Dawn’s Early Light

image
Long ago and once in Greensboro, I had a friend who had been trying desperately to quit smoking cigarettes. Dawn had tried everything! She tried yoga, hypnosis, various medications, and “low involvement” support groups.

What she wasn’t able to do, and this had always been her downfall, was muster even an iota of willpower or determination.

And then one evening, after a rather robust and fulfilling carnal romp with her husband, she lit a mighty Salem. She puffed away in a rather seductive manner as befitting the mood, focusing on lip expressions and smoke formations. Mind you, I wasn’t present and she confessed all to me the following day!

What she didn’t notice was that a cinder had strayed, landed on her sheet, and sparked a small fire. Before Dawn was aware of this errant ignition, the smolder had penetrated the sheet, the mattress cover, and finally the mattress itself.

Unfortunately, Miss Dawn and her dutiful hubby slept on a waterbed.

The burn ate through the synthetic casing just enough to weaken its fiber and, naturally, force a leak. A mighty geyser sprung forth … at that very moment. Dawn, in her rather dim yet charming manner, was rather relieved that the water extinguished any potential of further fire.

Of course, that was until she realized that the ashes had probably washed into the hallway. The weight of two bodies was further forcing water out with such pressure that, within moments, almost half of the mattress’ filler had been “evacuated”.

Dawn and her husband were on a king-sized island … about twenty feet from dry land.

That, my friends, was the day that Dawn knew she finally had to kick the nasty habit and quit smoking once and for all.

Mind you, Dawn’s sense of reason was not necessarily well-developed. After much forethought, she devised what seemed like the ideal solution … for her. She would simply smoke a joint whenever she craved a cigarette.

Of course, she wouldn’t sublimate ALL of her nicotine urges in this manner, just the excruciating ones that made her restless and perhaps a little bitchy.

Within a few days, she was smoking nine or ten such hand-rolled delights a day, including one in the morning as she enjoyed coffee and Jane Pauley’s banter. And yet another on the way to work, I am certain!

No one was actually the wiser, except for a few confidants who were privy to her new regimen. Dawn, remember, was already a kooky, rather pixilated woman with a very slow, very Southern drawl. What did change were some of her habits:

She once took rubber bands to her pant cuffs and made harem pants. Sadly, she wore these to her office and was thus admonished.

She lost her car in a shopping center parking lot, took a cab home, and ultimately infuriated her husband. Again, she was thus admonished.

And she started going to lunch at 9:30 each day. She likewise was taking her afternoon break by noon. She not only had gained fifteen pounds within a month, but she had created an endless cycle in which afternoons at work were simply Hell. And it was those times at which she really craved a cigarette.

Poor Dawn! Within a few months, she realized the folly of her strategy to quit smoking. She resumed that awful habit, normal lunch hours, and her previous lifestyle. She was quickly smoking over a pack a day again, having the last one right before going to sleep at night.

But when Dawn and her husband turned off the lights, they would cuddle in their new sleigh bed. Dawn found it finely fitted with a more traditional mattress system, a Serta pillow-top!

Dawn confided in me once that they actually slept more soundly, but that their carnal romps were much less robust than those atop the waterbed.

But she never feared such a flooding again!

And yes, Dawn did finally quit smoking … about a year later when she found that she was pregnant. She never again resumed the habit, at least according to local gossip and reports of the local fire volunteers.

That child is now in graduate school. And dear Dawn is president of a thriving software company.

She is also now fully aware that rubberbands are not appropriate accessories, and that harem pants are best worn behind closed and well-secured doors.

(Image: “Santa Maria” by Ray Caesar, 2007.)

Advertisements

A Fine Day for a Good Friday

imageWere 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.)

Hospital Hopping and Pondering Lent’s Bent

image
Thank you, everyone, for your kind prayers, generosity of spirit, encouragement, and altogether inclusive and heart-felt nurturing. They have all helped bolster my faith for those intense and scary days ahead.

Your wonderful cards, messages, and Facebook greetings have provided such a positive distraction at a time when I face certain fears and thoughts of mortality. I am humbled. I cherish greatly those moments in which I can “ditch that nagging little voice within” and simply frolic and make merry.

