Charles Pendelton
      © 2008 Marty Langdon
Chapter 32 (1972) pt 3

                                                                         1972


As 1971 rolled into 1972, I was busy dreaming of strange and unusual things. On a far
distant island where puncheons lined the shore, the wharves made of sawn timber are
gently caressed by the salty breeze. A short distance away, a series of trees that have
weathered many a storm held their ground on this tiny yet impressive island. Several
pelicans could be seen nearby catching fish as they swooped down from the sky. Near
the shore by a rocky cove were two lovers. They were kissing and doing all the little
things I could only dream about. Things I couldn't even imagine at the present time.




As his tongue entered her awaiting mouth, it soon found its way to other places;
where the tips of his masculine fingers slowly began to dissolve inside her quivering flesh.

I watched them until I found I was somewhere else. In the unstable world of dreams,
you never know where you're going to end up, and the whole scene was quickly
forgotten. I continued to walk in the sparkling white sand until the shoreline changed.


It was on the larger Island which lay beside it

that I stumbled upon a treasure chest of gold!



At first, I thought it was a log the sand uncovered, but I soon realized it was an intricately
designed scrimshaw created by an unrefined boring tool. The artwork depicted a sperm whale
on a pile of coins continuing to spout more. Leaning over it, I opened the huge darkened ivory
box and began to examine each doubloon in that heavy crate. I thrust my two hands down to
the xyloid mesh and pulled them out, when suddenly there was a pirate ship on the horizon.

Am I going to lose all this treasure, I wondered as the ship sailed into port? Looking back down
at the aurulent stash of no longer used currency, my mind could not seem to process the sheer
magnitude of it all. It went far beyond that of life's simple pleasures, and nothing could quite
capture the joy which now radiated in my heart! Once again, I threw my eyes to the sea, only this
time the ship was already docked. It almost appeared as though they were exporting cargo from
the wharfs platform, and that the ship had been there a dangerously long time! “Why is time
moving so fast,” I thought. “I only found this treasure a moment ago!” In haste, I tried to pull
the box out from the sand, but it felt as though it were cemented in.
*It was just too heavy*

In dreams time is shifty, uncertain and highly unpredictable.



I then grabbed a coin and scrambled! Upon doing so, I ran into Captain Bligh. “What in
bloody hell do you think you're doing?” “I am taking what's mine,” I said. “You'll have to
go through me sword first, now give it!” But I refused to hand over the coin. “You'll have
to pry it out-a-me cold dead hands,” I yelled mockingly in an olde English brogue! “He's
makin' tafts at me,” he screamed out in a fit of complete rage!!! He unsheathed his sword
and swung it as hard as he could in my direction! I barely felt it touch my neck.

That was all it did, and the scene continued where it left off with no one the wiser.


In reality, this would have completely removed my head from my shoulders, but it cut
so clean that it did no harm. “Consider that a warning,” shouted the captain as he slid his
sword back into its black holster! “Easy,” said the old pirate, “he's just a young squat;
let him be about,” he said agitatedly, as he jerked his head in the direction I should go.

                                            (((Then they saw the box)))

Now there is going to be a very serious problem. “This is McGraffy's treasure. So this
is where the bastard buried it! We have to shoot this little boolif!” *A word which I've
never heard before, and am sure does not exist.* “Never veseeth in a quarrel,” said the
old man, spraying threads of spittle into the air and looking up toward the sky. Captain
Bligh then fired his gun toward heaven and said, “now give yur cent up!” “Are you
hard-a-hearin' or are ya just ugly? I said provokingly in the brogue I adopted. “You
little tarrafact,” he hollered as he once again withdrew his pirate sword! He brought
it down hard through the base of my skull, and it exited through the pit of my loins.

It only hurt for a second; then I woke up.

As I looked down the impossible had happened. My hand was still wrapped
around the coin!
It seemed to have gotten smaller and lighter as it went from
the land of dreams
to the land of the living, but nevertheless, I had it!!!

No one was ever going to believe this,
unless, this too was a dream.
 
                                                   Nocturnal Day Dream - Had a dream last night

                                                                                                                   Pg 171
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As I slowly opened my clenched fist, I could not wait to see what it was, I had come
back with!
It was a brown button. Carefully, I examined my pajamas and saw where
the missing button had been pulled from. “Goddamn it,” I muttered, so disheartened
in realizing the impossible had (once again) not come true. I put it on my nightstand
before drifting away again. Within minutes, I was driving a car made of solid gold on
streets I knew like the back of my hand. In reality, these streets only exist in dreams.




At first, I was driving through a quiet mountainside. No matter where I turned another road
opened up, and so I followed it. Driving was fun, and I was doing it so naturally I was
unimpressed with the mechanics of it all. I was soon on the main road, going around
in a
zigzag pattern, until I came to a red barn situated in the middle of the street.

It was a pleasant day, and I'm sure the sun was shining as I stepped out of the car and began
walking toward the facade. I went to walk around it, but the barn had been erected on a cliff.
It was here where the road ended.
Just looking down made me tremble with fear! Even though
there was an ocean of water below, the sheer thought of it being so high up literally took my
breath away!
It was deathly quiet as I opened the door and stepped inside. The farm building
was long abandoned. As I ambled through, making my way to the window, I could now see the
road continuing from where it left off under the house! “How is that even possible?” I thought.

I was now facing a dilemma.

Considering there were only two options, I could either Aleave the car behind
and continue on foot, or B go back. I needed to make a decision and fast.


Sitting down at one of the tables, I picked up an old dusty menu and my eyes began to close.



