Another one bites the dust.

Well, I’ve lost yet another ex-lover…this one to lung cancer.   Heck, I could have predicted that really.   When we were thick as fleas in our 20s, she had a raspy voice then, that I thought was so sexy.   Of course at 21, I’d barely heard of Bette Davis.   We smoked like we thought cigarettes might go out of style any minute.   Eventually I had the good sense to stop, as with all my other vices.   She did not.

She would have turned 58 about two weeks ago.

We’d lost touch over the years.   I last saw her in 2004, I think it was.   She still looked the same.   Tanned and weathered, raspy as always.   Our children shared three birthdays in a row – her daughter, my son, her son.   I’m sure her daughter doesn’t even remember me, but I’ll never forget her.   She’s the one who explained where my son went when he died as my 2-year old daughter repeated the same phrase over and over and over for days, Where’s Brian?  Where’s Brian? until I thought I would go mad.   And then Corey took her in her bedroom, shut the door, came back out in about two minutes and my daughter never asked again.   When asked, Corey simply said she told her that he went to Heaven.

And in three days from now that grown-up little girl at 35 years old will bury her mother.  This is such a fucked up existence.   Why are we given hearts at all?   Color mine breaking right now.


The On-Purposes.

The not-my grandchildren were here this weekend. It seemed like three days and four nights but it was only one day and one night. Strange that. We danced, we played, we sang nonsensical songs about nonsensical things because those are the only songs I know the words to. We cried. Okay, they cried and when they stopped crying, I wept quietly on my own.

Little tiny faces that are nothing to me, not my grandkids, her grandkids as I’m constantly reminded when I say anything corrective to them. “Don’t worry about it, G; they’re not your grandkids.” Yes, yes I’m continually constantly aware that my grandsons are hundreds of miles away, and I’m here, with children I’m only allowed to love on the fringe edges. But I say nothing. I entertain as a complete clown would. I smile and I laugh, and these tears are never offered up for judgment. My weakness as she deems it.

She doesn’t understand loss or separation, and if she does, she never lets it show. She lives her life as if all involved will live forever, as if she has all the time in the world, later, for hugs and kisses, as if we all lived in a bubble where there is no disease, no pestilence, no death to our loved ones, ever. I live in an entirely different world, where people come and go quite suddenly, with and without warning – where there is no later, no tomorrow, only today, so today you show all that bottled up love, you give all those hugs that tomorrow will seem frivolous but today they are everything, they are the last ones, ever.

My husband, although divorced for 31 years now, I still think of him as my husband when I speak about him, the only one I know for a fact I’ll ever have but I digress – my husband used to say to the kids when they were little – ‘I brought you in this world and I’ll take you out – make another one that looks just like you’. This was his “straighten up right now” speech. But it didn’t happen that way. My son left this world and we did not make another one.

Why all this melancholy this morning? Because this morning as her grandson vied for her attention, with his 8-month old mentality, she ignored him, in favor of Facebook which could burn and go to Hell for all I care. I played with him, though, and made him laugh, dancing and singing for his enjoyment, annoying her as I tried to get her to join in, to hopefully realize that this moment could be the last moment on Earth but I only succeeded in getting a sigh, a “see what I put up with daily ” sigh. Because after all, a random sprinkling of complete strangers and what they ate for dinner is increasingly more important than the familial love standing just at arm’s length. *sigh* See what I put up with daily?

I don’t care much for progress, or really maybe it’s just the internet and it’s abundance of bullshit that decays our minds and draws us away from what is truly important – each other – maybe that’s what I dislike so intensely.

Be kind to one another, Ellen says at the end of every show. That statement should probably be modified in my world – Be aware of one another…don’t take for granted what could suddenly be gone so fast. They don’t call them on-purposes, you know; they call them accidents.

Is it winter already?

So I shaved.


Toes, feet, ankles, calves, knees, unmentionables, and armpits.

Brrrrr…… It’s cold now.

But those 13 or 14 hairs had to go.  I don’t shoot for quantity in my body hair, except on my head.  That uppermost stuff is fast growing and thick enough to pull.  Oh yeaahh (when I say that, I’m hearing the Kool-Aid Man’s voice, Oh yeaahh). – The Kool Aid Man!

But everything else is sparse, few and far between, going more for length. The two hairs under my arms are really only under the right arm.  When I shave under the left arm, the razor comes up empty.  And I only shaved my legs because out in the sun, those three or four blond hairs look silly waving in the breeze.  The pubes, well, I shave those three when they are in danger of me sitting on one of them.

I’m going on vacation this weekend so I shaved.  Oh yeaahh.

You better believe it – I’m fancy like that!

I mean, what if I’m killed in a car wreck?  (“Did you see that single foot long hair hanging out of her shorts?”)  I don’t need the ambulance people gossiping about me.  (“How about those two hairs curled up under that one arm?  I thought it was a tarantula at first!”)

I didn’t even know I had hair on my toes until the other night.

The GF is rubbing my feet, oh yeaahh, and she says, “Hey did you know you have two hairs on your big toe?”

