Big clunk on the wurstdeck and when I opened the door a huge box from Usinger’s blocked the way out. Surprise! The holiday gift from the Milwaukee in-laws. We dragged it in, sliced it open, pried loose the styrofoam lid, removed the dry ice and voila, a cornucopia of Wisconsin sausages, maybe a dozen variations on the wonders that Germans can do with meat bi-products. Everything was still frozen from the frigid icy blasts off Lake Michigan, but with a saw knife I was able to pry loose a big chunk of Braunschweiger and eat it like a liver popsicle. Yum.
Put the crutch nearby, if needed, but using the cane now. A crutch feels much more manly and I can pretend it was an athletic injury, swaggering and hobbling, but a cane is certainly more dignified. I often forget it entirely, though, and wander about the pad and even about the deck canelessly till I teeter (drunks totter, I think, and the more advanced geezers, and Audrey). It’s been days since I last fell off the crutch like an idiot. The bruise on my forehead has turned a gentle greenish yellow and is fading. The ankle sometimes crunches deliciously, like someone nearby eating potato chips, but it’s merely a myriad ankle bones on a myriad ankle bones, as the ligaments (or whatever they are) are not quite up to par yet. But still, I do chores and carry things and push this and pull that and almost feel less a gimp. Not that I could do much anyway, as there’s a plague about, and I’m starting to feel like Vincent Price in The Masque of the Red Death, but much nicer.
Basically anything you say on Facebook this week will get you yelled at with an incredible ferocity by perfectly nice people. I realize it’s only a few days till the election and I’ve avoided saying anything political for a while now—I’d been exposed as a Trumper—and have steadily cut back on things to talk about or even mention. But this week a single word on any topic can unleash a molten thread of vituperation that it’s best to politely avoid if at all possible. Turning off notifications works, the thread is rendered invisible in your feed and you can proceed blithely on as if nothing had happened at all, though you may discover later that your sudden silence has taken on all sorts of ramifications and by thread’s end in your absence you’re a Trumper again. Just as likely, however, is that you may go back and the molten eruption has vanished, as if it had never been and you imagined the whole thing. That’s happened a couple times. An entire essay in two parts, hundreds of words to each of the parts, beautifully composed and all about the Eagles for some reason, was gone, poof, like a dream. I never even got to read the whole thing. I had gotten as far as Lyin’ Eyes and had to stop. A shame. It was a good piece. In analog times these things lasted. Now they’re just zapped into the corn field.
Anyway, let’s just pretend I never said Houses of the Holy.
I remember in 1980 when the inconceivable happened and Reagan was elected we all assumed that made WW3 inevitable so what was the point? Any career planning went out the window and we did whatever we wanted. It seemed utterly pointless to think more than a couple years ahead when there were 55,000 H bombs in 1980, most of which would be exploded in the first few minutes of WW3. Once war began, nothing could stop its progression. Mutually Assured Destruction it was called. It was so hair trigger that a flock of geese misread on the radar could set it all off. None of this was secret either, we all knew this. At some point every single day we thought about this. It was always in the back of our minds. A thunderclap would wake us up and we thought it was the end of the world. That’s a special kind of terror, to wake up in pitch dark thinking an H Bomb had just exploded and this, at long last, was it.
I dreamed about nuclear war a few years ago. We were in a car fleeing the mushroom clouds in the rear view mirror. Then more appeared off to the west of us, then east of us, finally in front of us. I woke up in the dark in a cold sweat.
We’ve forgotten this now. Repressed it. Which is a good thing. I’d hate to have other generations live with that fear. I don’t wish that on anybody.
Sprained the fuck out of my ankle last week and since then I’ve had to buy three new outfits to match the shifting hues. The greenish yellow is challenging, especially getting a three piece suit that also works with yellowish green. It’s a shame that they don’t sell the argyle socks with matching jacket and two pair of pants, one pair greenish yellow, the other yellowish green. Or maybe just one pair of pants, one leg greenish yellow, the other yellowish green. It would save me money and if I just walked in one direction, nobody’d notice.
Limp in one direction I mean. I gave up walking a knee ago.
