Try ... Number ... Two



(Tuesday, 10MAY2022)

"No one's seen him," she says: Momma Bear, at the bodega. "I'm sorry."

She's a real one. Funny, always happy, 'told she'd live out her adult years in a wheelchair and out of "Will power," she'd said. "Defiant or not. Real," she'd refused, and walked out of the hospital with a look in her eye that would become: Momma Bear. "Ha!" she said. "Let them underestimate us. The governing were even caught by the governed, not knowing what they were talking about--"

"--And our civilization did not fall."

"Learn to laugh everyday, if only with that to work with." She never talks about abuse, sexual abuse, childhood abuse. 'Know it's there. 'Suppose we both know ...

"'Should've seen Mother's Day coming," 'say to her, as she rings the purchases. "I had food poisoning. No excuse. Of course."

"You need to prepare yourself."

She's like Grace, with that infectious laugh one-wants-to-believe-in, lean-into. 'Just not right now.

"You'll have to have faith--" she says, as 'swipe the card, across from her.

"--When have I ever had a choice--"

"--Even if I got nothin' but worry and your phone number. Everyone's worried. Find him."

"You gotta let go," Rainger would say. "I can. I do. E-ryday."

"Everyday. I have to say, 'Everyday."

"Naw. E-ryday."

"'Read this book: You Might Be A W.A.S.P., and every gender dynamic was dead on--"

"--What you sayin--"

"--Rainger--The book might as well have been called, You Might Be One of The White People. The female gender dynamics proved it. I go back all the way to freakin' European inter-family dynamics--"

"--Dude, don't worry. I'm like four percent white--"

"--Oh-my-God ... "

"Say E-ryday!" he'd say, out of nowhere, in a lull, sometimes, concerning socializing, knowing the comedy was soon to be just-right-there. "Say IT--"

"--Naw. I ain't--"

"--SAY it!" he'd perform, like him on some stage ... it's a bodega. 'Him getting laughs and don't 'nobody but me 'know what he on about. "Say IT!"

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(Wednesday, 11MAY2022)

(on break)

The Wall Street Journal, by Joe Wallace and Jenny Strasburg: "... It was unclear what actions the Russian and Ukrainian sides took in the episode, but the quick rerouting demonstrated the country’s energy-grid flexibility despite the violence of the battlefield. The reworked flows partly offset any lost exports to Europe. They also enabled Russia to continue piping its gas to its biggest customer, and collecting much-need payments for that gas. Ukraine benefited, too: Kyiv continues to pocket millions of dollars a month in transit fees that Moscow has paid it through the course of the war ..."

"So you see," Rainger is saying, through intermittent Facebook messaging. 'Took me a minute, huh ... "I'm okay. Somewhat."

His account had been mysteriously deactivated, phone off. 'Bet he started dating or something, then ... 'Really thought it was the Mother's Day thing; 'even catch myself seeing Dawn and her life with more compassion, and it post-God's-Country-going-down-on-repeat; maybe it is because 'know God has no sympathy for the clone-after-clone of my female relatives. These are the most difficult cases, a Rainger-type, the one who's enjoyable, the one who's a showman, presenting.

"There's a lot going on."

He doesn't seem okay. "This is exactly what Vladimir Putin did not want," Woodruff is saying, concerning more and more nations successfully going NATO along Russia's border. "But it's happening."

'So many extraordinary people walking this same earth ... RAINger has a lot going on ... ANd my foot gone bum. 'Don't worry, 'still on it. What will--

"--Now I'm on my way to a cult church," he says. "Lol."

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(Thursday, 12MAY2022)


"I'm okay," he says, as he shows me his full fridge and freezer, like ah-ha evidence. His house seems okay. A well-designed trailer that may or may not make it, these years later. He may be a depressive ... dishes.

"I know who you are," he says.

This is where things get difficult. Again. Thought I could do better ...

"Thought we were going to talk about all the levels of hell we've known, gas-lighting, sexual abuse and all, and turn it into comedy--All the rest of it--Not leaving anyone--"

