What Do You Do? Sleep All Night?

36 years old, right before I went on disability. Working 12 -14- 16 hours a day. Doesn’t matter. Getting home…N===, has immunodeficiency disease. She is dead from taking care of L===. all day, cooked dinner, hands L===, to me and goes to bed… I am done with work and school and I feed her and myself and put her to bed. Then it is time to do my homework… I am dedicated to my schoolwork.. Programming… It sucks because it you make a typo between a colon and a semi-colon. It throws an error but not until 28 lines down the page. How are you going to spot that. and same with a ” or a ‘ what the hell are you supposed to look for. But I loved that shit! Fucking PHP and MSQYl and HTML and the workings together. But it was impossible! Every night. I would give up around Midnight, Lost, give up! Go to sleep! But 3am, every night. Wake up, I got the solution! Run downstairs. Start typing, put on a pot of coffee. Gotta go to work at 5 am… Always make it on time. I got it solved! What the fuck was going on? I could not decipher the night before? I got it fucking done did? What did you did when you were sleeping? We had to make sure out daughter was waking up to eat.. she never woke up! What the hell! Doctors said, wake her up, wake her up, have to wake ourselves up? Okay, every four hours? right? It doesn’t matter now but I am screaming! I am screaming! What the fuck, you supposed to do? Sleep all night? I never did and I never do! ‘Do you sleep all night? Are you well rested? I am not!

Prevarication

I let people lie to me, because when they think I believe the lies they believe I am the biggest moron and they can tell me bigger lies. But I only do that because I know they will start telling the the truth… They can’t help it. It reminds me of spending a little time in AA. NA and other such programs Usually while in the BHU. Addicts would brag they were the best liars. Okay, I am going to believe you now. Then they tell the biggest lie ever no one could ever believe, but give them ten minutes and they are confessing the biggest truths. Why the fuck would I want to talk to this person? After the big confession, they start with the, Oh god! I really want to straighten myself out and I need rehab (place to stay for 30 days) and then then they get out to the lunchroom and they are trading numbers with the other addicts where to get the best drugs when they leave the BHU….I am the biggest addict you will ever meet but I’m not hanging around with these shitheads. I keep my mouth shut during meetings. Why? I want to quit… I can’t but I’m not hanging around with anyone who brags about being a huge fucking liar.

Fucking bitches lie to me, oh, I want you so bad! Oh yeah, yeah, I love you too…! I’m broke this week… Oh, sorry I’m busy… never would have guessed? Okay, forget I said bitches. I have been talking to a woman on Bumble, I almost deleted the shit. OnIy reason I did not delete the app. thought I did but got a response from her. I have been inviting her for a bagel and saying that usually turns into “coffee”, means different things to different people. Three fucking days she is asking me what I mean by “coffee”. What the fuck do you think I mean? Straight back Colombian? Saturday, she tells me she has had an illness, Thank god it’s not Covid! but she is still contagious. If she doesn’t want to meet for “coffee” just tell me I’m an asshole! or what? In the past few days she got tested for Covid but didn’t mention it? And she is still contagious with whatever cold or flu virus or fucking sniffle. If she was covid conscious, she never asked if I wear a mask. Should I go on? She is scared I may get the common cold and die?

Finished!

Come On Over! Royal Blood

Heart colored pencils

Okay, all week, I’m talking serious shit to serious people. But not to M—-, I’m pissed at her because she insisted I download Signal to chat with her it has more privacy. I don’t want to quote Ice T, but, “For the record. I am not a Democrat and I am not Republican so you can miss me with all your Left-Right talk.. Both Wings are on the same Bird
True Dat. While the Democrats and Republicans were fighting tooth and nail who was going to receive $600 dollars in stimulus money along party lines, it barely made the news that all of them voted unanimously there would be no more end to end encryption allowed on any devices or websites. I didn’t want to ruin her illusions. But after a week she started using three different phone numbers on the same app… each with similar names but different. And different pics but not of her, they were pictures from the sims game. figured none of them were her real name. I have never don’t a background search on anyone, except a basic Whitepages to see if someone has the correct name when they tell me too text me at 2am. But she admitted she only had 3 google voice voice numbers. Okay? How did she spoof me with a 919 number from Raliegh? and then another one an hour later a made up dating site profile from 919?

