Return to most recent Dr. Malamud entries
Note: that the oldest entry is at the top of page|
while the most recent entry is at the bottom
Jump to Bottom
Since the ex-Mrs.Dr.Malamud has chosen to revert to her maiden name, in a bid to make her seem more human, from this page forward, I will refer to her as Hanna-Marie Malamud
July 4th... As I watch shoeless bathers run full-tilt and then jump into the pool, I am, for the 57th summer in a row, reminded that even the cooldecking around the pool doesn't stay very cool on a 106F degree July afternoon, in Phoenix, Arizona.
Why do they 'jump' and not dive? Lawyers. Not that stacks of lawyer's corpses are lining the bottom of the pool, (as they should be), preventing a safe head first dive, but because Lawsuit Larry Lawyer makes pools deep enough to actually dive in too expensive to own.
But don't worry for the attorneys, for they vacation in Maui or Bermuda where they can dive so deep they need scuba gear.
I remember forty-four summers back and diving into the the cold azure waters of the open-to-the-public privately owned Nelson's Pool and then attempting to swim down to touch its three fathom deep, dark blue-painted, rough concrete bottom before running out of air.
There were huge tractor tire inner-tubes inflated to an impossible pressure to float on and the battle between teams astride these black slippery rubber crafts sometimes resembled mediaeval artists' renderings of famous sea battles.
I was too young, small and non-aggressive to participate in the legendary Nelson Pool tube battles, but, avoiding the warfare, and as many shark-like pedophiles as possible, I could swim as deep as I possibly could, and that is something most 21st Century America 12-year olds will never be able to enjoy at a pool.
A national holiday and I'm again at work, and I suppose I should be sad. But here at the job, with most clients away on holiday, I can mash the push-button on the electronic thermostat and set the refrigeration down to 76F and delight in sinking my Ritz Crackers deep into my bowl of bubbling hot Stagg® brand Silverado beef chili with melted cheese flowing like yellow lava off of my Jethro-sized spoon.
I can marvel as the huge cumulus clouds burst up towards the heavens and at the same moment feel profound sadness that I no longer have an annual vacation, holidays or weekends off, or Hanna-Marie.
Monday... I may have to erase this.
In any case, just so you do not think I dropped off the face of the earth, here I am. I guess since I cannot stop drinking myself blind, I am just going to have to learn to write while I'm drinking myself blind.
I've heard that the ex-Mrs.Malamud may move back to Arizona and I don't know how I will handle that. It'll be six years in December, you would think there would be no problem, but now, it's about the pain she's caused me and Mainio.
While I was at work today, totally sober, I pulled out the two columns I had printed out to put on these pages intending to wad them up and throw them in the garbage and I read them and they aren't that great, but they are 100% better than 99.9% of the stuff you will read on the Net that I just had to keep them. But, who knows when I'll be able to post them, and this posting is 'out of order' so it's like crazy.
I must get a handle on my drinking. It's like I told Mainio, since he hung out with Glen Campbell's daughter, hell, he grew up with Glen's daughter, I told him that I was very proud of Glen not having drunk himself to death by now since he probably has $10 million dollars a year coming in whether he gets out of bed or not. But, sadly, after seeing Glen only once or twice at the tony private Christian school we sent our kids to, he escaped Sheriff Joe's thugs and moved to California. Oh, it's okay that Dan Quayle is caught numerous times traveling at light speed down Cave Creek Road and not tossed in the hokie, but let Glen Campbell, the man who put Phoenix on the map, get caught driving on sidewalks and knocking down garbage cans with his Jaguar, well, then it's a different story, isn't it?
And yes, I have met both of them and Glen is the lesser asshole. But even Mainio admits, he can make sounds with a guitar that would make a 90 year old squirt in his pants ... and we aren't talking about urine here.
I checked on my Swanson's Hungry Man Mexican Fiesta frozen meal in the oven and it's got ten more minutes to go. Of course, our fine President will make this meal illegal in the not to distant future because it is not good for us. Do you think he will, in his own life, ever take the same attitude with tobacco and cocaine?
Friday... I was going to visit the Barnes & Noble at Desert Ridge, but instead decided to visit my Starbucks at 7th Street in Moon Valley. It is indeed odd how many years I lived here before I realized the mountain shading Moon Valley from the blistering afternoon Phoenix sun was named Moon Mountain.
