June 21, 2018

Al Martinez ... On Everything Else: Confessions to the Heavenly Whoever


I am sitting in our gazebo staring at the diagonals of sunlight filtering through the branches of our oak trees and contemplating my sins.

I have had a busy life and filled a good many hours of it committing all of the transgressions I had the time and energy to pursue.

Most of the sins, if I am remembering correctly, were committed during the wild, hell-raising days of my early newspaper career when three-martini lunches fueled every bad habit I might have already possessed.

Remembering and even categorizing them now is OK but I know in my evil heart that it is probably too late to do much about them.

All I can say is sorry and hope that the Holy Whoever in Heaven will let me off the hook, even though he must know I am not entirely sorry because occasionally sinning involved a lot of good times.

You’re wondering just what in the hell I’m talking about.

Well, our household is slowly falling apart and I’m guessing that its dissolution is punishment for all of the bad things I have done between, say, the ages of 12 and my current 83. I’m not going to get into details except for that first one when I was a Catholic and lied to a priest during confession.

I made up stuff I never did because I felt as though I ought to have something to confess. I spent half a day reciting hundreds of Hail Marys and Our Fathers afterwards in atonement for the non-existent sins, but I think Father Bernard knew all along I was giving him a bunch of crap.

And now we have hell to pay.

Our household started falling apart when the plumbing in our kitchen sink began banging away like it was possessed. It was the Amityville horror all over again.

Bang, bang, bang the faucet went every time the water was turned on. Then the dishwasher sprang a leak when rats apparently ate through a plastic lining. There went the kitchen.

This was followed by car troubles that involved expensive repairs to my car, my wife’s car and our old pickup truck. They lay there like dead horses, inert and helpless in the frosty sunlight.

But this is the worst thing of all. Cinelli had hip replacement surgery that went awry. She ended up needing three blood transfusions, a second operation to clear up a primary infection and is now being treated for a staph infection. She is in the hospital even as I write, and I want her home and well and happy. I would confess to anything to get her feeling good again.

Then there’s me. Angina pains sent me to West Hills Hospital where I was diagnosed with a mild heart attack due to a partial blockage and a lot of stress in my life at the moment, as you might imagine.

That’s why I’m confessing my sins, real and unreal, so that the Whoever in Heaven will ease up on us.

The sins I’m confessing to were committed a long time ago and I’m too old to get involved in any new ones so I should be cut a little slack for that.

Now I’ve got to figure out whether I need a plumber or an exorcist to get the damned sink to stop banging away. If it isn’t one thing it’s another.