Never once did a background check on anyone, but this is crazy! She has 5 alises! 10 bucks background check. She has 6 landlines! who the hell has a landline and three cell numbers pop up.. Not thinking I click on one it is not her name it is some stranger halfway across the country but it’s making sense now.. I think.. but no I was working through it backwards! I thought I found her real name.. She took her name by changing one letter of her drug counselor’s name when she was in prison.. No big deal but what the fuck? She got 15 different addresses, different versions of the same person’s name. I thought I was on the right track finding her dad’s obituary.. It wasn’t her dad she mentioned doing Zoom calls about a funeral. It was this drug counselor’s dad! I was feeling like Chaz Palmenterri at the end of Usual Suspects. When “Verbal” walks out of his office and he starts noticing where the story came from!

I gave up on her but she kept texting me and I”m out of my mind. But I remember when we first met she explained when she had sex and it didn’t turn into love she felt, guilt shame and anger… etc.. I told her we couldn’t have sex.. ever.. She understood and we hung out, platonically. She disappeared for a few years and came back after she had a ruinous relationship and started hanging out with me but remember I hated her talking shit about the mystical..But I figured we were hanging out driving around having coffee. I ignored her bullshit. One day she invited herself over to watch a movie… Well, I knew exactly what that meant but I can’t help myself. We had sex but she got pissed because I didn;’t fall in love. I thought that was the last I would hear from her.

Until this summer.. Okay.. Same mystical bullshit but I was into the numbers, nothing else… I don’t believe it. [Skip ahead] This week, I’m out of my skull trying to talk to the people I love, (not her) she keeps interjecting.. She is inviting herself over… She got no heat… Okay, come over here, I don’t care.. But yeah, I will probablyt turn it into sex… then a long explanation, she can’t… Okay, I don’t give a shit! I am am mad at you.. I don’t say, I say, I understand… But she invites herself over for coffee…. and cancels… Finally, I don’t want to do it but I want to get rid of her.. I didn’t say, come on over! I sent the link to” Come On Over, by Royal Blood, listen to the song! She didn’t get it!

She told me the story about the last time she had sex! 09/16/2016. Okay…. That was with me! I did not write down the date! I guessed.. I knew it was right before I got run over by a car! I asked, “With me?” I knew he answer… Then she described all the shit leading up to it. I knew all of it. I am not forgetful. Short term yes…, She asked me why I sent the song “Come on Over”? I said, obviously beside the title, the whole song. “OH!” Couple hours later she wanted a simple yes or no answer, Did I want her to come over only for sex… Yes I did, but not anymore, I answered “Yes” because I knew that would piss her off and she would not come.. she sent me a long diatribe about women be hormonal and men being attracted, how could I know over email?… I answered yes because we cannot have sex! No answer… Hours later she wanted coffee… I know what “coffee” means, I said, I am already walking for coffee.. That was it… Do you think she is going to contact me again? I can’t do it! I can’t have a woman wait 5 years for me.. I have sex every five minutes… Listen to Royal Blood, Come on Over!

My Intentions

Robot Brain

When did this start? I have been the one pushing for a therapist, before the stress of summer’s life change. I finally get one, she seems great. She says she wants me to set some “goals.” I said, okay, what about calling them priorities? but thought about it, same word, right?

That week, I realized, I felt something was wrong with me, I have lived in this town for eight years; I do not have one friend. I do, just not from this town. I’m out and about? Right. Then a couple friends from out of town tell me, yes, your town is f’ed up!

I found other places in better towns online I am approved for but I know I cannot call the owners with my motor mouth and deranged thinking. I waited to tell my therapist; I said, yes, “goals” is the correct word. My goal is not one week, it is one year or two years, I need to get out of this town! That is a great idea! She responded. The next week, I said the same to my case manager, it was the three day holiday week; understandably she put me off but I agreed, I only wanted to mention it to her. That is her job to help me with these things. Tells me she can start making calls.

Tuesday, my therapist pretended she forgot all about it. Strangely because her big idea was setting goals and Wednesday, my case manager, AGAIN???? Now I am back to a year ago where I am getting humored on what I would like to do, I imagine until they think I forgot all about it.

Fuck this shit! Either one of them asks me a question. I am answering with a question of my own! I’m going to repeat myself until they get sick of fucking avoiding the question. I used to be lackadaisical and let them defer by saying, I don’t know, I have not spoken to (the other person) This ends now, or I end it.

I know what you may be thinking; I am still drunk or drinking whatever. My big plans for tonight; just got paid; I went to Panera, they don’t serve alcohol. That was my payday celebration. Coffee and flatbread pizza, but most of all, people watching.

I was texting my mom. She is laughing, there are only 6 people in there but I tell her I stay a long time and people come and go. Right now there is a highly inappropriate public display of affection in front of me and to my left is an old married couple sharing an ice tea and ignoring each other staring into their phones. I gotta go home, I’ve been here for two hours.

