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I never was intimate again with my wife after I was trespassed from Loyola Law School by Dr. Vicki McNeil. The why not would not only be a long story, but I can't remember all the details. Whatever was done was done, I just can't recall, and it doesn't matter at all.  I always told myself that one day, somehow, the injustice would be corrected and I would again make love with my wife. But, now she's dead. 

I was intimate with no other woman since a year before Susan and I were married.  I came close, once, to being intimate with a woman other than Susan, but it was an arms length closeness. This incident didn't occur at LSU and didn't involve the nastiest slut I have ever met. Susan always said if I'd lusted in my heart it was the same as if I actually was unfaithful. Of course I always responded that was nonsense.  [I never, in my life, had any sexual contact with another male.]

This weighs so heavily. I want those years between October of 2002 and October of 2016 back. I want to hold her again, hug her, and dance her around the kitchen as I caress her neck - but not stop there. I used to sing to her at times, she said she liked to hear me singing to her. As she lay dying in the hospital bed in the den I'd lay - and sleep — on the adjacent couch. After the lights were out I'd sing to her, quite softly. Made up songs; her favorite included the line 'she's my River Ridge girl, yeah, yeah, yeah.'


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Twenty years later we're old and grey 

Sitting on the deckchair looking at the bay  

You look at me and look in my eyes  

And we get ready to say goodbye  

All we do is live and die  

Underneath the big big sky  I live and die and I don't know why

The Screaming Blue Messiahs: Totally Religious: Big Big Sky


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 Ain't no use crying.

This past Sunday I ventured out to visit my wife for a second consecutive Sunday. The previous Sunday when I visited I sat by her grave in a folding chair. The sitting had been far more peaceful than standing there had been on other visits, and I was able to stay longer. I anticipated doing the same again, but staying even longer. 

With a small cooler, I'd prepared to have two cold Diet Cokes while I sat there and reminisced. As had happened on the prior Sunday, I was hoping the sky would be cloudless so I could set my face towards the low morning sun as I thought of her.

I didn't make it, Sunday. I intended a leisurely cruise, with the windows down, the A/C on, arm on the windowsill, music playing, smoking my Marlboro Ultralights and drinking my Diet Coke. I started out by ejecting AC/DC from the cd player and inserting the Stones 'Tattoo you' cd. I should have selected Zappas 'Strictly Commercial' cd, I would've made it.

There I was, rolling down Airline, cruise set at about 50, feeling really good. I was on my way to see Susan. Then I remembered that I bought this album soon after we moved into our first apartment, in 1981. She was my little rock'n'roll; I used to kiss her behind just to please her. That was such a pleasant memory.

Then, the permanance of her departure really, really, started to sink in. She is never, ever, coming back.

Ain't no use crying: so what?


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There is a literary allusion I've read before wherein the author describes night being similar to a blanket. I finally felt the emotional state that I could relate to the idea of night being like a blanket. I'm not an articulate enough person to describe the emotional state so I'll just report the circumstances.

I was returning from a drive to Titusville, Florida. In eastern Louisiana, Interstate 12 [I-12] branches off Interstate 10 [I-10] in Slidell, Louisiana. Along I-12, a few miles from that split, is located the Veterans Cemetery where Susan is buried.

I was approaching that split at about 3 a.m., July 2, 2017, and I thought I might take the split to continue on I-12 and drive to the cemetery and park on the shoulder of the Interstate rather than continuing on I-10 towards my residence. I would have had to walk across the grassy verge separating the cemetery fence from the shoulder of I-12. I thought to approach the fence and call out: 'Susan, I'm here.'

It struck me then, how the night lay across the land. The traffic on I-10 was quite sparse and most people in the area would be home, in bed, under their blankets, waiting for the new day. It struck me that in the closed for the night cemetery all the people buried were resting under a blanket of night. Although I knew, rationally, going to the fence and calling out couldn't disturb them, nonetheless I felt that I might be disturbing their rest under their blanket of night. I wouldn't want to disturb Susan in the middle of the night just for some emotional balm for myself.

She's all alone there at night, in her casket. Her neighbors don't speak to her. In the daytime there would be the occasional person visiting some other grave, or birds flying around, maybe resting for a moment on her marker. She'd like that. I'm the only visitor she'll ever receive. When I'm dead I'll be buried next to her and then she'll have no more visitors.

