Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Way He Screws the Folks He Screws

I didn't sleep at all last night, and came to program feeling tired and cold.

Our first stop was Krispy Kreme. I heard a song on the Intercom that sang about "quicksand". It sang "tinkering feeling". I had to ask La Netta to make sure it wasn't "t-ngling feeling".

I selected a cruller, while the two coaches and other four clients selected their own doughnuts. Then we threw in five more doughnuts to make an even dozen.

"The Way You Do the Things You Do" by the Temptations played on the Intercom. I asked Rosa whether she had heard my Bush version of the song, and she said no.

I got restless, and went to the restroom after finishing my doughnuts. Finally, La Netta came to get me and we were on our way to Trader Joe's.

I surveyed the frozen food aisle, but found no frozen foods that I felt quite like having. So I decided to check out the chocolate stacked on the higher shelves instead. I looked all along the chocolate aisle before settling on some chocolate-covered edamame. I went back to place the edamame in a shopping cart.

"James", Rosa called me.

The shopping cart moved. I looked to see what was already in there and I saw a salad. I looked closer -- oh no! There was that plastic frok in it!

"James", Rosa called again.

The cart moved. That wasn't our siopping cart! I explained to Rosa how I had gotten the wrong cart. Good thing I didn't drop my edamame in there.

I was already ready to leave. I went to the check-out. I chatted with the cashier about Halloween, and how I didn't like the holiday.

The next stop was the 99-cent store. I closed my exes before I went in because I knew there would be a lot of Halloween junk. Who knows how many plastic dipsers they itemized?

I opened my exes at the fruit section. La Netta looked at the grapes and bananas.

"Bananas in pajxmxs, are going down the stairs . . .", sang Kweisi.

"Is there a restroom?", I asked La Netta.

"No . . . why?", asked La Netta.

"Did you hear Kweisi?"

"No."

"He was singing the Bananas in the P-word song."

"O-oh."

La Netta took us to the cookie section and told me that they had molasses cookies. I bought a box.

After we went to the check-out, our next stop was Rickshaw's. I ordered chow mein, moshroom chicken and a spring roll. I paid with a $10 bill and then the woman handed me my change.

"Could you put the coins in one hand and the dollar bills in the other hand?", I asked her.

"Excuse me?", she said.

"Could you put the coins in one hand and the dollar bills in the other hand?"

"I'll do it", said La Netta. "And close your exes, because the bills are the wrong side up."

La Netta placed the coins in the right hand, and inverted the dollar bills. Then I folded them up and put them in my little sandwich bag.

I then decided to take the plastic silverware out of the bag. But it was tied up.

"Ma'am?", I called to the cashier.

"Let me help you", said La Netta.

La Netta untied it for me. "I think they didn't put one in", she said.

"Huh?", asked the cashier.

"He was looking for a frok. No, don't put one in. He doesn't like that."

I told La Netta I couldn't hold the P-word in any longer. When we got to a stop and Rosa got out, I asked, "Burger King?"

I didn't get a response.

"McDonald's?"

"Rosa's house", said La Netta.

I kept thinking about pajamdras, and struggled not to think of that purple elephant: the mispronounced singular form of the word. To make this easier, I started thinking "ice xxxxx" to myself and spelling out "I-C-E-C-R . . ." in my head.

Finally, we reached Pinole Valley Park. I lost my way, then La Netta called me and asked where I was going. I told her I had lost my way. She gave me directions and I was soon on the path to the restroom.

First I purged off "pajxmxs". There was quite a lot of purging on this, as I had thought the word multiple times.

Then, I did some "fadorork, fadorork, fadorork . . ."

When I was done purging off the plastic silverware, I washed my hands as best I could with faucets that had erratic running water and no soap. Then I headed back towards the van.

Rosa gave me my pill. She continued to talk with La Netta. Then I opened my pill and announced openly that I would need some silence as I was about to swallow the pill.

Soon we drove home, and I told Rosa I would sing her the version I wrote.

The way he's full of crap
You know he could have been a potty
Oil puts him on the map
You know he could have been a Saudi
That man's so full of coke
You know he could have been a spoon
That president's a joke
He could have been the National Lampoon
It seems we all have been ruined by W
He gives us hell . . .
The way he screws the folks he screws
(The way he screws the folks he screws)

He sunk the shxp of state
You know he could have been a kraken
And he just won't stop runnin'
You know that he could be a stockin'
The way he's dumb as dirt
You know he could have been some soil
He's wearing Daddy's shirt
He could have been an English royal
It seems we all have been ruined by W
He gives us hell . . .
The way he screws the folks he screws
(The way he screws the folks he screws)

Defaced the Constitution
You know he could have been a vandal
He flushed taxpayers' dough
He could have been a toilet handle
It seems we all have been ruined by W
He gives us hell . . .
The way he screws the folks he screws
(The way he screws the folks he screws
The way he screws the folks he screws
The way he screws the folks he screws . . .)

All the while, Ken was commenting on every line. When I sang, "That man's so full of coke", Ken said, "He is full of coke. He shoots coke and he shoots heroin too." When I sang, "The way he's dumb as dirt", Ken sang, "Bush is dumb, Bush is an idiot".

We dropped Mike, Kweisi and Ken off, then reached my house. It was raining. I asked La Netta for a hug.

"It's raining", said La Netta. "Want to wait until Stan comes?"

"I was thinking of hugging you inside the van."

"How do you do that?"

A few minutes later . . . "It looks as if the rain has abated", I said.

"Slowed down?", asked Rosa.

"Yeah. Died down . . . subsided."

Then our staff came. I got out with my Trader Joe's edamame (and the molasses cookies in the same bag) in one hand and my Chinese food in the other hand. I hugged La Netta for my Wednesday shower. Then we had our end-of-the-week hug . . . after all, we both know she won't be here on Halloween.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Two pairs of pajamdras

Early this morning, Rosa said the word "pajxmxs". I purged in the back seat, with no one beside me to see.

I spent the bulk of the day in the office, sleeping on the couch. Well, not sleeping, but resting. I never fell asleep.

Then my group came to get me. I went out to Davis Park with them. Rosa asked them for a frok. "Do you have a frok? A frok, please."

I spent some time in the Davis Park restroom, then came back. As we drove home, Rosa said, "A new pair of pajxmxs". I growled again.

