Thursday, December 30, 2010

Some Have Gone And Some Remain

I took my dog to the vet today to have her “anal glands expressed.” This is brand new to me as my animal familiarity has only been with felines and flamingos for most of my adult life and I don't recall any anal gland situations with them. But anyway when they got “in there” to express them, they found an unusual amount of hard crusty ‘you know what’ and the vet, a short, compassionate “Pippi Longstocking type” recommended a “warm water enema” as my dog was “severely constipated.”
Of course, being the conscious mommy that I am, without hesitation I agreed and the procedure took about 15 minutes. My dog was then brought to me wrapped in an apricot-colored towel. What wasn’t told to me, after I paid the 86 bucks, was that the entire enema “residue” that was released behind closed doors of the clinic, needed more time to rid itself. My cute little baby shit all over her Martha Stewart bed, the floorboard, her leash, my jeans, my right forearm and her back paw. It was quite the explosion of shock combined with my pangs of sympathy and we rode home silently, both trying not to breathe in too deeply. As a distraction, I turned on 97.9 FM my absolute favorite “oldies” station. Somehow returning to 1976 helps in these kind of situations. As the pup stared at me with her “What the fuck did you just put me through?” eyes, I went from the present “shit happens” moment to reflection as I often do…
As weird of a tangent this may take for all of you, I began wondering why I don’t know one single popular 2010 band; that all I listen to 24/7 are the hits of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s and I am totally ok with it... The "Breakfast Club", "The Fab 4 at 4."... When I am cruising in my VW bug and the likes of The Beatles, Carole King, Billy Joel and Fleetwood Mac fill my compartment like helium in a balloon, I am not only content but also free. And I know you know what I’m talking about.
“Sing me a song you’re the Piano Man… Sing me a song tonight… ’Cuz we’re all in the mood for a melody and you’ve got me feeling alright.” Whoa! Take me and sit me right down with those memories! Soon it’s 1974 and I'm no longer a girl from a trailer park sitting next to my dog, who smells like shit, trying to get back to the park without running out of gas since the reserve light went off 15 miles ago. I’m now a 16 year old wrinkle-free, worry-free and rocker girl.
I wonder if our parents were like us, you know? Like, they had absolutely no idea who the popular bands were in the ‘70’s. They lost themselves in their own reflections of “their” songs and “their” artists of the ‘40’s and ‘50’s and I/we thought they didn’t understand us and didn’t know what real, authentic music truly was. I remember thinking how square they were, didn’t you? They not only didn’t have taste in what was exceptional, but they didn’t really understand our cores either.
Oh yeah, I can tell you I’ve heard of Lady Gaga, but ask me a title of a current song of hers and I ‘ll look at you like a deer in headlights. Or ask me to name one Hip Hop band or the top 10 in Heavy Metal or Rock and you know I can’t lie to you people. But did they understand us? The parentals? Did they appreciate our desires and ideas and intellect that would surely change the world and make it a better place? You know, I think about this from time to time. They weren’t that different from us and we aren’t that different from the youth of today and yet we are all worlds apart. They thought we were young and naïve. We think they are out of touch, messed up, selfish and all of us find our own generation to be unique. Oh, we threw our fits and we used language that put them in their place and caused them pain and yet we reflect upon them now with regret. What fools we humans are. What fools, what egotistical fools the next generation will be. And how the hell did I get from my pup spewing brown-water like a fountain to this? I’ll tell you how… A Tangueray and tonic with extra lime, that’s how! I leave you with a moment to ponder and shouldn’t we since we are at a close of another year? I heard this classic the other morning and it resonates with me still…
“There are places I remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends
I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all”

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Is There a Pecker in the Park?

