Tuesday, November 11, 2003

life of buddy don, chaptur 73:
death is all aroun, inside n out

one of the classes i wuz takin that fall wuz existenchulism frum a grate teecher name of docter hans wilhelm schreiber. this wuz one class daddy dint lack me to be a'takin. whenever he herd i had it, he sed, 'i thought we wuz dun with them depressed communists back when we debunked that nauseatin john paul sart.' i tole him twuz still a'goin on n it had developed sum since then, but he dint wonta here it. he figgered twuz a ded flossofy n dint desurv much study. but twuz one of the bes classes i had on a counta that teechur. corse, the bes lessun wuz one docter hans wilhelm schreiber dint mean to teech, witch ill git to thatn direckly.

one of the mane thangs docter schreiber dun fer me wuz git me goin on this hans georg gadamer fella, witch hes a flossofer who bleeved that ye kin only unnerstand innythang so far as ye kin splain it usin wurds. twernt sumthin i wonted to bleeve, but i wuz havin a devil of a time proovin innythang else. thatn gut me in such a snit i wuz wonderin how i could thank bout ritin a novel, but i had dun started on it n had promissed i wood finish, so i rote on even tho it seemed lack my hole life wuz in rebellyun agin wurds n whut i wuz findin out bout em.

i member one day in particlar. i gut to whar i wuz ritin in my diary mos everday bout how wurds wuz too weak a vee-hickle to carry the thangs that needed sayin. i wood walk roun the utk campus thankin so hard bout this that i could fergit whar i wuz.

so twuz i cum to be standin in front of the undergraduwait libary on the corner of volunteer boulevard n andy holt avenue waitin to cross on a cold december day. i wuz so lost in thankin bout wurds that i wuz sprized when two wurds wuz shouted out in my die reckshun: 'hey rabbi!'

in the instunt i turned to look, i sumhow had time to wunder how the mind kin figger thangs lack it does, how it kin determine whar that them wurds cum frum, how they cum frum a car, a particlar car, a faded blue pontiac in fack that wuz stopped at the red lite goin uphill on andy holt, waitin fer it to turn green, how sumhow i could locate the lil fella in the middle of the back seat of the same car n could look into his eyes n see he wuz the one dun it n how i coud watch how five out of the six guys in the car wuz lookin at me, all ceptn the driver, n how they got the lite n drove up andy holt n i wuz still watchin when the lil man in the middle of the back seat held up his fanger to flip me the bird.

n the furst thang i thought wuz how that bird wuznt eggzackly wurds but it gut its point across, only rite away tuther half of my mind jumped in to remind me twuz a symbol he had used.

n that same day i went down to the macdonalds on the strip n ordered sum coffee n gut to ritin on my book. n in cum a talk black man with blood shot eyes n the drool runnin down offn his chin. i tride not to look at him till he cum rite up to me n leaned over n let the spit fall from his cheek onto the pages i wuz ritin, makin the wurds run in puddles of blue n purple. it seemed to amuse him, so he let a lil more fall till i stood up n pulled my papers to me.

n that seemed to make him a lil mad to whar he tuck a swipe with his lef hand at me. n i wuz jes as sprized as he wuz at how my lef hand cum out n caught hisn as if i wonted to do a hippy handshake of sumthin n he wuz pushin hard but bein as how he wuz a lil drunk, he wuznt all that steddy on his feet, so i could push back bettern he could push. n suddenly he tuck a swing with his rite hand, n thar went my rite hand, sprizing bofus at how it caught his hand n begtun to squeeze on it to whar he wuz hurtin.

i could see the scurity gard a'comin over in tellin the man he wuz a'gone half to leeve, but he wuznt budgin n then thar wuz the po-leece cumin with thar walkie talkies blarin n we wuz bout to be surrounded. n rite then i looked the man in his eyes n my eggspresshun sed how we wuz in thisn together n dint he see i wuznt the enemy. i dont know hot to splain it, but i knew he could see whut i wuz meanin, so he winked at me, let my hands go, n run out.

