Monday, June 18, 2007


Recently, I was in a bookstore, behind a very attractive lady talking to the clerk about a series of books. I chimed in with what I viewed as a logical comment, "Why don't you write your own story?" Someday I will she said. The clerk allowed as how she was writing a novel. Here were 3 of us in line at a bookstore: two are writers. Need I say more.

Why would anybody be in this business? I recently read that there were 291,000 new books published in the U.S. last year. In 2004 which is the most recent data, Americans spent 13.3 billion on 1.7 billion books. This seems alot but then again, there are 300 million people in our country.

The book business is the only one where if a book doesn't sell, it can be returned to the publisher. What a way to run a business!

Writers write because they have too--from those who make it big to those who sell a few hundred copies. If you are a writer, you simply have to write. There are more writers than readers but then again, us writers are also readers.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


It was one of those one screen movie houses. Old, quaint and not many left around. We were early. My wife is big on getting a good seat, about half way down in the middle section. She likes to sit on the end. We were just one of a few couples, just time to get to the refreshment stand for popcorn.

The theater filled up. The movie was starting late, people were still coming in. My wife sat on the outside, from the other direction in our row came two very attractive women, twenties probably and sat beside me. I gave a furtive glance at the one next to me, our eyes met--drop dead gorgeous. My heart rate increased. I thought, "Well, not bad for an old guy, still there." The armrest was all that was between us. Our arms touched, no, they reallly didn't touch, it was the slight movement of hair on both our arms.

The movie started. I could still sense the hair on her arms, my pulse was maxed out. I was nervous. I stole a glance, she was whispering to her girlfriend. Her neck was smooth as silk, untouched.

The door flew opened and suddenly we were all over each other, the smooth neck at last mine, the bristled hair. Getting to this time seemed forever. Could we find fulfillment with this frenzy of activity--the way they did it in the movies, the throwing off of the table cloth, ripping of clothes, hands everywhere. The overwhelming passion as we ate each other's lips and mouth. How about doing it on the floor or better still the stairs like Tom Stall (Viggo Mortenson) and Mario Bello, the sexiest woman alive, in A History of Violence--the clutching now and the loss of sense. She is grasping my shirt, pulling it up over my head. My hands are free, passion, passion.

What is wrong with you, be still, my wife whispered, none to softly, "you are spilling the popcorn."

Sunday, June 3, 2007

A Kiss, A Kiss

I first saw John standing out by the porch staring out at the Bay. In the distance, I could see the Annapolis sculling team. I was at a religious retreat and was skipping a session. I walked over to where he stood. His glanced was simply forlorn and he said, "How's it going?" This was the way our friendship began. John was a Priest. I say "was" because in a sense he was waiting his ecclesiastical trial to be defrocked. Sad. John started out as a good Priest, I think. I liked him. We were both clergy. Before I went into the Army, I didn't know much about Catholics and even less about Priests.

John told me his story. He understood his attraction to his own sex. He was not a pedophile, he said. All it had been was kissing a few altar boys. Two or three of them came every week to help in his services. They were close. It was affection.

I'm not driven enough to speculate on all that brought him to this point. When I asked him once what caused who he was. He said, "How can I say, it is all a thousand times and places." Maybe starting seminary at 13 with all these other boys, who knows. Being sexually arrested. Maybe it was his own abuse. He never said so but hinted.

John's family abandoned him early on, not willing to deal or live with the shame.

The sadness of fallen Priests stretches out in ways that most don't get. Sure we feel sorry for the victims but for me, I also feel an empathetic tinge for my friend John. This was my last thought before the jail door clanked behind him.