Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Kiss Part 3: The Detour

D2: When people think of homoerotic wrestling the two companies that stand tall for pumping out some very good wrestling kink material over the years are the oft-mentioned (but not often in the same breath if you value your limbs) BGEast and Can-Am.

There are many, MANY others out also have Rock Hard Wrestling, UCW, Naked Kombat and the list continues on into the infinite. Somewhere on the lower regions of the unofficial homoerotic wrestling totem pole you'd find the little company from New England that flew under the radar (yet, still managed to find it's niche) for nearly 10 years.

Regardless of what ever your knowledge or experience with HBWL may have been over the course of its lifetime, it holds a very, VERY special place in my heart as it was the early home for Drake to finally come out of his cage,
(Drake: Bitch...)
find his feet, blink blearily at the sunlight, spread his wings, and take flight to discover just exactly who he was in this interesting world of homoerotic wrestling.  It was also a place for me to kind of begin to make peace with the body dysmorphia that had plagued me from an early age.

The site also had BG East wrestlers Jonah Richards and Timmy Cox in VERY different roles. The sister site (Beaten & Shamed) featured UCW wrestler Donovan as Austin. A few of the other wrestlers (Jesse) found their way into other small-market gay porn such as Broke Straight Boys.

The owner of the website and I had some ideas and plans for Drake and his storyline at HBWL. A good deal of them were fleshed-out and realized while others languished and were a victim of time and constraints. Sometimes the best-laid plans have some unexpected outcomes and consequences.

I always used to find it funny when reading authors' commentaries on their own work when they mention that their characters take on an uncertain type of sentience and refuse to be who they are being written to be. Or the story comes to life and takes an unexpected turn, even for the author. The only thing the writer can do is sit back and let the unknown invader take the helm and tell the story the way it wants to be told. The control is no longer in their hands...and so, it seems, that time is here once again where I have to release the reigns of this narrative to my co-host...Drake...

Drake: Co-host? Pfft! Please, I'm the star. That's who they're here to hear. You're merely the man who welcomes me to the stage. I let you have your little segments but it's ultimately about me, don't forget it...

(D2: You're a bit insufferable, you know that?)
Don't care! Go read your books and let me talk!
(D2: *indecipherable grumbling*)
You're fine...
Whew, he just NEVER quits!
Ok, so back to HBWL...Hometown Boys Wrestling League.

Let me break down for you what they were all about: fun, goofy, experimental, organic, slap and tickle fights. I don't think this site every really decided what it wanted to be. The storylines were always disjointed and seemed conflicted about what they wanted to do with their characters. Just barely fleshed out but played to the motherfucking hilt, almost to the point of self-parody. The punches that never even really tried to look like they connected framed by scripted, on-the-fly "fights" that usually ended up in the same place every time: guys knocked out, nude, and getting stroked off (sometimes to completion, but mostly as a humiliation factor) while the dominant one would count to 30. If they were unlucky enough to be unresponsive by the time that count was reached then they lost and tons of humiliation was still in store.

It was definitely a niche site, but dear God did it find it! Anybody who had any varying degree of a fetish could find it at HBWL: bondage, wrestling, KO scenarios, forced feminization, CMNM, shaving, feet, facials, watersports... They also had a wide variety of models that worked for the site: twinks (mostly), jocks, punks, nerds. Some times the downtrodden of the social classes would get the upperhand on the schoolyard bullies (the jocks) and delve out some well-deserved payback. Some times not.  Regardless of whether or not you funded the product (which you no longer can, however I am sure that some clips are floating around on various tube sites), they always found a way to twist things up, make it new and exciting. It lasted for a good 10 years, and I was there until the end.

The storyline that D2 and the webmaster had in mind for me went like this:
I show up, out of the blue, and want to buy out the company from the owner, Brad (who was kind of a maniacal CEO, a la Vince McMahon, who got mixed up in the fighting action himself from time to time). My first meeting with Brad doesn't go too well. The negotiations sour quickly and I let it slip that some of the wrestlers aren't happy with the way the company is moving and want a change of leadership. They find that in me.

