Observations on quality time with my 85 year-old father: Racism edition

Its Memorial Day weekend here in the states and many people are writing about their family’s military history. As I come from a long line of cowards, I’ve got nada to say on that subject. Well actually, my uncle was in the army. He’s the only gay member of the family, which I think says something not only about the family, but him, the military, and this country. But that’s a story for another occassion. This story is about racism.

Race is a subject that seems to permeate all other subjects. Every week we hear about another person killed in a police shooting, with race at the center of the surrounding controversy, with protests to follow. Race can be a mine field as a topic of discussion but it’s there and probably shouldn’t be ignored. I don’t profess to have an answer to the issues surrounding race relations in this or any other country. But, as always, you can depend on Lou Weiss for a number of opinions on the subject. Through him I received an education which stays with me to this day.

When he got out of prison at age 72, Lou displayed new insights into race and social justice. He’d say things like, “You know, the black man doesn’t have a fair chance in this country.” I guess jail can change a man, because I remember as far back as 1968, during the presidential campaign, when he said he was going to vote for George Wallace. You know, the segregationist third party candidate. I was aghast at the time but I realized that it wasn’t that my dad was a racist. Well, not the cross burning, white sheet kind of racist. It was that he was fed up with Republicans and Democrats and wanted to cast a protest vote. I never said he was a reasoned thinker or that he couldn’t fall prey to demagogues. In fact I also remember him making a case for dropping nuclear weapons on North Vietnam. I was only eight at the time but even then I even knew that it was a bat shit crazy idea.

In his store on Canal Street he always hired what would now be termed a “diverse” staff. He wasn’t being benevolent. To him, it was just good business. He figured that if you have customers of color, it would make sense to have staff of color. In the 1950’s, when the area was mostly Jewish and Italian, his sales staff were Jewish and Italian. When the store started to have more Black, Chinese and Puerto Rican customers, he started to hire Black, Chinese and Puerto Rican staff. My goodness: Lou Weiss did something right!

By working there I learned a lot from his multi-cultural staff. I learned how to say “penis” in Pilipino, “butt” in Spanish, and “Mother F*cker” in Chinese, although I never did find out what dialect it was. I also learned the Spanish language phrase for a man whose wife is having sex with another man. And of course there’s the word “homosexual,” which I learned to say in Spanish too, although I sense it wasn’t used in a gay positive manner. Just a hunch. I learned mixed phrases like “I got a pinga for the chinga baby!” That was a way of informing a women that you possessed a male sex organ and could use it to have sexual relations with her. I heard that one a lot, although I had my doubts as to its effectiveness. I guess you’ve sensed by now that it was an all-male sales staff.

The Chinese and Malaysian guys hated each other with a passion, which I guess goes back centuries. This was news to me as were a whole set of hierarchies among ethnic groups. The Cubans thought the Puerto Ricans were “mountain men,” and all the Hispanics hated Brazilians because they wore Lacoste shirts. I must be part Hispanic, because in high school I also hated anyone who wore a Lacoste shirt. Maybe I’m really Sephardic?

Yeah, racism seems to be universal. As Victor, a sales person from Santo Domingo would say, “I’m not racist. I hate everyone equally.” But they all worked together, when they weren’t stealing each other’s customers. But, what’s most important was that they’d steal equally from any nationality. Yep, just another sign of what a great country this is. Equal opportunity hate.

My father would not only hire people of color, but also ex-cons, junkies, and illegal aliens. He implied it was his heroic way of helping the downtrodden but I learned the real reason when he decided he needed to hire another sales person. We put an ad in the paper and after sifting through applications and checking references, it came down to a choice between a twenty-something white guy and a nineteen year-old Puerto Rican. Perhaps I was showing my own biases, but I thought the white guy was the better choice. For one thing, he was more mature and could look you in the eye, unlike the other applicant who’d stare at his feet while he spoke to you. The white applicant was also more educated and his knowledge of the merchandise was superior. However, my dad favored the Puerto Rican guy. When I asked him why, he said it was because the guy had nothing better in his life and would therefore be beholden to him. Forever. To me, not only was he inaccurately stereotyping people, but to take advantage of someone like that was a notch above slavery. But, Lou Weiss was the boss and his choice was final.

