Thursday, July 17, 2003

life of buddy don, chaptur 18:
stick it!

i wont kid ye. thay wuz times i wundered how i cudda dun becum my own wurst enemy, but i generly got over't befor i cud larn much frum it. t'wood take years fer me to begin sussin why i dun whut i dun. ifn my energy holds, ye gone here all bout it.

why darlene dun whut she dun wuz a differnt matter. fer that, ye need to no a bit about darlenes mom, name of bronwen n the hole fambly callt her that n never used the wurd mama oncet that i no of on a counta her havin a problem, witch she wuz whut thay call a secret dranker even tho thay wuznt no secret about how drunk she got. she claimt she never toucht a drop, but fack is, i wuz over to visit with darlene many a time n smelt fer my ownself jes how drunk she cud git. she lacked to cum to the door whenever i gut thar n she'd let me in n then trap me in the corner n innybidy with a nose wood no. generly darlen wood cum to rest cue me, but thay wuz times the rest of the fambly wood gather round n make jokes about darlenes mama, tellin insults right to her face, n that wuz rong even ifn she wuz a drunk.

i sed as much one time, n that led to fussin n fitin on a counta i figgert ye owe yer own mama respeck no matter whut n darlene figgert ye dont owe nobidy nuthin lessn thay urns it n far as she wuz concernt, her mama hadnt dun urnt the lees respeck n fack wuz, she dint get inny respeck at all. 

darlene wood git into listin her mamas crimes, n thay wuz a passle of em. she wood git drunk n call reltives all over the cuntry n run up the fone bill n git everbidy to the point whar thay dint wont nuthin to do with her n thangs gut so bad till darlene larnt how to disconneck the fone on the telefone poll.

sumtimes she wood git to brakin thangs. darlenes dad wuz percy krum, witch thay wuz a mix of welsh n germun n otherwise mutts same as mos folks n thay gut the name krum frum germny. percy krum wood leev whutever miz krum dun broke jes as broke as cud be.  n thar wuz fones broke offn the hook n furnchur in peeces n clutter everwhar ceptn the gurls bedrooms. furst time i wuz over thar, the oven door wuz half off n it stayed thataway fer longs i wuz in californy, witch that wuz only nine munths. thay lookt lack thay hadnt misst a meal so i dont no how thay wuz a cookin or ifn thay wuz eatin thangs raw. thay never ast me to dinner the hole time.

n she wood hawl off n hit her kids in the face fer no reeson innbidy cud figger. i saw with my own eyes a green bruze on the lef cheek of darlenes lil sister glenda but she sed she dun fell n landed on a rock, witch i wunder who she thought she wuz a foolin.

wurst of all, thay wuz times bronwen wood git upset with the three gurls n take after'm with a knife n oncet she gut darlene, witch thats how darlene cum to have that scar on her laig.

thays plenty other egzamples i cud give, but long n short is darlene had powrful reeson to git out of that house n thats why she wuz a savin all that money. oncet we were safe in tennessee, i finely gut to puttin thangs together till i figgered out she wuz a runnin away even ifn she wuz in luv with me, witch i thank she wuz fer a while.

but the problem with runnin away is ye aint a'runnin to innythang n that meens ye kin fine yerself right back whar ye started or else in wurse shape than befor. n that seemt to splain how we cum to be wurkin six long days in a filthy job fer slave wages at shoneys big boy restrunt in oak ridge tennessee.

corse, ifn yer razed by a drunk mama who lacks to brake thangs n chase after her own youngns with a knife, chantses are yer a'gone cum out a bit warped by tall, n mayhap thats whut happent to darlene. seemt lack she cudnt never be happy no way, n turnt out the goal of the marrge wuz to make her happy, n i failt thatn mos ever time ceptn by acksident now n then.

wurst of all, turnt out thay wuz jeehovuhs witnesses in tennessee n sos we cud keep our promise to miz deeanjello, we tuck to studyin with them bout oncet a week n that kep us feelin gilty all time on a counta we wuznt bleevin thangs the way thay sed we oughta be.

thay wuz a man a'wurkin thar at shoneys n ever time i thank bout how stuck we wuz befor darlene got on at the plant, i thank bout him. he wuz the dishwasher, name of ernie, n thay sed he wuz simple n i spoze he wuz tho fack is thay wudnt nobidy that cud work as long or hard as he dun everday, n thay paid him wursen thay dun me on a counta him bein jes a dishwasher. corse that kindly makes ye wunder since he wood git thar early n do all the prep n then take to washin dishes n thang wuz, he cudnt cook a lick n all them orders cumin in jes made him mad.

corse, lack in inny restrunt, thay wuz the nite manjer n he wuz a dictater, witch thay callt him a dick n he wuz a meen spiteful man namet leroy. thay dont cum laziern he wuz cept when it cum to handin out insults n tellin folks whut thay dun rong. ye cud go days without him sayin nuthin to ye till ye dun sumthin rong, n then thar he wuz, all over ye n tellin ye as loud as he cud whut wuz rong with ye n how ye wood never amount to much of nuthin n all.

