Category Archives: sociology

The Perceptor.

Little Henry loves dinosaurs.

He loves them so much that, during his cello lessons, he names the four cello strings Carnotaurus, Gigantosaurus, Dilophosaurous, and Ankylosaurus.

I’m somewhat of a raptor, myself. Gliding across all I survey, my enormous wing span covers just about everything and everybody visible below. By virtue of my fantastic size, I can see alot.

Childhood fantasy is a wonderful tool, enhancing the learning process by stimulating affective arousal and a host of synaptic responses the brain engages to receive, sort, and retrieve information. The problem emerges when adults get lost in its grandeur.

Nearly three weeks ago, I’d paid a surprise visit to my beloved. He had never been keen on these unsolicited appearances, telling me so in no uncertain terms; but, afflicted with not only a vividly overactive imagination I was also obsessive compulsive and, well, sometimes, found myself merely a passenger in the vehicle driving my behavior.

Such was the case on that evening when, ringing the doorbell, I stood on the front landing awaiting entry into his livingroom. By the time he did appear I could already tell that he’d chosen his own preferred mode of escape, having reached a state bordering on surly. But, still polite, he did let me in and stood, sluggish and squinting, as I strode into the kitchen to see how he’d spent his last eight hours.

No beer cans, anywhere; how deftly they’d been hidden. But, now, a homemade flatbread pizza slice left on the stone, one large unrecognizable bowl, emptied of what looked like guacamole and, as referenced in a previous recounting, a single recipe card – pristine and alone and bearing completely unfamiliar handwriting – on the opposite counter.

I moved back toward the livingroom, asking for the whereabouts of the ivermectin stash; this anti-parasitic had recently been found to prevent red blood cell aggregation, and might we…..he had no idea where he’d put it. Okay. I would search, myself.

Re-emerging from the bathroom, I caught him stuffing something under the sofa cushion and then, spying me, dramatically smoothing its surface.

The pair of black workout pants discovered there would become the subject of my fixation, therewith. I would challenge him with their size, seemingly too narrow for his muscle bound legs. I would ask him to put them on; he would refuse. I would leave – declaring him a liar, a cheat, a thief, and God knew what else. And, he would laugh.

Down the steps of the front porch I’d fly, my raptor wings flapping ominously all the way home. Predictably, gathering my huddle of equally willing grand jurists, we’d pronounce him precisely as described: liar, cheat, you know the tune, with the finality of a flock of buzzards circling over the county landfill. By the time we’d reach our verdict, he’d be toast.

Enter the Creator of all living, the Almighty Omnipresent and Omniscient. One perspective; one overriding view.

God would take my pea brain, fraught with its own traumas, and remold its perceptions. Within ten days, I would be graced with not one, but three pairs of black workout pants, at least one of them appearing to relax after the wearing and, most critical to the cause, a wooden box filled with recipe cards. Most relevant there were several, among those clearly bearing his illegible penmanship, which had been written by the same, unknown scribe who had produced the salad recipe used that fateful night.

While he may have been visited by the mistress demon who haunted all addictions, there had been no stranger in that house sharing in his misery. There was only albeit inebriated he – and then me, raptoriously soaring above reality to snatch up the residual bones in my ancient, creaking beak and reconstruct a definitive archeological find out of the whole scenario for an eagerly awaiting army of self-appointed anthropologists.

Little Henry is progressing. He’s been growing, too. His legs are now too long for the prototype cello, and he’s moved far beyond the four strings toward completing his first song. Would that we’d all evolve beyond our perceptions of a given delusion to wrench ourselves free of the dinosaurs lying wait to capture our only hope for psychic and emotional survival.

After all, there is really only One all-knowing.

And, that One created the dinosaurs, too.

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Copyright 2/2/23 Ruth Ann Scanzillo. All rights those of the author, whose story it is and whose name appears above this line. No copying, in whole or part or by translation, permitted; sharing only via blog link, exclusively, and that not by RSS. Write the script for your own story. Thanks.

littlebarefeetblog.com

He Said, She Said.

He said God didn’t interact in the lives of humans.

She was sure that God did, though she wasn’t clear on exactly how, or when, or what God was doing.

He was a Democrat, but didn’t vote. She was a registered Independent, voting whenever she could choose a viable candidate.

He believed in abortion as part of a woman’s right to choose, and had encouraged women he knew to have them in the past.

She was fervently pro-life, and considered the right to choose a foil for the right to abort.

He had chosen vasectomy as his means of birth control. She’d used the sympto-thermal method, which had included periodic abstinence.

She loved to walk outdoors, but her profession kept her inside 90% of the time. When he wasn’t cooking, he was outside.

He loved dogs, cats, and birds. Her cat allergy was prohibitive and, though she’d always wanted a dog, both her neighborhood and property were not amenable.

He was built of short, bulk muscle, and preferred large motor activities like weight lifting, sailing, and heavy land maintenance. Hers was a small motor gift, expressed on musical instruments and utilizing the tools of visual art.

