Tag Archives: smile

better than sex.

There. I said it. As I rapidly approach the age of 56 in a week or two with my heels dug into the floor like a sugar-induced 4 year old at the end of a Chucky Cheese Birthday party, I have proclaimed that a good foot rub IS, in fact, better than sex.

footNow mind you, I’ve had my share of outstanding sex, so I speak with authority. I’ve had sex with people that I either long to remember, can’t remember, or don’t WANT to remember. There were sexcapades in exotic locations like beach front homes, hot tubs overlooking city skylines, the Ritz-Carlton overlooking Central Park in autumn, once on a gondola ride to the top of Mount Killington in Vermont, and even once in the private dining room of a restaurant. I’ve also enjoyed sexual encounters in not so exotic, but no less exciting places like sofas, cars (both front and back seats and once the hood of), bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchens, and even the occasional alley and stairwell. Oh the blog entries I have ahead of me…

However, none of them compare to the feeling of having an honest to goodness foot rub. My job in sales requires that I work on my feet for several hours at a time. I continue to smile at work in hard soled shoes and I am fortunate enough to have a man who thinks nothing of offering me a foot rub when I get home to make me feel good. He’s pretty much offered to do them from about a month into our now 8 year relationship.

He has good hands… strong hands. Over time Daryl has learned to adjust his touch via my facial expressions, verbal cues, or perhaps it’s the guttural moan that accompanies an especially tender ball. Of my foot, the ball of my foot! We haven’t used lotions, oils or scrubs while he continues to improve the circulation of my aching dogs.

Then one time after a particularly vigorous rub (or maybe it’s been several times, damn it!) I thought I heard him ask ME if I’d return the favor.

Asking me AFTER my foot rub, is like asking a guy if he loves you after sex. Hello? I just came after all that pleasure and now I want to take a nap. Wham bam thank you uh… MAN. Anyway, I ignored his requests for reciprocal rubs because… well… I think it’s because my hands aren’t strong enough (lie) or perhaps I have an aversion to feet in general (lie), or maybe it’s just due to the fact that I’m selfish (truth).

Well tonight, it’s going down. This afternoon I went out and bought one of those foot soaking bubble massagers at Wal-Mart for under 20 bucks. Problem solved! I’ll just tell him to let me fill it up, plug it in, turn it on, and watch the fun begin! It’s like a dildo for your feet!

You think I’m THAT shallow?

Don’t worry. I’m not THAT selfish and uncaring most times. I WILL let him soak his feet after I make an outstanding dinner accompanied with a choice wine. I’ll provide music and a relaxing mood as he soaks his cares away. Once he’s all wet and seduced by bubbly joy, I promise to give his balls (feet) a rub as well as manipulate his digits (minds up here) with scented oils and moisturizing creams.

Hopefully he’ll be so relaxed, he won’t be able to walk. In a good way.

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scare me.

I’ve heard it said that “you should do ONE thing every day that scares you.” Today, I did just that.

The political firestorm that seems to have divided our country this year seems to have ignited my soul to the point of wanting to try something completely out of my realm of normalcy. There have been disagreements over our role in Syria’s revolution, Social Security and Medicare bankruptcies, and the decision of a woman’s right to her body versus the point of conception. It all scares me. I’d say it scares the Jesus out of me, but then I’ve got Christianity on my back.

I wanted something more personal to jolt me out of my daily socialist entitlement and complacency.

Sigh.

So this morning, after my extraordinary one hour walk in the neighborhood, I got to thinking. No, make that… I got to steaming passionately about what could “I” do to wake myself up? How could I motivate ME to take a real stance on, not only our country, but ME? How could “I” do something that would frighten me so much that I could look back and refer to it as my new beginning… my awakening!

I tried to think back through my life of fifty plus years. I thought long and hard to image in my mind the things that made my life normal in my past. Then it hit me like a Biden smile during a vice presidential debate. I seem to remember starting it religiously (damn Christians) when I was barely through puberty. There were dates, parties, hell… even a marriage and kids, and I still did this same thing every day of my life. Today, it was going to change. Today, I was going to do it differently. Today, I was going to step out of my comfort zone and become afraid.

