired work and frankly I was a good worker.  I’d go back to eat at that Pancake House for years after I no longer worked there. I loved that the family welcomed and remembered me.  I sometimes feel I could die in some businesses here today and all the owner would do was pick up my wallet. That wasn’t the way of these people in that day. The Fort Garry Pancake House was all about mensch.  

At 18 I took my first full time job at Ken Matthew’s Dance School. It was part of my grand plan to be a play wright and director. I figured I ‘d be a dancer and an actor but my dream really was to write and direct a play. I wasn’t interested in movies. I loved live theatre. Then I actually got even more excited at being a playwright because I truly got a rush out of how directors and actors interpreted the set of words in different ways. I was reading a lot of scripts then and going to different plays seeing how the same play was interpreted in different ways and how the director and actor could make a play even more special. . I wanted to write plays and sit back in the hall and watch what people did with my writing.  In time I’d see directors and producers and meet the whole cast of characters that revolved around plays and movies.  In the end I liked the writer. I loved all the playwrights I met too. Understanding their work I so admired their genius 

Writing a play is about creating dialogue for a cast in a three dimensional space with people coming and going at limited entrances and exits.  It fascinated me.

Dance became central though.  The characters were incredible.  I ‘be already spoken about Ken, the owner.   Marie - she wasthe one who told us she didn’t wear underwear and her boyfriend lived to drink champagne from her shoes.  Antonio and Michelle were  everyone’s love birds.  Nancy the daughter of the Canadian Champion Ball Room Dancer had been sent out to Ken to learn the trade. Her mother, in apparently classic way for her, a no nosense perfectionist, had told Nancy, « You’d better be able to fuck because you can’t dance.’  The mother daughter lesson thing wasn’t working so Ken was called upon to help. Nancy was driven to spite her mother and show her what a great dancer really could become. In time when she danced with Fern she really did make the Hollywood dancers look like ‘wannabes ». 

Baiba would join the group in time.  I was a natural, tall, coordinated but always with my face in a book and never thinking dance was where I belonged.

Each hour 4 to 6 couples would dance around the room. Music played continuously ,big band and modern. I heard Santana here before it ever made the radio stations. Dancers spend night after night listening to albums upon albums of music sorting the best. Fern found Santana.  Baiba would find the jazz numbers..  I was the only one into folk music and no one danced to folk music.  Talk about being an outsider in a dance conversation. 

Ken Mathews Dance Studio was on a second floor on Portage Avenue.  It had this elegant reception like any corporate office would. Offices were to either side of the reception in front of the long hard wood floored dance hall. Chandeliers hung from ceilings and the tell tale dancer mirror ran the full length of one wall. The staff room was behind reception. 

Speakers were embedded in the ceiling and piped the dance music from the stereo at the far end of the room. Other speakers would be brought out for dance competitions and the parties.  AT the parties  the classic 50’s folding card tables would come out with the table cloth to cover their tackiness and the necessary ambience candle.  Folding metal chairs were so uncomfortable that dance was the better alternative. The parties were fun.  They’d précéde the later dance nights when the staff would we’d let lose at some local club.  

Those were especially  fun evenings after  the school ‘official’ party. .  The better students would often come along  We’d end up at a venue where the other dancers from other dance studios and the Royal Winnipeg Dancers and jazz dancers would be partying. We were a small inside crowd and quickly everyone was competing. I enjoyed the wild and crazy free style and with a back ground in martial arts gymnastic and dance could ‘wow’ the crowd.  Baiba was the best and when we danced I did what I was supposed to do, showcasing and highlighting her. Ball room dance was a form of dance where the man supported the woman’s ‘shine’.  Baiba certainly could shine. When she danced the room would clear and people would literally stand around clapping. No one else could do that.I was the auxiliary and obviously okay but the RWB dancers only stole the show when a few of them would get up and do their ‘group dance’ thing.  

In New York I watched Baiba out dance the Broadway dancers when we’d all dance at the Lime light. The only time I’d see her humbled was in London England at the Hammersmith Palli. We were there in that Dancer’s dance hall where the dancers and teachers from all over London and Europe came to dance. You actually had to be a dancer or a teacher to get in and had to show proof. Well the only dance Baiba would do that night was Latin.  The caliber of waltz and foxtrot  and tango was a whole other level and this was considering we’d been danceing in Montreal before going to London with the Canadian and American champions. That night sure got to Baiba She was on fire.  

She studied weekly with Bill and Bobby Irvin the world champions of the day while I took classes with Doreen Key the Latin American World Champion. Each week we worked our various jobs saving our money to train with the best.  On Friday and Saturday nights we danced with the Royal Dance Society. That was a different kind of fun. These were all old English very proper and upper class folk who carried on the great tradition of English Dancing. All night we’d dance with some 50 couples at a time following the lead couple like a flock of birds as we’d do the most advanced Quick step and Waltz and Viennese Waltz’s about this grand old dance hall.  

Baiba would get her gold medallions from the society and I’d get silvers mostly because I wasn’t so keen on collecting dance awards. At the time I was most impressed with all night jive dancing to the most amazing English Jazz bands of the day. The pace of dancing was as bad as the Latvian polka dancing we’d do with her family at Latvian dances when Paul would find the fastest polkas and we’d loose all the older men and women till we were whirling dervishes.  But this was a year or two ahead of this time.  When I was 18 we were all just meeting each other at Ken Matthews Dance Studio  none of us having a clue where those early days would lead.
  
Linda was a character. She wore contacts and was always blinking. Men hoped she was coming on to them when she couldn’t see them. But she had the most unforgettably perfect breasts and legs with this delightful blond personality She drove an old Porsche too and was that incredibly smart blond bimbo type that people were forever underestimating.   She was a character like everyone else. Unforgettable.  

The men dressed in suits. I had to buy two suits at Tip Top Tailor’s down the block where us guys would sometimes join the young salement there at lunch time. The purpose of these meetings was to watch the beautiful shop girls walk by.  I think we might have whistled too only to have the girls throw kisses at us. 

Our female dance companions were the best dressed women on Portage. Dancers as a rule know how to dress. They have these incredibly fit bodies and choose clothing that accentuates their natural assets. They were also in sales as well as just dancing. In addition to being outrageously glamorous they were all very sexy with hems of day time skirts fashionably just an inch higher, cleavage a half inche more.  I laugh today to see girls looking like sluts, especially the Kardashian’s set.  The dancers then and the ones I know now know just how to stay off the thin ice.  It was terrific to work each day with women who would fit on any boardwalk in Paris or Milan.  As men we felt special and proud  to be in their company.  I’ve never be accused of being a prude but I just feel that the men walking with some of the Hollywood girls today must  feel like pimps. That is if they pulled their pants up. I liked that I grew up in an era of Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan.  
The studio made it’s money by offering free lessons.  That brought people in the door. Also shows and competitions.  Naturally after any man danced with Clarkie, Michelle, Linda or Baiba they wanted to buy a year of lessons just to smell their perfume and hold these exquisite creatures in their arms. Because they were consummate professionals and extremely adept at quick stepping the country clod hoppers rich beyond words would immediately feel they were Fred Astaire because the girls made them feel that way. Meanwhile Antonnio, Fern and (forget his name , became a lawyer) , the gay guy, delightful fun older fellow, and myself would be gliding the awkward ladies about the floor. They were less enamoured with us but very keen to look like Linda and Baiba.  It was their true belief that if they could dance with the grace of those girls all the men would rally to them.

The fact is they all were rewarded. We had a psychologist working there when we arrived.  He taught a few nights of classes in addition to his day job. He told me « Our students become good at dance.  We really do teach them. They really do learn. They may not go onto compete but they get a lot of support and socialization and learn this really great skill. The fact is their confidence and self esteem soar and this spreads through their lives. As a psychologist I’ve seen as great  success in people becoming whole in dance studios as I have in the counselling office. »

I’d later think that there was also this body mind factor occurring with dance. The dances were the most advanced movements of the human body conceived by the greatest minds. There was that whole aerobic thing too. But it was way beyond the gym. People were learning one of the greatest ideas of human history.  I talked with the students when we danced and they talked with me. It was nothing to being a psychotherapist after all that training.  I was always celebrating my students, encouraging them and listening like a priest to their life problems in work and relationship. I was also entertaining them with stories upon stories.  Ken Matthew’s was also a very inclusive community.  

Very shortly I had a full roster though everyone wanted to be my student. We kept hiring.  The trick was getting the morning slots full because everyone wanted the after work spaces.  Who wants to dance sexy cha cha cha before the coffee has fully kicked in. The other business matter was return contracts.  Clarkie and her man were best at this because they somehow helped people gain the perspective on dance itself, gettting  the dance bug across.  At first more of their students wanted to become dance competitors though later Baiba’s students would become like this.   We more junior dancers would get a contract or two but our students were more likely to pass on. Antonio and Michelle focussed on those rich customers grabbing them as they came in the door and generally keeping them in the studio. It was a whole matter of learning. The young people like Baiba’s brother Paul were sometimes given scholarships simply because they couldn’t pay but their presence was what attracted the older moneyed crowd.  Paul was a natural dancer but also the original party animal. 

