Stone and sand

I‘m a rock man.  I feel grounded, as the New Agers say, when I’m near stone.

I have spent little time in rock territory during my life, which likely explains the disconnect I endured for decades.

As a very small boy, I lived in southwest Georgia.  Little stone there, just red clay.  As an adolescent, I lived in northeast Florida.  Scant stone there either, just sand on the beaches.

You ever notice that most romance ads mention a love of walking on beaches?  And loving to laugh?

Woman, 38, divorced, six children, no job.  Love to laugh and walk on the beach.  Come get me.

Other than her age and marital, work, and mama status, the ad says nothing.  Everybody loves to laugh and walk on beaches.  Everybody.  Okay, perhaps not some people in mental institutions.

I too love to laugh and walk on beaches, but I would never advertise it.  Not even worth mentioning because it’s a characteristic of the human race, like saying one has two feet and two hands.

Actually, some people are missing hands or feet, but everybody loves to walk on the beach and laugh, even some mental patients, with or without feet, which they may have cut off in the course of their emotional disintegration.

I lost much of my disconnect in the early years of this century.  It coincides with my moving south of the American border. I also see stone every day. I have a rock wall in my yard.  There are rock mountains in the distance.

Home at last.  Stone home.

Latin lifestyle

At 8 a.m., I was standing outside the clinic door downtown for my annual checkup.

I had made no appointment, and I was there when the nurse arrived to open.

Less than 15 minutes later, having left some blood and paying less than $35, I went home for an English muffin, orange marmalade and a soft, white cheese like ricotta.

Getting checked were cholesterol (both densities), triglycerides, blood sugar and my poop.  Yeah, that’s my checkup.  I have abandoned the American mindset of health hysteria.

At 1 p.m., I returned for the results, and all is well.  I’m good for another year.

In the afternoon I got a haircut for two bucks and a quarter.  I had arrived looking like an English sheepdog, and I departed looking trim and dramatic.

Focusing on my entire look, I decided my loafers needed a polish.  It was easy to find a shoeshine guy, and he did his work as I sat on a stone bench.

That cost me $1.50.

When I drove home, the car was sparkling clean.  It had been washed by a scruffy young guy on the plaza.  That set me back $2.60, more or less.

For less than a latte in Starbucks in Atlanta (about $40, right?) I got a haircut, a shoeshine, a carwash and my annual checkup!

The house where I once lived with my second ex-wife, and where she still lives, in Houston has an annual tax bill of about $3,000.

My child bride and I have our home here, a separate two-bedroom townhouse downtown and an apartment in the nation’s capital.

The property tax on the three combined is less than $100.

The best reason to live down south are the chocolate-colored women, but the cost of living is lovely too.

The unborn

On confirming her suspicion, Kristanabel erupted with a fiery oath that had never before been heard on this Earth.

She then switched to more conventional curses toward the saxophone player.  She was with child, his bastard baby.

Living with a litter had never been part of her life plan — such as she had one — so it had to be eliminated.  The sooner the better.

The startlingly luscious blonde, now 23, drove the Mercury to the city, flipped the keys to a passing wino, and checked into the Marbol Hotel where, years back, Myron Blade had embraced her, stripped her, kissed her, licked her and lost his mind, then his life.

Her memories of the Marbol were upbeat . . .

. . . roast beef, dark ale and a bit of exercise.

* * * *

She needed an abortionist.  But since President Gringrich had taken office seven years back, abortion had been outlawed, just one of the major changes brought by his radical administration.

The philosophy of Alvin Tofler was required study in all universities receiving federal money.  Most blacks had been returned to Africa.

Among the exceptions were Vice President Herman Cain, Juan Williams and Thomas Sowell, all of whom had been named Honorary Whites by the Republican majority in Congress and Senate.

The proclamations included a $25,000 gift certificate to each recipient, redeemable at Michael Jackson’s Beverly Hills dermatologist on Rodeo Drive.

Cubans had been returned to Cuba, but Mexicans were exempted from President Gingrich’s American Ethnic Renewal.  A rogue newspaper revealed the reason for this to be five sultry Mexican concubines he kept in separate apartments around Washington, D.C.

The public forgave their president because Callista turned out to be a mannequin.  I wondered why her face never moved, Vice President Cain once said to a young blonde reporter.  Are you busy later tonight, honey?  he added.

Catholicism was proclaimed the National Religion after President Gingrich declared it a very forgiving system.  Just confess and you’re off the hook, he once was heard to say while chuckling.

* * * *

Kristanabel turned to the Marbol Hotel’s bellman.

I need an abortionist, Max, a cheap one.

And that was how she found herself in the Marbol’s basement three nights later, on her back, mostly naked, lying on a collapsible cot and an Army-drab surplus blanket, so full of dark ale to dull her senses that she scarcely felt a thing.

The abortionist, a black-haired woman about 45 with a tattoo of the Empire State Building on her left bicep, knew her trade, and the work went smooth and quick.  A hour later, Kristanabel left the basement, dressed and clean.

And the abortionist lay on the cement floor, her mouth and eyes open in surprise.  A scalpel had been taken from her hand and placed in another part of her body.

A small bloody glob on the floor, not from the abortionist, mind you, had put an idea into Kristanabel’s head.

I want a rare roast beef sandwich, she told herself.

And Max quickly brought it to her room.

* * * *

(One of a series titled  The Marbol Hotel.)


A sister-in-law flees from butterflies, cringing.  My lovely wife will not pick up a puppy or kitten, nor a small dog or cat.  She says she feels their guts.

I won’t touch a fish or a frog.  Lizards used to creep me out, but not so much anymore.  Lots of them live around the house, my pals.

We all live with our little insanities.  It’s important they not restrict our lives more than necessary.  I’m glad that my locura is a common variety.

Who runs from butterflies?  And who doesn’t love to hold a puppy?

I’ve been married three times, and I’ve yet to join a normal family.