Reminuisance (for Sabby)

…Yeah, I was doing it again

exercising my diabolical rite (misspelling intentional good readers ­čśë ┬á) to think back…

way back

to before you bent over backward to receive your award

for being the most entertaining guest at my table

and I

being the hostess

couldn’t wait to hear your acceptance speech

you sure as hell could capture an audience with your gaze and sway

I was young and petulant but prudent

and you were bruised but still alive

wearing your vice on your sleeve still doesn’t seem like a good idea to me

but then you always approved when I kept my clean eyes on the door

just in case we felt hasty

for a taste of the street

The Last Time I Saw Raymond

I was out taking a drive back in the woods. When I came to the crossroads and the dirt road to town, I could see Raymond’s trademark bicycle propped against his porch. This was always a signal that he was available for a visit if the passerby was inclined to sit and chat about the state of the world or local gossip. Only one thing made me hesitate: hygiene. Raymond was not the cleanest of human beings and aside from the constant line of grime around his neck the smell of his kitchen sink could stop a wild bull from charging. Curiosity got the better of me, as well as some childhood nostalgia about this crazy old man in his eighties, so I parked my car on his patch of grass, being careful not to crush his “dandylyin flowers.” Raymond shouted to me from inside the dusky kitchen to “Come on in” and when I stepped across the threshold, a body moved like a streak of lightening behind the chair where Raymond was perched. He followed my gaze and said “Oh, don’t pay any attention to her, she’s foolish and just stayin’ with me, she’s my housekeeper.” I looked around at the dog shit on the floor, assorted bottles, cans, styrofoam containers, chipped mugs, empty pickle jars and rotting food in various stages of decomposition and wondered just what exactly ‘house keeping was’ because as far as I could tell, this wasn’t it.

He offered me a chair and when I sat down, I felt something scurry up my leg and back down again. I shuddered and he laughed with his empty mouth, devoid of any teeth, since he had them removed back in the fifties because he didn’t want them to rot and choke him in his sleep. “It ain’t nothin’, just a centeepeed, won’t hurt ya.” I stood up and shook myself clear of whatever the hell it was and sat back down, just in time for Raymond to offer me a cup of tea from a pickle jar he used as a mug. I declined as politely as possible, but he didn’t really notice my queasy expression because he was too involved in the laborious task of licking his metal pie/dinner plate clean. As I watched, fascinated by the horror of it all, I tried with a great deal of difficulty to determine what precisely he’d been consuming, and if it would kill a weaker life form were they to swallow it. Finally, I could stand it no longer and I asked what he’d had for dinner. “Well, I bin down to the high school and ya know, them kids throw out some right good food, and as I’m savin’ for a new bike, I bin rescuing some of them lunches and savin’ them for my supper. I got more it you want some, it’s one of them leftover Donairs.” Naturally, my response was “gee, that’s nice of you to offer Raymond, but I’ve just eaten and I’m full up.” To which he replied, good thing then, cause I was hopin’ to have it for breakfast.”

Our conversation went on like this for about an hour, with little tid bits about his daily wood cutting activities thrown in for good measure. Finally, he started to gossip, which is why most people came to see him anyway, me included. I learned all about who was cheating on their spouse and their taxes, who was on welfare, growing pot on the back forty and to sum it all up, who was going to burn in the heat of hell fire for being an unrepentant sinner. He rounded off our evening visit with a lovely rendition of Rock of Ages and when he held a note, his eyes jiggle in their sockets as if the notes were shaking them loose. By the time he’d finished, I was more than ready to go, most especially because his ‘housekeeper’ came out from the other room like a mouse on roller skates announcing her angry departure because it was clear to her that he and I were having an affair! I made haste while the light faded and bid them both farewell, completely ignoring her insane insinuation. Just as I put my keys in the ignition, Mrs. Housekeeper asked me for a ride into town and on the way, she regaled me with stories from her life as a housekeeper and just as I guessed, it had absolutely nothing to do with cleaning.

I never saw Raymond again, but I do have a photo someone took of me with him, picking blueberries when I was three. Sometimes, when I see an empty pickle jar, I think of him and wish for one last visit in his little shack at the crossroads.

Mark wrote something wonderful on his blog that inspired me to write this. Thank you Mark!

SUZE

Suze  loved her drink and her pills

but she loved her bulimia more

She felt safe to act out her lack of control

behind a locked bathroom door

*********************************

MARRYPOSA

Brewery Bay on wedding day

The world in the palm of my hand

Turned to mad hot ashes slipping through

my fingers like hour glass sand

I frantically tried to reclaim each grain

and count them one by one

But the sun left the sky in the blink of an eye

Leaving us blind, deaf and dumb

********************************

COTTAGE

She was here before me

A pretty girl like Plath

No one talked about her shotgun wedding

or

her shotgun death

Self inflicted ends are not discussed

in homes with  proper speech and  lies

It was easier for them to pretend her away

than admit that she wanted to die

***********************************

ROOT (for J.M.)

How does it feel for you

now

that you are alone in the country of old age and isolation

The seniority of clarity during the hours, minutes and seconds of each day

aware that your caustic hate finger poked and pushed too much

the innocent and gentle

YOU

hit too hard

took it too far

Look at the road behind you now

you are close to your mortal end

The wreckage is heaped on the once empty places in between

where your love is supposed to be

Two wives died to get away from you

and your son overdosed in his bed

But you know that I know that you are the twisted root

the cause of the rot and disease

and when I hear of your longed for demise

your final rolling away

I can’t deny

I’ll smile all day

Vindictive bitch that I am

I won’t mourn your loss of life

I’ll be too busy being ┬áterribly pleased