The Toenail

I often take my octogenarian mother to lunch.    We like to try different places, which is quite an effort since we now both  live in the same small town.    But huzzah for me and all the other former big city dwellers who had to get away from the insanity of the asphalt, San Antonio is a mere 20 minute drive away.   Still, my mother–an armchair Keynesian–likes to keep the local economy thriving, so she tries to keep her money flowing on the home front.    I humor her and we stay in town.  On this particular day, we decided to dine at a lovely sandwich locale that’s frequented by the Ladies Who Lunch set.    Some red hats, other are  red hots, but all affluent with tremendous amounts of free  time to shop and spend and fulfill the lonely, dark crevices of their lives with material shit.

You have to enter this bistro through a gift shop which sells ridiculously overpriced sundries.    Artsy crap that no well-heeled housewife and/or dowager should live without.

Mother lead the charge inside and as she passed a large, solid wooden stump–approximately 30-pounds– with some elaborate carving on it, she pushed it back to get it out of her way and when she did, it fell straight back and slammed down on the four inner toes of my right  foot.

I try not to make a habit of shrieking and wailing in public, but on that chilly January day, the people of this Teutonic burg I now call home, were audience to an up close and personal performance of my banshee impersonation.   It hurt like birth in reverse.

The wait staff ran out to my rescue, as did the manager who was more concerned about tort than my toes, but I assured her through tears, that my mother did it.   It was no fault of the restaurtant, other than offering horrible art in it’s venue.    My mother stood there, confounded by what had happened.   I looked at her face.  Try as she might, she simply couldn’t resort to her standard M.O.    She couldn’t find a way to blame this one on me.

She actually looked repentant and somehow found the words to say, “I’m so sorry!”     This made me cry even more because my mother rarely ever apologies.

When my shoe came off, my toes were red, starting to swell, but it was obvious the second toe had taken the brunt of the impact.  It had been flattened some…it was longer than the other toes.   It had the appearance of a wide egg noodle after seven minutes in boiling water.

A waiter handed me a Baggie filled with ice and I sat there a minute, but it was too little, too late.    My foot hurt like hell and I couldn’t move my toes.   It’s broken.      My mother and I drove to the nearest  Emergency Clinic, where I explained what had happened as I was being wheeled in the X-ray room.

A few minutes had passed.

“No breaks”, said the milk moustached doctor, four months out of med school.    “But you’ve  sustained a severe bruise.   This is going to be a painful recovery process, but take these pain pills and  this anti-inflammatory and keep off your foot”.

“Thanks Doc, but what about my mother?”

“What about your mother?  Was she injured too?”

“No, but isn’t this something that should be reported to Child Protective Services?”

He looked perplexed.

“Miss Kendrick, how old are you”?

“I’ll be 54 in April.”

“And your mother?”

“She’s 83.”

“I think you just answered your own question.”‘

I smiled and said, “Oh, I was just joking around!”

But I wasn’t  really.  I was already planning what I would wear in court for the lawsuit hearing, but the mind quelling wonder of a decent opioids banished any and all litigious afterthoughts.    My mother, for now, was in the clear.

Well as for my toes, they stayed red and swollen but for the second one,  in terms of width, it still looked flat in length.    A bruise formed down my foot, almost to my ankle and  there was bruising on the bottom of my foot, too.  Within a week, a blood blister appeared on top of the second toe and grew larger each day.     After a few weeks, it finally popped (with a little help from my digital prodding;  you know we women are)  and that’s when my skin started peeling on both sides.

The other toes recovered nicely, but not the second one.  It still hurt three weeks after.   The toenail was a lovely purple/black color.   Then during  the fifth week, post accident,  I could finally put  some weight on toe  and while it eventually went back to its original width, it was still red and longish.    How long?

  • While lying in bed, I could feel the top sheet with my now longer second toe, something I couldn’t feel before.  And even that hurt.
  • I could put that toe in my bath water to check the temperature.  I could submerge it for two seconds, long before the other toes could even get damp.
  • While sitting outside one afternoon, a bright red Cardinal swooped  down on it, thinking he had found supper to feed his family of five.
  • A random monkey approached me, looked at my toe and in fluent Simian screamed “Long lost sister!!!”

I could go on.

After some time had passed, I went in for a pedicure thinking a little toe rub would be nice.   Quan looked down at my foot and asked what happened.  I explained everything and included the timeline and then he said, “You gonna lose nail”.

At least, that’s what I think he said.

I went home and did some research and yes, my Vietnamese foot  fetishist was correct.   Very often traumatic toe injuries can result in the loss of a nail.  Well, I was floored.   This had never happened to me before.    Broken bones, internal injuries, smashed dreams and arrears of faith–yes, but losing a toenail??????

Never.

Three weeks later, my dog Bixby stepped on my toe while playing  “pull the chew toy”.    Talk about painful!!!!

The banshee is back, or so thought my fellow villagers.

I examined my toe and the nail was loose on one side.   I pulled it to get a better look and what did I spy?     A tiny fragment of new toenail growing along the base.    A few days, later it fell off.

What does one do with a toenail one’s body has deemed refuse and discarded?

I had no idea, so I did the only thing that seemed logical when things Mother Nature deems that certain things must be removed from the body.    I put it under my pillow that night with the hopes that the Toenail Fairy…or Dr. Scholl would magically sneak in my room under the guise of darkness,  take the nail and replace it with a crisp new dollar bill.

Or maybe a $20 if adjusted for inflation.

I awoke the next morning and immediately looked under my pillow.    The toenail was still there, as was a strain of foot fungus.  Don’t ask me how I knew that my sheets itched, but I knew it.

I washed the bedding in  hot water and as it was drying, I  painted a tiny purplish pink square on the skin where the old nail had been, you know—to match the other toes.

I’m nothing if not a fuss-budget about continuity.

What Is Done, Can Be Undone

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Fret nary a bit, Lauridians.  This post will NOT be some long ass, existential drone about my shift-shaping  emotional state.   It’s about my arthritic left foot.

Sounds like a perfect cinematic vehicle for  Daniel Day Lewis, does it not?

But it ain’t.  It’s actually about my left foot.

The late Dr. Martin Luther King once said that unearned suffering is redemptive.   In that case, color me redeemed.

BACKSTORY 

I was involved in a nasty automobile accident 21 years ago this month.   The truck I was riding in was driven off the freeway and over an overpass into this marshy creek like estuary…home, I swear, to every biting and stinging bug known in entomology.

