Friday, September 26, 2003

life of buddy don, chaptur 62:
the church of the callus basturds

the winter of 76-77 wuz one of the coldest i had ever eggsperienced. sevrul times my car, a beige 74 vw beetle, broke down. even when twuz wurkin, thay wuz times that i couldnt git the heat to wurk on a counta its handle bein froze on off. but suze had gut me to git steel belted michlin tires lack she had on her orange 74 vw, n no matter how much it snowed, we could still go wharever we wonted to.

we had a tuff time heatin the houses. the lil house had a purty good wood stove n that kep mos of it purty warm, but the big house dint have much. brew n me went together to git us a good'n n that made a lot of differnts. thang wuz, we dint have no heat atall in the bedrooms ceptn fer space heaters, n dint nun of us trust em a nuff to sleep with one on. so we put in the wood stove n spent a lot of time choppin wood. all in all twuz rite nice once twuz dun.

but houses n cars wernt the only thangs that seemed to freeze up. harts seemed to git a lil harder n even downrite brittle. virgil n mj had thar argumints, mainly over virgil thankin he needed to have sex with sumbidy else sides mj n mj wuz the kinda woman who could unnerstan how he felt, even ifn twernt the thang she wonted to hear. but he wuz wide open bout mos everthang he felt or thought.

so that mint whenever he had a crush on a gurl he wood half to tell everbidy all about it, startin with mj, n mainly that mint he wuz talkin bout a crush on a gurl name of vera rose. i even tuck her out one time sos he could have lease the vicarryus pleasure of knowin whut twood be lack. me n vera dint git along all that well, sartinly not to whar we wuz feelin thangs tho we did lack each other ok. i tole him she wuz a purty thang, but she dint lack much of innythang we did. she wuz one to use makeup n wurry bout wearin the rite cloze n blongin to the rite church. virgil n mj shopped at the goodwill or salvayshun army n he dint bleev in no churches. but he woodnt shut up bout her n he even rote a long pome n give it to her, n even mj gut to whar she dint know if she wonted to put up with much more humiliashun.

so she tuch a noshun that she wood go to californy to see her daddy n let him have a lil time with jill, n bout as quick as twuz deecided, she wuz gone n woodnt be back fer four munths, ifn she cum back atall. she tuck jason long with jill on a counta barbie wuz hopin to find wurk n dint have nobidy to watch her boy. n mj tole virgil with her gone, he wood have a chants to find out whuther he wuz with the rite woman n mayhap he wood git the wanderin urges outta his system.

i dint care much fer the plan on a counta it seemed to me the more ye wandered, the more ye thought ye needed to wander more. twuz lack one of them three-card gamblin games whar ye allways git bout this close to winnin n thank ifn ye jes put up a lil more money, yer a'gone git the big win. dont never happen, tho, till the money's all gone, n ye kin figger the metafor fer yer ownself bout whar this wood lead sumbidy trine to git it outta thar system. they wood end up emoshunly bankrupt.

fack is, i kindly figgered i had jes bout dun that rite befor i gut to the hiatus that led to my gittin together with suze.

once virgil dint have no mj to monitor his activties, ye mite thank he wood ast vera rose fer a date, but he never dun it. in sted, seem lack he gut a lil on the creepy side, or so twuz rumored. gretchen sed he wuz givin her the strangest looks n one time whenever she wuz over at trudys, here he cum n it freaked her out. turnt out he wuz hopin he mite git a chants to do the deed with trudy on a counta it seemed lack she wuz easy. thang wuz, she wuz a'goin with brew's best friend oscar clowder, witch virgil n oscar wuz purty good friens on a counta they both loved to drank likker.

n thang is, the hole time mj wuz in californy, virgil dint git a sangle date or git innythang outta his system ceptn lots of talk. n thats whar i cum in on a counta we wuz best friens fer years n twuz all on a counta the way we wood talk together. we bleeved we wuz both speshul n wuz a'gone change the worl n be rich n famus. n we had all kinda ways we thunk twuz a'gone happen. he had him a infinite gear ratio car idee that he lacked to talk about bettern innythang n a passel of other idees, but he never rote em down, jes kep refinin em in his hed.

long bout that time, brew n gretchen broke up. seems lack it had sumthin to do with brew gittin a crush on a gurl out at ornl whar he wuz a'wurkin.

