Conversations with C: "That little s***!"

Friday, January 4, 2013

Yes, kids, it's time for the latest installation in what has turned out to be a long-running series, Conversations with C, in which we all get to enjoy my 19-year-old nephew C's current musings on the state of the world.

I've been fighting a seriously nasty flu bug that simply will not let go. As a result, I'm behind on several fairly serious posts that I really want, and need, to write. But this is too entertaining not to share. :c)

I had an appointment to see my doctor a few days ago about this flu bug. Because it costs an arm and a leg to park in the city, I typically leave my car with my parents and walk to the train station.

My nephew is home from college on his winter break. It being almost 2:00 in the afternoon, he had finally risen from his 13 hour-plus-change power nap. ("It's not easy being C," as my sister C, his mother, noted.)

He was inhaling a plate of buffalo wings - his second meal since waking up an hour before - when I let myself in the front door. After grunting his customary "S'up," his attention returned to what were apparently the highlights of an Ultimate Fighting Championship match.

When the carnage momentarily abated, he turned to me.

"You don't look too good, uncle," he said.

I explained that I was still suffering from the flu, and was going to see my doctor.

"Do you want a ride?" he asked.

"It's in town," I told him.

"That's OK. You shouldn't be walking when you're this sick."

"Thanks, C. But aren't you afraid you'll miss the next groin kick or shattered vertebrae?"

"Nah - I have this on DVD," he said.

"Ah. Well in that case, sure," I said.

After he backed the car out of the driveway and mercifully adjusted the car stereo to something slightly below Richter Scale-level volume, we departed.

We spent a few minutes talking about his grades - two As, two A-minuses, and a B+, a typically strong performance - and his internship at a pre-school program. (He is, and always has been, exceptionally good with small children, from as far back as I can remember.)

"So how are *you* doing, Uncle?" he asked.

"Oh, trying to hang in there," I replied.

"I'm really sorry you've been having such a hard time," he said. "Mom is always telling me about your job and everything. We both feel really bad about it. I don't get why you can't seem to catch a break."

"Well, lots of people have it much worse, C," I said. "I just try to remember that, and tell myself each day is one day closer to better times."

"But it doesn't seem fair. You're always nice to everyone."

"Not always," I said, smiling. "You've seen how I am when the Red Sox or Mariners blow yet another game."

"Oh, wow - you refuse to watch the post-game show," he said. "Yeah, that'll show 'em."

He looked over as we sat at a red light.

"I hope next year is a great year for you, Uncle," he said. "You deserve it more than anyone I know."

"Thank you, C," I said, genuinely touched.

"You're welcome," he said, as we neared my doctor's office. "Any plans for tonight?"

"Sleeping and coughing," I replied. "Not necessarily in that order. How about you?"

"Well, I want to go out with this girl I just met... but I don't really have any money."

"I see," I said. "I thought you insist on them paying for the privilege of an evening in your presence?"

"Sometimes I have to send them home if they don't meet my standards," he said. "A gentleman always pays for their cab fare."

(Ed. note: He's joking. :c))

"It's tough having a discerning palate, isn't it?" I said as I reached for my wallet.

"If that means I only go out with hotties... then yeah."

"Something like that," I said as I handed him $40. "By the way, I can't help but notice that you didn't mention this until *after* you buttered me up."

"I figured it couldn't hurt," he said with his trademark half-grin.

"You figured right," I said. "What would you do for $100? Wash my car?"

"Sure," he said. "Eight bucks to run it through a car wash, then the rest is pure profit."

I rolled my eyes as we pulled up to the office.

"Have a good night, C," I said. "I hope she meets your high standards."

"Plenty of fish in the sea, Uncle," he said. "Plenty of fish in the sea. Peace out."

"Peace out," I replied as we bumped fists.


Later that night my sister called me at home to see how I was feeling. I related the details of my chat with C, then asked in passing if he wound up going out that night.

"He did. Why?" she asked.

"I gave him $40," I said. "I was just wondering where he wound up going."

"That little s***!" she exclaimed. "He came home, told me he was going out and had no money, so I gave him $40 too!"

"Well, at least you know he's learned *something* in college," I said.

"I was expecting a little more than buffing up his grifting skills for fifty grand a year," she said.

"Searching for a girl who can keep him in the style to which he's become accustomed is an expensive proposition," I replied.

"Mom has always said no one will ever love C as much as he loves himself," she mused.

"True. Personally, I think he's going to need a harem."

"No, he needs a bodyguard."

"From his exes?"

"No, from me. Because I'm going to throttle him when he gets home."

"And waste a semester's tuition?" I asked.

She sighed.

"Good point," she said. "He does know how to play the angles, doesn't he?"

"See? Now *you've* learned something."



I'm not sure why, but each year my musical tastes turn towards jazz as a new year begins. Perhaps it has something to do with the spontaneity and risk-taking and always beginning anew that seems to lend itself to this time of year. Regardless, here is an astonishing live version of "My Favorite Things" by the great John Coltrane. This is the epitome of transcendent:

When watching clips of jazz musicians from this era, I never fail to be moved by their dignity. In a time of great strife, they persevered and created works of lasting beauty.

Here is one of the other giants of jazz, Miles Davis, from 1964:

And finally, a gorgeous, pastoral masterwork from Bill Evans:

Incredibly, Evans composed this spontaneously in the studio while recording his second album, "Everybody Digs Bill Evans." He only consented to playing it live once after this recording (for a 1978 ballet set to his music); he felt that it would lose its value and meaning as a pure reflection of the moment in which it was created. A true artist.


Jessica Lyn on January 6, 2013 at 3:27 PM said...

I've been missing in action the past few weeks so I was just catching up on your posts.. even when you're feeling under the weather, you still manage to write better than me!.. and make me laugh!

Love ya girl.. and Happy New Year!

Jessica Lyn on January 6, 2013 at 3:29 PM said...

I've been missing in action the past few weeks so I was just catching up on your posts.. even when you're feeling under the weather, you still manage to write better than me!.. and make me laugh!

Love ya girl.. and Happy New Year!

Cassidy on January 6, 2013 at 3:32 PM said...

Thank you, Jess! Been wondering where you've been!

When it comes to my nephew, all I have to do is write down what he says, and then his mother's reaction. They're naturally funny - even when it's unintentional. :c)

Happy New Year, Miss J!!!

== Cass

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