Laura Jane Willcock and Thomas Yearsley: Sweethearts on an E-Ticket Ride
It’s 6:15 on a Tuesday morning. Past the desert valley the mountains rise up into their own isolation, stretching themselves awake as the first light begins to break. The clouds, roiling in, create a reflected image of the mountains projecting all the more brilliantly as they turn from a soft pink to a hot flowing magenta, then searing amber, and, finally, just a dull kind of grey that blends perfectly with the newly blue skies. The sun yawns wearily over the crest of the range. You can almost see it checking its watch as if it were running late, then rising still but more relaxed as it realizes there is plenty of time.
The Santa Ana winds are whipping through the trees, and debris blows through the as yet unawakened streets of town. A few dedicated early birds are out for their daily walk, but it seems as if most people, stirring enough for lights to be sporadically coming on throughout the neighborhoods, have decided to sit this one out.
A murder of crows flies in from the west, large enough to appear as a rain cloud from off in the distance, headed straight for the mountains, yet not really going anywhere. They’re flying into the wind, and at first it seems as if they are struggling against it as they are turned back, they dodge and resist, diving straight down sometimes and swooping back up just before hitting the ground. Then it becomes apparent they are not fighting at all; they are playing. It is, after all, that time of year once again when the first glints of spring spring into action and the way of all life begins to come to life. Young male crows crow, flex, preen, and rove in gangs with others of their ilk performing aerial stunts and other acts of daring, the more dangerous or flashy the better, as a way of participating in the time-honored tradition of turning on the ladies who, it seems, laugh at the recklessness of some that border on just plain stupid, as to them it would be more evolutionarily beneficial to find a guy who is smart enough to not have to break a leg just to get a date, and so the push-pull dynamic of bird society fluctuates as such for another magic season, with all its accompanying interactions and varying complications.
Lagging behind the flock, taking all the time in the world, in about as big of a hurry as the sun, two birds fly together wing tip to wing tip, straight toward the dawn, unwavering, joined in a blissful union found many seasons ago, they will stay with each other for the rest of their lives, whatever may come. Is that love? Or nature? Or is it the cold, unfeeling machinations of base instinct and chemical reactions designed specifically to perpetuate a species? Well, the crows don’t seem to know or care and don’t need words or explanations to understand what it is they have together, they are perfectly content just letting it be what it is.
Not so much for your friendly neighborhood reporter. Tasked with the assignment of writing a story about what it is to be in love, he finds himself tied in knots trying to answer the question. It’s just not as cut and dry as the days when men were from Mars and women were from Venus. I mean, is Venus the archetype of love, the embodiment of Eros or a big, bloated, high pressure gasbag? Could go either way. Mars was the supreme warrior god. Mars was also once teeming with life but is now a cold, dead, decrepit shell of what it used to be. Sound like someone you know? What are we really talking about here? This is all not even getting started on the various identities and affiliations that have cropped up over the years. What planet are they from? Are dog-men from Pluto? Are the gender neutral from Planet Zero? You can see where the waters get very quickly muddied. While a very popular idea in its day, we must discard it on the grounds that it’s outdated, non-inclusive, and doesn’t explain the burning mysteries we want answers to—like what you ladies are doing when you all go to the bathroom together.
Words don’t help. People have been trying to put it into words forever and still can’t seem to get it right, our only recourse being cheap metaphors that vaguely capture the true essence of the feeling. What is love? It’s a drug, a stranger, a loaded gun, a many splendored thing. It’s the answer, like a cancer, like a heat wave, an itching in your heart. It grows, it shines, it stinks, burns, kills, tears us apart, and keeps us together. Love has no pride, lies bleeding, finds a way, and ruins everything. You want a whole lot of it, a big hunk of it, to be in the mood for it or to be a gangsta of it. You’d do anything for it (but you won’t do that), be all out of it, be lost in it, feel like makin’ it, give it a bad name, or stop! in the name of it. It’s the cradle, the train, the street, the sea, the electric Harley house. You’re too fast for it but you’re a slave to it, addicted to it, you fool around and fall in it, this crazy little thing you call love.
Really, the only other way to describe it is through examples. Take these two, for instance: Laura Jane Willcock, singer for the Tighten Ups, and Thomas Yearsley, bass player for the Paladins. In the autumn of their years, they are starry eyed and gaga for each other like a couple of smarmy teenagers. Their adventures bear all the hallmarks of a true fairy tale from “Once upon a time” straight through to “happily ever after.” I was able to get them to stop pawing at each other long enough to get their story….
