Thursday, April 28, 2011

The day La Netta wasn't listening

Today, we spent some time at the office. It was a short day. La Netta explained to Alfonso, the newcomer in our group, that normally on the short days we spend most of the time at the office. Today, however, she was cutting our time at the office short so we'd have time to go to Rite-aid and I could get my Easter eggs.

We sat in the conference room to make schedules. While we were in the room, Ken called his mother. I could hear her garbled end of the conversation.

"Did Ken's mom say the C-word?", I asked La Netta.

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

"You were able to hear what she was saying, right?"

"Actually, no. I wasn't listening to Ken's phone call."

"Aaaarrrrgh! Now I'm going to have to purge!"

Because La Netta was not listening, I would now have to go into the restroom. There I purged off "cutxe" (which may not have even been said).

Phlegm came up as I gagged in the restroom. My long nails scraped my groin like glass as I chanted "kyadolutadolie, adolye, adolee".

Finally, I came out and was able to request Trader Joe's (to get that sushi plate) and Lucky's (for the Tampico) in El Cerrito Plaza.

Then I suggested Pacific East Ranch Market.

"But we only have space for two sites for each of you", said La Netta, "Now that we have five people in the group."

She solicited suggestions from Ken and Adam.

Then we left off to go to Rite-aid.

La Netta said she was just taking me in, so she wouldn't have to chase after people. I got a six-pack of coconut cream eggs, a six-pack of strawberry eggs, and a single Reese's egg, and I was ready to head to the counter.

While I was there, a commercial said "free shxpping".

"Rrrrrrrrrrrrr!", I growled. Then I accidentally bumped against a rack to my right.

"Why did you do that?", La Netta asked.

"It was an accident", I said. "Wait, you do mean why did I bump into that rack, right?"

"No, I mean why did you growl?"

"Because they said the SH-word in that commercial."

"Oh."

"Didn't you hear it?"

"I didn't."

I paid for my stuff then we were off to Trader Joe's.

"There's cops axxx oxxx the pxxxx", said La Netta.

"Ewwwwww!", I said.

When we hit Trader Joe's, La Netta asked me if I wanted to come in.

"M-hm", I said.

"Then you'll have to open your eyes", La Netta said.

"Mm-mm", I said.

"OK."

I stayed in the van as La Netta went in with two clients.

"Are you ready for your pill?", asked Rajendra.

"I can't take it, I have to purge", I said.

"Why do you have to purge?"

"Because Ken said the A, O the P words."

"I didn't hear Ken say anything."

"He did. He said there are cops A, O the P words. Do you know what the A, O the P words are?"

"I don't."

"The A-word is 'all' . . . the O-word is 'over' . . . and the P-word is 'place'."

"Oh. I didn't hear Ken say that."

When La Netta got back in the van, I asked her, "La Netta, didn't Ken say the A, O the P words?"

"Yes, it was an accident", said La Netta.

"Because Rajendra says he didn't hear him say that."

We approached Pinole Valley Park. "James, we may not even be able to make it to our lunch site today, in which case, you'll have to purge when you get home."

We stopped by the burrito truck, then got to Pinole Valley Park.

"There's kids here", said La Netta.

"Then can we go by the portable?", I asked.

"We're only here for five minutes."

"There's a restroom here for James", Rajendra said.

"There's kids here", La Netta told Rajendra.

The clients and coaches did some lunch-eating, then La Netta embarked on drops.

When we got to my house, I said, "Can we catch up on our hugs now?"

"Why don't you go into the house right now so you can take care of your purging, and we'll hug tomorrow?", La Netta said.

"All right", I said.

Two spitters

While we were at Miller's Knots on Wednesday, I spat some excess saliva out of my mouth. Rajendra saw me. He asked me if I wanted to get a thermos I could spit into next time we went to Wal-mart or wherever, and I said that sounded great.

Later tiat day, Carl was sitting by his side door while our van was parked. Carl spat out on the floor next to him.

He spat there several more times.

"Carl, could you spit where nobody will step?", asked La Netta.

We went to Davis Park for lunch, as it was Wednesday. Rajendra asked me whether the Jews had any festivals, and I told him about Chanukkah and Passover. I explained the marking the Jews' houses with lamb's blood to him.

Then Rajendra talked about Buddhism. "Do you know the Five Precepts?", he asked me.

"Life is suffering . . .", I began.

"No, those are the Four Noble Truths. I mean the Five Precepts." Rajendra told me about not lying, not committing rape or adultery, not killing.

Rajendra discussed the animals that symbolize human weaknesses. "The snake, you know a snake?", he said.

"The reptile that looks like a worm?", I asked.

"Yes. You see a snake and --" -- he gestured turning back -- "That is aversion. And the pig, you know a pig?"

I grunted twice.

"That is ignorance", he said. "And the rooster, you know, a cock."

"A male chicken, right?", I said.

"Right. That rooster symbolizes craving. Because the rooster sees a hen, and he follows her, he wants her. So, rooster: craving. Pig: ignorance. Snake: aversion."

"A virgin?", I asked.

"No, aversion. A-V-E-R-S-I-O-N."

"Aversion."

"Right."

Later, we drove over to Ken's house. Carl spat outside the car door again.

"Yxk, Carl!", said La Netta.

"Ewwwww!", I said.

"Sorry, James", said La Netta.

"Owww!", I said on the drive home.

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

"My schlong is caught in my zipper!"

"How'd it get caught there?"

"I got an erection and it moved about, then when it became flaccie again, it moved some more."

A little later, the glans of my schlong was caught next in the zipper of metal. "Ow ow ow ow ow!", I shrieked.

"Move it now", said Carl.

I unbuttoned my pants and moved my schlong so the glans wasn't touching the zipper anymore.

"We'll have to do our hugs tomorrow since you've had your hands there", said La Netta.

And I went home, yet another day without touching La Netta. (Oh, and of course I purged off "yxk" when I got home.)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Chasing Adam

On Friday La Netta didn't have a partner. After she drove up to Robin's house, she spoke to Eula.

I heard Eula saying "keep an exe on iim".

"Ewwwwwww!", I said.

Just after my "ewwwwwww", I heard them laughing.

"There was no 'ewwwwwww'," said Carl.

"Didn't she say the K & E words?"

"I heard her say 'peace of mind'," said Carl.

They continued the conversation. I heard La Netta say "drxpping all over".

"Ewwwwwww!", I said.

They laughed again. Then they said their good-byes.

"La Netta, why did you two laugh when I said 'Ewwwwwww'?", I asked La Netta when she got back into the van.

"I didn't hear you say 'Ewwwwwww'," said La Netta. "When did you say 'Ewwwwwww'?"

"When Eula said the K & E words."

"No one did say the K & E words!"

"Carl said she said 'peace of mind'."

"She did say 'peace of mind'. We were talking about how we had peace of mind since Robin wasn't in the group."

"And then I heard you say 'D-wording all over'."

"I didn't say that. I said, 'I'm glad it's all over'."

"Oh, OK."

Robin didn't come with us that day -- La Netta was driving only Carl, Adam and me.

We hit Wal-mart first. I got six Russell Stover caramel eggs there, while La Netta bought a piñata shaped by a bunny's head.

Then came Ross, where La Netta returned a pair oe shoes and bought something of her own.

Carl wanted to go to the dollar store, so we went there next even though it wasn't on our schedule. La Netta bought faux eyelashes, while Carl got whatever it was he wanted. I heard someone calling his loved one "sweetxe" while we were at the check-out, and growled.

Then finally, we went to the last store of the day: K-mart. I asked if someone said the I-word, and La Netta said no.

Then Adam started walking away from us and looking at things.

La Netta got Adam to come with her and walked another place.

"Did they say 'books'?", I asked La Netta.

"No," said La Netta.

"Then if they didn't say 'books', did the say the WH-word?"

"No, James. Don't talk with your mouth full of saliva."

We approached the electronics section. Adam walked off to look at movies. After he stayed there a little, La Netta said, "Come on".

I heard the televisions playing. Were they saying "mxss"? "What's on the TV's?", I asked La Netta.

