Here’s How Long it Actually Takes to Get Over a Breakup

Sorry, but there’s really no good answer here.

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ESTHER FACIANE

Here’s some truth about breakups: Every single one of them totally, completely, utterly sucks. Even if your partner was no bueno, even if you were the one who ended things, even if it was an amicable split, a breakup can sometimes leave you facing a serious identity loss.

But, hi, grieving the death of a relationship is totally a real thing—and no one expects you to bounce back overnight. So what is the appropriate amount of time it takes to get over a split? Well, depends a lot on who you’re asking.

Licensed clinical psychologist and author of Loving Bravely: 20 Lessons of Self-Discovery to Help You Get the Love You Want, Alexandra Solomongives her two-cents on how long it takes, when you’re ready to move on, and what you should be weary of during the breakup process.

1. Screw the timeline

Whether you were the dumper or the dumpee, there are no rules. In other words, there’s no designated time frame for getting over a breakup. Putting a timeline on your breakup can slow down your healing process.“The best way to speed things along is to just let ourselves feel what we feel as fully as we can,” says Solomon. Feel it to heal it, girl!

2. Feel at your own pace

Eventually, you’ll have mourned your loss well enough to either channel your best Rihanna and embrace single life for a bit, or start dating new people. And truth be told, there’s really no exact amount of time for this. But, if you are comparing potential partners based on how much they are or are not like your ex, you’re still healing, says Solomon. “You’ve moved on when you can get to know someone on their own terms versus as a comparison,” she explains.

3. Date for love, not fear

Still on the fence about whether you’re ready to start swiping again? Ask yourself if your actions are being lead by love or fear. “If you’re dating because you’re afraid to be alone, desperate to stop hurting, or certain that nobody will ever find you attractive again, those are fears,” explains Solomon. “Being lead by love means trusting that you have a lot to give, and being excited about the possibilities of a new partnership.”

4. Learn from the relationship

Love stories (and breakups) are far from one-dimensional—there are bad times, good times, things you loved about the relationship, and issues that were maybe too big to overcome. Before you can fully move on, figure out how the story of this relationship fits into the larger story of your life, says Solomon. Know that every relationship is a lesson learned, so decide what you want to take away from this one and into your next partnership.

Write yourself a letter about why things ended—which, will come in extra handy if you find yourself temped to hook up with your ex down the road (which is generally a recipe for more pain and confusion).

5. Get under someone to get over someone (but only if you want to)

And only if you won’t experience an emotional hangover post-sex (like, if you’re fine and willing to accept the sex for what it is: rebound sex).

Know that a one-night-stand likely won’t lead to something long-term, but the age-old saying actually does have some truth to it if you’re emotionally prepared for the effects. “Love is a delicious cocktail of neurohormones, so you actually go through a kind of drug withdrawal after a breakup,” explains Wendy Walsh, LA-based clinical psychologist and host of Mating Matters podcast. As long as you understand it’s a rebound and a replacement drug, don’t be judgmental of yourself for moving on “too soon.”

6. Give yourself a clean break

We’ve all been there. We know it’s very tempting to stalk an ex on Instagram or text them after a second glass of wine, but it will only reignite old feelings and drag out your pain. You lost a piece of yourself and your brain has to heal in order for you to move on. So block them on social media, delete them from your phone, and find a new coffee shop. A proper separation means setting healthy boundaries for yourself and completely cutting your ex out of your life—both online and IRL. The sooner you cut out your ex, the faster you can move on.

7. Self-care is key

In the meantime, as your feelings shift from cynicism into exciting possibility, surround yourself with good people who love you for you and remind you how lovable you are, says Walsh. So plan brunch with your sister, have a girls’ night in with your besties, or cuddle your dog. Don’t let yourself be defined by the breakup; instead, see this as the perfect time to refuel your passions for cooking and horse-back riding that fell to the wayside.

And don’t forget about doin’ you, girl: Eat well, sleep well, hit the gym, and schedule regular massages (for the touch and dopamine boost). Promise: you’ll be back to feeling like your old, amazing self—and reclaiming your belief in love—in no time.

 

 

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Tales of Rock – I Wouldn’t Want This For My Daughter or Anybody’s Daughter: Will #MeToo Kill Off the Rock’n’Roll Groupie? – Part 2

Lori Mattix (sometimes known as Maddox) says she was just 14 when she lost her virginity to David Bowie. Her next lover was Jimmy Page. Now 59, she says she never thought of herself as a groupie, but tells me that the affair with Page was “the most beautiful pure love I thought I could ever feel. I’d only had sex once before in my whole life. I felt like I’d won the lottery.” She juxtaposes it with other experiences “where men have harassed me … it’s a different thing when you allow someone to be with you”.

