Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Manny Diaries, Part Nine: Conspiracy Theories

Perseverate: To repeat something insistently or redundantly; to repeat a response after the cessation of the original stimulus.

Conspiracy theory: An explanatory proposition that accuses two or more persons, a group, or an organization of having caused or covered up, through secret planning and deliberate action, an illegal or harmful event or situation.

Put two things together, and what do you get? The Manny, that's what. 

For three weeks now, he's been blessedly sober. At least he appears to be, and there's no hint of fumes on the breath or the eggy, bloodshot eye. He snacks on pounds of chocolate and pretzels in bed, by his own admission, and says that there's no way he's a drunk because "alcoholics drink, and I'm not drinking! See?"

He perseverates on various things. Someone hacked his files and stole all his contacts. Something in the universe is out to get him. The post office is up to no good and is out to destroy his career. Why does something named "Grumpy Cat" have a career and he doesn't and couldn't he do the same if people were not out to get him? Goody Longbottom down the way gave him the evil eye and soured the milk in the cartons and the cows' udders. No amount of logic and humor can address these fears, and they are brought up every single day, numerous times per day, unless I can avoid him through stealth and speed. 




"I don't know, Miss Jennifer. It just seems that an evil force is out to get me. I have been betrayed. I did so much for so many people. And they betrayed me. My feeling is that there's something suspicious going on, for them all to betray me at once."

"Maybe they noticed you were a blathering drunk and they were afraid to do business with you?"

"Ah, no, not possible! My customers are all idiot drunks themselves! Most of them, anyway. No one minds if you're a drunk with lots of money. People just mind if you're a drunk without money and out of luck."

He might have a point there, with that last one.

He natters and blathers and perseverates so much and so persistently that I fear I will go mad, and will tear at the curtains with my teeth and kick him in the throat and stand on my head going "yah, yah, yah!" until he runs and hides in the attic.

Oh, speaking of the attic. I had an acquaintance come visit yesterday and she wanted to check out our attic, because we always say it's cool and has lots of potential and space. I kind of warned her that there was a man living up there but I am not sure she was prepared. We wandered into his space and he was sitting there among some orange peels, surrounded by dirty laundry, on a carpet black with filth (crap-daddle, that is one of my old carpets and I hadn't had the nerve to walk in there for quite a while, but now that I saw it I can't un-see it. Aw jeez, can it even be saved? No, it cannot.) My acquaintance hemmed and hawed and made some polite throaty noises but I could see she was jarred. Why does Jennifer have a troglodyte living in her attic? She seemed like a normal woman, but now I am convinced otherwise. And, the creature sitting there in the dirt has a pornstache!

[Manny shaved recently. And he has a pornstache now. And short hair.]

I can cook a mean pork butt.
He has outlasted the two days of sobriety once predicted by my friend, and he has not nipped at the sauce. But I confess that we are waiting for that fine day when his conspiracy theories will coalesce into a singular notion: If only I had a cocky-tail, perhaps everything in the world would right itself?

Haven't you ever thought the same, those of you who have had a whiff or two of the bottle? And when that day happens, what will become of him? 

Meanwhile, he tends our new tomato plants and braises the chicken thighs and mashes the avocados into a guacamole of which I can't pretend I'm not jealous, even though I was once considered the Guac Queen in our household. And I watch our boys attack Manny with their small, ineffectual limbs, because clearly he's fun to try to climb aboard, as big and rangy as he is. They are like mosquitos to him; he plucks one up and puts him gently aside just as the next boy launches himself. He laughs. He seems happy. He is good with them. I swear it. 


Something rotten this way comes.
He says he is happy, but for, you know, that problem. The betrayal. The conspiracy. Everyone is against him. He's trying to get a handle on it, wrap his mind around it, move forward. And he's really worried about the Korean grocery in town, because the veggies there are wilted and why would anyone sell wilted veggies and are they about to go out of business and if he had recommended them to someone they would think he was full of shit, just plumb full of shit, and that would give him a bad reputation for recommending bad grocery stores, and some of the veggies in that store sink in right under your thumb because they are so filled with rot, and there's something wrong going on in this world and why won't anyone wake up and see it? 

If you ever read this blog, Manny, know that I acted alone. No conspiracy. 

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am the Manny. Not amused. I am a professional childcare consultant! References available. I cook a really great stew.

Marewolf said...

I really love these posts. Even if the Manny moves out, you should just pretend he's still there and keep the funny coming!!

Carol Riggs said...

What a great description! I enjoyed this post, fun, fun. All the characters in our books should be this intriguing. I definitely have an image of Manny shaking off your boys like mosquitoes. :)