Gary Rinsem

End of Love
February 1995
Our last days

(1-10-2021 NOTE! This changed from a normal journal file with mundane dated entries. It became a special writing about BB. It was destined to be deleted. I finally have hope for it now.)

(2-11-2021 Note: I only have eight days before our anniversary, and this journal is not finished from a year ago. My outline (below) was too optimistic. I can't write those memories and I can't find the old journals. I can only do what I can do. It doesn't mean I don't still love you. Deliberate double negative is for emphasis.)

(3-20-2021 Note: I give up. A year and a month ago I started this, again, for the millionth time. It can't be done. I can't even add this stupid note without crying too hard to see the screen. Tami, Vicki and BB... My entire existence has been nothing but love for you. I'm taking this page out of the impound and placing it in my journal. My only hope is for Tami to read it one day.)

What began with Tami in 1975, ended here with Bev and Bren in 1995. It was the end of true love in my life. I should be happy with fifteen years of true love in a lifetime, when most people don't even know it exists.

I've tried this task countless times, each time failing horrifically yet returning to it still, twenty-five years later.


Twenty-five years ago right now I was at the airport picking up Bev. A few hours later we went and got Bren, then went out for a giant steak dinner. They both brought home doggie boxes. Steak with eggs in the morning, on our wedding anniversary.


Twenty-five years ago we celebrated our twelfth anniversary together, in our house mostly except for dinner and a morning walk around the neighborhood. It was our last Chicken Cordon Bleu. I'll certainly never eat it again. Today is our thirty-seventh anniversary and I've mourned the last twenty-five of them all alone. That's not completely true. Janet and Saundra were with me the first few years. The entire crew was there in 1995, but by 1996 they were over it and didn't want to hear anything about BB. I'm babbling. Can't write anything about them. Bye...


I can't not try at least at this time each year. I must record it somehow. Just for me. There is no one else. Our last words, face to face. Our last embrace, B & B & Me. Take it slow, enough for now.


On my mind for four days. This year it must be done. If I can write our twelfth anniversary weekend, including watching them each get on a plane and walk out of sight, their backs the last thing I saw of each of them, then maybe I can biography our life. It would make me very happy. Crying tires me, bye for now BB.


I've made a point of looking at this every day for a month now. I made a resolution to have it done by Bev's precious day, Chicken In The Park May 31, 2020. I will not delete this text, not this year. Whatever I write stays.


We made love for hours. We talked, we reminisced and we planned. We had Chicken Cordon Bleu in a fine restaurant. It was the traditional celebration of our wedding anniversary.

Sunday morning we cooked a very early breakfast together and cleaned the kitchen before sunrise. The lake was calling. Time for a hike from Butcher Jones over the hills to our little cove for a nude swim. It was cold, but survivable. A boat showed up with two men fishing. They didn't care. Home by about one o'clock, we spent time at Los Arcos with Dad's traditional fudge brownies and shared a giant chocolate chip cookie. Then off to Tami's secret place in the mall, for a moment of risky fun. We followed that tradition every single time they were ever here. After the mall I think we just came home and hung out until dinner. Dinner at Red Lobster was hardly worth remembering. BB always enjoyed the seafood, but their steaks are not so good. I detest seafood.


The above is garbage, but I've written and deleted so many paragraphs that I don't know what to do. CITP is rushing at me at full speed. When this is written, I'll never be able to read it.


I started writing this the day before our thirty-seventh anniversary. All I did that day was happily remember BB and our life. I ignored the years of suffering without them. I can't fucking do the same when thinking about the last time we were together.


It's been more than nine months. I've looked at this too many times. I've written countless paragraphs and immediately deleted them as trash. It's been more than a month since my last try.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day and I spent much of it on this, yet wrote nothing I could save. I decided to search the archive for the story of our wedding day. I'm not certain it survived, but if it did I'll post it to my journals. Best I can do.

I give up BB. Sorry. It's too hard. I'm sticking this attempt on both of my journal web sites to prevent deleting in a weak moment. I promised not to delete it and that much I'll try to do.

Nine silly diary entries. Thirty-seven years and I've still not used your real names in my writings. I'll never violate your trust even decades after it makes no difference.

This is my tribute to you and all it shows is how much I still love you. Maybe that's more than good enough, maybe it's a great tribute to you both.


I recently decided, and I think it's a permanent decision, that I did Love Susan. I finally don't doubt it. I know she didn't really love me, but it doesn't matter. Susan wasn't capable of love. She was too wounded, too depressed and too stoned for love.

So BB, you helped me figure out Susan. Thank you. You're still making my life better. You would have liked her. She would have been jealous of you and done anything to hide that jealousy. What the hell... I haven't talked to you in a long time... Looks like the time is right.

