“It’s strange that Bruce Springsteen would be looking for his gray whore,” said my mother.
I was driving my car and looked at her under the corner of my eye. She was sitting in the passenger seat. My iPhone was connected to the car and it was playing songs through the car stereo.
With a sigh, I said, “The song is called ‘my beautiful reward.’ Not ‘my gray whore.’”
My mother said, “I don’t think so.”
There was no point in arguing and I decided to let her continue thinking that Springsteen had written a song about a gray whore – whatever that might mean.
You know by now that I have a special talent for during graceful and delicate things.
I mean it’s hardly a secret.
(How’s that for foreshadowing?)
Last night, my dogs woke me up to go outside around midnight or 1 AM. It’s totally within reason from their perspective and tiny bladders; after all I think I fell sleep on the couch before 9 AM.
Anyway, after our witching-hour adventure into the backyard, I couldn’t fall back to sleep. I picked up my iPad to check email and browse all those great distractions available because of the Internet.
Pictured if you will; I’m lying flat on my back in the darkness of my bedroom with the glow of the iPad as my only source of light. I am actually holding the iPad up, above my head. I’m wearing my reading glasses, because I’m old, and I’m scrolling through one cyber Monday deal after the other email. The trash icon is getting a lot of action.
And then all of the sudden, unbeknownst to me, my iPad slips out of the case it’s in, and that I’m holding on to, and hits me directly in the face. My nose is bleeding. Blood is in my mouth. And I think my mouth is broken. There are bits of my teeth in my mouth. I can feel it.
All I can think is this is freaking unbelievable.
And ‘why do things always happen to me?’
I curse and get up, trying to get to the bathroom without getting mood everywhere between my bed and the bathroom sink. My dogs are snoozing away.
Those f-ing bastards.
I feel like there are bits of my shattered teeth everywhere in my mouth. I wasn’t sure if most of the blood was from my nose from my mouth.
I guess it really didn’t matter.
It’s 2 AM. And I have managed to hurt myself in my bed in the dark alone…
… Sure why not.
Because you have met me.
I turned on the bathroom light, trying to focus, not waiting to adjust to the light, to see to see how bad my mouth is.
And I convince myself it feels worse than it really is.
Of course, once I get the bleeding stopped and I’m back in bed, I have to Google ‘chipped tooth accident’ to find out if this is an emergency and am I going to lose my front teeth. (I am not longer holding the iPad over my head, by the way).
And then I wonder, is there a 24 hour dentist around? I mean it’s 2 AM! Not your typical dentist hours.
I’m also wondering, ‘does my insurance cover something like this?’
Can I sue Apple? I mean the product hurt me. Literally, it smacked me in the face.
I remember something about having to put missing teeth in milk.
I don’t have milk but find myself wondering if fat-free French vanilla yogurt would count? Would coffee creamer count?
In the end, it wasn’t as bad as it felt. (That may just be a lie I continue to tell myself). I have an appointment with the dentist to look into getting my teeth fixed or filed down a bit. My eyes haven’t turn black and blue yet so I don’t think my nose is broken.
And, I’ll be asking for a new iPad case for Christmas. One that’ll hold my iPad in place a bit better. No matter the angle.
Oh I got poop on my cute gloves.
- from my mother, The Diva.
My mother has been home from the hospital and rehab for a couple of weeks now. And she is getting around just fine. At first she was using a rolling walker. Now she’s using a cane.
She is also working on tricks with her cane. I assume a dance routine is next.
And are all hopeful that in a month or two she’ll be able to walk around without the cane.
Anyway, her recovery is coming along nicely, except at night, she said. Sometimes, she said, she’s so cold at night she can not ever get her feet warm and she has to take a shower just to warm up.
“Mom,” I said, “have you ever considered socks? Rumor has it they’re very good at keeping your feet warm.”
(From the archives)
I suppose the day was doomed when I called my mother this morning and she answered the phone, declaring that she had her hand up a bird’s ass and it was hard to stuff a turkey if people kept calling her.
Eight hours later, we are sitting around the dining room table at my mother’s house. We passed the ear of corn around. The meal is all put away, the dessert dishes are all still on the table. All is quiet and calm. We are just catching up on each other’s lives.
Mom and my brother, Jim, in town from Chicago, are off in search of an old video tape of my grandparents from more than a decade ago. Mr. Drysdale, Aunt Deb and I are at the dining room table. We have a clear view into the TV den.
Mom, a.k.a. The Diva, finds a box of tapes and puts one into her VCR. We watch her and Jim watch the video of gray snow on the screen. We wonder how long they will watch this. We are already giggling at the dining room table.
