Under the stars, behind the stripes

bible

Wearing patriotism to cover hate
Dressed in stars and stripes
A voice so loud saying nothing new
More bitching and a few more gripes

Talks of freedom born of blood
Lamenting those who died
Then hit’s the pub to drown his life
And excuse his misplaced pride

Drowning sorrows in alcohol
While remembering the flag
Hoping he drinks enough courage
To find and bash a fag

Its gays he blames for his lot in life
They’re destroying all his space
I guess the African Americans
Have finally found their place

He only needs someone to hate
Either sexual or tribal
And gay pride is his hate de jour
It says so in his bible

Don’t be fooled by bullshit talk
Of words red white and blue
Its really hate wrapped in his flag
That’s where his color is true

Cause if his life was on the line
A gay man his only savior
He’s tell him how much he approves
Of “homo” sex behavior

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Doing A Few Lines, And Line Cooks

after mimi

Potsink Diaries
Leaving Mimi Dee’s was hard but I had to do it. I was smoking way too much weed, I had affairs with three women and got caught. I got too close to the edge having cheated myself out of a great relationship with a great chick. Carrie would never talk to me again and honestly I didn’t blame her. If I wasn’t stuck with me I’d never talk to me either, but it is what it is. Or was. I found myself in a new relationship with a new job so now and its time to man up and act like an adult. Me, an adult? Not sure that can work but I had to at least give it a go. I applied for and got a job as line cook at Moonleaves, a family restaurant in Syosset not far from Mimi Dees. I say line cook. At Moonleaves that had two meanings, one was the cooks line where my sauté station was. I had four entrée’s and two appetizers to prepare and plate during service. The other line cook was all the cooks doing lines. I never saw so much white powder in my life! It was as though the entire staff snorted a gram a day. Pot, pills, and cocaine flowed so freely it was more like a drug mart than a restaurant. Dishwashers, busboys, waits staff, cooks, just about everyone in the kitchen did drugs and the manager was a raging alcoholic too drunk to notice.
The amount of total degradation there was astounding, cooks banging waitresses in the storeroom, oral sex among the glass racks, even an area specifically reserved for gay sex. You could watch, partake, or just ignore, your choice. It was the Sodom an Gomorrah of the restaurant world and this was the mid 70‘s, the decade of decadence and drugs. Pot was smoked constantly out by the dumpsters, pills were exchanged openly, lines of coke were cut on sheet pans, and in the walk in refrigerators soup pots of screwdriver and gram jars of cocaine were at the ready. “Freeze Break” meant someone was running into the fridge to take a hit of blow an a swig of vodka and OJ. It’s a wonder we ever got a single meal out let alone get through service of a hundred and forty dinners a night. So much for a serious relationship, I fell into it like a pro, screwing every waitress I could and having my clock cleaned orally twice a week. Yea, line cook and head waitress were ironic terms at Moonleaves.
Even though I was engaging in so much extra curricular I also had begun to actually hone some cooking skills learning to make sauces a la minute and handling a constant litany of ordering and picking up of my food items. I was finally good at something and actually enjoyed doing it, a win-win. Pay for play. I had gotten so good at my station I helped out on the grill when it was overwhelmed, and the other line cooks when they needed a hand. The sous chef was ecstatic because it meant less work for him so he could go back to the glass racks where he would find non culinary satisfaction.
By early December I was beginning to fall apart from all the sex and drugs. I lived with my girlfriend Janet who enjoyed the weed and coke as much as I did. I always reserved some of both for home. It was becoming harder and harder, or sometime not hard at all, to perform sexually with Janet between my indiscretions and the coke both. The staff Christmas party was just around the corner and I could only imagine what a sick fucking party it would be. There wa sure to be tons of party enhancers and lots of parking lot sex. I resisted as best I could at Moonleaves when sex was offered but in the end I wasn’t the most faithful of lovers. No way I could bring Janet the party to meet the waitresses I have been with. I know Janet didn’t like me working there, and for good reason she was jealous. I was juggling it all really well, barely balancing sex at home and Moonleaves by never allowing the two to overlap. Repeated requests to meet my “friends at the restaurant” were deflected and redirected. Janet wasn’t stupid and even though I was a “strapping young stud” I could only handle so much. Besides, a girlfriend always knows, whether it’s the distant scent of perfume from a tryst hours ago or just the way we kiss. Putting passion into a kiss is like a fingerprint to a woman, and Janet was quite a woman. “JT, either you take me to the Christmas party to meet your friends or I’m going to eat there everyday.” Trapped like the rat fink I was.