n fack is, she wuz one of the models mama lacked to use in her cancer benefit fashun shows, witch mama was the manjer of a dress shop in downtown oak ridge n she wood use the fashion shows to raze money fer the cancer fun n sell a bunch of cloze to the models. mama knew how to sell innythang, n she wood make them models thank they wuz doin sumthin fer charity n fack is, she wuz a'sellin em the verr cloze they wuz a modellin. twuz a trick she used whar she knew ifn she could git em dressed in sumthin n git folks to ooh n aah overit, purt soon that model wood thank she had to have that dress or swimsuit or whutever twuz. so mama wuz happy bout the idee of brew a'gittin together with her kinda woman.

it dint wurk out, but he gut to spend a nuff time without gretchen to whar he wood be willin to have her back whenever he could.

n bout that verr same time, oscar clowder gut into a fite with trudy over how she always wonted to snort crystal t n he lacked to drank hard likker, speshly tequila, n she cum up with a black eye a time or two, n then she sed she fell n broke her nose, n after that, they dint see each other no more.

tuthern that wuz in a spot wuz randy fox. he wuz to the point whar he couldnt do much of nuthin on a counta all the anger n sadness he wuz a'carryin round with him. he wonted a woman but couldnt tolerate nun of em. he couldnt git him a job, n he had a friend name of lesalle frum chicago a visitin, n gut to whar they dint have no place to stay, so i invited em to stay at the farm fer a while. twuz the rong thang fer me to do without astin brew n virgil bout it, n it led to sum fites in due time. n thang wuz, lesalle wuz a hidin out frum the po-leece best we could guess after he had dun gone. but whenever he wuz thar, twuz lack he wuz a'lookin to git a start down south n he wurked rite hard on the farm n even hepped us put a roof on the barn.

n by the third week of febuwary, i wuz a'gittin the suze blues on a counta she wuz tired of havin to fit into the lil spare time lef after i wuz dun wurkin n goin to skool, n fack is, she wuz rite n had her a justifide greevunts. i dint hardly have no time atall. thar wuz wurk everday frum midnite till 8 in the mornin n skool from bout 9 or 9:30 till i gut home roun 1 pm n then sleep frum 2 till 10 n then wurk agin.

corse, often as not, i wood cum by her place to sleep or git up early to spend a lil time with her, that kinda thang, but thar cum a weekend whar i wonted to have a visit frum a new friend, a guy who wuz deep into crowley n i thought she wood wonta meet him, but twuz a fatally rong calculayshun. she had dun had it, so i tole her she shoulda been ware of whut she wonted on a counta she wuz a'gonna git it. n she sed she wuznt gittin nuthin but the leftover crumbs of my life innyway, so why bother? we had been a'fitin frum the beginnin over this kinda thang, n i had dun had my fill of it, so i tole her thay wuznt no reason to bother no more on a counta twuz over.

but fer sum reason, we reckoned we wood have us one last weekend together. she wuz a hedonist after all n bleeved ifn it felt good, twuz good, n why not at lease enjoy one more go round. but by time we wuz near fridy nite, i knew i couldnt doot n i thank she had made the same cunclooshun. i drove by her place n found her in bed. i figgered she wuz a'takin a nap on a counta she luved em better innybidy, but she wuz thar a'crine. i sat down on the bed n waited fer her to be dun sos i could splain how i woodnt be spendin the weekend with her.

but she dint finish so i sed i figgered that wuznt no way i could spend a weekend lack she wonted to do on a counta twuz jes too painful. that turnt on the spigot even wider n her tears started flowin in sobs n moans n purty soon she had grabbed me round my waste n tride to talk. but i dint move n i wuznt moved by nutnin she sed. i tole her agin that she wuz the one wonted this n i had dun had a nuff of fussin n fitin over thangs that wuznt a'gone change.

she tride to say sumthin, but she couldnt quit her crine, so finely i tole her goodbye n tuck her hands frum me. i had dun tuck her keys offn my chain. i tride to give em to her, but she had dun put her arms back roun my waist n she woodnt take the keys fer nuthin, so i gut up n made her let go n sed dont make me hurt ye. n she sobbed that i had dun hurt her more'n i knew. i dint anser that but gut up n sed i wood leeve her keys on the kitchen table. i dint look back.

