So. I was on my back in bed with the covers tucked under my pillow, pulled over my face. The Squirt was stuck on my right hip and the goat dog had jammed himself under my right arm pit, his head resting on my bicep and us two sharing the same four inches of breathing space under the covers. I’d made what I call garlic shrimp for dinner—a large sauté panful of tasty crustaceans consumed by man and dogs alike all the way the surface of the skillet, wiped clean with the accompanying loaf of crusty French bread.
One pound of shrimp (I like the big ‘uns, deveined but with shells still stuck tight), one large and hot Jalapeno, one sweet red pepper, a bunch of spring onions cut in little discs, one julienne-cut zucchini, lemon juice and zest, and one (or a couple) full heads of garlic, diced. Sauté the peppers in olive oil first, add garlic and onions for something like thirty seconds, add the shrimp ‘till the first side pinks-up, flip the shrimp and add a quarter-cup of white wine and cover for another half-minute, and turn off the heat.
Spoon a big lump of the jasmine rice you remembered to cook into a big soup bowl, sprinkle chopped parsley, lemon juice and zest, slather a bunch of olive oil on the entire mess, then serve with some crusty sopping bread. As we like it garlicy and I had recently purchased some processed garlic that had each head cleaned and vac-packed in plastic, I used three packets. I worried that whole peel removal and plastic storage would allow sufficient flavor to fly away to require an additional dose.
It was great. Squirt told me when I mixed with her kibbles it was, “Better than caviar.” Yoda displayed his desire for more by staring at me forlornly for the next four hours. Squirt told me, she said, “He says he’ll eat the shells if that’s all that’s left.”
Little shit would eat the shells, the plastic bag and brown paper wrapper the shrimp came in, and likely the frying pan as well. Did I ever tell you guys about the time my favorite wooden spoon went missing? Thick, long handled sucker with a broad head with an edge worn flat from stirring. I loved that spoon. Had darkened areas showing the outline of my hand from use.
Found it two days later when I was picking up dog shit before mowing the grass.
If you’re a garlic eater like we are, you know the subsequent gastro-intestinal drill. You start burping after maybe forty-five minutes, then your stomach gurgles and grumbles, and then blue gas buildup begins slipping out at the four-hour mark, which was just about bedtime. If we’d spent the evening drinking beer and cutting up, the three of us would have been sitting out back on the porch lighting garlic farts and cutting up. Last night, however, as we’d been drinking beer and shooting flies with our Bug Assault gun, we hit the sack early. Spring has sprung wet and full of flies.
At 2:36 am I awoke from a dream, drowsy and confused. I dreamt I’d been locked into a filthy dumpster ripe with the smells of rotting seafood and garlic. When I banged on the sides of the metal container and yelled to be let out, my mother yelled, “Trump won, asshole, you lost it. You’re people didn’t vote, ha-ha-ha! Mr. Rice failed!” then someone opened the dumpster door and threw in a match. Somehow I managed to wake before it exploded. Or did I woke before it blew up? Awakened maybe? Fuck it, let’s go with when I woke up.
Reality was that the little white puppy and I were sharing garlic breath, each breathing in-and-out in unison in a comforter cocoon. Three hours of our garlic farts had cast a blue haze in the bedroom as thick as mist, and I was worried someone was going to going to actually light a match. Foggily, mournfully, I thought, “Mr. Rice failed.”
Back when I was in high school over to William B. Travis High, our Senior Civics Class teacher was this giant, affable guy at whom other teachers looked toward askance. What many of my classmates called mulatto, Mr. Rice looked like one of my son’s best buddies does today—offspring of a white Texas father and Kenyan mother. My own mother thought him a communist—actually a modest thinking in view of some others’ minds—and many students’ parents asked the man be fired for his subversive teachings. It wasn’t that Mr. Rice ever suggested that communism was a solid form of government or socialism either, nor did he advocate efforts to overturn any American governmental system.
What this man did was attempt to drive deep into his students’ minds the concepts of questioning authority, demanding actual truth from elected and appointed governmental authorities, holding them accountable for their words and actions, and finally he demanded of us that we participate in our Democracy.
Oh yea, and that whole critical thinking bullshit that we subversives use to undermine our great country’s religious and thin white-skinned institutions.
“If you don’t participate in your Democracy—if you don’t volunteer to run for office, any office, if you don’t question authority, if you don’t think through all the information you get and find the truth of it, and if you don’t vote…—you’ll lose your Democracy, your freedom,” Mr. Rice said at the close of every class. I remember his words same as I do the Boy Scout Motto and each with quite different memories attached.
As this was the mid-1960’s, Mr. Rice used Hitler and Nazi Germany as his lesson plan for what happens when Democracy gets lost. And maybe because Mr. Rice was a man of visible mixed-race heritage, he used America’s slavery history to bring home the images of ultimate loss of Freedom. And he used the American Revolution and Reverend King to demonstrate the extent people must go to be free. Since Jim Crow was still flying high at that time, we spent considerable class time discussing voters’ rights.
“You must demand truth from every elected official and you must question their words at every turn. You can’t let them get away with any lie just because the lie suits you. Only liars lie. And because greed is such a powerful force, and American corporations so large, those corporations have the power of thousands of votes, maybe millions. Before we, the People, can truly control our elections, every single American needs to be allowed to vote, and every American needs to vote.”
Mr. Rice was an outcast. The only teachers who sat with him in the faculty lounge were the choir teacher—a suspected “homo-sex-u-al”, as Mother spoke it, and the art teacher. Mother said that the art teacher was a slut, and, “Well, you know what they say about black men.”
Mother actually used the word Negro, which considering her Virginian upbringing was a huge accommodation in 1966. The semester I took Civics Mother daily questioned me about every day’s Civics lessons, drilling me for punishable offences committed by Mr. Rice. At that point in my life I was astute enough to not give her anything she could use against another human. How Mother punished Sister and me for our indiscretions was not something you willingly shared with others.
I believe the dumpster dream symbolic of where electing Trump has put America—in the dump. I believe that men like Mr. Rice no longer teach Senior Civics classes. I watch as our country’s elected Republican leaders gag on Trump’s filthy swill but swallow it just the same, and I still can’t understand why none of them has come forward to say, “You, sir, are a liar and a thief and likely a traitor.”
OK, so I just farted for the first time since awakening, and I’m thinking I might have colon cancer. Long, noisy sucker that bellowed like some guy with elephant lungs blew through a wet douche bag. Ever smelled something that stank so bad it made your ears ring?
Ugh. Fuck Walmart, liars and theives.
Archive for the ‘ADHD’ Category
So. I was on my back in bed with the covers tucked under my pillow, pulled over my face. The Squirt was stuck on my right hip and the goat dog had jammed himself under my right arm pit, his head resting on my bicep and us two sharing the same four inches of breathing space under the covers. I’d made what I call garlic shrimp for dinner—a large sauté panful of tasty crustaceans consumed by man and dogs alike all the way the surface of the skillet, wiped clean with the accompanying loaf of crusty French bread.
So. The dogs and I have now been back to Texas for three months, and we’re finally settled in. Our little Texas ranch-style abode required little for us to successfully, comfortably live, save and except, for the addition of a cover for the back patio and a new fence, and notice that rather than call it a “portal”, it’s a “patio”. The grammartizations of logistical differences between New Mexico and here to Texas can be important. The cover is to provide protection from the hot Texas sun—not Santa Fe’s cold—and also to provide shelter from the rain so the Squirt isn’t required to get her dainty feet wet when she goes outside to do her business.
“Shove it up your ass, shithead, I’m not getting my feet wet,” she told me the first time it rained after moving in. “You start crapping in the shower and I’ll consider it.”
As a compromise, I’ve let her use the covered front porch as her outhouse. Since I park in back and don’t use the front door for anything else, we’ve had the side benefit of not having any salesmen or religious nuts buggerating me. There’s maybe a dozen various churches surrounding our neighborhood, so my street is prime hunting ground for new parishioners.
And that reminds me of this apartment I rented this one time back to college—the one I got just before Streaker jones and I got the house over on 45th Street. It was half of a one-car garage. Seriously. You’d open the front door that swung into the left wall where a single clothes rod hung to serve as closet. The single bed was immediately on the right. The rest of the space was filled with a modular steel kitchenette featuring sink, two-burner stove, tiny oven and storage space, all-in-one, which sat opposite with a ship’s style head.
The bathroom consisted of a rotted green shower head that sprayed directly down onto the commode, and a too-small drain in the floor that constantly backed up. What makes this story germane to the ramblings herein is the simple fact that this apartment was so narrow I could shit, shower, shave and cook breakfast without ever lifting my ass off the toilet.
Which reminds me. I was over to the Kroger yesterday morning to do some shopping. It was a nice day and the store wasn’t crowded at all. The wide aisles were freshly polished and brightly lit. Since I always start grocery shopping from right-to-left, in this particular store I began in the deli section in right-front with the fresh seafood and meat in the back. I selected my just-baked sandwich roll, some Swiss cheese and a whole chicken in near-record time, buzzing through the area without impediments. As this store is oddly arranged, I had to pass around the wine and beer section at the back of the next three aisles to get to the veggies, which are located at the front of the store, but not back-to-front. Or front-to-back.
I needed some asparagus, tomatoes, lettuce and limes. This store is new to me and I stopped to survey so as to best utilize my time. There were maybe a dozen shoppers in produce and they were all clustered in front of the organic lettuce and asparagus, save—and likewise except—for this one gigantic woman who had obviously read “Kroger” and seen “Walmart”. The woman was maybe 5’6” in height and was absolutely that wide. She had two kids in tow—one in-basket and the other was tethered to the dirty, twisted tail of her “Make America Great Again” tee shirt.
OK, while all I could read from the tee shirt was, “Ma/mer/aGr/in,” as the red cotton fabric folded in-and-out of her folds, mayhaps I jumped the gun as to her political leanings. The four of them—woman, kids and basket—somehow managed to take up the full aisle in front of the citrus on the one side, and the organic cherry tomatoes I buy this time of year on the other.
Because I’m practicing the fine art of Patience for the improvement of my poker game, I stood, silently, awaiting an opening. After five minutes the large woman moved on, without choosing a single thing. I commented silently to myself about that one, and moved behind her for my tomatoes, required to squint my eyes at the smell of moldy arm pits and shitty diapers. After inspecting each of the thirty-one clear plastic tomato pints, I managed to not find one suitable. So, I spent a couple minutes mixing-and-matching from six buckets, and did manage to make myself happy.
Having completed tomato hunting, I turned back towards the lettuce and asparagus only to find the Walmart woman entourage filling that space like too much silicone caulk oozing in blobs and blurbs the way it does when you seal the tile surround on your bathtub. I took a deep breath (from twenty feet away), asked myself if I really needed lettuce and asparagus, decided I did, and then made another decision to shop elsewhere first, then return to produce. There are times when retreat is a viable option.
I headed back through the booze area to find a quite attractive lady setting up a wine tasting. Never one to let an attractive lady go un-shopped, I stopped to see what was up.
“It’s a wine tasting, silly. Like the sign says.”
After sampling a snifter of her six choices, I bought one of each. Some women appreciate a man’s fine taste, and my hopes were that this was one of said. Moving on without a scheduled date, I decided to get some Thai noodles. I found the right aisle, turned my basket into it, and ran smack dab into Walmart Woman’s cart. It was parked cross-wise in front of the Thai noodles, with Fat Ass and Snot Nose filling the remaining aisle space.
When I attempted to get by and my cart lightly tapped hers again, she whirled to face me, and with this incredible sneer, she yelled at me, she almost shouted, “What are you doing? Can’t you see there’s a baby in that basket?”
I started to tell her exactly what I was seeing, instead said, “Sorry, ma’am,” turned and headed back to veggies. I got my remaining vegetables and decided against Thai noodles and chose to have pasta for dinner. Pasta requires the proper pre-cooked tomatoes this off season, so I headed that way for a glass-jarred, two-cups of tomatoes.
As karma would have it in for me, Whale Bitch and the Spawn of Orca were blocking the full width of bottled tomatoes aisle. “Oh for Christ sakes,” I murmured, “does this woman have no concern for other shoppers?” Then I said to the lady, and no, I didn’t quite shout it, “Walmart is down the block, asswipe!”
I’ve never before been asked to leave a Kroger, and luckily it was a temporary ban, so I guess I’m making progress with my patience. My ADD usually takes up all the patience I’ve got.
So, Fuck Walmart and some Walmart Shoppers!
So. Having admitted that I cannot stop writing my thoughts and publishing them to the pages herein, and, likewise, admitting that those same actions are pertinent to my long term positive mental health, I find myself woefully underperforming, said and same efforts causing both consternations—consternations herein used to mean two of its synonyms, “alarms and worries”—and, additionally, backups in the pipeline of subjects which, with consternations, I wish to confer with you. In real world terms of analogy, it’s like having the constipation only a two-pound wedge of cheddar cheese can create when packed into the last several feet of your colon, that blocking the exit of two dozen sweet bean tamales slathered in my Gram’s habanero salsa.
Something’s gotta give.
Having said that, just how many synonyms does consternations have? It’s like saying you have the dreaded ADD and having the uninformed ask you, they’ll say something like, “You don’t act like my neighbor’s kid. That little shit can’t sit still for ten seconds.” Then you spend a couple hours in attempted educations to the subject only to be ignored for the efforts.
