Chapter 9: If Darryl Dies, We All Riot. Part 1

If Darryl Dies, We All Riot. If Darryl Riots, We All Die.

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly – Shows & Shoots.

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The ‘Ugly’ – Pre-Show:

On a pretense of working the Horror Hound convention, I decided to hit the road for a week. I really just wanted to do something fun, make a little money, shoot something artsy and see friends. Cincinnati was a new venue for HH and close to Louisville, so it all came together pretty nicely.

Except for the actual dealing-with-the-convention part.

“Are you sure you’re going to be in Cincinnati? It’s not on their site.”  After several of these emails from fans and only a month to go, I started to contact HH, asking if they needed anything else from me since I still wasn’t being advertised. 

I’d appeared on many other Horror Hound conventions before, so I was surprised that I had a very hard time dealing with whoever was running this show. Apparently I wasn’t the only one, since the fan reviews were pretty harsh and a few regulars I know of that work the show gave up trying to get in touch with them. This is a shame, because the convention looked spectacular. The lineup of guests was absolutely stellar. After being booked several months ahead of time through Pickle Press, my comic book company, I still wasn’t listed as a guest on the HH site. Eight emails, seven tweets and three weeks later, they finally added me – to the vendor page. You know – the page no one looks at other than the vendors. More emails ensued. I got a curt reply telling me they’d been busy with their Horror Hound magazine and “being on the site at ALL is a privilege.”

I recoiled, because I’d never heard anything so inane. Really? Don’t people still pay a good chunk of money to get in? So I wondered if it was personal. That’s the only thing I could possibly think of that would elicit such a stupid, smug comment. I asked, and was assured that it was not personal. I did not buy a table, so I was completely clueless as to why I’d be listed on a vendor page instead of with the others who also earn a living in FRONT of a camera.

Frustrated, I worried that investing a lot of time and my own money into this trip  to work with my comic book company wasn’t going to be worth it. Sometimes the bigger the show, the less worthwhile it becomes because fans exhaust themselves on the huge names.

Wizard World.  Chiller Theatre. GlamourCon. Con-Tamination. Every other Horror Hound convention I’ve ever worked…no one had a problem adding guests to their site since the general modus operandi is to bring in every last fan you can over the span of a single weekend. And, website additions don’t cost a dime.

I normally try not to say too much about bad experiences, but this is how fucktarded it was dealt with – especially since I should have been listed with my co-worker Rhino. We were the ONLY two wrestlers on the convention in what is a pro wrestling heartland. Since I used to tour in that area and hadn’t been back in a while, I was especially annoyed but figured I’d advertise it on my own and hope for the best. (That turned out to be mostly fruitless. My free weekly newsletter tops out at 11,000 subscribers before kicking people off…my Twitter is around 17,500. Facebook is 6,000. Yet for some reason, most people either don’t read or don’t pay attention to anything other than the actual show advertisement listing.)

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THIS is why it bothered me:

When I’m brought in for conventions, situations vary depending upon the show. Usually some (or all) of my expenses are covered by the promoter or vendor and I’m paid a guarantee. For Horror Hound, I eat my expenses because I’m working with my comic book guys to promote ourselves, our books and Pickle Press (HERE-> http://pickle-press.livejournal.com/). It’s a very small budget. We have fun and I’ve always done well enough in sales with being advertised that it’s been worth it. HH is fully aware of this, so that’s why I’m so upset about how unprofessionally it was handled.

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I’d love to have an agent who dealt with this kind of thing, but I’ve never been able to find one who can book me better than I can book myself. I stay busy and handle everything myself as far as shoots, shows and conventions, so that’s why I get to deal with more bullshit than most entertainers are subjected to.  I’m also pretty sure it’s why I’m crazier. Quite frankly, with running two sites, several social networks, doing video and photo editing, writing assignments, bookings, emails to return, shoots to plan and traveling to book…I don’t feel like dealing with the petty stuff. Paying someone a percentage would be VERY worth it if you can find one with real contacts who will actually work for you.

The lack of business sense and professionalism in money making situations never ceases to amaze me with its arrogance and stupidity.

Enough complaining. I could only hope it all worked out.

The ‘Bad’ – Day 1, Thursday:    

The plan: Fly into Louisville, drive to Cincy, work myself ragged over the course of the weekend, then head back to KY to stay a few extra days visiting friends. Because I was staying a week, working a convention, doing photo shoots AND there was still a need for heavy clothing, I had three grossly excessive bags.

Flight delay. I decided to track down food during the interim. A guy sat across from me. “I like your hair color. What did you do to your knee?”

Sigh. I’d been hacking away at a bun-less Nathans hot-dog  since it was the only low-carb, sugar-free, dairy-free protein I could find in the airport. I hate telling people what I do. I wear my knee brace to pre-board on Southwest since it tends to act up from traveling, I get to board first AND it’s pretty much the only perk of being a beat up pro wrestler. This allows me to get on the left side of the plane thus avoiding drink carts and being seated between two 400 pounders. Neither of which is good for knees.

I forced a smile, made polite chatter and then excused myself to find a charging station. Sitting at the same gate I used to call Mom from to tell her I was on my way every other week for over a year…you just don’t realize the habits you’ve formed until they’re not there any longer. It felt weird. Empty. I hadn’t flown much since she’d died a few months earlier, so I haven’t really been back to this terminal. I was so exhausted for her final year and a half, but I would give a hell of a lot for just one more trip.

Mom would sometimes come to the airport with my uncle, or wait at the window and excitedly throw open the door before I’d gotten out of the car. Hugging me with a big smile and an alarmingly frail body, she’d attempt to grab one of my bags. I’d laugh and hand her the little carry-on knapsack I keep my travel pillow in. That would satisfy her. This was always how it happened.

