The Hallowed One

Where it is explained further what it means to not ever have had to suck cock. Last in a series exploring the Sponge Thief's complex relationships with his vehicles, and by extension, his life, and by extension, our lives.

In Loving Memory of the Prized Jeep

R.I.P. Jeep CJ7 • "The Hallowed One" • 1987-1992His mourning leads him, as it always does when he loses yet another car to dereliction, to recount the long drawn-out history of defunct cars of his past­. There are a dozen or more whose demise I have personally witnessed, starting with the cherished cream colored CJ 7 Jeep that he drove when we first met 22-years ago. The Jeep is the prized auto to which all other jalopies have paled in comparison for decades, and no car conversation ever ends without a trip down memory lane to the days of the hallowed Jeep.

I am convinced, were it not for the presence of the famed Jeep, he never would have wooed me into his life in the first place. Perhaps that is why it is particularly onerous to hear the fairy tale revisited every single time a new jalopy dies. On the outside the Jeep seemed smooth yet powerful. Its V-8 engine roared loudly, and excited me with the promise of the ride of a lifetime–a way to escape my reality and live in a world where someone else, who could be trusted, and said all the right things was behind the wheel. It was a badass vehicle that could drive over any obstacle that got in our way, which came in handy because we had a lot of hindrances, including reality, in our life in need of a good running over.

The façade of the Jeep took some time to crack. Even when I stood high atop a mountain, many miles from anywhere, next to the broken down Jeep with a snapped front-axel, I had no idea of the long line of jalopies whose demise I would witness over the next two decades. These car deaths would show me time and again how very wrong my fantasy was of my getaway car that was sexy on the outside, but rusted out and defunct on the inside.

Bad Luck Favors the Delusional

As was true for that Jeep, and is also true for all of Our Ex-Husband’s cars, his jobs, his money, his housing, his wives, his children, his teeth and his college degrees that have come and gone in a fiery blaze, they are all usually lost due to his lack of capacity to deal with basic reality.

For the cars for example, not having money to fix their ailments well before they become terminal is surely an obstacle. But before those maladies actually even strike, the inability to foresee the inevitable breakdown and ensuing sorrow that comes from ignoring the basics of car maintenance that will hasten their death is nothing less than remarkable.

Then the bemoaning of the bad luck ensues.

Understanding the logic of the bad luck that comes from not once flushing the transmission in a 28-year old car and then not expecting things to end badly is tricky. It requires a break from reality most people aren’t capable of achieving. The idea that luck might favor the prepared is entirely lost on Our Ex-Husband.

The Great Revival

Our Ex-Husband isn’t capable of most shit most of the time. In fact, any time things aren’t on fire or a near death experience isn’t being endured, Our Ex-Husband lacks even the most modest capacity to follow through or be relied upon. When the crisis involves a derelict automobile that has been neglected and driven until it literally spontaneously combusts, however, he goes into action­­­­–the kind of action replete with the most luckless maneuvers possible, that in his mind can right all with no cash required. This comes in handy because no cash exists in the lives of our Ex-Husband. A series of “Jerry Rigging” maneuvers are attempted, and an even deeper leave of absence from reality begins.

Definition of Jerry Rigging:

To fix an object (usually mechanical) to a working condition in a haphazard way. Also known as doing a MacGyver on it. This can apply to any non-working thing, to fix it in a nonconventional way. This term was created during WW2, in reference to the Germans who were referred to as "Jerries" as slang. Allies often came across hastily repaired objects left by the Germans hence the term Jerry-Rig came to be.

 

 

Past classic maneuvers in the Jerry Rigging department have included: fastening a rusted gas tank back into a 65’ banana yellow Ford Galaxy using bright blue luggage straps; holding the axel of the famed CJ 7 Jeep suspension in place with stray bobby pins found in his girlfriend’s hair while off-roading; plotting routes to his destination that never require him to go in reverse or over 11 mph for the eight months his 90' Nissan Maxima can only be driven in first gear; and parking the 85’ Toyota Supra over a baking pan at night, so that in the morning when every last drop of oil has drained out of the multitude of leaks in the engine, it can be poured back in and used again.

