Catchy (Sitting 61) M, Leo and the First Meeting…August 11th, 2018

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Grateful he was.

Matthew sat quietly in his overstuffed and overpriced first-class seat on the midnight flight from Washington, D.C. to Las Vegas.

The plane was dark. It was quiet. Most of the passengers had taken their tiny element of a sleeping pill and disappeared into slumber.

That was also true of Leonora, who quickly explained that she was exhausted from the audition and needed to get some solid airplane z’s on the trip because she had a meeting the next morning with the symphony coalition, to discuss health benefits.

Her excuse, like every performance in her life, was well-rehearsed and inadequately presented.

As Matthew had gotten to know her, he liked her less and less, and so found himself burying his interest and passions into their sexual adventure.

She was opinionated. Matthew had always viewed himself as open-minded–easy to get along with–but in her presence felt defensive. He hated it when she insisted he start calling her “Leo,” because she viewed herself, in the realm of business, intellect and art, as a lioness.

“You are what you claim to be,” she mouthed.

Matthew nodded, quite certain that many claims were being made every day by mortals which made the heavens laugh.

What really troubled him was when she started calling him “M.”

Just the letter “M.”

When he asked her why she was doing that, she said, “I’m encouraging you to grow. You need to realize that you’re on a journey to fill out your name.”

Matthew didn’t know what the hell that meant, but was in no mood to have it explained further and end up with more dents in his body work. He was also afraid that if she started in trying to become his psychoanalyst, he would have to be more forthcoming and tell her that she was much less than she presumed.

Her oboe playing had never been great, but had become even less proficient as she started to complain about the fellow-members of her quintet and the unwillingness of the symphony conductor to listen to her suggestions on seating and tone.

She viewed Matthew as an ignoramus, even though he had spent many years enjoying classical music, and had a very good friend at the university who was an oboist. Matthew kept his mouth closed except when they were kissing.

It was especially difficult that day, when she met him at the airport, explaining that the audition was long, she had to wait, and then it turned out that she had some sort of microscopic, tiny split in her reed, which prohibited her from gaining the full height and depth of her range. She requested another time to audition but the committee refused. So she failed because they were inconsiderate.

Matthew listened to her rail for a solid hour–against the walls, the furniture, the paint and the chairs that surrounded her, blaming everything she possibly could for her setback–except for the fact that she was insufficient for the moment.

It was the strangest relationship of Matthew’s life. There was a deep-rooted part of him that loved her madly; an exotic jungle passion that nearly left him breathless. But as a human being, she had selected the portions of intelligence that she revered, while ignoring the virtues that make such knowledge applicable.

Matthew remained silent.

Sitting in the darkness of the airplane, glancing over at his sleeping lover, he began to cry. It actually turned into a tiny sob, which he hoped nobody else heard.

He was so embarrassed. He was ashamed–but also enraged, because here he was, with a defunct liver in his body, battling for his life, simultaneously apologizing for breathing.

How in the hell had it gotten so complicated? What was he going to do?

He reached into his pocket and pulled out his own remedy for insomnia–a tiny flask of a brandy which included a shot or two fo sherry. He downed the remainder of the contents and put his head back. Sleep still refused to come–so he cried.

Matthew finally dozed off, with tears streaming down his face.

*****

The following morning, in Washington, D.C., Soos decided to get started on her project.

She thought she had the easiest assignment of all. Michael Hinston, who had been a Congressman, wining and dining lobbyists who were salivating for his vote, now had a humble one-room efficiency at the YMCA. His marriage to the Lutheran minister had been annulled when she discovered all the trials and tribulations chasing him, threatening to destroy his life. She loved him, but she still wanted out.

So he was alone with his twin bed.

Soos called Michael and he agreed to meet with her at ten o’clock A.M., at a little diner he claimed had the best waffles and scrapple on the East Coast. Soos explained she had never eaten scrapple–avoiding it because the ingredients seemed to be the rear-end of every barnyard creature. But Michael said she would probably enjoy this batch.

Arriving at the diner, they found a booth in the back. They embraced–the kind of embrace that merged “old college friends” with some tenderness of man and woman, and a huge immersion in fellow-travelers of faith.

As Michael pulled away he had tears in his eyes.

“Why are you crying?” asked Soos.

Michael chuckled. “Because I can–and I am the luckiest man in the world to be able to cry this morning.”

Soos took the next ten minutes to explain to Michael what had transpired with the abduction and the request made to her–to contact him, the goal being some secret discovery about his involvement, which was beyond her comprehension.

