You all know I provide forthright answers to difficult questions, but did you know I am also the subject of two novels? The Substitute was the first, a hilarious romp through my brief life, death and stint in hell. Few are aware of the second, Oh, Heavens, Miss Havana! now being considered for publication by Solstice Publishing. In the second, I am in probation somewhere on the outskirts of heaven. Here is a brief sample of the humor, which I personally believe is funnier than hell!
I tear open the envelope, but the heavy paper cuts my finger with a vengeance. I shake my hand with a snap and nearly scream a profanity, but catch myself. I haven’t forgotten The Brazilian’s warning: “Yo’ got to clean up yo’ act, Miss Havana, we don’ talk like that here! If yo’ don’ follow the rules, yo’ be highly disappointed with the outcome.” I can’t imagine what he means—like, would they really send me back to my former home where my daughter is in charge? Frankly, I think they wouldn’t like that outcome. My daughter and I could do a considerable amount of damage, and that would be especially true if Lucifer joined in. I could organize quite a comeback, especially if I could pry Lucifer’s lazy ass off his straight-backed chair.
What’s this, an invitation? It looks like a carefully folded doily. Do people really send shit like this anymore? I scan the invite as a trickle of blood from my finger runs raggedly down the doily, until I get to the last line. “RSVP, Regrets Only”. What the fuck?
What in my home is that about? Sure I have regrets, doesn’t everyone? I regret the two pounds I gained after high school—never lost those bastards. Regret getting pregnant on prom night, too, but I’m not sure I regret the abortion that followed. If there’s a party, how much shit would I have to list before I get a pass to the food and liquor? Crap! Parties, who needs them! I place the doily back into the envelope and put it in my pocket next to my new watch. It’s probably against some obscure rule to litter here, especially with The Brazilian sitting—. Whoa, where is that bastard? Damn I hate that.
After some time enjoying the sun, I head back along the path. I’m delighted to see the long table has been cleared of food; I hope dinner will even be more spectacular than breakfast and make a mental note, “Drop some food for the old broad in the wheelchair.”
Back in the barracks I’m faced with the same vexing problem—which one is my bed? I should have counted the number from the door. I pick one arbitrarily in the approximate area where I’m sure mine is located and am about to settle down when I notice a small book on the pillow two beds farther from the door. I could be a sign. I casually meander to it, and am certain it’s for me when I read the title: “The Twelve Step Program”.
I sigh deeply, sit on the bed and scan the book. It’s not much to look at or read, but it makes a great bed marker. There’s not a soul in sight, even the unpleasant Mrs. McBrady is missing, so I pull the invitation from my pocket to look it over again before crumpling it and tossing it on the floor. Lying down with my feet on the scratchy woolen blanket doesn’t help. I’m still fuming that I must dredge up irrelevant regrets just to get a drink.
Before I can drift off, however, The Brazilian appears. My cheery guide always seems high on caffeine, and this time is no different. He picks up the invitation and smoothes it out between his hands. “Why, Miss Havana, yo’ needs to deal with yo’ invite. The party just won’t be the same without yo’. I mean, this year, yo’ be the guest of honor!”
I sit up and immediately smooth the blanket to avoiding responding, but must admit it’s been a long damn time since I’ve been the center of attention. “They will have liquor, won’t they?”
The Brazilian seems taken back, but by now I’m absolutely certain he’s just acting. There’s nothing I can do that should surprise him. After all, he has my file, not to mention that his efforts to train me have fallen flat. He responds anyway. “Oh, Miss Havana, there be much better than liquor there. Yo’ just need to come. Yo’ll see. Yo’ don’t need to list all those regrets, either. Everyone there already knows yo’ soul be burdened with them.”
Oh, shit. Just what I need, another full exposure encounter group. Don’t they ever do anything here just for the fun of it? I sign deeply. “Okay, okay, I’ll go, but only if you tell me why they call you The Brazilian.”
He cocks his head and shakes his finger slowly. “Oh, that’s been eatin’ at yo’ for some time, ain’t it. Okay, since it’s nearly Christmas, I’ll tell yo’, like a early Christmas gift, but the secret gots to stay just between the two of us.”
He pauses, probably waiting for my agreement. I scoot to the edge of the bed, look him directly in the eyes and respond flatly, “Fine.”
“Okay, then. Yo’ knows me to be a fastidious fellow, a true meterosexual, so it shouldn’t surprise you that I got my name because I always waxed my privates when I existed below. My bottom was always smooth as a baby’s!”
He radiates pride as I slap my forehead. TMI! The image disgusts me. “Oh, crap, sorry I asked.”
He grins. “Sometimes it’s best to not know all the details, Miss Havana. Like dis here party. Yo’ just needs to come, open yo’self up to it, and not fret about the details. Yo’ needs to trust me. I is yo’ guide. I do yo’ no harm.”
What bullshit. It turned out to be an intervention! And they didn’t have booze. Is anything ever what it seems?
Yours in Spirit,Miss Havana