By the end of the summer, the “beholden” Puerto Rican teenager had quit to go back to school.  In my mind, I can hear the old Yankees’ sportscaster Mel Allen: “How about that?”

© Curt Weiss 2015

Observations on my 84 year old father: “Back to the Drawing Board” Edition

Observations on my 84 year old father: “Back to the Drawing Board” Edition

Combover

Dad: Curt, I need a CPA.
Me: Why?
Dad: Well I got that death benefit and I don’t want to pay taxes on it.
Me: Dad, you may need to pay taxes on it. If that’s what the law says…
Dad: I tried to put it into an IRA, but they said I was too old. Why would they punish people for being too old?
Me: I don’t think they’re punishing you for being too old. I think IRA’s were created so people would be encouraged to save for retirement. According to the IRS, you’ve been retired for 17 years. Just go to H&R Block.
Dad: I think this is too complex for them.
Me: Dad, I’m sure they’ve dealt with people acquiring death benefits before.

Sometimes people make things more difficult than they need to be. Sometimes they just don’t want to pay their taxes. Take the Fogelman brothers, Mitch and Murray.* They owned the Rivoli Merchandise Corporation, established in 1961 at 50 Howard Street in Manhattan. They were near the corner of Mercer Street, just behind Canal Street and Canal Hardware, the shop my dad owned.

Rivoli was one of the many businesses in the area that had accounts with Canal Hardware. They would buy stuff like nuts and bolts, brooms and mops, Lysol and Lemon Pledge. Most would pay too much for these items in exchange for neighborhood convenience. Bleach, which would cost no more than a $1.99 a gallon at the supermarket, would cost $3.99 at Canal Hardware. When you need something quick, and there’s no real supermarkets in the neighborhood, as was the case in 1990, you’re OK with paying a 100% premium for a counter brush delivered to your door.

Rivoli never paid on time. Not that they didn’t have the $47.83 they owed. They just were too busy and disorganized to get around to paying it. It was my job to go and collect, not that I was any sort of mob enforcer. I was a gentle, friendly reminder to middle aged Jewish business owners who knew my father for 35 years, that it was time to hand over a check for that toilet brush.

This one time though my dad wanted me to enquire about renting their space. He was flush that month and as narcissists have grandiose ideas, he was convinced he needed to expand. The money was burning a hole in his pocket and the IRS would only take it if he didn’t spend it…or hide it. As Rivoli had been around for close to thirty years and always complained about how lousy business was, he thought they might be happy to just rent us their space.

Through the back door and past the garbage bins I go, across Howard street and over towards Mercer. As you enter Rivoli, all you can see in their dimly lit warehouse, that probably hadn’t been painted since the Truman administration, are half open boxes strewn about in complete disarray. Falling out of them are tchotchkes. These are packages of stuff you’d see in 99 cent stores or the junk you’d win when you turned in your skee-ball tickets. I’m talking about colorful erasers and pencils, super bouncy balls, spinning tops, plastic rings, etc. Otherwise known as junk. Perhaps even known as crap. Take your pick.

