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Time Machine

March 2017
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Leon

This Could Only Happen to Me

You know, this kind of stuff can only happen to me, I tell ya.

The other week I wrote about my redneck-in-law’s brother over at my own blog. I said how his wife is constantly sending out emails about his progress to everyone and then Marla forwards them on to the entire universe I guess in an attempt to get some prayer action happening for his sake. She even forwards them to me, even though she won’t get any of that prayer action from me. Or from the rest of the family for that matter. But at least she thinks of me. Hey. But I was saying how they need to let go and accept the inevitable, not to keep clinging to hope for a recovery when that does not seem possible at this point.

So I’m going along with my life thinking that the guy is still hanging in there. I happened to be over at my parents fixing a component in their toilet (I tell you these new construction houses are as bad as old fixer uppers) and Mom’s talking on the phone with someone and I overhear her say something about Marla going to a funeral. After Mom hangs up, I ask her what funeral that was, and Mom looks at me surprised like I’m stupid and says the name of Recneck-in-law’s brother.

Now like I’ve said before, there’s no love lost between us. Frankly, I couldn’t stand the guy. He was worse than his brother, Redneck-in-Law. But that just hit me like POW. OK, ironic time here, guess who was hanging on to his existence here while everyone let go? ME! I was the one left thinking he was still hanging in there when he wasn’t.

But that wasn’t my fault. See, I never found out about it. Well, I did. Just then when Mom told me. AFTER he was buried and all. Not that I would’ve gone to his funeral or anything, but I would’ve maybe sent flowers or at least a card to Marla and the Redneck.

See, this really pisses me off. Marla floods my inbox with insignificant updates about his progress weekly, and sometimes daily practically, but when some big shit goes down like he DIES, Nothing. Not a word. In a way, I’m thinking she intentionally didn’t tell me because either she A doesn’t want me actually appearing at the funeral because she’s embarrassed of her scraggly leftist farmer brother or B she wanted it to look like I didn’t care because she wants me to be demonized in front of the rest of her family and by not telling me that means I won’t send sympathy cards or condolences which will make me look cold and uncaring. You don’t think it was C she was simply too flustered and upset and forgot, do you? Nah, I don’t either. But that’s what my parents contend. I don’t believe it. I think they want to think all us kids get along with Marla. They should know better after over 50 years. When I asked them why didn’t they tell me, they just shrugged and said “We thought you knew!”

I asked Lamar. He knew. He said he received an email, but no personal call or anything. I went home and checked my email. I checked all my email folders, I looked everywhere. I shot off an email to Melanie to see if she knew, but haven’t heard back from her yet. There was no such email from Marla anywhere to be found on my computer. What a bitch. I guess my address mysteriously got deleted from her bulk mailing list. Nervy Bitch. Sorry, don’t mean to offend anyone by my use of language here. Ann, please fix this if my tone is disturbing, sexist, or what have you.

But the weird part of the story continues.

The next day after I hear about the Redneck-in-Law’s Brother’s passing, I head off to the Pharmacy to pick out a sympathy card. I was in the process of parallel parking, and watching a crazy pickup driver in my rear view mirror and I accidentally bump the car ahead of me. What an idiot.

The elderly couple in the car ahead of me had just pulled in too and hadn’t gotten out of the car yet. I got out, looked at the damage. It wasn’t much, just some paint scrape on both our bumpers. (I was later able to get the paint off of mine by myself). I apologized to them. It was obviously totally my fault. We exchanged insurance information and all. And here’s the weird part.

Not only did we both have blue cars basically the same shade of blue, mine a Subaru and theirs a Chevy, but they were both 2002. OK, you say, big deal. Yeah. Big deal. But wait!

Their first names were the same as Shar’s parents. The exact same names. His name is Henry and goes by Hank. Just like Shar’s dad. And the woman’s name is Dorothy. I mean how many elderly couples named Hank and Dorothy do you know? What are the odds? I told them that my ex’s parents have the same exact names, and they weren’t phased by it. OK, maybe they know lots of other Hanks and Dorothys, but I DON’T!

Dorothy goes into the Pharmacy to get Hank’s prescription as he’s not feeling good, staying seated in the car the entire time as we exchanged information. But after she goes in, Hank gets out of the car and starts telling me about how he saw his car coming off the truck as it pulled into the dealership in Butte, Montana and told the salesman he wanted that car and had it ever since. He and Dorothy are originally from Montana and moved down here several years ago to be with their daughter who lives nearby. And maybe, he said, this is time for him to get another car. I couldn’t bear to tell him my own car story, that I got my car used back in Albuquerque shortly before I moved back up here, from a widow whose husband died in it. I figured that wouldn’t be a good tale at the time.
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New Information

So the other day I posted stuff Lamar told me about the craziness people around town think about me. I don’t know if that is true or not or just my silly brother having fun with me, but here’s some more stuff we talked about when we were down in New Mexico together. And this is true, as I asked the parents about it.

It’s about our brother.
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My Life in Their Eyes

Just like spending the weekend with Melanie a couple months ago, helping her paint her condo and various other handyguy things, it was good to spend a few days with Lamar out of town when we recently travelled down to New Mexico, just one-on-one without Nina and the kids or our folks around to hinder the honesty between brothers. I find out lots of very strange things from my siblings. With Melanie it was the whole Swan tale. But with Lamar, it was more about me, rather, what people in the town were thinking about me.
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Amtrak

We’ve been talking about pooling our money and giving the folks an Amtrak Rail Pass for an anniversary gift from all us kids, something where they can relax and watch the world go by leisurely. We discussed a plane trip, and didn’t think that would be too good a match, and decided on Amtrak, something like a ride on the California Zephyr or the Southwest Chief (which I’ve taken a few times myself). I mean here’s a guy who’s never been able to travel much because of his profession, and now that he’s retired, here’s his opportunity. Mom did a little traveling with us kids when we were young, mostly during winter break, just so we wouldn’t grow up being isolated. Those were good memories. Anyway.
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Selling My Organ

Many years ago, my father gave me a gift of a harmonica or mouth organ that used to belong to his father, who had died the year before. At that time, I was too much of a cocky young hipster to appreciate it. It was like right out of a guidebook of “what not to get your budding drummer punk son who wants to negate his rural roots.”
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A Day at the Market

I was in the grocery store yesterday in the frozen food section when I saw a guy who looked familiar. I couldn’t place his face, but my eye caught his just for a second before he averted his gaze toward some product.