Mr Jones was my 8th grade history teacher. He was tall, lean, had a goatee that freaked me out and always carried a yardstick while he paced the floor rambling on and on about this war and that war. We all knew he actually couldn't hit us; that it was illegal, yet I must admit, I was slightly intimidated by the way he methodically tapped the stick in the palm of his hand as he walked. Once, when I was daydreaming, as I quite often did in Mr Jones' room, he WHACKED that sucker onto my desk just inches from my face. I was mortified. I'm certain it gave him a boner to see me jump 10 inches out of my chair. Maybe he thought he could scare the daydreaming right out of me. I don't know. (It actually didn't work because it is one of my savored rituals to this day.) Once he went up to the chalkboard and wrote the word "assume" in large capital letters. He then began one of his lengthy "important" lectures that resembled a parental lecture in which every word is that of God and we, the silly ignorant children, should hang on to each and every syllable. A S S U M E His definition of assumption wasn't that stupendous; more like Webster's:
a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof: they made certain assumptions about the market | [with clause ] we're working on the assumption that the time of death was after midnight.
And then of course he had to add the "Jonesy touch" NEVER ASSUME ANYTHING IN THIS ROOM! BECAUSE IF YOU DO I WILL BE SURE TO MAKE AN ASS out of U not ME!
Assumption is an interesting device though isn't it? But it can get you into trouble. Like just the other day one of my family members (identity spared for soon to be obvious reasons) visited the park for the first time. Now granted I don't live in Buckingham Fucking Palace but my castle does have stainless steel appliances, bamboo laminate, tasteful art on the walls and 2 (TWO) god-damned bathrooms that I ASSUMED he'd use... "Where's [So-in-so]?" Everyone was asking. "Oh! He's taking a leak at the side yard fence" someone else replies. Then another family member whose name also remains annonymous says, "Yeah, he's holding his unit out behind your unit."
TMI PEOPLE! It's true I assumed a member of the family would use one of the toilets in my "unit" Now I'm wondering, "We can't really be trailer trash can we?" It's all just a joke...a temporary stop...a fetish for pink flamingos that began way back when I was in Mr Jones' room. No, WE aren't "the kind" that actually pee outside, in plain view where Mary at unit 8 can actually watch binocular-free. For Christ's sake, I'm not camping here!
Don't assume I was pissed off! I was somewhat flabbergasted but it had more to do with "his unit" than "my unit" and the visuals that accompanied that. Perhaps the whole meaning of this right here and right now is that I must have "unit envy"; Thank you Freud. You know those feelings of female inferiority and psychic conflict that make a girl wish she could piss freely outside in a neighborhood, accompanied with desirous inate feelings of inferiority and jealousy because unit 34 is a 2008 "triple-wide" with a full-blooming, fruit-bearing lemon tree in the middle of her lawn which is not astro-turf like mine. Yes, my's unit envy. And maybe Mr. Jones' yardstick was an extention of his unit. I know one thing for certain. If I had a unit, I'd sit like a guy and straddle a chair. I'd dip it in chocolate. I'd go to the movies and put my hands deep in my pocket. I'd not let it get in my way while I climbed a huge mountain. And if I had a unit, I'd pee (outside) like a fountain! :)


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tyranny of Tradition

Once again,
We find ourselves enmeshed in the Holiday Season. That special time of the year when we join with those we love and share centuries-old traditions such as food and alcohol consumption, singing Yuletide Carols with strangers, maxing-out our credit cards, and lest we forget, the tradition of trying to find a parking space at the mall. Traditionally, we drive around the parking lot until a shopper emerges, then we follow her, much the same way the 3 Wise Men, more than 2,00 years ago, followed the star until it led them to an available parking space.
And then, as if we didn’t slaughter enough turkeys in November, we hold true to the tradition of yet another turkey feast…I actually feel sympathy for the bird as I watch a family member slice into its breast... I think to myself, "It was once a lively, social being probably capable of affection especially for its young." And who can forget the traditional surplus of Christmas TV Specials? The meaning of Christmas brought to us by Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and Anheuser-Busch. What a great mix: popular entertainment, product consumption and spirituality.
But by far, the most welcomed holiday tradition in my trailer is the Annual Christmas Letter (typed) from various friends-of friends who you met once or twice and who think you know all of their kids, grandkids, cousins, and neighbors. The following excerpt, taken verbatim, is from my mother-in-law’s banking colleague that she worked with briefly in 1979. They haven’t spoken in years; don’t write to one another either; Just the annual letter...

