Friday, September 28, 2018

2 Minutes. Go!

Write whatever you want in the 'comments' section on this blog post. Play as many times as you like. #breaktheblog! You have two minutes (give or take a few seconds ... no pressure!). Have fun. The more people who play, the more fun it is. So, tell a friend. Then send 'em here to read your 'two' and encourage them to play.

She doesn’t know how to tie them without making the bunny ears, but she drives a BMW. Botox leaking out the corners of her face. She can’t do lots of things, but it don’t matter, Ace. You see that face? Looks like the elephant man to me, but I know you’re just looking for a Kardashian clone and you found one.

Rock on.

My girls tie their own shoes. No rabbit ears. Sixteen years and zero Botox or BMWs between the two of them. They’re out in the backyard getting dirty and yelling at each other. That’s the way it’s done.

I don’t care what my girls want to do with their lives because I know I started them off in the right shoes. They’ll box before they Botox. And they aren’t going to be anybody’s decoration. They will be fierce, screaming truth into the face of the omnipresent sheep.

It’s not what’s in your shoes. It’s what’s in your soul. 

Now, ain’t that deep?

#2minutesgo Tweet it! Share it! Shout it from the top of the shack you live in! I will be out most of the day, but I'll be back...#2minutesgo Tweet it! Share it! Shout it from the top of the shack you live in! I will be out most of the day, but I'll be back...

49 comments:

  1. Ha, box before they Botox. I like that.

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  2. You following that slat-ribbed coydog down the interstate right now?

    Ain’t no towns for miles, just fences and cattle, while the sly grey dog lopes west, lost as the sun.

    Semi-trailers and campers, pickup trucks and seekers, late in the summer, pass the dog however hard he runs, his loose pink tongue a ribbon soliciting some secret charity. Pay him some mind if you also pass by.

    Don’t matter his type or breed—wild, border, working, bright as fireflies, resolute as night. Salute him, greet him, unearth the kindness from the dark ore of your heart, show him something virtuous as you pull away, as you catch a glimpse of his desolate grin in your rearview. He has forever to catch up, a whole lifetime to contemplate his banishment.

    Ain’t ashamed to tell the world I love that mutt. He’s earnest as an abandoned dream in the wake of a long gone carnival. Sad as an old candy wrapper blowing across a field. More fearful than feral.

    Lung shadows and rain squalls appear like arrow falls, the whole land opens its gullet, and distant ranges echo with yipped laments for countless absent place names.

    After some time, you can’t help yourself. You pull onto the fractured shoulder, oh sweet Montana sky, crack the window and breathe the grass-stem purity, and you wait, and you wait, until the tireless adamant blur in your bug-spattered mirror resolves itself into something alive—this wild insistent dog, heedless of pain, hopeful for your love, loping your way, bringing its torn ears and matted fur, carrying its lonely wet ardor, its road stink, here with you now, believing in some kind of reckoning.

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    1. Dang brother. You keep upping your game. This is a super strong, effective, well-balanced piece of flash. And this: "He’s earnest as an abandoned dream in the wake of a long gone carnival. Sad as an old candy wrapper blowing across a field." - well, if you weren't my editor, I might steal it. ;)

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    2. That's the passage I highlighted as well. Just beautiful. Haunted, echoing, and I can hear the wind through this piece.

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    3. My dog, that's beautiful. I just read it aloud to Angelo, and I swear he grinned. Your rhythm, your words, they call to us all.

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  3. His was not the violent death he had feared in his youth. It was, instead, like a tire with a slow leak. Life drained from him a molecule at a time, leaving him a little weaker, a little older, almost imperceptibly, until he did something physical. The ax that he swung easily just last year seemed to weigh a ton this year. Running became walking, and eventually shuffling.

    He’d imagined a hero's death. On a battlefield of some sort. Rescuing a child from a fire. Giving his life jacket to a fellow passenger on a ship.

    It was an embarrassment.