that evenin whenever susannah cum over i could see how she wuz upset by sumthin n turnt out mj had been a'callin everbidy to cumplain bout virgils wicked ways, witch i cant member the offents he had committed on this occayshun. n i listened n dint say nuthin till i felt that verr same eggspresshun on my face whar i wuz sayin we wuz in thisn together n all, n rite then she melted n cum into my arms n give me a kiss. n thang is, even while i wuz kissin her, i wuz thankin bout how i hadnt sed a wurd but she tuck my meanin jes fine.

then i tole her bout my addventchurs, savin the hey rabbi story fer las since i knew she wood lack it n shore a nuff she did. n bout the time i had that thought reddy to sprang frum my lips into wurds, the phone rung n twuz my mama callin to tell me maisies frien georgia crane had died of cancer n wood i be able to take her to the funrul? n for i could say innythang, she sed twuz fer 2 pm the nex day n i should meet maisie at mama's by 1:45. n i sed i wood doot.

nex day wuz existentchulism class n docter hans wilhelm schreiber cum in n sed he wuznt a'gone give us the normal class on a counta he had found blood in his urine cuple weeks back n his docters had dun figgered how twuz cancer he had. n he sed ever since he had foun that out, he dint thank sum of the stuff we wuz studyin wuz all that importunt no more. n he sed that even tho he knew twuz loded with myth, all he could thank to read wuz the bible. then he innerduced us to a new teechur who wuz a'gone take over the class, n then he wuz gone. n nex i herd of him, he had dun died.

twuz quite a lesson in existentchulism n the day he tole us bout findin the blood in his urine, he tole us he knew he woodnt last long n he wuz wunderin bout everthang he had dun been teechin us n we wuz filled with wunder to thank bout whut he wuz sayin, speshly since we all thought he wuz one of the bes teechurs ever n we had bleeved everthang he had been a'sayin bout reason n existence precedin essence n all.

so corse my mind wuz full of thoughts bout all that whenever i lef n drove to oak ridge to git maisie. twuz a verr sad funrul since georgia wuz so young. i had known her sepert from maisie knowin her on a counta whenever i had that horse name of lil dude northfleet out on my uncle brines farm, georgia wuz one of the gurls that hung round with gretchen n them. n she wuz so quite n shy i dint hardly git to know her much n ye mite say everthang i did know bout her wuz wurdless knowledge.

i wuz still filled with the wunder of whut i wuz thankin bout wurds n docter schreiber n all as i watched the ritchuls they wuz usin to make everbidy feel ok bout puttin georgias body into a box n buryin it in the ground n i couldnt hep but notice how much of the meanin of the hole thang wuz all in the way the revernd moved n the way they all ate the wafer n drunk the grape juice n all, witch that wuz thonly time i ever saw em do that at a funrul.

afterds, me n maisie drove down to our spot by the lake whar she cride n cride while i wuz holdin on to her. n she sed how she death wuz all around her, n then she gut to talkin bout the aborshun n how thay had been a lil child in her belly that wuz a'wontin to live but wuz ded now, n she sed it felt lack she wuz surrounded by death, inside n out.

thay wuznt no wurds to say back to her, so i jes kep huggin her n strokin her hed. n finely she sed she reckoned we mite as well git hi, so we did n befor long we wuz tellin stories bout georgia n whenever we did, seemed lack my memry wuz jogged bout ridin horses n how her horse wuz named carla n twuz a brood mare n how whenever they wuz breedin her, she wood be eatin hay n turn back to look at the over eggcited stud lack she wished he wood git on with it n let her eat. n purty soon we wuz laffin bout how life n death wurks.

i tuck her back to mamas n tole her to call innytime she needed innythang.

when i gut home, i found a note with ten dollars from kevin karnes. n thar wuz tinker, my cat, astin to be let in. n he wuz rite affeckshunit n crawled into my lap till i gut a phone call frum randy fox sayin how he wuz gittin a divorce, witch twernt a sprize atall. n whenever i gut off the phone, i saw whar tinker had dun peed in the corner, so i put im back out.

nex day mj foun his body by the rode n brought it home so we could bury it. n twuz only the small death of a small animull, but when i saw his lil body, seemed lack i could see docter schreiber n georgia n maisies baby n everthang that ever lived or died in the orange tangle of mud n cat that wuz lef over frum its life.

n the wurds runnin thru my mind wuz maisies, overn over, bout how death is all around, inside n out.

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