Like Wednesday. Before my mental backups and consternations explode in a conflagrated mash of gibberish, mayhaps some background might be required, so allow me to produce some. As I have decided to spend more time playing poker as a source of income, I’ve taken to studying the endeavor by enrolling in courses taught by the one poker teacher I trust. So as not to influence other poker players I’ll not say who this teacher is. I will say that since starting the classwork sixty days ago, I’ve almost doubled my hourly win rate. As your win rate is the most logical measure of financial success as a player that is a good thing, and, likewise, testament to the coach.
As practicing is a major part of any performance-based education, I decided to go over to the Choctaw Casino and enter a couple WSOP Circuit events after a lesson on slow playing big hands to trap an opponent. That casino is an hour-and-a-half from here rather than the half-hour trip to my new home casino, Winstar. I left Wednesday at 9:30 am after I had gone to the gym, shit/showered/shaved, insured the dogs were happily boarded, and packed. As the dogs are never happily boarded, I’ve just told the first lie of my day assuming we ignore the one where I said “Good morning” to the Squirt when she stomped on my full bladder to awaken me at six am.
“Wake up, shithead,” she told me as she did her morning ritual organ stomp from bladder-to-spleen-to-liver. “It’s three minutes after six and I’m starving!”
This daily exercise typically ends with her sitting on my chest and breathing morning dog breath in my face. Her fresh breath is maggot-gagging and in the morning it can peel paint, likely the why answer for this daily program.
“They eat dog meat in Manilla, you know. I can buy you a ticket to the Philippines that fast.”
My threat must have sounded more like a love poem because it got me a smelly face slurp. Maybe I need to get a face tattoo so I can get some respect.
I left at 9:30 Wednesday because the event started at noon. As I was driving my Chevy SS, I managed to trim three-minutes-twenty-seven-seconds off the estimated trip time, and arrived exhilarated from accelerating across southern Oklahomaburg. The adrenaline rush that comes from highway passing a Prius—dropping down two gears with a mash of the right foot—in less than three seconds, is almost more than I can stand. To hear that LS-3 burn a full gallon of fuel in a rush from 65 to 90 MPH, to feel the car’s body jump with brute strength…
I arrived at Choctaw, early, checked-in for my room, then went to the tournament area to sign up for the Mega Stack event. Like big motors, mega stack events have special drawing power, so this tournament had 1,096 entries. And like providing the petrol for a big motor, keeping your body and mind fueled for the grind of one of these events is a challenge. We started at noon, and I was knocked out at 1:00 am in, effectively, 115th place, a finish that was in the money but a profiting of something like $7.68 per hour of play. While I was happy to have cashed, I was disappointed to have not lasted longer.
I had stuffed some energy bars in my backpack to help me keep up with the hours played and ended sharing with my tablemates, information pertinent to the game but not to my point. I also packed my several medications which I whipped out at 4:00 pm, my ritualized medication schedule.
“Damn, old man, that’s quite a pharmacy you’ve got there!”
This from one of the young guys you can see playing on TV as he is a successful player who travels the circuits. During this day, I played with six guys you see on TV and one of the game’s greats, TJ Cloutier. TJ is still a strong player well into his seventies and is a truly fine man. As his home casino is also the Winstar, I see him a couple times a week.
“What’s all that stuff for?” the young gun player asked as I swallowed the entire fistful of pills with one swallow.
“Well,” I started, taking the next day’s assortment from my blue plastic four o’clock pill dispensary, “these two are for the side effects of having had routine visits with The Great Radiator for my prostate cancer, this one here is to replace the minerals that the first two deplete in order to work, and this one here—the red one—is because I’m crazy. The red one is speed for my ADD.”
Kid looked at me like I’d told him I’m a gender transplant. We played a few hands with him watching me from the corners of his eyes and I could tell he was formulating a question.
“Spit it out, son. You aren’t experienced enough to hurt my feelings, so just ask your question.”
“You don’t act like my neighbor’s kid. That little shit can’t sit still for more than ten seconds. You’re driving me crazy, but you seem to sit still OK. You don’t have ADD, I think that’s your excuse to be a gigantic pain in my ass.”
I peeked at my next hand of cards, took my usual four-and-a-half seconds to ponder their playabilities, and folded.
“You, young man, suffer from the misconception that ADD and ADHD are the same, precise thing, and they are not. Allow me to elucidate for your edifications.”
And I did. For the next fifty-five minutes I described the various types of ADD, how they differ, how they affect the sufferer, and gave many examples. His education was cut short when I knocked him out of the tournament where I smooth-called a flopped set of eights through the turn, he hit top two pairs on the river and I called his all-in bet. He flipped his hand over with youthful exuberance and declared, “Sorry, old man.”
As he prepared to scoot the pot his way, I laid my two cards face down, tipped them over while still back-to-face to show the Eight of Hearts. Then I took the index finger of my right hand and tapped them apart to reveal the Eight of Spades to match the eight on the board.
The guy’s happy face did that slow melt to terror we’ve all seen when a person realizes they’ve misread an important situation. He looked at the tabled cards then at me, back to the cards and then again at me.
“What the fuck?” he asked. “How could you slow play a set with the flush draw on the board?”
“Uh,” I mumbled as I raked and stacked his entire cache of chips, “I was distracted?”
He stood tableside after getting knocked out staring google-eyed at his bounty sitting in front of me. When we finished the next hand of play, he said to me, he went, “You sonofabitch. You set me up!”
Some of these young guys are brilliant players, people with the skills to figure out even the most complex situations. Which said, brings me back to my point.
I want to write more and I need to write more. But with my schooling and practicing and spending the required time to properly parent two precocious puppies, my decision is often to write, or to sleep. If you’d ever witnessed my countenance while sleep deprived, you too would vote for sleep.
But there should be a gap between this poker course and the next, and I intend to fill it with more scribblings. So why don’t we all cheer a hearty “Fuck Walmart!” and plan what to do in the stead of Friday’s inauguration.
So. After maybe thirteen attempts to write about Trumpie’s appointments, I have given up. Every time I think I’ve mentioned the dumbest appointments since the invention of assignments, DJT announces another dumbest pick. Like Little PRicky Perry to the Department of whatchumacallit. You know, that one.
After the last attemptation to speak my mind about that insanity, I thought to myself, I thought, “Whatthafuck, I’m tired of this shit, and nobody gives a rat’s ass what I’ve got to say, anyway.”
I heard at my feet, “Having no audience has never stopped you from blabbing before, dickhead, and neither has having nothing to say.”
That was the Squirt, and maybe I had spoken aloud. It seems I’m talking to myself aloud often these days, and maybe I should try to find a mute button. I was over to the dry cleaners on Thursday, there to drop off and pick up shirts. Woman in front of me had a bundle of clothes in her arms that smelled like roadkill from two days of summer sun. I was thinking to myself, I thought. “Jesus Christ, lady, you ever heard of soaking the really bad stuff first? I always pre-soak whatever the goat dog shits on before doing the laundry.”
Woman dropped her load, turned and slapped the shit out of me. Through the stars floating around in my vision, I think I saw a formerly white, blood-stained, puffy comforter heaped at my feet—a bedspread much akin to my very own goose down bed wrap. Mine was there to the cleaner’s place just a month ago for its annual tune-up. Woman teared up and walked to the door without slapping me a second time, what I’m certain was a tough avoidance by her, and greatly appreciated by me. Left the stuff there on the floor in a messy pile.
I was thinking that bloody cloth really stinks, again to myself.
Laundry lady says to me, she says, “Bloody stuff is the worst we get in here. People think to rinse the rest, but for some reason not the bloody stuff. I always wonder what happened, people bring in bloody sheets. I always think the worst—suicide. My best friend in high school committed suicide. She’d tried before. She cut her wrists, but not deep enough. Made a terrible mess on her bedclothes. Then she tried a whole, big bottle of aspirin, but she couldn’t keep ‘em down. Gave her a terrible headache, if you can even imagine that. She even stuck her curling iron in the bathtub. That electric thingie on the wall saved her from the curling iron. What do you call that thing?”
“You mean the GFI?” I interjected, both to answer her suspended question, and, likewise, for her to catch a breath. “Ground Fault Interrupters cut off the electricity in those cases where the curling iron falls accidentally.”
“Yea, I guess that’s what they are, GFI plugs. Who still uses curling irons, anyway? That’s soooo yesterday.” the laundry lady said.
As my interest was piqued, I asked, “OK, those methods failed, so how did she do it, did she jump off a building?” Sometimes I need to let things go.
“Oh, nothing that tidy. You know what a grain auger is?”
As my own granddaddy’s final act here to Planet Earth was to stick his head, accidentally we presumed, into an operating combine, I quite understood. Big John Deere machine. He’d been working on it all morning, and…
Anyway, I was sitting here this morning feeling sorry for myself, wondering why I even write anymore. Is it to communicate? Educate? Elucidate? Entertain? Express? Emote? Emit?
OK, let me back up and provide you with some ADHD revisionist prose. I tried to log-on over to Squatlo Blog for the last several weeks only to be told that I was, and here I’ll quote the message, “Go the fuck away because you, asswipe, are not invited.”
Maybe I paraphrased and repurposed the words there, but that was the gist of the message. As I’d written numerous, unanswered comments there to his scribbles over the last while, I figured what with him having a young charge in his casa, he’d prefer I not stop by anymore. I’m thinking since we’re buddies he didn’t want to confront me, he simply wanted me to go away on my own. And as he’d stopped stopping by here to my place, well, it seemed confirmation.
As quitting anything on my own is a skill set not yet mastered, I made another attempt yesterday for entry to Squattie’s message board only to find a new message that, effectively said, “Go away. I’m tired of this shit and I’m done with it, so leave me alone!”
Seems my buddy Bob has thrown in the towel, which, in turn, made me wonder should I mayhaps do the same, and fuck auto-correct because mayhaps is too a word. After viewing the end of Squat World, I picked up the phone and called my psycho therapist, former Mrs. Mooner Johnson Numero Uno and mother of my kiddos, Dr. Sam I. Am-Johnson- MD, PHD, LCSW, LSMFT, M-O-U-S-E.
“Sammie,” I said. “My buddies are discontinuing their bloggies. Reckmonster, Thundercat, and the rest. And Now Squattie. I’m thinking I’ll quit too.” I then went on and on.
“Look, Mooner,” she told me after I’d expressed my consternations, “Writing is therapy for you. It helps you unload some of your insanity—pass it along to the unsuspecting.”
“Therapy?” I was thinking.
“Yes, therapy. Have you been thinking to yourself out loud again?”
I thought carefully, decided I wasn’t.
“Oh yea, you are. If you don’t start developing some filters you’re going to get into more trouble. And you’ll get slapped more often.”
I thought that it was too late on the slapping, and why do I pay her so much for therapy when I can simply write my blues away.
“It’s never too late to be a better human being, and the reason you pay me is to illuminate your path to sanity. Think of the writing as evacuation—like a bowel movement for your mind.”
Now I’m thinking about shit for brains and shitting your brains out—you know, those metaphoric brain/shit dealios. Mental diarrhea.
“Now you’re talking,” Dr. Sam said. “Writing helps you purge your brain of its overload of lunacy. That way you’ll have fewer times when it spills over and gets you slapped.”
With that, she sipped her chamomile tea, set the delicate china cup back on its saucer, and looked at her watch. These things I knew because it’s precisely what she does in every one of our sessions.
Thinking that my time must be up and remembering that the china was from our wedding set given us by her parents, my lonesome libido peeked out.
“Yes, your time’s up. Look, buster. You’re lonely, and that’s a dangerous place for you to be. Take the dogs for a walk. You’ll feel better.”
I did. So, fuck Walmart in the merriest of Xmas ways!
So. The last month has been a blur. Blurred hours either racing past or passing so slowly as to be nearly motionless; blurry decision making caused by both my own indecisivenesses, and the desired and not quite so desired, inputs from others; fuzzy thoughts swirling through the often disconnected synapses of my fevered brain; the disjointed confusion of not clear intentions of others—loved ones, friends, Mother.
The blur of second-guessing. Was it time to move? Did I choose the right place? Did America really elect Donald J. Trump as our next President? Really?
OK, here’s some facts for you. I moved back to Texas to be in more of a position to assist Sister in caring for Mother. Original intentions were to move back into the family homestead there to Austin, a ninety-minute drive to Mother’s dementia-filled side. After a weeklong visit headquartered in Austin, the daily trips to San Antonio proved too much for me. Not the commutes, the visits. I enjoyed the Hill Country drives racing to-and-fro, but daily contacts proved to be an overload of my mind’s few family circuits not previously ravaged by the maternal relationship.
Then, with an overloading of fresh mushroom juice, a strain of pot named “Cherry Bomb”, and a case of icy Carta Blanca beer drunk whilst sitting dockside with my best buddy, Streaker Jones.
“Don’t need ta come all tha way home, Mooner. Come back in degrees or you’ll go nuts.”
Yesterday, I was walking the dogs around my new neighborhood here to Denton, Texas—the best thing found that resembles my beloved Austin of thirty years ago. Two-college town, twenty-minute drive edge-to-edge, two Hilary signs per each Trump banner, and quite nice people. In two weeks I’ve met a rainbow coalition of neighbors and the puppies have settled in nicely. Yoda and I have already started our territorial marking of the smallish, fenced backyard, and the Squirt came within an inch of grabbing a squirrel’s tail.
“I hate those snittering little fuckers, Mooner. Wait ‘till I get ahold a one.”