I should have disturbed the blanket.
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I just have to say this, despite the fact that it contradicts the empirical evidence [zero], despite the fact that some part of my brain quite rationally is in disbelief and can supply the reasons therefore:

There is an afterlife. Susan is there; I know this.

Whew, I think every last drop of serotonin was just vacuumed from my brain for a few long moments. The thoughts that caused this flashed by fairly quickly and concern our 36th wedding anniversary, which will occur on June 27, 2017. That's four days from now.

I plan on visiting Susan's grave [tough word to type] during the afternoon of our anniversary. I'll bring flowers. This will be the first time I've brought flowers to her grave. I had none at her funeral. Susan was the flower. She was the flower put into a casket. Now, eight months later, I'm regretting that I didn't load that area with flowers.

I'm getting to the 'There probably is a God' part. I may be unable to thoroughly thresh this thought train.

God. If God is speaking to somebody he'll [my mind says it'll] speak through the rational part of their mind. That there is called 'what we have heyah is a conundrum.' It's beyond me.

I'm thinking that what God may do when a person is dwelling on despairing thoughts is make a suggestion [non-auditory] that the person think about 'this.' 'This' being a memory or thought that brings happiness. The memory precedes the feeling. The feeling is bio-chemical, I know this. Rationally, this merely means that my mind will bring forth memories that reverse whatever detrimental bio-chemical psychological process is occurring. That's not palatable; since:

There is an afterlife. Susan is there; I know this.

The thoughts that cause my despair all concern my obliviousness. I'm stereotypically typical. I more often than not forgot our anniversary. Did I forget our anniversary last year, when Susan was lying in her deathbed? I mustn't have. It had to have come up in conversation. There were hospice nurses in and out, Susan's sisters routinely [practically daily] visiting, Susan's pregnant, and working, niece Mandy would come by [my nephew got a prize], the neighbor Marty who daily sat with Susan for an hour - it had to have come up. I must have observed the day in some manner.

Because of that, the rational reconciliation of something I have no memory of, and, that reconciliation being contrary to what I normally would have done [forgotten about it], and, that those detrimental bio-chemical processes are ameliorated, and,
There probably is a God.
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Time for a vacation. A long weekend wouldn't suffice, but, it'll probably have to do. Whether the upcoming Fourth of July should be that period is most appealing but least prudent. Labor day sounds better; or is that just a delay hoping that which attracts me to the vacation destination is - in me - subsumed by something.
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Although not tongue tied, but, learning to fly regarding a review of the life of Susan and, sometimes, begging a question to be answered. The question that arose today was whether she was adequately comforted by me after a particular incident [the death of a cat.]
Hey time, my love has flown away time

How could the death of a cat be cause for such trauma that years later my heart would interrogate me? Well, it's a story about family that started back in Jacksonville, N.C., 400 feet or so off of Burgaw Highway. Honestly, I can't quite dredge the memories about the first cat, but, it likely entered the open door of this approximately 10 x 40 mobile home we were renting, it was a Blue Russian, and soon after introduction its' name was T'mit. Susan named the cat T'mit - short for transmission. At our first meeting - with the cat -  there is a shadow of a memory of Susan saying something about a transmission.  Several months later T'mit moved with us to Hammond, La.

Soon, in Hammond, T'mit came of age, got pregnant and had the litter in the second bedroom. Susan attended to the necessities. Afterwards, T'mit moved on but occasionally returned, perching atop the Maverick - by her demeanor pretending herself a hawk with protective intent [yep, reminded me of Snoopy - a clear memory.] A funny memory that really doesn't fit the story is that memory of T'mit jumping through an open window with her kill in her mouth. Squirrels, rabbits; it happened multiple times. Susan had taken the screen off of the window.

Of the litter we were left with three; Mike [addressed as 'Mikey'], Buckle, and Princess. Princess got some type of fever that effected her sense of balance and direction; soon her death seemed to become a day away. Susan nursed Princess - she'd become no more than sack of bones - with an eyedropper until Princess regained her strength. Susan then had an obstensibly healthy cat that could only walk in circles, and furthermore, a cat that could only get where she wanted to go by sort of bouncing in circles off of things. Some days pass; Susan erects a sufficiently tall carport corral to contain Princess and let her get some fresh air. At dusk, Susan discovered that somehow Princess had escaped, and this is where the memory.

