It’s Not You–It’s Me

These excuses never worked, anyway.  The dogs didn’t eat my homework.  Check was in the mail.  I never received my bill.  It has been an extremely busy day, and I’ll leave it at that.

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Sorry blog

I don’t know how

To break it to you

Words fail me right now

You’re not first on my priority list

Hope you don’t mind

It’s yard work

Washing the car

Cleaning inside of car

And only for today

Where does this

Leave you and me?

Same place as before

Time will tell

Hope you can see it

In your heart to forgive

 

Stone and Silk (Marvin & Janie)

My tarnished love story, written three years ago.  Because I believe none of us are perfect, and therefore, neither are our relationships.

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I was a dumb cluck from cornfield country.  She was a stone-cold beauty from the East Coast.  Now, there’s a pair for you.

Why he liked her so much was hard to figure.  She was mean–hard to get along with; demanded Marvin’s full attention, morning, noon, and night.  Marvin brought Janie flowers, pretty things, but, it never seemed to matter.  At work, Marv was always borrowing money; because he never had any.  Maybe he thought that was the way relationships were supposed to be?

God forbid Marvin ever looked at another woman–even, for  a casual glance.  When he did, Janie pummeled his arms and shoulders with flailing fists.  He had to have a high tolerance level.  Was Janie that insecure–jealous of other women?  There’s supposed to be someone for everyone.  What had Marvin done to deserve her?

When Marvin worked late, Janie was a nervous wreck until his car pulled into the driveway.  He always called home before leaving work.  They fought like cats and dogs, but when Janie was sick, Marv was always there by her side.  Nobody knew what went on behind closed doors.  Their private lives were kept private.

The Revelation:  Janie had been a former Vegas “showgirl”–if you could call it that.  “The Swan” was a seedy, obsequious dive bar–with obligatory flashing lights, plenty of cigarette smoke and loud music–hidden in the bowels of Las Vegas.  It was just close enough to the strip, to siphon off drifters from the mainstream and stay in business.  Christened, “The Swan,” because the managing partner’s name was Schwann, not because it had anything to do with Swan Lake–or anything cultural.

The Miracle:  Was, that they ever got together in the first place.  Janie danced at The Swan, because that was all she had.  The shame, less important than necessities of life, she desperately needed.  She lived a distorted, Machiavellian, nightmare of what life should be.

Through thick-bottomed drink glasses, Janie was every guy’s ideal woman–worthy of stuffed, sweaty, dollar bills, donated by countless, faceless, nameless men, ascending/descending from emotional highs and lows–in various stages of self-control.

Marvin nodded off into semi-consciousness that night, until his head hit the table.  Then, he became just another bottom-feeder, milked dry, tossed out and left for dead.  “Nighty night–sleep tight,” The bouncer mocked.

The next thing Marv remembered was waking up in the back alley.  “I know I heard “Jingle Bells’ playing somewhere,”  Marv said.  “Or, more likely, it was my throbbing head.”  That’s when Janie walked out the back door.  Marvin’s clothes were damp, dirty, and disgusting.  He was pitiful in a sad, floppy-eared puppy dog sort of way.

She took pity on me–bought me a cup of coffee at the diner across the street.  She told me right up front, it wasn’t going any further.  I asked the same question, she heard every night in the bar.  How’d a pretty girl like you, end up in a place like this?  She turned the question right around.  How had I ended up thrown out of a Vegas bar in an alley?

I answered, It was because I was a hopeless screw-up.  It was a moment of brutal truth–the first time I’d been honest with myself, or any one else, in my life.  The funniest part–we toasted, first to mutual failures, then to hopeless screw-ups.  I didn’t have a dime to my name, but I sure felt better.

We had a lot in common, as it turned out.  She was running away from abusive home life with an alcoholic father.  I’d been kicked out of the house, by my father, at nineteen to sink or swim.  At that moment, I knew I loved Janie.  If given the chance, some day I’d ask her to marry me.

