I Don’t Know

Man: What do you mean you don’t know?

Woman: I just don’t know.

Man: You always say that!

Woman: Well, it’s true!

Man: What’s true?

Woman: I don’t know. I really don’t know.

Man: Wait a second. You mean you just don’t know what’s true, or you just don’t know anything?

Woman: No – not at all. It’s that I just don’t know. I know some things – but I just don’t know about this.

Man: What don’t you know about it?

Woman: I told you. I just don’t know!

Man: Okay, I’m sorry – let’s forget it.

Woman: Forget what? That’s just like you.

Man: What do you mean?

Woman: You are always ready to dismiss me.

Man: That’s not true.

Woman: Well, you just did!

Man: Why do you say that? Just because I said, ‘forget it’??

Woman: Yes, that’s right. You always do that.

Man: I don’t always do that.

Woman: Oh, yes you do!

Man: But I don’t always do anything!

Woman: Sure.

Man: No, it’s true. I said ‘forget it’ because I didn’t want to have an argument.

Woman: I’ve had it! I can’t even tell you I don’t know something without you getting disgusted and then cutting me off.

Man: What do you want me to do?

Woman: Nothing.

Man: That can’t be true. Tell me – just tell me what to do when you say. ‘I don’t know’.

Woman: Nothing. Don’t say anything.

Man: You mean that I shouldn’t answer you at all?

Woman: Yes, that is exactly what I mean.

Man: I’ve never done that in my entire life.

Woman: Done what??

Man: I have never said nothing when someone told me that they ‘didn’t know anything, or something.

Woman: What do you say?

Man: Well, sometimes I say – ‘What don’t you know, or how come you don’t know, or why you don’t know?’ Many times I say, ‘What do you mean you don’t know?’

Woman: And what do they usually say?

Man: I don’t know.

Woman: Don’t be cute.

Man: No – you know what I mean. They usually say, I don’t know.

Woman: Is that so bad?

Man: No.

Woman: But you look confused. You look bewildered.

Man: Well, it’s just that I’m not sure how to continue after someone says, ‘I don’t know’. If I don’t answer them, then what do I do?

Woman: Nothing!

Man: Just be silent – not say a word?

Woman: Yes. Then forget it and go on to something else.

Man: But earlier I said forget it, and you jumped down my throat.

Woman: I know, but that was because I was angry at you.

Man: For what?? Why were you so angry?

Woman: I was angry because you wanted me to talk about something I didn’t know about. Do you know how difficult it is to talk about something you know nothing about, or not sure of?

Man: But I was asking about you. I wanted to know your thoughts – your feelings.

Woman: I know what you wanted.

Man: And that’s why you said, ‘I don’t know’?

Woman: Exactly… I think.

 

And We Stopped Talking

 

When you found yourself, we stopped talking.

When I showed myself, we stopped talking.

When you felt your needs, we stopped talking.

When I showed your fears, we stopped talking.

Expectations, guilt, suspicion, and we stopped talking.

 

Tell me,

That’s alright.

Tell me,

It’s okay.

Tell me,

Forget it.

Tell me,

It doesn’t matter.

Tell me,

You won’t understand.

Tell me,

You don’t care.

Tell me,

I CAN’T!!!

 

Perhaps we never talked.

Perhaps I told and you listened.

There are no second chances.

You talk to others now, and they listen.

It’s their chance to know.

What I know is forever and complete.

And you will never know me.

I always told – we never talked.

 

I despair to know that some do talk.

They say they do, I hope not.

If there is a way, don’t tell me.

There are no second chances.

THE ULTIMATE SOLUTION

The Federal tax code allows for unique deductions for persons who are married. There are also special tax deductions if one has children. The Congress of the United States agreed that it was necessary to allow for taxation allowance for such special familial circumstances.

Well, here goes. Please finish reading before you damn the concept. Finish reading and find it in your heart to agree with everything that I have suggested.

The Federal government should introduce tax deductions and other fiscal benefits to all persons who willingly intermarry. The intermarriages that qualify will be racial, and religious and across sexual proclivities.  The rational for such a legislative decision is the likelihood that only by the bond offered by marriage will we finally lessen the chokehold that bigotry holds our nation.

Only by the intermarriage of Black and White, Christian and Jew, Gay and Transsexuals, can we hope to progress beyond the destructive obedience to the mindsets of superiority, and ignorance. In time, but sooner than later, subsequent generations of children born of such marriages will be free of the hate that now pervades our nation.

Well – what do you think???

