Thursday, October 28, 2010

So unfair

Today we were going to the dollar store. La Netta went in, and Emanuel said he was going in too, but I decided to stay in the van to avoid the risk of seeing Halloween stuff. I didn't really need anything from there.

As I sat in with Rosa, Emanuel asked Rosa, "Could you watch my juice?", as he was about to leave. Then Emanuel changed his mind and decided he'd stay in the van.

Before I knew it, Emanuel had requested the radio. And it was on his favorite station, 106.1 KMEL.

"I'm going to into the dollar store", I told Rosa.

"La Netta already went in", said Rosa. "It's a big store."

"Then I'll just go in and start calling, 'La Netta! La Netta!' She'll hear me."

"You are not going to go into that store and start screaming her name!"

"If I had known Emanuel would be in the van and listening to his station, I would have gone in with La Netta!"

This was so unfair. I was incarcerated in the van with 106.1 KMEL and a non-functioning CD player because Emanuel had changed his mind. After about a minute of fretting over what to do, I told Rosa I would be standing outside the van.

Rosa opened the door, and I stepped outside and began folding my ears like a short-sheeted blanket. I walked by the outside of the dollar store, and there were posters on the walls. I didn't see any Halloween stuff, but I did see a Winnxe the Pooh! "Eeeewwwwww!", I shrieked.

I paced around the no-parking zone to the right of our parking space. The radio just kept on playing. I was soon anticipating the minute La Netta and Ken would arrive back and get into the van.

Emanuel came out. "How are you doing, James?", he asked.

"Terrible, and it's all because of you!", I shouted.

"Emanuel!", said Rosa. "The radio's off!" Rosa turned the radio off. "You can come back in the van now, James."

I climbed back in and sat in my seat.

"All I did was ask James how he was doing!", said Emanuel. He began playing innocent.

"You knew what you were doing", I told him.

"All I did was ask James how he was doing. James, what did I ask you?"

"'How are you doing?'"

"Tell me it again."

"You asked me how I was doing."

"Yeah."

"Emanuel! You knew how I was doing! I was doing terrible because you iad to change your mind and go back into the van, and then demand your goddamn radio station while I was stuck in the van!"

I soon heard La Netta and Ken. We were ready to do drops.

Emanuel requested 106 and Rosa said not now. "Your group has decidee that they don't want to listen to it", she said.

"Can we have 94.9?", asked Emanuel.

"That's OK with me", I said.

"OK, I'll put it on 94.9, but it's going to stay there", said Rosa. "We're not going to keep changing stations."

"OK", said Emanuel.

Rosa turned to 94.9 and we listened to a few songs together without incident. Then the commercials came on.

Rosa turned them off.

"Can we listen to music?"

"That's a commercial, and James does not like commercials", said Rosa.

"It's not even playing music!", I told him.

"Can we have 106?", asked Emanuel.

"You agreed, you would stay at 94.9", said Rosa. "You agreed we weren't going to keep changing stations!"

"Can we have some music on 94.9?"

"It's on a commercial now -- it's not even playing music!", I said.

"It might not be on a commercial anymore", said Emanuel.

"Check the station and see", I said.

Rosa turned it back on. A commercial played.

"It is on a commercial", she said. "Ha!"

When we reached my house at 12:00 (minimum day), Rosa turned the radio back on and the commercial break was over. I packed my red bag and got out of the van.

Snodgrass saves the day

On Tuesday, we went to K-mart. I told La Netta shortly after we got in that I needed juices.

"We don't have a cart", said La Netta. "Are you going to be able to carry them?"

"Yes", I replied. I didn't have a choice -- I was almost out of juice!

La Netta told me there was Halloween stuff, and there was even a giant dipser. I closed my eyes and made it past without seeing it.

For most of the walk, I cupped my hands in front of my eyes so I could only see the aisle right in front of me, not the shelves on the sides. Then we got to the juices.

I picked up two AriZona teas (green tea with ginseng), which were two for the price of $5. They were a gallon each.

I lifted my hands up in front of my sunglasses, with my elbows cupped over my eyes and my teas in my hands. I was told I looked so cool.

But it couldn't last. My arms grew so weary I had to put them down at my sides. I just closed my eyes.

"Open your eyes, James!", said La Netta as I lost her.

"I can't!", I said.

I stumbled around the store, with my eyes closed and my hands occupied with tea, unable to cup them.

"You knew there was Halloween stuff in here", said La Netta.

"I needed my juices!", I said.

I followed La Netta's voice to make it around the store, but I kept crashing into dead ends and going the wrong direction. Then I asked a question.

"Can Rosa carry one of my juices for me?", I asked.

"Rosa's pushing Shawn", said La Netta.

"I thought you were pushing him", I told her. "Then maybe you can carry it."

"I have my hands full", said La Netta. "But maybe Shawn can hold it."

Shawn Snodgrass squealed and held his hand out. I placed one of the teas into his hand. He dropped it.

Someone picked it back up and placed it back in his hands, and from then on, he held onto it.

I used my right hand to gold a tea gallon and my left hand to cup my eyes. I was able to make it through the store!

I paid $5.20 at the check-out, and I picked up one bag, while Snodgrass carried the other bag. We made it out to the van, where we put both bags into the trunk.

Snodgrass has finally done something right for a change! Because of him, I could finally open my eyes to get out of K-mart.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

No, I don't dancercise

Yesterday, I got out of the house and saw the rain from last night on the ground. I walked into the van and as we drove it resumed raining.

Robin was kept home because the giant abscess in his left earlobe had finally burst. Rosa and La Netta were talking about the abscess as they drove.

"I get a t-ngly feeling in my ear", said Rosa.

"Rrrrrrrrrrrrr!", I growled.

"Sorry!", Rosa said. "Wait . . . even with the Y at the end?"

"Yes", I replied.

We picked up Emanuel, then La Netta and Rosa discussed what they were planning to get their families for Christmas.

"For Ricky, a bxke", said Rosa. "And for Melchor, a bxke."

We skipped Fernandez Park, fortunately, and went straight to our post office site in Hercules. Afterwards we all went into Big Lots.

"Did I hear the I-word and sweets?", I asked La Netta.

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

Rosa said she needed to go to the restroom, so I went along with her.

"Be considerate of the other people in the group", said Rosa. "I don't want to have the whole group waiting on you to get out of the restroom."

I went in, locked the stall, unbuttoned and immediately started purging off all the "t-ngle"s, "t-ngling"s, "jingle"s, "jingling"s, "jxggle"s and "jxggling"s I had thought to myself. Next, I did the ritual for "t-ngly": "tadolingly, jadolingly, jadoliggly, tadolingly; jadolingly; jadoliggly; tadolingly, jadolingly, jadoliggly, tadolingly, jadolingly, jadoliggly, tadolingly". Then, I picked my navel until both the "bxke"s were out of me. I washed my hands.

I came out. "Rosa?", I called.

No answer.

"La Netta?", I tried.

I tried it louder. "La Netta?!"

"Yes, James?", La Netta replied.

"Is Rosa out yet?"

"No, she isn't."

I heard Rosa from inside the restroom.

Finally, Rosa came out. Rosa laughed. "I thought you were going to take long. But I took 15 minutes!"

The others shopped around while I held onto the cart with my eyes closed. I didn't want anything there.

I heard Snodgrass saying "Ewww, yxk".

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

No response.

"La Netta?", I tried again.

"Yes?", La Netta said.

"Did Snodgrass say the Y-word?"

"No, he didn't."

"If Snodgrass didn't say the Y-word, what did he say?"