Oh yes. Let’s not forget the upbeat and zany responses on that other social network by Claire, Deb, Andrew, Elena, Suzanne, Twilla, Mitch, and Heidi. Forgive me for singling just a few folks. I just wanted you to know that I do indeed read all of the comments, emails, and private messages. It just tires me to write.

And then there’s that erstwhile Siri. My voice recognition cannot understand my squeaks and empty syllables. I constantly remind Siri to at least enroll in night classes at Miller-Motte or ECPI.

Shalom, friends, on this wintry and Carolina Blue Monday from 3702. Give my best to Lillian should she be at Bea’s Booking Bee.

(Image: “Tale à la Hoffmann” by Paul Klee, 1921.)

Holiday Bow Jobs: Supplies Not Included

adannn

I worked with a young designer once who, although she was incredibly gifted in matters of both design and detail, was rather innocent, naïve, and occasionally dim. I say that lovingly, matter-of-factly, and without the slightest iota of measurable judgment, I assure you.

Normally I would disguise her name as to protect her anonymity and honor, as well as shield myself from her scorn and revenge, but her very name is so apt in this situation that I shall no longer take the risk. I shall simply and most-fictionally refer to her as Beauxette. You, dear reader, may wonder most privately as to what proper given name could be so appropriate and quick to incite a blush.

One day at the office, Beauxette was preparing a holiday flier announcing her availability for home decoration and fluffing, as well her fee schedule to which she would gleefully add her hourly rate:

$75 to create a custom wreath (excluding materials); 
$250 to decorate a Christmas tree, or similar plantlife (again, excluding materials); 
$50 to create holiday flourishes intertwined in a chandelier; 
and $100 to create a seasonal mantle vignette (yep, excluding materials).

I think you get the picture, my friends. My friend offered a full-service holiday treatment for the home!

Needless to say, Beauxette knew her way around French ribbon and could tie an effulgent, gorgeous bow like no one I had ever or since met! Further, she adored Christmas and would certainly treat each assignment as if it were special and her only one … offering the job both uniqueness and full attention.

After completing her flier, she summoned me to proofread her rough draft, as I was the official grammarian at our firm. While she took a break, I corrected the few spelling errors, reformatted it a bit (perfectionisto that I am!), and started toying with various ideas for a better heading.

I had the naughtiest of epiphanies, if indeed there is such a mixed moment or sentiment. I typed in my fake title, with every intention of eventually returning to the project and creating a more suitable and tasteful banner!

I printed several copies and placed them on my coworkers’ desks, squelched any laughter, and awaited Beauxette’s return. She indeed joined me a few minutes later, read the “final” product, and was delighted: 
”Beauxette’s Bow Jobs”

She looked at me blankly as I finally let loose in an uproar that only could emanate from one as naughty as I! Oh my God: I was going to have to explain it to her! Reluctantly, I did. She was embarrassed, not because of any vulgarity but instead because it went right over her blonde, well-coiffed head!

She had no realization that she had fallen victim to (let’s say) the “aural” version of a trompe l’oeil moment.

Beauxette corrected the phrasing and we printed one hundred pristine tasteful copies of “Seasonal Stylings by Beauxette”.

She then hurriedly mailed them out, anticipating a flurry of responses, yet her efforts only yielded one such Christmas project. At least, it was for a full house of decorations, involving myriad rolls of festive ribbon and what must’ve been a mile of juniper garland. Beauxette did, however, share with me her reluctant irony in this matter. When she was finished, and her client was writing her a substantial check, she noticed her flier on the counter. As she approached it, she soon realized it was one of the original “gag” ones I had prepared. Neither she nor the client ever mentioned anything to each other about this most glaring of “errors”. She simply got in her car and came back to the office.

I, of course, was mortified: filled with mental images of humiliation, embarrassment, and tawdry discourse! Fortunately all was averted.

It seems as though Beauxette’s client was also innocent, naïve, and dim. In this case, I remark thus not-so-lovingly and perhaps indeed with a modicum of seasonal judgment!

“Beauxette’s Bow Jobs”. We all still smile about it, except for Beauxette of course. Then again, she was never fond of innuendo!

I think of my coworker often. That is especially true whenever I finish preparing a gift, with a particularly spectacular bow, with all its perfect and dramatic flourishes.

