Doctor Malamud
The Archive's of:
Dr. Malamud©

The mostly unedited ramblings
of a broken-hearted man

A sound marriage is not based on complete frankness; it is based on a sensible reticence.

--Morris L. Ernst

Archived Page Number 10:
May/June 2004

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May 2004

SUNDAY . . . Once again, a Sunday morn finds me on-the-clock in the desert north of Phoenix. After four, sixteen hour days in a row, my mere eight hour workday Friday and the twelve hours of sleep it allowed was absolutely wonderful. My eighty-eight paid hours this week, while shy of the the theoretical maximum hours of 112, would evolve into over $65,000 per year if I kept it up. Which would be impossible. Mr. G. warned me not to have a heart attack by working so many hours. I again reminded him that heart attacks are caused by stress dealt with improperly and that this job has about 15 minutes of actual stress per day. And, that none of my stress is ever captured, placed in a sealed zip-lock bag and taken home. Speaking of $65,000 income per year - the soft-skinned rosy-faced poolman (who must be in his twenties, but could pass for fourteen) told me the other day that he was trained as a tool & die machinist. A machinist who could easily earn $65,000 per each year of mere forty hour work weeks. This Generation Y'er explained to me that he literally could not stand at a hot, greasy machine performing the same processes over and over for 30 years. He hated it. So he now cleans pools while he searches for suitable employment. And it's funny, because one of the very spas that he cleans, is at the $1.4 million winter home of a gentleman who literally made his millions as a "tool and die" man. The difference? The millionaire loved his job and he was the boss. The owner. Even so, it was not a job lacking stress as his dual heart attacks and one stroke attest to. A "real estate reason" The distant Missus Malamud now speaks of remaining married simply for real estate reasons. Perhaps she's having doubts about divorce. But, she has convinced herself that once she has made up her mind it can never be changed. Because, in the way her world is structured, that change would indicate weakness. I've been hurt so badly and deeply by my emotions during this divorce-pending-divorce I'm ambivalent towards continuing the marriage. I've got two women I could date, well, three, counting Morgan Fairchild. As a matter of fact one single lady invited me to a late lunch after work at 2PM. And she even said she would buy - hey,I'm broke. I'm wondering where she would put her seeing eye dog though? However, I'm going to resist these women until I actually have a divorce decree in my mailbox that was initiated by the Missus. Although it would be really nice to have someone run their fingers through my hair . . . and other areas. But, then again, I recall the statement about "the freedom" Missus Malamud expressed in not having a spouse to report to when she e-mailed me with her foul intentions back on February 14th, 2003. I to have been luxuriating in that particular freedom. A "freedom" that allows me to work eighty eight hours in seven days and come home to an empty apartment. An empty bed. But, is that freedom?
THURSDAY . . . Finally, a work week numbering a mere fifty hours. And right away, I'm worried about coming up with enough money to pay the remainder of young Mainio's twelfth year of private school tuition and still being able to handle the $341.20 cost of the mid-June flight to my only daughter's wedding in Texas. Of course, I always could drive there. My gut has sometimes felt that in some way it is cheating to be jet-propelled to a distant location when you can get there via a ground hugging station wagon. "Via station wagon", the way so many of us of the Baby-Boom generation grew up spending our summer vacations traveling to and from the homes of surprised relatives. Another thing against a commercial flight is the humiliation of being treated as possible terrorist as soon as I enter the confines of Sky Harbor International Airport, as are all passengers, even though 99.99% of us are not Muslim's and not of Middle Eastern heritage. Is there a bomb in my car trunk, or in my luggage, or on my body? What a needlessly tense situation, determined by what exact criteria any nine dollar an hour security agent could comprehend. Click for more Aves Photos In order to determine exactly where my weekly paycheck is disappearing to, I still haven't dared to enumerate my household expenses. Sadly, like many American's I'm in fear of discovering that even though I live in, what the distant Missus terms "poverty", I still don't earn enough money to maintain even that abridged lifestyle. This morning, during my AM drive to work, it struck me that the last four unabridged Books-on-Tape I have listened to, have been about overcoming incredible odds. One was about an 1800's whaler that was sunk by the Sperm whale that inspired Herman Melville's to pen the novel, "Moby Dick." Another was about a WWII Pacific skirmish between incredibly outgunned U.S. Naval destroyers