Keith Moon, drummer with the Who, pictured in 1974 with girlfriend Annette Walter-Lax, left, and Lori Mattix.
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Keith Moon, drummer with the Who, in 1974, with girlfriend Annette Walter-Lax, left, and Lori Mattix. Photograph: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Mattix was under the age of consent, she says, when Page pursued her. Post-#MeToo, does she see the situation differently? “I think that’s what made me start seeing it from a different perspective because I did read a few [articles], and I thought: ‘Shit, maybe,’” she says. As for whether Page was in the wrong: “That’s an interesting question. I never thought there was anything wrong with it, but maybe there was. I used to get letters telling me he was a padophile, but I’d never think of him like that. He never abused me, ever.” Still, Mattix sounds conflicted – rapturous reminiscences (“honestly, I had a great time”) are followed by cautionary notes. “I don’t think underage girls should sleep with guys,” she says. “I wouldn’t want this for anybody’s daughter. My perspective is changing as I get older and more cynical.”

Shirazi thinks that “the model of rock’n’roll is about being as debauched as possible, and that is the model younger bands look up to”. But that’s up for debate in an era when fans are questioning the idea of rock as a heteronormative man’s game. Alleged incidents that might have passed as “rock star behavior” in the past have left some fans feeling uncomfortable and disappointed.

Rochelle (not her real name) was 17 when she was allegedly propositioned by the frontman of a then up-and-coming rock band, whom she met at an acoustic warm-up show in 2012. “I introduced myself and said I was looking for [a place on the] guest list for the main event in the evening, as it had sold out and I was broke,” she says. “The frontman looked me up and down – a developed young woman, wearing shorts and tights from what I can remember – and, with a seedy look, said: ‘It’ll cost you.’ I knew exactly what he meant when he was biting his lip.”

Some would call his behavior typical of a young man emboldened by his growing fame, but Rochelle, now 23, feels uncomfortable. “To know I was 17 – over the age of consent, but still a child really – and not interested, and keep trying it. I’m disgusted,” she says. “I know it’s more harassment than sexual assault, but I worry that he may have done it to someone else.”

A 23-year-old woman told the Guardian that the lead singer of an up-and-coming rock band used his phone to take photos of naked selfies on her own phone screen without her consent in 2014. The band were staying at her house after a show. “I didn’t really know what to do; my dad had already gone up to bed and I was the only one in the room with my favourite band. Teenage, naive me did not know how to handle that situation at all.” She made her allegations public after she heard a few years later that another member of the band had left after allegedly sending unsolicited explicit images to another woman. The woman we talked to reported the singer to police in October last year, but the case was not pursued due to a lack of evidence. The band’s success has continued.

There are, however, those who still embrace the groupie lifestyle. Becky, 24, describes herself as a groupie of the spoof hair-metal band Steel Panther. Although she has exchanged direct messages with band members, she hasn’t had any sexual encounters with them.

“If you’re a single rock star and there’s a fan throwing themselves at you and you fancy them, why wouldn’t you take it?” she says. “I’ve had my bra signed by them: I’ve stood there with my boobs out. If they were to jokingly give them a squeeze and then I tried to sue them for harassment, they’d be in trouble, but it would be my fault.”

I approached three record label employees in an attempt to ascertain whether a contract tends to include specific policies about sexual misconduct by musicians. “Not to my knowledge; it’s really [about] business terms,” says Gary Lancaster, label manager at First Access Entertainment and also a former employee of Warner and Eleven Seven Music. “That’s not to say there isn’t some form of gross misconduct clause. I suspect there would be something to say that in the event of irreparable damage to the relationship – and should both parties agree – it can be ripped up.” The other two people I talk to confirm there is usually a clause stating that an artist can be dropped at any time, but they had not seen anything relating specifically to sexual issues. The Musicians’ Union has an email address that anyone with concerns about sexual misconduct in the industry – be it harassment, sexism or specific instances of assault – can use.

Hill is in two minds about whether top-down policies in the industry would lead to change. “If it’s done in the wrong way, it could definitely get people’s backs up,” she says. “Even if bands start out with good morals, the idea of being a rock star is rooted in these deeply problematic ideas of masculinity. If older, well-respected people in the industry started talking to younger bands about changing those attitudes, that would be really valuable.”

The most notorious rock stars may have made their admissions before the conversation around consent began, but the younger fan demographic is unlikely to see such antics as excusable. Where fans might once have lapped up tales of debauchery, they now want something different from their idols: an awareness of social issues, respect for their fans and an attitude that condemns, rather than continues, the hair-raising exploits of rock’s bygone days. “When I meet fans now, the conversation isn’t: ‘I really love your band,’” one musician told me recently. “It’s: ‘Please don’t do anything wrong.’”

