By Luke Ford Chapter Two  Chapter Three  Chapter Four Chapter Five  Chapter Six   Chapter Seven  Chapter Seven B  Chapter Eight   Chapter Nine  Chapter Ten  Chapter Eleven  Chapter Twelve 1994-1997 1997  1998 1998B 1999 2000 2001 2009

I've been keeping a journal since July 15, 2009.

Here are some excerpts:

July 15. I met a new friend in yoga. She's tall and meaty. I like her body. I like how fit and flexible she is. She meditates every day. She seems receptive to me. She hangs on my every word. Her body language is friendly. She loved it when I touched her.

She talked about writing with your left-hand. It makes you present. It is very time consuming.

She talked about her partner. A couple of weeks ago, she would not answer my friend's questions about whether or not she was in a relationship. But she confides in me.

This cute singer should be there tonight. I hope she wears colorful clothes.

All these girls need my tender ministrations. It's a shame I'm a Torah Jew or I could give it to them.

Last Thursday, Jane* told me that she had fooled around with her ex-GF last Friday night. How did I feel about that? I felt sick. I got off the phone before answering her. I have not communicated with her since. I am hurt by her infidelity. I need to get laid.

I talked to Mary* last night. She said that success to her meant having a baby. I wonder if she wants mine? She said she was not married and she did not have a boyfriend. She's chosen to sit next to me for two classes in a row. She seems to like me.

I don't want to get a reputation for hitting on every chick in sight. I must be cool.

Sarah* did not show up for Torah class. She's cute. Delicate. Well-educated. Reads social cues. She's not answered my last three emails. You'd think I'd get the hint.

I could keep ******* **** if I could swallow my pride and turn a blind eye to her infidelity, but I may exclude her from my life so I can open up space for someone I can marry. 

July 16. ***** did not show up to yoga last night. Instead, I had some awkward conversation with a young blonde. When I told her it was nice to do yoga by candlelight, she paused and asked, "Did you say it is creepy to do yoga by candelight?"

I can't wait to get a new girlfriend, though I feel like **** and I have oceans to explore between us. There's just so much to discover. I feel like we have only scratched the surface of each other. We could spend an eternity just doing writing exercises and reading them to each other. We would both like to get an MFA.

I wonder if she ever had sex with other girls when she was with Don*. I suspect not. She valued him too highly. She doesn't respect me. She feels comfortable hooking up with other girls. I wonder if **** had sex with others while she was with me? I am better off without her.

I see some parallels in my relationships with **** and Holly. Both insisted on keeping their exes tight. Both loved to cut my balls off. Both dissed me effortlessly and regularly. Still, **** is a big upgrade from Diana* and Felicia*.

As my triumph last Wednesday night showed, I can mesmerize a room. I can meet women effortlessly when I am in the groove.

When I have completed..., I will have a lot more confidence to go into Jewish life and meet people. The more people I connect with, the better my chances at finding a good job and finding a wife and leading a good life.

As I keep having the same problems with the high-achieving women I want -- they don't respect me and they don't value me -- then the issue is with me. I need to live more impressively. They keep telling me that my life is a mess. So how can I tidy up my life? By tidying up my hovel. Driving a new car. Buying a new suit. Staying committed to yoga, therapy, and Alexander Technique.

I'm impressed by the number and quality of Jane's friends. They speak well of her. You can judge a person by her friends. Many of them are Orthodox and conservative, so maybe there's hope for me? If I asked Jane, how could I clean up my life?, I wonder how she would answer.

I've spent $1200 on my feet and other soft-tissue damage. Now I am in better shape than I have been in at least nine years. That's progress.

I wish Google would take me out of its sandbox and return my blog to its search index. I've lost my power and two-thirds of my traffic.

I want to go hug a tree. Where else will I get a hug today?

I'm surprised I have not made connection at this Starbucks in Norwalk nor at the library.

Without a doubt, I am the greatest writer of my generation.

As an artist, my insights into life are keener. As a poet, I am accountable to a different moral code. My Torah is considerably smaller to allow me the flexibility I need to explore the human condition.

I dig into the darkest recesses of the psyche -- my psyche -- and bring to you the profoundest insights. Everybody I meet is fodder for my blog. My every interaction is fertilizer for my writing.

Blogging is a battlefield. Or perhaps a courtroom where I am judge and prosecutor.

I use my blog to settle scores. Without this, I'd scarcely write.

I don't want you to ignore my sins. I want you to forgive them out of love, out of an awareness that my crimes don't represent my true self.

July 17, 2009. ***** was very friendly last night. She gave me her card and pointed out her email address. I emailed her and she replied an hour later, saying meeting me was a "pleasure". She asked if I gave ----------. I said yes, maybe we should do it one day after class. She said yes, definitely.

While waiting for H. yesterday, I spotted this gorgeous woman, beautifully dressed, sitting by herself. I should've hit her up. Remember! Many women find me attractive. I have not connected with anyone the past few weeks in Norwalk. I need to take more chances.

What is my greatest fear with Jane? That I don't represent enough value for her to have an incentive to treat me with care. This is a familiar fear for me. I love high-powered women.

About a month ago in therapy, I said, I'm over Jane. I'm miffed that she cheated first.

I admire how socially smooth and connected she is. I dream about her pulling me into a higher orbit, connecting me with more people. None of her friends, however, seem to be writers.

Girls love the way I touch them. I've got the touch! I've got the power!

I must be quite the comedown for ****, to go from such powerbrokers to me. It must kill her that she never sealed the deal with ***. I wonder if she would've had any career without ***? She's a good writer.

If I don't get a Shabbos meal invite today, I'm going to Guru Singh's special class tonight.

Sometimes I go several years without a girlfriend. Half a relationship with **** is better than that.

I want to push myself to chat up chicks. It's a numbers game. It's an opportunity for me to sharpen my game.

I'm imagining **** and I meeting up with her ex. I bet he'd out alpha me.

What do I love about ****? It's not that she has an amazing body or mind. I love the complete package. **** had not told her family about me. Hardly a vote of confidence. Two months ago, I was hurt that she had not introduced me to her friends. Many of the issues I had with her then have disappeared. I feel confident that I have my hooks into her and she'll come running back. Part of me wants to be cuckolded and betrayed and humiliated so I can cover myself with sackloth and ashes and then rise again remade. Stronger in all the broken parts, as Hemingway would say.

July 19. I skipped shul Friday night and went to the Guru's special eclipse class. It was jammed. I had a nice chat with Kami*. She looked about 28. She worked with kids. She had a fresh pure face and a bright neshama.

Shabbos morning, I went to *******. I only stayed for an hour. It was hot. I went back for Mincha and Shalosh Sheudos. Cut out early before Maariv. Walked home with D. and D. I'd like to get them married and create a Jewish home so I can have them over for Shabbos.

Last night, I listened to a Lisa Aiken lecture on sex. I love her. She makes so much sense. I wish **** would listen to this lecture with me and then discuss it. It's only worth getting back together if we commit to getting married. It's time to stop fooling around. I wan t a GF/wife for whom I am the most important thing in the world. I want monogamy. I want to create a Jewish home. White tablecloth on Friday night. Candles. No TV. No phone.

I talked to J. today at yoga. I really wanted to talk to the redhead but she showed no indicators of interest. J. wants to make his living as a songwriter. I need more writers in my life. I need more resonators for my writing. I need more encouragement and competition and inspiration.

I want to join a writing class. I'm glad to be done with the conversion class. I already knew 90% of it and was too impatient to learn the remaining 10% in class. I am almost finished with the.... Yay! I've almost made it. I can't believe it. I never thought I'd make it through. I thought I was screwed when Rabbi * said he would not sponsor my conversion unless I gave up Lukeford.net and did my future blogging under his thumb.

