Enjoy one of your favorite posts from the past until I return to entertain you!
And thank you for your loyal following.
Dylan James Wood is my son.
Those that know him know that he is like a giant bear: large and fuzzy, hands as big as grizzly paws.
He stands about six-foot-one and even on my BEST day I can no longer take him.
Well actually, I might get away with running him over in the mini-van but he’s quick for a big guy so I would have to catch him by surprise which… is exactly what I did the day I slapped the holy shit out of him.
Now, feel free to judge, I really don’t care.
If I want to slap the shit out of my 22-year-old, 250 pound bubba of a baby, who is completely out of line with his mother then I will damn well do it.
I don’t believe in the “no beating” policy.
To quote M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs: “Tell Graham to swing away.”
I like to live by the laws of nature: swift, painful, parental punishments.
And probably right now, someone out there is mumbling, “I hope one day he hits her back. Abusive old bitch.”
And I would say to you: he better start running after he takes a swing.
It would be a good show though and actually it was.
I don’t know what started the incident.
Who knows how he incited me into violence but he did.
We were in the middle of the kitchen, standing toe-to-toe.
I was screeching at him about something that I deemed incredibly important at the time, when he mouthed off and I went to slap him.
I watched as his giant paw of a hand reached out and grabbed my wrist.
My arm stopped mid-swing as my face registered shock.
I looked up at him, this furry Baby Huey of a man, and stared, stunned that he quit my vigilantly justice with one grasp.
I actually heard the sound track from Clint Eastwood’s, A Few Dollars More, reverberate inside of my head as I raised my other hand, furious in my inability to control him, and took another swing.
No way in hell was “Indio” gonna get the better of Clint aka “Monco” I was gonna wind this little jackass’s pocket watch and good.
I swung at him with all my might and watched as he easily bested my shot and now had both of my wrists pinned within the grip of just one of his giant hands.
I was beyond furious: I was enraged.
It was as if I lost my mind: I literally could not control myself. I bent towards him and tried to bite him repeatedly.
He laughed as he used his strength to manipulate me into various positions by changing the degree of bend on my trapped wrists.
I began to growl and snarl like a wild animal as I kicked at him, all the while, Dylan laughing at my idiocy and the fact that I no longer had any control over him.
I exhausted myself with the effort and like Santiago in the, Old Man and the Sea, crumpled to the floor, worn and beaten, yet still refusing to admit defeat.
“You promise not to hit me if I let you go?” Dylan said, lauding his youth and new found bravery and power over me.
I said nothing.
I glared at him.
A beast ready to snap.
I watched as he walked towards the backdoor, before I shouted, “You will pay for this!”
He chortled with glee as he kicked open the door, kicked it closed behind him, and strutted off to the garage, whistling a little tune of satisfaction that soon faded off into the distance.
That little shit. I thought to myself. I am going to make that mother fucker pay.
And as I sat on the dirty linoleum floor, I quieted my mind and came up with a plan.
A three day plan.
I would lead him to believe I had forgotten all about the upsetting incident.
I would act “as if” and bide my time until I could slap that little bastard but good.
I regained my footing and stood tall; I had lost the first battle but I was certain that I would win this war.
The next few days passed by just as I expected:
Dylan flinched each time I walked by him: sure that I was about to retaliate at any moment positive that I had not given up within the first 24 hours.
I ignored him… busied myself with the tasks at hand.
48 hours later, he was eying me pensively from the corner of the living room: trying to figure out if I had truly forgotten the incident or if this was some type of new defensive tactic.
I folded laundry and once again pretended I hadn’t even noticed him in the room.
He fell for the ploy.
By the third day, I was beyond excited. I couldn’t wait to get home from school and make my son pay.
My anticipation was rabid by the time I pulled up to the curb.
I could hardly contain myself as I ran up the porch and opened the front door.
There he was.
My baby Sasquatch.
My furry Yeti.
He was in the kitchen, large bowl of cereal cupped in one hand, spoon midway to his mouth, crumbs of a cheerio hanging tentatively off of his beard.
“Hey mom,” he said.
His sweetest voice.
His best cherubic face.
But I did not falter in my anger: revenge had gotten the better of me and my “higher spiritual self” had exited our home days ago.
I laid on like I have never laid on before.
My slap hit his chubby pink cheek so hard that his whole giant meat pie of a head sharply snapped at an angle before his eyes rolled back and his mouth fell open.
But still my blow barely made a dent of pain.
He centered his head, and looked at me: his bowl still set neatly in his hand, his spoon still resting mid-air, shocked but for a moment, before he laughed, this beautiful genuine boy of a laugh, and then said, “Good one” as he walked past me and climbed the stairs to his bedroom.
I stood in the kitchen and watched as his giant Fred Flintstone feet disappeared up the stairs.
The moment was bitter sweet.
I felt the relief, the joy of revenge washing over me, the sense that all was right in my world and then the horrible realization that my son was now completely immune to any physical punishment I would ever try to dispense in the future.
