Posted in Almost Dorothy, Characters, covid19, Poetry, The Potty Mouth Interviews

Breaking News: Ma Interviews Donald Trump

On Juneteenth, Ma interviews @realDonaldTrump before he heads to Tulsa, Oklahoma for the first rally of his 2020 reelection campaign. No animals or humans were harmed during this interview. We’re not sure what happened after.

Ma: Mr. “President”, you’re headed to Tulsa, Oklahoma for a big ass #MAGA rally where there’s also a major spike in Covid-19 hospitalizations. Patients are inundating hospitals and overwhelming the healthcare system. By ‘inundating’ I mean that a lot of sick ass people are swamping the hospitals because they’re very very sick. By “swamping” the hospitals I mean very very sick people are overrunning the concrete building in which sick ass people go to get help. Patients are taxing the local healthcare system and putting nurses and doctors at risk of death. By “taxing” I mean the money that you never pay to the federal government because you’re a fraud and a cheat. By fraud and cheat see @realDonaldTrump. Anyway, wtf do you have to say for yourself?

Ma: Seriously, wtf is your problem?

Ma: Mr. “President”, aren’t you shooting your supporters in the face by holding this rally in an enclosed space for an extended period of time?

Ma: Why is Tulsa, Oklahoma so important to you?

Ma: What?

Ma: Are you saying that we shouldn’t test and that would make the pandemic go away?

Ma: Mr. “President”, as of today, there’ve been 121,000+ Covid-19 related deaths in the United States. I’m starting to lose my paint chips. What do you have to say about these deaths and to the rally-goers you’ll put at risk?

Ma: Is the pandemic under control in America?

Ma: I get the impression that you don’t care about the American people or your supporters. In fact, it seems like you want to make love to the stock market. (My daughter laughs and says you don’t know how to make love.) Mr. “President”, do you know how to make love?

Ma: Mr. “President”, I get the impression you don’t like yourself.

Ma: Mr. “President”, what makes you happy?

Ma: Mr. “President”, what do you love most?

Ma: If you could be anything, Mr. “President”, what would you be?

Ma: How will history remember you?

Ma: Mr. “President”, let’s reflect upon the last 3 years. Despite being a total piece of shit, I’m mean, the combined sewage systems of New York City, Philadelphia and Atlanta, what would you say is your greatest accomplishment as “President”?

Ma: What’s your 2nd biggest accomplishment?

Ma: Sorry, Mr. “President”. I couldn’t hear you. Care to repeat your answer?

Ma: Dude, what’s your 2nd biggest accomplishment as “President”?

Ma: Ok, so, your 2nd biggest accomplishment is closing the border and ending flights. Whatever happened to the wall?

Ma: I was a hooker once. Not surprised you gave $19.9 million to improve Hooker’s Point. Do you know “Hooker’s Point”?

Ma: Mr. “President”, I’m tired of your bullshit. I’m tired of your “Presidency”. I’m tired of your license to destroy the lives of working class Americans. It’s been unprecedented and everyday it seems like a new precedent is set. By “precedent” I don’t mean “President.” I, like 30+ million other Americans, are unemployed. I need to feed my kid. I need to feed my self. I need a roof over my head. I need health insurance. I need a surgical mask. Look at me. Not those. Look at me here. Into my eyes. Do you have any regrets?

Ma: Are you fucking serious? That’s it?

Ma: I’m sorry, Mr. “President”. It’s just a pen. I’m a journalist. I write shit. One last chance, any regrets?

Posted in Almost Dorothy, Bobo the Mutt, Characters, covid19, The Mother, Themes

Fimble-famble

Ma woke up depressed, which means she didn’t wake up at all. Bobo the Mutt and I howled and jumped on the bed. Scared the hell out of her. Her eyes discombobulated when they opened. Some of her hair fell out. She batted the air with catastrophic force and her tongue lit. “You foul-smelling cunctators,” she shouted. “Get me my gun!” I lit the cigarette to shut her up. Bobo the Mutt licked her butt. She uncocked the Glock and slipped it back underneath her pillow. I regretted waking her up.

It’s been 33 days of pure isolation and 36 days since ma lost her full-time gig at the bar she called home. The death toll from the virus surged to 37,086 from 21,418 just 6 days ago. There’s really not much else to do but apply for food stamps and unemployment, but the government websites don’t work, so ma made amends to the gods she called friends. It didn’t work.