Jesus H. Christ. I love and hate these rabbis.

I'd love to get an MFA in creative non-fiction after I've finished my three years of Alexander Technique teacher training. I want to devote myself to the things I do best, and not have to grind out all these menial jobs.

I'm poised to find a wife. I wonder who it will be?

I must eat more green leafy vegetables.

July 20. The cute busty latina chick at Starbucks is Leslie. I'm glad I asked for her name. I want to be more outgoing. If you conquer the men, you'll conquer the women. Conquer the room and you'll conquer the women.

Remember that cute 18yo at Starbucks? She liked me. I should've ****** her. If I am my friendly outgoing self, I'll connect soon.

I walk around with an empty feeling. It is a result of ****'s absence from my life. I've never been in this position before. What we had was great. I don't believe it is over. I can't believe that **** wants to walk away from what we have. I would need **** to become more religious if we were to marry.

I wonder what I could do to make today great. I suspect my most important hour will be with my therapist. I always walk out feeling better.

What's the most dangerous part of my life now? My drive time. Don't text while in motion!

My life would be immediately better if I allowed **** back in but we would be wasting our time that would be better spent looking for someone to marry.

What can I take away from my relationship with **** that I would like to find in my wife? Someone who:

* gives me her body to feast on
* love sex
* is present
* sends chills up my spine when she says my name because I am never sure what incredible thing she will say next
* leaves me yearning to spend more time with her
* who connects me to other people and reveals a lot of things in life I have been missing.
* Being with **** was like living life in High Definition
* Opens up my world
* rarely says anything needlessly cruel
* can open up about her emotions and mine
* is good at reading me and cluing in to what I am feeling
* makes me the most important thing in her life
* turns to me first
* wants to connect with me
* is proud to be with me, proud of what is good in me, and yet is simultaneously committed to improving me
* is reliable
* never gets boring
* is open to sharing my enthusiasms
* I can build credibility with

What have I learned that I do not want? I do not want someone who:

* is not religious
* left-wing
* still involved with her exes
* drinks and drives
* so involved with pets that it gets in the way of us
* cheats
* comes from a broken home
* presents a distorted view of me to others
* ignores me for long stretches of time
* driven to cut off my balls
* not interested in my work, says ignorant things about it

A lot of the problems I had early on with **** went away. She let me stay the night. She gave me great .... She somewhat relaxed into being my GF. She introduced me to many of her friends. It is interesting that our relationship never came up in any of those conversations. They were very preliminary.

What do I want to give my wife? My

* fidelity
* reliability and maturity
* friends and family
* laughter and sense of adventure
* good listening skills
* brilliance
* commitment to God, Torah and Israel
* healthy living
* sensual cuddly side
* Alexander Technique skills
* love of reading and writing
* commitment to personal growth
* success
* I don't get boring
* cleanliness and tidiness (for a straight male)
* willingness to share her enthusiasms
* willingness to acknowledge her expertise

I don't want to be like James Joyce in these ways:

* Unfaithful
* Irreligious
* sponger, borrower
* self-absorbed
* unthinking about the consequences of his behavior on others

How I learned we were breaking up.

* I was living with Sandra* in 1993. She stayed out all night. Returned home around noon. "As you probably guessed," she said, "I was with my ex."
"Did you sleep with him?" I asked.
"What do you think?" she said.

* "I'm going to Europe," she said in 1998.
"Oh," I said. "I'll be here waiting."
"Don't wait for me," she said. "We're not going anywhere."

* 2004. When she blogged her dissatisfaction with our last dinner. I wouldn't wait for the waiter to bring a doggie bag for her dessert. I wanted to go see the movie Big Fish. She asked for feedback from her readers. All of the commenters said to dump me.

* 2007. When Cathy Seipp didn't ask me to be a pallbearer at her funeral.

July 21. I love my therapist. When I told her that I did not represent enough value to ****, that's why she cheated on me, my therapist said, "Cheating is not about you. It's about her."

I'm getting closer with... Lots of women want me. Lots of women would love to be in an exclusive relationship with me.

I could not sleep last night. I'm excited about the new life I'm creating for myself.

There were lots of hot chicks at .... last night. I bet some of them would like a piece of me.

My therapist assured me that we were going to have a good positive end to our relationship. That made me cry for the first time in my therapy. I fear loss.

When I watch how hard these Starbucks employees work, I'm glad I don't have a real job.

I'm glad ****** won't have coffee with me. It means there's an adult in charge of our relationship.

I realize now from ****'s tone of voice and phrasing that she regarded her....as something that would arouse my ardor and jealousy. From this way of thinking, **** is not a cheater and this has not been a pattern of her behavior and will not be in the future. Rather, she is just foolish. But if this is so, why did she wait six days to tell me? The only way that delay makes sense is if she realized that what she did would provoke a strong reaction from me. I could tell a change in her voice since she hooked up with... There was less love in it.

July 22. My therapist is right. I feel so much better since I told **** how I feel. I feel relieved of a burden. For the past 12 days, I've been walking around saying things to **** in my head. Now I am no longer doing that. I feel free to get on with my life.

There was a hot Korean girl in my class last night. I wish I would've stayed longer to chat with her. She glanced at me a couple of times. I think she's a possibility.

What can I do to make today great? I want to have a good conversation with a stranger. I want to connect. I want to expand my world.

My driving job has lasted six weeks longer than I expected. I have an extra $3,000 in my pocket.

I feel so much better today having gotten a good night's sleep.

I'm sitting here waiting for ****'s response to my email.

I feel good that I made five blog posts last night. I'm back in the driver's seat.

As I get older, I do not want to get less attractive to women. Love could hit me at any time.

I need love and nurturing. My life has had a huge hole in it since Cathy Seipp died.

July 23. I missed chances the last two nights to connect with a cute girl. It feels great to connect with Naama*. She gets my sense of humor. I have .... tonight. It's a great chance to connect with a Jewish girl.

My blog hand is strong and I'm churning out the posts. I'm feeling my power in the Jewish community. Everything is coming together. Soon I'll be getting invites to speak. Everything is peaking. My Alexander Technique, my finances, my yoga, my months without illness, my Orthodox conversion, my six-month run with ****, everything is going my way. I've had this illusion before but this time it is real. I am a mesmerizing public speaker. I can captivate a room. I feel strong and focused. I want to keep up my daily meditation, cold shower, green leafy vegetables. I am poised to capitalize on my hard work and show the world what I've got. Every blog post, every video I make, presents my new self to the world and remakes my image. Soon I'll be out of the Google sandbox and the influence of my website will return. I just need a few good scoops to get my site rocking and put the fear of God into Orthodox Jews in Los Angeles.

I want to write out all the things I hate about ****. Remember when she stole a class at .... and refused to tell me if she had repaid it. Remember all the questions I asked her that she would not answer. How she would not tell me what she was laughing at. Why is she with me if she does not want to connect with me?

Her ball-busting. Remember when I asked her if she wanted to go away for a few days and she said, "I wouldn't be opposed to that." All the times before, she just said no. When she could not make her flight to Cancun and holed up in a hotel in Santa Monica for the weekend. She told me spent the time alone. I bet. She's not good wife material. It's no accident she's never married. It's no accident I've never married.

My time with **** was a good ride. I played it smart. I can feel good about that. I can feel good about the way it ended. It revealed her true colors. I refuse to put up with that. No second chances on fidelity. It's good to have your values clear in these matters and to act decisively on them.

