Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Puzzling Failure of Dag.

I would sneak past the dog on the chain and hope his choking didn't wake my mother as I got into the trailerhouse where we lived, but sometimes even if the dog's growling and gurgling didn't wake her up she'd be laying there on the sofa watching soap operas, her hair in curlers, and she'd be popping bon-bons while she watched General Hospital on the flickering black and white t.v. with the coat hanger antenna pulling in the trials and tribulations of the better-off. "Hey you, " she'd yell if she spotted me, "what're you doing in here? Why ain't you at school studying to be a doctor like these here folks on the t.v.?"

I cringe even now when I think of the wasted life I've lived, me not pursuing a career as a doctor.

Ma would yell out, "Lookee there, you ain't done no dishes for a week. Lookee there!" I knew when she said it that if I'd been smarter or better looking I could be a doctor and I'd never have to look at dishes in the sink again. I could eat in restaurants every meal and have Puerto Ricans wash up after me. I'd tell ma I was working hard at my rithmatic sos I could be a doctor and then she'd relax and go back to watching the future she had planned for me. Her son, the doctor, screwing all the low-life nurses and gittin into trouble with married ladies and such. She had my interests at heart, I'm sure. "An roll some o' them tires outta the yard inta the ditch. Place looks like a gawd dam junk yard!"

I never did make it into medical school. I went to university, even for a short time in Jordan where I found I just don't have the mind for wiring and propane tanks and that kind of mechanical stuff. So, yes, I failed my audition in Hollywood. I was good enough at chasing girls, and I looked just right in a lab coat; but it was the driving skills that had me. I could never find the airport. I kept crashing the Mercedes into the first lamppost I came to, not being able to get anywhere near a night club. But the worst of it was, and this is the reason I failed not just ma and myself but the whole point of living, I could never get that Koranic stuff.

Ma died of a broken heart cause I didn't become a doctor. Every year I go out to Potter's Field and pour a couple bottles of Cream Soda on her spot, and I tell her how sorry I am I didn't get the job on the soap opera. She's so angry even all the grass is dead around her spot. I coulda faked all that other stuff, but it was that Koran stuff that sunk me. I just never did get it. It puzzles me big time.


Anonymous said...

Here's our first nominee for the Harold Shipman (pbuh) Award:

"A doctor has admitted killing at least 35 Iraqi police officers and army soldiers by giving them lethal injections, reopening their wounds or engaging in other deadly acts while they were being treated at a hospital in the northern city of Kirkuk, according to Kurdish security sources and Kurdish television.

Kurdish television broadcast on Sunday what it said was the doctor's taped confession, in which he told police that he sympathized with the radical Sunni Arab insurgent group Ansar al-Sunna. He said that the group paid him to kill the men and that he did it because "I hate the Americans and what they've done to Iraq."

"I injected more than 35 policemen and soldiers, including officers and some who were slightly injured," the doctor, identified by a Kurdish security official as Luay Omar Taie, said in the taped statement. "I used to stop the breathing machines or cut the electricity in the operations room or reopen the wounds."


- Dr C. Riyal Kilah

Dag said...

Now we must wonder, unless we are utter insane and warped in the brains, what to make of each and every Muslim-seeming "health-care provider" we encounter. Like it or not, if ones life is in the hands of a person with a Muslim sounding name, the chance is there that one could be, if not killed, then made ill by lack of right treatment as an act of passive jihad. Who will be willing to take a chance like that?

Anonymous said...

Your posting is really funny, dag. It had me laughing out loud.

Happy Independence Day.


Dag said...

Thanks Jane.

Anonymous said...

I really loved this post ! Montesquieu or Voltaire might have written it ; I laughed; and I also felt I could choke with anger...because so many people "dream" their children's future after what they have seen on TV !

Dag said...

Thanks Zazie. My efforts fell flat at another site, leaving me bewildered and embarrassed.

The comparison to Voltaire and Montesquieu! Zazie, are you single? Yesterday I couldn't even get compared to Artaud. Glad you like d it.

Anonymous said...

to dag,
I am married ; as a matter of fact I have been married for...decades ! So you see, I am not single and I am "oldish"...Sad, isn't it ?

Dag said...

Lucky you, Zazie, and your husband too. I would live for a thousand years if I could, even if that were as a Swiftian creature who simply gets older all the time, not as a perpetual 20 year old. I like aging, if not the physical side of it so much, the emotional side definitely. I like it in that I feel like I've reached a mountain summit and from here I can survey all of life from this grand height. If my gal were here at this point so much the better it would have been. But now, roughly the age you are, I find it impossible to pick up a girl thinking I'll have a life-long relationship with her. I'm too old for that, too cranky, and the mind is too inflexible to adapt to another. Friendships I excel at, but romantic love is past now. The best I could do, if I cared to, is fake it; but I won't even bother to pretend that I care about passionate love anymore. I'd rather read a book and wonder about the greatness of all o f life as it is rather than my own life as I should make it for a family. There isn't one to make. Not now.

You and another girl I know have got me in mind to write about presbyers, about the importance of old men, particularly of presbyters, a group long ago discarded by our fatuous "Youth Culture." I seek out old men who are smart and experienced and thoughtful, and from them I learn more than from most. I hope in time to join them as one of them. And I look at my mates at our meeting this evening and I see them continuing in their pursuit of wisdom and I see that in years to come, from where they stand now these men will be giants of our age. I'm satisfied. I have hope that there are many like them who need perhaps some encouragement to join us, and here we are, waiting. It's a good life.

Women? I have a couple of friends now both in their 80s, and they too are people I value deeply and love much and care about. One had a husband who was senile, smiling, vacant, and would glow even in the midst of his dementia when his wife looked at him or held his hand or called his name. He knew, beyond thought, that his girl loved him. That comes from a life-time of good marriage. Divorced men can't have it. Lucky those who can.

Best from me, Zazie, to you and your best guy.

Anonymous said...

to Dag
I can only thank you for this wonderful letter.
I agree with you on so many points....Even when I was still young in years, I felt distrust toward those who "worshipped" youth and physical beauty ; I remember the first time I read Keats' line : beauty is truth, truth beauty... Then, I understood that people who had found truth would keep its beauty forever, and with it, THEIR inner beauty !