A couple of "oh. . . shit"s today. Anita wrote that her computer wasn't showing some of the links I was putting up for readers. I checked the site from my iPad and I couldn't even see the music videos I've included the past few days. Computers, software, operating systems. . . beats me. It is Google, I know. They change things all the time. I'm an old man. I can't keep up. If you are not seeing them on one computer, I suggest trying another. As much fun as my writing has been these past few days, the music is spectacular.
If you read yesterday's blog entry, you can imagine my surprise when a few hours after I posted Obama announced that he was dropping the embargo on Cuba. People thought I might be happy, but of course they were wrong. Cuba will become a Carnival Cruise stop now. The people's attitudes will change immensely. It will become another Miami. If you don't know the difference between Miami Cubans and the ones in the homeland. . . you've missed something. I remember stepping off the plane in Miami after a week in Cuba. Oy!
I will see about going down right away, though, before the hoi-poloi have a chance to make their mark. I'll be the prick running amuck fast and hard. So to speak.
Yesterday I had lunch with the mother of one of the young models I used to make pictures with, one that I tried hard to hook up with some pretty good people in the fashion business and some pretty good art photographers, too. Once she got hooked up with an agency, I was pretty much forgotten. From time to time, though, the mother gets in touch with me to invite me to dinner or a party, and I get updated about her daughter. Last week she asked me if she could get a big print of one of the images I made of her daughter. Sure, I said. I met her at a little restaurant that served chicken and waffles, jerked meats and spicy shrimps. I think the couple who owned it were Cajun. I hadn't seen the mother in a year or more, so there was the inevitable awkwardness and catching up. Her daughter has finished her first semester of college. She has a boyfriend from England whom she loves, and she still rides her jumping horses every day. She flipped through her phone and showed me the usual pictures.
Then she was telling me about herself and her husband, and she was telling me the story of the affair he'd had a dozen or so years ago with a younger woman. I'd heard the story before but I didn't remind her. I love to hear stories told, and I thought I might hear something that I hadn't before. She took her time and gave me more details about the affair. She told me about his leaving and what bad timing it was for her, the emotional trauma, the counseling. . . and eventually over a year later, the reconciliation. They are happy now, she said.
"But you never get over it, do you?" I asked.
"No, you don't."
"I cheated once," I admitted. "It wasn't really 'cheating.' My girlfriend lived a hundred miles away in the college town where we had lived before I graduated. She was in grad school and we had decided to have an 'open' relationship. When she graduated and moved to town, though, I was seeing someone else and didn't tell her. I tried to balance two lives for awhile, but that didn't work out. I was miserable all the time. After that, I've never cheated on anybody again."
"My counselor told me that men and women want different things. Nine out of ten men want respect. Women thrive on love."
"Oh. . . I'm definitely a woman," I said.
"I know you are," she grinned. "Anybody would know that right away."
She continued. "But that is where the pain comes in. I needed to be swaddled in love and then it was just suddenly gone."
She told me about the drug she takes now that keeps her happy.
"As long as I take that, I'm fine. Things are good now. You know I have my faith. I've always had that. Everything works out if you let it."
I let her say it without telling her I didn't. We had finished lunch and she had to get back to work. I got the big print out of the car and brought it to her. She was taking it to be framed. She was giving it to her husband for Christmas. I wondered, but I didn't say anything about that, either. It wasn't my favorite portrait of the girl, but it did have an edge to it. Half her face was falling away in shadow, and her expression is somewhat disturbing. I'd like to be there when the presents are opened to see the way it goes.
Now that Q has outed my system of measurement for relationship happiness, I have to say that I don't know anything about the other side of the coin. I mean, I don't know the formula by which women work. Do they rank men one to ten? What do they base that on? Traditionally, I think, it was the ability to supply "the good life." Money. . . and stuff. In the bars when I used to run, women hung on the guys with the good coke, the boats and the houses on the water, the ones spending the most money. But that was a small, bad sample, right? Elsewhere, though, it was the fellow on his way up the corporate ladder, a broker or a banker or a lawyer or a doctor. I am not a good judge of that, though, for I don't like guys at all and was always a ragamuffin without visible means. I depended on the free drinks that seemed to always be around. I drove shitty cars and wore jeans and t-shirts and flip-flops. When I wanted to be really cool, I wore a bandana. Women liked me some and guys not at all. Don't ask me how that worked out for me.
Oh, yea. . . you can just read the blog.