@

Let’s talk about relativity.

For every observer, things seem slightly different. From a physics point of view, you do not occupy the same location in space as anyone else, and you might be moving at different velocities, and so on.

This is why using astrology for anything other than entertainment seems silly to me. Constellations don’t physically exist. A group of stars that from the Earth seem to form the shape of a bull could in reality be millions of light years apart and share no relationship with each other whatsoever. They only form the shape of a bull from where we’re looking.

If I were the citizen of a third world nation, it probably wouldn’t piss me off when someone insisted on driving slow in the left lane of the freeway. There might not be a freeway. And in any case I wouldn’t be in a hurry to get to the golf course.

I’ve written blogs in the past about people who refuse to leave a one-stall buffer when they join you in the bathroom. If I were homeless, I probably wouldn’t worry about something so insignificant.

But something that seems insignificant to me could be important to you. Something that hurts you might not faze me.

Experience is relative.

My grandparents endured the Great Depression and for most of their lives didn’t have a lot of money. I remember my grandmother would rush me off the phone when we were talking long distance…even after rates had dropped to seven cents a minute. She couldn’t get her mind around the idea that a long distance phone call could be cheap.

I don’t even think in terms of distance when I make a phone call. If it’s overseas I have to buy a calling card, sure, but the cost to me seems negligible. Six cents a minute to the UK? Whatevs.

Recently I’ve had some bigger things in my life to think about, and the minutiae that I sometimes obsess over sort of disappeared from my radar.

Comfort affords you the luxury to worry about things which in reality are pretty insignificant. And yet who can judge the significance of anything when it concerns someone else?

You look at a famous actress, an NFL star quarterback, a person born into money. You might wonder, What do these people have to worry about? They seem to have everything they could ever want.

But whatever they perceive their problems to be, to them they are difficult. The most intense emotional pain you’ve ever felt in your life is all you know. How can you compare it to someone else’s?

You can’t. Not really.

But we often think we can. We make judgments about each other, we assume we know how someone else feels, what they are thinking.

Right now I’m 37,000 feet above the earth, cruising along at a ground speed of 550 mph or so.

Did you know that time for me is passing at a different rate than it is for you? Really, it is. This is an outcome of the relationship between space and time.

Imagine you’re on a road trip. There are two primary directional types you can travel: north-south or east-west. If you’re traveling northeast, it means you are going a little bit north and a little bit east. The more north you go, the less east you can go.

Time and space are like that. When you move through space, you take away from your movement through time. So the faster you travel, the slower time passes for you.

Cool, huh?

It’s useful to remember that observations are relative.

We all see things just a little bit differently.

And would we have it any other way?

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

The Wood = Inglewood

Bump ‘Em Up = Scare someone a little

Break Leather = Pull your gun from your holster

Roll a Code 3 = Turn on the sirens & respond to a call

Lay a Dime = Make a call

Lapdogs = LAPD

IA = Internal Affairs


Like most expats and/or struggling writers, you take pretty much whatever work comes your way.

I’ve done a lot of trickle down jobs that range from networking computers, translation, travel guide writing and DJing to the obligatory English teaching.

I sometimes call the last one “slingin’ ‘glish” (but never to my students).

I once took a class with Kurt Vonnegut, who told me I’d never make a living as a writer.  He told me I’d always be poor, all writers are poor.

He also told me that a character in one of my stories needed to fall in love with her doctor.  He compared the doctor/patient relationship to the relationships among soldiers in foxholes on the frontlines of battle.  He said he fell in love with his fellow soldiers.

ANYWHERE, USA-

The night is still and the purple scent of wisteria fills my nostrils.

I feel heady, dizzy, drunk on smell.

I’m also drunk on sake and celebratory champagne, but it’s the drooping clusters of flowers that make me nauseous.

I feel sick.

Igor, your newest email address doesn’t work now.

Sounds about right.

Par for this course you’ve had me playing on for the last six months.

