Profiles: Sweet Sixteen – Forty Years Later

I don’t often attempt to analyze my art work, mostly because I suck at analysis. However, I recently found this photograph of myself when in high school and when my friend and I roamed freely around the art studio there, having access to a 4 x 5 camera, among other goodies.

(CLARIFICATION: I have a horrible sense of time, so it may have been forty years later, or not. Example: When I was 46, I thought I was 47 for most of the year, until a friend of mine pointed out I was not 47, but 46. “No, shit.” I said. “All this time, I was thinking …”

However, I know for a fact that I was 16 when this photo was taken.)

(NOTE: Sixteen wasn’t sweet one bit. My mother had just died, a month prior to this photograph.)

And when I looked at it, I thought:

“This looks familiar!”



And years later …



My stats are really low today.  But do you think I care?  I am happy that my blog has had 5,000 views.  The Big Picture.  That puts it into a different category.  Someone from around the world, someone has come and visited me.  Now that’s awesome.

So, back to the Bombers. 

When someone is on a ventilator, that means their body cannot sustain itself alone — (I feel like a broken record!) it needs help, or it will die.  I remember when I worked at a hospital when I was 19 and this one patient who had no ability to survive on his own and was destined for eventual death, still got his Respiratory Therapy every 4 hours.  He did eventually die.  But he was kept alive for at least a year artificially.


His trial is going to attract worldwide attention.

Anyway, if they have to wake him up so he can “respond,” — to check and see if he’s responsive and then claim that that can support the claim that he is cognizant of what is going on…  I don’t know about that.  Once he recovers he may not even remember what happened on the day when they asked him if he understood what was being said to him.  No recollection of it whatsoever.  That’s not unusual when a body experiences some kind of shock.  This guy is not ready to be questioned.  All the government wants to do is to push this case along.  Don’t want to get stuck.  Yet by questioning him every couple of hours does not mean he is a condition to comprehend what is going on around him.  I’m a real stickler for that.

I don’t know what it is about him, but he evokes empathy.  His brother was nowhere as charismatic as him, more of a loner, and to manipulate the more susceptible one to conduct acts of terrorism — something is not right here.  Using a highly impressionable person that way.  For me, it indicates a lack of real love on the older one’s part, for the younger one.

It is good to hear like he got a good defense attorney.  Someone who has worked and knows Russian.  That should establish a sense of trust between them. 


Boston Marathon Bombers

This may be a guy who is legally responsible for his acts but by outward appearance, appears angelic-faced.  I just cannot reconcile the picture of this boy being involved in a conspiracy —  He’s clearly just a kid in so many other ways.  It’s as though you take this malleable, impressionable and highly intelligent kid, who is under the spell of his older brother.  It’s important that the role of his older brother be scrutinized closely.

He is certainly by no means normal.  I mean, who can do that then pull that switch and just blend into his regular routine the next day.  What does that tell us about him?  In the end, he seemed like a frightened kid who had done something horrible but doesn’t know what it was?  I mean, his capture, aroused everyone’s curiosity.

He was used by his older brother.  That, in itself, makes him a victim.  Very easy to do with someone who follows you around like a puppy.  That is sad.  Such a bright and sociable individual turns to out to be brainwashed by his older brother.  Too bad the older brother died.  He, too, possessed valuable information…

This will be a fascinating puzzle to solve!

And a Great Tragedy.

And then the final irony.

He is shot in the neck and cannot speak!

And, he is on a ventilator.  Now when somebody is on a ventilator, that means they are being kept alive by a machine.  I don’t think he’s in any position to provide reliable information.  This guy is semi-conscious.

This will be a historic marker for us in the future —  The Day America Changed.

The Day My Mother Died …

I dunno.  Maybe I shouldn’t be posting this, but then, how will you ever know, if you don’t, right?

Aristophanes has gone on a biting binge.  He just loves to gnaw hands — my hands!  And when he gets into one of those moods, he is, quite frankly, obnoxious.  I am going to call an animal behaviorist and get some advice from her on how to break this habit.  I have no idea why he does this, but it makes him feel secure somehow.  It’s like he’s bonding, or something.  Maybe that’s his way of telling me he loves me!  But I doubt it.  It’s more like a bad habit, which is hard to break.

The Day My Mother Died …

So life hasn’t been so great since then and you’ve made several suicide attempts — serious ones! — but they all failed.  It just wasn’t your time to go.  That’s the conclusion she ultimately reached.  But her mother gnawed at her spirit, the immense loss it suffered, when she died.  What could it be like to be a 16 year old, just becoming a woman, while at the same time her mother is dying of diseases that ravaged those very organs, the reproductive ones?

My mother died at the end of March of 1970.  Can’t remember whether it was the 29th, 30th or 31st.  I just know we buried her on April Fool’s and we had an uncanny snowstorm system move through the region that dumped about 2 feet of snow.  I remember attending her wake, and feeling terribly awkward.  A group of high school friends had come with Mrs. C and we had huddled in a circle and they comforted me.  One of the girls, Sherry would herself be dead within 2 years.  Smart, sweet as pie, endowed with many gifts, Sherry would die of carbon monoxide poisoning at 18 while in for a weekend from school in southern Illinois.

Mrs. C, my alcoholic English teacher flunked me for my poor class performance, but secretly fed me Coca-Cola’s in the faculty lounge, which I would drink while crying, she became my spiritual support.  Whatever was happening to me emotionally, Mrs. C was there to absorb it.  She is one person I wish I could see again, but I highly doubt that she is alive in this year.  I loved her.  The kindest human spirit — my first encounter, perhaps.  I cried.  And I cried.

And she just sat there giving me nourishment and saying without saying anything, “I understand, honey.  I know what you’re going through.”  Now there’s a teacher worth the weight of many others.  Few like her around.

(Aristophanes is now asleep, behind me.)