LAST LAUGH CLI


B.E. has an old pocketknife - it could be 2 or 3 decades old - he spins it noisily on the coffee table where he has played solitaire 3 decades since his retirement from Standard Oil - he spins it lengthy repetition on the bar between kitchen and livingroom of the house he and Lyla built in 1958. If Lyla turns on the blender to fix his vitamine drink the house turns so noisy I cannot well hear the insane citizens calling in on C-SPAN. My father repeats he has had this knife since he was a kid and his old cat is fascinated with it when he spins it. It does not matter actual fact here, he is cheerful. B.E. spins it and he studies the spin, and I wonder, as with his solitaire I have to wonder, is he doing something secretly, maybe even partly unconscious? A time or so, I have heard B.E. speak of shooting craps wherein he sometimes intuited which way the dice would land before they did stop, back in his hard working youth, and in early marriage with sudden kids he was nervous but gambled a bit. I can remember, age five before Kelly the last kid was born, our father being out all night somewhere and our mother telling a passerby on sidewalk - guess it was a little trip to the Ingleside grocery store - she did not know where he was. My memories by now go way past either parent's, and I expect they would deny that one.

Out in the gallery afearing Medicine is Monk, a Siamese type who does not enter this part of the house when Medicine is here, does not slip past sliding glass door between gallery where B.E. and Lyla now sleep and the living room. Lya1's lab Y watches from the gallery's glass door, Lyla's idea he and Nedicine keep apart in the house and not fight, though I run them in the brush together, simply permit no fussing and they will sometimes play together. Gray Cat (Lyla had him neutered like Monk and calls him G.C.), a maturing macho cat who was a starving kitten who came yowling out of the brush at me and Medicine one evening and followed us a quarter mile to here, is used to Medicine and passes back and forth in these two parts of house.

Life is tragicomedy and hell and mystical and home of the braver. Just the other day I was thinking my right wrist I broke something in spilling off a galloping horse and regrabbing him and riding bareback for Elizabeth Baca's eye this old racehorse in 1970, has not hurt for years (ah, possibly for two). Two or three years after it had happened, one day for first time I observed this gap at top of wrist when I pull the hand under. Then on phone with cynthia who was running off with our nursing infant, and Madrea will be 18 Oct. 2, with an electrician, I who had. habit of punching any wall crushed the fist on the cinder block wall of my parents' house. That was another bill B.E. (man of grudges, says I have cost more than all the other kids put together) got for me, where the xray showed the wrist has a broken bone unhealed. Funny is my life, women damage me because I am easy and romantic and broke. While, funny, I am only going to be on the Earth if I can be male. Today, July 15, the wrist took to hurting very much, somewhere inside regarding the use of the thumb. I am powerful and quick but age 61 in September I am gathering arthritic pains - they come and go, and come back. Probably, more of the physical universe is viral than scientists yet know, and arthritis is viral probably, and mine is the capacity to overcome all this. Man evolves to affect man's destiny. If I did not have Medicine Dog I could be verging morbid depression. But I keep getting along.

Tamara is in town between semesters working on boats. She has deserted me, but then I am this dangerous looking guy in ragged clothes on a bicycle with a leashed killer dog and she gave him to me but she prefers he not get in her car, and her best friend with whom she stays in town:, and gives morale comfort to in wrecked marriage, fears Medicine and me both, regardless her three fine sons like us and especially Medicine. I am wondering why in Port Aransas it is appearing to me kids and teenagers do not fear Medicine, and like, that he is a pitbull, and want to pet him, and it is adults, usually over thirty who fear him. Praise to the next generation, meantime a woman can do a rethink when she understands none of her TV fed semi-literate peers are running after an unsocial ragged brute on a mere bicycle, would some ask for a ride had he a big motorcycle he lived with not a pitbull. Culture is a funny thing. Maybe in Mexico or France or Denmark or a more sexually liberated land. Too, Tammy is busy, needs the money, really gets off on doing manly work among rednecks - too bad in the life is short working class the chemical cigarettes have to be part of the canned beer breaks, though her lungs were punctured in her accident three years back or is it more. Twice I have encountered her on the street she sees me first and honks and pulls on over and blames herself for everything and I see she is having a good time. Last time Medicine put some scratches on her muddy car and I guess that pissed her. She is this big curvy Sagitarious, restless, hot tempered, giddy, female, at large between semesters; her kids with her mom.

