Thursday, July 31, 2003

life of buddy don, chaptur 29:
how i larnt to luv cuntry musik

nuther thang darlene n me gut us wuz a peeano, witch twuz a claude p. street of nashvul with the date of 1917. cost us $75 when that wuz more'n rent n couldnt neethur one of us ritely play it, witch her daddy woodnt let her have that mandlin nor the gittar they had even tho he couldnt play nuthin, so the peeano wuz a compromize. twuz a old upright that hadnt been tuned in ferever n it wuz as beat up as could be. but daddy n eli n brew cum over n helped me wedge it into our lil apartmint, witch that wuz when we wuz a'livin down on tennessee avenu.

them apartmints is gone now. sos harlows donuts n many other thangs thats dun been mentshuned, incloodin darlene.

no sooner did we have that peeano than i gut to tormintin darlene by playin it n lack ye dun no, i could play music better by ear than by musikal notayshun, n that proovd to be the case with peeano as well as mandlin. n that rite thar wood show ye the differnts tween us. she dint thank ye wuz a'really playin ifn ye couldnt read the musikal notayshun. i dint thank thay wuz much differnts in how ye gut the musik to cum out longs it wuz wurth lisnin to.

twernt the furst time i had been roun a peeano. lack i mentshuned oncet, virgils folks had em one, n we fooled roun on it many a time. n whenever my lil sister roena gut to whar she wonted to play, mama wuz able to cunvints daddy to git her one. that made me kindly mad on a counta frum the time i could reach the keybird on a peeano i could pick out meldies. but my daddy bleevd musik wuz fer gurls n that ifn ye permit a boy to larn it, ye mite change him into a queer, witch 'queer' n 'jap' wuz the only mean wurds daddy wood allow, the 'jap' wuz on a counta he dun fought in the pacific. twuz many years befor i had any noshun of why he wood use the wurd 'queer.'

sos i had sum idee of how ye spozed to pluck at a peeano keybird, n thats whut i dun ever chants i wood git. darlene n me dint stay in that furst place long, n the next'n we gut had two bedrooms, n that mint thay wuz a place whar darlene could go n study n git away frum me 'bangin on the peeano.' n that wuz ok on a counta i dint need innybidy a'listnin fer me to wonta play.

n play i did, as much as ever i could, till i had dun made me up some songs that dint have no wurds. n seemt lack i could git sum the sad feelins that wood git stuck in my chess to seep out into the musik n give me peace. n sumtimes i wood play whenever jc n lori n hoyt cum over fer them weejee parties, n thay wuz rite impresst, tho they wuz a mite curyas to no why everthang i playd sounded so melancholy. i couldnt splain it, but i reckon twuz sumthin to do with my thankin thay oughta be more to life than i wuz a gittin.

way i carrd on, ye wood thank i wuz the only one who wuznt gitten everthang outta life that wuz promissed n thats a widespred malady n miss concepshun that mos folks has, witch i dint reelize back then how everbidys speshul jes lack me.

reason i brang up that thar peeano is that after darlene wuz moved out n i had moved to kinston, twuz my only frien fer a while. i cant tell ye the sadness i felt oncet she wuz gone n seem lack even the saddest of meldies woodnt quit doot on a counta thay wuz a feelin in my throat that jes wood not let me be n thar cum a time, jes after i wuz let out of the mental hospital but befor they wood let me back into wurk, when i wonted to git that feelin out, n thats how i cum to rite songs with wurds.

firstn i rote wuz 'and now shes gone,' n durin that same week i rote bout ten songs usin meldies i had dun made n puttin wurds to em bout how i wuz feelin. n nex time i wuz over to the house, mama ast me wood i play, witch she wood always ast that, n i sed i mite, n then i gut to whar i wuz a'wontin to show off, so i sung that furst song i writ n time i wuz dun, thay wuz a sad feelin in the room n my mama had tears in her eyes.

but all my daddy could do wuz ast me how cum i sounded cuntry, n that hurt fer sum reason on a counta he wuz rite n twernt much i could do bout it.

thang wuz, in them daze, i hated cuntry musik, but thay wuz a bad trick played on me that changed all that.

