Ramblin Christian Gypsy
Literary whimsy. Dedicated poetic observer.
Literary whimsy. Dedicated poetic observer.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul.
He leadeth me in the path of righteousness for his name sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil.
For thou art with me.
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table for me in the presence of my enemies.
Thou anointest my head with oil.
My cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me
all the days of my life.
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Little known fact about me is that I naturally sport an Irish orphan’s fro. It’s like cobwebs of wool on my head. And while a lot of the tendrils curl, most of them kink. They have minds of their angry own and seldom listen to reason without the intervention of extreme heat or chemicals.
So back in the day, I had this hair and my sister had that Farrah Fawcett blonde “do” so desirable in the 70’s and 80’s. This was when the world wasn’t so technically savvy about hair and the only blow dryers available to the public were of wimpy wattage and came with a Barbie like toy comb attached at the end.
My Norwegian Mother with similar beautiful, flaxen hair like Heidi’s, had no idea how to coif her younger daughter’s head. When she’d try to get it under control and take a brush to it the results were humiliating and disastrous.
The hair would literally raise from my shoulders like a golum of cotton candy under a witch’s spell. I still remember the look on my Mom’s face. She tried to cover her reaction, God bless her, by reaching for a quick rubber band to tie it off and then she’d add a festive ribbon in there for good cheery measure. I guess hoping against hope to direct people’s attention first to the ribbon and then to the tragic hair of her child.
I knew my hair totally sucked and so did my sister. And while for the most part I knew she loved me and we shared hours of play together and hand holding camaraderie, she would weaponize this knowledge at her strategic convenience. It was a kind of evil that older siblings everywhere employ, I’ve come to realize.
Whenever she needed to break my spirit quickly she went for the hair. In her defense I was an incorrigible little sister full of sass and have forgotten the exact ridiculous behavior that caused her to bring down the wrath of “Yeah…well everybody thinks your hair is weird!” And with that, my world would start spinning and I was bested. Because it was true. I’d run to my room to sob my eyes out and plan my revenge on the world of straight haired people.
I remember once announcing that my head hurt. My Dad goes, “Your hair looks like your head hurts.” And we all laughed because funny is funny. And that was funny.
Cut to today when those silly hair woes are like a story about somebody else that I know really well.
Options that are chemical, options that are all technique, and others still that are magic pieces that clip, or are sewn in to hide the truth. And while I’ll accept their gift of illusion I don’t claim to buy into their promise. That of long silky hair that is sexy. Because if your man can’t grab handfuls of your hair to draw you closer to him because it’ll pull your extensions out, well that’s like a picture of a meal you can never eat. And what good is that? It’s not sexy. I’ve decided. It’s just illusion. Very disparate situations.
Kirk says I look like an entirely different person when I wear my muppet hair. It’s also Elizabethan hair. Or consumptive nineteenth century poetess’ hair. Let’s call it “character hair” and be done with it.
I know where it is and I can always get it when I need it. When it suits my purpose. An off and off binary switch. For the one girl who’s very, very good. And for the other one who’s horrid. But as for who’s my favorite? They’re twins of mine that I love equally, as a Mother should.
I had one car door open and on my belly, cleaning yech from the floorboard mats. I was scrubbing a fair bit when I heard a man yell/hiss/snarl at someone with such contempt I thought it could only be another guy who was the focus of such vile contempt.
“I SAID COME ON ALREADY…. YOU’RE SO F_______ SLOW!!!”
It was so much of an unglued fury that I had to see what was up. Mainly because I was head down and felt kind of vulnerable to be rear end up if a street war erupted and all.
But there was no other person besides the one yelling man who was red faced and nearly frothing.
He startled when I presented myself. I thought he was pretty well dressed and clear eyed to be so afflicted that he fought with parked cars.
And then my heart broke.
Hidden by my car but showing herself now, a toddling little thing with fountain like pony tails unsteadily put one cautious foot in front of the other so as to carefully and quickly reach her angry Father. She had to mind herself or she would fall. She was that young. Walking was that new.
I’m good at faces. Was trained in Japanese commercials, you know. I put my palms skyward and wrinkled my forehead shaking my head. It was the perfect, “I don’t get you at all except for the fact that you disgust me. ” Was what I said while saying not one word. The man dropped his head and walked the other way.
