FWF, Kellie Elmore, Pain

Uncle Wally

My name is Wally, though people used to call me Mr. Dawson. I barely remember those days but I was you, Mister Fancy Suit, a long time ago. I had a great family and a job I loved, until my life changed and I became who I am today. My whole body is wracked in pain, every bone and muscle, even the inside of my head hurts all the time.

Pain

Pain (Photo credit: Rickydavid)

My liver and kidneys are rotting, orange like rust. I have lots of pain when I am sober enough to look at my life long enough to remember. It lasts only a minute or two, then I pop a handful of pills, drink two or three shots of cheap whiskey

 

and vodka or whatever I can get my hands on just to dull the edges around my sorry life.

I got the needle tracks on my arms, but today I’m hurting with no more crack or heroin to get me through the day. My friend Ben said he’ll come meet me at this here bar. He still isn’t here and I’m going through hell.

English: 2 Gs of Tweak

English: 2 Gs of Tweak (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People don’t believe me when I tell them that I was  a white-collar, middle-class family man for more than twenty-five years. I had a little office, a desk and chair. I was a loyal employee and where did that get me? It got me nothing, that’s for sure. I put in all my hours, never took a sick day once and still they let me go.

I dealt with unemployment well the first year, I went on interviews but after a year and a half things slowed down. People weren’t returning my calls, I would interview for jobs and they would never say if I got the job or if I didn’t. I would call up and ask and people never returned the call. First, I thought it was just me but then I talked to some other guys, women too, who had lost their jobs and the same thing was happening to them, to everyone I knew.

I’d spent my whole adult life working here, every single day, being the husband to my wife Adele and the father to Gordon and Jennifer. Why, my office was a mini-vacation for my kids. every year they spent some time with me in “Daddy’s big office.” I loved that, when they came in and Mom made us all sandwiches from home. She’d do something special for herself that day, like get her hair done or her nails and I was so proud that I could give that to her. She was the best wife and mother you could ask for in a person.

Liquid Dinner

Liquid Dinner (Photo credit: Rolling Okie)

What happened to the great country I lived in? No money coming in, now Adele was working part-time. Finally, something inside me died. I couldn’t stand it anymore it hurt so much that I started drinking a lot to dull the pain, I drank around the clock, I stopped shaving and wouldn’t leave the house. My wife used to scream at me, she said I was a “bad influence on the kids.” We fought all the time.

I was a nasty drunk too. Adele, threw me out. The last straw was when I got real angry, so angry that I slapped my wife, well, I pushed her and she turned pale, she was scared of me. She had every right. I was not the man she married. I was not the husband she loved, the father of her children. I was an addict but I didn’t want help, I just wanted out.

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I grabbed a few of my things and stuffed them into a bag. The kids were at school and Adele was working. I took our savings money and I left. I walked out the door thinking it would be better for them. I thought I did the right thing, looking at me now, three years later, I am convinced I was right.

 

 

 

 

Jacquelyn: Were You At “The Taste 2″ Finale?

English: Jean Claude Szurdak and Jacques Pepin...

English: Jean Claude Szurdak and Jacques Pepin (right) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Guest judge: Chef Jacques Pepin. In the finals, Marina, Lee and Louise.

The season of “The Taste” is over. As I’ve stated in earlier posts my highpoint of the show was when Jacquelyn exited mid-show, literally walking off stage. She is my Norma Rae. Nigella seriously needs to learn to play with others.

The first test was to make something for the poor and for the rich. It was so uninteresting it really didn’t matter what they made. Basically for the “rich” they added a lot more butter, truffles and caviar. For the “poor,” they all made a stew or soup.

Many past contestants in the audience: I see Cassie and Sarah, Shellie and Don, Audrey and Jay, among others; I am not making this up or exaggerating, I swear, I didn’t know who Audrey was because she didn’t mention “her fans” and she wasn’t complaining.The one person I wanted to see but DIDN’T was Jacquelyn. What, no invite? You people have NO sense of humor.

Final challenge: “Basic cooking: Make me breakfast, lunch and dinner bites that showcase your most dazzling skills.”

They tried. They did TRY.  I didn’t really think anyone made anything over the top that the judges actually swooned over. We’ve all seen good before, the last few episodes missed “stunning and amazing.”The finale did not break the “just ok” pattern. Shame.