 

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Tales of Rock – I wouldn’t Want This For My Daughter or Anybody’s Daughter: Will #MeToo Kill Off the Rock’n’Roll Groupie? – Part 1

Male rock stars of the 1970s and 80s were often notorious for sleeping with young female fans. Now women are starting to see those encounters in a very different light.

Jimmy Page Pamela Des Barres in 1973.
 Jimmy Page and Pamela Des Barres, 1973. Photograph: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

In 2001, when the Mötley Crüe biography The Dirt was published, barely an eyebrow was raised at the debauchery described within. Even one of the darkest tales, in which Nikki Sixx said he “pretty much” raped an intoxicated woman after he had had sex with her in a cupboard and then sent Tommy Lee in to do the same, did little to damage Sixx’s reputation.

If such an account were published now, or allegations to that effect posted on social media, the artist in question would be vilified by fans and potentially subject to criminal proceedings. Brand New’s UK tour was cancelled after its frontman, Jesse Lacey, was accused last November of “soliciting nudes” from a then-underage girl; he later apologised. Support acts pulled out of touring with the Polish metal band Decapitated after they were accused of gang-raping a woman on their tour bus. (They denied the allegations and the charges were cleared in January.)

Mötley Crüe in 1984 … a reputation for excess.
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Mötley Crüe in 1984 … a reputation for excess. Photograph: Paul Natkin/WireImage

Rapper Nelly is fighting a lawsuit from a woman who accuses him of raping her on his tour bus. The suit cites allegations of sexual assault from two other women, one of which allegedly took place after a gig in Essex last December. He denies all allegations. Other, less high-profile, artists, such as Ben Hopkins of the New York duo PWR BTTM and Jonny Craig of the US band Slaves (not the UK duo), were dropped from their respective record labels when allegations of sexual misconduct, which they both deny, were posted on social media.

Even before the #MeToo movement, fans were using social media to share allegations of inappropriate conduct by musicians, but the current high-profile conversation around consent and male entitlement has not only led fans to document their experiences, but even spurred former groupies to question the power dynamic underpinning their experiences.

There is, of course, a gulf between fans who want to meet their favourite musicians and then end up being exploited (or worse) and self-confessed groupies. The latter are actively seeking sex with musicians, while the former are not. Dr Rosemary Lucy Hill, from the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies at the University of Leeds, says the idea of a groupie is a complex one. She cites the example of Pamela Des Barres, who slept with Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Jim Morrison and numerous others, and wrote five books about her experiences – an updated version of the most famous, I’m With the Band, is being published in April.

PWR BTTM … Ben Hopkins (right) denies allegations of misconduct.
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PWR BTTM … Ben Hopkins (right) denies allegations of misconduct. Photograph: Ebru Yildiz

“Her idea is that the groupie is the muse,” Hill says. “The way that she talks about sex with musicians as being about getting close to the music is really powerful. When you start to think about music and sex in those terms, it changes your idea of what it means to be a groupie. I’m talking about consensual sex, but some people think it’s never a free choice because of all the expectations. I think both of these things are true at the same time – and that makes it really complicated.”

Roxana Shirazi, 44, a former self-described groupie who wrote the 2011 book, The Last Living Slut: Born in Iran, Bred Backstage, about her experiences, says her own desires were her priority when she began pursuing musicians including members of Mötley Crüe and Guns N’ Roses. “I wasn’t a 19-year-old, wide-eyed young girl – I was 28 when I first met a musician,” she says. “I was very in tune with my sexuality. I wanted to be around guys who I liked, and I wanted them to treat me equally. I wasn’t going to be of service to them; I wanted to be happy and turned on.”

Despite her confidence, she saw a dark side to the lifestyle. “It’s never possible to have full agency [as a groupie],” she says. “From the outset, the power structure is not equal. They’re famous, and, unless you’re famous yourself, you’re not on the same plane.” In The Last Living Slut, Shirazi documented what she describes as emotional abuse from the Guns N’ Roses keyboardist, Dizzy Reed(whom she claims pressured her to have an abortion). The reaction was markedly different from the condemnation such allegations tend to receive today – she was, she says, ostracised by people in the music industry. “A lot of the initial reactions were: ‘Good … well done,’” she says. “Women wrote to me and said: ‘I had the same experience with so-and-so. Do you think I should come forward?’ Then it was all shut down. If I went to LA to see my friends, there were places I couldn’t go; it was like I spoke out against this thing that I shouldn’t have.”

 

 

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Racquel Writes! – Birthday Alert!

via Birthday Alert!

 

http://www.racquelwrites.com

 

 

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13 Things Not to Say to Someone Who’s Always in a Relationship

No, it’s not boring. If it were boring I wouldn’t be doing it.