The last I saw of Baby Girl she was negotiating chubby legs in pampers trying to hurry on her little way. She kept saying, “K Da-dy..K Da-dy.”
Futility is the worst feeling in the world. And for all the love I purport to have in my heart, I was shocked at how perfect, inky black, and cold, my hatred was for a man I didn’t even know.
And I was so good at it that it frightened me.
I am an actor. Not a model. I am not uppity or the slightest bit vain with my artistic appearance. However, if I am to look like Satan’s’ ass crack on one episode of television you should know that I expect an offer and will not jump through hoops to get that role.
The only proviso of course is unless there’s an Emmy in the offing. Then see how high and through how many hoops I’m willing to jump.
The way it is. The way I see it.
Far be it from me to clean up the troubled rep of actresses. I am just one person here.
In the Bible, Elisha prayed over a widow who’d fallen on desperate times and the “Miracle of the Never Ending Oil” happened.
Here today, a certain short on funds actress, who could no longer afford Latisse, was forced to stop using it but after much prayer on her own pleading part, her eyelashes stayed as flashy and cow-calf-long as they had for all those once upon a time months long ago when she was still on the juice.
This is never the case as many can testify. For normally, the moment you stop using it, your eyelashes return to their unimpressive anemic form. And so much so that you need some magic makeup artist who answers to a cool name like “Legend” to apply layers of individual lashes because your eyes would be otherwise bald. And sad.
So you see, Gentle Reader, this is very much a modern miracle.
Which to me, only reinforces my belief that God has a forever love for the shallow woman, and finds it within his grace to show us mercy. Even if he quite possibly rolls his own eyes in our direction afterward.
And should I ever be up for sainthood, when the tribunal is convening, and the first criteria of, “Has there ever been a miracle performed in her presence?” Let this post stand and be presented as claim and voucher.
I pretended to be a journalist for our school’s newspaper so I could land an interview with Wrestling Hawaii superstar, Rick Martel. I wasn’t of course, but my school so admired my pluck that they let me out of school and my Dad even drove me to the KGMB television station where it all took place.
I had called the producer of the show and begged for like a month. I think in the end he was so amused by a girl child’s interest in professional wrestling that he relented and going against all protocol, made it happen.
I still recall the befuddled look on my Dad’s face. Bless him for driving me and my cohorts.And not laughing overly at my insistence to watching the comically staged brutal beatdowns every Sunday night. What a freaky child he must have thought he had.
One evening I got Cathy Ratcliff, our school’s best girl athlete, interested in going to Hickam Air Force base where there was a match with Ric Martel and someone I’ve forgotten. I watched him from a distance and sighed as he walked towards the locker room. To be in the proximity of him was enough for me.
He stopped to talk to a tarted up, pretty girl in her twenties. In truth she was just in jeans and a cool shirt but to this little elementary aged Baptist who couldn’t even wear pants, this lucky local girl was living the dream.
It was obvious that she didn’t know Rick but that he wanted to know her. And I had to watch my dream unfold yet be handed to someone else. He chatted her up waiting for his match and they exchanged numbers. Amazing what you can decipher through body language. All this was not lost on the spectators around me and they clucked away in pidgin English that could’ve easily sounded like the language from a faraway place if you weren’t trained in the vernacular.
“Ho, she no shame, yeah!” “He tink so she da-kine all dat, yah?” “Go haole boy, go get ‘em Brah.”
My own little haole cheeks burned with a crimson flush. And after dragging Cathy Ratcliff all the way down there I convinced her we needed to go home. And I turned away from professional wrestling forever, throwing my program in the big trash with a lid that said “mahalo” and made my way home. Silent in the passenger seat the whole way.
Here he is, Rick Martel. In all his swarthy glory.
From here I became utterly infatuated with Erik Estrada. One of the only times in my life I’ve ever seen my Mother roll her eyes was when she saw the heart shaped cake I made to celebrate the Chips star’s birthday. There were red hots to spell out “Eric.”
I also pretended I was going out with him when I wore a black velveteen dress I had that I accessorized with a mirrored pin shaped like a leaping fox. I felt foxy. And my sister always wore a red t shirt that said “super.” And we spent an inordinate amount of time down at the pool flirting with Ruben Chapins who was hired to be down there to keep an eye on things. I would strategically wear my imaginary date outfit down to the pool when Ruben was there and enlist his help to look for my keys that were never lost.