Lee: Breakfast: Parmesan flan with bacon quail egg. He forgot that he left his parmesan flan in the oven but remembered at the last second. He saved his behind and put them in the cooler (not his behind, the flan) with bacon, eggs. Pure luck. Lunch: crab cake (he wastes a lot of time trying to get the crabs out of the shell) with avocado. Dinner: strip steak, cauliflower purée..” He was absolutely frazzled,or should I say fried?   Lee plates too soon doesn’t listen to Chef Jacques Pepin who advises him to plate later. Lee is acting cocky, doesn’t listen to the guest Chef.  Poor judgment. Dinner: Strip steak, parmesan tulle, mustard demi glace. Even with his fan favorite girlfriend Cassie giggling (did anyone else notice that rapid fire laugh) nothing could stop him or slow him down.

Marina:  (Chef Pepin looked a little befuddled around her) Marina starts with an (English muffin,?) quail egg, onion, fig and bacon. (“well executed”) :Lunch: Fried spring roll, oyster and pork, deemed (“not that successful.”) Dinner: short ribs, rice, kale, port wine.  She forgets to taste her own food, a definite no-no. Marina won’t take advice from anyone,she listens to no one, she prides herself on that. Marina used chicken testicles and pork blood. She certainly is imaginative. Have you cooked with chicken testicles and pork blood? Me either.

Louise: Breakfast: Fried quail egg with tomato sauce, (similar to Chef Pepin’s model that he displayed.) Lunch: fried oyster po’ boy sandwich, Dinner: steak with red wine sauce (which Chef Pepin salvaged)  potatoes, makes food look beautiful (she is also a food stylist.) She touches the steak and isn’t sure it is ready, Chef Pepin touches it and says 5 more minutes, in it goes. She is more needy and ready to listen to Jacques Pepin and believe me it shows. Her sauce breaks, she can’t use it. Chef Pepin helps her find a teaspoon of meat drippings again. Lousie feels like the underdog (again) and complains about something, was it brioche again? Much to everyone’s surprise, including Louise, she won “The Taste.”  As if she was in “Survivior” Louise flew under the radar, bothered no one, smiled a lot and portrayed herself as the victim.

3rd place LEE, 2nd place Marina, First place Louise

Congratulations? I mean, Congratulations.

The show is over. I’m done. We are all grateful. Would I watch it again? Probably.

*any error of description of food was unintentional and due to extreme fibromyalgia tiredness. I still am annoyed at the amount of alcohol on TV, just sayin’ sponsors?

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Kellie Elmore, Free Write Friday

Leaves Turn

Leaves Turn (Photo credit: Thomas Hawk)

foliage – amber – wicker – aroma – sweater – cocoa

My older sister and I came home for Fall break to visit our parents in Vermont. We tried to come home together in the Fall when leaves were turning amber and red, and we wore thick wool sweaters with, of course, down vests over them. We didn’t do this often (or often enough as our parents continuously said) but it made them happy and I had to admit it was nice being home together. The four of us and our golden lab, Sadie. We sat around the  fireplace in our living room snacking on white cheddar cheese and Carr’s water crackers and sipped mugs of mulled apple cider. We were, mesmerized by the sparks of the amber logs and listening to the hissing of the fire, talking until our voices lulled like the ending of a softly sung lullaby.

Our mom told us to go upstairs, knowing we wanted to catch up on “sister talk.” We flopped on my bed and sure enough my sister who had questioned me for months about my ” so-called secret” just stared at me.”Oh fine” I’ll tell you, but it’s nothing, I swear.” It wasn’t a big deal at all but since I hadn’t wanted to tell her in her mind she had inflated it to be some sort of romantic mystery. I knew though, she was NEVER going to stop asking me even if we were in an old age home together gumming tuna salad sandwiches when we were 85 and 90.

“UMMM” my sister asked impatiently, “continue!” “I sighed, older siblings can be so bossy…”okay, okay I had a huge crush on Robert.” There, are you satisfied?”  “No, she said, ” THAT’S IT?, Why didn’t you go out with him?” I just starting laughing, I knew she would be disappointed and I was enjoying myself.

Luckily our mom came up to our bedroom with the aroma of hot, homemade cocoa with marshmallows wafting in the air carrying a tray of two steamy cups of hot cocoa and a plate with her famous butter cookies right out of the oven. She looked at us with that Mom radar and said “What’s going on in here?” We both laughed and at the same time said our usual response, “Nothing.” She sighed and we yelled after her, “Thanks, Mom.”