Mitch would be darting amongst the flotsam and jetsam with a pencil behind his ear while Murray would be at a desk in a side office with papers and reams of documents strewn about. When Murray looked at me, it would be with the disdain of someone who’s had their rightful misery interrupted by someone who dares to have the luxury of being 25 years younger than him at their disposal. Usually he just dealt with whatever papers he had in front of him, comb over flopping across his hand which held his forehead in place. They had a young, African-American bookkeeper/office assistant who said nothing but also had a look of utter disgust on her face at all times. She seemed to know she needed Rivoli to make a living and barely tolerated it, Mitch, Murray or visitors. We all need a goal in life and this was her constant reminder of what not to aspire to.
As for Mitch and Murray they both were middle-aged and overweight, had comb overs, half glasses on a chain around their necks and rashes on their elbows. Their best days were behind them and they had to pay the bills, put the kids through school, keep the wife out of the few hairs they had left on their sweaty heads and hope to live long enough to retire to Florida with the money they still had after they paid the tax man his vig.
I’d call out to Mitch who’d never remember my name, but would remember my father.

“Hi Mitch”
“How’s Lloyd?” he’d ask.
“Not bad,” I’d say. “I need to pick up a check.”
“Sure” he’d say. “Hey Murray! Give the kid a check. Canal Hardware. How much is it?”
“$47.83,” I’d say.

Then I’d ask him how business was.

“Business? It’s terrible! And those fu*king gonniffs at the IRS…”

Murray, who was silent through his exuded misery, would momentarily raise his head to interrupt Mitch, to pipe in and second the point: “Fu*king gonniffs ! ! ! !”

Back to Mitch…

“It’s worse than ever!”

I figured it was time to make my pitch…“Well, why don’t you just let us rent your space? You wouldn’t have to worry about this facachta business and can just make money off of renting it to us.”
Mitch, who was a whirling dervish of diabetes and seemingly a minute away from a heart attack at all times, stopped dead in his tracks.

“Why should we rent to you?”

I replied “Like you said, business is terrible.” Mitch looks me dead in the eye and with an heir of outrage and defiance says “Where’s it written that business should be good?” Murray joins in and barks out, “Forty years feast, forty years famine!”

The bookkeeper seems even more deflated than before. She wished they’d taken the deal. I take my check and go on my way.

It’s back to the drawing board for the bookkeeper and Lou. Especially Lou. The IRS will do that to you. Life will do that to you.

At least Lou has all of his hair.

© Curt Weiss 2015

*I must confess that I can’t guarantee that Murray is the correct name. I know Mitch is correct because I googled it, but for the sake of myth, let’s all just agree that Murray sounds appropriate. I know it’s the same as Glengarry Glen Ross. Just work with me here.

Observations on my 84 year old father: “One Night with Lou” Edition

Observations on my 84 year old father: “One Night with Lou” Edition

On a recent short trip to LA, I spent one night with Lou at his bachelor pad. Lou started working his magic early in the day. He mentioned that he had chest cold symptoms and that he’d want to leave early from my sister’s Xmas party later that evening. This is how he rolls for every holiday party, even when my mother was alive. Only difference now is she’s not there to arrive bearing large platters of food. When he would start moaning about leaving an hour after he got there she would usually roll her eyes and say “Oy, your father wants to go home already,” or ignore him altogether. She knew he’d just want her to make a full meal for him while he watched boxing. She learned to forestall this by not only bringing loads of food to the party for the guests, but a separate meal for him, usually spaghetti and Chicken Cacciatore with garlic…on the bone of course.

Before we left for the party he started chopping up fruit so he could prepare his Herculean meal first thing in the morning. He’s still making his weird food concoctions. As he’s prepping it, he’ll inevitably try to get me to taste a chopped up piece of fruit. He’ll try and hand me a half grape, always sliced lengthwise, but his finger will be right in the meat of the grape. Call me a priss, but I wouldn’t accept soup from a waiter if his finger was in it, and won’t do the same from my dad…especially since I don’t see any soap in his bathroom. By the way: the grapes go in to his cereal. If he has cherries, they go into his drink concoction, floating like ice in a cocktail. Note: the next morning, as usual, half of the breakfast goes into the garbage. The leftover drink does get covered up with cellophane and go into the fridge. He seems to be evolving ever so slightly.

