Showing newest 40 of 58 posts from December 2008. Show older posts
Showing newest 40 of 58 posts from December 2008. Show older posts

Tuesday

Holly Collins May Never Rest

!!!IF YOU'RE GOING TO KEEP VISITING THIS SITE IN ORDER TO GET TO HOLLY/JENNIFER'S BLOG, THEN YOU MIGHT AS WELL LEAVE A MESSAGE OR SOMETHING...DAMN!!!!




I link to Holly Collin's blog, American Family Receives Asylum in Europe, in the purple section at the bottom of my blog. If you've never paid attention, many great reads are located in that section.

Please read the latest update that Jennifer Collins has provided. I really wish haters would leave them the fuck alone.

Monday

Belize Survivor, part 11

"Come on, kids, bring your backpacks in and I'll show you the place," Alberto called out. They piled their stuff in the living room and Alberto gave them a tour. The living room was spacious, lavishly decorated with cream-colored walls and burnt-orange carpeting. Dramatic black drapes closed off the outside world, giving the house a cave-like feeling. The spotless kitchen looked like it had never been used to prepare a meal. The guest bedrooms were immaculate and color-coordinated – one in shades of pink and one in golden yellows. A large outdoor pool surrounded by a high wooden fence could be seen just behind the glass sliding doors of the blue bedroom in the back. Uncomfortable with the opulent surroundings, the four young people sat on the floor around a low coffee table, unsure of what would happen next.

Alberto was in a good mood. He pulled a large ornate hookah from the closet. It was solid brass with six flexible braided-cord mouthpieces. He warmed a small chunk of hashish with a match and crumbled it into the bowl of the pipe. "What do you say we enjoy a good buzz and get to know each other a little better?"

"Yeah, all right," Roger said eagerly. "That looks like some good stuff. What kind is it?"

"Lebanese blond," replied Alberto. "A friend of mine brings it into the country in the most ingenious way. He buys a fancy candelabrum made out of olive wood. Then he cuts a slab off the bottom and hollows out the base and packs it with hashish. When they x-ray the piece as carry-on luggage, it doesn't show because the olive wood is the same density as the hash."

"Way to go," said Barbara. She took a big hit off the pipe and pushed a greasy hank of hair behind her ear. "I heard of a pregnant woman who carried two kilos of cocaine underneath her belly. The customs officials started to search her because they thought the belly was fake. But when they saw her nipples were dark, they realized she really was pregnant and they stopped searching her."

Alberto's eyes flickered; he liked her story. "Hey, good idea. I've got some coke in the fridge. Shall I cut us a few lines?"

Everyone responded enthusiastically, except Alexis. She had snorted cocaine a few times and liked it. For that exact reason, it was a drug she never intentionally sought out. But it was still difficult to turn down if it was right in front of her.

Over the next two hours, they found themselves having a hell of a good time. The coke was excellent and there was lots of it. Their host poured the wine and the pipe was kept full. The music on the sound system was fantastic. Through the haze of indulgence, Alexis forgot her misgivings.

"God, I feel good," said Rico. His face flushed a deep rose, his pupils dilated. "I feel hot though. I'm sweating like a pig."

"What do you say we all go for a swim?" Alberto suggested.

"Ah, that would be perfect right about now," said Roger.
Barbara giggled. "I don't have a bathing suit."

"That's okay," said Alberto. "It's more fun to skinny dip anyway. Hey, it's my place. We can get as loose as we want."

Under the influence of the drug, Alexis peeled off her clothes and plunged into the water. After swimming its length twice, she reclined back against the side of the pool. It felt wonderfully sensuous on her bare skin. Roger and Barbara were walking into the pool by degrees. They were even less attractive unclad. Alexis saw Alberto watching her out of the corner of his eye until he was distracted by Rico climbing out of the pool. A furtive smile crossed Alberto's lips when he saw Rico's slim naked hips and effeminate walk.

The New Fatherhood, Same As the Old One

I have commented on various blog discussions that the role of the father has not changed in decades (and yes, they always ignore me). This is a fact. All this hoopla about fathering and wanting to be a father, is just talk.

From Dr. Michael Flood's Fatherhood and Fatherlessness (emphasis mine):
Perceptions of fathering have shifted, and the image of the nurturant and involved father now exerts a powerful influence on popular perceptions. However, the culture of fatherhood has changed much faster than the conduct. Fathers share physical care of children equally in only 1-2 per cent of families, and are highly involved in day-to-day care in only 5-10 per cent of families. Many fathers aspire to do more fathering than they actually perform, yet they face important economic, policy and cultural constraints to their involvement.
I mean, think about it...even if a father is relegated to weekend duty and summer visitation, how much "business" does he have to take care of, regarding the child, during those times? Biodad gets to have all the fun times designated to him, while the real caretaking remains with the mother. Heaven forbid if he has a second wife.

I would also argue that the "barriers" that men have faced in fulfilling their "fatherly" roles, is also a result of the value and priority they place on childrearing/caretaking and not solely the economic and political constraints as Dr. Flood specified. Mothers have "evolved" outside of homemaking and caretaking roles to include employment and community responsibilities. It has not particularly diminished our motherly roles. We are and have been changing politics to suit those needs.

Domestic Violence in New York

New York State has released its domestic violence stats for 2007. You may not want to bother reading the report (or listening to the podcast) because the data was likely compiled by the Feminazi Klan that has taken over the state..so it just can't be valid.  Then again, what stats are valid?

Shhhh, Don't Call It By Its Name

In the recent past, I read an article that detailed how news outlets fails to label certain crimes as domestic violence. I had never thought about that until I started paying attention starting with the Hudson murders. It's called murder, homicide, fatal shootings, killings...but rarely do they mention it as domestic violence on the national news stations.

So, the California NOW chapter is making a pleading...we already know what it is, we just want everyone else to know. How can we be freed if we never know the truth?

Sunday

Check This

"Misogynist—A man who hates women as much as women hate one another"--H.L. Mencken

And, oh, yes we do hate one another...that's the way oppression functions and the patriarchy thrives...

The Potential Costs of Father Presence

I have previously spoken of the marriage promotion initiatives set forth by the Bush administration, and the fatherhood initiatives that Obama has supported. Do people not understand than when we as mothers decided that a man should not be in our lives, it is for the benefit of the children?

Sometimes, it takes us awhile and we blame it on love. We want to see the best in a man, in a father. We break our necks encouraging the father-child relationship, thinking that our children would be fatally flawed without the presence of a man. But then one day, we wake up and decide that this shit just ain't workin', and that our children will never thrive if we do not remove the negativity from their presence.

From Dr. Michael Flood's Fatherhood and Fatherlessness (emphasis mine):
While ‘responsible fatherhood’ policies, for example in the US, have been based on the assumption that the effects of fathers’ presence are uniform across families, recent research finds instead that fathers’ presence has diverse effects on children, and that in some cases these are negative. Some fathers, particularly some unmarried and non-resident fathers, have difficulty in providing positive parenting experiences for their children. In addition, a minority of fathers engage in high levels of antisocial behaviour, and to the extent that they are present in their children’s lives, their children’s well-being suffers in significant ways. In other words, in the case of some fathers their presence in fact has a harmful effect on children while their absence is beneficial.

Both points suggest that the uncritical promotion of father presence can have unintended negative effects on women, children and families. Despite this, on the basis of the finding that children of two-biological-parent families do better in general than children in single-parent families, some researchers and policymakers in the US have come to the conclusion that children will benefit if their parents are encouraged to get married and stay married (Jaffee et al. 2003, p. 110). They emphasise marriage rather than mere cohabitation and have enacted a series of pro-marriage policies via welfare reform especially. These include removing regulations that potentially discourage marriage, funding programs to promote marriage, and providing further incentives such as cash rewards to couples who get married.

