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 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 12 – The Girl In The Red Dress

I’d never been in the lady’s bathroom before. This was no way to get my feet wet, but she was making it impossible to refuse. When we agreed to meet by the bathrooms I had no idea that she was going to drag me into one, lock me inside a stall and rip my clothes off. I was working the bar and I would never just leave it, except to use the rest room. Certainly, not for this purpose. She was hot. She wore a tight red dress that hugged her body perfectly. She had an amazing body. She was all-American looking with brown hair and bright blue eyes. She was not my usual type. I was taken with her. I knew I had to get back to the bar, but with every thrust I also knew that this was a once-in-a lifetime opportunity. I didn’t want to get caught away from my bar for an extended period of time, certainly not with my pants down, in the lady’s room, I just could not resist.

I’d never been in the lady’s bathroom before. This was no way to get my feet wet, but she was making it impossible to refuse. When we agreed to meet by the bathrooms I had no idea that she was going to drag me into one, lock me inside a stall and rip my clothes off. I was working the bar and I would never just leave it, except to use the rest room. Certainly, not for this purpose. She was hot. She wore a tight red dress that hugged her body perfectly. She had an amazing body. She was all-American looking with brown hair and bright blue eyes. She was not my usual type. I was taken with her. I knew I had to get back to the bar, but with every thrust I also knew that this was a once-in-a lifetime opportunity. I didn’t want to get caught away from my bar for an extended period of time, certainly not with my pants down, in the lady’s room, I just could not resist.

She had been coming up to the bar every fifteen minutes asking for water. Each time she gave me a huge tip. No one tipped for water back then, even when it was fancy mineral water. It was about the time in the hospitality business when bottled water became popular for the first time. Clientele pretty much felt obligated to buy it, but they were not going to tip you for it, at least not more than a buck or two. So, when this amazingly beautiful girl, in a red dress, started flipping twenties at me and telling me to keep the change, I knew something was up.

We started kissing. After a few minutes, she dropped her dress off her shoulders. She was completely naked underneath. She was tall and slim with a professional swimsuit or lingerie model’s body. I had never seen her before. I recognized most of the models who came to the Palladium from Elle or Vogue, or from their headshots the agencies sent me. I was shooting every day when I was not bartending, so I knew many of the working New York City models by their images, but not this one.

I could not hear her very well at the bar or outside the bathroom. I just kept following her and willingly following her directions. Originally, I thought she just wanted to get my number so we could shoot, but she never asked me for it. Once we were in front of the lady’s room she started kissing me and dragged me inside. There were a few men in there. As a guy, if you went into the lady’s room you were going for a bump, or you were gay. Straight guys rarely went into the lady’s room back then, so I was a trendsetter. As we entered, she put some lipstick on and then took my hand and dragged me into a stall. No one was paying much attention.

It was tight with the two of us inside, but the bathrooms were new, so they were clean. The lady’s room seemed to be much nicer than the men’s room. I never compared them before. They seemed luxurious. She went inside first, turned towards me, put her arms around my neck and pulled me towards her. She was kissing me quite passionately and I was of course loving every second of it. After only a few minutes, or so, she lifted her arms over her head, folded them together and her shoulder straps fell off both shoulders. She pulled me close to her and pushed her pelvis into mine. I rarely wore underwear behind the bar, so I could feel the curve of her pelvis grind against mine. Almost immediately she was unbuckling my belt and ripping my clothes off.

I lifted her legs, as she supported herself with both arms around my neck and I swung her hips towards me and away. She was a tall woman so it was an awkward position. She was supporting herself by bracing her arms on the walls of the bathroom stall. I thrust as deeply as I could but she was slipping from my grasp. There just wasn’t much room. As she slid out of my arms, I spun her around and re-inserted myself inside of her from behind. She braced herself against the back wall of the stall, but still there was not enough pumping room. Eventually, as I was thrusting fairly hard, her hands slipped down the wall until she grabbed the stainless-steel top to the toilet with her right hand and the flusher with her left. By now she was moaning loudly. Between my ass banging against the bathroom door and her moaning, we were starting to attract attention, although we weren’t aware of it.

