The Balding Husband

“Sounds great honey!”

I’ve been saying this a lot recently. As much as I can.

You see I am trying to win over my wife’s heart. For a while now I have had most of her heart but not all of it. Now I need all of it. Every last square inch.

When a husband has less hair, he needs to find other ways to win more heart.

My wife responds well to, “Sounds great honey!” The more enthusiastically I say it the bigger the smile. On downtrodden days it is harder for me to be enthusiastic, but I force myself since enthusiasm is what is wanted most by people.

We should put in nice gravel all over the backyard: “Sounds great honey!”

Lets get our hot tub up and running again: “Sounds great honey!”

I am going to be going away for a week to go camping with friends: “Sounds great honey!”

We should go into LA today and eat at a nice restaurant and then go to a bookstore and buy a bunch of books: “Sounds great honey!”

Maybe you could trim all the trees today and clean the leaves off the roof: “Sounds great honey!”

Would you please pay all our bills this afternoon and wash the dogs: “Sounds great honey!”

I have been committed to being so enthuisiastic with my wife because I am balding. I can’t believe I am even writing this but I am having to confront the inevitable fact that it is happening to me. It is not a rapid balding but my hair is thinning more and more every single day. Each day that I examine my head in the mirror, I am noticing more and more scalp.

The last time I had my haircut, the stylist said, “I will not cut anything from the back, since you need that hair.” Fuck, is what I thought when she said this. Balding is happening.

I did not think it would happen to me. My mother’s father had a full head of hair all the way up to his very end. My father has a head without much hair on it, but I work hard not to be as driven and stressed as him. As a result, I believed I could avoid his hair loss fate. The last time I spoke with him I considered asking at what age he really started to thin, but I decided that I would rather not know.

As I write this I have a concoction of aloe vera, lemon and castor oil in my hair. I am supposed to leave this concoction in my hair for an hour, twice a week to encourage new hair growth. My scalp is currently burning but they tell me that this is encouraging blood flow.

You see, my wife is 14 years younger than I am. She is just a year or so over the age of 30 and no woman just over 30 wants a balding husband. What would a younger woman like my wife do with a balding husband? Once my head of thick and wavy hair is half of what it was when we first met, how will my young wife cope with this? It can’t be easy for a beautiful, young wife to have an older, balding husband. Sounds superficial, but whether we like it or not, thinning hair is an issue.

So I have had to start being extra nice. Extra enthuisiastic. “Honey, could you come here?” “Sure honey, I will be right there,” I reply and move quick.

I have read that I can compensate for undesirable physicalities (hair loss) through kindness, enthuisiasm and making more money. This is why you sometimes see those very unattractive men with beautiful women. They have these three necessary ingredients.

I don’t know about making more money, but I can certainly be more enthusiastic and kinder.

When a man or woman is physically pleasing to the eye, he or she can get away with behaving like a shit. But once the appealing physicalities start to fall away- we have to stop being angry, greedy, selfish selves. We have to get better at being nice and putting others first. If not, we end up alone.

I have been taking supplaments, doing hair conscoctions, standing on my head for thirty minutes a day, massaging my scalp before bed, orgasming only once a week (sperm retention is said to help in Ayurvedic medicine), only using organic hair products, meditating twice a day for twenty minutes, abstaining from alcohol, eating more fish, keeping stress levels low and exercising- all in an effort to grow new hair or keep the hair I have left. Few things are more distressing to me than taking a shower and finding hair that has fallen out. I have none to spare.

I kick myself for the things I took for granted in my full-head-of-hair-youth.

I can’t afford to be a balding husband. I just can’t. It is too much of a blow to my sense of self. I have always been a man with a full head of wavy, thick hair. Who the hell would I be if I had more scalp showing than hair? The thought is terrifying even though I realize aging often involves coming to terms with these things.

For now, I need to wage a war against hair loss. I can’t imagine subjecting my beautiful, young wife to the insecurity of having a balding husband.

I need to go wash this stuff out of my hair then stand on my head for thirty minutes. I can’t be wasting my time writing. Writing isn’t any good for encouraging new hair growth.