and escort aircraft carriers versus Japanese battleships and heavy cruisers. The third was about Israel's seemingly impossible 20th Century task of destroying the French-designed Iraqi nuclear power plant, whose only purpose was to convert, from the 93% enriched uranium the Frog's delivered to them, ten kilo spheres of Uranium-235, each one of which would become the heart of an atomic weapon whose trigger would be held by Saddam Hussien. And the one I'm currently listening to concerns a 19th Century shipwreck on the western shores of Africa. Maybe my subconscious is trying to convince me that I can pull myself out of the melancholy miasma I'm currently mired in? I just stepped out of the guardhouse to educate a pair of dumptruck driver's piloting double loads in the art of deciphering the dual "No-Entry" signs and upon looking up into the blue sky, witnessed three small birds harassing a Golden Eagle ten times their size. I could hardly wait for the inevitable and snidely spoken, "What are you looking at?", from one of my resident's driving past at that moment. It's like, being employed as a security officer at a guard gate, I could not possibly be interested in anything other than last night's Powerball Lottery numbers and how my team was doing in the NBA Playoff's. I feel like telling them that I'm looking at the mile-wide flying saucer across the street whose gray-skinned occupants are carefully unloading and secreting a 15 megaton hydrogen bomb in a cave on the mountain. Or screaming at them, "I'm noticing all the things you take for granted! And I've lived here in the desert for fifty three years and I'm still seeing new and different things every single day." Maybe I need a change of scenery, eh?
MONDAY . . . I attended Mainio's Baccalaureate ceremony yesterday. Baccalaureate defn. a religious service held for a graduating class. Can public schools even schedule a baccalaureate anymore? Of course a baccalaureate at a private Christian school would naturally have a lot more meaning than at a taxpayer funded institute of liberal learning. A Christian school, where the faculty actually believes in God, where "Bible" is not an ostracized and laughed at book, but a 53 minute daily class, and where teacher's, parent's and pupils believe in the power of prayer. eigth grade graduation, year 2000 Oddly enough, even though I arrived relatively late while shouldering my two camera bags and three camera's, while the rest of the church was packed, an entire nine foot pew section, right up front, sat totally vacant. This afternoon, even though my kids have attended the same private school for over a decade, I still had no parents willing to associate with me. Even while knowing the Missus is far away desiring a divorce, as evidenced as me being there alone, not one parent was willing to come over and say "Hello, Dr. Malamud. How are you doing?" Only one parent sat near me, and he was my director during the recent Passion Play held at this same church. Rather than being depressed or angry about my ostracization, I realized that I do not appear to be the friendliest person around, and that my immense IQ, physical presence and bearing keeps lesser sorts away <grin>. Soaking in the ceremony, feelings, accompanied with fuzzy memories flooded back from my own high school days decades ago. I found my eyes were slowly filling up with the hot tears of times passed and passing. I was on the verge of weeping, with only the pain from biting my tongue, keeping the racking tidal wave of emotions at bay. The pain and the fear of embarrassing the sensitive Mainio in public. Embarrassing him in front of his student and parent-friend's. Where does he get that degree of sensitivity? His mother, outwardly anyway, is about as sensitive as a carnival barker . . . I knew I had heard the name of the main speaker before and after his soon-to-graduate daughter introduced him, I remembered that he was a somewhat famous lecturer and author. I thought his presentation, reinforced with props hidden beforehand, while not as edge-of-the-seat and spellbinding as that of a backwoods Baptist snake handler, still was rather entertaining. (Later Mainio, trained as a competitive forensic (rhetorical) orator, told me that the number one rule of speech giving was, "No props." While I never used any props during my training with Dale Carnegie Seminars and as president of my local Toastmaster's, I did not know that.) But the speaker, who had penned twenty or so books (most of which likely present the same thirteen ideas just arranged in a different order) talked about having earned two million 'frequent flier' airline miles. A new family of quails just marched in front of me with the baby chicks no larger than brown donut holes as they stalled and spurted and seemingly spun as they ran behind their watchful parents. Back at the church, I'm eyeing the presenter and I'm thinking, I'm knowing, "I could do that. I could inspire people. As a national speaker, I too could change lives, even if it was just a little bit. And I really, really enjoy doing that kind of stuff." So what's keeping me back?