On the way home I said, Actually Panera is quite enjoyable, This is the highlight of my week! Do you really think I wanted to drink 4,000 beers in two days?

Then I complained about almost getting run over by three trump truckers (Seabrook Mother Truckers) and she stopped talking to me…. I stopped at the General Store and bought an extra large coffee.

Take Advice From Fools

Robot Brain

Don’t listen to anything I say. I go on like I got this sage wisdom. Nobody is talking to me today. I’m afraid I messed life up with my daughter. I woke this morning thinking I texted my daughter a little about the music we both like. That was Tuesday! Today is Friday! I was texting her non stop crazy shit for days. She wasn’t answering. I imagined she was responding and we were having a conversation. This morning I texted, Good morning, (heart emoji) like any other morning. She said, I love you, heart emoji) It was her first reply since Tuesday.

Since I started telling everyone about SuperUnknown and Chris Cornell killing himself at my age. I am thinking there is some incredible coincidence. No! Millions of people listen to that album. I was fucking delusional!

It wasn’t only her, it was her mom, she sent a text, saying don’t text after 10 pm go back and read what you wrote. She telling I am not trying to help myself. I didn’t argue but my doctors been telling me for years I am going to get progressively worse. I”m taking my meds, I’m keeping my appts. I was even sleeping and eating on a fairly strict schedule. I asked for a therapist months ago and after a long time I finally said to my case manager, what the heck is going on with the therapist??? Now I have one.

Then my mom thinks it’s cause I drink. It’s true but I”m not drinking all the time. She is getting back to her place in an hour… I want to ask her if she thinks I was drinking Thanksgiving weekend? I was with her 24/7, I don’t keep booze stashed in the house. What was I doing? Talking to her non stop and sleeping for an hour or two and talking to her. She can see all I have is water and Pepsi?

I want to ask, was I drinking that day I spent crying in Panera? No… The day I did the crazy 6 hour meditation and wouldn’t stop raving about it? No.. I can’t meditate for more than 30 seconds if I have a beer. I was drinking this week but I stopped When I ran out wed/thur am… I know it makes it worse but mania causes euphoria and lack of judgement and the delusions certainly don’t help!

Everyone else on my phone! Fr—- M—-, I was pissed at her and I wanted her to come over and have sex. I know she wouldn’t I just wanted to get back at her for lying to me. I know that would piss her off but I exlained it to her. She didn’t remember she explained it to me years ago. When we first met, I told her we couldn’t ever have sex and then we did a few year ago one day and that was when she disappeared. She siad she forgot all about that. I hope we are done talking.

I don’t care about any of that shit. I don’t know how much my daughter knew about me before but she didn’t know I was this crazy! I tried to explain today, but felt like I was making it worse and I was. I am going to wait until tonight and say, “goodnight, I love you! She is 16 I don’t want to scare her!

Swan Song

“Hate, if you want to hate
If it keeps you safe
If it makes you brave

Pray, if you want to pray
If you like to kneel
If you like to lay”

“My Wave” Soundgarden

You know every fucking band he was in was the “Chris Cornell Band”, right? “You know I’m headed for the bottom, I’m riding you all the way”

My diagnosis? My prognosis? Suicide: Average age of onset; 32. You think my poem, “Cheating death for one more day was written by accident? He fucking wrote his suicide note in album form in1994 and it was critically acclaimed.

How long have I been doing great? Everyone thinks I’m doing great, right? Things done changed.

Things done changed today. I asked the stupid question, “what’s up? Why?” I was doing good, I was waiting for the cable guy to show. He showed, of course I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. But, who cares , he’s the cable guy.

But I knew last week I was planning my relapse. I’m not sure, maybe my relapse was meeting eight women. Thank goodness, looked up the restaurant on Yelp! I was thinking 5$ burger Tuesday. Greasy spoon, right? Oh no! I saw some pictures of this place. 50 foot bar with a white patent leather bumper and matching captain’s chairs and that is not even where these broads were sitting. No! Circular tables with pink tablecloths that hung elegantly to floor level and matching over-sized face wipes draped in all eight positions around the table. I would not have fit in even if I had a suit and tie.

“I got some dirt on my shoe”. I’m loving these armchair psychologist giving me remedies for insomnia when I say I’ve only been sleeping 2 hours a night for months. Oh, yes, thank you, I thought insomnia was when you try to sleep but you lie awake and toss and turn for hours. What if my problem is I never try to go to sleep because I don’t want to sleep? I have to force myself to lie down just to get soothed.

