Soldiers, when committed to a task, can’t compromise. It’s unrelenting devotion to the standards of duty and courage, absolute loyalty to others, not letting the task go until it’s been done.”

John Keegan


Geesh, another blog.  And yes more words from a former soldier, a career soldier.  But this is not for you, it’s for me.  These are words I’ve wanted to put down for years and finally have time and energy to do it.

So what is this about?  It is simply the experiences of a career soldier, the slow slide to war after 9-11 and the impact of 3 years of war on an individual, a family and those involved.  It has been an odd caserole of the need for intimacy, emotional and physical and the hesitation to be intimate because of the risk.  The need to embrace humanity’s most primal desires and the inability to find a similar spirit.  And it is likely a tale of gross selfishness, selflessness and a chronic feeling of  complete betrayal by those I’d hoped would be my most intimate partners.

After 9-11 I spent the next 4 years cleaning up after bad decisions by careerist officers, taking care of Uncle Sam’s dirty laundry.  I was not a fast of those officers identified for greatness but I did have the reputation of getting it done.  I was known to be a problem solver.  It might not be pretty but it will happen.

Who am I or perhaps more important who was I.  In 2001 I was a Field Grade officer in the Army in a position of relative authority serving in a premier combat division of the US Army.  I was married, had a son and a career that was at once reasonably successful and very enjoyable.  I loved what I did.

What follows is not a story of bravery, great battles, exciting events.  I am no hero.  Rather it is a story of how most soldiers go to war, at least in the last 15 years and what the outcomes are once that soldier returns.

My purpose is quite simple.  To lay down these memories, put some of them away and add context to others.  This series of posts is a living document and each chapter will evolve with additional detail and thought over time.



The Sunseeker

And I feel that time’s a wasted go
So where ya going to tomorrow?
And I see that these are lies to come
Would you even care?

“Plush” by Stone Temple Pilots

In 2010, with no perceptible improvement in my marital relationship and the collapse of any idea of Sunny Skies I again turned to a bulletin board personals service. My marital relationship continued to be something of a roommate arrangement. No real connection, just the business of life. In fact Church Lady was gone most of the time, running back to see her parents. I was left to my own devices a good part of the time. My son was in college and I had the house to myself. When she was home she worked nights which only provided me more time.

On this new effort I used words similar to those that were in the post that attracted Sunny Skies but this was a different site. I got the obligatory array of interesting and some disturbing responses. Then, much as was the case with Sunny Skies, I received a terse response fairly late at night. At first the words her words were almost judgmental at the inference of intimate contact in my post. I was a bit irritated at this virtue signaling but I kept up the conversation. In time that evening her words softened and we agreed to keep conversing. And this was how I met a woman whose betrayal would influence my life for about 5 years.

Our initial conversations were fairly light, nothing of much consequence. Sunseeker warmed to the idea of the potential for intimate contact in addition to conversation. What I learned about her in those e-mail exchanges was she was my age, younger by 6 months. She had twin sons about the same age as my son. She married right out of High School to a man who was cold, distant and had not changed over the years. In fact her only option as explained by her parents was to marry right out of High School. As a result she had no further education, had no real skills and led a very sheltered life, almost in a bubble enforced by a controlling husband. Sunseeker indicated that her sex life was nonexistent, that she was hungry for that kind of contact and yearned for a man to be warm and loving. As with Sunny Skies I envisioned a man who came to her at night, mounted her, climaxed and went to sleep. Redneck sex.

Overtime our notes became more intimate. She described her wants, desires, and regrets. I learned that she regretted not having more children. It seems her spouse got a vasectomy after the birth of her twins. I learned that she’d had an eating disorder that almost killed her and at middle age she hungered for the attention and affection she’d been missing for 30 years.

Eventually we exchanged photos. Her picture revealed a petite woman with long auburn hair. Unlike Sunny Skies she was had larger breasts and was very tan. She admitted that during the day while her spouse was gone she would sunbathe in the nude in their back yard. Their house was a bit rural and they had some acreage. In time we agreed to meet. The location was to be the parking lot of an Old Navy just across the Missouri border.

The evening we met I remember pulling into the lot and immediately saw her pickup truck. It was an older white pickup. Out of the driver’s side popped this remarkably perky figure in hip hugger jeans, boots with 4 inch heels and a blazer. As she approached I noticed her hair was long, almost halfway down her back and amazingly huge brown eyes. She gave me a wide open-mouthed smile and said howdy. As we got close I got a whiff of her signature scent, something I came to love. She used a lotion that had the scent of tangerines and even now if I close my eyes I can smell her.