When I was a boy I saw a Playboy magazine with pictures of a woman named Barbie Benton. I've remembered her name my entire life, don't know why, don't recall ever hearing about her again. There was nothing special about HER. She looked like every other woman in nudie magazines. I recently searched her name and found that she was Hugh Heffner's steady girlfriend, as near a wife as he ever had. That much was interesting, but not what I was interested in.

I wanted to see one picture from that magazine. It's one that Susan accidentally re-enacted with Eddie or Angel, I don't remember which. Barbie was reclined naked on a poolside lounge chair with a Blue and Gold McCaw standing on her boob. The bird's toes were dug into her skin, contorting her breast. They both had big smiles on their faces. I went looking for that picture on line, but found nothing. It's a vivid memory even after nearly fifty years. I'd love to find it just to know how accurate my antique memory of it... really is.

One day Susan was topless laying on the sofa in the living room. Eddie and Angel were climbing on her with Tyler on the back of the couch. Sue was in the same position as Barbie and one of the birds jumped on her tit and dug their toes into her flesh. I had a flashback to the moment a boy at school showed me that magazine. I told Susan this story and she got jealous just hearing that I saw another woman's boobs. Susan and Tami are the only two women from my life who suffered from jealousy.

So BB, the day after tomorrow is Christmas and I still haven't written our last story. Less than three months and it'll be our anniversary again. I'm sorry. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH.


I forgot about this journal and started a new one on New Years day. Reading it this evening hurts so much. I was destroyed for hours by the last sentence above. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. Love is supposed be a simple chemical process in the brain, according to biologists. They're full of shit.

In all of the human experience, no words have never come close to defining my love for you. The best I can do is to tell you that my love for you both, still equals my love for Tami. You knew what that means even without the inexistable words to describe it. You came to know me through my sorrow for the lost love of two women who came before you. I'm going to die soon and leave nobody to remember me. No one but you has known me and it's been close to 26 years without you. How did I FUCKING I do it? How did I survive 26 years without you?


The first thing I ever saw on a computer that resembled porn, was two tiff files of women playing football topless. It was 1989 or 1990 when one of the Crew girls carried a 5 ¼ floppy everywhere she went, to share the two pictures. The pics were from an old movie they had all seen. Today I searched again and finally figured out what movie it was. After 30 years I finally get to see the movie of my first digital porn. It's called H.O.T.S. and it's from 1979. The girls all loved that movie, for more than just naked boobs. They thought of it as a very early movie showing women to be in control.


I can't write our last time together. It is impossible. Not writing it has bothered me immensely for 26 years. I'm going to try something that is nearly the same importance to me. Perhaps I can write a summary of our life and love. If it works it will make me happy, but nobody else is left to care.

First outline to establish continuity, then set the stage, then fill in the details. Got a plan, here we go with one more shot at the impossible.

WOW, an hour or so and I've written 11 paragraphs that don't suck too much. Time to do something else for a while.

It's the next day and I wrote another 12 paragraphs which mostly appear to be irrelevant, but they're not. Our story needs the background they provide. Difficulties we faced will make no sense without the context.

1) Fresh out of boot camp, I lost Vicki while BB were stalking me

I lost my first love four years earlier. I'd just finished Navy boot camp followed by a two month engineering school. Immediately out of boot camp, Vicki and I fell deeply in love. It was now Friday morning two and a half months later, at 0700 on November 19, 1982. I was in dress blues sitting on my seabag as the only clean place to sit down. It was pier 16 at the Long Beach Naval Station. My ship was supposed to be there, but wasn't. Other people showed up to wait and told me the ship was due in at 0700. I waited for two hours until it came into sight around the end of the mole.

I can't forget the shock of seeing my ship for the first time. At first sight and even from a distance, it was obviously a sick sad pathetic rusty piece of barely seaworthy garbage. The hull was so warped it looked like a submarine that'd been too deep and imploded. As that ship came closer I could see it peeing into the ocean about every twenty feet along the starboard side. The crew was manning the rail, but not as they taught us in boot camp. This looked like a bunch of misfits instead of the proud disciplined crew we'd been told would present themselves for manning the rail. Manning the rail is a Navy tradition which is supposed to send a message about the ship, to anyone watching. This ship was sending the wrong message. I feared it was an accurate message. My fears were compounded when the ship crashed into the pier. I felt the pier shake as many pilings were busted out by the large camels forced under, as the ship ran amuck in the cross wind. Navy tugs were frantically signaling each other, but I didn't know the difference then. I never again heard that sort of panic from a pair of tugs. Not even the second or third times the Prairie crashed pier 16.