On the drive over I prodded him for info. Some blogs are crowd sourced. Mine is Lou sourced. He did his standard review of his multiple court cases, untrustworthy lawyers and doctors, and other related pursuits like wanting to buy a car, another back surgery, sell a screenplay, etc. He didn’t mention wanting plastic surgery. Another subject that was never broached: my mother.

It’s difficult to find things to talk about that don’t rile him up, depress him or encourage his madness. If I mention some of the old characters at work, it goes something like this:

Me: “Dad, I wonder what ever happened to Feliciano?”
(Feliciano was a Puerto Rican sales person in his store who was as close to Groucho Marx as a Latino could get).
Dad: “Ah, he stole from me.”
Me: “What about Charles?”
Dad: “I don’t remember him.”
Me: “He was from Haiti and had been a local assemblyman.”
Dad: “I think he started his own business with what he stole from me.”
Me: “I saw Ricky’s son online. He’s a big deal dentist now.”
Dad: “Well his other son testified against me. He showed up on the stand in makeup and false eyelashes. He’s a real problem for Ricky.”

I switch conversations and search for other types of small talk.

Me: “Dad, have you gone over to the senior center lately?”
Dad: “Yes, I had a nice conversation with a lady (pause). She turned out to be 93 (shakes his head)”
Next subject:
Me: “So dad, did you get your e-mail address all straightened out?”
Dad: “Yes. I needed it for a dating service.”
Me: “You mean a senior dating service?”
Dad: “Yes.”
Me: “But dad, you don’t like older ladies.”
Dad: “That’s OK. I said I was 64.”

I saw this coming. He told my sister that he said he was 74. As usual, he can’t even get his lies straight.

All in all though, he seems to be doing relatively well under the circumstances. As a narcissist he has the ability to think only of himself and his needs and not get overwhelmed by the emotions that others might. Ergo, the death of my mother seems to bother him financially, but not emotionally to a great extent, at least outwardly. Yes, he gets isolated, seeks companionship, and even has hinted at wanting to use his you know what to do you know what, something my mother and him didn’t seem to do for years as they had separate beds. I know: TMI, but all lessons for the rest of us as we age.

Before I left, he asked me to drop him off in Santa Monica. He likes walking on the pier and I’m sure it helps his breathing problems related to his cold symptoms. In the back of my mind though, I also suspect he wants to be in Santa Monica because there’s plenty of doctors and hospitals. This way he could feign some illness, get rushed to a local hospital and stretch it out to where it become an all-expenses paid vacation by the beach. I drove him up and down the strip to find just the right spot for him to jump out. He’s trying to find a new place where the kids are hip. That Lou gets around.

© Curt Weiss 2014

Observations on my 84 year old father, “What Next?” edition

Loyd.

Lou called me Thursday morning. After seeing his name come up on the screen I shuddered…and then chose not to answer. I’d rather listen to his voicemail first, and speak to him after prepping.

Dad: “Hi Curt, dad here. Curt, by any chance do you know what my e-mail is? Give me a call. Thanks.”

His e-mail address…again. I’ve written this down for him at least twice and it’s on a post it note on his computer monitor. But this is suspicious. Actually, anything he does is suspicious but knowing he wants to actually use his e-mail address leads me to possibilities that are suspect at best. I’m guessing it’s to make some sort of medical records request in pursuit of yet another baseless malpractice law suit. He’d never know what to do with the attachment. He’d end up calling me to figure it out over the phone, which would be a fate akin to one of Dante’s levels of hell. It’s also possible he’s just trying to impress someone…a young lady of about 63 or 64 perhaps. A modern chick.

I call him back and before we can get to the e-mail address, he mentions that he tried to take his written test at the DMV but they stopped him in his tracks as the report his doctor made seems to actually be in their system. Ah, so he’s using trickery on me. The voice mail says one thing but the true reason for the call is another. That Lou Weiss is a wily one.

