Monday, October 17, 2005

Here's The Soap Opera Behind The Poem

a story in e-mails
by Michael Mooney

Date: Fri, 7 Oct 2005 10:48:03 -0700 (PDT)
From: mackey maroney <>
Subject: here's the soap opera behind the poem

Marcus, You were asking who Maura
is: She's a co-worker, 31, Catholic, married,
and just so nice she's too nice, you know the type,
just as sweet as whipped cream, and really pretty,
hazel green eyes and great skin, very pale, yet rosy.
She's quite literary and scholarly and has read all
my humor manuscripts in the past. The Celtic Face
manuscript -- I kind of sprung that one on her.
Yikes! It's about her!
She's cruising into middle age, putting Clairol in her hair,
still no children, still no bacalaureate,  'cause she's
taking one course at a time. (I refer to that as "gradual
school", an allusion to 'Garp') So this guy who's the
same age as her father, me, writes her a love poem. Yikes!
She was very gracious, told me it was beeyootiful,
said it sincerely.
I told her it was platonic, wanting to do no harm. I wanted
to tell her I was in a major state of lust, which I'm sure
she knew anyhow, or sensed. So I muddied this issue.
I should have just said I love her, but I didn't trust what I
was up to. I just knew I wanted her attention, to see where it
might lead.
This came as she decided to quit work, apply for
financial aid, get out in the real world,  where there
is far too much reality, go back to school
full time. She's a student of linguistics and languages
[Japanese, Russian] and she's from Queens, N.Y., so I thought
she would enjoy my use of her name and rhyming it
with "can't ignore huh" , etc.,  in an outer borough accent,
a New Yawk Squawk.
But she left work before I could finish it.
So I look up her mailing address. I can get it to
her somehow.
Then I begin to hear rumors that she's leaving her
husband and may be seeing someone new -- someone
I know ! --  sonofabitch! Maybe, I don't know, that
could have been me, if I had made a bid for her love,
though I doubt it, that is unrealistic. [Maybe it's not even
true that she's left home.]
Interestingly, if she did leave him, she did it right at
the start of the NFL season: that guy made her sit around
while he watched one too many football games; he should have
been taking her out for Thai food, or somethin'.
So, back to me, I couldn't reach her on the phone during
the day, didn't dare phone in the evening, finally
I phoned Saturday afternoon and I got him on the  phone.


Not what I wanted.


I say i'm a co-worker -- could I get a quick minute with her?

He, no doubt preoccupied with Notre Dame football on that afternoon,

says, "Well, could I give you her cell phone number?"   "Sure," I say.


So now i call her at noon Monday on the cell, ask her for her e-mail address,

'cause I want to send her a poem making fun of the Queens accent. She gives me the electronic mail address, so I can send her the humor piece.


I ask her how things are? The connection on the cell is terrible, she says "Fine." Gives no indication of any troubles in her life. She wouldn't ordinarily tell me much if there were relationship difficulties.


Then I sent her the Outer Borough Rhapsody,  and got no reply.

She had warned me in the past she doesn't typically reply to e-mail.

I, of course, really wanted a reply.


I told her it was from her "senior citizen admirer",  still muddying the issue,

probably fooling no one but myself. I said that it was "a satire on how people

from Queens, Brooklyn, et al. speak English,"  more muddying.


The phone connection was so terrible, it kept breaking up. I guess my next step is to invite her to lunch in order to get her to talk about her life.

Or to simply fuggetaboutit.


She is my current muse -- meanwhile little Mo Conley, who is my age, late 50's, is convinced I wrote the Celtic Face poem about her, and she has it framed and on the wall.


-- Mackey

Soap Opera, On With Our Story

Date: Sun, 9 Oct 2005 09:17:23 -0700 (PDT)
From: mackey mooney <>
Subject: soap opera, on with our story

To: marcus maroney <>

So now I want to tell you the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey
always said on the radio.
This Maura  did leave her husband, and at the start of the NFL
season, the spiteful little witch.
And who do we find this out from? From one of our prisoners,
a Tedbundyish sociopath who killed his girlfriend
[and is locked up for that] and who is in daily phone contact with Maura;
yes, she gave him her number when she left. She told me she'd
be around once in a while (sob); I didn't know she meant to visit him.
The reason the prisoner brings this up:  he wants to arrange for her to visit
him in the lock-up.
I might even be called upon to supervise their visits.
So our treatment team leaders call her up and they interview her in a
conference call;  she confirms all this:
 -- She has left home [hubby owned their home outright and owed nothing
on it; he had just gotten a good job; they had just come back from a cross
country trip tanned and smiling -- or rosy and smiling in her case --
and she had just gotten financial aid to go back to school full time]
-- She is in love with the patient [who is a charmer -- he tends to be
really well-liked by both the staff and other prisoners; heck, I want to
play raquetball with him -- but there are lots of charming guys who
are not locked-up; me, I'm charming; I'm not locked-up, at the present
It's time for the Ole Mackerdog, awooo!, to take her down off the
pedestal  [change her name in the poem to Dora?]
But, you know, I can't. She's forever on that pedestal,
though there's some pigeon poop on her shoulder.
All of her co-workers are losing sleep over
this, and I am, doubly so,  because I loved her;
no, present tense, I worship her.
I think she's a dope, now, and an unprofessional dope with no
clinical insight, and no self-awareness, but I still think she's
I'm a dope.
I guess I'll just wait for some perspective to emerge.
This is like an Anton Chekov play.
 -- Dog Who Woos The Moon

Soap Opera, Conclusion

Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2005 16:35:01 -0700 (PDT)
From:mackey maroney <>
Subject:soap opera, conclusion
To: marcus maroney <>

So the conclusion is, she answered the e-mail.
She liked the Outer Borough Rhapsody poem.
She declared it "fun to read out loud" because of
its imitation of the New Yawk Squawk accent.
So that was sweet, very nice to receive that note.
I then sent her an e-mail
I tried to advise -- people hate advice! -- that attempting
to start a relationship with a guy in a lock-up
is too big an emotional risk.
(I didn't mention the bodily risk.)
I told her everybody at work is losing sleep,
we're worried about her, quite true, and I mentioned
all of her immediate co-workers names to drive the point home.
I made a good argument for her cooling it, but I doubt she will,
she's already crossed that line.
And I don't have that kind of influence.
I think I, at least, learned something.
The advice giver learns.
The advice receiver balls-up the advice and throws it away.
I learned I am 58 years old,
she is 31.
I am her father's age.
Even if she could get interested in me and my funny conversation,
she should not get interested.
[Same way she she shouldn't get interested in the guy in the lock-up.]
When she is in her late 40's, i'll be 75,
spry, working on my golf swing, playing doubles, going for walks,
writing letters to the editor in the interest of solving world problems,
renewing the viagra Rx, riding my bike, but 75, a wrinkle beast!
Thanks for listening, Marcus,
your crazy brother, a mental health worker, signing off,
also still a dope, though an "intellectual", Mackey.
I think I'm done with meeting interesting people at work.
I'm just going to sit back now and watch the Yankees, Game 5,
Moose vs. Colon, etc. Colon is knocked out in the second
innining; we're going to win this thing.

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