Lessons To Live By

I viewed this video on YouTube and the lessons offered by the Navy Seal commander at the 2014 University of Texas commencement are powerful motivators for anyone who wants to make a difference in the world.

Tell Him to Grovel

“La Flor*, you have to come out of your room. It’s not healthy. You’ve been in there all day. You haven’t eaten anything. What is bothering you.”

“What’s that? I wouldn’t understand?”

“I think I might. I’m one of the sensitive males, give me a try.”

“There are no sensitive males, what makes you say that?”

“Why should I study my species?”

“I think some males are sensitive even though you haven’t met one.”

“That includes me? What did I do? You won’t tell me? Does that make sense? It does? At least come up to the door and keep it between us. Yes, I promise I won’t look through the keyhole. Yes, I promise I won’t quickly open it. Now talk to me.”

I sat down next to the door. It was not going to be quick or easy. La Flor said, “Ray, Life is like a pizza with no toppings.”

“Interesting metaphor, La Flor,” I responded.

La Flor’s voice rising. She was settling into her onstage performance, “Life is like trying to ride on the back of a motorcycle when finally your hair is perfect and the dumb motorcycle driver doesn’t notice it.” if La Flor had a gun I think she would have started firing it through the door. Glad I didn’t write one in for her.

If La Flor had a gun I think she would have started firing it through the door. Glad I didn’t write one in for her.

“I have a feeling I know what’s happening,” I said.

“You? How could you know? You’re a man. You’re in their club.”

“We have a club?” I asked.

“Yes and no beautiful, tough, and edgy woman are allowed,” she said.

“I don’t want to be a PI anymore. I don’t have a reason to live.”

“La Flor, what is going on?”

“It’s all your fault, Ray.”

“My fault? What did I do? I only try to help.”

“You made me break up with Little Carmen.”

“That’s what this is all about?”

“Breaking up was your idea, remember?”

“It was not my idea.”

“You sent him to that Alt Ego boyfriend stealer JJ Peterson.”

“Do you want me to go back and read yesterday’s blog to you?”

“Pour salt into my bleeding wounds. Kick me while I am down. Hold my head underwater until I can no longer breathe. Force feed me raw veggies. Is this what you’re trying to do?” she said while giving the most pathetic sobs I’ve heard in years.

“Hold that thought. There is someone at the front door.”

La Flor, all of a sudden calm, said, “If it is LC, tell him he better apologize before I will see him again.”

“Why do you want him to apologize when you want him back?”

“It’s the way I do things,” she said.

“I understand. I’ll be right back.”

I walked to the front door, the knocking more incessant by the second. I opened the door. Standing in front of me with his apron on, covered with sauce stains that look like blood, flour over his arms and face, and his hair disheveled stood Big Carmen.

Big Carmen didn’t wait for me to say anything. He started talking and jabbing his stubby index finger into my chest. I backed up a step. He took a step forward. He said, “Ray, use and me we gots to talk. You know, man to men. My boy, the offspring of my lions, he cries all the time. It’s embarrassing. I have to keep him in the kitchen and tell him to make pizza with his back to the customers.”

“Did you mean offspring of your loins?” I asked.

“No, I meant what I meant. Everybody but use knows loins is a kind of meat. You ever hears of chicken loins?”

“No, I heard of beef loin.”

“Beef loin is overrated. It’s bad for use, it gots lots of those aunti’s oxidants. I’m talking chicken loin, its rare. The Chinese use it for an afro diesel app.”

“Do you mean aphrodisiac?”

No, I means what I meant.”

“I can see where Little Carmen learned all he knows from you, Big Carmen,” I said patronizingly.

“Thanks, man. Now what’s we going to do to get these two together.”

From her bedroom, “Is it LC?”

I turned and said, “It’s Big Carmen. Little Carmen wants to get back together.”

“Is he ready to apologize and make two promises?”

Big Carmen heard La Flor. He said, “He don’t apologize, he gets to be the dishwasher this week instead of the dishwasher being the dishwasher which is a machine if use understand how I brings pressure.”

“I do. Nice plan,” I said, I didn’t want Big or Little Carmen to turn violent. I figured the best way was to try to agree with them.

“What’s the first thing, then tell me the second thing after use tells me the first thing.”

“Did you understand that La Flor?” I said.

“I’ll start with the second thing because it’s more important than the first thing, but the first thing is almost as important as the second thing, but a tad more important than the third thing,” said La Flor.

I felt a migraine coming on.

Big Carmen used his flour coated, hairy arm to brush me aside. He stepped inside and walked to La Flor’s bedroom door. He said, “This is Big Carmen, beautiful, tough, and edgy PI. You tell Big Carmen whats use wants and use gets it.”

A moment of silence followed by another moment of silence followed by five more moments of silence.

“Use okay in there? asked Big Carmen.

“I was freshening up, here are my conditions, one, no tacky white windbreakers.”

“Done. I hated it. It was his Uncle Richie’s idea. He never had a good idea since I known him and I known him since he was a baby.”

“Okay. I never, ever, ever, ever want to ride on the back of a motorcycle again.”

“What about the front, so I can clarify it for Little Carmen.”

“Not the front, side, or back.”

“Anything else beautiful, tough, and edgy PI?”“I don’t want pizza every night. You make the best pizza in the city Big Carmen, but I have to watch my svelte figure.”

“I don’t want pizza every night. You make the best pizza in the city Big Carmen, but I have to watch my svelte figure.”

“I must say your figures is good figures, but don’t take that personal.”

“No offense taken, handsome.”

“Use got good taste beautiful, tough, and edgy PI. I send out for my dinner six nights a week BTW. I’d go nuts eating my food, which is very good, all the time. Can I bring Little Carmen in? He’s in the car hiding on the back seat.”

La Flor stepped out of her room as if she was going on the red carpet. “Don’t touch me, Big Carmen. I did this for LC. Bring the boy in, tell him to grovel a bit. I like groveling.”

I need some help, Big Carmen. You have some advice for my blog readers? 

Sure ting, Ray. Heads up, readers: If your pizza don’t turn out right, call Carmen’s Pizzeria, we delivers

That’s it? That’s the best you could do?

Best I could do after the stress of helping my boy out.

* La Flor is a fictional character and acts as my alt ego. Her character has evolved over the blog posts. She began with a single letter as her name. Her name gradually grew to two letters, then three before she settled on La Flor. She liked the name because it fit her idea of a beautiful, tough, and edgy feminine PI.  It is my interaction with her persona that serves as the source of these blog posts. I have no notion how La Flor will continue to evolve. It is an adventure for me as well as the reader.


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