July 31, 2007: “A Story, Chapter 1”

Current mood: relaxed; currently listening to: Liz Phair by Liz Phair.

Editor’s note #1: This is something I started that now seems like a long, long time ago, written by a stranger. It is one my several attempts at story writing while I was still a teenager. I wrote this with an older writer who also blogs (via WordPress now). His name is Steven L Campbell (a wonderful artist and writer) and we used to pen stories together while we were members of a now defunct writers website. Some of this story belongs to him, and he has given me permission to post his parts of the story. He published some of his parts in his books at Amazon.com, so if you are acquainted with his work and see something familiar, that’s why. By the way, if you have never read him and end up liking his books (and I think you will), please tell him Lola sent you.

Editor’s note #2: As with all fiction, any name or place resembling real people and places is purely coincidental.

It was summer in southern California. A glaring July sun and a storm over the green Pacific had turned the morning air humid. Inside the air-conditioned U-Haul truck filled with our belongings, I rode with my mother away from our hometown. My heart felt uprooted from home and severed from friends. The thought of living in a new neighborhood filled with strangers pestered me. I didn’t want to make new friends; it had taken me fifteen years to make the best of the ones I was leaving.

I complained under my breath at an intersection next to a discolored brick tavern called Joe’s Pub. The pub’s grungy windows sported neon signs that advertised a variety of beer inside. In the window closest to me, a black sign with white letters announced fifty-cent wings on Friday nights. Next to that window, a steel door opened and an old, sickly man in a greasy Army jacket stepped out. He looked at me, spat brown tobacco juice on the gray and chipped sidewalk, and grinned a toothless smile before hitching his pants closer to his chest and staggering away toward a brown-green mass of crumbling earth and shabby looking stores and houses. Many of the places had FOR SALE signs on them or in their narrow front yards.

Clearfield was dying and I wanted to stay.

The traffic light gave my mother permission to continue our leave. Across five sets of bone jarring railroad tracks, we passed three blocks of defunct steel making factories with broken windows on both sides of us. We passed fanciful names and obscenities spray-painted on the factories’ outer walls. It was a flame-colored mess, similar to finger paintings I did when I was a child at Jefferson Elementary—an old and tired building with the same fate as the broken down factories we passed.

Clearfield was old and dying.

“Maybe moving won’t be a bad thing after all,” I said.

Mother looked happy that I had changed my mind. “It’s for the best,” she said.

I said no more and watched us take to the interstate. Along the way past beaches filled with sunbathers, my cell phone alerted me to a new goodbye message from my best friend Anna.

We text messaged each other the same farewells that we had already said in person. Then she was gone after a “GG” and a quick “ILU.”

“I love you too,” I whispered.

My heart tugged me into tears, which I turned from mother who had left the interstate and now drove through downtown Pinewood, a flat, short conglomeration of sand-colored brick and cement stores that nestled lovingly against each other, selling everything from fast food to used cars. Thrift shops and discount stores were busy with California shoppers wearing lots of white and khaki. And cars that looked freshly purchased from showrooms lined both sides of the street.

We crossed a cement bridge so perfectly made it looked like it came pressed from a mold. The wide, shallow fording we crossed was called Pine Creek. According to mother, the rosy homes and property on the other side was where teachers and storeowners and doctors and lawyers lived. We passed cars that looked more expensive than the ones downtown, and giant bric-a-brac houses that looked like Beverly Hills architects had designed them. Outside my window, an expensive looking single story brick and glass building came into view.

“My alma mater,” mother said, pointing to the tan colored high school where I would begin classes next month. She beamed and gushed how happy her life had been all those years ago, and I heard again how nervous and excited she was to be teaching there. She had campaigned long to become a teacher there, practically calling the Pinewood school board every month to update her curriculum vitae. And now, after ten years, she was moving to a place she could finally afford.

“This is what diligence and hard work can get you,” she said to me as she pulled into the paved driveway of 197 Franklin Street. The Victorian brownstone house was smaller than the older houses in the neighborhood, but it looked miles larger than the house we had left behind.

I stared and wondered for a moment if I were dreaming.

“Welcome to our new home,” mother said, grinning at the house.

Home. It was beautiful with its stone and ivy walls and its well-trimmed hedges and manicured lawn. One could easily fall in love with the place, if they wanted to.

