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I am the techno Sadhu on my Tower of hope surfing the waves of cybernetic wonder, on a quest, through the miracle of the internet with our local

public powered community arts powered radio, AND THIS IS

Radiolog  75

wednesday  november 30, 2016

Welcome, and thank you very much for listening.…

Hello to everyone out there in the world who have picked us up on the internet…Hey hello to Jack …one of the many generous patrons that made my journey in early October to the Grassroots Radio Coalition Conference possible…jack I’m not good on the phone… and howdy to all you good people in the Galesteo Basin and the Tijeras ridgeline …

 

This is the 75th    lap with me… the Techno Sadhu,

 

what a privilege it is to have these two hours…

 

…I believe in the potential of this radio nation we have…and another amazing and intriguing post from www.radiosurvivor.com…

Trapped in the Grid: Why Community Radio Risks Irrelevance                                                            Paul Riismandel is co-founder and operations director of Radio Survivor. He is also the podcasting evangelist for Midroll Media, serving as producer for The Wolf Den podcast. Paul has more than 20 years of experience in non-commercial radio and instructional media. He is a contributing editor for Streaming Media Magazine, covering the education beat.

by Paul Riismandel on November 28, 2016 in Community Radio, Proposals and Manifestos

This is a transitional time for community radio, unprecedented in the medium’s more than 60-year history in the U.S. Thousands of new LPFM stations are going on the air bringing service to communities that never had community radio, or adding new services to supplement existing community stations.

At the same time many community stations risk becoming irrelevant, more so than ever before. This would be a tragedy, and one that can be averted if station programmers and management are willing to question some age-old assumptions and take a fresh look at their schedules.

We’re in the middle of a tectonic shift in how people use mass media. The internet delivers audio, video and text to people almost everywhere. Yes, radio is still used weekly by more than 90% of Americans, but how it’s used, and who uses the medium has changed more rapidly than most community stations’ ability to keep up.

Stations cannot take their value for granted. People in your community do not use media like they did 20 years ago. In particularly, young people do not use radio in the same way, if they use radio at all.

Trapped in the Grid

Take a look at a typical community radio station’s schedule grid and you can’t help but think little has changed since 1996 (or even 1976). What you’ll probably see is a patchwork of shows of varying formats and genres. Many stations lend some predictability to the schedule by laying out strips of similar programming, typically on weekdays, reserving, say, 5 to 7 PM for news and talk programming. Even so, the apparent coherence of these programming strips may belie the fact that programming will vary widely depending on the DJ or producer who has that slot on any given day.

Don’t get me wrong, eclecticism and heterogeneity rank amongst community radio’s great qualities, differentiating it from strictly formatted commercial stations. But this kind of schedule has always been an Achilles’ heel, too. That’s because the average person doesn’t know how to listen to community radio.

A Listener’s Learning Curve

The average listener is raised on single-format radio, simply because that’s what 90% of the dial sounds like. Scan the dial just about anywhere in the U.S. in you’ll learn that you can rely on one station for country music, another for soft rock and yet another for public radio talk. It’s so knit into the fabric of the medium that when someone hears Led Zeppelin blaring from 95.9 FM, they immediately assume that’s where they can return to hear more dinosaurs of hard rock. They don’t tune back in to hear Dwight Yoakum or Mozart.

Of course an eclectic schedule is not a difficult concept to grasp. Despite the trend on cable towards more homogenous channels, a single TV network affiliate still programs talk, news, comedy, drama and sports on one channel, and viewers have no problem navigating it. But it’s always been that way–the model has been around since the dawn of television, and so viewers of all ages grew up learning to use it.

I’m not arguing that it’s a bad thing to ask your listeners to expend a little effort to get the most out of your station. The problem is that there is less incentive for them to do so than 20 years ago.

In the mid-90s if you wanted to explore music from the continent of Africa it either required a trip to the public library, blindly buying some CDs, or checking out a community radio station. Taking economics and effort into account, the community station might have been the path of least resistance–it cost nothing, you didn’t have to leave home, and a knowledgable DJ would be your guide.

Today that music is just a click away in Pandora, Spotify, Youtube, or any number of dedicated internet radio streams. Certainly, that expert community radio DJ probably picks better tunes and will give listeners much more information and context than a Pandora stream. But that hardly matters if the listener never even looks for a community station.

Or maybe she does, but every time she tunes in she hears talk programming. So, let’s say that our listener checks out the station’s website to see when she can find some African music and sees the show airs Saturdays at 3 PM. Only that’s the time when she has other obligations and can’t listen to the radio. Game over. It’s much more expedient to just fire up that Pandora stream.

