Monday, December 21, 2015


Lately I have been thinking of the concept of evolution. No, not like Charles Darwin but just evolving in general. I took a seminar this summer with a life coach through the Actors' Fund. It couldn't have come at a more perfect time. Shit was hitting the fan in my life. I was in a living situation that wasn't working. My relationship was like an oddly built European car that sometimes worked but when it broke down it really broke down until it didnt work anymore. And then I had gotten some indication that I might get where I want to go with the career but there was still much work to be done.

During this session, there was a woman who was an opera singer. Big, black, and beautiful, she admitted she had never sang at any major houses in New York. As a matter of fact, she had gotten a Masters in Vocal Performance from Julliard. In Manhattan, she temped and sold real estate, but she had done all the major houses and festivals in Europe. Now she was tired of living overseas, her parents were dying, and she wanted to teach.

So she said, "I am transitioning to acadamia," 

referencing a job she applied for at the MM program at Manhattan School of Music. 

This life coach stopped her and said, "No, transitioning negates what you have done. You are evolving."

I felt good when I heard that, evolving. Evolution. We are always in the process of walking upright and learning to walk upright more.

Lately I have been evolving. For years, before this past summer, I had been focused on my work to a fault. My children and I against the world. Between performing as much as I had and being on the run as much as I was girlfriend never really had much of a life. When I did stop to have a "life" I always found I was tired and grinding my teeth as if I was growling. I never knew why I was so stressed. Then again, my money was all going to rent and I hauled ass up four flights of stairs. That would piss anyone off day in and day out.

Last Monday I got my colposcopy results back. My squanderamous cells or whatever the hell they are called came back benign. When I read the word benign a feeling of calm came through my body. Being told a Pap Smear is abnormal makes your life flash before my eyes. Then the scraping which is two minutes of hell followed by the doctors and nurses chatting away.

All after I faced a retaliatory eviction.

So I was benign. I didnt have cancer. I wasn't being evicted. My baseboards are currently on my wall and I dont have bed bugs, mold, and a psychotic landlord making my life hell. I suppose I am doing better than I thought.

Wednesday was new release day at the comic book store. I got there to find my new release was not on the shelf. They said this was Diamond and because I was with an indie distributor my situation would have been different. I was kind of pissed. There was so much of me that looked forward to seeing my comic on the shelf. As a writer, it never gets old seeing your writing displayed. It's like a look mom, see what I did.

So I called my editor. He didnt get the books. SHIT! I thought about snapping at the people who worked there like I would have once upon a time and they would have whispered about how I was a crazy bitch after I left. But then I said to myself, "April, you don't have cancer. Your comic book will be on the shelf. Just not today. Don't be a dick."

I left and then as I am getting ready to go back home I get a call from my editor. The comic books had come afterwards and he was on his way. This was a Festivus miracle. So back I went to the store and purchased myself several copies. And sure enough they were placed on the shelf. Life was awesome again. But the most important thing was, I had my health. While it was cool to have the comic book in my hand, I still had my sanity and dignity. Most importantly, I didnt look like a nut job.

When I got home I figured I would rest up and get ready for the ventriloquist show I had to do for the special needs people. But then I got a call from my boss. It was a Marilyn Monroe telegram in the Bronx. It wasn't just in the Bronx. It was waaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyy out in the Bronx. 

I told him no. But he had no one else available during this time. Shit. That was going to be a long assed day. I began to plan my day and dreaded what was ahead. But then as I was in the midst of my dread it hit me. I was working and paying the bills again. Yeah, it wasnt the bells and whistles I sometimes got but I was WORKING AND PAYING THE BILLS. There was no high drama. There was no health scare. Life was good. 

My trip to the Bronx was an adventure. The train was getting construction and I had to connect thus taking longer. Dear God. And then I changed in a Dunkin Donuts bathroom and made the Indian dude who owned the place think I was either shooting dope, overdosing, homeless, or possibly having a baby. Either way, he was glad I was alright and even more puzzled as to why I emerged looking like Marilyn Monroe.

The gig was interesting but fun. The dude I was initially supposed to sing to was sent me from his wife, but he has no wife and this woman is a mere girlfriend. She simply aspires to be a wife. But the guy who owned the car lot, well it was his 89 year old dad's birthday. And he wanted to know if it was okay if the old guy got in on the action. I thought, why not?

Turned out the old dude was a hoot and it was one of the most fun jobs I did in sometime. He was 89 years young, literally. I hope I am that cool if I get to live that long. He kind of reminded me of my Pop Pop, just funny and kept going. Never took anything too serious.

The trip back to the city to chill out for a tad before my next gig was interesting. I had to change trains and the ceiling of the train station wasn't just leaking but having a monsoon of rain/sewer water and I nearly stepped in it and probably messed up my hair. Plus the place smelled like yucky pee.

When I finally got on a train this angry woman reading a shelf help book body checked me. And then a black power dude started with his spiel and I just wanted to bang my head against the wall. Not you, not now.
Grand Central was equally as crazy as people were pushing, shoving, and going crazy. Bah humbug. Did I mention I hate Christmas? I mean hate Christmas and all the bullshit that goes with it? Well if I didnt mention it I am mentiong it now.

As I went to my next gig, hoping to get it over with, I could barely find a seat on the train and some psychotic woman who looked like she either missed her Prozac dosage or escaped from hell yelled at me. When I got off the train it was raining and yucky and gross. Gosh I just wanted to go home.

I got to my final gig of the day. It was the home for the people with cerebral palsy. Immediately, I saw the residence out front in their wheel chairs. Some seemed more mobile than others. Nonetheless, each had personality. They were endearing, as one woman had $1 Ask Me Anything on a sign on the back of her chair. It's New York. Rent is expensive.

I got inside and the health aids were going crazy. One agency had organized the party, and the other agencies didn't know about it. Some of the West Indian health aids began to yell at each other and two even looked like they were going to duke it out. They kept asking me like I knew. Dear God did I mention I hate Christmas! 

Just then the dude that hired me, an Orthodox Jewish fellow, came to smooth out the situation. Very sweet, he explained everyone was invited. Some stayed, others didnt. Either way, the party began and he introduced me. I began and realized it wasn't the best room to do comedy in. Plus some of my audience members were more mobile than others. Oh this was going to be an interesting hour.

So I decided to go to them. I went from table to table. At first I was met with trepidation as nothing worked. But I just kept going. Puppet after puppet I kept going. Slowly, the residents began to bond with my puppets. Many had questions for them, and others began to hug them. The client who hired me had a 2 year old daughter who was afraid of the puppets but fearlessly looked in my suitcase. It was adorable, very adorable.

After the show, one woman who could barely speak came up to me. She was in a wheelchair and gave me a hug. At first I couldn't understand her, but something told me to slow down and listen. The woman told me she enjoyed my show and wanted to know if I would be coming back. Clutch! The audience liked the show!!!! I told her of course. Of course I would be back. 