And that was the problem. I didn’t want to fall in love with the house, or mother’s alma mater, or even Pinewood itself. I wanted to return to Clearfield and all its dying factories and neighborhoods. Because nestled within its decaying subdivisions, Clearfield felt safe.

November 10, 2009: “A Macroscopic Death (Told to the Blind)”

Faces fading like new literature, soft and pale, sink into the quicksand of poverty. Their government turned their dollars into pennies. One hundred George Washingtons won’t buy a fistfight today. But a hundred Ben Franklins can get you murdered … Franklin kicks Washington’s ass every time.

But whose city park does big Ben stand in? Philadelphia? Tiananmen Square? DC? — Where the crackle of old flesh inside the White House grows loud above the vomiting whispers from a Chinese whorehouse fronting the CCP, UN and WTO.

Oblivious, Washington’s carved face remains proud and noble in his green erection where he stands alone in the town park I sit at. Alabaster pigeon poop covers his broad shoulders. Cell phones twitter at his feet with news that does not educate; a horror brought about by the theft of a billion gold Franklins when our infected financiers sold America at the First World War for a hero’s seat at Versailles.

Washington died the day Franklin was fitted as bridegroom for the multiple marriage of our country to the World Bank, to OPEC, to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, to the World Economic Forum, to the World Council of Churches, to the World Health Organization, for unity by assimilation for control by one government worldwide.

July 24, 2007: “Going Home”

Less than a month ago, I was having difficulty dealing with the fact that I’d be going home and seeing my mom for the first time in almost 10 years. What were we going to talk about? Everything we ever discussed turned into a power struggle of how she was “Mom, Authority Figure” and how I should have listened to her when I was younger, that Daddy, had he not died, would have kept me in line.

Yep, I’m headstrong. Yep, I make my own decisions without consulting her. Yep, I’ve made mistakes. But damn it, I’ve made some wise choices, too, like moving to New York and finishing college and falling in love with my girlfriend.

Ooh. How was I going to tell her that I’d had sex with other women?

For that matter, would it be wise to tell her that I’d slept with a professor at college? Or that I’d become Wiccan, which flies in the face of her Catholic upbringing?

But she knew that. She reads my blog.

So, when we met at the airport, I treated her like a stranger and pretended she was someone I’d just met and wanted to know better. I asked her who she was, what music and TV shows and movies she likes, and what makes her laugh and cry. I spent the whole time asking questions and getting to know her. Before we said goodnight, I hugged her and said, “You may not approve of who I am or what I’ve done over the years, but I have never stopped loving you.”

She cried and so did I. We talked well into the night, sharing moments and feelings. And I never let her forget how much I love her. I was honest and frank, and she disapproved of some of the things I told her, but she listened without a lot of disapproving comment.

I saw her in a new light … a good light. :)

However, when walking on eggshells, you’re bound to break a few. She and I got into a long conversation about the woman I’ve become (how I perceive myself) and how I perceive how others see me. We both agreed that my family and friends (and “friends” on MySpace) perceive me as sexually promiscuous, which I have no problem with. I am promiscuous. But I practice safe promiscuity. (I cocoon myself in plastic wrap during sex and emerge as a new creature after I come.)

But seriously, my mom felt, and feels, that it’s wrong for me to have sex with other women. It goes against her Catholic eruditeness, that stifling bullheadedness that says sex can be nothing other than Male + Female. My Female + Female sex life rubs not only the grain of western religious teachings, but the very fabric of nature. Male + Female = children, born naturally. Anything else equals zero—no sum, no revenue, no natural bi-product deemed glorious in the eyes of her god.

I argued (nicely), however, that even though the joining of woman to woman is not the Male + Female = children equation, our togetherness is more than being nature’s machines and producing offspring.

“You’re talking about love,” mom said, finally understanding.

“I’m talking about a relationship that defines the very phrase: We’re in love,” I told her.

“And you’re happy?”

“Yes.”

Mom was quiet. Then: “You shouldn’t post your sexual affairs on the Web.”

Perhaps not. She fears that my posting my sexual status at MySpace and other social sites is going to prompt perverted men and women to contact me, thus risking my safety.