Brad, incensed at this perceived mutiny, refuses to step down from his position and tells me to beat it. Being all pussylike in this scenario, I get nervous and apologize. Before I can beat a hasty retreat, Brad clocks me across the skull with a briefcase, knocking me down, and diving like a vulture on some roadside carrion.  I take a vicious and demoralizing beatdown from company head and end up unconscious, stripped, him leaving with my clothes as well as dropping me a challenge via voicemail: whoever wins the next fight gets control of the company.

Drake accepts...of course!

Despite my amazing foresight
(D2: Hey! I'm the thinker!)
to show up with that great equalizer chloroform, the more-experienced Brad is able to fight off an attack from behind. I put up a valiant effort, getting control a few times, and have Brad at the mercy of my lecherous hands. However, it's all for naught as Brad regains consciousness and makes a strong comeback. Putting me...*gulp*... down and out for the count and the win. Leaving me with a "souvenir": a load of cum on my face and a warning to those I came to represent.

Pretty bad, right? They wanted me to be a near-defenseless jobber who would get humiliated left and right! Fuck that noise...

The story fleshed out that I had been brought in by a rogue faction of wrestlers, spear-headed by Colin (who had his own axe to grind with Brad), and when Colin finds me laid out and humiliated decides to punish me for letting them down.

I take a pretty good beating in that one, but, guess what bitches. I came out on top!

From there I moved on to pull an upset win over the legendary HBWL stud, Godzilla-dick Patrick, my roommate Asa for not having his half of the rent, my assistant Christopher for threatening to blackmail me with the videos of my abject humiliation. I also sucker HBWL-hopeful Leon into a fake interview in Brad's absence, crush my friend Austin (Donovan of UCW) for wrecking my car, and decimate the twinky couple of Christopher and DJ (a hilarious bitch-off). And finally, face off against reigning HBWL champion, Jay. Looking at that, where do you think I began to dominate this whole game?

They wanted me as a babyface jobber who would always lose...and I not only asserted but proved myself with a string of victories and when HBWL closed shop?

Drake Fucking Marcos... standing tall as HBWL champion.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

In Memoriam (Part 2-end)

The other hero who left this world I didn't find out until a full day after it had happened.

Around the same time as Michael's death, I enrolled myself into a mailing club that scored me five books for the price of one. (They were basically mass market paperback novels that were ballooned into hardcover versions.) The only catch was that, once enrolled, you had to buy another book at full price within 12 months or you would be charged for the "free" books.

While the selections in this mailer were pretty thin, I sighed and absent-mindedly checked the box next to I Am Legend | Hell House by Richard Matheson. The only thing I knew about I Am Legend was it was a movie that Will Smith was in, having never seen it. I might as well read the book right?
When I received the box in the mail, I kind of turned-up my nose as I pulled each book out of the box: Where was my mind at when I ordered these?

I skimmed the back cover of the Matheson novel and there was a blurb from Stephen King: "I think the author who influenced me the most as a writer was Richard Matheson."


What high praise! The king of horror fiction lists this guy as his number one inspiration?
I couldn't wait to tear into it. And the opening lines struck me hard: "On those cloudy days, Robert Neville was never sure when sunset came, and sometimes they were in the streets before he could get back."

Who are they? Why is sunset an important time? Why do I feel this creeping sense of dread with this opening paragraph? The story continues...creeping like an undetected intruder in your mind...sneaking up on you and launching itself into you when you least expect it. It drags you down through the harrowing account of Robert Neville's life as the last man on earth since a disease has turned the rest of the world into bloodthirsty monsters. He slowly loses his mind as he realizes he is truly alone in the world, alone against the vampire hordes that roam the earth when the sun goes down.