A mild chattering had begun in the kitchen and I heard one of the patrons ask his waitress
for a glass of water.
I don't remember how many people were in the place, but there weren't
many. It's strange how the past and future collide in dreams, without you ever picking up
on
it!
I was now wondering how long it would take them to bring my dinner; since everyone
else was eating, I just assumed they would feed me as well. H
earing the strike of a wooden
match
from afar, it wasn't long before I began to smell that wretched smoke!

My mother was probably tucking me in with a cigarette dangling loosely from her
lips, and I would not have been more certain of that fact, had I awoken in flames!

The voices then diminished and the external noise became
the singing of insects in a country field toward midnight.


I then awoke to the sound of a car beeping, and realized I must have fallen asleep at the wheel.

I continued to drive, only now I was driving a beat up taxi. The roads were immaculately
covered in white linoleum, and the city could not accurately be described. Harmony was
chatting away with some long haired hippy in the back seat, and overall they seemed to be
quite happy conversing. Even though he acted overly placid, like a monk. As I watched her
run her fingers along the contours of his face, he seemed to be oblivious to her advances and
stared out the side window. I asked them where they wanted to go, but they ignored me; as if
they couldn't hear me, but there was no partition. “I'm just going to keep driving, until you tell
me where you want to go. It's not fair what you're doing to me.” I said, feeling very hurt and
confused. As I looked at Harmony through the rear view mirror, I confessed to her my heart.

                                                                      The Ivy League - Funny how love can be

“I don't understand what's going on. I've always been nice to you, and you've always been nice
back.
If something's wrong we can fix it.” They were now laughing at me, like I was a clown
while inside I was dying. Suddenly, the car was getting higher like it was on some kind of lift,
and I began to panic! We were now miles off the ground, and I did not know how to bring it
back down. I had to hold the wheel steady and hope we wouldn't hit anything and topple!

                                                                      The Zoofs - Not so near

“Harmony,” I said terrified, but when I turned to look she was gone. They must have gotten out
of the car when we were still on the ground. I looked behind the seat to make sure they weren't
fooling around, when I saw something on the floor. It was shimmering, but there was no light
reflected from it. I reached over the seat to try to pick it up, but it was too far down. I then
hunched over and strained my arm to reach it, when the floor gave out like a falling elevator.


Not a second too soon I thought, with my fist tightly clenched while trying to maintain

my balance, which now hinged solely on my lower abdominal muscles! As I managed
to maneuver myself back into the driver's seat, I began to closely inspect the item which
had now become old and tarnished. It was Harmony's peace ring. You don't remove
something which is a part of you and leave it behind, unless you're through with it. Maybe
she loves this guy and the 'little ring' signifies the 'little boy' she left behind. That's it,
I'm
being left behind. Why would she do that to me if I did nothing wrong? Or did I?

                                                                      The Others - Until I heard it from you


                                                                                                                   Pg 172
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Dreams are purely an extension of waking life. In life, everything has a direct meaning.
You press the button, the garage door opens. You release something
from your hand,
it succumbs to the laws of gravity. In life, normal things are
usually as they seem.



In dreams however, things are not as they seem. The way I see it is the subconscious
mind is continually processing and reprocessing information. When we dream, this
information is supplied to us in an array of puzzles. Some more obvious than others,
but still, you can never take them for face value. Even if they appear to be showing
you a direct meaning. Why? Because now you are now dealing with emotions as well.

Emotions sprawled out on an inviting canvas as seen through an open door. All which
comprise you. Anger, jealously, rage. (You get the picture) Since we only use about ten
percent of our brain, we cannot solve the mystery of these puzzles; but if we only could.


                                                     
The Trade Winds - Little Susan's Dreamin'



I just needed to figure out what I did wrong, so I could fix it. But that would never explain
why she would do something like this to me. It had to be a warning! All of a sudden the
wheels must have hit a curb for the car jolted forward and something snapped. Something
big!!! It sounded like a gigantic metal rod just broke! Then in this slow moving nightmare
the car began to tilt, and was coming straight down into a parade full of people! I threw
myself to the other side of the car hoping to stabilize it, but it didn't seem to do any good.

“My God,” I gasped, “don't do this to me! I'm only a kid!” As the impact of bone collided
with hardened asphalt, it felt like I was hit in the mouth by a baseball bat! With a bloody face
and a broken tooth, I pulled myself off the hardwood floor and staggered into the bathroom;
blood running out of my mouth and nose, all over my new cowboys & Indians pajamas.


“Oh no,” I thought, “this isn't happening!” I was permanently disfigured and Harmony
was going to hate me! I know she was. In my mind, I imagined her thinking things like,
“I don't want him in my house anymore looking like that. Poor kid; no girl is ever
going to want him now. Let him go back to his toys, I'm sorry I wasted my
time
with him.”
I was terrified as I thought of what awaited me tomorrow.

I looked at the time on my new light blue electric flip clock, and it read 3:20.


                                                             The Zoo - Sometimes

Every night as I lay in bed, I would look at my wall and see darkened
shadows of automobiles
passing by in the evening hours. If they came
down my block and happened to turn, I would see them.


Strange shadows that moved in a sinister fashion across my darkened wall and ceiling.
How eerie were these
nocturnal adumbrations! They visit without ever stopping, before
fading into obscurity and
out. There was a sense of mystery about them that made lying
in bed kind of interesting. Since my bedroom was on the second floor, the vehicles would
have to turn right or
I would only hear them. If they kept going straight, they would wind
up parked in our driveway
alongside the house. On weekends, I would stay up extra late
contemplating the events
of the day, and waiting to see who happened to pass by.

