Writing Practice 11/4/2019

Please stop…

Please stop at the next turn sign up there.

There? I mean, here?

Yes, there. Now. Turn left. Yes, that’s good. So, have you been practicing long?

About six months. I had license in my old country, you know.

Really? Fascinating. Turn left at the next opportunity.

Yes, it was much simpler there, though. We had no road test, only parking lot. Road is not good here, because there are so many other cars! I don’t like it.

Well, that’s fine that you don’t like it, but we do require everyone to be competent, and safe, behind the wheel before they are allowed to drive on their own.

It is just so scary! None of the cars in old country were even nearly so big.

There to the right, please, and watch your speed. You are entering a school zone.

Yes, thank you. Do I need a signal for this? It’s a, what you call it, a traffic circle? Run about?

Roundabout. no, you do not need your signal to enter, but it is a good idea to use one upon existing. Do that now, please.

Damn! Missed.

Not a problem. We’ll go around once more… There, turn out there.

Oh, I have it now!

But you forgot the signal. In the exam the instructor won’t like that.

Perhaps I can give him big smile, he will think I’m pretty?

Yes, of course, he will think you are pretty. Everyone thinks you are pretty.

Oh, stop! You make me blush.

No, it’s true! All of the instructors at the school hope to be assigned to your car when you come in. Today is my lucky day. Don’t forget to slow down over this… Ouch!… speed hump.

Sorry!

Next time be a little more careful.

I will!

your test instructor on the action test, your evaluator, I mean, will instruct you to keep both hands on the wheel at all times, so, in the interest of practice, please remove your hand from my knee.

Sorry!

It’s all right, dear. As I said, that is still a very enjoyable situation. however, it is totally inappropriate for our current session.

I’m sorry again! What can I do to make it up to you?

Nothing, except continuing to drive carefully. No, don’t turn in here, I need you to continue out to the highway. Today’s practice is all about highway driving.

I’m sorry, I just need to stop and pull over for a moment.

Well, okay, but… what are you doing? No, stop! Put that back on! No, madam, I think you misunderstand what’s going on here!

This is not how to get good marks on the driving test?

This is most definitely not how to get good marks on the driving test! Madam, i can clearly see your breasts. I am going to exit the vehicle, and shall not continue until you demonstrate your commitment to ethics and professionalism.

Sir, perhaps you do not understand. This is ethics and professionalism for me.

You’re right, I don’t understand. What are you talking about? Hey! Put my zipper back up! hey! My wife won’t like this.

No, but you will! I have a 4 point 9 star rating!

On what?

Trickr!

Good lord!!!

Writing Practice – 6/26/2019

Why did your side hurt this morning?

Your side hurt because, I’m sorry to say, that’s the last sign of cancer. The scans came back – you have a lump the size of a softball under your ribs. It’s now pushing on your liver, and that’s what caused your pain this morning.

I’m surprised you didn’t come see me earlier. Often, something much smaller than this will cause discomfort, if not outright pain, long before. Either you got very lucky (well, I know it’s not right to say lucky when you’re getting bad news, now is it? My apologies for that misstatement [No, I’m not sorry, I simply apologized. Sorry is an emotion,a. Regret for wrong and harm done. I did you no harm by stating it that way, so why should I apologize?])

Now, where were we? Yes. You must have either gotten very “unique circumstances” [Is that better. Wouldn’t want to offend you again.] in that you either did not feel the tumor pressing on your ribs and your liver and your intestines for months now, or you have an extremely high pain tolerance, and did not feel that the level had yet risen to one which necessitated modification. Hey! I’m trying to give you a compliment here. [Maybe yes it doesn’t much matter, how does it, because yes, you will be in quite a lot of pain over the next few months.]

Oh, I have also thought of another possibility. It could be that you did feel the pain, and that it was at a level that you knew you should get it checked out all those months ago, yet you were too stubborn to come to the doctor, insisting that you were fine, and thus prolonging your pride in yourself and your delusional belief in your faith to heal you.

What I am not derogatory. I am simply exploring all options, all possible avenues of the reason you had a pain in your side this morning, sir, instead of two or four or six months ago. We must admit, one of those reasons could have been your ego.