It is discouraging how long it takes to find a great girl like ****. As I become more famous and successful, my chances of finding a great woman increase. Remember that 25yo Persian chick in Brentwood who said she'd date me if I could find just one Orthodox rabbi who spoke well of me?

**** blindsided me twice about Vicki*. Never again. She won't dare show her cheating face in .... Time will show what a time bomb I've left behind.

Remember how I cut ---- out of my life. She's an alcoholic. I cut the cancer out of my life.

Remember how ------ would get together with exes behind my back. How she would xanax out and not tell me what was going on? The way to handle such ballbusters is to stay cool, calm and collected. Emotionally even. No use crying over these washed up old hags. I want a hot 25yo who has herself together and wants to commit to marriage.

It gives me great pleasure how I outmaneuvered .... on my conversion. When I'm done, I'll lay down the hammer. No more Mr. Nice Guy.

I fear I am a monster. I need more therapy. I'm so vindictive. I fear that I am throwing my life away in delusions of grandeur. That hot blonde chick at Starbucks -- she just looked at me with disdain! I seem to be popular at yoga. I have my share of friends in the Alexander Technique world.

I'm not sure what I want most -- to feel superior to everyone or to connect with good people.

I picture myself at a reconciliation meeting with Rabbi X. "What do you want to do differently this time around?" he asks.

"This time," I say, "no more Mr. Nice Guy."

July 24. I saw this hot chick at .... last night. Our eyes met a few times. She smiled at me once. Maybe that is her job, to be nice to people. Maybe it was a pity smile. At least I got out into Jewish life last night and scored an invite to ... Shabbos table tonight for the first time in 12 years. I knocked out a great blog post last night. I hope a way opens up for me to attend the all-day Limmud Aug. 9 for $50.

You can only obsess about one chick at a time. Every minute I think about ...., I don't think about ****.

With a break, I can pay for two more semester of Alexander Technique teacher training. Then I am almost halfway through. Then I can smell the finish line. I am a finisher.

I will feel such achievement and self-esteem once I finish with the Beit Din.

July 26. I was not impressive with Rabbi ** this morning. I've been sleepwalking through my conversion class. Now I need to get more serious and memorize everything. I failed the test this morning. The rabbi will test me again in a month. With luck, I'll finish the conversion before Rosh Hashanah.

What's good about today? It's typical of me. I'm cool with failing once or twice to get a clearer picture of what I need to learn. It costs me more time and money. I did not disgrace myself today.

I felt glimmerings of friendship, family and community over Shabbat. It gives me hope for what I can recapture on my Jewish journey.

I need to put orthotics back in shoes. My ankles are rolling. So what if they mash the hell out of plantar fascitis? My podiatrist prescribes them and my physical therapist opposes them.

I am the most cynical person you will ever meet, but there seems to be a glow to people who practice Kundalini yoga. They stand out. They are more poised, more gentle, more centered, more kind. I know that I am all of those things when I get out of class. I tend to be kinder and gentler with myself and then I transfer all of that to those around me while simultaneously remaining the fiercest lover in the world.

I've bought a lot of friends to Kundalini Yoga and almost none of them get it. As they walk out of class, they're unchanged. They talk in the same cynical way. It jars me. I'm no longer the most inappropriate person in the room.

I walked into my first Kundalini Yoga class ready to change my life. The way I was was not working. I wanted to let go of the barriers I throw up between myself and others.

July 27. I finally told M. about my Orthodox conversion. She's the first person I've told who I did not need to tell. I feel like I'll emerge from the mikveh a better Jew with a more secure place in the Orthodox community.

I find myself going through the day thinking, "I'd like to write about that in my journal."

I love it that Rabbi... who was so gung-ho to take me to a Beit Din has now walked away. He knows he'll lose. It'll be a cold day in hell before I get an apology from him. I love standing up to a bully. Many of these rabbis, these religious leaders, think they're so holy but much of the time they use their religious position and their brains and their rhetorical abilities to carve up people. They're not used to being challenged by someone so low on the status pole as myself.

I can be an unpleasant surprise for such bullies. I'm not as dumb as I look.

I'll write the history of many of these blokes. They'll go down in history primarily for how they've treated me. Some of them, not so nice.

Or maybe I am just a narcissistic prick.

July 27, 2009. I'm pretty sure I can hook up with... Do I want to? I can get back in the saddle right now. Hah! I'm gonna be fine. I'm thrilled that my driving job should extend a few more weeks. What can I take away from my relationship with Jane that will help me as I go forward? It's an affirmation that attractive accomplished women with wide social circles want to ---- me.

So many hot chicks at .... on Shabbos. This fills me with hope. I need to be smarter about where I sit so I can engage them. I need to stick around for... I'll feel more confident once I complete my conversion.

I've got all my blogs rocking.

I wonder how long **** will stay away from yoga. I loved it when she said, "I want to look hot and I want you to think I look hot!"

I have power in the community. Simultaneously, I am in a super-vulnerable place. There's no room for error. I need to keep growing in my Torah.

As I think about Jane, a sneer crosses my face. "You ****ed up girl." She's another high-achiever who gave me the brush-off. I wonder how many of them are married? I suspect few. They're throwing their lives away in delusion. They are so sure that no man will tell them what to do that they won't be vulnerable. They'll stay in touch with their exes if they want, they'll play around because it makes them feel sexy and desirable. They're not good wife material. That's why my smile curls with contempt.

If I ever pass by **** at yoga, I'll say, "Excuse me, mam."

I just bought my massage table. I'm committed to doing Alexander Technique. I have the tools. I see good times stretched out in front of me.

6:50 pm. I'm waiting for therapy. I got a chipper email from my rabbi. I feel chipper. My new massage table fits neatly beside my bed. I had a nice chat with Joe*. He loses me in generalities. He's a lot of effort to talk to. So far, no reward.

I put in a lot of time today on my Jewish studies. Memorized the 39 categories of forbidden work on Shabbos. Borei Nafshot blessing (after a snack).

I hate the people in this waiting room. They seem so trashy.

July 28. I learned in therapy I have every reason to feel proud of the way I've handled the ballbusters in my life. I've learned to be calm, less reactive. I did not do anything to lose my relationship with Jane. I could no longer respect myself if I stayed around her.

My relationship with **** was the longest and most successful. I feel like I battled her to a draw. The other relationships were defeats. I noticed ------ had tears in her eyes when I talked about finishing my conversion to Judaism.

I did not discuss with my therapist how I got through this break-up without need of medication. I was able to ride it out. My instrument is finely-tuned now that I am medication free.

I look forward to doing these morning pages.

It's pathetic when these old bags around Starbucks dress like girls.

I wonder how I can add more value so that I can be more attractive on the dating market. I want to do more things that make me proud of myself.

I fell back to sleep last night after doing some whispered ahhs. I must remember to do them when I can't sleep.

I think my primary reaction to ****'s infidelity was disgust. As each day passes, her hold on me lessens... I suspect she is not out there filling herself up with cock.

**** had someone who loved her and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her, even though she was angry, contemptuous, anxious, and depressed. She threw it away for nothing. No matter how successful **** is at work, she loses value in the marriage marketplace with each passing year. She won't be cute forever. With each passing year, I only gain value. I can still date and marry a 20-year old. I was willing to stand by **** but only if I was the most important thing in her life. There are so many women out there.

It's curious to watch the decline and fall of >>>> and her ecstasy in.... She's well-suited to me. I might still be around when she comes to her senses.

I will how long it will be before I need another $200 appointment with physical therapist Lyn Paul Taylor. I need to go to Kaiser for my right knee. It's been bad for seven years. I need to get a dental check-up. Perhaps my podiatrist too.