Upon impact some 22 feet below, I did a perfectly executed header out the front windshield–butt first–and slammed into the upsurge in the hood created when the truck hit the creek bed.   In the process, 11 major bones were broken;   four of them were within my right leg, all below the knee.   We’re talking serious breaks people;  what the medics call “comminuted” which basically means, the portions of the bones which hit the dashboard  on my way out the windshield  were sanded down.    Pulverized.    Just for grins, investigators say I was travelling that short distance the same speed as the truck was going,  which was set on 65 MPH on the cruise control.     Oh, and just so ya know, a former boyfriend was driving.  He fell asleep at the wheel.

Once again, please note–he is a  former boyfriend.

This was a lonely stretch of road about 30 miles east of San Antonio.   I was taken to a hospital in the city which would serve as my home away from home for the next three months.     Ah, that summer of ’91 is an opioid blur.

Delaudid…..Uh, I mean delightful.    

I meant to say,  I took nothing for the pain.  I merely  bit down on a bullet the entire time.    Opiates are for wimps.

lknose333333

All lies.

In total, I’ve had five surgeries to correct all that was rendered incorrect by the accident.    By nature of the breaks, their severity and where they’re located,  I am in constant pain.   A  doctor once told me that I’d learn to live with the pain.

I told him he could live with my ass.

But in the end (pun intended) he was right.  I’ve done exactly what everyone in the world has done:   I’ve learned to live with the hand I’ve been dealt, whether I willingly played in the card game or not.    It’s only when the pain is intense that I’m even aware of it. By the way, I can predict inclement weather better than Doppler radar.   I can tell you within 15 hours if a cold front is coming in or rain is headed my way.

My Lakota Sioux name is “She Who Predicts Weather With Amazing Accuracy Because of Numerous Broken Bones”.

I chose that one because “Stands With A Fistula” was already taken.

I walk with a limp on bad days and plus, I’m known for fashion over function and I know I’ve worn all the wrong shoes.    All of this has resulted in a nasty stress fracture in my left foot, which bears most of the post-menopausal weight with which I schlep around the days.   It’s painful.   I’ve only made things worse by trying to do aerobics  with the other crones of my village.      One woman, close to my age, was on the other side of the gym gyrating as best she could to the Miami Sound Machine.   I didn’t have my glasses on and my almost 54-year-old eyes were convinced she was doing all these moves with a papoose on her back.     Had I had my specs on, I would have seen that was her dowager’s hump, NOT a papoose.

But I digress.

Earlier this morning, the UPS man in all his mocha uniformed glory, delivered another pair of shoes that will surely add further damage to my feet.    I won’t bore you with details, other than to say they are designer platform sandals made by–well, the designer’s name rhymes with “Tory Burch”.

I put them on to walk down the 100 yards or so to my mail box, fully intending to scuff up the bottoms to  give them more traction.    Fifteen feet a away from my mailbox, I fell off of my shoes.   It had to have been a gravitational phenomenon because fortunately for me, I still possess enough endolymph within my cochlear  labyrinth that balance wasn’t an issue.   I stumbled though…and it wasn’t pretty.    A construction crew working on a nearby house actually laughed out loud in unison at my misstep    A few additional things were mentioned, too and lucky for me, I speak enough Spanish to know that what they said wasn’t very complimentary.  Something about a portly ballerina and vertigo, as best I could tell.      I ignored them verbally, but thought silent, nasty things about a certain country whose principal export is giardia-fueled diarrhea.

But the amazing thing is that I did in fact, both the landing, but when I took the final step with my left foot, it twisted and I heard a pop.    It hurt for a second or two, then I decided to go butch and walk it off.     When the pain subsided, THE PAIN SUBSIDED!!!!
As in my left foot didn’t hurt any more.   It was as if the stress fracture that had me snorting pharmaceutical grade Naproxen on an hourly basis, had self corrected!!!!   I don’t know if that’s what happened medically, but I can feel a whale of a difference in my foot, therefore, I am living proof that what is done, can be undone.

Except for the menopause thing….and I assure you that as the 54th circle has almost completed its growing cycle in my trunk of life,  I could not, WOULD NOT ever want to relive that process or the years that led up to it…..PERIOD.  

 

An Apologist, No More

I am currently dealing with an upper respiratory infection that has moved on microbially, but rendered me voiceless. Classic laryngitis. I can make guttural noises that resemble words, but it all sounds like the by-product of an unholy merging of the vocal stylings of Rose Marie, Brenda Vacarro, Suzanne Pleshette and Harvey Firestein. Family and friends love this forced silence, meaning it allows them to get a word in edgewise, but make no mistake, I am taking my current aphasia out on my keyboard.

While trying to remain quiet yesterday, I decided to do the most dumb ass thing in the world: I looked up old boyfriends. After a few inquiries I got bored. I guess I’ve moved on…

BUT….

I’m not so emotionally evolved that I couldn’t pass up the chance to check out the people I once. knew, tolerated, liked, and considered to be a friend, even though we were both forced upon each other, thanks to work or collegiate environs. In the real world, we would never have known each other. Our paths would never have crossed. And that’s okay. Life is like a trellis and we are the vines, forever trying to climb upward, or at least, that’s what we should be doing.

And nothing can remind us more of all that we haven’t done or become or accomplished or faced, quite like looking at an old acquaintance’s life through FACEBOOK eyes. Yes dear friends, this is the new millennium’s version of beer goggles.

I dropped out of the whole FB scene in early January. I got tired of the ‘look at me/notice me” effort that I was making and that so many people yearning for their eight and half minutes of fame.

It used to be 15 minutes, but with the sequester and all…

Anyway, I found a woman I once knew a lifetime ago. Thanks to blogs, a few podcasts, FB, My Space and an article or two, I was able to glean together what her life has been like in the absence of our friendship. Hers has not skipped a beat. And really, I didn’t expect it to.

She came from money and because water, they say, always seeks its own level, she married money. And her wealth isn’t that storied old money kind…you know, with longtime family friends named Bitsy, Roth, Barren and India who all look like they stepped out of a Ralph Lauren ad shot at Martha’s Vineyard. Well healed and well wheeled trust fund babies who knew how to eat lobster and use finger bowls while the rest of the infantile world was still making uncoordinated jabs at cold Spaghetti O’s slathered across the tray table of a high chair. No, not this woman. To be more succinct, she came from new money and she married new money and she is what I can only describe as a “contained version of being over the top” in everything she does. Does that make sense? Not quite Phyllis Diller, but not Grace Kelly either. She takes chances with texture,color and style in ways I couldn’t.

