Category: My Miscellany

My Miscellany: Flashbacks

wp-1485298089762.jpgSome flashback pictures of me and my family lol

Deney Terrio Has Nothing On Me! College, 1986

4 Generations: Uncle Bob (rip), Aunt Sue, Me, Half Sister Jesse, Son Matt, Son Nick. Nick’s First Communion. 2000.  80lbs ago!
Your Ruminator at 8 years old, 1972!  My Head Was Always Warm

My Miscellany: Let’s Talk About Kissing (part II)

wp-1485298089762.jpgYou really won’t get full appreciation for this if you don’t start with PART I!  But I did write this part as a stand alone piece, so it’s unnecessary.

When I had my first kiss with Angela, that summer of 1976, my life would never be the same!  I would spend the rest of my life trying to get that explosive emotional feeling back.  The journey for that feeling would alas be delayed; I was put on restriction for the remaining 2 months of the summer, never being allowed to leave my room.slowdance on justruminating men's blog

And then I discovered Boy’s Club Dances.  If you are old enough to remember, the 70’s provided many places and opportunities for teens to socialize at dances.  At some point during 1976 I was assigned a probation officer for destroying the interior of a car wash.  Dave Cooley was his name.  He had the wildest hair and a thousand mile stare.  He was the first advocate I ever had who would defend me and support me vigorously.  It was the first time I think I may have felt love and acceptance.

Anyway, he signed me up for the Boys Club, so that I could integrate with other kids.  Most of the time I read in the library (where I my passion for literature would also ignite), avoiding other kids.  Sometimes, however, I did play bumper pool and I got quite good.  But I digress.

The Actual Boy's Club Of My Youth
The Actual Boy’s Club Of My Awakening!

I will never forget my first dance.  It was mid-Fall.  In New Hampshire, where I am from, the leaves were vibrant and the air was crisp and cool.  I was allowed to go to my first dance.  Of course, there was no way they were going to give me a ride, so I walked the nearly 2 miles to the Boys Club.

Although I loved kicking leaves when I was a smaller child, I am pretty sure that my love of Fall was forged during those forays into the ethereal world of girls and kisses the during the Fall of 1976.

The minute I walked into the hall I was mesmerized.  There were kids everywhere!  There were lights flashing and the music was blaring and the walls were lined with girls!  I was in heaven.  I don’t know what it was, but although I couldn’t make friends, and I was painfully withdrawn, in that setting I had boundless courage.  I had no fear of rejection.  It was like I was transformed into another kid entirely.

I don’t remember specifically the girl I first asked to dance–and it was a slow dance, I never did dance fast at one of those dances lol.  I can still remember those solitary marches to my chosen mate.  So intent was my purpose, I would have tunnel vision only for her.

All I can tell you is what I normally felt in the arms of a young pretty girl in general, no one girl comes to mind.  I felt elation, rapture, peace, freedom, and more often than not excitement that I usually had to position myself to hide.neck

It would not take me long before I gained the courage to first make my lips present on a girl’s neck.  Oh, their necks!  The fragrances that would enrapture me!  Their scents making my heart pound erratically.  Who knew that such smells existed in all the world?

It was easy to geting away with putting my face there you know?  Just by virtue of being close I would steadily gain courage until I was hesitantly placing light kisses gently on those perfumed island of delights!

And then I discovered something incredibly telling:  my actions created certain reactions.  I could feel girls tremble, feel their knees grow weak.  I could feel my blood swirling in my veins, my loins!  I could here them try to control a breath escaping in what I would learn later would be sighs of desire!  It was thrilling!  Invariably the songs would end, I would impatiently wait for the next song to resume my loving assault on their femininity.

While the Bee Gees sang “Too Much Heaven,” “More Than A Woman“, while Yvonne Elliman sang “If I Can’t Have You“, while the Hollies crooned “The Air That I Breath” and during songs like “Dreamweaver,” “Baby Come Back,” and “My Eyes Adored You,” I lost myself in the sight, touch, scent of so many lovely young girls.  I escaped my terrible life of anguish.  My spirit soared incredibly high!

slow jams on justruminating men's blog

I don’t know when it was that I just stopped playing around and went in to steal sweet kisses.  But I do remember that the feeling I initially had gotten from Angela in that alcove was to be eclipsed by some serious passion.

During those slow dances I took command.  I was bold.  I was brave.  I was insistent and I was often met with appreciation in like kind.  Oh the feel of soft lips.  The taste of fruity gum, or mints, or just pure breath.  The light sweat that would dampen our faces!  The heat that would build between two innocent souls, dancing this dance of innocence.