Now – If you will allow me to continue –

Yet another reason may have been fear. Fear of surgery, pills, or cost. All of which are reasonable fears, sir, but none of which are in the least appropriate for this situation. No? Your’e not fearful? Well, then, perhaps you’re stupid. And you don’t know that pain isa. signal to the brain that something is wrong somewhere, and you should take steps to alleviate the problem. SIT DOWN, SIR! I am not finished with you yet!

You, sir, may be affronted by my blunt manner. I make no excuses for it. I am a man of science, and I must approach the problem scientifically. Since, then, yo have not yet agreed with any of my hypotheses for why you had pain this morning, I must continue my exploration. Finished with your rant?

Good.

Finally, and, sincerely I do believe this is the final option, I must suggest that your felt the pain this morning because you are very, very smart and very, very shrewd. I can see, sir, by the way your bitter, shrill wife beside you treats you and me and my assistance staff outside that she is not a nice woman. She must be terrible to live with. It must be an absolute hell to wake up to that each morning. And thus I conclude, too, from what you have told me of your spiritual beliefs that there is nothing in the way of extraordinary measures that would be taken at the pronouncement of a terminal illness.

Thus, since you knew, at the outset of your pain, that you’d would likely have many, many more years of that same hard, shrill woman by your side, again respecting your religion’s prohibitions against divorce, you chose, in that fateful moment, to mask what you hoped would be a progressive, ultimately fatal condition. And, as it would, as it grew and intensified, that certainty that I, or another professional would announce you terminal only grew in parallel. Having that welcome possibility [illegible], a certainty with which you could assume that I would be the bearer of “bad” news to your wife, which at the same time [illegible] your release from the confines of this marriage, you finally decided that you were ready to abdicate your position as husband, aided and abetted by the tumor growing on your liver, thus achieving a dual purpose – ridding you of the confines of your marriage, while at the same time absolving you of the guilt of having done so of your own volition.

Do I have that about right?

I can only presume by your silence that I do. Madam, I am, in this one, sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Your husband will die, likely within four to six weeks. I suggest you both prepare yourselves. My assistant at the front has a packet of references to a hospice, a funeral home, and a cemetery, also well as a grief share group and a widows’ support group. Good Day to you both.

Writing Practice 5/5/2019 – Purple dragon

Purple dragon…

Purple Dragon is the psychedelic punk-rock album of 1975, released to much acclaim and fanfare as the third project of much-applauded Canadian trio Head In My Hole. This Junior project (freshman, sophomore, junior) effortlessly combines twisted guitar rhythms, bursting drum solos in almost every track, wicked lyrics tha trepresent the banality of life at every turn, and a series of song titles an themes which take the listener on an epic journey through an acid trip like no other.

The opening number, “set Aside Your Expectations,” is not just the introduction to the album, it sets the stage for the nearly mind-tripped experience to come. Hugh Laurie, vocalist and lead guitar, sets a pulsating, pounding harmony on his g-string, matched with his lyrics delivered in a raspy, sexy, smolders voice that seems a combination of Bob Dylan and Annie Lennox – mature, yet still naive enough to hope for a better future. “Set Aside…” tells of the advice given to our narrator by his older, wiser, more-stoned college roommate, upon his first foray into experiencing the magic and wonder of LSD. “Prepare for a purple dragon,” the narrator says. “It’ll show up when you least expect it.” And that sets the stage for the rest of the lyrics, music, and, in truth, experience of listening to – or, rather, immersing yourself in, Purple Dragon.

Over the next forty-seven minutes, Head In My Hole explores alternative rhythms and fantastical stories as our narrator recounts the multitude of new horizons pursued at the guidance of his leader. Drugs, sex, rebellion, even hard work.

I won’t spoil the ending. I won’t even give away how irrational it seems to say that it has an ending, for, as with much of the drug-rock of that era, Purple Dragon could easily be played on one continuous loop without losing any kind of continuity whatsoever. Start at track 5, go to 9, back to 1-4, and you would have a completely new, completely different, yet utterly coherent and enjoyable experience nonetheless. Thus the beauty of this album. Much more than a conglomeration of unrelated ideas, whatever happened to bubble up to the surface of the stew pot on the day Hugh and band mates were practicing and writing new songs, Purple Dragon is clearly a nuanced, planned, integrative album worthy of a listen. Find it in your local used Vinyl store. If not there, check eBay. I bet you’ll hatred that it’s certainly worth the effort.