By Luke Ford Chapter One 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
Friends Comment On Luke Ford
"If you're so focused on humanity, Luke, how come you're writing a book about yourself?" (Robyn Vandiver)
"Verbal vomit." (Karen's comment on my tapes to her daughter Lana.)
"Like walking through manure." (A friend describes reading my autobiography.)
"Like looking into a dirty stove." (My sister's reaction to my bearded face.)
"I want a cigarette and I don't even smoke." (Lana's desire upon finishing one of my tapes.)
"I want to slash my wrists and jump off a bridge." (Lana's desire upon finishing one of my tapes.)
"His mind writes checks that his body can't cash." (Karen)
"You prey on simple girls, get their feelings aroused, and then tell them to act in their own self-interest." (Tien)
"You make the most beautiful thing sound smutty." (Tien)
"You make the most smutty thing sound beautiful." (Lana)
"Luke would describe a woman's period as a gently spreading crimson tide across an ocean of white purity." (Karen)
"He's not as pompous." (My new friend D. compares my father's personality to mine.)
"Every guy tells me that." (D.'s reaction to my claim to be highly sexed.)
"I like Robyn. She has the guts to say what I think." (Lana)
"I've talked to you for hundreds of hours, received thirty of your tapes, and I've read your autobiography. Yet there is still a part of you that I can't touch." (Lana)
Friends say the one thing that Luke most needs to do is:
* Find Jesus.
* Get married.
* Think about others.
* Get laid.
* Keep his hot sticky sperm to himself.
Suggested titles for Luke's autobiography
* Seeking Attention (Gill)
* What's Wrong With My Hormones? (Gill)
* I Want To Give
* I Don't Have A Problem
* Luke Who Loves Too Much And The Women Who Use Him
* Boy Luke
A new friend writes:
You asked for feedback from me regarding your letter to Spectrum. I thought at the time I read it, and still think, that it was one of the cruelest acts I have seen, short of physical violence. This is remarkable as you have adopted a religion which holds cruelty to be the greatest sin. I don't believe you were intentionally cruel. If I thought that, I would not have chosen to engage you.... But you exhibited not just poor judgement, but a total lack of empathy for the feelings of your father. He didn't deserve this.
Yes, I am sure that many people have been curious about your unique perspective. I certainly was, even before I read your letter. Spectrum was not the place to respond to anyone's curiosity. Could you not imagine how he would feel? Truthfully, Luke, I am more disturbed after listening to the tape you gave me on Sabbath than I was before, because even after so many people chastised you for doing this, you admit to bad judgement but nothing more.
After spending an afternoon with me earlier this month, my highschool buddy Chris McMaster writes from England. (Again, I'm using the date when I receive the correspondence.)
"Stop trying to improve people and everyone will benefit. Give up ideals. Forget morality. Prohibiting anything just makes it more interesting. Stop teaching propriety and let natural affections arise of themselves."
Chris, you give a rational secular response to life. Don't worry, be happy. I doubt, however, that you will find this approach ultimately fulfilling.
My friend Robyn Vandiver writes to me:
You liked my Beltane outfit - or rather, you liked what was exposed. Naughty Luke, pretending to be serious and spiritual when you were simply astounded by Amy and my considerable pulchritude. I don't think you're too spiritual at all. Your mom's right. It's a gimmick! I've been telling you that for months.
My friend Natalie has this nine-year old boy, Josh, at her preschool.
Josh: I could never marry a Christian!
Natalie: Why not?
Josh: Because I'm Jewish!
N: Do you eat kosher foods?
J: Yeah, but not exclusively kosher food. My synagogue has a bagel sale on Saturdays. They're really good.
N: Do you wear a little hat when you go to the synagogue?
N: Are you going to have a Bar Mitzvah?
J: Yeah, when I'm 13.
N: Will it be a big party?
J: Yeah, but you can't come because you're not Jewish.
N: How do you know?
J: Well, you know a lot about Judaism...Are you?
N: No, but I've read about it and my friend has a friend who's Jewish. But he's not a real Jew.
J: Oh, he's a convert. My dad has a friend who married a woman that converted because she liked the bagels.
So Luke, there's hope for me yet. I like bagels! Especially with cream cheese. The "bagel sale" gave us great business ideas. Amy could make some bagels while Natalie and I made a stand, and we could prop you up behind the stand with a sign: "BAGELS! by Yitzchok Adlerstein, approved by Dennis Prager."
Maybe some single Jewish females would come by to squeeze your bagels and see how fresh and tasty they are!
A little advice for your singles ad: "Crazy Jew-boy seeks big boobs and mail sex."
With a puzzled look on his face, Levi Kuhn said: "Luke wrote that letter to Spectrum to gain attention."
My stepmother Gill burst out laughing. "I tell him that everyday," she said. "In his next letter to Spectrum, he's coming out of the closet to announce: 'I'm Des Ford's son and I'm a three-letter word for happy - 'gay'.' "
"Just kidding," said Gill.
"Please don't tell me that there is some Hebrew law against celebrating birthdays. Good thing I'm not there, or you'd get 27 whacks on the fanny and a sloppy kiss on the cheek, you untouchable brat!"
My mom and dad write in my 27th birthday card:
"May this be the year you come out of Egypt, cross the Red Sea and go into the Promised Land."
My sister LN says that she will bring her husband and two stepdaughters to visit for a couple of weeks this month if I shave and cut off my earlocks.
