Monthly Archives: August 2015

He Sat

His back to the brick wall of the convenience store.  It was 8:00 a.m., and already the Texas sun promised more heat than anyone ought to have to endure.

He was impossibly thin, and perhaps younger than he looked.  It was hard to tell.  A life on the streets ages a person inside and out.

His right wrist still bore the unmistakable badge of one who’s recently been in close contact with people in lab coats, carrying charts, mumbling things about “medication” and “disorders”.

I’d seen that badge before, on my own father some five years earlier when he was convinced we were all on a ship bound for Germany to fight the Nazis with swords.

We were in an emergency room at the local veteran’s hospital, and Daddy was talking to the resident psychologist.

I stared at the mans’ wrist as he waved his arms about.  His words, nonsensical to most, floated across the heated air to me.

“..and then he says he’ll be right back..well, he never came back…”

Other commuters, hurrying along to work, to school, to their lives, got out of their cars and some stared at him. Some ignored him, and some walked around him, giving him a wide berth as they did so.

He is homeless, outcast, somehow frightening to them.

I was like them, until Daddy’s descent into Alzheimer’s taught me that minds are trapped in myriad ways for those who seem to live out of phase with the rest of the world, and we cannot know the why just by looking.

I smiled, not at him, but for him.  He grinned, toothless, in return.  His bright blue eyes so reminiscent of my Daddy’s.  I felt the tears and hurried along inside the store.

When I came back out, he was still there.  He was still carrying on a conversation with the invisible denizens of his little world.

As I passed, he called out to me..”Miss? Oh miss?”

I stopped, inadvertently stiffening for the moment, and turned to face him.

“You have yourself a blessed day now, you hear?” He said, as lucid in that moment as he was uncomprehending in the next when I said, “Thank you, sir, and you as well.” and he looked at me as if seeing me for the first time.

I got back to my car, and slid inside the cool air-conditioned space.

The tears flowed, hot and freely, down my cheeks again.

I miss you, Daddy.

This Isn’t A Real Post

It’s a post about why there isn’t a post.

Remember how I said I was working on a long and whiny post about my mother?

I did write that post.  It took days, and days, for me to write.  And, that’s not like me. I usually write a post in a matter of minutes and then share it with my devoted reader without even proofing it.

Not this post, though, this one was epic, for the ages, with things everyone can relate to.

Well, everyone with a dysfunctional parent anyway.

I wrote it, I read it, I laughed, I cried.

And, then, I deleted it.

It’s supposed to be cathartic to write stuff, like long letters, to and about people who’ve hurt you.  You’re never supposed to send (or publish) those letters, and still you’re supposed to feel better. Unburduned.  Like a beautiful butterfly, emerging from the cocoon of anger and hurt.  Like an addict, finally free of….well, you get the picture.

Except that didn’t happen.  I mean, the only thing I felt good about was not publishing a diatribe against someone who will never change, cannot understand her flaws, and ultimately someone who despite it all loves me unconditionally.

So, maybe the catharsis part will hit later.  Like the delayed reaction you get when you down the third shot of tequila (not that I’d know what that’s like, people).

A Cautionary Tail

Finally I am back in my office.  It’s a long story, but my office was without power for weeks.  Technically, it still is, but we’ve made a deal with Satan and he’s got us plugged right into the bowels of Hell and we’ve got electricity now.  And, trust me, you get used to the smell.

My crazy dog, whom I shall hereafter refer to as Darling Diva provided I can remember it, has this habit of absolutely, positively, without question, needing to pee at 2:00 a.m.  That’s an “a” people…as in in the middle of the freakin’ night. Every. Single. Night.

I don’t care if she peed at 1:59:59 a.m., at 2:00 a.m. she must go out to pee.

She also engages in strange behaviors while she’s out there.  These are things she doesn’t do at any other time.

I call it the “middle-of-the-fecking-night-crazies”.

Of course, hubby pretends to be asleep every night..conveniently..so I wind up taking her outside.

One night she bolted from the door to far end of the yard, ran around under some bushes, bolted halfway back across the yard, stopped to pee, and then ran full-tilt right back into the house.  Another time, she ran under the bushes and proceeded to twerk on the branches for a few seconds before peeing on them.

Recently, I opened the door to let her out and was hit with the unmistakable odor of  Eau de LePew, as in Pepe LePew.  If you have to ask who that is…you need to get yourself to YouTube immediately and watch some real cartoon characters.

Anyway, she hesitated to go out and I hesitated to let her.  We cautiously tiptoed out on the porch, looking around…did you know skunks are nearly blind, and if startled they will spray the startler without even asking who it is first.  This seems like a design flaw, to me. The worst smelling creature on the planet is virtually blind, and its only defense when surprised or threatened (and seriously, if its blind isn’t everything non-skunk a threat?) is to release a cloud of noxious gas so potent it’s used in chemical warfare? (No shit, I’m not making that up).

We didn’t see Monsieur LePew, but I didn’t let her dawdle either.  I told her to go pee and then we skedaddled back inside.

The next night, at you guessed it – 2:00 AM, Diva wanted out again.  I opened the door, and didn’t smell anything.  But, she bolted out to the porch, to the tree next to it and next thing I know,  she’s prancing around the yard with a ball of fur in her mouth.

She was quite pleased with herself, and I was praying she hadn’t just snatched Pepe up as a prize she was going to shake to death then eat.

Hey, people…she’s a dog, it’s what they do.

I didn’t know what to do.  On the one hand, if it was a skunk I just couldn’t see any possible scenario not involving hazmat suits, respirators, and quarantine..for both the dog and me.

On the other hand, if it wasn’t a skunk, then whatever she was about to chow down on would undoubtedly leave such a mess on her face, paws, and elsewhere that it would look like I’d stumbled into Zombieland. And, she’d be bringing that shit back into the house.

I don’t want these kinds of conundrums at 2:00 AM.

I briefly considered waking hubby, but in the time it  would take  him to get up and get outside one of these scenarios would be over and then I’d have a stinky/messy dog and a pissy spouse.

I sighed and decided I at least had to see what it was Diva was now standing a few feet in front of me, proudly showing off, still clenched lightly in her jaw.

Grumbling, I slowly inched over to her and quietly gave her the command to “drop it”. Now, that command works like a charm when it’s a ball, toy, my glasses, shoes, etc. I didn’t expect it to work when what I said was “drop it” and what she undoubtedly heard was “no, you cannot have your tasty morsel, and in fact, I want it so let go”.

But, she did as I asked.  And that’s when I saw the fluffy bunny tail.

I have never, in my whole life, been so happy to see the cottony puff of a little bunny’s tail.

The bunny lay there in the grass on its side and not moving.  Diva looked at me, crestfallen, then down at her prize.

I made her come to me, but she did so reluctantly, not once taking her eyes off “her” bunny.

We went inside, and I hoped Thumper was just stunned  and wouldn’t be lying there dead at sunrise (thankfully, he was gone).  Being a dog, Diva promptly forgot all about her late-night-almost-snack, and curled up to go back to sleep.