Wednesday, March 30, 2016

“I’m Pregnant”

* From a previous English post and yet topical again.

We all know from our Sex-Ed classes what causes this but we didn’t think it would happen to us. Then again we might have skipped that page?
No matter how much fun and excitement and passion and sweat and all that stuff happened in the moment, there are results.
Our lust of entangled bodies has shared bodily fluids and the results cannot be reversed. Our blind love has consequences.
Some say it is the moment of ‘growing up’ and some say it is a ‘reality check’. Either way, your life has changed and her life has changed.
Whether intended or not, there was some very adult decisions to be made.
Marriage? OBGYN? Baby clothes and carts and beds and toys and all that stuff fill your dreams?
And what about names of a growing lump in her tummy?
Suddenly her parents become grandparents and much more familiar with you. And your parent’s hope for the best but don’t expect more than what they already know you can do.
Some couples enjoy this moment. Some couples strive for this moment through modern science. Some couples fear the results.
While the neighborhood is filled with mothers pushing pride of procreation, not everyone is ready for the commitment of bringing another life into this world.
While some men walk away leaving the results of their passion to be the mother’s responsibility, others take responsibility for their actions.
Knowing your passionate partner might not be a good fit for a maternal mate or that the thought of raising a child when you are yet not far from that description, options are explored.
Whatever the most emotional decision is decided upon, there is no turning back.
Remember that the next ‘Happy Birthday’ party.

* I have been on only one side of this topic so I can't disagree or agree with another opinions on this issue. Since it has been brought up again, even after laws are passed for women to decide hopefully with their partner and then the politics get involved complicating an already emotional decision while strangers taunt and shame in the name of their interpretations of religions that are designed to have forgiveness and love as it's basics,  a personal decision that is the most difficult anyone could make, my thought is what is the pro-life philosophy on the judicial death penalty? Is killing another human murder?

Monday, March 28, 2016


*A few years ago, I wrote this on my English blog and somehow it seems topical again.

" A very private place
In today’s acceptable society, many cultures have indoor plumbing. Like electricity, television, and automobiles; the bathroom has become an essential item in everyone’s lives.
Every animal has to defecate and about 3000BC the ‘Age of Cleanliness’ started the sewer system and public baths.
The privy or outhouse came about around the early 1800’s.
Powder room, lavatory, water closet, loo, restroom, commode, chamber pot, john, head, the necessary, the porcelain throne and many others have described this most private of spaces.

So why get on this most personal of subjects? The bathroom is one place of ultimate privacy. This is the one room where there is a reason to be alone and it is acceptable.
There are few places you can go now to be alone with your thoughts. Constant bombardment of electronic messages and the blur of noise distract us from ever being able to contemplate ideas or just daydream.
Other than taking a walk in the woods, there are few places for total quiet. The quiet our great idealistic thinkers used to ponder thoughts that became our philosophy, mathematics, science, and much more.

So the bathroom is a sparkly gleaming example of what our creativity has produced. A bathroom is wonderment to ingenuity and a selling point to every realtor.
And while we are comfortable in our own bathrooms and our personal surroundings, what do we feel when we share another’s? It is an adventure into a hidden space.
Now not to be too critical, but some prepare their bathrooms for guest. There are all sorts of cute nick-knacks and soft soaps and monogrammed towels, but there is only one reason someone closes the door to that room. The bathroom, more than the painting on the walls or the drapes or the rugs or furniture or even kitchen appliances declare how we live.
Now who would ever want to go into a public restroom? How many hundreds of unseemly people have placed their keysters on those seats? How often are they decontaminated? Would you let your children in there?
My bathroom would not make five stars in Better Homes and Gardens. The spiders help me brush my teeth, the tub was cleaned within this century, the floor is unsteady, and the porcelain throne will give pause. Yet it is a functioning room and accomplishes my needs.
My point is while you are sitting in your bathroom doing your business get off you’re Wi-Fi and be thankful for a place to be alone. This might be the last recluse of our society.
Oh, and don’t forget the air freshener."