that nite, we had the furst meetin of the church of the callus basturds, n the congregayshun wuz brew n virgil n randy n lesalle n oscar n me. n the servus wuz that we all gut together in the livin room of the big house n gut the wood stove rite hot n bought sum jack daniels, witch i had moved up in the likker i lacked on a counta suze showin me thar wuz more toot than the proof, witch ezra brooks wuz 90 proof n jack only 86, but twuz much better. n tween the jack n the everpresent evil weed, we wood git purty wasted n ast ourself who needed women innyway?

corse, astin the questchun wuz a'givin away the reel anser, witch wuz that we all needed women only we dint know how to make whut we could git wurk out with whut we wonted. n we each had our own lil problem. brew had the wanderin eye. virgil wonted to proov he could cunvints a woman to git nekkid with him, witch far as i know, that never happened ceptn with darlene n mj. lesalle dint thank a woman wuz his equal n he wuz always sayin twuz better to rent em on a counta ye knew jes how much ye wuz a'gone half to pay fer it whar ifn ye gut marrd, ye had to pay a hole lot more fer the verr same thang. n randy wuz sad on a counta he had a hard exterior n a sentimental hart, n that wuz hard to solve. mos women wuz afraid of him even tho he wuz a real sof touch inside. h even gut drunk a nuff one nite to say that as far as he could tell, twuz a hole lot less truble to use yer hand. n oscar felt lack women jes woodnt shut up n wuz always a trine to push yer buttons, speshly whenever ye wuz a'drankin n woodnt hardly shut up till ye shut em up. n he slapped hands with randy n sed twuz sumthin best tuck care of by hand.

a nuther thang we dun in the church of the callus basturds wuz talk bout the women we used to have. menchun wuz made of mj n how she dint seem lack thar wuz inny sex in her. virgil tuck this as well as he could, but ye could see it ailed him on a counta he bleeved twuz true. a hit dog hollers, as they say.

virgil cum back with commints bout gretchen n how all she really wonted from brew wuz a way to git hi. nobidy claimed she wuznt sexy, but she wuz jes usin it to git whut she wonted. n that made us all laff.

n that gut lesalle to splainin agin that rentin women wuz the bes practice on a counta ye wuz a'gittin em fer the one thang ye really wonted from em n not payin fer nuthin else.

n fer sum reason, that gut folks to talkin bout susannah, or suzie q as they called her. brew tuck off on it by sayin she wuz the greediest person he had ever met. n virgil jumped in a'sayin he never lacked her n wuz glad i had finely seen thru her. he sed she wuz jes usin me n tuck all my spare time n wuz a showvunist who thought folks with collidge degrees wuz bettern other folk. i wonted to ast why wuz he a'trine so hard to git a degree his ownself, but here cum randy a'sayin the purrfeck eggzample wuz her skinny joints. i ast why did everbidy start rollin em so thin ifn thay wuz sumthin rong with thin numbers, n they all laffed n sed twernt that it dint wurk, jes that it showed how stingy she wuz. n then the real feelins cum out when oscar n lesalle ast, almost in the same breath, whut could ye speck frum a jew?

n me? did i defend her? did i try to set the record strate? i wisht i could say i did, but sumhow whut they wuz sayin hit my funny bone, n i laffed. i dint even splain bout the evil of makin her into a thang in sted of a person. i wuz a lil shamed bout whut they thought n it stung me so till i hardly knew whut to say or do, n fack wuz, i figgered twuz jes as easy my relayshunship with susannah wuz over on a counta i dint lack it that folks had such mean pinions bout quote my woman unquote.

n whut wuz my real problem? i reckon twuz how i wonted everthang, skool, wurk, a chants to study mistysism, n a good woman who wuz a challenge n lacked sex n wonted to trip n yew name it. n i had gut me one whenever i gut together with susannah, but i wuznt willin to bend my skedule even a lil bit to spend more time with her. n i woodnt even defendher. n she woodnt let it go or try to unnerstand why i wonted everthang i did or how twuz better fer the future ifn i gut my degree now, only couldnt nobidy figger whut i wuz a'gone do with a degree in flossofy.

n when i look back on it now, i kin see jes how selfish i wuz. fack is, i wuz the mos callus basturd of us all.

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