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

The mostly unedited ramblings
of a broken-hearted man

"People get from books the idea that if you have married the right person you may expect to go on 'being in love' for ever. As a result, when they find they are not, they think this proves they have made a mistake and are entitled to a change -not realizing that, when they have changed, the glamour will presently go out of the new love just as it went out of the old one. In this department of life, as in every other, thrills come at the beginning and do not last... but if you go through with it, the dying away of the first thrill will be compensated for by a quieter and more lasting kind of interest."

C.S. Lewis
1898 - 1963

Archived Page Number 18:
Dec. 2005 through
through May 2006

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December 2005

Saturday . . . Missed my first party of the holiday season. Christmas season. Well, I went there. To take hundreds of photos for gratis for my friend. This year it was at his restaurant instead of his two story mansion. It felt cold. It felt like no one who came really expected or wanted to be photographed. restaurant I tried to figure out if everything was free, even the liquor. I could see no one paying, but it did not matter anyway (and this will show you how depressed I was) I did not want to drink. I did not want to be there. I did not want to watch the beautiful women's faces melt as the night wore on as they turned back into the real and wrinkled people they were during the sunlit hours. I felt so alone. Gawd I miss being married. Having someone always there. I took not a single drink or a single bite of food and left. I clenched my teeth the fourteen mile drive back to Paradise Valley. I told myself since I was never paid for my photographs I could chose when to take them and when to not. They would have been disappointing if I had taken them. I realized that photography of people is an art. And this artist was just not in the mood. Two more parties this weekend I've been invited to. One involves clients, so I could hardly attend lest my unignorable presence may put a damper on the whole affair. The other is with a co-worker who has said there will be a female at the party I may find . . . interesting. I should be grateful that I've even been invited, especially so warmly, to these parties. Both women know me better than most people do and, literally, to know me is to love me. Except if you are the Ex-Mrs-Dr. Malamud who has been strangely quiet the last many weeks. Christmas often is a hard time of the year for many people, I just never thought that I'd be one of them. Soon Mainio will be leaving the nest on his own trek and I will be totally alone. And intellectually wishing to remain solo, but emotionally needing the company of a woman who loves me. My life has no focus or function other than to stay afloat. To keep from being sucked down either the financial or emotional drain. I am like Don Quixote, only I won't even get on the gull-darn donkey. Thursday . . . I just noticed that for months now my heart has been hard as if it were being held in a vice whose handle is slowly being turned tighter. How odd. I am usually so in touch with my feelings. Geeze, I've been depressed quite a while, I now realize. I don't recall the light feeling of just being glad to be alive for months. The constant stress of never, ever, having enough money, or a day off, or a glimpse of the often talked about light at the end of the tunnel, and a job I really, really hate, is wearing on me. Tearing me up. Aging me. It must have been the same category of stress the Ex-Mrs-Dr-Malamud suffered through for a decade while, in my own retirement (earning more money than I do now working over 3,000 hours a year), I tried to find myself ... or whatever I was doing. Well, I was staying home and raising the two kids who started out at age five and age twelve and are now nineteen and almost twenty-six. So at least they lived through ten years of me being 'Mr.Mom', with the biggest scars being left on the teen Mainio as he experienced the long distance divorce up close and personal. Zero phone calls and a sprinkling of one-line e-mails from HER in many weeks. I know the holiday season is very busy in the hospitality industry, but still I'm thinking she has a boyfriend. And I'm thinking of all the (inexpensive) presents I have to wrap (and her billionaire boyfriend) and box and ship to her for Christmas in our house. And knowing how, she, keeping her emotional distance might send me one gift. And how it has been almost to the day, a year since our, since her, divorce suit dissolved our twenty-seven year marriage. And how I should really just give it up. So sad. Such a sad situation. My enrollment at the internet matchmaking site ended. I don't know if I should re-up or not. Never got any replies to my e-mails, and never replied to the unsolicited emails that popped into my mailbox. I wonder how long it takes a person before he or she grabs up the memories of a marriage and puts them way up and back on the top shelf of the closet of the mind? I wonder if the new marriage acts as a soothing balm on the injured memories? Or do people just keep so busy they see the memories as a blur like you would looking out the window of a bullet train moving at 150 mph? Saturday . . . It is supposed to reach 82F degrees today. Great ! I hate cold. I hate not being able to escape the cold. That's why I chose to be born in 'The Valley of the Sun'. I'm just about ready to cell-phone my new assistant, only problem is, I know that she's happily married and it would be a really stupid move. And I am probably the only drunk you know, or will ever know, who can behave logically right up to the moment I pass out. Speaking of that, yes, it is Christmas Eve evening (is that redundant?) and I have had a few tequilas and a few goblets of gifted Merlot, and am getting in the mood to watch the Ronald Reagan: An American President DVD once again. That's the documentary where by the time I get to the twenty-one cannon salute (21 cannons, picture that) I am weeping like the biblical Job ("J oh bah") crouched on his ash heap. It's odd that I'm friends with two long-time married couples where the husband evidences a high IQ, but the wives, while charismatic and quite attractive (yes, in both cases the couples are the same