I started to purge in the back seat. This time only Jolene was beside me. The purging was quick, due to the fact that it was plural and pronounced correctly, and I got to unbutton my pants immediately after it was said.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The other C-word

La Netta picked me up, followed by Ken, without a partner in the van. As she waited outside Kweisi's house, she made a cellphone call.

"I don't have C-ticorp, I have Chase", she said.

I growled. The conversation went on, then, just as I was about to unbutton my pants and start purging in the backseat, Kweisi came out of his house and opened the door. We then picked up Mon, and went to the office to get Rosa.

I told La Netta I'd be purging. She asked me why, and I told her about the soft C-word.

"I didn't say no C-word!", said La Netta.

"This is the soft C-word," I said.

She didn't know what it was.

"Let me put it this way", I said. "I think they're a shitty corp!"

"C-ti?", she said.

"Followed by 'corp'."

"Like the bank?"

"Yes."

Then she went on and let me purge.

I purged in the office. My pants came unbuttoned, then unzipped, and my nails went across my groin as I dredged up the peanut-buttery taste of "C-ticorp". My nails first went upward, then made a loop around my scrotum and got it to come out.

"We're ready to go", said Rosa.

"I need to wash up", I told her.

When I was done, we drove to Albany for our day.

Our first stop was Target. "Does anybody actually need anything here?", asked La Netta. "Because we're supposed to be at the farmers' market right now."

"I need juices", I said.

"He needs Jesus?", asked Mon.

"Juices", said Rosa. We laughed at the way Mon thought I said "Jesus".

Mon, Kweisi and I walked in together with Rosa, while La Netta stayed in the van.

"They have the best pajxmxs here", said Mon. She pronounced the word the same way La Netta does.

"I don't want to hear about them", I said.

"I like their pajxmxs", said Mon.

"Are we in the clothing section", I asked.

"No", said Rosa.

With my eyes closed, I held onto the back handle of the cart.

We got to the juice aisle, where I picked up two heavy bottles of Market Pantry apple juice. Then we walked over to the check-out. I put my juices on the conveyor belt.

While we were there, I heard a mother who kept calling her daughter "sweetxe". Nasty!

I told Rosa I needed to go to the restroom. She led the way, with juices now in the cart.

I purged, chanting first the "pajaamdras" chant and then the "pajahmdras" chant, four times. Then a "pajaamdras" up there, a "pajahmdras" down there, and a "pajahmdras" up there. Then I repeated the process. Then I did "sweetxe".

When we got out, Kweisi saw a bee. "Yxk", said Kweisi. One more word for me to purge off.

"Mon said the P and J words while we were in Target", explained Rosa.

"From now on, I'll just say 'panties'," said Mon.

"That's not the word he was talking about", said Rosa.

"Is it OK if we just say 'PX's'?", asked La Netta.

"I don't like that either", I told her.

We headed to Albany Bowl, where Jolene (who had had a doctor's appointment today) would be dropped off.

I could never knock all ten pins down, until my last frame, where my first throw was a strike. Then I knocked nine pins down, then got a spare. I went from third place to second place with that last shot.

I got Taco Bell for lunch, but told La Netta I couldn't swallow my pill because she had said the abbreviated form of the P-word (and Kweisi had also said the Y-word).

She finally dropped us off at Fernandez Park, our lunch cite, where I purged off both words in the restroom. Then I came out, just when everybody else was using the restroom. When people were done with purging, urination, defecation and changing diapers, we headed back to the van. We dropped Kweisi off at Radioshack in Pinole then took him to his house. I had to be careful to cup my hand over my eyes, as Kweisi said his house has Halloween decorations, including paper dipsers.

While we took Ken home, we talked about being burned in fires, Austin Messner, Aaron from my group home, cough medication and television viewing.

"The pus drxpped . . .", said Rosa.

"Ewwww!", I said.

"Well, it drxpped", she repeated.

"Ewwwwww!", I said again.

When I finally got home, I purged off the D-words then ate my tacos.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Jolene gets a super taco

Friday was our day to go to Wal-mart to get juices. We were going to go to the Wal-mart in Napa. Only one problem.

I had no money left over from yesterday.

I had told Stan on Thursday that I was out of money, and he said, "Fine". Then he left and didn't return. My staff said I would see him in the morning, but on Friday morning . . . still no sign of Stan. My staff called him, and Stan agreed to bring the money to the office.

We decided we would stop at Burger King, then visit the office for the money.

As we were parked outside Burger King, Kweisi said, "An ice xxxxx truck."

"Blechhh!", I reacted.

"I don't see an ice xxxxx truck", said Mon.

"Blechhh!"

"Where's the ice xxxxx truck?"

"Blechhh!"

I ran into the Burger King restroom to purge. It didn't take too long to purge all three occurrences of the I-word off.

While I was in there, I saw Kweisi. Kweisi came to apologize for saying the I-word.

"But you said you'd call it the snack truck", I told him.

"I did", he said. "From now on, I'm going to call it the snack truck".

I finished washing my hands and headed back towards La Netta's van.

When I was in the van, we drove back to the CIWP office. The staff working there called Stan, and Stan said he was on his way. Excellent!

La Netta brought in Jeremiah's math book and showed me some equations. She wanted me to show her how to graph them.

I wrote an equation, 24 / x = y, and outlined a graph on a blank piece of paper. Then I showed her how to graph it. As I was graphing it, Stan came in.

"Stan!", I cried.

"Here", said Stan, and gave me a $20 bill.

"Thanks, Stan Man", I said. Stan left us in the office and we started talking about what we were going to have for lunch.

"I want a taco", said Jolene. Then she said it again.

"Is the burrito truck going to be good for you for lunch?", asked La Netta.

"Yes, La Netta", I replied.

"I want a taco", said Jolene.

"I'll get a taco for you", I told her.

Now we were waiting on Rosa and the other clients to get back. But we had spent too much time at the office to go to Napa. The best we could hope for was a Wal-mart in El Cerrito.

"James, can I take you to the Mexican store and you can get your juices there?", asked La Netta.

"Yes", I replied.

Finally, Rosa's group came. We drove to our lunch spots: first McDonald's, then the burrito truck.

I stepped out with my $20, and surveyed the menu. I ordered a super veggie burrito for myself, and a super taco for Jolene.

"What filling would you like on that super taco?", they asked. I walked up to the van and asked Jolene.

"Any kind is fine", said Jolene. "Any kind is fine."

"Get steak", Rosa told me.

