Why is it I seem to do my best work when I am angry?
I got a robo call the other day. Is robocall one word or two?
The robot voice on the robocall told me to press nine to speak to someone.
I didn’t press any key and the robovoice on the robocall told me I was not human.
I was shocked as I have always thought of myself as being of the human variety but apparently I have been fooling myself and loads of people all these years.
I told the robovoicerobot to go xxx himself.
My favorite robot is Woody Allen in Sleeper.
In my Dad’s last years when I did get to see him we didn’t have much to talk about which was not much different than when I lived at the house as a kid and a teenager and at breaks from college. He was already working at being detached and staring a lot which turned into his mo at and near the end.
He spent two years in Italy, France and Germany between 1943 and 45 as a rifleman in an infantry company. He saw the worst of the worst that people could do each other in the name of whatever name was being used that week. He may have even done the worst of the worst of things people can do to each other. He earned his thousand yard stare.
I can only piece his history together as he never spoke of what he had seen and done. All I have are scraps of information and maybe an anecdote from a relative who are either all gone now or on their way to being gone.
I think and I may be incorrect but when my Mom died my sister found the letters my Dad wrote to here from over there. They were married after he returned. He left as Person A and returned as Person B.
I don’t know where he went when he stared. Maybe he went nowhere or maybe he was right back there in what he liked to call ” Sunny Italy” which as everyone knows Italy was anything but during the war.
He never joined the VFW or the American Legion and to my recollection had packed up his WWll kit and kept it neatly stacked inside. Only there wasn’t anything neat or pretty or pleasant about it.
He had windows to silently stare out of. Maybe the soundtrack played in his head. Maybe it played a lot. Maybe it never went away.
He did come home in one piece I suppose but with a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star and the Combat Infantry Badge I wonder how complete he really was.
I seem to recall that he was hospitalized once and as he recuperated at home in bed his midsection and chest were wrapped in bandages and there was some talk I overheard of shrapnel “working it’s way out.” This would have been sometime in the mid 1950’s a good ten years after Sunny Italy.
He never talked and we never talked and none of us ever talked and when I wanted to talk it was too late.
I got loads of post it notes and scraps of paper on my desk and in my jacket filled with short phrases, reminders, brilliant insights, examples of depressing realities and the otherwise written remnants of a confused and scattered mind.
I tend to ignore the reminders like pay the phone bill until I know I can write a check in the nick of time knowing payment will arrive just before the due date. Although with the latest Post Office struggles I may have to revise my Johnny come lately strategies. I am pleased though that I can remember to remember to write a note to remind myself of what it is or was I was supposed to remember. I think that’s the little victory in all of this for me. I remembered not to forget.
There is a series of commercials running on tv these days about a guy who is supposed to be a life coach and his mission is to keep people from turning into their parents. I personally see no problem with me turning into my parents. The spots are cute, funny and endearing but for the life of me I have no idea what they are selling. My apologies to the folks in marketing but you scored a big zero with me.
Sometimes I see me as my Dad as I and he, we, I suppose stare out a window at nothing in particular just happy to be standing tall with good posture and able to take long and clean deep breaths. He had trouble at the end of his life with breathing thanks to 50 or 60 years of cigarettes.
Window staring out of gives me the chance to disassociate from all the hell that is currently running amuck in the world. My kid lives in Austin, Texas. No heat, no water, watch the news. Let’s blame windmills.
Apparently three members of the electric oversight board of Texas live, wait for it, out of state as in not in Texas.
Back to the two of us, me and Dad. Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be dialed in.
The news might just be a good thing to give up for Lent. Is giving up something for 46 days really supposed to make you a better person? Apparently 40 days is not the correct length for Lent as the Sundays in Lent when one is supposed to attend church don’t count as a day to be depriving yourself of anything and there are six Sundays in Lent meaning forty plus six equals forty six.
Any semblance to Ahab chasing Moby Dick for forty days or the forty days and nights of rain for poor old Noah are purely coincidental and at the same time intentional, I don’t know if Ahab or Noah took Sunday’s off.
Both were at sea so there’s that connection but other than that they seem to have been on their respective owns.
That’s it for this current edition notes and scraps of things to do, not to do, forget, not to forget and eventually write down into a form where other people can read them and make their own decisions as to the state of my and their own sanity.
As Groucho said, ” There ain’t no Sanity Claus.” Maybe it was Chico who said that.
You could look it up.
There is an old adage that goes something like this:
If you ask a guitarist for change all he or she will be able to produce from their pocket is a guitar pick or two.
Coming up changeless I usually offer the person behind the counter two guitar picks sheepishly saying, well, I’m a guitar player and I never have any change only picks in my pocket.
Any other normal person will always have a couple of nickels or dimes on their person, at least that’s when we all carried cash in some former another.
Recently I purchased something somewhere ( hows that for being deliberately vague?) and the total price comes to let’s say Five dollars and twenty five cents.
I easily produce the Fiver but a trip to my pocket only produces a two guitar picks of the heavy variety. I always use heavies. Someone once told me to use the heaviest picks you can find and so I do. I like the way they feels and how they sound.
The longer you play the more attention you pay to detail.
I offer the picks knowing she’ll say no thanks and then I’ll have to fork over a paper dollar.
To my surprise she accepts the picks in lieu of a quarter saying she plays guitar too.
One time when the washing machine repairman cleaned out the filters and traps in the washer he found about three dollars in change and a dozen guitar picks.
Seems to be equal in value.