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Lessons from leaving the door open

While gardening:

 

One gets really, really good at killing mosquiters.

Really good.

Low light.

High light.

Doesn’t matter.

#Crushed

#AgainAndAgain

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Really weird long dream today

Jaidree, two friends, and I were at Grand Central, and my mom came but it was too crowded

And I tried to get her to follow, but she identified a wrong person as part of our group, and some protesting crowd made things too hard, and was too loud, and somehow she was too fast and she couldn’t hear me go nooo so she split the group
so I was frustrated that we got so separated from the main party, and mom couldn’t understand that the guy she was following totally wasn’t with us….the chaos was like a donald trump protest

so it was me and her

and I kept trying to call Jaidree, but something weird kept happening EVERY time I tried to press to her number, it was like someone would bump my hand, so I couldn’t call straight

and then mom said “here” and handed me a flip phone (lol) but on it, I couldn’t find Jaidree’s damn number, and then after getting more frustrated, I looked up and mom wasn’t there. Lost in the crowd.

So now I hate this crowd. They’re blocking everything, and going around them seems like so much jostling, I actually decided to climb a crane over them.

next thing I know, for some reason I’m jumping off a crane to get into a skyscraper because, I’m determined, (clearly) to not go into the crowd of protesters, who I still super hate.

but there’s a problem: it turns out the skyscraper is full of people who are puking green gakt, and turning into zombies. Very 80’s bad special effect zombies

but it’s ok…ish…..because (clearly) walking dead style, I can take a hard object and whack ’em on the head. That’s how it was.

But there’re too many, I end up in a clear glass office, and then eventually two other people bang on the door to join, and I let them (but one of them’s bitten) and more and more zombies start swarming this glass office, and I start to feel DA FEAR for the first time. It’s that moment where I realize how few alternatives there are besides, being eaten. But then I get pissy again. I got us and me in this situation.  I want to get us out.  Hard.  But more and more bad 80’s zombie are puking neon green gackt at the windows at us, hungrily

I try calling again and again, and finally get mom on the mechanical button phone.

She says she’s at some party at carnegie hall….I don’t have the heart to tell her I’m kind of fucked, so I tell her I’ll be there as soon as I can.  That’s kind of true.

I get an idea, kill all the lights. Now it’s dark. The second they can’t see us with their dead-ass eyes, they go into random zombie-over-here-mode.  Over time, half the zombies have wandered away.
That’s enough. There’s space to move between them now, and swing.

I look to the group like an even worse 80’s hero and say that we’re ready. We grab the hardest objects we can, and unfortunately, mine’s an empty plastic potter.

But that’s enough.

we whack our way through, but we all get bitten on the way, and the door with EXIT over it is too blocked. So we jump out a window, onto a nearby skyscraper’s roof, and ride another cable to the street level. Logically.

Because of this ordeal, we have now bonded, we believe we’re going to die, we’re all like “fak!” and I say “not like this.”
I somehow know there’s a weird construction platform, surrounded by a giant hole that  goes into the subway, I push through, am followed by the other three, and descend until I’m on a ladder of a giant square platform, with a giant hole that plunges into god-knows, but it’s a big fall

my logic is that if I turn, I’ll be so stupid that I’ll fall, I won’t turn anyone else. The rest of the group sits with me. It is anime

but then it gets even MORE anime because we will ourselves out of the transformation. Somehow we survive,

and after sitting for what feels like ever, the urge to throw up green gackt goes away. We are saved. I can visit my mom who, clearly, is still waiting at carnegie hall, because #DreamTiming.

Well waddyaknow, there’s the subway. While sitting on that big square platform, with it’s massively long ladder, we’ve heard trains coming and going, so now I say my goodbye, and descend to get a free ride.

On the way upstairs from subway platform, I bump into my old english teacher, Ms. Lerhman, she is happy to see me.

She tails me to carnegie hall for some reason. Mom bought me tickets, which turn out to be drink and meal tickets. Little red cheap raffle tickets that are symbolic and usable. I figure Ms. lerhman can tag along as long as she can because I like her, and how can she have a problem with Carnegie culture?

