It was a tense time in Egypt. But then, when hasn’t it been? Anwar Sadat ruled with a velvet fist and things seemed secure, though every bridge and important building was guarded by the military or heavily armed national police. The Brotherhood was deemed a constant threat, along with other more militant religious groups, plus a fear that radical Palestinians could mount attacks. In fact, it would not be many years before Sadat was assassinated by one of those groups of militants.

I was interested, of course, intently so, at the history I knew was unfolding around me. I couldn’t know though the details, or the lasting impact these times would have.

I made my way upriver from Cairo, primarily by train in 3rd class, getting off wherever the urge beckoned. My adventuresome spirit returned for a short interval and I made sure to stay only in minus 2-star hotels. I remember writing  Kate from one of those hotels. We had been together the last time I had visited the Arab world, and I spilled out to her what I was seeing, mixing in those thoughts with the adventures we had had. I reveled in the sights, the culture, the way the Nile was the basis for all.

It was not that far north of Aswan that I ran into Michel and Andy. They were a gay couple, but obviously, given the times and the location, they were circumspect about it. Michel was a Lebanese architect, and Andy was an American psychologist. Apparently they had met at the Sorbonne, and had been together 5 or 6 years when I met them.

Led by Michel, they were intent on improving the life of Egyptians through better use of traditional building methods for houses. This meant improving mud brick construction. That was their dream anyway. When I met them they were erecting several significant sized structures, using manual labor, and only mud bricks. They were working on methods to improve cupolas, and each of their buildings would feature several.

Nearby was the “brick works” … the flat area where the actual mud bricks were made by hand, then left to bake in the 130+ degree F sun. Michel described the process to me. He emphasized how the mud had to be mixed with straw and some camel dung to make sure the bricks were strong and would hold together and last.

I was carried back to these memories a few days ago. It struck me that it’s really only strands of the common and mundane, mixed with little pieces of shit that are what keeps it all together.

August … Die She Must

A comment I made on another blog earlier today got my small brain working.  September has arrived. And soon, Autumn. I capitalize it, because Autumn is very prevalent in my mind.

September always adds a subtle seasonal shade to the calendar. It can be a new beginning.  In many places, schools restart after the summer break, new programs recommence everywhere.  But it’s not a hard date like January 1st. Nor does it suggest rebirth and youth like Spring connotes. Autumn’s initial gentle focus is very different.

Here in the northern climes it reminds us that the seasons do change. Time and life move on. And there is an ending. Perhaps yes, on the distant horizon, but there, nonetheless. And if you do not move as well, you will be left behind. September is a gentle prodding with its chilly evenings, that becomes more intense as we move into Indian Summer, then into October. It is a reminder that the warm halcyon days of summer have moved on, and so must we. Latter September is, of course, halfway between the June and December solstices, the autumn equinox, and prime harvest time. When things need to be accomplished.

For the ultimate procrastinator such as yours truly Autumn is the final warning to stop the squander of that most precious of commodities, time.

Pardon me won’t you, while I finally get my ass in gear? I hate being left behind.

 Hard too believe, but this concert took place 35 years ago this month


And It Lives Yet

Today is a gorgeous, sunny day in my village. You’re gonna get a real Marty today.

And just because I feel like it, I’m wearing my Che Guevara t-shirt for the first time this spring.

Now don’t get me wrong … I’m no commie-loving, burn-all-the-bridges revolutionary.  Almost … but not quite.

As I strode up the stairs in a small office building a man close enough to my age descended.

“He’s dead, you know,” he said.

“Huh? Who’s dead?” I answered, not thinking.

“The guy on your chest,” he retorted, obviously an ultra conservative right leaning fascist pig. Heh he.

“Oh no he’s not! Che lives forever,” I instinctively blurted back.

Once I reached the top of the stairway I stopped. And thought. Yes, I’m right, Che does live forever. Not Che the man, but what we immortalized around him. How we adopted his image to represent our own beliefs. “We” as in my generation. Nothing saddens me more than to see those of my time who have assumed the identities of those we despised during the sixties, morally bankrupt, intellectually bereft, complacent..