Oh yeah, my mom, is this her swan song? We did all the things we did when I was a kid. I don’t know? I pushed her over the edge. I didn’t let her sleep. I am a maniac. We were laughing all 5 days but one day I forgot to calm myself and made her cry. I felt so bad but it was okay. I just lost my shit, I lose my shit all the time.

Am I imaging things? Did she come here to say goodbye? She is in perfect health.

I was doing well until I realized after the cable

oh yeah, these word are so prettyh, myh fabvorit nsband? “

There’s something inside me that pulls beneath the surface
Consuming, confusing
This lack of self control I fear is never ending
Controlling
I can’t seem”

Crawling in my skin by Linkin Park? You knowwhtere that leads? right? fuking Chris cornell was 52.. Im 52… Nne of this makes sense.

Fst fwd.. back up slip up, hiccup! I’m waking home bored outta my fukin mindeQ you got a q? fuking gonna turn around sticl out my thumb and see who pics me up right? no I’m laughin what’s tisgonna be. somethingis ghont to happen, right? righ?

ThenI’m thinking, it starts with one thing I don’t know why??? Yeha, I all these bitches looking for adventure on daating sites, what “adventure?” wine mome with three kids 18’16 and 2? 2? didn[‘t save the marriahe hut? Wou gonna bring achild into this world to self soothe?

Where ever adventure. alright. I got 10 grand in free credit? let’s pack up your three kids in youj care and see how far it gets us! right? rightrt?J

uyOUTKN know what the uck I am talking about. I had fortyh fuiking years of adveture.. I heitchiked around tthe country three times? I lived in a van with my gf 40 thousand miles in a year on 500doollas.

is that the adventure you are looknt for? you want to be a leather tramp? a rubber tramp? or you ust want to sit home and tell me I; m wasting YOUr time cuzx z Im not serious ?????

I got another one tody? Whyh tyou call yoursel boring? Uh? If I have to exz plain the joilke it takes all the fuking funny out of it. I am all dont with ithis shit. She was boring me to death. she live inb the best twon round and taling bout wathing the cxmas ttree lighting??? the day after thanksgiving.??? how fuking exicting for a guy from the islsand of misfit towys? right wtf?

Everythinjg is okay iutil youask why? why? whoh non what are youtalikg bout? I nedcan[tteven type my emotions. anbd they say youstr noy duppodf yo libr in yout rmoyiondzz/ what am I supposeed to do not get angrey? nto cruy over chris cornell, blind melnot. shit I care abouit but not suuitable??? do you care???

No Way! Chris Cornell killed himself???

“I woke the same
As any other day except a voice was in my head
It said, ‘Seize the day
Pull the trigger, drop the blade and watch the rolling heads’

The day I tried to live
I stole a thousand beggar’s change
And gave it to the rich, yeah
The day I tried to win
I dangled from the power lines
And let the martyrs stretch, yeah

Singing one more time around (might do it)
One more time around (might make it)
One more time around (might do it)
One more time around (might make it)
The day I tried to live, yeah

Words you say
Never seem to live up to the ones inside your head
The lives we make
Never seem to ever get us anywhere but dead

The day I tried to live
I wallowed in the blood and mud
With all the other pigs, hey

Singing one more time around (might do it)
One more time around (might make it)
One more time around (might do it)
One more time around (might make it)

The day I tried to live, yeah
I tried

I woke the same as any other day you know
I should have stayed in bed

The day I tried to win
I wallowed in the blood and mud
With all the other pigs

And I learned that I was a liar
I learned that I was a liar
I learned that I was a liar
I learned that I was a liar

Singing one more time around (might do it)
One more time around (might make it)
One more time around (might do it)
One more time around (might make it)
The day I tried to live
Just like you
Just like you

One more time around
One more time around”

“The Day I Tried To Live” Soundgarden

Such a Lovely Sentiment

Heart colored pencils

“So I got edges that scratch
And sometimes I don’t got a filter
But I’m so tired of eatin’
All of my misspoken words
I know my disposition gets confusing
My disproportionate reactions fuse with my eager state
That’s why you wanna come out and play with me, yeah” “Beggin’ for Thread” BANKS

How many of my stories this year have started with, “Back in June…” ? Well, Back in June, I guess I posted an ad on a pen pal site. No, not a “horny women want to write you letters” pen pal site. I can’t remember what is is called or how I found it. I only remember it had no images. It was text-boxes only. Bare bones HTML forms. I barely remember what I wrote. Something like, “I want to go back to the days before the internet was the internet.” Maybe more. But I meant it. I didn’t want an electronic connection. I used a fake name, my real age, and my real snail mail address. I forgot about it until August, (I think) when I received a three page letter written in perfect cursive script yellow, lined legal paper, from someone claiming to be a 21 year old gay man. “He” wasn’t talking about sex but kept mentioning “he” wanted to share his secrets and if I wanted I could share my secrets. I had no idea who wanted to hear my “secrets” but I wasn’t biting.