Now imagine that our listener is more like 18 or 21 years old. Would it even occur to her that she should turn on the radio to find something other than the usual?

The Dream of the 90s, Faded

Certainly these barriers existed in the mid-90s, too. Except there were far fewer alternatives. Back then I knew many people who were like me. When they went to a new town one of the first things they did was scan the radio dial looking for something good, unique or out-of-the-ordinary. Special attention was paid to the left end of the dial, understanding that’s where you might find that special college or community station. These days, it’s the rare young person who tells me he does this–rarer, I’ll argue, than a 20-something in 1996.

The conundrum this poses for community radio is declining audience, as would-be listeners choose other platforms and young listeners never develop the habit. This means many listeners who really benefit from community radio will miss out.

This is not mere inconvenience, but a tragedy waiting to happen, as we wait for the mainstream media to fall in line to further soften and normalize the racist, xenophobic and misogynist policies of our president-elect and his administration. Community radio cannot be an effective corrective and beacon for humanist values if the people who need to hear the message don’t know to tune in.

What to do?

So what’s the solution? Destroy the programming grid and start from scratch? Take a card from commercial and public radio’s deck and homogenize as much as possible?

No, I think there’s another way. A way in which community radio can retain it’s diversity and eclecticism, while also becoming more accessible to more people who need to hear it. I’ll make that proposal in my next post.

I DON’T THINK WE NEED TO WAIT FOR THE NEXT POST…

 

KMRD FM LP 96.9 is a VANGUARD for a whole new era of radio communication in America..but I suggest if you have a chance, do check out this website about the origin of Community Radio…

Sylvia Thomas…The difference in Public Radio and Community Radio is Participatory Development as opposed to the “elite”   that community radio making incReDIBLE CHANGES…MADE ON SO LITTLE RESOURCES AND so much creaTIVITY….ONE THING DIFFERENT IS THE PATCHWORK…FIND ONE SHOW BUT THE NEXT DAY COMPLETELY DIFFERENT…

 

 

coming up….in the next….  minutes or so… Will be my thought of the day, a new ZenCowboy short story… some poetry, and I’m picking up my experience of living on the island of Corsica for three years…

 

4:00 PM The techno Sadhu Radio theater of the Absurd and the HARLEQUIN MOON… Will be chapter 5……. THE HARLEQUIN MOON is a quartete OF FOUR DECades  or  AS i HAVE penned IT… a Qua-traiN… a quartette of 4 decades on a train going down the long track of one life… a story follows the antagonist for FORTY years…it is his  search for a place where he can find peace and eRASE THE MEMORIES THAT CHASE HIM LIKE A PACK OF WOLVES

  it is the tale of a man in search of his soul, while hounded by memory of being an assassin of not only innocent people, but the emotion of LOVE itself…

 

…in literary terms this work is called a biographical narrative fiction, in that many of the characters and situations actually are real, but combined into a metamorphosis of Frankenstein parts and places that come together in one character or place in time…

 

KMRD FM  96.9 FM LP …that is low powered… and we are THE BEST LITTLE RADIO STATION WEST OF THE Hudsoneast of the Russian… we get right around the world…

 

KMRD FM LP 96.9 is rock ‘n roll boogie-woogie to classical Symphony Orchestration! World Fusion to Beethoven, Boch to stones, locAL STARS of unknown LANDS...and I roll it altogether in to a mash-up of sounds  laced with Original stories and interviews with creative individuals that take you on a few jumps of mind into a tag team of wrestl’n rock’n roll fusion spontaneity!

 

KMRD is your PUBLIC POWERED COMMUNITY ARTS RADIO STATION in the brand new radio nation of 1,500 LP stations stretched all across the USA AND STREAMING TO THE WORLD!

 

 

 

 No worry…blessings to you. Worry…is throwing kerosene on a fire

IN OTHER WORDS

 

be here now or Go There Then…

So…

SUFFER BABY

and…GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD…

or another option…. get into your head and let the TECHNO SADHU ROADSHOW take you on an imaginary journey WITH our rolodex-mind  of imagination and experience

 

 

 

… love is a verb…action is required in living a life of integrity…EVEN IF LIFE’S CROSS ROADS ARE  FULL OF CONSTANT CHOICES…

 

 

we are here to learn to love everyone,

especially the unlovely.