I have been accused of being too cerebral. Once. Or perhaps twice. And to prove that this is simply not true at all, I would like to share a brief, somewhat scatological, story of my girlhood, excerpted from my memoir, FallingThrough the Earth, which was chosen as one of the Best 10 Books of the Year by The New York Times.


From Falling Through the Earth:

ONE SATURDAY THAT SUMMER, Serenity decided to stay the night. She brought a duffle bag full of clothes and a plastic jug of orange juice mixed with Smirnoff vodka.

“Here,” Serenity said, holding forth two tabs of acid, wrapped in the plastic of a cigarette package. The squares were white, with pink mushrooms printed over their surface. She lifted one tab by its edge. I stuck out my tongue and took it.

Earlier that afternoon, after school, we had worked the lock on the gun cabinet and took two crisp twenties, to pay for the acid. I had only taken gun-cabinet money once before, the previous winter, to buy a new ski jacket. I had taken four twenties that time. When Mom saw my coat, and asked where I’d gotten it, I told her Dad had bought it for me. She looked it over, saw that it was expensive, and said, “Columbia? Your dad must have been feeling generous.”

The guy who sold us the acid said that Vitamin C would enhance our trip, and even though we suspected that this was just an urban legend, we’d been drinking orange juice all afternoon, in preparation. We took turns swigging as we walked to the bus stop.

Although most people were averse to it, Serenity and I liked the bus. The plexi-glass shelters promised freedom to the car-less kids of town. We would buy monthly passes and shuttle from one end of town to the other, riding until after midnight.

The bus rumbled up, flipped open its doors and, swallowed us into its cold, chemical air.Sometimes, when I was alone, I took a seat next to a greasy haired psycho-killer in ripped polyester pants. I would strike up a conversation, flirting with death. The bus would drop me into the space odyssey of the icicle night. I wandered the holocaust streets, dodging wind-whipped newspapers. I would find myself alone in strange parts of town, a girl who liked to be lost.

The bus dropped us downtown, at Riverside Park, a narrow strip of trees and benches skirting the Mississippi River. All of Tony Dimantilo’s friends hung out there, mostly because the park was zoned for ‘roller skating and other sporting activities,’ and the police had to leave skateboarders (and the girls who hung out watching skateboarders) alone. Serenity and I went there after school and on weekends. With nobody keeping track, I went wherever I wanted. Nobody noticed my grades, my drinking, that I spent most of my Saturdays in detention. I did whatever I chose.

Down by the water’s edge, there was a pack of punk girls.

Punk201


I’d known these girls for the past few years, since Tony introduced me to his crowd. One of the girls said, “Yo Dani! What’s up? Looking for Tony?”

“None of your beeswax,” I said, pulling Serenity by the elbow to a park bench, next to the river. We sat down just as the world began to drain away. Serenity’s face jittered before me, all electric skips. The Mississippi river was roiling, boiling lava. If I turned around, the park leapt into a burst of firework colors,
hundreds of ribbons curling up.

This was the first time Serenity had taken acid. She looked confused. I had only done it once before myself (with Tony) but to her, I was an expert. She said, “Why is everything so…colorful?”

“I think the acid is kicking in,” I said, holding onto the park bench with both hands, as if it would roll away.

Our bench was within a stone’s throw of a six-foot mini-ramp. Skateboarders, Tony Dimantilo among them, strutted and sauntered around the ramp, leaned on their boards, ollied and performed every variety of flip (heelflip, kickflip, nollie kickflip) that they could manage. Jump ramps radiated from the edge of the
mini-ramp. The boys posed for the girls magnetized at the periphery.

Skateboarder


Tony did not see us, and I was sure, suddenly, that Serenity and I were spies hiding behind the curtains of the real world, Girl OO7s. I said, “Do you think they can see us?”

“Who?” Serenity asked, her voice spacey.

“Everyone. The skaters. Tony.”

Serenity squinted, examining the cartoonish tableau before us. She said, “I don’t think they can.”

“But we’re here, right?”

Serenity crinkled her nose. “If they don’t see us?”

“Exactly.”

