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

The mostly unedited ramblings
of a broken-hearted man

"The young man who wants to marry happily should pick out a good mother and marry one of her daughters -- any one will do."

J. Ogden Armour

Archived Page Number 8:
December 2003

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The Book of Psalms
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
Psalms 34:18

The Book of Proverbs
"The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him." Proverbs 18:17

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TUESDAY . . . At the different Starbucks tonight, standing in line behind some doof talking on his oh-so stylish head-set cell phone. He sounds gay to me. Next I hear him mention new furniture. "Interior decorator" = Gay. He struggles to interrupt his call long enough to order a cup of coffee to go. What an inconsiderate bastard. I can't wait until business owners in the U.S. take a cue from the Jap's. They have cell phone blocking electronics installed in many of their retail stores which throw a wet blanket over clods who exclude their present surroundings and favor a faraway digitized voice. I'm at this way-busy Starbucks, because it's close to Artie's Ace Hardware, where I went in search of a sixth shelf for my five-shelved $3.59 bookcase. Sitting here tonight, I'm wondering if I could hang a shelf for a few of my books right above my sectional at about the six foot level? That would be kinda cool. Late this afternoon, through my closed apartment bedroom door, I grinned as I heard my son, tongue-in-cheek, explaining my massive Malamud book collection to his Rhodes Scholar school buddy whose father is a successful lawyer. A successful barrister, but wound tighter than Senator Hillary Clinton at a "Girl Friend's of Bill's Reunion," Harlem get-together. I know Mainio Malamud is actually proud of his eccentric patriarch and with his eclectic choice of reading. After all, how many high school kids can use their father's words while creating their senior year research papers <grin>. Raphael's anointing of Solomon. Click for more art by Raphael It's really a warm feeling (not as warm a feeling as if Morgan Fairchild was scrunched up against me on the aforementioned sectional) but a warm feeling nonetheless, realizing that my wealth is in books. In knowledge. Like Solomon, (Kings 10:24) "The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart." God has given me a thirst for knowledge. Knowledge that cannot be taken away, except by Alzheimer's - which my father perished from. Knowledge which cannot be taxed. And that's the best part, it cannot be taxed. It was coincidentally convenient that for many weeks after moving into the opulent Apartment of Malamud, that I could store my cartons and cartons of books, clearly labeled in large felt pen black block letters, "B O O K S", on my open-air ground-floor micro-patio. Store free from fear of theft, for what 21st Century thief would purloin ponderous boxes of books? Obeying my self-imposed reading diet this pre-dawn AM, I was chewing through a book by a Christian author whose goal is to encourage us poor dolts to discover, to admit, to grow, to pursue, the purpose God has designed us for. (Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;") And for you, "We evolved from the scum line above the royal blue water of some preadamite extraterrestrial Southwest Airlines toilet" - Darwin/evolution/Art Bell fans, ponder this: Even if Judaism and Christianity are just fabulous tales concocted by ancient patriarchs, re-written by Shakespeare, in order to keep their progeny in fear and well-behaved, isn't it a good feeling believing we were, every one of us, designed for a purpose? Even if, when it's all said and done i.e., we die, our beliefs turn out to be in error?
