Category Archives: relationships

Faithfully

This was originally a post on my Facebook page.

**This is actually the second time I’m writing this post. The first one is lost in the ether somewhere because I tried to add art after writing it. AAARGH!**

Broken-Heart-Music-smallerI have learned to be very, very careful about what I share online. If someone knew what to look for, they’d find that I’ve been a traveller on the net for about 20 years, give or take one. Therefore, if I’m writing this on Facebook, of all places, then I really, really had to write. There is another place I can write, but I do so under a pseudonym that only a few know as me. This time, *I* need to write this post. Me.

I’ve been sitting at my dining room table working like hell to get WickedWomanMag.com up by *mumble*mumble* while listening to iTunes. It’s just me, my really f’ed up wrist, my laptop, the occasional head butt from a puppy to say, “Don’t forget about me!” and my work. I was concentrating like a laser when I had to stop.

There are some songs that we not only hear, but feel in our bones. It doesn’t matter whether it is a sad song or joyous. Whenever we hear it, there is a swell of emotion that we really can’t explain to anyone. For me, one of those songs is Journey’s Faithfully.

The sentiments expressed, the experiences, the longing are all well known to me. I loved two men at the same time when in college. One of them was a “music man”–a roadie for a couple of bands—so he wasn’t around as much as I would have liked. I remember a couple of times when I went to spy on his apartment building which was easy enough since it was across the street from our favorite bar. Now I think my little reconnaissance missions were hilarious, especially when I had my best friend at the time help me with them. Then, all I had was the longing.

As an aside: What I would give to have a photo taken reminiscent of the John and Yoko bed photo! Visually, we were gorgeous together. He had a thick mane of very wavy, deep, bright red hair and pale skin. My skin, obviously much darker, had the right highlights to make, particularly, a black & white photo stunning. I have thought of that shot many times, especially after I ran into a salesmen at a music store that could have easily been his son. He wasn’t.

The red head and I had several little “talks” about the formality of our relationship. Neither of us were monogamous. How could I be with another guy a little over an hour away? The thing about the red head was that I could really be who I was. All those intimate urges were on overdrive, yes, but it was much more. He was a gregarious Irishman and I was just happily me when he was around. Man, did it hurt when he had to go to work, though. I *hated* seeing him drive off. He was my “music man.” Faithfully.

Another aside: I think I felt most alive when I got to watch a basketball arena turn into a concert hall. It is complexly amazing. I remember watching my red head, (although I don’t think he was mine quite yet), running cable and climbing scaffolding to hang lights. When he was finally some version of “mine,” I got quite “excited” every time I saw him working with cables, especially light boards. Remembering the metamorphosis from arena to music hall now really makes me long for that experience once again. I’ll put it on my Bucket List. Before Mom died, I was going back to our alma mater for grad school. I’d planned to ask if I could take over as the advisor to the student organization that handled concerts, among other things. I am a Roach Patrol alum, after all, so I know a little about what needs to happen.

The other man I loved was, and may well end up being, the love of my life. I hope he doesn’t, because I can easily do better. Having a chronic, debilitating condition plays havoc with the love life. Good Lord, I could go with either sex and I’m still by myself! Actually, I don’t really mind it right now. I’m too busy and I have a lot that I have to do because I’m the only one who can. WickedWomanMag.com has got to go live in the very near future. Indeed, me sitting here typing this a second time has totally screwed the pooch with my night, but it had to be done.

It took me a whole year and a little more to finally get the love of my life to take me seriously. I wanted him. Period. Dot com; dot org; dot edu. I may have been a few years younger than most kids in college, but I felt the electricity the very first time we actually met. That S.O.B. played with me like a cat with a mouse, too. It is fairly humorous now, but it was anything but then. Looking back, he was so bad, but in a way that wasn’t evil. That would come later. I still ended up crying my eyes out over him both before and after we got together, but those instances were forgivable. As I said, he wasn’t truly evil or cruel then.

I transferred to a larger university my sophomore year. Going back to visit friends where I first entered college was tricky. I wanted to spend time with them but I also wanted to get time with my love. He was seeing the woman he eventually married along with a few others on campus—or so it was believed. He didn’t always know when I was going to be in town and I didn’t always know that he had time or would make time for me. Actually, while exploring the possibilities, he did make time to see me.

