the threat of isolation

The Threat of Isolation

When someone is intentionally after you, they want you vulnerable and unable to get help. So just like predatory animals, they cull you from the herd. They cause disruptions with your friends and family. They say things like they are trying to cause problems. They’re a threat to the relationship somehow. Or maybe as simple as taking too much time away from your relationship. That you should be spending time and energy on them. That they don’t understand your partner and they don’t want to deal with that. That they shouldn’t have to. Or that they were flirting, lying about them and trying to separate the two of you. That they’re a bad influence.
And soon enough you see that everyone you ever knew is gone. Either the two of you are alone, or it’s all their family and friends. Nobody is there for you.
Nobody is there to support and encourage you. Even agree with you. Nobody is there who will care if you are hurt or harmed. And that gives your partner a LOT of room in which to hurt you more. Because with that loss of support, your self esteem gets smaller and smaller. And their power over you grows.
This is relevant in any kind of relationship.
And it’s also relevant in the kink and bdsm world.
If a person is new in kink, they should have a lot of people sharing their experience and thoughts with them. Because one person teaching them just passes on mistakes and wrong thoughts.
If a person is in a relationship, they should have people checking in on them. Supporting each individual and the couple. Because stressors happen. And it helps to get a varied POV on how life goes.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a munch, a play party of friends, or a dungeon with it’s classes. Even in a really isolated, small place, books would be better than nothing.
Just something so you have more than the voice of the devil in your ear. That is basically what having one teacher is IMO.
It isn’t so much about meeting them alone. It’s about them thinking that nobody will be there to stop them if they want to kill you. That nobody will be there to dissuade their impact, if they teach you “The Book According to ………” and expect you to memorize it. Instead of thinking for yourself.
I get that when you’re in the midst of NRE, you want to spend every second with this person, but don’t! You need to keep your friends and family around you. And if your new partner is truly in it for your sake as well as theirs, they’ll understand. You need that network around you, for your own safety and the health of your relationship.
So keep that in mind.
Isolating you from your safety network and your choir of influences is a bad thing! You need people around you beside your new partner and/or teacher/dominant.

and from duty came…

And From Duty Came… (a story)

There were three laws in their lives-

  • Their parents were old school. Things were done in their homes in the old school ways.
  • Their parents had been planning their lives for them since they were in the cradle.
  • And on the day after their 18th birthdays, they would be wed.

They grew up with that knowledge and fought it all the way. Till the day before his 18th birthday, he ran away from home. And joined the army. He wasn’t ready to marry anyone, let alone someone he had known since they were in diapers.
She grinned at his little rebellion and pouted for a few weeks whenever the parents were looking. Then started dating on the sly. Till she found a boy who wasn’t anything like what her parents wanted, and not even one of their own.
She eloped with him. And her path was set for the next few years. So was his.
When he came home from the army, he was shell-shocked and drinking too much.
She was a battered wife and trying to figure out a way to protect her kids.
When they met up again and had a long talk.
He sent her and the kids off to an army buddy of his to keep them safe. And he dealt with all the police and lawyer appts. And if they needed anything from her specifically, he made the arrangements. She used her parents’ address as the contact and lived with the army buddy and his wife.
She got full custody and a restraining order.

And disappeared. To all but him. She was tired of her parents blaming her for marrying against their wishes. He got tired of being blamed for leaving her in danger.

They kept in touch as they were healing from their injuries and trauma. After all they didn’t hate each other. And they understood each other. And bottomline, he had helped her and the kids when they were desperate. He was a good man, and she trusted him.

Slowly, they began to date and got closer as adults. And they went thru the steps their parents had wanted for them when they were teenagers. They now understood how important it was to have a similar background and ideals when you went to marry. And in some ways, they wished they had done them then.
But they were ready now and it actually meant now what their parents had wanted for them. They weren’t in love, but they respected, liked and trusted each other. And knew they were loved.
They found a different kind of intimacy and enjoyed it.

Finally they were ready to tell their parents the news. And bore out one more chat about how they could have had this all along.
As their parents booked all the wedding arrangements.
It was 10 years afterwards, but the wedding finally came.
And everyone was happy to be there on the day.