The Great Fall

The great fall out of his delusional state only happens when these slipshod Jerry Rig maneuvers land a car defunct in the middle of a large intersection at rush hour on a 105 degree day, or our child cowering on the side of the freeway in a fiery gulf of stupidity. These deaths are never understated, and the lament at the deepening bad luck Our Ex-Husband experiences is far reaching.

By this point, all parties involved beg to be put out of their misery, but the misery has only begun. For this is when the emphatic pleas of desperation are initiated and Our Ex-Husband, the Sponge Thief himself, does what he does best and turns his attention to sponge off his ex-wife.

He slathers me with so much assholishness and tumult that I am rendered deaf, dumb and blindsided with rage anew as though the last dozen times have taught me exactly nothing.

R.I.P. • BMW 750 "Goldfinger" • 1988-2000Past classic sponging maneuvers involving dead and defunct cars included the time a charge for a $6,000 transmission installed in a 7 series BMW with 280,000 miles showed up on my credit card statement well after we were no longer together. This was followed by the time the mechanic I had been going to for ten years suddenly called me to say that my husband had dropped off our new car – a 90’ Nissan Maxima – and the car and its $2,063 worth of repairs was ready to be picked up. The only problem was I no longer had a husband and my car was in the driveway. I should have been infuriated that my mechanic would believe he was my husband and that somehow I all of a sudden owned a 17-year old heap of junk. But the Sponge Thief is nothing if not adept at convincing even the shrewdest person of the most improbable schemes, and this was just another in a long miserable line of schemes with a jalopy theme.

When I contested the BMW transmission on my credit card, I had to pay it anyway because we were not yet officially divorced at that point. I also had to give a painful explanation to my current mechanic on the stupidity of all persons involved and explain why this husband imposter was really my ex and the Maxima was his car not ours. But no matter how many times I won’t bail him out, Our Ex-Husband will keep trying, because he knows that he may get lucky if he wears me down enough and has sufficiently sucked all the resistance out of me with his incessant sponging. It's true: he doesn't suck cock; instead, he sucks the goodness and/or cash out of anyone within close range.

A Life Sentence Commuted?

My son turned 18-years old this year, and graduated from high school in the spring. For years I pretended our son becoming an adult would mean bearing witness to the long era of my Ex-Husband’s Jerry Rigged life would come to a rapid and tidy end–my manacles of stupidity finally shed. But alas, having a child with a Sponge Thief is a life sentence because kids don’t turn 18 and magically stop needing parenting–and with parenting comes co-parenting.

So alas I can never really let my vigilance wane, for he’ll always have fantastical tales of woe ready to lure me in if I let him. Lest I let my guard down for even one minute, he will not only have my every sponge, but my second car as well. And because it’s his biggest accomplishment he will manage to remind me that no matter how down and out he has always been, and will always be, he has never had to suck a single cock­. Why should he, when he can always get someone else to do it for him?

 

Also: Jalopies of the Sponge Thief: Full Gallery

On Not Having to Suck Cock

Second in a series examining the Sponge Thief and the Symbolism of His Cars.

“At least I haven’t had to suck cock.”

My ex-husband is standing next to the shithole crawlspace over a garage he calls home while this declaration comes rushing out as part of a flooded and tangential monologue. He is reviewing in great detail why none of the catastrophes in his life of late, and therefore in mine, are his fault.

Atop the list of recent calamities is his only hours-dead jalopy that met a fiery end on the side of the freeway while our teenage son was driving. My relief that my child did not meet the same fiery end on the side of the 101 freeway, and the fury that it was even a possibility compels me to make an effort to look for logic where none ever exists. Though our kid’s brush with a flood of automotive fluids, billowing smoke, and flames is my only concern, the word salad being tossed from my ex-husband’s lips also includes his plight that nobody will hire him after being fired three times in as many months; and not shockingly it also contains a lengthy explanation of why he needs to borrow my second car.

When he proclaims his good fortune at avoiding having to suck cock, I replay his pronouncement in my mind a few times to make sure I understand it. Despite my earnest efforts, I have great difficulty comprehending his relishing in his success at not being reduced to sucking cock amid a life catching fire around him. It is an ironic statement to be sure, especially given the several years he chose not to work while we were still married, which is when I found myself doing exactly the thing he had been so pleased to have avoided.