So now the potty is back in the news and it seems boys and girls can't use the same restrooms. It seems that the males gender cannot control themselves while defecating and it is a danger to the girls changing tampons.  Even though we don't ask who just took a crap in our hotel room or the gas station or those blue boxes are every event, we must separate the sexes when they need to pee. 
Now I don't know about you, but my house has one bathroom. It is not a blue bathroom or a pink bathroom. Friends and family have used the same bathroom without reservation except to say the toilet paper was hung the wrong way. There may have been some amorous moments in the bathtub or shower but most public relieving areas do not have showers. 
Don't know what it is like in the girl's gym, but you got to chuckle at the little boys standing side by side at the urinals taking a peek at each others wee-wee to compare their own manhood. 
And standing at a sink in front of a dirty mirror with a guy or a girl or whatever you want to be doesn't seem to be the most sexual attracting activity. 
So LBGTQXY&Z, I don't care if we sit side by side. I won't get excited if you put on make up while I shave. I am not concerned if the tampon machine is next to the condom machine and the writing on the walls will be much more entertaining.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Personal Space

It was a usual day. Not much happening. Well there were those guys on the front scraping my house and talking in a language that I didn’t assimilate in high school.
Others who invaded the space I normally live in disturb my routine.
As they did their assigned task and I retreated to the backyard, the to-do list got shorter.
The point was having people invade my ‘personal space’.
Our stress level heightens when our personal space is threatened. Think about all the preparations for a few hours at a backyard cookout or a baby shower. Our normal behavior becomes abnormal as we entertain invited guest. If we have uninvited guest we get even more stress and reach for the phone or the gun.
Perhaps living alone I cherish my personal space more than most. My internal clock is set on my routine and my habits and when another enters my space I have to dial up a different person. Not the same person I am every minute of every day that would, if seen by the outside world, probably be put in the funny farm, but the delightful chap who can mingle in mundane conversation and laugh at pathetic over-told memories.
Haven’t always lived this way. Had to cope with others in a working environment and even a couple of live-in folks. When you meet someone and decided to get serious, like serious enough to wake up together, then one must decided do I move into her apartment or does she move into my house? Then it becomes “our” personal space.
Some people seem to enjoy and maybe even thrive to survive in that situation. I’m not one of them.
Luckily, I guess, by circumstances beyond my control I was thrust into private life and have grown accustomed to having my own personal space.
So, like today, when others are invading my territory, even though invited and paid to be there, I get nervous. And when they leave, I can breathe again. I’ve noticed at the grocery store when someone comes up next to me to decide with help of another on the phone if they want to get the 8oz. or 12oz. size or the homogenize version, I feel threatened and move away. Sometimes I will come back to the spot. Sometimes I won’t.
I may have always been this way and now in my old age just realize it. Many a time I spent alone in my bedroom growing up. It was my sanctuary then and I guess I have my boundaries for my sanctuary now.
I’m not anti-people. Some of my best friends are people, but I enjoy my solidarity. Of course that means I have to have these strange conversations to myself without outside intervention. I haven’t learned to laugh at my own jokes yet.
I personally believe the acceptance of other’s into one’s personal space began with dancing. The moves of my time were the cha-cha and the twist and the stroll that didn’t really require getting too close but did require a partner. It was mostly as way for wound up teens to get out their energy while being overseen by chaperons.
Then there were the slow dances. Every night at every dance at every occasion there was ‘the slow dance’. All these hot sweaty teens could slow down and wrap themselves around each other. This was a real invasion of personal space and it was welcomed with soft whispers and the smell of her hair and a possible slip of a hand while the bodies grinned together.
All that friction can lead to a girl inviting you to enter her very personal space and that is what makes babies so I’m told. That changes everything.
So with a few more strangers coming by to do some chores I don’t seem to want to accomplish but will pay someone else to do, maybe by the end of summer, I can sit quietly in my personal space again and listen to the silence.
Maybe I can learn to laugh at my own jokes.