i wuz a'wurkin midnites programmin cumputers. thay wuz this lil speaker in ever offus, witch they used it mosly to make announcemints or to let ye no thay wuz a fire drill, that kinda thang. only at nite, sumbidy had tricked it up to play wivk, n thats whar i larnt bout george jones n dolly parton n charly pride n tammy wynett n tom t hall n even the cuntry rap musik of cw mccall. whenever that cuntry stuff started, i turnt the speaker down as far as twood go, but ye could still here it.

thang i hated bout cuntry musik wuz how twuz bout sad stuff lack deevorce. fer the longest, whenever thay wuz a song bout deevorce cum on, i wood do my best to keep it out of my ears. i kep wunderin whut wuz the point of all that carryin on. n i probly never wooda larnt to luv cuntry ifn it hadnt been fer strang skinner.

on a counta ever now n agin, long bout 3 am, here cum strang, witch everbidy called him strang on a counta it wuz short fer strang bean, witch strang wuz bout as skinny as ye kin git n still have both skin n bones only he had a beer belly bout as big as a basketball, nuff to make him look pregnunt.

strang wuz the midnite superviser of the graveyard shif (they dint rotate) n he wood cum talk to me ever now n then on a counta we wuz the only two "perfeshnuls" thar on graveyard shif, witch they called innybidy who wusnt in a union job a perfeshnul as a way of buyin em off. n he new i wuz a goin thru a hard time bein separated n all, n he wuz the one tole me i wuznt over darlene whenever i thought i wuz. n he wood turn up the musik n ast me bout how this or that song fit with whut i wuz a feelin, n purty soon i gut to whar i wood fergit to turn that speaker down whenever i cum to work. n then i gut to whar i wuz a wishin i could turn it up.

how thangs goes! i had hated cuntry musik all my life, hated the way my daddy wood sang 'in the pines' while he wuz makin brakefuss, hated the cryin sound of a steel gittar. 

but whenever darlene n me split up, the only musik that could talk to me wuz cuntry, n seem lack i had joined a new club whar ye unnerstand why folks lacks to hear sad songs bout broke harts. n thems the kinds of songs i rote my ownself fer the mos part.

on a counta a broke hart n that ole peeano wuz jes bout the only thangs i had lef that matterd.

them n darlene, that is, only i dint have her.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

life of buddy don, chaptur 28:
everthang but the horse

in the last year of our marrg, darlene n i bought us a quarter horse name of lil dude northfleet. how it happened i kin hardly member, but twent sumthin lack this.

as ye mite magine frum readin chaptur 19, thay wuz a passle of my cuzins in east tennessee, mos of em frum my mamas side of thangs. in a dishun thay wuz lots of deevorces on that side, n that mint we had us a reglar swarm of bonus kin. ant sary wuz one egzample, witch she gut marrd three times. n ant rachel marrd twicet, makin her a nuther. n thar wuz sevral marrgs fer each of the cuzins frum the deevorced parnts.

innywho, one of ant sarys exes wuz a man name of brine white, witch everbidy called him uncle brine even ifn they wuz never related even by marrg. uncle brin had him a ranch whar he borded horses. him n ant sary also had em a daughter name of matilda, witch everbidy called her waltzin matilda or jes waltzy fer short. n waltzy luved horses, witch thats probly why her daddy uncle brine ever gut into the bizness.

waltzy wuz a lergic to mos everthang ceptn horses n that mint she couldnt eat thangs lack green vegtubles or mos innythang ceptn meat n taters n bread n deesert n that mint she wuz fat n a'gittin fatter, n thay wuz sum mental problems that cum along with bein fat n lergic to everthang ceptn horses n all, n fack wuz, we almos never saw waltzin matilda at the fambly gathurns. n wuznt nobidy cumplainin on a counta waltzy wonted ye to thank she wuz a lergic to bathwater in a dishun to everthang else.

but by chrismuss time in 1973, she dun made her a brakethru n could tkae her a bath n cum out in publick without bein too scairt long as she kep on her medicayshun, n that mint darlene finely gut a chants to meet her. twoodnt have guessed they wood have much to talk bout, but turnt out darlene had been a'dreamin of gittin a horse frum the time she wuz lil. dont no how it cum that she never menshuned that, but fack wuz, darlene dint lack to talk bout her childhood much on a counta bronwen wuz the sorce of panefull memries, witch ye mite member how darlene never called her mama by innythang cept bronwen.