Or wouldn’t.

Based on what I read; on what I saw, she seems to consistently makes eclectic choices that go beyond my comfort zone. And mind you, I’m not such a fashion backwards kind of broad. Not all that long ago, I used to have and yes, used to wear, a mini dress patterned just like the Partridge Family’s bus. It made me look as wide as one, but dammit, I took chances in my own way, but this woman and her bevy of friends make me look like a piker.

And why shouldn’t she? Why wouldn’t they? She…they are much younger than me. If memory serves, she’s in her 40′s now, she has three children and still ridiculously pretty. That Patrician profile of hers gives way to a face that is Hollywood gorgeous. She’s genetically gifted with symmetry. But somewhere along the way, since getting married and birthing, she became someone who I no longer recognize. In articles, she frequently drones on applying the adjectives such as glam and fashionista in everyday affect. Then, there’s the insertion of yummy, delish and fab to describe clothing or decor. Bracelets are fun. How about a kicky pair of earrings? I was waiting to read the word jaunty in her description of a set of tea towels.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a very decent woman and there’s nothing wrong with her parlance. She appeals to a certain type of people, a different demographic and they all speak the same lingo. Her’s is an audience who knows about pretty living and pursues it regularly. Again, she is kind, considerate and generous as the day is long, but it was obvious the day we met, that yes, we had similar backgrounds, but we lived them very differently.
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Random Memories

Maybe, I’m dying.   I say that because I’ve always heard your life passes before your eyes when you’re about to shake hands with the Angel of Death and lately, my past and its personal battle with glory and infamy, has been creeping into my gray matter.

These days, I’m remembering things like a savant.     Things I haven’t thought of in years.

The first decade of my life was the ten year spans of the 60′s.      I was just eight years old during the Summer of Love.    The word “hippie”?    That was an adjective  used by my mother,  during her more catty days,  to describe big bottomed friends.    When the TV news people mentioned ‘drugs’, I thought of Rexall and the only  “Marx” I knew was the guy who made “Rock ‘Em, Sock ‘Em” robots.

I loved those languid summer days.    After my chores, which I loathed, I could go out and play….and play we did.  We’d be gone for hours; at someone’s house, playing  in a makeshift covered wagon, powered  by imagination.   We were trying to traverse the Cumberland Gap, or whatever the last  land mass we studied in Geography, a few weeks earlier.

I played with neighborhood kids mostly.    They were at my house or I was at theirs.   We hydrated ourselves courtesy of hard, green garden hoses.     We eat whatever Skippy of Mary’s mom would let him or her take out of the kitchen.    Playing pioneer people would morph into various things, such as playing board games–Monopoly, perhaps or Mouse Trap which was soooooooooo labor intensive to set up.     In fact, I don’t think I ever actually played the game.    We’d just set it up simply to watch it play out with its Rube Goldberg precision.    The payoff?    Watching that plastic cage trap thing wobble down the plastic poll and land flat, catching that plastic little mouse.

We’d come home hours later, as the sun was starting to set and no one worried about where we were, what we were doing or who we were doing it with.  We were tired….that good tired that ‘s the result of a free and unencumbered childhood.    We were lucky because that’s what we had all those decades ago.

Sure, I grew up in a small town in South Central Texas, but even my big city cohorts would attest that back in the day, they too could ride their bikes everywhere, walk to the park, playground or movie theatre, play in a front yard.   Being kidnapped by a pedophile was not on the day’s ‘ to do’ list.      If it happened, it was a big deal.    Our parents grew up with headlines about the Lindbergh baby’s kidnapping.     They were still a big shell shocked over that one.

In fact, I  grew up with a grandmother who was convinced that children should never, ever sleep near an open window.    That made you a prime target or the gypsies to come steal you in the night.  And if they ever got their hands on you, chances are they’ put you in a travellin’ show where they’d make you dance for the money they’d throw.    Daddy would do whatever he could.    Namely preach a little gospel and if he was lucky, sell a couple bottles of Dr. Good.

I can remember playing with three kids who belonged to the same family.  I used to laugh at how all their farts smelled exactly alike.    Why not?  Same diet.   That was like some  crude methane tracking device.  You could always tell if one of the Schnellings was in the room or had been in the room quite recently.

I can remember watching movies about cowboys and Indians and the Indians (native Americans to be PC) used to communicate with smoke signals.   How long has it been since you heard ANYONE mention smoke signals…other than seeing it on the marquee of a  head shop?

Nehi soft drinks.  Nu-grape?      RC Cola???       St. Joseph’s Aspirin for Children?  Creomulsion?    Choks vitamins?     Lik-A Maid, in the perforated accordion packs???

You never see  Milton Bradley board games advertised on TV,  then again, I don’t watch cartoon channels.    Toys today are too weird.    They’re supposed to “edutain” young minds.

What a pant load.

When I was growing up, I had a toy iron that actually plugged in a wall socket and got warm.   So did the Vacuforms and Incredible Edible machines.    Creepy Crawlers, too.   My play flatware had serrated knives and some play spoons could become shivs if bent at the right place.    We ate snow cones made from a plastic snowman with blades in his stomach.   Tore that ice cube up!!!!

easybakeoven1We played with toy ovens heated by 40 watt bulbs that were hot enough to turn bad tasting batter into even worse tasting cakes and brownies.

Wanna know how we all knew someone had gotten a Kenner Easy Bake Over for Christmas??

easy bajke burnsIt was easy to tell.

We were burnt, cut, bruised, scalded, balded, maimed and unduly scarred by our toys.  Talk about life lessons!!!!!!      But all that changed with the introduction to Sesame Street.

Kids may be safer but are they are imaginative?   Creative?     Could they do anything without a keyboard???

There are so many  things they’re missing out on.

You never see plastic rings in either gumball machines or as Cracker Jack prizes anymore.    Do they still make that  box of candy coated popcorn, peanuts and a prize?    That’s what you get in Cracker Jack, dee doh dee doh doh…

I remember getting free stuff if you mailed in a certain number of box tops–mainly from cereal.   Prizes also came in boxes of cereal.    You’d either empty it out in a bowl or contort the shape of the box to get at the tawdry little thing wrapped in cellophane.    It never lost its oaty, wheaty cereal smell.    Invariably, your mom would get mad at you because  your manipulations meant  she could never again completely close the box correctly.

