Chapter 41 – Sailing My New Love

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 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.

 

Chapter 26 – A Bitter Sweet Chapter

By this time I was shooting for almost every modeling agency from NY to LA, as well as some of the most elite models from all over the world. I was living in Hell’s kitchen and just getting to know the city. Other than family events, or as a child, going to work with my father, I didn’t know Manhattan. For the first time in my life, I was learning the streets of New York. Not just as a passenger in my father’s car, or a school field trip, but by living and working in the city. It was a virtual playground with huge nightclubs and millions of women from around the world. I was in a single man’s paradise, as there was a plethora of opportunity and a smorgasbord of women from just about everywhere. That is why I found it so strange that I was falling in love with a shy coal miner’s daughter from Allentown, Pennsylvania.

I don’t understand how I could fall in love so often, or why certain women immediately triggered that love at first sight switch in my brain. But those love hormones, like dopamine and all the others, would simply drive me wild at times. I would experience these amazing floodgates of love for certain women. She was one of them. After our first shoot I thought we would spend a lot of time together. It was a simple shoot. She modeled in a torn pair of jeans and a ripped t-shirt. She was slender and much cooler looking than most models. She carried herself like the main character in the feature film “Flash Dance.” That was the style at the time. She was definitely a tomboy, but shy. Acting and modeling was drawing her out of her shell. She had long curly brown hair. Not naturally curly, just part of the act. Kind of her unique style. She was very fashionable. She wore outfits that looked like they came out of Vogue or Elle’s sportswear section. She came off as a sexy, hot, jock, dancer chick.

By this time I was shooting for almost every modeling agency from NY to LA, as well as some of the most elite models from all over the world. I was living in Hell’s kitchen and just getting to know the city. Other than family events, or as a child, going to work with my father, I didn’t know Manhattan. For the first time in my life, I was learning the streets of New York. Not just as a passenger in my father’s car, or a school field trip, but by living and working in the city. It was a virtual playground with huge nightclubs and millions of women from around the world. I was in a single man’s paradise, as there was a plethora of opportunity and a smorgasbord of women from just about everywhere. That is why I found it so strange that I was falling in love with a shy coal miner’s daughter from Allentown, Pennsylvania.

I don’t understand how I could fall in love so often, or why certain women immediately triggered that love at first sight switch in my brain. But those love hormones, like dopamine and all the others, would simply drive me wild at times. I would experience these amazing floodgates of love for certain women. She was one of them. After our first shoot I thought we would spend a lot of time together. It was a simple shoot. She modeled in a torn pair of jeans and a ripped t-shirt. She was slender and much cooler looking than most models. She carried herself like the main character in the feature film “Flash Dance.” That was the style at the time. She was definitely a tomboy, but shy. Acting and modeling was drawing her out of her shell. She had long curly brown hair. Not naturally curly, just part of the act. Kind of her unique style. She was very fashionable. She wore outfits that looked like they came out of Vogue or Elle’s sportswear section. She came off as a sexy, hot, jock, dancer chick.

She took the train from Allentown to the city. She would stay with me as often as she could. We always shot at sunset. There was a beautiful golden glow emanating from the windows. The entire floor to ceiling wall of windows, facing the sunset, was the reason I sublet the place to begin with. That wall of light was my first natural light studio. She would come by unannounced. I was always happy whenever she buzzed up. It made the apartment start to feel like a home. She was generally in the city for casting calls and to see her agent, so I was pretty much last on her list. But I was a steady stop. She had a boyfriend back in Allentown, which is why, at first, we never became more than, friends. We would order in Chinese food or pizza and hang out. She was very affectionate and was always hanging onto me. I loved that feeling.

What we became is rather difficult to describe. I did have that initial love at first sight feeling, but it took so long for us to become intimate, that I was screwing around with a lot of other women. Plus, I had to control my feelings, because she had a boyfriend. It was an entirely different story after she broke up with him. We would have sex every time I saw her, even though I was screwing around with everyone else. So as much as I began to love her and build on that incredible, love at first sight feeling, I was in a strange place, juggling many women at the same time.

I may have had many chapters of love, but I did love every woman I slept with. I have chosen to love them all, almost as a religion. I often think that love is the universal foundation of any religion or society. Even though we had great sex, often in front of those enormous windows, we were never exclusive. Oh yes, the windows. At first we thought the coating on the windows would prevent people from seeing in. Later we learned that at sunset you could see everything. We were more careful after that, but we were certain scores of people had seen us.

It must have been very erotic for our neighbors whose windows faced ours. There was a month we were going at it almost every day while we were playing house together. Sex with her was almost always the same. We would shoot at sunset, smoke some herb or hash, put on Cat Stevens and screw. Most of the time we would just strip in front of the windows and make love standing up. I think she got off on it. Outside of photography and sex, we didn’t speak about too much else. We had three to five hours for each other at a time and then we were both off doing our own thing.

Eventually she started getting a lot of attention, becoming quite a bit more polished, but had less and less time for me. When she wasn’t there I hooked up with other women, but I always hoped it would be her who rang my buzzer. I started to feel I was as much a hotel room to her as I was a fun hook-up, but nothing more. Over time, we drifted apart, but occasionally, we would meet for lunch. Our relationship turned into more of a friendship again. We just hung out instead of hooking-up. We never discussed why. It just changed. I had a feeling she was seeing someone else in town. I wasn’t jealous. I was kind of relieved, as by that time, I was hitting everything that moved. She became family to me. I loved her like I would if I had grown up with her as a neighbor, or true friend. The city was no bed of roses. I started to see the real underbelly of New York City, especially with what was about to happen to her. It was a playground, albeit a dangerous one.

She didn’t know where she was or what had happened when she awoke, naked in a strange bed. She had no recollection of how she got there. She knew she had been violated. She was terrified. She saw guys with guns standing outside the doorway of the bedroom she woke up in. She heard a voice she thought was her agent. She told me she never trusted him. She said there was something creepy about him. Somehow, she got caught up with some bad business dealings and now she was paying the price.

When my phone rang, I didn’t know who it was at first. The woman on the other side of the phone was crying and absolutely terrified. She sounded familiar, but as she was whispering I thought it might be a crank call. But, the crying was too real for it to be anything but a call for help. As she started to calm herself, she told me everything she knew. What she couldn’t tell me was where she was. She was terrified of the guys with the guns. She saw them on their ankles through the doorway that was intentionally left open. As she became more lucid, I could tell it was my friend. She told me she had been raped and she was afraid to get up and leave. She was afraid the guys with the guns would kill her.

Since she thought she heard her agents voice I told her I would call him and to hang up and not say a thing. I told her to call me back in a few minutes. If she didn’t hear a phone ring she would call me back, or the police. As soon as she hung up I called the agent. He picked up as if nothing was wrong. I asked him if he had seen her because I had a booking for her first thing in the morning. It wasn’t unusual for me to call him, as I originally booked her for a gig through him. He started to get suspicious but I played it cool. I could tell he was lying when He said, he would have to make a few phone calls to find her.

Then the impossible happened. She picked up the other phone and started dialing me. I couldn’t believe it. She was dialing as I was speaking to him. Now, I was terrified for myself as well. If he was a rapist and killer, he would come for me as well. She heard my voice and said “John, Is that you?” I played it so cool. I couldn’t believe I thought of this. I said “yes! I was just asking for you. I have to come pick you up right now. We have a shoot at dawn.” I acted like I had no idea she was in trouble. She just kept saying, “Ok. Ok. Ok,” to everything I said. She couldn’t say much more. I said she sounded tired and she took the hint. She said she had fallen asleep and asked me what time it was.

The agent thought he had gotten away with it. He said he would send her down when I got there. When I got there, she was a mess. They did a job on her. Her makeup was running down her face from crying so much. I said, “oh man you look drunk. Are you drunk again?” They fell for it and let her go with me. I saw the guns and knew that if anyone said anything about it, we were both dead.

I took her home to my apartment and bathed her as if she was my child. She cried a good part of the night. Later, she admitted that she had taken advances from the agency to pay for her family’s food and other bills, thinking that she had a huge booking coming that would pay for it. I had no idea her family was having such a tough time of it. I began to realize that the reason she started spending time with me was that her agent wanted her to. When she stopped being his eyes in my apartment, he punished her.

Apparently, all the hash and herb we were smoking was stashed in my sublet apartment. She was picking it up and transporting it to him to pay her family’s bills. I was the fall guy in case the place was raided. He was also using her to make sure none of it went missing. The very night she came back to my apartment she asked me for a pair of socks. I didn’t have any so I went to my roommate’s drawer to borrow a pair. He was never there, so I didn’t think he would mind.

When I opened the drawer, I saw at least a hundred kilos of Lebanese brown hash. I was done. I knew I had to get out of there. I told no one what happened and that I just had to move downtown for work. My roommate helped me find a place downtown. I learned later that there was more of a connection between my roommate and the agent than I knew, but it took months for me to find out. When I left her at the train station we both said we were going home, never to return to the city. She left. I stayed, but I never spoke to her or her agent again. Her last words to me were that the only reason she slept with me was because she wanted to and that she loved me. No matter what she did, or how she deceived me, I loved her and was devastated by what happened to her. It taught me how dangerous the city could be. I thanked God my father taught me how to survive challenging situations.

Later, I learned the rest of the story. She took an apartment from her agent on credit. He promised her she was going to get that big break and threw phony contracts at her to convince her she was going to be rich and famous. He advanced her money for her fancy outfits and she got lost in the dark underbelly of the industry. She was a great friend and a unique chapter of love. If it were not for her getting into that trouble and me learning from it, I could have been next in line, as there were so many notorious people working within the entertainment industry back in the 80’s.

 

Chapter 21 – College Roommates

After REDS I started promoting many nightclubs part time to help pay for college. I started in high school, when I would throw keg parties for my fellow athletes. It carried over to college. In addition to promoting clubs I started bartending also. One of the bartending jobs I already shared was at the Salty Dog. That gig turned into more than just bartending. The restaurant was failing and the bar was not doing the kind of business it did in its heyday. I thought it was ridiculous that a bar and restaurant across the street from two colleges was serving whisky to locals, as opposed to promoting college nights. So, I asked the management for an opportunity to take on marketing and promotions. Within a few months they went from grossing less than seven thousand a week, to over twenty-one thousand, with the majority of that revenue coming from the lady’s nights and college nights I was promoting.

I was effective as a promotional and marketing manager. One way I promoted was to carry free drink cards with me everywhere I went on campus, give out a few hundred a day and then meet the people at the bar that night. The free drink cards always expired quickly, so people would often come for their drink that same day. I engaged them in conversation at the bar and introduced one to another. As a result, the people who I invited became friendly with each other. I loved bartending and the combination of bartending and marketing was a natural fit for me. But, it was not always so easy. There was tons of competition. The only thing we had going for us is that we were within walking distance or a short taxi ride from the colleges. The huge discos were always more exciting.

I was doing everything I could to grow revenue. I would go to area colleges, including the one I was attending and seek out the cheerleaders and athletes. I would flirt with the most beautiful girls I could find. It was working so well that I bought a tuxedo, purchased roses and gave them out daily to the cheerleaders. I did not let anyone see me give out multiple roses to many girls. I only carried one at a time. I would leave them in my car, see a beautiful girl, walk up to her and hand her a rose. I would flirt with her and make believe I purchased that rose just for her. They were always flattered, often blushed and would ask what the rose was for. I would always say the same thing, “Come to my bar tonight and I will show you.” Then I would either walk away, while making eye contact as I walked, or walk her to class. I did this hundreds of times a week, for months.

After REDS I started promoting many nightclubs part time to help pay for college. I started in high school, when I would throw keg parties for my fellow athletes. It carried over to college. In addition to promoting clubs I started bartending also. One of the bartending jobs I already shared was at the Salty Dog. That gig turned into more than just bartending. The restaurant was failing and the bar was not doing the kind of business it did in its heyday. I thought it was ridiculous that a bar and restaurant across the street from two colleges was serving whisky to locals, as opposed to promoting college nights. So, I asked the management for an opportunity to take on marketing and promotions. Within a few months they went from grossing less than seven thousand a week, to over twenty-one thousand, with the majority of that revenue coming from the lady’s nights and college nights I was promoting.

I was effective as a promotional and marketing manager. One way I promoted was to carry free drink cards with me everywhere I went on campus, give out a few hundred a day and then meet the people at the bar that night. The free drink cards always expired quickly, so people would often come for their drink that same day. I engaged them in conversation at the bar and introduced one to another. As a result, the people who I invited became friendly with each other. I loved bartending and the combination of bartending and marketing was a natural fit for me. But, it was not always so easy. There was tons of competition. The only thing we had going for us is that we were within walking distance or a short taxi ride from the colleges. The huge discos were always more exciting.

I was doing everything I could to grow revenue. I would go to area colleges, including the one I was attending and seek out the cheerleaders and athletes. I would flirt with the most beautiful girls I could find. It was working so well that I bought a tuxedo, purchased roses and gave them out daily to the cheerleaders. I did not let anyone see me give out multiple roses to many girls. I only carried one at a time. I would leave them in my car, see a beautiful girl, walk up to her and hand her a rose. I would flirt with her and make believe I purchased that rose just for her. They were always flattered, often blushed and would ask what the rose was for. I would always say the same thing, “Come to my bar tonight and I will show you.” Then I would either walk away, while making eye contact as I walked, or walk her to class. I did this hundreds of times a week, for months.

Many of the girls would come to the bar looking for me. I would wait until there was a large crowd, so I could get to the bar without being swamped by every one of them at the same time. Most of the time guys would come with them, or their girlfriends, so they were not there alone. When I did not meet them early, as promised, I would have the other bartenders befriend them while I was still in the manager’s office. I met a lot of women that way. I would wait for the prettiest girl to show up and invite her to dinner. Yes, I was very shallow at times. I’m not proud of it. But, it is a fact. I would have the other bartenders tell the girls I was in a business meeting. I would typically conduct those meetings with one of the girls who came early, at one of the second-floor tables that overlooked the bar, so all the girls could see me. I wanted to meet one great woman, but it seemed impossible. Anyway, I was meeting so many beautiful women that it went to my head. I was becoming a player and was getting good at picking-up girls. Previously, I was always involved in a relationship, so being in college and meeting a host of new faces was a new experience. After a while, the girls started to catch-on and I had to find a new way to get girls to come to the bar. I was starting to feel guilty about it anyway.

I asked the owners of the place for a marketing budget to publish a small college newspaper. I recruited a few college newspaper editors to work on it with me. That was not my first experience writing. I wrote in high school and took a creative writing class. But, this was a different kind of writing. It was marketing and editorial. Nothing like college newspapers or Chapters Of Love. I sent the newspaper to the editors of the individual college newspapers. They loved it! I tried to get them to reference it in the papers they published. Often, they did. One of the contributing editors was a beautiful and intelligent writer and photographer who was the editor of the Farmingdale College newspaper.

She was one of the girls I gave a rose to. She had not come to the bar but she was taken with me and we did speak often. I always teased her about how she blew me off. She was way ahead of me and knew what I was up to. I didn’t much hide it, at that point, anyway. She was the nerdy girl you would see in teen movies. The one with glasses, yet with a subtle hidden beauty. Then at some point in the film they would do a makeover and a stunning babe would emerge. For some reason, she would always hide her amazing body by wearing loose fitting clothing. I could tell what she was hiding under those, loose fitting, sweats, anyway. One night she invited me to the college to interview me for an article. I was thrilled. I was even able to get a budget for a small paid ad, so we would be featured in more than editorial alone.

We met at a bar that was either on campus or just down the street. I can’t remember. After many pitchers of beer, we were hammered. I do remember almost everything else about that night, including how inexpensive the pitchers of beer were. After we got hammered she took off her coat. She had an amazing body. Before she revealed it to me she waited to see if I liked her, or if I was just playing her with the rose. At that point, I was honest with her and pretty much everyone. I told them all that I was promoting the club. The intrigue of a guy wearing a tux, when handing them a rose, was enough of an enticement anyway.

It was getting late. She invited me back to her dorm room to have a few shots. I never did shots, unless I had a good reason. At the bar, I often filled vodka bottles with water for that reason. In this case, I just went for it. I figured the invitation was for something more than just a few shots. As soon as we entered her dorm room we were going at it. Although we were passionate it was just a hook-up. She knew it. I knew it. She even told me she was thinking about getting back together with her boyfriend. There was nothing particularly romantic about the connection; it was purely a hook-up for sex. Her body was even hotter than I thought. She had lots of curves but not an ounce of extra weight. Just pure “shake and bake,” as I called it back then. Her room was small and she shared it with another student. She told me her roommate would not be back. They prearranged for her to not come back until after midnight. It was clear that she wanted me. The beer eased her inhibitions and she started telling me everything she planned for the night. It was a huge turn-on.

She wanted it doggy style. If ever a woman was built for doggy style sex, it was her. She was fit. Her breasts were huge, yet perky. As I pumped her from behind, her breasts would swing back and forth. The slapping of our bodies had a distinct sound to it, so it was both a visual and auditory feast. You know it is intense when that loud, wet, slapping noise starts. That’s when a woman forgets her image and just lets go. She was very free with herself so it didn’t take long for her to roll me over and sit on top of me. I was surprised, when making eye contact, she started to grind just as hard and rough as she did when I was behind her. She clearly was more into herself and her own orgasms then my pleasure. Even so, it was one of the roughest and longest nights of non-stop passion I ever shared. She liked it fast, hard and rough. At one point, she even insisted that I spank her while she laid across my body and fingered herself, so I did, but as gentle as I could while still getting her off.