"You know what," said La Netta amidst Emanuel going off, "This is too much."

Next came getting lunch. A McDonald's nearby still had the 20 piece McNuggets for $4.99 deal. We stopped by, but I told Rosa to order her meal first.

Rosa got her Big Mac, then I asked her to check the bag for the T-word.

"This is my bag", she said. "Why should you worry about mine?"

"Because they'll use the same bag for my order", I replied.

"Then just take it out", said La Netta.

"No, it doesn't have the T-word on it", said Rosa. "Because it has to have a Y at the end, right?"

"Right", I replied.

I ordered 20 piece McNuggets with barbecue sauce as we went through the drive-through a second time. I discovered from the bag they put mine in that McDonald's was running a contest based on the game of Monopoly. If you got the right property, you could win a trip to Jamaica and Turks & Caicos!

We then visited the office. I went in the restroom where I purged off "ice xxxxx" (I'm sure I heard it at least once in Big Lots), then purged off Snodgrass' "yxk"s.

I came out and an old school song was playing. Several clients were dancercising to the song.

"Are they singing the P & A words?", I asked La Netta.

"No, they're not", said La Netta.

"I think they're saying 'get down'," said Rosa.

I went into the couch room as more music played. the song "It's a Shame", came on.

Did the singer say "cutxe"? I had never noticed it before when I heard this song, but it sounded like '"oo-ee".

I walked into the Internet room. I pulled up Guest and surfed the Net on Google.

I googled "it's a shame the way you mxss around with your man" and learned that this song was by the Spinners. I typed in http://lyrics.wikia.com/The_Spinners and selected "It's a Shame" from their menu.

I waited for it to load fully then looked.

It stopped after a few lines. There was a "We are not licensed to display the full text . . ." message. I hate it when it does that!

I hit the back button on the browser and tried a site called Lyrics Playground. I checked it out . . . no C-word!

Whew!

Rosa then drove me home along with Snodgrass. We listened to Star 101.3 before a commercial came on, then Rosa switched to rap.

"Could we have 96.5?", I asked.

No answer.

"Could we have 96.5?"

"That's too slow for me right now."

Rosa turned to KBLX, then turned the radio off.

A little while later, she turned it back on -- they were doing weather. She switched to KOIT (96.5), and a Rod Stewart song played. After that, we hit a commercial break. Rosa switched through the dial again.

"Let's try 97.3", I said. That was Alice.

We tried and they were playing music. We listened to "Just the Way You Are" by Bruno Mars.

Soon we were at home. Rosa turned the radio off. At 2:30, I walked into my house, with my red bag and McNuggets.

But I didn't get to give an end-of-the-week hug to La Netta.

The day seemed so peaceful

On Thursday, we didn't have Rosa -- it was just my friend La Netta. I may have heard Rodney requesting "ice xxxxx" as I left the house.

Emanuel, predictably, requested 106.1 KMEL. La Netta gave him what he wanted.

The first word I heard sounded like "cutxe". "Did they say the C-word?", I asked.

No answer.

Even though the radio was playing, Emanuel just kept on ranting and ranting. Between the unfamiliar rap song and Emanuel's mindless blather, I was using 100% of my brain to keep up with the words.

"My head is going to explode!", I said.

"Why don't you put on your headphones?", La Netta asked.

"I need to ask you a question first", I told La Netta.

Emanuel just kept on talking.

"Emanuel!", I said. "Emanuel, Emanuel, Emanuel! I need to ask La Netta a question."

"OK," said Emanuel.

"Did they see the C-word in that song?"

"I didn't hear it", said La Netta.

Emanuel was soon back to talking.

"La Netta", I asked, "If they didn't say the C-word, what was the first thing they sang after you switched to that station?"

"I don't know", said La Netta.

Great. That meant it was probably "cutxe".

"Bxke on the car", Ken commented as we passed a car.

We were soon doing our Thursday time at the office. I took advantage of this to use the restroom. I first picked my navel, then purged off "ice xxxxx".

We made pictures in the CIWP office. First Snodgrass and Robin and Ken all did theirs. I waited in the couch room, and told La Netta I couldn't do it with the television on. Then La Netta asked me what I wanted in my picture.

I told her I just wanted two haunted houses and four moons.

"Gothic style", said La Netta. "Do you want your name?"

"Yes", I replied.

"Go into the couch room while I find everything."

I slept on the couch. Then La Netta said she had everything picked out.

She showed me how to peel the backs off the rubber stickers. I placed my two houses and four moons around the frame, then put J A M E S on the top side of my frame.

I went back into the couch room, but Emanuel was sleeping. La Netta told me to inform Emanuel that his picture was ready and that he should do it now. I went in, but Emanuel was asleep. I explained to La Netta how Emanuel was asleep.

She finally woke him up to get back into the van. Emanuel requested 106.1 again.

"Wait for me to get my headphones on first!", I said.

"OK", said La Netta.

I reached into my bag, and my CD player was pried open. I fit the CD back in the middle. "Is this cobveb?", I asked La Netta.

"You know what I think it is, I think it's that fake cobwxb", said La Netta.

I closed the CD player, and turned the on button, but I didn't see numbers. It didn't even say "Disc". All it did was blink.

I showed La Netta and she tried to fix it. "It may be broken", she said. She suggested I turn the batteries off.

"Can we go into Taco Bell?", Emanuel asked.

"Yeah, Taco Bell", said Ken.

"Taco Bell "sounds good", I said.

"We're already pulling up into Burger King", said La Netta.

Several people got Burger King orders. "Where are we going next?", I asked La Netta.

"I'm about to pull up to Pinole Valley Park", she said.

"I guess I'll be stuck having a chimichanga tonight then!"

"Do you want to go to Taco Bell?"

"Yes."

La Netta pulled over to Taco Bell. I walked in and ordered a soft-shell taco, a Crunch Wrap Supreme and a chicken chalupa. I probably heard the word "frok" while I was in there.

I came and and we were ready to drive to the park. Once we got there I informed La Netta that I would be in the restroom.

"Why?", she asked.

"One, I heard the F-word in Taco Bell, and two, I need to get away from this radio."

La Netta turned the rap off and I purged off "frok" inside the restroom.

When I got back, I got to talking with La Netta, and La Netta wanted to learn the difference between Chinese and Japanese characters. I drew a chart of Japanese hiragana for La Netta, with each syllable's transliteration.

Emanuel got to ranting. He talked about killing children, killing White women who look at him, and killing cops. La Netta tried to calm him down.

"Scxxt their -- scxxt their dead bodies off", he said.

"Rrrrrrrrr!", I growled.

"James, as soon as you're back from the restroom, we'll go", La Netta said.

Emanuel followed me and continued talking.

"Emanuel!", said La Netta. "Come back!"

I purged the "scxxt"s off, and as soon as Emanuel came and I came back, La Netta berated Emanuel for following me like that.

As we got to Ken's house, Emanuel said things about "faggot"s and "nigger"s.

"Emanuel!", said La Netta. "That is NOT OK!"

"She can suck my dick!", said Emanuel.

As we drove to my house, La Netta told Emanuel, "It is not OK to invite people to your privates like that!" Emanuel bickered with her until I was dropped at home.

At home, I purged off the word "cutxe", then ate my Taco Bell.

Emanuel had been arguing loudly with La Netta. Still, with only one coach, the day had seemed so peaceful.

My book!

Stan Man picked me up Wednesday morning and told me I had an eye appointment. I got my sleep mask and sunglasses on and took my red bag with me as I piled into the van along with the other guys.