After about ten minutes of fast-forwarding, they realize that they are watching a video head cleaning tape. Jim ejects the tape and Mom pulls another tape, unmarked out of a box and hands it to Jim.
Jim pops this new tape into the VCR. A picture slowly comes into view. It is not of my grandparents in their garden. I see Mr. Drysdale’s eyes get big at the table. In the den my mother begins to scream.
My mother is loud, screaming, “Eject. Eject! Eject.” Mr. Drysdale would later describe this sound, this sound as that of a hawk, coming in for an attack.
Jim walks away from the den, away from my mother and away from the tape playing on the VCR. Jim thinks this is funny, leaving my mother with porn. And not being the technical person, she has no idea how to quickly get the tape player from playing. She is banging away at various buttons.
On the screen, a porn movie is playing. At the dining room table, “My eyes, my eyes.” cries Mr. Drysdale and the three of us cover our eyes, as if we can block it all out.
Back in the TV den, mom gets the tape ejected and all red-faced and mortified, she comes into the dining room and sits down at the table with us. Jim is behind her.
We are all laughing too hard for words. Finally, Aunt Deb speaks. “And yet another way to say ‘thanks giving.’” she says.
“I really thought,” said a shocked Aunt Deb, “that I was going to see my parents on a tape. Instead, I saw porn.” Her whole body kind of shivers.
Mr. Drysdale picks up the container of cool whip by him and moves it away from him.
“So, who’s porn was that?” asked Aunt Deb. She wondered if her sister had all sorts of secrets.
“Not mine.” declared Jim.
We all look at him, always suspicious of the first to declare their innocence.
“It’s the wrong type.” he said. “I prefer my porn man-to-man.” All right then. Mom’s hands are in her face. No mother wants to know, gay son or not, what type of porn their child watches.
Aunt Deb turns to me. “Is it yours?”
First of all, I hadn’t lived at home in a good decade and a half or so. “No.” I say, and begin to explain that woman really are not visual people when it comes to turn ons. Odds are that the porn belongs to a male.
“You’re right.” says my mother. “Woman are more oral.”
“I was going to go with ‘verbal,’” I said, “but I believe the woman on the tape was certainly ‘oral.’”
Mom’s face is once again buried in her hands.
“It’s got be Vayne’s tape.” declares Jim.
Vanye is not there to defend himself but there is no doubt in any of our minds that it is his. He is the baby of the family and would have certainly had porn in his mother’s house. Other things have been found belonging to Vanye, left behind when he moved out. Other things no mother needs to find.
“Maybe,” says The Diva, with a sigh,“Einstein slipped it in…” . And before she could finish her sentence, we are roaring with laughter again.
Once again, calmed down, so long as no one looks at each other. I point out to the group that there was not any alcohol involved in all this laughter and tears. “We’re a pretty focused group,” says Mr. Drysdale, “one vice at a time.”
“And today’s vice,” says Aunt Deb, “is porn.”
“Could we talk about anything else but this?” asks Mom, slowing dying of embarrassment. We try to move on but it keeps coming back to porn jokes. Like when Mom declared ‘I’m hot.’
“So was the woman on the tape.” said Mr. Drysdale.
“I was kind of impressed,” said my mother, “with the cameraman’s work. To be able to get that angle.”
And with that, the crowd broke into tears again.
“I tried so hard.” says my mother, “to make a nice meal. I just wanted everyone to have a nice memorable Thanksgiving.”
“Oh,” says Mr. Drysdale, “we will remember this.”
“We have to make a pact never to talk about this again.” declares my mother. She is mortified. She is beyond mortified.
I practiced with Mr. Drysdale and Aunt Deb, who both have to work on Friday, asking them how their holiday was, until they could give a straight, normal answer. Not, “I saw porn with my family.” Or, the ever classic “I had pumpkin pie and porn.”
After many rounds of practice, finally, Mr. Drysdale is able to answer the question with a “Just fine. I brought a turkey sandwich today. Have a meeting, got to run.”
Aunt Deb is able to answer with a “We had a nice time at my sister’s house.”
We thought the pact might hold.
After awhile, the tears were gone, the laughter faded. We thought the moment had passed. “Maybe we’d be more comfortable if we moved to another room.” said my mother, getting up from the dining room table.
“And, what,” asked Mr. Drysdale, “take off all our clothing?”
Another round of laughter came.
Finally, Aunt Deb asked my mother, “So what do you have planned for Christmas?”
… And showing the pillow who is the boss of this couch