He was open ended, preferring to go with the flow. She needed closure, almost obsessively so, not resting until achieved.

He enjoyed hip hop and other contemporary music styles. She would choose country over hip hop, every time, but preferred everything from the classical masterworks to ballads to blues.

He was a medical professional. She was a creative and educator.

Her love expressions were gifting, problem solving, and verbal encouragement. While his love language included gifting his was almost exclusively physical release, and she could count on one hand after six years the number of times he complimented her even if strangers lavished praise.

He liked the house cool to cold, often complaining of feeling hot. She had a bit of Reynaud’s, and required a warm indoor environment to keep her fingers fully functioning.

He was a recreational alcohol and drug user, and self medicated regularly. She took prescriptions to treat migraines, one of them with a history of altering mood.

He was an introvert. She was an ambivert.

He regarded talking as a one sided means to vent. She preferred productive conversation and active dialogue.

He enjoyed reading about history and the care of animals. She preferred reading about the current states of society, health, and the cosmos.

He addressed multiple tasks as they came to mind. She made lists, and crossed off tasks as they were completed.

He preferred keeping his personal life details private. Her imagination led her to question the veracity of his disclosures.

He was fiercely in need of making all decisions on his own, including those which she believed were her exclusive domain. She was the most independent woman she knew.

He preferred to live within a small sphere of his own influence, rarely seeking answers. She was constantly curious, attracted to the speculative universe of unexplored possibility.

He resisted all forms of perceived control. She perceived his resistance as a stubborn need for absolute power.

His behavioral standards were focused on self comfort and sustenance. Hers were built around self protection and preservation.

His, from early childhood; hers, from every aspect of her social realm, theirs was a trauma bond.

He said. She said.

In spite of everything and against overwhelming odds, they had found themselves unable to break free of that which had kept them intersecting in each other’s lives.

To call this a relationship was to stretch the limits of human definition. Only God could name it.

He said God wouldn’t. She was still waiting.

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Copyright 1/21/23 Ruth Ann Scanzillo . All rights those of the author, whose personal story it is and whose name appears above this line. No copying, in whole, or part, or by translation. Sharing by blog link exclusively, and not via RSS feed. Thank you for valuing the rights of original material.

littlebarefeetblog.com

The Recipe Card.

CHAPTER 50.

His was a gourmet’s gift. The slurries, alone, always subtley balanced. The rubs, same. You never wanted for naming a dominant spice; rather, the synergy.

And, he loved the prospect of a new “dish.” Let the plan gel, and then heartily get to it.

Yet, the scenario this time was different. A certain clarity pervaded the usually hazy atmosphere. The house had been cleaned, recently, reorganized too. No longer the customary chaos usually accompanying his binges when she rang the doorbell, unannounced, on a night he’d learned to expect her to be otherwise occupied giving private music lessons.

She’d lost count how many times over the years there’d been, oh, two bowls instead of one, an odd wine glass, fried chicken all but gone in the skillet. Then there was the bright yellow stethoscope draped hastily over the livingroom chair, as if somebody other than she had entered via the rarely used front door.

No; this time, the pizza stone nearly empty of more slices than even a fat man could consume, the large, antique China salad bowl oddly cleaned of its contents but, what was this?

A recipe card. For “Linguini Salad”.

Sitting alone, on the opposite counter. Handwritten, in rather large, round, legible script and clean, as if just penned that very day. Not a speck of cooking grease, not a corner turned, fresh as morning. And she, with her annoying visual memory, immediately identifying the writing as unrecognizable.

It had come from his ex-wife, he slurred. Oh; really. All those thirty odd years ago, still untouched by so much as a drop of oil.

And, calling for artichokes and “Paul Newman’s Own” dressing, the latter underscored with proud emphasis.

Why a natural chef would choose a salad recipe from the ex-wife which called for pasta and bottled dressing, to accompany a mammoth flatbread homemade pizza. Why, indeed.

Moving through the livingroom to the bathroom ( in search of the stash of Ivermectin ) and, re-emerging sooner than he was ready, she caught him stuffing something under the sofa cushion and then, spying her, deftly acting to smooth its surface.

Ah. What had we here, then. Black Nike workout pants, far too narrow for his overdeveloped calves. They were his, were they. Would he put them on, to see if they fit? No; he would not. Nor would he tell her how he’d spent the afternoon. He owed her nothing. In nearly six years of endless forgiveness for countless infractions, she had earned no explanations of any kind.

Two degrees of separation, and swift resolution: No; the ex-wife had never used Paul Newman’s Own dressing. On anything.

(Sorry, Paul.)

They say the secret is always in the sauce.

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Thus endeth the lesson.

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Copyright 1/18/23 Ruth Ann Scanzillo. All rights those of the author, whose story it is and whose name appears above this line. No copying, in whole, part, or by translation, permitted; sharing by blog link, exclusively, and not via RSS. Thank you for being honorable in a sea of filth.

littlebarefeetblog.com