We sat in my car and talked. The topics ranged from belief systems to family to relationships. We spent about an hour just chatting. She was quite likely the most active listener I’ve ever encountered. As our conversation ended we agreed to continue to exchange notes and to meet again. As we got ready to leave she asked quite directly if she could kiss me. I said sure expected a quick peck on the cheek. Instead I got what was the most intense, deep, open-mouthed French kiss I can remember. We parted ways and all I could do was think about her scent, how beautiful she was and those amazing brown eyes.

As we corresponded over the next several days we agreed to meet again and we discussed where might find some acceptable modicum of privacy but a place not out of reach for either of us…middle ground. I brought up some of the places Sunny Skies and I had frequented and eventually we picked a location. During our e-mail exchanges it became clear that Sunseeker was sexually hungry but she also made it clear that she was unwilling to have intercourse for fear of a pregnancy, even to the point where condoms were not safe enough. She could not take the pill as they made her ill. When we met again her hunger manifested itself as an absolute fixation on giving oral sex. In fact each time we met for it seems months it almost became our routine that we would talk, during the conversation hands would wander which became passionate kissing and in the blink of an eye she was kneeling on the floorboard of the vehicle touching her own breasts and giving me fellatio.

Another thing became clear during our meetings. Someone, somewhere, somehow had given her the impression that her body was ugly and that no one wanted to see it, touch it or heaven forbid explore it orally. As a man who truly enjoys performing oral sex on a woman I was taken back by her avoidance of it. For a beautiful mature woman with an incredible body this seemed odd…then again it confirmed my continuing belief that the sexual revolution never made it to the heartland. Both Sunny Skies and Sunseeker submitted to men that only wanted coitus and climax with no attention to foreplay or their partner’s pleasure.

In time this ritual of parking, talking, kissing and fellatio did not satisfy either of us. One evening while chatting Sunseeker looked me straight in the eye and told me she loved me. She expressed an enduring love and wanted us to bond physically and spiritually. She continued that we needed to find a way to safely have intercourse, to achieve that bond. So we plotted and schemed and the solution we came up with was for me to get a vasectomy. We could each save up enough to split the cost and we, together, would get the procedure done. In time this happened. I made arrangements and we went to a hospital and got the most noninvasive procedure done. She was in the room when it happened and we had a hotel room booked so I could at least recover a bit before going home. And, we kept in touch about the tests needed to make sure it was 100 % effective. When the news came that it had worked our next scheme was to meet and finally have intercourse.

About a month later during which we had not seen each other much we arranged a time and a room to achieve our “physical bonding”. Nerves were almost as high as our fist meeting. I remember she positioned herself so she could see everything and she smiled as I penetrated her. She wanted to watch until climax. From that night on, every time we met, no matter what milieu or situation, we would find a way to have intercourse.

Now that I have time to reflect I think about how absolutely insane this all was. Here I was married, I went out and on the sly got a vasectomy, sat in my home with Church Lady close by with frozen peas stuffed in my shorts to reduce swelling. Amazing but true.

Over the next months we saw each other weekly. At first in secluded parking lots or the occasional room. Some of these meetings turned into interesting adventures. During one trip to the same park Sunny Skies and I would frequent, Sunseeker was on all fours in the front seat of her truck, her head out the driver’s window and I took her from behind. That was fine but she made a lot of noise during intercourse and on this day, at this spot she was unusually loud and I am sure that there was an echo. During another planned meeting she got lost and told me she was in the parking lot of an Old Navy not too far from my home. I tracked her down at about 11:00 p.m. What I found was a drunk Sunseeker in the driver’s seat of her truck. When she saw me walking up she popped out of the truck and lifted up her skirt to reveal no underwear and yelled, “I’m ready”.  She wanted me to take her against the side of her truck.  Not a good idea.  Pulling her skirt back into place I got her back in her truck.  After getting her to nap a bit I sent her home. Eventually we came to agree on a regular meeting place. A very inexpensive motel. It was cheap and looked cheap but it was something we could sustain.  During these meetings we would profess undying love. She stated quite frankly that she wanted to divorce her husband and marry me as soon as possible. I expressed the same desire. I wanted this woman. I’d found what was in my mind perfection.

I did everything I could to bring her into my world.  Like Sunny Skies I showed her my favorite places and told her why they meant so much.  She put up with the history nerd in me.  I brought her to my place of work and gave her a tour.  We had office sex.  On a trip to Europe I took a stuffed animal that she’d bought me and took pictures of the stuffed dog in everyplace I went.  And in each place I got her a trinket. In fact I spent more on Sunseeker than I did on Church Lady.

All seemed to be going ok then it happened. Church Lady found evidence of our activities.  Sunseeker would send nude selfies from work, from home, you name it. One evening I’d forgotten to delete one from my phone and Church Lady found it. There was of course a huge fight and I wound up leaving the house and getting a hotel room. I knew that I wanted to end the marriage but this was clearly the event that would start the process.

