Smoke and Mirrors

In a perfect world . . .

Month: October 2006 (page 1 of 2)

Happy Halloween


This year I think I may go as a bald guy.
What do you think?
Yeah, I know, not too creative.
Sweet Dreams to all. . .

Homeland Security


DeNiro is one of my favorite actors.
After watching this clip from SNL, I have a hard time believing this is the same guy that starred in ‘Taxi Driver’.
Damn, he’s funny. . .


Little Girl (8.3.1940)


I found an old photograph of my mother last night.
It was taken on Saturday August 3, 1940 at Nantasket Beach.
At the time, she would have been 12 years old, close in age to my youngest.
The photo was originally black and white but the passing of time has drenched it in antiquated sepia tones, similar to the way our own personal memories take on a rustication in the subtleties of detail.

In the picture, my mother is wearing a button down shirt with vertical stripes.
My mind automatically adds colour and I see vibrant red and white stripes that make me think of candy canes; a comforting child’s confection.
She’s looking back over her left shoulder and smiling a smile that I fondly remember. She was happy that day—I can see it in her eyes and sense it in the sweet innocence radiating from her face.

My intense joy in looking at this picture is tempered by my knowledge of what the future will bring her; the total devastation and loss of all people, places and moments in time that really meant something to her…perhaps like the day this photo was taken.

If I were an all-powerful being capable of miracles, I would have given her back this particular day: the warm sand between her toes, the brackish ocean breeze, the cute boy that smiled at her as she strolled the beach; I would give her back all the love and happiness she would sadly miss in her later years.

Though this picture breaks my heart in a bittersweet way, its chaste beauty heals me in a way I may never comprehend.
Maybe I’m not meant to know the ‘why’ of it.
I see the image above this post as the pure embodiment of my mother’s soul, at peace and forever frozen in time.
For me, it’s an unforeseen gift that disease will never take away.
I often forget that she was once just a little girl.
Maybe that’s what I’m meant to know.


Penguins & Ice Cream


Monkeys + DiveBar + Joke = Most excellent.


I have a hat that was given to me several Christmases ago by one of my daughters.
It’s a black Timberland hat that’s soft and stretchy and feels good on my freshly shaved noggin.
I wore this hat to bed the other night because it was a bit chilly.
That night, my head was filled with dreams, hence the name ‘dreamhat’.
I’ve worn it a few times since and the result has been the same: numerous dreams.
I’m thinking it has something to do with the heat generated by wearing it but I can’t say for sure.
I had a dream that was a bit sad, maybe a bit telling as well.
My nocturnal playground was shrouded in a gossamer like fog as I walked into a dimly lit library. I saw her immediately, bent over a book, studying.
I stood there not wanting to disturb her and just watched in silence.
Lately, I’ve been missing my oldest daughter and feel that to be the catalyst responsible for the dream.
I stood and observed for what must have been a millisecond of what I understand to be forever. Shadows danced on the walls lined with books and there was the unmistakeable sound of a distant and muffled piano.
Her voice shattered the crystal silence that hung heavy in the library.

“I know why you’re here but you have to go.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Because you have to let me go for a while,” She said.

“But I don’t want to.”

“I’m never far away, you know that.”

I felt myself being drawn away from her, unable to stop.
I wanted to say goodbye but my mouth wouldn’t let me form the words.
I was a frozen man wearing a silly dreamhat.
The dream leaves me standing alone in a thick fog, unsure of where to go. . . confused.
Shreds of memory still linger hours later but seem disjointed and outlandish.
The forecast says it will be another chilly one tonight giving me another chance to wear my hat and another chance to dream.




She said: “I just let go of a nasty SBD fart (Silent But Deadly). What do you think I should do?”
He said: “Put a new battery in your hearing aid.”

If you’re feeling creative, leave me a caption for the above pic.
Later on, gang. . .

My Enigmatic Mind


I really like Nine Inch Nails.
And I love Rachmaninoff.
What’s up with that?
Musically, the genres are obscenely and diametrically opposed.
Maybe I’m just crazy and nobody knows it.
Yet. . .

Monthly Man


Very funny commercial.
For the woman in all of us. . .
Thanks for the tip, GM


Happy Birthday, LG


I looked for like… 2 hours for an authentic Pooftah roll and all I could find was this shitty replica.
Sorry, man.
The Internet sucks sometimes.
Happy Birthday, dude.

ps. just for yucks, Google “pooftah roll”(we’re famous, Laho) 



It was a cold winter night many years ago that I went out to see my Dad who was still living at home by himself. My mother had been moved over a year earlier and my father was still far from ready for assisted living.
Back then, I would drive to the house 5 to 6 days a week to check up on him.

I pulled into the driveway that night and saw that the house was in total darkness save for a small light in the kitchen. I could see my father inside, his shadow gliding back and forth like a disembodied entity.
His eccentricities were increasingly more pronounced and peculiar by the day so the sight of him pacing didn’t alarm me…much.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the back door was that he had his coat on.


“And where are you going?” I said, smiling.


“Nowhere,” he laughed, “just felt like putting my coat on, is all.”


The words drifted out of his mouth in little puffs of frost.
The chill then hit me like a speeding freight train; his heat was off.
I went into the dining room and looked at the thermostat.
He’d pushed it all the way up praying for a bit of relief.

Holy Jesus on a Cross, I thought, he’s freezing and I’m the world’s biggest schmuck.


Long story short, he was out of heating oil.
I immediately called the oil company (open 24/7 during winter, thank God) and told them what happened. They assured me they would be there within the hour, which they were.
I made my father some hot tea as we sat waiting for Mr. Heat to arrive.

A full tank of oil and a newly lit pilot light later and heat began rising out of the previously icy baseboards.
Once my brain thawed, all the ‘what ifs’ started racing an Indy 500 inside my head.

What if I hadn’t stopped out tonight?

What if he’d left the house in search of warmth and got lost?

I knew it wasn’t my fault but it was my responsibility and I felt in a small way that I had failed him.
Therein lies the paradox that is Alzheimer’s; caregivers feel all the intense guilt and sense of loss that their loved one will never be aware of.
Riddled with shame, I decided to stay a bit longer than usual.
I knew he’d had no supper due to the ‘house turned igloo’ so I offered to make him something to eat, which he politely declined (like I knew he would).

He sat in the warm den and watched TV while I scrambled some eggs and made some toast.

He came into the kitchen sniffing and said, “Mmm, that smells good.”


“Want some?” I asked.


After his second helping of eggs he looked at me and said, “That was really good. I was starving.”


I smiled and said, “I know, Dad.”


It’s ancient water under the bridge but I still think about that night and feel that pang of shame. This was the guy that worked every stinking day of his life so I could have clothes, a nice baseball glove and cleats (like all the other kids), food on the table, heat in the winter; all the necessities of life and more.
He made sure I never knew the meaning of the word ‘want’.

I drove home that night waiting for that Aha! moment that would hopefully make some sense out of what had just happened.
If the moment came, I’d sadly missed it.
While the memory of that night remains a self-imposed penance, I take comfort in knowing I was able to make his night a bit warmer than the freezing world around him.
I hope that night left him feeling more than warmth.
I pray he felt love.


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