The unvoiced thoughts and ideas of a septegenarian.


first love


            I don’t think any woman ever forgets her first love. She may have been ten or   twenty or forty but at eighty she still remembers him   She remembers the sound of his voice, his crooked big toe, the warmth that enveloped her when they danced, his clumsy attempt to do a jackknife off a diving board, the smell of Old Spice shampoo that lingered when he came out of the shower. She remembers, too, the joy of falling in love.  It makes no difference whether he was a prince or a cad  – she remembers.


Sometimes the memories are of a special moment they shared. Maybe they laid on the banks of river and he read poetry to her.  Maybe his mother welcomed her with open arms.  Maybe he knocked down all the milk bottles at a carnival and presented her with a giant teddy bear. Nothing that happened to her since has the same hold on her memory.


If you ask a man whether or not he remembers his first love he’s likely to say yes. But the woman he’ll then tell you about won’t be the first woman he fell in love with:  it will be the first woman with whom he had sex. He will remember how clumsy and inexperienced he felt but cannot recall the color of her hair and sometimes not even her name. This  poem would be Greek to him.



His sparkling emerald eyes,

His copper penny hair:

A memory

Trapped in the depths of my heart.


I want to let go and when I come close

I hear a song we danced to;

Words he whispered softly.

Smell the magnolia he tucked in my hair,

Feel the caress of my name on his lips


I want to let go.

And just when I think I’m almost there

Vapors of onion soup drift in,

Smoky cafes drown once more in soft jazz.


I want to let go but I cannot forget

Memories of togetherness laughter,

Bare toes in wet sand,

Dimple in chin, freckle on shoulder,

Wading – then swimming – in passion’s waters.


The pilot light of remembrance

Flickers once more in my soul.

I lay awake in the night

Wishing the heartache away.

I want to let go, love freely,

Untethered by the leash of his memory.


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Julie Rose




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I like men.  Growing up I had boyfriends, not girlfriends. I took great delight in sitting on the handlebars of Pete’s bike and being taken for a ride. I adored the guy who lived three doors away and let me drive his Harley –Davidson. I sat in awe of an English professor who had hyacinth blue eyes and smelled like the sweet tobacco he used in his pipe. I fell in love with one who draped me in Spanish moss and pretended I was his bride. As an adult I much prefer the company of, and conversation with, men rather than women.  I’d rather shoot pool in a pub than go to a tea party. I don’t, however,  long for a car that’ll win the Indy and I’ve no wish to outscore anyone on the golf course. I do prefer the ladies locker room with its aroma of fresh flowers rather than sweat, lavender scented hand lotion, hair dryers and thick, fluffy, pink towels.


Let it first be said I am not a biologist and have little concrete knowledge of hormones. There is a great deal of scientific research into the question of whether testosterone really leads to aggression. Much of it attempts to prove that testosterone – by itself – is not the bad guy but most studies conclude but that it plays an important role in  terms of both individual survival and procreation. There is also clear evidence of a connection between the hormonal effects of testosterone and the outward expression of aggressive behavior. While it is common to think of  testosterone in terms of sexual activity, it is, by no means confined to that arena. It plays a primary role in aggressive behavior exhibited in a variety of circumstances.


I have come to believe the Creator misjudged the amount of testosterone to be given to each sex.  Men have much more testosterone than women. There is no doubt in my mind but that testosterone is responsible for much of the world’s evil.  From the time they become adolescents, men are driven by that hormone. Every female in sight becomes a sexual challenge; every sport played is an opportunity to become “top gun.;”  every bit of land is a temptation to conquer. Can you find  a woman who has started a war?


Fantasy  – Wishful Thinking. What would the world be like if both sexes had been given an equal amount of that hormone in lower doses?  Men might understand they are not wimps if they compromise: that they do not have to conquer to be respected. Women might be a little less reticent to engage in challenging activities.  Our society might become one with less individual competition and more group co-operation. Our divorce courts might well be far less crowded.


Generally, the Creator made good choices when the world was created but I think He/She/It goofed up on that one.


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Julie Rose


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