“If they can’t see us,” Serenity said, becoming suddenly authoritative, “then no, we’re not here. We
don’t exist.”

I tapped a cigarette from my pack of Marlboro Reds and lit it. Serenity touched my fingers. I gave her the
cigarette. We smoked, thinking over the consequences of our new state of non-existence, while imaginary boys on unreal skateboards slammed the sidewalk, carving and ripping past the bench. Each truck grind, each skid, had a tangible sound, tinny and resonant. Serenity suddenly said, “If we’re not here, I wonder where we are.”

“We’re nowhere,” I said, confident. “Non-existence means nothing’s here. Nada. Zilch.”

“But we have to be somewhere.” Serenity stuck out her arm. “Touch me. Do I feel like I’m here?”

I squeezed the key-teeth grooves of her wrist bone. “Feels like you’re here to me.”

We burst out laughing, fully aware of how ridiculous we sounded. Serenity covered my mouth with her hand, stifling my laugh, which only made me laugh harder. A boy with a T-shirt that read SKATE OR DIE rode by, leaving a sparkling, elastic, Wile E. Coyote trail behind him. I said, “That guy definitely turned
his head in this direction. I think he saw us.”

“Yikes! Yikes! Oh my God!” Serenity lifted her arm as if it were something she’d found on the street, a piece of wood or a lead pipe.

“What? What’s going on?”

“I can see through my arm! Do you see this? My veins are on the outside! Oh my God! That is so freaky!”

I took her arm and stroked it, smoothing the veins into place. “There,” I said. “You’re fine. It’s all skin
now.”

“Thanks,” she said. “How the hell did that happen?”

The sky turned saffron yellow, as if the sun had been pricked and its essence sucked into the air, a color that contained greens and flecks of red, like a ripe peach. Looking across the park, at the road running along the river, I half expected to see my father, driving by in his truck, ready to take me to Roscoe’s.

“If you’re upset that your veins are changing places with your epidermis,” I said, unwilling to give up on existence so easily. “Then you must, in some sense, exist.”

Serenity lit another cigarette. After a few seconds, she said, “You know, you’re right. You’re absolutely right. If I didn’t exist, I wouldn’t care if my veins were squiggling around on the sidewalk. This is solid proof.”

Just then, as if in response to Serenity’s empirical evidence of our existence, a pressure rose in my bladder.

“Emergency,” I said, crossing my legs tight.

“Emergency?”

“I have to pee. Really, really, bad.”

“How can you pee here?”

“Duh. I can’t.”

Serenity said, “Here is a second instance of proof: If you didn’t exist, you wouldn’t have to pee. Or you could pee here and it wouldn’t make any difference.”

“If I didn’t exist, I wouldn’t have drank so much fucking orange juice.” I squeezed my legs tighter together and, for a moment, I couldn’t tell if I had a body at all. After a few minutes, however, I realized that I really needed to go.

Serenity pointed to a squat brick building in the park. She said, “There’s a bathroom over there.”

“But I don’t know if I’ve got to go or not.”

“Either you have to go. Or you don’t have to go. One or the other.”

“What I mean is—This is kind of a Big Question.”

Serenity raised an eyebrow. “Is there something I don’t know about peeing?”

“If I’ve really got to go it’s settled: We exist. If I don’t, and I’ve just made it up, we don’t exist.”

Serenity was all appreciation. “Good one,” she said.

She shoved me onto the sidewalk, into the wavy, rainbowing, off-the-bench universe. I walked quick, dodging the metallic stares of the skateboarders, stumbling over a patch of grass, and onto a billowing sidewalk. My knees Jello-ed. The punk girls, each one a different color (one purple, the other green, another a brilliant shade of blue), turned their Martian eyes upon me, their gazes indicating my path: It’s right there, the answer to your existential questions!

I grabbed the bathroom door, all of existence hanging upon the result of my task, and rushed inside, where I yanked up my skirt and squatted over a muddy, broken-seated toilet. Two minutes later, I emerged from the Potty in the Park, triumphant. “We’re real!” I called, waving my hands at Serenity’s small, pink head hovering like a balloon above the park bench. She waved back, ecstatic that we did, in fact, exist.