Weekly we’d have a dance with a huge punch bowl which was always a going concern.  Ken and Marie wanted  a little alcohol in it to give a true dance ambience.  Us younger folk expecially Fern and our lawyer to be friend would lace it with extra liquor.  Clarkie and her man wouldn’t notice because for the dance they were allowed to take nips as it was a party. . Linda was usually the one to notice that the punch was ‘spiked’.  This affected some of the students differently. Antonnio didn’t care as he’d often sell an extra contract to an amorous man convinced he’d become Rudolf Vanlentino thanks to his glamorous teacher. The lonely librarian with a bit of life now desired hotly by one of the other students would want Michelle to sell her another contract because Mr. Hay had so helped her understand her life and what she needed to do to get a man.  

Wedding bells followed dance studios along with freed up wild women and wild men who came to realize that it hadn’t been them but their lack of confidence that held them back.  They’d go off to join in the great thing called the ‘60’s’ getting new clothes and hair cuts.  The girls would often take the  students out for ‘remakes’ while Antonnio more than once took men downstairs to the Tip Top Tailors to get them into suits from  the present century.   Many a disco god or goddess would eventually come out of Ken Matthews. Baiba would eventually be the greatest dancer the studio knew making Clarkie a bit jealous as she’d held that role before Baiba spent the year training with the world champion. Nobody could compete with our Ice Capade star but his alcoholism just progressed while Fern became the male sensation.  

The lovely gay man stayed. He said he loved his life and loved his work at the dance studio and he loved his students.Some would stay with him decades. He’d carved a niche for himself and was happy. Baiba and I would visit his apartment he’d had for a decade or more and get a glimpse of what really was a satisfied older bachelor.  His books and movies and the endless albums of dancers and closets full of costumes.  

I loved them all and for the next 5 years would have countless adventures and experiences with Ken Mathew’s Dance School as the common theme.  

Thursday, May 16, 2019

17 yo and Shame, Gays, So so Gay, spirituality, psychoanalysis and meditation.

Later there were years of celibacy cycling back to promiscuity.  It was like I could turn it off and then if I smiled young girls came and threw themselves at me. I’d find women in my bed when I came home. I’d be blamed for being charming.I was accused of seducing women. I was told I was irrisistable.  I spent years in therapy.  I didn’t masturbate. I sat cross legged for hours. I prayed. I joined with a Benedictine for meditation.  It was always like something out of Spock.  I’d mind meld with holy men and holy women. We’d watch sun rises and sun sets. Alone together in friendship.

Breathe in breathe out.

 Om mani padme sum.  

I am He. I am He. Blessed Spirit I am He. No birth ,no death ,caste have I, father mother have I none, I am He. I am he. »

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

The psychoanalysis was different. I spoke with Dr. White, the Christian psychiatrist and we talked over 6 months when he was my mentor. 

« I didn’t find it helped much. My colleague found it exciting. But then there’s always something exciting in confessional for the listener. A kind of voyeurism.  But counselors like this. With little training. Hearing people speak of their inner secrets.  But I didn’t have any secrecy’s. I share everything with Jesus. I have a wife and church and pastor and Christian friends.  We talk openly among one another. We really are a community of God. I know people talk of that. But I found it.  I’d recommend you do too. I’ve heard you talk about your church and you seem to accept a kind of anemic Christianity.  There’s much more.  Not for all but for some. I guess that’s why psychoanalysis didn’t amount to much for me.  I still think he got more out of it. But then we were more interested in technique back then. »

At times the shame was overwhelming. Shame separates one from others, from God.  They say shame means ‘you’re no good’ but that guilt is’ I did something that was no good.’  It’s really nit picking. In the tribe hundreds of thousands of years ago you did something wrong and you were told it was wrong. Any deviation from what was done was wrong. People lived by repetition of right behaviour. Don’t eat the red plant. Eat the green one.  

I loved reading « The World Until Yesterday; What We Can Learn from Traditional Societies. » by Jared Diamond. His first book Guns, Germ’s and Steel had been such a watershed book for me helping me understand the Polynesian people I was working with at the time.  Traditional Societies weren’t the myth of Hollywood and liberal politicians.  The Horror. The Horror. That famous line from Joseph’s Conrad’s Heart of Darkness would come to mind. Everyone and everything was taboo.  The stranger was shunned and killed because that’s how people survived, safely, in the familiar.  

« Freud was afraid of the unconscious.  I thought it a much more reliable and trustworthy thing.  When I fell my body would automatically attempt to save me. Freud was an intellectual in that rationalist tradition that lead to so many hundreds of thousands of men killing themselves in trench warfare  WW1. «  

I was in Phoenix at an Ericksonian Foundation conference for the second time. I was learning hypnosis from the man who did hypnosis for heart and lung surgery. 

« Some people are allergic to anaesthetics. That’s when I come in.  In the old days everyone had surgery and was just held down by their friends and family.  Now they call me. I induce a trance. It’s often days of training and preparation. Then the person is distracted really. That’s what so much of hypnosis is, distraction.  They’re focussed here and the pain is over there. It works extremely well for acute surgery, brief periods. The dentists have caught on and like it. Of course locals and blocks work just as well. There’s the control factor to. The more you use drugs and procedures the more you rely on power.  Erickson liked to let things grow, trusting the process. Describing how plants didn’t need to be told. He believed that life was an inherent pattern in a person.  He thought Freud was afraid of the unconscious.  He didn’t like children much either.  I like children.  There’s that feminine and masculine aspect of nature. Jung talked of this, anima and animus.  We all begin as female and some of us transform into men biologically. »

I’d love reading Jung and how he saw Freud as frightened of the unconscious and needing control. Jung was more interested in the mapping the unconscious.  Freud was satisfied with his seeing that there was the Superego, Ego and Id. Later Erik Erickson, not Milton, would call these the Parent, Adult and Child.  Jung expanded this map as it were to the Shadow and Face. Then the animus (masculine) and anima (feminine).  He’d go on to study the archetypes and the « collective unconscious » those spiritual moments of ‘synchronicity’ and that sense of wonder.  HE was the son of a minister and his psychology spanned the whole of the myth and theology of the Europe of his day.  Freud by contrast seemed to be presenting an idea of the universe straight out of the Jewish history, limited to that, but with God removed.  They both were so interested in science and all the learning of the day.  Freud would write about anthropology.

Ivan Illich, the great French philosopher would write a book called Gender where he’d trace the domains of dominance by male or female of all aspects of life to the gender designation given them in language.  Le Auto meant that the ‘man’ had principal responsibility for this machine but ‘la maison’ designated this as principally the ‘mother or wife’s domain’

So much of the richness of existence and the sacred was lost to the bulldozing stupidity of Cultural Marxism, that Frankfurt school of intellectual nonsense that reduced everything to binary.  Marxism could be summed up as ‘rich and poor’, ‘bourgeoisie and proletariat’ and the rich oppress the poor. The exact same reasoning of the paranoid schizophrenic. There’s ‘them and me’ and I’m their ‘victim’. A very effective revolutionary design that served as the basis of aetheist war and murder of hundreds of millions of men women and children in a mere hundred years or more. No other religion had such a killing history.  Yet sadly Jews especially and all others refuse to let go of one of their own. As if Jewish intellectuals are a Navy Seal platoon of the mind that must keep bringing their fallen colleague back.

My famous colleague, a Jewish psychiatrist who survived Auschwitz would say with disdain, « Feminism is one of the maggots crawling of the dead body of Marx and Freud. »  

« A little girls religion, » she’d say. She was friends of Gloria Steinem and said her personal life was a train wreck.  « So many of the academics write and sound good until you know them up close. ». 

I’d meet the woman who lived beside my favourite gonzo journalist, Hunter S. Thompson.  

« He kept peacocks. Try sleeping when your neighbour has these bloody peacocks that wake at dawn and make all manner of racket. He’d be passed out after shooting his guns off in the early morning. The peacocks would shit everywhere. You know goose shit but peacock’s are a whole lot bigger. So the shits that’s much more.  Worst neighbour I ever had. All his neighbours hated him. Mostly the peacocks and the gun noinse in the middle of the night.  Otherwise he was fine. The peacocks were impossible. »

I cycle back to that night. Over and over again. Trauma does that. This is trauma.  Betrayal for sure.  Sexual so more subtle and worse in some ways than the blatant loss of a limb.  Sexual matters are like worms that burrow under the skin.  I suppose the loss of the limb is worse but the shame may be less. It’s hard to compare. I’ve not lost a limb but I have experienced what would be called rape. I agreed at first then changed my mind only to be held down and penetrated. A rapist might get off on the technicality. I’ve heard a lot of men describe that as ‘normal’. 

Indeed the sophisticated sexual older women of my youth would say ‘no’ as I penetrated them and this ‘pseudo rape’ fantasy loomed large. 

I stopped and she said,  ‘don’t stop. Don’t stop’....

« But you said’ no’ . 

« Ignore me’. »

« Just continue. Pound me. Pound me. I want you to fuck me. »   

«  But you said ‘no’. »  

« I didn’t mean it. ..  Do you want a discussion or do you want to get fucked. »

 I wanted  to fuck but I almost couldn’t because she’d said ‘get fucked’ . I found myself thinking about syntax and construction. Was she fucking me or I was I fucking her?