I was 21-years old and going to college full time, and my then 36 year old husband was doing community theater for free when I made the choice to become a prostitute. I wanted to stay in school, but I could no longer deny that my two jobs were just not cutting it. Our financial ruin grew by leaps and bounds by every semester that passed, (and the corresponding community theater production). Not surprisingly, every student loan and credit card was in my name, and my name alone.

I had to make a bunch of cash and prostituting was the only way I could think of to do it quickly enough to stop the bleeding and to stay in school. Perhaps it goes without saying that said prostitution included sucking cock–a whole lot of wanton, and often flaccid cock. But that was the price I paid for staying in school and letting go of the fairy tale that I no longer believed existed. By then I was all too aware that princesses had to save themselves.

As I stand there in his driveway, I begin to get lost in the events of those early college years. But after his cock sucking assertion, My Ex Husband does not pause long enough for me to respond to this small, yet significant side note. Instead he earnestly continues to spew forth his tale of woe at his usual alarming rate of speed and I know exactly where we are headed. 

to be continued

The Stillborn Transmission

One may recall that J. Mitigate posted a piece about her Sponge Thief's affection for his Jeep CJ7.  It became apparent that an accompanying piece was necessary in order to explain T. Halophile's Sponge Thief's parallel regard for his Jeep CJ7. After all, this more-than-coincidental over-regard for the Jeep CJ7 became one of the forensic milestones in discovering we may have the same ExHusband.  However, it became apparent that in order to fully deconstruct T. Halophile's Sponge Thief's regard for his Jeep CJ7, the entire archaelogy of his vehicles must first be examined.  

R.I.P. 1990-April 21, 1994 • 128 lbs. 9 oz. • Mazda 323 • "C'mon Baby!"I was five centimeters dialated when giving birth to my son when I started to have brief moments of clarity about my life. I was nineteen, a freshman in college, and married to a man twice my age whose life choices were questionable at best. In that moment I begin to see this was an ill thought out life choice to have a baby with such a man, but the real eye opener, was 36 hours later when my husband was driving my newborn son and I home from the hospital and our 1990 Mazda 323 gave birth to its stillborn transmission in the intersection of Kalakaua Avenue and Kaiulani Street.

My breast milk flowed freely in that intersection, as did my tears for I now foresaw the years of struggle ahead with previously unknown clarity, and the cars that followed the lifeless Mazda told the tale.

The Mazda begat the 1990 Nissan Sentra and it wasn’t until we took if for an oil change a week after purchasing it from some fast talking locals that the mechanic broke the news that nearly all parts of the engine and body were held together with coat hangers.

R.I.P. 1984-1996 • Nissan Sentra • "Hang My Coat" After paying someone to tow the Sentra out of the driveway mere weeks later, we bought a 1980 Toyota Corolla wagon off of a welfare mother for $800. It was our last $800.

The Corolla had huge rust holes in the body, and the cockroaches that infested the interior no doubt fed on the WIC purchased cheese and cheerios strewn across the backseat. Having done it to several cars in his day, my husband bondo’ed the rust holes with pride before he spray-painted the entire car flat black and voila­–“The Briquette” was born.

 

R.I.P. 1980-1997 • Toyota Corolla • "The Briquette"

 

With each year that came our financial struggles seemed to multiply like those welfare cockroaches in the backseat of The Briquette.

My husband picked me up from campus everyday and each time I awaited his arrival, I fantasized that somehow he would get it together and show up in a reliable car, and tell me he had a job and that everything was going to be fine. But day after day and week after week I heard The Briquette’s arrival a few blocks before it turned the corner, and the announcement that he had quite the theatre and had a paying gig never happened.

Mainichi

Mainichi mom - from zerochan.netTo put it wisely as my friend did:

"...To do justice by whatever it is to which you have committed your time and attention, the idea is that you have to work on it, intensely, every day.

"And that is what it takes to be a good parent: mainichi."

To our dismay, the Sponge Thief would rather steals sponges than to show up every day - but it takes years before we realize that this is the best thing that could ever happen to us. The farther in the distance my Sponge Thief fades, the better off we all are...

 

Sponge Thief Sighted at a Silent Auction

He looked like Sam Shepard, with glasses and broken shouldersI was at a small silent auction benefit for Alzheimer’s Disease, trying to decide whether $40 was too much to bid on a batch of home brew, when a handsome man, about my age, with dimples and round gold wire-framed glasses, came up to me, smiling.