For more about me or Falling Through the Earth, please come visit www.danielletrussoni.com.


1432921898_m


Driving down 19th Avenue on my way to work, windows rolled down, “Wonderwall” by Oasis blasting from the cassette player in my silver Mitsubishi Galant, the light turned red.

“Maybe you’re going to be the one who saves me?” I sang out loud with no shame.

It was 1996.

I was one year out of college, living with my friend’s older gay brother on Church and 15th in the Mission, right down the street from Muddy Waters, 3000 miles away from my parents’ failing marriage.

I thought creating a physical boundary would give me the emotional distance I needed. It gave me no such thing.

I was working for two documentary filmmakers in Sausalito who rarely paid me on time. I didn’t have any friends. And I ate way too many burritos.

I was poor, lonely and getting fat fast.

“Maybe you’re going to be the one who saves me?” I sang again, pushing down the break and looking up.

“What the fuck?!”

It was Jonah.

Again.

It didn’t matter what time of day it was, whether I was on my way to or from work, whenever the light turned red, whenever I stopped, it was always at Jonah Street.

I was convinced it was a sign.

Maybe I was a Jonah in a past life? Maybe my unborn son’s name was Jonah? And maybe, just maybe, Jonah would be the one to save me.

As I continued across the Golden Gate Bridge, fantasizing about Jonah, I hit rewind and listened to “Wonderwall” again.

Four months, one hundred burritos and fifteen pounds later, I decided to move back to New York.

I was tired of Oasis. I was tired of listening to my roommate have sex in the other room while I shoved chicken and guacamole down my throat. I was tired of feeling so alone.

Back in New York, I got a temp job booking crews for Worldwide Television News (now APTN). My parents filed for divorce and my mother moved into my building.

So much for boundaries.

Being able to walk to and from work helped me lose my burrito weight and I started to feel better about myself and my life.

Then I got the call.

“Hi, my name is Jonah, I’m calling from DC and I need to book a crew in Japan.”

“Excuse me?” I said.

It was the fall of 1997, a little over a year since I had left San Fransisco, and I had forgotten all about Jonah.

“A crew. I need a crew in Japan,” he repeated.

“Jonah… I once fell in love with a street sign named Jonah.”

“Uh, okay,” he said and paused. “Are you the one I should speak to about a crew.”

“Yeah, that’s me. Sorry.”

I had to be careful. I didn’t want to scare him away.

“Would you mind handwriting your request and sending it to me by fax?” I asked.

I was really into handwriting analysis at the time and thought it would be a great way to determine if he was, in fact, my Jonah. I had never met a Jonah before.

On my lunch break, I raced to Barnes & Noble on Broadway and 66th Street and found the biggest and best handwriting analysis book I could find. The downward loop of his J meant he was strong and passionate.

I had found my future husband. Only he didn’t know it yet.

I called him later that afternoon, trying not to squeal. We talked requirements. Dates. I made some calls. We were back and forth for a few weeks. Faxes. Confirmation numbers. Names. Contact information.

Then he popped the question.

“Listen, I’m going to be home for Thanksgiving. Wanna grab a drink?”

I tried to act cool, but my voice shot up a couple of octaves, “I would really, really, really like that.”

The night we planned to meet, my mother lent me her favorite pink cashmere sweater, telling me that all women look pretty in pink.

When I asked Jonah how I’d recognize him, he said he’d be the one “with the pink carnation” in his lapel.

Whoa, I thought. We’ll both be in pink, it doesn’t get more soul mate than that.

As I walked down the street, butterflies in my stomach, I sang out loud, “Maybe you’re going to be the one who saves me.”

I stepped into the bar, surveyed the room and spotted a pink rose next to a bottle of beer.

My eyes flew up.

There was a man staring at me, but it wasn’t Jonah. It couldn’t be. He was nothing like the Jonah in my head.

