All She Had On Was The Radio

Every once in a while I feel that I can share a little bit about my personal life without giving away that I’m actually a living breathing human being who has a life outside everything else I do. I had a funny haha last week that I think y’all could see how one line of text can have a thousand meanings on one’s head when, in reality, it was an attention getter to intentionally mislead me, to distract me from what I was actually doing at the time. Luckily, for me, I was intrigued enough to investigate. Let’s set up the plot, I was outside messing around with my daughter’s car, maintenance mostly, new air cleaner, windshield wiper replacement, windshield wiper fluid refill, and a taillight bulb replacement. Simple enough, something she asked that I do while she was out of town. In fact, the house was empty with the exception of my wife and I. That whole scenario can lead to big trouble, usually means I’m steam cleaning the carpet. So, being outside taking care of little things that needed to be done was just fine with me. At about lunch time I start getting texts asking if I’m hungry, asking what I’m doing, and how long I was going to be, tell you the truth I was starting to get annoyed a bit, telling her to bring her ass outside if she was so curious. Then there was about thirty minutes of silence.

Then she sends this text, “all I have on is the radio, want to dance?” It was drizzling out, I was all but done outside anyway, so I didn’t answer the text, I don’t think I was supposed to, I think I did the right thing by just going inside to see what in the world was going on. I opened the door to a quiet house, and all I could hear was the radio coming from the back bedroom, my bedroom. First I did stop by the kitchen, which was on the way, to wash my hands and to get a drink of water, then I followed the song on the radio that was playing. I was lead to the bathroom in fact, where I find my wife taking a bubble bath, then she tells me that she told me all she had on was the radio. I will leave the rest to your imagination, if you have one, if not then just know that we both had a nice candle lit bubble bath together.

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Later on in the afternoon she wanted to get out of the house, to go somewhere, just go out to get out of the house, no kids, no wondering what the kids would do for dinner, nothing, just go for a drive and see where we end up. So, she got all dolled up, wearing my favorite jeans, a ZZ Top t-shirt, and her hair pulled back in a tight pony tail. She’s up to something, I just know it. We drove around in her new mustang for a few hours, she makes me drive, I don’t know, its weird with her, if I’m in the car she wants me to do the driving, been like that since day one. I thought it would change with her new car, but no, same old habits. What if I want to get chauffeured every once in a while? I’ve learned, don’t ask that particular question to her, it doesn’t end well at all. I just figure if we are in her car that she would want to drive. After not eating lunch I was starting to get real hungry, I asked if she had any suggestions, no of course, said for me to pick. Fine, I pick Joe’s Crab Shack, it was close and I haven’t been there in a few years. Dinner was good, margaritas were decent, and my company was very good. It gave us an opportunity to talk, to have a “date night”, and just be us for once in so many years. I get it, we don’t get allot of one on one time, we are always doing something, or we always have the kids tagging along, so it was, in fact, very weird, a little too quiet if you ask me. But, it was a fantastic night, I wouldn’t trade it for anything, never, we need many more of these “date nights”.

Soon enough, we would leave, she wanted to head across the freeway to go to the mall for a few minutes, she wanted to go in to get some makeup that they only sell at the one store. I knew it, I knew there was a plot, I new it was too good to be true, I knew I just gave up the next hour of my life because we cant decide which shade of black she wants for eyeliner. Of course, I’ve been a victim in this store before, I hate this store, so much I can’t bring myself to even type the fucking name. Plus, she asks me, the colorblind motherfucker, which color do I like, I always just answer with the one that has the cool, off the wall name, has kept me out of trouble for many years. This time, with no kids, I had no excuse to go to the Lego store or to Brookstone, I had to go in, her not letting go of my hand was the tell tale sign for me, I was already getting the cold sweats, fuck I hate this store. As a pleasant surprise, she walks in, never letting go of my hand, because I would have run for cover and she knows it, she picked up what she came in for, a compact of something or another, and we then checked out, we were in this beast of a pit less than five minutes, tops. Not a word from me either, and not a word from her either, we were just done, just in and out, scary.