--The look he gave. 'Seen it before. He's scared. Her never was, not really. He's taken in a local for a roommate, a ... coworker ... from the bodega. He has a spare room. 'Seems hopeful, maybe, 'suppose. 'Seems alright. 'No heavy substances around. 'Suppose, CBD don't count ... No real addicts are around here anymore, though ... 'took a minute ... 'can spot that one a mile away and that don't make me no hero. 'Used to be the ones I kept from overdosing in Appalachia were young ... no kids. Then, she didn't even know to put an upturned-mug--He wants us to be overheard, probably, for his own sake, probably. He has no idea my ... incidental ... training. He has no idea: 'Always assume that one is being overheard by God-knows-what intelligence community. Goodness, he wouldn't last two minutes in waterboarding, would he. 'Never tell a civilian that. They require a certain level of ... stupidity(?) ... They consider it a sign of social standing, their going their whole lives lost and worldly, and seemingly getting away with it. 'Best to leave them just as they is, the most irrelevant people upon Earth, the lost and worldly. The international community finds out a boy managed ... born ... made it ... amongst Americans ... of all people ... Anyway--Will never forget the mundane. The drama is dead babies, mainstream. Really, a woman trusting her doctor not to manipulate things so she'll die in childbirth, but the child might live, because she doesn't know if her doctor, whether he or she, is anti-abortion or not ... It's the mundane level that American women will never let happen again ... 'Had sisters. Honorable ones, for a minute there. It was only shortly afterward that they became whom they always were. At the mundane level, she has no rights in a free country and she knows God knows. No one cares about this, her. Whatever will become of us ... The American male and female remain a divorced couple who prefer the legal system to deal with each other. Does no one notice their youth ... What if they grow up to know remembering the infinite possibilities of tomorrow remains in balance with the no-one-was-forgotten human condition ...

"'Know there will always be a price on my head, Rainger."

He pauses, doesn't sit down, then does, in what was a dining set but now has turned into five makeshift tables ... ish. He clears the chair. How do the ones who playact--socialize well within a group,'meant, know to shut up. He doesn't even do the ... shake his locks out of his face thing. Something serious has happened, maybe. The plant 'gave him has died. House warming present. Why would he think it would survive that far from the window. Spider plants don't die. 'Cept in Rainger's house.

"They asked me to get you drunk--"

"--You gotta stay away from the little rich white kids, Rainger. They already know they wouldn't last two minutes in reality. They're tricky--"

"--It wasn't the little rich white kids -- who, by the way, come in all skin colors -- or the little dead-fish-eyed shallow American females who asked me--"

"--People die at this level of play, Rainger. And resurrection--that I can't pull. Don't worry the American people are safe. Only their best of their best die. Surely, Rainger ... Where is the volcano ... Is it just right there--MUSt I do comedy-- Oh, 'got it. There it is. Comedy, unrequired--"

"--An envelope with five hundred dollars was left for me in my driveway. Look ..." He opens a dirtied envelope. He shows me, flipping through it, like a comic book, throwing it down. He throws it on the ... 'suppose it would be called a ... coffee table ... improvised.

"They PUt it in twenties--"

"--Jesus f_cking Christ, I know," he says.

"'Know he survived the American people without their permission. 'Know he's lucky to be alive. 'Know he was born endangered, Rainger. He was born in their presence--And on top of it, future-capable, competent, talented, with an original conscience--"

"--How can this have happened--"

('Not the first time this has happened. 'Hail from the Indentured Servants; the boy ain't White. It's always in twenties ... 'Ask the Veteran's Center. 'Kinda embarrassing ... 'Doesn't take much snooping around ... Do American journalists exist anymore ... American life is kind of f_cked up, huh).

"--Rainger. The American female and --- aged male flesh -- need things a certain way. So they can feel better about themselves."

"But I need the money--"

"--Oh ..."

"Who ... ... ARe you?"

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"You keep your drapes open at night?"

He's a coworker. We live in the same building. There's a building across from us with a rooftop patio.

"Um ... Only the television is on. Sooo..."

The elevator dings. He's on his way to work. 'Am doing laundry. He lives in the apartment above mine.

"A man was up there last week with a scoped camera directly aimed at your apartment."

"I know how to survive the white people. I had more than just the one female relative. Of course I know how to survive lynching."

The elevator opens to the second floor for no reason. Toni Morrison did find the Oprah camp dumb, that is true. 'Shoulda seen how she looked at Charlie Rose. But 'can't write them all off. Just 'cause none of them are anything like Toni Morrison. The one woman of color to win the Nobel, and the whole world knew it, the word American known or not. 'Should look up Matt Damon and Robin Williams promoting Good Will Hunting on Charlie Rose. 'Notice quick, huh; Damon didn't. (Watch for it). Francis McDormand was the other one. The Coen brothers seemed to have no idea. She had that similar expression as Morrison, when she was promoting Fargo; she had that same gaze concerning Rose. 'Takes a woman.

"Do you? 'Cause I'm Black. I know when things are getting serious."

"I come from Irish Indentured Servants--"

"--And you trying to learn comedy. 'Best lean into your Sicilian. 'Nothin more dangerous in this world than American women--"

"--You think I don't know. I was born American male."

Meanwhile 'have Sisters, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, on the tellie upstairs.

"Just keep your drapes closed," he says, turning back to me, on my way to the dryers, before he exits the building. "Irish INDentured SERvant."

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