Back to the DMV. Not only do they say he has sight issues but it also says he is “mentally unstable.” You can’t imagine the emotions that run through me as I come to realize that there is actually an official document in the California DMV’s records that state he’s “mentally unstable.” This is validation. I am not alone in my suspicions. It is now official. He’s nuts.

Dad: “How could that have happened?”
Me: “Dad, remember I told you about this a few weeks ago. Your doctor did this.”
Dad: “How would she know?”

“Because she’s spent time with you” is what I’m thinking. I hold my tongue and continue.

Me: “Remember I told you that (sister who still speaks to you) spoke with her and….
Dad: “My daughter did this?”
Me: “No dad. She spoke to your doctor and…
Dad: “Why is she speaking to my doctor?”
Me: “She speaks to your doctor to make sure your medicines aren’t contra-indicated and you don’t forget what your other doctors have told you. This is part of driving you around from place to place.”
Dad: “She doesn’t do any of that. Let’s get back to that e-mail address.”

As usual, he was too obsessed with blaming and denying than actually wanting to discuss ways to get his doctor to work with him to get a driving license.

“Mentally unstable.” I don’t know how my mother put up with him.

© Curt Weiss 2014

Observations on my 84 year old father, Emerson Fittipaldi edition

Observations on my 84 year old father, Emerson Fittipaldi edition

As Speed Racer’s driving lessons progressed, he continued his daily vehicle care:

Dad: “If I don’t start the car then the battery dies.”
Me: “That doesn’t mean you need to drive it any further than one end of the building garage to the other and back.”

Well, according to the Jewish Mario Andretti, the car broke down and a cop came over to offer help. Strange that there was a cop in the building garage. Anyway, he helped him get the vehicle towed to a mechanic who said the motor was finito. So, now he needs to junk the car. The same car I told him to junk for anything he could get back in March as there were so many things wrong with it that it was just a matter of time before it died. I got him an offer of $240 which he laughed off. Twice he told me he had accepted offers of $2,000 for the car, in spite of Blue Book being nowhere near that. Naturally that bit of fiction has evaporated into the ether. He has now junked it for $300…after putting a few hundred dollars of work into it. But think of all the memories he’ll have from the joyrides…assuming he still has any short term memory. In his mind he might still think he’s driving his Cadillac Seville. Like the 1986 model he tried to sell to one of my Uncles in the 1990’s…saying it was a 1989. Hey, “6’s” and “9’s” look so similar, anyone could have made that mistake!

So, now he has to do exactly what I told him he had to do nine months ago. I should know better than to try and use common sense and deductive reasoning with Senor Manchild, particularly when he has ulterior motives. All along, like a teenage boy, he wanted a car. But Lou has a plan. Soon he’ll be riding on down the street, waving his freak flag high.

© Curt Weiss 2014

Observations on my 84 year old father, post-Thanksgiving edition

Observations on my 84 year old father, post-Thanksgiving edition.

The Loid never ceases to astonish me. But then again, I shouldn’t be surprised by anything he does at this point. In fact, I can often predict what he’ll do. I think of what would be the most risky, brazen, selfish or illogical thing to do, and assume he’ll almost surely do it. It lessens the surprise.

The latest development with the Duke of St. Andrews Place revolves around his car. In spite of having no driver’s license or insurance…he’s driving!!! Yes, you heard it right ladies and gentlemen. Mr. “I’m legally blind”, who forgets his grandchildren’s names and his own address, is driving. (By the way: he also forgot a doctor’s appointment where they were supposed to remove a catheter from his pecker, and walked around with it for three extra days. Maybe he liked it?)

He first told me he only drives around the block to make sure the car will run since he’s trying to sell it. He then admitted to my sister, the one who still speaks to him (also known as “TOWSSTH”) that he drives to the gym. She then asked his doctor about it, who said she was calling the DMV as he shouldn’t be driving because he’s legally blind and has memory issues (is there an echo in here?). She also said she diagnosed him with depression almost two years ago and prescribed Remeron and Lexapro. Of course, he won’t take them. He says he’s worried about the side effects of bad dreams. I think he’s worried about impotence. Never mind that he’s 84 and the only action he gets is from his catheter. He’s looking for a younger lady to charm and take him to Florida after he gets plastic surgery.

