I took out my 1911
I cleaned it till it shined
at ten minutes closer to seven
**** close to losing my mind

Much too easy the trigger
a simple solution for all
every way that I could figure
I resisted the urge and the call

I know it's easy to say
after the fact and attempt
the world just gets in the way
self-loathing and self, contempt

No one has ever returned
too say it was nothing but sleep
as ever in **** to burn
a life given away
so **** cheap
No I don't postulate suicide, but I know my Dad does, sigh :\
“I'm sorry if you miss me”
was the response, as I noted her growing distance.
I replied that she had warned me of this,
when it had begun in its first instance.

I'd like to think that I'd helped her along
from someplace dark and cold.
I enjoyed our chats, camaraderie, and banter …
it never seemed to get old.

I brought this up again as the distance grew wider
each and every day.
I told her that I was happy for her
and that she'd finally found her way.

I'd be there again, without a thought,
it was never something I'd minded.
She'd told me earlier that she was now “less needy” …
So, it's not like I was blindsided.

I know sometimes that its tough …
tough through fog to see.
I guess the thing that certainly confounds me is …
Why doesn't she miss me?
(read forward, then backward, line by line)

I ran.
Not knowing what else to do
There was so much blood on my hands
It was mine
The kitchen knife
Caught in my chest
Consumed by
I was heightened by
But running on
Wasn’t enough
While trying to stay calm,
Losing control
It was me that would end up
Dead. Because
He was
In front of me
The whole time
It was too late
I found myself
Locked in chains
My fate was
Forward: from the victims perspective.
Backward: from the murderers perspective.

Jeff Gaines Oct 31
Gary French hated cigarettes … The smell of the break room turned his stomach. He could still see and smell the memory of his father smoking at the dinner table. Holding his breath and his nose, he poked his head in … looking for his partner. Officer Jay Skeen laughed at him while he snuffed out his cigar. Being well aware of Frenchy’s distaste of tobacco, he teasingly blew his last pull across the table at him …  

   “Hey smoke stack … C’mon … We got a bad-guy walkin’ around shootin’ up the Franklin Street Mall!”

  Jay’s eyes went blank … He saw himself and his wife strolling down that very street … Just last weekend. He watched the trolley car whisk down the Cobblestone. He could see the birds hopping across the sidewalk to grab the bread his wife threw down for them as they luncheoned at the side walk café …

  He couldn’t see someone walking down the mall … shooting …

   “Ya jokin’ me?”

  “Nope … just came in … He’s walkin’ down the street … shootin’ everything.”

  Jay dropped the half-snuffed Hav-a-Tampa in the tuna can ashtray and grabbed his bottle of water.

  He poured some over the cigar and stared at his partner. “Everything?” He asked.

  Gary was nodding … “Everything … birds, storefronts, light posts …”

  He turned his head and looked right at Jay.  “People … EV-ER-Y thing!”

  He wafted the strong smell of cigar back towards Jay as they turned out the doors toward the parking lot.

  “Lucky us, huh …?” Frenchy quipped. “ … We had to be three blocks away.”

  As they raced toward the heart of downtown Tampa, more information about the situation was streaming across the screen in their cruiser … Jay read it aloud while he toggled the siren switches … He let them go as his mouth dropped open on the last line he read.

  “You just ain’t even gonna believe this …”He announced, his Texan accent revealing his growing disbelief … His eyes couldn’t leave the screen. “ … There’s a report that he’s carrying a small boy …”

  Frenchy’s chin fell … He thought of his own two sons … trying to pry up one of the bricks in the cobblestone street, the last time he had taken them downtown for lunch.

  His eyes turned from the road to his partner … “Now YER jokin’ ME … right? … RIGHT?”
His beckoning voice quivered, as Frenchy’s own disbelief now exposed itself.

  Jay shook his head and hoped that more info would come across the screen. Gary rolled his eyes as he turned his head back to the road … “Oh my *** … What next …?” He sighed.

  Jay’s finger was tapping the refresh key … he still couldn’t take his eyes from the screen.

  “*** I hope that’s bad info”

  “You can say that again Skeeny Baby …” Frenchy nodded. ” … Any word on the perp?”

  “Not yet”

  “No ID … No nothin’?” Frenchy begged.

  “Not yet.”

  “What about the hostage?”

  “Nuh uh … nothin’at all.” Jay’s head shook, but his eyes stayed glued to the screen.

  His finger never stopped tapping the refresh key as he toggled the siren at a car that wouldn’t yield. He scowled though the windshield at the car …“Hey … Get his tag will ya?”