I saw First blood at the Marina Theatres in Honolulu. Believe it was there that I was told I must move to Los Angeles and get me some of that.
And so I did. It could be argued that I have “a type.”
Ahhhh the Bunheads love <3
We ate our way through the Grove and when there was no more food or candy to be had….we left. Lovely.
Happy Birthday, Kirk!
“Who’s a pretty boy? Who’s a pretty boy? Who’s my wonderment? Who’s my joy?”
Seven years ago, Kirk was starting a season on Law and Order playing Jerry Orbach’s partner. That Jerry was dying of cancer became painfully evident and made the whole silly business of production dicey to impossible. That Kirk loved him from their first interaction is not overstatement. Jerry spent the last months of his life doing what he loved, acting, even if it meant showing up for work with a fever, accepting my husband’s offered hand or shoulder to steady him through the day.
I was in my last trimester with Scarlett when I visited set and having gotten too far from my husband’s trailer I suddenly became peckish and uncomfortable. Kirk parked me against a wall very much the same way farmers rest huge immobile bags of seed corn. Just unceremoniously leaning against. Plopped there even.
Jerry came and farmered up alongside us. This kindest man told us that the day our baby was born would be the best day in our lives and gave Kirk instructions that when her birth day came, he was to get in that hospital bed with me and the new life and go to sleep.
Then he smiled at me, and me back at him, and he held my hand. I marveled at how he and I were so very similar at that moment. Just portals for migrating life. His celebration going one way. And mine the other.
Kirk went to his funeral when I was at home with a two week old Scarlett James Acevedo.
And so it was him, Jerry Orbach, that I thought of tonight when I took in the crescent moon here in early September. And in his honor hummed a song from his longest running show on Broadway, The Fantastiks.
“Try to remember when life was so tender
When no one worked except the willow.
Try to remember when life was so tender
When dreams were kept beside your pillow.
Try to remember when life was so tender
When love was an ember about to billow.
Try to remember and if you remember
Then follow, follow.”
How I wish I could reach up for those corner ends of tonight’s crescent moon and pull them down to jauntily tie its light under my chin for a hat. So that Jerry can see me up there where he is and take notice of my light and delight that now others can follow, follow me.
Because I remember, the tender September.
To realize that you married a man to help take care of you and your child is to understand the core of your character flaws. In my defense, it can be argued that it is close to impossible to separate the Mama Bear’s needs from that of her cub’s. I knew I needed help taking care of Misti. I thought it was a deal I could make. I never knew the soul mate option was up for offer.
That he wasn’t the nicest man made the doing of it easier. And while I walk around terribly tender hearted where anything else is concerned, when it came to my leaving my ex, I simply walked out the door. I believe I told him something like, “It behooves me to see how someone can pay for something in full, and then when it’s delivered to their doorstep, act all kinds of shocked.”
I won’t list the infractions. It’s rude. I won’t tell you how many times my soul’s tribunal met and found him guilty of crimes against a feeling person. I will say that I nursed two years of back-to-back infections shutting down our intimate life. My body started the “You-Must-Leave-Him” proceedings years before I cast myself in a scandal of true Scarlet Letter proportions.
Back to our story.
After delivering my news to which “He” replied something like, “Fine take half of our checking account and go.” I flew back to Salt Lake City.
Kirk Acevedo. Another actor on the show and in our cast’s circle of friends was strangely cold to me. Because we were playing lovers, it worried me just a touch. I remember telling my sister, “I don’t care if he doesn’t have a crush on me but it’s weird to think he just doesn’t like me at all…as a person, I mean.”
Now Juxtapose this against acts of unbearable kindness on his part and you’ll understand the head scratching that went on. He once had an egg sandwich delivered to my trailer because he didn’t think I was eating enough. Presumptuous. What if I hated eggs? Made me smile anyway.
But when it came time for goodbyes at every day’s end, everyone else got kisses on the cheek and I would get his upturned palm waving goodbye with a pursed lip smile. Whatever, Clever.
I would laugh about it with my friend on the show and we would talk about Mr. Acevedo for lengths of time. How he this, and how he that, why he this, and why he that? It was somewhere around here where I noticed an annoying itch down my spine whenever he entered the room. Why should it bother me if the girls from the production office wanted to talk to him? It shouldn’t. But it did.