I'm looking around this Starbucks, and although it has developed a large and loyal following and it is 45 minutes before closing, it's pretty much of a mess.
But, I imagine if the federal government's spending continues at its current bullet-train pace sucking billions of tax dollars out the economy, this "Paris"-dirtiness will become the norm, because there will be little money for upkeep and employees, but that won't matter because there will be far fewer customers to dirty the place up.
I signed up on Facebook and was so very surprised when the older brother of my major high school sweetheart (un-asked) added me to his friends list. (My other high school sweetheart, well, actually from church, a lovely redhead with a tongue as rough as a cat's, had went and got herself pregnant by a guy who looked as old as her father. Hell, maybe it was her father <grin>.)
Probably my new Facebook friend thought I had died long ago due to my teenaged tendency to drink horse-trough amounts of Coors Light. While I surely thought him dead due to his Hunter S. Thompson like appetite to pop street-drugs like Milk Duds ®.
Have I been text-messaging too much? Oh my gawd I realized he will surely be linked to his younger sister who is now older than her mother was when I was dating her. Not dating her mom, but her.
And, I remember, even as an entirely bonerized 1960s high school junior looking at her mom and, realizing for her ancient age of 40, she was beautiful. Which meant her daughter at age 40 would be beautiful too.
Well Kristi Brestly ended up marrying my good friend who was in line for an inheritance worth many millions of dollars. And now I can visit her brother's page, learn whether she too survived our trauma-torn-teens to become what we all abhorred: our parents.
After Hanna-Marie left me I'd been thinking about Cindy a lot, actually more about her, I assumed, inherited wealth--for I am certain that her selfish and weird husband would have divorced her. I know a lot of people would consider me a selfish and weird (ex)-husband. But they can go to Hell.
I know we've heard from our elders, of whom for me there are fewer and fewer of each year, how we will rocket through our lives, and looking back into the exhaust cloud of our hopes, wants, and dreams we will see our younger selves: soft-skinned, streamlined, smiling, omnipotent mouthing something like, "We have all the time in the world."
Now, decades after high school, as my seat belt cuts into my prodigious beer belly, my shoulder harness so tight I cannot pry my camera out of my shirt pocket, while using my cataract-clouded-but-not-bad-enough-for-insurance-paid-surgery eyes, I gaze out my car windows and see that all my fellow rocketeers look to me to be as ancient appearing as Clint Eastwood in the 2008 movie, Gran Torino.
Sunday... Ever since I've been using levothyroxine to supplement the hormones my thyroid gland refuses to emit enough of and even after hurling all my anti-depressants into the depths of my bathroom cabinet, emotionally I'm on a fairly even keel. However, my current affair with JBKSRW sometimes causes afternoon-after bursts of rage.
In the past seven years, having not a hug, or a kiss, or a caress, or a hand run through my hair by a woman who loves me, much less a bone-marrow-banging orgasm, I can understand how, after an older person loses his or her soulmate, it seems almost natural to simply ignore the memories of love lost and deny the possibilities of future loves and chose instead to wander the Desert of Affection that was once Eden.
To prevent any chance meetings with Cupid, this kiss-less, hug-less, caress-less, middle-aged and incredibly attractive male eschews all internet dating sites still remembering, a pair of years after my divorce, weeping over an e-mail where a Las Vegas-living female Dating Game contestant had rawly and correctly labeled me as one of 'the walking wounded.'
So I stay home in my apartment built around the time I graduated high school, my white oscillating fan frozen in place (since I can't afford weekday daytime temperatures lower than 86F/30C degrees), spewing its artificial wind directly at me with my work-papers, clippings and collection notices flying and whirling around and about my desk as if I were Dorothy being sucked away to Oz.
A buxom client, the age of my youngest daughter, in a dress cut so low I can easily inspect her navel for lint, stops by. Her lucky stiff boyfriend (double entendre intended) is drunk again and laughing.
I can remember my last drunk, but I can't remember laughing.
Saturday... I was feeling mighty depressed today. And it wasn't because Verizon is going to shut off my phone. Or that I had to make a midnight run to my ATM to stuff a deposit of a borrowed $100 (due to be repaid with $110 in one week, a 521.6% annual interest rate) in order that my September rent check clear my new bank's service-charge-happy-bounce-check algorithm.