Invariably the dances always ended with “Stairway To Heaven“, the greatest dance make out song ever created on the face of the earth (except maybe “Freebird“, but they didn’t seem to play that often).  I got so good at my timing that if I hadn’t made my move by the time

” And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul.”

started in the song, I was in trouble because it was moving too fast and the moment would be lost.  Then the lights would come on and I would dash out into the chill October air.  My sweat would feel glorious on my skin!  The air would be so pure and fresh.  I was alive!  I probably never touched the ground on my way home.  Of course, by the time I walked in the door, I would have to conceal my zeal and go back to my closed off self.

Yes, dear readers, those dances changed my life forever!  Desire, passion, need, want ignited inside me and never ever burned out.  In those halls I found myself.  In those halls I fell in love over and over again.  In those halls I learned just how powerful a kiss really could be.  Unfortunately, because of all my troubles and moving from juvenile halls to foster homes, over the next 6 years I would have relatively few opportunities to maintain a girlfriend, let alone kiss on a regular basis.  The Youth Detention Center is where I spent time when I was 13, 15, 17, 18.  Zero opportunities for kissing there, I can assure you!

Youth Detention Center in New Hampshire
Youth Detention Center Manchester N.H.

I did have a few brief dalliances.  Relationships where I was the veteran kissing expert.  Relationships that, though brief, I worked my magic on unwary girls.  I learned not to use my tongue as a plunger.

I learned how to avoid cracking teeth–ouch–I began to learn what girls do when their necks are assaulted with kisses and light traces of my tongue.

And so, dear readers, that is how my appreciation for kissing was forged.  There is much more to a kiss than meets the eye.  Enjoy the last dance:

My Miscellany: Let’s Talk About Kissing (part I)

wp-1485298089762.jpgRudy Clark had it right when he wrote “The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss).”  You want to know if a man really loves you?

“If you want to know if he loves you so
It’s in his kiss
That’s where it is”

I truly believe that.  More on this in Part II of this.  I don’t know when it happened in my last horrendous relationship, but it most certainly was almost 2 years ago:  I remember one day when we were about to get at it, me thinking about Cher’s version of that song:  “can she tell it’s not in my kiss anymore?” 

The anguish and pain she had besieged me with for so long had finally done it:  my kiss was dead for her.  I was going through the motions and that–as I’m sure many of you can relate to– is the kiss of death to any relationship, the loss of passion and desire.  Why I didn’t leave for for almost another year and a half is the subject of another post.

Anyway…before we explore the kiss, I want to set this most important scene.  This scene will come to define the very essence of why the kiss was, and always will be, a most profound circumstance!

I want to tell you a story about a 12 year old boy.  A boy, who up to that point, had never known happiness or peace.  A boy abused.  A boy shunned by all the other kids.  A boy beaten and forgotten in his own home.  A lonely boy.  I remember the desolate feelings that constantly pervaded my thoughts.

I cannot remember much of my childhood before the age of 12.  I have fleeting images that come and go, but I have blocked most of it out.  I am sure it is some form of detachment; a form of self-preservation.  But I remember never having any friends.  I remember day after day of playing by myself.  I was always picked last in gym.

Lonely Child Seesaw

I always stood off to the side and watched and listened to the kids playing in the schoolyards.  It was always that way.  I remember weeks on end of being locked in my room.  I remember the visits to my Aunt’s house, my older cousin.  I remember the sadness.  I wasn’t a bad kid, it’s just nobody really paid attention to me.  Or, if they did, it was for trauma and abuse.

Then I kissed Angela.

I was about 12.  I was hanging around the back of the Elementary school when some boys told me there was a girl in the alcove who would kiss me if I went up to her.  It’s been over 40 years and I still remember my heart pounding out of my chest as I approached her.  I still remember the devastating look she gave me.

She smelled like a garden of a million flowers!  She was a lovely thing!  She was a gorgeous thing.  She was a fragile thing.  And when I kissed her, my world exploded into a thousand colors!  And it was no peck and run!  No, this was a deep and haunting kiss.  A transforming kiss.  A kiss that pulled something from deep within my soul that has nurtured and comforted me through all the rest of my 40 years on this earth.colors

I truly believed I had not seen colors in the world until that moment.  I just looked into her eyes and then bolted!  I remember staggering out of the alcove, the boys asking me how it was, but I just took off.  My heart pounding, an energy filled me from head to toe.  My inner sanctity was never the same.

