We look at someone and think we know…
who they are.
We watch the man in a white coat counting white pills on a white counter in the pharmacy and think, He went to university and worked really hard, and now he drives a metallic silver car and tells people how many times a day they must take their medicine.
beneath the white coat he wears a Black Sabbath vest. On the backstage of his life he is a wild dude who has driven a monster truck over 24 parked cars. He’s got tattoos on his chest and an exotic pet python.
We, standing in the chemist, see only a pharmacist.
We look at Wynne and Mello and see children.
They are brothers. Wynne is eleven, Mello is eight. They fight with each other. They share a bedroom (a good enough reason to fight) and use rude words when they are cross. They share poor taste jokes and enjoy singing ill-bred songs.
Behind the scenes…
can spot a snake in the grass, build a fire to roast the devil, and flash a smile to sweeten a scowling brow (or cow).
He knows the Latin names of plants, uses top-of-the-ladder words that make me fear I am but a few rungs above illiterate, and keeps an imposing journal of important life events and the wonders of the natural world.
His room is an assembly of insects, snakes, spiders, shells, skulls. And books – historical or fantasy adventure stories detailing a beheading or two, numerous bloody battles, and dastardly magic.
socializes with anything in his line of sight. His friends have parents that value fast internet connections. Girls chase him and pull at his clothes. Anything small and round gets his attention: babies, fat toddlers, chubby figurines, or balls of food.
He likes to grip his knee with the wart on it with both hands and limp after well-scrubbed children, chanting Wart attack! Wart attack! at their horrified, dispersing backs.
Mello eats sporadically and believes life is a bed of hot coals he must never sleep on.
These children have raised wild animals – snakes, crow, squirrel – and refuse to be tamed.
I’ve never forgotten what was once said to me: When you assume, you make an ass out of u and me.
We assume the unassuming have nothing to offer, brushing past a person or experience that would grow and humble us if we stayed long enough to uncover the story, find the epic tale hidden in a tired, wrinkled old bag.
Gosh, is it that time already? I must feed Pamela, the orangutan.
What? You didn’t know I work in a zoo?
I work in my bedroom.
No, not that kind of work. You’ve assumed. Tut-tut.
This week’s Happiness…
has to be getting nostalgic about the first vinyl bought for me in my early teens. I found the album on Spotify and, while cooking dinner, sneered into simmering chicken soup.
Decades ago, I asked my mom to buy me a compilation album featuring I Love the Nightlife. There was a miscommunication, and what I got was Alicia Bridges’ entire album.
It was an abrasive shock. Alicia’s snarling, mocking, often peculiar vocals irritated me. After a couple of sulky spins on the turntable, I found a few tracks, other than the classic disco hit I Love the Nightlife, tolerable.
Listening to her songs about forty years later is fascinating. The lyrics require a less romantic, less idealistic mindset.
It’s late here. As much as I love the nightlife (owls and such), I must get some sleep.
Toodle-oo, big love and hugs to you.
xxx ❤ TeaShell
PS…the first half of this post was written a long time ago. Uncovering old bits of writing, I come to terms with the passing of time and how all things pass.