In My Life, Coffee Never Changes

But, of course, everything else does.

I’m one of those old-fashioned coffee drinkers and I steadfastly refuse to allow this to change.  Meaning, I drink an old-fashioned style of coffee: percolated Chock Full o’ Nuts. And that’s how I start every single morning, and have for literally decades.

And thank God for that. Because, at least, you know, there is something I truly love that I can just always reach for. Nothing else really remains, does it?

Wow, yesterday was difficult.

I awoke at 4 A.M. with Chapter 12/b.  of the new novel, Blessed By Light, waiting there in my brain. I could tell I had sort of “downloaded” it during the night. And I was really excited. I could sense what it was going to be about, I knew it was in there. I got out of bed, made coffee, fed cats, etc., sat down at the laptop and —

17 (!!) freaking hours later, I had managed to get 3 and 1/2 pages out. You know, what is that?? I like the pages I finally ended up with, but the 17 hours part is the part that confounds me.

I had expected it to be a relatively simple thing, and then I would switch to working on the revisions for the TV pilot, which are truly pressing and really, really difficult for me. But an entire day was spent writing 3 and 1/2 pages.

I was just so frustrated with myself.

Twice I even took these really strange naps. Meaning, I would suddenly feel like I had to collapse. I’d go over to the bed, lie down, and be out like a light for maybe 10 minutes. Just a really deep sleep. Then I’d pop awake and realize that I needed to add a sentence about the view from the balcony in Paris at night.  You know – you can’t just stand there on the balcony and smoke without saying something about the view because it’s Paris, right?  Seemingly important stuff like that, but it didn’t really get me much farther.

I was getting sort of depressed. Plus, I’ve also made this pact with myself that I am never allowed to have suicidal thoughts again. I need to just stop it, forever. And that’s really difficult, too, because now where is the closest exit? Nowhere. That’s where. You have to just sit and get the writing done. As Sartre warned us: No exit, baby.

Around 6 PM, I took a break and walked to the cemetery. This is the resting place for most of my characters in the other new novel I’m writing,  The Hurley Falls Mysteries: Down to the Meadows of Sleep, and I thought it would help to be out among friends.

It did kind of help, frankly, but more than that, it was just sobering.  I mean, there were all the men, the founders of the town I live in, along side their wives. Most of them dead for well over 200 years now.  And yesterday, I noticed that most of them died either right around the age I’m at now, or even younger than me.

Okay, well, thanks for that head’s up. I have so much writing I still want to get done, you know?  Projects sitting here waiting for my complete and undivided attention. I don’t mind dying, but I do mind not getting any more of my work done.

And then, of course, my eye falls on the occasional tombstone of a baby who lived about 2 weeks, or maybe even a day.  And this, about 200 years ago, as well.  I mean, it’s so heartbreaking, but it’s also, like, well okay, why am I here? (I mean that existentially; not why am I in the graveyard.)

I stood there on that hillside, looking out at the valley below me – all the cornfields that have been harvested and are now ready for winter to come (even though I can’t remember when summer ended and it became fall); the foothills all around for as far as I can see are gorgeous. An old church. A few old houses. Trees galore. Just beautiful country. Just lovely. So contented and peaceful-looking – so unlike moi.

And I thought to myself, you are not really going to just stand here in this old graveyard on this hillside and cry are you? That will not solve anything at all. Go back to the laptop, sit down in front of it and get those words to come out. Just do it.

So I walked back home, made myself eat something (about 4 tortilla chips and maybe a tablespoon on guacamole – I have lost almost 20 pounds since the Muse arrived during the summer and I kinda stopped eating), I got the coffee set up for the morning, closed down the house for the night and went back upstairs for the duration.

You know, I sat there for a few more hours, polished what I had already gotten down on the pages, but the rest of it – words that I could tell were still in there – refused to come out.  So I just went to bed.

This morning, you know – a second chance to maybe get it right this time. And thank God, the coffee was there. An anchor to all my Great Expectations.  So we’ll see, gang. We’ll see.  (And my mother will be coming soon. I seriously need to clean this house.)