Dear Family and Friends,
It was a horrible year and I’m glad it’s finally over. Arnie and I were sick all of 2010. My back went out in February and I had to have injections. The doc said they wouldn’t probably work. He was right. Arnie was running after a squirrel he seen and slipped on his shoelace and fell on the cement. He cracked his rib and broke his toe. The toe got infected so he had to take antibiotics. I had more injections in March and April. Arnie’s sister died in April and that leaves him with five.
In May, my pacemaker quit but luckily I was already in ICU because of a seizure I had. My daughter and her husband thought we were paying too much for our TV and phone so they switched us to a different bundle. It costs too much and we don’t get anything we like so we aren’t going to keep it. The kids came down to see us in June but I didn’t feel like company, so they took the annual trip to the lake by themselves.
Wore black for three weeks because our dishwasher broke again. Warranty ran out this time. Arnie lost another sister in September. Now he’s down to four. I got a bladder infection last month and it wouldn't clear up. Doc says I had a reaction to this antibiotic. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Arnie and Gertrude

I suppose some traditions are just worth holding onto.
But I have a serious problem with the ones lacking in imagination.
Imagination gets in the way of many traditions but maybe that’s its job, its function. And if that’s the case, then creativity is its lovely assistant.
May your days and nights be filled with both creativity and imagination…now and always.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Queen of the Park

Just finished surfing the check book register for last month's purchases...What a change in businesses now sucking my money! What once included Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Chevron, Amazon, Bev Mo has now been replaced with Pet Co, Pet Fun, Pet Smart, The Barking Lot, and 1800PetMeds. The Queen of the Park: Queen Delilah Flamingo Victoria of Prunetucky sleeps on an Orthopedic bed; completely padded with an Egyptian cotton blanket and matching pillow, has a Martha Stewart bed with "throw" as a second option, Grain-free bone-shaped multi-vitamins, organic (also grain-free) chicken stew with peas, carrots, sweet potatoes and flaxseed, peanut butter hip and joint relief supplements and an organic cotton, hypo-allergenic environmentally correct "pee pad." "HAIL TO HER MAJESTY!" who eats better than I do! Of course, to ease the guilt that penetrates the edges of this trailer girl's "Obviously haven't had enough therapy" heart, is the brand new assortment of organic deboned chicken and cranberry cat foods, seafood flavored vitamin supplements, furry toy mice, and catnip-filled snake-pillows that I've purchased for the 8-year-old feline resident of this unit paradise and his pal "the grey stray."
The Queen even received a package from her Auntie: a Lands'End candy-apple red fleece jacket with her name embroidered in silver to match the trim.
Of course, I'm freezing my ass off here because turning on the heater seems to cause Her Royal Heiness' allergies to flare-up.
But send no pity my way faithful followers, for as begrudging as this all might sound, I f%*~*n love this dog. I melt with the wag of every tail and jump to service with every soulful and longing expression. She is now my entrusted companion at "Ice Tea Hour" and I confide in her all the secrets of this fine community in which I am at the helm. This is a tremendous amount of responsibility I place on her. We park residents lead such secretive and sordid lives, which of course, gives us a much-deserved reputation. Do you remember Paula Jones? The Clinton aide that accused him of sexual harassment and settled out of court for a 6 figure amount...
Thanks to both Ann Coulter (May you soar with the flamingos, Ann) who, in 2000, publicly denounced Jones, calling her "the trailer-park trash they said she was," and who can forget James Carville's widely reported remark, "Drag a $100 bill through a trailer park, and you'll never know what you'll find."
Well, James, if you drag a 100 bucks through this park, make a stop in front of my carport, what you'll find is me heading to Pet Smart... that's for damn sure.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Lose Control