Then it hit me. Christmas wasn't about the crazy but instead it was about being a part of, and it was about GIVING. These people were a part of the population that others forget about, or when they see them sometimes they don't know quite what to say for obvious reasons. As a result they make them feel like aliens. I did a show for these people. They laugh like everyone else does. Not so different. So yeah, Christmas is about giving. GIVING!

Then of course that lesson slipped out of my brain as I was back on the train and the 7 was running express because of track work. And it was raining. Gosh the client review would be interesting. 

The next day I read the client review. Five stars. Awesome! Maybe I was one step closer to working corporate. While comedians thumb their noses at the concept, it is where the money is. Plus like people at the comedy clubs, they wanna laugh too. Oh and I am beginning to work consistently as a ventriloquist again after all this drama. Again, life is good. 

Friday was spent delivering all day and managing to battle the insane weather and people traffic. The day ended with a Christmas Marilyn Monroe-esque party crasher at a bad sweater party. While I was exhausted from all that has been going on in my life, I was also happy to have the work. As I came home, I also realized for as much as the universe seemed to take a giant crap on me with one hit after another, for the first time in forever I enjoyed my work again.

I wasnt the girl on TV or the one with all the press or blah, blah, blah, but instead I really was just having fun and that was all that mattered. When I got home I saw my Aunt Lori, Uncle Joe and her sons had sent me a Christmas card. It made me smile. It made my new home feel like home. 

Next time I have a craptacular train ride I will remember the airing of the grievances, and think fondly of the pole I am decorating.
Happy Festivus for the Rest of us!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Perfectly Perfect

Lately, I have been coming off of a chaotic streak. Okay, between facing eviction, a move under duress, and spinkle in a bad breakup with a liar things have been crazy. Did I forget my cancer scare?


Slowly and surely things have been returning to normal. Monday and Tuesday I open miced it. The mic on Monday was at The Unicorn, and it was fun because I got to go with an old friend. It was nice to be onstage again.

Last night I went to an open mic at the Metropolitan Room. Usually the open mic is a blast in the basement of the carbaret theatre. Upstairs is show tunes, downstairs is dick jokes. It's always fun and supportive, but nothing dramatic usually happens. Anyway, last night this comic starts dropping the "n word." Mind you he's white and usually a nice dude but it's a part of a joke. He says it's a "soft n" which is kinda stupid because there is no such thing. So this black dude jumps out of the shadows kinda and says, "What you say mutherfucka!"

Anyway, the dude dukes the white comic. And the mic stand got bent! Oh, and they had to break it up. The sucky thing is, I missed the whole thing. DAMN! Been a minute since I saw a good open mic fight.

Open mics and I, and I am free to admit it, have a weird relationship. At this point in my career I am kind of "famous." So to be seen at an open mic is like a cool kid in high school being seen shopping at an outlet. At the same time, it is a necessary evil. Also, to me the open mic is like the ex who you break up with, and remains friends with because you like them but dont love them. But at times you see them and remember why the relationship didn't work. Or you also see them and remember why they always make you smile. Yeah, the relationship is weird.

Tomorrow is going to be busy because I have a cake girl in the morning and a puppet show in the noon. How the hell am I going to do it? I am already dreading tomorrow. I booked the puppet show at the last minute yesterday and my boss has a cake girl today. One is in the Bronx. The other is in Brooklyn. I am secretly hoping tomorrow isn't going to kill me, although it is great to be working this much again.

Today my comic book drops at Forbidden Planet.

My new toilet bottom is kind of yellow and still looks like someone peed in it even when you flush.
My man hate issues

Monday, December 14, 2015

My Brand New Place

It has been two whole weeks since I moved into my new digs. The first week was hectic with me getting settled and all. My room was filled with boxes. When we were kids, Skipper, Wendell, and I had a box structure known as Gotham City. Our parents gave it the tongue and cheek nickname because they were remodelling our kitchen, they had leftover boxes, and we made a maze. Of course a groundhog got in there and that was the end of our fun.

These days I do live in Gotham City for real. Well more on the outskirts these days in a sister borough, but I live there nonetheless. My first week there were enough boxes in my new room that I thought of fashioning a new Gotham City. I was bummed there was no groundhog for my mother to chase with a baseball bat, and for Wendell to pretend he wasn't scared of.

One thing I do have in my new digs is a yard with SQUIRRELS. Yes, squirrels. When my mom was in town she saw a black squirrel. Apparently, a black squirrel is a genetic mutation and supposedly attacks the rest of the squirrels. So everything is scared of it. I wasn't aware the animal kingdom was so damn racist. Hack joke. Had to. Make fun of me now.

After all that happened, I was glad to spend this past week going to work and coming home. The 7 train at it's best is like a bullet train. These days I am at work faster than I have ever been when I was living in The Kitchen. In the old days I wanted fireworks all the time. Now I am content with calm and hum drum.

I also bombed this past week onstage, had my first shit fit in my room, and semi-cried myself to sleep on my new mattress. When you have a good cry on a mattress that is how you know a place is becoming home. I would even have a crying corner in my kitchen where I downed cookie dough in times of crisis but that might be just a little weird with my male housemates around.

I had a strange conversation with one this week. He's a good guy, divorced dad of two. It started with, "Not to offend you." We all know they are about to offend the shit outta you when they do that. He told me not to put tampons in the toilet. I feared I might have accidentally, because when I had my follow up at the doc's where they scraped my cervix after my cancer scare, I might have dropped my pad in the toilet after a moment of drained shock. But I didn't. Apparently his niece had flushed a tampon and totally overflowed the toilet. Sigh....a special thank you to the awkward fairy for that moment.

This same housemate saw a special about UFOs and NASA, and a scientist insists that the government is keeping the people in the dark. He says not only are there UFOs, but they created the humans as slaves to do their mining work. And that we are all part UFO. I felt this was a reach but my housemate was fascinated by this and felt that this guy wouldn't lie.


My other housemate and I had a chat about it. He informed me that yes, our dear housemate has a fascination with UFOs and conspiracies, but at this point kind of watches way too much TV. Still, maybe there are UFOs. We have some strange acting people on this planet. Who knows? Either way, I like them both and my new living situation much better than the one I left. It's entertaining and most importantly, I am safe.

My UFO obsessed housemate and I have kind of bonded. He is a divorcee with two kids, so sometimes when I chat with him, he sees things from my mom's point of view. While I feel sometimes my parents are crazy, maybe they aren't. Maybe they have some points. Maybe UFOs do exist. Who am I to judge anyone?

This past week I purchased two puppets. My puppet family and I are back to normal, although it has been a rough couple of months for us. I feel more protective of them than ever, and I feel we are all working more as a unit than we ever have. But of course, I left a horrific situation. So if someone believes in UFOs and conspiracies and that's it, I'm game.