“Well, since neither one of us know what it means, or have any idea of the significance, I think it’s good that we came to eat waffles,” said Michael.

And eat they did. Soos ended up actually enjoying the scrapple, though she thought it was a little salty.

They just talked. It was a conversation that would be difficult to explain to a stranger, so filled with tenderness that it would always be remembered as priceless.

“There was a time in my life,” Michael said, “when if you had told me that some organization or guy had chosen me for special attention, I would have assumed it was just great foresight on their part. I wasn’t just arrogant–I was religious about my arrogance. I actually believed that God wanted me to be the best father in the world. The best husband. The best extra-marital lover. The best Congressman. And of course, the best cheater in Washington, D.C. Sometimes when you’re going for the best you forget that it has to begin with good. You know–good, better, best?”

Soos smiled. She had always loved Michael because he was clever. Unfortunately, cleverness could have dangerous blow-back.

Michael continued. “I almost lost everything. Let me edit my own statement. I did lose everything–but I never actually had it. I just pretended. I pretended so hard that, honest to God, I could not imagine what was happening when my first wife left me for a Lesbian and my second wife left me because I was a criminal. Everybody leaves me.”

He grinned. “And I really can’t argue with them. They’ve got really good reasons.”

“So I don’t know why anybody would want me to do anything. I did fix the radiator in my room, so when winter comes I’ll be warm. That was pretty nifty.”

Michael paused.

“Will you talk to me about Matthew?” he asked. “I don’t think I ever loved a man as much as I love Matthew. I don’t think I ever told him that. I was afraid he would make fun of me.”

Soos giggled and spit out a little bit of her coffee. “He would have.”

Michael chuckled. They sat for a moment. Soos reached over and took his hand.

“He’s dying,” she said.

Michael lifted his head, shocked.

“Not quickly,” she explained. “But his liver is shot to hell, and gradually, he’s just poisoning himself. “And he has a new girlfriend that has the personality of a prickly pear.”

Michael laughed. “What you’re saying is that she is difficult to sit down on and talk to.”

For some reason, Soos found that statement hilarious. She laughed and snorted, gaining the attention of half the diner. A dirty look from the proprietor finally made her sober up.

“I don’t want to get you kicked out of your favorite diner,” she said.

Michael waved her off. “Forget about it. I waffle on my favorite diner.”

He smiled with the innocence of a ten-year-old boy. “What can I do for Matthew?”

Soos considered and then injected, “Got a black market liver in your pocket?”

Michael crinkled his brow. “No,” he said, “but I have a liver in my body.”

“Don’t you need that?” mocked Soos.

“Yeah, but not all of it. I could give him a piece of mine.”

Soos shook her head. “That’s ridiculous, Michael. Anyway, you probably wouldn’t be a match.”

“But what if I was?” queried Michael. “What if I held the key to Matthew’s life the way Jesus held the key for mine?”

Soos groaned, a little disgusted. “So now you think you’re a savior?”

“No,” said Michael. “That job is filled. It just seems like if you could save someone, why not go ahead and do it?”

A lightbulb went off in Soos’s head.

“Oh, my God,” she said. “Is it possible that your part in this, whatever…mission…is to help Matthew and bring him to Jesus?”

Michael teared up again. He took the final bite of waffle laying on his plate, seemingly deserted. He chewed, swallowed, and looked Soos in the eye.

“My dear sister,” he said slowly, “I can’t imagine a greater calling.”

 

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Cracked 5 … July 10th, 2018


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Due to years and years of startling mental and emotional abuse, these are some of the things that Charlie Brown from the “Peanuts” cartoon might have done when he grew up and became a serial killer

 

A. Suggest that Peppermint Patty and her lesbian lover camp out in his murder van

 

B. Break Schroeder’s piano into tiny little pieces and force-feed them into his mouth, causing him to choke and die in his overstated, melancholy way

 

C. Cut off Lucy’s head, carve out the brain and fill it with nickels

 

D. Continue his bizarre relationship with Snoopy, his dog, even allowing the beast to become his partner in crime, barking out favored victims

 

E. Cut the voice box out of all the annoying parents and teachers–and once and for all get rid of the goddamn squawking

 

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Catchy (Sitting 8) Cleanly Rich … July 30th, 2017

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Paul didn’t waste any time.

Before blankets could be spread, cushions situated and all snacks and drinks divvied among the three, he had already begun to drone out his story. It could have been a very interesting tale, but Paul seemed unimpressed with his own reputation.

He had married three years after college–only the fourth lass he had ever seen naked. They had two children who apparently were soldiering on to do their best with the process of growing up to join the ranks of those in file. Paul did not have many hobbies–actually, Paul had no hobbies that he shared. But as he sipped on a bit of diet root beer, he popped off a question.