-Except for that last time.

It’s funny how you miss the strangest of things. The unapparent. The little routines. I could always find her in the airport pretty quickly because she dressed in bright colors. Mom loathed dark colors (“They’re depressing,” she’d say, wrinkling her nose)…and that’s pretty much all I usually wore when I traveled. It was easy to mix and match. Everything went with black. I began rooting through my drawers to pack purples, blues, reds and pinks for those trips just to make her happy.

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Random visions hit me out of nowhere. For her entire life, Mom had planned to donate her organs when she died and was devastated to learn that she couldn’t due to having been through so much chemotherapy. I can still see her eyes sadden when she told me everything in her was poisoned.

Friends text. My phone doesn’t ring anymore. I have no one to call. My Gram had just died six months before Mom did. Grandmom was a night person like I am, so I’d call her every evening to chat about nothing. She was nearly housebound without much going on, so I’d either ask her about her stories growing up during the Depression or we’d play a game. “What are you doing tonight?” “Oh, I’m going dancing,” she’d say. “Are you? Did you get new shoes?” “Oh, yes…I found gorgeous stilettos.” And so on. I got Mom started on the game. It was a funnier version because the chemo made her a bit loopy.

Me:  “Whatcha doing? Going to a party?” Her:  “Oh yes!”

Me: “Who is your date?” Her: “I met a tall, handsome man at the bank last week.”

Me: “Oh, nice! What are you wearing?”

Her: “A red dress. With ruching.” Me: “‘Rooshing?’  I thought it was ‘rucking’.”

Her: “Oh we’ll be fucking. Definitely.”

See where I get my fun side from?

There was no one else left. I looked down at my head-to-toe black travel clothing. I hid in the charging station, dabbing at tears that kept welling up, letting my hair fall around my face to hide. Most of my friends were polite about it all, but no one seemed to take an interest in how I was really doing (not well) or understand the sheer exhaustion of running a business out of Florida and traveling every other week to Philadelphia to take care of my dying family. This was a bit of a shock since everyone in Philly had been going above and beyond in being supportive. The absolute worst feeling in the world: When you can’t fix someone you love no matter how desperately you want to. When you are helpless to do anything other than watch them suffer and die.

People I thought would be there for me weren’t exactly going out of their way to cheer me up back in Tampa, other than Jordan, who was really great the entire time. At home I’d reach for the phone to call Mom…then the split second gutting reminder that I could not do that any longer would hit, and I’d crumble. Each occasion was spent with the ever-present knowledge lurking in the back of your head that this will be the last. The last Christmas. The last birthday. The last Easter. The last Mothers Day…what can you do, other than make it as much fun as possible and take lots of pictures? And that’s what I have left. Memories and pictures. Somehow, it’s not quite enough.

 

The ‘Good’ – I arrived in beautiful Louisville. I’ve had several places I’m happy to call home. Philly, Boston, Alabama, Tampa, Louisville. I’d missed it here. I’d thought Kentucky would be just a brief stop for a year, and ended up staying for four. It stole my heart and I love going back.

My friend, Joe Mays (Here -> https://www.facebook.com/AlienTwilightPhotography?fref=ts ), a photographer of the erotic and artistic nature, had arranged for me to stay at a “visiting artist apartment”.  Located on the top floor of a house found in the historical district, it was an adorable little place. Gorgeous, really. A cozy third floor walkup (carrying 149 lbs of luggage up protesting, creaky stairs) which opened up to hardwood floors and huge ceiling windows with a breathtaking view. There was a tiny single bed, an even tinier bathroom, a plush red ottoman and a record player with a stack of vinyl ranging from Michael Jackson to Nina Simone.

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Cheap But Honest Plug: Open Gallery – (Here-> https://www.facebook.com/thegalleryisOPEN?fref=ts ) a hot new gallery that just opened on Floyd Street near Papa John’s in Louisville was rapidly becoming known for its art showings with cocktails, live music and scantily clad models. They house their artists, which enable those who reside there to work part time, allowing them to have more time to spend on creating. Brilliant, yes? I highly recommend a visit.

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The lovely apartment was Allison’s (Here-> https://www.facebook.com/rodney.paintings ), a pretty, redheaded artist from Alabama. (Yes, we grow on trees down there.) She had stocked the refrigerator with coffee creamer, eggs, apples, almonds and cans of starbucks double-shot coffee. The place had a neat energy to it…exactly what my fragile mentality and soul needed at the moment. Warm, pretty, solitude. I’m one of those weirdo’s who loves being alone. I always wanted to buy something like this in a city to have on the side as a retreat.

Day 2, Friday: The Lovely Apartment had very few electrical sockets, half of which worked and a dodgy heating system that roasted you alive. Icicles set in between blasts. The bathroom wasn’t heated and was so narrow; you had to turn sideways to pee in order to fit. Plus, there was just one sad, deflated pillow. But the view of the city was amazing and the coffee pot worked. Joe arrived to collect me. My 149 pounds of luggage and I clunked down the three flights of stairs and onward to Cincinnati after a brief stop at Waffle House, of course. Everything is better after scrambled eggs.

I checked into the hotel and lost my key in approximately 18 seconds flat…a record, even for me. In the time it took to walk from the office to the car, it vanished faster than prom dress at midnight.

