Sunday, October 2, 2011

Don't Ask Don't Tell

Having a teenager in my life is a harrowing experience. I find my self wondering “How did our parents survive us?” I find it difficult to wrap my brain around what it must have been like to not have cell phones and pagers and social media to keep in touch with and keep an eye on children as they become young adults. I suppose as the universe expands so does global communication and it can all be viewed as part of our evolution or increasing consciousness. I for one am grateful for being able to text or call my fifteen year old daughter any time I get the urge, including times when it might feel intrusive or embarrassing to her. I am grateful for google maps and GPS devices so I can locate either of my kids whenever I choose to show up and interfere in their lives.

My relationship with my parents was quite different. Our parents were unable to check up on us as we roamed wildly, freely, dangerously and at times disastrously through our teenage years. The year I was sixteen I totalled one car and wrecked another car twice. It’s amazing that so many of us survived. Of course some didn’t and they are still missed. Car accidents and boating accidents and drug and alcohol related incidents and even suicide were realities that peppered my youth. Whenever I feel resentful or upset about growing old, I remember how lucky I am to be able to experience what we have right here and right now.

All of this rambling is an introduction to a story of one of the many great loves of my life. The whole premise of my blog is that while I have no single “soul mate” I honestly believe that I have had many relationships that were meaningful and dear and I will hold the passion and joy of each of my friends and lovers for whatever piece of eternity I experience.

David Baxter showed up at Jupiter High School at a time when my friends and I were moving rapidly through puberty and were ready to experience all that this part of our development had to offer. He was beautiful. Even those of us who had boyfriends couldn’t keep our eyes off of him. I am certain that I was not the only girl who was mesmerized by how the sunlight reflected off of his blond curly hair through the windows of Miss McAtee’s classroom. He was tall and tan and lean with classic surfer good looks and just looking at him from across the room you could smell the ocean and hear sea gulls. I doubt sincerely that he was as instantly attracted to me as I was to him, but before long I am sure I captured a special place in his heart as well. 

One adventure early in our relationship was amusing in hindsight. I was planning on going camping with my friend Paula and somehow ended up spending the night on the beach in a sleeping bag with David. There was nothing especially unusual about this. However, the next morning something rather unexpected happened. As the sun rose on the beach the sleeping bag became almost unbearably hot and I awoke happy to see that we were on the beach at poles and could cool off with a swim. I noticed a woman walking down the beach and as she came into focus I realized it was my mother. I was shocked and worried about how she would react. I had no explanation and felt trapped into sharing more than I wanted to with my mother. I nudged Dave and told him to put his jeans on. We wiggled into our clothes just as she walked up she said a big friendly “Hello” and offered us a ride home. Poor David must have been uncomfortable as hell, but I was pretty sure my mom would spare us our dignity. The way she handled it from this point was mind boggling.

We got in the car and she drove to Dave’s house and dropped him off cheerfully. I just sat in the passenger seat and waited for her to speak to me privately. I had no plan and just felt certain that if she spoke first I would figure out what to say and/or deny. When we got to the top of the bridge she said the most amazing thing. “Patti, I can’t tell you how relieved I was to see David with you this morning. When you girls camp out I sometimes worry, but knowing David was with you makes me feel like you had someone there to protect you”. I couldn’t even answer and there was no need to. She continued, “But if I were you, I wouldn’t mention it to your father. He might not understand.”

Truthfully neither did I, but I took the pass. Thanks to my mother’s involvement without interference my relationship with David evolved seamlessly. It was sweet and fun and felt completely natural. Eventually it ended and we remained friends. It was and is perfect.          

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Alligators Can't Climb Trees

I have a friend who sometimes borrows my memory. I really do have a rather remarkable memory. I can even remember things that never happened. I picture my deathbed much like the movie “Big Fish” with my kids trying to find out what parts of my life were true. That’s why I love that movie. It glamorizes liars. I try to tell the truth, but the truth grows. I justify my creativity by claiming that honesty is overrated. Just because a person is being honest doesn’t mean he knows what he is talking about. If we really want honesty in relationships, it’s not what we teach our partners. How did we expect the boys we dated to become good husbands?  

My friend asked me the other day if I would remember something for her. I wondered what she wanted to know. She looked a bit puzzled and said she thinks she has a memory of spending the night at my house and going to a party and there seemed to be a tree house somehow involved. Then she looked me in the eye and trustingly asked, “Did something like this actually happen?” 