San Diego Troubadour: Laura Jane?
Laura Jane Willcock: Yes?
SDT: Will you get mad at me if I refer to you as a bad ass bitch?
LJ: Not at all. There are very few things you could call me that would piss me off.
SDT: What can I call you that would piss you off?
LJ: Late. Unprofessional.
Thomas Yearsley: She’s never late for anything. Her first professional career was in Northern Michigan, and it was always show time. They drilled it into their performers to be on time, to be ready, know the lines, be on the mark. It left an indelible work ethic in addition to the Michigan thing. Sorry, I’m answering her questions.
SDT: We have a lot to get to today, so I’d like to dive right in and begin by addressing the most pressing and important matters if you don’t mind.
SDT: Sure, go ahead.
TY: Where are all the aliens at?
LJ: That’s my favorite question of the day!
TY: Is that for her or me?
LJ: I’ll let you answer this one.
TY: I stand not in judgment of aliens.
SDT: I think we’re conjecturing more about whether they exist or not and, if so, in what capacity?
TY: If they don’t exist I will respect their privacy. If they do exist, I respect their anonymity. If you’re not on stage you don’t need to have your name in lights. There are a lot of people who work very hard in this business to get their name in print, and we’re two of ‘em, and no alien ever asked me or you or her if they could be in on this interview so I’m going to decline to comment on it.
LJ: You just commented on it, a lot. My brother saw what he says is an alien spacecraft in Death Valley when he worked there, and not just one. So yes, aliens are real, or the US government is trying out alien spacecraft for kicks in the desert.
TY: You just blew somebody’s cover.
SDT: How would you establish that it was one or the other? It could be top secret technology they’re experimenting with that has nothing to do with aliens.
LJ: Either way I’m highly entertained.
TY: I’m from the desert, and I would like to say that you should respect the unknown identity of those who do things in the desert on their own terms. Like the Marfa Chamber of Commerce.
SDT: I wasn’t disrespecting the desert, man! We’re wondering why we haven’t been officially contacted by aliens, or if we have, why is it being covered up?
TY: Maybe we are now.
LJ: Are you with the alien task force, Steve?
SDT: I’m not allowed to say.
TY: He’s got a Ford van, he’s probably okay. It’s extra long, but it’s only a 250.
LJ: That’s what she said.
SDT: I didn’t even show you what’s inside.
TY: Is it a place for your PA system?
SDT: Are you reading my mind now? Maybe you’re the alien! What is your spirit animal?
TY: My spirit animal is a groove weasel. I look for the mojo within other musicians on their quest and I draw it out of them. I find their groove and weasel into it. I’m not here to take anything from you, I just want you to give the best you can.
LJ: I’ve seen him in groove weasel mode many times. His little face scrunches up a bit weasley and he’ll be behind the board. He’ll hear something nobody else heard but was right in front of them the whole time.
TY: I can see where a group finds its unity. That’s the groove weasel.
SDT: Did you ever ghost weasel anybody?
TY: Never. I get a deposit and a contract to do any weaseling at all.
LJ: My spirit animal is the fish because I’m a Pisces. I’ve been swimming in opposite directions to get to myself my whole life.
Thomas Yearsley opens the doors on yet another day at Thunderbird Studios in Oceanside. Always grateful for what he has, always thankful to see another day, he reminisces about what it took to get here and takes none of it for granted. Gambles, chances, sacrifices though painful have paid off well over a career that began right around the time this building was constructed, the latest of various locations. It is in itself a relic, a throwback to a time when jukeboxes played vinyl discs, concert pianos could still be grand, and everything went to two-inch tape. You half expect your old Aunt Sally to be sitting in the Naugahyde booth with her voice like rusted leather, going on about her wood paneled olive-green station wagon she’s taking up to Shasta while a cigarette that burned down to the filter has left a three-inch hanging ash that in any other universe would have fallen and made a big mess five minutes ago. You scan the dial on your transistor radio, looking for updates on the story about the two-headed baby from Three Mile Island and lie on your back looking up at the stars through the skylight, hoping to catch a glimpse of Skylab.
