Back – and Happy?

•February 23, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I haven’t posted in a long time. As I’ve mentioned before my creative outlets ebb and flow. There will be months where I’m primarily painting and not writing. Other times I’ll find my love of the words again and the ideas will be spilling out of my..er..pen? Keyboard. Whatever. In the past year I’ve been painting a lot but I’ve also been finding that I’ve been in a creative slump. It happens. When I’m in that mindset I can’t force the words to come and I can’t force the brush to produce anything that doesn’t feel forced. I will say that my most creative times come out of intense emotion, whether I’m very angry, hurt or happy. It’s the times when I’m on an even keel that nothing comes out, which is unfortunate, but is also part of an artistic soul – at least my artistic soul.

That being said, I’ve actually been putting out some really good pieces here and there,  if I do say so myself:

Not too bad, huh?

The past few months have been… interesting. The Him-stake from the last post resurfaced and proved himself to be as much as a douchbag as I originally thought. I got some closure, however, and realized that my original opinion of him was correct. Oddly, he turned out to be an even bigger dick than I thought he was the first round, which was pretty hard to top. I did get to tell him that I burned his book. (Shivee!) I cannot even tell you how satisfying that was. I felt guilty for about a minute & a half until he showed his true colors. Again. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice… The best part of it all was realizing that I wasn’t wrong.

I love it when I’m right.

The reason I’m writing now? I’m happy. Truly happy. I haven’t felt this in SO long. I was talking to a woman at work earlier this week and she stopped, cocked her head to the side and said, “Man, you look really good. You’re glowing. You look happy,” and I realized that I was. What an amazing feeling!

Over the past few months I have been talking with someone from my past, someone I never thought would enter my life again, but he has, and it’s good. I had my doubts. (Read: shame me once…) But I also made the decision that I was going to just let things roll. I wasn’t going to over-analyze like I always do. I wasn’t going to dwell on the past or read into things. I was going to take it easy and be casual. I wasn’t going to let my heart move at warp speed or make the situation anything it wasn’t. These are the mistakes I’ve always made and they’re detrimental ones if I am totally honest with myself. They lead to insecurity and lack of strength and that always translates to the relationship – and subsequently lack of a relationship. I made up my mind when we started talking again that I was just going to go with the flow, and I have, and look what’s happening…  And even if it doesn’t turn into anything, that’s OK. I feel good about it. Feel good about having him in my life, as my friend, and hopefully something else.

*shrug*

Go figure.

Burn the Pretense

•September 11, 2010 • 1 Comment

I’ve spent my life operating under the philosophy that you should be nice to people. You should respect them and treat them like you would want to be treated. It’s a fairly simple concept, really. It’s not hard to say ask yourself the question, “How would that make me feel if he/she did that do me?” If I would be hurt/angered by it, don’t do it. Simple enough.

What I have been finding is that most people don’t operate this way, expecially when you’re in the world of dating and relationships. I can only remember a handful of times when I’ve dated or was in a relationship with someone who really cared about my heart, really cared about how their actions could be perceived, really cared that their behavior might hurt another person.

I’m, quite honestly, sent over the edge by my most recent experience, one that validated to me, once again, that most people in this world don’t care about those things, so I suppose I should disclaimer this post by saying:

I’ve had it. Really, really, REALLY had it. Internet dating can go blow a big bag of dicks. There isn’t a genuine person left in that world.

I came to a realization today; I am no longer going to live my life with even a shred of untruth. I am no longer going to not say what I want to say. I am no longer going to put aside anything I really think because of some misguided belief that I should hold back in order to be successful in a relationship. I’m usually this way by nature anyway, but I have been known to censor a bit here and there just to be nice, to give a good first impression. I’m an open book, typically, but when it’s a feeling about YOU I’ll usually just either keep my mouth shut or deflect because it’s the NICE THING TO DO.

What’s the point?

