Heart Of Dorkness *
by Alan Lord, author of High Friends in Low Places
In my previous literary incarnation—as described in my just-published Guernica memoir High Friends in Low Places—my life in the 80's was pretty exciting. I was a punk/new wave luminary who played guitar wearing sunglasses at night, made lots of rock albums with lots of bands, I opened for the B-52's and The Ramones, gave Dee Dee Ramone a joint, organized avant-literary festivals, smoked a joint with Burroughs at sunset, was Kathy Acker's boy toy for an intense two days, hung out with French philosopher Paul Virilio in Paris, yadda yadda.
Pretty cool, huh? Glamorous, even? That was eons ago. My life since then has been... well, a bit more dorky. Let me explain:
I finally made it to the level of high-ranking commander in the SS—Schlubmeister Schleppenführer. As Generalen der Waffle-SS, I wake up at 5:30 AM every morning and blitz through my day. I water the cats and feed the plants, prepare brekkie for our son, pack his lunch box and drive him to work. I'm the one in the family who takes out the garbage, compost and recycling, make fresh rolls of toilet paper appear magically in our 3 bathrooms, distribute boxes of kleenexes throughout the house, and handle shit like fixing the toilet, call the guy when the A/C or dishwasher is down, invade the supermarket flanked with little old ladies at 10AM, then whack the lawn and trim the weeds, do the dishes and keep my kitchen Nazi-clean. Then there's the Crottes Patrol. I check the kitty litter and scoop up the clumps of cat pee and cute little balls of cat shit—called crottes in French. Gotta keep it clean or else Shelby doesn't like it and will do his business in the bath tub. Then I have to check the basement kitty litter. Our other cat Moishe prefers that litter and ain't as dainty as Shelby, and she can keep adding to the pile until it's an ungodly mess. So best not to wait that long.
I'm also the resident Household Exterminating Angel—The Spider Eichmann who comes to the rescue whenever wife Caroline shrieks, spotting some creepy crawly in the tub. And I keep my eye on the clock for dinner, which of course I prep and cook and clean up. No pipe n' slippers for me, boy. After that it's my job to line up the evening's entertainment, carefully choosing something suitable for us to watch—never an easy matter—scanning thru Bell Fibe cable, Netflix, Amazon Prime, BritBox and AppleTV in rotation. My other sporadic tasks include changing those little nightlight bulbs whenever they're out. Also, junior always leaves the empty toilet paper tube sitting there on the wall dispenser for me to install a fresh roll, same with Caroline—for the Scottowel rolls—and of course my harangues to them to do their part fall on deaf ears.
So as you can see, I've become a Leonardo Da Vinci of the insufferably mundane, a Magellan of supermarket aisles, a Voltaire of best-by dates.
* Intro to my new, substantially less fabulous, memoir