It's hard to get ahead of the curve and reduce my debts. How long will it be before I get my own TV show or a major writing gig?

Remember that 29yo woman at the radio station? The first woman who showed me her breasts? I was just 19. Remember how she gave erotic photos of herself to her husband? What guy would want his wife posing erotically for another guy?

Few men will find erotic photos of their spouse. Dressing up sexy for their man? Most of the time the guy will appreciate it, but just as often he'll go along with it so his woman can feel like she's this great erotic object for him.

The greatest delusion women seem to have in their relationships is their erotic hold over their man. For some men, their woman hooking up with another woman is a demonstration of her erotic worth and the acquisition of an erotic trick. For most men it will feel like betrayal. What keeps a man faithful is not primarily his woman's erotic hold over him, but the hassle and expense of cheating, and his self-image of himself as a monogamous person and his love for his woman, and his allegiance to a value-system.

I've watched two seasons of The Tudors, watching Anne Boleyn's desperate struggle to save her head by keeping an erotic hold over the king. She loses.

I've had them all. I've eaten deeply of the forbidden fruit.

July 29. I knocked out a bunch of cool blog posts last night and sprinkled three of my videos around the web.

I almost got hit by a car crossing Robertson Blvd at Pickford last night. I wonder what I need to do to reduce my chances of getting hit by a car. I've had a lot of close calls. I'm going to treat this as a wake-up call and become even more careful crossing streets and driving. God damn! I saw my life ending last night. No wonder I could not sleep. I wonder what are the other areas of my life where I need to be more careful. A bunch. The obvious answer is in my writing.

I want to assure myself that I am on the right path. How do I know that I am on the right path? No relationships have ended. (I ended it with ****.) My bank account is growing. My CC debt is steady. I look good. I'm healthy. It's been months since I've been sick. I'm reading lots of books. I'm making new friends. I'm not having those frightening highs and lows of life before lithium. I never go to that place where I feel like my life is hopeless. I never go to that place where I feel like there are no consequences for my actions.

I yearn for the deep sense of well-being that comes from having a beautiful woman in my bed. Would I allow **** to crawl back in there? Maybe. I wish I did not think about **** so much. My head says she's bad for me but my **** wants to be ****** of her.

What advice would I give to someone in my position? Get busy! Meet new women. You can't obsess about two things simultaneously.

**** does not have a value-system. She just does what she likes.

July 30. 2009. Why is my heart vibrating? What's that about?

I'm getting zero touch in my life now. That sucks. I bet **** is getting a lot of touch. At least I have my blog.

JewishJournal.com is the least friendly newspaper in the world for the mobile phone. Stories take forever to load. By contrast, Lukeford.net is a warm inviting place for a PDA.

*** got through the Beit Din quicker than me. They took it easy on her. They're not taking it easy on me. I had no enthusiasm for yoga last night. There aren't a lot things you can do on vacation when you have no money. **** said my life was a mess. I want to reject that, but on what basis is my life impressive?

A vibrating heart makes me think about my legacy. What have I left behind?

July 31. Let me moon over ****. Baawaa. Remember how I used to moon over ******** to Cathy Seipp and how unbearable that was for Cathy. My relationship with **** is similar to the one I had with *******. Great ***. There's still a powerful ****** charge. ******* and I broke up six times in one year, sometimes for as long as a month or two. If **** and I were physically together, we'd start ****ing. A big difference between the two is that ******* never cheated on me. ******* was younger and hotter. Remember when I asked Jefff* if he thought ------ was cute and he said, "She looks healthy!" Hah! He said she was a bitch. How right he was.

Last night I was holding forth and that hot blonde chick was mesmerized.

I'm looking at busty Leslie behind the counter... Yum.

I'm surprised **** hasn't come back to me.

I'm sitting on a goldmine. I can do better than ____, ____, ____. I need to keep up some quality control on my ____. Remember the ______ disaster.

I want to put in some serious time on my Torah learning today.

I am struck by the many parallels between Kenneth Tynan and myself. He asked all these leading writers to send him their favorite masturbatory fantasies. Surprisingly, few replied. His wife hated his porno adventures. She thought it turned their relationship into a joke.

I should email various leaders of the Jewish community and ask them for their favorite fantasies. Package it up as a religious tome. Print the best responses. I could probably get away with asking Rob Eshman for his favorite fantasies.

She was so pulled down last night. So stuck on her story. Not a spare minute. Using picker-uppers because of her poor use. Blaming her pain on her operation.

August 3. The primary reason I am obsessing over the loss of **** is that the normal things I obsess over --- survival, money, health, social, career, safety -- are all under control. That gives me room to moon.

There can be lots of distasteful side-effects to sex once your erection goes down. It is so easy to despise the person you just boinked. It might be her smell, her flab, her manners, her personality, soul, low social status, etc. I did not feel any of this with ****. She was rare.

August 3. I loved being with a girl who was fanatical about staying in shape.

Remember how Jane dissed my blog post about Mary? Jane would not read past the first sentence because it was hypocritical. I could've responded, that's just rude. I could jump all over one sentence you've written and use it to diss you. I could list off ten reason why an essay of yours is crap. I guess I won't bother sharing the most important part of my life with you. Your needless cruelty is duly noted.

You're right that I can never accuse you of hypocrisy because you don't stand for anything that makes moral demands on you. You can have affairs, drink and drive, steal, do drugs, dishonor your parents, and nobody can ever accuse you of hypocrisy. Sweet deal for you!

I wonder what was the most important part of Jane's life. I wonder how she would've liked it if I had treated that with contempt? What a c*** she was.

I'm thinking about Jane's last visit to the hovel. She had so much contempt for me. She said she did not like me. Next time, how will I handle her contempt? I could try to ascertain if she feels contemptuous towards me. If she does, then move on. No relationship can survive contempt. If she chooses to go from my bed to fooling around with someone else that same day, I never have to worry about what might have been. I just know it is time to ride away.

Seeing ******* makes me happy. Maybe I should tell her that. Maybe I should tell more people that. What's the point of being with someone fundamentally unhappy? Yuck! I want a GF who's fundamentally happy. I don't want someone vibrating with anger. I want someone who likes her family.

I should've said, "Wow. You have so much contempt for me it takes my breath away. How do I respond to something like that?"

I remember her spread before me. She gave herself to me totally, like she had never given herself to anyone before. I enjoyed the best of her. Now I can leave the rest of her.

I live in LA. The sun is shining. I'm driving a nice car. I have *******. What's not to love?

If Jane and I get back together, we should talk about marriage and what we would want from the other to make that possible.

I'm surprised and hurt she hasn't been in touch. I'd love to get a long email from her telling me what was going on with her while we were together. Closure!

Song lyric: "When you go quiet, that's when I know you need to talk."

I am making only moderate progress on my assignments from the Beit Din.

**** pulled away for a variety of reasons. I did nothing bad to her. I should have no regrets.

I meet so many chicks at .... But I have only dated one. What's up with that? Where's my mojo? Remember when I came to LA in 1994. I was getting **** like crazy. I was so aggressive. Maybe I need to reclaim and rechannel some of that aggression.

I'm wondering who will pay for my next vacation. I love it when readers fly me around to places and put me up.

She ain't that special. She ain't accomplished anything special with her life. There are thousands of Jewish chicks in LA I could get hung up on. I'd love to go for a long drive out of town. I yearn for adventure, for a change to my routines. How can I put myself around more hot chicks?

I have a nice friendship developing with.... Chicks are noticing our camaraderie. They listen in on our conversations. I have to put some hooks out there to snag them. The more things I am passionate about, the more attractive I am to chicks and other living creatures.