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I re-keyed, changed into a little black strapless dress and headed over to Horror Hound. I’d wanted to say hello to Norman Reedus whom I’d met several times at various conventions over the last few years. Being a huge fan of the show, I wanted to see if I could a get a photo with some of the other Walking Dead actors, like “Herschel”. I figured it might be best to do that before the insanity hit. Not realizing to what extent that Norman had become The Man, I also didn’t realize how hard it would be to just say a quick hello. Luckily, the staff pushed me to the front of the line, his agent knew me and I got to chat with him for a couple of minutes. His wait time would be so incredibly long; he’d end up staying until 1 a.m. every night to finish signing for all who had waited. I observed him hugging kids, patiently retaking photos that didn’t turn out and chatting amiably with fans. Star status had clearly not gone to his head. His female fans, Dixons Vixens, had signs that said “If Darryl Dies, We All Riot. If Darryl Riots, We All Die.”

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Most of the others weren’t there yet or were still filtering in wearing dark glasses and baseball hats to avoid getting mobbed, so my fangirl moment came to an abrupt halt. I’d be working wit some of The Walking Dead cast on the Mid Texas Comic Con on May 4 & 5 (HERE –> Please note how excellently they advertise all the guests!  http://www.centexexpo.com/index.html ), so I could be a fangirl then. Joe wanted a photo with John Carpenter, so we took one together. (They Live, ya know.) Carpenter, didn’t seem quite as cheerful. Michael Madsen, on the other hand, was always smiling.

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I would have loved to have spent more time walking around and saying hi, but I felt obligated to get back to my booth. It was nearly 5 p.m. and the doors would be opening to the public. On the way out of the room, a chorus of people said, “April! You dropped something!” Indeed, my pass was on the floor. I laughed and waved. “Thank you!”

“Hey,” hollered a guy in line. “I didn’t know you were going to be here!” Sigh.”Yep, come see me later!”

I shouldn’t have bothered rushing back, since the line to get in stretched around the parking lot. Fans stood outside in freezing temperatures for 2-4 hours (then queued inside for autographs another 2-3 hours).

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Many waited only to be turned away at the door, as passes had sold out. Nearly everyone I talked to drove quite far to attend because of the amazing caliber of guests brought in.

I was joined at the table by my haiku and dirty comic book writing friend Nik, along with his sharp witted wife for the weekend. Plus one of my favorite artists in the entire world, Jay Fife.

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Stripper Viking 2 debuted (Here-> http://www.aprilhunter.com/store/), as did Jay’s new Scooby Doo “Daphne”  print (Here-> https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jay-E-Fife-Illustration/215290038586) and both were wicked NEAT.

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Our section of the convention remained empty until about 8 pm. A blonde stopped by and admired my 8×10’s. “These are really cool pictures. Are you in any of them?” The entire table snickered. Insert dumb blonde joke here…maybe along the lines of “all redheads look alike.” As we were cleaning up to leave at 10 pm, a PA blared announcing that HH was staying open an extra hour. I had a photo shoot early in the morning before the convention, so I groaned. I also groaned over the handfuls of people who stopped short at my booth and exclaimed, “April Hunter! I didn’t—“

“Yeah, I know. I’m here.” Thanks, HH.

“Yeah! If I had, I would have brought the WEW DVD I have.” Awesome! Maybe I’ll sign it when I’m back in the area again-in two years. I don’t like to work a certain area more often than that. Meanwhile – get yer ass on my newsletter. It’s free. HERE: -> http://bit.ly/ahnewsletter Or twitter (@AprilHunter). Or my facebook (AprilHunterOfficial).  Because I’m really good about letting people know when “I’m going to be there.”

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My freshly issued key didn’t work.

FOR FUCKS SAKE.

I walked for what felt like a half mile to the front office with hurting feet in whore clothes lugging my huge bag of shit in 34F degree weather. Somehow, I managed to be nice when I got there. Yay, me. This trip is full of firsts.

(TO BE CONTINUED HERE: https://aprilhunterblog.com/2013/05/11/chapter-10-there-is-no-i-in-cnt-but-there-is-a-u-pt-2/

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Chapter 8: Staying Motivated To Workout!

(This was originally written and published for RxMuscle.com)

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If It Was Easy To Look Good…Everyone WOULD.

Baby, it’s COLD outside!

Some days the hardest part of working out is getting out the front door.  Fifty percent of Americans quit their workout program within a year of starting.  HALF! That’s a lot of quitters! To make sure you remain a non-quitter, here are some motivational tips to help you get your rear in gear during cold weather.

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Kick It Up To HIGH GEAR…

– Sometimes it’s liberating to tackle your workout first thing in the morning and get it done for the day. Tip: Trick your clock by setting it 20 minutes ahead and lay your gym clothes out the night before.  (hardcore peeps even sleep in theirs.)  

Not a morning person? Pack a gym bag and treat it like part of your job. If it’s in your scheduled appointments each day, you’ll go.

-Find the good reasons. Bikini season? A photo shoot? A genetic history of heart disease or diabetes?  Better Facebook photos? Find the reasons WHY you want to lean down and remind yourself every morning.

-Squash Cheating While Out. If you don’t want to be tempted while out at a restaurant by something like bread or fries, ask them not to bring it to the table. If they do, ruin it quickly by dumping half a shaker of salt or something equally as vile  all over it. Temptation squashed.

-Use fear and guilt for GOOD. Guilt is generally a wasted emotion unless you can use it to gain something positive. In this case, fear and guilt are powerful tools.  Fear of getting fat. Guilt for cutting out early on cardio. Use that to do better tomorrow.

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-Naked Reality. The reality is most of us could look better naked. Turn on all the lights, strip down nude— and jump up and down in front of the mirror.  If anything shakes other than your “bits”, you can lose bodyfat. Mirrors don’t  lie. Or, EAT NAKED. If you’re letting it all hang out while eating, you’ll be very aware of what’s not covered up.

-Get a workout partner…or hire a trainer. You’re less likely to blow off a training session if you know someone’s waiting for you or you’re paying for it.

