Saturday, May 9, 2009

The (Love) Life Of Brian - Epilogue

“Happiness I cannot feel as love to me is so unreal…”—John Michael Osbourne, "Paranoid"--Black Sabbath (1970)

As I’ve alluded to previously, there’s been no one special in my life since Stacy in 1999.  Zilch.  Nada.  Zippo.  Not even a nibble or ray of hope.  Other than dinner outings and concerts with my good friend Rose (platonic, of course), I haven’t even been on a date of any kind with a woman since December of 1999, therefore I’m pretty rusty and have quite the itch to scratch.  If anything, my time with Stacy might’ve been a little too good and spoiled me a bit, as I spent a couple years basking in the glory of it and re-living those fond memories over and over, which I think made me lose a little edge and motivation to get out and find someone new, preferably local this time.  That, and until Stacy got married in ’02, I was secretly holding out hope that one day she and I might pick up where we left off (to be honest, I still do sometimes).

Meantime, I also went into a major personal funk when my best friend Tom got married and inherited an instant family in 2000, thus effectively bringing our running days to a sudden screeching halt.  I lost my drinking partner, so to speak, but ironically my alcohol consumption (beer mostly) increased dramatically after that and my social life tanked as this decade wore on and I more or less gave up on finding a new woman.  I basically let myself go and gained a shitload of weight, too.  Even worse, I haven’t met very many women since Stacy who’ve even remotely interested me, either in person or online.  There was one girl at my current workplace who piqued my interest for a while about five years ago, but she’s 20 years younger than me, and even though she’s mature beyond her years, I wouldn’t have had any business pursuing her.  She’s married and expecting now anyway.  About the only other woman I’ve found attractive recently is my current manager, and even she is about 15 years younger than me, so that ain’t happening either! 
I’d sure like to know whatever happened to the whole “when you’re not looking for someone is when you’ll find someone” adage, because it sure ain’t worked for me in the last decade.

I honestly don’t think I’m all that picky, really, when it comes to my tastes in the opposite sex.  I’ve read more than once where it’s actually okay to have at least a few standards that you’re absolutely adamant about in a mate, and I only have three:  I don’t want someone with kids, tattoos turn me off big-time and I won’t date anyone who does illegal drugs (which kinda goes without saying anyway), so everything else is negotiable.  I strongly prefer non-smokers, but if she’s a “clean” smoker like Stacy was when we dated, then I can work around it.  I’d rather date someone who isn’t very religious or is not religious at all, and in regard to ethnicity, I definitely prefer white women, but certainly wouldn’t rule out other races, especially Asian or Hispanic girls.  Although I can’t really picture myself dating a black woman, I won’t totally discount that possibility either, if I meet someone I really like.  I keep an open mind there…

As far as physical attributes, I can be very flexible in a lot of areas (such as weight, for instance) whereas some guys are totally fixated on nabbing some blonde supermodel with big breasts.  Ironically, blonde is my least favorite hair color on women.  Not that I dislike blonde hair, but it’s way down the list for me, as I’m more attracted to brunettes and especially redheads.  And as with Stacy, bald chicks are most welcome!  I’m also partial to blue eyes, but I’m not picky there.  I’m not really hung up on big breasts either—if she has ‘em, great, but I’m more of a leg man anyway.  Getting back to weight, petite women don’t necessarily blow me away (my attraction to Pat Benatar and Jane Wiedlin back in the day not- withstanding).  I learned a new appreciation for Rubinesque women after dating Lisa #2 and Stacy, and actually prefer someone who’s a little chunky way more than some scrawny supermodel-type—i.e. give me Renee Zellweger at her Bridget Jones weight any day over her typical anorexic red-carpet look.  So long as the woman still has curves, looks good in a skirt, doesn’t outweigh me by more than about 20 pounds and isn’t built like a middle linebacker or doesn’t tower over me like Yao Ming, then I’m cool with her.