My Sleeping Wife

Every morning starting at 8, I begin the long process of waking up my sleeping wife. She sleeps in the nude and at around 8am all the blankets are pulled off and her naked and supine body just rests there. Sometimes I imagine that this is how she would look if she were dead. The bedroom is completely dark even though the sun is very much new and alive outside.

I tell her it is time to wake up but she does not respond. I go back to reading my book.

At 9am I remind her that she is missing the best part of the day. Mornings are a time of renewal. Everything has a fresh start and is yet to be destroyed by the rest of the day and night. I try to entice my wife with a cup of two hour old coffee heated up on the stove, but her body refuses to move. Looking at my wife I often think how good her body looks in the nude but how much better it would look if she would just move.

Sometime at around 11am I return to the dark bedroom and remind my wife that she is sleeping her life away. By this time her body has shifted into a different position. Often she is laying on her back and I will notice if her pubic hair remains untended to. Sometimes I will receive a response from some part of her that is still alive, which says something like, I don’t want to get up. Please just let me sleep. I love you. She seems agitated but calm and indicates that she wants to be left alone. What kind of thirty-year-old woman sleeps like this? Isn’t this the time when a young person should be most engaged in life? But I keep these thoughts to myself and let her sleep.

At around 1pm I will ask my sleeping wife if she would like me to bring her some lunch and she always answers no. Sometimes she will even say that she needs to be careful with her weight so please do not entice her with food. But doesn’t she need to eat? I will think about all the things which could go wrong from a lack of nutrition but not say anything about it. Not to mention what happens to a body when it goes without any sunlight. It seems as if my sleeping wife just wants to hurry up and be old.

In mid-afternoon I confess to becoming mad. What kind of way is this to live? She is neglecting so much in her life? Why can’t she just get it together and wake up? If she would just start exercising everything would feel better. She needs to wake up and tend to her life! It is just not healthy to be in bed this long. All these thoughts and more start racing through my head at around 3 pm. What I do not seem to understand is that my sleeping wife is tired of life. She can not handle the load of responsibilities she must tend to as an adult and would rather just remain asleep. I don’t think this is a good coping mechanism.

I realize that my wife is a shy person who does not enjoy interacting with most people but this is no way to avoid the world. At around 5pm I will tell her this. I will tell her that being an adult involves doing a lot of things that you do not want to do and this is why most adults are terribly unhappy and addicted to so many things. Rather than sleeping all day I tell my wife that she needs to find healthier ways of being an adult in this messed up world but my wife just continues to sleep. At this point she is usually laying on her stomach, on top of our comforter. I notice how healthy and appealing her butt still looks. I feel my libido spike and I want to reach out and touch her butt. I always abstain because I know she would become violently angry if I invaded her space. I think about masturbating right there and then at the edge of our bedroom but never do.

At around 7pm I go back into the bedroom, this time frustrated and indignant (it is the same every day) and notice that she is not there. She has finally gotten out of bed and is either standing naked in the kitchen or she is naked on the toilet. If the human animal could be in a state of hibernation all the time I know my wife would never get up. But because she exists in a human body she must wake up. Often I will find her standing in front of the refrigerator eating various forms of vegan food. I will ask her if she wants me to make her something and she always says no. I will ask her if she heard about the most recent terrorist attack and she always says no and that she does not care.

At around 8pm, after taking a long shower, my sleeping wife is back in bed and will remain there for almost another twenty-four hours. At this point I no longer bother her even though I am completely frustrated by this on-going situation. I understand that this is how she is choosing to respond to living in the messed up adult world but I feel like there are more proactive and responsible choices that she could make. But what can a man do whose wife has decided to remain asleep? You try waking a sleeping wife up. Any attempt to intervene just pisses her off. I have learned through time and effort to let her be and instead make friends with my own loneliness and despair by reading a lot of books.

I am usually in bed around 10pm and try not to bother her.

These Motherfucking Machines

These motherfucking machines. I am not happy about them one bit. Now, I use my iPhone just as much as anyone. I check my emails and text messages too much. I look on-line when I don’t want to do anything else (which is most of the time). I, like you, have given in to these motherfucking machines.

But I don’t like it.