She was a few years older and had come on to me inviting me into the wealth and elegance she had. She was certainly more established.  She told me this was just sex. She didn’t want a relationship but wanted to fuck. Then she’d said ‘no’ and ‘yes’.  I didn’t go back after a while.  She was confusing. I was young and sex was always available but in bursts with dry periods in between.  Seasonal. With flurries. Women always told me they found me attractive.  They only got angry when I refused them or left. Then they’d be venomous. I loved Zorba the Greek. The « complete catastrophe’ he called it. « Never say no to a woman. »

But I was wondering if I was gay.  I had been that night. I’d had no food. I was hungry.  Never go out hungry if you can avoid it. I was without transportation. Boys don’t hear always have money to get a taxi home.The guys in the band had the car. They weren’t leaving. They were conspiring.  There was champagne and caviar. An exotic spread in an elegant penthouse. I loved the warmth and ambience. All the older guys. I was the youngest.  I was a poet.  I believed in diversity and learning. I didn’t want to. I said no over and over again. 

« I like girls’.  I don’t want to. I’ve never been interested. ». 

« Okay, but just come. You don’t have to do anything. He just said he liked young boys and would make the record if we brought young boys. He didn’t say you’d have to fuck. We said, we’d see. »

That was the conversation in the car. When Lonny took the gun from the glove compartment and slipped it into his pants. Meaningfully.  Manly. He did that when we went to a party. Part of his schtick. Having the pistol and showing us he had the pistol.  

We went up the elevator.  

There were others there. Mostly the old guy though. HE was very attentive. « More champagne’. « Another jay ».  

I drank and smoked.  And watched the movie he put on.

It was everything I’d never seen. I sat on the couch completely stoned.  Everyone said how powerful the dope was. Really good stuff. And the wine was so sweet. Bubbles. Went to my head.  And I saw there watching gorgeous men and naked women and orgies of men and women then the pictures would change to just women, all so beautiful, all mingling like a kaleidoscope of Kama sutra, then just men, and animals and children and I just sat and watched. Stoned. And frozen.  I was paralyzed and My brain a wet noodle.  I felt so good.

I looked down at my lap.  The old guy was down on his knees between my thighs was sucking my cock. I don’t remember him unzipping my fly. I don’t remember how long he’d been sucking my cock. All the band and the other men were standing by watch, sipping drinks, tasting jouer douerves. It felt  good then. He was taking my hand and walking me to the bed room. I was watching this happen to me.

He gave me a Playboy and I stared at a centre fold as he undressed us. Then we were naked and his hands were all over me as were his lips. Then he guided me into him but I kept going soft. 

« Look at the Playboy » he’d say  and I’d look at the Playboy centrefold on the pillow by his head. I’d stay hard then and finish.  He’d clean me up and dress me.  Then before I left I’d watch Lonny pulling out a contract and getting his signature. Lonny had been watching too. I thought that creepy.   My ‘friend’ was laughing and smiling.

« You took one for the team. Good on you. » He said, like we were in school and I’d held up the end. 
« I  wasn’t going to do it. I never could but you did. » he said and I hated him.  I knew I hated him. T.s. Elliott.s Hollow Men.

A while later an older friend at the university invited me to a faculty party her professor was throwing. I was the youngest there too.  Just out of high school. My friend was from Vincent Massey a year or two ahead of me and now studying poli sci and English.  

There were all these papers and every where bottles of wine.  A guy came in with two green garbage bags of marijuana and dumped them on newspapers  laid out in the centre of the room.  Rolling papers were thrown around.  My friend met another man and they began to kiss. I sat down with a glass of wine. She went up stairs with him .  A while later she came down. I was drinking more wine and just chain smoking dope. I was in heaven. Never had I seen so much dope.  I was l’église and everyone  was happy. I was drinking wine and smoking dope watching couples kiss then go up stairs. 

The professor had done it with students and his wife had done it with students. Old people, young people. Then she took my hand. It was so soft. Her face was so round and close. Her voice sounded miles away. The music was floating through the air like staffs. I was seeing it. I followed her  up the stairs. She showed me the babies in the crib in another the room. The professors and his wife’s. 

But then she took me into the extra bedroom. The bed was big and soft with huge mirrors on the ceilings and walls. I saw she had trouble getting my jeans off.  I couldn’t seem to help. I was in that drooling staring catatonic dope state. She’d walked out of her own clothes like they were designed for rapid exit.  She was naked before me stroking me and untangling my jeans from my stocking feet. She pushed me back onto the bed and straddled me.  I supposed I consented. I could say I was raped. No clothes so no deep pockets. No fowl. No thoughts like those in those days. Today a new game of rape history for profit. 

I hadn’t  hada volitional thought. I was like Garp. She was probably merciful. Practicing charity.  I was in the flow A silly dope grin on my face. My mind a loose noodle. My erection a mind of it’s own. The only place with blood I was all vegetable. She’d hardly mounted me when I came. Not quite premature ejaculation, at best a peri-mature. coming. She was upset. I was supposed to wait. But I wasn’t home. He had a mind of his home but she rolled her eyes at me. She brusquely dressed me like a child.  

She walked me quickly down the stairs and left me by my pile of marijuana and poured me another glass of wine, immediately taking the next  man upstairs. He looked as blotti as me. I rolled another joint, had another glass of wine and wonder if that had just happened.  There’d been so many going up and down the stairs before the night was through. I thought she was wonderful. I felt wonderful. I almost took off my clothes in the living room but somehow stopped myself that time. Taking off my clothes seemed to take up a lot of thought and time. Eventually she came for me and put my parka on. We went out in the cold. She never asked me out again. I know it wasn’t anything I said because I didn’t speak. 

I was passive. Passive was great. Over the years I’d move all over the passive active spectrum. I felt I had to be active. The more active the better.m Married  for years , years later ,I’d get kinks in my neck spending my life between her legs licking an eternity as she said that’s the only way she could orgasm. 

« I don’t orgasm with intercourse, » , ‘she said. She seemed to. Come to think of it she always had a contented smile on her face. After I divorced I suspected her of lying. She didn’t reciprocate. « Good girls don’t like that. » 

Reciprocation became a theme with money and sex when I was a marriage and sex therapist..

I would sit for hours and and years and listen to couples dicker ant trade. Then the courts would talk about money like they’d talked about sex. Everyone wanted to be served but no one wanted to serve.

« He just fucks me. Never once asked what I wanted. Just fucks me. I take care of myself. I never had an orgasm till my girlfriend introduced me to her vibrator.  Never had one with him even after. I just lay back. You know that mothers told their daughters to ‘lie back and think of England’. I don’t think of England but I just think of other things.

« So here’s the joke, doctor. «  a patient told me »What’s the difference between a mistress, a prostitute and a house wife.?’

« What? I humoured him. I was seeing so many men for sexual abuse. All these macho men, leaders in society, doctors, chiefs, colonels. Coaches. First it had been the residential schools Then it had been word of mouth. You should talk to Dr. Hay about that. The newspapers made it something men could talk about. I loved the psychologists who had begun the BC Society for Sexually Abused Men. I talked to them in early days met the doctor who’d been 20 years with a male lover and 20 years with a female lover. « I love the person not the  genitals’.he told me. 

« What? ».  He was laughing. Sexual jokes were manly.

« The prostitute says, are you finished yet. »
‘The mistress says ‘more, Cherie, more’
‘The housewife says ‘beige, I think I’ll paint the ceiling beige.’

He was one of hundreds of good men who married in good faith and their wives decided they didn’t want sex anymore. Not after the kids. A myriad of excuses. They were good church women. Upstanding citizens. Withholding bitches.  Cunning conniving insensitive takers.  Stupid cows. Controlling. There were a thousand words that had come down through the ages to describe the situation. Always she said, he said. But in the end if the man slept outside of the house then  he lost the house and he  children. The women came in too and told me of lovers who were gardeners and how they were having sex with the  father or brother or best friend.  All I heard especially when I worked with the country.  I was a psychiatrist and I flew from town to town and worked in a variety of cities and different countries. But every person was telling me a sexual story of horrible sadness.

« My other doctors didn’t ask if there was anything that was bothering me, My psychiatrist says he’s just there to give me pills. He didn’t discuss sex or marriage and especially didn’t want to hear about affairs.

« He brings home men from the office to use me. Says he likes to watch. »

« If I don’t sleep with the men he doesn’t sell another car. I like it really. They say women don’t like that sort of thing but I do. I’ve always had a healthy sexual appetite. I don’t think my husband could fulfill it alone . This works. He likes money more and I make him a lot of money. »

« He was my pimp and the father of my children. »

‘The judge told me about her love of sex and role play.’

« She was a Wiccan ,’ she said. She described the orgy with the other naked white witch women and the happy young man.  
« He was in his  twenties and we asked him if he’d help us in our ceremony. Nothing painful. No one would be hurt. There were six of us. That’s the number you know. We all had a go with him. He was a really healthy boy. »

« My husband doesn’t care what I do as long as he’s got his football games.’