In Pakistan Asai Bibi sits in a jail cell awaiting death by hanging. The charge? Blasphemy. The story? Seems Bibi, who is dirt poor and Catholic, offered her fellow field hands some water. They refused stating the water was impure. An argument ensued and Bibi was accused by the others (Muslim men) of the worst crime in Pakistan: Blasphemy against the Prophet Mohammad simply for being a Christian.
According to Julie McCarthy of NPR, it all began in the summer of 2009 when in the poorest area of Pakistan where the country’s 2 percent Christian reside, Bibi the mother of 1, step-mother of 2, and wife of a brick layer defended her Catholic faith in a desert field. Because of her probable fate, her family is hiding in a safe house and she is in prison. Mobs fill the streets of Punjabi calling for her head, and the Taliban promises to kill her on sight if the government doesn’t enforce the “Anti-blasphemy law” whose punishments were introduced in the ‘80’s in order to “protect the dignity of Islamic rule.” Labeled: “Asai the Blasphemer” a crowd of men outside the prison can be heard chanting “Hang her...hang her…” The Christian minority in Pakistan withstand daily heckling, ridicule, torture, discrimination in employment, rejection by friends and family members, and in 2009, 110 paid the ultimate price, death.
Sound familiar? In 1998, a 21-year old was bullied, brutally beaten, tortured, hung on a fence and left to die near Laramie Wyoming. His name was Matthew Shepard and his crime? Being gay in the United States of America.
The parallels and similarities of 2 very different individuals proded me as I read McCarthy’s article. Both are stories of majority domination and control. Both are stories of hatred, plain and simple. Robert Frost once wrote, “The strongest and most effective force in guaranteeing the long-term maintenance of power is not violence in all the forms deployed by the dominant to control the dominated, but consent in all the forms in which the dominated acquiesce in their own domination.”
While Asai’s and Matthew’s tales are already passé, and TV channels have already been switched; pages of the daily rags already turned, I, for one, call them heroes; true testaments and examples of standing proudly in one’s own skin.
I can only imagine what it means to truly be that brave; that bold.
To read more about Asai go to the website below.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mr. Pro Sports Heckler Guy

Today's blog is certainly not for the weak at heart. I'm especially speaking to my male followers and you know who you are. What I'm about to write might offend, piss off and quite frankly, give the male species reason to jump to their feet and release a mighty roar! And I don't mean a half-pint yell; I mean a "I'M MAD AS HELL (at tpg) AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT (her) ANYMORE!" roar...
So the whole deal is this: my partner got 2 free tickets plus parking pass to the San Francisco 49'er game yesterday at Candlestick; a gift from two very generous friends. Before we even managed to make our way through the hordes of beer-guzzling beasts that lined every stairwell and corridor throughout the park, we had to make it passed the 'tail-gaters,' who let me just say, are a special breed all their own. I have never seen so many obese, bone knawing/meat eating, booze-guzzlers all wearing red polyester in my entire life! You know but everybody was speaking the same language whereas all the words began with "F." The lot paved our way to the security check point, where we were directed to the female officer for "the frisk" (We didn't mind.) We had seats in "Lower-Reserve" and the reverberation, odors and Lynyrd Skynyrd ditties from the parking lots spewed into the stands as the game was about to get under way. Hundreds upon hundreds of dudes; let's call them "Men of Genius" were everywhere, like herds of wild boars in a jungle. They were screaming at each other, roaring, sweating on their hot dogs, throwing punches in the air, spilling beer on themselves and each other. ( I got one spilled in my hair, but the guy looked so scary to me, I told him not to worry as I heard it added protein.) These barbaric critters seem to like calling women words that start with "B" and each other words that start with "MF." The madening rote of their screaming, hollering and belittling jokes instantly filled me with gratitude knowing that I didn't have to go home with any of them. And folks, they can sure coach! Reminds me of this commercial which I leave you with...
Today we salute you, Mr. Pro Sports Heckler Guy.
They say those who can't play, coach.
Apparently, those who can't coach, sit 30 rows back,
shirtless, shouting obscenities.
(That's right, mother f**ker)
Thanks to you, our team is armed with game winning tips like "Catch the ball." and "Throw it."
(Shout it out now)
"You stink. That sucks. What a bunch of losers."
Not just cat calls, but subtle psychological ploys
to prod your team to victory.
(Reverse psychology)
So here's to you, oh sultan of shouting.
Because while there may be no "I" in team...
Thanks to you, there's always an "F" and a "U."