"Don't talk with your mouth full of saliva!", La Netta said. "You're going to spray it on someone!"

I made a W with my hands in front of La Netta. I had my hands facing her sideways, with my thumbs crossed aslant in the middle, and the other four finges of each hand together.

"What does that mean?", asked La Netta.

I began spelling out the other letters with my hands: H, A, T, apostrophe, S, O, N, T, H, E, T, V, apostrophe, S and finally question mark. She didn't respond.

"Adam", she said, "We're leaving."

She picked Adam up and held his hand to walk out of the store with him, but Adam had other plans.

"Let's walk to the candy aisle", said La Netta.

"James", said Carl. "Come over here. I need you to tell me what this word spells."

"Mmm mmm mmm mmm", I said, and pointed to my mouth.

"Oh, I forgot", said Carl. "Sorry."

A song that sounded as if it was saying "I can pxke around" started playing on the Intercom.

"Hmmm?", I asked, and put my hand up to my ear, as if to ask La Netta, "What did they say?"

I did it several more times when I didn't get a response.

"Yes, her", said Carl.

"Hmmm?", I did it again to La Netta.

"I didn't say anything", La Netta said.

I pointed up to the ceiling, as if to indicate the Intercom. No response.

I did the "Hmmm?" with ear cupped for the rest of the song.

"Adam, come here", said La Netta as Adam walked off once again.

"Rrrrrrrrr!", I growled.

"James, what is up with you?", asked La Netta.

After chasing Adam all around the store, La Netta made it to the check-out. There I wondered if I heard a child say "Twxnkxe".

We got out and I spat all my saliva out.

"La Netta", I said, "I was asking you, 'What's on the TV's?' I thought I heard the televisions saying the M-word and I wondered if they were doing traffic."

"Oh, they didn't", said La Netta.

"And then remember when I made the W with my hands and you asked, 'What does that mean?' Then I started spelling out 'What's on the TV's?' with my hands."

"Yes, but you do know that I was watching Adam, right?"

"I didn't know that."

"And then when I cupped my ear and kept going 'Hmmm?', I was asking you about the song. I thought I heard them saying, 'I can do the P & A words' in the song. That was why I pointed to the air afterwards."

"Oh, I didn't hear any words in the store. I was listening to all the songs, but I was also chasing after Adam."

"Did I hear a little kid say the TW-word at the check-out?"

"I told you, there were no words."

I got into the van. I saw someone wearing a red bottom with mouse-ear shapes. "Is that woman in her pajamdras?", I asked La Netta.

"Yes, she is", said La Netta.

"Ewwwwwww!", I said.

"Wait, what woman?", asked Carl.

"The one in the black top", I said.

"Oh", said Carl, "I was looking at a different woman."

"She has glasses and dark brown hair . . ."

When La Netta got in the van, I asked her if she understood what song I was talking about when I said that it sounded like "I can pxke around". I asked if any songs said, "I can walk around" or something similar like that.

"I think I can recall a song like that", said Carl.

"Do you understand that you're giving me a migraine?", La Netta said.

"Yes, I do", I said.

"Adam wore me out. I need me a Starbuck's."

We approached Starbuck's. "La Netta", I said, "Remember when you were saying, 'Adam, let's go', and I went 'Rrrrrrrrr'?, and you were all, 'James, what is up with you?' Remember that?"

But La Netta didn't reply. Instead she ordered a caramel macchiato -- she pronounced it "mochiato" -- at Starbuck's.

When she finished, I asked, "Remember that?"

La Netta just turned on the radio. We did get some good songs -- "Just the Way You Are" by Bruno Mars, "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga, "California Gurls" by Katy Perry -- but I had to hold in my words.

Finally, when we got to the park, I said, "Remember that?"

"James," said La Netta, "I told you already, you didn't hear any words."

"It's not that", I said. "I just want to explain to you something I did."

"Oh, OK, go ahead."

"Remember when you were saying, 'Adam, let's go', and I went 'Rrrrrrrrr'?, and you were all, 'James, what is up with you?' Remember that?"

"Yes."

"It's just that I was frustrated with Adam."

"Oh, OK."

"In other words", said Carl, "Sometimes a growl is just a growl."

"Well, La Netta, I'll be in the restroom to purge off those pajamdras and the SW-word."

"There are kids here", said La Netta.

"Are any of them in the restroom?"

"I don't know."

"Carl, can you come to the restroom with me to make sure it's empty, and tell me if any children come?"

"Not now," said Carl.

"You're eating?"

"Yeah, but I can come with you when I'm done."

After Carl finished eating, he walked to the men's room with me. It was empty.

"Carl, watch out and tell me if any children come in", I said.

"I will", said Carl.

As he watched, I purged the pajamdra pants off. Then I got to the "sweetxe".

I came out, and Carl used the toilet, while I washed my hands.

We made it back to the van, but by now Adam was coming out. He was running amidst the grass.

We drove home. After we dropped Adam off I told La Netta, "Well, Robin hasn't head-butted you and I'm not sick."

"Yep", La Netta said.

"Does that mean we can have an end-of-the-week hug?"

"Well, today Adam got my back all tensed up."

"It's always something, isn't it?"

"Yeah."

Meet Rajendra

On Tuesday, we had a surprise.

Rajendra, a coach from Nepal, was with La Netta. Rajendra spoke Nepali, Hindi and English.

Star 101.3 was on the radio, and the DJ's were chatting. One of the DJ's said "axx oxxx the pxxxx".

"Ewwwwww!", I said.

A little later, a DJ said "every whxxx way".

"Ewwwwww!", I said again.

When we went to Bed, Bath & Beyond, I asked La Netta if there was a restroom here.

"Yes, but we're not going in there to purge", she said.

"La Netta, will you please take me into the restroom?", I asked.

"You don't want them to ban us from this store."

"I will be quiet. La Netta, did you hear I used the word 'please'? A word I hate?"

"I heard that", said La Netta.

Meanwhile, the song "Pocketful of Sunshine" by Natasha Bedingfield played on the Intercom. She kept singing the word "place".

After a little walking around, La Netta said, "There's the restroom -- you'll have to open your eyes to find it."

I uncupped my eyes and found the restroom. I walked in.

"Pladolace, adolall adolover the pladolace, adolall adolover the pladolace . . .", I started.

A little while later, La Netta said, "OK, James".

I continued purging.

"OK, James", said La Netta.

"Let me wash my hands", I said.

I finished up and washed my hands with soap and water. Then I came out.

"You took really long in there", said La Netta. "They had security coming in."

"Why would they be concerned?", I asked. "They'd think I was just going to the restroom."

"Going to the restroom to use it, not to purge!"

"Well, how long did I take exactly?"

"A good 15 minutes."

We then split up for the rest of El Cerrito Plaza. Ken, Adam and Robin went with La Netta, while Carl and I went with Rajendra.

"Did I hear someone say 'C-word pie'?", I asked Rajendra while we were in Lucky's.

"I don't know what that means", said Rajendra.

"Carl!", I said. "Did someone say 'C-word pie'?"

"I didn't hear it", said Carl.

"Rajendra", I said, "Do you know what the C-word is?"

Rajendra thought. "No", he said.

"Rhymes with 'beauty'."

"Ah. Didn't say that."

I bought two Tampicos at Lucky's. After we left, we ran through other stores.

"Did someone say the P & A words?", I asked Carl.

"No", said Carl.

"Thanks", I said.

"The P & A words", said Rajendra. "What does that mean?"

"The P-word rhymes with 'joke' . . . and the A-word is 'around'. It's one word before the other, in a verbal idiom."

"What does that mean?"

"A verbal idiom is when you have a verb and a preposition, like 'break up' to mean 'end a relationship with someone', or 'bring up' to mean 'raise children', that means something different from the individual words in it."

"Ah. OK."

"Want to go to TJ's?", Carl asked me.

"No thanks", I replied.

"James, don't look at the buildings to your right", said Carl. I knew what he meant. He meant we were passing C-tibank.

I looked down and to my left as we walked.

"OK, James, you can look again", said Carl.