Nor was I in a sunken mood after having to cancel my $8.50 a month foreign newspaper subscription, or being out of hot dogs (made of chicken beaks, feet, rooster combs and assorted slaughterhouse fluids), hot dog buns, tostadas, whole wheat bread (that eats like chewing butter-covered gravel), coffee, and frozen Marie Callender's dinners. (Although I do have an olive-green Safeway-bought 7-bone roast just begging to be resurrected).
Progresso® soup cans are nowhere to be seen, I took my last Coke Zero soda to work, my $2 a bag tostada chips are gone as are any cancer-causing processed meats, while my third-full jug full of whole milk is waiting to turn wholly sour.
But none of those facts account for my own sour mood. However, I must admit being a little down because I'm out of Mothership Wit beer, or all beer, and any version Kentucky straight rye whiskey, which had gotten me to transport my white opaque bottle of isopropyl alcohol from my bathroom to the kitchen to sit right next to my favorite stolen shot glass.
I'm not down in the dumps because my employer has nixed O.T. for me (while continuing to allow it for mere interns whose name plates still smell of freshly embossed plastic) resulting in Dr. Malamud being forced to move in with Mainio and his squeeze where we'll all be squeezed into 'our' 1,100 square foot apartment.
And I guess I should be singing the blues because Aili drove by work to give me cash money and while she was there, I found a weeks-old hair and debris covered commercially-manufactured Rice Krispies treat on the floor of my former car, reached down and grabbed it, carefully pulled all the hair off of it and brushed off most of the flotsam and jetsam, and quickly devoured it, but I'm not. However, why did my throat feel as if I had just swallowed a wad of aluminum foil?
I AM mightily depressed this Saturday, because as I was rowing through my many-weeks-old voicemails; one from the credit repayment service, the eight from State Farm Bank wondering when I was going to pay them off, Verizon asking me to call them or visit their website, and one I'd kept for years. It was of the voice of a senior citizen client teasing me over his own importance.
Shockingly, without listening to his three-year old message for the dozenth time, I accidently deleted it.
And that's why I'm mightily depressed this Saturday.
Thursday... Internet Explorer did not have to diagnose my connection problem this morning. My connection was excellent to Cox and this is what I read on my monitor:
Dear Cox Customer,
We regret to inform you that your Internet access has been temporarily disabled. To reinstate it, please call Customer Service at 623-594-1000
At least last time they sent an e-mail warning me that I needed to pay my bill. No matter, this will be my final Cox Cable bill I'm responsible for for many months, because as I've stated earlier, I'm moving in with Mainio and his squeeze, Mikaela. "Mainio & Makaela Malamud" what a wonderful ring.
So this early morning was not spent at my e-mail in-box, Facebook, the Drudge Report, or suffering a heart-racing-hangover, but it was spent gathering more papers, opening dusty envelopes that had sat for years, and separating them into neat 'throw away' and 'shred-and-throw away' piles.
I ran into some of my planning sheets from my last move in 2007 to here, in Phoenixico, from my tony Town of Paradise Valley spread, and I will reuse them.
Simply scanning them brings back a tiny taste of the incredible depression I was fighting as, after my divorce, and three years, I was moving again. (My outlined moving planning sheets looked as detailed as if I was reorganizing General Motors, not moving one person thirteen miles.) Weighing now, how very, very depressed I was then, I was fortunate to make it out alive. I think the only thing that kept me ticking was my 72 hour work weeks, my hours of driving to and from work in a somnolent state, and few money challenges.
From 1977 to 2003 Hanna-Marie and I lived in the same house that we contracted to be built and semi-customized by the soon-to-be-bankrupt Ashton Brothers Homes. So odd that the husband of my long-time secretary actually installed the cabinets in our kitchen, laundry rooms and bathrooms. You can tell that was a long time ago, because this gent spoke English. Their trademark was using special wood screws that held everything together tighter than the usual ones did. Those were the days when craftmanship mattered. No more.