Last month I got the obligatory letter from a lonely woman in Russia. I’m not really sure because it was very convincing but I threw it in the trash. If it didn’t come from Russia I may have saved it.

Wednesday night my mom was asking if I had any newspapers to catch the potato and carrot peels. Here I am, 52 and I’m the kid again, it’s my job to the peel the fucking vegetables. “Newspapers? What are those?” I thought I haven’t checked my mail in a week, I bet my box is stuffed with grocery store flyers. Those are newspapers, right? I got down there and I was right but sitting in front was an unusual envelope. I read it and thought, figures, I got someone else’s mail again. Wait a minute! That’s my pseudonym!

I got back upstairs and my mom went out to smoke so I opened the envelope. It was odd sized, inside was small paper with a pattern printed border with hand writing. I’m not going to share the details because it is more real than something I would find on the internet. There was nothing personal, there was no tease. It was from a woman, it said, Hi, my name is (…), my friends call me (…) I found you on some penpal site and I like writing letters. This is my first letter to you. Inside the envelope there were more pieces of paper, I imagine were from a stationery store but like, where? A one and a half by four inch piece of purple paper with a small watermark? On that she asked a few of my favorite things, food, etc.. but, favorite smell? That was a good one. Another piece I think was part of a note card and had basics about her, three things she likes and three things she doesn’t. Nothing earthshaking. We both like music. Wow.

I put it away until my mom left Sunday and I spread it out on the table. If this person is pulling the long con, they really put too much effort into it. I noticed she switched different colored pens randomly and tiny stickers. Kids stuff but she said she was in her 30’s. I’m weird, I used to do this shit when I was younger.

I thought there is no way I can respond by typing on the computer and printing out an 8 1/2 by 11 and sending it off in a business envelope. But I want to write back. I don’t have any materials. Then I noticed there was another piece of paper with a printed border which was left blank. Okay. I imagine that is for me to write on. I only have a black pen but it’s a start. Where am I supposed to find an envelope for this?

You know me though. I am quite verbose. My favorite smell? You know that is going to be more than a one word answer. That was a good one because I just came up with it a few weeks ago when I was walking down the street.

I remembered I had an old journal with unique pages from years ago. But I can’t fill the whole thing up and mail it. I decided to write my one word (paragraph answers in sections and cut them apart and use the paper she provided for a “thanks for writing” note. That’s pretty good, right? I wanted to put at least a quarter as much effort into it. I don’t know, it was fun. I am under no illusion we are going to fall in love and live happily ever after.

Meanwhile… The same guy who says he wants to get off the internet is back on the internet. Fucking Bumble! I’m not drinking… When do I do this shit? But this was good. Somebody finally got the point of my profile being a big fucking joke! Who was it? Apparently someone who is very well educated. I don’t know… Well… I do know the impression I give by the way I speak. But the funniest phrase (to me) I’ve been using for months is, “I know when to drop the vernacular.” I think it’s funny because I think a lot of people who hear it wouldn’t imagine I know the word, “vernacular.” I love that word. “Colloquialism” used to be one of my favorites but it sounds stilted. It doesn’t “roll off the tongue.”

I lost track of my mind… Oh, right, my point is I don’t use words because I think they sound cool. I choose certain words because they mean exactly what I mean to say.

She made a joke about my elephants hiding in trees joke and didn’t ask me to explain why I was one big joke. I checked out her profile. It made sense now… She said she appreciates people who appreciate the absurdity of life. And, she is ivy league! I am going to like this… I was right. I could relate.

I forget everything. She said she had the good fortune to have a job she enjoyed and I told her I don’t believe in luck. Please go on… Please go on? Don’t do it! What have I been running around yelling about all year? Synchronicity. Okay, I did it.

It was starting to get too serious and I wanted to make myself clear. Because at some point, I added to my profile something about people like me for my honesty and openness and not pretending to be someone I’m not. I picked my spot and interjected, “Either way one of us is trying to get lucky tonight.”

It was an educated guess and worked to move things along. Now I know she likes to be playful but this is my kind of playful. We were talking about something and she used the word “unmoored”. I stopped her and said, I don’t mean to change the subject but I am more interested in the word unmoored. (WordPress doesn’t recognize it as a word. You bastards!) She said, “It’s not a bad place to be.” I’m thinking, How does she know I’m crazy? I added, “If it is even a place…. It doesn’t change from an adjective to a noun until you drop anchor.” Mm… “Why would anyone want to do that?” Okay, now we are getting somewhere.

