pawspauseprose

Life as it arrives and dreams as they happen


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You don’t need the bathtub, just a Mr. Bubble

What ever happened to real men?  I don’t mean just the obvious stereotype of John Wayne or Ward Cleaver, I mean the actual soul that makes dad’s instead of fathers, family instead of friend, and sweetheart instead of husband.  Somewhere between erectile dysfunction and Son’s of Anarchy, there is a little know oasis of life known as the “soft spot” and trust me when I say it is worth more than any screaming “G” spot this side of Tijuana.

I often wondered, as I lived my day to day life, against the cowboy encrusted Rocky Mountains, why the dearest friends in my life were gay men, and why I emotionally broke right along with them, at the loss of the gentle and gorgeous figure of a man that was John Kennedy, Jr.  Then after returning home from a trip to New York, it dawned on me.  We laughed – at each other mostly and we shared –everything from bites of food, fork to fork, to stories, opinions and a few other substances medically only authorized in most states for pain.  The bottom line is there were no walls between us, that said I have to act “this way,” because I have this chromosome and you obviously know “Y.”  There was only pure communication between us, mutual delight, admiration and comfort.  Picture a basket of puppies, warm fire and some cosmos and you get the general idea.

Many of us – at least me, have encountered such incredible men in life, and just as fragile as translucent bubbles, they disappear too fast, and we long for them forever.  My first understanding of this character trait, in a strong, testosterone driven, husband/father figure, was seeing my father hold a tiny guinea pig, that was my pet at the time.  We were very loved as daughters, and our children also celebrated this connection with their grandfather.  However, in my youth seeing this man who was so respected and even feared by some, hold this furry critter with a wiggling nose lovingly, and speaking in almost child like tones say, “How’s my widdle guy, such a good widdle guy.”  The man and his myth became a memory which opened the door to his soul, showing me then what a real man was all about.

As years went by I saw such silent love now and then, when least expected, like when Dad was past eighty playing little ponies, and my daughters encircled his chair with brushes and bows. Another sacred memory was when he expected my mother to return from cancer surgery.  She wasn’t on the elevator as planned, unknowingly, she had been put on the second one.  When the doors opened, he leaned down to kiss my mother, with such a look of love on his face, only to see a strange unconscious woman, close to ninety and resembling an antiquity in the Egyptian museum.  He stood up with the fright and response, of a well placed cattle prod, and in the same tone said, “What did they do to her?”  Yes, when the heart speaks, it also laughs – indeed, what a man gave me life.

In so many years that have now gone, my daughters and nieces not only have known, but married, loved and even given birth to this legacy of men.  It gives hope.  Recently I saw a rough young man with tattoos down both arms, with the ability to climb mountains – which he has and I do mean literally, sit with a pink crayon outlining a flower, having a deep discussion with a little girl not yet articulate – there was no need for a translator, they both knew what was being said.  Another such “man” recently set a small rat loose in a field, with parting words heard by his wife on cell phone, “Okay now, here is a good home, you go on out there, you’ll be ok.”  In a world of suffering, self serving attitudes and a general lack of compassion, these moments shine with hope.

It would be wonderful, if for every bathtub pre-sexual innuendo, musical video with vulgarities, degradation, violence and video game giving points for death, that once again someone would want to be my neighbor.  I mean this in the most sincere way with a sweater and a smile, and not a dateline to catch a predator set-up with wine coolers and condoms.  As the mother of daughters and now the grandma to both sides of the gender fence, I want these little people, as well as those they grow-up with, to be nurtured, cherished and able to look back, as their mommies and I can, with heart warming moments, that add character never learned from a book, video game or god forbid an ‘App.”

Loving without walls builds relationships that stand the test of time, age and loss.  Those individuals, who accept who they are, share in a moment, what some never learn in a lifetime, and are indeed real men who make a difference.

No, we are not all alike – and to delight in the difference, makes the difference, that makes a world worth living in and even more, worth remembering.


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Bobby Picked it

Before the crust on American Pie burned and the music died, like Holly on the vine, people needed to listen for the voice.  To this end, Halloween always makes for spiritual delight, when we can mash with some monsters, celebrate with some costumed sweets and think about those who are no longer with us – those who gave voice to our lives, not only when we couldn’t, shouldn’t or wouldn’t, but when we needed it, to become who we would be as adults.

