Tuesday, November 24, 2009

" 'Lizards, And Turtles, and Snakes.........Oh My!!!'...................AND............'Giving Thanks Early'........................"

Good Morning;

So, another chilly, rainy, foggy day in Baltimore, the kind of day where you just want to pull the covers up tight around your neck and snuggle up to the person next to you, and lay in bed all day. Well I zipped the sleeping bag all the way up and pulled my hoodie snug around my head, and tried real, real hard to use my psychic, (Psychotic/Schizophrenic?), powers to cause someone to materialize spooned up against me....but....at around quarter to 11:00 this morning, after 6 hours of trying, my bladder convinced it just "weren't a gonna happen"! So I got up and went to the Giant, and then came here. Ah well...such is life. If it was not for the unrelenting hydraulic pressure of 'the call of nature', I would still be in the shed listening to the pitter patter of the rain on the roof,...and all the various places on the floor, the shelves, and the 'Rube Goldberg water diversion devices' I have arranged under the more threatening leaks..., of course the sounds of all that water and the fear of a "sympathetic detonation" type event may be what actually made me get up.....lol!

I had 2 extremely early mornings on Sunday and Monday.

On Sunday I was up and on the bus stop around 5:45 am. I went out to Anna Marie's to shower and do laundry, and with the Light Rail not starting up until after 9:00 am., (and only partially at that), I had to take the bus to the Metro station to catch the Subway all the way downtown to catch the bus all the way out to Lutherville, well over 2 hours for a ride that usually takes about an hour. After I showered and washed and had put my clothes in the dryer, we took our coffee and went to the Mars food store, where Anna Marie had some shopping to do for the football game later that day..(which the Ravens LOST...boo hoo!!!), and for her yearly daycare family party, and for the yearly party for the ballet program she runs. Now you have to understand, shopping with Anna Marie is like being in the Navy.."It's Just A Job...It's an Adventure!!", encompassing such things as pulling strangers into discussions while examining the labels of products for salt content, fat, etc.; having 3 way conversations while discussing the merits of one brand over another...when it is just the 2 of us there; and long convoluted explanations to the cashier..(who has no real interest)..as to why the groceries must be separated from the paper goods, and why things must be paid for with different methods, etc., all in her own peculiar style and manner interspersed with 'Anna Marie-isms', common words and phrases with her own little twists of pronunciation or definition. Sometimes the 'ditsy' blond act she portrayed all those years ago slips back in place unnoticed....LOL. As her kid's will tell you..mom can be "special"....in a good way.......LOL!

After we got back, I packed up my clothes and she dropped me back at the train and I made my way by train and bus and bus and foot back here to the library to meet Rachel for the "Critter Caravan" reptile show. We had a blast, and got to see, and touch, and hold, snakes and lizards and tortoises. She is so good and polite and well behaved, that the handler came back to her almost every time for a second chance to touch the animals, and complimented her on her decorum. All the other kids had to told over and over and over not to jump up and crowd in, and not to grab and pull at the creatures...(op/ed..skip it if you want....why the hell do all these 'frum' parents bother to even come in the first place if they not only ignore the man in charges instructions, but actively encourage their kids to bum rush him to touch the exhibits!!!,) ...We saw an 80 pound 40(?)year old tortoise, a 10 foot long 100 lb. python,..which we were photographed holding..watch this space in the near future!!... and some really cool and beautiful, and strangely named lizards...a 'Tegu', and a 'Blue Tongued Skink', among others. She was enthralled and had a wonderful time, and was a joy to be with. Afterwards we went to the Mt. Washington Starbucks on the buses, and while crossing under the expressway, she got the chance to throw a whole bunch of stones in the stream, and I got to play Andy Taylor to her Opie...lol...

as usual she charmed everyone at the Starbucks and we had a Polar Bear iced sugar cookie, they are so good, but messy. I had bought, (with Ashley's help, and 40% partner discount.....thank you my dear), a book for her called "A Years Worth Of Doodles", which I was going to give to her for Chanukah, but which she got then..lol...(hey I'm an addict...immediate gratification is a classic symptom....and seeing her happy...gratifies me!)... the book consists of 365 basic. rough doodles, that look like black crayon, and a lot of blank space and a sentence at the top as a suggestion, ie. 'What color is this butterfly' or "Can you draw this little girl a friend". She wanted to write her own comments, such as "this is rainbow fish', or writing Happy Birthday on the outline of a cake. She knows and can write all her letters and can sound them out when written down, she needed to see certain words, which I wrote on another piece of paper and which she then copied on her page. When her mom finally came she did not want to leave, and she asked if she could have the red pen I had in my bag which she was using, because it was 'special for her new book'...lol. It was an incredible day, and the weather was beautiful too......another reason to be grateful, one of the many that day.

On Monday I had to get to Monkee's early because I was out of meds and she had to get to work, so I was out and about around 6:00 am. on the buses and trains. Luckily I had $5.00 stashed for just such an occasion. I went to the Starbucks about 10:00 am and sat outside until it started to rain hard, once I got settled in at one of 'my' tables, (after playing 'musical chairs' half a dozen times, until the 'right stuff' opened up....LOL), it was raining steadily and I said, 'WTF...I'm not leaving to go to the library, nothings due until tomorrow, and I'm not getting soaked...I'll write tomorrow!'. I watched the end of "Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein", and read and talked and drank coffee. At around 6:30 pm Jenn and her husband Tom came in..Without Ed and Devin!, what a shock...lol..and a group of women started to trickle in and in and in and gather round our table. It was Jenn's "6 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!!", at her NA home group, the Monday Night Women's Meeting...'Healing Women'...(DISCLAIMER...as regards ANONYMITY..I asked Jenn, and she,..(like me)..said.."go ahead, I no longer have to hide or be ashamed") It was pretty awesome, 6 years clean..AND 'In Recovery!'..and for those who do not know, there is a big difference in just being clean. She was able to be honest, even with me there, and our up and down relationship. She has come so far..I am damn proud of her. And I am grateful that we are now on a somewhat even keel, and improving. That I have an opportunity to have a relationship with my grand kids is also a blessing, and that Rachel will again have more contact with the family is wonderful. One day I will relate more of Jenn and myself and our journeys in and around, and out of and back into each other's lives and NA. For now, I have to go and get some coffee and some food before I begin to fall out, I have a very emotional and joyful, but at the same time draining and stressful few days. Even though I am still battling this effin' depressive episode right now, I am filled with gratitude for what I do have and am able to do...I have been worse...MUCH worse, and even though it can be hard to both 'live in the moment' and 'love through the moment', it helps to keep things in perspective as much as possible and try to laugh at the absurdity, irony and stupidity that surrounds me. I want to thank all who have kept reading this experiment here for the past year, and please know that I am deeply appreciative of the comments and e-mails I have received....(sparse though they are.......audience participation IS encouraged people!!)...and grateful for the contacts I have made in this past year through this blog, both directly and indirectly. I hope that I have brought some humor and entertainment, and possibly some insight and enjoyment to your lives. If I have made one person stop and think or re-think about their ideas or pre-conceived notions of homelessness and the variety of people and personalities on the street, I have accomplished a part of what I set out to do, believe it or not...ONE YEAR AGO........TOMORROW! You may not be amazed, but I am sure as hell am. The very fact that I have kept the thread of continuity going for a whole year, that! is a big accomplishment in my life, and maybe, just maybe, the hope that if I can do this while on the streets..who knows, if I finally get my ass in gear, what I may achieve. But I could not have done it if someone was not reading it, so you, Loyal Reader, get to share some of the applause....(or the blame..LOL!!!)
I am out of time............Thanks.........Dave

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