   Jay made an evil face at the driver as they went around him. ” … We’ll see you later …YOU ****!” Frenchy tried to grin as he looked, both ways, at the intersection of Tyler Avenue and Jefferson Street … He could see his partner writing that guy a stack of tickets … But he just couldn’t bring his lips to do it … He could not stop thinking about the poor boy … “How did this come to happen?”

  The tires sang on the hot pavement as the cruiser tore around the corner and headed for Franklin Street …

  Their siren echoed up and down the Cobblestone Street as the cruiser turned onto the mall and stopped …

  The two seasoned officers looked in amazement at the scene before them … Gary looked at his watch …
“Twelve-forty.” He muttered. He HAD to look again … Just to make sure it was indeed 12:40 …
It was lunchtime … on Tuesday … in downtown Tampa … This Street should be packed …

  But it wasn’t today …

  All they could see were bodies …

  Scattered  …

  Everywhere …

  Gary’s foot eased off the brake pedal and let the cruiser idle forward …
Both men were scouring the street for the shooter. “My *** … there must be twenty dead … maybe THIRTY!” Jay was nodding …” Neither could believe their eyes. Jay held the mic to his lips …
“Ah, one-thirty-two, we’ve got at least two-dozen seventy-ones in the street, dispatch … maybe more …
  It looks like a war zone down here!”
  Both the windshield and the driver’s window shattered simultaneously as the first shot echoed down the empty mall … The sound of crashing glass drowned out the partners frightened cursing.

  Gary hit the brake and slammed the shifter into reverse … “ One-thirty-two … SHOTS FIRED!” The tires were smoking as the car rocketed backwards up the street. “Repeat … We’re being fired upon!”

“Copy, one-thirty-two … cover is code three”

  Jay had drawn his weapon and was trying to peer out his open window to see where the shooter was …

His blood ran cold when he saw them … There … in a doorway … not one block down … Was the man … Holding a boy in his left arm … and waiving a pistol with the other. The boy’s arms were wrapped around the shooter’s neck while his legs straddled him front and back. His pale, thin face was blank and expressionless … while the shooters seemed wild eyed and frightened.

  “No way to get a shot off at the guy … He’s holdin’ that kid like a shield.” Jay shouted.

  “Well … he quit shootin’ at us … maybe he just wants us to keep our distance.” Frenchy reasoned.

  He put the car in park at Tyler Ave. and switched the siren off. How he hated that sound … he found it to be the only curse of this job that he loved so much. He couldn’t wait to make detective and thereby use it a lot less  … he hoped.

  Frenchy’s eyes grew wide as he stared at the shooter. “Oh my *** Skeen … That’s ol’ Michael the perv!”

  Jay replayed their last run in with Michael in his mind as he squinted to confirm Gary’s proclamation. They had listened to him trying to approach a small boy in the bathroom at a local park. His intentions were both clear and repulsive. Jay’s teeth clenched together as he remembered the perv trying to run away as they identified themselves. Had they not been there trying to catch guys like Michael, ”Lord only knows what would have happened to the poor boy.” He thought.

  As he remembered tackling Michael and placing him in cuffs, it occurred to him that Michael’s rap sheet showed absolutely no penchant for violence … aside from running away, he gave no resistance …

  “How on earth did he come to this?” He wondered.

  Frenchy pushed open his door and drew his weapon in one motion … In one more motion, he was on one knee with his gun leveled at the shooter. He could feel the racing pulse in his arm as he rested it in the crook between the door and the car … The end of his barrel pinged against the chrome spotlight.

  He looked through the car at Jay and told him to radio for the swat team  …

And a sharpshooter …

   Jay radioed the scenario to dispatch and then clicked the **** over to P.A.

  “Michael, set your weapon down and let the boy go!” He commanded.

  The shooter lowered his revolver and looked at the boy … the boy looked at him and then the cruiser.                   Turning his head back to them, Michael raised the pistol in slow motion …

  He fired two rounds through the radiator and the steam blocked Frenchy’s view for a moment. In between clouds of white steam, he saw the shooter tossing his gun across the cobblestone … His lungs exhaled in relief …”That’s good punk, now put that poor boy down …” He thought.  As the last of the steam billowed straight up, the partners couldn’t believe their eyes … Michael had reached down to his waist and drew yet another pistol … this one was an automatic …

  “Holy smokes Frenchy … You seein’ what I’m seein’?”