As we drove to the first site, where Rodney would see a doctor, Stan said Jason was "in his pajxmxs" while on his cellphone. I growled.

As we waited in front of the health center, I listened to the people talking outside. I looked at a "Just say no to dope" mural. I purged off the word "pajxmxs" in my own private row as I waited.

Stan finally came back in. He dropped off Carl and Rodney at another place, then he walked me into the optometrist's office.

We waited for the optometrist, Pia hearing my name, going from desk to desk and filling out forms. I asked Pia to listen out for words, which she did.

Finally, a woman by the name of Dr. Wong came out. Dr. Wong called my name and I looked for the door to her office. While I was looking around in my path, I saw a girl who seemed to be in her pajamdras.

I followed Pia into the office. "Did I see someone in her pajamdras?", I asked Pia.

"Probably", Pia replied.

"You saw her?"

"Yep. We can't control what other people are wearing."

"That sucks", I said despondently yet quietly.

"Yes, I know."

Finally, Dr. Wong came in. "Is the light too bright for your eyes?", she asked.

"No, bright lights don't bother me", I said.

"Why do you have sunglasses on?"

I explained to her about my logaesthesia.

Dr. Wong took my sunglasses off and had me read letters.

"Is it sharper here or sharper here?", she asked me again and again, having me choose between two images.

Finally, I couldn't hold the pajamdras in anymore. I asked Dr. Wong if there was a restroom in the vicinity.

She came out, and took a long time standing out there. She spoke to Pia. Finally Pia came back in.

Pia led me to the restroom, where I purged off the pajamdras. Just as I finished washing my hands, Stan got me.

He led me back to Dr. Wong's office, where Dr. Wong was seeing other people. Just as she invited me in, the girl in her pajamdras walked out with her friend!

As Dr. Wong did one last test, having me look around the room, I heard a male doctor in another office say "in her pajxmxs". I growled.

Pia took me out and asked if I wanted to stay in her van. I told her my red bag was in Stan's van.

Just then Stan Man came. He took me into his red van and then drove me to CIWP. Godsend!

I purged off both the pajamdras themselves and the word "pajxmxs" at the office restroom.

I told La Netta about the girl in her pajamdras. "That is nasty!", said La Netta.

We also talked about my eye appointment. "Did you need glasses?", La Netta asked.

"They prescribed me some, but I'm not going to get them", I said.

"You're not?"

"I won't be able to wear my sunglasses."

"Maybe you can wear your sunglasses out at program, and then wear your glasses in your room."

"Naah, I don't want to eo that." There's still the nerdy image of glasses, which I don't want to take on.

Once Rosa came back, we drove to Wal-mart.

When Snodgrass got out to go to Wal-mart, he got out the magazine he called a "book" and Rosa told him he had to "put the book down". Predictably, Snodgrass threw a tantrum. What wasn't predictable this time was that Snodgrass threw his magazine out of the van onto the ground.

"So we won't be seeing the 'book' anymore?", I asked La Netta.

"We won't", she said.

As we walked through Wal-mart, La Netta told me Lita was making the group do a Halloween project. She asked me again what Halloween things I didn't like (dipsers, cobwxbs, sketons).

"Don't think this is my doing", said La Netta.

"I know it's not", I told La Netta.

Finally, La Netta found some small picture frames and some rubber Halloween stick-ons of ghosts, bats, haunted houses and moons. She had the idea of all of us making pictures with those.

We took up the offer and she bought some of those. We happened upon some Tampicos, and I purchased two. Then we all paid for our trinkets and we were out the door.

As we walked back to the van, Snodgrass saw his magazine still lying there. "My book!", he exclaimed. We tried to wheel himself over in his wheelchair. I could see his arms reaching out for it.

"That book is garbage!", said La Netta.

"Loooooooooooooook!", I said, pointing to the magazine in Snodgrass eashion. "My booooooooook!"

I walked over and picked it up. "This is my book now!", I said. I walked past Snodgrass and stuffed it into my red bag.

I then put the bag in the middle row as Snodgrass climbed into the back with me. A coach moved it to the front of the van.

"My book! My book!", shouted Snodgrass.

"That book is gone", said Rosa.

Soon Rosa was taunting him: "Shawn has no boo-ook! Shawn has no boo-ook!"

We stopped at Jack-in-the-box for lunch, wherefrom I bought a teriyaki bowl -- chicken teriyaki. How savory it would be!

We then stopped at Hostess, where Rosa went in. She came out with some Zingers.

Our lunch-eating site was Davis Park. I went to the restroom while Rosa and La Netta talked.

When I came back into the van, Rosa said, "I'm eating so much I won't have room for Twxnkies!"

"Echhhhh!", I said.

"Sorry!", said Rosa. "It isn't even that -- it's really a raspberry Zinger!"

I came out of the van and entered the restroom. After much gagging, I was done purging. Rosa and La Netta could probably hear me gagging in there.

There was a man with a Halloween mask on at Davis Park. He walked around, asking people, "Do you know who I am?" La Netta decided we had to leave.

There we were at Kennedy Grove. Snodgrass saw the motorcycle and said, "My bxke! Looooook! Bxke! Bxke! My bxke!"

"A motorcycle", said La Netta.

"That motorcycle is not yours, Shawn!", I said angrily.

I went to the portable until I had picked all the bxkes out of my navel.

After I went back to the van, Rosa said she'd go, then we'd be finished.

But Snodgrass started saying "bxke" again. I went to the portable again and picked my navel some more. Rosa said we were leaving.

As we drove off, Snodgrass said "Bye, bxke!"

"Is he saying 'my' or 'bye'?", I asked.

"He's saying 'bye'," said Rosa. "Bye, book!"

"And they said he doesn't have any vocabulary!", said La Netta.

"Is he classified as nonverbal?", I asked.

"I'll have to check", said La Netta.

"Bye, bxke! Bye, bxke!"

"He's saying, 'Bye, book!'," said Rosa.

We finally dropped Snodgrass home. "The book is mine now", I said.

"What are you going to do to it?", a coach asked me.

"I'm going to take it home and put it in my chest-of-drawers", I replied.

"Why don't you just throw it away?"

"I want to be the proud possessor of that object."

"Ha!", said La Netta. "I knew it!"

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The end of time

I was sitting in the van at Vincent Park, with my sleep mask on, today. I got a little bored of having the sleep mask on so I lifted it. The van clock was off, but outside I saw Ken walking by, and I could see his watch.

Was it a bad time? "What time is it?", I asked La Netta.

"I don't know", said La Netta. "What's up, James?"

"I accidentally saw Ken's watch", I explained.

"So what time did you see?", La Netta asked.

"I couldn't make out the time, but his watch was within my field of vision."

"Then what difference does it make?"

"Once his watch is within my field of vision, I've officially seen the time. Rosa, what time is it?"

"I don't know", said Rosa.

"Rosa, could I have some Star 101.3?"

"Don't you have your headphones?"

"All my headphones play is Nirvana. I want some variety."

I thought I'd be able to see the time when the radio turned on, but instead Rosa stuffed sheets of paper, brochures and envelopes in front of the van clock and then turned the radio on.

The radio was playing the song "Breakeven" by the Script.

"I can't see the time", I said.

"Oh, so you wanted to see the time!", said Rosa. "You should have asked me for the time, then I could have told you. I thought you wanted to listen to the radio. It's 12:46. It was 12:45."

Rosa turned the radio off.

"Rosa," I asked, "Could you turn the radio back on? I want to listen to 'Breakeven'."

Rosa turned it back on. By now a different song was playing. "Is this it?", she asked.