Records,  flexible 45 rpms could be found on the back of Post cereal boxes.   You’d cut it out….it was just this flimsy low tech recording with horrible sound that you’d had to let flatten under a large book for a day or two in order for cereal boxit to play correctly on your record player.

Cereal box performers included the dulcet tones of a one Bobby Sherman, The Jackson Five, The Archies, Josie and the Pussycats and a group called “The Sugar Bears” which featured a one hit wonder from the summer of ’72 called “You Are The One”.    Catchy little tune.

One of the backup singers on that sleeper was none other than raspy voiced Kim “Bette Davis Eyes” Carnes.

AM radio was king back then.     One speaker played your fave rave tunes and the sound usually emanated from somewhere on the dash board.  The signal would fade as you went over a bridge or under a tunnel and God knows you could always tell if it was lightning was striking anywhere near.   AM static had an unmistakable sound.

I remember we had seasons at my elementary school.   For a few weeks it would be hopscotch…..jump rope was big too.

Not last night but the night before, 24 robbers came knocking at my door…I ran out……ttttttthhhhhhhheeeeeeeeyyyy   rrrrrrraaaaaaaaaannnn in!!!    (That was your cue to exit while another jumper attempted to enter the the inner sanctum of rotating jute)

We played jacks, too.   Onesies….twosies…threesies.     And your discriminating jacks player never played with the little red rubber ball that came with the set.  You played with a golf ball, pilfered from your father;s golf bag.  It had a better, higher  bounce for foursies and higher.jacks

Jacks season was fun.    We also knew when it was over:   when someone’s dad stepped on a jack at home.
Is Tiger Beat magazine still published.    I never read one….was never into teen idols.     I really didn’t care if  Donny Osmond actually called it “puppy Love or not and I couldn’t be bothered if either of the Brady Bunch chicks had crushes on their on-set gaffers or best boys.  w when it was over, too:  whenever someone’s father stepped on a jack at home.

tiger beat

Then there was MAD Magazine.    That rag offered me entre into the world of sardonic humor.   From there, I started reading the National Lampoon.  Back in the early seventies, it —along with the national Lampoon radio Hour which piggybacked with Dr. Dimento and Firesign Theater each and every Sunday night on our local underground FM rock station.    They’d play deep album tracks (entire B sides of an LP ..betcha haven’t heard that grouping of words in quite some time).  Forty five minutes would go by without a commercial and if one played, the only advertisers were free clinics, head shops, record stores and ticket outlets for upcoming concerts.

The uber cool jocks always sounded stoned.

You never see ads for sea monkeys…or X-ray glasses or patches for your blue jeans.

cents symbolWhat happened to cursive writing?

And will someone please tell me what happened to the cents symbol on a keyboard????

Go ahead…look.

I’ll wait.

There were bonnet hair dryers and wall mounted pencil sharpeners  in your classroom that only got full when I walked up to use it.    Remember that grinding sound?  And remember how the wood and lead shavings smelled?

Skinned knees were treated with Mercurochrome     We called it “Monkey Blood”.    An antiseptic by any other name would hurt just as bad.  That shit would sting when applied to an open wound of any kind.    Your mom would blow on the ouchie, which helped some, but it still hurt.   And that red stuff stained  your skin for days.

Remember Bactin?  What about Shake-A-Puddin?

I remember the loathsome taste of Fizzies.   It was kiddie Alka Seltzer with a laboratory created ‘fuity’ flavor.   Nasty.fortune telling device

I was never one of those kids who could take a sheet of notebook paper and fold it here and there and origami it up until it was this fortune telling gizmo or….would tell you who with whom you were were really in love.    Anyone remember these things????

I never knew what they were called.    But they could be manipulated with your forefingers and thumbs.  I never married the fourth grade boy it told me I would.

school deskThis is the kind of desk I sat in as I matriculated from first through fifth grade.     This was an all in one, metal and wood hemorrhoid inducer.   Uncomfortable and cold.

It had an indention for pens, pencils and  rulers,  I guess.

And lest we forget Map Pencils.

I can remember going to my grandparents house and wanting to color but all they had were a few Map Pencils.    I’d always be so disappointed to learn you had to make due with Map Pencils.    They were so lacking.    The colors never had the vibrancy that crayons did.

Whatever happened to Hydrox cookies, the poor man’s Oreos???hydrox100_jeh

It debuted in 1908, several years before the Oreos and was made by Sunshine.  It’s name is a portmanteau of the two elements contained  in water:  hydrogen and oxygen.  I had no idea.

The Oreo came four years later, inspired by the Hydrox but somehow, the Oreo always stole it’s thunder.   Hydrox was always looked upon as a poor Oreo facsimile.   Ibnteresting becasuse the Hydrox recipe resulted in the chocolate wafer part of the cookie being for better for dipping in milk.    It stayed crunchy even after being submerged in cow juice over and over again.     Not only that, Hydrox were kosher and DIDN’T use lard as an ingredient in the white filling mix as Oreos did.

Keebler bought Sunshine in 1996 and revamped Hydrox as something called “Droxies”.      Then, Kellog bought Keebler and sent Droxies packing into creme filled sandwich cookie netherworld in 2003.     

lustreI remember Lustre Cream shampoo that came in a thick, white glass jar with a metal lid that screwed on and off.   The shampoo itself was pink and had a consistency of cold cream.   I think we had a jar of that stuff on the shelf for several years.

I can’t remember how it smelled, but I remember it certainly left a ‘sheen’ in the bathtub.

Speaking of soap, there was this stuff called Fuzzy Wuzzy.    Anyone remember that?   It was a bar of soap shaped like a bear and maybe a few other animal shapes.   It came in a box decorated like a circus cage.     You left it out in the open air and it would grow air.     And when you used it all up, you’d find a toy surprise in the middle–usually a ring, or a whistle or a a martian.

I had a Fuzzy Wuzzy.

It was a bear.

It grew this thin, uneven whitish grey layer of fuzz or perhaps it was moss ……dust….or albino algae.

I got tired of waiting and cut my alopecic bruin in half and dug out the prize.     I think my mother made me throw out the Fuzzy Wuzzy.    It didn’t grow any hair…and neither could I on any of the large, red,  irritated patches of skin on my torso.

I used to love Soakies as a kid.   These were plastic bottles of bubble bath shaped in  the form of the day’s most popular cartoon characters:  Topcat, Bullwinkle, Rocky, Deputy Dawg, Popeye…and characters from the Disney and Warner Brothers animated pantheon. topcat

And then there this final memory.