Ya know, it really does hurt to say that with anything close to a straight face. As usual, I digress…

Finally, sister who doesn’t speak to him (hereinafter known as “SWDSTH”), in a fit of meanness, (or as the rest of us refer to it, “every waking moment of her life”) put a lock on his steering wheel Friday morning. By late morning, as he was getting ready for his daily joyride, he discovered the lock. He calls TOWSSTH and leaves a message. She texts both me and SWDSTH, but won’t call him back. “I’m afraid of his narcissistic rage.” Understandable. His message said he was calling the police! As the three of us exchange texts, it’s decided that I will call him. I’m a thousand miles away, so what can he do to me?

We finally connect. He assumes TOWSSTH did it and proceeds to tells me some dark secret of her teenage years, which I already knew, as if that justifies him continuing to lie and break the law. “What does that have to do with anything Dad?”

Me: “Dad, you can’t drive without a license.”
Dad: “I only drive it when I need to.”
Me: “Dad, that doesn’t change the fact that you can’t drive without a license or insurance. And anyway, first you told me you only drive it around the block, then you told TOWSSTH that you use it to drive to the gym, and we all know you drove out to Santa Monica yesterday. If you hurt someone or damage any property you’ll be fully liable.”
Dad: “I only drive it when I need to.”
Me: “Your doctor called the DMV because she said your memory and eye sight should negate you from being allowed to drive.”
Dad: “She only said that because your sister told her to say that.”
Me: “No Dad, she came to that realization on her own after TOWSSTH said you were driving. Ya know, lots of families take the keys away from elderly family members. If you’re so sure you can drive safely, then why don’t you apply for a driver’s license and take the test?”
Dad: “Because I don’t have the money for it.”
Me: “That still doesn’t allow you to drive without a license or insurance. What are you thinking?”

I never got an answer to that question. This is instinctual, not thought through. His wants are described as needs and then justified by all means necessary.

As to the cost, TOWSSTH is paying for his driver’s tests and lessons. If he passes he gets the keys back. But also relating to costs, note that TOWSSTH told me that he recently got a picture of himself from when he was twenty, with no shirt on, blown up and framed for $170. This is his priority. I think he’s going to use it on a dating website…assuming he ever figures out that internet thing.

Who would have thought that at 84, my dad would seem to have two things on his mind: cars and girls.

© Curt Weiss 2014

Observations on my 84 year-old dad: the “What’s he building in there?” edition

Observations on my 84 year-old dad: the “What’s he building in there?” edition

Some of you may recall that back on June 16th I reported on my father’s latest escapades into a place where truth and reality continue to be a rarity (feel free to review at https://curtweiss.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/observations-on-my-84-year-old-dad-fathers-day-edition-originally-posted-61614-2/). At that time one sister stopped speaking to him while the other had already basically disowned him. At this time I am in the unenviable position of having the most contact with my father of any family member. This means he calls me…often. He still calls them, but I am the only one that eventually responds.

When the phone rings there’s a usual scenario. First the landline: The only time it rings its ether my father or telemarketers. It’s hard to tell which one is selling me a larger bill of goods. If the television is on, a graphic appears with his name and number on it. I shudder, roll my eyes, say something like “what the f*ck does he want now?” and ignore it. Then my cell will ring, with my mother’s name popping up on the screen. I’ve yet to take her name out of my contact list. It would be another nail in her proverbial coffin…in spite of the fact that she was cremated three months ago. As the sequence of ringing phones continues, there’s often a text from one, if not both, of my sisters saying that he’s called them too. So, there are now as many as four phones he has dialed, of which he’s not connected with anyone nor has he left a voice mail.