Then we head to Sears, where I get told to hang out for a while, and that she would return for me shortly. Huh? She tells me to just roll with it, don’t worry about it, she would be back. Well, okay then, I shall just wander around Sears for a “while”. I didn’t see much I haven’t seen before, same tools, same lawn mowers and lawn shit, same beds, same vacuum cleaners, same appliances, and the same conditions at the shoe department, nice shoes I like, decent prices, but only go up to size 13, which is bullshit. Why can’t we just carry size 16 so I can at least try them on? But then again, that is the same scenario at all shoe stores in the mall, which is also bullshit. So, I’ve managed to kill almost thirty minutes and still no wife, so I make my way to the jewelry counter, not getting anything, just wanted to get my watch cleaned, they use one of those sonic washers which is pretty cool, gets all the muck out of the crevices. Just before the lady is done with my watch my wife slinks up behind me, wanting to know what I was buying. Then she sees the lady bringing my shiny black watch back and then she knows I’m not buying anything, no need to, I bought this very Fossil Relic watch in November of 1999 and it’s never, not once, given me any shit or reason to replace it, I make Father’s Day, birthdays, and Christmas a bitch for everyone, because a watch is never an option. After putting old faithful back on my wrist I notice she is carrying a Victoria’s Secret bag, which she will NOT let me look into. Trust me, I tried, no dice. How rude. Hand in hand we leave Sears, one more stop I’m told, which is good, its 8:45, and the mall closes in fifteen minutes, bonus.

We end up at Hollister, not my favorite, yet not the worst place to shop for women’s clothing. But, damn, this place is so expensive, I always expect to have to pay some kind of “cover” every time I walk thru the doors. This one is cool though, the entire staff is all female, dress like strippers, the lights are down low, the music is always bumping, and they offer complimentary bottled water. Plus, Plus, Plus, and Plus for me. Okay, she shops here at the teenie bopper store because they carry her size, “0”, and the only other place that carries that size in most of the pants is Guess, but she has never been let down here. I took a seat, she begins the hunt, she’s like a lioness on the prowl, stalking her prey on the open savanna, and when she finds the one that catches her eye, she pounces. It’s fun to watch, deadly on the wallet, but still I appreciate watching this part of the “chase”. She finds three pair, all blingless, all slightly torn in various places, but ones she seems to like. Off to the changing room, let the show begin! My wife is a natural born tease, she knows I still check out her ass, she knows my eyes still follow her around as she passes by, so, she abuses me with it, and she knows she is doing it. I liked all three, well, two of them, the stretchy ones I really don’t like. They look like jeans, don’t feel like jeans, and just “aren’t right” in some weird old school way. I know, I’m showing my age here, I cant help it, I don’t like them, they just aren’t right. The other two, perfect, absolutely perfect!

Now we head out of the mall, my wife reluctant to let me carry the bags, which is odd, I’m the guy you always see carrying the bags, but not tonight, which is fine, its weird, but fine. Get out to the car, bags in the truck, out of sight, and we head on home. When we get there, now nine-thirtyish, I settle into my chair, flip on the television, and find I have missed the first half of River Monsters, oh well, he never finds the big monsters until the end of the show anyway, that man pulls some fucked up fish from the depths of the rivers and lakes, and just think I used to like going out on the water, but now that I know it’s full of all the different kinds of “nopefish” I may just have to stick to the cement ponds. I never bothered turning on any lights because I didn’t plan on being out there in the living room very long anyway. You know that eerie feeling you get when you just know there is someone behind you, the feeling that makes all the short hairs on your body become electrified? I got that feeling, soon after I feel the cool hands I know so well, come across my shoulders. She held my head so I couldn’t turn my head, told me to close my eyes, and I feel her hands leave me. Moments later, I open my eyes to see my wife wearing what she bought at Victoria’s Secret. Um, OMFG!

By the morning the house was full with kids again, the hustle and bustle of everyone getting ready for work and for school. It was nice while it lasted, the quiet times, the time with my wife alone, and the not having to worry about everything happing around us. Out of the blue I get a kiss on the cheek from my daughter and a thank you for taking care of her car. My son, gives me a fist bump, he’s getting too old to hug me I guess, all of thirteen. As I stand in front of the kitchen sink taking my medications I feel a familiar touch of a cool hand going under my shirt onto my back, and then a kiss between the shoulder blades. No good morning, not that I usually get a verbal good morning, just what I got, it was nice, real nice. Then as softly as she appeared she slinked into the shadows of the hallway heading to the bedroom, undoubtedly to finish getting dressed for work. As I drove off to work I remembered that the entire day prior all started with a clever text, “all I have on is the radio”, what a nice thought.

