There’s Something I Have To Tell You

 

stock-vector-stock-illustration-of-a-man-sitting-in-the-restaurant-with-a-cup-of-cappuccino-60898252I was introduced to my wife by a friend. She was heading into some club with one of her friends. If you believe in love at first sight, I guess that’s what it was. I asked her to meet me at a nearby restaurant, and she said she would. I waited nearly 3 hours. She never showed up.

The next day, my friend told me that she had asked him to give me her phone number. I played hard to get, and waited almost 3 hours to call her, just to teach her a lesson. She told me she liked music, French fries,and pink carnations. I wrote songs for her, and began sending her flowers. Every week, for 3 months, I sent a dozen pink carnations to her house. Every week, she thanked me, and told me how wonderful I was. She liked me, and the florist liked me.

We moved in together shortly before her birthday. “There’s something I have to tell you.”, she said.

pc“What is it?”, I asked, standing on a chair, hanging pictures.

“I really don’t like flowers. Actually, I am allergic to them.”

I looked at her in disbelief. “Really? Why did you tell me you liked pink carnations?”

“They’re pretty, and I do like them, but I can’t be around them.”

“Well”, I said, “I wish you would have said something earlier.” There was a knock at the door, and the 100 pink carnations I had ordered to celebrate our moving in together arrived.

“I’m so sorry.”, she told me. “I should have told you sooner.”

I told the delivery guy to keep the flowers, to take them home to his wife or girlfriend.

“So”, I asked, “What did you do with all of the flowers I have been sending you all of this time?”

“I had to throw them out.”, she said. “I’m sorry.”

“Well, that’s a little upsetting. Any thing else I should know about?”, I asked.

“I really wanted to come and meet you that night.” She started to cry.” Susan just wouldn’t leave. I wanted so much to come. I really did. I’m so sorry I made you wait for nothing.”

“It wasn’t for nothing”, I reminded her. “I would sit there and wait for you all over again.” She smiled.

“Is there anything you think you should tell me?”, she asked.

I put my arm around her and, leading her into the bedroom, said “Nothing you don’t already know.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Man Who Lived Upstairs

There was something weird about the man who lived upstairs. Day and night he was at it. The sound of power tools, from drills to circular saws, axes to hammers, led us to believe he was up to something. Quite likely, something sinister.

We had never seen him, and so we had been forced to speculate just what he might be doing up there in the dead of night. All of the most plausible suggestions were rejected by the expert panel of demented daring do that I live with.

2adc44b206391da1cf4fb13163b94500The silence of the peaceful night was shattered by an electric saw, working tirelessly to cut through something seemingly uncuttable. This was followed by a power drill, and then a hand saw. After a few moments of silence there came the sound of an axe,  crushing through something not meant to be axed, and then hammering. It would go on for hours. We would sit and listen. “You should go up there and see what he’s doing”., my wife said “And tell him to stop.”

“You understand he has weapons of slash destruction.”, I replied.

My daughter was convinced that he was some sort of serial killer, torturing the poor souls he regularly abducted. Another daughter suggested that we simply go up and ask.  It didn’t matter to me. He had, at his disposal saws and axes, and there was no way that I planned to knock on his door and find out what he was doing up there.

My daughter revealed that she has heard weird noises coming from upstairs. Not just the power tools, but moaning and other strange sounds. My wife decided that we must do something, She called building security. “Let them go see what he’s doing up there.”

45 minutes later, the noises were still ringing out. “I don’t know why security hasn’t been up there yet?”, she muttered.

affe2d949928ebaecb1758b52e16ff47-d4we8ks“Perhaps they did go”, I offered

“I’m calling security again”, she replied..

The news from security was not what she expected. A guard did attend the unit. They will dispatch another guard.

There was a silent, but visible “Oh hell” frozen on everyone’s face. “He killed the security guy”, my daughter mumbled. “Probably cut him up in little pieces”.

“I can’t take it anymore.”, my wife said, “it goes on all night”.

We had all agreed that something horrific was going on upstairs. We had to find out. The next day my wife called the property manager and described the situation. As luck would have it, while on the phone with property management, the sawing and drilling began, and was clearly heard by the property manager. He promised to investigate at once.

“If this doesn’t stop”, my wife stated, “we’re moving. I can’t live like this!”

