I like books.


I live in a small town and enjoy writing about the inhabitants. I spend most of my time perusing through used book stores looking for that one great book that I don't have; consequently, I have rooms filled with books. I am a book addict.

Friday, November 25, 2005

It’s over. There was way too much food, and because of that, it is hard to decide what exactly it is that I wanted with my turkey. So, I ate two vegetables, stuffing, and a piece of turkey. I sat in the living room at the card table away from the noise of the dining room. My niece-in-law, her mother, and my brother-in-law’s cousin joined me. It was nice, not loud, not hoggish, like at the dinning room table.

My daughter was there, she was not high, she was not coming down, she was being good. My grandson cried when he saw me holding the new baby. It seems we have a new baby every year. Last year, it was my grandson. This bundle isn’t even two weeks old, she is a girl with bright red hair, just like her two other sisters, like her grandfather on our side. It was a nice day, the little ones played on the trampoline.

I noticed that one of my great nieces is hitting puberty, I can’t believe how fast time passes. Her mother announced that she is getting braces for her ugly bucked teeth. I say she doesn’t have ugly or bucked teeth, she has big beautiful teeth, and when the child went outside to turn back flips, I fussed at her mother for saying such awful things. Reminded her how important a positive self image is and how if your own mother thinks you are ugly, well, you must be ugly.

I played a game with the children, Bingo. I didn’t win one time. The children felt sorry for me and they let me pick a prize from the prize bag, I got a pencil with a fuzzy top. Yeah!

We left before four, longer than I planned, but still out of there in plenty of time to have my sanity.

Next year, I am not going. I am going to make a small bird, fix two vegetables, and dressing, and one pie, and one kind of bread. None of this counters full, and tables full. I don’t know why we do that.

I told my sister that I wasn’t coming down for Christmas. I told her that Mr. Zelda and I decided that we were going to rent movies, have the grandsons over, and watch for Santa.
She reminded me that we have always spent Christmas Eve together. I told her that I know, but our families are way too big to combine them and our gifts. She hugged me and said that it was hard getting old. I told her it had nothing to do with getting old, that we both have such big families and it is so hard to do an inside get together. I promised her we would have one really big cookout during the summer and make up for the missed Christmas.

So, we came back to the mountain. We left the noisy house where car racing, football, and who is doing what in Sunday School were some of the topics, and we talked about the three transcendentalists. We also compared Poe to King, although that is really not possible, I mean Poe, come on. Poe, Edgar A. no way. It was nice. REal nice. I'm glad my husband reads, I'm glad he knows a little, and I'm glad we don't watch sports.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Turkey Day

Hey All,
Today is Turkey Day, and I am preparing to take my food and go down the mountain. I am dreading it, but I have already said that I am leaving right after we eat. If all goes well, I should be out of there by no later than 2:00. Or, at least that’s my hope. Well for all of you who check the internet and surf a blog here and there on the big holidays, Have a Happy Turkey Day and if you travel, have safe travel. jeannie

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Three More Days of Real Class Time!!!

WE finished Moby Dick. I must say, three weeks was way too long to discuss the ramblings of Melville. Well, truthfully, he does have a poetic language and if reading it for the second or third time, the music of his language does ring true of a really good poem, but, but, it’s about a fucking whale hunt, and I like whales, and I while understand why they did it, killed the harmless whales, I still go yuck. Plus, how many times and how many ways are these characters going to be defined, rebuked, displayed, and finally well finally left. Plus, the professor is a misogynist oh not like in hating all women, just women, smart women. He says there are not any good female writers! I screech and say what about…he cuts me off. What about…he cuts me off. So, not only did I take a class that I thought was going to give me insights on Hawthorne and Melville, and found it to be a class where this arrogant asshole takes every opportunity to criticize the South and the people of the South, but he is a misogynist. ( I also suspect him to be a little racists) Maybe the book would have been better if taught by a professor who isnt' so judgemental and so rude. Someone who would be open to discussions, this was a seminar class, and one that was open to varieties of people and ideas. This man had one student, well this student seemed to get along with the professor and when the other students commented, he, the professor, would look at the other student and the two would make faces. Thus, few people commented.
Alas, I have only three more, say it again, three more days and I am free, free from his ramblings and his arrogance and his insecurities. Yes, he is insecure and that is why he picks on his students. He really wants to feel superior and he can do this by, yes, you got it, trying to make others feel less. Sometimes, I feel like one or more of the students in the class are going to jump up and scream and yell and hit and do damage, but the students have been pretty calm. Although, there have been a couple of times that heated moments have occurred. I usually laugh, yes that’s me, the laughing fool who just doesn’t want conflict. Please, let the last three days pass without conflict.
Oh, I forgot, this professor also spends a good protion of our class time telling us how stupid other professors are and how ingnorant his undergraduates are. Yep, he is a reall keeper.