« If married women had sex with their husbands there would be no prostitution. Almost all my customers are upstanding men who are married, bringing home the bacon and doing their part but married to these cold bitches who simply don’t care for them. I service them and they think of me like they think of the garbage man. I fulfill my role. The women here know what goes on .  They’re not stupid. A lot of women just see their husbands as dirty little boys they use. »

« I dont know if I’m gay, I told the psychiatrist. I’ve never looked at another man and been interested in him. I’ve never dreamt of sex with a man. I’ve sometimes thought back to that older guy and his friend who fuckd me.  It wasn’t pleasant. I was hungry. I wanted dope. It was only a couple of times. I never went back.  I met Nancy after that and one girl lead to another. I loved sex with women. I masturbated to images of sex with women. I wanted women . I loved women.  But they say if even you have one time with a man it’s just a matter of time.  You’re either / or. »

« Thats’ not true,’ he said.  He discussed the spectrum.  « You’re definitely heterosexual.  My gay patients never think of women. Some men switch like women. I ‘m seeing a woman now whose husband died after 35 years and three children. She has an older lady friend and they’ve become intimate. She doesn’t know what to make of it. But it’s easier for them because no one thinks of two older women living together. Not that a lot of them aren’t lesbian but that’s what they think of men living together. Especially young men. »

I thought a lot about this.  Everything was a default pattern to the sex I knew married.  Married sex in a loving relationship with a woman was unsurpassed in my experience. I’d known years and decades of it. The hierarchy rancher than binary. 

There are many reasons for breaking up. She lost interest in sex. I found that that was what did me in. She just stopped having sex. She might have been having an affair and she said she was always tired. She turned away. She said no. I was rejected another million times by women and now it was my wife. I kept thinking of that study that showed men had been told ‘no’ a thousand times to women being told ‘once’ and how rejection saddened men in the dating world but made women angry.  The psychologist out of California who did the sexual research said, « Feminism is dead. Women simply cannot shoulder the burden of sex that men do. So the species simply can’t perpetrate with women being in charge. They simply won’t take the risk of rejection and want everything their way in the bed room. »

« Did you hear the joke about the two girlfriends at the woman’s sexual palace,’ she said.

« No. »

Freud said jokes were veiled hostility but he wasn’t a very funny man and quite insecure according to his colleagues.  He did accept that humor was a as mature a ‘defence’ or ‘coping strategy’ as ‘altruism’ . His daughter, The brilliant child psychiatrist would go on to write about lines of development.  Some of the early group who worshipped Freud still speculated about what his developmental disorders were. 

« Sometimes the paranoids are right’, he’d say fleeing the Nazi’s. He’d get cancer from smoking his cigar. Horrible mouth and throat cancer. Surgery and pain. The later somatic psychiatrists would speak of Anger and Organ susceptibility.  Those were the years when breast feeding and bottles were an issue. Then there was Abraham who said depression was anger turned inward. The somatic doctors considered much of chronic illness repressed anger . That certainly jived with a lot of stress research.

« The women are dying of breast cancer because the men aren’t fondling them. The men are dying of prostate cancer because their wives aren’t havening sex with them. »  He and his wife were both psychologists and they taught ‘energy flow’.

The facts scientifically were that much of prostate cancer was the same as cervical cancer. Herpes Simplex II STD  virus and too many sexual partners. His argument though was for much more sex with just one partner. They were very much monogamomay proponents.

So many patients told me of their involvement with the Polyamory Society.  This was different from the ‘swinger set’.

By this time I’d seen dozens of transexual assisting them in their process getting tremendous support when I kept them going forward towards surgery and then getting tremendous backlash and stigmatisation when I pointed them the other way to the door.  There was so many politicals in medicine by then. Competing factions. The drug company celebrated the ‘influencer’ and ‘leaders’ who got the most drug sales. No clear association with correct diagnosis or the increasingly criticized ‘morbidity and mortality’ concepts.  The College bureaucrats suggested a paradigm more  like Walmart . 

« Doctors are the service personnel. ». « Remember the customer is always right.’ 

« Your job is to move product. » 

I was castigated when I wouldn’t agree with a child having a sex change. I was all for adults having freedom of choice, that modern technology gave us many options. Luddites continued to criticize everything but cherry picked the clean water and efficient transportation. I wore a dress then. I liked going to church in high heels with red painted nails. We were all part of a society where women dressed as men and men dressed as women and we went out for dinner.  I felt so vulnerable in heels, so unable to run. I couldn’t understand how women had ever allowed men to take away their right to carry a purse gun.  I wore this skirt and had these thin little panties and only thought about being available for sex with my butt pushed out by my heels. 

We talked about this. « « In my lumberjack shirt and jeans and boots I want to swing an axe and mount a woman....the clothes are so defining ».

« Ive said it for years women are transvestites in modern society and men are the ones who are restrained. The man’s suit jacket was developed by the British army as part of their uniform in the 18 hundreds. I’m dressed for daily war and you’re dressed for love making. It’s so unfair.’

We all laughed over dinner and talked of sex changes and hormones. Many of the wives were there.  We played games like seeing who won the fashion contest shopping at Thrift stores without spending more than  $20. I was a wreck.

« You have to come out, » he said. He was my priest and I shared with him my confusion and frustration. 

« What’s more coming out than wearing a dress, make up and high heels. »

« But you’re gay. « 

« I like women. »

‘But gay includes that. It’s us and them. They believe in this one heterosexual myth. Strictly binary. ». 

If that’s the definition then I’m gay but I don’t think that’s very scientific. Political, maybe but not at all scientific. I liked Dr. Bea’s work out of Berkeley. She has men who’d rather die than switch and the women who were the same and that opportunistic middle group which went with the flow. I’m there. I won’t die to be straight or gay. I remember my Christian friend liking that there were other men like him who’d die rather than let anything touch their behinds. What really angered him was when I told him that there were an equal percentage of gay men and gay women who felt the same towards heterosexuality.

« It’s sexual addiction. » he said.  What did God want? That seemed pretty straight forward when it came to procreation but the relational part of sex was not so clear. There was a very good evolutionary argument that sex was fun far before it was functional. Monkeys don’t associate sex with procreation and many not have figured that out till animal husbandry days. But men and women have been doing it since the beginning as well as looking for love in all the wrong places. But we tend to judge others who sin differently than ourselves. 

The monk Ispent time with rejected all attachment.  The Stoics did the same but my philosopher professor friend was an epicurean.  We debated the Greeks once again.

I thought my body didn’t care whose lips were on my penis, male or female, but my mind felt differently.

That’s when I considered all the men and women I’d seen at work who had been into  bestiality. That through another log into the fires of the long discussions of ethics, morality and psychiatry.  As primitive even barbaric cultures move into the scientific modern age almost yanked out of ancient centuries they are trying as hard to pull us back into the dark ages. It is alright to fuck a goat but only if the goat consents. 

« Doctors shouldn’t talk about sex with their patients especially male doctors with female patients. If they insist there may be a reason but it’s best then to refer the patient to the same sex doctor primarily someone who is trained only to deal with sex. It doesn’t matter that there is no such person. It doesn’t matter if the wait list are years. You just must act like a doctor. Nothing is real. You just act like you care. Like I act like I care. The  jaded didn’t know they were jaded, »

A speciality in sexual medicine might be a consideration. « But it’s better not to ask questions about sex. ». No one does anymore and the children are again sexually abused and the darkness descend because the elite don’t care. The kill by neglect, murder by covert aggression. And lies 

He was a pompous fool who brought in sharia trained people to teach the students the proper medical exams . He worked for pharmaceutical companies and governments who had been caught covering up corruption so thick that the stink reeked throughout the valley. He was impervious to change.  Superior in a way that made a human chuckle.  He knew nothing about psychiatry and even less about sex. The money laundering was all he cared about the billions and billions of dirty money and dirty people. He was such a disgusting dirty little boy. Leonard Cohen said he’d be the KY Jelly. 

« Women don’t lie about sex’ his colleague said with a straight face on another occasion. Her divorce from  another physician and her sexual perversity  was common knowledge. A train wreck but always wearing white cotton panties.  The look in her eyes was vacuous. 

« They recruited women who hated men and hated sex. Communists mostly. They have peculiar ideas about sex.  Honey pots and promiscuity.  Engles and Marx were against the family. They fooled around themselves. Like the UN committee on sexual equality chaired by the Saudi Muslims, with not a woman present , and they don’t see a problem with that. They called all of this ‘superego lacunae’ when i was doing analysis.’

I was at the World Congress of Psychiatry talking with the Head of Moscow Psychiatry.  I had painted my nails red.  Men and women psychoanalysts told me how much they liked the color. Bringing the painted nails to the centre of the conversation intrigued, hoping I’d share,  but I just said ‘thank you’ .We talked about what we thought the sexual proclivities were of the present leadership of men and women . 

« We always got together and talked of them as children. « Merkel’s still Stazi ».  « What’s with all the mommy’s boys ? «  « Macron «   
« I don’t know what to make of Trump. He loves women but does he like to get spanked in the bedroom like our British leaders.’ 

