Heat Is Neat

I’m sitting here in my big, comfortable, black leather poppa chair in my living room. I like comfortable. But like anybody else, except for your oh so very koolest guys, (that’s kool with a k) I sometimes get frazzled and furious. I have at times started fist fights. And I have been known to leak suspiciously around the eyes at sad movies, or moving music. Very un-kool. And I don’t care who knows it.

 So…an email just came in from proud podcast participant Betsy Kemp. Betsy says, “This is no good. We need to keep our quarterback nice and mellow.” Betsy, I am usually a mellow fellow. I like being that kind of cool. But not the kind you spell with a K. See… I also like getting hot. Getting hot has gotten me into a lot of trouble in my life. It’s left me with scars from fights, and scars from love affairs, and it’s gotten me fired from radio stations, and damn near got me killed a couple of times trying to do some things…some crazy things…that simply couldn’t be done…not by me at least. But you know what ? It’s worth it. It’s definitely worth it. Heat is neat.

 I didn’t always see it that way. I grew up in the “Big boys don’t cry” section of Brooklyn, New York. “The Rules” ruled what kool guys did in Brooklyn. And Guy Rule Number One was, “Be kool if you want to be accepted by the other guys.” That’s kool with a k. That kind of kool meant that jokes all had to have cutting edges. Beauty was something only “chicks” cared about. And fear was for wussies. So was anything that had to do with a hurting heart. Brooklyn Guys weren’t supposed to have hearts. We were supposed to be kool…with a k. It was like we were all supposed to grow up and become killers, con men or political talk show hosts. Except in my house. My dad was the strongest guy on the block. And the smartest. He always said, “Big boys don’t cry, but big men sometimes do. And they don’t care who knows it.” But of course…he was just Dad. He was old. I was young. What did he know.

 Then I had a son. There’s nothing like having a kid to smack a guy on the side of the head. My son taught me a huge lesson his first day home from the hospital. He was a happy, health, tiny winner, who smiled, waved his arms around, and cried any time he felt like it. He shot a pee fountain about three feet into the air  and laughed. He was definitely un-cool. And he was wonderful. He still is. No way would I would have wanted to change a thing about my kid except his diapers. What a smack on the side of the head. The rule of “The kool Rules” had come to an instant screeching, peeing, laughing, stinky, wavy, happy, end in my life.

 The smacks on the side of the head came hard and fast after that. And each smack seemed to wake up some new part of my brain, and open my eyes a little wider. Then…I met my Lady Wonder Wench. I’ll tell you about that in a minute.

 Dick’s Details Quiz. All answers are in the current podcast.

1- What do you call horney fish ?

2- What’s a sure fire way to make people think you’re weird?

3- What appendage helps many creatures become erect ?

Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.

 She was tall, elegant, soft eyed, gentle, funny, and smart. My Lady Wonder Wench wasn’t cool when I met her. Although some guys who tried to get too physical with her even accused her of being cold. She wasn’t cool, and I’m here to tell you, and them, she certainly wasn’t cold. When I met her she was writing a novel that turned out to be quite successful. And she lived by the rules that she wrote about in that wonderful, passionate, fantasy land that she created in her story. She definitely appealed to the sinful element of my nature.

 And it was another slap on the side of the head for me…it opened my eyes a little wider, and as far as my brain is concerned, let me tell you…she lit my limbic system…big time.

 It was a difficult time in our lives. I was married, she was not. My impulse was to run away and hide behind the old kool Brooklyn Guy Rules. But she completely confused me by just standing close to me, and looking up into my eyes. She laughed that…warm…laugh…at my jokes. And when I said I had to leave, she simply said…”Whatever you want.” That definitely wasn’t cool.

That’s when I started writing the stories that became the Lovin Touch. It was a funny thing, breaking the cool Brooklyn Guy Rules. The more often I broke them, the more clearly I understood that we can be free to make our own rules. I definitely wasn’t being cool writing about things like love, and hurt, and passion. But there was a terrible heat building up inside, and writing about it was the only way I could think of to relieve at least some of the pressure. It worked…but only a little…and only for a little while. It eventually exploded.

 The Lovin Touch story that was written just before the explosion was called Walls. The story asks an important question. The answer to the question turned out to be yes. I had to build walls. But not where the kool rules said they were supposed to go. A lesson learned later on was that no walls are permanent. They all come down when it’s all over. That’s how we know when it’s all over. If they haven’t come down yet…it’s not all over.  Walls is my Lady Wonder Wench’s favorite Lovin Touch story. If you like it, you can just keep the current podcast. Or if you want a fresh copy you can just go back to the home page and download it from the Lovin Touch icon.

 Kool with a K is not something I want to be. I’m a pilot, and there have been times when an in flight emergency has made it necessary for me to be cool. But that’s cool with a c…as in control. That’s fine. And I’m pretty good at that. But kool with a k is just a 21st Century update on those old Brooklyn Kool Guy Rules. And I’m not having any part of it…any more.

 So Betsy, although I am usually a mellow fellow, there’s no way you could always call me cool. Heat is neat. Even if it gets you into a lot of trouble. Even if it sometimes gets you frazzled and furious. Even if it means that sometimes you have to build walls…even if you have to have the guts to stick around and watch as they come tumbling down.

One Response to “Heat Is Neat”

  1. aliasJean Fox says:

    Hi to Barbara —
    “WALLS the original” is my favorite as well. Some of the questions and comments it contains have stuck with me during my life since first hearing it on the radio lo those many years ago.
    And further — I’m SO glad that you and Dick are together the way you are. It’s good to hear more of that love story.

    from a friend indeed ……………