At the party, something lavish and groupy, I find my mom is seated, by herself, and I say I’m gonna get a drink. After the zombies that I don’t want to tell her about, I certainly feel I’ve earned one. She says sure, so I go to the lower level of this grand Carnegie party. For some reason no one else is there except one red-vested bartender. I’m famished. I’m also thirsty. I point and ask the bartender what does he have on shelf — and by this I clearly mean, what are these classic cocktails in front of him. He spends an inordinate amount of time explaining the drinks, and they’re not ingredients I understand at all, but they all look lovely, and all I know is the first one is a spritzer. I want the one that’s in a clear solo cup, he says no problem, and after looking up, I look back down to the tray where, mysteriously, all the drinks are gone.

He says “FUCK, AGAIN!” and rages out and gets really shitty at his job. He walks away, yelling about some guy named Harold, and annoyed (it feels like it’s been 15-20 minutes at this drink station) I reach over, grab this bottle of the blue stuff, and some clear spirit, and make my own drink, and I also eat his hero out of revenge. It is meaty, melty-cheesy, and delicious. He comes back, and gets fixated on finding his sandwich and this makes him even shittier about his job. I realize I have one more drink/food ticket, and somehow, am still starving.

The entire rest of the party gets in line behind me the second I grab a plate for the buffet, and this doesn’t seem weird to me. For some reason, the evil ninja woman from skyscraper is leaning over and narrating behind the scenes things to me and shittalking the guy who threw the party. I feel like she is being flirty, and putting me in some in-club, I nod politely and smile, as I don’t want her to notice that I’m making the HUGEST plate at their buffet, and filling it with deliciouses like salmon, poached eggs, different steak with savory sauces – and one noodle.  A lot of the buffet trays have tons of meaty, noodle dishes, and I’m scooping the meat, and taking one noodle. Skyscraper villainess does the same.

Because the line is so long, I am so thorough with loading my plate with a massive amount of food. This takes what feels like 15 more minutes, but I delay gratification. I keep thinking soon, at last, I can sit next to mom, with this sweetass blue cocktail with its fancy blue ingredient, and with this mega-buffet plate done my way. And the evil ninja does notice. But that’s ok, because she’s still building a plate EXACTLY like mine…until I steal the last salmon fillet. There’s one, and like a the last nyc subway seat, I take it and feel something like ‘that’s damn bad.’

She says “is there no more salmon” and for some reason I put my plate down for a second and look up to act like maybe that shitty bartender, who’s now rage-smoking a cig in the corner, knows where to find more.

When I look back to my plate, everything is gone except the poached egg.

And there is a fat man, with bulging eyes, and his mouth is full of everything else from my plate, he is chewing madly

I am enraged

I yell DAMMIT HAROLD

the bartender goes IS THAT HAROLD

I’m enraged, I wring his neck and throttle him. I yell “SO MUCH FOOD”

I tell him to spit it out. It doesn’t matter that I won’t eat it. Just, the principal. That was my salmon, motherfucker…

He does. It’s not enough for me. The rage has taken over

I yell “SO MUCH FOOD!”

the bartender comes over, we start clobbering him on the head, it’s almost mean, but it’s also slapstick. It feels like slapstick.

And naturally

Paul Rudd comes over

He goes “IS THAT HAROLD? DID HE DO IT AGAIN?”

The bartender goes “YEAH!”

Paul rudd goes “DAMMIT HAROLD!”

somehow, he produces three empty bottles

we all whack him on the head at the same time

they shatter, like it’s sillyglass

I wake up now

IRL I literally say “SO MUCH FOOD!”

I realize the egg sammich with mozzerlla, collard greens, and refried beans with lemon are right next to me

I scarf it down as I realize it was aaaallllll a dream.

…..

 

 

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I have a sudden short temper and hatred for assholes

and mediocrity.

 

 

 

 

These were my words at Grandma’s funeral.  They’re better spoken than written, in that I didn’t read the typos, and replaced things like “sucks” with “tough”

I still mean it all.    (Even if Granny taught me more through board games.)   Might post a digital upload of the slideshow movie I made later, and that’s going to be it for grandma tributes here.   Yes I know the death of a loved one is always morbid.

No, I’m not doing badly, but I’m not doing well, either.

 

“How are you?”

“Mediocre.”

No one says that.

 

________________My last words over grandma___________________

I know so many people know her as Dolly, Benjamina,

But my father’s branch knows her as Mumsy, and that worked just fine

 

To realize there’re no more grandparents in your life…..it really sucks.

