Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.
I’ve been writing a great deal of fiction in the last year. Mostly story driven erotica. I’m just trying some new things and it’s not going all that well over at La Petite Mort. The site is failing despite 5 series running daily over there.
I was inspired to write a story of redemption by a friend of mine. I was listening to him and spending time with him, and this tale began to form in my mind. I don’t know where it came from, but it began to form like everything else I’ve ever written.
I’ve always thought about my art.
I need to draw a picture.
I need to write song.
I need to tell a story.
That never works.
I get a feeling from a person, in this case my friend Church. And it just comes. The words flow out of the pen onto the page, and in this case, keys to a website. Forever.
I got it!
Thank you Church!
This series is dedicated to my dear friend, Church. Who has faced many struggles but continues to prevail.
I ran the idea of this story by him a few months ago and he liked it, so I’m writing it for him. Normally anything new I’m doing I announce it at the beginning of the new year. But I’ve been so inspired lately I’m releasing it NOW.
I hope you all like this work.
It’s a tale of redemption and change, and I think we can all learn from that. (If it gets too sexy, I’ll post those chapters on the other site, La Petite Mort)
Thank you for your friendship Church.
I am here for you on your journey.
Life is fleeting and fragile. Enjoy yourself!
Okay… here we go into a fictional fun story. I hope you enjoy it! (I’m new at this! Be gentle!)
I looked out over the pool to a pristine beach not one hundred steps below the chlorinated water. To the left, I saw trees and a stone fence, to the right, more palm trees and the same stone fence. Both fences transitioned into a jagged rock wall that defined the perimeter of the private beach. I couldn’t see the neighbors on either side. It was perfect.
I heard the real estate agent exit the sliding glass door. She was a heavy-set woman, impeccably dressed, with a phony happy sales attitude. I didn’t care for her much. She wore a bit too much perfume and always thought she knew what was best for me. Of course, I didn’t really care for anyone so she was at a disadvantage to begin with.
“I’ll take it.” I said without turning to look at her. I heard her high heels stop on the rock patio.
“You haven’t really looked at the house, Mr. Tomlinson.” There she goes trying to control my thoughts again. I was only interested in the privacy. This place blocked out the rest of the world. It would be my private little slice of heaven. The house was devoid of furniture which was a good thing. It meant it was already vacant and I could close the deal quickly.
“Make the offer Mrs. Johnson. Full asking price.” I raised my hand in hopes she would see that I had already made my decision. This was the fourth place I looked at and the first to meet my original qualifications. If she had just listened, she could have sold it this morning and not wasted half my day.
“Are you sure? I am quite confident we can negotiate it down ten, maybe twenty percent.” God, I am glad she doesn’t work for me. I would fire the bitch on the spot. What part of “make the offer” didn’t she understand? I wanted the property and didn’t want to deal with anyone any longer than absolutely necessary. I turned to her.
“Make the offer. Full asking price.” I made it sound a bit ominous. Why did I have to repeat myself? I hated the need for agents. She stepped back a bit and reached into her purse for her phone.
“Of… of course, Mr. Tomlinson.” She fumbled her phone, and it almost dropped to the stone patio. “I’ll have the papers drawn up immediately. They will want ten percent in earnest money.” She was back to her business self. “Would you like me to bring the paperwork to you tomorrow morning?” Like I wanted to see this woman first thing in the morning or ever again for that matter.
“A Monica Rose will call you and complete the purchase.” I started walking back through the house toward my car. I wasn’t interested in a conversation or politely accompanying her out. Happily, I chose not to ride with Johnson so I hopped in my car and sped off.
I entered the hotel at the rear entrance. I don’t have to feign niceties to the staff that way. I needed to get my new house livable as soon as possible. I expected to close by end of next week. I had enough lawyers on the payroll to make sure that it would go smoothly. I would need furniture and all the other necessities to make it home. I called up one of the few people in the world I respected.
“Monica, its Dale Tomlinson.” Monica handles things for me. She doesn’t discuss options and try to help. She just does.
“Mr. Tomlinson, what can I do for you?” Yes, that’s what I like to hear. No bullshit niceties. Just business.
“I am purchasing a beachfront home and need it furnished and move-in ready as soon as possible.” Watch her work.
“This week, sir.” She sounded a bit hesitant. Not like her at all.
“That is what ‘as soon as possible means.’ ” I usually didn’t have to repeat myself to her.
“Of course sir! Address?” I could almost see her writing it down as I regurgitated it. I told her to talk with Mrs. Johnson to finalize the sale and to access the property.
“Style?” I told her it would be classic comfort. I intended to spend a lot of time there. I don’t think it was an actual style, but Monica had a wonderful way of interpreting my needs.
“Budget?” Whatever it takes. I didn’t want to limit her creativity. I was going to actually live there.