 

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1. “How do you spice it up?” As if it weren’t already spicy. When you’re in a really, really good relationship, you don’t have to search for spices — they’re just there in infinite supply.

2. “You’re young! You need to get out there and experience what the world has to offer you.” And by that do you mean “have one-night stands with guys who don’t know what they’re doing and first dates that are awkward as hell”? I don’t judge if that’s what you enjoy. But if I found My Person, there’s no point in going on dates that I don’t really want to be on.

3. “How’s the ball and chain doing?” Or “How’s the boyyyyyyfriend?” you might say while rolling your eyes as if to suggest it’s such a chore to be in a happy, steady relationship. He’s great and we love the shit out of each other, actually! Thanks for asking.

4. “People in long-term relationships are just people who are way too comfortable with each other.” Allow me to clarify: A comfortable relationship is not an unhappy relationship. I’m comfortable with my significant other in the sense that I will walk around with no makeup and send him ugly selfies. Comfort does not make us dislike each other.

5. “It’s so weird that you have no one else to compare him or your relationship to. How can you even tell if he’s The One?”  This is hard to understand for someone who hasn’t found their person yet, but if you have found your person, you know. To put it in simple terms — your favorite personal belonging probably isn’t your favorite because some external force made you realize that it is. Your favorite green bracelet is your favorite green bracelet because you love it and it means something to you. It’s that simple. So, yeah, I just know.

6. “I don’t believe in monogamy.” And I do. Which is why I am me, and you are you. Oh, look, a poem!

7. “Come on, just be my wingwoman!” Uh, no, that’s boring for me. I don’t bring you out on my dates because you’d rather poke your eyes out than be a third wheel, which is totally fine. But that’s what being your wingwoman feels like to me.

8. “Doesn’t it get boring?” If it were boring I wouldn’t be doing it. I’m in a committed relationship with a person, I am not in a committed relationship with boredom. Thanks though.

9. “You can’t be together long-term if you don’t hook up with other people first.” This is a real thing that someone told me once, and it blew my mind. Just because the first guy I got with ended up being the only guy I wanted to get with doesn’t mean that it’s not real. (See no. 5 above, ahem.)

10. *Not ever inviting me to girls’ things where it’s mostly single girls because they assume you don’t want to come.*  Just because I am in a relationship doesn’t mean I am against hanging out with single people. When I’m going out with my best girlfriends, the last thing I am thinking about is anyone’s relationship status. So if you’re going out for a fun night of drinks and food, whether or not you’re looking for hookups, count me in!

11. “How do you know? You’ve only been with one guy.” <—The ~sAsSy~ remark you get whenever you try to give relationship advice. Yes, I have only been with one guy. Because he’s an awesome hell of a guy who treats me exactly as I should be treated. Because I know how good it feels to be in a happy relationship, I know that the way that douchebag is treating you is wrong. And you deserve to be happy!

12. “You must think about other guys all the time.” I mean yeah, I have eyes. I think that Eric Decker is hot as hell because he is. I acknowledge that a man is attractive as he walks past me on the street because I am a living human. Just because I am monogamous doesn’t mean I want to rip off my clothes at the sight of a hot man who isn’t my man.

13. “Do you really think he’s ever only been with you?” I really do because we’re in a trusting relationship. That’s what monogamous relationships are. And that’s what I like having in my life.

 

 

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The Beach House – Chapter 5

I stood in the hallway, looking at the door for a few moments. I was secretly hoping it would open again, the doctor deciding to return. It didn’t. I was a fish out of water. People take care of me; I don’t take care of other people. I moved slowly down the hallway toward my bedroom. I figured the longer it took to get there, the sooner this would be over. I stood outside the door, not wanting to go in. I could hear a quiet moan, which made it worse. Without warning, I heard her violently vomit. I remembered the doctors warning and ran in to make sure she wasn’t on her back. I really didn’t want to go in.

I gagged as the smell hit me in the face. I was never good when others threw up. I started breathing through my mouth as I took in the scene. Mia was naked on the right side of the bed, and the left side had a puddle of vomit. The covers were pooled at the foot of the bed, and Mia was shivering. I had never seen anything like this. I didn’t know where to start. Luckily she was on her side in an almost fetal position. I moved to the right side of the bed, trying to keep my eyes off the remnants of her last meal.

“Mia, my name is Dale.” It sounded feeble considering the situation. “I’m the guy you saved a couple of nights ago.” My hands kept making aborted attempts to touch her. I wasn’t at all sure how to help her.

