Thursday, January 26, 2006

Of Course It Wasn't Judgment Day....

We got the judges in agreement. They sent their decision to the prosecutor. A warrant for our maid's arrest was to have been issued Monday, January 23. Today our lawyer, whom I consider lazy and worthless like all Mexican lawyers I've encountered--OK, maybe not lazy but still worthless--imagine an American lawyer taking over a month's vacation, leaving no substitute, and not even informing us of the first decision that went against us! To be fair, because he hurried the case to a civil judge, who may also hear criminal cases if the criminal court is overloaded, he tried to expedite matters. I think it was a stategic mistake causing over a month's delay, because what I understood of their conversation made me suspect the judge resented the extra work load, especially since it was requested by our connected, red-haired and whiter-than-I lawyer, so the judge may have responded in a passive-aggressive fashion.

There are always Kafka and incompetence to consider, not to mention the Voodoo curses we think our maid has inflicted on us, and though we are sometimes tempted to enlist the dark side as well, our religion prevents us, though to be fair, our religion also forgives our sins. I still believe in the power of light over darkness, so just as God has suspended our man's judgment all these centuries so likewise I ought to accept the mercy of the Mexican system. This is specious reasoning if ever I heard it, though the parallel pleases me.

We are so bored!

I work on my Eliot essay and the new and last issue of The Melic Review, Kathleen edits, works crossword puzzles, reads innumerable books, while I watch more TV. We relax at night in the gas chamber of our rooms, hope the buses aren't spewing Xylon B. Or sometimes that they will.

Yes, we have friends, but though they pretend concern, I'm sure they're as thoroughly borerd with our story as we are with telling it. And Kathleen keeps saying, "I think Kenyon's dead," which always lifts my spirits without fail.

We do lift spirits at night to make boredom tolerable, as it increases our ability to enjoy television, and we've also rented a lot of bad movies, like "A Beautiful Mind" and "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," though "The Motorcycle Diaries" were OK. Can't believe "A Beautiful Mind," so terribly uneven, and arguing against Nash ever being truly schizophrenic--I don't know what he had--got good reviews. I did not like Jennifer Connelly that skinny in any event. She's a fine-figured lady!

For boredom perhaps President Morales will send us coca leaves to chew as a goodwill gesture, though I'd love to have our portrait done in them as he did for Hugo Chaves.

Back to business. (My birdwalks in thought, I learned, can also be called by the quaint English term "false hares," so I now have two cliche's for my associative brain patterns, necessary for a poet but terrible for locating misplaced keys.)

Today I think I understood, through a bad cell phone connection with Inaki, our main lawyer (his secretary afterwards informed me that she has had trouble understanding him as well, so it's not just the language barrier), that the prosecutor had not issued a warrant because the lesser judge had not completely signed off on it.

The ping-pong game of Napoleonic law goes on. I can't imagine a country now where they would actually arrest someone for a crime not directly witnessed by police and actually jail or bail them. As Kathleen's dentist said today (I'm bringing Kathleen's pearlies up to date, though she fears dentists, which I can't understand--while I hold her hand), "Although the Mexican justice system is supposed to help the victim, it actually works against them, especially if they have light skin and are thus perceived to be rich."

Us, we got $5,000 American to our names, and our former maid is now worth $500,OOO based on a recent inheritance, but she looks like an Indian, and I learned how important appearances were sometime in my mid-thirties, whereas my socially brighter siblings realized it in their teens. My mom used to make me go to a dermatologist when I didn't care how many blackheads were in my ears.

Hell, I had to find the truth about everything before I thought about appearances. Thank God electroshock helped temper my Faustian delusions when I was 30!

Enough about me. How are you? What can you do for us? Well, money's always nice, but we can wait until we get back to the States to beg when we'll need a bit to get a rental up in NorCal, where they are cheaper for CA but not nearly as cheap as those to be had in Mexico. Out of solidarity you can also read Kafka and Finnegan's Wake; knowing that you are struggling with them will give us a certain mutual Schadenfreude.

The plot thickens in February when my six-month check-up with my pain specialist in San Diego is due, though Principal Lifeless won't commit to telling me if six months is adequate for sustaining my pension, as I proved to them that "being under a physician's care" was not specified as to frequency in my original policy.

Tomorrow we plan to quit smoking again, as we did for four months before our final blow-out with our son which left us both emotionally devastated and uncaring about our health or lives. Having recovered, it's back on the horse, absent the Marlboro Man (who I understand died of lung cancer near Smokestack Mountain).