"Your sister wanted to write you a strong letter about your letter to Spectrum but Dr. Ford told her not to. Why?"
Jane, Dad didn't want my feelings hurt.
Your sister says that you are self-absorbed and lack empathy.
You should shave your beard and dreadlocks, so your sister will visit. You should shave them so that you don't look like a Jew who got lost when your father's Christian friends visit.
I hope that Gill is not allergic to Lucy [the white cat]. How could you suggest that Lucy be put down? I wouldn't let you wash my cats, either, and they're not as sweet as Lucy.
Diana said your autobiography was boring. Perhaps you've met your match in lack of tact and empathy! For a nice Jewish boy, you did a lot of lying on the bed with this young lady. Why did you tell me about fondling her.... She's right. You are inconsistent... not much commitment to keeping that little rule [against touching females].
L. naked while she talked to you [on the phone]. Yawn. Are you a wee bit sexually preoccupied these days, Luke? Wanting to hear the dirty bits of a Sydney Sheldon novel. Have you ever read Sheldon?
You tell me your brother and sister think you need psych testing, how much it costs, who's going to pay for it. You don't tell me how you feel about it.... You tell me about Gill's...[panic attack?] because you rushed her for dinner; but you don't say what you feel about that.
Jane, you make good points. I too find it most interesting when people open up about their feelings.
I find that hard to do, however, at the moment. Because of my illness and other "failures,"I depend on other people. I don't like being so vulnerable. I frequently feel that when I express myself honestly, I crucify myself. People like you sometimes take advantage of my honesty to rip into me.
You tell me about Lana's visit, mostly about fondling her... I believe that is against your new religion... A mockery of what you profess to believe?
No Jane, it's not a mockery. I just don't live up to all of my and my religion's ideals. Do you?
I'm just more honest about my sinning than most people.
Yes, I'm a sinner. My Christian, do you accept sinners?
Glad you have lots of correspondence in the Orlando area.... Find a nice Jewish girl in Maitland, Florida, get married, and come live here. Then your mother and father would visit central Florida more often. It'd be nice to have you nearby, too, brat. I'm thinking of calling all these young ladies and starting a club. Would you like us to charter a plane and come see you, or would you rather we take up a collection and send you a plane ticket?
Jane, don't come all at once. That'd be a disaster. I'm a one-woman at a time man.
You ask who do I love more - Jesus or Luke Ford? I'd say Luke, since I know him personally and rarely (if at all) think about Jesus. He's just an old dead guy who I have no feelings for whatsoever.
You occupy a unique place in my life for you are the only male who shows any interest in me.
You ask what's the "commitment hang-up" that women want before they'll go to bed with you...
In a nutshell, it's because women have been raised in a man's culture that says a non-virgin is less valuable than an "undefiled princess."
Robyn, the animal part of me hopes that you are right. It'd be fun if more women would have sex without commitment.
"Got your tape today. As you are wont to do, you had just begun to answer my letter [6/10] when you ran out of tape. I may not have mentioned it before because I try to be more patient than I really am, but I HATE IT WHEN YOU DO THAT!!!!!
"I'm probably wrong, but I always feel that you were about to say something profound when the tape ends. I imagine your saying something so extraordinary, so intelligent, so empathic and perceptive, that it would change my life, and you never know that you said it into empty space because the tape ran out...
"You flatter me, probably so I will write more, huh?
"There is something important that I must tell you in answer to your most..."
Jane then came to the bottom of the page. I turned over and saw the word "Gotcha!"
Jane covered her card with cat stickers. I responded by audiotaping our white cat Lucy eating a mouse. You can hear "Sweet Lucy" crunching the skull.
Lana and Karen thought that my taping was disgusting. My stepmother Gill said it was cruel. My friend Ilene Blender almost lost her dinner.
Lana spent a delightful weekend with me.
Gill wants to know if I touched her. "Only in a spiritual way," I replied.
Lana shaved off my beard and cut my earlocks as a Father's Day gift to Des (and for the benefit of everyone else in my life).
After dropping Lana off to catch her bus, I attended the Auburn Presbyterian Church Service run by my friend Reverend Kenneth Winter. It was my first time in church in seven years.
My good old friend Doug (not his real name) writes:
I'm sorry that young ladies don't see physical intimacy with you as sufficiently pleasurable and meaningful in itself. On the other hand, I recognize that, for many of them, commitment is much of the pleasure and meaning. What is the commitment [Lana] wants, marriage or a monogamous relationship? As a male (of the kind that Prager describes as insatiable), I not only sympathize but empathize with you.
Doug, Lana wants a monogamous relationship.
"You are more honest and self-critical than anyone else in my life? I doubt it. You're just more self-absorbed...narcissistic than almost anyone I've known.
"Maybe Leslie is perceptive, or has she written you again?"
Jane, Leslie's five page letter arrived with yours.
I think you love your father and fear disappointing him...
Debbie thinks it significant that you erase over your father's sermons? I think it signifies that you have a free source of tapes.
I don't like my letters being part of your autobiography. But I've known from your first tapes what a blabber mouth you are with other people's correspondence, so I haven't told you much that I would mind being broadcast.
Thanks for the offer to hug your pine tree. That might be more enjoyable than shaking your hand, after all. At the rate you are going lately, I might wonder where that hand had been!