However, among the American parents and families typically addressed in such policies, a substantial share of the targeted fathers exhibit characteristics which are not conducive to increased engagement with families including negative behaviours such as violence, drug abuse and other criminal activity (Waller and Bailey 2002, p. 1). Moreover, such negative characteristics were also displayed by fathers who were married either at or after the birth, so marriage may not encourage men to change their behaviours (Waller and Bailey 2002, p. 37). American research also finds that while the economic benefits of marriage are especially strong among women from disadvantaged families, among women who marry but later divorce, poverty rates exceed those of never-married women (Lichter et al. 2003, p. 60). The authors emphasise that, ‘Marriage alone will not offset the long-term deleterious effects associated with unwed childbearing, nor will it eliminate the existing disparity in poverty and welfare receipt among various racial and ethnic groups.’ (Lichter et al. 2003, p. 60)

The US Fragile Families Study follows a birth cohort of 4700 children, three quarters of whom were born to unmarried parents. Compared to married fathers, unmarried fathers had higher rates of illicit drug use, partner violence and depression (Jaffee et al. 2003, p. 111). Compared to resident young fathers (and controlling for marital status), non-resident young fathers were poorer, more likely to be unemployed, revealed lower thresholds for fear, anxiety and anger, had more drug and alcohol problems, and engaged in more crime and abusive behaviour towards women. These involvements compromise such men’s ability to be reliable sources of emotional and financial support. As to whether unwed fathers’ social, economic and psychological prospects would improve if they were married to the mothers of their children, the evidence is inconclusive (Jaffee et al. 2003, p. 111).

There are good reasons, therefore, to be wary of the simplistic promotion of father presence and marriage as ways to improve children’s well-being. It is dangerous to advocate that all non-resident fathers be enticed or pushed into residing with their
children and that unmarried fathers marry the mothers of their children without addressing such issues. Efforts at marriage promotion must consider the real and legitimate concerns which inform some low-income single mothers’ perceptions of non-marriage as a better alternative to marriage (Jaffee et al. 2003, p. 121). Some fathers (and mothers) are in no position to provide quality parenting and their presence in families will, in fact, do more harm than good. Of course this does not mean that such people should be abandoned. Fathers dealing with issues of drug abuse and violence, mental health, and unemployment and poverty must be supported. But the promotion of their involvement in families should not be at the expense of children or women.

We love our men but we cannot and need not let anyone destroy the fruit of our wombs.

Saturday

Please Work It Out

I beg of you, for the sake of everyone involved, if no one has been physically injured in the relationship, PLEASE stay out of the family court system.

I'm not asking you to resolve the relationship because the days have passed in which you can just "stay together for the kids." I'm asking you to cut your losses and walk away peacefully so that you may begin again. I'm asking you to communicate with each other--yes, I know you probably couldn't do this in your relationship, evidenced by you parting ways--however, you can move forward. You can have the life you envision if you keep the government out of your personal affairs.

The MOMENT you invite the family court into your life, you will have strangled the possibility of ever living a "normal" life. You will sever any prospect of having a glimmer of hope that communication with your ex will be respectable or satisfying.

In inviting your family into the court process, you are allowing some stranger who doesn't know a goddamn thing about the best interests, who gets PAID during your suffering, to make decisions FOR you and also AGAINST you. It is a show...and expensive show. Everyone loses.

In your greed and lust, you may think you are winning, but I promise you, the suffering that you will cause will be of such a great magnitude, that it will clandestinely rob you of happiness and you'll long for the end of days.

Life doesn't have to be short. It doesn't have to be unfulfilling. You have no claim to someone else's life. You have no right to anyone else's life. You can only control your actions. Please work it out so that everyone can walk away and LIVE.

Friday

Belize Survivor, part 10

Another tourist season had come and gone, and with the departure of the snowbirds, the restaurant business slowed, and Alexis’ boss told her to take a week off. On a whim, she decided to drive up the Keys to visit her old friend Eddie in Hialeah, and see his new display at the art gallery.

The Seven Mile Bridge was a marvel of engineering. With its long uninterrupted expanse of steel and concrete, the pilings were imbedded deeply in the ocean floor to withstand the brutal riptides. Often a traveler could see sandblasting crews hanging precariously over the edges of the bridge on scaffolding. Nets underneath protected them from the sweeping currents of the shark-infested waters.

Passing Pigeon Key, a picturesque island belonging to the Marine Biology Department of the University of Miami, and the town of Marathon, she headed for Grassy Key, an island beach where camping was possible without police harassment, if done discreetly. Following the subtle landmarks, Alexis wandered through the scraggly pine and mangrove swamps until she found a suitable site. That night, after her campfire had burned out, she lay in the sleeping bag and looked at the stars.

Funny, she thought. When I was little, I used to be able to see a zillion stars from my backyard. The Milky Way was so bright and obvious back then, now I can hardly see it. Fewer stars? No, that’s not possible. Haze or pollution? More likely. Or maybe I just remember it wrong, she thought. In childhood, everything was so much more vivid. In the dim starlight, she could make out the white curling edges of the waves lapping the shore, molding and shaping the beach as they'd done from the dawn of time. Alexis drifted into sleep and dreamed about ancient sea creatures and the evolution that caused the first proto-amphibians to brave the dry land. One by one they had crawled from the warm womb of salt water and taken the first breath of air, which must have seared their new lungs like fire...

Alexis left Grassy Key early the following morning and arrived at Coconut Grove a few hours later. There were hundreds of beautiful sailboats in the marina at Dinner Key, and she heard the halyards slapping on their masts as they rocked gently at their moorings. It was a familiar sound, sad and nostalgic, reminiscent of Paul. ( She walked through Love Park, watching the sunlight streaming through the banyan trees for which the park was famous. The ancient trees grew aerial roots which, upon contact with the ground, became rooted.
As the years passed, these also became trunks until the trees turned into a series of cathedral-like arches. Kids were on swings and people walked their dogs. Some were having picnics, or throwing Frisbees. Suddenly, the sound of a crash made Alexis turn around. A station wagon had just pulled into the spot where her car was parked. The rear of the VW beetle looked like an accordion. A middle-aged woman stepped out of the station wagon.

"I'm terribly sorry," she said. "Your car was so small and pulled so far into the space; I never even saw it until it was too late. Do you have insurance?"

"Yeah," Alexis sighed, grateful that her dad had talked her into a modest policy. She knew it would cost more than the hundred dollar deductible, and her car wasn't going anywhere for a while. She went through the motions of exchanging insurance information with the woman and making out the police report. Then the tow truck came and took her car away. The repairman at the garage said the car would be ready in about four days.

“OK, great,” she mused aloud, as she plopped down on the curb. “Now where am I going to stay?”

“Hey, are you OK?” The voice came from a Hispanic boy she’d seen throwing the Frisbee in the park. "I saw what happened to your car. That was really a tough break." He was no more than sixteen, thin, with narrow shoulders. Other than a jagged scar on his right cheek, his face was lovely with dark eyes, long black lashes, and a mouth that was full and sensuous. From his demeanor, she guessed he was a street person and, most likely, homeless.

"Yeah, I didn't need that hassle," Alexis replied. "It sure is bumming out my visit."

"Well, unlike me, at least you have a car. Or you will when they fix it.” He grinned and stuck out his hand. “Hi, my name’s Rico."

"Hi, Rico, I'm Alexis."

"Did you say that you don't have a place to stay for the night?"

"Actually, I did have a place. I was planning to visit a friend of mine in Hialeah. But now that my car's in the shop I don't know what I'm going to do."

"Well, about an hour ago I was talking with some people who told me about a guy in a van who offered them a place to stay. He must have plenty of room at his house, because he said if we knew anyone else who needed a place, they could stay there too. I'm going to hook up with them later. Are you interested?"

"Sounds too good to be true," said Alexis. "Was this guy cool?"

"I don’t know; I guess so. They didn't say."

"So when are you going to meet up with them?"

An hour later, backpacks in hand, Alexis found that Rico’s new acquaintances were not attractive people; they were dirty and in need of a good shower. Roger was tall and skinny with a straggly brown beard, and Barbara was short and heavy with greasy blond hair. These were the types that gave hippies a bad name. She could never understand how anyone could go without bathing. Even Rico, as homeless as he was, wore clean clothes and did not smell bad. There was always a way to get clean if you wanted to.

When the van showed up, Alexis was surprised to see that it was a work of art, with a custom paint job depicting unicorns and rainbows. The man's name was Alberto, a Cuban, who looked to be in his late fifties. With thick salt-and-pepper hair, his black eyes were beady under the heavy eyebrows, but he seemed jovial and easygoing. Alexis figured him to be one of those lonely older men who desperately wanted acceptance by the younger generation.