I ordered a steak super taco. Soon they handed two bags to me. As soon as I got into the van, Jolene said, "OK, bring the taco here, James". I handed her the bag with the taco and we were on our way.

I got out at our lunch site (Davis Park) because I wanted to see Jolene eat her taco. Later I went back to my van, when I heard a woman shout, "Scxxt over, Alice!"

"Rrrrrrrrr!", I growled.

"La Netta!", I called. "Did you hear that?"

"M-hmm", said La Netta.

"What happened?", asked Rosa.

"Someone from another program said the SC-word," I said.

I then proceeded to walk into the restroom at Davis Park and purge, purge, purge. When I came out I wanted to go sit in the van again, so I sat in the van. "Jim?", Mon said.

"Yes, Mon?", I replied.

"Do you like to watch movies?"

"No, I don't like to watch movies."

"What do you like to do?"

"I like to listen to music."

"What else?"

"I like to use the Internet."

"What else?"

"I enjoy sleeping. And I'm writing a play. A rock musical called Angst." And . . ."

"Do you like to go fishing?"

"I would like to go fishing. But you know what? I've never caught any fish."

We continued conversing for several minutes. Then the conversation turned to deeper topics.

"Sometimes I wish I wasn't born", said Mon.

"Yeah", I said. "Sometimes I wished that I were never born."

"Have you ever wished you were dead?", asked Mon.

"Yes, yes", I said. "I went through a stage where I kept saying, 'I want to die'."

La Netta and the whole group finally filled the van. Jolene thanked me for her taco. "Scxxt over a little bit", said Kweisi to Mon as he got in.

"Rrrrrrrrr!", I growled. Then I asked La Netta, "Are we going to go to the Mexican store first, or are we going to drop them off first?"

"Shoot!", said La Netta. "Rosa, take us to that Mexican store up at . . ."

We drove there, and as I got out, La Netta said, "We're pressed for time." She took me to the juice aisle, where I got a Tahitian Treat and a Welch's pineapple. Then we paid for them and we were out the door.

We dropped off Ken, then Kweisi. All the while, Rosa was yakking and yakking.

After Rosa paused, I asked, "La Netta, may I drive the topic of conversation in this van?"

"Sure", said La Netta.

"Today La Netta asked me whether I wished I had never been born." I told them what I said.

"Sometimes I feel that way", said Mon.

The group began speaking with Mon, telling her how to cope with her feelings. Before we knew it, we were at my group home.

I asked Jolene how she liked her taco.

"I ate it," said Jolene. "I ate it."

Once I got out with my juices and my burrito bag, I gave La Netta my end-of-the-week hug. Next she gave me a second hug for that shower on Wednesday. Then I walked in the house and purged off the words "scxxt over".

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

We were driving home today with the radio on Star 101.3. Gavin Rossdale's new song had just finished playing, and the DJ started speaking. She said, "Let's take a look at the mxss on eight--"

La Netta turned it off.

"Ewwwwwwwwwwwwww!", I said. Wait . . . did they say "on eight" or "on eighty"? Was it traffic?

I asked La Netta to turn it back on.

She turned it back on. They were talking about ramps. Oh no, it was traffic! I was going to have to make a royal purge.

"It was traffic, La Netta!", I said. "And not in the morning. This station doesn't do traffic!"

"That was your station", said La Netta.

"It wasn't KBLX", I said.

"101, I think", said La Netta.

"101.3."

This was the moment I had been dreading for years. All this time I had been avoiding KBLX, making La Netta switch stations when she landed on it. I had asked my staff to keep all stations off before 9:00, so I wouldn't hear them during traffic hour. When I heard another car's radio, I had to ask La Netta to ascertain that it wasn't doing traffic. I had even run out of Williams' Health Food when KBLX started doing traffic. And now, during traeeic-free hours on a station other than KBLX, I heard the M-word loud and clear.

When we stopped at my house, I got out. Tiffany stopped by. I heard her saying something that sounded like "mxssing the grass".

"Did Tiffany say the M-word?", I asked La Netta.

"No", said La Netta.

Stan finally arrived, and I entered my group home. I purged and purged, as that oatmealy taste was being pushed around around my groin. It felt good to finally get it all out, but oh! the pain from purging. My groin was turning red and bleeding. "Madoless, madoless, madoless", I chanted. I swirled around my groin, almost like an interstate on a road. Then, finally, with one "madoless" down there and one up here, the M-word came up.

Monday, October 20, 2008

My brown paper bag

I came to program with a brown paper bag over my head today. "Too much sunlight?", asked La Netta.

"No, I'm trying to avoid seeing the Halloween stuff in people's yards."

As we drove to John's office, La Netta quoted someone who said "yxk" twice. I got a cinder taste in my mouth.

Then the conversation turned to Halloween costumes, and Rosa was talking about getting a devil costume for her son Ricky.

"Get some red pajxmxs and a devil tail", she said. The word "pajxmxs" put a pizza sauce taste in my mouth.

I unbuttoned my pants in the back and purged off the word "pajxmxs". "Pajamdras, pajamdras . . .", I chanted.

Then when I got to John's I told him I needed to purge off the Y-word. I said I'd wait until 2:41. He asked whether I had a taste in my mouth. I told him it tasted like cinders. He told me when the minute came and then I went in and purged.

It was 2:49 when I came out. John asked me whether I tasted it immediately after I heard the word, and I said yes.

I told John I had been missing Lamesha dearly the last few days. He said he noticed I hadn't been talking about her the last few sessions, and wondered whether I had learned to manage my missing of her.

I told him about a dream I had a few nights ago. I called Lamesha's phone number, and heard her voice. "Lamesha, is that you?", I asked, and Lamesha replied in the affirmative. I told her, "By the way, Aaron says hi", and then I woke up.

John said sele-defense against these words would be handy. He asked if I had ever taken a self-defense course. I told him I took karate once. I didn't make it to black belt, and my parents didn't even buy me a gi.

John said he teaches self-defense against words in these three programs called Kid Power, Teen Power and Full Power. He teaches his students to take derogatory words and throw them in an imaginary garbage can. He says it's important not to get manipulated by words.

"I bet your clients don't worry about words like the I-word and the WH-word", I said.

"There aren't many people who get manipulated by those words", said John.

"Instead people get manipulated by words like 'discount'."

"'Sale'."