I agree with Lana that you like attention. And I agree with your sister [LN]. I no longer think I've met a religious Jew.
Do I have photos of myself in fishnet stockings? Is that a question that you typically ask your father's friends?
Thanks for leaving part of your father's sermon on the end of the tape. It was a refreshing elevation of thought.
I was thinking of asking Lana if she'd like to be vice-president of the Luke Ford Fan Club, but I think she is more qualified than anyone to be president, so I'll relinquish that office to her.
Jane, I hurt many people with the things I say. Lana's the latest example. I prepared a tape for her before she came to spend the weekend and gave it to her as she left. I made these points on the tape:
* A relationship needs fire and passion to get going, and I don't as yet feel that for her.
* Giving sex for love is not worthy of respect.
12:15 pm 6/20
As I sat on the bus from Auburn to Sacramento, I listened to your tape and cried. How could you give me a tape like that without warning? I didn't "give" you sex because I was desperate for love.... I made love to you because you begged me to put aside my conditions because I deeply care for you.
I wont say "I love you" because I know that you will use that... to hurt me.
No fire, no passion? Maybe you can find it [fire and passion] with a good Gentile because you will never find a Jewish woman like me... one who cares for you UNCONDITIONALLY with all of your problems, restrictions and idiosyncrasies!...
Luke, you are in no position to make demands on anyone.
You seem to talk about me frequently to your family and friends. Why? Does it excite you to think that you can add to your harem and then destroy?
Maybe you can use the rest of I.'s condoms with Robyn.... I hope that she can ignite the spark in you that I cannot.
If we have no future together, who do I waste my time?
You won't appreciate me until I leave.
As far as our Judaism is concerned, your lust put it on hold and dragged us down. I also wish to be elevated to higher values and be good and holy, but when you think with your penis, we descend.
My caring and devotion lasts in your mind only as long as your erection does.
If your only role in this relationship is to teach me a lesson and elevate me to higher values, than pick someone else to teach.
You said you didn't want to know if I was seeing other men. Why be bothered if I am only an interim relationship...?
Luke, after our phonecall last night I was beaming. You were more caring, understanding, sincere and sensitive than you have ever been. I only hope that I can make you as happy as you make me.
My new female friend Debbie (not her real name) writes:
Your tape sounds worse than arrogant - despicable, disrespectful, distasteful, degenerate.
You deserve to drown in the mikveh! God must have been having a bad dream the day you were born.
If you love fresh things, why do you send me dead rose petals?
You try to see how offensive you can get and still have someone tolerate you.
Good point, Debbie, I do push people until they tell me to stop.
Frequently, however, they say nothing and simply avoid me.
Debbie writes further:
Are you schizophrenic?
It's haunting to have someone whom I haven't even met tell me things about myself that I knew all along but haven't been able to condense into a few simple words that speak to me through a cassette tape as I lie on the floor of my living room.
I am amused with your fascination with black fishnet stockings.... I save that stuff for special moments.
It's hard for me to respect your arrogant sexual fantasies. No, I don't experience spontaneous orgasm listening to your voice, nor do I intend to rub my body with anything and pretend that it's you.
Please don't try to catch up on ten years worth of living before I come. You'll be in no shape to have fun!
My good old friend Doug writes:
Overjoyed to hear that Luke's primordial lust and insatiability found expression thanks to a sympathetic and decent woman [Lana] and to his own probably not inconsiderable charm. Am awestruck at your sexual prowess (loving thrice one day and once the next morning)!! I hesitate to hazard what you must be capable of when fully fit! I don't wonder in the least that you could barely talk afterwards. Thanks for the effort!
To answer your question, a three-some in bed sounds fascinating - providing all three are willing. I've never been part of such an arrangement and it sounds mechanically perplexing (whose parts go where?). But another warm body provides unexpected opportunities for improvisation. Also, as is evident, male staying power is decidedly more limited than female. An eager woman would not have to wait as long for male recharging if there were two males. Two women and one man would, from my chauvinistic view, have definite allure - but also significant drawbacks unless both women delighted in periodic and lengthy cuddling.
Christian friends write:
"You have something buried deep in your soul that's troubling you. We hope that with God's help you will be able to resolve the problems (maybe with the help of a Godly counselor).
"You've got so many good years left in your life. It's a shame to waste them in bitterness."
Many people, particularly Christian friends, tell me that I'm bitter. I don't think so.
My Protestant friend Rick Hammer says that by converting to Judaism, I'm telling my Christians friends that they're wrong. Feeling threatened in their faith, they need to disqualify my religious journey through generally psychological explanations.
"People fear someone who's made such a big change," says Rick. "I know that I do. Something inside me says watch out. You may want to look for friends among Jews."
Lana came up from San Jose to spend three days with me.
I find it hilarious that your Lana - your sponge - is jealous of your Miss Robyn. Is it my wit that frightens her? Or is it my use of language? My overwhelming femininity and lustiness?
I assume that this letter will fall into her hands, so I will address her directly.
You must know that you have absolutely no cause to be afraid of me, my letters, or my body. As far as sex goes, you can have Luke...I would be surprised if he at all resisted your attempts to elicit a promise from him that he would not have sex with me.
Robyn, you're wrong.
"Oh, I'm so flattered," replies Robyn Vandiver.
"Has he [Luke] offered you the use of a sheet with a hole in it? More power to you if you truly want a "relationship" with Mr Ford. Have fun trying.