WRONG SIDE OF THE BED

Many years ago, the wrong side of the bed was clearly marked by the presence of a “pot de chambre,” that is a chamber pot. Upon awakening during the night, a careless move to the floor on the “wrong side” of the bed resulted in disaster. With the passage of time and the introduction of in-house plumbing, the chamber pot has been transformed into a planter, or flea market novelty.

The pot may be gone, but the expression “wrong side of the bed” has endured as an explanation for annoying personal behaviors. Getting up on the “wrong side of the bed” is now considered to be the cause of grouchiness, moodiness, depression, lethargy and a host of other regrettable feelings and behaviors, not the least of which is “feeling lousy.”

Perhaps there is a “right side” of the bed, which if located and used will ensure vigor, good will, affection and sex. The physical structure of most beds offer few cues as to the right or wrong side, let alone the good or the bad side.  Beds with a headboard, and/or a wall behind the bed offer just three possible “right” sides. One might eliminate the foot of the bed as an escape route, and thereby enhance your chances of choosing the “right side” by 33 percent.

The prospect of having just two choices to select the “right” side might be too risky. One might move the bed to the center of the room and then have four sides to choose from, or at least three sides with a rotating `foot.’ For the avid gambler, a circular bed would offer a limitless search for the “right” side.

It’s possible that the number of bed sides and their locations will not solve the demand for a splendid morning personality. We must hit the floor on the “right side” and the design of beds offers no help.

The presence of a bedmate insures a forced choice of the “right side.” In a bed with a head board, foot and partner, the “right side” is most likely your own side. Whether such a choice ensures a personality change is a much more complex issue, and never under your direct control. Furthermore, the sleeper is never concerned about the side of the bed to get up on. Sleepers just get up after a nights sleep. They could, if asked, describe their mood. It is the observer, that is, spouse, friend or `other body’ who feels compelled to identify a cause for the sleeper’s mood.

“Boy, I see that you got up on the wrong side of the bed today.”

With that pronouncement, the sleeper quickly surveys the bedside looking for the infamous “pot de chambre”. Not finding any, the newly awakened must assume total responsibility for the mood in the bedroom or immediately leap to the other side of the bed with the hope that there lies the “right side”, and acceptance.

RECIPE ???

The shower water was getting too cool so I turned up the hot faucet. I was shampooing my hair with more vigor than usual, and trying to recall Suzanne’s recipe for Rillette. I remembered the pork butt, and duck fat, and crushed hot pepper and nothing else. I scrubbed my hair even harder in an futile attempt to recall the rest of the recipe. Perhaps if I massaged my scalp, the ingredients would be revealed. I could not recall anything else. I rinsed my hair, and bagged the conditioner treatment. The forgotten recipe had my total attention.

For many years since her death I have planned to make the Rillette, and at one time I thought I recalled the entire recipe. With the passage of time, each ingredient has slipped into  the fog of memory. As I was drying myself, I felt a sudden  sense of relief. A complete sense of comfort. I stopped reaching for the recipe recall. I felt so pleased – so at peace.  I realized that I did not need the recipe. I did not need to make Suzanne’s Rillette. I will never make the Rillette, and I had no need to revive the recipe.

I knew the Rillette. I knew how it looked in the bowl. I knew the color. I certainly knew the unique taste. I could see the cornichon at the edges of the bowl.  The Rillettes was mine forever, and what is more I saw Suzanne preparing the Rillette. I saw her face, hair, and apron covering her dress. I heard her voice while cooking. I could see her mashing the pork, and mixing the elusive ingredients. And then, the taste, the bread, the wine, and the joy of having lived through the experience. I knew I could never – no not ever reproduce the Rillette, and certainly not that moment in our life.  Our memories are unique, precious, and so private. I am very pleased they are private. They cannot be shared, nor recreated. What a treat!

 

ELECTION THOUGHTS and OTHER THINGS

 

I love my grandchildren, as well as my great-grand children who I rarely see as they reside in France, but I am not concerned about any financial debt that they may incur after my death. So many politicians are sincerely worried about the financial circumstance of future generations. Actually I rarely think about subsequent generations financial needs. Perhaps there are grandparents who prepare financial packages for their grandchildren, but I cannot accept that a national election should rest on the need for such gift giving.

I have frequently missed giving the grandchildren birthday gifts. I sometimes hang their artwork on my refrigerator door, but even that I do only in their presence. When they see that the drawings are missing, I quickly hand out candy bars, and blow up colorful balloons. Balloon blowing has become more difficult, in part due to my aged lungs, and the cheap balloons from China. “Saving is a very fine thing. Especially when your parents have done it for you.”(Winston Churchill – what a guy!)