If my health permits (I've been under for a week with amebiasis again, competing with Bolivia's natural gas preserves), I will update our saga as soon as anything equally unsubstantive and seductively promising occurs.

Until then.

Thine as ever,


Monday, January 16, 2006

Judgment Day

Tomorrow the Scheisseman / Iceman cometh, when the Mexican Justice System, founded on Kafka's Napollockeonic Law claims it will reach a decision.

The appellate judge, about 25 years old I would estimate (they send them straight from bad law schools to the bench here), is meeting with the first judge and the Assistant D.A., supposedly to overturn the first decision--which I just found out went against us Nov. 30 because our lawyers never informed us, indeed took a month's vacation without back-up during some of the most crucial parts of the process, during which, yo, in my imperfect Espanol, had to serve as my own pleading counsel--although my disability insurance company forbids me to doctor myself, for which I am better qualified, despite the adage that "Any doctor who treats himself has a fool for a patient." I say to that: "Any well-trained American doctor who subjects himself to a Mexican doctor has a death wish."

Now, for any who pray and read this today, pray. Atheists, please send us good vibes. Agnostics, dare to doubt while wishing to pray for us. Buddhists, forget about your desire to help us, it is just part of the wheel. Hindus, rejoice in our education as our experience is surely a sign that we must still be learning and will not escape reincarnation. Muslim extremists, please send a suicide bomber to our former maid but spare the dog.

Voodoists, please sacrifice more than one chicken. Sikhs, wrap your turbans more tightly. Zoroastrians, pray that the evil god is defeated by the good one. New Agers, shake your best crystals. Poets, write about yourselves--I know it's impossible for you to write with concern for us.

Hillary, display your bad legs in public to assure your solidarity. Bush, send troops. Cheney, hit your implanted defibrillator once to show some empathy.

Tellytubbies and Barney, please stay away, you scare the hell out of me.

BTW, Happy Birthday to my Sweet Sarah on her 17th today! XXOXXO

And thanks to Paolo for commenting. There's not such thing as a free blog and if I don't get more comments I'll write it anyway, so there.

I wish I had a picture to post of our dog, Kenyon. A Newfoundland-Black Labrador-Golden Retriever mix, with the large head and webbed paws of a Newfie, the good nature of a Lab, and the beautiful golden fur of a Golden, save it is much longer because of the Newfie blood. He looks like a noble lion; we pray he still lives.

Dognapping has become popular here; to Mexicans dogs are just nameless furry burglar alarms; they think Americans' attachment to their pets absurd and deserving of exploitation. Again, not all Mexicans, just the brown ones.

Love You, Blogees!

Mad Doctor Hoping for a Miracle Tomorrow but More Expecting
Further Kafka Beckett Inscrutable Delays.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Marooned in Mexico's Endless Christmas

Our host, Carlos, doesn't drink all year until the special allowance granted him from the day of the Virgen de Guadalupe to the Dia de Los Reyes (Dec. 12 - 1/6). It is every Mexican's right, he explains, even if committed to sobriety the rest of the year, to be able to get drunk during this special time--a time also when nothing gets done, you rarely see police, and people park anywhere because no one issues tickets. At least the primitive garbage trucks still run, though they have no schedule--one is only alerted by a clanging gong in the street, when everyone rushes out with their plastic bags and hoists them up to the truck, where the workers take the time to open every bag for potential profit while the crowd waits and the buses back up.

Now as to our current situation: Resisting violence towards our dog's kidnapper during this period is difficult and leaves me exhausted. With my surgical knowledge I imagine all sorts of procedures in the still of night to perform upon my enemy, one of which would insure no further progenty from this line of idiot Indian vipers. And having surgical supplies with me, I could tape him down and do a neat job, stitch up his custom bag, and afterwards everyone could call him "No Juevos Benjamin."

I haven't broken the fingers of his younger brother either, who is basically innocent and controlled by his mad mother, Maria, who holds our possessions for a ransom we can't pay, which possessions include, besides deaf Kathleen's hearing ear dog, Kenyon, also manuscripts of mine I failed to scan to hard drive and cannot replace along with near 200 original songs.

Now my lawyers, supposedly connected, one being the son of a supreme court justice and the other the brother of the mayor, promised us our stuff back long before Christmas. I kept warning them it couldn't go beyond Christmas as nothing would get done. They reassured me everything would be over soon. Now, after New Year's, I try to contact the one lawyer and he's out of town until January 15. His partner, the mayor's brother, was supposed to be in town; his secretary tried to contact him yesterday and got no answer; today I called her and she said, "I'm so sorry, Dr. Chaffin, he's in Spain now."