“Let’s take a yoga class,” I suggested. Ma looked at me and I looked at her. This lasted for about 60 seconds. “Fine,” she said. “I”ll wear my Lululemons.” Ma doesn’t own Lululemons, but she puts lemons in her sportsbra to make her look more crapulous. I searched for “Joachim’s Hot Yoga For Beginners: Pandemic Edition” on ma’s Facebook.

Joachim is a retired elementary school teacher who has way too much time on his hands. He is self-taught, which means he sucks at yoga, but he looks good in athletic wear, which means he doesn’t wear athletic wear. He doesn’t wear anything at all. He’s a yogi, of sorts, the kind that makes you think about the loneliness he must endure. This is fine for ma. Ma has reached the age where form and function are incongruous like Joachim backlit on his patio teaching yoga to vampires in the nude.

The class elevated ma’s mood and stretched her mind. We did down dog, warrior pose, tree pose, upward facing dog pose, warrior II pose, bound ankle pose, and seated forward fold. We also did camel pose, plank pose, side plank, the other side plank, and planted cactus pose. It was a good workout, but ma didn’t really participate in the physical sense. She just watched Joachim stretch his buns in his invisible Lululemons.

“He’s a hot diddy,” ma said. I couldn’t take the temperature of his nipples, but ma was satisfied. That’s all that mattered. Joachim’s insatiable stretching and encouraging words disappeared the prevalence of sadness in our house. When the class ended, ma gave Joachim a vociferous standing ovation. “What a laniferous body you have,” she shouted. Her overzealous smile lasted a generation after Joachim cut the feed.

“Let’s eat,” ma said. “I’m famished.”

Bobo the Mutt licked his butt. Ma crawled into bed instead. I Googled “how to apply for food assistance” and “when will it end” in multiple languages.


I dare you to find the fimble-famble and post it comments.

Posted in Almost Dorothy, Characters, The Mother

The Seelie Court

Easter is ma’s favorite holiday, but it reminds me of the time we spent huddled together with our Seelie Court in a Port-A-Potty while hiding from the cops after throwing rolls of toilet paper at churchgoers. Easter is also ma’s favorite holiday because it’s the only holiday in recorded human history that celebrates someone who (supposedly) has (or is) risen from the dead. The kitchen table is set. The bacon is burnt. The eggs are too wet, but I don’t care because ma is risen from the bed. Bobo the Mutt howls aimlessly in the backyard because he is a fact of canine history. He is also risen from the dead.

“It’s incredible,” ma says. “Truly remarkable. A man rises from the dead when most men can’t even rise out of bed. Truly, remarkable.” (I never know where to place the comma. Commas are the common enemy.)

“Ma, you rose from the dead,”  I say.

“For that mimosa,” she says. “Let’s drink to that!”

We drink to that. We drink to this. Ma giggles. I laugh. I’m not of age, but it doesn’t matter because I’m not real and the cops can’t arrest magic. I’m not part of the official record of human history, anyway. I’m just a fiction unburdened by my own holiday.

“Pour me another one,” she says.

Ma is an insatiable bèbè.

It’s been 7 days since ma lost her job, or was fired, or laid off, or furloughed until better days. It hasn’t been a holiday and we’re still waiting for our Pandemic Impact Payment from the IRS. Ma has been a real hot & cold mess and her hair is falling out or off. I can’t tell if it’s the weave coming undone or her real hair or both. Ma got the chills and the shakes last night. She rattled her teeth and mumbled in Roman Numerals, which sound a lot like regular numbers, but more sophisticated. She kept repeating 21418, 21418, 21418. It was, by far, her best Glenn Close moment ever. I was terrified.

The first thing I do every morning is log onto ma’s busted up laptop from 2006 and visit the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard to see the total confirmed infections and total confirmed deaths in the United States and around the world. Every morning I visit the dashboard and hover the mouse over the county in which we live. Every morning I click on that bright red dot that reveals the total number of confirmed infections and deaths in my county.  Our country is all lit. I travel from state to state, city to city, to visit the dead. It’s a morbid Easter Egg Hunt. These red dots are all I have to make some sense out of this catastrophe. Ma doesn’t make much sense. She never did.

This morning I logged on again. Total confirmed deaths in the United States: 21,418. I closed the laptop and took a bit of burnt bacon. Ma looked at me all serious and crusty-eyed because she knows I only like medium rare bacon. “21,418,” she said. I nodded my head. She didn’t waste the last sip of her mimosa before she spoke again. “Real people don’t rise from the dead,” she said. “Not even fairies like you and me.”

