Family Tree

This Chair is Not Designed for a Child . . .


The vertical slats on the seat are digging into the back of my thigh, just above my knee. I pull up my socks to add some protection, but as soon as I bend my knee, the socks inch down my leg.

“Eat your egg, the bus is coming around the corner.”

I can’t see the bus, I can only hear my mother’s footsteps, high heels clicking with purpose on the hardwood floor. Back and forth, from refrigerator to the yellow-tiled counter with red and black roosters impaled every 12 inches on the back-splash, marching toward the sink and stove.

The egg. Its orange yolk has escaped the membrane and spread across the translucent mucous. It’s headed toward my toast, which is succumbing to the onslaught. I close my eyes, and swing my legs back and forth, so furiously that my black patent Mary Jane’s fly off my feet and scoot across the floor, hitting my mother’s ankles. The distraction works. She lifts me up, I can see the short van, through the sheer curtains.

“See, now you’ll have to run to catch it, in your socks.”
I escape. The bowl with the egg will be sitting on the chrome legged table when the bus brings me home from Miss Buckley’s School. I have all day to figure out where to slip the congealed formation into the bougainvillea that covers the kitchen window, like a magenta-tainted spy.

The Life-Or-Death Round-Eye Clutter Buster

December 29. 8:00 a.m. My daughter informs me that Omar, the Painter, will arrive on Wednesday to paint my room.

“My room” is yellow. I’ve been here for three years, temporarily. The encampment – a tale of unfaithful former spouses and boyfriends – is the subject for another day.

It is now 1:15 pm.

I’m hearing voices. “Why don’t you follow the “Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Japanese Method”?

I have developed the Life-Or-Death-Round-Eye-Clutter-Buster Method. No Zen. Not an ounce of organization.

Simply stated, “What would happen to this [book, knick-knack, scarf, Nixon T-shirt, golden sealing wax, or collection of 351 #2 Ticonderoga pencils] . . . IF I WERE DEAD?”

I picture my daughters, one holds the plastic popping Santa I’ve had since 1968. The other, waves a scarf an old lover bestowed upon me after his visit to Paris, with another woman.  At their feet, the cast-iron popover pan, bequeathed to me by my father [DO NOT EVER use soap and water].


All right. I’m dead.

And so it goes. Today I died a thousand deaths.


Rudy | A Ruinous Rack



Author’s note. Rudy | The Unofficial Novella is comprised of notes found stuffed in a stainless steel shoe box that floated up from what used to be frozen tundra. There will be 25 posts containing random insights into the seasonal saga. This is #19. They are not in order, but will be when pigs fly.

Oh the humanity!

Rudy is obsessed with space and time. And geography. As noted in the December 5 blog entry, he was eager to hear the what happened when his great-great-great – too many to list because doing the math requires calculating by 20 and blogs are supposed to be quick studies – grandmother’s seasickness spread to the humans and forced the passengers to take refuge on an island in the Caribou-ean Sea.

“Why did they stay so long,” Rudy would ask his mother. “It must have been hot, being in the tropics and all. Why?”

For years, she evaded the question.  She would cock her head and scrape her hoof on the pine needles.

“I hear your father calling.”

One day, Rudy stood his ground. “I know you’re hiding something. I just know it.”

Yes, she was hiding the fact that her grandmother had fallen victim to the oldest distraction to the female of any species: A male creature with a rack 561 6/8 inches with 88 scoreable points.

A Bucka-deer.

Voila! Evidence that more than one aberration hung from his family Antler [read Tree]. She swore him to secrecy, made him promise NEVER to tell.

“Tell, and you abandon any hope of mating.”

What doe would want to risk birthing progeny with a snout that glowed like the embers of abandoned campfires AND antlers that had more points than a fact-filled Progressive?