So. I think I’m finally getting over the news that my cancer is growing again and I’m powerless to stop it. I don’t mean to say that I’m completely cured of the issue but, rather, I’m no longer totally freaked out, it doesn’t occupy my every waking moment. OK, and please allow me to say that powerless was a poor choice of words because there is an actual cure, should I decide to become a gutted land fish and live out my time on a liquid diet while connected to plastic waste bags.
I realized I was over it yesterday when I stopped down to the Kroger for supplies and encountered a pleasant, comely woman there to the deli counter. She was bent beneath the high glass counter, shuffling the plastic wrapped footballs of turkey and ham and Chicken and beef in efforts to better display the deli’s wares.
For some reason I didn’t disturb her work to push my personal agenda, rather I just watched through the glass counter as her head moved and bobed with the work, ringlets of light brown bouncing like a shampoo model’s highlighted curls. I guess another worker over to the hot lunch counter next door noticed, and yelled at her that she had a customer. She jumped, startled, and looked up at me from a face that showed no embarrassment, no remorse, but interest.
“Oh, sorry, sir, I just get so wrapped up in my own world sometimes that I….…”
Ah-hah, I thought, a kindred spirit. “Do you suffer from ADD too?” I asked.
“Oh no, quite the opposite. I’m consumed by OCD and blessed with both that and the focus of an electron microscope.”
OK, not a kindred spirit, but comely all the same. I started wondering how long it would take for my ADD to wreck any relationship the two of us might have—what with the clashes that occur when Queen Focus meets King Distracted—while also thinking of using her breasts as the bun for a Chicken Salad sammich. One of my exes—that would be Ingrid of Ingrid’s Hot Wax Emporium—loved to utilize body parts as serving vessels, and I’ve always had keen interest in creative serving vessels. This one time I made chicken salad with grapes and walnuts and……….
I guess I lost track of things because the next thing I know I’m asking her, before I could stop myself I asked, “Do you have any food allergies?”
“Huh,” her first response, “food allergies?”
My brain was spinning, whirling through words that might save me from getting banned from yet another favored grocery shopping establishment. As I was about to make another comment that likely would have made matters worse, as that is my habit, her countenance moved from a look of “Huh, whatthefuck is the crazy man asking?” to, and here I’m not exaggerating, a heavenly smile. A smile of divine delights, followed by a look to both sides when her face flushed bright red and she says to me, she tells me conspiratorially, “Well, my belly button broke out in this angry rash one time. I might be allergic to Tabasco sauce. (another bright smile) Now, how may I be of service to you this fine morning?”
All I could do was stammer and mumble. “I uh, well er, uh, well what I came for is a half-pound of uncured ham—that natural one you sell—you know, the private parts, I mean private label one, without all the nitrates and nitrites and antifreeze, you know the one I mean? Half-pound, sandwich slice, you know not to thick, not too thin, like to make a ham sammich. I get my bread over to the Ramblin Bakery, always get their French bread—half a loaf, sliced—and add avocado and tomatoes and red onion. Sometimes lettuce and sometimes not, but always mayo, not mustard. I only use Hellmann’s you know. Best mayo on the block unless you make it yourself, which is quite a production. My Gram almost killed the entire congregation over to the Baptist joint this one time when her homemade mayo cured a bit too long when she left the tater salad out on the patio. I cut the onion really thin and salt it first, let it sweat there to the cutting board to bring out its natural sweetness. Hard to get good tomatoes right now and I haven’t figured out a way to grow good ones there to the house in wintertime. Crack a cold Carta Blanca and go straight on to heaven. I can’t share the sammich with the dogs, you know dogs can’t eat pig meat, but they each get a saucer of beer, a chunk of bread crust, and a piece of lettuce. Squirt—she’s my best buddy in the world, OK, other than Streaker Jones—the Squirt tells me that whole dogs-and-pork dealio is bullshit—but she’ll say anything to get food, you know how dogs are, and……..”
“Huh? Uh, no, that’s all for today. Thank you, and maybe you should try Frank’s Red Hot Louisiana hot sauce, they add a touch of sugar to take an edge off the cayenne peppers.”
When I got home and related this story to the Squirt, after she stopped laughing at me she advised me to go back to the store and ask for some rare roast beef and two full chicken breasts. Then she laughed some more and made me laugh at myself. After I stopped laughing, I was wondering if the Tabasco Sauce was for dipping, and if so, dipping what.
When I prepared to make my lunch and was opening the ham, I saw that the lady had written me a note on the stickered label, which said, it was scribed in this tiny, precise and beautiful handwriting and said, “Please feed this hungry soul,” and it was signed with her name.
I spent several frustrated hours in debate as to did the writing mean she wanted me to make some chicken salad or was she praying that the ham would quench my soul by quenching my thirst for a ham sammie. Those cogitations resulted without making an appropriate decision, but I did decide that I’m quite the hypocrite. I bitch and moan constantly about the state of my sex life yet when confronted with a seemingly great opportunity, I freeze, and that reminds me of something.
We’re about to find out just how much hypocrisy is contained in America’s Christian churches. The time is upon us, my brothers and sisters, for our religious leaders to show us the strength of their convictions, the actual power of their holy words, expose the timbre of the timbers that serve as the structural foundations of their “Words of Christ” dogma. Like our Texas boy, the right Reverend Jeffers of Dallas First Baptist Church—the right-wing megalomaniac of one of the Texas mega churches—church leaders of right-wing congregations will now be required to determine the courses of the futures of their parishes.
Their great spiritual leader, the honorable President Donald J. Trump, has once again dumped several huge loads of shit right down on their Christened little heads. Smelly adulterous, treasonous, lying sacks of heretical shit. But I’m guessing that most of Trump’s religious supporters have massive appetites for shit. Like Billy Graham, Junior.
“Mmmmmm-mmmmm. More tasty shit for my sammich please, Mr. President. Make mine club style.”
And that brings up another point. I want to thank everybody for their kind words—and attempts at words—expressed to me over my cancer news. Please don’t worry about what to say, don’t fret for even a second over the right words. Know that the simple fact that you care enough to think is the perfect support, that it matters to you is enough for me.
You can’t cure me, you can’t say a magic cluster of words that will make me forget, you can’t talk my anxieties away. But you can comfort me with your concern. In knowing that someone gives a shit matters.
Hey, a new movement:
“Give A Shit Matters!!!”
So let’s all rededicate our lives to something that makes a shit, and Fuck Walmart!