The Only Thing That’s Real

Someone asked if I was going to share the Sally Quartermain chronicles and I said for now get used to disappointment ‘cuz I am not telling you a thing about Old SQ.

What I will tell you is I had a small scoop of ice cream and that Grandpa Wilner told me when I was around 35 or 36 not to let my Wilner temper get me in trouble.

I said not to worry and he told me that ‘not to worry’ had led us on quite the adventure and not always the kind that ended with a smile.

Cue appropriate music for the moment.

Get A Physical

You haven’t lived until you have passed out, slammed into a wall and fallen down stairs and kept going.

Haven’t lived until you have a collection of health issues that individually mean nothing but collectively mean something.

Not that something means anything because it could mean nothing or it might mean everything.

When you are in the middle of a three mile walk and weird things happen and you get that funny ache in your finger that makes you wonder if maybe arthritis has found its way into your finger you might challenge it to a fight.

“Come on out Mr. A and bring your friends Cancer, Heart Disease and Diabetes. Hell tell your whole family to come cuz today I take on all comers for free.”

The challenge went unanswered and so I used the inner eye to find them and told them I was ready for any sneak attacks or frontal assaults.

“It has been a bad weak and I am ready to take it out on someone or something. Y’all picked the wrong guy.”

Yeah, sometimes I find it slipping out of me, but not as often as you think. Can’t tell you how many times people ask if I am from New York or if I was born in Texas.


Anyhoo somewhere along the way while Mr. Cash and Mr. Nelson are singing in my ear and I am distracted by memories of the old man singing this song I hear “Get a physical.”

It is a fine idea and something I might consider doing one fine day but not today. No sir and no ma’am.

I don’t feel like it and I am not doing what I don’t feel like doing.

Which isn’t entirely true because I didn’t feel like working but I did and that irked me because the thing I am focused on won’t go away.

The damn thing won’t die.

It is like Freddy, Jason and Michael Myers of horror movie fame–no matter how many times I shoot them they just won’t die.

Which is ok because I prefer to use my hands, funny finger included and will gladly batter the life out of this thing.

I am too fucking stubborn to let this go and I really don’t have a choice so it is full speed ahead.

You’ll Know Us By Our Hands

Three generations of Wilner men are in that photo dated 7/27/2013 or is it the 29th. I said dated but I don’t have it on this particular file though I do have it.

The fellow with the smallest of the hands still has smaller hands than his father but just barely. He tells me periodically that he prefers it that way and asks if I know how unwieldy my hands look.

I tell him these hands have accomplished amazing things and their best days are yet ahead. He says they are too damn big and have caused issues.

“Boychik, you realize I am 31 years older than you and have 51 years of life with these hands. There have been plenty of times when the size has presented challenges and plenty when they have helped.

There is a blessing that comes with big hands.”

“I am still happy mine aren’t as big.”

“They might grow some more, I didn’t stop growing until I was 20 and you have a few months.”

“You know there is family overseas that is learning about us from these blog posts.”

“Great, they’ll see my father is a little bit crazy.”

I laugh and tell him to be nice or I’ll write about how his hands are bigger than mine. That gets a teenage eye roll and I say there are worst things to say about a person.

Later on when I am alone with my thoughts I think again about how this time two years ago I was on a plane back to Los Angeles trying to will it to fly faster.

That was followed by very heavy foot on the gas from LAX to the hospital in Thousand Oaks which Google Maps says should take 45 minutes to go the 44 miles but I did in closer to 38 minutes.

Or maybe it was 90, hell it felt like a week.

What I know is the kid with the smaller hands met me downstairs and then escorted me to Dad’s hospital room.

It was the last time they would see each other and when they said goodbye they knew it was for the final time.

That moment is imprinted in my memory because the kid who was short of 18 was amazing. Handled a very hard situation like an expert.

And I remember it because I have never seen Dad in more pain and he pulled it together for his grandson which made sense.

I saw them make eye contact and heard strength return to Dad’s voice long enough to exchange the greeting and then came the long night.

Anyhoo, two years later I wonder if Dad had any idea why my Great Grandfather came to the US and didn’t go to England like his little brother.

I don’t know if Grandpa Wilner could answer the question or if there is any reason of significance. Could have been a very simple thing and it doesn’t really matter. I am just curious.

Chalk that one up to questions I’ll probably never get answered.


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