This book is the uncle of all vampire novels, partly inspired by Dracula by Bram Stoker, this book is the finest vampire novel I've ever read...Hell, it's THE finest novel I've ever read. It's not a vampire novel that deals with a whacked out teenaged girl falling in love with a handsome sparkling young man who is 10x her age and all that teenage-focused fluff that came with it.

It's a brutal, unapologetic novel, carrying a bleak message but also contains glimmers of hope. Humanity...A vampire novel with, no pun intended, a bleeding heart. The line is never drawn...who is the real monster? The man who is the only one left of his kind, surviving by hunting the members of a new race? Or the new race that thirsts for the last man's blood? Do we fear what we don't understand? Should we? ("Full circle. A new terror born in death, a new superstition entering the unassailable fortress of forever. I am legend.")

There is SO much to this novel and Robert Neville is a painful man to follow because you feel his utter isolation, you are stuck in his home, his painfully empty home, eating dinner with him as the vampires cry from outside his house, scratching at the walls night after night. ("Inside the record played. Outside the vampires waited.")

It's so tragic, his desire to connect with something from the world that existed before, he even reduces himself to begging a wild dog for companionship ("He had such a terrible yearning to love something again, and the dog was such a beautiful ugly dog.” )

He spends most of his time reading, learning anything that he can through what the thinkers had the foresight to leave behind before the world fell apart. Devouring science and philosophy with equal relish, he wonders about what his fate and the fate of the rest of the world would be/was like  ("To die... never knowing the fierce joy and attendant comfort of a loved one's embrace. To sink into that hideous coma, to sink then into death and, perhaps, return to sterile, awful wanderings. All without knowing what it was to love and be loved. That was a tragedy more terrible than becoming a vampire.")

The open ended scene of the novel is as equally frustrating as it is uplifting, and sneeringly cocky as we are forced to confront the Boogeyman in all his terrifying glory.

You can't really go anywhere without encountering something he has touched...from early episodes of Star Trek to Will Smith movies (I Am Legend) to Kevin Bacon films (Stir of Echoes) to Christopher Reeve (Somewhere in Time). As well as NUMEROUS episodes of Twilight Zone ("There's Something on the Wing!" ) The midnight scares of the Trilogy of Terror films which included his insane Zuni fetish doll from his story "Prey" whose antagonist has much more sinister plans in mind for whoever wakes his spirit.

His stories serve to shock and scare as "The Dress of White Silk" which I don't quite understand despite numerous readings, but Anne Rice has said it was this story that made her want to become a writer.

They also serve as nasty little morality tales. "Button Button" (filmed by Richard Kelly as THE BOX and also a classic Twilight Zone episode) deals with a family who receives a box with a button and are told that if they push a button, they will receive $10,000 and someone they don't know will die.

"A Fluorish of Strumpets" displays what can happen to a good marriage when you allow fantasies of other partners to grow in your mind.

Though I have not read everything he's written just yet, so far his crowning achievement for me has been his novel WHAT DREAMS MAY COME (Ignore the awful Robin Williams movie.) This novel was so strong and deeply written and felt that it managed to make me question everything I once believed about life after death, heaven and hell.

It's about a man and his wife that die in an accident and while the man discovers the joys of Heaven and the afterlife in general, the wife ends up in hell. Yet there love is strong, and the man braves hell to find his wife so that they can be reunited and prove whether or not, true love conquers all.

Once I finished reading WHAT DREAMS MAY COME. My entire body was shivering uncontrollably, everything was so beautifully written. The idea that Heaven being a place where all of your desires and dreams were fulfilled and satisfied. And hell being the place where you were forced to witness the negative affects that your decisions in life had on others, a place where you experienced no pleasure, only a sense of complete failure and depression. (“What condemnation could possibly be more harsh than one’s own, when self-pretense is no longer possible?”)

