My mother’s father, Samuel Joseph Cawley, died three days before I was born and was buried in a paupers grave in Van Nys, California, alone and still drunk so the embalmer had it easy. My mother went into labor etherized and alone, and, hearing “ it’s a girl”, sighed into her peignoir and turned her back on it all: the dead first boy, the second, another boy, then two girls and then me. A brood mare. She struck a match for her L&M and flicked the ashes in the nightstand drawer it’s white metal smooth and cold. Loyal to her. She slammed it shut when she heard my grandfather’s voice in the hallway. The most important post birth attendant. Bearer of the name and the cash envelope labeled “Olive”. He always wanted her to be free of his son.Telling my father to be kind to her, grandfather gave her money. He said it was so she could leave but really it was so she would stay.
“The Red Kerchief “Claud Monet
I wanted him to notice me.
It wasn’t that difficult to see what I wanted.
In winter he stayed inside all the time.
Painting. He was.
All the time.
Winter, always a danger to everyone, young and old.
No freedom in winter.
Too much freedom for him.
I wandered by that day wearing red,
A reminding flag of conscience,
I’m waving a shawl of belonging,
frayed and thin. Notice me.
It’s that kind of dream day
Out the car window on the way home
To be honest the other night I pretended I didn’t mind this man was a Trump supporter because he was so handsome and I couldn’t take my eyes off of his mostly craggy face. At 80 his arms did not look too bad either. Though I could not see them, I could see their outline through the crisp blue check of his shirt. It was all I could do to keep myself from reaching across the table and stroking them. “Will it bother you if I tell you I am a Trump supporter?” he asked, as we sat down at a local restaurant meeting for the first time at the suggestion of a friend.
I do not think I even heard his question as I was mesmerized by his arms and found them around me, holding me closely, gently kneading me like brioche dough, though I could still see them attached to his shoulders. I wasn’t tempted to walk away particularly not without those arms. That’s what shows me just how desperate I’ve become for male companionship.
It might also be that I drank a half glass of wine before walking down to the restaurant to calm my nerves. My nerves need a lot of calming these days. I am monitoring my wine intake. I must or I might just get to drinking first thing in the am before toothpaste. Once I saw my husband grab a half-finished Scotch from the night before’s party and swallow it right down. I always liked his style. For years I remembered that drink with deep admiration and knew I was not up to it.
Well, I am now. I like this Trump supporting man. I like his obvious masculinity, his low testosterone filled voice, and his arms. I think I will take him home and keep him. He could live happily in the freezer.
From time to time I could partially defrost him and have dinner with him quickly before his brain unthawed.
I am working on an imprinting machine and it’s kind of like Konrad Lorenz did with his ducks. Only this time everyone that wants to feel better about themselves can go through my machine and be imprinted with a more powerful, confident personality. It’s slightly painful but you forget that immediately because you take steps out of this machine into what is now sunshine and everything about you is more powerful: your arms your legs your heart your brain the way you look the way you feel the way you move. People pay a lot of money to go through my machine but I don’t take it. Actually that’s a lie. I am like Robin Hood. I take the money from the very rich people but I don’t give them as much boosting as I give to the people who have no money but are just very fragile and need it. The boost. The key measurement is compassion. No compassion, no boost. I don’t think I’m God I’m just very smart and the machine has been extraordinarily successful. In my old age I’ve decided that I am only going to allow women to use it. I just think it’s a better bet in the long run. Frankly, testosterone gets in the way some of the time in allowing people to be compassionate, humble, and kind. Life is too short. I want to be prudent in using my machine.
I am always trying to figure out how to do things faster and more efficiently. Even though I consider myself to be old now I’m still working on the efficiency routine. I should have a clipboard and a pencil and a list of things to accomplish however I have nothing but two dogs that I need to feed and a house that seems to be constantly needing attention. I noticed this morning that rather than making oatmeal and putting egg whites in it I could take a hard boiled egg and chop it up and put it in the oatmeal prior to microwaving it and in that way I would save myself so much trouble because I already had hard boiled eggs in my fridge. So I plopped the hard-boiled egg cut up into the bowl of raw oatmeal and added milk and half-and-half because I am a sybaritic woman and turned it on for two minutes. Then I removed it from the microwave and luckily I was wearing my glasses because the entire thing exploded like a bomb in my kitchen. They were literally bomb fragments on my ceiling made of hard boiled egg. If I hadn’t been wearing my glasses I don’t think my eyes would’ve survived. When this happened it made such a loud noise that I literally shrieked something I haven’t heard myself do ever in my life. I backed away from the microwave with caution thinking it might happen a second time and I had a long debate with myself over whether or not I should eat the oatmeal despite the fact that it had exploded.
This is the problem with being an obsessive researcher and an analyst. When unusual things happen
You stop and think about why did they happen and try to understand what the result of this happening was and what you should do to avoid this in the future.
It’s pretty obvious what I should do to avoid this in the future. It was still pretty damn exciting. In my kitchen an explosion that sounded like a 28 gauge shotgun going through the ceiling and all it was was a remnant of a hard boiled egg. That’s my day!
Flash 2 My House
I live alone people think but in fact my house has so many inhabitants I have to be careful when moving through it. There are many men lurking about in my closets and bedroom all of whom seem angry and hungry. The kitchen contains some young ones with damp, slightly curled hair who cook gravy. I happen to hate gravy unless it’s on turkey which is tasteless without it. So many things are. I walk slowly through the detritus of my life so as not to stumble over hillocks of bodies and chirping young friends who think I am hopeful so I am. To them. I need young friends. The doors are unlocked and the flowers wander in and out flagrantly fragrancing the hours and the hallways making memories melt into the cracks and settlings of bones and earthquake reinforcement. People ask don’t I want an elevator but why would I when I can wander in an elevated state up and down and sideways into the dining room where the chairs are always filled with brilliance and I can sit with the thoughts of so many nights, so much laughter, the best wine, and no gravy.