Now, I’m not a prisoner of my past, I’m a pretty modern guy after all. But neither do I disown it. Certainly I’ve mellowed, but not capitulated. Never. I still am ready to damn the torpedoes and fight for what I think is right and just.

As SBW said to me this morning a propos another subject (actually two subjects)  ” … you never quit.”

No, I don’t.

Midweek Fantasizing – The Portrait

f69bb7a5004e07fb8630c02b4eb07c0aShe was at the coffee shop. Catching up on some writing. One of those incredible beauties, don’t you know. Shoulder length blonde hair, slightly tussled. Maybe she had come from a workout because she was wearing exercise clothes that hid her figure. But didn’t really, because they actually revealed a lot. That her body was likely as close to perfection as you could imagine. She could have been in her mid 30s, but looked younger. Beauties have a way about them, they always look younger than they are.  She was probably a stay at home mom, hence the afternoon Starbucks break on the way home.

She frowned into her laptop as she reread something she had written.  Absently she looked away from her screen, to the right. He was staring at her, but looked down when she saw him. He was sort of cute, in a nondescript way.  Dressed casually in jeans. Short brown hair. Maybe about her age.

She went back to what she was doing. Though after a minute or so she couldn’t help but look out of the corner of her eye. He was definitely staring.

She pulled out her phone. She texted her lover

“I’m in Starbucks and there’s a guy staring at me”

“That’s not unusual.” her lover texted back. “You’re a stunning woman.”

“I think he’s drawing a picture of me … ”

“Cool!” the lover wrote back.

After several seconds the lover wrote, “I have an idea for you. This is what you’ll do.”

After she read his next text the woman wrote him, “You’re terrible. No wonder I love you. I’ll do it.”

She pushed her chair back and got up. The young man watched her in anticipation as she walked over to his table. He shuffled his papers away.

“You’re drawing me, aren’t you?” she asked, looking down at him unemotionally with her big grey-blue eyes.

“Yes … yes … I … am”, he stammered.

“Well I want you to know something.”

” … yes?” he whispered.

“My lover told me to tell you I am his very hot submissive. You think I’m hot don’t you?”

“Yes … I do.” he managed to get out.

“And he’s older.  A lot older. But oh sooo … ” her voice trailed off as she was momentarily lost in thought.

“And when I wake up in the morning the first thing I think of is sucking his beautiful cock.”

The artist’s eyes opened wide, and his face flushed.

“My Dom just thought you should know. It might better infuse your art. He thought the sketch would be so much more intimate if you better understood your model.”

The artist smiled wanly, and nodded as he looked up at her above him. He didn’t say anything.

She turned and walked back to her laptop. Started writing again. Smiling secretly. She was a good girl.




Shy Never Got Me Anywhere … again

I have decided to revisit certain posts from time to time. Call them a Marty-Replay.  Posts I like. Or I’m happy with how they were written and catch the moment just right. Or are particularly relevant even now. But mostly that I like. Here’s the 3rd.  As I contemplate the Between The Times series I find it worthwhile to remember how Marty was before.

When I was a freshman at university one course I took was Biology. I hated Biology. Except I looked forward to every Tuesday and Thursday at 1:30, the times for my biology lecture or lab.

And as you might guess, it was because of a woman. I was kind of lonely my freshman year, certainly the first term. I missed the girl friends I had had in high school. Particularly one special one who was a year younger than me. She would occasionally come to my university to visit that term, and I went a couple of times to where her older brother was at college to meet. But it just wasn’t the same.

And there was this girl in Biology. She was a dead ringer for Katharine Ross. You know, quiet, laid back, brunette goddess Katharine Ross from The Graduate and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid fame. I was nuts over Katharine Ross, as any red blooded American teenager would have been.  Her dark haired beauty, long tresses,  and understated smouldering sexuality were pretty riveting.

So Biology Hottie was always on my mind on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But I was much too shy to do anything about it. Out of the corner of my eye I would watch her, and I could tell she was also watching me. In lab, we never sat together, but always exchanged smiles and looks. But never words.

