A Lot of Men That Year, a novel fragment

illustration a lot of men that year

A Lot of Men That Year, a novel fragment

I was going through a lot of men that year.  All men seemed like works of art to me, like sculpture.  With body hair, without ‑‑ the buttocks, the thighs, the chests.  They were all quite lovely to look at.  Their emotional content was something else completely.  They seemed cruel, without love ‑‑ not that it mattered that much to me; I kept myself armored against hurt pretty well.  It was all casual dalliance, a form of gymnastic exercise, no permanence intended.  That was how I was protected.

Francisco was the handsomest man I’d ever dared let myself be attracted to.  We were cast in the same play, that’s how it started.  His friend, Vincent, was also quite handsome, though not my type ‑‑ blonde, blue‑eyed.

During this same time, my father and I were trying to get to know each other, 20 years too late.  He wanted instant fatherhood:  I was just confused by it all.

His VW van ‑‑ his hippie ways.  He thought I was so conservative.  When he told me he was attracted to me physically, sexually, I was only half‑shocked, because I suppose I had felt it too.  I almost wished he would act on it, just to see what it felt like.  It wasn’t like I really saw him as a father figure.

Meanwhile, I slept with every guy who interested me, except the ones who had love in their eyes.  Lust, intellectual curiosity, and admiration for my body ‑‑ these were all OK.  But love?  It gave me the willies.  Long‑term commitments were the last thing on my mind.

My father was living in his van ‑‑ I didn’t want to see him all that much, and that hurt his feelings.  I don’t know what, exactly, was going through my mind.  Attraction and repulsion, like magnetic phenomena.

Then there was the boy who punched the wall and broke his hand.  The short boy, musclebound.  He had sort of, kind of, almost-but-not-quite fallen in love with me.  He wanted to sleep with me, but I refused him.  He didn’t understand why.  I was sleeping with everybody else.  I sensed that a sleeping relationship with him would get too messy.  He would be jealous, passionate, moody, and neurotic.  I only wanted men who were vaguely indifferent?

I loved my film as literature class teacher from afar.  He was balding, blonde, and wore thick glasses.  I mean Coke-bottle thick.  I wanted everybody to make passes at me.  I was almost offended if they showed no overt interest in taking my clothes off.  My only excuse?  I was nineteen years old.

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a big fat A-hole

a big fat A-hole

leslie moreland gaines, “documentary filmmaker,” con man, artistic failure, hypocrite, and all around evil son of a bitch

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April 24, 2014 · 11:16 am

Leslie Gaines, purported “filmmaker”

 

Leslie Moreland Gaines is a con man and an artistic failure.  Also, he has personally stolen personal property and money from me and trespassed my home.  Warning:  do not ever, under any circumstances, trust this man.  He will rip you off.  It is only a matter of time.  He took money left to me by my darling deceased younger brother under false circumstances, and then had the audacity to forge partnership documents in the state of Montana.  He is a liar.  He never speaks truth.  He sheds crocodile tears.  He is a bad actor.  He is a hypocrite, a racist, and a descendant of General Gaines, one of the foremost murderers of native Americans in this country’s history.  He is cursed by the Seminole and the Miccosuccee tribes, and I believe he is also is suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s, or some other form of dementia.  Or, just as likely, he has just rotted his brain with too much drinking & drugging.  He disrespects & emotionally abuses women, uses & emotionally abuses everyone he meets, and has now made the grevious mistake of harming me and my daughters, as well used for his own advantage my memories of my beloved brother, John Christopher Parr, a kind and good man who loved me.  I pray that he doesn’t harm anyone else.  That is why I am publicizing this information, so that no others may be hurt.  By the way, he did all this to me within months of my brain surgery.  He knew full well what he was doing, and I plan on calling the State’s Attorney in both Florida and Montana so that I may obtain justice.  In the meantime, look at his face and run from it, should you see him.  Forewarned is forearmed.  I owe the world this warning, both as a human being and a fourth generation attorney.

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my oldest daughter wrote this in 2007

illustration for abigails 2007 note MOVED_by_Miccy

I have come to realize that I’m upset mostly because I’m trying to make my life something that it’s not. It once was, but it’s not anymore. The friends I used to have are not my friends now (not all of them, mind you), and the friends that left me when Mike did, were never my friends. I’m not meaning to be sappy, depressed, melancholy, or even trying to evoke some sympathetic reaction (pathetic being the operative word). I am merely acknowledging the fact that what I do have, the people who care about me and are still with me, I have been ignoring in favor of the things that rejected me. Why? Because I hate change. I hate change so much that I make myself pathetic by clinging to it, like a child would its mother’s leg on the first day of pre-school.