Several days passed, and we heard nothing from property management. “Doesn’t anybody care that there’s a lunatic living up there?”. my wife queried.

download-1“I will go up and see.”, I told her. Putting on my brave face, and grabbing a baseball bat, I bid farewell to my family, and headed out. I stood before the door that might have hidden secrets of the criminally insane. I could hear the whirr of a chain saw as I knocked.  There was no response, so I knocked again. I had my bat on my shoulder, ready to swing. The sawing stopped. From behind the door, a voice called out. It was hard, and gruff, cold, as if devoid of all feeling. “Who is it?” I wasn’t about to tell him. I really had no idea what to say.

I returned home several minutes later. “So”, my wife spoke out, “What did you find out?”

I sat down on the couch, and presented my wife with a hammer. “I found out that I could borrow the hammer for a few days.” I  took a deep breath. “I have no intention of taking it back. We may as well start packing now.”

By the end of the week, the sounds had stopped, No sawing, no drilling, and no chopping. It was eerily quiet. The police had been around a few days after I borrowed the hammer, and the noises stopped.

“They probably arrested him”, a daughter said. “for murder or something.”

“Maybe he just moved.”, I suggested.

“Yeah. To prison.”, she added.

“You know,” another daughter chimed in, “there might be blood or something on that hammer. I wonder if the police will come looking for it, or for you.”

We never did find out what the man who lived upstairs was doing, but I got a pretty nice hammer out of that experience.

 

 

 

 

Chai Anxiety

 

I get anxious allot. In fact, I feel anxious most of the time. Even right now. I was in my late twenties when it started, it is the reason I no longer watch the news. I just can’t.

anxietyMy wife bombards me with daily updates on the state of the world. It begins with one of those “Did you hear…?” questions, that she knows I did not hear. But it makes her feel important, so I indulge her, despite my angst. The other day, as I walked in the door, I was greeted with “Did you hear who died today?”, and then silence, as if I would need some time to take an educated guess. And so, after careful thought, I offered “Big Bird”. Quite upset at my childish response, my wife asked if I could take anything seriously. “I hope not.”, I told her.

It seemed that Florence Henderson had died. I had assumed that she had passed away many years earlier. My wife was actually quite saddened by the news, and I told her it was, indeed, sad news. I, however, didn’t really care. Death is the most anxiety provoking thought I have. It reinforces my immortality and, as I get older, the certainty that I too will share this fate with the talented Florence Henderson. Sometimes it keeps me up at night.

Many years ago I spent some time with a Dr. Twatwaffle, dressed in a tweed jacket, patches on the elbows, and a black turtleneck. We came to no resolution. I disliked the man, and I particularly found his attire quite anxiety provoking.

news“Did you know. Stephen Hawking predicts the planet will be uninhabitable in 1,000 years?”, my wife states with some exuberance. “Do you know how much money we could save if we got rid of the cable, changed our cell phone plans, stopped eating out, and lived on a very strict budget?” Feeling like my head is going to implode, I tell her we need to talk. I remind her, once again, that I don’t want to know. I cannot fix the problems, bring back the dead, or live like a hermit. I just want some peace and quiet. “Why can’t we talk about other things?”, I asked.

“Do you want to talk about the kids?”, she queries.

I reach for the jar of Lorazepam, and prepare myself for the upcoming deluge of things I don’t want to know about. She looks at me, puts her arm around me, and kisses me on the cheek. “Never mind.”, she says, “I’ll take care of it.”

“You know”, she adds, “the light is out in the kitchen, and the toilet is clogged….”. Before she can finish the sentence, I let her know that I am on it. I get  up, and she reminds me just how much she loves me. Instantly, the universe settles, and the anxiety dissipates.

“We’re having goulash for dinner”, she advises. I despise goulash. I turn to look at her, and it really doesn’t matter. The world remains as it should. I will eat the goulash, and forever remember that this is just how it should be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Days Of Crime & Roses

 

I grew up watching TV Westerns. My father just couldn’t get enough of them. I watched them all, curled up on the floor, laying beside him, eyes glued to the legendary adventures of those larger than life heroes. More than anything, I wanted to be a cowboy. I wanted to ride into town on my horse, gun at my side, just wanting a drink to wash down the trail dust.

