Archive | June, 2013

Have Some of My Melancholy

14 Jun

I felt so much more grief when my parents were alive than now that they are dead. They died like Irish twins, seven months apart. I guess mid century, they thought they were going to sow a super race of pretty girls and smart boys.

A friend of Grunt from childhood came over the other evening. I showed him a photo of my parents on Long Island Sound in Milford.I point this out to all the young adults. My mother holds me with some difficulty. I’m long and swaddled in a snowsuit. My father looks at the camera. He is holding a small shaggy lab pup. It was his consolation prize for not getting a son as his first born. He was called Checkers.He must have white on him somewhere for that name to make any sense.The most surprising part of this photo is that they both look to be genuinely smiling.The tide was out and it must have been cold. My face is not entirely seen as I’m propped in my mothers arms.The snowsuit hides my age.15,16,17,18,months?
I think my mother believed I was unhappy from the moment I was born. Doesn’t seem likely. I’m too young to understand love.I’m to young to understand frustration,anger or grief.
But I’m feeling much less grief lately, and for that I’m grateful.
.

How to start a moral panic

10 Jun

This young doc walks in,Dr. Calypso. His parents gave him a god- awful first name to go with that. He’s black-Irish good looking. He’d been in earlier, but left when he had an issue logging in. Now Cindy was going off about a 54 year old guy she knows dying after his second MI, because El Camino Hospital told him he had bad insurance, and it would cost 50k at least out of pocket to ream out his coronary arteries. I said,”Yes, this is America where health care is a privilege, not a right.”
“Right.” he says,” Tax dollars going to pay for for every fat guy’s bypass…”
“His family needed him, he owned a home. He dies a month after El Camino told him to look elsewhere for surgery.”, I tell him.
He sits down on a low chair, his long legs wide with his knees apart. Cindy is still chattering, now about people offering her joints at the guy’s funeral in Lodi yesterday. Calypso asks if any of us smoked salvia. Marti is talking about the guilt of smoking cigarettes.”No no. None of that stuff” I said.
“How about Janking?”
“What?”
It’s huffing.”
“None of us are that bad.”
“Fecal matter in a big jar. Leave it out in the sun.Put a balloon on the top.” Everybody got it so he didn’t say more.
“Doesn’t it have methane in it?”
“Yesss.” he says, “Plus other stuff. Makes your breath smell really good.”
“What that really sounds like is a kind of twisted eroticism”
“Oh, you would bring that up!” yells Marti to me, across the desk.
“Where did you learn this stuff, Dr. Calypso?” asks Cindy.
I start to walk away. “I’m such a child!” I could hear him say. Every one was laughing then.
He put in lab orders for 2 patients. He wasn’t at the desk when I came out of the med room again.

All Cleaned Up

9 Jun

I have to tell you what this hooker told me. She said that if a woman, any woman, well, sexually active woman, were to eat a whole fresh pineapple every day for 3 days, her pussy would taste like pineapple. It had to be fresh not canned. “Gets frothy” she said.
She was a very sad hooker, alcoholic, her children lost to her and grown. She seriously overdosed twice.
She wasn’t really the all-healing mother-type. Of course, I would like to think I’m that type. Carrying a few extra pounds maybe. Feeling like a cat that’s had a couple of litters; even my fat is strong.
Penny Gallo. Now that’s a nice name. After she moved to Reno, she got a very foul mouth. Brought it back to Bakersfield and now Monterey. Asked me if I was from back east.”Back in ’71, I went to New York to see all the hippies there. But all these black Muslim guys were there instead!”
“Yeah.” I remembered, too.
Then she did it again, and lay there in ICU, intubated.
“Cold hearted bitch!” I think to myself. Might as well cut it off.

She spent a good deal of time in the ICU. Then to Basement Ward. I felt angry. She could tell. She had a black eye. But she really didn’t want to leave anyone disappointed, even us on the BW. Nurses.

Christmas was coming. Penny Gallo had missed Halloween. Thanksgiving flew by. I was skinny then. Had a lot of clothes, like wearing them to work. I has a very soft cashmere sweater, 3/4 sleeve. A remarkable software product of some kind had reproduced large roses, photographically printed on this cashmere in black and white. It flattered me with my short white hair long dangly earrings, crooked mouth. Penny admired it. I thanked her.
Such a beautiful thing, that soft sweater.
I had to think here a minute to consider weather I wrapped it. Or not. Then it came to me. I wore it to work. I was flush with clothes, throughout my car and several hospital locker rooms. Then perhaps, I put it in bag.
I think it was a good present. There was goodwill around, really.

I’ll be safe at home among a brood, if she tries it again. I hope she doesn’t wear that sweater if she does.I’ll remember her best if she doesn’t try again.

All About the Spin

6 Jun

dad’s obit

I like to read obituaries. I like to read between the lines. Guess I like sad stories.Some dead persons, though, have had charmed lives, free of poverty, physical ugliness, racism. Hard to imagine. Is fictionalizing is ok, but outright lying is not? How would one get caught in a lie such as that? Who would press charges? Is it a misdemeanor or felonious?

winter into spring

4 Jun

My mother died in August. My father died in last month. I was estranged from them until the very, very end. As if I had any control over such epics. I feel newborn sometimes; I have certainly never understood reincarnation and the feeling of deja vu.I t always feels like the first time to me. Unexpectedly raw.

When all the boomers were being born, we were sure to be writing the rules ourselves, handed the purse,drawing a bead on time itself. It would never go backwards from here. Of course it was the boys with the lion’s share. They would grow to be what every father had always wanted, sure cocks-men with a benevolent side, lusty, fair and long-lived. Their daughters would be at peace with their beauty and grace.The very ground beneath their feet would be forever conquered.They’d leave the Earth for distant stars and place their feet on the necks of whoever lived there.

That’s a lot to live up to, and many of us disappointed. All our parents ever really had was a belief in the superiority of their progeny. They were so, so wrong. I hope they can see now the narrow-mindedness of their monotheism.

That’s real unlikely.