It became dead quite in the lady’s room. People knew exactly what we were doing, but we were oblivious. At times, we stopped and listened to see if anyone was saying anything, but we heard nothing. I was nervous that someone would catch us. While it was undeniably exciting, I was nervous and self-conscious. Soon she not only was moaning to the rhythm of my ass banging against the stall door, but she started to orgasm, screaming and flushing the toilet over and over. It was moan moan, flush, scream, moan moan, flush, scream. At this point I was pumping so hard it must have sounded like a bull was trying to break out of the stall. Finally, we came together and we started kissing again. As fast as her red dress came off, she put it back on. Then, she sat down on the toilet and started peeing.

I gave her a wet kiss and told her I would meet her at the bar. I opened the bar stall door slowly. She said she would wait a few minutes before she came out, to be discreet. Nice plan, but as soon as I took a step out of that bathroom stall about a hundred women started to clap, whistle and scream all kinds of things at me. They knew what was happening. I was shocked! I figured maybe one or two girls would hear the noise, but this was insane. We had an audience the entire time. I ran out of there, back to the bar, hoping no one would know it was me. It didn’t take long before I was getting tons of phone numbers slipped to me at the bar.

She waited for me to get off. I frequently used a limo service, so I called one of them and we took a ride uptown to my penthouse. We fooled around in the limo the entire way home. I always kept chilled champagne at the bar, so we were drinking Dom before we even got there. When we arrived, we went right to my second-floor bedroom and I went down on her for the longest time. Eventually after several sweaty orgasms we both fell to sleep.

The sun would always stream through the French doors to my bedroom. At sunrise, she was in a deep sleep, but I wanted more. We drank a lot of champagne, so she was probably hung-over. She must have thought we were going to sleep-in, but I had a shoot at the beach with other models that morning. Despite how great the night was, I knew the models would be terribly disappointed if I didn’t keep the booking. I figured that I would wake her up with a “bang”. Then, I would make a graceful exit. I had a great time, but I figured any woman who bangs a guy she doesn’t know and goes home with him, was probably not the kind of woman I wanted to bring home to meet my family. I often laugh at myself because of that now.

So, I started to position myself closer to her and used my fingers to lightly tickle the inside of her thighs until the moaning started again. I slid down and started to use my tongue until she was humping the bed slightly and rolling her hips higher and higher, arching her back to provide me with more access. Once her hips were high enough and she was dripping wet, I kneeled behind her and inserted myself inside her slowly. She was very wet, so before long we were going at it with a much greater degree of thrust and momentum. I remembered from the bathroom stall that she liked it that way. She was using her arms to support herself doggy style as she pushed back into me with every stroke. Even though she started to participate more in the thrusting, something told me that she was new to intimacy. That made it even more of a turn on.

I came so many times I did not think I could cum again. I wanted to give her a parting favor so she would come back. I slid one leg off the bed and then managed to pull her towards me as I put both my feet onto the floor. She was moaning louder and louder. As I was cuming, she started to cum with me. Her entire body started to quiver uncontrollably. As she quivered and moaned louder, her vagina started to tighten around me. It was much tighter than I had ever experienced. She became, what seemed to be, twice as tight. I thought she was orgasming particularly hard, I know I was.

I was in pure ecstasy. Not only from the amazing physical feeling but also from hearing and feeling her intense orgasm. It was one hell of an orgasm. It lasted so much longer than usual. Soon, she turned to me and the quivering started to intensify, so much so, that she started to scream as she came. In the midst of her climax I looked up at her and saw the whites of her eyes. Her entire body tightened. Her hands were ripping the blanket off the bed and she started quivering violently. She looked possessed. It was scary, so scary that I wanted out. But, there was no way I was getting out unless she let me out; and she was not letting go. Finally, she passed out. I thought I had “fucked her to death” and was terrified! I thought she might have taken drugs. I was I shocked at what was happening.

When the quivering stopped, she was out cold. I could not wake her! I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t detect a pulse or a heartbeat. My heart was beating so hard I thought I was going to pass out. Did I kill her? Was she really dead? I ran for the phone and called the emergency room at the hospital, which was only blocks away. She was only out for minutes but it felt as if time stood still. I finally got a doctor on the phone. He calmed me down and told me that she probably had a seizure. He said that most of the time they were not dangerous. He instructed me to make sure she didn’t swallow her tongue, bite it off, or damage her eyes. I held her hands away from her eyes and put a washcloth inside of her mouth to keep her teeth from touching her tongue. It seemed the worst was over, but she was still unconscious.