“Don’t you think there are better ways to spend two hundred and fifty million dollars than propagating the myths of Bedouins who seem to have nothing better to do than kill one another in the name of their mythical gods?”

Matthew chose not to answer. After all, it wasn’t a question. It was a statement of disbelief. Somewhere along the line, Paul Padwick had consumed a sour communion wafer and was still wincing from the experience. Realizing that he was the killjoy of the little airport soiree, Paul rolled over on his Cornhusker cushion and went soundly to sleep.

That left Jo-Jay and God-guy–otherwise known as Joanna and Matthew. The two of them had briefly been a number back in college–a three-week period when neither of them was sexually ravaging or being ravaged–so they cast a glance each other’s way. They made it all the way to the bedroom and even to breakfast the morning after, but then, without any treaty, discussion or negotiation, the accidental collision was never spoken of again by either party.

So Matthew was curious about what would initiate their chatting and was relieved to discover that Joanna had planned all the dialogue, with most of the lines written for herself. She launched into her story.

Two years after college, she met a young fellow who showed great promise–except when it came to keeping promises to her. He had been a rather quiet student in college, but once he got married and realized there were many vaginas in the world, like Columbus of old, he launched his ship to discover new worlds.

Jo-Jay put up with it for a while and then asked for a divorce. She was a little disheartened that he immediately agreed. Because of his unfaithful status, she was granted alimony.

So she tripped along and cavorted for a couple of years, even considering trying to transform herself into a lesbian–but found the experience rather distasteful.

Four years ago she met The Duke. Duke was not his nickname, but rather, his title. He was a Duke of Something-or-other that she could not remember–but it came with much bearing and money. He was thirty-two years her senior. She said that she didn’t really marry her father, but rather, his father.

But he was gentle. He was kind. Generous to a fault, if such a thing is possible. And just about the time Jo-Jay’s hormones were beginning to itch for a scratch outside the mansion, he just up and died, leaving all of his earthly goods to a very earthly Joanna Lawrence. She was actually very surprised at how much she missed him.

She decided to play a game with herself. Every time she withdrew a stack of one-hundred dollar bills from the bank, she pretended it was his face instead of Benjamin Franklin’s.

“So you’re filthy rich,” said Matthew with a tinge of sarcasm.

Jo-Jay smiled. “Actually, I’m clean rich. The difference is, when you’re clean rich, you enjoy the money but you’re constantly trying to do penance by giving much of it away, to apologize for being financially over-nourished.”

All the time that Jo-Jay was sharing, it appeared that she was becoming more intoxicated (though she was gulping nothing more than club soda and orange juice). She was an exciting person. She had the quality of a young girl–the kind of little miss you know isn’t very attractive right now, but someday would be a hellcat.

Finally, Jo-Jay wound down. Or at least, Matthew assumed she did–because he passed out on his cushion in exhaustion.

The next afternoon, the Lincoln airport was opened. Matthew looked for Paul, who apparently had already departed.

So he reached over to hug Jo-Jay and asked, “Where are you off to?”

“San Francisco,” she replied.

Matthew crinkled his brow. “Well, that’s where I’m going.”

Jo-Jay jumped up and down like a little girl and said, “I know, I know. I bought the seat next to you.”

“Don’t you have somewhere to go?” asked Matthew.

“Now I do,” said Jo-Jay. “You see, one of the things about my Duke is that he had a fascination about the Galilean.”

“Galilean?” asked Matthew.

“Jesus,” replied Jo-Jay. “He never called him Jesus. He referred to him as the Galilean because most of his life was spent near the Sea of Galilee. The Duke believed that this Galilean had the solution to mankind’s problems because he refused to let us escape the philosophical juggernaut statement, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

Matthew peered at her. “So you’re coming with me to. . .?”

“To. . .” Jo-Jay paused also. “To see where it goes.”

Matthew gave her a quick hug, then pulled back, admiring her like she was a kid sister. “So here’s to wherever the hell it goes.”

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Catchy (Sitting Five) Michael…Row — July 9th, 2017

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Michael Hinston was a first-term congressman from the state of Ohio, representing farmers, bankers, mothers, daughters and computer technicians.

He certainly had the background. Raised on a farm in rural Ohio, he had graduated in the upper twelve per cent of his high school class and ended up two years at Ohio University in Athens working and struggling because of a lack of scholarships and financial aid. He transferred in his junior year to Ohio State.