Where it Goes

I am, of course, talking about Time. (I want to add that this post contains a topic that might be really, really offensive to readers. Sorry in advance.)

I woke this morning at 3:38 AM and Instagram ping-ed me and told me that people were updating. Of course I immediately wondered, what are you people doing up at this hour and what are you doing on Instagram, for Christ’s sake? But I looked at the posts and was sadly reminded that today is the 1st anniversary of Tom Petty’s death.

For me, the saddest part of Tom Petty’s death is that he left behind a wife, children, grandchildren, and really close friends.  One of the things I saw on Instagram was a photo one of his daughter’s had posted. He’s much younger in the photo and the lullaby he wrote for her many years ago when she was a baby is posted there (a really beautiful song – one of my favorites) and I thought, okay, can this BE more painful at 3:38 AM, as I lie here in bed in the dark?

And I thought, it must be so sad to lose your father when he’s relatively young. And then, with a sense of complete astonishment, I realized that I had lost my(biological) father when he was relatively young.  I was 38 and he was 53.  Lots younger than Tom Petty was. What a feeling of disconnection, that I could forget something like that about my own life.

I’m now 5 years older than my dad was when he died, and I find this barreling-forward of Time just incomprehensible.

The hardest part to accept is that he’s now been dead for nearly 20 years, and that I actually knew him for 10 years, and that means that the 28 really painful years of my life that I didn’t know him are now superseded by these 2 other facts.  How can that possibly be? Where did the Time go?

From the time I was 5 years old up until what felt like forever, my biological father was the most important person in my world. I’m not over-stating it when I say that finding him was the most important thing for me about being alive.  I have one of those really sad birth certificates that says “Father Unknown,” and my mother steadfastly refused to ever tell anybody who my father was. So the odds of me ever having found him were so not in my favor, that the only thing on my side was God. And luckily God is usually all you need. God & faith in God. And when it came right down to it, my father actually found me. (My novella, Ribbon of Darkness, is about 98% nonfiction. It comes really close to documenting what actually happened.)

Long-time readers of my erotic writings (life) know by now that I’m a hardcore submissive with seriously complicated daddy-issues.  I’m okay with this, and I’ve written a  lot about it over the years. I’ve sort of untangled a lot of my own questions about it and I can accept this about myself. It’s who I am.

But probably the hardest thing about my dad and I finding each other (I was 28, he was 43) is that we fell in love and got extremely close to becoming incestuous. And that’s when “daddy-issues” get amazingly complicated and overwhelming.  I would have done anything he wanted to do; anything. Luckily, he had a sense of integrity that was not to be believed.

He had been career-Navy. A Navy SEAL in Vietnam, from 1965 until Saigon fell in 1975 . And even though Vietnam left him a boundless alcoholic, being career-military gave his character really strong underpinnings of knowing right from wrong.

Our most harrowing moment: We were sitting at his kitchen table in his trailer in the middle of the Nevada desert; drinking, smoking, the only 2 people left alive on Earth – or so it felt.  We were so in love. And it kept getting later and things kept getting deeper, until I finally said, “It’s okay if you want to sleep with me.” Even though, with every fiber of my being, I did not want to say that.  It came out anyway, and the world just stopped, you know? We just looked at each other. As they say, I was all-in; my cards were on the table. I didn’t regret saying it, really, but I did regret the position I had then put him in. It was so difficult. Just so fucking difficult. And he said, “No, it’s actually not okay if I want to sleep with you – you’re my daughter.”

The last really meaningful conversation my dad and I had, in the late summer of 1989, was heart-wrenching.  We were on the phone – he in his trailer outside Reno, me in my tenement apartment in NYC. It was god-awful hot, a huge harvest moon – the kind where the moon just glows and seems unimaginably enormous, and so close to the Earth. And my dad was crying and he told me he was in love with me, that he wanted to marry me and spend the rest of his life with me but that he knew this was impossible, and he knew that I needed to be with some other man eventually and that he couldn’t stand the thought of me being with anyone else, and that he didn’t know how he was going to survive it.