If the guys I meet are all going to act badly, without respect for me or my heart, then why should I be the sweet one? Maybe this is why I’m still single, because I’m too nice, too caring, too respectful. I’ve always, for some reason, believed that if I was kind to everyone, especially the person I’m dating, then they will treat me similarly to how I treat them. I’m 38 years old and I’ve finally learned the lesson that it’s NOT. GOING. TO. HAPPEN. I still feel like we’re in 7th grade and I went to that all-grade party at my crush’s house and no one told me the cold night air had….perked-up my nipply areas ans that the backlighting and bonfire was giving me backlighting & a natural set up right out of a porn. Plus, the entire grade’s boy population was getting chubbies because I had no clue. Even the boy I was going out with, who had always been sweet, didn’t clue me in on the aerola vs. white shirt situation, just let it go, let me be the laughing stock.

Moral of the story: No matter how nice the guy seems at first, no matter what kind of promises he makes, he’s FULL OF SHIT and is going to show his true colors eventually.

Now, if you’re the last guy on the planet who actually is nice and desires to be in a relationship, I apologize, but I gotta tell you, I’m now going to operate under the assumption that there isn’t a man left who can act with even a modicum of good behavior because it keeps being proven to me over and over that there isn’t many who can.

This has ultimately led me to the decision that I’m done with the pretense. I’m going to say what I think, when I think it. I am not going to hold back anymore just because you might take it the wrong way. Now, I will be respectful – I always am – but I will no longer allow even the slightest bit of ungenuine words, thoughts, or behavior in my life. This isn’t going to only be with the people I date. This is going to be with everyone. Watch out.

For example:

If you talk to me in a little-witty-baby voice and I think you sound like a total douchebag, I’m not going to close my eyes and act like I don’t hear you. I am going to tell you that you sound like a douchebag.

If you feed me line after line of ‘possible soulmate’ talk and discuss our future together when we’ve only just met, I’m going to tell you that you’re full of shit.

If my gut tells me that you are full of said shit and I ignore it because I got swept up in your fantasy and ability to speak lyrically the onus is on me for letting it happen, but then I’m going to walk away.

If I was questioning our physical attraction when we met I’m not going to stay through lunch, faking it, just because I want to be nice or give you a chance because I thought you might be a good guy (you weren’t).

If I think that the fact that your car got keyed because karma came back to bite you in the ass for all the times you disrespected other people I’ll tell you.

And I won’t keep your book with your bullshit “new beginnings” inscription to me on my bookshelf because that would just be a LIE.

This kind of behavior is out of character for me – as an avid book lover/collector I don’t typically burn beloved tomes – but something in me snapped today. I needed an outlet. I needed a voice. I needed some closure. I needed some destruction and fire. Purging of all of this pretense and bad energy is completely liberating. Plus, I love it when my hair smells like a bonfire.

Cheers, y’all! This new phase of my life is gonna be FUN!

Whaddya say? Care to join me? Call someone on their shit today and then drop me a line because I want to hear ALL about it.

The Ex is Back

•March 4, 2010 • 7 Comments

What do you do about people in your life who just will NOT disappear?

I have posted before about my ex-husband, the low-life scumbag that he is. I tried to be rather flippant about the whole thing, put a humerous spin on the relationship, but as he has recently discovered this blog and has taken it upon himself to inundate it with viscious comments I am left with no choice but to bring the claws out. You asked for it.

I haven’t been posting a lot in the last several months. Things have been busy, life has been good, and as is par for the course for my creative outlets, I have been painting much more. My emotional outlet has been better served on the canvas rather than the server.

But he changed that.

Comments were posted in his usual manipulative, nasty style. He somehow found my blog and seemed an eeeeety beeeety upset about my post about him. Honestly, there wasn’t a thing in there that wasn’t 100% true. Guess the truth hurts, eh, Bart?

Here are the parts I didn’t tell you, Dear Reader.

I spent the better part of 8 years being manipulated and abused in some form. He took every hurtful thing that’s ever happened to me in my life, every trigger that he could find, and locked it in his vault. Then, when it suited his purpose he pulled them out and used them in ways that would make Ghengis Khan cringe. He used the fact that he had hurtful things happen in his own life and leveraged them in ways that made me feel sorry for him, put me in the category of ‘just another person in his life that hurt him’ so that I would bend and go against my better judgement. I sacrificed my own needs for his. I lost myself in his total manipulation and was bent so far off my axis by the end of the relationship I didn’t even recognize myself anymore.