Once we got “together” and he came to visit, I was a floating ball of happy goo from the moment I saw his car pull into the drive until he left. He was my heart. He HAD my heart. But, again, we weren’t exclusive. It wasn’t impossible, but it sure would have been impractical, especially with the girl he was seeing there on campus with him. I hated that, but I also knew I would not thrive in such a small school.

All in all, we were together, if somewhat ambiguously, for 17 years. One of the darkest times was when he asked me to come visit him at home several years after we’d both graduated. When someone brings you across several states to meet his parents, the natural thought is that things are about to get serious—finally! I think that trip was a test that I failed. I think I know why, but it is really immaterial. He told me of his engagement to his college girlfriend, then about to become a doctor, just as I was leaving his home (bastard) to visit a cousin nearby. For better or worse, he told me, “I almost chose you.” I don’t remember what happened next other than more tears than I’d shed in my life until that point. It’s all a blur.

It is hard to say which I remember most, the longing for him when he wasn’t physically or emotionally available or the joy, for the most part, when he was. I’ve written so much about him over the years that a publisher inquired about a book some years ago. I couldn’t write it then. Now I can and will, although I’ll have to change the names to protect the whining, bitching and moaning incredibly guilty. Once I get WWM up and running smoothly, including hiring a managing editor at some point, I can breathe a bit.

I mentioned that he hadn’t turned evil prior to his marriage. He was quiet, had mad skills as a DJ, super smart and probably in or near the genius IQ range, sweet, gentle when needed, but he did have a very evil side that I’d known was there for a long time. I knew nearly from the beginning that he was the kind of young man who could either choose to be a good and decent person or be a cruel, evil and non-consensually sadistic person. At some point during his marriage he chose the latter. I would give a lot to go back and stop him from choosing the wrong side, but I can’t. These days, if there COULD be a sinister motive for someone’s actions, that is his default assumption. I’m sorry, but I believe that’s quite twisted.

What happened to my caring, generally upbeat, beautiful young man? I dearly want to know what made him turn into someone who could be so utterly hateful, cruel and sadistic, particularly to me—someone who’d been totally loyal to him and, with one exception, shown him nothing but love. Hell, even when I was hurt and angry with him I still tried to be decent about things. I wish I could say the same about him. I can’t. He has become a textbook narcissist and it just makes me sad. What he did to me as the narcissist he’s become is very private. I’m struggling with how to write about it in the book because I’ve never experienced cruelty on that level.

This decades old rock ballad called Faithfully has a kind of magic for me. Most of the time, if I truly listen to it, I start crying. I’ve barely held back the tears tonight, but I wanted to get this post done. I know this song. I’ve felt this song. I’ve been this song. Indeed, I’ve been this song twice in my life in two different ways. The fact that I’m sharing this on FACEBOOK is fairly well amazing to me. However, as I stated when I began, I needed to write this and not my alter ego. I did this for me because this is what is in my heart. For reasons that probably won’t become clear to me for a while, I needed to remember. Faithfully.

Whew! I didn’t know all that was in there. Now I need a cigarette. It’s too bad I quit smoking. 😦

You’ll never guess who’s back

I thought this mess was over. I had accepted that Glenn is a plain, old narcissist and I’d moved on. Then, one of my next door neighbors told me about a couple of guys he’d confronted walking around the house with a camera on more than one occasion in the last several weeks. They did not–would not–identify themselves. That let him and me know that they weren’t with the city or the damned bank or any insurance company. Actually, the bank has all the information they want, so I knew it wasn’t them. As for the city, there is only one official interested in the property and that’s because I couldn’t find a lawn guy for a couple of weeks and got a warning. There are no insurance claims and anyone from an insurance company would have identified themselves just like any other person with a half-way legitimate reason to be here. That left me with this question: Who would want information about me and/or want to hurt me? One guess as to the first name that popped up.

I am no besotted teenager, 20+ year-old, 30+ year-old, etc. I’m not besotted at all, at least not with this incarnation of Glenn. I had to go back and read what he put me through to see the light. It was then that I remembered a lot of things from when we were young and realized, sadly and with a heavy heart, that he is and always has been, a narcissist. The difference now is that he’s fully grown into the pathology and I sure as hell will not be drawn into his circle. Neither will I back down or shut up, so he got a text telling him that he’d been caught and it was going to stop. Further, if anything happens to me or mine, there will be no place on this earth he can run. One side of my family and associates or the other will get him. Frankly, this post is part of that. There is also a set of journals that are very thorough. All of this gives him motive, so he will be first on the list should I wake up injured or dead.

