Friday, July 25, 2003

life of buddy don, chaptur 24:
theevil weed

while i wuz still on swang shif, i went thru a nuther change that i wood never have egspecktid n ye mite could say it opent my eyes to lots of thangs i tuck fer grantid befor.

as ye mite imagine, whenever i wuz on evenin shifs n cum off roun midnite, well, thay jes wernt much point in a'goin home on a counta i couldnt sleep no way fer a while n darlene needed her sleep n dint wont me a'wakin her up. the furst nite on evenin shifs i tride cumin strate home n endid up a tossin n turnin till darlene ast why did i cum to bed ifn i wernt reddy to sleep n i had to add mitt she had a point.

so nex nite, i tuck to drivin roun oak ridge to see whut could innybidy do at that time of nite. corse, mos everthang wuz closed, n fack wuz, it tuck me jes the one nite to figger that thay wuznt but one place still open, witch that wuz harlows donuts on the turnpike. turnt out harlows donuts wuz open all nite n everbidy who wuz still awake n awontin sum place to be wuz thar. twuz mosly other shif wurkers n kids n hippies, witch hippies cummenced to appear in tennessee roun then.

my furst nite thar, nuthin much happent. i gut me a coffee n donut speshul fer 3o cent, fifteen fer each, n i sat out in the cool of the evnin on the concrete stairs lack mos everbidy did cepn sum ole folks that wuz thar ever nite, n they tuck the tables inside n played cards or jes sat thar a'smokin n drankin coffee n havin argumints that sumtimes turnt into fuss n fites. n corse thay wuz plenty po-leece cumin by fer the free donuts, n ever now n agin they wood have to put a stop to a fuss n fite that wonted to git ugly.

twuz thar i met up with joe noles. ackshully, i dun been noin bout joe noles fer all my life on a counta we wuz born the same day n his mama n mine shard the same hospital room. we wuz also the only ones in hi skool to atemp growin a beerd, witch his wuz red n mine wuz black. we wuz both a'wearin em by then n far as i no, we dun been a'wearin off n on em ever since.

thang wuz, we new bout each other but fer sum reeson, we wuz never friens befor. i reckon twuz on a counta we went to differnt grammar skools n then whenever we cum to hi skool we dun made differnt sets of friens n sides that, i wuz in the so-callt advanced program n he wuz with the dummies.

but dint nun of that matter inny by time i met up with him at harlows donuts. we set on them concrete steps n sipped our coffee n talkt bout folks we both mite have new back when we wuz in skool ceptn thar wernt many bofus new. corse, we had to revue our bein born the same day n menshun anita davenport on a counta her mama wuz also sharin the same hospital room n she wuz also born the same day but dint neethur one of us care much fer her even tho she dun tride havin a crush on each of us.

n that led joe to sayin sumthin that sprized me a bit, speshully since thay wuz po-leece jes tuther side of the glass frum us. sed he, 'she ast me one time did i wonta fuck her, only she dint put it thataway, n i tole her i druther git hi n listn to sum musick n she never bugged me agin after that.' n i wisht ida tole her sumthin lack that sos i could brag bout it, but in sted i ast him whut wuz he a'doin, meenin whar did he wurk, on a counta i wonted a change the subjeck befor that po-leece man cum out n herd joe a'talkin bout gittin hi.

n he sed he wuz a pitchin newspaprs n did i wonta cum long with him to see how twuz dun nowdays. so i went n we had us a purty good time. he had him a lil vee dub beetle with a hole in the roof n he ast wood i drive n i did only i dint no whar to go n then he ast could i pitch papers n i figgert why not, so we switcht places n we drove all over town with him handin me the papers n me pitchin em up as close to the porch as i could git.

as ye likely no alreddy, mos of oak ridge in them days wuz prefab housin that they brung in whenever they wuz a bildin the manhattan projeck. them prefabs has lastid on a counta they dint no no better in them days n hadnt hurd of planned obsolessunts so they bilt thangs with better stuff than they do nowadays. n folks has bilt onto em n ye wood hardly no they wuz prefab a tall. but the point is, the porch wernt never too far frum the rode, n i had purty good aim so we gut dun in a cuple hours, witch he claimt he generly dint git dun till 4 am n we wuz dun by 2:30.

we dun had us such a good time a'doin it that whenever he ast did i wonta git hi, i figgered twuz bout time i tride it. so he drove out to a parkin place twixt oak ridge n oliver sprangs whar couldnt nobidy see us. he splaint how this place wuz good on a counta twernt egzackly in eethur the jursdickshun of oak ridge nor oliver sprangs neethur, but that dint seem to matter nun to me on a counta i wuz so nervous i wuz prackticully hi frum jes that. he turnt on the inside lite n tuck his baggie out n startid into makin a funny cigret, witch whenever its pot or grass or reefer or weed yer smokin ye call it a joint or a doobie or a number or mos innythang ceptn a cigret. i always found it strange how thay wuz so many differnt wurds fer sum thangs. whut ye call pot is a prime egzample. maybe sumday i'll make a list.