We drove back from Thanksgiving down south Friday morning after a mixed-results holiday, and found many neighbors putting out their Xmas decorations. The Guatemalan family on one side have what must be a thousand lights strewn about walls, bushes and lawn. Good thing I’ve got blackout drapes in the master. Many of his bulbs are the old fashioned, larger incandescent type that sound like a 22-cal rifle shot when slammed into concrete.
One of my worst whippings came after getting caught stealing those lights from the elaborate Xmas display of a west Austin mansion. Got caught breaking them on the loading dock over to the downtown Post Office building. Now Travis County Sheriff Woozie Wozniack was my accomplice, and that shithead got off all punishments by blaming everything on me.
Was my idea, we drove my car, had smoked my pot, and my choice of the well-patrolled Post Office building to finish our act of vandalism. Got caught, however, because his fat ass couldn’t break twenty seconds in a ten-yard dash to an open car door.
Oh, and speaking of cars. A couple months ago my left hip started hurting—a ball joint already afflicted with arthritis was starting to ache with mind-numbing intensity. Long story shortened for reader’s sake, it was the operating of the clutch pedal in my hot rod Subaru causing the new pains. Seating position required me to lift my hip off the seat to shift gears, motions that un-naturally angulated the use of that joint, causing routine grinding of soft tissues and hard alike. “Get a new car or suffer,” was the prognosis.
Replacement is a Chevy SS. Look it up: http://www.motortrend.com/cars/chevrolet/ss/2015/2015-chevrolet-ss-second-test-review/
OK, the ADD is starting to take control more intensely than the traction control button in my SS. We were walking the neighborhood sidewalk circuit yesterday, dogs on long leashes and my thoughts fully untethered. I was thinking about a hand of poker I played at my new casino, an establishment located thirty minutes from locking our back door. I slow-played a set of sixes and lost to a runner-runner flush, a fate fully deserved by me for letting a loose player stay in the hand for free. I’ve decided to look at poker as a profession and am working to get my game repaired.
We’d stopped to let the Squirt growl and bark at a tree rat while I examined my dumb actions at a house with a yard-full of those molded plastic Xmas scenes. Toy soldiers, nativity scene, Three Wise Guys, wrapped packages—you know, that sort of puffy plastic stuff. I was, I guess, in a poker evaluation fog.
“Hey you, what the fuck? You, standing in my grass there with the dogs!”
Huh? “Huh, you talking to me? I asked.
“Yea, you. Your fucking dog just pissed on baby Jesus!”
Dogs got extra treats upon our return to Johnson Family Denton Central Headquarters, and my head cleared somewhat. It started to look like this neighborhood in this town was a good place to safe harbor for at least the next few years.
“This was a good choice, Squirty girl. I think we’ll be happy here.” A long walk can refresh your thinkings.
My sweet brown puppy jumped into my lap, a dead serious look on her face. “You know, Yoda pissed on that plastic on his own. I didn’t say one word. I was figuring a way to climb that tree and snatch that jabber mouth by his throat. I know I can catch them if I can get high enough. I’m thinking you can build me a ladder, and…”
Tis the season to Fuck Walmart!
So. What a month, and I’ve missed communicating with you and spewing my nonsense. Packing, planning, selling—wait, no leasing—wait again, selling. OK, selling what was previously leased. Buyers of a leased home forcing me to face the separate realities of a life lived wishing to be separated, yet drawn back by familial necessities. La Casita Johnson de Santa Fe will soon be renamed to suit the enjoyments of its new owners, and the dogs and I? Well, we’ll soon be back to my boyhood home, deep, deep, deep in the tainted heart of Texas.
Travelling to Texas to visit—revisit—seeing family, friends, ex-wives. Explaining—why, when, really, you’re leaving Santa Fe?—what the fuck is wrong with you? Struggling—words, concepts, desires, emotions. Smelling—dense garden smells of rich earth created by me, sharp odors from the compost made from rotting waste, the sweet, sweet aroma of fully-ripened Cherokee Purple tomatoes fat, and so plump they bend thick stems to break.
Staring—a gay pig and his ostrich lover—Laurel and Hardy in feathers and boar bristles slow dancing to Johnny Cash’s last CD, my Gram climbing into her bright red Ferrari with the mega-watt smile of a sexual predator, the stacked-rock marker that marks the spot of Dixie’s final repose. Staring—into Mother’s hazel eyes, deeply, seeing there but tiny flashes of the searing disappointment that once flared like the ass-end of a Titan rocket fully loaded for a moonshot. Sensing Mother’s judgements more than hearing them. Listening, carefully, for a thread of cogent thought not the repetitive patter of dementia.
Staring, sensing, thinking, planning, struggling, grasping. Staring—blankly into the giant Texas sky, wondering what has happened to my life, will happen. Wondering—the sharp blade of a second-guess slicing thin wafers of imagery to fix upon glass slides to reflect, refract, recombinations of decisions made, not made. Adjusting—focus, light, angles, hypothesis, conclusions.
Listening—hoping—searching for a sign of acceptance, the eager prospector panning words for a thoughtful nugget—but finding no golden speak, not even the fool’s gold of false praise. Wishful—not hopeful, as hope remains a four-letter word, its nastiness reinforced by the short, bitter proclamations of an old woman’s ire. Smells—old people confined, disinfectant, bile—the pungent stench of parental disappointment assaulting to even not delicate senses.
Thirsting—dry mouth, grainy eyes, parched soul probing for just a sliver of approval. Cursing—her, me, the fucking Baptists. Mostly me, myself and next the fucking Baptists. Might I have done more to please, had I not been raped would it matter? Should I have? Could I have?
Differentiating—reality/fantasy, want/need, love/hate, family/other. Reflecting.
The Squirt says Mother looks as healthy as ever, but tells me if my maternal unit asks one more time, “Where do you live now,” she’s bringing her final days pill stash for a dosing of Mother’s afternoon hot chocolate. “I’ll put a handful of those downers in her cup.”
OK, let’s reset. First I leased the Santa Fe house, then sold it. After the sale contract was fully accepted, we took a trip back home to see what would be required to resettle there. What I found is that four years can be a very long goddamn time. My psycho therapist, Dr. Sam I. Am-Johnson suggested to me that maybe I should let my mother go without any care from her adult children.
“Give her a few months without any familial support, Mooner. Make her ask for your help. You three stay in Santa Fe and live a good life,” was the suggested advice.
“I’d have to hogtie Sister and kidnap her to New Mexico, Sammie. You know she can’t allow Mother to suffer no matter how our mother feels about her.”
My sister is killing herself for a woman who despises everything about her own daughter. Tells her caretakers what an abomination Sister is when Sister sits in quiet repose at Mother’s side. When Mother “Sun downers”—the actions of a demented person to freak and try to escape whatever it is the feel captured in, happens each day as the sun goes down—it’s always Sister she calls, screaming and crying, to save her. Every fucking day, and sometimes many times a day.
Now, I’m substituting myself for Sister in Mother’s care, and I don’t know what to do. I’m a morose sonofabitch and troubled to find even a flicker of light in my tunnel. I do not have anything of what it takes to nurture a batty old woman who blames me for ruining her life.
“I could have been a dancer on Broadway if it weren’t for you, Mooner! You ruined my life!”
So. On this fine Sunday morning Santa Fe has awakened to crisp 51-degree air with crystalline skies serving as a canvas for the flat clouds of grey moisture typical of this season. For our part, the puppies have shit-showered-shaved and eaten their first meal of the day, and I’ve been awake long enough to have consumed three cuppa Joes, played two quickie poker tournaments on the Inet, walked the perimeters of La Casita Johnson de Santa Fe in search of flies, killed three of said flies with my salt-filled air gun custom-made for fly killing, and still, and at that alas, and had no fucking Sunday newspaper.
My paper always arrives before five in the am, except, heretofore, on those rare occasions when the press breaks or it snows so much the delivery personages cannot get about. That consistency of delivery result results in certain expectations in me, said expectations counted upon within the confines of the obsessive/compulsive regimens woven together into the fabric that somewhat controls my fevered ADD-addled mental processings. It is the morning structures of event stringings that carry the most weight in my attempts to wrench control of my focus and concentrations from Mr. Evil, the madman who lurks deep within my psyche.
Said another way, I have specific routines, which when properly followed, assist me to spend less of the day that follows in the State of Fucked. Having said that, those of you who know me have a clear understanding of what my day does, and will continue to look like, now that I’m visiting the State of Fucked while under the controls of Mr. Evil. I hate visiting the State of Fucked, and as I have aged, Mr. Evil’s presence has become more aggravating than you can imagine.
“Hey Mooner. Yoo-hoo Mooner! Hey you, fuckbrain, stop writing and look over here at me…You know you can’t ignore me, your newspaper is late!…No, look over there…Did you turn the burner off with that last cup of coffee?…When was the last time you saw an actual nekid woman?…Did you hear what Trump said?…Ali McGraw on your left!”
There’s another reason for my consternations in spite of this beautiful morning. We put La Casita Johnson de Santa Fe on the market for sale—what I thought a solid yet unremarkable effort made by me to appear concerned about my family back to Texas—thinking there would be no sale at my price and I could say, “Sorry, Gram, sorry Sister, I tried but the real estate market is too soft here right now. I’ll try again in 2020.”
Two showings, two contract offers. The first was less than asking price and I rejected it summarily. The second, well the second was for full price, which forced its acceptance, and we’ve had two more showings wanting to know if the contract falls off. A Christian would look at these events and say, “That’s God’s hand, son. He works in mysterious ways.”
Me, for my part in all of this, I realize that my understanding of the housing market has surpassed my knowledge and I’m unlikely to have any reasonable excuse for not moving back to my family in Tejas, home of Guv’vy Abbott sans Costello. Nothing funny about that prick.
The Squirt and I were talking about this conundrum Saturday night as we sat with cold beers, smushed avocado-not guacamole with chips and handmade by us salsa, and pain pills. The pain pills were in response to Squirt’s reoccurring spinal condition wherein she loses operational benefits of one, or both back legs, and the beer was Stella Artois—both situational events out of my control. As a Carta Blanca drinker since birth, it aggravates the shit out of me to not find it, and as a father I’m sad to the bone I can’t help my puppy live forever.
I was mooning and fretting and whimpering on, and on, so Squirt told me, she says, “Stop fretting, dickwad, there’s good news in all of this. You’ll get fresh veggies from Gram’s garden, SAC Ellen still lives in that little place over on the Fifties, and you can spend more time with Mother.”
“Not comforting, sweetie pie. Santa Fe has a great farmers’ market, the last time I saw SAC Ellen she locked the door in my face, and as for Mother…”
“Jesus, but you’re a half-empty Bozo. OK, think of this. My back will be better in the warmer climate.”
Can’t argue her points, but I’m still not more happy than not happy. Then, again, maybe I can gain comfort in the fact that I’m making a major decision based upon the needs of others in my life and not on my own whims. Maybe this is the first ever time I’ve done so and therein lies my rubs. Maybe sacrifice for others is such an uncomfortable garment because I’ve never fitted it to my frame. Maybe I can’t find pleasure because I’m too conceited and center-self’ed to have joy in helping others.
Maybe I’ve never matured as a man, or grown to know the value of putting others first. And maybe I’m an ADD-addled fuckbrain who can’t get out of his own way. And maybe we should all:
So. Today is a new day in my life. Today shall, and will, be a full day filled with personal reflections, familial considerations and in the end- decisions. The fulfilling of the filled fulls of this day are the culmination of a years-long mental pilgrimage from full enjoyment of the isolation afforded by refuge here to La Casita Johnson de Santa Fe—the walled compound within which the dogs and I can enjoy that special sort of nekid peace and reflective solitudes–and ending the journey feeling isolated by those same separations, having allowed said full enjoyments to be cycled, and recycled, through the fevered mind of an ADD-addled fuckbrain.
And, while these writings, so far, seem reflective of Old Abe’s Gettysburg addressings, it only seems seven and scores of years in reflection. Reflections. It would be plural and I’m guessing Old Abe popped into my head because we were over to the hardware store the other day and this nice lady was attempting to assist us with a paint purchase. “Does the color sky blue ice or blueberry shake better match?” I asked her.
I held a swatch of leftover fabric from the spare bedroom curtains to the color charts. The dogs spend much of their quiet time when I’m out of residence nesting on the bed and staring out the bedroom’s window. Because of their connection to the room, I try to defer to their wishes when decorating.
“Squirt here, she likes blueberry shake—says it picks up the color from the feathers in this guy’s tail,” I told the nice lady while pointing at a Blue Jay’s fat ass on the swatch. “Me, I’m thinking we should go with the Oriole blue rather than the Blue Jay, don’t you? I think the Oriole is one of the prettiest of all birds, don’t you? And Blue Jays are a menace, don’t you think?”
I took this sales training course years ago and was taught that it is smart to end questions or declaratory statements with what they called a “tie down”. Tie downs would be words that obtain tacit agreement from even an unwilling prospect, like “don’t you”, or “wouldn’t you agree”. Or “You’ll go to jail if you don’t”. Those sorts of dealios.
“Look, sir, we’ve been through this before, or don’t you remember?” The attractive woman advised, “Trust your dog’s judgement. Her taste seems far better than yours. Honest Abe.”
I was struck with both a flashback and likewise with wonderment if “don’t you remember” and “Honest Abe” were tie downs used therein.
“Honest Abe? Really, Honest Abe?” I said to her. “I haven’t heard that phrase since junior high school when Gloria Ledbetter used it on me when I had trouble taking “No” for an answer. Me, I thought we’d make a great pairing for the Spring Prom. Gloria- not so much.”