“Oh God, I can’t do this!” She was weeping and shivering. “I thought I could, but I can’t.” I saw that some of her long black hair had found its way to the puddle. I knew I wouldn’t like my hair to be there, so I reached over her body and retracted the errant hair. The ends were covered in puke, so I squeezed them dry between my fingers and pulled them back over her head. I looked at my hand and saw that some stomach chunks had adhered to my fingers. I retched and ran to the bathroom. I barely made it to the toilet before I empty the contents of my stomach. My heaving was echoed by another round from Mia. This sympathetic barfing had to stop. I knew I needed to clean up the discharge if we were going to get through the day. I waited till my stomach settled, then washed my hands.

I entered the bedroom and almost lost it again. Mia had covered herself in the last round of puking. She was now outwardly crying. Fuck, this was bad! The sheets had to be cleaned up, and I was the only one there. The smell was horrendous. I shut off my nostrils and grabbed the sheet that was bunched up at the end of the bed. I moved next to Mia again and began wiping the vomit off her face and pushing it toward the other side of the bed. She was rolling back and forth making it more difficult to clean her up. “Mia, stop moving for minute. I got to get this shit off you.” I was desperately trying to control my gag reflex and didn’t know how long I could hold off. My stomach was empty so I knew the next round would hurt like hell.

“Please don’t make me do this.” She was still crying, and her shivering became more noticeable. I was hesitant to start cleaning off her chest. Some morality wall needed to be breached.

“I have to clean off the rest of you. I’m sorry.” I gave her all the warning I could and began to wipe off her breasts. She had gotten the bulk of the discharge in the valley between them. I had to use two hands, one to lift and one to clean. This was the first pair of breasts I had ever touched in my life that I hadn’t paid to touch. Strangely, puke had a way of making the whole experience very clinical. I wasn’t the least bit aroused. I rolled her toward me and cleaned off her arm and shoulder. I placed the cleanest part of the sheet along her side and rolled her back over it. This allowed me to undo the bottom sheet and roll her back to the bare mattress. I wadded up the dirty sheets and ran them to the laundry room.

I kept praying that she wouldn’t puke again while I was grabbing new sheets. I reversed the process and covered the bed with clean sheets. I let my nostrils open, and, as expected, the smell was greatly reduced. Mia, I don’t think, cared. She was still weeping and still had a film of vomit on her.

I went to the kitchen and grabbed the bucket under the sink. I tried one of the sponges, but they were too coarse for her skin. I went and grabbed a new bath towel from the bathroom closet and filled the bucket with warm water. I brought it all back to Mia. I dipped the corner of the towel into the water and started at Mia’s head. I tenderly pushed her long black hair out of the way as I began wiping her face clean.

“Please don’t make me do this.” She pleaded again. Her brown bloodshot eyes were searching for mine.

“Shhh, I have to.” I whispered, trying to calm her down. “I can’t lose Monica,” I admitted. I don’t know why I added that. I guess I felt she needed a reason for me to ignore her wishes. I wiped her forehead and around her eyes. I noticed that there were tiny wrinkles beginning to form at the outside of her eyes. She looked a lot younger from afar; closer, she looked to be in her thirties. “I’m just going to get you cleaned up.” I suddenly felt and sounded like my grandmother. It wasn’t a bad feeling.

She shivered as I continued cleaning her cheeks and chin. Her lips were turning a bit blue. “I’m so damn cold.” Her accent was becoming more pronounced, and I was afraid she might slip into Spanish. I didn’t know Spanish at all. Washing her chest was a lot more pleasant this time. I knew how sick she was, but the goose bumps on her breasts were adorable. I hid my thoughts and continued to wipe her down. I stopped at her belly, thinking that going farther would be an invasion. I forced myself not to look between her legs. I didn’t even know if she was even conscious of her nakedness. “So cold…” She was really shivering now. I guess the air on her wet skin was aggravating the situation. I dried her as best I could with the other side of the towel. At the foot of the bed, I pulled up the blankets that had dropped there and tucked her in.

Her lips went another shade bluer, and her shivering increased. I could almost hear her teeth chatter. I went to the closet for another blanket and added it to the bed, but it didn’t seem to help much. She looked miserable. I did the only other thing I could think of. I stripped to my boxers and climbed into bed with her. I wrapped my arm around and pulled her into me. She sank her butt into my groin and I warmed her back with my chest. Still shaking, “Better,” was all she said. I held her twitching body hoping another round of puking wasn’t on its way. In time, I feel asleep.

 

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A Unique Gift – Chapter 12

https://lapetitemort17.wordpress.com/?p=93

 

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California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Chapter 9 – El Paso & Las Cruces

We pulled into El Paso, Texas at dusk. It’s right on the Mexican border. The Rio Grande river is right there. The part of town we were in looked and felt like we weren’t in America anymore. It looked like Mexico. The food was Mexican, and all of the songs on the jukebox were in Spanish.

El Paso (/ɛl ˈpæs/ el PASS-oh; from Spanish, “the pass”) is a city in and the seat of El Paso County, Texas, United States. It is situated in the far western corner of the U.S. state of Texas.