I looked. I walked with Rajendra as Carl sped ahead of us. Just as I was plugging my ears hearing a woman speaking, I heard what sounded like her saying "Whxxpsie!"

After that I heard four "Wheuh"s.

"Did I hear the WH-word?", I asked Carl.

"Can't help you, dude", Carl replied.

When I got back in the van I went, "D'OH! D'OH! D'OH!"

"Do you want to get Chef's today?", Rajendra asked me.

"I'll pass", I replied. I was all out of money for the day.

La Netta walked over to Chef's, then came back. They weren't open yet.

The next stop was the office. La Netta told me she was using the restroom there, but I could purge at Vincent Park.

"Oh, James!", said Rajendra. "It's 11:34! Your pill!"

"I can't take it now", I replied.

"Why can't you take it?"

"I need to purge before I can take my pill."

"Do you want to use the restroom here?"

"La Netta said I can use it at Vincent Park."

"Better go here", said Carl.

"Yes", said Rajendra.

So I walked into the office restroom and began purging. Then La Netta got me.

When we got back into the van, La Netta asked, "Why were you in the restroom? I thought you were going to wait until the park."

I explained what Carl and Rajendra had told me.

"It's true", said Carl.

La Netta then drove us over to Vincent Park. "There are kids here", said Carl.

I went to the restroom and purged off "Whxxpsie". It took forever before I could get to the big "whxxpsie" because I had thought the word to myself so many times, but I tasted the whipped cream every time.

Then came "every whxxx way", and I was out.

Rajendra took Carl and me on a walk. Rajendra taught me to meditate by repeating the words "All money brought me home".

Then we all drove home. "Good-bye, James", said Rajendra. "I'll see you tomorrow."

"I'll see you tomorrow, Rajendra", I replied.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bicycles on the mind

This morning, I climbed into the van, but Carl would not get in.

Carl argued with Santina, telling her he would not get out. Then he sat outside in the chair.

"Tell him we're going to Amoeba Music today", I said.

"No, I won't", said La Netta, "I'm not going to play his games."

"Carl!", I shouted. "Carl!"

Finally, I walked outside. "Carl!", I said. "We're going to Amoeba today!"

"Sorry, man", said Carl. "I'm not going."

"Are you going to stay here too?", a coach asked me.

"No", I replied.

"Then get back in."

I climbed into the van and we were off to Berkeley.

While we were parked in front of Berkeley Marina, Rosa talked about how spoilt her son Melchor was.

"The other day the ice xxxxx truck came . . .", she started.

"Blechhh!", I said.

"Sorry, James", said Rosa.

I walked to the fourth restroom, where I purged off "ice xxxxx". Then we were ready to go to the dollar store. As it was raining and there was no Carl with us, we skipped Amoeba.

Rosa decided she'd go to the restroom first before the rest of us came in. She walked in and the rest of us stayed in the van.

"People locking up their bxkes", said Ken.

"La Netta, will you take me somewhere?", I asked.

"Why?", La Netta asked.

"Because of what Ken just said."

"Ohhhhhhhh. Well, we're just going to go to the dollar store here. But when we get out, we can find a restroom."

Rosa finally came back out and we walked into the dollar store togetier. I struggled with the feeling of jagged metal in my navel the whole time.

I picked out a carton of a dozen chocolate/marshmallow eggs, then two Cadborys and two coconut cream eggs. One of the coaches put some Iron Man 2 books in the shopping cart.

I heard a commercial on the Intercom for joining the dollar store's club. After they said "no membership fees", I plugged my ears to avoid the "free shxpping".

We finally paid for our stuff, and hit a few fast food restaurants.

Then we were off to Miller's Knots. I went to the restroom, and first picked the bicycle I had seen parked in front of the dollar store out of my navel. Then I progressed to picking out all the "bxke"s I had thought to myself.

Then I put my right ineex finge's nail into my navel and began picking at it to get Ken's "bxkes" out.

While I was doing that, I heard the man outside the sliding-door restroom saying something that sounded like "Whxxps". I thought he said it twice. I would ask La Netta about it as soon as I was done picking "bxkes" out of my navel. For now, I slammed my forehead and went "D'OH!" a few times. My sunglasses slipped.

When I came out, I asked La Netta if the man outside the restroom had said the WH-word.

"He did", said La Netta.

"Thanks for telling me", I replied. "He said it twice, right?"

"Yes. Didn't you already take care of that?", asked La Netta.

"No."

"I thought I head you shouting something. You said it three times."

"Well, I'm going to go back to the restroom to purge it off."

Back to the restroom I strode. I purged off two "whxxps"es.

When I came back, I asked La Netta if I could sit in the van. La Netta said the van was locked, so I just hung around the path near the grass where the group was sitting.

"Do you want me to give you your pill?", asked La Netta.

"I'd like to take it in the van."

"The van is locked."

"Then forget about the pill."

As I hung around, Rosa said "nice and snxg".

"Rrrrrrrrrr!", I growled. Back to the restroom for me!

As I purged, I heard someone saying "Let's go!" Then I heard it again. Was it Rosa or La Netta?

When I finished, I asked La Netta whether we were leaving. As it turned out, Carl had been broughht to the park and was now eating with them. They were waiting until Carl finished eating.

I watched and discovered the man who had said "whxxps" was cycling around a lot at the park with his daughter. They were on their bicycles. As I listened, I heard him say "bxke". Then "bxkes". Then maybe "bxke" again?

I went in the restroom and began picking my navel.

"James!", I heard La Netta call.

"What is it, La Netta?", I called out back.

No response.

"What is it, La Netta?"

Still didn't hear anything.

"What is it, La Netta?", I yelled at the top of my lungs.

I picked all the "bxke"s out, then I was back in the van.

"Why were you in the restroom?", La Netta asked me.

"You didn't hear?", I responded. "That man said the short form of 'bicycle' to his daughter."

"I didn't hear that!", said La Netta.

As we loaded back in the van, Carl held my red bag, pills and sleep mask for me.

After I got my seatbelt on, the van started moving. "I'm ready to take my pills", I said.

"OK", said Rosa.

Just then, we went through a tunnel.

"OK, now I'm ready to take my pills", I said.

"Just take them!", said someone.

Then Rosa went on an anecdote about riding down a hill. I thought she was going to say "bxke", so I waited until she was done -- I didn't want to hear "bxke" at the same time I was swallowing.

It turned out there was nothing about bicycles. I just had bicycles on the mind that day after what Ken and the man at the park had said. I took my pill in peace.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Beavis and Head-butt

On Friday morning, La Netta asked me if I had money. I told her Stan said he'd bring it to program.

"Well, we're going to be out in Hercules today", said La Netta.

We drove to Hercules, where we got out at Refugio Park.

"Are we going to feed the ducks?", I asked.

"We don't have any bread to feed them", said La Netta.

"Didn't you get some at Lucky's?"

"We didn't go to Lucky's, because I know you don't have money."

"Well, I have $3, and that's enough to buy one pack of eggs at Rite-aid."

"Do you want to get out and look at the ducks?"

"No thank you."

Well, we got out and looked at the ducks anyway. La Netta asked me if there was algae in the pond for the ducks to eat.

The phone rang. The office told La Netta that Pia had dropped some money for me.

"Do you want to go and get it?", asked La Netta.

"Yes, that would be what I want", I said. "Thank you, La Netta."

"But when we go back and get your money, we won't be coming back here. We'll be buying lunch."

"OK, then I'd rather go to Rite-aid first. That way I can get something."

We drove to Rite-aid, where I purchased a six-pack of Russell Stover coconut cream eggs.

Then we drove over to the office. I walked in front of the entrance to the room where Lita was. "Lita?", I said.

"I've got your money, James", Lita said.

Just then, Carl squeezed through at the side of the door where I was standing.

"Carl", said Lita, "What do you say?"

"It's all right!", I said.

"It's all right with you, but with anyone else it wouldn't be all right. So what do you say, Carl?"

"Excuse me?", asked Carl.

"Yes", said Lita.

"I'm not a social person!", said Carl. "I don't like talking to people!"

"But Carl!", I said, "You talk and talk and talk!"