Had it been a year later, I am certain she would have been a regular visitor to my bedroom. Because the next year I learned how to jettison my timidity. I may get to those stories some time. I hope to.

I took the year after Freshman year off and learned oh so much. That year was a lab of its own … for learning the inner workings of the female of your species.

When I returned to campus a year later I kept an eye out for Biology Hottie. My whole 3 years back I never saw her once. Because if I had …. well, you know … And being so shy, I never knew her name, not even her first name. So all my skills of internet search are useless in trying to find this beauty who got away.

So being shy never got me anywhere. That’s why I’m not shy around women any more. I think it’s time to watch Butch, Sundance, and Etta again don’t you think?.

The Sleeper

Tamara-De-Lempicka-The-Sleeper[1]I’m having doubts these days. Probably not unusual for most people. I’m not saying I rarely have doubts, but in large measure they tend to be in the background once I have decided on my preferred course of action. But today I sit befuddled.

Let me back up a bit. I know this very intellectual woman … I’m going to call her The Sleeper. Attractive, fit, dynamic in every way, a paragon of intelligence and virtue in her field … I know those sound weird together, but in her field they fit. I have known her for 6+ years and we are pretty good friends. She consults me a fair bit on certain subjects and I like giving her my input.  For some inexplicable reason I have never been overly sexually attracted to her. I find myself wondering why.

Which brings me to Bella. Here, too, I am having doubts. I’m not sure I want her anymore. I may. I may not. And I have no idea why the change in my attitude.

Meanwhile, The Sleeper sat opposite me at a group dinner the other evening. Engaging as always, her gaze was largely transfixed on me. I think I positively glowed. She urged me to tell stories as the woman beside her (who strongly resembled Mandy from my past) was also gaga-à-Marty … despite her husband’s being seated directly to my left. Again clouds of doubt were in my mind. I was not “promoting” my stories, I was being urged. Was it really interest, or more simply explained as sexual desire . Let’s face it … I’m actually not that fascinating. It’s not as if I’m Henry Kissinger expounding on Metternich. Now that would be fascinating.

Later in the week The Sleeper was aware I was at a function near her office, and invited me to lunch. She has never done that before. I accepted, of course, and It was lovely. The conversation was easy and relaxed as always.  Friendship? Or more? I’m confused. And I am seeing The Sleeper in a more … cough … nuanced light.

I can now picture her naked, kneeling in front of me.

Perhaps this is progress?

Here’s a bit of an update …

600full-alessandra-ambrosio[1]I haven’t mentioned her in I don’t know how long … the very lovely Bella. Click these links if you’d like a bit of quick history on her.   When we met  …  how she can affect me …  and how even keeled she is … She’s not as a young as the girl in this pic, but every bit as striking in her bikini, with deep brown eyes and slim, firm athletic legs.

She has, of course, been much in the background most of the past year. We are still friends, and have always been in touch regularly.  Although I haven’t been, until recently,  responding to her texts and calls as quickly as I used to, that has all changed.  And she is still as stunning as ever. To see that cute, perfect ass in a pair of tight shorts can be overwhelming. I still remember the first time I saw her 5 years ago. How my head kept swiveling in her direction. How I thought she was oblivious to it. She wasn’t!

But over the past month or two, I think she has sensed a change in me. A growing glow towards her.  We have been getting closer again. Daily good morning and good night texts, and regular contact throughout the day. She has been out of town most of the past month and I do miss her presence. There are times I fancy her very much.

I wonder if this might be headed somewhere?

Whither Shall We Go?

“The Road goes ever on and on

down from the door where it began.

  Now far ahead the Road has gone,

and I must follow, if I can,

  pursuing it with eager feet,

until it joins some larger way

  where many paths and errands meet.

And whither then? I cannot say.”

– J.R.R. Tolkien

We are unfinished. We are a work in progress.

I know what I know. I feel what I feel.

We are what we are. You show what you will.

The ghosts linger.

I will not fight them.

Whither now?