Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dear Joe.....

You're right about the being scared part, you know? I can't explain it really, except that it's a lifelong habit resulting from having my heart handed squarely back to me whenever I say the magic words "i love you."

"Not that way" they say. You're my buddy and my pal but I never thought of you as anything but a friend. I suppose it's a start and sometimes new chapters are written like that. Truth be told, that was how I got the courage up to end that miserable marriage. I fell in love with Terry Lee and was stupid enough to tell it, even though nothing ever came of my schoolgirl yearnings for a farmboy. Whenever we talked, his parting shot was "later, girl."

He never called me like you was always me punching those numbers into the phone needing to hear his voice so I knew that somebody somewhere was listening to my pain. I reckon he felt obliged since we were friends and had been in the trenches together for so long. I pissed him off one day up at the bar and haven't had a conversation since then. I can't help it..he's worth more than some idiot user chick who gives him a black eye when he hauls her drunk ass out of a ditch in the rain. He always did have a thing for the crazy ass skinny bitches, bless his heart.

I miss you already, but I'm not afraid 'cuz I know you'll be back sooner or later.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

for whom the cell phone ringeth

Sometimes I try to remember what it was like before the days of 24/7 communication via cell and internet. My memory doesn't have to stretch very far back because both of these luxuries are things that I couldn't afford until a few years ago. My daddy, the ultimate cattleman and farmer who could never stand to waste daylight is spending his twilight years in a recliner with a cellphone in his pocket so he won't have to get up and disturb his marathon viewing of old cowboy shows. I have to give him this....he tries to help Mama in the kitchen for the first time ever, serving as her eyes as they work together to prepare their meals. When she tells him to cut the bananas in half twice for frozen salad, she never knows that he only made one slice lengthwise because she can't see what he's doing. It's all good, because the taste is the same.

Daddy's current state of mind can best be described as a mellowing and softening that comes with the return of long lost childlike behavior, and I must say that I adore it in the man who struck fear in my heart for many years. Oh, he never hit me or did anything mean like that. I learned much later on in life that his anger and frustration at the world came from growing up poor as a sharecropper's only son with three sisters tormenting him from sun up to sun down in the fields. All I ever wanted was to settle into his lap and fall asleep but he was too tired from working two jobs to support three kids and a wife. By day he was officially an agent of the plant pest control division of the USDA, tracking the evil Japanese beetle with colored pins stuck on a map of the southeast. The bulk of his time away from government work was spent raising cattle and managing the farm on which we lived. Some of us are still here to tell the story.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

what goes around.........comes around

As.I.type, presidential election circa 2008 is being tallied for all of posterity to remember as the day that Dubya decided to retire from his war mongerin' ways. It's too early to tell if that colored guy will win, but if I was a betting woman? I'd say we'll be okay if he don't. God promises that to the faithful ones who take care of mother earth.

It's been the damndest thing since 2000. There was a dictator over in Iraq who got caught in a hole by the mighty armed forces of the USA and then we lost a bunch of American citizens at the hands of extremists. Don't ask for the number....I've lost count but it's way too many. Then there was Katrina and the fucked up response to a monster storm that was on everybody's radar for a full week. Don't EVEN get me started on Terri Schiavo and Frist because, frankly? What I have to say might be pretty but it ain't politically correct. That woman will be the one poking him with a pitchfork in hell. I'm just saying that as the truth. Who the heck knows?

If you ask me we should have kicked their asses back in Fallujah when the effigies of contractors went swinging on the bridge. This particular war has been about making more money for the rich folks and diverting attention from our problems at home. I believe that the confidence of the American people at this point in time could be aptly described as at an all time low. Well, since the great depression anyways. My parents grew up during that era so they know of which I write.

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Virtue of Humility

It's been one of those days like when you get up on your knees from the last hit, determined to soldier on and BAM! somebody smacks you right back down to ground zero. I've been there a hundred times before, but it always feels like the first time. Okay, so I give. You can kill me, but you can't eat me. Not just yet.

Sittin here on the eve of this historic election I have to wonder how the rich and pampered will survive if and when they ever walk a mile in our shoes. You know...we the people who pay for those who have and those who don't. The freakin' middle class that gets no breaks.

I suppose it was just the straw that broke this camel's back, but the online bank statement sent me into a frenzy. DirecTV took my debit card number and ran through 500 bucks worth of unauthorized charges for my "failure" to complete our contract. Gee..I didn't know we had one! That was almost as expensive as the divorce. To this day, I still have two last names because I failed to make it legal in the courtroom that fateful morning. Following a coupla' days of lay down and die sickness, I met the lawyer in court to say "I don't" anymore, and it was a done deal. Giddy from the excitement of being free I set out to reclaim my life and find the new me. Little did I know that the financial constraints of one income would rain on that parade.

Our daughter was graduating from high school that May and we sat on the bleachers in the gym together, grateful to have her in one piece and moving into the next phase. There was no anger at that point, just relief from the constant pressure of living together as roommates. He had his life and I had mine...but we would always be connected by our child and the life that lay precariously in front of her.

It was all good for the first year or two. I worked through the losses as they came, often with my babygirl sitting next to me...both of us in tears. Twenty years is a long time to spend together and walk away from. The truth is, the whole time we were married I felt the burden of his unfinished business hanging around my neck like a damn hundred pound weight. Our family was the fragile rope that kept him from going off the deep end and I felt the noose tightening every day. He had no money for moving expenses so I paid for that with the last credit I had available and that's where the financial trouble began.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Everybody! Mambo!

I don't know what it is about the drummers that always manages to catch my heart. Must be their desire to get jiggy with the rest of the band. My very first boyfriend was a drummer in a rock band, circa 1970 or so. Dude walked all the way from town out to mama's house just to have the pleasure of sittin' on the front steps with my teenage self. Gotta love that sort of devotion, ya know? As I recall, it was late spring and the strawberries were ripe for picking. His hair was down to his shoulders and he wore granny glasses like all good hippies did back in the day. I've still got the jewelry box. These days it's filled with my favorite things.