I could hardly wait for the goose bumps.

It all started innocently enough really. I was sweating profusely from the vigorous walk in the autumnal air this morning and I needed to shower. As I opened the sage green and taupe matching shower curtain, I saw it! The shampoo. THAT’s what I would avoid THIS day. That is how I would scare Ed Williams on this 12th day of October.

So I did it. I mean, I didn’t do it. I mean, I avoided it.

I went without shampooing my hair. Scoff if you must, but I did not wash my hair for the first time since I can remember. Don’t get me wrong… I wet it mind you… we’re not death defying here… just trying to scare ourselves a little.

God! How liberating! After towel drying, I toyed with it a little in the mirror. I felt like it looked heavier, perhaps a little duller… but damn, I was a fucking rebel!

We’re meeting friends out tonight and I hope I can get through this okay. Tomorrow, I’m going to attempt to go without soap.

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a day at Longwood Gardens…

I LOVE Longwood Gardens, just outside West Chester, PA. I decided on a whim that on this amazingly clear warm late summer day that Daryl and I were BOTH off, we should spend some time here. We strolled and sat, strolled some more, then ate a leisurely lunch. Daryl took an extra allergy pill (he truly works at our relationship) and everything was fine until he said at the end of our outing that “Mr. Longwood should be proud!*” I laughed SO hard that I actually cried. I love that silly man.

(the photos are just from my iphone)

SO relaxed while enjoying a spectacular day at Longwood Gardens.

 

Italian Water Gardens

 

Brugmansia (Angels Trumpets)

 

breezed hallway off the Main Conservatory

 

water lily pads

 
 

Chime Tower

 

gazebo outside of the rose garden

 

tea rose... the fragrance was amaaazing!

 

topiary garden

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

within the "Eye of Water" pavillion

  
* Daryl is WELL aware that Longwood Gardens is NOT named after a Mr. Longwood.

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Top ten misconceptions about an old interracial gay couple.

Matching tee shirts are SO gay, even if they ARE Jakes Bar.

1. One of us is the “husband” and one of us is the “bitch.”
TRUTH: While we don’t strive to emulate straight stereotypical roles, we are BOTH the “bitch.”

2. Attempting to incorporate our culinary heritage into our diet, we eat fried chicken on Friday nights and goulash on Mondays.
TRUTH: We eat fried chicken any day that we require comfort food and goulash is just nasty.

3. We use 50% less sunscreen than a Caucasian gay couple.
TRUTH: We don’t go out in the sun unless there is alcohol involved and only then with a rainbow-colored parasol.

4. Our musical tastes include Lady Gaga, Bootsy Collins and Justin Bieber.
TRUTH: Daryl knows the words to Justin Bieber songs. I, on the other hand, have ear plugs.

5. We have store credit cards at Old Navy and The Gap.
TRUTH: Credit cards are not our friends.

6. My pet name is “Flashlight.”
TRUTH: Although during sex in a dark room there are times where the only one I see is me, that is not my pet name.

7. Daryl’s pet name is “Bubalicious.”
TRUTH: It is.

8. People assume that one of us is well hung.
Truth: We both are.

9. I prefer chocolate ice cream, Daryl prefers vanilla.
TRUTH: True

10. We use Kool Aid as a mixer.
TRUTH: It was just that one time!

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let THAT summer begin!

Summer officially begins this weekend.

I will be inside working several hours a day for the Memorial Day weekend sales, I (at times) will be thinking wistfully of childhood summers past. I had no Face Book, Twitter, texting or blogging inundating my young world. The only things my thumbs were doing back then were catching baseballs, butterflies and bubbles while pulling wads of pink gum in and out of my mouth.

I was about nine years old when my family lived in a tiny twin home several miles outside of West Chester in the small village of Marshallton, PA. My mother didn’t drive and my father worked several shifts for many hours with the Philadelphia Electric Company. My brother, John, and I were fairly isolated out in the country. Not that we minded. We always found something to keep us occupied and would spend many a full day playing outside and not watching television.