"This is a different song", I said. "I guess 'Breakeven' finished."

Rosa turned the radio off.

"Why did you turn it off?", I asked.

"I didn't want to listen to that song", she said.

"Now for the bad news: When I saw Ken's watch it was probably 12:43 or something."

"It could have been 12:41", said Rosa.

"How could you have seen the time?", asked La Netta.

"Once his watch is within my field of vision, I've officially seen the time", I said.

"If you don't see it, then how can it be in your field of vision?"

"It can be in my field of vision and I can still be unable to see it because it's too small. Like when boats on the water are within your field of vision, but they're at such a distance that you don't see them."

"James, if you see someone's watch, and it's a bad time, do you think they're going to agree to let you stand over them for a few minutes, so you can look at their watch until it turns that time?"

"Depends on the person."

"Most definitely. But most people won't let you eo that."

I've never had the problem with seeing a stranger's watch and having to watch over it for a few minutes, so I don't even know why La Netta is bringing this up.

Then I thought I heard Rosa saying she wouldn't let me tell people about my day anymore.

"Did you say you won't let me tell people about my day?", I asked.

"No", said Rosa. "What I said is we're going to tell people to just go about theor day."

"How long has this behavior been around?", asked La Netta.

"Since 2007", I said.

"Is it almost over?", she asked.

"I don't think so."

Swamps?

While we were driving to Miller's Knots for lunch on Monday, Rosa and La Netta were talking about food. The word "ice xxxxx" or the word "txsty" could come up, so I had my ears heightened.

"The creamer, and she just slxps it on," said Rosa.

"You said she swamps it on?", I asked.

"Whom are you talking to?", asked Rosa.

"I was asking Rosa", I said. "S-W-A-M-P-S."

"She slxps it on", said Rosa.

"Eeeeewwwwwwww!", I said.

When we reached Miller's Knots, I was asked if I needed to go to the restroom. I replied in the affirmative, and walked out to that restroom with the sliding wooden door. I unbuttoned my pants and began to purge.

Slxp, slxp, I thought. I tried to fight it.

Pols, pols, I thought. I began purging.

I did 17 "sladolop"s and 17 "sladolops"es. Then I did two "sladolops"es with the taste of alfredo sauce down there, and two more coming up.

Then I did two "sladolops"es with the taste of creamer down there, and two more coming up.

Finally, I did two "sladolops"es with the imagined taste of pus down there, and two more coming up.

I took my time to sit on the toilet seat and piss.

Then I was ready to come and wait eor the others to finish eating so I could ask for my pill.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The headphone return

I came to program today with the packaging from my headphones in my red bag. Today would be the day we go to Target, and I would get to return the headphones that didn't play loudly enough.

We started out with a trip to the office. Rosa was in the middle of the conversation when she said, "I've got to keep an ah, uh . . ."

"Eewwwwwww!", I said.

"I didn't say it the full way", said Rosa. "I caught myself. I said, 'uh'."

It still sounded like "exe" to me, so when I hit the office I went to the restroom.

Someone knocked on the door while I was in there, so I left to let him in. While I was standing outside, Lita said, "Good morning, James".

"Good morning, Lita", I said. "Today is the day we get to go to Target to return my headphones."

I didn't hear a response, so I asked, "Lita?"

Still no response.

I walked into the main room and asked someone where Lita was. The person said she or he didn't know -- "probably in her office".

I walked up to the part of the office where Maria and Lita work and turned my face to the people there. "Lita, are you in your room?", I asked.

"Pxrdon?", asked Maria.

"Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!", I growled.

"Oh, I am so sorry", said Maria.

"I was speaking to Lita", I said.

"I think Lita's outside."

"But she was greeting me only a minute ago."

"Then she's probably somewhere in the office."

"La Netta", I asked, "Do you know where Lita is?"

"Over here", said a voice. It was Lita's.

"Lita!", I said. "Did yoo catch what I said to you?"

"Negative", said Lita.

"I told you that today's the day we go to Target to return those headphones."

"That's going to be good. You can get some headphones that work!"

I went into the restroom and purged off "pardon". Then I did "keep an exe on".

I lay on the couch for about twenty minutes. Then it came time to visit Target.

"Don't get your feelings hurt if they won't take them back", said La Netta.

I brought the red bag into Target with me. I stooe in line, then it was my turn.

I showed the lady the headphones, and she looked around in the packaging for the receipt. There was no receipt to be found.

"We can do a no-receipt return, and give you a gift card for 25, 26 dollars", she said.

"That's fine with me", I said. She gave me a gift card and took the headphones, leaving my CD player, which predated the headphones.

I put two AriZona teas into the cart, a gallon each, and then the group went upstairs.

After La Netta and Rosa did some looking, La Netta told the group we were ready to leave.

"What about looking at the headphones?"

"That wasn't in our plans", La Netta said.

We looked at the headphone section. "They're going to have James' name eown as a routine headphone customer", said Rosa. "He's bought and returned all those headphones."

"These headphones aren't going to help", said La Netta. "You should save up for some of these -- see? $99.99. Put that on your Christmas list."

I picked out a pair of Sony headphones for $27.something.

"You already returned a pair of those!", said Rosa.

"We returned those because the plug wouldn't go in", I explained. "Then they told us that you took a jack off to make it fit. Don't you remember?"

"Oh."

I purchased my headphones and one tea (they were priced on the shelves at $1.12 for a tea, but they were actually $3.09 each) and was out the door.

Robin was fighting with Shawn in the back. Robin head-butted Shawn.

When we drove up to Pinole Valley Park, Robin head-butted Rosa.

"OOOOOOWWWWWWWWW!", I heard. "That is NOT OK!"

"Shame on you, Robin!", I shouted.

Robin took his sandwich and threw it. I heard a coach yelling. "Did you throw that sandwich in the back?" The coach looked, then checked the trunk and there was his sandwich.

"PICK UP THAT SANDWICH!", the coach said. "PICK IT UP!"

Robin didn't pick it up.

"Don't hit me", said the coach. "NO!"

I walked out and saw two tines from a white broken plastic frok on the pavement. I went into the portable to purge them off.

At 2:20, I asked for my pill, and took it.

When 2:30 arrived, I gave La Netta our hug for my Tuesday shower. I was glad to be at home with my new Sony headphones.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Penniless

When I got home on Friday, I told Stan I needed money.

"We'll get it to you by Monday", he said.

"Don't you mean by Tuesday, since we have Monday off?", I asked.

"Oh, yeah", said Stan.

On midnight, just as Tuesday, October 12, had begun, I phoned Stan and he knew immediately why I was calling. He told me that he'd give me the money by lunchtime on Tuesday.

"We have Barnes & Noble, and Trader Joe's", I said.

"I'll get it to you, somehow", he said.

So I said good-bye and hung up.

La Netta arrived at my door between 8 and 9 and Stan was not at my group home. I got into the van and told La Netta about not having money.

"Stan better get here soon", said La Netta. "In the morning, we have Barnes & Noble, and then See's and then Trader Joe's."

"Can we have the office call Stan and make sure he's bringing the money?", I asked.

"Wiat can the office do?", said Rosa. "They don't have any business calling Stan."

But I had a Plan B. "Why don't we just go to the office and borrow some money, and then when Stan comes he can give the money to them?

"They don't like us going to the office", said La Netta. "We can't go to the office when it's not on our schedule. When we go, there are other people at the office. And then you'll have to go to the bathroom. We get Ken wandering, and then when we have to leave, it takes time to round everyone up."

Luckily for me, I had a Plan C. "I have an idea", I said. "Ken can help us by calling Stan on his cellphone and telling him to meet us at Barnes & Noble."