The doctor said to wait ten minutes and If she didn’t wake up to call 911. He told me to get her ID and to try to call someone who knew her. He also wanted me to try to find out what medications she was taking. She didn’t have medication in her purse, but she did have a learners permit. To my amazement, she was only seventeen. I was terrified. I had no idea how she could get into the Palladium without proper ID was beyond me. They were extremely diligent about ID. No one could get in without a legitimate age verification and I worked the door so I saw how strict they were. I was only a few years older, but never would think of being with someone under eighteen. I never even met anyone under eighteen at the bar. Finally, she woke up. The first thing she said was, “what are you doing in my pocket book?” My response was, how old are you? She didn’t remember we were together. In fact, she didn’t even know who I was or what happened. At that point I was like, holy shit, did she take drugs last night? I started to ask her questions. The doctor said when she woke up she might need some time to understand what happened to her. Meanwhile she was dripping with my cum. She started to become more coherent and told she was seventeen. She was afraid I would not have slept with her if she told me her real age. She was going to be eighteen shortly, but still.

About thirty minutes later she started to remember the events of the previous evening. She would ask, “did we have sex in the bathroom last night? Did we take a limo back here? Is your name John?” Everything was coming back to her. She told me she could not call her family as she told them she was sleeping at her girlfriend’s house. Her father was old school. He ran a sanitation company and would kill me if he found out. Not only was she on the border of illegal, she was the daughter of a mobster. I was now even more nervous. Not for her, but for me! I knew I couldn’t ask her to leave, or take the chance she would have an unattended seizure, so I came to the conclusion that I would have to find a way to get her home. I was completely overreacting, but I didn’t know what to do. She was so unsteady. She wanted to go home, so I put her in a limo.

I never did go out with the girl in the red dress again. She did call to thank me for the evening. She wanted to date, but I told her she had to wait until she was eighteen. She was embarrassed that she had an epileptic seizure during our relations. I told her not to sweat it. Still, she felt I was blowing her off because of it. I did not want her to feel any less a woman, so despite my fear of becoming fish food, courtesy of her father, I continued to speak to her until she finally stopped calling. The moral to this chapter is, the next time you are taking a woman from the reverse side and she starts to get tighter and tighter, tap her on the shoulder and check her eyes. While that chapter only lasted twenty-four hours, it was one of my most memorable and certainly one of the kinkiest. I did shoot the following day with another model and we did go at it all day. But, that is another chapter. It really did take me so long to really understand the meaning of true love, live and learn.

 

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 9 – My Rock Star Fiancé

I wrote several songs for my rock star long after we broke-up.” Tomorrows not so far away, she’ll come back and she’ll come back and stay. So, close your eyes now and go to sleep and pray to god her soul he’ll keep… “The first couple of lines from one of those songs, “Tomorrow,” which still resonates deep within my soul. I have sung that song for other chapters since then. Love with my rock star was an organic reaction. It was a reaction I have felt and shared so many times. I still do not understand it, despite the scientific evidence proving love at first sight is in fact, a legitimate and very real phenomenon.

There is no explanation for it, but some say they fell in love the moment they first laid eyes on one another. If ever in my life I was so smitten, she was the one. I had not heard her voice in over twenty years, but after a single word “, John,” my heart started beating uncontrollably and I felt the love as strongly as I did the last time I saw her. It was decades ago and it was a true heartbreak. Until I heard her voice again, I did not realize I was carrying the loss with me for all that time. She was my rock star.

Anyone who looks back on his or her chapters of love knows that love can ignite in a millisecond. It doesn’t always grow stronger over long periods of time. Nor does love have to last forever to be true love. Or does it? In this case, we were together for years. We planned on spending our lives together. I had just moved back to Long Island from New York City. Not long afterwards I met her on the Long Island Rail Road. I was recovering from a relationship with my NYC neighbor that taught me a lesson about love or what I thought was love. As such, I was not looking at that moment. When I saw her, I was stopped dead in my tracks. I mustered up the courage to speak to her, as I was quite shy despite the act I put on. I do not know why she even spoke to me. She was not just pretty, but stunningly beautiful. Men would constantly stare at her. I was no exception.

