Head Over Heels

This one is for Valentine’s Day and all the true believers in love and romance.

When I was in college, I had the Experience, or should I say the Experience had me. She was twenty-two and I was nineteen. She was studying for her masters in anthropology but her real major was adventure.

I was at a party some of my friends had given. She shimmered in, a warm glow flowing into the room. As she made her way toward me, it was as if a moon beam was falling toward a lake. I knew how the lake must feel, waiting in anticipation. Suddenly there she was, telling me her name. It was Hemingway. It wasn’t that her father liked the writer. Her mother just liked the name.

I was head over the precipice, my heels unable to hold me to the ground. We talked for a bit. Then we left, her magic leading me onward the way that Tinkerbell must’ve led Peter to Never Never that first time when he longed to stay a boy forever. We went out that door and stood in the middle of the street kissing for a half hour under the full moon. Right there and then I understood why that Prince went in search of Cinderella though he had only her one shoe by which to find her. How could he have not?

Over the next twenty days my life was filled with life. We were inseparable. We went sailing, canoeing, kayaking and surfing. She even got me to parachute out of a plane. But the scariest time was when she took me hang-gliding. During the day we did a new something-or-other that she had always wanted to do. At night we made love, sometimes wild and passionate, other times tender. It was as if heaven had somehow come down to earth and surrounded us with all its wonder.

Then she was gone. I woke up in the bed in my apartment early on the day after Valentine’s. I turned over toward her to kiss her a good day, a smile on my face. I was the luckiest man on earth. But, instead of her dark brown hair with even darker brown eyes, I saw a note.

Thank you, Trent, for all the wonder. It has been a grand adventure these past weeks. I love you but this can’t go on. I can’t take anymore of this happiness. When I met you that night, it was to be the last night of my life. It was only an accident that I came there. A friend had called me up at the last minute and asked me to come. I was about to end my life when I walked through that door and saw you, the most beautiful face I had ever seen. There was so much magic in it. I could never have imagined how beautiful life could be. But now I know and I thank you for what you gave me. Hem.

I searched for her but never saw her again. After a year of dead-ends I finally gave up. It was then that I realized that Happily Ever Afters don’t exist. But fairy tales do.

A mismatched couple

To all the mismatched couples out there.

Those shoes she bought me
They squeezed my feet
That hat she gave me
Didn’t look so neat
Those pants she brought me
They’re way too tight
The shirt she sewed me
It’s much too bright

We’re a mismatched couple
She and I
Yet our romance
We can’t deny

That car I bought her
Broke down in a week
That candy I sent her
Was much too sweet
The rose I brought her
It made her sneeze
The book I read her
A “No thank you please”

We’re a mismatched couple
She and I
Yet our romance
We can’t deny

The house we bought
Fell down on our heads
The garden we planted
Weeds pronounced it dead
The fights we’ve had
Win, draw or loose
But here we are
We’re the one we choose

We’re a mismatched couple
She and I
Yet our romance
We can’t deny

A Slow Boat to China

The seagulls called the ship out to sea. The S.S. Majesty answered with three blasts of its horn. It was the ship‘s final call, urging the passengers to board before she packed up.

From the ship’s, Alice searched the crowd for John. “He will not come. I knew it.”
As she was about to give up and leave the cruise, she spotted John getting out of a cab. He paid the cab driver and grabbed his luggage.

She ran down the gangplank and called out to him, “I’m over here.”

He saw her and lugged his suitcases toward the ship.

“Hurry,” she said.

She wrapped her arms around and gave him one of her best kisses. “I didn’t think you’d be able to get away. But you did.”

“There was no way I was about to miss going away with you.”

She laughed, her anxiety slipping away. She glanced at his luggage. “You have everything?”

“I don’t need much.”

“You got your passport?”

“Passport?”

“Yes,” she said.

“I don’t have a passport.”

“You don’t have a passport? Get out of here. You have a passport.”

“I don’t.”

Alice looked at John with amazement. Alice pushed him away from her. “I’m leaving. I thought you were coming with me.”

“I am.”

“But you don’t have a passport.”

“We can go to Canada.”

“You need a passport to get into Canada.”

“Mexico?”
“Got to have a passport.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

She shook her head. “I’m leaving.”

Alice turned and boarded the ship. On the deck, she watched John slip away into the crowd.

A tall handsome man with the deep blue eyes sidled up to her. “I have a passport.”
She looked up at him. For approximately ten seconds, she was ready to swoon, then she came back to reality and stiffened her back. “You’re not my type.”
“What do you mean I’m not your type? Just what type do you think I am?”
“A man.”

Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Movie: Second Chances

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. Next week’s Valentine’s Day, so this week’s Spotlight Movie is for all the romantics out there. It’s Marilyn Hotchkiss’ Ballroom Dancing and Charm School (2005):

Remember Robert Carlyle. Back in ’97, he appeared in a little gem of a movie, “The Full Monty”. He played an unemployed working class guy who became a male stripper.