My favorite was John Mortimer's 1938
Dodge pickup truck!

That terrible beast with its failing hydraulics and engine that sounded like it was
always 
half asleep. Somehow it seemed to manage to get itself around without puttering out!
I noticed that
each vehicle had its own distinct sound, and I knew exactly when certain
vehicles were
approaching. I also noticed most people couldn't afford to buy a new car
or truck
and were driving earlier models. They were slower and noisier, but a lot more
interesting to me
! It was 1972, and I didn't have a clue what the new day would bring.

Turning on the light, I went into the bathroom to look in the
mirror. Gazing at my own
image, I found I'd been woven into the tapestry of the moment. I couldn't look at
myself
anymore. Walking back to my bedroom, I closed the door. I crawled back into bed
with
my stomach churning and eventually managed to find some solace in sleep.


                                                      Tommy Roe - Melancholy mood

                                                                                                                   Pg 173
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Saturday morning, I awoke to the sound of banging and found my lip was
pulsating. Mother put some peroxide on a cotton ball and told me to hold it
there. It fizzled and then it stung. You're going out to see your friend today,
she asked? Maybe later, I said, and went up to do some studying.


From my room, I could still hear the repetitive tacking of the local siding
contractors. Harmony must have hired them to replace some of the asbestos
cement siding on her parents house, for that was where most of the noise was
coming from. The rapid succession of clacking to those white cementitious tiles
was beginning to grate on my nerves. Wait a minute, it's New year's day. . .

                                 Nobody works on new year's day!



I stuck my head out the window to find the air temperature frosty, but not
exceedingly cold. A man holding one of the square sheets turned in my direction
to pick up the hammer he put down. That's when it hit me; this guy is of Indian
descent and must be either a very good acquaintance or possibly a cousin.

Now I was angry about the noise, this guy, and the dream! I thought about
slamming the window down with force, so he heard it, but it may have
shattered and I would have gotten the belt. . . It just wasn't worth it.


                                              The Baytowners - Goes to show just how wrong you can be



Upstairs, I played with the broken tooth until it fell out. No big deal, it was
lose anyway.
Since today was New Years day, my Grandparents came over
to celebrate. They brought the usual Stauffer's star cookies and an interesting 
assortment of pastries from the local sweet shoppe. Within no time at all
they were
drinking and telling stories and boasting of life's big events. My
grandmother was rambling
on about department store values and the sales
going on at Bohack, while mother pleasantly
agreed, sipping her cocktail.




Her cocktail of the that particular era was either a Tom Collins, or a Manhattan;
I couldn't say which, because I wasn't taking notes of the event. I do remember,
however, my father who usually drank Scotch on the rocks (on special occasions)
had whipped himself up something called a harvey wallbanger. . .
How strange!

I do not remember when the tacking of the asbestos siding had stopped,
because there was so much commotion in the dining room who could think?

I recall my dad talking about buying a dump truck for his new contraction
corporation, while my maternal grandmother was talking to my paternal
grandmother about how to make the best tasting Chicken Cacciatore.

My grandfather was now talking about his job as a milkman
. How on Friday
morning of soon-to-be Christmas Eve, nearly half the people on his route put
a shot of whiskey in the milk box instead of his usual tip!After the fifteenth
shot, I was feeding the bushes! You should have seen me driving home,” he
hollered!!! The conversation soon progressed into fishing and how wonderful
the music of Bing Crosby's era was, while I couldn't have cared any less.


                                                 Bing Crosby - White Christmas




I was so angry and upset
from that dream, I forfeited an entire Saturday to isolate
myself from the rest of the world.
I could think of nothing better to do now than study.


At around 2:00 on a Sunday afternoon, I ventured from my house to traipse over there.

No one appeared to be home, but something didn't feel right to me, and so I didn't stay.
I came back an hour later, and then an hour after that. She was home now cause I could
hear movement, and so I knocked and waited patiently for her to open the side door.

“What happened, did you lose your key?” “No,” I said in a very despondent tone, “I
wasn't sure if you had company.” “
I had company yesterday when my cousins came
to do some repair work.” “Wonderful,” I uttered in a tone of disgust. “Do we have a
problem here?” “I don’t know, do we?” In no way could I even look her in the eyes,
I was so aggravated. After trying to evaluate my condition, she asked if someone had
hurt me; realizing only now my upper lip was swollen. “No,” I said, “but I'm not your
'boyfriend,' so why should you care?” With that final insult she became furious and pulled
me by the wrist into the living room, where she pushed me down hard on the couch.

“You have no idea what it is like to carry on a boyfriend and girlfriend relationship!”

I looked her straight in the eyes and in ultimate defiance said, “show me.” She shook
her head very slowly as she moved back. So shocked, so wounded, but why? Was I
that ugly? She always told me I was cute and handsome; maybe she lied. Harmony
just stood there looking at me as if she were about to vomit. “You want to know what
it's like?She said in seething anger! “Then I will show you what it's like!!!

Forcibly she grabbed the lower half of my jaw and brought her mouth over to where
mine was. From there, I was given the most tender kiss a boy could ever hope to
receive from a girl. Our mouths filled with passion; two hearts ensnared.

Surprisingly, it wasn't rough or angry. No, in fact it was the complete opposite.