"Love, Robyn, the wild one."
Now back to Luke directly. Did you tell her about our wild times by the Auburn Ravine, with all that white water rushing, gushing and pounding? How about the utter joy you receive opening my hot pulsating envelopes?
Yes, Luke, evil spirits possess your mind. I am one of them. A silly water nymph with a passion for bugging boys who wear yarmulkas and funny fringes.
How dare you think think I would knit you a yarmulka? I will not be reduced to the position of She-Who-Knits-Funny-Hats-For-Luke.
I get phone calls all hours of the night, so if you have trouble sleeping, call me and we'll chat. Of course, I wouldn't want to get you all hot and bothered. That honor is reserved for almighty Lana, The Warrior Goddess.
An Orthodox Jewish friend phoned for the first time in three months and described me as angry, bitter, ungrateful, manipulative and smutty.
I do have all those traits but I don't believe that they're defining characteristics of my character.
Earlier this week I sent Robyn Vandiver a tape which began with ten minutes of my loudly kissing Lana.
Lana finished the rest of the tape by talking privately to Robyn.
Robyn reacts to me:
Should I bring my grandpa's camcorder next time? You seem eager to share.
I did not appreciate your needless "ejaculations" into Lana's conversation with me. Tasteless, vulgar, disgusting, obscene.
You've shelved your pious facade and are no better than the huge numbers of religious bigots I have encountered.
I hope that you're not as fickle with Lana as you were with your feigned holiness.... What would Dennis Prager think if I sent him a copy of this tape? Or that rabbi who performed your penis-puncturing ceremony?
Are your tzitzit (fringes) slapping you around?
My friend Jules writes to Lana:
Luke is typical in that he can say he loves you and mean it - in a male way. Most men love, as they orgasm - intensely but briefly, with feeling quickly exhausted. Replenishment takes time and frequently needs new and often different stimulation (as different as a new beloved).
Luke only thinks of kissing for good sound on tape.
I've corresponded with 70-year old retired Judaism teacher Shari Jay Brodsky for about a year. We've never met. Shari answered my ad in the Nevada County Jewish Community Center Newsletter seeking Judaism friends.
Shari writes to me from Grass Valley.
"You are not angry and bitter.... You may put some people out by your honesty."
[During this summer of 1993, Shari suggested that I try the antidepressant Nardil. I didn't act on her advice.]
I encountered my 42-year old friend Jenny (not her real name) last December through answering her singles ad in the Northern California Jewish Bulletin. "Brainy voluptuous beauty with MS...."
Emily lost 120 pounds in the last 18 months and she now weighs 220 pounds on her 5'8" frame. She is a bi-polar schizophrenic with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Born Jewish, Jenny converted to the Mormon faith in her thirties.
We've never met in person.
Jenny writes to me from the Psychiatric Ward of a San Francisco hospital.
I want to meet you in the flesh. Your photograph has been with me every day since you sent it. I hope that you already believe that I love you, my great joy.
I invite you to come stay with me in the gay citadel for two weeks before the High Holy days. I can show you the portrait I painted of your soul. It may help you understand why you have CFS. Is that Cutler Ford System or Chronic FATigue Syndrome?
If you decide you want to stay longer than two weeks and I agree, we have to talk about one of two things - Either marrying or effecting a "domestic partnership."
I want you making love to me.... We'll have a life of artistic and religious sanity.
Jenny, I smile at your intensity. I want a platonic relationship between us, not a physical one.
My friend Lana spent the weekend with me. We house-sat for Bill and Barbara Murphy next door. When Lana and I picked up the Murphy's newspapers this morning, we noticed me on the front page of the Auburn Journal.
My acquaintance John Trumbo wrote the article. About seven years ago, when John was a reporter for the local Neighbors section of the Sacramento Bee, he wrote an article about the cable TV news show I delivered from Sierra College.
This time John writes under the headline "Voucher Issue Proponent: Reform Is Key":
A school voucher initiative - also known as the Parental Choice in Education Initiative - calls for giving $2600 credit in the form of a voucher to the parents of a school-age child to be applied toward the cost of education for that child at whatever school - public or private - the parent chooses.
"No question, this would devastate financing of public education," said Placer County Superintendent of Schools John Reinking.
Reinking's remark is a common reply from public school administrators, who fear the worst in giving parents the option of taking away dollars normally assigned to public education and funneling them to private schools.
But the economic issue isn't at the core of the argument for a grassroots organization called ExCEL, which is pushing for approval of the voucher initiative. The focus is on reform, says Luke Ford of Newcastle.
Ford, 27, believes parents should be economically empowered to choose schools for their children because it will lead to a betterment of education overall, not to mention reintroducing the notion of ethics and morality in the classrooms.
"We are the first civlization in history to have raised a generation of youth who are value-free," said Ford, adding that the absence of a moral framework in public education coupled with declining scholastic performances has pushed the voucher initiative to the ballot.
Ford is a 1984 Placer High School graduate and the Placer County coordinator for Parents For Educational Choice, which is supporting the initiative.
He is also an unlikely candidate for the job, being virtually house-bound as a victim of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome since 1988....
Raised as a Seventh Day Adventist, Ford grew up in a private school setting, switching to Placer High School as a sophomore....
"I've had experience in both, as well as Sierra College," Ford said.
It's that classroom experience that prompted him to become politically concerned and as active as his health will allow in pushing for the voucher initiative.