I’m not saying there weren’t things for which I wasn’t culpable. I played my own part. I’m sure I had my moments and caused my own share of fights. But nothing – nothing – warrants being physically or emotionally abused by anyone. EVER.

People often ask, “Why didn’t you just leave if it was that bad?” Anyone who has been in an abusive relationship can shake their heads with me. If only it were that easy…

Want to know the night that broke me?

Let me preface this story by saying – I hate it. It’s such an Oprah redneck cliche story it makes me ill that I was even a part of it. It’s SO not me… But it happened to me and, because of that, it’s important to share.

He had me stuck in this farmhouse in the middle of a cornfield in Indiana. I was so completely isolated from everyone but his own family and friends I literally had NO ONE. My parents were far away, out of state. He had phased out all of my friends over the years and had allowed only his family and friends to be a part of my life by this point. I gave in eventually because it wasn’t worth the fight…as was the case with most things regarding him. If I wanted to go out without him there was so much whining & bitching it was easier to avoid it than stand my ground.

The weird part is that I’m a really strong, willful person. I’m fiercely independent & to this day it baffles me how I ended up with a person who could do what he did. I think it happens gradually and, before you know it, you’re too far in it to get out… Your sense of self dies & you question everything inside.

About six months prior to The Night I had gotten a computer and the internet. I found a world to connect to, finally. I had people who cared about me, who listened, who supported. I had people he didn’t know. I started to feel the spark of life flicker and burn and was slowly regaining my inner strength. He sensed this and ramped-up his manipulation. The desperation became apparent and grew on a daily basis. He hated the computer, hated me being on it, was suspicious of everything and everyone. He knew it was a lifeline and the threat was real. He sensed his hold breaking.

One night I was online chatting. He was drinking and smoking in the adjoining room. He started to bitch & moan for me to get off the computer. Started to get angry. I refused and he grew angrier. The fight escalated within seconds and before I knew it I was pinned on the couch, his knees on my shoulders and his hands around my throat. I couldn’t breathe. My forearms were throbbing from where he had grabbed me and threw me down. Seconds later a shotgun appeared. He pointed it at me, then pointed it at the computer, then back at me. All the while he was screaming at me, wild-eyed. I was calm; I didn’t fight back. I remember thinking, “This is finally it. This is the night he’s going to kill me.”

I’m not sure what broke the fight up but he tore-off in his truck and I sat on the couch, gulping air, shaking, thankful. Before he left he was voicing threats to end his own life and I remember, for the first time, having absolutely no reaction to it. It was old hat, the same old story. It had no effect. I had worked for a counseling agency and knew of a law in Indiana of a mandatory 72-hour detention rule if someone threatens to kill themselves. I called the police, told them of his suicide talk. Although I could have pressed assault charges on him, I didn’t. All I wanted was for him to get help. For him to be away. Within the hour the police were at the door, taking him away to be treated. I had three days and, even then, I didn’t pack up and leave.

But the thread had been broken. The next morning I got up and, after my shower, stood in front of the mirror. I saw the two bruises on each of my forearms, the perfect shape of his hands, and I remember feeling dead inside and relieved that he wouldn’t be back that day. There was a quiet fire starting to burn and it was on that day that I knew: I’m finally ready.

Within the month I started to devise my plan. I saw a lawyer, filed for divorce. My lawyer, knowing the situation, held all records until the day I left, even checked with me to make sure I was well out of town before he filed & delivered anything to Bart. I bought concert tickets to one of his favorite artists – 4 of them, a pair for us, a pair for our friends. We planned a night out in Indianapolis, 1 1/2 hours away. I had a transfer set within my current job to another store in Texas. If everything went as planned I would have at least 6 hours to get out of the house. He was quite the agoraphobe, so I knew it was going to be dicey to even get him to go to the concert but I laid my plan out to the Universe and hoped that God would keep everything on track.

He did.

I faked a “work emergency” at the last minute and urged him to go without me. He was hesitant. I think some part of him knew, but he went anyway. Meanwhile, earlier that day a small U-Haul had been rented and my car taken to a local service shop to have a hitch put on. My parents flew in; my brother stood by, waiting for my call that I was on my way to his house where they all waited, as scared as me. He stopped by work that night to check-in before leaving for the concert and I prayed he wouldn’t see the U-Haul parked behind the store. When he walked away I felt nothing.