THURSDAY . . . Today the MISSUS drives in from the far-away Republic of the Single Star accompanied by my oldest daughter and her soon to be husband. Quite a contrast eh? Here my soon to be ex-wife is coming to town with my soon to be, and only possible, son-in-law. Well, he should be my only son-in-law, unless my own boys chose to do one of those same-sex marriages. Or my daughter establishes a Mormon-like religion where women can acquire multiple husbands. A lot has changed in the over fifteen months since the Missus-Doctor-Malamud first e-mailed me of her desire to rip apart our marriage certificate bearing the long ago scribbled-in date of February 11, 1977. I've come, much like the adult I should be at the age of fifty-three, to the conclusion that MDM was indeed less than the perfect mate. She falls short of the "sainted-angel" moniker that our squads of marriage counsellor's over the years had designated her to be. She's simply a far better than most, mother and wife, who'd grown tired of her situation. Her moment of wedded bliss <grin>. I don't think I've ever written or uttered that I could blame her. pillow cases clean I had imagined that I'd clean up the 900 square foot apartment prior to her arrival, but then I'd heard that vacuuming carpet more than once or twice during the eighteen month lease period could place unnecessary strain on the fragile carpet fibers. So instead, at 4:15 this AM, I threw the custom sheets and pillow cases that normally caress the usually half-empty Malamud-mattress in the almost new clothes washer that apartment management deemed I was worthy of a few months back. I emptied a few tiny white garbage cans into one of the shiny black plastic 40 gallon monstro's that I feed into the huge maw of the communal dumpster shared by myself and my neighbors. During the time it took me to, shall I say ready myself? the bed top accoutrements had finished spinning round and round. I unwound them from each other and tossed them into the clothes dryer accompanied by a sheet of the spider-web like fabric softener. Of course, when I got home at 3:30PM, due to a sticky timer, I found that the dryer had run a solid eleven and one-half hours. Those sheets were without a doubt dry. Very dry. I mentioned to the electric guitar strumming Mainio, home all day for the summer, that if he should notice the dryer running for over four hours he should turn it off, but, as expected he hadn't noticed the dryer spinning a mere ten feet from his also spinning DVD player. I was so excited yesterday as I looked at my web statistics and learned that my pages had become so popular that I had exceeded my five gigabyte bandwidth download limitation three times this month. For those of you who don't know what that means, as I did not, it means that many, many people are looking at my pages. However, when I did some detective work, I realized that the over-limitation report was in error. How do I feel about my marriage dilemma one and one-half year's after my heart was shattered on the shoals of pending divorce? I can take it or I can leave it . . . and as odd as this seems, being the selfish and lazy SOB that I am, I'm more inclined to leaving it.
FRIDAY . . . When I got up this morning at 4:21AM, I walked out into the kitchen to find Aili, my 23 year old daughter, sitting on the floor rocking her upper body back and forth suffering what she termed, "an episode." "But not a bad one." She suffers from massive migraines and who knows what other fathomless neurological problems. Not too many weeks ago, she was recovering from major surgery after having some alien growth, Ripley-like, cut out of her. I feel so sorry for her. But now that, after her marriage, they plan to move here, I will at least be able to provide some emotional comfort for her . . . that is if she doesn't move to Mesa. It's queer that Dr. Malamud is so emotionally screwed up, but passes on few physical genetic defects, while the near perfect MDM, imparts endless physical challenges to our offspring. I feel certain this is the case due to the evidence presented by our oldest son, whose birth-father was from a previous marriage, and who has all the same ailments as the two younger children. It seems like God saddles some of us with physical ailments and some of us with mental ailments. For many physical ailments there are physical cures, however emotional aberrations, once having taken hold during the years of childhood, will be battled for an entire life. That folks, is why health insurance companies and our federal government always steer clear of providing coverage for mental illnesses, because treatment lasts a lifetime. And at $90 an hour runs to a small fortune. I can liken being emotionally/mentally ill to the everyday struggle heroin addicts must face. Although heroin addicts enjoy a short-lived incredibly pleasurable euphoria after giving in to their cravings, the emotionally ill simply journey to a serene spot in their psyche. We feel comfortable, even if in the real world we appear to be behaving in a dysfunctional manner. We become tranquil, because we are at a place that feels, to us anyway, normal. Which brings me to the horrible depression I found myself under this morning. A deep, dark, oppressive gloom that dulled the normally blazing Sonoran sunrise that greets me every Spring morning on my drive to work. A gloom I eventually shrugged off. A gloom I slowly realized that for many months I felt "comfortable" living under. Perhaps my current careful and closely self-monitored nightly clinical dosing with tequila is another dysfunctional attempt to find comfort? I'm sure it is. But, I'm comfortable <grin>.