I know this is going to sound superficial and whiny here, but women these days seem to have forgotten how to attract men, as today’s hairstyles and fashions leave a lot to be desired.  While it’s hardly the most important factor in choosing a mate, it doesn’t hurt to make an effort to look nice to catch someone’s eye and make a good first impression—it’s as if women don’t even give a shit anymore about what they look like.  As gaudy as ‘80s hair and clothing were at times, I kinda miss that era when women looked like they at least put some thought into their appearance, unlike today, where it’s “I’ll just wad my hair up in a ponytail and call it hairstyle.”  For example, I rarely even see curly hair on women anymore, and the most prevalent hairstyle I see these days is this bland Kelly Osbourne-looking “Oh-dear-I’ve-backed-into-a-moving-fan” crap.

As for clothing, women’s fashions have reverted to the Dark Ages since the late ‘90s.  It’s rare I even see attractively-dressed women anymore (i.e., skirts/dresses, hose, heels, etc.) even in places you’d expect to find them like in a bank, airport, four-star hotel, or semi-upscale department store.  A lot of women seemingly have even sworn off wearing skirts altogether, which I find very sad.  Hell, female news anchors/reporters on TV don’t even dress professionally anymore since the Great Hosiery Embargo of the early ‘00s took over and bare legs became the norm everywhere, even in the dead of winter.  I guess I’m in the minority, but I find bare legs to be rather boring, and I don’t need to see a whole lot of skin to turn me on.  For example, back when Jennifer Aniston was still cute (i.e., not anorexic) in the early days on “Friends”, there was an episode where she had on a black turtleneck top with a leopard-print vest over it, black mini-skirt and tights—only her face, neck and hands were exposed—and she looked far sexier to me than any woman in a two-piece bikini ever could.  Besides, half the fun for me is "unwrapping the package", so to speak!  Then, of course, we went through the whole low-rise/hip-hugger pants and bare midriff phase that got old real quick, not to mention the whole Goth thing (there’s still way too much black out there on women now), followed by the most hideous item of female attire known to mankind, Birkenstocks!  Ladies, if you never want to have sex again with any heterosexual man on earth, keep wearing those damn things.  Yes, I have no doubt they were/are comfortable as hell, but do they have be so gawd-awfully unattractive and unflattering to your feet?  Same goes for Crocks too.  Toe rings and ankle bracelets are also really dorky to me—jewelry and feet are not a good mix!  Why did women suddenly stop dressing attractively over the last ten years or so?  Even Mimi on “Drew Carey Show” would almost be a step in the right direction now…

More or less coinciding with the Great Hosiery Embargo was the dreaded tattoo-and-piercing tsunami that swept our culture, during which perfectly beautiful women painted graffiti on their bodies and/or studded their faces.  Like I’ve noted many times on this blog, tattoos on women are a major turn-off to me and I don’t care how dainty or feminine the tattoo might be, it might as well be a swastika to me, especially on legs or arms.  Yes, I know, it’s just ink on skin, but it’s the macho image that it projects that I have issues with mostly.  These ass-crack tattoos and Oriental symbols on the nape are stupid too—why on earth would you get a tattoo somewhere that you can’t even view without a mirror?  I know I sound like a Reagan conservative on this issue, but tattoos are for sailors, Rock stars, and White Trash skanks—not attractive women!  I also don’t care for the whole piercing thing (other than ears), especially anything around the nose and mouth.  Sorry, sweetheart, but I ain’t kissing you with a mouthful of studs! Another fashion “accessory” I’m tired of seeing on women today is nerdy eyeglasses.  I’m talking about these Clark Kent specials that so many young females wear today—I can’t figure out why so many women intentionally try to make themselves look manly with these hideous things instead of something round and feminine (think Meg Griffin, for instance).

So what the hell am I looking for in a woman at this point?  I’ll turn 45 next month, so let’s be realistic here, anyone under 30 is pretty much out of the picture now.  Again, I have no interest in parenthood whatsoever, so anyone with kids is out too, irregardless of how old they are—I’m just not built to deal with it, sorry!  But, I’d like to think there’s still someone of the female persuasion out there who just wants a simple one-on-one relationship with a nice agnostic guy who will treat her right.  I’m an anomaly when it comes to heterosexual men—I like ABBA and I’m not above attending a “chick-flick” now and then—I can’t be all bad!  I’d love to be with a woman who likes travel, sports, Rock ’N’ Roll and curling up on the sofa together (not necessarily in that order).  Maybe she’s still out there and I just haven’t found her yet.  Either that, or she’s on that slow boat to China.  I know I have some work to do on my physical appearance and body language, but you can do a whole lot worse than me, too, and I see a lot of assholes out there scoring with damn nice women.  I’m not sure why things have shaken out the way they have in my love-life, but I can’t help but feel like the big parade has passed me by sometimes.  So, dear friends, I ask you this—where do I go from here?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

'Scuse me while I blog this out!