Don’t even go there, my friends! Don’t even look for the key to that filing cabinet!

(Image: “Red Ribbon” by David Stoupakis, 2006.)

With Neither Maize Nor Wattle

bal341676

I was reminiscing this afternoon and sharing with Henry my most memorable Thanksgivings. It was a broad task for sure. But I tried.

Best Food? 2001 at my sister’s. No one can best her Prime Rib and Brisket. And that year, we also had turkey and oysters and a lot of people.
I was extremely emotional because Michael died just a month earlier.

Most Fun Thanksgiving? 1989 at the house I shared with the anti-Christ. The day stands out because everybody was happy and mingled well. We had moved in two days earlier and I was up all night organizing all our new kitchen. The weather was perfect.

We danced, listened to music, hung out on the deck, and threw a frisbee with our sheepdog.
After folks started to leave, three particular friends, my sister and her husband each fixed a cocktail and secured a seat for ROUND 2.

Most Forgettable?  1974 at my mother’s. My Father insisted on coming over. They had divorced 8 months earlier and he was living in Dallas and in a relationship that he rekindled from 1951. He showed no interest in my sister’s first year in Middle School or my freshman year at UNC. As soon as our utensils were gathered on plates, Polly and I left. It was all just so wrong

Most exotic Thanksgiving? 1958 in DC, but my mother was in Minnesota where she worked for Eugene McCarthy.

Legend has it that my father invited all of his friends who were from Germany, Italy, Kenya, and other points in between. After cocktails, everyone went into the dining room to eat. I was sound asleep on the sofa in the livingroom.

I woke up at some point … and crawled and toddled all around the room. As I advanced I looked into each glass and ate the garnishes. I happily dined on mainly cherries from Manhattans and olives from Martinis. I also finished each drink.

When dinner was over, my father and guests returned to the livingroom and found me sound asleep. Okay. Okay. I had passed out on the previously mentioned sofa.

The rest of the day unfolded as one would expect. Yes, my mother was livid when my Father confessed about a month later.

Finally, my most earnest and better prioritized Thanksgiving? 2011. Jon was recovering from a life threatening illness and I had recently had yet another heart attack.

Life had quickly become fragile. Nonetheless, we celebrated our union and found that, yes, we actually could afford a leg of lamb.

It is now four years later. Jon is much better but ridden with ailments of being almost 70. I’m still waiting for a heart. Henry is almost 13. He is your typically lazy tom but would even “turn pussy tricks” if it meant an entire turkey slice might fall to the floor. Since I am “projecting” with this post, we’ll just say He hopes that the turkey slice cascade to the floor. And that Claudja and Hermione are watching some football game.

We will share Thanksgiving with: my sister and her gentleman suitor, my niece Sara and her husband, my niece Sophie and her husband, and my niece Aubrey. My sister’s ex-husband, his wife, and young son will join us.

I will not try to understand the unfortunate inclusion of the latter nor will I let it interfere with the joyous part of the day. It may very well be the last time we are all together.

I am confidant to assume that we’ve each already endured a questionable, perhaps grossly dysfunctional Thanksgiving.

“Receive” will thus be Thursday’s Groucho Marxist “Word of the Day”. (К сожалению об этом.) I intend the word “receive” to invoke that 70’s and 80’s serendipitous suggestion for welcoming a positive karma.  We’re nonetheless surely due for a Cohen-esque Perfect Day.

And if not? Groovy. Bring it on, My Friend. Bring it on.

(Image: “The Small Village Torzhok” by Konstantin Ivanovich Gorbatov, 1917.)

The Scent of a Virtual Memorial’s Roses

c44ef6604502bfbb1c0a274f1c477834

We always seem to come back to a problem that never has resolve or relief. How do we grieve for the loss of internet friends? Yes, I mean “death”. Yes, I mean folks whom we’ve never met in person but, through time, have become important. Yes, “we” is the collective of modern internet junkies who actually breathe deeply every know and then.

As in our “day to day”, hopefully extant, and certainly three-dimensional world, such sorrow can be debilitating. And it can be pesky: zapping us with a poignant, weepy, and charged bit of nostalgia.