SUNDAY . . . Today, the MISSUS, accompanied by my two youngest children, left the parking lot of my tony Scottsdale Apartment to begin their one thousand plus mile trek to the Republic of Texas. I am, at this very moment, as the vernacular saying states, "Three sheets to the wind." But, that's okay, because the time card is over fourteen hours away. I feel like phoning the Phoenix-living (boy is that a pun) world-famous singer who croons the lines ". . . I am a lineman for the county . . ." who I last saw at Manio's graduation ceremony Friday night. I would ask him if he'd like to go out for a night of massively heavy drinking. Of course Glen would supply the limo driver. You know, I'm one of the few individuals who could 'keep up' (as sad as that term may be) with most any drunk. I do not think I'm hitting the tequila so heavy because the MDM just left with my two dearest offsprings, but for $90 to $150 an hour I bet I could get a psychologist to tell me. That's what I like about "Dr. DeMarco". leaving for TexasI don't know what degrees he possesses, but it does not matter because he just tells it like it is. You know how you see a person that you know but not that well, with a piece of breakfast bacon caught in their front teeth? And you don't know whether to say something or not? Well, Michael DeMarco would just say it. And years ago he said I should give up the search for wealth and become a . . . truck driver. Well, I'm a security guard, actually a "gate host", that probably even has less stress and/or responsibility than that of a truck driver. My readers know that I am a Christian, and believe that God Hisself guides every happening in my currently crappy life . . . Sorry, just had to crawl off to my bathroom, fifteen feet away, to grunt, squeeze, strain and finally push my eight ounces of hot yellow, urine past the groaning grip of my purple prostate. Getting old is great, isn't it? And yes, I know I could quintiple my income if only I'd write porno, but understand, I really, really, believe in the Christian God. If I didn't, by now I'd have taken one of my always handy automatic weapons and had discovered how many bullets I could swallow before my grip loosened on the trigger. (Of course, I'd have to get back to you on that . . . in the next, better' life.) Since I will be alone (unless I give in to the incessant entreaties of the eternally lovely Fairchild, Morgan ... my wife to be Miss Morgan Fairchild) until sometime midway through the 110 degree plus Arizona August, I couldn't help but picture myself as one of those old-time Western Movie cowboys, as I liberated my 750ML bottle of Jose Cuervo Gold from the kitchen cabinet and re-patrioted it to its rightful place on the table in front of my television screen. Just like the cowboy at the bar wrenches the entire whiskey bottle from the hand of the handle-bar-moustached barkeep. I cut into the Tom Clancy-based The Sum of All Fears movie about thirty minutes into the showing. I could not accept Ben Affleck as the "Jack Ryan" that Harrison Ford had played so flawlessly in prior movies. Do you know why that was? Is? It's because I know too much about Mr. Affleck's private life. I cannot separate Ben's personal life from the characters he portrays. Many of today's Hollywood stars do not feel that millions of dollars for a few hundreds of hours of labor are enough. They honestly believe that the world-wide fame entirely due to their unusually successful movie careers is not enough. They feel they must expose their audience's to their personal lives also. Many of today's movie stars are the definition of the word hedonist. But, in this viewer's mind, their obsessions with 'self' have backfired, because I cannot separate Ben Affleck's affected style of acting from the fact that not too long ago his never-clean-shaven face was between the surgeon enhanced breasts of the wide-butted, hotel-maid-looking, Jennifer Lopez. Think about it. What do you know about the major, major star and great actor, Morgan Freeman? Other than the fact that in year 2001, he came through a guard gate I manned and used the name of Johnson? (" Yes," he told me, "We're all Johnson's here . . . ") Some of, many of, today's younger actors in, I guess, an effort to prove they are so much better than us, want us to know every detail of their lives. Even to the point of what brand of toilet paper they scrub their anuses with. Watching the other character actors in "The Sum of All Fears", I could 100% believe they were the people in the movie who they were supposed to be. I had no idea if they voted for Gore or Bush or if they were East-Coast or Pacific People or Charmin or Scott users. Even though, some of them I've been seeing for almost two decades, I could not even pick out their names from the ending credits. Why do I bring this up? Because your Dr. Malamud knows, God willing (see above statement) that he is destined to become on of these unknown character actors. Can you even imagine doing what you love for a living? And I love, love, love acting. And tequila. But not hangovers.