I do not mind that many politicians are rich. I mean very rich. Like the wealthiest men and women in the world.  If the laws of the land, loopholes, accounting regimes, off-shore hideaways allow for such wealth so be it.

What I find repulsive is my indebtedness. I wish I had a very close relative or friend who was mega-rich, and also willing to pay off my credit cards. Change the laws, loop holes, etc, but stop inferring some ill-will, or inhumane quality to the very rich. I was raised in a household that adored FDR. He was rich, perhaps not mega-rich, but still wealthy. When he spoke on the radio I put my hand over my heart in allegiance to him and God Bless America. . “Every morning I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people in America. If I’m not there, I go to work.”(Robert Orben – whoever he is?)

Opps, I did it! I just wrote in the prior paragraph a phrase that I find intolerable in terms of its frequent use. “God bless you, and God bless America.” Every politician, regardless of their party finishes their speech with “ God bless….”.  I  never liked the inclusion of ‘under God’ in the pledge of allegiance. The blessing offends me, as does the ever present American Flag, 24/7 on homes, and businesses.

Flag Day was solemn for those of us who cheered the troops on Iwo Jima, and Tarawa. When someone famous died, flags were flown, and then put in the attic. The reason so many flags are frayed is due to overuse. “When man is freed of religion, he has a better chance to live a normal and wholesome life”. (Sigmund Freud)

And what about the misuse of “love”. I love my dog, my parakeet, as well as my Uncle Henry, despite the pinch he gave me at every greeting. I love my wife, my kids, and my accountant as he finagles my tax return. I love my car mechanic, and everything bagels. Now we have LOL on every text message and twitter.

I am not adverse to saying “I love….” But are there any limits to the object of such an expression?  I think that when your lover asks “how much do you love me?”, that is meant to humanize and make earnest your affection. Your dog, or parakeet, or Uncle Henry never requires an amount.  “It is better to have loved and lost than never to have lost at all” (Samuel Butler – A long time ago)

Finally, should Obama lose the election of 2012, a primal cause is his color. Yes, he is not very black, nor is Colin Powell, Halle Berry or Mohammed Ali. Obama is black enough. As the beach sand looks white and dry to the touch, it only takes a few hand full’s to reach the damp, and darker subsurface.

The American sand has never been free of racism. That Obama won election in 2008, was a reflection of the despair, and bitterness felt by millions caused by the deceit and ill-will of the Bush administration. McCain was weak from the onset, and when he chose Sarah as his running mate, that certainly helped Obama. The flip-flopping of Romney and his pandering to the headline of the day is less painful to millions than the skin color of Obama, Michelle, and the children.

Last month during the Al Smith Catholic Charities ceremony, Obama jest fully stated he feared using his middle name, Hussein. Obama’s name, birthright, mixed parenthood, absent father, etc. all reinforce, but are not necessary to determine the votes of millions. It is sufficient that he is black. “Inny, minny, mity, mo, catch a nigger by the toe, if he hollers let him go, inny, minny mity mo.” (Chant from East New York, Brooklyn, 1938-1951)

SMALL TALK

Small talk is seen as trivial, meaningless, and superficial. Often we hear people complain that…

“I can’t stand small talk!”

“Oh, all that small talk is driving my crazy!”

Why do we engage in small talk? Because we are small people? No. Big people engage in small talk. Perhaps it is because we have small minds. I don’t believe so, since many small minds are known to talk big.

The main reason for small talk must be the mouth size. Small talk is probably caused by a small mouth. Big mouths are known to talk big. In fact, big talk is the hallmark of a big mouth, or is that a loud mouth?

Have you ever heard loud mouths talk small talk? It might not be possible.  Since small talk is bad, then big talk must be good. Remember the joyful hours you have spent listening to big talk. Big talk, out of big mouths, with small minds.

Small talk is not at all trivial, meaningless nor superficial. Small talks allow us the time to become acquainted; small talk allows us to gracefully engage a stranger, or to painlessly tolerate the friend.

Shinny Rocks (a.k.a. Sea Glass)

Joshua lived by the shores of Lake Erie. Every morning he walked with his friends along the shore and they searched for shinny rocks. The shinny rocks that they found were pieces of beautiful colored glass. The glass was made so smooth by the waters of the lake.

Joshua saved his rocks in an empty Skippy Butter jar that he had on his dresser. Every evening before going to bed Joshua separated the shinny rocks into piles. Some piles had the same color, and other piles were small shinny rocks, and others were bigger rocks. Before he went to sleep, Joshua placed the most beautiful shinny rocks in an old sock that his Grandpa gave to him. Each one was like a jewel, and so hard to find. Purple, orange, red, and black were the best but, blue and green were also special. The rocks in the sock were his favorites, and he would never give them away, or even trade them with his friends.