He always knew what he wanted to do–work in a business long enough to build up neighborhood recognition so he could enter politics. Therefore his major was business with a minor in political science. He purposely took one semester of graduate school so, in conversations, he could allude to pursuing his Master’s Degree. For a time, he worked as an investment consultant with D. R. Smithers—the one with the large moose in their ads—with the aspiration of making contacts with the more wealthy and elite, attempting to build a database of future contributors to his campaigns.

He got married at the age of twenty-five, fulfilling statistics without much of a biological urge, to a young woman named Rachel, who was the perfect political wife. She was smart, semi-attractive, well-educated, well-bred, doting, loyal, with a good business sense and willing to bear enough children to qualify as a family, which in this case, ended up being two daughters, Alisa and Bernice (A and B–easy for the electorate to remember).

It was a well-formulated plan by a well-organized man living in a time when well-meaning was … well, everything.

Michael carefully made selections for his life–the right church, the right clubs, the right car, and the right schools for his girls.

Mr. Michael Hinston worked a plan. He was a habit resembling a creature. He never went to the grocery store without a list and never started his car without knowing where he was going. Perfection was in sight.

That is, until his wife, Rachel, met Connie.

Rachel and Connie became fast friends because their husbands were men busy grinding away. They worked together, played together, laughed together and eventually made love together. Two women in their early thirties found out that they were more attracted to softer hands and softer lips and were willing to jeopardize the softer lifestyle.

When Rachel told Michael of her love affair with Connie, he just sat and stared at her. She looked for twinges of anger and signs of disappointment, but what she sensed in Michael was bewilderment.

Michael was dumbfounded. He had recently been elected to the school board—his first political venture, but this diddling by his spouse was not in the plan. He was stymied. Where does a lesbian wife fit in to the great scheme to be elected to the U.S. Congress?

“You really don’t care that I love a woman, do you?” Rachel was incensed.

“Oh, I care,” responded Michael. “I’m just trying to figure out how we could work it into the grid.”

Rachel resigned from being part of Michael’s master plan. She packed her bags and moved with Connie to California, where girl love is a thing.

Michael and Connie’s husband formulated a story. Their wives had temporarily moved to the Golden State to open up a coffee shop. They knew the tale would not hold up very long.

So Michael consulted with his campaign manager, who also happened to be the local high school football coach, Mack Johnson.

Mack offered a suggestion. “Now that your wife is with Connie, it will be no time at all before the public will know that Rach has become a titty-bobber.”

Michael nodded, not sure what a “titty-bobber” was. He was less pessimistic. Rachel was obsessive, having once eaten oysters for six days straight. Perhaps she would lose her taste for lady.

Mac continued. “I would suggest that you go ahead and run for city council before this story breaks, because people will be much more tolerant of a city councilman having a lesbo wife than a school board member.”

This made sense to Michael. He waited a couple of months and ran for city council, which he won handily against, ironically, a lesbian candidate campaigning on “equal pay for the gay” in the workplace.

 

 

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … April 23rd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2913)

Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Woman: Not all men are gay.

 

Dear Man: Of course not.

 

Dear Woman: Not all women are lesbians.

 

Dear Man: Is this some sort of homophobic rant?

 

Dear Woman: No, not at all. My point is, men get along really well with each other without sex, as do women.

 

Dear Man: That’s why society insists that men and women have differences which create incompatibility.

 

Dear Woman: No, that’s wrong. That’s not the reason. The reason is that heterosexual men and women lead with sex. They try to find a passion of romance instead of a reason for conversation. So in the gay or lesbian community, they have the same problem. They fight like cats and dogs, just like heterosexuals.

 

Dear Man: Well, actually it would be cats and cats, and dogs and dogs…

 

Dear Woman: Very cute. Our culture has taught us to look at the opposite sex as a means for gratifying our physical needs. And then we wonder, when the thrill of that sexuality plays out, why people grow disinterested.

 

Dear Man: Well, how would you change that? Men are always going to look at women as potential partners in the bedroom. And women do the same thing in their own style.

 

Dear Woman: It doesn’t have to be that way. Men who aren’t gay still have passion for each other if they become involved in a common cause–like war, family, politics, sports, business…

 

Dear Man: Well, women, too.

 

Dear Woman: Exactly. But it works because the passion is always in the third position, not the primal one. If you try to get football players worked up to win a game, and they have no business or friendship with each other, nothing clicks.

 

Dear Man: I see what you mean. You’re saying that the problem is that we advertise sex so much in this country, that once the impact of the original fling is over, we have no real interest, so we terminate the overwrought passion.