This really really sucks.

This is hard and I need to write this down,

A grandparent like mumsy.

She was special in so many ways, and I’m gonna miss her….she’s gonna be missed.

I know that goes way beyond just some people.  Mumsy had a wide-ranging impact that I’m not even sure she knew, but she definitely, 100% tried to realize.
As so many here will tell you, she had a mind for that

 

This’s  just another thing that made her special.

I know I don’t even need to say it, but it needs to be said

Mumsy raised such strong family.  Mumsy contributed to such a strong family.  Mumsy contributed to even more than that.

Mumsy was another woman who taught me values. Sorry if I’m making this too personal, but even when I was a young silly dumb sprout, and tried to be a brat, the way she said “no” and “you can do better” was special.

And there’s more, and I don’t wanna get too deeply into this, but, I it’s not hard to see how Mumsy worked to teach ideal humanity. To her family, and more.

Going through the pictures for the slideshow show, and going through people’s words, I’ve realized that life to my grandmother was about way, way, way more than her.  It made her special.

It’s become clear to me that mumsy thought about people.

And that’s another reason I think Mumsy was another one of those, a good person.

This is hard.

But I know many things.

And as my silly slideshow says, mumsy was loved, and she more than earned it.

Folks,

My grandmother was one of those people who embraced her values, head on, head strong,

And as a grandson, it’s less that I know she was beautiful, and lovely;

I know that she was loving

I don’t mean this in any negative way: she proved you can be hard, and hopeful against hope, because of having a big heart.

I like that she was another woman who taught me that. I’m never gonna forget her memory just for that.

It’s really hard to say goodbye to a woman and a person like my grandmother.

And I just want to say she was a really, really great grandmother.

I’m afraid some of my first memories of this grandma was when I’d fake sick from school and knew I’d be with her and at her house, and we’d do stuff like play checkers, and while she knew my weak game, she’d teach me other important things in between rounds.

And I know that’s special.

Sometimes my grandmother, mumsy, expected a lot, and it’s because she gave, and meant a lot.

I know she was hopeful, beyond idealistic, wonderful, wonderful woman.

I will never stop loving her memory.

For me, it’s more than she was generous as heck

It’s just part of who she was, that caring, having a standard, having a give a darn, having a loving side that could be fortified by a “We need to” good value side.

And I just want to say I know that everyone who does good

Hey, she’d love that, and she’d always take joy in the good, decent, and more than decent things.

That made her really special in so many ways.

So I wanna say: all the good people who live well, and are good

I firmly believe, and I know it in my blood that she’d love that.

I really hope we all keep on a part of a memory of her by living our lives well

I’m gonna celebrate her forever, no matter what, cause I know I was blessed with one heck of a special grandma.

I can’t tell you how hard it is to say goodbye.

My grandma spread love, she created love, she made loving dynamics by her existence

And I hope everyone else does, too.

I think that’ll honor her, and I know she’d love that.

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It’s “Let’s move things forward” day.

 

I’ve queried more agents, and also started applying back to finance gigs, because that’s a way, way faster path to not failing as a bread-haver.

 

Cleaned house.

Resume updated.   Smartly.

 

These people in this country, who think it’s good to just “have a job” are still silly.  Like, you can be 30 and work in a pizza shop, and that’s not something I’d ever poop on, but what I’m saying is, a good resume, I’m pretty sure, doesn’t list that, unless you’re applying to pizza shops.   And I’m confident my resume is strong.

 

I won’t say more than that, except that I’m really, really, really honored that 3 guys, the second I reached out over LinkedIn and mentioned that I’m looking to get back into compliance, gave me referrals.  I feel like they liked me, or something.

 

 

Traditional publishing is still something that moves at glacial speed.   That sucks when you hoped your ideas would grow at plant speed.

 

I’m still adjusting to how much is going to change in the next few weeks……about how much already has changed.  But that’s ok.  I feel like that’s time, and the world.

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I’m just gonna rant about it:

We expected mumsy/grandma to die.  Her quality of life was not up there.  Her personality deteriorated more and more every day.  It was a breakthrough when I asked her to blink in response and she did.  That shit makes me think about the concept of soul, and the afterlife, and if she died yesterday….does she have a 97 year old soul?  How articulate would it be?  We know that brain abnormalities….like those caused by stroke….really affect personality….so if there’s an afterlife, how much of the woman I grew up under as “Mumsy” gets to live into it?

