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Can we just jump to January please? - 2014-11-14
A (don't kick the) Bucket List - 2014-10-28
Put THIS in your pipe and DON'T smoke it! - 2014-10-23
Max, Wolf, and the goats - 2014-10-15
Maloney for Congress - 2014-10-08

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9:37 a.m. - 2014-05-17
And then what happens?

I've been haunted all week by opening paragraphs. Some were personal like my realization I am a hippie for the new millennium. Or how I'm getting old lady feet. Others were about strangers. Example:

'Boogers' Mancino looked at the small black hole in his wife's forehead and thought she'd be plenty pissed off when she woke up. That the small black hole meant she'd never wake up did not occur to him. It must be said Boogers wasn't too bright. He had a big heart though. Everybody said that. His mother, the guys in the neighborhood, his wife would too if she'd been asked before she got ventilated. Even the guy who shot his wife might have said it except for one thing- Boogers' stupidity was even bigger than his heart and good-hearted but extremely dim Boogers Mancino had fucked up big time. Hence the new hole in Mrs Boogers' head.

Who the fuck is Boogers Mancino? I have no idea. He and his dead wife showed up on Monday morning. All week they've been there bobbing along just under the surface consciousness and whenever my mind slows down a little from the task at hand up they pop. I ask Boogers what's going on but he's so dumb he has even less of a clue than I do. And the dead wife is no help at all. Though I suppose she can't be blamed for this. She's dead and was even before she got here.

Yeah, yeah, sometimes dead people have A LOT to say. Whole books even. Not the dead woman in my head. To make a small joke here, dead Mrs Boogers Mancino is as quiet as the grave.

So I got this dumb guy and his corpse bride in my head along with thoughts about how the Nissan Rogue is the new VW Bug, questions about how if the Boomers were going to change the world how come all we have out of it is some great music, old people wearing jeans, and a vague hope that reusable shopping bags are enough of an effort? Plus dinner, how to con Mick and Wolf into seeing 'Godzilla' without me, what exactly is stopping me from doing my laundry, and of course, these horrible old lady feet of mine and how long it'll be before I'm ordering those snazzy 'bunion comfort' sandals from the back of Parade magazine.

Wolf had to hand in his essay about the benefits and downsides of social media yesterday and though we debated things out I never saw a rough copy let alone his final draft and I'm wicked curious about which points he focused on. We covered a lot of ground. God, I sound like one of those moms. Humble-brag subtext: "My son and I talk! About ideas! And ohmygoshbygolly! MY kid does his schoolwork! Nar, nar, nar! Does yours?" Truth is Wolf and I both feel like we're making up for lost time. We're trying to squeeze in as much 'normal' as we can before he graduates. We both feel it keenly that we were cheated out of a hella lot of the good stuff. Wolf's lost years are a weight on him. He loathes TBT because even pictures from back then make him cringe. He claims not to remember, but he does. He remembers everything. It shames him to know he used to be so horrible. I don't dun him with it, far from it. I assure him that if those hard and scary years were what it cost to be here now then it was so worth it.

I tell him everyone has a certain amount of fuckery to get out of their system. Some people have incredibly normal childhoods and then go off the chump in high school or college- defiance, drugs, jackass driving, flunking, being cruel to boyfriends or girlfriends, all kinds of stupidity and meanness. Or a guy stumps along being Joe Normal for decades and then BAM! He turns 45 and takes up with a 23 year old, buys a Corvette, and hightails it off to SoCal leaving his wife and kids high and dry financially and emotionally. Everyone implodes their life somewhere along the way. Nice PTA moms embezzle from the Bake Sale proceeds. Old dudes expose themselves in libraries. Even if what someone does isn't technically criminal and maybe the only one he hurts is himself, point is he does it. I have. Mick has. His father continues to do so on a daily basis and probably always will. So Wolf? You got off easier than most. You got it ALL out of your system. Rebellion, self-sabotage, screw ups out the wazoo, outraging the public, pissing off friends and family, suspensions, expulsion, being a weirdo and an outcast, you've already done EVERYTHING. For the past few years now and for the rest of your whole life YOU are in charge and have the tools and the willingness to do right.

He laughs a little and hugs me. But what about you, Mom? When does your life stop being awful? I tell him, "It already has, Sonny Jim." But what about Alex? And Dad? And when Mick is a douche? And being ill so much of the time? And never having money to do fun things? I smile. "That is Life, my darling son. There's no magic happy golden place where the toilet never overflows and the bank account is always fat and it never rains on the day we want to go to the beach. Never." Doesn't seem fair, he mumbles. "It isn't. But who said it was supposed to be?"

I give him a squeeze. "Look, the best anyone can hope for is getting smart enough to stop shooting yourself in the ass. At 16 you already have the wisdom it took me almost 50 years to understand. How cool is this? Being autistic sucks, but you got some good stuff out of it. For one thing you know what your problem is. Not everything can be laid at autism's feet, but when you're having a tough time you know where to start looking for its cause. You've been duking it out with Asperger's your whole life and have a pretty good idea of what you need to do when you get into a jam. Plenty of neuro-typical people, including your old Mom, spend far too many years flailing around trying to pinpoint where they're going off the rails. Why they keep walking off cliffs. You have a starting point. A home base. Right away you can suss out whether this is an Aspie thing or something else. Combine that with the smarts you have from already making so many mistakes and knowing what those mistakes cost you and you, Wolf Sage, at the grand old age of 16 are waaaaay ahead of the pack. Nifty, eh?" He scrunches his face then slowly nods, yeah, I guess so. "I know so, kiddo. Now give me a kiss and get me a Sprite, 'kay?" He does and returns setting the cold can down on the corner of my desk, "Mom?" "What, sweetie?" He looks at me with a thousand questions, an eternity of "What ifs...?" My kid's been through a lot of shit, yet he's also curiously innocent. Wolf only joined this reality a couple years ago. At 14 my kid consciously decided to participate in the larger social construct which most of us agree is 'the real world'. Wolf deliberately left behind his autistic world where he was the sole inhabitant and in many ways this world all still very new. He is new. It's confusing and sometimes scary for him out here, but he refuses to go backward. "Uh, nothing." "You sure?" "Yeah. I love you, Mom." "Love you too, sweetie-pie."

Boogers Mancino is as quiet as his wife this morning, which is good. Shaping up to be a busy day and I don't have time for him. MIL is coming over around 1:00. Right smack in the middle of everything which is screwing up the schedule to no end, but what can I do? She'll have been at the cemetery all morning and I can hardly ask her to come by for company and consolation at a time when it's more convenient for me to be a decent daughter-in-law.


Gotta buzz, ~LA


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