They went to their graves, closely together. Having born two kids of their own and he loved her children as his own. It was a happy home. When the time was right for them. There was love, of a kind.

looking for a 10

Looking for a 10 (a story)

She had read romance books all her life, and wanted to meet the man that was written about. The hero, the gentleman, the athlete, the genius, someone so kind and thoughtful.
But other than in the pages of these books, she couldn’t find them. She even looked in bars and diners, for the guy who could be taught.
She even searched about in the bins of the older men, and then went to the bins of the younger men. It seems like chivalry and decency were rare things. In the way that the romance books showed them to be. A well read and lived man who was ready for love with her.
She wanted nothing less.
Each year, she took an item off her list as her birthday passed. Another year of being alone and childless, but still her wishes and dreams went unanswered. And she didn’t know what to do,
Till she realized that she had little time left to have healthy children.
So she went to a friend of hers. One who she had always thought was nice enough. just not her type. Well, not the romantic hero. He was single, she was sngle. He wanted kids and would be a decent provider. She wanted kids and would be a decent nurturer. So they agreed to marry and form an imperfect family. He asked one thing of her. That she wouldn’t leave him for her hero. She was saddened, but she gave her word.
They married and had the children they wanted. They had a content and peaceful family.
Till one day… her hero came into her life. Everything the books said, he was. But she kept her word, because after all, her husband was a good man and a good father. And her children loved him. Her children were happy in their home. And she couldn’t leave him for a dream, could she? Of course not.
But everyday she got a bit sadder. And her husband started to notice it. So he sat her down and asked what was wrong. And she told him.
She saw his heart break right before her eyes. He released her from her promise to him. He refused to hold her against her will.
She walked to the door, thinking. And as she had hold of the knob, and was turning it, she stopped.
She turned and looked at the pain she had caused a man who had never hurt her or her children. She thought of every holiday and every birthday he had always been there for. And every word of love and praise he had heaped on her children to shape their sturdy self esteems.
And she came back to him. Put her hands on his bowed head, grabbed him and held him close.
And she stayed. The man who she had settled for had given them everything he could and been willing to give her her freedom if it wasn’t enough.
So she stayed and turned her eyes to the hero beside her, and forgot about the one in the books.

every decision I make, you make…

Every Decision I Make, You Make…

It’s like having a battle inside our heads. The hive mind society is meant to be, due to the laws of the govt and the rites of religion, face down against the parts we have inside. What is right? What is wrong?
Our emotions and our intelligence war. Our hopes and our worries war. Our dreams and our reality war.
Then we have to deal with the people around us. What do we want? What can we get away with?
And all there is is a mess. Like a bunch of snakes popping up. Like a bunch of discordant voices trying to be a choir. Like hydras. There is noise in your head, making decisions harder and harder to make.
It’s no wonder then that most people have a hard time making decisions.
And we’re not done yet…
We are further divided by where our locus of control is. Are we a people pleaser? Or are we independent of thought? And even within that, we still have variations. Is there something we want more than our way on this decision? Do we make a trade, a deal for another thing we want more? Are we invested in this decision? And by how much? Why do we want to please them? What do we get from pleasing them? When you’re talking about sex, or kink play, the attraction muddies the waters even more.
And what about empathy?
Is there some reason why we want to do something for the other person, besides pleasing them? Do we think they need a break? Do we feel sorry for them for some reason?
Some people get to the point where decisions paralyze them. They have to ask for input from friends and family before they can go forward. Some people deliberately pick partners who are opinionated and controlling, just so they can release control of their lives.
How is this relevant in bdsm?
I think it’s a consent issue. Can your potential partner say no to you? How easily are they swayed if they have made a decision?
It all comes down to how fragile is the other person? How many times have they been bullied and bruised till they lose the ability to say no? We all have been to some degree, of course. But some more than others. And if that is who is facing you as a potential partner, how do you deal with them?
Or can you? Is it fair to ask someone who finds decisions hard to make to make complex ones that society sees as illegal and/or immoral? Esp if it’s new for them? Make no mistake, that is what you’re asking.
On top of that, you still have to work thru the power issues that things like age, status and gender place on you. Whether it’s fair or not, it’s a fact. And if you discount it, you place yourself under their undue influence. Or them under yours.
It cuts thru a lot of these factors to have someone who is similar to you (a peer) as your potential play partner. Then at least you aren’t taking undue advantage.
So you actually have to be able to “read” someone and decide if they are who you should be with. How much time have you given to that decision? And are you both sober enough to make it?