Mr. Matheson offers one of the greatest love stories ever written while tying it up in a frame through which he explains his personal beliefs about life after death in a way that doesn't hammer you over the head, that explains the world, the characters, the story, but at the same time makes you question everything you've ever heard about the afterlife.

I, like the great Stephen King, consider Richard Matheson to be  my biggest inspiration in terms of writing. The legacy he leaves behind on the literary world is indelible. And while I know that I will never be of the same caliber as him, I'm not going to give up my own mission. ("We've forgotten much. How to struggle, how to rise to dizzy heights and sink to unparalleled depths. We no longer aspire to anything. Even the finer shades of despair are lost to us. We've ceased to be runners. We plod from structure to conveyance to employment and back again. We live within the boundaries that science has determined for us. The measuring stick is short and sweet. The full gamut of life is a brief, shadowy continuum that runs from gray to more gray. The rainbow is bleached. We hardly know how to doubt anymore.")

I close this by saying, there are many people in this world. Having heroes is an important thing for it gives you something to strive for, fight for. For some of us it's our parents, politicians, teachers, celebrities...for me it was a much-beleaguered pop star and an 87-year-old writer.

I am thankful for the time they graced this earth to offer me the inspiration I needed to take steps toward becoming who I am. I will continue to strive to bring respect and honor to their legacies and spirits.

Rest in Peace, gentleman.


“Thank you...for gracing my life with your lovely presence, for adding the sweet measure of your soul to my existence.”
― Richard Matheson, What Dreams May Come

In Memoriam (Part 1)

This will be posted a day after the anniversary, as well as three days after another similar event. Both the anniversary and event have left a deep wound on my heart and psyche and while I know time heals all wounds, I can't help but remember and honor the memory of those who have touched my life in such a profound way that news of their passing gives me pause, sends me rushing to recollection.

My parents were children when Martin Luther King, Jr. and John F. Kennedy were assassinated. I was in the womb when the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle occurred. I was a freshman in high school when the World Trade Center came crumbling down, pouring rubble onto the magnificent city of New York and sending a lingering cloud into the atmosphere...

But somehow I remember how my world came to a complete and utter standstill when I received news of the death of two creative heavyweights...

On the evening of June 24, 2009 I had finished a night at work, my head bobbing and my lips forming the lyrics for Michael Jackson's song "Remember the Time" as I slid the golden key home in the lock of my two-bedroom apartment. I smiled to myself, thinking that, even though the song had been released in 1991, Michael Jackson was way ahead of his time.

When I was 5 years old, my parents gave me a Christmas gift which included a cassette player and a copy of Michael Jackson's THRILLER on cassette tape. I played the HELL out of that tape and began collecting his music from that point on. His music became the soundtrack to my life. My adoration of the man was damn near worshipful.

My parents have videos of me dressed up as MJ for Halloween, crying because they were patronizing me, trying to make me mimic his iconic moves ("Do it! Do it! BAM! Just like he does it!' *sobbing* "No I don't want to! turn the camera off!!! NOWW!") There is also a video of me turning the stereo up full blast when his song "Jam" came on the radio, dancing in the front yard of our little house at the age of 6.

The man's fashion sense, his unparallelled dancing ability, monster musical successes (he still holds the record for biggest selling record of all time), showmanship, artistic vision, heavenly voice, and publicity of his private life were constantly the focus of media attention. His career marred by the sexual abuse allegations (not helped at all by Michael's practice of sharing his bed) he slid into obscurity and began plotting his comeback.

I went to bed that night, smiling, the song still in my head, memories of the video playing right alongside it. The next day started innocently enough, another day at work, nothing else was expected by me. Until I got home.

Having just moved out of my parent's house into an apartment with a friend of mine, I was broke and unable to afford cable or internet and smartphones were not as affordable as they are now. I was, for the most part, closed off from the world. Our country could have been invaded and I would not have known until the evil men were at my door with guns, speaking in  a strange, foreign tongue.
My friend Danny texted me as I walked in the door, "Did you hear?! Michael was found not breathing at his home! He's at UCLA medical center!!"