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Last Train To Vacaville

So Space 10 shows up at my front door Friday night at 8:50 p.m. It's not so much that it was a Friday night, although I was half dressed, half dozing on the couch, and half interested in a Showtime movie...It was more the fact that the "real" park manager was out of town. This happens in critical moments: A party in a carport with an open-fire pit blazing out of control, a man yelling at his “Live-in”, a stereo blasting from the jacked-up Oldsmobile that has been unregistered since ‘05, a drunk in pajamas and a robe at my door on a Friday night. It always happens when the authentic, extremely qualified manager is out-of-town and I am here.
So I open the door to a whiff of slurred words and Jack Daniels and already I am irritated. "Hey Raul. What's up?" Seems he is calling the sheriff on Elijah but can't remember Elijah’s space # to tell the cops. Seems he is reporting Elijah for slipping "something" into his drink while on a bus trip to Sacramento to see his cousin, a local attorney, get sworn in as a recently elected State Assemblyman...Seems half way to Sacramento (I find out later), Raul was so inebriated on the excursion, that the bus driver pulled the chartered vehicle over in Vacaville and kicked him off the bus! Raul, who is a substitute teacher in a neighboring community… Raul, who called the sheriff last year because his next-door neighbor called his daughter “una lesbiana.” Raul, who dresses his Chihuahuas in matching tutus on Halloween. Raul, who makes my blood boil. Raul, who is a Viet Nam vet.
Tonight, I walked my dog for the very first time through the streets of our holy community. I waited until it was completely and undeniably dark, put on my hooded black sweatshirt in order to maintain an incognito appearance, grabbed a disposable poop bag, and headed out. I walked the roads where I have resided for nearly 6 years and took notice of the humble ornaments, lights and various chachkies that remind me it’s December. I looked up into the Eastern sky in an attempt to make sense of what it all means. Marilyn’s lights are out and I wondered if she had any visitors this week. Courtney’s cat waits patiently on the railing, but no one has been there in days, pick-up trucks line the drive-way of #22 but they never stay long. Through the partially opened blinds, Mr. Morgan sits alone in front of his TV, Alicia has a tiny artificial xmas tree in her window; her kids' toys are left in the street...
On this nighttime walk with my dog, I am forced to think about all that is... but also, all that isn’t.
Buenos noches amigos!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bon Appétit!