Kirk was to work just two weeks on this movie and I was to be there six. Our last scene together was a love scene and as it happened our group of friends had all flown back to their respective homes for reasons that only fate can snicker at now.
So here we are, in separate trailers, waiting to do this scene. I’m leaving my husband. And Kirk decides to be cold and weird all that day. Now I’m thinking, “Dude, be more difficult, oh wait…you can’t possibly be.” I focused on getting through the day. About then there was a knock on my trailer door.
There stood Kirk, looking ashen, smoking like a chimney, asking if he could talk to me for a minute.
I think I actually rolled my eyes, as if channeling Alyssa Milano’s harumphed acting style from her “Who’s The Boss” years. I let him in anyway but layed myself out on the couch to make what he had to say as difficult as possible.
He sat on the floor somewhere around my laying middle. There we both were with him suffering silently yet speaking reams. He does convey all with his eyes, does he not?
And then, like Uma Thurman’s Pulp Fiction, adrenaline shot in the heart, my soul gasped for air and with one gulp of instant understanding I was offered life again. I understood what was going on. Still he couldn’t speak. He could sweat though. And was doing that very well. Sweetest boy.
I would have to go first.
I sat up and leaned into his left ear and said, “I have never done this so I might be all kinds of inaccurate, but I need to tell you, that I thiiiink, I miiiiight, have the biggest crush on you. Maybe.”
I let that absorb and worried a response. He put his hands on the sides of my face and said, (in that voice that he has) “I just got off the phone with my agents and my manager, and I told them to get me off this show because I’ve fallen in love with a married woman.”
I go, “Wow, talk about throwing a hand full of firecrackers into a crowded room.”
And we went out to film our quite convincing love scene. The director and producers would run down to the meadow ditch, whatever it was, covered with leaves, and keep saying, “It looks fantastic….like you REALLY like each other.” I couldn’t look at Kirk. He couldn’t look at me. But when being driven back to the hotel I was in the front seat of the van and I dropped my hand behind and reached secretly to hold his.
If I could write an ending to all this, I would. Something along the lines of ”And then they lived happily ever after” would go here. But alas, I cannot see into the future. I can only tell you what I know for sure. That I have picked the very fruit of love and sucked it for all its’ worth.
Ask me if I’ve known Kirk for 2000 years or just the seven and I would be hard pressed to know the answer. Because where true love is concerned, time and space is a gluey layer of continuum that the soul just doesn’t understand. And certainly not me.
(A frame from the scene of which I speak. Makes me smile. My legs, yes.)
A rickety shelter for certain.
Carved my name in her thigh
with a fork made for pie,
gulping pain for the pleasure of hurting.
The inverse of worship is stalking.
And those who can’t love learn to loathe.
It’s all day, every minute, the ticking infinite
in me that you bathe and you clothe.
And maddening that
“And maddening that I suppose.”
A cut up snake curls a tangle.
The rock is complicit to hide
the fester beneath, with the jealous motif
where the hot slap of slither resides.
For all the warm luxury that the restaurant offers with its’ elk, and venison stews, steaks, chops and roaring fires, it seems incongruous with the stark day to day reality where these famous service dogs live.
You can buy post cards and sweatshirts, hats and mugs all boasting the gorgeous and most photogenic dogs in the pack. And it’s not that it’s not appreciated by the idle rich who flock to the place in Winter. They drop hundreds of dollars for their families to celebrate the holidays and experience the novelty that is Krabloonik. Fat children wave out the windows in their Oilily snowsuits to the chained doggies down below where an involuntary shiver is all they ever exhibit by way of protest to the harsh conditions.
In the three times I’ve been there I’ve often wondered if the dogs don’t in fact nurse deep grudges and plan to rise up to correct these wrongs. They give so much and get so little. Surely there’s ill feeling in the tension of that disparity. Don’t they dream of putting able tooth to soft flesh?
Sadly, this assumption seems to speak more to my personal condition of built in persecution complex than anything else. For when you approach this furry nation I promise you you’ll feel pangs of guilt to be on the receiving end of such kindness.