 

It's a test.… endurance in remembering love is the name of the game…

 

 

…but…

 

 

…some people listening today… have never heard kmrd fm lp…and…

 

the Techno Sadhu Show…or the many shows that happen everyday…7 days a week that have gone on now for the last 75 weeks and way off into the future…

 

i am on every Wednesday from 3 to 5 PM Mountain standard Time… Madrid New Mexico

 

 

WE HAVE BEEN Streaming FOR 38 weeks

and at any time you can go to…

 

 

 

 

 

KMRD FM  96.9 FM LP …that is low powered… and we are THE BEST LITTLE RADIO STATION WEST OF THE Hudsoneast of the Russian… we get right around the world…

 

 

…Give me a call here 505 473 9696 or facebook  techno Sadhu a message…

  

So…

 

Travel with me into

 

radio dreamland for the next two hours into what my spirit guide, David Ode called the


MAGNETO BRAINPAN

 

Are you experienced?

 

The ARTS,

WE ARE CONNECTED WITH

BY THE FACT,

WE HAVE IMAGINATION,

BECAUSE

THE ARTS,

ARE THE IMAGINATION

 

KMRD along with community radio stations across the nation

for the first time in 50 years America we can talk freely and network to the world….hey we are on the air waves in your neighborhood for 79 weeks now…

 

but

 

kmrd 96.9 Fm on your dial can get around the world…

 

This is your

PUBLIC POWERED COMMUNITY ARTS RADIO STATION

WE ARE STREAMING AT

 

 

Thought of the week

 

authors who i have loved and influenced my writing

Ernest Hemingway

Kerouac

 

William Saroyan- Armenian

William Saroyan[ August 31, 1908 May 18, 1981) was an American novelist, playwright, and short story writer. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Dramain 1940, and in 1943 won the Academy Award for Best Story for the film adaptation of his novel The Human Comedy.

An Armenian American, Saroyan wrote extensively about the Armenian immigrant life in California. Many of his stories and plays are set in his native Fresno.[3] Some of his best-known works are The Time of Your Life, My Name Is Aram and My Heart's in the Highlands.

He is recognized as "one of the most prominent literary figures of the mid-20th century."[4]Stephen Fry describes Saroyan as "one of the most underrated writers of the [20th] century." Fry suggests that "he takes his place naturally alongside Hemingway, Steinbeckand Faulkner."[5]

Early years

William Saroyan was born on August 31, 1908 in Fresno, California, to Armenak and Taguhi Saroyan, Armenian immigrants from Bitlis, Ottoman Empire. His father came to New York in 1905 and started preaching in Armenian Apostolic churches.[6]

At the age of three, after his father's death, Saroyan, along with his brother and sister, was placed in an orphanage in Oakland, California. He later went on to describe his experience in the orphanage in his writings. Five years later, the family reunited in Fresno, where his mother, Takoohi, had already secured work at a cannery. He continued his education on his own, supporting himself with jobs, such as working as an office manager for the San Francisco Telegraph Company.

Saroyan decided to become a writer after his mother showed him some of his father's writings. A few of his early short articles were published in Overland Monthly. His first stories appeared in the 1930s. Among these was "The Broken Wheel", written under the name Sirak Goryan and published in the Armenian journal Hairenik in 1933. Many of Saroyan's stories were based on his childhood experiences among the Armenian-American fruit growers of the San Joaquin Valley or dealt with the rootlessness of the immigrant. The short story collection My Name is Aram (1940), an international bestseller, was about a young boy and the colorful characters of his immigrant family. It has been translated into many languages.

Career

As a writer, Saroyan made his breakthrough in Story magazine with "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze" (1934), the title taken from the nineteenth century song of the same title. The protagonist is a young, starving writer who tries to survive in a Depression-ridden society.

Through the air on the flying trapeze, his mind hummed. Amusing it was, astoundingly funny. A trapeze to God, or to nothing, a flying trapeze to some sort of eternity; he prayed objectively for strength to make the flight with grace.

This character resembles the penniless writer in Knut Hamsun's 1890 novel Hunger, but lacks the anger and nihilism of Hamsun's narrator. The story was republished in a collection whose royalties enabled Saroyan to travel to Europe and Armenia, where he learned to love the taste of Russian cigarettes, once observing, "you may tend to get cancer from the thing that makes you want to smoke so much, not from the smoking itself."

 

Saroyan served in the US Army during World War II. He was stationed in Astoria, Queens, spending much of his time at the Lombardy Hotel in Manhattan, far from Army personnel. In 1942, he was posted to London as part of a film unit. He narrowly avoided a court martial when his novel, The Adventures of Wesley Jackson, was seen as advocating pacifism.

 

Saroyan worked rapidly, hardly editing his text, and drinking and gambling away much of his earnings. From 1958 on, he mainly resided in a Paris apartment. He wrote,

“I am an estranged man, said the liar: estranged from myself, from my family, my fellow man, my country, my world, my time, and my culture. I am not estranged from God, although I am a disbeliever in everything about God excepting God indefinable, inside all and careless of all.”