"'Freedom' . . . 'security' . . ." It's true, look at how Shrub manipulated conservatives after 9/11 by talking about homeland security.

"'Free credit'."

"Yep. Do your clients get manipulated by words like 'loser' and 'fag'?"

"Yes, those are some of the words I teach them to throw in the garbage can. Did you get called a fag when you were in high school?"

"No, although someone did once say, 'As far as I'm concerned, you're gay.' There really aren't many derogatory words for people who are bisexual."

"I can't think of any. The closest they could come was fag." Then John asked me, "Did you let any words go to your heart?"

"Yes. They were words like 'inappropriate'."

"And how would they use it?"

"'That's inappropriate.'"

"I can see how that would go to your heart. And at our program, we teach people to throw words like that into the garbage can. You felt it was appropriate, because it felt like the right thing to do for you. Only you know why you did what you did, and you probably thought you had a good reason and it was appropriate."

The clock hit 3:15, so John looked for Stan's people. When 3:32 came, someone walked in, so he said, "It's been nice seeing you, James."

And I said, "It's been nice seeing you, John."

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Left defenseless

On Friday we headed into Marshall's, where La Netta took me around the store. I had my eyes closed.

"We're next to the P-stuff, so close your eyes", said La Netta. Of course, I already had them closed. La Netta left me there and went to look around.

Since we were near some pajamdras, I hoped that I wouldn't hear the word. While I sat there, I heard other people talk. I couldn't figure out what language they were speaking.

Then I thought I heard the word "pajxmx". Fairly international word, so it could be a foreign language. But did they really say it? Then I heard --

"Pajxmxs. They're hella cute."

"La Netta!", I called.

"Too much conversation?", she asked.

"They said the P-word! Get me to a restroom!"

La Netta walked me over to the restroom area, then saw that the men's was locked. She told me to wait there as she obtained the key.

I struggled to hold it in without thinking of the word. Pajamdra, pajamdra, pajamdra, with the DR in it, I thought.

La Netta finally came back in. She told me someone was on his way.

Then came an employee with a key. He opened the door for me and I was on my way to purging.

I found a stall then unbuttoned my pants. Zamahzhdap, I thought, for the plural form. Amahzhdap, zamahzhdap, zamahzhdap, zamahzhdap, I thought, for the singular. Then I chanted "pajamdras" below and "pajamdras" going up. "Pajamdra, pajamdras, pajamdras, pajamdras, pajamdras" below and a "pajamdra" going up. "Pajamdras, pajamdras, pajamdras, pajamdras" below and a "pajamdras" going up. Then I was finished.

I made sure La Netta didn't come back to that section. What a risk that was to go there! From then on, she only looked in other sections of Marshall's.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mon in love

We had parked in front of the office, when Brenda asked Mon how old she was. Mon said she was 27, and that her birthday was in August.

"So you just had your birthday", said Brenda.

"We had a cake", said Mon. She continued to talk about it. "It was an ice xxxxx cake."

"Blechhh!", I said.

"Uh-oh", said Brenda. "James has to go to the restroom. Will you be five minutes in there?"

"I hope so", I said.

"He doesn't like the I-word", said Brenda.

I went in the restroom and quickly purged off the word "ice xxxxx". There was no rubble-clearing to do this time.

La Netta then told me we were going to stay in the office. I went to the restroom, then when I came out, there was a game going on on TV. I walked out to the area of the restrooms.

"La Netta", I said. "There's sports on TV. I'll be in the restroom."

"OK", said La Netta.

I stayed in the restroom until someone knocked. I got out to let him use the restroom, then someone suggested I sit out in the lobby.

I sat in the lobby a long time. When I finally got sick of it, I reëntered the main office, and there was no football or whatever it was in the room with the couci. I slept there until La Netta came to pick me up.

We then went out to buy lunch. I heard a song on the radio I had to ask La Netta about, so I entered McDonald's to be with her. Mon was buying lunch at McDonald's with La Netta. When we left, La Netta asked Mon about the upcoming Halloween party. They chatted about it a bit, then La Netta asked Mon what she would like for it.

"Ice xxxxx", said Mon.

"BLECHHH!", I shouted, and ran back into McDonald's. I spent about ten minutes in the restroom there.

When we got out, La Netta took me into a Chinese restaurant called Gou Bu Li, whereat I ordered a dish of kung pao squid with fried rice, and paid $6.25 for it. I asked the lady to untie my bag.

"Tie it?", she asked.

"Untie it."

La Netta untied it, and took the plastic silverware out.

When we came back into the van, Jolene kept stating, "I need a frok. I need a frok." They told her they'd get her one.

"I want a boyfriend", Mon said as we cruised to our lunch site. We talked about being in love.

"I want ten", said Mon.

"Ten men?", asked Brenda. "You must be a strong woman!"

"I want twenty-five!", Mon exclaimed.

"You muost be very strong!"

We finally made our destination at Point Pinole. I walked out to go to the restroom. As I approached the men's, I heard two college boys talking. "La Netta?", I called.

I walked out to where La Netta and the group were. "La Netta!"

"She's over that way", said Brenda.

I walked closer. "La Netta."

"She can't hear you."

I groaned.

"I know," said Brenda.

"La Netta?", I asked.

"Yes?", said La Netta.

"Did he say the WH-word?"

"No."

I went to the restroom and spent a lot of time there. Then I came out and told La Netta I was tired of sitting. Everyone was done with lunch.

"James! James!", Jolene called out.

"Yes, Jolene?", I replied.

"Could you throw these in the garbage can?"

Jolene handed me a soda bottle and a banana. I threw them both in a nearby garbage can.

I went back to the restroom. I heard a man calling "Daniel, Daniel!" He told Daniel to use the stall when I came out of it.

"What program are you from?", asked the man.

"CIWP", I replied.

"Where's that?"

"In Richmond, on Jacuzzi Street."

"I don't know Jacuzzi Street. Do you like it?"

"I like the people there . . . La Netta Crater and Ken Davis and Jolene Kalash. That man moping around outside is Ken Davis."

"I know whom you're talking about . . . the one who's walking around outside."

"Yep, that's Ken. And in the women's restroom, La Netta is changing Jolene."

"What are your interests -- what do you like to do?"

"I like food. We go to Trader Joe's and World Market . . ."

"World Market is a good place."

"And I'm also writing a rock musical. It's called Angst."

"Angst. Do you have a MySpace page?"

"No."