After she came a few times, she got up, turned off the dim light in the room and we went to sleep. We were sleeping for about an hour. I woke up and was going to make a quick getaway. Yes, I was going to be that guy who left in the middle of the night. I was a bit nervous that her roommate was going to come back at midnight. I was quite shy, despite the number of partners I was with. I was behind her. We were both naked. My penis was nicely tucked against her ass and she had her arms wrapped around mine. We did not shower or even kiss much afterwards. We both passed out from all the beer and shots. It was almost midnight.

I slipped my arms out from hers and started getting out of the bed very slowly and carefully. I didn’t want to stay. Nor did I want to wake her, as I knew she would insist I stay. She was not typically promiscuous, so she wanted me there in the morning. I got out of bed slowly and was stepping on the floor tippy toeing to not to wake her. At that moment, I heard a key unlocking the door. I froze. I stood there like a statue. The door opened and in walked her roommate. I froze in place and stayed rigid as if that would prevent her from seeing me. I had no idea what to do! There was no way I was going to be able to get back in bed without waking her up. I couldn’t make a quick exit. As soon as her roommate entered the room and saw me, she turned and locked the door. She then turned around and crossed her arms. She stood their leaning against the door, just staring at me. She looked me up and down as I stood there hiding my package and then signaled me to be quiet. For some reason, I thought it was the gentlemanly thing to do. I thought her shhhhh signal was because she was being considerate of her roommate.

She made a circle motion with one of her hands, instructing me to spin around, as If I were a piece of meat. I had no idea what to do, so I just dropped my hands and spun around slowly, I was still drunk. She was a petite Latino girl who was even better looking than the editor. I probably should have put on my clothes and bolted. But, she was stunning. After I finished my spinning reveal, I stood there in the dark. I couldn’t see much. Within thirty seconds, she pulled her jacket off, then her shirt and bra. She pulled her pants down next. I couldn’t believe what was happening. She went to her bed, slid under the covers and patted the bed, as a gesture for me to join her. This was a tiny room. The bed was right next to her roommate’s. I figured this would never happen again, so I just slipped under the covers with her and we started making out. She almost immediately started to fondle my package and I quickly got hard again. I sat on the bed and before I knew it she was going down on me. I quietly whispered to her, “what about your roommate?” She said she wouldn’t care, but didn’t want to wake her. I thought they might have planned this, but I was too intoxicated to think much about it, or care.

She was more romantic and a much softer lover than her roommate. She was also a better kisser. She was so small, that while her roommate was sleeping right next to us, , I stood up and lifted her. Her hands were around my neck and I was rocking her back and forth, pushing the bottom of her ass away from me and then letting gravity do the rest of the work. She started to pant and moan and was whispering words to me in Spanish. At that point I lowered her back onto the bed quietly and we started to kiss even more passionately. We did it, very slow and quietly, in the missionary position with her legs over my shoulders most of the time. I didn’t want to wake her roommate. Neither did she. We made love in almost complete silence. It was stimulating to see her eyes and facial expressions. She was in ecstasy, yet, not a sound was coming from either of us. All the passion while at the same time knowing we could get caught was a total turn on for both of us. When we both came together, it was in complete silence. If you never had an orgasm in complete silence, I suggest you try it. It was surreal. It was almost one in the morning and I had so much to drink earlier. I was so tired. We fell asleep in each other’s arms.

The following morning when we woke, the sun had risen. I could see the editor sitting up in her bed with her arms folded, looking confused and pissed-off. I had no idea what the fuck to do, so I woke the Latino girl. I was a bit delusional thinking that I could convince them to fool around with me together. That was not going to happen. Within a few seconds they started yelling and screaming at each other, the editor in English and the Latino in Spanish. I couldn’t believe what was happening. My heart was racing. I had never experienced anything like that in my life. It was getting physical, so I grabbed my clothes and left. I was in my underwear as I ran down the hallway, putting my clothes on as quickly as I could. As I backed into a doorway to pull my pants on, I could hear them both calling me to come back. The calls to come back seemed genuine and the tone seemed much calmer than when they were screaming at each other. They must have realized just how ridiculous it was to fight with each other, but I just kept going. Much to my surprise, she ran a great article on the Salty Dog for me. She even admitted that she was breaking the rules by featuring a bar in the school paper. I never did see either one of them again, but I will never forget the time I slept with two roommates, in the same room, the same night. Both made me feel very wanted. Not quite as much as the coat check girl, but it did take my mind off her.

 

Chapter 19 The Kiss That Broke My Ribs

I went to Switzerland to test my heart while it was still freezing in the Swiss Alps. At the time, I was living in Southern Florida. I had to leave New York, despite my life-long love for the city and the beaches of Long Island. It was one of the hardest decisions of my life. I was depressed, lonely and lost, as I knew no one and nothing about Florida. I did know it was over eighty degrees, year round- It was the perfect climate for walking, but it was the most boring place I have ever lived. It was like being stuck in a perma-vaction nightmare. Granted, if you were on vacation for a week or even three months and living as a snowbird, it was paradise. But to give up everything and everyone I knew; friends, clients, family, to live in Naples, was nothing short of waiting to die in paradise. I was deathly homesick.

I left New York knowing that the cold winters would kill me if I stayed. I cheated death so many times, despite the fact the surgeons couldn’t fix my heart completely for almost fifteen years. I was walking a marathon (26.2 miles) every two days, seven days a week, for almost six months. I recently learned, when one has stents inside failed stents, the arteries become less flexible. When it gets cold, there is more pressure. You can feel it because the walls of your arteries do not give as much as they normally would. It could cause a heart attack. So, when I left Florida for Switzerland, I did not know if I would survive. A heart attack was a distinct possibility. Yet, this was a rare opportunity to live on a farm in the countryside, so I packed my three hundred pounds of production gear and computers and was on my way. At the very least I would know if I could move back to New York, or if I had stay and try to build some kind of life for myself in Naples. Or even more concerning, If I could survive in the cold again at all.

I was going to stay with one of my best friends. I photographed her for years. On her birthday, she would always fly to NY, without her husband, to shoot with me. She did this for eight years. She extended an invitation to stay with her while we looked for backing for a feature film we started in Florida, months earlier. It was definitely an experiment. My friend was a world-class model, but I didn’t know if she would to be able to develop her acting skills fast enough to pull this off. I cared about her and we were very close, but we never crossed that line. She was married. I thought that there might be something between us, but I would never lure a married woman away from her husband, no matter how beautiful she was, or how close we had become. I had been in love, with creating with her, for at least five of those eight years.

I went to Switzerland to test my heart while it was still freezing in the Swiss Alps. At the time, I was living in Southern Florida. I had to leave New York, despite my life-long love for the city and the beaches of Long Island. It was one of the hardest decisions of my life. I was depressed, lonely and lost, as I knew no one and nothing about Florida. I did know it was over eighty degrees, year round- It was the perfect climate for walking, but it was the most boring place I have ever lived. It was like being stuck in a perma-vaction nightmare. Granted, if you were on vacation for a week or even three months and living as a snowbird, it was paradise. But to give up everything and everyone I knew; friends, clients, family, to live in Naples, was nothing short of waiting to die in paradise. I was deathly homesick.

I left New York knowing that the cold winters would kill me if I stayed. I cheated death so many times, despite the fact the surgeons couldn’t fix my heart completely for almost fifteen years. I was walking a marathon (26.2 miles) every two days, seven days a week, for almost six months. I recently learned, when one has stents inside failed stents, the arteries become less flexible. When it gets cold, there is more pressure. You can feel it because the walls of your arteries do not give as much as they normally would. It could cause a heart attack. So, when I left Florida for Switzerland, I did not know if I would survive. A heart attack was a distinct possibility. Yet, this was a rare opportunity to live on a farm in the countryside, so I packed my three hundred pounds of production gear and computers and was on my way. At the very least I would know if I could move back to New York, or if I had stay and try to build some kind of life for myself in Naples. Or even more concerning, If I could survive in the cold again at all.

I was going to stay with one of my best friends. I photographed her for years. On her birthday, she would always fly to NY, without her husband, to shoot with me. She did this for eight years. She extended an invitation to stay with her while we looked for backing for a feature film we started in Florida, months earlier. It was definitely an experiment. My friend was a world-class model, but I didn’t know if she would to be able to develop her acting skills fast enough to pull this off. I cared about her and we were very close, but we never crossed that line. She was married. I thought that there might be something between us, but I would never lure a married woman away from her husband, no matter how beautiful she was, or how close we had become. I had been in love, with creating with her, for at least five of those eight years.

When I went to Switzerland to meet with potential financiers and investors, I knew it was a long shot, but I needed something to believe in. I was lonely and depressed. Traveling with her, dancing with her and creating with her, gave me hope. She even walked with me. Even dreaming that our friendship might turn into something more was a dream to hold onto. This trip was different, as I could tell that she was no longer in love with her husband. She was dropping hints and suggested that I should move to Switzerland and continue to create with her full time.

Florida was not anything like I expected it to be. Not that I had a choice. I needed someplace warm to live while I was recovering from numerous surgeries. I had a multi- foot bypass surgery on my right leg that not only saved it, but also relieved the agonizing pain of intermittent claudication and from the gigantic aneurism that went undetected for so long the main artery in my leg was 100% blocked from my hip to below my knee. I was in agony for over ten years before they diagnosed it. That damaged artery was causing intermittent blood clots in my calf, so walking was extremely painful. At times, I could barely walk. Before I left for Naples, the surgeons finally fixed my heart, both of my legs and removed a golf ball sized blockage in my abdomen. The surgeries were so painful I was traumatized. I was not only in Florida to avoid the cold and lose weight; I was there because my brain was as fried as my body. I needed to get my body back and I needed to be out of pain. If I continued to suffer, even my children wouldn’t be enough motivation for me to continue to fight. I would have thrown in the towel. I just had enough.

Being on massive amounts of painkillers was not an option. It was an absolute necessity and a recommendation that ultimately saved my life. The surgeries were done at a time that I was in so much pain I stopped eating. I would rather have died of starvation than be in pain any longer. I was either going to lose the weight and make it through the surgeries, or die trying. I quit working, other than writing my memoirs. I quit everything. I gave up medical coverage, my home, everything and just started walking. I had walked for many years prior, but nothing like a marathon every two days. It was a pace I didn’t think anyone could sustain, let alone a guy with 27 stents and a three-foot bypass in his right leg. Not to mention, complication from the other surgeries that caused me to bleed profusely, on and off, for years. I was walking every day post-surgery. I even walked home from the hospital after my heart surgery. I walked everywhere and even gave up my car to make sure I had no choice but to walk. The painkillers did their job, or there is no way I would have survived. I hated the feeling of being on heavy pain meds. It affected my memory and caused me to constantly repeat things. The greatest side effect was that it acted as a truth serum. I started writing emails to everyone I knew. I said and shared things that were best left unsaid. And for the first and only time in my life, I became angry that I was suffering so much, not grateful for more life. I believe it was a side effect from the prolonged pain, as MRI studies have proven that pain over long periods of time will change the way your brain functions.

Tramelan, Switzerland would be the place I either got back my life, or died. I had to put some space between myself and my children and everyone else I loved. I had been an athlete in my youth. Years of disease had ravaged my body and I wanted it back. Even at the expense of going bankrupt, losing everything and temporarily leaving my children. I truly owe my life to my children. They were the only reason I could endure the years of pain and push on. Everyone wants to live. I decided life was not worth living if I was disabled and useless to my family. It was time to kick the painkillers before I moved back to Long Island. If the cold was going to kill me, it was not going to be while I was with my children. I wouldn’t allow them to see me suffer or die in front of them. I didn’t want them to be traumatized, so Switzerland would become my test.

So, with that, I flew to Geneva. There, I walked to the train station and took a several hour train ride to the country farm I was to live on for the next three months. I had three one hundred pound rolling suit cases with me, so it was a small miracle that I managed to traverse my way around, pulling all that weight.

I was walking every day in the Alps, often alongside my friend and her children. It was reminiscent of The Sound of Music. Beautiful snow-covered mountains complete with the smell of cow manure in the fields. They were adorable black and white cows. They would run to greet you, carefully avoiding the electric fences. And yes, I did get shocked once while photographing a model. As I tried to duck under the fence, my arm hit a wire and I was knocked on my butt. It shocked the hell out of me, but acted as sort of stress relief. It reset my “fear factor”. It was a hell of a jolt. The cows knew not to greet me when I was too close to the electric wires. They also had natural stone barriers to keep the cows corralled. They were much like giant dogs, very affectionate and so much more intelligent than you would think. Keep that in mind the next time you eat a hamburger a.k.a. a cow burger. It was at that time I decided to become a vegetarian. For the most part I have maintained that diet ever since. I do eat burgers and steaks occasionally, but I always think of those beautiful cows and feel guilty about it. So, on those rare occasions, I only eat grass-fed, humanely handled, animal products.

I would walk for miles in the freezing cold. I couldn’t believe I was surviving. Not only was I surviving, I was doing well. I still had to deal with the effects of withdrawals from three plus years of taking strong painkillers. I did not take a single pain killer with me. In fact, as soon as I called my primary care physician and told him I was now walking a marathon every two days he said to throw the painkillers out and get ready for all hell to break loose. AS is evident from all the data out there, getting off pain killers after that prolonged a period was going to have side effects. Going cold turkey was going to complicate it even further. Before leaving for Switzerland I threw them in the toilet, took a photo and sent it to my doctor. He was very supportive and literally put his medical license on the line for me knowing that it was my only hope. With that, I was prepared to go through everything I had seen in the movies about going cold turkey and the horrendous withdrawals that came with it. They were horrendous, so I will spare you the details. After living through it I understand why even the strongest willed individuals become heroin addicts when they can no longer get pain killers. I was never going to be one of them. I went through withdrawals over the next year, while I was in Switzerland and couldn’t get more pain killers anyway. Well, not easily. As you will read, I could have gotten them for my two broken ribs, but I chose to suffer without them rather than extend my addiction to them.

I made a great deal of progress. It was also apparent that my life would no longer be the same in winter. The arteries in my heart would forever be somewhat stiff. Still, it was better than being three hundred and fifty pounds and alone, basically in solitary confinement. Apparently, I could tolerate the cold, even though it did slow me down. The next challenge was to see if I could shoot in the cold. Would my heart hold up? Did all the walking and resistance exercises grow enough new arteries? If so, could I start over with nothing but my health? The only way I would know was to try. I had tried for decades and it was not possible. I was always limited, even disabled. I prayed for better results and the opportunity to rebuild my life so I could leave something to my children. During this period, I wrote my memoirs. Often I would post excerpts on social networks and man did I piss a lot of people off. When I was on painkillers, even my emails were six pages long. The first draft of Chapters of Love was a mess. It was over nine hundred pages long, most of it written on my smartphone while I was walking. I was seriously lost.

I vomited daily as my body went through withdrawals. In retrospect my doctor really should have put me in rehab as we both knew I would become addicted taking pain medication for over three years. But back then the pharmaceutical companies campaigned heavily that Oxycodone was safe, but that was a joke. I managed to keep it a secret, but it was ugly. I started to shoot and promote my production company as if I was already in New York. I was again walking and shooting for free to build a reputation in Switzerland and test my heart. My friend was a huge help. To return the favor, I made her the focal point of my photography. Years earlier she was hit by a truck and had to go through a tremendous amount of rehab to get her life back. I always did what I could to help her. Love is not always about sex. It is often about unconditional compassion, loyalty and giving. She was the object of my “paying it forward” when I had nothing to give but my photography. I was hoping to somehow help her build her career to the point she could live her dream of acting in a movie. Soon after arriving and reviewing her screen tests, it was obvious that she had made little progress. She could speak five languages, but she could not remember her lines or express herself in a role. I didn’t know how I could help her. It was then I decided I would dedicate the rest of my life to paying it forward, with my camera, to everyone I could, as I had done so many years prior while walking the country and living in an RV; even for hundreds of charity events.

I came up with what I believed to be a brilliant Idea. I was going to shoot, write, edit, and do the layout for an international magazine that recognized model citizens. I bought the domain ModelCitizensMagazine.com and was on my way to becoming an international publisher. Within days of sharing the first layouts on Facebook I had hundreds of models contacting me about being in the magazine. Since this was about my friend, I put her on the cover and made her the focus of the entire 110-page issue. I included her family, friends and clients. When I saw how hopelessly in love her husband was with her, I knew that despite our chemistry and her assurances that she wouldn’t be with her husband for long, we were never going to be a couple. Neither one of us wanted to cross that line even though at times I was tempted. I am sure she was as well. After all, she lived with me every time we shot, no matter where I was living. She even came to stay with me in Florida, all the way from Switzerland.

I was proud of myself. I again turned downtime into something productive. After a while, many of the top models in Europe were coming to shoot with me. I was humbled by the experience. I also loved the Swiss people and their culture. I was fortunate to see how the farmers lived, while at the same time working with some of the most attractive and charismatic models and actors in Europe. Most importantly, I realized although limited, I could manage my life in cold weather again. Life was by no means perfect, but I was no longer disabled, even though I was still quite handicapped. I could no longer carry my own equipment. Nor could I shoot every day. Photography was no longer going to be my career. It was going to become a compliment to my writing. I had been writing most of my life. Most people seemed to think I was pretty good, so it was natural to blog and to write copy for social networking and web sites. Model Citizens Magazine was a way to help her and of course test myself. What it became was an artist’s dream. I have so much gratitude to the incredible models and people who came together to participate in the very first issues. I was writing about them, showing them love and was sharing their stories with everyone back home. I was honored.