 

Dear Woman; I couldn’t have said that better myself. Whether you’re religious or not, the tale of the Garden of Eden does lay it out correctly, and shows where things went astray. God gave Adam and Eve business and friendship, and He assumed that passion and family would spawn from that. But the minute Adam saw Eve, he was sexually drawn to her, and because the relationship was “bone and flesh,” as he put it, they didn’t develop the business and friendship that was necessary to keep them from falling apart.

 

Dear Man: That’s wild. And so true. So at a very early age we should have boys and girls work together, develop friendships, and then see what sparks in passion.

 

Dear Woman: It’s why when people have affairs, they usually happen with someone they work with. The work stimulates closeness which leads to a friendship with laughter and interaction, lending itself to passion. But if you start off with passion, you’ve got nowhere to go.

 

Dear Man: Or you end up trying to force a friendship and a business.

 

Dear Woman: So even though folks think it’s immoral, people living together before marriage might be a successful project, if there was no sex involved. They could prove that working their business together could grow into a deep-rooted friendship.

 

Dear Man: So if it begins with passion, it will soon lose its fashion.

 

Dear Woman: You rhymed!

 

Dear Man: I’d like to say I did it on purpose, but that would be a lie.

 

Dear Woman: We begin with business–a common goal, which leads to friendship–a common feeling, and ends up with passion–a common pleasure.

 

Dear Man: I like that. Common goal, common feeling, common pleasure. If we take that path, we are constantly feeding the excitement for one another with the new experiences of our business and friendship.

 

Dear Woman: And if we don’t, we’re depending on our bodies to keep it interesting.

 

Dear Man: That’s too much to ask of “any-body.”

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The Family Way… July 19, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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angy kitchenAt first consideration, one would not think that Jerry Springer, the PTL Club, MSNBC and Fox News have much of anything in common.

But having great fun in the middle of the night, awakening from sleep, and doing a little channel surfing on the old TV, I found that all four of them, in the process of a few moments, espoused an identical declaration:

“It’s all about family.”

Even though the words came out of the mouth of a former crack-addicted mother, a black preacher, a liberal lesbian newscaster and a blond bimbo, they were still exactly the same wording and rhetoric.

Matter of fact, I would say that those words are what you would call a “safe haven” for anyone to speak if they wanted to evoke applause.

But doing a little figuring, assuming that there are eight billion people in the world and growing, if each little family consists of about four to eight individuals, then we would have one billion non-connecting units on planet earth, who are mainly concerned about their clump of four to eight people.

Does that frighten you? Does the notion of one billion renegade troupes of human souls, focused only on their own well-being, put a chill down your spine?family studio

But once again, ironically, we refuse to reference Jesus’ feelings and attitudes on this issue, even though we claim to be a Christian nation. So let me refresh you:

  • When Jesus was informed that his family had arrived “to see him,” he turned, pointed to the crowd and said, “These are my family. Anyone who does the will of my Father is my mother, sister and brother.”
  • During his Sermon on the Mount, he warned us that if you only love those who love you, you are no better than the heathen.
  • He gave another stern admonition to his disciples, warning that often our worst enemies are those of our own households.
  • He selected twelve disciples with not a brother, sister or cousin among them, mainly because his family members had rejected him.
  • And he closed out his philosophical insights on this subject by saying, “If you don’t hate your mother and father, you are not worthy of the Kingdom.”

Now I do understand that these are all subject to interpretation. Some folks would even say I am taking them out of context. But the sheer glut of evidence lets us know that Jesus wanted us to expand our vision of family to include the entire brotherhood and sisterhood of humankind.

I have an absolutely fabulous family. I would not use the word “proud” in describing my sentiments about them–their lives are their own and I should not garner kudos for their accomplishments. Christmas jassBut I will tell you this–I have often upset those immediate kin of mine by including more people into my circle as family than they deemed necessary.

I have three sons who were born of my seed and three others that I took into my home and adopted.

I have young people all over the country I have supported with prayer and encouragement, who I feel close to because I include them in my family.

The notion that we can continue to shrink our vision of fellowship and treat the rest of human beings as either peripheral OR superfluous will cause us to become a more closed society, wracked with indifference.

Here are my three suggestions:

1. Love your family by finding other people who remind you of your family and love them equally.

2. Don’t cut more slack to your family than you do to other people; otherwise, you are on a dangerous road to hypocrisy.

3. Teach your children to love people because they are God’s creation instead of the fact that they’re “your creation.”

The “family way” of doing things in this country is a sly trick, designed to keep us insulated from feeling the pain of others.

If we don’t increase our vision, don’t be surprised if we become blind to the need.

 

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