El Paso stands on the Rio Grande river across the Mexico–United States border from Ciudad Juárez, the largest city in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. The two cities, along with Las Cruces in the neighboring U.S. state of New Mexico, form a combined international metropolitan area sometimes referred to as the Paso del Norte or El Paso–Juárez–Las Cruces. The region of over 2.7 million people constitutes the largest bilingual and binational work force in the Western Hemisphere.[6][7]

The city is the headquarters of Western Refining, a Fortune 500 company, and three publicly traded companies,[8] as well as home to the Medical Center of the Americas,[9] the only medical research and care provider complex in West Texas and southern New Mexico,[10] and the University of Texas at El Paso, the city’s primary university. The city hosts the annual Sun Bowl college football post-season game, the second oldest bowl game in the country.[11]

El Paso has a strong federal and military presence. William Beaumont Army Medical CenterBiggs Army Airfield, and Fort Bliss call the city home. Fort Bliss is one of the largest military complexes of the United States Army and the largest training area in the United States.[12] Also headquartered in El Paso are the DEA domestic field division 7El Paso Intelligence CenterJoint Task Force NorthU.S. Border Patrol El Paso Sector, and U.S. Border Patrol Special Operations Group (SOG).

In 2010, El Paso received an All-America City Award. El Paso has been ranked the safest large city in the U.S. for four consecutive years[13] and has ranked in the top three since 1997.[14] As of July 1, 2016, the population estimate for the city from the U.S. Census was 683,080.[3] Its U.S. metropolitan area covers all of El Paso and Hudspeth counties in Texas, and has a population of 841,971.[3] The El Paso metropolitan area forms part of the larger El Paso–Las Cruces CSA, with a population of 1,056,178.[3]

It was alien and cool for both of us but we always appreciated cities that looked different than the rest of America.

We had a beer in this border town but pushed on to Las Cruces New Mexico which was so close just on the eastern edge of New Mexico. We stay there without incident.

As I write this memoir I think about what Frank and I did on the trip. When we were in Georgia his Uncle took us to the greatest strip joint on Earth and I saw things I;d never seen before.

Funny thing is, looking back on this journey, Frank and I saw some vice in New Orleans but nothing major. You would think that two boys, 19 and 21 would have terrorized the countryside as we made our way across the country. We did nothing of the kind.

We drove the van all day on the way to our destination and loved the sites we saw along the way. But never did we stop and find the vice and dark fun in any of the towns we visited. We simply crashed, drank beer and watched TV in the hotel rooms we stayed in. We could have strayed and gotten into it with the locals, but maybe with him being an immigrant and me and my anxiety we just wanted to get where we were going.

It was an unspoken goal. Frank wanted to go on an adventure with someone he trusted and eventually his friends would follow. We’d have a band in LA and see what happened. He ultimately wanted to become a barrister in London. I wanted to be a rock star meta god and that was it. So here we were.

We’ll see what happens. He’s a helluva bass player so we’ll make it happen somehow. I’ve been uprooted from my life by my father’s design but I am out from under him.

Who takes their son out of high school before senior year? Oh I don’t know… a selfish self-centered cunt? (Frank’s words not mine, but mine with out a voice.) Once Janice was in Franklin and Marshall my dad was like fuck the rest of the kids in this family I’m moving them to the shore. I’ve exhausted all of my mistresses and some of them are pregnant. We here at the Provident National Bank are buried in bad loans and I need to go. I’ve painted myself into a corner and the love of my life Eileen is gone.

I will cling to Helen and the kids and dump my father’s inheritance into a gigantic over improved shore house a block from the beach in Wildwood NJ.

I think these thoughts as the 1969 Volkswagen mini bus carries my buddy and I from Belfast Northern Ireland across the desert on highway 10 into New Mexico.

I am away from my father. I love him but why? He has taught me everything I know. He taught me how to read, ride a bike, science, life, sex, people, women, everything. Why am I struggling?  Because he was so HARD on me.

Why did he have to say those things to me? Those words. Why was he so insecure? Why did he hit me? I can’t leave you dad or hit you back. I can’t fight a bully because you’re the best at that.

You were bullied as a boy. Why would you bully, hurt and scare me? What’s wrong with you?

You’re so nice. You’re a good father to my sisters but mom has a different story.  She’s your ultimate victim. Why dad? She’s been a victim her whole life. You describe her as this Japanese servant, That is some disrespectful shit Horace.

She suffered at the end of your tongue night after night. I heard you hurting with your words while she was raising your 4 kids while your tongue pleasures your mistress Eileen.

Fuck you.

A man’s word is everything. If you don’t have your word you’re nothing. You fucking liar.

My sweet sisters don’t know you. You told me everything you are when you were old. You told me the truth because you lied about so many things.