I had no way of handling that conversation. I felt so terrible.  He wound up going out and getting mind-numbingly drunk, got a DUI and spent quite a number of days in jail.  And all that time we had spent being just so joyfully  in love, though not having ever had sex – well, it was as if the life-line to all that was severed and just sent drifting out into nothingness; un-claimable.  Eternally.

After he got out of jail, he was basically more angry than anything, really. Our relationship changed. When I told him I wanted to write about him (non-erotically) because he truly had had a remarkable life, he told me that if I ever wrote about him, he would stop speaking to me.  Because he was really, really private. And the things he’d told me about himself, his life, he felt he’d told me in confidence.

I agreed not to write about him, and put all my notes away – for good. When he got sick with cancer (from exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam), he stopped speaking to me anyway. He didn’t tell me he was sick. He didn’t tell me he was dying. He went to live with one of my step-sisters, whom I despised (if only because he had raised her and hadn’t raised me. I was so envious of her and her sister and brother – all of whom I just detested and they didn’t like me at all, either). Still, my dad chose her as the daughter who was going to be there for him in his final months on Earth. (Under it all, though, I got the feeling he didn’t want me to know that he wasn’t larger than life; didn’t want me to see him as simply a human being; one that was being devoured by cancer.)

Regardless, my step-siblings didn’t even tell me that he had died. And after he was cremated, his ashes scattered over the desert; when my uncle (whom I’d never met) went to Nevada to go through my father’s things, he found a whole stack of stuff I’d given my dad that my step-siblings were going to throw away. At that point, my uncle found out that no one had told me that my dad had died, or that he’d even been sick. He found a publicity photo in among the stack of stuff I’d given my dad, and my uncle called my publicist in New York City. How fucking wonderful, right? To get a call from my publicist. “Marilyn, I hate to tell you this, but your dad is dead.”

My publicist, for Christ’s sake. My step-sister had my fucking phone number and my address.

Once my dad died, and died in this way that was so far removed from me, I felt that all bets were off, and I chose to write about him. And am still writing about him, obviously. And will write about him again in my memoirs.

But this morning, thinking about Tom Petty and how sad his daughter was, and all that; what came back to me was how deeply and desperately obsessed I was with my dad when I was 12 years old. He was the center of my world and I had no clue who he was. At the time, the Beach Boys had a hit song on the radio, called  California Saga. For some inexplicable reason, whenever I heard this song on the radio, when the Beach Boys would sing the lyric “have you ever been south of Monterey?” it made me think of my phantom father and I would start to cry. Literally, I would sob. I would sit alone in my 12-year-old, white & pink bedroom and sob.

Years later, when I finally met my dad, I found out that back when I was 12, he and his 2nd wife (who had died before I met him – the mother of those 3 step-siblings I hated because he had raised them), were living around Monterey, CA. (You have to listen to the song to get this part.) Jesus. You know? He split his time back then between Monterey and Midway Island, because he was still career-Navy.

And in another odd twist, he gave me a photo of himself from that very year of the Beach Boys’ song, when he was on Midway Island, but living around Monterey. The irony was just so spooky.

My father was a blue-eyed blonde. Here he is on Midway Island at age 27, when I was 12.

I never told him about the Beach Boys song, or what it did to me when I was 12 whenever I heard the song on the radio.

But this morning, at 3:38 AM, when all of this came back to me, all these intense years later, I knew that, as difficult as so much of it became, God had answered a 12-year-old girl’s prayer in spades.

I found my father, and he fell in love with me. I’m going to just forget everything else that came after that.

 

Chapter 9 Blessed By Light

Another excerpt from my new novel Blessed By Light.  It’s approximately 4 pages.

This contains sexually graphic passages, so just FYI.

9.

King of the World Thinks Out Loud

SHIT, SHE WAS PRETTY.  Whenever she walked into the room, her face lit up – or so it seemed anyway, because this was before I really understood the amount of cocaine she was doing. But her face lit up. And taking in that smile, those glittering eyes, it was like – if you’ll pardon me drawing attention to our recent contretemps in even the smallest way – it was like drawing in the first hit of nicotine-laced smoke off the freshest cigarette in the pack.

Her face seared something right into my bloodstream and ran simultaneously to my brain and to my dick.