  “Oh yeah … I definitely concur, number one” It was his best Jean-Luc Picard impression.

  Both were now staring at the array of handguns tucked into the waist of the shooter’s pants.

  “I count three … maybe four … Besides the one he’s holdin’  … I can’t tell past the kid’s legs!”

  “Ditto!” … Frenchy’s voice sounded monotone … He felt horrible for the helpless little boy.

  Jay opened the Mic again …  “If you just stop shooting … maybe … we can talk this out!”

The reply was four more shots through the flashing blue and red lights on top of the car … Pieces of the colored plastic went flying in every direction.
  “O.K… . Well … I guess THAT’S our answer!” Gary shouted.

  He looked through the car at Jay and then scanned the broken glass that now covered the front seat. They could hear sirens coming from every direction … their wails echoed around them like a hurricane.

  “Tell dispatch to keep them one block back for now … this ****’s libel to freak if he sees more units!”

  Jay nodded and clicked back over to comm on the radio.

  “One-thirty-two … this guy is highly unstable … and he definitely has a hostage!”

  They looked at each other as he spoke … “A young male, approximately six to eight years old …”

  Jay took a deep breath as he tried to remember Michael’s last name … but in the excitement, he couldn’t.

“Perpetrator is a known ******* … First name Michael … approximately six foot tall, brown hair and eyes, late twenties to early thirties …” He paused and then un-keyed the Mic. He took another deep breath of the thick summer air. “Please advise covers to remain TWO blocks back.”

  They winked at each other as Jay finished … Two more shots ripped through Jay’s door … He dove across the glass-covered seat. “Holy smokes, ***** Harry!” He shouted, his voice showing fear for the first time today … “This friggin’ guy’s on a mission!” Neither of them heard the dispatcher’s acknowledgment …

  Gary couldn’t take his eyes off of the boy … He kept looking at them … and then his captor. He felt the frustration in his chest and wished he could help him … he’d never felt so powerless before …

  The boy’s gaze was completely blank … He looked utterly terrified.

  Jay slid over the glass and back into position behind the door. Some of the glass showered over onto the aluminum door jam and down to the cobblestone at his feet. It crunched and crackled under his leather shoes. He readjusted his Kevlar vest and focused in on the unlikely pair that was now standing in the middle of the street. Gary wiped the sweat from his forehead and glanced back over at Jay.

  “Ya’ll right?”

  “I’ll let ya know when this guys DONE!” He snapped. “How ya think we should handle this?”

  Frenchy turned his eyes back to the boy … “I guess we wait for the sharp shooter …” He shrugged.

  “ … We can’t risk hitting the boy … Besides, it would seem he only fires if we try to talk to him … Let’s just try and wait him out and see what happens …”

  Jay was nodding in agreement before Gary finished his sentence. “Alright … but what if he starts shooting again?” He turned to look at Gary … “Or what if he shoots the hostage?” Gary never looked away from the boy … His voice was calm and professional …

  “Then we take him down.”  

   The shooter turned and began aimlessly shooting out the storefront to his right. The glass shattered and flooded the sidewalk with a resounding crash …

  They could hear several women frantically screaming inside …

  He stopped shooting for a moment, and then turned his wrath on the traffic signal on the corner. They could hear errant rounds whizzing over their heads. Gary wiped the sweat from his palms … First one hand and then the other … on his blue uniform pants. He could see his wife ironing them as he dressed for duty this morning. He hoped he would see her this evening … And, that she hadn’t come down here this afternoon to window shop … He never took his aim off of Michael.

  Jay’s eyes were caught by something moving in the foreground …

  As were the shooters …

  It was one of his victims … he was trying to crawl away. The trail of blood that he was leaving behind him told the partners he didn’t have long …

  “Stay still guy … Please … c’mon!” Jay pleaded. But the poor soul kept trying to crawl away. When they looked back up to the shooter, he was in motion … He was staring at the poor crawler …
And stomping towards him … When he was just a foot away, the shooter leveled the gun at his head …

  Frenchy closed his eyes …“Oh, no … don’t …”

  The first shot drove the victim’s head to the cobblestone …
  The next four made his body twitch in small spasms. Jay closed his eyes and shook his head …

  “How did this guy get so far OUT there!”? He was interrupted by two more loud pops.

  “ … I’ve never heard any reports of him being violent …” He shuddered at the last two rounds … “Sounds like a nine …” He reported. Frenchy agreed. “Yup, looks like a Glock Nineteen.”

