Silly Grins

Friday, February 8, 2013

Part III

Part III of the original V

(This blog was only intended to live for a duration of five posts, four of which were written within days of each other. Post III and Post IV were lost.  Twice.  So, here goes, third try at III.)

We, the family, my family, were headed into the big city.
We, the family, were all packed into a vehicle.
Two kids, two in-laws, Wife, and ‘Will’ (me).

Crammed into a vehicle and getting tired. 

Worn a little thin.

Wifey was the designated navigator. She had the map, access to the iPhone, and is native to this land. She can read the signs. At least I thought she fucking could.

We, the family, were packed into a vehicle. Kind of tight. And the vehicle was sandwiched in the middle-lane of the five that were on our side of the concrete divide.

Only half an hour before, it had gone like this:

Wifey: Turn here.
Will: Right or left?
Wifey: Here!
Will: Right or left?!
Wifey: Here!! Right here!!

But it was too late. The family had had to turn around.
Fortunately they found their way onto the big road with many lanes called a ‘freeway’ where they were free and on their way.

Then she began stonewalling.  Not saying anything. Five other people in the car and she’s clamming up. She gives us….


Then it happens.

A moment of silence. That kind of silence that comes in the eternity that exists before a force of nature breaks… under the breath of a hushed thunder-count... 1... 2....

Yeah, forever in that tiny moment of silence in which everything comes together... right before crashing down. 

Except it was never anywhere near this kind of beautiful...more like a black hole.

Before it hits, time slips back. 

Period: Year 1 B.K. (Before Kids)
Time of day: Dark... almost midnight on New Year’s Eve
Location: Dead clam. Silent. Virtually empty train station in a ‘more rural’ area of Thailand, on our way back from bliss.

Wifey was pissed. As in angry.  She’ll say she was angry because the train was late.  An omniscient narrator might imploringly claim that’s just the way she is, the way she has always has been. Her folks say so too... could be like that for days at a time. Maybe that's why they were so happy when she finally got married (to anybody).

Nearly midnight. New Year’s. Thailand. She’s fuming. Fuming inside a face that has taken on a new shape, almost autistic or maybe with a touch of Apergers.



Her head tilts down and she glares into nothingness. 

The darker side taking over...

Nobody walks away; he leaves her there. With all that baggage piled up, stuff nobody needs. As she's not about to let any of it out of her sight. She can keep it all to herself, 'protect' it.

So, I head over to the convenience store where the clerk sighs 'Happy New Year' in a way that says she wants to be doing something with everybody else, but has to work.

Her English is better than fine. She’s not attracting any attention, yet she's not hard to look at either.

Her gestures are toward the offering on the table, “Would you like some?” 

“What is it?” I ask.

“It’s for New Year’s,” she answers.

“Are you having any?”

“No,” she says. The bottle is still almost full.

“No thanks…where is everyone?”

“Celebrating the New Year,” she shrugs.

As I paid for whatever I came in to buy besides investing in time away, I began to relax. That's what I'm here for.  I smile and think to myself, “Hey, it’s New Year’s and I'm in Thailand…"

Fast-forward… a few rotations past that New Year and nowhere near sanuk

But stuck. Jammed a few more years further into the four letter word: L-I-F-E.

The tightly packed vehicle is wedged in the traffic, moving in the only direction it can,  at everyone else’s speed.

Pushed into going with the flow.

And the silence breaks with a thunderous smash,  turning everyone to stone on the outside, too afraid to move on the inside. Even Wifey is rattled from the shouting.

I’d fucking lost it.





So it started... including fare more than a mere five words. 

You could have heard a pin drop after the hatch had been blasted off the airlock. Nobody was breathing. 



Then light broke through the shadows in the capsule and signs were coming up.

A little, earnest voice attempted to patch the breach that had just been blown through the hull.

Offspring: Dad, is this (trying to help)
Will: I don’t know. Thank you. (completely neutral)
Offspring: How about here? (still giving it his best)
Will: It’s okay… thank you.  (already down into the calm)

A few minutes later, Wifey still wasn’t talking - even though she had lost. And Grandma and  Grandpa weren’t about to say anything to anyone until we touched down. But we were still kind of sandwiched in that middle lane.

“Honey,” I ask, “do we veer right or left? I need to know. If we take the wrong lane, we could get stuck in traffic for a while.”

Wifey tries to mumble something toward me in anger, promising more of where that came from if I can't figure it out. I stop her cold, but not with the shouting. I tell her that I’m not having any of it. No more righteous anger at me Dear. We will go wherever we are taken because I can’t take my hands off the wheel to activate our iPhone for navigation…she tries to protest, but is overridden. I’m not having it anymore.

And somehow, without making a single wrong turn, despite a stubborn refusal to give directions, we manage to get there. 

But it ain't over... 


  1. Sorry, I shouldn't laugh. In all honesty the non-human navigation system in our car can be a complete bitch and completely fuck directions up. But, time old traditions, and history, should tell you that we women are shit at directions.

    1. No need to apologize, even before the polite reminder about traditions, history, and common sense.

      The biggest challenge is dealing with a peculiarly strong shift in polarity that is far more intense and far less predictable than that scarlet ebb and flow loosely based on lunar cycles.

      Laughter is a good sign.

      Thank you.

    2. Good god, I have been there. That's what I get for marrying a Japanese woman who has more character than the norm. Well, 'Butterfly' was a myth. Usually with me driving, and her 'navigating', it comes to me saying some of the following:

      "Look, there's an effing turn coming up. Don't tell me to wait, I have to go traffic speed, no? Make a decision. I don't care if you make a mistake. Just make a freaking decision! Make a decision! ... Looks like we've missed that turn."