No one has broken into my room yet and tried to turn on the gas so I might in fact die. No one has followed me around the neighborhood let alone threatened me. All and all, a better start. Best news ever, none of the rejects I entangled myself with from my old neighborhood know where I am.

Work has gone back to normal as well. Friday I found myself learning "Deep in the Heart of Texas" for a gig. I had it perfect on the train. Then I got there and it was perfect for the most part. One recipient had a weird name that I managed to mangle. Well they all did but this was the weird name I thought I had. But the other weird name was the one I was afraid of messing up but that was perfect. So I got the weirder name perfect but mangled the less weird name. Such is life. The medley was alright. Then the ending worked. It wasn't the way I rehearsed it but I gave them the liquor.

After the gig, I was out on the sidewalk second guessing my work and two people passed me, a man and a woman. The guy says, "That was brutal."

The girl says, "Yeah, a complete disaster. That went real wrong real fast."

The low self-esteem bubble began to run in my head. Did they just come from the party where I was the telegram? I had no idea because the place was so dark. Suddenly, I began to feel like dried dog shit on the sidewalk. A lot had gone wrong in my life and it had been a tricky last few months. I hoped they weren't talking about me. I had no clue, no proof, but the bells began to go off. I began to hope they weren't talking about me. With all that went on, I couldn't lose my most consistent survival job.

At that moment I realized I was tired. Weeks of court dates, harassment, stress, and living in hell had taken it's toll. Yeah, I am in a better situation and look like I am sleeping and eating. I look so good now that people don't gasp when they see me because I am too overwrought to eat. But still, I was freaking drained. Change is exhausting.

I figured the best thing I could do was go to bed. I had no proof they were speaking about me, and if they were fuck them. If they had to endure what I just did they would probably be dead. Actually, there are times I am surprised my life hasn't killed me. Maybe it will someday. It's probably going to be my life, some crazed fan, or the wife of an ex lover.

The client did call the next day with a bitch, but their bitch was legit. It wasn't about my performance, but instead about the fact their ungrateful friends didn't thank them for the expensive liquor. So the bitch was about their ungrateful punkage, not my performance.

My new life has lawn flamingos, Christmas kitsch, and neighbors who own their property. Welcome to life outside of Rental Prison aka New York City. Ten minutes outside the city. What am I talking about? I'm still a renter, what am I talking about, Willis?

Of course there are moments I miss the bustle and hustle of Midtown at this time of year. But when I saw my sister Skipper and her fiance Boomer I suddenly remembered how good it was that I could leave. Yes, I got them matching Christmas cookie cutters and a chew toy for their dog son Cooper. Stepping off the train I only wanted to punch every person in front of me. Yeah, don't miss NYC on a Saturday when everyone and their damn mother has the same idea.

The visit was fun, and made me like Central Park now that I wasn't down the street from it. I hung out with everyone again that night, and bring in an internet friend. We had expensive pizza, and then there was some beer involved. Add in an improv ventriloquist show with Officer E at the same pizza spot. Made me love New York all over again. Made me forget about how beat up and tired I felt living in the pressure cooker known as Manhattan. Made me grateful I could have the city and then travel over the bridge to my home.

I of course made my same prediction about how I might die. We had a laugh. Death is always funny. Sunday I went to my new church which is beautiful but feels impersonal. I need a new church boy crush. Of course I talked to my parents who only managed to stress me out mildly.

Then I saw the wife of an ex of mine, who's only completely unhinged, wrote a tweet about me that was only completely crazy. She called me her psychotic enemy. I mean, that's kind of deep because she's the one who constantly harasses me, and I don't care about her really. So yeah, she's reaching kind of deep. And she was angry I moved into what she called "my borough." Wasn't aware it was yours, sweetheart. Thought you shared it with about a million other people but what do I know?

This woman has been out of control for some time and made me question about whether or not to alert law enforcement because with each passing year she gets more aggressive. Then I decided it was a crush. Now that we are in the same borough, her borough, she can finally just kill me and help the sales of my novel and DVD. But first she's gotta buy me dinner. These days apparently she's in therapy. Maybe she's bitching about me now. Ha ha ha.

At that moment I realized that despite all that happened, I was still on track because someone was jealous of me. LOL. But then I decided to celebrate the actual victory like my new comic book being on the shelf this week. YES, new comic book. And the fact I am going to Vegas to work in January again with May Wilson. And my two new puppets. And the fact I am in a magazine again.

Of course this was after accidentally jogging on Northern Boulevard and watching reruns of Beverly Hills 90210. I like highways and I love cheesy teen trash. New home, old habits die hard.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Changes (Bruce Hornsby)