I waved it off, Michael would pull through...He was Michael Fucking Jackson! He was invincible!
Then the texts from other friends started to roll in. It was common knowledge that I was obsessed with Michael. The texts were giving me conflicting information: "Michael Jackson died!" "Michael's in a coma!" "Michael's being rushed to the hospital!"

A sweat broke out on my forehead and my stomach churned violently. I started wringing my hands, listening to his music, praying that my man would pull through this. I wasn't ready to let him out of my life just yet! I was supposed to go see his THIS IS IT tour in London! This could NOT be happening! He WOULD pull through!

The texts that had, half an hour previously, been rolling in giving me conflicting information about my hero, but also giving me a reason to hold onto hope, were all now starting to say the same thing: "Oh no! Michael passed away! I'm so sorry honey!" "I just heard Michael Jackson died...are you ok?"

The world


I couldn't hear anything...I couldn't hear his music playing through my stereo...I couldn't hear my phone ringing...tears began to spill from my eyes. I could only hear the beating of my own racing heart, so loud. So...painful.

My skinny chest started hitching as sobs tore through me, awful, choking, wails pouring from my throat. I'm tearing up just now, remembering it, sitting Indian-style on my living room floor, my phone ringing and vibrating off the hook. I hated my phone at that moment, it had nothing good to offer me. It was only a negative, evil device that, rather than connect me to the rest of the world, only sought to hurt me.

I don't think I've ever cried so hard in my life. It all might sound very pathetic to some of you, but this man represented, nay, WAS my childhood, my teenage life, my fledgling adult life. His music overlaid the bulk of my life, was part of the fabric, and when it was all ripped out, everything unravelled.

My phone continued to vibrate and ring, I ignored it, I wanted nothing to do with it. My head throbbing, my throat raw, tears streaming down my face blurring my sight. But through that all, I saw three letters on my phone screen that I knew would maybe help make this somehow better: s-i-s.
I picked up the phone and before I could even choke out a "Hello?" my sister was already talking, and I could tell that it was difficult for her also, "Baby brother, I am so sorry!" and we wept together over the phone for nearly 45 minutes. In fashion typical of my sister, our conversation ended with: "You better be the first person I hear from when Prince dies!" which gave me the first laugh, albeit brief, of the day.

At this moment I was not the strong, independent adult that I fancied myself...once again I was the 5 year old boy who sat in wonder and awe, listening to his music on the cassette player...I was the 8 year old boy in a black wig, fedora, open white shirt with a white tee underneath, high-water black slacks, white socks, and black penny loafers, crying because my parents wouldn't take the camera out of my face.

As sad as it sounds, I knew the only thing that could help me feel better at this point was the embrace of my mother, the one person I knew who wouldn't judge me or think I was overreacting. Who would sympathize.

I called her and my father, both unsuccessfully. I drove to their house, which was empty as they had gone out of town, and turned on the TV...every channel bearing Michael's face, his music a soundtrack to the images, the words "Michael Jackson, 50, passes away" emblazoned on the screen. I curled up in my parent's bed, like a small child, holding a pillow to my face so I could smell my mother's perfume, my father's cologne, something to assure me that everything was going to be all right.

I eventually cried myself to sleep, mumbling to myself that this was all a very bad dream, that I would wake up soon and Michael would still be making music and rehearsing for his new tour. I did this for the next few nights, distraught at this never-ending nightmare.

I finally came to terms with the idea that this was reality. My hero WAS dead, his angelic voice silenced forever. His children orphans. His family, more of a shambles than normal.
I called off work when they aired his memorial service on TV.

The sad thing about Michael was that his humanitarian aspects were never covered. All we ever heard about him was the sexual allegations running rampant, the bizarre public escapades, his embattled financial situation. Nobody knew about the millions of dollars that he funnelled into social projects: charities set to save the dwindling rainforests, help pay the medical bills of sick children, the days he opened Neverland ranch to busfuls of sick children so they could have a day of fun in his mini-theme park.