It’s a throwback to a time when two wild youngsters from San Diego started a band and were trying to find themselves by playing ZZ Top and Johnny Winter songs, the sound of the day, the kind of stuff you had to play if you wanted to work in this town. Or so they thought, until they met a guy named Whit Broadley, who introduced them to this antiquated style of wringing notes called rockabilly, whose greatest progenitors like Eddie Cochran and Johnny Burnette had died in its heyday, while any lingering survivors would have looked downright jurassic compared to Zeppelin. Yet Broadley, prescient, soothsayer, possible wizard saw something on the horizon. He was able to feel the rawness of this music in a way you couldn’t get from all these glitzy, polished up BTO albums and could see that there was a desire to return to simpler forms of playing, stripped of all the glamour, jet-setting style, and unattainability so prevalent in ’70s stadium rock. Music had to be torn down and returned to its roots.
This is what was happening when Yearsley, Broadley, and guitarist Dave Gonzalez put the Paladins together.
The band found great success in the early ’80s, when Broadley’s predictions began bearing fruit in ways even he hadn’t predicted. He dipped out but encouraged the boys to continue what they were doing. They also began broadening their horizons by infusing their style with the blues, their shifts always seeming to come just moments before that particular genre just happened to break, as if Broadley, though no longer with the band, had passed onto them the gift of intrinsic foresight. While vacationing in Europe, Yearsley was convinced that the passion for American music there was something the band should explore, and he was so correct that the Paladins’ 2019 European tour almost 40 years later was one of their most successful.
A business that started in 1998 under the name Elector officially became Thunderbird Analog Recording Studio in 2007. It was the result of another of Thomas’ grand visions: a place where music dreams can be thrust into reality, not just for himself but for others as well. He finds himself to be a very busy man and a master multitasker. As if running a recording studio/merch factory/business center and playing upright bass for one of the most historic groups San Diego has ever produced isn’t enough, he also finds time to make and repair instruments, cook (which he insists on doing for his clients, viewing food as a unifier and equalizer), and brew his own beer….
The Tighten Ups, San Diego’s premier rock ‘n’ roll and soul revue, are starting a set one night back when that sort of thing was allowed at a downscale bar in La Mesa called Wong’s Golden Palace. The bar and the band sum each other up perfectly. If you like to grab a brewski and have some fun, go to Wong’s. If you’re feeling saucy and want a cocktail, go to Wong’s. If you like to live life on the edge, have the Long Island from Wong’s. If you drink not as a social pursuit but as a true act of death defiance, get the scorpion bowl from Wong’s. The county coroner will appreciate your business. The morning-after body identification ritual is half the fun of spending a night hanging out at Wong’s. The other half is the band. This band has been going strong since 2008, and it’s easy to see why as the lineup is stacked from head to toe with top-level talent. After various solos to loosen the lips a bit, enter from stage left the singer, coming on like a freight train: Laura Jane Willcock. She writhes, seethes, rolls, and tumbles, yowling strabismically against the fiercest backbeat, about as subtle as a bag of hammers. The bass putting the boom boom in every corner of the room, the horn section punching and stabbing its way through the air as if daring you to rumble, a ’64 Strat diving in and out, weaving its way between raucous rhythm and sweltering solo, and as the band brings it down for the start of their song “Sex Fight,” Laura Jane begins to tell a not-so-flattering tale about a since-dispersed-of old boyfriend who caused the poor girl mountains of frustration not because he was a selfish jerk or an abusive bum, but because his libidinous impulses could not remotely keep up with her ravenous desire. To be clear, she tells the story in lurid detail, laying out borderline-pornographically the ways in which this dude failed to satisfy, until the only unknown piece of information you come away with might just be this poor chump’s name and address. Then the band comes in and knocks you out with the chorus. “We gonna have a SEX FIGHT!!!”
She puts it all out there. She ain’t shy and she’s got nothing to hide. Laura Jane is the next, the newest, the latest in a long line of bold, brassy, strong willed, no-holds-barred feminist icons that have graced this town since the halcyon days of Candye Kane. Barreling in from Traverse City, Michigan in 2001, she has spent the years making her bones as a singer, actress, DJ, activist in both the feminist and LGBTQ communities, business manager, and partner at Lux Records and Thunderbird Studios as well as staunch proponent standing tall so that truth, justice, and tequila may flow forever freely throughout this great nation. “Sex Fight” is the perfect encapsulation of what her persona is all about. Beginning the song casually, conversationally, “Hey, did you ever?…You know what I’m talking about” (wink wink), acting it out, hamming it up before ripping it all open at the moment of truth, exposing ferocity of ingenious proportions. Thrilling and enthralling, this berserker of a broad, scourge of the gods, this mistress of the wild turns your adrenal glands upside down. She’ll be the first to tell you she’s got a big everything, but of it all the biggest thing she’s got is her heart.