Then she was struck by me writing about Grace Jones being my love language… Oh shit! That is when I changed my profile! What the fuck going on with Grace Jones? I said, I love her language she speaks in tongues.

She said her words bring her warmth… I told her , her words are bringing me warmth… Then she said it…

“Indeed?”

I know it’s an expression but I know it means something more than it means to me. I had to look it up and I am so glad I did.

I told her what I found.

Indeed: used to emphasize a statement or response confirming something already suggested.

Indeed: used to introduce a further and stronger or more surprising point.

She said,

“Indeed”

She said, “Your username (BoringOldBill) is sunk in the very depths of irony”

There was a lot more but those were the highlights.

Whatever we had fun but I keep doing this to myself. I’m never going to meet her. What am I going to do? Tell her I’m on disability for being unmoored? Am I pretending to be someone I’m not? I have to get offline. I feel like Cyrano in the bushes telling the acceptable guy what to say. I am giving a false impression though. Come take a look at my apartment. I am not “put together.” I always say people come to my place to see me, not my apartment, but…

This is why I’ve been trying to stay offline. I didn’t even know I was back online! I’ve barely touched my phone for a week. then it beeped last night? I

I have to get out of here.

Crazy is as Crazy Does

“Now it’s time for me to make my impression felt
So sit back, relax, and strap on your seat belt”

“Nuthin But a ‘G’ Thang” Dr. Dre

My mom and I just had/are having? The best Thanksgiving ever. I don’t know… I can’t get rid of her. (I’m not trying) It is 8 o’clock on Sunday morning and she finally woke up. She never sleeps this late.

The week before, I was worried because I asked her what she was doing for the holiday. She said, “Your brother is working.” That is not what I asked. Getting a straight answer out of her is like trying to nail Jello to the wall. I told her I was asking a week early because she always waits until Wednesday night to ask if I want to go to my brother’s house and gets upset when I say no. (I don’t want to be stuck at my brother’s place for four days.

She thought it was funny…. etc… She asked if I wanted her to come to my place, “Sure!” I guess she did have plans. She immediately said, “Great, I can bring all the stuff down Wednesday and stay the night and your brother can come down after he gets out of work. I didn’t like it but, hey, it’s only one day, not four.

My mother loves holidays and cooking all the food. Wednesday she kept me updated by text as she packed her car. She was warning me she would be a little late. Late? It’s 11am the day before. I can’t remember; I think she got here around 2pm and that is when the party started. (No, no drugs or alcohol)

I started busting her balls about the Turkey breast still being frozen and her trying to kill me. She told me the instructions gave it 1-3 days to thaw. After nailing her to the wall, I found it had been thawing for 3 days.

She came prepared, but in her usual fashion. She forgot half and remembered half, but she had the essentials Ziploc bags with a dozen plastic spoons? She bought me small glass Sea salt and and Pepper grinders. The kind you find at the grocery store for a dollar. Good for me but I don’t know why she thought I was lacking. I opened my closet and showed her my doomsday prepping situation, which included a pound of salt and a container of rough ground pepper.

I say I busted her balls, but that is what we do and she likes it because she knows she is a little fucked up but she is on top of her game, she just plays by different rules. I was in rare form. I don’t think she was prepared. I had been texting her all year about what I had been doing but editing myself so she wouldn’t worry. But there was no pretending in person. It was fine because I have been in a great mood and I kept her laughing non-stop. She likes laughing loudly and tears were coming out of her eyes and she couldn’t catch her breath.

I don’t remember many of the specifics. I kept her laughing up past her bedtime. The first was peeling the potatoes. She brought a peeler from home and also bought me one from Walmart; it looked like a toy, I said, what is this? “Barbie’s First Potato Peeler?”

Finally got Chinese Food I’ve been craving since Covid started. Feng Shu. I found it when I googled Chinese food near me and it was the only one in town. It had rave reviews on Yelp but it shared a building with Dunkin Donuts, It really is fucking good. They don’t cook until you order and it is ready in 15 minutes and now they have a plexiglass Covid window. We were waiting and my mom had set the 15 minute time on her phone, it went off at the same time owner was yelling our phone number. We were slow and she got pissed and threw the bag through the window. My mom and I were laughing about Seinfeld and calling her the Chinese food Nazi. We spent $40, stuffed ourselves silly and only ate less than half.