"Help us?", said Rosa. "You mean help you!"

"That's only if he wants to", said La Netta. "Do you want to do that, Ken?"

La Netta looked at Ken.

"See?", said La Netta. "Ken said no. You've got him all stressed out too now."

But I had a Plan D. "La Netta, will you let me use your cellphone?", I asked. "I know Stan's number."

"My cellphone isn't working", said La Netta. "It's been like this for a few days."

I was angry at La Netta. She had shot down all four of my ideas. My mind began wandering. I began thinking about Japanese-American internment. With my legs bent atop my seat, I began whapping my knees together.

"Stop having a tantrum!", said Rosa.

"I'm not having a tantrum!", I said. "I wasn't even thinking about the money thing!"

"Sorry!"

We arrived in front of Barnes & Noble. "Is there a pay phone here?", I asked.

"Do you see one, Ken?", asked La Netta. "It should be around this area."

"There it is!", said Ken.

"Right next to us!"

I got two quarters and put them in. I heard them drop to the bottom. La Netta tried and she failed too. "Maybe you have to dial the number first", said La Netta.

I pressed the number buttons, but didn't hear any tone.

"Dial 0 for operator", said La Netta.

I dialed for the operator, but still no tone.

"I guess it's broken", said La Netta.

We went into Barnes & Noble, and Stan did not arrive. There were no calls from the office.

Then came See's. I explained to La Netta that I didn't want to buy anything at See's anyway, as $20 wouldn't be enough to buy things at Barnes & Noble and Trader Joe's and still have money for See's. I did eat my sample, though.

"Do you want to go to Trader Joe's?", asked La Netta.

"Yes", I replied.

"Why? You won't be buying anything."

"I want to go just because it's on our schedule", I told her.

"Oh, OK."

I showed her the pecan pralines I would have bought. They were $4.99.

We then walked out. I passed the big board that listed the location of all the sites in the shopping center. My eyes brushed across the bottom left. Listed there was C-tibank.

"Rrrrrr!", I growled.

"You looking at the board?", she asked.

"Yes."

"And you saw that city place?" I took the question as "And you saw that C-ti place?"

"Yes. You could have just said, 'You saw that bank'."

"It could be interpreted more than one way", said La Netta.

"Like that place in this town?"

"Yes."

"Is that how you meant it? That place in this town?"

"Yes."

We went to the office, where I rubble-cleared "city", then purged off "C-tibank". Stan had not stopped by to give us that money.

We then drove to our lunch site at Vincent Park. La Netta was talking about eating, and she said, ". . . make my stomach pxke out."

"Rrrrrrrr!", I growled.

"Sorry, James", said La Netta.

As I walked to the restroom, I heard Rosa calling my name. I turned back.

"Isn't it only a purge word if it has -ing at the end?", she asked.

"That doesn't matter", I said.

"Oh. I see."

I purged off "pxke out", then came back to the van.

We left Vincent Park early, and as we drove to Kennedy Grove to spend our time, Ken said "axx oxxx the pxxxx". I growled. I purged that off in the Kennedy Grove portable.

Finally, we arrived at my house. I had not bought lunch and would have to have a burrito instead. La Netta knocked at the door and Stan was there.

"Hi, James", said Stan. "I'm sorry". The look on his face was pathetically apologetic. "I didn't get you your money. You forgive me?"

"Stan", I said, "We went to Barnes & Noble, and we went to Trader Joe's! There was Chef's in the area, where we could have bought lunch! . . ."

"Well, I'll get you your money. I'll bring it to you personally."

Stan needs to stop telling me on Friday that I'll have my money "by Monday". He needs to give it to me the same day I ask for it. This has happened before, and it will keep happening until Stan stops making promises of later.

Monday, October 11, 2010

My headphones are defective

Since it was Thursday, we would spend the first part of our day at the office.

"Did you remember to put down Barnes & Noble?", I asked Rosa.

"We can make the schedule at the office", said La Netta. "You can find something to do instead of sleeping on the couch. Because program isn't really meant for sleeping. You know, when they first put the couch into the office, it was nice and clean. Now it has stains from Emanuel's drool on it."

I entered the CIWP office with the rest of the group. La Netta was playing Bingo with several clients, and said she'd finish the game before she worked on schedules with me.

A television was playing in the main room. There was an ad for "Dumb and Dumber", with the "Want to hear the most annoying sound in the world?" line. Then came an ad for another movie. One of the characters said, "Whxxps!"

"D'OH!", I exclaimed, slamming my forehead. "D'OH! D'OH!" I turned to La Netta. "Did you hear me going 'D'oh'?"

"Yes", said La Netta.

"And did you hear what caused it?"

"Yes."

I asked whether Lita was in the office. Someone told me she was ready to speak to.

"Come in", said Lita.

I walked up to Lita, and told her about my CD player. "Several weeks ago, Snodgrass had a tantrum, and he threw my red bag with my CD player in it into the back of the van. And then when I turned it on, it wouldn't play. It just displayed the word 'Disc'. Then when I bought some new headphones, it sounded jerky and played softer or louder depending on how I held it."

"Can you show me your CD player?"

"I didn't bring it in with me. It's in the van."

"Can you go get it?"

I asked Rosa if she could go get it. Rosa said she'd walk me over to the van.

We walked over and unlocked the van. I got out my red bag and took the CD player and headphones out. When I got back in, I asked for Lita and someone told me, "She stepped out".

I said I'd go into the restroom, and set my CD player and headphones down on the table in the couch room. One of my coaches said I could show my malfunctioning items to Lita as soon as I was done.

When the restroom was free, I walked in. I unbuttoned my pants and purged off the "whxxps". It was pronounced to rhyme with "groups", so it didn't take as long as it could have. I washed my hands and buttoned my pants back up.

When I came out, Lita was there. I showed her the CD player and headphones.

"It's really quiet", said Lita. "This is as loud as it goes?"

I explained that you had to turn the volume up. She had it turned to 30. I turned it to 32 (maximum).

She took me into another room. She put a CD in another CD player, and it began playing "As" by Stevie Wonder. Then Lita put my headphones on.

"I don't think the problem is in the CD player", said Lita. "I think the problem is in the headphones. Listen."

She gave me the headphones and the music didn't sound as loud.

"It's being muffled by the headphones", said Lita.

The CD began playing "September" by Earth, Wind and Fire, and Lita turned the headphones off.

"Do you still have the receipt?", she asked.

"Yes", I replied.

"Then you can bring them back, and get some headphones that work."

I told La Netta about wanting to go to Target, so I could exchange the headphones.

"They're not going to let you take them back, because they're not broken", said La Netta.

"Well, they're not doing what they're supposed to do", I said. "I think they'll let me take them back."

I told La Netta I wanted to go to Target on Monday as she relegated the Bingo master duty to Rosa. She began working on the schedule: Target on Monday, Barnes & Noble on Tuesday, Hayward office on Wednesday.

"Ken, where would you like to go?", asked La Netta.

"Uhhh . . .", said Ken.

"Would you like to go to Trader Joe's?", I asked.

"I like Trader Joe's."

"Should we put that on Tuesday?", asked La Netta.

"Yes", I said.

"Would you like to go to the pumpkin patch?"

"There might be Halloween stuff there."

"I was talking to Ken."

"Oh."

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

"OK," said La Netta as she scheduled it. "What day should we go? Monday?"

"Monday's a holiday", said Ken.

"That's right!", said La Netta.

"Good thing Ken remembered", I said. "Or we couldn't go to Target."

