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"Nah."

When I opened my bedroom door and emerged into the kitchen, Dean was there. He looked at me and smiled and took a breath, and he would've started talking if I hadn't held up my hand in a 'stop' gesture and hurried past him and into the john. When you gotta go, etc.

CRANKY
OLD FART

#257

leftovers
& links

 
Saturday,
Dec. 31, 2022

Sitting down for a poop, I knew he'd be there when I came out, and he'd want to talk.

Two or three minutes passed, along with half a pound of yesterday's carrots, and when I tidied up and emerged, there he was. And of course, he started talking (something about something he'd cooked at the hotel's restaurant).

I wasn't in the mood to donate ten minutes to the man. "Nah," I said, interrupting him as I walked past and into my room.

It was only after closing the door that I realized I'd said "Nah" out loud. Hadn't meant to. 

Twice, I've said more than "Nah." I've said, Dean, we can't have a conversation every time you see me.

Both times, I tried to politely explain being an introvert to my very extroverted flatmate, and both times I thought I'd been successful, but it's like explaining a bus to a butterfly.

And still, every time he sees me, he wants to talk at me. In nine months in this house, I don't remember Dean and I ever seeing each other without him wanting to talk at me.

Well, screw it. I'm sick of hearing him talk, so I said, "Nah," accidentally, and it silenced him. Nothing else has.

The next day, Dean and I saw each other again, and this time I wanted to say "Nah" on purpose. I started with, "Hey, can we talk?" and then repeated what I'd told him twice before, but more firmly and emphatically.

It took maybe a minute and a half to say what I said, which was longer than I've ever seen Dean be silent.

"I'm an introvert. Conversations are difficult for me, and sometimes I want to come out of my room and pee, or make a sandwich, or check the mail, without all the effort of a conversation."

My main point, the last thing I said, was, "If you want to talk to me, we can talk, sometimes — but not every damned time you see me."

Except for the word 'damn', I tried to say all this as politely as possible. I didn't want to make him into an enemy. We live on opposite sides of the same kitchen in a shared house, so we're going to see each other, often, and I'd like us to be cordial. Also, we share a refrigerator, and he could easily piss in my prune juice.

So did Dean take it well? He did not. He listened until I was finished, and then turned and walked into his room without a word.

And with that, I guess Dean is no longer speaking to me. That's the best punishment I've had since I was 17, and they kicked me out of school for skipping too much school.

I'll give the prune juice a sniff test before chugging it.

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12/31/2022    

Cranky Old Fart is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited.
 
Tip 'o the hat to Linden Arden, ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Captain Hampockets, CaptCreate's Log, John the Basket, LiarTownUSA, Meme City, National Zero, Ran Prieur, Voenix Rising, and anyone else whose work I've stolen without saying thanks.
 
Special thanks to Becky Jo, Name Withheld, Dave S, Wynn Bruce, and always extra special thanks to my lovely late Stephanie, who gave me 21 years and proved that the world isn't always shitty.

19 comments:

  1. I missed the news today that Ian Tyson had died. Thanks for posting the notice. He wrote at least 20 wonderful songs, and I want to mention two of them and include the lyrics and a link to a youtube performance. He and his wife (at the time) Sylvia Fricker set Canada on fire as they moved across the Praries to Toronto in the early 60s, then came south to Greenwich Village and were major players in the New York folk revival.

    The first song is one I have talked about on this site before, but this offers a good excuse to talk about it again. Someday Soon has been covered by at least 50 artists -- it's just a wonderful song of love and longing. Here are the lyrics, followed by a link to Judy Collins singing it on youtube. . . .

    Someday Soon
    Words and music by Ian Tyson

    There's a young man that I know
    His age is 21
    He comes from down in southern Colorado
    Just out of the service
    And he's looking for his fun
    Someday soon, I'm going with him
    Someday soon

    My parents can not stand him
    'Cause he rides the rodeo
    My father says that he will leave me crying
    I would follow him right down
    The toughest road I know
    Someday soon, I'm going with him
    Someday soon

    And when he comes to call
    My pa' he ain't got a good word to say
    Guess it's 'cause he's just as wild in a younger day

    So blow, you old Blue Norther
    Blow my love to me
    He's driving in tonight
    From California
    He loves his damned old rodeo
    As much as he loves me
    Someday soon, going with him
    Someday soon

    Oh, when he comes to call
    My pa' he ain't got a good word to say
    Guess it's 'cause he's just as wild in a younger day

    So blow, you old Blue Norther
    Blow my love to me
    He's driving in tonight
    From California
    He loves his damned old rodeo
    As much as he loves me
    Someday soon, going with him
    Someday soon

    Someday soon, I'm going with him
    Someday soon

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Audio by Judy Collins
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Jn90y9H9S4:


    .
    .
    Here are the lyrics to Song For Canada by Ian Tyson and Peter Gzowski . . . .

    How come we can't talk to each other any more?
    Why can't you see I'm changing too?
    We've got by far too long to end it feeling wronged
    And I still share too much with you

    Just one great river always flowing to the sea
    One single river rolling in eternity
    Two nations in the land that lies along its shore
    But just one river rolling free

    How come you shut me out as if I wasn't there
    What's this new bitterness you've found?

    However wronged you were, however strong it hurt
    It wasn't me that held you down

    Why can't you understand I'm glad you're standing proud
    I know you made it on your own
    But in this pride you've earned, I thought you might have
    Learned
    That you don't have to stand alone

    Lonely northern rivers come together till you see
    One single river rolling in eternity
    Two nations in the land that lies along its shore
    But just one river, you and me

    .