And he sure’s hell didn’t find Gideon’s bible this time!  I discovered an uninvited houseguest last weekend while painting around my fireplace when I heard a critter rustling about.  Upon further investigation, a full-grown All-American raccoon had taken up residence in one of my chimney stacks! 
A little background:  according to neighborhood legend, a previous resident of my house was a caterer back in the ‘60s/’70s, and he custom-built this chimney that doubled as a barbecue with two full-sized grills that open to the outside of the house and two more smokestacks imbedded in it in addition to the regular fireplace on the inside.  Fortunately, the smokestack for the indoor fireplace has a metal screen and cover over it, but the other two have no covering at all, giving Rocky easy access to a dark place for sleeping his days away.  The som-bitch actually seemed offended that I would have the effrontery to disturb his beauty sleep with all the noise I was making too!  My initial efforts to evict said critter after opening the flues failed—Raytown Animal Control was about as useful as a one-legged Riverdancer and even dousing him with my water hose down the chimney proved ineffective.  Since Elly May Clampett was unavailable to lure Rocky out, I wound up letting nature take its course—knowing that raccoons are nocturnal creatures—and he merely waited until it got dark outside to check out of his little Shangri-La.  I immediately covered the other two open smokestacks with heavy cinder blocks, so if Rocky is able to move those, then I’m getting the hell out of Dodge!  Never a dull moment during home improvement projects around my house.  Full photo coverage coming soon, btw.

Meanwhile, here's what Rocky's been up to since he left here!

DOM DeLUISE, 1933-2009
We lost funnyman Dom DeLuise on Monday at age 75.  I remember for the longest time when I was a kid, I thought his first name was Don, from his numerous appearances on the Johnny Carson show.  While I wouldn’t quite place DeLuise in the legend category, he certainly had his moments, like in Blazing Saddles, the Cannonball Run flicks and he was probably the lone highlight of the flaccid sequel Smokey & The Bandit 2.  He was even part of a song lyric by The Who's Pete Townshend ("He rode his brother's Harley across the TV while I was laughing at Dom DeLuise...") from "After The Fire", which Pete wrote for Roger Daltrey’s excellent 1985 solo album, Under A Raging Moon.  Rest in peace, Dom…

Well, well, whouda thunk we’d be able to utter that phrase on May 6th?  The boys in blue have won five in a row and are six games over .500 for the first time since, like, the Reagan Administration.  Very modest gains, of course, but things do seem to be looking up around these parts, beisbol-wise.  Pitcher Zack Greinke has turned in Koufax-ian numbers so far, and ZG already has three CGs (complete games) this season—I don’t think the Royals had three complete games by a pitcher in the entire last decade!  Greinke also has only one less victory than the entire Washington Nationals team.  In addition to the great starting pitching, the bats are starting to come alive after a sluggish start.  Second baseman Alberto Callaspo has also been a pleasant surprise at the plate so far this year, and veteran acquisitions Mike Jacobs and Coco Crisp haven’t disappointed.  Now if the Royals can just avoid their annual late May/early June double-digit losing streak they seem to inevitably go on, they might just get to play meaningful ball in the Fall.

And oh yeah, newly-renovated Kauffman Stadium has been getting rave reviews so far.  I hope to check out the old/new joint myself during the next homestand.

The media (ESPN especially) is busy assaulting us with this new biography on Alex Rodriguez by Selena Roberts where she even accuses him of doing steroids in high school, as well as stealing catcher's signs and various and sundry other skullduggery while growing up.  While I’m sure A-Roid is no saint, I really don’t care anymore what he did or didn’t do, plus this Roberts woman is hardly a credible source.  As K.C. Star fathead columnist Jason Whitlock accurately pointed out (in one of his more lucid columns) this is the same person who pretty much convicted the Duke lacrosse players without a trial for raping the black stripper gal, yet never printed a retraction or even so much as apologized after they were proven innocent.

