Morning Ablutions With the Senator From Massachusetts

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

Typical August morning.

The alarm yells at me. I take a poke at it. Knock it off the packing crate nightstand cornered by piles of books, but not enough to keep the damn clock from hitting the Saltillo tile floor, chipping off yet another piece of the crappy plastic that defines it. At least the alarm stops when the batteries burst out and roll into the catacombs that harbor every imaginable beastie under my bed.

Bastards. I’ll fetch them later. After I lie here for just a minute or two. Maybe thirty. Whatever.

The French doors, left open the night before in desperate hope of cooling the uninsulated bedroom, now give entrée to variegated light, conniving through palm fronds and eucalyptus leaves to poke at my lids like those aggravating Mervyn’s commercials — open, open, open! — an ad campaign as bankrupt as the business.

I throw the crook of my arm over my eyes to stave off the morning, but it’s already hot. In just seconds, sweat is following the path between my cheek and arm and filling the creases in the old lady neck that snuck in and possessed my own.

In resentful acquiescence, I open my eyes to another day. A day that stands ready to bust my ovaries with distractions from the task at hand: the final ten or twelve pages of my mediocre American novel.

Will the summer’s heat lure me away from them, into a lazing bath in cool waters? Or is the pool still home to the gallons of pee left by the last group of kids to swim in it?

Will grassroots gadflies demand my time for a cause, presuming my fealty to one phone bank or another? Hello, I’m just calling today to disabuse you of the bullshit lies racist swine and Glennbeckians are routing up to scare you off healthcare insurance reform. Or, hello, I’d like to talk with you about why you’re so terrified of same sex marriage. Are you some sort of self-loathing closet freak or what? Or, hello, I see here you’re eighty-eight, just a little past your joyful child-bearing years, and, given your precinct number, I’m guessing you’re living on Social Security, while it lasts. Nonetheless, I have to ask if there’s any chance in hell I could snag some of your grocery money to help defend women’s access to abortion from Randall Terry-type lunatics who think stabbing a baby doll outside a healthcare forum is going to change the law.

Oh well, maybe the distraction will be of my own making. I give nod to a few seconds of sphincter twisting fear that I won’t get this sucker published. Screw it. The fear, that is.

The dog hears my frustrated growl, rustles outside the bedroom door, eager for her morning whiz. But age demands I get mine first, so I’m up and over to the bathroom. With one well-rehearsed move, I turn on the radio, lift the lid and plop down to begin my morning ablutions.

[caption id="attachment_4034" align="alignright" width="385" caption="President Obama and Senator Kennedy"]KennedyandObama[/caption]

The gal at NPR is talking about Ted Kennedy, the U.S. senator who defied his Machiavellian daddy’s schemes, assassin’s bullets and his own abject failures, to give the nation a Grand Old Kennedy, one of our most successful statesmen. The aged, imperfect champion of Justice for All, with the heart of a life surely less blueblood than his own. Dedicated to serving those who would be denied their rightful votes, those facing the next immoral war, those whose lives are torn by the barbs of a deadly borderline, those who die at the hands of a Denial of Coverage letter.

Then it sinks in: She’s talking about Teddy in the past tense.

I sit there, my middle-aged thighs overwhelming the toilet seat as the news overwhelms me. Damn it. Goddamn cancer. Damn! I bawl my eyes out. A 1963 redux.

Then I wonder how the other end of the spectrum is reacting. So I relieve the dog, watch the cat dance to the avian chorus for a moment, and then pop by Sarah Palin’s Facebook page.

Her tribute is short and kindly sweet:

I would like to extend our sympathies to the Kennedy family as we hear word about the passing of Senator Ted Kennedy. He believed in our country and fought passionately for his convictions.

But her tribe is on the warpath:

Jim Coffey: Best Thing He ever did for the country!!

Kenny Rogers: He is with the Lord. What a blessing!

Edward Przydzial: teddy kennedy was trash, good riddance.

Daniel Marciante: Ding Dong, the Liberal's dead. He was very gifted with spending other people's money. So nice of him to pass the torch on down to Obama to continue that crusade. And why do we allow people at 77 year of age to continue working in the public sector???

David Kremer: Obama called Kennedy the Greatest Senator of Our he really? … Another comparison...Kennedy and OJ Simpson

Cosmo Grassano: Unfortunately his convictions were totally backwards. I have NO sympathy for that murderer who should of been sent to prison for killing his pregnant girlfriend and dumping her and the car in the river. I guess money can buy you anything. For him, freedom to destroy our Republic. He was a traitor that's why they didn't blow his head away as they did his brothers. Sorry Sarah, on this we disagree totally. May he burn in the hell that he and his family came from.

Wayne Stewart: hope he burns in hell and his butt-buddy barney frank soon follows! ...then nancy p., harry reid, obamanation..etc...

Larry Fisher: Im glad the sucker is gone

Anne Gilbert: The man was a traitor lets not forget. He tried to sabotage the Reganadministration by feeding intel to communist Russia. May he rest in pieces in a VW driven off a bridge.

This is why I prefer fiction. It’s nicer.

Love, K-B

©2009 Kit-Bacon Gressitt

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.)