I think they are bad, real bad for any depth or interestingness our personalities could have once had. I think they are ruining our ability to connect with others in meaningful ways. I think these motherfucking machines are turning us all into even more superficial and unsatisfied monkeys than we were before.

I wish I could fully give in. I wish I could love these motherfucking machines. I really try. But as a result of trying my attention span has been hacked into tiny little pieces. My creative output has dwindled. My sexual relationship with my wife has gone flat. My interest in engaging with others in person is gone. My capacity for handling solitude has been shot. My shopping addiction has gone through the fucking roof. My ability to be engaged while reading a book has disappeared. I love reading books and I can’t even do that anymore because of these mother fucking machines.

What a person does while they are alone determines the amount of depth that they have when with other people. If when a person is alone they are continually checking their phones, what kind of person are they going to be when around other human beings? Frightening thought, but let me tell you. They are going to be boring! There is going to be the absence of any legitimate substance.

Sorry, I wish there was some way around this.

I try and ignore it with my wife. I love her (a bunch) and I want everything to be fine but my wife checks her iPhone all the time. She is always on the fucking thing. She works on the thing. Socializes on the thing. Makes art on the thing. Entertains herself on the thing.  Talks to me and then is right back on the thing. Watches something on TV and is right back on the thing. Takes a shower and is right back on the thing. It is constant but I try to just accept it. It is the way the world is going so you better get in line Randall. But sometimes I pop. Sometimes I lose my shit and say things like:

Is this what we want to become? This couple who is always on their phones? Really? Is this what we want to turn ourselves into? Bored when it is just you and I unless we have a phone to check? Always pulled by this desire or compulsion to check our phones. To refer to our phones for every bit of info we need or interest we have? Is this what we really want to do with our valuable time? I mean we don’t even fuck much anymore. Shouldn’t we be more focused on that than always caught up in digital worlds inside our phones? You have so much potential. So do I but do we really want to be giving it all away just so we can be more in touch with other people? Just so we can check what pic is newest and latest on-line? We are becoming people without depth. You think Father John Misty could check his phone a hundred times a day and do the kind of work he does? Why are we letting oyrselves become like this? I am sick of it. It pisses me off. I know I am just as bad but really you are worse. You are fucking addicted. You need help. I need help. It is going to ruin our entire lives. These fucking machines are turning us into superficial idiots glued to a screen. I just don’t like it no matter how hard I try.

And then I feel bad, even though I meant everything I said. I try and go back to just accepting these motherfucking machines in to my life. I tell myself this is just the way things are now. So I can’t really read a book anymore? Who cares. At least I am in touch and on-line. These motherfucking machines fill the space created by my loneliness, emptiness and laziness but what bothers me is that before these motherfucing machines that space was filled with books, films, creativity, music, solitude, long afternoons wondering around with my head in the clouds and other people. Now its just a continual digital screen.

Again and again.


Incognito Libido

There are people who send other people text messages.

These are not the kind of text messages that you would want other people who know you to find out about.

There are people who send text messages with pictures of themselves naked in hot tubs sucking another man’s cock.

There are people who send text messages that ask: How many inches are you? There are people who respond by saying: I am Jewish. Have you ever met a Jewish man with a small cock?

There are people who send text messages with pictures of themselves bent over in the nude showing off their ass and other parts. It is the fruit of a lot of hard labor and they enjoy getting to share. These text messages are often responded to with comments like: Wow- that is wonderful! or You are so hot!

It gets addicting sometimes.

There are people who send text messages asking: Is it a must that you use condoms or not? Sometimes, if you respond to these people by saying it would be wise to use condoms, you will not hear from these people anymore.

These same people also ask: Do you like watching or getting fucked? Are you okay with cumming on the face? Tell me something kinky that you do? What is the biggest sized cock you have ever had? Does your husband like to watch you take it in the mouth?

These kind of text messages go on and on. People send pornographic pictures of themselves like it was running water.

These people are your mom and dad. Your aunt and uncle. These people are your doctor, your therapist, your teacher, your accountant, your real estate agent, the taxman. These are people who are students and these are middle-class people who live in the suburban house right next to you.

