The thing they don’t tell you about arterial blood is that it is just so much darker than what they show on television when people do heinous things to not-so-heinous people. They always make it look like this Campbell’s tomato soup color when it is this rick and dark red that, like I am doing right this very second, you want a roll in it and have it cover you like a blanket, wiping away any other color, any other light that would dare intrude into such an intimate picture. It is warm and wet, like so many things that are sexual and sensual. It is coppery in your mouth as you roll it along the tip of your tongue and it catches, just a bit, in the back of your throat as your brain reminds you just what exactly is it you are doing, almost a way of making sure you truly want to become what you are trying to be.

I am a bit past where you are, however, so allow me to explain.

A little more than an hour ago, in a very uppity part of Manhattan, I took a chef’s knife from the block in my mother-in-law’s kitchen. It was a gorgeous thing that was this beautiful Damascus patterned steel that looked like explosions and supernovas to my unknowing eyes. It had a handle of, I assume, faux ivory and I walked into the study she was sitting in and I proceeded to remove her head from her shoulders. It is a task that I did not expect to be easy, but it took far longer than I anticipated it taking and a few tools I had to go back into the kitchen to retrieve. The Wusthoff cleaver she had finally got through the spine. It took me a few times, but if I may add, it was a half an hour or so into the ordeal and I am not a particularly large human being.

What, what do you mean you want to know why I did such a thing?

Fine. Christ, people just can’t be content with being told a good story anymore. They have to know about the fucking life of the artist and see if it fits his fucking oeuvre. Choosy fucking beggars I swear…

You want to know why I am laying in a pool of blood and drinking it alternatively like Kool-Air and Merlot?

I was walking down the street to see her this afternoon. My wife asked me to come and pick up some papers from her so we could do her taxes, and it just occurred to me that instead of all of that I could just cut the fucking woman’s head off and swim around naked in her blood like Count Bathory of modern times and then clean up and go home, not forgetting the papers, of course, taxes are important.

Did she do anything wrong?

No, why would you ask me that?

Did she deserve to die? I have no fucking idea. I am not an all-knowing seeker of truth. I wanted to cut her head off and, well, I did.

Sorry, were you expecting me to tell you I had a horrid childhood? That my mummy raped me and daddy beat me?

No sugar tits, sometimes you just want to go and cut a fucking head off.

Thankfulness – My Kitten That Roars

The first time I met Bethany was just a few weeks after I moved back from Kansas the last time. We were at a diner in the city, at a social thing, and we hit it off really well, and it was almost instantly. We talked for hours and hours that first day, carried it over to website chats after and eventually texting back and forth nearly constantly. After a few weeks, we were virtually inseparable, this is all when the dear lady had to drive the sixty miles one way to come and see me.

Now there are a lot of stories I could share with you, but two instantly come to mind and since they are intrinsically connected in the grand scheme of things, I will tell you both because I can do that thing and if you don’t want to read it you can go away and that is okay too.

My middle duck, My Connorface, has severe mental and physical disabilities. He doesn’t speak, walk, or even really crawl, and that is today, I am talking about almost ten years ago and he has made strides since then to improve on all of those areas. He wears diapers and constantly engages in involuntary self-injurious behaviors.

Now, knowing none of this at first, Bethany walked into where we were living at the time and picked him up and held him and loved him like he was her own and that hit my Naomi and I like a shotgun shell tot he chest. No one holds my Connorface see, not his grandparents, not his uncles, no one. Bethany just came in and held him and treated him exactly like Naomi and I did, like a sweet and wonderful little boy who has a laugh that will make your heart melt. He loved her to pieces too and would laugh and smile as soon as he saw her in the room.

If that doesn’t make you smile one of those half-tearful parental smiles, well, you have no heart and there isn’t much I can do for you.

The second story is truly one of my favorite things to tell people when I tell them about my mother and father-in-law.

Naomi was about three months pregnant with the Babeh Duck when we moved back to New York. In fact, it was a huge reason we moved back. I wanted my kid to be born at Strong, so I moved my entire life back to a place where I left running years before.

The day that Naomi went in to have the little dude, a date we got to pick because we were awesome, we got there and went through the agony of the entire process. Sweaty palms, anesthesia, screaming baby, Neonatal Intensive Care, all of it. That story is told elsewhere, this one is about the first time the little newborn got to be held by someone who wasn’t one of his parents.

My mother-in-law came down for the whole thing, my father-in-law couldn’t be bothered, and had been with us from minute one and was actually a colossal help.

However, it was Bethany that got to hold my youngest son first. Not her, not my family, Bethany. Now as much as I would love to say it was just to rub it in my mother-in-law’s face, which let’s be honest it kind of was in a way, Bethany had been there for all of the ups and the downs and the tears and the everything. Doctor Appointments, emergency trips to prenatal cardiologists, all of it and more. it was Bethany that had been there. Bethany that had done. Bethany that had been a rock that Naomi and I both clung to like sailors in a storm when it got to be the worst of the worst.

When I called Bethy the morning Naomi died, she didn’t even think about it and was there in what seemed like moments. Another rock I clung to on that day. For weeks afterward in fact, even to this very morning where I am writing about the woman and leaving out chunks and wholes because certain stories are mine and hers alone.

My Bethany, the kitten that is playful and loving, laughing loudly and proudly, loving Def Leppard and the Muppet Show, making a sauce that rivals Italian grandmothers, a consummate friend, and human being.

All my love Bethy, always.