 

from Here Comes There Goes You Know Who, 1961 His advice to a young writer was: "Try to learn to breathe deeply; really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell." Saroyan endeavored to create a prose style full of zest for life and seemingly impressionistic, that came to be called "Saroyanesque".

 

Personal life

 

There is a  statue of William Saroyan in Yerevan, Armenia

Saroyan had a correspondence with writer Sanora Babb that began in 1932 and ended in 1941, that grew into an unrequited love affair on Saroyan's part.[14]

 

In 1943, Saroyan married actress Carol Marcus (1924–2003; also known as Carol Grace), with whom he had two children, Aram, who became an author and published a book about his father, and Lucy, who became an actress.[15] By the late 1940s, Saroyan's drinking and gambling took a toll on his marriage, and in 1949, upon returning from an extended European trip, he filed for divorce. They were remarried briefly in 1951 and divorced again in 1952 with Marcus later claiming in her autobiography, Among the Porcupines: A Memoir,[16][17] that Saroyan was abusive.

 

Carol subsequently married actor Walter Matthau.

Saroyan died in Fresno, of prostate cancer at age 72. Half of his ashes were buried in California and the remainder in Armenia at the Komitas Pantheon near fellow artists such as composer Aram Khachaturian, painter Martiros Sarian, and film director Sergei Parajanov.[18]

 

 

Scott Fitzgerald

Richard Bratigan

Gogol-Russian

Joyce Cary-English

Steinbeck

Mark Twain

Jack London

Michener

Shakespeare-English

Kazanzakis-Greek

 

 

 

KMRD FM LP is here to stay the course

 

We are in a radio nation of

 

1500 station stretched across the United States.

 

Together this radio nation of LP stations are bigger than the hopelessness

of money greed and politically/industrial/military controlled media… presented every day across the usa.

 

 

 

"it's a big life, but Texas might be bigger…"

 

and know

 

we are bits of dust in rays of light

 

 

KMRD.FM 96.9 ON YOUR DIAL IS

 

 

the best little radio station west of the Hudson and East of the Russian,

 

 

KMRD LP 96.9 FM is now in a cloud of

1,500 Community Radio stations making networks of knitted creativity…we are

braintrailing in cyber space

 

Radio has the power to change.…and community LP radio across our nation offers the creative power to change the world for the better…  IT IS a public powered  community arts radio nation and KMRD is the vanguard to the network that joins us all together.

We are a radio nation…a radio world…

 

 

zen cowboy short story

 

zazen PARABLE puzzle

You can Give a man a mile that can turn a mile into a hundred smiles…

116.            The 100 Mile Ride of Brown Valley

Ok where do you start a mile but one with one step… at least that is the old story, but it is funny as you get older how that one step can turn it into so many steps. The second summer I was living with red cloud out on the high desert of eastern Oregon on the ZX ranch, was at a camp called the Dominic. The first summer we had been there, the ZX ranch had not supplied a stock truck for red cloud to use, so if we had to check the cattle in the half 1 million acres he was responsible for we had to ride on horses wherever we were going. That summer I got used to spending all day in the saddle quite often.

But the second summer we were there, the ZX ranch gave red Cloud a pickup truck with a stock rack in the back so he could transport a horse. At the end of that summer, one of the cowboy camps which was at the far end of the 3 ½ million acres the ZX ranch, one of the cowboys had accidentally left a mother cow and a calf. The ranch foreman came to Dominic camp and told red Cloud to drive there in his pickup truck and collect that cow somehow and bring her back about 40 miles to the west side of the ranch where the large gathering pens were. The problem was of course what to do with the truck and how to get it again.

Red cloud realized if he put me on a horse, he could drive me to Brown Valley where the cow and the calf were, and I could herd the cow while he followed me in the pickup truck. Well that is what we did. We arrived a little after sunrise, and sure enough there was an old cow with her calf hanging around the water tank. But as soon as she saw me, on the horse she took off with her tail in the air with the calf bee-lining down along the road. To our luck it was the very road that was going back to the gathering pens 40 miles away. So there I was all day long usually about a half a mile away from the old cow and calf in a high trot. Anytime she saw me getting close she would pick up the speed and get distance again. Red cloud was afraid the cow might wander off into the juniper trees if I didn’t keep close to her, so at lunch time he drove up next to me in the pickup truck and handed me a peanut butter sandwich and a bottle of pop so not to stop and lose the cow. And that’s what it was all day long, me on my horse in a very high trot keep up with that darn cow. As the sun was setting we approached the gathering pins, and that old cow and calf were finally just walking and I managed to get within 100 feet. When the cow and calf smelled the water tank inside the gathering pin they headed right for it and I closed to gate.