now thang wuz, that wernt the verr furst time i tride to git hi. that wood be one them evnins whenever virgil cum home fer a visit n stayed over in the valley with sum hippies he new n callt me to see did i wonta do sumthin n i tole him i wuz wurkin but could git off by maybe nine n he sed groovy n he wood meet me, n thar he wuz. he tuck me to meet a frien of his, n this frien had him a pink joint that wuz made with paper that tastid lack strawburries. so they tole me how ye wuz spozed to doot n i did it jes lack they sed, a'takin in air with the smoke n holdin it till either i coffed or couldnt hold it no more.

n soon as we dun smokt it they bof a wunderin did i git hi, n i tole em i couldnt tell ifn i had or not, n far as i could tell that nite, it dint have no effeck at all. but we went to see that movie callt mash n i never lafft so hard in my life, n that made virgil n his frien feel better on a counta they figgert we wuz laffin so hard on a counta bein hi.

innywho, i wuz splainin all this to joe while he wuz makin the joint n then he wuz a larnin me how to make it wurk, witch he wuz usin the same rules as befor, take plenty air with it n hold it jes long as ye kin. so we dun it, n far as i could tell, nuthin much happent.

joe noles had one of them 8 track tape machines in his car, so he put on a tape callt killer by alice cooper, witch i wuz never too fond a that kinda musick. ifn ye dont member, alice cooper wuz a man who dresst sorta lack a woman n sorta lack a vampire or sumthin n he sung songs bout the gruesomest thangs lack dead babies fer instunts. n i tole joe i dint much care fer that kinda thang, only he couldnt here me on a counta the musick wuz purty loud n he wuz busy a'makin a nuther joint, witch we smokt it soon as he finished, n thar cum a momint when that music startid to seem purty good n after a while i gut to noticin thangs about it, n then joe sed, git outta the car n take a step or two n yer a gone see that yer hi. n i dun it n he wuz rite.

i figger thay aint inny point in tryin to deescribe whut its lack to be hi. ifn ye aint dun it, chantses are ye dont wonta no, n ifn ye have, then ye dun no howt feels. n thang is, taint neerly as evil as its crackt up to be.

the res of that week, we pitcht papers n gut hi n listent to alice cooper till i had to git me a copy of the album, n whenever i played it fer darlene, she wundered whut had dun happent to my taste in musick n i sed ifn ye wood listn to the wurds n all, but she dint wonta here eethur my splainayshun nor the musick neethur. i figgert ifn she wuz a gone ack that way, she probly woodnt take to gittin hi inny better.

corse, lack ye dun no, the nex week i wuz on days, n then midnites, so i dint see joe nor git hi fer a nuther two weeks, n thang wuz, i dint have no withdrawl simptums nor no other problems. fack is, i gut to wonderin whut all the fuss wuz about, n over the years, i cum to sum conclushuns, n i promiss to shar em by n by. but at the time, i wuznt thankin bout such thangs.

nex time i wuz on evenins, joe n me gut rite back in the same rut, only this time i ast him did he no whar i could git sum of that pot of my own, n he did. i bought a ounce of it fer $15, n then i had the problem of whar wuz i a'gone keep it? i gut home n sat in the car fer a good two hours trine one place n then a nuther, finely settlin on a lil nook under that dash bord whar even if darlene wuz a drivin the car, witch she had her own to drive, she woodnt have no reeson to go up in thar.

now i no thays lodes of problems with smokin, tho mos of em aint menshuned much whenever theys on tv trine to cunvints folks not to smoke. but i have to add mitt, theevil weed dun wunders to brang me back into reglar contack with my bruthers eli n brewster.

im fixin to tell bout that, but furst thars darlene to menshun. i no i dun tole bout our havin a open marrg, witch twuz a concep we dint do nuthin bout fer the longest. thang wuz, whenever i did do sumthin, i dint feel as gilty as i dun whenever i wuz a smokin theevil weed befor she new bout it. so finely, i deecided i had to tell her, n heres whar the open marrg cum in handy.

nex time i wuz on day shifs n we had dun had our dinner, i sed i had sumthin to confess. she went all red on me n a tear cum into her eye, till ye could almos thank she wuz the one a'feelin gilty. i tole her twernt nuthin to do with no other woman nor nuthin lack that. n that set her back a bit on a counta she couldnt imagine whut else could thar be to confess.

so i tole her i had dun started smokin pot. i let the sentence have a mint or two to sank in, n it did. i wuz half scairt she wood wonta deevorce. she dride her eyes n lafft a bit. i wuz reddy to say i wuz sorry fer whut i dun, but i dint git nary a chants on a counta whut startid as a lil chuckle turnt into a big laff. i waited it out, a wunderin whut wood be my fate. she caught her breath n wiped her eyes. then she smiled her speshul smile.

then she ast did i have inny more.

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