In “Marilyn Hotchkiss’ Ballroom Dancing and Charm School”, he plays Frank Keane, a baker who lost his wife to suicide. He’s engulfed by grief and can’t move on with his life. He meets weekly with a support group of widowers but that doesn’t seem to help him or any of the others.

When he least expects it, magic happens, and it happens out of the worst of circumstances. He is driving his bakery truck when he’s passed by Steve Mills (John Goodman). A few seconds later, he comes upon Steve in a car accident. The accident is serious.

As they are waiting for an ambulance, Steve tells Frank he was on his way to meet a childhood sweetheart at a ballroom dancing school. He is supposed to meet her on the fifth day of the fifth month of the fifth year of the new millenium. He promised. Then he tells the story of their childhood romance and how it came to be.

Because of the accident, Steve can’t make it. So he gives Frank his ticket to Marilyn Hotchkiss’ Ballroom Dancing & Charm School. Explain to Lisa, his childhood sweetheart, why he can’t make.

Since he promised, he goes to School. Lisa isn’t there but there are others. Marilyn Hotchkiss isn’t there either. But her daughter, Marienne, is conducting the class with several men and women. Because he doesn’t know what else to do, Frank joins the class. Then something magically happens. From that moment on, his life, and the lives of the others in the support group, are changed. Sometimes all it takes is a little dancing to heal a whole lot of grief.

In addition to Robert Carlyle and John Goodman, this movie has Marissa Tormei, Sonia Braga, Mary Steenburgen, Sean Astin, Adam Arkin and Danny Devito. And I enjoyed it immensely. So it’s two thumbs up from this end of the cosmos.

Being a Dark Lord isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

When you’re the Dark Lord, it’s a lonely job. Nobody likes you. Despite all that Sauron had done for Middle Earth, he just wasn’t appreciated.

Without Sauron, there would have been no Rings. Without the Rings, no “Lord of the Rings”. And just think of all the fun we readers would have missed. Can you imagine Harry Potter without He-who-must-not-be-named? Ah, c’mon you want to say it. Voldemort. Now there don’t you feel better. And like Sauron, Voldemort was a lonely dude too. At least, Lex Luthor had Lana Lang and Eve Teschmacher.

Anyway, back to Sauron. Without Sauron, we’d never have heard of Hobbits. I mean we might have heard of Bilbo Baggins because he went off with the dwarves and took on that dragon. But that was not epic the way the trilogy was.

Without Sauron, the trolls and the orcs and all the Wraiths would have run amok. And you ain’t seen amok until there’s been an amoking by trolls and orcs and Wraiths.

You think Sauron was a bad dude. Well, I got news for you. Compared to Morgoth. Sauron was a pussy cat. A pussy cat with claws, yes. But still a pussy cat.

And Sauron had a lot to offer. First he had all those rings. I mean, what girl can resist jewelry. He had a very large castle. Sure, it left a lot to be desired. No central heating and all. But you think Prince Charming could do better.

Oh yeah, I forgot. Prince Charming had a set of teeth no girl could resist. They gave his smile a glow. I’m here to tell you it was all so fake. Prince Charming was one heck of a bigamist. First, he kisses Sleeping Beauty. Before you know, she is so pregnant. And Cinderella? Before she knew it, she was married to a guy with a foot fetish. Well, those ladies finally got even. Have you ever heard of the Amazons? You guessed. Cindy and Beauty started them.

Most of all Sauron had land. Lots and lots of land. Enough land to impress any girl. But the one thing Tolkien forgot to tell us was that Sauron was land poor. Like those English aristocrats who married English aristocrats, Sauron had no cash. Morgoth had left him with all those mortgages and the dwarves had hidden the gold, what else could Sauron do? Either marry a rich Elf or go on the warpath. He much preferred marry a rich Elf and settling down.

He dated Galadriel for a while. She was so stuck on herself she kept trying to show off her powers. Well, there was only so much of that a guy could take. Then he dated Arwen but she had the hots for Aragorn.

You know the old saying. Rejected once, it must be them. Rejected twice, it must be you. Well, what else could Sauron do? Attack Gondor and get the gold. All that gold would pay off the mortgages and give him enough cash to keep the Wraiths happy.

Too bad he didn’t ask Eowyn out on a date before Faramir came around. After all, she was the daughter of a king. She rode a horse like a jockey, threw a spear like an Olympic javelin thrower, and handled a sword like Sir Lancelot. If not her, there were lots of other princesses in Middle Earth who were looking for a guy. Naw, it was the Eye that scared the humans away.

So what are the morals of this story. When looking for love, don’t look in all the wrong places.  Elves are known to be stuck on themselves. Watch out for guys who want to know your shoe size. And just because the person you’re dating has a great smile doesn’t mean they’re not a bigamist. And never, ever marry for money. Cash is nice but bankruptcy can be a pain.

So you can see, being the Dark Lord isn’t what it appears to be. It’s a lonely job. And the little guy always wins the girl. After all, Sam lived happily ever after.