Jonah mouthed, “Kimberlee?”

I wanted to say, “No, I’m Jennifer,” but it was too late. I walked over and shook his hand.

“I thought you’d be a hippie,” he said and took a swig of beer.

We had one drink, went for a walk around the block and said goodnight.

Worst. Date. Ever.

“I’m sorry I was a disappointment,” he said, dropping me off at my building. “I know I represented myself differently over the phone. I was bolder, more outgoing. But seeing you in person. I don’t know. I find you intimidating. I can’t look you in the eye.”

How could I possibly be intimidating in my mother’s pink cashmere sweater?

I crawled into bed that night and cried myself to sleep.

A few weeks later, I got a job at Fox News Channel.

Trying to figure out the difference between KU band and C band satellite space kept my mind off Jonah and that damn street sign that got me into trouble in the first place.

I was there not even two months when I looked up at one of the TV monitors hanging from the wall and saw him.

Jonah.

On CNN.

“It’s no secret there’s no love lost between my mom and the President,” he said.

“What the fuck?!”

Turned out, Jonah was no ordinary Jonah. He was Jonah Goldberg, son of Lucianne Goldberg, the woman who convinced Linda Tripp to tape her conversations with Monica Lewinsky.

For the next several weeks, I saw Jonah’s face everywhere.

He was his mother’s official spokesman. It was weird. Why wasn’t she speaking for herself? I was convinced the Universe was fucking with me.

Then one day, my coworker tapped me on the shoulder. “Look, over there. Lucianne.”

She had apparently decided to break her silence and had come in for an interview.

I wasn’t sure what compelled me, but I ran over to her as she was leaving the newsroom. “Hi, my name is Kimberlee,”” I said, sticking out my hand to shake hers. “I went on blind date with your son. It didn’t work out, but still, I wanted to introduce myself.”

“Yeah, blind dates are hard. Jonah is my best friend. I love him. Did you see him on CNN this morning? Wasn’t he great? I think he’s so good. He has such a great presence.”

I didn’t know what to say, so I nodded and smiled.

As she walked away, it occurred to me that no one really knows anything. What I thought was going to be a story about finding my soul mate turned into a three-degrees-from-blowing-the-President story, and what America thought was a right wing conspiracy to bring down the President was really just one woman’s scheme to launch her son’s on-air career.

xo,
Kimmi

P.S. I went back to San Fransisco a few years ago and retraced my commute from Church Street to the Golden Gate Bridge, down 19th Avenue, and guess what? There is no Jonah Street. It’s Judah Street. Fucking Judah. Talk about misreading signs!

In the first two installments of this story:

I flew to Wisconsin to be the best man in my brother’s wedding. At the airport, I was greeted by two of his college friends, Chris and Mark. They were to be my brother’s groomsmen. While on our way to the hotel, we drank. We smoked. Once we reached the hotel, we proceeded to raise hell at a local cheese store. Then we went to a bar across the street and got even more shit faced. So shit faced, in fact, that we completely lost track of time and were late for the wedding rehearsal. After that, the problems didn’t cease. At the wedding reception my brother, Chris, Mark and I decided to go water skiing. Needless to say, we’d been drinking. While skiing, my cheap Dipsters bathing suit ripped to shreds. I then continued to ski naked. Very soon thereafter, we were pulled over by the Wisconsin Water Police. That’s when I got another very stupid idea…

My old man in a nut shell: he’s too proud to wear a hearing-aid, yet he has no qualms whatsoever about donning a Donald Duck visor with two squares of cardboard fastened behind his ears, and strolling down Viking Way on his afternoon errands.

My_old_man

 

His errands consist of things like buying a piece of sheet-metal that he can bend into a box for the prototype of the sonic ant-deterrent he recently invented.

He calls the cardboard squares behind his ears his parabolic reflectors. They actually work. Try it sometime.