“I will get a flight out tomorrow.” She was fast. That’s why I liked her. I don’t think she cared for me personally, but that was unimportant. I knew she liked my business, and she charged me well for her speed. Fine with me; I can always make more money. It’s time that is at a premium. What’s funny is that I have only met her in person a couple of times. Now I just call her with what I want and it’s done. I couldn’t think of a more perfect arrangement. I hung up the phone—no need for goodbyes.
It took three weeks to occupy the house. Damn owners were out of country, and I had to wait till they returned. They should have made arrangements for a possible sale before they left. Assholes pretty much ruined a week of my life. I really hate people. On the other hand, Monica was wonderful as always. The house was move-in ready. I was sure it cost me an arm and a leg, but it was worth it. Even the kitchen and bar were stocked. I only had to transfer my personal effects, and I was home.
I wasn’t sure why she had put a pool table in the rec room. I never have guests so it won’t get any use. I guess it was just there to take up the large space available. The pool had way too many lounge chairs, but I guess it gave the area a more lived in look. The beach itself was exactly as I envisioned. One lounger under a giant umbrella. This is why I bought the place. I aimed to spend a good portion of my life lying in that chair, reading books and letting the gentle waves wash away the rest of the world. This was paradise as far as I was concerned.
I walked down to the sand, and sure enough, the waves were playing a symphony on the bordering breaker rocks. Civilization was drowned out. The adjoining beaches were completely blocked from view so I could expect zero interruptions. I was so pleased, I decided not to go back up. I stripped to my boxers and lined the lounger up for maximum shade time. I loved the beach, the waves, and the warmth. I could do without the sun. It was way too bright and made me sweat. I lay back and let the sound of the waves roll over my body. This was by far the best purchase I had ever made. It wasn’t long before I was sound asleep. It was just that peaceful.
The damn sun woke me about two hours later. It began to roast my feet by the time I had pulled myself from dreamland. There has to be an umbrella that tracks the sun. I vowed to find one as I snapped my knees up to cool my feet. There is always something in this universe that likes to screw with my well-being. Today, it was the sun.
I returned inside and fired up my laptop. It was time to review my trades. I had inherited a huge bond portfolio just before the 2008 crash. My grandmother, the only person I ever enjoyed being around, had conservatively purchased munis, federal and triple A corporate bonds. She purchased them from selling off my grandfather’s position in a highly profitable internet firm at his death. She was a lovely woman whose passing I took hard. Having lost my parents early in life, Grandma was my rock and my soul. As the bonds matured and the munis were called, I dumped the money into the stock market. My timing couldn’t have been better. When everyone was selling, I was buying. I grew a $100 million portfolio into a half billion dollar empire with me as the emperor.
Most people didn’t even know my name, and I liked it that way. Money can buy power and influence. I used it to ensure my isolation. Monica was my wall against the world. She would handle all the crap that the money generated when it was spent. She, unfortunately, was becoming a bit irreplaceable. I paid her generously in hopes that she never moved on. It would be almost impossible to find anyone who could match her efficiency. I sometimes got shivers thinking about life without her.
With my portfolio looking as good as ever, I started opening cabinets in the kitchen looking for something to eat. Monica had seen to that with her usual perfection. There were plates and silverware, a drawer full of take-out menus sorted by Yelp ratings, the fridge and freezer filled with food, and one cabinet filled to the doors with wonderful cans of heaven. My one vice was SpaghettiOs.
High School was hell for me. I had never fit in so I spent four years trying to stay far away from others. When I failed, I suffered. I wasn’t big enough, not good looking enough, and I never knew what to say. There was only one person who didn’t care about my awkwardness. My Grandma would be waiting for me to return home and could tell from my expression what kind of day I had. My best memories of high school were sitting in the kitchen eating SpaghettiOs with my Grandma. It may sound sad to others, but to me it was a wonderful stress-free environment. Just the smell of the canned wonder cooking on the stove would let me forget my nameless torturers. To this day, those cans brought Grandma back to my mind. Monica was priceless; she knew me well.
I poured a can into a pot on the stove and sat back to enjoy the aroma. Just like the waves, the smell washed away the world. I could almost see Grandma’s smiling face. I tried not to eat it every day so I wouldn’t get bored. I grabbed a bowl and poured a serving and headed off to the flat panel to watch a movie. A nap on the beach, SpaghettiOs and a good movie. This day was better than most. I made a mental note to eat something a bit more nutritious later.
Besides some annoying interruptions by assholes that needed my signature, my week went fairly well. I allocate one day a week to clean house and do the laundry. I had a maid once, but I just couldn’t stand having her around. The repeated “good mornings” and “how are you todays” made me want to puke. I decided it was easier on my soul to just handle it myself. Hell, it was the only real work I had to do anyway. It was almost therapeutic. One day of work made the other six days more valuable.
Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.
Don’t worry… you don’t need to do all 50 :). And some of these ideas won’t apply to your situation in life. But, I hope this list inspires you to just try ONE and re-focus on the person you love! I think it’s so easy, with the stresses of parenting or working or life, to neglect giving daily love and attention to our most important relationship on earth. In marriage, we are completely known for who we are and our spouses get our best and our very worst. Luckily we can continually learn and grow as a person and a couple. Being married to my very best friend is the biggest blessing in life!!
