A Good Day, Good Friday

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Were tomorrow Friday, my thoughts might be somewhat more relevant and my posting, timely. I apologize for my internal clock which has newly changed batteries and yet seems to be skipping beats to make a point.

The best of Friday felicitations from the sandbox, my friends. For some of you, tomorrow is a reflective holy day, a solemn step toward pending joy.

For others, the day becomes a euphemism as the start of a process, an ultimate new beginning, a resurrection if you will. For most of us, it will be a Good Friday indeed … regardless of its definition or intent.

And for an unlucky few, the day becomes unfortunate and simply a day of thus-pegged and rather pixilated irony.

However you may interpret, plan, or simply allow your day to unfold, may it be what you want it to be. And, more importantly, what ever you NEED it to be.

One lone Friday is but one day. 
I will spend my day in my own manner. I shall pay silent homage to Easters past and those folk who anxiously laid my foundation, and its many subsequent refurbishes.

Henry and I will revel in the brilliant relationships that grace my life today.
 It is those connections that fuel my soul, give me hope, and define my humanity. They also keep me stocked in sweet iced tea, okra pickles, and fresh pineapple.

My soul, my hope, and my humanity (as I humbly understand them) are going to make the most of the day and I shall call it a good Friday.

There is no such measure of time that is “JUST” a day. All days have measure and worth. Believe that!

What ya think, Lillian? Dark chocolate “peanut butter” truffles? Fruit-shaped marzipan? Jelly Bellies?

Doctor’s orders!

(Image: “The Last Supper” by Adam Lister, 2014.)

Naomi’s Winter Holiday Cut Short

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Conventional wisdom suggests that one doesn’t wear diaphanous dresses in late February. Such heady credos also advise keeping the French doors closed, keeping the chill at bay and the little ones a-foot.

But it was Paris and Naomi was intoxicated by the view of the Eiffel Tower and the sweet and pungent bouquet that wafted up from the bistro below.

Naomi was relaxed. The city was guided by the Gods of love, not by any lifeless rhetoric of staid and sober jargon.

Besides, Jean-Guy’s four year old nephew had that unfortunate accident with the railing yesterday. One gloomy day was entirely enough! Was it finally time to play tourist and go to the Moulin Rouge?

What a drag it is being sensible. Salut.

(Image: “Love’s Awakening” by Louis Icart, 1933.)

The Rub

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Sometime this morning, while in my deepest slumber, I dreamt that I was in Hell. Specifically, I was sitting alone in the waiting room. Jon was nowhere in sight and I was trembling in panic. The point that I waited anxiously by myself is moot, however, since that common area only served one office: that of the administrative bureaucracy of Hell and its subsidiaries.

In other words, it was perhaps some sort of fiery version of human resources. It was not unlike that from when I worked for that century-old national concern with Richard and Hap. Prudence delivered me witnesses, although not the courage to name the transgressor.

Naturally, I looked around and didn’t recognize a soul, and I use that term loosely. The clock ticked and tocked with the pace of an anemic snail. Why, oh why did I complain so often while in my 50’s: “Why, oh why does time pass so rapidly?”

I completed all of my paperwork and sat for my identification picture. I shall never again take the DMV in vain.

At that point, the Hades Orientation Ambassador gathered me and perhaps a dozen others and urged us to look around, introduce ourselves, and read the brochures. I’ll never forget the host. She seemed over ten feet tall and looked not unlike the lovechild of Tanya Harding and Michelle Bachman. That is if they could actually copulate and conceive. Horrors.

In the rear of the room was a refreshment station. There were hundreds of incredible bottles of both red and white wines, enough to whip a oenophile into submission. The full-bodied lyrics of Châteaux Lafite Rothschild, Krug, and Pétrus danced in an unfolding melody as I realized that there was n’er a wine-tool in sight. Anywhere.