As soon as she closed the door behind her my prosecuting attorney aka my sister demanded details, I said firmly “Look there is nothing to talk about, you dated him and after I met him last time we were home he stayed after the Thanksgiving party and helped me clean up and we talked for a long time” “That’s great! she said, You would be perfect together, date him, he meant nothing to me”. “Oh no, I said, not a chance in hell. You dated him, remember? NO WAY. “Oh get over yourself, so what, it was a fling, I have NO interest in him at all.”

Apparently my sister had a lot of “experience” but it just wasn’t my style. There was no chance I was going to date anyone who had dated my sister first. She rolled her eyes at me and said “You’re just being stupid,” and then I simply nodded to signify the conversation was over. I paused dramatically for about 10 seconds on purpose and then said slyly with a devilish look, “besides, I could never date a guy who pronounced foliage as foilage, could you?” We both burst out laughing hysterically, holding our stomachs. Some things we could stand for, others, like mispronouncing words, we could not. We must have laughed for ten minutes until our mom, called us down to help with dinner, even then, it was hard to keep a straight face.

Photo credit to photographer

I own no right except for publication of blog

After All Tomorrow Is Another Day (Carry On Tuesday)

glass_1

glass_1 (Photo credit: nebarnix)

Cara? it’s me, Janie.

Car, I fucked up. I fucked up bad and now I’m sitting on the floor in the living room and I look like one of those bunched up rubber band balls we used to make in junior high. Why do you have to ask me that every time? Fine, I had some wine and a few beers. A  lot of wine. I don’t remember it all, damn it!

Little Keith, he isn’t here now, he went to Grandma’s. No, I didn’t send him, he left. I can’t stop crying because there’s more. Car, I’m so cold I’m shaking and I’m covered by all my blankets and the red shawl you crocheted for me for my birthday.

I know we made a promise to love each as best friends always but I did something really, really bad. I made a mistake, but this was the worst one because little Keith saw it and I didn’t know he was in the room.

I’m TRYING TO CALM DOWN, I don’t need a lecture, Cara, I can just hang up. Fine, yes, I am taking a deep breath. Everything just got to me all at once: Johnny’s unemployment, my shift got canceled, all our overdue bills, taking care of my parents, not enough money for food… I swear I never thought we would end up this way and I couldn’t handle it. I didn’t buy the wine or beer, it had been in the house from a long time ago when we had a party and I stashed it there, yes I hid it.

I drank too much and my head hurts bad, real bad, yes I am drinking coffee. I knew I shouldn’t have been drinking again but I FELT so furious and hopeless that I threw the empty wine bottle across the room, hard, and it hit the wall and it sounded like a bomb had gone off. There are shards of glass everywhere.

The worst part was little Keith had come into the room and saw it all. I could tell he had been there a while, yes, with me drinking. I said I was sorry but I knew I had scared him and he backed away from me. I saw it in his eyes and he ran to his room and slammed his door. He wouldn’t let me in, I couldn’t even apologize. A few minutes later he went next door to Grandma’s, without even looking at me. The worst part was I knew I was the one who caused his pain and I couldn’t take it back.

Cara, you’re right. I need help. I need to do this for me and I mean it. I can’t go on like this, hurting everyone. I lied when I told you that I hadn’t read the brochure about the in-patient program in Ellis but I know I need to go. Yes, I mean it. I promised you and now I have to do it for me, me and Keith. Yes, whatever you say, soon is okay. What details? I can’t think with a pounding head. Do whatever you need to do, just let my head get better. I will take aspirin and drink water I am sitting in the black chair, I won’t move. I want it to be like the old days when the boys would play and we would drink lemonade and make oatmeal raisin cookies together and sit on the porch laughing. Do you think that could happen again? Why aren’t you answering me?!

Cara? I am still on the phone, I need to clean up the glass. What do you mean no, it’s dangerous. Oh fine, I’ll leave it till the morning. What do you mean you are here? Is that you knocking on the door? Oh, honey, thank you so much for coming. WHAT? NO, Cara, NOW? I thought we were going tomorrow, not now. Please, just one more night? Can’t I just start tomorrow, after all it’s just another day. Please? No? But I’m scared, Cara. My head is aching so badly. You took care of everything, I don’t know what that means. One more day, Cara, I beg of you.  You won’t change your mind? Don’t you dare call the police, you don’t mean you will leave me alone forever if I don’t come with you. Cara, I can’t take that. I have no one. Yes, I promised.  God, please forgive me and give me strength.