so oncet waltzy n darlene figgered out they both luved horses, they made em a plan whar darlene n me wood go out to uncle brines ranch n ride sum the horses thar. n furst saturdy when the sun wuz a shinin even ifn twuz cold, we went out n met waltzy n uncle brine n they started a larnin us bout horses. i had dun larnt a few thangs over the years on a counta bein round horses at differnt cuzins farms now n then, but nun of them never had no saddle or ifn they did, they dun put in onto the horse before they let me git near.

waltzy n uncle brine wuz differnt. they woodnt let ye climb up on a horse ye hadnt saddled yerself, n ye had to clean the stall n put down fresh hay n brush the horse befor n after n make sure ye cleaned out thar frogs n jes generly tuck care of thar feet.

bof darlene n me wuz purty quick studies, so we wuz out a ridin by roun noon. they put me on a old blind mare name of whitey n let darlene ride a big fat mare name of carla, witch they wuz a'thankin that since darlene wuz probly a natcherul on a counta how she wuz itchin to ride. twernt the case, n fack is, she fell offn carla n twuz all a bidy could do to keep frum laffin. but darlene wuznt one to lie in the mud n claim to be hurt over one fall, n she had dun been usin the egspreshun that says ye gut to git back up on the horse that threw ye, ceptn in this case, darlene wuznt thrown so much as fell off by listin futher n futher to the side till she couldnt hold on no more.

long story short, she luved ridin n we gut to whar we wuz a doin in mos ever weekend long as twernt a rainin. we wood even go when twuz snowin on a counta ye wood git rite warm a ridin n the snow woodnt soak ye the way rain'll do.

purty soon she wuz a thankin we mite should git a horse of our own, n turnt out uncle brine wuz a sellin em n he had him a fine roane colord quarter horse name of lil dude northfleet, n he let us have him fer $250 cash, witch that seemed kindly steep but in them daze i wuz happy ifn innythang gut darlene to whar she wuznt whinin bout how much homewurk she had or her yeest infeckshun or how any of her other ailmints wuz a'going, so we bought us the horse n then a saddle n nex thang ye no we dun sunk near a $1,000 into the horse bizness.

we had us plenty to larn bout it. turnt out thay wuz a reason lil dude northfleet wuz a'goin so cheap n that wuz that warnt nobidy could keep on his back, n seemed to me lack that wuz on a counta the way uncle brine wood hit him to make him do rite, only it dint wurk. he wuz a young horse n had dun been gelded n everbidy sed he wood do better fer us ifn we wuz the ones broke him n gut him good n tamed.

as thangs went, uncle brines farm wuz a five mint drive frum k-25, so i gut into the habit of leavin out frum work at 4:30 n takin care of lil dude northfleet by 4:40 latest. oncet we owned him, i tole uncle brine i dint need his hep in brakin the horse on a counta i dint lack the way he wuz a hittin him. sted of that, i treeted him lack he wuz a big pet. whenever we furst gut him, i wood go by of an evenin n jes walk him round n brush him more'n he needed n then git him to trot with me a'holdin his bridle, n then i gut him to take a saddle n then purty soon he wuz a jarrin my verr bones while i wuz a trottin him roun n roun the corral. i never hit him oncet, n tho everbidy acted lack that wuz rong, they had to add mitt the horse lacked bein treeted with respeck.

purty soon i gut lil dude northfleet to whar he lacked to see me comin on a counta he new i wood take him outta the stall n let him run a bit while i cleened up his mess. then i wood git a scoop of sweet feed n call him n he wood cum a runnin as ifn he wuz a dog. n that made everbidy laff but i dint care.

i spent about a munth doin nuthin but trottin lil dude northfleet, furst in the corral n then n the fields n then up n down hills, witch i wood walk him down but trot him up n no matter how much he tride to run up, i wood hold him in a trot. n i did that on a counta trottin thataway bilds thar strength.

