Excerpt 43

Manhattan

1971

Weeks later in New York City, I lost my virginity to Noah, a not nice Jewish boy from Brooklyn,  on a large, heated waterbed behind blood-red padded leather doors in a closed wing of Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital on First Avenue.

After fucking, he told me that he felt like he had been through a meat grinder!

Noah had an amphetamine-addicted roommate who shared his East 24th Street apartment. Both were dental students at New York University and had easy access to Bellevue.

 

 

Excerpt 42

My parents never even had medical insurance, which they considered an extravagance, until they were eligible for Medicare. They gambled…and won the health lottery.

And when my father died, Nancy gave his body to a medical school so that she wouldn’t have to pay for cremation. Afterward, she refused to accept his ashes; she told the hospital to dump them in a public veterans’ grave.

However, when Robert’s clients expressed interest in making charitable donations in his name, she made a wise decision: Their money was used to buy magnolia trees to be planted  in a large area, which was being developed into a community  park, near the Memphis city limits.

 

 

 

Children’s Book: Fantasy Friends on Furlough

 

 FANTASY FRIENDS ON FURLOUGH

 

YOGA FROG

The yoga frog stuck out his tongue

In order to eat tasty morsels of young…

Quail eggs!

No legs, he begs!

Just meat juicy and sweet

To make my parts so flexible and neat.

 

And please remove this spaghetti!

He cried to the dragonfly, who

Was hoping for calm

But instead got confetti

When he flew through the shredder

On the desk with the teddy.

Oh my!

What a mess!

Bear hair!

What a pair: the frog and the dragonfly

Searching the sky

Looking for, hoping for yum-yum pumpkin pie.

But instead in their eyes

Fell rays of moonlight.

They said it felt good.

Then bid all a good night.

 

Naked Crayons

[envision crayon sticks dressed in adorable outfits]

The naked crayons went out to play.

“Yippee, whippee,” they cried as they rolled in the hay.

Cathy, the cow, ambled into the barn.

“What are y’all doing?” she drawled with a note of alarm.

“We’re searching for jackets and hats with ear latches,

‘Cause winter is coming…

And we naked crayons will become so hard and so brittle,

If we don’t have some sweaters for the inclement weather.

So, Cathy, the cow, took them to

Gertrude, the goose, who knitted them

Jackets that were fit to be tied and as warm as a moose…

So that everyone—tall and short or thin and fat— looked forward

To their winter sleigh rides behind the caboose of the train on the lane that you could watch through your own windowpane!

 

SAOLA

Saola, shmayala…hard to pronounce.

When he jumped on the scale, he was more than an ounce.
Nevertheless, he remained quite rare,
Almost as much as cities with clean air.

He lived in hot Vietnam
With his long, pointy horns,
He avoided all thorns.

Some  feathered friends called him a saola.
But his dream was to be an adorable koala.

So furry and cute,
Wrapped around a tree branch,
Almost a glove.

Ready for a bear hug
And oodles of love.

 

FLUKE FISH

It wasn’t a fluke or kind of rebuke

When Mr. Fluke Fish

Fell in the blackstrap molasses

‘Cause of the stress in

Shopping for his 3D glasses.

You see his eyes are up here

And across over there…

 

PEGASUS

It was raining cats and dogs (but no icky, sticky frogs) [literal

drawing/puppies and kittens]…

(Ostrich and worm are covering their heads)

As Ollie and Winton cuddle together

And say with relief, Oh, what a bother!

Could have been falling on us those fat hogs

With a whine and a holler !

And a snoutful of fodder…

 

Pegasus was showing off his shiny shoes to Norse, the horse, and PlumPie,

the horsefly, and MaggieMead, the centipede (who really needed lots of

shoes!).

Oyvay!

To polish all those shoes took three hours and a half!

Enough time for a cow to give birth to a calf!

 

TEA TIME

 The Germanic gerbil [wearing little Valkyrie  hat w/upturned horns]

And the Balkan bat

Met together for tea

In their nondescript flat.

Too sweet, said the gerbil

With a throaty, loud gurgle!

Too hot, said the bat

With a big, bad splat!