We stayed together and in a last-ditch attempt to save things I agreed to see a counselor of her choosing. Oddly enough these sessions only served to convince me that it was over and the marriage needed to end. I told her that which did not go well. It all blew up on April 27 when Church Lady effectively held me hostage in my garage.

After a pretty intense argument I decided I needed to leave the house for a bit. Church Lady blocked my car in the garage and started screaming for help. To passersby it sounded as if I was abusing her. They called the police and eventually three Sheriffs vehicles were at my house. Thankfully I had not tried to force my way out or laid a hand on her. When the Deputies came up I was bleeding from bite marks, my shirt was torn and my face bruised. She was immediately arrested and taken to the lockup. The sad part of this was her elderly father was visiting and I had the task of telling her father that she had just been arrested for domestic battery. I sent Sunseeker a note to keep her informed as I thought this was a good news bad news story. Bad things happen but this may tee up the situation for me to divorce and be with her…if she wanted it.

Church Lady was arraigned the next day. By law the abuser has to stay away from the home for 72 hours but since her Dad was there I petitioned to let her go home and I would stay away. This was the beginning of my gypsy summer when I effectively lived out of my car for about two months. I also had to explain her arrest to my son which was hard. It was a long day.  To this day I keep her mug shot on my phone, I keep the shirts she ripped as she grabbed at me and a cross she bent as she pulled at my neck.

During the next month I pretty much lived out of my car.  I collected up some belongings, put them in a large plastic tub and became a gypsy.  I spent my nights in hotels.  Living in hotels made our sessions easy. She would just drop by and we would make love. The sex was amazing, the affection I felt was intense and my desire/need for her just seemed to grow.

As it turns out my job demanded that I travel that summer. During one trip I received a terse e-mail from Sunseeker. It seems her spouse got some indication that something was going on. She explained to him that I was a needy and desperate friend, nothing more. Then she stated that she had to back away. I was devastated. Here I’d done everything to set us up for a life together and she wanted to back away. I know that I killed a bottle of Jim Beam that night and am quite surprised I made it to work the next day. Throughout that trip she did not communicate with me again. Broken hearted I threw myself into ending my marriage, taking care that my son was ok and my work.

Upon returning home we started to chat a bit. It seems her angst about us was mitigated by time and we once again started seeing each other. In fact, once I leased an apartment I gave her a key. There were days when I would return to the apartment after work and found evidence of her presence. Having an apartment made our more intimate contacts easier.

After several months I bought the Church Lady out of the house. She trashed the place leaving more than a little damage but it was good to have my home back. And I had the opportunity to make the house my own with some liberal application of paint and purchases of furniture. Although nothing was specified in the divorce settlement Church Lady had moved everything out of the house save some family stuff that I had and my recliner. I moved back into the house in November and cobbled together a Thanksgiving meal for my son who would be home from college. I also found some furniture so he’d have somewhere to sleep. And, being something of a Christmas addict I hurriedly decorated for Christmas as best I could so he would have something of a Christmas. And of course, after the holidays I invited Sunseeker to my house for an evening.

There had been increasing tension between us and I suspected I was due for another round of her “backing away”. The evening she came to the house seemed to have none of that. She came in through the garage door to the family room and as soon as the door was closed she started undressing. I mentioned that we can get comfortable in a bedroom at which she smiled. We made love in my bed. That would be the last time we would make love, the last time I would see her except for a brief meeting months later. In the next days she would end the relationship with no explanation other than she just couldn’t.

Lessons re learned but not.

Once again, as with Sunny Skies this lasted about 24 months. Once again one partner was all in while the other was not. This time was different because of the words spoken and pledges made. I should have been smarter. Sunseeker was a grossly inexperienced person having been sequestered in the bubble of her marital relationship. To her the wide world was a scary place and she was unarmed. She did not have to personal tools to take the risk. My problem was that I had fallen desperately in love with her and now I could do nothing to change anything. I was alone and devastated.

Several months later we met and talked a bit. She had clearly gone back into her bubble and I suspect it was a relief for her. She was safe and taken care of. She proved my idea that her affection was informed by Maslow and I was too risky.

I have many regrets.  As with Sunny Skies I regret that I did not spend an entire night with Sunseeker.  I regret that I listened to her words because for her I suspect words were cheap.  She liked the beauty, power and concept behind expressions of deep affection, enduring lifelong love.  She did not understand the implications and 2nd order effects.  And a part of me regrets that I was not enough to make her leave her husband.