n he had a boss that wuz even wurser, name of ed hanes, n he only cum around oncet or twicet a week, ifn that, n even then it cud be dayshift, witch darlene n me, we wuz a'wurkin nights n dint neethur one of us make days till much later, n that wuz jes me after darlene got on out at the plant. but ed hanes wood cum roun n do his level bes to increese the misry on a counta ye cant never git the hole kitchin purfeckly cleen n seemt lack ed hanes cudnt see nuthin but the dirt ye misst.

n whenever ed hanes cum in, he luved to tormint ernie, n twernt much of a trick to pull since ernie run on a tank of anger n plans fer revenge. we generly gut a call frum one them other shoneys big boy restrunt manjers on a counta thays shoneys all over n whenever ed hanes wood leev out frum on restrunt, the manjers wood git on the fone n warn that he wuz on his way. n leroy wood try to make it so ed hane spint the hole visit a tormintin ernie on a counta ed hanes wuz a gone tormint sumbidy n seemt lack ernie wuz the eeziest goat to git.

thar thayd be, ernie a wurkin on them dishes, witch that mint he wuz stuck in a lil space whar ye cud hardly turn roun n the busboy wood be brangin the dishes n dumpin em n ernie wood be yellin at em but nobidy paid him no mind. fack is, mos everone loved to laff at ernie, n im shamed to add mitt i dun it a time or two my ownself.

but when it cum to washin dishes, nobidy cud touch him. he wuz a short fat man with a red face n thick hands with short stubby fangers. dint seem lack he cud feel how hot them dishes wuz n he wood stick his hand rite in whar the hot water wuz a sprayin on em n never oncet did he say ouch n i no twuz hot on a counta i made leroy mad one nite so he let ernie go early n made me wurk dishes, n that made ernie mad n made me mad too.

innywho, whenever ed hanes cum in, he wood plant hisself over by the dishwasher n start in to astin ernie questchuns. n ernie wood git to ansern n purty soon, ed hanes wood make ernie look lack a fool, only sumtimes he had to keep at it sevrul times befor ernie cawt on to whut ed hanes wuz a'doin, n then here cum ernie from around the dishwasher lack he wuz a'gone say sumthin, but ed hanes wood point to a spot of dirt, n ernie wood grab a rag. meenwhile, everbidy wood be laffin at ernie.

n even when ed hanes warnt round to inspeck us, witch that wuz part of his job, inspeckshuns, whenever ed hanes warnt thar, thay wuz this cook name of tommy jones who lackt to git ernie a'goin. he wood tell ernie ed hanes is on his way, n ernie wood ast how did he no, n tommy jones wood say thay jes got a call from the rutledge pike store n that mint he woodnt git thar fer leest an hour, n that wuz a nuff fer ernie.

here he cum then, n the hole kitchin wood gather roun, a waiting till ernie sed it. tommy jones wood ast ernie wuz he a'gone say it this time, n ernie wood begin listin his reesons fer hatin ed hanes, n then, the momint everbidy wuz waitin fer.

'so whut ye gone tell him?' tommy jones wood ast. n ernie wood say he wuz a'gone tell him, n this time, by god, he mint it, this time, by god, he wuz a'gone to doot. n then up come his middle fanger jes in time to stab the air whenever ernie finely sed, 'im gone tell him to stick it!'

'ye gone tell him to stick it?' n tommy jones kep on till he gut ernie a sayin stick it no matter whut. whut about his pay? 'stick it!' n his penshun, witch ernie thought he should git a penshun frum the cumpny on a counta he dun wurkt thar near twenty years but he cudnt git it thru his thick skull that thay wuznt no penshun at a place lack that n a job lack that n thay wuznt even no union, but dint matter, he wuz the kine who bleeved thay should be sum way fer folks to retar n colleck em a penshun. but whenever tommy jones wood ast bout the penshun, ernie stuck up his fanger n sed, 'stick it!' n tommy wood ast bout the way ed hanes wuz always findin sumthin dirty n makin ernie cleent. wuz he a'gone take that from ed hanes? 'hail no,' sed ernie, 'im gone tell him to stick it!'

n everbidy wood be a'laffin by this point, n ernie wood turn the fanger on the hole kitchin n tell us all, 'stick it!'

but whenever ed hanes cum roun, ernie never oncet sed stick it to him n tommy jones n leroy wood pick on him fer that till ernie wuz too mad to talk n he wood be slammin the dishes roun ne even brake one on purpuss now n then, witch that mint he had to pay fer't.

thang wuz, i felt lack i wuznt much differnt frum ernie. thay wuz nites id be plannin on when i wuz walkin out. id tell myself i wuz a leevin soons the evnin rush got out of hand. id plan on leevin nun of the food started n a wheel full of tickets. but thangs got busy n i fergot bout how i wuz walkin out n then the rush wuz dun n thay wuznt that long till we got off, n fack is, i never dun it.

fack is, i wonted to stick my own fanger in the air n tell sumbidy, 'stick it!'

corse the problum wuz how i never cud figger who i should be a'sayin it to. so i did it to the mirror, thankin i wuz practicin, but when ye thank about it now, ye kin see i wuz probly sayin it to the right person all long.

'stick it!'

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