Target was moved to Thursday.

"Would you like to go to See's?", La Netta asked Ken.

"Yes", said Ken.

I looked at the Internet room's computer at 10:16. I got a good long look at it to make up for the 10:18 I saw a few Mondays ago. When it turned 10:17, I stepped out.

We left the office soon thereafter, and took a long drive.

My CD player fell off my seat, along with my headphones. "La Netta", I asked, "Is it safe to lift up my sleep mask? I'm going to stuff my CD player and headphones back into my bag."

"James!", said La Netta. "You can't become so dependent on that sleep mask! When you don't look around, you miss out on a lot of things!"

"99% of the time, there's nothing around that would make you purge", said Rosa.

After a long erive, we finally stopped.

"James, do you know where we are?", asked Rosa.

"We're at the Chinese place, right?", I asked.

"No," said La Netta. "We're not getting Chinese food today. We're at the Mexican cornershop. La Loma."

"I'll just take him in", said Rosa.

I followed Rosa into La Loma. "Do you want a burrito from here?", she asked.

"Their burritos aren't good", I replied. "I just want to look around."

So we looked at their fruit section. "How about a tamale?", asked Rosa. "Their tamales are $1.25."

"I'll get three tamales then."

We walked up to the tortilla counter and I ordered three tamales. It came out to $3.75.

I looked at the cookies. "These are really good", Rosa said, pointing to some rolls with chocolate filling called Bimboletes. I decided to try the Bimboletes out.

I found some Pom-Pom-like cookies called Bombolín. They reminded me of Copitos. At only #3.something for a big box, I decided to get those.

My tamales were then ready. I paid for my goodies, and we left.

When I got home, I had my tamales. They were delicious . . . but boy, were they full of grease!

Ice xxxxx and txstee (txsty ice xxxxx?)

On Wednesday, we had Wal-mart on the schedule, so I soon found myself surrounded by Always Save signs and the shape of popped bubbles.

I told La Netta I wanted juices, so she took me down to the bottom floor to get two Hawaiian punches. She asked then if there was anything else I wanted, and I decided upon spice drops.

La Netta took me to the candy aisle and said the spice drops were up there.

I looked, and I was not surrounded by Halloween candy. Rather, there was their regular candy selection. The spice drops were $1.00 for a bag, so I picked up one bag.

We then got to the check-out. Robin was spazzed out. "Would it bother you if I bought my clients popsicles?", asked La Netta. "Robin's yelling, and I think a popsicle may calm him down."

"It wouldn't bother me," I said.

So La Netta selected a popsicle for Robin and selected a few more popsicles for her other clients and then paid for them after I paid for my Hawaiian punches and candy.

"You're getting these ice xxxxxs?", the cashier asked La Netta.

"Blechhhh!", I said.

"Yes, I am", said La Netta.

"La Netta, you said they were popsicles!"

"That's what the freezer said", said La Netta.

"Then why did she call them the I-word?"

We walked outside. La Netta handed Robin his popsicle. Robin ate the popsicle, and while he ate it, he was still yelling!

I told La Netta I'd like to go to the restroom. At first La Netta was hesitant, but then when she left Robin wit the other coach, she walked back into Wal-mart with me, and said she needed to use the restroom, and that I could ose it while she was using the women's.

I purged off "ice xxxxxs" and washed my hands. I was back out and ready to leave Wal-mart.

We then stopped at KFC for lunch. La Netta said she'd take me in after the other coach and clients had ordered their food.

I decided to order four snackers. I counted my money and looked for enough coins to make $3.something. While I was counting, the country song I heard playing on the restaurant's Intercom seemed to say "Txstee-freeze".

"Did the song sing, 'T-word freeze'?", I asked La Netta.

"No, it didn't", La Netta said.

"What was it then?"

"It wasn't that."

"It really sounded as if they were saying 'T-word freeze'."

"I didn't hear that."

"Do you know what the T-word freeze is?"

"Yes, I do."

"If they didn't say it, what did they say?"

"I don't know."

"If you don't know, how can you be sure they didn't say 'T-word freeze'?"

"Because it didn't sound like that."

I picked up the lyrics "home-grown" from the song that was still playing. I decided to google it.

Another country song came on as soon as that one was over.

"This KFC plays country?", I asked La Netta.

"Yep, they do", she said. "Do you like it?"

"No, I don't."

Eventually, my snackers were ready, so I picked them up and we left.

Soon we were at Davis Park and I landed in the restroom. "Tadolastee-freeze", I chanted. "Tadolastee-freeze, Tadolastee-freeze, Tadolastee-freeze, Tadolastee-freeze, Tadolastee-freeze, Tadolastee-freeze. Tadolastee-freeze, Tadolastee-freeze, Tadolastee-freeze, Tadolastee-freeze . . ."

Occasionally, I would think "txsty" or "txsty ice xxxxx" or "Mr. Txstee", which would set me back. About an hour after I first walked in, I was still in the restroom.

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

"T-word freeze", I said.

"Oh. It's taking you that long?"

"Yep."

A little while later, I was still purging.

"I thought you liked country music", said La Netta.

"I don't", I replied.

I finally got finished purging, and came out to take my pill on yet another day in this rough week.

By the way I googled "txstee-freeze" and "home-grown" and it turned out there is a country song that has them both. It's called "Hillbilly Deluxe", by Brooks & Dunn. That must have been it.

Positive thinking

I came to program on Tuesday, with La Netta asking me how I was feeling.

"Well", I said, "I had such a bad day yesterday, I figured this was going to be a bad day too."

"I try to think positive", said La Netta. "I look at every day as a brand-new day, ane I thank God to be blessed with another day. Do you ever tell yourself, Today's going to be a great day?"

"That was what I thought tomorrow morning. But it didn't turn out that way."

"Well, I'm going to tell ourselves that we're all have a good day", La Netta said. "I'm going to have a good day, and James isn't going to hear any words, and Ken's going to stay with the group, and Shawn -- he's going to have a good day too."

We drove up to the office. While Rosa went into the office, La Netta stayed in the van with me.

"You want this plum?", La Netta offered Ken.

"Sure", said Ken, taking a plum from her. "Take it outside . . . won't drxp in the van."

"Eeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwww!", I said. "Well, La Netta, that was my first word of the day."

"Mmmmm", La Netta said disappointedly. "We're at the office if you need to go in the restroom."

So I went into the restroom. I unbuttoned my pants and . . . "dradolip, dradolip, dradolip", 90 times. Then a "dradolip" down there, and a "dradolip" up here, and the taste of plum juice came out. I washed my hands and buttoned up.

I came out and returned to the van.

"James", said La Netta, "I have something to tell you."

I braced myself for it.

"While you were out in the bathroom, I heard a gulp-gulp-gulp-gulp-gulp-gulp-gulp-gulp-gulp in the back, and I turned around . . . and Shawn was drinking your starfruit juice! I told him, 'PUT THAT BACK!' So I don't know if you want to go outside and pour it all out or what . . ."

"I'm not going to pour it out", I said.

"Shawn looks really guilty now . . . look at him. Shawn, you know you were wrong for drinking his juice."

"SHAME ON YOU, SHAWN!", I said. I slapped Snodgrass' wrist really hard.

Shawn sat around there, feeling guilty.

Rosa came back, and we began to drive to Berkeley, where we were scheduled to go to the 99-cent store and Grocery Outlet.

"She was on one of those bxkes for two people, and she got on a bxke . . ."

"They're called tandems", I said.

"What?", asked Rosa.

"I said they're called tandems."

