I just love Robert Louis Stevenson–love him.
Check this out. I’m reading through his David Balfour, itself the sequel to Kidnapped. (Kidnapped is far superior, so start there.)
Here’s a scene in DB. The young Davie is trying to decide whether to move in for a forbidden kiss with a lass as he departed her company. (This scene takes a moment, but stick with it. It is so worth it. I’m especially talking to you Nazi-handbook-reading feminists and all the letting-you-drive men you’ve enchanted recently.)
The day came round at last when she and I were to separate. We had been extremely intimate and familiar; I was much in her debt; and what way we were to part was a thing that put me from my sleep, like the vails I was to give to the domestic servants. I knew she considered me too backward, and rather desired to rise in her opinion on that head. Besides which, after so much affection shown and (I believe) felt upon both sides, it would have looked cold-like to be anyways stiff. Accordingly, I got my courage up and my words ready, and the last chance we were like to be alone, asked pretty boldly to be allowed to salute her in farewell.
“You forget yourself strangely, Mr. Balfour,” said she. “I cannot call to mind that I had given you any right to presume on our acquaintancy.”
I stood before her like a stopped clock, and knew not what to think, far less to say, when of a sudden she cast her arms about my neck and kissed me with the best will in the world.
“You inimitable bairn!” she cried. “Did you think that I would let us part like strangers? Because I can never keep my gravity at you five minutes on end, you must not dream I do not love you very well; I am all love and laughter, every time I cast an eye on you! And now I will give you an advice to conclude your education, which you will have need of before its very long. Never ask women-folk. They’re bound to answer ‘No’; God never made the lass that could resist the temptation. It’s supposed by divines to be the curse of Eve; because she did not say it when the devil offered her the apple, her daughters can say nothing else.”
Curse of Eve. Ha. Sounds about right. (Ms. magazine subscribers, you better be smiling at this point.)
Now, for something from yesterday, check out this NPR news story quote.
At Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C., psychology teacher Sarah Soileau wants her class to consider some of the questions raised by the #MeToo movement — questions like verbal consent.
“What did we learn?” says student Marcus Bright, 17. “Each base. Each base. First base. Second base. Third base. Each base, I’m asking.”
“That is a good rule to live by,” Soileau says. “Each base you better ask, all right?”
As for me, I’m sticking with Stevenson.
So, to all the single ladies, “Wuh, uh, oh-” -Watch out! Big ol’ smoochie, smooch attempts are headed your way!
I sought work at the gentlemen’s club, in part, because I had never worked with women. Right after college it was Air Force pilot training (mostly men), followed by the last male-only Air Force flying squadron (must have balls), then several odd professions to include a car wash (mostly fellas) and the oil fields (oil rigs being the last bastion of actual men on the LORD’s good earth).
Despite, or in spite of, being married for six years, I had never really been around women, nor really even desired to be around them. It’s been three years since big-P-I-M-P-in and in a most unexpected change, these days I often seem to find myself around only women. Don’t get the idea that I am one of those creepy, sinewy older guys we all know at work who aren’t quite gay, but somehow are only able to be friends with women. For good or bad, that’s not me. With me, the situation is manifest in other ways.
For example, my beloved toastmaster’s club is gaining women by the droves. Six years ago it was the only place I knew of which had about a 50/50 make-up. But recently I went to a off-day meeting where the ratio was more like 80/20. The official roster has it 60/40–or 31/19 to be more precise. Where have all the cowboys gone?
Then there’s the last time I was asked to teach at church. Naturally, each Sunday I notice that most of the regulars are of the fairer sex, but that did little to diminish my astonishment as I was totally unprepared to speak to a group of two men and thirty black women. In answer to my reactionary inquiry, my pastor said, “Expect more like 80/20 in the future,” but that, “Yes, it’s more women than men.” Me, teaching women? Ha. What do I know?
Here’s what I know. After much deliberation on the matter and many years in school, I’m calling it quits on trying to learn about women. To me, from what I’ve seen and from what I believe I have been purposefully shown, that goal would be no different than trying to learn about the ocean. I don’t mean learning about the elements of one of Earth’s oceans that we can observe with our five senses. I mean that, for me, women as a group are like the ocean that is eternally beyond the ocean that we presently perceive. What’s more, even if I could learn about women, not one reason comes to mind as to why I’d want to.
Instead, I’m going to focus on learning about one woman. That’s right. My mind is resolved. One of you lucky women will soon gain a suitor. Get excited. And since I’ve recently also concluded that shame is probably the deepest sensation felt during the acquisition of knowledge, I’m pretty sure that my upcoming education will be exceedingly difficult for my prideful self.
