December 22, 2022. It was just after midnight. I was now 71 years old. Various younger women of my acquaintance - and don’t go there with your unclean thoughts - will tell me 71 is just a number. But it’s a damn big number, ladies. A number I’ve earned and a number I’m surprisingly less comfortable with than I was last year when it was only 70.
I went to Facebook and started reading my memories of December 22, 2021, reflecting on where I was at that time last year. I smiled as I once again saw the garish 70th anniversary display Nora and Terry Fairbanks had ordered for my front lawn.
WARNING. This may get morose at times, but I promise I will leave you smiling at the end.
I had been watching and reviewing Christmas horror movies and came across this post of mine:
I won't be writing about Saint Nick (2010). Twenty-six minutes into this Dutch film, also known as Sint and Saint, there are college kids in blackface. Not acceptable at any time, much less 2018. I'll be moving to the next movie on my stack of holiday horror flocks.
I came across something I posted on this date six years ago. Back then, an anonymous coward tried to comment on my bloggy things on an average of once a week. Vile right-wing hatred with side dishes of racism, minimizing my career and work, and, unforgivably, nasty insults towards my wife. I am 99% sure I knew who this creep was.He was from the Cleveland area. I had some dealings with him that ended our relationship. He blamed me for every thing that had gone wrong in his life - the failed businesses, the failed marriage and more - and never once recognized his own actions and crimes were the real causes of his misery. He stopped trying to get to me a few years back. I don’t know if he cleaned up his act and made a life for himself or sank even lower. It probably speaks ill of me that I really don't care, save that it wouldn’t bother me if it was the former. I’ve always loved redemption stories.
There was this from eight years ago:
Any Cleveland police among my Facebook friends? My mother's house has been shot at (BB guns) three times in the past week. The third responding police officer suggested that my mother (88 years old and less than five feet tall) go talk to the management of the apartment building behind her house. Really, Officer? That's your best response? I can't wait to tell that to a TV reporter.
The situation never resolved itself. My mother sold the house and moved into a very nice senior apartment complex. She’s been happy there and is well into her 90s.
Like this year, there were way more birthday greetings than I could respond to and I was just as moved by them as I am this year when there are even more. I truly appreciate the love and encouragement I get from my online friends.
There were birthday greetings from over a decade ago from friends who are no longer with us, notable among them Alan Kupperberg and Batton Lash. It’s a sad fact of getting older that we lost people along the way.
My reading of these memories was interrupted by a phone call from one of my oldest and dearest friends. I’m a wee bit more ancient than he is. We have met and worked with and became friends with so many people who are no longer with us. We’re so fortunate we got to know them, but still feel the pain of their absence in our lives.
I promised to make you smile before the end of this blog, so here’s my special “Crazy Old Man with a Cane” anecdote. I wasn’t going to put this online, but my kids thought it was hilarious.
I am one of Medina’s strip malls. I have just come from a Hallmark store where I have purchased a great many Christmas/holiday cards. My bad knee had been being particularly naughty, so I was using my purple cane. It’s a Prince tribute.
A jerk with a big truck and a (I presume) tiny penis comes roaring into the strip mall as I am slowly walking to my own vehicle. He nearly hits me and then screeches to a halt. I am standing stunned because it takes a few seconds for seventy years of life to flash before my eyes.
The driver rolls down his window and starts screaming at me because I was in his way. This snaps me out of my reverie.
I yell back at him, calling him a moron and other terms not used in polite company. He starts getting out of his truck.
Honest to Godzilla...
I lift my cane and start shaking it in the air. I tell him that if he comes one step closer to me I will shove my purple cane entirely up his ass.
Four people have noticed the commotion and are watching us. I know one of them and that person calls out “Are you okay, Mr. Isabella?” Before I can respond...
The driver of the truck looks around. He sees these four people all shooting eye-daggers at him. He leaps back into his truck and guns it. Without doing whatever he had driven into the strip mall to do, he leaves through the side driveway of the strip mall.
People are sometimes pieces of shit.
People will shoot eye-daggers on your behalf.
God and Godzilla love them.
Thank you for all the wonderful birthday greetings. Let’s do this again next year.
© 2022 Tony Isabella