Saturday, November 28, 2009

So I don't get to go to Food Max

On Tuesday morning, Stan drove me to Dr. Luburic. On the way there he started making a call on his cellphone.

"I hate all this traffic", he said.

Was he going to say "mxss"? I started covering my ears and hyperventilating.

"James, you weren't doing that when you were on the medicine", said Stan.

"I was afraid you were going to say the M-word", I said.

"I know. But when you were still on the medicine, you weren't doing that."

Come to think of it, I don't think I ever heard Stan mention traffic during the time I was on liquid Prozac.

"I know you don't like the M-word," said Stan. "I'm not going to say it."

"But sometimes you slip up!", I said.

"Not like that!"

I brought my headphones into the office and listened to them with the volume at max until Dr. Luburic came in.

Dr. Luburic asked me how I felt with the medicine discontinued. I told him I wasn't having the paranoia about dipsers dropping from the ceiling anymore, and I felt less depressed and altogether happier. Then he asked Stan.

"James is back to his old self", said Stan. "He's starting to hit and bite himself more in his room at night."

"You hear me, Stan?", I asked.

"I get reports from my staff that you're doing that."

Dr. Luburic said that things like my self-mutilation or the dipsers dropping may have nothing to do with my medication, and have a natural ebb and flow to them. These things sometimes go into remission, so cause and effect is hard to glean and we should be careful to avoid a post ergo propter fallacy.

I told Dr. Luburic about my nightmare that said "The end will come on Monday". He said that as a patient gets off Prozac, he has more dreams and therefore more nightmares. Dr. Luburic said that on one hand, dreams can give you insights into yourself, but on the other hand, dreaming so much can make you too introverted.

He went on to discuss my lab results. Everything was looking fine, he said, except that my hemoglobin was low. We emphasized how all my other tests came out fine, and explained what hypohemoglobulinemia could do. "Just something to keep an exe on", he said.

"Ewwww!", said you-know-who.

The meeting ended shortly thereafter and Stan drove me to program. I purged off "keep an exe on" in the restroom. Then La Netta came.

She discussed where to drop Emanoel off, and I objected, "Aren't you going to take me to Food Max today?"

"I don't know about that", La Netta said. "Rodney's tweaking pretty bad. We'll see."

We dropped off Emanoel, then La Netta drove up to the parking lot where Food Max was located.

Somewhere along the way to Food Max, Jolene had taken her shoe off.

"My foot hurts", said Jolene.

"Jolene, put it on so we can go to Food Max", said La Netta.

"My foot hurts."

"Jolene, I need to get my enchilada dinner and lemon meringue pie", I said.

"My foot hurts."

"Jolene, if you don't put your shoe back in, I won't be able to get my Thanksgiving dinner."

"My foot hurts!"

"Jolene, do it for a friend. Didn't you like that doughnut I bought you?"

"My foot hurts. My foot hurts!"

"Jolene, don't you care about James at all?", I asked.

"My foot hurts!"

"Are you thinking of your friend James?", asked La Netta.

"It hurts!"

I tried to get her shoe on, but La Netta said Jolene didn't want her foot to be bothered.

"Do you want me to still be your eriend?", I asked Jolene.

"My foot hurts!", she yelled.

We continued begging her and pleading with her, but all she could do was yell about her foot being in pain. When the clock turned 12:00, La Netta drove off.

I began crying.

"See, Jolene?", said La Netta. "James is crying because he isn't going to be able to have Thanksgiving dinner."

Eventually, I stopped crying.

"Is Jolene still your friend, James?", La Netta asked me.

"I don't know about that", I said.

"Yes, I'm his friend", said Jolene.

And for Thanksgiving dinner? I had an enchilada dinner with two cheeses and poblano sauce.

Anyone know Russian?

I've been despondent lately over the lack of responses to my blog. Therefore, I got excited when I checked my blog and found a response to my November 15 entry, "Ernestine learns the P-word". The poster was given as "Anonymous".

However, it's in Russian, so I don't know what it means. The response read:

чтобы добавлять свои статьи, обязательно ли регистрироватся?

From what I know of the Russian alphabet, it says "Chtobi dobavlyat' svoy statiy, obyazatyel'no lee ryegeestreerovatsya". Apparently the last word has to do with registry or registration, but I don't understand the rest.

I'm curious as to what the blog viewer had to say. So could anyone reading this interpret it for me?

Monday, November 23, 2009

The end will come on Monday!

On the night between Wednesday and Thursday, I was sleeping when I discovered I was dreaming and began having a lucid dream. I floated around among the rooms in Alyce's house (my grandmother who passed away in 2007 at the age of 95) until I floated to the front door and opened the door. Outside did not look like Grandmom's old house, it looked like the outside a hotel. I saw a hearse pull up outside.

That's when I thought I woke up. However, I wasn't really in my room -- the bedroom was bigger than my real room and there were a fan and four human eigures standing in the room. The fan was shaking and seemed to be laughing at me.

Then, suddenly, a woman dressed all in black appeared and said, "The end will come on Monday!"

I had a few more pseudo-wakings like this before I woke up for real and found myself in a different bedroom from the one in the dream episodes.

I have never had a dream like this before, not even when lucid-dreaming. It really frightened me, especially since it gave a specific date. I know people do have prophetic dreams. My sister Elizabeth, for instance, once had a dream in which she was served a certain mxshed potato dish with a pea on top, and the next day she was at a gathering where they served up a dish exactly like the one in her dream, right down to the pea.

I hope this isn't one of them. I hope I don't die. I hope I don't lose Lamesha or anyone else close to me. I talked about this dream with Tiffany and she said she once had a dream she was in a fight and got shot, then two days later her brother got into a fight and got shot in real life.

I told La Netta, Jolene, Darnell and Emanuel about this dream in the van on Friday. La Netta said she would "rebuke the dream" for me. I posted about this dream on the 4thkingdom site, so if I stop posting there, they'll know what happened to me. I gave the address and password of my Box.net account to someone who's been an avid follower of Angst (my rock musical), so he can retrieve my first draft of Angst and the play can still be put on if anything happens to me.

Then I sent Lamesha an email, in which I told her not to drive over bridges or go anywhere where shootings are likely. I hope she got it in time.

Before I went to bed the night between Sunday and Monday, I prayed to God not to let me die, not to let Lamesha die, not to let La Netta, Ken, Jolene, Tiffany, Stan, Aaron or Tone die. I prayed not to let anything in my house burn up in a fire.

When I left the house for program this morning, I put my little red radio in my right khaki pocket. Then I stuffed my two beanie babies, Pinky the Flamingo and Neon the Seahorse, into my plastic bag containing books, notebooks and papers. I brought this back with me to the van. I was so intent on getting this stuff together I had to go back for my headphones!

