Friday, July 24, 2015

Me and George Clooney

"How old should we be today?" asks She. 

"I'll be nineteen," says He. 

"Then I'll be eighteen," says She.

"Where will we sleep?" asks She. 

"We'll sleep here, beneath this abandoned railroad bridge. We'll sleep here, beside this river bed. We'll sleep in the car and bear witness to the stars, and the rain, and the flex and bend, and applause of trees. Trees that stretch beyond the tracks. Trees that have no boundaries."

A few weeks back, while attending my 15th annual Saratoga Jazz Festival, I met George Clooney. We were both sitting in the rain watching a performance by jazz trumpeter, Theo Croker. I was wearing snake print ruffled pants, a t-shirt, and my face was paint with dots and swirls. I have no idea what George was wearing. All I saw was his eyes. I was the first to say, "Hi."

George and I have been on an amazing adventure ever since. We even left the country together. Last week, we disguised ourselves as hippies and attended a music festival. 

George makes me smile. Together, we are reclaiming our youth. I like George. 

In preparation for my 3-day hippie/music festival with George Clooney, I had a pedicure. I also shaved my legs and waxed my bikini line but that's not important to the story.

For the first time the technician at the nail salon was "Some Young Guy," a handsome, buff, almost (dare I say) edgy, Asian man.

Pleased by this fresh, new, young, male face, I settled into my pleather recliner, turned the magic finger massage button to full force, closed my eyes and indulged in a "Calgon, take me away," moment. 

With my feet now clean, my callouses removed, and my nails buffed, Some Young Guy skillfully massaged my feet and then worked his way up my lower leg.

I was in heaven. He was THAT good. Until, out of no where, he abruptly stopped mid-way up my right calf.

I opened my eyes to his disapproving glare and discovered that my right foot was firmly planted in the center of his balls.

I have absolutely NO idea how it got there.

I apologized profusely, left a big tip, and ran out before my nails had a chance to dry.

I'd like to believe that he placed my foot on his package. But I must confess, I was daydreaming about my upcoming George Clooney rendezvous and, as you all know, I have a very, very active imagination.


Sunday, May 31, 2015

For The Birds

Every year, around Mother's day, orioles appear. They are magnificient. If I'm lucky, they will nest in an old birch tree that is rooted just beyond my deck. 

May is a difficult month and the birds comfort me. May is all about Mother's Day and Memorial Day. Memorial Day is the holiday that coincided with the death of my son in 2002.

This Memorial Day, I received a call from David. David is Tinder date number #3. David and I had been canoodling since February of this year. David and I did fun things together. David liked electronic dance music, bar food, and New Orleans. David introduced me to his family, friends and coworkers. I liked David's family, friends, and coworkers. David was well respected by his peers and appeared to be a kind, nurturing father to his three daughters.

David, despite his uncanny resemblance to a toucan, was the perfect Mr. Right Now.

Until he dumped me, on Memorial Day, for "someone better."

David did this knowing it was the anniversary of my son's death. In David's well rehearsed break-up speech, he insisted on telling me how wonderful she made him feel.

And I couldn't help but wonder... how long have I been attracted to selfish men? 

Two weeks before Memorial Day, my soon-to-be-X-husband agreed to stay at my home and watch our dogs while I went to Newport with Toucan David. I came home to find his idiot brother, perched in a lawn chair in the driveway, eating pizza and drinking beer. There was no sign of my soon-to-be-X-husband and the house was trashed.

When I told my idiot, soon-to-be-X-brother-in-law, to leave and he refused, I picked up the garden hose that he had just used to wash his Porsche, and hosed him down. When he yelled in protest, I aimed for his mouth. It was like one of those carnival games, where you aim your water pistol at the clowns mouth.

When I offered to wash the inside of his Porsche, he agreed to leave. The next day, I changed my locks and had an alarm system installed.

On Memorial Day, I set out for a walk and spotted a dead barn sparrow stuck in a glue trap along the neighboring carport rafters where they nest.

I first noticed the traps a few weeks back, but thought they were cardboard cut-outs set to discourage the sparrows from nesting. What a horrific death that must have been (I will not post that picture).

Earlier in May, I was told that the swallows swooped one of the building owners who is handicapped and uses a motorized scooter to get from his car to the building.

I have to assume he approved, if not initiated the trapping, and I find it ironic that a physically disabled person would subject an animal to such barbaric restraints.

On Memorial Day, I called PETA and learned that barn swallows are protected under the "Migratory Bird Act of 1918" and that it is illegal to intentionally kill, injure, or destroy them, their nest, or their eggs.

On Memorial Day, I watched the on-call building maintenance man remove the glue traps.

On Memorial Day, I waited for a call, text, or email from my soon-to-be-X-husband. Thinking surely he would reach out knowing how difficult this day is for me - how difficult this day was for US.

The call never came. But the awakening did.

On Memorial Day, I realized that I have been attracted to selfish men for a very long time.

I have always admired the barn swallows. They are loyal. They are fearless. They are resilient.

And so am I.

xo, Monkey Me 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


I am alone, blissfully alone. My home is filled with fresh cut flowers - gifts to myself. I write from an empty, oversized bed. It is plush, and cozy, and lovely here.

My bedroom is my favorite room in the house. It is spacious, and whimsical, and oh so inspiring. Tall ceilings and a spiral staircase lead to an open loft accentuated in skylights. This is my creative space. My sewing machine is here and mounds and mounds of faux fur. And fabric that stretches and bounces and sparkles. And paintbrushes and paints, and books on painting, and sketching, and etching. And beads! Tiny, grains of honed, semi-precious stones. And baubles that only make sense to me.

In front of me is a deck dotted in pansies, and tulips, and ivy, and all things spring. I have a new, turquoise blue, patio umbrella. My old one was brown. Now, no matter what the forecast, I am guaranteed a brilliant, blue sky.

Just beyond my deck is a willowy old riverbed and thanks to April showers, it is fed, at full force, by a magnificent waterfall - a steady source of relaxation and rejuvenation.

For the first time in my life I am without a man - without my father, without my son, and without a husband.

I am untethered.

I am fueled by three little words... I am done

From the moment I released those words, nothing else mattered. Not what he did or didn't do, not the pain, or the disappointment, or the rage, or the regrets.

I am no longer the victim. I am the victor.

There are a few things missing. Things that had nothing to do with me. Things that were gently used - golf clubs, tennis rackets, guitars, mounds of baseball caps and unscuffed sneakers.

Weird stuff is missing too. Gone are all the secrets, those dirty little secrets.

I gave away my television and the desktop computer that was the catalyst for much of our demise. My noise of choice is now music. Today it's a funky, jazz, techno beat that syncs with the sizzle of a gentle rain.

I am focused on me - on me being healthy and happy.

I like pulp in fresh squeezed orange juice.
I like lime green vases bursting with white hydrangeas.
I like wearing bedroom slippers.
I like who I choose to spend time with.
I like where I live.
I like what I do.
I really like my new, turquoise blue umbrella.

I like me.

xo, MonkeyME

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Shannon E. Kennedy


Photo by Joan Harrison