About Peter Sanford Kahrmann

Writer, disability rights advocate, civil rights advocate.

Smerkle In The House With Two Points To Make

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For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Smerkle Grumpy. Known Peter all his life. I wrote words here before. Been too long since my man Peter gave over the pen to me. I told him just that, to be sure. We hugged. We’re cool.

Now, I am no journalist. I am a being that says what he wants, straight out. I try to stay in the borders of decency and such, but not always. The thing is, there’s a bunch of wickedness out there now. Peter’s a good man, but his words are too polite. He knows I am not as polite as he is, but he said my voice might be needed these days and so he said I could pick two points I want to make, and go for it. So here goes the first point.

If you support the orange American Grand Dragon in the White House, you know damned well you’re supporting a racist and a sexual predator. Does that really mean you’d be just fine about it if he grabbed your wife or daughter, sister, or your mother, by her privates? If you are just fine with that, a sick puppy and you might want to think counseling. Some shit. But get well, for fuck’s sake.

One thing; you can’t support this beast, and act like you’re not supporting, racism, bigotry for all but white and wealthy men, sexual predators, and Trump’s homeboy, Vladimir Putin.

Okay, that’s the first point.  So here comes the second.

I think my imagination knows pretty much verbatim a conversation me and Televangelist Pastor Paula White would have.

Pastor White, born Paula Michelle Furr in Tupelo, Mississippi, is a spiritual advisor to President Donald J. Trump. She has also had a bucket-load of cosmetic surgery on her face. It’s heartbreaking to see. It looks like the poor woman’s beginning to melt, if you ask me.

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Now, this White lady – well don’t that beat all – has a ministry. She knows how to preach, in front of audience and camera. She thumps the bible with the best of them. Can’t you just hear our conversation? Listen. I mean, if I said, “Pastor White, would you agree God created us? That we are created in God’s image?”

She would say something like “Yes, I do,” or maybe, “That is what the bible tells us.”

I would continue. “And we’d agree, would we not, that what God creates, for each of us, is, at its core, is perfection in all ways. That it is up to us to shed ourselves of sin, and recognize the gifts God has given us?”

“Oh, yes. That is absolutely true.”

“We’d agree that God’s creations need no improvement?”

“We’d agree.”

“Then here’s my question. How’d on earth did he fuck up your face? How is it,  that everything God has created from the beginning of whatever-the-fuck time it is, has been perfect, then all of a sudden – badabing! badaboom! – he gets to your face, and something goes wrong? What are the odds of that?”

“I can’t believe you have the audacity – “

“I’m just gettin’ warmed up, lady. I got another one for you. Who are you to decide that God messed up your face in this first place? That’s pretty arrogant ya know – overruling the Big Guy like that.”

I don’t know what she’d say to that. I have no problem at all with anyone who chooses plastic surgery. I have a problem with hypocrisy. You can’t go around saying God’s perfect, but you’re even better.

Anyway, I made my two points. Thanks, Pete.

Love ya all,

Smerkle Grumpy

Wake Up Family America

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Moving muscled rhythms ‘cross the floor
Shape shifting time as boredom
Bends the mind we are
In this together
Brothers and sisters
We are believe it
Or not we are
In this together
Saying it ain’t so
Don’t make it so
We are all America
We are family
Wake up
America

 

***

For Congressman John Lewis

Say I Love You

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I am 66 now. I’ve had four parents. (I was adopted when I was a baby.) None of my parents made it out of their sixties. Two of the four committed suicide. My concern that I don’t have a lot of time left may stand on shaky ground, but it still stands. Strangely enough, I seem to be okay with that.

If willpower plays a role in all this, then I feel good about my chances of reaching 70 and beyond. But right now we have this Novel Covid 19 virus in our midst, and, it seems, I’m in the at-risk group.

(Point of order, if you please. If, like me, you’ve been walking around with a bullet lodged in the prefrontal cortex of your brain for 35 years, you must own-up to having a bit of practice on the feeling at-risk front.)

So, in brief, what to do? Or, were I wearing a tie at the moment, what is one to do?

First, you accept the reality of the experience you’re in, whatever it is, and, for the love of God, do not judge yourself.

And then, for me, my response is to honor my instinct, and my instinct is to pour as much love and kindness and compassion and, in so many ways, most of all, honesty and loyalty, into how I live my life. Anything less would be a betrayal all that I am as a man, and, of equal importance, it would be a betrayal of everyone I’ve loved in my life, and,a betrayal of those who have been good enough to love me.

Tell those you love that you love them. Say it out loud. I know this is not always easy for some. The reality is, saying it out loud is an act of strength.

No doubt some will already know you love them, and for others, what a beautiful thing to learn. Never ever underestimate how much those words can mean to people.

And then, there is this. Those who love you deserve to hear your voice say it.

(Last but not least, I hope those who love you, tell you. You deserve to hear those words too. Promise. They never get old.)

***

For CJL

Steven & Kitty (a nugget of fiction)

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Winter.

Nine o’clock Saturday morning. Wind-driven mean cold washed through the streets of Pearl River. Winston’s Newsstand opened at five a.m. Seven days a week Steven Winston opens the shop promptly at five a.m. Steven is twenty-six. He is the fourth-generation owner. His great-great grandfather, Marcus Winston, opened the shop in 1918. After the great war.

Like most places in life, things you could really count on were often in short supply. However, residents of Pearl River could count on Winston’s Newsstand.

Winston’s Newsstand had the best coffee in town. Common knowledge. Marcus Winston used to say: “Life is tough enough. No one should be shorted on a good cup of coffee.”

No one argued.

Steven Winston was a stocky five six, dark chocolate eyes. Wore glasses, a reality he hated. He’d been next in line to run the family store, another reality he hated. It wasn’t that he hated the customers or his family or the store. What he hated was being stuck in Pearl River.

The only good thing about living in Pearl River was he was in love with Kitty Delia and she lived in Pearl River. He’d been in love with Kitty Delia since kindergarten. She was good enough to tolerate him back then. Kitty, with the famous Delia chestnut brown hair, then and now past her shoulders: thick, shiny, glorious waves. Good enough to eat. Her eyes dark, deep-set, glistening. Chocolate brown. Her face a soft oval, her lips, further evidence Michelangelo had ample reason to sculpt the human form. Now, at twenty-six, she was as beautiful as ever. More so in Steven’s eyes.

They had never been an item.

But toleration turned to a real friendship after Kitty’s house caught fire. Kitty was seventeen  and suffered third-degree burns on her left arm. Many neighborhood boys who’d nearly begged for the chance to go out with her disappeared,  some casting petals of pitiable expressions in their wake.

Not so Steven Winston.

He really did love her and care about her and made a point of visiting her in the hospital and when she was recovering at home.

The first time she put on a sleeveless dress after the fire, exposing her badly scarred arm, she called Steven and asked him to please come over. When he got there, she showed him her arm and asked him how she looked.

“Don’t lie to me, Steven. Tell me the truth.”

And he did. He told her the truth. “You look beautiful, Kitty.” He meant it.

“People are going to stare.”

“The hell with’m. Let’m stare. Hell, if those burn patterns were on canvas someone would call it a great abstract painting about the storms of life and pay millions for it!”

She laughed. “You know, you’re right.” She looked at her arm and said: “I name thee, Pompeii.”

He smiled. “You’re beautiful, Kitty.”