I just fired up the mix Jap cd that my friend Kenji made up for me years ago. Most of it is in Japanese and I don't understand a word, but yet it is soothing while it creates a quieter place in my brain. (I guess in California "Jap" is derogative, but in my meaning it is simply an abbreviation. For I grew up with Japanese people and have a great deal of respect for their mores and culture. Hell, in the late 1960s, class vice president Ron Watanabe and I were both thrown into Scottsdale jail the same night! For curfew violations.)
I'm missing my connection to the internet already in not being able to instantly spell check my entries at dictionary.com, and instead having to have to swivel around in my chair and snatch my dusty Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary off the shelf.
I put off packing for almost three weeks and yesterday, with only fourteen days left, I finally started cleaning up, and I instantly felt so much better because I was doing something. What is the saying? "Beginning is half the battle?"
Since this will be my third move in less than three years, with each move culling more and more detritus from my life, soon, with the already planned twenty-ten move-#4, I'll be packing up my books and my underwear and leaving all else in the dumpster for the identity thieves, White trash and the illegals to fight over.
It's 8am and I assume it's safe for me to begin making the racket I have to to clean up this place. I was going to write that I hear the gardener's leaf blower working its way towards my place, but no, it was purposely loud rotor of the MCSO Ghetto Bird overflying the complex. Again.
Friday... Not being morbid, or suicidal, or depressed ... but more and more I'm coming to the brutal realization that I've got more years behind me than ahead of me and that one day I am going to die. (I just learned one of my grade school and high school best buddy's died of a heart attack this year at age 58.)
If I'm like my dad, I'll go room temperature (and here in Arizona that could be higher than 98.6F degrees) in about twenty-five years in 2034.
It is indeed a sobering thought. A thought that never occurred to me until my own father passed away, because I honestly felt in my child's heart that he would live forever. However the reality of the world refuted this infant hope.
When my mother died, and I visited her at her Sun City apartment before the funeral home hearse arrived, I sat outside her bedroom and wept and wept and knew what Job felt like.
Later that day, when I phoned my four-year-older brother, ensconced in his log cabin up in the frozen north, warmed by his mid-back-length hair wrapped around his neck, he, without a moment's hesitation, pronounced us "motherless children."
Monday... How strange. In the tail-end of moving from one apartment to another apartment in the same complex packed with illegals, parolees, felons, meth-heads and pre-felons, I sit in a Herman Miller chair writing at a dilapidated and shaking TV table that my son gave me.
No television, no laptop, no DVD player, nothing except Coast to Coast AM on the AM radio and a cold bottle of Sapporo Premium beer, with one or two or more Strawberry Blondes waiting their turn.
Without a DVD to play or cable TV to watch (which I haven't subscribed to for three years) or a laptop to leap from string to string along the internet web, there is damned little to do after work. After dark. Alone.
I haven't been writing lately because my internet provider has taken the absurd position that I should pay for their service, and to enforce their spurious claim, they have once again severed my connectivity. They cut off my Cox, those rat bastards.
I lied in the second paragraph above. I'm now working on a Pyramid Brewerie's Haywire beer, not a Strawberry Blonde. You know if you drink a variety of craft-made beers, you are a connoisseur, rather than an alcohol abuser.
I'm moving from a 700 square foot apartment to a one-room apartment and to the rental storage facility, literally, one hundred yards to the south, by car, or, if too large, by two-wheeler. Quite a sight for a guy who was last century, buying storage facilities and apartment complexes.
But, except for the fact that my soul-mate Hanna-Marie ripped my heart out on February 14, 2003, and beat it with a heavy duty spiked meat-tenderizing kitchen mallet, finally stopping on December 7th, 2003 (both auspicious dates here in the States) I am fairly content. For me.
For me: A child whose mother was 100% Finnish and whose father was 100% German. And if you are familiar with these cultures you will immediately realize that there could not be a more dour condition than to be born one-half Finnish and one-half German. Especially being raised during the decade when hugging and holding your infant was thought, in later life, to make him a spoiled and soft looser. (Wait a second ...)
And, I haven't been writing because the extreme effort to physically load 35 pound book boxes onto the two wheeler, cart them to my two door compact, drive to my new apartment, unload them from my trunk and then carry them up 14 concrete steps to put them in the storage closet inhabited by the water heater, has simply just about killed me.