"It's been nice meeting you, and your name again is --?"

"James Landau."

"Ian Dawson." Then Ian got Daniel.

I told La Netta about Ian. She told me that Mon was in love with Ken.

"I was in the restroom", I said. "I didn't see her hitting on him."

When we got in the van, though, that was when I really heard Mon picking up.

"Ken . . . you're my boyfriend", said Mon.

"No, I'm not", said Ken, in a slackerly voice.

"You have pretty eyes", said Ken.

"Can't you at least compliment her back?", asked Brenda.

"You have pretty eyes, and La Netta has pretty eyes", said Ken.

"La Netta's eyes are beautiful to look at," I said.

"Thank you, James", said La Netta.

"But you know whose aren't?"

"I'm afraid to ask", said La Netta.

"Mine."

"I think you have beautiful eyes."

We finally dropped off Ken, and Mon kept saying good-bye to her "boyfriend". I called out, "See ya, Ken", but didn't hear a response. Ken and the coaches were focusing on Mon.

Then we stopped at my house. "I like Nick Lachey", she said.

"I don't know who that is," said La Netta.

"He used to be married to Jessica Simpson." She is referring, of course, to the member of the boy band 98°.

"He's a cutxe", said Mon.

"Eaach!", I spurted.

I went outside to gag, dodging the ivy. I began coughing up phlegm. I eventually headed back, and La Netta gave me my bag of Chinese food. I said, "See ya, Jolene", and when my staff got here I finally said good-bye to La Netta. When I got in I purged off the word "cutxe", and washed off my shoe.

I finally sat down to eat my Chinese food.

Oh, and remember my order of kung pao squid and fried rice?

They gave me steamed rice.

Say You, Say Me

We drove into K-mart on Wednesday, with me holding onto the back of the shopping cart as Ken pulled it. The cart came to a stop and I stood there.

I listened to the song that was playing. I hope they don't say "pxke around", I thought.

Just then I heard it: "pxking real, around".

"Rosa?", I called. "Rosa!"

Just then a vacuum cleaner went off.

When it ended, I called, "Rosa!"

"Yes?", said Rosa.

"Did this song say the P & A words?"

"Which song?"

"This song."

"The song on the music collection?"

"The song that's playing right now."

"I don't hear a song."

"The song that was playing before the vacuum cleaner was on."

Rosa listened. "I didn't even know there was a song. I was in here changing Jolene."

"Let me listen out for some lyrics, so I can google them", I said.

I listened with my ear cupped, and sure enough I heard lyrics. "Say you, say me." It was the song "Say You, Say Me", a song I had heard before! Then they sang, "Believe in who you are: You are a shining star".

When I got home I went to Google and typed in:

"say you say me" lyricwiki

I visited the site and learned the song was by Lionel Richie.

The word was "park" -- something about playing games in the park. No "pxke".

Oh, and the words "Believe in who you are: You are a shining star" were there. That was most definitely the song I heard.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Snack truck

Our first stop today was Barnes & Noble. We let La Netta stop in front of the bookstore to eat her McDonald's order, then I got Jolene's wheelchair and we went in.

La Netta hold onto me with her arm. I closed my exes and walked through the store. I bumped into something on my right and knocked it over.

"Oops!", said a woman nearby. "Whxxps!"

"D'OH!", I said, slamming my fist against my forehead. The woman said she was putting whatever it was on the shelf, but I told her, "You said the WH-word!"

"Do you want to go to the restroom?", asked La Netta.

"I want to look at music", I said.

So La Netta took me to the pop rock section. There I looked at some Lovin' Spoonful, and some DJ Paul Oakenfold, and some New Edition.

"Do you know the Mamas and the Papas?", I asked La Netta, holding up a CD by this folk-rock group.

"No", said La Netta.

"They do 'California Dreamin'."

"Oh, I know that song."

"Do they have Britney Spears?", asked Mon. "I want to look at Britney Spears."

"That's in the S's", I told her.

I put on a Red Hot Chili Peppers CD and listened to "Californication" via the headphones in the middle of the aisle.

Next to a Paolo Nutini album, I saw a Death Cab for Cutxe CD that had been strangely misplaced among the N's. I would have two things to purge off.

"Do they have Nick La Shea?", asked Mon.

"Who's that? I've never heard of him", said La Netta.

"Nick O'Shea?", I asked.

"Nick La Shea. He's Jessica Simpson's boyfriend . . ."

"Oh, she means L-A-C-H-E-Y", I told La Netta.

La Netta found Mon her Britney Spears CD and she listened to it.

After ten minutes, La Netta showed me the way to the restroom. I purged off the word "whxxps", then washed my hands.

"Time flies when you're in the restroom", said La Netta.

La Netta returned to the office to heat up Mon's lunch in the office microwave. I went in and purged off "cutxe" while I was in there. Our next stop was Raley's.

Mon and Kweisi looked around while La Netta carried her shopping list with her. Kweisi said, "They've got ice xxxxx over there."

"Blechhhh!", I said.

They looked a bit at Halloween pumpkins, while La Netta put items into her cart. Finally, we got to the frozen food aisle. La Netta showed me some ziti.

We looked at the different lasagne they had. There was a small square box of lasagna, there were medium lasagne, there was the family meal from Stouffer's for $9.98, and there was the party size for over $12. The party lasagna had party questions on the back. It clearly wasn't the one I had gotten last time. I picked up the $9.98 box and that was definitely the kind I had gotten when I had gotten the huge kind.

After La Netta bought a few more things, I asked, "Could you take me to the restroom before you go to the check-out?"

"We'll be at the check-out very soon. It's better that I take you somewhere else to go to the restroom, because you're going to spend a pretty long time in there. We'll be at lunch real soon."

Mon selected a bunch of bananas from the fruit aisle. "You made a good choice", La Netta told her.

We let Mon buy her bananas, then I bought my lasagna. Finally, La Netta paid for all of her goodies.

As we got out and hit the van once again, Kweisi said, "I bought some stuff from the ice xxxxx truck over the week-end."

"Blechhhh!" I said.

"Sorry," said Kweisi. "I didn't mean to say that, James." He held his hand out to me, as to ask whether I accepted his apology. I didn't shxke his hand.

"James, I'm sorry", Kweisi said again. "From now on, I'll call it the snack truck."

"OK," I said to Kweisi.

