List of Previous Titles

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Petra and Alexis

Although I have given them fictitious names Petra and Alexis are mother and daughter and this is a true story.

Petra was born in a North American mid-sized town and, according to her she had a perfectly normal upbringing, except for one small thing: she grew into a super beauty and that had people saying yes even though she did not ask the questions. The most eligible bachelor asked her to marry him, and she said, "yes, of course I'll be your trophy wife." They lived in a perfect house on a perfect housing estate, and they gave birth to their perfect daughter, Alexis, who grew up to be even more lovely than her mom.  Petra was on all the right committees and they all lived perfect lives.

Her husband went on to become the most important banker to the medium sized town, and they had a housekeeper, a nanny for Alexis, and a gardener. All was just super until the day husband came home from work to find a note from Petra which stated that he should not wait up for her as she had gone to
search for a real life.

She ended up on the island of Bermuda, and with secretarial skills she had learned to help her with her committee work she took a job working for, ironically, a bank. Every man dreamed of taking her home and every woman was jealous of her exquisite beauty. She caught the eye on one man in particular who decided that he just had to have her. He was a married man living at home, but that was a minor detail. Petra, who could have had any man of her choice allowed herself to be this man's "bit on the side." Worse than that, he was an abuser who would beat her because she had no right to be so beautiful.

I was introduced to her by a friend who had tried unsuccessfully to turn her away from her abuser. I was just as awed as everybody else, but I was also very patient, plus I genuinely liked her. "Turn your back on that horrible man and give me your sweet loving," I would urge her.

Meanwhile, her daughter had come to Bermuda to be near her mom. She was given a job at a bar/restaurant by the owner who wanted her for himself. She opened herself to him and they lived and worked together.

After several years of my persuasion, one night while embracing her, Petra whispered in my ear that tonight's the night. She said that she was ready for me and that I should take her and do whatsoever I wished to do. I had a heart attack, but I didn't let that stop me. We became lovers and I was so very happy right until the day she returned to North America, and I later lost touch with her.

I was at work when the phone rang. It was Alexis saying that her mother had suggested she call me. Alexis had fallen out with her lover/boss, owing $3000. She had nowhere to stay, could I possibly help her as she had no-one else to turn to. I lived alone and did not have a fixed relation at the time, so sure, I could help.

That evening I took her home and showed her the house. There was only one bed in the whole house because when I brought a woman home it was so that we could sleep together. I was not going to sleep on the couch and neither was she. Did she have a problem with that? She whispered, unhappily, that she did not. I said, "you have come to me in desperation for me to take care of you, and you need to pay off the $3000. I could lend her the money, but did she expect that I would fully take advantage of the situation?" Again, unhappily she said she guessed that would have to be the price she would have to pay.

"Well, I'm not going to abuse you and take you against your will. We will live here for as long as you need to, and I will leave your dignity intact. If I were to do anything else your mother would have my guts for garters!"

She stayed for three months until she found a job at a hotel that had staff dormitories. On the morning of the day she left, over breakfast she said that I had promised not to interfere with her and that I had kept my promise. She said that she knew she aroused me because several nights she was awakened by my erection poking her in the back. She said that on a couple of nights she had the feeling that she should have made the first move, (Oh man!) but she didn't because there must have been something serious that made me honour my promise.

I said that if I had taken her at a time when she really didn't have free choice it would have amounted to rape in my mind, and no-one would ever have cause to accuse me of such a thing. However, had she taken the first move that would have been just fine. Although we thought about it we didn't finish breakfast with a quickie.

She repaid me the $3,000, part of which she had to send me from abroad as she left the island at the end of the Summer season. 

From time to time I reflect on my life and the things I have done that make me proud, and the things I am not so proud of. This was one of the things of which I am super proud. For three months I slept with the most beautiful woman on the planet, who I could have taken at will, and who I came to really like. I never touched her sexually because of my principles.

Sometimes principles can be a real pain in the ass!

(c) Copyright 2016
Eugene Carmichael 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Other People's Lives

The conventional wisdom is that we should all mind our own business and leave the details of other people's lives to them.  This is very good advice but it is seldom followed. This is probably because we live in such a small world, one that is getting smaller by the day with the discovery of even more communicating technologies.

It starts when we are born with our arrival being of intense interest to our parents and our brothers and sisters. Our family of aunts and uncles and cousins all take an interest in our development through the early period of our lives, and when we grow up to the point where we choose a friend who may become our husband or wife the buzz picks up speed. The circle is completed when we bring our own offspring into the world, and it begins anew.

Every time our son or daughter reaches a new milestone it is shared with the family at large. When they do good the family celebrates and takes pride. When they do something criminal and go to prison we all hang our heads in shame.