Regardless of what you feel about Michael and his, admittedly, questionable personal life, the man stands as a hero to many around the world: for the racial barriers he broke (the first black artist on MTV), for the music that stands today (countless artists name him as an inspiration), the records he set (Thriller is the best-selling album of all time), the countless lives he touched and changed... Michael Jackson remains, to this day, a hero to me.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Kiss Part 2: The New England Factor

It's been almost two weeks, my annual birthday celebration has come and gone. It also means that same amount of time has passed without me sitting in front of a computer screen to actively compose another blog to my legions (*snicker*) of readers.

Until today, I thought I was the only person reading this thing. Then I started playing with the blog and found something interesting. You can see how many people have visited your blog, on what device, what browser, what operating system, what country, I mean it's all very overwhelming. But insanely encouraging. I'm sure most of the visits have been a result of the recent link on Bard's much beloved blog (my personal favorite.)

Bard's blog (Neverland) deals primarily with wrestling. However, I think the greater aspect about his blog, that goes unnoticed, is that everything is dealt with in an unapologetic, genuine, and relatable voice. He talks about very real, very human emotions and experiences and that's what makes his blog so special for me. Bard is an amazing, insightful writer and such a huge inspiration to Drake as a wrestler and me as a writer.

I have no intentions of duplicating his blog (can't be done), but the spirit and the heart of Neverland are the inspiration behind this one. He can expect me to fill his inbox asking for tips in the near future as this blog finds its feet.
Balancing work with training (a regimen that is grueling <for me, anyways>) a personal life, relationship, and blogging takes a lot of effort, a lot of time, and finding a way to make it all work in tandem is near stress-inducing. But it will work.

I have to tell myself that. It's a hallmark in my life. But my story is another day, another blog, and today, you are back for part 2 of "The Kiss."

This installment opens on a young man sitting in his bed, his fingers dancing over a keyboard, and simultaneously wandering past the waistband of his athletic shorts...
(Drake: Hey! Perv, it's my turn right?)
(D2: c-can be if y-)

Drake: The sun is shining, everyone! It's summer time! Get some exercise, get some sun, get some matches in! It's good for you and we love hearing your stories as much as D2 hopes you enjoy ours! At the end of the day, I don't care what you think about me though.
(D2: He actually does!)

Drake: Shut up you sappy windbag, it's Drake's turn now. I'm essential, special, important, that's all that matters here.
So, as he stated earlier: "This installment opens on a young man sitting in his bed, his fingers dancing over a keyboard, and simultaneously wandering past the waistband of his athletic shorts..." What else could POSSIBLY be happening with that setup? Building model airplanes? Pfft! He's not THAT pathetic.
(D2: Hey now! *muffled*)

Drake: He does that from time to time. You'll get used to it. Anyways, back to what I was saying...
These sessions started out innocently enough, the journey nearly the same, almost every day. First we would review the new blogs (Neverland, Skull Island) just to test the waters, get the engines revving, if you will. Then we would move to BGEast, hoping (so often against hope) for an update, read the texts for matches from the amazingly vivid writers, maybe go back to look at a few classic favorites from the vaults (Nick Archer, Troy Baker... Aryx Quinn *snickers*)...

From there we would move on to sites like UCW to see what Axel (a wrestler rising in my estimation and respect) and Joker's asses were getting into. RHW to see the beginnings of some current BGEast favorites. Maybe dabble in Can-Am's aging catalog, Naked Kombat, Thunder's, you get the drift because it's an old song that you have been singing with us for years.
But the beginning of this journey (when word and deed became flesh) REALLY began with a special little site based in New England that is (moment of silence) no longer with us...HBWL (and it's short-lived progeny Beaten & Shamed).