ages) are, well, stupid. Christmas gift booze Hell, my above mentioned female cohort, literally could not spell S H I T  if her mouth was full of it. Yet, with not a hint of physical contact, she often makes me turgid. But what does that take these days? I was talking to Mr. Starbucks Friday, who told me it was really getting dull not being married for the past five years. And shortly afterwards, I chatted with Miss Kristy, an extremely succesful saleswoman (which means she can lie right to your face), who is packaged in a gorgeous, forty-ish, natural-redhead body, maintained by twelve hours each week at the gym. She told me that after a divorce ten years ago, she had finally found a man who loved both her and  her children. As I shielded my eyes from the laser-like beams shooting up from the four carat engagement ring snuggled against her wedding ring, I attempted to convince her otherwise <grin>, but she parried each of my entreaties as skillfully as The Dread Pirate Roberts did sword swings of Inigo Montoyain in the movie The Princess Bride. Alone, I tried to watch the DVD, "To Live and Die in LA", but then had to fight with the entertainment center because Mainio and his friend had re-engineered it for X-Box control in order to Return to Castle Wolfenstein to battle against WWII Nazi's. By the time I had the entertainment unit reconfigured for both sound and video output, I felt more in the mood for the movie The Right Stuff. Shortly thereafter the doorbell chimed, it's electronic "ding-dong-dong-dong" signalling through the thickening fog like an audio lighthouse, that my pair of pizzas had arrived from the bakery literally one thousand feet away. They were handed to me by a one-armed man. Well, two arms, counting his right action-figure-flesh-colored praying mantis-like prothesis limb tipped with a stainless steel clamp. Possibly demonstrating the effects of maybe a little too much alcohol, I shouted at him and accused him, Sam-Shepard-like, of being the one-armed man who murdered my wife. He held his ground and told me to be careful because the pies are, "... hot from the oven." Which is pizza-delivery-boy talk for, "I got lost and your pizzas are lukewarm." I ate greedily of my pies, sometimes washing the peperoni slices down my throat with sips of searing tequila. Abandoning the wait for Mainio to return to the apartment, so we might each open a single Christmas gift before midnight, I stumbled into my bedroom at 8:00 PM and shortly fell asleep, a three-inch thick hardback science fiction novel warming my chest.
Saturday . . . Working on both New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. How sad is that? But that's the life of a doctor, eh? Anymore it's been a race to write this journal each afternoon before I get too drunk and lose control of my scant typing skills. So far the medicinal alcohol I've been self-dosing myself with, has been winning out. So it is 4:12 AM as I type this on the last day of year 2005. Which is the second Christmas/New Year's I've endured as a divorced man. A 'divorced man' which I thought ... well it never even occurred to me that I'd ever be divorced, and I now realize, that was my mistake to think that, for surely it flavored every action I took during my twenty-seven years of wedded bliss <grin>. Not that it ever gave me license to treat the then Mrs.Dr.Malamud as rudely as many husbands treat their wives, just that I now know I would have behaved differently had I realized divorce (in her mind at least) was always a possibility. Happy New Year.
More booze as
Christmas cheer.
Click to visit
Tito's Handmade
January 2006

Thursday . . . Feeling down today (I know wa, wa, wa). My employer is conspiring to do everything possible to make doing my job even more frustrating and unsatisfying than it already is. I am surrounded by so many idiots. And they are not even the 'useful idiot' variety. For many people in America today, and increasingly the world, appearance is reality. Facts no longer carry much weight. So unfortunate that we have devolved to that level. And speaking of appearances, the ex-Mrs.Dr.Malamud, appears to have stopped responding to even my emails sent on an urgent note. Well, we've been physically separated since October of 2002 (when, due to a job relocation, she left the state) spiritually separated since February 14th of 2003 and legally divorced since December of 2004. I asked Mainio if he had heard from his mom and he said she had called him Tuesday, so at least I know she isn't lying bleeding in her shower waiting to be discovered by co-workers. Hell, she might even feel that if what I have to say to her is that urgent, I would simply call her. And then of course hear her say, "Hammurabi, I am not your mother anymore." So sad. So lonely. Airliner over Scottsdale Sunday . . . Still no emails from the ex-Dr.Mrs.Malamud. I was imagining that she was simply away from her computer; which would put her in the hospital, at a convention or on her honeymoon. Or observing a 2006 New Year's Resolution of not to respond to my emails. Hopefully it is the later. I'm sure her sister or my brother-in-law or her son (my step-son, although I do not refer to him in that manner) would have let me know if she was hospitalized. Although, the last time, when cancer struck again, I heard nothing until months later, and I heard it from her in what I was sure was a slip of the tongue. I've become a pest, a nuisance, a has-been, an 'ex' to the mother of our children. I still remember when she phoned me in 2003 from her new Lone Star environs and like a school-girl preparing for her first prom, told me of the house she'd found and the private school she'd found for Mainio and how I could stay at home there and simply write. I also recall now how I blithely responded that I would never move there and that I had to stay here in Phoenix so Mainio could graduate from the private Christian school he started at ten years earlier. On my first commercial airplane flight to visit her in a failed attempt to talk her out of divorce, I remember, eyes welling over, confessing my reason for the trip to my seatmate. After hearing my tale of woe, he instructed me that I was the hero for taking a crappy job and staying behind with the child. For Mainio. Of course, I love Arizona, and except to advance my petrified acting career, do not plan to ever leave, so my reasons were never totally altruistic. But are anyone's? Ever?
