Wednesday, December 19, 2012

This is so important because I wrote it

There are very few men in this classroom, and since I am, at least on a conceptual level, a man, it falls upon me to deal with the man things that arise.

It is only fair, since all the ladies around here have to deal with all of the many lady things.

I once attempted to deal with one of the lady things but I did not do too well.

My intrinsic unfamiliarity with the objects involved left me gagging and useless.

I would draw you a picture of the event so that we could parse it out to see where exactly I went wrong, but I hope to win a Caldecott one day with this blog and I do not want to do anything to sabotage my chances.

We have a man student in this classroom who claimed to be actively having intercourse with his equally developmentally disabled lover, and his mother wanted me to talk intercourse talk with him.

"Were you naked?"

"No."

"I'm glad we had this talk."

Actually, that is a facetious simplification of what really transpired.

I spoke to his mother on the phone and she assured me that, as his mother, she believed "Timothy" could neither achieve nor maintain the necessary erection levels to successfully complete an act of procreation.

Is it "achieve nor maintain" or "or maintain"? 

I assured her that, having interrupted Timothy on several occasions when he was taking some time to calm himself in the bathroom,  I knew with certainty that when a need arises or is coaxed, he could indeed produce a state of rigidity that would fulfill most of the purposes that spring to mind.

She was quiet for a time.

Normally when another human being is quiet in my presence, I assume everything is awful, awkward, and my fault, which causes me to blather on to such an extent that no doubt I call even my meager bits of intelligence into question.

But in this instance, I let the blessed silence fall and fill the space between us.

Again, as his mother, which was a fact by now well established yet apparently necessary for her to perseverate upon, she was certain she would have discovered evidence of.....something....as she was the one responsible for washing the sheets in the home.

There were so many variables to consider at this moment, but none of them were easy or pleasant to talk about.

I was not sure if she knew enough about the male reproductive system to know that ejaculation and erection were not synonymous with each other.

The absence of one does not necessarily negate the existence of the other.

I chose this moment in the conversation to assure her that I would sound Timothy out about the subject, so as to take a reading of how far his sexual explorations had progressed.

We were driving along a few days later, and my mind struggled with how to bring it all up.

Timothy has never shied away from asking the hard questions, and when there was a break in the conversation, he abruptly asked me if I get dung.

Now, it should be pointed out that Timothy has the condition of Down's Syndrome, and the sizable proportions of his tongue in relation to the cramped condition of his oral cavity causes a moderate to severe impediment to his speech.

This usually means I have to ask him to repeat himself.

Given the oddity of the question "Do you get dung?", I knew this was one of those moments when clarification was needed.

"Dung?"

"Dung."

"Where?"

"In your mouf."

After a bit of creative pantomime, I realized Timothy was referring to the act of French Kissing.

Conveniently, the delay in my understanding put off my having to answer the question long enough for me to throw it back upon him.

"Are you and your girlfriend French Kissing?" He was eating a cheeseburger, and when I asked him this question, he smiled broadly enough for me to see that he had recently taken a bite yet not begun to masticate it.

"Yes. It's pretty good. I like the way it tastes."

Professional objectivity aside, this statement made me feel icky in my tum-tum.

"Sometimes I do it on my sandwich."

"What?" I asked.

"When I eat my sandwich, I lick it all with my dung. I say, 'oh baby, Stacy." Stacy is his girlfriend.

He proceeded to show me what such a thing might look like, cupping the air with his hands to suggest a sandwich and then snarfling all round in it.

"Oh".

One must be so careful when discussing these things.

"Are you guys having sex?"

He smiled again.

"Yeah. Alot. With our clothes on. She does me and I do her."

Imagine you are passing me now, driving by me yet headed in the opposite direction. You peer into my dirty silver Honda Civic and see a chubby oldish man with sick, tired slits for eyes, gripping his steering wheel with white knuckles and staring only ahead. Next to him, in the passenger seat, a young, virile person with Down's Syndrome gyrates his pelvis into the air to better illustrate what sex between two people can look like.

This year is ending and I noticed lots of bloggers are writing posts with titles like "10 Christmas Gifts You Have to Have", "10 Naughty Christmas Gifts You Have to Have", and "Surprise! I'm Gayish!"

I fear I have no such gifts for you, my dwindling readers. Parumpy pum pum.

Other bloggers are writing things like "Here's my book!" or "I was nominated for best of something this year!"

But I cannot claim such things, oh loyal clingers-ons.

I can assure you, however, that Timothy and Stacey, it turns out, were only "going through the motions" of sexuality, and no clothing had been removed.

"Dry humpin'? You mean they just dry humpin'?"

Please don't say that to me anymore, Timothy's mother, please don't keep saying 'dry humpin' into your telephone. It is just...it just really makes me uncomfortable.

Every year, I get a few presents from the students. One year I got a really big spoon, which I rather liked, and last year someone gave me a mug with really old caramels in it. The caramels had sealed themselves to the bottom but the mug featured a lovely graphic of a porcupine giving a thumbs up and pronouncing, "Seasons Greetings!"

