"I Can't Stop Loving You," Ch. 01bySusanJillParker©
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A devoted husband, 68-year-old Walter, an older man, found love again with 39-year-old Susan, a much younger woman, after his beloved Mary died.
Tall, blonde, busty, and beautiful with big, blue eyes, thirty-nine-year-old Susan Jill Parker preferred older men. A true American beauty, she could have been born in Texas where many of the Miss America beauty queens were born but she was born in Massachusetts, Boston Massachusetts. Only, she wasn't the average American beauty, she was different. What made her different was her unapproachableness and her unavailability to younger men and to men her age. She had personal preference, a proclivity, for older men, much older men.
She preferred older men to younger men and to men her own age. As if she was Zsa Zsa Gabor reincarnated, but without the accent, the attitude, and the insincerity, she preferred, wealthy, older men. Zsa Zsa who just turned 99-years-old would approve of Susan Jill Parker carrying her rich man torch in search of the next Conrad Hilton.
Her ideal man was a widowed, wealthy, older man. Enjoying calling them, "Daddy," she preferred men old enough to be her father and men who were rich enough to buy her things and take her places. Only, not having to think of where to find such men, she accidentally stumbled over the best place to meet a rich, elderly, widowed man.
Forget about meeting her dream man at wine shops, dog parks, grocery stores, coffee shops, hardware stores, casinos, hospitals, nursing homes, or sitting on a park bench feeding pigeons. Forget about meeting someone on the subway, the library, at the university, at a newsstand, in church, at work, while dining at a fine restaurant, or while shopping at an upscale mall. Forget about bars, clubs, online dating sites, dating her boss, word of mouth, networking, or dating a friend's grandfather, she needn't have to bother with any of that. Quite by accident, she found the perfect place to meet her dream man.
* * * * *
The length of half a football field away, so near and yet so far, Susan couldn't help but notice an elderly man less than a fifty yards away from her. Locking in on him as if her big tits had nuclear warheads, he was her next target. Seemingly, every time she visited her beloveds at the cemetery, he was there visiting someone too. On the surface, especially when observing him from afar, other than he had a brand new Cadillac and was well dressed, there was nothing special about him that set him apart from all of the other elderly men who came and went from the cemetery. He was just an elderly man who seemingly visited the cemetery nearly every day.
Arousing her curiosity nevertheless, with her no longer having a life of her own after losing William and then Patrick, she wondered about him. With him always smartly dressed, most times wearing an expensive suit, white shirt, and tie, she wondered who he was. By the tailoring, the cut, the cloth, and the fit of his clothes and his expensive car, a gentleman she'd most definitely like to meet, with him wearing a different suit every day, he looked like he had money.
He looked so well put together that she wondered if his man servant dressed him. Yet, if he had money enough to have a man servant attending to his needs, he'd have a chauffeur driving his car too but he was here alone. Other than when there was a funeral or Memorial Day service or a Veterans' Day remembrance, it was unusual to see anyone at the cemetery other than cemetery workers. Seemingly, with life so busy and with living life so hard, once loved ones died, they were quickly forgotten by those continuing to live the struggle of life.
She wondered what he did for a living to afford such a fine car and such expensive suits. With William a CEO and Patrick a lawyer, she wondered if he was as wealthy as they were. Allowing her imagination to get away from her, she wondered what his name was. She wondered how old he was. She wondered who he was visiting. She wondered if he was retired, living alone, was married, divorced, or was a widower. She fluffed out her long, blonde, lush hair while wondering if he'd be interested in someone like her and someone as young as she was.
'Seriously, unless he was gay,' she thought while looking to see if she could tell if he was heterosexual or homosexual. 'What older man wouldn't be interested in a tall, young, pretty, blonde with big tits?'
Yet, one could say that the fact that he seemingly visited the cemetery nearly every day in itself was unusual and maybe even special. As if his deceased beloved one, whoever he or she was, could hear the music, he played his cassette recordings of love songs while sitting on a lawn chair in front of a headstone. So sad, so very sad, she could feel his pitiful pain and suffering sorrow. Even from seeing him 50 yards away, he looked so sad, so alone, and so lonely. Indeed, in the way that she was so sad, so alone, and so lonely, as if they had just come from a funeral, he had the same look on his face that she had on her face.
