Thursday, May 26, 2011

Not from Here, but I Am Here Now

I think I've mentioned before, or meant to, quite often a variation of what I try to write about on Wednesdays here shows up, slightly more prettified and better punctuated there on the opinion page of our daily newspaper in my "hometown," Norwich, Connecticut.

I'm using the turn of phrase "hometown" possibly at some peril, if I understood what went on yesterday in the grocery store parking lot. And I may not have understood-that happens a lot when you're listening in much the way a dog hears, "mumblemumblemumble, buzz buzzz, MY NAME, mumblemumblemumble."

I'm blaming my wife-it's not her fault and I didn't say that. I just typed I'm blaming her because everyone blames someone and since she never reads this stuff and you're not gonna tell her, I feel better without fear of upseting her. And the wheel in the sky keeps on turning. For some of us, it's time to pull over and change the air in our heads. I have two candidates.

I was in the parking lot because I had been in the grocery store and I was in the grocer's because of stupid old Lowe's (maybe that's who I should blame) and their dumb old four hour special sale in honor of opening their store in the other Lisbon. Best of all, Eles não aceitam dinheiro Amefican. Anyway. Because Thelma and Louise had designs on Lowe's I was advised Tuesday night to get myself my own dinner because they were going to be busy. Hello, Marie C and those almost impossible for me to fix microwave doohickeys. Mmmm.

I thought about singing for my supper, but old shoes while high in fiber, are not on the Glycemic Index so I went to the grocery store and that's where a 'lifelong resident' as she described herself to me, recognizing me from the mug shot the newspaper uses (my mother wouldn't recognize me in that picture) let me know she didn't appreciate 'you new people telling us about Norwich.' Without sounding flippant (not that this would be out of character) seems to me somebody needs to.

Perhaps because I've changed after shave, my aroma now seems more 'new to the area' scent. I don't know, but in five months, I'll have lived in Norwich for twenty years. New isn't even close to being in the ballpark, sister, which, of course, also came up because I've written more than once about the minor league team in our beautiful baseball stadium that the mewlers and pukers who whine about all the awful things we put up with here NEVER go to visit because 'it's too far away.' And then they drive to Fenway and/or Yankee Stadium rather than Dodd which is seven minutes from Norwich City Hall. We would bitch if you hanged us with a new rope (that is a new rope, right? Just checking.).

Sorry. She was in front of me in the checkout line and when she finished she stayed and waited for me to pay for my purchase because she wasn't done with her harangue. For my part, I was sorely disappointed she didn't offer to bag-I mean, WTF, she was standing right there. When we went outside, she was joined by (I believe) her husband who'd been smoking (I figure he lost a bar bet which is how they became a couple) and that's why he hadn't been with her inside. He was, imagine my surprise, also a 'life-long resident.' How lucky can one new kid get? I was tempted to sell my clothes because it felt like I was in heaven. But I wasn't.

This is the part where I'm supposed to apologize, I know, by name to both of them (I didn't know their real names but I do have suggestions), for what I said. Don't wait for it; you won't live that long. Besides, I blame her for starting it. My favorite moment was when she interrupted me with 'I've never been spoken to like this in my whole life!' and I told her I found that impossible to believe. She seemed about to cry. Her Galahad said not a word.

I know, I'm a creep and a half. Guilty as charged. But here's what it comes down to Guinevere: if my mother had married a Kennedy, I'd be living in the White House. But she didn't, so I'm not. Boy, are you right, I'm NOT from here; but I'm here now. It's NOT where you are; it's where you're going. And yeah, I did tell you where, come to think of it. Like I said, everyone blames someone. In your case, try a Literacy Volunteer. Cheers.
-bill kenny

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