Later, in an attempt to feel justified in 'staying here' I checked The Weather Channel. I knew it would be raining and cold where she's at. I found it warmer, earlier in the day, with a higher predicted high than Paradise Valley. And it looks like rain here. Gosh. I feel like Charlie Brown. Wednesday . . . Well, the Ex-Mrs.Dr.Malamud finally emailed me. And with such timing as to suggest she's reading my Dr. Malamud pages. Or someone close to her is. Even though, when she was  the Mrs.Dr.Malamud, back in the good old days, when I did not know they were the 'good old days', she encouraged and encouraged and encouraged and encouraged me to stop writing "letters to the editor" (even though I was frequently getting them published locally and even in the two million reader Wall Street Journal) and get on the internet. Then in 1999 when, with a 28,000 baud telephone connection your Dr.Malamud went on-line, she never once, ever, went to my website. Which was fine. Is fine. Of course, at the time, she was working full-time at Doubletree and then after work, furiously typing towards her Master's Degree four hours each evening via the original on-line $chool, The Univer$ity of Phoenix. I assume, in The Year of Our Lord 2006, she retains the same disdain for my web site. Currently, at The Smoking Gun I'm reading about how author James Frey so easily fooled the weeping, almost-billionaire, Oprah Winfrey with his apparently totally false "A Million Little Pieces" memoir. What a chump Oprah and all her viewer's are. Delivery NoticeWhat an asshole Mr. Frey is for presenting his work as non-fiction. As you know, Dr.Malamud cherishes the truth above all. And himself, being an accomplished and dead-effing-broke-writer staring at a six hundred and fifty dollar credit card statement from Goodyear, gets really torqued out of shape at anyone   who prospers using lies. (Yes, sadly that means if you are in sales, you are a liar. And with three or less questions I can 'prompt' you to admit, that of course, by rote, every single day, you do tell less than the truth to simply "Make the Sale" ... to make the house payment, to make the car payment, to earn the money to keep the Nordstrom's statement below $3,000.) I can't do that. Not yet anyway. And speaking of the truth, I will tell you the truth: I have given up waiting until I am sober to type these pages. Because it appears that if I am not being paid by an outside entity (i.e., an employer) to specifically maintain my BAC at .005 or below, I will not be able to steer clear of the Demon Alcohol. I was thinking of the Christmas gift-giving at the Ex-Mrs.Dr.Malamud's mother's home last December 25th. I was pondering over the five or six gifts I brought for members of both my nuclear family and former in-laws. While I was surely not expecting anything other than a home-cooked meal in return, I indeed did not unwrap one single gift. And that's because it is impolite to open up other people's presents. Days ago, the Ex-Mrs.Dr.Malamud off-handedly had implied the mailing of her Christmas gift to me to my tony northside Town of Paradise Valley apartment. However, as I type this on the seventeenth day after Christmas I doubt the present will, announced by a sky blue DELIVERY NOTICE card wedged in my cigarette carton-sized mailbox, ever arrive. Time for another drink and then a trip to my nearby Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise. Friday . . . As I exit my Peugeot, from the pickup-bar-disguised-as-a-restaurant, I can hear the rumble of the dinner crowd, down to even the actual tink of their hungry silverware against the dishes. The Brad Pitt / Jennifer Aniston look-alike couple again  strolls into my Starbucks'. 2006 Aston Martin convertible Only this time I study them closely, and even though they drive away in Brad Pitt's Gelaendewagen, I am certain I am not seeing the media-made-famous pair. As I wait for my freshly brewed Casa Cielo, while fingering the travel mugs that cannot cost Starbucks ¼ of their asking price, the barista queries me if I want room left for cream. Sotto voce I reply, "Of course, this is Starbucks!" Out loud I answer with a simple yes. My French Crush After streaming into my Starbucks' travel mug enough Half & Half to turn a quart of 40-weight recycled motor oil nearly vanilla colored, and emptying six pink packets of artificial sweetness, I have the brew simmered down enough to swish and swallow. I also decide that fresh, or an hour old, the coffees here are stronger than Superman on injectable steroids. The young husband races ahead to open the door for his wife carrying their male progeny. A rattle hidden in her purse announces its presence as she struggles by. The image of one of my crushes stares at me from her business card, which for some un-remembered reason I continue to carry with my writing materials. Being from France, or somewhere they speak French (Hell, maybe?) two years ago, when I gave her a Valentine card, she had no idea what it was about. As I reached under her blouse and fondled her so very soft right breast, I explained that it was an old American custom. (James Frey-like, however, I'm not sure the fondling part actually occurred.) Sadly, being married to a German multi-millionaire who keeps her behind the steering wheels of cars that cost more than I will bill over the next two years, she found it unwise to leave him for your financially and romantically starved Dr. Malamud. What happens to us? All the children are so friendly, so energetic, so curious, so unabashed and most often, so unafraid. Yet so many of us, as grown-ups, have matured  to become bitter, silent and sullen. Many of the people outside the coffeetorium seem to know each other. And they all seem to be Jewish. Makes sense, since after all, this is the spot where I was asked by the older brother of my Jewish physician (also a physician), whether my scribbling was making any money (remember he's Jewish <grin>). And although that was over two years ago, I am proud to state that I have raked in at least twenty six dollars as an author since then. Wednesday . . . Blasted again. Can't