There are people who send these kinds of text messages maybe not every day, but a lot. Sometimes these people meet up and do all kinds of pornographic things with one another. They think of it as fun. A fantastic high that helps them forget about every single one of their human condition problems for awhile. They get off by getting it on, if you know what I mean.

These people may be me. They may be you. I know that most people would be beyond shocked if they really found out who these people really were. But in today’s world of modern technology these people are almost everyone. Really, you would be surprised. Humans are first and foremost sexual creatures. It makes perfect sense that we would create technology mainly to advance our sexual aspirations.

I don’t understand why everyone seems so surprised about this. These are obviously people who have become terribly sexually repressed.

These are people who do not send pornographic text messages like this.

Maybe like you. Maybe like me.

Going Gay

I’ve suffered debilitating anxiety most of my life. As I have grown older my anxiety seems to have found renewed vigor and strength. Recently my anxiety has been wreaking havoc on my body and brain. Fortunately, I no longer freak out and panic the way I once used to do as a younger man. I am familiar with this bastard now and not so easily thrown into panic by its unsettling assaults. I handle my anxiety fits (as one therapist once called them) with the practiced and controlled terror of a man who has faced serious battle thousands of times.

Yesterday, in the middle of my work day, I was seized with yet another terrible fit of what my wife refers to as a “severe fucking mental illness.” Everything was going relatively fine and then suddenly I was having intense and what feels like very real unnerving thoughts about my own end. My chest swells, various pains shoot into my left arm, I can’t see straight and my soul feels like it’s going to come undone from my body. I feel like a very fragile, glass man who could shatter into mortal pieces at any moment. The apprehension and severe uneasiness caused by my messed-up brain forces me to clench my fists and jaw, use walls for support, walk slowly, struggle to breathe and hold on for dear life. It often lasts for hours and qualifies for what many would could a near death experience. Then it passes, leaving me feeling like I have a swollen and abused brain in my skull, which has just been forced to run a miserable marathon. I hate that I go through this all the time (and I mean all the time) but I don’t hate it enough to take pills in what is an often a futile attempt to make it go away.

For over two decades I have been searching my-messed-up-and-sometimes-mentally-ill-mind for solutions to solve the problem of my-messed-up-and-sometimes-mentally-ill-mind (probably not the most logical thing to do). This morning I decided that I am going to go gay for the weekend. My wife is going on a long road trip for the weekend and I will be left at home alone with my dogs, my problems, my isolation, my addictions, my books, my mental illness and my lack of any friends or family around. In the absence of anything that looks like a well-functioning human being, I figure it is a good time to try out being gay. When I told my wife about my idea she said, “Maybe a little cock would do you some good.”

 Maybe a little cock would do me some good? Not the reply I was expecting or wanting to get from my wife, but it is an interesting thought and at this point in my mid-life I am willing to entertain it. What do I have to lose? I have been domesticated and am stuck at a real job now. The American Dream has turned my life into an uninspiring, dull and average nightmare which lacks art. Any chances of succeeding at my more anti-American dreams seems to have passed and a vast majority of productive life is now behind me. I have tried pills, porn, prostitutes, marijuana, shamans, diet regimes, exercise plans, detoxes, month long meditation retreats, art therapy, abstaining from parents, serious amounts of alcohol (which is the only thing that really works), séances, ceremonial sweats, solitude, bio-mats, crystal healing, daily blow jobs and many other things. Nothing has solved the problem of my mentally ill mind. I am desperate for a solution to this hell, which ravages my life in the same way that tornados ravage the large majority of poor people living in the Southeast/Midwest rooting for billionaire Trump. I blame my parents and the childhood traumas that they put me through for this mental illness that I must contend with every day now, but blame does me no good. It got me nowhere in my twenties and thirties. So maybe in my forties cock could work?

I have often heard it said that a repressed homosexuality can cause a man a great deal of uncontrollable and severe anxiety. As a psychotherapist, I work with gay men (who are having much more fun than the entire heterosexual community combined). They often talk about the tumultuous anxiety that they experienced before exposing themselves to cock and the complete absence of anxiety after. I often think that my gay clients seem unusually happy and that there must be some kind of connection between unlocking repressed sexual desires (cock) and life fulfillment. So why not give cock a try? If it could possibly help relieve me of this burdensome affliction that I carry around, why not?

