Scene4-International Magazine of Arts and Culture


Claudine Jones-Scene4 Magazine

Claudine Jones

It's 10:36 p.m. 

At 10:30, I took my half a dropper full of THC and glass of milk; I'm praying I didn't overdose—it says in tiny tiny little letters have with food and lots of water—not sure how you can do that when it's late and you're still in RICE mode, staring at the ceiling, hopefully gonna have some sleepy time induced medical help. I plan on getting up and brushing my teeth in a few minutes. This is my first try with this formula.

A couple days ago my brother called me on his phone but was actually at the front door, and the porch being locked couldn't get any farther; instead of ringing the doorbell he calls me. That's my brother. But the reason he was coming over unannounced, which he really never does, was to show me a note he just got in the mail from a childhood friend of ours. Lives in Hawaii now, has for years; turns out the guy's French mom who had been our mother's best friend, has died and he just wanted to let my brother know and, I guess, pass the word on to the rest of the family. This is not a surprise; been bad off for a long time.

I decided probably three or four years ago to get my DNA tested to see if the family rumor about us having some African American relatives would turn out to be true. It didn't, but just the fact of being online and finding some genealogical information ultimately ended by reuniting me with my only first cousin on my father's side, who also lived in Hawaii, but now lives in Portland. He said that he found me on after what 40 years? Seriously, the only time his name ever comes up is when my little brother has to repeat the story that he had had some kind of thought of going to Hawaii to visit with his then-wife—this has got to be 25 years ago—and was rebuffed because my cousin's wife apparently didn't think it was a good idea for them to camp out on their lawn. And the only reason they were actually suggesting that was to be nice and not take up space in their small house.

Now I'm Facebook friends with this now-divorced cousin who is now a grandfather, and with yet another cousin who suddenly popped up because she's 'friends' with the cousin we reconnected with last year in Seattle who runs his own Indian restaurant. So this makes a 1st cousin in Portland and a cousin once removed...actually my father's 1st  cousin...both located in Seattle, not to forget her brother—apparently he just had his spleen removed and was relatively weak after the surgery, nobody was paying attention when they told him to get up and get dressed so he was all by himself in his hospital room, fell over and broke his neck. So now he's in rehab, but his sister says she's watching out for him. This is the same guy who showed up 15 years ago in SF on a whim and wanted us to take him to Alcatraz (!), which didn't happen. He turned out to be a sly and fascinating fellow who has spent his entire adult life as a bus driver. Still waters.

It's now 10 minutes to 11. My THC has still not kicked in.

I can't believe I'm communicating with all of these people after all this time. Some of them have some stuff that belonged to our grandparents, want to send us these things cuz they don't feel like they need to keep them anymore... I don't know why they had them in the first place...jones0818-cralthough girl cousin sent me a picture of a doll made out of wood that my grandfather apparently carved for her. One of the legs fell off but she saved it. So I sent her pictures of my baby dolls, the ones Granny sewed for me—those are my earliest dolls, going back to Texas when I was two.  There's some artwork as well, stuff that the old folks dabbled in.

In the back and forth with our 1st cousin, the one in Portland, it turns out that he actually makes a living doing framing, has for decades, and he's also posting some of the paintings that he's doing. Damn! That is some impressive stuff. This coincides so neatly with what my older brother has been reoccupying himself with lately. A lot of very high res photos of landscapes, botanicals & such. He likes to make copies as gifts, or to post, and often accompany some spare style poetry. When he showed me that quasi-haiku letter from our childhood friend, announcing the death of his mom, it seems so much like a page from the same book. Some kind of California grown sensibility. Or maybe a West Coast Sensibility. We're all of an age to be ancient hippies. And I remember he was a major surfer back in the day, had gnarly scabs on the tops of his feet. Yeesh.

It's 11, no change yet. I don't want to wait till I'm so drowsy, especially with the broken foot, that I can't get up out of bed and brush my teeth.

Checked in on Facebook and of course the first thing I see is my buddy from high school who's a worse theater slut than I am, always has been. He's all dolled up for the photo shoot, with blackened eyebrows and goofy expression that I will guarantee you he thought up to go with this character.  Looks like a melodrama. Of course I'm jealous, but I signed up to do big 4500 person California choir sing. I've got something to do, so there.

Isn't it funny that most all of these people I know, people that I've connected with, recently and not so recently, are all involved in the Arts. How did that happen? They all got some itch to scratch. For the most part it's pretty damn good stuff. Seems like we're all doing this because it's just who we are. I think I could call my brothers artists in some sense because the things that they design and build are not just slapped together, just not something that they've ever been comfortable with, like the guy they briefly partnered with long ago—his motto was get in, get out, get the job done.

Had a long chat with my mother because I'm kind of stuck with the damn foot, so it's been phone calls. She's absolutely convinced that her friend committed suicide with her son's help because she had been planning it for the last 3 decades, saving two pills up in a secret hiding place, this my mother swears. Her friend had concealed the pills and she had every intention of using them when the time came.  The fact that after 30 years it's highly suspect that two lousy pills would do anything anyway, much less the fact that my mother really has no idea what actually happened—this was the same woman who made a list of her favorite and most beloved people and placed my mother at the top of that list, but had not spoken to her for a couple of years as things declined—no, there's no knowing, not from the sparse little scribble her friend's son sent. That note made some reference to hospice, too, so how does that work?

Well it doesn't work because she would never have ever ever ever allowed a stranger into her house to intercede between her and her Son in those last hours. Not sure that makes any sense from the phraseology in the note; it only talks about respite from severe pain. Sounds like damn hospice to me. No no no, I don't get it because I don't realize the relationship between this woman and her son was like she was the mother of Jesus or something, she worshipped the kid. He's going to suffer for what he had to do.

11:30 my stuff just kicked in. Cool.

I'm going to go brush my teeth.

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Claudine Jones has had a long career as an Actor/Singer/Dancer.
She writes a monthly column and is a Senior Writer for Scene4.
For more of her commentary and articles, check the Archives.

©2018 Claudine Jones
©2018 Publication Scene4 Magazine




August 2018

Volume 19 Issue 3

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