Saturday, March 26, 2016


The game of cracking- or “tsougrisma” as the Greeks call it symbolizes the breaking open of the tomb and Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead. The custom takes place after the Resurrection (on Easter Saturday at midnight or the following day during the Easter feasts). 
Two people compete by holding their respective egg in their hand and tapping at each other’s egg. The goal is to crack the other player’s egg. The winner, then, uses the same end of the egg to tap the other, non-cracked end of the opponent’s egg. The “winner” is the one, whose egg will crack the eggs of all the other players.

My family would play this game every Easter. I never knew why. I just thought it was a way for the kids to eat their eggs.

Yet this is a Christian holiday. This the holiday celebrating the death of the Son of God. 

Let that sink in. 


This is not Zeus’s Ares, Hebe, Hephaestus Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Hermes, Persephone, Dionysus, Perseus, Heracles, Helen of Troy, Minos, or the Muses. This is not about Jupiter’s sires.
This guy was the one and only Son of the Big Guy in the sky who made heaven and earth according to The Book. This is the guy who was consummated with a human virgin mother (biologist can have a field day) and raised as a carpenter only to be killed in a most painful way that makes water-boarding seem like a walk in the park. This is the guy who is supposed to have ascended before rotting. This is the guy the Christians celebrate with eggs and bunnies and spring flowers and fancy dresses.

Now as far as I know there are no photos of this guy or fingerprints or even a driver’s license so the holiday is all about faith (the same belief we’ve been hearing in our political debates). I personally was raised on this guy and this belief and he seems like a nice enough person from the movies and the paintings look sort of like a hippy so I can relate. I always wondered by the ‘church’ used the cross of death as it’s logo, but it also offered the flesh and blood every month for communion. A rather zombie ritual but we followed the traditions.

Easter eggs, also called Paschal eggs, are decorated eggs that are often given to celebrate Easter or springtime. Easter eggs are common during the season of Eastertide.
Decorated eggs have been associated with themes of rebirth and kinship for at least 60,000 years.
Eggs are “synonymous with fertility symbols such as the Easter Rabbit” and themes of birth and rebirth.
Jacob Grimm first linked the use of eggs to the springtime festival of the worship to Eostre, the pagan goddess for whom ‘Easter’ is named.
In Christianity eggs are widely used as part of the celebration of Easter, with varying symbolism attributed to them, including eggs as the empty tomb of Jesus, or dying eggs red to represent the blood of Jesus.

So when I go to the grocery store and see the shelves of eggs they are separated in groups of a dozen or a half dozen. The twelve? And there are white eggs all together and there are brown eggs all together, but never in groups. Wasn’t that guy teaching about diversity?

And on this particular holiday the eggs are colored in many fashions and traditions and hidden for children to seek and find.

I’ve known some good eggs. I’ve known some bad eggs. I’ve known some rotten eggs. I’ve known some hard-boiled eggs. I’ve known some scrambled eggs. I’ve known some fried eggs. I’ve even known some broken eggs. I’ve known some pickled eggs. I’ve even known a few who combined to make an omelet or a crepe.
So maybe this spring sunny day we can all go outside and enjoy each other and not only celebrate this holiday but every other holiday of every other religion or following as long as it doesn’t cause anyone else to be nailed up to a tree.