I am spooky and all folks need to be true to self of course.

Jim and Bob do not change much. Bob was summoned to Jury duty as I had been and I said tell them the truth and they will not use you. Yet, he did not, and went over there, Sinton or Taft less than forty miles from coast, and they informed him that things had been called off for that day, and they handed him the date on which he was to return. After he had gone and done all this and got back here the second time, of some dull case I cannot recall what he said about it, he popped a bunch of his antipsychotics. He slurred when I inquired how did it go. Bobby, the alert son, came in with a couple of tallboys, next Robert sipping his had to go to the front porch to barf. Authority has warned him, do not drink with his medicine. Jim was saying why don't I buy him and me some beer and I responded pull your change together and go walk down there and buy yourself a bottle of Hurricane (which I get him) because I need to eat and am nearly broke. Ahh, sput-t.

A difficulty in Jim's walking anywhere now, inside the house, sitting in swing on porch, is his pants fall down. To go from the house, to John's house couple addresses down to ask for his weekly $10 of his Vietnam vet money, then cross another couple addresses a street over past the Vietnam Vet bar to the Stop'n Go, his pants have to be cinched drastically about his groin, prohibiting a single fart. He may fart on arrival back at his porch swing, with the economy size package of corn chips. One dry fart the pants fall down, that fast. I have not conclusion. why from his humiliating $10 a week he will rarely use $2 to get a quart of Hurricane malt liquor. He has in his room a pile of coins I know could get many Hurricanes, and I know he still can count. Pants Falling Down Man reserves weird shit. If he rises from porch swing to clutch doorknob, the other hand must same instant lift pants.

July 29 of 2001 I would have retured with Medicine to the island but Lyla was stricken with pain and had me dial 911. She was taken to Spohn hospital in Corpus Christ and operated on for perforated bowel. 0ne 1950 week more she is out of intensive care and has a room with a phone, agitated to get back to her care of her husband. She will bear a colostomy at minimum three months. People call or visit and I do what is needed with B.E. He asks about her, sometimes every five or ten minutes, but in repetition he retains much of it, that she is in the hospital, and till I can get him into his bed at night. I cannot sleep in the gallery in Lyla's bed with cat dandruff, and pull a mattress downstairs within call from him, sleep without my music, long he with sharp ears has snarled about my music.in that house. I have to keep the cordless phone handy, and the two phones ring he yells: Telephone! Lylas husband had been physically through much, including some cancer, and lately taken a fever from a kidney infection, when her latest catastrophe knocked her back down. She had been slowly repairing from her broken hip, early morning take a walk picking up trash the trailer people are always tossing on this brushy road, walking with her staff, had done the petition getting up these two new stop signs on North McCampbell at Jacoby, for from Jacoby alongside our fenced yard rednecks have smashed into the brush. Consequently, kids or drunks keep destroying the N. McCampbell stop signs meant to protect them from bigger drunks who cannot make the turn. In wee hours they bash or jerk with trucks these signs. One I heard going to it with a sledge hammer. They do not know who is the enemy, too runk. The city of Aransas Pass speedily puts the stop signs back up. Lyla believes in this dementia they are dumping more trash for her to pick up. Said she was picking up trash and this vehicle came alng and tossed out more in the day. The perforated bowel pain was the greatest pain in her experience and had whelmed her upon her return from walk picking up trailer trash in her plastic bag to put into our garbage.

Lyla had gone in for the operation two days before she was to take B.E. for checkup in Aransas Pass, and Kelly came and did that. I went to Port A then to get practically half my stuff, and slam in fridge an 18 pack for Jim. Bob was oddly out somewere. Jim lay in bed spread on belly, pants twisted at his ankles. The air conditioning is only in the living room, a blanket pinned tween livin room and kitchen. Hey, Jim, are you just never going to amount to SHIT! Uh. Ah, fuck, might as well get a beer, don't you think. He heard that. Had not had a beer in maybe two weeks. I got to go back to Aransas, Jim. My mother is in the hospital and my father is worse off than she is! I went to musing over what of my stuff to grab and Jim leaned from this middle bathroom doorway, can of Reddog: Both your parents are sick?