There is only one constant in life and that is change. Yes, the deadly bowling ball of change. It happens, just not as you want it. The Tower is in Tarot is an unwelcome draw in the deck as the castle is crumbling and there is chaos. But sometimes the chaos and disaster bring us to a place we would have never come to on our own.
I have been living The Tower. To make a long story incredibly short I was forced out of my home of nearly a decade. The living situation had become physically, emotionally and mentally abusive as well as draining on my health. The people who called themselves landlords were nothing short of evil, and the people who called themselves property managers were nothing short of profane, vile, and at the very least unprofessional. I was forced to endure hellish conditions that were hazardous to my well being, and was tortured when I said anything. In short, my dream apartment had become a nightmare.
The final straw was when my landlord threatened me. He said point blank, “I will not stop until you are homeless.” As if threatening me was not enough, he began to follow me around the neighborhood keeping a tab on my activities. It made me feel ill, and it made me feel unsafe because he had become so obsessed with my comings and goings. The final straw was when he broke into my apartment knowing I wasn’t home, rifled through my things, and took photos. To make matters worse, he turned on my gas stove. It was one that never worked and he knew this.
When I came home, I found my apartment in disarray and so hot I could hardly breathe in there. A workman who was an illegal immigrant told me what had happened. I was frightened and called my mom crying. She told me to call my dad who suggested I call the cops. The cops came and were horrified, but couldn’t arrest my landlord because the workman would not talk. However, they recognized the things on my stove were melting and suggested I call Con Ed. The cops also suggested that I find somewhere else to go.
I called my friend Nishu gasping for breath. Without missing a beat he said, “You gotta get the fuck outta there as fast as you can!”
That Saturday we got on the computer and began to search for a new place for me and my puppet family. It was hard. It was tedious and my head was pounding from all that had happened. In addition to this, I had a romance end badly to put it mildly. Now I had to escape a living situation that was killing me.
That Sunday I went from place to place looking for a new home. It felt like a strange fog because the West Side was all I had known. It was where my roots were for a better part of a decade. It was where my friends were. What if I never found roots again? What if I had to move in the cold?
I looked at several different places. The first was with an Egyptian family who was obsessed with cleanliness. The second was a pilled out ex-therapist. And the third was a group of roommates I really liked in Spanish Harlem. But it was five floors up. I got outside and felt numb. Looking for a new home really sucked. Fuck you, change. Then of course there was the pad that was more like a college dorm in Chinatown. I liked the people, but I knew I would strangle them if we were forced to live together.
I finally ended up looking at a place off the 7. It was the one ad I almost didn’t answer. However, it was only one flight of stairs instead of the four I was used to enduring. Instead of an apartment building, it was a house. Both my housemates would be straight dudes. One was a divorcee and father of two grown sons. The other was an artist living and painting off a grant. Both seemed like nice guys. The divorcee had inherited the house from his aunt, and his elderly parents lived downstairs. It’s more like a two family deal duplex. So after some thinking, I decided to take it.
Nishu and my friend Isaac helped me move. We packed my boxes and put them in an uber van and off I went to my new destination. The entire time I thought I would feel this bittersweet feeling. Instead, I felt nothing but pure relief. For years I had held on to a living situation with a real estate woman who verbally harangued me any and every time I needed a repair. For years I had dealt with the rising rent and four flights of unforgiving stairs. My joints often so tired after a long day of work, and at times I even crawled up them. And yes, lest we not forget the shit quality, or lack of quality of life I had.
I said it was the address, the location. At what cost, my mental and emotional well being? Having to work like a gerbil to pay a pig landlord who only got richer off of my suffering as he refused to keep his building up? Having to endure conditions that were not only hazardous not only to myself but the health of my puppet family. While I am aware they aren’t human, if they don’t work I don’t work and that’s a problem. Not to mention having to apply for Aid from the Actors’ Fund and replacing 80 percent of what I owned.
The only things that kept me from killing myself was I knew my children and I were going to get out of there and head to greater things. Also, googling myself and finding the throngs of international press we received, and how people in the world were in awe of our eccentricity, oddity, individuality, dedication, and message to the world in general. Also, the emails from bookers and a manager, someone quite important, who was finally interested in working with me. Oh and I cannot forget the emails from my fans. They came almost daily being the only thing keeping me from completely jumping off the roof and giving up.
I also found that my friends and family were there the entire time whether my landlord was choosing to try to evict me because I called the city on him, and they were by the phone each and every time he dragged me to court making me look like a criminal. They also were there when I was like a pinball too wired to speak. I got lucky, I really did.
Of course it was strange because people kept telling me how well my life was going with all the international press I was receiving. Guess you could say baby girl was facebook successful.
When I made the final exit out of my neighborhood to my new place in Queens, it felt like a relief never to be going back there. The feeling finally hit when I crossed the bridge. It felt like relief and hope. Things were finally going to get better. When I pulled up to my new place, I felt a mix of emotions because it was real. I was outta there, but did I do the right thing?
Nishu assured me I was going to be fine, and that I would find a new falafel cart and corner store. I would find a new gym. But it’s so strange getting a new start. I also had to learn my new address and even programmed it into my phone. I felt like a kid on the first day of school when the mom quizzes them, “Okay, what’s your address and phone number? Let’s rehearse this again because they are going to ask you.” And of course mom gives you a card so you can cheat.
Then there are the odd emotions that come with change. I felt this feeling of failure come over me although I hadn’t failed. If anything, I successfully got out of a bad situation. Still, as I walked into The Metropolitan Room, the place where I filmed Broke and Semi-Famous, I felt I would never be at that place again. I felt defeated. Earlier this year, my DVD had been streamed in Finland and I had been on MTV Europe.
In the next gaze I saw my poster from the World Record show and my signature along with May Wilson’s. Yes, I was going to be alright. I could do great things again. Life was just happening to me. I just had to chill out. So I ended up getting onstage and rocking some new material. Going upstairs I saw Annie Ross and said hello. Then off to my new home I went. I had the clamor and sparkles of Manhattan and the peace and serenity of Queens. Best of both worlds.
Then mind you that as a Manhattanite for so long, the numbering system of Queens was odd to me. I didn’t know my way around at all, thank goodness for jogging. As if adjusting to a new home wasn’t hard enough, my mom wanted to come help me move in. I now dreaded she would piss off my housemates. Granted, my mom is a nice lady, but you never know. I really couldn’t move again.
The morning my mom came in, I got a message from my doctor. A test he did for a certain female cancer came back abnormal, and they wanted to do another test. As if the parent visit weren’t stressful enough. Your timing is shit Mom, shit!
The first day of her visit I felt dizzy and snapped at her quite a bit. Between the move and now possible cancer, file under shit I really don’t need. However, I got honest. I came clean. To my pleasant surprise, she was really supportive and called my sister Skipper who’s an ER doc. Skipper has been supportive of me during this ordeal as she has spoken to me in between shifts and sleep is at a premium for her. She told both my mom and I that this was no big deal, and just to relax.
Of course I screamed to my mom, “All I want is a week where I go to work and go home like a normal person! That is all I want! Nothing extravagant!” My mom assured me I was going to get that again. But it just didn’t stop.
And more of a relief, my mom and my housemates hit it off. It was so much so that they didn’t want to see her leave! We actually had a lovely visit where she got me much needed hooks, drawers, and even purchased me a real mattress. I also took her to see my comic books and my World Record Breaking poster. All and all, a nice visit.
Still, the big C, cancer was looming over my head. To give you an idea, some of the female cancers are genetic in my family. Just as my life was getting better I didn’t need to hear I was dying. Fuck me!
Monday the procedure was done without incident, and the doctor told me my test was only slightly abnormal and they were just doing this as a precaution. However, I was to take it easy for the rest of the day. While I was feeling strange speaking about what happened to my male housemates, to my pleasant surprise they were very supportive. One even had a cancer scare himself. It was nice to have companionship on a day where one would ordinarily throw a blanket over their head and cry. While female cancers are degrading at the least and evil in a way cancers that affect men are not, it was nice those around me understood the stress of the ordeal to some degree.
Tuesday was a different story, as I found myself at a magazine release party. Yes, I am in a magazine that is being distributed around NYC and the rest of the country. It was neat because as someone in the magazine people wanted to meet me. They wanted to know all about me and blah, blah, blah. A few people even recognized me from television. In the past this would have been everything. These days I have my health and peace of mind. Recognition and publicity are just extras to the things that are most important. Still, it was kind of cool.
It was cool to see that despite all the shit I had to endure the hardwork was paying off. It was cool to see my article in a magazine. It was cool to see people suck up to me because I had been on television. It was cool to talk about how my children and I were on international television. It was cool to feel like myself again, the girl who googles herself and finds she is getting press all over the world. The girl who’s DVD streamed in Finland. The girl who was on MTV Europe and Telemundo.
Coming home, I left the sparkle and clamor of Manhattan, the showy sister borough to Queens. Sure, my new home is less showy, less glamorous. But I felt a peace and serenity as I got my midnight chicken pita snack. I didn’t feel the dread as I climbed up one flight of stairs. Sure, there were the strange stairs because I dressed a little funny but it is nightfall in New York. Anything goes.
The next day I found myself at an open mic. I was tired but went anyway because I felt the need to get onstage. Boy did I bomb with this new routine, and some asshole dickhead took a jab at me. I wanted to inform him that I was probably more famous and successful than he would ever dream of being. I wanted to tell my international press credits, international television credits, and list of American credits. I wanted to tell them all I had even gone to Vegas to work and yes, I had just been in a magazine the night before.
But I did a new routine and put it on it’s feet. Comics are comics. All shitty open mics are created equal, and all bad jokes are created equal as well. So are cunty fucks known as comedians. I kicked myself but reminded myself it was a mic. But I still kicked myself. Then I half smiled and became grateful for consistency.