"My generation grew up in a vacuum," Ford said, noting that as a high school student he saw lots of good sports, music and language programs, but nothing at school on the subject of ethics....
"The idea of teaching kids to be decent people, and the difference between good and bad wasn't there, except for a teacher or two who might do it by example," he said.
Ford's father is a minister who was a professor in Australia... before moving the family to California. He says his father had to cut his class materials by half when they moved, just to accomodate slower paced U.S. students.
"We (the United States) used to be considered at the top, educationally, in the world. Now we are near the bottom," Ford said.
Ford became aware of the voucher initiative a year ago through his doctor, Alan Bonsteel of San Francisco, who is the Northern California director for Parents for Educational Choice.
Since then, Ford, who recently converted to Judaism, has become increasingly concerned about social issues and public education.
"People want to take charge of their lives. They want to make choices and they tend to be dissatisfied with public education, partly because of religious reasons," he said.
"Many people feel the public schools just aren't doing the job," Ford added.
Even though he believes there is grassroots support for the initiative, Ford says he has seen little organized effort locally to get it passed.
"I think I'm it (the county coordinator) because no one else has come forward," Ford said.
Ford said his health prevents him from making many public appearances, but he is available by telephone to answer questions and help coordinate a Placer County effort in behalf of the initiative.
My sister LN writes from Australia:
Here's me saying that I knew all about your life (when you suggested that you would send me your autobiography) but its like reading about someone else. I had no idea you felt the way you describe. I always thought that I had a handsome and popular brother who was also intelligent and sociable!! I never knew you felt angry inside and didn't get along well with most people. Perhaps you're projecting your current negative feelings into the past.
"That's right," said my dad.
Jules Zentner writes from UCLA:
Was surprised... to receive a call from Lana.... She is concerned about understanding you. I suggested that she forget this....You have... intellectual, affectional, and sexual desires... and you are fiercely independent while also being needy.... While caring deeply about people, you can be a bully and insensitive to individuals. But you are also honorable and, beneath your primordially savage exterior, mostly decent.... It's not a good idea for either of you that you be allowed to remain a barbarian. I'm not sure that you wish or have the talent to become a gentleman but, to get to where you want to go, you need greater civility.... Lana oughtn't be a rug to you at significant cost to herself. It isn't healthy for you to tear down others.
I've received several calls from that article in the Auburn Journal. Mainly welfare mothers who want a choice where their children go to school.
Lana writes that she wants to break up with me:
The more I spoke with Jules and Robyn, the more I realized that you will never be satisfied with me, my friends or my life.... The way you are is NOT Jewish. You are Jewish by religion, but you are not a real "Jew." Real Jews are tolerant caring people who are not judgemental.... You have been raised a certain way, and while I tried to live with it and understand it, I am so physically emotionally and financially drained that I cannot even think straight. I allowed myself to love someone who not only doesn't want to love, but doesn't want to BE LOVED. My time with you was the most precious in my life, and I don't know if there will be anyone I am as comfortable with, but I do know that there IS someone out there who will accept me for who I am, and want to give to the relationship as much as I do. You alienate people and push them away. I will not be a "sponge" for you anymore. Luke, I believe you care for me, but in a selfish way (You care as long as I will do for you). If you want to salvage this relationship, you will have to "keep fighting," too. (SOUND FAMILIAR?)
I told Lana that she was being pathetic. She agreed. Our relationship continues.
Debbie (not her real name), 37, writes to me from Orlando Florida. I answered her singles ad at the end of April in Heritage (the central Florida Jewish newspaper). My Christian friend Joanne Boleman sent me a gift subscription.
Debbie has been an Electrical Engineer working in computer design, but for the last five years she's been on disability because of a similar auto-immune problem to mine.
Despite our hours of conversation... I perceive you as a very special person, whose behavior can range from charming to revolting. I believe you derive a special pleasure out of being able to express both ends of this spectrum to those around you. Your intimate friends muct accomodate this range. I often feel as though you are testing me in much of what you say, on the phone, and even more so on tapes. You seem to be looking for limits.
Debbie, you're right.
Debbie and I share a similar cerebral personality. We're INTJs in the Myers-Briggs personality test.
My ex-girlfriend from UCLA, Tien, phoned me in the evening and we talked for a couple of hours. Aside from 90 minutes on the phone in March 1991, we haven't communicated since September of 1990. Tien's been going out for two years with our UCLA dormmate Gerald.
"Why did you just write me?" Tien asked.
"I wanted to know how you were doing," I answered, but in the back of my mind I thought that I might be getting married soon.
Tien's doing well.
Jules Zentner writes to me:
I don't wonder that you were surprised that...[the recording of "Sweet Lucy" eating mice]...was the only time that I had been really irritated with you, but your response to my irritation was the source of my unease. You noted that some of those you played the incident to were amused and some disgusted. As a friend who was disgusted by the content and tone of your narration and irritated that you would subject me to it, I was sorry that you expressed no regret for disgusting me (even if you feel that I, and others, may be unduly sensitive or misguided).
Jules, I rarely apologize for such minor indiscretions.
Robyn Vandiver writes:
I've read through your autobiography. Coupled with our latest disheartening phone conversations, your tapes, and my discussion with Lana, I'm having trouble discovering a reason why I should continue to expend energy attempting to communicate with you.