"You're all welcome to stay at my place," Alberto said. "I've got some wine and good music. Some excellent hashish too. I live in Hialeah. I've got a big house with a pool and everything." Perfect, Alexis thought. This is great. She’d stay there for a night and then look up Eddie the next morning.

It seemed to take a long time to reach Alberto's house. Rico sat in the passenger seat while Roger, Barbara, and Alexis sat in the back. Alberto hardly spoke, and when Roger asked him a question, he seemed preoccupied by other thoughts.

"Wow. Is this your place?" Rico asked, as they drove up the palm-lined driveway. The house was white with black wrought-iron grillwork on the windows and a Spanish tile roof. The manicured lawn and flowering plants added to the presumption of wealth.

As they got out of the van, Alexis whispered quietly, "Hey, Rico, this doesn't look like any hippie crash pad to me. People like us don't live in places like this. This guy has money, big money."

Rico whispered back. "So? He's friendly and he's rich. We lucked out. That’s all."

"I'm not so sure," she replied. "Something's not right here. Besides, if he's so cool, then why are we whispering?"


*************************
Can’t wait for the next installment? Go to http://www.belizesurvivor.com/buy_book.html and get your copy now. All “Direct-from-the-Author” purchases are personally signed and inscribed, and a portion of the proceeds benefits the Shelter for Abused Women and Children of Naples, FL. Belize Survivor: Darker Side of Paradise is also available at bookstores and online outlets.

Thursday

Marital Problems

I wasn't expecting to post today. My belly is full of Christmas joy--not because it is Christmas, but because it is over and I'm stuffed. And that, I thank God for.

A few more lives are over though. In Covina, California, 6 people are dead as of Christmas Eve. 3 are injured. 3 people are missing, too. All in the name of Santa.
"He was going through some type of marital problems, and we believe that this residence is a relative's residence,"

Have mercy.

Wednesday

Law School

I used to want to be a lawyer. Sometimes, I still think, with all the legal research I've had to do in the past few years, I may as well have gone to law school.

I'm no longer interested because I don't see how becoming a lawyer changes anything. Judges ignore the law, lawyers manipulate it, agencies act like nothing is going on, and the people get fucked. Furthermore, why do we have to pay for justice?

And yet, one more law school is opening in Irvine, Californa. I had no idea that we even needed any more blood suckers.

Light A Candle

From Anonymums:


Belize Survivor, part 9

Indian Ron became a great friend to Alexis after that memorable evening. Although she didn't know it at the time, their lives would continue to intertwine for years to come. It was a non-physical love, spiritual in nature, rather than sexual. Alexis lived only a few blocks away and visited him several times a week. Together they made up fanciful tales and spoke of philosophy and poetry.

"Ron?" she asked one day. "I've wanted to ask you something for a long time. Do you ever get scared? Really scared?"

"Yes," Ron replied thoughtfully. "At times, I do. For one thing, I'm not getting any younger. Most of my life is over. I have experienced many things, traveled, raised a family. I worry about my health like anyone my age. I'm not so enlightened as to have no fear of death, but I try not to let it consume me. Why do you ask? Remember, the future is always unknown. It's out there waiting for us, regardless of whether we fear it or not."

"I'm not afraid of that," said Alexis. "To me the future is an exciting prospect. I want to get out there and live it. But sometimes this horrible fear comes over me out of nowhere, a fear with no name."

"Come here, Alexis," said Ron gently. "What has happened? More dreams of tropical green rivers?”

"No. A nightmare."
“Come let me hold you. Tell me about your terrible dream.” He put his arms around her. She leaned her head on is chest.

"I'm walking along a deserted beach," she began. "I'm heading north on an eastern seacoast. A strong breeze is blowing. The sky is ugly and gray and so is the ocean. The seaweed and sand are cold and wet under my bare feet. I feel an aching grief, too heavy to bear. There's a hopeless desperation, one that nothing can resolve. It's as though I've lost something terribly important and I don't know what it is. The wind has an evil sound. It accuses me over and over saying the words `unworthy, unworthy.' I keep walking and walking. It's terrifying. What do you think it means?"

"Sometimes dreams are manifestations of what we want. Other times, they are just the ramblings of the subconscious mind,” Ron said, in a soothing tone. “Some people say dreams are premonitions of things to come."

"This can't be a premonition,” Alexis countered. “I'd have to have done something I'd really regret to feel what I'm experiencing in this dream. It couldn't be that. I decided a long time ago that I'm not going to regret anything I do in my lifetime. I'll make my decisions wisely and I'll live with them."

"Ah, darling, sometimes I forget just how young you really are. You'll not live life without regrets," said Ron. "You will make errors in judgment, just like everyone else. Some mistakes will be unimportant. Others will be serious. You can't expect to hang around this planet and not get some cuts and bruises. We live and we learn; our mistakes teach us to make better choices." He paused. "Would you allow me to write something in your journal?"

That night when she went home, Alexis lit a candle and read the lines he had written:

Because hate is legislated, written into the primer and testament, shot into our blood and brain like a vaccine or vitamin; because our day is of time, of hours, and the clock-hands turn; closes the circle upon us; and black timeless night sucks us in like quicksand, and leaves us totally without a parachute, a key to heaven, or a long last look. Because a slow negative death withers the world and only ‘yes’ can turn the tide, we need love more than ever. We need love more than hope, money, wisdom, or a drink, because love has your face and your body and God has made no other eyes like yours.

As the shadows flickered across the room, she lay down on the bed and added her own words.

A bittersweet day,
A day of sunny mystics and rainy strangers,
Of wispy free spirits, of fear and of laughter.
A day in the curio house, and not so curious,
A day, like any other Key West day.

Tuesday

They Choose to Abuse

Here's a great article on Creative Loafing coming out of Charlotte, N.C.

Highlights:
As much as we all try to figure out why these perpetrators -- male and female -- behave abusively toward those they are supposed to love ... the fact remains the same: They choose to abuse physically, sexually and emotionally.

Economic woes add pressure to situations, Goelz said, but it doesn't make people who aren't batterers beat their wives or girlfriends. "Batterers who are predisposed to violence are going to commit violent acts...

...a lot of times that homicide is the first time that we in law enforcement are aware that there's a problem with that family.

The fact is that this economy and the holiday season are stressful for everyone. However, people make a choice to batter just as there are those who would never consider such violence.

Peace be with those that I did not mention in my RIP section. I'm sorry to say that sometimes, I get too tired to update the list.

Domestic Violence Bloggers Risk Their Lives

In creating a domestic violence/sexual assault blogs, we women bloggers are reclaiming some of the power we lost when we were assaulted and/or are reclaiming our power as an oppressed group. However, this journey out of silence does not come without risks. In exposing the corruption of the family court system and the criminal "justice" system, we are risking our lives so that others may benefit from our courage.

I have been noting a few of the deaths that have occurred this holiday season. Any one of those deaths could have potentially been one of us because some have fled violent relationships and some have the threat of violence on a continuous basis as the court forces us to maintain relationships with our abusers.

I want to take this opportunity to point out that a fellow blogger has had her life threatened as of last week. Go on over to Behind the Blue Wall and lend some support. There are a lot of angry people that want us to STFU. We refuse. This will be a public affair.

Monday

Belize Survivor, part 8

Throughout the year that followed, Alexis managed to make just enough money to get by. Initially, she and Marcy spent three weeks on Ohio Key, and later Alexis found a job back in Key West as a waitress. Her artistic talents inspired her to buy a few simple hand tools, and she used them to make souvenirs out of beach debris, driftwood, dried flowers, and shells which were sold to tourists whenever the opportunity presented itself.

Although Marcy was not similarly affected by Luke’s death, Paul's had a profound effect on Alexis, having never lost anyone close to her before. She continued to write in her journal, finding small comfort in the written word.

I've drawn your face
On napkins in restaurants across the island
Tracing your smile with my index finger,
Making your hair just so
Until now you're more of what I want you to be
Than what you are.
I can paint your eyes blue and say
This is where I have lived
For twenty minutes or more.
I order grapefruit, and pay for the ruined napkins.
And between morning and evening,
I draw your face a little fainter every day.