Tip: Hang out with fitness-minded people. Their good habits tend to rub off on you. Search online if you want to venture out of your comfort zone. Meetup.com is great for activities like group walks, Mommy fitness classes, hiking & mountain bike excursions, salsa dancing, park yoga, boot camp, pole dancing…

-Add some new kick ass tunes to your ipod/mp3 player. You may love Coldplay or Clapton, but in the gym, fast paced dance music or heavy rock work wonders.

Set multiple small goals. A monthly goal, a by-your-birthday goal, a yearly goal, a competition goal…whatever they may be, they’ll keep you going forward.

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-Keep a training & diet journal.  Record your gym activity. Try to beat last week’s log, even if it’s by just one rep, one pound or one minute.

Related Article –  Weird Foods: https://aprilhunterblog.com/2013/02/14/weird-foods/

-Treat yourself!  Invest in some new gym clothes.  Get that cute low-cut Lululemon top or those skin tight Brazilian flared pants. The better you look, the better you’ll feel.  I’ve also found that grabbing a few fitness magazines is inspiring. Not only are the photos motivational, but new articles and recipes are always helpful.

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-Recognize your progress. Date & record your weight and measurements. Check it every 2 weeks. If you’re down in pounds and/or inches, you’re going to become even more encouraged.  Once you get to a certain point, donate your loose clothing to charity. Let someone else wear your fat pants.

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-Change things up. Remember when you were a kid and exercise was FUN? Try another gym, some classes or sign up for boot camp.  Belly dancing, stripper pole, Zumba or hot yoga can be amazing workouts. How about ice skating or pond hockey for cardio? Find things you LIKE.

-Make an inspirational photo wall. When I’m dieting, I’ll often rip out a few photos of women that inspire me and magnet them to my fridge.  Whether it’s Ava Cowens’ washboard abs or Erin Sterns  rock hard butt,  these photos are constant reminders of what I can look like if I keep doing what I’m doing.

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-Go to a local fitness show or convention. There’s nothing quite like being in the middle of it all to light a fire under your ass. Check the SCHEDULE page on RxMuscle.com (http://www.rxmuscle.com/contest-schedules.html  ) or the NPC site (http://npcnewsonline.com/contestdates.cfm )   for shows near you.  In Canada:  http://www.cbbf.ca/events.asp )

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-Change your attitude.  If you can’t change your situation, you CAN change how you see it. Decide to view your workouts differently.  At the end of the day, remember that you’re doing this for no one other than yourself.  No one can work out for you, and no one will enjoy the benefits of your  sweat BUT you. Sometimes you may not receive the encouragement that you’d like from family or friends. But this is your life, your body, and your chance to make yourself happy.

You’re out the front door. The hard part is already behind you. Now, go WORK your BEHIND!

 

Thanks for reading! I love getting feedback  & ideas, so please check out  http://www.AprilHunter.com & follow me on http://www.Twitter.com/AprilHunter

-April Hunter

Professional Wrestler, Pinup Centerfold & National Figure Athlete

COPYRIGHT APRIL HUNTER. NO PART OF THIS BLOG MAY BE USED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION.

Related Article – Weird Foods: https://aprilhunterblog.com/2013/02/14/weird-foods/

 

Chapter 7: My Photography – Here, There, Her.

A birth certificate shows that you were born.

A death certificate shows that you died.

But pictures show that you LIVED.

Photography:  Definition – Writing with light.

My other love… photos. Being on both sides of the camera is amazing.  

If I could figure out a way to have writing and photos pay the bills I WOULD.  The only way I’ve seen that work is with adult sites. 

Here are a few of my favorites…

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I was supposed to do maternity photos for this girl, but she had her baby while I was on the road. She hired me to do her baby pictures instead.

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England. Clearly. Lived there for a while, fell in love with it.

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Speaking of British, Miss Rachel. I love shooting all kinds of people and Rachel is really comfortable in her own skin. That’s the most fun kind of person to shoot.

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Pregnancy pictures are something I truly enjoy capturing.

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Philly by day…

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Philly by night.

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Homesick Luchadora. She’d been in a hardcore match the night before and her forehead was still cut open.

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This girl was also the worst roommate I’ve ever had in any foreign country and the most self-centered person I’ve had the displeasure of sharing any part of my life with.  She was a Mexican-American luchadora with a substance abuse issue…it was pretty common for her to lurch into our tiny, shared studio apartment around 5 am, step ON  my mattress (yeah, I was on the floor), flip on the lights and wake everyone up. All 4 of us.  She brought suitcases that her cat peed on to our  non air-conditioned studio apartment in Mexico…we all had to suffer the ammonia stench of cat piss that punched us in the face every time we walked in the casa du jour.

And then there was working with her. She was utterly dangerous in the ring, because she couldn’t remember anything past the lock up.  She hurt my knee in the USA and then hurt me again in Mexico when I was nursing an injury, didn’t want to cancel the booking last minute and had asked her to be careful. But that’s her…full of adrenaline and only out for herself.  I’d imagine there’s a lot of ‘her’ in entertainment  but I suppose I should consider myself lucky to only have one roommate like this.

Centerfold model Leslie Wells. We were in Vegas for a shoot where everyone took turns with the camera that day out in the middle of desert. A large chunk of the photo shoots I’ve done have happened in the middle of the Nevada deserts. When I retire, I can help the mafia find all the good burial spots.

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Pro Wrestler & Actor JD Maverick/Jordan Danyluk.

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Salzburg, Austria. You know…where Mozart lived.  In German, the “burg” in a town or city name means “castle”.  So, if you’re in Marburg, there’s definitely a castle there.

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Miss Olivia then…and Miss Olivia a bit later, discovering how delicious a table really can be.