Suddenly, I felt old, truly old, until I heard from the top of the stairs, “Damn mom, that really hurt.”
And I smiled, knowing that my son was indeed a good man, I had raised him well.
I knew he wasn’t hurt at all, he was letting me “save face” unwilling to swing away at his mother’s pride.
You would have thought I had asked to have dinner with the President of the United States.
You would have thought that I had asked to be the first woman to go on the Mission to Mars.
I don’t really understand why Lexi seemed so bent… my daughter who once burned past my house, a dead body in the back of the hearse and Ozzie Osbourne blasting from the speakers.
It was Ray Charles for Christ’s sake.
Look at the photo of Ray that I posted above.
Does he seem like a man that would have a problem coming over to our house and having a little visit and photo-op with mom?
I don’t think so.
From what I know about Ray Charles he was quite the ladies man… I’m sure Lexi with her playboy body and quick wit could entice him to come to the house.
Okay… so yeah… he was dead.
I know that.
I’m not being disrespectful here.
I just wanted to pay homage to Ray and Lexi was about to be his driver.
“I don’t know if I’m going to be taking him to his final resting place mom,” she whispered into the phone. “I think I’m the one… but I don’t know for sure yet.”
“Well, you have to get Ray,” I demanded. “He’s one of my all time favorites and I never got a chance to meet him.”
“I thought you did,” Lexi said.
“No, that was B.B. King.”
At this point I became annoyed. “It doesn’t matter who I’ve met bring Ray by the house.”
“Jesus,” Lexi said. “It’s not like I can just swing by with Ray and open up the casket so you can take a photo with him.”
“Why not?” I asked. “Ray won’t mind and if you put on his glasses, it will look like we were just having a lovely little chat while he was still alive.”
“You’re out of your mind,” she said, her tone full of disbelief.
“Bring Ray to me,” I shouted. “You bring Ray Charles to our house or you don’t come home.”
She mumbled under her breath… something that sounded like “Totally out of your fucking mind…” before she hung up on me.
I ran to the bathroom and freshened up.
I wanted to look my best for Ray.
I brushed my hair and put on my favorite dress before sitting out on the porch steps with my camera and imagining my time with Ray.
I wondered if Lexi would let me prop him up on the piano bench.
I could put a lit cigarette in the ashtray and a highball glass next to it.
I could stand behind the piano… leaning over it casually… sharing a private moment with Ray… a bit of a giggle really as he played me one last song.
“What are you doing?” Dylan asked as he looked out the door and saw me daydreaming.
“Waiting for Ray Charles to drop by,” I said.
“Didn’t he just die today?” Dylan asked.
“Yeah,” I said. “Lexi’s going to bring him over… just for a short visit.”
“You’re out of your mind.”
“That’s what Lexi just said,” I told him.
“You know they’re making a movie about his life,” he said. “Why don’t you just go watch that when it comes out.”
“That’s not the same as having Ray over,” I fussed. “I mean really Dylan. You know that.”
At this point… Dylan rolled his eyes and walked away.
Every time I heard an engine come close to our house I sat up straight, excited that I was about to be with Ray and each time it wasn’t him… my hope would fade.
Then… the phone rang.
“Listen,” Lexi said. “I know how much you wanted to meet him… but you can’t meet Ray. I’m sorry,” she said. “But he won’t be coming over.”
It was horrible.
Forever kept from me by my own child.
“Fine,” I said and hung up the phone in a huff.
I sat there for a moment… my hopes crushed… my heart…broken.
I pictured Ray in heaven, stopping mid-song, disappointed that our visit never happened. I mean really… why wouldn’t Ray want to meet me?
A good friend of our family, Bobby Sepulveda, worked as a Removal Driver for several years.
What is a Removal Driver you may ask?
Well… it’s a person who picks up dead bodies.
From Nursing homes.
From the hospital.
From the beach.
From the store.
From parked cars at the football stadium.
Really… wherever you decide you want to punch your final ticket you’ve got someone to take you on that “last call” cab ride home: A Removal Driver.
Now… if you have a problem with dead people or removal drivers… please don’t read any farther.
You won’t like it because it’s about to get good… in a really, really bad way.
Bobby always had great stories about people he picked up.
He called me once from the morgue… and I said, “Where are you? The phone connection is really echoing.”
and Bobby said, “I’m with Donna Reed.”
“Donna Reed?” I asked… a bit confused… not “getting” the big picture…
“Yeah,” Bobby said. “She passed away today and I’m with her at the morgue.”
I felt my face drop.
I had always really liked Donna Reed… ever since she played Jimmy Stewart’s sweetheart in It’s a Wonderful Life, and I wasn’t really sure I wanted my last memory of Donna Reed to be “hanging out” with Bobby Sepulveda in the morgue.
If you knew Bobby Sepulveda… you would understand… I swear you would…. but since you don’t… just picture this…. one of the guys from Jackass in the morgue with Donna Reed.
See what I mean?
It doesn’t really seem right now does it?
Sorry Bobby… but you KNOW it’s true.