All should be fair in crime and punishment

Having just read where the young woman in Florida was sentenced to house arrest after she was convicted of having sex, which is really rape, with a 14 year old boy, and then reading how she is too pretty to go to jail. What! I’m sorry, I am as liberal as the next person, but when a predator violates our children, and a fourteen year old is a child, then I am all for incarceration.

For those who have not read the story follow the link. I agree with this columnists that there is a need to treat sex criminals all the same. I especially felt nauseated by the pedophiles lawyer telling the judge that his client was too pretty to be in jail: "To place an attractive young woman in that kind of hell hole is like putting a piece of raw meat in with the lions," Lafave's attorney, John Fitzgibbons, said in July of the possibility of jail time. "I'm not sure she would survive."

A man, a woman, ugly, pretty, what does it matter. Does the crime mean less because a woman does it? Or a pretty woman does it? The scars are still there, the children still broken. I know, I have experience, the break, it never heals, comes back at the most unusual moments in the form of memory flashes. The fourteen year old boy will have these, yes he will, and it doesn’t matter if the flash he has is of a pretty woman, it matters that he has these bad memories that will haunt him, make him feel guilty, make him less. Pedophiles can’t be fixed, they will repeat offend, and while I am for treating these people well, by well I mean no torture or that kind of thing, but they don’t need to be free to hurt our children. Collectively, we have to pick and choose what we must do to protect the children, and it is pass laws that prevent pedophiles from having access, prevent them from assimilation, prevent them from getting out of jail free, prevent them from harming our kids. There are certain crimes that need mandatory sentences of say, life or life plus and sex crimes are those crimes. I say we should spend our money on rehabilitating those people who are convicted of drug charges and those convicted of child abuse. There are programs that will help them, they can get well, learn new ways to cope, but pedophiles and rapists, well statistics show they do not get better, they just learn how to not get caught.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

I am a chin-hair-plucker

I am an addicted chin-hair-plucker. It started out harmless, this huge black hair just popped out, and I plucked it, and that made me aware of a change, so I started looking for hairs and found a few blond ones, and so I plucked. It became a nightly thing, sitting in front of the mirror, plucking away, something I did alone, and if Mr. Zelda walked in, I put those tweezers away.
Now, I pluck at the stop light, after class, in the mall, in fact, I carry my favorite pluckers in my back pack, and as soon as I think I feel something, out they come and I pluck away. I can do the fast pluck with the hidden tweezers, so fast no one knows. Yep, I am my grandmother; she was like that, except she wouldn’t pluck all the time. I must say, while I am so eager to pluck, I really am not that hairy. I think it is an obsession but an obsession that I get a little pleasure from, my friend thinks it’s erotic, that plucking. I will not go that far, but I must say, it is a sensation that grows on you, not quite as good as sex, but better than biting my nails. There you have, Zelda1’s secret, it’s out, I am a chin-hair-plucker.

It's not pity, really it's not!

This is the time of the year that makes me totally crazy. I mean, papers are due, presentations are due, and I still have to buy Christmas gifts for my family. Ouch! Christmas and more holidays not cheer. OMG!