Strangely enough, I don’t have anything else to say. I’m sad because I so wanted to marry the Glenn I knew. I wanted to build a family with him. Instead, well, what happened happened. Now I feel slightly amused, slightly pissed and very ho-hum about the Glenn who grew into the skin he’s in now. He’s a stranger I don’t want to know. I asked myself if I’d believe him if he suddenly changed his tune. No, I wouldn’t. That’s one of the problems with narcissists–they tend to lie and embellish as easily as they draw breath if they feel the need. *shrug* So that’s that.

Revenge

I have encountered three narcissists in my life: a cousin who lives to torture me while playing victim; some guy I was seeing who loved to tell me why I wasn’t good enough and watch me hurt until someone clued me in to narcissists and what they do for the sheer joy of it, and; Glenn T. , who will sing some version of “Poor Pitiful Me” if I let him. Oddly enough, the cousin and Glenn both decided to wave their “I’m the only and sole president of the Narcissist Club of America” flags around the same time. The thing is, I didn’t know there was a pathology until the second listed abuser came along and someone recognized the behavior pattern, after which I did my own digging.

Glenn T. has always been his own worst enemy. He listens through the filter of his projections because he fails to grasp that most people aren’t like him. Most people do not operate with an ulterior motive in mind and they certainly don’t operate with the most twisted and perverse ulterior motives in mind. That is the way he thinks. That’s the way he gets his kicks. I guess marrying another narcissist, mean girl, bully and the attendant conjugal “benefits” aren’t doing it for him anymore. Oh well. Not my problem.

My problem is two-fold. The first is that justice should be meted out to Glenn T. and his spouse because, in this case, the fairness demands such. In this instance, since neither perpetrators are going to admit their abusive acts or voluntarily do penance, justice could arguably take the form of revenge.

That brings me to the second fork of this problem.

Although I have no idea exactly who is attributed with the saying, there is the aphorism that living well is the best revenge. It is also said that revenge is a dish best served cold. What does this mean when put together?

Justice, (i.e. revenge), will come when it is least expected and when I have the will, the power and the money to exact a four-star Zagat rating. Until then, I will take care of myself and do those things I want to do with my life. I will have a life well-lived.

Mourning

I’ve just spent the last 30 minutes or so telling my cousin about Glenn. It wasn’t a subject I’d planned to address, but there seemed no way to explain a part of my life without explaining him. This makes sense, really. Before I awoke from my nap this evening, I’d dreamed about Glenn, a mutual friend we had named Tanya and, of course, about me. I was in horrible emotional pain because Glenn somehow walked away from me and wouldn’t speak to me again. He was with hagbeast and the setting was the college we attended. I remember the agony and I remember his face. What I didn’t know in the dream, and don’t really know now, is why he hated me because of my sexuality. The irony is that, at this point in my life, I honestly, truly do want a male mate. I’m not kicking any lovely, lovely women out of my bed–or life, if that’s the case–but my sexuality has made a 180 degree turn in the last month that’s confused the daylights out of me.

Be that as it may, when I awoke, what I felt was the profound loss. It mirrors the loss I haven’t allowed myself to feel in real life. I don’t think I can run far enough fast enough. I’m going to have to truly feel the pain.

This is in no way meant to diminish what I feel, but the thing that struck me after actually saying a few words to him and being greeted with hostility is that I was dead on about his character and characteristics when I thought he was ignoring me. I am thankful that, as if someone had pushed a button, my emotional armor went up the moment I realized I had managed to fuck up and reach the person–TWICE. I don’t understand that kind of hatred. I never have. He was the last straight person in the world I’d peg as homophobic. Yet, that was part of the rant he used to cripple me and bang my figurative head into the ground over and over again. A decade later, he doesn’t remember and suddenly decided he doesn’t want to. I wish I could have forgotten as easily.

Somehow, the world seems much lonelier than it did. Tanya left me little to no choice except to say one final goodbye. Glenn turned into the narcissist/sociopath/narcissistic sociopath I was truly afraid he’d become with hagbeast. He could go either way and I knew it. That’s one of the primary reasons I stayed with him. Not to get completely hyperbolic (although I’m going there), hagbeast massaged his darker nature. I massaged his lighter nature. He had a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. (Please know that I did try to find a substitute metaphor and failed.) It was much easier to be dark, rapacious, mean and evil. Dark always has an advantage. There are things I understand now that I didn’t then. Unfortunately, it’s too late. Even if he wanted to get out (and there’s no evidence he does) he couldn’t. That leaves me to mourn and to write.