This is shit we don’t know.  There probably isn’t a soul.  Probably.  I still think the concept is based on human narcissism.  But I can’t prove a negative, so we don’t know.

My grandmother has still passed on.  I woke up today feeling absolutely, moving forward-cool about it.  But every time I have to recall that moment when I learned she died, there’s that fucking grief.  There’s that capability to start crying.  That makes me human, and I’m OK with that.

It’s really that moment, when the uber-academic doctor, the detached, the guy who gave me so many “I learned politeness from my bedside manner classes, but that was all foreign shit to me” guy said “She expired and I’m sorry.(period)” which, yeah, that carries a lot of emotion to me.  That’s when I got a big sledgehammer of reality.

Grandma was 97 years and 51 weeks.  She was a week away from 98, and there’s a dumb part of me that wishes she got one more week.  Just one more, so we could quantify her life into a nice neat little number some more.  I know that’s dumb.  Mumsy, like most of my grandmas, was one of those pains in the asses who taught me that pains in asses can have big, good hearts.

This changes so much.  There’s personal stuff like, property.  Ownership.  I probably won’t have a garden in some months. FEELINGS of entitlements among the little cousins will turn into actual entitlements, which I can respect (and move on from) because that’s correct.  We have to make arrangements and my father, his brother and his sister need help to make the best decisions that appeal to everyone.

I really feel like a man.   And in a bad way.  Like I’ve got to man up and do morbid stuff.  This isn’t somber shit, I’d carry my grandmother’s casket so hard, and I want to.  That woman, that lady who taught me the most about my mixed background simply by being herself (and I can’t recall her once using the word black, btw… I think that says something) has a long-ass legacy that we don’t get to just put to rest, cause we’re alive, so it lives too.   I really wish personal things, like that I had more traditionally published books in the time that she was alive that she could’ve been proud of.  I really wish I was more stalwart, but there’s a lot of grief about this woman who, in actuality, stopped living the way she was half a decade ago, finally leaving her body.

It’s just a natural process of life.   I spent a good part of yesterday screaming fuck at the top of my lungs and pounding the punching bag and then fluctuating between a kind of cold numb and the urge to want to curl up and cry. I guess I loved her a lot.  Go fucking figure.

Jaidree was and is, amazing.  She just came home and understood that I needed moments, and occasional hugs.  She found me on our lawn with a hoodie covering my face, with a sleeping bag protecting me from misquitoes, just drinking and staring at the cat who was a foot away.  I couldn’t read.  I told her she was on dinner duty, that I didn’t care whatever it was, and you know what? that was a lie.  She ordered calimari, chicken parm, pizza, a calzone, wings and fries, and all I was planning was to get drunk last night, but it turned out fried shit covered in tar-tar helped.  Like I just downed the calamari and some wings, and then was done, but honestly, it helped a whole lot.  I normally don’t list food unless it has some kind of magic, but last night’s quiet feast helped.  So that tradition of giving a grieving person a casserole…yes, give them food.  Make it so they don’t have to self-motivate to get grub and dishes together.  Make it delicious.  Make it comfort food. It helps their spirit too.

I talked with the sister in chi-town, and it went from commiseration, to problem solving.  And that felt right.

It’s good to have family you can relate to, obviously.  But, it’s important to.  It makes the grieving process so much less…..griefy.  I thought I’d be more prepared to be hit less hard than I am.  I’ve got a eulogy to do now.  One last thing for grandma.

Fuck.

I’m still out of grandparents….and I’ve been blessed with quite a few of ’em.  My dad is now a true elderly senior man.    He’s THE true elderly senior man now.  I also sort of can’t believe I don’t have grandparents anymore, but only sort of.

Cause I can.

That’s reality, I can eat it hard, and I hope mumsy is a lot less uncomfortable today than I knew her to be yesterday.

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Grandma passed away today.   Saw them doing chest compression until TOD was declared.

 

I keep going from sad, to numb, to a little mad.   This changes a lot.  She was the youngest of a big, big family, and the last to go.   Dad said this marks the end of an era, and I agree.

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