I asked the handler to tell me the dogs names. He said quite matter of factly, “They’re sled dogs, we don’t have names for them.” Then he smiled and shrugged as if to apologize for something that just was and always would be. Like apologizing for the big Nor’easter that just blew in.
Just a kid himself really. His jacket sleeves were too small and exposed red, wind burnt, blue collar wrists. A local who would meet his friends at Little Annie’s later and there over too many drinks would laugh about the crazies that had blown into town for a couple weeks.
He himself had accepted his life lived out on the short end of the negotiating stick. Where the economics of his situation had no provision for new Winter coats just because he’d grown four inches in the last two years. That money would go instead to buy lift tickets and beer. Nothing else. And there on AJax mountain, in the cafeteria when the tourists were considering the lobster bisque of it all, he would unwrap a peanut butter sandwich and revisit his last run down the mountain in his head. There was a narrow miss that day when a Gorsuch clad imbecile “snaked his line” and almost took him out. And while it angered him, these nit wits on the mountain, the adrenaline produced at the memory kept him going. A good story to tell. Later. At Little Annies.
Now this “no name business” wasn’t entirely true. The stars of the dog sled team had names and definitely got more attention. It was the furry nameless barkers in the background who were never addressed by anything in particular. Who went with their pack, ate their portion of cold kibble and at days end, and would then turn around in worried circles four or five times before settling in to sleep in soft humps. Never minding the snowfall that covered them in a blanket of chilly fluff.
The dogs were incredibly individual. The Alpha with his broad shoulders, impressive coat and deep blue eyes expected his pats and posed for pictures like a Disney pro, smile and all. Click. Click. And when the story was told of this dog fighting off a bear I’m quite sure that If he’d had an opposable thumb, nothing would have made him happier than to give you an autograph.
There was a silly, multi-colored mutt who nipped at the other’s tails and licked my shoes incessantly when I came over. My guess was that he had never known a still moment in his life. Made me smile. I have always and forever will be fond of the goofy. And yes he was the one in the framed photo back in the souvenir shop with the prickles stuck in his nose, taken when he had introduced himself to the business end of a porcupine.
But I remember being particularly moved by the most timid creature on the team. She would scarcely look at me as I patted her and told her how impressed I was with her strength and how beautiful her feet were and did she even know that she had beautiful feet? I took off my mittens with the built in hand warmers so I could touch her face and cupped her muzzle with both my hands. I cleared the collected crunch of frost from her chin. And only then did she turn her eyes to consider me.
Having her undivided attention, I did something you’re never to do with a wild dog you don’t know. I looked her full and close in the face.
She scooted closer to me and breathed into my nose. The way llamas say hello. Her eyes told me the story of how she would have loved to chase a rabbit earlier but there was this chain. And then that she was never allowed to bark around the older dogs or there was quick punishment meted out.
In a quid pro quo exchange I told her I was sure my marriage to the Harvard graduate was over. That he corrected my grammar in public and wouldn’t let me sit on the kitchen counter because if it broke I couldn’t pay for it. It had gone so far that when I slept with him once I scratched his back out of sheer fury. I raked my fingernails down his skin and then tried to cover poorly with an excuse of excited passion. It was neither convincingly conveyed or graciously received.
The both of us, the furry and the not, felt comforted by the proximity of each other. And without speaking, each of us told the other we were sorry we knew these things.
When examining her ears I couldn’t help but ask the handler, “What happened here?” The overgrown kid screwed his mouth up to prepare me for the story. “One day the bigger dogs turned on her, ripped her ears with such viciousness that she had required stitches.” “How many?” “Oh she never got any. We just put some ointment on them. Talkin’ when she should’ve been listenin’. The pack disciplines their own.”
Then the kid went to lead our group to hot cocoa and rice krispy treats.
I got it. Her ears had simply hung like rags until they healed on their own.
The dog and I continued our staring contest. Not only did she allow it but she seemed somehow gratified (my word, not hers) by the acknowledgment. I was terribly moved that these simple pats and moment’s connection mattered so much to her. When I finished pulling ice chips from her paw pads I turned to walk away. But not before undoing her chain.
That’s when she loped after me, 20 paces or so, stood on her great hind legs and offered me a cold muddy hug. Then she layed her head on my shoulder and I breathed in the whole of her which was infused with the smell of frigid terrain and wet-for-half-her-life dog fur. I was rattled by the honesty of that exchange. Me saying thanks. Her saying “Thank you for the thanking.”
