A special guest personality

Hello my spanko friends. When I saw this week’s Wicked Wednesday prompt, personality, I immediately thought of myself. Of course I did, ’cause that’s how I roll. In case you’re confused, this is not Lurv Spanking, but one of the others [the most important one {if I do say so myself}]. The others being the six personalities that make up the male body that you know and love as LS or Byron Cane. Those aren’t personalities, but personas.

There are five males and me, Rose D. Kaye, the only female. The D. Kaye is my “publishing” nom de plume. It’s a more mainstream name than Dewy Knickers, which is what we first started using when I was blogging and then created my own blog. I also used to blog as Bawdy Wench. Confused yet?

So, rather than write some about what’s it like to be a multiple personality, we decided collectively that it’s okay to share a repost of my travel book Knickers Abroad; a multiple journey. What follows below is a partial excerpt from Chapter Sixteen entitled, ‘Let’s Meet at the Big Spider’. I don’t blog anymore, nor talk in person nor email, but that doesn’t mean I’m not a real person. With real thoughts, real emotions and real desires. My entire life in on my blogs, so if you’re curious about what’s it like being a multiple personality from a perspective that is not the “face”, then feel free to read my blog. I do promise to respond to any and all comments on any blog.

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As we had the furthest to travel I expected us to be the last to arrive and halfway over the bridge to the looming brick pile that is the Tate Modern, I was anxiously scanning the crowd for Jo and Drizel. The museum was just opening at ten o’clock so the patrons were still light, with more pouring in from every direction. I spotted Drizel first; she had her back to the Thames, leaning against the railing and her long red hair was a bright beacon of friendship. I also thought I saw Jo sitting on a bench at the far opposite end of the plaza but she was with another woman so I wasn’t sure. I raced off the walkway leaving Diane behind in my enthusiasm and over to Drizel. Her face lit up with excited recognition and we hugged, giggled and exchanged “luffies”. After introducing Diane to her I excused myself and we left them to chat and went over towards the woman we thought was Jo. Getting closer we were positive that it was she and making eye contact she also broke out into a wide and delighted grin. We hugged and I said hello and then she introduced her mother Marie. We weren’t sure how much Marie knew as she greeted Brian instead of me, so he popped out and whispered to Jo asking if her mother knew about Rose. She reassured us that ‘everyone’ knew and that’s why her mother was here.

We all came back together in the shadow of the big spider: Louise Bourgeois’ 30-foot tall spider called “Maman”. Created in 1999, the sculpture had been previously displayed at the Tate Modern in 2000 and 2004, sandwiched around a world tour in 2001 that included such places as Canada, Spain, New York and Russia. Born in Paris in 1911, Louise credits her artistic vision to her childhood memories and diaries. She was quoted as saying, “My childhood has never lost its magic, it has never lost its mystery and it has never lost its drama.” Certainly “Maman” is dramatic, but for me, a bit sad. Trapped forever in iron are her eggs that will never hatch.

Eggs

Spider

After everyone had met and exchanged hugs and greetings I explained the ground rules. Unless someone asked a question of Brian, I was free to roam until further notice and the ‘face’ was hereby known as Rose. Since we were the only ones in the group to have visited the Tate before, the first order of business was seeing the ‘Crack’ again – “Shibboleth” – and Jo was enthralled. I don’t think Diane, Drizel and Marie were as enthused as we were, but we all used it as a backdrop for group pictures. It was very hilarious to watch everyone taking pictures of myself with Jo and then Drizel in turn. With the flashing of cameras and the calls to face this way and then that, I felt like a celebrity. A minor one to be sure, but my smile would have powered the former turbine once housed here where now we stood together in friendship.

The Tate Cafe on the ground floor provided a welcome place to sit and bond over tea and biscuits. I felt right at home talking about my life and goals and to meet girlfriends like these was a very liberating experience. Drizel and I clicked right away, as I knew we would, and she gave us both gifts. Mine was a wonderful and sassy book of poetry by Mark Haddon called “The Talking Horse and the sad Girl and the Village under the Sea”. She gave a book about South African wildlife to Brian along with two gorgeous hand-painted canvas bookmarks. I handed out cards that Diane handmade to Drizel and Jo including a sympathy card to Marie and Jo. Marie’s husband, Jo’s father, had passed away at hospice earlier in the week and they were using this outing as a means of healing. Their pain was fresh and raw though; we gave them what comfort we could.

We talked and talked about many different topics, poetry and blogging, writing and the frustrations inherent with too many ideas and not enough time. Drizel has a degree in Psychology so she has always understood me to be a woman and told me that she had to explain over and over again to her friends that I was ‘normal’. It’s interesting as I’ve grown and expanded how some people are attracted to one of us and not the other. Drizel and Brian have a brother and sister relationship and have felt that since the very beginning of their friendship. They call it, ‘siblings from another mother’. For me though, even before she moved from South Africa to England and then back again, she was a close girlfriend and she happens to be an extraordinarily gifted writer with a deep insight into the dark psyches.