“No, no, no,” Gloria had told me, and I now told the paint lady.
“Honest, Gloria? You’re tall for a girl and I’m thinking you’re ready for some slow dancing.”
“Look, Mooner. I asked my mom and she told me you’re a bucket of trouble. Remember when you set the girl’s locker room on fire?”
“I did,” I reminisced to the impatient hardware store lady, “and I told Gloria it was an unfortunate accident. Wrong-place, wrong-time to be playing with cherry bombs. Was it my fault the trashcan spontaneously combusted?”
Gloria told me, “My mother said she’d put me in a nunnery before she’ll let me date Mooner Johnson. Honest Abe, that’s what she said.”
“But you’re Baptist, Gloria, we Baptists don’t have nunneries. And wasn’t Lincoln the guy who freed the slaves and saved our Union so that you and I can slow dance?”
The nice, attractive, foot tapping paint helper lady called for, “Assistance in Paint Department,” then asked me, she said, “Look, sir. We don’t want to ban you from the store, so why don’t you go now and come back for your paint at Noon.”
The three of us moved here not to get to, but, instead, to escape from. While New Mexico is The Land of Enchantments, for the dogs and this knuckleheaded loony, our adopted state offered us refuge from the harsh politics of Ted Cruz, Texas Governors Perry and Abbott and their ilk. Said another way, we didn’t move here because Santa Fe is so great, instead we came here to feel less oppressed by the political climate in Texas. Not that we don’t like it because we do.
OK, and I really needed to put a little space between mother and son.
In the four years since the move, we have realized that we are no different from the millions of refugees who have been either forced from their homes at gunpoint—like Palestinians from the West Bank—or those fleeing from violent, oppressive forces such as the refugees in flight from Syria. While the circumstances of our exodus are far less oppressive than of those unwilling travelers, the pulling desire to return to our homeland is, I’m thinking, just as strong.
Which reminds me. What is it about giving something up that makes it all the more attractive, inviting, desirable? Never has a woman been more enticing to me than when she divorces my ass. Just the knowing I’ll not know her mysteries again pegs my pecker meter to full stop.
And that reminds me that I have one thing to say to anyone who claims that our Presidential election is a choice of lesser evils—Clinton or Trump, the lesser of two evils. You folks remind me of Paulie Kraspar, a kid whose father was KKK and jailed for raping a black girl back to when we were in junior high.
We were studying WWII and Hitler’s atrocities when Paulie stood tall and told us with some rancor, “Well, FDR, that asshole, he was just as bad as Hitler. They were both evil.”
When quizzed by our quite confounded teacher as to the logic of his comparison, young Mr. Kraspar responded, and here I’ll attempt to put the words back in his mouth when I quote him, he said, “My daddy says FD-fuckin’-R was a womanizin’ drunk who put innocent Germans and Japs in prison just ta keep ‘em from talkin’.”
For some reason our Media have decided to pit twenty-four years of unproven allegations against Hilary against the known, proven lies and bankruptcies and failed ventures, racism, bigotry and treasonous behavior of Trump. False equivalences at their worst.
So, to you “lesser evil” dumbasses, please allow me to say, and with considerable gusto, “Either pull your heads out your asses, or: Fuck you and Walmart too!”
So. I’m up at 3:15 am, again, and it seems to be a new habitual. Before today, this time of awakening was for me, as said in Spanish, “Tiempo de perros.” Most times when I’m up too early it is dog related. And for those of you wondering why I speak so often of my hounds I say, “You, sir, need to pay attention.”
This morning, however, it wasn’t the dogs who awakened me, it was my own fevered brain. True enough, the Squirt was doing her adorable snurffle-snuffle snore dealio, a complex cacophony of puppy sleeping noises that puts a smile on my face and a lump of love in my heart. But it wasn’t that or Yoda’s constantly severe halitosis that awakened me today. It was my own spinning brain waves that kept me wide awake.
My issue, according to Dr. Sam I. Am-Johnson, is that I have a guilty conscience about something, with said whateverthefuck something remaining a mystery to me. The often insightful psycho therapist and former Mrs. Mooner Johnson seems to believe that my early risings are all connected to something about which I feel either embarrassment, or guilt. Because I feel guilty, ipso facto, I can’t sleep.
“It is proven medical science, Mr. Loony Bird. Most insomnia is either anxiety or guilt driven, and in your case, my money lays nine-to-two it’s guilt. You need to spend some time in self-reflection, Mooner. There has to be something you’ve done that’s laying heavily on your crazy mind—you obviously feel embarrassment or guilt over something. Lord knows you’re always doing something that embarrasses me.”
When my psycho therapist say shit like this I start to wonder which of us is the nutty one. “Have you lost your mind, Sammy? It’s gotta be five-to-two, worst case. I haven’t been embarrassed since back to junior high school when I slow danced with an actual girl not Gram or Sister the first time. Accidently dry-rubbed against the silk and taffeta prom gown of who’s her name, and received both pleasure and a slap. She had one of those corsage dealios that girls used to wear on their wrist and I can still see how the air caused the baby’s breath to blow off her wrist as her flat hand headed for my cheek.”
Enjoyed the thrills too much to be embarrassed in the moment even with the slap, but paid the price next day in Sunday school. Offended young lady had to tell Mrs. Browningwell the story with added allegations. True, I did get a boner, and true as well that I left it pinned to her front halfway between her belly button and soft, budding breasts. But I wasn’t moaning. I was counting my one-two-three-fours under my breath so’s not to step on her tootsies. That was the only way I ever danced through an entire song without tripping over everyone’s feet.”
Who’s her name was far shorter than was I, and I was humming my numbered steps with my mouth closed. In reflections, might have sounded like moaning to her virgin ear plastered to my chest, spray-fluffed hair in my face. Oh, and I just remembered that she wore Taboo perfume except wasn’t it spelled “Tabu”? God, rememberating the sights and smells of young first encounters is exhilarating. Remember the first time you sniffed a lover’s sex smells? Intoxicating.
For those of you questioning my grammatical choices, I purposely used “who’s her name” rather than “what’s her name”, and speaking of dry rubbed, my Gram called me last night to complain about her sex life. OK, she actually called to see if I’d come visit and, as she put it when she told me, she said, “Git yer fuckin’ pig ta stay tha shit out tha garden.” But as always, my Gram’s conversations will hit sex talk at about the ninety-second mark, as in this conversation when she ran out of steam complaining about Rush Limbaugh the pig eating all her squash.
“… fuckin’ Rushie Limberhog ate summer squashies an’ tha Zukkies too. So, there’s this Texas student working down ta tha church—nuclur engineerin’ or sum such a major, an’ doin’ tha Lord’s work with tha kids fer Pastor Browningwell—an’ he says ta me, ‘Mz. Johnson, that’s a mighty nice car you drive.’ An’ afore I can git tha door open to hop him on in, fuckin’ Leticia grabs tha boy’s arm damn near out tha socket. Yanked tha poor kid hard enough ta snap his head off, what with him eyeballin’ the Fee-rarie an’ all.”
And that’s twice now that Mrs. Leticia Browningwell has bothered into a Johnson’s sexual activities in four paragraphs of this word swill. Maybe I can’t sleep because that old bag had so much influence on my life. She’d have boiled me in oil had we lived back in the days of such, and then fed me to the pigs. Told me just that this one time. Maybe that’s likewise why I own 400-plus pounds of piggy meat on the hoof.
Folks ask me why I’m an atheist and moments with Leticia come to mind. In my world, no actual God would allow her to influence so many young lives. Then, and again, no God as a deity exists in my world excepting for my own, quite personal God, a creature of my own divining.
I often wish for a Divine all-knowing, all-being God, as that would make it easier to live life. Using a third party with a God’s power can justify any action one might choose to make, as abdication of our bad deeds to the edicts of a cult grants a pardon to some. No guilty consciences when you can confess your sins to your God for absolutions.
“Dear God. I’m so sorry for being a greedy and bigoted racist lying fuckhead, and if You make me President I promise I’ll be better. Ah, er, well ah, might You also consider making this current bankruptcy go away? Amen. Oh, and the lawsuits.”
Fuck Walmart and Donald J. Trump as well.
So. I’m sitting here to my desk at 5:15 in the AM wondering what went wrong. I watched the live news coverage of the black man shooting Dallas police—apparently an insane reaction to recent police shootings of black men—and this morning I’ve been at this mental endeavor since I got out of bed at 2:17—three hours and two minutes ago—when the Squirt had finally had enough of my fidgeting and nudged me out of the bed.
“Jesus Christ, Mooner, get up and go do something productive,” the small, brown-furred bundle of piss and vinegar almost growled in my face. “Get up and leave us to sleep or I’m telling the goat dog to start licking your face.”
While I do sincerely love both of the little Chihuahua-mixed puppies that are my companions, the Squirt is a pain in my ass, and Yoda’s spit is so corrosive it can dissolve the silver coating off a plated serving spoon, and smells bad enough to drive a pig off a bucket of swill. These things I know as facts.
“Well now, Mr. Johnson, just how might you know those tasty morsels of information to be, as you say, ‘facts’?”
“Well, Missy Tamara (Tamara is who the name tag claims her to be), the spit part was learned when I used this old serving spoon—a silver-plated jobbie whose matching knife and fork had long ago disappeared—to slop a blob of peanut butter onto a toasted English muffin. The peanut butter was organic from the bulk aisle over to Sprouts, and the muffin from this nifty bakery down to Austin, Texas. As the Squirt was in the other room watching Oprah with Gram and Streaker Jones, Yoda got both first and second dibbies to lick the remaining thin smear of goober spread off said spoon.”
Missy Tamara looked at me like I’d lost my mind and said to me, she says, “And?”
“And nothing. I put the spoon over to the counter next to the sink with intentions to hand wash it, hand washing a needed action after the goat dog’s tongue touches anything you wish to reuse, like dishes, flatware or faces. Little shit licked my underarm to get me to roll over in bed this one time and I got a dreadful rash right there where the bottom part of every shirt sleeve rubs. It was very uncomfortable.”
“The spoon, Sir. Did you have a point?”
“Oh, that. Forgot to wash it until the next day. I remember my Gram getting all up in my ass about it. ‘What in all God’s green pastures is this here?’ she asked me. The spoon looked like I’d dipped it in a vat of acid. It was all green and florescent and shit, and you could see the cheap pot metal showing through the silver coating.”
I love Trader Joes, I truly do. Their staff is always so friendly and interested in you. I’ve had several of these pleasant conversations with Tamara as she checked me out. And she always makes naughty innuendos when it’s time to insert my chipped credit card into the slot of the reader.
“It’s time, Mr. Johnson. Steady, straight and gently. Push it all the way in and then don’t touch it until it tells you what to do next. If you move it too soon you’ll have to pull it out and do it all again.”
Tamara has short, curly hair, light brown doe eyes, and a fearsome grin. And a girlfriend. Why is it that I’m so attracted to lesbian women? Put me in a dating mixer with a hundred interested straight women and one lesbian who doesn’t actually like men, and I’m making time with the lesbian in six minutes flat. What’s up with that shit? I love lesbians so much I forgot to tell you the pig part of my puppy’s spit stuff. And what’s up with my focus?
Did I tell you I have the dreaded ADD? I mean recently? I sat down now three hours and forty-five minutes ago to tell you that I think my country has gone all to Hell, and back, and I still haven’t told you about the time Yoda licked all over the galvanized tub used to feed Rush Limbaugh the pig. First and only time I saw that hog turn his nose up at food.
OK, and way back up there when talking about the spit and the spoon, I used the personal “whose” when referring to the spoon’s former mates. I really wanted to use “which’s”, as I feel with absolute certainty that it is Spoon’s mates which whom are missing. Then, again, maybe there are times when inanimate objects can take on human qualities. Like this one time when my Gram’s mushroom juice caused my Boy Scout pocket knife to carve the miniature Jesus off the faceplate on Mrs. Browningwell’s Sunday school lectern.
The term “He Is Risen”, painted in gold leaf above the carving, sort of fell flat after I’d whittled a crater where that old bag’s precious cherry wood Savior had once rested. Speaking of that entire “He Is Risen” dealio, a person close to me recently told me that she has figured out the entire set of mysteries revolving around Jesus dying on the cross, getting buried and then coming back for a farewell dinner with his boys.
“He didn’t die,” she told me with a look of sheer delight plastered all over her face. “They didn’t have modern science to check if he was actually dead, did they? There were no stethoscopes back then, they didn’t know to put a mirror under his nose to see if it fogged.”
Maybe I haven’t yet gotten to my point because I’m so frightened of it. America is this close to electing a racist, bigoted, braindead and greedy misogynistic failed businessman as President. Racial tensions are as high as they’ve been in my lifetime. America has enough military-styled rifles on its streets to arm the French Army. And representing our fellow citizens in public service has become one of the ten highest-paying jobs you can land, and the highest-paying job with no requirements for intelligence, integrity or common decency.
We were headed in such a good direction coming out of the Sixties and into the Seventies. Now we’re at the “Last Days of Pompeii” stage, where our hate, greed and gluttony are consuming us.
It hurts to say this, but my best effort to fight back is to simply say:
So. Big thinks brewing here to La Casita Johnson de Santa Fe, and big things as well. Most of the things are as yet unsettled and, therefore, to be unmentioned, and since my thinkings are never quite settled, we shall, herein and herenow, further discuss.