June 2004

FRIDAY . . . SAM28000. Special Air Mission 28000 just departed Andrews Air Force base with President Reagan on board. The body of President Reagan. I find myself crying at the funeral processional of a man I never met, but a person who changed the face of the planet forever. Some stoics would make fun of Dr.Malamud's tears (like possibly MDM) but yet, if I was crying while watching some Hollywood produced totally fictional movie, it would be just fine if I were to tear up. (Speaking of the Mrs. Dr. Malamud, while I was with her at Manio's recent graduation ceremony she abruptly instructed me that I had taken enough photos and it was ". . .time to sit down!" However, since she is the spouse instigating divorce, like an Old West gunslinger, out of my well oiled verbal holster, I instantly drew and shot out the phrase, "You're not the boss of me!" Down she went! Yes.) Click to visit Andrews AFB With this, can you see just how screwed up we are? It's perfectly acceptable to cry at a made-up movie performed by SAG actors mouthing memorized lines written by someone else, but it is not okay to cry over the passing of a real person. A great person. Almost fifteen years ago, after suffering over a far shorter span of eighteen months, my own father at age eighty-three, died of Alzheimer's Disease. For people not familiar with this horrible illness of unknown causes, which seems to single-out very intelligent individuals, know that at the point the victim literally loses his or her mind, is the date the family, the wife, the kids usually label as the date of their death. After that point the disease gradually corrodes the entire brain, and begins to shut down vital organs, eventually resulting in a physical death. Alzheimer's is 100% fatal, 100% of the time. When any person perishes from the brain-rotting affliction, the Exit Certificate always reflects 'Cause of Death: Alzheimer's.' And Alzheimer's is thought to be hereditary, with Sister Justuce, my father's sister dying from it also. Makes me want to rent, one more time: Gattaca the excellent movie which is centered around our unchangeable genetics.

SATURDAY . . . Oh my gawd. June already and I've returned to my Starbucks on Tatum Boulevard. The mister's are hissing their cooling piss into the 95F degree 8:31PM desert evening. Since I left my usual Starbucks mug in the Peugeot, I bought a Starbucks Father's Day traveling mug, whose bottom unscrews and allows you to line it with favorite photos of the family. Tonight I took the Mr. G's Cadillac out for a spin. It's an amazing front wheel drive vehicle fitted with an earlier model Corvette 290 horsepower engine and a digital dash, which was all the rage in the late 1990s. The fuel gauge is especially intriguing as it displayed "5 G" the last time I drove it, "11 G" when I sat in it this morning, "14 G" as Mr.G's Caddy: "You bought a Cadillac, You bought a piece of the road" I left the Osco parking lot equipped with a freshly squeezed 1.75 liter jug of golden cactus juice and "F" on the way to Starbucks this evening. All without visiting a gas station. I'm outside, and almost every table is full. Since most winter residents have left (which is preciously why I'm behind the wheel of the Pride of Detroit) these are most likely people who live here year round. The mist hits me and as it is evaporating it lowers the apparent air temperature in the very low 70s. I'm sitting in the perfect spot. I glance into the coffee store and see a young, slim man with the popular goatee, weird jaw-line-following pencil thin beard and a large wooden hoop earring that reminds me of a young electrician I talked with this Friday. He had so many ear rings and face piercings, I warned him that he shouldn't try to clear the Sky Harbor's X-Ray machines. He responded with a huge teeth displaying grin saying, "I did. And I set it off!" My fingers are cracking and splitting like some ancient parchment. I pray that my most favorite body part doesn't begin to suffer from this same Biblical-like affliction. I watch the fullback-sized, shaven head young man whose broad back stretches his Polo shirt, seated on the concrete bench with his love between his spread legs, her back to his chest. Right now they're entwined like a couple of warm blooded snakes. The Mrs. Dr. Malamud would be uttering, "Get a room." I'm just happy to see two people in love. Or is it lust? Starbucks' customers involuntarily stare down at me as they grab the stainless steel handle and pull towards them the entry door. It's