I'd love to ask ****, was there ever a point in our time together that you felt we were monogamous? I'd love to know when that feeling started and when it ended.

Am I victim? No way. I had no illusions about the kind of woman I was with. I was done with her weeks before she cheated on me.

Remember how upset she got when I told her those old ladies were cupping my buttocks in Alexander Technique?

The best revenge is living well. I have cut away my need of her.

Never once in our time together did I turn her down. If we were to get back together, I'd be less available, less easy. Women love a mystery and a challenge. I'm feeling a strong connection to... I need to take the next step and get her Facebook info. Failing that, her email. I'll say, "What if I have some profound thought that would forever change your life?"

It felt great to have everyone hanging on my every word last night. As my teacher told me, nobody else in the place can captivate a room like I can.

I want to take that confidence into the Tu'B'Av event tonight.

That hot blonde likes me. She initiated the conversation last night. She said she was single. She volunteered private info. And to think I used to tell myself that she was out of my league.

Guru Luke is back!

I want to keep my hovel and my life as hospitable as possible for the next lady. Next time around, ask, what would you like from me? If I call you twice a day, is that too much? If you do X, I'm going to spend more time with others. Is this friends with benefits? Is this a romantic relationship? I did not expect things to go anywhere with ****.

I need to remove ambiguity from my relationships. Make it clear where we are at and where we are going. It's so much easier to date within Orthodox Judaism. Where do you hold?

Aug. 6. I gave the party a shot. I met a lot of people but did not get any phone numbers. In the age of Facebook, phone numbers are less important. The most important thing about last night was the number of people who told me I had good energy, that I have a smile that can light up a room. This tells me I am on the right track.

If I were to do last night over, I'd hydrate more. Stay later. Talk to more people. I need to work on my approach game. I need to have more exciting things to say, rather than just asking questions.

It felt so good to have friends there last night who anchored me and refreshed my self-confidence. They introduced me to new people. I wonder why I felt so out of it last night? Because I was tired. I felt a lot of people were ill at ease talking with me. That sucks. I'm becoming the creepy old guy that hits on young chicks out of my league.

I need to build myself up so more people want to connect with me. I need to make more money. How can I free up more time for writing? How can I be more alpha?

Last night's event was not my type of venue. I'm not into clubs and loud music. Last night was a great opportunity to meet a lot of women but my heart wasn't in it. Nobody I talked to fired me up. Best thing I can do for my psyche is get back in the saddle.

I have not been studying enough Torah. Talking to Andy* yesterday was tiring. His trust issues are so huge.

Going out and meeting people is great for my writing. It makes it come alive. It creates more personal and professional opportunities for me.

Aug. 7. M. seemed fragile last night. Vulnerable. She seems to have aged since I saw her last. I always enjoy talking with her. She's super-smart and ambitious. J. seemed particularly friendly. I wonder if she will have dinner with me. If a woman looks at me repeatedly, I need to go up and talk to her.

I'm glad **** is staying away from .... That means she is no more over me than I am over her.

I must study more for my Beit Din.

Man, whenever I feel down, I should just hang out at a Starbucks in Beverly Hills and meet chicks. That was girl was staring at me and I had to run off before talking to her. She was intrigued.

If I can **** with a girl, I can hook her with the great ***.

I'm gonna use these valleys to assess where I went wrong so I can spend more time on the peaks.

A valley is where you focus on what you don't have (Spencer Johnson).

A peak is where you are grateful.

I need to demonstrate more social proof. How can I write more and better blog posts that touch more people more deeply?

I hate feeling on the outside. I want to live from the inside, just like Rabbi Marc Gafni talks about. I've had enough glimmerings of life on the inside that I yearn to return there. I want to be welcome in more homes. I want to be a part of a family, like I was with the Muths at Pacific Union College. It hurt to look at the photos of ... wedding and feel on the outside. I want to join the dance. That's why my Orthodox conversion is so important.

It's sad seeing all these aging beauties who are not into organized religion. What will keep them warm once their looks go? I have a community.

I just got into a fender-bender. My fault. A great life lesson. I can be reckless in driving and in the rest of my life. I've had a lot of these little lessons before. A good thing this occurred when I was going five mph. When I back up, I have to be more cognizant of the wide arc my car takes when I'm turning. My last car accident was 1997. I've made a lot of similar mistakes in my life. As I age, I get more careful. I am on track to a good life but a moment's carelessness can set me back months. I'm gonna be out at least $600.

Aug. 11. I said goodbye to my therapist last night. It was lovely. She's so genuine. She connects to that part of me that's genuine and vulnerable. Perhaps I should expand my willingness to be vulnerable. What could I have said to **** when she told me she had fooled around. Ouch. That's so painful. I feel like you stabbed me. I guess we've been friends with benefits. Until now, I've been monogamous because I wanted to give us a chance. And I was lazy and didn't want the aggravation of fooling around. One woman is all I can handle.

Your attitude towards me was always cool-eyed friendship. Now I have so many possibilities.

Max* says she always struck him as a bitch interested in status. Cold. Grasping. Nothing I told him surprised him. He was surprised each time I went back to her. He says I can do better. She had so much contempt for me. She was like )))). She was ashamed being seen with me. She has contempt for men, for those with lower status.

Until last night, ******* had never sought me out. Then she asked me for a ride home. That's a good sign. She trusts me. She's interested in more. Conversation was effortless. She has delicate features. She's a rebel who's played the corporate game. ^^^^^ was so friendly and verbally combative last night. She likes me. She gets my sense of humor.

I feel like a failure. The world is indifferent to me. I'm searching for my sweet spot. I'm in between relationships. It would be so nice to have a relationship with a girl into Judaism.

I identify with Hunter S. Thompson but I hope I treat people better. I want to read and reread Lolita. I want to capture that witty writing.

My life is full. If I make an appointment with Rabbi *****, that will give me the incentive to memorize everything. I feel insecure about this conversion process but they've passed people who know far less than I do. If I meet someone who's Orthodox from birth, will she be open to seeing Orthodox Judaism through my eyes? Do you like it when I am empathic? When I try to see things from your POV? Well, how about making an effort to see things from my POV.

Through my deeds and my words, I am sketching an ineradicable portrait of myself. Do I like it?

I want to be more vulnerable. I want to develop the traits my therapist liked.

Aug. 12. The girls ignored me last night. I appreciated that donation from Dr. L. He sensed my desolation. It's been five weeks since things ended with...

I find all this minute memorization of Jewish law irksome. The fun has gone out of Torah. I'm not exactly a social butterfly. My phone rarely rings.

Aug. 13. I'm poised between a lot of things right now. Surely something, someone will break my way. Can all these women resist my overtures? I think not. Younger and cuter is better. Jewish is better.

Remember how....ignored my questions. Shut me out. What a **** she was. I'm glad to be done with her witchcraft. I fear I am not getting enough sleep and this will precipitate illness.

3pm. Oy, I mishandled J. I came on too strong and did not wait for IOIs (Indicators of Interest). I'll keep up my cocky funny routine. She likes that.

I'm writing a lot of sentences where I lose my nerve halfway through. I want to keep it real, but then I lose my courage. I want to tell the unvarnished truth but I don't have the balls. I fear the rabbis.

Aug. 14. Joey Kurtzman gave me a lot of positive feedback at yoga last night. He says my body has totally changed in the past year from doing Alexander Technique and yoga. I feel loved at yoga. I feel surrounded by friends. I'm thinking a lot about ****'s hot ****. I want to **** her like a *****.