  Jay rolled his eyes and shook his head in frustration … “Great … How many fired so far?”
“Eight or nine, I’m pretty sure.”

  They watched in horror as the shooter stepped over to an elderly woman who was lying just two yards from the crawler … She rolled over and screamed in hysteria … “NOOO … PLEASE DON’T SHOOT ME!” She pleaded.

  She had been playing dead … Michael raised his pistol and fired six rounds into her head … She wasn’t moving after the first two. The partners looked on in horror as he threw the empty gun at her ****** face and drew another weapon … a blue steel revolver.  

  He spun around in the street and randomly emptied it into the bodies that were strewn around him … as if he were trying to make sure they were all dead. The partners shook their heads in disgust … The boy’s lower lip stuck out … as though he were going to cry.

  After the sixth round, Michael slammed the pistol onto the crawler’s head with a dull thud. Jay winced at the splashing blood. Fifteen years on the streets hadn’t hardened him enough for the scene that was unfolding before him. The shooter reached to the back of his waist and drew another automatic.

  Gary beaded the shooter’s head into his sights … His chest felt warm and tight … like it was turning to stone … He had a shot … But  … what if the shooter turned or changed direction?

  He just couldn’t risk hitting the poor little boy … Besides … At the moment, it would seem, only Skeen and he were in immediate danger … Unless that is … someone else was playing dead. His sweaty finger eased off of the trigger …

  “Where’s the **** sharpshooter?” He snapped. Jay shook his head and reached for the microphone. He watched the shooter walk back to the intersection of Franklin and Cass Street as he pleaded with the dispatcher for the whereabouts of the sharpshooter.

  “One-thirty-two … two-fifty-six is en route.” Came the dispatchers reply …

  Frenchys voice was beginning to show his tension … “Tell ‘em ta hurry will ya?”

  Jay relayed the last few moments of their ordeal to dispatch … in ******, graphic detail … at this moment, he could care less about radio etiquette … He needed dispatch to understand the urgency of their requests.

   He pleaded for them to rush the Sharpshooter to the scene.
  “One-thirty-two … two-fifty-six is en route.” The dispatcher repeated.
  Both men rolled their eyes in frustration as Jay tossed the Mic, in disgust, onto the glass-covered front seat. “Well at least he used the cannon on the seventy-ones”

  “I know … that sounded like a three-fifty-seven …” Jay reckoned.

  “At least!” Frenchy agreed. He stuck out his lower lip and blew a sigh across his face … it was a very balmy Florida afternoon.

  The shooter looked up and around at the skyscrapers behind him. He and the boy looked at each other and then he turned and began firing at the buildings … To Gary, he looked like a tiny helpless being, trying to thwart huge, looming assailants. They all watched the glass fall … in silence … to the sidewalks in the distance. Jay envisioned the picture of David and Goliath in his son’s bible.

  “I can’t see the weapon, but I think that’s eight shots!” Frenchy yelled over the ringing booms of the gun. “Eight it is …” Jay yelled back. “ … It sounds like a three-eighty … Maybe another nine!” Gary nodded. The shooter fired two more rounds and then threw the gun, over-arm, at the closest tower … He looked like David; slinging the stone at Goliath … It fell hopelessly short …

  Before he turned around, he had already drawn another weapon … A large chrome automatic … This one had a long barrel … And a laser sight. Both partners took a deep gulp of humid summer air …

  “Oh, greeeat … “ Frenchy lamented. “ … I sure hope that’s a twenty-two target pistol!”

Jay’s eyes were wide with anticipation … “Me too buddy!”

  Their hopes were quickly dashed as the captor opened fire on the trolley car that had crashed into a park bench and came to rest. He was shooting at the head of the already dead driver. Michael looked at the boy and then began shooting out the windows of the trolley. Bodies that were slumped against the windows were falling away into the isle of the bus. The partners could feel the concussion of the high-powered weapon …

  “Definitely a forty-four auto-mag!” Frenchy shouted over the din of the hand cannon.

  “Eight shots fired of a possible … Make that likely … twelve … “ Jay concurred …

  “Let’s hope he doesn’t turn that laser on us!”

  The shooter stopped firing and turned his glare towards the cruiser … Frenchy swore he could see fear in his eyes as he raised his now shaking hand in their direction …

  Without speaking, the partners dove, in unison, toward the back of the cruiser as they listened to the next four shots tear into it … The impact of the huge rounds jolted the car like bb’s hitting an aluminum can.