There’s something about girls from the Midwest that you can’t quite put your finger on. They all have it though. It’s as if they are kindly inviting you to try to put your finger on it, but then will break that finger if you actually do try. Tender, yet tough. Maybe it’s the weather, who knows, but they contain all the mystery of the singing sands and all the complexity of the Michigan left. Laura Jane possesses this quality in spades. The incendiary maelstrom that she whips up on the stage stays on the stage when the lights go out and is in direct contrast to the person you will meet for a conversation. She can handle her business and bask in her leisure. She can preach like a minister and cuss like a sailor. She laughs, she cries, she tells you anything if you only ask. Just don’t try to put your finger on her.
SDT: Any good dreams lately?
TY: She has the most vivid dreams.
LJ: Last night I was preparing my band back in Michigan, ’74 Marauder, for their space journey. We were counting supplies for them to put on their rocket. They were going to be traveling through space. I don’t know where they were going exactly, but I was in charge of inventory. I had a clipboard and I was checking off things… “You got the space pack, you got the space gloves, space boots.”
TY: She’s kind of an organizer.
LJ: I was checking boxes. Thomas makes fun of me because I make little boxes next to my lists and then I check ‘em off. He thinks that’s silly.
TY: I haven’t had a dream that’s better than the dream that I’m living when I’m awake.
LJ: You’re so poetic, man.
SDT: You could be the guy in the coma.
TY: I was never in a coma.
SDT: That’s what the guy in the coma said, too. Then he woke up from his coma and learned the great life he had been living was all just a dream his mind had conjured up in the coma to keep itself from slipping into the void of insanity from whence it would never return. He spent the rest of his days heartbroken that he could never get that life back.
TY: Aaah, layers! You know what? I think there’s something to that that speaks more to other people than it speaks to me. I’m kind of the dreamer type, and I’ve dreamed and meditated that this [life] would all be true. If you roll back the tape to before, I thought Texas was the place we ought to be; I thought Europe was where we ought to be. I dreamed all that could be possible, and now I’m actually living what I dreamed a long time ago, and I’m super grateful for having the balls to dream it in the first place. My reward is to sit here with my darling and tell you that I dreamed this possibility a long time ago. Not just for myself but I dreamed it for everybody; that’s why it’s a studio, and everybody comes here to line up their dream sequence for their future. When you get down the road, you’ll suffer some struggles, but when you dream to be an artist, a sound maker, it’s probably worthwhile. That’s my mission, and uh… what was the question again?
SDT: The question is about how there is a relationship between you two, and part of having a good relationship is that you challenge each other, is that correct?
TY: That wasn’t the question as I remember it.
SDT: We’re moving on now. Laura Jane, does he challenge you?
LJ: During this pandemic, when I felt like tossing everything in and being a lazy ass watching Netflix, he would come to me and say, “Come on, we’ve got work to do. Let’s do this, let’s get back to ThunderLux [their band together] and mix this record. He would allow me certain dalliances and maybe make me breakfast in bed or something, but then the challenges would come back. I can be obstinate, especially about things I don’t want to learn about, but he pushes me into technical excellence where I am afraid I would never care enough about it if he wasn’t there encouraging me. He’s got this way of bringing excitement and discovery and imagination to my life. Authors, records, big band leaders, he’s always challenging my knowledge. There are some areas in my life where I might want to succumb to feeling sorry for myself or judgment of others where he will be the first one to defend the others. He’ll be the first one to say, “You’ve got it great.” So, I don’t get as selfish as maybe I could be when I’m around him, because he makes me call my own stuff out. He makes me feel like I can just tell myself that I got this and that I can appreciate our time together.
SDT: Thomas, how does she challenge you?
LJ: Arm wrestling.