Within 30 minutes I was on my way to my former home. I loaded only what I needed and left most things behind. I didn’t care, didn’t want any reminders of our life together. I left the box with my wedding dress in the closet.

Somehow his Mom caught wind. I don’t know if she was driving by or what but she saw my car with the trailer and stopped while I was loading. She pleaded with me not to leave in that way but there was nothing she could say to dissuage me. She knew what he had done to me, knew why I was finally leaving. When I told her the story of the night that brought it all to a culmination she looked shocked, but outwardly protected her boy who could do no wrong. But she knew. It was hard. I loved his family as my own and I hated hurting them. But I wasn’t going to sacrifice myself any longer.

I broken-heartedly said goodbye to my beloved cocker spaniel, Rusty, laid $1000 cash on the counter (even in leaving I still had the instinct to continue to support him…so sad) and drove away. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done but I still remember the feeling as I drove down the road away from that farmhouse, the intangible push behind me that spurned me on and could almost feel the weight lift as I got further and further away.

God bless my family for putting up with him through all of this. He was relentless in his phone calls. He called every member of my family, nearly every minute, over and over and over, even my elderly grandparents. They all knew what was happening and they all knew not to tell him a thing. They protected me, supported me. I think they wanted me away from him just as much as I wanted to be away from him and were ready to do anything it took to make it happen right along side me. By the time he figured out what had happened I was three states away.

It took months for the fear to subside. No…wait. Correct that. The fear still hasn’t subsided. There are remnants of him, of what he did to me, in every relationship I have had since. That fear that a person can turn on you on a dime. That they can hurt you, with their words and with their hands. There is also the fear that he will show up one day and follow-through on his threats from years before. I have a daughter to protect and, even now, when he starts with his ugliness the flight response kicks in and I fear I’ll come home one day to him waiting on me. Thankfully, I no longer live alone and have nothing to fear if he does – but it’s still there, lurking.

He always seems to find a way to worm a form of contact back in. It was years between the last contact (when he threatened to kill me and my unborn child, “I will put you both in the ditch!”) and the most recent. I picked up the phone one day and his voice was on the other end. My blood ran cold but I stayed calm. We talked for quite awhile and it was actually a nice conversation. I felt like we had put things behind us, that the years might have healed something. I answered questions, he answered questions. I thought the chapter closed. But then he started calling. He called early one morning a few days later while M and I were waking up. He called a few more times and I just shut the phone off. Again. As I have done no less than 3 times prior to that over the years.

A few months later he found my Facebook page and sent a message. In typical Bart fashion he was set off and it got ugly. I had to report the abuse and block him from my page. And now, once again, he has found this outlet and has tried to comment with ugly, horrible sentences meant to manipulate and sear me to the bone. I can hear his voice, see his eyes. I’ll never forget it.

The saddest part is that he still doesn’t get it. He is so used to playing the martyr that he has no concept of what an ugly person he has spent his life being – at least to me. I don’t understand it. I don’t understand why, nine years later, he can’t leave me alone. Why he feels a need to search for me, to seek me out and continue to hurt me. Why can’t he just let me go? How can taking steps to hurt a person for almost SEVENTEEN YEARS be satisfying?

Bart, why can’t you just let me go?

I will say this. Everything that I’ve gone through because of him has shaped me into who I am today. I have done things I’m not proud of. I have taken paths I probably wouldn’t have taken. But in the end I don’t regret a thing, because I am who I am today because of all of those experiences. I have grown and have changed. I found myself and found a strength in me I never knew I had. And the best thing is – I never lost it. Now, I know how to say NO. I know how to stand up and end behaviors from other people that hurt me. I know the warning signs. I know what to look for. I know how to be an advocate for other women who have gone through what I’ve gone through and I know how to support them while they are still going through it. I know how to stand beside them and not give up on them.

I hope that someday he can finally see. I try very hard not to give him any of my energy but today I decided I was going to expend just a little. He won’t silence me. I won’t let fear keep me from doing anything I want to do, especially where he is involved. Will I regret posting this? Maybe. Will it disappear some time after today? Maybe. But it feels good today to say it.