"You remember my dream?", I asked La Netta.

"Don't worry, because I prayed for you", said La Netta.

"Thank you, La Netta."

When we got to Jolene's house La Netta took a look at the back seat and noticed my bag. "Whose stuffed animals are those?", she asked.

"Those are mine."

"Who are you going to give them to?"

I explained that I didn't want to lose them if my house caught afire.

"Awwwww," said La Netta, "It'll be all right. I prayed for you!"

When we stepped outside, having left the office, I asked La Netta, "You know what I have in my pocket?"

"No, what?", she asked.

I pulled my little red radio out.

"Awwwww, your favorite radio from Lamesha!", said La Netta.

"Yep", I said.

We reached a point during the day where I thought everyone in the van was going to die. As Darnell oreered my food for me at the Taco Bell drive-through, Rodney all of a sudden unbuckled his seatbelt and climbed into the middle row, next to Jolene. I handed Rodney my $6 and my quarter, and told him to give them to Darnell. Instead Rodney started playing with the money.

"Give me the money!", said Darnell.

"Rodney, give me the money!"

More tweaking.

"Give me the money!"

"I guess I should have given the money to Jolene", I said.

Darnell had to ask Rodney to give him the money a few more times before he did.

Darnell handed me back my Taco Bell order and drove off. Then Darnell hit a stoplight and Rodney climbed right up into the front row!

"Get off of me!", said Darnell.

"If I get off of you, will you give me something on Friday?", asked Rodney.

"Get off of me!"

"If I get off of you, will you give me something on Friday?"

"Get off of me!"

"If I get off of you, will you give me something on Friday?"

"Get off of me!"

"If I get off of you, will you give me something on Friday?"

"Get off of me!"

"If I get off of you, will you give me something on Friday?"


"Get off of me!"

"If I get off of you, will you give me something on Friday?"

"Get off of me!"

"If I get off of you, will you give me something on Friday?"

"Get off of me!"

"If I get off of you, will you give me something on Friday?"

"Get off of me!"

"If I get off of you, will you give me something on Friday?"

"Get off of me!"

"If I get off of you, will you give me something on Friday?"

"Get off of me!"

"If I get off of you, will you give me something on Friday?"

"Get off of me!"

"If I get off of you, will you give me something on Friday?"

Finally Rodney climbed off, and was all over Darnell's backpack.

"Get off my backpack!", said Darnell.

"If I'm good, will you give me something on Friday?", asked Rodney.

"Maybe. Now get off my backpack!"

"If I'm good, will you give me something on Friday?"

"Maybe. Now get off my backpack!"

"If I'm good will you give me something on Friday?"

I tried to explain to Rodney that this was a three-day week and there was no program on Friday.

But he kept on asking Darnell about Friday. After being asked to get off Darnell's backpack 33 sextillion times, Rodney finally got off.

So far I've made it through this day alive. I have eight hours left. When I got home, my house was not burned down. Tomorrow I'll check up on Lamesha. I sure hope to her from her -- whether via email or by telephone -- soon.

Emanuel plays with purge words, Part Deux

I was lying on the sofa in the office's couch room today when Emanuel came in. "Get off", said Emanuel.

"You want to lie on the couch?", I asked.

"Yeah."

So I got off and lay on the cushion on the ground. I curled up in fetal position and sat on top of it, an island in the ocean of the carpet.

Then I thought I heard a purge word outside so I put on my sunglasses and walked out to ask.

Before I could ask, I heard Emanuel shout a word erom the couch room. It sounded like "Scxxt!", but there was no one else in the room he could have been telling to scxxt over, so I ignored my hunch.

Then, Emanuel said it again: "Scxxt!" It was definitely the SC-word.

I ran to the restroom and unbuttoned my pants. Then I thought toocs, toocs to myself. It was easier without the "over" after it.

I gathered my nails at the right side of my groin and chanted "scaeoloot". Then I went up with another "scadoloot". After repeating the procedure a second time, I was done.

Emanuel plays with purge words

On Thursday I had asked Stan for more money, and he said he'd give it to me before he left. Friday morning came, and he never gave it to me.

La Netta and Darnell picked me up. Ken said "axx oxxx the pxxxx" during our morning drive, which became the first trigger word of the day. Later on our ride, Darnell said "little bxtty". I growled and Darnell didn't even seem to notice.

We stopped at the office. I purged those two words off, then asked Lita to use the office telephone to call Stan.

I saw a dipser in the wastebasket. It was the kind you pin up to a wall. I had heard they had gotten rid of all the dipsers from Halloween, but this one was sitting in the wastebasket right in front of me.

I called Stan, and he knew instantly why I was calling. He said he'd bring money to the office before lunchtime.

I told La Netta about that, and La Netta said we wouldn't drive back to the office.

Now, Ken was supposed to go home to his mother's house for his Thanksgiving vacation on Friday, and Emanuel wanted to stay the whole day, so he was to be dropped off at his own house after Ken was dropped off at my house with me. For this reason, La Netta drove to my house early to find out what to do.

Emanoel said the word "bxke" as he ranted on and on, and I began to pick at my navel. He asked me why I was "scratching [my] stomach".

Later Emanuel talked about needing sleep. I sensed he was going to talk about pajamdras, so I held my hands close to my ears, and squeezed them just after he said "pajam--".

He mentioned sleep a second time, and said, "in my pajxmxs". This one was going to be hard to hold in, I thought as I growled.

We finally stopped about Rodney and my house, where Ken went in to see what the plans were. I went in with plans of using the restroom.

"James, why are you here?", asked La Netta.

"To pick up his money", said Stan.

"Of course", said La Netta.

I picked up a $20 bill from Stan Man, as he had me sign for my money. La Netta was outside, so I went into the bathroom, holding the bill, and set it down on the counter with the door locked. I unbuttoned my pants and purged off "pajxmxs". Since Emanuel pronounces it to rhyme with "llamas", the purge was quick.

I put the bill in my sandwich bag and buttoned my pants up, then left to join La Netta.

It was raining outside when we got to Davis Park. I got out to finish up "bxke" and take my pill in the restroom. When I got back in, Rodney got out to use the restroom and Emanuel was occupying two seats in the back row instead of one. He told me to "scxxt over" when I sat in the middle seat and the left seat was empty.

"Rrrrrrrrrrrrr!", I growled.

"Scxxt over!", said Emanuel a second time.

"Rrrrrrrrrrrrr!"

"Scxxt over!"

Rrrrrrrrrrrrr!"

"Scxxt over!"

Rrrrrrrrrrrrr!"

"Emanuel", said La Netta, "Why are you doing that to James?" Emanuel had laughed each time I growled.