I can’t tell you how darned tired I was, and often wondered how that horse managed to keep in that high trot all day long. But that was 60 years ago, and over the years ever time red cloud and I would meet, that was one of the stories that would always come up between us – chasing a wild loco cow and calf cross the high desert of eastern Oregon. But as the years went on, red cloud’s version of the story got longer and longer, and that 40 miles got to be 60 miles, then 75 miles, and I believe the last time I saw them it was 100 mile day.

 

 

4:00 PM

 

96.9  KMRD LP Madrid, New Mexico

your

PUBLIC POWERED COMMUNITY ARTS RADIO STATION

 

 

 

 

This usaully where I say…

 

 

join me in radio theater today,

where your imagination can take you

to places unknown…

 

…expect a few bumps……… and turns…

 

it is the

 

THE RADIO THEATER

of THE absurd

 

and I am the Techno Sadhu on the air waves…so…lets go surfing in the mind….that’s right….surfing your mind…

just remember…………..SUFFER  BABY

 

Santiago McBoil, was bred in the jungles of Mexico, but was raised as an illegal migrant in the United States, and joins the American Army in 1967 at the height of the Vietnam War, then subsequently becoming a participant of the Mylai massacre in 1968. He left America after the war, going to Scotland, to rendezvous with old war buddies. In Scotland he gets married and has a child. It is story of Santiago in midlife crisis who is chasing illusions of paradise while running away from the nightmares of the hell he has lived through.

 

The Techno Sadhu RADIO THEATRE PRESENTS

 

A COSMIC PSYCHO DRAMA

The Harlequin Moon

Chapter 5  Holiday in the sun

 

TO RECAP FROM LAST WEEK

 

 The mardi gras in Germany the winter of 1983

One week became two.  At the end of the second week, Axle’s musician friend arrived. His name was Wolfgang. He was a fleshy German, but sexy. As the evening slid along on glasses of wine and hashish, Santiago realized there was a new game being played and jealousy began to raise its ugly head. Martina wanted them both. Wolfgang took off his clothes and jumped into her bed, ready for the fun. Santiago was outraged and a wave of sexual confusion swept over him. He moved quickly to the bed room door and snarled, “Two is company, and three… is screw you!”

He went out slamming the door. He walked into the kitchen and heard their hysterical giggles through the walls. Within minutes, sexual moaning sifted out of the yellow bedroom.

He sat down at the kitchen table and scribbled an angry letter, trying to say what he felt. He wrote three pages then stopped knowing he was a fool. Martina was beautiful, but she was driving him crazy.

 He did not want to play the game any longer. He glared at the pathetic words then crumpled the pages and threw them into the waste basket. The sounds continued in the bedroom growing into a groaning rhythm. He found his small bag and stuffed his few belongings into it. On another small piece of paper he wrote GOOD LUCK YOU WHORE and laid it on the kitchen table. He opened the front door and went out into the cold winter night air. In thirty minutes he was at the airport booking a flight to Scotland.

 Eleven years later…The Restonica,   September 19, 1994

The water of the Restonica River slid from the top of the mountain down towards the sea. The sound of heavy regular breathing was like a soft drum in the night as they trudged up the Gorge, while Santiago told a story, juggled like balls in the air, sequences out of order, out of place to the Neil…Neil, the only friend who truly understood him and who had saved his life in Vietnam 26 years before by being in the wrong place at the right time…

            “I went back to Leila and she allowed the charade of our marriage. A kind of screwed up confidence came back to me but my heart had turned to stone. I scared Leila, but she wanted my attention despite knowing she should get me out of her life. She swallowed her pride and decided to follow me one more time,” Santiago let the words fall bitterly.

            “What a slut Martina was,” Neil said.

            “No, Neil. She wasn’t any more of a slut than me. She just didn’t care.” 

            “Why did you come to Corsica the first time – because of Martina?”

             “I'll tell you the truth Neil. Because the women are sweet and the air smells sweeter and the mountains are always high!” He laughed and said, “As they say in Corsica, La Corse, c’est trés tres tres speciale!” They walked on up the valley in the middle of the night, as the crescent moon reflected on the rapids of the Restonica river and the Mediterranean owl made its one note song as Santiago continued his story…

                                                                  ***

CORSICA the summer of 1983

Martina was only vaguely in his thoughts but she had started his curiosity of the island. The holiday in Corsica was an attempt by Santiago to rediscover how to be Leila’s lover again, or find a simple happiness, a magical cure, to pull them back together. If nothing else, it would be a small gap in time and space to relax, lie in the sun, eat good food and act like life was not an eternal struggle. Santiago had felt a familiar tingling before their departure to Corsica. It was the right choice to vacation on this island…but… the silence of Martina still singing in his mind…

