Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Peek-a-Boo! I See You . . .

Since THEY come here every day –twice a day- I thought I’d give THEM something to make their visits worthwhile.

There are many pharmaceutical solutions for paranoia and martyr complexes. These new wonder drugs can allow those with afflictions such as yours to live nearly normal lives (or what would pass for normal in your world). There can be some risk of sexual side effects, but really, that’s not much of a concern, is it?

For the rest of you, keep on keeping on.

But Then Again, You’ll Have This . . .

Monday, February 13, 2006

Memoriam . . .

I didn’t do anything yesterday.

After crawling out of bed, I alternated between sitting in the recliner and lying on the couch, surfing the web and staring at the television. I hugged my daughter. I ate dinner. I smoked.

I watched the clock, and remembered.

I remembered the room. I remembered the people. I remembered leaving the hospital and sitting in the car, frozen in time and space between the man I had been when I arrived and the man I’d be once I left. I considered the mistakes I made in the aftermath and wondered how things might have turned out if I was as smart as I pretend to be.

And I watched the clock. Eventually 10:39 PM came.

I marked the occasion in silence. The minute seemed to last forever, a lifetime compressed into sixty seconds. The irony didn’t escape my notice.

I remember, even if I remember alone. My arms were the only ones to cradle him. My lips were the only ones to kiss him. Is it any wonder then that I mourn in solitude? I used to call her every year. I don’t call anymore. We didn’t talk about it then, when the discussion might have salvaged what remained in his wake. Why talk about it now?

I didn’t say anything, and no one said anything to me. If I cried, it was a tear or two that went unnoticed. The ache still claws at my heart, but the tears dried up nineteen years ago. I haven’t really cried since.

I’m afraid I won’t be able to stop.

10:40 came and then 10:41. Tonight –just like then- the clock still ticked and life continued. And I thought about what could have been-

No. What should have been.

I didn’t do anything yesterday, not a damned thing I haven’t done at least once during each of the past six thousand, nine hundred and thirty-five days.

But Then Again, You’ll Have This . . .

Sunday, February 12, 2006

February 12, 1987

Happy Birthday Alexander. Daddy loves you.

Friday, February 03, 2006

A Brief Law & Order Moment . . .

This morning it occurred to me (in the bathroom, the birthplace of many important realizations) that I should clarify the origin of the post immediately below.

The following is fiction. It does not reflect actual events or portray any persons living or dead.

Carry on . . .

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Somebody's Listening . . .

On my way to the car this morning, I found a ratty old notebook lying in the alley. There was no name on the cover, and nothing on the pages to indicate ownership. There were small indentations all over the cover, as if someone had chewed on it. The whole thing was bent –almost twisted. I could almost imagine a demented soul wringing their hands while holding it.

What was more interesting was what I found inside. Scrawled across the pages (in Hillary Pink Crayola) were copious notes, scribbled in venomous fury. Most of the entries were unintelligible, but I could make some of them out.

6:00 PM – They’re laughing. Laughing! What’s so funny? Who are they laughing at now? Is it me? I bet it’s me.

6:23 PM – I heard a pot clink against a skillet. Cooking again. That’s so like them. “We’re too good for drive-thru and pizza delivery.” HAH!

7:01 PM – Dick Cheney is kind of sexy.

7:45 PM – They’re using the steps again. What’s so important up there?

8:22 PM – I’m trying to match the sound of my TV to theirs, but I can’t adjust the coat hanger fast enough to keep the voices clear. Damned static.

9:00 PM – They moved their chairs again and made me cut outside the dotted line on my Uncle Buck Whole Grain Soybean BOGO coupon. Sliced right through the bar code. Now it’s ruined.

9:39 PM – If I squint hard enough, I can see light shining through the crack in the molding. Don’t they know people are trying to sleep?

10:17 PM – Is there such a thing as a lethal dose of Midol?

11:05 PM – Heard walking again. Damn them straight to hell.

11:48 PM – Heard urinating, but no final drops. Bastard must not shake it off. Yellow stains in underpants, I’ll bet.

12:27 AM – Heard some strange noises from their bedroom. Might be moaning, but I don’t understand. Who would be moaning this late at night? And what’s that squeaking noise? Wouldn’t catch me moaning like that, and nothing over here squeaks that way.

2:57 AM – God, how loud does that man snore? Jesus, it sounds like a freight train. And the smell – wait! Was that a fart? Oh my God, I can’t believe . . . Oh, that’s from this side. Disregard entry.

4:13 AM – The wind is blowing. Whistling. Who can I call to complain? How can I blame this on THEM? Maybe their window’s cracked open, which could explain the whistling.

4:19 AM – I like Jello.

5:59 AM – Why do they wake up so early? And a shower? In the morning? It’s almost like they have someplace to be, as if they had a responsibility to someone or something. Like their livelihood depended on them showing up at a certain place at a certain time. Nah. Who would do something like that?

7:50 AM – More walking, and the sounds of doors opening and closing. Damn them, how can I organize my notes with all this noise?

8:00 AM-5:10 PM – Oh, now I see how it works. They think they’ll drive me crazy with the quiet. No walking. No doors opening and closing. Sure, they say they have jobs, but that’s just a convenient excuse. But I won’t fall for it.

I’d transcribe the rest, but it’s only more of the same. I’m assuming this is someone’s sorry attempt at fiction, because the other possibility is too sad to contemplate. I mean, nobody in their right mind would spend this much time in such a pointless endeavor.

Would they?

But Then Again, You’ll Have This . . .