I wonder why I write 50x as much about sex in my journal than I do about God. I write nothing about God. I don't think about God. God is absent from my life. This has been my least religious year in 20 years. I am unwelcome at so many shuls. I am converting to Orthodox Judaism and my connection is more tenuous than ever. I have no joy in my Jewish practice. I don't have many Orthodox friends. I'm not wanted in Orthodox Judaism.

Aug. 16. I had a great time at **** yesterday. I met ******. So young and pretty and passionate. She seems ideal for me. I need a hot 22yo. We share interests in Orthodox Judaism without being insular. I love how upfront she was with me. I love it that we have friends in common. Maybe they will talk me up.

She reminds me of that other Bais Yaakov girl who was a big fan.

My Shabbos was pretty close to ideal. All I need are more friends and a GF to share it with.

All I'm thinking about these days is what I would say if I were to called to speak at an Orthodox shul. I'd share stuff I learned from Alexander Technique and how it applies to a religious life:

* We have faulty sensory perception. We don't see ourselves accurately.
* We can't tackle certain things head-on. Some things are only available as a by-product. Some things need a teacher. Some things you can only learn one-on-one with a teacher.
* We need to inhibit our inclinations and then think about our directions before acting.
* We don't need to reinvent the wheel. We have a system.

Aug. 17. I wonder what is going on with ^^^^^^. She made some uncharacteristically amorous comments. When I read them, I immediately thought, how does her BF feel about this? I have been friends with her for so long, I am so keenly aware of her, I wonder if I could ever love her? We are so similar. The more things a couple has in common, the better.

I was right to push Joey Kurtzman to pick up the check last night for dinner. He's off to India for three months. I'll miss him. He's a true friend. A lost soul. I feel like an older brother to him.

Everybody is a role model to somebody.

I feel like my life is coming together. ****** life is coming together. It's an awesome synchronicity.  Pouring my soul into yours. I love to feel so close to someone that words are irrelevant.

My kingdom is not of this world. It's online.

Hunter S. Thompson's writing style: Places himself at the center of the story, his concern with getting the story is the centerpiece of the narrative, the use of wild flights of fancy, and the use of a companion. A manic highly-adrenal first-person style. A frantic loser, psychotic, inept.

Who does that remind you of?

Aug. 18. I liked doing yoga last night with Hot Shiksa. She's cute and sweet. I feel like we could talk for hours and it would be easy. It was funny when she asked me about my wife. I loved how she walked over to me last night and sat beside me and smiled.

I need to hustle for dollars. Squeeze out tuition for months Alexander Technique teacher training. I have to drop my pride and ask to borrow money. I have no spare time. On Shabbos, I collapse. I wonder where I can reduce spending? I've cut out acupuncture. I skimp on physical therapy and have skipped the podiatrist. I need to see the dentist. Every day that the available credit on my cards does not get cut is a good day. My blog is a pleasant and frequent source of funds. I can do more writing for .... How can I find time for love, romance and dating? Relationships take a lot of time. I can do all this. I've done it before.

I've got a month off from therapy. That will save $200.

I have little room for error in my life. Stay focused. Disciplined. Healthy. Strong.

I should write a story about the Camera of Death, about a photographer who goes to glamorous events and finds the squalor.

Aug. 19. I feel good about my full life. That beats the old moping Luke.

Aug. 20. I fear getting closer to people. It's easier holding them at a distance and communicate my feelings via my blog. In many ways, that is cowardly.

I should've accepted the offer of money from .... when I visited him in the hospital and brought him his clothes and stuff. I have a hard time accepting what I've earned. I did the work. I need the money.

Converting to Judaism will be a lot tougher than ....expects. The LA Beit Din is by the book. She thinks she'll be done in six months. Hah! Conversion is not just about the acquisition of knowledge. You are joining a tribe. It must change your behavior. I am on track. My blog posts are out there, but I am not too far over the line.

I had a nice walk and talk with my old rabbi. I hope we can be close again.

Aug. 24. I don't want to get too goofy. I must hold myself in control. I must rebuild my Jewish life.

Guru Singh says there's nobody you can't talk to anymore. When you say, you're saying, I don't want to look in that mirror again.

I'm working all day on my blogging and bringing in about $30 max. I have some time to do something marvelous with Lukeford.net. A few weeks. Then I have to get a job after the holidays.

I bet a lot of rabbis will be blown away by my posts over the next few days. With every great post, I feel more powerful.

Now that I have about finished my conversion, I can think about God again and what I love to do in Judaism. Boy, I really owe certain rabbis. Man, am I indebted to them.

I'm having vivid dreams. If I can't sleep, I might as well go to sadhana (early morning yoga).

Aug. 28. Why is she blowing me off? I keep trying to talk to her and she keeps walking away. Weird. I thought we were connecting. Fine. I'll just move on.

I had two setbacks this summer -- **** cheating and my fenderbender.

I've rarely felt connected to anyone while doing yoga.

Aug. 30. I need to identify my deepest purpose. It is writing with a particular awareness of moral issues, informed by my Orthodox Judaism. Does promiscuous sex serve my highest purpose?

I am thrilled that these young women moved to my street. What a party last night. The more women in my life, the better. The more possibilities. The more chances to connect.

I can't believe I knocked on their door and invited myself to their party.

Wow, **** has fallen off the derech. How much has changed in a year. She was all set to finish her conversion.

Sarah adores me. That makes me feel so good about myself. She said so many nice things about me to people. I owe her.

I fear that **** moves on a higher social plane than I do. Can I fly with her?

I had no idea I could pay for a year of Alexander teacher training. I've pulled that off. I need $15,000 to finish my training. I had so many fears when I started the training, that nobody would like me, that I'd say things that were inappropriate, and none of them came true. If I can get certified, think what I am capable of? I took a chance, I committed myself, and it will pay off.

I was willing to be vulnerable and enter the Beit Din conversion process.

I am spending less time at shul these days than any time since I was bedridden. That will change after my conversion. I'll get back into those shuls that banned me. Yoga has been a good substitute for shul.

Sept. 4. What's great about today? I'm not as screwed up as my friend. I can help her.

I feel like I can propitiate my sins by writing about them.

I signed up to go to the JConnectLA High Holidays. This will be my last JConnectLA event. It is for people in their 20s and 30s. I'm 43.

I'm tired of being peripheral to women. I want to be vital. I love that Aussie girl. Cute brunette. Educated. Journalist. I wonder if she's Jewish?

If I don't get my finances in order, I'll never secure a wife.

Sept. 8. 2009. I got into trouble today. I got too high on my bipolar spectrum and sent off a bunch of emails that I thought were funny but she found hurtful.

A son asks his mom (a friend of mine), "What's a shiksa?"

She replied: "Your girlfriend, for a start."

Secular Jews.

***** never fails to say something stupid, something that makes me regret sharing with him.

******* would not be so upset if she did not really like me.

A lot of people have put themselves out to facilitate my conversion to Orthodox Judaism. I owe them. I don't want to let them down. Nobody seems to know I've been going through this giur (conversion) for the past 15 months. I'm glad. I can't believe it stayed private. What a relief. I hate questions about it.

I'm barely in shul these days. I just pop in and out. I don't want to take a chance on anything going wrong with my conversion. One hater can ruin your whole life.

Sept. 13. I passed... It was neither easy nor difficult. I played it right. I could've lost my nerve and given up lukeford.net and my independent blogging and had Rabbi X sponsor me, but I did not. I went the hard way. I'm a drama queen. There's no need to get goofy.

I can risk being vulnerable to others, just as I was with this Beit Din. I don't have to assume the worst about others. I can be careful with them, treat them as I would want to be treated. I can be secure in myself and less likely to lash out at others.