I got really drunk that night, pissed into the porcupine Christmas mug, and told all the world to go screw itself.

Just kidding. I am nowhere near that cool of a person.

Though, in college, one of my friends thought it would be a hilarious act to defecate into a mug and then leave the mug under someone's bed. It turns out that such a thing is not really too funny, but actually very smelly and regrettable.

In high school, I knew someone who defecated into a hot dog bun and tried to get someone to believe it was an actual hot dog and therefore consume it. No one was fooled because hot dogs, as they are, already have an uphill battle proving their appetizing qualities; one that smells like a dooker to boot is dead in the water.

That person is now a drug abuse counselor and is the lead rapper/keyboardist for a rap keyboard
band.

The mug pooper is a financial planner living in Washington D.C.

People are coming back for Christmas and I dread the approach of reconnection.

The text will come: Back in town. Want to reconnect?

My wife will text back for me because my thumb pads are too beefy to effectively communicate via small buttons.

The person you are trying to reach is no longer using this phone.

They cannot talk because they are emotionally dead inside.

They are seeing therapy and cannot be friends.

They are me.

Merry Christmas, last vestiges of Gweenbrick fandom.






Friday, December 14, 2012

The art of the counsel














I hate going to see my Dr.Kermit.

The waiting room is dark and cramped.

Sometimes there's a lady wearing clothes made out of trash bags sitting right by the window where you check in.

I sometimes feel Maude's eyes upon me.

Occasionally, I notice women of a certain age looking at me in a hungry way.

Not because I am particularly attractive, at all, but I think because I look well-fed, and seeing me reminds them that they are feeling a mite peckish, and perhaps it is time for tea and very small cans of corned beef.

One time I was in a dingy hotel bar and I made the mistake of calling the bartender "hon".

She was very old and sexual.

Apparently, my use of the word "hon" opened the door for her to tell me an extremely raunchy joke about intercourse.

I wanted to get away quickly but she seemed dangerous.

Actually, all I really remember of her is lightless black eyes set deep within a crispy white perm.

Her voice reminded me of World War 2 veterans being interviewed on public television; rough, cancerous, and not interested in having their naughtiness met with guff.

Dr.Kermit never lets me stew in my juices.

Long silence will pass while I squirm, and he will softy ask, "You're thinking.....?"

I do rather enjoy his blindess,  but not in any cruel way, only because I can mess around with my body language and facial expressions and he cannot be made uncomfortable by them. I think of it as just playing the hand that God has dealt me.

I can talk about my problems and pick boogers at the same time, which is very regressing for me.

A confession: when I had that horrible internship at the public library, I once absently picked my nose in the mystery section. When awareness descended upon me, I shamefully scraped the waste from my finger and onto the under side of the shelving. Something about the secret dirtiness of it made me feel like the most dangerous man alive.

I have also noticed that when I retrieve the Swiffer broom from the trunk of my car and walk towards the shoe store with it, I feel strangely important.

Like people are watching me as they leave Target and are thinking how cool I am.

Sometimes,  I even slow way down in my walking and pretend I am in the movie Reservoir Dogs.

Sure it seems stupid, really, really stupid, but I am supposed to be less disparaging of my own feelings so Bob's your uncle, judgemental jackass.

I think Dr.Kermit is a student of the Socratic method, in that he asks a lot of questions and has a beard. That is a really dumb joke to make. Rereading it just now made me feel bad about myself.

A typical exchange could be illustrated thusly:










A week ago I had an appointment with him but I was not feeling all that sad, so I kind of faked it.

All I remember is that I did a lot of sighing.

Yesterday I was feeling a little pleased with myself after drawing this picture:



and he made me describe the picture in detail to him because he wanted to understand the kinds of things that make me happy.

"Well, there are a couple lines about despair or something, can't quite remember, and then there is a picture of Santa on a rooftop, you know, looking all down and stuff, and um smoking and....its not really in color, its kind of all grey...and white..."

When I finished my description, he said, "Besides the Santa picture, what other things do you like to draw?"

I told him I had drawn pictures of monsters saying commonplace things to each other.



He then decided that conversations are scary to me, which I had already told him.

"In fact, you are so scared of socializing, you tend to dehumanize others. Almost like....like two monsters talking." He said this so sincerely, so full of well-meaning insight, that I had to bite my thumb super hard to keep from laughing.

It tasted kind of bad, and because I was thinking about that, I missed the rest of what he had to say.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The breaking of the fellowship




It's true.

Lulu, my longtime companion, the purple-wearing, morbidly obese African American light in my occupational darkness, has cast me out.

I am not sure why.

When we returned from summer break, I noticed a gradual coarsening in her responses to me.

I felt shut off from her; no longer privy to her thoughts, her endless, giddy recitation of the film "Matilda".

In vain, I sought to rekindle our friendship by engaging her in the 
old games, the coded language of our once shared, secret world.



All I know about Dylan is that many, many years ago, Lulu passed him in the halls of her school and he said, "Look, Lulu, I have a yo-yo."

She has never forgotten him.