when ye ride a horse everday ye git to a point that the barryer tween you and the beest sorta brakes down. it gut to the point whar i wood ride lil dude northfleet barback. n then after a lil while i gut to whar i wood jes git on him without him even havin a bridle, n seem lack he wood go whar i wonted to go as if i wuz a'walkin on his laigs. n we wood race him agin tuther horses thar, n he wood win ever time, n it even gut sos i could race him barback with no bridle with me jes a'hangin onto his mane. n he wood win n when i sed 'whoa' he wood stop on the spot the way a good quarter horse is spozed to do.

they wuz four gurls that luved thar horses n cum out ever evenin to tend to em, n as ye mite speck, we all made friens. they wuz jes a'gittin outta hi skool n one of em wuz a good frien of my lil sister becky. they dint no much whut to make of me at furst on a counta i wuz older n wuz a wurkin at carbide n programmin computers, witch in them daze folks thought ye had to be a geenyus to do mos innythang with a computer.

then one day the purtiest one, witch her name wuz gretchen schuler, ast me did i no whut redbud wuz. twuz a trick questchun on a counta thay wuz 2 kinds of redbud, one the tree, tuther a brand of theevil weed frum panama. corse even as old as i wuz then, witch i had jes turnt 24, i could spot her point, so i ast her did she mean the tree? n when she sed she mite, i ast her did she mean a herb of sum kind? n she lafft n i sed i wuz a'goin with my guess on the herb n she could put that in her pipe in smoke it. n that settled the matter, so frum then on we wood all five of us trot our horses up one of the hills to this place whar a old oak tree had been blown over by a big wind to make a nice lil clearin complete with seats fer us all, n oncet we wuz thar, we wood smoke a joint or two n then go ridin agin.

n that rite thar wuz the start of my smokin durin the week on a counta befor that, darlene n me wood save it fer weekends. n that wuz a nuther thang i never tole darlene i wuz a doin even when it mint i had to make sure i had cleaned myself up good sos she woodnt notice by time i gut home. a nuther thang i dun then that mite coulda been a miss take wuz to quit takin classes over to roane state. n i did that on a counta i wonted to spend ever afternoon at the farm n thar wernt time fer bof the horse n the educayshun.

n thay wuz a nuther reason i lacked spendin time at the farm, n that wuz how i had dun gut me a crush on gretchen twuz a'makin me misrabull ceptn i could see her everday n that wuz sumthin. n seemed lack she wuz rite sweet on me, so we wood flirt n have us a gran ole time a'givin each other shotgun tokes, witch thats when one person, say gretchen, takes her a big ole toke n then puts the lit end of the joint into her mouth n gits me to take tuther end of the joint into my mouth n then gretchen wood blow the duble smoke into my lungs. twuz as close to a kiss as i ever gut frum her.

round that time, my bruther brew gut on out at the plant they call y-12, n his skedule wuz simlar to mine, so i invited him to cum out n ride with us, n woodnt ye no, he n gretchen fell fer each other lack nobidys bizness. twuz a paneful thang fer me to witness, but thar wernt no remdy fer it on a counta i wuz marrd n couldnt say much of nuthin bout whut he wonted to do. but it burnt me many a time, both then n later.

corse, ever weekend darlene cum out n she wonted to ride lil dude northfleet ceptn he wuznt happy bout her a'doin it on a counta she wood hit him ifn he dint do lack she wonted, n he even threw her off one time n that mint docters n crutches fer her ankle, witch twernt broke but jes strained. that dint matter nun. twuz all my fault, n lack i say, we dint fuss nor fite over much of innythang, n i dint even try to reefute her accusayshuns agin me. twuz a fack i had won the horse's hart. n she new it.

n maybe that splains why whenever she moved out n ast fer a deevorce, she let me have everthang, the new washer n drier n stove n frigerater n tv n i mean everthang we had, ceptn one thang.

n that wuz lil dude northfleet.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

life of buddy don, chaptur 27:
nixon resines

not long after i gut back frum houston, darlene startid in full time at ut n we gut to wunderin why we dint jes move over thar, so thats whut we dun. we found us a apartment in the married student apartments, the big cracker box one on kingston pike called the kingston apartments. twuz the last place we lived together, and taint no wunder.

