I had a stepfather once who turned out to be a crook, but that's another story, because what I really wanted to say about him is that he used to be a hobo in the seventies.
This was before any of my family met him, and before we laughed and laughed over dinner all the time at his swirly comb-over, and at how he said "stockings" instead of "socks" and "let's build a cake" instead of "let's make a cake".
Sometimes, after we'd mocked his quaint speech awhile, he would start in about how people should never give money to transients on the street because those people actually wanted to be on the street, and giving them money was just encouraging them to continue living a life of unbridled freedom from showers and bosses. He sounded jealous.
He knew about the secret desires of transients, he said, because years ago he had disappeared one day, just walked away from it all and went to live on the street. No good reason. He was kind of like Forrest Gump without the shrimp boat.
He would never say what he did all day while he was a bum, so I had to fill in the details from my imagination. Mostly I thought he probably had a pet rat that loved Cheetos and lived in his jacket pocket, and that he would tie the rest of his bandanna-wrapped belongings on a jaunty stick, and then tip his hat at people when they walked by. Sometimes I figured he would play a little harmonica or give sage advice to young gingham-clad runaways who would then ride their bikes straight home, only to have a tornado suck them up and forcibly relocate them. ( I watched the Wizard of Oz every year when it came on, except for anytime there was witches or monkeys, or disembodied heads.)
And then one day he got bored with the rat and the harmonica, and went home. Either that or his family found him and did a bum intervention of some kind, or the cops stopped looking for him, I don't exactly remember.
So, I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you want to imagine I've been hanging out all unwashed and playing the blues with my Cheeto-lovin' rat friend for the couple of weeks, that would be okay with me.
Sometimes I just get tired.
Anyway, some other quick things that have happened around here lately:
1) Classroom drama update: My little shit friend dropped by a few days ago after school to ask when I intended letting him come back to class. He said the essay he wrote was sort of an "opposite day" essay; it was a compliment. I said, I don't believe you, unfortunately. He said, "No, I didn't think you would, but it was worth a shot."
Then his dad wrote a letter that said he was sure his son did not intend to be "mutinous" or "peculiar" and would I please reconsider? Pshaw, Mr. Father! No way.
Then his new teacher stopped me after school one day to ask me about him. I asked how he was doing. She said he was "slimy". I think he's going to like it there.
2.) I'm going blind. A little bit. I kept thinking the projector in my room wouldn't focus correctly or was dirty, so I kept muttering at it and wiping, wiping, wiping the lens, but it never helped, because it turns out it was my eyes and now I have glasses for distance. After my glasses came in, and everyone lied and swore that my beauty was actually magnified by my new Danny Gokey-esque frames, we went to see Crazy Heart, and I kept comparing and contrasting. Glasses on, glasses off. Aaannnnddd, refocus. Glasses on. Glasses off. Blink. Aaaannnnndddd, refocus.
I decided it was true that Jeff Bridges looked a little crisper around the edges with the glasses on, but then I got dizzy and had to just listen through the whole scene where he runs off stage to vomit behind the bowling alley.
3.) We bought ironic "silverware" at Ikea this weekend. Kitchen utensils are an excellent choice, because they rarely require assembling.
Inside the door a salesperson handed us a flyer with this written at the top:
If Ikea made fortune cookies I would buy them in bulk.
4.) We went and saw our tax guy. His hair plugs are very sparse this year, and he needs new cartoons for his desk, but he was full of light-hearted chitchat about amortization and incremental schedules, so it was another pathos-filled party. I look forward to our time together every year.
5.) Today, in the car, I called home and my son answered the phone. He sang, "HEL-low.......sweet CHARRRR-i-o-o-t.!" Apparently this is how he's been answering the phone for awhile, and I never knew.
He is going to sixth-grade snow camp this week, and I will really miss him if he is trapped in an avalanche.
Maybe some other time I will tell you about how Hobo Stepfather landed in the penitentiary, or about a different stepfather who had fifty identical pairs of fussy ankle boots lined up in his closet and walked like a pony, but this is all I've got for now.
I'm coming to do some blog-visiting tomorrow, and I promise not to panhandle very much.