She went to bed around midnight and I didn’t want to sleep but thought maybe I should. I opened my eyes not believing how well I slept, went to the living room and it was 2am. I tried to be quiet but woke my mom up and I got her laughing about she is the one to do that at 3am and I can’t get back to sleep. (long story)

I starting telling her how I had to wait for the store to open to get my “eye opener coffee” and I wanted her to try a small cup. Then I wanted to stress the whole “thing” I got going on with the lentils. “mom, mom, look, what am I doing?” I’m measuring out a quarter cup of lentils and a cup of water. “See? I got it down to a science. You think I was kidding? I’ve been doing this every day for 5 years! See? Setting the timer half hour. Then 20 minutes to cool and 10 minutes to eat. I never put this much effort in to eating anything! I never miss a fucking day! Do you think they taste good? They taste like dirt!” “I thought I was doing it to lose weight, I didn’t know anything about what they do for my brain until I googled, “Why do they call mac n cheese comfort food?” I didn’t want to know about asparagus and spinach and… lentils? Fucking lentils?

I told her I don’t do much googling but after eating 2 pounds of Brussel Sprouts like potato chips at midnight, you know, “Stupid me” Lentils came up again! I’m telling you I ate so many Brussel Sprouts they were falling off the plate and I was picking them up off the floor and eating them! I’m not googling shit anymore! I’m just going to eat whatever crazy shit I feel like eating at the time. She thought it was hilarious but she finally got I was serious. I told her I’m not a health nut. Some mornings I go straight to the store and buy 2 greasy sausage and egg sandwiches no problem but I still cook and eat the fucking lentils.

My brother (Buzz Killington) showed up Thursday and my mom cooks her whole life but she is having trouble since I kept her awake the past 36 hours laughing but she is still on top of it. I kept checking in and setting the timer on my phone to remind her, she was staggering around looking confused, but doing pretty well. The good thing was my brother kept his comments to himself and actually had a good time and had to leave early.

I kept her up late Thursday laughing but let her go to bed. I stayed up, I remember talking to myself and laughing in the kitchen. Thinking she is where I got my sense of humor. The funniest thing I kept thinking about was people my age at meetings. The most common concern was how to tell people you don’t drink? What is this high school? I came up with a good answer, “alcohol can have plenty of fun without me.” Then I ate all the chinese food and went to bed laughing.

I woke up in the morning and didn’t hear my mom. I was really afraid I imagined the whole thing. I’m thinking, watch me walk to the living room and nobody will be there and the room will be full of empty beer bottles. Nope. She was sleeping in.

Friday she woke up for a bit and went back to sleep. When she woke up her phone alarm went off and she said it is set to remind her to get out of the house before my fucking brother gets home from work. She is on vacation at my house! It was raining and we kept laughing and I told her how I felt like there was something wrong with me living in this fucking town, I gotta get out of here… when I go to another town people are friendly and smiling and acknowledging I exist.

I had her so daffed out telling her about the store still left in Exeter from years ago and we were going back and forth until she started asking me about if I remember the laundry place next to Woolworth’s. I said, mom, you are remembering things from before I was born.

Saturday we went to Plum Island Wildlife Sanctuary. We’ve been doing it for years but she really loves it now since her sister got her into bird watching. I like it too, we’ve been daytripping there since I was a kid. It’s beautiful. (Daytripper? I remember telling her how everyone loved the Beatles when I was a kid but I was the only one in first grade who knew what they were singing about!) She is a trooper, we drove out to the end and she got out of the car and walked 20 minutes to the ocean. It was below freezing and she was wearing a light jacket. I stayed in the car.

On the way out we saw a group of people with 3 foot long telephoto lenses trying to get a picture of one bird in a tree. We kept driving and saw a flock of at least 30 of the same birds and pulled over and got good pictures with our cell phones. Too funny.

She came up with the idea to get beach pizza (Square slices and “extra cheese” is a slice of provolone. It’s really good. (Childhood memory) We sent to Tripoli’s and she thought we would stand out in the cold and order at the window. Da Fuq? No, let’s go inside they have desserts. Really? Box off eight and two slices of carrot cake. Oh yeah! She said she didn’t know you could go inside, I told her she has to get out of her car once in a while.

Meanwhile, back in the world. This morning she asked if I wanted to go for breakfast at Red’s and see what it is like. Sure… She looked up the menu online and read it out loud, when she got to the “Everything omelette” I said, “That’s what I want, let’s go!” She said, “You know me, it takes for ever to make up my mind, I would rather know what I want before we go.”

We parked and she wondered if she should wear a mask, I said, I don’t think so, you know where we are and she started laughing. “Somebody might punch you in the face.”