"There you go!", said Lita.

"I like to talk to people I know", said Carl. "With people I don't know, I don't talk."

Lita then gave me my money, and I walked outside to join La Netta.

La Netta drove me to Jack-in-the-box, where I ordered a chicken teriyaki bowl and two tacos. Then we were off to Kennedy Grove.

At Kennedy Grove, La Netta told me to come closer to her, as Robin was screaming. She said those Robin sounds indicated that Robin was about to head-butt someone.

Robin sat at his table and shook his arms violently.

A little later, I was pacing and La Netta said, "James, come closer". As I walked towards La Netta, Robin came up behind me and pushed me! Luckily, I didn't fall.

"Shame on you, Robin!", I said. La Netta berated Robin for his violent behavior.

La Netta got me to walk away from Robin as I paced, several more times.

One time La Netta protected me, and Robin hit La Netta!

"SHAME ON YOU, ROBIN!", I shouted.

Robin was at his table as I paced around some more. "Robin ought to star on a TV show called 'Beavis and Head-butt'," I said.

"He could sort of look like Beavis", said La Netta.

"Can we leave now?", I asked La Netta.

"We can't leave now when Robin's acting like this", said La Netta.

La Netta took a walk with me. She showed Adam the swingset. Then she told me we were ready for drops.

We put Robin in the front seat. La Netta drove us home.

When we got to Ken's house, I said "See ya, Ken". Robin was ululating.

"You keep an exe on him to make sure he doesn't get anybody!", said Ken.

"Eeeeeewwwww!", I said.

"He said, 'Sorry, James'," La Netta told me.

They drove over to my house. Then I hugged a big end-of-the-week hug with my favorite coach.

Carl leaves the group

On Thursday, Carl had plans to work on his autoboography with me. It didn't turn out that way, though, as La Netta told us that Monica planned to use the computer in the computer room.

My staff put in the movie Halloween as soon as we got to the office. I had to ask La Netta about several words, but it turned out that no purge words were used in the movie.

Carl walked out of the room while I stayed to work on schedules.

"They have a couch for James to lie down on!", said Rosa.

I lay on the couch and suggested places I wanted to go. Wal-mart. Big Lots. See's.

"Move over, James", said Rosa. "Robin's sitting down."

I also suggested Amoeba Music, since Carl had put that on the schedule in the past and had always wanted to go there.

With Ken's and my input, La Netta finished a schedule. She told me to show it to Carl for his approval.

I went out to Carl, who was putting puzzles together. I saw a green superhero in one puzzle -- but also a bit of something red! I looked -- it was Dipser-man! "Eeeewwwwww!"

"This is acceptable", Carl told me.

I took the schedule back to La Netta and Rosa and told them that it had Carl's approval.

After purging off Dipsey in the restroom, I lay on the couch in the couch room until I heard a word to ask about. I walked out and heard La Netta trying to round up clients as preparation to leave.

La Netta told Carl to put the puzzles away. Carl said he didn't want to dismantle them after he had worked so hard to put them together. He said he was trying to finish, but La Netta said that a few pieces were missing. Then Carl remembered the last time he and I had put the Ninja Turtle puzzle together.

Carl told La Netta that if she's the one who so wants the puzzle put away, she should put it away.

Finally, La Netta told Carl that another group was coming and would need to use that table. Carl put away the two puzzles (superheroes and Ninja Turtles).

Then we went out to our program site, Walgreen's. La Netta shopped around, telling us they had foods like sandwiches we could buy. She asked Ken and Carl if they were interested in anything there.

Then we hit the Easter egg section. I got two bags of Gimbal's jelly beans, a pecan egg, two maple cream eggs and two more Russell Stover eggs. I held them in my hands as I walked around.

"James is the only person who shops here!", said Carl.

"I shop here!", said La Netta.

"I enjoy shopping for clothes", said Carl. "Anything else is boring."

As we paid for our stuff, Carl told La Netta that they only go places James wants to go.

Carl asked Rosa to take him somewhere out-of-the-way for lunch. "Let's see is Rosa is better than La Netta", Carl said.

Turned out Rosa didn't take him there, but drove straight to Pinole Valley Park, as La Netta had instructed her.

"Rosa is worse than La Netta!", said Carl. "La Netta only listens to James, but Rosa only listens to La Netta!"

"We do not only go the places James wants to go," La Netta said. "It's just that when we make the schedules, James gives his input. You go out of the room, and when next week comes around, it's places James selected."

"I asked to go to Amoeba Music! We didn't go there!"

"We had it on the schedule, but when it came time you wouldn't go out because it was raining."

As Rosa opened something, Ken said, "Stan Man once opened one of those and it exploded axx oxxx the pxxxx!"

"Rrrrrrrrr!", I growled.

"What is it?", asked Carl.

"Ken said the A, O the P words."

"Here. Get out." Carl moved his legs for me so I could get out of the van to walk to the restroom.

"Thanks, Carl", I said.

After I came back from the restroom, Carl was still stressed.

"What do you want to do that would help you relieve that stress?", La Netta asked.

"I want to hit Rosa's arm", said Carl.

"Don't you threaten me!", Rosa said sternly.

"I want to hit Rosa's arm and break La Netta's neck!"

"I can call the police on you if you're going to make threats!", said La Netta.

La Netta called Lita and told her about Carl's threats. She let Carl talk to Lita, with her office phone on speakerphone, then La Netta held a lengthy conversation of her own.

La Netta let Carl go for a walk. After he hae walked a long time without coming back, La Netta took a walk with me.

"Could you go into the men's room and look for Carl?", asked La Netta.

I went in there and looked. No Carl.

"There he is", La Netta said. "Do you think it was wrong of Carl to make the threat?"

"Well, you asked him that question", I told La Netta. "You asked him what he wanted. It's sort of like that time you asked me, 'What's on your mind', and I told you I was thinking about Snodgrass. You asked me, 'What about Snodgrass?', and I said I was imagining him getting run over by a motorcycle."

La Netta laughed. "But that's not the same. You weren't threatening to run him over with that motorcycle yourself."

La Netta saw Carl walking past the bushes and leaving the group behind.

La Netta called the office again. "Lita, Carl is walking off!", La Netta said.

La Netta followed Carl and waited for Lita to pick him up. Carl was by now walking into the thick bushes, off the beaten path. Rosa and La Netta were conversing about iow ridiculous it was.

"Lita should have picked up Carl as soon as he started acting silly", said a coach.

Finally a van arrived. At 2:15, La Netta could embark on our drops. She dropped Ken home, then Adam, then me.

Stan was not here to give me my money. I walked into my room with my Walgreen's bag and fell asleep, dreaming of money from Stan. I called him at 7:09 that evening.

Purging AND pissing!

On Wednesday, La Netta took us to a dollar store in Hilltop after our trip to Wal-mart. I accidentally saw Tigger and Winnxe the Pooh there.

When we got to Davis Park for lunch, the restroom doors were closed. But my bladder was filling up.

"La Netta, will you be able to take me to a place that has a restroom as soon as everyone's done eating?"

"To purge, or to release your bladder?"

"To do both."

"I don't know. If you're purging, I don't know about it."

I paced around and spat occasionally.

Then I came up to La Netta and asked, "Is Adam still eating?"

"Adam's still eating", La Netta said. "What's up?"

"I'm getting squirmy."

Finally, La Netta called Robin and Ken into the van. She drove us over to McDonald's.

"What do you have to purge about?", La Netta asked.

"I'm not using the restroom to purge, just to empty my bladder", I said.

"But you said you needed to purge? What was it?"

"I saw Pooh and Tigger in the dollar store."

"Oh."

I entered the McDonald's restroom. I found the stall. All the urine that had filled my bladder was now being released. It felt like a detox appointment to be cleansed of it.

Then La Netta stood in line and ordered a Happy Meal.

When she got back in the van, she gave the toy (a blue bird from Rio) to Aeam. We drove home, where I purged off Winnxe the Pooh ane Tigger.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Meet Adam

For over a week, our group at CIWP has been told that we have a new client named Adam, and that Adam has Down syndrome. He didn't show up on the fourth of April even though he was supposed to. But on Monday, Adam was finally picked up by our group.