When I was about 5 or 6, my father bought me a cowboy set; holster, gun, hat, and Sheriff’s badge. I couldn’t wait to strap on the holster, drop in the gun, and, donning my way cool cowboy hat, practice my quick draw. “You forgot to put on the badge.”, my father pointed out. images“Do you need some help?”.

“No. I don’t want to wear the badge.”, I told him.

“So, you want to be the bad guy?”, he asked. After thinking about it, all I could muster was “Uh huh.” And so began my foray into a life as a desperado.

One afternoon, while looking for adventure, I found my mother in the kitchen, baking cookies. With her back towards me, I crept up to her, gun drawn, and sticking it in her back, shouted “Put your hands up, and move away from the cookies”!  She screamed, and dropped the tray of cookies on the floor. I gathered as many as I could, and got out of Dodge. No posse followed. This was so easy!

That evening, the sheriff, who had heard about the robbery, came looking for me. He found me with the cookies and told me to never do that to my mother again. I tried to explain, and he reminded me that he was still sheriff, and I would obey the law or find myself in jail, or worse.

Unable to continue on this path to a life of crime, as temporary as it was, I was led into the world of Superheroes. With a towel as a cape, I climbed the underdog-pointingantenna to the roof of the house, and stood there, looking out over the city, and my brothers playing in the backyard. The fluttering of my cape in the wind must have distracted me, as I lost my balance and fell down to the ground. My brother ran to get my father, who standing over me, asked if I was alright. I checked, and everything seemed to be working fine. “Of course”, I informed him, I’m a Superhero. I can’t be hurt”.

“There will be no more flying around here.”, He said. “No more Superheroes. Do you understand”

Dejected, all I could mutter was “Yes sir.”

With the train robber and Superhero no longer wanted, I sought out a life as a prankster, much like The Joker or The Riddler, on Batman. Teaming with my childhood friend, Howie, we set out on an exciting adventure. Howie’s older brother had purchased firecrackers, and we animated_joker__by_joker_laugh-d5oivx5had access to them. The question now was, what to do with them?

An idea formed, as if by fate. The Ericson’s, who lived directly across the road from my house, had an amazing array of roses growing at the front of their house. The plan was to plant the firecrackers amid the flowers, light them, and watch the resulting spectacle of color. Stealthily, we moved across the street, and as quickly as possible, strategically placed the weapons of floral destruction. We lit them, and ran back across the road. Just as we turned back to view our work, the site exploded, shooting petals and plants everywhere. The Ericson’s came out of their house, too late to see the event, but stared in disbelief at the resulting destruction. Mrs. Ericson saw Howie and I standing on the sidewalk, laughing with delight at our handiwork. “You rotten little brats.”, she shouted at us. The commotion and the shouting caused others to come out of their homes, including my parents.

Scanning the carnage, my father turned to me and asked, “Did you do it?”

“It was an accident.”, Was the only thing I could conjur up. He took me by the shirt collar, and walked me across the road to stand face to face with The Ericsons.

“Do you have something to say to Mr. and Mrs. Ericson?”, he asked.

136-jailI appologized as sincerely as I could, begging forgiveness, claiming it was an accident, feigning concern, and then was led back across the road by the man who had somehow been promoted from sheriff to judge.  I was sentenced to clean the mess followed by 1 week of solitary confinement, and hard labor. Howie was sent home by my father, and had to deal with his own parents. He gave up the life of excitement and danger, and went on to be an accountant. To this day, he does my taxes. As for me, well, I continued to live on the edge of danger. I was often in trouble in school, for questioning the rules, challenging authority, and refusing to participate in what I had informed the Vice Principal,  was insanely asinine. I was suspended on a few occasions, and had a semester long dalliance with my grade 10 French teacher, Mademoiselle Sherman, all of which helped pave the road I travelled in adulthood. My children have learnt to be free thinkers, and to have their own ideas, ideals, and opinions, and they have always made me proud.

I no longer have the desire to rob stagecoaches, or fight crime, or even to engage in wanton destruction. I have put away my gun, and discarded my cape. Cookies are baked for me whenever I request them, and I realized that I don’t need to climb up to the roof to see clearly. I do, however,  miss the excitement of blowing up the Ericson’s flower garden. That was a good time.