As far as the other thought, I lost it somewhere by the ocean part. It’ll return some other day, I guess.
I will give you this, though. Just now as I walked by the dumpster in the darkest hours before the dawn, I saw the regular raccoon but also two smallish ones. Can’t say I’ve ever seen a raccoon family before. What about you?
(If you’re short on time, skip to the bottom for numbered instructions.)
Whether you reside under a rock or not, you’ve heard of online dating. It seems so easy, so natural, so smart. Just post a few pictures of yourself, answer a few personality questions and that’s it. Wedding bells will be ringing soon enough. The problem is that it isn’t that easy. Lucky for us, I’ve finally figured it out. No, that doesn’t mean wedding bells are in my future, it just means that after nearly two years of online dating in some form or fashion I’ve finally developed a “how to” guide.
The number one difficulty with online dating is pushing the idea out of your head that someone can be captured by a photograph or a profile. They can’t. It’d be nice if they could, but it is not possible. Just like cameras don’t steal people’s souls, pictures don’t contain them. Neither do words. Bodies do, however. Real human bodies. So that’s the starting point, that’s where we’ll begin. We’ll begin with human bodies.
No matter what site or app you’re on, the most important question you need to ask yourself is, “Do I want to have sex with this picture?” It sounds base, it sounds dirty, it sounds disreputable, but it absolutely must lead the way. If it doesn’t, then you’re being dishonest with yourself and the other person who may or may not be sitting with you some day. By starting here we also cut right through idealizing the person behind the profile. Who cares if you read the same books or love the same lord? What gal doesn’t write that she prefers jeans and a t-shirt, but dolls up really nice too? And what guy doesn’t like sports or movies or video games or hunting or reading? Is anyone not passionate about their job? Seriously, there’s not that many options in life. Again, look at the pictures and ask, “Do I want to have sex with this picture?”
Next, skip everything to do with pen pals and make time to meet the other person. Then from the moment they arrive, stick with the sex question in its new, modified form, “Do I want to have sex with this person?” Not “would I?” or “what would their personality have to be like in order for me to want to?” but a chemistry/spark type unquantifiable feeling of attraction. If you don’t, if the attraction that was there isn’t there anymore for whatever reason, then politely thank them for meeting with you, but explain that it is in everyone’s best interest to not waste any time pretending. If on the off-chance you do desire them sexually in that moment, keep the moment going for as long as you can. Minutes to hours, hours to days, days to weeks, etc. Or whatever. I have no idea how to maintain a relationship. This post is about how to online date, not how to be in a relationship.
My point here is to simplify all the bullshyat that confuses online dating into something it can never be. We’re people first. People who are attracted to other people. In everyday life the physical attraction comes before the date. In online life it seems like there are other factors to consider. But that’s a lie. Physical and sexual attraction must be there. So trust in it and run with it.
Instructions for How To Online Date
Step 1 — ASK yourself, “Do I want to have sex with this picture?”
Step 2 — If the answer to Step 1 is “Yes”, then MAKE time for a date. If the answer is “No”, then MOVE on.
Step 3 — SCHEDULE a date.
Step 4 — At the date ASK yourself, “Do I want to have sex with this person?”
Step 5 — If the answer to Step 4 is “No”, then immediately–though politely–END the date.
Step 6 — If the answer to Step 4 is “Yes”, then I guess you at least know what you want to do, so DO it.
What’s fascinating about eHarmony’s take on online dating is how NOT according to these steps it is. Take for instance this pop-up that appeared when I took “white” off the list of races I was interested in dating.
Really, eHarmony? Really? After you’ve taken my money upfront and not given me any women with whom I seem remotely compatible, now you’re going to tell me that if I don’t feel like seeing anymore pics of white women’s dogs (is the dog interested in a date?), now you’re going to tell me if I don’t feel like seeing anymore ridiculous pics of white women being photographed while surrounded by non-white, third-world, presumably just converted heathen children, then I should stop and reconsider my tactic? Really? And what’s with the save button being grey’d out like it’s not even clickable? It’s like you are doing everything in your power to keep the races pure. That makes you my enemy, I think. And I thought you were supposed to be helping. Oh well. Just under two more months of fun. I can’t wait.
My brother Sam’s wedding was Saturday. Despite knowing me fairly well, he let me be his best man. More shocking, he let me deliver a toast-turned-speech in front of his and his bride’s guests which numbered 230+. Here’s what I said. I hope you enjoy.