So, I go to my doctors every six months, you know the check ups, that is, if nothing happens in between. I try to schedule the appointments around the same time so that maybe I can knock off two in one day, not have to miss much of my life. Those doctors, my doctors! My doctors being, the shrink, the medical man, the arthritis man, the neuro guy, and the ortho guy—yep it’s all covered. While going to the doctor can be a good thing, for me it’s a bummer. My shrink increases my bi-polar meds, he doesn’t understand that I can’t actually begin the new dosages until I am out of school for the non-fucking-holidays; then there’s the arthritis man, who is so concerned about my rheumatoid arthritis that he sees nothing else, you know take care of the joints, no walking, no lifting, no living; then the neuro guy, well he focuses on my spinal cord, you know the one the drunk driver ruined and he, the doctor, reminds me that while I am walking a little the damage to my back is still there and any little thing can cause swelling or even worse—worse, what could be worse, been there, done that, so I ponder, any little thing, like dishes, laundry, lifting my grandbaby, what what, what can I do??? No answer. Then my medical doctor who takes care of my asthma and my ruined thyroid, the thyroid that was eaten up by the treatments for my arthritis—well that’s my theory. How good can liquid gold be? Or years of steroid use? So, I have seen the last of them, well the ortho was the last. Yesterday, he, the ortho doctor, tells me that I am going to have to quit walking, let my knees and hips rest he says. Who the fuck is this guy—quit walking indeed. I was in a fucking wheel chair for eight years, and I’m thinking, no I will not quit walking. So, he injects my knee with this fucking huge ass needle, no prep, no little needle first to deaden the skin or the subcutaneous tissue, fuck no, just a big fucking needle with a syringe filled with about 90cc of fluid. That’s three ounces. Yep three ounces right into the knee joint. I yell out, ouch and he says be still and I am being still seeings how I’m sitting up with my knee bent and he is shoving a fucking big assed needle in my knee. I cry, yes I cry. Then I feel ashamed that I have cried, never let them see you cry. That’s been my motto since, I don’t know, since I was five. I cried and that asshole just stood there like now what? Did I tell you I hate the medical profession, well I do.
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign. No damit I can’t read the sign, I don’t know what I am suppose to do. Walk, don’t walk, eat meat, don’t eat meat. Fuck, I am burning here. Now, I am thinking I might as well just eat shit and die, no not really cause that eating shit isn’t on my list of dietary stuff and dying, well I don’t want to die until my grandsons are grown, somebody has to keep them grounded, and sane, imagine that, me the fucked up insane woman worrying about keeping my grandchildren sane.
I don’t know, ramblings of a nut case, an about to drown person, well actually, not drowning because I can’t swim in a pool because the chlorine sets off a set of respiratory problems that leads to very severe bronchitis, so no drowning oh and I don’t swim in water that is not clear, that’s the bi-polar nut part of me. If I don’t see the bottom, then there might be crawly things and gross things and mud between my toes and snakes and frogs and no, not going there.
I have pondered, not recently, but I have pondered the best ways to die—I don’t want to suffer, you know like with a really painful disease, wait, I have that really painful disease so I am suffereing, but I mean like with a gun shot or hanging or anything that would involve one moment of maybe wanting to change my mind, and there’s like this half blown out brain and I’m like whoops this was a really bad idea and then a second or two later, I am dead. See, that’s why suicide will not work with me, I am forever changing my mind, Whoops, can I have that bullet back, whoops, can I still reach that rope and take off my neck, whoops, have the pills dissolved yet. See, I can’t even end anything.
Well, I am good for the next six months. Well, that’s a lie, I have to go back to the Ortho man, he wants to watch my knees and make me feel badly that I can’t walk, can’t lose weight, and that I am only fifty years old and in 15 to 20 years, well the knees will be beyond repair. So, what are you saying, I mean it, don’t hold back, please tell me the bad news, let me have it, I am going to be crippled, You stupid fucktard, I have been crippled physically since I was five and mentally since I was nine, go away.

Friday, November 18, 2005

A night with Amy Tan.

Last night, I had the privilege to hear Amy Tan read from her most recent novel. In addition, she told a lot of personal antidotes about her life, her mother, and even talked about the death of her father and brother. It was, without a doubt, one of the major moments in my life. It will go down with moments like hearing Sandra Cisneros read, meeting Bill and Hillary, and meeting John Travolta, howbeit through the window of his car. It’s all-good.