You’ve never had an original thought in your life. You love your wife because that poor woman put up with your crazy shit, you love your books because that’s where you stole all of the information you had in your head to get what you want, and you love your kids.

I believe that. You did love us dad. I know you did. As fucked up as you were. I know you loved us all so much. But I’m finally out from under your rule for good.

The 69 VW minibus rolls forward on highway 10. further than she’s ever been from the beaches of North Wildwood.

This family vehicle that was acquired in 1970 could never have imagined she would be making runs back and forth to Frankford high in Philly, and then becoming my vessel in Wildwood for fun and frivolity, But now here she is in New Mexico carrying the misfit son of the family to California to be a musician.

Frank hands me a Harp and I swig that sweet cold baby back. We’re going to California to be rock stars.

Las Cruces was nice and quiet and we’re nearly finished with our journey across America.

Las Cruces, also known as “The City of the Crosses”, is the seat of Doña Ana County, New Mexico, United States. As of the 2010 census the population was 97,618,[2] and in 2015 the estimated population was 101,643,[4] making it the second largest city in the state, after Albuquerque. Las Cruces is the largest city in both Doña Ana County and southern New Mexico.[5] The Las Cruces metropolitan area had an estimated population of 213,676 in 2014.[6] It is the principal city of a metropolitan statistical area which encompasses all of Doña Ana County and is part of the larger El Paso–Las Cruces combined statistical area.

Las Cruces is the economic and geographic center of the Mesilla Valley, the agricultural region on the floodplain of the Rio Grande which extends from Hatchto the west side of El Paso, Texas. Las Cruces is the home of New Mexico State University (NMSU), New Mexico’s only land-grant university. The city’s major employer is the federal government on nearby White Sands Test Facility and White Sands Missile Range. The Organ Mountains, 10 miles (16 km) to the east, are dominant in the city’s landscape, along with the Doña Ana MountainsRobledo Mountains, and Picacho Peak. Las Cruces lies 225 miles (362 km) south of Albuquerque, 48 miles (77 km) northwest of El Paso, Texas and 46 miles (74 km) north of the Mexican border at Santa Teresa.

Spaceport America, which lies 55 miles (89 km) to the north and with corporate offices in Las Cruces, has seen the completion of several successful manned, suborbital flights. The city is also the headquarters for Virgin Galactic, the world’s first company to offer sub-orbital spaceflights.[7]

Next stop… Arizona!

 

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Sun Stories: Kita – Chapter 2 – Art Imitates Life

Sometimes writing this blog is a grind. Most of the time it is an absolute pleasure and has become a form of therapy. When you live in your relationships you can’t really see what’s happening. When you think about it you still don’t have it, because your lost in your feelings and thoughts. When you tell your friends about it there’s something in that, but when you write about it you get it all out. There’s a clarity and finality that comes from that. When you take pen to paper or hand to keyboard, you finally get it all out. You’ve documented what’s happening today and what’s happened to you in the past. By writing about the experience, you finally tell the story and resolve it. You get it all out. You can fire off all of your feelings and let it go. It’s amazing and feels so good. This has been a cathartic exercise for me and I’m so happy I finally dug in and told all of these stories.

Rather than carry them around with me in my head, it’s a glorious dopamine rush and an opportunity to spend these rounds here on WordPress.  It’s like you’ve been carrying heavy groceries of good and bad products from your life and you finally get the opportunity to set them down and take a rest. You pick up the good food and take it home with you and leave the rotten fruit at the curb. It’s been a beautiful journey and I appreciate all of you reading this right now who have chosen to join me on this journey.

I normally only write about people I know. But I wrote about little Kita having just met her at the salon. I guess I was just so taken by her. I felt a connection even though she’s only 21. Don’t worry dear reader I’m not after her. I just love her in the classic phicklephilly way. It’ll pass once she stops tanning here or goes home.

But something miraculous happened.

Kita came in to tan last Sunday. Of course I was delighted to see her sweet face. She looked lovely. White blouse, Little black shorts that showcased her lovely shapely legs and sandals. Cute as a button. My heart was aflutter. She says she’s not doing a spray tan today, and only wants UV. No problem. We discuss the different beds and she decides to give the Alpha another chance. I ask her if she ever uses a bronzer lotion. She says not normally but will try one. I give her Tahitian Bronze which is the best lotion in the house.

We chit-chat a bit more and then I send her into room 1.

When she comes out instead of leaving she starts chatting with me. It’s Sunday. She should be out doing what she does when she’s not going to school. Thankfully it’s dead this time of year and she and I sit in the waiting area.

I love this! (I get to see those lovely legs!)

She’s originally from Washington DC. She’s an adopted child and so is her sister, They’re not related and it happened when they were age 3. They are both Asian. Her father and mother are both career people.