Before I begin, let’s thank everyone who set all of this up one more time (outdoor wedding/tent dinner). And keep in mind that it was raining during a lot of the time, which means we got wet. And I know I don’t like getting wet. I’d also like to personally thank Tom and Jake. You two went above and beyond in many areas and are now unforgettable.
Next, I’d like all the old people to raise their hand. Okay. If anyone is sitting next to an old person whose hand is not raised, please advise them to move closer to the speakers.
(Reaching into my pocket to pull out a few pages of paper,) I should also warn you that this isn’t going to be brief. Maybe if I had several brothers, I’d keep each one short, but I only have one brother. So take a look at your drinks and pace yourself for about fifteen minutes.
Where to begin? Oh. The title. So, this speech is called, “Relief. The end to living in sin.” It is written from the perspective of Sam and Hannah’s parents, by me. Wait a minute. (shuffling papers) I’m sorry. That was a working title. Oh boy.
The real title is “Who is my brother?”
You see, as I began to prepare for this speech, I realized I haven’t lived with Sam for fifteen years. And so it became clear early on that I might not actually have the most accurate picture of the man. So I contacted some of you who know him best to help me learn about him.
Here’s the thing. As I see it, we could take one of two routes. We could stick with the chronology of Sam, or I see a possibility to use a more abstract approach of determining if there are any themes about him. And since I think themes will be more fun, that’s how we’re going to do this.
To get started, then, I think the most important thing to mention is that Sam is, of course, an H-er man. Many of you in this room know a H-er. And a very select few of you are unfortunate enough to be married to one. The thing about H-er men is that they struggle with the obvious. Our dad, Larry, for instance, thinks the obvious needs to be stated. As a result, I find stating the obvious deplorable. And then there’s Sam, who misses the obvious.
The following anecdote is not funny, so please don’t laugh, you’ll only feel embarrassed. Sam’s first memorable miss was when our grandpa died when Sam was a toddler. After the funeral we all went back to the house and as we sat around the adults noticed Sam was not to be found. When he appeared, someone asked Sam where he was. Sam answered, “Looking for grandpa.”
Lightening the mood gradually here, there’s another time with his other grandparents when Sam did his thing. He was still very young as he sat in the back of the car while they got lost in the new-to-them Kansas City. Finally, exasperatedly, Sam said, “Pull over, Grandpa. Let me drive!”
It seems there was a least one kid who didn’t know that you had to be licensed by the state of Kansas to drive a car.
But the biggest instance of missing the obvious that I’d like to share now is what happened when Sam first called me to tell me about Hannah. He was so excited. So excited. One of the reasons he was so excited was that Hannah had graduated from an Ivy League university and yet had chosen him, he shared. What I didn’t have the heart to tell him then, but do now, is that taking the Ivy Leaguers in the highest seats of political power as an example, I think it’s rather clear that Ivy League graduates aren’t exactly known for their decision making skills. Hopefully Hannah will be an exception.
Okay. So in speeches like this, there comes a time when the bride is required to blush. Hannah, here’s your moment. It’s time to shine.
Hannah, here, unlike many of us who have only heard of yoga, actually practices yoga. And so, Hannah, I just want to say “thank you.” From what Sam has told me I just want to thank you for confirming what I’ve suspected all along. That yoga was invented by a man. For sex.
Seriously, though, Hannah. You have it pretty easy with Sam. Consider what our nephew Harry once wrote about Sam in a book. Chapter one. “My favorite relative is Uncle Sam.” Chapter two. “Uncle Sam’s favorite food is pizza. I like pizza.” Chapter three. “Uncle Sam’s favorite hobby is watching movies. I like watching movies.”
So Hannah, two things. Pizza. And Movies.
Again, as I was talking to some of you, I began to get a different picture from the one I knew. The Sam I knew had a mouthful of gum as our sister Kate stood over him accusing him of stealing her gum. Adamant denial was all she could get out of him. The Sam I knew was the one who once when I was back from college skipped school at my behest. The school called that day and I vouched for him, because I was an adult. Only years later did it come out that Kate was the one who had randomly driven by the house that day and seen his car and phoned the school herself.
But then I heard a story about Sam really enjoying going to Kate’s apartment to watch a movie with her. That didn’t seem like the Sam I knew. And then I was floored to hear that Sam mowed Kate and Mike’s lawn to help out after Harry was born. That also seemed out of character. And many more stories could be told to illustrate that Sam has proven himself to be sensitive. Observant. Intuitive. Instinctive.
