I think we will carry on with
serious words and nervous gestures.
A day before or after
a wrestling match and too much laughter.
Maybe in my front yard
or at the beach.
Maybe wine will be involved
One of us should stop talking,
and acquire more camping supplies.
It was the deathbed. Like the Death Star but with less weaponry. They bring the death bed in when you sign up for hospice. Along with the death bed they give you nurses that are always stuck in traffic and a booklet that sums up the days of your loved one’s dying process. It was my grandmother this time.
Within these days she went from walking, telling jokes and laughing to bed-ridden and incoherent. This was unfortunate because I had finally gotten the pot brownies and was taking them to her. They wanted to try medical marijuana on the down low. This I could do. I can get weed. I can get pot brownies. I can get pot lollipops if that one guy would just wake up and remember to get them for me. Holy shit! If those Russian crusty punks would get back from California then I could get hash that you brew with your coffee.
They said I was going overboard. I just wanted to sit with her in her hell-fire hot living room and watch The Bachelor a few more times laughing.
That’s the thing about cancer. Some forms of cancer are merely thirsty and looking for shelter while others have a monstrous need to devour a body. And they don’t fuck around, wasting time.
Death happens in threes and she was my third. Third funeral in the last half of 2012. The last two were a week apart. One the weekend before Christmas and then my grandmother’s funeral the weekend after. I saw my grandmother everyday while growing up. I saw her as much as I saw my parents as an adult, which could be once a week or so. I can say at times I was closer to her then my mother. I liked her better. She was funnier, more generous in spirit and she gave me a ton of barbie dolls.
The night I found out, I had to write out the following rules and then go out and do as many of them as possible.
1. Get buck wild if you want to.
2. Stay in, turn off your phone and log off facebook if you want.
3. Do both.
4. Basically do whatever is going to help you feel human.
5. Plan your alcohol list for the evening. Whiskey and ginger ale and then Tecate always make me happy.
6. Be with your friends. Share stories about your lost loved one. Share stupid stories about yourself. Let people laugh because when they do, their eyes crinkle around the corners and the light hits their pupils. It is as if they flash their happiness at you.
7. Don’t talk. Let your friends talk around you and be comfortable in your silence. Let their presence hug the loneliness out of you. The one thing that can be worse than being single around the holidays is being single around the holidays and going to funerals. Family members like to scrutinize singleness. And suggest online dating.
So be happy as long as your are and then be sad for as long as you want. Who cares if the numbness breaks at 1 am after a few more whisky drinks. Let it seep out. Your friends get it.
This rule applies for a party or house show.
If the police warns you that you are too loud and everyone must leave, don’t go. Instead, when the officer shuts the door, cheer loudly as if someone just scored a touchdown. Do this only twice. Because if he warns you a third time then the police officer is going to start arresting people left and right.
I can’t help it if certain home-renters want to let a hundred wild drooling fools into their home to drink keg beer and listen to bands. And I cannot stop a mob of drunks for cheering a cop by throwing their hands up and screaming wildly as soon as the cop shuts the door. Who am I to stand out in a crowd like this? I better blend in. Throw my own fist in the air and cheer for the cop’s half-ass attempt at noise complaints. WEEEE.
However, the third time he had to come back to tell us to leave, we should have left. Maybe we should have pretended to leave, or pretended to be quiet. I remember the same cop warning us, and everybody was anticipating the next minute. The anticipation made us all act like giggling babies waiting to be tricked or surprised. Imagine 100 drunks acting like giggling babies. We couldn’t wait to cheer, and I am pretty sure he couldn’t wait for us to cheer. He shut the door. We threw up our hands and started cheering only to have him slam open that door. And scream like Nell Carter “I’m going to start arresting people left AND right.”
I really can’t imagine this officer any other way. He is forever a Nell Carter morphed into a male police officer that, to my best recollection, snapped and sashayed around when he said left AND right.
He, unfortunately, had other cop friends and everyone scattered and cleared the house. We ran to our cars while avoiding the police that were harassing the slower folks. We got to our car and made sure we were all there, and of course we were not. One person was missing, and that one person we found walking with a stern police officer while holding her head way down, probably believing her life was over. However I believe we convinced the cop that we would get her home or something. I don’t know. DERB is still with us. And times when she is not with us consciously, she is still with us spiritually.
I have been in trouble with the police throughout the years and most were elementary situations that I could walk away from. Most were noise complaints and other misdemeanors. I felt I would write out some basic rules based on the situations that I have been in. This is to act as a guide if you ever fall into the glare of an angry-eyed cop.
The First Rule:
Always be completely sure that you and the police officer are on the same page.
I can be a little spacey. Also, if I am nervous I can be even more spacey. Nervous energy takes my thoughts and scatters them throughout my brain. So when I found myself in the back of a police car that was hightailing it through the pastures in north Alabama, I was beyond nervous. I was scared out of my mind. The entire situation was already blurry. My parents and the officers were perplex and disoriented, but so was I. And, well, who knows what I was doing?
The cop kept asking me in an angry tone where is the drop-off.
“Where is the drop-off?”
“Where is the drop-off?”
I had no idea what he was talking about, and then it hit me.
Oh! There must be a cliff or ditch back here so he wants me to help guide him through the pastures. He is driving backwards through the pastures awfully fast and aggressive I don’t know why he is driving backwards through the pasture with me in the back, but he is and he needs my assistance.