Alcoholics Anonymous :

www.aa.org/

The Color Of Spain

Y se hizo el color

Image by Zyllan via Flickr

Having been in Spain for over a week now, the color of Spain, to me, is burnt orange, terra-cotta.  I have pieces of smooth, slippery rocks that I collected from the beach. They capture the feeling in my heart, and remind me of this beautiful country and the interesting dialects and eclectic and interesting food from tapas to wiener schnitzel, pizza and kabobs, paella, different creamy white cheese served on a white plate.

We decided to first stay in the magnificent city of Barcelona for the first few days surrounded by a cacophony of French, Spanish, Italian, German, Chinese, and other languages we could not decipher. It’s fascinating to see and hear different people all the time, just walking down the busy streets you feel like you are in a United Nations convention. We went walking on the touristy streets in the big city, seeing people “statues” move and delight the crowds. Wait, is that a statue or….hey, it’s a man barely moving for minutes on end. A cup was available in front of them, for tips.

We ate tapas (tastings of many small things that you pick) ranging from something that tasted like cream cheese and jelly (perfect for me) to meatballs, fish, grilled herb cheese with tomatoes, sausages and crabmeat. We (ok, my husband) drank Sangria and wherever you go the drink is slightly different. Sometimes it had sugar in it, other times sparkling water was added to it, in a different place the sugar was not in the drink but on the rim with fruit bouncing happily in the red wine. Sangria was a staple and for me “Coke Lite.”

Just to be in another country was wonderful, breathing the air, seeing the different plants, colors, people, birds. When you are in another country you experience joy from just waking up in a new place excited to go on new adventures. After hours of walking you whisper good-night to each other across a king size bed. Traveling, to me, is a fantasy.  We spent three free nights in a wonderful hotel that included breakfast, croissants and coffee. The croissants have a very tiny sheen of sugar baked on the top, perfect in the morning. Coffee all the time, espresso, regular coffee, double espresso, cafe latte. There were different types of yogurt, cheese, olives, sausage and bread.

Children are running around with their parents pursuing them, excited screams for gelato were heard. Smiling in any language seems universal.

“Eat, Pray, Love” Or Don’t Love In My Case

I’m a book kind of girl. I read a lot of books, buy a lot of books, borrow and lend a lot of books. That’s why I always say to myself, once you’ve read the book, DO NOT see the movie. I say it, I mean it, I don’t listen to myself and I regret it. So, in my opinion the title of this movie should be “Eat, Pray, Don’t Love. That’s how I felt after seeing “Eat, Pray, Love” based on the book by Elizabeth Gilbert. WHY didn’t I listen to myself?  Because I think I know myself better than I really do; and I am usually wrong. So, once again, I am saying visualize on your own, don’t see the movie afterwards, it ruins the images you have.

The movie started with Julia Roberts’  luminous face, all toothy grin and natural beauty. She’s a great actress but a little too showy, too pretty and shiny for this movie.  Light softly silhouettes her face, there is beautiful scenery which of course showcases again the light of Julia’s pretty face. She’s beautiful even when she is supposed to be an emotional wreck. I wanted more authenticity instead of Julia Roberts playing Pretty Woman Now Middle-Aged. It was Julia Roberts on Julia Roberts, in just about every scene.

Another thing for us real women; if i had gone to Italy for a month of carbs and conversation I would have gained 30 lbs. and would have worn sweat pants instead of the teeny-tiny jeans she was wearing before and after in the film. If you are going to love your pizza, and your pasta, your wine, bread etc. keep it real. Most women don’t giggle lying down in a fitting room buying only the tiniest of jeans. Yes, we’ve all done the zipper trick  at home, on our beds, alone, but most of us would show we have gained weight, which is how real life is. Embrace your body? Not with those size 0 or 2 or 4 jeans, not even close.

The other incredibly annoying thing about the movie, which I found totally inappropriate, was the sound track. As soon as I heard the first song, my mouth was wide open, aghast. I’m sure the songs themselves will be hits but they just didn’t belong to the movie. Did Elizabeth Gilbert hear those songs in her mind? Somehow, I doubt it.

Pretty woman, you’re still pretty, and beautiful  but you’re amazingly privileged in the movie. I know a lot of people who go through marital troubles and they don’t get paid a nice salary for taking off time and traveling abroad. I understand the chaos you went through, I ‘m just not buying Julia Roberts feeling it.