So they went out together

In inclement weather

To search for a drink,

The color of ink… 

 

 Gremm

There once was a fish named Gremm,

Who savored his M&M’s

Until the time

He got jealous you see

‘Cause one day he looked at them

Carefully and woefully

And said, “Oh no! It can’t be!”

Your colors are better than mine.

Your beauty is ever so fine.

It’s time for a switch.

Yes, you I will ditch.

Instead I’ll eat plankton.

And from now on will be known

As handsome Gremm Franklin.

 

[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castor_and_Pollux]

TWIN FROGS

[one—black on red/one—red on black]

Castor lived in Castoria with polka dots on his back.

Pollux lived in Polluxian with more spots to pack.

There was a bridge connecting the two.

It was frequently crossed by Ladybug Blue.

When she saw the twin frogs,

She was quite all agog!

Who are those creatures? She cried.

They stole my best features!

I am the only one to have such a pattern;

They copied my clothes;  I have no place to hide!

I will now charge them rent!

I have lost all repose!

And  will make them pay through the nose!

So, they went to the judge who parceled out wisdom.

Now, now pretty critters, he said.

There are plenty of polka dots to go all around.

Let’s stick them to snowflakes to see what will happen.

 

The dotted snowflakes fell to the ground without making a sound. Others disappeared to find new adventures with leopards and ponies.

Then Castor, Pollux, and Ladybug Blue rolled around and around

While coated with glue.

When they stood up their patterns were different;

A little uneven but quite prepossessing.

They all were quite happy with the brand-new designs.

They shook legs in agreement and wiggled their spots.

They went out on the town to show off  their outfits.

They got lots of attention and honorable mention from the fashion newspaper.

A trend had begun ‘cause of freckles, black spots, and red dots.

The reporter told them, I’m sure you’re related or extremely well mated.

What a nice family you have in your sartorial splendor!

 

ELEPHANTS

When two big elephants kiss,

They find such perfect bliss.

With their long, crinkly trunks

Free of smells of local skunks,

He and she show their affection

And wiggle their tails in opposing direction.

They feed each other peanuts and straw,

While the nearby donkeys bray

Hee-Haw!

 

Flaky Flamingo

Flaky flamingo was such a fussbudget

And so irresponsible.

Never did what he said he would do.

Never said quite the truth.

Was always late and appeared at the

Gate with another excuse.

Boo-hoo Boo-hoo, he cried.

Well, the other critters said, Enough is Enough,

And old flaky flamingo ended up fried

In a deep dish of ointment ‘cause of  all the delays

On his appointment days.

 

Palomino Puma

Palomino puma was super sleek and fast.

Had the habit of chasing rude and rowdy  Ruby the rabbit.

After too many races and both out of breath,

They agreed to stop hating and start contemplating what a

Peaceful life would be.

Just then, interrupted by a friendly, but fearsome, flea who said,

“Let’s all live together with Peace

As our goal…

So never again must we hide in a hole.

 

Purple Pumpkin

 

Purple pumpkin was perplexed by the

Hex on the local barn.

“Why am I purple?” she purred like a kitten.

“Because you are special, the color of yarn.

One day in the future, the sweetest girl will

Twirl her horsehair paintbrush across a large canvas.

Then you will arise above ordinary lumpkin

And be transformed into an immortal pumpkin,”

Said the wise fairy who lived in the aerie.

 

Doughty Dodo Bird

Doughty dodo bird was so determined.

The ermine looked up at her and said,

“You never give up…what’s up with that?”

The dodo replied, “My dreams are big, and

I don’t give a fig about those who tell me,

No, your aspirations are silly, you will fail

Willy nilly.

Do—n’t  Do—n’t tell me what I can do.

My plan is to fool you too!

I will succeed and

Fulfill my need to

Be the best that I can be.

 

Touchy Toucan

 

Touchy toucan was quick to give you a peck with her beak.

“Think before you speak,” she squawked,

“Or you might dread the consequences.

The words you spout

That all come out

Can cause unnecessary harm

And will alarm those who don’t understand

And are too shy to take a stand.”

So be polite.

Avoid a fight.

Try to cultivate wisdom

Instead of a schism.