As I surveyed the room, on what would become a fruitless mission, I quickly glanced at the platters and chafing dishes that were teeming with welcome victuals. I swallowed my gasp when I realized the bounty of raisins, yogurt, cranberry jelly, raw broccoli, and Thousand Island Dressing that was before me.

Then again, it was Hell. I should’ve expected such disappointments.

After a few months, I was well aware of the expectations, routines, amenities (if any), and the litany of the unchangeable: meal times, recreation opportunities, and the mammoth squash of any hope or faith.

There was a television in my room. It received only one channel, a 24-hour “Three’s Company” network.

I also found an unexpected, elaborate sound system. The was one lone Björk CD and a single single (’45’): Donna Fargo’s “Happiest Girl in the Whole USA”.

Death had brought me a new life of fear, boredom, convention, and pain. I started obsessing over my many, many transgressions and beating my chest in a Catholic guilt-stirring fist. The newspaper caught my eye. At least there was something to read.

The lead story, written by Nobel prize-winning author Ann Coulter, began with a printable State of the Afterlife address by President Boehner. It never occurred to me what now seems obvious: He is indeed the Lord of the Flies.

Sacre Bleu. Life is Hell in Hell. Why was I the least bit surprised? The only topic ever discussed more often in bars and pubs involved theories regarding JFK’s assassination, the Warren Report, and life today had the President survived.

I was awakened by both Henry and Marigold licking my cheeks. The time was too unspeakable to even admit in polite conversation.

There was coffee already made and Jon was busy responding to comments made in his many news groups. Life is good.

There’s one Shakespearean chestnut that I’ll be wary of, at least for a while:
“To die, to sleep. To sleep, perchance to Dream.
Aye, there’s the rub, for in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil?”

(Image: “Le Safari Luminescent” by Émile Morel, 2009.)

Earth Angel, Earth Angel

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Recently, there seem to be several growing Angelic trends in this modern and Material World. Perhaps they stem from yet another sign of reluctance to intervene on another’s behalf and the ever-growing fear of the unexpected:

Stan the Angel puts on pants before he answers a plea.
Cupid now carries “easy to conceal” multi-purpose darts.
The Herald Angels sing in a whisper so as to not draw attention or wake a neighbor.
And sadly, in most instances, the word “Hallelujah” is often abbreviated.

(Image: “Eros” by Fran Recacha, 2013.)

Thursday’s Over-Thought, Out of Body, and In-Check Moments

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I have watched one too many episodes of either “The Walking Dead” or “American Horror Story”, or perhaps both. This afternoon I found myself in yet another desensitized posture when I stumbled upon this image. The realization was horrific.

My eyes were immediately drawn to the shadows of the supporting cast of marionettes and I at once thought: “Oh my God. Those poor, poor under-appreciated spawns of puppetry have taken their own lives!” Yes, I admit that my imagination immediately crossed over to its dark side. Could it be a not-so-jolly band of Disney characters committing suicide within the framework of animation’s emotional squalor?

Of course, I felt no remorse or embarrassment, even though Henry did give me a stare-down afterwards. The gross overexposure of those Disney-driven Menken-Ashman-Rice musicals have even left me with neither compassion nor empathy for those silly, yet tragic protagonists, Mrs Jumbo and Bambi.

I’ll give Dumbo’s mother credit. She came to her son’s defense when he was the victim of bullying. Unfortunately, she was shortly thereafter committed to a psychiatric ward. I believe she was Bi-Polar or maybe just teetering on the edge of a psychotic break. In any case, she was sadly misdiagnosed.

Oh my. There is an eerie foreshadowing here of a Disney comedy in the making. If only that Irish Absurdist Post-Modernist and French-draughting writer Samuel Beckett were alive today!

(Image: Pinocchio” by Gustav Tenggren, for Disney Studios, 1940.)

The Day’s Bounty of Hope, Cheer, and Friendship

This morning I was awake long before the neighborhood rooster was preening and strutting and greeting the dawn. He is easily the Town Crier for his harem and his merry band of waltzing cockerels.