At this point, my sisters and I continue our texting. We try and guess what he wants: what piece of paper he’s looking for; what web research he wants one of us to do; a new “hackuh” he’s discovered at the gym; news on a malpractice law suit he’s pursuing; can we find him an agent, etc. We also discuss what an a** hole he is and what lie he’ll tell us. You know: the usual.

Once a week, maybe two if he actually leaves me a voice mail, I call him back. Part of it is to alleviate my occasional guilt towards what would seemingly be the abandonment of my father, the same abandonment he confessed to my mother he was worried would happen to him if she died before him. Now, stop and think about that for a moment. Here’s a man, talking to his wife of 57 years, the mother of his three children, on what would ultimately be her death bed, and telling her that HE’S got a problem that she should worry about and attend to. Gee, what else could be on her mind? Is that the ultimate narcissistic act? Not some version of “how can I help you my dying, devoted wife?” but “here’s how your pain, misery and suffering impacts me.”

But I digress…

The other reason I call him is I’m just curious as to what wacky sh*t he’s up to! See, I know how dangerous it can be talking to him. He’s a conniver of the highest order. But, come on now! I mean, I’ve got a book to write and I need free content! It’s like being a literary Youtube or the Huffington post blog section! Free content! And luckily, he does not disappoint.

According to Sir Cock and Bull, when he was at the convalescent home (the one he walked out of a few days after back surgery and insisted he needed for rehab), he SLIPPED ON FECES IN THE BATHROOM AND RE-INJURED HIS BACK. You heard it right. But, I wasn’t sure I heard it right, so I made him say it again. And he did! And, you guessed it, he’s looking for an attorney to discuss the case with. Now mind you, he’s saying all of this in the breathy voice he puts on whenever he wants to sound sick and get sympathy. I heard him use this voice when trying to convince someone who placed seniors in assisted living facilities that he had breathing problems and needed to be placed in a home in Santa Monica by the beach. When the phone call was over, he went back to his regular voice. So, when I hear this voice on the phone, it’s more evidence that he’s lying. Usually, the fact that he’s talking is enough, but the put on voice seals the deal.

Did he mention slipping on poop to me the day he left the convalescent home? Nope. Did he mention it to my sister before she told him to take a flying fu*k and hung up on him? Nope. Did he mention it in the letter he wrote to her a few weeks later as she wouldn’t return his phone calls, explaining how awful the place was? Nope. Just as he did the evening after I exploded on him for lying to the bank officer, telling them that my mother needed a new debit card even after she’d been dead for a week, he’s reverse engineering again. This is one of his most finally honed skills. True, it didn’t keep him out of jail, but it satisfies his diseased mind. It relieves him of any guilt, makes those challenging him wrong, connives the legal system and puts money in his pocket. It’s a narcissists’ superfecta! All he has to do is re-write history. “Of course the place was horrible! There was sh*t on the floor and I slipped on it! I was physically hurt and emotionally degraded and have to sue them for the good of all senior citizens! I’m Superman and Mother Teresa all rolled into one! Bow down before me, my royal subjects!”

But, the story doesn’t end there:

Lloyd: “I met someone who’s going to get my screenplay sold.”
Me: “Really dad. Where did you meet him?”
Lloyd: “At the gym. He was in a TV show. You ever hear of Star Trek?”
Me: “Yes dad, I have heard of it. What character did he play?”
Lloyd: “The character? I think he said Spock”.

Well, just beam me the fu*k up Scotty!

The stories that he develops in his mind are built on reality. But I think there are gremlins in his brain, that no matter how much he hops up and down on one foot, and bangs the side of his head, just won’t come out. The gears are all flapping wildly and clanking like an engine in need of oil. But that doesn’t stop him. He keeps turning the key, hoping the motor will run.

What’s he building in there? We have a right to know!!!

© Curt Weiss 2014