Loading a 120 pound, top-heavy, seven foot tall bookcase onto my two-wheeler and pulling it 600 feet to my storage room in the 106F degree (41C) blazing heat and then to driving off to work for a further 8 hours, drained me of any will other than to swill brews and later collapse into bed feeling like a green grape that had been shrunken through exertion, exposure and sweat, to a dark brown wrinkled raisin the size of a squat 260 pound human.
Once again I've slipped my JAP CD-mix on my player and allowed it to transport part of me to a place-a quieter place-a greener environment-a place where Geisha girls will do anything. ANYTHING.
But after 5 hours of moving stuff accumulated during my nearly 6 decades of life on this Earth, every morning, I feel good. I can see what my effort has accomplished. And I feel especially good because so much of it I've done entirely without help--all the while cursing myself for not cultivating friends who would help me move.
"A friend will help you move."
"A real friend will help you move a body."
When our own moving time arrives however, we all know our 'friends' usually disappear like a 2009 job offer. Hell when Mainio and Mikaela moved a couple of months ago--I helped him not, but neither did he request help. But that makes me guilty anyway, because I did not offer.
I marvel as I get older how calm I've become. How my red-hot anger has faded to gray as surely as my once-brown hair has.
And then I packed box after box after box full of books on religion, self-improvement, and salesmanship, and I realized that by reading, learning, and digesting these books I've become a human being that an close examination of my genetics would have never foretold.
I finally connected with Everette, a retiree and life-time friend who lives literally at the base of a hill visible to the west of my apartment, who also has a pickup truck to loan to me.
And Mainio has pulled strings or ropes or chains and managed to get off work early tomorrow so he can help me move the heaviest things.
Life is good.
Sunday... As my heart drifts further and further away from Hanna-Marie, and the six years of physical separation shoves us farther and farther apart, these entries will begin to read more like a Tyler Brûlè-like "The Fast Lane" or Ben Stein's Diary in The American Spectator magazine, than the moans of one who has had his heart ripped apart after the Cupid's arrow, that was lodged in it almost forty years ago, was ripped from it.
In the mid-1970s, when the cute L.L. shared my house with two of my best male friends, she expressed great surprise and sadness when she spied me, her pseudo-older brother, smoking the ganja weed. Since that time I've been very aware that people both known and unknown to me very well may be influenced by what I do. By witnessing the choices I make.
Like L.L., I was surprised and then saddened when I discovered, entirely by accident, that Hanna-Marie was on Twitter, something that myself, nor the 36-year younger WOW-addicted Mainio have signed up for.
Confirmation that this formerly proud, proper, and restrained lady has greatly changed since she left us.
Will I follow her droppings? or are they termed 'tweets'? No, because I might read about her current love interest, (who would obviously be but a shabby and sullen replacement for moi), and how well-behaved his seeing eye ferret is, and how sporty and debonair he looks astride his fire-engine red personal mobility vehicle.
Wednesday... Mainio, needing a ride called me to pick him up after work. Being there's a Barnes & Noble near by, it's Starbuck Cafe is where I'm sitting at the moment. Scratch that. A couple of loud-mouthed-New-York-City-accented middle-aged ladies came and sat, at a table for four no less, right next to me.
I immediately relocated to the study area, whose floor to ceiling windows face the setting Scottsdale sun, against which is silhouetted two workmen assembling a modular Christmas tree against a lattice of pipes erected in a three dimensional cone shape.
How very strange that my antiperspirant has failed to work. Odd to feel wet armpits when the daily high temperature has finally dropped below the high 80(F)s. I fear it may be heralding another change in my bodily chemistry.
Perhaps I'll morph into a super-brain. Or a prophet. Or a political leader. Or an irresistibly attractive male drawing women to me like George Clooney's face does.
I haven't been out, out of my apartment I mean, that much, but yet I feel right at home among all the books with their glue bindings and ink providing my second favorite aroma.
At the office, several of my single female clients (after only 13 months) have finally loosened up and have begun feeding me, and bringing me coffees and cakes from Starbucks or The Coffee Bean or The Cheesecake Factory.
One in particular, probably a mere ten years younger than me, with beautiful blond hair caressing halfway down her ultra-fit back, often seems on the verge of asking me out. And I plan to ask her out for a coffee or a cake or something like that.
'Plan' may be too strong a word. Since among the usual tense male-female interaction, I fear a change in my bachelor's schedule that is only interrupted when I only decide to interrupt it.