            He had gone through the usual British travel brochures, instantly rejecting Blackpool, Benidorm and Bermuda. He hated being around the tourist masses and their obscene manner of invading other cultures, but there was something very special about the picture he saw of a small mountain village as he was thumbing through a booklet of France and its Provinces. He looked for other brochures about Corsica, but found nothing. He looked at the photo again, and the tingling was there. It was the same feeling he had on leaving America in the prime of his youth. Now there were two more people, life was getting scary and he was approaching forty. He saw Martina’s face and heard her voice… you… an assassin’s face

                                                            ***

It was a warm June in France after a depressing Scottish spring. Santiago, Leila and Tara were sitting in their overloaded beat up old Land Rover, feeling the sun through the open windows, waiting for the row of automobiles in front of them to board the ferry to Corsica. The aroma of the Mediterranean and the palm lined shores of the Riviera at Nice filled the air. They were smiling. Leila was reading a novel and Tara was asking Santiago what kind of food people ate in Corsica.  Suddenly a tall balding man veered to their open window. He seemed almost to fall, bending to his knees and bounced on his feet as he launched his smiling lips into their space.

“You are English, aren't you?” he asked.

“Scottish!” Leila spit.

The man ignored Leila's rebuttal. He told them he had seen the lady reading an English book and that he was starved for good novels. Friendly small talk followed. He wondered if they might have any other books they would be willing to sell. He carried on, not waiting for a response, launching into the story of his life. He was Australian, his wife was French, and they were divorced. He was taking his two young daughters to a friend's summer house to the north end of the island, the long peninsula called Cap Corse. There was a tiny fishing village called Centuri. They were going to stay there a week. There was plenty of room. The man acted as if they had known each other for years. He invited them to come and stay with him.

“The girls will have a fantastic time,” he said.

Santiago and Leila didn't know what to say. They had met overly friendly people before, and it was always a loaded trap.

At that moment the cars began to roll onto the ferry.  The dockworkers cursed the tourists with obscenities as they waved their arms in frantic cowboy car-herding style.

The Australian jumped up and as he ran for his car he screamed over his shoulder, “See you on the boat mate!”

Santiago laughed, and said, “He was certainly nice.”

“A bit of a nutter if you ask me,” Leila said, “aye, away with the fairies!”

On the ferry to Corsica, they met again. The man's name was Burt. Fifteen years of marriage to a French woman and living in the South of France had rubbed all the hard edges off his Australian accent.  He still had the attitude of people who live in vast open spaces, loud and wary but positive and giving without condition. Santiago and Leila warmed to him on the short crossing to Bastia. Tara fell in love with Burt's daughters. They were slightly older than her and already polishing their French chic. Altogether they made agreeable company and by the end of the five hour voyage Santiago and Leila couldn't resist the repeated invitation to come to Centuri.

                                                            ***

Centuri…a picturesque Mediterranean fishing village. Brightly painted fishing boats rock in the clear waters of the small port. Only yards from the pier are an erratic line of stone cottages with peeling plaster in the colored layers of calico cats. The village crosses cultures between France and Italy. Perhaps the name Centuri, together with the blue sky, the yellow heat, the khaki ground testified to a warm world where there was time for lazy living. This was an old village, comfortable in its aged decay. The tourists had come. The fishermen and the shop keepers could relax now.

The friend of Burt, who owned the house, lived in Paris. The ensemble had free run. It was an eccentric house. A stone building converted from a 17th century warehouse into something only a Parisian architect could imagine tasteful.  The exterior had its original stone face while the inside was partitioned into computer-drawn ramps and boxes. The small rooms were stacked cubicles for crazed monks on holiday. The style eventually became unnoticeable, like an ugly thing the mind chooses not to see. For the small group, it was wonderful; a free holiday camp only thirty feet from the beach and the sun was hot.

They stayed for a week with Burt and   his daughters.  It was an easy time at first. Burt was charmingly roguish.  He acted   the part of being a bachelor using his time and energy trying to impress the random semi-nude German female tourists on the beach.

Tara played endlessly with the two girls. They had games on the beach and high fashion parties in their little box rooms, playing with make-up, ear-rings, and exchanging garments.

Leila was acting like an Olympic Sun-Tan-Champion lying in the phosphorous heat for hours trying to capture Gold-for-Scotland. Fortunately there was enough Viking pigment in her skin to win her a medal of tint. She would be able to prove to her pale friends in Scotland she had been on a wonderful sun drenched holiday -- Scottish status points.

