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LATER TO THE FAIR with my Jules

how ridiculous to think the lovely, miserable music scratching out of this fifty year old Janis Ian lp would somehow lift my sinking, self pitying, weeping- into- my -morning-coffee spirits above perceived injustices and aged indignation, humiliation, worthlessness…

or that reading MIDNIGHT WATCH by David Dyer,  sitting in the anguished heads of those on the Californian thinking they should have, could have done something, anything, to save the Titanic because they saw her rockets, failed to find any bodies,  would inspire me to renew some thirty year old belief that my life would be the one to inspire all of mankind to perfection… not the corrupt, other worldy lives of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump…

or that reviewing all decisions made in my life all these many, many years and believing I made the best decisions to be made, given all the variables, would change the gut slashing pain from your sigh of forced tolerance, your slight roll of your eyes, your barely hidden disgust when we talk…

you, the one person who hangs my moon…

oh, how my mother disgusted me at one point in my life, with all her cold, deliberate moves away from all of us while never letting go…her looks, her style, her men, her incredible survival tactics… how I cried each time she visited, then left again…Dad died, she left again, and again, trying to keep it together… life is so rude

oh, and my self-assurance that I was so smart, so worldly, so advanced beyond her…that I understood what she did not…I, who am now the disgusting, old, pain- in- the -neck mother who fucked up royally, but who wants some of your time,  who wants an occasional, spontaneous, surprise visit, an invitation to dinner on your patio with you and the kids, who imagines we have such laughs and  remember such good times… and that you and my grands love being with me…(and who knows by writing this that I come off like some cliched Jewish mother, damn it…)

they weren’t all bad, were they, the days of our lives? or has your perfect, long-suffering mother-in-law convinced you that it would have been better if I had learned to sacrifice, to live with your father no matter how many slaps or put downs?  are her answers better because she stayed with her asshole (I can hear you sigh at that)?  I hated leaving you with him, but how can you know (and I, now, imagine) how cowed I was by him?  I believed I had to leave to save us both… I believed that with all the idiocy of a twenty-eight-year-old battered wife.

isn’t there one good memory that makes you smile and glad I was/am your Mom?

Maybe not…not today, anyway, as I wait for you to call to say “let’s go to the fair!” (you told me Wednesday we would go today, but it’s eleven already).

I s’pose they may come later, the good memories, when I have no more memory, as when my mom had no more memory, and it was up to me to remember the good stuff…

and I did…


and while I was writing this oozing mess, you were texting me to meet you all at 2 PM to see the last big events and awards…and I can’t wait to get there and see you!  and life is good and happy again…and I put on American Woman by the Who loud to celebrate, all the while thinking what a stupid thing to do…HAA


it was not truly surprising

to hear him say, “but, it’s just you, Rox…”

with just a hint of sheepish grin,

you don’t mind

if I don’t call for months,

okay, years…

if I don’t hold the door,

don’t really listen,

sit on your cat to teach him a lesson

you don’t mind, do you, Rox?

I mean, it’s just you!

why would I spend the whole day

you don’t mind being alone…

you take care of yourself…

nope, I’m not gonna start helping fix your door knobs

nope, I’m too tired to take a hike today

I know you think you need help, but you don’t

you can figure it out

gotta go

will call ya later


whatever, it’s only me…







It was YOU, no doubt, you blasted, late evening cup of Nespresso

with your luscious Guinness – like head of crema,

the black and tan of non-alcoholic delights,

your nutty flavor with the slightly robust finish,

<can anything be slightly robust?>

sinful, rich, dark, smooth, not-to-be-ignored temptation,

dastardly beverage brewed from the fruit of Colombian mountains,

drunk at the end of a lovely evening of hugs from friends.

YOU stole my sleep,  just when I craved it,

needed it to free my brain of a week of mortgage nonsense.

I needed that sleep, you yellow-bellied, pusillanimous bastard!

NEEDED it, damn it!

