I'm just a man ... standing in front of the world ... asking them to love my writing.
I moved that part of the story up front and put the rest on the shelf ... Like most of the stuff I save, bits and pieces, everything from dialogue to characters, will more than likely pop up in another story somewhere down the line.
Eric Jerome Dickey July 7, 1961 - January 3, 2021
A-g-g-r-a-v-a-t-i-o-n ... Ag-gra-va-tion ... Aggravation
I don't ask for much ... I don't ...
Just some good loving, some kindness and a nice dinner ... That's all .... Is that too much to ask?
I mean, my mother and father named me Jaziel for goodness sakes. Yeah it means "allotted by God" and that's all nice and everything. But what am I allotted? Equal amounts of frustrastion to go with my dollop of love and happiness? Not even a dollop. About half of a dollop. Because right about now (the funk soul brother) I'm not feeling the love. All thanks to my chosen mate, Laprenza.
Where do I start? Where do I start?
Well ... What's that saying about pointing the finger at someone else, with four pointing back at you? So I guess I start with me. Because as a co-worker said once -- not knowing that she was talking about me during her rant about married men trying to flirt with her -- "You chose her. That's who you wanted."
I chose Laprenza ...
Better and worse.
Flaws and all.
But I want to leave so bad.
Don't get it twisted. I love her oodles and oodles of noodles .... Even though we went from having sex every three months to not at all, I love her.
But I'm not happy.
Not one lick (as Thelma Lou said).
If it wasn't for the kids ...
It it wasn't for the joint bank account ...
If it wasn't for the fact that she controls the finances ...
It it wasn't for the fact that my pockets are empty .... Well, I have a dollar bill in my Batman wallet that I purchased at the discount video game store. And I have $59 on my quick access credit card ... debit card ... Yeah, I think it's a debit card. Never quite knew the difference ... No, not 59 ... Because I spent $20 of it on flowers for my mom. Can't come to Thanksgiving dinner empty handed, even though she told me I didn't have to bring anything.
You snore too much. You never shut up. I said you snore too much Homeboy you never shut up!
So ... I snore .... Allegedly, supposedly ...
Okay ... And? That's a fact of life. People snore.
But according to Laprenza, my snoring can wake the dead. Which ... I'm like ... Okay? So ... I mean, you should be happy for your man, that I'm obviously well rested. So well rested that when there's a thunderstorm ... You know, the kind that sounds like a episode of M.A.S.H., where they're afraid for their lives because they are operating their hospital too close to the "front" ... I can sleep through it all. God forbid somebody was trying to break into the house, because I probably wouldn't hear that either.
Problem is, she's one of those light sleepers. Whereas every creak in the floor, squeaky door or what have you will disrupt her sleep. And unfortunately, my loud and boisterous snoring does that to her. To the point that after cleaning and scrubbing and prepping on Thanksgiving Eve, she couldn't sleep. Or rather, she was sleeping rather well, until I fell asleep beside her and began performing my all nostril symphony. Which led her to complain that she had been up, staring at the ceiling since 2am. So yeah, there's that.
Well, okay ... I mean .... I get it ... But I wasn't exactly a happy camper either, mind you. Because quite frankly, I didn't want to share the queen sized bed with her anyway. I wanted to have it all to myself like usual.
What do I mean by that?
Okay, well, see ... It's like this ...
We have six kids.
Four of them are out of the nest. But one of them has a crappy car (also known as a hoopty) and he comes over sporadically to borrow ours. Particularly now that he has one of those jobs where he waits in a deserted alley for his cell phone app to light up like Rudolph's nose. This means that somebody is hungry enough to order food from a restaurant, but too doggone lazy to actually pick it up. So he gets paid to retrieve somebody's onion rings and lemon rice soup and deliver it to them.
He doesn't trust his car to be reliable enough for all of the extensive back and forth ... The car that he chose and bought with his own money, without seeking advice from his dear old dad mind you ... So he comes over to borrow his mom's sleek new, Knight Rider-ish compact crossover SUV. I make the HASSELHOFF reference, due to the fact that it is keyless, vibrates when you're driving too close to another car and/or cuts off all together.
Borrows the car and sleeps in her room, which means that she has to sleep with me, because she doesn't want anyone to sleep on the new cloth couch (I wanted the sexy leather one with the brass studs decorating it).
Yeah, I said her room.