WEDNESDAY . . . Twenty-two days until Christmas and I'm seated in the cafe of the newest Borders in the Valley of the Snowbirds. Looks like the City of Phoenix yanked millions of sales and property tax dollars from Scottsdale, which a mere one hundred yards away, gazes longingly at the newest shopping center in the state of Arizona. I'd have to estimate that this book store, with the smell of glue and drywall paste and carpet fibers overpowering the learned aroma of ink on paper, is somewhere around 25,000 square feet. I feel it is stark and barren with too-wide aisles and too-short bookshelves and lighted well enough to easily locate an accidentally dropped contact lens if need be. It's cold. It's surgical. It's a Wal*Mart with the efficiencies of a department store draped in none of the warmth. And then we have the effing jabber-head talking about clothes sales. And now, oh-my-god, clothes conventions as he drones, ". . . size 28 to 64 vests . . . " and next spouting about Hondas and Harleys. You know what bothers me? Number one, he's talking loud enough to be heard at a Packard's football game and a lady, with three huge books cracked open and spread over her tiny table is obviously trying to study and I'm trying to write. Number two, there's about as much enthusiasm in his min-ah-SOTA-accented voice as Senator Joe Leiberman's during an AM Talk-Radio interview. (That reminds me of an experience I had over a quarter of a century ago, when, oddly enough, I found myself handcuffed, standing next to my BMW R80GS motorcycle and nonchalantly chatting with a Phoenix Police motorcycle officer. I could not even begin to comprehend that he piloted a motorcycle five days a week, but yet voiced no passion for his two-wheeled partner.) Presently, Mr. Jabber-Head and his overweight female pile-on, i.e., rear passenger, are comparing experiences with several different brands of motorcycles. Motorcycles owned by the same kind of people who buy Mercedes, BMWs and Porsches and don't even know whether the power is coming from a four cylinder or V6 and think a V8 is too high in carbohydrates. These flesh-colored Gumby's will certainly never experience the joy of a tire smoking, white knuckled, four wheel drift at freeway speeds in their expensive European rides. I know I won't hear the words, "Ducati" or "Moto Guzzi" pass the flaccid lips of these fat-assed, status seekers. Perhaps a poorly attached light fixture, missed on some repair punch-list, will stealthily slip out of its bracket in the ceiling and silence them? My chest heaving, I look to escape the black tablecloth of boredom they are carefully spreading across the hard-floored cafe. Luckily, I was able to locate a chair and table in the "Classical Reference" section. I'm surprised that they didn't raise their voices so that I might hear them fifty feet away. Now I'm looking into the face of another fraud. Fat Doctor Phil. I can't believe he's got a best selling diet book out. I'd wager he's carrying at least forty pounds of extra adipose tissue himself. People are such dolts. They are so incredibly anxious to make yet someone else wealthy. And famous. I'm going to walk around now - clear my head. <Walking around noises here> Great, now the freaks, dressed-down in their official "motorcycle duds", are wandering the aisles. Other patrons within earshot are dropping in their wake, the infectious pair of monotones knocking them down as if struck by the breath of God. I gotta get out of here.
TUESDAY . . . My sun fell off. The little silver smiley sun on the top of my mustard colored pen I normally write these pages with, fell off and disappeared. Kind of like a dark-hole now, eh? I study the wood floor of the B&N Cafe and it is filthy. Nobody cares anymore. Everyone has to be forced, instructed precisely what to do or they don't do it. Of course, the cleaning here is probably done by illegal aliens, who are also too ignorant to know to wash their hands after they wipe their butts, so what, as a mere purchaser of a buck fifty one's worth of Starbucks coffee, should I expect? Then again, I deliver twice as much labor for my employer than anyone ever has or will, but I am reimbursed only fractionally more. Sadly, it is not that I am such an indefatigable worker, but that my fellow officers are simply skating by. Waiting for a better job or waiting to die. I love it when I listen to the 'big bosses' proclaim how much the homeowner's love "so and so"; knowing, since I've worked with many of them, that they merely deliver the bare minimum. Of course it is a job that a high school drop-out could (and has) done. I'll really be disappointed if tips aren't huge this holiday season. Like the mall retailer's, your Dr. Malamud profits greatly from just a few days each year. The razor-thin lady artist is here again working on her razor-thin laptop computer. The place is about 80% full and fairly noisy, but tonight I'm bathing in the bubbling babel. Even the guys in the corner spitting and grunting out Farsi seated behind stacks of books about nuclear fusion and bacteriological warfare spread on the table before them aren't intruding on my thoughts this lovely evening. I've lined up over sixty hours of work for each of the next three or four weeks or