One thing I’ve never understood in baseball is why stealing signs is considered to be such a sin.  Seems to me if you’re able to crack the other team’s code, then more power to you.  Same goes for counting cards in Blackjack—the house already has the huge advantage to begin with, so if someone is brilliant enough to overcome it, they should be rewarded instead of punished.

Here we go again with the Brett Favre un-retirement thing.  It’s so obvious that he’s a limelight whore and can’t bear the thought of walking away from it, just like Michael Jordan.  If Favre wants to keep playing, fine, but he needs to knock off this drama queen act and just take a wait-and-see approach in the off-season instead of announcing his retirement every January, only to renege on it.  Meantime, I can’t fathom why the Minnesota Vikings—a team on the rise—would want a 42-year-old QB with declining skills as their starter, especially after going out of their way to acquire Sage Rosenfels from Houston already.

Once again, one of our elected officials is totally unaware that we have big problems in this country, since he’s so concerned about forcing the NCAA to replace the current BCS bowl system to determine the national championship in college football.  Rep. Joe Barton of Texas (a Republican, naturally) wants to ramrod legislation through that would ban the NCAA from advertising its national football champion unless they adopt a playoff format.  "It’s interesting that people of good will keep trying to tinker with the current system," Barton says, "and to my mind it’s a bit like…Communism."  Oh, puh-leeze!  First off, Mr. Congressman, this is totally out of the NCAA’s control—it’s the individual conferences (Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, et al) that are calling the shots, and none of them want to abolish the bowl games, which are far too profitable for the schools.  Nobody wants a playoff system more than yours truly, but I’m so sick of these grandstanding politicians trying merely to win votes with crap like this when we have far bigger fish to fry these days.  And, oh what a coincidence—this Barton goombah just happens to represent the district where the new zillion-dollar Dallas Cowboys stadium resides—a potential home for upcoming NCAA title games and the ancillary financial windfall therein.

The NFL is recognizing the upcoming 50th anniversary of the American Football League by staging several games this coming season with the old AFL franchises sporting throwback uniforms from back in the day.  I was hoping they would do this a couple years ago to honor the passing of Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt in late ‘06, but I guess waiting an extra year or two is worth it.  The Chefs will wear the old Dallas Texans uni’s from 1960 (more or less the same as their current ones, only with Texas on the helmets instead of an arrowhead) in three games, including the one against the Dallas Cowboys at Arrowhead Stadium—former Dallas vs. current Dallas.  Some teams have been wearing the throwbacks regularly already, like Buffalo and the New York Jets (as the Titans), and the other old AFL alums will follow suit—can’t wait to see Tom Brady and Randy Moss in "Boston" Patriots threads.  The Tennessee Titans will even revert back to the Houston Oilers for their pair of games in the throwbacks, including one with the Jets—new Titans vs. old Titans!  Too bad Tennessee doesn’t play the Houston Texans this year—old Houston vs. new Houston.  Similarly, too bad the Houston Texans don’t play the Chiefs—new Texans vs. old Texans. Confused yet?  Something to look forward to this Fall…

It seems the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes are threatening to file for bankruptcy, and are being courted by potential buyer Jim Basillie, who wants to move the team to southern Ontario.  This is the same guy who struck out a couple years back on trying to buy the Nashville Pre-Daters and moving them to Hamilton, which is right smack between Toronto and Buffalo.  Commissioner Gary Butt-Man is against this move, and so am I—mostly because Kansas City Coyotes has a nice ring to it!  No offense to the good people of Hamilton—a hardy working-class town that would fit in just as easily in Pennsylvania as it does in Ontario—but I just don't see them as a major league hockey town.  Let the puck stop here, please!

According to the paper, "comedian" Mo’Nique is performing at Ameristar Casino here in July.  Tickets start at $55.  I repeat—START at $55.  By my count, that’s about $27.50 a laugh (plus service charge), if you're lucky.  I bet I could outdo this silly fat cow without even trying.  By way of comparison, Ameristar only wants 35 bucks for Alice Cooper tickets, and old Al's a helluva lot funnier, too!