A part of me says that I don’t know how we’re going to get through the hell. Another part says that we simply will. It is what we do. Strength above all.

While laying in a hospital . . .

I’ve had a headache since Saturday afternoon. Judging from the symptoms I knew that I either had a wicked nasty bastard of a migraine or I was about to stroke out. When pain breaks through the kind of narcotics I’m on, that pain gets taken seriously. Still, end of the month, the unexpected expense of buying a second set of auto tags with the third and, I hope, final set to be purchased in May and the money just was not there to fill the Rx I already had that wasn’t working to begin with. I finally couldn’t take it anymore and had my cousin drive me to one of the local ERs.

Long story short, I was admitted and started on stronger pain meds. The unfortunate aspect is that I had no real choice but to lie and say I was better because I have managed to surround myself with people who are allergic to dogs. So that meant I needed out of the hospital. The second part of this discomforting scenario is that I could only get the pain meds as an in-patient. I definitely cared, but I cared more about my girls. There is almost no one in my breed in the area at all and there aren’t any in the breed in these parts who are friends. I got home and everything was OK even though I’d been gone something like 30 hours.

Once the pain stopped knocking me to the floor; once the room was dark, and; very little noise was coming into my ER cubicle, I had an epiphany. I’ve outgrown Glenn. Hearing and experiencing him as he is, I have learned that only one of us matured happily. He’s angry, afraid and dependent. I actually do understand a lot of that. Had my mother continued on and had I capitulated to her more and more bizarre demands, I would have been him in a couple of years. The difference is that I didn’t choose my circumstances. He did. He’s old enough to rescue himself should he choose to. He’s healthy. He is everything that I was not and still, had I not had the feeling life was going to go sideways, I would have rescued myself because I couldn’t go much further down this road.

When I realized that I’d outgrown this person to whom I’d looked up for so many years, it was a big surprise. I’d captured a part of both our lives in amber as if that was a snapshot from an old 4 megapixel point ‘n’ shoot as opposed to a snapshot from before digital cameras were invented. (Granted, more than a little hyperbolic, but the reasoning is sound.) A lot of that is because he absolutely refused to tell me of the changes in his life after I came out to him. Indeed, I think it’s fair to say that he hated me for loving women at all, regardless of where I fell on the scale of human sexuality. I would have to be all het all the time for him or he’d always wonder how I felt at any given moment on any given day, in any cycle, month or year. And in doing so, know that he couldn’t give me all that I wanted or needed, even if he could give me 99.999%. It would always be the .001% he’d look at me and hate me for because he’d think he’d failed. One thing is right: He is failing by leaps and bounds. He is failing himself, very true, but he has, is and will continue to fail me. As I said on the day he married hagbeast, Glenn is Robin’s problem now in far more ways than anyone reading this will know.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. There is still a book in this. However, something else takes precedence for the next couple of years. I can mind-doodle whenever the urge strikes. Hence, all is not lost.

Just a thought

I think there should be a special judicial system created to try bad significant others (SO). Divorces in most states are now no-fault, so the dirty spouse doesn’t get punished and the (less) innocent spouse doesn’t have the satisfaction of justice.

The court I envision would not be only for married couples, though. It would be for ANY couple where one party alleges some form of abuse that isn’t covered under criminal or civil law. I had an addendum to an old post that added a discourse on fighting back bullies, but decided to leave it for another time when the post could stand on its own. That’s what emotional abusers are–bullies. There is nowhere to bring a case like that in our current judicial system. One might think of “intentional infliction of emotional distress,” but getting that in by itself won’t usually work. There should be other allegations.

In my mind, I envision a jury of women deciding the fate of an abusive man. As they hear the evidence, they yell, heckle and boo him. The penalties for being guilty should be between 10 days and life. I mean, are you really going to give a guy whose only “crime” is watching sports continually all weekend as if his SO didn’t exist five years? That would be a bit extreme.

There are some things for which no penalty is enough. I am morally against the death penalty because it is not meted out fairly. However, if anyone were to deserve it, it would be SOs who physically and/or sexually abuse their SO and/or the SO’s family members. Someone who does that just needs to die.

I’ve often believed that all males should be isolated once they reach puberty. At that time, they go live with men who teach them how to be human AND male. There really are men who are quite comfortable being both. There is no shame in showing one’s emotions or having empathy with another. Women love men who are like that. Kindness is a virtue across the sex and gender divide.