But Amy Tan, I must tell you she is great. Now, when I read her novels, I will hear her voice, her physical voice, and it will make the novel much more intimate. It’s like when I heard from a tape Gwendolyn Brooks reading her poem “We Real Cool”. Now, when I see the poem, remember the poem, or hear others read the poem, it is her voice that I hear, her inflections on certain words and briskness on others. That, that is how I will always read Tan, I will read it with her voice in my head. If you ever get a chance to hear one of your favorite authors read, even if it is on a tape, do it. It makes the much more intense.

Anyway, Afterwards I stood in line for about an hour waiting for her to autograph my book. The moment came when I stood in front of her and I had practiced really cool things to say and she asked me was the book for me and I fumbled with my words and tried not to blush and finally yes came out. I thanked her for the autograph and moved on and then it occurred to me, maybe my thanks was not sincere, maybe I didn’t truly appreciate that she was signing over 399 books, because many of the 399 people there, bought ten or more books for her to sign. Her hand must have been hurting, and to be put on display like that, oh my god. I wasn’t grateful enough. Book signings are for the fans no matter what people think, oh there were hundreds of her books bought last night, but truthfully, she didn’t have to sign every single book or page of autograph book or sheet of folded paper, but she did and she did it so gracefully with her two tiny dogs in her lap and with such a smile on her face for each and every person who passed her way.

Later, I had coffee and breakfast with friends and we went over the night, nerds we are, all three of us in the Master’s program, all three of us writers and lovers of great books. We discussed our favorite poems and it got down to more intimate things like explaining to me what a Jacob’s ladder and a Prince Albert are. I am fifty they are less than 25 and I must say, things are different but so many things are the same. They loved Amy and we all agreed that she is one of our favorite writers. It’s amazing that she writes like me, she uses incidents in her own life, from her childhood, from her mother and grandmother’s life and she makes fiction from all those stories or memories.

I hope someday to have a book out or many books out and people love the book so much they are willing to stand in line for hours to get my signature and I hope that I am as graceful and sweet as Mrs. Tan. Oh how sweet life is.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Over the hills and though the woods.

Next week is Thanksgiving and I am already getting the all-back-together-again jitters. The eldest of our family, who is a cruel alcoholic, will come, and he is bringing our uncle, the uncle with Alzheimer’s. That means that we will all feel really bad that Mom’s baby brother can’t remember who he is, and because of that, we will think of Mom and how much we miss her and how long she has been gone and what the last year of her life was like and then it will get around to the babies, my younger sister and me.

Or they will talk about how far I have come, you know, me being a crippled and all, how I fought my way out of that wheel chair and how they thought I would never walk again and how close I came to being put in a nursing home at age 37. That will force me to have to remember those eight awful years that I was in a wheel chair and had no control over anything in my life.

By the time we sit down to eat, my brother will be looped drunk and will see if he can make any of my sisters cry. He doesn’t do that to me because he knows that I am crazy and will tell him to fuck off. They, on the other hand, will just take his verbal abuse until he hurts them so badly that they one at a time will eventually leave the table crying. It’s a sick game he has played since he was a kid, that being mean to my older sisters. They are nearer his age than my younger sister and I.

I will have to defend a million times why I am in school and what I am studying and why I don’t want to just sit at home and draw disability. I will have to code switch and be like them, and I hate that being like them, talking close to them and knowing that I have more to say and wish I could say it but can’t because then I would be Ms smarty pants who got a degree and is in graduate school. It sucks coming from poor white trash.

They will discuss religion and politics, and I will bite my tongue until it bleeds because I know they don’t know the bible or politics, and it hurts me to hear the men say the world is in mess because of the woman leaving the home, the woman getting those abortions, the women taking charge of their families, and I look around and think who in their right minds would let a bunch of deranged relatives of mine control anything? They will invariably discuss homosexuality and lesbians, and I look at all my cousins and nephews and nieces and wonder how in the world our family is so heterosexual, and then I see some of their eyes and feel their secrets and know they are not what they seem and wish that our family were more accepting and they could live their real life, the life that was meant for them to live.