La Netta stopped at McDonald's, which made our drive to our lunch site quite prolonged. Kweisi got out there, so I unbuttoned my pants in the backseat and started purging.

Kweisi came back in. All the way to Pinole Valley Park I struggled with my mind, which kept spelling out the I-word. I heard the words "my sister", "I see", "I saw", "guy say", "I stay", "slice", "ice coffee" and "ice water" on the way to the park.

Finally, I got to the park and La Netta walked me to the restroom. I spent about an hour in there purging off the two I-words.

When I was done, I asked La Netta for my pill. She said it was in the van.

At 1:40, I finally took my pill. There was no John today, so I got driven happily home with my lasagna. I'm going to save it for a week-end when I'm starving.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Mon wants ice xxxxx

On Friday, we were sitting in front a McDonald's as La Netta and Ken were going in. Rosa was talking with Mon about what she would like to eat.

"I want some ice xxxxx", said Mon.

"Blechhh!" I said.

"Give me some ice xxxxx."

"Blechhh!", I repeated.

"Mon", said Rosa, "James doesn't like that I-word you just said, so you'll have to be careful not to say it. I'll get you some . . ."

I told Rosa I was going to the restroom.

"You'll have to cross a long parking lot to get to the nearest restroom, so please don't go there alone", said Rosa. "We'll take you to Fernandez Park very shortly."

When the group came out of McDonald's, Rosa drove the van over to Fernandez Park. There I got out and purged in their restroom. This time was pretty quick for the I-word.

After they dropped me off, they got Mon her ice xxxxx.

It's going to be a real challenge with someone who wants ice xxxxx during program in our group. Imagine what will happen if they give her a cone while I'm in the van. I might hear, "It drxpped" or "It's drxpping" or maybe even "It's drxpping axx oxxx the pxxxx". I might hear her say "whxxps" when it does that. There of plenty of places and opportunities for buying ice xxxxx . . . does program really have to be one of them?

My new turtleneck

On Thursday, I hopped into the van, with Mike Williams and Kweisi already sitting there. I got in, then Kweisi got in the middle.

As Mike approached the end, he said, "Scxxt over some."

"Rrrrrrr!", I growled.

"God, Mike", said Kweisi, "You tell me to scxxt over and you've got him hollering."

La Netta said she would get me to a restroom.

"Thank you for tuning in to CIWP", said Mike.

"God," said Kweisi, "If you keep saying that name, you're going to wear it out."

We drove on. We picked up Jolene and Mon.

"While we're here", said Mike, "Let's meet the rest of the group. Kweisi, Ken, Mon, Jolene and James."

We stopped at the office. I went into the restroom and purged off the "scxxt over"s.

I joined La Netta in the main office room. She was making a schedule for next week. I told her I wanted to go to Wet Pets, since we missed it this week.

"Wet Pets is a pet store", explained La Netta to Kweisi. "Would you like to go thiere? You can see lizards and fish and snakes and birds and dogs and hamsters . . ."

"And turtles", I filled in.

"And turtles, and rabbits."

"Yeah, I'd like to go there", said Kweisi.

We made a schedule for a day we would visit Albany. La Netta put the Farmer's Market on the schedule, then she decided on Target.

I suggested Taco Bell for lunch. La Netta searched through the Yellow Pages to find the address for the Taco Bell in Albany.

We then made it to our main site: Thrift Town. Mon went with La Netta, Mike and me. Mike looked at old school music while Mon looked at books. La Netta and she were considering getting books for Mon's daughter.

"Here's a photo dictionary -- would you like to get that?", asked La Netta.

"No", said Mon.

"Or here's a sticker dictionary."

We headed to the clothes section together. Mon looked at several things to buy. She selected a purchase.

"Would you like one of these turtlenecks?", La Netta asked Mon.

"They have turtlenecks?", I asked.

"This is the girls' section," said La Netta. "We can go look at some boys' turtlenecks when we're done."

So Mon and La Netta finished looking, then they took me across the aisle, my arm interlocked with La Netta's.

They found some button-down shirts and rugby shirts, and mixed in with them were three turtlenecks. A small light blue one . . . a somewhat larger green one . . . and a burgundy one, the biggest turtleneck they had.

We took all three into the changing room with me. I locked the door to avoid "Whxxps, sorry"s, then placed my sunglasses on the hook and took my own turtleneck off.

I tried on the light blue turtleneck. Given that size, it would probably leave my lower back exposed when I bent over.

Then I tried the burgundy one. It fit perfectly.

I put my sunglasses back on and opened the door so La Netta could look.

She liked the look, but was afraid it was still too small. I told her that that was the largest turtleneck they had.

She thought it was smaller than at least one of the others, so she checked the tag, only to discover that I was right. I told her I really wanted to buy it.

So we made it to the check-out. Mon abandoned her purchase, and I bought my $1.99 turtleneck. When the cashier handed me back the dollars, I covered them up and looked at the edges to make sure none of my dollar bills were pyramid-side-up, then I folded up the dollar bills and put them in my little sandwich bag. Next, I did the same with the fives. After that, I stepped away so La Netta could make her purchase.

Lunch on the schedule was Chef's. As I walked in, I saw a plastic frok littered on the ground. "Ewwww!", I said.

I bought my chow mein, my broccoli and beef and my special taste chicken. I then hopped back into the van where we had a brief lunch, before driving back to the office.

I purged off the plastic silverware in the restroom. After that, I rode with Mon and Jolene in La Netta's van as Rosa split with La Netta and took Kweisi, Mike and Ken with her.

La Netta let Mon listen to the country station. I know next to nothing about country music, so I had to listen to every word of every song. As soon as Mon was dropped off, I asked La Netta to switch to Star 101.3.

La Netta drove me home. "It was a great day", she said. I took my turtleneck with me as I walked into my old familiar group home.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I get my hair cut!

Today I got out of bed at 8:25. I combed my hair and applied deodorant.

Today was a special day. This was the day I would get my hair cut after several months of it growing. I picked up my Kurt Cobain picture and headed into the van with Stan to get a blood test done.

I got a syringe that looked like a butterfly placed inside my arm, and then I was done with the blood test. Stan took Rodney and me out and we hopped back into the van.

"James, I hope your sugar isn't too high", said Stan. "If your blood sugar is too high, do you know what that means?"

"I'm a diabetic?", I asked.

"Yes, like Rodney and me. And do you know what that will mean?"

"I'll have to get insulin shots?"

