Nothing to see here, its just about me, again

“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.”

Vincent Van Gogh

I seem to vaguely recall a fool’s errand. How that errand brought me to this peak, I do not know.

It seems that I have out lived all those that would lead me, and all that would follow me…

 

Of all the things, ideas, ideals, (for want of a better word from my limited vocabulary) accomplishments I have pursued, aspired to, in love; only two have stood the test of time. The desire to write and the peace of understanding connection.

As for understanding connection, that requires…just acceptance. George.

George is my ever faithful, ghost companion. George came to me during the days of madness and loneliness of childhood. George rarely speaks, George is just there, and that has the transformative ability to change loneliness, isolation into just being…sometimes alone.

The desire to write. Objectively, I am weak in areas of dialogue, setting, plot, and a clear understanding of character development. aside from that, I’m pretty…mediocre.

I shall confess, in advance, that everything I write will reflect me, somewhere, without that touch of me nothing is genuine…genuine not “right”.

Here’s to aspirations, beginnings, marvelous middles with all its twists and turns, and the endings, sweet or sad, that inevitably come.

 

Interview with the Village Idiot

‘Thank you for joining us this evening, Mr. Idiot…”

“Please, just Idiot is fine. My dad liked to call me that a lot.” The Idiot smiled and looked around, “You did say there would be cookies.’

“George, cookies…do you have a favorite?”

“Oatmeal raisin.”

“George, oatmeal raisin…what, oh…and to drink?”

“Preference: dark roast coffee, black, in a nice heavy mug, and thank you George.”

“…got that?…yeah, yeah…George says, you’re welcome.”

“Thank you, again, for sitting down with us for this interview, Mr. excuse me, Idiot.

“For the benefit of our audience; it is difficult to find idiots that will admit they’re idiots or discuss what their world may be like…we can only imagine.

“Are the cookies – oatmeal raisin are the Idiot’s favorite – OK?”

“Perfectly devine. Thank you, George, again…and the little chocolate was very sweet.”

“Idiot,…”

“Yes.”

“I haven’t asked a question, yet.”

“Please do…ask your questions.”

“I’m curious, are idiots able to recognize each other, as idiots. Are there tell tale signs people should look for to know when they are dealing with an idiot?”

“Yes and yes.”

“Why don’t we take a short break…GEORGE!” The interviewer spun from his seat and walked in the direction of the voice (George?) that seemed to be coming from another room.

“Yes, here we are, again, with Idiot, and this interviewer’s drive to understand the secret underbelly of idiocy. Idiot, you’ve said that you can recognize other idiots. Not to ‘out’ anyone (yet), how many idiots are there in congress now?” An almost sinister grin came across the face of the interviewer as he relaxed into the back of his chair his arms crossing as he moved.

“None.” Idiot sipped from his second cup of coffee, smiled, lifted the mug in a salute to…and mouthed a “thank you.”

The interviewer’s back stiffened, his crossed arms momentarily holding him together, “None”, there was a slight rise in pitch in his response. Clearly not the answer he anticipated. “None, surely there are some…Mi…”

“None.” Idiot held his mug with both hands, resting on his right thigh; he enjoyed the warmth, the weight of the mug, the smooth enamel finish, Idiot smiled. He threw a nod again to some unseen person…; ”and that is a pity.”

“You’re an idiot.”

“Preciously the reason I’m here.” Idiot smiled.

“How were you ‘outed’, excuse me,diagnosed as an idiot, how old were you, what are the long term ramifications of a diagnosis like this.” The interviewer thought a softer approach might yield the results he was after.

“That would be my family, that ‘diagnosed’ me. I can still hear dad, ‘This is my son, the Village Idiot. Stand up, Idiot. Show them what an idiot looks like.’” after a moment’s pause, Idiot continued. “In retrospect, that was the kindest thing dad ever did for me.”

It took the interviewer two seconds to register Idiot’s response, the statement and the text used. He leaned forward, “I don’t understand.”

“That is just a bit vague, would you please be a bit more specific?” The idiot asked. “You don’t understand what?, and how am I to contribute to your understanding?, I am after all, an idiot.”

