Saturday, January 31, 2009


competition is doing me in.
but who and what am i competing with?
my imagination.
locked up in the room of scrutiny
of course i panic.
how much is too much?
how much is admirable?
where does competition and envy coincide?
i am searching for the balance
under duress.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What's not Made in China?

What would happen if we stopped using all our products made in China? How many things would be off limits around the house? Lately I have been noticing how practically everything has the made in china stamp on it. The kitchen, the bathroom, and the closet are dominated by Ikea furniture and textiles made in china aren't surprising, neither are cheap plastic toys but luxury TSE cashmere and expensive Emile Henry cookware made in china. What's going on?!

I do not like purchasing products that have been made in china. I won't even buy baby wipes made in china to use on my dog's paws for fear of contamination. China has produced tainted milk, tainted pharmaceuticals, and tainted pet food all in the last year. Obama and the US Treasury believe China is manipulating its currency intentionally to gain an unfair trade advantage (NY Times Jan23 p.A11). I didn't realize it was possible to purposely keep one's currency devalued. What, besides low prices, keeps manufacturing in China?

American made goods generally cost more to produce than Chinese, therefore they cost more to purchase but I wonder- how would the American economy change if we started manufacturing more of the items we consume? The employment rate would certainly rise, as would the cost of living. What does it take to see a return to domestic trade and craft? Why are our lives so smothered with Chinese objects?

The Train

Beatrice was running late again. It was July and she desperately wanted to get out of the city. She had been looking forward to this trip to Capri for months. Her train was scheduled to depart Rome’s Termini station in ten minutes. She begged the taxi driver to go as quickly as possible but the traffic was a mess. Her friends were already at the station waiting for her. Fed up with her chronic tardiness, they told if she missed it then she missed it. They were going to go ahead without her and she could take the later train. The taxi got stuck behind a slow truck. Beatrice’s heart sank with anxiety.

They finally pulled up to the station and she began to run to the platform. This wasn’t how she imagined her trip beginning. Beatrice looked immaculate when she left her apartment with her hair neatly knotted in bun, wearing a recently purchased pair of tan heels and white dress. Now she felt all disheveled. She wasn’t meant for running. Fortunately she saw the train had not yet pulled away. It was two o’ five. ‘Thank goodness the train is running late as well’ she thought to herself. She hoisted herself and her luggage into the cart and found her way into an available seat.

Unbeknownst to her, a fellow passenger had witnessed her entire performance. The running in heels, the look of exasperation, the hair falling out of place, the strap slipping off her shoulder, the struggle with the suitcase. He found it all quite intriguing. Her energy and Cine Città movie star looks lit a fire within Gabriel. He tried to keep his cool as she seated herself in clear view of him. As the train left the station Beatrice went to the ladies room to freshen up. When she returned to her seat she noticed Gabriel. Their eyes met for a quick second then she looked away feigning indifference. She thought about calling her friends to see where they were seated, but decided against it. She would surprise them at their destination. Anyways, this man was too attractive and interesting to ignore. Beatrice loved to flirt and wanted to have some fun.

She stood up to open the window to give Gabriel the opportunity to check out her ass. Beatrice was confident about her body and was very familiar with the behavior of men. Gabriel acquiesced to her non verbal invitation. When she retook her place she pulled out a book and attempted to read. Every so often she would look up and meet Gabriel’s eyes. They were greenish hazel and stood out against his bronzed skin. He had a long, straight, prominent nose which she found attractive. She imagined how good it could feel between her legs, rubbing against her clitoris. Her excitement was building with each calmly confident look, as was his. Beatrice could feel her pulse quicken and her lace underwear moisten.

The attendant was coming around to collect the tickets. When Beatrice gave hers, he informed her that she was on the wrong train. This train was bound for Bari, not Naples! Beatrice couldn’t believe it. She was confused and didn’t know what to do next. Could the train stop and let her off? Her Caprese dream vacation was slipping further and further away. The next stop would be in five hours, nowhere near Naples. Fine, she would make a decision at that point. Meanwhile, Gabriel had of course overheard everything. This scene between Beatrice and the ticket attendant provided him with much amusement. He decided to make his move and strike up a conversation with this brunette vixen.

“Have you ever been to Bari?” Gabriel asked. “Once when I was a child,” she replied. “Is there something of importance waiting for you in Naples?” he wondered.

“A vacation in Capri with friends.”

“Well, if you decide to extend your visit to Bari it would be my pleasure to help you find a place to stay” he offered. “I live in Rome now, but I was born near Bari. My family is there,” he explained. Silently Beatrice reflected, ‘it is true what they say about the Pugliese people. They are beautiful.’ As the conversation progressed their bodies moved closer and closer to one another. Beatrice felt a magnetic force compelling her to touch Gabriel. It pained her to suppress it. Surely he felt the same. Soon they were seated directly across from each other. Their knees touched from time to time, accidentally on purpose. “We still have some hours to go. How about we get a drink at the bar?” Beatrice proposed.

