New Formats

In two days my wife will have been gone for a week plus 1 day. I still miss her, even though she calls me twice a day to say hello and then, of course, goodbye. At least she is consistent. When I wrote that she had left me and gone to America, many of my friends seemed surprised, although by now they all should know that I am VERY difficult to live with. I guess they had much more faith in her strength than in my ability to maintain a relationship. I remind all that I was married to a very difficult woman for 22 years, although I think a lot of her issues were a result of smoking marijuana and then other drugs. I was not so innocent and for a lot of those 22 years I also smoked grass, but I quit, and never started again. When I tried stuff she gave me, I did not like the way it made me feel, so I only tried once and never again. Now, my drug of choice is food, and I have never been able to cure my huge addiction to milk. I love milk, in all its forms–yougurt, buttermilk, skim milk, whole milk, sour cream, ice cream, and and and. Even on Kibbutz, I finally discovered that a 5 gallon pot of milk was boiled and left to cool on the stove in the kitchen, and I would go there at the end of the workday and drink until my stomach was grotesquely distended and altho I only weighed about 155 pounds, my stomach looked like it does today–huge. I was startled at how loud the sloshing noise of the milk was as I walked back to my room.

But I didn’t come here to discuss my girth or my drug use. I came because I haven’t written for TOO long, and while I have much to say, I seem to have forgotten exactly what that is. Pardon my rambling, so many thoughts meander thru my brain that I am overwhelmed. Not sure where to start, knowing as I do, that I will soon tire and quit. Well, let’s start with the music. I am listening to the album from West Side Story, a magnificent american operetta (?) written by Leonard Bernstein. It preceded Saturday Night Fever in it’s huge popularity and I think every man fell deeply in love with Maria, especially if they saw the movie starring Natalie Wood in the role. I know I did. But I never wanted to be any of the guys. I just wanted Natalie Wood, and I continued deeply in unrequited love until she died in Catalina.

But I didn’t come here to sigh and moan over my feelings about that magnificent movie star. I also don’t deny that I felt Tony Manero and I were strutting down the sidewalk together on the way back to the hardware store. I couldn’t dance, until I joined with Tony. Then I too was the disco king, strutting. These are the glories of movies and music, the identification. Last night I watched The Lone Ranger. Surprisingly, I did not identify with Tonto. I was the straight shooting, silver bulleted hero, LONE.

But let me get to one of the points I want to make, or raise. The musical, West Side Story, is about LOVE, tragic love, the Romeo and Juliet tale of the bricklayer Romeo and the princess Juliet. It has all the emotion, tenderness, magnificent love that anyone could ever ever endure. “Maria, say it soft and its almost like praying”–what a terrific line. Now here’s the thing–I’m confused. I really and truly believe that heterosexual love is not alone in the great emotion of love, but Leonard Bernstein captured the feelings I have had the first time I saw my first wife, or the beautiful (to me) blonde Irish girl who I lived with on and off for seven years after my divorce, or the deep love I feel when I look at this Vietnamese woman who is now my wife. Sex was VERY much a part of the first two relationships, but now, at this age, it isn’t. Heart and diabetes medicines have taken my manhood, my virility and gentle closeness has replaced the wild and crazy passion. It is a tough adjustment.

My real issue is how Leonard Bernstein could transpose his sexuality on the relationship between Maria and the leader of the Jets–Tony. Bernstein did it perfectly, I could feel the passion and the love between Maria and Tony. Leonard made the switch effortlessly and with perfect pitch. So I guess I have answered my question by rambling long enough to create the mother of all headaches and learning in my heart that homosexual love is the same as heterosexual love, and all are great! We need to respect that, and I’m really happy that I lived long enough to see same-sex marriage be accepted by our governments–Federal & State. Life is good, and dammit Kim, come home! Five days and I really miss you. When the World Series ends, I don’t know what I’ll do!

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