“Now … That one’s empty … ya O.K.?” Jay was panting with a little panic. His partner was looking towards the sky … “Fine … THAT was TOO close …”

  Gary laid out on the cobblestone and peered under the car for the position of the shooter. He was walking away slowly in the center of the street. He snapped up and leveled his weapon at the back of his head …

  “Don’t try it my brother … think of the kid.” Jay begged, but it was too late … Frenchy was already telling himself not to do it. He let out a frustrated sigh and lowered his weapon.

  The shooter turned around and lobbed the now empty, hand-cannon at the cruiser … both men ducked.
It skipped off the hood and crashed into the already broken windshield. They peered around the car and saw the shooter draw what seemed to be his last weapon from his waist.

  “I think he’s almost out of firepower buddy … Maybe we can reason with him now …” Again, without talking, they crept back up to their positions behind the doors of the cruiser.

  “I can’t see any more weapons.” Jay reported.

  “Me neither … Wait’ll he turns around again.” Frenchy snapped in an urgent whisper.

  They watched the boy turn back and look at them, as the shooter carried him back to the intersection. When he reached the manhole cover in the center of it, he stopped and looked at the boy …

  Frenchy's heart raced …  “Oh … NO … *** … PLEASE!” He begged.

  The shooter turned slowly around and glared at them again.

  He looked more desperate than before … like he knew these moments were coming to an end …

  Jay grabbed the mic again …

  “C’mon Michael … you can’t keep shooting forever … Just put the gun down and let the boy go … We’ll get you all the help we can … NO ONE wants to hurt you … I promise, I swear.”

The shooter was sweating profusely as he looked up into the searing Tampa sun. He wiped his brow and closed his eyes to the light breeze that caressed his face. His long, curly hair wafted behind him … He opened his eyes and looked at the boy.

  The boy looked back at the officers … Frenchy called out to the child as loud as he could …

  “You alright son?”

  The boy looked back into Frenchy’s eyes …

  Frenchy was trying to make the perv see the small prisoner as a person and not an object … He was trying to make the boy talk …

  His expression was still completely blank … “Poor thing, he must be in shock from all this.” He thought. Gary’s eyes filled with terror as he watched the shooter slowly raise the gun up to the small boy’s chest …
  Neither partner could exhale …
  The boy turned to the shooter and grabbed the barrel, pushing it away, back towards his chest … The shot sounded muffled as the shooter collapsed backward to the ground in a heap.

  Both men bolted around the cruiser doors, keeping their weapons trained on the shooter … The boy was standing over him with his hands on his waist … staring.

  “You get the perp … I got the boy!” Jay shouted as they quick-stepped over to them.

  “You got it!” Frenchy snapped, as he stepped between the shooter and the gun.

  He kicked it away behind him and watched Jay ****** the boy up and carry him towards the battered, still smoking, police cruiser … Letting out a long sigh of relief, he looked down at Michael … Gary holstered his weapon and knelt down on one knee next to him … squinting into his glazed eyes …

  He patted him down as best he could for more weapons or maybe some identification …

  Nothing …

  Nothing that was going to help make some sort of sense out of any of this day …

  Then their eyes met again …

  The shooter was shaking …

  Gary spoke through gritted teeth …
“What were you doin’ Michael … And WHAT … exactly … IS your problem?” He yelled.

  The shooter raised his head off the Cobblestone Street …
Grabbing up at Gary’s uniform, he was trying to take a deep, gurgling breath …

  He looked straight up into Frenchy’s eyes …

  His gaze froze Frenchy solid …

  He was coughing up blood as he spoke …

  “Leave  … the boy … ALONE!” was all he said, as his head fell back on the bricks with a thud.

  The sound of Michael’s death rattle was interrupted by the sound of Jay’s service weapon …

  Gary pivoted on his toes in terror …

  Jay was coming back down the street … straight towards him …

  Still holding the boy …  

  He was taking potshots at a few of the bodies that were strewn across the mall  …

  Then  … he stopped … a few feet away … He now had the same frightened stare that Michael had had only moments before …

  Officer Jay Skeen spun around and raised the six-shot revolver up to his partners forehead …

  Officer Gary French recounted the last five shots in his mind … all Jay’s …

  He could feel the warm barrel between his eyes …

  He looked up at the boy’s still stony face …

  The boy looked back down at him …

  And smiled.
My first ever venture into horror. But ... it's not what you think!

Were you fooled all along or did you figure it out before the end? I'd love to hear your comments.

