At lunch with a woman recently, our conversation acted like a lightning bolt in my brain. I learned why evangelical Christians voted for Trump.
A progressive Jew, the woman told me that her son had converted to Christianity and not only that, but as an evangelical Christian. Her son told her that, as such, the candidate for the presidency might well be Micky Mouse as long as he was Republican. Evangelical Christians are against abortion. Period.
Not only that, they hate the LGBTQ culture and look to the Republican party to suppress it. Which they have done. And some of Planned Parenthood’s facilities have been closed.
Trump may indulge his idiocies as much as he wants; he is just a figurehead for the party.
I attended a lecture yesterday about wolves evolving into man’s best friend and came away bemused about the accommodations nature makes to this planet. We know all about its savagery.
I learned: That a few wolves 14,000 years ago (doesn’t seem too long ago) began sidling up to man’s encampments for food handouts. The descendants of these wolves became friendlier and friendlier and began to change into dogs. The lecturer didn’t say, but I imagine their changed appearances depended on climate and conditions.
I learned, and this blows me away. It doesn’t have anything to do with wolves or dogs: That Neanderthal Man became extinct because they practiced cannibalism, which caused Mad Cow Disease. Apparently, MCD in England came about because cattle was being fed ground beef. I know I know. I am still absorbing this.
I learned: We are no longer homo sapiens but Homo Sapiens Sapiens, having left the former behind in the evolutionary process.
I admit it is kind of hard to understand that a friend’s bichon frisee, that curly little bundle, used to be a wolf. The lecturer didn’t mention how cats evolved from lions or tigers. It’s a thought, isn’t it?
Her gifts also are delivered to my bed. At 10:30 p.m. she explodes onto the bed with a mouse. It is wounded, and I go to the kitchen to fetch an oven mitt. Out the door with the mouse. At 2:30 a.m., she flies up with another. I switch on the light in time to see it get away from her. I bolt out of bed and in the next fifteen minutes we chase it around the room. I yell, over here! Under the chair! Behind the cushion! I am not thinking of what the neighbors might be thinking.
The mouse shows its stuff. Every time Pinky closes in it leaps, squeaking, several inches in the air. Then it is gone behind my dressing table.
Resigned, I pull the heavy dresser out. Pinky and my stick get in each other’s way as I sweep. The mouse comes out, and disappears again, either back inside or somewhere else. At any rate, Pinky gallops up the hall in pursuit.
Apparently it is still in the house. She spends hours guarding the dresser. I think she expects me to take up sentry duty when she has to go outside. While I am in the office, no doubt she believes I am guarding the lizard hiding in the bookshelves.
Loaner once announced a gift of hers by calling from the outside, though the patio door was open. Her small voice probably traveled no more than five feet, yet I heard her and went to see. Lying on the mat was a full-sized rat, its bared incisors frightening in their length. I admired Loaner’s delicacy in bringing it no farther into the house and duly made a fuss over her. Satisfied she had pleased me, she came inside, leaving the rat, and watched TV with me.
Fiction – 295 words
I like my job. I like meeting the new ones who come here. It’s not hard to figure out how they are feeling, sad or hopeful or scared or resigned to move to this senior residential community. I figure if anybody was in a position to do something about it, it’s me. They need me for so many things and I always deliver. It’s not just about being a handyman setting up their TVs or whatever it is that comes up. I’m near retirement myself and I listen with my heart and I follow up on what I hear. They offer a lot of entertainment events in this place. There are movies and exercise classes and they bring in singers and jazz combos. I see the old ones nodding in time with the music. Some of them are asleep. There’s a lot to do if you’re up for it, but it can drag on and the years get to be too much.
The latest one to arrive was so crushed she may as well have been crying out for me. Her daughter didn’t look so good, either, but she went on in a grim sort of way signing papers in the marketing office while I was fixing the copy machine. I’ve seen this before. Sometimes it takes months or years and I can tell when it’s time. My instincts were right when Mabel said “Thank you” and closed her eyes. And again it felt right when Sarah held my hand with a look of relief pasted on her 100-year-old face. And there was grizzled old John, finishing up his fifteenth year in this place, who said “Go to it man. I’m ready.”
Like I say, I’m more than a handyman. I am really being helpful. ###
Then we enter the week of lizards. I am usually in the office when she brings her trophies. As she drops it to announce her gift, the lizard darts away and Pinky’s triumph is muffled as she darts after it. I enter the fray, for there are plenty of places for the lizard to hide. It is still hiding in the lowest bookshelf. Pinky thinks so. She spends at least an hour each day keeping vigil there.
A friend asked, Do you get any Blue Boys? I had never heard of Blue Boys. Now I know. The latest lizard is on its back and its belly has a blue stripe on each side.
Watch out for alligator lizards, my friend said. They get mean.
This alligator lizard is about eight inches long, looks like it has just climbed out of the Bayou, and tries to do its best to latch onto Pinky’s tail. I yell, and we both dance around as it keeps lunging. My usual method of ridding the house of gifts is not going to work this time. I fetch a wooden pencil and stick it in front of its nose. Instantly, it chomps down on the pencil, which I lift and raise high so Pinky cannot slap it down. I head for the door, Pinky trotting by my side. Outside, I swing the pencil, but the lizard has such a grip I cannot throw it away. Pinky is frantic to have her alligator back and leaps onto the railing to reach it. Finally, I descend the steps and scrape the lizard off on a tree trunk. The chunk gouged out of the pencil impresses me. At once Pinky plunges into the shrubbery after it.