Saturday, December 18, 2010

Blind Witness to Some Wishes Unearned

She had long taken heed of the shallower implications of her aging.   So much so, that these new circumstances... her widowhood, her isolation, her dependence on the few she wished, frankly, she didn't have to talk to at all... struck her, mostly, in their scale, more so than their substance.  "Here I am, " she thought, as she always knew she would.  The ugly formica paneling of a waiting room.  The caustic uncertainty with no one to soothe its burning.  The plain, unforgivable fact that she not only could have predicted this all, but long ago looked upon these prosaic objects that were in fact all that remained, and said to herself, "this is what it will look like."  She had never looked away.  And now things looked just as she had thought.

"Mrs. Auburn, your sisters nearly done," said the very nice nurse.  And it was certainly good to be forewarned.  She used to flush with anger at the unexpected phone call, back when weeks would pass without incident.  Back when life, her life, was what anyone would recognize as normal.  Today though, Dilly was never surprising in any way at all.  Never surprisingly thoughtful. Never surprisingly lucid.  Never surprisingly resilient.  Well... she had never been resilient at all.  So, no surprise.

Dilly did come through the door, looking pretty and composed.  She was telling the nurse something about somewhere she'd never been.  It all sounded perfectly plausible.  The nurse clearly recognized which was the life of the party.  Anne hated partys.  The nurse wouldn't hate parties she realized.  And surely, like so many people, the nurse could not imagine hating Dilly.

As Dilly looked into her eyes, with the subtle triumph in her eyes that reflected her pretensions had fooled them all again, Anne knew she would say nothing to contradict her sister.  "Are you hungry?" were the only words she could even think of.  And, of course, they had the benefit of having something to do with her own circumstance.

"I don't know," said Dilly.  "We should go to a movie... what do you think?"

As always, "I think I'm hungry," said Anne, while they moved into the bright and ceaseless sunlight of the parking lot, to the car.

"We could eat popcorn, you know," said Dilly.  "You love popcorn."

Anne loved popcorn, yes.  But hadn't been able to stomach it in some years.  And, yes, she knew that old hunger for a movie and popcorn.  For a good time, just the two of them.

"We should go to the pharmacist.  And I have things I need to get done.  Though one of them is off the list," Anne said.

"You need a worry board," said Dilly. "You should ask Bill to make you one.  He'd love to give you a gift."  Dilly smiled at this in the old way.  And, as always, Anne nearly blushed.

Closing the vehicles door she couldn't deny her sister, "I could probably use something to calm me, true.  And yes, he has never hidden his feelings.  I'm the one with that problem."

"If wishes were horses, you still couldn't accept him, Anne.  And he won't go begging forever.  Just say yes!  Isn't that the  magic of a man?"  Dilly looked over the Hospital building, as if canvassing a crowd of breach bronzed body builders, nearly shivering at the thought.

"The fact that you are right, does not change my feelings, Dill," she said to her sister, pulling out into the street, toward no theatre, no popcorn, and remaining, therefore, upon the the path she had seen already, long ago.  At the signal she stopped, it's color being red.  And she noticed, with the peculiar senses she had always been burdened by, that her sister had nothing else to say, and it satisfied her, this confluence of conversation and the obedient traffic.

Things certainly had grown complicated since Dilly's husband, Joseph, had died.  Joseph had never been someone Anne looked forward to seeing or spending time with when they were young.  His tastes extended to all manner of exotica, and Dilly was only one of the pleasures he'd taken as his birthright, being a man, and being indifferent to refinement of any sort.  It might have bothered Dilly to some extent, Anne surmised, very early on, with Dad and Mom and the Hoidays, in all the expected ways.  But Anne knew that once Dilly had recognized her fears of retribution from the family were never going to be realized, now that she was married, she completely quit thinking about it at all.  It was a friend that suggested to her that Dilly's lack of concern might actually be the rational response to her marriages tension with her family.  Like a half resolved, cloud covered spot of light on the horizon, Anne could imagine there being something virtuous, and heartfelt about that perspective, but there was never going to be a question as to whether their had been a betrayal or not.  Dilly walked away, from the family, and whatever her rationale, could not subsist simultaneously as a completely accepted member of their tribe, and a wife to Joseph.  They drank excessively. They cared nothing for principles, either generally recognized, or potentially held by strangers.  They offended, loudly.  They brought children into not only a dangerous world, but the heavily consequential orbit of their own worldview.  Were they train wrecks, these resulting memories, Anne would ask herself?  No, a train wreck would not be seen, predicted, and so much the fruit of causality.  A train wreck was a tragedy.  Jo and Dill's family were precisely what you'd expect them to be.  The phone calls were distressing, but there were never any questions to ask.  Only, "What can I do?"  Dill had certainly been interested.  Dill could not have comprehended that it wasn't a question, either.