I wrote several songs for my rock star long after we broke-up.” Tomorrows not so far away, she’ll come back and she’ll come back and stay. So, close your eyes now and go to sleep and pray to god her soul he’ll keep… “The first couple of lines from one of those songs, “Tomorrow,” which still resonates deep within my soul. I have sung that song for other chapters since then. Love with my rock star was an organic reaction. It was a reaction I have felt and shared so many times. I still do not understand it, despite the scientific evidence proving love at first sight is in fact, a legitimate and very real phenomenon.

There is no explanation for it, but some say they fell in love the moment they first laid eyes on one another. If ever in my life I was so smitten, she was the one. I had not heard her voice in over twenty years, but after a single word “, John,” my heart started beating uncontrollably and I felt the love as strongly as I did the last time I saw her. It was decades ago and it was a true heartbreak. Until I heard her voice again, I did not realize I was carrying the loss with me for all that time. She was my rock star.

Anyone who looks back on his or her chapters of love knows that love can ignite in a millisecond. It doesn’t always grow stronger over long periods of time. Nor does love have to last forever to be true love. Or does it? In this case, we were together for years. We planned on spending our lives together. I had just moved back to Long Island from New York City. Not long afterwards I met her on the Long Island Rail Road. I was recovering from a relationship with my NYC neighbor that taught me a lesson about love or what I thought was love. As such, I was not looking at that moment. When I saw her, I was stopped dead in my tracks. I mustered up the courage to speak to her, as I was quite shy despite the act I put on. I do not know why she even spoke to me. She was not just pretty, but stunningly beautiful. Men would constantly stare at her. I was no exception.

She was my rock star. She was a creative, musical genius, who played many instruments. I should mention that she had the best rhythm of any lover I have ever been with. We would literally plan our social life around sex and would engage in sex at the most inappropriate of places and times. We would screw around in the basement of her parent’s home. In the midst of this, her dad would wander downstairs. One Thanksgiving, during dinner, I went to use the upstairs bathroom. She followed me upstairs. She was wearing a short jeans skirt and tight white shirt with no underwear. She coaxed me into doing it right there. Everyone must have heard her moaning. It was virtually impossible that they didn’t. She was bent over the sink. I was behind her. Her skirt was lifted just above her waist. I can envision that moment in my mind’s eye to this day. We would do it in her above ground pool, even when her parents were home. We did it in my small apartment in the lower level of my parent’s house. We did it everywhere. We went on many camping adventures and just hung out, mostly with her other girlfriends. She never knew it but they all hit on me. I thought that if I went for it, she and her girlfriends would have wanted us to all be together…group sex therapy of sorts. I never accepted her friend’s offers, but they were there.

She had absolutely no idea I was diagnosed with a terminal condition, nor was there any reason for her to think that a man in his twenties was sick. She simply thought something changed when I drove her away. That was possibly the most life changing decision I ever made. I went for what was supposed to be a routine physical. My blood tests and EKG came back abnormal. When I didn’t pass the physical I was shocked. I was even more shocked to hear a diagnosis that included, “don’t make any long-term plans.” I was terrified. We were to be married in a year.

I had to find a way to break-up quickly, without self-destructing and without breaking her heart. I decided to move our plans up so drastically she would reject the idea. I figured forcing the issue, of marriage and immediately having children would damage our relationship and she would bolt. We were young and both nervous about marriage as it was. This was despite the love we had for each other. The reality of it was that it did not take much for her to leave. Aside from the passing of my father, I never cried so much in my life. At the time, I was not sure if it was for her or the fact that my life literally did “flash before my eyes.” It was bad. I started to self-destruct and sabotage our relationship within days of my diagnosis. I was put on one of the first anti-depressant medications, which only made things worse. It made me feel invincible and I went into denial about my condition shortly afterwards.

Despite the fact I thought it better to drive her away than to leave her a newlywed widow, I was torn. I loved her too much to just leave her. Driving her away would protect her from going to my funeral either just prior to or just after we would marry. I knew something was wrong long before we broke off our engagement. I was constantly getting pains in my chest and arms. As a life-long athlete, that was simply not supposed to be happening. A misdiagnosis of possible asthma was the only thing that made me believe things weren’t as bad as they felt. Maybe I wanted to be fooled, but with symptoms like mine, one knows something is very wrong.

For twenty years, I thought she left me far too easily and the never tried to reach out to me. So, I always felt I loved her more than she loved me. After all, why did she run away so fast when I gave her the opportunity? I am sure that seeing me in tears when we were together caused her concern, but she never spoke about it. It was humiliating. I never explained, so she must have wondered what the fuck was going on. I know I would have freaked out if the roles were reversed.