Monday, March 21, 2016

She Makes Me Smile

With all the definitions of relationships and how a couple interacts I came upon this. She makes me smile.
It is a little thing but down deep it is the most important.
Why become a couple if we don’t find that special reason to enjoy each other.
Sure there are all that talk about love and affections and passion and the rest, but there is that something that can’t be defined that make it special.
For me, it is the smile.
I can relate it to those who have puppies and kittens and babies and feel the warmth of pure pleasure when they play and seem to be enjoying themselves. I can relate to some but not to others, but for another person living with you day after day after day becoming your routine like coffee in the morning and doing the dishes or laundry or fussing about who takes the garbage out, it is different.
That one person you have decided to share your living space with. That one who means you will take the grief and laugh at the jokes and give a shoulder to the tears.
You get to know that person maybe for a brief moment or a lifetime and they are still strangers. That person who would drool on your pillows or fight for the remote but when all is said and done will share the popcorn for the late night movie.
What makes them so special?
Everyone has his or her own definition but for me it is the smile.
 Not so much the smile on their face but the smile within. There is probably some clinical define for that feeling but it is what make me whole.
On aware of my presence, I view another person who is involved in her projects or designs or passions without prejudice or fear and given the time and space to explore freely. It brings a smile.
Sometimes they are pre-planned experiments hoping for the reaction of joy but the best are the random views into another’s soul and know that you have provided the time and space and supplies to accomplish her dreams.
And that brings the smile.
Most times she never knew I was watching and sometimes I got caught with a big grin. It was a moment not soon forgotten in the daily grind of life.
A smile means so much to a stranger. A smile brings closeness to a friend. A smile cannot be associated with anger.

Pacing in a cage

Pacing like a cat
Locked in a cage.
Can’t wait to get out.
Pacing until the end of the rain
Or the snow or the cold
That keeps me from escape
Or the door is opened
By the keeper outside
And the sun and the wind
Will bring me alive

When a house is not a home.

Monday, March 14, 2016

You Don’t Know Me?

There is, I believe, a ‘spark’ that matches people together. A look, a smile or a flick of the hair, that magic that attracts two people together.
But they are both strangers.
Sometimes it is a growing friendship over similar taste and experiences and sometimes it is a courtship.
But they start out as strangers.
Some get attracted to powerful people to further their career and some get attracted to beautiful people until the vision fades. Some get attracted to skilled people who can teach and some get attracted to eccentric people for what they think.
But they are still strangers.
For everyone we meet for the first time is a ‘stranger’. There is no resume for friendships. Friends from one time may not be friends later or the friendship with additional knowledge may grow. Friends from school may move away and new strangers met to replace them.
Yet they are still strangers.
Other than family members (and there are probably exceptions here too) is anyone but strangers. Workers in an office or a factory share a few hours with each other and maybe have a communal meal, but they are still strangers. Significant others, though you may think you know everything about them because you share a bed, have those times when you are unaware of who they are.
For individuals are strangers to each other until we are accepted.
I met a girl (I say girl even though it is politically incorrect because we were so different in age) and she expressed she wanted to be my companion. Three years later we were married for two and a half decades.
Upon meeting each other were we strangers?
Absolutely. There were only lives based on stories told with details deleted. We presented our history to each other, as the other wanted to hear it.  We paused if we didn’t get the anticipated reaction and took detours when we hit a pothole.
Were we still strangers?
Certainly. With more time together and more experiences shared and more intimate conversations on likes, wants, feelings, desires, frustrations and the rest of human emotions, we were more familiar but still somewhat strangers. Neither of us ever knew the first love, the best moment, the awakening because all we could hear were the filtered tales of a past before we were there.
Are we all strangers?
Maybe we are? How well can we know another person? How well can we know ourselves?

Saturday, March 12, 2016

How Can I Become An Alcoholic?


Don’t worry little one. It is easy. You’ll get the hang of it. Everyone does it.

Becoming an alcoholic is not taught in a class but it is taught in school. Becoming an alcoholic has a history back to the beginning of time. Becoming an alcoholic is a rite of passage and a reason for stories that bind friends for the rest of their lives.

How to become an alcoholic? It is no problem. We are engulfed in alcohol of all mixes and varieties. Alcohol is on all the television programs, sports commercials, and most of all endorsed by our friends. The wait to come of age to legally purchase alcohol (which is a joke) fades to the peer pressure to take that first drink and have that first hangover.

Our society has adjusted to cigarette smoking after decades in the fog but the consumption of spirits is still more than acceptable and even cherished.

Alcoholism (as defined on the Internet) is also known as “alcohol use disorder” (AUD) or “alcohol dependence syndrome” (ADS).
Alcoholism is a broad term for any drinking of alcohol that results in problems (but what are the problems?).