So at this point I am looking out the back window earnestly trying to help this police officer.
“Where is the drop-off?”
“Uh, keep going.”
“Where is the drop-off?”
“You got it. Keep going back.”
“Where is the drop-off.”
“I still don’t see anything. Keep going.”
About a long minute later, I think the cop and I both realized that we did not share the same definition of “drop-off”. As I said, I thought there was a ditch, cliff or something that he didn’t want to drop off. Apparently he thought I was involved in some sort of high-class, high-school, illegal-drug, drop-off gang.
There were kids getting busted for trespassing out here, and someone found a baggy with some prescription pain pills in it. Therefore, the police concluded, that this must be an illegal-drug drop-off area.
So let’s get this straight. Naturally all the kids decided to break into someone’s pasture to drop off illegal substances. That is a brilliant idea! Let’s add to the thrill of danger by combining two illegal things. I mean why exchange illegal drugs somewhere safe?
So yeah, be on the same page as the officer. When the police officer says where is the drop off, there is a good chance that he doesn’t need you assistance in navigating the pastures. It is more likely that you are in some serious trouble.
By the way, there was no high-class, high-school, illegal-drug drop-off place. You can only speculate what we were doing out there. Lucky for me, the police never quite figured out what we were doing out in the pastures. I am certain they thought I was an idiot for believing there was a cliff out in the middle of the pasture, but that mistake worked in my favor. I didn’t go to jail! And I think everyone but me left the pasture more confused than ever.
Wait. So. The first rule is not to be on the same page as the police officers. The first rule is to confuse everyone involved in the situation.
More rules later. One involves Derb.
Dear Old Neighbors,
Hello! I hope this letter finds you well. What can I say? Let me just cut straight to the point. I miss you guys. I can’t quite remember your names, and there is a chance that we never formerly introduced ourselves. Well, here it goes, my name is Brooke, and I need you to move back in next to me. Here’s the deal. You guys kept to yourself and had some sort of aversion to sitting outside on the porch. I can’t lie. That was a bit odd. Did you guys never looked at the incredible view? Whatever. You were pleasant (I guess?), and you were quite, meek hermits that had semi-quite sex in appropriate consistency and manner.
Then one day you were gone, and on my door step was a set of eight-pound dumbbell weights that were too heavy to put in your car. You got me! I never knew you did! So, thanks for the weights. My biceps will always be grateful. Hold on. I need to kiss them.
OK I’m back! Enough of the bullshit. You guys need to get your apartment back from the freaks that moved in after you left. Yes it is another couple and they seemed to be as bland and nerdy as you guys. At first, I was doing my neighborly part. I would smile and say hello as I go about my business, which was avoiding two other neighbors and leaving my home as fast as possible.
“Why,” you asked.
OK, in the recent past I have drank some drinks and made out with one neighbor. A couple of times. Therefore, to get to my car every day is some sort of walk of shame. Look, I can’t help it. He is really scruffy and that is my default type. The other guy just talks too much, which doesn’t help when I am trying to do the walk of shame as fast as possible.
Some might say I have gotten myself in a mess.
I think I am just going to kiss my super-toned biceps again.
The girl seems upbeat and jovial. She smiles. She talks. She talks non-stop and in a jovial fashion to her nerdy and pasty skin boyfriend, and to whomever she talks to on the phone. She has impeccable timing. She also has to sit on the porch by my bedroom. Every time I am in that sweet spot where thoughts give way to sleep, her voice comes bubbling through my ears and conscious. However, there has to be more than that alone to implore you to come back, my lovely ex-neighbors. It is not that I miss your lack of talking. But I miss the safe predictable sounds when you were having sex.
You see, last night I was having a round-about nightmare. One minute my family was murdered by some demon monster, and that same demon monster was trying to kill me. Then, all of a sudden, I was at my grandmother’s house watching a movie where the demon monster was on the television screen trying to kill an actor. And then, the actor on television turned into me. Shit! So I turned the television off only to find out my little cousin who was sleeping in the room next door was the demon monster the entire time. And the movie aspect of the nightmare was just to give you a false sense of security. That is scary as shit. Time to wake the fuck up. So I did.
I don’t dream about demon monsters regularly.
What inspired that dream?
And…what the hell are my new neighbors doing?
Those are some weird sounds going on next door.
I came to the conclusion they were unpacking and moving some things into their home. Probably the closets. Lots of shuffling sounds. Also, there were sounds that can only be described as the walls bending backward and forward. Maybe the walls were bleeding. What?
Then the haziness of the sleep and the nightmare wore off, and I realized it was 3:30 in the morning. Therefore I easily concluded they were probably not moving in… again.
I was proved right in my conclusion a second later when I heard the two making the happy-pancake sounds. You know what I’m talking about? Some call it the thunderclap. I am not going into detail but it is a sound that should be familiar when performing certain sexual positions. I think you can emulate the sound by keeping your hands and forearms real loose and then clapping? I am trying to perfect the sound between patron checkouts and I am uncertain if I am executing it.
You know, sometimes I don’t even stop typing these words while I pretend to listen to patrons elaborately tell me they need to turn in Janet Evanovich and renew James Patterson. With that said, I am sorry about the typos. Anyway, do you like Janet Evanovich? I hope not. However If you do I will gladly check them out for you every day. If you just move back in and kick out the not-so-sexy-sexual-demon monsters next door.
the girl you gave the weights to.