Some things stay the same. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Every Rose Has It's Thorn (Poison)

Despite attempts to harsh my mellow via Desi-Gate, he wasn’t successful for long. After nearly being captured as live bait for the vampire mistress of all things blood sucking and joyless, Hump had gone underground. According to Steve, he was spending most of his time at the domicile he actually paid rent at. Also, Hump had started a new romance, one with a lady who had three kids. This match made in Purgatory was through an old friend of Hump’s name Mike who's an ex-con, don’t ask.

Apparently she had no job, was living on unemployment, had three kids, and her boyfriend at the time of their meeting was married. With Hump as her best prospect, that was sadder than any Greek Tragedy ever written.

While he had the attitude and ego of Napoleon, he was closer to Napoleon Dynamite. From what I had surmised, Hump could not handle an adult encounter of any kind and make it out alive. Therefore, perhaps dealing with children might be easier for the man.

Via the internet I had found out Polo was engaged in a seedy affair with a burlesque dancer named Mistress Scorpio Jones. My reaction to this was a mix of horror and just pure judgement. While I was aware Polo liked women of the easy, sleazy variety, he was really dragging the dollar bill through the trailer park here.

I had known Scorpio Jones and was not a fan. Actually, I found her obnoxious on top of already being fat and ugly. So the adjective to round this all out would be repulsive. I had known Scorpio Jones, real name Shiree Jarvis, during my tenure as a burlesque emcee.

Scorpio was a pain in the ass on top of being a fat ass in every way. More often than not, at venues, she had elaborate costumes that took up most of the space in the dressing area. When other performers protested, because God forbid the worthless lard share, she would get into a screaming match with them. If her routines were ever rock solid I would say the woman was worthy of her diva-tude. However, she was sink or swim. When she was a hit, she was amazing. But then there were those times where her costume broke or she was just a lummox onstage. Add in the rare, sexist male audience who was unafraid to objectify and fat shame at the same time. If it were anyone else I would stick up for them. Not this bitch.

As if that werent terrible enough, Scorpio always ate either cake or KFC before every show. If your waistline expands and you want to eat away your psych issues instead of taking meds, that is your business. But when you do a Mama Cass live and in color we want you to choke on the damn chicken bone, end of discussion.

Scorpio supported her performing career by working in a dungeon as a dominatrix. I couldn’t understand it, but apparently some men like pain more than others. In any event, on her facebook page, she listed her idols as Betty Paige and then several pin up shots of her, rolls of fat going over her bikini and all. For an instant I admired her confidence, but then she listed the number of men she slept with at 200. That is when I accessed the nearest barf bag.

As I was digesting this fatty piece of tender rainbow meat, I came across Benjy. One of the puzzle pieces of that motley crew, he was nearly six feet tall and had a stream of tattoos. Much like Steve and I, Benjy was intellectual, dorky to a fault. Educated at the Manhattan School of Music, Benjy could play sax, clarinet, drums, base, and piano. In his early 20s, he had toured with Rusch Hour, a “Jewish punk band” that did every major festival.

However, during his days on the road Benjy’s personal problems took over. One being heroin. Over the years, Benjy had been in and out of rehab, jail, and even did a stint at the Salvation Army. During Christmas, he dazzled the Majors by playing piano, everything from carols he didn’t sing as a child to Beethovan. Because he was a Jewish kid in an All Christian program, he earned the nickname Benjy the Jew.

The moniker, which was completely offensive, followed him into the neighborhood as he gained his footing. Hump called him Benjy the Jew on the streets to the horror of Steve, Polo, and myself. But Benjy embraced his identity, and even has signed job log in sheets with it.

“I can’t believe he’s dating that, that thing!” I exclaimed as Benjy and I were talking on the street. Of course, I had just submitted a freelance article for one of my many writing jobs and was completely fried. Benjy was in between shifts as a food runner at Friendly’s bar. He made his living doing that as well as being Hump’s reluctant and lackluster assistant.

“I can. Polo likes trashy women.” Benjy informed me.

“This one is a complete trash pit. Are you aware she works in a dungeon?” I asked.

“Oh yeah. But here’s the thing you don’t get. You see, some women are sluts, right? They sleep with everything. Well then there are men that are sluts. Polo is a man slut.” Benjy explained.

“But why are women slut shamed?” I wondered aloud.

“Men should be too. I am with you. Polo should be shamed for banging that water buffalo. Usually they are pretty skanky but they have never been eligible to fight heavy weight.” Benjy observed.

“How did this even happen?” I asked.

Then the story unfolded. Benjy’s longtime girlfriend, Kim, a girl who had stuck with him through thick and thin, got tickets to see her wild ass sister Draca dance burlesque. Kim was nice, sweet, and normal. She and Benjy were a strange combo, but they had been together for 8 years at this point. Kim had actually met Benjy through Draca, her wild child sister who had a crush on Benjy but he wasn’t feeling it. Since that time, Draca had decided she was a lesbian and now had a wife, Jane, who was just as butch as Benjy if not more.

In any event, Polo had decided to go to the show, too because he had a night off from the gay bar where he sometimes works as a bouncer. Don’t ask. Polo went to the show and saw Mistress Scorpio take off her clothes and decided she was everything his dreams were made of. The two then went home and had a night of mind blowing sex. Since that time, Polo had not left the dungeon where she worked. If anything, he was posting pictures on facebook giving the world a play by play.

“He’s gonna die. I hope he knows he’s gonna die.” I informed Benjy.

“Oh, not like Hump almost did. By the way, Desi is majorly pissed. I went into one AA meeting and she was sitting there and huffing and puffing about Hump. She kept saying he lied to her and even dropped his full name.” Benjy told me matter of factly. “I was like ‘holy fuck this bitch is steamed up.’”

“Isn’t that against some rule to be telling me any of this?” I asked.

“Kind of, but she said his full name and did put it on her sober stripper blog.” Benjy said as he pulled out his Android, Googled, and showed me the entry.