Acclaimed success in business or politics can be a real occasion for uplifting the whole family. For instance when a family member becomes part of the ruling party's cabinet, or especially when that member becomes the chief  executive officer of a major company or bank, or the leader of a political party, or even the country. All of the family and their friends take great interest in everything that is happening as they believe that it is all a part of their business.

As a child grows his or her choice of career is noted and commented upon. Advice, that was not asked for is given and even persuasion may be used to try and steer the child in a different direction. Given that the child's life is his own this is clearly an invasion of his space, but the Relations seem to think its all a part of their business.

The most controversial aspect of all is when our now grown up child brings home the friend who is most special of all. Regardless of who that person is they are unlikely to pass muster from all the family. They are the one who is the outsider, and who expects to be good enough for our family member. We have all been through it, and we never forget. Whichever way it goes we can't win. If the relationship goes all the way, those against just wait for a misstep. Those in favour take joy in the happiness of the couple, but if they do stumble and fall everybody's heart will be broken, except for those who said, I told you so.

The worst case scenario is perhaps when father and mother come to an impasse in their relationship and they have to go their separate ways. The fallout from that is so huge it's like a nuclear blast, starting with the children and it spreads like the waves of a tsunami. Yes, it is the business of the couple in question but the people and institutions and societies that are impacted is just amazing.

They may be other people's lives indeed, but somehow all of our lives are intertwined and that brings us joy or consternation, as the case may be. Mind your own business indeed, but that is much easier to say than to know what is our own business or not.

(c) Copyright 2016
Eugene Carmichael  

Sunday, March 13, 2016

To be older and wiser

"Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it." (George Orwell).

"Women are wiser than men because they know less but understand more." (James Thurber)

The belief that wisdom only comes with age has stood the test of time, and generally has been taken to mean that older people always know more than young one people. I think the time has come to revisit this generalization. The world has changed and turned upside down in so many ways that nothing lasts forever anymore.

I read somewhere that a broad definition of wisdom is that it consists of cognition, reflection and compassion that allows us to maintain a sense of positive well being and kindness in the face of challenges. This can come through the process of growing old and experience. If we accept that we learn something new everyday, it follows that our wealth of knowledge is increased.

However, with the advent of living with computers, which were devised and created by people who were then young, even younger people have made the digital age their own which leaves us more mature adults struggling to keep up with developments.

I hate to put myself forward as a prime example, but there was a time in my life when I lived on the cutting edge. However, I might as well have gone to sleep for a hundred years because I woke up one day to find that everything had changed. I was living on a small island when it was suggested that I look into becoming involved in computer programming. Why? We didn't use computers in the country where I lived. 
Can you imagine that?

Then came mobile phones. Did I want a mobile phone so that I could always be contactable? Hell no!
Now I have two phones and I almost never leave home without them. But, neither one is yet a smartphone because I really don't need the amazing power that they represent. That is the case as it stands today. Tomorrow that will change and I will become an addict.

Older people are wiser, but not necessarily wiser than any other person than they, themselves  were, as individuals the day before. It can not be generally said that old people are wiser than young people. In fact, the world is changing so much and so fast that in many ways we are going the other way in the application of our wisdom. That is why senior citizens are such soft targets for conmen. The stories of older and very wise men who marry very young women who could be their grandchildren are legend. Where's the wisdom in that?

I encourage my fellow seniors to keep an open mind and to continue to learn something new. Be curious and let yourselves grow with a fast moving world, and if it makes sense try something new from time to time. That's the definition of living. If you stand absolutely still and close off your mind, only one thing happens next.

It's called: The End.

Copyright (c) 2016
Eugene Carmichael

Sunday, March 6, 2016

We are now in the Season of Fallas

Valencia, Spain has now entered into a three week period of fiestas leading up to the planting of temporary monuments in the streets of downtown Valencia and throughout the villages dotted around and about. Expert craftsmen and women have been busy since the day after Fallas ended last year in making ready for this year's event. Similarly, they will begin anew on the 20th of this March thinking about their presentations for next year.

This is the largest event of the year on the Valencia calendar which changes the total mood of the area. The event around which everything else revolves is the daily mascleta, a daylight sound show of very noisy fireworks that provide about five to seven minutes of sheer violent noise. Because we like to live life on the very edge it's wonderful to feel the concussion against our chests, but the spoilsports they are, authorities are saying, come on guys, we have to be sensible about this. They have moved the crowds back to a  safe distance where we can observe the beautiful starbursts, but we can no longer feel them up close and terrible.

This is one tradition to have continued over the years when the economy was at its best, as well as through some rather dark days, both politically and in the economy. However grand it may be, for many true Valencia city dwellers, when it comes time for the celebrations of Fallas that is a good time to leave home.

It's that time of the year when sleep will be at a premium, so party on young ones, us slightly older ones are outta here. The city is all yours.

Copyright (c) 2016
Eugene Carmichael