Monday, June 11, 2012

Dear Diary: Thanks for the Memories

May 28th, 2012

Dear Diary:
It was Monday, May 28th.  Memorial Day.  The day began like any other, which is to say unfortunately.  Day 2 of a three-day weekend.  There was nothing on the agenda.  No work, no massages, no traveling, and no giving back to this or that community.  (Though, to be fair, just being me gave a feeling of joy to the world, which is why I started every day with a sincere “Your Welcome”.)  I hopped out of bed (dragged myself off of the floor) and scampered into the bathroom (slid across the wall) while soaking up the life-giving warmth of the sun (carefully avoiding the pain-inducing light).

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”
“Why, you are, of course, Sir!” the mirror responded.

Talking mirrors???  ‘Twas this magic or sorcery of some kind?  No.  I have a two-way mirror that looks into a cubby-hole where I keep a small child, a voice-activated smoke machine, and a script.  (This is what happens when you keep skateboarding down my driveway towards my house and slamming into my garbage can.)  Whilst in the bathroom, I “conducted my business”, took a shower, brushed my pearly whites --which have been described by some (one) as sexy—put on some smell goods, and styled my hair.

After weighing myself, and reminding myself that muscle weighed more than fat, and carbon fiber, which my body had been likened to, weighed more than both, I cut on the stereo, popped in some Chris Botti to set the relaxing mood for the day, and—

“Wow!” a voice from on high (inside my head) exclaimed.
“What?” I responded.
“Chris Botti?”
“Yes, he sets a very relaxing mood, which is what I am shooting for on this day of rest.”
“Chris Botti?”
“Yes, Chris Botti.”
“Not Todd Bashore, your friend since the 8th grade and saxophonic wunderkind who recently won a Grammy for his extravagations on Christian McBride Big Band’s ‘The Good Feeling’?  That’s f’d up, Man…That’s f’d up.”

I cut on the stereo, popped in “The Good Feeling” featuring Grammy-award winning saxophonist Todd Bashore (“That’s better.”), and sent a quick text to my massage buddy.

“What are u getting into 2day?” I asked
“Some friends r thinking about doing a flash mob.”
“I’m no longer allowed 2 do flash mob, bc of ‘the incident’.”
“Your inability 2 dance?”
“Funny…I can dance.”
“I’ve known u 3 yrs.  I think I’d know if u cld dance.”
“I can dance, woman.”
“Who told u tht? The same woman who said u hv sexy teeth?”
“And where is she now?”
“Institution prob.”
Ur many things: sweet, sexy, thoughtful, intelligent, stunningly attractive with a body built as though from a –wait a min, I wld never say that!”
“This is my story, so that’s what u said.  If u want to provide an alternate account, start ur own blog called ‘Setting the Record Str8’.  Til then, let’s continue…”
“Fine. Wht is ‘the incident’?”
“I don’t like 2 get into it. Let’s just say it’s why I’m no longer allowed in some high schools, state parks, train stations, Chuck-E-Cheeses, hotel chains, convents, monasteries, YMCAs, YWCAs, soup kitchens, Habitats for Humanity, The Smithsonian, The Library of Congress, Legoland…”
“On 2nd thought, flash mobs sound like a lot of work. I’ll jst hang by the pool.”
“Tht reminds me.  Waterparks, public pools, aquariums, Sea World, any event sponsored by Green Peace…”
“I get it. After letting the sunshine in, I will spend the rst of th day thnkng abt how lucky I am to have someone as wonderful as u in—Again, I wld never say tht.”
“Again, write ur own account.”

With the whole day ahead of me, I put on some clothes, and rushed out the door with skip in my step, and a song in my heart.  “I think I’ll go for a walk outside now, the summertime’s calling my name…”  In a scene reminiscent of Julie Andrews in “The Sound of Music”, I skipped, and jumped, and twirled, and ran through the streets.  I could’ve run all the way to CVS, and I would have if not for the oppressive heat, asthma, tweaked knee, suspect ankles, exercise-induced anaphylaxis, and a general unwillingness to go “long” distances on foot when I was the proud owner of reliable motorized transport.

I got to CVS, picked up some beauty products: shampoo, body wash, shaving cream, body wash applicators, toothpaste, mouthwash, and various balms, lotions, and salves, and made my way to the checkout counter.  While waiting in line, I decided to make good use of my time by cleaning up my personal email.  Per usual, there was a lot of “junk mail”, which made the process go fairly quickly.

“I wouldn’t delete that one just yet,” a voice from behind me said.  “It’s a pretty good deal.”
“Don’t really think I need a bikini wax, but thanks.”
“You never know.”
“I don’t want to brag, but I do a pretty good job of keeping the old yard properly manicured…I even have a water feature.  Am I right?  Up top!...Just going to leave me topless?”
“Just saying, it’s doesn’t hurt to get a professional opinion.”
“Do I know you?”
“Do you need to?  The advice is sound, and, deep down, in places I gather you like to talk about fairly often; too often, you know it is.”
“Suit yourself.”