probably been a very long time since they've seen anyone writing longhand without a text book or job application form spread out in front of them. It's so nice being outside. Just relaxing outside in the Arizona air and not being at work. How unusual is that? Most literate, engaged people don't get outside at work at all, and here I get up to eighty eight hours a week of it. The hoop ear-ringed lad has sat down in my line of sight with his long, straight black haired female companion sporting red flavored tattoos on the soft, smooth, white skin of her young shoulders. Both are sporting the grimaces of the spoiled rich children suffering from no goals or interests. He has three apple-sized clear globes in his orangutan-sized hand and is expertly maneuvering them round and round, while most likely wishing he was a wizard from the Lord of the Rings. Steve Georgiou/Cat Stevens/Yusaf Islam's song "Morning has Broken" is floating down from the Bose speakers. Now this kind and gentle person is a member of a most violent religion. If you think that is a harsh statement, imagine what would be being said about all Baptists, if only Southern Baptists were behaving in the way Al Qaeda and it's Muslim minions do. My much-loved older brother, who possesses an intellect as huge as the Kaaba, recently mailed me a piece of his published work. In it, he questioned, as he has his entire life, how Christian's could kill for any reason. All I could think of was the recent beheading of the unarmed and harmless Jewish cell phone salesman Nick Berg by the follower's of Allah.
SATURDAY . . . Last night I slept solo. It would be not an unusual occurrence at all, except that it was the first time I had ever spent a dusk till dawn at the massive edifice (well, compared to my apartment) of the the Texas-ensconced Mrs. Dr. Malamud. The prior night we slept together, not partaking of conjugal bliss, but together  just the same. As I lay awake this morning on the bed, alone, listening to the rhythmic breathing, i.e., loud snoring, of my bride of 1977 floating in from the TV room couch, I ponder her absence from her own bedroom. One reason could be that, due to weariness wrought from the day long drive from Phoenix to Fort Worth, and my resulting refusal to accompany her on the journey to ferry Aili's male bride's maid home yesterday afternoon, she stayed away out of spite. But that would be so unlike the far more mature than me, MDM. Wooden Injun. Click to enlarge The second reason may be that the selfish Dr.Malamud, seeing an opportunity for a ten-hour nap floating on a mattress unencumbered by the usual tequila anchor (since I bravely left my jug of golden cactus squeezings to further ferment on the Formica countertop of my Scottsdale kitchen) I dropped into bed at an early 8 PM Central Time and the soon to be ex-MDM did not wish to possibly wake me while crawling into bed half a dozen hours later. And third, and the most romantic of this triplet of possibilities is, that (as I remembered seeing her well thumbed through paperback titled, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway laying face-up on the the Alaskan-white carpeted second floor of the master bedroom) it simply pains her too much to sleep with the husband she has claimed to have hardened her heart against. As I write this in the dining room ground floor area of her residence, I am reminded of the incredible fondness females hold for fire discovered long ago . . . by man. Candles. Within my gaze, I count an even dozen of them. I also see the 22" tall 1940s-carved wooden Indian (nowadays, "Native American", sigh) staring straight ahead, ignoring this White man who is scribbling tales of his 1/8th Cherokee progeny. This is the same feathered Chieftain about whom I wrote my first poem since being an immensely sad pupil at the freshly erected Palo Verde Grade School in the 1960s. At the time of the 21st Century poem writing, I was an immensely sad husband, who had just bubbled-packed this always-been-there wooden heirloom to ship, UPS-insured, to Texas. Later today, as the MDM and I delighted between the aisles of the Home Depot (sadly, among the hardware, plants and paints, not each other) she revealed the true reason she couldn't sleep with me. She couldn't sleep  with me. Why? Because due to my slow-pitch-softball sized prostate, the first or the third or the fifth time each night I get up to drain my bladder, I wake her up. All my romantic ideas thrown out the bedroom window. Sometimes I feel like Charlie Brown.