I was ready to go aboard after sitting on my seabag for two hours. I learned to be patient from family members of crew, who were also waiting for the ship. They explained that it takes a couple hours before the brows would be set. BB were manning the rail above the starboard quarterdeck. They instantly spotted me as a boot camp waiting to check aboard. Believe me, it's an impossible thing to hide. BB were intrigued and began speculating about me. When the ship secured from manning the rail they changed into dungarees and came right back to keep an eye on me. It sounds creepy as I write it and maybe it was, but it got much creepier in my first hours on board. About 10 am a crane came down the pier. I watched as they first set the after brow, to get trash off the ship. A long line of sailors was on deck with cans to be dumped. It was thrilling to watch them haul all those cans down the brow and dump them in the dumpster. Must sound silly, but it was my first sign of anything disciplined coming from my ship. They looked like they'd rehearsed hundreds of hours to perform the simple function of taking out the trash. It was something silly that I didn't understand in the moment. They all just knew you have to wait in line for everything in the Navy.

I hauled my seabag and garment bag up the stairs and across the brow, then performed the "come aboard" ritual for the first time. The OOD opened the hatch and showed me the door to the personnel office. I soon learned that he was one of the nicest people on the ship, a true Chief Petty Officer in every way. A couple years passed where we stood watch together every duty day. We became friends when he bought a motorcycle and wanted someone to teach him to ride, at least enough to pass the test for a base motorcycle license and gate sticker. I taught him to ride a two by four lengthwise without dropping his bike. Oh, never mind, he's not part of BB and his bike didn't have enough power to pull a decent wheelie.

The Personnel Office wouldn't check me aboard because the ship had just pulled in and they were trying to go to liberty. I was given a paycheck and letter they were holding. Then they told me what division and work center I'd been assigned to. I'd have to wait until Monday morning to check aboard. One of the men showed me to the R-2 berthing compartment and spent time to get me set up with a bunk. It was time for lunch and he was gone. I stumbled all over the ship asking people for directions to the ship's store. They didn't give me correct directions for a Navy ship. Prairie didn't contain the information required, it was too old for the standardized Navy design of ships. I bought two locks in the store, one for my bunk and one for my locker.

BB were watching me. They'd waited near the personnel office and then outside the berthing compartment. They followed while I searched for the store, then waited again by the laundry for me to come out of berthing after locking up my gear. I noticed them for the first time, loitering by the laundry as I headed forward to the mess decks. Moments later BB were in line behind me, a few people back. I recall thinking they were a couple. They struck me as being in love, probably by the closeness they already enjoyed. BB sat at a table in front of me in the EDF. It made me self conscious as they seemed to stare at me and whisper to each other. I told myself it was my imagination. Sometimes it's not.

I noticed BB getting up right after I did. They were behind me as I walked to the scullery to dump tray and silverware. They were nearby for the rest of the day in fact. I quickly toured the ship and noticed BB everywhere I went. Other people were smoking all over, but the flight deck seemed to be more of an official place for it. I sat on deck, leaned against the rail to read the letter from Vicki, that the personnel office provided. BB walked by several times, trying to act nonchalant. It was getting hard to tell myself I was imagining it.

BB instantly flew out of my mind with the first couple sentences of Vicki's letter, as did every other thought I could have had. Two weeks leave at home since I saw her last, and she'd suddenly moved across the country. It made no sense then and it still makes no sense thirty-eight years later. I was instantly wrecked. Destroyed. Obliterated. In a state of despair so deep it would take the rest of my life to pull out of it. BB continued to pass by. The letter was actually six letters, two pages each, twelve pages in all. One from Vicki and five from her family. Never mind, this is BB not Vicki.

I'd spent since noon avoiding two women who were following me. Eventually I could deny no longer, their actions had no other explanation. BB thought they were being discreet, they thought I hadn't noticed them. Sitting and staring during dinner was too much. I ditched them repeatedly only to be found again within a few minutes. One time they were thoroughly ditched in the lower forward part of the ship so I could haul ass to the crews lounge in the upper aft part of the ship. I though they'd never find me watching the movie, but within minutes the hatch opened and they stared into the darkness. They spotted me when their eyes adjusted, then sat directly behind. It was more than I could handle. I didn't watch the movie. I ran away from them like the plague. Taps was at 2200 and I was ready. BB were following as I disappeared into the berthing compartment. They weren't allowed in a male berthing compartment so I was safe until morning.

