Friday, May 11, 2007

If I Was Young, Maybe

My mother loved the ocean, was oblivious to its dangers. But true to her nature, she had a whole mess of stories about the bad things that could happen to you in the water. If you ever fall out of a boat, you should float, she'd say. A person can float forever. I, true to my nature, couldn't float at all. I'd try and start to flail about two seconds later, imagining my watery grave. And even though my mother could float, she couldn't in life. She worried about everything, but even she couldn't envision what would happen to her. As she grew sicker and sicker, I'd read medical reference books in an attempt to understand the surgeries she'd have and the after effects. The worst one was the last, a fourteen hour ordeal where she'd have most of her intestines removed and replaced with bags. The last line of the recommendation in the book reads, Explain to patient that her vagina will be removed. The doctors could rebuild it by taking a chunk out of the patient's thigh muscles, an option my mother dismissed. If I was young, maybe, she said. She hadn't reached fifty.

Two days before the surgery, my mother put her feet into the hotel pool near the hospital. It was her last chance to swim, but she she didn't get in the water. After so many years of loving it, she couldn't bring herself to say goodbye or float around like she didn't have a care in the world. Once I swam in an infinity pool, the kind that stops at the edge of the ocean. You feel as if you are in nature with none of the inconvenience -- undertows and sharks, jellyfish and garbage. It looks as if it goes on forever. It doesn't, of course. Nothing does. It stops just where the danger starts. You can't go any farther even if you want.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"The past is never dead. It's not even past." William Faulkner

Cocktail Hour

Drinking novel suggestion: American Pastoral Philip Roth

Benedictions and Maledictions

Congratulations to my beloved Pistons for winning against Chicago last night!


the walking man said...

"The past is never dead. It's not even past." William Faulkner

The is one of the things that is out of a persons ability to change, other than to remember it with sorrow or pleasure, regret or anger. But I disagree; it is dead and gone just as the future is for hope but also out of ones control.

But your mom, even if she didn't get all the way in the water for a last good bye, she did feel it's caress one more time as it said good bye to her.

And uhhh shrimpy because you can't float maybe you should wear a flotation device (personally i recommend one of those bright orange rings, but don't paint it black to match your clothes) everywhere in case you get caught in a drizzle.



Christopher Moltisanti said...

Why I Killed J.T. Dolan,
by Christopher Moltisanti
Maybe you think I can't justify why I killed J.T. Dolan, the writer on my "Cleaver" movie, Michelle. But there are reasons why I did it and I thought you should know them. Maybe you already know them, or you are subconsciously aware of them and the fact that you CAN understand why I killed J.T. is the source of your pleasure in the Sopranos and why you are a supportive of the show.
Firstly, I have a lot of stress in my life. Let's face it, I'm in the Mafia. I've murdered people. I've had people murdered. Chiefly among those I've had killed was my fiancee, Adrianna La Cerva, because she ratted us out(the New Jersey crime family) to the Feds. I loved her but Tony Soprano had Silvio Dante kill her after I outed her to Tony. And that was that. Life goes on. I have a wife and baby daughter.
Second, I killed J.T. because of my alcoholism. Dolan was an old AA budy of mine and I turned to him for help after my crime family ostrafied me because I couldn't handle drinking with them in public. Paulie Walnuts especially freaked me out by stealing the power tools from my father-in-law Al's hardware store. Those tools were a cash cow. We stole them from the New Jersey Port Authority, right off the boat from China--drills, saws, power sanders(all laser- guided equipment, the best) and we had my wife's father Al selling them out of his hardware store. Perfect. But then Paulie has his nephew steal the tools(two times) from Al's store to pay the N.J. unions and the Cubans in Miami in a quid pro quo. So I put Paulie's nephew in the hospital. Threw him through a second story glass window, Then Paulie retaliated by doing a 40K in damage lawn job on my home. We had a make up meeting at the Bada Bing strip club but I got drunk and Paulie busted my ballls bigtime and everything turned to slow motion and that's when I left for J.T.'s apartment.
Third, my father was a junkie who abandoned me. OK, he had respect from Tony Soprano and I did kill the cop who killed my father, but I still feel I poured my heart out to J.T. and he ostrafied me. Total abandonment. By killing him I was symbollically killing everyone who turned their backs on me. I was drunk when I did it but I knew what I was doing. Thanks for your support of the show, Michelle. As you know, there are only four episodes left. Thanks again, Michelle, and now you know how I feel.


