"'VALUE' first and foremost has to do with Individuality. It is the word I use for the intrinsic nature of an event, the feeling of an organism for itself'
Rena was nude on the bed, the sheet just barely covering her derriere, her head under the pillow. I could see her feet wiggling, though.This is a sign she wants to talk something through.
I was reading Hegel and Whitehead simultaneously. On the bed. With my notebook, making scholarly notes . Don’t ask why, please. Rena wasn’t asking; she adored Hegel but had a bad reaction to Whitehead that I don’t understand. “I’m gonna call him Blackhead from now on!” she once said, and this truly horrified me. She hasn’t, thank God, because I never quote him to her anymore.
The tv was on mute. CNN.
The radio was on.
This is how I think.
She jumped up with a big smile and said, “is this what it’s like dating a bipolar guy? All this…multitasking you do?” She threw the sheet off and was officially ‘nude’. Her hands were on her knees, which were twisted up in a yoga pose she says relaxes her. She blew some stray black hair out of her face.
“Yes. Does it bother you?”
“Well, no, I mean, I got my choice of the radio or the tv or the pillow, I am a happy girl.”
“Well then. Ok.”
“How much longer are you gonna sit there scribbling?” she said.
“Until you tell me what we are gonna do today, “ I replied mildly, my eyes on a perfect bit of text. Hard to pull my eyes away from old Whitehead, even for the gift of God I had somehow finagled, free and lovely and affectionate. But a tease .
Well, I am a tease too, so we are perfect together.
“Why is it up to me? Can’t you make a fucking decision about how to get the most out of this day?” She scrunched closer, and our knees touched, and my head began to bend a bit. Especially because she put her fist under her chin to observe me. I felt like a pinned butterfly specimen momentarily.
“Sure I can. But this is gonna be your day! I decided that. We are gonna do whatever pleases you.”
“Shit,” she moped.
“I got no idea what to do! “
“Well neither do I . “
As if on cue---which is how countless things transpire in my life---my cell phone rang. Mom.
I pretended I didn’t hear it, kept a frozen smile.
“Answer that,” she sighed. “Maybe it will give us an important ‘task’ to do today that later we can feel good about, rather than going shopping or just fucking all day…” She got up and put on her black kimono. She motioned me to put my boxers on. She likes to be presentable on the phone to mom. Mom is her best friend now.
I am not sure how that happened or if it is good or not.
“Hi, Mom,” I said.
“Jim, where are you? With Mz. Oblong?
“I am, yep, Mom,” I said in my calmest voice.
“Oh, say hello to your ‘little nurse jane fuzzy wuzzy’, would you? “ I still don’t know what that moniker means. She uses it in a very unpredictable way, but always for other women whom she respects.
“Your father is getting worse, James Mark, you know that…” She only used my Christian name when she was being more serious than a brain aneurysm. “And..it seems to me, and to your sisters, that it’s time for retirement, for him.”
He’s 85 and principal of the high school where Rena and I work.
I was ambivalent about this. Dad was slipping, sure, but he could run a school in his sleep, for chrissakes. It was his reason for being, kept him physically and mentally active, out and about open to the glorious influence of youthful energies.
Yet he was now relying very much on me and Rena. We accepted the task without annoyance, mostly. Sometimes he could be a bit intrusive into our personal time together, though.
“Well, for one thing, I don’t know where he is. He’s supposed to be walking the dog, but the dog is here. You don’t think he is walking the dog without a dog, do you?”
I was alarmed and angry. Rena picked up on it and slid her hand into my boxers to becalm me. It worked.
“No, “ I said with maybe too much confidence I didn’t really feel. “We are gonna look for him, Mom. Ok?”
“Alright. Should we stay in touch by text or phone,” she asked.
WW2 cryptographers who cracked Nazi codes wouldn’t be able to help in the case of my Mother’s texting. “Phone!”
“Alright. Tell me when you find him…if you do…”
Odd: she sounded ambivalent about it, that last sentence…
I hung up, dressed myself, dressed Rena (something we do…..it’s mutual , do not worry..) in a white t shirt with her best loose black workout shorts, and we exited the condo.
And found Dad smoking his pipe in the Emmerling 1992 white Toyota.
(Still only 60,000 miles!)
In the parking lot.
Dad got out when he saw us. We approached, Rena rushing up and giving a hug. “George! We found you!”
I gave him a manly nod. He returned it while enjoying my girlfriend’s breasts squeezing hard into his chest.
“James, Mz. Oblong. My, what a nice greeting. James, I have matters to discuss with you. About…” he looked at Rena, and I nodded, to get him to spill. “Your mother. We need to address this. Will you help me?”
- The life of God — the life which the mind apprehends and enjoys as it rises to the absolute unity of all things —
- may be described as a play of love
- with itself;
- this idea sinks
- to an edifying truism,
- or even to a platitude,
- when it does not embrace in it the earnestness, the pain, the patience, and labor,
- involved in the negative aspect of things.