2) Sat CITP, Sun CITP

I got a good night's sleep once I figured out how to climb into that odd little space. I also quickly figured out how to do a morning routine on a ship. It's not as easy as you'd expect. Leaving my berthing compartment I had no thoughts of BB, only concerns for my future with Vicki. It seemed hopeless. Barely twenty-four years old and I'd already lost my second true love. I saw no future in life at that moment. I had no breakfast while lunch and dinner were inedible the day before. I was starving. Waiting in the starboard mess line I noticed BB through the galley, in the port mess line. Silly me, I again thought it was coincidence, but not for long. BB did as they did two meals the day before. They sat and stared and whispered to each other. I couldn't take it. Hungry as hell and with a tray full of something that actually tasted like food, I took off out of the mess decks nearly running to ditch them. Moments later hunger took over and I got in line again, thinking they'd never look for me where I'd already been. Wrong. BB were soon sitting in front of me with their own fresh trays of bacon and eggs and potatoes. We repeated the routine for a third breakfast. That one I didn't care, I gave up and let them stare.

About an hour passed after eating. BB followed and I ditched them and they found me again, several times. Vicki was losing control of my thoughts as the issue with these two women continued. Bev was standing between two lathes in the machine shop as I walked by. Bren entered the compartment through the port forward hatch at the same time. It was their tactic of divide to find me.

Bev asked my name as I passed her. My mind was in chaos over Vicki. I didn't have the energy to fight it any longer. Less than twenty-four hours on a ship and I'd been through hell. Bev told me, not asked, but told me to get into civilian clothes and meet her on the pier. Then she walked away without waiting a moment for my response. I was still hungry and headed for the galley. I kept going as Bev headed aft through the machine shop. The galley was out of chow and I was standing at the candy machine when I decided to take a chance. I rushed to my bunk, changed my clothes and went to the pier as ordered. I didn't know why. I had no interest in either of them because of Vicki.

As a bit of background info.... Sea duty was new for women in the Navy. The first enlisted women ever assigned to ships were only on board a few months. BB were proud to have that opportunity. They'd been brainwashed into believing it was a great honor for lowly unworthy females to serve in restricted capacity on a US Navy ship. The Navy's rhetoric was lovely, but irrelevant and pure lie.

Women were treated like second class citizens as the Navy pretended each bit of discrimination was required. Everybody knows women can't (fill in the blank.) Women still were not allowed on combat ships. Isn't it obvious? Women don't belong there. There were even jobs denied to women because it would screw up their menstrual cycle. Mine was one of those jobs, denying women access to the engine rooms. It was pure sexist BS of course. The Navy was doing all it could to fight the gender integration being forced by lawmakers.

Fraternization lectures began in boot camp for men and women. Checking aboard ship included more of it. There were many rules. At first, being near the women was a mine field about to blow up at any moment. You could easily be punished at Captain's mast for a seemingly innocent word or action. More than anything else, shipmates were not allowed to date. By the rules, if caught the woman lost her sea duty and would be transferred someplace far away. Both could be punished, but the woman was punished automatically. That was hetero fraternization. BB were the same gender and in love. There's no describing the frightening horror created by the Navy to persecute them.

Moving around a Navy ship is physically demanding. You're constantly stepping over and around obstacles. Everywhere you go requires climbing steep narrow ladders that would be illegal in civilian life. It takes time to build muscle specifically for life aboard a Navy ship. As a result, my legs were sore as I walked down the pier to meet this strange woman. I could hardly walk straight. As I approached she made another demand like in the machine shop. I was ordered to follow her, but act like we were not together. My thought was to go back aboard and have another breakfast. I was also mildly intrigued while concerned over them obsessively following me. My thoughts were jumbled over three women now, Vicki and BB, for very different reasons.

For an hour as I waited at bus stops and followed on several busses, I got nothing but a cold shoulder from this nutty woman. She unexpectedly began talking to me as we got on the third or fourth bus. Sitting next to me she explained her extreme fraternization fears. We couldn't be seen together anywhere close to the Navy. I didn't buy it for a second. I just thought she was nuts. We talked about nothing on the bus, she just pointed out bits of the city as it passed. We got off at a stop shortly after she pointed out a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant.

A short walk got us to our destination. Bev said she wanted to hang out in the park and get to know each other. A few hours passed without making progress. I found little to like about her at first and she thought I was just too boring for words. I didn't even have thoughts of sex with her. A very rare event for me, with any woman. After thirty-eight years I still clearly recall my thoughts. I felt trapped. She had me, but maybe didn't know it. I wanted to leave yet couldn't because I didn't know where I was or how to get back to the ship. I had almost no money so couldn't even use a cab. I was trapped and desperate when Bev wanted to walk to KFC to get lunch. I agreed only after explaining that she'd have to pay.