Bonnie and KelIy have fretted can I manage duties with two invalid parents. Mike Olive could come from Boulder back in but it depresses Mike, and Kelly did note that I already am living in a situation of depression. Indeed, Lyla and B.E. are merely old. Our father wishes to not shower once a week, and Lyla wants him to wear this diaper. His false teeth are supposed to be put overnight in water and then with this glue back into his face, but I see he eats and sleeps with them without glue. Kelly says they can fall out at night, well fine, take them out at night then. Fact is with me alone here he has not had any problem in the nights, teeth in minus glue even so. He is desiring a beer and in that fashion of his working man's constitution how he lived his life he eats and sleeps better, but beer is a dehydrator thus a no-no. The hospital told Kelly Lyla was dehydrated. I said pain does that to anybody.

Now I am catching a lot of funny international stuff off TV and seeing a lot of boxing, which my father will look at these days he lets me turn to what interests me on television, and this is simpler than my trying to read or write while looking out for him. But Madrea while here had picked up this decades old paperback of Mike 0live's, DIALOGUES OF PLATO, with inscription from Mike: A good mind, but clarity and logic are not the only path; possibly, not even a really good one. Madrea read a bigger part of it before returning to Florida. Ignorant of p1ato and curious what had got my kids attention, I had taken it up before present family calamity. Plato writes about his teacher Socrates who never wrote but very hardy he walked the streets barefoot in a woolen garb and put plurocrats on the spot and was around age 60 executed in a charge of corrupting the youth, given hemlock to drink which, disregarding offer of help from friends of escape, he drank in a smile. I'm little past midway in the book and translation appears poor. Socrates seems to be a law and order man or patriotic but besides any of that he is calm in the metaphysical. Talking of being neighborly or non-violent a couple of centuries before birth of Jesus and talking rebirth in a vein of Gautama who was maybe born couple centuries earlier than Socrates, it is his logic put to his fellows in wee hours before he in law and order chooses to die, his ease with the eternal soul I appreciate. Sure he is rigid in his citizenry and I who do not respect law by man would have escaped and raised hell later, but Socrates is a good guy who knew the soul, is no mere spark gone through the night. The mystery is how ever can it happen so called scientists and Christians or anyone can think life or soul can go poof and be gone. As the man said, a newborn smiling at his mothers face has memory.

Has me think of this anti-abortion frenzy and blood lust clear into the stem cell fear and loathing. Bix tells me he sees some Democrat hack say to a Republican hack this is nuts and Democrats and Republicans present are all embarrassed somebody has lost control or etiquette or fairness or bullshit-in-the-instance, both sides go quiet, ahem. Yessir, them babies sent back to Heaven, we do not truck reincarnation, our God is pissed, what if He does not even bring them back to Heaven, how many billions of little harp twanging cherubs do we need up there anyway.

Are these poor bastards saying when a body is cloned its soul is too? Wha?

Is somebody infering when an embryo dies its soul is not sent to Heaven? This is closet atheism?

Cousin Crate called when I was trying to rinse hair in shower but I am on call melting cheese into tomato soup for B.E. Crate sounded exuberant in his new life with new wife. I understand she is an old friend and this suddenly happened. Before he got the whole enchalada he had been having a tough time, his brother-in-law who was his best friend died of cancer, his mother died then his sister died of cancer. Years back his Mexico City wife died of cancer and they have one daughter with children, too re. LL Mexico connection and reality. Crate who travels with a group of Mexico friends sees no difference in aims of Democrats or Republicans. He witnesses in sundry lands off tourest path, and in Mexico more humans living out of refuse heaps hungrier than rats. Crate sees a bewildered Bush. The gouged leading the gouged and hell to pay world wide. Our talk I related to one I had with Bix who seeing old high school friends at the photo session was startled they had all voted for Bush and all claim happiness and attend church, and Bix said he is not happy, and one old friend told him to go through the minister at church to get a wife.