Looking back I realize that I found love!  I found joy!  I found a serenity I had never known.  I found something else, but that wouldn’t be defined on that particular day, lol.  Or, all of that had more than likely found me!  For weeks I would walk by her foreboding house, aching to knock on the door and talk to her.  I had to see her again!  I was in love.

Alas, one day I did approach that scary looking door.  The porch crooked and dominated with broken furniture and pervasive shadows.  Finally, one hot summer day, I knocked on the door and stepped backwards, heart thundering out of my chest.  Then, abruptly and violently, the door swung open and the scariest man I think I have ever seen in my life stepped up and I turned and cleared the four porch steps and never approached the house again.  I never saw Angela again.  But I was inexorably changed for the rest of my life.  Because I kissed Angela.

(part II:  my search for that feeling again)

My Miscellany: Let It Flow

wp-1485298089762.jpgI’d like to talk to you about something that is very near and dear to me:  YOU!  More specifically, your presence in this world of blogging; this world of expression.  Many times I read comments about you not being sure you should write this, express that.  Well, I am here to tell you:  Let It Flow!

Those of you who know me know I let it rip.  I don’t care what the subject, what my emotions, what the situation:  I let it fly!  Some people have commented I should leave recovery in anonymity.  That I am revealing far too much about myself and my recovery.  Sometimes I wonder myself.  And then, I remember:  I have been given one life to live and I must live it freely!

I must speak my truth and I must be pure and honest and reveal everything!  Why?  Because I want to, need to, have to, and because I can!  And something funny has been happening since I have taken this new approach to my life:  I am healing, growing, flourishing!  Don’t get me wrong, I have miles to go before I sleep, but what a difference it has made.  Disclaimer:  this is not a sales pitch for rose-colored glasses, miracle cures, life is going to all work itself out, or any other such namby pamby philosophy…haha.

I do not believe sobriety and trauma and pain and abuse and sorrow and sexual abuse and ptsd and rape and physical abuse and torture and depression and suicide and health issues and psychological disorders and any and all the other myriad things many of us suffer from, should stay in the shadows (and no, that sentence is not punctuated properly).  Oh no!  Quite the contrary:  That’s where our demons like to live.  That’s where they like to breed, to multiply, and to keep us:  living in fear and darkness.writing2

Our demons, our thoughts and emotions sometimes like to keep us under their thumb.  They do not want exposure.  They fear the recriminations.  They fear the light.  They keep their hands around our throats so that we will remain ever mute and silent.

They keep us company and pretend to love us.  We are fearful to expose ourselves, lest we cheat on them.  We worry what people might think.  We worry we might say the wrong things.  We worry that what we have to say is not important.  Let It Flow!

I don’t need to go on and on about this.  You know exactly what I am talking about here.  And I am here to tell you that you must be brave!  You must trust that your feelings are valid.  You must trust that your truth matters.  You matter!  What you have to say matters!  If not to anyone else but to you! 

I cannot tell you how many times–over and over again–I read something you have posted and just sit back and feel myself change.  I truly evolve each time you take risks.  Without you, and I mean this with all my heart and soul, I daresay I would not have come so far so fast.  And if I am feeling that way, many of you are having the same experiences!

So, as I like to comment many times, Write On!  Bleed your heart onto the page.  Don’t hesitate.  Don’t vacillate.  Don’t wonder.  Just write and in so doing you will free yourself, little by little and bit by bit, from that which despairs you, troubles you, keeps you hostage.  Who cares what other people think?  Isn’t that what keeps us down many times when we want to scream out “HERE I AM.  VALIDATE ME!  I EXIST WHY CAN’T YOU SEE ME?”writing3

When you think that what you are about to write, or have written, can’t possibly be of any value to anyone that’s when you post it the quickest!  You are relevant!  You are not alone.  We are in this together, you and I.

I am convinced that 50% of the world is batshit crazy and the other 50% are living in denial lol.  So there isn’t a soul out here that has any license to pain and suffering.  Nobody is The Judge.  I don’t care how bad our lives have been:  NONE OF US HAS A COPYRIGHT CLAIM TO LIFE, THEREFORE WE ARE ENTITLED TO ITS EMOTIONS.  Let It Flow!