For me, thoughts of departed friends and family can cascade from my memory right down to the table top. Slideshows of faces can stare back and almost challenge me to “go there” and face those losses that are still raw. Within moments thoughts and being begin throbbing with anger, guilt, and melancholia.

So today, I am thinking of three friends who have passed away in the past year or so, the deaths of whom I cannot seem to move past:

Karen G, who was always lyrical, witty, and certain to always react with kindness.
Scott B, who was a gruff, opinionated, and reactionary asshole. But he was an immensely loyal and enlightened egalitarian.
Farrah S, who was bedridden and spiraling into life’s painful denouement. We’d often talk for hours late at night, solving any and all conspiracy theories as well as predicting political trends.

Perhaps, my subconscious honors them by keeping those profiles valid in my heart. I usually reach the same conclusion each time. Such friends are unexpected and blessed gifts from the Universe.

This year, however, I realize that I am thankful for the time I did have with these friends. We shared joy. We poured our “melted” hearts out to each other and allowed ourselves a relationship without pretense.

I do believe that these three friends helped me grow up just a little more.

(Henry picked this Vuillard bouquet just for them.)

I’m Reviewing the Situation: Which Way, the Query?

10849708_10205930240602137_1143306128_o

I feel as though I should take September’s advice and look for those ageless life-reassuring sophomore’s books, and if I’m spent on such, step to “reaffirming” my quiet second look.
Life re-assuring is a calm, steady breeze;
Oh, your calm voice and gentle touch at once make gentle a “hard lesson”.

Life-reassuring is the denouement within Mr Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes latest venture; on which to “drag aboard” a bloody drip and a better grip.
Life-reassuring is the last question on an assessment test; in a non-related Human Resources Department.
Life-reassuring is its answer, my pencil down far; too quickly.
Life-reassuring is sharing my brood in a never-ending first scene of a novel; yet put to words.

But I digress. Take my Promethean demeanor straight to bed. Take two metaphors and call me in the morning. I’ll tell you what to do.

(Image: “Reading at the Sea” by Vittorio Matteo Corcos, 1910.)

Dash My Wig and Bitch the Pot, Eugenia

Desiderio-interpretation-of-color

On my nightstand in a stack of books, you’d find Bierce’s “Devil’s Dictionary” along with unmentionables, and a book of short stories by the Algonquin maven herself, a Most Real Dorothy. They’re both dusty from neglect with tiny paw prints forming swirls and arcs upon them. I am saving all of my modern era reading to the many months of anticipated convalescence at UNC. I will put that license to procrastinate in my wallet.

I refuse to be bored. I refuse to be lonely. I refuse to feel guilty.

Although I haven’t a clue as to when this might transpire, I am none-the-less reclaiming that time as mine. I’ll use that time in any way that I want: wisely, foolishly, or just gazing out a window and pondering. While it may very well be mentally exhausting to dissect and deconstruct my family’s dysfunctional legacy, it is still by my choice. I am cranky and cantankerous that way, not unlike Mr Bierce, were he in St Louis and if the air were permeated and thick from the Mississippi’s fragrant steam.

Crank is as cranky does. Aye aye, Ambrose, I challenge thee to a rather literate bitch-fest. We, as in you and I, can both reach into our bags of curmudgeonly metaphors and musty malapropisms. You have your “Devil’s Dictionary”, the Satan of which has yet to be authenticated. I can cite snippets and quips from J. Redding Ware’s “Passing English of the Victorian era, a Dictionary of Heterodox English, Slang and Phrase”. Whenever the mysterious Mr Ware found himself in a jovial way, he simply referred to himself as Andrew Forrester.

But I digress as surely both Bierce and Ware would as they too enjoyed the art of pondering. Bierce was British, a bit foppish, and five years quicker to rush such a compendium to print. Neither men, however, ever saw such a print, Mr W in 1909 and Mr B in 1914. We could suggest that the two books were both compiled from notes and then printed posthumously. With American writer and occasional bon vivant Bierce, we never really knew: he disappeared along with the world’s innocence. The Great War was demanding a forum for global communication and  a feverish media. Ferdinand made that so. Economics, politics, fashion, and transportation all followed suit, each in its own time.

