Weak weed

Mom doesn't have the phone number for this apartment. If she had it, she'd call all the time — a lesson learned long ago.

But I'd like her to have my voice-mail number, which changed a few days ago, so I've been trying to call her since Monday. She's never home.

Mom is Mom and she's always out and about, going to church and meetings and seeing friends and babysitting and shopping and having lunch or dinner with my brothers and sisters. OK, but why doesn't her answering machine answer? I've called early, called late, and all I get is one ringy-dingy, two ringy-dingies, 12 ringy-dingies...

I'll try again later. Should I brace myself for bad news? Nah, if Mom was dead my brothers and sisters would have all called me by now.

♦ ♦ ♦

Holy hell, the news. I don't know what to think or say about what happened in Oklahoma City this morning, so I am going to say nothing except ❶ What people could do this, and why? ❷ Will more buildings be blowing up? And ❸ what stupid things will the cops do in response or retaliation?

♦ ♦ ♦

A couple of hours later, Terry was in the living room being Terry (i.e. annoying as fuck), so I didn't want to have a personal conversation on the apartment phone. Instead I walked to the BART station, where you can make a relatively private call from a booth in a quiet corner. 

And still, there was no answer when I called Mom.

Clay and Katrina are my only siblings whose numbers I have, and I'm closer to Katrina (though still distant) so I tried her number first. Her answering machine clicked on, and you can't make a collect call to an answering machine, so I called Clay instead.

"Hello, Doug!" He sounded downright happy to accept the charges.

"Hey, Clay. What's up with Mom?"

Silence. "Nothing's up with Mom, not that I know of."

"Well," I said, "I haven't been able to reach her—"

"Oh, oh," he said, "don't worry about that. Her phone is on the fritz, that's all."

You can buy a phone for ten bucks at any drug store, and she can certainly afford it, but Momma don't do that.

Clay and I had a short but nice chat, mostly about Oklahoma City, but neither of us had anything intelligent to say about that.

All systems are go for my visit to Seattle next month, but Clay says I'll be staying with him and his clan, instead of with Mom.

This had been decided without asking me, and it's not good news. Nothing against Clay, but Mom's place is in central suburbia, with pretty good bus service, while Clay's place is farther out in the boonies. Wherever I'm staying, I don't intend to be there much, but at Clay's it'll be a longer bus ride when solitude and sanity beckon.

♦ ♦ ♦

Terry was gone when I got back to the apartment, which turned my frown upside down, so I offered Pike some of my pot, which I'd recently purchased at quite a reasonable price. We quickly figured out why it was so affordable — I'd been sold a mix of about half marijuana, half parsley sage rosemary and thyme. Damn.

This is not the first time I've been scammed, either. I am not an expert on the purchase of quality drugs. Don't laugh at me, man. It's hard to make a reliable connection when you have no friends. Also, I'm fifteen years older than anyone I know who smokes weed. Also, my hair is a crew-cut so I probably look sorta cop-like.

And what a dummy I am — if I'd simply said the word 'marijuana' to Kallie when I saw her a few days ago, she would've set me up.

Due to financial reality, this will probably be my last purchase for a while. I'm old enough to give it up, too poor to waste the money, and over past few years it's started to scratch my throat. Today I smoked the spicy mix, though. It smelled like pizza but it had some of the desired effect.

♦ ♦ ♦

Tonight's free movie at the Noe Library was supposed to be Astaire & Rogers' Flying Down to Rio, and I do love the singing and dancing musicals, but the guy at the library said someone had checked out their copy. Instead they showed Truly Madly Deeply (1990), a drama about death and grieving and recovery. Sounds like an odd substitution, but it's a good movie.

All the world's charming fellows throw themselves at Juliet Stevenson, but she prefers to mope around her lousy flat and remember her dead lover. The question is, will she settle for memories of a love that was, or pursue the love that could be?

If you don't know the answer to that, then you've never seen a movie.

It's lazily paced for a while, wallowing in Stevenson's grief as if she expected an Oscar, but a sweet-natured story comes to life when dead Alan Rickman pops up, as the ghost of her lover. With some magic moments reminiscent of The Milagro Beanfield War, and a silly but spirited singalong with the living leading lady and her dead boyfriend, by the time the tale takes its tiny twist to the end, it's an irresistible little charmer.

♦ ♦ ♦

Something's gnawing at me, though — the beginning of a toothache. Took two aspirin and then two more, but if it doesn't fade away overnight, I have no idea how I'd pay for a dentist.

♦ ♦ ♦

Rest in peace, Oklahoma.

From Pathetic Life #11
Wednesday, April 19, 1995

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

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