so and I even get paid an hour of overtime for driving to and from work. Wow. I claim not to be concerned about my income, but it's all I write about anymore. One thing I do know. I have control of my spending and my name is on no credit cards. A splurge in the old days would consist of buying my wife a new black Buick Park Avenue wrapped with a huge red ribbon to greet her when she got back from a visit to the primitive state of Arkansas. A Dr. Malamud splurge in the 21st Century would be purchasing three or four paperbacks, at full retail price, at Barnes and Nobel. Three out of the four books for someone else. I delight at the tiny teen girl flitting around her seated friends at the Cafe and then quickly disappearing between the many towering aisles of books. (She reminds me of the yellow throated micro-bird I see at work, that snaps the long stems of the cherry red flowers to more easily lap up their sweet and sticky nectar. Killing them in the process.) However, her huge blue bear paw booties expose her not as feathered friend but as just another mammal. I felt bad leaving the teen Mainio Malamud at home tonight. But he insists on hogging both the computer and the television while concurrently supposedly doing homework. He's got that idiotic MTV "Bam" show on, which he believes is a digital playback of reality. When was the last time he saw a vidcam in my bedroom? Well, other than when I was trying to raise sorely needed tuition money? Back at the Cafe, we're down to only three rude people on cell phones. Including a loud and obnoxious dork waiting for his artery clogging (I hope) pastry to be microwaved. Probably drives a Porsche - what a jerk. What do these people talk about when they are finally face to face? Or do they ever see each other's faces? Why go somewhere public and sit talking on your cell phone - ignoring your surroundings - annoying everyone around you (unless they too are focused on their cell phones) and to top it off, allow all within earshot to clearly hear your side of the conversation? A conversation that no one gives a flying eff about? Recently, in the apartment manager's office, I listened as a young renter, chatting on her cell phone seated directly behind me, slipped some romantic words into her staccato conversation. I immediately and in a sufficiently loud stage whisper asked the apartment consultant at the desk, "Is she talking to me?" Instantly, the little minx stormed out the door, her cell phone seemingly paper-clipped to her right ear. I notice the Iranian's have left, and unlike most other patrons, have carefully returned their books to the shelves. Did I see them wiping them clean of fingerprints with the square white generic napkins? On golf-cart patrol (not unlike "NYPD Blue") on a recent Friday night, beginning my second circuit around the property, I was preparing to advise a particular pre-driving-age teen at the skateboard park, that he needed to change his attitude or he'd discover life a rough ride. Discover it a very long downhill sidewalk with far too many cracks and purposeful piles of marble-sized gravel dumped on it. Reminiscent of the fabled Pink Sidewalk that climbed the hills behind the Arizona Biltmore Hotel. However, as I silently sped across the huge concrete basketball courts towards the skate park, before I could broach the subject, from the top of the ramp, he shouted to me, "Will you be my grandfather?"
MONDAY . . . I finally escaped the book-lined confines of the luxurious Malamud apartment to write this page. I've been so busy with my reading schedule and scoring overtime at my job while fighting off, with the medicine of massive naps, the usual rash of winter-time illnesses, I haven't the moments needed to sit and scribble out the thoughts thousands are waiting to read. The Missus e-mailed just the other night. She was bemoaning the fact that she felt she was stuck with an unfair portion of the bills, the largest being the monthly tuition payment for the teen Mainai Malamud. I responded to her that with my working 56 to 61 hours a week, and denying all luxuries except for the occasional visit the the tony Denny's Restaraunt, we were doing all we could. I then tapped out that I had to cut short my reply, because at 9PM Saturday's I leave for my weekend overtime swingshift assignment 38 miles northwest of the Scottsdale apartment. I feel badly that she, while fighting chronic illnesses, must slog through her own eighty hour salaried work week. But, I remain so #$%*#!+!# self centered, that I won't even begin to explore other ways of adding additional income into this dying partnership. I continue to patiently wait for a sign from God. Really. In the past ten months He's surprised me in so many good and unpredictable ways that I feel it is only proper that I blame the Almighty for my own lack of initiative and sloth <grin>. What is unexpected is my being so physically wearied by this menial job and how strangely fulfilled I feel as I collapse every afternoon onto the Malamud mattress and easily tumble into a deep sleep. A deep sleep almost always ending approximately two hours and forty three minutes later as the tag team of my bladder and prostate swing over the ropes of my dreams and rudely wrestle me awake.