My iced coffee was already in place on the table, near my chair, and close to the television. My Thursday displays all the indications that today, this very Thanksgiving, will be quiet and civilized.

Henry scoffs at my use of “civilized” since he and the two mollies are known to pace with wide, bright eyes. Those of you who are gifted with such creatures can attest that poultry is the “crack” in any proper or improper pride of pusses. I refer to their behavior as the feline “twist and shout”, although Jon swears it’s more like jonesing.

(Remember that prior to his retirement a few years back, Dr Markle was a therapist for dual-addicted homeless individuals. His clinician persona seizes the reins at a mere mention.)

The bottom line is that all of the merry mammals of Marklewood anticipate a tender and savory bird.

So, as I ponder the preparations that await my attention, I wanted to wish all of you a joyous day. May it be filled with laughter, music, camaraderie, and satisfying foods.

A smile is sneaking into the room. I am visualizing past celebrations, recalling details that make each one special. You best be spared any anecdotes of mishaps, odd recipes, or misbehaving guests.

Everyone should experience at least one raucous gathering and one, dignified. We all need benchmarks for reasons we’ll explore at a later date. Perhaps, we’ll attempt that in 2015.

For now, I just want to thank everyone for supporting Tartuffe’s Folly. Many of you even followed from our previous home on the now defunct and Twitter-dismantled Posterous. My navigation of such networking can be rather oddly threaded, if not obsessive.

Celebrate. Be kind. Be reflective. Be appreciative. And phone those loved ones who are absent or with whom a re-connection is past due. I will.

(Images: Assorted still lifes by Spanish artist and photographer Leticia Felgueroso.)
http://www.letitiafelgueroso.com

An Ultramarine Butterfly Sleeps in My Pocket


When I came across this terrific series by Australian artist, photographer, and activist Stephanie Valentin, fancy’s flight took me back to my years in grade school. My mother had many framed butterfly “boxes” in what I thought was a gallery, but was actually my parents’ bedroom. I was always dazzled by the ethereal nature of the tiny creatures which I had once thought were akin to fairies. The dedicated wall seemed to be almost animated with an iridescent and rich cobalt blue. Legend, urban and otherwise, had it that my maternal grandmother had brought the shadow boxes home from work in the 50’s.

Dorothy had been an Assistant Curator at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. during her Post-War years. Oddly, it was then allowable and customary that some (but not many) of the donated or discovered artifacts might be placed on permanent display in private collections. Across the Metro area, she and her savvy co-employees became, thus, curators of discarded artwork, porcelains, books, and curiosities.

Gentle Readers, you can only begin to visualize my many gazes of wonderment when, upon visiting, the two of us would explore the drawers of her weathered chiffarobe, the walls of teeming bookcases, or the unexpected and forgotten crawlspaces that only I might find. What a glisten and gleam my curiosity’s unlikely honor medal would receive in that cottage overlooking the Potomac River!

Before I ever experienced the blush of puberty’s angst, I too had bedroom walls and shelves filled precious “things”! It would seem that “yours humbly” returned to N.C. with what’d be precious booty to a child.

On these Raleighwood days and Marklewood nights, however, my earliest recollections of visiting or, for that matter, my grandmother herself are usually stirred the sight of brilliant Lapis Lepidopteran. Such memories and their prompts are unwieldily and infrequent.

I still have a few of the items, my favorites being her many 1st Editions and a few pieces of British potter Clarice Cliff’s hand-painted and etched Art Deco gems. The books are dusty. If I scrutinize intently, the other items seem to be appointing every turn in the house that my beloved and I share … with our indoor cats: Henry, Claudja, and Hermione (as in Gingold, not Granger). Those moments, though, are rare unless there’s a precious prompt, such as these fine pieces by Stephanie Valentin.

