Archive for March, 2018
Henry is sweet and very gentle. He loves the chicklets and the bunnies. That’s why he loves Easter. He never misses their parties and he always sits with the healing bunnies and sings to those who are unable to join in the fun, until they’re better. He has a wonderful voice and he’s in all of the shows. He’ll be singing tonight and everyone is looking forward to it. Three black and white bunnies are going to be on stage with him. It should be a great party.
“Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable” George Bernard Shaw, playwright
“You did a great job with the reporter. You answered all of her questions perfectly.”
“Thank you. They hardly let Sandra say anything.”
“Well, she was talking about divorce laws and that didn’t have anything to do what the piece was about.”
“True, but she’s not gong to be happy about it.”
“I’m sure she won’t be.”
“Al is getting her new name in two weeks. She said she’s bringing cookies to class, so we can celebrate. She wants us to start calling her Liz now, even though she’s still Al.”
“She’s just excited. Maybe she won’t hate Alice in Wonderland as much, now that she won’t be Alice any longer.”
“No, she said she’ll always hate it. She said she can’t stand the cards in the Queen’s garden and she really hates that the Queen uses flamingoes as mallets. She said it’s a terrible story anyway you look at it and Twiddle Dee and Dum are like the twins in that horror movie with Jack something or other.”
“I can see that she has thought this through.”
“We can all see that. Sandra said that since Al didn’t choose an androgynous name she might get one for herself. She’s thinking of Sidney, or Sam Spade. She thinks that would give her more power in the courtroom. I told her she might want to wait and see how she feels in a year or two. We wouldn’t be able to swim if our noses were upside down.”
“That…is the truth.”
“Why is life so complicated?
“Because everyone is different from everyone else and there are a LOT of rules, in every society, that people are expected to follow. Rules made up by other people, so that those people get what they want and everyone else doesn’t get anything, except for what they are given and allowed to have.”
“Why does it have to be that way?”
“Cuz that’s the way rich, white, guys set it up and no one is doing anything to stop them.”
“That’s the answer to a lot of things, isn’t it.”
“It’s the answer to most things.”
“Why don’t men have babies?”
“The male seahorse does but I know what you’re asking. If men had babies they would never stop whining, complaining, asking for special privileges and thinking they were the most wonderful things ever, because they could bring life into the world. Their egos would explode and pregnancy would be worshiped, the way males are worshipped in male religions. They just can’t stop worshipping everything they do. They would have a hard time during war, all of them off balance and being kicked from the inside. Some of them would be throwing up, in the beginning and I don’t see how they could kill things while giving birth, but I’m sure they would find a way. It also has to do with our anatomy. Men don’t have the right parts.”
“Sandra said that if men had babies they might think twice about abandoning them and killing them.”
“Sandra’s a smart girl. I just don’t know if that would be enough to stop some of them from doing the terrible things they do to their children.”
“I’m never going to be like that.”
“I know you won’t.”
“If I was, you’d bury me in the backyard, wouldn’t you.”
“Depends on what you had done.”
“You’re a tough mom.”
“It’s a tough world.”
“Pete’s older sister told him to enjoy his life now because when he gets older it’s not fun anymore.”
“As you get older you get more responsibilities.”
“That’s what she said and then life’s not fun anymore.”
“I guess that’s true for some people. I’m still having fun and so is your dad. You can’t know how other people are doing because they don’t always tell the truth. They might tell you they’re happy and get divorced shortly after that, although that might be why they said they were happy in the first place.”
“This is too weird. I’m going upstairs to read.”
“Good idea. Love you, Baby and don’t forget the cookies.”
“Love you too and I won’t.”
It’s amazing how perfect people suddenly become after they’re dead. For awhile, I wasn’t sure they were talking about the person I knew (that has happened before). Then I though maybe she had a split personality and I only ever met one half of her. Her significant other finally told a story about her that was funny and spot on, which made everything better. My friend knows that her daughter wasn’t perfect, who is, after all, and that was okay with her. She didn’t expect her to be perfect. I was glad he told a bit of the truth about her. Later my friend said we should have buried a bottle of wine with her and we all agreed and laughed. There should have been more of that.
