As I sit here writing on this beautiful white sand beach in Negril, Jamaica, I can't help but wonder about my journey to today. How did I get here? At the risk of sounding like every old geezer I ever knew as a young boy, let me just say the last fifty years have been a blur! As I lay here working on my tan and my state of mind concurrently, I can tell you that on the surface there is nothing spectacular here. I am a fifty four year old Irish-descended average white guy, overweight, no longer in any kind of physical shape, not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, intelligent enough to get by but no genius, likeable but occasionally despised, father of two beautiful girls, ex-husband of one woman who epitomizes the phrase "hell hath no fury…", and just living life a day at a time. One could easily saunter by me trailing unsteady footprints in the sand and never give me a second glance. But looks can be so deceiving. And what a story you would miss. Early award winning poet, athletic champion in two sports, coach, fan, world traveler, entrepreneur, salesman, boozer, Mr. Fun, …… and the women, my god the women!
My current live-in girlfriend Sarah is lying next to me in her bikini bottom and a heavy coat of Hawaiian Tropic Oil. She and I have been together for over five years now. She is 24 years old, blonde, drop dead gorgeous, intelligent, sweet, sexy, and a fabulous chef. She is working towards her college degree in biology, has a perfect 4.0 GPA, and has plans to study further in either marine biology or medical school. I guess I should also mention at this point that she is the first woman I have ever been involved with that I have remained completely 100% faithful to. No cheating. No quick blowjobs in the parking lot. Nothing. Whether it is the result of age, experience, or true love the thought has never crossed my mind. Oh sure, I have had strippers grinding on my lap, licking my ear, and booby- slapping me around, I mean, I'm happy but not dead yet. But Sarah is usually sitting next to me or at least chatting with me by phone or text getting the blow by blow. She is great like that. The fact that we understand each other and mesh so well will never cease to amaze me. We both just seem to fill all the needs for each other and once people spend any time with us, they get it.
This usually brings up the next logical question: What the fuck is she doing with me? I guess for that answer you will have to ask her……. Or, hopefully, read on and figure it out for yourself!
My whole point in writing this book is not to try and make you like me. Or understand me. Or even to judge me. It is just to relate my story, get it off my chest, shovel it all out there and let it fall where it may. Also, I have had literally hundreds of people at all stages of my life tell me: man, you should write a book! So here it goes. If I can inspire a few young geeks and a few fat old farts in the process, just let them know this story is possible, then I will have justified my time and yours. For the rest of you, just strap on a pair and read on and enjoy the ride! Most of the people who know me best have, at one time or another, said to me: I can't believe you are so lucky! Well, I say, don't call me Lucky….. Call me Lucky Lucky!
Call Me Lucky Lucky
1) 'Reenie and Sheila
The more I think about it, the more positive I am that it all started with 'Reenie and Sheila. Over the years, I have had psychiatrists, friends, relatives, scorned women, and other interested impartial observers say that it must go deeper than that. It must relate back to my early traumatic childhood. That caused my fear of commitment. My father, who I have heard I am the spitting image of attitude-wise, was a pilot who died in a plane crash as he was trying to fly home for Thanksgiving dinner with the family. I was two months old. That had to be part of it, right? I lived with no real dominant male figure in my life until I was four, and then my mother re-married a man who was very cold emotionally and very strict in raising all four of my mother's kids. That had to screw me up. And then he brought two more to the brood with my mother. I hated him. Until I was nineteen years old I wished he never came into my life. And then all of a sudden he got real smart. (It wasn't him who changed, but me -but that is a story for another chapter.) I was dragged from my Bridgeport birthplace in the heart of the city at the age of four out to the suburbs of Chicago. Oak Park to be exact, the land of wide lawns and narrow minds. I got lost in my next door neighbors yard the first day and my mother found me crying in the bushes. Brutal. I attended the local catholic grade school with all of my new friends from the neighborhood until suddenly, without explanation, I was pulled out in third grade and sent to the public school and thrown to the South Oak Park wolves. Disaster. All of this had to be a part of what formed this borderline lunatic personality, didn't it? Bullshit. It was "Reenie and Sheila".
Sixth grade, I was finally coming around a little and starting to make some friends. Some of them I still have today, forty years later. Things were starting to fall into place. I was starting to fit in a little. I was even getting over the trauma of being locked in my locker at lunch by Chuckie Sperando. Thank god Miss Rosovich had good ears. Then came that fateful Saturday night. My older brother Dan was supposed to stay home and babysit for me and the two devil children. But Dan had a date and was not going to be denied. He was a sophomore in high school and just starting to spread his wings. He called on his two best friends, 'Reenie and Sheila, to help him out and step in to watch us. Leave it to Dan to find a way to work it out.
'Reenie and Sheila were the two best looking girls in Oak Park River Forest High School Class of 1971. Both blonde, drop dead gorgeous and the sweetest and nicest girls you could ever hope to meet. In the immortal words of Rod Stewart, they were every schoolboys dream.
Way out of my league at my age, right? Dream on. Never happen. I didn't even know what I wanted to happen. I just knew I liked my odds. My little brother and sister sound asleep in their rooms. 'Reenie and Sheila together and bored on a Saturday night. Stuck home watching their friends siblings while all their classmates were out trying to initiate their own sticky fumblings in the back seats of parents cars in every Forest Preserve you could reach on two dollars worth of leaded.
It was then that I learned the first of my many "Guidelines of Life", a loose set of principles I have developed to help me stumble through this crazy world. Here it is… are you sure you are ready? OK.
"Never underestimate the power of Vodka"
Short and sweet but so very, very true. With the right amount of vodka there is nothing you cannot accomplish.
So there I am in my parents living room at 816 S. Grove and I am sitting in between the two finest looking women I have seen before or since and I am trying to figure out how to hide my first true appreciable bulge, and 'Reenie whispers those words I will never forget - "Is there any booze here?"
The rest of that night was a blur, but one that I believe shaped, sexually speaking, the rest of my crazed life. "Let's try the vodka." "Have you ever played truth or dare?" "Do you have a girlfriend?" "Have you ever kissed her?" "Let's try some more vodka." "Show us your room." "Just take your pants off." "Do you want to see me kiss Sheila?" "Let's try some more vodka." "Did you ever want your girlfriend to do this?" "Just like that but go slower." "Now put it right here." "Touch both of us at the same time." "How about some more vodka?" "Watch me, and then do what I do." "Now, as hard as you can."
"Did you like that?" "It has to stay our secret."
Are you fucking kidding me? Did I like that? Is a frog's ass watertight? I am an eleven year old skinny dork with big black glasses that just finished playing hide the snausage with two potential future Playmates who, after finishing up the lessons, scrubbed my goodies clean with a warm washcloth! (A practice, by the way, that I have continued to enjoy to this very day.)
A secret? I have news for you sweetheart. You have a better chance of seeing Jesus Christ Himself walk through this bedroom door and start cleaning up than you do of me keeping this a secret.
And thus started the long sordid sexual journey of Mr. James Anthony Joseph Hurt, Jr., (Mrs. Hurt's roughest fucking son), as I would come to be known.
Great start, right? Think again. Looking back over the last forty years I realize that most of my escapades have been the sexual equivalent of a heroin addict chasing the dragon after that first unbelievable hit. But I digress.