Yes, and I remember it in detail. You were wearing my red bell bottoms with the big white polka dots. I wore a pale blue pair with a big Tshirt. We both wore sandals and long straight brown hair. We were going to Mike Mayo’s party. I was going to be with Clyde and you were with Jackie, I believe. Yes, he was very adorable. Or maybe it was Mike. He was cute too. We were probably about fourteen years old or younger. 

When we arrived we went into the garage and Innagadadavida was playing on the stereo. The boys asked us if we wanted to go for a walk. We did. We walked down by the river and sat on a sea wall and looked at the moon and stars reflected on the water. My white sandals were so bright against the dark river they almost glowed. It was a beautiful night. It’s so cool having a boyfriend. Do I really want a boyfriend? How do I know if he really likes me? Do I really like him?

Then the boys asked the question. Each of them asked the same question. Each of them asked it intimately; quietly; privately. It was the first time I had ever heard the question and I must admit a pivotal experience for me. “Do you want to go and see the alligator?” I instinctively knew this was some kind of code that would lead to heavy petting. I also knew this was a great way to find out how serious I wanted to be about this guy. So we all four walked back up the dirt road and past the garage and near a pond with a big tree next to it. Without discussion we all climbed the tree up to the tree house. There was enough room for three couples. 

We didn’t expect honesty. We liked our guys to be cute and creative and a little bit sly and deceptive. But then later we decided to really rake them over the coals for being all of those things. It’s funny really. I wonder how many of us would have gone if our boyfriends said “lets go up in the tree house and make out”? I suppose Mimi and I probably would have. It was just so much more fun to pretend and make it all more naughty. We were good girls doing bad things with cute boys. I guess that’s about as normal as rain.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Philosophical Ramblings

“No one can get out” are the words I hear as I leave 7-11 after buying gas, coffee and a Power Ball ticket. Those words are strangely seductive to me and I wonder if it’s because of his accent. Indian men have always made me feel safe. It’s possible that it is simply a chemical attraction based on the fact that it is the only demographic I am aware of and in contact with that hasn’t at some point betrayed me or been accused of it by me.

A few seconds before this, he had said “good luck” to me with such sincerity, it made me want to win just so I could share it with his store. Deciding what one believes is so personal and so intimate while at the same time being universal and broadly promoted. The problem with deciding is it cuts you off from the benefits of other ideologies. Or perhaps that is a benefit. But I do believe, if only for now, that being certain of some absolute is most likely a dead end. I don’t do well with endings. It’s very possible that Infinity is still my god. Meanwhile it ebbs and flows and I am grateful for the differences in culture and habits. So I don’t really know what it is with me and my Asian friends. It’s still evolving.

With the girls it’s a sense of humor thing. They find me funny and I love how they “get me”. With the guys they just are so open that they seem to be offering some kind of protection or sanctuary and the offer is so fulfilling that I never feel the need to call them out on it. I met a lovely Indian man on a plane a few months back. We talked about philosophy and writing. I told him that I had just started blogging and he told me that he had just published a book. We traded websites and I felt like I had a complete relationship as I left the plane.   I bought his book and love it and I’m sure he checks in on my blog from time to time.

What’s not perfect about that? It’s part of who I am now. I take it with me. I bought a poster the other day with a Zen proverb on it. It said “The obstacles are the path”. I had no idea what it meant. I bought it because I liked the picture and thought it was humorously confusing. But somehow today after picking up my coffee, it makes perfect sense.  I’ll just keep rolling on and hopefully being amazed at what the universe seems to be teaching me. For now I’m in a stage of being completely amazed and excited by just what is observable. And I am convinced that it is possible to know only the tiniest fraction of what is knowable. 

So while not making less of the undeniable truth that each of us is unique; it is also true that we are certainly unique just like everyone else. That makes me feel safe too.               

Saturday, August 27, 2011

She's like Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga

My daughter taught me how to be blond. The first time I attempted it I utterly failed and it’s taken me years before being willing to even try again. I grew up with dark hair which was perfectly fashionable in my youth. I never envied blond girls. I never believe the hair color ads that proclaimed “blonds have more fun”. When I started coloring my hair I used henna and through the years graduated into foils and truly inhuman shades of red, copper and burgundy. At times I attempted more “natural” shades of red and brown, but usually reverted to the carnival colors I was drawn to.

I recently took advice from someone who forced her way into my life in the most charming way. Once I became blond she just slipped away. This time it feels right. I picture myself owning this hair color for quite some time. I like the way my hair looks, but more importantly, I like the way I look. This may have more to do with learning to love myself than changing my hair color, but being blond is now part of the package and I’m hanging on to it for now.