My children will be there and while I love my children, my daughter is not really doing well these days and if she makes one little mistake; says one thing that will open the door, the sisters, that is what we call my older sisters, will give her a lecture on how she has let them down. At that point, I will have to wink at her and let her know that I understand her pain, I, too, have been there. She will go outside to smoke and then get high with one of her good cousins who maintains a good life even though they are drug users.

Finally it will be over and I will take my empty dishes, my grandsons, and my nervous stomach home. I will ruminate the events of the day and think why didn’t I say this or that. I will be thankful that it is over for another year and I will vow that next year I am not going to put myself through that mess again, but I know that next year I will be in the same fucked up place. Thank the gods for xanax of which I will take many on my trip down the mountain. Then I will not want to kill or wound to many of my pigheaded family.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Just another day

Yesterday was laundry day. I hate it. It’s the only day that my husband and I are both free to do clothes. He carries them down and I wash, dry, and fold or hang them up, and he carries them back upstairs. It’s an ordeal. Not because clothes are so hard, but because I can’t lift, can’t carry, can’t do any of those things that make chores easy.

It’s also our big shopping day, but my knee, the good one, is bad and so he went alone. He bought way too much junk food. I put the groceries up, and he stands behind me explaining why we need so much ice cream and those cookies were on sale and the pie is like homemade. I say but do we really need the extra calories, and he says well no but we do need rewards for good behavior, and I say that food isn’t a reward but a fuel and the sooner he starts treating it as such the more weight he and I will lose. Simple as that.

After all our Sunday work was done, I tried to finish the novel that I am reading for my 20th cent American Lit., but it is so boring, and I am thinking why am I reading this?, and then I remember the pages left to translate in my Latin book, so I do my Latin and leave my lit alone. I have less than 48 hours to read of this extremely political boring book. But on the bright note, laundry and shopping are done, and my Latin is done.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Tainting Minds

I had to sit in on one of my contemporary’s class. It’s for an evaluation, one for the strong points one for the weak points of her teaching techniques. Her class is small, most have dropped, but she did a really good job in helping her students come to ideas about their final research paper.

There was one girl in the class, however, a shy girl, and her topic, the topic she wants to research, is why Harry Potter books should be banned. The problem, she says, is that the books promote witchcraft and cause young minds to consort with the devils. She thinks that books like the Potter books should not even be allowed in the library. I, being the devil’s advocate, asked her what about those parents who do not want their children’s reading list picked by other parents. She says it’s up to the Christian community to take a stand and protect those children whose parents are not going to step up to the plate.

Okay, I know there are people like that in this world, especially in Arkansas, but she is not even 20. How can a 20 year-old have such a narrow vision?

One of the other students said that if a boy can buy a condom why can’t he read a book? Her point, while liking a sophisticated argument, was clear. It didn’t take the class but a few minutes to split into two opposing sides, one for banning, and one for not banning.

The students were passionate in their stances. The teacher became the moderator and it was so hard for me to not give my opinion but I was quiet. The student left unswayed by her opposition and is going to write the paper. I am happy my contemporary will be grading it and not me; although, I think I could do so without being tainted by my own opinions. At least none of her students chose the abortion issue.

When Smoking Isn't Groovy

Lately, I have been seeing a lot of people smoking, I guess, since living in a smoke free town, smoke free as in no smoking inside of stores, restaurants, bars that serve food, and all other enclosed areas, has brought smokers out in groves to their designated smoking areas. Even our townhouse community is smoke free. How cool is that? But, in spite of all the votes that are speaking for the majority that they don’t want smokers in their direct areas and the information from the American Cancer and the American Heart Associations, people are still smoking.

That brings me to question what is the reason? I mean a fifty something man or woman can not possibly still be smoking to look cool, nor can a thirty something still be smoking to defy their parents. So, I wonder what the cause is: the chemicals inside the cigarettes are addictive but many have quit, many have kicked the addiction to testify later that their lungs feel so much better, they sleep better, they breathe better, they can walk again, talk again, and some even get their clear voices back, instead of that hoarse old-worn-out woman or man voice. I wonder why they don’t quit.