She ordered a gin and tonic. He had the same. The bartender could barely take his eyes off Beatrice. She had a strong effect on men. Gabriel was aware of all of this. They sat down by the window and continued to get to know each other. Beatrice works in politics. Gabriel is a photographer. He has a villa on the beach near Bari and would be taking a short holiday there. Gabriel told Beatrice his villa was large enough for guests. She was welcome to stay if she would like. Beatrice seriously considered the offer, but wasn’t sure. Could he be trusted? What about her friends? She went to the bar to order another round, but the bartender had run out of gin. He went to the stock room to get some more. By this time Beatrice and Gabriel were alone in the bar. Gabriel grabbed Beatrice’s hand and pulled her over to him. He sat her down on his lap. She smiled knowingly.

Their eyes penetrated one another. Palpitations quickened and heat rose from their bodies. He grabbed her softly but forcefully behind the neck and kissed her. With this kiss Beatrice felt his penis stiffen under her. She returned his kiss with enthusiasm. Gabriel reached under Beatrice’s dress and slid her panties to one side. He circled around her clitoris, opening her sex like a blossoming orchid, and slid his finger deep inside her. Beatrice was overcome with pleasure. Their breath deepened and matched each others. Gabriel’s finger began to prune from the wetness between Beatrice’s legs. His erection was bursting at the seams. The bartender returned with the gin but remained out of sight. He wanted to observe the interaction between Beatrice and Gabriel a moment longer. A fellow passenger entered the bar. Gabriel exited Beatrice and sucked his finger. The bartender reentered with the gin. Beatrice gave Gabriel yet another kiss. They stood up together and made their way back to their seats. The bartender stood there flabbergasted with the bottle of gin in his hands.

“So, would you like to spend some time relaxing in Bari with me?” asked Gabriel. “I think so” Beatrice replied. Hours later that evening they arrived in Bari. Gabriel carried the luggage and hailed a cab. He gave the driver directions to his villa and gave Beatrice a subtle instruction to blow him. He must have read her mind, for as soon as they were seated in the back of the dark cab her thoughts went immediately to unzipping his pants. She unbuttoned his trousers and gently lowered the zipper. She reached into his underwear and pulled out his sex. She folded over his lap and provoked his dick with her soft lips and tongue from flaccid to erect in a minute’s time. He moaned ever so slightly. Beatrice continued sliding her mouth up and down his shaft, teasing the tip with flicks of the tongue. She could feel Gabriel’s dick pulsating ever so slightly. Beatrice’s mouth was exquisitely talented. He was on the verge of coming when the cab driver stopped the car. They had arrived at the villa.

The scent of night-blooming jasmine and salt water infused the air. The beauty of Gabriel’s villa made an unexpected impression on Beatrice. He led her through the foyer and into the bedroom. They pressed their bodies together and kissed deeply. Gabriel went to turn on the boiler and when he returned Beatrice was out of her dress and in her sheer, soft pink lingerie. The sight of her nipples under the translucent fabric instantly aroused him. He removed his shirt and shoes and joined her on the bed. He lowered her underwear and began to lick the wild orchid between her legs with an unsurpassed skill. Her sweet nectar glossed Gabriel’s lips. To Beatrice’s pleasant surprise he flipped her body over and spread her ass open. Then he began lap her cunt and ass in deliberate, single motion. His tongue was comparable to a crashing wave against her most erogenous zones. Her moans could not be quieted. She was dying, in the Shakespearian sense, all over Gabriel.

At this point Gabriel stood up and removed the rest of his clothing. The magnificence of his dick gave Beatrice a reason to respect him. She met him on his feet, turned around, and bent over. He grabbed her hips and entered her from behind. At first just barely, she begged for more, for all of it. He denied her momentarily. He knew this was exactly what she wanted. When he could no longer refrain, he thrust his entirety within her. She moved on Gabriel’s body like a dancer and was unabashedly vocal about her pleasure. He reached around to pinch both of her nipples when he instinctively knew it would push her over the edge. It did indeed. Her delight could be heard within a half mile radius. The sensation of Beatrice’s gushing sex all over his sent Gabriel into physical ecstasy.

The two found their way back into bed and kissed. Gabriel had his camera handy and snapped a candid shot of Beatrice. “You’re gorgeous” he told her. She smiled. “As are you,” she replied. Beatrice was not sure how long she would remain in Bari, but at that moment she could not imagine any reason to leave. They fell asleep in each others arms. The next morning when Beatrice awoke, she forgot where she was for a second. Seeing Gabriel lying next to her soothed her. She nuzzled herself into his armpit and drifted back into unconscious. She would call her friends later…