One could also say that the fact that he played his cassette recording of love songs while sitting in front of a headstone was unusual and maybe even endearingly special too. Judging by the look of him, even from her distance away, still in mourning, he looked so depressed. Recognizing the look, he looked the same way she looked when William died and after Patrick died. It took Patrick for her to get over the loss of William. Now, she needed another man, a special man, a widowed, wealthy man to help her get over the loss of Patrick in the way that Patrick helped her get over the loss of William.
Sometimes, in the way she talked to William and Patrick too and seemingly talked to herself to others when seeing her there, he talked to himself or to someone that, perhaps, he imagined was there with him. Sometimes, not loud enough for her to hear what he was singing, he sang along with the music he played. It was rare to see someone so grief stricken in public unless they were at a wake or at funeral. Typically, it was a grieving woman or a woe is me weeping widow, who'd visit her deceased love one at the cemetery and not a sad man. It was unusual to see a man who had such everlasting devotion and sorrowful emotion when someone near and dear to them died. As if he was romancing the dead, it was unusual for anyone to play music in a cemetery, especially love songs.
Of all of the beautiful love songs that he played, Ray Charles', "I Can't Stop Loving You," was Susan's favorite. Sometimes singing along with Ray, the love song stayed with her and haunted her long after she left the cemetery for home. She loved that song and loved Ray Charles' unmistakable voice. With his most unique, distinctive, and recognizable voice influenced by Otis Redding and Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles was one of her favorite singers. Always looking so youthful and energetic, never thinking he was as old as he was, she was crushed when he died. Yet, even though Ray Charles died, his songs still survive.
"I Can't Stop Loving You," suddenly played through her head.
Every time Susan heard that song, imagining a special man in her life singing that song to her, she imagined Ray Charles singing that song to her. Every time she heard that song, she imagined her husband, her boyfriend, and/or her lover holding her while listening to that song with her. Every time she heard that song, she imagined her husband, her boyfriend, or her lover dancing with her while gazing in her big, blue eyes. Only, alone and lonely yet again, since the deaths of her beloved William five, long years ago and her beloved Patrick last year, she had no one to sing her a love song.
In the way that Ray Charles couldn't stop loving whomever that special someone was he wrote that song for, she couldn't stop loving that song. In the way she still loved and couldn't stop from loving William and Patrick, her special someone's, she loved Ray Charles for sharing his song with the world and with her. Now she wished she had played that song more often when William and Patrick were still alive. Even though she always loved that song and so loved them, she was always too busy to sit to listen to and enjoy that special love song. Seemingly and sadly, that love song meant more to her now that they were dead than it ever did when they were alive.
Yet, just because Ray Charles was dead doesn't mean that she stopped loving his song. Just because Ray Charles was dead, his song will always continue to live in her head. She'll always love that song and Ray Charles' unmistakable voice singing it. Just because William and Patrick were dead too, doesn't mean that she'd stop loving them either. With them always with her and forever on her mind, she'll always love them both equally but in different ways. With one not anything like the other and with both of them very special men who treated her with love, kindness, and respect, she was glad that she spent their last years with them.
Haunting her, feeling as if the music was piped throughout the cemetery with surround sound, as if the music emanated from Heaven above instead of from the cemetery, "I Can't Stop Loving You," endlessly played through her head. The music calmed her, soothed her, and saddened her all at the same time. Every time she heard that song and those lyrics, she couldn't help from thinking of William and/or Patrick. Every time she heard that song and those lyrics, in the way that Ray Charles couldn't stop loving whomever he wrote that song for, she couldn't stop loving William and Patrick. Every time she heard that love song and those special lyrics, the melody stayed with her to play over and again in her head throughout the day and later that night.