Thursday . . . An unfamiliar pang struck me as I sauntered into my airliner-sized kitchen yesterday afternoon. It was an empty feeling, as if something was missing. Of course, dear reader, you're one step ahead of me. I was missing the Mrs. Dr. Malamud. It struck me like a ton of balsa wood bricks cascading down from a hastily opened upper kitchen cabinet. That is, it really surprised me, but didn't crush me like in the bad old days of February to August of 2003. Those were the days when the thought of life without her conjured up images of Dr. Malamud, sightless, wearing thick-framed black Foster Grants, squatting in fart blasted, eight year old soiled and crusty Jockey's, my body covered only by a passers-by donated trenchcoat liner, begging on the dirts streets of Mogodishu, Somalia. I remember, years ago when we laughingly admitted to each other that we were soul-mates. That at some time, for some unknown reason, God Himself had decided we belonged to each other. If only I had . . . And on and on and on and on. If only. Being with MDM for the wedding of Aili last week in the State of Humidity was a wonderful thing. Having accepted the inevitability of divorce, I was able to act like an independent adult and immerse myself in her company as a . . . a female friend. Hah! Right, "a female friend." A female friend whose hand I've squeezed through childbirth. Twice. A female friend who've I've watched stop breathing because of a morphine sulphate overdose only to have the hospital alarm jerk her awake and start her lungs working again. A friend who I learned to scuba dive with and languished in luxury with for two unbelievable long and never to be forgotten weeks on the island of Anguilla. A friend who, Magnum P.I. like, together we skirted the lush spinach-green jungles of Maul in a helicopter behaving more like a DaVinci dreamt-of dragonfly than a respectable aeroplane. A friend who . . . English needs a more suitable and robust word for ex-wive's and ex-husbands. Am I, like Shakespeare before me, to invent it? My challenge is, not having much of a pride issue, except when fighting for lane choice in traffic and when in the octopus lines for movie tickets, and every time I go to Sky Harbor International Airport, where I am invariably treated like a sweaty, turban-wearing, black steel-wool beard to my chest, Muslim with a forty-five kilo car bomb duct taped under my Dillard's suit, I did not strike out and attack her. Attack, like I guess, many divorcing couples do to each other. And the incredibly classy MDM, fearing crushing the soul of the one who has fully opened up only to her, has pretty much kept quiet about what a quarter century wide asshole I've been. As I swig down my last bit of Jose Cuervo from my favorite shot glass I wonder if I'd been self-medicating myself with fermented agave juice because my subconscience, my 'below consciousness', knew that sober, my primal emotional yearnings for her company were trying to scrape their way to the surface of my still wounded heart. And wound me again.
Sunday . . . Shortly after a blinding red dusk, I met my first Vice President. Of the United States. What a disappointment. As I delicately placed a huge, astonishingly heavy and frangrant floral arrangement onto the back leather covered seat of his SUV, he draped me with condescension in a manner that only those born to money can effortlessly manage. I'm now glad he didn't get elected. I was thinking that the reason the media bad-mouthed him so much during his Presidential campaign was, not only because he was of the 'wrong' political party, but that he was also one incredibly condescending S.O.B. Later, I discussed him with a co-worker and he told me, "The guy's a robot. You're lucky to get a 'hello' out of him." I had so many great thoughts to put down last night, but was instead busy massaging my entry for Thursday into the supple excellence my reader's expect. Agave plant aka: Century Plant The life of a diarist isn't an easy one <grin>. Especially one who has made exactly zero dollars from generating literally reams and reams (one ream equals 516 pages) of laser imprinted, ink-jet squirted, ribbon-typed and even, gasp, handwritten works. Now, that isn't to say I haven't been published, but still, some sort of income would be nice. Last year I finally stepped from amateur acting into the professional realm as I collected my first check reflecting the astonishing pay rate of a dollar eleven per minute. Compare that to my normal, risking-my-life-for-a-paycheck, which reflects a meager return of 19.5 cents per every sixty seconds of labor. Sunday night I was chewing into my backlog of subscribed-to writer magazines. I became heartened that I could author works full time and people would pay to read what I had written. And then I could do what I love: writing, acting and drinking even more tequila, rather than being pissed