So. Its 3:43 am and I’m sitting, awake. With the first infestations of Mountain Jumpier Pollen- Version 2014.1, my entire body is itching from a spot that lies one-sixteenth-of-an-inch under my skin—a calamity wherein the more you scratch the more you itch—I’ve snotted up an entire box of recycled facial tissues since eight last night, and I’ve managed to obsess over almost every aspect of my life. I’ve finally managed to obsess my shit enough together on the professional front to make plans to play poker today, but, and alas, I feel like hammered cat fur balls, I’ve dried snot making my face look like Tony Montana’s in the last scene of Scarface, and I can actually feel the swollen blood vessels in my eyes when I blink.
I’m a fucking mess.
Then, again, a certain unsettling countenance can prove beneficial when playing poker for actual cash. Which reminds me. I was sitting in front of the TV in an attempt to watch Ohio State play Clemson in a bowl game. The dogs were both planted on me as I lounged in the soft den sofa and the score was 14-to-7. Don’t know which had what points and I didn’t really giveashit when the phone rang. I’d forgotten to bring a phone close to the sofa, so I was required to disturb the dogs to answer.
“You’re a total asshole,” the Squirt told me when I untangled her from her nest between my legs. The diminutive brown puppy likes to wedge herself between my legs and then have me wrap her with blankets. She then twists-and-turns until cocoonelated like a silkworm in its final life stage, sighs a “Harrumph”, kicks with her back feet to tighten said and aforementioned cocoon, and sleeps like a baby.
“I keep telling you to put a phone close. I was dreaming and almost caught the bunny rabbit when you roused me,” Squirt groused.
I didn’t bother a response because to respond would have caused me to miss my Gram’s call, and catch an additional load of crap.
“Happy New Year, you sexy old gas bag. How’s it hanging, Gram?” I love my grandmother in inexplicable ways.
“Don’t you be all sweetie pie talkin’ ta me, Mooner. Call yer fuckin’ mother an’ do it right pronto. She say’s ya ain’t call’t ‘er since Halloweenie an’ there’s a terrible cry shits ya need ta handle. Now you git,” and I was left with dial tone.
“Love you too,” I spoke to the dial tone, “and whatinthefuck is a ‘terrible cry shits’?”
I looked at the dogs and asked again. “Terrible cry shits?” The fractured English that spews from Gram’s maw can be unsettling, but does, however, provide the mental gymnastics that lubricates my brain. I’m told that keeping mentally fit stays off the terrible effects of dementia, a malady that has already struck my bloodlines.
“Oooooooh. Crisis. Mother has a terrible crisis,” I said with not a small amount of pride.
My mother is a batty old broad now living in an advanced living facility who suffers from advancing Alzheimer-linked dementia. I call her at least daily and she sometimes forgets but mostly pretends that I, as she would say it, “Never calls me. Mooner never calls.”
I hit auto-dial to ring Mother’s apartment. She must have had her hand on the phone because the first ring didn’t complete its tone before I heard a clipped, “What took you so long?”
Me: “What’s up, Mother. Gram tells me that there is something terribly wrong.”
Mother: “I wouldn’t need your grandmother as an intermediary if you would simply call me every month, or so.”
Me: “I called you what is now, maybe, seven hours ago, Mother. Don’t you remember that you told me that Mr. Rosenthal kissed you and tried to get you to hold his pecker for him when he pees?”
Seems poor old Mr. Rosenthal has the shakes so bad that he waters the entire bathroom when peeing. Me, I’m thinking of using Mr. Rosenthal’s pick-up line. “Pardon me, young lady, would you mind helping me a moment?” My personal solution for missing the commode and also as a water conservation program, is to pee in the sink.
My sinks, your sinks and their sinks.
Mother: “Listen to me, Butcher Einstein Johnson, and listen good. There’s a diabolical plot hatched by that African Muslim president of yours to sabotage the Catholic Church. We’ve got to stop him!”
Me: Huh? What in the world is she talking about? “Mother, for starters President Obama is not a Muslim or an African, and for finishers, what in God’s name are you talking about?”
Mother: “You know, Mooner. You’re one of the conspirators. Mr. Beck told us all about how you people have tricked those poor Cardinals into electing a communist as Pope.”
Me: “Oh, for shitsake, Mother.” I started laughing.
Mother: “Don’t mock me, boy!”
Me, feeling full of piss and vinegar: “I heard a joke the other night. God and Saint Peter are sitting up to Heaven, bored out of their gourds. ‘It’s been centuries since we had any fun,’ Peter said, ‘let’s go to Venus and hit a few bars.’
‘Too hot on Venus,’ God tells him, ‘I don’t much care for all that heat.
‘OK, then, let’s go to Mars instead.’
‘No,’ God says, ‘too cold there. Makes my bones ache.’
‘What about Earth?’ Peter suggests.’Earth has the perfect climate.’
‘Very bad idea, Peter. I went to earth a couple thousand years ago—dated this nice Jewish girl for a short time—and people just won’t stop talking about it.’”
After a long pause, Mother: “You’ll burn in Hell, Mooner. I’ll see to it!”
Me: “OK. I’ll change my will to have some marshmallows placed in my casket.”
Mother: “You’ll pay for your heresy,” and she slammed her phone in my ear.
Me, I was feeling pretty satisfied with myself, but I might have been the only one. “You can be such an asshole, “ Squirt told me. “Why do you always feel the need to stir your mother’s pot?”
In retrospect, why indeed? I’m plenty assertive with Mother, so there is no need to be passively aggressive with her. I’ll never get her to see the world any way other than from the right-wing, conservative Christian view, and I’ll never be one of those assholes. I picked up the phone and hit the redial:
My telephone: “Ring…ring…ring…ring…ring…ring…”
Mother’s phone: “Beeeeeep. (pause) Mrs. Johnson is away from her phone. Fine Christian callers may leave a courteous message after the tone. Mooner Johnson can go straight to Hell. Beeeep.”
Me, to the machine: “That is stunningly brilliant, Mother. I’m booking my passage to Hell. See you there.”
I remain flummoxed at the Christian right faction of the American fabric. There exists enough dichotomies contained in their logic to make a schizophrenic feel organized and also to make my head swim. Imagine what a devout Catholic must be going through right now.
Warms my heart. Fuck Walmart, y’all.