Lexi, my daughter, was very interested in working in the medical profession when she graduated high school.
She wasn’t sure exactly what she wanted to do at that time… and so she decided to talk to Bobby about becoming a Removal Driver.
“Why the hell do you want to do that?” I snapped at her, my own fear of being a Removal Driver getting in the way of my child’s one true dream.
“Because I want to know if I can handle being around dead bodies,” Lex said. “I don’t want to go all the way through medical school and find out I don’t have the stomach for that type of work.”
It was a good answer… A reasonable answer and so… I backed her choice.
Our friend Bobby was happy to get her a job… in fact, I’m sure he was amused… he probably thought an 18-year-old who looked like a Victoria’s Secret model and was often mistaken as a show girl when we went to VEGAS… probably wouldn’t last a day picking up dead bodies… but he was wrong.
Lexi got the job, and reported to her first day of duty wearing a nice tailored black suit.
She looked stunning… a TOTAL GLAMAZON on a mission to care for the dead.
I waved goodbye to her, proud as I watched my daughter drive off to her first job… so excited to meet her “Removal Driver Trainer.”
But later that afternoon… Lexi called me on the phone and sounded a bit emotionally distraught.
“Mommy?” she said.
“Yeahhhh?” I said a bit hesitantly.
“I want to come home and see you for a minute is that okay?” She asked.
“Yeah, sure,” I said even though inside I was really saying, “Oh Jesus God please don’t come home because you’re gonna smell like a dead body or something and I’m gonna freak out.”
But… when you are a parent… you have to make sacrifices and if that means you have to support your child by smelling dead bodies all over their clothing… then so be it.
She rolled in about 5 pm with a good looking young man named Tom, from Boston, and his accent killed me.
I love that South Boston accent… I’m a PUSH OVER for a “Southie” I really am… a guy could be the biggest tattooed criminal from the East Coast and walk up and say something to me all flirty like “Ah Dee…. you’re wicked smaaaart.” And I would probably BEG him to marry me… and run off to be a little toonie… living with my townie… somewhere down around Charlestown or maybe Dorchester hiding assault rifles in my dresser drawer and wildly in LOVE. (East Coast Irish boys being my fatal weakness of course)
Tom and Lexi were just adorable together you could absolutely feel the “spark.”
Their conversation popped back and forth with witty banter that could’ve given Kate Hepburn and Spencer Tracy a run for their money back in the day… and I couldn’t help but pray that these two would end up together just so I could tell people how they met….
Tom, sweetheart that he is, had brought Lexi home to see me because unfortunately… the first dead body Lexi ever saw… was a pretty bad one.
Now… maybe you think all dead bodies are pretty bad… but I think I would prefer someone who was fresh and had died in their bed over what Lex had to witness.
She walked in to meet Tom, her trainer and soon to be “love” interest, and found him in the morgue with an old guy they had just brought in…who had been dead… for over a month.
He had died about 30 days prior, had been laying out in the backyard naked decomposing… until one of the neighbors peeked over the fence and got quite a bit of a shock… and so when Lexi got her first look at him she said that she actually thought he was wearing a plaid bath robe and then felt like she wanted to vomit.
“He was naked,” she said….
(and I wondered what the hell he was doing out in the backyard naked… but I didn’t ask)
“but his body was all red, blue, and green… with these weird patterns on him from where the blood pooled,” she cried before running over to me, begging for a hug.
I swear to GOD I almost pushed her away.
I wanted to run to my bedroom door and shout, “It was nice meeting you Tom… but Lex is ALL yours now! You two have fun with your dead bodies! Mama needs a nap and a valium!”
But I gave in… holding my breath the entire time… before she pulled back and smiled at Tom while I tried to get a good gulp of air… hoping that their little flirtation would keep my antics from being obvious…
And then watched as she batted her eyes at him and said, “Thanks for bringing me to see my mom.” And I loved it.
I knew right then and there… that Tom was a good man.
Later that night, Lexi returned home… excited and chattering on about how she couldn’t stop looking at Tom… how even over the dead guy’s body she couldn’t help but flirt with him…
and that after their shift was over, he had taken her upstairs to his apartment, which was of course, over the morgue, and they had shared their first kiss.
It was SO romantic.
The two of them… over the dead bodies and the refrigerated body drawers… having a moment while everyone lay there…. waiting… doing nothing really.
And I thought…Ahhhhhhhh…. young love… Nothing can distract it. Not even dead bodies.
Tom and Lex became quite the “serious item” for awhile and I can only imagine how many fond memories they’ve shared retrieving dead bodies together…
But… young love is young love…. and often doesn’t last…
Tom is back on the East Coast now… running his own funeral parlor… while Lexi of course is still out here working on her medical training…
And though Lex claims they are both now “just good friends” I pray often that someday they will end up back together… working as a team… Lex helping people to live… Tom taking care of all the ones that got away…
And me…. sitting on the front porch swing… their children on my lap…. telling them the story of how their parents “Meet Cute.”