"And so it goes." --Billy Pilgrim If only the Tramfalmadorians or whatever they're called would imprison me in their interplanetary zoo I might have a purpose in life.

So how do Kathleen and I deal with boredom? How do we extend our sanity in a world worse than Kafka's, when sometimes I wonder how to shave my chitin and trim my antennae when I gaze in the mirror in the morning?

First we take many psychiatric medications, thankfully cheaper and over-the-counter here, for our mood disorders. These are fortified with the blessing of the grape and that great friend of mankind, television, though Kathleen reads more. I can't concentrate enough to read. Writing is really easier. But my Eliot project is stalled because I feel such an emptiness--not a depression--just a wasteland of futility inside my chest--although the new coughing from succumbing to a few cigarettes lately does help the vacuum somewhat. Yes, fourth months off cigarettes, have a fight with my love, and end up smoking one on New Year's. Bizarro World. How come Jerry Seinfeld, Superman fan supreme, never mentions Bizarro world enough?

In the mornings I clutch Kathleen like a life raft (now that she allows me to touch her again), and I don't want to let go. Eventually I must, if only temporarily, because one of us has to pee, though I'd prefer to continue holding her and wear Depends. Once separated in the morning, with the delicacy of emotional separating Siamese twins, I do perk up a little and venture out. We have lunch, read the paper, and run into other crazy gringos who tell us to call them--as today, when I asked Kathleen if she had so-and-so's number who said "Call me!" Kathleen nodded.

Afterwards, checking out strange books from the library, one on man-eating tigers to help me sublimate my murderous anger, Kathleen asked me: "Do you think changing a verb tense constitutes a lie?" I thought and replied: "Yes, as in 'I was a junkie' vs. 'I am a junkie.'" Kathleen smiled and said, "I had her number. But she's crazy!" Enough said. I think the company of the crazy preferable to the company of my own mind at present and was only mildly disappointed by Kathleen's elegant deception.

One new plot I have is to buy a ladder and pay a Mexican to start painting our enemy's house during the day, dismiss him at twilight, then sneak over, pull the ladder behind, and take what's mine. Not that I'm in any hurry; I just have a court date in a week in CA re: child support and a disability exam in February to insure my pension continues (from the evil monolithic Iowa-based scheister company, Principal Life). Not to mention I miss my kids, my grandson, my sibs, friends, and trees over twenty feet tall known to actually exist back in CA, along with the ocean, my spiritual mother. Here the lakes are so polluted there are no fish.

What else to report? For New Year's Kathleen and I lay in our separate beds alternately weeping over our recent fight, previously acknowledged, though she being a private person and I a public blabbermouth I am loathe to describe it here beyond my previously posted public repentance. But I am thinking of changing my gravestone from "It's all good" to "It's all my fault." Please send in your vote.

I think this blog is nearing 30 posts, btw, so it's probably too long for any to catch up with unless they find it a verbal alternative to a reality show. Did I mention Kathleen and I discovered the first reality show we liked? It's called "Trading Spouses" and you can find it on FOX.

If I stop writing now, what shall I do? I could check our mail and weigh how many new psychiatric journals have accumulated, or even hope for something personal like a note from Ed McMahon about the Publisher's Clearing House, maybe even a personal note from Ken Mehlman or Howard Dean, but I try not to get my hopes to high. In fact, what is hope? There's a good question for my next post. Must one have experienced a reason to hope within the last two years to be able to conceptualize hope? For now abideth faith, hope, and love, yet I hear Job's wife saying, "Curse God and die!"-- but that's where I draw the line. I will not give into bitterness until I am able to commit suicide without it-- that's my rock-bottom faith. Meanwhile Kathleen has (I hope) temporarily quit wearing the Celtic cross my sister gifted her because "I don't feel like a Christian."

And here I thought faith had little to do with feeling. Yet even a leprous monkey with no hands or feet deserves a banana from God every five years.

For those only browsing, unable to endure my sustained sarcastic fringehead wisdom, my previous "New Year's Sayings" post I thought halfway amusing, as in: "Michael Jackson was innocent, he was only trying to expand the concept of the petting zoo."

Love to all, and to all Kafka Kafka Monkey Monkey Blah Blah Blah-- this has been our mantra for over a year now. Not "Busy, busy, busy," but "stuck, stuck, stuck."

And please promote my blog with all your friends; I feel too hopeless to do so except to that rare inner circle who tolerates me.

Your ever faithful raving literary doctor,

C. E. Chaffin

Unexpected Light

Unexpected Light
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