Still saddened by the death of them, she was tortured by her loss. Now as if an accompaniment to her sadness, she was tortured by that song. Always and forever, she'll connect the memories of them to that one, sad, love song. Whenever she visited William and/or Patrick at the cemetery, even though she so loved that song, with that man always there, whoever he was, playing that song, the song oftentimes made her feel worse than better. In the way that Elton John's "Candle in the Wind" saddened her the first one hundred times she heard it, especially when thinking of Princess Diana's untimely death, Ray Charles' "I Can't Stop Loving You," saddened her too.
She never felt sad hearing that song until they died. She didn't apply the lyrics to herself and to her lovers until they were dead, buried, and gone. With them always with her when they were alive, she never had the chance to miss them in the way she missed them now. Now, that song reminded her that neither man was no longer there, hearing that song was an ethereal torture of pent up emotions. With her unable to stop loving them, the palpable sadness from the loss of them is the slow death of her. She never realized how much she loved them until they were gone. She never realized that she can't stop loving them until they died and were both buried in this very cemetery.
Perhaps if William and/or Patrick were still alive, with her enjoying happier times, that song would have made her feel happy rather than sad. Perhaps if William and/or Patrick were still alive, they could take her dancing. She imagined herself dancing to that song in Patrick or William's arms. Seemingly and oddly enough, never realizing what she so cherished until the loves of her life were gone, she more appreciated that song in death than she ever did in life. Only with neither one alive, they were dead, William and Patrick were dead and buried in this very cemetery that she was compelled to continue to visit. Both of her lovers were dead and gone forever.
* * * * *
Whenever Susan heard Ray's voice, especially when singing that song, wherever she was and whatever she was doing, she melted, she swooned, and she cried tears of pent up emotion for her loves found and lost. In the way he sang about not being able to stop loving someone, she couldn't stop loving William and Patrick just because they were dead. The final end, with everything stopping and nothing continuing, death was such a defining moment. With all of us so frail and susceptible to age and aging, to sickness and disease, to combat duty, to murder, and to tragic accidents, we are all living as best as we can while waiting and expecting to die. No matter one's age, race, or social standing, death is merciless, undeniable, unstoppable, and inevitable.
Literally, we are here one moment and gone the very next. Sooner or later, we're all going to die. Sooner or later, someone will be mourning the loss of us. Sooner or later, someone will be visiting our graves in the way she was visiting William and Patrick's graves. Sooner or later, we'll all discover if there's a Heaven, a Hell, a purgatory, a God, a Satan, or nothing, absolutely nothingness but darkness.
Sooner or later, we'll all discover if what was written in the Bible, the Torah, the Quran, and et al religious texts were the truths or if all of those writings were the greatest works of fiction. Perhaps in the way we were before we were born is the way we'll be when we die. Who knows? No one has returned from the dead to talk about death and to tell us what happens when we die. How could they? They're dead and gone to the other side wherever and whatever the other side is. As if we're sleeping, only no longer alive, submerged in eternal darkness and pitch blackness, instead of living a happy ever afterlife, we're dead.
With the purchases of funeral arrangements, cemetery plots, headstones, caskets, and flowers, there's a lot of money to be made in dying. With the preparations of embalming, cremation, limousines, lawyers, wills, and bequeathing their worldly goods to relatives, to friends, and to charities, just as everything else is in life, dying is a big business in death. Only, with churches, temples, synagogues, monasteries, mosques, and et al places of worship, and Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and et al religions, religion is an even bigger business. Go figure. It cost a lot of money to give yourself to God, to Allah, to Buddha, and to et al Gods of worship.
Just as it doesn't seem right to put a price on religion, it doesn't seem right to put a price on death either. Yet, just as there's an infinite price on sickness, healthcare, and hospitalization, there's an infinite price on being infirmed, incapacitated, and/or terminally ill. Just as dying is a big business, trying to stay alive is an even bigger business. With the pharmaceutical companies, no doubt already having a cure for cancer and for diabetes, instead of curing those two diseases, it's much more profitable to continue to sell Social Security Medicaid and Medicare pills. How dare they get away with that?