I get that it’s probably hard to read about yourself in a public forum but, you know what? You got off easy, Bart. I could have had you jailed. I could have left you with nothing, but instead I decided to sever the tie and leave before either one of us died. I had the strength to do this where you did not – where you still do not. I always had the strength. You were the weak one. Always were, always will be. I talk about you here because it helps me deal with the damage inside me that you left behind – and I HAVE THAT RIGHT. I speak up for all women who have suffered violence at the hands of a man. And remember: I, so far, have not published your full name and city, so just remember, if you continue to harass me I WILL and I will use my very large online social network to broadcast it to the ends of the Earth. Leave it alone, Pal. And I still have pictures. 😉

He will never be mentioned here again. I will never put any energy into the Universe where he is concerned. His black soul might continue but I won’t allow him to invade mine any longer.

Can You Register to Save a Life?

•October 23, 2009 • 3 Comments

(Posted as a courtesy to help gain visibility for this event)

LeslieYou can save this life!!!!
Bone Marrow and Blood Drive for Alison Stephens-Glettner 
  
  Be the match
 

 Dear Friends,
 
There is a bone marrow/blood drive for Allison on Monday, October 26.  If you have the ability to give blood, or to be on the bone marrow donor list, I would really appreciate your participation. 

My sister-in-law is only 43 years old. Alison Stephens-Glettner, had just gotten the great news that her breast cancer was in remission.  She had grown her hair out into a cute bob, made it through reconstructive surgery, gone back to work and then it hit her.  While on vacation in Europe, Alison started feeling weak.  Is it the water? Is it the time change?  The first few days, she chalked it up to being tired from the flight.  However, when the bruising started to appear, with no good recollection of a fall or injury, she silently started to worry.  

When Alison got back to the states, her blood platelets were low, REAL low.  After testing and a long wait, the horrible truth was Alison had gotten cancer from the treatment used to treat her breast cancer!  Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) have been linked to past radiation exposure. The risk of leukemia after radiation treatment depends on a number of factors, but Alison’s bone marrow had been exposed to too much radiation.  The only cure for her leukemia is a full bone marrow transplant. My husband was the first to go to California to get tested to be a donor.  After almost two excruciating weeks, we found out that even though he was a blood-type match, he was not a possible bone marrow donor.  You could have heard a pin hit the floor.  All the hopes that Alison could get a transplant and get back to a normal life were crushed.  So, my family is sponsoring a bone marrow and blood drive next week in Alison’s honor. 

It is very simple to get on the National Bone Marrow Registry, you simply have to provide a DNA swab and fill out some paperwork. People are concerned it will hurt.  What if I change my mind?  How much time does it take?  Consult the Bone Marrow Donor site to get answers to all your questions.  Or, you can join us on Monday, October the 26th to find out more about how to give.  All donors, for blood, marrow, or both will be placed in a drawing to win $1,000 in cash.  The cash will be given out that day.  

Bone marrow Donation is not painfu. You can change your mind. There are very few side effects, but read and learn more at:
 
http://www.marrow.org/DONOR/When_You_re_Asked_to_Donate_fo/Donation_FAQs/index.html#

The Bone Marrow and Blood Drive for Alison Stephens-Glettner is less than a week away.  If you can donate blood, I will need to have you send an email to Leslie.Garrett-Stephens@mercer.com with your preferred time slot (we still have a few slots for every time left- see the times below).  

 
The blood donation takes approximately 15-20 minutes.  You do not have to sign up to be on the bone marrow registry however, if you do, you can get your DNA swipe before or after you give blood.  Please allow 10 extra minutes for this process. You may also provide the DNA swab to be placed on the registry without giving blood. You do not have to sign up to do this. Please be sure and eat before you give blood!  

Park Manor is located at Woodmont and Harding Pike.  It is less than ½ mile down on the right once you turn onto Woodmont.  Look for the Green and Blue balloons. At the sign-in-station be sure and fill out your contact information for the door prize give-a-way. 