When I was a little girl, there was a Clorox Bleach ad on the back of a magazine.    It was Ladies Home Journal or McCall’s ..I don’t remember which, but, in this one ad that was introduced in 1965/1966, so many people told me that one of the children featured in the ad looked just like me.   Was my splitting image, my doppelganger.   We were around the same age and had the same haircut and coloring:  blond with brown eyes.   I saw the ad myself and agreed there was a striking resemblance, as did members of my immediate family.

Well, I’ve been on a vision quest trying to find that ad.   In the late 70′s I scoured the library at the University of Texas looking out countless vintage magazines in their collection, looking through fiches.    That was more than 30 years ago.

But thanks to the advent of the Internet ( I could just kiss ya, Al Gore) all those years of searching are over.  I have found the ad and I will share it with you.    My twin sister from different parentage.    The one on end in all white, with the dirty sock and inability to lift her leg in the balletic position known as retire.   Oh, and by the way, my nose wasn’t as wide..

clorox ad

Or maybe it was.     I was the one member in my family who could find truffles in no time flat.

The Tragic Art of “Catfishing”

Ah yes, the catfish.

This bottom dwelling aquatic is known by the white costs types  and nerdier game wardens as  a Siluriform.   They’re called ‘catfish” because of their barbels, which are whisker-like tactile organs near the mouth which house the fish’s sense of taste and have something to do with its ability to move and hunt for food through the murkiest bodies of water.  Their binge eating also adds to their size and their size and their size can make them an absolute pain to reel in.  They’re fighters.

On the dinner table, a catfish also has the potential to be  one of the greasiest critters with fins.   I grew up Catholic and back in the early 60′s, this meant I had to endure plenty of Friday nights being force- fed this fish because this was pre-Vatican II and eating meat on Fridays was verboten.     Something about sacrifice and its correlation to Jesus’ 40 days and nights of fasting before he met his fate high atop Calvary..the old Golgotha.

Well, I guess I owe Mr. Catfish an apology because I learned later in life that some of the greasiness can be controlled by allowing the Crisco in the frying pan to reach the correct temperature.  It’s got to be hot enough.    The hotter the temp, the less greasy it’ll be.   So as it turns out, I’ve spent a lifetime lambasting a fish for being greasy, when it was really the fault of a bunch of bad cooks.

But the term’ catfish’ is one we’ve been hearing a lot about lately, not because it’s a fighting fish.

It’s because of The Fighting Irish.

More specifically, the team’s All-American/Heisman/Lombardi finalist, Manti Te’o.    The linebacker is the victim of an apparent catfishing hoax.   A man posed as a woman to lure Manti into an online relationship.    As a result, one of this past football season’s kings of the collegiate grid iron fell in love with a woman he frequently spoke to on the phone…texted…..emailed, but never met.

Instead, he spent four months falling love via talking.     A lot of talking..

According to ESPN, more than a thousand calls totaling more than 500 hours in length either came from or were dialed to the same number which originated from the 661 area code, which covers a part of Los Angeles County.  Of these calls, 110 were more than 60 minutes in length, including several that were several hundred minutes long. Te’o said he was on the phone “every single night” with a person he believed to be Lennay Kekua,

She sent a photo, but wouldn’t Skype.    She’d claim her undying love for, but wouldn’t meet him in person.  Every time a face-to-face was arranged, something always fell through.

And then, Ms. Kekua had a serious car accident,  then she developed leukemia and died in a very short amount of time.  Is there no better way of ending one of these things?  Death has a tendency to be so….so….final and what better way for a narcissist to go out than in an emotional blaze of cyber glory.

We have since learned the hoax was perpetrated by a guy who’s mom had to have been in love with vowels:   Ronaiah Tuiasosopo admitted he was Lennay.   He even created a fake Twitter account for her and it’s also my understanding that somewhere along the way, Manti and Ronaiah knew each other.

The timing of this tangled web interest me.   All of this went down right before the Heisman was awarded and just a few weeks before Notre Dame met Alabama in the National Championship game.   “Bama won–handily–but even so, it’s presumed that Te’o will be drafted in one of the higher rounds for the NFL.

But for me personally, this story isn’t about Manti, as much as it’s about the hoax itself.   What happened to Manti (whether he’s an innocent victim or willing participant) happens all the time.  It’s just that when it happens to you and me, Katie Couric,  ESPN and a 60 Minutes camera crew don’t get involved.

We live in a world where the computer screen is everything.   It’s our source of news, shopping, communication, entertainment, education, job hunting….it’s all encompassing.    It has opened up the world in ways that Magellan, Columbus and Alexander Graham Bell could only dream of.     Online predators are located all over this big blue marble and no,  they’re not all big, sweaty, no goodniks  in chat rooms posing as someone else with the hopes that  some love starved sapling will fall victim to their wiles.   Very often, they’re just big, run of the mill people with very boring lives, or a disability or physical deformity of some sort, or  an ever-expanding waistline.

We can be anything we want to be online.   A lowly part-time mechanic can be a hunky male model.    An under-developed socially awkward young woman can be an attorney with an extremely successful practice.     A well-read paraplegic with an imagination can be a CIA agent or say someone with MI-5… maybe even a double agent with the Mossad (all popular career choices among trolls because these positions are next to impossible to verify).   A James Bond type is always a very popular choice among the male of this species, but catfishing knows no gender boundaries.  Women do it, too.

Perhaps the goal is sex,  maybe even usury for fiscal purposes, but I think more often than not, it’s all about control and manipulation.   Nothing gives power to the powerless more than being able to control ALL the pieces on the chessboard.   And the love starved victim goes along with it, accepting whatever crumbs he or she allows us to have.   Some have maintained a ‘relationship” for years with a nebulous voice, and little else.

Why would someone do that, airou ask?    Why would someone mastermind and maintain a hoax like this?   Why would intelligent men or women fall for it?

Chances are, when this happens, the victim is well aware that there are  more red flags present than outside the Kremlin, but the idea of love and being in a relationship–even the cyber ones, is all we want.  This need; this desire trumps our own sense of  reality.   Honesty.

And really, that’s not all that hard to understand.   Hell, fashion magazines sell volumes because they airbrush photos in their layouts.   So does Playboy.   Beauty, whatever that’s perceived to be, has to have an air of perfection about it.   Madonna’s gap teeth may not be all that becoming to some, but that 28th crow’s foot forming near her 54-year-old left eye can be damn  well dealt with, thank you very much.   Bad dentition perhaps, but bad skin???????

Never.    