TUESDAY . . . Lots of Chinamen down here this evening. Oh, I should say "Asians." Sleek, good looking, conservatively groomed, black haired, young Asian men and women mill about like panthers. Probably the sons and daughters of doctors and technicians who labor at Scottsdale Health Care and Mayo Clinic and Mayo Hospital earning enormous wages. Doctors, technicians, and massive corporations: the true beneficiaries of many Medicare reforms. But I'll leave that to Mr. Wonderful to pontificate about. Tonight at the Café at Barnes and Noble, an immense hog-person squats on a creaking wooden chair within splinter range of me. Her mother, only slightly less huge, is plopped down opposite her. A beautiful Black, twentyish lady, seated with her back to me, sadly leans her head against the hard, dark oak railing that surrounds the cafe and keeps it separate from the lower, bookstore floor. Shiny, cobalt, thick, hair tumbles down her back. I wish I could somehow lighten her burden. I wonder if she is wearing a wig? I saw her here last night also, only not quite so sad. She must be on the outer edge of what I've been feeling since the Missus told me back in February that I'd have to "float my own boat." I might attempt to ease her pain, if only I were of my teen sons generation, because then, our color difference would make no difference. While, with me and the influence of my generation, it would make all the difference. Even though, in my limited experience with Black women, I have found them the most transparent and caring and warm and loving color of all the females on this planet. While their choice of men, again in my limited experience, seems to be of the most violent, self-destructive types. What an unfair dichotomy. I watch as another long dark-haired attractive young lady retraces her steps down the main aisle in my direction. The extra-long beige strap of her purse is thrown around her neck leaving the body of the wallet hanging below the ample cleavage created by the tight knit sweater clinging to her upper body. She reminds me of Connie Boone, my now fifty year high school days former girlfriend. To my side, the behemoth girl rises up, momentarily blocking the light, and then again squats and squiggles on her oaken chair, me wishing I was wearing OSHA safety goggles as I imagine wood screws flinging out like sharpened bullets from the demolished furniture. The 'holidays', Christmas, New Year's are times of great joy and great melancholy. Melancholy: Greek: melas, black + chole bile. Depression of spirits. I'm probably staring again as I turn my head keeping an eye on the full figured customer service girl (oddly enough, with long black hair) guiding another guest to their request. She notices me and smiles, not in my direction, but in my direction. I survey her Raphael-esq body as the full breasts easily swing left to right beneath her loose silk blouse, her soft buttocks giggling beneath her tight brown denims like really firm Jell-o, the Hershey bar sized walkie-talkie/phone gently bouncing off her right hip. I could make a ton of money writing porn.

SUNDAY . . . I worked last night until 6AM this morning. I awoke at 8:30AM to take the teen Mainio Malamud to the incredibly crowded international airport so that he could while away his Christmas-Break with the 1,013 miles-away Missus and his oldest sister. Leaving me alone. Alone and sick. I don't know if I'm suffering an attack of allergies or a winter cold. Either way, during the day, I'm slurping DayQuil and at night I'm chugging NyQuil. I slept from noon until 6PM today. Woke up feeling no better than when I laid down on the massive Malamud mattress one quarter-day earlier. Didn't really want to be sitting at the nearly empty Barnes and Nobel Cafe tonight, but I'm wary of becoming a hermit like my dear friend Jared. Walkie-Talkie PhoneMy dear friend Jared who lost his only love to cancer over a decade ago and has since holed himself up and sealed himself off from society. What's worse than a rude person chatting on a cell phone in a public place? A rude damn person chatting on one of those walkie-talkie cell phones where every comment is preceded with a shrill "beep-beep." I need a better paying job. I perused the writing assignments at, and even though there were 21 proposals, all were extremely narrow in scope. I happened onto another person's blog today. The layout was very clean and professional looking. Then I actually read it. I couldn't get past the third grade spelling errors, the unnecessarily foul language and the boring, self-centered content. (Then I realized I was reading my own blog. Not!) Other than that, it was fine. I noted the last date it was added to: September of 2003. People have no staying power these days. That's why I tell individuals, who are so incredibly "down and out" they ask me for advice, that if they pursue the labors they love and keep grinding away, they will succeed, simply because everyone else has given up. Given up moments before the aroma of success was to waft in their direction. Without thinking, a huge grin