“Oh,” he said, “I thought you were someone else. You have the same shoulders.”

“I didn’t know shoulders were that distinctive?”

“Yes well, they are.”

“I see,” I said, and since he didn’t go away, and I don’t know how to end conversations, I continued, “And how did you find out about this benefit?”

“My wife’s friend at work invited us, he’s over there.” He pointed. 

“And what does she do?”

“Software.”

“Oh, do you do that as well?”

“No. I was an engineer, but that didn’t work out, so now I’m a stay-at-home husband/cabinet maker of sorts.”

“You mean you’re freelance.”

“No, actually, I don’t make cabinets anymore, because I destroyed both shoulders making cabinets.”

“I see, that’s why you notice shoulders.”

He nodded and continued,”You know, when you get older, everything gets all screwed up.”

“Don’t I know it,” I said.

“No, you don’t,” and he paused, looking hard at my face, “I’m about 12-15 years older than you, and believe me, when you screw things up with your body, it doesn’t really improve.”

“I’m 46.”

“Wow! I thought you were in your 30s. You have a great hairdresser. Really, you should tell them they’re doing a great job.”

His poor wife came up to us at that point and glared at me suspiciously as if to say, why are you hitting on my husband and I smiled back at her wishing I could shake her very hard while I shouted, He’s a sponge thief! Run away as fast as you can!    

 

June/July Playlist o' the Month

This playlist, NAY, THIS WEBSITE, is not complete without the essential You Don't Need by Jane Siberry. Download the whole album directly from her and pay as you see fit

Diana Ross sang When we Grow Up? No way. I guess I couldn't read (liner notes) when I listened to this album as a wee tot. From the always-fresh Free to Be You and Me album, by Marlo Thomas & Friends

 

 

Sneaking Suspicion

yikesI have the sneaking suspicion that Romantic Love, the concept, served a purpose when women were chattel and could not choose their mate and couldn't work or inherit money, etc, (new idea at that time: you can choose to marry who you want, technically!!) but that it is not helpful long-term unless you are some kind of evolved wunderkind who isn't attracted to the person who embodies all the stuff about yourself you don't want to look at, or wish you were.  

 

I have the sneaking suspicion that romantic loves means the god in you falls in love with the god in the other person.  If so, watch out for the gods! No wonder it is a mess in prosaic terms...you fell in love with a god and you expect him to change diapers? That's hilarious.
What the God in Him Actually Looks Like. yikes.

 

The Victorian novels dealing with this...I read them over and over & watch the BBC shows, trying to learn, while loving it every minute WHY?, but they always end without revealing whether it was the right choice after all, to marry for love.  Getting married, those novelists consider that the logical end.  And then what??  

 

Clearly someone needs to write sequels to all these novels, I think it is the only thing that will quell my fascination. Is it simply the most amazing propaganda campaign ever? Propaganda for what?

 

Appraisals

Some nights Mr. T wears his jewelry to bed "to see how my ancestors, who were slaves, felt."

LADY’S DIAMOND AND PLATINUM RING. The ring is set with (1) marquise center diamond and two (2) each tapered baguette diamonds. The center marquise diamond weighs approximately 1.55 carats and has a clarity and color VS1-G-H. This diamond measures approximately 12.9x6.19mm and is cut with good proportions and symmetry. There is one small natural located on the lower girdle. One (1) tapered baguette diamond is set on each side of the center marquise diamond. These two (2) diamonds have a total combined weight of approximately .20 carats and have an average clarity and color of VS1-G.

value: $14,750.00

APPRAISER: ARCHIE HANDERSON, G.G.

MY MOTHER WORE THIS RING as an engagement ring, that is, on the ring finger next to her wedding band. Her wedding band was a PLAIN GOLD BAND. While growing up, I liked to examine my mother: her clothes, her face, her hair, her voice, and her jewelry, and I examined her with absolute love and devotion up until I was of the appropriate age to cease said love and devotion and examination, at around fifteen (15) or so.  

Regardless of how my attitude toward my mother changed over the years, one thing has never changed: that in my opinion, her LADY’S DIAMOND AND PLATINUM RING was incredibly beautiful.

I told her that more than once, but finally when she deemed me old enough to hear it (I was approximately twelve (12)), she said in response, “But you know, that’s not my engagement ring.”

“It’s not?”