I rushed in to use the restroom again.

When I came back out, we sat there until we were ready to go to Hilltop, and Darnell could do something he needed to do -- I wasn't too clear on what it was. After waiting for Darnell, we were ready for drops.

Emanuel, out of the blue, said, "Scxxt over" as we were driving home during drops.

"Rrrrrrrrrrr!", I growled, and Emanuel laughed.

La Netta said that that wasn't very nice to do something like that just to get a rise out of me.

While we dropped off Ken, Rodney said something unclear. It sounded as if he was saying "ice xxxxx".

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

"I don't think so," La Netta replied.

"Can I have some ice xxxxx?" -- or so it sounded like to me what Rodney said.

Rodney said a few things more with "ice xxxxx" and La Netta was trying to make out what he said. When at last they dropped Emanuel, Rodney and me off at our group home, I could purge. I did not hug La Netta this time. I went straight in and purged off several "ice xxxxx"s being doing "scxxt over".

I'm going to start interrupting

On Thursday La Netta was supposed to go home at 1:00. She would drop Jolene, Ken, Rodney and me home early.

We parked in El Cerrito and walked into GNC together. Just after arriving, Darnell answered the office cellphone and the office told them to pick Rodney up.

"Just after we arrived at our first program site", said Darnell. "I knew it!"

"Yeah, that's what always happens", said La Netta.

On the way there they had talked about protein shxkes, so I covered my eyes as I walked around to avoid seeing pictures of shxkes. "Why are you closing your eyes?", asked La Netta.

I looked for an ostrich jerky stick while La Netta and Darnell looked at everything else.

I had to ask the employee twice where the ostrich jerky was before I could find it. The first time I stumbled around because when he showed me all I saw was protein bars. The second time I finally found an Ostrim!

I made my purchase, then La Netta chatted with him. After La Netta was done, she headed out the door when she noticed something else she liked.

She asked the employee about it, then turned to me and asked, "Would you like to go next door?"

I tried to ask, "What's next door?", but La Netta was already back to chatting with the employee over the GNC product. They volleyed their lines back and forth over the net, with me putting my hands up in the middle, my hands trying to catch the ball at such a short height.

Finally, there was a gap in the conversation. "What's next door?", I asked.

"The Chinese place", she said.

"Is it Chef's?", I asked.

But La Netta didn't answer me. She was back to her conversation with the GNC employee. After she finished and decided the item wasn't for her La Netta announced we were leaving.

"Is it Chef's?", I asked.

"I think it's Chef's," said La Netta.

I was going to tell her "Let's go there", but then a juicer caught La Netta's exe and she was back chatting with the employee.

"Every time I'm about to leave I see something", apologized La Netta. "What is this juicer good for?"

The employee answered her question in detail, with La Netta deciding quietly whether to come back to buy it.

La Netta finally finished and we were out the door. I thought going to Chef's was a done deal. We walked, and walked, then I realized we were way past "next door".

"La Netta, I thought Chef's was next door", I said.

"You never told me you wanted to go there!", said La Netta. "We're all the way across the parking lot!"

"La Netta, PLEASE take me to get Chinese food!"

"We have to pick up Rodney!"

We drove to the office to pick up Rodney. I purged off a few "shxke"s in the restroom. I started to growl and roar like some species from the order Carnivora, out of anger at the rule against interrupting. The stupid rule of etiquette that says "Don't interrupt!" was the real problem.

Then I waited for Lita. "Lita!", I called.

No response.

"I need to get throogh, please", said Kay as I stood in the doorway.

"NO!", I replied.

"Rrrrrrrrr-oh!", said Kay. "There's that word again! I'm making my way through, so look out!" And with that, I walked out of the way.

Then I stepped right outside Lita's room. (For those of you who are new to this blog, Lita is the director of CIWP.) She wasn't speaking to anybody. "Lita," I said, "La Netta and Darnell won't take me to Chef's."

"Where is Chef's?", Lita asked.

"It's in El Cerrito Plaza." I relayed to her the whole story of what had happened in GNC.

"Well, then check the schedule. What's on the schedule for lunch today?"

"She didn't put anything on the schedule", said Darnell.

"So it's whatever's in the area", said Lita.

"Right."

"Well, they should be able to take you. It's just before 12:00, it's still early."

"OK", said Darnell.

Just as we walked out the office door, Darnell said, "Rodney, you're going to sit in the van, and you're going to scxxt over!"

"Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!", I growled.

I rushed back in to ose the restroom. I purged off "scxxt over" and I was on my way out.

I got in the van with Darnell. "So, I guess we're going to the park now", said La Netta.

"I guess", said Darnell.

"But Lita said for you to take me to Chef's!", I objected.

"Is Lita in the group?", asked Darnell.

"Well, then you must not have told her the truth", said La Netta. "Because I offered to take you to Chef's, and you didn't answer. I asked you twice! I said, 'Would you like to go to Chef's?', and you said, 'Is it next door'?"

"No, La Netta", I said. "You've got it all wrong. You were the one who asked if I wanted to go next door, and I asked if that was Chef's." I launched into the whole episode, detailing how La Netta had "continued talking about the stupid juicer" while I was trying to tell her I wanted to go to Chef's.

"You should have said something", said Darnell.

"I can't interrupt", I said.

"Well, maybe you should start interrupting people."

"I refuse to interrupt!"

"Why? You interrupts when there's traffic on the radio." So I'm supposed to be rude and act as if my Chinese food is more important than La Netta's GNC purchases?

"I'm HUNGRY!", I said.

"If you really wanted that Chinese food, you would have interrupted", said Darnell.

A little while later, La Netta pulled up at the burrito truck.

"We're here if you want to get a burrito", she said.

"Thank you, La Netta", I said. I got out and paid $3.50 for a head super burrito.

I got back in and we drove to another fast food place. "You don't have to agree with me, but I think you did me wrong", said La Netta. "You didn't have to bring Lita into it. I think it was wrong to go into Lita's office and tell her that I wouldn't take you."

"Well, I disagree", I said.

"You don't have to agree, but I'm telling you what I feel!"

"Is Lita in this group?", asked Darnell.

"That's irrelevant", I replied.

"But she's not in the group, right?"

"Right."

"Lita isn't the one taking you places", said La Netta. "I'm the one who takes you places. Clearly we had a miscommunication. But if you had just let the group take care of it, I could have taken you somewhere else to get lunch, or we could have gotten Chinese food tomorrow. I never let you go hungry. When you need juices, or when you're hungry for lunch, I always take you there. You know that, don't you?"

"No, I didn't know that."

"Can you think of one time, just one time, when I didn't take you?"

I tried, but I couldn't think of any.