TY: Here’s how it goes: The work comes in. Clients come in, reoccurring clients come in, and she keeps tracks of columns of what everybody needs. She makes a list and puts a box by the list, and when it’s achieved to the client’s satisfaction, she checks off the box. Now, the calendar is rule of law. If somebody puts a date on that calendar, it’s got to be advanced… followed up. That’s all her expertise. I lock into the moment and get lost in fixing something and she’ll be reminding me that a client is coming in half an hour and I haven’t fired up the board yet, or what mics need to be set up or getting the food ready. I’m always in the moment, and she draws me into the task that I’m supposed to be doing. I’m not known for missing sessions or being late or unprepared, but with the operation growing to where it is now, it’s way more demanding than just I could manage by myself. We have to come with our numbers and our products, and she’s always on the details. She keeps me focused.
LJ: I’d say keeping you focused is the challenge.
TY: When I’m in the moment, I’m the guy for the moment. When I’m in the zone I’m in it. She makes me a better producer. That’s not really a challenge. Can we pick a different challenge?
SDT: Why don’t we pick a different question?
TY: OK, pick a different question.
While it can be fun to run with off-kilter topics and see what people are like when they have to spontaneously dig a little deeper, it became more readily apparent that trying to go there with Thomas would inevitably lead back to the things in his life that matter most, such that if he were asked about Dyson spheres his response would be “Dyson Spheres? Does he need to book studio time?” Or, if questioned about why the story of the Chinese government’s efforts to create genetically enhanced futuristic super soldiers wasn’t getting more exposure, he would say, “I’ll bet they’re just not working with the right publisher. Give ‘em my number; I’ll straighten ‘em out.” He’s all business. His door is always open and his lights are always on. Group that with a profound penchant for technical/audio sorcery and a mastery of the art of the schmooze that can only come from decades of dealing with people in the entertainment business, and you can begin to realize what she sees in him.
It is apparently a very poorly kept secret around the industry that Yearsley has a thing for buxom, boisterous songbirds who are very strong in their own right, have a true sense of who they really are, and aren’t about to tolerate one ounce of bullshit from anybody. This would explain his attraction to Laura Jane. The notion of having a thing for somebody implies something that strikes perhaps even beyond the roots of attraction to the very seeds itself. It is something implanted in one subconsciously, early in life, and is not even always definable. The thing can be of a physical nature but can also be mental. Body parts are very popular, but some people have a thing for intelligence and find it to be a real turn on, frankly. Humor, by proxy, is viewed by many to be a very foxy proxy that triggers all kinds of sapiosexual pump primings. So, take heart funny, brainy, ugly people. If they’re laughing, the door is at least still open.
The thing about having a thing is that it sometimes isn’t really any “thing” about someone that makes you have a thing for them. Sometimes it’s just who they are. It’s their energy. It’s something you can’t quite place but you know it’s there. Something about this one is just different from all the others in ways you haven’t seen before. It is perhaps the novelty of the feeling that is attractive. Maybe it’s the novelty of the individual, but the attraction is, certainly, magnetic, and thus also electric.
As a human person in this life, you get stuck between or among dualities like hot/cold, up/down, left/right, and even love/hate, with common sense telling you that you must pick one side to the detriment of the other. There is a third choice you can make even if you don’t see it. When it’s real it’s indescribable, undefinable. Flaws stop being things that must be fixed and become defining, endearing, and attractive characteristics. This happens with people as well. Two individual singularities coursing through the laws of attraction are drawn forever closer into each other’s orbit such that they are magnetically entwined and electrically charged. Their fields merge to become one, they start by swapping electrons, and then one singularity takes its [redacted—ed.] and puts it [redacted—ed.]. Their fields generate more energy and more heat, their amplitude rising to a fever pitch so high they swear they can see the source that created them. They call out to it, locked in the throes of quantum entanglement, their waves pulsating, oscillating faster and faster until finally, at the feeling of the moment of implosion or death, the two singularities [redacted. Come on, this isn’t Penthouse. –ed.] together, and such is the circle of life. Whew, got a smoke?
SDT: What are the flaws about her that you love?
TY: All of ‘em.
SDT: Care to point some out?
TY: That she has a flaw?
SDT: I don’t know what they are, you have to tell me.
TY: I wouldn’t know either.
LJ: What a diplomat.
SDT: Are you being diplomatic with me? Everybody has flaws. Nobody is perfect. The point of loving somebody is that you love all the great qualities about them, but it’s also that you find their flaws just as beautiful as you find everything else. It’s the little things that if anybody else did it would really twist your knobs, but somehow when she does the same thing it’s cute or endearing or sexy.