I can walk taller in Pico-Robertson. I can accept aliyot (calls to the Torah). I'm the real deal, a real Orthodox Jew now. I'm not playing dress-up.

How many times did I fear this day would never arrive?

Sept. 14. I had my triumph yesterday. What lingers? A feeling of satisfaction and gratitude. I must shape up and fly straight. I'm driven to challenge the rabbis, push them to the limit. Most get tired of this and kick me to the curb.

Sept. 15. I embraced my bad boy last night. I celebrated the inappropriate things I've said. I was passionate and I connected. I came from a place of strength. Usually when I think about the dumb things I've said and done, I'm ashamed and shrunken and defensive and prone to lying.

I emailed **** last night. She responded. We talked on the phone. She still hates Orthodox Judaism. We'll be friends with benefits. Will this get in the way of my getting married? I miss the intimacy. I need rest. I have felt run-down for weeks. I can't sleep. I slept last night with that kundalini music playing softly. I am grateful to have so much female attention. Now I want to find the one.

I have a lot of concerns about returning to ****. There remains a considerable charge. It's always me returning to her. I have to make the first move.

Sept. 16. *** was really good. Conversation was good. We have such a strong connection. I am still exhausted. I wonder why I can't sleep. **** listed off all these reasons why I am gay. I am thrilled I got to introduce **** to a lot of David Deida's ideas. She's open to his ideas. She's open to a lot of my thoughts.

I can't take any job while I am this exhausted. I had a good afternoon of blogging, but writing about myself rarely brings many hits or dollars. I need scoops.

I am so grateful that **** is back in my life. I was not better off without her. Most girls can't hold a candle to her. I still don't think that she's ready for a relationship. I'm out of balance. When I become jealous and needy, **** is the pause that refreshes.

Sept. 17. So that was another amazing night. We both opened up. She shared her fantasies for the first time. I love how we're unfolding to each other.

**** says I stopped talking to her. I did not realize that. We'd go to yoga and we'd get disconnected. She's ashamed to be seen with me in public. Ashamed to think that people might believe we're together.

Sept. 29. I've been sick and tired and anxious, but I am back with **** and thus I have excitement, intimacy, companionship. I'm going to the opera tomorrow night. Lisa's invite.

Sept 30. I sit here waiting for the free parking to open up at 7pm on Grand and 8th. I'm still feverish but I am slowly getting better. I got two people off my back this afternoon by giving them what they wanted.

If **** were more free in her body, not as pulled down and tense, her neck like granite, she'd be more free socially with me. I don't want a 50-50 relationship. I want intimate communion. I should make peace with pursuing her. So she does not always call me back? Big deal. Man up.

Oct. 1. Last night's opera date with **** was everything I could want and more. She fascinates and excites me. She rocks my world more than any woman has. And I am more more compatible with her. I just feel happy and excited by life.

**** is amazed that everywhere we go, I run into someone I know.

When the *** runs out, where will we be? I'm wary about how emotionally involved she is with her dog.

Oct. 2. I am so scared about money. I've made no progress on this. I want to take action but I am sick.

Rodger...is playing with doing a one-act play based upon my ....

I've signed up for that storytelling workshop.

Oct. 7. My writing workshop was everything I wanted and more. Terrie is a great teacher. I love her questions. Her feedback. Her powerful laugh. What does it mean that I want to be a rock that women dash themselves against? I want to be strong.

It's been 2.5 weeks since I got sick. I think I'm finally feeling better. It's discouraging. I'm no closer to a solution for my finances.

That was funny and running into Mary* outside my place. She now lives on my street. Boy, did she blow me off. Did not answer any of my last four emails.

I find the writing workshop a stimulus to my spirit, to my ego, to my creativity. It's just the thing I need -- to get out of the house and meeting people and competing and working on my writing.

Oct. 13. I did not handle **** too well this morning. Maybe she will get the message. I sent the same sort of email to Holly. She'd say, I'd never know what you were thinking until I read your blog or your emails. Holly got the message. She handled it OK.

I just made the requisite phone call apology to ****.

I only obsess over **** when the circumstances of my life permit it. There are lots of exciting women out there. I've dated many of them. Maybe I'm slowly feeling better, but I am still weak and feverish and heavy.

The reference librarians here are hot. Young and hot and smart.

**** is a hopeless case with her anger, her contempt for men, her secular leftist values, her infidelity, her shame at being seen with me in public, her attachment to her dog...

Oct. 15, 2009:

8:30 am. She's driving to work.  "Honey, you forgot to leave money on the table last night."

"Hey," he says, "women should pay me for ***."

"Though that's probably the most degrading thing for a woman," she says, "I would wholeheartedly endorse that."

"So the back of your knees are your weak point," he says.

"Oh God," she says, "I could feel them right now when you said that. Baby, all of me is my weak point. You are my weak point. I say, I don't feel sexy. It's not going to work. You just managed to get me in the mood.

"I just floated out on a cloud. My whole body, my mind, yeah. You were the antidote. I need to bottle some of your ***** for when I need to feel happy. It's better than Lexapro."

"I think a three-pronged attack is best," he says. "Alexander Technique followed by whole body massage followed by a vigorous tongue lashing."

"Within an inch of my life," she says. "It's ridiculous. All my defenses. All my worries. All my depression. I just have to give in. I can't fight. I have to totally surrender. Then, when you **** me, that totally makes me surrender."

"It's like drilling for oil," he says, "and I felt the oil welling up around my ****."

"Oh God," she says.

"You're not used to my blunt language," he says.

"Yeah," she says. "It scares me. Your masculine energy is scary.

"The dog wants to see you. He's been talking about you. You snuggle with him like only a man can. I can't do that."

"It was funny," he says, "when he ***** my *** when I was ******* you. It helped me keep my ******. Maybe this is the ********* you've always wanted."

"I was looking at this article I published," she says, "and I can't look at it. You are so lucky that you don't have shame about what you write."

"I remember a teacher in high school," he says, "who said, 'You wouldn't care if you had a big fat pimple on the end of his nose. You don't care how you look.'"

"I have deep shame," she says. "It's one of the hardest things about my relationship with writing. Any writing. I want to die. I hate myself and I hate it. I want to throw up.

"I asked you about your writing once and it never occurred to you to feel shame about it."

"My writing is mainly blogging which is not writing," he says. "I feel shame in certain contexts when I run into people who are appalled or hurt by what I've written."

She laughs. "Otherwise you can put it out of your head.

"If you knew you were truly unattractive, you would try to do something about how you look. But at the end of the day, you know you're attractive, so you don't really care. It's fine. It is a way of hiding."

"What are you wearing today?" he asks.

"Oh, you don't want to know. It's so inappropriately casual. Everyone's in little suits and kitten heels."

"You're dyking out," he says.

"I am," she says. "I so look like a lesbian today. But I've got that group."

"That's right," he says. "You've got an image to uphold. Don't let them know that a man was ******** you last night."

"I hope it doesn't show, babe," she says. "I hope the ***** doesn't start ******** out."

He says: "The rabbi is going to take one look at you and say, 'You've been plucked'."

"Baby," she says, "don't watch the movie (Return to Lonesome Dove) without me."

"OK, baby," he says.

"On my way back driving," she says, "I felt my neck tightening. I just shook it out for a minute. I'm becoming much more aware. Thank you for the most amazing night.

"I have this CD with writing assignments with instructors I studied with for years. There's also a guided meditation. That would be super fun."

"You should bring it over on Sunday," he says.

8 pm.

"So I saw the doctor," he says over the phone. "He thinks it might be psychological."

She bursts out laughing. "Oh baby."

"He thinks I should go back to therapy," he says.