Because I just took it up the ass today, having to plunk down $650 for a freakin’ fuel pump for my car!  I’ve heard most fuel pumps are in the $200-300 range, but Chevy, in their infinite wisdom, requires replacement of the entire fuel module.  Kinda makes me hope GM does go under sometimes…

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The (Love) Life of Brian - Part VI

When I left off last time, I had driven all night from Kansas City to Denver to meet my on-line friend Stacy from Seattle for the first time in-person.  I was totally exhausted, but our first encounter was, to say the least, re-invigorating.  As always, I appreciate your indulgence if you choose to read me, we get to the good part this time!

“So was I alright?  Did I take you to the height of ecstasy?”—John Entwistle, The Who (“Trick Of The Light”)

Stacy’s Alopecia conference was held at the Adam’s Mark on the other side of downtown from the stadium, and when I found her in the lobby, we embraced and the first thing out of Stacy’s mouth was, “We have to get out of here—there are Christians all over the place!”  This was in reference to our many chats about how much we both disdain organized religion and the phoniness thereof, and evidently there was a happy-young-Christian conference running parallel to the Alopecia event at the hotel.  So, we adjourned to the virtually Christian-less hotel bar and I presented Stacy with the Frank Zappa book I picked up for her (she’s a huge FZ fan).  Stacy warned me in advance that she’s normally pretty quiet in person, but before we knew it, she and I were chatting up a storm.  She remarked that I seemed more upbeat in person than I appeared in the photos I’d sent her and I suddenly felt re-energized, thus I abandoned my plan to beg off and go back to my hotel.  After a couple hours or so, we decided to stroll along Denver’s 16th Street Mall area (which is very cool, btw) in search of a suitable place to have dinner, eventually landing at the Hard Rock CafĂ© at a table right in front of a big Jimi Hendrix display, which seemed fitting since Stacy was from Seattle.  Good grub and good conversation made for a very nice time at the Rock, but we weren’t quite sure what to do after that.

The rain from earlier in the day went away and it turned out to be a picturesque evening as we strolled around, eventually heading back in the general direction of Stacy’s hotel as the sun was setting.  It was pushing 10:00 by this time, but neither of us really wanted to part company yet, so we decided to sit and visit for a while on a courtyard bench across the street from the Adam’s Mark in front of something called the World Trade Center.  After a few minutes of idle chit-chat, the little dude in my brain sensed a golden opportunity, and said, “Put your arm around her and see how she reacts.”  Being the true gentleman that I am, I even asked permission first:  “Stacy, would you be offended if I put my arm around you?”  She said, “No, not at all,” so I then extended my left arm, which Stacy melted right into, and it was most awesome feeling!  She knew of my frustrations with the opposite sex and as I held her, she said, “I don’t know why you can’t find someone back home—there’s nothing wrong with you.”  Intellectually, I knew this to be true, but it carried a whole lot more hearing it from Stacy.  Then I touched her face and pulled her toward me and had the unmitigated gall to kiss her, and when I did, it was like the rest of the whole freakin’ world disappeared for about five minutes.  We came up for air and I was like, “Did that really just happen?”  I then said to her, “Would you be my girlfriend for the weekend—no strings attached?” and she was totally agreeable.  “We both deserve this,” I added.  Our kissing intensified after a bit, and people around us started to stare, plus it started raining again (Colorado weather changes at the drop of a hat), so Stacy suggested we relocate to her room on the 11th floor—11 being my favorite number, naturally.

While I had no pre-meditated plans for things to turn romantic between us, I have to admit the thought of something like this happening did cross my mind a time or two in the weeks leading up to our little rendezvous, but I figured that kind of thing only happens in the movies, so I never thought it would come true.  Stacy later admitted to me that she, too, was kinda sorta hoping for something special to happen because she was miserable with the jerk (her word, not mine) she was living with, who was very indifferent towards her at that point.  It had been a while since anyone had treated her special or found her desirous, and I obviously had an itch to scratch, so the timing was perfect for both of us.  Stacy told me later that she was “floating” when I held her hand as we walked back to the hotel.  After resuming the kissing and fondling in Stacy’s room, I couldn’t get over how soft and smooth her skin was, especially her arms, and I made her smile when I complimented her on it.  I finally ran out of gas around 1AM, but we promised each other to pick up where we left off the next night, after our daytime activities.  On the way back to my hotel, Meat Loaf’s “You Took The Words Right Outta My Mouth” (a favorite of mine) came on the car radio in the wee hours. I couldn’t have expressed my feelings any better, because Stacy had certainly rendered me speechless!

