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There Are Days [Thoughts]

IMAG1268_1_1There are days.

There are days when you’ll be cut off in traffic and when you’ll get a ticket because of the photo radar system. Chances are, it’ll be at the intersection you never, ever, ever run except for that one day when you were just a little too preoccupied and you didn’t gun it or break it in time. If you’re really unlucky, you’ll get twice of those in the same week (but different intersections, of course, because you’re not stupid).

There are days when you realize you’re unhappy and missing out on life’s best moment but you have to because you’re a slave to a paycheck.

There are days when you look at your most important relationship and realize, “There’s nothing wrong — but there’s everything wrong.” Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2014 in Thoughts

 

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It Goes On

I lost my first tooth March 17, 1984. I have no memory of that event, but I don’t need to. Dad made note of it for me.

Thanks to Dad, I know when every centimeter of gum released its toothy bounty. I know the exact dates I was hospitalized, every music performance and who in the family attended, every road trip taken until I was 19. He logged his activities and those of whom he was around for every day of his life from January 3, 1974 until February 21, 2012. One page a day, one pad a month, every month. Filed away in chronological order, more than 450 notepads. The aggregation of an old man’s life and of those he touched. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 29, 2012 in auto-biographical

 

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Words I Can Never Say

There are words that are hard to hear: Topping the list are moist, luscious, and ointment.  Mother discouraged use of the word pants or its variants panties or underpants. We had to say slacks or jeans or underwear. She could never say bathroom or even restroom. When someone had to be excused to use the facilities, it was always to powder a nose — even for the menfolk. Talking in euphemisms was common. When my sister got pregnant, she had a bun in the oven. When someone unrelated to us passed away, we were told they kicked the bucket. To say that about a family member would’ve been cruel but about an acquaintance it was just a casual way to speak about the facts of life.  By the way, I may be one of the few people you know of who was literally told about the birds and the bees. It was a few years afterward I learned about sex. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2011 in auto-biographical

 

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She’s Come Undone

I’m perched on the edge of the light blue air conditioning unit trying to see into Freddie’s room through the slats of the Venetian blinds. My bare toes rest on the metal grill no more than a few seconds at a time as I alternate between feet. It’s so hot and I want Freddie to play in the sprinklers with me outside.

I tap lightly on the window. Freddie’s mousy brown-green eyes the same color as mine, under a mop of mousy brown bangs also the same color as mine, peek through the slats.  She squeals with happy surprise. I gesture for her to open the window and she does, a rush of air conditioned air pouring out and cooling my flushed cheeks.

“Sneak out and play with me,” I command. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2011 in Thoughts

 

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Slum Lords and Children’s Tales

My father was a slum lord of moderate distinction. To be clear, I don’t think that he enjoyed being a festering tick on the underside of humanity so much as it was that very low-rent apartments were what the underside of humanity could afford and they were all he could afford, too. Believing that property ownership is the pathway to affluence (“always buy land! they’re not making any more of it!”), Dad purchased and managed multiple small apartment complexes in low-income areas located about 9 miles south and $150,000 in annual household income away from our neighborhood. Every month, he’d drive his 1977 Lincoln Continental town car over to pick up rent checks. If the renters were falling on tough times, he’d accommodate and allow them to pay semi-monthly or even weekly, on a money order basis.  He never allowed daily payment plans or cash – both seemed too close to acknowledging prostitution or drug sales. Besides, it wasn’t worth his gas or time to drive there. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2011 in auto-biographical

 

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