This is actually about my love for my daughter and what she has taught me. She is blond and beautiful and charming and witty and compassionate. All of that just comes naturally to her. A unique combination of imperfect genes combined to create the perfect female child. I remember marvelling over her long fingers moving so gracefully just hours after her birth. She was instantly the epitome of femininity. I knew I would learn far more from her than she would from me. And yet she is truly a reflection of myself that is surprisingly wonderful to observe.

When she was not yet two years old I was watching her play in a wading pool with two other little girls. They were all so cute and having so much fun. I sat there looking at how happy and beautiful they were and realized that Brenda’s kids were slender from the belly down and my baby had saddlebag thighs and a round little rump. I lazily admired the shape of her tiny body until I suddenly realized that she was shaped exactly like me. It hit me like a ton of bricks how beautiful she was and how beautiful I must be too. It was so hard to accept that I only took a baby step at loving myself that day. Instead of buying into how perfect and beautiful my body must be I just gained a bit of comfort in the fact that I probably was not as repulsive as I thought I was.

Since that time nearly fourteen years ago my daughter has shown me more new ways to see myself than I could have possibly imagined. Seeing these parts of myself through her has been a gift that is immeasurable. I have come to realize that my love for her is boundless and so it should be with my love for myself. So I look at my daughter; my reflection, and I see so much to love. I see so much to admire. I see a perfectly imperfect and wonderfully talented and fun and special and remarkable woman.  For now she is blond.                

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lake Byrd Lodge

It was church camp. I think I was 13 the first year I went. I had a roommate named Brooke Mills. We had never met. I can't even remember where she was from, but we had matching sheets. It was a funny thing. My mom bought me sheets specifically for going to camp and they were yellow and white striped. What strange twist of fate caused Brooke and her mom to go shopping for camp and pick out the exact same sheets?

We had a blast being roomies. We shaved our legs in bed during horizontal hour. We talked about boys. We stayed up as late as we could past lights out laughing and singing together. We even became parners in crime to a small degree. We caught two of the counselors making out on the sofa next to our room and we used this to blackmail them into letting us break a few rules.

That first year at camp we went skiing and did lots of crafts and singing and dancing and we went to the movies. We had bug juice every day with our meals. We had mail call every day at lunch. It was every thing you expect from your first camp experience and more. We had a really amazing communion service that I'll never forget. We sang Kumbaya while carrying lit candles up the four three story stairways of the lodge and took CocaCola and potato chips for communion. It really was a spiritual experience for me.

And I met a boy. His name was Doug and he asked me to dance one night. While we were slow dancing he whispered to me, "You have the hip swing of a hula dancer". I figured that must be a compliment and I felt really admired. The next time we took a walk around the lake he kissed me. Imagine that. I had two spiritual experiences in one trip to summer camp.

Doug was from Indian Rocks Beach. I hope he is living happily ever after. He was a great kisser.            

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Why I Missed Father's Day

Why is Father’s Day so close to the first day of summer? Looking for a photo of my dad on Father’s Day triggered a series of emotional conflicts that I hope to not relive every year.   

I grew up knowing that my father was ill. He was in and out of hospitals for as long as I could remember and when he was at home he was always in pajamas. I never saw any of my friends dads in their pajamas. He was home more than my mom. She always had a “real” job. My dad was a newspaper photographer. He worked for several different newspapers through the years. I don’t remember ever having a newspaper delivered to our house though. Reading the paper was never encouraged in our home. Dad also was a salesman. He sold everything from household products to jewelry and cosmetics. It just didn’t feel “normal”. I suppose hardly anyone felt they had a normal family or childhood. I spent a good many years just ignoring my father as much as I could. It wasn’t easy because he was everywhere anything was happening and he honestly was my ticket to my most memorable experiences. His job took us to the Bahamas to play on the beach when I was about six years old. His job got me a poolside seat at the glamorous Shamrock Motel for a week with no parental supervision when I was about nine. My father’s job got me a press pass to the Colonades along with my best friend Alice the week of the Palm Beach Pops Festival when I was thirteen. That included breakfast with Don Brewer and Tea with King Crimson and even a face to face meeting with Janis Joplin. It wasn’t all bad.