    The mirror told no lies, when he dared look at his reflection. There was the punctuation of time writ large on his forehead and around his eyes. Underscores. Ellipses. Unfinished smiley faces.

    His eyes. Once they were dark green. Then hazel. And now, almost white.

    His beard. Once red, now gray.

    His righteous anger remained. His fury at the injustice in the world, the loss of kindness, that was undiminished. But his means to avenge it, his strength, his loud voice; gone, all gone.

    He reached for his pen, an old-fashioned fountain pen, and a clean sheet of paper.

    “Dear Senator," he began.

    Perhaps he could still change the world. One letter, one whisper, at a time.

    Perhaps his violent end would come still. He looked out the window to see if the black SUV with strange license plates had returned.

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    1. Man, I really dig this one. Begs the question of heroism? Is making it through the bullshit a heroic act in and of itself? The structure and short bullet sentences really work, too.

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    2. Oh, love that. And what Dan said.

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    3. Thanks. I think we as a society forget too easily about those acts of heroism that happen in everyday lives... we focus on the "star heroes." And that's a mistake.

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    4. A thousand times yes. I love this. The punctuation of time! But all of it, really.

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  4. He turned the radio off. There was no good news in the outside world today. Politics was getting ugly, but he knew the truth would prevail. Truth always does, in its own sweet time.

    He closed his eyes, and felt the warmth of the sun on his face. There was a hard freeze last night, and the contrast of the sun’s warmth and the chill air brought him joy.

    The leaves quivered in a breeze. He heard them whisper. He knew they’d be shimmering in the golden light if he opened his eyes, but not yet, not just yet.

    Somewhere, to his left, a little behind, he heard wings beating against the cold air. Then above him, then silence.

    A coyote howled in the distance. Unusual to hear that in daylight, but it was autumn, and unusual things of all sorts happen.

    In the dry leaves, he heard paws padding toward him. A familiar rhythm, for more than a dozen years. Warmth pressed against his leg. His dog, checking that he was all right, even though the dog knew he was prone to silence.

    He opened his eyes and leaned down or rub the head of his faithful companion. The dog was staring up into one of the trees.

    The dog, too, was fond of silence.

    He cricked his neck to see what was in the tree.

    A raven. Head tilted. Staring at him.

    Ravens. Harbingers of death and change. Which would it be today?

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    1. Crushed it! You know the raven will always get me, but especially in this one. And again - the structure is dope. There's a beautiful simplicity to this, too. Love it.

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    2. I love the leaving of the noise, the escape into silence, and the raven, of course. I wonder, too, which one it will be.

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    3. Ravens and coyotes! Tricksters. This feels balanced on a knife edge.

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    4. I am surrounded by tricksters out here...

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  5. Said that her friend got shamed. I know it. I heard the story coming from her lips, but something didn’t smell right about it. Hell, it’s Texas, son. Don’t I know it. That satellite dish on your belt buckle gives it away. That and you told me you were from Texas before you told me your name.

    But let’s talk about you and your friend. I know it’s godawful tough to go to a private school that costs more than my Dad ever made in a year. The girls are so mean. It’s awful. It’s a tragedy. It’s awful tragic. And a coke addict at 16? Sorry. I was living on my own then. I could barely afford cigarettes. Bought big tubs of egg salad for 1.99. I’m real sorry though.

    Get my drinking cup for the road? This is from the guy that just told me that I shouldn’t take Benadryl if I’ve been drinking. Please. Your white collar don’t know shit about the ring around mine. Your wife has every closet in the house stocked with brand new clothes - tags and everything. No shit.

    Please get me out of Texas. Oh, sweet Jesus who I never believed in, I’ll start if you just get me the hell back to San Francisco. I might never sin again.

    Maybe. We’ll talk about it when I’m home.

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    1. This: "Your white collar don’t know shit about the ring around mine."

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    2. Yeah... some folks think big talk means big wisdom. Some folks are wrong.

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    3. This has such great momentum. I love the rhythms at the end, as it builds. Also, I was gonna pick the exact line Laurie did!

