A Cousin for the Ages

Let’s go back a bit to the ’50’s. It’s a time when women “knew their place” and Men were the p14207619_10207355510917776_9100902305764336333_oroviders. Men ruled the world, and even the roost, at times. So it was a time of peaceful relations, and covered up embarrassments that were not spoken of outside the home. It was peaceful, but full of confusion and torment for the young, the uninformed, the bullied

Speaking of which, bullying was a part of life. For a posse of cousins, the spawn of a different posse of siblings disguised as parents, it was a matter of balance. How much do you endure before (if a girl) you cry; (if a boy) you punch. Girls just didn’t do that stuff. Those scars were, and remain, invisible.

Because of the times, birth control wasn’t much thought of. Family planning wasn’t really a thing. There was plenty of room out there to keep expanding the population, and how much better if it was a population of your own DNA! Yes, the men figured that one out. A benefit of that expansion was the money it brought for some, with jobs it created. Nobody worried much about infrastructure. It was taken for granted that unimpeded growth was acceptable. Do we know better now? Maybe.

In this environment, an ally was very important. Lacking effective siblings, one would look outside the family nucleus and find a protector in an older, wiser cousin. Someone who was past the adolescent lashing out thing and willing to take the bullied under their wing for the duration of an extended family gathering.

So that was Cousin Sarah. Sarah was already a young adult when I came along. I was unaware of the controversy that surrounded her and her eviction from the heart of the family because of her sin.

But it was my first experience with bigotry as a child. Cousin had broken her mold and done the unspeakable for a nice Italian girl. She had married a Jewish man, a lawyer. Up until then, I had assumed that everyone had a name that ended in a vowel. All the o’s and a’s made sense in a small Italian-American community that relied on its Catholic monsignor for moral support and advice in times of crisis. There weren’t enough Irish-Americans around sometimes, to base their fear on.

Cousin Sarah didn’t get involved in family drama. She quietly engaged in her professional career, her marriage to Irving, and to her own children, who she raised in the Jewish religion after she herself converted.

I was unsure of all this. I didn’t know that you could marry outside of your birth religion. I didn’t know that you wouldn’t burn in hell for an eternity if you dared to consort with the other. But Sarah seemed fine with it all.

Now she is gone. She had problems early on with repeating herself, and with forgetting what she was saying, and with anger. She declined rapidly toward the end, but because of her loyal children, she died at peace, having given them her best as well as she could.

No guilt, no shame.

Things are very different now. People figured out how to slow the decline of the environment, people plan their smaller families. People respect and treat other races and religions equally.

And those who don’t, well, they’re doomed to repeat their mistakes. Progress never seemed an option.

The good news is, the bullying ended for me, the bad that a beloved cousin will be missed terribly.

Are We Ever Really Ready – Really?

Lately, with everyone hot and bothered about election time – of course, many say things they don’t mean, or mean at the time.

So, there are a couple of words of wisdom from those who don’t look up to her. That would mean confusing respect with agreement. Or acceptance with bigotry.

At a party. He sits straight across from her, facing her. She has on a t-shirt she rarely wears as it seems to be a little low in the front making her self-conscious about moving about too freely…he says to her they should be pointing the same way. It takes a while for her to figure out he’s looking at her chest, her breast area, and may have noticed an asymmetry from her surgeries. Most of the time she doesn’t think about it; it’s really not that obvious and she buys underwear that assists in the camouflage.

Glossing it over, they mess around on social media a lot. He chimed in on Hillary’s big night when she clinched the nomination for Democratic Party Presidential Candidate. As a baby-boomer, she is finally seeing a woman possibly elected president. So he says – the night politics died. How nice. Again, is it the woman-hater, the put you in your place need, the I know more than you think?

That would be fine, as the feeling is mutual, but to have someone half her age remind you every now and then that she’s not a Christian is beyond bearing. Jesus, pray for us. Not only is she a follower of the sayings and history of the Man, but the only person in her relatively immediate family to attend or belong to a faith and actively participate and know the facts about, a congregation. And the fact that she’s not a Christian, is extremely insulting. Actually, being a secular Jesus believer can make anyone a Christian, as it means simply honoring and observing the facts of a man’s life.

And, to make matters worse, she has to be reminded of the stupidity of people in general that have only one definition of Christian, as if they have it all figured out. But that is life.

She doesn’t really care about any of the above. Just has to put up with it. In time the karma will come back but there is hope it will be in a good way for her, as she will continue to practice Christianity while wearing scanty shirts proudly and bearing the marks of her battle with cancer, for all to see. For that she is ready.

An (Explicit) Note to Myself

thompson park day 10-15 (13 of 18)20 June 1980 – a note to myself

It’s almost 5 o’clock and after work I plan to stop at a store to buy a dress to wear to a friend’s wedding. M. called. He is stupid. He wants to see me rather than stay home so I could sleep and get up earlier to drive him to the train. (he’s leaving for a week) Instead of it being a relief to me it’s heavy anticipation because he’s going to be gung ho to stick it in me when he comes back. Imagine if you can a not very handsome (frog)? big (fat) man sitting next to you. In one hand he offers freedom, companionship, love and closeness. In the other lawd! he holds your hoo-ha, twisting it to make you feel good and only hurting you. How can somebody be so unable to fuse the sensual with the intellect? Sensuously intellectual. That will be the requirement. Last nite I had come to the conclusion that short of taking the vow of celibacy I will have nothing to do with any other guy after M. And it has to end. I got a new idea. He is helping me as another way to extract payment (i.e., sexual favors) disguised as affection, aggression and attention. This adds to the load I’m carrying. He was hung up on last night by me as I screeched that I wanted to be alone.