I am reminded of a couple of documentaries I saw that either had a segment on elephants or was about elephants. Pesky, randy male elephants are thrown out of their herd because they are a nuisance. Some roam around solo and wreak havoc; some roam around with others like themselves and wreak havoc, and; some find themselves in the company of an older male who teaches them not to be a pain in the ass. Unfortunately, there are those few who never learn and become dangerous to other wildlife and have to be moved or put down. Most often the latter.

So, in my fantasy, boys are turned over to someone to be trained in the ways of manhood. They are provisionally released at 18 and permanently released at 21. If they mistreat or misbehave after that, they go in front of a judge while the State brings charges against them.

Mind you, the system is set up for females too, but they are taught at home and during regular schooling. Somehow, I sincerely doubt that women will appear in this Court nearly as often as men.

As I said, this is just a thought.

Ouch!

There are so many things I want to write about, but my mind and body are exhausted. I’ve been setting the scene for my photo shoot that should have taken place weeks ago. Thank you, TEWSNBN! Fuck it. Thank you GLENN!! I spent so much time scanning pages from journals I haven’t read in ten years and re-living the horror of that period because he swore up and down that he had no idea what I was talking about. Then, when I tell him several days and about $50 later that he needs to choose whether he wants me to put the scans on a cloud server or risk the package arriving on the weekend when it was likely to be seen by nosey eyes, the little shit basically declares war. God, he has become the man I dreaded!

I think I may have mentioned this before, but a former mutual friend said that he is often overwhelmed and confused. Yep! And despite growing up in the NYC area and traveling all over the world, he is rather plebeian in his acceptance of people and his view of the world as it is. In fact, very plebeian. I honestly never thought I’d say this, but my worldview and acceptance of different peoples and lifestyles is FAR more broad-minded than his. If readers had known Glenn when we were attending the same college, I think there would be a lot of surprise. Then, he came off as worldly and sophisticated. At 16 years old, of course I ate it up. Then, after spending 17 years more together than not, he married and my life had to go on. I found the leather/kink community online and immersed myself in it both in the virtual world and the real world. I also began trying my hand at writing fiction. It seems I have a gift for writing little scenes that say a great deal. I also wrote my first full-fledged short story with something like six chapters about a bi-lesbian couple that became very well-known around the net because it has a killer BDSM scene in it that took me two days to write, all while listening to Pink Floyd over and over again. I really would love to continue writing stories about their relationship. I need a muse. Then, I had one in the form of this gorgeous blonde chica with lovely pierced nipples I could nestle in and suckle all day long. I have tried to find her, but no luck.

I know that the whole BDSM thing scared him because he had no clue. I used to think that he’d be good at it, but I don’t now. A Master must be empathetic, giving and willing to communicate. That’s not him, I’m sorry to say. I think that most men are very intimidated when I tell them that I still consider myself a leatherwoman even though I haven’t practiced in a long time. They are afraid that whatever they may bring to the bedroom won’t be able to compete with my BDSM experiences. Frankly, they may be right. Eventually, I’m going to get bored. Right now, any man who gets hold of me had better be ready for the fuck of his life. Yes, fuck first, then make love. I’d really like to get to know the guy I met at the gym last week, but my idea of “late” and his idea of “late” are two different things. I’ll pop in earlier tomorrow to see if he’s around.

What I wanted to write about in this post is a happy thing. My excursions to the gym are paying off. My body feels better once it stops hurting; my fat is firmer, if you know what I mean; I sleep better, and; I am physically stronger. Oh, I should also mention that I’ve lost four pounds. Granted, that’s not a lot, but I’ve only been at this about six weeks. Nearly two weeks out of six were spent at home, as I said, scanning my ass off and re-living unimaginable pain for someone who didn’t deserve it. You’d think I’d know better by now. Any act of kindness I’ve ever shown him has been met with a kick in the teeth. He is his own worst enemy and his account will come due. No more GLENN! (I hope you see your name in caps, m’dear.)

As I said, the gym is paying off. However, at this moment I hurt like a son-of-a-gun. I have placed lidocaine patches any place on my body they’ll stick. I need a script filled, but money is extremely tight until the first of the month. I haven’t been this broke since I was in undergrad. Still, overall, I’m quite pleased with myself. I realized that there was no iPhone app that met all of my needs, so I decided to just keep records using Notes. I’m trying to remember whether or not I have a spreadsheet app somewhere around. If so, I’d like to use it to track my progress. Right now, though, I’d like to share.