My old man’s a tucker. He tucks everything in– his fucking jacket. He’s also got what I consider to be an unhealthy relationship with Velcro. He wears it everywhere. He fastens his shoes with it, his jeans. He fastens the curtains in the old Nash station wagon he drives with it—and that’s so he can use the porto-potty he installed in the back, which he practically has to fold himself in half in order to utilize, because there’s only about three feet of vertical space back there.

And believe me, he utilizes it.

Sometimes while he’s driving, he has to pull over to the shoulder and fasten the curtains and drop a trout, even as traffic whizzes by. You see, he’s got a self-diagnosed diverticulum. It’s like his esophagus runs straight through to his rectum, I swear. He’s got his crap chute timed like a station master. He’s already eyeing the bathroom halfway through the salad course.

He refers to the whole process, invariably in a matter-of-fact tone, as passing his bowels. He refers to it often. After all, it’s just a metabolic function, right?

My old man pretty much ran out on me when I was eight or nine years old. I still don’t consider him a deadbeat, though. He always paid his child support and the rest of it. My sister’s death really took a toll on my parent’s marriage, so I’m willing to cut my old man some slack for flying the coupe.

Like most kids, I looked up to my dad. But I knew from square one he was certifiable. Other fathers didn’t teach their children Morse code, or get them squirrel monkeys for pets. Other fathers didn’t invent humane pest control devices, or make ice cream out of soy beans.

Over the years, my old man has worked as an aerospace engineer, a Methodist minister, a professional bodybuilder, a videographer, and finally, a naturopath. And like Frank Norris, he never “truckled.”

That’s enough for me.

And I’m not even certain what truckled means, but I’m pretty damn sure my old man never did it, or he probably wouldn’t be wearing parabolic reflectors right now.

I’ve always had a pretty good relationship with my father, in spite of the fact that we’ve spent so little time together. Until recently, he’d been living (quite happily) in the back of a cube truck in the high dessert of south-central Oregon, where he spent his days inventing shit in the sweltering heat– eating carrots, reading the scripture. Fastening shit with Velcro.

But two months ago—upon the behest of my older sister, who was beginning to worry about him alone out in that godforsaken desert in a Donald Duck visor— my father relocated to the island my sister and I live on.

He now lives 4.8 miles away.

So, for the first time since I was eight or nine years old, I’m seeing my father daily. We walk in the woods every afternoon with our dogs– me in my sweat pants, with my hangover, and he in his Velcro-fastened shoes and parabolic reflectors. I have to talk REALLY FUCKING LOUD, because I’m usually in front of him, and parabolic reflectors—in spite of their many attributes – are decidedly uni-directional in their function.

During our walks, my dad frequently says things like:

“Old Laddie is getting ready to pass his bowels.”

Or:

“Good Laddie. Good dog. Boy, you really had to pass your bowels, didn’t you, old boss? He hasn’t passed his bowels since yesterday morning. He really needed to pass them.”

But you know, the old dude is pretty interesting—my dad, I mean. He speaks a little Latin, a little Greek. He knows his theology and engineering and nutrition inside and out. And he knows volumes about the human excretory system. We have some good talks.

Last night, was my old man’s 75th birthday.

My sister and her family are up at Whistler for the week, and my brothers live out of state, and my wife was working– so it was just me and my old man for his birthday dinner.

He’s a pretty finicky eater– not because he’s got a sophisticated palette or anything, just because he’s a health nut.

So I made a salad with organic spring greens, goat cheese, walnuts, and blueberries, with a light drizzle of vinaigrette. I grilled some Japanese eggplant. I made some farfalle with wild mushrooms, kalamata olives, and sun dried tomatoes. I bought a carrot cake.

And I bought two bottles of the only alcoholic beverage I’ve ever known my father to imbibe– Manischewitz Blackberry Wine.

Manischewitzblackberry750

My old man is a cheap date, I guess. I generally can’t drink Manischewitz, or I start feeling like I’m slipping into a diabetic coma—and I’m not even diabetic (though I’ve been told my piss tastes sweet – ah, but that’s another post, perhaps).