I needed to figure out how to keep Janet from the restaurant. My two separate lives were on a collision course and the explosion would surely destroy both worlds. A plan was hatched. Let me just put a touch of perspective on this, I have hatched an enormous number of plans and from that maybe a handful have worked in my favor. This one had all the earmarks of being amongst the majority of failures. What logic I found in asking Janet to marry me as a way to get out of this would confound Einstein. But that was the plan, to buy a ring, ask Janet if she’ll marry me, an tell her we could get married sometime next year. I believed it would give me time to figure out a balance. Now I just had to figure out how to balance the news to Trudy, the waitress who sort of became my work girlfriend, the one waitress I had become exclusive with at Moonleaves. I know she is planning something huge for us at the Christmas party that involved a jello bath and some Quaaludes so I decided I could wait until after the party which now Janet won’t feel a need to go to. I’ll tell her its not a “party” party but more like we all just sit down to dinner together. Weak at best, but I was convinced of my own schmoozing abilities.
Janet was prepared for the usual argument surrounding Moonleaves and the staff party so it caught her totally off guard when I handed her a small box. Her eyes lit up like stadium floodlights, “What is this? JT……What’s in the box?” Girlish excitement was building as her face took on a kid at Christmas look. “Well…..why don’t you open it and see.” Her hands shook fumbling with the box as I positioned myself on my knee in front of her timing my request in perfect unison with the opening, “Janet, will you marry me?” She jumped up screaming, her hands flailing wildly, “Oh my God yes, yea of course JT, of course I’ll marry you.” We embraced while Janet allowed tears to flow freely, tears of happiness and even I got caught up in the frenzy. After kissing me a dozen times or so I became unimportant, “I’ve got to tell my Mom, and my sister, and…” She rattle off a number of her besties while the depth of what I had just done sunk in. Jesus shit, what have I done? Not sure I thought this one through.
Janet and I made love that night, with extreme emotion and reckless abandon. It was the wildest sex the two of us had in a very long time. Four times before we finally collapsed in exhaustion. The party had not come up in conversation once and now I’m not so sure I played this right. I will most likely need to opt out of the party all together to concentrate more on how to keep work and home separate on a more permanent basis. I would need to tell everyone at Moonleaves I was engaged which would change things drastically. I could still do the drugs, but the sex had to stop. Maybe it was for the better anyway.
The second I got to Moonleaves I was prepared to tell everyone of my wedding plans, but Trudy had other idea’s. Trudy was a hot an very sexy chick, not the kind of girl you bring home to Mama. With long straight jet back hair and the sexiest eyes alive! She wore a ton of make up which she didn’t really need because she was real pretty. But the make up made her look intensely sexy, like the woman that grabs you by your libido and forces you to surrender to her will. Thick black eyeliner, huge curled eyelashes, a deep blue swatch above each eye and the reddest lipstick around coating some naturally thick succulent lips. HOT! She put her hands up to my chest, looked deep into my soul with eyes smiling that sex smile that melts my loins. With a playful kittenish demeanor she pushed me toward the glass racks. I should resist, this shit has to stop. Too much drugs and I know Trudy thinks we are boyfriend and girlfriend even though she knows I live with Janet. I mean she lives with her boyfriend so its not like we would ever be together as a couple. That’s it, no more! She pushed my back against one of the racks and I grabbed her cheeks tilting her head up to mine to tell her we can‘t do this. Oh my God she looked so hot and vulnerable. Before I spoke a word her hand wandered down my stomach to my jeans as she undid my belt, then the zipper. Before I knew it I was rock hard on the racks moaning while Trudy gave me the most incredible head ever. When she finished me off she raised her head, kissed me with an open mouth an I hungrily swapped spit with her. “Mmmmm, that was good baby, see you after my shift?” I was no longer thinking no more, I was thinking lets do it again Trudy. “Of course baby, I’ll get a room after service.” I gotta quit this job!!!

Five Cold Stages

meg walks

DENIAL

It didn’t happen
She cried, tell me its not true
I’m not ready to say good by, there’s so much left for us to try

She’s gone
I cried, taken away
I just want to hold you tight, rocking in my arms tonight

We miss her
She should still be here for sure, our baby girl safe and secure
Didn’t want to say good by

ANGER

I’m angry
She cried, whys it have to be
She was strong the loss will numb me, you had no right to take her from me
I want her back

I Hate you
I cried, you call yourself a god
I had my doubts before you stole her, let me hold her and console her
I deny you

BARGAIN

I swear
She cried, its not too late
Turn back time and let me get her, promise this time I’ll do much better
I’ll do anything

My fault
I cried, maybe if I prayed up high
If worship could make her not be sick I’d build a church brick by brick
Then tear it down cause it’s a lie

SORROW

I feel so sad
She cried I love her so
Take a pill to ease my plight, cry myself to sleep each night
I’ve never felt such pain

I want to die
We cried, we miss her so
What’s the reason we should live, our only child we had to give
It makes no sense

SURRENDER

That’s life
They cried, now go live yours
Another child’s world soon will start, who’ll need your love and guiding heart
Still we want to die

Move on
They cried, the pain will leave
Pain never seems to go away, we ache from scars everyday
Time heals nothing

Psychologist call the last stage acceptance, but its not acceptance but surrender. My heart will never accept a reason for my baby girl not being with me but I surrender to the fact that I can’t change what is. Take the time today to tell those you love just how much they mean to you before time sneaks away.

Megan Laurine Jaret, we miss you everyday. Today we should be celebrating your 24th birthday, instead I’m here typing through the teardrops on my keyboard trying still to figure a way to cope without you. Time never heals, it only teaches you a way to manage through your days. In the short time you shared your life with us you taught us more than anyone should need to learn. I’d give up everything to have you back. Since you’ve been gone life has become more difficult, but every time I believe I can no longer go on you fill my heart with your presence and help me survive. I truly have no idea if there is a god, if angels exist, or if there is some higher plan, but I do know that in this vast mysterious universe there are powers that defy logic, forces that unseen can make us strong. Megan is my force, and that force is in my heart with every breath I take. The strength of your love is what keeps me going, I only wish we could be going together. I love you my Little Little

Where Have All The Flower Children Gone?

The Decade That Was
Once upon a time, there was a creative thought, which blossomed into a fine young idea. That idea was nurtured and guided so it became a sound and just suggestion . As it grew it evolved into a brilliant well thought out concept. Because the concept had such universally beneficial implications it rose up into an action. The action was pure an meaningful and reached so many other open minds that it morphed into a movement, and it was the most glorious movement the world had ever seen. It was a movement dedicated to equality, world peace, harmonious existence, and awareness. Seeking a better world through music, inclusive lifestyles, positive politics, and the ability to question injustices perpetuated by governments. Like most good things authorities believed it needed to be compartmentalized so it was labeled a decade. The decade became turbulent and pushed our tolerance to the limit. The decade ended. Time passed, and the decade was reduced to a memory of drug induced youth protesting without direction, and the memory began to fade.

Only wanted to live in peaceful bliss
World peace love and happiness
Place the hate down a deep abyss
That’s the utopia we all should miss

No one cared about your race
Accepted all in loves embrace
We were in such a happy place
Until it fell and crushed our face

Now so many years gone by
Often times I wonder why
Did the movement have to die
Was the decade one big lie?

Looking back we had a goal
Drugs sex and rock and roll
Scuse me while I light a bowl
Get high on the grassy knoll

But in the end the dream is done
No more flowers in the gun
Flower power was on the run
If nothing else we sure ha fun

Quest for peace replaced by greed
The hell with what poor folks need
We all have our own mouths to feed
Don’t have time to hear them plead

But take a minute and reflect
At all the rights we keep in check
And thank a Hippie what the heck
For trying to make this world correct

PEACE….FOR EVERYONE..IMAGINE, NEVER STOP DREAMING

What is it your looking for my child?

kells

Many years of journey searching for the truth
Where is it that we find it?
Never in our youth
No not in our youth

A child reached up and grabbed my hand, tell me please don’t lie
My heart it full of heavy thoughts
Are you going to die
Papa will you die

Do you know God Papa
Mama says you may
Are you meeting God papa
Please don’t go away

Do you talk to God Papa
Do you know how pray
If you talked to God papa
What is it would you say

Mama said you doubt Papa
Why don’t you believe
I will talk to God Papa
I’ll pray to her this eve

So many times I’ve wondered why it takes so long to learn
The hardest lesson in life I think
Not easy to discern
Never could discern

Slow down my child you needn’t rush
Sit down here on my knee
Your story’s not yet written child
You’ve still so much to see

The world is big so much to love
So much you’ve still not done
One day like me perhaps you’ll have
A daughter or a son

Love is what we need the most
Its love that bring us bliss
If some day you have a child
you can tell them this

.Life is precious just like you, Here’s what I believe
It matters not where we come from. It matters what we leave
I leave behind a world of love, A world I shared with you
And even when I’m gone dear child, I’ll still be here with you

I don’t know if God exists
But I’ll be in you heart
As long as you remember me
We’ll never be apart

Sometimes in life we must shed tears, that’s the world we live
Don’t hold your love it here to share
Remember and forgive
For me child please forgive

Who Am I

who

Once I was a lover, a hater a friend
A beggar a bandit my shoulder to lend
A father and brother even a son
I cheated and lied tried to save everyone
Cleaned or cooked whatever the chore
Did what was needed to even the score
A loser abuser of every drug I could find
A kind hearted servant dulling my mind
I’ve been so many people I can’t keep it straight
I’m forever on time or I’m early or late
But who am I now’s not who I was then
Constructed destroyed and built up again

Conceived out of love

Born of distress

Scolded and beaten

A gentle caress

A work still in progress

Script still unwritten

Running for decades

Twice shy and twice bitten

Once I was a lover, a hater a friend
A beggar a bandit my shoulder to lend
A father and brother even a son
I cheated and lied tried to save everyone
Cleaned or cooked whatever the chore
Did what was needed to even the score
A loser abuser of every drug I could find
A kind hearted servant dulling my mind
I’ve been so many people I can’t keep it straight
I’m forever on time or I’m early or late
But who am I now’s not who I was then
Constructed destroyed and built up again

So who am I now

Who was I before

The sum of our parts

In a revolving door

The whole of ourselves

Half the battle I’m told

Is what we become

Before we get old

Once I was a lover, a hater a friend
A beggar a bandit my shoulder to lend
A father and brother even a son
I cheated and lied tried to save everyone
Cleaned or cooked whatever the chore
Did what was needed to even the score
A loser abuser of every drug I could find
A kind hearted servant dulling my mind
I’ve been so many people I can’t keep it straight
I’m forever on time or I’m early or late
But who am I now’s not who I was then
Constructed destroyed and built up again

Motion gets slower

Limbs they grow weak

Thoughts way too foggy

Can’t get enough sleep

The show must go on

That’s what I hear

The suns going down

And evening is near

Once I was a lover, a hater a friend
A beggar a bandit my shoulder to lend
A father and brother even a son
I cheated and lied tried to save everyone
Cleaned or cooked whatever the chore
Did what was needed to even the score
A loser abuser of every drug I could find
A kind hearted servant dulling my mind
I’ve been so many people I can’t keep it straight
I’m forever on time or I’m early or late
But who am I now’s not who I was then
Constructed destroyed and built up again

The Flexible Bible (Stop using Sects as a weapon)

meh

This is not an indictment on god or religion or faith, its an observation of a book, whether fiction or non-fiction, that is too often used as a weapon not a reference for good behavior. Religion is a non issue for me and I applaud anyone who remains true to the tenets of their faith. I have witnessed people escape addictions, avoid lives of crime, and live good lives while practicing their religious faith. The problem for me is when someone takes a book they consider the foundation of their faith and twists it into a weapon to use against anyone else who has different beliefs then they themselves. The weaponized bible is difficult to defend against because it is so flexible its contents can be used to condone almost any acts up to and including killing while demonizing others such as sharing love. There are religious soldiers who use this flexible weapon very skillfully by determining which excerpts can be use in literal terms to further their agenda and which can be more metaphoric to excuse the concept of say stoning someone to death for having unapproved sexual relationships. It’s difficult to defend against because the flex bible is not a conventional weapon engaged to cause physical destruction but rather its used to turn humans against each other and band together against who they perceive as their enemies. They destroy others using beliefs on such trivial things as sexual orientation, race, faith, or even an interpretation of the words that same piece of literature that differs from their own interpretation. An eye for an eye justifies revenge but I suppose if it’s a cheek you turn the other one, its very confusing. Apparently people who have sex with other of the same gender place all true believer in grave danger, and wives who do not “submit” to their husbands should be sentence to death. Hopefully metaphorically.
In order to use this codex of literature as a weapon successfully the user requires an adept ability to use hypocrisy at will while disregarding the fact that hypocrisy is not a foundation of religion. In fact any true religion should consider hypocrisy as much a sin as lying. The user must be able to preach the love of all of gods children yet condemn to dearth any person engaging in same sex relations. A great example of this hypocrisy is how easily they can condemn Russia’s crazy anti gay policies while fighting to deny gay marriage in their own country. Somehow they are capable of sweeping it under the rug the fact that many of the leaders of their religion have engaged in sex with not only a member of the same gender, but underage and incapable of consent. For many church enthusiasts it’s okay to cheat on a spouse, or have a number of extramarital affairs, so long as you pray and ask forgiveness. Pepper the rosary with a few our fathers and hail Mary’s and poof, sins absolved. A few bucks to the church won’t hurt either. But if you have sex with someone of your own gender you are an abomination of god, who aside from a allowing a few million abominations to be created is perfect.
So this is a warning, beware of the warriors that use the flexible bible because they come in sheep’s clothing. They look like average people, they often have big smiles and looks of comfort and compassion on their faces. They offer words of encouragement, understanding, and hope, but behind those words and smiles hide some of the most vicious and evil people around looking to turn you into a clone follower of their own religion or toss you to the lions to be eaten alive. They group together and petition the lord. Not the lord god but the lord of the law, expressing in legal terms that their religion must be considered superior to all others. Any president who does not conclude a speech with god bless America is an atheist, and all atheists are evil and should be stoned to death or turned into pillars of salt. Religion and Patriotism are the same thing, and not concluding a speech with gods name is even worse than the sin of not wearing a flag pin.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti American or anti religion, I’m anti judgmental, but unfortunately that’s one of the most misinterpreted words in many religions. The concept of Judge Not is practiced much too infrequently. On the plus side as I have stated I have seen people conquer addictions, defeat alcoholism, and turn their lives around through religion, relying on that book, but they tend to use it as an aid to lift them up as opposed to a weapon to tear others down. The less perfect people of the world tend not to judge as much because they understand that as humans we sometimes act human, make mistakes, have weaknesses. All I’m saying is be true to yourself, and let others be true to themselves, don’t attempt to force them into your concept of acceptable living. Live and let live, judge not lest you be judged. Basically, mind your own fucking business.

Graveyard Of Dreams

dream

Shattered promises and wishes once believed real
All need a place to lay down
Somewhere to collect them when everything falls
Hidden way deep underground

Planning and scheming the optimist dreaming
But life is sometimes bizarre
Blood sweat and tears through so many years
All that’s left is another deep scar

Dreams and desires are left feeling low
Wondering if when and where they should go
When all hope tumbles over torn at the seams
Its buried alone in the graveyard of dreams

Spirits get crushed as ambition deflates
Its just the way that life goes
No matter how hard you try to keep it inside
Disappointment and pain always shows

Back on your feet to gat back in the race
Sometimes it just isn’t fair
John knows I’m a dreamer but dreams always die
Leaving a wake of despair

Dreams and desires are left feeling low
Wondering if when and where they should go
When all hope tumbles over torn at the seams
Its buried alone in the graveyard of dreams

Hope I Die Before I Get Old

nu

A Potsink Diary Reflection
Cooking at a rest home was not especially challenging but I’m still in a kitchen, at least sometimes, and I had fun working with Margie and Flo. Margie was not only the big boss but a favorite of the owner so she called all the shots and since we worked together much of the time we became fast friends. I got my kitchen responsibilities done faster and faster so I could have more time on the floor to hang out with the nurse and the aides. We laughed and joked a lot, I was one of only two males working there, but it just never dawned on me that nurses could not only tease with expertise, but they are also practical jokers.
One day as I was flirting with one of the aides Margie snuck up from behind and said to me “Jhay, you afinish so faust today dot we got spayshal job for a you.” A shot of adrenalin started coursing through my central nervous system because the sound of that had an eerily similar ring to it. It sounded too much like the “downtime” Chef Jimmy was so adept at. I thought back to all the mindless tasks the chef assigned me that not only bored me to tears but drained what little sanity I had left in me. In a sheepish voice I inquired if it was in fact anything like downtime but Maggie assured me it was just a small job and she needed help with an SSE. I started to feel a little relief, SSE didn’t sound like it was anything horrible. But an uneasy feeling did come over me when I saw the dastardly dog smile on the other nurses. “Meet us up inna Miss Lemcows room upstair. We meet you dare Jhay.”
When I walked in the room I began to get a tad concerned. After all, this place was loaded with some of the most extremely senile people to ever observe the Civil War. At the very least they read about it in the “Recent History” books. I was called into the bathroom where they had poor Mrs. Lemkaugh sitting naked on the toilet. It was an embarrassing sight for me but Mrs. Lemkaugh never even took notice of me. She wasn’t in control of her faculties and as I would soon find out not in control of bodily functions. I tried to look away but its like a car accident, the harder I tried the more I looked. I was depresses at how depressed the old woman’s body was. Any muscles or tendons in her breasts had long ago lost any of its substance and hung like deflated balloons. Her whole body just seemed so frail and wrinkled. I felt very uncomfortable, as though I were violating her privacy. I guess I was but she was completely unaware of my existence let alone my embarrassment at that violation. I looked away choosing to focus on my Jamaican boss who I was beginning to develop a crush on. In Margies hand was a metal can much like a flour sifter with a red rubber hose attached to it. “Here Jhay, I need a you hole dis can up over da heyd ofa Miss Lemcow.” Totally confused and wondering what the fuck was happening I stared blankly as I grabbed the can. Flo, the sexy forty something nurse leaned up to my ear and whispered “Is this your first Soap Suds Enema honey?” It took a minute for the words to sink in. Now the SSE took on an entirely dark aura. I had heard all three words before but never in the same sentence and certainly not as a single concept, but there it was. Soap. Suds. Enema. Innocuous as three words, I use soap, I bust suds, and I know what an enema is but how in the fuck can all three become one? Pondering the concept it can only mean one thing. I was holding a can of soapy water, so there’s the soap and suds, but where does enema fit in? I looked down at Margie grabbing the other end of the rubber hose and in an instant it hit me. Oh my fucking god in heaven that’s where it fit in, literally. She is sticking that hose in….in..oh my fucking god in heaven she stuck the end of the hose in Mrs. Lemkaugh ass!! “Okay Flo let off de valve.” Flo, the not so sexy anymore forty something nurse, shot me a smile usually reserved for Karmic retribution. She reached up and released the valve. In an instant the can emptied its contents of soapy water and went directly to Lemkaughs ass, which apparently mixed in the contents the Mrs. Lemkaughs gastro-intestinal system was holding on so dearly to. It made the stink carousel of decayed horseshit from my old landscaping days seem like jasmine incense. I gagged as I tried desperately not to breath. At least not through my nose although inhaling that stench in my mouth did not seem an acceptable alternative. I could tell they were enjoying my pain and Flo let out a chuckle. They had gotten me good on this one. “Am I done here?” After I managed to utter my request, I held my breath and very quietly offered a “Jesus shit” mantra “Of course Jayh, you canna go backs de kitchen.” With that I put down my soap suds enema can and left the room. I could still hear the ladies laughing and all kind of sloshing and flushing. I gagged once again as I considered a despicable thought. I feared this wouldn’t be my last SSE and my job around the nursing home was evolving a bit too rapidly.
I was to learn quickly that playing jokes was a way for the nurses to keep their sanity in check. Everyone says don’t get involved with the patients but you really can’t help it. It’s like being surrounded by your grandparents and all their alter egos and they are all so cute. One of the darkest jokes was when Margie sent me into Old Mrs. Carrols room to check on her because she never showed up for lunch. Mrs. Carroll was a staff favorite because she was funny and didn’t seem to have any family. At least none that came to visit. She was kind of in her own little world but she was funny as all hell when she got rolling on shit. “JT? What the damn kind of a name is JT? Whassa mattah, your Mom and Dad couldn’t afford a whole name so they just gave you initials? Where are you from anyway, N Y?” She would say shit like that with deadpan face and so sarcastically accurate it could make a sack of onions cry in envy. Anyway, I went in to see how she was and she was like motionless in bed with her eyes closed. It was eerily quiet in the room which smelled strongly of stale urine. Another aroma I had become accustomed to! Many of the patients, the old folks, had lost control of their body functions. Every room had a cloud of urine stink to one degree or another and the carpets had faded stains everywhere if you looked close. But today the urine cloud was unusually aggressive. It snuck out from the corners of the stained and worn carpet and like a stench poltergeist dancing about merrily in search of an olfactory gland to haunt. And haunt it did. With the unappealing fragrance of rotten eggs soaked in ammonia the cloud of stench creeps into your nostrils and looks for a place to hang out. Sometimes it teams up with the century old shit stink. After decomposing in a ninety year old set of intestines remnants collect in the bowels to congregate. I looked over at Mrs. Carrol who was just lying in bed. But I mean JUST lying! She wasn’t moving at all. I called her name and no response. The silence in the room was the most eerie silence I had ever felt and as I got closer to Mr. Carrol her face was purple and lifeless. I damn near shit myself. I began to shake and knew in an instant that the smell today was so strong because its the smell of death! Something I never ever want to smell again. I was overcome with emotion. Profoundly sad because someone I care about is lying dead in front of me, confused because what the Hell is death anyway, and angry because why did she have to die. I wondered who her family was, if they cared. Had she known love? Is there anyone from her life who’s going to miss her. Then I started thinking how I have to break the news to Mar….Wait! What!! Son of a bitch they knew when they sent me in here! My anger shifted its focus.
When I got back to the lounge they were all laughing hysterically like it was one big god damn joke. My emotions were boiling until I looked at the ladies. They were laughing, but they were crying too. They were trying to cope with the loss the only way they knew. I walked up to Margie, looked her right in the face and said, “Oh yea, laugh now, cuz when I get you back you gonna forget how to laugh at all.” She glared back at me then we all started laughing, and crying, and this weird hugfest started as we all tried to put Mrs. Carrols death away to somewhere. Deep in some mental attic filled with cobwebs so it won‘t effect us. Like I said, we’re not supposed to get attached but it sure is hard when you lose a patient you’re attached to. Real hard.
But that was life at Mimi Dee’s. A mixture of emotions and never knowing what the day would bring. I was cooking again, flirting tirelessly, but had become a fixture. Something had to give. All the young ladies, some from my school, some from other schools, and the nurses. I flirted like it was part of my job. And let me tell you I really dug it. I did feel some degree of guilt because Carrie and I were very serious about each other. Flirting wasn’t exactly cheating, but it wasn’t complete faithfulness either. But still I dug the shit out of so much attention from so many females. Margie would tease me relentlessly about taking me home to her ‘Garden Apartment” when hey boyfriend Bob was out of town. It felt so good but I worried a little if I would ever take it too far. I want to be faithful, but between my raging hormones and insatiable sweet tooth for dancing on the edges of life I had to consider I may one day get too close to that edge. On top of that I knew life was getting stale for me here. I knew I needed to get out of here and get back to proper cooking but I was just so comfortable here, and comfort isn’t something I’ve had much of in my short life. So what do I want to be, a chef or a cheating boyfriend with a job but no career. Something has to give.

Time To Settle Down.

ONE REALLY BIG SPECIAL NIGHT IN ‘64

beatles #1

It was 20 years ago today, Sergeant Peppers taught his band to play. I doubt there is anyone in America of my generation that’s not familiar with that line. But on February 9th, 2014 it was 50 years ago today that counted. That was the day America was ready to….Meet The Beatles. After that night came a plethora of new albums, Magical Mystery Tour, Rubber Soul, Revolver, The White Album and more. Help, Its Been a Hard Days Night here on Abbey Road. 50 years ago! Yea, a lot has been made of the recent 50 year anniversary of the Beatles conquering America. But nothing really caught any of the energy that one special evening created. Five songs transformed a generation, gave it something to identify with. The Beatles merely changed the way we spoke, the way we dressed, the way we listened to music, the way we viewed our politics, and in general the way we lived our lives. And it all started on one night all across America in households of families huddled around a Sunday night ritual. The Ed Sullivan show, an institution in the days when most families had only one TV set and the whole family sat and watched it together. Back in those days dinner was served at the same time everyday, an you couldn’t leave the table until you finished everything. Yea, even the vegetables! After dinner the family gathered around the TV set to watch whatever Dad decided we could watch. Saturday mornings we had cartoons and the television belonged to us (so long as our chores were done) but at night there was no democracy. Fascist Pops was in control of what we viewed and we were the remote controls. “JT, go put on channel four. JT, turn this up. JT, fix that horizontal bar.” Pretty much the same in every house, and Sundays were family night. For us it was the same every Sunday, Lassie, followed by My Favorite Martian, followed by The Ed Sullivan Show all on CBS. If I was allowed to stay up after that I had to change to NBC and we watched Bonanza. February 9th 1964 started out just like any other Sunday night, I had no clue what would occur on that special night.
IMHO the Grammy tribute fell way short of recreating any of that energy, not focusing on what that special night really created but instead used it as a promo for Grammy winning acts, popular actors, and an audience that never got a chance to understand the importance that night held to my generation. So I’ve taken it on myself to attempt to capture a slice of the energy released on that special night 50 year ago. For me and my classmates way back in February 1964 that performance was a game changer. A life changer! The moment the first set was over I understood intuitively that something had changed profoundly. For the first time I had my own music, a music made just for me and all I wanted to do was be like The Beatles and listen to more of their music. First I had to wash the Brylcreem out of my hair, remove the slicked back greaser wave and grow my hair. I would have bangs starting the next morning. I wanted to be like The Beatles, those dudes were fucking COOL!
Before that evening like most of my friends I was a follower, a sheep spinning my older brothers 45’s. Not that it wasn’t good music, it was great, but it wasn’t mine and it didn’t have the oomph I would come to know and love. The year before that special night I got my first record player for Christmas. It was a cheap record player that could only handle one record at a time and had one cheesy speaker built in its self contained carrying case that couldn’t go more than four feet away from an electric outlet without an extension cord. My record library consisted of Oh My Darlin’ by Huckleberry Hound, The Theme to Mr. Ed (of course of course) The Chipmunks Christmas song, a searing rendition of The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow, and Sherry by the Four Seasons (That one I stole from my brother, hope he doesn’t read this). But that Sunday night changed all that. In my pajamas with spacemen in spacesuits all over it I sat right in front of the TV. I heard that some Beetles were coming to America, and all I knew at that point was they played music and made girls scream. I was prepared to hear something like The Everly Brothers, or The Beach Boys, or maybe even Bobby Darrin. My parents played Frank Sinatra, Al Hirt, and Andy Williams on the family console but I knew it would be nothing like that. Maybe its four British Elvis Presley’s? But when that first song began, a song called “All My Lovin” my mouth dropped. It was the most amazing thing I had ever heard. And the four guys, long hair shaking as they sang, were just about the coolest things in the universe. I watched and memorized their names, on drums some guy named Ringo. Who