    And here is the Mitchell Trio with a fine version of the song on YouTube . . .

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07cWsZHDC4Y

    .
    jtb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been singing an unconventional version of "Someday Soon" at several bus stops today. Truly a great song.

      It's lovely, but I'm confused by "Song for Canada." Is it Canada singing a love song to America across the St. Lawrence River?

      Delete
    2. The song is about the near-secession of French-speaking and French-cultural Quebec, mostly between 1970 and 1980. It resulted in Canada becoming bilingual and in many other dual cultural programs. It was a tumultuous time, and Pierre Trudeau did (IMHO) a marvelous job of walking the fence and keeping Canada together. Although Ian Tyson was from British Columbia, he was a Prairie guy at heart, and lived in the Prairies most of his life. He didn't have much sympathy with French Canada, but somehow, with his writing partner, found a way to say this with sympathy.

      That's the song. There are many details, some of which are available on Trudeau's Wikipedia page. There are books and entire libraries about Canadian multiculturalism if you're interested.

      John

      Delete
    3. Well, there are books about everything if I'm interested, but time is an increasing finite resource as we get grayer and grayer.

      Thanks for 'splaining it. I'd forgotten that whole piece of Canadian history, and it of course makes the song more poignant.

      I wonder in ignorance, though, would it have been so disastrous to let Quebec be Quebec, an independent country speaking French? If that's what the majority wanted (an if I'm unsure of) what would've been damaged, other than Canadian patriotism?

      Delete
    4. In 1980, the Quebec independence referendum was put to the voters of the province. It was defeated 60-40. Prime Minister Trudeau played no small part in the referendum's defeat. Shortly thereafter, Canada became officially bilingual and less officially bicultural (actually tricultural, but that's a longer story).

      The leaders of the independence movement could have referenced an old Groucho Marx line, when he reminisced about that song, I'm a Dreamer, Montreal.

      John

      Delete
    5. And, by the way, is it almost time to review a Marx Brothers movie? I think The Cocoanuts was their best, but I've never seen a decent print. Maybe Horsefeathers or Duck Soup or A Night at the Opera. No hurry.

      John

      Delete
    6. Thanks for the nudge. My brother-in-law, long dead, was the 5th-greatest Marx Brothers fan who ever lived, and with him I saw them all. Cripes, though, it's been a while.

      The voters spoke in Quebec, and spoke French, and ta volonté soit faite (their will be done).

      Occasionally I wonder at what a better nation America would be, if the USA had let the South walk away when they tried, in 1860. I think we'd have cured cancer and have a dozen colonies on Mars.

      Of course, things wouldn't have been so great for the slaves and their descendants.

      Delete
    7. Here's a slightly arcane folk singer fact: When Chad Mitchell left the Chad Mitchell Trio, the two remaining members conducted auditions and the job went to an unknown singer/songwriter named John Denver. The group changed their name to The Mitchell Trio. He stayed with the group through three or four albums (all of which I purchased), then went out on his own. He did OK.

      John

      Delete
    8. Doug, did you see any of the Dick Cavett interviews with Groucho? I don't think Groucho made it to the 8th grade before he quit to join Vaudeville. But he ended up corresponding with Prime Ministers and Presidents, Popes and kings. He was a remarkable intellect as well as a remarkable comic genius.

      And (I think) he had a lovely singing voice. He was a man of his time, so he wasn't always politically correct, but he was a man of substance.

      I assume that those interviews are somewhere in the vastness of virtual space. They're low-key, but for Groucho fans they're gold.

      John

      Delete
    9. For a while he was my absolute favorite, but I never knew John Denver had been a Mitchell. Clearly he outshined the trio; Chad Mitchell doesn't even merit a Wikipedia page.

      I do know that Glenn Campbell was a Beach Boy, but no other rock trivia comes to mind.

      I've seen Groucho on Cavett. He seems like today, so much more spontaneous and genuinely funny than you'd usually see on a talk show, then or now. You got me looking forward to revisiting his Marxist movies.

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wish life worked like this, so after I'd said something stupid I could just delete it and it never happened.

      Delete
    2. The Googs delete entire comments from time to time, but I suppose you had something more deterministic in mind.

      Sometimes the slightly thoughtless and stupid things I say reveal more about me than the rare occasions on which I'm eloquent. I occasionally think of it as my tabloid self and my broadsheet self. They both have something to say and they're both part of me. By the way, try saying "broadsheet self" three times really fast.

      Johnny

      Delete
    3. After we're gone, someone will have to explain the distinction between broadsheet and tabloid when the smartphone generation wonders. If they wonder.

      Delete
  4. Wow. Dean is even more narcissistic than I thought. Sounds like you gave the man a reasoned explanation about your own behavior and he replied with childishness. Of course, if this means more quiet for you, it's win win, really. You won't have to worry about being invited to any more potential food poisoning events. -- Arden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He hasn't knifed me in the gut yet, and my prune juice still smells and tastes OK, so perhaps we've reached detente.

      Really, though, I'd be happy to chat with him ONCE IN A WHILE. :)

      Delete
    2. some people don't know how to do 'moderation.' It's like they need 100% of you 100% of the time or nothing at all. I've had friends like that. One guy even joked with me that after describing his previous night's pursuit of trying to find me, "Ha ha, I sound like a stalker." I replied, "Yeah, you are stalking me." It changed nothing. I did notice that a number of his previous best friends all lived in different states. As do I, now. -- Arden

      Delete
    3. People are the most annoying things. What a wonderful place this would be without them, or if they'd simply understand the concept of an invitation declined.

      Delete

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