All content copyright 2014 Woodpecker Tales LLC. All Rights Reserved.


I've known many people in my short life. Some of them feel the need to lift others up. Others, the desire to stomp them under foot. There are a wide variety of reasons for this behavior characteristic, as any psychologist or FBI profiler will tell you, but what it all comes down to is the human ego. 

I once dated a helicopter rescue swimmer for the US Coast Guard. There were barely more than 300 people in the world with that title when I met him (for the third time - we knew one another as children). He was one of the first rescue personnel on the scene after Katrina hit New Orleans, and he once saved Cindy Crawford's husband from drowning. A pull-up, push-up and surfing enthusiast, his ego ranked up there within the top 10 I ever met. He freely admitted to it. He was one of the egos who enjoyed lifting others up - of making the most out of not just a bad situation, but of any situation. Noodles, wherever you are, your kindness will never be forgotten. You pulled me from a dark and lonely place. 

I once met and secretly dated an A-List celebrity. Not many people know, and only those I trust to never share my secret  ever have a full name to go with this story. He made multiple millions per movie, was worshiped like a god by teens around the world and owned homes in some of the most beautiful places on earth. He could have his pick of women (yet he chose me) and he had a beautiful, if delusional, life. He was a tad bit crazy, and he had an ego, but it never got the better of him. He believed in helping those he knew when he felt they truly deserved it. He lifted others up. He believed in dreams. He believed in himself. And he believed in me. 

I've known one particular man for the past 12 years of my life. While to some degree he struggles with self esteem, he genuinely had a great positive outlook on life and his ego even occasionally needs to be put in check. By himself. But he's not famous. He's not a rescue diver or miracle man or someone others worship. He's a genius. He's ambitious and original. He's funny and kind, smart and talented. And several times he's picked up the pieces of a shattered heart. He has more of a right to an ego than anyone I've yet to meet. The untold amounts of time and attention he has given over the years to people and passions are a powerful testimony to the kind of person he is. 

But egos, for the most part, are bad. People with those egos belittle others, not because it makes them feel better about themselves like the high school bully, but because they genuinely feel as though they are more important than those around them. 

A woman on an airplane once tried to belittle me one day because she could afford nice things, like her pride and joy real Louis Vuitton handbag she didn't want to place on the floor. She said I didn't understand because I'd never be able to afford one being a "sky servant" as I was (her words, not mine). It turned out my watch was worth more than double what her bag was. 

I knew a man who thought he could control me and treat me horrifically because I loved him. His ego got the better of him, thinking I wouldn't be able to resist his charms when he was sober or not angry. Fortunately, my conviction and stubborn streak were more powerful than his charm or ego, and I escaped - barely. 

But the "dream crusher" ego was among the top three egos I ever knew. 

He was no celebrity. 
He was no hero. 
He was no genius.
He was no billionaire. 
He was no charmer. 

He was nothing more than someone who grew obsessed with his OWN dreams and fantasies. He destroyed the dreams and goals of others when he didn't get his way. He was a soul-sucker, yanking the dreams away from people he claimed to care about as he went. He tried to destroy me, and he failed, as so many did before him. 

But his ego brought him back. His ego fed his obsession. Again and again he had to have the last word. Again and again I ignored him. I never replied. 

Obsession kept him returning. 
Ego made him keep going. 
But I'll provide the ending. 

Never, EVER stalk a woman who knows your phone number, criminal background, credit card info, home address and the names of each skeleton in your closet.

Blue Memory

For a while, I lived life as if nothing inside me had ever changed. I went about my daily life. I wrote stories and blogs, started new books, worked often and ate dinner with friends. Eventually the visual memories began to fade. I no longer saw those blue eyes every time I closed my own, staring at me, smiling, only a pillow away.

But then he showed up in my life again. It was only for a brief moment - but those memories came to life once more. It was as though all that time had not passed. Everything was renewed. It wasn't the same, and yet it was.

Now I have a new vision when I close my eyes - but it's always been of his blue eyes.

Not a Redhead?!

Blonde. I hate it.

(Not that there's anything wrong with blondes. It's just not me. Last time I was blonde it was for a Halloween costume.)

In random conversation with the Captain and First Officer today, we were talking about mechanical delays. We had a few so far on this trip, and our days were stretched long while our nights stretched thin and sleep stretched to near nothing. Another warning came up before we began to taxi and we had to stop yet again.

"What is it with you two," the Captain asked of us both. "You're cursed or something."

"It's not me," I complained. "Redheads are touched with luck!" I quoted what others had told me of Game of Thrones.

"Redhead?" the first officer chimed in. "You're a redhead?"

"Well, yeah!"

"Oh," he said, perplexed. "I thought you were a blonde with your highlights."

I'm never getting highlights again.