Are you being oppressed? Are you being coerced? Can you make a clear and ndependent decision? And can you stand behind it?

an underground club

An Underground Club (a story)

You’d swear you’d been there before, cuzz it looked like any other back alley club, in a big city. The kind you had to know the owner of, or be on a list for. The kind you had to be vetted for. No stranger got past the doormen without knowing a few things. The colour of the night, the name of the owner and a password too. They didn’t even get into the alley without that.
Most of the neighbours gossiped about some millionaire’s club, but it looked so unkempt. If a bunch of millionaires were slumming it, they probably at least wanted a clean place.
Then they discussed whether it was a bikers’ club. But though there were maybe 1-2 bikes in the area, that wasn’t really enough for a club.
So they thought maybe it was a gamblers’ den. And figured if it was, it was some poker and billiards den. But they didn’t think that much security was necessary for that. Just to make sure, they watched what happened when pretty girls came near the alley. Nope, they needed the passwords as well. Huh!
They thought maybe it was a sex club. And that thought only stayed in their heads for the time it took to think of the pretty girls again. Nope.
The neighbours were stumped.
They did know that the club wound up around 10 pm and went thru till @ 4 am. So they were aware that the club had an after hours’ license.
They did know that people went in and stayed for hours. not the usual bar hopping that went on everywhere else.
There was music, but it wasn’t pop, dance or jazz. Something ethereal played that they hadn’t heard before.
They also knew that there were no brawls in the alley and nobody was ever seen getting a blow job there either. They couldn’t even say that any drug deals went down there.
And if the cops came by, they were in and out within @ 5 minutes.
Usually, when a new business owner came to town, they joined the local business associations. And this owner sent his manager. He made excuses about ill health. Yet the owner’s car was at the club 7 nights a week.
One of the neighbours worked at city hall, and all she could say was a corporation owned the club. It must be his then. A corporation owned his car as well. Or so said the guy who worked at the DMV.
They were curious and if they could have gotten away with it, they would have broken in, or stormed the place.
It was driving them nuts… till one neighbour overheard someone say the owner’s name was Osiris. And they laughed when that went around.
Well they were pretty sure no Egyptian gods were in this city, or neighbourhood.
So they put it down to a goth club and left it at that.
When the owner heard the conclusion, he laughed. He had always thought the name he used was a good decoy, and he was glad to be proven right. The last thing they wanted was neighbours getting so curious they stormed the place.
If they only knew!
Well, as long as this continued, they could stay here. It was a great layout for their needs. He and his undead would be cozy here for awhile.

cats at the dungeon

Cats at the Dungeon (a story)

Nothing they were doing was solving their pest issue. Everywhere they looked were cats, kittens and more felines than they even had at the town animal shelter. It was ok for the doms who like cats as pets, but they were just over run. Cats . were . every . blessed . where!
There were red cats and blonde cats. There were brown cats and black cats. There were goth cats and punk cats. There were rock cats and jazz cats. Ermergawd! The master of the dungeon was seriously considering getting in some dogs! Closest thing he had were wolves and foxes though! He didn’t want to maim the cats, just coral them.
What was he to do? The men were complaining.
The master spoke to a few friends who ran other venues and found they had the same problem, till they got in a cat wrangler.
So he called the guy.
The first night the cat wrangler put some scratching posts around the edge of the main space. The cats sniffed, and they mewed, then they scratched the posts and laid down for a nap. The doms had a chance to play with other pets, besides cats.
The 2nd night, the cat wrangler hung some balls from string from the ceiling. In one room away from the big equipment. The cats batted the balls and played with the balls. And they mewed. Then they lay down and had a nap. Piled on top of each other. Which gave the doms a chance to play with some of their subbies and slaves. Without getting scratched for being inattentive to the cats.
On the third night, the cat wrangler put some toys out. Lazer toys and squeaky toys. The cats chased and chased till they fell down in their tracks and mewed themselves to sleep. It was so cute seeing their little hinies up and their faces buried in pillows. And the doms got a chance to play with their masos and pain sluts. It was a nice relief!
And on the fourth night, the cat wrangler sat and waited for the cats to come see what the new entertainment was… When they were gathered all around him, he played his pipe and soothed them. Then when they were all calm and ready, he started to walk out of the dungeon with all the cats!
The master wasn’t so sure he liked that, but he was sick of all those cats! And his doms had had a lot of fun the past few days. So he let them go.
It took awhile before the doms noticed that there was no mewing anywhere in the dungeon. The cats must be up to something! So they went looking for them. No cats at the scratch poles. No cats playing with the hanging balls. And no cats playing with the lazer toys or squeaky toys. No cats napping anywhere!!
The doms went to ask the master where all the cats were. He said the cat wrangler had taken them all!
The doms had a quick meeting and a delegation was sent to talk to the cat wrangler. They didn’t want ALL the cats gone, they just didn’t want so manyunderfoot.
So the cat wrangler asked which cats they wanted back.
Each dom of the delegation picked a cat for himself and one he thought would be popular with his compatriots. And led them back to the dungeon. Leaving the rest for the cat wrangler.
The doms didn’t realize they had split up sisters and moms and daughters, till the cats started to pine. And they had to ask the wrangler why. So he explained. The doms changed the cats they picked and took those cats back to the dungeon. And things were ok. But they weren’t as fun as having any cat around they thought was fun. Breeding was too much of a thing for the doms. They just wanted cute kitties and fun.
So they went back to the cat wrangler and asked him if they could have all the cats back.
He agreed. He taught them some games they could play with the cats so they could keep them busy and out of the way when they wanted to have other fun.
And the doms wished they had thought of that in the first place.
Because now they had cats and kittens who didnt trust them any more. And were happy only when they were biting and scratching their human overlords. It was going to be a long week at the dungeon, till these cats calmed down.
The master was not happy with the whole thing.
There’s a moral to the story as you may have noticed… A busy cat is a happy cat, as long as their family is close by them.