"La Netta", I said, "You do take me places, but you still have your weaknesses, and one of your weaknesses is that when you talk with someone you don't let other people get a word in edgewise."

"That's not true!", said La Netta.

Before 1:00, La Netta pulled up to my house. Shortly my staff arrived. On Wednesday she had promised me two hugs Thursday, but it seemed we weren't friends anymore. "No hugs today", I told La Netta.

"What did you say?", La Netta asked.

"No hugs today."

"OK", she said.

Starting today, I'm going to try something new. I'm going to start interrupting people. When La Netta and Rosa yak back and forth and I need to ask them the time, or ask them whether I need to close my eyes, or ask them if so-and-so said the Q-word, I'm going to jut right in instead of waiting five minutes for the next crack in their dialogue or the next laugh. Sometimes my needs really are more important than someone's else's idle conversation, and it's time I started sticking up for myself!

Jolene's doughnut

On Wednesday morning Kay was there to pick the gang up, along with La Netta. Our first stop was Burger King, whereat I walked into the restroom. I stayed there, not wanting to hear words outside while La Netta and Jolene were in the women's changing diapers.

I stayed there until I heard some knocks. I opened the door, figuring someone had to use it, and it was Ken. Instead of going to the restroom, Ken walked somewhere else, and I followed him, thinking he was leading me to where the group was.

"Ken, the group is over there." Then she spoke to me. "The group is over there too, please."

Oh no! She said the word "please"!

"NO!", I boomed.

"James, I think you're disturbing the people in this restaurant", she said.

"Well, you said 'please'!"

"I really think you're doing the wrong thing."

La Netta came out and offered me a seat. I declined to sit down.

"What's up with you today?", she asked.

"I never want to sit down", I said.

"Not just that. While I was in the restroom I heard you yelling at someone."

"At me!", Kay said.

"What happened?"

"Kay said, 'please'." I started to explain, but in the middle of it La Netta said, "Just a minute" and started dealing with Rodney. Rodney was begging her for food from Burger King, but he only had a few coins. La Netta finally agreed to treat him to a small item for just over a dollar.

"Now, this is my treat you you", said La Netta, "So you've got to do good".

"Do good", repeated Rodney.

Afterwards we went to Marshall's. Walking by, we saw a doughnut shop. "I want a doughnut", said Jolene.

"You don't have the money for a doughnut", La Netta said.

"Can I have a doughnut?" Rodney started begging.

La Netta explained that she had already treated Rodney to one snack, and she wasn't about to treat him to a douginut too.

We entered the dollar store, where I bought batteries for my headphones.

Afterwards I thought about Jolene. "What's on your mind?", asked La Netta.

"I wanted to treat Jolene to a doughnut", I explained.

"Well, one thing", she said. "Come over here." She whispered to me that Rodney was already tweaking over doughnuts and would cause a problem if we went into the store. "Unless you think you can do it alone", she said.

So I went it alone. I walked in, said, "Hello?" and asked for a maple custard. "One minute", he said.

I hate it when people say "one minute" and it turns out to take longer than 60 seconds. "Is this really going to be a minute?", I asked.

"You're so impatient!", said the employee.

Finally I got my doughnut in a bag. I paid for it with a dollar bill and some coins. As he handed me my change, some of the coins dropped. Did I hear a "Whxxps"?

"What did you say when the coin dropped?", I asked him.

"Nothing", said the employee. "I didn't say anything."

Just then, it sounded as if some of the customers chatting in the store said "txsty".

I handed Jolene the doughnut, and La Netta said she'd hold it, as Jolene couldn't take a doughnut into Marshall's.

We walked into Marshall's, where La Netta looked at clothes and then took me to the food aisle so the two of us could look for a liqueur cake. "I don't see one", said Jolene.

"Yeah", said La Netta, "They probably don't have one." Then she asked Jolene, "Do you like hot cocoa?"

"Yes, I do", said Jolene, "Hot cocoa's my favorite!"

When we left, we were ready to drive over to lunch at Miller's Knots. Everyone got out of the van, even I. I walked up to the table, dodging the trees, and tried to approach Jolene. I saw people eating. "Are you using plastic silverware?", I asked La Netta.

"Yes", said La Netta, then she said something on her cellphone. I thought she was answering my question affirmatively. But then she asked, "What did you say, James?"

"I asked, 'Are you using plastic silverware?'."

"Yes."

I would have to purge some more. I walked up to Jolene, then Kay told Jolene, "Scxxt over!"

"Rrrrrrrrrrrrr!", I growled.

"Oooo-ooo-oooh!", said Kay. "Sorry, James. I haven't done that in a long time!"

I handed Jolene her doughnut and ran to the restroom to immediately purge off "txsty". I started with the rubble-clearing (adolice, adolice cradoleam, adolice cradoleam( then got to the main word.

Then came the silverware. First I did the word "silverware" (sadolilverwadolare) a few times, then I did a lot of "fadorork, fadorork, fadorork".

After doing my "whadoloops" ritual and my "scadoloot over", I was ready to come out.

"How did you like your special treat, Jolene?", asked La Netta when we were back in the van.

"I ate it!", Jolene said.

"What was her special treat?", asked Kay.

"I got her a doughnut", I answered.

"I thought she liked tacos."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Frosty Freeze!

Darnell told us this morning about his uncle Chuck. Chuck had destroyed a part of Darnell's car called the rim while taking it for a drive, then Darnell's mother was defensive of Chuck. She told Darnell the car was only a material possession, and he shouldn't be materialistic. Then he called four people on his cellphone. I had to listen to him tell the same story to each person.

He bemoaned the drama in his house. ". . . where I have to live with their mxss", said Darnell.

"Ewwwwwww!", I said.

"Oops! Sorry!"

We stopped at Vincent Park, where Jolene could change her diaper. I just sat unhappily in the back row, seeming as if I could not be roused to purge off "mxss".

"Are you purging?", Darnell asked.

"No", I replied.

"You're not getting out to go to the restroom, because I said the M-word?"

"I'm waiting until the heater is off, so I don't let the cold air out by opening the door."

"I'll turn the heater off." And with that Darnell turned off the heater.

I walked out, still feeling flaccid and sleepy. I purged a "mxss" off without much spirit.

We then drove to the office for Ken's money. La Netta also went to collect the money for our trip to the bowling alley today, and for the car wash.

Then, Jolene began complaining that she needed to go. "I need to go, I can't hole it!", shouted Jolene.

We got our van washed, then the coaches got a call from the office. We were supposed to drop Rodney off at our house for an appointment!

"Are we at the bowling alley?", I asked.

"No", said La Netta, "We won't go bowling now that we have Rodney to take to his appointment."