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  6. I buy my own now. I don’t wrap them in duct tape when they start wearing out. I don’t buy them three sizes too big so I can grow into them. They say you can tell a lot from someone’s shoes. Man, my whole life story can be told with shoes.

    But I don’t want to talk about me. I want to talk about you. What do your shoes say? Talking back at you with every step. Slip off the curb and get your kicks wet. You want me to walk in them? I’d like to. It’s a nice idea, but we don’t wear the same size.

    So, how about this. You take your shoes on down the road a while. Look back. Smile. They did what they were supposed to do. Protected you. From thorns and blisters. What more can you ask? You want me to understand your whole life?

    You got your laces pulled too tight.

    I’ma rock some high tops. Bright pink with rhinestones. Flashing lights in the bottom that play Three Blind Mice with every step. I’m gonna clean em every night with your mom’s lingerie.

    Or come walk in MY shoes. Watch out for the farmer’s wife, though. That bitch has a knife and knows how to use it.

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    1. A good twist on the walk a mile... and bring on the sequins.

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  7. ...And Nothing But the Truth

    I imagine you can learn it,
    though it could be instinct as well,
    to just not say anything when
    it’s truth you don’t wish to tell.
    Just keep shut your mouth
    and adopt an innocent mien,
    and it’ll all blow over,
    your part never actually seen.
    See? That was easy,
    little me or you might surmise,
    and then comes the day a little white one
    escapes your lips, quelle surprise.
    And if you succeed to
    escape Mom and Dad’s wrath,
    it isn’t long or too difficult
    to follow that path
    along the road to where truth, verity
    and honesty by wayside lay dying,
    because you’ve found you can get more
    with mendacity, fabrication, you know…lying.
    And now it seems falsehood has
    become humanity’s norm,
    where from your house to White House
    untruths fall in a storm.
    But who am I to judge, since
    by definition, I lie for a living,
    a teller of tales, a spinner of yarns
    all these stories I’m always giving.
    So if Diogenes, in the present day
    searched for honesty from sea to sea,
    and his lamp was filched, most would
    shake their heads, miming “Wasn’t me.”
    And now we’ve reached the end of this
    too-long poem you’ve read no doubt sitting,
    and please know I’ll never lie
    in my heartfelt words to you…


    …Nah, I’m kidding.

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    1. Spot on. Has an RW Service vibe I really dig.

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    2. I like it... the bit of humor with the rhymes... I always am in awe of people who can rhyme and still make things flow and make sense. This was my favorite:
      "But who am I to judge, since
      by definition, I lie for a living,
      a teller of tales, a spinner of yarns
      all these stories I’m always giving."

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  8. Interlude

    It would be best on this gray dawn
    for us all, myself the most,
    if you’d just consider me all but gone.
    I don’t mean away, more like a ghost.
    Another poem for you I cannot start,
    see how these rhymes are awkward and poor?
    And the words you’d always take to heart,
    well, they just don’t come anymore.
    I’ve nothing in me to give you, grand or small,
    the reason for which might simply be,
    not because I no longer love you all,
    but I never could find a way to love me.
    This is what I see in all my tomorrows,
    framed in this broken heart and bowed head.
    I can’t take my own, drowning in a well of sorrows,
    so I’ll take leave from your life, instead.

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    1. Oh, damn, this one cuts like scalpel.

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    2. Wow, yes, this one is very good. Almost sonnet-like, although the rhyme scheme's more straightforward.

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    3. I was thinking of sonnets, too. The sadness and definitiveness of this make my heart ache.

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  9. “I don’t love you, anymore,” Mike told his feet.

    “Stop being a pussy.” Herb smacked Mike’s shoulder. “You don’t start out a breakup with some lame-ass shit about not loving her. She doesn’t need to know the reason. Tell her you’re ending it, give her key back, and get the fuck out of Dodge.”

    “My God, no wonder you’ve been divorced eight times,” Kitty said. “I’m amazed none of your ex’s has taken a shot at you.”

