Sunday, September 29, 2019

The Mushroom Diaries Vol. 4

To paraphrase Tom Petty, the grazing is the hardest part. Grazing is the term i coined for my usual Wednesday when i follow along behind the Breadwinner as she peruses the aisles of commerce known as the retail shitholes of America. She is not the only one, there are numerous grazers all ambling and strolling and pondering the choices to be made among what amounts to the detritus of modern civilization. I am the dutiful and stupid oxen whose job it is to pull the cart and chew my cud while nodding occasionally in ascent to the knick-knacks and non-sense picked up and fondled by the Breadwinner. My reward for being such a fine and obedient ox is lunch, chosen from a list provided by the Breadwinner. I usually spend my time staring at the lights and secretly ogling the female shoppers while creating elaborate fantasies in my head. The entertainment helps kill the crushing boredom. The weirdo can not live on bread alone now can he? Of course there is also the mental tallying of the amount spent, as the oxen i have no say in this part, my part as i've stated is to push the cart and load and unload the car. All those years of schooling and i still can't shake the lumpen-prole life of manual labor.

The life of the world's hairiest soccer mom can get a bit hectic at times. Last Saturday there were three games on the slate, two for Disaster and one for Stretch. Disaster was getting his run out with the A team for the first time but of course the game coincided with Stretch playing an hour north and since Stretch was in the ER the week before with what we thought was another broken arm i kinda sorta needed to be there. The good news was that once that game was over i could jump on the freeway and fly down to the home field house and catch Disaster's second game. And so after making breakfast and sorting kits and filling water bottles and packing snacks, off i went. The Breadwinner, in a rare instance of doing something on her own, took Disaster to his first game and then waited for me to arrive for the second. That is where the trouble starts.

In a day spent running around food sometimes gets put on the back burner. Then of course comes the "hangry". I've cultivated the ability to do a lot while not eating, as long as i can keep myself hydrated i can go long stretches between food. Stretch is a newly minted teenager with an appetite that never stops. The Breadwinner often comments on why does he need to eat so much but then again the Breadwinner isn't going to grow up to be 6'4 or taller. So i mentioned a certain burger joint on the way home that the boyos both like but apparently the Breadwinner disdains more than i knew. Thus the diatribe started that if "we" wanted that then i could pony up for it because she wasn't "spending her money" on something she didn't like. The amount of restraint it took not to bellow "you fucking twat!!!" could only be attributed to some new found discipline or a more philosophical phase ala Jules Winfield. I calmly explained that it wasn't for me and it was just a suggestion seeing the growing boys might be hungry after an afternoon of the football. She continued in her vein of "not spending her money" while Stretch looked at me in bewilderment. I didn't want to tell the poor kid this was about more than just cheeseburgers.

The game over, the shit kept flying into the fan as both boyos wanted to ride home with me but since the Breadwinner didn't want to drive home alone Stretch finally acquiesced and left with the boss. On the way home Disaster and i talked about his game but there was a melancholy that hung about my dome, grey clouds of sadness for things gone awry and for the people who would ultimately suffer the most when it all shook out.

There are days to when the mushroom is the medicine and this was one of those days. The mind needed a good stretch and clean out and so after i got the boyos settled i slipped off into the downstairs bathroom where i locked the door and proceeded to take three healthy pinches of fungus washed down with water. I kissed the boyos on the head and made my way two blocks to the clubhouse where i sat on my friend's couch and let the magic wash over me, wash away the anger and frustration, taking a puff occasionally from the peace pipe, drinking water, gazing at various college football games while discussing the state of the shit show both at home and abroad. It was a decompression from the mess that can only loosely be called a quasi-meaningful relationship. Later that night, in my driveway i gazed up at the stars, i listened to the numerous insects doing all those nocturnal insect things. I thought of the immense love i had for those boyos. I thought of a lot of things in the quiet of a sleeping neighborhood. I watched a mother deer and her two fawns walk out of the woods, stop and gaze at me, and then move lazily on. Looking back at those stars i knew this was the hard part, someday none of this would matter, someday i would not exist... and that would be easy.


looby said...

Oh golly kono, that's a quite moving. I recognie every stage of that, the humiliation of having money used against you which overlooks all the countless hours of love and work you put into the boyos. It's so unfair.

I also liked your line "All those years of schooling and i still can't shake the lumpen-prole life of manual labor." Yes, me too, qualifications coming out of my ears and now off on a long(ish) bus ride to do the washing up in a school. I don;t mind it though; it's my level in some sense.

Good luck kono -- your patience in the car was extraordinary.

Kono said...

looby- thank you my friend. Just got back from the Wednesday grazing and it is easily the most difficult day of the week, i have no use for ottomans or comforters or any of the other useless shit that i am forced to nod and stare at. It's the only day that ever really feels like work, yes i'm forced to do these things other days but Wednesday i know it's coming. Equal parts light and dark, i get through it though, Jah provide the bread... or weed as they say;)

daisyfae said...

i have a deep and abiding hatred for 'shopping as recreation'. my family does it, and never understood why i refused to join them for 'shopping trips'. "Unless you're going to a hardware or a liquor store, i want nothing to do with it."

your boyos know what she is doing. they know who she is. you can't shield them from it forever. she is going to have a fuckton of regrets some day, will try to guilt them into spending time with her, and when they are old enough, they may well tell her to pound sand.

none of that is on you.