Christopher Moltisanti

TV Guide said...

Twenty-three more days until the last day of the Sopranos!

Detroit Native said...

Go Red Wings!!!Beat da Ducks!!!

the walking man said...

Jaysus now I really wish i had HBO all those years.

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm sorry to hear about your mother's suffering. Geeze, how hard that must have been. For everyone.

enchanted delivery said...

Glad to duck in from pizza hell for a second of this odious infinity.

Not. Pizza isn't suffering; it's a job and I'm just screwed like the rest of you are.

Your mother lived as gracefully as she could through so much actual, nearly unimaginible trauma, and live stoically with the aftermath. It transferred to her daughter and her writing and her own life, in my humblest humble opinion.

You float with the best of them, above the jellyfish, sharks and garbage. You live a bit of danger--dangerous as a feisty blog o' followers, you voodoo rev. JJ of the pen and keypad. That's all way below you, under the blanket of shadows.

Your spell is a mighty one today, m.

its not freaking delivery said...

hope I'm not too exhausted to write more later. I've written everyday and reap rewards with each keystroke.

I've been reborn


Brake out the prayer candles and a writer's and poet's directory.

Bless St. Dymphna-- m, you convince me that there are some Saints in the world.

flatter e said...

...where have I ever gotten you, bub?

Just for today said...

gotta go. They're calling me. fudge em. Who else is going to work this crap 1 to 1 am? The man who knows when he can take his own damn brakes, that's who! Smoke'm if you got'em.

the walking man said...

JR see up the road somewhere or other, live in peace when you can and think fondly of the past year it was not a waste of time.

peace first
for from it all
good things grow


writers everywhere said...

JR, you'd best be frozen to this page, at least.

What a mighty host m will have, flocked to her shimering banner of black silk, writing poetry and stories that will shake the foundations of the universe for eons to come.

Yes, a lazy beautiful day with little to no pizza demand. I am so relaxed, now.


That's it. Time to go get worn down again.

e clutch said...

how could I get through anything without saying that I've never seen you wear white ever before.

Dandylions and the down cast silent eyes of--wonder, fatigue or loss or all of the above. A smile that speaks of your hope.

Hope you are well.

She dances on black sands in the night

in a white rose lace dress of white

blushingly said...

in a rose lace dress of white


Susan Miller said...

This startled me a bit. I mean, you know, it being Mother's Day weekend and all. But the thing is I'm glad you were there to witness what she did and said. All I can imagine is that it is very important.

As always, I thank you for sharing, Michelle. said...

Everyone floats away in some form or other.

e-bag said...

good work day in day out, sopranos guy.

I've never watched the show at all, and didn't want to. (don't delete this comment yet, m) But now I do. Moltisanti, Uncle Junior(as oppossed to the stolen phony uj), and of course Tony's discourses and kindness toward our most august and gracious hostess, Michelle, have all made me wonder one thing: WTF HAVE I DONE WITH MY LIFE DURING THE LAST FIVE YEARS?

Like I've been loving under a rock in freakin' Jersey or some shit...

great communicator said...

did i say something wrong?

Sheila said...

Your mother sounds like such an interesting woman. I wish I knew her. I so enjoy reading your stories aobut her. I love the picture too! Aren't dandilions the prettiest weed?! When I was a child I thought they were just little yellow flowers growing in peoples grasses. I used to go to my neighbors house and pick a bunch and put them in a vase for my mom.