We need to present imagery of being younger thinner, wealthier, more handsome, more worldly, more popular, better educated, more alluring and sensual versions of who we are.   We airbrush our lives.  We Photoshop our existences.  We pad our resumes.   We tell lies (whoppers and baby ones) all the time.   The truth, or I should say ‘authenticity’, ends up on the cutting room floor, like yards of celluloid.

And it’s because of this that the glaringly apparent ‘red flags’  are ignored because the distance between the catfisher and his/her prey is beneficial.    That solves a whole array of potential problems.   And the miles also puts the kibosh on true intimacy, the physical AND the emotional kind.   That’s often a plus for both parties.  You see, sometimes, the victim often has as much to hide as the hoaxer.

In my opinion, Manti Te’o is either a liar with a really bad PR machine on his team and the ruse got way out of hand and instead of helping the would be pro-baller, it might end up causing him to lose pre-draft stock.

OR….

He’s a just  lonely, rather naive, 255 pound, Mormon linebacker playing for a very Catholic university and desperately looking for the kind of love that neither his parents, the legacy of Ara Parseghian or the ghost of The Gipper could provide.

The trouble is, he won’t find that kind of love on the internet, either.

I know some very intelligent, very well-educated people who have fallen for the lovely ideal phantom who’s texting and phoning them constantly, making them feel all a twitter from the safety of  being miles away.   ‘In your ear’, can be so much more convenient than ‘in your face’.    And while these bags o’ artiface might work for a while,  eventually, they all grow old.    The rut of being constantly disappointed and dissatisfied has that effect.    Catfish relationships are always….ALWAYS one-sided.   That’s a vital part of the manipulation.    One person tries harder, does all the work and in the end, the hoaxer exits ‘the relationship either because the victim finally wises up or the hoaxer just stops calling or…as in Manti’s case, the non-existent girlfriend conveniently dies.  But, how it ends or even why it ends doesn’t matter.   The destruction of ‘the relationship” is still one sided.   One person is devastated while the other runs off with pilfered trust, hopes and affection.   He or she then compiles all these amorphous trophies under some gigantic but very precise scoreboard that exists only in the ego.

We are toyed with just as a kitten plays with a skein of wool.    

Yes, but deception can still hurt, even if some part of us knew intellectually,  it was a sham all along.   We never want to confront our gullibility.  We never want to admit we’re vulnerable.    There’s a certain amount of pride at stake here, but as painful and embarrsing as it can be in the end, it’s also  one helluva life lesson.    That’s why most people who’ve been “Manti Te’o’d” once, can never be Manti Te’o’d twice.

If properly fortified by heartache, emotional scar tissue is impervious.  It simply won’t allow it.

At least, mine will never let it ever happen to me…..again.

Another Season of AHS Bites The Dust

Well, it’s over.

And it ended as it began but I for one, still have about 148 questions.

It’s the present day and we meet Lana and her new sapphic squeeze, an opera singer or performer of some sort, as she’s being interviewed  by a TV news crew and Lord, did the make-up people work on her face, to give her a necessary seventy or eighty year old look.   Apparently, she’s an accomplished author with six–count ‘em–six best selling novels and not only that, she’s apparently, a TV personality too;  an investigative reporter and host of her own  TV show, you know the kind–that  of the crime solving genre.  She’s also about to be honored at the Kennedy Center.

Apparently, her ambitious need to expose Briarcliff as the hell hole it is, is what catapulted her to such success.     The expose began as a documentary.  She and a camera crew sneak into Briarcliff courtesy of that secret tunnel that Sister Satan introduced to at the very beginning.     We hear how she demanded to see Sister Jude who according to Lana tells us, is still there, lo those many years later.

We treated to a scene of Lana and company entering Jude’s cell, dark and dank and dirty, and on what was once a bed–I think–sits a clump of humanity with wilder than wild hair.   The camera lights prove it’s Jude, who was left in Briarcliff and forgotten.   Jude was the only source left that could prove how the Church (when it owned the asylum)  had looked the other way with regards to mistreatment and scientific experiments.

But is it really Jude?  Nah, that was either Lana’s poetic license…OR…..really bad editing.

We learn that Kit actually rescued Jude and took her home to live with him and his two kids.  The Sister Wives are no longer part of the equation.   His mulato wife killed grace with a couple of ax whacks in the back.    Jude’s name is now Betty Drake.   Kit said he did it–took Jude into his home–as his way of forgiving and forgetting all that crap that happened to him at Briarcliff.    Taking care of Jude, he felt, was his redemption.

He conveys to Lana that it was rough going for a while.  After a lengthy detox, Jude was sedated for years.   She’d forget where she was from time to time and think she was back at Briarcliff and scream and carry on, yelling at Kit’s kids mostly.  She couldn’t understand why there were kids around her.  There was no children’s ward at Briarcliff.

Years later while in the midst of a swing dance lesson, Jude develops a bloody nose.    I’m thinking leukemia    We see her on her death bed, whispering life lessons to Kit’s kids.

To the son: Don’t take shit from the man.

To the daughter:  Never let men dominate you.

The kids are sent out of the room and Jude sees the Angel of Death making her last appearance in the corner of the room.   There she is, decked out in black, wings fully extended  and all puckered up to give Jude that final kiss that’ll take her up, up and away.

Or down, down, down, if you believe the Old Testament.

So, by 38 minutes into the season finale, Jude dies and we’re whisked back to present day.  Lana accomplished her goal and closed down Briarcliff.     She decides to take on the Monsignor–now a Cardinal in New York.   She says he knows about Dr. Arden, the experiments…the cruelty, etc., and we learn that he offs himself in a bathtub.    Slit wrists which are oozing life, turn the bathwater to a deep crimson.

Lana then tells the reporter that  she carried Bloody Face’s child to full term and gave him up for adoption.   His name is Johnny.    We’ve met him before.  Dylan McDermott’s character is genetically programmed to grow up to be the be Son of Bloody Face and all that that implies.   His made an effort to pick up where his father left off.    We saw evidence of that.

Anyway, Lana continues on with the interview and expresses regret for giving him up, but felt she had no other options.    And wouldn’t you know, Johnny seemingly part of the  camera crew.   He even hands her some water during a break in the interview.    Somehow, she knows it’s her son.    After the camera crew leaves, she gets up to make herself a drink and knows he stayed behind. She  implores him to finally come out of hiding to ‘get this thing over with.”  She knows he’s about to kill her.  Johnny is a psychotic sure, but he’s also an angry whack job, which never bodes well.    He was a screwed up kid, in and out of Juvie and now here he is, 48 years old and wanting to whack his mother for giving him away and killing his father.