Santiago would occasionally dip in the sun warmed water but his normal routine was to hide in the shade, drink red wine and sketch mural and sculpture ideas.

The week passed peacefully, blissfully, then Santiago made a telephone call that changed everything. Another war began. He had been waiting for the proposal acceptance of a public art project in Germany. He had been told the committee would make their decision by mid-June. He could have waited until they returned to Scotland, where he was sure of a confirming letter, but it was an important commission. It was the artist's dream.  Gaining the award meant money and prestige. It would be the magic click that opens the lock of fame and fortune. He decided to telephone Munich.

  Leila went with him to a nearby cafe where there was a pay phone. He was nervous. It was a big moment for him. She was indifferent. He closed the door of the glass telephone box. He was an astronaut preparing for blast-off. A few moments later he stepped out of the booth, jubilant. The committee had accepted the whole proposal. It was fantastic! The commission that could finally put him in Glossy Art Magazines had come. At last he was about to make it as an artist.  

Leila hunched her shoulders and said, “Oh it will probably be just another waste of time. I hate Germany!” She remembered his earlier escape.

  Santiago was crestfallen. Without a word he went into the cafe and asked for two bottles of red wine and a packet of Gauloise, although he pronounced the word Gall-loo-sus. Two Corsican men in the bar burst into laughter and shouted at the ignorant foreigner “Ah oui, Gall-loo-sus!” Santiago felt destroyed. He would get drunk again.

                                                             ***

Leila had not meant to hurt Santiago. Her negativity came from frustration and to a degree, jealousy. It was a man's world. She was tired of Santiago's constant pursuit of his own success, his own power. She felt it was her contributions that made things happen for him, but the limelight always fell on him, flooding away the foundations of her art. Yes, she was jealous. Buggering luck! No. Not just luck. It was society that couldn't see her as the artist she was. She was the assistant to a MAN. It was society that relegated her to a backseat position! Damn it all! It was too much. It was years of the same movie, over and over.

The telephone incident was not the first time the pot had boiled over. There had been many occasions. Santiago tried to understand the humiliating position she was locked in, but he was a man.  He was an artist too. It was a struggle. More than that, it was a battle to be an artist no matter whom or what you were. It always had been and it looked like it always would be. He couldn't understand her jealousy. They should celebrate the victories together. Leila's flash of bitterness made him feel betrayed. She was acting like an enemy.  Fear of Eve's ancient role consumed him.

 They went back to the beach house, leaving the cafe as though it had never happened. Santiago was silent, morose. Leila was hostile. Burt immediately recognized the dark cloud over them. He once had a wife and knew what they were. He tried to clear the air with light hearted joking but Santiago was trying to disappear into a bottle of red wine. Leila refused to compromise for another man. She would fight the war by herself.

                                                ***

The day simmered while everyone removed themselves to their own private world. Only the children played on in their uncomplicated way in the shade of the tiny box rooms. Burt was wind-surfing in choppy seas. Leila was baking in the sun reading EVEN COWGIRLS GET THE BLUES. Santiago was slowly losing all hope of rational thought with the help of red wine. At five o'clock the party grudgingly came together for their evening meal. The previous evenings had been joyful affairs but now the table was sodden and heavy

  Burt sensed the need to pull the safety valve. Being married once was more than he could bear and he didn't have to put up with the theatrics of other people's marriages. He had the heart of a bachelor. Santiago needed help. Leila was a witch! Burt suggested that Santiago join him for a ride to a nearby village. He had some tools he had borrowed and they had to be returned, he and Santiago could stop and have a Pastis.

 “The Lady, can stay and watch the children,” Burt said casually.

“Just brilliant!” hissed Leila.

“What a good idea.” said Santiago.

  Burt felt relieved.

  Suddenly Leila said, “I'm coming too! I want to see the village! Why should I be stuck with the children?” Her chin was pointed like an icebreaker.

  Burt swallowed hard and decided to keep his head down. “Marriage,” he muttered to himself.  

Santiago was fuming with anger and the red wine. “Look, I just want to be by myself ... just for awhile...we'll be right back…”

  “I'm not going to be dumped with children while you two go off and get drunk. Damn you men!” Leila screamed. She was determined to have her way for a change. Men Indeed! She would show the chauvinist pigs.

  Santiago's drunkenness growled like a mad dog, “All right, if you want to be so frig’n pushy, but I'm telling you, stay out of my frig’n way...you just, never understand...a man’s got to have time to himself...” He reached for his glass of red wine and guzzled it down. He quickly refilled the glass and drained it again.