breaks out on my face as I hear "growling" coming from the flung open restroom door. A young father exits, small boys' hand held in each of his. The three year old boy on his right is growling. The older brother is pulling dad towards the graphic novels. My own teen boy, Mainio, stationed his Christmas presents to me on the TV table last night. (I haven't had time to pull the 18" tall aluminum Christmas tree from the cardboard sleeve it arrived in last December bearing a return address of Fort Worth, Texas.) It was so cute because he used removable tape to fasten the paper to the gifts, with the predictable result that they were slowly and softly, crinkling, wrinkling and unwrapping themselves as they waited for me to to do the same in only four days. Breaking tradition, and at his urging, I opened one present. The cover of a best selling science fiction novel penned by an NBA-height author stared back at me. I began reading it immediately. Mainio's mother and I love that boy so much. It's so sad and unfair to him that this Christmas, normally a time of giving, reminiscent of Peanuts' Linus having his blanket jerked away from him by Lucy, he likewise faces having the comfort and security provided by a quarter century long marriage yanked away from him.

FRIDAY . . . Stocking up on 2004 Christmas cards tonight. I've got eighty-four stacked in my green Barnes & Noble shopping basket. Eight packages of high quality cards all at 50% off. Such a deal. Due to all my Jewish or unconcerned-about-afterlife-clients, I've had to include several non-Jesus cards in my choices. The Missus phoned the other day. She told me how she would divide up our expensive jewelry. Her jewelry. Including the ". . . wedding ring I never wear . . ." How nice. I couldn't help but flash back to when my own mother's jewelry was split up among her children and grandchildren. Not until after her death. Split up, dished out by Dr. Malamud, her youngest son. Seems the Missus and I are jumping the gun by about three decades. My eyes are brimming full. I can't tell if my tears are from my fourteen day bout with a vicious winter cold or my emotional state. Or maybe both. Leaving my writing materials on the table, I trekked to the faraway check out counter, paid for my cards and journeyed out into the chilly dark night to my car. I put everything in the trunk. But, I actually went out there to fetch a Benadryl® capsule to temporarily halt my cold symptoms. A white and pink capsule, a quick gulp of Starbucks coffee and relief is a mere instant away. And if it makes me drowsy, as Benadryl® was first created as a sleep aid, I'll just putter the Peugeot on home and crawl onto the massive Malamud mattress. For this is the first time in many weeks I don't have to work both Saturday and Sunday. Holbein's Henry VIII Boy there are lots of good looking old heater's down here tonight.  heater (heet ter) n. 1.ancient sailor slang for females of approximately the same age as the speaker/writer.  However, being a stage actor I fully realize the magic of makeup. And having marketed individual health insurance for eighteen months, I know what medical basket cases many people are, no matter how finely they are draped and shaped on the outside. Especially the female of the species: Nordstroms Cuniculus. Besides, there is a very slim chance that any 'old heater' could meet my exacting standards. And for someone who will gross almost $35,000 this year, I do set impossibly high benchmarks. Well, I'm relieved. The nearest good looking old heater (who I was certain was eyeing me) fat-assed, Andre the Giant, husband, has rumbled up to her tiny table cradling arm loads of hardbacks while simultaneously grunting her to move over to a larger location. I will never understand (on the East Side anyway) that while married women must sacrifice to remain attractive, slim and alluring, their husbands are allowed to drift into some sort of lascivious Henry the Eighth appearance and lifestyle. Of course, I'd be an effing liar if I did not admit to dressing up, to more carefully choosing my clothes before going out now that I'm alone. Alone. On the job Wednesday afternoon, our female-mail lady stood in front of me. I mean the female, mail lady was standing in front of me, wearing a huge smile, a red Santa cap and wishing me a "Merry Christmas". She's in the middle of a divorce from her drunken-no-good husband. And being she is a 'contract-employee' and not a federal government USPS lifer, she's actually quite attractive. Especially, during her summertime deliveries. In denim shorts. Bending over . . . Acting like the moron I sometimes am, not until she scooted off, did I realize she was waiting for me to give her a holiday hug. But, I've pretty much convinced myself to remain uninvolved, unattached, uninterested . . . No, "not interested", in the feral females of Phoenix, until after the day I flip open the lid of my cigarette-pack-sized mail box and spy the formal divorce papers from the faraway Missus Malamud. I wonder if they'll come before or after I publish my first bestseller?
