The funny thing is I don't think anyone understands anymore what they're celebrating. Attempting to
manufacture a "meaningful" moment for the cameras.
Dick Clark is the biggest (and most shameless) huckster in the world. Why would anyone go on and on ad
nausem about confetti (85 tons I believe)?
My neighbors need a better outlet for their weaponry.
ABC really could give a damn about broadcast production values on New Years (or who they get to
I am cynical and woefully out of touch.
New Year's Rockin' Eve indeed.
Nobody goes into the living room now. "It's" in there, waiting, bereft, longing for attention, awaiting its
inevitable demise. We loved it once, not so long ago. We adored it, fussed over it, attended to its every need,
bragged about its beauty. It was confirmation of our happiness.
Now we shun it, wishing it gone. The once favored Christmas tree, the centerpiece of our gala celebration is
now a pariah. Our holiday gluttony now sated, we want no more. Better if gypsies would steal away with it in
the night. Needles fall in despair. Thank God trash day is Saturday.
The Christmas tree has had a stay. My wife doesn't want it down yet. I don't see the point but I am not
totally heartless. The Christmas season seems so long ago. It's as if it never happened. Apparently there was
not enough cheer to carry over, as people are as cranky and unsatisfied as ever.
My coworkers grouse as if the break never occurred. I'm as ungrateful and dissatisfied as the next person, and
would love for another two weeks, but I really can't find myself complaining about going to work.
Must be going soft in my old age.
She could tell from his sample that his sperm
count was low, that the motility of his sperm was sub
Fortunately, he was practically infertile. She knew these
things having worked in a fertility clinic prior to
She could also tell that he had not committed the rape.
His DNA did not match.
She knew that he had beaten her sister, and gotten
away with it, that he'd beaten another woman so bad
She had no compunction about falsifying his report as
a "Positive Match" at risk to her job.
It was worth the risk.
Uncle Jack is back in the ICU as a precaution. He's developed a mild infection. He's also on oxygen to
supplement his breathing. I'm glad they didn't intubate, & he's just wearing a mask. I hate seeing those damn
tubes running out of the corner of the mouth. Ma says that if he'd just talk a little less he'd get all the oxygen he
needs. But that's Uncle Jack.
You have to wear a mask when you visit now. The chemo's weakened his immune system.
I haven't seen him since he started chemo. I'm not squeamish, just overscheduled, as usual.
He knew that his luck was running out. But he still hoped that it would hold for just this last time. He
hadn't laid hands on a woman in months. He'd taken his medicine and made regular visits to his therapist just
like he promised.
He felt bad about the last one and would find some way to make it up to her, if only he could get out. If only he
could get another chance. But not the one before her, she deserved it. She cut him bad, nearly castrated him.
Only luck saved him from jail that time.
Scrumptious personified every woman that was beyond my grasp in college. The woman that wore that
little black dress (a perfect size 4) like it was painted on. The Fraternity Row Camp Follower. She represented
the pinnacle of my desire in life.
In this new "half life" this un-death, she was a distinct disappointment. Beginning with my "transformation." The
promise of erotic pleasure gave way to the reality of virtual cannibalism. She drained me until I was near death
and then opened her own vein. I had little choice and less time.
She tasted like something old, like warm seawater.
She was glad to hear that he was in jail – relieved. Perhaps now she could relax a bit. Open the
blinds, go out a bit more. She knew he was out there looking for her, waiting for her. She'd given up on her old
haunts, changed her pattern.
The only thing she'd continued was work. Naturally she always had an escort but that was running thin. She
was running out of male friends and relatives to prevail upon.
She didn't believe it was him that did the rape though. He's no rapist. She'd call her sister and get the 411.
So Uncle Jack's cancer is in full remission or gone or something like that. I haven't talked to him
directly and my family is not big on details like that. Smart enough people, accomplished, educated, and
aware. But just not bothered about details like that.
It's not that we're uncaring or insensitive. It has more to do – or something to do – with faith and (I guess) a little
fatalism, and the overriding belief that things will work out for the best.
Or they won't but there isn't a damn thing we can do about it either way so why worry?
Marshall was unsure of the details but he knew that Scrumptious was up to something. Knew at least
that she was making unsanctioned "conversions." I know this because he enlisted me to spy on her.
Shanghaied me actually.
Scared the living hell out of me. One of the more surreal moments of my new "half life", as if becoming a
vampire weren't enough.
Loathe to kill, I'd devised a method of "tapping" several victims as they slept, just enough to cause a mild
Marshall appeared at my side one night as I made "rounds", grinning like the devil himself.