If you ever feel that your marriage could be stronger or you feel your relationship needs a re-charge (which is always does), pick one that works for you and have fun!! I so believe that discovering ways to show love in YOUR SPOUSE’S LANGUAGE and re-discovering your FRIENDSHIP over and over again is what builds a strong marriage! So I hope one idea may help…
Surprise her with a fun gift that she would really enjoy. Or save the money and don’t buy anything, if that’s his love language!
26. Find some sanity at home.
No matter how much we all work together on cleaning and organizing our house, it usually feels so overwhelming. I do care about the environment of our home because it does affect everyone, especially me and my ability to focus more on relationships. I’ve also found that cleaning together as a couple can also be a good time to chat.
27. Encourage his hobbies.
It will make a huge difference, and help him to feel more balanced, and to be his best self. I sure need this, and I know he does too.
28. Take a hike or walk, while holding hands.
29. Eat an ice cream cone together.
Buy one large cone and eat it together at the same time.
30. Pray together each night.
Recently I attended a wedding ceremony where I heard some of the best marriage advice, it was this, “As you are praying together, express 1) something you love/appreciate about your spouse and 2) what you personally want to work on (to improve yourself).” If you’re not a praying couple, you could just verbalize this to each other.
31. Have a wrestling match.
32. Exercise together.
One time, while doing a P90x workout, my husband caught me drinking milk during a “water break”… and dunking Oreos.
33. Cuddle while watching a movie.
34. Make his favorite treat.
35. Play a game together.
I kind of pride myself on being undefeated in Settler’s…
36. Look in her eyes.
Try looking your wife straight in the eyes when she talks to you, to show her that she is your number one at that moment. Walking over to her and being close helps you be more focused on her, and helps to show you care.
37. Stick to the budget the two of you have worked out.
38. Let her sleep in.
Your wife probably seems to be the one who is always getting up with the kids, or getting up before you do. Let her sleep in from time to time. She will love you for it.
Sometimes we are so bombarded with what we are doing we forget to smile. When your spouse is around or walks in the room, try smiling more.
40. Cook her favorite meal.
Even if you don’t know how to cook very well. Do a little research, call your mom, and surprise her with a special meal. It will mean a lot to her.
41. Say, “I love you,” in creative ways.
It’s easy to say the words “I love you,” but it is way more fun to leave those words for your spouse to find in creative ways. Spell it out with cereal, with lipstick on the bathroom mirror, or little game pieces while you’re playing a board game.
42. Offer to help.
Your husband or wife has a kajillion things going on and it never hurts to take him or her by the shoulders and just say, “What can I do to help?”
(#43-#45 come from the book “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” by Dr. John Gottman, who has revolutionized the study of marriage.)
43. Soften your startup.
John Gottman wrote “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work,” and hisresearch shows that “discussions invariably end on the same note they begin. … If you start an argument harshly – meaning you attack your spouse verbally – you’ll end up with at least as much tension as you began. But if you use a softened startup – meaning you complain but don’t criticize or otherwise attack your spouse – the discussion is likely to be productive.”
44. Enhance your “love map.”
Dr. Gottman describes how couples need a “richly detailed love map,” which means continually seeking to understand your spouse’s current needs, stresses, worries, friends, thoughts, hopes, and dreams. We need to better understand how our spouses really perceive love. Here’s the link to take the 5 Love Languages Quiz. It also goes deeper and more personalized than that, so keep exploring what helps you feel most connected and loved!
45. Nurture your fondness & admiration.
Every now and then, stop yourself and just dwell on all the things you spouse does do, and all the little things you do admire about him/her. As you do this, your tender appreciation grows, and these inner feelings affect how you interact and treat your spouse. Just as people choose to dwell on their frustrations, “nurturing fondness,” is also a choice.
46. Sometimes just go to bed!
We don’t always believe in the adage to “never go to bed angry.” Our kids sure struggle when they are overtired, and so do we. In a moment of frustration, when tired and cranky, sometimes it is best just to go to bed. You’ll likely wake up in the morning with a renewed perspective!
47. Turn towards each other rather than away.
48. Inspire the best in each other.
Choose to see the immense good in the other and treat each other as such. You are your spouses greatest supporter, and as you believe in him/her, they will aspire to really become that. Tell him or her today one great attribute you see!
49. Hold your wife close.
Sometimes just hold your wife close, let her cry to you, let you unload all her feelings, tell her that your love for her and your relationship is more important than any problem to be solved. If you spouse is inwardly hurt and being hurtful, sometime hold him and show an outpouring of love.
50. See your spouse as a person.
Sometimes we can view those closest to us as objects to blame or criticize. Remember that your spouse is a person, a part of you, that has real concerns and needs just as legitimate and important as your own!
I hope we all can be filled with hope and charity and seek to just make ONE small step and change for the better!
Thanks. I hope this was helpful. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this piece.
Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day at 8am & 12pm EST.
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