Tonight, I shall eagerly carry a butterfly in my ancient robe pocket.

(Images: “Ether Series”, Items No. 3,4, & 7″ by Stephanie Valentin, 2006.)

Callas at La Scala: Revealing the Myth’s Voice

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From the countless quotation opportunities that Maria Callas (1923-1977) enjoyed, her hunger for an honest and provocative interpretation is quite evident if not “stuck” in some wallow of overly analytical and emotional deconstruction. It would seem, often, that Callas both invited and defied any exploration of either her style or intent. Her colleagues quickly agree:

John Ardoin:
“I don’t think she always understood what she did or why she did it. She usually had a tremendous affect on audiences and on people. But it was not something she could always live with gracefully or happily.
I once said to her “It must be a very enviable thing to be Maria Callas.” And she said, “No, it’s a very terrible thing to be Maria Callas, because it’s a question of trying to understand something you can never really understand.” She couldn’t really explain what she did. It was all done by instinct. It was something embedded deep within her.

Martina Arroya:
“I adored this lady, and I respected her work ethic. She always wanted to improve her understanding of a piece. ‘Casta Diva’, for instance, what interested me most was how she gave both the runs and the cadenzas words.”

Cecilia Bartoli:
“Maria Callas remains an icon with an instantly recognizable voice. But she was also the first opera singer to be equipped with the ingredients of international celebrity: charisma, glamour, wealth, she had it all, together with the touches of scandal and tragedy that made her story so compelling. Since her time, every female opera singer has been measured against this powerful role model.

“Callas modernized our metier. Her life was a tireless creative search. She was one of the first to recognize the importance of being an actress as well as a singer, and was uncompromising in her belief that, in order to achieve a complete dramatic performance, all aspects of the operatic genre require equal attention. She was a pioneer in restoring forgotten repertoire and in exploring new ways of musical interpretation. To this day, I find that many of her exemplary recordings are astounding.”

Leonard Bernstein:
“Callas? She was pure electricity.”

Carlo Berganzi:
“Callas studied the text, the meaning of the words, and as a result, she became a diva. She became the Great Callas. Because she studied the character, she entered the mind of the character, and she brought the character to life onstage.”

Leyla Gencer;
“Maria had in her blood, in her veins, in her subconscious all the tradition of the Greek Tragedy. She was born that way. In fact, she had her best time during 10 years. That was very short. But the “Myth of La Callas” will continue for ever, because she did so much! She was a magnetic force on stage, the others didn’t exist anymore. It’s a gift of Nature, a gift of God. It’s a talent, a great talent.”

Franco Zeffirelli:
“The magic of a Callas is a quality few artists have, something special, something different. There are many very good artists, but very few who have that sixth sense, the additional, the plus quality. It is something which lifts them from the ground: they become like semi-gods. She had it. Nureyev has it, [Laurence] Olivier.”

Naturally, Henry and I could volley and banter impressions of her style, intensity, and the academic follow-through of each role. But that would diminish her legacy a bit. As with a fine Montrachet, any attempt at appreciation need be a full grasp of the naturals well as the core of the music’s essence.

Henry’s words unfurl at the most thoughtful of paces. On the other hand, I tend to release any clutched response with hesitation and the steadiest of discern. And of course, I shall sit back, absorb, and then marvel at both Callas’ ease and strength. And at both her natural and effortless complexity.

Viva la Diva. Viva la Diva. It is indeed story time.

(Images: Renderings from Ms Callas’ rare and historic appearances in the mid-70’s: lavish costumes, for example.)

Ah, ‘Tis the Noblest of All Humps

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“Fish die belly upward, and rise to the surface. It is their way of falling.” (Andre Gide)

Hump Day. I hadn’t heard reference to that naughty, innuendo-laden term in many a year. That is, until I took residence at the rather social Media Mews located at Seven Facebook Park Plaza. Now, each Wednesday, I see myriad status updates make mention thus. Some are meant and met with regret; others with stress, relief, or reluctant exuberance. But, in any case, we are meant to smile.