OK, let’s stop for a moment of both literary reflection, and in effort to provide clarity of thought, to examine the meanings of that last paragraph, said paragraph being the last and the first paragraph(s), and having said that I feel both smart as all get out and also dumb as a fucking brick.
Why is it that a person can say or do something quite smart yet be thick as a brick? For my part, I’ve just spent thirty minutes digesting, evaluating, and reflecting upon those early words, above, and find that they quite perfectly reflect with precision what it is (was) that I wished to tell you. I then spent an additional hour writing a detailed explanation as to why, how and in which contexts you could understand the perfectness of my prose, editing repeatedly those words, and then I spent another thirty seconds with my finger on the “Delete” button to erase it all. I’d have used the highlight-and-delete thingie but I always delete shit I want to leave and can’t remember what it was that I deleted unjustly.
“What in the world are you doing?” the Squirt asked me. “You’ve been sitting here typing away for three hours and all you have are two-and-a-half paragraphs?”
As is typical when the small brown puppy asks me a question, she inquires with the same disdain so frequently heard in the voices of the women in my life.
“I’m fulfilling my promise to the readers hereof to provide as much clarity and truthfulness as possible, herein.”
“OK,” she said, and again with disdain, disdain used in the form of condescension, “but what is it with you and this where and here shit?”
“Huh? What where and hear shit? You mean herein?”
“No, dumbass, here shit, not hear shit. Like hereat, hearein and whereat and wherein. Not bare shit, bear shit. What the Hell are you talking about?”
“What the Hell are YOU talking about?”
Alright, let’s take another breather as my ADHD has taken control of this spaceship and headed it straight to Uranus, and mine. That’s another thing I heard as a child and almost as often as I heard my name. “Pull your head out of your ass, Mooner.” I wonder who invented that phrase and did they get a literary medal for perfection of intents.
There was this one time when I was maybe seven when we were all picking sweet corn and cutting okra from tall, stalky plants out to the garden. All save Sister and I had sharp knives to prune fruit from stalk, and we kids had baskets for collections. Remember bushel baskets, those thin wood lath affairs strung together with twisted wire? I loved those big leaky buckets. Anytime they were used they brought some sort of bounty.
Sister worked with Daddy and Grandpa over to the corn rows, and I was following Mother and Gram down the okra aisles, catching the sticky pods as they cut and dropped my way. As my mother considered herself highly educated and somewhat above hard labor, sweating and slapping at buggies while doing laborious tasks was not good for her humor. In passive-aggressive anger, Mother seemed to be taking out her angst on the okra plants. Looked like with every other pod she culled she’d cut the stem as well. Looking back on this reflection, I think she may have been attempting to reduce future okra cutting labor.
After maybe a half-dozen large stems hit the bushel basket and fell to the rich earth of our garden, my grandmother had reached her point. “What tha Hell is wrong with you, Mother. You ain’t payin’ no more attentions ta yer work than Mooner does ta his schoolin’”
“Yea,” I thought to add, “pull yer head outta yer ass!”
Repeating that scolding phrase directed at my veryownself so often—and only recently having gained full understanding of its meaning—I relished the sounds coming out of my mouth.
“Pull yer head right on outta yer ass, Mother, and do it right damn now!”
If I sit quietly and close my eyes, I can still feel the stings of Mother’s lashes with Daddy’s thin leather belt.
Recounting that story has, for some reason, reminded me that I have seen Jethro Tull in concert twice. Once when they opened for Vanilla Fudge and Zeppelin and the second as the main attraction. It was quite confusing for me to have LZ conjoined with The Fudgies, as I saw those two groups as conflicting as any high school battle of the bands ever. Second Tull event was attended by Dr. Sam I. Am-Johnson and I, Gram, and this Baptist high muck-a-muck she picked up from over to the Southern Baptist Convention. Baptists held their annual soiree daily in the same neighborhood as the concert was held, and my randy old grandmother liked to troll the Baptist Smokers Lounge for wayward Deacons.
Anyway, the biggest of my thinks is that I miss my family back to Texas. Most of them, anyway. My Gram wrecked her Ferrari, again, and for some odd reason I yearn to be there to chew her out and then pay to fix it. Leaving a retainer at the body shop is not the same as bitching while writing a check.
So Fuck Walmart!
So. Having been absent from the pages herewith, hereat, or maybe even herein, I find myself in reflections as to why. Why have I not spewed, why have I not shared, why for fuck sakes, have I not communicated and unburdened my tortured soul? And, just for your grammatical edifications, “hereat” is too a word. If “whereat” can be a grammatically accepted word—if, in the greater scheme of Life, the generality of a specific location can have named validity in the form of “whereat”—then the very specificities of a specific location shall, likewise, have a proper name. That name is hereat. Take away the “w” and we know whereat we wonder that we are.
Think about it. Webster’s unabridged can sanction a word for a questioned attempt at specifying a location, yet cannot provide equal treatment for a known, specific spot on the map? Fuck Webster. Fuck Webster hereat, and whereat you may be.
For my part, I have no specific answer(s) as to my absence from these pages other than to say I have too little, yet too much to say. Maybe the answer is simple: I’m an ADHD-addled shitbrain. But, I have been busy with some personal shit, and I learned that someone close to me had a dangerous and painful firearm accident, and I do know with absolute certainty that I hate guns. I don’t care how smart, how well trained or how careful you think you are, when a gun goes off accidently, the shit hits the fan.
And when that shit happens with a gun, your fan ain’t big enough.
Maybe it’s because I’m overwhelmed with politics. Maybe the corporate ownership of our media has finally managed to finish its intended lobotomy of my pre-frontal lobe. Just the other day I saw a man in a red “Make America Great” hat make a sneering comment at a kid with rainbow hair and three pounds of metal stabbed into her head, and I let it go. Said nothing. I shook my head and walked to the deli section of Trader Joes to grab a package of their uncured ham. Tasty, clean pig meat at half the price of the same at Whole Foods.
I used to be in love with Whole Foods. It started in Austin and for years was a great place to shop. Helpful and enthusiastic workers who felt loved and respected by company management, fair prices for what you got. For years I felt that Whole Foods management actually cared about my and their employees’ welfare. Having learned that John Mackey is nothing but one more corporate asshole has turned me into a detractor. So, while fucking stuff, fuck John Mackey and Whole Foods.
And fuck bigots. Fuck Donald Trump and fuck anyone who supports him. Especially Piss Ant Pauline Ryan. “Donald Trump’s remarks are the very definition of racism, but I still support him.”
Really, Mr. Speaker? Really? Has anybody realized that second in succession to our country’s Presidency is a man with no actual backbone? People who claim to know him say Paulie is a “good man”. Riiight. Like all the good men in Germany back to the Thirties and Forties. “Oh, well, I know Herr Hitler is a racist, but he’s so good for Der Mutherland and so much better than the alternative.”
Condone. Condone is an interesting word, Mr. Ryan. “Condone: to approve by overlooking; to forgive; to tolerate; to accept by not rejecting; to make allowances for.”
The entire Republican party—all of those who do not condemn Donald Trump—have condoned his bigotry and racism. And when you approve or tolerate or make allowances for Evil, you are by definition, Evil your veryownself. The second in line to become President is, by his condoning of bigotry, a racist bigot.
“But he’s a good man, Mr. Johnson, a good, Christian family man.”
Really? Is that your definition of a good Christian family man? To any who say, “Yes,” I say, and with extreme emphasis, “Fuck you!” And me, as I have managed to condone bigotry in the fresh veggie aisle over to Trader Joes, “Fuck Me!”
How has it happened that we’ve gotten OK with all this bigotry and hateful public discourse? When did the entire country start accepting Southern racism by condoning it? How has it happened that America’s fall from its high perch as the beacon of freedom come so fast? Why is our mirrored reflection that of The Wizard of Oz? When did we become a brainless, heartless, cowardly bully? Did this happen quickly, as I see it, or have we always been?
Anyway, I’ve still too much, and too little, to say. But I can say with absolute certainty, “Fuck Walmart!”
So. I’d promised a Johnson Family update some weeks past, yet, as of this date I’ve been unable to string enough cogent thoughts together re: said family to create writings that might provide any useful information, thereof. Maybe that should have been, or better said, “…provide useful information, thereabout.” And now, having spent the last eight minutes cogitating over the proper placement of commas in that last sentence, I find myself wondering if I have enough mental alacrities to cogently speak to any subject.
OK, do you speak cogently “to”, “of” or “about” a subject? And while we’re stopped in grammatical reflections, allow me to pre-apologize for my ADD.
With alacrities used herein to mean quicknesses, take, for example, last names. I’ve been forgetting people’s names and mostly their surnames. The worst memory faults are coming with last names of people with simpler first names. Like Bob, or Jim, or Barbara. Or Anna. Yesterday I was speaking with this nice lesbian couple over to the line to purchase Powerball tickets at the Chevron station. I was maybe third from the back of the line and they were in front of me. As the line was slow moving, and I’d overheard the nice ladies talking about their pending wedding, I interjected myself into their conversation.
I caught that they are from Austin, visiting Santa Fe as a sort of pre-honeymoon scouting trip, and that they were having difficulties identifying an Austin venue for the actual wedding. Me, always the helpful sort even when unasked, inserted myself into their conversation.
“Pardon my interruption, ladies, but my sister and her woman were married out to the dock at our place there to Austin. Anna did all the party planning and I bet she’d be willing to help.”
The one woman looked at me like I’d just shit on her head, but the second quickly moved between us and said to me, she says, “It would be really helpful to speak with someone who knows the town. We just moved to Austin and are yet unfamiliar. We have joined the local community, but haven’t made friends yet.”
“Well,” I started, “Anna’s a big wig with the Austin Lesbian Club, or whatever it is they call the lesbian confab that meets on a Thursday over to Guerro’s Taco Bar, and she can help you with that as well.”
That caught the interest of the other lady, and she says to me, she asks, “Anna who? What’s Anna’s last name?”
“Ah, uh, ah…” I was flummoxed.
Took me maybe thirty seconds to say, “Oh yea, it’s Johnson. Anna Johnson.”
Now, the new readers hereof might not think this such a big memory thingie, but it actually is. See, Anna was born Anna Johnson. Then she married me—the third of ten suffragettes—and divorced me to marry my sister, Sister. Having completed the surname trifecta, Anna Johnson-Johnson-Johnson is all Johnsoned up, factual information that should make the remembrance of her name a simple mental task.
I can’t figure what it is that’s causing these lapses of synapsis. Is it simply the process of aging and my olderating? Did The Great Radiator alter my brain functions as well as those of my alimentary tracts? Worse of all, might I be getting the starts of a genetic dementia passed from Mother to me?
OK, let’s stop for a second. I know with certainties that the alimentary tract involves the processing of solid wastes in our bodies. Is our urinary system also alimentary, or is it considered to be a totally separate tracting? Me, for my part, I consider that since both liquids and solids, and solids containing liquids, enter all through our mouths, then the two systems are conjoined at least from the start. A well-oiled digestive tract will remove the liquids to be used elsewhere then eliminated through the bladder, so I get that there are two separate spigots as terminus. But, does having differing last stops mean separatenesses in total?
It’s like a subway system to me. Two guys get on the train together at Broadway—one guy the swimming coach and the other is executive chef for the Dean of Women and both from over to Columbia University—and travel over to the Greenwich Village area, whereat the swim coach transfers to a train to Yonkers and the other guy keeps on to New Jersey. In comparison to the alimentary track analogicals, first guy’s a liquid rider and the second a solid. Both start at the same entrance, one—while still inside the hidden chambers and transportations of the system—exits the initial tracks to head to a not that unpleasant bedroom community, and the other, Mr. Solids, travels all the way to the end of the original tracks and into the shitter.
What I do know is that my personal solid and liquid waste systems have been fucked into dysfunctionalities since contracting the dreaded prostate cancer and having endured the attendant multiple visitations to The Great Radiator. Hell, one side effect is that sometimes when an urge to purge hits, and the hitting is with significance, I know I’d best sit for relief, as my body’s subway system sends conflicting signals to the tracts. You know, the sign says, “Yonkers,” but travels instead to Paramus.
Likewise, I can say with purity of heart that the occasional urgencies plagued upon the middle of my body will affect my mental stabilities and alacrity of thought with great effects.
Do not stand, or otherwise tarry, between me and a bathroom when an urge strikes. I’ll run your ass right on over and not stop to apologize. I’ll seek you later to make amends, but I’ll not stop, or even attempt a, “So sorry,” over my shoulder.
Anyway, having found myself with difficulties rememberating the last name of an ex-wife—said ex having my same lastie, and thrice times at that—it has dawned on me that maybe I’ve never been good with names. I can remember the color of the stains on the edge-worn white panties Dr. Sam I. Am-Johnson wore the first time I personally removed them from her flanks (green from the grass in which she squiggled), and the first two words Sammie said when I eagerly placed my face where panties had formerly resided (“That tickles,”), and her first words after that first sexing (“Interesting,”).
But I can’t remember my own last name when it sits behind my third ex-wife’s first.
Ugh. Total fucking ugh! What’s next? What part of me will show its deteriorations next? Eyesight weakening, memory fading, prostate withered like plum to prune, knees aching with Morning’s rise.
“Dear God, please don’t let it be my pecker. Please, pretty please. I swear I’ll make better use of it if you’ll just let me use it. Amen.”
So, while it’s still working, let’s all fuck Walmart with my pecker!