I loved her more than I had loved anyone before and I never thought I could love anyone more. It also meant I would die alone. I would die without leaving my bloodline intact. It was a devastating thought to believe that I would die before even starting my life. But, it was what I was told and what I believed. Back then, doctors were considered gods and we never questioned a diagnosis. You just accepted it as a fact. What saved me was that medical science developed one step ahead of my demise. I was told walking would help, so prior to that, I compensated by walking three to five hours per day, waiting for the next breakthrough.

When we met for lunch she was as beautiful as she was the last time I saw her. It was if she lived in a time warp. She did not look a day older. She was as “Jessica Alba” gorgeous as she was when we were together. Twenty years later she was just as hot. The sexual tension was unbearable.

She learned about my condition from an actress whom I was producing an entertainment series with. One night, my co-producer asked me who the love of my life was. She was curious as to who was” the one that got away.” It was a question no one had ever asked me. Most assumed it was my former wife. At that moment, her name came into my heart. I told my co-producer the story. All of it. How I drove my former love away without telling her about my death sentence. As fate would have it, my co-producer would meet her years later and tell her. When we met, the first thing she asked me was why I never told her. I said I just did not have the heart to leave her as a widow. It was a powerful emotional moment. I never thought I would see her again. My co-producer had other ideas.

We started seeing each other again. She was, for the most part single .Getting together not only provided some closure, but also the opportunity to share romantic moments again. She swore her husband had a girlfriend who he was in love with, so it was morally acceptable to me. Our sexual encounters were just as special as they were when we first were together. I gather sexual compatibility does not change, even over decades. We continued to see each other for quite some time, but we both knew that we could not turn back the clock and erase all that had come between us. Once, while she was going down on me in my car, I wondered if I died and went to heaven. I dreamed of that moment for decades. I do not know that I ever loved anyone with as much passion. She was a tremendously talented lover and just as passionate as she was decades earlier.

We drifted apart again eventually. I probably would have married her if she were open to it at the time. I was helplessly in love with her. She had become so much more of a woman than I ever imagined she would be. At the time, despite decades of surgeries, I was still waiting for the final surgery that would give me back my life. I didn’t think it would be fair to have her fall in love with me again, as my life was still in jeopardy. Funny how life repeats itself, Actually, not funny at all.

At one point, she admitted that the cash she had generating from a small business I helped her build, was going towards some pretty serious drugs. This was while we were engaged. I lost a lot of respect for her. It took the steam out of our renewed relationship.

Afterwards, I accepted the fact that she was not the woman I thought she. At one point she came to my studio with a male musician. She said that he was a potential client and was buttering him up…flirting furiously, even taking her clothing off for some shots. I thought she was trying very hard to hold onto me, but it became very apparent that we were long past a lifetime of love. Our chapter(s) of love were over.

I thought I knew everything about her. I didn’t know she was freebasing cocaine. That was something I would never tolerate. I have often thought that if she were in a better place when we were younger and my diagnosis was not so severe, we would have married. Fulfilled destiny is not something you often find, even with those you love. I know in my heart that I will always love her and I hope she has a happy and fulfilling life. She is a musician, an extremely talented one. Perhaps one day I will be the subject of one of her songs, as she was the inspiration for many of mine. I truly considered our chapters of love as memorable as any I have ever shared.

Chapter 7 – Runway Modeling

When I walked the runway for Macy’s in Roosevelt field, I thought I was acting quite professional and looking supremely confident, but it scared the shit out of me. At this point in my life I was no performer. I was still growing up and becoming comfortable in my own skin. Being the subject of cameras or on a runway, in front of so many people, frightened me. But, modeling was proving to be a great way to meet gorgeous women and to score great clothing for free. I was building my wardrobe and getting paid! I couldn’t believe people were willing to pay me to stand in front of their cameras.

But walking down a runway in front of hundreds of women was embarrassing, especially because I had a hard-on the entire time. And it showed. I did not model for long because I was shy and I preferred photography to modeling. But for a moment, I was modeling professionally. At first, it was kind of an ego thing. It felt good that professionals wanted to photograph me and pay me for it. As happens with most who model, it gave me a confidence boost and of course it was profitable.