Anyway, I sit here staring at my crutches thinking of the things I could be doing but can’t do anyway. My crutches and me are old pals, going back decades, a lotta gimpery under the bridge. I have three crutches, actually, but that’s another story. Most people have no idea you can sprain a codpiece.
Say good night, Gracie.
Managed to accidentally get about two weeks more free rental car from the insurance company than we were allowed. It’s a long, stupid story, but it really helps being an idiot sometimes and I cannot believe how much patience some people have. Ah well, no matter how much of an idiot I was, the free rental ran out and I just returned the car. Now we’re carless again. In L.A. One of those people. They call the bus the shame train.
Well, we’re just cheap. And careful. Dinged by too many catastrophes, we decided to wait till the big phat insurance check comes in the mail before getting another rental. We’ll need one then to find an old lady Lucerne. I figure we’ll trawl Palm Springs, all kinds of beautifully maintained, low mileage Lucernes out there. Death comes, Lucernes remain. Craig’s List seems bursting with them. We’ll see.
Craig’s List. There was a lady next door who used Craig’s List for other things. Her cries rent the still night air like wanton birdsong. Though actually I never heard them. My neighbors told me, whispering and giggling and tittering like children.
Which is off topic, I know.
[2015. Scott Walker was a Republican presidential candidate then who promised to build his wall on both borders.]
Thank god Scott Walker will build that wall to keep illegal Canadians out. An old man in my neighborhood was just assaulted by an illegal alien curling team hanging around the Home Depot parking lot. He needed some sweeping done. They hit him with a curling stone, sang O Canada, and made off with his wallet.
Jokes about Canadians continue to sink without a trace on Facebook. Since no one in LA knows any Canadians, speaks any Canadian, or has a clue what Canadians look like, they figure that I am joking but they can’t tell if I’m being racist or not. So they say nothing. No comments, no likes, no nothing. The Facebook equivalent of a blank stare.
Facebook loves it when I say something about Donald Trump, though. But then he’s not Canadian.
I’ve put hours and hours into cleaning up the heatwave caused eco disaster in the fish tank and it’s beginning to look gorgeous again. I was sitting on the couch watching it like it was television when the rumbling began. As it grew in intensity I just got mad, and madder, and finally yelled Don’t break my aquarium, goddammit! It subsided. The aquarium was fine. I realized I had just yelled at an earthquake.
So apparently epilepsy and Benadryl don’t mix. Especially combined with lots of strong coffee, little sleep and a nasty sinus infection. Funny what you learn way past the age of being old enough to know better. Better now. A little more memory damage, more leery of writing than ever. Next time I pick an easier disability. Bone spurs, maybe.
I was at a symposium or something once that had jazz panels. I was never into jazz panels. They tend to be bookish and dull. I usually find anything jazz that doesn’t involve people actually playing jazz to be bookish and dull. But I checked out one of these panels, though, because it had an old alto playing be bop buddy of mine on it. Old be boppers are never dull. If they’d been dull they wouldn’t have done something looney like playing be bop. But this panel was dull anyway. Dull dull dull. Even the panelists looked bored. So I told a pal sitting next to me that I could completely wreck it. He said I couldn’t. I said just watch this, and raised my hand and asked about Johnny Hodges. My old be bop alto buddy hated Johnny Hodges and out came a long winded, offensive and hysterically funny diatribe against the way Johnny Hodges played saxophone and against pre-bop alto saxophonery in general. People in the audience were offended and yelled back. After a few raucous minutes things finally settled down. So I raised my hand again and asked about Art Pepper. My old be bop alto buddy hated Art Pepper and went into another long, offensive and hysterically funny harangue against Art Pepper. All hell broke loose again. The famous trumpeter on the panel, to calm things down, told an extremely rude joke about Puerto Rican women. The famous trombone player talked about how high he used to get. My bop buddy talked about reefers. The trumpeter told another rude joke. The trombonist had a million drug stories. My buddy went after Johnny Hodges again. The trumpeter told another joke. All three panelists were in stitches. People walked out. The moderator just gave up entirely.
And while that was probably the best jazz panel ever, I promised myself that I would never do that again.
So consider this an apology.
(2009. Originally posted on BricksPicks.com)