Many children who lived by the lakefront collected the shiny rocks, except for his neighbor, Francis. Francis couldn’t walk along the shore, because Francis was bound to a wheel chair. When Francis was born he had a disease and he was never able to walk like the other children. Every morning, Francis would sit on his porch, and watch the other children search for shinny rocks.

Francis had a pet goldfish. The goldfish was a beautiful orange color – just like a Halloween pumpkin. The goldfish was named Pumpkin. Each morning, Francis would take Pumpkin in the fish bowl and sit and watch the children searching the shore for shinny rocks. Francis really wanted to go down to the shore and search for the rocks with his friends.

Each morning when Joshua came back from the beach, he would stop to show Francis the rocks that Joshua collected. Francis was so happy to see, and touch the shiny rocks. The boys were such good friends.

One day when Joshua was walking back from the beach, he saw that Francis was not sitting on the front porch. Joshua went to the rear of Francis’s house. Seated in his wheelchair under a big oak tree was Francis. Joshua walked over to say good morning. Joshua saw that Francis was crying. As Joshua got closer, he noticed that the fish bowl was empty. On Francis’s lap was Pumpkin the goldfish. Francis told Joshua that Pumpkin died last night. Joshua said that he was very sorry. Francis wanted to bury Pumpkin in the yard, and Joshua offered to help. Joshua went into his garage and got a small garden shovel. Joshua dug a small hole next to the trunk of a big oak tree. Joshua took Pumpkin from Francis and placed Pumpkin in the hole. Joshua put the soil on top of
Pumpkin. Francis was crying so hard. Joshua told Francis that he had a big surprise and that he would return in a minute

Joshua went into his house, and returned in a few minutes to Francis. Joshua had his Grandpa’s sock in his hand. Joshua opened the sock and poured several of the very best of the jewel-like rocks on top of the grave. Joshua put his best : blue, orange, pink and peach on the soil. Francis stopped crying, and he smiled such a big smile. He never saw such beautiful shinny rocks. Joshua also smiled, and he held the hand of Francis.

The next day, Francis’ father decided to bring Francis down to the water’s edge to be with his friends. The wheelchair became stuck in the sand, and all the children helped carry the chair to the water’s edge. Joshua came over to Francis and when Francis was not looking, Joshua took a green rock out of his pocket, and secretly dropped the rock in front of the wheelchair. Soon Francis noticed the rock and reached for it, and as he did he fell out of the chair onto the sand. Francis was so excited; he wasn’t even hurt by the fall.

Seeing how happy Francis was, Joshua once again secretly dropped another shinny rock a few feet away from Francis. Francis saw the rock and he crawled over to the rock. He shouted for joy. All the children were watching. Francis’s Father was so happy for Francis. Joshua continued to secretly place his rocks further down the beach, and Francis excitedly crawled to collect his new found treasure. He never saw that it was Joshua who was placing the rocks for Francis to find.

On the beach was a very big tree trunk that had been swept to shore by a storm. Joshua placed a magnificent bright red shinny rock on the top of the trunk. The rock was high up on the trunk. Francis saw the beautiful red rock. To get the rock, Francis had to grab onto the branches on the tree trunk and pull himself up to a standing position. He had to use all of his strength to pull himself up. With all his might, he finally reached the shiny rock. Francis was fully standing for the first time in his life. His Father, and all the children cheered for Francis. Joshua cheered the loudest, and the longest. He truly loved his friend Francis.

I Don’t Know

Man: What do you mean you don’t know?

Woman: I just don’t know.

Man: You always say that!

Woman: Well, it’s true!

Man: What’s true?

Woman: I don’t know. It’s true that I really don’t know.

Man: Wait a second. You mean you don’t know, or you just won’t even try.

Woman: No not at all. It’s that I don’t know. Trying won’t help.

Man:  What don’t you know about it?

Woman: I told you. I just don’t know!!

Man:  Okay, I’m sorry let’s forget it.

Woman: Forget what? That’s just like you.

Man:  What do you mean?

Woman: You are always ready to dismiss me.

Man:  That’s not true.

Woman: Well, you just did!!

Man:  Why do you say that? Just because I said `forget it’?

Woman: Yes, that’s right. You always do that.

Man:  I don’t always do that, or anything else.

Woman: Oh, yes you do.

Man:  Cut it out! I don’t always do something. Forget that always thing!

Woman: Sure.

