Sometimes she’s an angel. At other times a witch. There is no way to know when her personae’s going to switch. When an angel, she’s gregarious, obedient and sexy, but during her more bitchy days, she’s silent, dark and hexy. No x-ray can determine which one she’s going to be. There is no test to indicate which one she’s going to see when she wakes up each morning and stumbles to the mirror to see which one she’ll be today–the feared one or the dearer. I’m always the first one to see what side of her will win, for each day the face she chooses is the one that I’ll be in!
photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash. Used with permission.
The Education of a Prodigy
It’s true he was sardonic, which made it rather hard for him to assimilate in the schoolyard. In short, he was precocious, advanced beyond his years. It’s when it came to social skills that he was in arrears. He couldn’t really bat the ball. He failed at pitch and catching, and when it came to fielding, he just excelled at scratching. When other kids made fun of him, he whipped them with his tongue— a most distressing habit in one who was so young. His teachers merely shook their heads and gave him up for lost, for he took instructions poorly, refusing to be bossed.
It wasn’t until college, when he met a certain “Miss” that his sharpened tongue was rounded by a simple good night kiss. Surprising how true love can bring an end to lifelong ills. Now she gives the instructions and he just pays the bills.
He called his dad a troglodyte, his sisters, basket cases, although he was not brash enough to do so to their faces. He felt himself the underdog—blamed for everything. He felt his wings were clipped, although he dreamed of taking wing. Someday he would spring the trap and he would show them all. But until that day, he’d simply hang out at the mall, checking out the chicks and panhandling when he could. He knew he could do great things and some day he would, but no one gave him chances. The Mexicans and Arabs with their Virgin Marias and their half-moons and their scarabs were taking all his jobs away. He didn’t even try. Why should a decent white guy bother to apply?
How dare his dad declare that he has nothing on the ball? He is kept plenty busy holding up this wall. When the other wall is built, his life will come together. He’ll get some fancy job and break the family tether. Get a real cool crash pad and party with his friends. He’ll make some just as soon as this foreign invasion ends. Time enough for school once Trump takes out the trash. Then he’ll ace his classes and rake in the cash. He’ll show every idiot who claims he is a bum that he is the genius. He’ll show them who is dumb! Those guys who hang out at the mall in every sort of weather? If we could read their thoughts, they just might be birds of a feather.
They say it was just happenstance that they ever met— she a wealthy spinster, he of the lower set. He liked his women spicy. She was a basket case. She, aloof and cloistered, considered workmen base.
She had notified the landlord of a problem with her plumbing. For at least a week, he promised that someone was coming, so by the time the plumber finally came to fix her pipes, she was apoplectic—chock full of niggling gripes.
Any other normal man would have been offended when she hovered and she chattered as he soldered, wrenched and mended, but he had an even temperament, so he maintained his cool as she niggled over every move and questioned every tool.
Finally, as she hovered, questioning that and this, he simply rose and drew her into a passioned kiss that stifled all her sputterings and muffled all her mutterings,
until she ceased her protests, surrendered to the fun and repaid him all his kisses, returning one for one. It was a simple wedding with little pomp or strife. And that is how the lady found someone to fix her life.
There was a time in college when we thought we would go camping. It took a lot of packing and some walking and some stamping to rid the site of red ants and to cut away the bushes, to find a level spot for our bedrolls and our tushes. It’s good that we were youthful, and accustomed to reversal, for when it came to camping, this was our first rehearsal.
None of us were nature girls. This was our trial run. We came for something different, just to have some fun. We brought a giant bottle of cheap rosé and chips. Some white bread and bologna. Some mustard and some dips. Our hopes were grand and hopeful. We were fervid in our dreams. We lugged all our equipment down faint trails and forded streams.
Lugging a giant cooler, water and some some spray in case there were mosquitos, slowly we made our way down to small rude patch of ground that sloped down to the creek. My German Shepherd Gretchen went ahead of us to seek out squirrels and other wildlife that she had a chance to get, scouting ahead for creatures that might have posed a threat.
The day passed without conflict. We hiked and talked and ate. We had no trepidation about what would be our fate. Our night was spent less pleasantly as we slowly slipped downward hour by hour until finally we dipped our feet into the water of the creek just down the hill. Certainly by sunrise, we three had had our fill
of the stones and bugs and soakings that we all had faced as all night long my dog barked, ran back and forth and chased imaginary creatures hidden in the dark In the end, our camping wasn’t such a lark. We had a hasty breakfast and as we packed up our gear, we apologized to others camping far and near
for my dog’s disturbance for the whole long night.
from the first star’s appearance to the first morning light. And then they told us something we hadn’t known before. We were camping in bear territory, and they said, “What’s more, if you had foodstuff with you, your dog did you a favor. Bears are very partial to young ladies of your flavor!” And so that first time camping turned out to be our last. Our setting up went rather slow, but breaking down went fast. We packed our car and sped right down those twisted mountain roads, right back to the city. Right back to our abodes. I gave the dog a juicy bone and flipped on the TV, sure that second-hand adventure was good enough for me.
This was a real-life adventure with my good friends Jean and Joan Lenzi who were twins and my college roommates. R.I.P. Jean and Joan. We had many adventures together and this was one of the first ones.
No remnant of credibility that he might have had at the start of his dark odyssey clings to this foolish cad. Claiming to solve problems that his actions just exacerbate, mere echoes of his words still chide enough that they infuriate.
Of the seven deadly sins, he’s had a taste of all. When, if they are so deadly, will they bring about his fall? Lust and gluttony? For sure. Greed? No doubt about it. Sloth and wrath, envy and pride? What sane man would doubt it?
He’s left his presidential desk, preferring his own throne. He borrows other people’s deeds to claim them as his own.
He manufactures science, quoting no valid source. Lessens the force of hurricanes while altering their course.
There’s nothing that he cannot do, at least in his own mind. To serve his ends, he’ll put entire countries in a bind. He’ll trump the hand of anyone. This game is not so hard. If it’s lacking in his hand, he’ll just invent the card!