Monday, September 22, 2014

Spit on it

I went to the CVS to buy some Edge shaving cream the other day and surprise, surprise, the shelf was empty. This isn't the first time. In fact almost every time I go there, something is not on the shelf that I need. Back when I was seventeen years old I was assigned the task of taking care of the dairy department at the Jewel Food Store where I worked. I'm sure the customers loved me because I never, ever let a product run out. Oh, except for the little chocolate shakes that came in a one pint carton. Those were always running out because I stole them. I would sneak into the dairy cooler and suck those things down, delicious. I got so good at it that I could swallow a whole pint in less than twenty seconds. Anyway, I needed shaving cream so I opted for the generic CVS brand. It looks similar to the Edge can and it's for shaving. It's also a dollar cheaper. This morning I used it for the first time and it isn't so bad. The only thing is that the smell of it, the aroma, awakened an old memory. It smelled like my dad, and that memory brought back another from when I was a little kid. Before going to church on Sundays my dad would grab me, pull me close, and look me over.
"Geez Alan, I thought you said you washed your face. It's filthy."
And with that dad would whip out his handkerchief, spit into it, and proceed to wash my face with his spittle. My god I hated that. It was so disgusting that I learned to wash my face early on. But it wasn't just the face that got the saliva treatment.
"Come here Alan, you've got a cowlick...  hock-spittew.. "
Not even into a handkerchief for the cowlick, but right in his hand he would lay a big wad of sputum. As disgusting as it was, that stuff worked pretty good laying down cowlicks. So back to this morning while shaving. The entire time all I could think of was my dad and spit. I ended up cutting myself on the chin and I blame it all on whoever is responsible for stocking the Edge shaving cream at CVS.

Friday, September 19, 2014

White Trash

From off in the kitchen I hear Mark's voice, "Alan, come and empty the garbage!"
It's a familiar call, and before I go in there to do it I have to take a deep breath and count to ten. Not because I don't want to take out the garbage, that's not such a difficult task, it's my job. Mark shops and cooks, I take out the garbage. Mark shops and cooks, I clean up the kitchen. Mark shops and cooks, I take care of the dogs. Mark shops and cooks, I clean the house. See, we each have our duties. So it's not the taking out of the garbage that bothers me, it's because of what I will find when I go to do the job.

No  matter how many times I ask him to tell me to take out the garbage before it's flowing out over the top of the can, it just keeps happening. For some reason it is beyond Mark's ability to understand that it is a problem. It's a pet peeve of mine that sits right up there along with his inability to put lids back on jars and bottles, close cabinet doors, and turn off lights that we do not need turned on. So once again I am in the kitchen taking out the messy garbage that Mark has overstuffed, and I had better do it in a hurry because a delicious chicken parmesan dinner is just about to be put on the table.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Raise your glass to the good and the evil

My friend Dennis called yesterday afternoon from Chicago. He told me that he was driving down Halsted Street looking at the new businesses that had popped up since the last time he had been there, and he suddenly got the urge to call me and tell me to meet him in a bar. That was sort of a joke because that's what we used to do, tempt each other. The only difference was that it was much easier back then because I lived above a gay bar on Halsted, and Dennis lived a few houses down the street. Nine in the evening, and I'd be watching some kind of crappy television show. The phone would ring, and it would be Dennis. "I'm downstairs". Before Dennis could hang up the phone, he could hear my footsteps clambering down the stairs. Dennis was right. If I still lived in Chicago and he had called me at that time and suggested I meet him in a bar, fifteen minutes later I'd have been there. But I don't live in Chicago, I live in Florida.

Funny thing happened after I talked to Dennis. A friend of ours named Ron and his husband, also named Dennis, called. "Let's go have a drink." he said, "We'll meet you in fifteen minutes". And so we did, we met Ron and Dennis and had a couple of drinks. It wasn't quite the same as Drinks with Chicago Dennis, but it was nice.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

She Drives real fast and she drives real hard.

If Mark were a good driver his antics while driving wouldn't bother me so much. The problem is that he gets super pissed at other drivers who are doing pretty much the same stupid shit he does.
"Look at her. Why can't she keep in her own lane.", Mark screams at the man in front of us (Mark uses female pronouns and epithets no matter what the sex of the other driver is).
He also hates it if I try to give him advice about driving. He insists that it only makes things worse.
"Calm down Mark. It's not like we have an appointment somewhere. We're just going to the Home Depot."
"Shut up!" He yells, his mouth frothing, the blood vessels in his forehead throbbing and about to burst. "I told you I need a gun. That bitch just pulled across three lanes!"
(Of course that is one big reason I won't allow a gun in our house, that and Mark's ability to push every button in my psyche when we argue. One of us would end up shot, I guarantee it.)
So for the rest of the trip to Home Depot I kept my mouth shut. That is until Mark shot across two lanes of traffic to pull into the Home Depot lot, and raced an old lady for the handicapped parking spot directly in front of the entrance. That's when I told him, "Nice driving."

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Rusty Bedsprings by I. P. Freely

I was laying in our king sized bed and enjoying the roominess of it. Mark on the far side, seemingly ten feet away, Chandler laying across the bottom, Bette between our heads. None of us were touching each other, it was as if we had an acre of bed to share. Then after awhile, something started to bother me. Why should my dogs have it better than I did as a kid? We didn't have an air conditioned bedroom with expensive beds when we were kids. In the summertime we would swelter up in those bedrooms, with only a window fan for relief. For beds we had nothing more than glorified army cots. My brother and I shared bunk beds that consisted of "mattresses" that resembled the padding movers use, and "springs" that were little more than wire woven into large squares. The beds sagged quite a bit, and the older we got the more they sagged. Worse for my brother was the fact that I was in the top bunk and those wire squares that were holding me up there were slowly rusting away. When it became apparent that I was going to continue to slumber in the deepest of sleep while my bladder continued to party all night, my mom dismantled the bunk beds and arranged them side by side. This pleased my brother and made it much easier to get to those damp bed clothes in the morning. Honestly, I never slept in a decent bed until I was in my twenties. Which reminds me of one other bedtime horror story when I was a kid. It was the time my dad and mom took us on a little trip to Springfield Illinois, and Saint Louis. It was a rare treat for us kids especially because for the first time in our lives Dad sprung for a motel. In fact he got two motel rooms. Two rooms to divide between two adults and eight children. So this is how the accommodations worked out. Mom and Dad in one bed, my four sisters in another bed, and my three brothers shared the single bed room. As for me, I got a bed all to myself. Well sort of a bed. Dad pushed the two luggage racks from the two rooms together and laid a blanket and some pillows across them. It really wasn't so bad. It only sagged a little more than the bed at home, and the springs weren't rusted out.