October 7, 2017 at 11:11 am (On the road again..., That's not funny...)

My Dad used to say, “You’d forget your head if it wasn’t fastened on.”

He didn’t mean me specifically. He mostly said that about himself, but I always enjoyed the visual; grabbing someone by the scalp, holding their severed head up a la Kathy Griffin and saying, “Um, dude…?”

Considering my age and how much weed I’ve smoked over the past 42 years, you’d think my brain would leak like a sieve. This is hardly the case. As my brother-in-law used to say, “You’ve got a mind like a steel trap. Rusted shut.”

I’d like to think I fall somewhere in between a mental lint-trap and Niagra Falls. But this week, I saw some glimpses of the doddering old man I may soon become…

I think I have an easier time remembering than some because of my drinking. I would do things in a specific way in case I blacked out. Also, I would find out odd occurrences that happened each day, as an excuse to have a drink. (“Pink Flamingos was released on this day in 1972. A toast!”) Little things like that help with long-term memory. Short-term memory? What’s that?

As I rolled down Hawthorne on the bus, I remembered I needed milk, so I hopped at 39th, er, Cesar Chavez Boulevarde! I dashed inside, I had twenty minutes to grab my goodies and get back to the bus stop.

This particular Freddy’s has in-store handmade tortillas, and I got the last fresh package. I grabbed a couple apples, (“Herro, Mister Fuji!”) a gallon of milk and headed to self-checkout. (I prefer doing my own checkout most of the time, unless my darling Angel is working. It’s the only time I see her anymore.) As I was finishing up, I noticed my driver’s license was missing. WTF? I HAD JUST REPLACED THAT GODDAMNED THING A WEEK AGO! I dug through the usual spots as I hurried back to the bus stop.

How much had I paid to replace my license? $23? Goddammit, I don’t have money to keep losing like that. And it’s not like I can get by without it. I get carded daily for weed, bus fare, etc… Fuck, I won’t even be able to go to the dispensary tomorrow! There had been one place that would sneak me through when I’d misplaced my ID, but they were no longer in business. Fuuuck…

As the bus rolled on, I had a brain-flash. I pulled out my phone, popped off the protective shell, and, hidden in the layers like the old song says, “Whooomp, there it is!”. Of course! When I had visited Rain in jail, I put my ID there, say it with me now, “So I wouldn’t lose it.”

I left it there. Hell, it’s easy access, and I never go anywhere without my phone. (I discovered a long time ago that I will go out without my teeth, but not my smartphone.) I have a new “place for everything, and everything in its place.”

At that moment, I felt a sinking feeling of despair in the pit of my stomach. While I was at self-checkout obsessing over my misplaced driver’s license, I’d completely forgotten to grab my receipt and the twenty-dollar-bill I’d asked for in change.

Shit shit shit. The bus had carried me twelve blocks, and was high-balling it. I rang the bell and was let off two blocks south of the Elks Lodge. (“They’re holding an Elk’s Convention, sir.” “I don’t care if they got him by the antlers, I wanna get some sleep!”) A check of Transit Tracker said I had fifteen minutes until the next bus back. Shit. I lit out on foot.

I puffed my pen, trying to minimize the anger of giving away my last $20, probably to some yuppie scum who won’t even notice the extra twenty in their change. I got back to the store fairly quick; I will step lively for twenty bucks. I marched straight to the stand I used, and noticed the monitor watching me. The whole area was closed, no sign of my having been there. Even the receipts had been thrown away.

“I imagine people try this on you all the time, but did anyone turn in a twenty-dollar-bill?”

“Do you have a receipt showing you were here?”

“No, sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry, the person who left the twenty also left their receipt. What did you buy?”

“Um, chocolate milk, um… this stuff!” I held out the bag full of items that matched the receipt in her hand. If I were a con man, I was a fucking good one.

“Very good, sign here.” I signed the receipt, foregoing proof of my rewards total in exchange for medible money for the week. Daddy will have chocolate!

No Sex, Lots of Candy…

I want to thank the folk at the Hawthorne Fred Meyer, for their honesty and sharp eye. With their help, I am no longer so broke I can’t afford to pay attention.


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