“No. Your father didn’t have the cash for an engagement ring, although he made good money - he spent it as he made it.  He proposed to me without a ring.”

She went on to explain that he bought the LADY’S DIAMOND AND PLATINUM RING approximately two (2) years after they were married.

I was puzzled but gradually realized that for me, this was an incredibly beautiful LADY’S DIAMOND AND PLATINUM RING given to her by my father. But for her, it was a reminder of how he did it wrong.  He gave it to her too late to count.

But, she wore it.  Every day.  If she wore it as an engagement ring but it was not an engagement ring then do we conclude that she looked at it all the time thinking, But that is not my engagement ring. I did not get one.  Do we conclude that it was important to her to show everyone else that she had received an engagement ring, on time?

Later, I did encounter, myself, the feeling of getting it too late to count.  After I had separated from my first husband after eleven (11) years of marriage,  he bought me a diamond brooch. This was an antique brooch with real diamonds with a white gold setting. He had to borrow money from his employer (approximately $2500) to pay for it. He gave me the brooch along with a written appraisal. 

I accepted the brooch as I was only 90% sure that I wanted to divorce him, and plus I liked it, and plus, he had given me approximately nothing near as nice as that in the eleven (11) years we were married.  I knew deep down that he had approximately no idea how to get me back, despite the five (5) years of couple therapy and theoretical co-habitation with me for the previous decade.  

This made me very sad, that he had not realized until too late, that you can’t blow off your wife forever, and I felt sorry for him, even though it was as impossible for me to reconcile with him as it was for me to leave him sooner than I did.  Eventually, your doormat of a wife may very well grow the balls to leave you, and no piece of jewelry can change that, but thanks for the brooch.

I divorced him later that year. I was, however, unable to wear the brooch for approximately ten (10) more years.  I periodically took it out from the fireproof safe in my closet, and held it in my hand, inspecting it.  “This is still a fine brooch," I said each time to myself, “And one I would wear, but cannot.”  I was unable to sell it, or return it, or give it away,  so I put it back in the safe, until the next time.

I had to wait until the brooch was just a brooch. 

Time took care of my baggage like a badly run airport: instead of my baggage always being with me through the years, eventually it got rerouted to Dubai or fell off the conveyor belt in the basement of Heathrow.  Here’s a fantastic secret: you do not have to worry your baggage away, overly examine it, whip it into shape, tell it to behave or command it to disappear. Because none of that will really get rid of it, although certainly your work may help speed up the process.  Ultimately, you just wait for it to return to dust after the decay is complete.

LADY’S DIAMOND AND YELLOW GOLD BRACELET STAMPED 18K.  The bracelet is an omega style link set with forty-eight (48) round modern cut diamonds.  These diamonds have a total estimated weight of approximately 3.10 carats and have an average clarity and color of VS2-H.  The diamonds are set in six (6) white gold links equally spaced in the bracelet.  The bracelet measures approximately 7.5 inches and weighs approximately 61.1 grams, including the diamonds.  The bracelet has a double safety clasp.

value: $8900.00

APPRAISER: ARCHIE HANDERSON, G.G.

My mother never wore this LADY’S DIAMOND AND YELLOW GOLD BRACELET STAMPED 18K.  Or, she never wore it when I was around. When showing me all her jewelry stored at the bank in a safe deposit box in January 2012, she told me that I hated it.

“Hate it?” I said. “I’ve never seen it before.”

“Yes, your father bought it for me when we were visiting you at college. You said it was...garish.”

I swallowed my denial.  If I didn’t remember it, it didn’t mean it didn’t happen.  That visit happened in approximately 1985.  I could barely remember that they visited, let alone what I might have said, or what jewelry she wore.

“I’m sorry I said that,” I replied. “It’s very nice.”

It was true that the LADY’S DIAMOND AND YELLOW GOLD BRACELET STAMPED 18K was much flashier than her other pieces, and if worn to luncheon in San Francisco in 1985 with a college student attending Berkeley, and said college student’s daily route to school required navigation of angry panhandlers, homelessness, schizophrenia, and sit-ins, it might very well have been perceived by that college student as “garish.”

Upon viewing, in 2012, for the second time in my life, the LADY’S DIAMOND AND YELLOW GOLD BRACELET STAMPED 18K, at the bank, in the private cubicle reserved for safe deposit box owners to interact with their safe deposit boxes in complete privacy, it seemed to me that this piece was probably more suited for an occasion requiring formal attire. 

