Do Beans Burn?

Fish don’t fry in the kitchen…

beans don’t burn in the grill…

took a whole lot of turn in, just to get up that hill…

This is my brain right now. This is all I can remember right now and this damn Jeffersons theme song keeps circling through my brain. I wouldn’t call it an ear worm per say, more of a panic button. When I am stressed or afraid I seem to press the Jeffersons theme song panic button. I don’t know if there is such a thing as widow brain but if there is I most certainly have the affliction.  My memory has become filth, wait scratch that, my post dead husband memory has become filth, I can remember everything clearly before Peter died but after, nope. Hence the sitcom theme songs. I can also remember the words to The Facts of Life T.V. show plus every Duran Duran song ever written but if I were to meet a stranger today they could tattoo their name on my hand and I would still forget who they are and where I met them.

I knew my memory was faulty but I had no idea how bad it was until I went to my first Bunco night. I have turned into an old white women, not because I belong to a Bunco group but because I belong to TWO!  When I was invited to be the twelfth man in the dice game I was nervous because I only knew one person and I knew my memory was compromised. I also knew I could get shit faced and not care about anyone’s name. Driving over to the party I confessed to my car mate that I have a problem remembering people’s name or faces for that matter. She tells me it will be fine and she also informs me that players write their name on their cards. Score! I don’t have to remember shit, I can just casually glance down at the Bunco card. We arrive at the party and I start to drink, trying as fast as I can to get drunk so my memory lapses will mean nothing to me.

I am greeted by the Bunco party host, we’ll just say her name is Tina, I really don’t fucking remember but her name could have been Tina.  Tina welcomes me into her home with Jello shots, I have never done a Jello shot and I am beyond excited to experience one or four.  After two shots and several introductions, I pull Tina aside and confide in her that I have had a rough couple of years and my memory is nonexistent. I preemptively ask for forgiveness for not remembering people’s names. Tina looks at me with concern in her eyes and asks “Do you have a traumatic brain injury”? I swear I thought I said no but when I saw the sympathy on her face and the way her head was nodding, I knew I said yes.  The Jefferson’s theme song starts to blare in my head. I can’t her anything except “Movin on up!” I can see things happening around me but I can’t hear anything. Jesus maybe I do have a brain injury.

As I sit down at my assigned table, I look across the room and see Tina speaking to another gal, gal is the word you use when you are in two Bunco groups, she is pointing in my direction as the other gal is settling into her own pity face. I have no clue how one even gets a traumatic brain injury and what is a brain injury? Is it when you hit your head? Really hard? or is that a concussion? Fuck! I am sunk and if I did have a brain injury can I even count the dice to play Bunco? I decide I must make this falsehood work, I am now going hard in the paint. Consequences be dammed, I may be a liar but I am no quitter! The women I came with asks me if I want something else to drink, I nod and stand up to walk over to the Jello shot table. I tilt my head to my left and I start to limp.

WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING? A traumatic brain injury doesn’t make you limp you idiot! Ok, think T…“beans don’t burn on the grill!” “Shut up Jeffersons!” I do my best to look the part as I stumble/limp to the shots table. I have about three more fireball shots and then I start to shovel some sort of cheese, meat combo ball into my mouth. I am finally drunk enough to release any worry my traumatic brain injury may have caused.  As the evening rolls along so does my lie. I am so pleased I am getting away with my falsehood. I do start to notice that people are very dismissive of whatever I say, almost like they are proud of me for just opening my mouth. I realize I have so many profound and helpful things to say. I have opinions about the school board, I have thoughts about Estacada high school but no one has even looked my way other to to applaud my mouth opening ability. Having a traumatic brain injury is the worst! I came here to make new friends and create some sort of community but instead I am treated like a pariah, a person with special needs. Technically I do have special needs but they mainly involve champagne, some sort of fancy cheese and my bed. This evening of Bunco is longer than I expected, it’s almost midnight and I am still at Tina’s house, every gal her is drunk and assuring every other gal here that they won’t drive. Apparently the days of party all the time have been replaced with, I promise I won’t drive. I am mad that I am still here, I am mad that I didn’t make any friends and I am mad that I am treated like a second class citizen.

My evening of Bunco finally ends with the ladies being so blotto that I am convinced that no one will even remember my name let alone my “affliction”.  None of the nights events really matter to me, not the drinking or the lies. What matters to me is that I did find out a few things about myself, one is that I am perfectly average at Bunco.  I didn’t win enough to win and I didn’t lose enough to lose big. Two, even though I lied about my affliction, I am indignant for the people that actually have a traumatic brain injury, they get treated horribly by small town country women. I say my goodbyes and still have no name/face recognition but I give zero fucks and to show how many fucks I give, I stand up straight and tall and do my best George Jefferson strut to my car, if  Movin on up, is all I can hear than I might as well embrace that shit.

2 thoughts on “Do Beans Burn?

  1. I like your focus in this piece. It’s tightly written. I am terrible at names and facial recognition, so I could sympathize. It’s a funny piece and one of your better ones. Thanks. I enjoy following your posts.


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