You call yourself a "giver", and I think I understand why. You take only the parts of a person that you can use to make yourself look superior, and then you... give that person so much Luke that he/she feels smothered by what is being crammed down his/her throat.
I'm tired of being used simply as a "perspective" in your pointless autobiography and taken out of context. I'm also tired of being a subject in your experimental study of existence. Rather than actually living, you act like a scientist who presides over a colony of live ants, occasionally tossing in a catalyst to observe and record the rat's reactions. This rat isn't afraid to chew out of that cage and leave the scientist's intrusive eyes far behind. Based on my conversation with Lana, I hope she's done the same - turned and fled.
Robyn, she hasn't.
Overall Robyn, I think your comments have some merit but they are overly harsh and lacking in perspective. No one else writes to me in such an unrelentingly critical manner.
I wonder why you conduct these bizarre experiments... especially since you sit on the sidelines and pride yourself in causing your own misery. I don't believe in your illness either. Your horrible food and lack of human contact are probably what make you feel so lousy. Beside... that you consider yourself a "wounded god." We all contain...the divine.
You say god rules the world and not black stones. What if your god created those same black stones (onyx, obsidian, etc) for a physical manifestation of the healing power contained in his/her creation of the universe?
Good point, Robyn.
As for your "I don't have any mystical power over your feelings" speech, it's bullshit....You write of people crying and feeling physically sick after listening to you. Of course they are ultimately in control of their minds and reaction, but the basis of all human interaction is how we affect one another.
Your friends fill some void in you, Luke, They affect you. For example, upon reading my letters, you often smile and laugh.
You believe that you are right and you will not listen to another view. But I have enjoyed this 10-month journey into the mind of Luke Ford. I truly think I am deep enough, and old enough to make my own choices of reading material.
I was truly peeved to see the "Miss Bexx" selection - I was foolish and naive enough to think you had actually written that for me! Oh well, reality hits and tells me you just changed the name.
Did you see the Sacramento Bee article about the witches who will open a pagan school in Sacramento if the voucher issue passes? A place for me to teach! Hallelujah!
Robyn, I saw the article. Choice and capitalism in education will be messy but I'm willing to pay the price (of witches running small schools, etc).
By the way, on this voucher issue, I've published letters to the editor of the Jewish Bulletin of Northern California and the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles. I've also appeared on KAHI radio.
As for "Miss Bexx," I wrote that Becky helped inspire me.... You Robyn also inspired that story.
At noon today I took a congratulatory phone call from my Seventh Day Adventist Pastor friend Lawrence Burn on my hot love life. I then drove to Eppies restaurant, just off Madison in Sacramento, where I met two women for the first time. We chatted for almost an hour.
I've corresponded and talked on the phone with Janet Bowler for about a year. The 42-year old mother of three comes from a Christian background. Janet loves Dennis Prager and she may convert to Judaism.
Gina is a 28-year old secular SJF (Single Jewish Female).
I drove away at 1:45 PM and picked up almost 38-year SJF Debbie at the Sacramento Airport. She flew in from Orlando Florida to spend three weeks with me and northern California.
Debbie considered not getting in the car with me for the following reasons:
* I showed up in my parents' red Toyota Corolla instead of my blue '69 VW Bug which Debbie expected.
* The dirty stains on my teeth.
* My abundant sweat.
* I was 20 minutes late.
* The lascivious way I looked at her shapely 5'7" 127 pound body.
I drove Debbie home and introduced her to Dad. After a nap and her medication, Debbie calmed down and let me close to her.
I also spent time with Seventh Day Adventist theologian Dr Norm Young's letter to me:
Your letter to Spectrum did not seem so dreadful to me. Your sympathies are clearly with your parents at Glacier View, as was right, and not with the assembled heavies. Perhaps telling the world of your transference of your faith from your father's religion to Judaism may embarrass him, but it would be equally wrong for any of us to expect you to hide your Jewish light under a bushel.
It is hard for a champion of the Christian gospel to have his son publicly declare in an Adventist context that he has gone over to a law-centered faith. From Des' perspective you have gone from substance to shadow, and he probably feels he has failed somehow.... That is how others see it and that brings shame to him....You have every right to run your own race - and Des would agree - but perhaps Spectrum was not the best place to announce your race plans. When your dad is down our way, he is always talking of Luke. He loves you.... A bit of a letter is not the end of the world.
Thank you Dr Young. You have great credibility with me. Most friends of my father roundly condemned my publication in Spectrum without seeing things from my point of view.
I agree with almost everything in your letter.
I left a message this morning on Lana's answering machine telling her that Debbie had flown in to me and that we'd been intimate. Lana and I had an agreement that if I ever went to bed with another woman, I'd tell her.
Lana phoned me back in the afternoon sounding devastated and angry. Because of her pain, she'd left work early to go home.
Lana told me that Dennis Prager had phoned her that morning replying to her FAX of a couple weeks ago complaining about me. Prager counseled her about me and recommended a couple of movies.
"Your dog looks at me in a bored fashion," said Debbie. "She's saying 'Oh well, Luke's brought home another woman.'"
My ex-girlfriend from UCLA, Tien, writes:
"I'm glad that you have lots of admirers... Don't be too pre-occupied with breasts. These women are intelligent and probably have lovely faces. Have you noticed?"
My new Christian friend Jane writes that she wishes that she could've read my autobiography months ago, for her response to me would've been different. She wouldn't have taken my manner so personally.