                                                           The Thunders - Take me the way I am



The kiss lasted anywhere from two to three minutes, and I didn't make any attempt to
pull away. When her lips pulled apart from mine, I saw the look she was giving me
and realized it was over. A look so detestable, I thought she was going to recoil and
punch me in my mouth repeatedly until she broke it. . . The mouth she kissed me on.


                                                                                                                   Pg 174
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Like hurting me in such a way would be the only way things ever had any chance of
getting back to normal again. She hated me so much, but why? Because of the lover's
kiss? Why couldn't she be attracted to me, like I was to her? As I looked into those
burning, enraged eyes my heart sunk. The fact that I had failed to win her over, and the
fact that she now despised me and looked as though she might even kill me, took me to
a place of such eloquent sorrow, I was beside myself. “Are you happy now? You can
tell all your little friends at school you got a big juicy kiss from the pretty woman across
the street. I'll even wave to them if you want. . . Now get the fuck out of my house.”

                                                   The Zephyrs - I just can't take it




As I stood up, two tears fell in unison, and she knew at that moment I was not going to betray
her. As I reached for her hand and took hold of it, I spoke from the deepest region of my heart
when I said to her in truth, “that was beautiful. I love you so much, Harmony; thank you.” As
I stood there, gazing into the mirror of her eyes, I spoke again. “I just want you to know how I
feel for you as a person. How I feel for you deep inside. Please, don't hate me for that. While
tears poured out in separate streams, they converged into one at the bottom of my chin. There
they struggled to hold on before falling to the floor. “If I was older, I would give you the world.
I would never treat you bad, and I'd protect you always. I would even give you, my own soul.


As I spoke, it was almost like she was blown away. Whatever demon was standing in her place
before was sent back to wherever it came from, and I was standing beside Harmony again,
pouring out for her my feelings as though it were my life's blood. Immediately, she embraced
me and almost broke my ribs! “I am so sorry I reacted that way to you. Please understand, a long
time ago I had a very bad experience with someone I once loved dearly. The way you changed
on me like that reminded me of him. Why did you do that for? Why did you turn on me like that?”

“I had a terrible dream last night. You were with a bearded man, and you kept ignoring me.
Then you laughed at me when I was trying to talk to you, and left me all alone in a dangerous
place. It felt like you wanted me to die, and
I couldn't understand why!” Warm salty tears
continued to pour from my eyes. Placing her hand on my
cheek, she spoke.“Anytime you have
those dreams, come to me; talk to me okay?” “I
feel so stupid blaming you for something
that happened in a dream, but if it wasn't for that dream,
you wouldn't have kissed me.”


                                               “The kiss never happened.”


I gasped silently and moved back hitting the wall. “It didn't?” I uttered the words so bewildered
and in shock, that I wasn't really sure if we had actually kissed at all. I felt like a deer paralyzed
in the headlights, not realizing the barrel of the gun was about to blow my heart into a million
unrecognizable pieces. (((again))) “So you're not my. . .” I was going to say girlfriend, but I threw
my hands up to my face and made some kind of terrific noise that must have startled Harmony,
for she held me tight and would not release me. I was trembling like I had contracted Bell's Palsy
as Harmony whispered aloud, “I love you Charles, more than you could know. Yes we kissed,
and yes I wanted to kiss you for some time now, but would never have allowed myself to do it.”

“Does that mean you're my girlfriend,” I exclaimed? “I am, but can you promise me you will not
breathe a word of what happens between us to anyone?” “I promise.” “The day you do, is the day I
must say goodbye to you forever. Do you realize how serious this is?” “I do,” I said, like I would have
said had we been standing at the alter exchanging our vows together. “Okay, our lives are now in each
others hands.” (And she smiled) “Harmony?” “Hmmm?” “I really love you more than anyone in this
whole world.” “As do I you,” she replied, as a princess would have in the most beautiful of fairy tales
!




                                                                                                                   Pg 175
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The order of life had been irreversibly changed! Together we altered each other's
destiny to seal our own fate. In a recondite chapter of a non-written book lies a story
that may never be told. My joy will be to live in the dream and partake of its glory,
and besides, no one really needs to know such intimacies. I would lose too much
time, and Harmony would never understand. In addition to every gentle thing
laced in secrecy one should always keep in mind, nothing lasts forever. There
is no time now for storytelling. I have a woman who needs me by her side,
and every waking moment that passes is undeniably hers.


That evening as I closed the door to my bedroom, I lay upon my bed
without making a sound. There in the solemn confines of my quiet
room, shall I adorate and ponder all things said and done today.

I thought of how her kiss tasted like bubble gum and salad, and I
smiled proudly to myself. You did it, buddy, you did it, am I'm so
proud of you.” I was beaming with joy, and elated beyond words.

On this very day, I have done as a child what no other has professed before.
Like a magician preparing to elude the masses, I have performed the impossible.
Not only have I stepped through the eye of a needle, but I would lead Harmony
through it as well.
Hand in hand, we will face life's problems together. Never to
be alone again, for I found a stable dwelling within the heart of an exotic princess.

Just looking into those magical eyes of hers uplifts my soul and
takes me far away from this ordinary place, I once called home.




From that moment forward when we sat down on the couch, Harmony would put her arm around
me, and hold me close. I loved the feel of her warm embrace. How she touched and caressed
my face and neck, and held my hand so lovingly. It was almost as if she had some kind of magic
spell over me
that made me subservient to her every whim. I was intoxicated, not only by her
outward appearance, but by this inner quality she had that molded her into what she was!

This aura of being that flowed from her and made me never want to leave her side.