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Boston. I lived right here, in Kenmore Square, for quite a while while putting myself through both Killer Kowalski’s Pro Wrestling Institute and NESOP – New England School of Photography – at the same time. It was brutally expensive, but worth it… if not just for the experience alone. I loved that you could take any class at all there, at any time, because tutors and random workshops were plentiful. Boston is one kick ass city and my second home, after Philly.

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Speaking of the legend, Walter “Killer” Kowalski… this is him with student Matt who goes by the name Tensai in WWE.

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More former classmates…my first tag partner “Arch Kincaid” and Chris “Harvard” Nowinski, who is currently doing great things in conjunction with Boston University on concussion research. Watch his documentary “Head Games”.  It’s on Netflix.

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Niigata, Japan. A fishing village that was brutally cold when our wrestling tour came through. I could be wrong (and I did try to look this up just now) but I believe we were told this was Japanese point closest to Russia. Hence, the cold. We stayed in a traditional Japanese hotel; (surprisingly comfortable) sleeping mats on the floor, several of us in one room and a communal hot spring bath everyone used.  You can’t really freak out in Japan…it’s considered very poor behavior, so we sacked down with everyone else and took baths in front of strangers. Hey…when in Japan, do as the Japanese do.

I actually came home and changed my entire sleeping after ‘living’ in Japan. I now only sleep on futons or platforms and when visiting others who own soft or crappy beds, I’ll chose the floor.

…But I’ll bathe in a private shower, thank you.

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Sumie Sakai, a professional MMA fighter, wrestler and judo expert. All cleaned up and purdy  for me.

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I think her name was Jade. Stunning girl.

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Snagged a quick shot as we hit our hotel of the French Alps. This was in Grenoble, the town Andre’ the Giant was from…and EVERYONE from there made sure we knew that. It WAS an absolutely stunning village. The photo is nothing special, but the mountains sure were.

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Nikki Roxx. While a hot topic of debate was Mexicans sneaking into America, we gringas were sneaking across the Mexican border for work.

(There was just as much hostility from the Mexicans, too. They did NOT like that Americans were coming in and taking their spots, so it was a very tough work environment )  Lucha Libre Feminil (and CMLL) had us staying/living  in Monterrey Mexico and we decided to shoot on a day off.

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Another of our American roommates, Christie Ricci.  Did you know the “OK” thumb to forefinger sign means “you’re an asshole” in Mexico? Well, you do now.

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Alberta, Canada.  It’s not a special shot, but it IS an especially pretty rainbow. Alberta has a lower tax rate (just %5) than most of the of USA and some of the largest oil reserves in North America. AB residents don’t pay for healthcare, are in a housing boom and have a fuckton of natural resources, keeping their economy in the green —and we will probably attempt to go to war with them over it all in the near future.  Canada is also famous for Tim Horton’s.  Oh, and Pam Anderson.

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Edmonton, Canada at Christmas.

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A shoot with Annie Social in Toronto, Canada. We were up there to do the Carmen Elektra show and has some down time. When I broke my nose in the ring on the walk-through before the PPV (thank you, dear opponent), Annie was the first one there with tampons to shove up my gushing nose. That’s a friend for ya.  Oh, and my wait in the Canadian hospital emergency room? About 18 minutes.  Straightened, cauterized, packed with gauze. They also did an x-ray for my ankle at no extra bother, which was acting up since Mexico. In and out in less than an hour. Take that, US healthcare believers.

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Toronto. A girl who went by the name Ninja.

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Another Canadian photo…pro wrestler & actor JD Maverick.

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Tampa Bay. Clearwater, to be exact.

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The calm before the storm.

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Backstage at the NPC Junior Nationals in Chicago.  Jessica Jimerson and I both qualified in the tall class, were at the same gym in Louisville KY at the time and didn’t really like each other that much until that trip. Boy, she was a blast

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J’adore France! I’ve been in and around France so much in the last 8 years that I feel like I live there part-time…yet, still passionately detest the CDG airport. (Which, incidentally, is the airport with the most lost bags in the world.)

France is a beautiful, amazing, damning, frustrating, delicious country. The people are strong spirited and have a lot of pride, which often gets completely mistaken for snobbishness by foreigners who usually don’t bother to learn the customs. (For example: how it’s extremely rude not to say hello upon entering any shop or place of business.  Fail to do that and you WILL get a cold shoulder.)

Here are a few of my favorite shots from all over the country:

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Paris.

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Clermont Ferrand.

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Marseilles…back when it was still part of France. It’s been hijacked by Muslims now. It’s run down and all the French culture and food are gone in lieu of call to prayer alerts and begging children sent out by their parents.

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Paris.

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Notre Dame.

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On a glass ‘baton’ cruising the Seine in Paris.

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Toulouse.

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La Tour Eiffel…with ‘Peace’ written in every language.

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Josie, a professional wrestler.

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I used to shoot my friend Talia (now ‘Velvet Sky’) all the time. She was my main “guinea pig” for model practice.  This particular photo was ripped off dozens of times, so of all the pictures I have of her, I figured this was the one to share.

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Gym shoots. I’d get the guys to pose for me. This one is pro wrestler “Dirty Money”.  He’s super easy to shoot, because he’s another who is entirely comfortable in his own skin. During the shoot he was traipsing through the gym in nothing but a pair of wrestling trunks…mind you, this was Kentucky…and he didn’t give a crap if anyone stared.

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More unusual photo tidbits: In some cultures, having a photo taken is considered very bad, because they believe it steals their soul.  The Amish are not allowed to pose for photos,  but non-posed pictures are permissible if one is polite about doing it.

Thanks for looking and thank you for posing!