Another Life, Another Time

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I generally get a handful of texts and e-mails every week from people I worked with at Club X. Usually just to let me known whats been happening and what will be happening. I suppose it is done to “keep me in the loop” even though I have been out of that loop for quite some time now. I generally do not reply to 99% because there usually isn’t anything for me to say. Now, I have two people, one stripper and one waitress, that I do keep up with and talk to regularly because we all became decent friends over the years I worked there. What makes them special you might ask? I will make a long story short, because it actually took me a few months to figure out what was going on. In the beginning I thought there was just the waitress who also was a stripper on her off nights. She would talk to me like normal regardless of what shoes she was wearing that night. Then, out of the blue, after a couple of months, she was on the dance floor stripping and at the same exact time she was waitressing. I thought I had lost my damn mind at first and then they both came over to the bar I was working and sat down, the both smiled while they just sat there looking at me. Yes, now I know, they are twin sisters. There had always been the two of them and few, if anybody, knew about it. Most people in the club thought the same thing I did. Anyway, a friendship grew and developed and now they keep in contact with me quite a bit.

This morning I get an e-mail from them asking me if I miss being a bartender there. They also known I was laid off and wanted to known why I just don’t come back. Do I miss being a bartender there? Not really. I do miss the money but I have said this all before now. I’m sure I could go back to bartending and it would be a decent paycheck, but I walked away when I did for some very specific reasons, first and foremost it was because I was done working nights and second is the hours I worked. It was a freaking part time job yet I worked 50-60 hours a week while having a day job doing 40 hours a week. You do the math, I was tired, more like exhausted, no walked around like a freaking zombie most days. So, I gave up bartending at the strip club, with that I have up about $100k a year, so yes, it has been missed. However, after doing that for 5 years, I socked away a nice start to a retirement, which, so far, we haven’t had to dip into, as of yet. I think it would take something very drastic to get me to go back permanently. Not that time is not now. I liked it after I quite, I see my family now and we have relationships now, something we could not have when I was working nights. I won’t bore y’all with the issues that job caused with my wife. I will say that it wasn’t for the reasons y’all might be thinking, it was simpler, it was because I was never home to spend time with her, ever, and it had a tremendous impact on our marriage. I will leave it there.

I do miss the people, I do miss bartending, and yes, I even miss being surrounded by hundreds of totally nude woman every day. The scenery was always nice. But, back in the real world is where I belong. Perhaps if I was single it would be different. One never knows. As always, the sisters like to include pictures of themselves at work, and to date the one shown here today has been the only one I have been able to share. I wonder, daily, where my life is going, and with often reminders of the past I see that wherever it is that I am supposed to be going is probably I’m the direction I am already headed. I am happier now that I have been in so many years. That’s what we should be, right, happy in our life? Personally, I think that is the answer.

The People And Trees Around Us

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The people and trees around us seem to share some things in common. Both are around us yet we know very little about the actual life they have lived. We observe them both grow and age. Trees and people carry on with their life whether we are their to share it or if we have missed out. I know that sounds pretty deep but it is also a really simple truth when one sits down for the comparison. Well then, what’s my point? We will get to that or maybe you might even see what it is by the time I am done here. But let’s start with the tree that has fallen a few months ago out at the far edge of what I mow as part of my yard. Call me lazy but I just haven’t reaaly felt like dealing with this fallen tree because of the work I knew I would be having to do with it. However, as spring is now in full effect where I live in southeast Texas, I know I only have a few more weeks before it is very hot and swampy outside. It won’t be too much longer and we will be flirting with triple digits. Due to the heat I try to accomplish major things outside in our very short cool weather months. So, as I mowed my grass with my brand spanking new John Deere riding mower (the replacement), I drove by this tree which reminded me that there was work to be done. Or,leave it and let the other trees and vines consume it. But I don’t want this to look unkept, a personal choice, so I made the plans to handle it yesterday, Monday, since I have found it is better to plan things into my empty days instead of just throwing caution to the wind. After mowing I made sure my chainsaw was sharpened, my tractor was fueled up, and the burn pile had been knocked down, all in preparation for Monday’s task. I also went ahead and loaded the tractor onto the trailer already connected to my truck so there wouldn’t need to be so much back and forth walking on my part. Sadly, I know this dress all too well with all the old and majestic trees on the property.