      "Don't tell me I missed a sign! Who was born in this place? Not this pale-face. You think I know all three-thousand kanji needed to read every place-name? Even if I did, they're pronounced randomly. MacArthur was right about changing everything to 'romaji', except that everything sounds like everything else."


    3. Laughing (with you).

      Last time I saw a Madame Butterfly poster was on the wall of a traditional 'Japanese' sushi restaurant owned by Koreans somewhere in California.

      Madame Flytrap... now that's gonna make one hell of an opera.

      The only way to prepare for 'partnership' over here is to assume that the copilot could bug out at any moment. It seems to come down to a balance of trust and vulnerability, while knowing your crew.

      The horror...the horror.

    4. "Madame Flytrap"! Using that. Laughed out loud and had to explain to mine why. She did smirk.

    5. The smirk is proof that 'they know'... and have the nerve to act like they don't. Probably because we forget so easily when distracted by the vagina.

  2. "...that’s just the way she is, the way she has always has been. Her folks say so too... could be like that for days at a time. Maybe that's why they were so happy when she finally got married (to anybody)."

    Brother, I know exactly what you're talking about here. Well played, by the way.

    1. Thanks.

      Unfortunately, too many people can relate to this...the way it is, yet does not have to be.

      Really jonesing to take some time out for fun.

  3. 1st...
    Honestly...the image in my blogroll was like a fucking bright light to a moth....what a gorgeous shot of a shore break wave...could that be Sandy's...kinda looks like her.

    Did you really say it like that? You crack me up in a good way :)
    I woulda been screaming lunacy with words like "woosh" "kaboom" "Hiroshima" " Ha ha ha ha aaaaaa" "BOOM"

    Lets hold hands and jump off forever together everybody!!!!

    My nutcase gene is stimulated just reading this.

    1. Sandy's was my thought... though I have only driven by at night on the way to Wawamalu to walk on the rocks at night.

      Those words... far more than five were used and they were mostly the kind with short syllables. The in-laws were in the vehicle (though they might have not wanted to be at that moment), so expletives were not used. However, everyone was uncomfortable. Very.

      When I'm working with people who are depending on me to carry out a task, perform, or whatever... moods be damned. I had needed to know directions and my beloved source had fallen apart at the very moment she was needed. We hadn't need a blame game to start, especially at that time and the copilot was chastising the captain for not doing the navigator's job.

      Whatever... yeah... married life is a freakin' blast.

      I was actually really surprised at the in-law's response later that evening (that's for Part IV).

      Glad you can laugh. Someone's got to.

  4. Ugh.... I remember taking the dreaded family vacations. it always amounted to arguing and getting pissed off. Never give them women a map if you want to get somewhere. but then again, I almost crashed a few times on my last trip from looking at the damn GPS. It had nothing to do with the bald tires.

    1. Have had some really nice family vacations. Funny enough, the best ones were when we went somewhere for a few days and just forgot about time. This on-the-road/traveling approach should only be attempted by the ultra-mellow.

      Maps and women... I have learned my lesson the hard way of course. Next time, I will do the pre-planning for that with the assumption the navigator can go mental at any time.

      Family vacations... uh... mmm... NOOOOOO!

    2. Spatial awareness and XX chromosomes... Almost never seen it: married to a woman, lived with another, dated some more than that, taught both genders for well over a decade. Ask a dude for directions, and if he can't draw you a map, he'll tell you what sights to look for and turn at, and gesticulate while doing this. Woman? She'll list street names and shit. No! Give me the address and I'll Google it!

    3. God... I don't usually walk into walls (or do I?). Hoping for decent navigational skills from my ball-and-better-half while attributing to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity... I have proven my insanity by shaving with Hanlon's razor. Shouldn't have expected different results.

  5. I am the master of directions, map reading and generally the driver. So when I have a co-pilot that can't navigate me with simple left/right directions with ample time to maneuver them, they get fired. I can't stand the 'turn here' or people pointing with hands. I am watching the road not you.
    More often than not when travelling to a new place I try to commit the route to memory to save myself the trouble. I was lucky enough to have my sister with me in Germany and she is an excellent co-pilot. I count my blessings.... I hate having to ask, "Turn where here? Which direction? HERE is not a direction!" I am also glad that I don't get road rage... once upon a time bumper to bumper traffic in the Los Angeles area meant time for a little toke break. That was then......

    1. 'Here' is not a direction, not matter what language you speak.

      Once upon a time, a now ex-girlfriend (who happened to have been Canadian) was guilty of pointing with her hands while saying 'turn here' - from the back seat. A very demanding relationship packed with double-standards... though I rarely use the thing now, I so enjoyed blocking her on Facebook.

      Road tripping toke-breaks, totally remember how good those could be and then feeling kind of hungry.

    2. I still have the left over habit of packing snacks for the road trip. Though I don't smoke anymore, the habit of snacks still remains. Something salty, something sweet and something to wash it all down with.

    3. Snack for tips to anywhere... peanuts and beer (in a paper bag) were staples. When the pop-top stopped for the night, a film canister would open and the moon would start grinning at the the stars. Always nice to just get away and drift.

    4. Ahhh the film canisters!!! Nostalgia at it's best. For hardly a soul uses film as often as back then. And nowadays, at least here in California it's medical marijuana containers. Even if you don't use medical marijuana these containers pretty much are seen everywhere. I think I have some with earrings in them and seed beads.