* * * *

There were many bars in Old Town, all within a few blocks of Mallory Pier. Sloppy Joe's had been Ernest Hemingway's favorite haunt; Captain Tony's was the infamous gay bar, and Lou's had the best live music, but the Old Anchor Inn was still the place to be.
One evening just after sunset, Alexis passed by the Anchor Inn and saw an old East Indian man standing outside. With a long black beard and nut-brown skin, he noticed her, and broke into a toothy grin. Behind his bald pate, long frizzy hair extended half way down his back. He was tiny, lean and spry, weighing less than a hundred and twenty pounds. As she returned his smile, she saw Marcy walk up to him and kiss him on the cheek.

"Hi, Ron," Marcy said. "What's going on with you?"

"Just cooling off, darling," he said. Marcy noticed Alexis standing across the street and called to her. "Hey, girl, come over here and meet one of the finest people on the island. This is Indian Ron."

"Oh, so you're Indian Ron," said Alexis, walking over. “Ron from Ceylon. I’ve heard of you; I hear you're a wonderful storyteller."

"He's also got the best ganja on the island," added Marcy.

"Now that part is absolutely true," Ron admitted, "and I would be happy to confirm it if you lovely girls would care to join me for a smoke back at my place?"

The breeze was balmy as the three of them walked down Elizabeth Street to Ron's second floor apartment. As they ducked under the yellow tie-dyed curtain, they could smell the lingering scent of sandalwood and curry. The orange ball-shaped paper lantern suspended from the high ceiling gave off soft muted light. A legless sofa had a low table in front, and a lava lamp glowed in a far corner. Beautiful oriental drawings decorated the walls and large pillows indicated that all Ron's guests sat on the floor.

“Excuse me for one moment while I put on some music and change into something more comfortable. Then I'll prepare us something to drink." He parted the strands of beads in the doorway and stepped into his bedroom. A minute later Ron came back, having traded his jeans and T-shirt for a one-piece garment deftly tucked in about the waist. "I enjoy my American clothes but they are very restrictive. In the evenings I like to put on my dhoti," he said. "Shoes are even worse because I am cursed with these Pisces feet. I guess I'm still Sri Lankan at heart, even after all these years in the United States. I suppose I should honor my ancestors with some good Ceylon Black, but living in Key West has given me a passion for Cuban coffee. I hope you don’t mind."

After serving the refreshments, he sat cross-legged, opposite from Alexis and Marcy, holding an elegantly carved box of ebony and brass. Taking out a small amount of marijuana, he crushed it reverently and packed it firmly into a straight clay pipe. Before lighting it, he lifted it to the sky.

"Bom Shankar," said Ron, as he passed the pipe. “It’s a sort of blessing. The closest translation is probably ‘God, here we come.’” As they passed the chillum again, Indian Ron began to tell a story:

There once was a journeyer seeking a vision, a great truth to live by .The traveler crossed hot deserts and trampled through forests and swamps. Throughout his wanderings he encountered the wicked and the good, found victory and suffered defeat. He won at love, only to lose it again. Through time and space, he learned and grew. At last, the seeker came to the top of a hill where he rested against the base of a large tree overlooking a beautiful valley.

As Indian Ron spoke, Alexis noticed his long and supple fingers, his sculpted hands communicating what words alone could not express. She and Marcy were transfixed by his imagery; his eyes were full of fire and magic.

The traveler saw a vision of rolling green fields before him, as if freshly washed by the summer rain. The sky, in a gentle overcast gray, intensified the grass green hue. Then people appeared, all dressed in shining white robes, standing there in the fields, as though also washed in the summer rain. There were thousands upon thousands of them, as if all the people who had ever lived and all those yet to be born were there before him. He saw faces of all colors, bodies of all stature, people of all ages and eras, from every part of the world. Each looked into the sky with the light of their inner spirit glowing in anticipation. They stood there waiting. Then, before his eyes, each person began to melt like a bright candle until, of each one, there remained only a small nugget of gold.

Ron paused as his guests sat breathlessly at his feet.

Now before the traveler lay the green valley, and upon it rested all the souls of those who had known Earth. Suddenly a divine wind started to blow, causing all those golden souls to rise together on the same plane. The journeyer realized his own golden essence was rising with them, that he was a part of it all. As they rose, a whirlwind began in the center, pulling them inward toward each other. They began to melt together forming into one great mass.

The traveler looked below for a last glimpse of Earth. The green fields were gone. Instead, he saw the horrifying ruins of what had once been the Earth: its surface now covered by twisted sheets of rusted iron and tortured steel. It was burning, smoking, and foul. With no sign of life, the remains of the Earth fell away into a mist, and were gone.

Then the gray sky turned brilliantly blue all around them. The golden souls of the people drew relentlessly toward the center, joining together. In a last enormous rush of the wind, they amassed as One. And, together, they formed God.

Comparing the Causation Requirement in the Alienation of Affection Action

"Parental alienation" is just like the old "alienation of affection" that was done away with because of the inability to prove it. Read the following excerpt from THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME: A DANGEROUS AURA OF RELIABILITY, by Cheri L. Wood (emphasis mine):

The alienation of affection cause of action was a creation of United States courts derived from the early common-law action for abduction of the wife. In its earlier form, the mere removal of the wife gave rise to the presumption that a causal connection existed between the wife's abduction and the alienation of her affection because the wife was the husband's property and thus she could not consent to her own removal.

In time, the removal requirement was eliminated in the alienation of affection action; thus, in order to recover damages, the plaintiff was required to show the causal connection between the defendant's acts and the alienation. Courts recognized that factors other than the defendant's conduct could contribute to the alienation of a spouse's affection. Consequently, courts in different jurisdictions applied various causation standards to actions for alienation of affection--attesting to the difficulty in sorting out causation and basing liability thereon. At one end of the spectrum, a few jurisdictions adopted a "contributory cause" standard whereby a defendant would be liable if his or her conduct merely contributed to the alienation. This standard was particularly tough on the defendant because any wrongful conduct on the defendant's part would render the defendant liable. The other end of the spectrum espoused the "sole cause" standard--the plaintiff had to show that the defendant was the only cause of the alienation--which made the burden of proof nearly impossible for the plaintiff to meet. The majority of jurisdictions applied the "controlling cause" approach. Controlling cause "means that the causal effect of the defendant's conduct must have outweighed the combined effect of all other causes, including the conduct of the plaintiff spouse and the alienated spouse." Leading to the abolition or restriction of the alienation of affection cause of action in a majority of states was the view that this standard was "simplistic and inadequate to help the trier of fact sort out causation in an area where psychologists have asserted that causation cannot be sorted out." Thus, the potential for abuse existed in that the trier of fact could hold a defendant responsible "because his or her conduct had been 'wrongful' or morally reprehensible."

The same problem is inherent in parental alienation cases. Where causation is difficult--if not impossible--to sort out, the trier of fact may erroneously assign responsibility for the alienated affections of a child solely to the child's mother...

Who's alienating who?

Sunday

Dating Myself

In recent days, I have shared the fact that I think I will remain single, or rather, unmarried, for the rest of my days. Had I known I'd be forced into the legal system via my abuser's sudden concern for his seed, perhaps I would have remained abstinent for a life time--or maybe invested my money in a sperm bank.

Anyway, I the following clip reminded me of myself and gave me good laugh:


Saturday

One Good Father

Storytelling time. Listen.

The American Humane Conflict

You never know who is funding Father's Supremacy these days...the government, or...animal right's organizations.

Well, lo and behold, I'm reading the Paula Abdul domestic violence pet endorsement on Rights for Mothers, and a commentor leads us to this bullshit.

Dogs and fathers. Dogs and fathers. Dogs and fathers...hmmmmm.

Just say no to The American Humane Society. Say HELL NO, and donate your money elsewhere.

Friday

Thanks Mom

This is a test, a test, a test.


Listen here.

Belize Survivor, part 7


The following day they sailed closer to the fort, anchoring about a quarter mile away. Then, instead of taking the dinghy, they decided to don their snorkeling gear and swim to the island. The submerged footings of the sea wall created a spectacular artificial reef, supporting a rich marine life of lobster and blue crab, sponges and conchs, yellowtail, and amberjack. There were green turtles and loggerheads, leopard rays, moray eels, and evil-looking barracuda. Formations of brain coral, stag horn coral, and sea fans were everywhere. As a penal colony, Fort Jefferson consisted of perimeter walls containing the individual prison cells and a large central yard area for exercising the inmates. Once they made landfall, Paul started searching for a particular cell.