This all came back to me today as I, like a good dog, waited for Kirk, my love, to read the first act I wrote of a movie while on his flight up North. My stomach nearly dropped when I heard his telltale ring from nearly 1300 hundred miles away.
“Can I just say…” He started right in. “I know you. I know what you’re capable of. And still I am so impressed, Honey. You can really write. How you know your way around these people’s voices is incredible. And heartbreaking. Baby, you’re really talented.” I could hear him smiling.
Now I’ve always thought of myself as more of a showoff pup than anything. So I wasn’t prepared when instead I dropped my furry head and found it hard to return his non present gaze. Pretty sure I would have welled up had other school parents picking up their kids not been present. That it mattered so much. Imprinted on me.
So I take with me into December a heart full of common experience with a certain slender, doe eyed Siberian husky in Colorado. I wonder how she is tonight? Someone close to her please smooth her ears and tell her I remember her. We both know the renewed joy that simple praise brings, and I too will get up tomorrow and happily run another hundred miles, unhindered through the snow.
Their tent flaps were flying around like a wild egret wresting itself from a captor’s grasp. The wind whipped our hair as we alighted down out of the car halfway down the barren, arid road on our 6 hour drive to Mammoth Lakes.
Leave it to Kirk to spot their sign of “Handpainted Furniture.” He must’ve been someone’s Grandmother from the old country, so fond is he of doilies and French Country.
The small shirtless boy riding bare back on a pony was our first clue. I think he was smiling under that mane of Mowgli hair but was gone before I could be sure. Hopefully to get a shirt. I was wearing three layers and still cold. Scarlett stared after him so intently she stumbled over a rock. Then laughed at her gaffing misstep.
“The Camp of the Dothraki?” Kirk said, as he held the tent door open for us. “Rominy. Gypsies. That’s my guess. Kind of awesome.” I muttered back. I pointed skyward to indicate the piped through gypsy jazz. It was as if we’d stumbled as lucky waylaid tourists onto a Romanian wedding. Kirk did a dance. If that’s what you call it.
The two woman descended on Scarlett first clucking and touching and when they finally picked up our baby giant child, she didn’t protest. The one woman remarked how Scarlett’s hair was thick like a pony’s and how lucky was that? I wondered if she stole a strand to put in the freezer to “ice her out” as my sister’s Mother-In-Law had done to her once upon a time. Stole it from her brush. I didn’t worry much as four children and fifteen years later it had proven to be an ineffectual curse. And besides, these woman seemed to loved us.
Not so in my sister’s case when the first few years in the Lotenschtein family earned her the nickname, Heidi The Nazi. Could’ve been because of her pretty blonde hair and blue eyes. Or could’ve been that time she asked at a family dinner, “I know what Hannukah is but what’s Channukah?” I love my sister.
Back to our culture shock. The woman introduced herself as Melrose and seemed to love Kirk sight on seen. She asked if he was Rominy. I guess Puerto Rican was an okay answer too for she affixed herself to his right arm and personally showed him around.
They were impressive painters. And when we explained that we had a turn of the Century French Vanity we wanted to have repainted to suit young Scarlett’s room. The other woman, could’ve been a Mother, could’ve been a sister, I have lived both of those scenarios so I make for a bad guesser. Anyway she put her hand on my belly and stared at me for a second. “You make him very happy. Like a porcelain skinned princess.”
Kirk laughed his laugh and sensing my unease hugged me to him. “She’s my Dutch elf.” He always says this like it’s to be received as the upmost compliment which is not the case. Firstly, I’m Danish and Norwegian and not Dutch at all. Remind me to mistake him for a Dominican next time there’s some wondering and watch his fur fly.
“You will have a forever life together of joy and good soup,” She said. This caught me unawares and I laughed joyous and full. Because Dutch, Dominican or Rominy pony, that’s a lofty proclamation. I felt like I’d received a papal blessing.
I looked in all their lacquered boxes. My favorite had some dancing bears. Each one opened to tell me a story. They were antiques and had been collected all over Europe and repainted and refinished to be sold here.
I of course wondered which doomed girl grudgingly dropped this into a pile of treasures under the aim of an armed Nazi soldier.
