Friday, September 12, 2003

life of buddy don, chaptur 54:
the lass time ever i seen darlene

twuz bout this time of year that darlene n i gut marrd 33 years ago n we wuz divorced 4 years, 8 munths n 4 days later. we separated after 4 years n 8 days. once she tuck lil dude northfleet frum uncle brines farm over to whar she wuz a'livin with perfesser william streicher in karns i dint see her but a few times n ever one of em felt lack pullin scabs offn sores that dont wonta heal.

i dun tole ye bout the time i saw her at the lawyer she stiffed back in chaptur 33. n after that, thar wuz only three times i kin member.

furstn wuz whenever i wuz playin out at the coffee shop thar in oak ridge. i musta invited her only i dont member doon it, mayhap on a counta i dont wonta add mitt how i wuz the cawz of mos of my own trubles. but innywho, she cum n set thru the furst ack n then waited while sam n marty went to git hi befor i went on, witch that wuz a stoopid thang fer me to let em do on a counta mos the audience drifted away n by time i started, thar wernt but darlen, sam, marty n a few otherns in the crowd.

twuz a bit hard at the beginnin. i made a few miss takes n wonted to stop n start all over or jes walk away, but thar i wuz on stage n i pushed thru without a'turnin back. i gut to a song that needed a story to set it up, n i tole the story, n rite then i gut that feelin ye git when ye know ye gut the crowd in yer hand. n thang wuz, i wuz better at tellin the stories than sangin the songs.

i been tole since i gut yer classic songwriters voice, witch is a nice way to say i cant sang good a nuff to be a star. n i never wuz a star, so i reckon them criticks wuz rite.

innywho, i gut to that song i call 'and now shes gone,' only in them days i wuz a'callin it 'darlene's song,' n i reckon it dun reminded her bout sum of the thangs that made us wonta be together in the furst place on a counta i looked at her when twuz dun and seem lack her cheeks wuz a shinin, but mayhap twuz jes a trick of the lite. by time i wuz dun, she wuz gone, n sam n marty hadnt even noticed she wuz thar n they tuck me out to carbide park to git me hi n pore sum ezra down my throat sos i woodnt seem so sad, n twurkt more or less.

nex time i saw darlene, she cum out to the farm n twuz a big sprize. i speck virgil had contacktid her cawz how else ye gone splain her findin the place? n he never stoppt bein sweet on her, n fack is, he always bleeved she wuz the one spozed to be with him n i cant say he wuz rong only ye cant do no scientific test on sumthin lack that since ye dont git a second take on life.

now ye mite thank that visit wooda been a good thang fer me. we had the farm n i wuz a livin the life i dun been a'tellin her i wonted to live back whenever we wuz marrd n i wuz cumplainin bout could this be all thar is to life?

n even fer that ye need to know thangs i aint tole ye yet, such as i spent the last two years of our marrg readin books lack that book by carlos castaneda called 'the teachings of don juan' n tutherns he rote n that book called 'in search of the miraculous' by p. d. ouspensky n even 'Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson: An Objectively Impartial Criticism of the Life of Man (All and Everything Series 1)' by George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, who had the same birthday as me. n thats jes a sliver offn the tip of the iceberg of the stuff that wuz makin me wonta find out whut more thay wuz to live n have adventures n travel n do all kinds of thangs that darlene dint have no innerest in doin. n part of that wuz trippin or findin sum peyote or jes mos innythang that mite make it so i could eggsperience whut i wuz a'readin bout.

n sides that, she knew i wonted to live a alternativ life style, n ye kin see thats whut i wuz a doin. in fack, ye mite say i had dun gone n gut mos everthang i had tole her i wonted whenever we wuz talkin bout our lives together or divorce.

but she cum into the livin room n ast whar wuz the lock on the door n mj laffed n sed we dint need one n next thang i know, everbidy but darlene n me wuz gone. n i felt empty n ashamed n guilty as ifn she wuz thar to judge me n i wuz found wontin.

but i ackted big n ast her did she wonta git hi n she sed she couldnt handle it no more, n i tride to look lack twuz too bad fer her n i burned one jes to proov whut i mint, but i wuz feelin awful n wishin sumhow i could give her a hug n ast her wuznt this all a big miss take n couldnt we git back together, but i ackted lack i dint care a whit fer her n finely even ast her to leeve on a counta i needed to git to bed.

n that tuck her by sprize on a counta twuz only 2:30 in the afternoon, but i splained bout wurkin graveyards n she tuck it lack twuz the mos innerestin thang bout me up to then n she sed she wisht me well n gut up n lef n thar wuznt even a hug or nuthin, n i wuz to blame on a counta i dint even git up.