"Fort Jefferson is famous for having imprisoned Dr. Samuel Mudd; he was convicted of complicity when he treated John Wilkes Booth after the assassination of President Lincoln," Paul said. "When I visited here last, I found a custodian who told me about Dr. Mudd's chamber."

They eventually found the cramped cell, no more than eight feet square, its cement walls sweaty with condensation. There was no evidence of prisoners having the privilege of a bed, sink, or toilet. One tiny hole in the wall, ten-by-five inches, served as a window. In contrast to the dazzling beauty of the open sky and sea just beyond the walls, the cell was abominably dank and depressing. Apparently Dr. Mudd had given outstanding service to the inmates in an outbreak of yellow fever; it was easy to imagine how disease could run rampant in such conditions.

"Check this out," Paul continued. "This cell has one very unique feature from all the others. See this shallow depression in the middle of the floor and the little trough leading into it? That was dug by Dr. Mudd to draw some of the water away from the walls, and give him a relatively dry place to sit."

"How did he make it? He had no tools?" Alexis asked.

"But he had a spoon, and many years to use it."

For the next five months Alexis lived in a virtual dream world. She and Paul were ecstatically happy together, and although she had little money, her lifestyle was one of enviable spiritual wealth. But in early June, Paul and Luke got the opportunity to go to Miami Beach and race hydroplanes for a successful stockbroker. It was an offer too good for them to pass up, and Marcy and Alexis had to resign themselves to the fact that the men needed to leave Key West for a while. Saying their goodbyes, Paul and Alexis lay together in the hammock on the wide veranda of the big pink house on Eaton Street. He kissed her on the forehead and gave her a squeeze. "We'll be back in about six weeks," he said. "Meanwhile, we'll keep in touch. Are you going to stay on here at the house?"

"As far as I know," she replied. "Marcy and I might go to that new RV Park on Ohio Key. They're hiring people to plant trees and shrubs. It sounds like we can make a little money. I'll miss you, Paul. Please be careful. I care for you. I really do."

"You're a very special woman, Alexis. We'll be back in a few weeks."

Alexis never saw him again. Two days later the radio announcer spoke of a freak explosion. Paul Halliday and Lukas Howe were both killed when their two-man hydroplane had flipped over backwards and spontaneously ignited. They had died instantly.


*************************
Can’t wait for the next installment? Go to http://www.belizesurvivor.com/buy_book.html and get your copy now. All “Direct-from-the-Author” purchases are personally signed and inscribed, and a portion of the proceeds benefits the Shelter for Abused Women and Children of Naples, FL. Belize Survivor: Darker Side of Paradise is also available at bookstores and online outlets.

Thursday

Another "Fighter" Kills

What's up with these wrestlers and related professions? I thought policeman and military men were the big killers.

In Orange County, California, former UFC fighter kills wife and himself.

A damn shame.

Peace to you, Sarah McLean-Evans.


Wednesday

Belize Survivor, part 6

The wind picked up considerably after they hoisted anchor and left the shelter of the island. In gusting winds, the salt spray flew across the bow as the speed of the sailboat increased. With Paul at the helm, Luke trimmed the sails and the wind pushed the Déjà Vu to a full twelve knots.


"How do you like this, Alexis?" Paul shouted above the roaring wind and waves.

"Unbelievable! Exhilarating! How fast can it go?"

"She's been clocked at twenty-two knots. That's one hell of a speed for a sailboat!"

Alexis clung to the rigging as she inched her way forward and dropped down, lying prone on the center bow. Watching the starboard pontoon slice through the water, a porpoise appeared right beside her. The intelligent creature looked up at her sideways and chattered happily; staying topside and maintaining the same speed as the sailboat, it was obviously enjoying itself. Greek mythology told of a dolphin who rescued a drowning sailor, and Paul had mentioned that swimmers were safe from sharks whenever a school of dolphins was nearby.

"Paul!" Alexis screamed with delight. "There's a dolphin here. Come quick!" Luke took over the helm while Paul went forward and lay down on the bow beside her.

"Look, Paul, he's smiling at me! He's beautiful. Oh, I wish I could touch him!"

"Go ahead. He won't bite you. I'll hold on to you. Reach out and see if you can touch his head." Delightedly, she made the daring attempt, but the porpoise chattered again and smiled, then disappeared beneath the waves. The water got rougher as the wind blew harder. Marcy and Alexis both made their way aft to the helm. Paul resumed control of the wheel while Luke attached a rope onto a cleat on the transom and made a loop around his body. Then he stripped off all his clothes and smiled.

"Now, what's he up to?" Alexis asked aloud.

"I don't know," said Marcy, grinning at Luke’s nakedness, "but I like it so far."

Luke stepped up on the transom and prepared to jump overboard. “Watch this, girls," he said. "I’m maintaining my reputation as a wild man."

Giving a Tarzan yell, and making an ungainly splash into the water, Luke reappeared a few seconds later. Still hanging onto the rope forty feet from the sailboat, he corkscrewed around like a demented fishing jig. It was obvious then why he’d taken his clothes off; the water would have peeled away anything he was wearing.

"Why is he doing that, Paul?" asked Marcy.

"Isn’t it dangerous?" said Alexis.

"You bet. I wouldn’t do it. Dangling on the end of a line turning round and round like a silver fishing spoon? That’s shark bait." It was a sobering thought.

Later in the afternoon the sea calmed and the skies cleared as the troupe made their approach toward the Dry Tortugas. As they tacked hard to port, the mainsail of the Déjà Vu came about with a loud popping sound, and Alexis saw the faint outline of Fort Jefferson. An hour later, they dropped anchor. While Paul made a fire in the hibachi, Marcy passed around a few beers, Luke cleaned some yellow-tail snapper they’d trolled for along the way, and Alexis cooked a pot of fragrant saffron rice alongside the flame-grilled fish. The mood was mellow on deck as they prepared and ate a leisurely meal.

It wasn’t long before four insignificant humans on an infinitesimal speck of a sailboat watched in awe as the sun set and the full moon rose over the eastern horizon. It was the dawn of 1972 and it brought a confluence of celestial events: New Year's Eve, and a rare ‘blue moon,’ when two full moons occur within the same month. Far from civilization, it was hard for Alexis to imagine that there was still a world of time clocks and traffic jams, of police sirens and inner city crime. The sea was satin black, and when the moon slipped its veil, the departing clouds were edged in a lacework of purest silver. Paul leaned against the mast, putting his arms around her. Together they drank in the sights and sounds, and watched the interplay of the winds, waves, and sky.

"Have you ever heard of the Nuestra Señora de Atocha?" Paul asked.

“She went down in these waters several hundred years ago, taking with her a large cargo of treasure: pieces of eight, gold doubloons, pearls, jewels, and riches beyond imagination. My uncle is second in command of the Mel Fisher expedition. They've got her narrowed down to one square mile of ocean and expect to find the Atocha within a year."

"A real treasure hunt," said Alexis. "Imagine what it would be like to be involved in something like that. Do you scuba-dive, Paul? Have you ever thought of joining up?"

"Yeah, but I'd need a lot more experience to get involved with an elite group of guys like that. They're professionals, underwater demolition experts and such."

"Mmmm,” she mused, “I’m fascinated by history, explorers on the high seas of the New World, the Egyptians, the ancient Greeks, the Mayas, the Aztecs, and the Incas. When I was little, I wanted to be an archaeologist. Of course, I wanted to be a cowgirl too,” she laughed. “Most of all, I have always wanted to seek out my own answers. I still do. Not just be left with a lot of regrets when I'm old. Maybe I'll even find the answer to the great question of WHY."

"Oh, I can tell you that," Paul laughed. "The answer is the great BECAUSE."

"Smart ass." She leaned over and kissed him.