Back at a park picnic table with a big bucket of chicken, our conversation became worse. Half my mind was consumed by concerns over Vicki. In denial, I had yet to consider she was lost forever. Half my mind was taken over by two nutty women whose intentions I couldn't figure out. Another half of my mind was busy digesting the new life aboard a ship, which I'd been briefly exposed to. Yet another half of my mind was excited about finally starting work in a job I spent years studying for. Yes, I know that's too many halves of my mind, but there was chaos in there.

Full of chicken, we didn't get a break from our boredom with each other for at least another hour. The trapped feeling took over all four halves of my brain. At this point, the only thing keeping me there was the knowledge that I had to live on the ship with this woman. I couldn't ostracize the first shipmate I'd met. I had to stay and be polite or it would be awkward at "home."

Something unexpected and remarkable happened. In a quick moment, Beverly and I found a connection between our minds. It's like nothing else I'd ever experienced, but Bev knew it from falling in love with Bren. They'd spent every moment of the last two months together, trying to understand the feelings they had for each other. They were perplexed yet enjoying the rapport they developed over Chicken In The Park, two months before. Beverly and I didn't say a word about it to each other, but the tone of our conversation quietly changed. Within a few minutes it was becoming interesting, with subtle silent messages passed between the lines. At first I wasn't certain if she was understanding my intent when I carefully selected words to have multiple meanings. After a time it was obvious, Beverly was doing the same. We talked for hours and shared intimate details of our lives. Things I'd never told anyone else were easily shared with her. When the sun began to set we headed for the bus stop. Back on Terminal Island Bev stayed on the base shuttle bus while I got off at our pier. It was a big ship, I had more exploring to do.

My first morning aboard ship, a red flashlight in my eyes woke me up before reveille. I later learned that the little boy holding it was hardly out of high school and dumb as hell, barely able to pass the tests to enlist. As the Quarterdeck Messenger Of The Watch it was his job to run errands for the Officer Of The Deck. He claimed my girlfriend was waiting for me on the pier. As I pulled my curtain closed I told him to leave me alone, I didn't have a girlfriend. I could tell he didn't leave, just stood next to my bunk for a few moments, then opened my curtain and repeated his red flashlight stunt. He insisted that it was urgent for me to get in civilian clothes and meet my girlfriend on the pier. Vicki was the only woman who came to mind as a girlfriend, but it couldn't be her. I soon found myself freezing cold walking down pier 16 in the middle of the military basin of Terminal Island. I'd concluded it had to be Beverly. It made no sense, but it had to be her.

I avoided hardship writing the paragraphs above by not including certain details. I can't do that for Sunday November 21, 1982. And no, I don't remember the date, I have to look it up based on being the weekend two weeks after my birthday. It just makes me happy to include certain important dates in my writings. Well, I guess I'm still avoiding writing about falling in love with BB. It is so damned hard to do that I've been unable to do it for 25 years. I started it here eleven months ago. I'm going to finish it here before it becomes a year. For now, "I'll be back."

Sometime later...

The day I checked aboard the Prairie was referred to as "Friday Stalking." The day with Bev was first called "Saturday Chicken In The Park" but got abbreviated to "Saturday Chicken." Sunday with all three of us was called "Sunday Chicken." For twelve years we often talked about the odd circumstances surrounding our meeting, and falling in love. We nitpicked and laughed about every detail. Missing any one item in the chain of minutia could have resulted in a different outcome for all of us. It's not fucking right to live without my loves and to never even see them again. Maybe I'll come back to this when I'm done crying over them, and maybe I won't.

OK, I'm better now, but I'm not going to delete what I wrote above. If anyone ever reads this then at least they'll know how hard it is for me to write it.

Below are the rest of the sections/chapters I wanted to write. I give up. I have a question for anyone reading this. Why? I don't care, but almost nothing I write since BB died, is expected to be read by anyone. It's all just me venting to myself because there's nobody else important in my life.

3) A lonely triple, horrible bigotry

4) Met J&S

5) Explored women, include Beth

6) Met Crew

7) First Fourth

8) Dance crazy, money

9) At sea, WestPac was lonely for us

10) Two years mostly in Long Beach

11) I got out, two more lonely years

12) Planned life, bought our house

12) BB got out, plans fizzled

13) 7 years trying and planning

14) Time had come, motorhome trip

15) Cop called

16) Too hard.. Purged my life.


18) 3 Years a sluty third Unicorn

19) Lost Saundra & Janet

20) Crew turned butch

21) A decade with Susan and BB and Vicki and Tami

22) 7 1/2 years crying alone.