Friday morning, I woke up refreshed (gee, I wonder why) and met up with Stacy downtown again, and it felt a little awkward at first.  I was still rather shell-shocked over the night before and wasn’t quite sure how to act.  I was itching to make out with Stacy again, but I didn’t want to push my luck and ruin a good thing.  We decided to go for a drive late in the morning and hit some sights like Boulder and Red Rocks, and that’s when I experienced that quietness from Stacy that she warned me about.  She wasn’t very talkative at all, and I didn’t quite know how to interpret her silence, and I thought “Oh shit, she regrets last night now.”  As we sat in the top row at Red Rocks resting and basking in the sun, she reassured me by kissing me and saying, “I told you I was quiet, didn’t I?”  She went back to the conference late in the day and we re-connected for dinner then went back to her room and engaged in my new favorite indoor sport again—making out.  We found a great old-school R&B radio station that played lots of Barry White and Marvin Gaye songs, as well as Malo’s “Suavecito”—excellent make-out music—which added even more flavor to the proceedings.  At some point along the way, I broached the subject of possibly taking things to the next level and what impact it would have on our friendship if we did.  At first, Stacy seemed against it, and I wasn’t about to push her into something she wasn’t comfortable with, so we tabled the discussion for the time-being.  I said, “That’s fine, as long we’re both on the same page.”  As time passed, the making-out intensified (i.e., we got more adventurous with our hands) and eventually wound up naked from the waist-up, and I sensed a change of heart in Stacy.  “We seem to have turned a few more pages,” I quipped, and she smiled.  I then asked, “Should I pick up some protection in the morning?” and Stacy smiled again and said “Yes.”  Then I added, “You know that Bruce Springsteen song ‘Human Touch’?  That’s what this all means to me,” and she understood where I was coming from.  Once again, I left in the wee wee hours and returned to my hotel feeling elated, yet still not quite sure if we were about to do the right thing or not…

Saturday morning was a first for me—I’d never gone condom shopping anywhere but a machine in a men's room before!  I stopped in at a grocery store near my hotel, still a bit uneasy about whether having sex with Stacy was the right thing to do, A) because of our friendship and how this would affect it, and B) the fact that she was technically still involved with her live-in “mate”, even though she wanted to leave him.  Then I literally heard a voice from above that told me everything was okay.  No, it wasn’t God, but The Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen, on the store’s P.A. overhead singing (you guessed it) “Human Touch”!  I swear, I’m not making this up, folks.  That let me know right then and there that this was so right and it would be a special night.  I returned downtown and attended part of the conference with Stacy during the morning (holding hands while listening to the various speakers on hand), then returned to my hotel later in the afternoon to chill out and anxiously await the big night.  I killed some of the time with the nice diversion of watching the U.S. chick soccer team winning the World Cup (when Brandy Chastain flashed her bra), and I was surprisingly not nervous like I expected to be.  It almost felt too good to be true, though.

Stacy and I reconvened downtown, made out some more in her room, then I took her to nearby hoity-toity Wolfgang Puck’s for a romantic dinner.  While waiting for our table, she took my hand and said how much it meant to her “to be desired and feel like a woman again,” and I told her it just felt so natural to me.  The night was still young, so after dinner we made an appearance at the Alopecia conference’s big Saturday night hoedown and hootenanny at the hotel ballroom, and had a nice time there until the trebly music on the DJ’s speakers went through my head like a nail and gave me a headache.  We had an offer to go hang with some of Stacy’s Alopecian friends at another nightclub, which I was game for, but Stacy opted out—she wanted me all to herself!  Since 7 and 11 are my two favorite numbers, it was only appropriate that we waited until after Midnight—which made it July 11th—to return to Room 1102 and end 14-and-half years’ worth of personal frustration.

The Alopecia conference’s theme was “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, and right on cue, Diana Ross came on the radio singing that song just after Midnight when Stacy helped me lose my virginity all over again.  I’ll spare you the details at this point, except to say this time was far more intense and satisfying than my first time way back in ‘84, and we weren’t just having sex—we were making love!  Long about 12:20AM, I felt that monkey finally leap off my back as we collapsed in each other’s arms and I said to Stacy, “I can’t resist this—in the words of John Entwistle:  ‘So, was I alright?’”  “Definitely!” she responded.  Leave it to me to quote a Who song in bed after sex!  Oh, by the way, when Stacy was in her teens and early ‘20s (before she lost her hair), she was a fashion model.  I bet there’s a lot of guys out there who can’t say they ever did it with a model, but I can!  It felt damn nice to wake up with her in my arms in the morning too.