“Holy fuck!” I gasped. We both started laughing, and then I pointed out that there were only 20 spelling errors in the blog.

Benjy shook his head and continued, “At least Mistress Scorpio has a drinking, drug, and food habit that are still killing her and is a generalized cunt that isn’t robbing everyone of their fun. Give me that Jenny Craig fail over Desi any day.”

“Well he pissed me off so much I hope the fucking encounter gave him syphillis.” I told Benjy.

“What did Hump do?”

“He was himself.”

“Eh, don’t get mad at him. That woman and her three kids are kicking his ass.”

“Good.” I stated. Then Friendly called to Benjy that there was work to be done. Off my pal went.

Just then my phone pinged. It was a text from Jake Judy. Our history had been rather complicated, and to say things were a little interesting or always had been was an understatement. As of late, the next chapter had begun. In my dreams, I was hoping to be the next Mrs. Judy. The catch was, his wife had to be eliminated.

It’s not like it sounds trust me. Just hear me out.

Jake Judy and I had a complex history that went back years. It was complicated. Yes, complicated. First we were childhood friends. Although the Judy family lived one town over, they were in our neighborhood once a week visiting their cousins, the Davis’s.

Karen Davis was a shit starter as a child. There was an incident where my sister Skipper had a bunch of patches on her back pack. As a first grader, her obsessions were Barbie, Hello Kitty, and Kung Fu. While it was a mish mash of things, that is what the petite, strawberry blonde sprite loved. In any event, Karen Davis was Skipper’s friendemy.

So she ripped a Hello Kitty patch off my sister’s book bag. Crying, my sister turned around on the bus. Karen blamed George Welles. A chubby red head with freckles and a pigeon toed gait, he was more The Pillsbury Doughboy than hardened criminal and woman oppressor. But Skipper was afraid because he was twice her size. So she enlisted me. As a third grader, I spit on him and hit him with my backpack.

George, upset, got his older brother Bobby involved. More slight and built like a bean pole, he looked nothing like his younger sibling. At first glance I had a feeling they might have even had different fathers. But Bobby Wells and I soon found ourselves locking horns. The grade school skirmish included a Fort Necessity made of back packs and pencils used as projectiles. Finally, our burned out beatnik bus driver, Chicken, who played oldies and probably had an alcohol problem, had enough. Frustrated, he pulled over the bus until the conflict cooled.

The next day, Mr. Byrd, our principal looked at us through his thick glasses. He explained, “There are two sides to every story.”

Bobby and I explained that we got involved because our younger half was being bullied, we really didn’t know what the hell was going on. Mr. Byrd calmly said, “They are lucky to have you, but in order to get this solved I need the older brother and sister to step out.”

Then the truth unfolded. Karen Davis had created this whole mess.

Jake Judy was the cousin. An awkward kid, he was a year ahead of me in school. A wrestling star one district over, Jake had dreams of going to one of the military academies, specifically Air Force. As a student, Jake was also a stand out when it came to math and science. Socially, he was an odd ball.

Jake’s dad on the other hand was very outgoing. A former college track star who still ran local road races, Jack Judy had a physique most working dads would die for. However, during his school days Jack didn’t pound the books like he pounded the pavement, so he was forced to take a job working for UPS. Jack was a nice guy and well-liked by everyone on his route. As a matter of fact, he and my mom hit it off when it was revealed Mr. Judy ran cross country with my father.

Both were track stars in high school. My father, who was a year ahead of him, was scouted by West Point. However, it was during the Vietnam War and my dad had no interest in being blown up. Although my dad and Mr. Judy were contemporaries, he always regarded Jack Judy as a “play baby.” Then again, my dad worked two jobs seven days a week. Everyone was a play baby in comparison.

Mr. Judy enjoyed his job, but a tad too much. Translated, he was all too eager to make house calls to some of the women on his route. He had multiple who continuously enjoyed packages several times a week, hint hint, and his truck was always auspiciously parked out front of the same three houses. Yes, Mr. Judy was a “cat around” as my mother would say.

Mrs. Judy was a nice lady though, quite sweet and a stay at home mom. Although she wasn’t a knock out, she was personable and long suffering, putting up with her philandering husband. She went through phases where she pretended she didn’t know, then she threw him out, and of course there was counseling. Finally, one day she snapped and threw his clothes on the lawn……

Jake was not like his father at all. More or less, he was quiet. Always rocking a Pirates hat, Jake wore his hair in his eyes. An admitted non-reader, Jake was a gifted math student and dreamed of being an engineer. In sports, Jake excelled as a wrestler, winning local and state titles. At one time, he had also been nationally ranked. Jake’s dream was to attend Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. After high school he did just that.

Here and there, I kept track of Jake and his family. His father, who rented an apartment once the divorce was finalized, informed my mom that Jake hated Air Force. Then in the next breath he was captain of their wrestling squad. Of course there was the update where Jake was graduating and did not want to go to Iraq or Afghanistan. This threw me for a loop. It’s like being a lifeguard and not wanting to get into the pool.

Jake then dropped me a line when he married his wife Jaci. Apparently, the two had met at Air Force and had been college sweethearts. Much like his mother, she wasn’t terribly beautiful but seemed nice. I went to her facebook. There were people remarking that she didn’t let her platoon swear and punished them when she did. Jake had married the fun police.

Then again, it struck me as weird that Jake was getting married at all because his woman skills were a big zero. Yes, Jake was an oddball. When we were little, he often tapped me on the shoulder and ran away. Looking back, this was a stunt to get my attention but it more or less annoyed me. Jake also tried to ask me stupid questions about his summer reading knowing I was a supreme dork and loved books. I would answer his questions and of course the entire time he would stare into space. Once I suggested he actually read the book. This was an idea unheard of. 

Of course add in that Jake had borrowed a pen of mine once for some reason. Next thing I know he’s knocking on my door. My mother answered. There was the awkward, brown haired lad with a Pittsburgh Steeler’s hat on. He said, “Mrs. Brucker, I borrowed a pen from April and I lost it. So I got her a new one.”

“Thank you, Jake. I will be sure that she gets it.” My mom replied trying to search for words.

Standing on the top of the landing, witnessing this exchange, I thought it was the odd just like everything else Jake did. “What was that?” I remembered asking my mom.

“What in God’s name makes that boy think he has a chance with my daughter?” My mother asked, throwing the question out.

“What are you talking about?” Now I was confused.

“That boy really likes you. But he’s too short.” My mom informed me making a declarative statement but then dismissing it. Of course nevermind that she was barely five feet tall herself.

“Mom, he’s weird. He doesn’t like me. Guys don’t talk to me.” I said, filling my mother in on the fact her daughter was the Dork Queen. High school musical, public access television, and then add in local paper and literary magazine don’t exactly put you on the list for the best parties.