In arREARs

Your Honor,
Let me make sure I'm understanding this correctly...
The arrearage is easing toward $10K...
because he's not paying the court-ordered amount...
the amount that you, in fact, ordered...
the military is garnishing what they can...
but they cannot do anything further...
child support cannot do anything...
as long as he pays something every 30 days...
the IRS will garnish his tax return...
but it wont be coming anywhere near me...
county guidelines say that interest is owed...
because its soooo delinquent...
and yet...
and yet...
you waive the interest...
you allow him to purchase equipment to facilitate contact...
and credit it to the past due...
while we've been waiting...
and waiting...
and...
and...
that's not contempt???
You're still intent on punishing me...
so you punish food, clothing...
for the kid?

YOU MIGHT AS WELL HAVE BENT ME OVER AND FUCKED ME IN THE ASS, YOUR HONOR.
IN THE ASS--that must be the real definition of arrears.

*Image courtesy of Artconstellation.

Stop Government Corruption in Family Court and CPS

Target: Parents that have experienced corruption within the Family Court & CPS
Sponsored by: M.O.M. Momentum Of Mothers

Family Court and CPS are money making machines. Ex abusive men seeking more time with children and promoting what appears to be the most noble cause, has entrenched the rights of mothers and children in their ability to seek safety from violence. Heads have been quoted in the media for stating that "family violence is our core business". The propaganda that is spread about the voices of children and their access to justice promotes the profitability in manufacturing child abuse and domestic violence. They can do something about it, but it is not within their best economical advantage to do so. This will continue until something is done. Which requires at least 1,000 signatures to get this ball rolling!

Please sign for ALL battered women that have lost custody in some form to their ex abusers!

Tuesday

Gunned Down in Sydney

If you haven't been able to figure it out, I've been rather morbid this holiday season. My intent was to point out domestic violence deaths but I didn't expect it to occur every other day. I actually quit reporting for at least a week because I was getting flooded.

Anyway, we have another woman in Sydney, Australia shot by her husband from whom she had separated. Same shit, different day.
Police have confirmed that Cook had taken out an apprehended violence order against her estranged husband, from whom she was separated and in the process of divorcing.

A spokesman last night said "domestic violence issues" had come to the attention of police in the past.

Damn guns.

Oh yeah, and he killed himself, too.

But men aren't disproportionately violent...

Peace to you, Melissa Cook.


In the Beginning, It Was Adam Walsh

My mother introduced me to the world of fear with the story of Adam Walsh. I was told that he was a little boy (age 6) in a department store (Sears) with his mother. He wandered away from her to the toy section, and she never saw him alive again. They found his head some time later.

My mom basically threatened me with this story my during my entire childhood. Every time we went to the mall, in a department store, I would think of Adam. Any time I separated from my mom, if only for a moment, I would think of Adam. I would walk around the clothes racks, playing inside of them, thinking of Adam. I would think of browsing the toys while thinking of Adam.

Where many parents tell tall tales, my mother used the truth (you see, right here I have to interrupt this fucking story to say that this was not emotional abuse, or child abuse.  She told me what was real.  Yes, it frightened the shit out of me.  Yes, I was angry.  But she prepared me for reality. Now, had she did the same thing, and the perpetrator was my father, she would be a parental alienator.  Get a fucking clue people!).  I not once thought of it as a lie because I actually watched the Adam story on t.v. I watched the t.v. movie passionately and repeatedly, almost like an obsession. I didn't understand why people kidnapped other people's kids. I didn't know why people murdered.

This was also my introduction to the White Men Are Dangerous theme. It made sense, they stole [mostly] White children...they chopped off their heads...they were serial killers...rapists...

When I grew up I learned that the infamous John Walsh was Adam's father. I wanted to cry for him but I admired his persistence in fighting for children nationwide.

Today, they will officially close Adam's case. Based on the article, it seems that the murderer was a sexual offender. This also took place in my great state of Florida. I never knew that. This makes it even worse for me. I have always hated Sears.

Remind me about what is good about men.

Dear Santa, Make Him Stop

I rarely tune into news because of violence and celebrity bullshit--but, I just heard this.

What has this world come to when a child must write to Santa in order to reveal her abuse?

Texas has all kinds of shit going on.

Merry Christmas.

Who Are the Abusers, the Abused?

I found a great image courtesy of Crossing the Line. I call it great because I seem to find myself repeatedly embroiled in the "argument" about who the perps of domestic violence are.

The men (and some women, aka second wives' club) with whom I have communicated want it known that men and women are equal perps. However, even if this is that case, men and women are NOT equal victims of domestic violence when you are talking about DEATH and INJURY. That's the part they don't want to talk about. In fact, I have seen them acknowledge this, however the seriousness if the consequences of d.v. are of little importance in their argument. They only stress that men and women are equally capable of domestic violence. Capable.  Capable.  Capable.

Anyway, check out Hawaii's stats:



I met a great group of Hawaiians at the NCADV conference. They were very warm, friendly, and welcoming.

Monday

Just Let It Go

UPDATE 12/24--I apologize for leading you all to believe that Ms. Skipworth is deceased. She was injured and is alive.

You can't hold on. Death doesn't bring you closer. You selfish fucker.
"...the two were in a process of getting a divorce, but the husband had been calling his wife at the store frequently."


Men Are Doing the Damage

It's not over when you leave. You hope that it is. You hope that you are doing the right thing. You just can't take it anymore.

When this holiday season began, I said that there would be many domestic violence murders. I don't know if this season saw an increase or not, but I have just read the most logical statement I've read in a long time:
“We can try to find blame with the economy, or because of the holidays and the stress and gaps in the system, but ultimately it's the guys, the abusers, the batterers … that are doing the damage.”

You see, regardless on whether it's the holidays, or a poor economy, people are still responsible for their actions. You have a choice to let go of the relationship and move forward...or stay...but some people will just kill.

Peace to you, Gabrielle and Anjelo Kinard.


Your Honor, I Do Not Recall

91 year old in Michigan strangled his wife on Thanksgiving. She suffered from Alzheimer’s. Maybe they had an agreement. I don' t know. So, I can't label this as domestic violence, per se. But I CAN, call attention to it.

When All Else Fails, Go for the New Husband

Welcome to the DMV area, where domestic violence is the norm.
A 35-year-old man struck his ex-wife with an SUV, then ran over her current husband, beat him with a fence post and stabbed him with a knife in Severn this morning, Anne Arundel County police said.


Belize Survivor, part 5

Alexis awoke with a hoarse scream, her body cold and dripping with sweat. Shaking from the horror, it took time to fully escape from the nightmare. She was back in her second story room in the pink house on Eaton Street. Where did my subconscious come up with that? For many years, Alexis had prided herself on her ability to dream creatively. Lucid dreaming, it was called. She could often change the course of a dream for the better if it took a turn for the dark side. Even in her flying dreams, she was sometimes able to manifest a strong updraft that could boost her higher into flight. During those moments, Alexis became a bird. She could see over long distances with the eyes of an eagle. Soaring with arms outstretched, she saw a recurring vision of a faraway land. Could it be that the dreams were actually premonitions? For years Alexis dreamed about a particular river, a secret place with a green snake of water threading its way northward through a shaded tropical forest. At times she saw the river from a different perspective, wherein it seemed to flow from the east instead of the south, and was blue, rather than green.

Alexis shook off the fragments of the nightmare and started to think about the coming day. The foursome had been nearly inseparable for the last few weeks, and now Paul and Luke had asked Marcy and her to join them for a three-day sail to the Dry Tortugas. Together they would see in the New Year.

The sailboat anchored cozily on the lee side of the deserted island of mangroves and palm trees, a thin rind of white sand edging the beach. Large patches of purple sea grass patterned the ocean floor near the shore. Turquoise in the shallows changed to deep sapphire where the ocean dropped into the deep. A soft breeze textured the surface of the water, creating flickering reflections of light. Sky and sea met on a pure and perfect horizon, touched only by God's hand.

"Alexis? Are you awake?"

"Yeah, Paul. Just daydreaming and taking a good look at paradise. That sun feels so good on my skin. I just can't believe I'm really here, right now, doing this. How's my back look? Am I brown yet?"

"Your back is brown and your white ass is red. You'd better give it a break. What do you say we go over and take a look at the island?"

"That sounds great."

Getting up, her practical side took over as she started to gather a few items to take along in the dinghy: some fresh water, a couple of oranges, a towel or two.
What the heck are you doing?” Paul asked with a quizzical look. “This isn't an overnight camping trip. I thought we were just going over to the island."

"We are. I'm just trying to decide what to take."