My father never called me “Princess” or “Angel”. He called me “Ace” and “Tiger” when I was little and “Bird legs” as a teenager. My father never raised his voice. He never argued. He often voiced his opinion and then walked away refusing to listen to any rebuttal. My sister and I were taught from an early age that conflict wasn’t tolerated in our home and might have serious or even fatal consequences for our father. My occasional emotional outbursts were laid heavily with guilt. I can’t even estimate how many times I was told that I had shortened my father’s life. I don’t remember even taking it seriously, but it was always present. There was very little expected of us other than not upsetting our father.

My dad was demanding in his own way. It didn’t matter if I got good grades in school or excelled in sports or exhibits of talent poise and beauty. He just wanted me to know more words than any of my friends. I wasn’t happy the Christmas that he got me a dictionary and a thesaurus. I just can’t get past the idea that no one really cares how many words you know. What good is it anyway if you can say things in a way that hardly anyone understands? I admit it helps with listening and it pays to be able to be articulate with a variety of individuals, not just those who grew up in the same neighborhood. Thanks Dad.    

My father knew everyone and everything that was going on in the town we lived in. It was his job. I had no idea that my friends admired that about him. I had no idea that when I run into old friends from my childhood they might still have a newspaper clipping that they treasure from the local weekly rag that my dad worked for. I had no idea that my friends wished that their dads would give all the kids a ride to JTJC. I was clueless about the value of my father’s presence. I didn’t save any of his stuff. It never occurred to me that someday I would miss it. I now have a list of things that I didn’t hold on to that I would love to have today. But what I learned only recently is that none of those things that I didn’t save could fill the void of what life would have been like if he wasn’t always present; If he hadn’t been the guy taking pictures in the end zone of every football game. Strangely, the memory of going to the newspaper office after hours the night I totalled my car two days after getting my driver’s license and having my father be the one to call the ambulance and make the police report, is now remarkably comforting. I don’t really need the poster or the Tshirt. I have a piece of my father in my soul. It’s not just in my DNA. It’s a part of how I think and live and make decisions. It’s not about the dictionary or the thesaurus, but it is about words and what they represent and how much power they have in defining who we are and how others perceive us.

My father died on June 21st 1977. It wasn’t a big surprise. I found him on the living room floor in his pajama bottoms. I was 22 years old and had been prepared for this my entire life. No one outside of our family knew my father was always dying. I think maybe that was because he was busy showing us how to live. The truth is I am not a princess. I am not an angel. I most certainly am beyond any imaginable doubt my father’s daughter. 


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Old Fort Jupiter Road

Tomorrow I am going to a memorial for Dave Wakefield. I haven’t seen Dave in forty years. I just recently added him to my friends list on FaceBook. Each time I find someone I knew long ago it triggers memories, emotions and imagery. When I added Dave it felt like I was back on Old Fort Jupiter Road.

Old Fort Jupiter Road on Pennock Point had all the best of Jupiter in one place. Jupiter was a sort of redneck surfer sportsman American dream community. Any ambition was easily rewarded there in the 60s and 70s and if you lacked ambition you could just settle down and coast on the success and ambition of the community’s movers and shakers. I’m not even sure if growing up in Jupiter  is a unique slice of the baby boomer experience, but we sure feel special today. At the time it was just life. We knew nothing different. We could go surfing before school and fishing after. On Pennock Point the families who lived there had it all. They had the river and a bit of acreage and privacy without encroaching zoning and HOA restrictions. The dirt road kept the traffic down. Still, I remember ruining several tires driving irresponsibly out there. It was hot and humid and jungle like. South Florida wildlife thrived out there. The families who lived out there seemed to also.

As I turn onto Old Fort Jupiter Road I pass the Horne residence on the right. Wilson Horne was strict and demanding. As a retired military officer his presence was respected and feared. On a lighter note, it is my opinion that Billy and Dawn learned about rebellion from their mother Alma. I learned the value of diplomacy from Alma Horne. She also taught me to appreciate Mexican food. As I continue driving down the street I pass the Adnot family home on the left. John and Ginette raised a brood of achievers. I’m pretty certain that no Adnot partook in any activity that they weren’t destined to master. I remember learning to love French pancakes at the Adnot home. As I continue down Old Fort Jupiter Road I eventually arrive at the Wakefield home. Cheryl was my age. She had a bunch of brothers. They were tall and blond and all American looking. They were a fun loud and friendly bunch of down to earth folk. 