One of the shoots was with a young lady who had not always had it so easy. She was a recovering heroin addict. I wasn’t aware of her past when I agreed to photograph her. After she modeled nude, on the train tracks and in the forest, she told me how much the photographs meant to her and how much it meant for her to be featured in the magazine. It touched my heart. We shot together many more times. Once she brought me some medicinal herbs and wax to help when I fell down a mountain and broke two ribs. Yes, I fell while filming on the side of a mountain. That fall would set my health back years, as nothing can be done to fix broken ribs. They heal, but slowly. I refused to take narcotics of any kind, as fate had it, I was literally still going through massive pain killer withdrawal at the same time.

I was only in Switzerland a month or so. My plan was to stay the legal limit before I had to apply for a work visa. I had approximately three months. When I took that bad fall, I was not photographing the model with the past heroin issue. It was another model who excited me even more. She was the reason I fell. Not only did I fall down the mountain, I fell for her. I had met her online. She was coming to shoot with me in Tramelan. She was gorgeous. She didn’t look Swiss at all. In fact, she looked Italian. She spoke Italian quite well and seemed to have an Italian accent. However, I was no expert in accents.

We shot, after my friend did her hair and makeup in her downtown Tramelan salon. Then she drove me to a lake. On the way, we stopped for bread, cheese and wine. The bread was fresh baked. And, everyone knows the Swiss reputation for great cheese. We drank both bottles of wine in about an hour as we shot on stone stairs that were on the side of a mountain, overlooking a beautiful lake that in the valley below. The stairs that went up to that hill were very steep. They were carved right into the stone hillside. The scene was straight out of a French magazine or postcard. It was there she took her shirt off and posed. I had thousands of watts of portable strobe lights on her. The shots were magical. She was magical. After a while I realized that she was not just posing, she was flirting. When we finished shooting by the lake, we went to another mountain, which was much rockier and steeper. We drove around until we found a perfect view. I could photograph her with a majestic view of the snow-covered peaks of the Swiss Alps in the distance. It was a winter wonderland paradise.

We were now finishing yet another bottle of wine and I think we even had some champagne. She was so European. Her accent was driving me crazy. When she spoke, she was very expressive with her hand gestures. She would gently touch me. I liked it. My body was responding to her touch. The more she touched me the more I wanted to see if it was just flirting or she had something more in mind. Out of nowhere I had a rather impulsive thought. What if I asked her play the role in the film I wanted to produce with my friend? Maybe she could be the lead and my friend who was not doing particularly well as the lead, could play a supporting role? Maybe that would get us funding?

I asked her if she had a monologue and she said no. That burst my bubble because I realized that she was a model, not an actress. If she couldn’t improv a monologue I doubted she could carry a film. So, with that I said, “You’re not an actress, we’ll never pull this off” and went back to our photo session. What happened next was quite unbelievable. I was photographing her. She was in lingerie and out of nowhere she walked directly over to me and kissed me with the most passionate kiss I ever had. It warmed my entire body as if I had been injected with passion. I kissed her back and we kissed again until we were enthusiastically making out. Then she put her finger to her mouth and made the shhhhhh sign, literally communicating that the kiss was just between us. With a wink of her eye we were back to shooting. My heart was beating so fast; I could barely focus. The adrenaline was rushing through my body. I was so dizzy I literally fainted and fell to the ground like a shy teenager and knocked her down the side of that mountain. She fell right on top of me.

I didn’t pass out, but I did go down hard. To protect my camera, I did what any red-blooded photographer would do; I held it up and sacrificed my body. I broke two ribs. Her elbow was bleeding; despite the fact she fell on top of me. That didn’t help my cracked ribs. If I wasn’t buzzed I would not have been able to continue shooting. I was in so much pain. To top it off, I was still in the middle of going through pain killer withdrawals. All I could think about was that amazing kiss. For a brief moment, I believe the cracks in my heart started healing and love flowed throughout my body. Endorphins were washing into my brain. Was this love? Was this somewhat famous, younger, gorgeous model my soul mate? Or was I just dreaming, or even worse, did I have a cardiac event or a stroke?

It was going to take much more than two broken ribs to stop me, so I continued to shoot the rest of the day. The following morning, after she spent the night in the country house with us, we drove to a smaller more intimate lake that had a winding path around it. It was cold and foggy that morning. We were going to shoot video to see if she could act. That one passionate kiss motivated me to see if she could pick it up quickly. I had already started writing Chapters Of Love and thought it would make a great screen play. I used a working title, “Chasing Sunrise,” but never let anyone see the story. I didn’t want anyone to steal it. I also didn’t know if I had the health or the courage to ever share it, so I used that working title while I tried to recruit both investors and actors.

She was a model by profession, not an actress. But, the Italian looking Miss Switzerland runner- up was a natural. All it took was that one kiss and she touched my heart. I thought to myself, maybe I could start my life over in Switzerland, publish a magazine and produce another film. If I had to, I’d shoot in Switzerland, where I was becoming more and more popular. The people in town were treating me like a movie star. That kiss was making me think of all kinds of ways to try to co-mingle our lives. I had very little money left. In fact, I had practically nothing. I had just enough to fly back to New York and with some luck get a place in in the city. I was simply not thinking straight. Her kiss had totally taken over my heart.

When we went to the lake the next morning, we filmed a great amount of video. All I had her say was, “I love you.” This was a directorial technique I used many times to judge the ability of an actor to make me believe what she was saying even though I knew she was just acting. By the end of that days filming I did not believe it was acting. I believed she loved me. She wanted me to believe and she wanted the part. I wanted her to have it, but I had to find out if she was going to be truly dedicated and if we could raise money with her in the lead role.

I thought that putting her on the cover of Model Citizens Magazine might give her the credibility we needed, but I would never take my friend off the cover. So, after thinking about it, I came up with the idea to publish another issue at the same time. It would be the Italian version of the magazine. She agreed and said she would help me write it and translate it into Italian, as my fifty-fifty partner. I agreed. A few weeks later, despite my broken ribs, the three of us flew to Venice to shoot “Model Citizens Magazine Italy” and give her a real screen test. She would start by hosting a travel style magazine, both for the issue and for a video version of it. We booked a tiny hotel room and started filming every day and drinking Prosecco every night. The hotel was giving us as much as we wanted gratis because they were thrilled with the publicity. Both models were pretty much becoming local celebrities as we shared the photographs with the merchants who supported our efforts. Within hours of our arrival, I was getting hit on by dozens of women. It would start almost as soon as I put my tripod out in the square and started shooting.

But something had changed with both models after our arrival in Venice. They were no longer competing for my attention, or even camera time. They started hooking-up with each other and were falling in love. They tried to keep it a secret, but it soon became obvious. Later, my Swiss friend’s husband told me it was the reason their marriage ended. It had nothing to do with her obsession with my photography any longer, or our almost ten year friendship, that extended a bit beyond. It was because she was expressing more love for a woman than for him. Venice was the most beautiful city I had ever seen. The people were so warm. I felt love from everyone; the shop owners who donated clothing for our shoot, to the restaurateurs who comped almost every meal. It was like being a celebrity, if even for a few months. We left Venice a few days later. We would never kiss again, nor would we make the film. My photographs put her on the map and her career skyrocketed within days. She was not supposed to use them before the issue came out, but did so against my wishes. She became quite the diva. It became rather apparent that the kiss was strategic and not the least bit authentic.

When we got back to the farm my dear friend was a mess. Her marriage was falling apart. She was miserable, no longer in love with her husband and totally obsessed with her new girlfriend, who was hooking-up with everyone, both men and women. Each of them were the object of so many admirers’ obsessions. It was not surprising they became the object of each other’s. My friend was building a small house in the country, on property given to her by her mom. For a moment, I thought, maybe I would stay. She wanted me to. They both did. They were both bi-sexual and thought we might live out a three’s company kind of arrangement. It was very tempting, but nothing was going to keep me from my children and my true home on Long Island. Not even the thought of building a publishing empire in a European paradise, while engaging in a modern family with two of the most beautiful women in Switzerland.

I left Switzerland with three issues of Model Citizens Magazine and very little money. But, I had proven to myself that I had my health back. I also was fortunate enough to go to Paris and Stockholm where women were much more sexual and free spirited than they were even in Switzerland. I knew my career as a full-time photographer was coming to an end, no matter how much I loved it. I also knew that my heart was healing in more ways than just physically. The crack in my heart was on the mend. That single kiss, gave me hope I could find my true soul mate and could love again. I had finally started to heal and was ready to look for true love. That passionate kiss that broke my ribs was one of the most romantic and passionate kisses I ever was blessed with. When I am asked, “was it worth it?” I always say yes. I was in Switzerland for only a few months, but I experienced some of the most creative and romantic experiences of my life. I am sure if I took them up on their invitation to stay that we might have all shared a very long and modern chapter of love. I just could not keep my heart from wanting to go home to my island, Long Island so I left as soon as I was healthy enough to fly back.

 

Chapter 18 – Natasha

When I met her, I didn’t know she was involved with someone, nor did I want to ask. I just wanted to get to know her. She was the embodiment of fashion and beauty, white gloves and all. I was bartending at Pierre Cardin’s extravagantly expensive Maxim’s, one of the world’s most famous French restaurants, located in the Helmsley Carlton House on 61st and Madison Ave. in New York. It was an outpost of the famous Parisian belle époque cafe founded in the 1890’s. It was a weekend and she was alone. I had never seen a woman of that beauty, dressed so formally, alone at a bar. I was waiting for the plethora of men who would soon line-up to capture her attention. I was trying to play it cool, although I could not take my eyes off her. I was pathetically shy. She had such an effect on me that I became clumsy behind the bar. I was ogling her and she liked it. I am sure she was taking a good look at me in my tuxedo as well.

The patrons were extremely wealthy. Most dressed as if they had just come from the opera. Many had. Occasionally, mere mortals, from the middle class would come in. This was generally for special events such as engagement parties or anniversaries. While I was bartending I had the opportunity to expand my knowledge in the culinary arts. I would skip my lunch and dinner breaks to take lessons from the French chefs in the kitchen. I had often thought I would open a restaurant, so whenever I wasn’t bartending, I volunteered to work with chefs, for free on my lunch an dinner breaks. I probably have more kitchen hours logged than many chefs. I have mastered numerous cuisines. I can really cook!

But this chapter is not about cooking. It is about this incredible woman. I wasn’t even thinking about sex when I first met her. I just wanted her to agree to pose for me. I couldn’t wait to get her into my studio, which at this point in my career were primarily the South shore beaches of Long Island. She was a work of walking art from head to toe. As I learned shortly after meeting her, she was a model, designer and also, a fine artist.

When I met her, I didn’t know she was involved with someone, nor did I want to ask. I just wanted to get to know her. She was the embodiment of fashion and beauty, white gloves and all. I was bartending at Pierre Cardin’s extravagantly expensive Maxim’s, one of the world’s most famous French restaurants, located in the Helmsley Carlton House on 61st and Madison Ave. in New York. It was an outpost of the famous Parisian belle époque cafe founded in the 1890’s. It was a weekend and she was alone. I had never seen a woman of that beauty, dressed so formally, alone at a bar. I was waiting for the plethora of men who would soon line-up to capture her attention. I was trying to play it cool, although I could not take my eyes off her. I was pathetically shy. She had such an effect on me that I became clumsy behind the bar. I was ogling her and she liked it. I am sure she was taking a good look at me in my tuxedo as well.

The patrons were extremely wealthy. Most dressed as if they had just come from the opera. Many had. Occasionally, mere mortals, from the middle class would come in. This was generally for special events such as engagement parties or anniversaries. While I was bartending I had the opportunity to expand my knowledge in the culinary arts. I would skip my lunch and dinner breaks to take lessons from the French chefs in the kitchen. I had often thought I would open a restaurant, so whenever I wasn’t bartending, I volunteered to work with chefs, for free on my lunch an dinner breaks. I probably have more kitchen hours logged than many chefs. I have mastered numerous cuisines. I can really cook!

But this chapter is not about cooking. It is about this incredible woman. I wasn’t even thinking about sex when I first met her. I just wanted her to agree to pose for me. I couldn’t wait to get her into my studio, which at this point in my career were primarily the South shore beaches of Long Island. She was a work of walking art from head to toe. As I learned shortly after meeting her, she was a model, designer and also, a fine artist.

The food and atmosphere at Maxim’s was always refined and world class. A string quartet would often play on a mini cabaret style stage. We all wore tuxedoes. Patrons would come similarly dressed. Some even wore top hats. Other than in the movies, I had never seen anything like it. I had never even been to a black-tie event prior to working there. As for the food, the duck was incredible, as was the chateaubriand in a demi-glaze. I would eat there most nights when I bartended, right in the kitchen with the chefs who were training me. I spent very little time with the head chef. Usually, I trained with one of my friends, who was the fourth or fifth chef. He was the one who introduced me to the restaurant management. He was also instrumental in helping me get the bartending gig there. In all, I was taught by about four of their top chefs who appreciated my interest in learning French cuisine. When I was bartending I would make them cocktails and sneak them into the kitchen. That was totally against the house rules, but I paid for them out of my own pocket so I didn’t see the harm in it. They weren’t supposed to be drinking on the job, but they also weren’t supposed to be teaching me how to cook the entire menu either. My manager knew. As long as I kept ringing up more sales than any other bartender, he looked the other way.

After a quick dirty martini, she ordered beluga caviar and Cristal. This was far too expensive for me to comp or buy for her. She asked for two glasses and two plates, so I assumed she was waiting for a guest. She seemed to be as enchanted with me as I was with her. I have never been particularly fond of any body type or figure other than totally fit and she was as fit as any fitness model I had ever seen. Her accent was intriguing, different than anything I ever heard. It was the glamorous way in which she presented herself that made her so irresistible and alluring. This was amplified by the fact that she did not stop staring at me.

Her accent was Eastern European, but I don’t recall where she was from, other than I don’t believe it exists anymore. As she was waiting for her champagne and caviar she perused my portfolio and told me that she was also an artist. She wanted to paint self-portraits from photographs I would take of her. She loved the way I used natural light and the reflections from water to create glowing, golden, bodies with dynamic highlights. This was my style of shooting for both headshots and body shots. I was starting to gain a reputation for showing the human figure in this way, in contrast to so many photographers in the eighties who were using the new Speedetron studio lights. I always brought my print portfolio to work with me. I never knew when I was going to meet someone who was interested in shooting with me. I always recruited none agency models and actors to shoot with me, even if they were not pursuing careers any longer or never had. Often I would use photography as an icebreaker and very often because I loved the human figure. She was mesmerized by my work. She couldn’t believe that with such talent, I was a bartender. It was obvious that she came from money. If not, someone was paying for all that beluga and Cristal. Someone with lots of money!

Although I was more than willing to photograph her without any fee, as I often did for others, she offered me an enormous retainer. As I served her the Cristal and the waiter brought the beluga, I realized that she ordered the champagne and caviar for the two of us. I immediately asked for the rest of the night off. It was the only time I ever asked and the manger agreed to let me off early. He knew what was going on. Despite the fact we were not allowed to socialize with the patrons, he looked the other way. We shared several bottles of Cristal. The caviar was new to me. The champagne was delicious, as was the caviar. To me it tasted like a woman, so I thought that must be why it was so expensive. I didn’t understand why a woman would like it. I wondered if it was a universal aphrodisiac. It definitely was to me!

This would be my last bartending job. My life as photojournalist, portrait and event photographer had begun. It was not until later in life that I became educated in software development methodologies, telecommunications, data mining and analysis. Careers I became very accomplished at for a short period of time.

She would top tiny, crispy crackers with caviar, chives, and other accompaniments. She would feed me one, eat one herself and then we would both toast with Cristal. We went through several bottles. I knew the tab would be over a thousand dollars. Later, she asked me if I needed a ride home. At this point, I was living at my parent’s apartment, while I was looking for an apartment in the city. She thought I was living in the city when she offered. I told her I had to go to Long Island to get my equipment out of storage. She suggested that we take her car. I was taking trains and commuting, so this was all new to me. Before we left, she ordered more caviar and Cristal to take with us in the limo. At that point I shouldn’t have been surprised that she also purchased the silver crystal caviar plate and mother of pearl spoons as well. But, I was.

While I believed that she had her own car parked in a lot nearby I found out shortly she had a limousine with a driver. She directed the driver to take us to my Long Island apartment. The entire trip she flirted and poured glass after glass of Cristal. I ran in, retrieved my equipment and we went right to the beach. It was as if I was dreaming. This was not what a woman of her stature was supposed to be doing with a middle-class bartender who was driving a Plymouth Duster. We didn’t need any clothing for what was going to be an abstract and implied nude shoot, although she had an entire wardrobe in the trunk of the limo. She had it converted into what appeared to be an upscale portable closet, so she must have owned the limo. So, no clothes were needed. All she needed was a towel, which she did not have, so I took two from my parent’s house. Her only requirement was that I give her all the negatives. She offered me five grand for the shoot so I didn’t care if she took the negatives and a pint of my blood. But, as we became more and more flirtatious she became just as important as the money and the shoot itself.

She had her driver drop us at the beach. We were going to shoot and then sleep on the beach. It was late fall, but it was unseasonably warm. There was no one on the beach that morning. The sun was rising over the horizon and the first bits of sunlight were peeking through the clouds that were low in the sky. The gulls were scarce, yet somewhat audible with their chirping. The tall tufts of dried sea grass were gently rolling in the breeze, on the dunes, beside us. The rest of the sky was golden. Her skin was glistening in the orange glow of the morning light. The wind was gentle and soft. It cooled our skin as the sun warmed it. It was a beautiful day to be at the beach. Truly, a beautiful day to be alive. I felt as if I was living in a fairy tale. It was all so surreal. The water had turned from a green tone to a cool reflective blue, as the sun rose higher in the sky. It wasn’t the mild chill in the air that gave me goose bumps. It was the sheer magnitude of her beauty, as she slowly undressed. She did not rip her clothing off and change behind a towel, as many models did. She turned it into an art form. She took her sweet time, knowing that she was seducing me.

She was wearing a long black gown. There were many buttons on the side of the dress. She slowly was undoing them, one at a time, as she looked over her shoulder at me. I was in a black turtleneck with my black photographer’s vest and black jeans. I always wore black when I was shooting. She had a confident smile on her face, mixed with a look of satisfaction. As she laid her dress on the sand I could see that her body was even more sculptured than I imagined. My heart started to race. Under that gown, she was wearing black garters and lace lingerie.

She removed the garters very slowly. Every few seconds she would look back at me and smile. Each time she did, I became more and more entranced by her seductive striptease. She took off the garters and gently laid them on top of her dress. Then she took off her bra and put it on top of the garters, while carefully covering her nipples with one arm and hand. She was staring at me each time she turned and was intentionally keeping enough to my imagination. I was hypnotized by her grace. Then, she sat down onto the sand, facing away from me and slipped off her panties, using her feet to kick them away. She was on her side facing away from me, acting very modest. That combination of grace and pure animal sexuality totally stunned me. I couldn’t bring myself to start shooting. I stood there gazing at her for what seemed like an eternity.

She rolled onto her stomach with her arms still covering her breasts. I could see her back and the curve where it met her buttocks. Her dimples were as perfect as were her curves. She was lightly covered in a thin layer of sand. I fell to my knees and started shooting. Back then we used motor drives to advance the film. We were engulfed in silence, broken by only the occasional high-pitched screeches of the gulls, the surf, the sound of the shutter and the camera’s motor drive advancing the film. I was shooting faster than I had ever shot in my life. It was instinctual with her. I didn’t have to pose her. She would turn gracefully while covering her nipples and vagina with her hands. The sand would stick to her body and fall off as she moved. It was getting much warmer as the sun rose higher above the horizon and I began to sweat, so I took my vest and shirt off.

I switched to a telephoto lens, to blow out the background and put the 300 2.8 on my camera body, so I had to move far away from her. Before I did, I walked over to her and dropped to my knees, as she was lying on her back. I moved the few strands of hair that were in front of her eyes. She reached up to me and pulled me towards her to kiss. It seemed as if that kiss lasted for minutes. I felt as if I was floating. It was a gentle but passionate kiss. I was the modest one, but I hadn’t expected it. I starting to mount her, but she pushed me away, covered her breasts again and with a nod of her head let me know the kiss was as far as it was going. She was shy despite her courageous posing. It might have been the Cristal, or the moment. I have no idea what prompted the kiss, but the goosebumps were again moving up and down my body. I was rock hard. I knew she was checking, as I caught her staring as I was getting up. First it was my groin and then directly into my eyes.

I put the camera on my tripod, to keep it steady, as my hands were shaking. I was about thirty yards from her. As I continued shooting and directing her, she took her arms off her breasts and vagina. The distance and the kiss had emboldened her. I was lying with my head practically in the sand to get a low angle. I could feel my erection against the cool sand, which made it even harder. I thought I was going to cum right there. She waved at me to come to her. This was it. She wanted me

I closed my eyes and lowered my head. My heart started beating even faster. Before I got up I took one last look through my lens. All I saw were legs… hundreds of legs. There were hundreds, maybe thousands, of marines in full battle gear, running between us. There were so many I lost sight of her for a few seconds. Then as gaps between them opened, I saw her rolling into the water, trying to hide herself. We both were so focused on each other; we never saw them coming, until they were directly between us.

It seemed to take forever for them to pass. When they did, I ran over to her and gave her my vest and shirt. She was freezing. The water was cold. Her mouth was wide open the entire time, as if she was in shock. As our eyes met, I wrapped my body around her to warm her. She did not put her dress on. It was far too expensive to come in contact with wet sand and salt water. It didn’t belong at the beach. Once she stopped shivering, she looked into my eyes and we both burst out laughing uncontrollably. She asked if I took any photographs of it. Of course, I had. That excited her. Her body was amazing. She had a look almost identical to Natasha Kinski in Richard Avedon’s famous snake photo. That shot inspired me. When I saw the actual photo, it was startling how much she looked like her.

We walked back to the parking lot quickly, as she was freezing. It was empty, as the beaches were not open that time of year. Not even a single marine was anywhere to be seen, as they disappeared into the distance. To their credit, not a single one broke formation, said anything, or stopped running. Within thirty minutes her limo was back at the beach. She dried off and cleaned herself up in the car. I called a friend to have him bring my reflector, which I had forgotten. The sun was now too high above the horizon to shoot without it.

We shot in the sea grass with him reflecting light for us. At this point she was not willing to do nudes. She was too rattled by the sudden appearance of the marines. Utilizing her wardrobe, we shot all day, through sunset. My friend swore she was the real Natasha and always told that to people. I never could confirm or deny that it was, despite the similarity. Just before sunset, we asked my friend to leave, as we were done shooting. We made love on the beach until it was dark and so cold we were both shivering.

We cleaned up so her driver wouldn’t suspect anything and went back to the limo. She asked her chauffeur to drive me home, but on the way, we were feeling so close we didn’t want the day to end. She didn’t want to go back to the city, so we handed him the film to take to the lab and she gave him the rest of the night off. I was embarrassed, but I drove her to a hotel, yes the infamous Bethpage Hotel, in my Plymouth Duster. It was the same place I had gone with the cadet. It was the only hotel I could afford, especially since the processing of the film was going to cost almost as much as the Cristal. At this point I had decided not to accept her offer of the five-thousand-dollar fee. I checked us in and as soon as I set up my strobe lights we were going at it again and taking photographs as well. She was getting so turned on, she coaxed me over to the bed with my camera in hand. She was rolling around in the white sheets and alternately hiding and exposing different parts of her body. Later, after we slept a bit, she went into the shower and posed erotically behind the shower curtain, to seduce me to join her. I couldn’t resist, even though I was exhausted.

The next morning, we went to the Empress Diner for breakfast and then to the NYC lab to pick up the film. I mostly shot black and white, as per her request. To say she loved the photos was an understatement. Back in the limo, she kept hugging and kissing me. Suddenly, her mood changed and she started to get upset. I asked her what was wrong and she admitted that she was involved. Her driver met us at the lab and handed her an envelope when he first arrived. She hugged me and gave it to me. As she left, I could see tears in her eyes. I teared-up as well. I knew I would never learn her name or anything more about her. I would never see her again. I knew it and of course I was correct.

About a month later, I found a roll of film with a frame or two shot from my “Natasha” shoot. I cherish those two shots, as it is all I have to remember her by. She was my Natasha and I will never forget the day a thousand marines crossed our path in the middle of a shoot. For weeks, I was heartbroken and shed a few tears every time I thought of how connected we were. She was committed to someone else. That someone else was the one who paid for the caviar, limo, dinner and my $5000 fee. It was painful, but gave me hope that I would find my true love one day. Even if she was not my soul mate, we did have an amazing chapter of love.

 

Chapter 16 – My Ballerina

Not long after I broke things off with the cadet, I moved to New York City. I was subletting a friend’s apartment on 45th street in Hell’s Kitchen. Once I moved to New York City, my career started to take off. I was photographing many more models and making a lot of money, most of which I spent on photography gear and going out with those same models. I was photographing hundreds of guys as well. I became friends with many of them. Often, we would go clubbing or should I say, hunting. I shared some of the funniest and best moment of my life with those guys. We hunted and partied from New York to LA. My social life was on fire. I was popular and felt appreciated as a person, as well as for my photography. I wanted to help artists advance their careers whether they could pay me or not. Often, I would take things in trade. Once, I even got a python. Often I would trade those items for things I did need. It was a surreal time in my life.

In addition to my wild ways, I had a reclusive side. This came out when I wrote or edited and almost always when I printed in the dark room. Occasionally, I had actual photo shoots in the darkroom, which were typically followed by sexual encounters under the red lights.

I was bartending at the Palladium when I met my ballerina. Getting a job at the Palladium was not easy. It was a hot spot and there was a lot of competition. My friend who was one of those professional models knew a dancer whose boyfriend was the head of security. She was a tremendous break-dancer. After I photographed her, she introduced me to her boyfriend who got me the job with Steve Rebel. I was very fortunate. It turned out to be a tremendous experience.

Like every young man, I had both wild sexual desire for a variety of women, as well as a need for real love and companionship. It seemed as if I couldn’t find both passion and an intellectual connection in the same person. So, I had many different chapters. That too I am grateful for. How boring would life be to only have had one lover and one soul mate. Boring, but perhaps fortunate. I honestly do believe that there is a novel of love waiting for me somewhere out there.

Not long after I broke things off with the cadet, I moved to New York City. I was subletting a friend’s apartment on 45th street in Hell’s Kitchen. Once I moved to New York City, my career started to take off. I was photographing many more models and making a lot of money, most of which I spent on photography gear and going out with those same models. I was photographing hundreds of guys as well. I became friends with many of them. Often, we would go clubbing or should I say, hunting. I shared some of the funniest and best moment of my life with those guys. We hunted and partied from New York to LA. My social life was on fire. I was popular and felt appreciated as a person, as well as for my photography. I wanted to help artists advance their careers whether they could pay me or not. Often, I would take things in trade. Once, I even got a python. Often I would trade those items for things I did need. It was a surreal time in my life.

In addition to my wild ways, I had a reclusive side. This came out when I wrote or edited and almost always when I printed in the dark room. Occasionally, I had actual photo shoots in the darkroom, which were typically followed by sexual encounters under the red lights.

I was bartending at the Palladium when I met my ballerina. Getting a job at the Palladium was not easy. It was a hot spot and there was a lot of competition. My friend who was one of those professional models knew a dancer whose boyfriend was the head of security. She was a tremendous break-dancer. After I photographed her, she introduced me to her boyfriend who got me the job with Steve Rebel. I was very fortunate. It turned out to be a tremendous experience.

Like every young man, I had both wild sexual desire for a variety of women, as well as a need for real love and companionship. It seemed as if I couldn’t find both passion and an intellectual connection in the same person. So, I had many different chapters. That too I am grateful for. How boring would life be to only have had one lover and one soul mate. Boring, but perhaps fortunate. I honestly do believe that there is a novel of love waiting for me somewhere out there.

I was working at the Palladium for just a short time when I noticed a very petite and beautiful ballerina dancing near my bar. She was with a guy. We had the opportunity to speak when she came to the bar for water. I assumed she and the guy were not romantically involved. She was not a model, but she had such a beautiful face and was so graceful. She was a classical ballerina who was living at a world-famous school of dance in the city. Her parents lived upstate, in New York. Because the school was very strict with their curfews she had to sneak out of the dorm to see me. When she did, she was always sore from that day’s ultra-high-paced and demanding schedule. She was shy. I admired her beauty and talent. She was talented yet humble. Both those qualities drew me to her.

It was such a turn on. She would demonstrate the most beautiful dance moves. Our relationship centered on art and the creation of it. I wish I had those photographs now. She was one of the only subjects I gave my negatives to, thinking I would be able to get them back. But, I never did. Same thing happened when I photographed Andy Warhol. I lent the negatives to a model and never saw them again.

She would come to my apartment and dance for me. Eventually, I would lose it and interrupt her routine by kissing her softly and gently everywhere. She had such sad eyes and mannerisms to match. I think it was her inner sadness I fell in love with. Whenever she could get away from school, we dated. Unfortunately, that was not very often, so I dated others as well. As much as I loved her, she was dedicated initially to dance more than our relationship and her school was extremely demanding on her time.

I remember how she would call me from a pay phone at the school and ask me to let her come over. The answer was almost always yes. Even my Midwest, farmer’s daughter neighbor, would get the boot when she called. I would order Chinese food and we would get high together and create. She never considered it work, as she loved the photographs. They were always black and white. She was far too graceful for color. We dated for months, until I started to fall in love with my neighbor. But that was not what ended our relationship.

She started to come to the Palladium and just sit by the bar, watching me, for hours. She didn’t like the fact I was dating other women. So, she would stay late until I got off to make sure I didn’t go home with anyone. That, she was available for. However, she was always dancing when I was free during the day. I told her that if she were more available, I would see her exclusively. I was bartending six to seven nights a week and she could only get out one or maybe two times a month during the day. That was simply not enough, so I never made it exclusive. I wanted to. I loved her. But, she was more committed to her dancing than to love. I didn’t blame her. I was equally as dedicated to my photography career. Despite our loving relationship, we both knew what our priorities were.

She started to come to my apartment when I didn’t pick up the telephone. That became a problem. I told her that it was not fair and that I was dating other women. I did not lie to her. I certainly didn’t want to hurt her. I was always honest with her as I was with pretty much every girl I dated. She became overly jealous and unpredictable. She began to flirt with guys at the bar. Although I was jealous, I tried to ignore it until I saw her with a much older guy. At first, she was trying to get me jealous so I would agree to be exclusive with her. When that didn’t work, she started to show up at my apartment and beg me to see her.

It turned out she was doing blow with that older guy. That ended it for me. I didn’t want to see her anymore. That only made the begging more frequent. Oddly, it started to turn me on. Everyone in New York City seemed to be doing blow. She was no exception. At one point, she invited me to a party sponsored by a major corporation. There next to the crudités and dip, was a mound of cocaine laid out on a mirror topped table. People were snorting it in the open, like it was nothing. We got hammered. That was one of the first times I indulged. I not only liked it, I loved it. It was much different than the cut blow I had done a few times with my cadet. It was crazy. I was beyond stupid. Being influenced by the NYC in-crowd was no excuse.

From that point on, she would bring some over and we would create all night long and screw all morning. It was pretty much impossible to get it up with that much blow in me. So, we always did it in the morning. I did not even consider it a drug. I was so naïve. I considered it recreation. Eventually, I didn’t want to do it anymore. That angered her. She began to try to bribe me with immediate oral sex if I agreed to let her in, when she showed up unannounced.

It got to the point where she was showing up to service me and leaving, even when she knew I had another woman coming immediately afterwards. She would swallow as I jammed my package as deep down her throat as possible. I held my hand on the back of her head, so she had no choice. It became fetish-like. She enjoyed it when I was rough with her. I liked it too. It was not something I engaged in prior. It certainly did not fit my idea of love, but it definitely fit hers. This went on for months. I would look forward to the begging phone calls and immediate oral sex. For a young man it was just a short lived “power trip”.

This is a bit bizarre, but occasionally, she would spit my cum into my potted rubber tree. It had not been doing so well. Believe it or not, that rubber tree became huge. There had to have been a connection.

The older guy she was seeing was about thirty. She was getting the blow from him. He asked to come to my apartment with her. He wanted to free base. I wanted no part of it. He brought a duffle bag that held a machine gun and kilos of cocaine. That was the last time I hung out with her friend, the dealer, or her again. I was terrified. I told her that I would not see her again if she continued to use drugs. She chose blow over me.

The separation didn’t impact me greatly. I was heavily involved in my career, plus women were throwing themselves at me. My new neighbor became more of a factor in my life. That made my dancer even sadder. The last time I took her call, she told me she was totally dependent on blow to get her through her dance routines. At that point she left school to live with her parents.

Despite the drugs and the fetishes, I did love her. I did everything I could to talk her out of seeing the dealer. Time after time, I would tell her that she would find someone better than me to love. Eventually we lost touch. Her parents were very strict and wanted her to remove herself from her former life. They forbade her from using the telephone. So, we had no contact even though my intent was to help her start a new drug-free life. I never saw or heard from my ballerina again. But, I think of her often. I regret not keeping those negatives, as photographs are often the connection to my past chapters of love, long after they are over. I sincerely hope she is continued her dancing, as she was the most graceful dancer I ever saw personally or professionally. Looking back on it now I truly believe we would have had a very long chapter of love if she had avoided that dealer and stopped begging me to party with her.

 

Chapter 15 – Cadet Training

I was very naïve about love; despite the fact I was sleeping with more women than I could have ever imagined. I was bartending. It was the 80’s. Just about everyone was experimenting with fetishes. I was no different. This was a very strange chapter of my life. She was a police officer in training who really liked her handcuffs. I had no idea she was training to become a cop when we first met, at my bar, as she was in street clothing. I was still shy, so I occasionally tapped into the liquor supply to give myself a little extra boost of courage. I had worked in the hospitality business for a short time, but typically as a waiter. This was both my first full-time management and bartending gig. By the time I found out she was an actual cadet she had me in handcuffs. While in uniform, she started cutting up lines at the then infamous Bethpage Hotel on Hempstead Turnpike. I was ridiculously nervous because I couldn’t believe a future cop was doing blow.

There was no way for me to escape. Frankly, I did not want to. But, I never did blow and never wanted to. This was going to be my first time, except for one tiny bump when I was drunk with a cheerleader. She was not only hot, but also very persuasive. For those unfamiliar, blow is an extremely dangerous drug, especially to anyone who has obsessive or addictive personality. This was a very bad decision. It became a weekend ritual. She would handcuff me to the bed and go to town on me. She was the more active participant in the actual thrusting and pumping. I was kind of her sex slave of sorts. Our relationship was completely based on role-play and sex. I really didn’t know her. I did know that she was related to many different families of cops to much later on in our relationship. Almost every working adult in her family was a police officer, so the fact that she was bringing blow to the hotel freaked me out. As much as it terrified me, the sex was so different and so intense I couldn’t bring myself to end it.

I was very naïve about love; despite the fact I was sleeping with more women than I could have ever imagined. I was bartending. It was the 80’s. Just about everyone was experimenting with fetishes. I was no different. This was a very strange chapter of my life. She was a police officer in training who really liked her handcuffs. I had no idea she was training to become a cop when we first met, at my bar, as she was in street clothing. I was still shy, so I occasionally tapped into the liquor supply to give myself a little extra boost of courage. I had worked in the hospitality business for a short time, but typically as a waiter. This was both my first full-time management and bartending gig. By the time I found out she was an actual cadet she had me in handcuffs. While in uniform, she started cutting up lines at the then infamous Bethpage Hotel on Hempstead Turnpike. I was ridiculously nervous because I couldn’t believe a future cop was doing blow.

There was no way for me to escape. Frankly, I did not want to. But, I never did blow and never wanted to. This was going to be my first time, except for one tiny bump when I was drunk with a cheerleader. She was not only hot, but also very persuasive. For those unfamiliar, blow is an extremely dangerous drug, especially to anyone who has obsessive or addictive personality. This was a very bad decision. It became a weekend ritual. She would handcuff me to the bed and go to town on me. She was the more active participant in the actual thrusting and pumping. I was kind of her sex slave of sorts. Our relationship was completely based on role-play and sex. I really didn’t know her. I did know that she was related to many different families of cops to much later on in our relationship. Almost every working adult in her family was a police officer, so the fact that she was bringing blow to the hotel freaked me out. As much as it terrified me, the sex was so different and so intense I couldn’t bring myself to end it.

For months, every Friday or Saturday night, she would come to my bar after she finished at the academy. We would leave my car at the bar and she would drive us to the hotel and check-in. She got some kind of a cop discount. Then it was off to the room, where we would party all night. We would sleep most of the next day. Then, she would drive me back to the bar for the next night’s shift, or home to shower first and then the bar. She was not a model, as I did not date models at that time. Most of the time I dated fun, tomboy, type girls. She was no different. Except for one key point, to say she was the dominant one in our relationship would be an understatement. She was soft and pretty. It seemed as if she had absolutely no fear, not even of getting caught with blow. She was like the tough female cops you see on television. I think the Bethpage Motel was making most of its revenue from weekend affairs. It was set-up as a kind of sex motel where you could book rooms for the night or even for a few hours. I never knew a hotel to have such an elaborate collection of headboards, especially brass ones. Then again, most of my corporate life I stayed in business or commercial hotel chains.

I was snorting blow off her breasts and teasing her. Not that I wanted to or liked it, I just did it to appease her. Most of the time I would blow it away first and then pretend to snort it. She loved it. It was a huge turn on for her. For me, not so much. It made my heart race and I was paranoid. I hated the stuff. All the same, she was an amazing lover. This was truly kinky sex for anyone, let alone a guy who preferred the standard missionary position. Other than when we were at the hotel, she was quite serious about her future as a police officer. But, at the hotel it was always the same. After meeting her parents, it was clear that her father wanted a son. He treated her more like a fellow cop than a daughter.

Eventually she proposed to me, she actually wanted to marry me. I wanted no part of it. I only stayed with her because she threatened me. She told me that if I ever left her she was going to shoot me. I thought she was just screwing around at first but eventually I knew that I had to end it. I didn’t want a cocaine-using cop as a life partner, no matter how intense the sex was. I felt trapped. If you ever hear a woman admit that she is too afraid to leave her boyfriend, or husband, believe her. I was terrified about breaking up with my cadet girlfriend. If not for a frightening event that gave me the opportunity to leave her, I believe she would have carried out that threat. She was obsessed with me and addicted to cocaine.

I finally found a way to end it. One night, when I was going down on her, we heard sirens coming closer and closer, until they were outside the hotel. At first, it was a turn on for her, as it made things more realistic. She was enjoying the change of being in the submissive role. I enjoyed it quite a bit certainly more than being handcuffed. As the sirens got louder and louder, she was getting more and more turned on. I was wearing a police uniform she brought from the academy… guns and all.

I never felt comfortable doing it, but I would go along with most anything at that point. I was afraid she would use her connections to screw with me if I tried to end it. Even possibly getting me fired from my bartending job. She was even trying to get me to go to the academy to become a police officer. She said with her connections and my reputation I would get in easily. It was something I was considering seriously at the time. She was a virgin when I met her, despite her fetishes. Because of that I couldn’t have sex with her and then just dump her, so I stayed with her much longer than I would have otherwise, especially because she was a virgin. Well, it was that, but also the threats.

So, we were at the hotel and I was going down on her. I was wearing the cop outfit with the entire package. She was handcuffed and completely high. She was screaming quite loud. Mostly, “no no,” “please stop.” I was supposed to gag her but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. What we didn’t know was that someone in another room heard her screaming and called the police. Before we knew it, there was a knock at the door. They identified themselves as police. There was a female and a male cop. I was freaking out. She went to the door without any clothing on and showed her credentials. They left as soon as she said she was fine and they realized that she and her entire family was “on the job.” For a good ten minutes, I was sure we were going to be arrested for breaking what I thought were so many laws. I had idea which laws, but I was sure we were in deep trouble. I was so naïve that I thought I could be arrested for simply “impersonating and officer” never mind the blow she had.

When they left, she wanted to go back at it, but I was done. I called a taxi when she was sleeping and went back to the bar to get my car. After that, I didn’t return her calls or communicate with her again. It was cruel of me. I know she was heartbroken, but I wanted nothing to do with a blow-using cadet who was forcing me to indulge. Eventually, she stopped showing up at my bar and I stopped hiding from her. In time, she became a police officer. At that point she started coming to the bar with other cops. It was obvious they were the ones now going to the Bethpage Hotel with her. A few times I could swear I saw white powder on their noses. But, that was the eighties for you.

Eventually, I left that job and moved to New York City to pursue my photography career. Jobs were coming to me faster than I could shoot them. I was also going to school locally for both business and engineering, but I decided to take a semester off, to see how far I could take my photography. I never did go back for my degree. It is a decision I now regret. But I had to get as far away from her as possible. She was now a police officer. Who knows whom she was handcuffing?

Years later, I was involved in a massive street brawl with two gang members, on Long Island. I was defending my life against two of them, terrified as they attacked me just before I got into my car. I was tough, but these guys were ten years older and wasted. They were trying to steal my wallet and intimidate me into giving it to them by not allowing me into my car. When I refused, they took an entire pizza and wiped it across the front windshield of my car. Then they came at me. Somehow, I left them both face down and bloody in the puddles that accumulated in the mostly dirt parking lot. Finally, the police arrived. Four officers got out of their cars. The two gang members got up and started screaming, “that guy attacked us both. Arrest him.” I never had to defend myself against two people at the same time, let alone gang members. I simply fought for my life and in the end thought I was going to be arrested. I couldn’t believe what they looked like. They were bloody. I really hurt them, but had no choice.

I didn’t have that killer instinct when I boxed or wrestled, but it was better off getting arrested than being killed. Just when I thought I was going to be arrested, several of the store merchants who saw the event, told the officers that I was attacked. Moments later, a detective showed up. It was that same cadet. She spoke to the officers who then left. She followed me back to my parents’ house with her lights flashing. When I got home, she and another officer told my father that the gang members were going to kill me if they found me. She smiled at me as she was leaving. Clearly she kept any mention of our previous relationship from her partner. Later that night my father went to that bar and beat the shit out of every gang member in the place. He was not a violent man but would never allow anything to happen to me. I will never forget that night, or those nights, I spent with my cadet. She was one adrenaline filled chapter of love.

 

Chapter 14 – Monkey Business

I was in elementary school. After a sixth-grade graduation, I managed to convince the principal to let me have the flower arrangements at each end of the stage. I combined them into one nice bouquet and left them outside the classroom of a, very cute, girl who I was taken with. I included a note. It worked, for soon afterwards we were experimenting in my tent, playing Spin The Bottle, or Truth Or Dare. Each of those games was a popular way to tempt girls into fooling around, while at the same time being somewhat innocent. But, by this time, I was not sure how innocent I was.

I had already gone through communion class. I figured I was going straight to hell for having gone all the way with my babysitter. I believed it. The nuns at church solidified that belief when I hinted I was not a virgin. There was something about going to confession I could not stomach at that age. I was not about to ask for absolution from fucking, when I was ten. It just seemed a bit much. Since I was going to hell anyway, I said screw religion. I do not believe in a God that would condemn me to hell. But, all the same, it was always in the back of my mind. I went through communion, but as soon as it was over I never went back to church again. Well, at times I had to and I always sat in the back and never ever went for confession again. I had not real mentoring when it came to religion as my father rebelled against the catholic church for beating him while he was an alter boy in a Christian boys home.

We would mostly pick Truth Or Dare. We would play with other kids who knew we were fooling around. Word spread like wild fire. Not only were we the first kids in the school to be dating, we were the youngest. None of the sixth graders were dating. Most were feeling the first throngs of sexual awakening, but had no concept of what to do about it. When we started to get nervous about fooling around in my backyard tent, we thought that we could use a secluded area of the park. At first, we were going to use that same tent for privacy, but tents were not allowed. So, we improvised and took our bicycles and a blanket to the park.

I was in elementary school. After a sixth-grade graduation, I managed to convince the principal to let me have the flower arrangements at each end of the stage. I combined them into one nice bouquet and left them outside the classroom of a, very cute, girl who I was taken with. I included a note. It worked, for soon afterwards we were experimenting in my tent, playing Spin The Bottle, or Truth Or Dare. Each of those games was a popular way to tempt girls into fooling around, while at the same time being somewhat innocent. But, by this time, I was not sure how innocent I was.

I had already gone through communion class. I figured I was going straight to hell for having gone all the way with my babysitter. I believed it. The nuns at church solidified that belief when I hinted I was not a virgin. There was something about going to confession I could not stomach at that age. I was not about to ask for absolution from fucking, when I was ten. It just seemed a bit much. Since I was going to hell anyway, I said screw religion. I do not believe in a God that would condemn me to hell. But, all the same, it was always in the back of my mind. I went through communion, but as soon as it was over I never went back to church again. Well, at times I had to and I always sat in the back and never ever went for confession again. I had not real mentoring when it came to religion as my father rebelled against the catholic church for beating him while he was an alter boy in a Christian boys home.

We would mostly pick Truth Or Dare. We would play with other kids who knew we were fooling around. Word spread like wild fire.   Not only were we the first kids in the school to be dating, we were the youngest. None of the sixth graders were dating. Most were feeling the first throngs of sexual awakening, but had no concept of what to do about it. When we started to get nervous about fooling around in my backyard tent, we thought that we could use a secluded area of the park. At first, we were going to use that same tent for privacy, but tents were not allowed. So, we improvised and took our bicycles and a blanket to the park.

Because we were so young, we had to tell our parents exactly where we were going. Beyond that, we were worried that someone would see us under the blanket. We had decided to stop with the oral and hand experimentation and go for it. We searched for a private spot, but there weren’t any. People were playing tennis, basketball, football, running and jogging. It seemed that every single sport in the entire world was going on around us.

I was not particularly nervous about doing it again. In fact, I had a major case of blue balls. They were aching like crazy. In between the babysitter and my new love interest, my doctor told me, that I had to rub one out. Truth was, I was rubbing one out at least once a day anyway. I was using my gym socks as a repository. Unfortunately, I was running out of gym socks. Interestingly, they were never as soft afterwards. No matter how many times they were washed, they would always be crispy in places I came. I thought I had super sperm.

I was determined to start the sex games I played before I moved back to East Meadow, a year earlier. We found a few spots that had vegetation so we could crawl in between the plants. Although we could hear everyone and they could hear us, no one could see us. But time and time again, footballs were tossed close to us and joggers would almost be looking down at us as they ran by. If they were walking, they would have seen everything. So, we packed up our bicycles and went to the lake. The lake had many pine trees and hills. It was infamous as the “make-out lake” by most of my older friends who would talk about such things in front of me.

I decided to tell my friend that we were going to take a bike ride by the lake. He was tagging along waiting for his girlfriend to show up. He knew what we were up to and was acting as our look-out. For him, it was more like a spy game than romance. For us, a look-out as we were afraid of getting caught. So, we took our bicycles and rode to the lake. There were couples on blankets making out behind every bush, so there was nowhere for us to go. Eventually, we found a large group of cypress trees with branches that were low to the ground. We rested our bicycles up against the tree to block the view. But we knew we weren’t hidden enough, so without saying a word we looked at each other with a mischievous smile on both of our faces, and then we both started climbing.

The tree had large branches. They were all parallel to the ground, so it was an easy climb. The branches were almost like stairs to a tree house. As we climbed higher and higher, we realized that the foliage around us was so thick that we were well hidden. I was about half a body length above her. I dropped my shorts to my ankles. Without saying a word, she went down on me. I remember the tree was sticky with sap. Everything was sticking to everything. Her hand could not slide over me because it was so tacky. I think that was the only reason she agreed to use her mouth. Even though we kept half joking about going all the way, we were both very nervous.

Shortly after she finished going down on me, she climbed a bit higher and I started on her. She was either shaving or she was bare down there, so it was clean. I enjoyed it immensely. Then, she hung her pants on a tree branch and lowered herself onto me. We were going all the way. We did this for just a short while. My lookout friend was fixing his bicycle chain under our tree, probably sneaking a peak. As fate would have it, the wind started blowing. This was a scenario too inconceivable for anyone to write into a script. The wind was moving the branches so we could now see the ground. We also realized that anyone on the golf course could also see us. I called down to my friend. When he looked up, the wind blew and there was a perfect opening for him to see me still inside her. He was shocked that we were actually doing it, started laughing uncontrollably and then just took off on his bicycle. We dressed quickly and went after him. Don’t ask me why. It seemed like he was upset and the wind was getting stronger.

When we caught up to him she asked if he was upset that his girlfriend hadn’t shown up and if he wanted to go up the tree with her. I said that I didn’t mind. After we discussed it for a while, we decided against it. For me this was like a sport and had nothing really to do with love. There really was no love involved as I did not know her long enough to love her. Although any time you are intimate with another person, I think it is accompanied by a feeling of love.

She was a virgin and was pretty sore, so we walked our bicycles home. Although she did not bleed during, she did bleed a lot afterwards. I didn’t know to be gentle with her, as I too was so inexperienced. We just wanted to do it. She was a tomboy. We played lots of sports together. She was very taken with the time I gave her flowers. The entire school was gossiping about us. That made her happy. She wanted everyone to know that she was with me. I didn’t want her to tell anyone about our tryst in the tree. I thought we would be marked with a scarlet letter. You just knew that sex at that age was not supposed to be happening. We didn’t care enough to abstain though.

Later that evening she called and said that she was sticky and itching all over her vagina. She thought she caught a venereal disease. The next day the skin on my penis started to bubble up. In places, the skin was peeling off. We thought we were doomed, that the devil had given us venereal disease. I made her swear not to tell her mother or anyone. She agreed. The next day was really tough. I was afraid to even take a bath. The skin was bubbling up all over my body. She was suffering the same fate. We were convinced it was God’s wrath. What else could it be?

Finally, she told her mother. Her mom took her to the hospital. They found she was covered in a poison ivy rash. We both were. I found out that I was also allergic to sap, so I was in much worse shape. Her mother and father were livid. The next time I called she told me I was not allowed to call her anymore. We were not allowed to see each other. I cried privately for at least a week and was singing sad songs. I could not tell anyone my heart was broken for a second time. I thought she was just a friend but I really did get attached to that cute tomboy. I think if not for poison ivy, we would have been together for a very long time. Fate stepped in that same year as we both went off to different junior high schools.

Years later, in high school, she came back into my life again. We talked for the first time in years. There definitely was a connection. But, that connection was based only on our shared intimacy. She chose to be with women for the remainder of her junior high experience. By the time we reunited it was clear that she only wanted women. I was shocked. I never told anyone, as she asked me to keep it a secret. We formed a genuine friendship, but every time I saw her I could not forget making love to her in a tree, in broad daylight. At my sixteenths birthday party, my “lookout” and best friend, who was still a virgin, gave everyone at the party a silk-screened shirt that read “Do it in the TREE’S.” With the cat partially out of the bag, he told the story to all my friends, even my girlfriend at the time, who said she wanted to do it in a tree with me too. . So, we did. Only this time it was a much larger tree with no sap. It had fallen behind the school, next to the Wantagh Parkway. I usually rode the minibikes I built there, but this was considerably more fun.

 

Chapter 10 – My Dockgirl

I did not know her. I knew nothing about her. I don’t believe I ever spoke to her. But, when I saw her, I felt I knew her my entire life. She felt familiar and connected and I recognized the feelings. This was a connection I have made many times, so it was not out of the norm. It was not just infatuation but as clear a feeling of love as I have ever felt. This was not just passion; it was a distinct feeling of love. I felt it instantaneously and I do not understand why. Not only did I feel it, but I could tell instantly she felt it as well. She was staring into my eyes. She did not blink or move, or say anything, for at least five seconds, which seemed much longer. We were standing in the middle of the dance floor. She was not staring into my eyes for any reason other than that she too was mesmerized. It was unexplainable, but it was real. Like so many times before, I was feeling love for a woman I knew nothing about. I was not manic, or drunk. I was simply drunk with love.