With that being said, dear readers–dear writers–dear fellow sufferers–dear fellow humans–dear kindred spirits–dear children, Write On!  Be who you must be and get out of the darkness.  You might have to wear shades for a while, but your soul will get used to the light.  Notice I did not say everything is going to become rosy and cheerful and all better once you simply start practicing this.  But, on the other hand, you will be surprised at what transpires within you and around these hallowed halls of words.

My simple point is just do it.  Be who you need to be.  Speak all of your truth!  Aspire to what you want to become, and become it.  We only have one life, and it’s gone in a blink of an eye.  Do you really want to be second guessing what you are presenting and who you should be presenting to?  I thought not…writing1

My favorite poet, John Keats said it best:

‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,’ – that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. John Keats

My Miscellany: What’s Your Language?

wp-1485298089762.jpgThere is a very popular book that I am sure many of you are familiar with:  The 5 Love Languages.  It theorizes that we humans basically respond to any 1 of 5 (or several) major love languages.  Now, I’m all for simplifying love, but I’m a bit concerned that some might worry about their language, rather than their experience in love.

What I mean to say is, given that we can express our love in many different ways, on many different levels, how effective is this notion that we can pigeon-hole our experience with our significant other by labeling it 1 of 5 ways?

We all speak these languages at one time or another, and in combination as well.  Hell, I would venture to guess on Valentine’s Day many men hit all the 5 languages!  Alas, only to fall back into…?  My point is,  I’m not sure I am buying into labeling experiences in love that should be spontaneous and superfluous.  Labels, dear reader, can be dangerous!

5languagesBut, it certainly makes for an entertaining post!  And, I can see some merit in the fact that you might appreciate or two Languages over some others.  So, for a refresher-and for those who might not be familiar-her are the 5 Love Languages according to Mr. Chapman.  Do one or two of these languages speak more loudly to you than others?  I’d venture to guess which ones.

Interestingly, there are some that one might fixate on too much.  That is to say, do we all know someone who expresses their love by the amount of gifts they like to give, yet are never present for time together?  Or how about the person who has to constantly be told they look good?  Oh yes, I am sure we do.  If anything, this exercise in compartmentalizing love, one can learn where one is deficient in the overall language of love.  Or not.  I’m just having a little fun tonight…

1) = Words of Affirmation (see:  constantly having to stroke your ego, or speak Fido!)

language3You feel extremely loved when your partner compliments you on the way you look or on the things you have done. You love their encouragement and verbal support and save their cards and love notes as some of your most precious items. You are always filled with such love when you receive a card they’ve written that expresses their heartfelt love for you in their own litle way, little poems they might write, or if they ring you spontaneously during the day to say they love you.

2) = Acts of Service (see:  no matter how much I do it’s never enough, or stop being lazy)

actsofserviceYou feel so loved when your partner does little things to help you. You always notice when they are thoughtful and put themself out to assist you, even if you could do those things yourself. There is such a sense of love and thankfulness you feel when they do this.

3) = Physical Touch (see:  stop being saran wrap, or keep the flames burning)

physicaltouchYou feel especially loved when your partner touches you in loving ways. Whether it’s a spontaneous kiss, playful cuddle, or gentle, loving touch on the arm, you feel that touch convey the love your partner feels. You don’t understand why people would prefer to sit far apart on different chairs or couches, when they could be touching or in each other’s arms. When walking together, you really enjoy your partner reaching out to hold your hand, and you’d never say no to them giving you a massage.

4) = Quality Time (see:  omg can’t I just play golf on sundays?  or, it’s not all about you)

language6There’s nothing that makes your feel more loved than spending quality one-on-one time with the person you love. Great conversation and eye contact, flowing conversation, laughter and just being together. While fancy gifts and kindly spoken words are nice, you’d trade them any day for uninterrupted “together” time. You love it when your partner’s mobile phone is turned off or they sacrifice other important activities to spend time with you. Whether it’s fancy restaurant or just cuddling up on the couch to watch a movie and laugh about it together, you’re happiest when you can share experiences together.

5) = Gift Giving (see:  gold diggers, or stop being a stingy s.o.b.)

giftsThere’s nothing better than receiving a thoughtful gift to make you feel loved in a relationship. Whether it’s a single flower or something much more expenisive, you love being fussed over, spoilt and thought of. The fact that your partner thought to give you something then organised it is very meaningful to you.

Let’s all try to incorporate ALL the 5 Languages ALL the time!  See if you can concentrate on which ones your partner seems to respond to the most.  So tell me, which language gets you all warm and fuzzy?