Crab Cake Sonata.

Common musical notes with the Polish flag in t...Image via Wikipedia

A CONVERSATION IN C SHARP.

INT. PUB – NIGHT

D MAN

Choir Lady was my inspiration. She encouraged me to sing.

SHRILL MOMMA
(Eating a crab cake and drinking wine)
I sing in the shower.

D MAN
Choir Lady and I sang in church. That’s where I learned to play the organ.
SHRILL MOMMA
It’s been a while since I’ve seen an organ.
D MAN
I loved playing the organ so much. I played it three times a day.
SHRILL MOMMA
(Hands covering ears)
 La la la la la la la la la la la.
D MAN
I used to play the organ until my hand hurt.
SHRILL MOMMA
Check!

D MAN
My hand was so sore I couldn’t open the door to the practice room.
SHRLL MOMMA
I once burnt my hand on a hot iron.
D MAN
But my organ problems can’t compare to the Vermont flood disaster of 1927.
SHRILL MOMMA
How ’bout the New York City flood of 1981? Three bottles of wine at a Simon and Garfunkle concert and a line to the Porta Potty that stretched clear across Central Park.
D MAN
My family’s cabin was swept away.
SHRILL MOMMA
I ended up in China Town, built a bamboo raft then floated back up town.
D MAN
The oak china cabinet ended up on Martha’s Vineyard with every dish intact. Other than that, my family lost everything.


SHRILL MOMMA
I lost a kidney. Found it upstream. God was selling it on the corner of 42nd Street and Park Avenue along with some fake Rolex watches. That’s when I stopped drinking . . . until now.

A fictionalized account of a somewhat real conversation.

Please refer to my earlier post, Adventures in Blog Land, where I ask the question, “What is real?”

I hope I’m not banned from the choir. I’m their groupie.

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Adventures in Blog Land.

Illustration of "A Mad Tea Party" in...Image via Wikipedia

Recently, there’s been talk around the bloggerhood about what is real, prompted by a post by Mrs BlogAlot called Blog TV.

Okay, maybe the question is only circulating around my hood, uh, er, head. With that said, my response to MrsBlogAlot‘s post was, “I know I’m real because I pinched my arm and it hurts.”

Really? What kind of answer is that?

I now refer to Alice in Wonderland when Alice says, and I’m paraphrasing, “I must be real because I’m crying tears.”

To which the Mad Hatter or another character responds with, “How do you know they’re real tears?”

Exactly, how do I know MrsBlogalot is real, or Tracie at Stir-Fry Awesomeness, or Reforming Geek at Confessions of a Reforming Geek, or Ziva at Ziva’s Inferno, or JD at I Do Things So You Don’t Have . . ., or any of you for that matter.

I think Ivy at UnscriptedLife is real because she guest posted here, and we’ve communicated by email. I know. I’ve spoken with others by email. But email doesn’t bleed, and for all I know, I could have been conversing with Alice, or Miss Marple, or Madame Bovary, or some other fictional character, or even a spam alien.

Well, you can pinch your arm all you like, but still it is you that is pinching your own arm and telling me you’re real in a virtual world that thrives on nano seconds and imaginary trips around the world, swinging from one site to the next on monkey bar links that disappear, like a room, after you leave it. Remember a tree falls in the forest? Well, does it make a sound or not?

Goddamn it! I want to know the truth.

“You can’t handle the truth!”

I know I can’t. I get it. I prefer fantasy, as fiction is my game. Making mole hills into mountains is an obsession that sends my thoughts flitting about on endless tangential romps or head trips, as I like to call them. If only I could anchor my thoughts, but they seem to have a mind of their own.

But enough about me and more about you. You know who you are. Glenn at Man Over Board and J at Bonehead, and is Bonehead the name on your birth certificate? C’mon. Really? All of you. Are you real or not?

And is reality more like Einstein’s Theory of Relativity or your Aunt Rose’s smeared clown lipstick face? I need answers, and I need them now!

Also, is there really a God?

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Degrees of Insanity.

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In eighty-degree heat, my son graduates with an associate’s degree.

He moves on to a four-year school.
We move on to find our chairs.
We sit.
Nearby, a baby cries.
Make that ten babies.

At the podium, the speaker is a board chair.
I’m bored in a chair. Same thing, sort of.

In the audience, a woman yaps, slinking sideways in front of me across my row.
At times, she hovers like a balloon.  
Not really.
She leans against my chair, casting a shadow over me.
Her helium voice is like a balloon.

My husband leaves to find my parents, who are MIA.

A new speaker, a valedictorian.
A life story with no end.

She lived in a basement apartment in Queens.
Got married.
Got pregnant three times.
Got drunk a lot.
Got divorced.

