Saturday, November 14, 2015

The unveiling of Gloria Rubenstein

The creaking wooden staircase which zigzags it's away up and up through the main vestibule, through the relics of mutilated fridges and rusted out ovens and abandoned cupboardery, overstrewn with old sneakers and ornamented by used undergarments in varying degrees of wear and fashionability, this staircase ascending to our heavenly abode, it is far from an undistracted climb for our distractable wife with dementia. Our Deathrock Apartments arises grimly amidst a side street of fashionable 19th century vintage homes, now much the worse for their wear. The front lawns are kept neatly flattened by the plenitude of young gang men who cut willy nilly through every available breach in the infrastructure on their missions of expediency. Cats and dogs vanish into the potholes of our narrow 'break my window' parking zone while the odd car careens by overhead. The kiddies found tadpoles halfway down the block.

Free enterprise certainly boasts it's proficiency in the spurned beats of this, our constabulary. The other night as we returned from an outing, low and behold our local entrepreneurs had borrowed the scaffolding from a nearby construction site and were busily painting our Deathrock Apartment building. Twenty foot high pics exalting the virtues of our local ladies of the day and night with readily available phone numbers in bold form. There was excellent artistic talent in the ranks of these merchandisers as most of the portraits were quite recognizable, or perhaps the savvy involved some local virtuosi paying off a debt or two. Next morning our building looked quite resplendent with it's new revitalization. Our next door neighbour who is studying law is rather pleased with the response so far, says it pays much better than having three kids, even after the protection. And the billionaire brothers who own our Deathrock Apartments will no doubt be rather pleased that their building got all spiffed up not costing them a dime.

We were sitting in the parking lot of our homely depot while we hashed out our plans for a brand new heat gun to do justice to the hoards of lowly beddy bye bugs who ceaselessly circle the perimeter of our heavily caulked baseboards and weather stripped fortress on the top floor to find that one little opening where to they can call forth their comrades to meander aimlessly exploring the shiny tin cans on the bed feet which thwart their efforts at finding cozy warmth under our blankets. “Gloria Rubenstein” she said, she did, my wife, “Did you know my name was Gloria Rubenstein?” That took us for a loop, it did. Had no idea on her lineage, here we'd thought for the last thirty years she was French and Cree. Dementia brings out the truth on so many relevant subjects. Kept our mind busy musing as we toured the aisles in search of our weaponry.

Sat that heat gun down on the table in it's shiny cardboard box when we arrived home. “Is that thing loaded?” asked our Gloria Rubenstein. One doesn't always have an answer at ready so we just smiled from ear to ear. “Oh” says she, so we guess we're learning dementia speak. Sat her bare naked in the middle of the floor we did, that night. Roasted a whole mountain of the little buggers, we did. Did you know some of them go 'pop' when you roast them? Our Gloria Rubenstein was sore amazed. As we tucked her in nighty night night in her securely fortified bed we ventured to beseech on the origins of one Gloria Rubenstein. She bequested unto us her virtues, “Oh that's me, Gloria Rubenstein, in the nice picture by our front door outside.” Taken somewhat aback we asked “But that's not your phone number, is it?” She just smiled from ear to ear and fell sound asleep.

Seasons will come and seasons will go. The artistry will fade, the phone numbers will be defaced, but the ephemeral unveiling of Gloria Rubenstein will bring a smile from ear to ear in our memories.
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