Susan was quite distraught; in quickly deepening darkness [geez, got cliche'?] we searched. Susan decided that the next place that she would search was the 24 foot or so deep drainage canal the edge of which was 100 or so feet behind our house, through medium density brambled filled underbrush. In the area behind our house the drainage canal itself had trees growing from the banks, creating a nice canopy, and within those trees was denser brambly underbrush. She would not be dissuaded, she was on the verge of panic, if not there, very frantic and the memory is so clear. Susan, with only a small flashlight, went into and searched that canal at night, for a few hours.  [It was more than an hour, less than four, she worked her way out of the drainage canal in the pitch blackness after her flashlight failed, she entered the house all cut up, she had been bitten more than once by something, she said she had been calling for me since the flashlight failed and that's why the memory becomes debilitating. I comforted her then but it has always felt too late. my love has flown away Standing in the pitch blackness of the backyard I could hear her calling: 'Princess! Princess!, heartbbreakingly continued repeated. After some time I went into the house.  I must end this now. There is much more to the memory; it's just too much for the 4:20 a.m. muse.

Some time later.

I was on the Earhart Expressway overpass, heading west from Carrollton with that question tormenting. Near or at the bottom of the overpass downslope side of westward travel there exist two [maybe more] depressions; discernible in the extreme in my truck. In that slice of time expotentially smaller than a moment - a slice as diminutive as the universe is vast - prior to experiencing the first depression I aked the question aloud, silently. I hit the depression at the very moment my brain supplied the answer. I had comforted my wife. Thank you God yes. In the depression I had a moment - asatuiv [wazzat? Klingon slang?] - of vertigo in which I felt as if I were flying. Simultaneously I felt a great sense of peace. The second depression - approach wash, circle sky, rinse, repeat the question with the same result. Is that batshit crazy?

Although I now know in truth that it's only momentary - asatuiv, it seems as if I'm having a long flight through the grief and the occassional turbulence gets rough but I can handle it.
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Susan enjoyed going to Pensacola; her family had gone there often when she was a child. After enlisting in the Navy Susan attended her flight crew school and survival training there. Of the 36 years I knew Susan, for 35 of those years I never observed that she was afraid of anything. However, she did relate an experience she had [prior to our meeting] in which she became afraid and that occurred when she was leaving Pensacola to head to New Orleans.

She was leaving NAS Pensacola for the weekend, the hour was after dark, and she went in the wrong direction on I-10. She didn't recognize anything and went faster attempting to see something she recognized. Eventually, a cop pulled her over, breaking the spell of her panic. She related that experience to me more than once over the years - the experience disturbed her.

Sue and I drove out to Pensacola Beach in the summer of 2015. We spent the night at a motel and went to the beach the next day. In the past I'd watched in fear [for her safety] as Susan swam way out into the Gulf. On this occasion she stuck close to the shore. When she wanted to leave the water she struggled to get out. Some of the struggle was due to multiple surgeries, but I saw it in my love, she was afraid. There came the time that day at which she desired to leave. She was going to use the shower facilities after going to the Jeep and getting the necessary things. I accompanied her to the Jeep and watched her walk away on the sidewalk toward the showers. As I watched her I thought how much I loved her and I wished for her  to turn around so I could again tell her that I loved her.

I've dreamed of that moment since. In the dream I beg for her to turn around so that I can see her again. She doesn't.
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Whatever is done is done
I just can't recall
it doesn't matter at all

The love of my life, my wife Susan, passed away on October 3, 2016. I can remember the moment I fell in love with her.

Susan was in the Navy,  I was in the Marine Corps, and we were both stationed at NAS Norfolk, Va. We were introduced by the girlfriend of my housemate James K. Malone [Kevin.] I forget the particulars of this, but we spoke on the phone and somehow she was on her way over to visit. Sue lived on base;  Kevin, Tom McEnhill [Mack], and I shared a house on the beach in Oceanview.