the possibilities

The Possibilities (a story)

Taylor & Simon

It was the tease, the siren song, the lure…

Mock (yeah)
Ing (yeah)
Bird (yeah)
Yeah (yeah)
Mockin’bird, now

Never sure which was the one who had the song running thru their head. The purchaser or the supplier. But most def not a romantic thing when you’re talking about soiled panties. Sent by mail. It was as far away from grabbing your lover and yanking their underwear off by your teeth. Sniffing their body as you got close. Enjoying the scent of gym sweat as you got closer. But they wanted that experience. Liking feral odours, so you could play beast for a little bit. But she could be on the other side of the world, while he sat at a computer table. Or vice versa. One sniff away from being intimate.

Everybody have you heard
He’s gonna buy me a mockingbird
And if that mockingbird won’t sing
He’s gonna buy me a diamond ring
And if that diamond ring won’t shine
He’s gonna surely break this heart of mine
And that’s why I keep on tellin’ everybody
Say yeah, yeah whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, uh, oh

There was a long list of items on Amazon. Things in varying price ranges. And a reward for those who bought the higher end items. And specialty items, like shoes and stockings, for those who had foot fetishes. And lingerie for those who wanted that. Their reward was most often getting to see their purchase on a picture, posted on the page of their fantasy. The one they thought of as a paramour.

Hear me now and understand
He’s gonna find me some peace of mind
And if that piece of mind won’t stay
I’m gonna find myself a better way
And if that better way ain’t so
I’ll ride with the tide and go with the flow
And that’s why I keep on shoutin’ in your ear
Say yeah, yeah whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, uh, oh

They actually had a date, with the paramour experience. They were shouted at and humiliated, while they were threatened with a whip. They could kiss the feet of their darling and be kicked away. They could get close enough to a crotch to smell their day, and know what was under the perfume. But nothing else, cuzz any sex changed things legally. They became a pet, a body slave or a house servant…

Now, everybody have you heard
She’s gonna buy me a mockingbird
Yeah if that mockingbird don’t sing
She’s gonna buy me a diamond ring
And if that diamond ring won’t shine
Yes, it’ll surely break this heart of mine
And there’s a reason why I keep on tellin’ everybody
Say yeah, yeah no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no

And for a few, a story was written for them. Or pictures were taken. Some momento. While their obsession grew, till they would have done anything. Handed over a credit card, given them things so they could be blackmailed, a slave bought and sold, and left all decisions to their paramour. All safety gone. No safe words, no control or decisions left. They could be maimed or murdered. And it was that risk that made it the hottest emotion they ever felt. It was a love-hate bond. They tortured themselves over. It was the horror-filled promise of what could be, and they read about in the newspapers. That was what kept them masturbating over the person far away they would probably never meet. And what kept them paying for the privilege of a picture or kind comment on the kink page. They wanted more of this treasure.

Listen now and understand
She’s gonna find me some peace of mind
Yeah if that piece of mind won’t stay
I’m gonna get myself a better way
I might rise above, I might go below
Ride with the tide and go with the flow
And that’s the reason why I keep on shoutin’ in your ear
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, now, now. baby

It was the tease, the siren song, the lure… the darkest of risks.

