This post follows Phony Gold and Our Patrimony. Language and characterizations reflect the times, people and places.
Without Waymon our two-family home shrunk. That’s a statement I couldn’t attribute to his wife Camille, or sons Richard and Junior together. Combined my aunt and cousins lacked my uncle’s single vitality. Waymon’s subtraction multiplied emptiness.
Although obviously gone, one truly became aware of his absence after the funeral. Esteem him, fear him, my uncle lived 93 years. He’d known a lot of people. Not all of whom went before him.
The significance of Waymon’s death was such that even mother made a pilgrimage to our old modest homestead. Certainly acrimony ruptured my parents. However, that happened in 1966. So long ago time had blurred its sharpness.
Continue reading She Humanized Him
In their reckless haste to denude Waymon and Camille’s portion of our house, my cousin Boopy and her husband Dim overlooked “the pen.” To them, the instrument must’ve been among the most meaningless of trifles. Like all those photographs of her family.
The implement was more than an expensive writing tool. Boopy’s grandfather Waymon bought it for a single use, a distinct purpose. He’d paid attention to the processes which granted blacks greater inclusion into American life. All of them affirmed through signatures. What he had in mind was no less momentous than those bills enacted. Continue reading Our Patrimony
This is a piece of what shall become a lengthier whole. The language and characterizations below reflect the times, places, and people.
Were the Debutante a proper mother throughout the 1970s into 80s, our family would’ve suffered milder disruption. Surely being present in her daughter Boopy’s life, instructing the girl, might’ve made the child impervious to Dim.
While I blame Richard for his premature avoidable 1990 demise, Boopy was the one who pulled down our home in 2005. She performed this by marrying Dim, a rancid example of puerile white trash. Then she let him willingly lead her disastrously astray. Who could’ve foreseen their nuptial the lowlight of 1993?
Had Junior, heir to Richard’s spare, not succumbed to emphysema in 1999 our family presence in Quarropas does not dissolve. It would’ve helped us had he taken a woman better than the Debutante as his bride. That alone should’ve improved the likelihood of his leaving a worthwhile successor.
The Debutante didn’t necessarily need to remain Junior’s wife. Even from afar some maternal instinct alone ought’ve sufficed for her to guide Boopy and deflect catastrophe.
Wife? Nope! Mother? Pah! Continue reading Phony Gold
August does not lend itself to cool reasoning. Heat and humidity alter senses. Fetid extremes don’t simply quicken our humors but agitate them.
Somehow the ancients understood this. And somehow given current advances in science we today dismiss their view as archaic.
We seek reason where none exists. When the answer fails fitting our box we prefer believing the dilemma “inexplicable.” Or worse, chop the matter down and stuff it into an approximation which mollifies us. “Close” suffices because “right” taxes us too much.
Besides, getting it right just may upset a lot of comfortably held perceptions. Well, hidebound ones with which we’re comfortable.
Continue reading From the Miasma
Ideally this post would flog Properly Stirred, the 2013 Slow Boat Media short-story compilation. The three interludes feature Paul Knox, a man who enjoyed his pleasures (okay, more than his fair share of pleasures), yielded to the demands of age and status, believed himself to have contentment, then got bushwhacked.
Better than a redo, Knox reverts throughout Properly Stirred. While not indulging in irresponsibility, he must no longer conform. Paul Knox has achieved an enviable state. He’s been released. And he returns to situations and conditions which had earlier occupied him to happy ends.
Continue reading Down Time
Mother died in January 2013. Since it was winter, I didn’t pull a Meursault. Even if I had random murderous urges and revolver handy, I couldn’t. What two strangers would be strolling on a North Atlantic beach in winter? One? Okay. But two? Please. Continue reading Cool Tours into Evening
Sometimes simplicity is the best provocation.
This season means card exchange. Or should mean it. Email and the erosion of cursive script are turning paper Christmas cards into museum pieces.
Old-fashioned and time consuming as more and more of us regard them, Christmas cards are always welcome at this address. Their reception indicates a thought and care an e-card blast will never convey. Continue reading The Paper Madeleine
Any opportunity to slag ungrateful former employers should be exploited. What follows is one such instance. Continue reading Vacant Copy Desk
My new gig drags me by plenty of evocative sites. On one hand, these cameos across former stages dent the job’s drudgery. On the other, being an older and worldlier actor permits clearer vision and better excavation of how certain scenes skewed wrong.
Nothing like going past a boyhood marker and confirming that age’s innocence to have been blessed ignorance. Knowledge, truly a two-edged sword for adults.
In the setting and people behind this post I merely occupied the periphery. Events unfolded outside my modest Quarropas neighborhood. All this occurred before money became an even greater determinant. Was ours the last generation in which affluence remained understated and character a worthier gauge? Continue reading Elsewhere on Earth
Herewith a routine enough American story.
The police are alerted and respond to a call. What ensues is someone shot dead. An incident, at best run-of-the-mill, balloons into a life and death cycle. And as is common in these United States, the Reaper scythes another citizen inadvertently caught up in procedure gone awry.
If the public is lucky any subsequent anger is brief, intense, then interrupted, curtailed and supplanted by another urgency elsewhere. Should bad luck befall the police, that being focus of the short-attention span society remaining fixed, questions get more pointed while demurrals harder.
The latter befell the Quarropas police department. In a strange way. The initial furor subsided, almost as if it entered winter hibernation. However, on the cusp of spring it all burst stronger. Continue reading Let Us Escalate