This is my second blog.

My first blog chronicled my experiences over three years caring for my dad as he lived through and finally died from Alzheimer's. That is the book that is for sale.

This second blog kind of chronicles of life, what it is like to start your life over in your late 50's. After caretaking, you are damaged, file bankruptcy, and the world doesn't care what you did. After 8 months of unemployment, you wake each day knowing the world doesn't want you. Finally you do find a job, 5 weeks before homelessness, but doing what you did 30 years ago and getting paid what you did 30 years ago. So this is starting over.

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


The apartment complex I live in does a really nice thing each year at Thanksgiving and provides a typical dinner for each resident.  So yesterday after 5, I dropped by the office and picked up my dinner with turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry jell, roll, and pie.

I came home, opened it up and sat at the couch with the dinner on my pine box, which acts as a coffee table, book stacker, and could probably be used to crack walnuts (guess you have to be a Taxi fan to get that joke).  After a couple of bites, I looked up at the mantle over the fireplace and saw a picture of my parents.  I thought of all the Thanksgiving meals my mom made, the crowds of family and friends that ate at the maple dining room table.  Watching my nephews and nieces grow up, remembering how easily I could make Zach shoot milk out his nose with a well placed joke at the right moment, remembering my Uncle Ed who came and visited for about 10 years before he died, remembering taking over making Thanksgiving dinners when my mom's health went south and all those years, all those memories just flooded up from my subconscious as I sat, alone, eating dinner from a styrofoam box, knowing that those memories are gone forever, the table was sold last year for 100 bucks, the china given to my nephew, the silver sold to make ends meet.  All gone.  All dead.  Dust in the wind.  As I age, the memories will fade until one day I, and those memories, will no longer exist.

I threw the meal in the garbage.  Less than 30 days until Christmas.  That should be fun.

Tonight, my niece who lives in Loveland, had Thanksgiving.  The people were mostly made up of coworkers from a restaurant, all in their late 20's, all getting stoned and drinking beer, apple pie schnapps, and scotch.  When I walked in, there was an axe leaning up against the couch.  I knew this was going to be a strange evening, but never saw the axe as part of the scene.   My niece worked her ass off, but of course, like 99% of all Thanksgiving dinners, what was suppose to be dinner between 6:30 and 7 became dinner after 8 because the turkey wasn't done, the stuffing took longer to reheat and a few other incidents.

I wish I could tell you all the funny stories from tonight, but that wouldn't be nice, and I am sure glad I'm not in my 20's anymore.  I think 90% of the conversation they had was about other people from work, making fun of them, and watching this TV that looks like the size of a movie theatre screen when I was a kid, but they were not watching anything, just listening to some streaming music.  They don't even get to pick the music, which makes me wonder why they have a 3,000 dollar TV/Stereo setup to listen to the radio.

I didn't even have a chance for a good argument with someone on relativism.

There was about three times the amount of food as was required.  Her boyfriend sat down late - some of us were already starting to eat, then he  took two or three bites and announced he really wanted to lie down.  Her roommate and another friend were so stoned I'm not sure how much they ate, but pretty much giggled through about 20 minutes of dinner, barely said a word, then got up, took another hit, and just disappeared.  I think everyone was away from the table within 30 minutes, leaving just my niece and I.

Me?  I was still eating.  But I knew she was upset and I knew why.  She'd worked her ass off since Tuesday to put on her first Thanksgiving and no one gave a shit.   She was on the verge of crying, so I told her that there are two types of people in the world, doers and takers, and she is a doer and better get use the fact that most people are takers.  And then I told her about last night, about throwing my dinner away, thinking I'd never again have a thanksgiving dinner I could enjoy or remember but tonight, she made me realize there are still Thanksgivings in my future, that I appreciated everything she did to make this happen, how she really made a difference in my life.  She was crying, my voice was cracking, and then I added, "And it was even weirder than I'd imagined it would be!"

And we both broke out laughing, a great belly laugh of love and joy.  Her boyfriend and his mother, in the living room,  wondered what was so funny and we just laughed all the more.  Then she stepped outside for a few minutes and I did what I do best; I started getting things organized, started putting things away, got the dishwasher filled and running then started hand washing the rest.  When her boyfriend came out he asked me what he did wrong, I told him how he fucked it up and told him to go out and apologize and listen to what she had to get off her chest and just take it.   HIs mother and I kept working in the kitchen, they came back in and then I started telling all my funny ass stories about the time I got pepper sprayed while jogging, telling my nephew at a sushi bar those little orange things on the sushi were bonzi oranges from bonzi orange trees in Japan, and within the hour, we had everything packed up, put away, cleaned up, the stress was broken, and when I left I realized I had, at least one more, wonderful Thanksgiving memory.

Don't talk of love,
But I've heard the words before;
It's sleeping in my memory.
I won't disturb the slumber of feelings that have died.
If I never loved I never would have cried.

I am a rock,
I am an island.

I have my books
And my poetry to protect me;
I am shielded in my armor,
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb.
I touch no one and no one touches me.

I am a rock,
I am an island.

And a rock feels no pain;
And an island never cries.

Paul Simon