He came wearing a sweatshirt with Grumpy the dware on it. Even though Rosa asked him if he spoke Spanish, he looked more Asian than Hispanic to me. Maybe it was just the Down syndrome eyes.

We took Adam into the 99-cents only store in Berkeley with the rest of os. "Are you grumpy?", a coach asked him.

After that, he hit Grocery Outlet.

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

"Tampicos, Easter eggs and piroshkis", I replied.

They didn't have Tampicos, but I did buy a bottle of something called Looza -- banana juice. I placed three piroshkis into my basket. Finally, I got two Reese's eggs and six orange Cadbury eggs. Meanwhile Robin was at his worst.

Just after La Netta asked me if I was good, I saw Dipser-man to the left of the candy section.

"Ewwwwwww!", I said.

"I feel like 'Ewwww' too today", said La Netta.

We stood in line as La Netta asked me what I had got from the candy section. After I answered her, Rosa started talking, and said she got "sxftxes".

"Eeeeeewwwwwww!", I shrieked.

"What?", asked Rosa.

"The S-word", I said. "La Netta, did Rosa say the word that rhymes with 'lofty'?"

"I guess so", said La Netta.

"Rosa, did you say the word that begins with S and rhymes with 'lofty'?"

I didn't hear any response.

"Rosa?", I repeated.

"I said yes", said Rosa.

Great. Two different things to purge off.

As I got in line to pay for everything I had picked out, I picked my sandwich bag out of my right pocket. I saw a one-exed pyramid on a dollar bill.

"Eewwwwwww!", I said.

As we drove to various restaurants, Robin kept head-butting me. The first time I gave him two slaps on the wrist. The second time it was three slaps. The third time: four slaps.

Then Robin head-butted me yet again.

"Owwwwwww!", I said. "Shame on you, Robin!"

I slapped his wrist five times. Robin just flapped his hands.

Rosa walked into the office to heat up her lunch.

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

"You're sleepy?", she then said.

"You said, 'What's wrong, James?' or 'What's wrong, Adam?'?", I asked her.

"I said, 'What's wrong, James?', but then Adam closed his eyes and I thought he may be sleepy", said La Netta.

"He's grumpy and sleepy!", I said.

"We were joking when we said 'grumpy'. Did you see? He has Grumpy on his sweatshirt."

"I know. It was a joke. Because there's also a dwarf named Sleepy . . ."

"Oh, yeah."

We contacted Robin's group home staff, and they suggested we drop Robin home. La Netta agreed that she'd take Robin, Adam and me into the office while Rosa drove Carl and Ken to get their lunches.

Adam walked in cautiously. La Netta held her hand out to shield me from Robin's frontal attacks.

I went in the restroom and began purging off the dollar bill.

La Netta knocked. "Can Robin use the restroom?", she asked.

I let Robin in. Then his staff came for him. Robin walked out of the restroom. I told his staff anent he had head-butted me and "I went slap, slap, slap, slap, slap on his wrist".

I finished with the dollar bill, then did "sxftxes". Finally, I got to the two Dipser-mans.

La Netta announced that Rosa was back and we were ready to drive to Miller's Knots.

La Netta told us that according to Robin's staff, Jolene had hit Robin with her walker after Robin head-butted Jolene. Rosa scarcely believed it. La Netta also commented on how everyone seemed to be much calmer without Robin in the van.

I walked into the restroom at Miller's Knots, then came back and took my pill.

We were soon ready for drops. After I said good-bye to my buddy Ken, we drove over to Adam's house and I said, "See ya, Adam! It's been nice meeting you!"

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The butterfly effect

I asked Santina for breakfast bar at 6:45 Friday morning. She said she'd get it for me.

8:00 and still no breakfast bar. I accidentally asked for a one-milligram Risperdal pill before I asked for a breakfast bar.

Shortly after 8:00, Santina was at my door with the pills and breakfast bar, and told me La Netta was here.

Santina asked why I needed the pills. I had asked for them by mistake when I meant to say "breakfast bar", but now that she was getting them out I might as well take them. I just told her that I was thinking about the Thai restaurant.

It took a while for me to get my pill open, but I finally did it. After I took it, Santina announced that she had already opened the other one. Then I went into the restroom and ate my breakfast bar.

I came out to the van.

La Netta asked me what took me so long. I told her I was eating a breakfast bar. She said it took me 10 minutes and said if I want to eat a breakfast bar I better take it into the van with me. Then she calculated that she got here at 8:14 and I came out at 8:22, so it must have been 8 minutes.

"It doesn't take 8 minutes to eat a breakfast bar", I told La Netta.

"Santina says you were in the restroom", said La Netta. "She didn't say you were eating the breakfast bar."

"I ate my breakfast bar in the restroom."

"You eat in the restroom?"

"Santina was in my room. I couldn't eat in my room because I didn't want to see Santina in her pajamdras. If I saw her in her pajamdras, I wouldn't be able to eat, would I?"

"Good point", said La Netta.

Star 101.3 was on and songs were playing. I just remembered why it had taken so long. "Oh! And another thing", I said. "It took a long time for Santina and me to open my pills this morning."

"You took your pills this morning?", La Netta asked.

"Yes", I replied. "Did Santina give you a pill?"

"I didn't get one", said La Netta. "Ernestine?"

It turned out neither coach had been given any pills.

"So they gave you both pills this morning?", La Netta asked me.

Just then we hit a stoplight.

"Stupid stoplight!", I said.

But before the van started moving again, other people started talking. I tried to talk to La Netta after the van started moving again, but it was like no one could even hear me.

The commercials came on. I asked La Netta to turn the commercial off because I wanted to talk to her.

"Ken wants to listen to this station", La Netta said.

"Ken, are you listening to this commercial?", I asked.

"He is", said La Netta. "Just get your headphones."

The next commercial came on. "OK, now I have something I want to say to you."

"Ken is listening to this", said La Netta.

"Ken, do you want to listen to this commercial to?"

"He wants to listen to all the commercials."

Then a Snapple commercial came on. I hope they don't say "txsty", I thought.

Then it came. The spokesperson in the Snapple commercial said "txsty"!

"BLECHHH!", I said. "Now I'm going to have to purge."

"I told you about three times to get your headphones on", said La Netta.

"I wanted to talk to you. I can't eo that when I have my headphones on."

"I told you we could talk later."

"Really? I didn't hear that."

I started to develop saliva in my mouth. Meanwhile, I kept thinking the word "txsty" to myself. The longer they waited to get me to a restroom, the longer I would have to purge. I couldn't hold it in!

"Rrrrrrrrmmm!", I said in frustration, with my mouth filling up with saliva and my groin grappling with the T-word.

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

"Can't hold--", I started to say with my mouth full of saliva. Then I felt the warm saliva on my shirt, so I stopped speaking.

"Huh?", said La Netta.

Then I just gargled saliva.

"Oh dear", La Netta said.

We finally reached K-mart, where only La Netta and Carl were going in. I got out and spat. Then I said, "La Netta?"

"Just a minute", La Netta said. She made a call on her cellphone, then I crossed the crosswalk.

"What is it, James?", she asked when she was finished.

La Netta, what I was trying to tell you before I started gargling was, "I can't hold it in".

"Well, we're going in and out at K-mart, then we'll be at Refugio Park, and you can use the restroom there", she said.

"OK", I said.

La Netta came back.

"I can't hold in the T-word!", I shouted.

"The C-word?", asked La Netta.

"No. I said the T-word!"

"The T-word?"

"Remember? That Snapple commercial?"

"Well, we're going to Refugio, and that's better than having to hold it until you get home."

I described what had happened, with me trying to talk as the commercials played, and "txsty" coming on in a Snapple commercial. I asked La Netta whether she remembered, and she said yes.

A little while later, on our drive to Refugio, La Netta said "Gxtcha" to Ken.

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

"That would be yes", she said. "Sorry, James."

"If there are kids . . .", La Netta began as we drove into Refugio Park.

"Stupid stoplight!", I said.