                             
Sons of Adam - I told you once before

Her altruistic personality was merely a reflection of her gentle spirit, and the
love she would offer me would far surpass that of any gift given to impress.



In my mind, our love would not only brighten, but enlighten an entire world!

A world whose concept of joy comes from arranged marriages, that have been
handed down through generations like a death sentence; or a world of genital
mutilation and genocide that carry the weak and the wounded from loving homes
to the outskirts of a land that is inhabitable. In my mind, I really thought that
because I found peace, the entire world was now smiling with me as well. . .

What a fool I was to actually believe it.

What I am sure of is this; and that is once in a great while
God will produce in your lifetime
a miracle. The rest of the
time he just sits back and watches us from a distance.


Never forget that God has given his people free-will.
We can do whatever we want down here with little interference.

In the next life, however, we will be entirely at his mercy.


                                             The Fifth - Yesterdays today

My parents had no idea we had taken to each other so well. Together we cleverly
enacted a scheme which I suggested to Harmony a few weeks earlier. She just
improvised on it a bit. “Your younger brother has come to live with you and he's
in a wheelchair, therefore he cannot leave the house!” It was a brilliant plan and
it worked like a charm; now I could even sleep over! My parents were too busy
fighting to worry about whether or not their little boy would be sleeping with the
beautiful young woman across the street, whose younger brother we named
Timmy, just so happens to be crippled.
. .

                       It was like we had committed the perfect crime!



                                Maywood - I'm in love for the very first time


When I first mentioned this to Harmony, she thought I had gone mad.
That I
could not be serious. When she realized I was, in fact, dead serious she said,
“I just want to lay this out for you nice and easy. It is on 'your head' should
something go wrong from this asinine stunt! Then I will be forced to kidnap
you, and you will have ruined my life!” Later that evening she said to me,
I don't believe you understand the severity of the situation! Do you have
even an inkling of what could go possibly go wrong here? Answer me!”

“I understand what could go wrong, but it won't; don't you trust me, babe?”
“If you are asking me if I trust your judgement, well that's still undecided.

The day after that, Harmony informs me she has made a new rule;
it was called, Plan “T.”
We only had to use it once the following year, thank heavens!

It was during the transition of spring into summer; but the page
from the journal deteriorated, coming free from its bindings, and
it is not known as to where its precise location lies in the story.


Me and Harmony were making out in the living room, when there
was a sudden knock on the door. “Who’s there,” yelled Harmony!


“It’s Kathy!”
A look of desperation overtook her.
“It’s your mom.
Plan “T,” and get up there without making a sound.

“I’m coming!”
“Hi Harmony, sorry to bother you, but my phone’s on the fritz!”
“No problem; won’t you come in?”
“Sure.”
“I’d invite you into the living room, but the place is a disaster zone!”
“I could hear my son from here.”
“Kids will be kids, right?”

“I have trading cards too! You have Cleon Jones!
I have Willie Mays, Thurman Munson, and Roberto Clemente!

“Charlie, your mom is here!!!”
“Be right down, and don’t go anywhere, cause I’ll be right back!”

“Hi mom, what is it?”
“I just wanted to tell you, we’re having a barbecue in the backyard.
You’re welcome to take Harmony and Timmy if you want!” “That
would have been nice, if we didn’t just eat.” I blurted out, as my
stomach growled! “Okay, that’s all I guess, I’ll see you in two hours.”
“I’ll make sure he’s home on time.”
“Bye now!”

“You really handled that like a pro,” replied Harmony, looking rather impressed.
“I’m never gonna let you down, baby! Come here, I think I deserve a kiss!”

Lucky for us, we never had to do that again!!!

                                                                                                                   Pg 176
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“You know what; since you've taken it upon yourself to play God,
why don't we go the full nine yards? I want you to lift up your shirt.”


Upon
removing my shirt, Harmony proceeded to give me a hickey on the under part
of my arm which covered my armpit. “As long as you keep your arm down, your
parents will not see it. If they do happen to see it, just say you were wrestling,

and they will think it's a bruise.” “Whenever my cousins get a new boyfriend, I
see
these marks. What do they mean?” “It-means you're mine; you belong to me.”

Only recently did Harmony make the decision to take an indefinite leave from
her brother's antique store. Whereupon, all time would be devoted to each other.

I wasn't worried in the slightest about my parents wanting to one day meet
Timmy, for they weren't interested in anyone or anything but themselves.


Aside from them being two workaholics who were never home, when they
finally got home they were ultimately exhausted. Nonetheless, they were
never too tired to argue. Apart from all this they had more pressing issues to
attend to. Utility bills. The mortgage. Homeowner's insurance. Car insurance.
Property tax. The car when it broke down, and it broke down a lot. Food 
and clothing expenses, not to mention health insurance! So I didn't think they
would be breaking down Harmony's door to rush me home for TV dinner!



If they could save a dollar here and there, they would.

Besides,
those prefabricated meals were nothing
more than hospital food with a lot more flavor.


My mom and dad thanked Harmony on more than one occasion for taking
care of me and cooking for me, and she always marveled to them about
how
well-behaved I was! They even offered to pay her handsomely on
several occasions for the service, but she flatly refused!


These are all the scribbled notes I have collected from those years.
Pages once part of a journal, kept in order by recollection of events.
Now bear in mind, the memories I have stored away from this
period of time are sketchy and faded. Sadly, they are held together
with only tears, and I am adding life to them as we go along.