Scenario. He comes in, uses the bathroom. He comes out. I don’t sit because that would be emotional suicide because he would just sit next to me and rub all over my clothes with his hand, being exciting(?). He hugs me. He says give me a nice kiss and I promise I’ll go I promise. I give him a peck. His mouth is open and a big wet slimy snaily tongue pushes its way into my mouth. I pull back. He says i love when you’re aggressive like this and laughs. i feel like fainting. I’m tired, drunk. I’ve smoked too many cigarettes. I want to sleep. To put my arms out to my side on the cool sheets. Feel my cats settled down with their heads on my leg.

When he sleeps over I try my best to sleep but always wake and jump out of bed before the sweaty beast jumps on top of me and pins me down. Leaves me so little room to sleep in I have a stiff neck. But no feeling that I accomplished anything.

Side Diary

group of girls with cat b&w sketchbook 8-13-07830 June, 1980 – Stream of Thought

What a fine mess to be in. The driving master would not take no for an answer. Spent longer involved in the why nots than there. It’s not for you anything I do. Don’t you see. Oh no you don’t. How silly of me. Of course. My time is not as important as yours. I forgot. Totally insipid of me. would they mind if I had a sleep or an or Oh boy let’s go out. Let’s sit in a fat bar and look at fat asses dancing on the floor. so much stomach you’d drown looking out at the world through the navel. Let’s have more to drink.

She woke but couldn’t open her eyes. She must have had too much Kevousi last night. her head felt as if all its contents leaned to the side she bent it. Like the photosensitive cells in the green parts of a plant, clustering towards the source of light. Only this time it wasn’t a very health or viable feeling. She sat in a fat bar all night with the driving master. Not to hear the verbal whiplash what did she promise? Were they really planning to attend bar-b-Q’s next weekend with her parents on the assumption that He would take Her. Silly of her to think otherwise. Still, her head felt bad. The day wasn’t going well. Any minute she would answer the phone on her desk and hear his voice and be able to predict the question you want to go out see an early movie or something. The or something hurt. She wished people would be more literal. An early movie of course dear let’s go to TWO, one early and one late and then go to the fat bar and drink drinks. No I’m busy tonight. The unfinished water color sketch that she wanted to turn into a space ship meeting the shuttle and do the sky in little points like people going mad all dark…Oh come on just one drink we won’t stay out late. We’ll have a good time. Little people going mad. We won’t stay out late. People going mad. I won’t keep you out late oh come on please come out and play in the fat bar. Going mad…drinks just a few we won’t get drunk. Mad. All dark

A Childhood Memory

http://www.heavymetalmagazinefanpage.com/hmlist80.html

 

18 June, 1980 from “O” to “HM”

Although he wasn’t actually there, my correspondent now traveling through the constellation Scorpio says that the photo described in your July issue is a fake! On Tsailorol it is customary during the season of Yrak to depict, in play form the conquering of one of the early tribes of Tsailorol, the Trakes by denizens of a neighboring planet. These invading aliens brought with them a type of organism that, on Tsailorol soil grows to immense size and they were unable to ring them back to Uranus or even destroy them. But, they found, by feeding them a Trake, they could be appeased long enought to let the Uranians get away. hence, sacrifice of a Trake allowed the invading Uranians to escape these overgrown microbes and get back to Uranus. The ceremonial trappings were merely acquired and, as they improved technologically, this was reproduced each Season with regularity until spied by an overzealous photographer from Terra. Airlock says it wasn’t him.

 

/r

A False Start

He hung up the phone, rather quickly. With relief, he turned to his computer screen and clicked on his eBay store, ready to resume his important work. This all-consuming task. This reason for being.

Dad hung up the phone slowly. What was going on now. Dave, his son, was acting strangely. Telling him about how he had run out of money and in a backhanded, only a family member would understand way, stated that it would be useless to expect any greetings or gifts from that end of the world. Dad decided to wait it out. Surely Dave was couching his upcoming passive aggressive behavior in his way to avoid embarrassment.

Gotta love Christmas. Having over the years slipped out of the loop of fun and family. Distance, disinterest, boredom with each other. Annoyance at personal habits. Foibles. Those very things that used to make people unique, tolerated for.

That is where Dad stood now. Wondering why he is being given messages. Trying to calm things down inside his soul. Being supportive and loving despite the pushback. Time will tell. One day he will be able to make peace with his situation, but not now. Not now.

But Dad had to admit this was a particularly creative and unusual reason for lacking funds for Christmas presents. Something so simple and so, so.

Dave needed bubble wrap! Bubble wrap is an important component of Dave’s online vendorship. It cushions, it protects. It isolates the goods from the container they are in and ensures safe delivery. Usually.

It also creates rifts, unsettled emotions, and barriers to truth.

What’s really going on, Dave? Are we out of excuses from a young, vibrant family to an older, limited one? Are you really so bored and fed up with having to pay attention to some folks so far away (your choice) and so emotionally distant that you cannot do a simple thing like say the truth?

The truth may lie somewhere between it is just too difficult, between buying presents for the moms that are closer in distance and the kids who are your kids’ friends, and your wife’s work friends and your boss. Oh, we understand. Dad is so tied up with his stuff that he won’t even miss a greeting or a present from his own kid(s).

Go ahead, Dave. Be an idiot. Dad is on to you. Dad will continue to cut back on these ridiculous gifts from the have-nots to the haves. Dad will close the gap of trying and not-bothering.

Or not. For that is how it is. Mother and Father always defending and protecting and helping out. Kids up to a point paying attention but losing it like sand through an hourglass.

And the hourglass will empty as it switches sides that fill.