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Chapter 7: What You DO Isn’t Who You ARE. Fan Q&A.

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To clear up some misconceptions, I pulled together a list of the most, uh…interesting questions I tend to get. I’m a model. I get paid (some days…others it’s just for content trade) to play a part.

Some jobs are fun. Others are just work.

Just like in the movies, I can play a stalker. A bitch. A wife. A dominatrix. Whatever they need, because I’m a professional and this is what I do. Versatility, evolving (and being smart) is why I’ve been working so long, while most models last 2 years or so and then disappear. I enjoy much it, am very grateful for the work, the fans and the freedom but there are times when some people don’t always understand. Or overstep lines.

I share a LOT of myself with the public…nudity and, if you bother to read what I write, what’s inside as well. So, I’ll admit that that makes me a target for many things. And that’s something that sucks, but I accept it.

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However, who I am isn’t what I do. Who YOU are isn’t what you do, either. It’s the movies you watch, how funny or smart you are, if you take care of someone who needs you, how you spend your spare time, what you enjoy. It’s your character and loves, not what you do for money. And if tickling feet and wrestling others are part of that, then awesome. I think whatever makes someone happy that doesn’t hurt others is great.

But for me what I do isn’t who I am. 

Q & A:

“So where did this bondage come from i would rather see you dancing burlesque in videos then that stuff – you’re too good looking to be tied up and tickled.”

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Thank you! The fetish modeling came from MySpace and other social networks ruining all our income. Every girl out there was willing to rip her clothes off for free so she could call herself a “model”. Those of us who actually earn professionally to put food on our tables were no longer offered a paycheck. With fetish modeling being one of the few things left that still allows one to earn, I shifted gears and found another niche.

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I still do centerfold & pinup modeling on the side. I just don’t get paid for it. It actually COSTS me money, since I have to pay for all the outfits/lingerie and travel to the shoots. (This is why I ask fans for Amazon.com gift certificates…those help a lot with shoot costs.) However, I really love that kind of modeling. And I like having the variety on http://www.aprilhunter.com for people like you.

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“Do you sign the photos you sell?” Yes. Is there someone out there selling their own photos and NOT signing them? If so, they need to be smacked.  I also mail everything out myself. I’m a one-woman gang.

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“Do you like tickling?” Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Am I on the giving or receiving end?

“If I am member, I can watch any movie on your site, right?” YES. Anything that is on my site is yours to view. I have hundreds of videos and add several every month.

“Will you wrestle me?” Probably not. With the injuries I have and  how easy it is to get hurt now, I only wrestle trained people…even in fetish videos.

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A guy, at a convention looking at a photo of me leaned down for a Figure competition said this:  “Wow. How does it feel to lose everything you are as a woman?”  Whaaaaaaaaaaaat? While I’m glad I have a variety of fans who like me from voluptuous to lean, I found this pretty (fucking) insulting. Mostly because of the insanely hard work and sacrifice that goes into competing. (Especially while holding two jobs, traveling AND helping take care of my sick Mom.)

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If it were easy, everyone would look good. Or at least not be FAT. Plus I have a hard time believing that ‘everything I am as a woman’ is how much bodyfat I’m carrying on my thighs and belly? The leaner I go, the more work offers (and hit on) I get. So, I think a few others out there might agree with my woman theory. It’s always funny to me that really obese people are accepted in our society as “normal” but the fit are gawked & talked about like circus freaks. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

“How’s the weather there?” Apparently there’s no Weather.com where you are. No ‘game’ either.

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“Horror Hound doesn’t have you on their site. Are you going to be in Cincy next month?” Yes. I’ve spent too much time emailing them and several tweets. The people bringing me in paid for several tables and aren’t yet listed either, Nik Havert/Pickle Press & Jay E Fife Art. It’s VERY disappointing.  And sadly, conventions are either extremely professional or extremely flaky. There’s no in between  (Note: I’m finally up – as are the guys – but I’m in the wrong section now. When they added me, it’s on the vendor page that no one can find. If you wanted to tweet (@horrorhound) or email them (www.horrorhoundweekend.com) with a “Where’s April Hunter?” please do. The customer is always right. )

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“Can you follow me on twitter?”  Are you interesting? Can I learn something from you? Are you a comedian? No? Then probably not. Or I get my favorite tweet: “follow me”. Just a simple demand. Usually without any punctuation. My web-girl ‘followed me’ to everyone at first, because that was the polite thing to do back then. My timeline sucks ass now and I’m working on getting rid of most of them. It’s full of negativity, stupid tweets (“goin to bed”) and hate on wrestling. “Cena sux. IDK why____” John Cena is actually a nice person and works his ass off. Wrestling fans have no clue about what the business is truly like or who these people really are and I don’t want to read shit like that. When I follow someone, it’s because I’m interested in what they have to say. I never ask for a follow back and nor should anyone else. It’s desperate. We don’t get a Twitter Prize or a sweet paycheck for having the most followers. When we do, I’ll get to begging people to follow me pretty quickly. Until we’re paid…

Twitter is where you follow people you want to know. Facebook is for people you already know. 

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Matt Kuderski writes: (sic) “i realize this is probably completely inappropriate but i have never seen a set of tits that i have wanted to put my dick between more……ever. and i mean that in the most respectful way possible.” I’m not sure what you hoped to accomplish with this email, but it’s not me showing up at your door, whipping the chichi’s out for you to play with after this strung-together sentence of fucktarded proportions. However, you did manage to get your full name printed in my blog. With all due respect, congrats! Ps. My tits just texted and asked me to tell you that you’re fucking rude.