Some folks who either work the “odd” week or seek any work at all, feel a sympathetic hump, experiencing similar Psycho-Social symptoms, akin to their fully engaged counterparts. Others diligently apparently use it as both goal and benchmark.

What of those worker bees who work a ten day stretch? Do they feel a mightier hump?
Similiarly, do those that work a “two days on, one day off” schedule, enjoy a rhythmic pattern of quick and intermittent drill-like humps? Does such a “hump” become standard and thus less enjoyable, perhaps with no longer a pumped hump, if you will. Does frequency indeed lend contempt? I want to swim away today’s precious hours until our gills have impacted our buoyant and elusive rate.

Do we vacation, break, and then retire from the hump altogether? Or are we destined to simply giggle each as we honor each humps of recollections of those of our shiny, happy and foremost innocent pubescence?

What of those jittery individuals who work part-time, unable to finish neither sentence3 nor gesture sentence, Do they experience “Humpus Interruptus”?

The “rhetorical” hump is the revived euphemism of yore that has resurfaced and continues to confound me. I wallow in such endless midweek queries.The only certainty is that of unknowing.

I best shun the familiar hump and set my sights on Thursday. Both Scarlet and the Cure would eye each other, size ’em up, and nod in agreement. These are simply days. Although we are unable to toast the “mid-week” in unison, we all collectively share in the experience that is “tomorrow”!

Instead, let us resolve the “humping” for the wondrous creatures of the planet’s noble Animal Kingdom. They know no divisions of time or week, but seem to nonetheless appreciate well the Art of the Hump but with far less hoopla and chaos! And, from what I’ve noticed in recent years, they seem to greatly enjoy such midweek pomp.

(Image: “Magica Lesson” by Michael Cheval, 2013)

The Boro’s Duchess

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That enterprising and clever Duchess of Alfie has devised yet another creative and multi-faceted foray. Don’t divulge this sweetest of confidences, but Her Most Serene and Benevolent Ladyship has unveiled floor plans for her Exceedingly Proper Yet Very Ironic Cat Snip and Day Spa.

Yes, it is indeed a mouthful, but so is her noble intent and that innate desire to pamper with pomp.

Where else could a world-weary Siamese have her claws buffed and yet manicured? Or a Maine coon with herbalescent fantasies get a stylish cut, tease, and upsweep? Or an ethereal, yet gentrified calico get a much needed post-natal massage and oil rub?

Milady’s facilities will surely have a tony milk bar as befitting any such Salon de Puss, so I rather expect absinthe, chartreuse, and port-ed alternatives. Mind, you such a woman of peerage is well aware that appreciation of all treats indulgent is at first a feline whimsy, not human as once thought.

Patrons will partake of choice salmon finger sandwiches, sushi, fried chicken, and premium dried foods (for the older, more restricted, and less daring appetites).

I suspect that Blenheim Palace will house such a venture splendidly, as each stone, plank, and ballast will be lovingly transported and re-assembled on sandbox acreage, just beyond Marklewood. Hermione and Claudia negotiated such a monumental deal as they wish to be clients and made clever use of their own inside connections.

Naturally, the now “former” and vast grounds of the Duchess’ Cotswold estate will be vacant and, according to my sly and eavesdropping pusses, is being graciously donated to Facebook for its new Facebook Center for Free Speech, Customer Service, and Propriety.

I suspect it will be the United Kingdom’s largest employer before long, and finally appreciative and respective of the “art” of the mighty nipple!

Some of you, my friends, may notice the unusual spelling of the Duchess’ title. She assuredly and most definitely gave the “ugh” away years ago in a moment’s revelation and enlightenment. Her own pusses know such evangelical awareness as they oft cite Rilke, Camus, and Proust … as best they can with their distinctive, yet conflicting vocabulary and speech patterns. Of course, it is the intent and satisfaction of such betterment that indeed matter, at the tail’s end.