Sigh. I walk this earth ever the trajedian. I trail a tail of tragedy like a toddler drags a blanket. Boxes talk to me and tell me sad things. Whether I’m creative or a sensitive I don’t really know. And don’t think I’d like clinical testing to discern a proper diagnosis.
I left Kirk with his touchy admirers and wondered back around behind the tent of wares. A Grandma was stirring a pot at an outdoor cooking station. When a dog got too close she took the big spoon out of said pot, whacked him with it, then returned to her stirring.
She asked me what I bought and I showed her the bears box. She pulled the most curious face. Like when I was in Russia and asked the concierge why we were sold telephone coins in the lobby that didn’t work in the telephones. He made that same face. One of pity and shrug of defense. So strange. But leaves you with no reasonable response. So you turn around and leave. I need to adopt this for my repertoire.
I looked once over my shoulder to see if either she or I had turned into a pillar of salt. The air was thick with grim prophecy like that. In the background the small boy danced a dressage with his pony. I felt drunk and wanted to go home.
And so we did. Having commissioned Melrose to come paint some pretty things for my little girl’s birthday.
I so hoped she wouldn’t come alone. I wanted to see that wild Mowgli boy in my living room. I suddenly worried about being an inadequate host with my banal offerings of WII and Netflix.
Shoot, he could bring the pony. The click-scrape of hooves turning voltes on my floor might be the one thing missing in my life.
“Pony Boy, Pony Boy, won’t you be my Pony Boy? Don’t say no. Here we go. Come along with me. Whee!”
Last Christmas Kirk decided that we, (me, him, child and two dogs) should drive to Iowa to see my family. I hemmmmed and I hawwwwed. ”It will be adventureful,” Said my husband.
I’m used to this curious verbiage coming out his mouth. Once after a two week vacation, our sprinkler system went down and looking at our sad lawn Kirk goes, “It’s like apartheid.” These days, as the official Kirk whisperer, I only feel the need to translate if others are around. I knew what he meant. It was ugly and unacceptable. Apartheid.
Another time, early on in our relationship he was so excited about some scrap of information he’d seen on the History Channel. “Babe, the dinosaurs were hit by comets and they went extinct mid-eat.” Translation. They died with food in their mouths or in the process of digesting food. Mid-eat. Please feel free to add that one to your personal pocket dictionaries.
Did you know that pictures have a “blackground?” I didn’t. But Kirk did.
Yesterday he asked Scarlett if she wanted him to buy her the movie, “Ramona and Bejeezus.” He was dead serious.
He’s told an entire room full of people that they were wrong and he is quite right because he has the memory of an elf.
And he still thinks “wife bearing hips” means a shapely woman.
His answering machine voice is, as my sister pointed out, decidedly Southern in its dialect choice. Here’s what he said about that, “Darlin’ I’ve been to hell and back in my lifetime. South enough for ya?”
Kirk was raised largely in his little years by a Spanish speaking Grandma but he claims to not speak it all today. This proved to be wildly untrue in Puerto Rico during an altercation with a waiter wanting to gift Scarlett a cookie. We inquired into the ingredients as Scarlett has an allergy. After twice assuring us that the chef said no offending agent was in them we gave them to her and she had a huge frightening reaction right in front us. Epi-pens never make a vacation day more fun.
I heard Kirk go off in Spanish and in all kinds of posturing, heated tones too. For like a minute and half he opened a can of verbal Espanol Whip Ass on this guy. It was kind of hot.
Back to our other trip. Kirk’s Cannonball Run. That one.
We woke up in dark hotel somewhere in one of those drive through states, Kirk said he was going to take me out for a nice “Handmade” breakfast. And it was there in some coffee shop that caffeinated Kirk told a bunch of octogenarian farmers that he’d just driven through the “Alps.”
It was the Rockies of course. But they were looking at him like he was Batman so I said nothing. Who am I to take that away? From any of them.
So how this man who was kicked out of Kindergarten (true story) can beat me, the wordsmith, at Scrabble is deeply humbling. Trust only this, if there is something to be won, and strategy is involved, Kirk will win. Even if it’s in Croatian, I’ve decided.
I’ve listened to him bungle my native tongue for the better part of a decade. And watched people screw up their faces trying desperately to understand what he’s saying. And while I can’t always define or even defend his word choices.
That man, he speaka my language.