“Are they attached to my foot?”

I expected them to just be drifters, you know hairs just hitchhiking through my neighborhood or something.  But she assured me they were mine and tried to pull them out, by wrapping one around her finger.  OUCH!  So yeah, stop that.  Ugh.  On the plus side, I don’t think I’ll ever need a facelift but I do look surprised now.

So I’m clean, shorn, and probably can wear smaller clothes at this point.  Let’s travel!

I’m alive! I’m alive! I’mmmmmmmmmm alive!

Okay, I made it! 28 floors, in 23 minutes and 49 seconds.  Not a record breaker by any means but I didn’t die and I actually consider that a personal accomplishment!

The winners (but really weren’t we all winners?) had times of *ahem* 3 minutes and such like that.  Whatever.  What kind of overachiever can do 28 floors in three minutes?  I wish I could say I think he cheated and took the elevator but he probably didn’t.  UGH.

So I should probably come clean with the whole truth, before it’s made public.

In darts, when you play on a team, you play for a whole season and at the end of these weekly competitions with some of the best dart throwers in the county, you get rankings that come with cash prizes and a trophy.  If you come in last place, you’re given a key-chain with a donkey on it.  It’s known as The Jackass Award.  Despite coming in second place the first year I played, and pocketing around $300 between me and my ex-GF, the next year I won the Jackass Award and still have my coveted key-chain.

I waited around today after the climb, for my Jackass Award, but apparently on a CF stair climb, you don’t get such a distinguished trophy – only a bottle of cool water, an icy washcloth, and my name as distinctly last on the posted times of everyone who participated.

I guess the grand prize today for me was – I’m alive!  I’m alive!  I’mmmmmmm alive!

I’m just looking for some love!

TWO MORE DAYS! And I will be a-huffing and a-puffing up 28 floors of stairs, in the name of Cystic Fibrosis and for my grandson!

Breathe for a moment JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN!

Think about what it means to the thousands upon thousands of people who cannot breathe without struggling, who do not have the lung capacity to take in those big deep breaths you enjoy every day and take for granted, myself included.


SHOW YOUR SUPPORT OF THIS STAIR CLIMB and of me, your friend, your family, your favorite clown, your confidant, your whoever I am to you. For those of you who have shared, who have shown your support and your friendship, I genuinely thank you, I appreciate you and trust me I will never forget you.

It is the east, and bacon is the sun.

Bacon.  Is it really bad for me?  I mean, it goes with anything.  Seriously.  I would eat it on a hamburger, on a grilled cheese, with some apple slices, in a salad, or crumbled over some sauteed veggies.  Very versatile.  I also think, not taking into account possible attacks from possible packs of ravenous dogs, that it would make a very nice grass skirt in case you were stranded on an island that had lots of bacon available.  Nom nom nom bacon grass skirt with booby holder made of bacon.  How much more fun would hula dancers be?  Oh man!

Which brings me to my question – is there bacon vodka?  I also feel that vodka is very versatile.  It goes with milk or coffee in the mornings, with iced tea at lunch and with anything at dinner.  You can put it in brownies, or milkshakes, or smoothies.  I mean, seriously, you can.  You can marinate in it, you or a steak, or raisins.  And if it was in a waterfall on my deserted island, I would drink it while wearing my bacon loincloth.

So is there bacon vodka?  I think it would pair well with a fried egg and grits mixer.  Just saying.  Well, when I get totally thin and rationally healthy, I want a straight up vodka with a slice of bacon in it.  You’re right, that’s crazy – put three slices in it.  I don’t drink anymore and I eat bacon so rarely that it’s like having sex when I do eat it.  In fact, I’m salivating even now just thinking about eating it.  Nom nom nom bacon!

Stop watching me; this is a private moment.  Nom nom nom nom nom bacon!

If the crazy fits, live with it.

So imagine you are me.  No!  Stop that.  This is how your day would go if you were to do that, though.

I work from home, with one bedroom shoe on, on my right foot, because that foot uses the foot pedal for my job.  I’m actually an organ grinder.  No, no I’m not.  But how cool would that be!  With a monkey and everything!  Okay, so I’m just a radiology transcriptionist.  Anyway, the foot pedal is rough to my sensitive feet. Well, it is.

And then there’s a knock at the door, while I’m on the phone, and I answer the door, suddenly keenly aware that I’m standing there with only one bright pink Valentine’s bedroom slipper that says, in bold letters, XXOO with a series of hearts.  Just the one shoe.  Part of me is tempted to tell this young pest control man the story but the other part of me is totally unconcerned with what he might think.  And I’m clothed, aren’t I?  He should be happy with that.  After he leaves, I catch sight of myself in a mirror – bald with names across the sides of my head and with my one bright pink bedroom shoe on.

I just have to wonder – Why do I always look crazy?  Why, why, why?