He pulls a gun on her, but she turn the tables and sweetly convinces Johnny that he’s not only a part of his maniacal father, but he’s also a part of he That means he has at least half the capacity to be a decent human being.     He relinquishes the gun and she takes it away from him, only to point it at his forehead and shoots.

Bang!!!!

Like father, like son.

The show segues back to the very first show, when Lana was desperately trying to gain access to Briarcliff to get an exclusive with Bloody Face.  She gained access to Jude’s office through a ruse.    She claimed she wanted to do a fluff piece on the asylum’s bakery which apparently makes a dandy bread.   Jude escorts her to the front door after learning that the all she really wanted was an interview with Bloody Face who was supposed to be brought to Briarcliff for mental assessment.   She reminds Lana how difficult life can be for a woman with lofty goals and ambitions.  This was 1962.    The last thing we hear; the last thing we see are these two women facing each other with glares that had laser-like intensity.    This was how the first scene with Lana and Jude ended 51 years ago, when Jude realized Lana only wanted to interview Bloody Face.   Jude tells her that whenever you look into the eyes of evil, evil looks back at you.

Then, Lana leaves and Jude turns around as the  camera pans to the face of  a shiny, glossy statue of the Virgin Mary which stands in Briarcliff’s foyer.   The head is tilted as if glancing in the nun’s direction.    Gee, no hidden anti-Catholic sentiment there, huh?

I suppose it’s safe to say that Lana’s stint in the snake pit that was Briarcliff didn’t turn Lana into some cold, emotionless bitch with ambitions large enough to choke a whale.   Lana entered Briarcliff that way and walked through its doors unchanged.    Sister Jude recognized that right off the bat and in her special, ‘no holds barred’ manner, told her so.    She wasn’t predicting Lana’s life per se, but she certainly called it.   Lana didn’t have what Jude or Kit had:   at least a small period in life where there was peace and normalcy.

If I’m right, then I’ll give the writers a rate-a-record score of 79 for adding a smidge of pathos, but was it enough?   Not for me, then again, I’ve come to expect a certain shoddiness with AHS..

Characters were killed off too soon.   There were more holes in the plot line than in Bonnie and Clyde’s ambushed car.   We didn’t get to spend much time in Johnny’s head.   I could’ve used an episode delving into all of his angst.    What about that evil little girl who killed her friend and then her whole family?    What happened to the crazy ass serial masterbator????  And Kit’s alien space babies?    The ones that were so ‘special’?     One grew up to be a doctor, the other a lawyer.    Hhhhh’mmmmm, do those two occupations in this day and age really make them all that ‘special’?   Well, for a Jewish mother, maybe……

Lana was the only major character who survived.   Sister Satan and Dr. Arden were burned to death in the asylum’s crematorium.  Threadson was shot in the head several episodes back.    The Monsignor/Cardinal committed suicide. As far as I’m concerned, all three deaths happened prematurely and allowed a season finale that was anti-climatic.   In the finale, Jude died of cancer and so did Kit, although he was abducted by the same bright white light that became an obscure third or fourth level character on the show this season.   Why wasn’t this connection to space beings expounded  upon?  Why did those space freaks murder and mutilate all those women?    What happened to Pepper the Pinhead???     And why couldn’t we learn more about the forest dwelling  critters that Arden created?   And soooooo much more could’ve been done with the satanic angle, but nooooooooo!!!!!!

Season two jumped the shark so many times that poor thing’s dorsal fin was sheared off.

Anyway, I wasn’t as colossally disappointed as I was when season one ended.  And while I have questions, I think  that the unscripted dangling participles that I swat away like slimy tentacles are supposed to make me  come up with my own answers; my own conclusions.   Whenever I encounter endings like this in books, TV shows, movies and such,  I hearken back to a press conference I attended back in 1993.  girl coat

Directing wunderkind, Steven Spielberg came to Houston on a press tour promoting his boffo hit, “Schindler’s List.”     This involved filling a theater with local   high school kids, have them watch the movie then he would take their questions about the flick.   All members of the press could do was watch and at least in my case, learn.

One astute young woman asked Herr Spielberg about the little Jewish girl in the Warsaw ghetto who had worn the pinkish red coat;  the only bit of color in the black and white film.   Her question focused on the coat color and what that  was supposed to mean.

He responded without missing a beat, “It means whatever you need it to mean.”

That day, I learned that poetic license was a tool that the story teller could use at his or her discretion and it’s one that sometimes, an audience member has to employ as well.

scoobydoo_02And in spite of my many criticisms, I can’t wait for  Season 3.

Seriously, I can’t.

As for plotlines, I’m thinking a family of vampires moves into an abandoned but still ‘hot’ nuclear power plant and the fun begins when genetic mutations run amok while angry neighbors who complain, mysteriously after a  mod painted van called “The Mystery Machine” filled with four hips kids including one beatnik lookin’ cat named Shaggy who pals around with his  giant, snack eating, running in place while bongos play, talking dog with a speech impediment, arrives on the scene.

And here I’ll be at my keyboard poised at the ready in the  minutes after the  finale ends, closing the curtain on yet another fakakta AHS season.  That’s when and where  I’ll hold writers/creators Ryan Murphy and Bryan Falchuk  responsible for series of shows that leave more questions unanswered, throw logic out the window and could have been/should have been so much better.

And because of that, I’ll fully expect one or both to appear on camera and admit that they would’ve gotten away with it too, if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids!!!!!

Closure

heartache_largeA friend of mine contacted me to tell me that a former boyfriend from 37 years ago contacted her recently.    A long four-hour telephone conversation revealed that he isn’t happy with his life and admitted that really, he hasn’t been since they broke up in the mid seventies.    They only dated for a few months–he was her ‘transition boyfriend”, but he never knew that and I don’t think it would have mattered if had an inkling.   He loved this woman, warts and all and knew what she didn’t:  that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her.

And he would–from a distance and it was with a view that was no better than a few stolen glances over the shoulder of  his rebound wife.    Yes, irony of ironies, the “transition boyfriend” married his “transition girlfriend”.    Of course his marriage to her would be unhappy, for the most part.  Oh, there would be glimmers of happiness; a joyous birth or two, but in the back of his mind,  piercing through every smile would be those damned feelings for ‘her”...THEE girlfriend.  The one that got away.

My friend is currently in a relationship herself.   She says she’s in love.   He’s a man she maneuvered into her life so the move from wife to divorcee would be seamless.

