Like Salmon Swimming Upstream

Ain’t that Adorable?

Let me tell you, movies about townies and summer resort crowds got it pegged. I transitioned from summer resort cidiot to townie (or as they say here, ‘local’) and it’s just like the movies!

Eerily so.

In the 1980’s, the family's lakefront house was selected by a location scout to be used in a film.

“NO WAY!” bellowed my father. “They’ll ruin the place!” The place is held together by lint, halvah and around a ton of caulk.

“It’s just a few days’ shoot,” someone said.

“Leave me alone,” Dad muttered. “All I want is a bit of peace and quiet when I come here.”

That was quite a bit of a reach. Considering we had neighbors who screamed 24/7, clanged bells every five hours to announce some sort of game across the street, hitting balls down our property which ignited our three dogs to a barking frenzy as well as their chronic lawn mowing at 7 am only on weekends. Best of all, they left their lawn mowers running until the gas burnt out. Sometimes it took days.

With all the fighting, barking, screaming, lawn mowers running, honking, clanking, it’s no wonder I lost hearing in one ear. What’s amazing is that it happened 50 years later.

Incidentally, what my father turned down was a scene in Dirty Dancing.

According to Monkey Boy, this is bullshit because he accuses me of being a pathological liar. He doesn’t comprehend the art of storytelling and the embellishment of truth. Forget when I tell him facts - it’s all bullshit to him.

Yes, to those frequent readers of this blog: Monkey Boy’s back in the scene.

Like lemmings - wrong analogy - like geese, the resort workers return for another dysfunctional Club Med summer. I thought Monkey Boy left for good two years ago. Similar to a chancre sore, he returned last year and we fomented a relationship of sorts.

I have to hand it to him - if anyone ever wrote tangentially about me, even as farfetched a characterization as a pathological liar has done, I’d clobber him. Instead, Monkey Boy has exhibited an amazingly civil and diplomatic relationship with me which defies logic. Perhaps because he knows it’s fiction. Besides, his friends consider me a liar.

Years ago, they claimed I lied about writing a book. Monkey Boy came over and saw boxes of Five-Star FLEECING in my study. It must’ve been the first time he actually believed me.

This summer season he’s back and the fighting began. Actually, we’re a draw to people who witness us constantly arguing. I’m usually seated at a table in a local cafe trying to edit, write this blog or play on FB and he’s at the other side of the room mumbling, “Everyone hates you.”

“Who?” I yell back.

“Ah, the bionic ear can hear!” he screams. Then he parodies me and screeches, “What? WHAT? WHAT? WHAT?” It’s difficult to describe my neurological deafness since a lot of people think I’m full of shit including Monkey Boy who constantly says, “You’re lying about this deafness."

Ignoring his accurate parody, I yell, “Who hates me?”

“Gossip Girl, Zippo, Chive, Planter’s Wart, the Butterfly, Chlamydia, Cow Walking Upright, Chicken, Dogboy...” he recites as a mantra while getting up from the table far away to plop right down next to me.

“Get back to your seat,” I yell. “Leave me alone.”

That’s his opportunity to hit me with a zinger: “I always stand up for you when everyone in town tells me how much they hate you and how crazy you are.”

How I hate backhanded compliments. It’s one of those things that never fails to annoy me. I could only suffer through an hour, but he subjected me to two consecutive days of this litany plus his all-time favorite, “You’re crazy.”

Exasperated, I told the cafe owner who is a friend of mine, “Listen, I love it here, but I can only stay when he isn’t around.” If she depended upon me for an income, she’d go broke in less than an hour so losing me as a customer is not a big deal. However, Monkey Boy and I are a huge draw; people adore our bickering.

He used to say, “I love you, but...” and then complain about me. Until someone pointed out he used that phrase, “I love you.” This year, he switched to, “I hate you.” Yet, we both know he loves me although he does hate me for mocking him all the time.

Still, he confides in me and then drops to his knees, pleading to the deities, “Please don’t let her blog about this!”

I give him terrific advice which he ignores. While hunched over my laptop keen on writing, I don’t notice him until he creeps up to me and shouts in my good ear, “You were right!”

After my heart decelerates, I turn to him. “Listen, I’ll always give you good advice and never steer you wrong no matter how much I don’t like you. Because I can never do as much wrong to you as you can do to yourself.”

It’s true. I rarely plot revenge today as I realize that people have a self-sabotage switch, myself included.

The other day, I met one of his friends who said, “Oh, I read that blog piece you wrote about Monkey Boy and his misshapen head."

Talk about a self-sabotage switch - I thought my number was up. Instead, inches away, he stood across from me, staring at me with those big button eyes.

“Is it true you two were lovers?” his friend asked, ignorant to the exchange of daggers from “if looks could kill” etched across his face. His eyes widened and that’s when I knew he didn’t care what I wrote as long as I deny our short-lived sexual involvement six years ago.

“Not at all,” I said and watched him sigh a big relief.

His friend said, “I saw him give you that look. I bet it’s true.”

Without any animosity, we then sat down and ate a meal together. I can’t exactly call what we have as friendship, but I have to hand it to him, he really does exhibit a grace that I lack.

Today, while reading this blog piece out loud to him, he complained, “You steal all my favorite lines!” until it dawned on him that once again, I blogged about him.

“You know, you’re really obsessed with me,” he insisted.

I think he may have a point.

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