You know I’m pretty damn close to picking up a fork and eating the rich; all the f’@&*n 'well-heeled' bastards that own Washington.
Aerosmith sang it best…
Eat the Rich: there's only one thing they're good for
Eat the Rich: take one bite now - come back for more
Eat the Rich: don't stop me now I'm goin' crazy
Eat the Rich: that's my idea of a good time baby
Or perhaps John Oliver said it best the other night when referring to the repeal of the law ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ which is now a household word much like Ajax except Ajax has a purpose,
"Republicans might be willing to let homosexuals die for their country once everyone making over $500,000/year is allowed to park in handicapped spaces and is, by law, addressed as 'Gov'nor' in an English accent."
I’m thinking of serving the 'well-to-do' up on a silver platter where they’d feel the most comfortable. Then poking them with ivory toothpicks, adding Kalamata olives, smoked Gouda and a scallion. (This, by the way, is the scrumptious and colorful appetizer my aunt served us at Thanksgiving.)
Have they all gone mad? No! They haven’t. It’s me that’s going mad!
But one is only given a spark of madness, so damn it; I’m not going to lose it!
Speaking of losing it, space 17 called the other night and it was “my turn” to take the call. Seems she “felt it necessary to alert management” of a suspected prowler (The one that seems to visit only her over the years) that has been walking in her truck bed. “I haven’t driven my truck since Tuesday and there were no shoe prints in it then.” She went on to say, “I can’t say for sure but they’re like “tennies” and I don’t have a bed-liner so I can really see ‘em.”
Then she alluded in a special kind of racist way that “those people” who live next door to her (Hispanic family) always walk on her rocks and possibly broke one of her bricks and it could maybe be them.
This is when my spark of madness wants to burst into flame. If I bit my lip any harder I’d be at the emergency room for stitches. And this is when a cocktail makes space 17 my best friend. After all, she’s not one of those moneyed CEOs that owns my Congressman. She just a trailer park gal like moi.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Take a Glance

Here’s What’s Makin Today’s Headlines, People!
*US Needs Pakistan To Fight With Us At Afghanistan -Pakistan Border. (In an effort to make buddies with them, and with the help of yours and my tax bucks, we are building schools, hospitals and roads in Pakistan. Hmm..How 'bout New Orleans getting some of that stuff?
*The Terminator Declares “Cali” A Fiscal Emergency. Duh.
*Obama Agrees To Extend Bush Tax Cuts To All Americans Including Wealthy (Breaking Campaign Promise # 38 & done in “secret” meetings with “Repubs” behind closed doors.) LIAR!
*The Town of Salinas has a Bucket List: Things To Do In Salinas Before You Die.
*Palin Kills a Moose
*Gay Wedding on Skype Declared Invalid
And my personal favorite…
*Macy's Santa Fired for Telling a Naughty Joke
According to SF Weekly...
John Toomey, a beloved Macy's Santa for more than 20 years, has been sacked. His crime: An off-color joke for an "elderly" couple who saw fit to sit on Santa's knee. When grown-ups sit on his knee, Toomey said, he asks them if they've been good. When they say, "Yes," he replies, "That's too bad." He then notes that Santa is jolly because "I know where all the naughty boys and girls live."
While the Santa says he's been telling this joke for decades, this time he found an unreceptive audience. The couple complained and, as of Saturday, Toomey is out on his ass. Macy's has refused discussion with the media, but Santa's co-workers are distraught, although not yet ready to picket. But the 68-year-old Toomey said, "When God closes a door, he opens a window."
More like a chimney. One of my all time favorite quotes regarding the headlines is this…
“I glance at the headlines just to kind of get a flavor for what's moving. I rarely read the stories, and get briefed by people who probably read the news themselves.”
Any guesses as to whose lips uttered such wisdom? Good guess, but NO they don’t live in the trailer park. But actually “Georgie” would fit in quite nicely here!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Bottoms Up!