Mike was my connection to the world I was leaving. I wanted to hold onto him so that I could straddle that line between new and old, and never really have to face the new for what it was–my life. It was a security blanket that I was happy to carry around until there was nothing left but threads and a memory, and who knows how long it would take it to get there? 30 years? 40 years? 50 years? Was I going to spend my life reminiscing about “the good old days”, or was I going to take charge and and cherish what was infront of me instead of turning my back and mourning what was behind? I’m not an activist. I sit back and wait for things to happen, and I end up being left behind. I waited SO long to apply to SFCC that I was scared they weren’t accepting applications anymore. I took the SAT my senior year, and only once. Never the PSAT. I always want to do things “later” in hopes that somehow they will work themselves out and I’ll never have to deal with it.

But no more. I realized all this, and I realized EXACTLY what it was that I needed to do to raise my spirits.

I thank all of you who accept me, who care, and who love. I am so greatful to have you by my side, and marvel at how lucky I am to have so many people so close to my heart. And to all of you who I don’t really mean anything to: I truly am sorry that I wasted so much of my time trying to pull you back to me. None of you are bad people, in fact I like many of you, but you can’t be friends with everyone. And I realize that now. So to my friends: I love you. You have helped me in ways unimaginable, just by being my friend.

So, to conclude, I am a graduate of high school, I am going to college, and I will take charge and welcome change. Change can bring very good things. And if it doesn’t? Well, I’m sure that will change.

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Then, I started blogging. It was the accumulation of all of my dreams come true.

Then, I started blogging. It was the accumulation of all of my dreams come true..

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Soon After My College Graduation, a novel fragment

illustration soon after my college graduation

Soon After My College Graduation, a novel fragment

Soon after my college graduation, I became engaged to Harold.  I’d known him since freshman year; we had dated casually until my senior year, when he watched me perform with the modern dance ensemble and fell in love with the way I moved across the stage in my clingy leotard and filmy skirts.  Everyone in the family adored him.  My father, who never learned to drive a car himself, let Frank drive our very first car home from the dealer.  Though I was happy about the engagement, I wasn’t in a rush to marry.  I wanted to work for a few years, get a taste of the world before settling down at home with a brood.  My parents were skeptical, but they didn’t make a fuss.  They knew I wanted a big family, at least six.

Harold was very good-looking:  strong chin, auburn hair, lean and athletic torso.  We were engaged, so it was the usual custom to sleep together.  His touch was delicate, his hands smooth and lovely.  It was a peaceful, dreamy experience, being with him.  He gave me a pear-shaped blue diamond set in platinum — I wore it and real silk stockings to the office every day.  My family was just middle class, but people thought I was rich.  Nobody knew my father got the stockings free as part of his job at the patent office.  In those days my hair was dark brown, cut in a short pageboy, draped gracefully over my forehead and curled at the ends.  I looked good in simple tailored skirts; my legs were long and well-formed from all that dancing.  Of course the stockings were a plus!

It was about a year into the engagement to Harold that I happened to work with the same young lawyer on several complicated adoptions, right in a row — Robert was Italian, short and bald, and his suits were nicely cut though threadbare.  Something about the confidence in his fluid voice grabbed my attention; one evening after work we met for a drink.  He wasn’t classically handsome, but he had bright, lively features and a charming way with funny stories.  That night, over a pitcher of Rob Roys, he confided to me that he was leaving the Department after the first of the year.  He had an office and secretary all lined up, and could hardly wait to get into practice on his own.  We ordered another pitcher of drinks to celebrate his daring move.

I suppose my big mistake was letting him take me out to dinner, too.  I was drunk:  not so drunk I didn’t know what was happening, just so drunk that I didn’t much care.  Robert touched my cheek, tucked a stray lock of hair behind my ear, then closed his eyes and sighed.  I was all over him in a second — he kept saying, are you sure, are you sure?  As I unzipped his trousers, he asked, what about Harold?  I said, I don’t owe him anything.  What I had then with Robert was neither peaceful nor dreamy, but a jolt of electricity that kept my nerves humming for hours.  Afterward, I held my breath for ten days, then kept right on holding it when my “friend” never showed up.  I started having trouble sleeping.  I was all mixed up.  There was no one I could talk to.

See, if I married Robert and the kid looked WASP, no big problem.  But if I married Harold and the kid came out looking Italian, what then?  I went with the easiest lie.  Does this seem terribly evil?  I had no real alternative at the time.  Now, I suppose I’d have an abortion and be done with it.  It’s true that I felt a little less awful as time passed and Robert and I had three more children who resembled their father, but I was never entirely certain about Robert Junior’s pedigree — depending on the time of day and the season he had the look about him of both men.

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twelve songs for a broken ankle, a poem

twelve songs for a broken ankle, a poem.

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