The details of the encounter I kind of have to free-form; pantomiming yo-yo tricks and using the voice of a young man just beginning to crest the first big wave of puberty: high, almost squeaky, but flecked with cracks here and there to suggest the smoldering teenager aching to be born.




I don't really know any yo-yo tricks, so I keep it simple.







I don't wanna talk about it.

That is all Lulu will ever say to me now.

She used to clap with such genuine joy when Dylan came around.

We used to laugh together at his antics.

I don't wanna talk about it, she says.



Have you ever heard "Lady Marmalade"?

Lulu has distilled the chorus down to a rough sound-alike, and excised the remaining fat of the song.

The catchy French lines have become, "Hoolay Hoolay Hoolay Hoo-ha, Hoo-Ha!" The double Hoo-ha is slightly shouted, and as she shouts it, she gives her upper torso a bit of a shake. 

It used to be that no matter how terrible the circumstance, how disruptive the behavior, you could always jolt Lulu out of it just by starting the Hoolay.

But that time has passed.




  Lulu and I have arrived at a moment in our history that is without precedent. 

Lady Marmalade can't even budge her from sullen, willful isolation.

When she acknowledges me, if she acknowledges me at all, her eyes radiate hatred before she slowly turns her head away in disgust. 

It is at once puzzling and demoralizing. 

Overall, I have managed to avoid making a true enemy among the cognitively impaired. 

In general, I am beloved.

Is it my good looks?



My short, inoffensive stature?



Or perhaps it is because I only set limits when a differentiation must be made between "my things" and, "where poop goes."

Not that I am overly permissive, but let us just say that the students know whom to ask when they want to waste time on Facebook or eat a potato chip they found on the floor. 

In fact, until this recent broofasa with Lulu, I can recall only one other client who actively disliked me.  

His name was Paul (no, it wasn't), and he was a resident at the facility for disabled men and boys where my journey into the world of special needs began. 

Ah, Paul.



Your sweaty flat top, your smattering of moustache, the crazy defiance you exhibited when I interrupted your attempt at sexual congress with the drain at the base of your bathroom sink.



 Paul had the resistant body language of a person too used to pulling away from offered help.

You would try to be nice and he would throw an elbow in your face.

Sometimes, when you announced things like "Hey let's get ice cream", he would get so excited that he would start biting the other boys around him, usually targeting the softy, chewy parts, like ears and noses.

He constantly asked me for batteries, and when I did not have any, he would tear at his clothes and yell about how he was Jesus.

All of those boys wanted batteries, all the time.

The well-meaning people of the community kept giving them unsustainable gifts: walkie-talkies, handheld games, radio-controlled cars.

What about solar-powered calculators? Those are sometimes kind of fun. Mostly when you write numbers that turn into cool stuff like "boobs" and "hell" when you turn them upside down.

But no, everything they got was always battery powered.

And when the last of the fuel was spent, their flashlights dimmed or cars slowed to a crawl, that was when the wolves came out.


Somedays all I did was hand out batteries and ask who farted.




I couldn't think of a hand gesture that would go with the question, "Hey, who farted?"


  The question 'Who farted?' is so pointless.

The answer is not going to make you happy, or smarter.

It bothers me that I keep drawing pictures of literally the sentences I just wrote. It's like double-dipping the idea.

And so I ate a chip.

Idiot! The pictures are supposed to enhance, or further, the narrative, not rob the reader of the chance to apply their imaginations to it.

Like this:



What a great story.

So Paul hated me.

The only men that had ever been in his life had abused him horribly, so it was no wonder that he wanted nothing to do with me.

Because I am a man.

Sigh.

This is what happens when you take too long to finish a post; you lose the thread of your narrative and get distracted by really dumb things.

Like I was watching my five-month old baby Oliver and it struck me how ridiculous of a person he is.

He just stares at my wife all day.

Really stares though, the stare of a person with absolutely no self-confidence, a person who lives solely for the attention of others.



He watches her, his mouth downturned and slightly open, and if she even begins to look remotely in his direction, an ecstatic, gummy smile splits his face and he begins to vigorously chew his hand like Lenny and Squiggy do when a foxy dame walks past.

It's really quite pathetic.

I wonder, though.

Is this fanatical dedication to my wife's every step, her slightest gesture, his complete and unquestioning adoration of her, is this the type of devotion she secretly longs for me, her husband, to display?

Is this why marriage books authored by celebrity therapists line our bathroom shelves?

Is the son taking the father to school over how to treat a lady?

A good hypothesis must be rigorously tested by experimentation.







And how far should I take it?






Well, I forgot what this post was about.

In unrelated news, Marianne, over at We Band of Mothers has written a book.


If you go 'like' the http://www.facebook.com/#!/epicmombook for her book, you can win a free copy or a million sea shells or something.

Though she is a bit more extroverted then I would like, Marianne is an extremely nice person and has always supported the rudderless stupidity that is Gweenbrick, so for that I am proud to endorse her book which I have not read, nor do I have even the faintest idea of the flavor of its contents.

Oh, and Paul and I never did work out.

He got the boot for starting too many fires.

I suppose I was a cog in the system that failed him.

I didn't mean to be.