 We laughed and it was good to be home among adults away from the asylum of the government and the faculty where they ‘d hired all the perverts who covered up for them.

I’d feel the gay older guy took advantage of me. He certainly drugged me and had sex with me. Just like my female friend did. I didn’t put up much resistance with either of them once my body was in play. A bit like a dog humping furniture. Date rape might be the term today but back then everyone was ‘easy’.  We drank and did drugs and even guys ended up with guys and girls with girls. We joked that if you remembered the 60’s and 70’s you simply weren’t there.  The Kavanaugh public drama was such a lie.  False accusations now running 40%. The « me too » movement as much about Weinstein being Jewish as about his being an obvious pig.  

Ugly men got positions of power and women without money or power exchanged sex for power. It’s there in the Museum of Sex I visited in New York.  I went au femme and I went drab. We read the histories on the wall. The number of species who were ambivalent. The biological record and the record of cultural history. 

I remember defending the Little Sisters costly and painful long running legal battles over censorship. I’ve always been a libertarian, hated the communist dictatorships and other dictatorships. Loved freedom. I thought it wrong that some dirty little political biddy with no sex life of her own, culturally immature, would spend countless nights alone or with her select and special boy and girl friends, perhas her family, deciding what other adults could see. The arrogance. 

I  was  the Youth Representative to Parliament and gave a speech on freedom against communism. Now the slippery slope has begun with hate speech and Islamaphobia.  Homophobia was a lie , just the binary idea of the thing not that gays aren’t persecuted, and it just snowballed .Even antisemetism back fired. A whole new victim industry. The fall of society with half the population accountable while the other half are not and claim entitlement by aneient victimship. Years ago I wrote extensively about the war between the ‘whose up and whose down’ the « one upmanship’ competition of men and the ‘one downmanship competition of women. » male bullies and female bullies.

I have had sex with a woman hundreds of thousands of time and sex with a man a dozen perhaps.  I understood her dilemma when she told me that her lesbian friends were rejecting her saying she wasn’t a lesbian anymore because she hadn’t had a girlfriend in a couple of years. She told me how boring the lesbian commercial drive society had become with who slept with who and who had the youngest. And she just hadn’t found anyone she loved. Her last partner had died after a ten year romance. I remember the lovely lesbian nurses I adored who I worked up north with and had at my home when they came down to the city.  Now here was this patient. Not lesbian ‘enough’. 

The pendulum had swung from gay being illegal in 1968. I’d dressed in a hot mini skirt and made a pilgrimage to Stonewall one night to see the drag show. It was very conservative. I was more outlandish in my space age wig.  I’d had to put together a costume at one store for under a hundred, The American I had in cash.  The young black girl had had a hoot helping me dress for the occasion.  Faces of New York wanted to photograph me. How funny was that.

But then the shift occurred. The mixed result of the Aids epidemic. My San Franciscan Anglican priest friend told me he was at a religious conference as a speaker following his Baptish friend who’d just heard that thered’ been another earthquake in San Francisco.

‘He’d then gone on to blame this on the gays and insist that their sinful life style had caused their the earthquake like it caused their Aids.. »

Hearing this I thought of all the men I’d seen when I served in the aids epidemic who’d got their disease from tainted blood the BC government and Red Cross had given them. I thought too that Aids was a heterosexual disease in the rest of the world and mostly my patients got it sharing needles.  I thought of the babies. I’d gone to courses at the conservative Regent College and the Liberal Vancouver School of Theology specifically to study « how come bad things happen to good people’ . It was what Job, the least taught book of the Bible was about. 

«  I told  my friend that I thought his friends  description of the earthquake and disease science was pretty sketchy. »

He went on to tell me, « I’d called my parish because I’d been concerned and found out everyone was alright. But I simply don’t like this old blaming and shaming holier than thou theology. »

« When I got up right after him, I shared that I was really thankful for my learned friend’s analysis and observations and that I would go back to my parish in San Francisco and Check this out immediately because I’d just called to see if everyone was alright and found out the epicentre of the earthquake was in our convent  nunnery. You can be sure  I’ll be looking into finding out if all these women are really homosexual men fornicating and spreading Aids.  I thought they were really nice and kind chaste ladies and never knew. ‘ 

« The assembly of ministers and priests had collectively not been on the side of witch hunts and blame and shame but  laughed uproariously. Even my Baptistfriend acknowledged I had a point »

« So remember a decade or so ago when if you sucked one cock the heterosexuals kicked you out and the gays took you immediately. » I asked my authoritative gay friend.  He nodded.

« I’ve got this patient who thinks she’s not gay enough so I was wondering now that gay is very much « in » how many cocks does a person have to suck to be gay?’

« None, «  he said. 

« It’s where you shop. » 










Wednesday, May 15, 2019

17 - 18 years old: The apartment, music scene, the Blond sisters, dance, music, RCMP,

I don’t know if I can go back and look at the mess. The memories that came out of this time at the end of high school. R. D. Laing wrote a book of poetry and called it “Knots”.  He came to Winnipeg but made a joke about psychoanalytic insight and the head of the department of psychiatry’s vanity and his ill fitting ‘rug’ or ‘toupee’.  He was never invited back.  Money and power. They ran as a parallel to the theme of genius and creativity.  Art was the mistress to the establishment.

There was so much talent back then. I was the writer observer. The poet.. The sociopathic friend, I’d thought he was a friend, till he sold me like Judas for a record contract.  There’s that time of innoscence. When you’re with people and you think the deal is up front and everyone is being honest but there’s that niggling suspicion. Years later I’d buy an RV from a guy and he knew but didn’t tell me that the brake lights went on but the brake  didn’t work.  He knew. I knew he knew when I was lying in the ditch on my side, my truck and RV totalled and us nearly killed. Buyer beware. Clever businessman.  I remembered the eyes. Eyes lie. I knew but  at the time register anything but some peculiarity.

My dad read men.  He said of the other friend I’d brought home. The one who turned out to be a drug dealer. “He’s hard,” Bill. “I don’t like him because he’s hard.  You shouldn’t be hanging out with him. I don’t know what more I can say.”

There’s a gestalt sense one gets. I’m with several patients now who are ‘hard’.  I’ve been searching for their hearts. They’ve been trying to use me in their latest con, working some angle and I’m teasing out the Knots.  Picking away slowly. I’m trying to untie them when they’re not looking. When the anger is least. I tease at their knots with my bloody fingers and my teeth. I’ve got free but I want them free. Right now all they are is garden variety psychopaths but they could be much more.

For years I worked with borderlines because no one wanted them. Like the Aids patients and the addicts.  I remember the borderlines being the most entertaining. Junkyard dogs. Just as soon begin gnawing there own legs off as attack you. Only two modes of operation. Suicide or homicide. I came up with the emotional ping pong analogy and began riding them like my uncle tamed  the wild stallions.  Just stay with them while they’d pull all the stops trying to get rid of you. Just hang on and ride the drama through.  So many crying in my arms and then walking on  without that Bucking broncho business.  Becoming great successes, having deeply meaningful loves.

It worked all the time if they didn’t do drugs or alcohol.  All those borderlines I treated got better except the one son  drugs and alcohol.  I taught them new coping strategies. Worked through the trauma. Changed the diagnosis to ptsd then contained the disease in walled off bits.  Later I’d takle the drugs and alcohol.  Wonder how come the ones with drugs and alcohol could’ve get better.  Borderlines became the untreated PTSD and then the addicts and alcoholics because the untreated borderlines. Personality disorders that all began in adolescence though Freud thought it was earlier. Freud always thought it was earlier. He was a genius who hated his father and fantasized about his mother. Karen Horney  said he had womb envy.

Like worker ants about the queen ant it sometimes depended on how far down we’d regress. I’d liken the journeys we took together as my following them down the rabbit hole and then turning them around and bringing them back out. Like turning babies in the womb. Psyches.  I liked my terrier because that’s what he did. But he just killed the culprit in the tunnel and I was into reforming. Killing was easy. The killers are a dime a dozen. It’s the turning them around in the dark spaces and heading them towards the light that’s interesting. The trick is not getting hurt but now they’re useful idiots and used as weapons.the parasites have moved in on them. The parasites have no hope for the host and only care for more blood for themselves. They live on a different kind of drama. I always liked R. D. Laing’s book, the Knots.  

I touched on my own knots.  Remembering the sisters. The beautiful young blond,  I believed I was in love.  We’d all planned the house together but in the end their father didn’t want their daughters near us.  It was the drugs and the band.  Lonnie would appear and he was a psychopath. He carried that gun in his glove compartment and in his rage attacks he’d pull it out and shove it in some guys face leaving an indentation while I watched aghast at his insaniety.  He was the singer. I know now he had his own supply of coke though mostly he was just a garden variety hard core alcoholic.  Lots of the musicians were attracted to the scene because of the drugs and alcohol. Lots wanted the life style.

Like the pedophiles who went to work for church. They were just predators and went where the innoscent were. I’ve watched for pools in my later years. There are African watering holes where the predators can get close to the prey. They pick off the weak there. The church was that for the pedophiles.
Lonny was on the music scene for the drugs and alcohol and the teen girls. He could sing. He had a knack and he wanted more money for more teen girls and more booze and drugs.  He carried that gun with him. An American in Canada carrying a hand gun.