Recently, Facebook offered one of those pesky “Apps” for anyone caring to download it.  This one would allow those who pass away, to leave a message after they are gone.  Reminded me of the lawyer in Florida who was buried with his cell phone, letting friends and family call to hear his voice on mail messages.  Only this App of a message could prove more painful,  than loosing someone from our lives ever was – a voice in anger, revenge or jealousy needs to stay buried, dead or not.  Seriously, we can all see the writing on that wall!

Mediums are large business in our society, as people with broken hearts, promises and dreams hope to re-connect with someone who has died and left them behind.  There is more of a desire in our world to understand the meaning of Rosebud, then there is to smell the roses, and delight in the time you have, sharing someone in your life, be it a wonderful life, petals or not. Yes, every war of the roses has their thorns; the blood piercing affect they have though is not just for protection, but to remind us we are still living.  And, just like those thorns, is  the small voice deep inside us all, cricket given or not, from those  who raised and loved us, friends that understood us and experiences that proved them right, but not many of us ever really listen to it.

When my parents passed away, I was lucky to have numerous voice mail and answering machine tapes  reminded me I was loved, a funny joke or a chance to remember a special occasion.  Those disembodied voices from my soul, can make me cry or laugh depending when I hear them.  Regardless of that, they always remind me who I am and what I have done – good or bad, in this time I have, and push me forward to be the best person I can be.  I can’t silence that voice and I would never want to try.

As the new year continues, already two weeks past there will be times for tears, none of us can do the mash all the time, but we can avoid the monsters who shout their dysfunctional positions, trying to hurt or tempt us with what we hear.  Life is a journey, and even though those who have touched us, loved us and cared for us are no longer around to give us direction, they are always with us knowing we will listen with our hearts just as they always did for us.

The silence we long to break through is not always a golden sound, sometimes it is the taste of a warm Christmas cookie, a torn sweater still smelling of hairspray, a wrinkled handkerchief found in an old coat pocket or a broken toy with the memory still in tact.  The voice of those who pass on, lives in our actions, acts of kindness and dreams …  it is called love.


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Hey Kramer, I got the Tuna!

 

I think we all dream small, against the big reality we live in.  I remember watching an episode of Seinfeld years ago, when Kramer retuned from a warehouse store with a can of tuna, the size of a coffee can.  It was a laughable joke, as the bargain wasn’t exactly thought through, when he had to eat it all in a matter of days.  I can relate to that both in life, as well as warehouse shopping.

One such realization came as I looked for aspirin at our local warehouse store, which was indeed there, double bottle, plastic blister packed for value.  Next to it though, was a huge single bottle – no not the tuna size, but darn close, containing nighttime aspirin or “PM” as it is well known.  Seriously, I could get 500 sleeping pills right next to the case of mouth wash and 136 count granola bars?  All the priorities in life right there for the taking!  I did the logical thing – I bought them all.

Since that purchase many, many months and pills ago, I have soothed my chronic pain at night, but I also deal with another chronic condition –  the reality of how short my day is between that first cup of tea around 9am and the little blue PM pill around midnight.  It started one day when I dropped the open bottle.  As I picked up the medication across my carpet, I couldn’t help but notice how many of those 500 were now gone.  The bargain to sleep now slapped me awake –  Where did all the time and my life go?

Maybe it is one of those grown up things we always knew was coming, like how fast summer vacation went by and then how it didn’t happen at all, as we punched the nine to five.  No different, than the gray hairs I see,  the slower pace of my faithful dog and the once infant grandchildren who now explain the remote to me.  I guess we get so caught up in the pace of life, we don’t pay attention to how fast it pours through the hours of our glass.

I’d like to believe we gain the necessary intelligence and experience in life, so that when we reach this realization point, we are in preparation to cross over, leave our human existence and attain something better.  But who am I kidding?  I haven’t seen Paris yet, I still want to wear 4 inch stiletto heels one more time and who knows maybe, just maybe the cob web draped refrain of Jackson Browne will again announce I am somebody’s baby.  I need more time!

However, just like the shelf life of tuna, the life we have, live and imagine is limited and if we don’t take it when it is fresh, it is never the same, and goes bad quickly – frankly sometimes it just ends up stinking!  So today, I may just walk down to get my tea in stiletto heels that don’t match my gray sweat pants, and when I answer the phone might have to  say “bonjour,” and instead of watching the clock  mark the time,  I’ll make some of my own.  We all need to shake our routine at some point, and see what we are missing, and if that means shaking our groove thing in the process, well so be it!  Yes, my friends know about arches in their shoes, having long forgotten the Archie’s swaying back and forth in front of a cartoon bandstand, but somewhere there is a beat beyond our hearts and we need to dance to it before it refrains down on us..