So. I awakened this morning at 2:30 am Mountain Standard Time, my head full of the normal ADHD-fueled swirling thoughts as usual. I wake most nights about that time to go into the bathroom to pee and also to assess whatever dreams have inhabited the swill filling my skull to that particular point in the night. As is typical with most of my normal rituals, my middle-of-the-night ritual is a planned routine—a somewhat complex set of steps that must be taken, in order.
Wake; ask myself where I am; realize I’m in bed; move Yoda from his nesting place in my armpit; sit up and scratch balls; stagger to the bathroom; check for night wood to avoid peeing on the floor; sit and pee while recounting my dreams. Should I miss any steps or take steps out of order, my ADD will consume the rest of my day. Missing steps of any obsessively compulsive routine in my life will, generally, fuck up whatever day I have left.
OK, stop. When it’s 2:45 am and you are writing about your life events that happened fifteen minutes before, do you say, “I awakened last night at 2:30 am…” or, rather, would it be more appropriate to say, “This morning at 2-fucking-thirty…”? That’s one that has always screwed with my head. When does morning actually take the day’s reins from night? Is it a specific time? Does it depend upon how long you’ve been awake? Does it really make a shit?
Tonight, the normalcy of this waking ritual was disturbed by a not normal line of thought. This morning’s first wakening thought was the same as the primary thought in my head when I lay down and snuggled the puppies into their nests at my side. I was dreaming the mangled imaginations that heavy emotions often place in our minds, and I woke with the dream surfaced in my conscious.
“BJ’s mother died, and he’s worried about me… Fuck!” I know I didn’t shout it, but both dogs jumped to alert status at my words.
“What the Hell’s wrong with you, Mooner? You got gas cramps again?” Squirt asked me.
The diminutive brown dog was at my side. “I told you to lay off the bean burritos late at night. You drop a bean burrito fart under the covers and I’ll have the goat dog eat all your new socks.”
I found a large display of thick cotton crew socks in the Size 12-15 Mens I require, and I bought them all. Four dozen plus an extra tube of three. When I unloaded my shopping cart and placed the socks on the counter, the sales lady said to me, she said, “That’s a whole lot of very big socks, sir. You a football coach, or something?”
I explained that they were all for me and how it is difficult to find the extra-large size and how I only wear cotton, and she said that fifty-six pairs of socks are a lot of socks for one guy under any circumstance, and then I told her it was only fifty-one pairs. She said, “Oops, but still a lot of socks,” and rang-up the five-sock reduction from my bill. I paid it with my American Express card—the one that says, “Member Since 1976.” I won’t tell you how many points I have, but I will say that I have never spent a single point in all these years. I’m saving for a first class ticket to Mars.
“It’s not terminal gas, sweetie, it’s sadness. Bill’s momma died and he’s concerned about my relationship with Mother. I just dreamed that God came to visit us again, and I offered to trade my live parent for BJ’s dearly departed. God told me to pull my head out my ass and get a fucking grip. And that’s a quote.”
God told me that He thinks I can learn a great deal about humility and love and forgiveness from my good friend BJ. Again, a quote.
“But I have trouble letting go of some of this shit, Ma’am,” I told God. “And really. Phyllis Diller? You had to show up looking like Phyllis Diller?”
God looked like the comedian, a personal favorite on my Way-Back Machine, and we were sitting on the fishing dock at the ranch back to Austin. “Came as Ms. Diller, dumb ass, to show you I’m serious.”
Some people have truly, deeply human relationships with their parents. Like BJ. And me, I find myself jealous of them. Truly. I think I need to fix that. Maybe manana, y’all.
Rest in peace, Evelyn Ruth Johnson. You are missed.