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“How did you get into wrestling?” You have to be kidding me. OK-this one is ON MY SITE and in almost EVERY interview I’ve ever done.  Google it, bitches. 😉

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“What kind of letters do you like to get?” Well, my favorite kind of letter is when an Amazon or Starbucks gift cards falls out.  To be completely honest, that wins me over every damn time.

I’m truly grateful to fans who send things like that because it means you either understand that we don’t get rich from modeling & wrestling (and put a lot of time and money back into maintaining what we do to entertain those who watch)…or you respect something about me enough to be extra sweet. Or you like my boobs…and with all due respect, want to stick your dick between them.

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Either way, it’s very nice to be treated well. We deal with so much theft, abusive emails and comments…long, weird hours and eons of time spent returning fan email and tweets…battling social networks like YouTube deleting our stuff for no reason…it’s really special when we have those GOOD days to balance it out.

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“What is your most memorable fan moment, good or bad?” I had a fan that used to come to all my Philly and  south Jersey area events for YEARS. He would sometimes come with his entire family. He used to bring me little gifts and was always smiling. I wasn’t aware he had been battling cancer until the last convention I saw him – which was in Valley Forge, PA – and he looked GOOD.  He passed away shortly after. I didn’t know until his son contacted me to say how much his dad enjoyed our conversations and his visits. It’s something that meant a lot to me and that I’ll never forget.

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Now that I’ve lost my own parent to cancer, I did the same; contacting people just to let them know that Mom really enjoyed their time and they’d made her smile. He and his son taught me that it means much more than most people realize to simply let them know they’ve been appreciated.

Be kind and patient, as much as possible. I learned from my Philly fan and mom that no matter how well someone looks, you never know what they’re dealing with and it could just be something much worse than you could ever imagine.

Now, with that PSA…

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You can follow me on Twitter @aprilhunter or visit me on my site, http://www.aprilhunter.com

(…Where I enjoy playing my character, but kick off the heels put on a fluffy robe afterwards.)

 

COPYRIGHT APRIL HUNTER. NO PART OF THIS BLOG MAY BE USED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION.

Photos: (In order: 1 M Rock Style, 2 & 3 Bob Pomeroy, 4 Kelly Oneil, 5 Merika Rock, 8 Dan Ray, 14 Bob Pomeroy)

Chapter 6: Weird Foods.

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Men lie. Women lie. Numbers don’t.

The USA spends more on healthcare than any other country (per person) and gets the least for it. I think there would be half as many issues if we knew how to eat better. The problem is, there’s a ton of misinformation out there. Or someone is trying to SELL you the info…for profit.

The other night, I got hungry and thought: Toast with nut butter and honey. Mmmmm.

As I stood over the sink, munching my  (gluten free) Ezekiel spelt “bread” slathered with organic almond butter, raw local honey and washing it down with a half glass of tea, I suddenly realized…

I’d become one of ‘Them’!

You know. The ‘Weird People’ who ate ‘Weird Foods’.

Ick! I’d always tried to avoid that. Growing up, I was friends with a girl named Aura. Her mom was a midwife and they were moneyed hippies. Their house ran on solar panels. They had hard wood floors instead of rugs. They took supplements. And I’m not entirely sure her mom shaved her legs. They ate things like…organic almond butter, Ezekiel toast and almond milk. We made fun of them.

What the hell had happened?

When I visited my Mom’s recently, my brother threw a fit because I’d needed to go to make a special grocery store trip to pick up my own things. He made fun of my ‘Weird Food’ needs.

But he himself looked like shit. Bloated and overweight with thinning hair and adult acne. He was also on several different blood pressure medicines, had a red face and looks much older than I do, despite being four years younger.  I don’t suppose it ever resonates with enough people that “We are what we eat.”

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The Hippocratic Oath declares: “Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.” Yet most doctors loathe to address their patients diets. In fact, most doctors have little or no nutritional training. Before these recent designer drugs, all we had was food and herbs. Cola syrup or ginger calmed nausea. Aloe for cuts and burns. Honey for cuts and dry skin. Hydration and caffeine for headaches. Rice for diarrhea. Yogurt for constipation. Tea trea oil for breakouts. Hot peppers for arthritis. These things still work.

I don’t believe there isn’t much that can’t be eased or even cured by the correct diet.

Back in the day, food used to be food. It was simple. Chicken, eggs, green beans, apples, honey, peanuts, steak, bacon, oatmeal… If you were having apple cake or soup, your mom had to make it. Or you (and your father) starved. I blame the lack of easy food for all three of my father’s rushed marriages. He only had two weeks between relationships before the weight loss really started to show and all the fried eggs and bacon he was eating every meal got old fast. It was time to find a cook…erm…wife.

Now, the WEIRD ‘franken-food’ IS packaged food. Everything comes to us processed with added sugars, preservatives, coloring, and fillers. There’s a list 5-lines deep of ingredients on a roasted chicken. Most of it we can’t pronounce let alone have a clue what it actually IS.

The majority of what we eat in America has been altered. It’s called Genetically Modified Organism, or GMO. It’s not long term tested on humans, so we are essentially lab rats. The actual lab rats being fed GMO’s have developed huge, bulging  cancer tumors and organ damage.

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Almost 100% of US corn and soy are genetically modified. Those are the two most important things to avoid. Which is hard,when they’re fed to our NON-organic/non-free range livestock as well. Choose carefully for you and yours.

To make matters even more complicated,  GMO’s are owned by a nasty corporation called Monsanto. To give you just one small example,  Monsanto created Agent Orange…the same stuff in the pesticide called RoundUp that’s being used on all of our food. Agent Orange killed and maimed millions during the Vietnam war and it’s responsible for a half million or more birth defects.