I did not know her. I knew nothing about her. I don’t believe I ever spoke to her. But, when I saw her, I felt I knew her my entire life. She felt familiar and connected and I recognized the feelings. This was a connection I have made many times, so it was not out of the norm. It was not just infatuation but as clear a feeling of love as I have ever felt. This was not just passion; it was a distinct feeling of love. I felt it instantaneously and I do not understand why. Not only did I feel it, but I could tell instantly she felt it as well. She was staring into my eyes. She did not blink or move, or say anything, for at least five seconds, which seemed much longer. We were standing in the middle of the dance floor. She was not staring into my eyes for any reason other than that she too was mesmerized. It was unexplainable, but it was real. Like so many times before, I was feeling love for a woman I knew nothing about. I was not manic, or drunk. I was simply drunk with love.

It did not take long for her to agree to meet privately, despite the fact she was as terrified as was I. I couldn’t just let it go without exploring why I was so smitten. It had been a very long time since I felt that way. The instant rapport. That instant connection. That invisible link between our hearts was real and I needed to know if it would last. We met again and all doubt faded. I knew it was real. She felt it too, but within seconds, we knew something was different.

We were indulging ourselves in the moment.as we didn’t know how long it would last. We both needed that moment as we had been searching far too long to find it, despite our mutual fear of it. As I waited for her to arrive my thoughts were of love and destiny. What if my romantic destiny is not with one person? What if my it was always meant to have many chapters of love? What if my quest for my soul mate was in vain? Maybe my destiny was already written? Are our chapters of love predetermined? So many questions entered my mind and heart. Yet, it was far from the first time. The feeling was strong. She was texting me, “I’m here.”

When she arrived, I was nervous. I had a glass or two of wine and even took a light tranquilizer, as my blood pressure was spiking. That happens to me when I’m turned-on. Just thinking about her was getting me going. She is that kind of woman. As she arrived it started pouring, not just raining, but an absolute thunder storm.. It was obvious that our plan to go out on the water was not going to happen. For a moment, I thought that she was going to leave, as after I received her text she disappeared for a brief bit. Then, I saw her waving in the distance. She was soaked. She came down the dock to my boat. I left the cabin to see if she needed any help and to greet her. I figured if she was going to get soaked it was only right if I did the same. I am sort of a throwback to the old-fashioned chivalrous gentleman of a different era. As I greeted her, the rain started to slacken, but we were already drenched. We went back to my boat. In less than sixty seconds the wet clothes were coming off. She was wearing a bikini beneath her clothing. We sat in the cabin in our bathing suits and not much more than a front zippered Ralph Lauren sweatshirt for the two of us.

I poured us each a glass of wine. She looked directly into my eyes, just like she did the first time on the dance floor. The butterflies came back almost instantly. This was not a fluke. The feelings were genuine. We had lunch on the boat. Before I knew it, the sweatshirt was off and we were uncorking the second bottle of wine. We were engaged in conversation about love and relationships. We were both trying to understand how or if we knew each other, or for that matter why we felt this connection. I began to feel confident that something was going to happen right then, on my sailboat.

I began sailing before my son was born and made a lifestyle out of it. Being on the water, even dockside, is romantic. Although I did not know her more than an hour we were passionately kissing. The kissing turned into heated passion. Our hot and wet bodies were soon intertwined. The scent of her body and the taste of her salty skin pushed me to erotic limits. I could not only feel her hot body pressed to mine, but smell and taste her.

The rain was back with a vengeance. It was loud and it was dark. Candles provided most of the light as well as a sensual ambiance. We were creating so much heat and sweat from our passion, the boat started to get steamy and the porthole windows were dripping with condensation. We stopped ourselves many times, yet our clothes peeled off without even thinking about it. I had to control my urges as every few minutes we would pull back from each other and say, “What are we doing? We don’t even know each other. Yet, before we could get through a glass of wine, we were back in each other’s arms, going at it again and again and again.

I took another tranquilizer, as I was too worked up. I had promised myself I would not have another chapter of love unless it was with my true soul mate. I was breaking my vow, but the chemistry was just too strong. Even the tranquilizer did not work. For hours, we just went through a routine of giving in to the passion and then withdrawing before any real insertion took place. We both wanted it. The attraction was powerful. We were like two magnets that could not keep from getting caught in the power of the other. It was stronger the closer we got. So, we just kept giving in to desire, stopping ourselves, and then going at it uncontrollably. I was going down on her time and time again and she was panting and pushing me away and then pulling me into her.

I know it does not make any sense, unless you agree that love at first sight, is real. I couldn’t believe we were both struck at the same time. Most people would have given themselves completely to the moment. I had done so many times before. I did not want this to be another one night stand or hook-up. Despite our mutual agreement that we should not be engaging in such activities, it was exactly what happened.

Finally, we decided to stop the insanity. As we walked to our cars we both came to the realization that we had spent hours alone just kissing and caressing and melting into each other,, although we did not even know each other. We agreed that we did not want a hook-up, even though we just had one. We both had unfinished relationships still in progress. Our encounter was neither planned nor proper. Our passion pushed us beyond our control or better judgment. Neither of us wanted it to happen.

We agreed to not to see each other any time soon. We were both terrified of the connection. We knew nothing about each other, other than the fire we shared. I often wonder if that fire could have turned into lasting love. But, I had convinced myself not to attempt to build a relationship out of yet another obsessive connection. My heart beats wildly every time I think of that day and the passion we shared. It was healing and powerful and the connection was strong. Although I decided not to pursue the connection, I can’t help but feel that those few hours were not based on pure lust, but on feelings of love for someone I did not know.

This was not the first time I was overcome with such feelings. In fact, it has happened hundreds of times… even more. But, it was one of the first times in my life I stopped myself. She also had will power. With the help of a tranquilizer we partially controlled it. Well, at least we tried. I don’t know what will happen the next time I see her. I don’t even know if I want anything to happen. But all the same, when you share such a connection and the passion that accompanies it, you are connected for life. As science and experience has proven, there is no way to disconnect from one’s kinesthetic memories of love. I know the next time I see her those sparks will be there. I don’t know if I will be able to resist. But, I will try.

 

Chapter 8 – My Playboy Bunny Muse

If ever I could say I was in an open relationship with a Playboy Bunny-esque woman, she would be the one. It also was the long-term affair that was my midlife crisis romance. She was different than any woman I had ever known. She was carefree, extremely sexual, and had a stripper vibe. As a bonus, she was a tremendous athlete. We fooled around a bit prior, but she seriously entered my life after she suffered an abrupt breakup of a long-term relationship. It was then, she moved in with me.

I was a single father and had two children to consider. It was important to me to make sure it was in the best interests of my children. After all, a woman that hot, who exuded sex out of every pore, was not your typical suburban mom or even girlfriend. Fortunately, she understood and respected the situation, so she had a home. In return, she became the inspiration for my first real professional video and DP work. She brought her Panasonic 720p state of the art HD camera with her. The rest is history. I took to shooting video as if it was photography. In the process of producing videos with her, I learned the art of editing. We produced amazingly sensual beach and love scenes together.

It started when she attended a holiday party in NYC. We were both invited to an after-party and dinner. Later we all went to a nightclub. As is the unfortunate case with many beautiful women, the host was inappropriate to her. She asked me if I would get her home safely. She was drunk and quite vulnerable. I walked her to her door and we shook hands. She promised to call me about a shoot date. I felt good that I got her home safely and that she seemed to be interested in more than photographs. I was inspired to say the least..

If ever I could say I was in an open relationship with a Playboy Bunny-esque woman, she would be the one. It also was the long-term affair that was my midlife crisis romance. She was different than any woman I had ever known. She was carefree, extremely sexual, and had a stripper vibe. As a bonus, she was a tremendous athlete. We fooled around a bit prior, but she seriously entered my life after she suffered an abrupt breakup of a long-term relationship. It was then, she moved in with me.

I was a single father and had two children to consider. It was important to me to make sure it was in the best interests of my children. After all, a woman that hot, who exuded sex out of every pore, was not your typical suburban mom or even girlfriend. Fortunately, she understood and respected the situation, so she had a home. In return, she became the inspiration for my first real professional video and DP work. She brought her Panasonic 720p state of the art HD camera with her. The rest is history. I took to shooting video as if it was photography. In the process of producing videos with her, I learned the art of editing. We produced amazingly sensual beach and love scenes together.

It started when she attended a holiday party in NYC. We were both invited to an after-party and dinner. Later we all went to a nightclub. As is the unfortunate case with many beautiful women, the host was inappropriate to her. She asked me if I would get her home safely. She was drunk and quite vulnerable. I walked her to her door and we shook hands. She promised to call me about a shoot date. I felt good that I got her home safely and that she seemed to be interested in more than photographs. I was inspired to say the least..

Our first shoot occurred just a few days later. The mutual attraction was strong…and obvious. We shot until the very early morning hours. It started in my studio, which was a renovated garage. Before long, we were shooting in my bedroom and her clothing came off. She was the aggressive one. I just went with it. For over a year she was my inspiration and motivation to become a DP and editor. We wrote a script and sourced locations. She was sure she had funding for our film through her extremely wealthy grandmother. It would have been my second feature film.

She had just gotten implants. They looked and felt anything but artificial and the result was jaw dropping. She desired to seduce the world, sharing her enhanced features via a love scene so sensual, it would melt the hearts of most men (even many women). As an aside, her breasts truly enhanced the curves of her smoking hot Brazilian body. She treated them as if they were assets. In fact, she treated her entire body as if it was a bought and paid for asset. This was something I had never experienced before.

She was addicted to our photo sessions. Anyone with an eye for art would have to know we had chemistry. As for the love scenes, no one knew about them until long after we shot them. The unfortunate truth is that while we saw them as erotic love scenes, others saw them as soft porn. It became embarrassing when we showed them to anyone. All the same, she was the woman who inspired me to become a DP and who also chose me as her co-star. That too was a new experience.

It was not my idea to do shoot love scenes with her. It was hers. In fact, she insisted. It did not start that way. She began interviewing and casting for actors. Interviewing for her meant sleeping with many of them. This was the true casting couch interview in reverse.   It seemed that she was using the casting call to get laid by handsome models and actors. Somewhat ironically, she learned that for some reason, most of the men who applied were gay. Few had any real interest in her and most were awful actors.

So, after yet another casting call at which I shot three test love scenes, she finally said, “fuck it, you’re doing it.” I was shocked! She was sick of waiting. This had been going on for months. She was starting to feel as if no one wanted her and that she wasn’t attractive. The truth was they were just bad actors who were not comfortable shooting love scenes in my living room. For that matter, neither was I.

In retrospect, it was more soft porn than love scenes. What made them love scenes to us was simple and undeniable. We were falling in love. She was just coming out of an eight-year relationship that ended when she was caught cheating with me. I didn’t know she had a boyfriend, so I was a part of the breakup without even knowing it. But it was why I believed I was obligated to give her a home. She was tired of being mentally and even physically abused. She put up with it for years because of his money. I knew that she craved wealth. Everything else, aside from sex, came in second.

She was not particularly interested in me long term as much as she was obsessed with becoming famous and putting her new and improved perfect breasts and body to good use. Her dream of riches by marriage to her hedge fund billionaire was over. Her new dream was to make her fortune as a movie star. To her, it was ironic that this would in part be a result of the physical enhancements he paid for. She was determined and she was smart. She believed that becoming famous was well within her grasp. From my perspective, I was now living with a sexpot, intent on making a feature film with me as her love interest. By default, I became the producer. Her role would be both executive producer and the star of the film.

At the time, I was not in a good place health-wise I had several new stents, so the blood was flowing like I was seventeen again. At least for a few months. And then they failed. We were shooting almost every day. She believed the film we were creating was beautiful. The process however was anything but. It went like this. She would come home from a party or a wild night with her friends quite drunk. She would insist that I turn on the spot lights, open the set, and film ourselves screwing around.

Often she would tag along to events I was photographing to network with just about anyone. She was not shy about using her assets to make a deal. I never knew anyone so carefree and willing to literally embrace most anyone with power or connections.

We would often shoot at night, utilizing only candlelight to create a truly mysterious effect. We would also shoot at sunrise, which was the prime part of the day to accentuate her body and many nude shots. We would go to Target Rock, Fire Island, the Hamptons, Robert Moses, Jones Beach, Centerport Bay, Huntington Bay and the Northport Docks. Mostly, we were filming in or around water as the film we were developing was about a girl who worked at a marina with her father and sister.

As such, she was wet a lot. We often timed the shoots to film at the break of dawn. In the middle of the day, when the sun was too high in the sky, we would stop shooting. It was then I got my editing and proofing done for my paying clients. When the bills were paid, I would come back to her project. She became very frustrated in between shoots. Her M.O. was to bribe me with sex to get me to go back on the project. So, I would work seven days a week, twenty-three hours and forty-five minutes a day with the other fifteen minutes reserved for what she would call “mercy fucks.” Yes, I would get up to three mercy fucks a day when we shot. It seemed she wanted Tarzan as opposed to me, an older man. This was despite our intense relationship and our creative collaboration. She was out of my league. Or, so I thought.

Because she would offer a mercy fuck very casually, almost humorously, as if it were simply a back rub, I was never sure if she truly wanted it. After all, three times a day, on top of the sex during filming seemed like a lot. Maybe she was rehearsing for her role, or simply staying in character. She said she was a method actress. When we were filming a love scene she would get horny on demand. I would say, “are you ready?” She was always ready. It was like Christmas morning the moment she found out we would be shooting and she took it seriously. The characters we were depicting made the roles extremely physically demanding. Due to the number of times we would have to shoot a scene, it could be quite an athletic effort. We treated the film as an athletic competition. She could get me going with minimal effort. In return I gave her five-minutes warnings for my mercy fucks. In most cases, she was ready long before the words ever left my mouth. She would spread her legs on demand. Never in my life had I experienced this. But, she was by no means exclusive to me.

Paying clients, even those with small budgets always took priority over our project. We needed the cash flow. We had to eat and the expenses were high and of course I spent most everything I earned on my children. She was a calculated investment with benefits.

Technically, the digital cameras I used were challenging to shoot with. The goal was to achieve the look of film. Often I would use expensive adapters that would simulate a film grain and the shallower depth of field one gets with film cameras. The resulting video looked more like film than video. It was particularly challenging, as you could not crop video the way you could stills. There were many artistic and technical considerations. Digital video, which made this possible, was new. As such, the lenses were extremely expensive that were available to create the shallow depth of field effect, which is the benchmark for most experienced cinematographers. We would set-up cameras twenty feet away and shoot by candlelight. I would focus the camera on her assets. When she was orgasmic and lost in the moment I would use the remote to zoom in and pan. It was all about her anyway. I was just a prop. But it was the best prop-job I ever had. Being her prop had its advantages. She was so obsessed with making the film that she wanted to shoot every day, sometimes for hours on end.

When people suggesting the shots looked too much like porn, we went back to the drawing board. I was not an experienced director at the time, but I learned quickly. We reworked the script. She began to read lines with other actresses. Painfully, it became more and more obvious. She was awful. She was so bad that eventually we realized that we would never get funding for the film. Her grandmother who promised to assist her bailed when she quit college only months before graduating, I thought that was an insane decision and did everything I could to inspire her to finish, but it was too late. She was depressed but wanted to keep shooting, I did not. I didn’t have the time. I had children to take care of and bills to pay. I was having a hard time catching up, after years of bad health and stents failing one after the other.

That was my other concern. For a while I was in better health. When winter came, it was obvious the stents were failing again. The constant stress on my heart was not the best idea. I was taking two nitro pills before we would film. Even later, when we knew she could not act, she still wanted to practice. She would often say to me “hey do you want to pick out the best shots from yesterday’s shoot?” I would tell her that I didn’t have the time and that she could do so solo. Her response was to sit on my lap and offer a quickie. Mostly it worked, as Jessica Alba or even Marylyn Monroe would have been in awe of her body.

At one point, I got her a job as cover model for a calendar. Even with my obsessive sexual desire, I was already becoming tired of her, even more so as the sex became a significant risk to my health. I couldn’t handle her insatiable desire and the frequency of how often she wanted to do it. She was getting angry, even obsessive, like a true nymphomaniac. Finally, I suggested she go to parties to try to find funding. I told her that I could not produce her film without a budget and that I could not spend as much time in the bedroom anymore either. Initially she told me she had the funding. She didn’t and I couldn’t help her get it. I had to do paying work no matter what she used to bribe me.

She started to sleep with many of my friends. I was relieved that I did not have to service her anymore. Not only was it putting too much pressure on my heart, it was killing my back. Eventually I had to undergo lower back surgery because of that affair. Before the surgery I accepted a photo assignment at Hedonism III. It was an erotic adventure. I was photographing a dozen or so models on the beach, many of them nude. Hedonism was a sexual playground for adults. The management paid for the models, the agents and myself to shoot a calendar for marketing purposes. They considered it good practice to stage voyeuristic events featuring nude photo shoots.

I flew down first. We filmed all week. She came down the second week, which was supposed to be more recreational. We were going to swim with dolphins, climb waterfalls and go to private clubs and beaches. She was hammered within an hour, the first day she got there. She dragged me back to our room to put some makeup on. Of course, that turned into twenty minutes on the bathroom sink. It was her idea of a grand welcome to a tropical paradise. When we began shooting again it was a disaster. She had never seen me photograph other models before. She was so jealous she started bringing female models back to the hotel room to have sex, right in front of me. She needed to be the center of attention. She tried to insert herself into every shot, with every model.