stay away from the demon juice squeezed out of Mexican cacti. How sad is this? Fifty four years old, and since I finally gave in to Mainio's entreaties to turn the dishnetwork satellite back on, I am now currently waiting for 6PM, so I can see the 1962 James Bond movie, "Dr. No" on the commercial-enhanced AMC channel. Remember, Dr. No was Ursula Andress's first big mainstream movie? Too bad her English was so poor, her entire dialogue had to be dubbed. I think me and Mark McFadden, at age eleven, somehow got into the Fox theater in downtown Phoenix, Arizona to see this movie that was posted as for fourteen year olds and up only. Forty four years ago, it was really something. Forty four years. Sigh. How effing sad has my life become? Due to my financials being hijacked (for the second time in two years) I phoned the Ex-Mrs.Dr.Malamud to see if she might have any insights on the mysterious credit card statement that I had received in the mail. Mysterious, because I had never seen the card or used the card or requested the card ... but yet, here was a statement. From the unbelievably customer unfriendly CapitalOne, no less. Fuch, it's like I said several entries ago, I might as well just lug my one and three quarter liter jug of Cuervo Gold around with me, rather than dirty any more shot glasses. Slurp. Swish. Burn. Ah. I understand that it prevents cavities. In any case, Tuesday, I had to cell-phone the Ex-Mrs.Dr.Malamud, and, forgetting who she was talking to (i.e., the love-sick ex-husband who thought we'd be married until the day one of us died) she let her voice lift and lilt like I remembered it. Remembered it back when she loved me. So sad. I got up from typing this to see who was at the front door. Turned out to be my Chompie's bagel had escaped from the cauldron of my Krupp toaster with it's usual racket ... Wednesday . . . Felt so melancholy yesterday and this early, early Wednesday morning. Sadness In the past few days, I stopped sending the Ex-Mrs.Dr.Malamud quite so many e-mails and - well it's tough. Even though she broke it off long ago, like a lovesick third grader, your Dr.Malamud is still carrying the torch. Sitting alone on the school yard swing set, far away from any of the other kids, an occasional tear finding its way down my cheek, making believe that she still loves me. As I trudged out to the apartments' tony dumpster, accompanied by a pair of bulging black plastic garbage bags, the feeling of melancholy pressed down even harder as I found the weather, in my jungle-trim shorts, cheap-ass thin Arizona Cardinals tee-shirt and toe-holed Birkenstock's, more like a Spring night than the middle of Winter. The only thing that was missing was the sweet everywhere smell of bursting orange blossoms. Spring: the season for romance. That reminds me what originally ignited my sadness. Valentine's Day is coming up, and on that day two years ago, I received the unequivocal e-mail from the E-M.D.M. stating that without a doubt, she was going to divorce me. Valentine's day, the date our wedding was scheduled for over a quarter-century ago. Via e-mail she admitted yesterday that she'd been "having drinks" with other men. But what did I expect? She's single. And I'm not. I don't desire to be single. Unmarried. The only reason she revealed her drinking partner to me, is that she thought that at this time I would be adult enough to handle it and not end my sad existence by stepping out in front of a speeding golf cart loaded down with a pair of three hundred pound, seven handicappers, and their casket-sized golf bags bulging with one too many Ping irons speeding down the side of a Troon North fairway. Sigh.
Sunday . . . I should have gone to church today. I had a rare Sunday and eighteen hours of Saturday, off from work. If you normally get weekends off, they flash by like the silver streak of Porsche Carrera 4 passing you on the southbound 101 and Pima Road on-ramp. If you rarely receive weekends off, they are the most beautiful thing next to, next to ... falling in love ... with Morgan Fairchild. It is so sad that, once again, this is a one-sided love. U-Haul trailer full of relationship books Similar to the one with the ex-Mrs.Dr.Malamud. Having read a small U-Haul trailer load of relationship books, your Dr.Malamud, more than anyone, knows that I continue to chose ladies that I subconsciously know to be unavailable. I should just reply to the e-mails I'm getting from the internet dating service, right? Patsy Ann McClenny, the next Mrs.Dr.Malamud E-mails that oddly enough, never seem to have a photo attached. (Most likely because the sender will not fit in a single 1050 by 700 pixel frame.) There is always the e-mailed image from some blonde Russian moll who hopes to get a green card and money or both from an idiot who the last time he had sex was a lonely wet-dream in 1999. I was thinking, once again, how different things might have been if, responding to the ex-Mrs.Dr.Malamud's electronic pleas, I had dropped everything and fled Scottsdale for the Lone Star State? My own job could not have held me back, that's for certain. But dammit, is not only the weather obnoxious in Fort City, Texas, but it would have meant yanking the seventeen year old Mainio out of the only school he had attended since he was five years old. Do parent's realize just how traumatic their 'adult' moves are to their children? Their little boys and girls? I remember with absolute terror the three moves my family made while I was in school (four school changes for me), but yet even at that, we remained in the same city of Phoenix, if not the same Zip Code. I think about all the thousands of dollars I've spent on 'the boy' just so he can enjoy a somewhat financially-normal life in North Scottsdale, even though his schoolmates drive parent-bought expensive foreign-badged SUVs and convertibles. While the ex-Mrs.Dr.Malamud, due to her poor financial decisions (and lying-sack-of-shit-sales-people) spends virtually nothing on 'the boy'? Bitter? No. Just thinking. Things really could not have been any other way. At some point my heart will realize that too.