We next drove to Davis Park. Jolene would not stop complaining about having to go, so we took her into the restroom. "Hold it in, Jolene", said La Netta.

Finally we drove to my house. We dropped Rodney off when his staff arrived, then drove down the road.

"Where are we going?", I asked.

"I'm taking Ken to Frosty Freeze", said La Netta. "I'll tell you when to close your eyes."

They were actually going to get food at Erosty Freeze?! I knew I would have to make my most diligent effort at sealing my hands over my eyes.

"Should I close my eyes?", I asked, as I felt us pulling up.

"There's no need to", said La Netta.

"Are we at your house?"

"We're at my mom's house. I'll be back."

La Netta went in and came out, then she told me to close my eyes shortly down the road.

With my sunglasses pushed atop my head, I sealed the palms of my hands over my eyes and kept my face down in my knees.

Finally, the van stopped. "Keep your eyes closed, James", said La Netta.

Before Ken and La Netta walked in together, La Netta asked me, "Do you want a hamburger or anything from here?"

"Echhhh . . . no way", I replied.

"I know you don't like the I-stuff, but they also have some other stuff here. Anything you'd like, Jolene?"

"Ice xxxxx", said Jolene.

"What did you say?"

"I want some ice xxxxx."

I would now have to purge off the I-word. I heard another "ice xxxxx" outside as I waited in the van.

I kept my eyes closed for dear life. Finally, La Netta and Ken came back out and Darnell said he wanted something.

Darnell went in and came out. La Netta told me to close my eyes, as Darnell had yogurt with a plastic silverware.

We drove off. "Do they have the anthropomorphic cone on any of their bags and receipts?", I asked.

"What did you say?", asked La Netta.

"Something about clothes", said Darnell.

"Do they have the anthropomorphic cone, C-O-N-E on any of their bags and receipts?", I repeated.

"They just have brown paper bags", said La Netta. "Oh, let me look at Ken's fries. Ken, show me the fries." La Netta looked. "Oh yeah, on the fries they have tie cone, and he's happy, and it says . . ."

"Just the cone bothers you?", asked Darnell.

"Yes", I replied.

"Why?"

"Seeing the I-stuff makes me purge. And I can't stand anthropomorphic food!"

We stopped at Fernandez Park, where I stayed in the van. I covered the window with my hand after purging off the "ice xxxxx"s. Did I see Ken in that region?

"La Netta, was Ken eating where the flowers are dedicated to the veterans?", I asked.

"No", she said.

"He was eating with you?"

"Yes."

"He ate his fries first thing?"

"Yes. You didn't see his fries!"

Thank God.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A mellow Monday

When I ran into the van this morning, I forgot my headphones. Rap was playing on the radio. I listened to the song until it ended and the DJ's started talking.

Shortly after they began talking, one of them said, "Traffic". I plugged my ears. "Oh, no! Traffic!"

Did I hear them say "mxss"?

Then they said "traffic" again.

"Oh, no!", I yelled again. "Traffic!"

La Netta switched stations.

We stopped at Jolene's house, but Jolene wasn't coming today, so we headed on to the office, where Darnell could go home, having only three clients.

As we got out at the office, I asked La Netta whether the DJ's talking about traffic had said the M-word, and she replied in the negative.

I lay down on the couch in the couch room, ripping the velcro-attached cushion from the end and laying my head on it. It was almost like falling asleep, and I was sleepy.

Twice I had to leave the room to spit out some saliva that was accumulating in my mouth.

Finally La Netta took Rodney, Ken and me with her to do some driving in the van. I still felt sleepy, so I rested my head in my hands. Whenever we stopped, I rested them in my knees, but when we were moving, the van would move in a jolting fashion.

La Netta took me to China House. She asked me how their broccoli and beef was. Both of us got broccoli and beef, although La Netta got rice and I got chow mein. I waited in the van for it, resting some more.

La Netta, Ken and Rodney ate lunch at Pinole Valley Park. We didn't get out of the van this time due to the cold, which meant I got to rest some more. Ahhh!

Finally, after much resting with The Light and then Star 101.3 playing, we drove to Ken's house for drops. Shortly before we arrived at Ken's house, Ken said, "Whxxps!" He pronounced it to rhyme with "groups".

"D'OH!", I said. "D'oh! D'oh!"

A woman came out of Ken's house, ready to take him in. All this time La Netta and Ken had been waiting for her, but she was already there. I said good-bye to Ken and we drove to my house.

Before long Stan's van pulled up. I heard Aaron's voice shouting, "Buddy buddy buddy buddy buddy buddy buddy!"

"Aaron!", I shouted.

I took a closer look at his T-shirt. It said "The Breakfast Club", and on it were anthromorphic foodds. There was a strip of bacon, a fried egg, a slice of toast and what looked like a French fry. I can't stand anthropomorphic food. Aaron began asking me about my day, and I tried to think, but I was just too focused on his T-shirt.

The Breakfast Club is something Bernard told me about. It's a program at ABC (Aaron, Charles, Bernard and Jason's disabled program) where clients serve up breakfast to people.

I went inside and did some purging, first everything on Aaron's shirt, then the word "whxxps", before being able to eat my Chinese food.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ernestine learns the P-word

On Thursday La Netta and Ernestine Gamble picked us up.

Rodney was asking questions intensely, in his usual mumbling voice. Before long, he said something that sounded like "ice xxxxx".

"Blechhhh!", I said.

"What's wrong?", asked La Netta.

"Rodney said the I-word."

"I didn't hear that.

Rodney continued on yammering. Eventually he repeated the "ice xxxxx" stuff.

"Rodney did say the I-word, right?", I asked.

"It's hard to make out what he's saying", said La Netta.

"It sounds like the I-word to me."

We landed at the office. I jumped ahead of Jolene's walker as I climbed the ramp to the inside of the CIWP office.

After purging off both "ice xxxxx"s, I walked outside. Looking at our schedule, I noticed something I hadn't noticed before in the pumpkin photograph. One of the pumpkins from the Halloween party had a dipser carved into it. I went back in and purged.

Then I came out looking at the schedule again. Just as I was about to leave, I saw something orange on the door that resembled a dipser. It looked as if it were cut out of acetate.

"La Netta", I said, my voice quaking, "What's this?"

"Is that a beetle?", asked La Netta.

"Beetles only have six legs", I said.

La Netta counted the legs and discovered there were eight.

"How many legs do ladybugs have?", she asked.

"They have six", I replied.

"Well, we're ready to leave now."

La Netta gave me my pill, but I wasn't ready to take it.

In Ross, La Netta asked Jolene what she wanted for Christmas. Then I said, "You know what I want for Christmas, right, La Netta?"