Now look at me,  sitting here in near pitch blackness

pecking away at keys on this callous machine,

shooing off the cat who is also now awake, mewling for attention.

Oh!  I know just how this endless, sleepless, leg shaking night will end.

Know it as surely as the night is cold, and long, and dark,

“darker than the inside of goat,” one long lost beloved would say.

I will sit here searching for synonyms which will lead me down long dead ends,

diverting my focus; twisting my tale into meaningless drivel.

Then I will pace the room; pull at my hair, shed my robe, put it on again,

stand in front of the fridge, not really hungry, not really looking,

sit back down poised to write something brilliant, monumental…

then, when I have stared long enough at this  uncaring, back-lit screen,

I will sit down somewhere, but not in my bed, to finish Mystery on the Isles of Shoals

the outcome of which I have already studied, about which I have wondered for years,

and I will fall asleep, hitting deep, REM sleep as never before, until my book

crashes -as in “crash (verb) fall or come down violently” – to the floor

finally awakening me to go to bed where I will gladly sleep the sweetest sleep of the night

waking only when the sun is streaming through the window,

when I will stretch, scratch Emil’s ears and brew another cup of YOU.







what does this stupid game mean?
are they watching me through the camera in my computer?
should I be afraid of being hacked by some weirdo insinuating that I am too old to figure this out?
and why do I care what a computer game tells me?
what does it know?
is it yanking my chain?
not that I have a chain
but seriously, who started this?
is this what I will be facing the next time I renew my license?
and if I hit one of the deer in the simulation
should I stop or drive on?
I hit a deer once                                                                                                           with my Accord
in the dark                                                                                                                        on 285                                                                                                                         coming home from a visit with friends at their ranch in Hotchkiss                                                                                                                            on the Western Slope
idiot thing leapt up just as I reached it
smashed its foot into my right front headlight leaving an oomph of bile and grass in the middle of my hood
landed on its four feet
then took off running into the night trees
while I stopped
and cried                                                                                                                          and vomited
at the thought that I’d maimed or killed it                                                          and then I had to drive on

God, who made up this stupid game?  now I am verklempt about a deer on the road twenty years ago

rJo Herman   12/28/15


Disclaimer:   This is an example of Arachniphobic activity which is admittedly despicable.  It is not meant to encourage others to engage in similar activity.


Gasp loudly
Shoo away excited cat
Quickly run get three-four paper towels
Stand back with the hand holding paper towel extended well in front of you
Watch spider run into the crack in the woodwork
Kick the woodwork
When spider runs out, drop the paper towel and stamp it with your foot
Mash it left and right
Carefully gather up paper towel, squishing it together
Hold the tightly scrunched paper towel arms length in front of you as you take it to the trash
Drop it into the trash bag
Quickly tie off trash bag
Carry it outside to the garbage can outside

Scrub spot on floor with Windex
Spray Raid along woodwork


HOW TO KILL A BLACK WIDOW SPIDER IN A GLASS IN THE SINK using only those things immediately available…

Scream, then mutter, mutter, mutter through the next seven steps
(“damn it, just stay out of my house…why do you have to come into my house…you’re only going to die if you come into my house…if you’d stayed out of my house, I wouldn’t be doing this to you…”)

FIRST, a long spray of  extra crisp spray starch, check for movement…I see twitching…
Pour a liberal dose of Pinesol
Can’t find the RAID?
THEN, a large splash of Clorox
THEN, fill the glass with water…check to see if the spider is floating on top…
pour the contents of the glass down the disposal
turn on the disposal, run for 30 seconds
run HOT water down the drain…
double check that the spider has not jumped onto the counter top
SHUDDER violently
shoo away the Catt who has sat placidly watching…

watch the sink for the next three days for signs of spider activity


I wished them ill.

Frequent fights,

and ugly children,

the poor house.

For the most part

my wish came true,

though their children are handsome.

Her addictions and infidelity

cracked his soul,

broke the bank.

He never left her,

like he left me.

He loved her…

To hell with me.