I used to be a good man. There are memories, strong, of sitting on the porch with Marcie. We drank sweet tea from jelly jars. The porch was cluttered with flower pots and lawn chairs and Marcie’s rainbow of flipflops. I rested my hand on her thigh and we watched the alfalfa fields shift in the wind, like feathers rising from water, and imagined shapes in the chameleon clouds. Sometimes I plucked dandelions from the lawn and tucked one behind her ear. She laughed, then scowled, then laughed again. Eventually, the sweet tea became bourbon, and the laughter became the deepest part of our summer nights. We were young, so young. I remember I wanted her and she wanted me, and then somewhere, somehow, we became poison to each other. I was a good man once, but that might just be a dream, a desire for long-ago soundness.
She stirs the big copper pot, bubbling onions and carrots and sliced red potatoes, salted and peppered, frothing like ocean foam, and the steam rises, a thin blur of vapor smears the kitchen window, aromas of home. Seeds and spilled spices on the countertop, overhead fan whirling its muscular rhythm, bubbling yellow broth, the tap-tap-tap of a wooden spoon against metal, dull noise in the grand silence. It was her mother’s pot, handed down like the silverware and the wedding dress and the family casserole recipes. This is how you will live, it was implied: cooking soup, controlling the stove’s flame, memorizing ingredients. The steam will frizzle your hair and make your hands damp, and the aromas will be your home. The bone china bowls with the rose patterns, faded now, handed down, and the gravy boat and the silver serving platter, all hers now, stored in molding cardboard boxes. No clobbered tin cups, no McDonald’s water glasses, no plastic plates collected from flea markets, not for you, but these fine Revere Ware copper pots, and ivory tablecloths, and crystal pickle dishes, these make a house a home. And the steam rises in the kitchen.
With the so-called “Snowpocalpyse” on its way, we’re making preparations. Living in a somewhat isolated area, there’s a good chance we won’t see civilization for a few days, so we’re ready. Pizza and a movie tonight, tuck in under some blankets, and watch the world turn into a blank page for the next couple of days. As long as we don’t lose power….
This shot was taken last year, which wasn’t nearly as bad as what’s been forecast. We’ll see. The old Ford may just disappear this time around.
Stay safe, stay warm, keep those blankets and the hot chocolate nearby. 🙂
We run for the sun
and its narrow-hipped glow,
a slow pursuit to regain our youth,
the cold in our bones grows livelier
but we chase ourselves, renew ourselves
and bruise ourselves in that abundant attempt;
no, don’t forget who we were,
we keep running just for the movement,
just for the moment, and we haven’t stopping
Another strong review for Ordinary Handsome. For those interested, the link is below. (However, I do wish the reviewer spelled my first name correctly. I blame Stephen King and his popularity. It would help greatly if he spelled his name with a V).
For a limited time, Ordinary Handsome is on sale for 99 cents. That’s right, shoppers, for a limited time only, an amazing and unbelievable 99 cents! But wait, there’s more! (There’s not really more.) What do I need to do, you ask? Follow the link! You too can say you bought something today on Amazon!
Tired of those cheap 65 cent /ton clothes pins? Frustrated by those pants that were shipped with only one leg and no zipper? Embarrassed by that David Hasselhoff “Knight Lover” CD that was shipped “by mistake”? Well no more. Now you can be the proud owner of (turns page, loses spot on page, remembers his coffee is on the counter getting cold, watches the last half hour of CSI: Miami because, hey, they’re cool shades and David Caruso is a dweeb, but the shades almost make up for it) Ordinary Handsome! The novel everyone in the bathroom is talking about! (Forgets he’s in the bathroom and shuts the door.)
For less than the price of a gas station cup of coffee, you too can be the proud owner of something. Aggravated by harsh sales pitches? Annoyed by the guy who drives his ’74 Datsun up and down the road because he’s probably lost? Fed up with LOUD people asking you to buy stuff that you desperately need? Say no more. It’s here and it’s cheap, baby, cheaper than that strip mall you invested in before the Y2K, um, thing. (Really? A strip mall? In Buck Naked, Wyoming? Shame on you.)
Catches his breath, naps, and then waits for the next “Everyone Loves Raymond Episode”, the one where Robert maybe didn’t love Raymond after all.
Okay. Sales pitch done. Enjoy the rest of your evening. Regular programming will now resume.
Walks away grumbling about being a lousy salesman…. maybe drywall for dog houses next? Yeah.