Monday, October 06, 2003

life of buddy don, chaptur 66:
inside n still a outsider


twuz in january of 1973 whenever they cum out with that roe v wade thang. i hadnt give aborshun much thought befor then, tho thar wuz the time a gurl in my class had to go to japan on a counta she has been raped n gut pregnunt by it. n we wood here bout gurls that had tride to do thar own aborshuns n hurt tharselves or even killt tharselves, so thay wuz sum folks sed twuz a good thang n thar wuz otherns claimed twuz murder n the more i listened to them argumints on eethur side, the harder it gut to figger. me n daddy wood give it a few hours of debate ever now n then n dint matter witch side we tuck, we could find plenty argumints.


but i gut to thankin n wishin i could be a famus riter n all n the hole aborshun thang seemed lack it lef room fer a bit of clever ritin. i wuz inspired by that thang jonathan swift rote bout the modest proposal, so i tuck sum paper n writ a letter to the editor of the daily beacon, witch thats the name of the student newspaper. n my main joke in the letter wuz how aborshun wuz a lil too quick on the trigger. i sed we wood be better off to let the chile be born sos we could figger whut kinda offents it wuz a brangin into the worl, whuther twuz too retarded or too sick or too malformed or too female or whut, kinda lack them greeks dun. n daddy lacked it n mama sed she dint know i wuz agin aborshun n i sed i dint know witch way to go on it but i reckoned my letter cum down on the anti side of it.


but the reackshun that sprized me most cum frum suze. she dint lack my letter atall n sed she dint know i wuz such a cunservativ n i sed i dint eethur. n that gut us in a argumint over whuther a woman has the rite to cuntrol her own bidy n i tuck the cheap shot of sayin she oughta cuntrol it by not gittin pregnunt n the argumint went strate to a fuss n fite. n we sed mayhap we shouldnt see each other fer a while n we slep apart fer a cuple of days, but then the weekend cum along n purty soon we wuz over the argumint.


bout a week or so after that, she tole me part of why she wuz wurried bout whut i had writ, n turnt out she wuz plannin on takin me on a lil trip to new york to meet the uncle that razed her n her two bruthers n her sister n see whar she went to syracuse, witch they use orange same as them vols only theys called orangemen.


n i wuz touched that she wood invite me n i wonted to go on a counta i wuz as curyas as could be but i dint wonta send the rong message. fer sum reason, ever since the nite i touched her hed, i had give up the idee that we wood ever marry. she sed she woodnt take no fer a anser that she needed sumbidy to escort her whenever she went to new york city n she knew how bad i wonted to go thar. n the hole negosheeayshun wuz dun in bed, so she swung over me to whar her hair wuz fallen down in my face n she kisst me n moved in a sartin way she knew i lacked, then she ast me please not to menchun nuthin bout whut i thought bout aborshun durin the trip. n she kep movin till i sed her wish wuz my desire.


we tuck her vw on a counta i wuz lettin randy fox use mine while he wuz gittin his car fixed, witch her had cun crashed his transam. we drove up thru cleveland n over to buffalo n we tuck our time n stopped fer picnics along the way. she always packed food n water n wine n bout four kinds of theevil weed, n thang wuz, ye never did without nuthin ye mite wont ifn suze could hep it. ye mite be late to everthang ye went to, but ye never did without nuthin ye mite need.


the main reasons she had fer a'goin to new york at that particlar time wuz how she had a niece that wuz a'turning 13 n she wuz a'gone have a bat mitzvah, witch i hadnt never herd of such a thang tho i had herd of a bar mitzvah, n her bruther wuz draduwaitin frum law skool in boston.


we gut to buffalo in time to find a hotel room n settle in the nite before. her lil bruther petey wuz a'stayin in the same hotel, so he wuz the furst i gut to meet. he wuz a tall skinny kid with big ears. he had him a short roly poly gurlfriend who never sed a wurd. he drove a purple pacer n had him a cb n his handle wuz simons son, witch thar daddy wuz named simon bilder n thar mama wuz deborah, names i wood here overn over agin durin the weekend in buffalo.