"Well, I don't know WHAT they're called. Anyway, and then they got on their bxkes, and their little son came out on his bxke, and it was one of those little kids' bxkes . . ."

I started to whimper.

"What?", asked Rosa. "Oh . . . sorry."

Soon we were in front of the 99-cent store. We got Snodgrass' wheelchair out, and all walked or wheeled in.

I held onto the shopping cart and closed my eyes, to avoid seeing any Halloween stuff. Whenever a commercial came out, I would plug my ears and sing "Alouette".

Others shopped, while I didn't buy anything.

We were going along fine, until a commercial broke in that said, and the very beginning, "Discover txsty and healthy snacks . . ."

"BLECHHH!", I said.

"What's up with you?", asked La Netta.

"Didn't you hear that commercial?", I asked.

"No, I didn't", said La Netta.

"They said the T-word!"

"Oh!"

"It said, 'Discover T-word and healthy snacks . . .' Is there a restroom here?"

"If we go to a restroom, we may not be able to buy anything," said La Netta.

"Don't you already have stuff in the cart?"

"We could just put it back."

I explained to La Netta that I wasn't buying anything myself, so she relented and took me.

"We're at the restroom", she said. "Do you see it? Are your eyes open?"

"My eyes are open", I said, "I just have my hand over them."

"Look."

"Is there Halloween stuff here?"

"There's Halloween stuff everywhere."

"I can't look when there's Halloween stuff. It will make me need to use the restroom even longer!"

"You need to open your eyes, or you miss out on stuff!"

"Don't make me look!"

I cupped my hands over my eyes and looked down the centers of aisles. Finally, I found it -- my restroom!

I went in and purged off "txsty". Then, I washed my hands and came out.

"Maybe we shouldn't go to Grocery Outlet", said La Netta.

"But I need my piroshkis!", I said.

"Well, you've got us all stressed out!", said La Netta. "Here, here's your pill."

"I can't take it yet", I said.

"But you were in the restroom!", said La Netta.

"I only had enough time to purge off the T-word. I didn't get to purge off the short form of 'bicycle'."

"Oh", said La Netta.

"We're going to have a great time in Grocery Outlet!", I told La Netta.

"Is that what you're telling yourself?", she asked.

"Positive thinking!"

We then walked into Grocery Outlet. We stopped in many different aisles, as La Netta and Rosa bought things. Then it came my turn. At the frozen foods section, I put into the cart four piroshkis, one of each flavor.

I paid $5 for my piroshkis and we were on our way.

"I told you we'd have a great time", I said.

Then, the unexpected occurred. Snodgrass throst himself towards me in his wheelchair.

"He's trying to hit James", explained Rosa.

Snodgrass was yelling and had his arms out to get me.

Rosa wheeled Snodgrass out and separated us.

When we got back in the van, Snodgrass sat in the back row and La Netta in the middle.

"He wants to get back at James because James got him after Shawn drank his juice", La Netta explained.

Snodgrass then took several swings at La Netta. He yelled, "FUCK YOU, BITCH!" in La Netta's face and hit her. To add insult to injury, he sneezed in her face.

Then, you wouldn't believe what happened next: Snodgrass tried to hug La Netta!

"Don't be thinking you can be hitting me, and then expect a hug!", said La Netta.

La Netta and Rosa both strongly castigated Snodgrass. At Vincent Park I went to pick my navel, and then I could take my pill. By the time I got back, Snodgrass had calmed down.

Is this supposed to be what happens when we tell ourselves we're going to have a great day?

I had a really bad day

If I had thought the Tuesday before was bad, I needed to see Monday. On Monday, we were supposed to go to Barnes & Noble and the Pacific East Ranch Market. However, La Netta asked if we could go into Berkeley instead.

She got permission and we soon found ourselves in Berkeley. A song came on the radio, then a DJ started talking. I asked if they said the C-word on the radio.

I heard La Netta saying, "I don't know". Great. That meant I would have to purge just to be on the safe side.

Rosa dropped La Netta off. My mouth, meanwhile, was filling up with saliva.

Rosa drove us around without La Netta. She had KMEL on the radio. It played more songs I didn't like.

Rosa stopped to talk with La Netta, who was now standing in front of my car. As she talked, I asked, "Could you mute the commercials?"

The radio stayed on.

"Could you mute the commercials?", I asked again.

"I'm trying to talk to La Netta", said Rosa. "Shhhh!"

She had shushed me! That was it! "SHHHH!", I said. "SHHHHHHHHHHH!" As you'll recall, my mouth was full of saliva, so when I made that sibilant sound, saliva came flying out.

"James", said Rosa. "What are you doing? You've got spit all over this van!"

"I was going, 'SHHHHH!'," I said. "Could you mute the commercials?"

Rosa FINALLY turned the commercials off. She finished speaking to La Netta.

"You've got saliva everywhere", said Rosa. "It's on my seat."

"I don't understand why you didn't just turn the radio off the first time."

"It's on", said Rosa, and she turned it back on.

Shortly after she turned the radio back on, the DJ announced that they were going to do traffic.

"Oh no! Traffic!", I said, plugging my ears. While my ears were squeezed shut, but before the radio was turned off by Rosa, I heard what may have been "mxss".

"Did they say the M-word?", I asked Rosa.

"Whom are you talking about?", asked Rosa.

"The DJ", I said.

"I don't know", said Rosa.

"Oh no", I said. "Now I'm going to have to purge big-time."

A little while later, I broke wind. It felt so good.

A few minutes later thereafter, Rosa smelled something. "Do you have gas?", she asked.

"Not anymore", I said.

"Get out of the van if you have gas", she said.

A little while later, I felt another one coming. I got out of the van. I stood around on University as the flatulence came out of me. It was a slow process, more gas coming out a bit at a time. You couldn't really hear it. I was still standing around a minute later.

"Get back in the van, please", said Rosa.

There was that word "please!" "NO!", I said. Then I said, "I have gas."

First Rosa wants me to get outside because I have gas, then she wants me to get back in when I'm standing outside!

La Netta finally got back in the van and I told her what had gone on. "I guess we go to the Asian market now?", asked La Netta.

"Bxxxxxxxke!", said Snodgrass as we passed a motorcycle. "Bxke! Bxke!"

We drove to the Asian market. This would have to make my day better, right?

I waited until we had a nice spot I could spit the rest of my saliva out in. I didn't want a repeat of what happened in the van. Once I found a dirt pond with a man sitting nearby, I walked until I was sure I was a safe distance from the man so the saliva wouldn't hit him and turned my head down. I spat straight down into the dirt.

"Be careful where you spit", said La Netta, "Because you were near that man. That was kind of rude."

"That's not rude, La Netta!", I said. "I was at a safe distance!"

"Would it bother you if someone walked up where you could see and spat?"

"No, it wouldn't, La Netta. Not at all!" The Golden Rule, after all!

"Oh", said La Netta.

First the spit comes out in the van, then La Netta calls me "rude" when I spit outside so my spit doesn't come out inside the market. Aaaaaaargh!

When we walked in, La Netta took us all to the restroom. What? There was a restroom stop planned? If I had known, I could have held all my saliva in until I got to the restroom!

I purged off "cutxe", then picked my navel for Snodgrass' "bxke"s. Then I started in on "mxss".

After a while, I heard La Netta calling.

"Let me wash my hands!", I said.

After I washed my hands, I came out.

"You were in there for a long time", said La Netta. "What took you so long?"

"I had to purge off the C-word, and the M-word, and there was Snodgrass' word", I said.

"Who said the C-word?"

"I thought I heard it on the radio, and when I asked if they said it, you said, 'I don't know'."