Ma broke her smile. Bobo the Mutt went silent. I crossed my legs. The eggs.

 

**The Seelie Court were described as those fairies who would seek help from humans, warn those who have accidentally offended them, and return human kindness with favors of their own. Still, a fairy belonging to this court would avenge insults and could be prone to mischief.

 

Posted in Almost Dorothy, Characters, Family, The Mother, Themes

I Don’t Take Responsibility At All!

On March 13th, 2016, ma got a real job. That’s when she told me that I couldn’t be real. The bottom line: ma didn’t want the new employer to find out that I’m real and that we’re related. Ma didn’t want them to find out that we have opinions about things beyond our socio-economic status. Ma wanted to be part of the real economy. I just wanted ma to feel real.

“Shut that shit down,” ma said. By shit, ma meant my blog. By my blog, ma meant me and every single word and syllable that made me possible.

But, I shut it down. I shut myself down for ma because she is my number one and my number two. I shut that shit down so fast lightning’s got nothing on me. I did it for ma because of everything that she has done for me, which really wasn’t much except for providing a roof over my head, at least for most of my existence. Even when we lived in a Buick, we had roof over our heads. Most of all, I did it for ma because who the hell am I to stand in her way, which is always-always our way. We have always been one through the ups and downs and even the eventhoughs.

On March 13th, 2016, ma walked in on me writing what would be my final blog post.  “Girl, I got a real job now with real responsibilities. We can’t be acting all ‘fuck this’ and ‘fuck that.'” “Does this mean you’ll be wearing clothes at work?” I asked. “Of course,” ma said. “Well, probably. Depends.”

I never trust ma for more than 30 seconds, but her new job lasted much longer than I expected. Exactly 4 years to be exact. It was a difficult time for me. I only had the memory of my best friend Bobo the Mutt to keep me occupied at night when I was alone and ma was at work participating in the real economy. Ma stopped drinking. I stopped writing. Ma stopped smoking. I started drinking. Ma stopped being ridiculously cruel and insensitive. I became a ridiculously cruel and insensitive drinker. Ma started reading the newspaper. I stopped reading.

Those were the worst years of my life.

I haven’t grown much in 4 years. I still wear the same red shoes because no matter how hard ma worked she never ever made enough in the real economy to accommodate our real needs, but none of that matters anymore. We can barely afford the Buick over our heads now.

On March 13th, 2020, exactly 4 years after my last blog post, ma lost her job, meaning ma lost her way home after getting laid off because there’s no work left for a women behind a bar in city without tourists in the real economy during a pandemic that no one wants to take responsibility for.

Not even the “President” of The United Sates.

“I don’t know what we’re going to do,” ma said. She was all serious, head down and hands up. The wounds of the past opened up. Secondhand smoke never smelled so good. I mixed her favorite drink.

“I didn’t think he would be elected,” she said. That’s when she puffed a giant cloud of smoke in my face. I inhaled every molecule of that cloud. Even though ma voted for him (twice), once with her real ID and once with her fake ID, she thought he’d never be real REAL. “Who could have imagined?” ma asked. “I don’t know, but what matters is what matters next,” I said.

That’s when I rolled her up in my favorite blanket, pulled out a ragged copy of our favorite story and read to her.

“That night, and for many nights after, the Velveteen Rabbit slept in the Boy’s bed. At first he found it rather uncomfortable, for the Boy hugged him very tight, and sometimes he rolled over on him, and sometimes he pushed him so far under the pillow that the Rabbit could scarcely breathe. And he missed, too, those long moonlight hours in the nursery, when all the house was silent, and his talks with the Skin Horse. But very soon he grew to like it, for the Boy used to talk to him, and made nice tunnels for him under the bedclothes that he said were like the burrows the real rabbits lived in. And they had splendid games together, in whispers, when Nana had gone away to her supper and left the nightlight burning on the mantelpiece. And when the Boy dropped off to sleep, the Rabbit would snuggle down close under his little warm chin and dream, with the Boy’s hands clasped close round him all night long.”

Ma hasn’t left my bed since that day, but it’s okay. I’ve got her back and a plan to burrow us back from the brink of disaster. I’ve also got her drivers license and access to her vast  wardrobe of impeccably questionable taste.

“What is real REAL is what you make of it,” ma said that day in 2016. This time, I won’t give up even if it comes for me.