As the years had passed, though, the callouses did thicken.  And there were times, Anne had marveled, where Jo seemed like nothing so much as a brother in law, and a predictable one in the end.  His pleasures, even he'd confide, had their costs.  Their marriage, they seemed to enjoy, like a foam mat upon deep, dark waters.  One side, in the sun.  The other, what? Out of mind?   After decades, and funerals, and troubles faded by time, the whole imposition of thier union in the face of that old fiction of a once so hopeful youth, had replaced the implacable old boundaries.  It was surprising certainly, to witness.  Though so oddly comforting.

There was Josephs treatment of Dad, for example.  Dad who sought to offend no one; Dad who had accepted this son in law, somehow.  Joseph delighted in the composure of her father, realized Anne.  Joseph certainly knew he had no desire to compromise his freedoms with his family, for the father of his wife.  But Dad had, in the ripeness of time seen something in his son in law.  Perhaps it was simply that way with men.  A lacking maliciousness proving some irrational bonhomie?  She'd been grateful in the end to Jo.  He shrugged off Dad's illness the way he shrugged off all mysteries, apparently.  He had strange riches of time to spend with Dad.  It seemed, often, they talked more to one another, near the end of Dad's life, than anyone else.  It helped Dad.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ashes to Ashes

"Maybe when a kids screaming, they're just the only one allowed to speak their mind."

Born of a mind
To take down the world
As long as my dogs in the fight
I wiped every tear
And  patched every hole in sight

I didn't need........ a flag or a name
Pieces of  pleasure
Or beautiful things
All those shadows
Just abstracts and
Art in my eyes

The long nights of living
In places where knowledge
Could kill time
Put me straight in the arms of
Souls just as hungry for dreams

And wouldn't you know
That the love and the wine
Brought fertile flowers
That  knew how to climb
To, honey
this future of
Your mama and me

Baby you're born
And daddy's too late
To dwell on things that might never change
So what
Maybe that worlds out of sight

I'm just a fool
Born in a small town
Shakin' off dust
For the future I'm bound
I 'spose
Rubbin my neck and my eyes

Still up in the sky
The future glows
From the pastures
Of of plenty
That everyone knows
Yeah, we're dust
But don't we look pretty tonight?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Strange World

So... I've been playing around with this blog more.  Under "Stats" on my blog I can look up all kinds of info about where my readership is coming from.  Right now most of the people who normally read my blog have joined collective blogs and websites to which I sometimes contribute, but I continue with this blog since I find it the best way to express and access my thoughts and feelings, through a distance of time and geography.  Carrying a journal can't really compare.  And try sharing it!

Google traces people reading my blog from 43 countries.  The vast majority of the people who have visited did so accidentally.  How do I know?  Because, creepy as it sounds, Google can show me their words in the search bar of the page in which they searched.  For example:  someone in the last week, I don't know who, searched on Google for the words "how to make snow come."  The second hit, on the list of results Google gave her, was exactly wrong.  It was my song, three or four posts back from here, "When the Snow Comes and Falls in the South."  Kinda hilarious.  My song has nothing to do with making snow come.  Moreover, who searches with such a fascinating patois as "make snow come."  That word "come" fascinates me.  Was it demanded by the obvious trouble that simply asking how to make snow my generate?  Some people might be inclined to instruct one in snow making by shaving ice.  Others would demand that reverse sublimation, as in Nature, be reflected.  The nerdiest would be frustrated when the resulting snow didn't limit itself to six sided crystals.  "That snow is crappy... it's just unreal!"

Dare I search "how to make authentic snow?"  What song might that generate?  Probably a Head and Shoulders jingle.

Another person searched "  "aunt.peg" + (swallowing or swallows or swallow)"   "

Well, I don't know whether it makes me more uncomfortable that I have an Aunt Peg, or that someone found me while looking for whatever that is!

Lets see where I come in when I search for that:  (I search, and read a few pages of hits....) Hmmm... someone must of had a long night.  Apparently "Aunt Peg" doesn't refer to the Aunt Peg I mention in my blog, my Mom's Aunt.  But rather, a very busy pornstar who is either frequently "swallowing" or sometimes "swallows" or has been known on occasion to "swallow."  Kudos to the searcher for leaving no stone unturned.  And.... I didn't have the patience to wade through all the hits until I found a small mention of my Aunt Peg, by myself, in my blog, from a post I wrote a year ago.  I hope Aunt Peg never searches for herself, on Google.  Bottoms up!

Someone searched for "andy coffey blog."  Now we're talking.  The only problem is the number of Andy Coffey's out there.  Boy oh boy.... there's a ton.  Most of them in and around Louisville and the Midwest.  Journalists and TV personalities, and lots and lots of dead people.  I can assume the dead people didn't blog.... to an extent.  There must be an Andy Coffey somewhere about to die... I hope it isn't me.  My mourners would be searching for my blog.... gee wiz, let's just hope someone was looking for me, this blog, and found it.  Good for you.

