I've Always Been This Awkward - Four


I just picked up my new glasses. Well, same frames but new lenses. The first prescription change in about ten years. I didn't see any other frames that were nearly as perfect as the ones I already have so I kept them even though they're six years old. Plus I didn't have to buy new frames. The B went with me to look at frames and it was interesting to see how synced her tastes are with mine. She likes a narrower selection than even me. Weird, huh? So new contacts (+.25 each eye) last week and new glasses today (+ 1 L + .5 R). And while my brain adjusted to the new prescription my world was quite a little bit hallucinatory. But what do I know about hallucinatory, anyhow? Lots!

What? Oh, did I shock you with the mention of hallucinatory? Am I too revealing with my life information? So I do my lovin' in a quiet, efficient ninja-style. Big deal, that's not weird. Maybe it's counter-intuitive for some of you, but it's not strange, right? It's context. If I'm going to scribble stories context is useful, rounds the characters out some. I know, someone could say, "What if your mother read this stuff? What would your mother think?" My mother, huh?

Well, guess who I got email from just yesterday? My mom. And she referenced my posting about my new book, "An Historical Record" (a book of poems and pictures from my life soon for sale to everybody). The latest of a million self- and commissioned books I've made. I guess it's cool that my mother interacts with my art, though, since 1) It's there and now I know somebody reads it, and 2) I'm old...I have little shame anymore. I'm not thirteen anymore. Someday maybe the B will peek into Middlespace too (and be bored out of her gourd, man).

Sex! Drugs! Art! So what? I'm no priest (which would be really weird).

And you know what my mom said? I'll cut and paste it right here so I don't mess anything up. She wrote:

"'re such an intelligent human being & a great photographer. "

Hello? What's up now, haters? I know, you're all whining, "But that's your mom, what's she supposed to say?" Nothing. That's what she could say. Not a damn thing. She's not just being nice. Nor is it like I'm scraping for encouragement in my 40s, either. I'm pretty sure I've made it clear that this kid doesn't really care what people think (except for YOU!). I'm like Roast Beef, "It's not like I need to know if you care." [Note: Just look it up] I'm fine with my work (well not really). She also mentioned that she still has the original Kingdom of Leisure cassette which is so funny given that that was like a long, long time ago. That's like "Welcome to..." era. I can't even keep up with that stuff though. That was like the first of a million self- and commissioned recordings I've made.

So my mom. The woman for whom I am the fruit of her loins, as Lily would say. Mother. [Note: Belated Happy Mother's Day, by the way - sorry] Where do I start with regard to my mother?

I didn't grow up with her. Nor did I grow up with my father. I grew up with my paternal grandmother in Los Angeles and Claremont in California for the most part. I lived with my grandmother until I moved out at 17 for school. She died in 1993. That's fifteen years now. I was living here in the east then. I didn't even know my mother until I was like fifteen or sixteen or something. Just the tonic for the most awkward of a boy's years, meeting your mother for the first time as a teenager. But I've always been this awkward, do it didn't really matter.

What did I know about my mother growing up? Mostly all I heard was how beautiful and intelligent she was. Which is a cool thing for the offspring to continually hear. Come to find out she's has like a 170 IQ. I guess the proverbial apple fell from the tree and rolled down the hill a little since my IQ is but a measly 150 or so. But, I digress (and IQ drop at the same time)....

The worst part of growing up without parents in the household was the questions from the other kids, like, "Where are your parents?" "What does your dad do?" "How come your mom never picks you up?" What's a kid with a robust imagination and a big-ass IQ to do but lie. The most common answer to the first question--the one that ended the questioning most efficiently, ninja-style--was, "They died in a car crash when I was a baby." I've always been efficient. Let's see, oh and my dad was an "import/exporter" long before that was a gag on Seinfeld. And for a time I believe my mother was an "international lawyer" or something I couldn't really explain. Let's just say that I got good at diverting conversations with cognitive jujitsu. Weird charisma wasn't something I was born with, it was something I developed to keep things moving. My way.

My grandmother was alternatively a hotel maid and a crossing guard. That's why I never leave a hotel room trashed (and I tip) and I always yield, even as an adult, to crossing guards.

Don't worry, mom. That's all I have to say. Thanks for the compliments and, yes, I'll edit later.

I've Always Been This Awkward