When a bedroom became available, she decided that she needed a home office. And she also decided that she would put a bed in it. Supposedly for those July and August days when it was too hot to sleep upstairs. Supposedly for both of us to partake in. But then, once upon a time, this was going to a workout room and then a entertainment room so folks wouldn't be persuaded to sit up front on her blasted couch ... Oy ... I'm getting aggravated again filled with tsuris even (that's Yiddish).
However, because of my snoring issue, this room has become her bedroom. Not categorized as that in front of friends and family --because she knows deep down that it ain't right. But that's what it is. Thinking of herself. Not just because of the snoring either. She said out of her own mouth that she never had her own room when she lived with her parents. First sharing with siblings. Then sharing with the three kids she had out of wedlock before she was able to move out on her own.
Believe me, we argued about this. Because I felt that the two youngest birds should be done sharing a branch and should have their own rooms. Then she gave me the whole, "I didn't have my own room!" spiel. But even though we disagreed on that point, I quickly got used to having my own room. After all, my favorite late mystery writer and his wife had seperate apartments -- top floor/bottom floor -- and their love was as strong as it comes. So I was cool with this setup ... Well, except for the fact that she said I walked too much; creaking the floor late into the night while she was trying to sleep.
I Walk The Line ... And Darn Near Want To Jump Off Of A Cliff
So she's cranky and wants me to go see a doctor, because she's been living with the snoring for years and she's fed up and there must me something wrong with me .... Me ... Jaziel Abrahams who has never purposely hurt anyone ever in the history of the world ... I'm the problem she says.
In the midst of our discussion, she calls the child into the living room, asking the child how long this delivery job is going to last. And it develops into the child saying that they will use their own car if there's a problem or sleep on the floor ... Because the child lives further away and doesn't want to waste gas money on the back and forth commute, since the booming delivery industry seems to surround our particular region of the world. So basically the child is feeling not wanted ... Which is a no-no, because nobody hurts my kids, not even their mother. And it comes down to me kind of stomping out to eat at my mom's house earlier than planned, because I don't want to be around her anymore. Because if it came down to it, I'd rather not stay long enough to feel like I need to wrap my hands around her throat like Homer and Bart Simpson ... That's not nice. Right? But honestly, I'm at the point where I almost don't even want to celebrate Thanksgiving. Or run out and get a pizza like the Quartermaines on General Hospital. Remember? I just want good loving, kindness and dinner.
I Wander As I Wonder
I take the long way to Mommy and Poppy's house.
I drive past the high school where there's a sweatsuit driven football game going on. Because since there's no school, there's no football team and the coach was missing his players.
I drive past the big park where at least three people are walking their dogs. One woman jogging in the midst of 45 degree/partly cloudy weather. Smoke ... Or rather, vapor ... Breath ... shooting out of her mouth like thought bubbles on a comic strip ...
Driving near the residence of an ex lover that I have not seen in five years. And I wonder if she still thinks about me ... But she was a hoarder with a nasty apartment. Cute, but a hoarder.
Laprenza is a cranky, angry, foul mouthed little shrew who cleans all of the time as if it is a new religion... I'm being nice ...
I think about the other soft spoken, sweeter, prettier girls that had passed my way in years past ... And for whatever reason, I messed up or they messed up and now they are in my rear view mirror ... So, so far away ...
And I'm in my 50th year on this earth ...
Closer to death than to life ...
Graying beard and receding hair ...
Device connected to my heart ...
Wishing that Mr. Peabody and Sherman would hurry up and let me use that Wayback Machine ... The Quantum Leap guy ...Doc Brown even.
Wishing that I'd had the courage or the wisdom to say yes to someone else instead of Laprenza. To ask for someone else's hand in marriage.
Wishing that I had the unmitigated audacity to be a playa/playa who went around like a modern day Fonzie, bedding a different batch of beauties every episode ... But I'm not ...
I'm not that guy ...
I'm not sitting on a pile of money.
Employed at a job that makes me want to pull out my eyelashes, one by one by one ...
And yet ... I'm still thankful.
Aggravated ... But thankful.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 LaZeric Freeman
Rodric Anthony from Surprise, Arizona on November 27, 2020:
LaZeric, this was the definition of aggravated. You painted the picture of this character's thoughts very well. I have felt that aggravation at times with my wife and six kids! There isn't as much animosity, but I could relate to being aggravated about small things that seem so big because of how long they have lasted. At the end of it all, I too was grateful. Aggravated, but grateful. Be thankful for the good and bad times. Better to have either than nothing.
John Hansen from Queensland Australia on November 26, 2020:
LaZeric, this was an engaging read. Despite all the hardships that life serves us we still need to find time to be thankful. Even Laprenza can’t change that. Nice work.