My brother, the only one of eight remaining of my siblings who smokes, has emphysema and he smokes two packs a day. When I go to visit him, I can not go in his house because of my lungs being so sensitive to the smoke so he comes to my hotel room and his breathing is horrible, his smell is horrible, and his color and voice and all of those things that were so cool when he was young, now all gone. He looks 80 instead of 68 and he knows he is going to die soon. The last time I saw him, I begged him to quit smoking, but he said he can’t and that he doesn’t believe the cigarettes hurt but help his breathing. I wonder what is so bad about living that he is slowly killing himself.

Which brings me to another point, why do educated people smoke? We all know better, we are believers in the scientific community and are able to read the studies, but for the most part we, not me but others, still smoke. I know that pork is not good for me, so I gave up pork. Good for me!! I didn’t give it up for me, I gave it up for my grandsons, I have to be there when they are grown, when they get married or fall in love or find a life mate, when they bring their own families into being. I want to be old and still be teaching and reading and going to the desert to look for petrified wood, to climb the mountains to find that one perfect water fall. I want to live. I want my friends and family to live too, and I want those educated people who are still smoking to just one more time read the literature on smoking. Study the studies, and look at the medical evidence, then decide if they are ready to battle diseases that cannot be won. I want those people who I don't know, to quit smoking and live long and healthy lives. Is that too much to ask?

Friday, November 11, 2005

My Schedule not my Vagina

Okay, having grossed you all out about my vagina, I will try to tell you uplifting things, things that make for good dinner conversation or not. I have my classes for next semester picked and I am pumped, I am going to take really cool things, learn really cool things, and have all new classmates, that’s the good thing, NO MORE UNDERGRADUATES IN MY GRADUATE CLASSES.

Undergraduates need to be led to the hidden text, to the deeper meaning, and they want to argue the text with the subtext and it’s like trying to feed a baby steak when they have no teeth and when they choke it scares you but you keep on trying. That’s what it’s like being in class with undergraduates. The professor has to feed them baby food and when the graduates want steak he cuts tiny tiny pieces and we have to watch the undergraduates choke.

From here on out, the only undergrads I want in my class are those that I am spoon feeding. Yes, that is it.

Warning: Vagina Talk Here!

About four years ago, I started going through menopause. I thought I was pregnant, what a nightmare, but found out that instead of being pregnant, I was doing the little pre-menopausal thing, missing a period here and there and then after a year of that, I began the missing periods for six months at a time and those god awful hot flashes began, not the little ones where I felt a little heat.

It’s funny, I remember what I was doing when I learned JFK had been shot, the first time I saw the Beatles, when Martin Luther King was killed, my first period, and all those first of adolescents. I may, someday, forget all of those things, but I will never forget that first hot flash. I could have heated an entire city with all that heat, and it came from deep inside and burned like hell, and I poured off sweat and in a flash, it was gone.

Well, I went through two really flashy years and finally the periods stopped, my mood swings returned to just manic and depressed, and I began to see the world optimistically again. I still had hot flashes but I wasn’t going to take hormones and felt they couldn’t last forever.

Then, after two years of no periods, I began having them again. Can you hear me say fuck that! My doctor found a great big old tumor, 18 pounds worth and for a while there was a question as to it being malignant or not and then they did a total hysterectomy. I refused the hormone replacement. I jokingly said, “If the chin hairs get too much, I’ll join the circus.” My little doctor, who looked all of ten, didn’t get it and so I just sat there. She gave me a cream, an estrogen cream, that she said I needed and she gave me a sex talk about how women and men in their 50s can still have great sex and I thought where the fuck is this coming from? So, she told me about Ky jel, and I thought honey I have had more sex, in more positions than you can even imagine and you are giving me a sex talk. But I smiled, tried not to laugh, and accepted her little brochures about sex after 50.

She told me the cream was going to keep my vagina young. I thought, my husband has a 55-year-old penis, why do I want a young vagina. She told me it would make sex easier, and I thought, I have fucking arthritis in my knees and hips, how easy does she think sex can be, but I smiled and took the prescription, even got it filled, and even used it for a week. I must say, I don’t like putting melting thick creams inside of me so I stopped. Bad mistake.

What she didn’t tell me was that keeping my vagina young amounted to keeping it from atrophying. Now who would have thought a vagina could shrivel up. Isn’t that every stretched out twats dream.