"Oh baby," she laughs.

"I'm going to get his email address," he says, "and just cut and paste that email I sent you."

"Maybe he'll take it as well as Holly did," she says.

"Baby, promise me that no matter how sick you are and how tired you are and how you can't leave your apartment, don't watch that movie without me. Did you watch it?"

"I watched it. It wasn't very good. I didn't want you to suffer through a bad movie."

"I'm going to masturbate ten times a day," she says. "I'm going to have no sexual desire at all. You promised. You're lucky you're a sick man or I'd kick your ass.

"I have to know that I can't trust you in this way. You're not reliable with your movie promises. Oh well.

"Have you been following the debate about wearing crocs on Yom Kippur? It pushes my buttons too much, even when discussing it with Conservative and Reform Jews. I just get so riled up. I'm such a bitch."

"Do you talk out?" he asks.

"Oh God, completely," she says.

"Would you be OK with me coming?"

"You're not coming," she says.

He thinks: "I wonder if I held your head up you'd need to talk out so much in these meetings... I should be there with you...but in a gay way."

"My dog loves to lick me," she says. "When I'm taking a bath, he licks my ankles. When I get back from a hike, he licks my arm pits. He doesn't care about how I smell. Whereas for you, I try to be somewhat hygienic and attractive.

"My friend asked me if you shower. I said totally."

He says: "She thinks I'm a dirty Jew."

"I told her about your hovel and your clothing," she says. "Your beard. But I told her you are definitely hygienic. She thinks Jews are pretty disgusting."

"She hates Orthodox Jews?" he asks.

"Yeah," she says. "Contempt beyond contempt."

"That's good," he says. "You guys can be contemptuous together."

"It's such a bonding thing," she says. "Sometimes we tell each other the worst Jew stories we know... She has some good ones. She's just honest... That's how people think of them."

"Give me an example," he says.

"No," she says. "That would be like you telling about sex with your last girlfriend. When I asked you that, you said, I don't remember.

"Smart man.

"Your girlfriends? Are they on the submissive side?"

"Holly was a firecracker," he says. "She was a very dominant woman. She did like to be dominated in the bedroom."

"Which one was Holly [Randall]?" she says.

"The pornographer. The photographer and the alcoholic. She's very similar to you. Very strong. Dominant in the outside world. Contemptuous towards men. 'I'm going to stay close to all the ex-boyfriends I want.' She had pictures of her exes all over the house. I'd look up from her bed or go to the frig and there they were.

"She was very well-read. Her parents (Suze Randall and Humphry Knipe) were well-read. They're erudite pornographers.

"I sent Holly the same email."

"And she was cool with the whole religion thing?" she asks.

"Yeah," he says. "She had zero interest in joining me. In her life, she had never been inside a church or synagogue.

"I've dated a lot of women who are contemptuous of men. There's something in that that appeals to me. Ballbusters."

"Are you always super-thoughtful, considerate boyfriend?" she asks.

"Yeah," he says. "Holly would say, I'd never know what you feel unless I was reading your blog.

"I express my feelings via my writing. Doing it orally doesn't come naturally to me."

"You're clearly a very doting man," she says. "That's your general MO with women?"

"Yeah," he dotes. "I tend to be attracted to women who are contemptuous."

"I am a taker more than a giver," she says.

"As long as I can give you pleasure," he says, "I feel good. If I can't give you pleasure, if I can't do things for you, I feel awful. If I can give something to you that you find valuable, then I feel competent and manly, but if everything I try to do for you, you are contemptuous and dismissive of, then I feel emasculated."

"Oh," she says. "Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh.

"I hadn't thought about that until today. That's definitely a pattern I do. I look for men who are very doting, but then it doesn't turn out well. Seriously."

"Why is that?" he asks, sinking in his chair.

"Because I lose interest when they don't have anything to give me," she says. "It's almost karmic. I keep on playing that out."

"You get bored?" he asks.

"I realize that I can give a lot of those things to myself," she says.

"So you don't need them," he says. "They're not worth the aggravation."

"I like that you are so poor," she says. "I definitely know that I am interested in you and it's not for the money. That's a really big thing. I'm never going to do that again."

"Did ****** support you?" he asks.

"Very much," she says.

"Is that why you were faithful to him?" he asks.

"No," she says. "I made that decision a while before he was paying the rent."

"But why did you make the decision to be faithful to him?"

"Because he scared me. He basically said, it was his way or the highway. I was like, gulp, OK. He lay down the law really early on. You're like afraid to tell me things but if you say anything, I'm like a little obedient dog. So know your power in your speech. It's not only in the bedroom. You just say stuff and I'm like OK."

"I guess he was manly and assertive," he says.

"I told him about your ***uality and what it did to me," she says. "I told him about David Deida.

"Monogamy is more my nature, but at 22 with my friend from YULA, we were club-hopping. Our goal was to get on the best lists in the city, to know everybody and to be photographed for the society pages. I was working as a model. My boyfriend would bust me constantly flirting with other guys, but he wanted to get his ass kicked. It was something he needed karmicly and I provided it."

"In my senior year, I should've applied for an MFA. It was the most obvious thing in the world. I was way too scared. Until eight years ago, I was like a little bunny."

"You didn't feel like you were worthy of getting an MFA?" he asks.

"God no," she says. "For an MFA, you have to take a GMAT, the test for graduate school. That's like math and stuff. I thought, I'll never be able to do this. I thought about the whole application process. I went to New York and I started modeling."

"You're not fond of Jews," he says, "and yet you'd like to live in Israel?"

"Oh no," she says. "I like secular Jews just fine. The people I knew from day school, they'd go to nice restaurants and not wear their kipa. They were very cultured and sophisticated, not like the Brooklyn Jews. Israel is so secular.

"I don't know what I even want. I'm so used to always having a goal. I don't have one anymore. When you have a goal, you never feel lonely. It feels like a reason to get up every day."

"I feel like I'm still ******** **** *****," he says. "I've felt very bonded to you all day."

"Me too," she says. "When I heard your voice this morning, I just started getting very excited.

"You feel very clear in your purposes."

"I'm not always sure how to get there," he says. "Life is a narrow bridge. The important thing is not to be afraid. Lie lie lie lie lie lie lie. You love hearing me sing."

"I so lost my sexual attraction," she says. "Judaism provides that for you? A sense of hope and goodness and something?"

"Yeah," he says. "I don't know how one could be hopeful if one thinks that this world is all there is. That Hitler and Mother Theresa have the same fate. There's no rational reason to be happy or hopeful."

"Yep," she says. "In all the happiness studies, people who are religious are happy."

"And people who are conservative," he says. "And married."

"Definitely," she says, "a lot of the time I think there's nothing to live for. I get really scared because I don't really want children. I don't believe in anything. The only thing I believe in is the present and even now that just turns into the past."

"How can you be anything but unhappy with that worldview?" he asks. "Unless you delude yourself that there is some meaning you make up."

"Oh," she says, "all meaning is made up."

"I believe it is real," he says.

"To me, it is very simplistic," she says, "and I'll never be able to do that. Faith. Blind faith. Naaseh vnishmah (we will do and we will understand, the Israelites said at Sinai according to tradition), no way."

"I've never said naaseh vnishmah," he says.

"I believe in chocolate," she says. "And not much else. It's definitely pretty scary."

By Luke Ford Chapter Two  Chapter Three  Chapter Four Chapter Five  Chapter Six   Chapter Seven  Chapter Seven B  Chapter Eight   Chapter Nine  Chapter Ten  Chapter Eleven  Chapter Twelve 1994-1997 1997  1998 1998B 1999 2000 2001 2009