That's all I'm gonna say. I hope you have had and are having a safe a fun Halloween!
  Oct 30 Jeff Gaines

Blood red lips conceal the fangs,
for love or ****, the hunger pangs,
one soft incision, one moment of bliss,
grow limp to the lure of the vampire kiss

Stalk the night in search of prey,
Live in shadow, Sleep by day,
Clothe the world in drapes of dark,
Dead lips scream - enduring; hark!

For love is lost where life is too,
Together apart, romance askew,
A cold embrace, a withered heart,
A resentful love, one cannot impart

Trapped in a corpse, roaming the Earth,
Devoid of humanity, Robbed of all mirth,
To be immortal means to never be free,
Of the torment of life, never rested will be.

Reposting because  rob kistner who inspired this write couldn’t see it posted on my page... ***!
Jeff Gaines Oct 30
I've this new friend, she's so complete.
Solid as a rock, from her head to her feet.
We met online, sharing poems, lives and paths.
We talked about everything and always have a laugh.

She's shared her life … from before and in the now.
She's a busy gal with a family and a really great man.
She works a job, writes her poems
and is forever making plans.

We've shared some deep thoughts …
and found many things in common.
But my favorite thing about new my friend …
is that she's as stubborn as a Brahman!

That's a type of Bull,
for those of you who don't know …
just try and steer her off of her path …
and those horn's she'll surely show.

Feisty, fierce … opinionated too …
To claim that she is headstrong … would not be untrue.

She's a really great Mom, with a brood to be proud of, no jest.
They are accomplished and well rounded, always doing their best.

I'm so happy that I've met this pal,
even chatted with her and hubby on the phone.
I'm sure that when we finally meet in person,
our kinship will be wholly grown.

That will be great,
a new closeness to live and to be.
But this will bring yet another task …
a task just for me.

For this is only part one of my poem …
Part two to be written when …
I finally see and hug my new friend(s) …
and our friendship starts yet again!
Again, so sorry I haven't been here. I have been so busy with the Tree Farm all Summer and just when I thought it was coming to an end, we had Hurricane Micheal blow through here and pretty much destroy our yard and some of the property.

  Now, it will take me all winter to drop the leaning trees and cut up them and the completely fallen ones and drag them to the burn pile. I also have over 400 linear feet of fence to replace.


  But I'm not asking for a pity party. I just had the first of my two stent operations and I am hoping that by doing all this work, it will bring me back to healthy enough to go back out on the road and off of Disability!

One can only hope.

  My trip out west will have to wait until Spring. I guess it was supposed to happen this way.

  This poem is about someone that I met here at HP and become really good friends with over the phone and texting. I can't wait to meet her and her family.
Jeff Gaines Sep 24
A headless man
in a ******* bar,
see's **** and ***
and thinks its a star.

“She can cook my meals
and **** my socks …
and give me all her money
as our bed rocks.”

“I'll do her friends,
whether they want me to or not.
She'll never leave me,
I'm all that she's got.”

“She deserved that black eye …
***, she never shuts up!
I about died laughing when she told the cops
that the bathroom door beat her up!”

“Those things her Uncle did to her?
Well, I'll do them too.
Who gives a **** about her feelings?
She's just here to *****.”

“And when I'm done with her,
I'll just head right back to the bar …
A little loot, a little blow, a perfect net …
to catch another falling star.”

To him a woman is an object …
No soul, no life, no heart.
And like a spoiled kid with some fancy toy …
He just wants to take her apart.

He really can't help it.
According to science, he was born this way.
And just as some new girl takes to the pole …
there's another like him, and he's destined to find her one day.

Those mirrors everywhere? They aren't there to help you see …
They've a much more evil job.
They're there so she can see and witness herself taking dollars …
from some old, pervy slob.

They cover those walls so the dancers are forced to watch …
what was once, Daddy's little girl.
To convince her she is now worthless on a downward descent …
and falling deeper with every twirl.

Oddly, eventually … she accepts this new self …
in what seems like soft, shiny skin.
The pounding music and the flashing lights …
all there to help her win.

She soon revels in this adoration …
from men she once would never speak to.
*** and drugs and rivers of whiskey …
All there to see her through.

One day she wakes and looks in the mirror …
Thinning hair, crows feet and bruises on her arms.
Daddy's little girl has long gone away …
replaced with a *****'s worldly charms.

"Who have I become?"
"What have I done?"
"I was only looking for a little excitement …
extra money and maybe some fun."

"How did I waste my life away …
and from it, nothing to show?"
"I never saw it coming, all so easy to do …"
A trap … sprung long ago.

