My father passed away last night peacefully and on his own terms. He was 89 and had lived a rich, full life. He volunteered almost to a fault, always willing to lend a hand to someone in need. He trained people to excel in their career and worked hard to provide for his family. Most importantly he raised three children to be self-reliant, well-rounded and successful adults.
His generation had survived difficult times and they had learned to not give up. Keep moving forward until you overcome the obstacle in your path. He never told us which direction to go or how to fix it once we got there; he just stayed close by, holding our hand until we figured it out for ourselves. I remember when I was young I had asked my father to scratch my back, he told me to go rub against the corner of the wall. I was hurt that he would not help me—until one day twenty years later and living alone, my back began to itch. As I rubbed against the corner, I realized how much my father had taught me about self-reliance. A simple lesson that would last a lifetime.
My father was proud of my new success as an author. His pride was not in my accomplishments, but in the fact that I was determined to make my dreams a reality no matter how slippery the slope. I try every day to pass that message along to my son.
I am fortunate to have the love and support of many people during this difficult time, but ultimately we travel down our path alone. The others are standing by the side of the road, cheering us on, lending support or just smiling as we pass by—some will even travel with us at times, but in the end, we must make the choice to live our lives as we wish and we must be prepared to do it alone if necessary.
We sat by his bedside yesterday watching him fade but it wasn’t until we left the hospital that he passed away; alone and on his own terms. Like a steadfast rock in a moving stream, the water wears away bits of stone washing it downstream until they become part of the great big ocean and gain new purpose. I do not know what his new purpose will be in this wide open universe, but I do know, he has already volunteered to do whatever is necessary to make it happen. I will miss him every day. They say you do not truly become an adult until you lose a parent, I don’t know if I will ever grow up, but I do know that even if I do , I will always be Daddy’s little girl.
Characters based on real people.Write what you know. Fictionalize reality. I watched a movie the other night where a group of women with a bottle of tequila, were playing the old ‘is it true or not? game. They tried to drum up stories that were fantastical and naughty to stump their friends. Most of my friends know all of my wild stories—what few there are ;-) Some of the details were withheld and the names changed to protect the innocent—I don’t kiss and tell.
Storytelling by its nature leaves room for interpretation and constant embellishment; each time the story is told, like the ‘fish tale’ it sounds a little different, a little more exciting. I write under different pseudonyms, each with a different voice and sometimes pieces of characters from one story flow into another. I wondered what would happen if I put a character from one story in the middle of another, how it would change the story or the character. Who were they before, who will they become? What made them who they are? Do they play well with others? Is any of it true? As an exercise, I am taking characters back before their story began to see how it all started—perhaps, I will eventually be able to figure out who he/she is or perhaps, he/she is someone I never knew at all. You decide. Loser drinks tequila :-).
The Memory Maker
She was up earlier than the rest of the girls in her dorm. She wanted the extra time to get ready. First day of her class and she had a new crop of candidates to impress. The boarding school was co-ed, but it wasn’t the pimply faced boys she wanted to impress, it was the new crop of teachers and coaches. Some fresh from college, not much older than her, but old enough to recognize that she was more than a giggling school girl--and still young enough to consider taking the risk. Wasn’t that what the rigid rules of the military school were for--breaking?
She curled her long blond hair to match the poster that hung on the wall of almost every room throughout the boy’s dorm—the beautiful model in the red swimsuit with the feathered hair. Carefully applying her makeup she smiled at her reflection. She younger, but she looked to be in her twenties. (This helped immensely went they went to town to buy the beer.) She carefully slid the silk stockings on and attached the garters. The wrap dress had a retro feel and she liked the way it swished around her knees when she walked. After buckling the ankle straps of her high heels, she grabbed her books and headed to class.
The usual suspects smiled, shaking their heads. A few mouths dropped as she strode into the, cavernous room were orientation was held, the click, click, click of her thin heels on the weathered wooden floor. The speaker droned on, she gazed out the window twirling her hair around her finger, cracking her gum and dreaming of … A new voice garnered her attention. She turned and a soft sigh escaped her lips, the new dean of students. His piercing blue eyes and all American smile, made her heart pound erratically in her chest. Victim number one, she thought. What’s that old saying, she didn’t remember a word he said, but she certainly remembered the way he made her feel.
A few weeks later, she had a Saturday detention. Since she was the only one, he held it in his office. Everyone was going to a nearby amusement park and she didn’t want to miss out. She tried to charm her way out of it. No luck. A short white sundress with thigh highs and lace panties, she wore light make-up and tried the ‘little girl’ approach, he was weakening, but he still would not budge. As much as she was enjoying teasing him—she wanted out. Her legs were crossed, the top one swinging wildly, hair twirling round and round her finger, the ever present gum-popping driving him to distraction, she contemplated offering him whatever he wanted, but knew he was too buttoned-up to take advantage of it.
Time was running short, she was desperate and that’s when she noticed the paddle. She had never felt its vicious sting. She was a bit of a handful, but a detention usually was enough to absolve her minor sins—the ones that she was caught for anyway. The leather was dry and brittle as it looped around the thick nail protruding from the wall. Almost the size of a ping pong paddle, the implement of torture had tiny holes evenly spaced throughout, crisp and clear in their intention to add to the intensity of sensation. She had seen big strong football players crying real tears after a paddling with the ’memory maker’ as it was fondly called.
“Sir?” she asked in her sweetest whisper.
“Perhaps, we could initiate a trade.”
“No, you disregarded the rules; you must learn your lesson.”
“Yes, Sir, of course. I was just thinking that perhaps, a quicker but more efficient punishment…” she looked at the paddle hanging on the wall.
He followed her gaze and she saw his body twitch as he recognized her intent.
“I do not think--it is appropriate,” he stammered.
“You are disciplining me, nothing more.” She stood and walked toward the paddle. Pulling it from the nail, she pivoted so that her short skirt would flare up around her thighs briefly, before she turned and handed it to him.
His eyes glittered with lust and she knew she had him right where she wanted. She turned her back to him, bent at the waist and lifted the skirt of her dress. His soft groan made her shiver and she clenched her thigh muscles and waited. The tick, tick of the wall clock was the only sound breaking the rhythm of his shallow breaths, she waited. She took a deep breath and tried to relax.
Crack! The burn spread through the lace, through her skin and seeped into her core. The tears rushed to her eyes. It hurt like hell, but the pain quickly turned into something more pleasurable. Crack! Again, this time she moaned as the moisture dripped from inside her, dampening her panties. Just one more, she thought. So close.
She heard the paddle tumble to the ground and the squeaking noise of his leather chair as he turned away from her.
“Go!” he commanded.
“But Sir,” she pleaded, “I like making memories with you.”
“Go now, but you will need to come back next Saturday. I do not think you have fully learned your lesson.”