They sat us in a booth, the waitress brought us coffee and asked if we knew what we wanted, I told her I do but she (my mother) might need some time. My mom surprised me by knowing she wanted French toast. But the waitress threw a wrench into the works by asking if she wanted powdered sugar. My mom wasn’t expecting that and looked to me confused, I thought oh, no it’s going to be another hour long decision. I told the waitress to stop asking questions and she said, “Okay, I get it, French Toast with powdered sugar. She asked a few waitress questions and if we wanted jelly on the table? I said, I didn’t know it was that kind of place… ha! She got the joke! (I’m thinking, this is why I go out in the real world, I get ghosted for making G rated jokes on dating sites… I don’t want to bang the waitress but it was more fun than saying, “No, thank you.” )

The guy behind me got up to leave and my booth slid across the floor, pressing me into the table. We went off again, posing hypotheticals, (Hostess asks, “Would you like a booth or a table?”, “I don’t know? Which one is bolted to the floor?” Or “Would you like a chair with wheels or would you rather be seated in a stationary position?” etc.. ) I don’t know, shit’s funny, we were the only ones having fun in the place and we were the only ones not drinking. People need to fucking relax.

The food was pretty good and she saw saw a kid with a Patriots jersey and talked about the game being on today. I went off on my rant about people thinking I’m a bandwagon fan and I have to tell them I started watching them 40 years ago on a 13 inch black and white screen filled with static because we were using rabbit ear antennae and we were lucky to get channel 6 out of Maine. It was the only way to watch a game because they sucked so bad the affiliated station in Mass. did a 60 mile media blackout to force people to buy ticket and go the stadium. People may be tired of seeing them win but I say, I watched them suck for 20 years every week hoping they would win at least twice that season, I am having fun watching them win for 20 years.

I said I tell people about life before the internet when they had to print the Boston newspapers at 11pm so they could be delivered to stores by 5am and you could only read about what happened in the first 7 innings off the Red Sox game because it went on until midnight. I tell people I knew how many hits every player had the night before and added them to the stats in the morning paper and kept track of their batting averages and that is how I taught myself percentages. People look at me and ask, “Percentages?” WTF? She was dying!

The waitress asked if we wanted to take anything home and my mother was seriously considering it even though the only thing left on the table was one and a half sausage links. I stopped her and said, yeah, I can imagine looking in the the fridge and seeing those. That got the waitress started about having leftover sausage and onions and how she doesn’t really like it but she cooks it once in a while and as she walked away, she looked back at my mom, “I don’t even know why I bought it that day, I must have been in the mood… ” OMG! I almost slid under the table.

My mom grabbed the check and started calculating 15% in her head, I threw $30 on the table and told her to leave $10 for the tip, it’s worth it because she laughed at my stupid jelly joke and then she made that joke to you about the sausage. She looked confused again, “Sausage joke?” I couldn’t believe I had to explain it to her, “Sausage?”, “not sure why I bought it?”, “Must have been in the mood?” Then she got it, I don’t know how she missed it, that is her kind of joke, then she was laughing so hard she was crying and told me she wet her pants! I said, is that why I have so many stories to tell? I am the only one who keeps his eyes open?

Out in the parking lot. (This is what I bust her balls about and she knows it is funny) I asked her if she parks so crooked so she can find her car in the lot. She said, yeah that’s why I bought such a small car. We go in and I pointed to the cars on both sides of us and told her, it worked they are parked as far away as possible.

Anyway, she went home. I am still laughing.

I left so much out. The best part was none of us have good silverware. She had to bring some from her house so there would be enough for three of us to eat. We joked about she had to keep it separate because my brother would count it and make sure she brought it home. He did! He sorted through my kitchen drawers and asking where what came from where.

As we were leaving breakfast I asked, what is wrong with our family? You were just thinking about spending $1000 on a new phone you don’t need but you will go to yard sales and negotiate a price on used forks!???

I joke about her but she is not senile. She has been off her whole life. She had trouble cooking for three Thursday but her summer job was at a camp cooking three meals a day for 600 kids. AND, she had to have a regular meal, a vegetarian meal and gluten free. Her kitchen crew was exchange students and half of them spoke little to no English. He bosses fucking loved her because they did not have to give any thought to the kids being fed. She made the menus, ordered the food, cooked it, assigned jobs to the workers depending on who could speak English and who could translate, etc… Also extras like 100 bag lunches for kids going on a day trip on top of the regular schedule.

I also kept thinking we get along so well because we take life so seriously but we also recognize how completely fucking ridiculous it is!