As summer peaks, and the leaves on the sycamore tree outside my window begin to curl and brown, I’m reminded in a quirk in the law of physics that governs the universe. Long ago, I determined that the rate of time passing accelerates exponentially in direct relationship to the increase in a person’s age. I figured this out years ago, though it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the implications of aging.
I’m already working out the details of next year’s booking schedule, covering two dozen schools, monthly coffee house gigs and daily private students, interspersed with brief blocks of nothingness comprised of fishing, hiking and either raking pine needles or shoveling snow. These are rigorous activities that keep the earth turning, and the seasons in perfect order, though they would be meaningless, without that man I get to sleep next to every night.
I’m speaking of my husband of almost twenty-five years, a man who hasn’t owned a set of pajamas since college—you get my drift. He readily opens doors for me, and yet, admires my capacity for racing my dirt bike up steep grades littered with rocks and loose soil. He oddly finds the vision of me gutting fish, and covered with blood and slime to my wrists as “sexy.” He’s the only man I know who complains to strangers that his wife makes him go fishing, though if you ask me, it seems more like bragging.
I see the lines on my face, the white in my hair, the subtle, and not so understated, signs of aging, and still, this beautiful man is always hitting on me. Maybe that’s what makes for the spice of life. I see my own desire for him reflected in his eyes. We’re together constantly, in work and play, waking hours and sleep, and yet, there’s zeal to our relationship that hasn’t burned out. I can’t describe it any other way, except to say that I have the rare opportunity of loving a man who is deeply familiar and freshly exciting, and that’s ultimately smoking hot.
I’d have to say that one of the most important aspects to any relationship—secondary to great sex—is laughter. He makes me delirious, and that’s a rare gift.
I make a habit of modeling my favorite male characters after my husband. I’m not saying this to make points. Clearly if my sex life is any indicator, and the fact that he reads “how to” books (and the manual for his Mackie analog mixer), I obviously don’t get anywhere in the sack with him by novels alone.
In Road Apples (Musa Publishing, December 2011) the MC, Wyatt McLain, is a mature, complex, and humorous man, who treats his younger counterpart and lover, Madeline Benités, with deference ingrained in Native culture. As Wyatt writes in an early love-letter to Maddie, “If any man asked me why integrity is so important, I would advise to always be respectful of women, as they are the stronger sex.”
Lukas Chadd, the imperfect hero in The Curious Number (Musa Publishing, March 2012), is described as an unforgettable man “who wore bright Hawaiian-print shirts day in and day out, in a mountain town shipwrecked by the high desert.” Lukas spends most his free time pleasuring a multitude of women. Legendary in the small town of Susanville for being a slut, albeit a charming and personable one, Lukas has never been coerced into matrimony. Love eludes poor Lukas until he’s over the age of fifty, and meets Rose McKillop, the estranged wife of a city police officer. Alas, Rose has never experienced the pleasures of sex, including orgasm, despite seventeen years of marriage and three children in wedlock. Lukas performs Rose’s sexual awakening, the two fall in love, and have a brief, intense affair.
I have a lot of admiration for Darwin Traynor (Death By Bitter Waters, Musa Publishing, June 2012). A Lakota tribal member, Darwin moved from South Dakota to California, to work as a general contractor in Lassen County. When asked by Arlene Guerrero if he’s ever married, his answer, “I haven’t had the honor,” is a clear indicator of his high regard for women.
I think my all-time favorite male MC would be Paul Sumner, the husband of Kate Sumner in Big Lies in Small Town (Musa Publishing, September 2012). A former vintner and wine-master, Paul is sensitive to his wife’s dramatic intellect and social conscience, and though not always in agreement, he possesses a confident nature that allows for the latitude of personal opinion and occasional discord. He is a passionate man, who considers Kate far more exciting than the day he fell in love with her. If that’s not romance, then pigs can fly.
The sexiest and most heroic attribute about a man is when he declares, “I’m yours,” with complete surrender, confident that he doesn’t have to use leverage or reveal some nasty possessive caveman-like streak, to control and bind a woman to the relationship.
For me, being heroic doesn’t have to involve immense acts of chivalry. It’s the day-to-day, the small moves, whether it be the look in my man’s eyes, or the advice he gives to other young men when considering a woman’s satisfaction within a relationship:
“Anticipate her needs. Don’t make her ask you twice. And above all, let her know you want her every day.”
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