I remember my father asking me if I was going to Wakefield’s party one night when I was about fifteen years old. He told me that if I was going, he wouldn’t. My dad hung out at some of the teen parties and we avoided being at the same parties because it was just weird being at a party and having your dad show up. I did my first hit of acid at Wakefield’s party. I remember Doug Brooker doing a comedy routine on the back porch. I also remember sitting on the sofa with Dennis Gelsomino and asking Fanger for a cigarette. He offered to light it for me and then threw it to me. I watched the lit cigarette twirl through the air from the kitchen to the living room and I became fixated and enthralled by the sparks that crackled on the end of that cigarette. By the time it landed in my lap I was completely hypnotized until Dennis yelled at me that I was getting burned. Sure enough. I had a lit cigarette laying on my right thigh and a hole had already burned through my jeans and was working on my flesh. I still have a small scar. But no regrets.

There was something pure and innocent about those years. We really were oblivious to our own mortality. We watched our classmates die untimely deaths and we mourned our losses, but we still felt somehow invincible. And somehow we were and are. 

RIP Dave. It was a great run.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Red Lace and Spiced Rum

I’ve liked this title and wanted to use it for a few weeks. I just wasn’t sure what it was going to be about. It reminds me of so many things and they are seemingly unrelated but the phrase itself is so sexy and so perfectly personal I just had to start rambling about it and see where it leads me. 

Red lace is of course beautiful and mysterious and a bit seductive also. But of course red lace isn’t only “red lace”. It also is anything that is laced with red. It could be sweet juicy watermelon or bloody sheets or even Kool Aid spilled on a linoleum floor.  It’s that image of a kitten playing with red yarn on your white carpet. It is often delicious like poured syrup from a cherry jar over a grapefruit half. I think red laced grapefruit would be a really lovely and elegant menu item. Red lace curtains certainly evoke a very specific and unique combination of emotions. I’m not sure if I really want to go there. Red lace also reminds me of red leather and that leads me down a completely different trail. That is one I really do want to examine.

Red leather takes me not just into the past, but a to a whole different world that’s tentatively available just a few hours south. That world is Key West. It really is almost impossible to imagine it accurately unless you’ve been there. I promise I’ll do the best I can to make this realistic. But it will only be as accurate as my own memory allows. It’s my truth, which I’ve been told is often full of exaggeration and at times borders on hallucination. 

But Key West and I have much in common and for whatever reason I feel qualified to share my Key West ramblings with you today.

You don’t have to drive the entire long creepy “Twilight Zone”esque bridge that looks like it’s going nowhere to start to get that Key West feeling. That might be what justifies the long narrow road that gets you there. You have to experience Key West in layers. As soon as you hit Key Largo your blood pressure drops, your mind drifts, your muscles relax and a noticeable weight floats right out of the top of your head. By the time you get to Islamorada you start craving fresh seafood and rum runners. Although it doesn’t really have to be rum runners but any tropical alcoholic beverage. It could be Mai Tai or Voodoo Punch or even Pina Colada in any fruit flavor you choose. You can get that frozen or on the rocks and even though I always order on the rocks when I’m inland, once I get as far south as Islamorada I start ordering frozen. I even take the goofy little cocktail umbrellas and place them in my hair.

The long bridge to Key West has some colorful little stops known as the upper keys but the main purpose of each of these points is to help you relax and let go and become that other version of yourself. The board just slides out of your ass. Your guilt and anxiety drift out of reach. You suddenly can’t take yourself seriously and the people around you are fascinating and creative and appear just as relaxed and comfortable as you feel. By the time you get to Key West you will be hypnotized enough and intoxicated enough to accept the lessons Key West has to give you. I mean this in a completely loving and accepting way. Being seduced and indoctrinated is not always a bad thing. I don’t regret for a minute what I have taken from these experiences. It was worth every minute of the drive over the longest bridge of identical scenery imaginable. Or is it unimaginable?  

Then you arrive and it's so much more than you imagined. The Island itself exudes an aesthetic that is vibrant and vital. You can feel it through your entire body while you are there and it doesn’t go away. It’s completely pleasant and comforting. You recognize everyone you see on Duval Street as a unique and creative individual. You feel that everyone sees your own creative uniqueness too. There is no pressure to prove yourself or promote yourself. You are here. You’ve arrived. You are on Key West. Here you are in the most dreamlike tropical setting surrounded by these relaxed and comfortable creative and carefree strangers and it hits you....

Key West wants you to remember that your life is your greatest and most ambitious art form. If your life isn’t beautiful and symmetrical and perfectly balanced there is no reason to beat yourself up. Key West reminds you that your life is beautiful in it’s uniqueness. It is the perfect reflection of who you truly are. If it’s slightly or greatly off kilter it is even more interesting.