“Sweetie, he likes you. Boys like you. They are scared of you because you are smart.”

“Mom, they only want girls who put out.”

“Eh, but those girls get old. You also scare them because you are sort of aggressive.” My mother said. “Stop biting their heads off so much. No man wants a man hater.”

“But you were a member of NOW in college.”

“Yes, and then my boobs started to sag and I wanted my bra back. Saggy boobs makes a screaming woman even uglier.” She fired back and then exited.

File under priceless.

I hadnt thought of Jake until I did a show in the city and he popped up. At this point, Jake had left the service. He was living in Inglewood working as a civil engineer. Harriet, his sister, was a doctor and engaged to the son of a Jordanian diplomat. As for the youngest, Marga, she had dropped out of college and was living in an apartment with her boyfriend “trying to find herself.”

When I brought up Jaci and the fact he had gotten married just because it was the last update, Jake made a face like I had told him the test results had come back positive. His wedding ring was missing in action. It appeared Jake and Jack Judy were more alike than I originally thought. My mother even echoed with the sentiment, “He’s a cat around off the old block. Watch out, there might be a black sedan slowing down with a bullet coming out of the window in your near future.”

Despite my mom’s warnings, I had other plans. Jake and I were calling, chatting, and texting on the regular. He wanted to know if I wanted to catch coffee at some point. As the conversations got deeper, I said yes.

We got together. At that point, Jake, who had grown into a handsome man with chestnut hair and a broad smile, told me his tale of woe. His wife, Jaci, had been a fun loving girl upon first meeting. Like him, she was a math and science whiz. However, she was always “down with Jesus” as Jake explained.

Jaci came from a family in Northern California with a father who was a lumberjack and a mother who was morbidly obese. Her parents had met in high school and got married, never going to college. Jaci’s oldest sister got pregnant in high school, dropped out, and was dumped by the teen dad who would later turn into the dead beat dad. Her second sister joined the army and did well for herself. The third sister was a lesbian, which cause Ma and Pa to disown her. And then there was Jaci.

She studied hard and got into Air Force determined to make something of herself. In her mountain church in the Ozarks as a child she had gotten the message. As an adult, she had been religious. During her cadet days, she punished the plebes under her for swearing and other ungodly language. Now she wanted to become a minister. Jaci attended divinity school at Yale, and God spoke to her. Translated, she had to be pure renewing her virginity. This meant no more sex with Jake.

Jaci explained to Jake that “Even Abraham had a concubine. Where do you think Islam comes from?” So as she renewed herself for God, Jake was welcome to have as many concubines as need be as long as there was no emotional attachment. The story seemed flat out insane but I had heard crazier be true, and I had grown up in an area with religious cults. Plus Jake Judy in my experience did not lie.

As we chatted into the night my heart flew. I really liked Jake. During the IM, he was talking about being “So sick of Jaci that I just want to leave. Fuck her, fuck her God, and fuck her faith. I am getting a Goddam concubine and leaving her ass.”

“Sounds like a real drip.” I said. Then Jake signed off. Apparently Jaci walked in the room and he didn’t want the drama.

During our next outing, dinner and a movie, Jake confided in me about why he had left the Air Force. Apparently, he had been on an Air Craft carrier during his time as an officer, and had gotten sea sick. I remember thinking how on one hand he sounded like a wimp, but I also knew through experience, as someone gets sea sick, that it’s a real joy kill.

After that date, Jake kissed me. It was a long, thrilling, forbidden kiss. An hour later, I found myself facebook stalking Jaci Judy. Not saying I am proud of the low road I took, but I was a woman in love. Jaci no doubt was something else. Inside an army base where she was apparently visiting her uncle she had on a skimpy little number and was posing seductively. Then there were the weird Bible quotes. After which she tagged over 100 photos of her husband in a day, only three of which he was actually in. One was even of a washing machine. Wow, this woman was nuts. Jake had to get away and fast.

The next morning, after paying my rent, I saw Steve outside The Club. Sucking down a cigarette, this spider web tattoo in the inside of his elbow, he straightened his arm.

“Rough morning, Sir Steve?” I asked.

 “You have no idea. I am waiting for food for this establishment. Hump is upstairs doing a remodeling job. Benjy is supposed to be helping him and is late. Hump insists I didn’t order enough spackle or whatever the fuck he throws down.” Steve said in an agitated tone as his puffed his cigarette.

“What the hell is spackle?”

“Hell if I know. And Polo is in love with a psychotic wildebeest who works in a dungeon. What about you? How is the wonderful world of April Brucker?”

“Nothing that exciting.” I replied. “Except I saw Polo’s picture with his new squeeze.”

“I hope he hides his food because that bitch is gonna eat him outta house and home.” Steve snipped.

“What about Hump? Shouldn’t he be minding his new stepchildren?” I asked.

“Oh that mess. The girlfriend of some ex-con Hump knows fixed them up. It was one bad date.” Steve told me.

“Dear God.” I uttered.

Just then Benjy arrived. Taking center stage, he announced, “Listen, Lady and Gent! I apologize for my tardiness in this endeavor! Kim and I had a huge fight last evening and he had makeup sex for several hours. We then had a cuddling session where I fell asleep and actually strangled her. She got scared, tried to call the cops, and then told me this is the third time I have tried to strangle her in my sleep. So I promised her I would go into a sleep study, and then we had even more makeup sex-“

As Benjy rattled off his night Steve put his hand up to stop the disaster. “Just go upstairs. Hump is pissed off enough.” Steve informed him, exasperated.

 “If he gives you shit remind him that he stuck his dick in Desi.” I replied.

“Oh I will if you don’t. That girl is annoying and ugly.” Steve opined. “I was sitting next to her and this writer’s thing and she just kept talking about this woman who she took in that tried to burn her house down and I was looking out the window. Jesus fuck, she’s so mental she would drive anyone to commit arson.”

Just then my phone pinged. Jake. I texted back. He texted back. “And who is she texting?” Benjy mused.

“No one.” I told them.

“It’s someone.” Benjy insisted looking over my shoulder. Then aloud read, “Your wife seems like a crazy bitch.”

“It’s not what it sounds like.” Then the story came out. Yes, I was dating a semi-married man. It was complicated.

“Wow.” Steve said as he lit another cigarette and was simply silent. Benjy just started laughing.

“What’s so funny?” I asked.

“As compared to you, Polo is fine with his KFC eating white trash wafer.” Benjy explained.

Seconds later, Hump thundered down the stairs. “Where the fuck is the spackle! I told you I needed more spackle!”

“More cowbell!” Benjy exclaimed, referencing the Christopher Walkin skit on SNL.

 “Where the hell have you been? I told you I needed you an hour ago!” Hump was less than amused.