Somebody in Britain looks me up frequently.  Someone in New York City.  Obviously people in Sweden and Denmark.  There's a couple of instances an Ipad was used in New Mexico..... hmm..  Now what would someone out in the blasted Desert be doing with one of those things?  Who knows?

You wouldn't believe what Google will tell you if you simply ask.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Encounter Down From Morton And Lime

I leave my door every single day
With my small cloth satchel underarm
Sometimes to the Church, to confess or pray
Sometimes to the dance hall to be charmed

Wither my memory of sadness and pain
Banish my concern for my own harm.
Passing by the church, I beg today
Can you see me to a young man's arms?

As the light in the sky, still so early fades
You'd not be too surprised if you could see
The figure of a woman, walking just your way
In the dim light passing by it would be me

"In the Sweet By and By" above me play the bells
My mind is nearly taken by the tune
Though just before they're done the music swells
Through yellow light that I am walking through

 But not in celebration of enduring pain
It comes from where I walk across the street
For the fiddle and guitars make a different claim
And I'm smiling for the friends I'm there to greet

Wither my memory of sadness and pain
Banish my concern for my own harm.
Passing by the church, I beg today
Can you see me to a young man's arms?

The crowd grows restless that they've yet to dance
In pairs they walk to the center of the room
When twinning fiddles have their way with darkness chance
What hearts of those assembled will refuse?

I took the hand of one named Johnny Bland
A sheepish sort of look on my face lies
As a witness from the window can see us dance
Out of four there is no blinking of our eyes

Wither my memory of sadness and pain
Banish my concern for my own harm.
Passing by the church, I beg today
Can you see me to a young man's arms?

Some of the songs call to twist and spin
I hold and trust from him I'll never fly
Some of the songs switch me to other men
And they're clearly not unhappy in my eyes

Then the waltz comes at last and some people sit
While I look for someone that I've never seen
And who should approach but the perfect fit
For a girl who doesn't mind the touch of dreams

He'd seen me coming with his kind and gentle look
Sadness drained from his dark and tender eyes
He offered his hand which I gladly took
And I shivered at the other on my side

Wither my memory of sadness and pain
Banish my concern for my own harm.
Passing by the church, I beg today
Can you see me to a young man's arms?

From a people that had searched over seas and hope
The fiddles found my footsteps in their sighs
I simply fell where led by the dark eyed bloke
With the light of every pilgrim in my eyes

It is difficult I knew, even then, to awaken
And meet, alone, the troubles of my day
The journey in the arms with him I'd taken
I feared would end when the fiddles ceased to play

Wither my memory of sadness and pain
Banish my concern for my own harm.
Passing by the church, I beg today
Can you see me to a young man's arms?

The fears of every mortal being far from wrong
The dancing ended as the sun will take a dream
The players of the instruments meant me no harm
When tradition broke the heart of Harmonie

I pulled my new beau to the side of the floor
A place I'd never had a reason yet to be
And as entwined the hands of other boys and girls
I asked the dark eyed stranger who was he?

He said, "Since there we danced, I can hardly dismiss
The sad and watchful man I came here as.
My name is Billy Faren, and it's a pleasure, Miss,
To meet and dance, but might we make it more than that?"

"Harmonie Jennings," is my name dear man,
The answers, yes I'll walk with you tonight"
So we passed through the sound of the fiddles and the band
To a starlit street before the town folks eyes

Wither my memory of sadness and pain
Banish my concern for my own harm.
Passing by the church, I beg today
Can you see me to a young man's arms?

We walked for a time that neither could discern
Amidst the woodsmoke, and other scents of life
So many dreams and yet what could we hope to learn
Whilst holding, there, each other in the night

We stopped beneath the lamp at Benders lane
And from his pocket he took his other hand
"Need I even tell you for what I pray?"
When with a touch and kiss he hoped I'd understand

"This is the house within which I was born"
Said Billy, sadly, to the shadows in the night,
"There's something I have yet to inform...."
But I kissed him then again beneath the light.

Wither my memory of sadness and pain
Banish my concern for my own harm.
Passing by the church, I beg today
Can you see me to a young man's arms?

Billy walked me gently in the darkness of the night
 Past an ending dance, where a last waltz sadly played
Past the steeple where the bells hid out of sight
Arm and arm to where it was my fate to stay

To part would be as silent as it was hard
So I simply turned from Billy to my home
There would be tears eventually even were we not to part
For till the morning... I  must now be alone

Wither my memory of sadness and pain
Banish my concern for my own harm
Passing by the church, I beg today
Can you see me to a young man's arms?