Five decades have passed in her life and mine.
I bat my eyelashes to stay awake. It doesn’t work.
I kill a gnat instead.

The woman in front of me reads the program cover-to-cover.
She has white hair and a yellow jacket.
She’s not a bee.

The droning stops.
The valedictorian steps aside.

At the podium, a merit award.
The name sounds like “bullshit.”
Bullshit rambles on about resumes, speaking loudly over the murmur of the crowd that is restless and scary.

Heavy perfume wafts across thick wet air, drying my contacts.
Cell phones ring from the chairs.
People answer them and talk.

My husband returns.
He found my parents.
They are sitting two rows in front of us.
How did we miss them?

Behind me, a woman threatens a child.
“I’m going to smack you,” she says.

A rustle and thump from the microphone.
Another merit award hand out.
The MA says, “My wife was the wind beneath my arms.”
“The wind that comes out my butt,” my husband adds.

Next podium person pontificates.
“Time to honor a distinguished dead alumni.”
Oh, God, I hope the dead lady doesn’t speak.

The pontificating continues. “This is a great institution.”
An institution all right.

Dead lady once said,
“I’ve got my foot in the door and am not leaving.”
Maybe that’s what killed her. 
Crushed like a doorstop.

Podium guy continues
“She was awesomely human.”
Did he really just say that?
The speaker stops speaking or whatever that was.

Time for the diplomas.
Air horns blare from guests in chairs, as if at a football game.
WTF?

A child yells, “I love you.”

Screeching from behind.
My ears bleed.
My husband turns around. “Warn us next time. Will yah.”
“Hell yes,” a woman yells.

Somewhere in the distance, a cowbell rings.
Really!
The commencement ends.

We find my parents and my son then go for seafood.
My soft shell crab is mushy like my brain.
I  wash away the mushiness with a beer.
Check!
This time, it’s not a sound check.

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Office Noir: Grim and Grimmer, Part Deux.

A FASHION STATEMENT.

In Following the Fashion (1794), James Gillray...Image via Wikipedia

GRIM
Sneezes.
GRIMMER
God bless you.
GRIM
So, now you’re working for him?
GRIMMER
Who?
GRIM
God. You just told him to bless me.
GRIMMER
It’s an expression.
GRIM
It’s an admission of narcissistic arrogance.
GRIMMER
I am the furthest thing from arrogant. I’m the rug that everyone walks on.
GRIM
At least you bought the rug. By the way, I need pens pronto.
GRIMMER
You see! I’m the manager, and still you step on me.
GRIM
For you, heal marks are a fashion statement.
GRIMMER
At least my shopping mantra isn’t: “off the rack and on the floor.”
GRIM
Are you saying that I’m wrinkled?
GRIMMER
That would be a sign of character. You’re rumpled and pinched.
GRIM
At least I don’t look like a department store dummy.
GRIMMER
I had Botox.

GRIM
It’s obvious that you’re toxic.
GRIMMER
It’s not toxic. It’s toxin.
GRIM
I say, banana. You say, “ba-nah-na.”
GRIMMER
All you think about is food. It’s written all over your face — in strawberry jam.
GRIM 
(Wiping her mouth with a sleeve.)
Lunch.
GRIMMER
Leftovers.
GRIM 
(Picking a crumb from her sweater.)
Just dessert.

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Asperger is not a Cheese.

EmmentalerImage via Wikipedia

The name Asperger always reminded me of Limburger, the smelly cheese.

Yes, Asperger’s Syndrome also stinks but in other . . . let me count the ways. Socially, developmentally, organizationally, motivationally. Sick of the Ly’s yet?

That’s okay, because I’m done with the intro and moving into the heart of the cheese, if cheese has a heart. My son has a heart, as well as Asperger’s, although I’m omitting the word, “syndrome,” since it’s rather ominous sounding like the “plague.”

My husband and I didn’t know that our son had Asperger’s until several years ago, as he was first diagnosed with ADHD in kindergarten.

A very kind teacher, who also had a son with ADD and wanted to prevent our son from going through the elementary school torture chamber, noticed my son’s aberrant behavior, like dancing on desktops and sticking pencils up his nose. Not really. He just didn’t pay attention and would stand up and jump around when he was supposed to sit down and focus on his ABC’s or other inert learning objectives.

Playground play and social interaction wasn’t much better since my son was always rather impulsive. If he wasn’t the first kid in line, not a problem, he would push the kid in front of him out of the way. If he wanted a ball another kid had, he would just take it. Parents, teachers, and kids did not take kindly to my son’s actions. My husband and I wondered what the hell was going on, which brings us back to ADD and fifth grade. Did you notice how I not so subtly moved this post ahead in years?