Mock (yeah)
Ing (yeah)
Bird (yeah)
Yeah (yeah)
Mockin’bird, now

The “He’s Good to Me” Defence

The “He’s Good to Me” Defence

It strikes me as bizarre when a bunch of really strong women side with their friend when a bunch of victims come forward with allegations about rape or molestation. So I wanted to raise that and the reasons why both might be true. These are some common sense possibilities:

In molestation,

  • he’s probably not going to be into you because you aren’t a helpless, scared, vulnerable child.
  • or if you were a kid, maybe you just weren’t his type. Even pedophiles have things they like: looks, body type, age range, attitude.
  • even pedos have a certain relationship they like. It might be that they want someone who they can control, count on to keep things secret, or at least someone they can keep away from the world and those who’d be able to help the child charge or get away from them
  • they mght be looking for someone they have common interests with. Partly due to that’s an easy lure, And partly due to the pedo is fixated at about that age, due to some trauma.
  • they also might not have an “excuse”. If they are sober and alert, then they can’t say they were out of control and couldn’t help themselves, can they? Not all addicts are pedos, but if you look at the stats, a lot of molestations take place under the influence.
  • They might not be able to groom you. Or think of a way to cover up their actions toward you.

in rape:

  • you’re just not his type! Maybe you have small boobs and he likes big boobs, Or the opposite. Maybe you have blond hair and he likes brunettes. Even rapists have things they like: looks, body type, age range, attitude.
  • Even rapists have a certain relationship they like. It might be that they want someone who they can control, count on to keep things secret, or at least someone they can keep away from the world and those who’d be able to help the victim charge or get away from them
  • they mght be looking for someone they have common interests with.
  • they also might not have an “excuse”. If they are sober and alert, then they can’t say they were out of control and couldn’t help themselves, can they? Not all addicts are rapists, but if you look at the stats, a lot of rapes take place under the influence.
  • They might not be able to groom you. Or think of a way to cover up their actions toward you.

So ok, you hear one story about your friend, and you have to decide if that person is credible or not. You hear two stories and you have to wonder (a bit less mind you) if that person is credible…
How many does it take before you look at your friend and go “dude, you’re a predator!”?

Again, sure he’s always been good to you and you want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but maybe he’s just not into you. Aren’t you lucky!

And if he’s a sociopath, they are intellligent, charming and can get into positions of power and influence. They hide in places that are good covers for their bad deeds. And money can buy a whole lot of silence and complicity… j/s.

And if it’s a she, it’s the perfect cover, isn’t it? How can a person with no penis who is smaller rape or molest? (As a domme I can think of one option, a dildo)

Can you think of anything else?

Sorge’s Magic Numbers

Sorge’s Magic Numbers (a story)