"Yes", La Netta said, "A liqueur cake." La Netta suggested we look for liqueur cakes at Ross' food section. I didn't see any liqueur cakes, but I did see a marzipan snowman with its exes closed upside-down.

Did I hear "pajxmxs" in Ross? "La Netta", I asked, "Did I hear the P-word?"

"No, you didn't, James", said La Netta.

"They just said the name Janice?"

"Something like that, James."

"How do you know it wasn't the P-word?"

"I'll tell you when we get outside."

Finally, we checked out of Ross, La Netta having bought several clothes.

"It was a Hispanic family speaking their language", said La Netta. "So they couldn't have said any words that you didn't like. Now can you take your pill?"

"Not yet", I replied.

"Why not?"

"There's still that bug."

"What bug?"

We went to Barnes & Noble next, where I used the restroom to purge off the snowman's exes. I did a lot of "adolye" stuff before I got to them. Then I purged off the dipser and swallowed my pill.

Our next stop was China House, where I ordered broccoli beef with chow mein.

"Want me to take your frok out?", asked La Netta.

"Yes", I said.

"Take that frok out", said Ken.

I closed my eyes while handing her my Chinese food bag. Then she gave it back to me.

I did some "fadorork, fadorork" in the restroom once we got to Fernandez Park. Then I saw Ken's plastic frok and was soon back in the restroom, careful to avoid cobwxbs.

I sat a long time in the warm, cobwxb-free van. Ernestine finally began a phone call as she, La Netta, Ken, Jolene and Rodney sat outside.

". . . pajxmxs two or three nights a week", I heard. She pronounced it like La Netta.

"Rrrrrrrrrrrr!", I growled. "La Netta, I'll be back in the restroom."

"Why?", asked La Netta.

"Didn't you hear Ernestine?"

"I wasn't listening to her conversation."

"She said the P-word."

"I didn't hear that."

"Ernestine, did you say pajamdras two or three nights a week?"

"I did. I didn't know that was the P-word."

I rushed to the restroom, then I came back out. By now we were ready to do drops.

A trip around El Cerrito

On Tuesday, La Netta and Darnell picked us all up. We would program in El Cerrito today, our first stop being See's Chocolates.

Once we got inside, the lady offered us all free samples. This time she was giving out the ones with strawberry filling. I ate mine, but Jolene refused.

"Her favorites are the peanut crunch", I explained to the employee.

"Would you like California crunch?", she asked. "It's the filling of peanut crunch with ________ on the outside."

"Yes", said Jolene.

The lady gave Jolene a California crunch and she liked it.

I purchased a two-pound assorted chocolate box with my eight five-dollar bills. I paid $29 for it, giving her my $2 discount card. I explained to La Netta that I would give this one to Lamesha and eat the old one that I had had waiting in the eridge for her for months.

Next we visited a clothing store. Did I hear someone say "t-ngle"?

"He said, 'On the table', right?", I asked La Netta.

"James", said La Netta, "This is why I went home early yesterday."

Next we visited the pet store. As Darnell and La Netta looked at the fish together, I wanted to tell them about the fish at my group home dying when they unplugged the aquarium.

"What kind of fish did you have?", asked La Netta.

"We had a plecostomus, and another kind of fish that I don't know what it was, but it had . . . " Spit covered my face and shirt as I tried to speak with saliva in my mouth. "I'm spitting!"

"Yep", said La Netta.

Shortly before we left the pet store, I heard someone say, "Whxxps!"

"D'OH!", I said with my mouth full of saliva, slamming my forehead. "D'OH! D'OH!" I slammed it twice more.

"What happened?", asked Darnell.

"He heard a word", said La Netta.

Now Jolene was complaining that she had to go to the bathroom. "I can't hold it!", she would shout again and again.

When we went to Ross, Jolene started shouting about her inability to hold it. With both Jolene and me needing to go, we finally went to the restrooms.

I purged off that nasty "whxxps", then washed my hands and we were all ready.

Next we looked at a cellphone shop without incident. Then we finished our El Cerrito shopping and decided what to get for lunch. La Netta mentioned that we could have Subway or we could have Jack-in-the-box. There were also Burger King, Taco Bell and Wendy's.

"What do you recommend I get?", Darnell asked me.

"Well, I'm torn between Subway and Jack-in-the-box", I said.

"If you had to get one thing, what would you get?", asked Darnell.

"I'd get a ciabatta bun with chipotle sauce from Jack-in-the-box."

"That sounds--", began Darnell. I plugged my ears.

Then I unplugged them. "Did Darnell say the T-word?", I asked La Netta. "I had my ears plugged."

"Well, why do you need to know if your ears were plugged?", La Netta asked.

"I'm a curious cat!", I said.

"A curious cat?", repeated Darnell. "I can't believe you said that!"

"Sometimes I wonder how much I protect myself from. With the plugging my ears . . . and the white sound machine . . ."

"I see."

"And the headphones."

Darnell and I went into Jack-in-the-box together, where I ordered my ciabatta bun. Chicken, yes, chipotle sauce, yes, lettuce yes, bacon, no.

Upon getting home, I finally ate it.

Then I felt strange.

Just Darnell

On Monday, Jolene didn't come, and Emanuel didn't come. That left La Netta and Darnell with three clients.

Three clients means only one coach. Therefore, either La Netta or Darnell would have to go home.

We spent some time in the office. I sat in my couch room, occasionally coming out to ask whether the WH-word was said. Eventually, La Netta decided it was she who would go home.

Darnell talked about buying lunch, but I pointed out that Wal-mart was on the schedule. La Netta had made a big deal out of scheduling it for Monday so I could ask Stan for $5 and get my juices at the beginning of the week.

Darnell took me to Wal-mart, but he said we had to be fast. We walked in, got my juices, paid for them, and walked out.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

An awful day

Shortly after I climbed into the van Friday morning, Emanuel said, "Ice xxxxx cones on a cake".

"Blechhhh!", I said.

"Good morning, James!", said La Netta.

"I've got ice xxxxx on a cake . . .", Emanuel continued.

"Blechhhhh!", I said again. "Good morning, La Netta!"

"Sorry you had to hear some words", La Netta said.

We drove to the office, where La Netta gave me my pill. She said I could take it at 11:00.

"Aren't we going to Barnes & Noble and Trader Joe's today?", I asked.

"Well, we have Rodney with our group and that changes everything."

I went into the office and purged off "ice xxxxx". La Netta had said "nice" and Emanuel had said "price", so I had to get those two words first. There was also a gospel song that had "my soul" in it. I came out of the restroom, thinking I would not return there for the rest of the day.

As it turned out, Rodney would only work until 10:00. I lay down in peace on the couch in the couch room.

I lay and lay.

Suddenly, I heard words. It was the television. It sounded as if they were talking about traffic.