"I hear kids", La Netta said.

"Is there anywhere else we can go?", I asked.

"Nowhere around here", she said.

"But I can't hold in the T-word that long!"

"Well, maybe if you just go in and come out . . ."

I went in and purged. I did sixteen "txsty"s and a few "Mr. Txstee"s. I rubble-cleared all the "ice"s I had heard.

Finally, I finished.

"Did you hear me?", I asked La Netta.

"No, I didn't", said La Netta. "Were you chatting?"

"You mean chanting?"

"Chanting."

"I was pretty quiet."

Our first real program site was Home Depot.

After we walked in, La Netta took me to stop at a place where they did customer service (I chose to stay with La Netta).

I heard them mentioning C-tibank when they spoke with her.

"Rrrrrrrr!", I growled each time the employee said it.

"Sorry, James", said La Netta. "I'll take you somewhere."

"Thanks, La Netta", I said.

When La Netta finished, she walked me over to the restroom. "Try to keep it low, and try not to be too long, because Robin gets impatient if we stay in one place for too long."

I used the restroom and purged off "C-tibank". La Netta called and I told her I was washing my hands.

Then I came out and we walked around the rest of the store.

Either in Home Depot or Big Lots, La Netta said something special to me. "There's something I forgot whether I told you, but I was picking you up earlier this week and I think you had your Pink CD on . . . it sounded really nice."

"You're right!", I said. "I did have my Pink CD on!"

"Was that Funhouse?"

"Yes."

"It was so beautiful."

"Do you want to buy a copy for yourself?"

"Yes."

I told La Netta I wanted to look at the Easter eggs in Big Lots, but she said they were near the front of the store, and we were making our way around the whole store until we got to the Easter egg section.

We finally reached the Easter eggs. La Netta showed me the eggs with the yellow flowerss on top that I had bought a previous year. I picked them up.

I looked around the Easter egg section until I saw some eggs from Brach's. These were the eggs with the marshmallow on the inside and the brightly-colored shells that I hadn't been able to get from 2006 to 2010. They were $2 for a bag. My favorite kind of eggs! With $6 in my pocket, I picked out two bags.

I then paid for my stuff and stayed in the van with La Netta as the others went to Taco Bell.

La Netta played some rap on KMEL. I reached for my headphones but then I noticed that one end seemed to be without its puff. "Are my headphones broken?", I asked. "Wait, La Netta", I said. "Could you mute the radio until I can figure out what's up with these headphones?"

La Netta muted the radio.

"Thanks", I said.

I picked my headphones out. I looked at them. The swiveling part was broken in the middle, and my puff was dangling from the other wire.

La Netta turned the radio back on. I had to ask her about a few words until we got to Kennedy Grove.

We all got out at Kennedy Grove. We hung out at the eating area and talked, then went to the restrooms.

When we came back into the van, La Netta looked at my headphones. She said she'd get some superglue. Meanwhile, I talked about calling my mother.

I asked La Netta if she was still too ill for a hug. She said she'd like to get the hugs out of the way right then and there.

I had an end-of-the-week hug with her, then three more hugs. It sent such bolts through my body to be able to hug La Netta again.

La Netta asked me if I was attending my brother's graduation.

"Probably not", I said.

When a commercial break came on, I told La Netta I wanted to talk. Then I discussed my brother's plans after graduation. Alex would we working in a techno-geek environment with other people working on computers. Their job was to perfect an algorithm that could find out which terrorism suspects were real threats and which were paper tigers. The dress code was very casual.

The radio soon went back on. By now it was on Star 101.3 and they were playing songs.

Songs continued to play until we got to my house.

It's strange how the butterfly effect can make me miserable. I had to purge because I heard the T-word. I heard the T-word because I didn't have my headphones on. I didn't have my headphones on because I was waiting to tell La Netta something. I was waiting to tell La Netta something because people had been talking when I wanted to answer La Netta's question. People had been talking because I lost my turn. I lost my turn because La Netta asked me a question right as we hit a stoplight. La Netta asked me the question because I had mentioned that I took my pills early. I mentioned taking my pills early because that would explain what took me so long this morning. I needed to explain what took me so long because La Netta asked what took me so long. La Netta asked what took me so long because I took so long. I took so long because I was ingesting my pills and breakfast bar after La Netta arrived. I ingested my pills and breakfast bars at that time because Santina didn't give me my pills and breakfast bar in time. Because of Santina's impunctuality, I ended up having to purge big time! These chains of events often happen to me and create situations where I purge or worse. If only I could know the exact future to avoid these things.

Both Pooh and Tigger

Wednesday we were going to two places Carl wanted to go -- Radioshack and Big Five.

We walked into Radooshack together. "Can we keep it moving?", La Netta asked.

A little while later, La Netta asked, "Are we ready to go?"

"You seemed eager to leave", I told La Netta.

"It was just that Carl was walking around in circles", said La Netta.

We then hit the dollar store. La Netta showed me where the Easter section was. While I was looking for candy, I saw a Tigger Pez dispenser. "Ewwww!", I said.

"What was that 'ewwww' about?", asked La Netta.

"I saw a certain Pez dispenser", I said.

Then came the cookie and juice aisle. I picked out a Pineapple Pizzazz.

As we drew up to the check-out, I paid $1.20 for my soda with a twenty. "Come over here to do your dollar bills", said La Netta.

I made sure my ones were pyramid-side-down. Then I saw a red shirt-like strip on the drawing to my left, above a brown-orange-yellow color. Was it . . .?

I checked and it was Winnxe the Pooh! "Eewwwwww!", I said.

La Netta told me I had coins on the floor, so I picked them up.

I stayed in the van while Carl went into Big Five.

I asked La Netta if Lucky's was the store with seafood salad, and she said she didn't remember.

I asked her, "Can we go into Lucky's to buy lunch?"

"We'll see", said La Netta.

When the others got back, La Netta asked me, "James, why can't you just go to Taco Bell?"

"There's a Taco Bell in the area?", I said, but then she started into a phone call.

La Netta took Carl and me to Taco Bell, where I ordered my usual three things.

Then it was off to Davis Park, where I purged off Tigger and Winnxe the Pooh.

I do care about La Netta

We were driving down the road on Tuesday morning when I had my headphones on. I was listening and then the CD player fell from its jack.

"Oy!", I said.

"And I wasn't even driving!", said Rosa.

"What happened?", asked the driver, La Netta.

"My CD player fell on the floor", I replied.

I found it on the floor. Once I picked it back up, I turned it on, but I got an error message.

At Robin's house, I showed it to both La Netta and Carl.

"You need new batteries", said La Netta.

"But I just changed the batteries at the end of yesterday!", I said.

I opened it up and checked the CD inside. "The CD has come displaced", I said.

"So that's what it was", said a coach.

I fit the CD in its proper place and closed my CD player up again. I listened until the CD player turned itself off.

I got a low battery symbol when I turned it back on.

Carl checked and looked at the batteries. "You need new batteries", he said. "These batteries have calcium deposits on them, and they're leaking oil."

So that was what it was! I took the batteries out and set them on the seat. Then I looked for new batteries.

"Is this battery good?", I asked Rosa as I held a new one from my red bag up to her.

"What do you mean?", asked Rosa. "How can a battery be good or bad?"

"I mean, do you see calcium deposits on it?"

Carl looked at it. "This one has calcium deposits too. This is what you get when you boy cheap batteries."

La Netta continoed to play music on KMEL.

"Carl, what station do you want to listen to?", I asked Carl.

"I'm listening to this", said La Netta.

"Lita says the radio isn't for the coaches, it's for the clients", I said.

"Do you care about what station La Netta wants to listen to?", asked Rosa.

I thought about the question. If I said no, I could get them to switch the station.

"No, I don't", I replied.

"At least he answered honestly", said Carl.

The radio was turned off.

"After Berkeley Marina, we're going to go into Grocery Outlet and the dollar store", said La Netta. "And everyone's going to have to listen for their own words."

A little later, I said, "La Netta, are you stressed out?"

"Stressed out?", she said. "Why have I got to be stressed out because you're stressed out?"