Pretty low on the homoerotic wrestling totem pole, HBWL was a niche fetish site that primarily involved two guys in some far-fetched, convoluted scenario and then deciding to fight over something inane. The matches usually ended with one guy knocked out, sometimes bound as well, and stroked off while counting to 30. If the victim didn't respond by the end of the 30 count, the fight was over and the humiliation was on.

It was around late August, early September when we were browsing the site, kind of bored lately because of the amount of content coming from the site had dwindled significantly.

I don't believe there was really any thinking or connection involved as the cursor moved to the "Model for Us" link. Before D2 knew what was happening, I had submitted an application to the webmaster along with pictures.

I awaited the reply while D2 awaited a blow to his self-esteem.

After a long period, a Facebook message came through from the webmaster saying that he liked my look. D2 took a full-fledged backseat for the first-time in his life as I moved in and took control. The correspondence with the webmaster grew more frequent and turned into phone calls as we hashed out who I was, what I thought of HBWL, what I saw myself as, and possible storylines. We essentially began the process of defibrillating the site.

Late one night before plans were finalized for a shoot, D2 and I lay in bed, tossing and turning while still trying to clear our minds to achieve the elusive goal of sleep, one thought rose before darkness encroached:

"My name is Drake."

Intermission #1

When I was growing up, one of my favorite things to do on the weekends was to load up in the Dodge Ram pickup truck with my parents and sister and set out for the 12-minute (I timed it once) trek to the local Drive-In Theatre (sadly no longer in business).

I believe, of the few drive-ins that remain alive today, the setup is the same...a wide gravel parking lot with various poles in the ground that used to hold bulky metal speakers that you hung on the inside of your car window so you could hear the soundtrack (now it's all done through apps and dead-air radio stations), with unruly weeds sprouting up like the pattern of a hair on a pubescent boy's chest, a small, badly leaning (largely unnecessary) concession stand that was also connected to a projector room, and bathrooms that my folks wouldn't let me use unless I had a chaperone (what was that all about?!)

The only drive-in I ever went to had one giant screen, and they played two movies, for $6! But when I was younger, my favorite thing about this experience was the intermission.

Between the two films, there was always a half-hour break built in (You got there at sunset and left around 1-2 AM) that was set for people to use the restrooms, hopefully buy concessions, move to a better spot, and for the projectionist to change over the reels and get the next film queued up.

All of these reasons didn't occur to me until later in life. For me the intermission was a time to get out of the truck and run to the grassy area at the foot of the screen to play with other children that waited impatiently for the exact same thing, playtime.

Even as adults we don't engage in this enough. It even goes by a different name to avoid the childish connotation; it's called "recreational time." We think that once we become adults we have to tie our ties, guzzle our coffee at 5 a.m., and break our backs to make life meaningful, comfortable, and enjoyable. But we see the result of all of this: the western world is filled with all types of medications for anxiety, depression, etc (that cause more side effects than cure ailments). Some of these are REAL issues, I'm sure. However, I also believe that a great majority of these diseases are linked to the absence of wide-eyed, adolescent abandon in people's lives.

Whether you're children or adults, you need to build some "playtime" into your schedules. There needs to be a time when you can get away from the bullshit that gets you stressed. Yes, there are a lot of other extraneous things going on in the world (storms, wars, domestic spying, etc.) that make you wary, but what good is a life if you're constantly worried about things that are completely out of your control and influence?

Think about growing up, did you ever really worry about anything that the networks and talking heads are screaming about?

Your only concern was whether or not you were going to be able to go outside and play.

The wind continues to blow a sweet breeze that carries the notes of birds that still sing every morning and the smell of flowers that still bloom and open their petals to the warming and nutritious rays of the sun. Babies still laugh. And you're still here.

As summer sets in and the sun rides high in the sky, remember one thing: It's ok to stop, breathe, and let your inner child run free (even if he's a horny, little wrestling nut who gets you into trouble every now and then) between films. It's only an intermission, and the next film will start soon enough.