Lyla has been in the hospital nearly two weeks as I scribble up here on the deck in spotty oak shade drinking chardonnay watching the corner traffic. Bonnie has come from California and gone back, sat nights with our mother, slept in reclining chair doing hands-on healing and Bonnie who, this September 16 turns 58 has been working full time but now studying also to become an M.D. Kelly 0live is in and out, will drive from Sequin this evening, Friday. Mike 0live is out in Colorado mountains on an 0utward Bound trip but, if I in minor chaos understand, will be here in the later month to help in the care of our parents. Lyla is thinking she should be out in less than a week, is getting much better.

I had thought to talk on about a religion what fears God, in our sad land, or more on talk Bix had with old classmates. But up here on the deck so secure I regather and re. LL, that I have been living and writing this already, Bob Brundrett sent Swaggart $100 of his pittance per month till Swaggart got caught fucking whores or whatever was he doing with them re. Swaggart by Seaman, now Billy Graham gets Bob's $100 every month on schedule. I notice off Bob's box fore I slammed my door how Graham had integrated his congregation- smart move Billy. I always prefer to see the ethnic groups getting along, cut the dumb shit.

Bonnie was in Bix's grade and they have mutual friends therein, old classmates who vote Republican and profess to fear THE BIG MAN IN THE SKY. Their old friends believe God likes the U.S. best, that to be Republican is to be among the fittest. Like in Darwin, though minus evolution in the circumstance of the human being. That God has left it to politics as to the winners and losers.

For three decades my parents have had a perfect neighbor in Pat, a pretty woman who firstly was married to Sammy, the preacher Mack could not abide, re. LL CXXXXVII. Life is experience for Pat and she now is married to Jesse, a Mexican (U.S.), and Jesse's ailing mother lives in home on property, though pat had been raised to not like Melicans. Within all this experience of hers, Pat, a blond, remains much as before, not too fat, pretty, young looking.

Bonnie took off from staying with her mother in the hospital to do a dinner for us, Daddy and me and Bix and Richard Hatch, though his wife Nancy had to stay with some grandkids, and Bonnie's best friend from high school, Connie, who was also close with their vanished Joan Oailine re. past chapter. Pat, and Jesse, are attentive to our parents, and a little before the food I on some wine was loud with Hatch and Bix and Pat dropped in. Bonnie and Daddy are averse to my being outspoken which never slows me of course. I queried our attractive neighbor Pat as to her feelings on the incredible stem cell debate, in a lack of information she was anything nearly so gnarled as her ex Sammy. Pat had been enjoying herself sitting among the house, talking to B.E., comfortable, intelligent. But in reply to me she said something or other about the Bible, and next instant Bonnie sprang inveighing PAT IS A CRISTIATIAN, BILL. Hell, said I, I may be, too. Jesus spoke truth, same as did Buddha, Socrates, hell yes, love is the way. Ah, I forget the exact context I'd asked Pat did she think these stem cell babies could die, for I did not see how they could being the soul is eternal and Hatch butted in with how do I know the soul is eternal, and I waved to him the soul is not even physical so how is it going to begin or end, and whatever I had been attempting to get from dear Pat was lost, Hatch saying he has been learning from Billolive forty year or something like that. Bix asked Pat was Budha who is a nice guy going to Hell and she smiled oh yes a 1ot of good people are going to Hell.

Ah I did wave arms at Pat that God is not cruel. Why is all this dumb shit tiptoed around. Not in Europe but in the U.S. can this rabid religion cause kids to shoot their parents for rape. They should be shot, but point is tiptoeing around dumb shit is weak, sick unto greater malady. He11 I did pat good. Much better than television. Well, honestly, I did already know she gets depressed frequently. Yeh, there is something to her. Amazing.