In contrast, my cousins, the Rulon family, lived in West Chester and happened to be members of the Bernard F. Schlegel Swim Club American Legion Post 134 on the outskirts of town on North New Street. In past summers, I went with them on occasion as a “guest” with the many passes they’d get for the season. One warm summer day, my Mom’s sister, Mary, surprised us by showing up at our house unannounced, driving my Uncle’s forest green Chevy pickup truck, bearing a sign in two lines of script paint: “Rulon’s Amusements – Jukeboxes, Pool Tables and Pinball Machines – sold and serviced.” She was honking the horn as she pulled in our driveway while my cousins including Steve, Randy, Billy, Jean and Danny were shouting and waving from the truck bed in the back proclaiming that we were going swimming! My brother and I quickly grabbed our bathing suits and towels as our mom, pregnant with our brother Rich, hurriedly packed a small blue and mint green plaid beach bag with snacks and extra towels. Holding onto matching flip flops from Woolworth’s, my brother and I climbed over the metal tailgate and into the back of the truck bed to a carpet of cousins.

My summer had officially begun!

We didn’t use seatbelts, hell we didn’t even have seat belts. It probably wasn’t safe in the back of the truck and it certainly wasn’t law, but we were FREE! As we began our adventure over country roads, we were seven young kids thrown into the back of a truck drinking cans of cooler-chilled grape and orange sodas while chewing and popping Bazooka Bubble gum. Mom and Aunt Mary and the smaller tots Nina and Timmy were sandwiched snuggly in the cab as we older kids hooted loudly while we were tossed about in the back of the truck like drunken sailors on a stormy sea. The warm summer sun would scuffle with the cool shade of the dark green trees to touch our skin, blinking over us as we wound our way around deeply curved bends and over stone-laden bridges. Our thin light hair was blown about our scrubbed freckled faces in the wind and into our sparkling eyes.

We found ourselves “surfing” in the truck’s bed by holding on to two tension straps and a few thick ropes that my Uncle had in the truck which he used in his business to secure pinball machines and pool tables while delivering them to customers. We tied them to a brace at the cab of the truck and as we rounded curves or hit bumps in the road we’d roll and giggle hysterically as we’d fall to the floor of the bed while the other kids would try to break the fall.

I absorbed the scent of the cool dark forests we traveled through as our journey to the pool continued. The dank smell of decomposing leaves from summers before and the fragrance of new pollen and honeysuckle mixing to create a world of shaded serenity. Occasionally, a small bug would hit me in the face but never bothered me as our trek continued through the back roads of the country. We made up songs to pass the time as we played Punch Buggy and counted out of state license plates (with limited success on country roads).

As we finally entered the winding driveway onto the thickly wooded acreage of the VFW, the combination of charcoal briquettes, hot dogs and the chlorine from the crystal blue pool wafted from the base of the hill. The “boing” sound of divers pushing from the diving boards, kids squealing and radios playing indicated our ride was almost over. We leapt out of the truck before it barely stopped and skipped in bare feet over grass and stone to the locker rooms to change.

The cement floor of the locker room was cold on the bottoms of my feet as I stripped into my bathing suit on a bench in the dampness. The echo of voices chatting in the showers and slamming metal lockers barely kept my interest as I rushed outside to the blinding sunshine and burning concrete. Realizing I forgot my flip flops in the locker room, I went back into the dimness and found them on the floor. I returned poolside to where my aunt and mother were already setting up camp under the shade of the many tall oak trees. I watched briefly as some of my cousins ran (then walked quickly as the lifeguard’s whistle chastised them) to jump into the pool. I could smell the barbeque beginning at the VFW at top of the hill and I watched as small wisps of white smoke from the grills drifted lazily like the echoes of ghosts through the trees above.

My stomach grumbled softly indicating that I was slightly hungry since I had only a small bowl of Captain Crunch cereal for breakfast while watching Gene London earlier in the morning, but I could wait for our lunch by the mansion on the hill in the afternoon. Apparently, the VFW was having what they called a “clam bake” later in the day and we were all invited! I glanced once more at the light bustling of activity on the hill before I spun around and leapt into the clear cold water creating hardly a splash with my slight boyish frame. I felt my heart race and my eyes sting from the chlorine as the noise outside became muffled in this underwater world of human legs. The pool hadn’t quite warmed up to the bath-like temperatures of late July and August as I immediately pushed to the surface and turned around to see my mother setting up her aluminum woven lawn chair and placing it securely in the grass.