n whut shoulda been the last time i seen her cum whenever she finely graduwaited frum collidge with her elecktrickull injuneerin degree. she sent me a invite, witch she probly dun on a counta i had paid fer mos all her skoolin, n i dint really wonta go eggzakly. i figgerd ifn i dint show up, it mite hurt her sum, n seem lack i wuz always a'wontin to make her feel the pain i had dun been feelin. but then i cunsidered how i wuz a datin betty lou n she wood go with me n sum way it seemed lack that way i wood (1) hurt darlene more, (2) proov to her how i had dun good fer myself on a counta betty lou wuz a purty thang n she generly made other women give her evil looks, n (3) bes of all, i wood be able to be thar to see whuther she wuz hurt or not.

n then i gut to thankin bout a present fer her, only agin, i wuz only trine to find sumthin to make her unnerstan the pain i wuz feelin, witch i wonted her to hurt n realize twuz rong fer her to leeve me n all, witch that wuz stoopid on a counta i wonted out my ownself sos i could find out bout the miraculous n don juan n travel n see whuther ye could see god whenever ye tuck lsd n take part in the sexshul revolushun, so i aint sayin whut i wonted could be splained, n twuz no sprize whenever i couldnt git it.

but i found jes the thang to give her, witch thar wuz a leather bound single volume version of j.r.r. tolkiens 'Lord of the Rings' that cost near $30, witch that wuz moren i thought she wuz wurth, but i wonted to make a impreshun. i rote her a note in it n more or less ruint the book fer her or else she kep it n folks could laff at whut i rote, witch wuz mint to hurt her n i bet ifn i wuz to read them wurds today, i wood be blushin more than a nun in a x-rated theater.

betty lou wuz dressed as purty as could be in a tourquise blue dress that wuz barely long a nuff to be legal on a counta she knew she wuz thar to make a point n she wuz proud she had both the bidy and the attitood to doot. i wuz jes a droolin over how we wuz a gone show darlene, n betty lou wuz rite proud of her part.

corse, thangs never goes lack ye wont. the thang had way too minny folks n lasted too long. we had to sit thru a talk by sum jill ruckelshaus n betty lou wuz not impresst by a wurd the woman had to say on a counta she wuz agin feminists n all.

but we sat thru the hole thang n then tride to find darlene. twernt easy, but we dun it, ketchin her in a huge crowd of folk a goin up sum stairs. she stoppt n give me a hug till she noticed i wuz holdin betty lous hand, n ye kin jes betcha that betty lou wuz not turnin a'loose. n she steppt back n tuck a look at betty lou n betty lou tuck a look at her n thay wuz daggers a shootin frum thar eyes at each other, betty lous a sayin aint she a mousy lil thang? n darlenes a'sayin couldnt ye do better than a bimbo?

so i give her the book n she wuz a'fixin to open it n read whut i rote on a counta she knew i always rote sumthin in a book ifn i wuz a'givin it fer a presunt, but rite then perfesser william streicher cum up n slipped his arm round her as easy as kin be n she turnt to give him a kiss n he sed congatulayshuns n then he noticed me n stuck out his hand. i wonted to turn n walk away, but i tuck his hand n give it the kinda shake daddy taught us wuz proper. nex thang ye know, we wuz talkin bout sprang trainin n whuther them vols would beat alabama this year finely but we bof agreed bear bryant wood probly half to be dead befor we beat em agin on a counta we wuz in the middle of losin eleven in a row to the evil crimson tide.

then we lef, n betty lou wuz wunderin wuz perfesser william streicher n me friends or sumthin n ifn we wernt, whut wuz all that about? n she wuz a lil mifft at how bad the plan had gone, so i put my hand on her knee as if i had missed the gear shif n ast her did she see how shocked darlene wuz whenever she saw how purty n sexy betty lou wuz n that gut her onto how a woman has to use her wiles to show the worl whut she wuz made of n i bet she sed a lot more only i couldnt here much of it fer the voices in my own hed a'laffin at how bad thangs had gone.

n i never saw darlene in real life agin, but that aint the point of this chaptur. i wish twuz, but in sted, the last time ever i seen darlene twuz in a dream i had one nite.

thang is, i had jes gut a permoshun at wurk. they put me on the day shift. i wuz makin strate a marks in skool. i had land. i had met susannah by then. in other wurds, thangs wuz grate.

then i had this dream whar i wuz a'cumin home frum wurk n thar darlene wuz in the kitchen. i went to give her a hug n kiss, but she pushed me away n hollerd dint i see twuz about to blow? n i looked at the stove n thar wuz a pressure cooker with the needle up in the red. n befor i could do innythang, she shoved me to the ground n then i herd the exploshun n could see chili or spugetti or sumthin all over the white paint of the ceilin. n i gut up n looked fer darlene, n thar she wuz a lyin on the linoleum with blood a'flowin frum her mouth. so i leaned down to hep her, but the futher i leaned, the futher away she gut, n i reached harder n she gut smaller till i wuz so frusterated that i hollered out loud, 'darlene, no!' n that woke me up.

n frum that i fell into a deep deepreshun whar fer weeks all i could thank bout wuz that dream n how i missed darlene n how i wisht i could have her back n how fack wuz i dint wont her back atall, but mainly i wundered why wood my subconshuss cum up with such a dream. why wood it torture me?

wuz i my own wurst enemy?

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