All of that said, I too admittedly relish rate both wicked and caustic wordplay. Obviously I’d benefit from having read both books, having compared the implied unfold of Dandyisms, and from looking for shared lexicons. I’d also have computers and applications to do my bidding, without so much as a name. Even a century ago, a first name immediately gave the bearer a responsibility and a humanity.

It oddly would at once denote the gentility of a hard drive and a playful fondness for feeding obsessions their due.

(“Dashing My wig” = exclamation like “Fiddle-Dee-Dee” or “Egads!”); “Bitching the pot” = “pouring the tea!”)

Methinks I best go out and tickle my innards.

(Image: “Interpretation of Color” by Vincent Desiderio, 1997.)

Acceptance Seems to Suit Me

Untitled-thinker

Young Man, it’s beginning to look as though we made it. The ideal lover must’ve skipped a few decades. I found him waiting for me when I neared fifty.

I no longer remember the litany of traits that he absolutely had to possess. Nor  do I recognize the unshaven, long-haired man who sternly looks back at me when I blow the dust off my razor.

Those previous relationships did little to prepare us. That’d be doubly so if the scorekeeper knew that my mind’s eye no longer compares or ranks or bandies the random regret around the sunroom.

Love gave my decades their Smiling Faces.

As he listens to NPR in the next room, my Beloved is wailing, albeit internally: “Oh, woe is me!” or “Oh, woe is he!” The over-enunciated names, the coy smiles, the romantic affectations no longer matter.

The anti-Christ is unable to fill my water glass with that delightful and most Southern of familial combinations. Guilt. Fear. Desperation. Dread. Emptiness. Of course, those feelings linger. I reckon that they always will. They, however and hardly ever, grab a chair and bully me with unspoken intentions.

My heart has reclaimed all of those well-intended moments from that ever-so-sweet sweet Icelandic boy.

The bigger, more boastful loves need neither resolution nor amends. The players are gone, having packed up the world before today and, perhaps, stacked boxes inside one of those millennial “Pods”. I don’t care. I can’t care

My heart only has room for today. And I’ve already given Jon any “Power of Eternity”.

I am ready for the ceremony and its pomp-less jubilee.

That would, of course, refer to both my pre-transplant and my post-transplant hearts and my ability to call them up for circumstance.

Young Man, save a seat for me near the front. Acceptance

(Image: “Untitled [Thinker]” by Esao Andrews, 2006.)

Do you, Jonathan Howard, Take Yours Truly?

image

Days are often long, lonely, sweltering spans of time. Others pass with the wear of a moment. In the past few years, My beloved and I have yielded to both, fretting in fear and cowering in some intimate anticipation.

Our separate lives and the one we share will hopefully endure the bloodied sutures of this harrowing unfold of divine operations. I plan on it. Henry plans on it. Jon is an unrepentent skeptic and relies on my plans. I dare you to quote Mr Burns or Mr Murphy.

Now together for almost fourteen years, we have had quite a few candid discussions about marriage. Yes, beachside nuptials are an option for the two of us. But my generation has fought most often and harder for equal rights, not really marriage.

As it is, the topic is perfect for the occasional shared breakfast. We can obsess and brainstorm “ad infinitem” and then retreat to our upstairs/downstairs separate worlds. I can stretch out in my chair to ponder while Jon props up his legs and meditates with the hummingbirds.

Fourteen full years later, we are no closer to a decision. Perhaps you have advice, Gentle Reader. We must consider inheritance, rights of survivorship, and income taxes. We both worry about the other and his coping skills.

For me, it’s a triple wham of a notion. Southerner that I am, the whole process of finances are just not mentioned. We are both aging co-dependents who make acquiescence seem an artform. I am from an extremely liberal and Bohemian Catholic family. Jon grew up among mid-Western “Southern Baptist ” evangelical types.

Do we marry? Do we simply create indisputable legal documents? We both have sisters who’d likely not dispute anything whatsoever. I have, however, heard that declaration before and seen it throw a grieving mate into the inlaw fury from Hell.

So as this is Friday and “just a day”, please advise me. My mind’s eye debates in gray tones. Do Jon and I just ride out our dotage? Or do we create a magnificent moment?

The Fresh Producers: That’s My Watermelon

imageToday was such a perfect August day, one of Lou Reed perfection. At least I think so. It’s been many years since such a Marklewood Sunday peeked at us from the East. And then, upon a positive evaluation, the day opened its eyes from the squint.