“I could NEVER ever t involved with (insert name here) again.   Ewwwwwww!”

I’ll lay odds that as her marathon conversation with this specter from her past winded down, visions of a life him in some form or fashion crossed her mind.    How could it not?    Name me one normal red-blooded sentient woman who couldn’t let her mind roam down the back alleys of her imagination as she’s being told she was/is the love of someone’s life.   That her absence has been felt every day for almost four decades.   That losing her was and always will be his life’s singularly biggest regret.

I had one of those heartaches.  I had one of those relationships that I let haunt me.   I allowed a simple, acne-faced 15-year-old boy who broke up with me four days into my Freshman year of high school dictate me emotionally for 39 years.       He was there, always present, seething in soul , gripping like a vice.      In some form or fashion, he was there on every date, every uttered “I love you”, every break up, every holiday.

After high school, he went straight to work.   No college for him.    He was a simple guy.   He found a job in the oil patch and never looked back.    He married a women he met in a small town where he’d landed a job;  they married and had kids and last I heard, he had a couple of grandchildren added to his family tree.

Bully for him.

This was the guy who broke up with me before every major gift giving holiday.    I could always count on heartache two to three days before Christmas, my birthday and Valentine’s Day.    Easter,too.   Once, I accused him of being a Jehovah’s Witness, a reference that moved his bangs as it flew over his head.   Yet, I loved the little SOB.   He was my first boyfriend; my first love and at age 12, no less.     In the two years that we were together, he gave me a  yellow smiley face lollipop (which I kept as long as I can remember), a small black pocket  comb with greasy kid stuff still in it  , a very well-worn green and white cap with just as much greasy kid stuff in the inner lining, but the pièce de résistance????     He gave me a corroded silver-colored ring (I’ve yet to find the particular metal ANYWHERE on the table of elements) with green colored stones and three were missing.    He explained that the ring was in his jeans pocket when an impromptu game of backyard football broke out in the neighborhood.

As for the corrosion?   I shudder to think what might have started THAT scientific  process.     He found it, I’m sure but what did that matter?   I didn’t care.    HE gave it to ME.

I was lucky in that I was able to talk to him a few years ago.     A few weeks of phone calls, that’s all.    In that time, I was able to ask him why he left me so suddenly, without a real explanation and without ever really talking to me and he told me that he did so because I was in high school and would probably want to start dating and based on my upbringing he assumed that meant dinners and movies which took time and money–both of which he little of—and he was too embarrassed to tell me.   So, he did the sensible thing and broke up with me.

I can remember going silent at the end of the explanation, the reality that I was devastated by reverse snobbery was sobering.    I don’t remember what was said or even how much longer we talked, but I do remember this overwhelming feeling of release immerse me.    When we last spoke I had no money, only a half ass job, no boyfriend, certainly no modeling contracts or Academy Awards, the Pulitzer had eluded me, as did motherhood and marriage,  but even in the face of all those perceived negatives, I had one bright, shiny positive:  I had an answer to the single most pressing question of my life.

It made up for all the deficits during those holidays 43 years ago.  It was the best thing; the ONLY real thing of value he ever gave me:   the gift of closure.

This, I explained to my friend, is pivotal.     She should meet with this guy from her past that still holds the torch for her or at the very least, send him an email or something that could free him of the hold she has had on him.

“He told me he’s miserable and his marriage is nothing more than a joyless business arrangement.  He’s not happy because it was never what he wanted.” 

Of course it failed.   He settled.

Then, I explained it to her as I saw it, from someone who was haunted by a lost love for so long.  Emotional closure is vital for anyone who’s loved too long and all alone.    My God, is THAT a horrendous way to exist.

Sometimes it takes a gentle shove….a nudge….sometimes a major kick in the ass, but easing the pain is so important.   Not that it’s my friend’s responsibility,  not that it was my ex boyfriend’s either, but being told the real reason–even though it hurt a bit—was incredibly worth all risks, all feelings….everything.      I could stop the doubting;  the incessant wondering how and why.

But the truth is,  I was a lot like Dorothy Gale of the Oz and Kansas Gales.    I had the power to free myself of my emotional  enslavement all along, but I never really knew it.   Perhaps, I did but it served a good purpose.  I used it like a protective layer;  an impenetrable fortress.    Nothing gets near me;  I am safe.     But confines like that also allow nothing in either.   But I used it for as long as I used it–it kept me from getting too close to a lot of people.   So when I finally got the answer to a question that became rhetorical, 39 years ago, I let go.   I suppose it was time.

My life has changed since the  big release, in that he’s really no longer in it.    I rarely think about him anymore.  Oh, he’ll creep in when a song comes on that sweeps me back to 1972, but only in a certain fondness.    I don’t revisit unless a memory is triggered, and lately that trigger has a very secure safety on it.    As for the smiley face sucker?   I kept that for a long time, but eventually mice or other critters who forage storage spaces for food, destroyed it  and I would imagine the comb and cap met the same fate.   The ring, you ask?   I still have it.     It’s in a jewelry box somewhere and there it sits, just as it has for the past 42 years but I would imagine these days, it contains a few less green stones and the curious setting is now probably a lovely rust color.

The idealization of who he was and what he had all those years ago has long dispersed. And that is a very, very good thing;  a process that has taken a very long time.   I am free.  I now have a few well sorted  memories  that I keep in a memory bouquet.  I comprised it like one would order off a menu at a Chinese restaurant:   I’ve taken a few  memories from 1971, a couple from 1972 and one or two from 1973 just to complete the triad of years.

“Please set him free”, I begged my friend.    “You have to do for him what he can’t for himself.  Write him, phone him, telegraph, send a carrier pigeon.   How you do it is your choice, but please, just do it.”

She replied, “Why should I?   I  owe him nothing.  It was a lifetime ago!”

My answer came  surprisingly quick.

I told  her when spend most of your life, loving someone  in your past and it’s that all-encompassing love that burns as it cools, races as it rests; leans as it stands tall and straight, you have no traditional concept of time.   Any prisoner will tell you a 42 year sentence  takes forever to endure, but amazingly, when you look back on it, it  takes all of 42 seconds relive.   And in that time, which transpires quickly then slowly, then back again,  all you can think about  is being free from its clutches.

Freedom.   And  sometimes, for the damnedest of reasons,  freedom isn’t a choice….. but in some cases,  it can certainly be a gift.

She assures me, he’ll be receiving her email soon.

.