About the only boyfriends that I had during my early teenage years were friends of my parents friends who let us loose long enough to run around in the bushes after dark. My first (and only) date to homecoming was with the son of a Jewish family who sold couture clothes and shoes to the rich locals. Times were good back then....money for nothing and chicks for free. My first Valentine came from none other than Jackie himself with whom I had smooched in the bushes a few weeks prior. We were maybe 11 at the most. Tim was the other member or our tribe. Our mamas played bridge together and all the daddies were friends, so why not bring the kids along?
I first met Jim in junior high school. He and his sister Marcie had moved here from Chicago with their family. I should have known that he would be the only one to walk all the way from town to my house just to see my face. My parents were astonished to find this long haired hippie type dude showing up at the front door to our log cabin during strawberry season. He was a drummer in a local band, and invited me to come see his group play over in Lauderdale county. The grands said OK and I survived to lose him to some other hippier chick than myself. Right after that is when I figured that I should probably straighten up and fly right so I could get a high school diploma. Oddly enough, that happened as a result of my friendship with Sisa. She and her sister were both dating stoners when their house burned and they moved out to the motel that their aunt owned. It was nice back then....clean and not full of crackheads like it was before the flood last year. Directly to the right of the former Plaza motel is the shell of a building that was once the Plaza food center. It has been there all of my life, but looks like it needs a good bulldozing and some drainage work. The heirs live in other towns so they're not much interested in preserving the history of Dyer County. Don't own? Can't defend. Some things you just can't argue, no matter how much you want to. I hear corporate is coming sometime in May to see how things look on our farm. Guess I better get busy cleaning up the redneck shit in the yard, huh?
What fascinates me is how I have become friends with so many people by being myself and refusing to accept a label. That is always a personal choice, and one that many folks take to an extreme. Get over it ya'll. All it takes is one look at the new and improved comedy and you just know that it's gonna be alright sooner or later. Laughter is the best medicine because it beats the hell out of crying. Anyone who who has any sort of faith at all will find a way to embrace joy when and where it happens. Some days it's a rainbow....other times it's just a well timed hug or a bake sale just because times are hard. Then again, it can turn up as a smackdown with the devil over the most trivial seeming issues like freedom from tyranny and basic human rights.
I don't have any magic answers, and neither does anybody else. All we can do is keep the faith. Here's hoping you will do the same ^j^