When I got home, I put away my purchases (a place for everything and everything in its place), got into my lounge pants, turned on the television, laid out on the couch, and proceeded to lounge.  As I was getting my Karma Karma Karma Karma Karma Chamele on, the phone rang.  It was my mom, who was in Prince George taking care of my grandmother.

“Damion” she said crying, “I think I need to go to the doctor.”
“Are you at grandma’s?”
“I’ll be right there!”
“You’re not busy are you?”
“Mom, I’ll get dressed and be right there!”

I threw on some clothes, grabbed my keys, and fired up “Shakira”.  Before hitting the road, I said a quick prayer, “God, please let my mom be alright…and keep the cops away.”  Since my grandmother’s house was 30 minutes away, observing the speed limit was not an option.  “Shakira’s” Dynamic Stability Control, Traction Control, and
All-Wheel Drive
made it possible to throw her around corners with ease, even at high speeds.  I raced through the back streets, plowed down the on-ramp to 288, and flew onto I95.  I was making great time.  People were moving out of my way (hazard lights helped) and there wasn’t an officer in sight…until there was.  I was pulled over shortly after. 

“You know you were going 25 miles per hour over the speed limit.” 

I was actually going 35 miles per hour over the speed limit before he spotted me, but that’s neither here nor there. (Actually, it was here then there.  Rather quickly I might add.) This was my Momz.  I explained the situation and called my mom to corroborate my story.

“I’m feeling better now,” she said.  “It was a false alarm.”
“That’s good.  Can you tell the officer you’re feeling better?”
“That’s fine,” the officer said.  “I don’t need to talk to her.”
“Are you still coming to Grandma’s?”
“Yes, Mom.  I just need to deal with this.”
“Okay.  See you when you get here.”
“I’m going to let you off with a warning,” the officer said. “You’re obviously very emotional.”
“Thank yo—Wait a second.  You’re not going to put it in your report like that are you?”
“Like what?”
“’Very emotional.’”
“I just don’t want to be categorized as ‘very emotional’ when this story is played out.”
“Don’t think this encounter is ‘story worthy’, but I’ll humor you.  How would you like it to read?”
“Individual showed strength in the face of what was obviously great concern for his mother, belying his family-oriented nature.  Would make a great catch for any single lady in search of a well-rounded, financially and emotionally stable, man with a sense of humor and an above-average command of the written word.”
“This is a police report, not a profile.”
“Can’t it be both?”
“Wikipedia entry?”
“Let me just run your license to see if there are any outstanding issues.”
“You will find that I have no speeding tickets, parking tickets, or DUIs.  I did kill a guy, but we all got a free one after ‘The Inauguration’.”
“Free what?”
“I don’t think that’s accurate.”
“Are you sure?  I’m pretty sure I read that somewhere.”
“I’m pretty sure you read wrong.”
“Well, in that case, I didn’t kill a guy.”

The officer returned my license with a recommendation to drive carefully (keep it under a 100?).  I thanked him again for letting me off with a warning (and ignoring that ‘murder thang’.  Guess you can’t believe everything you read on the interwebs.  You’d think Al Gore would’ve built some fact-checking into that system when he created it.)  When I fired up “Shakira” for the second leg of my journey, the engine did not roar.  It did not bellow.  In fact, it made no noise at all.  The only noise I heard was “Click-Click”.  (Editor’s Note:  Not to be confused with “Tick-Tick”, which I often heard when I was hanging out with that crazy woman.  No, not that one…No…No…No…Ye- No…No…Yes, that one.)

“What’s seems to be the problem?” the officer asked.
“She won’t start.”
“Has this happened before?”
“Only when Jesus wants to mess with me…We have a ‘thing’.”
“Can’t imagine why.”
“I have a portable jumpstart thing in my trunk.”  I attached the cable to the battery and engine block.  Nothing.
“Jesus again?”
“My money’s on Moses.  They often work in tandem.”
“I see.”
“I have Triple - A.”
“Triple-A?  Don’t you mean ‘Triple-Six’?”
“Well played.”

Forty minutes later, AAA showed up.  It turned out that my battery had a defective cell…and was also designed for the 8-cylinder Jag and not the 6-cylinder one, which I had.

“Your warranty for the free replacement battery expired earlier this year,” the technician informed me.
“Of course, it did,” I responded looking up towards Heaven.
“Perhaps, you ought church it up more often; move up in the ‘Prayer Request Queue’.”

I gassed-up “Shakira” and headed, once again, to Grandmother’s house.  I made sure my mom was okay, hung out for awhile as she rested, then headed back home.  “Home, Jeeves!” I exclaimed.  “But, first, Bojangle’s”.  Eight pieces of chicken, four biscuits, sweet tea, and picnic-sized mashed potatoes and gravy and dirty rice.  Life made sense again.

When I got home, the phone rang.  It was my best friend, Michael Watkinson.

“What’s going on?” he asked.
“You know, same ol’ same ol’.”

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