Susan arrived on a motorcycle. She removed her helmet - she was pretty. Kevin and Mack gathered around her motorcycle while I attempted to speak to her. She was fielding questions they had about her motorcycle, and in the breaks, among the things I remember, I remember her telling me she had driven her motorcycle up to the mountains for a night of solo camping. She also told me that she had positioned an amercian flag on the back of the bike for the ride.  Do women feel their oats? I can just imagine my love riding her motorcycle on Rte. 64W, if memory serves, heading up to the Roanoke area.

On the next occasion Susan visited, she arrived driving her 1976 powder blue Ford Maverick. She emerged from the vehicle. She had woven small flowers throughout her hair. My heart stopped. I don't remember anymore about that visit.

Some time later, I was walking from the hangar my squadron was housed in towards an access road that served a parking lot for privately owned vehicles.
I had to pass by another hangar prior to walking onto the access road. The side of this hangar I had to pass was in deep shade, and as well was the side of the hangar  paralleling the access road. On that day, at that time, the building cast a shadow perfectly aligned with the very edge of the roadway - at least that's how I remember the shadow line.   Susan, bathed in bright sunlight, was driving up that access road.  Susan saw me clearing the corner and favored me with a gorgeous smile.

I will never get over that moment.

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Some time back I read an entry at Popehat about how pro se litigants can cause bad precedent. What I think is that appellate courts are less likely to give pro se litigants the benefit of the law, simply because the litigant is pro se and ostensibly the trial judge as a matter of course is impartial and has a better grasp of the law. Moreover, are appellate courts really going to allow pro se litigants to make judges look like imbeciles?

My wife and I have run a couple of cases through the appellate system in Louisiana, right to the Louisiana Supreme Court. Throughout the process we were rarely given the benefit of the law. The following case is one of them. Please be aware that the opinion that I've linked to, and that you may read, doesn't mention at all and yet was dispositive of, an issue that the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals divested jurisdiction from the trial court judge - Sid Cates. The issue missing which the Fourth Circuit took jurisdiction of is an appeal taken from an administrative hearing to Orleans Parish Civil District Court.


The opinion affirms the judgment of Sid Cates denying a Writ of Mandamus. We wanted the City of New Orleans, through Pura Bascos, Director Of the Department of Safety and Permits, to demonstrate by what authority the Chief Building Inspector could issue Stop Work Orders. Our issue was that according to the Ordinances of the City of New Orleans only the Director of the Department of Safety and Permits has the authority to issue stop work orders. Furthermore, according to ordinances of the City of New Orleans, the authority is non-delegable. As referred to in the opinion, this issue was argued at municipal court and through the appellate process. The original judge, Desiree Charbonnet, after hearing the testimony and hearing the law actually read into the record by the Chief Building Inspector of the City of New Orleans, decided that he had the authority to issue stop work orders. This despite the law identifying with particularity which city official, the Director of the Department of Safety and Permits, had the non-delegable authority to issue stop work orders.

And yes, the law was fully briefed with references to the record throughout. The briefs were prepared in accordance with the requirements of each court as the appeal reached that level.


Additionally, the opinion concerns a writ of Mandamus. The court explains what Mandamus is in the opinion. Bear in mind, if you read the opinion that:

1) The City of New Orleans is a corporation.
2) The 4th Circuit decided, around-about 1968, that individual departments of the The City of New Orleans were also corporations.
3) The Director of the Department of Safety and Permits is an officer of each corporation.
4) The New Orleans City Council is the legislative arm of the City of New Orleans.
5) The Director of the Department of Safety and Permits, by allowing the Chief Building Inspector to issue stop work orders, usurped the authority of the
New Orleans City Council.
6) If the Chief Building Inspector took it upon himself to issue stop work orders, he acted as an officer of the corporation as an officer is the only
person allowed to issue stop work orders. The stop work order he issued was facially defective in multiple ways:
A) Personal service is required of stop work orders, the stop work order was taped to the front door. [an issue at trial]
B) Stop work orders are only applicable to work regulated by the Code of the City of New Orleans. [an issue at trial as we were doing nothing regulated
by the Code when we were cited - as a matter of fact, my wife was cleaning the exterior of the house with soap and water and I had been cleaning
some minor debris from under the house.]
So, the stop work order issued by the Chief Building Inspector, John Odom, usurped the authority of the New Orleans City Council.
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