then we drove over to her uncle moishes house. twuz a huge place of luxury the lack of witch i hadnt never seen in life. thay wuz at least five bathrooms in the house n twuz so large we coulda stayed thar ifn we had ast early a nuff but as twuz, thay wuz four or five famblies a'stayin. n i gut to meet the res of her fambly, her sister deborah who wuz the oldest, n her brother josh who wuz bout to graduwait frum law skool up in boston, witch we wuz plannin to go to that too.


her uncle wuz a big man with a verr red face n red hair n pale gray eyes n glasses that wuz tinted sorta orange lack cep whenever he went out in the sun they turnt into sun glasses. n we talked bout lots of thangs n he lacked how i wuz a genuwine southerner or so he sed only he kep specktin me to thank thangs i dint thank, speshly bout black folk. n he made me feel speshul on a counta bein differnt frum everbidy.


next day we went to the bat mitsvah n rite away i could see how mos everbidy thar sides me wuz jewish. n they wuz as nice as could be, but the hole time, twuz as if i were a novelty that could entertain by how it talked. n i played the role n had a grate time, enjoyin the servus whar the lil gurl dun her furst readin frum the torah or whutever twuz. i hadnt never seen one n i dint wonta call more tenshun to the fack that i dint know much bout whut wuz a'goin on.


i couldnt know it then, but i wuz passin frum the time in life whar i wuz one of the insiders to whar i wuz generly the outsider. n thang wuz, at the same time was the outsider, folks wuz lettin me in. twood happen agin n agin, n i dont know the exact moment when i gut to whar i wuz never quite a insider ceptn fer when i wuz over at mamas n the fambly wuz around.


twooda been wurse ceptn turnt out suze had felt thataway her hole life on a counta her uncle moishe had always tride to be lack a real daddy n her ant lenore tride to take her mamas place, but she woodnt let her n thang wuz, suze n her bruthers n sisters could feel the resentment. n whut made thangs harder wuz how her uncle n ant tride to have children of thar own but jes couldnt till they finely give it up n adopted, witch thats whar suze's niece cum frum, witch her name wuz alison leigh bilder n i member that on a counta twuz plastered all over everthang. n even that made suze n her siblings feel wurser on a counta they never had no mitzvah, bar or bat, lack thisn.


so we both felt a lil outside, even ifn twuz her own fambly, n i gut to thankin how she mus feel a deep down lonely on a counta at lease if gut my fambly n kin feel lack ima part of that.


taint that her uncle moishe wuz innythang but nice. he insisted on payin fer the hotel n he put on an amazin feed at the hotel whar they had the bat mitzvah n then later on at his house, whar the dinin room wuz biggern inny room i had ever dun seen in a house whar peeple lived befor.


n then he tuck us to show us his offus, witch turnt out he wuz a aborshunist n twuz a bit of a sprize on a counta he looked jes lack reglar folks. his offus wuz sumthin to see. he had tricked out each of the rooms with a serene soothin mood enhancin set of decorayshuns. one wuz lack a sea shore with all the walls painted so it seemed lack ye wuz a'sittin in a lounge chair on the sand a'lookin at the sunset whenever the docter wuz a'doin his bizness. n he turnt up a lil knob, n suddenly ye could feel the waves. n he insisted both suze n i take turns a gittin up in the chair to see whut twuz lack, n twuz a fack i coulda tuck a nap rite thar. n he had a nuther room whar twuz deep in the forest n ye could hear the katydids a sawin away. n thar wuz one that wuz a lake with a waterfall a'comin down into it. n thay wuz all rite nice.


whenever we wuz back in the hotel room she sed dint i see why she wonted me to keep quite bout whut i thought? n i could see whar twooda been downrite rude to be makin comments under the circumstantses.


n to proov how she dint feel lack part of the fambly all that much, she called to say goodbye early on sundy mornin n promissd she wood see the fambly in boston. n we lef after havin brakefuss with petey, handle of simons son, witch he spent the hole time talkin bout how awful twuz that they had to be part of such a thang n all on a counta thar daddy a dyin.