I haven't been this tired in I don't know when. I ache and my senses are dull and everything seems like
a chore. I think this week will be somewhat slower. One can only hope.
Seems like everyone is tired, overworked, and overwrought. It's not all mass neurosis is it?
By my parents' standards I have it easy. I never had to put in the backbreaking labor on a farm as my mother
did. I never had the oppressive poverty that my father experienced. Perhaps it's all relative but I could use a
break. I'll settle for a night's sleep.
As the story goes Jacob wrestled with an angel all night – suffered a hip injury – to get a blessing. Jacob
had ambition. I've never trusted people with ambition. Anyone willing to do anything to get what they want
puzzle me. It's not that I won't go the extra mile, stick until the end… choose your metaphor…. insert homily.
I've found that the trick is "wanting what you get when you get what you want." And it's not that I fear failure or
disappointment (any more than the next person). Nor do I believe all effort futile.
Could I be content?
My father-in-law and I came close to anything approaching a serious disagreement on only one
occasion. We'd taken him south for my grandmother's 90th birthday.
True we wanted him in on the celebration but we had a secondary motive. We hoped that him seeing someone
comfortable in elder care might prepare him for his pending (and dreaded) transition.
"Treat me like a man,' he said after I'd chided him (once too often) about going to bed one evening.
"Well act like one," I replied. We faced off a moment before he aquiesced.
I wonder, had he peeped my hold card?
Ralph Ellison invaded my dreams last night to talk literature, smoking a pipe and drinking something
dark and aromatic from a heavy tumbler. I was sufficiently awed and tongue-tied.
He started on themes. Man against man, against nature, against society. I mumbled something embarrassing
and thankfully, unintelligible. He asked what I thought of Lenin. I replied that I preferred it to polyester.
Trying a different approach he asked to see some of my pages. I handed them over with unsteady hands.
He considered them a bit and then abruptly took his leave to "get some more tobacco."
He never returned.
Marshall plunged his eyeteeth into Mr. Barnes' thick neck. Drained her quickly. She never woke.
Sated, he pulled a silk handkerchief from the breast pocket of his jacket, dabbed the corners of his mouth, and
Having no time for shock or horror I tried indignation. "You've not right to my victims!" I shouted. "Isn't this
against protocol, the rules, or something? I haven't been at this long but isn't it dangerous for us to be together
– let alone compete for prey – away from home?"
"My dear boy," he replied, "you have no idea what you're doing do you?"
The god of the clams considered his friend before him, lost in a deep funk. He thought the god of the
octopus a friend even if locomotion was highly overrated. Being able to move under power provided an
overblown sense of worth. It tempted one to think that one was directing the currents rather than the opposite.
The clam god considered it bad form to bring this to light. A fool is not overly enamored of the truth. The god of
the clams sat in calm contemplation awaiting the pity party to subside, awaiting inspiration to arrive on the
I changed her diapers. I was around for her first steps. I baby-sat her. And now she's having a child?
Ludicrous as it sounds I feel betrayed.
Bigger Thomas invaded my dreams last night and slapped me upside the head. I never liked Bigger.
Told him so. I mean, to be ignorant and poor is one thing, but when did they become an excuse for criminality?
Something about Bigger didn't sit right with me. Killing the heiress was one thing, an accident I'm sure, but
killing his girlfriend was premeditated and cruel. I had no sympathy for Bigger. I always preferred Ellison's
"When's the last time you did anything worth writing about boy?" he asked. He grinned at me stupidly.
I pretended not to hear.
I think Uncle Jack may die soon. And by admitting it I don't want to create a self fulfilling prophecy.
Childish really, like stepping on a crack or splitting a pole. But he may die and I've got to get ready.
It happened all too quickly. One minute we were celebrating successful treatment, the next we're sitting by the
bed, the tubes hanging out the side of his mouth, his hands curled at his sides, eyelids partially open.
So I have to get ready– hope for the best and prepare for the worst – and hate myself for writing about it.
My mother, out of the blue it seemed, inflicted (to my thinking) a particularly arbitrary type of cruelty on
"Mama, I know you love me, but you love Barry best," she would say. She spoke the phrase often and without
apparent provocation. I thought it cruel and unnecessary and untrue. Grandma loved everyone equally,
dispensing candy and cookies and cakes to the deserving; mercy on the undeserving.
Sort of like God.
I've come to understand my mother's position clearly, now that she is a grandmother. I have been replaced,
completely and with little ceremony.
I have embraced cruelty.