And what of that naughty and outspoken Duchess of Malfi? She is a fictional character, I assure you, intent on purveying honorable intentions on the high seas. Further, she has never been an alter ego of our faithful sandbox cohort … although he might secretly be fond of such adornment and “status”.

Ahhh, Milady sighs. “Perhaps, I do like it more now that we’re a cheese and not just a shire!”

(Image: “Coming Undone” by Ray Caesar, 2007.)

Collection Horloge de Mamie: An Affinity Gone Dreadfully Awry

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“When it’s three o’clock in New York, it’s still 1938 in London.” (Bette Midler)
Ever since I was a small child I have been fascinated with clocks, especially the decorative mantel variety. In a twisted manner, I always associated them with my great aunt Mamie. She was one of my grandmother’s three sisters and, like my grandmother, a blazing redhead for much longer than nature had ever intended. Mamie was beyond eccentric, having both married and divorced in 1931, and having never worked even one morning in her entire life.

Her house, near downtown DC, was filled with an extensive collection of odd clocks and timepieces. Of course, each was kept in perfect working order, obsessively cleaned and polished, and frequently rearranged at the collector’s whim. Unfortunately, the mechanisms were never set to a uniform time which, in the deep South, is often referred to as “God’s time”. Every few minutes and every hour on the hour, at least one would chime. This ever-so-definitive chorus of cacophony drowned out all attempts at conversation and made certain that our visits remained under an hour. I learned by age six to never even think of inquiring about the correct time.

I knew early on to never tell my mother about such visits. Dorothy was strictly forbidden to take me to visit Mamie which, in that constant mother/daughter power play, usually just served as a reminder. In early August and before I rejoined my parents in Chapel Hill, the two of us embarked on an arduous and complicated series of busses and a taxi ride. I learned to dread visiting Aunt Mamie although I was fascinated by her clocks and her tales of “life as a young girl” in Michigan, which often contradicted my grandmother’s own versions.

The last time I saw Mamie I was perhaps twelve years old, mind you she lived another fifteen years. I was, however, a rather orderly pubescent and could no longer tolerate the chaos. Not only was her clock collection approaching well over two hundred, but she had started rescuing stray dogs and puppies.

I was always relieved once we started out return trip. We never told my mother about the visits. And I can still see my grandmother shaking her head, with her red hair in a French twist under a cloche, and hear her stern assessment: “Mamie’d have a great deal more time if she’d only rid herself of all those clocks!”

Naturally, I find that collecting images of odd, grandly ornate, and just plain handsome clocks is not only more “budget appropriate”, but encourages a much more genteel decibel as well.

Oh yes. Londoners, please forgive me for my interjection of that awfully clever Midler quote. It was indeed hers to speak, and mine to grovel.
Forgive the title as well. The memories were so terrifying that I though French would sooth and ease the burns of such random nostalgia.

(Image: “Time Breaker” by Jacek Yurka

The Cousin of Gratuitous Humbleness

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“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.”
(Cecil Beaton’s wise words, at least to a Bohemian, imaginative, and unbridled man of 58)

That certainly sums up my own credo, in 25 words or more. I’ve lived in seven large cities, traveled quite a bit, and been fortunate enough to enjoy over 40 Broadway productions. Of course, I am now retired on disability and destined to be broke for perpetuity. I can no longer be behind a automobile wheel because, with no forewarning, I get dizzy and disoriented. I also lose my concentration mid-sentence and have a memory that becomes more spotted every day.

I’ve also had both the honor and pleasure to become friends with more than a few quirky individuals. They continue to enrich my understanding of the Universe, share their experiences, and nurture me as if I were family.

I am quite blessed and thankful.

(Image: Photograph of Lilyan Tashman & Cecil Beaton, 1930.)