I bought my roundtrip plane ticket to Orlando, Florida to fly back with Debbie on the 25th. I think that we can work out a long-term relationship leading to marriage. Debbie's more pessimistic about our chances but she's a mismatcher by personality.
[I minimize my descriptions in this diary of the painful fights between Deb and I for the sake of good taste and Deb's privacy.]
I drove Debbie to Dr. M. this morning. While waiting for Debbie to get Estrace estrogen instead of her usual Premryn, I drove a few miles to my old Forest Lake Christian School. I wandered around the grounds and handed out a couple of videotapes on the school vouchers issue. It was my first time at FLCS since the end of my Freshman year in June, 1981.
In the evening, Debbie and I went over to Bill and Barbara Murphy next door. Just to spite me, Debbie drank two Orange and Rums and ate a hamburger with cheese on it. I don't like alcohol and Judaism prohibits eating dairy and meat together.
Debbie doesn't appreciate my many female friends.
"I need a lot of women," I protested.
Bill told me I lacked class to say that in front of Debbie, a woman several leagues above me.
Bill, Barbara and Debbie agreed that I was immature, selfish and stingy.
"Why do you allow Luke in your house?" Debbie asked Bill and Barbara. They replied that I amused them.
Debbie and I went to our separate rooms back home before 10 PM. A few minutes later, my phone rang. It was my SJF acquaintance Bonnie. She'd answered my ad three weeks ago in the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles.
Bonnie and I had good conversation for half an hour. Just before saying goodbye, Bonnie told me that she'd send me a picture.
"Don't bother." Debbie's voice came across the line. She'd been listening in the whole time on another phone.
After a few minutes of awkward three-way conversation, Bonnie said goodbye. I told SJF Bonnie that I'd call her back within a few weeks and that I had a tape to her in the mail which explained my developing relationship with Debbie.
For over an hour afterwards, Debbie and I talked in her room. Debbie thought that I was leading Bonnie on, and breaking my commitment to her, Debbie.
My friend Dr Alan Bonsteel phoned this morning. He's the Northern California Campaign Director for Parents For Education Choice.
I told Alan that I'm headed for Florida to be with my love, Debbie. I put Deb on the phone and they talked about her health problems.
Then I got back on the phone and asked Alan, "How do you turn on a woman?"
Alan suggested flowers.
Deb's allergic to flowers.
In the afternoon, I received two letters from my bi-polar schizophrenic friend Jenny.
I think of you when I wake.... If I married you, I could become president and you could become the first best gentleman. It will never happen.... Neither of us wants to live in Washington D.C.
When I hear you say that we can never marry, I am intimidated.... [I]... assume that you don't like me.... I need from you the reasons we can't marry so that I can tangle with them logically, refute that they are nonsense, accepts the ones that aren't, and either change your mind or free myself from my obsession with you. Your love and fear of God binds you to give this to me.
Jenny, the primary reason that we cannot marry is that I'm afraid to get too close to someone with your troubles. Also, you're too old and overweight for me. And, you're a Mormon and I'm a religious Jew. Finally, I'm developing a relationship with Debbie.
From what you say, you engender love in wide plains of people. Be careful lest it be judged an imitation of Christ. [Cult leader David] Koresh died because he did just that. If you are Christ or love him so much that you fear you are him or love him more than yourself, don't label that love with your name.... Don't claim you are a wounded young God. Believe in God and do God's will (love).
I hope Debbie is getting well and not developing as passionate an attachment to you as I have.
I fear you will be so succesful with Debbie that you will fall in love with her, marry, and have children.
In her final communication to me, my ex-girlfriend Lana writes that she's:
* sorry that I have to sleep around with the weak, crippled, and mentally ill to give my life some meaning.
* thankful that through our relationship she learned some Jewish values, even though I don't have any.
* glad that she got to let Dennis Prager and the rest of his office staff know how I treated her.
* hopes that I get better before Jenny shows up at my door with a knife, marriage license, and condom.
* sorry that Deb must fly all the way to California to get laid.
* confused how such a callous unfeeling person as myself could come from such warm parents.
* hopes that all the women I've convinced of my undying affection find out the truth before they get badly hurt.
At Lana's birthday party last week, decorations were scarce, so she used my tapes to her as streamers.
Thanks for the [phone] messages...
"A wonderful time," you are having with Debbie? Glad to hear it. She traveled a long way at great expense to see you. Nice that she wasn't disappointed. I'm sure she found your father a pleasant surprise, too.
Now I am really curious to know how Dennis Prager got right in the middle of your ever-widening love life.
Poor Lana. I told you not to break her heart. I wonder if she'll come back for more.
Have you ever been in love, Luke?
In the late afternoon, Jane and I talked for 90-minutes with the lay rabbi of foothills' Jewry - Michal Kohane. We discussed last night's conversation with Bonnie and other parts of the relationship between Deb and I. Michal generally took Deb's side.
"Something's bothering me," said Deb tonight as we lay in bed. "I haven't seen one photo of you displayed in the house. There are four photos on the organ in the livingroom. Two of your sister, one of your brother and his wife, and one of Gill and Des. In the kitchen there's a photo of your sister and father. And in your father's room, there's a big photo of Gill and one photo of LN and her husband Peter.
"What does that say?"
"I've never noticed it before," I replied. "I don't think that it says anything."