February 2006

Saturday . . . Geeze. I've got no one to talk to, so I talk to you, my thousands, no, my millions of readers. Have I been hanging out with James Frey too much? Yes, that effing liar who has just made authoring a provable personal memoir about impossible. Who's going to believe I was chased across Cortez Park by Phoenix Police, guns drawn, hoping to catch us, or kill us, for the heinous crime of underage drinking in 1969? Can you believe I was drinking alcohol thirty-seven years ago? Yes, once again, I may have had a few drinks. That is if a "few" is defined as less than half a dozen. Speaking of the Frey book, A Million Little Pieces, the parts of it that I have seen on web sites are just plain stupid. And vulgar. Who would read crap that seems to be written by a punk who would curse out a priest? Worse yet, who would believe that crap? Speaking of written crap, Mr.Wonderful just finished reading to me a Phillip K. Dick book (from whose books the movies Blade Runner and Minority Report were crafted from) that was also crap. Every day I get home and eagerly check my email for another missive from the ex-Mrs.Dr.Malamud. What a sap I am. I saw a young wife today, blessed (or physician-gifted) in the bosom department. (Which second to the brain department is number one with me.) She was sitting on a low wall outside the front door to their newly constructed $800,000 tract home, knees partially drawn up to her chest, watching as her husband worked on something nearby. At my age, I could feel that her unspoken hopes and dreams were far larger than her undoubtedly lovely breasts. All those dear moments that I miss. Just being with someone who unconditionally loves you and cares for you. And what is really marvelous is, it seems that women are designed to be that way. I guess that's safe to say that now that Betty Friedan, one of the world's ugliest women has passed away, eh? These ugly or just mean and inhospitable females either 'become' lesbians or write books about how women are not meant to be married to one man. More crap. But don't get me wrong. Both ugly and beauty are in the eye of the beholder. Backseat Kleenex I will always remember from my high school days around say, year 1969, I would not ask Rhonda Pence out because she had a big set of . . . nostrils. Ha! thought I was going to write something else, eh? But shortly after Mr. Perfect (who was suffering from pustular acne) decided I could not date big-nosed Rhonda, one of the school's athletic jock lettermen found her a quite acceptable date. I will forever regret not asking her out. Not getting to know her better. And do you know what? Most likely it wasn't the size of her proboscis, but the size of my barely thimble-filling ego that prevented me from phoning her and asking her out. For my younger readers, there was an era when it was entirely up to the male to initiate contact with the female. There was a time, a simpler time, a time with known rules of behavior, where a girl never called a boy first. There was a time when a guy would have to go out with a girl on a regular basis for months, before she would even consent to a backseat hand-job ... but only if you brought along three unopened boxes of Kleenex®. Listening to my young Mainio, with over twenty claimed sexual liaisons under his belt (and I do mean, under his belt) before he had reached the age of twenty, I don't imagine this is the case any more. And that is very sad. Friday . . . Several days ago I mailed a book, along with my business card, to a decades past flame of mine. Why? Number one, we had parted on amicable terms and two, the non-fiction book had the exact name of my former flame, let's call her 'Tiffany Tyson',crystal dinner bell splashed across its cover. Saddened (for me), but not surprised, when I electronically received her address from her Ex, a former business acquaintance of Dr.Malamud, and read that her surname had changed. Buy yet, her address had not. Donning my Colombo raincoat, I deduced there could be only two reasons for this: One, she was remarried (but then why did her address not change?) or two, she had reclaimed her maiden name. But, all was for not, and almost forgotten for it had been weeks since I sent out my package and I had heard nothing from her. I assumed, that yes, she had remarried, and yes, she was steering clear of the incredibly handsome, charismatic, and formerly well-to-do Doctor M. (And besides, while we had incredible fun last century, we were the definition of "Bad for Each Other.") Then, Thursday morning my cell phone rang and displayed an unknown number. As is my habit with unidentified callers (usually trouble) I let it trill until it gave up and the 'new voice-mail' notice began its beep ... beep ... beep. Later, listening to Tiffany's digitized voice was like hearing the tinkle of a fine crystal dinner bell. Unbidden, my self shouted to me, "No wonder you found her so attractive ... her voice alone is simply delightful." That and she looked like Elizabeth Taylor, had Liz taken care of herself. Playing 'the game', I did not return her call Thursday, and being I have a sixteen hour day today, I won't be able to return her call, literally, until Saturday. Monday . . . Life gets inresting-er and interesting-er. Remember 'Tiffany'? If not, read the column above this one, I'll wait ... On my way to the office, from the comfort of my luxurious Peugeot, I returned her call early Sunday afternoon. Sounding not quite as delightful as her weekday voice mail message (at 1:00PM, I think I woke her up) we had a nice vocal visit. Her last name had changed because she had gotten re-married since her total-out-of-the-blue divorce. And her address had  changed. Significantly. To a different town. So much for my memory, eh? I recall that, decades ago, prior to Tiffany's beginning to stalk me and hunt me down (like 'Dog the Bounty Hunter', only in a romantic? way), I had read in the newspaper obituaries, of a wealthy man who had committed suicide. (I read so many things that later become a part of my life, I almost feel I am being led by God's hand to read them.) Later, after our affair began, I learned that that particular perished person had been my predecessor paramour. I know that, even though he was married at the time of his passing, Tiffany received an expensive sports car via his last will and testament. Back again in year 2006, she informed me her last husband had also ... died. And currently, on this February morning, she was engaged to be married again. As you might imagine, I have mixed feelings about that. Sadness and trepidation.