I can vaguely remember the Friday of January 14th. I was at Jenny Chángs house down
the street, and she was trying to help me with simple math. Her grandmother brought
refreshments as we sat at the kitchen table, but my mind was unable to focus. First we
went through the flash cards, and she got most of them right; I on the other hand did the
opposite. We then tried it on paper, but math just didn't make sense to me, and nothing,
nor no one could make me understand any part of it! Occasionally, she would come to
my house, and we'd talk about schoolwork, but aside from that there wasn't much to
consider. I'm pretty sure the feeling was mutual. Needless to say, our friendship lasted
well into the following year, before dissolving away when she moved up north.


It was around 4:30 when I arrived home. Harmony had not called me all week, and all
week I remained in a state of limbo. Since she wasn't working with her brother anymore,
I was growing very uncertain of our relationship; if it could even be called that. . .


                                              
The Basooties - You didn't try to call me

It was Sunday, January 16th, and the temperature had continued to fall. Yesterday we had
a high of 32 degrees, while today would reach a high of only 12. As we sat side by side on
the couch, her arm wrapped around me holding me tight, I was desperately trying to think
of something to say; I just couldn't think of the right words to utter. Just then the wind blew
and the vent cover to the kitchen wall fan started to make that familiar tapping sound.

For no apparent reason whatsoever, I took her left hand and began licking the tips of her fingers,
starting with the pinky and working my way down to her delicate index finger. She sounded
as if she was going into shock as she said to me in a shaky and trembling voice. “You have
no---idea---what you---are doing to me.” I looked at the palm of her alluring hand and began
licking and kissing it. All those gorgeous fingers, I thought, and it did something to my body
that had not yet been explained to me. I then put her thumb in my mouth, and she went crazy;
kissing my neck and mouth, as if she had the fever! All sloppy and wet and I loved it!

I embraced her and we consummated our love. . .
This went on until December 1974.


A day in my life which tragically came to be known as Dark Monday. I wrote
it upon my wall as though I were possessed by demons. A day so terrible it would
change the course of my life forever; but in '72, everything was calm and peaceful
for the storm that was yet to come was as of this moment, not even a whisper.


As we got closer to one another, Harmony would cook for me regularly and even help
with my homework. She asked what my favorite foods were, and what I would like her
to buy from the store. I said to her, “whatever you eat, I will eat too,” and I always did.


                                                                                                                   Pg 177
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Even when she bought that awful okra and Brussels sprouts. Oh, and lest we forget
those revolting turnips which made my stomach churn with nausea beyond compare!

Turnips I would not have eaten for anyone! I did it as a labor of love and would
continue doing it. Even though she cooked them in spices brimming with curry,
(which would become as addicting to me as garam masala) it couldn't mask the
entire flavor of the vegetable. As I grew accustomed to eating them, I also got
used to the
nauseating discomfort they produced. The thought of having to eat
them or risk
losing Harmony was the formation of my neurosis.

In my head, I was sure if you were to disassemble the female brain, you would find the
part that loves it when a man is agreeable and does everything in accordance to her will.

Eventually, I would come to learn that nothing was further from the truth!

The same should apply to food put in front of him, I thought. If a man eats everything on
his plate with no complaints, how can he be criticized? Most children complain of certain
foods and gripe if the soda is warm, but a man should consume everything he is served.

Even if the iced tea is too strong, made without
sugar, and tastes like a powerful analgesic!


Harmony often said that one day I was going to make some lucky
lady a wonderful husband, and I always thought she meant her.


Come to think of it, I do remember a few things I told her to pick up from the store.

Doritos taco chips
*when they were made from the original recipe*
Quisp cereal, (with the pink Martian on the box) and those Beer Nuts!

I had to have them!!!



I knew about Beer Nuts since the nineteen sixties, when my father frequented the local
gin mills in the afternoon hours of the day. He would order me a soda on tap and I'd sit
next to him on the bar stool, nibbling away on an unlimited supply of those sweet and
salty, sugar coated peanuts! The bartender had no problem filling it back up for me
whenever he saw it was getting low, because the more I ate, the more my father drank!


“You got it,” she said, like a vixen who had just stolen my heart and had no intention of
ever giving it back! “I'll make a mental note of it for the next time I go. Is there anything
else I can get for you?” “No that's all, thanks!” Whenever I wanted them, Harmony made
sure to personally hand feed me each one! Even when I wasn't craving them, I'd find
myself requesting them anyway. How delicately she would bring each one to my lips,
and watch so intensely as my tongue took the peanut from the tips of her enticing fingers.

Harmony always made sure to roll the peanut around on her thumb and forefinger, so
I had more to lick and savor! After this, she caressed my neck and back. When she finished
I would be drawn to her breasts. She allowed me to feast on them, and told me it was all
a learning experience. In return, I allowed her access to every part of my body. She even
touched me deep inside the forbidden region, where hesitation brings delight to fulfillment.


                                                          Harrison - There's time

What an exquisite woman you are indeed my love,
for whom no man could ever be worthy.


Harmony and I were always happy together, unlike my parents who clearly
appeared to be more content when they parted company. That was because
in the beginning they must have felt equally responsible for having me, and
seemed as though they had some moral obligation to continue living alongside
each other; rather than sort out their differences and move on with their lives.

“First one up the stairs gets to undress the other!” With that she ran
up the stairs, and I gave chase. My heart was pounding with excitement,
as I narrowly found myself closing in on her! “I win, you're all mine!”

As my heart beat steadily, my mind needed a brief moment to focus.
I then looked around the room with excitable eyes
in awe of what I saw.