    “Who said that?”

    Mike laughed, even though it wasn’t funny, because he knew Herb had been target practice for more than one angry woman. It had happened at the station twice. Now Mike had a better idea as to why.

    “He got one thing right, though,” Kitty told Mike. “Don’t tell her you don’t love her anymore. Tell her it’s over. Tell her it’s not her, it’s you. Tell her you’re sorry. Ask to be friends.”

    “I don’t want to be her friend,” Mike protested. “Hell, the only time we get along is when we’re fucking and that’s ‘cause we’re too distracted to talk.”

    There were several grunts of amusement or understanding from the guys in the down room. Kitty shook her head at all of them.

    “You think she wants to be friends?” she asked. “Fuck no, she doesn’t want to be friends. One way or the other she’ll be hoping to never lay eyes on you, again. But you say it, then you’re the good guy. Get brownie points in before she can. Best thing you can do to keep your stuff from getting shit-canned.”

    “How do you know all this crap?” Herb asked Kitty, eyeing her with deep suspicion.

    “I may hang around with you guys all the time, but I am still a chick,” Kitty said. “Playing with fire hoses doesn’t change that.”

    “Thought you were a lezbo,” Greg said. The others chuckled.

    “You’ve met my husband, asshat.”

    “Shit, Dan ain’t a chick? No wonder he didn’t get pissed when I copped a feel the other night,” Cap said as he passed by Kitty. She flipped him off. He shrugged and said, “I just thought she was easy. Was trying to figure out how to break it to you, tonight.”

    “Alright, men – apparently excluding Kitten, here – time to get down to the serious business of giving all your money to me,” Angel teased. “Texas Hold-um, five dollar buy-in…”

    He was cut off by the bell. Everyone moved at once, but out of long-habit they knew how to stay out of each other’s way. The truck pulled out of the fire station seconds later.

    Cap called out directions to Theo. Kitty relayed the fire info from the dispatcher to the other firefighters. Mike double-checked everyone’s gear.

    The flames had already consumed half the house by the time they got to it. A little girl hung out the window, crying. Her big sister was behind her, rag covering her mouth, squirming, panicked kid tucked tight against her front.

    “Parents?” Kitty asked.

    “Already out,” Cap said.

    Mike got the ladder in place. Kitty climbed up, with Herb spotting her. Mike, Cap, and Greg went in to try to contain the fire.

    Kitty had the little girl, was about to leave the window with her, when the big girl shrieked. There was no time to think. Kitty grabbed her hand and held on tight. She had one sister wrapped around her neck and the other clutched onto her hand for dear life.

    Herb persuaded the youngest to let go of Kitty and climb down the ladder to him. Kitty hauled the oldest up onto, then out through the windowsill right before flames licked through it. They hightailed it to the ground right behind the little one.

    An hour later the firefighters trudged back to the down room. Too tired to think, they fell onto beat-up chairs and couches that leaked stuffing. No one said a word for the longest time.

    Then…

    “You felt Dan up?” Kitty asked Cap.

    “Yup.”

    “Crotch or tits?”

    “What am I, a perv?” Captain Ingle asked. “Tits.”

    “Good, then, we’re even,” Kitty said. “I fondled your wife’s last week.”

    “Shut up,” Cap said. “I know that shit ain’t true. She won’t even let me touch ‘em.”

    “Then she likes me better,” Kitty said. “I got pictures to prove it.”

    “So, about that Hold ‘Um game…” Angel said as he strode towards the table. “Who’s in?”

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    Replies
    1. I like this piece a lot. Especially given the current climate. There is a distinction between mutually respectful shit-talking and harassment. This seems real, loving, like a family.

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    2. Yeah, what Dan said. :) Also, I think readers and even many writers underestimate how difficult it is to mimic authentic dialogue, and you completely nail it here, Erin.

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    3. Yep. I know firefighters, and you nailed their talk. The basic story is good, too. They have to compartmentalize, just like anybody who deals with stress does.