The problem was that she knew she did this. She planned her entrances that way. She hadn’t gotten to be such a famous gal by going blindly into a world of powerful men – or even into a roomful of them. No, she was not blind at all. She was calculating and she got her fame.

But shit, she was pretty.

And I was so goddamned married, and she knew that, too.

She was more famous than me at this point, older than me by a couple of years. And she sure knew what she was after from that first time I met her. I really had to stand my ground with her. Aside from my being married to a woman who was already suspecting that I wasn’t being entirely faithful when I was out of her field of vision, I wasn’t gonna let any kind of a woman own me. Let alone, a famous one.

I had worked really hard to get famous myself. Really hard. I earned what I was achieving and I wasn’t gonna let her usurp that in any way. But I wasn’t stupid, either. I didn’t want to offend her – there was an underside to that gal that was a shark circling in the water. I knew that she wanted to eat me alive in the bedroom, but that she would just as quickly spit me out – publicly – if anything went wrong, made her look bad.

And then there was the problem of how to seduce her, because I wasn’t gonna let her seduce me. But she so obviously wanted to fuck me that seducing her would be like hailing down a cab that was coming right at me, you know? That’s no seduction; that’s just agreeing to fuck. And I still wasn’t 100% sure I was agreeing to fuck. I loved my wife. And my indiscretions away from home were becoming a bad, bad habit. My guilt was crippling me – to the point where I had to forcibly remove it from my conscience, lock it in a closet, and put cocaine in its place, in the hole it left inside me, until I was done fucking whatever pretty girl had come my way after a show, whose name I barely remembered.

But the famous gal was different on all counts; from all angles. I knew I was going to have to have sex with her. Because, let’s face it; she was seducing me. Aiming it all right at me. It had become impossible to ignore it – and, to make things worse, at this point we were working together. Thrown together for several hours a day.

And it happened, of all things, with a cigarette.

I had lit one and had started smoking it. She took out a cigarette of her own, leaned close to me, wanting me to give her some of my fire – you know, the easiest seduction in the book: Light the tip of her cigarette with the lit tip of my own.

She stood too close to me, her head too close to mine, while I did just that. And it was that electric transfer of lust – from her eyes to my eyes as she leaned close and I lit her cigarette – that sealed the deal.

Eyes say it all when words are too easily heard by everyone else around you in a crowded room. Everyone who knows full well what is going down between you but is too polite to draw any more attention to it than you’ve already drawn yourselves.

✽✽✽

It was her hotel room. Her cocaine. But we shared equally in the indiscretion.

She knew my wife. Had made overtures to be friendly with her, shared cocaine with her sometimes, too.

My wife was polite, was bowled over by the attention, the fame; was confused; wasn’t stupid – and ultimately looked the other way. I guess she added it on to the pile of inexplicable things I was doing that were torturing her at night; breaking her heart all day – while I was busy, busy, busy stuffing my conscience into that closet.

But there we were in our complicity; me and the famous gal who was so pretty. So sexy. And when she took off all her clothes, I could not believe how much prettier she got. And it wasn’t just the coke talking, either, because we continued our liaisons sporadically for years and years afterward, after the coke had gone out of fashion, and she never failed to be just ungodly pretty when she was naked.

Although, not a natural blonde. I found that amusing.

Going into bed with her that first time was like preparing for battle. I made two vows to myself. One, that I was going to stay on top, no matter how much she might maneuver herself otherwise; and, two, that I was going to make her come – without any help from her delicate fingers.

In those days, sex was different. Men were starting to understand that girls had orgasms, too, but they just sort of expected the girl to take care of that part herself. It was still sort of a mysterious territory, a little threatening to men. But I wasn’t threatened at all. By then, thanks to my wife, I knew how to make a girl come. And I was good at it.

I knew that I was up against so much in that bedroom. Not just because of her fame, but because she’d been with so many other famous men. And I wasn’t gonna be just “another one of those” who got seduced by her. I was going to be the one who belonged to someone else – never to her; the one who stayed on top of her in bed, and the one who made her come. So that there would never be any doubt in her mind that she was hooked on me and could never really have me.

I was gonna love the heck out of fucking her, but punish her at the same time.