My sister Polly and I had a good, old-fashioned “Shelling for Jesus” day.  We shelled two pounds of field peas, cooked them, and took note. We sautéed onions, added a package of my most favorite spicy sausage, and slowly combined the field peas.

You have absolutely no idea, Oh Gentle Reader and Generous Chef. All but a cupful fied into a hand-crafted turquoise tureen. There is a-plenty.

For the rest of the afternoon, we organized and prepped all the produce that easily filled two shelves: squash, honeydews, canteloups, peaches, berries. Polly sliced two watermelons into manageable pieces on which a melon freak might get a little crazy.

For my part, I made a simple scored-cucumber salad with vidalias and balsamic vinegar. My sister cooked ten ears of corn and then sliced the kernels right into some storage piece.

I sliced fresh jalapeños and stirred the slices into two cups of my favorite mayonaise. For those of you who do not live in the US, let me forewarn you. Southerners, if not consumers from all of the continental sbouncerstates, enjoy a rite of passage into culinary adulthood. Most folks seem to have lifelong selections for their “favorite” non-boutique mayonaise, ketchup, mustard, cola. In my case, a nosy guest might find Hellman’s, Heinz, Guldens, and Pepsi.

While there are many, many soft drinks with both many variations and fields of fans, I’m afraid that such a summit would never be a calm, civil display via Roberts Rules or behemoth bouncers.

I swear on the memories of Boar & Castle Drive In, years of transgression therapies have been unproductive. The best kitchen controls are high, broil, and anarchy-fueled domestic dictatorships.

By 5:30 pm, all the produce was washed, sliced, and bagged. Wherever appropriate foods were cooked, we secured the perfect size storage tureens.

We chatted, planned another such afternoon, and just passed away these suggestive dog days. No time had passed in the five years since we had a healthy interrupted visit.

I was so ready. I was so hungry. Eating healthily is its own revenge, eh Emily?

May your dreams tonight be as sweet as fresh Candor peaches!

Shalom. Bon apetit.

(Image: by Kevin Sloan.)

She Must’ve Gotten Waylaid Against the Wayward Wind

image

Finally! I have stumbled upon the Red Meat Fairy. Although she’s known by so many personas, I call her Delmonica. Before I Continue, I must shamefully  apologize to you, Gentle Reader,  and that wisp of a worn wailer, our Ms Grant.

Tomorrow, my beloved and I meet with what seems like the transplant team of the United Federation of Planets. I am weary of the drama. Quite literally, I might add.

However, I am confident that the results will be amenable to all parties, in this case “Vlad”, my former trivia contest handle. I learned many things from those marathon triviathons of yesteryear. I am much more competitive than I ever imagined. Further, I met Vlad who schooled me in the art and value of being incognito.

Unlike me, Jon is less confident about tomorrow’s summit. He’s a reluctant, silver-haired fretter of Edwardian proportion. At least he is fired up and focused. Seeing begets believing. Believing begets joy and melody.

And celebration may just warrant an obnoxiously thick steak grilled rare. That sassy and elusive Red Meat Fairy has dangled it to rouse my spirits.

So I will catch up with you, my friend, on the other side of Friday. Keep your fingers firmly crossed, please. I just want closure and a hasty return to my crest on the transplant list.

The background music fades.

Pray for us singers, eh Gogi?

Shalom.

(Image: “Meat Dancer” by Mark Ryden, 2011.)

Time is More Than an Alan Parsons Song,

image
Time waits for no man, and it certainly never has for me. I ponder its diminish and gain in importance. It frustrates me. It scares me. It humbles me.

The Universe owes me nothing but hope, the “walk-away” of Divine interventions. Yes, hope is still mine although, increasingly, less visible and less called to the game.

The universe owes me nothing. It would be foolish, ignorant, and arrogant to suggest that it does.

I must own my recidivism. Yes, that is the very recidivism that a university professor once accused me of using as a bartering tool. Not that he accused me of not achieving. As he suggested by his demeanor:

My dedication, motivation, confidence, and compliance would soon erode and eat away at each other. At least that’s what Dr McC indeed suggested.

That damning prognosis perhaps went self-concluded. Today time seems just beyond my grasp.