We all individually and/or as a group pray to our Gods for help, for hope, to hear us, to save us, to cure us, to spare us, to enrich us, and to redeem us. As much as many of us fear living, we're all afraid of dying. Only dumping money in collection baskets and lighting candles at the altar while praying and promising to live a better life won't save us from the inevitable and from death. We're all going to die. From the day we're born, we're doomed to die. In the span and the scope of the universe our life is just nothing more than a flicker of light, a mere spark. Whoever we were in life, we're nothing but a memory in death.
'How sad, so sad is that,' thought Susan. 'It is what it is. Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, then it's not the end.'
Whenever thinking of dying and death and whenever thinking if there was life after death, with too much uncertainty and speculation, it hurt her head. Rather than thinking about it, she thought more about today and yesterday than she ever thought tomorrow. It was much easier to put her head in the sand and live what life she had left today than to dwell on something that was so out of her control. She'd rather live and enjoy what life she had now than to worry about what she won't have later.
Unless we're suicidal, insane, or so sad, so sick, and/or so angry, no one can look death in the eye and be unafraid of dying. With no one knowing what's on the other side and not wanting to take the gamble, no one wants to die. We all want to live if only to see what happens tomorrow and what happens next in our little lives. Now that we're here, a miracle of birth, no one wants to leave their little lives and their loved ones behind. As long as we're healthy and relatively happy, we all want to live as long as we can.
When that final moment is upon us, we all want just another minute, one more hour, one more day, one more week, one more month, one more year, and one more chance at life. When that final moment is upon us and with our life flashes before our eyes is when we see the time we wasted on Earth and the mistakes we made. Wishing we could go back and change those things and/or make amends to those we wronged and/or hurt, only, we don't get a do over. With just the one life to live, for better or for worse, take it or leave it, this is it. Unless there's reincarnation, this is our one and only life. Unless there's life after death, game over.
"Ashes to ashes and dust to dust whatever we did is done and can't be undone once we're dead. Amen."
Death is the end. With death the last thing that happens to us in life, death is that final moment from living to dying and from breathing to decomposing. Death is the great tragedy of life that changes us from being alive and vital to being dead and buried or cremated. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust, death changes us from a living, thriving being to an essence and a memory. We're here one moment and gone the next. With all of us having regrets, we all would live our lives differently if only we knew when we were going to die, how we were going to die, and what happens when we die.
Polar opposites in the way of sweet and sour, soft and hard, and funny and sad, the blessing of birth is the tragedy of death. One way or another, sooner or later, no one gets out of life alive. There's nothing subtle about death. Death is a hammer to the head, a knife to the heart, a shove out of a window, an accident waiting to happen, or a hand to the windpipe and just like that, we're dead. Gone. Game over.
Grasping at straws, not wanting our lives to end, we all hope that there's something else and something more after life in death than just death. Maybe it was all just a scam that holy men and believing women sold us for the sake of greed and money. What if there was no Heaven and no Hell? Wouldn't that be the ultimate slap in the face and kick in the ass that when we die, just as before we were born, there's nothing, absolutely nothing but blackness? If we were all still alive we could sue but we're no longer alive and among the living, we're dead. Just as it will be over for me one day, life will be over for you one day too.
Only, what else is there after death but God, aliens, parallel dimensions, or nothing? With most of us believing in God and/or life after death, we must believe that there's something more rather than thinking that there's nothing more. If there's no eternal reward for being good, a good neighbor, and a good person, this world would be chaos and chaotic. Why be kind to someone? Why do a good deed? Just steal before being stolen from and kill or be kill would be the new world order and the law of the land. Not wanting to believe that we were just an accident of birth, we must believe that there was a valid and important reason why we're here. Why are we here? Who knows? No one knows.
We must believe that's there's life after death and that we don't die without visiting with our deceased friends, relatives, and pets. No one wants to die and vain. Everyone wants another chance for hope that there's something else and that this is not the end of us. We must have faith. We have to believe that death is not the absolute, final end. How tragic is that if it is the end of us? The joke is on us if there's nothing after death. Who knew?