My cousins, brother and I spent hours splashing, playing Marco Polo and dunking each other throughout the early afternoons blazing sun. Halfway through the day our moms provided tee shirts (our version of sunscreen) to put on so we wouldn’t get too much sunburn. The pool became very crowded during the day as the older teens began a game of volleyball in the deeper end. I watched while seated on a damp towel next to my mother as the ball was hit out of the pool in my direction. I squinted in the sun as I stood up and ran to get the ball and threw it into the “pool of popularity” with a splash. No one said thank you as I sat back down on the towel and tuned out the screaming teens.

I stretched my skinny arms to the sky and lay down on the towel while listening to the birds in the tree branches above me. The clattering noise around me turned into a dull drone as I sighed then drifted off to sleep while watching another wisp of smoke from the hill above drift lightly toward the sky.

My brother ended my brief slumber as he came out of the pool to dry off and shook his head over me like a dog shakes his body to dry off. “Creep!” I yelled as I sat up and tried to smack him in the knee and missed. He laughed as he dug deep into the beach bag for a box of pretzels as someone’s radio played the “Last Train to Clarksville” by the Monkees in the distance. Two of my cousins were playing the card game “Go Fish” on a towel by the chairs as Aunt Mary suggested we pack up and head up to the hill for something to eat.

We needed no further instruction as we grabbed what we could and headed quickly across the sidewalk of the pool passed the baby pool and exited through the locker room leaving Mom and Aunt Mary tagging behind. Dumping the folding chairs and towels in the back of the truck, we continued through the gravel parking lot on our march to the hill.

I love the big house on the hill known as the VFW. As a nine year old, I have no idea what VFW even means, nor do I care. The large windowed mansion of massive stone sits like a fortress with a deep set slate covered porch around the entire place and it has a portico. I didn’t know what a portico was either until I asked my Grandmother last year when we were here and she explained it to me. The mansion is surrounded by stoic oak trees that tower over it like multi-armed soldiers, guarding the palace from the summer’s heat and humidity. Three stories of stately stone and mortar supported with thick white pillars and garnished with matching painted multi-pained windows that surely must have been a grand home to a family at one time long ago. I sometimes imagine it haunted with the specter of a long lost widowed bride standing breathless on the heavy stone steps, holding onto a pillar during a violent thunderstorm while staring into the lightning filled valleys in search of her lost captain of war as her gown blows frantically in the wind.

I snapped back into reality as I watched the older boys racing to the top of the hill, quickly getting lost in the small crowds of men and women seated around smoking grills eating corn cobs and clams while sucking down cool mugs of beer. Loud guffaws of laughter boomed from the broad porch as someone must have shared a joke.

This was THE clambake.

The food smelled incredible and my stomach began to give away my plight. As I crested the hill and came upon the grounds of the house, I was all at once enveloped into a party like atmosphere of sights and sounds that truly overloaded the mind of this nine year old. Torches of fire were stuck in the ground as decoration as the smell of burgers and fish drifted from the iron slated brick enclosed grills. My mouth began to salivate as I watched my cousin Steve grab a couple of plates and hand them to the group of us as we waited in a short line to get food. I watched as flames lapped from the depths of the grill, licking the smoking food that was about to be devoured.

Music was playing from the jukebox which had been wheeled out on to the porch from inside the home where the VFW “bar” was located. As I munched a sweet ear of corn, I watched as men smoking cigars wondered in and out of the bar area. I observed as they joked with each other or compared the scores of the latest ball game.

Mom and Aunt Mary, both with slightly sunburned Irish faces, clutching plates sat down with the rest of us as we finished off the better part of our early dinner. I could see the sun drifting further toward the horizon as I yawned. Aunt Mary tossed her red hair in the breeze as she sipped a beer and laughed at something my Mom was explaining to her.

Jean, Dan, John and I got up and headed to the larger area of the porch to watch the adults dance to the records playing from the jukebox. We watched as “Wild Thing” by the Troggs enraptured the hips, feet and waists of the older folks. I would snicker as Jean and I attempted to emulate the steps they were doing. Our Moms came up and danced with us in circles as we laughed and stomped our way into dusk.