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  10. It seems that people entered into a movement expecting that Disney would mate with the sixties and we would all grow up in a warm and loving place where no man or woman was ever harassed or assaulted again and we all treated each other fairly. Time to wake up, people. That shit ain’t gonna happen.

    People are backing out of #metoo and shaming Asia Argento because they are shocked that she sexually molested a minor, and all I can do is stare in wonder at the naivety of the world. Don’t get me wrong, if you want out because one of the founders of a movement is a hypocrite, more power to you. However, you people find this surprising behavior from someone who was sexually assaulted? Did you pay attention?

    If you are beaten, raped, mentally abused, or neglected you run the risk of acting out in the same or a similar fashion at some point in your life. Abusers are often abused and assuming that this can’t apply to women is just another form of discrimination.



    We’re talking about rape. This comes with a lot of baggage. Guilt. Shame. Fear. Self-loathing. Loss of identity. Do you really think every story is going to end well? Do you believe we all got saved from trauma by some benevolent being who waved a wand and made all of the bad things go away? Trust me, it didn’t happen that way for the majority of us.



    Yes, I am a victim. Yes, I do have problems in everyday life.



    I don’t date. It’s not that I can’t date. I won’t date. Some foolish voice inside my head has been growing insistent in the last few years. It says that I might have changed. It says that I should try again. It says that this doesn’t have to end in disaster. Personally, I think all of that is bullshit and this little voice in my head is just lonely, but what do I know?



    I don’t date because I am a bitch as a girlfriend. I don’t mean that I nag or whine or want to spend every second glued to dude’s side. I mean that I am a stone-cold, heartless bitch. I push the guy away. I run. I find his weaknesses and when we fight – and we will fight – I make sure to land my blows in the most sensitive places. If all of that doesn’t work, I just turn cold. Frozen. Frigid. I push them away long before there is any chance of intimacy, and believe me, I am not talking about the kind you find in the bedroom. I mean true intimacy. I mean knowing routines and favorite movies and how to make him feel better if he’s had a shit day.



    I get that my coping mechanism isn’t as bad as sexual assault, but it’s not good either. It’s also one of many. When you live in fear, when you live in a world where you are put down and marginalized on a regular basis, you do not come out a whole, healthy adult. Let’s stop living in that fantasy-land. I’m not suggesting that these women and men have a right to be forgiven for bad behavior, but I am saying that none of us are likely to be sainted any time soon. I am not shocked that there is a possibility that this woman acted out. I’d be shocked if it didn’t happen. She should have owned it, but we don’t do that these days. We’re all brave enough to stand up and say #metoo, but we’re not anywhere near courageous enough to stand up and tell the world that we fucked up. We’re human. We were wrong. We apologize and we will aim to do better. Most of all, we do not aim to do better. Let's fix that..

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  11. Part 1:

    It’s the only house on the road that doesn’t look deserted, and there’s only one Henry Street in town. I half expect to see Jessie’s red car in the driveway, even though the cops told me it was in impound, part of a crime scene. A petite, dark-haired woman answers the door and I flush, blanking from my mind another slow-motion scene of Jessie driving her car into the river. I ask, “Are you Sophie?”

    She looks like she’s been crying. She looks like she’s cried out all the water in her body.

    “I’m Jeff, her—” She pulls me into her arms tight like she, too, is drowning.

    I don’t know how long we stand there, but it doesn’t matter. Because she’s like my sister, too, even though we’ve never met before. Now we’re tied together. I haven’t allowed myself to feel anything since I got the phone call and a few tears gather in my eyes.

    Eventually she pulls back and her face looks haunted and she invites me inside. Everywhere, I see my sister. In the decorating, in the flowers on the tables, in the art on the walls. I don’t know how else to explain it, but I see her spirit, and know that she was happy in this place. But apparently being happy here with Sophie hadn’t been enough. I won’t ask Sophie that question of why. I don’t have the right. She makes us tea in the small kitchen just off the living room, and her shoulders are small and hunched, like she’s trying to keep it together. I want to turn and run but I can’t make my big-ass feet move and besides, I’ll feel like total shitheel if I take off now. I wonder if Sophie has other friends, or family, or if her family disowned her, too. I want to ask about that. I want to know that someone else’s family weren’t assholes like mine.