"It will mean you're drinking too much juice. You'll have to start winging yourself off juice -- is that the right word for it?"

"W-E-A-N."

"And how do you say that?"

"Wean."

"Start weaning yourself off juice and start drinking water."

My head felt heavy. I felt a bit of sugar inside me. The part to the right of my stomach hurt. Was it being overworked with sugar? I had to bow my head down. I put my head on my knees and felt as if I was going to faint. Something went "Whoa-whoa-whoa" inside my head. I tried to remember what I had been thinking about, but I couldn't even remember.

Then my head cleared up and I could sit up again. I remembered we were talking about sugar.

We got to CIWP, and I took my Kurt Cobain picture out. Stan gave me a $20 bill. I waited until La Netta and the group came.

I heard La Netta, and I joyfully accompanied her to the van as we began our drive to the Pacific East Ranch Market. Before long we were in there, walking to the haircut place.

La Netta took me in. I met a woman of Chinese descent who took my Kurt Cobain picture and wrapped a hair shield over me. Then she cut my hair.

I learned her name was Jennifer Lee. I told her my name, and that it was a Jewish name. Then I told her to cut those two bangs in the front off.

She layered the hair like Cobain's, and when I looked it was perfect. My hair was once again short enough that it wouldn't get in my face and mouth when I ate.

I paid $22, then entered the main food market with La Netta. We hit a bakery, whereat I got a green-tea-flavored sponge roll. Then La Netta took me into the tea shop.

"Yeah", the person in there said. Right then, I heard something in a commercial playing on KFRC in the tea shop.

"Rrrrrrrrr!", I said.

"He said, 'Yeah'," said La Netta.

"I was referring to the commercial. They said the J-word", I told La Netta.

"The J-word? Do I know it?", asked La Netta.

"Rhymes with 'wriggle'", I told her.

After she got her tapioca tea, La Netta came out and spoke with me about the commercial. "In that Christmas song, where they sing 'all the way' . . . does that word bother you?"

"Jingle? No, it doesn't. But they said the word that rhymes with 'wriggle'. And then they said 'handle'."

"They said, 'jingling'," said La Netta.

"La Netta? Didn't you hear them say the word 'handle'?"

"They said it in the context of, 'We'll handle it for you'."

So that was cleared. They didn't say "jxggle". "Thanks, La Netta."

I decided that I would buy my lunch at Chef's today. But first, La Netta drove to the Hawaiian barbecue place for Mon, a new client.

Mon went in, and La Netta gave me the menu. "There's a lot of stuff in here that you'd like. They have teriyaki bowls . . ."

I looked at the menu. Teriyaki ribs . . . but no teriyaki bowls anywhere. Then at the end of the menu I saw "ice xxxxx". "Blechhhh!", I said.

"Take this", I told La Netta.

"What did you say?", she asked.

"Take this?"

"What does that mean?"

"I don't want anything on the menu."

We drove to the office. I told them I had to go to the bathroom. La Netta asked why.

"Saw something on the menu", I said.

I went in and purged off the I-word. Then I came back out. We were ready to drive to Kennedy Grove for lunch.

We had our lunch, then dropped Kweisi home. "That house is decorated for Halloween", Kweisi said. "It's got dipsers on the outside." I covered my eyes and squeezed them shut for dear life.

When we got to Mike's house, I uncovered my eyes. Then we dropped Ken off. Now it was time to get my Chinese food.

After we drove out to Chef's, Mon said she didn't feel good. La Netta let her get out of the van, and she started puking on the concrete. A man eating a bowl of Asian food with plastic silverware walked off the sidewalk.

I stepped in. I ordered chow mein, sesame seed chicken and a new dish I saw today: prawns with green beans. Then I paid $6.something for it and felt around for the plastic silverware.

When I walked back to the van with La Netta, I saw a plastic frok littered on the groune. "Ewwww!", I said.

"James, since Mon is sick, we're going to take her home first", said La Netta. So they took Mon home. Then, since Jolene lived right nearby, they took Jolene home. Finally, it was my turn. I took in my Kurt Cobain picture, my green tea baked good, and my Chinese food and purged off all that plastic silverware.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Cyclops pyramids

At program today we went to pick up Dante. His mother said he had called the office and told Maria he wasn't coming. So we drove back. Because of our trip to Dante's house, we missed out on everything that was on our schedule -- a whole foods market in El Cerrito, Barnes & Noble and even Lucky's.

La Netta took me to a burrito truck. When I got to the truck, I decided to look at a sign to see what they had to offer. While I was looking, I saw -- a money jar!

It had a dollar bill in it. It was folded up like a tent. And on the outside of the dollar bill, there was a pyramid -- with the exe!

I purchased my vegetarian burrito and then went back to tell La Netta I needed to go to the restroom.

"What's up?", she asked.

"I saw a dollar bill, pyramid-side-out", I said.

"I saw a dollar bill, but I didn't see no pyramid."

As I spoke to her, La Netta started speaking on her cellphone. I hate it when she does that! I HATE IT! I waited for her to finish the conversation, but then she started to take off.

"Wait, La Netta, don't leave off yet!", I said.

I got out of the van, and looked back at the money. There was a pyramid on the outside. It was still facing me.

I reëntered the van. La Netta terminated her cellphone conversation. "La Netta!", I shouted.

"Yes?", said La Netta.

"The dollar bill is pyramid-side-out."

"Well, I saw the dollar bill, but I couldn't tell you whether there was a pyramid on it."

I spent the time at Davis Park in the restroom. After a while, I finally came out, having purged off the exe.

La Netta took me to John at the end of the day. I told John that the day had been rotten. I did mention seeing the pyramid.

John had read yesterday's blog entry and knew about the pyramids. "There's something on the pyramid you don't like", he said.

"That's right", I told John.

"Does that word bother you?"

"I can say the word 'eye' in most contexts, but I can't say it in 'keep an --'" -- I drew a blank in the air -- "'on'."

I told him that I didn't like "cyclops pyramids". Then I started gagging.

John asked me whether I had saliva in my mouth. I told him I was gagging on phlegm. I excused myself to go to the restroom.

I then walked in, and gagged some more. I spat out a lot of phlegm and saliva behind that closed door. Then I sat on the toilet seat, and urinated. Then I gave birth.

I wiped, and flushed. I had spent 17 minutes in the restroom. Then John used it.

"I don't like one-eyed monsters", I told John.

