Put It All Together, and You Get God's Present Location

1. When I was a kid, the house two doors down was impeccably clean, always. The man who lived there built his own sidewalk around the house, laying the concrete himself. He had a son who had a garage full of toys. The yard was immaculate. They also had a newspaper subscription. It was due to this newspaper subscription that I know, first hand, that newspapers take a long time to decompose, and before they decompose, they become this sort of weird plaster-paris type stuff. These people two doors down never ever picked up their newspapers off of the driveway. Every day, the paper boy rode by on his bicycle and threw another one onto the rotting heap.

2. When I was a kid, living two doors down from the impeccably clean - except for the rotting newspapers- house, the neighborhood kids all called me, "Big Shana". I was really not big, in any way, except that I was bigger than the girl next door, who was called, "Little Shana". We moved away from that neighborhood when I was ten years old. Once, when I was a teenager, I went back to visit. I noticed that Little Shana was no smaller than I was. Actually, if you included her hairstyle, she was a little bit bigger.

3. My friend *Betsy is a bisexual. She claims that picking up girls at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore is as easy as picking up a loaf of bread at the Quickie Mart. I'll probably never really know if she's putting me on.

4. I was at a stoplight once in Pueblo, Colorado, two cars behind a man in a convertible. He had the top down. The light turned green. The convertible didn't move. After waiting a few seconds, the car in front of me honked its horn. The convertible guy turned around, gave us all a huge smile, and waved. Then the light turned red again. The second time it turned green, he went. That guy so made my day. Actually, to tell you the truth, he made my decade.

5. My Grandma Amy, who only left the house twice a year (to have her hair cut) sent away for a tape of bird songs. Apparently, it was in very high demand, and it took her several months to acquire it. When visiting her, she had Brian and I sit on the Chesterfield while she played the bird CD. We listened. We did not speak. We listened. Lots of birds chirping. That's all it was. She sat, pensively staring into space, listening. It became surreal, as did most of my experiences with Grandma Amy. A couple of years after she died, I purchased a bird call CD, myself. It's on my iPod. I love it.

6. Why did Michael Jackson have a pet chimpanzee?

7. There was supposed to be one more thing here, to make it god's number: 7, but I can't understand my notes. I write these little notes to myself, you see. "G. Amy Bird Songs," says one. "Jackson's ape?" says another. And then there's this one: "Lady in the Shower". What in the world did I mean by that? I guess that just ruins it. We'll never know where God's present location is.

*Not her real name. (She's in the closet, so to speak.)


  1. Weren't they concerned that some kind of leak of radioactive waste might turn their newspaper pile into some kind of B-movie monster? With a sort of melty-looking face? With the power to coat people very slowly into chalky statues? No?

  2. I don't know. I know I was concerned!

  3. In high school I had a friend who lost her virginity in the bathroom of the Barnes and Noble in Squirrel Hill after meeting a woman there in the gay and lesbian section. True story. So, although I don't know from experience (since I don't shop at Barnes and Noble), I think your friend *Betsy is probably telling the truth!

  4. That's really funny! I suspect she really is telling me the truth.

    I had this ex-boyfriend who thought that the best place to pick up girls was a bead shop, but when I asked him if he ever actually hooked up with a girl from a bead shop, he admitted that he never had. (I don't remember where I met him, but I know it wasn't in a bead shop.)

  5. Whoops! I should ad that Betsy really did hook up with a girl from Barnes and Noble.