Some even know him as an amazing gift giver. I’d like to stop right here though and declare that anyone who receives a white Christmas tree for their big birthday present one year while in high school will forever after give amazing gifts.
Sam is also thoughtful, they say.
And so it became very clear to me that while I initially thought these examples of behavior were out of character, it turns out that he’d been doing them so much that they were his character. Sam is a family man.
Here’s the thing. Each of us has a fire burning inside. Some people have fires that burn so bright they act as a light which draws people to them.
That’s not Sam.
Sam’s fire is the type that burns so hot that it keeps those around him warm.
Okay. Everyone stand up. Audience participation time.
I need your help. (This was the phrase I had previously arranged with Sam’s dj to press play on a certain well-known Stevie Wonder hit.)
I mentioned that I haven’t lived with Sam for fifteen years. This means a lot of phone calls. And we all know that no matter how good a phone call goes, there are some things that will never happen over the phone. Things like knuckles. Or a handshake. An elbow squeeze. Giving a shoulder a squeeze. Certainly you can’t hug over the phone. And these are the common ways men use to say “I love you.” And even now, if I turn to Sam and say, “I love you, Sam,” I’ve been talking for too long for him to get my meaning. Even if I sing it alone, I don’t think he’ll hear me.
But if everyone sings it, I think that should do the trick. We have one opportunity here. Join me in singing to Sam, or you can sing to Hannah if you like. But help me tell him I love him.
(Wait for it)
“I just called…to say…I love you. I just called…to say how much I care. I just called…to say…I love you. And I mean it from the bottom of my heart.”
To Sam and Hannah, everyone!
For a long time I worried that I hated women. As I’ve re-read many of my posts on the subject, I’ve concluded that I never actually hated women, I just fear them. Why do I fear women? Because they have a power over me that I don’t give to men. However, this power that they have isn’t merit based, unless being born is difficult, hence the fear. Allow me to explain.
Except for maybe TC, I have never looked at a man, no matter how attractive he was, and on the basis of his looks alone, thought, “I would like to be his friend.” With men, I size them up. What have they accomplished? What is their personality like? What obstacles have they overcome? What are their goals? And on and on.
But with women there is this very difficult to describe feeling that comes over me based simply on their appearance. You might call it an erection. If a woman appears a certain way, all the criteria I normally apply–all my choosiness–goes right out the window. And for what? The possibility of breeding?
How does my refusal to compliment women fit in? Yesterday’s examples of my icebreaker line stylings evoked several responses that suggested or made mention of the use of compliments as a means to advance my endeavor to meet women. Well, ladies, I won’t use them. And here’s why.
First, Groucho Marx said, “I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.” Likewise, I don’t care to be with a woman whose heart flutters at a stranger’s compliment. I can’t think of anything more difficult than discerning the truth of a compliment. As a rule, then, if a stranger pays me one, I fight off every instinct to ask for another, politely accept it, and then immediately discard it. You should too.
Second, one commentor in particular (my mom) offered that my style of “line” signals that I’m only after one thing [punany] and that’s why they are falling flat. Is that a joke? We’re saying that clever attempts to make a woman laugh indicate that I only want sex more so than telling a woman she’s beautiful? Than making an assertion that I can’t possibly know to be accurate? Please. It’s more like I expect women who find themselves among big people to acknowledge that men don’t approach women whom they can’t imagine sleeping with in some scenario or other–and then get over that fact.
Third, while the historical record may lead you to believe that I’ll sleep with any woman who wants to sleep with me, I don’t really care to sleep with a woman that is not first my friend. And I have high standards for friends, especially regarding their ability to laugh at life. So I test women, not compliment them. If I say something so ridiculous that I think they should fall over laughing at the entirety of the scene, and instead they think I’m serious, then there is no way in hell we’re going to get along in this lifetime.
Lastly, in defense of myself, I am shocked at the comments which seemed to imply I was earnestly giving advice to the ladies I approached. Seriously? After everything I shared you thought I was concerned with helping the women? Sorry, but no. I care about making people laugh, not about how people exercise. That’s my favorite part about gyms. All of us can be the disasters we are and it has no effect on any of our results. By way of example, compare the folks in a gym, even the staff, to, say, an aircraft and its flight crew. People in a gym can be utterly wrong and misaligned and it doesn’t affect me in the least. More reps. Less reps. Half reps. Forearm exercises. Tweaked shoulders. Recent surgeries. Shirt-matching shoes. Butt-hiding shirts. Headbands. Wristbands. Earbuds. Dr. Dre’s headphones. Cardio then Costco. None of that has anything to do with whether I get results. Whatever your preference, just do it.
