Friday, August 24, 2012

shambolic mind wrestling...........

i worried about using the actual name of the restaurant "swiss chalet" in this post. well, i actually worried about it for a very short time. i don't have the capacity for long thought. i imagined instead, i would say "belgium bungalow" or "austrian a-frame", but in the end - what the hell. i'll risk a law suit. they can cross-examine mom in court. i'll willing to go broke to see that.

with that out of the way.....

people in my family do not openly fight with one another. we do not shout, scream or slam doors..  we find it distasteful to show emotion.  we instead pick away at each other, a lot like a vulture fight club. we posture and challenge and are awarded points on presentation


one hot and dusty, alberta afternoon when mom was visiting she and i were driving to town to pick up tractor parts. my mother had taken to sitting in the car when we went anywhere . she blamed sitting in the car on the airline and their one suitcase restriction. everywhere we went she would say. "i'm not going in, there's nothing in there that i need. even if i saw something i liked i can't buy it because i'm only allowed one suitcase and my suitcase is already full." if i could give you a kitten for everything i heard that....... well, you'd have a shit load of kittens.

and so it began. "the how to show displeasure with a loved one without letting on you're displeased thing"  we like to do.....

out of nowhere

mom: you know you don't dare leave your coffee on the table when you go the bathroom at swiss chalet.
me: why not
mom: because these men come along and put something into it.
me: really, like what
mom: they stir drugs in it and when you come back and drink it, it knocks you out
me: honestly! people are drugging coffee at the swiss chalet? where is this happening?
mom: in the cities. all over the place. these guys drug you and then throw you over their shoulder and cart you off
me: i fairly certain someone would notice if a fairly stout elderly women like yourself  were being carted away. what's the whole purpose of this carting off?
mom: well they interfere with you, of course.
me: old ladies in the city are being carted off from the swiss chalet and being interfered with?
mom: that's what i heard
me: i find that quite hard to believe. and by the way, where are your dinner companions in this scenario.
mom: in the bathroom

uncomfortable silence.....

and again out of nowhere......

mom: i'm not going in with you.
me: mom it's 100 degrees out, come inside. it may take awhile.
mom: there's nothing in there that i need and take the keys out
me: why?
mom: someone could take the car.
me: you're in it
mom: that's what i'm saying, people come along and take these cars with people in them.
me: who in the hell are you hanging out with or what are you reading. again, where is this crime den?
mom: in the city, in parking lots outside of restaurants and stores
me: well, i hope it's not swiss chalet, they can't take any more bad press
mom: you don't read the newspaper, it happens a lot
me: this town has less than 4000 people plus we are at a  tractor dealership. that does not scream car-jacking..
mom: that's the thing. you don't know where it will happen.
me: mother you are not going to be abducted in front of john deere.
mom: i'm not going in. i don't need anything in there
me: fine, but i'm leaving the keys in
mom: how long are you going to be, it's hot in this car.

this talking about nothing but talking about everything is how we get on. it is not, i've discovered how normal families do things. they say things like "you look lovely in that colour" or "you're an asshole" but they are usually said at separate times. mom and i like to combine the arts of entertaining and arguing. we like a big show.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

the devil in the deep blue sea.........

to begin i must tell you how much i love and appreciate the comments that you lovely, lovely people take the time to write. they are like those little love heart candies to me.  i read the message and then ingest it. remember, you don't have to say nice things about me, you could tell me about your day, your problems, items you have for sale. well, maybe not that. you can even say bad things about me because at least you're talking to me and i'm sure we can work it out. that said, i was mildly alarmed by the commenters on my last post that thought i might be sad. jesus, i don't want anyone worried i'm sitting around about to stick a fork in my eye. this is the thing, after mom went home it was like when the circus leaves town. you have entertained the likes of tigers and elephants and now the in-house talent is just not cutting the mustard. but real life is starting to reclaim its territory because after all the show must go on. so with that said. here's a tiny tale....

last fall, when i was visiting my ancestral home by the sea, my little family was spending a quiet afternoon going through bureau drawers. mom was sorting through 40 years of saved greeting cards  while i was assessing  her extensive plastic, swizzle stick collection. then my daughter pulled out a bunch of things i had made when i was young. valentines, colouring - that sort of thing.  i saw a drawing and suddenly i remembered.