Furthermore, she worries that I could meet up in real life with some stranger who is a rapist, a serial killer, a member of congress. Hell, that’s everyday life outside our homes. Who knows what the next person off the street is going to do? But I’ve learned that it’s a small percentage of true-to-the-heart criminals walking the streets or spending hours on the Internet, despite all those armchair psychologists on Oprah and Murray, or the slew of suspenseful TV movies saying otherwise.

Still, I’m an anonymous Webster when it comes to dealing with strangers. I am female, which raises the risk of being accosted by a ne’er-do-well. I have blonde hair, which raises that risk even higher. But I grew up in sailor-filled San Diego before moving to that crusty hub called New York City. I know how to defend myself. And I am bisexual, which means I’ve played on both sides of the track. I can usually spot trouble heading my way long before it arrives, penis or no penis in their pants.

Still, my bisexuality causes my mom to worry how family perceives me. Or worse, they may admonish her for failing to bring me up right. To that, I say, “Tell them to mind their own business.”

“But what if your future husband finds out that you’ve had sex with other girls?” she asks.

Well, I tell her, so what? If he—and who’s to say he will be a he—is intelligent, after I tell him myself, he’ll love me for who I am, who I was, and who I’ll be as we foster an honest and meaningful relationship together.

I’m not the first to walk this road and I’ll certainly not be the last, but while I travel through life, I’ll go as an honest, happy person and not worry what someone else has labeled me.

News From the Future

News clipping from the future

News clipping from the future

July 23, 2007: “Thoughts About Love”

Current mood: relaxed, currently listening to: Time Traveller by The Moody Blues.

There is a saying that goes: “Love yourself before you love anyone else.”

This is the reason I masturbate. After all, I’m always learning something new about myself. For me, it’s a connection to my soul—the core of who I am.

But loving yourself is more than masturbating. It’s how you think, how you dress—how you feel about yourself.

I love me. And the more I know about me, the more I want to know about me. This means I spend a lot of time alone figuring out who Lola Gentry is. That doesn’t mean I masturbate more (though I am more active than some of my friends). I simply like time alone, getting to know me, falling in love with the best qualities of me.

Love yourself. Get to know what makes you tick. Look at your soul.

My boyfriend doesn’t understand this. “Can anyone really know their soul?” he asks.

Yes. I know mine better today than yesterday. And I believe I’ll know it even more tomorrow.

I don’t always like what I find there, but I know those dislikes are adjustable. And the more I like about me, the fewer dislikes I have.

It’s good therapy, which I have started using on my boyfriend. He’s a bit defensive about the idea of loving himself, so I have been helping him along. When we make love together, I stare at his eyes, looking at his soul.

The eyes really are the windows to that otherworldly place there. The next time you’re making love, look deeply into your lover’s eyes. Stay immersed in them and focused. Experience the whole event from that perspective. You’ll know a deeper part of love—sometimes without either of you ever saying a word. And the orgasms can be very intense.

(He laughs as I type this. Reading over my shoulder, he says, “You orgasm at the drop of a hat.” It’s true. I can orgasm almost anywhere, even while driving, which can be damn dangerous. But there’s something about a vibrating engine and bumpy roads that get me off. I’m shit-out-of-luck if they ever fix the potholes in the streets around here. But passengers and pedestrians will be a lot safer.)

So, make a date with yourself, love yourself, and get to know the real you.

July 20, 2007: “Alone in Bed, Naturally”

Current mood: loved, currently listening to: Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd.

Alone. Tense and horny. Silence in my bedroom, but not in my bed. My hand wanders downward. Playing.

Alone. Mirror watching. A glass I like. I hum music. Sweet songs in my head. Hymns. Humming. Fingers strumming. Pressing. Hot. Agile hands certainly make the moment more attractive.

Alone. Fingers reaching. Probing. Dirty words spoken. Nipples. Cock. Cunt. Cunt Clit. Wet Lips. No lipstick there; not today.

Your sucking slick wet lips raise my hips and show trembling lines of delightful tension that I would never reveal in public life.

Door slams somewhere far away. Footsteps fade away. No sound but my humming. Alone again. No one hears. No one sees my shivers. No shivers are seen out there in a city in the cold where sex is performed behind closed doors.