Key West will teach you that perfect isn’t pretty and many things are pretty perfect in this very real place that only seems imaginary. Your life is your most simple and complex artistic statement. No matter what that statement is and no matter how you have chosen to present that statement it is yours and it doesn't need an audience.
It is free and at peace. It is at home and comfortable being viewed and experienced in Key West.

Key West lets you know that your life, your artistic statement, can be anything as long as it’s yours. It is color on canvas or graffiti full of angst. It’s the sound of a violin or a majestic marching band. It is truth combined with soul. It isn’t the cold hard facts. It’s the heartfelt vision of the artist. With no criticism in sight, this art form seems invincible. That is the only shortcoming of the school of Key West. Because in truth life is quite fragile. Life is way too short and regrets are inevitable. But the lesson you have learned here is still invaluable because Key West has let you in on a truly liberating secret.... 

You don’t have to decide to create a beautiful life. 

You've already done so.  

new poem by Chel


Like buttons on a gaming controller-
Why are you allowed to push the ones in my life?

Who gave you permission?
Put you in charge?

How can you seem so unaware?
Always pushing me closer to the edge?

Claiming all along that you love me.
Casting me out and reeling back in.

Define insanity...........

Don't you know that you will never succeed?


Sunday, May 15, 2011

This story really never ends.....

Pete and Repeat  were in a boat. Pete fell out who was left?
That joke is a classic. I first heard it from Peter Mullally. I honestly believe that knowing Peter refined my sense of humor. This guy was a rockstar and a ninja and wasted no effort letting anyone know who he is. He could quiet a room full of people as they waited to hear what he would say next. He always had the perfect one liner and never missed a beat to provide the perfect punchline. 

I have a list of Classic Pete comments and stories that are not easy for me to present. But I will try to convey them as best I can. I fear some are the “You had to be there” type of stories. We’ll see.

One story....

One day I had been arguing with Peter about how lazy he is. There really wasn’t much of an argument. He asked me to do something for him, I said he was lazy and he said “am not”. That was pretty much it and I wandered off to another part of the house. I left him in my bedroom in front of a portable TV that might have been turned on and might not have been. A few minutes later he called me back into the room. He was jumping on my bed. I was kind of amazed. It wasn’t really something you would expect of Peter. Once he arrived he rarely moved except to light a cigarette or go to the bathroom. That’s probably not fair and me just trying to win the old argument that never happened, but I was surprised to see him jumping on the bed. 

He was kind of wild eyed and crazy and was saying how high he could jump. But I was scared. I quietly asked him to stop before he hurt himself. I begged him to stop and he kept jumping higher and harder. I finally yelled at him. “You’re going to break your neck!” He stopped. I was so relieved. Then he asked me to hand him a pillow to put on his head in case he hit the ceiling. For some reason this made perfect sense to me and I handed him a pillow. He put the pillow on his head and the stuffing from the pillow fell down to both sides leaving his head completely unprotected. he jumped as hard as he could and hit the ceiling and fell in a heap on the bed and rolled off onto the floor. I thought he might be dead. I shouldn’t have laughed. But it was so absurd I couldn’t help it.

Another story.....

One time we are all playing pool at my house. Peter’s girlfriend was mad at him as usual and he was ignoring her (also as usual). Cindy kept whining and pouting and she was getting really worked up and he just kept playing pool and joking around with the guys. I knew something was going to happen and I figured eventually Cindy would be reduced to tears. So the more he ignored her the more upset she got and her face was turning red and her eyes were welling up.

Finally he turned to Cindy and said “Your face is so red, if your stuck out your tongue you would look like a hemorrhoid.” Even though it was hysterical no one laughed. It wasn’t just the line. It was the delivery and the timing and the whole scene. It was classic Peter. Just like the joke that never ends.

Okay, here’s one more..... 

One day, Pete showed up at our house. He told my mom that he wrote a poem and he wanted her to read it. I knew he was up to something, but kept my mouth shut. He handed my mom a piece of notebook paper that was covered front and back with writing and my mother read it. When she was done she said “Peter, that is beautiful. You wrote this by yourself? My, you are very talented”. He smiled graciously and thanked her for the complement. He took the notebook paper back and tucked it into his pocket. 

He started to walk away and turned back to my mom and said “I also wrote music to go with it”.
Then he began to sing. He sang the first verse of the song “Both Sides Now”. At first my mother was completely engaged then she started to look puzzled and eventually you could almost see the light bulb go on over her head. She shook her head and told him she’d heard it before. Peter just shrugged his shoulders and moved on.  

I guess you had to be there. I’m glad I was.