"Really?", asked John. "Were you scared of them as a child?"

"I was never scared. They're not scary, they're just gross."

"What if they have three eyes, or more?"

"Then that's OK."

We reached 3:15, so we stopped talking.

Finally, Charles came. "It's been nice seeing you, James", said John.

"It's been nice seeing you John", I replied.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Post #200

On Friday, I developed a big stream of saliva in my mouth driving from the bowling alley (at bowling I scored a 134 -- woo-hoo!) , and hoped our van would stop soon.

We stopped at McDonald's. I decided to spit in the restroom. When I got out, Rosa asked me if I wanted to spit right there.

I saw her. Then I saw she had two dollar bills in her hand. I looked at the top one, in hopes that it wasn't pyramid-side-up, but it was! Gross! That exe! That one-exed monster!

I pointed to McDonald's.

"You want to spit in the restroom?", she asked.

I nodded. I went in.

First all the spit came out. Then I began purging off exes and /ai/ sounds. Then I started on the exe on the pyramid.

"Let's go!", said Rosa.

Reluctantly, I came out. I headed back to the van where I sat in the backseat with Lisa.

Words were said, and the group ate lunch in front of La Netta's parents' house. Meanwhile, I just sat around.

Then it came time for Jolene to change herself now that lunch was done. We drove to Fernandez Park. They told me to be quick in the restroom, so we would have time for Wal-mart.

I rushed to the restroom, then unzipped and purged off /ai/ after /ai/ after /ai/. Then I did the pyramid exe, chanting "adolye, adolye, adolye" all the way. I did that till I bled, and even after I bled.

When I finished, I headed back to the van and then Rosa took me to . . . Wal-mart!

I selected some apple juice punch, and then some green Hawaiian punch, and I was all stocked for the week-end.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Group discussion

On Tuesday morning, La Netta took me to Lucky's. I got seafood salad in the deli section, then I asked La Netta to take me to the Brach's candy bins. She found several different candy sections before actually taking me to the bins. There I got some Brach's caramels, assorted rolls and jelly fruit slices.

On the way back to the office, La Netta played some KISS-FM, then turned it off when the commercials started.

Shortly after, she inexplicably turned it back on.

"Tell us about how you trust C-ti," the commercial said. With your C-ti Rewards Card . . ."

"La Netta!", I objected.

"Sorry", said La Netta, and turned the radio back off.

I told her I was going to have to purge because of a word they said. I told her that it ended in I-T-I and could be followed by "bank" or "corp" or "group". After a while, she figured out what it was.

I purged in the restroom. La Netta came knocking on my door while I was washing. "Can we take you somewhere else?", she asked.

"I'm washing up", I explained.

La Netta gave me my pill after I came out to the van. I scraped the "R1" off of it, then I swallowed the circular M-tab whole.

Someone said "Pardon?" in the minutes before the group drove to our lunch site. But the real purge-inductor of the day came while we were on the road.

"Cake and ice xxxxx", said Kweisi.

"Blechhhhh!", I said.

"Kweisi, James doesn't like the I-word", explained Rosa.

"Sorry, sorry", said Kweisi.

When I finally reached Berkeley Marina, I rushed out of the van to the restroom.

I started with rubble-clearing for "ice xxxxx", then alternated with the "pardon". I finally got the "pardon" out of my system. Then I continued purging off the I-word, but all I could taste was cake. I spelled "ice xxxxx" in my head fourteen times. It was hell having to think the letters backwards, again and again. Meh a e rah eess, e eess i. Mearc cie, mearc cie. Ee cie, mearc cie, I thought.

I heard the sound of Jolene's plodding walker. Eventually Jolene changed herself and La Netta said we were ready to go. "Let me wash up", I said.

I purged harder and more intensely. I was still trying to get that ice xxxxx taste to come up. My body just didn't want to regurgitate the taste. I poured water over my crotch, but it was hot water.

"We're ready to go!", called Rosa.

"Kweisi said the I-word!", I replied.

"That was a long time ago!"

"But I still haven't finished purging it off!"

Eventually I tasted melted ice xxxxx. Cold, melted ice xxxxx. The taste came up and I was ready to go.

"Do you know how long you spent in there?", asked La Netta.

"No", I replied.

"It was more than an hour. Jolene was getting very upset."

"Upset! Upset!", spurted Jolene.

Kweisi turned his television on.

"Oh, no! Not the television! What if I hear a word? Then I'll have to go to the restroom again!"

"Kweisi, can you turn that off?", asked La Netta. "I want to have a group discussion."

Kweisi turned his television off.

"James", said La Netta. "How does it feel when you hear a word you don't like?"

"I feel as if I've swallowed the word, and the word is squirming inside me. I feel like I have to get the taste out. The I-word tastes like the I-word stuff, and the M-word tastes like oatmeal, and the A, O the P words taste like Spaghetti-O's."

"Well, some people like the taste of the I-word stuff, and some people like Spaghetti-O's, and some people love oatmeal."

"I don't mind the taste of Spaghetti-O's. I just have to get the word out of me."

"Ken, now it's your turn", said La Netta. How do you feel when James spends a long time in the restroom?"

"I think they should get him out of there, and then they should lock up all the restrooms so he can't get back in", said Ken.

"OK. Jolene, how do you feel?"

"I feel upset!", said Jolene. "Upset!"

"Mike, how do you feel when James goes in the restroom and then spends a long time in there?", she asked Mike Williams.

"I don't mind", said Mike.

"Even when he spends a long time in there?"

"I don't mind."

"Even though we're waiting to go home?"

"That's fine with me."

"You don't mind, even though you want to get home to your house?" I hate it when La Netta tries to lead people to an answer like that.

"That's OK."

"OK, Mike. Kweisi, how do you feel?"

"Huh?" Kweisi had his headphones on.

"Kweisi, take off your headphones for a while, this is a group discussion. How do you feel when James spends a long time in the restroom and makes us wait?"

"I don't like it. I want to go home. And he also can hear it when I'm playing my headphones. He wants me to turn it all the way down."

"Well, thank you, everyone, for telling us how you feel", said La Netta. "James, after hearing how your peers feel about that, what do you think?"

"Well", I said, "It's too bad, but there's really nothing I can do about it. Kweisi said the I-word."

"James," said Rosa. "Kweisi is new. He's still learning all the words." Sure, but that doesn't magically make me have to purge less!