Location: Park Manor Apartments
115 Woodmont Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37205
Call 615-604-0461 to register

Time:  Free- Breakfast starts at 8:00 am, Lunch starts at 11:30 am-
Times to Donate 9:00 am -4:00 pm
 
***You can just donate blood and / or have a DNA swab to be on the National Bone Marrow Registry***

Over $1,500 in Cash and prizes will be given away to anyone who volunteers or donates!! You do not have to be present to win.  $1,000 will be given away at 4:00 pm and PAID in CASH THAT DAY!!!
The time slots are as follows;
 
  9:00 am
  9:20 am
  9:40 am
10:00 am
10:20 am
10:40 am
11:00 am
11:20 am
11:40 am
12:00 pm
12:20 pm
12:40 pm
  1:00 pm
  1:20 pm
  1:40 pm
  2:00 pm

’67 Nova Love and a Modern Day Ghost Story

•October 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

So, apparently, I’m attempting to mirror my blog posting lapse with my dating life – few and far between and supremely unsatisfying. Much apologies. I’ll try to do better.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Scotty. I’m not sure if it’s my renewed love of the 80’s rock ballad or the fact that Halloween is upon us, but the true tale I’m about to tell is less about Scotty and more about one of our hang outs, particularly about one night. The events are exactly as I remember – which is very clearly, even to the point where I can still smell the air and feel the night.

Scotty was a sweetheart. He used to call me “Toots” and drove a ’67 White Nova that was jacked up in the back and fast as a mother fucker. On nights where our friends were piled 3-deep front & back, drinking Little Kings minis from a cooler in the trunk, a skunky-smoke-filled haze lingering in the air, I would be gleefully ripping posse traction with the night air blowing through my hair, a very noticeable twinkle in my eye. In fact, I would purposely keep the Little Kings at arm length just so I could drive that car. .38 Special, Journey, Cinderella, Motley Cruë, Great White and Whitesnake would blast from a monster sound system. When he would come to pick me up I could hear him coming long before he rounded the corner, either from the rumble of the Nova’s engine or from Skid Row’s, “18 and Life.”

Scotty treated me very well and we went out for several months. He was protective and solicitous and had just enough bad boy in him to keep me hooked for a smidge. We didn’t have much spark but we had a special friendship and a connection that I am sure will remain should our paths ever cross again.

Our group of friends would pile into a few cars and head down South River Road to a spot behind the State Hospital. Digression: Yes, I said “State Hospital.” I hold the dubious honor of growing up in a town that was home to the state mental institution. A large, rambling estate of early 1900’s era buildings, I used to get ooked-out thinking about the chambered rooms on the hospital grounds closed-off to modern-day patient care, where water torture, shock treatments and youdon’tevenwannaknow practices were used. It was rumored that the grounds were haunted by tortured souls and I have no doubt of the validity of that claim. What I am sure of  is that our town was haunted by the hospital population deemed fit to live in society and it wasn’t an uncommon occurrence to have a guy with a tin foil hat run up to you screaming that THEY are monitoring him with accusations that you’re a secret government agent.

Our spot had a dilapidated watch tower, once used to monitor the grounds for escapees. It resembled a modern-day fire fighter training tower yet it was made of bricks, no windows at the bottom and 4 windows at the top, with a single door formed in the brick. Brush grew up around the sides, small trees snaking out of the brick and ivy climbing up the sides. The tower was just south of a cemetary that was home mostly to former residents of the hospital. Many of the headstones were forged from rough stone or wood, many of them unmarked. We used drive past the cemetary and tower while slowly navigating the lane and there wasn’t a single time where, when we passed the tower, a shiver didn’t pass down my spine. The cemetery, tower and clearing were out in the middle of nowhere, the nearest house at least a couple of miles how the crow flies. Surrounded by corn and soy bean fields, in the middle of a thicket & woods, there was neither anything nor anyone else around. It was land owned by the hospital.

Now – and I know this is going to sound crazy but – I’ve always been kinda…..sensitive. I’m not claiming to be psychic or anything as drastic as all that, but I feel things a little more intensely than some of the population. I have a physical reaction to certain places, even with certain people, whether it’s inside a house, while walking down the street or shaking someone’s hand. The spot off South River Road? Definitely one of those places.

Let me also preface recounting these events by saying I’m not one of those people who get freaked out. I don’t scare easily and I don’t look for things where they don’t exist. I’m very matter-of-fact and find that almost everything in this world has some sort of explanation.

Almost.