  Soon they were all stacked in Burt's little French car like coals in the furnace. The burn was audible. As they were leaving Centuri, Burt decided to stop for cigarettes. Santiago was sitting in the front seat and he turned to face Leila who was crammed in the back with the children.

  The mad dog was still in him as he barked, “All right, damn it! You so intent going on this trip, I tell you what! You go with Burt and the kids, an' I'll stay at the house!”

 Leila snapped back, “Oh Santiago stop acting like such pig!”

 Before she could say anything more Santiago jumped out of the tiny car. He was a broken Jack-In-The-Box banging a metal door behind him. He walked off into the dark surrounding the village. The night had come, the sky blue-black, but enough light from the crystal display of stars for Santiago to stumble his way back to their beach house. He retrieved the half bottle of wine still on the table and continued his meandering wobble to the beach where he sat on a large rock.

 A few minutes passed and Santiago cursed himself feeling incapable of resolving a conclusion to anything except his manic desire for alcoholic numbness. The gentle splashing of the night tide had lost its natural Mediterranean melody and had been replaced with the slushy friction of one sad world dissolving another. To Santiago, the world was on fire. Then from behind, he heard the small thud of Leila's footsteps.

“Son-of-a-…! I knew you'd come! Why can't you leave me alone? Just go back. You wanted to go so frig’n bad -- well go!” Flames circled Santiago.

“Stop being this way. Let me talk to you…” Leila pleaded.

“Go away. I wanna be on my own!” he screeched. He started to stand up and run away with his madness.

Leila grabbed him by the arms, her face pointing into his. She began to shake him. “Stop acting like a fool!”

 Santiago pushed Leila away. She grabbed at him again. He pushed harder. She pushed back. He responded as he would to another man, hard.

Leila screamed, “You piece of crap!” she began to attack him with little flying fists with their untrained knuckles and thin fingers.

Santiago was not a large man but he was strong, much stronger than Leila and with one open palm-slap and a hook with his foot, he crashed the petite woman to the stony beach. She fell hard, bumping her head on a rounded stone, stunning her momentarily. Her anger dissolved in tears and pain. She began to sob hysterically.

“You rotten no good…jerk! You've really hurt me this time! You rotten male chauvinist pig! You hit me! You hit me!”

  Santiago furious, reached down and pulled her brutally from the fetus position she had curled into. “Shut up! Shut your damn mouth!  Do you think you would still be talking if I had hit you?  You wanted a fight and you got one. You're damn lucky I didn't hit you! Do you think I'd take this kind of crap from another man?  So shut your damn mouth and leave me alone!”

   Leila, her emotions out of control, her pride and flesh hurt, turned from his cold hate. With tears in her eyes she blindly ran towards the beach house.

Santiago sat for awhile on the rock, feeling the anger burn red. After a few minutes he could hear the mournful wail of sorrow pulsing from the dark shape of the beach house. Leila's misery was unrestrained. He felt ashamed. He went back to the house and found her in their bed, rolled into a ball of sobbing hurt. He reached to her shoulder and softly touched her. She turned looking up at him with one well developed shiny black eye.

   “Ah Leila... I'm sorry sweetheart... I'm a monster... I didn't mean to do this to you.  Darling I'm sorry, I'm sorry, please forgive me.”

   Love is so close to hate when one is blinded by emotion…. The boundaries shift easily as patterns in the sand…. Hate and love swirl together and definitions are blown away…. Hot sirocco winds tear at man and woman.

  Leila took Santiago into her arms…she made love to him violently… abandoned and with more passion than she understood…. A wild consuming lust roared through her body…. She clawed her fingernails into Santiago's back and they both screamed… Ecstasy took them into the night as the Mediterranean gently kissed the shores of Corsica

                                              ***

They left the company of Burt and his children the next day. Leila held him responsible for Santiago's lapse into bachelor chauvinism and afterwards would spit out, YOUR FRIEND BURT.

 

It was a quiver of neat little arrows aimed at Santiago. She was puzzled by the sado-masochist sexual enjoyment after the incident. The delicious but terrifying feeling echoed in her memory. Santiago had awakened a part of her she did not want to explore. Pain mixed into sex, yes, erotic. But still, it did not stop her from taking the opportunity to make Santiago feel like a women beater, aiming her blackened eye at him long after it had gone away.

Santiago kept up his defenses   “You're lucky that's all you got,” he would say. But   inside, the violence horrified him. He had seen enough brutality for ten life times. The war was over.   He cut down his drinking and tried to be good to Leila.  But damn it all, he didn't like anyone pushing him.

The remaining days of their holiday went without any further anguish, other than Santiago's sunburned buttocks acquired while lying on a nudist beach spellbound for several hours watching German breasts. Leila did not mind, she was getting a tan.