Prior to July 11, 1999, it had been 5,311 days (or approx. 127,464 hours) since the night I first lost my virginity with Lisa #1 on Christmas Eve of ‘84.  Ironically, I only had to wait 14 hours for the next time!  Stacy had to check out of her hotel before Noon on Sunday, and she was due to fly back home late in the afternoon, but luckily I still had my hotel room for one more night, so we relocated to “my place” for my first-ever matinee.  It felt wonderful, but as the time to leave neared, I began feeling very sad.  It suddenly hit me what a wonderful thing Stacy and I had shared over those four days, and I didn’t want it to end.  It was even hard for me to talk on the way to the airport because I was so emotional.  I was afraid nothing like this would ever to me again (it hasn’t), and I didn’t want to let go of her—but, I did say “no strings attached”, didn’t I?  While waiting for Stacy’s flight, she said to me, “Maybe we could meet again halfway between K.C. and Seattle.  Where would that be, somewhere in Wyoming?” I thought she was only joking, so I didn’t read much into it.  Saying goodbye was one of the hardest things I’d ever done, and I actually broke down when I got back to my car because of the overwhelming emotions I felt.  When I got back to my hotel, I discovered Stacy had left one of her blouses behind in my bed.  I kinda think she did it on purpose, and the smell of her perfume was all over it, so in a way it was as if she was still there with me, so I slept with her blouse by my side that night.  While reflecting on what I’d just experienced, it occurred to me that I had more fun with Stacy in three-and-a-half days than I ever had with both Lisas combined!  I will take that wonderful weekend to the grave with me—I bet John Denver’s Rocky Mountain Highs were never this much fun…

Next morning, with Dave Edmunds’ version of Bob Seger’s “Get Out Of Denver” blaring on the tape deck, I got out of Denver and headed eastward for home, filled with memories of a mind-blowing weekend that made the normally-interminable trek across Kansas halfway tolerable.  Upon my return home, I found the nicest e-mail note waiting for me from Stacy in which she said she missed my hugs and felt empty without me, and—best of all—“would you turn me inside-out again?”, as she liked to say.  I figured our little fling in Denver was just a one-time thing and we would just remain friends again from there on out, plus I thought she was only kidding about being together again when she mentioned Wyoming.  Instead, Stacy made the brilliant suggestion of rendezvous-ing in Las Vegas, and it made perfect sense—flights to Sin City were relatively inexpensive and we could have a ball for several days.  This also did wonders for my ego.  Stacy had been with other guys before and had lots more experience in relationships than I did, yet she was willing to go out of her way to be with me again, so I must’ve done something right in Colorado—talk about a confidence builder!  When I returned to work and told everyone about my trip, one of the guys remarked, “This man’s a playa now!” Indeed.

Unfortunately, we each needed a little time to save up some money and secure time off work, so Stacy and I had to endure an agonizing two months of waiting (cue Tom Petty’s “The Waiting”) before we could be together again, but during the interim, our online chats made us realize that this was more than just a fling—we were actually in love!  It was unorthodox, to be sure, but it was real and I’d never felt like this toward someone before (or since).  I even actually contemplated relocating to the Great Northwest at times to live with her, but that would've been a long shot, at best.  It sucked that we couldn’t be together sooner, but we filled the time by sending things to each other via snail-mail, making plans and eagerly anticipating September 23rd.  Las Vegas was totally worth the wait and did not disappoint, either, as we spent six wonderfully romantic days and nights together, and I made up for years of lost time in the intercourse department—sex twice a day (sometimes thrice), what a concept!  I think my favorite memory of that week was the night Stacy wore a sexy low-cut top, long slinky skirt and black stockings with a pretty red wig (knowing how much I like redheads) when we went out on the town, and when we stood toe-to-toe on the outdoor deck at the top of the Stratosphere tower and kissed, it was like we were the only two people on earth.  Parting again at the airport was such sweet sorrow, but we both went home very fulfilled.

