to the Jungle
an emily blunt rant
answered the phone like any other time, " Hello. How are
you..." Except this time I'd been waiting at the airport
for her for over an hour! As suspected she'd forgotten me. She
said, "Oh, is dat today
do I bother? But she and Heidi, the dyke poodle pal she owns,
sped around the terminal way in minutes and whisked me off towards
"home." The car's radio was still blasting the stock
reports, the floorboards had their little hand-made shag rugs
and up on the dash was the ever present industrial box of Kleenex.
bless my mom. She's still very beautiful. She's also elegant.
Very Eva Gabor-ish - always smartly put together with open toed
heels, large stoned jewelry and a coordinated pocketbook (purse).
But she wears and adores nothing but flamboyant Dame Edna-like
thrift shop apparel (though she can well afford better). Bright
and sequenced - very funny- if it wasn't my mom...
to her one-of-a-kind character, is her car. It's a Lincoln something
or other - eighteen feet long, six feet wide! She insists on driving
it because, as she says, she's "Scared to death of dose schmall
cars mit da plastic frame - you can git killed - dis is a gut
car, I get hit in dis at 40-50 miles an hour und I am fine."
She's said this same sentence - verbatim - since I could speak.
As politically incorrect, and obviously expensive (what with gas
at 2.00 - 3.00 a gallon) it is, the car is also comfy like a livingroom
- especially after the six-hour flight to get here. Not that I
really noticed - I was flying Delta and my own version of United
Airlines - I united a martini with a muscle relaxer of some sort
just to board the tin can of possible death - then popped another
of Dr. Gonzo's Brand aspirin with the mechanically separated chicken
dish dinner as my flatulent neighbor got "chatty." I
mom lives (retired) on the water in Ft. Lauderdale, and it is
beautiful. I get out of the car holding the petite poodle and
suddenly I am attacked by what can only be described as a flying
cockroach! I shielded myself with the husky little dog - What?
Heidi is fearless. Her papers may say French Poodle but her spirit
is Bowery Pit. My mom reminded me it's "just" a Palmetto
bug as she reached to rescue Heidi! Everything in Florida is a
palmetto; the palm trees, the state highway, the flying bugs!
I want to go home to the city where it's safe, and I miss my dogs,
and my feet are swollen, and I am hungry and
mom answered my swelling whining by making me some swell comfort
food. This woman can cook! As I finished the bacon and garlic
green beans (from her garden no less) I heard the faintest rhythm
leaking in through the patio screens - it was The Doobie Brothers'
"Takin' it to the Streets"
then it was positively
blasting from the darkness - the concerto of pot-head-post hippie-classic
rock meant only one thing - the invasion of my big brother! We
are very (very) different but we both really love loud
music when we drive - who knows why
came down from his big big house in his big big car to give me
a big big surprise - and he seemed to look "bigger."
Oddly, when I asked if he'd like to go get a cup of coffee, he
gave out a big big laugh. While many things moved forward in Florida
since my last visit, a cup of coffee after the ten o'clock hour
was still, it seemed, a novelty.
remembered a place called Lester's Diner - not too far either
- and off we speed or rather swayed - in his Expedition, or Suburban,
or Great White Way vehicle. Was a car/van/Winnebago this large
that necessary? Was he smuggling cattle?
My kingdom for some caffeine!
isn't real trendy - but it's sure fun. It's near the "docks"
or port and an eclectic group therefore swagger in. The gritty
staff is so 1950's Flo without realizing it and of course the
decor is that Fargo grease framed once-stylish postcard perfect
schmeltz - so it's cool. I told my brother my ex and I use to
come there allot for the strawberry pie. My ex. Should be my why?
Why did I ever go out with him? Oops! Shouldn't have brought him
up - I realized by look my brother's had since childhood he was
about to say something without thinking, inevitably ending in
me feeling real bad and him defensively asking, "What?
What I say?" Here it comes
He asked if I'd seen that film Adaptation.
Of course I had. And yes, I realized it was literally my ex that
was the center of the film. Well a studio version of my ex bumkined
up (my guy had teeth, thank you) for effect by Mr. Chris Cooper.
Heck they actually shot parts of the film at "his" nursery
'Jane's Herbs and Things' and Cooper was even wearing one of his
real life sweaty scummy baseball caps in a few scenes. Argh.
Can't I just have a bad relationship without it turning into a
film? My brother giggled -still- at what an odd couple we'd been.
I tried to explain how intelligent he was under the pot smoking
and the rare plant addictions
but he'd already switched thoughts
and my suffering love life was no longer of interest for discussion.
pie came and we fed like little piggies. I had not stopped eating
since I arrived. When I got back to my Mom's she'd set up the
spare room and already gone to bed. The room had that smell.
You know that "home" smell? For me it's a mixture of
Downy, bleach and Tiffany perfume (Mom's only brand). I turned
up the air conditioning and cuddled between the familiar sheets
(my mom never throws anything away). I could still hear the bugs
fornicating - loudly- outside my window and surprisingly they
didn't bother me a bit. Yep, even with the "jechak... jechak
and fsst-fsst-wchoo wchoo, crrkit bock crrkit" famously Floridian
sounds crescendoing - it was nice to be home - for
a few days at least.