Hanna-Marie was in town the other day. As usual Aili & Mainio, to spare my emotions, gave me no advance of her coming...just like when we were married.
As I walked across the street to my office that same day, dodging Porsches, Range Rovers, Maseratis and Altimas, I thought how ashamed she must be that the father of her children, worked in such an extremely low-status job.
But then, according to the kids, she was fired from her last job and is currently living on unemployment checks. Albeit 'unemployment checks' that amount to quite a bit more than I earn working forty-hour weeks.
Tuesday... I went to my Seventh Street Starbucks. 8pm and it's pitch black out. I've never seen pitch but it must be pretty dark.
It's not nearly as crowded as earlier in the year. As I place my order, I see the tip jar is emptier than Al Gore's climate-warmed-conscience, so I slip it some of my green.
There is the usual Christian matron counseling the young questioning neophtye. The guy to my left is typing on his high-priced laptop, with my back to him, the noise sounds like someone trying to drain an almost-empty salt shaker.
Being in such a noisy and busy environment is unusual for me. Choosing to be in a such an environment, when I'm used to the quietness of a dentist's waiting room, is a little scary.
Now the Christian mentor has begun talking about her life. All the power she held over her acolyte has faded because she has exposed herself as simply another lost soul not knowing what to do.
People are sitting outside smoking cigarettes, but they're insulated from the 50F degree weather by sweaters and patent leather jackets, unlike the Visitors at work, who would be swimming in their Speedos in the heated pool at this hour.
I haven't felt like writing on this website. It's not that I have nothing to say, it's more like I'm using my visual conversational skills on the World Wide Social Network hoping to be discovered and maybe made wealthy for my entertainment value. Still looking for the easy way out and up.
There is a proverb, that in life's trajectory, a person is either on an ascending path or a descending path, and that there is no such thing as level flight. There is no letting off and coasting, and if you are coasting, it is downhill towards oblivion.
In my own straight-to-shitsville downhill train ride, I'm leaning out the carriage window sloshing 100 proof single malt whisky on the rails and marveling at the flames of destruction that lick back up at me.
Tuesday... It's 1:23am, and I'm working on my fourth shot of Bushmills or Sauza Gold after an incredibly stressful day at work during which I almost walked off the job, when I found my old high school sweetheart, Connie B on one of the social networking sites.
For some unknown reason, a couple of months ago, her older brother, who was in my same class at high school with me and who I barely knew, made me a "Comrade", and she finally communicated with him today, certain that I would see her communique, since I made no effort to disguise my name and I would have had to appear on his list of friends. And dammit, she still has one of my two class rings.
As might be expected by any normal person, instead of looking exactly like she did in high school forty years ago, I discovered that she has aged and put on weight. Just like me. What the hell, why do women have to get old, fat, and wrinkled?
Just tonight at work, looking forward to another year of being alone, I was saying to myself that at my age people have to be really in love to ignore how horrible each others bodies look like naked and copulating.
Maybe I should take down the mirror over my bed and put the klieg lights on a dimmer?
Thursday... On the way to work today, I went to get a haircut vowing not to chose the Bosnian barber I got last time, which was why I was returning so soon as he had left my hair werewolf-long.
I saw four customers waiting for the actual barber, and rather than doing that, I sat down in the empty arms of the Bosnian-butcher's red leather chair. Again.
I wasn't feeling too hot on the way to the chop shop. After I left, and saw he had parted and cut my hair in such a way that I'd have to learn to comb it left-handed, I started feeling worse.
Far too early to report to work, which would require me to labor for no pay, no recognition, no advancement or thanks from management, I stopped by the upscale Barnes & Noble bookstore that my clients most likely frequent.
Walking from my Peugeot, parked in the southwest corner of the 225 acre shopping center, I finally recognized the illness that had begun to drag me down and made me feel like a misplaced raccoon skulking in the storm sewers of Scottsdale.
Always looking on the bright side <grin> I thought, "At least it's been so long since I've been depressed I confuse it with a virus-borne illness."
Once at the office, and into the sotto voce banter I keep myself entertained with, I was soon a normal non-depressed, happy, Dr.Malamud.
As happy as I could be with my life in the toilet, no goals, no plans, no plans to make goals, no dreams, no dollars, and no soulmate.