Monsanto is a direct financial contributor to most of the people in our government and have been for quite a while.  They line pocket. Heavily. It’s no wonder so many healthy things have been banned or removed and corn syrup (GMO) has infiltrated all that we eat. Even bread, meats and cheese. (High Fructose Corn Syrup is a direct cause of Type 2 Diabetes. It spikes insulin much harder than sugar. When it’s in everything, eventually with enough spikes, your own ability to create insulin shuts down.)

To further put this into perspective; our food is so toxic it’s internationally banned in all other countries.  Half our skin products are as well.  We’d be smart to clean up our food and boost our  economy with delicious “Made in the USA” product exports, but it seems we’d rather parasitically profit off our own getting sick.

 

Of course, this is all for another blog, but please google and research for yourself. 

It’s no coincidence that we’re fatter and sicker than ever. If you follow the money, I’d be willing to bet my soul that the FDA is in bed with the For Profit Medical System we have here in the USA. Healthcare is our # 6 most profitable business in America. Coincidentally, prescription drugs are our #1 killer. Obesity and heart disease are # 2. How many doctors and drug co reps can buy oceanfront vacation homes on those kinds of profits?  And when it comes to REAL health and weight lose, you can’t just pop a pill.

You have to see it as a lifestyle change. Not a diet.

This is called “Clean Eating”. 

(That makes the alternative “Dirty”.)

We need the KISS theory for our food. Go back to SIMPLE in order to be healthier. Chicken, eggs, green beans, apples, honey, bananas, nuts, steak that actually comes from grassy pastures, etc. Food that doesn’t need to a label because what you see is what you get. Does it cost a little more? Sure. But if you weigh that against the cost of medical bills, lost wages and suffering, I think it’s pretty clear that you’re either going to spend a little more now, or spend a lot later.

If anyone can look at the photos of Agent Orange…the lab rats…those around them who have gotten cancer…diabetes…sick…Autism cases…crazy amount of food allergies…and still have excuses for not eating clean, then they are simply beyond help.

Too many people throw their hands up and mutter “genetics”. This is an abused word and cop-out that allows us to place our fat blame on something else.  “Oh, it’s out of our control, it’s my genetics.” BULLSHIT. Genetics don’t play much of a role in your life as far as what you CAN look like. They can be ‘undone’ by diet and exercise.

Genetics determine if you have wide shoulders. Habits determine if you have a wide ass. 

Just because your mom has a fat ass, your sister has a fat ass and your grandma had a fat ass does NOT mean that YOU should have a fat ass.

…If you don’t WANT to.

Fact: Your daily habits matter far more than genetics ever could. Take responsibility for yourself.

Eat ‘Weird Foods’.

Look better.

Feel better.

BE BETTER.

 

COPYRIGHT APRIL HUNTER. NO PART OF THIS BLOG MAY BE USED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION.

Photos: Kelly O’Neil

The Hug.

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My mom died in the middle of the night. She just stopped breathing around two-thirty.

My brother and I completely reclined the overstuffed chair she’d been tucked upright into in order to breathe and covered her up with an extra blanket until morning. There was nothing else we could do. As she laid there, head on a pillow, eyes closed, hair smoothed to the side…she looked very peaceful. 

When I awoke a few hours later, her face was cold, but her body was still warm. I knelt down beside her and gave her the hug I hadn’t been able to while she was alive. She’d been so frail, so weak, so sick; I’d always handled her very gingerly. I’d touch shoulders with her and lightly circle my arms around her with a slight, lame squeeze. With her lung pain, I’d been afraid to do anything more.

That morning, while everyone was outside on the patio speaking in hushed tones about the business aspect of dying, I knelt beside her chair and I squeezed her as hard as I could. I rocked back and forth, holding on to her warm body, her ribs, her chest. I buried my face in her shoulder and I hugged the way I’d wanted to for all the times I hadn’t been able to.

And that’s how I said goodbye to her.

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FEEL.

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Winter grey beach.

Step gingerly into the soft ocean. January icy water. Pain.

It’s not enough.

 

Among the beautiful shells and soft sand are cigarette butts.

Bottles.

Then, a sand castle.

A reminder that children are better than the slobs who raise them.

But won’t they too grow up to be slobs? Ignorant cunts playing music too loud, refusing to move out of the passing lane, bringing 18 grocery items into 10-or-Less and carelessly leaving cigarette butts and bottles on beautiful beaches?

We are disgusting.

We are parasites.

Over breeding.

Thinking only of ourselves.

Ruining the beautiful host we live off.

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I choose a path broken shells to walk on. They cut into my feet, and I am aware of every single step I take.

This is why we  asphyxiate for orgasm.

Pierce ourselves.

Cheat on those who love us.

Slice into our arms and leave scars.

Steal.

Race cars.

Fuck in public.

We want to feel.

Shell cuts my foot. Sit down on the rocks.

The blood waits, then flows. It matches my chipped red toenail polish. Instead of crying out, I’m fascinated. I feel.

 

Constructive. Destructive.

We  all have the same choices.

Ruin our lives, our credit, our careers.

Or skydive. Salsa dance. Scuba. Visit a country that won’t speak our language. Try new food. Give.

 

Then…there are None Of The Above.

They do nothing. Live in monotony. Live in fear.

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Never trying for dreams. Maybe they ruin dreams for others.

Dead while alive.

Fucking pathetic.

A complete waste of space. Their lungs breathe air into an empty soul.

 

“I’m bored.”  This is not possible.

There is so much to enjoy, see, taste and learn.

What is meant to be said is: “I am boring.”

 

Seagulls screech overhead, the waves hit the rocks, the blood trickles down.

I breathe deep the salty air.

Feel the chilly sand.

I feel.

I am Alive. 

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COPYRIGHT APRIL HUNTER. NO PART OF THIS BLOG MAY BE USED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION.