Become the Cookie!

2008-10-10 15.57.32

It isn’t ‘either/or’ it is ‘and/and’.

That is something people sometimes don’t understand about me. Most do but most are not trying to marry me. The very few who want me all to themselves, for some reason, miss the point that there are people in the world I love and the choice is not ‘me or everyone else’, the choice is ‘me AND everyone else.’

I have been in long term marriages and relationships with people who defined the meaning of ‘relationship’ as ‘either/or’. I was that was once myself and imposed a vast loneliness upon myself thinking that was the right thing to do.

It isn’t.

What happens when it is either/or is the eventual growth of dependency, martyrdom and, in the end, actual dislike. People in healthy relationships have ‘others friends’ and having those friends does not mean they are cheating and much of the time those friends are the same gender and they are not gay OR lesbian.

Human beings need approbation from each other. We need good times and a circle of love to live in. We need more than one friend and even, sometimes, if we are very lucky, more than one ‘bestie.’

I am not gonna lie and say I am perfect. I play here every once in a while and those people have respect and they KNOW that the ‘love’ that we have is based on a solid understanding of reality. I don’t stalk their pages to see what girls they like and, actually, I don’t chat that much with them either and they know I don’t cam and they respect the kind of person I am and I try to give that back and if I KNOW someone is married I step back.

But the last couple of years I hardly do that anymore either. Only once in several months. I am getting older and less interested in that stuff as anything more than ‘word games for the brain.’ A friend from a long time ago taught me this term, ‘mental masturbation.’ I didn’t do it with you either kid because I just couldn’t. I ‘lost it’ and did that with someone a little more mature. Someone who understands he and I are never going to be together and has no expectations of me and treats me like a good friend still.

It’s weird because being online is kind like interactive TV. You might really have a crush on someone and, in the old days, you got to stare at a movie or a poster and the only interaction was the one you had with yourself. Now you can go online and find ‘hotties’ with cams set up that do nothing all day but ‘interact’ and the chances of the one who is in love with that girl (and guys too these days!) will get that one for a life partner are about as probable as getting to marry Leonardo DiCaprio or Angelina Jolie.

It gets a little bit ridiculous but we can’t help ourselves even if we have self control. The world might see someone who never does anything wrong and that one might be carrying around ‘Justine’ in their head and you would never know it. That brings us back to what I started. It can never be, in the real world of real people, ‘either/or’. No matter HOW MUCH you want that big cookie all to yourself SOMEONE is gonna bite it while you aren’t looking. That is life.

That big cookie is love and everyone loves that big cookie and if you are gonna love people you are gonna be sharing that big cookie with the whole world and that big cookie might have sex in it but it really has nothing at all to do with sex and everything to do with basic human needs. The thing that makes people the most loved and envied is not how much of that cookie they can eat but whether or not they have the ability to ‘become the cookie.’

Jaffary and the Bush People

The world was fresh then. New and bright and full of promise we were immortal and had not yet faced the things that life would serve us. We had cried many tears already and had no idea how many more we were to cry. We thought we had already suffered more than the world needs any human being to suffer but we had no idea what suffering really was. We were epic. We were so certain of every part of Life.
They called us ‘The Bush People’ and we were that. We were an odd little group of people knit together by some strange diplomacy that allowed a mix of extremes that would not, normally, be allowed. We had a minor reputation.
It began on an Ivy League college campus 1000 years ago just yesterday. That day a man I knew only as ‘Jaffary’ had invited me to coffee in the hostel across from the campus and what was supposed to be a social meeting quickly turned into a fencing match. While we sipped up a whole pot of caffeine spiked coffee this man, wearing an expensive three-piece suit, tried to convince me to go up to his room with him.
“Why should I? We can talk down here just fine.”
It was the end of the days of the Oil Boom. I was 24 years old. I thought I was ancient.
“You can make ALOT of money if you come with me!”
“If you mean the kind of money women make for sex I have been there and done that. I am not interested.” I sipped my third cup of coffee actually enjoying the verbal fencing with this guy but also feeling a chorus of danger singing in the back of my head. This made the whole situation even more piquant. I should have long gone of course but I had to stay to see the snake charmer in action…
…being an Ophiuchus.
“You are beautiful…” he went on praising me and I almost blew hot coffee through my nose trying not to laugh. “…we need models to show off cars and clothes for our company and you would be perfect.”
I smiled at him, “You are lying but this is interesting. I told you I have been there and done that and you are trying to sell me this idea so you can sell me?”
His face changed then. I went to the bathroom and came back and he poured me some more coffee with a smirk on his face and then smiled and said, “Have one more cup for the road and I will leave you alone.” Something told me that would be a bad idea and I turned him down, politely, and left. He stalked me on campus for a little while and that is how I met, and became, one of the ‘Bush People.’
I crossed the road back to the campus and went to English Class and the teacher there instantly disliked me. The feeling was mutual. I was a ‘back bencher’ at the time and he was sitting two rows ahead of me. Just before she called the roll, on the first day of class, I called out in front of the whole class, “Hey you with the long hair!” There was only one of him with long hair. He knew this although he did not turn around to look right away. “You have beautiful hair!”
He laughed. That was the perfect laugh: angelically evil. “Thank you!” he said while the teacher gave us a dirty look and called roll. (The teacher loved handsome guys, it turns out, and ended up liking him and hating me because I got to hang out with him.)
After class he came up to me and smiled.
He had vampire teeth and I loved that. Real ones not fake caps. I was talking to a real life vampire that ‘sparkled’ before that sort of thing ever existed. We went to the student union and I let him eat all my pizza. As we walked out we found out we also had psychology class together and I saw Jaffary, with a briefcase, following us. I looked at my new friend and had to tell him what had happened before class.
“He is following us he is right back there…look…”
I pointed but Jaffary was gone.
He grinned like a happy devil. “If you see him again don’t point or act like you saw him. Just tell me and I will kill him for you.”
I was in love.
We would never be lovers but, in all the years, he would become among those I never forgot.
The Guro

………….A Muse F’ Hive

At the main terminal. It is hot and getting hotter. On the way we passed a little house and it brought back a montage of memories. I have been in many houses, just like that one, in the now-decades of my life.

Tiny frame house about to fall into the ground propped up only by the will of the people who live within the flimsy walls. Old frame house painted a strange colour of pink that was free paint from someone else’s wall project and it was only enough paint to cover the front half. The back half shows the gray slat wood siding bleached by the sun. The front yard is full of trash, cleverly disguised into art. This sort of yard is never watered so no lawn mower needed but also so overgrown with native plants that there is no need to worry how it looks. Nature makes it beautiful.

I imagine it is two stoners who live there. They have an amazing ganja plant in the back yard. They know me.

“Hey Miss Mary where you been all these years! We missed you from WAAAYYYYY back in the day! My ol’ man is on over 200 generations of selective plant breed in’ they ain’t caught us out yet! Man you should pack a bong with this shit you ain’t never comin’ down ’til you reach…say you still callin’ yerself a Martian?” I am grinning, “Haha I know’ you was still crazy! Here have some sun tea! Here he comes look in’ all proud of his bad ol’ self!”

I watch him saunter up the broken concrete walk that lead to the crumbling slantisider stairs. The walk looks deliberate and Kimmy noticed.

“When that last quake happin’d it done busted the walk and the foundation but the Lawd is good ain’t none of th’ plumbin’ messed up. He took a sledge hammer to the walk then and made it look a lot prettier since it was done broke. He brangs back all kinda stuff and we git real high and he gits his arc welder and I tell him how I want it put.”

Been thirty years since I saw them. They always kid me about my ‘accent’ I just let her talk.

“Hey Kimmy look what I found!” He holds out two rusty old wrought iron chairs, “Kimmy who is…Lawd it ain’t you it? After all these years? Man I KNOW I am gitt’n old! Kimmy break out my best we gonna celebrate and then she kin hep us arrange the new stuff!”

But that never happened it is just my imagination as it flies back through time to bring an old vet and his old lady into the present moment where I am passing a tiny frame house and I can almost taste the sun tea running cool down my throat while the smell of ganja drifts through a front yard lost in time.

………… A Muse For…

Thinking lots of things.

I don’t own a TV and people keep reminding me why I don’t own one. Now, where I live, if you want more than mind-numbing mass tripe you have to pay for the levels of ‘premium channels’ you get and the less mind-numbing it is the more you pay. Basic cable, which is available to all proles, is nothing but 24/7 ‘two minutes hate’ training for sheep.

Today I woke up.

Wow!

These days I am sleeping ten hours like there is some kind of zombie ELF ray aimed at the medical plaza. I live in the middle of said medical plaza. Where I used to live there must be some evil ELF ray aimed there because people homicide and suicide if that is their habitual abode. OK granted the sleep is preferable to killing someone but SHEESH AHHHHH!!!!! Ten hours???? Where are you Royal Rife man I need a ray gun! Get Tesla and come over! I will cook!

Thinking, “Oh crap it’s prayer time and people will think I am not really doing it because I can’t get up off the floor so there is no way to do a normal salat so my prayers go faster than a normal person’s and people used to ‘check up on me’ online which made me mad and so I messed up prayer time just to screw with them and… GAHHHHHH! … WHO CARES!

Just pray Allah/God knows and if people have nothing better to do than try to stalk the prayer times of an old woman I feel bad for them they must have no life. Each one of us has our own thing with The Creator of All Things and no one else can walk each road but the one who was born on that road so chill…no need to woory about the ‘others.’

I am doing alot better, Allhamdulillah/Praise God and I am starting to woory now if I don’t get to swim because of rain or the pool is down or it’s Sunday and the bus isn’t running that people will think I am not trying hard enough and THERE IT IS AGAIN!

Caring what other people think because I am not normal like they are “GAHHHHHH!!!!”  They are not like me so what they think makes no difference. The only people whose opinion should matter are those who help me and take care of me the rest of the people can go take a hike. I might need to explain things to Mom or Azam or Sofia but that’s about it! No one else needs the explanation!

Opinions and people…Why am I friends with assholes? Originally the reason for having a 700 plus, and growing, list of friends was to get me more exposure and yeah I get that. If you want fans you have to be nice to assholes but SHEESH…That is why I opened this group back up. It’s easier than having two profiles and I DO have two profiles. It is just a pain in the patooty to log in and out of two profiles!

(Yes I am THAT lazy!)

The best times I ever had in my life I was stoned, drunk or sinning. This is the test of Life I guess. How to get through it to the end without the soaring heights you have been to…and maybe that is why those soaring heights are not a great idea: because they cannot be maintained unless you are super rich or Super-man. The rest of us just have to keep slogging onward to Destiny.

Finally…I think I think too much.

…………. A Mused Tree

Today, in the main bus terminal, I purchased the slip card that will allow me better access than the regular bus routes that don’t go all the places I need to in a way I need to go. I will still use the main bus route for the basic things I got it for in the first place but this new level will get me to Wally World and back without trying to carry a months worth of groceries AND a four wheeled walker, all at once, on a full bus and then try to push 100 pounds of groceries a quarter of a mile (which is a risky thing for me to consider for more than one reason.)

This is going to be an awesome new chapter in everything and thanks sis!

Anyway I discovered a new thing about me I never had to discover before to this level of detail: I am like a really super precocious 12 year old kid: I trust people. Stranger-danger did not exist when I was a young kid. Needless to say that when people found out I accepted a ride home, on a 90 degree day, with a real life gangster who had a 2 tear-drops tattooed on his eye because he was nice and had a big smile…

…Maghreb…BRB…

…I guess that was not a good idea but, at the time, it seemed like a worse idea to snub him. Sorta like being mean to the poor kid because he doesn’t have as much only…

…I am a poor kid in many ways too.

I mean what do you do when racial tension seems to be cranking up every day and no matter where you are, a poor red-neck hood or a nice city hood it’s STILL the HOOD. I have to live here ya’ know? Anyway this new mode of transport will take me out of the awkward situations where my little-kid-on-the-‘play-fair’-ground wants to believe in and trust everyone for the sake of peace.

Back to today at the main terminal.

I went to purchase the slide card and when I got to the window I could not get close as there were large clumps of mud and a heel print from the mud leading out the door I had just come through. When I approached the counter from the side instead of from the front I smelled it.

Shit.

I looked again and the trail was obvious. Someone who could walk was shitting their pants while standing at the window and then walked off with it falling out their pant leg and while their heel tread upon it and the trail told a story that needed no explanation.

It made me think. It made me think of the man who needed to go to the hospital as fast as he could but he was not at the right bus stop and the bus could not change course for him. It made me think of the people baking in the heat while the gangsta drove me home. He did not rob me although he did try to ‘pick me up’ he did not push that angle hard either. It made me think of the days I had a car and I could pull over to anywhere with a bathroom and go at will even behind the trees if I was waaaayyyy out in the boondocks.

I bet whoever that was wished they had been waaaaay out in the boondocks today.

The bus doesn’t stop so you can go to the toilet. If you are like me and you can’t go far or fast you have to PLAN everything! EVERYTHING! Young kids could yank the cord anywhere along the route and run for it and maybe make it into Micky D’s before ‘it’ was born but people like me? No way. You plan, like me, or like many old people who can afford it, you wear a diaper or really sturdy underwear. Whoever this was was not even rich enough for underwear if it was rolling down their leg and the way that trail looked it had to be. Not only that but it is very hot outside and maybe they were suffering from heatstroke?

Sometimes some shit makes you think…

…………. A Mused One Too

“I want it to have solar power….yes….yes…Yes it has to have solar I am going off grid and I don’t want a fixed address but I don’t want to be homeless either….yes the small RV. The smallest one it is just me and my dog but a NICE RV and ecologically sustainable…worried? About what? Hahahaha no…………………yes yes my dog is a Great Dane with a BIG MOUTH and I want her to…yes yes…get me an estimate. I want the thing to have full open windows and a sun roof. Yes…custom…yes yes get me an estim……………….OK OK. No. Yes.”

I watched him. I was rather amazed. He is a strange guy. Vegan like a Hindu. Smart like a Jew. Born Muslim. White Egyptian raised in Nigeria and a little crazy with a string of women he drove bat-shit crazy and then left. Better to be his friend. Better to let him be whatever it is he is and not pursue him as a life partner.

He looks like a homeless guy. He doesn’t have to be that way he just hates the idea of anyone being able to ‘look him up’ and he has figured out all manner of ways to ‘not be found.’ He flies aeroplanes on the side and takes care of retarded kids and has for years. He is not lying when he says that he really does that and where the money goes is as good a guess as anyone’s because he does not do drugs, drink, or buy floozies. He can usually get what he wants for free pretty easily, (thinks of the antibiotics), He probably gives all his money to his mother in Egypt. He talks to her on the phone sometimes but it does not sound like the Arabic I am familiar with…close but..like the difference between Urdu and Panjabi I guess.

He will say he is coming over for a week and then never show up and then show up once and be awesome and then disappear into the city jangles again and call about the time you have given up that he exists.

I think the road accident that almost killed him affected his thinking and he was taking me home from the Y. I had just got in my swim time and it was damn hot outside!

He has no A/C in his car and it looks like he lives in the car but he doesn’t. He and my mother share this trait of carrying every single thing they might use in a day ALL THE TIME in their respective vehicles. The windows were down and we were going to my home and he was trying to talk and drive and find where I live (he is no good with directions the same as I am no good with them) so between us both it takes twice as much time for him to drop me off.

Today was so hot I quit sweating on the way home and started to feel nauseous and very dizzy and sleepy. I had been fasting for Ramadan and he pulled an illegal U-turn, in the middle of heavy traffic, to get us to a place that had water and A/C.

One of those ‘quickie marts’.

He almost carried me in and got a bottle of water while I put all my weight on the counter top and tried not to hurl.

“Miss Mary Miss Mary what do you want? Answer me! Mary! Mary! Answer!”

I could not answer. I was busy making the place stop wobbling. He went off and brought back a bottle of water. He gave it to me and I drank a little bit. The A/C was starting to work.

“Not too much too fast it won’t be good the way you are right now…”

It was ice cold water from the coolers in the back. As I raised off the counter I saw a woman walk in and she stopped and stared at me for one eternal moment. Coiffed white hair and designer clothing and her eyes. Her eyes pinned me for a second as I saw her LOOK at me the way that people look at drunks, losers and homeless people. I have been with people like that and I have seen them look at people like that…

…no one ever looked at me like that. A curious mix of fear, disgust, and weird compassion like one might have for a dog dying in the road. Scared that the dog might bite if you tried to help or, Heaven forfend, give you FLEAS!

The moment burned into my mind like a strange lesson. I have seen that look directed at people from the OTHER SIDE and people do not even KNOW they do this. It is like driving a car: you had to learn it once but now you do it without thinking.

“Miss Mary Miss Mary come on Miss Mary!”

I let him lead me out of the building. He dumped the rest of the icy cold water over my head and down my back and I laughed and screamed and tried to hit him but he was too fast. He was then very serious,

“I think you almost had a heat stroke.”

“Maybe…I don’t know I feel better now.”

“Ok well let’s get you home and I will go and come back later.”

He had promised we would go out to eat but when we got to my house he phone rang again and it was on speaker,

“Yes I will come by on Saturday.” A really sexy sounding female voice answered and he muted his phone and I pretended I had not heard. They talked a short while and he said,

“Listen Miss Mary I am going now but I will come back tomorrow I promise.”