Before we left, her jealousy reached new heights. She was also doing drugs. I knew we would not be together much longer. I had pretty much told her when we got back that she would need to find another place to live. It crushed her. She never understood the connection between sex and love. Maybe it could be attributed to the time, as a young girl, she was abused in a shopping mall. She was literally kidnapped. Her family told her never to tell anyone what happened. She revealed that to me shortly after I asked her to find a new living arrangement.

In a way, she was reliving the incident time and time again. At times, she would insist on being submissive and would cry during rough sex. If I would stop and ask her if she was all right, she would get angry and say “don’t stop and don’t step out of character.” All of this was being filmed. She even wanted to have others film us. We did that one time. It was one of the most awkward moments of my life. Looking back, I think the only reason I allowed it was that I was supposed to die anyway, so who cared. Originally the concept was that no one would ever know who the man was. I certainly was never going to let anyone know it was me. In theory that worked, no one would ever know who the man was in the videos, but once we previewed the footage on higher quality computer screens, we realized that the obscurity of darkness and shadows could not hide my identity once the brightness was turned up.

While at Hedonism we knew our creative collaboration was coming to an end. At one point a friend asked me if she liked to cry when we did it. I knew then he had been with her. That was it for me. So, Hedonism would be our last adventure. While we were filming with dolphins, the dolphin handler came over to us and asked if she was pregnant. She said yes. I was shocked. What a way to find out the girl you were living with for almost a year and who was leaving shortly, was pregnant. I could not let her go with the possibility that my child could be inside of her.

But was it my child? When I asked her, she said she didn’t know. She thought she was having a miscarriage when she got on the plane. I believe she took a day after pill. The dolphins knew she was pregnant because of their sonar and were reacting strangely to her. The dolphin handler said it would be difficult to get the shot of her getting thrust into the air by them. They did not want to hurt what was inside of her. I was amazed at the pregnancy, the miscarriage and the dolphins. Truly I was filled with every emotion you could think of. That evening she spent the entire night in the bathtub. Whatever was happening must have been completed that evening. She was sad and then manic. She rested for a day and I did not see her for much for the rest of the trip. She totally lost it and began doing things I wanted no part of. When we returned, she did not leave and I never asked her to leave again. One evening she was on something and was totally irrational. She wanted to film with my children there. I, of course, refused. That was it. She left the next day.

A few years later, a family member of hers told me that after a long love affair with a much older man, she disappeared in Europe with him. They had not heard from her again. I was told that it was the family’s preference that she marry me. She told them she wanted to but it was news to me. I do not know if they ever will hear from her again. But, something tells me that she is still partying and putting her incredible body to good use. In the last email I received from her, she thanked me and told me that she was working for a charity and had raised millions for them. She went on to say that she was completely sober and in love. She thanked me for being kind to her and giving her a home and a real opportunity, and apologized for how our chapter of love ended. I hope that is the way I can remember her always. I loved my mid-life crisis girlfriend and creative collaborator. I kept the love scene we created together, but deleted all the original footage out of respect for her privacy. I wish her well in her new life, wherever that may be.

 

Chapter 6 – Golden Showers

She became a famous actress, but it was long after our chapter of love. Her stardom occurred in her native Israel. When she lived in the America she was a particularly emotional chapter of love for me. She was my first real “international” romance. Reflecting back, I believe the relationship meant more to me than to her, sometimes you never know. We fell in love, even though she was already pre-committed, through family and political arrangements, to marry someone else. It was an old-school, arranged marriage. She kept her commitment. I believe she wanted to stay with me. That would have meant leaving her entire family and everything she knew, for a city she barely knew and for me. It was not a risk she was willing to take. It hurt deeply to lose her.

It was crushing when we split, but I knew it was what she wanted and was obligated to do. Her politically powerful father gained considerable fame by having set himself on fire. He was a formidable man. His political statements were intense and his power base impressive. I could not compete, certainly, not at those levels. Of course, the reality was that it was her choice. For her, New York City was a prolonged bachelorette party prior to the big event.

Ours was a heated sexual relationship. It was smoking hot love and photography. Nothing much else. It was intense and we created beautiful images. She turned her modeling and business trips into quite an adventure. I was a big part of it. She was one of the loves of my life. I cannot even remember how long we were together. It was hot. It was constant. And then, it was over.

She became a famous actress, but it was long after our chapter of love. Her stardom occurred in her native Israel. When she lived in the America she was a particularly emotional chapter of love for me. She was my first real “international” romance. Reflecting back, I believe the relationship meant more to me than to her, sometimes you never know. We fell in love, even though she was already pre-committed, through family and political arrangements, to marry someone else. It was an old-school, arranged marriage. She kept her commitment. I believe she wanted to stay with me. That would have meant leaving her entire family and everything she knew, for a city she barely knew and for me. It was not a risk she was willing to take. It hurt deeply to lose her.

It was crushing when we split, but I knew it was what she wanted and was obligated to do. Her politically powerful father gained considerable fame by having set himself on fire. He was a formidable man. His political statements were intense and his power base impressive. I could not compete, certainly, not at those levels. Of course, the reality was that it was her choice. For her, New York City was a prolonged bachelorette party prior to the big event.

Ours was a heated sexual relationship. It was smoking hot love and photography. Nothing much else. It was intense and we created beautiful images. She turned her modeling and business trips into quite an adventure. I was a big part of it. She was one of the loves of my life. I cannot even remember how long we were together. It was hot. It was constant. And then, it was over.

I have had so many of these short intense chapters of love. I now realize that many women saw me as a sex object. To a degree, I believe she started out using me for sex, but over time fell in love with me. As for being a sex object…it became quite apparent. Models and actresses would come to town for a meeting or for a few days. Inevitably, many of them would find their way to my bar or my photography studio. I was so naïve. I had no idea that they knew each other and told each other about me. Apparently, I was a form of entertainment for many models back then. Later, many of them told me outright that they just wanted to have an affair when they were in New York City. When they met me, no matter what their marital or boyfriend status, they simply went for it.

Often these women would contact me after social networking became widely used. By then, I was older and understood women better. But back then, if you were an artist and bartender you were looked at as a sort of a local personality or entertainer, especially if you were good looking. So, I was just living up to the role and enjoying the lifestyle. All the same, I was looking for my soul mate, while most of these women were looking for a secret NYC one-night-stand. I was young and filled with energy. I was pretty much always ready to go. It was life on constant dosages of passion and endorphins pouring into your system day and night, almost like a drug. I was physically addicted to that passion and the bonding that came with it. I could go and go and go. After all, I was an athlete my entire life. I was in great shape. My body was a well-oiled machine.

I loved her as deeply as I have ever loved. When it ended, it was one of the saddest and most challenging moments in my life. I acted cool and tough, but privately I was listening to Cat Stevens and sinking into a mini depression. But before I mourned the loss of our chapter of love, I first embraced it. I lost myself in the fantasy of photographing and making love to an internationally known super model. When one is young it is easy to become enchanted with someone such as her. She was a cover model and one of a kind. She was very comfortable in bed and very affectionate. She loved the before and the after. She relished the embracing and sweating together while our hearts raced. When they slowed, we would fall asleep to the rhythm of each other’s heartbeats.

I loved photographing her, but even more, I loved sleeping in each other’s arms. I became both accustomed to it and reliant upon it. I felt so loved. It was inconceivable how well she knew me and what I needed. I never had to ask for it. She was as emotionally dependent on my love as I was for hers. The first time we shot together a designer hired me for a Vogue or ELLE shoot. My shots came out great. They were high end photo-journalistic and 80’s model cool. She came out looking both ethnic and European, yet somehow different. Her DNA must date back to Aphrodite. She was a remarkable beauty, somewhat like an 80’s version of Natalie Portman; beauty, talent, and intense sensuality to go with it.

Her agent wanted me to get shots for her portfolio because he knew it would be at least six months before the magazine issues were published. When I arrived at the shoot I could tell right away that she was a higher level of model. She had large, juicy lips, perfect cheekbones and a slim but well-rounded body. That same evening, we drove to a farm in Old Brookville, on Long Island. I shot utilizing the headlights of my car as the only form of lighting. It was the first time I tried that technique. It intrigued her. I drove her back to NYC. She invited me up to her small room in a then, world-famous, commune style actor’s hotel. Once we were in her room she immediately invited me into the shower. We had just met that day, but she was kissing me before we even got to the hotel. I knew she wanted me.

Oddly, she did not have a shower in her room, so we walked down the long narrow hallway with one towel wrapped around the two of us. We entered a small room with a tiny radiator and a shower. The water was cold. She clung to my chest as the water ran down her body and onto mine, slightly warmer as it flowed from her shivering body. Finally, it got a little warmer. Within the first few moments in the shower she began peeing on me. No one had ever done that to me. It was my first golden shower I suppose. It was warm and very kinky. I could see it in her eyes and in her hint of a sneaky smile, that she was getting off on it. She was silently saying that she knew what she was doing was kinky and unconventional, but that it was no accident. She wanted to do it. So, I let her pee on me. She was surprised when afterwards I returned the favor. We both had mischievous smiles on our faces as we embraced under the now warmer water. It was a strange and kinky start to the night. Despite the constant knocking on the door, we stayed in the shower for at least an hour. Many lovemaking firsts occurred that night. Many coming right out of our imaginations. We did everything two people could possibly do with each other and did it over and over, until we finally fell asleep in each other’s arms. We both had shoots the next morning. I left early, but not before she we started where we left off. We continued this for months and months. Not the peeing, but the shooting, sex, showers, and sleeping in each other’s arms.

She left me heartbroken when she told me that she had to go back to her fiancé in Israel. She said, “there’s nothing I can change about my future.” We tried to figure out a way to scrape together enough money for her to stay, but it wasn’t possible. We were young and I had roommates. I didn’t even have a lease in my own name back then. I was subletting, a common practice for many young people. Her politically active father and her modeling and movie career predetermined her destiny. I was not to be part of her future. I was her last affair before she would get married. She was a lot stronger than I was. About a month before she left New York City, she said we had to stop seeing each other, so we did.

Before long I was looking for ways to change her mind. But it was too late. By then someone told her father. He took measures to keep me from seeing her or even knowing her whereabouts. The few times I did manage to see her were brief. I caught glimpses of her being escorted into security driven cars. She would look at me sadly, with longing in her eyes. Often she cried. Eventually, she left New York City for Israel. Despite the distance my heart was with her. But, I would not go to Israel and chase her. She had to follow her path, so I followed mine. After many months of heartache, depression, sadness and literally missing her with every ounce of my heart, I began working at the Palladium. It was during that period I slept with every woman I could, to forget her, but I never will.

Chapter 5- Midwest Farmer’s Daughter

I was promoting a nightclub and bartending in the early eighties. Eventually I found myself bartending at the Palladium, in downtown New York City, the largest and most popular nightclub in the world, at the time. It was an incredible time for music. MTV was all the rage. I was actually featured on the first MTV music awards, drinking champagne and toasting with Mark Goodman. BB King, Robert Palmer, Robin Williams, Andy Warhol and Deborah Harry, were just a few of the celebrities that I hung with at my bar. Hundreds of other celebrities, in the peak of their careers, came to the club and drank with me. In truth, they were not drinking with me, but at my bar in the Michael Todd Room. It was there that I bartended for many celebrity parties. I was in my early twenties and getting bookings that would have me flying around the country. I stayed in places like the Beverly Hills Hotel.

I photographed everyone from Miss Canada to Andy Warhol, Deborah Harry, Mohammad Ali, Brooke Shields, Patty Duke, Tina Louise, as well as other actors and celebrities I had seen on television most of my life. I was even invited to Tina Louise’s (Ginger on Gilligan’s Island) home for tea and to pray with her minister. That same minister invited me to photograph the King of Tonga and to become his personal photographer, offering me an enormous amount of money. I didn’t, because I was concerned about leaving New York City when my career was exploding. My popularity was growing exponentially and there seemed to be a never-ending source of clients who wanted me.

It was a surreal experience. Not only did I tend bar at the club, but the manager and head of security often had me personally work the VIP list and the ropes at major events like the Directors Guild of America Annual Awards Ceremony. I kept a tux in my locker and I was “that guy.” I had no idea that it was such cool thing. I was just working. Initially I preferred to be inside, at the bar, flipping glasses and meeting beautiful women. After a while, I realized that being, the club gatekeeper and holder of the VIP list made me considerably more desirable. Women thought it was a position of power, but I had no power at all. I simply followed the list, except for that occasional hot model who wanted to slip through.

I was promoting a nightclub and bartending in the early eighties. Eventually I found myself bartending at the Palladium, in downtown New York City, the largest and most popular nightclub in the world, at the time. It was an incredible time for music. MTV was all the rage. I was actually featured on the first MTV music awards, drinking champagne and toasting with Mark Goodman. BB King, Robert Palmer, Robin Williams, Andy Warhol and Deborah Harry, were just a few of the celebrities that I hung with at my bar. Hundreds of other celebrities, in the peak of their careers, came to the club and drank with me. In truth, they were not drinking with me, but at my bar in the Michael Todd Room. It was there that I bartended for many celebrity parties. I was in my early twenties and getting bookings that would have me flying around the country. I stayed in places like the Beverly Hills Hotel.

I photographed everyone from Miss Canada to Andy Warhol, Deborah Harry, Mohammad Ali, Brooke Shields, Patty Duke, Tina Louise, as well as other actors and celebrities I had seen on television most of my life. I was even invited to Tina Louise’s (Ginger on Gilligan’s Island) home for tea and to pray with her minister. That same minister invited me to photograph the King of Tonga and to become his personal photographer, offering me an enormous amount of money. I didn’t, because I was concerned about leaving New York City when my career was exploding. My popularity was growing exponentially and there seemed to be a never-ending source of clients who wanted me.

It was a surreal experience. Not only did I tend bar at the club, but the manager and head of security often had me personally work the VIP list and the ropes at major events like the Directors Guild of America Annual Awards Ceremony. I kept a tux in my locker and I was “that guy.” I had no idea that it was such cool thing. I was just working. Initially I preferred to be inside, at the bar, flipping glasses and meeting beautiful women. After a while, I realized that being, the club gatekeeper and holder of the VIP list made me considerably more desirable. Women thought it was a position of power, but I had no power at all. I simply followed the list, except for that occasional hot model who wanted to slip through.

I was living downtown, on Thompson Street, in a third story walk-up. It was in the heart of the art district where all the movie stars lived back then. There was a definitive artsy and gay tone to the neighborhood and it truly was a neighborhood. It made for easy access to the Palladium, which was located between 13th and 14th street, just a bit uptown. Later, I upgraded to a penthouse duplex when the dollars started rolling in from photography and bartending. All in all, it was a wild New York City lifestyle that lasted for over a year, until I moved back to Long Island. There, I experienced hundreds of chapters of love. Far too many to write about. They were typically short in nature. I simply could not keep it in my pants. I would wake up in the morning and go to the beach with 2-5 international models and shoot their portfolios. By dinnertime I would be at happy hour and then work until four AM. I was going 24/7 for the most part, just occasionally coming up for air. We would always be at the beach before sunrise, as that was the golden hour, so I only had to carry my camera and a reflector. There was no need for bulky lighting setups. At times, I would fool around with one of the models at lunch and then with another while I was bartending, or afterwards.

But there was one girl who captured my heart while I was living in New York City. This was despite the fact that I was completely insensitive to her needs. It was the only time in my life that I was with a girlfriend and still living the playboy lifestyle. I simply could not choose between the two. We were neighbors in the apartment building. Since I was living in a duplex, her second-floor door was right at my first-floor entrance. I thought she used that door because she lived on the second floor. Later, she admitted that the only reason she used it was to intentionally run into me.

She was exceptionally cute and the first Midwest farmer’s daughter I ever met. This is no exaggeration. She truly was a farm girl. For her, the city was a circus and she loved it. She would come out of her door at the same time I did and say sweet things like, “hey neighbor what you cooking?” With that, she invited herself for dinner. We hooked-up every chance we could. I had a balcony facing a huge Upper East Side courtyard, a block or two from Central Park. Her balcony was just underneath mine. I would intentionally go out onto the balcony with my guitar and sing love songs until I got a response from her. I would leave my door open and wait for her to enter.

When she did, I stayed right on the balcony. I wanted her right there. It was an exhibitionist thing. Before you knew it, we were both naked on that balcony. If you had a decent pair of binoculars, or a telescope, you could see everything. We pretty much knew it, but that was what made our relationship so unique. We both loved it. It was kinky and outrageous. We knew others were watching. It was a turn-on and an extreme public display of affection. I never did anything like it prior. I have no idea what motivated me. We said we would never fall in love, that we were just neighbors. But, when your hook-up hundreds of times, sometimes several times a day, you develop feelings for each other. That is when everything went wrong.

After bartending, I was bringing models home in limousines. Sometimes, even two girls at a time. We were making all kinds of noise right above her bedroom. Even though we said it was going to be casual between us, it never truly was. She started to get jealous. When I would sing on the balcony she would say things like “can’t you shut that thing up,” or, “do you have a volume control on that contraption.” She would be steaming and I didn’t understand why she was upset. I thought we were just neighbors who were hooking-up. I was also regularly dating other girls. I was naive enough to think that if I kept the music loud she would have no idea what was going on. We never said anything about being exclusive, but man did she get pissed-off when the music started. I would hear things banging downstairs and all kinds of obscure rantings, but she never said anything to me. Every time I saw her, she was that same cute country girl, “hey neighbor, you have any butter?” which was her way of saying can I come in and can we hook-up. It was always something like that; milk or salt or pepper and it always meant the same thing, great care-free sex. She would refer to me, when her roommates were around, as her sentimental fuck… so why would I have thought anything different?