Sunday Raises Its Hand

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How can a life be, in fact, still with the buzzing chaos that surrounds us?  On some Sundays, even those dizzying dreads must queue for attention here at Marklewood. We search even the nightstand drawers in the downstairs guest room for a playbill that transports us, a yellowed photograph that revives a lost moment, or an orphaned and ringless key. And on Sundays like today, we desperately seek a divine and layered chord bridging the chirps, the drizzle, and the creaks.

Denial must middle child to the elder Worry and much younger Avoidance, at least in terms of Jungian “birth order” disorder. A well-secured doormat contain the bickers and spars while the shrill screams, weighty gasps, and muffled sobs indeed escape. They wist through a keyhole or climb up to the transom and leap.

There never seems to be an answer, only new and more immediate questions. We juggle, toss, and bury. And by midday, start the rummage.

Of course, such a “still life” is never altogether fruitless. There is always an unbruised and luscious morsel to be yet discovered, plump with both nectar and ripe hope.

Perhaps that’s why I savor symmetry and season it with metaphors. And do so on such a rainy Sunday like today, admitted in my truest sot to voce.

(Image: “Still Life With Ego” by Samuel Bak, 2003.)

Welcome to My Dotage, Mrs. Sawyer

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Admission that one’s memory is fading, if not disintegrating, is perhaps one of the most challenging realities 0f getting older. Age, of course, refers to approaching or racing past the benchmark of sixty; suffering through a geriatric illness; or ability to get a “seniors” discount without presenting any identification. Naturally, all three apply in my case, although the third is an unfortunate perk. Memory loss itself was just never in the the plan.

As a child, my recall was always exceptional. School seemed to be a breeze, as I could always remember even the smallest of details from reading, listening, and watching. There was a history class in high school that contradicted my boast but, as they say in the South: ”that don’t make no never mind!” Nonetheless that only meant that I had to study and review if I were to get an A.

Music was always my passion. I anxiously would listen to Casey Kasem’s “American Top Forty” every week. Usually, after hearing the first few notes of a tune, I could share its name, the week that it peaked, and where it placed in the year-end rankings. I always hoped, however, that I might block from my grey matter any hits by Ann Murray, 1910 Fruitgum Company, and similar fare. Yes, the recent drama in the Kasem household is tragic and unfortunate.

When I entered the work force, I found that I could easily recall names, faces, addresses, and other details. If referred to, such information always put a client to ease as it subtly would stroke his/her ego. I often could mention what they were wearing when we met, but kept mum with that trivia. Most people usually found that a bit creepy and that it implied some sort of stalking or invasive file-keeping.

The gift of such an ability just made everyday life easier. Several employers though would always sarcastically (with a hint of cattiness) retort with something like: “it’ll be tragic and ironic when it ceases”.

Such reactions sealed my fate. I can no longer tell you: what I had for dinner last Tuesday, what I wore yesterday, or why I simply cannot place certain faces. Such deterioration is horrifying. Writing a blog post may require double the previous time and effort. I cower in conversation, on my cellphone or in person, with self-consciousness and anxiety. Most people never notice but I do, and must face it many times each day. Thank God that I can still shout out “Jeopardy” answers correctly and with decorum.

I realize that this condition affects most folks but I find it depressing, frustrating, and occasionally debilitating. It is what it is. I think.

If only we all had internal hard-drives with unlimited storage capability (and not with those silly “clouds!”). We could back-up all the details of our lives, giving meaning to statements such as “he/she has a mind like a computer”. My first grade teacher, Mrs. Sawyer, would likely agree. My memory frightened her.

In my case, the one exception may be when a nurse attaches a morphine drip to an IV. I can be oblivious and carefree. Just give me a “Law and Order” marathon and I am good to go. At least that is usually one of the few laughable situations when recounting a hospital stay … if I remember correctly.

Denial flourishes when I ponder this unfortunate stage in life.