In a medical context, alcoholism is said to exist when:
1.    A person drinks large amounts of alcohol over a long period of time or
2.    Has difficulty cutting down the consumption of alcohol or
3.    Acquiring and drinking alcohol becomes a priority or
4.    Alcohol is desired or the consumption of alcohol obscures the normal responsibilities or
5.    Unacceptable social behavior, consumption of alcohol creates health problems, consumption of alcohol can create risky situations.

Risky situations include drinking and driving or having unsafe sex among others. Alcohol use can affect all parts of the body particularly the brain, heart, liver, pancreas, and immune system.
Alcoholism can result in mental illness, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, an irregular heartbeat, liver failure, and the risk of cancer.
Drinking during pregnancy can cause damage to the baby resulting in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
Both environmental factors and genetics are associated with alcoholism with about half the risk attributed to each.
A person with a parent or sibling with alcoholism is three to four times more likely to be alcoholic themselves.
Environmental factors include social, cultural, and behavioral influences.
High stress levels, anxiety, as well as inexpensive easily accessible alcohol increases risk. People may continue to drink partly to prevent or improve symptoms of withdrawal.
A low level of withdrawal may last for months following stopping.
Medically alcoholism is considered both a physical and mental illness.
Prevention of alcoholism is possible by regulating and limiting the sale of alcohol, taxing alcohol to increase its cost, and providing inexpensive treatment.
Because of the medical problems that can occur during withdrawal, alcohol detoxification should be carefully controlled. One common method involves the use of benzodiazepine medications, such as diazepam. This can be either given while admitted to a health care institution or occasionally while a person remains in the community with close supervision.
Other addictions or mental illness may complicate treatment.
After detoxification support such as group therapy or support groups are used to help keep a person from returning to drinking.
One commonly used form of support is the group Alcoholics Anonymous.

I will pause here to present the 12-steps of support.
The Twelve Steps
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature
of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with
God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Really? I got it directly from the AA site on the web?

The medications acamprosate, disulfiram, or naltrexone may also be prescribed to help prevent further drinking.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates (as of 2010) there were 208 million people with alcoholism worldwide (4.1% of the population over 15 years of age).
In the United States about 17 million (7%) of adults and 0.7 million (2.8%) of those age 12 to 17 years of age are alcoholics.
Alcoholism is the least common in Africa at 1.1% and alcoholism has the highest rates in Eastern Europe at 11%.
Alcoholism directly resulted in 139,000 deaths in 2013 up from 112,000 deaths in 1990. A total of 3.3 million deaths (5.9% of all deaths) are believed to be due to alcohol.
Alcoholism often reduces a person's life expectancy by around ten years.
In the United States alcoholism resulted in economic costs of $224 billion USD in 2006. Many terms, some insulting and others informal, have been used to refer to people affected by alcoholism including: tippler, drunkard, dipsomaniac, and souse.
In 1979, the World Health Organization discouraged the use of “alcoholism” due to its inexact meaning, preferring “alcohol dependence syndrome”.

Temperance is defined as moderation or voluntary self-restraint. It is typically described in terms of what an individual voluntarily refrains from doing. This includes restraint from retaliation in the form of non-violence and forgiveness, restraint from arrogance in the form of humility and modesty, restraint from excesses such as splurging now in the form of prudence, and restraint from excessive anger or craving for something in the form of calmness and self-control.
Temperance has been described as a virtue by religious thinkers, philosophers, and psychologists. Temperance was one of the cardinal virtues in western thought found in Greek philosophy and Christianity, as well as eastern traditions such as Buddhism and Hinduism. Temperance is one of the six virtues in the positive psychology classification, included with wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, and transcendence. It is generally characterized as the control over excess, and expressed through characteristics such as chastity, modesty, humility, prudence, self-regulation, forgiveness and mercy; each of these involves restraining an excess of some impulse, such as sexual desire, vanity, or anger.