Of course, over nine months it came to mean more than that. Until I was in the same situation, I had no idea what she was feeling. The first time I heard a man’s voice in her apartment and what sounded like sex, I went into a jealous rage. What made it worse was that I thought I knew who the man was. It sounded like my landlord…our landlord. I was upstairs hooking-up with one of my regular girls from the Palladium and she was hooking-up with our landlord, who was thirty years older?

When I saw her and asked if she had a man over, she denied it completely. She swore I was dreaming or hallucinating. She played it very cool, as if nothing was wrong. Soon I was the one yelling down the balcony, as it became a regular event for them. It got to me. Jealously is a much stronger emotion than love. At one point, my landlord, who I was friendly with, invited me to California to shoot for Vidal Sassoon. I went just to get away from it all. I never had any proof and did not want to approach the subject with him, as I was making a lot of money from him and his associates. Plus, I was not exclusive with her, so what could I really say about it? I was staying at the former Beverly Hills Town Hall, which was a mansion.

There I photographed models from around the world and slept with many of them. I even photographed Sassoon’s daughter and yes, we fooled around at her apartment. I was sort of being set-up with her. Vidal made it known that he approved of me. But, I was surrounded by so many models, who were living at the mansion, that I was hooking up with a different one every day. There were so many that I cannot even remember them all. When I heard my landlord force himself on one of them, I realized the kind of shady individual he was. I left immediately. I began to realize he was sleeping with my neighbor to throw it in my face. He did not know that despite my promiscuity, I loved my neighbor, hook-up, and pseudo-girlfriend. I was just realizing it myself. I had to fly back and see if I could rescue the relationship before he took control of it, or even worse, me.

I flew back to New York. When I got back, my neighbor was in my penthouse. She had packed all my things and put them out the door. She made a deal with my landlord that if she slept with him, she would get my apartment. It was a deal he kept. I was out before sunset and back on Long Island. My heart was broken, but I did not understand why. How could I be hurting so much over this hook-up? We weren’t even exclusive! That Midwest farmer’s daughter played me like a fiddle and taught me a lesson I would never forget. Never play with a woman’s heart. Later, I finally understood that you could not hook-up with another human being, hundreds of times, without it affecting your heart. And, when your neighbor comes looking for butter or milk, know it has nothing to do with baking a cake. She could wind up with your rent controlled apartment, just before it turns into a condo.

 

Chapter 4 – My Virgin Babysitter

Obsession is typically defined by a thought that preoccupies or intrudes into one’s mind to such a degree that he or she is powerless to resist the object of that obsession. It is an all-consuming passion that takes hold of your thoughts until you are totally dominated by your compulsion and persistently overwhelmed by your desire. There is no question in my mind, that without ever realizing it, most of my life was spent powerless to my obsession with romance.

I was so obsessed with romance, that for the better part of my life, I spent most every waking hour searching for it. Typically, I would find women who were also obsessed, but most of the time, with me. I would go so far as to say that most of my relationships were based on obsession… not love. I was powerless. I spent much of my time pursuing that obsession. Photography was a means to feed that desire because I would meet thousands of women from every corner of the world. Typically, I would be alone with those women and we would almost always be shooting in the most intimate of settings. I am not sure what came first, the camera or the obsession, but they fed each other. Not that there is anything wrong with a healthy sexual desire, but I was consumed. Beyond consumed. That is one of the reasons I stopped dating. I wanted to break the addiction. But, as hard as I tried, it did not work. I literally had to take medication to stop myself from obsessing so enthusiastically.

Obsession is typically defined by a thought that preoccupies or intrudes into one’s mind to such a degree that he or she is powerless to resist the object of that obsession. It is an all-consuming passion that takes hold of your thoughts until you are totally dominated by your compulsion and persistently overwhelmed by your desire. There is no question in my mind, that without ever realizing it, most of my life was spent powerless to my obsession with romance.

I was so obsessed with romance, that for the better part of my life, I spent most every waking hour searching for it. Typically, I would find women who were also obsessed, but most of the time, with me. I would go so far as to say that most of my relationships were based on obsession… not love. I was powerless. I spent much of my time pursuing that obsession. Photography was a means to feed that desire because I would meet thousands of women from every corner of the world. Typically, I would be alone with those women and we would almost always be shooting in the most intimate of settings. I am not sure what came first, the camera or the obsession, but they fed each other. Not that there is anything wrong with a healthy sexual desire, but I was consumed. Beyond consumed. That is one of the reasons I stopped dating. I wanted to break the addiction. But, as hard as I tried, it did not work. I literally had to take medication to stop myself from obsessing so enthusiastically.

Most men are driven by their obsession with sex. It has been said, “men are dogs.” I was powerless against that obsession, even when I was in a relationship. My greatest fear was that I would not be able to be faithful, as I had so many opportunities and was powerless to turn them down. I do not know when or why my obsession began, but I started young. When I was ten I shared some intimate moments with a sixteen-year-old, smoking hot, cheerleader. I did not know what the word sex was, but when she took off her bathing suit I reacted physically to her. It did not take long before we were experimenting. She definitely knew what sex was and eagerly shared that knowledge with me.

It was not like those romantic moments you see in movies. It was more like a game in which we laughed and touched each other in ways I had never touched anyone previously. Before very long, I figured out what goes where and we were engaged in full-blown relations. No one had any idea that a sixteen-year-old would experiment with a boy as young as I was. I was so enamored with the experience that I wanted to do it again and again. And yes, everything works, even at that young age.

Relations at such a young age are completely different. It is only later that you begin to understand what sex is and all the emotional baggage that comes with it. At that age, you are innocent and pure. Nothing ever compares to that type of connection afterwards. But from the very moment we started to experiment, until she moved and I never saw her again, we would go at it every time we were alone. Of course, we were secretive about it. The only feeling outside of pure ecstasy we shared, was the fear that someone would catch us.

For some reason, even though we did not know what we were doing, we thought it was wrong. We knew we could not tell anyone or get caught. The world was a lot more conservative back then. All the same, as I look back on my life, I know that my obsession started with that cheerleader and continued for the better part of my life. I would even go as far as to say, that we fell in love. When she moved, I was heartbroken for months, maybe even a year. And, I could tell no one. She simply disappeared. When she did, I had a bad case of “blue balls.” Sorry, but there is no other way to explain it. My father had to take me to the doctor to find out why.

Of course, I never told him that I was engaged in sexual relations with a sixteen-year-old cheerleader. It did not take long for the doctor to see that I was, as he described it, “fully mature at only ten.” He told my father and I that the only way to eliminate the pressure was to masturbate. He suggested to my father that he should to teach me how to do it. It was one of the most awkward moments in my life. Dad bought me some Playboy magazines, but before long I was engaging in relations with girls my own age. I did not know why I was the only one doing it. None of my friends were even talking about it.

As I quickly learned, for every willing guy, there is always a willing girl. And, there were many. I was so obsessed that, later in life, I chose to be celibate. This went on for years. Often I would tell potential girlfriends that it was because of my health that I chose not to engage in sex. The sad truth was, I was trying hard to break a lifelong addiction. It was the only way I could try and beat it. But, I was helpless. I became obsessed that very first time and it continued for the better part of my life.

Of course, I would never share any of the names of those I was engaging in relations with, because I am old school. Even then I would never kiss and tell. I would meet a girl at the public pool, or the park and almost immediately we knew it was going to happen. Maybe the world was different back then, but that obsession and the willingness for girls my age and older to just go for it, dates back as far as I can remember. Back to that cheerleader who was babysitting and decided that I was a safe person to experiment with. I do not think that it was that moment that created the obsession within me. That was just the first time I engaged in sex. The obsession grew stronger every year of my life, as did the choices I made. I became a slave to that obsession, choosing it above most everything else.

I never did see that cheerleader again, nor can I remember her name, but I will never forget the innocent and naive way in which we both learned about life and how natural the affair was. I know most people start their experimentation at a much older age. I consider myself fortunate that we met and the chemistry was so intense that we decided to trust each other. I often wonder if she remembers me, or even thinks of me.

There is no doubt in my mind that she knew what she was doing. For me, it was the beginning of a life-long adventure that became a life-long obsession. I have been celibate for some time now, except for the occasional “oops did that just happen’ moments. To this day I do not even know if I have beaten it. Nor do I want to know anymore. But, this I do know. I will not settle for less than my true soul mate and pray that such a person exists.

 

Chapter 3 – Late Night Facebook Call

One night while working late, I received a video chat request from a beautiful actress I recognized from her television appearances. She was not only a romance novel cover model, but also acted with very famous people, in some major roles. While she was not as famous as those she acted with, she was a very successful actress and model. So, of course I answered the call. When I picked up, she asked me if she had reached a depression outreach service. I said no. She said, I am often up late at night and wanted to volunteer. Within five minutes, I knew that it was not volunteering she was calling for. She was in trouble. Serious trouble. I stayed on the line with her all night to make sure she was ok.

I was still living down south, as I had not yet reached my target weight. I had at least seventeen pounds to go and nothing was going to stop me. I had already gone through massive surgeries and walked thousands of miles to rebuild my circulatory system, but still, I was not myself. That being the case, I was not exactly sleeping around. In fact, I was intentionally avoiding relationships. The last thing I needed was a passion induced heart attack while I was recovering. Also, the surgeries were so challenging and caused such a massive amount of pain that in time I became immune to the effects of pain killers. I suffered greatly. In retrospect, I likely suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I was in agony and the recovery period was beyond intense.

I reasoned that if I walked thousands, or even tens of thousands of miles, my arteries would grow stronger and my heart would follow. I was ready to move back to New York and almost ready to test out the ticker the hard way. But, at this point in my life I did not want to engage in casual sex. I decided that the next time I was going to be with a woman, it would be for love, not a hook-up or anything remotely casual.

One night while working late, I received a video chat request from a beautiful actress I recognized from her television appearances. She was not only a romance novel cover model, but also acted with very famous people, in some major roles. While she was not as famous as those she acted with, she was a very successful actress and model. So, of course I answered the call. When I picked up, she asked me if she had reached a depression outreach service. I said no. She said, I am often up late at night and wanted to volunteer. Within five minutes, I knew that it was not volunteering she was calling for. She was in trouble. Serious trouble. I stayed on the line with her all night to make sure she was ok.

I was still living down south, as I had not yet reached my target weight. I had at least seventeen pounds to go and nothing was going to stop me. I had already gone through massive surgeries and walked thousands of miles to rebuild my circulatory system, but still, I was not myself. That being the case, I was not exactly sleeping around. In fact, I was intentionally avoiding relationships. The last thing I needed was a passion induced heart attack while I was recovering. Also, the surgeries were so challenging and caused such a massive amount of pain that in time I became immune to the effects of pain killers. I suffered greatly. In retrospect, I likely suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I was in agony and the recovery period was beyond intense.

I reasoned that if I walked thousands, or even tens of thousands of miles, my arteries would grow stronger and my heart would follow. I was ready to move back to New York and almost ready to test out the ticker the hard way. But, at this point in my life I did not want to engage in casual sex. I decided that the next time I was going to be with a woman, it would be for love, not a hook-up or anything remotely casual.

When I made it back to New York for a short assignment, she insisted that we meet. She was beautiful and her portfolio was stunning. Her likeness graced hundreds of romance novel covers. She was beyond successful. That she wanted to meet me was a bit surprising and intriguing. Prior to meeting we maintained contact. Her areas of discussion were surprising. Often, she would express opinions about sexual preferences and topics that were usually reserved for one’s most trusted friends. Clearly not subjects to discuss with an internet friend, or perhaps I should say …. acquaintance.

But as I have learned from so many years of using instant messaging and from movies like “You’ve Got Mail,” you can’t truly get to know someone through pen pal style communications. So, when I arrived in New York, I agreed to meet. Our liaison took place at an Italian restaurant on the Upper West Side, in close proximity to my hotel. I was not making much, if any profit, from the assignment. I accepted it because I needed something new and current for my portfolio and reel.

When I finished filming for the day, I packed my gear and walked to the restaurant. She arrived wearing absolutely no makeup, as would a model at a casting call. But, all the same, she was beautiful; stunningly beautiful. Being the insecure man I am, I had two glasses of wine before she arrived. In keeping with her status, she was fashionably late. We killed the first bottle of wine quickly. Conversation just flowed. We were having fun, taking photographs, eating artichokes and flirting. She was not only beautiful, but also, beyond entertaining.

We had spoken several times about sex and sexual topics prior, but this conversation was more candid by far. I knew she was interested in being with me. I too was interested, but also resolute in my promise to not hook-up and to wait for my soul mate. I was taking photographs of some interesting people walking by. The wine was disappearing at a rather quick rate so I ordered another bottle. And then another. She would pour us both a glass and make a toast. Before I knew it, the wine was gone again. I was getting hammered. I could not keep up with her and I didn’t understand why. After dinner, I was for the first time in decades, kind of wobbly. She suggested that she should walk me back to my hotel. I accepted, as I was quite dizzy. It was a feeling I had never experienced before…at least not to that degree.

The air conditioning in my hotel room was blasting on my feet and I started to feel quite cold. My entire body was freezing. I reached for a blanket and felt a naked body lay on top of me. A woman’s voice whispered in my ear. She was coaching me, urging me to perform. It was almost as if I was dreaming. It was as if I was a character in a romance novel. Time after time I woke to a female voice whispering in my ear… seducing me…urging me on! She was doing just about everything a woman could do to get me excited. It was working, but I had no idea where I was or who I was with. I was completely out of it. At times, I would get my perspective back. Every time I did, there she was, on top of me or dragging me on top of her.

This seemed to go on for at least ten hours. Each time I awoke, the clock on the side of the bed, with its big red numbers, would show me the hour. I would start to thrust and we would go at it again and again. Instinct just took over. The dirty talk would continue until I literally either passed out from whatever drug she had given me, or from sheer physical exhaustion. As time went by, flashes of the previous hours began to come into perspective. Was I in some sort of lurid dream? As morning approached, the sprint like rounds of passion and re-engagements continued. She insisted that we keep going until I “completed the task at hand.” By the time the birds were chirping and a thin stream of light was shining through the hotel curtain windows, I was again coaxed into another round, as she pulled my body into her own.

She was extremely effective at getting what she wanted. She told me that she was long past child bearing, so there was no risk of complications. With that, she pulled me into her with such ferocity I am surprised I lived through it. I mean that literally. This was very risky business for me. We both fell into a deep sleep. We lay together floating in and out of sleep for hours. When I woke, I had an enormous hangover, like nothing I had ever experienced.

When I could finally walk, I took a shower and lay back down in bed with her. I asked her how we got back to my hotel room and how things started. I couldn’t remember much of anything. In fact, it took quite a while for me to remember the entire night and more than a bit of honesty on her part to tell me what happened. She was pouring her wine into my glass when I wasn’t looking and then refilling them both, over and over. So, while I thought we each drank a half bottle of wine, the reality was I had most of that first bottle and the second as well. I don’t even remember if there was a third. She confessed to having put a tranquilizer into her own glass, because she was nervous and that she may have poured it into mine. I knew she did and that it was no accident.

I went for a walk in Central Park. I needed time to think and walked for almost three hours. The battery on my cell phone was out of power long before I got back to the hotel. When I arrived, she was still there. She wanted to go out for breakfast. I didn’t know what to make of the situation, as I was basically drugged to be an easy target for sex. That had never happened to me before. I know that many women have shared stories about how they were manipulated or drugged, but I had no idea that women actually drugged men! I was quite upset, although as I started to remember bits and pieces, flashes of memories, I was amazed. Yet, the idea of being drugged….

I took her to breakfast. Her hands were shaking. She knew that I was about to confront her. As we sat at the cafe she said, “ok I drugged you.” I just could not leave it to chance. I had to have you. That night we first spoke I probably would have killed myself. I hadn’t been out of my house in two years. You saved me and I was intent on being with you no matter what I had to do. With that, I excused myself, dropped a couple of Jackson’s on the table and said both thank-you and goodbye. No matter how great the sex, or how convenient it would have been to look the other way and continue to hook-up, I wanted no part of the drama. To me, drugging someone to get them to do what they would not, is just wrong.

But the drama was just beginning. Within days the phone calls came. She started suggesting that she may be pregnant and that perhaps she was wrong about not being able to conceive. She said that she had no idea that I was releasing inside her. I did not know what to say. I was the one who was drugged and tricked into drinking entirely too much wine. Now, she was telling me that she might be pregnant. At first, I said ok, so what if you are. She said she would have the baby. I said ok and that I would take responsibility for any child I fathered. After about a month of agreeing to whatever agenda she decided to go with, it became obvious that she was using a possible pregnancy to keep me in her life. It was emotional blackmail, pure and simple. When I discontinued communication with her she became irrational and abusive so I just ignored her calls.

Years have passed. From time to time I have run into her. There of course was no child from that evening. At the end of the day, it was a passionate marathon of lurid reflections from one of the sexiest romance cover models I ever met. She went on to do many more television and movie rolls. In one there was a particularly torrid sexual scene. That shook me and my mind replayed a slew of real- life scenes. At that moment, I realized that it was a truly spectacular experience, despite the bad karma. We always think that we know people. But we never really know a person’s intentions until we are both in a position to act out the possibilities. In the end, I do believe that picking up that call, in the middle of the night, did save her life. That made the entire chapter, however drama-filled, worthwhile. But for me, it meant that I again was walking and photographing everything and everyone in my path… alone still chasing sunrises.