March 2006

Monday . . . Sorry I've been absent for so long. I've been sick. And even though I've endured (and sometimes enjoyed) my over one-half century of existence, only this weekend, sinking in the brown bog of yet another sixty-eight hour, seven day work-week, did I discover the true meaning of the phrase 'sick and tired'. Library wine I was literally sick and, down to the stagnant marrow in my bones, tired. Sick and tired.  I'm in my back bedroom/office/bathroom listening to the soul-swelling-jazz on 95.5FM KYOT and, through my open, but thickly curtained window, hearing the voices of fellow apartment dwellers gathering around the still too-cold-to-swim pool. Although, on this March 6th, we did enjoy a high temperature of 80F / 26.7C degrees. Life is good. For someone. My life remains a bitter disappointment. But only because I insist it must be. That's why I urge anyone who will listen, all zero of you, that, as parents, your very most important chore is to build-up and affirm your children. Spend time with them. (I have no memory of an experience with any of my three children that I will ever regret. Except those in which I was a total jerk.) Spend money on their education, especially during grades 1 to 12. That means doing without the latest European automobile, or jewelry, or country club membership, or charge cards. And instead, like an adult, using your income to fuel the enrollment of your progeny in an excellent private school. (Dr. Malamud had the extremely good fortune to attend public schools during the 'repressive' 1950s and 1960s and harvested an excellent education. And was also blessed with too many excellent and caring teachers ... who I never thanked. In the early 21st Century, I do not believe my public-school educational experience is any longer likely to be repeated.) Being my mother was of 100% Finnish blood, and my father had 100% German corpuscles pulsing through his arteries (with my mother's mother never learning to speak English, and my Father's mother only speaking 98 decibel guttural English) I was genetically born to be a survivor ... and a loner ... if need be. Like I told my ancient friend and benefactor, Mr. G., I too will probably not leave this Earth until someone, Highlander-like, chops my head off. And of course, that decapitation will happen immediately after I ink Dr. Hammurabi Malamud onto the final page of my first multi-million dollar lifetime contract <grin>. Wednesday . . . I have heard that if alcohol were discovered today, it would be available only with a doctor's prescription. Imagine if all the mood-altering drugs were just out in the open at your local Albertson's or Safeway? How many millions more of us would be screwed up? Speaking of millions, my millions of reader's know that I regularly spar with 'The Demon Alcohol.' The Demon Alcohol 
vs. Dr. Malamud
Actual Photo! The problem is, that like my daughter, Aili, I do not suffer, as defined by most recreational drinkers, 'hangovers.' I'm just wondering when I'll decide to quit. If it'll be like in the early 1970s after I had quickly worked my way up to smoking five packs of cigarettes (yes five) a day, and was sent home from the doctor's with pleurisy, pneumonia and strep-throat. To die. Unlike many tobacco fiends, I decided I had a choice to breathe or to smoke. I decided I would chose breath. And quit smoking in a single day. Forever. Cold Turkey Baby. So quite naturally, I have little tolerance for those cigarette-burners who claim they are addicted and just cannot stop. Patches, nicotine-gums and hypnosis. Boo hoo hoo. Now I face a similar dilemma with C2H50H. What is the alcohol-abhorring Mainio seeing in my example? Well, he is  witnessing one positive thing in that I have never missed a single day of work due to drinking. And 'missing work' is a definitive indicator of a 'problem drinker.' Har. I don't miss work for anything other than inner-ear infections (which happen around April 15th every year after the I.R.S. skull-f***s me one more time) or diarrhea. And while neither my dad or mom exhibited any physical ill-effects from alcohol, at this point financially, I just cannot afford to forgo any possible income caused by my tequila sipping, slurping and spinning. The struggle continues ... Saturday . . . Aili, my oldest, finally phoned me. She asked me if I had a girlfriend  yet. I told her I did and that it was her mother. How strange it is to talk about dad's girlfriend  with dad's only daughter. Guess it's about time I gave it up, huh? The ex-Mrs.Dr.Malamud called me at eight in the morning last Saturday to tell me she had, from the top floor of her workplace, witnessed a skyscraper being imploded. I was going to say, "Yeah, like our marriage did", but I did not. As usual, she had some 'reason' to be calling me, but I think the reason really was, I am her only easily accessible long time friend. And almost thirty years is a huge cut of anyone's life, unless you're Bob Hope or George Burns. I was thinking about the internet dating thing and how unnatural it is. Fifty percent of ladies who contact me somehow haven't had to the time to upload their photos to the web-site. Right, and I'm that bloated drawl-talkin' relationship and diet 'expert' Dr. Phil. Men are incredibly visual. The internet does not allow that. Being also a professional photographer (which only means people pay me for certain photos I have taken) I know for a fact that without any