My mother’s hair was a hot auburn red for all of my childhood and into much of my adulthood. As a little girl, I used to dye her hair, as she sat perched from our kitchen barstool, cigarette in one hand and towel around her neck, she directed me to "not miss a spot." The pungent smells burned my nostrils then and pretty much can make me gag to this day. At the end of the whole elaborate process, I’d go out into the garage, where my sheep dog Tammy would be hiding out, and carefully remove the tawny stained gloves and dispose of them in the garbage. Inside she’d sit, smoke, drink and laugh that deep unforgettable laugh while we waited about an hour for her hair and scalp to be fully saturated. I would then get out the green can of Comet and with a damp washcloth; I'd scrub, in tiny circular motions, the crown of her face to remove any dye that had gotten on her skin. My obvious fear was that I would scrape off a layer, but she was tough and instructed me to “Get it all off!” She let her hair go gray some 15 years prior to her death, but I loved her as a red head. My mom, unlike my dad, was a “moderate drinker.”
As the Unofficial President of LUPEC (Ladies United to Protect the Endangered Cocktail) I am happy to find a plethora of research stating that moderate drinking might in fact have health benefits and increase one's lifespan. It is the same euphoric joy I felt when research found dark chocolate to have anti-oxidants!
According to a 12-year study of 38,077 men and women done by the Mayo Clinic,
those who drank three or more times a week had a reduced risk of heart attack compared with men who drank less frequently. (6)
Women who drink an average of half a drink a day have a 14 percent lower risk of developing high blood pressure than nondrinkers, but those who drink more than one and half drinks a day can raise their risk of hypertension by 20 percent.
A 2001 study found that moderate drinkers (those who had at least seven drinks a week) had a 32 percent lower risk of dying after a heart attack than those who did not drink.
Moderate drinking has been linked to a decreased risk of heart failures other than heart attacks in older people.
Light-to-moderate drinking may slow stiffening of the arteries with age, a phenomenon that can raise systolic blood pressure over time.
One to two alcoholic drinks per day can increase levels of "good" cholesterol by 12 percent on average, an increase similar to that seen with exercise and certain medications. Other studies by reputable researchers have also concluded that moderate drinking contributes to one's overall positive emotional and psychological well-being, which is a huge selling point for me. Don’t get me wrong now. I’m no more advocating alcohol consumption than I am going out and buying a box of Clairol... just bringing you the news as I see it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Away Goes Trouble Down the Drain...

I seem to have this unexplainable connection with men that work for Roto-Rooter. Two weeks ago
when the toilet in the laundry room gurgled up and percolated over, causing space 8's washing machine to over-flow into their hallway, I met Robert. While showing him the septic tank maps, and watching him sink his "chain-snake" deep into the underground, we talked for well over an hour about education, politics, and gangs.
The gang topic spewed to the surface when I astutely noticed a 3 inch Roman Numeral 14 on his left forearm. One thing led to another and suddenly I was being asked out to lunch.
David from Roto-Rooter came out yesterday when Bonnie Warren (Space 11) phoned to say that "All kinds of crap was comin up into her yard." David, unlike Robert, has led a pretty quiet life. He's been in this country for over 25 years and "trusts that the United States Government is not corrupt." Like the conversation with my other "Knee-deep-in-shit" friend, we talked about a variety of topics for more than an hour...I watched as a giant pile of paper towels, baby wipes, tree roots, mud and all textures of shit were laid at my feet. Then, as if I would have an appetite, David removed his gloves to write up the invoice and asked if I closed the office for lunch!
All of this "love stuff" reminds me of a situation I found myself in several years ago. It was
2002 and I taught 6th grade at the time. It was parent-conferences and I was sharing Alex's report card with his father, Reynaldo.
As I am going down each academic subject, trying to explain Alex's strengths and areas that need attention or improvement, Reynaldo says, "Do you like cultural food?"
In a mid-sentence that I think pertained to math scores I say, "Oh! I love cultural foods!" I continue to discuss the report card. Next Reynaldo says, "Do you enjoy World Music?" Again, after sharing Alex's success in completing his Social Studies Project I, totally oblivious, say, "Yes! I love World Music!" Without missing a beat Reynaldo then asks, "Would you like to go dancing this Friday night at Club Gemini?"
It was one of those moments where you float up above your body and look down at yourself...
Well, I saw and heard myself laughing with a nervous tinge, not giving him a "Yes" or a "No" just continuing on with Alex's D in Spelling and how we can help him improve.
You know "in the day" I turned a few heads but they were always of the female gender!
I guess septic dudes and single dads were my true romantic destiny!
Shit happens.