A trap so intoxicating … brainwashed without a clue.
She ponders “Who would want me now?”  … Just another fallen star.
She puts on her makeup … and packs her bag …
and heads on back to the bar.

The cheers, the money, the lights, the ***** …
have now become her vows.
The greedy owner, ***** bouncers and catty co-workers …
they are her family now.

Soon enough, it will come to an end.
If not with her dead on the floor cold …
then replaced by a much younger model …
a new, unsuspecting 18 year-old.

And so the cycle starts again …
Through the door comes the man with no head.
In no time at all, the mirrors will do their job …
and she'll end up in his bed.

A dream in a blindfold or a nightmare she refused to wake up from?
It matters not in this instance.
Either path, a dance off a cliff …
A distinction without a difference.
(I wanna start by saying how sorry I am for being gone for so long. Summer is almost done and I promise to be back to read all my followers and fans. This came to me the other day and I wanted to post it.)

I'm not sure what it is about Virgo's and I … Several of my best buds are Virgos and I've had several Virgo girlfriends as well. Whatever the reason, I have many birthdays to keep up with in September. One of them is really sad though. I met her in the Bottle Club that I was spinning at and was immediately smitten. Tall, brunette, HUGE blue eyes and a smile that could stop a train.

It didn't take long for me to figure out that she was there with a group of strippers. That's commonplace at bottle club's. Where else can working gals go after work when the bars are all closed? We were always jammed with bar and restaurant types. The dancers came in droves as well. But she was different. Most all the dancers came wearing … well … lets just say “slinky” clothes. Tight, revealing dresses. Tall, spike heels. Plunging necklines and … oh, you get the idea. But she was different. She had on a red sweater and jeans … and a really cool pair of black and white checkered Converse high-tops.

I thought maybe … just maybe she was a waitress or bartender at their club … not a dancer.

But I was wrong. She came to the booth to make a request (after she caught me staring from the booth at her and the gals dancing). She even smiled on one occasion and I winked at her then played aloof and turned to pull my next record. That did the trick and there she was, chatting with me. After a few minutes, I grabbed her hand and helped her up into the DJ booth. She seemed a bit surprised and her face lit up. She stayed in that booth for an hour. Her co-workers came by one at a time and made goofy faces at her that we were “hitting it off”. I learned much about her in that hour …

She was a feature dancer and traveled to New York, Miami, Vegas, San Francisco, Dallas, Tampa, Orlando, Key West, and even Toronto and Vancouver performing in huge ***** clubs. She had every costume you could think of … Nurse, Police Woman, Construction Worker, Jungle Girl (*complete with a “vine” rope to swing on), Mermaid, Nun (YES, NUN!), Cheerleader, Space Girl, Vampire and, if the venue had the rigging for it … she had a real swing to go along with her Southern Belle outfit. This included an authentic hoop dress with a 5 foot hoop at the hem, a silk and lace parasol and a huge Kentucky Derby-style “Bonnet”.  After we got together, I got to see all of them, either as she performed … or as she performed for me in private. She was really amazing. These venues thought so too, apparently. They would fly her in, put her up in a hotel AND pay her to perform. Of course, she also got to keep all her tips as well. She made insane money at this.

Normally, I bypassed the dancers that came to party where I worked. Too much trouble. Too much drama or partying that was too overboard, even for me (trust me, that's BAD!). But she was different. She wasn't a wild, party-crazed girl out of control. She was really smart. Very articulate, mild-mannered and seemed to have quite a head on her shoulders. Her story was different too. She danced to put herself through college. She had a degree in business. But when she went into the real world to start her career, she learned she couldn't make near the money as she had been making. So, she made a decision to just stay put and ramp up her income by becoming a feature dancer and earn a name for herself. She did just that and owned her own new car and really nice condo … outright. Very impressive to say the least. Eventually, I was at her condo so much, I practically lived there. Sometimes, I'd be out at the pool hall with my bud's and find $100 bills hidden in my watch pocket or stuck in my buttoned shirt pocket. She LOVED doing this, no matter how many times I'd begged her not to. “Just takin' care of my man” she'd say with a grin.