Well, last night, in spite of my aversion, I drank Manischewitz Blackberry Wine, and it agreed with me for the
first time.

My old man loved the dinner.

He passed his bowels between the farfalle and the carrot cake.

Old Laddie passed his bowels, too– in case anyone’s wondering.

After his second glass of Manischewitz, my old man got a little woozy and sentimental, and began talking about his mother, whom the rest of us knew simply as Sweetie. She was a gem.

I lived with Sweetie in a senior citizen mobile home park in Sunnyvale, California the last two years of her life.

I was going to college.

She was agoraphobic—hadn’t left the house in over fifteen years. She smoked two packs of Pall Mall Golds and drank a half case of Hamm’s a day.

She liked Ironside better than Perry Mason. I’d say that’s a pretty rare quality.

She spent the better part of her days lounging in a bile-colored lazy boy, popping Tums antacids like tic-tacs. She ate nothing but Swanson’s frozen turkey dinners. Two per day– noon and six.

In fact, when I found her dead– with Tums antacids bubbling out of her mouth– there was a Swanson’s frozen dinner on her bedside table. And I swear to God, the thing was untouched except for the cherry cobbler.

She ate the fucking cherry cobbler and checked out! How cool is that?

We buried her with a Hamm’s and pack of Pall Mall Golds. You may think that’s disrespectful– but then, you don’t know shit.

My father started getting teary as he talked about Sweetie, last night.

Sweetie was the only parent he ever really had.

His father died when he was four.

He grew up in a one bedroom flat in Oakland during the depression, with Sweetie and Grandma Rae.

He said they had a single naked light bulb in the middle of the room, and Grandma Rae tied a button on the end of the chain. And my old man said that pulling that chain and watching that light bulb go on and off as a kid was the thing that made him become an engineer.

He said that things were so lean growing up in Oakland, there was only enough money to feed two people most of the time.

And so my father breast-fed until he was four-and-a-half years old.

He said he can remember stomping around the flat banging pots and pans and complaining he was hungry, until his mother took him in her lap.

He had a mouthful of teeth.

Last night, my father started weeping as he talked about his mother.

He just couldn’t seem to get past all the nutrition he’d deprived her of by all that nursing. She lost all her teeth by the age of forty, he explained, due to calcium deprivation.

His doing, of course. She finally weaned him by drawing spooky faces on her breasts.

Poor guy. Poor everybody. There was my father– on his 75th birthday– gooned on Manischewitz, weeping
like a baby about his mother’s milk.

 

Something happened to my sex drive, just the other day,

It up and stole the car keys, then it fucking drove away.

 

I screamed, I yelled and chased it as it sped along the road,

But it just flipped the bird at me and never even slowed.

 

I trudged back home, bereft, alone, bewildered and ashamed,

My head was filled with desperate plans for sexiness reclaimed.

 

I stayed up all night, the next night too, and jumped at every sound,

I imagined my libido, lost, was speeding homeward bound.

 

A week did pass and I confess, I rang the damn police,

They weren’t much help to me at all, they offered me no peace.

 

I put adverts on the lamp-posts and signs on all the trees,

I had the local paper print up “Sex Drive? Call me please?!”

 

The weeks they passed without a sign, and I gave up the hunt,

I realized that my sex-drive was a righteous bitch-ass c**t.

 

Now I don’t want it back at all, and I will be a nun,

If it comes back I’ll shoot it with my brand new loaded gun.

 

And so I say goodbye to sex, goodbye to love and all that crap,

Next time I feel a tingle I’ll just give myself a slap.

 

In Part One of this story:

I flew to Wisconsin to be the best man in my brother’s wedding. At the airport, I was greeted by two of his college friends, Chris and Mark. They were to be my brother’s groomsmen. While on our way to the hotel, we drank. We smoked. Once we reached the hotel, we proceeded to raise hell at a local cheese store. Then we went to a bar across the street and drank more. We got so drunk, in fact, that we completely lost track of time…

My assignment: To be the best man at my brother’s wedding

Do I fulfill this assignment?

Barely…just barely