    I do lame guy things like ask if I can help with anything around the house. I change all the lightbulbs. Sophie isn’t very tall and some of the bulbs are out and I can reach them. Jessie would have been able to reach them. She’s only a year older than me. I called her Pippi Longstocking and she called me Ginger Bear. We were each other’s constant companions, but when we reached middle school we fell into our adolescent selves and weren’t ever as close, and I’m mad at myself all over again about that.

    After I change the bulbs, I feel antsy and ask what’s going to happen next with Jessie. My voice breaks on her name and I clear my throat. I can’t imagine my parents will allow her to be buried in the church graveyard. They’ve already locked her out of their lives and thrown away the key.

    “I think she would have wanted cremation. She liked simple. Maybe we’ll have a memorial with a bunch of our friends. Low key, you know? You’re invited, of course.” She puts a hand over mine. “If there’s anyone else you’d like to bring...?” Her eyebrows rise in hope, and I want to tell her my parents will undoubtedly stop being jerks and want to say goodbye, but I’d hate to disappoint her.

    Then her eyes gloss over again with tears. “She left something for you.” Her voice chokes and she bounds off the couch and up the stairs, returns holding an envelope.

    I’m afraid to open it. Sophie waves a hand across the space between us. “Whenever you want.” It’s pretty cool the way she seems to get me. Maybe Jessie and I were closer than I’d thought. That definitely doesn’t make me want to open the letter. Like maybe part of me will drown in the river, too.

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  12. Part 2

    The invitation comes addressed to me and I leave it open on the kitchen table and none of us talk about it, and a week later it’s still there. On the day of the memorial, my stomach’s in knots. Dad has to work and Mom’s in church, so I figure I should go, but I don’t want a bunch of strangers pitying me. I imagine myself walking in. And then I see myself having a panic attack about facing all those people and what they’re thinking about me and my family. They must know by now how my family treated her.

    I hide in my room, feeling the hole in me deepen. I want to fill it with food to shut down the voices, fill the void, stop the pain. I make mac and cheese and each the whole thing out of the pot in my room while I watched some bullshit on television I’ll never remember.

    And then I open Jessie’s letter.

    Dear dear Ginger Bear,

    It wasn’t your fault.

    Love forever, Jessie

    I start to cry in my damn mac and cheese. Then I clean myself up and go to the memorial. It’s already started and I sneak into the back, my stomach still knotted up and wanting to barf.

    Sophie catches my eye and smiles at me and sneaks into the back to sit with me and put an arm around my shoulders. The song is nice. It’s what Jessie used to play on her guitar in her room when she was happy. After a while, I stop hoping for some Disney miracle like my parents walking through the door, tearful with forgiveness, and just listen to the music.

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    Replies
    1. The music is better than the Disney miracle. Yeah, I love this. Why is quiet heartbreak so much more heartbreaking than loud heartbreak?