April 23, 2013

Cycling
Distance: 2.09 miles
Calories burned: 41
HR: 144
Time: 17 min.
Resistance: 6

Rowing machine
Strokes/min: 25
Calories burned: 107
Cal/hr: 308
Time: 17:00 min.
Resistance: 5

Pull down
36 reps @ 40 lbs.

Chest press
50 reps @ 40 lbs.

Shoulder press
40 reps @ 40 lbs.

Leg press
50 reps @ 40 lbs.
40 reps @ 55 lbs.

April 25, 2013

Cycling
Distance: 3.74 miles
Calories burned: 78.3
HR: 140-144
Time: 31:33 min
Resistance: 6

Rowing machine
Strokes/min.: 28
Calories burned: 94 (This is an inaccurate measure due to problems with the computer on-board.)
Cal/hr: N/A
Time: 21 min.
Resistance: 5

Pull down
40 reps @ 40 lbs.

Chest press
40 reps @ 40 lbs.

Shoulder press
40 reps @ 40 lbs.

Leg press
100 reps @ 55 lbs.

I haven’t measured the body metrics yet. It seems that I never have time when I’m close to the tape measure and I do have time when I’m not close to the tape measure. I’ll do it eventually.

The reason I’m so proud of myself is that I’ve heard a litany of “Don’t do that!” and “No, you need to not risk your quality of life.” Basically, if I do hurt myself on the leg with the birth defect, no one has any idea how to put me back together. I can think of ONE surgeon in the entire country who would have more than a clue. The hospital that stole him from Johns Hopkins built an entire new wing just for him. The bad part is that he’s a pediatric ortho and they do NOT like to work on adults.

That’s not to say that my current ortho would be totally clueless because that’s not the case at all. In fact, his primary interest is in bioengineering. That gives him a solid background in the mechanics of my body. In addition, this hospital’s doctors actually listen to me when I tell them I am not just another amputee. That wasn’t happening at the hospital where the first spinal surgery and knee replacement were done. In fact, I kept telling the ortho that I was sick after my first knee replacement surgery. He blew me off by saying that people often feel that way after joint replacements. He didn’t listen until I spiked a fever and my pulse-ox was in the high 80s. Lo and behold, I had pneumonia and a partially collapsed lung. He was frustrated because medicine wouldn’t release me to rehab, thereby screwing up his schedule and stats. Fucking narcissists. If the nurses hadn’t called in medicine, my lung would have completely collapsed. Ever since, there have been times when I feel as though I couldn’t breathe and had pain in my back right over my lungs. That’s when I say a little prayer for myself because I really cannot deal with being in the hospital right now. I’m hoping that my breathing is better now that I’ve spent six hours cleaning off my dresser. Yes, you’ve read that correctly. SIX hours. I didn’t even dawdle in the process! I found all sorts of things I’ve been looking for for years. I have to clean off the dust, (this house collects it like a magnet collects iron shavings), but a little Pledge goes a long way.

It’s time for me to turn out the lights, continue listening to some music and close my eyes again. I came in from an appointment with my pain doctor and immediately went to bed after feeding the girls. The pain doctor was concerned that I was unhappy because my body is not cooperating. He asked me if the medication was working. That’s a loaded question when asked by a pain specialist because if you say no, they may think you’re drug seeking. If you say yes, even though the meds aren’t working, you’ve conceivably missed an opportunity to get the medication adjusted so that the whole cocktail works better. He told me not to be depressed because there are so many things going on with my body and my life that I have to be realistic about my goals. Thank you, God! He understands! I didn’t even have to prod him. Even if I weren’t at the gym at least twice a week where I theoretically risk injury, I have a specialist for just about every system in my body. That’s a lot of doctors, but there is a lot to be examined. I’m getting a cortisone shot next week if I can get my cousin to take me to the appointment. I have to be sedated because that damn needle HURTS.

At any rate, Bruce is singing Badlands and it’s time for me to magically envision the place about which he’s singing. Every time I hear his music now, I think of The Big Man, Clarence Clemons. I miss him a lot. His nephew is good, but he doesn’t have the experience his uncle had and won’t until he’s been through the trials and tribulations his uncle had. Oh well, Better Days came up next. I think some spirit knew that I needed to hear that song. I wish you all better days ahead. Remember, “Strength above all!”