We would gingerly pull into the lane, overgrown and rocky, and make our way past the cemetary and into a clearing, park our cars, crank the music and do our thing. Well…many things. *winkwinknudgenudge* Summer and fall were the seasons of choice and while most nights were without incident there were times where unexplained occurrences filled the night. Given that I was the one who basically stayed soberish – because, let’s be frank, I LOVED driving that car – I also observed more of what was going on around us than the others. They always chalked the nutsy stuff up to being high, but in my gut I knew better. While “parking” objects would get thrown at the car, once even chipping the windshield and dinging the paint. The fire would suddenly be extinguished – a bonfire that had burned hot for several hours – the embers cool with no water in sight. A high pitched, piercing, unearthly sound would sometimes come from the woods around us, from no discernable direction. The boys shrugged it off as an animal, perhaps a loon, but I never bought it, the nearest body of water at least 15 miles away. Beer cans or bottles would move. Where Scotty had placed his on the hood of the car to stoke the fire he would return to find it across the camp on top of a stump. A stump out in the middle of brush and sticker bushes where no one could walk without ripping their pants to shreds.

The quirks of our secret place would remain laughed off until one night we could no longer ignore what was around us.  It was toward the end of summer, still warm yet starting to cool as the night progressed. We sat in a circle around the fire for a couple hours, drinking, smoking, laughing. Out of nowhere 3 large sticks came flying from different directions, past our heads, into the fire, one grazing Scotty’s ear. The boys, fueled by beer, pot and testosterone were convinced someone was out there messing with us and grabbed the sticks and ran into the brush. My friend, Jody and I sat alone by the fire, huddled together as the boys shouted we’re-gonna-kick-your-ass taunts to the unseen aggressors. She became frightened and retreated to the car, clamoring into the back seat and locking the doors behind her.

To my right, about 100 yards away was the watch tower. Nestled in the thicket, surrounded by over grown bush and trees, only the silhouette was visible at night. There was what appeared to be a candle flickering in the top of the tower. I yelled for Scotty, told him someone was up there, and the boys changed direction.  I watched from a distance as the light continued to flicker and through squinted eyes made out a shadowed shape. Then another. The larger shape loomed over the smaller and there was a clear shadow of a large stick or club, methodically moving up and down, presumably upon the head of the huddled shape. I watched the blows, silent, frozen in fear.

As the boys approached the tower and I yelled out to Scotty to STOP. The larger silhouette halted, arms in the air, and at my scream its head turned in my direction and the light extinguished. The boys entered the base and were at the top within seconds. Scotty’s head emerged and he yelled that it was empty.

They trudged back to the fire and I sat frozen with tears in my wide eyes. Placing his hand on the side of my face Scotty asked me again what I had seen. Our heads close together, in a quiet voice I recounted my version. The other boys laughed at me, told me to “smoke another one,” yet I could tell Scotty saw something in my eyes. He knew I was telling the truth; we never lied to each other. He stood and took me by the hand, urging me to come with him to the tower so I could see for myself that it was empty. I was hesitant, but I always felt safe with him so I agreed. I needed to see.

We walked to the tower, his arm encircling my waist. As we approached the base I felt physically ill. Nausea welled up within me at the putrid smell coming from the tower. I stopped in my tracks. “Scotty, can’t you smell that??” He shook his head, smelled nothing except night air and bonfire smoke. With one hand I covered my nose and mouth, held his hand with my other, and we continued into the base of the tower. His lighter lit our way and I could see a set of dilapidated wooden stairs leading to the top of the tower. We started toward them, the nausea gripping me harder. I pushed through it and began up the stairs. The air inside the tower had become very cold and we could see our breath inside. I pulled his arms around me and we walked together up the stairs, step for step, my back against him. He held me tighter as my body shook. As we reached the middle of the staircase, my eyes level with the floor above me, I saw an empty room. I looked around for signs of a candle or even a club yet there was nothing except leaves, a dusty floor and ivy. I pushed back on Scotty and told him I wanted to leave, the sense of dread in me so strong the tears sprung to my eyes once again. We quickly walked down the stairs and made our way to the doorway and just as we emerged a gust of frigid air blew out behind us, extinguishing his lighter and almost blowing us to the ground. Immediately the smell in the air cleared and the dusky, still night air warmed us once again.  I could smell the fait smell of lilac wafting down from the cemetary. I remember clearly the stunned look upon his face and the tousled blonde hair upon his head.