Then, I had symptoms of something, and when I took all those antibiotics for my pneumonia/strep throat I developed a terrible yeast infection, and so I took the requisite pill for that, and it didn’t seem to be going away. So, I got down the mirror, and I know you all know which mirror I am talking about. That mirror, the one that fits nicely between my legs and allows me to investigate my exterior genitalia. I haven’t done it in a while, looked at myself, but it was burning, and I figured first I will look before going back to the ten-year-old gynecologists. She, my vagina, looked differently. My three pubic hairs that I have cultured all these years, gone and the landmarks had changed. I searched the Internet for the solutions to my problem. After only a few hits, I found it, I have an atrophied vagina. I called the ten-year-old doctor and asked if it was too late to get my vagina back, and she says use the cream, and so I am using the cream.
I know this is personal and gross but I just wanted to share with all my blogger friends, all ten of you that just like breasts change, a vagina will change too. There should be commercials like the tampon commercial warning women that vaginas change. Now, I have a reason to avoid sex, I have an atrophied vagina, one that is fragile, one that will tear and burn, one that needs sitz baths, one that might totally disappear. Can you imagine, no vagina? By the way, Mr. Zelda is being very supportive of my anatomical dilemma. It’s true, you don’t miss what you have until it’s gone. Someone said to me that I should be glad that I don’t have periods and I am glad about that, but shit, there are so many things that the ovaries and uterus do besides make you bleed and cause cramps and make it possible to grow babies. There is hope on this horizon; my vagina can be repaired with lots of the cream and tender loving care. I wonder what 80 year-old women do? Will I, at 80, still want to maintain my vagina? Or will I say fuck this too and let her go? Is there a time when we should let our vaginas go and what about the penis? If it quits working should men risk a heart attack and take those hard-on drugs? Fuck, getting old is a pisser.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A Stranger In The Dark!

I went to a thing last night. I have been having a time with my knees and after I walked as far as I could back to the car, Mr. Zelda went the rest of the distance and came picked me up. While I was sitting on the steps waiting, a kid approached me for a light. I told him I don’t smoke, he says he should quit, and then he sits next to me on the steps. I am not fearful of being raped or anything like that, but he scared me. Sitting there next to me like that. I had no purse, not phone, no nothing and wondered of Mr. Zelda could see me. He asked me if I was a teacher and I said no, a student. He then asked me if I lived up here and I said yes with my husband. I saw the lights from our car coming up the road, and I quickly said there is my husband. He said, let me walk you to the car. Damnit am I so tainted by mean people that I didn’t recognize a young man being nice? He walked me to the car and said it was real nice talking to me. I said you too and hope to see you around campus. Then I said wait. We have a lighter in our car somewhere, and he found it and lit his cigarette. Then we drove away.

Poor Students

The university where I am doing graduate work has mostly rich kids living off of their parents. Well, that is the undergraduate. They drive really new and expensive cars and have all the trendy gear attached to them, the cell phone, the ipod, the laptop, and things I am not familiar with or have ever seen but they seem to play games with these things. But then there are a few who are there because they work part time jobs, get government loans and grants and they live day to day. I see these kids and know them and their life. They are who I was years ago. One guy can’t afford to buy a dictionary; it’s out of his budget until he gets his school money for the spring. I looked and had an extra one, not a great one, but it was okay so I gave it to him, secretly, after class.

He tells me he lost his job, had to miss work to study. His rent is paid, though and he has some food, but he will probably lose his electricity before next semester begins. Why is it so hard to get an education? The government should celebrate students like John. He is the first from his family to go to college, one of the few who even graduated high school, and now he is struggling to survive just so he can finish college. It makes me sad to see single mothers, fathers, and unsupported kids, trying to struggle through school. I offer them food, buy them lunch, and tell them to come by my house for supper, but that isn’t enough. He makes really good grades and loves school and told me he won’t drop unless he starts to starve. I contacted the financial aide people on his behalf and they said they can only do what the grants and loans allow them to, but that the churches often are a resource. Today, I am going to call the churches and see if one of those people walk the walk and if they do, maybe they will take care of John for a few weeks. It could happen.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