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  13. The women in the kitchen were the first to see him. They were busy in there, organizing the refreshments and the covered dishes after the community came together following the Celebration of Life for the recently deceased Justice of the Peace, Harrison J. Teeter, who, being a well respected sort of character, naturally attracted quite a crowd.
    Most of the mourners were still at the cemetery, so the ladies were just getting set up when he took them by surprise, showing up at the back door with a huge, tinfoil casserole pan of King Ranch Chicken and the kind of a smile and startling deep blue eyes that would surely turn any number of women’s heads, no matter how unfortunate the circumstances.
    It was Althea Whiteside who relieved him of the pan, and already practically famous for her acts of micro-aggression down the First Church of the Wholly Redeemed, passed it off to Lydia Scout, then bold as you please, reached up and touched one of his fat black curls and said. “My goodness, what beautiful hair. Does that run in your family?”
    He flashed his teeth at her. “ Yes Ma’am,” he said, then dropped his voice, but not enough that we all couldn’t hear. “My momma’s one a them eye-talians you know. Came down the river from Missouri. I’m Marcus . Marcus Teeter.”
    Althea raised a delicate brow. “Oh? A relative? I wasn’t aware the Justice had much by way of family. So sorry for your loss.”
    “Not much of a loss, Ma’am. I barely knew him. Didn’t even find out he was my daddy until momma passed last year. I’m what you might call a love child. Just figured it couldn’t hurt to come.”
    “Don’t know why you cared to do that much,” grumped old Louella Hanks. “I got no respect for any man leaves a woman in the family way. And from what I know, that old man never could keep it in his pants.”
    “Hush, Louella!” Georgia McKinney was dumping rice pudding into a salad bowl. “It ain’t right to speak ill of the dead. The reception is just through there, Mr. Marcus. Go fix yourself a plate.”
    Well, he flashed his teeth again at all of us and headed through the swinging door. It took another minute before we could gather our thoughts. Finally, Beth Ann Lucas who was working on a second glass of wine from the Boda box on the counter piped up, big as you please, “Have you ever seen anything that pretty in your life?”
    “And those shoulders!” Annie Kemp put in as she took a pie from the oven. “Have mercy!”
    “Annie Kemp, mind yourself. Haven’t you got 4 kids already? What are you doing? Looking at men!” Grace Atkins fanned herself with a corner of her apron and relieved Beth Ann of a slug of wine. “Though that one sure ain’t hard to look at, I’ll give you that.”

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  14. Louella was scowling up at the TV in the corner as it replayed the hearings up in Washington. For reasons not entirely clear, The Justice had a TV mounted in every single room of his house, blasting the news from every conceivable outlet and some we hadn’t even heard of. There was a satellite dish in the back yard the size of a flying saucer, too. But even though Grace had found a way to mute the volume, none of us could figure out how to turn them off, either. “That, “ Louella announced suddenly, “is the whole problem right there.”
    I stared at the TV for a second. The split-screen showed a scared looking blonde seeming like she was about to cry and some red faced nominee trying to shout something while a bunch of Senators and such kept shaking their heads and pounding their gavels. “Well,” I told her, “It’s a mess all right. But I don’t see …”
    “Sex!” Louella turned on me. “It’s this kinda thing. All it makes people do is stop minding their own damn business and think about sex all the time. Used to be people kept this sort of thing behind closed doors where it belonged and now it’s blasting out on the television 24/7. He said, she said, me too hashtag, fuck you. How’s a person supposed to know what to think?”
    “I think I wouldn’t mind that roto rooter doing a turn in my lady garden,” said Gracie.
    Louella faced her square. “Exactly! Me neither, if you want to know the truth. But you got no idea how to get that, do you?”
    “This chicken’s gonna burn if we don’t get it out there,” Annie hustled in. “Wouldn’t want to ruin the man’s contribution.”
    “I always say to Freddie: ‘My next husband’s gonna know how to cook!’” Annie blushed. “But of course, I don’t mean it!”

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  15. “Yes you do,” I murmured. “But you keep him, right? How is he in the sack? Exactly?”
    Annie hung her head. “He doesn’t want anything!. Since the prostate, I might as well be dead. Only, I’m not.”
    “I hear you, baby. Althea replied. “Hell, I never knew what a sex toy was until I was 57, and even then. I thought I had to keep it secret.”
    “Louella’s right.” The Boda box was nearly empty. “ So, what do we want ? What is sex, anyhow?”
    “We’re taught not to want it, to withhold it, not to desire, while men are taught to conquer, to rescue us, and clear up the confusion.”
    And when they do? Is that rape?
    The women in the kitchen kept looking at Louella, trying to think what to say, thinking of the dead Judge, imagining the pleasure and wondering what to say.


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  16. Sorry about that. Will try to finish up tomorrow. These women...

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