me: it's a devil picture
mom: god yes, you drew those all the time.
me: i wonder why
mom:  who knows why you did anything.

the drawing was a typical one for about a five or six year old. a house, my family, a giant sun. green grass, flowers and then under the ground a devil. the devil looked like a typical devil. red clothes, horns, tail. i remember i always put him on the left side of a picture, near the bottom. he usually sat in a round hole with a path that led up to the grass or under the house. the devil was always happy, his smile as big as my those plastered on my stick family. i remember drawing him. i remember being so careful. i remember putting him in every picture. i don't remember why.

our family was religious in the most vague sort of way. i don't think i encountered satan on sunday in church. ours was not that kind of get together. but i know that he showed up in all my artwork for about 3 years. my lucifer worship period. i drew no angels, no white gods on fluffy clouds. just that little red pecker and his pitchfork.

me: didn't you think it was weird that i drew the devil all the time
mom: no, why would i worry about that.
me: i don't know why i put him in every picture
mom: well i guess you liked him

do you suppose that's true?  what comfort did devil bring me. the pictures were all happy. i even placed him under the ocean when is drew boats. i can't decide what is odder? the fact he's there in the first place or the fact i drew careful paths for him to reach ground level. i think he disappeared from my drawing sometime around third grade. i remember vividly drawing myself , my cat and him in miss perry's second grade classroom. i can't imagine what would happen now if a child repeatedly placed a happy devil under the ground in all her artwork.. did anyone ask me why he was there? did i have an answer?


Thursday, August 9, 2012

in the absence of oars.........

i wish i had something to tell you. nothing has happened since mom left. she, like a giant, ancient glacier scraped my soul to the bone. that was harsh. that poor, old woman, she doesn't deserve that. ok, so she scraped my soul nearly to the bone. it's actually quite hard to get anywhere near my bones these days. i seem to be building a rather wobbly but nonetheless thick protective layer. middle age sucks. well i'm sure old age and death suck more but i want to feel bad for myself right now. what is this new found padding for? that is the question. is it because i haven't prepared for retirement and this is what i'm supposed to live on? and what, oh what is the purpose of an ass this size. all i know is i awake in the morning to find pockets of chub where the night before there was sinewy, taunt flesh. ok, maybe not that but something like that.  jesus, i'm getting jowls and if my breasts droop any lower they may be mistaken for testicles. It seems that after a couple of burritos’and babies I changed. that is a god damn lie, i don't even like burritos', i just couldn't think of a food that started with b and one of my children was adopted so i have no real reason for the downfall. not that I ever was a tiny slip of a thing. when i was younger my mother used to say – yes, we're back to her.  she used to say to people. “feel her, just feel her. you think that's she's fat but she's not. she’s solid.” the “she” of course was me. growing up by the ocean, swimming and endless rowing had produced a body that could rival any east german female wrestler.

 i loved to row. to feel a boat pull through the water underneath you is something akin to joy. i had a small green rowboat or punt as it was called.  my friends and i would be in that boat every day that was fit to be on the water. recently, one of those friends introduced me to someone and said, "this is beverly, she's the one who told us what to play when we were little."  that was me, the imagination bully. when you played with me i decided what was going to be played, i supplied the plot, your lines and your fate. when we in the boat, i rowed and i was captain, we were either pirates, detectives or survivors of a shipwreck. even when we were just fishing, it had to be some sort of drama... we had to catch fish or we would be put to death by our fief holder or something along that line.  one of the girls was quite pretty so she was always the maiden and thus would sit in the bow and sing, the other girl being always jolly would sit in the stern and bail and the smallest girl would do the dangerous bits because she expendable. she was the one to go overboard to retrieve the bail can or untangle fishing line. she would sit wherever there was a spot.  there we were, out on the vast atlantic ocean, far from shore with no fear or life jackets. just me and my unfailing belief that i could control the universe.

i could use that girl that girl today. that girl with the oars. the one who was often heard saying,  “don't worry. i know everything there is to know.”