My friend is Jewish. She called me last week and said, “How can I boil 24 eggs?” I asked her if she was making egg salad. She said, “No. Each member of the family has to eat a hard boiled egg when they come to my house from the cemetery.” I asked her why and she said, “How do I know?” That’s why we’re friends. Then she said she needed a plastic pitcher, so people could wash their hands on the front stoop. I went to three stores and couldn’t find one, but someone else finally did.
Yesterday, when I was at her house eating brownies from a sweets tray, she said, “You can’t take any brownies home tomorrow.” I said, “I’m not Jewish, your rules don’t apply.” She said you can’t.” This morning she called me and told me to come and get some brownies before everything started. She said, I couldn’t take any food out of the house because it would bring death into my home and she wouldn’t ever let me do it. Her house and food are contaminated for the moment. I had a brownie when I was there today but I brought it home in my stomach and that was okay. I just can’t carry them in my hands and eat them later. We live next door to each other. It’s easy for me to steal food.
My friend is doing great. The funeral was nice, if a funeral can be nice. The lady rabbi talked sooooo s l o w l y, that my A+ personality had me clenching my teeth and holding onto the chair. It was hard for me to listen to her because I kept telling my self to not run away. Her two older daughters said lovely things and spoke at a normal speed.
I refused to throw dirt on her coffin. I couldn’t do it. Wouldn’t do it. Three shovels full. No way. They added seeds from Israel because she loved gardening. I don’t know if they will sprout from that depth but that’s what they did.
The outside of my car is not exactly clean and sparkling. That was never my job, so I keep forgetting to do it. I want to get it washed but it’s a Jeep and it’s supposed to look tough, right? Like I was just off road in the mountains somewhere, instead of picking up a loaf of bread at the store. It still has salt marks from winter. At the cemetery, I was in line with very shiny, very expensive, cars none of which had bumper stickers on the back. NONE…I looked. Zero. Now I know why she gets her car washed more than I do.
I promised to take my friend to Geneva, IL, when this is over. Shiva is at her house through Tuesday and it’s Passover, so there are more rules about that. Anyway, at Geneva we eat at a great Italian place and the shops are fun. It’s an hour away but it’s worth the trip. She said, “Yes, let’s go. I just can’t go to a musical.” I’m not even going to ask her about that.
I can eat at her house everyday, because there’s lots of food. Trays of matzo, fruit, cookies and bagels. But I don’t think they can have bread on Passover, so that will change. I can actually eat at her house whenever I like anyway, so this isn’t that unusual, except for the sweets. All the years we’ve been friends and we never sit in each other’s houses. We are always out, doing things and going places.
So, my idea of a funeral is not to have one. We didn’t have one for our son, I didn’t have one for my husband and I don’t want one for myself. Wherever I drop, I just want to go to straight to the crematory and then have my ashes scattered over Lake Michigan (at the North Avenue Rocks, if possible). No goodbyes. I don’t want to be beloved, adored, dear, or anything else. I never was any of those things and I don’t want to pretend that I was. I was well loved and happy, that’s good enough for me. Anything after I’m gone would just be a post script. For me, when my story ends, it’s over and I’m gone.
But IF there was a party, Queen would be singing, “I WANT IT ALL AND I WANT IT NOW,” in the background and there would be a Poetry Slam taking place, about women, life, death and overthrowing male domination. Then pizza and fries for everyone. People would be wearing jeans, t-shirts, gyms, worn out and ragged. Paint would be available for spontaneous creative urges. And chocolate cake (from IKEA or PORTILLO’S), as well candy bars, would be everywhere, along with lots of ice cream and FLOWERS. But I’m not having anything, so that won’t happen. Oh, cats would be invited too. Have nip on tables with cute water dishes, kibble, along with treats and scratching posts. Each cat would get a catnip mouse as a parting gift. The strays could have whatever they wanted and forever homes would be nice, if they wanted to live with someone. T-shirts with fists in the air graphics, would be handed out after the dancing was over. And every single car in the parking lot would have bumperstickers, except for my daughter’s. She doesn’t do bumperstickers. IKR? But that party is never going to happen.
Anyway, my son and her daughter used to watch horror movies together. She would go to his condo and they would make popcorn and watch one awful film after another. That’s what we’re hoping they’re doing right now.