I rushed out of the room. "La Netta, what's on the television?", I asked.

"This is the news", repliee La Netta.

"What are they talking about now?"

"Well, right now they're doing traffic."

"Did they say the M-word?"

"No."

I rushed into the restroom, fan on, and locked the door. I sat on the cold floor, squatted on my feet, facing the groune. I examined the specks in the linoleum as I sat. I came out a little later and it was a commercial.

I walked back into the restroom and sat there squatted down, wishing I could lie down comfortably on the couch instead. But it wouldn't be safe.

After what seemed like an eternity, I came out. The television must be off by now. It had to be past 10:00, right? I listened:

". . . and leading to a giant back-up . . ."

"Oh no! Traffic!", I shouted. I folded my ears up with my hands and rushed to the restroom.

Finally, La Netta knocked at the restroom door. We were leaving.

"I know Lita said we'd go to the bookstore, but it's raining, and you need to consider what it will be like for Jolene", said La Netta. "She'll be in her wheelchair, and she'll get wet."

They picked up lunch at a few places scattered across the map before La Netta took me into Trader Joe's. Her partner stayed in the van with Jolene. Inside Trader Joe's, I looked for some enchiladas, but I couldn't find what I had bought before.

La Netta pointed out a lasagna. Finally, I settled on the lasagna.

Since it was raining, La Netta said her hair would get wet if we shared an end-of-the-week hug Friday. She promised me two on Monday.

I ate my lasagna for dinner that night, forever listening to the rain.

My piroshki

Emanuel was talking Thursday morning. All morning, the talked to the air. He ranted about the usual suspects: his family, the police, the Bay Area, the East Coast, the Devil.

". . . spilled their milk axx oxxx the pxxxx", he said.

"Rrrrrrrrr!", I growled.

I spent some time in the office purging, then spent the rest of my office time lying on the couch. Finally, La Netta came to collect us all and drive us to Berkeley.

"Aren't we going to Rasputin?", I asked.

"No," said La Netta. "Because with the time we got done with the office, we were already supposed to be leaving Rasputin."

On our way, Darnell said "hot mxss".

"Ewwwwwww!", I said.

"Sorry!", said Darnell.

La Netta said she'd take me into Grocery Outlet. And take me in she did. With only coins in my money bag, I bought one spinach piroshki. I would eat it for lunch today. We also dropped off Emanuel there.

"That man was telling the customer to take a bath!", said Darnell.

"Wasn't that awful?", asked La Netta. They went on for a bit about this employee at Grocery Outlet.

"Probably one of the same people who tells hippies to get a haircut", I said.''

"Hey, I'm planning on becoming a hippie", said Darnell. "If I became a hippie, would you tell me to get a haircut?"

"No, of course not", I said.

"You wouldn't tell me to get a haircut, but you'd tell other people to get a haircut?"

"Did you even hear what I said?"

"No, I didn't", said Darnell.

"I said that man was probably the kind of person who would tell hippies to get a haircut."

"Oh, OK", said Darnell.

I told him I had to get out to purge off the M-word.

"You remembered that?", asked Darnell.

"Yes," I said.

"Well, hurry up because I want to finish our conversation."

I purged off the M-word at Berkeley Marina, then came back out. Such names as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gray Davis were coming from the lips of La Netta, Darnell and Ken.

"We were discussing hippies?", I asked.

"Well, now the topic has changed and we're discussing politics", said Darnell. He asked me about Arnold Schwarzenegger, and I didn't have anything to say against him.

"Do you like George W. Bush or Barack Obama better?", I asked.

"Whom do you like better?", asked Darnell.

"I like Barack Obama better."

"What has he done?"

"He stopped prosecuting people who use medicinal marijuana."

"So you just like Obama because he's going to legalize marijuana?"

"And I like the way he's planning to close down Gitmo and Guantanamo and X-ray and all those other unconstitutional camps."

"I think you just want to smoke weed!", said Darnell. "You're looking forward to the day when they legalize pot. When they legalize marijuana, what are you going to do?"

"I think I'll smoke a joint to celebrate", I said. "With my friend Emanuel."

Darnell said that he didn't want them to legalize marijuana because then he'd have to smell it everywhere.

"Well, if they legalize marijuana, they'll probably put a high tax on it", said La Netta.

"Doesn't weed smell better than tobacco?", I asked.

"Oh, no!", said Darnell. "Now the smell of Black and Mild, I like."

"I read on the Internet that weed smells beautiful", I said.

"That was on the Internet", said Darnell. "That's not real life."

"That was a troll?"

"Oh, yes."

After we helped Jolene change her diaper, we drove to Ken's house and I said good-bye to Ken, then said good-bye to Jolene and I was on my way to eat that piroshki.

A delay in getting to Barnes & Noble

On Wednesday morning, I came out ready to enter the van. But Rodney would not get in.

"Are you coming back for me?", he asked La Netta and Darnell.

"No," one of them said. "Get in the van now".

He asked his staff whether they would come back for him. Rodney just wouldn't get in the van.

"Will you come back for me?", asked Rodney.

"No", said Darnell. "Now, get in the van."

This went on for a good twenty minutes, before Stan drove home.

"Hey, Rod-rod!", said Stan. "Get in the van, OK?"

"OK", said Rodney. He finally hopped in.

After we closed the door, we went to pick up Jolene. Would Rodney make us late for Barnes & Noble? After Barnes & Noble, we had Ross.

We parked in front of Barnes & Noble at 10:12, shortly before the 10:15 time we were supposed to walk in.

Instead, La Netta took us all to Ross.

"Are we reversing our schedule?", I asked her.

"What do you mean?", asked La Netta.

"First going to Ross, then Barnes & Noble?"

"I guess."

La Netta looked at clothes. Then she looked at clothes some more. I maneuvered my way through with my eyes closed to avoid seeing the pajamdras.

"What time is it?", I asked finally.

"10:48", said La Netta.

"We were supposed to finish Barnes & Noble at 10:45."

La Netta shopped some more.

"It must be 11:00 now", I said.

We stayed even longer in Ross.

"I better get a lot of time at the new-age section", I said.

"What did you say?", asked La Netta.

"I better get a lot of time at the new-age section."

"What do you mean?"

"Get to spend a lot of time there."

"That wasn't a very nice thing to say", said La Netta.

"Well, how would you have said it?"

"I wouldn't have said it that way", she said.

"How WOULD you have said it then?"

"'I would like . . .'"

"That doesn't mean the same thing!"

Finally, La Netta entered the check-out line. After leaving Ross, we walked to Barnes & Noble, and La Netta walked me up to the new-age section.