Okay. Okay. I’ll sneak in through the Jail’s side door, mind you, directly or otherwise. My pace, these days, is mine.

Those salad days of gray-less ways. The briefest of reminiscence evokes a chuckle. There was once a time when time itself seemed more important that any we’d ever encounter. Twilight days of love, lolligagging, looking to our periphery, and unlocking the secrets of the past … they were certainly deferred to the yes-so-distant future.

We’d savor that luxury and toast the clock, don’t you think, Hope, Vicki, Doug, Charlie, and Albert? Yours was a friendship destined to be the one to endure and survive. But it didn’t.

The Universe’s joke is on ME once again. Life back then, at least as we knew it, was frothy and airy.

It is today that brings with it all the trials of yesteryear. The challenge is head on and the resulting decisions, critical.

Some days, I wonder. When did life get so difficult? When did time become the most precious of commodities?

Yikes! I best begin the hunt for a walking stick.

(Image: “Through the Time” By Gyuri Lohmuller, 2013.),

Skipping Along Moon River’s Banks

54f6670155775.preview-620

I love women. As a gay man, I might foolishly offer generalizations seemingly due the “fairer” sex. Wiser, more compassionate, fairer, kinder, more loyal, less uptight, more nurturing … Hell, they present a more appropriate creativity with the palette that is “style”.

Of course, all of that is seeded from childhood when we first realize that the mother/son or father/daughter paradigms are correct: both primal and essential to survival.

Most menfolk are attracted to a certain type of woman. In my case, Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly is sublime and non pareil. The resulting ideal is bold, yet innocent.

Without my trademark “gilding the lily”, probably another 748 adjectives apply, as most of us have pondered this several times.

The Universe has indulged me often. As an adult, I’ve worked with Liana H, Anna K, Julie H, and Carol H just to point out a few.

Liana and I worked together in Washington, DC. One day she came in wearing a smart Chanelish suit, wig, and pillbox hat. It was the only subject of conversation for days. I think most of us would like to have such confidence in paying homage.

Sixteen- year old Julie was an employee in Chicago. She treated all of life as a genre of art. And she was its impresario-in-waiting. I was 28 and considered taking her to my 10th high school reunion. I cautiously passed on the event, not wanting to even lightly spark mention of the inappropriateness of the age difference. She was, however, quite game.

The other two are from my days in Greensboro. Anna was stunning and, oddly, exotic for a doe-eyed, pierced, and Southern “ginger-ette”. During a horrific time of my life, she was the only person I felt could handle the rawness of exposing her innocence to the sadness, grief, panic, and total uncertainty that defined my world in 2001.

My partner was rapidly deteriorating from Progressive Multi-Focal Leukoencephalopathy or PML. Please google it. It is far too difficult to verbalize and explain the disease and its rapid spiral into anguish.

Anna brought smiles and compassion to a still household paralyzed with the anticipation of death.

Lastly, Carol is the epitome of a Bohemian, intrepid, and kind grandmotherly photographer. I shall be brief.

In the late 90’s, she took a rather extensive body of artful nude pictures of me. Actually, I was “nekkid”. In one shot my jeans were bunched at my ankles while I wore a mushroom-brown fedora. It was titillating, well for me. There wasn’t the slightest reveal of genitalia. We did, though, exhaust ways of draping a duvet without adventuring into a lurid and unseemly nadir.

But I obsess.

What started as a goofy albeit private moment of “Georgy Girl” flashbacks took a shower, dressed in something sensible and Head-like, and turned on Liam, my iPod. Of course, such MP3 players all aim to mature into moderately flashy and trendy timepiece.

The playlist was a “no brainer”: gems from the Zombies, Lou Reed & the Velvet Underground, the Poppy Family, Timi Yuro, and the Ronettes. Add four or five classic Led Zeppelin and the Who tunes and select shuffle. Then pay homage to inspired M.R. covers by Katie Melua, the Honey Trees, Elton John, and the Birds & the Bees.

Such a late afternoon soundtrack would lead to Mancini mayhem of the Mid-Century ilk.

Holly would’ve loved it. With Cat soundly lap napping.

(Image: “Curved Light of the Night” by Kobayakawa Kiyoshi, 1932.)