Finally, Aunt Mary said it was time to “hit the road” as the coals in the grills began to fall apart and the men on the porch began to fall down. We were full and tired as a woman that knew Mom had given her a box of popsicles from the freezer in the VFW and we headed toward the truck.

Our faces were freckled and sunburned as we sucked melting Twin Pops from rounded wooden sticks and our fingers. We shared the color of our tongues to each other as we rode home in the sultry summer air on this first day of summer. I slept well that night.

Happy Memorial Day to all of you! Enjoy your time spent with family and friends. Peace.

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The Attack of the 50 Foot Mummy?

Yvette Vickers, a B-movie actress and former Playboy Playmate was recently found mummified in her dilapidated Hollywood residence. Apparently she was undiscovered for over a year.

Being a huge science fiction fan when I was a young lad, I used to stare at the television on Saturday mornings watching our local Doctor Shock’s “Creature Double Feature.” I actually remember getting lost one rainy morning in one of Ms. Vickers more popular classics entitled “Attack of the 50-foot Woman.” At the time, I didn’t really GET the tight, torn in-all-the-right-places frock that highlighted the giant woman’s um… assets, but I DID find myself wondering what it would be like to be that tall trouncing around a desert town in black and white while picking up cars like toys, frightening local residents and smashing down buildings with the flick of a wrist. Ah, the power of it all!

Sigh. Her gigantic power apparently waned.

I’ve often wondered HOW a death can go THAT unnoticed? Especially after being a Playboy Playmate of the fifties? I thought they had it all, literally. I was always under the assumption that a pretty face and great boobs would allow a woman to find eternal happiness and a lifetime of pool parties, photo ops and perfect performances.

Apparently, a happy ending and the flash of camera bulbs don’t go on forever.

Unfortunately, being found like this is a large fear of mine when I get older. I’ve had nightmares about it. I imagine one hot summer’s day, I’ll be discovered in my tattered underwear seated in a tasteful recliner where I’ve been glued to the seat with smelly, albeit colorful, bodily fluids. My smile will be half eaten by the cat while I am still clutching a wine glass with a few drops of a good cabernet sauvignon at the bottom and there will be a plate of fly ridden cracker crumbs on the table next to me. The TV will have remained on and a rerun of I Love Lucy will be playing a little too loud, maybe the episode of the Vitameatavegamin commercial. Hopefully, whatever hair I have left will have been combed.

I currently wonder how could no one find ME until a year or two later?

I suppose I should begin NOW by making sure I always have a backup friend to check up on me if I’m not heard from in 2 or 3 consecutive days. I have over 200 Face Book friends so surely one or two of them will notice if I don’t post for an extended period of time. I promise to be nicer and more attentive to all of you.

In the meantime…

… may you rest in pieces Yvette, you will be missed.

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look at that cloud!

As I lay on the hilltop this breezy spring day in the grass with my 7 year old niece, I felt myself child-like.

It was a rough week for me. I had lost my Dad a month before due to his health. I was worn out from the constant running back and forth to the hospital after work. The funeral and bill arrangements had gotten the best of me. I had recently experienced a nasty early spring head cold and work was busier and more demanding than usual. I wasn’t sleeping or eating particularly well.

I was an exhausted adult.

Then one day during a visit with my niece, Charlie (short for Charlene), she had asked me to climb to the top of the hill behind my condo to watch the clouds go by. In my haste, I had initially dismissed her by pointing to a plate of freshly baked cookies as I watched TV, but she persisted, “Uncle Ed, there are many puffy clouds today that we need to visit!” Tiredly, I surrendered and grabbed our light jackets as I shut the door behind us and headed toward the hill.

She instinctively reached for my hand and off we went.

Charlie began skipping and looked at me with her wide green eyes as she pouted, “Skip with me Uncle Ed, it’s FUN, I promise!” I rolled my eyes and as I began to explain that grown men don’t skip, my feet began to betray my head as if adult opinions had no place in childhood. It amazed me how quickly the simple act of skipping came flooding back. It immediately threw me into a tailspin of childhood and I grinned stupidly as we worked to synchronize our rhythms. Charlie giggled loudly as I hoped no one heard her and would see me in the insane dance of youth.