During the 19th century, alcoholism, drug abuse, gambling addiction, and a variety of social ills and abuses led to the activism to try to cure the perceived problems in society. 
Prohibition in the United States was a nationwide constitutional ban on the sale, production, importation, and transportation of alcoholic beverages that remained in place from 1920 to 1933.
Prohibition was promoted by the “dry crusaders”, a movement led by rural Protestants and social Progressives in the Democratic and Republican parties, and was coordinated by the Anti-Saloon League, and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Prohibition was mandated under the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution enabling legislation, known as the Volstead Act, to set down the rules for enforcing the ban and defined the types of alcoholic beverages that were prohibited. For example, religious uses of wine were allowed.
Private ownership and consumption of alcohol were not made illegal under federal law; but local laws were stricter, with some states banning possession outright.
Prohibition supporters presented the amendment as a victory for public morals and health. Anti-prohibitionists criticized the alcohol ban as an intrusion of mainly rural Protestant ideals on a central aspect of urban, immigrant, and Catholic life.
Nationwide, prohibition ended with the ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment, which repealed the Eighteenth Amendment, on December 5, 1933.
Prohibition marked one of the last stages of the Progressive Era.
Although popular opinion believes that Prohibition failed, it succeeded in cutting overall alcohol consumption in half during the 1920s, and consumption remained below pre-Prohibition levels until the 1940s, suggesting that Prohibition did socialize a significant proportion of the population in temperate habits.

OK, little one are you still ready to be an alcoholic? Try to start early and light with some beer or wine coolers. It will give you the cool look and a bit of the buzz to get a taste for it. By college age you will experiment with different potions and mixtures and techniques so prepare to binge. Oh and be ready to have your picture taken and posted on the web after you pass out.
The alcohol is in your blood now and everyone you know is drinking on the weekends so it is time to make the decision: Do you drink for social purposes or to numb reality? It is up to you to find an excuse for stopping by the liquor store as many times as the grocery. In your first apartment you will use wine bottles to hold candles. Your house must have an area to hold your booze but you will call your bar an entertainment area. You will purchase as many gadgets to strain or mix or pour your alcohol addiction as you buy appliances for the kitchen.
When you go out with your friends to party the first question will be “What can I bring you to drink?” You will attend holiday events where the goal is to drink alcohol. You will attend friends’ weddings and funerals and house warming’s with alcohol being required.
After awhile you will be boggled down with work, stress, family, stress, traffic, stress, bills…. You get the idea? Every night dragging your tired body through the door you will reach for the bottle to “take the edge off” or “relax” or whatever you want to call your need for alcohol.
Do you need this to survive? Your body will tell you when you drink too much and puke all over the bathroom floor.
Can you avoid alcoholism? It is up to you, but the numbness temptation and advertising pressure and society value system makes it difficult not to become an alcoholic.

“Can I get you a drink?”

Next Report: Comfortably Numb or Mind Expansion?

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The War On Drugs

Or as Nancy said, “Just Say NO!”

The War on Drugs is an American term commonly applied to a campaign of prohibition of drugs, military aid, and military intervention, with the stated aim being to reduce the illegal drug trade. This initiative includes a set of drug policies that are intended to discourage the production, distribution, and consumption of psychoactive drugs that the participating governments and the UN have made illegal.
The term was popularized by the media shortly after a press conference given on 18 June 1971, by United States President Richard Nixon—the day after publication of a special message from President Nixon to the Congress on Drug Abuse Prevention and Control—during which he declared drug abuse “public enemy number one”.
That message to the Congress included text about devoting more federal resources to the “prevention of new addicts, and the rehabilitation of those who are addicted”, but that part did not receive the same public attention as the term “war on drugs”.
However, two years even prior to this, Nixon had formally declared a “war on drugs” that would be directed toward eradication, interdiction, and incarceration.
Today, the Drug Policy Alliance, which advocates for an end to the War on Drugs, estimates that the United States spends $51 billion annually on these initiatives.

So are we winning the war?