In roughly 2002 when my son was in fifth grade, if my memory isn’t warped like the rest of me, while my son attended a rather unfriendly LD (learning differences) elementary school in Westchester County, New York, he suddenly developed an aversion to school. We consulted countless psychiatrists and alleged ADD experts but got few satisfactory answers. Meanwhile, every morning getting my son dressed and ready for school was equivalent to a WWE wrestling match.

This culminated with me carrying my son to the car and throwing him in it. I’ll leave out the agonizing details of what happened when I finally got him to school and left him in the “care,” I use the word loosely, of the school psychiatrist, also used loosely. Let’s just say a lot of screaming and crying went on as I left the building, and I’m not talking about my son. Yes, I am, but inside I was screaming and crying with him while driving to work two hours late.

I know this all sounds rather cruel, but my husband and I didn’t know what else to do. Years later, I read somewhere that when Asperger’s kids reach puberty they begin manifesting the symptoms of the disorder. I also read that someone can have both ADHD and Asperger’s, which is also known as a comorbid condition, which is like hitting brain Lotto.

Stay tuned for more on “Asperger is not a Cheese.”

Do you have the tee-shirt?
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We’re a Nation of Mutts.

Please stick with me on this because I’m going to be pulling a lot of this blurbage out of my ass. I know. Not a pretty image, but I have to get this out, because frankly, it’s constipating. 

Woody Guthrie said it best with the song,  This land is your land, this land is my land, etc.

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In this great land of ours, most of our grandparents and great grandparents came from other places across the sea. My father’s father was born in Hungary, my mother’s father in Russia. My mother’s mother was also from Hungary.

Okay. My father’s mother was born in Denver, Colorado. No sea involved in the Colorado limb of the family tree. Yes. We’re all trees, you know. Just ask Barbara Walters.

For my Denver grandmother, or nanny, as I used to call her, there was no ocean, just a jug of water, a wagon, and a horse. I have a picture of her, somewhere, riding on a wagon when she was a child. Pretty cool. I know. A time before there were cars and car recalls.

I’m talking to you, Toyota, which is also from across the sea. Maybe the parts dropped in the ocean along the way.

Apologies for the off topic ramble. I’m tangentially inclined.

So, bottom line, America. Like my two adopted mutts, Jenny, from Puerto Rico . . .

and Jake, from West Virginia . . .

I, too, am a mutt, although I never poop on the lawn or eat food from the floor, unless the ten second rule applies.

WAXING THE FLOOR POETICALLY.

I am no better or worse than the other mutts that frolic in the malls, supermarkets, and food joints across America. Even the purebred are part of the mix. Just stop by any dog park and you’ll see mutts and purebreds playing together after just saying hello with a sniff of the butt.

We, the people, need to follow our dog’s lead and sniff the butt of our neighbor, pharmacist, and stranger we pass on the street, as we are the sum of our parts, all of them. It is because of these parts that we can only be whole, kind of like multi grain bread, which is good for you, btw.

If we lose sight of who we are and who we live among, we lose sight of what binds us together as a nation.

I’m not talking about fiber. I talking about fabric, specifically, the fabric of our society and keeping it from unraveling, leaving our nation tattered, fragmented, and frayed.

After all, we are a nation of mutts wearing mutt clothes.

Are you a mutt or a purebred?
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Next Exit Past Asylum Street.

On the road, Mom, Dad, and son head to college admissions. We’re watching all the signs.

Just passed Asylum Street.

A warning.

On the shoulder, a discarded sneaker left standing.
Farther down the road, another sneaker on its side.

Where are the feet? I dare not ask.

Strange roadside happenstance up ahead.

Minimum security prison on the left. Prisoners trapped in gray jumpsuits jogging in line across a yard, or not. It’s more like concrete grass. Prisoners like concrete, especially the shoes.

In the side view mirror, barbed wire fades into glass.

Now gone.

We continue past moo moo cows and cornfields, past boonie towns and weathered barns. On the road to infinite asphalt sky. Zero. Nothing, but gray ribbons twisting in the wind.

Luckily, GPS Gladys is our gal. Her voice, calm and reassuring.

“Continue along route 666 for another mile,” she says.

We follow.

Close to our destination we are told.

A sign confirms it. “Cheer up your lawn with manure.” It says. I say, “WTF?” We’re heading toward Crazy 8 Campus, stuck in mud beneath morphine sky.

“You’ll be taking a right in one mile,” pipes Gladys.

In exactly a mile, we turn onto Crazy 8 Road behind a slow moving Honda, with a bumper sticker on the back that brags, “You just got passed by a girl.”

We pass the Honda. A guy is at the wheel.

“Destination on the left in 500 feet.”

“Thanks, Gladys.”

Click.

She takes a nap.

We take a seat in Crazy 8 hall.

Taken any road trips lately?
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