I think of Sunseeker every day. I miss her every day. I can still smell the scent of tangerine, still see those huge eyes and in my dreams I experience that magnificent body.  Sunseeker gave me a Sacagawea dollar coin so I would think of her.  I kept it in my pocket always during our relationship.  To this day I have that same coin on my key chain.  And once while spending an evening with me she left a t shirt..I still have it.   And as strange as it sounds, while living in the apartment after divorce I got a cat.  At one point Sunseeker was thinking about her initials if we married which would be SAM and that is what I named the cat, Sam.  As I drive around I see or pass by places where we had been and am hit by a wave of melancholy. I still watch my e-mail for a note, still wait for some evidence that she is well and happy or…in the darker recesses of my mind that she wants me.   But, for all these years it is like she fell off the planet.  Sometime I think about what I might say should I ever meet up with her again.  A part of me would melt and I suspect some echo of the passion I felt for her would return.  A part of me would just want to totally lose my cool.  I always tried to remain even tempered around Sunseeker, to be calm and thoughtful.  Were I to see her again I don’t know that I wouldn’t just lose my cool and scream about how her words and betrayal completely screwed me, my life up for years, even to today.  I really want to yell at her.  When I think of Sunny Skies I think of what might have been.  When I think of Sunseeker I think of what was and the loss.

“I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.”  Edna St Vincent Millay

At the end of this I was divorced.  I’d been very easy on Church Lady during the divorce in order to end things quickly.  In my mind was the need to get her out of my son’s life and protect Sunseeker from any kind of legal trouble or revenge.  I needed her out of my son’s life because her interactions with him were damaging or more accurately destroying his college grades.  She’d become a brutal and mean woman and she took it out on him.  I succeeded in cutting her out of his life which was a victory.  Being convicted of Domestic Battery meant she could not leave the county for a year.  He was safe at college.  That thing that started the process, Sunseeker, was out of my life.  Her betrayal was complete, vicious and for me completely devastating.  A part of me loathes her, and a part of me would drop everything for the chance to have her.  I have this feeling, or perhaps it is a prayer, that before my days are through I will see her again.  Or perhaps more accurately I hope that I see her just one last time.





So, What now?

I ask myself this question daily.  Married again, lingering affection for Sunny Skies and longing for Sunseeker.  And there is an element of guilt about Librarian.

I am friends on Facebook with Sunny Skies.  I feel bad for her.  Once, she was part owner in a landscaping business and now she is a day drinking bottle blonde pursuing a series of projects which really add nothing to her life or provide her purpose.  Once upon a time she was a focused self assured woman and now…not so much.  She is actually kind of pathetic..and that is sad.

The arrogant side of me thinks about what might have been and how I sincerely believe her life would have been vastly different had she come with me.  Makes me mad..and a bit sad.  Then again, maybe I still hunger for her and want the interesting physical relationship we once shared. The most base part of me just wants to fuck her…a lot.  She made all the right noises..and her facial expressions added to the sex.  Right now.. I think I just want her in bed.

Sunseeker..still missing her everyday and as time goes on her memory gets more distant.  I wish I could sit and chat with her for just a moment.  Look into those huge brown eyes, smell her scent and see that fantastic woman.  And yes…sleep with her..all night.

Librarian.  The guilt is mitigated by the knowledge that to her I was nothing but a life boat.  I would solve her issues with income and steadiness.  I told her once I wanted to be wanted..for the right reasons.  She is alone and living in a house she bought while we dated.  She said it was kind of my house too.  That makes me feel bad about how things worked out but she also wanted me to move in and help pay bills.

I suspect the same is true of Annie Oakley.  I am paying her bills.  She had been living in a house that was owned by her parents, they were paying the mortgage.  She sold the house, we married and now it seems I have solved a slew of problems for her family.  And on top of that she views sex as an act of submission, a wifely duty so…each weekend I get coitus.  I won’t call it making love because for me that involves much more than coitus.  I made love to Sunny Skies and to Sunseeker.  I have weekly coitus with Annie.  ugh.

Expanding on this entry a bit.  It all strikes me as funny.  I started with Sunny Skies to look for that spark of intimate physical adventure. Once she essentially dusted me off as just a paramour my addiction to interesting sex and the adventure led me to Sunseeker.  Oddly enough, the arrogant man in me still wants Sunny.  I look in on her life on social media, kind of a voyeur, and can only think how amazing it might have been.  When I think of it I get angry, at her, for not seeing the wisdom of me.  Wow that is really arrogant.  Along with a sometimes intense physical desire for her is a sub rosa anger that she did not see that I was her best avenue to happiness and stability.  I shake it off…but I still want her.  And to be honest I think it’s an element of Karma that at least judging by social media her life revolves are day drinking and some day job arranging flowers.  Plus her hair is purple now and I’m sure she is 420 friendly..and I’m just as sure that one of her friends is a lover…no one that hungry is not going to find an outlet.  And with that thought comes jealousy.  Like I said..still want her.

As for Sunseeker.  My thoughts go to getting her in bed..and to yelling at her for being such a fickle lying cunt.  Yeah not nice words but those are my thoughts.