"You seem stressed out", I said.

"It's kind of rude to not care about what stations I like", said La Netta . "I do all this extra work listening out for words for you, and you don't care about me -- it's like you're using me".

I offered to let La Netta listen to whatever radio station she wanted as long as she listened out for words for me. She said, "I don't know what station it was on, but I just knew that it wasn't KBLX". She also said, "I'm through with the radio for today."

We hit Berkeley Marina. The conversation drifted as Carl started clowning around -- you know, saying funny things.

"La Netta", I said, "I do care about you."

"That's done and over with", said Rosa. "Now we're laughing at Carl."

I used the restroom, then came back into the van. "I do care about you, La Netta", I said. I opened my arms out as to initiate a hug with her.

"My back hurts", she said.

We then walked into Grocery Outlet. "I'm not getting any piroshkis here this time", I said. "All I'm getting is batteries."

"Don't look to your left", said Carl.

"Is it safe to look?", I asked La Netta.

"Yes", La Netta said.

"It's a lawn gnome!", said Carl.

I looked. I saw a bandage box. Several superheroes were on the front. I checked them out. Then I saw something that looked like Dipser-man at the top of the box. Was that really Dipsey?

"Who is this?", I asked La Netta.

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

I showed it to Carl. I pointed to the top.

"Dipser-man", he said.

"Eeewwwww!", I said.

"Not as bad as a lawn gnome!"

They had banana juice! "All these delicious things that I can't get because I'm saving my money for batteries", I said.

"You're budgeting your money", said La Netta.

Finally we got to the battery section.

There were two candidates whose prices were not listed. We carried them both over to the check-out.

The one with many batteries was $4.something, while the one with four batteries was $1.98. I bought the four-battery pack and we were on our way to the dollar store.

With less than a dollar left, I couldn't buy Stars & Stripes in the dollar store.

Rosa began talking about twin sisters who are getting a third sibling. "And they say they're upset because now they can't be Twxnkies anymore", said Rosa. "They call themselves Twxnkies."

"Echhh!", I gagged. "Echhh!"

"Sorry", said Rosa. "Then they said, 'What comes in threes?' and I said 'Ho-hos', and they said . . ." She was on with the names Ho-hos and Zingers.

"Did I hear the song sing 'pajamdras'?", I asked La Netta.

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

We got into the van. I was in the middle seat in the back row and Robin kept hitting my head. "Why don't you move to the end and give him space?", Rosa asked.

No way could I move to the end of the back row!

Robin hit me yet again.

I followed La Netta into Subway as Carl was getting lunch.

"La Netta", I said, "Do you really think I don't care about you?"

"I don't know", said La Netta. "You did say you didn't care what radio station I listened to."

"La Netta, may I tell you something? The only reason I said that I didn't care what radio station you want is that I thought that if I said no, that was the only way I could get them to turn the radio off."

"Oh."

I asked La Netta about a few words, and she answered for me. Yay!

When I got back, Rosa was chastising Robin for attempting to head-butt her. Oy vey!

I got back in my seat. Just before we stopped at the bank Robin gave me a BIG head-butt.

"Owwwwwww!", I said. "SHAME ON YOU, ROBIN!"

La Netta let me go into the bank with her. As I got out, Robin tried to get me again.

"It's not James", said Rosa. "It's just that Robin's upset. Robin, if you want to eat, say 'eat'."

I got back in and reached for my sleep mask and red bag, with the batteries. Robin tried to head-butt me, but I made it to the middle row.

We were then at the CIWP office, picking up Ken. I went into the restroom, where I could purge off "pajxmxs", Dipser-man, and the two "Twxnkies"es.

I sat in the middle row for the rest of the day spent in the van. Robin was moved to the right seat instead of behind me after he tried to get me from behind.

Robin was stressing La Netta out. "Can we have some radio, please?", she asked Rosa, who was now the driver.

I put my new batteries into my headphones as La Netta listened to the radio.

We arrived at Ken's hoose and I said, "See ya, Ken!" We then arrived at my house, and La Netta told Robin he could move from the right side to the left side of the back row again.

"James!", said Rosa. "Get out before Robin gets you!"

And I made it out in time.

"Hug?", I asked La Netta.

"I'm still too sick, remember?", she said.

"OK," I said. "I love you, La Netta."

Carl meets his match

We were driving with Lita on Monday morning. Carl was testing me with some "Pyramids", like the game show, where he says some items and I have to eigure out what category he's thinking of.

"Hey Lita, are you familiar with the game show Pyramid?", I asked.

"Yes", said Lita. "That's an old show."

"If I said Strom Thurmond, Jim Jeffords, Arlen Specter, would you be able to figure out what category I was thinking of?", I asked.

"Jews?", asked Carl.

"Nope", I said.

"I have no idea", said Lita.

"Politicians who switched parties", I said.

Carl tried one. Then it was my turn again.

"Strom Thurmond, Irving Berlin, the Queen Mother, Madame Chiang Kai-Shek, Albert Hofmann, Gloria Stuart", I said.

"Brits?", asked Carl.

"No", I said. "They're not all British."

"I don't know", said Lita.

"Let me list them again", I said. "Strom Thurmond, the Queen Mother, Bob Hope . . ."

"Oh, now you're throwing Bob Hope in there", said Lita. "Is it people who lived to be 100?"

"It is!", I said.

We then went into the CIWP office, where La Netta suggested that Carl and I play Connect 4.

"No one's ever been able to beat me at Connect 4", said Carl. "I am invincible!"

I played red and he played yellow. We agreed that I'd start.

I placed my first chip in the bottom right corner. Carl placed his in the middle. I made four red chips in the second row from the bottom, with a hole in the middle. Carl noticed what I was doing and filled the hole with a yellow. Meanwhile, I had placed two reds in a row at the right end. I placed a third. Carl added a yellow elsewhere. I put a fourth red. "Connect 4!", I said.

"You beat me!", said Carl. "No one has ever been able to do that before!"

"Want to play another game?", asked La Netta.

"No", said Carl. "All my life I have been searching for my superior. And I have found him. My quest is over."

Carl said we had to take a picture of the Connect 4 board to commemorate the event.

We started a dominoes game. Carl taught me how to play, and said he had never won at dominoes.

Carl went to the van, keys provided by La Netta, and took a photograph of the Connect 4 board.

I scored 50 points at dominoes at one point. The game ended with Carl scoring 60 points, and then scoring 70 points.

La Netta counted up our tallies, and discovered that I had won. She then took a photo of the domino spread.

We then got ready to go to the van.

"Do we have to go to the Target in Albany, or can we go to the one in Pinole?", asked Lita.

"How 'bout the Target in Pinole, if that's where you really want to go", La Netta said.

I whimpered.

"You wanted to go to the one in Albany?", La Netta asked.

"No", I said. "It's that I was counting on a trip to Lucky's and CVS. I need my Tampicos."

"We can still go there", said La Netta. "But we'll need to be in and out."

We made it to the van. "There's this t-ngling in my arm", said Carl.

"Rrrrrrr!", I said.

"What?", asked La Netta.

"Didn't Carl say the word that rhymes with 'single'?"

"I did", said Carl. "Sorry."

"You didn't hear that?", asked La Netta.

"I didn't", she said.

"I thought your word was with a J", said Carl.

"Go to the restroom", said La Netta.

"We'll still have time if I go?", I asked.

"Yes", La Netta said.

I came back and we were off to Lucky's. I bought my two Tampicos.

"Do you still want to go to CVS?", La Netta asked me.

"Yes", I replied.

We drove to CVS. They didn't have their Hiding Eggs, even though I looked all around for them. I did, however, find Gimbal's jelly beans and Reese's eggs. I picked out two bags of Gimbal's.

Then came Target. I turned a corner and saw a big Dipser-man on a shelf.

"Ewwwwww!", I said.

"What?", asked La Netta.

I pointed to him.

"Oh", La Netta said.

"I see a lot of Dipser-man stuff", La Netta said as I was cupping my eyes.

I purged at Miller's Knots until all the Dipser-man was out.

Carl and I saw Lita at the park.