Let it be known, women. I am afraid of you. I am a lot of thrust just waiting for a vector. Yet, I’m certain that with the wrong one of you at my side, I might not recognize the fast rising earth soon enough to avoid disaster. So I’m not going to make this easy on you. Want a compliment? Impress me. To begin, I’d lighten up.
I have to think he would have at least smirked. But from what I remember being taught about him, he was a very serious, very serious man. So no. Even jokes that I am only able to attempt after his research and ideas have had a century to take root in western society wouldn’t have caused him to laugh.
I love blogging. I love it because it forces interesting questions, questions like this one about Freud, into my head. You see, life is so very easy for a smart, not to mention good-looking, eligible man like me that I need some way to make it challenging. So I write. I try to see if I can make a total stranger laugh in the same way that I can make someone laugh that I’m talking to in person. And here’s the real challenge. I try to see if I can make them laugh for the same reason.
By the way. Please send me a check for, I don’t know, $300, each month from now on to support my quest. Make it payable to Pete Deakon and mail it to PO Box 3392, Parker, CO 80134. Thank you.
A man like me doesn’t just appear. It takes a very special woman years and years, like 18, to mold a boy-child into a man like me. This woman wouldn’t have been afraid to punctuate the training with a wooden spoon if necessary.
One more thing. This woman, the mother of a man like me, a man who shed the constraining shackles of fear long ago, a man who publicly bears his soul in ways that make her shake her head in disappointment, this woman has no problem walking out of a movie. Not that she’d even let herself be taken to a movie of Fifty Shades‘ caliber. Even by her son.
I’m sorry folks. I want this blog to be a place you can come for truth and laughs. I failed yesterday. The opening of yesterday’s post, the truth I sought to share, was it is really funny to think of an adult man and his mom watching Fifty Shades together. I didn’t take her. She hasn’t seen the movie. We don’t live in the same town. The parenthetical apology was an “I’m sorry for picking on you again, mom.” Not that I’ll ever stop.
But picking on her doesn’t mean I don’t love her. I do. She’s my mom. I just am compelled to avenge myself every once in a while.
By the way, she finally added to yesterday’s discussion. And on a separate note, Glenn’s review of my new book is up. Buried Within – Isn’t As Gay As I hoped
Did you know this movie was going to have sex scenes? I had no idea. Neither did my mom. I’ll leave the awkwardness of our watching it together to your imagination. (Sorry, Ma. I had to.)
What pisses me off about this movie and book is that they leave me speechless. I thought I knew.
I thought I knew. Really, if you think you know the story based on overhearing things, you don’t. And you don’t want to know the story. It’s past ridiculous. Beyond ridiculous. It’s stupendous in its ridiculousness. A friend loves the books. And she’s cool, so I can’t go the one further step that I want to and say people who enjoyed the book are ridiculous too. To each his own. But I can safely say that she’s in the same category as Chris Rock’s women who listen to degrading rap and say, “He ain’t talkin’ ’bout me.”
I had to watch the movie because it’s based on a book that sold 100 million copies. I was a fool. At least I didn’t pay for it.
Did anyone else laugh uncontrollably when Christian tells Anastasia, “If you were mine, you wouldn’t be able to sit for a week”? My laughter wasn’t at the movie, but at me. At first I thought that he meant she wouldn’t be able to sit because he had spanked her so hard with some “playroom” device. Then I realized, nope, he meant…
Have I ever mentioned I’m an Eagle Scout?
Does anyone else find it funny that a female author’s written-for-women fantasy involves a man making sex so good that the woman needs a week to recover? I’ve always thought the goal was making sex so good that the woman wouldn’t want to stop for a week. Lesson learned I guess.
The trouble with this whole Fifty Shades phenomenon is that we let it frame the discussion. It seems to force the questions, “Is BDSM really a secret fantasy for all these women?” and if so “Why is it a fantasy?” moreover “Is it right or wrong?” And also, “Do women want to change men?” and “Why do women want to change men?”
The truth, in and of itself always sobering, is we don’t have to allow E.L. James to frame the discussion. She is not a dominant. We are not submissives.