I had a pup tent in my pants every time I went behind the runway to change. Backstage there were always ten naked, beautiful older, well-developed models. They were exceptionally beautiful women. Two of them were assigned to undress me and re-dress me super-fast. So fast, that they did not have time to get dressed in between walks. So, they were nude. They were models. They were beautiful. And there I was, naked, in a small tent like changing area with them. To top it off, I was the only guy in the fashion show. The music started and every time one of the females was walking the runway, two of the models were ripping my clothing off and quickly getting me into a new outfit. They did not want me to wear underwear. Looking back, I believe they knew what they were doing. The pants were designed to show the male anatomy quite effectively.

When I walked the runway for Macy’s in Roosevelt field, I thought I was acting quite professional and looking supremely confident, but it scared the shit out of me. At this point in my life I was no performer. I was still growing up and becoming comfortable in my own skin. Being the subject of cameras or on a runway, in front of so many people, frightened me. But, modeling was proving to be a great way to meet gorgeous women and to score great clothing for free. I was building my wardrobe and getting paid! I couldn’t believe people were willing to pay me to stand in front of their cameras.

But walking down a runway in front of hundreds of women was embarrassing, especially because I had a hard-on the entire time. And it showed. I did not model for long because I was shy and I preferred photography to modeling. But for a moment, I was modeling professionally. At first, it was kind of an ego thing. It felt good that professionals wanted to photograph me and pay me for it. As happens with most who model, it gave me a confidence boost and of course it was profitable.

I had a pup tent in my pants every time I went behind the runway to change. Backstage there were always ten naked, beautiful older, well-developed models. They were exceptionally beautiful women. Two of them were assigned to undress me and re-dress me super-fast. So fast, that they did not have time to get dressed in between walks. So, they were nude. They were models. They were beautiful. And there I was, naked, in a small tent like changing area with them. To top it off, I was the only guy in the fashion show. The music started and every time one of the females was walking the runway, two of the models were ripping my clothing off and quickly getting me into a new outfit. They did not want me to wear underwear. Looking back, I believe they knew what they were doing. The pants were designed to show the male anatomy quite effectively.

They would quickly restyle or change my hair, tuck my shirt in, never thinking twice about what else they were tucking in. Most of the time they were doing so with little or no clothing on. So, when it was my turn to go back out onto the runway, I was erect and there was not a woman in the audience who didn’t notice. There was no fucking way I could turn it off or tone it down. This went on for about thirty minutes when I was on the runway, but it seemed like hours to me. I pulled it off because I did not have time to think about it. If I knew what was coming, I would never have done it. I only did runway work one other time in my life. Before the fashion show every model was drinking. Afterwards as well. It was very free spirited for such a corporate event. Later I realized that most of the runway modeling gigs, no matter how large or corporate, were always the same. I would go so far as to say that the few models that were helping me dress were intentionally fondling my package, not because they wanted the pup tent for the fashion statement, but because they wanted me.

After the fashion show I wanted to bolt. I was so embarrassed. I did not want to see any of the females who were in the audience. As I learned from the models, no one pays attention to such things. Half the models had their breasts showing through the outfits. That was considerably more suggestive than a pup tent. Given my age and my rather shy ways back then, it was all too unbelievable. As the show ended the models quickly dressed and prepared to leave. I had no idea that one of the models who was dressing me had other plans for me. I was quite happy she did. We went back to her apartment, which was nearby, in Garden City. Before we even had our coats off we were going at it. She was about ten years older than I was, tall and slim the way most runway models are built. There was not much more about it I remember, other than the fact that she was not from the US and was one of the first older women I was ever with. Frankly, it ended almost as soon as it started as I almost came in my pants several times during the runway show itself. The only really unique aspect to the encounter was the mask she wore while we were fooling around. No one really ever did that before other than Halloween.

We kept in contact for a short while but it was obvious that this was just one of those casual hook-ups that happen in the entertainment industry. The age difference made it awkward, other than when we were in bed. This was to be a very short but memorable chapter of love for me as well as a very funny event in my life. But not nearly as funny as the next time I did runway, which was my last. At the time, New York City photographers started booking me more frequently. One of them was publishing a book about lifeguards and Chippendale dancers. He was looking for one more male runway model to walk the runway at Studio 54. It was a world-famous nightclub, even though I did not know it at the time. I was to be paid a grand cash, which was more money for a one-hour gig than I was making in a month. Of course, I accepted. I didn’t even know where it was, or how to get there, so the model from the Macy’s runway show drove me there. She dropped me off backstage where the models were meeting before the show. She parked and went into the audience. It was the last time I ever saw her. I was too embarrassed to call her or even pick-up the phone when she called me. Here’s why.