A chuckle could be heard, that was George.

The interviewer was shaken, almost collapsed in his chair, head just above knees, the interviewer turned their head in the direction of the idiot, sipping his coffee, smiling all the while.

In an attempt to regain their right standing position, the interviewer pulled themselves up and squarely faced the smiling idiot.

“You don’t sound like an idiot.” The statement was fairly spit at Idiot, whose smile broadened.

“Did you think there was a distinctive squawk or grunt that was the ‘idiot sound’, or an annoying giggle perhaps?”Again a chuckle could be heard.

“No, no…you…you spoke clearly.”

‘Enunciation or syntax?”

George came through with a refill for the idiot’s coffee while the interviewer pulled themselves up from the floor.

Once more, holding on to the interviewer standing, the interviewer slid into a more relaxed pose. “Both, act…..”

“Thank you.”

The interviewer looked at the smiling idiot and thought…too quick…not an idiot…new direction for the interview. “Let get right to the point. Are …”

“Please.”

One sharp glance from the interviewer and there was silence, “Are you actually an idiot or an insignificant idiot wanna be?” The anger in that question seemed to even catch the interviewer off guard. “What I mean is…”

“Have you a dictionary handy?” The idiot accepted fresh coffee and a well used volume of Webster’s New World College Dictionary from the ever ‘on-it’, George. “Thank you and thank you…this will move things along.

The idiot thumbed through the tome to find the definition he wanted,“Here we are. Would you read the definitions that George has already indicated AND highlighted. George you are a wonder. Thank you.”

The interviewer took the pro-offered volume the idiot extended, “Would you please read the highlighted – thank you again, George – definition.”

The interviewer read the definition. “Idiot: ignorant and common person; idio: one’s own, personal, distinct 1] a retarded person mentally equal or inferior to a two year old. 2] a very foolish or stupid person.”

“What has this to do with our interview? Everyone knows the definition of idiot, Idiot.”

“Actually, idiots are the only ones that understand it; its a bit of a private joke.” a warm smile came across the face of the idiot. “All, everything is in idio; we idiots are all different, personal, distinct and I say, yeah. Mentally equal to a two year old.

“Children just discovering their worlds everything brand new, every taste a delight; discovering their own voice…trusting…incapable of practicing or understanding guile and only an idiot that has retained two for seventy years can relate to just how developed a two year can become mentally. Most children and their parents are trying to rush them as quickly as possible away from two. ” The idiot smiled his smile, warm, open, with a touch of Santa Clause tinkle around the eyes.

“The very definition, the label of idiot removes any expectations anyone might want to impose on you. You are free to make mistakes, without judgments. Understanding that winning or losing are both inevitable, eventually.’

The interviewer stood and walked toward the idiot. The idiot set his mug on the floor and rose to meet the interviewer. The interviewer extended a hand to the idiot. “You are always smiling.

“Tell me, Idiot, what is the secret to your happiness?”

A look of bewilderment came over the idiot’s face, “Secret?, I don’t understand. No secret.” The confusion passed, the idiot smiled, “Just be happy.

“and for the long term ramifications of being an idiot. Sometimes it’ll get you cookies and coffee.”

Be splendid – always.

The Blue Room

 

 

Much against my better (?) judgement; the octogenarians moved into the SWMBO’s (She Who Must Be Obeyed) house where three, soon to be four, cats reside and I am permitted to sleep.

At first residing there was much like walking through an infomercial.  Representatives from stair lift companies arrived; explaining and diagramming the advantages of having their product…the octogenarians could access the second floor, giving them a sense of freedom (and me a sense of a $15,000.00 debt.  NEXT.

There was a parade of “I’ve fallen and can’t get up” people.  I still could find no way to escape the house and I always heard any and all falls, bumps and complaints.

We moved them into the dining room, recently painted a deep Wedgewood blue; their queen size bed, two night stands, two dressers, pictures, mirrors, two changing chairs (although I never saw any transformation) and a 28-pound cat that had an allergy to litter boxes, she avoided them at all costs (she was cat number 4).