Paul stood looking at her, shaking his head in amused tolerance. He was six-foot-four with a crown of below-the-shoulder golden hair, vivid blue eyes, and a thick gold ring in his left ear. His teeth were incredibly white in contrast to his browned body. He stood there like some golden sun god, glistening with vibrant youth, absolutely naked and carrying nothing. Alexis would never forget what he said next; it would forever be a standard as to what was really important.

“Well," he said, slapping his bare thighs and laughing, "I’ve got what I need."

Without another word, he dived into the water from the starboard bow. Astonished by the simplicity of his actions, Alexis followed and swam with him to the shore.
They ran along the beach until they were breathless. Playing tag, they tickled each other and played like children in the sheer joy of being free. Then, sitting in the sand, they watched the sailboat rocking gently like a graceful white bird.

"How long have you had her, Paul?" Alexis asked.

"It's been about three years now since Luke and I first bought her, but she spent a lot of time in dry dock while we were getting her outfitted. She's only been out on the water for about two months now. Would you believe the owner was selling her for only fifteen grand? She's worth more than twice that price. And when she slices through the waves with a stiff breeze at her stern, you get a feeling of, well, that’s how she got her name, the Déjà Vu."
"She's the most beautiful boat I've ever seen. And speaking of Luke, do you think he and Marcy are still at it?"

"Probably," Paul laughed, "It's not often that Luke finds a chick with a sexual appetite to match his own."

"Are you insinuating that I am lacking in some way?" she joked.

"Oh no, baby," he said, reaching for her, "You're fine. Luke's taste just runs a little toward the bizarre."

"Yeah, well then Marcy fits the bill. I don't know anyone else with her style."

"You mean the quarter-inch mesh fishnet blouse with nothing underneath and her nipples poking through like pencil erasers?"

"Yeah, and don't forget the hip-hugger jeans with the zipper at half-mast and the Rolling Stones tongue logo sewn in the crotch,” Alexis laughed. “Crazy chick."

It was simple. The sexual revolution was on, and if people liked each other, they made love. In those innocent days, when the worst consequence of intimacy was a dose of the clap, the counterculture had its own standards of conduct. If the mutual chemistry was there, and the signs of the Zodiac were compatible, that was enough.

"Well, he can have her," said Paul, appraising Alexis’ tawny body, "I know what I like." She looked up at him and smiled. Her long hair, bleached to a honey color from the salt and tropical sun, blew carelessly in the breeze. “Why don't we hang out for a little while here?” he continued, “Give them some more time alone. I'm sure we can occupy ourselves." He kissed her face, neck, and shoulders softly. Then he eased her backwards, and in total solitude, they made slow and lazy love on the deserted beach.

Friday

Belize Survivor, part 4

One night as she walked, Alexis was enveloped by a glorious fragrance. The rich scent was overwhelming. She sniffed the air, hunting for its source, until she discovered an ordinary looking shrub in front of a nearby house with clusters of pale tiny trumpet-shaped flowers. Bending over she breathed the heady perfume, a scent so sweet and delicious it was almost dizzying.

“It's night-blooming jasmine." A voice came from a shadow on the front porch, and a tall blond handsome young man came forward from the semi-darkness. “You won’t smell it in the daytime. Potent stuff." Picking off a bunch of the blossoms, he gave them to her and smiled. “Here, have some."

"Thank you. They’re lovely. Do you live here?"

"No. This is my sister's house. I have a sailboat at the marina. I visit when I'm in port. My name's Paul Halliday."

"Nice to meet you. I'm Alexis Dubois. Do you live on your boat full time?"

"No. I'd like to, but it's very hard to make a living unless you're a pirate, shrimper, fisherman, or a smuggler," he laughed and his eyes twinkled. “And although I have assumed all of those roles at some point in the past, I don't qualify for any of them right now. Most of the time I live in Fort Lauderdale; I have some property and investments there. But I decided to take a break for a while and spend as much time on the water as possible.”

Paul and Alexis stood talking for a while and then walked together down the empty streets of Old Town. The architectural style was reminiscent of New England, aging frame houses with elaborate gingerbread detailing on the eaves and wide verandas.

“The ship's carpenters came mostly from Maine and Massachusetts," Paul explained. "See the small balcony on the roof with the railing around it? That’s the ‘widows walk.’ The wives would go there to watch and wait for their sailors to come home." As he told of the magic of the sea and sky, she sensed a special warmth and magnetism. He was very attractive, and Alexis started to wonder if Paul was meant to be a part of the adventure she was seeking.

"I'm about ready to go back over to the marina, Alexis. Would you like to join me? Or do you have to be somewhere?"

"Oh, I'd love to see it. There is no place I have to be, and I have no promises to keep."

"Sounds great. Let's go back to my sister's house first so I can pick up my provisions. Hope you don’t mind walking though. On land, my feet are my only wheels."

“Luke? Are you here?" Paul carried the box across the gangway, and then gave Alexis a hand as she crossed to the deck. As she admired the lines of the sailboat, a beautiful forty-two-foot trimaran, a mop of blond hair attached to a lithe wiry body bobbed out of the forward hatch.

"Yeah, I'm here," said a gruff voice. "Paul, listen, about those new lines on the spinnaker, I think we ought to – well, well, who do we have here?"

"Luke, this is Alexis. Alexis, meet my boat mate and partner in crime, Lukas Howe."

"Pleased to meet you, ma'am." He made a formal bow and kissed her hand. "Where did our Captain Paul find a good-looking little ladyfish like you?"

"We met over at my sister's house," Paul answered for her. "Serves you right for making me do the shopping all the time. You might meet somebody too if you weren't always here on deck playing with the rigging."

"I wouldn't mind playing with her rigging," laughed Luke.

"Control yourself, you horny sailor. Besides, I saw her first," Paul retorted. "Why don't you make yourself useful? Break out a bottle of wine and roll up one of your famous New York pin joints while I show Alexis the boat."

"Aye, aye, Sorr. Harrrrr," Luke growled good-naturedly as he went below.

Paul turned back to her. "Sorry about that. Luke's got a one-track mind when it comes to pleasures of the flesh. We've been out at sea for ten days, so he needs a woman real bad."

"Well, I've got good news for him. Tomorrow is going to be his lucky day," Alexis laughed, "I know a girl named Marcy that he'd just love to meet!"

As the hours passed, the moon sank slowly toward the horizon and they sipped the last of the wine. It was late, and the conversation had turned philosophical. Luke had long retired to his quarters, uninterested in anything that didn't directly relate to sex and women. Paul reclined next to Alexis on the deck. They were intensely aware of each other, feeling the effects of the wine and weed. The breeze was cool now.

"Would you rather go below where it's warmer?"

"No, it's so beautiful on here deck. Just look at that moon."

Paul got up and disappeared into the galley and brought back a blanket. As he reached across to cover her, his face brushed her cheek. Their eyes met and their lips touched; the kiss was unhurried, long and lingering. Then they lay back together under the cover and watched the moon go down, listening to the sound of the halyards flapping against the mast.

…The misty air was thick and sultry. The Dark One lurked in the shadows just beyond the gray curtains of sanity. Alexis screamed, yet no sound came out. She knew if she could just run fast enough, she could take off and fly, at least above the treetops, high enough to flee the menacing fiend. Looking down she saw its claws; the razor tips grazed her bare skin. Smelling the stench of decomposed flesh on its hot stinking breath, the sulfuric fumes enveloped her. She was running, running, but the demon creature was almost upon her…


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Can’t wait for the next installment? Go to http://www.belizesurvivor.com/buy_book.html and get your copy now. All “Direct-from-the-Author” purchases are personally signed and inscribed, and a portion of the proceeds benefits the Shelter for Abused Women and Children of Naples, FL. Belize Survivor: Darker Side of Paradise is also available at bookstores and online outlets.