I watched a guy cut him off in traffick. In road rage he grabbed the gun out of the glove compartment in front of me. He jumped out of the car sprinted up to the one in front reached his hand in and grabbed this unarmed Canadian by the collar half pulling him out of the car and shoving that pistol in his mouth.

“You cut me off, mother fucker, nobody cuts me off.”

Then he walked back in the car and  drove on.

 “He won’t cut me off again, mother fucker,” .

I was carrying amps and running errands for these guys. They were supposed to be paying me but they never did.  The sociopathic friend may have taken the money. We were supposed to be composing a rock opera.  My poetry was to go together with his music. Only thing is he couldn’t be original. We’d sit down. I had the words. I had all the words but he’d just come out with elevator music and get fed up with his composition.I thought it was good but he said it wasn’t. Mostly he seemed like he had no focus. I’d write for days. I’d be writing all the time.  I’d be sitting watching and writing . He’d never practice. Al, the base player , that’s all he did. 

The sociopath was good, obviously had practiced when his mother told him to but after that he just couldn’t do it on his own.  Lots of kids like that. Left home. Couldn’t internalize the discipline. Needed the military to gain the discipline and then to internalize it. I ‘d learned it. I was OCD in that way, focused on a goal. I’d pick up something and follow it to the end wondering why everyone else who said they wanted the goal had dropped away.

Robideux would be my room mate later that year and I’d do it to him. We talked of a show and putting it on and I just went off and did my own thing. I know he felt betrayed. I lost faith in the dance group. We seemed to get going nowhere. But even though we’d failed I know Fern kept the dream.  He’d make it on his own with his family.  I know now I failed him as others failed me. We’d have this dream and plan and then we’d let it go. Like a marriage and a divorce.

I met K D. Laing that night.  It was the first time I was offered blow. I tried a line but didn’t do more. K.D. didn’t do drugs. She was there with a tough girl who was all eyes and anger.  The manager of the place had invited us back to the office. He knew the sister. She was in promotion. She’d brought a Mickey of Southern Comfort to the dance and carried it in her purse. It was the only time I’d do that but it sure was fun. « Nipping » she called it. 
She was crazy fun. Taking nips in the parking lot and going back into the St. Boniface Bar to dance with the crazy French guys. 

K.D. Laing had brought out the gay scene as well as the bikers and these crazy French folk. 

“It saves on bar costs,” she said as we took another nip of Southern Comfort. Only time I ever drank that stuff.. I ‘d bought us beer. K.D. was incredible. Different but great. We heard her back they way before everyone knew her. It was great being on the bottom floor to later say I knew them when..

I’d sold some photography and written a column in a newspaper. Money was irregular for art.  Everyone talked about getting regular jobs but it seemed that if you left this magical flow you might not get another chance. There was a fast lane we were in and the slow lane which everyone else was on.

I remember making love to her slow as molasses with cathedral bells ringing in my head as a thousand feathers brushed my soul.  Love was all there was when we were young.

I’d be in New York dancing in the coming year and be invited back to the ‘inner circle’. It was a Canadian formula. I saw it first in St. Boniface. The night I met K.D. Laing. It would be the basis of the famous disco clubs. Millions would be make on the formula.  The hoy polloy would all be in the outer circle. We’d be drinking and dancing but the famous people would go through us and everyone would gossip. There was this inner circle.  That’s where the semi famous people went. There was one more circle.  I was often in the middle circle because I was talented and young and beautiful. The owner of the club would move us in. Mostly I was always with girls who were stunning and extraordinary. The owner would bring me along. The inner circle was the draw. That was where the taboo was.

Like the time I was on stage with Led zeppelin. I was with a gorgeous black girl dancer and a gorgeor white girl dancer and they wanted us to dance. The girls just brought me along. I was then thinking maybe I was eye candy for the gays but later would know I was eye candy for the girls. I wasn’t looking at guys and didn’t think of myself as attractive because I knew all these people I thought were more attractive and more talented, It would be years later I’d hear the term ‘egomaniac with an interiority complex’ and identify that as the way I was back then centre stage.

I’d bombed on a stage in Neepawa. I was performing in an Arts Festival. We’d been dancing with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet but I had this improvisation and this set of lines from a regular show. Only there I was in front of hundreds of people and I just froze. I couldn’t remember the lines.  I had a prompter and they were hissing at me. I was stumbling big time.  My co star rescued me. Others came on stage to save the day but that meltdown , the longest pause in my life remains with me. I’d never shut down like that. It’s like the first erectile failure or the time the ankle gives out and you fall, you can never be sure after that. Everyone thinks you’re confident and have it but in the back of your mind you’re waiting for the next time. 

 Now when Anything like this happens I just soldier through. The fear is paralyzing.  They call it stage fright but it’s not just that  something but any the new experience. It’s a mental glych.. A momentary lapse.  I’ve been frozen countless times now. Panic attacks. WAnting to go home to bed. Wanting to get back in the womb. Wanting to live in pyjamas. The prompter hissing lines. Other members of the cast furious.  Everyone waiting. The audience beginning  to laugh. Then the tunnel opens slowly, the breathing comes back on line and the throat constriction stops or the muscles get blood to them.  One step in front of the other. I learned to work through this. To walk across the stage. To make motion. To turn away.

Only that once I stood there. Like I was naked and the kindergarten teacher had my pants down in front of the class and was whaling on my bare bottom with a ruler.

Years later, old, when  I let her hit me with a ping pong bat. We were naked and having fun. Old adults. She said she liked it. I said I didn’t.  The memories of shame. Of teachers caning me in front of classes. Tears running down my cheeks with pain. The kids in the class looking away while others got excited and stared.

Knots. R.D. Knots. I’d been all knotted up that day and got myself free.  The show went on. The hecklers didn’t get any steam up at all but it was close. Give the hecklers even the littlest bit of time and they’re be tearing down the city and destroying the world for the bits of gold and the teen age girls.

Lonny lost an eye in a fight, I learned years later.

There was lots of fights in those bar room days.  I don’t know why they came after me. Lonny owed people money as did the other guys.  Musicians had their instruments and amplifier on monthly plans from the store. Everyone was poor.  Till they got that break.

I remember sitting watching K.D. Lang, not doing drugs. Not drinking.  She had these tough broads around her and the beautiful people were there. She was sitting waiting.  Part of her contract was to come back stage and mix with the owner and the inner circle of the owner. This brought in the money people. They were touching the outside of the cage. That inner world where we were supposed to feel safe. Where the music was kept like an ark and people like K.D.could borrow it a bit.  High priests.  And these worshipers all gathering with the owner talking money and cars.  I watched her that night. We stared at each other for a while. I didn’t know why I was there.  I’d liked the Southern Comfort and enjoyed the smoke. I liked the smoke. I came to know that. But my friend liked the coke. Girls did. I didn’t .  But K.D. didn’t do anything. She waited.  When it was polite to leave she left.  

Everyone was talented back then. She was one of a dozen great gigs but she had something more.  I met Neil Young back then.  He wasn’t particularly special at first. There were some guys who were simply incredible but would never leave Winnipeg. He wasn’t gifted like that. He seemed to work for everything he got.  The audience would melt. Neil was very good but they all were good.  People had to have some push or pull outside of the music to move on.  Neil would become great. I’d always love »There is a town in North Ontario.... » along with all his more famous songs. 

Years later I’d love Dylan’s song, 
« What’s a sweetheart like you doing in a dump like this.....you could be known as the most beautiful woman who ever crawled across cut glass to make a deal.....you’ve got to be an important person to be here, honey, got to have done some evil deed....got to have your own harem when you come through the door ....got to play your harp until your lips bleed.”

Everyone was good. There were a half dozen magnificent. But only one or two made it and I wondered ever then what evil deed they’d done. Because it wasn’t just talent like everyone wanted to believe or at least wanted you to believe. The money men hung out at the watering hole too looking for the weak just like the drug dealers.  I’d just wanted to be with friends and they traded me for gold.  I wondered how others got out of the cold.  

I had had a coat of many colours but that was stolen too.

I loved learning that Bachman didn’t drink or do drugs back then.  He really did like the music. Years later I’d know principal violinists of Russia, famous flautists, trumpets and cello folk of major symphony companies. They were there for the music. Not like the scene in rock and roll, a different scene. but the music came first. It didn’t need to on that other stage. I didn’t have music. Rythymn at first but not music. That came later when Jim Donahue taught me to strum one chord. But that was years later when Jim cycled through my life again. 

So much of it is a blur.  I unpack my life because we think we know it. In our minds we stumble over the same lies and avoid the truth. It’s only when you take pen to paper that you see the bits of the puzzle don’t fit.  When we get the new comer and take him to the accounting sheets. Ask him to ledger his life. Fears and Resentments.  No one likes the accountant. The accountant is just a glorified tax collector. He’s been made pretty for the sake of the king. In the old days he was killed by the people before he had big houses and hid behind his blood money.  Jesus ate with the accountant, the tax collector.  Along side the prositutes and peasants.  The bureaucrats , judges and lawyers and priests had Jesus killed. The people screamed for the warrior and wanted the teacher and healer dead.  