she drove us to syracuse n we walked round the campus thar n she tole me bout how she had met the boyfriend she followed to tennessee thar n how he wuz a disc jockey n wonted to brang good musick to the hicks in the sticks, witch he dint know we alreddy had us sum n he dint last long. she had brought a thermos of coffee n she bought sum italian bread n we drunk coffee n munched on that fresh bread while drivin twords massachussetts.


the next stop wuz boston whar we wuz a'gone watch her bruther graduwait frum northeasturn university sos he could practice law. n bout all i member bout that wuz they had em this speaker who wuz a'trine to make the stoodents cunsidder whuther they ought not do a lil pro bono wurk sos they could git lawyers a better reputayshun. n the part i member best bout the speech wuz the joke she tole, bout thar wuz three folks stuck in a raft that had sharks a'circlin n thar wuz a doctor n a preacher n a lawyer n they dint know whut to do till the lawyer sed he wood take care of it n he jumped overbord. all the sharks scattered, n the preacher ast the lawyer why n he sed, 'profeshnull courtesy.'


then we had the celebrayshun dinner n thays two thangs i member bout it. one wuz how her bruther couldnt shut up bout how awful that speech wuz n how he wuznt doin no pro bono nuthin on a counta he had bills to pay n a fambly to raise n his wife blushed whenever he sed that. n tuther wuz how they all couldnt stop talkin bout johnny majors n how he had jes won the nashnull champeenship a'coachin pittsburgh n he had jes announced how he wuz a'gone return home to tennessee sos he could coach them vols.


n yew mite coulda thought thats all i wuz, a vol fan, witch them wuz the years when i wuz a'goin to skool over thar n that wuz a hard time to lack football on a counta how it dominated everthang on campus n side twuz during the 11 game losin streak to alabama so i wuz havin a hard time seein whut wuz so grate bout havin johnny majors back.


i wuz glad to git away frum that celebrayshun n suze wuz a'feelin the same. we figgered we wood drive to new york city on a counta we dint wonta half to rent a hotel room n she had a friend we could stay with once we gut to quote the city unquote.


n the hole way she wuz talkin bout how good a impresshun i had made on her uncle moishe n all tutherns n i wuz wondering whut differnts it could make on a counta thar wuznt no way we wuz thankin bout marrg. lease i wuznt. but fer sum reason, i wuz glad bout bein found acceptabull.


new york wuz lack disneyland fer adults n we had a grate time thar. her friend had a 2 bedroom apartment on 2nd avenue, witch i dint know how nice that apartment wuz at the time on a counta apartments seemed purty small to me since i had always lived in a house, but i could see whar suze thought her friend denny had the best place ye could possbly git.


we tuck the circle tour, witch thats a boat that goes all the way round the island of manhattan n they tell bout all the histry n rich folk n movie stars that lives thar. n we ate at all kinda restrunts, greek n italian n mexicun n chinese n lots of kinds of food i hadnt never had. n we went to samual weisers bookstore whar i spent near $100 on books. n late one nite we went over to 42nd street n found whar thay wuz a triple x rated movie n we went in to see it, but it wuz mostly a disappointment on a counta thar wuz no story n no seduckshun n folks wuz nekkid too fast n bout thonly thang wurth seein wuz when thay wuz two women a'doin it n thang bout that wuz how suze gut all eggcited by it n i ast why n she sed twuz thonly scene with oral attenshuns bein properly applied.


we gut home to our room in her friends apartment n had us a real good time n seemed lack we shoulda felt rite close. i had dun met her fambly n friends n seen thangs frum her past. but all i could thank bout wuz makin sure not to say them wurds whenever she wuz properly applyin the oral attenshuns her ownself.


i wonted to laff on a counta how, even at a moment lack thatn, when i shoulda been lost in the sinsayshuns, all i could thank how i wuz inside n yet still a outsider.

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