Kita and her sister Jill attended school in DC. Kita loves to talk about herself and tell me her little stories about her life. I’m just happy to smile and listen because she’s so darn cute.

 

Back then she was in high school and was a chubby, teenager with dark brown hair. Not the blonde, lean young woman she is today that stirs my loins.

She has more to tell me and wants to share about her current relationship. She’s been with JR since she was 17 and I’m sure he punched her V card.

There is nostalgic love there but there are problems. The relationship is ripping at the seams because they are growing apart and she needs advice. I will be that elder to help her on her journey is she’s willing.

I think she is, and she’s spent over an hour here sitting with me and has moved from top five to number one in my book. I can’t wait to hear more about the romantic life of this lovely waif.

She bids me farewell to go workout. She works out everyday. Her body is proof. I am euphoric that this lovely lady has chosen to spend time with an old bull like me. Kita says she likes talking to people and learning new things. Kita is a ripe canvas that I think I can help navigate the dark waters of romance and relationships.

She left and I am still high from her beauty. I want to learn more about her and where she is in her life. She asks what shifts I work and says she will come in when I’m working. I love helping people so I am compelled to try to offer Kita what assistance I can in regard to matters of the heart.

She comes from a good family, but if there is any wisdom I can offer I will to help guide her forward. I know my intentions are always true but she’s so beautiful I’m drawn to her. It’ll go nowhere and she’ll go forward, but if I can help her, I will. I have my own love life to manage.

You have no idea, but I love you Kita, just like I loved Maria. (Maria – 2016 to Present – Amor En Vano)

I want to learn more about you!

Your legs are lovely!

Phicklephilly!

 

 

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Another Life – Chapter 12

Uncle Ray was really considerate. He and his girlfriend Karen offered me a place to stay. I truly appreciated their generosity. Their apartment wasn’t big enough for three, but they put me up while I looked for a place.

Real estate prices were nothing like they are now – but neither were wages. The problem was simple: I couldn’t afford a one-bedroom anywhere near the garage. But I didn’t want to give up the best job I’d ever had.

I was really surprised when my cousin’s girlfriend called me.

– “Hey dickweed.” she said.

– “Laurie?”

– “The one and only.” she said. “Listen, I heard through the grapevine that you’re looking for new digs.”

– “Wow.” I said. “Word travels fast.”

– “So it’s true?” said Laurie. “Hey – Ron and I are at the Lion.” That was a pub, not too far from the garage where I worked. “Can you meet us there? Like, now?”

I rode my bike, wondering if Laurie really did have a solution to my problem. She and Ron were already there. I’d always liked the Lion. It was typical English pub: dark wood, a great selection of beers on tap, dartboards, and a collection of eccentric regulars.

– “Good timing.” said Ron. We were about to go have a look.”

– “A look? At what?”

– “At the apartment we’re thinking of renting.” said Laurie. “Ronnie and me, plus Rose – but it’s a four-bedroom. Split the rent four ways instead of three, and it’s a bargain.”

– “You’re kidding me.” I said. I had met Laurie’s friend: Rose was a big girl, but nice. If this was possible, it could solve my immediate problem.

I didn’t even order a pint. Ronnie and Laurie drained theirs, and we walked around the corner – two blocks away.

It was a massive old house – the ground floor was now a lawyer’s office. The second floor was for rent. There was a door on the side, which led to a set of stairs, completely separate from the first-floor office.

The landlord was waiting, and took us in. The house was old, but it did have some character. The stairs led into a good-sized kitchen, with a sloping ceiling. There were two bedrooms at the back of the house, with a small bathroom between them.

The main bathroom was on the other side of the kitchen, opposite another bedroom. The last bedroom was a bit bigger, and there was a living room, with a small balcony, overlooking the street.

I had never looked at a place with a mind to renting it before, but Laurie was no fool. She quizzed the landlord about utilities, noise during the day, parking, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

The landlord informed us that no pets were allowed.

– “He’s not a pet.” said Ronnie. “He’s my cousin.”

I was more concerned about how clean it was, and the water pressure in the shower (excellent). On top of that, I was trying to picture how four people could live together, without driving each other nuts.

Ronnie asked the most important question. “How much?”

The price was ridiculous – for one person. Split four ways, it was incredibly cheap. We excused ourselves, and went to talk it over.

– “Whaddya think, Joe?” said Laurie. “Could you handle living with us? And Rose?”

– “Could you guys live with me?”

I was already sold. It was two blocks from the Lion, and exactly six blocks, in the opposite direction, from Uncle Ray’s garage. I had to get out of my house – and here was a heaven-sent solution.

“Thank you, Laurie. Thanks, Ron. This looks great. Count me in.”

 

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