Shady in the house

– How long you called Shady?

– All memory long, or thereabouts.

– Nice sound.

– Been trustworthy from jump street, so there’s some humor in it.

– Like jazz notes, the sound. Shay-dee. Shaaaaay-deeee. 

– Saxophone.

– Clarinet, could be.

– Absolutely, yes.

– It’s a good name.

– Thank you, man.

– You’re thinking these days?

– It’s like Benjamin Franklin said when some folks asked him what kind of government the new constitution created. “A republic, if you can keep it.” We’re going to find out if we can keep it.

– This president.

– Does not want the republic.

– Shady’s a good name.

– Thank you.

– Jazz.

– Clarinet.

– Shaaay-deeee.

Marty & Sheila (a divertimento in the key of dialogue)

  • No, Sheila, it’s not that. I want to know for a couple a reasons.
  • More than a couple.
  • No doubt, no doubt. I just need to know if I am the only one in this experience. Think of it as an alignment thing. If I’m out here standing on a rock by myself, having this experience, okay. I’m not worried about me, per se, but it’d be helpful if I could understand how I got standing on this rock by myself. I’m in my sixties. The mind can go, you know. I’d like to try to keep mine in the front yard. If I’m not standing alone on the rock, or you’re in sight of it, how do you explain this?
  • We’re friends, close friends. What kind of rock is it? Is it a nice rock?

Final straws

Those chilled or are they warm last moments. Last moments sought after so many final straws untended. You’ve seen too many make that choice, infinite silence, the eternal blank, or so you’ve come to believe. Correct or not, you’ll never know until the switch is flipped.

This perpetual process of getting up again and again and again. The words stay down would be a hug were they in your nature. This day in the supermarket, you inside the glass shell, watching faces smiling, a middle-age woman and young man happy to unexpectedly see each other hug and laugh. You turn your cart quickly into an aisle, trembling, fighting back tears, in your glass shell. Invisible.

Has it finally happened? Are you, after all these years finally (Could it be, thankfully? Survival is exhausting) collapsing into pieces, dust to dust?

And then, out of the corner of your eye, a sign in produce reading, Ripe Ass Avocados.  You  look at the sign. Ripe Hass Avocados, not Ripe Ass Avocados. You begin to laugh. You are smiling and laughing. You share the misread story with a few customers in the checkout line. People, cashier and bagger, laughing.

Back home, putting away the groceries, better now, you pause. Think. Saved by a sign. This time.

Final straws. They’re everywhere.

Waitin’ For the Bully

The doctor says we need to rule out cancer. I cock one eyebrow and say, No shit. He looks up, smiles and says, I think we’ll be okay here but I’m a little worried so best we’re careful. I say, I’m all for careful, bro.

I am surprised I am not surprised and not scared – just pissed. The day is beautiful and I am still in a good mood and the music that pumps pulsing from my car speakers on the ride home fills the air and as always my body moves to the rhythm. Need to rule out cancer, I think, and in a way I am glad because finally I can punch something straight in the mouth. I know the chance of cancer is not huge but knowing the possibility is on me for some curious reason makes me itch for a fight. Almost like I’ve learned a bully may be coming over and I’m thinking good because it’s been a long time since I’ve kicked somebody’s ass and this bully will do me just fine.

I am not worried about the possibility of this fight and realize this truth is a gift of sobriety. I know too there are people walking around these days who can thank my sobriety for the fact their legs have never been broken. The world of politics and advocacy can make you angry sometimes and sometimes, like I told Michael today, I miss the days when you can just challenge someone and throw hands.

Yes yes, I am glad those techniques of problem solving are many years behind me. But still… there are times when I see Dick Cheney – the man gives mens’ genitalia a bad name! – and realize I’d have no problem kicking his wimpy war criminal ass. And then there are others not so famous. One is this silk suited sugary sweet specious simp and, of course, others.

But you know what? I’m gonna go work on my garden today, plant some seeds indoors, listen to music, smile, and wait for the bully if he chooses to come to my door and, if he does – I’ll kick his ass.
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Calling Saw Palmetto

I have been standing in line in this cavernous shopping center for more than three weeks now and I am sure of two things; management makes all employees take Quaaludes and Saw Palmetto is proof there is God, else I would have been to the bathroom 30 to 40 times by now.

Actually, I think Saw Palmetto would be the perfect name for someone in, say, a movie like the Godfather. Can’t you hear the lines now? Yo, asshole, you ain’t got the money? we call in Saw Palmetto and it’s bye-bye knees. You pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down here?

Rhode Island could fit in this store with room to spare it’s so big. And there are employees everywhere, or else wearing blue smocks with name tags are in fashion and I’m more confused than I think I am anyway.

Now the couple before me is finally unloading their five carts worth of items for the cashier to ring up. But, there’s a problem with the bread.

The husband is holding up two loaves of bread for the cashier to see, one in each hand. “You got any idea how many slices in these?”

The cashier: “What?”

The wife: “We want to know how many slices.”

The cashier: “Should say on the bag.”

All three scrutinize the loaves of bread.

The husband: “Don’t say shit.”

The wife: “How do we know which loaf has more slices?”

The cashier: “Which one’s heavier?”

Now I want to call Saw Palmetto. Bye-Bye knees.
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