trickery and very little make-up, from the right angle almost anyone can appear to be quite attractive. Looking at my own head shot, taken when I was twenty pounds light than today, I almost look handsome, while in reality I'm kind of scary looking. But don't worry for me because women aren't so visual as men and are easily swooned by clever chatter and fat wallets. Well, possessing one out of two isn't bad is it? The other day I had a female client look up at my black and white head shot, look down at the full color, full dimensional Dr. Malamud and ask, "Is that you?" To which I replied, after glancing over my back at the eight and one-half by eleven inch, glossy black and white, "Yes." "Why would you have a head shot?", she asked. Saying each word very deliberately, and ending with a querulous note, I answered, "Because I'm an actor? And I'm not very good." To which, as usual, as all ladies have done before when handed that line, she laughed.
April 2006

Saturday . . . God presents a means to curb my drinking. For the past two weeks in a row, my work week has begun with a twenty-four Sunday/Monday followed by a sixteen hour Tuesday and Wednesday, trailed by half-days of only eight hours, Thursday though Sunday. How little time is left to drink and sober up. Alas, I only have time for sleep and I did have a most delicious thirty-five minutes of slumber reclined behind the wheel of the Peugeot Monday morning. I don't know what it is, but that little more than one half hour of somnolence was more satisfying than an imagined thirty minute horizontal coupling with Morgan Fairchild. More and more I have been thinking about what my fellow passenger on that Frontier Airlines flight long ago to the Lone Star State told me. He enthusiastically exclaimed that he thought I was the hero staying behind with Mainio so that he might complete his education at the private school he'd been attending for the last dozen years. (And might I state here that there is nothing quite so humbling as going to friends, relatives and former business partners, hat-in-hand, begging tuition money so that Mainio could indeed remain enrolled.) What troubles me now is that, after the rent on my tony Paradise Valley apartment, the majority of my income goes to feed, comfort and insure the massive Mainio while his mother only occasionally sends him 'spending money' when he is strapped enough to ask her for it. I wonder if Mainio is aware that while his father works unbelievable hours (85 this week ending tomorrow) so that he may not want, his mother does virtually nothing. As I mature, I realize that to say anything, either to Mainio or the ex-Dr.Mrs.Malamud, would not be the proper thing to do. I'm just so tired.
May 2006

Saturday . . . "She's gone," the voice at the Sun City end of the phone abruptly announced. "What do you mean 'She's Gone'?", I asked of my mother's caretaker. "Did she walk out in the middle of the night?". "She's dead. She died last night." It was thirteen years ago this date that I called my most-loved older brother in Washington State to tell him. He sadly informed me that we three brothers were now "motherless children." She passed away only nine days short of the two years my father proceeded her into eternity. Don't know why this year I have noted the dates of their passings ... perhaps because I owe them so much? They worked so hard and kept gaining on the world, while I am sinking into the muck of normality. Acceptance of the way things are. Back in the work-a-day world, I'm still saddled with seventy-two to eighty-eight hours of labor per week, leaving me with little time to do anything other than sleep, eat and wash my darks and whites. Even though my paycheck deductions alone have reached the same dollar amount as a normal forty-hour week would garner, my spending inflates just as rapidly as my ballooning income. Happily, much of it, as has been the case for the majority of the months of my separation and then divorce, goes towards the teen-boy Mainio and not my selfish self. $400 to pay off the Goodyear charge card before interest started to accumulate, saving me $64. A charge card that was once as high as $1,400 in order to tinker Mainio's car into good enough shape to pass emissions and get registered. I was shocked when I discovered why his ten-year old vehicle had previously been so trouble-free (other than the $2,700 we spent on it several years ago to put everything right). He drives only 3,000 miles per year in it. For him being a teenager and only driving a few thousand miles in a year, in a city the size of most large counties, is just amazing. I've been sorely missing the comforts of a woman. And so what that some of those missing 'comforts' include the daily cleaning and cooking in addition to the caressing females are wont to perform? I'm going to end my subscription to the internet dating site, it's a waste of time. And money. Virtually every single 'glance' I've received has come without a photo, which, in case you didn't know, indicates that a behomoth-sized babe sent it. And that the JPEG was so large, in order to encompass her entire body in a single photo, would take thirteen minutes to download. The very few emails I've received from decent looking ladies, that I replied to, were never answered. To bad for them, eh? Sunday . . . Went to a party last night. Good beer for those who don't enjoy beer It was for a young lady's graduation. My actress friend