on by ex-U.S. Vice Presidents and others who imagine, because of their wealth, or birthright, are better than Dr. Malamud. Don't weep for me over my mistreatment by lessers. Understand that a certain calmness comes with age. I like to imagine that it is wisdom rerouting hormones from my clenched fists to my heart. While viscerally, in the first moments of an encounter, I sometimes am blood-boiling mad at the designed and purposely demeaning actions of these well-heeled heels, I soon realize that these individuals are not reacting to me or something I've done or the way I look (marvelous), but they are regurgitating the sadness and emptiness of their own hollow existence onto the tops of my just shined, black widow spider black, Red Wing chef's shoes. I always end up feeling sorry for them. As a matter of fact, I've got to send a 'concern' card to one of my incredibly wealthy clients, because I believe this man in his forties is working himself into an early grave. He's on the same track I was on when I was on, raking in $26,000 every month. I'd figure I would just work and work and work with minimal vacations and then get caught up on life when I retired at age sixty-five. "Caught up on life", right, life was, life is, passing us by every second whether we're at work or asleep (sometimes the later and former are occurring at the same moment) at play or floating in the golden haze fueled by Agave tequilana. That is why we must take as our profession doing that which we love. I tell my young people (because older folks are too wise to listen or too proud to admit their lifelong mistake) "Do what you love and the money will follow. And if the money doesn't come, it won't matter because you are doing what you love." Of course, being one of those older folks, I do not heed my own advice.

Wednesday . . . Oh brother! That first swig of Cuervo Gold just always hits the spot and it also prevents cavities. You must realize that it is the taste or else I'd drink something a lot cheaper than forty-seven-cents-an-ounce tequila. Wouldn't I? Okay, okay, I'm a effing drunk. There, are you happy? <grin> Dr. Malamud is becoming just a too big an WWW presence <grin #2>. actually mescal with worm, but close enough to tequila because they both originate in the agave sucullentMr. Wonderful told me he was looking for the name of Lisa Minelli's ex-husband and "Dr.Malamud" popped up as a source. (Go to HotBot and type in exactly, leaving out the parenthesis, "lisa minelli +divorce". Then look and see if 9. on the list isn't Dr.Malamud. Of course by the time you try this, things may have changed.) If I'm so gull darned popular, why aren't I rich? Answering my own question: I'm not wealthy because I don't chase after wealth. God has put me (come on, after ten years of retirement, ending thirty-five months ago, I was hired by the first employer I applied at? Of course it was . . . is, what many, nay, most, would term a "shit-job". A position that many would rather remain on unemployment than attempt to fill.) Regardless, God has placed me, as a writer and (having read over seventy five books on human relations during my decade-long retirement) a dedicated student of human nature, in an incredibly unique situation to observe very successful and wealthy individuals, families and their guests. Not to intimate that I'm invited to dinner or lunch or even to wipe the asses of my resident's, but, (great twist/turn on a word, eh?) even so, if one is half-way observant, especially after two years, one can learn a great deal about these people. For one thing, they very, very rarely opt for the vanity-type license plates for their vehicles. Now, the following is a little, hell, a lot gross . . . however, I will forever remember my weekly visit to my eighty year old father as he languished in the Alzheimer's wing of the Sun City West rest home situated in the backyard of the apartments where my dear mother worried horribly over him. I remember smelling his awful breath and today, a decade after his merciful passing, every time I floss I am reminded of my father. Poignant or disgusting? Or should it be "poignant and disgusting"? Life is just layered with so much sadness, gladness and surprises, especially in the Alzheimer's wing. One day MDM and I were talking with an impeccably dressed, lanky and silver moustached senior citizen. Without saying anything to each other, Mrs. Dr. Malamud and I were both silently asking the question, "Is this gentleman a visitor, or is he an inmate?" Shortly, as he turned from longingly gazing out the large window of the two story red bricked building, our query was answered as he asked us a question, "Is this your first trip on the train?" Wow. Now we know what one of the nurse's meant when we overheard her comment that, " . . . working here is like walking into the Twilight Zone.

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