Up until this moment I was forbidden to enter Harmony's room. I was
told only once and had to swear upon our friendship that I would not
enter. Not until the time was right, she replied firmly. I kept my promise
because a man must live by his word. If he cannot, then he is not a man.

In this particular room which was painted “royal peach,” there was a fully
enclosed canopy bed. A bed so elaborately adorned it looked like a room
inside a room! Adjacent to the illustrious sleeping quarters was a slender
cheval mirror made of cherry wood and a beautifully crafted Elizabethan
chair. To the left hung a rather strange, but very detailed Indian painting.



“Do you like my room,” she asked buoyantly? I told her I loved it, and in all honesty
I did! Like an elegantly poised actress from the roaring twenties, she responded by
saying with lips pursed and her head held high, “I am merely a collector of wares!”


                                                                                                                   Pg 178
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Hastily, she ran her hands under my shirt before pulling it up and over my head. Harmony
then began to remove my clothing, and it wasn't long after this where we explored the
boundaries of each other. And who should care? It was my right to want and to need this
woman. To hold such a precious gift in my arms without wavering. Hell, I didn't falter in
the slightest. Just because I was young, didn't mean I was dumb; I just needed to learn.

It didn't mean I didn't deserve her!

Okay you're right, maybe I didn't deserve her, for I could never be that worthy.
And if 'I' was unworthy, how could any man even think for one second that 'he'
could be worthy?
Just because one is older, earns an income to support himself
financially and possesses a vehicle to get himself around doesn't necessarily mean
he is worthy! For some, it would be like laying claim to a magnificent trophy.



She was not an object, but rather an angel in the form of a woman who came to bless
my world. That is how I saw it. I'm pretty sure that if God judges people based on the
love and respect they hold dear to one another, then it is safe to say that we would be
revered by the conscience of our own two hearts beating in a passionate and loving
embrace. Not as an act of sin, but rather as a gift of purest love to one another.



Here in a timeless void of such intensity, we were endeared to each other as we adhered
to the promises we made, honoring the will to grant wishes in the form of all human
compassion. This was our will. Hers to love and care for me, and mine, that I may
offer myself unto her. To please her above all things, and to honor and adore her
without end. My gift was pure, for deep down inside this young adolescent body was the
consolation of a lifetime promise; and who is the stranger in the shadows to condemn?

Do you know me, that you seek to bring me pain? Who are you to say what is right and
what is wrong for me? Guide yourself in your own affairs and surely you will find your own
faults, but most importantly, keep your distance for your laws do not apply in our world.
“Never speak vile about love, my darling,” Harmony once told me. “Be a man, without
being the animal man wishes to become.” In the end, love would become my life's work.


                               The Charles Pendelton Orchestra - Happiness in Mourning

On occasion, she would dance for me like a harem doll to songs like, The march of the
jingle jangle people by San Francisco Earthquake, Artificial face by The Hobbits, or
Catch the wind by Donovan, which just so happened to be her favorite; and whenever
she danced, I simply could not take my eyes off her! Like an artist, she painted my
world a color I had never before
seen. . . A color I could no longer live without.

                                                       
The Avant-Garde - Naturally stoned



Sometimes, when she listened to her Indian music, Harmony would dress up
for me in those adoring outfits of hers!
The multicolored saris, the crepe salwar
kameez, or my favorite,
the tangerine ghagra choli. What really drove me wild
was when she wore that gold tikka on her forehead! When I first saw it, I asked
her if it hurt. She laughed and replied, “what do you think it's drilled in?” I then
imagined my mother wearing it and exploded in laughter! Most of the time she
would simply paint a little red bindi dot from sindoor powder and leave it at that.

It made her different from every other woman on the planet!


It was explained to me that in her particular culture, the little dot tended to
signify marriage which made me extremely happy. However, when any of her
relatives arrived, she would always hurry to remove it before camouflaging
the area with turmeric and rouge to make everything appear normal again.
This overwhelmed me with such immense sorrow, it was beyond compare.

She would always apologize for doing it, and I would always forgive her.


During the day, she would wear either her chiffon kurta, the plain beige churidar,
or a traditional Western outfit any typical American young lady would find
fashionable. As time went on, I secretly took down the names of all these outfits
and when I got home, I'd transcribe them to my journal. Otherwise, I would never
have been able to remember them! Even though most of the names took weeks, if
not months to research because they were badly misspelled and I didn't have an
Indian dictionary, nor a state-of-the-art computer to aid in my advancement.

I couldn't very well jot down notes in her presence! The last thing I needed was
for Harmony to know I was keeping a journal account of our lives together! She
would never understand, I was doing it to preserve our love. Even if someone
did see it, the writing is a combination of fast script and print, very similar to a
doctor's prescription only the doctor can read. So no, I wasn't worried about it.



                                                                                                                   Pg 179
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The one thing that really fascinated me about Harmony was that she wasn't
Americanized. This country had not changed her. She knew who she was,
and she wasn't afraid to show it. Yes, Harmony still adhered to the customs
of her people, and as for her parents, she had only the utmost praise and
devotion. Anything they asked of her would instantly be recognized, and if
she gave her word on something, you could rest assured it would be fulfilled.




When she was in a playful mood, she would put a record on
the turntable and direct the lyrics at me. Taunting and teasing,
she would point her finger at me as she winked and smiled,
so coquettishly seductive, luring me to become one with her.


I did not believe in being a slave unto society's ways, and so
I did things my own way; the way they needed to be done.
If I felt like walking around in the middle of a blizzard eating
an ice cream bar, Harmony would not chastise me for it. . .