We walked slowly back to the group, arm in arm, silent. When asked what we found, Scotty quietly said, “Oh.. nothing. Probably a ‘coon.” We all left soon thereafter and never spoke of it again. There was only one other time we returned to that spot and we didn’t stay long. There was an unspoken knowledge amongst the group that something big had happened that night, a quiet understanding that it was less about being buzzed and seeing things and more about something intangible we weren’t able to explain. There were a few times where the boys would wonder out loud who had been messing with us that night, speculation trailing from their lips along with their nervous laughter.

Several years later I attended a funeral service and the final resting place was in that cemetary. Even in the warm spring day, the sun bright, something else loomed on the lilac-scented breeze. The scent of lilacs was always very strong to me in that cemetary however there wasn’t a lilac tree within five miles. I was the only one who could ever smell them. Once the service ended I took a moment and walked, alone, to the edge of the cemetary. I stood before the trees and brush and knew that just beyond where I stood lay the tower. I couldn’t see it, but I could feel it. For just a moment the breeze blew cold, so swiftly that it was gone in a breath. With a shiver I walked away, down the lane, and out of the cemetary, never to return.

How To Enable Internet Tethering on iPhone 3.0

•September 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Note: The newest iPhone software disables the ability to tether, so if you want to be able to use internet tethering on iPhone make sure you stick with iPhone version 3.0!

I’m going to veer from regularly scheduled programming (and we won’t talk about the fact that I haven’t updated in, like, 6 weeks) to share how to enable internet tethering on iPhone. I mistakenly believed that it would be easy to just do a lil ‘ole Google search and find what I needed but, alas, it was harder to find than a flaccid willy in a strip bar.

Disclaimer: I neither guarantee this site nor do I guarantee this download. If you do it – you do it at your own risk! Make sure you have an unlimited data bundle on your service as this will bill as data on your wireless bill. CWD has a high enough cell bill; I’m not going to be responsible when you’ve racked up 1087 data hours surfing porn after enabling tethering on your iPhone.

How To Enable Internet Tethering on iPhone

Follow these steps:

Go to this site from your iPhone:

http://www.iphone-notes.de/mobileconfig/

Fill in the blanks:

  • Enter your email
  • Choose your carrier – most likely US AT&T – APN:wap.cingular User: Password
  • Enter captcha
  • Click Send

Enable Internet Tethering on iPhone

The download will start on your iPhone, just follow the steps and choose your settings as you go. I chose USB as my connection.

  • Reboot your phone (Do NOT change settings on your phone until you’ve rebooted!)

Once you reboot:

  • Go to Settings -> General -> Network -> Internet Tethering -> On>

That’s it! Connect your laptop/PC (haven’t tried on my Mac yet) to your iPhone via USB or Bluetooth and you will see the iPhone as a device. When I connected mine it did so automatically and I didn’t have to change anything. The connection (for me) is lightning fast, even faster than my cable at home! Who says AT&T is not yet supporting tethering on iPhone? Not CWD. 😉

Enjoy!

Apparently my feet are a fetishist’s dream

•August 19, 2009 • 2 Comments

I have no words. This speaks for itself. The house on a Spanish beach did give me pause for about a half a second, though.

*************************************************************************

:: At your feet
Hello I must say to you that you have the most beautiful
feet that I have see in my life. Thank you for your Photos
and for your album.
Pardon for this message and for my English who is very bad.
I am a Spanish slave, in this moment I don’t have
Mistress, It is a dream for me to be able to get to be your
servant, your maid, your butler, your houseboy, your cleaner
house, and your slave. I have 5 years of experience in the
submission and the servitude to a Mistress and her partner,
I had been her maid, her servant and the her partner’s
servant from 5 years ago.
It is a dream for me to be able to be your servant your
real slave a live in slave. I always have wanted to be able
to manage to be a slave 24/7,It is a dream to be able to
your slave and be able to belong to you, to your feet my
Princess
If you wish to have vacations/holidays in Spain in a house
on the beach, you have here your house and a slave 24 hours
to the day to your service.

At your feet always

Slave Alex