Sorge had been in a car accident when he was fairly young. And every hour on the hour, the nurses came in and checked his status. His BP, pulse, breathing, blood oxygen levels. And to explain it to him, they said that some of the numbers on the screens they watched were magic. They kept him safe. To help him thru some of the tasks they had that caused him pain, they had him count. And when they had to put him under anaesthetic, they had him count. So he grew to believe that numbers were magic.
Then his mother got involved in numerology and I Ching. And she reinforced this message to him. Numbers are magic. They have power.
So young Sorge began counting… Whenever he wanted to distract himself from a bad mood or a bad experience, he counted.
He spent a lot of time in the hospital as a kid. And he watched as the cleaners wiped down every single surface. It seemed like they were always cleaning.When he asked, they said there were superbugs that got into everything and they had to be really careful to be sure the place was clean. For kids like him.
And Sorge’s dad was ex army. So he was a fanatic about how things had to be regimented. And little Sorge watched and asked. He got platitudes back about being tidy from his dad. Having a tidy environ was a sign of a tidy mind. Work was easier when you were in a tidy place.
Sorge thought these things made sense. He wanted magic, he needed magic. He had no control. He was a sick kid after all.
So he started counting. And whenever he was home, he cleaned. He did ask if the hospital cleaners were coming to their house and was told no. So he did what he could. And he got good at it. He became better at it.
He wish he had more control though. He was still a sick kid, whether he was at home or the hospital.
Sorge counted and he cleaned. And he counted and he cleaned. And he counted and he cleaned. Until he was a grown man, then he counted and cleaned some more.
He went into a job that made it possible for him to continue counting and cleaning. He worked in a white room in a tech facility. And to keep himself occupied, he volunteered at a small library. Stacking books and shelving them after hours. He played math games on his computer.
It doesn’t sound so bad, in fact kind of adaptive. But Sorge was a romantic. If he had his dream life, this wouldn’t even be close.
He wanted to act in a small theater. But couldn’t bear the thought because it’d be dusty. So he read plays and practiced his emoting at home.
He wanted to go ATVing in the mountains. But it’d mean mud and all kinds of foliage, bug dirt and mold all over him. He couldn’t bear the thought. So he watched sports’ channels, scouring them for people riding ATVs.
And he wanted to have a family. But he spent so much time cleaning and counting and finding ways to vicariously live his dream life, that he didn’t really have a lot of time to date, to love, to have the family he wanted. So he got sadder and sadder every year. Esp when his mom was yelling at him and his dad wanted to know if he was gay. Because he wasn’t out with girls. His dad tried to, wanted to believe him, but wasn’t sure if he could.
Until it became so bad that the numbers, that had been signs of life when he was sick, were now signs of imprisonment. Or so it seemed to him.
And the cleaning that had protected him as a sick kid, was now a torture. His skin was raw, and he had developed allergies to almost every known cleaning agent. And wearing thick gloves didn’t seem to be enough.
But he couldn’t stop. How do you stop something that you thought saved your life? How do you stop something you had done for hours a day, thinking it was helping you? How do you stop, even when you know it’s making you sick?
Sorge didn’t know. He just knew it wasn’t the life he wanted. Not even close. But he kept at it.

it’s not the things

It’s Not the Things! (a story)

The house was draped in mourning. All the mirrors were covered, all the things that belonged to the deceased were packaged and put away. Their name wasn’t spoken. For fear that the spirit would be called back from their journey to the afterlife.
And in that house was a mother who had lost their baby. a father who had lost their hope, a wife who had lost her lover and children who had lost their father. People who were so wrapped up in grief that they couldn’t do the work needed.
So they called in my crew.
We cleaned the house from top to bottom. Emptied his chest, his dresser, his closets, his desk, even changed the bedding and towel sets. Everything was wrapped up and put in thick plastic bags. And put in a corner of the garage, along with his tools. His car was driven to a long term storage lot and it would rest there for the next few months. Till the family was ready to have that reminder of him again. Or traded or sold.

. . . .

And the family sat in mourning. They wailed, they gnashed their teeth. They refused to brush their hair or their teeth. They wore the same clothes they wore when they found out that he was dead. For seven days. No showers, no hip baths even.
They nibbled toast and PB if they felt hungry. They drank water or milk if they were thirsty. And they used the toilet as needed. Some of them dozed in their chairs when their eyes just couldn’t stay open anymore.
Except for the kids.
They were put to bed when night came. And given proper meals. They were hugged and loved up by all the adults. Because they were still little souls in need of nurturing and had just lost their father.
One of the distant teen cousins took the kids to the park every afternoon to get their energy used up and get some fresh air. Let them run around a bit. And the adults said prayers for the departed.
All without saying his name.
Until finally the week was up.
They took turns taking showers, changed their clothes and brushed their teeth and hair. Then they sat down to a meal their church ladies had put together. And they toasted his life. They told stories abour him as a son, a father, and a husband. And they smiled at his good deeds and humour.
They pronounced him a good man. They uncovered the mirrors. And they left the house.
They left the family to pick up the pieces. Well… at least to begin to pick them up.

. . . .

The next day, the man’s friends got together and had a memorial for him. They told jokes and stories about the man. They smoked his brand of cigar, drank his fave hooch, ate his fave meal and laughed and cried together. Then lit candles and passed the hat for his family. Whatever they could give was appreciated.
Then they went home and got on with their lives. As they could.

. . . .

On the day he died, the man was wrapped and spiced and preserved. Till the crew could put him in the ground or burn his corpse. A member of the family and one of his friends witnessed his internment or cremation. And his body was disposed of. All without saying a word, so his soul would not be called back.

. . . .

When the week was up, the crew helped the wife go thru his belongings and decide how they would be disposed of. Some were kept as momentos. But most were given away.

. . .

And all that was left was his memory. As it should be.

. . . .

His wife’s parents moved into the house to help her with the children. Because he was gone. And life goes on.