I wanted to watch this movie because I thought it would give me some pointers about what book buying audiences want to read, as my books aren’t selling. What I really learned is that I will never be able to read audience’s minds. My next book (after the illustrated children’s book that is coming soon) will be more of an escape than my first two. It will have more violence and the violence will be more graphic. It will have more sex and the sex will be more graphic. It’ll be that way because I can see now that people like to read that and it will be fun to write it. But it will be my kind of violence and my kind of sex. Not yours.
Oh. Back to the review. Don’t watch the movie. Or do. Whatever.
…a rare display of perfect white teeth two widening, full lips revealed said friend.
Beginning with her rugged and worn-in desert tan combat boots, continuing up dusty cargo pants that seemed tailored, pausing where a thick belt sloped pertly from her left hip to her right where the pistol’s holster hung several inches below her waistline, tightening with her damp tank top that left no doubt about her taught stomach and full breasts, and ending with her coal black hair that she tied back in a pony tail three days earlier, she was a fighter through and through.
I stepped forward and her shooting arm flinched. Slowing my approach, I kept her in the long shadow that was the result of the setting sun meeting my tall frame. Raising the open palms of my capable hands to the level of my stomach, I signaled that I meant no harm. She let me continue. Two steps remained and finally she began to rotate the pistol to an angle that would cause my intentions great consternation. Still I walked forward. One final breath of harsh, dust-filled wind before the evening’s calm would begin caused us both to turn our heads downwind, eyes closed. Quick to re-open mine, I saw through her sun-glasses that she hadn’t yet opened hers and that when she did they widened as much from fear as from excitement upon the discovery that I had smartly seized the opportunity to close the remaining distance between us. My shadow blanketed her body in its entirety now. I raised my hands further until they were at shoulder height, which was also the level of her eyes. She tried to hold her breath in an effort to prevent her quickening heart rate from revealing itself through a rapidly rising and falling bosom. She failed. Almost imperceptibly, I advanced my hands until my fingertips landed gently upon her sun-glass’s frames. I then slowly pulled the glasses, and a few strands of hair that appeared relieved to be free, forward.
It is. I know it is bad. I know it is bad because I have felt a woman willingly place her hand in mine. I know because I have enjoyed the exponentially arousing feeling of her fingers brushing down the length of my fingers as we interlace them. Because my shoulders have received the full weight of her eyes after she concludes that they can bear her trust. Because I have been allowed to consider each and every subtle quality that define her face and neck. Because my tongue has tasted the deposit and withdrawal of her unfamiliar breath.
I know because I have been caught unaware by the ferocity with which my delight in the delicate dance of our tongues was overcome by an unmistakable wish to devour my prey without obtaining permission or forgiveness.
I know because I have seized her narrow waist and smashed her concealed hips into mine before granting my hands license to hunt for the entry point. Because, ever confident, I have triumphed past that magical barrier which separates exposed from unexposed.
I know because I have lifted her into the air and felt the unrivaled trifecta of her fingertips guiding, her legs surrounding, and her body enveloping as she descends.
Oh yes. I’m convinced. Sex is bad.
Happy Valentine’s Day
It wasn’t for me, of course. I bought it as a gift for the last book reader in the land. For my part, I, Peter, the eldest Deakon brother, hailing from that last great North American municipality Kansas City, so named for the river that decreed its eastern boundary and ferried the native tribes of the same name, always scoffed at such trinkets. Not anymore.
I had only moments before stepped out of my aging helicopter, which had assumed the role of confidant over the last few lonely years, and calmly removed my gold-rimmed sunglasses to look upon the setting sun, perhaps for the last time, through the many layers of slowly falling dust my old friend had kicked up. Rarely did she bestow upon me the gift of being able to stare at the life sustaining star unflinching and without filter. There were no governments anymore, no commanders to frown at me if I didn’t wear my cover when outside, but still I deftly exchanged the aviators for my old blue airman’s hat that I nevertheless kept in my flight suit’s left ankle pocket. Ever scanning the sky for trouble, I only looked down for a moment when I paused to wipe clean with my thumb the polished silver captain’s bars before placing their visibly worn fabric bearer on my head, cocked slightly to the right.
That’s when I saw her, rather felt her, approach. She had come to a stop just outside of arms reach at my five o’clock without my noticing, shame on me. It was when I began a turn to my left that out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of her swelling bosom’s shadow as it accented her figure’s shapely outline upon the hard packed dirt. “A quiet runner,” I thought, impressed, “or maybe I am losing my hearing after all these years.” My torso lagged, hips even more so, behind my rapidly turning head as I began to assess friend or foe. The dusty black Glock in her right hand said foe, a rare display of perfect white teeth two widening, full lips revealed said friend.