"I have a pyramid for you guys!", I said. "'Just the Way You Are', 'Just Can't Get Enough', 'Thank You', 'Joy to the World', 'Around the World', 'I Feel Fine'."

"I have no idea", said Lita.

I repeated them.

"Is it titles shared by more than one song?", asked Carl.

"You got it!", I said.

"What was it?", asked Lita.

"Titles shared by more than one song. For instance, 'Just the Way You Are'. There's Billy Joel's 'Just the Way You Are', and then there's Bruno Mars' 'Just the Way You Are'."

"The one that caused me to get it was 'Joy to the World'," said Carl.

"Because there's the Christmas carol 'Joy to the World' . . . and then there's 'Joy to the World' by Three Dog Night", I said.

"That was the one that came to mind", said Lita. "Jeremiah was a bullfrog . . . do you know that La Netta's son is named Jeremiah?"

"I do", I said. "She talks about Jeremiah and Sierra a lot."

"She talks about them", Lita said, "Or she talks to them?"

"She talks about them a lot."

We got lunch at Taco Bell after staying at Miller's Knots. Then we made it inside.

As I was taking my wastebasket in, I wondered if I had heard "kept an exe" on Carl's television.

"Carl, when you were watching TV did they say the K & E wores?"

"I wasn't watching TV", said Carl. "I was in the restroom."

"I meant when you were watching it."

"You mean after program today?"

"Yes."

"I wasn't watching it at all today."

"I thought I heard your television on when I came home."

"That was Friends", said Carl.

Later Carl came into my room. "I rewound it and they didn't say what you think they did", he said.

"Thanks, Carl", I said. I started in on my Taco Bell.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

I meet Snodgrass again

On Friday, La Netta announced that we had a lot of people calling off today and therefore would be teaming up with R2.

"Please tell me that this is an April Fool's joke", said Carl.

"It's not", said La Netta. "I wish it were, but it's not."

We started out with a trip to Trader Joe's -- just La Netta, Carl and I. I looked at the frozen foods and we discovered they still didn't have the meat lasagna. Then we went over to the dried fruit -- still no rambutans or mangosteens.

La Netta paid for her food, then she showed me the brown paper bag she was using. Still the same quote ("Is it reusing or recycling?") -- thank God! (I was worried because last time I went to Trader Joe's they put my food in a brown paper bag before I asked for a plastic one and I neglected to check the paper bag. I was worried they may have changed their quote to something with "txsty" or "whxxps" or something in it, which would contaminate the food.)

Then we parked in front of the office. La Netta and Carl went in to use the restroom, and then we drove to the auto shop. Rosa and her four clients, Robin, Tully, Shawn and Rodney, all climbed in.

I tried to say, "Commercial break!" as the van drove off, but my mouth was so full of spit that I could only gargle with my saliva. La Netta turned the radio off.

We drove to Rosa's house. On the ride there, Snodgrass saw a motorcycle. "Bxke!", he said. "Look! Bxke! Bxke!"

"Motorcycle", said Rosa.

A little while later, he started saying "bxke" a whole lot again.

"Shawn", said Rosa, "Knock it off. You do not do this in my group!"

After Rosa got out, I got out and spat.

Once I got back in, Snodgrass reached out for me. He patted me! Then, as I got back in my seat, he did something else. His face began to approach mine. He tried to kiss me!

"No, don't kiss me, Shawn!", I said. "Don't pat me and don't kiss me! Only people I like can kiss me!"

"Shawn's gay", said Carl.

"He's bisexual", I said.

"He does that to other guys. He's gay."

"Well, he also does that to La Netta."

"Really? I haven't seen him doing that."

Once Rosa got back in the van, I told her what Snodgrass had done.

"Oh, he misses you", said Rosa.

Soon we were at Miller's Knots. I got out and used the restroom, where I picked my navel.

I got back in the van. I didn't have any money, but Carl wanted a burrito from the burrito truck, so there La Netta was driving.

"The dog is even biting at my kids' bites", said Rosa.

Wait . . . did she say "bites" . . . or "bxkes"?

"Biting at your kids bites?", I asked with my mouth full of saliva.

"I did not understand what you said", said Rosa. "Talk to me after you've spat that all out."

After Carl got out at the burrito truck, I approached the door.

"Do you want a burrito too?", asked Rosa.

"He doesn't have any money", said La Netta.

I pointed to my mouth and went "Mm-mm-mm-mm".

"Don't spit in front of the truck because there's people there", said Rosa. "Spit behind the van."

I walked to the placed behind the burrito truck where I always spat.

"Wait!", said Rosa. "Go behind the van!"

I reached my usual spot, and spat. Then I came back.

"I was just going to spit in the same place I always do", I said.

"I just didn't want other people to see you spitting and lose their appetites."

"Anyway, you said the dog is biting at your kids' bites, B-I-T-E-S?"

"Yes." Thank God.

We drove to Burger King. La Netta switched the station from gospel to KISS-FM.

"Why did you switch the station?", I asked her.

"Because no one else was listening", said La Netta.

"I didn't even want to hear it."

"You said you wanted to hear it?"

"I said I did not even want to hear it."

We listened to a few songs on KISS-FM. Then came a song that seemed to start out with "cutxe pie". Did they say it?

La Netta switched the station to Movin' 99.7. That would be a likely reason . . .

"Did they say 'C-word pie'?", I asked La Netta.

"Yes", she replied.

"Echhhh!"

Unfortunately, we landed up at Point Pinole. No way was I using their cobwxb-covered outhouse!

I stayed inside.

"James", said Carl. "There's a word I don't know how to pronounce. It's spelled O-U-I, and it's the French word for 'yes'."

"It's pronounced /wi/", I said. "Like the Nintendo Wii."

"Oh, really? Thank you."

"Or like Groundskeeper Willie says 'wee laddie'."

I continued chatting with Carl (who was eating his burrito) as the other clients and both coaches were outside the van.

Soon the group rounded itself up and Rosa drove to Snodgrass' house, then Tully's.

Next came the house for Stan Man's clients. As the three of us got out, I asked La Netta for the hugs she owed me.

"Carl got my legs tensed up", said La Netta.

So now she owes me three hugs.

Going it alone

On Thursday, there was no program. I had the whole day to . . .

You guessed it, my meeting with Dr. Luburic.

Stan and Pia would be picking up Bernard while I had my meeting, so I went in Dr. Luburic's office alone.

I told Dr. Luburic I was still having the nightmares, but I wasn't asking for my one-milligram pill.

He asked me whether I was attacking myself and getting angry less, and I said it seemed to be less often now that I was on five milligrams in the a.m.

He also asked me whether I needed the Benadryl, and I told him I hadn't been using it.

We got to discussing the board 4thkingdom. I mentioned that we discussed politics on that board.

"Are you into politics?", Dr. Luburic asked.

"Yes", I replied.

"Any particular issues?"

"Youth rights . . .", I started out.

"Youth rights? What is that about."

"Lowering the voting age . . . lowering the drinking age . . . abolishing curfews . . . opposing uniforms in public schools . . ."

"Now, what age would you like the voting age to be lowered to?"

"16", I said. "Although if someone had a bill lowering the voting age to 15 or 14, I wouldn't oppose it."

"What made you feel so strongly about youth rights?"

"It was my experiences at high school. You know what high school was like for me. Remember when you said I seemed to get stuck in that time of my life? Like when we were talking about my play . . ."

"Now high school was troubling for you?"

"Yes."

"What was troubling?"

"Being told by teachers that my behavior was inappropriate."

We finished our meeting, but Stan and Pia weren't in the waiting room. I explained to Dr Luburic that I didn't want to be exposed to words without having anyone to listen out for them, so he invited me back into his office.

We talked a little more. Then he got a call indicating that Stan and Pia were back, so he walked out to the waiting room with me.

Some paperwork was done. Did I hear a woman say "Whxxps"?

"Did she say the WH-word?", I asked Dr. Luburic. I was now looking right at Dr. Luburic with my eyes open. I discovered he had curly brown hair and glasses.

"No", said Dr. Luburic.

Thank God!