It doesn’t look anything like what you think it looks like.
That picture above is my wife, my oldest daughter and my youngest daughter. It was taken about 25 years ago.
I met her one evening because I accepted an invitation to have a beer with my best friend and his girlfriend. The women had been roommates in college and my friend’s girlfriend thought we might just hit it off.
The moment I walked into the room, I just KNEW. I wasn’t looking for a girlfriend. Most of my friends thought I was gay because I didn’t date and as far as they knew I was a virgin (I wasn’t, but that’s a story I’m not quite ready to tell yet). I thought she was attractive but it didn’t matter. I KNEW this was the woman I was going to marry. I don’t remember much of the rest of the night. We played trivial pursuit or something. I was just too distracted to make sense of anything. …
To grant you this opportunity to relax.
Reflections bring insight. At the end of a singularly significant year, we should all be gazing into the depths with a particularly inward focus. What exactly have we learned from what has transpired? How have the past nine months transformed what we thought was the truth? Is it really the truth? Or has everything changed?
I’m a hermit. That’s my essential nature. Maybe being born in the sign of the crab isn’t as strange as I’d always thought it seemed to be. This past year has revealed, more than anything, that I need to be unencumbered and free to roam. Even if, for most of the past fifty years, I’ve been completely wrapped up in other people. …
A way out of the darkness
My most disastrous intimate relationship was with a woman who had been diagnosed with depression. When she was feeling particularly down, she would text me; “Tell me a story”, or even say it out loud if we happened to be physically together at the time. I was always at a loss for the words and never really understood her request. Until this morning.
I’ve been slogging through the last quarter of 2020 as a turtle might crawl across a mud flat. Most days I float along a little and can make some forward motion, even if it appears from a distance as if I’ve just been baking in the sun. This is not an easy time of year for me, under the very best of circumstances. …
And other enlightenment from an historic election
I’m very nearly jumping up and down that a woman finally made it onto a winning ticket in the US presidential election. It took way too long. We’ve been shooting ourselves in the foot for centuries by excluding half the population. And that’s when we only count white people. When we expand our blinders, we see we’ve lopped off another third. And when the the math is mostly complete, we’ve excluded over two thirds of our population from most of the important decision making that takes place on the national stage. It’s been getting incrementally better for a few decades. …
This doesn’t look good on you
I’m a middle aged white man in America. I’ve done just fine. Under Republican administrations. Under Democrat administrations. Under white Presidents and under the only black President in history. Let’s be frank, with all the privilege I hold, if I weren’t doing well I’d be a complete failure. So, tell me, what the fuck are you afraid of? Being exposed for not being able to pull your own weight with all the advantages you already have?
I think you’re scared. That you might actually have to compete in a world that doesn’t give you any advantage based on the color of your skin or the equipment hanging between your legs. …
Rethinking fifty-six years of being the “nice guy”
I can already hear all the backlash. “Don’t you DARE. Who the fuck do you think you are?” And I get it. You’ve had quite enough of guys who treat you like shit. Guys who think they can do no wrong.
I’m most assuredly NOT one of those guys.
I never have been.
When the shit hits the fan, I’m ALWAYS the first to apologize. In fact, in my relationships, I’m mostly the ONLY one who apologizes. It has ever been thus. And those days are over.
I loved my wife. Like the moon loves the sun. And I would have done, and actually did, everything I could possibly do to bring her dreams to life. But I couldn’t keep ALS from killing her. …
I woke up with a little bit of a hangover
That seems to happen way more often in these days of Covid, economic and civilizational collapse. Whatever, I still remember a very poignant dream.
I was some sort of middle-eastern/Indian spiritual leader. And in this dream I was telling my followers that we were all one. It wasn’t just a new age aphorism. I was explaining in exacting detail how, the life you lead now is a direct path to the life you will lead in the next incarnation. Karma is not only real, but it is the judge, jury and executioner. Nobody gets out unscathed. All the anger, frustration, fear and worry that haunts us in these strange times are manifestations of past lifetimes. …
Actually requires him to win reelection
Bear with me here.
The only way we’re going to get anywhere, politically, in the next four years is by flipping the Senate. The Democrats are likely to hold the House but the Senate is still a challenge. And everything hinges on overcoming that challenge. If McConnell remains majority leader, democracy continues its slow inexorable march to the gallows. And a Biden presidency won’t change that in any significant way.
But there is an alternative.
If the Democrats can flip the Senate the answer to Donald J. Trump lies in treating the President exactly the same way he treats everyone else. Yes, I’m talking bribery, extortion and threats. …
Today is our 30th wedding anniversary.
It seems a bit strange to write that, since you’ve been dead for over ten years. But, just because death separates us, doesn’t mean I’m not married anymore. Or not still deeply in love with you.
Yeah sure, I’ve tried to move on. I’ve even fallen in love a couple times and skipped down the path towards something new and potentially wonderful. But I keep tripping on the rocks and ruts of my history. Of what we had.
No, it wasn’t perfect. But neither is a favorite sweater, or the gloves that fit like a second skin. It’s not perfection that builds a successful relationship. It’s the way you stretch and shape into each other. The ability to grow as a team while still maintaining full autonomy and security as two separate individuals. Truly, a great relationship brings a whole that is so much larger than the sum of its parts. …
Are you sure you mean it?
I was chatting with my friend and fellow Medium writer Ann Litts last night, right after she wrote this piece. She told me the situation had reminded her of me and the love I had for my late wife, as I’ve written about before.
As these kinds of conversations often do, it led me into a place of quiet reflection. And another sleepless night.
Hi, I’m Dick and I fall in love too fast, too deep and give too much. Or, at least I once did.
The person I love has always come first. My family has always been next in line. Only after I was certain they were all getting what I thought they needed did I look after my own interests. I’m certain some of those people would argue the point, but remember I clearly stated: “what I thought they needed”. I’m sure I was wrong, on many occasions. That doesn’t negate the fact that I was doing what I thought was the “right thing”. …