I have been off-line and laying low for a year.Here is why:

A year ago, life sucked.  

April 17, 2017, I was in a Gary, Indiana diner with my mother, my twin brother, Joe and my beloved Merrill Markoe.  

 My rapidly declining mom was treating us to a birthday lunch.Facing both cancer and the early stages of dementia, she was nonetheless still assertive, charming and domineering. She vigorously and vociferously insisted we do this.

During the meal, mom asked Merrill what kind of sandwich she ordered... five times

Later,  mom debated the date of my twin brother's birthday. I  insisted that we were born on the same day, thus The Twins, remember? She disagreed: Joe's birthday was sometime in November.

At the meal's conclusion, she wanted to pay the bill with a check and leave a tip. Simple enough, right? Nope. The bill, the check and, the tip ran through an intersection inside of mom's skull and had a huge smashup. 

It appeared that she wanted to put the cash tip into the check she was writing. She couldn't remember how you do that. She got frustrated. Frantic. Joe gently explained the right way to pay and leave a tip.She didn't get it. Joe explained again.Always stubborn and resentful of assistance, the more Joe tried to help, the angrier she grew. She thought he was talking down to her.

And when mom feels humiliated, mom gets mean. Real mean. 

Pushed to the limit, Joe put his foot down and spelled it out for her. Loudly,firmly:'YOU-LEAVE-THE-TIP-ON-THE-TABLE!

So, this year, what did I do for my birthday?

I celebrated not being in that fucking Indiana restaurant!

More to come