After enduring another two-month wait, Stacy flew to Kansas City to play house with me for ten days in December, which overlapped her birthday, so we celebrated it by firelight with Barry White playing in the background (Barry rules!).  We had a great time again, but the vibe wasn’t quite the same as Denver and Vegas this time, mostly because Stacy was stressing out about moving into her own place and getting away from the jackass she’d been living with.  She wanted to leave him desperately, but was concerned about hurting his little girl from a previous marriage who had gotten rather attached to Stacy.  Also, it reached the point where we wound up spending a little too much time together and actually got a little burned-out on each other, plus there are only so many options for nightlife and things to do in K.C. in December, as opposed to Denver in summertime or Vegas anytime.  It was also felt weird to me to have a houseguest.  Don’t get me wrong—I loved having Stacy here with me—but I’m just not used to having someone else around the house 24/7, and it was an adjustment to have to share.  Makes me wonder if I can handle it if and when I ever get involved with another woman down the road.  Little did I know that when I kissed Stacy goodbye at KCI airport on that gloomy Sunday afternoon that it would be the last time I’d kiss her (or any other woman) on the lips (romantically) to this day…

After Stacy came to visit me in my humble abode, the plan was for me to return the favor and rock her world in Seattle once she got settled into her own place, perhaps as early as March of 2000, but it didn’t quite work out that way.  As January wore on, our nightly online chats became rather disjointed and stilted, and Stacy became more and more distant with me.  By early February, I finally confronted her and said it felt like she was blowing me off, and she admitted that the distance between us was getting to her, plus there was stuff at her end that was nagging her.  She said it wasn’t anything I did and that she really didn’t want to be involved with anyone at that point, so she wanted to break things off.  As you might expect, I was majorly disappointed, and I’ve always felt like we left things unfinished between us, since I never got to play house with Stacy in Seattle.  I never expected us to last forever, but I was a bit dumbfounded at how quickly my status went from "I love you, Brian" to "Dear Occupant" with Stacy in just a matter of weeks.

But, we vowed to remain friends anyway, and our friendship was really tested not long after that.  A few weeks later, Stacy informed me that she had met some guy that she was smitten with, and I reacted very angrily and didn’t speak to her for quite a while because I felt betrayed.  The way I viewed it was here’s Stacy telling me she didn’t want to be in ANY relationship when we broke up, yet less than two months later, she’s already involved with someone else again, so this hurt me a lot.  It turned out that the guy had another girlfriend and was just playing Stacy and she got burned, so I felt slightly vindicated.  She later apologized for hurting me and we moved on, but it left a bad taste in my mouth.  Maybe it’s true after all what they say that good friends shouldn’t become lovers, but I have no regrets for what we shared together during those six months, however unconventional it might’ve been.  I probably would’ve become a basket case by now if Stacy hadn’t come along to take me places I’ve never been before (in the carnal sense).  There’s been no one for me since then, and even though it’s been ten years, she instilled enough confidence in me to know I can please a woman sexually if and when I ever do find another one.  Still, I highly discourage long-distance relationships—they’re too difficult to maintain (esp. across 1,800 miles and two time zones) and it sucks when you can only be with your sweetheart at certain intervals.

And thankfully, true friendship won out, as Stacy and I remain friends to this day, even though we’ve had our ups and downs over the last ten years, including her marriage in 2002 and divorce in 2007.  I did eventually get to visit Stacy in Seattle in ‘02 after she got married, but it was rather awkward and poor timing on my part, as I wound up spending more time with her husband and dog than with her because she had to work a lot.  Stacy’s the one person that I can confide in and talk to about practically anything, and that means the world to me.  Sadly, we seem to have grown apart a bit in the last couple years and our worlds seem like such different places today.  I know things aren’t likely to ever revert to the halcyon days of ’99 between us, but I do wish she’d talk to me a little more than she has been lately.  I care about her a lot, and I wish she wouldn’t shut me out of her life, but our correspondence has basically dwindled down to “Hi, how are you?  I am fine.  Talk to you later…”  She’s very special to me, and I don’t want to lose her friendship.  She’s one in a million…

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the extent of my love-life to this point.  I haven't even been on a date since December, 1999.  I will explore the reasons for all that in the final installment of this series later this week.