I had attended a corporate formal-attire occasion a few months before that. I had recently moved back to San Francisco after a hiatus of twenty-five (25) years in Los Angeles.  Recalling that San Francisco had been, twenty-five (25) years before, conservative in dress and observant of the customs for “formal attire,” “semi-formal,” and “cocktail attire,” I concluded that I could not attend the corporate event with the tatty rags I had sequestered in the back of my closet.   At Nordstrom, the salesperson, who was approximately my mother’s age and with similar good taste and attention to detail, but who did not evoke the rage I felt whenever my mother told me what to wear or who to be, helped me accessorize my outfit for the corporate event, after I had selected a dress that cost a mere $165.  She produced two (2) costume jewelry bracelets similar in style to the LADY’S DIAMOND AND YELLOW GOLD BRACELET STAMPED 18K.  While I thought these looked very nice with the dress, I did not buy the bracelets because they cost approximately $150 each. It seemed a bit expensive for fake stuff.

The LADY’S DIAMOND AND YELLOW GOLD BRACELET STAMPED 18K woud have gone with the $165 dress very nicely.  However, it lived in a safe deposit box, and belonged to my mother, not me.   

As for the corporate event, regarding attire, it ended up being a free-for-all.   San Francisco has apparently moved on from the old regimented requirements of dress suitable for the occasion: “clubbing” dresses barely reaching the top of the thigh were represented along with floor-length bridesmaid dresses, and everything else in between, and almost all the ladies tottered about in heels they were unaccustomed to wearing. Notions of proper dress are subject to interpretation! It is such a relief to know this.

One might wonder why would my mother hang on to a LADY’S DIAMOND AND YELLOW GOLD BRACELET STAMPED 18K if my father was dead, she had remarried, never wore it, and was bitter about a comment I made in 1985?

Maybe she was waiting, as I did with my brooch, for its associations to fall away and it would be reborn again, as an accessory, adding a little sparkle for that special evening?

OR MAYBE SHE IS KEEPING IT for my daughter?

At the bank, after my mother opened the safe deposit box, she quickly gave me the documents she felt I needed, since I was the executor of her will and back-up executor of her second (2nd) husband’s will. The safe deposit box also included a large fabric jewelry case, with a black paisley pattern. 

While unsnapping the clasp of the jewelry case, she said, “Let’s see if there’s something in here for your daughter.” My daughter is fourteen (14).

“Why do you want to...give her something and not me?” I timidly asked.

“Well, you don’t wear jewelry.”

This comment meant that she did not like the fact that I rarely accessorized.  I do not actually wear “outfits” except on rare occasions, and probably even then, surely commit some fashion-victim transgression of one kind or another. I spend a total of approximately ten (10) minutes getting ready in the morning on a good day. 

“No one has ever given me any,” I retorted, even though I had received jewelry as gifts, obviously; but in that dazzling display from the black paisley jewelry bag, it felt like I had received nothing at all.  

I was disgusted with myself. I was jealous of my daughter being the recipient of this largesse, even though I didn’t even wear jewelry that much, and up until that moment I would readily agree that my beautiful daughter deserved all of it and more. 

I concluded that my mother felt that my daughter was a better candidate for receiving a gift from the black paisley bag because my daughter had not spent the last thirty years being a disappointment. She was a blank slate. 

It bothered me that I like my mother’s jewelry so much, and that in reality, I am a schlep who forgets to put jewelry on.   Why want it then?  Perhaps it is a deep childhood wish for sparkly things.  I am like a crow, I want the shiny piece of aluminum foil, and it doesn’t matter if it isn’t food.

I didn’t really have to worry.  I watched her take each sparkling piece out of the jewelry case and show it to me, as if I was some kind of brand new friend or buddy who wasn’t familiar with her collection.  Then she just put almost everything back in the case, after it had been displayed.   The things she wanted to give away were all pieces of approximately no value that my grandmother had owned:  

  •  A gold-plated catepillar with a hat and a cane.  Missing fake gems.
  • Silver teapot earrings. The pot top and handle is silver, the body is a deep midnight-blue glass bead.