who was visiting her house in West Phoenix invited me to attend. After the thirty-five minute drive from my tony Paradise Valley apartment, I entered her abode, and, as it was a new-build, which she was hoping to turn and earn, found its interior barren of furniture. Not a problem because I was there to see her. All except her now adult graduate had grown so much I barely recognized them. A daiquiri machine and a margarita machine both beckoned with their frozen concoctions, sometimes growling out at me as their mixing mechanisms stirred them to life. But just as at my other friend's restaurant grand opening, alcohol was not what I desired. Especially, being that two days ago, I decided to drastically reduce my consumption of the evil tequila, simply because its lure and the recovery from its euphoria-inducing effects were squandering virtually all my spare time - which, when one works eighty hours per week, is already a mere sliver of the free-time most working people enjoy. And it was not my willpower that kept me from answering the siren calls from the frozen stainless steel twins. It was severe depression. And when faced with my nemesis from the dark side, I have an internal curtain that comes down as swiftly and surely as a guillotine's blade does upon the neck of the condemned, that likewise prevents the enjoyment of any libation attempting to venture from mouth to stomach. I was struck by the fact of how lonely and friendless my life is. How aimless it is. The hostess, being stood up by her (no charge) caterer was occupied readying the multiple dishes, so she could not entertain me. I knew no one at the party, including one of her ex-husbands who she had told me years ago, in an alcohol fueled rage, had come within minutes of murdering her. I wondered at the colorful red and blue tattoos displayed on virtually every exposed ankle or calf. I sipped a bone-chilling margarita and later gulped a bottled Corona and soon recalled my long ago made oath to never remain somewhere I did not want to be. I popped open a Caffeine-Free Diet Coke and I casually made my way to and exited the front door. Once outside, I looked up and down the line of cars whose windshields were glaring in the afternoon sun. Then, I remembered that earlier I had laid my bundle of thigh stabbing keys on the island counter of the kitchen. Strolling back inside, I carefully reached between two guests, grabbed my fist-sized key ring, cautiously turned my head to glance into the backyard and through the arcadia window, seeing my hostess enjoying her friends, myself, with Coke can in one hand, keys in the other, sauntered outside into the 103F degree heat, slid behind the nearly molten steering wheel of the Peugeot, and motored away. I was not missed. Sunday . . . Feel so horrible. Felt I was going to die Thursday, after a sixteen hour workday Wednesday. Called my daughter, Aili, today and found she was not going to be admitted back to work until she had a psychiatric evaluation. So my condition is probably genetic. But that is no excuse, it's just another challenge. I haven't missed a day of work since I rejoined the workforce on July 31, 2001 after a ten year absence. I've never understood missing work because of how you feel emotionally. Hell, I'd have never finished grade school if I'd responded that way. I do feel so sorry for my incredibly gifted daughter who seems on the edge of flushing her future down the toilet. And I don't doubt that God is looking down on your Dr.Malamud thinking pretty much the same thing. Only in God's case, all I need to do is ask and while smoothing the way, He would send battalions of angels to point me in the right direction. But just like every single man when lost, I will virtually die before I ask for help.
Well, now it is Monday night, and the Phoenix Sun's are scheduled to defeat the Clippers beginning at 7:00PM Arizona, non-daylight-savings time. I'm watching the DVD of Soylent Green, a favorite movie of mine which Manio purchased for me months ago. Sometimes he is such a nice guy ... just like his sodden father. I'm on my fourth shot of tequila, which I managed to spill most of on my new-found Blockbuster mousepad. This morning, at work, when I realized I had no future at my job, I felt so relieved, almost as if a forty pound sack was lifted from my back. When you no longer care, the pressure is "off". Now I'm on my fifth shot. Only it is not my usual José, Cuervo, but a shot of Tito's Vodka. A twenty dollar bottle of vodka given to me by a grateful customer. It seems I can make everyone happy ... I can satisfy everyone ... but, Dr.Malamud myself. Switching to Heineken beer, I discover why there is a bottle top that requires an opener to pry off. That is because if someone is too drunk to use a church-key, he can not get into the bottle. I just barely pried off the top with my opener. I quenched my thirst for more alcohol as a I raised the green bottle to my hungry lips. The taste brings back bar-hopping ventures of over twenty years ago. I feel the burp erupt through my nostrils. I can barely type now, I've had so much alcohol. My head is beginning to spin. I pause the movie as it is a classic, and I am but a simple drunk. A simple drunk who has lost the ability to spell. God, I wish things were different, God I wish I was still married to the Mrs.Ex-Dr.Malamud. God. I wish, I wish. Click HERE to continue reading Dr. Malamud's
diary in chronological order