(Side note:  I did not buy those shoes; the GF did, as a gift, our first Valentine’s, before she knew me well apparently.  I wear them because I learned that anything she has given me, ever, has indeed great sentimental value, no matter what it is or how insignificant I might think it was, in actuality, it is monumental.  When we moved and I tried to ‘leave behind’ the microwave s’mores maker she gave me, she started to cry; “but it was our first Halloween together!”.  Okay.  Even though I do not eat sweets, do not like to use the microwave for anything, and we never ever buy marshmallows, or graham crackers, or plain chocolate bars.  It lives in some part of the kitchen (not sure where) but it most certainly did not get left behind.)

At least she’s not pregnant, right?

So on Friday, my GF gets a phone call and I hear her in the other room, a little animated, but I’m not an eavesdropper and I don’t have a short-term memory so three minutes later when she busts into my office / our bedroom and really it was more of a burst into the room as there was no door-breaking involved, I was slightly puzzled when she said, “Guess who called?”  No clue.  I’m bad at guessing games and never on the same page as anyone else.  “Steve Harvey?”, I ask trying to keep up with her animated state.  “The doctor from this morning.  He says my urine test came back positive for being pregnant” and she looks at me expectantly.

Well, of course it did – oh yeah, I’m just that good.  Okay, maybe not THAT good.  I actually just look back at her and patiently wait, thinking ‘alright, let’s hear it.  Tell me your tale’ with a mental eye roll.  This oughta be good and I lean back in my chair.

“I tell him there is no way I’m pregnant.  And he asks me again, “Are you certain that you couldn’t possibly be pregnant?”  And I tell him, “No, I’m divorced and there is no possibility of that.”

Of course she didn’t tell him she’s gay.  She’s still undecided about that one.  Oh I don’t mean she isn’t in any way; she’s just iffy on telling strangers.  We’re of that age, okay I’m not really, but she’s of that age where such things were kept to yourself.  Marriage to a man, shoot, you can share that with anybody but being with a woman, that’s a hush-hush thing.  No need in stirring up the cross-burners or the bible-thumpers.  Would hate to get a stern look from someone you aren’t even on a first name basis with, right.  UGH.  I could give two shits less who knows or don’t know, who agrees or don’t agree.  If you aren’t paying my bills, what the f*ck do I care what you think?  But I digress.

“So the doctor says if there’s no way for me to be pregnant, then I probably have a tumor.”  Well, to be honest, I said this same thing to her months ago. “Hey, babe, you should have a Pap smear…something ain’t right.”  She faintly lightly bleeds after sex.  (I know it’s TMI but I’m telling this story and you guys aren’t going to tell this one in pubs with drunken strangers or you definitely lead some sad sad lives with very poor stories and I’m never hanging out with you if that’s the kind of stories you tell…well, if you do, don’t mention her at all – she’s iffy around strangers.)

Coincidentally she already has a Pap smear scheduled for Wednesday night.  Of course it’s at night.  Some dude in an alley, with a pickup truck camper and a coat hanger.  NO.  It’s a night clinic.  Don’t be so gullible!  She’s already crossed “the line” in that particular clinic as they know “about me” and therefore assume “it” about her, since she’s my shadow, thinner and taller but still my shadow, which is so weird.  Because of course I finally got her to go to the clinic.

Okay, fine.  I didn’t get her to; she refused to go when I said she might need a Pap smear but then her sister called like the next week and said, ‘Hey everyone in the family has thyroid problems; you should get that checked’ and she scheduled an appointment immediately.  I was like WTF to myself but it’s whatever.  I honestly think she feels I am a ‘boob’ and pays no attention to me whatsoever in spite of my awesome advice giving and massive hoards of personal experience.

And the nice clinic folks talked her into scheduling a Pap, considering it would be her SECOND ONE in 24 years.  I know, right!?  Slow down, sister!  Spreading your legs every 24 years!  Geez.  Tying up the medical community with your always showing up, demanding answers every 24 years!  But again, whatever.  At least she’s going.  At least she already had this scheduled.  At least she’s not pregnant, right?!

Anyway I held her while she cried a little and I told her the truth – hey, you’re young, you quit smoking a year ago, you’re healthy, we’re exercising, eating right, and you have not had large amounts of unexplained weight loss so I’m sure it’s nothing “bad”.  Just something.  A thing.  A thing to overcome.  This too shall pass.  You are strong.  Whatever it is, it doesn’t stand a chance against you and your mid-western genes.  Plus you have me!  (She probably mentally eye rolled on that one.)

So cross your fingers out there, folks.  I’m not going to lie to you guys.  I’m not a good caregiver.  I have empathy.  I love deeply.  I’m just more of a Do it yourselfer when it comes to bodily things.  If I needed surgery, I’d look into doing it myself.  I don’t want your help.  I got this.  So conversely if you’re sick, get some medicine; if you’re wounded, wrap that bleeding shit up.  Don’t depend on me.  I’m not your lifeline.  What if I wasn’t here?  You better suck it up, buttercup, and fix yourself.  What if you didn’t know me?  What if I die before you?  You better learn to be independent.  I’ll be beside you of course but I don’t want to do it for you.  That’s self defeating.  At least she’s not pregnant, right?