The octogenarian mother of the SWMBO had begun her unsuccessful chemo treatment for stage 4 lung cancer.  The Drs. Attributed this to her years as a smoker…she blamed her older sister for setting a poor example she was compelled to follow.

I answer her nightly, late nightly, very early morning, very very early morning calls for assistance to go to the bath room, get a drink (of water); during which an ongoing argument over the role of care givers.  “No you can’t have whatever you want”.

I remember similar discourses with my son…when he was three.

John, the octogenarian father of the SWMBO, waited impatiently until his partner in octogenarianism returned to bed and he made his way to the loo.

I found it simpler to have a drink of the coffee left from after dinner during John’s time in the purple loo.  There was always a cleaning and restocking required.

After a year had passed things began to change.

The queen size bed was replaced by a hospital bed and one twin.

The very early morning calls were now requiring lifting the octogenarian mother of the SWMBO from the bed to the wheel chair, rolling her into the modified loo and then lifting her from chair to bed.  This was a simple task she had lost most of her weight.

At some point in time, I can’t remember just when, there was only the hospital bed in the blue room; the hospital bed and a pale blue wing back chair in the corner, a tall iron floor lamp illuminated the nurse that quietly sat and read.  There was always an artificial light in that room now.

Conversations seemed to quietly dwindle from within the room replaced by the drone of oxygen pumps.

John’s bed moved (unfortunately not by itself) upstairs and the very early morning cleaning and restocking was in another loo.

And then there was the night the blue room was full of people not talking, conversation had been smothered by the weight of the blue on the walls.  The octogenarian mother of the SWMBO, lay quietly on the hospital bed, oxygen pumps now, also, silenced as the nurse, by the light of the tall iron floor lamp wrote her report.

The next morning (very very early in the morning) out of habit rather than necessity I came down to drink the cold, stale coffee left from after dinner.  I stopped at the foot of the stairs, facing the blue room.

Oxygen pumps had been removed, the hospital bed was stripped of linen, the mattress flat, there was no nurse in the chair, the iron floor lamp was on, lighting the dark blue of the room and nothing else.

I took my cold coffee with me as I went out to sit on the porch, it was warm for an October morning and at that hour the world was full of the sounds of frogs in the culvert, owls calling out to the waning moon.

After coffee, I took the empty cup to the kitchen and started to return to bed stopping at the foot of the stairs…I wanted to look at the blue room again…but it was empty.

I am not a…

I am not a bleeding-heart liberal, a tree-hugging hippie or any other unpopular niches (well there was that time I found myself chained to a rather magnificent fir in Oregon…there were a few others there: some with long hair, there were some chain saws and bulldozers and, oh yes, people in State Trooper uniforms).

But, to me, issues far more important than irreplaceable tree have arisen.

A floppy haired Thumper has taken it upon himself to insult an entire race, as the Irish have endured in the past (before my time), the (not PC I’m sure) Blacks (old enough to have lived through that time and far too simple-minded to grasp it all).

Not long before the Thumper’s rant; the Supreme Court acknowledged “same sex” marriage as, essentially, legal. Loving couples that have been together, suffered indignities, denial of rights and benefits are now “legal”.

One of our major political parties, well-funded, not much fun really are struggling with these events. They’re afraid to confront the Thumper (ass though he is) because he’s a scrapper…but they really want that one group’s vote. Problem.

“Same sex”, well, anything is law…but we have been against it for so long; how are the voters responding.

Not a Party, candidate or current ideal is seeking the human vote, standing up for the persons (a collection of Individuals, unique and yet part of a thriving community).

So much for the political front; what of the home front.

As these events have unfolded, the SWMBO has expressed great fear that the world as we know it will soon end. A gay fairy, I imagine, will be flying over the land touching all the children (and adults, except her) and the United will be dancing naked in the streets, tossing flower petals in the air, boys kissing boys, girls kissing everyone. All leading to the fate of “Sodom and Gomorrah”.

And as for the Thumper’s rant: “We all know he’s right, but you just can’t say it out loud”.

There is no understanding in the house

The Irish have come so far as to have had one of their own elected president; but, in this land, we have a far distance to travel before we look about and find the persons that are around us. And politicians go beyond the quest for the “human” vote and seek the human (within?)