August 20 in 2001 Bill Blackolive returned to the old Brundrett house corner of Brundrett and 0leander. I had figured it more likely I would still be in Aransas Pass but Lyla is back after three weeks and the siblings evidently think I need a break and Mike can do it. These procedures are pushed through before any family member tells me anything. In real life Medicine and I are more relaxed about law and order in Aransas Pass than we are in Port Aransas, which is cop grown, senior citizenry TV cult grown, cops dregs of barrel get fired in Dallas or Houston come here, get even fatter driving around harrassing teenagers or partying sons and daughters of locals who be under age of fifty. Supported by the mounting throng of TV raised retirees come here, age sixty and up. Surely Port Aransas, the pith, is ungovernable. There shall come one hurricane. We wait, the ambience of pirates and Karankawas never shifts. Medicine Dog and I come on in and I tossed an 18 pack into Jim's lap and the living room held an amount of flowing debris after three weeks naturally and in the edge of the kitchen table pile stank carrion of two take-out chickens Bob brings per week after pentacostal church in Corpus, third carrion in the fridge, all of it picked and stinking plenty that Medicine get it. Ppresently, Jim babbled cheerily. Bob as ever stoically pointed toward the box. Body odor of psychosis right heavy. I and Medicine went into our room and closed door and turned on classical music with wine. Funny how little some of us need in order to cheer up. Except for possibly Mary Jo, the daughter, Jim's family just could never focus on the needs of 5 sons. Prosac and antipsychotics, he is depressed unto sundry grades of degraded morbidity. Pants down and seat of jockey underwear ripped. Allow this man uno sixpack a week he cheers. Switches fair to middling then the beer is out. Our civilization is purely insane. Authority is no good is my message.

There is a hard dog story in Aransas. I was writing it as it went but it has worn me emotionally and is too long an account for this LL about my mother's going back to hospital.

First address in brush of N. McCampbell past Jacoby lives Rainna age 10 and above average. She lives with her biker mom Kelly in a trailer setup on a couple of acres which held emus, ostrich type birds for eggs and meat, guess it did not pay off or the husband took off with the cash or no telling. The emus are gone but Kelly who has a couple teenage sons here or there, has let live and "work" there a couple of young outlaws, meth or pot of just auto repair. An abused male young pitbull had showed, couple weeks before I met him. He was sharp hipbones as I saw him, gaining weight. I was taken, as he needed us, locked forelegs around my leg and Medicine liked him. These trailer folks told me when first you reached to pet him he cringed. I suppose he is eight months to a year, he suddenly dropped his balls. Moving in the brush with me and Medicine and Y, he is a hunter, distracted. e has good lines, hips like Medicine or Sue's wolfish pup Sissie. In particular I was taken in the friendship between him and Medicine, no matter he dropped his balls. "Polo," says Rainna, more character than "Bolo," as this young fellow put it. Twice I gave polo chickenbacks, and Medicine, he took chickenbacks from Medicine's mouth. Like I say, sometimes pitbulls can be wolf.

He bonded with us. I would lock him in the fenced portion to keep him out of digging into Lyla's plants in her courtyard. Then I would return him down the street. Lyla was adamant that "we" can't have anymore dogs. It tore me, I was about to keep him. I did not care for raising him without Lyla's front yard - could get him to Port Aransas and shake the Men's Club and police force and town of senior TV addicts. Bix would not take polo, he contributed would not it be funny at the Mens Club that Billolive has two pitbulldogs, while I had already thought of that mildly amusing factor. When the cop/town fear is plenty to scare me. Two pitbulls leashed round block break of dawn. Take them to Charlie's pasture or way down the beach in the day, gasolene and tension. Have polo roped out from truck during the day, or night, as it is by my window. Too bad the truck is not afforded monetarily by the elder son (Nature Boy)(Wolf Boy - in her romantic preface of me Karl read, Ann said I said I am half wolf, maybe I did say that) any repairs Kelly or Lyla get that I stay on hand for these emergancies. Yeh, first I thought my woman would fix the truck. Lyla cannot hear anything I say about polo. There I was telling Kelly I would keep polo tied to truck in the front and Lyla would never have to see polo and Lyla and Kelly fix the truck. It is good to have Lyla back from the hospital again, meantime polo is disappeared, teenagers or what, in the United States pitbulls are being grabbed several fold more than any other breed, they escape again, and in the bigger cities they overflow the dog pounds. Joy did send me these statistics, thousands, I forget now, can not find this she sent, many times more than any other breed. The strange trailer people had thought maybe he got back to me and Medicine but no, and Rainna's jaunty mom Kelly suggests this low life neighbor she thinks stole hers and her husbands emus got him maybe, had him to start how he was mistreated. Some degenerate should be shot, but, I am thinking, not him. I had a connect with polo, and am not feeling too bad, nor Medicine. I suspect some teenagers are being nice enough to him. But it is time, could say through this amazing labor of Jones, I get to my hind feet, to take on a partner for Medicine. Possibly polo will comeback too. Oh, sure, he is a hunter likely a fighter, but he does not have the spookiness, the humor, the brilliance canine, Medicine possesses, but what domesticated dog does.