So. We three musketeers have just returned from four days over to Arizona, and while I must say the trip was a gigantic pain in the ass, the resultant outcomes are quite satisfying. The drive from Santa Fe includes passage through New Mexico and Arizona high deserts—long, flat plains with interesting geological features, yet not the first sprig of doggie grass—then a ride uphill to Flagstaff, then down a twisty mountain highway to Phoenix.
The Squirt—a cute little shit with a quite small puppy bladder—will squat to pee maybe thirty times in a given day, bathroom habits we share. Her for the small bladder, and me for my age, prostate cancer and those pesky visits with the Great Radiator. Sometimes, and I swear this is true, our visits to pee are coordinated like you hear that women’s’ periods can be. There was this one time back to the 1990’s when all the women residing at The Johnson Family Ranch seemed to fucking meld their periods into the same eight days over six consecutive months.
I’m certain that said melding was the root cause for a divorce. Number seven, should my irradiated memory be operating with some accuracy and functional alacrity.
We’d already stopped five times between Santa Fe and Gallup, NM, maybe once per thirty minutes. After the next half-hour’s driving, Squirt started squiggling in her harness and softly whimpering—usual early warning signs of her need to pee—and then she asked me to pull over.
Me, for my part in all this, well I have a crystal clear understanding of my adorable brown doggie’s bathroom habituals and spend considerable in their thoughts. Not pissing on rocks, won’t pee on concrete, hard pan, hot sand or anywhere near a fucking cactus. Nopers, our Squirtie girl requires a clear area containing at least one blade of grass in order to squat. Won’t pee in more than an inch of snow either. (See previous postings)
“Pull over, asshole, I’m about to pee my pants.”
Having anticipated this request, I answered her with, “OK, little lady, you just show me where.”
Long story short, after taking a small measure of fun from her discomforts, I pulled a puppy pee pad from its hidey hole in the trunk, a stash I’d secreted there, again in anticipation of this event. I unfolded and set the pad in the patch of barren sand she chose for this pee event, and the wind lifted the edge and sent it floating away. We chased it, Squirt caught it and then shook the shit from it like she’d caught a bunny rabbit and was preparating her mid-morn snack.
“For shitsakes, sweetie, why’d you do that?”
“What do you mean, dumbass, I’m a dog. Now hold this thing down or I’ll have the goat dog shit in the cooler.”
She’d do that. “You’d do that, wouldn’t you?”
I did my best to straighten the shredded paper-covered plastic pad and got on my knees in a best attempt to hold its tattered remains in the wind. Knees on two corners and hands on the others, I’m guessing I looked as though I were playing leap frog there to the side of the road. The small brown puppy surveyed the pad for a spot where enough absorbent paper was gathered to hold her water, positioned herself beneath the arch that was me, squatted and peed. She moved off the pad and then kicked sand onto the pad and into my face.
“Not funny, rat dog. Not funny at all.”
She looked over her shoulder, lips curled in a smile, and kicked another cup of sand my way. Me, ever thoughtful of time, economic and ecological efficiencies, brushed sand from my shorts, unzipped and relieved myself onto the pad. As I was zipping up, it dawned on me that perhaps I might have faced myself away from the traffic travelling on Interstate 40, a busy road. Then, I thought that could have peed without unzipping, an action that might have allowed maybe fifty cars to pass without an absolute understanding of what the gray ponytailed degenerate was doing twenty feet off the side of the highway.
ADD and its big brother, the dreaded ADHD, are amazing and intricate maladies. The same leaks in synapses that cause Shiny Object Syndrome can likewise create an environment whereat an otherwise thoughtful, sane man will pee in public to the entertainment, maybe horror, of a hundred passing cars. Focusing on a task with such intensity, honking horns pass through mental processes with no more thought than, “Horn sounds,” when that same honking horn is usually all it takes to derail a good session of sexing.
When we got to Phoenix at 5:26 PM local time, it was 98 degrees and the heat did that mirage thingie where the air waffles the light eerily. I’ve never understood that natural phenomenon. I remember spending countless hours chasing up and down our Ranch Road as a kid, trying to catch those shimmers in a butterfly net. Gram told me she’d reward me with a five dollar bill if I caught and brought her some. Mother told me it would be a fitting end to her tortures should I not pay attention to what was light traffic back then.
Which reminds me of my now dead sister. I’m finding myself thinking of her with unusually strong emotions—wanting time returned to enable me to give her a do-over. I keep having flashbacks of childhood when she and Mother battled, and rather than seeing a spoiled brat making her mother miserable, I see a third, unwanted child terrorized by the caregiver who had no love for her charge. If Mother’s dementia hadn’t already consumed her honest remembrances, I’d pack my bags for Texas to give her a giant chunk of my anger.
Dr. Sam I. Am-Johnson keeps telling me that it’s OK to be angry, but that I need to move on and forgive Mother. I’m not that big a man yet. I understand that there must have been things in my mother’s past that created the mentalities of her realities, that there are reasons for the selfishness and want/need to punish those around her.
It’s likely the same in my own case. I can’t blame all my idiocies on the ADD. Many of my bad decisions and hurtful actions have not been spawned from mental malady. And therein lies my rubs. I steadfastly hold myself accountable for my actions and more so as the years pass. I keep having these flashbacks of my life’s living and see things I did wrong. I’ve been convinced of the requirement to forgive myself before I can forgive others, but I’m yet to find purchase for that blanket of forgiveness in which I can wrap myself—cocoon and soothe and sheath my own damaged self.
It’s hard to share a blanket you don’t possess.
Anyway, the Squirt hated Phoenix, so that’s one crisis averted. “How can you expect us to spend our lives dancing the hot foot on bubbling pavement and concrete heated enough to fry eggs? What about Havana?”
Havana, indeed. Is it possible to endeavor to live a better life—work hard at it—and find the grace with which to forgive your own past transgressions? Will taking good care of my two puppy children make amends for not best fathering the human ones? Will cleaning dog shit from every imaginable surface make up for my inability to clean my father as he lay dying, his body slowly digesting itself and excreting seventy years of a good life into a Depends?
Am I a mess, or what? So, fuck Walmart!
So. I’m sitting here this glorious morning waiting for the sun to get in just the right position for the dogs and I to sunbake. Our pine trees have grown so much that we have but two windows of opportunity each day. Me, I don’t like sitting in the sun, but the Squirt has been Jonesing for some sunbathing. It’s been overcast here to Santa Fe for a few days and my tiny dog who worships the Sun’s rays has been bitching.
“Let’s move to Arizona, shithead. These cold winters and dreary days are getting to me. Besides, the Sun’s heat helps ease the pain in my back. You don’t want me down in the back again, now do you?”
Squirt can be a persuasive little pest. She got paralyzed with pain a few weeks back, and I’ve not been the same since. She doesn’t know it but I’d do anything for her, including moving to Arizona. Really. Fucking Arizona.
“Stop your bitching, little lady. You couldn’t get me to move to Arizona with shackles and armed guards.”
Squirt looked me in the eye and said to me, she clearly elucidated, “You already heard that emergency vet tell us that cold will make my old bones hurt worse. We’ll see your posture when it gets to the point where you choose between moving us to a warmer place, or feeding me my bottle of pills. I won’t live with you wiping my ass.”
I long ago prepared a bottle of “Final Day” pills for each of us three. As a semi-packrat, I’ve never thrown any leftover medications away since I avoided the draft way back to the sixties. While I’ll not commit a Federal offense on the pages herein, I will say that I have distributed thirty-six giant “Yellow Jacket” amphetamine capsules into the death caches. One of our bottles—I can’t remember which—has a few Phenobarbitals from back to when I had sleeping problems in 1968. Taking enough speed to keep a trucker awake for a non-stop, cross-country haul can effect a person’s sleep patterns. All sorts of shit totaling either 549 or 627 total pills. The wide variance in those amounts of pills is due, likely, to the quantity of Carta Blanca consumed as we counted pills going into each of the three bottles.
Maybe I should pull the Phenobeenies. If memory serves, they were sort of like Quaaludes except for more powerful. Then, again, my memory hasn’t been serving me too well of recent.
“Why do you have a quart jar and we have those tiny pill bottles? I want to be absolutely certain I die when I take mine. I want a bigger bottle!”
“Looka here, Squirty girl, you weigh eleven pounds with a full belly. Me, well I’m approximately nineteen times your weight and have a system pre-disposed with tolerances to a few of these drugs. Don’t worry, I’mma make sure you get a lethal dose. When your time comes, the last thing I can deal with is a near miss.”
Talking about our Final Days pills has me realizing that all these medications are time capsules of my life. The smelly old Penicillin pills mark my loss of virginity, the speed my decision to flight rather than fight a war that was just plain wrong even though some of the best men I know chose to go. There’s Phenergan from when Dr. Sam I. Am-Johnson had a bout with nausea that wouldn’t stop, pain meds from our family’s tooth issues, antibiotics of every sort for every infection three kids, ten wives, four dogs and I ever had.
Which reminds me. The state of our American Republican Party is hilarious. Establishment Republitards are so freaked about the Trumpster that they are supporting Teddy Cruz. Self-same Teddy who could be murdered in plain sight on the Senate floor and no witness would come forward to aid in the killer’s ID. Sister Lindsey Graham must have had a near terminal case of the vapors when he found himself a Cruz surrogate the first time.
And saying that reminds me of a recent Squatlo posting. Seems his Tennessee General Assholembly has passed a born-gender bathroom law akin to too many other states. You know the laws—born a boy, use the Boy’s Room. Those laws. Me, having spent way too much time thinking about the application of such laws, I had had a discussion with the Squirt the night before Squattie posted his story about the Vol State’s legislature. Having already pre-thought the issue I posted a comment, repeated herewith. Hereafter, maybe. OK, maybe herein.
I had seen a report on TV regarding this subject of requiring a person to use the bathroom of the gender on their birth certificate, and the justifications used to support these laws spurs me to restate my thoughts from Squat’s place. The following—while not a word-for-word recount—is a mostly reprint of what I said from over there. Proper referencing is a founding principle of intergrital writing, and I’ll go with “hereafter” as referenced herein, above.
OK, so I know this man. Who was formerly a woman, who is three inches shorter than my six-four, and who works out over to my gym maybe twenty hours a week. I got a free gym membership with my Medicare Part B coinsurance, and I like to work out a few times a week. Keeping my bones healthy is a way to fight any recurrence of the cancer I seem to have licked, and lifting weights builds healthy bones.
Did get into a heated discussion over to the gym with this asshole who was bitching about TV coverage of Black History Month, and all the stories and programs about mistreatment of Native Americans. Shitwad was going on and on and on and on about why isn’t there a white history month. Kept it up to my break point.
“I’ve got some ideas for your White History Month,” I told him. “First, let’s do a week of programs on the slave trade. Make it a cradle-to-grave dealie. Start with the slavers over to Africa stealing people, the ship voyages with humans packed like cattle and dying standing up, the auction sales, then life on the plantation.”
“Follow that with the last hundred-sixty years of white racial bigotry—the KKK, George Wallace and the modern Republican Party. Third week can be how whites came to America and stole the Natives’ lands and took advantage of their naiveté. Tell the stories of slaughtering their people for sport—forcing them to take white man’s religions. And let’s not forget about when the whites gave the Native people blankets known to be infected with disease, intentionally infecting them. Spend the last week on the state of the White in today’s America. Look at how white people are in their final days as the controlling majority and what the future holds. Talk about a future of bigotry against whites.”
Asshole. Anyway, this now a guy at the gym is a big, muscle-bound sumbitch with a full beard, basso profundo voice, and who likely had a donkey dick manufactured from whatever it is they make penises from when they do those surgeries. Guy’s pretty proud of his testosterone-enhanced physique, so I’m guessing when the doctor asked, “Now, tell me sir, which of these penis models would you prefer?” this now a man said, “Don’t you have anything bigger? I plan to be a six-one muscle machine and I need a penis to match.”
Me, if I was getting vaginalized I don’t know what I’d want as far as all the specifics go. Do I want a small, tight jobbie that most all the guys would like, do I want one of those sleek, low-slung jobbies or do I prefer a big camel toe model for when I wear my Lycra workout pants? Much as I like camel toes, I’d likely choose the roast beef model.
But I can say, and without any hesitations, that I’d want a clitoris the size of a basketball player’s thumb. Fat, rubbery job—one that needed a table-spoon of lube to preparate for manipulations. Me, I’d be playing with that sucker all day long, play with it everyfuckingwhere. Hell, when I changed my name, “Female Orgasm” would be my middle name.
I’d be sitting at the poker table and the dealer would ask me, he’d say, “It’s your action, Mz. Johnson. Uh, Mz. Johnson, the action is on you. Moonette, Earth to Moonette, are you with us?” and I’d be all, “Ah, ah, ah, ah…”
Do the members of Tennessee’s Genital Assemblage seriously think the fine Baptist ladies of The Smoky Mountain State want that born a woman but now a man pissing and primping in the Girls Room over to Tennessee University? Or my female conversion hanging out in the Boys locker room showing the little ones how to please a lady?
“OK, gentlemen. The first lesson you need to learn is the quite simple fact that most of a woman’s pleasure resides in this thing here. Billy, you look like you want go first…”
Jesus we humans can be dumb. So let’s all Fuck Walmart!
So. I’ve awakened to a landscape plastered with snow. As all the fruit trees here to La Casita Johnson de Santa Fe were covered with blooms yesterday afternoon, we’ll likely have little fruit again this year. Hard freezes this weekend are certain to kick harvests right in the ass.
