I had not before kept a detailed diary. Looking back at previous journals, one would simply find a note here and there reflecting a doctor’s appointment, a luncheon date, an audition, a listing appointment, a reminder to call my mother.
My realization that I was into something profoundly foreign, intriguing, and sexually awakening, I began documenting each and every phone call, text message, and encounter with my own personal Aladdin.
I had truly never been in love before. Four happy marriages and four easily forgotten divorces, in my sixtieth year—and my fifth year of celibacy—I had signed up to find my soul mate for $29.95 a month on Match.com.
And that is where HE found me: a lady twenty-two years his senior; a retired court stenographer now actor, comedian, dog lover, realtor, who lived alone.
My impeccable sensibilities told me No! and I refused to meet Ali for a drink. His initial Match.com love-bombing emails tempted me. He was Persian, a graduate of UCLA, his father a retired military officer still living in Tehran, Iran.
Ali was an American citizen, having arrived in America with his mother at the age of seven. His emails continued with reassurance that our relationship need not be just about sex: Couldn’t we at least be friends? We have a lot in common.
When I finally agreed to meet, I was particularly bemused by my own self-assurance and gaiety about the entire upcoming experience. At the cinema complex, I waited patiently.
The patience dwindled when I realized the movie was about to start. And then he was there, his floppy black hair flipped over a corduroy cream jacket collar. He had me at “Sorry, I’m late,” a recurring Middle Eastern theme. It would be the first and last time he told me he was sorry.
His gentle hand at the small of my back, he lead me into the darkness. And while I innocently took in a movie, buttered popcorn and a coke, he cautiously took me in.
Within the span of a one hour-and-forty-five minute film, during which Clint Eastwood entertained us with his crotchety portrayal of a widow who enjoys popping Pabst Blue Ribbons on his worn porch, Ali gave me signs, clues, and outright warnings as to his personality.
He asked for a kiss to calm my nerves to which I silently declined. Dropping my buttered fingers onto his hardened crotch gave me a bit of a shock, but I handled it with the experience of a gal who had said No many times before, long ago in the backseat of parked cars.
I should have walked home from that first date—I live just three blocks from the cinema—but his BMW with the clean smell of cream leather invited me in. Over a glass of Merlot, Ali shared the cultural highlights of his Islamic upbringing.
Muslim men always pay. I am your husband when I enter your house; I am no longer your husband when I leave. We can be good together for at least five years, when I must marry and have my children.
That evening, I giggled inwardly at his presentation of Life with the Muslim. Clean-shaven and with hairless arms, Ali was adorable.
He was light skinned, just tall enough, and stared at me with penetrating black eyes, never taking them away as he titillated my senses with the promise of a harmless Magic Carpet Ride.
I was sixty, wrinkled but attractive, and fifteen pounds overweight. The Homecoming Queen of 1965 sat there smitten as a kitten with a fresh ball of fuzzy yarn to play with. I hadn’t enjoyed this much schmoozing over my vulnerable insignificance since husband no. 4 tried to run me off the road.
I had no idea I was about to break my own heart.
Why did I write The Muslim Romance Trilogy? Written from the gut, in the dark, and when no one was watching, I was destined to tell the story of the obscure emotional and sexual bonding with a sociopath that had crippled me, drove me away from my children, friends, and family, and robbed me of six years of my life.
Devastating depression found me turning the pages of my journals to share in a humorous and shamelessly intimate manner the lies, the manipulation, and the wondrous moments of a chemically and spiritual sexual connection, which left me questioning my own sanity.
I was typing out a warning to the women of the world along with a puzzling question to be answered: was my lover’s charming, emotionless, non-empathetic demeanor the result of his sociopathy or of his Muslim upbringing? In both Part One and Part Two I explore extensively this topic.
Excerpt from Press Release: Part One: THE YEAR I LEARNED TO TEXT; Why Am I Having Sex with a Muslim in My Basement?
“The story is set during the reign of America’s first black president and the continuation of the War on Terror, post 9/11. During this transitional period in society, a post-menopausal conservative comedian/actress/realtor, living alone in her Hollywood Bungalow is suddenly absorbed in a personal changeover.
When a Persian Muslim man, twenty-two years her junior, on his own journey of faith, magically enters her life, she grapples with fear, impropriety, and prejudice. Ultimately it is the inescapable and unexplainable physical chemistry of love that disrupts her orderly life and changes her forever.”
Sociopaths are like bowling balls, no matter how many times you throw them down the alley, they somehow magically return.
Thus, after a tearful, drunken thirteen months of the requisite no contact and the completion of Part One of The Muslim Romance Trilogy, Ali returned to give me Part Two: JIHAD HONEYMOON IN HOLLYWOOD; Not Without My Dogs.
Now deeper into his extremist view of Islam and his whimsical personality disorder heightened, he insisted that we must be married in order to be intimate. The ceremony was quick, to the point, and performed on my living room loveseat; my two male dogs as the witnesses.
“God comes first in my life. I am a different person now. Can you understand that?” His scent has calmed from that of a sweating riveter pounding out concrete in the street to the sweet smell reminiscent of naked lovers twisted in the moistness of cotton sheets, their chests glued together by their own perspiration in an August midafternoon madness.
“Of course,” I answered as I rested my head on his shoulder and reached my arm across his tummy. And that’s when I noticed the tic.
“Do you really think you could handle the fact that someday I do want children and will take another wife?”
“I did a little investigation on this and anonymously called the Vermont mosque today to get some information. I had several conversations with the man who handles the marriage questions there, I suppose. He was a funny man, a kind man, who pretty much wished us well.”
“People at the mosque in such positions are very Americanized. I am not.” He took my hand and spoke, as he always did, softly, “Do you agree to be my wife?”
I am currently writing Part Three of the Trilogy. In my writings I hope to discover that there is an end to the madness and that success is truly the best revenge.
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