When I entered Studio 54 via the stage entrance, everything was very dark. We were corralled into a changing room and given tiny speedo like white bikinis. I never wore a speedo or anything like it in my life. My idea of shorts was cut-off jeans that went down to my knees. I was very self-conscious as the bathing suit was small and my package did not fit entirely. I was literally bulging out of the suit. In retrospect, I realized they did it on purpose as that was one of the selling points of Speedo style bathing suits. It was a fashion and sexual statement. I had never seen anyone in a suit like that other than in body building competitions. It was what body builders and professional wrestlers wore not everyday people.

We were brought up to a second-floor stage like platform that surrounded a dance floor we were curtained off from. We lined up around a lifeguard stand and fake beach and were told when the lights came on to start dancing. We were also told, at the end of the show, to follow the guy next to you and jump into the pool. They built a temporary pool on the dance floor. This was a lot more than I bargained for when I took the gig.

The music started and the professional Chippendale dancers started dancing. I felt like a string bean next to them. Not only were they better dancers, but they were much more developed muscularly than I was. I started to dance. The curtains came up, and before I knew it spotlights came on. They were as bright as auto headlights and I couldn’t see a thing. So, I just kept dancing and waiting to follow the guy next to me into the pool. I realized while I was on stage that we were not jumping thirty feet, into a four-foot pool. They set up a slide. But, we were not given proper instructions. It was all happening so fast. The professional dancers/ performers / male models knew what to do. So, as the song was ending, the models began to zip down the slide. Once they were in the pool, it looked like they were hitting beach balls to the crowd. I was trying not to puke from stage fright.

The water was freezing! As nervous as I was, I remember it being shockingly cold. I still couldn’t see a thing, as there was a spotlight on each of us the entire time. It was blinding. When I hit the pool, I was frozen! I quite literally, went into “cold shock” and knew I was going to get the hell out of that pool no matter who was watching, or what future opportunities I might be sabotaging. At the time, I was hoping to get noticed and book bigger gigs.

My eyes adjusted to the light and I started to look for a ladder or some other way to get out of the pool. It was then I was shocked to learn that the entire audience was comprised of gay men! This was Studio 54’s Gay night. I realized I was totally tricked by the photographer. I knew he was gay, as he lived with another man. They would openly kiss. Until them, I didn’t even know a gay person. For a straight guy, from the suburbs, this was humiliating.

I quickly got out of the pool and went backstage to get my pay envelope. The photographer who was the author of the book eventually came backstage with the other models. He and the few male models that knew me were laughing hysterically. I would never have agreed if I knew the audience was comprised entirely of gay men. I got my thousand dollars in cash, left through the back door and totally ditched my model friend out of sheer embarrassment. I never saw her again. That was the absolute end to my modeling career. I was not going to go through that kind of experience again.

How ironic, that years later, the same photographer who tricked me into doing that runway show became my photography mentor. I was working at New York Film Works, the premiere photo-finishing studio in NYC. He requested that I manage his account. My first lighting equipment came from him. Most everything I learned about the technical aspects of photography, I learned from him as well. Ken Haak was the photographer. He has long since passed away. Even back then he was as old as god. Like many photographers, he lives on through his work and the thousands of careers he helped develop.

I am sure the runway model that brought me to Studio 54 got a good laugh that night. I would never see her or anyone else that knew what happened again. I was too uptight about it. Now I look a back on it with great fondness, and think of it as the funniest scene of my life, or at least one of them.

Shortly after the runway show, Gazelle, the manufacturer of the bathing suits booked me and I was photographed and published in GQ Magazine. This was a huge deal for me at the time. There were three of us including the cover model from the Ken Haak’s book “Working Out.” To my disappointment they just used a close-up of our packages in the suits. Our heads were completely cut off. A fitting, and very appropriate end to my modeling career. It was rather uncanny that over thirty years later, I was shooting runway shows for Simon Mall, with some top Macy’s models. Ironically, they had a very similar tent setup. Some things never change.

 

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.