From what Marvin told me, their courtship was a bit like a Hollywood movie script.  The bar’s owner didn’t want Janie to quit; had her followed–made life miserable.  I suspected there was more to that part of the story and he wished to keep it secret.  Love always found a way, so they met secretly at different locations; like underworld spies, or refugees from a war-torn world.

Marvin sat at a table near the entrance of one pre-determined location.  Janie came in a few moments later; sat at an adjoining table.  “You know–I once sprained my elbow,” Was Marv’s opening line.  It was finest cloak-and-dagger, old-time movie dialogue.  “Daffodils bloom in the springtime,”  Janie answered.  To which Marvin asked, “Did you know bats slept upside down?”  Janie opened her purse, took out a white handkerchief.  They walked out together, laughing at their private jokes–played out to perfection.

Their Escape:  Janie and Marvin’s escape from “Sin City” was, no less intriguing.  Highlighted by a two-day exile in an abandoned basement; hiding from some unsavory characters.  It ended with a four-day bus ride to middle Tennessee.  They didn’t know a soul there.  Marvin hoped to land a job at a nearby auto assembly plant.  Janie was hired to wait tables at a local mom and pop eatery.

Marvin and I started work the same day, working swing shifts as janitors, for a starting wage of 2.35 per hour–extra for nights and weekends.  It was good money for a couple of young guys with no experience.  What I learned about Marv and Janie, came from working together at Chrysler for 38 years.  There were occasional encounters with Janie at the supermarket.  They stayed pretty much close to home.

Both of them are gone now.  I feel their presence every day–especially when I see young couples in love, laughing at private little jokes.  Soul mates, lovers–whatever you choose to call them; neither, could have survived without the other.

My first impressions were very wrong.  Janie went first–passed away in Marvin’s arms.  Marv passed away nine years later.  I was there to bid my friend goodbye.  When death knocked at the door–theirs was the only way to go; surrounded by those that loved them most.

 

 

 

Living Mood Rings

Molly was a planner

There was a plan

For everything

And everybody

Expressed thoughts

In vibrant colors

There was no

Night, no day

Molly never rested

On account of–there

Might be somebody

Somewhere, that

Needed something

Seth, was just there

For the beer

Or so, he said

It was just like

Seth to say

Annoying things

Just for laughs

Molly knew he

Would answer

For cruel remarks

On Judgement day

 

Genealogy Merry-Go-Round

I find one’s genetic makeup interesting.  My significant other–not as much.

Were websites, such as ancestry.com, simply ploys to separate us from our money?

Obviously, if they weren’t making money, they wouldn’t stay in business.  How was it possible for someone to be related to Cleopatra?  …Or, some other historical figure, at a time when record keeping wasn’t what it is today?

I’m going to assume it’s done with genetic coding.  Those from the Middle East have common genetic markers.  Others, from elsewhere in the world, have their own specific markers.  My unbelieving spouse and I, agreed to disagree.

My family history, on both sides, was researched before the digital age.  The ancestry website confirmed what was already known–back to the eighteenth century.  Although,  television commercials are entertaining, I’ve not received pictures of any of my ancestors–especially, the way-back ones.

Without going into detail, here’s what was previously known.  My paternal great-grandfather’s family came from Upper Austria.  My maternal great-grandfather’s family came from Yorkshire, England.  My maternal, great-grandmother was Dutch.

Breakdown from the popular ethnicity website:

  • Great Britain———————————77%
  • Eastern Europe——————————-15%
  • Iberian Peninsula——————————2%
  • Asia—————————————–2%
  • Ireland—————————————1%
  • Western Europe——————————–1%
  • Italy/Greece, Finland/NW Russia——————<1%

 

Katherine and Eric, from the television commercial–Katherine was surprised to find out that Eric wasn’t Italian, but rather Eastern European.  My 2% Iberian Peninsular and Asian ancestry was certainly a surprise.  It’s not likely to stir any interest from the ancestry.com folks.  However, genealogy may explain why my great-aunt made plum pudding for the Holidays every year.