Lyla has paid me $400, first a $300 and a week further she threw in a $100, something about $100 a week for me and $150 for Mike, for our help, though seems to me I am not doing much. Heavens, more for Madrea, and,return from Aransas Pass to Port Aransas some more Reddog for Jim, who, oddly this time had, cleaned much of the pile of cans and rotted remains and trash in the kitchen, in prophecy/hope of beer coming maybe it was. Mike Olive is doing everything now but the garden stuff I do in the swelter like one hour. Mike can miss reality - we all can - but is an industrious free spirit our father has picked on more as Mike has been adult. B.E. only picks on me because I never get a job, but as any two family members in any family have a different relationship than do any other two, B.E. will pick on Mike be he financially responsible or not. Bonnie is the daughter, though Virgo with Aries Moon like B.E. and I are, is the other one who does not coddle B.E., is close to him but she will snap at him if he rudely pronounces on her personal concerns. The third son Kelly was the football success and is a man made good and the sensible and sensitive son. Mike of any family member has been less on B.E. wave length, tries too hard, is not conscious of it. As a kid,, Mike always unwittingly worked at it too, though B.E. was not then picking on him. And B.E. is unaware he is picking on him forty years too of course. Lyla was wondering to me right before Mike got here and came and got her from the hospital whether Daddy would be picking on Mike this time, thinking maybe Daddy would be too disconnected by now. No, not quite, he still goes at it, just more off the wall than ever, misunderstood something Mike spoke at a supper and face screwed up "in this most ugly way he does," snarled at Mike that his opinion is worthless. Lyla was whispering at Mike to "just ignore it, just ignore it." Which Mike does anyway, will not flare as Bonnie or I might. Now B.E. is not wanting to get out of bed but he still may twist rude at Mike. Yes, Dear Reader, your grand character B.E., U.S. twentieth century working class personality, is fading. He will sit up on edge of his bed counting his forty some odd dollars or looking for his wallet and likely now not get all the way up to weakly shuffle on into the living room, likely now he will choose to lie back down. Yesterday he lost his slippers for some hours as they were inside his sheets. Lyla his cosmic lover will be watching this, saying if he goes she is not then caring to live. Already she has been herself on the mend, not now using this walker, but starting to do things. Her husband has taken to using her walker.

Around 1968 or 1970, one of those times I came through stinking Baytown where Standard 0i1 had transferred B.E. and trained him to be a tester in a lab, Mike in Berkeley had sent our father this Chester Grimes paperback, I think the one titled IF HE HOLLERS but this one about the black guy working in the ship yards in the war as our father had done too shortly before the draft found him. Mike thought our tough father ought to appreciate this novel and inscribed something in it about a guy getting through hard times. Mike was only aware our father has worked hard in hard times. Mike was absolutely unconscious that our father a white guy come up through the Great Depression which is about white folks was not going to care to read about the race stuff, which is the actual novel. I there picked it up and read it in some wonderment at Mike. B.E. maybe did not finish the book, I dont know, considered it silly, had some kind of criticism I forget, like the protagonist is a fool overreacting to imagined slights and so on....

Jack Saunders had sent me a hard cover biography of Chester Grimes, very interesting guy, Kelly 0live has it right now. Mike Olive would enjoy it. Which reminds me, whenever I can get ahead of some material I am trying to get to right now - and Mike suddenly lays a book on me, cow puncher bio which speaks a little of those cousins 0live who ran the herds - need to try catching up on the stupendous Saunders stack, Steve gets it, lays it on me, I find I can stack it under the head of my bed in Aransas pass right now. Mike has given me stuff, this book is WE POINTED THEM NORTH but I forget the author, but a famous enough book over in Aransas right now at the head of my bed. I have said I am the family member who affords nobody any xmas gifts except Madrea but last xmas Mike gave me a Swiss Army knife, not knowing I was about to become a wine drinker and it has a corkscrew. A wine drinker has to get half decent quality and those bottles have corks. On the 1.5 litter bottle one should use the persistent, steady pull, rather than a jerk, which has a binding effect. Lately I am into the red, merlot, cabernet.

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