TY: I’m happy to point out my flaws and address them as it needs to make anybody’s product better, but I’m really not the guy to pick out flaws in somebody else unless I’m telling somebody their time is off or they need to work with a metronome, and that’s basically where I stop with the flaw game.
LJ: For example, I’m a little pitchy sometimes but he wouldn’t say so. He’d just say it’s pure Laura Jane. He’s a smoothie with this kind of thing. He has a way of making the whole flaw thing into something that is just…ordained. So, it’s a hard question for him.
TY: I don’t know if this speaks to the question but, if somebody is off clock, dragging or speeding, I will be the bitch. You don’t want that. You don’t want something that’s off clock when you’re recording. I’ll listen to it more than you will ever listen to it and I’ve got to live with it. I’ve got to try to fix your stuff and that goes on your bill.
SDT: LJ, what does he do that really gets your engine revving?
LJ: There’s this thing called a lion kiss. He creeps up behind me and kind of nibbles on my neck a little bit from behind…
TY: I wait until she’s busy making buttons or t-shirts or doing something where her hands are busy so she can’t swat me away.
LJ: And there’s the way he breathes on my neck as well, and then I just want to give him whatever he wants.
SDT: Thomas, same question.
TY: What does she do that’s absolutely resistible?
TY: Irresistible! I like it when she’s busy, when she’s working on something. I love that she’s industrious, and it just drives me crazy with passion that she’s got a list and she’s doing this and doing that and everything on our list has to do with advancing somebody’s career, somebody’s dream, somebody’s product, and she’ll be taking orders and I just think it’s so sexy.
LJ: He tells me I’m beautiful every day. Every single day he tells me I’m the most beautiful woman in the world. He opens my door for me every time and says to me some of the sweetest things and also some of the most ridiculous things in the world. I was feeling down one time and he said, “Here, you can borrow my mom’s wedding ring. But I’m going to need it back.” It made me laugh so hard!
TY: Besides from the obvious that she’s super beautiful and ultra my type, day by day, minute by minute, we’re going to the same place.
SDT: Tell me about the future. What do you crazy kids see for yourselves moving forward?
TY: The future is when you walk into the Thunderbird, and you cross those gates and you come in that door. That is the future.
LJ: But what’s the future for us, Thomas?
TY: The future for us is their future. They come in here and record and we back it up. We have support for it. There’s something they need that…
LJ: Yeah, but Thomas, what is your and my future as a couple?
TY: Aye, that’s a question. I want this forever. We keep on growing dreams out of our careers. We did it, and you can do it. We had a great band; you can have a great band. The more you do it, the more we’ll help you. We’ll make your t-shirts, your buttons, your records. It’s up to you, but we’re showing you the shining path…
LJ: You’re talking about business, though; he’s asking a totally different question. What’s our future as a couple? For love. For romance.
TY: I’m living in the moment, and this moment is beautiful to me. Having her as the counterbalance is all by the grace of glory. This place is fantastic. I can’t believe it when I walk through it and think about what an amazing story this life is and that this story can happen to anybody and that’s what my message is.
LJ: You never know when your perfect magnet match will come along. Don’t give up on love. I had just broken up when I met him and I was so over love I didn’t care if I ever found love again, and then I met him and it was just different. This is what I’m supposed to have. I need this man by my side as much as I can, and I need to smell him and kiss him and lick him and touch him and have him so close. This guy brings me happiness, and as it turns out we like to work together, and we give each other creative inspiration.
So, what are we looking at here? To sum up: your life is empty if you haven’t had any love in it and just as empty if you have at some point thought you knew true love only to have someone break your heart. It is then that you can realize that the true meaning of love comes not from the ability to feel it but from knowledge of the power it has to corrupt you from within when placed in the wrong hands. When you find a special someone in life, the true mystery comes not from trying to figure out whether it’s love or not but whether it’s real or not. Love is easy. It’s reality that sucks. Don’t let it stop you from taking the plunge. Life is a gamble, and you don’t really get anything out of it if you don’t bet the house every once in a while. You’ll probably lose more than you win, but all you need is one winner, one keeper, someone who makes you want to be a better person, someone you give yourself entirely to and they to you, creating in unity a thing so much greater than either of you possesses alone, a picture that is only whole with both of you in it, an image that becomes more vibrant and alive the more you give to each other, the more you do with each other, and the more you sacrifice for each other together until the day you die…or the day you come home and find her sleeping with the milkman. Whichever comes first….