Monday, August 14, 2023

In Yo Motha's Booty

The weirdness of the world continues even when you stay at home.  My friend texted me the other day that his wife told him my ex-wife was getting a divorce.  "You still have a shot at the title," he wrote.  Weird.  I guess she is a ten year girl.  She's averaging a little better than I am, I guess.  I wonder how long it will take for the news to make its way through the Racquet Club and via the gymroids back to me.  

Divorce doesn't look like any fun to me when you have a child.  It looks rather hideous, in truth.  The kid will have to split time between two homes, so the divorced couple are never really free of one another.  There is all the financial stuff, too.  My ex-wife got a big chunk of change from me when we got divorced, but that was the end of that.  I have seen her around town maybe three or four times since then.  Divorces, though, even amicable ones, are nasty.  Add to that the psyche of small children, and you have. . . well, I guess you have about half of America.  It was the part of "The Dream" that the founding fathers left out, I guess.  

I can't write about this without thinking of Phillip Larkin (link).  But it doesn't matter.  Even if people read such things, they never listen. . . unless it is put to music. 

Segway?  Yea.  I went to the Cafe Strange yesterday for a couple reasons.  Earlier, I had gone to an outside gym at the park.  It was around noon when I exercised in the 95 degree heat.  And sun.  The metal bars of the exercise equipment were so hot you couldn't touch them.  I had to take off my shirt and use it as an insulator which meant I was showing off my big old belly.  Selavy.  I had a nice workout.  I'm not as much of a sissy about working out in the sun as a lot of people I know.  But I hadn't eaten beforehand and I did not eat afterwards, either, as I was cooking up a big InstaPot of small red beans and pork for dinner with my mother.  But I had been good about drinking the water.  I drank a lot of the water.  They say it is important.  I had been in a bit of a time crunch earlier as I was scheduled to pick someone up at the airport in the late afternoon.  I had been dubious about doing this as the airport here has been an effing mess for travelers this summer.  Flights are constantly delayed or cancelled.  Travel has been a crapshoot and a mess.  So I said to my friend.  I said that her flight would not get in on time.  Indeed, she texted me after I got home from the park that her flight was now rescheduled to come in at midnight.  She wanted to know if I would pick her up.  


WTF is wrong with people?  O.K.  Maybe you would have gone at midnight.  Some people would.  But she ain't "no broke ass bitch" (I've been listening to rap as we will soon discover) and can afford the Uber ride home.  

So I had gained some time.  As dinner cooked, I thought I would go and get a big green tea at the cafe and walk in with my cool new messenger bag.  What?  Oh. . . I didn't tell you?  Yea.  I'm cool.  I got a new bag.  I wanted one of these for a long time, a large Patagonia bag that will hold just about everything you can carry, but as with everything Patagonia, it was too expensive.  And being a "broke ass bitch" myself for most of my life, I waited.  I waited long enough that they quit making them, and I was kicking myself ever after for not pulling the trigger.  When you want something, you should get it, I think.  

I went looking for a courier or messenger bag online at Amazon last week.  Everything I saw sucked.  They were either too small or too weird or made of heavy leather.  Then I had an idea.  I went to eBay, and sure as shitting, there it was, the Patagonia Messenger Bag.  I got it for $25.  And now, my friends, I'm cooler than a summer breeze.  

So I loaded up my new courier/messenger bag with notebooks, glasses, pens, and a camera and threw it over my shoulder.  I went to the mirror.  Oh, yea, baby. . . I was styling.  

Whatever.  Don't be a hater. 

As I've said before, green tea out is always much better than green tea at home.  I don't know why, but it is.  I'd already drunk as much plain water as I could stand.  I'm not a water drinker.  I mean, I need flavor.  Hence, my desire for this green tea.  

It was three o'clock in the afternoon.  The air was a hideous 98 degrees.  Not a dog or a cat or a squirrel was moving.  Even the lizards seemed to be overheated.  But per my latest experiences, the cafe's a.c. has been working fine this summer.  I would go into the cool, dim light and drink my tea and write postcards to my peeps. It's always good to keep things going in the mail.  

When I walked into the cafe, though, it was a bit of a blast furnace.  There was a line at the counter which is in front of the kitchen which was pumping out heat like the furnaces of Hades.  The girl in front of me was apparently special and was taking a long while.  The fellow behind me had a pit bull that was eyeing me up and down and sniffing my bare leg.  The fat little fuck with the dog, however, thought this was fine.  

"Oh, he's just a little nervous.  He's cool.  It's not you, it's him."  