"I said, 'No'."

So all that purging off "cutxe" was for nothing!

La Netta saw me getting worked-up. She asked what I was thinking of. I said, "I want to wash Rosa's mouth out with soap for saying the word 'please'."

"Well, I'm going to say it", said Rosa.

"You think 'please' is rude, but I think it's rude not to say 'please'," said La Netta.

"And also . . . the SC-word", said Rosa. "It's more polite to say that than to say 'move over'. When you tell someone to 'move over', that's rude."

"What do you want to get?", asked La Netta.

"I'm having such a bad day, I don't really feel like shopping here", I said.

"OK, then maybe we should just leave."

"How about getting some starfruit juice?"

So we went to the juice aisle. I picked up some starfruit juice. Then I paid $1.99 for it and we were on our way out.

We drove back to the office (the office is close to Pacific East Ranch Market, so it's a short drive). La Netta and Rosa split their groups by getting into different vans. La Netta said I could go to the restroom.

As I walked in, I looked at the week's schedule. Then I tried to go into the men's room, but it was occupied. I stayed out in the main office room.

Did I hear Maria say "ice xxxxxs"?

"Did I hear the I-word, Maria?", I asked.

"You did", said Maria. "I wasn't aware you were in here."

Blechhh! Now I would have to purge off "ice xxxxxs" in addition to purging off "mxss"!

When the restroom was free, I went in and purged off "ice xxxxx"s. That took quite a while. Then came "mxss". That sticky "mxss" I had gotten myself into was smeared around my groin. After what felt like an hour smearing, I washed my hands and decided to come out to the van and finish later.

After we drove to Miller's Knots, La Netta said, "Here's your pill."

"I'm not done purging off the M-word", I said.

"Well, what were you doing in the restroom?"

"I was purging off the M-word. But I didn't get to finish. You see, the M-word when used in connection with traffic is very hard to purge off."

"Well, how long are you going to be if I let you use the restroom here?"

"I think it woll be enough time to finish", I said.

"OK", said La Netta.

So I entered the restroom. I purged and purged and purged and purged and purged and purged and purged. When I finished, I came out and took my pill. That pill felt so good to swallow.

We were too early for drops with our split group, so La Netta asked me where I'd like to get lunch. She said she could take me to Jack-in-the-box, so I assented.

I bought a teriyaki bowl at Jack-in-the-box, then went home and ate it. Because even on bad days, I need to eat.

Did they say the C-word?

On Thursday, September 30, I heard the song "Uptight" by Stevie Wonder on the radio. For the first time I had heard it, it sounded as if Stevie was singing the word "cutxe". Maybe this song had the word "cutxe" in it and I had never been able to make it out before?

"Does this song have the C-word in it?", I asked La Netta.

"No, it doesn't", La Netta said.

About an hour later, I heard a song that sounded like "Funky Cold Medina". "It sounds like Funky Cold Medina, but it's another Tone-Loc song -- Wild Thing", La Netta said.

I asked if "Wild Thing" had the C-word in it.

"No, it doesn't", said La Netta.

After we ate lunch, I heard a rap song that had the line "I'm the lyrical Iesse James". It may have had "cutxe" in it. I wrote down the line to google it. I didn't even ask La Netta.

Then the next time a coach turned the radio on, I heard something that sounded like "cutxe pie". "Did they say 'C-word pie'?", I asked.

"No, they didn't", said La Netta. She listened just a few seconds longer. "Oh, wait, they do say it."

The singer said "cutxe pie" a few more times. I gagged each time.

Then the DJ repeated the title -- "Cutxe Pie". I gagged yet again.

When the singer actually uses the word like this, it serves as a reminder that it's a good thing I ask. Now I knew I needed to purge.

I had a bad day

'Cause you had a bad day, you're taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don't know, you tell me don't lie
You work on a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day, your camera don't lie
You're coming back down and you really don't mind
You had a bad day
You had a bad day

--Daniel Powter

The date was Tuesday, September 28. We were breaking with our schedule to get our van detailed at Firestone . . . which meant we wouldn't get to go somewhere good. Already, that was bad.

Then, as we drove, a Wells Fargo commercial began to play. At the end, it said, "Wells Fargo -- with us, you'll go far". After the end, something about C-tibank came on.

"Rrrrrrrr!", I growled. Just what I didn't need: a C-tibank commercial. Now I would have to purge.

We got in a new van while La Netta was in Firestone. Finally, I saw Ken stepping out. I accidentally saw his watch. I decided to look at the van clock so I could add 12 minutes and figure out what Ken's watch said. Did it say 10:18 . . . or did it say 10:10?

"10:10?", I asked.

"10:18", said Rosa.

"Oh, no!", I said. "Ohhhhhhh, noooooooooo! Now I'll have to look at it tomorrow when it's 10:16."

We drove off. A song played on the radio . . . it sounded like "cutxe, honey".

"La Netta, did they sing, 'C-word, honey'?", I asked.

"Well," said La Netta, "You've heard this song before, and you didn't ask any questions about it."

"But you were listening, right?"

"Well, since you didn't seem to have a problem the last time, I tuned out as the song played."

"Aaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhh!"

We took a trip to Wal-mart, since that was in the area. The only juices on the top floor were Tampicos, and I already had some Tampicos. We couldn't go down to where the other juices were, because we needed to stay on the top floor, what with Snodgrass' wheelchair.

Then we visited Ross. I tried to cover my eyes as much as possible, but I saw what looked like pajamdra pants. They had a crescent moon, some stars and a cow.

"Are those pajamdras?", I asked La Netta.

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

"Are those sweats?"

"I think those are."

I started biting myself.

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

"Do you really want to know?", I asked.

"Yes."

"I'm thinking about my father", I said.

"What about your father?"

"I don't like him."

While we got into the van, La Netta said, "It's really sad to hear you say you hate your father. As I raise my kids, I discover, I'm not perfect. I make some mistakes."

"Parents aren't allowed to make mistakes", I said. "They're authority figures."

La Netta continued talking about parenthood, then she asked me, "Is this something that happened in the 1980's?"

"I'm not thinking about a specific incident", I said. "I just hate my father in general."

"Hate is a very strong word", said La Netta.

"La Netta", I said, "Can you be sure to pick me up in this van tomorrow?"

"This van? I can't just pick you up in Cliff's van!", said La Netta.

"This is Cliff's van?"

"Yes."

"Then I'll need to ask to be put in Cliff's group one of these days."

The coaches and I agreed that Rosa would drive me home while La Netta took our own van back from Firestone to Ken's house.

"Can you program to clock to say 10:16 and then change it back, so I can look at it saying 10:16?", I asked Rosa.

"I already said no", said Rosa. "I don't know how to program the clock."

"I had a bad day today", I told Rosa as I got to my house.

"What was bad about it?"

"I heard an ad for the soft-C-word-bank . . . and the clock said 10:18 . . . and there was the 'C-word honey' song but La Netta couldn't tell me whether it actually sang the C-word . . . and we couldn't get juices at Wal-mart . . ."

"We were right by the juices! But you told me you didn't need any!"

"I said I didn't need any Tampicos! We couldn't get to the other juices because we couldn't go to the bottom floor! . . . And I saw some pajamdras in Ross!"

"Those weren't those."

"They were sweats?"

"Yes."

I got home without drinking or eating anything. I had just had a dreadful day at program, which would extend, thanks to me seeing 10:18 on my second clock in 9 days, to the future. I sure hope I see Cliff's van again, I thought as I purged off "cutxe" and "C-tibank".