As we approached the hill my thoughts drifted to the scene in the movie The Wizard of Oz, when the characters are running through a field of poppies with the beautiful Emerald City in view. Our pace picked up, our hands broke apart, and we ran! Charlie squealed with delight as she took off leaving me behind in her push to the top of her world.

I smiled uneasily as my breathing became somewhat labored in the fresh cool air.

As I crested the top of this rolling mound of deep green blowing in the wind, I had to stop to catch my breath. Charlie was spinning wildly around in a circle while her long light hair danced freely in the air. Twisting as she yelled, “I’m dizzy Uncle Ed! I’m gonna spin forever until I fall! Come spin with me!” Her tiny sneakers tip toeing forward at a wobbly pace. I felt captivated by this power of childhood as I began to spin. I threw my arms out like a propeller, I thrust my head and fingers to the sky and I spun wildly. I opened my eyes, and then closed them to feel the effect of being at the top of the world spinning madly out of control as my stomach grew butterflies.

I felt free!

Charlie and I collided and laughed hard as we crashed together to the coolness of the hilltop’s blanket of grass. Her laugh teetered back and forth from a full belly guffaw to hysterical giggle as I barely recognized my own sounds of joy. Our breathing grew silent as our gazes turned to the sky.

How this day of blue ceiling was created is truly a miracle of nature to me. The color was surely that of something no simple man could ever construct. I lay awestruck in continued silence as I could almost hear the white cotton-like clouds dancing and drifting by as if to heaven’s music while they were putting on a show for only us. The clouds became animated and changed their shapes swiftly as they twirled in groups of soft splendor.

“Look at THAT cloud over there Uncle Ed! It looks like an elephant eating an ice cream cone, doesn’t it?” broke Charlie into the quiet sunshine. “See him holding it with his trunk?” she asked. “YES! I do!” I shouted back, to which Charlie immediately explained that I could use my indoor voice if I wanted to. I chuckled out loud as I studied the white formations in search of something spectacular. “Look at that one Charlie. Over there in that clump of clouds… do you see that telephone shape?” I asked. “See the dial with the headset on top?” Charlie rolled over and looked directly into my face with a smirk and answered, “What’s a dial?” I snickered as I realized that she had no knowledge of what a dial to a phone was in our smart phone world, so I quickly pointed to the moving formation of a face in the sky. “Look at that face Charlie! That woman’s face and the mouth is moving too!” I motioned, as she just as quickly spotted a snake about to eat a chicken leg.

We giggled again then grew silent as we just watched.

We continued to peer at the puffy presentation passing slowly by. I could sense my breathing as it calmed to a gentle roll and my heart became light. How did I deserve this gift of a child to bring MY child out in me? He hides most times, shy but lingering in so many quiet spaces of my soul as he waits for that fleeting chance to climb a tree, kick a can or run blindly with a kite in the sand even if only figuratively for a time. True laughter reigns in the hearts of children. Real laughter reigns hidden in me, I sighed softly to myself.

“Look at that really dark cloud over there Uncle Ed!” Charlie pointed out innocently; “THAT is definitely our Obama isn’t it?” I laughed, and then bellowed harder still. Tears began to roll as Charlie looked quizzically at me and asked “Why are you crying?” I had no answer as I wiped my sleeve across my face and stood to reach out to her. “Let’s go eat lunch,” I exclaimed. “I’d like to have strawberry ice cream for lunch,” she spoke with authority. My initial adult reaction was to say no as my mouth blurted, “Strawberry ice cream it is!”

We rolled down the hill laughing more that afternoon. Grass stains and sore muscles be damned! It felt GOOD; REAL good as I stood up dizzily as I reached my hand out to help Charlie stand. “Thanks Uncle Ed, for a very fun time!” she tweeted. My eyes began to water as I mumbled something about allergies and thanked HER as we hugged.

We skipped home as we sang “Weeee’re off to see the Wizard…”

(this is a work of fiction that is based on several wonderful memories of my own children and dedicated to them back in the day…)

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