I thought to use my favorite line and tell him if he didn't mind his dog I was going to stick a pencil through his heart, but I wasn't in that kind of place and the commies who run the cafe would probably call the cops or ban me, so I played by house rules.  Thankfully, the special girl in front of me had figured out how the payment system worked, and I was able to order.  It was a new girl, young and pretty and friendly.  

"How's your day going?" she asked.  

I looked at her for a moment, cocked my head ever so slightly and nodded minutely.  

"It's going fine.  And yours?  God, girl, it's hot in here.  You must be wilting."

"Something something something."  

You know.  We were just passing the empty minutes between her getting my tea and me paying.  

When I got the tea, I passed through the archway into the bigger room.  It was almost as hot as the kitchen, and there were people sitting at my table.  That's right.  I'm like the Rain Man.  When I go to a restaurant, I get the same thing I always get there.  I sit in "my seat" at "my table."  A whole day can be ruined if something goes wrong.  

"I'm sorry, we're out of the turkey today."

O.K.  I'm not that bad.  But there is an element of this in me.  It's not routine.  Just remember that.  It's ritual.  There's a BIG difference.  One is for idiots, the other for the enlightened.  

Like Carlos Castaneda with the brujo who was to lead him to his enlightenment, I had to find "my place" in all of this, the place where I felt comfortable.  There are forces at work as any practitioner of Feng Shui will tell you.  You want to find the good energy.  

I didn't, and when I sat down, I put my cool new messenger bag in a wet spot.  There were crumbs on the table.  It was hot.  And then. . . the girl behind the counter turned the music up full blast.  She was, apparently, a fan of the rap and the hip-hop.  There was no way to escape it without noise cancelling headphones.  I could feel it in my chest.  I thought hopefully to myself that she just liked the one "song" and that she'd turn it down when it was done.  But I was wrong.  And so, in the time it took for me to steep and drink my tea, I was subjected to a genre of music that is the furthest from my fairly narrow spectrum.  

"This is good for me," I chanted silently.  "Breathe, breathe.  Chill.  It's all good.  Look around.  See?  Everybody else is fine.  They probably like this.  Be cool.  Be free.  Accept the experience."

I was using all the mantras my life coach had taught me.  

But I was on the verge of turning things over.  I realized it had to be the lyrics which were all about killing a motherfucker and fucking all the bitches.  

"Boom, boom, boom, boom."  

I turned around to look back at the room.  I expected to see raping and fistfights, butcher knives and 9 millimeters.  But people were fine.  They looked like they were in a different movie than I was.  I was in some action adventure thing trying to escape the cartel in the jungle and they were all part of a Fred Astaire period piece.  

"O.K. O.K.  I'll just steal something."  That's what I was thinking, all gangsta and shit.  But I kept chilling and listening and drinking.  People were laughing and having fun.  

And I realized that this was what had gone wrong in America, what had ruined a couple of generations.  If you listen to music about getting up in your mother's booty long enough. . . . 

Yea, yea, yea. . . I know.  "Get over it, Grandpa."  

But I gotta tell you, I was feeling it.  I was wanting to kill a motherfucker, just like the heroes of the rap.  Oh, yea.  Fuck some shit up. . . know what I'm sayin' nigga?  

Walking out of the place was like sinking into a Calgon bathtub.  It was like Xanax.  I felt the tension falling from my shoulders and face.  I looked back through the plate glass windows at the twins cities of Sodom and Gomorra--but not in the manner of Lot's wife.  Uh-uh.  It was like crossing the opposite way on the River Styx.  

When I got back to my house, I sat down at the computer and read a text.  

"I miss you."

It doesn't take much to turn a frown upside down as I had learned on Romper Room all those years ago.  Nope.  Listen people, if you don't do anything else today, let somebody know you hold them in your heart.  It's huge, friends.  

O.K.  That's ends the Oprah part of the show.  I took the beans and pork to my mother's house and we had a wonderful meal and a very nice time.  We ate the food and drank the wine and talked through our days and nights.  Mom says they are going to throw a little party for the 99 year old neighbor who is selling her house and moving into a "home" in Oklahoma near her daughter.  

"Maureen says we shouldn't give her any presents that she has to pack, so we are going to make a little box with a slit in the top and drop in gift cards for her."

"I think we should get her a pair of sexy underwear," I said.  This gave ma a good chuckle, but she didn't say it was a bad idea. 

I got home later than usual.  Tennessee texted.  He was finishing dinner on the Boulevard and was on his way over.  I told him about the music at the cafe, and he said that was the stuff he grew up with, that era of gangsta rappers and guns.  

"That's what's wrong with you," I said.  "Another piece of the puzzle."  

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