I think this story runs through all of us. I don’t imagine myself Jesus or even Herod though I do love the song ‘Were you there when they crucified my Lord”.  We identified with the protagonist but don’t remember ourselves as silent.  The betrayal of Peter was most sordid.

I love the monkey god. I read the Bhagad Gita and the Koran and studied the Mishna.  Wisdom texts through the ages.  The stories of the various people’s.  I sat by mostly back then and watched.  

I was so thankful for the girl who said she was a ‘nymphomaniac’. 

“I’m a nymphomaniac,’ she said, Pretty black haired browned eye, voluptuous little thing.
  “Is Al here.”  
“No,” I said, still in bed, waking to this pixie.
“He’s got a gig out of town.”

“Can I fuck you then. I’m a nymphomaniac. Normally Al lets me fuck him.”
“Al’s not here.”  
“I know.”
‘Can I fuck you then.”

“Sure”. I remember being dry mouthed whether from fear or awe or not believing this could be happening to me.  I felt like I’d been taken a ‘magic carpet ride’ with her.  Skill desire, fun, a natural, a professional. I don’t know what to say. But you only remember the falls at Niagara Falls. The suburbs and the city don’t leave any impression.  
She came back next day.

This was again at 6 am. We didn’t lock our door. Again  I was still in bed.
“Is Al back.”
“No,”. 
“I’m a nymphomaniac”.
“Yes, you told me.”
“You really are a sweet man. Can I fuck you again.”

I took it as a compliment that she remembered me. She seemed in her own reality. Floating along on a perpetual orgasm.  I got on her magic carpet and went along for another ride.

It was funny when Al came back a week later. They had sex and he got the clap.  Screaming from the toilet. Pain and pus.

  “It really feels like razor blades.”  He said between gritted teeth. 

We all went down to the STD clinic at they Winnipeg Hospital. In the first waiting room I announced loudly, 

« « Can we get some help here. My friend has the clap. » t
The other guys from the band were there, everyone wanting to along with Al to get his clap treated. Intermittently just to piss off Al even more, we’d start clapping with great synchronization while whispering « the clap, the clap, the clap » Al was suffering and miserable and walking with the wide gait of one with a painful third limb. The nurse were laughing a shushing us. The old people were frowning. 

We were directed further in from the emergency and oupatients to this inner station, . We saw a half dozen people we knew from the clubs.

 “What are you in for?” We asked.  

 “Sore throat.” The girls said. « It must be a cold. Something going around »

  “Just a check up.” 

 We were laughing and punching each other in the waiting room because the sign above us said “Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinic.”  “She has a sore throat.” he whispered.  I know. We laughed.  

When the girls asked why we were there. We said,

« We’re with him. Al’s got the clap. We think they’re going to amputate, so we came along to provide emotional support. And we broke into our latest clapping song whisper clap clap clap.

We all got tested.  Because we were all there. A half dozen guys.  Musicians and band. Only Al got the shot.  We learned later our nymphomaniac friend had slept with Mark who must have had it and slept with her. That was after me. A public health nurse worked overtime for a few weeks. That was the talk of the time. Who had the clap. Who passed it to who.  With the birth control pill no one was using condoms any more. The only disease was gonorrhea and a shot of penicillin cured that.  It was the golden years.  Sexual revolution.

A day later, Al said, “it’s stop dripping. I can pee without pain. Do you know what’s its like when it hurts to pee.”  

No, we all answered. No one wanted to know either. 

He went around for days asking people ‘do you know what it’s like when you can’t pee.”

Al was a vegetarian. He also fasted for weeks. “I found out once that I could get high cheap if I didn’t eat.”  Al did two things. Smoke weed and play bass guitar. He’d meditate too. Hours at a time. Then smoke weed and play bass guitar.  No distractions.  Girls would come by and fuck him but then he’d be back to his routine.  Last I heard he was famous somewhere. Unbelievable discipline and incredible bass guitar. Funny guy. I liked him. He didn’t  like Lonny. Lonny didn’t like Al. Only guy I knew who fasted for weeks to get higher on pot.

Al called Lonny the ‘Bad vibe man.’  He liked Blake and the drummer. “Old guys, okay but too old.”  The drummer had learned his craft in the army.  He’d mustered out to play rock and roll. Blake played with Burton Cummings.  I’d meet all these guys. A nobody. The roadie then. A friend.  The poet guy.  It wasn’t about words though.  It was all about music there. Words were separate. A second thought,  I still played five chords.  Meaningfully.  The musicians were into the rift.

When it all went to shit with the RCMP raids through the city, someone from every band going to jail, our drummer freaked ,

 “I smoked dope with the cop just last night. He passed me a joint. He busted his girlfriend too. That’s not right. Busted his friends and his girlfriend and I smoked a joint with him. How do you know he’s a cop when he’s passing you a joint. I’m glad we smoked his stuff.  Not mine. Do you think they’re still coming.”

The night of the long knives or rather the morning. Everyone calling everyone from wall phones. Everyone hung over. “Who’s gone to jail. Who got caught.”

The manager saying “I can’t hire you. You’re black listed.”

The RCMP thought I was the dealer.

I’d been watched as these guys in a country town bar tried to stab me and I’d jumped up on the table in the middle of the set and screamed, “if you want a piece of me, come and get it.”  If I’d stayed on the floor in that bar I’d have been knifed. 

I  watched  a guy die in a crowd. Right beside me . I was having a coffee. Everyone else was drinking beer. I was under age. Not even supposed to be in the bars.  An under age roadie.  This guy walked by in one direction. The other guy went by in the other. The guy leaving the bar kept going the other guy staggered and fell. I watched it all. So fast. So many people. Shoulder to shoulder. There was a pool of blood before I could stand and people were down at his side. I was looking over them.He was already dead. I don’t think they ever caught the guy.  Rapier to the spleen. I wasn’t a doctor then. Couldn’t have saved him if I’d been.

We needed the police to guard us that night getting our stuff in the back of the station wagon. We’d graduate to a van. It was early. The hit record hadn’t come out. I’d not been fucked. We were all poor. Gigs were few and far between. Country bar in the middle of nowhere. A bunch of locals wanting to beat up the hippy long hair. Lonny had a cow hide jacket. Wanted to look like one of the locals but not be one.  Cowboy country. The girls liked the music and most of the guys but these drunks wanted to be the show.  The RCMP were already tailing the band but they protected us that night as we got away.

I don’t know why guys wanted to beat me up but they did.  Roadies took a lot of flack that the band created. Lonny embarrassed some heckler so the guy came after me. I’m underage in a drunken bar with a drunken guy swinning a chair at me and I ducked.  The only redeeming factor was I was drinking coffee. The guy was so drunk when he swung the chair he went down with it and the bouncer carried him outside and threw him down in the parking lot. Fights broke out most nights.  I wasn’t getting paid enough. I wasn’t getting paid. I ‘d be told over and over again we’ll pay you when we get a break. I’d have $10 bucks maybe.  

I’d learn then everyone wants free but no one wants to pay for it. I was free.  I was writing poetry and wondering what to do with my life. How did I get out of this scene. It wasn’t going anywhere. Even when these guys hit the top when the record came out and they had a year of booking the police raids probably helped me. There was nothing there for me.  Just sex and drugs and rock and roll.  It seemed an endless stagnant merry go round. I did like the sex with the girls not with the man. I liked the smoke, even the occasional booze but I wasn’t making music despite my five chords. I wasn’t going anywhere with poetry.  It wasn’t my show. I was a side show to these guys.

When the band collapsed I just went home. I was thankful for my brother. He was big on Billy Graham. I was the prodigal son. He listened. Talked to Dad.  Dad and Mom let me back in.

I dont know why I took the job at Ken Matthews. I was still en route to being a screen writer actor. I had music. I had acting. I had improv. I needed dance. When I got money I’d actually take fencing classes and elocution and singing classes. This was all that an actor needed.  A well rounded Shakespearean actor. Hence the fencing.  I’d beat the Canadian fencing champion in a match because I’d scream as I lunged and no one screamed in fencing. Very bad form. I ran him through with my foil. 

I remember thinking if I take this dancing teacher job I can get my dancing training for free. They actually taught us for six weeks.  And that’s how I became an Authur Murray Fred Astaire Ken Matthews DAnce instructor. I moved out of my parents home and Fern and I got a place.  I’d last sleep in my parents home in the basement a year later after I first dropped acid and couldn’t remember where I lived so told this guy my childhood address.  I still remember it though I don’t remember half the other places I lived in. So a year later I’m in my parents basement waking up wondering how I got there and remembering the concert and the acid and thanking mom for the tea and breakfast before going back to my apartment I shared with Fern.  

We were dancers then.  Latin dancers. All day hoofing and all night dancing.  Disco would come in later. But we were ahead of the scene. Santana and Black Magic Woman was all the rage and we did mambo. The floor cleared everywhere when we danced. There came to be 8 of us couples and we’d do exhibitions and compete and go on television. It was heady days.  We were making money too.  Pittance for the work.  12 and 18 hour days.  Early morning calisthenics then dancing all day till 10 then off to the club and in bed at 2 am to start again and all night weekends. 