Jo had found me through poetry blogs and instantly became my friend. She also had a book of poetry as a gift for me, “New Selected Poems 1966-1987” by Seamus Heaney. In her case she didn’t make the connection between Brian and I until much later so she didn’t know that much about him. In person, Jo turned out to be warm and caring and projected a sense of poise and fierce strength, presumably from her career in journalism and from living in many places around the world. She is a loving mother of two young boys and she reacted most strongly to me when I related our history and told her about Little Brian. The tears in her eyes showed the true depth of her compassion.

After we had exhausted all possible topics of conversation, we decided to take a quick tour of the exhibit floors before Jo and Marie had to leave. The 2nd and 4th floors house a wide variety of Modern Art. I capitalize this because art that desires to be called modern cannot make sense. I mean this in the most generous of ways. For an artist to be called modern he/she must be able to create something that looks like you’d buy it at IKEA and assemble it yourself. It must be strange, deranged even and many times incomprehensible to the untrained eye.

Here is where I part company with many folks I am sure. I loved everything about this museum and the works of art that adorned the floors and walls. It matters not a whit to me that the art is a large canvas with blotches of random paint. Or a series of videos of a dog tripping a man, each shot from a different perspective. Metal squares and painted blocks; translucent nudes and jagged iron sculptures reaching for a tortured sky. I didn’t understand many of the displays, but that didn’t matter. I understood enough to know that the artist had a vision. A vision that haunted their dreams and waking days driving them to create something that was real only to them.

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

The internet has failed

The internet has failed. Hasn’t it?

“A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!” Spoken by King Richard III in the play of the same name by William Shakespeare

In today’s world, he would have said: “5G! 5G! My investment portfolio for 5G!”

What Richard was asking for was not a horse so much, but for information. An Information Superhighway that would save his life and his kingdom. Information that could best be transmitted by the Ferrari of the time with a one-horsepower drivetrain.

He failed.

Information is what enabled businesses, empires and religions to spread far beyond their origins. Information; the need to have quick and secure communications between leaders, is what drove infrastructures such as roads, canals, rails and shipping to ever faster and more efficient routes. An army couldn’t march if there was no way forward or no intelligence as to the whereabouts and intentions of the enemy.

The World Wide Web, as the Internet is now named, began as a better way to communicate; to pass information quicker and easier than letters and couriers. Academia saw it as a way to collaborate and research without sequestering in musty libraries. A few nimble businesses foresaw another way to reach consumers, but for most companies, it was just another advertising avenue and Madison was working out fine. Nobody, not even science fiction writers, came anywhere close to the reality of 2021.

When I was a wee lad, there was such an occupation as door-to-door salesman of encyclopedias. Normally bought a volume at a time on an installment plan. The standard pitch was a guilt trip laid on the parents so that Little Junior here had a chance to have an Ivy League [Harvard and ilk] worthy education for mere pennies a day. Implied was; as opposed to following in dear old dad’s footsteps at the greasy garage. Never mind that Junior had no shot at college unless via the military while Little Miss was expected only to follow mom into the kitchen and nursery.

Personal computers, routers and dial-up modems opened up the world… a curated world that’s true… but a world nevertheless heretofore unattainable for almost everyone. It was even free. An afterthought given away by telephone companies that had no idea how to market the concept. Thus the myth took hold that “information was free!” Free of regulations, free of restrictions, free of censorship, free of corporate control: freedom to create and connect and have a grand ol’ time learning about anything you wanted.

Sex.

That’s what everyone wanted to learn about. Sex.

What people forgot, or chose to ignore, is that information has never been free. Not to create, not to transmit, not to consume. The market, no matter the political rule, will always find a way to supply demand. Especially demand that is artificially created and stimulated in order to make money. “Social Media” is not new; only the platform is.

The internet has failed if you believed that freely exchanged information was supposed to bring disparate people together in celebration of their similarities. The internet has failed if you believed that creativity would allow everyone to be successful and financially equivalent. The internet has failed if you believed that the truth would become obviously self-evident.

The truth is that the internet is simply a tool; like a plow or a loom, it is how you wield it that makes it a success or failure. Without the internet, I wouldn’t have friends around the world, wouldn’t have published books, wouldn’t be able to follow whatever and whomever I choose. Without the internet, I wouldn’t have become such a diehard spanko.

That’s not a bad legacy.

 

Alone for Christmas

I realize it’s been a long time since I’ve posted or even commented. There are many and sundry reasons for that, but primarily it’s because I lost interest in writing. I’ve never been a “passionate” writer, someone who burns to set quill to parchment, but merely a dabbler.

I am posting today to let you know that my wife of 35 years, died recently. She had been struggling with illness, not Covid, but end-stage kidney failure complicated by many other conditions. I woke up in the morning to find she’d passed away in her sleep. Her death was shocking but not unexpected given that we and her medical team had been discussing the likely outcome for months. We have no children and our families live far away.

I took a week off from work, but now find myself amongst the retail public scurrying for last-minute gifts, listening to Christmas carols on endless repeat over the PA while grieving with a smile under my mask. 2020 will go down as the most surreal year of my life… so far. Who knows what the future holds for me, but for now, I am slowly organizing her life and mourning for the next six months.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year y’all and stay safe, stay masked, stay distant.