He left then and I knew nothing would happen the way he said it would happen again because he could never keep all his women straight in his mind and he liked me as a friend even after I told him, “No more sex.”

I know I will have to get someone else to put the boric acid behind the furniture and I know that we might never make it to a restaurant but I also know it is good to have weird friends and I am glad he is my weird friend.

…………. A Mused One

“Hey my name is Berry and it’s dayum hot out here and if you waitin’ on th’ bus I’ll gi’ y’ a ride home.”

The first thing I saw was his hand stuck out for a shake and so I did and then looked up. He smiled and I could see the big white smile but the sun was in my eyes so he was not very clear. He had a nice tone of voice and did not seem at all threatening so I said,

“Yes and thank you my name is Mary. It IS hot out here!”

“Yeah no kiddin’ it’s hot ’nuff t’ fry aigs on the sidewalk! Hahaha yo’ name rhyme wit mine. Here lemme git dat!”

He took the walker and I followed him a few steps into the parking lot behind the bus stop. Now that the sun was to my back I could see him better. Prison-grey pants, dropped a little, a really OLD FUBU shirt and very neat and orderly corn-row braids. As he opened the sliding side door of some kind of old, beat up van/SUV combo it became apparent he might be homeless. His car was full of stuff people needed to live. He put my walker with all my money and stuff in it on top of all the stuff already in it and turned around.

I felt the moment.

To back out now because he was an obvious gangsta would be extraordinarily rude and even if he was a nice guy about it people would remember and the route I travel takes me through homeless territory every day. He seemed OK. How bad could he be?

He opened the passenger door and I got in and we started talking. No doubt there were cultural differences but we did not seem to have a problem with them.

“What made you feel like a good deed today?” I asked him.

“You be lookin’ like my ex-girlfrien’.” He said and then laughed.

“How old was your ex goof! I am 51 and have a walker!”

“Well you doan look like no 51 an’ anyway people ’round here doan care ’bout age.”

I watched his face as he drove. I noticed the tear drops tattooed under his eye when he glanced over to speak to me.

“Who was it that died?

“What dis? How you know what dis mean? You doan talk like people from here! Where you from girl?”

“I was born in Texas.” I smiled.

“Fo’ sho? You soun’ like you from overseas!”

“I really was born in Texas. Who was it that died?”

The smile faded from his face.

“Two my cousins. Gang fights. I like Oklahoma it peaceful an’ all but I am from Cali’ you know? L.A. Imma get all this,” he indicated the gang symbol tattoos, “…removed.”

“Leave the tears. They are a tribute.”

He gave me a weird look. Then the testing started. I am guessing it was testing because that’s what it felt like and then I realized I had already maybe passed one test and that maybe passing that test was better than people might think it was. I already knew I was the only person in my family who could maybe take and pass this kind of test.

“What yo’ number and where you live.”

I gave him the information and he started driving up Classen Blvd. A coupla times he seemed like he might be getting ready to pull over and I did not budge and he leaned back and looked thoughtful. We kept on talking.

“You know ’bout massage?”

“Yes I know about reflexology.”

“Lemme gi’ y’ a massage.”

“No that would go against my religion.”

“What’s yo’ religion?”

“Muslim.”

“I know me some Muslims. Why you ax’cep a ride from me?”

At this point I thought straight honesty would be the best answer so I shot it at him.

“You offered me a ride and I said yes. You were in the process of a good deed and if I said no in the middle of a good deed what would have happened?”

He looked at me astonished.

“I’m gonna pull over and get a Coke. You wanna Coke?”

I was thinking to myself, “Testing testing 1,2,3 testing.”

“No I don’t drink soda but you go get one I will wait.”

He went in and got a soda and came back out. “So you still here.”

“Yeah I am. I don’t think I can push that walker all the way home.”

“Yeah but you could call someone else.”

“Yeah I could call someone else…” so I got out my iPhone6 and called mom and put it on speaker phone, “Mom guess what! A nice kid is taking me home from the pool!” He was listening and trying not to look astonished again.

“That’s nice honey tell me when you get home!”

“Hey mom we are on speaker phone do you want to say hi to Barry?”

“Hi Barry thanks for helping out my daughter!”

“Hey s’all good I get her home safe doan you worry!”

I took it off speaker phone and mom was already scared but she said just call her when I got home and I promised her I would.

We kept up a steady chit chat about how people treat each other while he tried to get me to flirt and I resisted and when we got back to my house he said,

“You got my number. I wanna be your frien’. You ever have any trouble when you out just call me I come take care of it.”