I guess my logic was that I had already come so far in betraying my wife, in further damaging her trust, our bond, our world, our little family that was growing; I was going to make the damage I was doing count, in spades.

This was what I’d thought. And I did remain true to my two vows to myself. And I did punish her, in a way, by making her love fucking me; by becoming a sort of drug to her – my cock to her pussy. But of course, I wasn’t prepared for what my heart did in that bed. I wasn’t prepared to care for her so much. I wasn’t prepared for her to matter to me. I wasn’t prepared for how badly I wanted to see her again, for there to be a next time.

✽✽✽

Goddamn it, I was so fucking married. And I didn’t want to go home to my wife, to that room we shared as married people, to that bed we shared and had created the lives of our daughters in; created them by making such erotic love, and then made so much more erotic love throughout both pregnancies – my wife always loving to make love the closer each of the babies came; even the babies seemed to love the making of all that love. It had been so beautiful to make love to my wife when my babies were alive and kicking inside her. There’d been so much joy, just so much.

I did not want to get back into that bed.

It wasn’t like I had been with some girl out on the road whose name I could barely remember, who I knew I’d never lay eyes on again.

It hadn’t been like that.

I had been with a woman who moved me. Who really just fucking moved me. Whose waist was so slender, whose hips so wide, that it was effortless to grab hold of her, flip her over and pound so hard into her from behind. Just mercilessly fuck her pussy, give her all I had while she practically cried she was taking it so hard, holding for dear life to the edge of the mattress so that the force of our fucking didn’t throw her right out of the bed. A woman whose clit was so responsive that I had barely reached under her and touched it, when she shot off like a rocket and came. Shaking, writhing; coming like nobody’s business, and I never once released my hold on her. Jammed my cock so deep into her while she came that her cries really sounded like cries – God, she cried. Please, god no – please. Cries like some tender young thing whose pussy is just trapped and stuffed so full of my cock that she has to give it up; she’s got to surrender – some ageless and pretty, so damn pretty naked girl. And famous. She was so famous. All the men wanted her and dreamed of her, dreamed of fucking her senseless. I had done that.

I was the king of the world.

And when she was done coming, she turned her head back to look at me; she was out of breath, panting sweetly, covered in sweat, she said: “Lean down here, baby, and give me a kiss.”

So I did. I leaned down to her, my cock still way up in her, her ass still arched up high to give that pussy all the way to me, and I kissed her mouth, lightly, quickly, and she said, real quietly, too quietly for it to be legal, really, she said, “I love you.” She said, “I don’t care what the deal is, I am going to love you until I die.”

And it was my turn to come. I turned her over and fucked her slow and easy and deep – and I came in her, with her arms around me; her legs around me; and I was thinking that I really was the king of the world, and that she loved me, she was gonna love me until she died, and now what the fuck was I supposed to do?

I had to get back into that conjugal bed, into that bed of my marriage. And so much damage had been done.

“You worked late,” my wife said quietly – all the lights on Earth were out, it was that late.

“Yes, and I did a lot of coke, too. I’m wired.”

“You boys and your guitars,” she said. “And you need all that coke, too? You’re never going to grow up, are you?”

Eventually she went back to sleep and I got out of the bed and went and sat in the living room in the dark and smoked until the sun came up; until my younger girl came toddling out of her bedroom in her little nightie, still in diapers. What the hell was I doing?

“Daddy!”

“Good morning,” I said. “Somebody’s stinky.”

It made her laugh and I took her back to her room to get her changed, to clean her up. To let her mom sleep just a little longer.

Just the fucking king of some sort of goddamned world.

✽✽✽

Sorry I woke you. I was thinking out loud, I guess. Remembering. Just remembering who I was. All my flaws. My weakness. All the lessons I had to learn the hardest possible way.

I’m sorry I was so hard on you today. I’m just trying to give you what you want. Love. Always just trying to give you love. When we keep our promises to the people we love, even the littlest promises. Well, you know. Life goes down a much simpler road.

Just trust me, honey. You sweet girl. And do as I say. Because I know about these things.

I do.

c: 2018 Marilyn Jaye Lewis