Alone. My shivers erupt into shakes inside my room. I shake in the dark. My body knows the hands of old musicians. Stroking. Rising. I find a new discovery and add it to the old ones. A wonderful sigh. Stroke on. Flick on. Hips jump. Eyelids clench. Breasts heave. Mouth forms a perfect O. O God. O Yes. Yes yes yes. Volcanic eruptions. Bursts of sound. I fly with angels where only angels fly.

Then, door shuts. Again. Silence. Again. Alone. Again. My flight ends. Gravity pulls me back. Return is a splashdown of my soul into the waters of earth. My bed. My sheets. My body born anew for everyone to see. But no one sees the babe I’ve become. I am private. Man’s law makes it so, even inside my room.

Alone. I am. Alone. I dream. Alone, I am (free?) inside the room that shuts me away from you.

July 15, 2007: “Flashback”

Current mood: refreshed, currently reading: Pornology: Noun—1: A Good Girl’s Guide to Porn; 2: The misadventures of the world’s first anthroPORNologist; 3: A Hilarious Exploration of Men, Relationships, and Sex by Ayn Carrillo-Gailey.

So MySpace has this thing where you can add your high school to your page. At first, I said “No thank you.” Deep down, I knew why. But I didn’t listen to intuition. I went ahead and revisited what could have become my alma mater had my mother not decided to homeschool me. The place looked the same: generic-institutional-think-farms where most of the teachers have forgotten the core reason why they chose education when they headed off to college, and students who look either bored, dazed, surprised, lost, or all four at once.

Seeing those photos brought back memories of all the bullshit of trying to fit in socially with hundreds of kids, so very much like mice let loose in a maze where day-old cheese awaits the ones who choose the right path every time a bell rings. And along the way you run into, you know: the guy that likes you for whatever reason; then doesn’t like you for whatever reason; then likes you again for whatever reason. Same with girlfriends who want to punch you one day because you looked at their guy a certain way, then want to be besties because you did something that made them feel all gooey inside.

Sitting back now on the other end of the country (with a satisfied shit-eating grin on my face), I’m glad it’s all behind me. And that’s where I’m leaving it.

Bye Bye Facebook

As a busy wife and mom, I have little time to spend at social websites. In the beginning, Facebook and places like it were convenient ways to stay abreast of the daily happenings of my family and friends. But after awhile, it got to be a chore remembering to go online and post my latest news, keeping everyone notified whenever something happened to me, my husband or kids, or even my pets. That’s the reason I began this blog (which I don’t keep updated like I should). So, after blogging something important, I would have to repeat myself at Facebook and all those other social sites I belonged to because people didn’t click on the link to my blog. And every time I’d go to Facebook, I’d have to wade through tons of requests to play games and add someone I didn’t know or barely remembered from high school or college, or lived down the street from me 25 years ago. By the time I had either accepted or turned down all those requests (or both), I’d forgotten why I had gone there in the first place.

The fix for me would be ONE website where I can blog, post pics and recipes, talk to my family, order a new hat or scarf online, read an ebook or emag, take a class at an eschool, read my email, and order takeout at the restaurant down the street, all without logging into different websites.

Until then, I’m doing all I can to KISSing: Keeping It Simple, Stupid. And to help me out, the Internet should KISS as well. Until then, I’ll keep on dreaming.

Convenience. That’s what I need in my busy life.

Across the Wilderness

We ride
Across the wilderness
Growing hot
We quicken with shared memories
Rushing to come together in voluptuous unrest

We buzz
Across the wilderness
Heated lust
In the black of desire
Vehemency hastens to find that sweet release

We quake
Across the wilderness
Banging forth
Like poets of the spirit
We rock and grunt and shine

We come
Across the wilderness
Eggshell time
Which cracks with no alarm
And births the shutting of ingenious blindness

The Haunting

Rain wakes me;
it strikes against curtained glass like the nails of evil wanting inside.
I seek peace atop two pillows a kiss away from each other;
your picture and a bottle of Jim Beam Black watch over me in the swoon of the night.
Soft chills shiver though my body seeking the safety and warmth of your arms
Your body
Your memory.
It was a rainy night when we first made love.
It was a rainy night when we stopped.
This bed and rainy nights will entangle and hold me
And haunt me forever.

Dean J. Baker - Poetry, and prose poems

Want to buy a signed book? Contact me at deanjbaker @ G mail dot com

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