Just before first light, just before the first glimpse that day is breaking, before the buttcrack of dawn, I was at the tree unloading my tractor from the trailer. I rearranged the small generator in the back of my truck so it was back on the runner mat, if not it vibrates allover the damn place. I plugged in my 80’s boom box and pushed play. Great news, we will be listening to Ozzy this morning. I cranked it up to max volume so I can hear it over the chainsaw. I am sure Mr. Crowley sounds pretty eerie creeping through the dense trees this early in the morning. Hot damn, chainsaw lit off on the first crank, time to let the wood chips fly! After about about an hour of cutting I begin to feel the warmth of the sun on the backs of my legs so I known I need to get moving so I can get it done. My son, riding the golf cart, came down to tell me he was off to catch the bus. He was a little upset he wasn’t helping me but was very understanding I think. Off he went, back to the house to get his bag so he could go catch his bus. Thankfully he brought down my big plastic mug that I left on the kitchen island, I was dreading having to break momentum to go back to the house. After a few hours I had a garbage pile and the wood I will keep for my outdoor fire pit. Oak is a great wood for these fire pits. I put a little effort into cutting the wood into very manageable pieces. I will split it in a few weeks to let it dry out more. First I need to fix my frankensplitter because it has a nasty hydraulic leak somewhere. Being done cutting, I hooked the chains to the bucket of the tractor so I can drag the bigger branches to the burn pile. Afterwards I loaded all the cut wood I was keeping onto the trailer. Tired now, and its only just shy of noon, I decide to leave everything where it is to go get a bite to eat up at the house. The hard work is done now so there isn’t actually much to do except clean up. I won’t lie, after making myself a toasted smoked turkey sandwich I did end up taking a short nap out on the deck while enjoy the slight breeze. But, nonetheless, I needed to finish. Before heading back down I loaded the crock pot up with chicken and spread the cheesy sauce on it and turned it on, dinner at 6 or so is my guess. Easy peasy done. I walked back down to my truck, loaded up, and the parked it back up alongside my shop. I will unload later, maybe even the next day (being today and it isn’t done yet).

While I waited for everyone to start trickling in from their day I took an ride down to get the mail. Bill, bill, advertising, sale, and something strange with no return address. I hopped back in the cart and headed back to the house. I opened the strange letter first. I skipped to the end to see who it was from, I know, bad habit. After realizing I didn’t know the person I started from the top. It started with a short explanation of how we don’t actually know each other but she knew me because of her mother and because she saw me in 2009 when I met my biological siblings for the first time in South Dakota. Technically she is my niece that I didn’t know I had until reading the letter. Her letter bears bad news, it seems that my biological grandmother has passed, someone I never met, and I am being informed that I was mentioned in the reading of her will. She will not disclose to what degree nor why, but told me to be expecting a package which contained some items belonging to my biological father. Items she had wanted to give me in person but it never happened. My biological father also died before I met him. In fact he had died before I never knew of him. Then the letter was signed with “Love, Gracie”. End of letter. Sadly, I never met the mother of my biological father, but I am sure she lived a very full life.

Which is where we get back to how trees and people share a similar path in life, both go on whether we are there to witness it or not. Both come and go in and out of existence and the is little we can do about it. There are many people I have not met and may never meet on that biological side of my family. Until 7 years ago the ones that have met me never knew I existed and when I dropped in on their lives I am sure it was as shocking as an old oak tree crashing into the living room because of a bad storm. And then in a crash of thunder, all of our lives changed. We questioned most of what we knew, and we embraced the changes that were coming whether we wanted them or not. I will wait for my package, impatient of course, because that is the way I get sometimes. So, this is where it ends today, with me waiting for my mystery package.