I didn’t drink then. Not Cutty Sark  like the old guy who’d done the Ice Capades.  He was famous in his day. Now he drank 40 ounces a day. Clarkie was a beautiful sophisticated alcoholic partner who’d been there for the dance too. He certainly could dance when he wasn’t drunk. A functional alcoholic.  A somebody once. We were young and looked at his cool. Ken was the owner businessman brains but the manager was a sexy glamorous woman who loved a rich Greek restaurant.  He drank champagne out of her high heeled shoes. She told everyone she didn’t wear panties. I had to buy a couple of suits. Ken the owner was the family man with a wife and kids in the suburbrs and his secretary as his mistress.  We didn’t know, the dance world was all about gossip. Everyday we’d guess who was getting it. Antonio was the Italian businessman who loved Michelle and saw dance as the means to wealth, a commodity for sale. He’d rather have had cars to sell or real estate. Dance was there. A funny guy. He liked to dance and was good at it but he wasn’t there for the dance.

Not like us. The young Turks. Fern sang and danced. He wanted to win the Canadians. He wanted an empire of dance. His family owned stores. Lots of kids. French Canadian.  Handsome, lady’s man, who loved to dance. He had an Mg half the time in the shop.  Soft top. Up all winter on blocks but he’d get it out int the summer.  A crazy man with a sports car. Omar Shariff. Tom Cruise. He married a fellow dancer. The prettiest brunette imaginable. Sweetness personified. Last I heard they had kids, proabably lots and he was back in the town where his family owned the stores.  He was upset with me. I’d left to go to university and he’d wanted us to all go to New York. To dance. But by then I’d learned enough dance and wanted to study theatre at university. I enrolled for that.  

I’d had to get my Gr. 12. So rather than redo French I studied economics.  A year later I had my gr. 12. But I’d missed the graduation and got my diploma in the mail, a kind of after thought. A let down.  

Then I met Baiba. Love at first sight and all the other cliche’s .  Jesus had a dove descend on him and the skies open and the father said “This is my son”.  In my case I saw Baiba and heard bird songs for the first time and smelled fragrances I’d not smelled since I’d known Nina. It was strange that way having smell return. The lights went up too. It was like the room had been too dark and suddenly the light in the world came on brighter. And her smile cranked it up another couple of notches more till it was too bright.  That’s how our loved burned too bright. Too close to the limelight. 

The next three years were Baiba.  Everything else was an after thought or an addendum. I woke thinking of her, slept dreaming of her and only felt whole in her company.  She’d been a ballet dancer. I was doing walk on parts with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

It was like martial arts. I ‘d learned to kick guys in the head way before anyone else was doing it on the prairies and now I was dancing before guys were doing it. Hockey players were guys. Dancers were gay.  Yet there was only one gay guy at the studio and he was flamboyantly so. A sweet man who was loved by the ladies and so satisfied in life just to teach dance.. No further ambition.  Not that he shared with us. He wanted love but never met the right guy telling the funniest tales of unrequited love. 

Antonio who was definitely homophobic and would have preferred to sell cars would chuckle.  Michelle just wanted to marry Antonio and have lots of children. I was reading books.  I was always reading and writing. Taking notes. Writing poems.  Between dances the girls gossiped  and we’d all wait for our next client. The buzzers in the studio on Portage made us work together. When the buzzer sounded the teachers walked their clients to the door then headed into the office for a smoke. There was such comaderie. The staff room. Not a Green Room because it could have been a place where shop girls and drivers took a break. The Green Room wasn’t the union hall but rather a place where we critiqued and dreamed. 

But I liked the staff room organization.  Ken ran a tight drill. He had had the Arthur Murray franchise before branching out on his own and making this lucrative business then taking us all down to the states to record the weekly television show. We’d go every month or so and spend a day making weeks of half hour shows. He’d have competitions and get us into exhibitions. I was only interested in the dance.  The older guys would show us ‘tricks’. They were withholding. Kept their best moves to themselves. We’d beg to learn.  We quickly learned all they knew too.  I was taking lessons on the side from Canada’s fore most dancer. He’d open the Canada show. I was studying ballet in bits trying to learn lifts. We’d practice late in the nights.

I remember Fern and I with a bottle of whiskey. Fern always drank.  We’d be trying to get these lifts and the two of us would be trying it out on each other. I was 6 inches taller and many pounds more and he’d be tottering with me on his shoulder in the mirror. Then I’d be lifting him on my back and we’d both be drunk as skunks but knew the girls wouldn’t do this with us if we didn’t have it down pat first.  The girls were smart cowards. 

So we struggled because the girls wanted us to do this but they were afraid we’d drop them. We would have but we spent nights dropping each other drunk. I’d fly over Ferns’ back and he’d let go and I’d crash to the floor and he’d fall under the weight or I’d fall under the weight.  Obviously the alcohol didn’t help.  But we’d get it done.  The next day we’d stagger into work and hoof the customers through till the evening when we’d lift the girls over our heads. Clarkie would clap with glee. She was a perpetual child. A little Tiffany with this old thin man who drank liquor hard like her and chuckled.  He was all the characters out of a 1930’s detective novel. I never saw him mean but I sure saw Clarke defending her man. Carrying him out of a place when he’d drunk too much.  

I took to drinking wine back then. I had the idea that wine and beer were good but hard liquor was bad for me.  I actually didn’t like beer but I acquired a taste for wine. I thought it sophisticated. I was smoking a meerschaum pipe back then too.

When Baiba and I stopped hiding our romance we’d sit at her house eating marvellous meals her grandmother prepared and drinking wine as Europeans did. In my house we never drank wine.  Baiba was not only beautiful herself but she brought with her this whole other culture and this delightful family.  A feast of characters. 

Just as I’d become friends with Nina’s younger brother the actor so I became friends with Baiba’s younger brother the artist.  

And we danced.  We danced. We danced. It was music 24/7 and dance. Interrupted with increasing frequency by love making and laughter. 

Years later I’d hear intellectuals talk about sex but they’d never know. It’s an athletic event. There’s the physical thing. There’s the matter of the heart. There’s the soul as well. There’s the mind. But love making in love with another dancer in that whirlwind of Sufi wonder and romantic passion and glorious youth isn’t just an intellectual things. It really is a rose. I’d grieve youth as much as lost  love and over the years would be an athlete again and know that taste and smell and sight are all so much richer when the instrument is fine tuned.  

But older it’s hard to keep the instrument tuned and I watched the silly people who missed the time looking for it now. It’s like the ladies trying to get pregnant at 40.  The old men thinking that if they are with a young woman they will be young. Only the young are young. But we can be young in mind and young in heart and the soul is ever young. But to know all of it at once is only for the young and I feel blessed to have been there.  Dancing and feeling like flying in bed and flying on the stage.  I was  talking with God about gravity and the the need for the mundane when the laughter filled the valley.  

It was all because of Baiba.  I was glad to be apart of it. To ride with her. To dance with her . To bicycle beside her.  Now to have those memories. It’s all good.   All the good times that are like castles built before the bombs arrive. The trick is remembering the castles before the bombs. The years of beauty.  

Now people come to me and want to talk to me ad inifintum about the wars. They’ve usually seen other women or other men and talked for years about the bad times. They’ve become specialist in bombs. I make them angry at first telling them I don’t want to hear about that again as they’ve spoken about it and would speak to me again and again if I let them. It’s where the money is. Counselors get rich fueling the hate. But I dig for the love. I ssk for the time before the war.

“I never loved him.....I never loved her.” 

I ask them to bring in pictures of the wedding.  

“I was faking it. It was all a show. I hate them They were only lying. I was taken advantage of. Can’t you see. They were a psychopath. Predators. They have no soul. They had no heart. They just used me. They wanted my momey.”.

Sometimes they did. Rarely. More often than not two babies with fingernails uncut mauled each other when they were alone in the same crib.

More of the the memory has been changed to jive. Retrospective falsification. I say that over and over again, at least once a week.  I want the raw footage. I want the uncensored tapes..  Somewhere in the propaganda of the mind I find the truth. Then the tears flow and the heart heals and years lost in rage and fear fall away.

Two children in a sand box.  Mostly innoscent. Sometimes living out the dreams of great great grandparents. The scripts written millions of year ago.  

Now they can grieve.  The beauty wasn’t a lie. The love wasn’t not love. It was all as it was but not anymore. Today is not then.  We’re past that.

Life begins again. Like seasons.   Grief. So much is grief.  Grief. And vanity.  But mostly grief.  Backaches and heart aches.  Pain.  

Today I treat pain.  

In church one day a very old man climbed slowly up the stairs to the podium.  He put the papers he carried on the podium. He looked out at the very large church today full. He was to give the Prayers for the People,he began, 

“Thank you for the pain as it reminds me of all the good times and foolish times I had in my youth.” 

The congregations was mostly a sea of white hair and laughter took a long time to die down. The young just looked at us. Not knowing. When silence was restored he continued with his long lists of gratitude and prayer.