Man:  No, it’s true. I said `forget it’ because I didn’t want to have an argument.

Woman: I’ve had it! I can’t even tell you I don’t know, without you getting disgusted and then cutting me off.

Man:  What do you want me to do?

Woman: Nothing!

Man: That can’t be true. Tell me, just tell me what to do when you say, `I don’t know’.

Woman: Nothing. Don’t say anything.

Man: You mean that I shouldn’t answer you at all?

Woman: Yes, that is exactly what I mean.

Man:  I’ve never done that in my entire life.

Woman: Done what?

Man: I have never said nothing when someone told me that they didn’t know something’.

Woman: What do you say?

Man: Well, sometimes I say `What don’t you know, or how come you don’t know, or why don’t you know?’ Many times I say, `What do you mean you don’t know?’

Woman: And what do they usually say?

Man:  I don’t know.

Woman: Don’t be cute.

Man:  No you know what I mean. They usually say, I don’t know.

Woman: Is that so bad?

Man:  No.

Woman: But you looked confused. You looked bewildered.

Man:  Well, it’s just that I’m not sure how to continue after           someone says `I don’t know’. If I don’t answer them, then what do I do?

Woman: Nothing!

Man:  Just be silent and not say a word?

Woman: Yes. Then forget it and go on to something else.

Man:  But earlier I said forget it, and you jumped down my throat.

Woman: I know, but that was because I was angry at you.

Man:  For what?? Why were you so angry?

Woman: I was angry because you wanted me to talk about something I was unsure about. Do you know how difficult it is to talk about something you are unsure of or confused about?

Man:  But I was asking about you. I wanted to know what you were thinking – your feelings.

Woman: I know what you wanted, but sometimes I don’t know me!

Man:  And that’s why you said `I don’t know’?

Woman: Exactly… I think.
Fine

Are You Listening

They were standing on Main Street in New Berlin just in front of the Big M market.

It was a late Fall day. A light drizzle and the wind circled one’s body and carried the first bite of early winter. Muriel and Helen were just about to enter the shop.

Muriel: Hello Helen. How are you?

Helen: Not so good.

Muriel: How is your sister?

Helen: Oh, she’s fine.

Muriel: I’m so exhausted. I’ve been running all morning.

Helen: I know how you feel. I’ve been very tired lately.

Muriel: I hope the rain holds off till Saturday. I’ve got guests coming for lunch tomorrow.

Helen: Muriel you know I’ve been getting more exhausted lately.

Muriel: I plan for four for lunch, but Harriet usually calls at the last minute to tell me she is too tired to eat at lunch, so she never comes.

Helen: I think I should make an appointment at Chenango Memorial Hospital.

Muriel: That Harriet she makes me so mad, but it doesn’t matter anyway.

Helen: The outpatient clinic is so busy nowadays.

Muriel: Even if Harriet doesn’t come, I’m going to make my special peach pie.

Helen: Muriel do you ever feel whoosy whenever you stand up?

Muriel: What?

Helen: Did you ever feel real dizzy when you stand up?

Muriel: Sometimes. Helen, I can’t understand…

Helen: I’m sorry Muriel, but I don’t how to explain myself, but the dizziness is really annoying.

Muriel: Helen, you know if you use fresh peaches, the pie takes one hour to bake.

Helen: I know.

Muriel: Have you ever used fresh peaches for pie ?

Helen: Many times Muriel, but nowadays I find it hard to stand on my feet.

Muriel: Well I’ll tell you. I’m not going to kill myself.

Helen: Is it really so much trouble?

Muriel: No, but I’m really annoyed with Harriet.

Helen: Is it getting colder? I feel a chill.

Page 2….

Muriel: Can you believe it? Harriet has never made a lunch at her house.

Helen: Muriel, I’m so cold. I’d best get going.

Muriel: Where are you going?

Helen: Muriel, my legs feel weak.

Muriel: Helen maybe you’d like to come over for lunch.

Helen: Oh thanks but I’d best…..

Muriel: Everyone is coming about 12:30.

Helen: Where is my car? Muriel do you see my car?

Muriel: I walked downtown today.

Helen: I can’t see my car.

Muriel: Where did you park it?

Helen: Muriel, my legs are so cold. I think I’m gonna……..

Muriel: It is getting a bit chilly. Well I’ve got to buy some Crisco and a pie tin.(Muriel enters Big M.)

Helen: Bye Muriel, I’ll……..( Helen falls to the ground, just as Muriel enters the store. It starts to rain. Across the street, a man comes out of the NBT bank. He runs to Helen who is lying on the ground. The rain falls even harder.)