Seems that whoever or whatever we battle, the drugs are winning. Even alcohol, the most accepted drug, is everywhere and a social mainstay. There is much documentation of all the different types and forms of drugs but there is one no one seems to be able to overcome.
This drug has been with us from the beginning of time. It was there when we were born and people talk about it when we are gone. This drug seems to affect everyone on the planet at one time or another. However we get this drug it spreads and grows. This drug makes use do silly things that we would never normally do. This drug makes us laugh with euphoric zeal and cry with disabling despair. There are celebrations for this drug. There are manufacturers who produce vegetation, signage, clothing and edibles for this drug. This drug produces babies and breaks hearts. People wear jewelry and change their names to show they use this drug. There are songs written about this drug and there is even a train.

Is there a cure for this drug?

Our family uses this drug. Our closest companions use this drug. Our pets and auto and houses and hobbies and sports all use this drug. Some say this drug is all you need.

Sorry Nancy but I can’t say “No!” to this drug.


Next Week: The other drug that has no cure. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

"Do You Miss Her?”

That was the question and a very good one.
It was a quiet conversation in a much more noisy establishment that served white people food and drink. The subject, and I have no idea how we got around to it, was how people; we’ll call friends, acted when my wife died.
It is a conversation people should have before the event but no one wants to breach the subject. Is it too painful or do we just want to avoid the inevitable?
So my high school buddy tells me he had finally realized what my social media post meant but didn’t know what to do next. A phone call or flowers or a card, but what is there to do? It wasn’t an excuse and there were no regrets. Sometimes things are just what they are.
A random conversation brought about from a wander down familiar streets and some changes. A stop in this store and a window watch in that and couldn’t buy any ladders (you had to be there, but that is another story).
So after much to-do, we old buddies find an old hangout that only one of us attended back in the day. Wooden booths and similar feel; new owners, new patrons following the tradition passed down by the neighborhood, and higher prices. The volumes of books that could be written from this one location would fill a library.
Well the subject of ‘death’ rose up the pleasant meal of too much food and a few drinks. How do you explain what you do when someone dies?
There are certain social moirés that obligate following accepted procedures. Bring in the family and clergy and go through the motions of grief while support groups feed and sooth the remaining member. It is all good and structured and when the dust clears people go back to their normal lives.
It just doesn’t happen like that.
The cards are written and the flowers wilt and reality takes hold. Of course the thoughts and affections are appreciated, but life moves on. Now what?
I can only assume since I’ve observed from afar that families adjust to situations and adapt. Maybe that is the answer? We all adapt.
Back to the question… “Do You Miss Her?” It is a personal question but by a friend I don’t mind. With a pause of how to respond about someone who had spent decades with how do I answer?
“No, she is still with me.”
He looked somewhat befuddled at the answer, perhaps expecting a different answer or had some preconceived perception. I tried to explain.
The two of us had just wandered down sidewalks that I had walked since childhood. A place where my elementary school buddy would venture every Saturday to go to High’s Ice Cream shop and get a milk shake and a package of Nabs then stroll down the boulevard of boutiques and haberdasheries of the time. We’d end up at Bob’s Hobby Center to watch the trains go round and buy tiny rubber soldiers.
This one street held memories from years gone by. Movies at the Byrd, a hardware store that always had just the right tool, pipe shop, piano shop where I bought my first guitar, camera shops, bicycle shops with a friendly old guy who educated me into the two-wheel world and sold me “Happy Jack”.
Through the years the stores and facades and faces have changed. A wave of grocery stores replaced the pony rides. The practical became the unnecessary, but still the street has a certain mystic.
 Back to the question…. “Do I miss her?”
The answer is “No!”
Look around you. There are memories everywhere, particularly if you live in the same place. Visit the museum and remember a time when we visited and commented on the metal knight on the pretend horse before seeing a zillion year old dead guy wrapped in toilet paper. Go to the park for a picnic and read later that was one of her most treasured moments. Venture into a bookstore and remember the joy of doting on this stranger allowing for adventures I would not attend.
I still live in the house we shared. Everyday I wander out into the yard she created and stop and pause out of respect and wonder. I still wander the same streets we traveled and see the same sites we enjoyed together and that won’t go away.
When I move, if I ever move, it will be a new experience but the dreams will remain the same.