I have always taken for fact the fact that I love women. I have always been able to identify and appreciate an attractive man (which there seem to be few of in comparison to the number of attractive women) but I have never felt compelled to want to see him naked or touch parts of his hot body in the same way that I want to reach out and touch an attractive woman. I am drawn to attractive women in the same way that I am drawn to food that I love. When I see it I want it. I desire women like a mosquito desires human blood. I want them. I love them. I lust them. They take me to the best parts of my life. I love seeing them nude and playing with their bodies in the same way that a child enjoys playing with toys. Playing with and watching women’s naked and attractive bodies induces anxiety free rainbows in my mind. I know I am using a lot of analogies here but it is important for me to communicate how much I love the female form. But still, maybe a little cock would do me some good?

Maybe this intense desire for women could be a cover up for my real longing for men? Oh God, this is a frightening thought but as a psychotherapist I am willing to be a dedicated practitioner of my profession and investigate this one all the way to its very tip, I mean end. When I see a woman I am attracted to, the impulse to want to touch her breasts or butt is so strong that it could be the result of a latent homosexuality that I am trying to hide from myself. This is possible yet when I see food that I really like and feel an intense desire to eat it, is this the result of simple hunger or because of something deeper down? After eight years of psychotherapeutic training I am conditioned to believe it is the result of something deeper down.

I will not conclude yet that I could be gay. This just feels wrong. I love women too much. But I have an entire weekend to explore if there may be some latent homosexuality in me that is causing me mental anguish. I am willing to go to a few gay bars and maybe a gay sex club in Los Angeles this weekend to see. I will put myself in precarious and unsettling situations where I can experience possible cock. Even if just for a minute or two. I feel absolutely no desire for male flesh that expands and contracts (right now), but maybe this is because something deeper is blocked in me and possibly my anxiety is the result of this blocked homosexual energy screaming to get out. Possibly. I am so desperate at this point in my-domesticated-and-mentally-ill-middle-class-life, that I am now more than ever willing to listen to my wife and see if cock could work.

Sundays and The Perfect Prostitute, Then and Now.

I used to spend my Sundays driving around in my 1991 SAAB, all over East Oakland and West Oakland, searching for prostitutes. I would listen to jazz music on my FM radio, drink cold beer and smoke cigarettes as I drove. I would drive around and around the ghetto, searching through various side streets and known hot spots, looking for that perfect prostitute. Often there would only be crack addicts and junkies standing there, waiting for someone to pick them up. But sometimes there would be a perfect prostitute standing there looking like she just walked right out of an amateur pornography film. These kinds of prostitutes would be gone in a second, picked up by the closest driver and highest bidder. You had to keep your eyes wide open as you drove because you never knew when one of these sexual fantasies made flesh would appear.

But they would often not appear and I would just drive around and around, in continual pursuit of satisfying my sexual yearnings. I would stop for lunch at a hole in the wall Mexican food spot in Fruitvale and eat a vegetarian burrito with lots of hot sauce and jalapeños. I would also eat a side of tortilla chips and quench my thirst with a tall Horchata. Then I would get back in my car, turn on the local jazz station, light a cigarette, open my sun roof and drive around and around.

Now, many years later and far away from Oakland, I spend my Sundays doing nothing. Sometimes I will spend the entire day slightly high, but not stoned. I will sit in my backyard and look at the plants and watch the various birds and bugs. I will draw, listen to music, take naps and not walk out the front door of my house. I prefer to spend my Sundays completely isolated from the outside world. Other than my dogs and my wife, I do not want to interact with anyone. I want to be free, I want to do what I want, I don’t want to be bothered. I have to spend my week interacting with other people, trapped by various obligations. On Sundays I want to be free. I want to stay home and forget about the outside world. I want to pretend that I live on my own planet far from any other humans. I want to spend the entire day sitting in my backyard garden surrounded by trees, ladybugs, flies, bees, uncut grass, plants and drink a few glasses of cold white wine while I watch the sun set. I want to remember those wonderful Sundays many years ago when I had no idea I would ever have my own house, backyard and a beautiful wife and would just drive around and around in search of a perfect prostitute.