has a name like that?! Cool! George, Paul, and sorry girls he’s married John. I knew in an instant this was something I had been waiting for without knowing I was waiting for it. The next tune was called “Till There Was You” sung by the cute guy Paul. In the house next door I heard a blood curdling scream. I looked up startled and my Dad and Mom were chuckling, “Mollie, can you hear Christine next door?” laughter, “Yes I can Joe, listen to her screaming like a banshee for these kids” Christine was my 13 year old next door neighbor who sounded like she was being tortured by the boogey man when in fact in her mind she was asking Paul to marry her. Very loudly and in an eerie shrieking kind of way. Mom an Dad got a good laugh from those cute mop top boys from England. Not quite as funny the next morning when I came downstairs with my hair combed over my forehead in an attempt to copy the look. “You march right upstairs and fix your hair young man!” …..“But Mom!! I wanna………Yes Mom.” That was the first of many years of arguments I would have regarding the length and style of my hair. And it all started on that one magical special night. They finished the first set with a fast rocking tune “She Loves You”, which had all of the kids in school singing yea, yea, yea on the playground the rest of the year.
After another act or two the boys came back for two more songs but it wouldn’t have mattered, the die was cast they had already conquered the youth of America. We were in hook line and sinker. They played “I saw her Standing There” and “I wanna Hold your Hand” what would become two more love anthems of the young. In one special night I had five new favorite songs. I got rid of my 45’s and began swearing a collection of nothing but Beatle songs after that. I had MY music now, not my brothers, not the kid up the blocks, MINE! I bought teen magazines to read about them, had Beatle trading cards, bought many of their 45’s, and a Beatles poster, all of which would make me a bazillionaire if I had them now. As the years passed I could follow my social development by what album came out next. My hair, my politics, my view of love, my global presence all coincided with what the Beatles did on their next album. I didn’t realize it at the time, but every Beatle album I ever listened to could be called a greatest hits album. It was as though they couldn’t make a shit record if they tried.
Whatever The Beatles did I tried to do. As they grew their hair longer so did I, when they dressed more colorful so did I, they talked slang, I talked their slang too, they smoked pot I tried it. I couldn’t get enough information about them. I followed their trip to India in the magazines and adjusted my life around the Fab Four. I especially tried to be like John. Whatever The Beatles said or did validated my doing the same. Not so much for Mom and Dad though, the chuckling over the cute mop tops morphed into a major bone of contention with the generation gap battles. No longer cute and funny lads they were viewed as destroyers of youth, the antichrists. What they really did was to give a voice to a generation and let us know its not only okay to question authority, its a responsibility when authority is being misused. Protest against wrongness, against war, evil and hatred, share love and peace and harmony. What a horrible message to send to kids. Joe McCarthy would have been incensed. With music as their only weapon they conquered us and spread the concept of peace, love, and togetherness to the masses. The Flower Children, The 60’s fashions, The protests, the outdoor concerts, all the positive aspects of the era can be traced back to The Beatles. The Beatles were the truth and the truth set us free. It all began one special night.
I truly hope that another generation of youth will have a perfect storm, a perfect harmony of lives that can reset perfect balance in the Universe the way the Beatles did for mine. Four guys, strangers, all from the same area meet in another country and become a rock and roll band and set the world on its head. Why those specific four? Why that specific area? Why that specific time? Four guys, all with extreme talent that compliments each other forming an unstoppable force. When the world needs it the Universe has a way of supplying the perfect storm like The Beatles. We need a perfect storm now, we need another Beatles. But I just can’t see that happening, the good karma, the positive energy, the light through the darkness coming together at the exact moment, the exact time, for the exact reason. I just can’t! But Hell, I’ve been wrong before, and if it can happen I’ll be glad to be wrong again. C’mon Universe, now more than ever, we need some Beatle magic. Give us just one more “One Really Big Special Night”……PEACE