SUNDAY . . . Back at my old Starbucks, wondering if the woman eyeing me is trying to figure out whether I am Dr. Malamud or not. It's not easy being an Internet celebrity <grin> I feel like I'm at 'home' and as I gaze across the room, I cannot repress a smile as I read thoughts of those around me. The "reading of thoughts", common among us delusional few. As usual, trailing my entrance, the place is immediately standing room only. SRO at the Shea Boulevard Starbucks. Even a pair of black baseball capped and black uniformed Phoenix police officers abandon their sinless-white Crown Vic' and march in. The successful-looking gray-haired gent is explaining a pre-printed diagram laid on the table to a young lady seated across from him. The young man who, most likely drug her to the 'meeting', is anxiously perched to her left, wiping dollar-signed saliva from the corners of his mouth. Am I witnessing a Primerica presentation? No, I hear ". . . she picked up General Motors long distance. Three million a year." Excel, the long distance company? Now Dr. Malamud is seated outside and to this Arizona Native it is very cold out here. That's why I'm wearing my heavy Lands End jacket over my lined wind breaker. Probably in the middle thirty's. Ha! But still it leaves me by myself, alone. Pretty much the way I prefer it. The officers step out " . . . six twenty-one George . . . " scratching its way out of a shoulder hung walkie-talkie. They don't look quite as fearsome with a whipped cream topped drink held in each of their fists. One hundred and fifty feet distant, I can see a television screen beaming multi-colored photons into the darkness from inside the pick-up bar disguised as a Mexican food restaurant. pick up bar disguised as restarauntI wonder if anyone considers just how odd it is to have a television set lighting your table while enjoying dinner at a fairly nice place? At the entrance to the eatery, I watch a pair of little guys pacing back and forth, inventing a game while waiting for dad to come out after tipping the waitress and settling the bill. I wonder what their memories will be of this night? This afternoon, as I drove through my apartment complex, I saw two, maybe eight year old boys, playing by the complex's huge, tan, commercial dumpsters. I wondered what their memories would be of this day. Probably quite a bit more optimistic than their parent. Or, if they are lucky, parents. I pause, and as I pause, I push back my cuticles before I pen the next lines. Less than three days until year 2004; the beginning of year #0053 for Dr. Malamud. Of those 0053, 0024 were spent in a usually inconspicuous alcoholic stupor, leaving 0029 years of non-drunkenness minus the 0019 years living under the Bizzaro World of a duo of dipsomanical progenitors, leaving 0010 years of life 100% totally under my own control. A decade of years in which, although I am debt free, income-wise, I've hit bottom. Relationship-wise, I spin around my lithe body to find myself utterly alone. I'm laboring in a temporary dead-end job that is stretching into its third year. For 2003, I've hit none of my goals. Goals that were never set for fear I would not hit them. But, I've got my three children. My health. And I'm so full of a recently learned appreciation of life's journey and life's inhabitants, that living, looking and listening sometimes brings tears of rapture halfway up my pessimistic pupils. And I've got my God. My God, Creator of the universes, who for reasons known only to His immutable and omniscient being, continues to shower me with blessings that not only could I never earn, but certainly do not in any way deserve. Click HERE to continue reading Dr. Malamud's
diary in chronological order