She never fell into the usual trappings of that world and kept herself distanced from it. I was so blown away by all this I started to fall in love with her. My poem titled "Every Day", (See it on my page, a link won't work now for some reason) was written for/about her. We had a blast together. She was really amazing in every way. Her place was a constant flow of folks from that world and I witnessed some reeeeeally freaky voodoo over the next few years. One thing I saw that troubled me though, was a young “new girl” and her “transformation”. I have to say that it really bothered me. I watched this innocent young girl, go from being quiet and even blushing at the behavior witnessed at one of our party's, to being a complete horn-dog freak … loud and drunk most all the time … and this took less than 6 months!

I told my girlfriend that it really troubled me and her and I spoke about it at length. That's how I learned all about the world of professional stripping. She told me all about the mirrors and how they make you see yourself as a stripper and not only make you fall deeper down the hole as you accept yourself like this, but that it also keeps you there as well. She also described to me, at length about the “men” in these girls lives as well as the staff that worked in these types of places. ***, of any sort, attracts ne'er-do-wells, sociopaths, people with all sorts of issues … and pervs. So that's the only choices some girls take. Mostly because they don't give them grief about being dancers. The problem is all the other grief these types bring and the fact that these types of men only see them as objects to be owned and used.

I never went to those places after going a few times after I turned 18. It just wasn't my thing. I don't see women as objects. Being someone who studied Psychology and Behavioral Science, I had more fun watching and studying the people in the place, than the dancers. I never had a problem meeting women … I didn't need to pay for one to pretend to like me. Yet another reason I avoided those gals at the bottle club.

As time went on though … the “little” bit of partying my gal did eventually began to be a problem. I was horrified to discover one day, that the “line here and line there” of sniffs she had always done had descended to her using needles! She would wear these finger-less lace gloves. They were VERY **** at first … But one day, she joined me in the shower with them on … I noticed this and tried to take them off of her … she fought me … laughing at first, but then as I pressed it, she got angry. I thought she had gotten a tattoo … but that was not the case … I laughingly wrestled one off to see the “tattoo” and found track marks on the back of her hand. The argument that ensued in that bathroom could be heard down by the condo pool.

I spent the next few weeks trying to talk her off of it. But all that did was make her try and hide it more while swearing sobriety. After finding yet another needle rig, hidden in the bathroom trash can … I moved out. She tried to commit suicide and blamed it on ME in her note. Thankfully she failed, but because I was named as the “problem”, I wasn't allowed to see her. Even her family snubbed me without ever knowing the real truth. There was nothing I could do. A few weeks later I went by the condo. Her car wasn't there and there was a for sale sign in the window. I looked in the windows and the place was empty. She had moved away and that was that.

A few months later … I was awakened, at 7 am on a Sunday WITH a hangover, by a young coworker of mine. I answered the door with gritted teeth and told him “This BETTER be GOOD!”

He had a VHS tape in his hand and reeked of *****. I let him in and he told me that he had stolen this tape from a party he was at because he knew that I would want to see it. I looked at the label as I loaded it into my VCR and could tell by the title that it was a **** tape. I rolled my eyes, turned on the TV and plopped on the couch to humor him. The video opened with a big, white Cadillac convertible going down a wide, palm-lined Hollywood/L.A. Street. There was a football- player-sized black man driving and a beautiful girl with dark red lips, over-sized sunglasses and a silk scarf on her head riding along.

I didn't recognize her at all.

But in the next scene, she had removed the glasses and scarf … it was her … she was blowing him … and on both her hands … were finger-less, lace gloves. I jumped up and ejected the tape. He said “Sorry, Dude … I just figured you would want to know … don't hate the messenger.”

I assured him that I wasn't mad. I asked him to just go and even thanked him so that he wouldn't feel I was angry with him. I asked him to never tell anyone and he never did. I went in the kitchen and destroyed the tape with my bare hands, cramming it all into the bin and cutting myself in the process. There was blood all over the counter, fridge and floor. I cleaned up myself and just went for the **** and my water bed. My roomy woke me up several hours later, a bit upset, and asking about the blood. I told him what had happened and he knew it was tearing me up inside.

He said “So sorry to hear that Bro, I know what she meant to you.”

I told him that it was all good and thanked him for his concern. I told him I'd clean up the ****** mess when I got up. When I finally did get out of bed, I saw that he had cleaned up all my blood and he never said a word about that … or her … ever again. Bless his heart.

Day-before-yesterday was her birthday. I got to thinking about her while riding the lawnmower and our conversation about the “biz” came flooding back … I guess that made this poem come to me. I had to stop and come inside to write it, dripping sweat all over the den. Still … I'm glad I did. If just ONE of those girls reads this somewhere, somehow and it makes her open her eyes … then I have accomplished something. Thanks for the read.
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