Wednesday

Belize Survivor, part 3

KEY WEST

It was the Key West social event of the day, simply known as “sunset,” when the island inhabitants gathered nightly at Mallory Pier to watch the drama of red and gold play out on the shimmering horizon. Young women wore homemade clothes, flowers, and beads, and were accompanied by their young men with Jesus-like hair and flowing beards. Most walked or rode bicycles to the wharf as befitted the tiny island community. Dancers, mimes, and acrobats entertained the crowds. Musicians came with their guitars, flutes, dulcimers, or banjos. Some played for free; others passed the hat in hopes of avoiding a real job a little longer. Colorful reptiles clung to the shirt of the lizard man, and conch salad was served in paper cups from a bicycle basket for a dollar each. The island, a long-time haven for pirates, wreckers, and ne'er-do-wells, now occupied by an array of artists, writers, homosexuals and wannabees, was as varied in charm and hue as the changing colors of the sunset sky.

As the people waited on the quay for the magical moment,
the giant ball of fire touched the surface of the ocean and cast its reflection forward, creating the illusion of a giant keyhole on the horizon. When the last red sliver of sun was about to disappear, a hush fell over the crowd, and at the final moment, there was a round of applause.

"Hey, Alexis, come here," Eddie called. "There's someone I want you to meet."

Eddie was half Italian, half Syrian, pure artist, and all gay. He lived in Hialeah and specialized in nude and still-life works of art. After her excursion down the east coast, Alexis had picked him up hitchhiking near the University of Miami, and he had talked her into going to Key West. It had sounded like exactly what she was looking for.

“Alexis, meet Marcy. Marcy, this is Alexis," said Eddie. "Marcy's been posing for my paintings lately. I hope to enter one of them in an art show at the university next month."

Marcy was a stunning girl. Eighteen years old, five-foot nine, and deeply tanned with long shapely legs, she had a knockout figure that made even other women stare. Her hair was dark brown, long and straight, with wide brown eyes, full lips, and high cheekbones that revealed her three-quarter Cherokee blood. With a suggestive sway to her hips and a bizarre collection of revealing clothes, she drove most men to distraction. There was no spite or malevolence involved; she was a sexy good-time party girl who loved to laugh.

"So where are you staying, Marcy?" Alexis asked. "I've decided to look for a place and stick around for a while."

"There’s a communal house over on Eaton Street, the big pink one, not far from the Naval Base. There are only about seven of us, so there's probably room for another person. Feel free to check it out. Just ask for Sergio."

Alexis visited the house the very next day. She fell in love from the first moment she saw the large airy room on the second story of the old wooden house, and rented it the same afternoon. The following morning, just after sunrise, the lemon-colored warmth filtered through giant palms outside and spilled across the breezeway. Inspired by the sunrise, she began to write:
Wanderer, moving towards the next horizon.
Wonderer, how long shall I journey?
Listener, for the voice in song.
Watcher, for what someday may be.
Loner, until companionship comes.
Patience, a virtue absent from me.
Over the weeks that followed, she lived simply, reading poetry, listening to music, and writing in her journal. Visiting the Cuban section of Old Town Key West, Alexis made line drawings of the shabby frame houses, watched the seafaring birds, and walked the beaches. At night she went stargazing or took long walks along the quiet streets. Lining the sidewalk was a profusion of tropical exotics – colorful hibiscus, hedges of curly aralias, pink and white oleander, and rubber banyan trees. In some areas, whole fences of moonflowers came alive in the moonlight, their white petals opening so quickly that the movement was barely perceptible to the human eye.

Tuesday

Speaking of Canada

How about a Canadian domestic violence murder/attempted suicide? Stabbing.

Pay attention, people.

Peace to you, 50-some-year-old woman.

Monday

Family Killer

Texas man shoots his wife who is critical condition, and also murders his mother-in-law and his 3 sons.

Gun violence.

And men aren't dangerously violent?

I'm almost tired of talking about this.

Peace to you, Mauro Garza Jr., Silvestre Garza, Osiel Rojas, and grandmother.


Belize Survivor, part 2

Alexis had been ten years old in 1962 when she'd first heard of the little country then known as British Honduras. At that tender age she never dreamed that she would ever visit Belize, let alone live there for the greater part of her adult life. The least known country in Central America, it had only about 130,000 people nationwide, 30,000 of them in the former capital of Belize City. The official language was English. And for some reason, the nation seemed to have a conspicuous deficiency of common tropical exports such as bananas, rice, corn, or beef. Years later, Alexis would learn that Belize also had the largest area of unspoiled rainforest in Central America, a wealth of wilderness, waterfalls, rare colorful birds, exotic butterflies, and the ruins of countless Mayan temples, as well as the largest and longest living coral reef in the western hemisphere.

During the summer before college, Alexis became influenced by the cultural revolution that would impact all the years that followed. Dressed in a T-shirt and old patched jeans, she rejected the traditional values of her parents, school, and church, abandoning her nice clothes as well as her bra, wearing her hair long with a flower tucked behind her ear.

Countless others embraced the idealism of the dissidents as the rebelliousness of the late sixties resulted in the formation of the radical movement. The message of Dr. Timothy Leary was to "tune in, turn on, and drop out." As fierce anti-capitalists, their purpose was to reject the very society that had spawned them. By demonstrating their supposedly unconventional attitudes and individuality by letting their hair grow and wearing secondhand clothes, the ironic result was that they all looked different in exactly the same way. In retrospect, their attempt to create a new order had developed a culture that was just as standardized within itself as the one from which they were trying to deviate.

Nevertheless, Alexis saw her former high school friends come home from the Vietnam War with broken bodies and twisted minds. She attended marches in which protestors wore arm bands: militants wore red, anarchists wore black, green was for amnesty. Everybody had explicit convictions. Political demonstrations were frequent as were marches, love-ins, and boycotts. The incident at Kent State shocked the world senseless when four college students were killed during a protest turned police action. Tricky Dick Nixon became the arch villain while Joan Baez, Country Joe, Bob Dylan, and Simon and Garfunkel became the conscience of the new crusade.

The classes Alexis was supposed to attend at college were the last thing on her mind. At Christmas she came home and announced to her parents that she was dropping out. A few days later at three o’clock in the morning, her self-appointed hour of departure, they all stood there in the driveway together. Her parents expressed their love and they made their goodbyes. It would be years before she understood their pain.
As the hours of driving passed, Alexis was filled with an exhilaration she had never known. She was seeking her fortune. For the first time she had taken control of her own life and could do whatever she wanted. There were no parents, no teachers, and no peer pressure; she was totally and utterly free.

The scenery was beautiful as she crossed the state line from Kentucky into Tennessee. The sides of the mountains had been cut back and the diagonal strata of exposed rock curved gracefully in tilted disarray. In one spot, a huge outcropping of rock protruded from a jagged mountainside. Looking like a waterfall cast in stone, it appeared to be a tumbling cascade, frozen in time. The rock formation was spectacular. In appreciation of the moment, Alexis pulled over, and considered her assets.
I have a few hundred dollars, she thought. That's enough to get me to southern Florida. I'll need a place to live, and some money to keep my car going. Why is it all about money? Why do we have to pay for insurance and taxes, or have an income and pay rent? Wouldn't it be great just to live somewhere, like on a beach, or in a cave? To enjoy the earth in its natural state and pull fruit from the trees; to live like the Native Americans did? We should be able to live in harmony with the Earth, not at odds with it.

Alexis had always believed she’d been born in the wrong century, preferring that she’d belonged to the era of discovery – of adventurers, explorers, and pirates. Perhaps the lifestyle she sought had disappeared long ago. But there had to be more to life than being locked into what everybody else expected you to do, and she intended to discover what it was. Getting back in her car, she took a last look at the stony cascade of rock and resumed the pleasant euphoria of her new found independence. Hours passed and the mountains of Tennessee gave way to the high plateaus and red clay of Georgia. It was still cold, but something in the air whispered a promise of warmth as she pressed south.

It was just after ten o'clock before Alexis pulled over at a rest area in northern Florida near Jacksonville. She’d been driving for almost nineteen hours straight through. Curling up in the back seat, she was dead to the world in a matter of minutes.
The next day Alexis headed east toward the coast to get a whiff of the ocean air at the earliest possible opportunity. Then she saw her first palm tree on the beach and delighted in the picturesque windy seascape. However, the majestic palms didn't sway gently in the breeze as the poets suggested. Instead, she saw that they defied the harsh winds that battered their leafy crowns and resisted riptides with tenacious roots that clung to the sandy shore. Watching them, Alexis couldn’t have known at the time that it was more than an ambiguous analogy; it was to be an omen of her turbulent destiny.