I am no longer marathon walking, as the years of pounding the pavement have taken its toll on me, as have the sports injuries from my youth. Like everyone, a half a century young, I have many bumps and bruises. One of my ankle ligaments is now completely gone. I had walked enough, between the miracle surgeries, to stay alive. When I stopped, my testosterone levels plummeted. The same doctor who fought the insurance companies on my behalf, saw this in a blood test and immediately put me on hormone therapy. He said I was going through “manopause” and my hormones were off from the sudden change in lifestyle.
He implanted some Tic Tac sized pellets in my abdomen that helped my body manufacture more testosterone. My body made a ton of it. All a sudden I was losing weight. My belly that had been growing, without explanation, melted away, well, most of it. I started to grow hair all over my body and I woke up with a woody every day. It was like I was fifteen again. While I had remained mostly celibate for several years, I was now hornier than a hotdog on Viagra. I wanted to stay committed to my sexual sobriety, but there was just no way. I had come full circle. Shortly after putting myself on several dating services as “Husband 4 Hire,” I started to get tons of likes, winks and chat requests. I had girls from around the globe contacting me through online dating services. Big data and members of those networks, were spreading my profile all over the world. I already made the decision to meet my soul mate organically, so although I chatted with hundreds of women, I only dated a handful. One such woman joined me to go sailing, but as it was raining, we never made it out of the marina. We put the time to good use and were all over each other.
I thought that I could get to know a woman through a pen pal style relationship. I soon learned that who people say they are and who they really are, rarely match. I had at least ten women try to scam me for money, pretending to be in love with me. I was never fooled and kept most of those dialogues in archives. They are pretty funny. I have made hundreds of real friends via social networking. My online friends or contacts, became the only social life I had, while I was walking and recovering. My social network became my support group, as much as I became theirs. Many who were reading my posts, were battling adversity as well, and shared their experiences in addition to their chapters of love.
I’ve been told many times that I missed my calling. I should have been a therapist. All I was doing was being honest and giving people hope. I am a perfect example of, no matter what your organic destiny, or your genetics, which my health issues stemmed from, miracles happen every day. I am one of those miracles. I connected with many people who showed me love and helped me through my bleakest moments. I also connected with many of my chapters of love who were following my story; although, at the time, I had no idea they had any interest. When I went back and read my former posts, I realized that pain killers act like truth serum. Despite my memory issues, when I meditated and was relaxed, I could recall so much more about my life than I ever could before.
It was as if my brain connected so much more with the love than ever before. I felt the love in my heart I had lost for so long. I now no longer try to fix every woman I date, or seek out women with broken wings. I do not confuse compassion and empathy with love. I have come to know love at a deeper level than I had ever known it. Deciding to live my life, for several years, without sexual or romantic relationships taught me what love is really about. My life-long obsession with sex and love was over. My quest for a true soul mate had started. I still reflect on my chapters of love. I continue to be surprised every time a new memory pops into my head. I run to my computer or cell phone and write it down. For the first time in a year, I took a five-month hiatus from trade brokering and everything else, to edit this novel.
I have taken all my testosterone-induced energy and focused it on restoring a classic Tartan 33 sailboat. Sailing has become the way I escape the limitations I have on land. I am not quite one hundred percent, as the years of surgeries, disease and stents have made the arteries in my heart rigid. When it’s too cold, I am limited. I feel my heart beat much stronger on those days. It is not a comfortable feeling. It’s not life threatening, just a limitation. Hopefully, one day, some genius scientist will figure out a way to make arteries flexible again. When I am sailing, I mostly use my upper body and I can go almost anywhere. It gives me the greatest feeling of freedom I have had since I got sick thirty years ago.
Restoring that sailboat also brought me closer to my son who I gave the sailboat to. It was his graduation gift. While it was maybe a bit much, I was able to obtain the entire sailboat, slip and restoration in trade. My angels took a risk on the trade and it paid off. It was the first time I could give them anything back, for their years of support and generosity. It felt good to give and at the same time be able to give to my son. We had no idea we would love sailing together so much. We are a very good sailing team, despite our few fender benders, when we first started sailing. So far the winter has been very mild, but the cold days are truly challenging. Still, I would not live anywhere else. I hope that in sharing my stories, and chapters of love, I have somehow helped others heal their own hearts, or at least entertained them with my journey. I will post the rest of my stories and chapters of love. I have come to realize that I have lived such a different life, that it is worth sharing, as are the many more chapters of love I can remember.
Even now, as I write this, I am chuckling, remembering the time my friend Peter and I were going to meet two of his Sunday school classmates. They were sisters and wanted us to come over the night Sunday school ended. Their parents were going out late and had made it clear, ironically in Sunday School, that if we came over we were both going to get lucky. We put our white shirts and ties on and waited. They told us to come over after their parents left and gave us their address. We were both so nerdy. It was hilarious. He bought flowers for the older sister. He was a year or two older than me, so it made sense. As far as I was concerned, the younger sister was much hotter anyway. We knocked at the door, but no one answered. Then, through the window, we saw them with nothing but bras and panties on. They signaled to us, giggling and looking through the curtains, hiding themselves. They wanted us to see them half dressed.
They eventually opened the door. They had tons of makeup on and were wearing the Sunday School outfits they wore to mass that night. They invited us in. We all sat on a couch drinking Kool-Aid and eating chips. We were talking about who was going to be with whom. It was similar to a business negotiation. The younger sister was conducting the meeting. They made us both promise that we would not tell anyone, made sure we both had condoms, which were a bitch to get back then; and that we were going to be gentle with them. They both then went to their rooms to change. As soon as they were ready, they were going to call us simultaneously to have sex with them. They wanted to lose their virginity together. They went into their rooms. We were surprised they were going through with it. We were both nervous. Just as they called us, the door behind us opened and we heard their father calling them. They were yelling, “We’re ready,” “We’re ready.” Their father didn’t see us. As soon as the door opened, my friend bolted into the kitchen and I followed. Unlike most houses, there was no back door, just a staircase to the basement. He ran down the steps and I followed, thinking he must know something about the father I didn’t. I practically flew down those steps.
As we learned, there was no way out from the basement either. After making that discovery, Peter climbed into the dryer and shut the door. By that time, the father was calling “Peter,” “Peter,” come up here. He just stayed in the dryer. I was not about to climb into the washing machine. Finally, the girls’ father came down the stairs and looked at me dumbfounded. He asked where Peter was. I pointed to the dryer. At that moment, the door opened and he tumbled out. He tried to tell him that we were playing Hide and Seek, but he knew it was bullshit.
When we got back upstairs, I just sat there. The girls were mortified. They couldn’t believe how badly Peter screwed up. If he just stayed in the living room, their father would have left in two minutes. He just came home to get some show tickets he and his wife forgot. We would have had the time of our life. Instead, he sat there red-faced and was blasted by the girl’s very religious mother and father. It was one of the funniest things I ever saw in my life. Every time I looked at the girls we started laughing. Neither Peter nor the parents seemed to find any of it amusing.
Peter never did hook up with the older sister. She hated him after that debacle. As soon as the younger sister was no longer grounded, we met at the park and had a very sweet one-time encounter. It was on the black railroad train that was a major attraction in Eisenhower park. However, when I think back, what immediately comes to mind isn’t the encounter in the park. All I could picture was my friend Peter, tumbling out of that dryer.