Before I could smile with a nod of recognition, a conversation started out of his mouth. I then figured he was probably on one of those handless bluetooth phones, although I didn’t see anything sticking in his ear. So I pretended to look at some of those miniaturized frozen TV dinners that I’m never buying anymore, as I waited for him to finish his phone call so I could catch his eye again and say hello.
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My Life Could Be Worse

I was having this mental pity-party-in-my-head yesterday as I was helping Lamar and his family paint our parent’s house. Seems like I’ve been doing a lot of painting lately, first with Melanie’s a few weeks ago, and now this. But I don’t mind the painting itself, and Mel, Trish and I did have a good time.
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The Watch

As I was heading back from my Dr. appointment in Pueblo, I needed to stop and get some gas and use the bathroom. I stopped off at a Loaf ‘n Jug to take care of business. I couldn’t help noticing that the clerk behind the counter looked amazingly like my ex. I mean double-take looked like. I had to stare at her to make sure it wasn’t her.
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Eating Chinese with Blind Date Sister

Went to eat Chinese the other night. That’s about the extent of ethnic restaurants in my town. Mexican doesn’t count as ethnic because it’s practically the majority culture. Went with my little brother and his wife Nina. We were going to meet a friend of his there—someone he’s known for a long time in town—and his wife. Much to our surprise, there were 3 people sitting at the table when we arrived.

Oh yeah. That’s right. Someone thought Uncle Leon needed a date. No, really, I’m handling this single life quite well, but everyone seems to think I’m a sad charity case. “Leon needs a good woman.”
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And The Saga Continues

Amber is still after me about her lawn. Since it’s getting late in the season, I’m trying to postpone it until next year in hopes of her forgetting entirely about it, which shouldn’t be hard for her short attention span.

I don’t believe this is about the lawn. I think she is after something else from me, and I don’t know what it is. I have my suspicions, but that’s all they are, based on my own paranoia. I don’t think she gives a crap about the lawn. It’s not like she ever planted flowers there before. But of course flowers cost money and that would eat into her various habits. And I certainly don’t think it’s about being climate and region appropriate and eliminating the need for watering. I think it’s all just about Amber, and how she wants something that Ashley was offered, and trying to get it just because she can. I could be offering Ashley some used rags, and Amber would want them too.

Amber is the type of woman who tries to live off man to man to get by in this world. Not a prostitute—something more insinuating.

This is deeply disturbing that she would go after a relative. Yes, I know, I’ve said so myself, I am not related to these people. But that still doesn’t make me fair game!

I’ll try stalling. Maybe I’ll feign a sprained ankle. Or maybe I’ll tell her I’m just too busy with the pumpkins harvest. Then, after growing season, the ground will be too cold to work with.

I hope this plan works.

Swan’s Song

It was great to see my sister Mel this past weekend. Since she doesn’t live in the area like Lamar and Marla do, I don’t see her often, and only a couple times since I moved back. She said if the funny farm ever gets to me, I can stay at her place and look for a job in the area. Considering I practically signed my life away to the bank for my share in it, I probably won’t be doing that, but I appreciate her thinking of me. And at almost 51, I shouldn’t be living at my younger sister’s place looking for a job. That is so wrong in so many ways. It’s bad enough I’m temporarily living with my parents. But that will change. Very soon. Very, very soon.
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Role Reversal

My dad is getting hard of hearing. I mean REALLY hard of hearing. It’s been progressing for the past 20 years or more. He’s a stubborn old guy who will not get himself a hearing aid. So when he watches TV he has it turned up to 11. Fortunately, he’s not a big TV watcher. I should be grateful for that. But there’s always the evening news and the news before bed. Then both he and mom fall asleep in front of the TV and it’ll sometimes stay on until the wee hours of the morning unless one of them wakes up and turns it off. Continue reading

No More Mister Nice Guy

This is getting creepy. “Amber” called me up again and said that she understands why I don’t want to do the xeriscaping for her mobile home lot because she doesn’t own it.

Initially, I was relieved that she grasped that concept. But then she says that the manager (or was it owner? I can’t remember) is a really cool guy and he would like to have something like that done to his entire court, you know, to bring a classier look to the place.
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Blah Blah Black Sheep

I don’t know what my parents truly think about Marla and her Motor Sports for Jesus lifestyle. It’s certainly not like their own. And as difficult as it was to accept my various ch-ch-ch-changes and chameleonic embrace of all musics contemporary, loud, dark, and anti-establishment, I really want to think they were ok with that. It’s not like I got into the drug scene. Oh sure, I experimented back in college as did most everyone I knew. Marla, on the other hand, got into the Mass Opiates and remains an addict to this day, an ideology that is counter to that of my clean, drug-free lifestyle of my parents. Continue reading

The Sponge

Back in the earlier days of our relationship, I purchased a package of sponges at the grocery store one day. Shar and I were trying to live in a green way, and I thought I’d do my part and buy something reusable for cleaning up kitchen spills. I was in the habit of using paper towels, but thought that was just some remnant of being a lazy guy. So not wanting to kill trees, I bought the sponges.
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