“He and Kim were having makeup sex and lost track of time. Have a heart.” Steve said, trying to add levity to the situation. Despite his small stature, Hump was huffing and puffing. Although he was over six feet tall, I felt the fear emanate from Benjy.  

“And we were hanging out with Polo last night and his gal pal. She’s fat and ugly. You should see her.” Benjy offered.

 “Polo has been working all those hours as a bouncer at the gay bar. He needs a girl like that on his arm. With that mustache people are starting to wonder.” Hump surmised using logic of the great philosopher Archie Bunker.

My phone pinged. Jake. “Is that your married boyfriend?” Benjy asked, because he had no filter whatsoever. Steve laughed again, and Hump turned in my direction curious. I smiled as if my hand had gotten caught in the cookie jar.

 “Look, stop making it out to be what it’s not. His wife gave herself to Jesus and won’t sleep with him. She said he can have concubines.” I explained.

“Damn that line is good. Later, I am going to Friendly’s and am using that.” Steve suggesting, smiling.

Well, maybe she won’t sleep with him because he’s a fucking dog.” Hump surmised, delivering his findings as if he had gathered them via university study.

“Hey, at least the last place I stuck my dick didn’t have a sober stripper blog riddled with spelling errors.” I chided.

“Then don’t make it a classic ‘men are dirt’ moment. You recruited this floating turd ball yourself.” Hump fired back.

Steve just kept laughing, and Benjy kept yelling, “Zing!” after each insult.

 “While I would love to stick around, I have to go talk to Jake. At least he isn’t going to make the egregious error of trying to keep me prisoner.”

Egregious. Hump looked confused. “It’s a big word I know, especially since your knuckles drag so often that they bleed.” I said, bitch smile flashing all over my face.

I waved and departed. Fuck him.

An hour later, I got a call from Jake’s phone. He had promised me tickets to the Yankees, so I was stoked. Instead, it was a female voice. “I don’t want trouble, but I have to know a few things.” She said.

“Who is this?” I asked puzzled as to what was going on.

“Are you fucking my husband?!” She asked. It was a tense whisper, one where the person on the other end of the phone was perhaps gripping a weapon to either use on themselves or the person on the other end of the receiver.

“Excuse me?” I asked.

“Just answer my question.” She commanded.



“Look, he said you were in Divinity School and found Jesus. Jake insists you let him have concubines.”

There was a silence on the end of the phone. “YOU ARE A FUCKING LIAR! STAY AWAY FROM MY FUCKING HUSAND OR I WILL KILL YOU, YOU BITCH!!!!” After that, it was as if the Exorcist entered her body. I hung up the phone horrified.

As the shock washed over me, I felt a ball of vomit in my stomach. I was now officially the other woman, the least liked person in the universe by pretty much everyone. The only people less redeeming were rapists, murderers, pedophiles, and New York City landlords. I sent Jake an angry text telling him he could go fuck his wife and then fuck himself. I was done.

The anger stayed with me mixed with the guilt. Time and time again, I had my heart broken. At this point in my life, I should have been used to men and their bullshit. To clear my head, I found myself at Hudson River Park. My social media lit up on my phone. Jake announced that he and his wife were “stronger than ever” which made me want to barf. Everyone had been correct, especially Hump. God I hated my life.

I sat on the bench and tears rolled down my cheeks. Just then I heard a voice, someone trying to sound like the Hunchback of Notre Dame whisper in my ear, “Why are you crying, Princess?”

I yelped in utter horror. Turning around, I saw Hump standing there laughing his head off. Now I was just plain annoyed. As my face grimaced in plain rage at having my self-pity interrupted, Hump continued to amuse himself at my expense by laughing even harder.

Finally, when the words came out I asked, “What the fuck?”

“You were crying and I didn’t want to see you cry.” Hump replied lighting a cigarette. “A crying woman is one of the most depressing sites in the world for a man.”

“Let me cry alone.” I commanded. “Besides, Desi needs your dick in her mouth.”

“Oh, so speaking of dicks it was the married dickhead you were dating?” Hump guessed. When I didn’t reply, he responded, “I knew it!”

“I’ll be fine. Desi’s waiting for you.”

“Just stop that now. Stop that shit now. She’s not here. I’m here with you as your friend. So you can’t be mean to me, okay?” Hump instructed.

Hump calmly stated, “You all went to college and might know some big words from books. I didn’t. The words you use go over my head and there are times you enjoy a laugh at my expense. Steve went to a thousand colleges, Benjy went to Manhattan School of Music and then you went to NYU. I barely graduated high school, install air conditioners, and put up dry wall for a living. So I must be stupid, right?”

“I never said that.” I snapped. Now I was even more agitated.

“No, but most of you wouldn’t know your way out of an alley. Steve never has enough supplies for his business. Benjy is my best friend, but sucks as far as a helper goes. I did a job for a guy and sent Benjy one day. He put the cabinet in backwards and then the dude demanded his keys and deposit back. As for you, men suck. Men suck. Maybe it’s because you have never had an actual man in your life. You have just had these idiots time and time again and that’s your bad decision. It’s not your shit generalization.” Hump eloquently stated, delivering a smile of victory.

I said nothing, but continued to sit there shocked as Hump lit a cigarette and took a long drag. “Doesn’t feel good to be judged so hard now does it?” Hump asked.

“I never meant to….”

“Say facetious things to him…..”

“Facetious is a good word. A big word but a good word. Where did you learn it?” I asked.

“Anyone can say big words, not just you. But you must remember, sweetheart, the tongue is the tool of all sin.” Hump cooed, delivering the final knock out punch. I never realized the man was so well spoken. He was also absolutely right about everything, from Jake Judy to the way I judged him.

 “What book is that from? That’s a good quote.” I asked.

“The Bible.” Hump informed me matter of fact. I sat there even more shocked as he added. “Yes, I know the Bible.”

“I’m sorry I…”

“Apology accepted.”

Just then I looked out on the water. I had remembered on one of our outings Jake mentioned one reason he didn’t last in the Air Force was he couldn’t stomach being on an air craft carrier. I mentioned this to Hump laughing. Hump didn’t laugh back. Instead he just shook his head and responded, “Your friend is full of shit. Air craft carrier boats don’t rock.”

“How would you know?” I asked.

Hump said nothing and lit a cigarette. In the next breath he changed the subject. He asked, “It’s late and I think we are both hungry. Would you like some dollar pizza, my treat?”

“Sure.” I said.

We ended up yacking it up about life and it turned out Hump was much more intelligent than I gave him credit for. He knew all about dogs and revealed that he was a pitbull owner at one point, but had to give up his dog when his new building wouldn’t let him have pets. As I chatted with Hump, I felt we connected which was nice. However, it also scared the living crap out of me. I told myself my senses were off because of all I had been going through.

Either way, I told myself he was just a friend like I always had. But in the back of my mind, I suspected this wasn’t all the universe had in mind for our story.