Another sucker punch by NOT Global Climate Change effectively screwed up the weather. What a fucking surprise.
I had a full day planned—a day filled with outdoor activities—which is now shot all to Hell, so I decided to take a leisurely approach to my day. I had missed reading yesterday’s newspaper, so the two pages of actual newsie information contained therein had escaped my view.
I miss the days when newspapers were kings of all information media. A Sunday paper that was a half-day read in past days is now a four-minute perusal, with breaks to sip coffee. I miss the times when having the byline “Associated Press” meant that the voracity of a story was a vetted, accurate depiction to be absorbed, and hopefully understood, without concern that it was a “planted” fake. Like the 147 FBI agents looking at Hilary Clinton’s emails.
Really? Even my Gram ferreted that lie. “Them fuckin’ Fibbers ain’t got that many agents smart enough to catch Hilry. Didn’t assignation more an a dozen when they killed JFK. Assides, who really gives a shit?”
So, I poured a dram of brandy into my coffee cup, stoked match to twisted paper end, sucked a full breath and opened the previous day’s paper. OK, maybe it was two drams, and upon first seeing the snow from my office window, I had chewed, and swallowed, three of the dried mushroom buttons I have hidden in the bottom of the cedar chest that sits as a dog half-way station from floor to the heights of our bed. The mushrooms are a variety from Malesia sent to me by Streaker Jones—the remains of maybe two pounds dried provided on his last visit—and they are nestled comfortably at the bottom of the cedar chest because Yoda is nicknamed “the goat dog” for actual reasons.
And why, inthefuck, isn’t it spelled “Malasia”? Nobody says, “Ma-leezia,” dammit, it’s said as, “Ma-laisya.” Asshole fuckface smelly-assed fascist grammar shitballs.
Having said all that, you could rightfully contend that this would be one of the few bloggie postings I have written while stoned. I always tell you of these occurrences and they truly are few. I don’t drive any motorized vehicle while impaired in any fashion—while I do enjoy being driven—ever since my arrest some thirty years ago. Scared me straight knowing I might have hurt someone. Think of it this way: ADHD + ADD + Stoned = Oh no!
I harbor the same restraints for KUI—Keyboarding Under the Influences—as I’m less likely to thoroughly edit my words before posting, an act leading to multiple consternations. Read consternations hereat in its synonym “bewilderments”. OK, maybe worries would be another. One of these days I’ll post some unedited musings for your enjoyment.
Dr. Sam I. Am-Johnson, psycho the-rapist to the stars and me, tells me that having been arrested for parking our Caterpillar 960 front end loader—its 12-yard light-weight bucket filled with turkey shit—on the front steps of the offices of Sewell and Petty Law Firm, was a sign for me to not imbibe and drive. I heeded that advice and thanked my stars that Texas didn’t have mushroom juice or pot on its Breathalyzer scales. Blowing 1.02’s-worth of Carta Blanca breath was enough to get me into a world of trouble, so I can only imagine how bad it might have been.
The loader was the big one from out to Mooner’s Compost Plant and the turkey manure was from this giant place over to near College Station that organically fattens its turkeys and lets them play outside for a few hours each day. While in Texas, I purchased all my turkeys from those guys. Birds were smaller overall since they got no growth enhancers, and I was especially impressed with the size and quality of their organs. Smaller, firmer and with better color, and even if it was psychosomatic, had far better taste.
Ever watch domesticated turkeys? As smart and shifty and wily and interesting as wild turkeys can be, the domesticated varietals are as opposites. Bred all the brains right out their skulls, we did. They seem to be totally paranoid, scared of their own shadows. Literally scared of their own shadows, looking over their over-plumped shoulders and jumping sideways.
Something about a turkey’s diet creates eye-watering odors. Even though turkey shit is one of the more pungent varieties of shit, it wasn’t my first choice. First choice was grease trap waste, but I’d have puked to death on the eleven-mile drive from the plant over to east Austin with 12-yards of that stuff. I can wear a Haz-Mat suit and still smell grease trap waste. Hell, typing “grease trap waste” stirs my gag reflexes.
But the turkey litter—they call turkey shit “litter” in the poultry industry—proved an effective tool as I managed to empty the entire building within maybe seven minutes. First officers arriving at the scene called the Sheriff right away. “Hey Woozie, its Mooner Johnson and you want to be here for this one.”
I shot the Sherriff a full moon and he tazed my bare ass.
Anyway, I opened the paper and read as I sipped from my cup. Sipping because it was too hot to drink, I didn’t spit a mouthful of brandy-laced coffee when I saw the headline, I merely sprayed a spritz similar to one of those tiny atomizer sample thingies at department store perfume counters.
I read the one paragraph story, reread to insure its actualities, and exclaimed, I shouted, “Hot damn!!!” and raced to my computer. I opened Googleate and typed in my query. I peered down the listings, found The Motley Fool, clicked there and found a headline that lifted my spirits to even new heights. There, on my computer screen, was proof positive that a grass roots consumer advocacy effort can be effective. I read, reread and read again.
“Hey, Squirty girl, come in here and looka this!” I shouted. “You’ve gotta see this, kiddo!”
The small brown puppy came running and jumped into my lap, read. “Holy shit, Mooner, you’ve won!”
“War’s not over yet, Sweetie Pie, but we’re winning some big ones.”
We celebrated what we read, as there, on my computer screen, was this:
“Walmart Is Falling Apart Before Our Eyes
Wal-Mart is no longer the popular retailer it once was and beneath the surface it’s starting to show the same cracks that brought Kmart and Sears to their knees. “
As an atheist, I didn’t thank God for this gift, I thanked you, the readers of the drivel posted herein. Thank you, thank you, and thanks some more. My plans to topple this giant of American retailing greed is working with all of your help! Not that our job is completed because fucking Walmart will not be a finished task until Alice Walton applies for food stamps. Now that we have them on the ropes, it’s time to apply evermore pressure. Speak loud and proud. Say it aloud with me. Say:
Fuck Wal-mart! Fuck Wal-mart! Fuck Wal-mart!
So. A riddle: “How many Mooner Johnsons does it take to fuck up a wet dream?”
The answer is contained, maybe I should say, “The answer is intended to be contained…,” in the following prose. My desire is to use the parable format of storytelling, combined with a riddle teaser, to tell a story of woe and dumbass. The danger of using this format—better said as dangers—lies/lie in the simple facts that I am an ADHD-riddled shitball having no self-controls, no impulse restraints, no focus, and no filters. Likewise, please don’t think “parabola” as that would induce you to attempt linear thinking, and my logic is anything but in straight lines to anyplace.
Dr. Sam I. Am-Johnson—my first ex-wife, longtime psychotherapist and chief mind fucker—has long held the position that I am crazy. “Is that your clinical opinion, Sammie?” I’ll ask.
“Why, yes, Mooner. I wrote it in your chart.”
I use to worry that having that specific diagnosis in my medical charts would be problematic. As often as I’m slapped, tasered and arrested, the concerns were that some attorney or judge would request the sequestering of my medical records for review under some tenant of law and I’d get re-locked back to the loony bin. I obsessed over this concern until one day I finally asked her about it.
“I’m worried about you writing about what a fruit cake I am. I know it’s the truth and all that, but what if a judge gets ahold of what you write? I’m not going back to Shoal Creek Mental Hospital. No way, no fucking way!”
Shoal Creek Mental Hospital used to be sort of like a spa for me. That is if you consider lounging around in a strait jacket with anti-psychotic drug-medicated snot and drool forming stalactites from your lower lip to the crotch of your crazy person Snuggy a spa experience.
“Don’t worry, Mooner. I also wrote that you are harmless to the innocent. But I can always amend my notes.”
Maybe they’d be snot-and-drool stalagmites. I can never remember the differentiations between snot columns formed from the top down as opposed to those forming at ground level and upwards.
Don’t you hate the veiled threats of medical professionals? Them all full of their own shit and sanctimoniousnesses simply because they spent an extra six years of schooling. Then, again, my daddy might still be alive had he listened to his doctor’s threat that he needed to get a colonoscopy or face serious health issues.
Anyway, I play poker and Santa Fe has many TV and movie crews filming in the area—two divergent facts I’ll soon merge into a hopefully-comprehensible package. Actors and directors and celebrities come to my favorite casino to gamble and play cards. One of them—the self-same man to be further-mentioned—once told me that he loves visiting Santa Fe because, as he said to me when he told me, “People here don’t push scripts or project ideas at you. Back in LA, every person on every street corner has a unique project—the next Orange is the New Black, they’ll tell you—and there’s a part written just for you! Seriously, this role is per-fect. Here, take this and read it, and they get all up in your face with this stuff………….”
I’ve grown to like this man as a human and I think we could be friends. OK, I like him enough to befriend him, a sentiment now likely to be unreciprocated. Maybe that’s more accurately said as not reciprocated. Anyway, upon first sight of this gentleman entering the poker room, I always greet him with, “Oh no, not again.” Me, I think that to be funny as all sorts of shit, and it always lights a smile on his face, and generates a snarky reply as to my lack of basic intelligence, breeding, or whatever.
OK, let’s stop for just a minute and get a little background. As all of you already know, in addition to this bloggie, I’ve written a silly fucking book based upon my life and a likewise silly proposal for a television show that the entertainment biz folks call a “Treatment”. In yesterday morning’s psycho therapy phone session I asked Sammie her opinion should I approach this guy with my treatment.
“Have you lost what little mind you’ve left? It would be no different than when people come up to my table at a café and ask me for advice. Remember when that former City Councilor bothered us at The Broken Spoke and you thumped him on the nose? Remember how pissed you got?”
“Yea, of course I do. But that was different. I was one more Cosmopolitan from your promised land and he totally ruined my chance at some poontanger. He deserved what he got.”
She laughed at me. “You were way more than one Cosmo away from my delicate parts, asshole. And don’t even act like you don’t understand what I’m saying to you. Do not bother this man on his free time with your silly bullshit. It would be terribly inconsiderate. And just plain dumb, as if refraining from doing stupid things was ever one of your life criterion. Besides, he may not be Harry Bellefonte, but, well you know.”
“Bitch,” I told the dial tone.
I told you guys the story about when our daughter graduated from college and Harry Da-Day-ay-ay-O was there to watch his niece do the tassel-toss walk? I thought the good Doctor was going to offer to blow him right there in the audience. Sure, Harry was way more handsome in person and yes he has dreamy eyes. Hell, I might have blown him myself if he’d asked.
But she really can be a bitch. I’m certain she has my best interests in mind and I had every intention of behaving appropriately and heeding her advice. Of course, I didn’t.
“I’ve written over 2 million words of blog postings, a silly fucking book and this TV Treatment that has a role that you were born to play. It’s perfect for you, it’s the next Black is the New Orange. No, wait. It’s the new Shameless, that’s what it is. It’s Shameless meets The Beverly Hillbillies. Maybe M*A*S*H* marries Green Pastures. Wait, Green Acres!”
Ugh. Total fucking ugh. When I told Dr. Sam what I did this morning in our phone session, she hung up on me. When will I ever learn? Can I ever obtain some impulse control? Will there ever come a time when I act more appropriately than inappropriately?
Likely not. The dreaded ADD and its big brother the ADHD are not curable afflictions. Like true dumbass, they are genetic and only suffer engorgement with stimulations. Like that boner you got with your first slow dance back to junior high. I can’t remember her name right now but I do remember her slap. Played softball, she did, and I saw stars.
Anyway, the answer is, “One.” So Fuck Walmart!
So. I’m muddling in my own stew—stewing in my juices, if you will—because I’m a knucklehead, and so am I. My ADD is in the same state of pronouncements as is the Mountain Juniper pollen that so thoroughly wrecks my sinuses this time of year, thereby wrecking my thoughts and decision-making and, in turn, wrecking everything around me. I’m a snot-dripping-swollen-eyed forgetful and inattentive fuckball.
Having said that, a quite good friend holds the unerring opinion that I do not have ADD. Nopers, this otherwise bright man thinks that I have, as he calls it, “Selective Attention Disorder, You Asshole.” My buddy seems to think that I have control of the boiling cauldron of witches’ brew bubbling around inside my skull and that I make simple choices as to what sticks, or doesn’t stick, and to what I pay attention, or don’t. He thinks my day is filled with a series of black-and-white, choose A or B, decisions. Remember this but not that, see her not him, do one something and forget the other. See the rose, miss the thorn.
This friend says that my forgetting to finish a construction project and leaving construction debris all over the fucking place before sending a final bill to a client who already had a pre-fueled rocket pack up his ass was an intentional choice, while my acute insight into the workings of a poker hand I played in 1984 is forever etched on my pain-swollen brain. He believes I chose to not think about moving and resetting the client’s satellite dish in advance of killing said client’s access to the last Republican debate, when at the same time holds the position—with absolute certainty—that I would want to remember the precise number of Fire Ant stings I got that one time Streaker Jones and I were chasing bikini-clad girls down to the Texas coast.
Ever been stung by a Fire Ant? If you’ve any allergy to them at all, each tiny sting delivers enough poison to raise a welt the size of a quail egg, each welt capped with a pussy point, and all of them burn like fire, weep incessantly, and itch. They itch so bad you have to scratch, and each scratching sends jolts of almost paralyzing pain up your spine.
Fucking Fire Ants. And isn’t it interesting that a puss-filled something is spelled with alikenesses to many-a-man’s favorite female part, and a kitty cat? Isn’t the yin/yang of life amazing? Woman says to you, you’re on a date with this nice lady and she casually mentions to you, she says, “My pussy is pussy.”