I picked up P.M.H. Atwater's Beyond the Indigo Children. I read her section on generations, especially the Millennials. born 1982-2001. She says their best characteristic is their tolerance, and their worst characteristic is their anger.

I saw the pajamdra man on The Everything Psychic Book again. I read La Netta a brief section on the Boomers and their enthusiasm for things new-age, then told her I needed to go to the restroom.

I purged off the pajamdras, then La Netta asked me whether I was ready to go. Jolene, she said, was impatient.

We looked for Darnell, but couldn't find him, so we waited for him in the van.

At 11:54, Darnell finally came out. "I was in the children's section with Rodney", said Darnell. "IO found this great book, and I couldn't put it down. I had to finish it."

"What book was it?", asked La Netta.

"It was on the history of inventions", Darnell said. He summarized the book's coverage of airplanes and space flight.

We picked up lunch. Darnell chatted on his cellphone. "Don't want me looking no mxss", Darnell said.

"Ewwwwwwww!", I said.

"Sorry, James", said Darnell. "It's just one of those Richmond words. Will you forgive me? James, will you forgive me?"

"Yes, Darnell", I replied.

"Oh, thank you, James", he said.

At last, at 2:00, we could begin drops. I said good-bye to Ken, and then to Jolene.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Full of delays

On Friday morning, I stepped into the CIWP van. Rosa and Kay were there. But Rodney came out undressed.

The staff said he had dressed himself and undressed himself six times that morning. "He's clearly tweaking", said Rosa. After Rodney refused to get dressed again, the coaches agreed to come back for him.

Kay said the word "bxtty" as we drove to Jolene's house, and I had my first word of the day to purge off. We were supposed to go to Wal-mart, then we had a party scheduled for Halloween.

When we picked up Jolene, she came out dressed as a witch. She told us that she needed to go to the bathroom. "I can't hold it!", said Jolene.

"Bowel movement?", asked Rosa.

"Yes", said Jolene.

"OK, then hold it in!"

We picked up Rodney, then drove to the office. I used the restroom to purge off "bxtty" while Jolene changed herself. I finally came out with Wanda, and we waited for Jolene and Rosa.

Finally they came out. Rosa explained that Jolene had soiled herself, which explained why they took so long. Now we were even further behind in getting prepared for the party.

"When are we getting to Wal-mart?", I whined.

"I don't think that's today", said one of the coaches.

"Wal-mart was on our schedule today."

"Well, it was on the schedule but we have our party."

"The schedule said to first go to Wal-mart then to spend our next few periods at the party."

"I'll take you when we do drops", said Rosa.

"Thank you so much!"

We still had to go to FoodsCo before attending the party, to buy a cake. When I went with them, they found a stack of $1.97 bottles of Hawaiian punch. Excellent! I pot two in the cart.

Rosa took me to the frozen foods section, where I looked at burritos, egg rolls, lasagne and assorted frozen dinners. She took an enchilada meal for four for under five dollars eown from the top shelf. I said I wanted to take a closer look at it to check for words.

"Blechhh! It has the T-word!", I said. "Can't eat it."

"What's the T-word?", asked Rosa.

"Rhymes with 'hasty'. See?"

Rosa read it, and then put the enchilada meal back up. I left without a dinner.

Then, as we drove to the party with our food stocked up, Wanda said, "It's going to be a hot mxss".

"Ewwwwwww!", I said.

"I'm sorry!", said Wanda. "It's going to be a hot . . . cutxe pie!"

"ECCCCCHHHHHHHHH!"

"What!?", said Wanda.

"That's a word", explained Rosa.

I was a wreck by the time we got to the office. I did "txsty" first, then got to "mxss". I heard several knocks at the door and had to step out several times as I was doing my "madoless" ritual.

One time while I was outside the restroom, I thought I heard, "Whxxps". I walked into the main room with my mouth full of saliva. "Rosa!", I exclaimed.

Rosa didn't respond. All I heard was laughing.

"Rosa!"

More laughing.

"Rosa!"

More laughing.

"Rosa!"

More laughing.

"Rosa!"

More laughing.

"What's so funny!"

"James!", called Rosa from across the room.

"Rosa?"

"Yes."

"Did I hear the WH-word?"

"Get that spit out of your mouth."

"OK. Did I hear the WH-word?"

"No, you didn't."

Kay came up again. "Were you trying to get somebody's attention?"

"Someone's in the restroom", I explained.

When the person came out, I continued with "madoless". Finally, I did "cutxe". I heard yet another knock at the door. "Ja?", I asked.

I stepped out. "James Lan-dau!", said Emanuel. He was coming to use the restroom for the second time.

"Ja?", I asked, with my mouth full of saliva from gagging on "cutxe".

"James Lan-dau!"

"Ja?"

"James Lan-dau!"

"Ja?"

"James Lan-dau!"

"Ja?"

"James Lan-dau!"

"Ja?"

"James Lan-dau!"

I started to walk back in, but Emanuel said, "Wait! I need to go!"

After Emanuel went in, I came out, and finished purging off "cutxe".

Then Rosa knocked at the door. At 1:05, the party was over.

"Can we get Chinese food?", I asked.

"I can take you by Taco Bell", she said.

"OK. !Voy a tener Taco Bell por tres días consecutivamente!"

Rosa then offered to take my to In-N-out Burger, and I said fine, but then I decided that I was hungrier then that. Finally we settled on Rickshaw.

While we were there, Rosa drove and got honked at. "You're running a red light!", said Wanda.

"Damn it!", said Rosa. "Now it's going to be another ticket!"

Rosa stopped as a traffic cop pulled her over. She showed him her papers. Jolene just wanted to get to the restroom.

"Yes, I know I was running a red light", she said.

After what seemed like a quarter of an hour, the cop finished collecting her information and scrutinizing her ID and papers. Rosa was driving again.

"And just after I got done paying off the last ticket!", she said.

Rosa said she felt really angry at herself. She saw that the cars in front of her were moving, and so thought that she could continue to drive too, without watching the traffic light.

We next drove to Rickshaw, where I ordered chow mein, broccoli and beef and an eggroll.

"Do you want a frok?", the employee asked.

"No, no! Please no!", I said.

Then we stopped at a place for Jolene to change herself.

Jolene walked in, and changed her diaper. She had been saying she needed to go, and now she had a chance. "OK! Ready!", she said when she was done.

I opened the door for her, and held it open as she walked out on her walker. I continued to hold it open after she was out, then closed the door on myself.

I emptied my bladder, and also did some "Fadorork, fadorork". I came out ready for drops. The last time I looked at Ken's watch it was 2:09.

There had been a lot of delays that day -- Rodney repeatedly dressing and undressing, Jolene's accident, Rosa's traffic ticket. By the time we finally got to my group home, my staff was already there and there was no waiting.