Instead, she would have one too!




Anyone who has a chance to fall in love should take the time and do so.
I myself, could find no harm in it for I was truly smitten! As a female, she
had no faults and was perfect in every aspect of her being. Every woman
it seems has some denotable flaw. . . Harmony had none.

A woman that perfect should never have graced the earth,

but I was deemed worthy by some cosmic star.

Harmony often said, in a perfect relationship the man had to be intuitive
and hear the woman or the relationship would fail. When she told me her
likes and dislikes I remembered them (((because I listened))) and never
had to write them down. When she talked I never interrupted her, and most
important of all, when a notable day comes around like your sweetheart's
birthday (((which is a given))) or your anniversary, it is imperative that you
observe and comply with due diligence! Tattoo it on your wrist if need be
because you absolutely cannot forget this day, or it hurts them beyond repair
and a mild resentment is formed. Never let it come to this point!!!

If it starts early, it will most certainly end early, and even more
important than anything else, never be afraid to say “I love you.”
It is the quintessential most important phrase on the planet.

“Don't say it, if you don't mean it!

I was in an advanced class at the time, so I caught on quickly.
Everything I did magically seemed to impress her and the more points
I scored, the more loving I received in return! It was an utterly flawless
relationship. . . Even though we had to hide our love away.


There is nothing wrong with following your own instincts,

as long as you are not following something you can't control!



I will admit, in the beginning I was prone to leaving the toilet seat up. I didn't
think anything of it until one day I came out of the bathroom just as Harmony
went in. A connection was made when she slammed the seat down with such force,
it sounded like the porcelain sink crashing through the floor!!! From that moment
forward, I never left the seat up again! Even then, she came out smiling as if she
walked in on Monday and strolled out on Friday with the sun shining! I guess
she didn't want to tell me. . . Maybe she wanted me to figure it out on my own.


Knowing that Harmony's birthday was coming up in two weeks, I asked my cousin Gloria
for some advice. “When a man loves a woman, what should he buy for her birthday that is
guaranteed to please her?” “Are you asking me this because you found a girlfriend?” “No,
this is not about me; a man and a woman.” “Well, then that depends,” she said. “On what?”
“On whether or not they had sex.” With that my cousin Patty flipped out. “Gloria! Are you an
asshole? Don't tell him that!” I then replied, “after,” and she gave me one of those mother/son
looks before asking me nervously. “Please don't tell me you dipped your wick at school.”

“I didn't dip. . . What?” “Never mind, I'm sorry. If this person is an adult, and if it was after
the fact
, then he should by all means buy her a box of long stemmed roses. And if you can't
afford the roses, I have something in my drawer that's guaranteed to please her.” “Glor-i-a!”
“It's long and it's hard and it buzzes!” With that, Patty put on a devilish grin. “You have
one of those?” “Yeah, you wanna try it?” “Try what,” I said innocently? “Nothing,” said Patty
and left the room swiftly. “Why do you want to know so much about how to please a woman?”
Said my cousin loudly, deliberately trying to instigate a response from my cousin Patty? “Are
you having sex with girls?!” “Glo-ri-a! You're fucked up, I'm telling mommy.” “Thanks,” I said
coolly and began to leave. “The guy better remember to get her a nice card, or he's gonna be
using his left hand for a while!” What the fuck are you stupid, retorted Patty furiously!!!


Later on that day, Gloria caught up with me and began annoying me with her questions.

                                        (((Why are women so curious?)))


J
ust between you and me, what's her name? What? I asked so dumbfounded and shocked
by the question my whole mind felt like it had just been erased! You heard me, she said in
an almost sweet kind of way. I opened my mouth and uttered the only name I could think of at
the time. One that no one knew, and one she would probably never remember...
Penelope.

                                                             Dave Christie - Penelope Breedlove

                                                                                                                   Pg 180
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PG 171) Love on the beach by Julie Bell - http://tinyurl.com/kecfzhx

PG 171) Treasure Island
by John Palacios - http://tinyurl.com/mxm4j2r

PG 171) Mermaid
by Ken McCracken - http://tinyurl.com/ldf2fhd

PG 172) Contemplation
by Ilene Meyer - http://www.ilenemeyer.com/

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- http://tinyurl.com/kr72ouz

PG 173) Guard your secrets well
by Mike Davis - http://tinyurl.com/mrshc9d

PG 173) Learning to walk
by Gyuri Lohmuller - http://tinyurl.com/jwlh955

Pg 173) Vintage Packard advertisement (Circa 1948)

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by Jenny Nystrom - http://tinyurl.com/msufqof

PG 174) Return to metaphysics
by
Alfio Presotto - http://tinyurl.com/m9ppaxh

PG 174) Bohack draft beer
(circa 1963) - http://tinyurl.com/m9zrw5f

PG 174) White Christmas
by Bing Crosby - http://tinyurl.com/veafu

PG 174) The first kiss
by Rezo Kaishauri - http://tinyurl.com/mm682aq

PG 175) Serpentine Seduction
by Patrick Jones - http://tinyurl.com/nvclm5e

PG 175) Elven Fortress
by Tim Hildebrandt - http://tinyurl.com/etjy2

PG 176) Eye of the needle by Vladimir Kush
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PG 176) Sacred gift by Vladimir Kush
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PG 177)
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by Quaker - http://tinyurl.com/6f2sle

PG 178) Gita solo
by Jared Nickerson - http://tinyurl.com/mmf7ske

PG 179) Untitled
by Alexei Tomin -
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PG 179) Court dancer
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