Archive for the ‘Self Reflection’ Category

Think, Thinked, Thunk, Thunked; Literary Devices Of The Insane

Monday, June 27th, 2016

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!

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Is It Too Late To Be A Better Man? Depends

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

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!

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