A grandmother's love

My one-year-old grandson spent the night Thursday night. He is no longer looking like a baby but has the little boy face. All his teeth are in and his smile is so precious. He is talking up a storm and when he comes to words he doesn’t know, he makes them up including the appropriate facial language to go along with the gibberish. He is the baby that almost died. The pediatrician kept misdiagnosis him and by the time he was nearing two months old, he had lost below his birth weight and they kept saying it was his formula. He wasn’t having bowel movements, and I was giving him tiny little enemas, which the doctors at children’s hospital said saved his life. It was the only fluids he was getting. He had a duodenal stenosis that closed completely off and finally I called the doctor and said, “You will see this baby today.” She looked at him, did an x-ray and jet flew him to Little Rock to Children’s. It took those doctors three days of intense intravenous feedings to build him up enough for the surgery. For those three days, they kept the baby knocked out, provided one of us hold him and keep him moving from side to side and up and down so to prevent stasis pneumonia. I did that, I kept the baby on my chest for those three days and the only time I didn’t hold him was to go to the bath room. He sucked my finger and I gave him tiny drops of water to keep his mouth moist, he looked at me and didn’t understand why he couldn’t have a bottle, it was the hardest thing I ever had to deal with, watching my grandson starve. But, they did the surgery and he responded well and now he is a ball of energy, that one. Back to the original story, he spent the night with me and before I took him home, he and I went out for ribs. I thought chicken but when I asked him if he wanted chicken or ribs, he said ribs. I know, he didn’t know what he was saying, but he ate three ribs. When I got him home, his older brother was there and his mother tells me she has no food. I make her make a list and she makes a conservative list. I go to the store and spend close to 200 dollars on food for the boys until she gets her food card. She doesn’t work, she doesn’t go to school, and we, my son, my husband and I, foot the bill for her to live the life of luxury. I know, it’s wrong, but my alternative is to say tuff love and you can not live in my house, and I won’t pay the bills, and you don’t need food, which by the way, means my grandchildren are homeless, foodless, and all of that. So, this week, my husband and I will live frugally so that my grandchildren have good food. I told my sister that my daughter has me trapped and she said I should file for custody of my babies but then I would lose. I already checked with an attorney and as long as she is clean, which she is, and is keeping a safe and clean environment, which she does, for the children, I don’t have a leg to stand on. I am going to start an editing business so that I can do it on the weekends and hopefully make enough money to support her and the boys until she grows up. I wonder if she will, grow up that is, before she hits 30?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Even Old Coots Leave a Mark

It is so freaking cool today, and I love it. This is the time of year that makes me want to play baseball. I know, baseball is a summer sport, but when I was a kid, we played from spring until it got way too cold. My best time was the fall, less breathing problems. I always hit the ball but had a little kid, Johnny, run for me because of my legs being messed up from the polio. I hit that ball so far, way past outfield and into Mr. Sewell’s yard. Sometimes he came out and took our balls inside and kept them. He was a mean man who had bobtailed cats. When it was too dark to play ball, we used to sit and tell scary stories and most of them involved Mr. Swell. We thought he might be a werewolf and that he ate children.

One day, I hit the ball clean into his yard and up to his kitchen window and it broke the window. He came running out so angry and all the other kids ran and of course I couldn’t run so he caught me as I was trying to hobble away. He kept shaking me. You’re mom is going to pay for this he said. I started to cry and before I knew it, my mom was crossing the street with her eyes squinted up and she knocked him flat on his ass and said, don’t you ever grab one of my kids again you sorry son of a bitch. Then she half carried, half pulled me home. The next day, my uncle went over and fixed the old coot’s window. When Mr. Sewell died, he left all his cats and no children and no relatives. The city took the house and the neighbors took the cats. My mom let me keep one, it was a shinny black one and I called him wolf.
My sister still lives in the old neighborhood and there are still offspring of those bobtails running the neighborhood. Every time we get together, especially if we are sitting in the swing which faces the lot where he used to live, we talk about that old man. Funny, he had no children, no siblings, no one, but he has been immortalized in my stories and the stories of all the kids from our neighborhood. Everyone has a crazy story about Old-Man Swell.