Luke In Bed
"Off with the clothes, wham bam." (Tien)
"At first I thought you were putting on an act, but you really are that awkward." (Tien)
"It would be off in twelve seconds anyway." (Lana's decision not to buy sexy underwear.)
"Have you ever heard of something called foreplay?" (x.)
"You're the most fragile guy I've ever known." (x.)
"People don't like to be used as fodder for your book," says Deb. "You're not the only person to have an ego."
I say that I treat others carefully. I rarely relate derogatory information (lashon hara) about persons.
Deb told me again this evening that our relationship wont work out. "I'm happier away from you than with you," she said.
We sat still and quiet for a few minutes. Then I did something that I'd been considering for three days - calling my travel agent to cancel my ticket. Unfortunately, my ticket is not refundable.
My first week together with Deb was physically and emotionally intimate but since I bought my ticket we've moved apart.
Until Thursday, I felt calm and in control of a developing relationship. Now I feel vulnerable and under the gun. Deb tells me that I have to prove myself to her by becoming more gentle, sensitive and attentive.
"Don't let Luke use you," my father thundered to Debbie this morning, beginning their most in-depth conversation. I washed dishes in the kitchen while they talked beside the deck below me.
I moved away.
Based on Deb's report, I gather this from their 30-minute conversation: My father said he loved me but that I've sorely disappointed him by, among other things, the way I've treated women such as Tien, Linda, Lana and her, Debbie. Dad thinks I've used them by enjoying intimacy outside of marriage.
Dad and Deb agreed that:
* While I talk much about God and goodness, I don't act good.
* I take as much as I can from people while giving as little as possible.
* I wound people around me.
"Who?" I asked Deb afterwards.
"Your parents, by publishing that letter [to Spectrum]...Lana, by taking love, attention and gifts without reciprocating, while at the same time seeing other women..." replied Debbie.
* I'm tricky, deceitful and manipulative. In short, that I'm psychologically sick and refuse to get counseling.
My Seventh Day Adventist friend Pastor Lawrence Burn came by late this afternoon and the three of us walked and talked beside the Auburn Ravine for almost two hours.
I complained to Lawrence that Deb constantly downed me and our relationship.
Debbie complained that I failed to make her feel special.
Deb criticized me for an hour before breakfast. Then she drove up to and around Lake Tahoe. By the time she arrived home at 5PM, I missed her. We hugged.
I got one letter. My ex-girlfriend from UCLA, Tien, writes about stumbling upon the section in my book about her. (Chapter four)
It brought back pain and anger that I had forgotten. Also, the bit about marriage is out of context and misleading. I don't know about anything else in your book, but I do remember things that happen in my life. I remember telling... you that my mother doesn't think I'm tame enough to marry any man...I didn't think about marriage the time you asked me "to be your girlfriend." It also was romantic for me. Thanks for dispelling the illusion. I remember you held up my chin and said "I love you, and I want to be with you." I fell for your vulnerability, the part of you that you kept from everyone else, I thought. I was young and naive.
Much of the person I fell in love with was in my mind. [Our relationship] made a big impact on my life.... I spent many nights crying and thinking about it.
These are your memories too.... Just take my input into account.
Debbie is the one for you. Don't doubt feminine intuition.... You always said I was perceptive. You two seem to need each other.... Meet her half-way and this may be a match made in heaven. On the phone you sounded concerned enough about her...This is progress from self-absorbed Luke. I hope you love her. I hope this is not just an opportunity... to leave your parents home for warm-weather Florida. When you love her, let me know how good it feels to be in love. Don't tell me if it makes you miserable.
At 8PM SJF Bonnie phoned. I invited Debbie into my room to listen to my end of the conversation. After half-an-hour, Deb stormed out. She later complained to me that my talk with Bonnie was too intimate.
Debbie sought out my father and complained to him about my lack of commitment. My father agreed with her and said that I'd have to change my ways.
"He even doubts your commitment to Judaism," said Deb later. "And that's not his religion, so he has no agenda.
"Luke, you either have to shit or get off the pot...You can't talk to me as long as you're talking with other women."
Deb slammed the door on me as she walked out.
I meditated for 30-minutes and slept well.
I told Deb that I'd cut off all personal contact with other single women. We hugged and cuddled much of the day.
My father's gone for two days. He left me a note, saying: "I leave you to the eyes of God."
I clearly understand that Dad opposes my decision to live with a woman before marriage, but I'm grateful that he's said little about it to me.
My Christian friend Joanne Boleman attended a Dennis Prager lecture this afternoon and she reports that my hero beamed when she mentioned my name to him.
Joanne asks me a good question: What am I going to write about now that I'm settling down to the monotony of monogamy?
Deb's off to McDonalds this afternoon to get what she calls "normal food." I worry about her junky chocolatey Taco Belly Diet Pepsi diet. Unfortunately, the Ford fiber diet rapes her bowels.
I love Debbie. She's intelligent, attractive, Jewish and giving. I enjoying lying, laughing, hugging, playing, talking with her for hours on end.
After returning from McDonalds, Deb said that everybody she's met who knows me has warned her against me. For 45 minutes, Deb talked on the phone with her friend Linda in Orlando, Florida. The bulk of the conversation that I overheard centered on my weakness, such as my sloppy appearance, sloppy room, sloppy way I pack... etc.. Debbie repeated that unless her shrink Dr Golwyn approves of me, I'm a goner.
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