My mother’s comment about these pieces was,  “Your grandmother always wore these, they were her favorites.  At assisted living, people would look at her and think, “who is this weirdo?”

I remember my grandmother well. She had a good sense of humor, and owned approximately no pieces of jewelry that were valuable.

My mother has given me, over my lifetime, approximately eight (8) items from her $40,000 collection. I have lost approximately 30% of them, and the other 70% I  wear when it occurs to me.   I still have the pendant of a jade Buddha wearing a hat, and the citrine earrings that remind me of my mother’s tawny lion eyes. I lost that gold Bulova watch from the 1950s but jeez, I was only sixteen, give me a break.  

These gifts were given for no particular occasion, with the sentiment, “I don’t think I want this anymore, do you want it?”  Which I prefer, because I don’t owe my mother anything if I accept the item: I’m actually doing her a favor, which is the best position to hold; for, in my family, gifts are usually given with the expectation that something will be given in return - an exchange.  What you must give in exchange is secret and you must guess at what it is - but count on finding out about it approximately twenty (20) years later.

The total value of these gifts is approximately unknown, and I think I will keep it that way.

March Playlist o' the Month

TO my dismay, iTunes failed to carry two crucial songs for the March Playlist o' the Month. But you can find them at Amazon via these links:

First Breath by Richard Thompson off the album Old Kit Bag - there's a link to the song sample on that page.

100 Days, 100 Nights by Sharon and the Dap Kings off the album 100 Days, 100 Nights - there's a link to the sample on that page.

That Tyrant Has Got to Go!

Korean Scythe. The symbol of liberation from internal tyrannyMarch 4th is International ‘Rid Yourself of a Mother Fuckah’ Day, and who knows better about needing to unload a dead-beat, bastard or bully than those of us who have been married to Our Ex-Husband? So on this day, we celebrate the peace and happiness that comes from freeing yourself of relationships and circumstances with people whom no longer serve you.

As wonderful as that day of freedom is when you have finally untangled yourself from the likes of Our Ex-Husband or other bastardly individual, there could be another bully who may lurk undetected in your very own psyche. The inner tyrant, or negative animus, as he is sometimes affectionately known, is the figure in a woman’s psyche that sits on the committee in your head, and wrecks havoc in your life. 

He talks down to you and fills you full of self-doubt. He nags at you and tells you what you do will never be enough and you are a terrible wife, mother, lover etc. He may even try to convince you it is not worth trying to make your life better, so why even bother? And the worst part about this inner tyrant is he is as convincing and persuasive as the best fast talking Ex-Husband you could ever meet on the street. He hits you square in the face with his ugly lies, and every time you raise your hands to protect yourself, he tells you to put your hands down and you do it. He knows you don’t fight back. Or do you?

Until this inner tyrant is ousted from your psyche, it will be difficult, if not impossible to cultivate the life you deserve.  He will rob you of your authentic voice, your intuition and a life of true self-love, fulfillment and inner peace. 

In all likelihood, it was this inner tyrant who convinced you Our Ex-Husband or other inferior man, was all you deserved. By helping you attract an real-world low life, the animus takes the focus off of himself and convinces you to project the cause of your unhappiness onto this low-functioning other. And so it is not enough to rid yourself of the real-world assailants that you are responsible for attracting into your life. Because the outer world assholes reflect the state of your own animus, you must also depose that inner tyrant thoroughly and completely if you want to start attracting higher-functioning people and the love you deserve in the world. 

So you learn to fight back and you kick that inner tyrant off the committee in your head, and just as you vowed never to attract the likes of our Ex-Husband ever again, you vow this bully is never coming back. But be mindful that you will always and forever need to be on the lookout, lest he should creep in the side door when least you expect his dumb ass to return.

Remember that you are especially vulnerable to falling victim to this inner tyrant again when you are waging any hard-fought battle in the real world, such as when you are getting out of another bad relationship or trying to make big life changes. When the inner tyrant knows you are weak for any reason that is when he launches his most aggressive and insidious assaults. 

You must be ever vigilant. 

Watch your self-talk – that dialogue that runs in your head – and when it starts to sound increasingly hostile, you know it’s time to start challenging every thought, and every action that follows those thoughts. If necessary stage an all-out coup, and GET THAT MOTHER FUCKAH OUTTA YOUR HEAD ONCE AND FOR ALL.