“Hmmmmm,” you think, and hopefully to yourself, “Is the cat sick or do I have a serious choice to make in the next couple hours?”
In my daily telephone/SKYPE psychotherapy sessions, Dr. Sam I. Am-Johnson has been chiding me to make lists of the things I need to do, then USE the lists. “Make a list, dumass, and then USE it. How many times must you be told?”
This morning I produced a pile of Postie Notes containing a few of my lists starting from a date sometime in 1994, and marking the years passing until today. I held the bundled stack of party-colored sticky papers to the pin camera on my computer. God, I do love Postie Notes.
“Maybe at least one more time. Now, here. Look. See all these notes?”
I unstacked the pile about mid-way and removed the top paper. “This says it’s Tuesday and the items are: call Dr. Washburn about the infection; get Ferrari out of the shop; transfer from savings for Ferrari repairs; pick up laundry; mow Sammie’s yard and clean the pool; prepare for City Council meeting;… Hey, this must have been 2005. Remember when I bounced the check for fixing the front bumper on Gram’s car? I’ve got my pants down to my ankles to flash Councilperson Morales my depiction of the Mexican Flag for their Mexican Independence Day celebrations and that shithead process server hit me with papers. I thought it was because I bounced a check. Turns out it was that other thing. What was that other thing? That was a great Mexican flag, Ingrid got the colors just right. I need to call Ingrid–catch up. Oh yea, and I mowed your grass but forgot to clean the pool. That was that time your sister brought her entire family down from Oregon and the kids all got eye infections. The pool wasn’t that dirty, Sammie. Your sister coddles those kids waaaaay to much.”
Anyway, I have one thing to say to anybody who thinks I have Selective Attention Disorder, You Asshole:
Fuck you, and Walmart too!
So. Please allow me to say, in advance, that I was a little stoned. OK, and in the desire to properly elucidate realities to you, dear readers, allow me to say that I was considerably more than a little stoned. I was shitfaced.
Six-Carta-Blanca-beers-two-joints-and-a-full-dropper-of-Gram’s-mushroom-juice stoned. That kind of stoned. Still functioning, meaning I was awake, could walk and carry on a conversation, yet so mellowed-out that I could converse with Ted Cruz without turning him into fodder for the compost pile. This high was quite mellow.
The pot was a medicinal variety called “Rainbow Kush” or “Orange Sherbet Kush”, or maybe it was “Bush is a Kush”; the mushroom juice was from a tincture bottle just arrived from Austin that my tincturating grandmother had named, “Santi Fe ain’t got no air, Mooner, this here’s gonna Oxycontinate yer ass all over tha place.” As La Casita Johnson de Santa Fe sits at 7,292 feet above sea level, Gram’s desire to increase my oxygenations was admirable.
The beer was from Susan’s Liquor Store, the only dependable local source for my beloved CB.
We had just learned of Judge Scalia’s death and adjourned to the back yard for celebrations and reflections. Awash with the peace and joy that can only come from good news and a multi-dimensional high, the dogs and I were sitting out back in the early eve, wondering the outcome/replacement from Scalia’s death, and enjoying the end of a 63-degree day.
Sixty-three fucking degrees. Last week the highs were in the mid-twenties with winds that made the air so sharp it would cut your face, and three days later we’re thirty-degrees over normal.
OK, as that sounds like a bitch, allow me to say I love this weather and we three were basking like old dogs in a sunny patch on a parlor rug. That sixth beer was on the table between the two wrought iron chairs, the Squirt was in my lap, Yoda in the second chair, and all three of us were pointed at the back drive-through gate that looks out onto the alley behind the house.
There’s a three-inch gap between the bottom of the gate and the top of the concrete drive, and several evenings this week—about this time—the Squirt thinks she saw something stick its nose under the gate.
“Too dark to tell for sure, but I think it’s that wolf dog from over on Quapaw Street,” Squirt told me. “Dangerous looking sort.”
The goat dog did his slit-throat, “Phwouf-phwouf-pwhouf,” bit, and the Squirt turned to me to say, she tells me, “Dumbass over there says it a coyote, and he wants to rip its face off.”
As Yoda is the least fearsome animal on the entire planet, Squirt and I laughed about his fearlessness in the face of a fearsome force, and it dawned on me that Yoda has never actually growled.
“Tell him to growl, sweetie. Let’s see if he even knows how.”
She did, and Yoda screwed this cartoonish snarl onto his face and went, “Mmmrrrll.”
We asked that he repeat his snarling growl, which he did, and I realized he had growled before. “That’s the sound he makes when I move him out of my arm pit to turn over in bed. I always thought it was a lovie noise. That little shit is growling at me because my fucking arm is asleep and I need to recirculate it.” She and I laughed once more. Yoda growled at us, again.
Anyway, I drank and the puppies lapped—me from the bottle, they from the mayonnaise lid that makes a great portable beer trough for ten-pound doggies—and we settled in for the approaching dark. I kind of started snoozing when the Squirt nudged my chin with her cool nose. She whispered, “Wake up shithead. There’s something at the gate.”
I tried to wake, then focus. Sure enough, there was something at the back gate. “Everybody quiet. Let’s creep up on it.”
We crept. Stealthily; slowly; quietly.
There was a jangling of keys, the sound of the lock slipping out of chain and the chain slipping through its metal eyelets. A hand slipped between the gate halves and Lou Diamond Phillips stepped into the backyard.
“The three of you couldn’t sneak up on a dead man, Mooner. Fetch another beer and some of those sweet bean tamales from your fridge while I lock this gate. You’ve coyotes prowling your neighborhood.”
I fetched, and upon my return from the kitchen found my God sitting in Yoda’s chair with the goat dog settled in his lap, and the Squirt still sniffing at the gap beneath the gate. I set fresh beers and tamales on the table and sat.
“Nice to see you, Sir. Been awhile.” I paused for a response, got none, and asked Him, I asked God, “Uh, not that I’m ungrateful or anything, but I was hoping you’d visit as that actress Mary-Louise Parker. We watched the final episode of Season Four of Weeds, and that scene in her bathtub… I mean, I like Lou Diamond Phillips and all, but, well, you know…”
I never realized LDP was almost as big as I am. They film around here for the TV series Longmire and I’ve seen him about. He plays a Native American bar owner with certain instincts. He’s handsome and all that, but he’s no Mary-Louise Parker.
“Forget your pecker for once and focus on your reflections of Justice Scalia. Do you realize that your first thought was, ‘Thank God?’ Don’t you be thanking me for another man’s demise, shithead. You might not have liked him, but he wasn’t a bad man. He was misdirected and biased. But he was steadfast in his beliefs and practiced as he preached. And he was one of Justice Ginsberg’s best buddies. You can’t admire her without admiring her friends.”
“Is it OK if I say I’m glad he’s no longer on the bench?”
God pierced my eyes with Lou Diamond Phillips’ steeliest stare. “Don’t mince words, Mooner. You’ll get the SCOTUS you want. Don’t revel in another man’s death. Period.”
Before I could respond, He was gone, along with all the tamales and both fresh beers. I figured His next visit lacked both food and drink and I already had a serious case of sweet bean tamale farts. And I figured He was right. Mayhaps I should not feel elation at what I got at the cost of another’s loss. That demeans me, makes me akin to the kind of person I despise.
I already have enough despicable traits.
So, fuck Walmart!
So. I’ve been absent from these pages for a couple weeks while involved with a personal matter too complicated to share here, and having said that, I should state that it is my concern for the sensibilities of another human that kept me quiet, not any concern for myself. As I have moved on from the unmentioned complications, I have some good and bad news to share.
As a salesperson, I have always known that you deliver bad news first—get that negative shit out the way so you can focus on the positive. However, as a human being, I wish to share the good first because l have been promising you I would inform as soon as I could, and then I’ll deal with the not-so-good news.
Friday was settlement day between Mini USA and me. Myself, mayhaps, but Mini and I settled our differences on my beloved little hotrod Countryman. While I absolutely loved my tiny car when it was running right, it, simply put, did not run right enough of the time. It would routinely misfire (my words) in what Mini mechanics call a “Hard Knock,” and several times did so in heavy traffic. Once it did so and I was almost rammed from behind by a too-close driver.
As too-close driving is a Santa Fe method of employed roadway matriculating, this near-stalling dealio was disconcerting. Watching a Lexus SUV rock forward in a tire-squealing nosedive at your rear bumper while doing 65 MPH can disconcert the best of us, and me as well. To make a long story short, in two years of ownership and more than two months inside their shop, Mini could not make the repairs necessary to fix my car. I became frustrated after being quite patient, and finally told them to either honor New Mexico’s Lemon Law—a law that requires them to choose to give me all my money back, or give me a new car of matching accoutrements—or, as I so eloquently said when I told them of my demand, I said to the Mini Reps, “Or fix my fucking car!”
OK, so as to not over simplify, I understand that everyone in business sometimes builds a bad seed product—that bastard electric toothbrush that scrubs your gums bloody rather than remove half-a-day’s food particles, the Roman Candle that sends flaming projectiles out from both ends of the stick, or that car that has an issue that you just can’t fix. So I never held Mini culpable as a builder of bad cars, just a typical car maker who made one bad Countryman. But my frustrations with not getting it right got to me. Mini built a bad car…
And sold it to me. Anyway, after ginning me through their corporate structure in an effort to make me give-in to their initial, totally unacceptable offers, they finally gave me a settlement I found acceptable. Not what I wanted, because as I said I loved my Mini. I wanted a replacement—one that worked as promised. They must have decided that I was not so desirable as a Mini owner and bought the car back. I agreed to not discuss the financial terms with anyone so I won’t.
As a replacement, I purchased a Subaru WRX hot rod that in my early days of ownership is found to be as much fun as the Mini, and maybe even a somewhat more. It’s a little bigger, a whole lot faster, and has the all-wheel drive needed for our snowy winters. I’ll let you know if my happiness remains.
Which brings up the not happy part of this entire thingy. I came home a week ago, and as usual the goat dog met me at the door jumping and circling and woofing his slit-throat bark. What didn’t happen, as usual, was that the Squirt was missing from my greeting. Her usual is to greet me with disdain, or pleasure, should I return with, or without, her requests.
“You forgot, didn’t you, shithead? You are such a numbskull!” or, “Fuck you, Mooner, I’ll have the goat dog shit on the couch next time,” would be a typical Squirt greeting. But this return trip she was nowhere to be found. After his greeting, Yoda woofed at me and raced to the back of the house, stopped and woofed over his shoulder at me, and took off again.
“Squirty girl, where are you?” I hollered to no reply. I walked farther to the back and raised my voice, “Squirt, answer me young lady and do it now!”
“Fuck you,” her weak reply. “I’m on the bed and I can’t get down.”
I found the adorable bundle of brown fur and spunk shaking at the foot of our bed, looking up at me with a scared look in her eyes. This was the same look she had when her tooter was so messed up that she couldn’t walk.
“I can’t walk, Mooner. It’s time to put me down. I won’t live like this.”
I freaked. “You, young lady, are headed to the emergency room.”
“I’ll bite you, shithead, and I mean it. I won’t live a cripple. You’ll not be wiping my ass or my drool! Get me the bottle of pain pills and a beer. I’m putting an end to this.”
Instead, I grabbed a towel to wrap her and she did snap at me. She missed and she moaned when I lifted her. “It’s my back. I think I broke it.”
Again to make a long story short, her back isn’t broken but it is suffering the damages that Time takes on a Doxie body. Her long spine finally gave notice to cease her rambunctiousness, and she was in pain and what turned out to be temporary paralysis. Time and some meds have fixed the paralysis, but I’m now required to lift her up, and down, when she needs it. And I think she is taking advantage of me. She seems to need lifting way too often.
“You need to be more attentive, shithead. What if I forget and try to jump off my chair?” she said to me the other day. “Maybe you should hire a live-in nurse.”
“Don’t be taking advantage, Squirty girl, you’re close to the line on the Cost/Benefit scale.”
But me, I don’t give a shit. I’ll become her full-time nurse if need be. I was talking to Dr. Sam I. Am-Johnson about it in this morning’s phone therapy session and I broke all the way down. Cried like a baby and blabbered on, and on. “What will I do without her? Who will I talk to? Who will keep me on the straight and narrow? Who can ever replace her?”
“Good questions, one and all, Mooner. Maybe you need some extra sessions.”
“Maybe I need some sexing and maybe you could prescribe it for therapeutic purposes. I just changed the sheets and you can be on a noon flight that arrives here before five. I’ve got a bottle of your favorite chardonnay…”
“You need to worry about your real issues, dear man. Take care of that puppy and make her happy and comfortable. Or else!”
I just finished watching 101 Dalmatians and All Dogs Go To Heaven three times each. Next, I’m headed out to the butcher shop to get some big beef leg bones and then some vanilla ice cream, her favies, and now my eyes have watered up in the telling.
Why is this tiny dog so important to me? Why am I so terribly shaken with the thought of losing her? Why am I more concerned for the Squirt than for my mother, and why would I put this question in print? And why does it hurt more to have concerns for another’s health than it is my own? I didn’t suffer finding I have cancer like I am with my dog.
I know I’m crazy and that my priorities are totally fucked. Do others operate the same way? Have I asked enough silly questions for the day?
Ugh. Total and complete ugh.
Fuck Walmart for the Squirt.