by time we dun moved thar, darlene wuz a junyer n wuz wurkin on her prime subjecks, witch thay wuz all relatid to lecktricull injuneerin or math or statistics. she had her a hole new bunch of friens, n we wood go to thar parties, n i wood fine myself sittin n talkin to one of the wives that wuz a'puttin her husbin thru on a counta the stoodints in the crowd had plenty of stoodint stuff to discuss n those of us who wuz jes financin thangs werent in on a lot of the stuff them stoodints new.

meanwhile, i wuz still a'takin classes over to roane state, witch whenever i wuz dun at k-25, i wood point my car in the oppsit direckshun frum knoxvul n by time class wuz over, witch that wuz generly roun 8:45 on a counta the classes run frum 7 fer 1 hour n 45 mints, i had a long drive home. by time i gut to knoxvul n parked the car, twuz 10:30 at best n sumtimes later. n corse, thay wuz folks in my classes at roane state that wonted to go out n do stuff after, n ifn i give in to that, witch i dun it more often than not, twood sumtimes be up into the wee hours of the mornin befor i gut home.

i had me a frien in them days name of john carroll harding or jc fer short. he wuz one of the smartist in the skool n we made friens rite away on a counta he lacked sum the jokes i wood tell in class n he wuz big friens with the libraryun, witch he wuz a skinny man name of hoyt macinturf who tole me one time that the best murkin riters wuz flannery o'connor n ross macdonald. the furst i could see, but i wuz kindly surprised by the second till i had dun red me sum of it. hoyt the libraryun had a frien who taught histry n her name wuz lori jackson. she wuz frum mississippi n wuz a big publican n the five of us gut to whar we mite spend time together at one of thar houses. n sumtimes they wood cum over to knoxvul on a counta darlene new em frum when she wuz a'goin to roane state her ownself.

truth to tell, i had a hot crush on lori jackson n i had dun tole darlene all bout it in much the same way she had tole me bout her crush on mr john post. thangs never gut to the same egstreme with lori that they dun with mr john post, but that dint mean i dint wonta see her n by this time of the marrg we had dun quit fussin n fitin n we gut to whar we wuz talkin open like bout who we wuz a'havin crushes on. corse, ye mite no by now that ye dont talk bout crushes with yer wife or husbin ifn ye git to thankin theys real a nuff fer ye to have specktayshuns.

so thay wuz 2 kinds of parties we wood be tendin, the one with all the lecktricull types over to knoxvul n tuther with my friends frum roane state. n them parties wuz verr differnt.

whenever we wuz at a party with her friens, twuz generly at the house of one of em, n thar wuz one name of grant arnold who wuz rangleader fer the hole bunch. a time or two we had parties over to his parnts house n that wuz a thang to witness on a counta they wuz a'smokin pot rite in frunt of his folks. made me nervus to be thar n i hated fer the joint to cum by me, witch i tuck it innyway. n they wood all be a'talkin bout pall tics n speshly bout them damned publicans, witch in them daze i dint lack that kind a talk all that much on a counta i had jes voted fer nixon a couple years back n i wuz a'rootin fer him to turn out bettern he dun. they wuz also more tuned in to whut kind of music wuz poplar at the time, so we wood hear em playin loggins n messina n souther hillman furay band n poco n flyin burrito brothers n allman brothers n lynard skynard n bands lack them. n they wuz times twuz rite nice. they generly had a good cut of theevil weed n they lacked to turn the conversayshun down n the musik up.

but thay wuz other times when it seemed lack i wuz with a group of folks speakin a differnt langwage. n twuz plane as the nose on yer face that darlene n them had thar secrets that they never bothered a'tellin me, n i cant ritely say i wuz all that innerested. twernt as if i wuz livin a borin life with nuthin to do. fack is, twuz all i could do to keep up with it, n one thang i thought i new fer sartin, n that wuz i woodnt never be stuck in no borin technickul job all my life lack they wuz a plannin on doin, witch ye ought never to say never n my lifes proof of that. so whenever they tuck to discussin thar classes n such, eithur i wood listen to the musik or talk to one of them wives, n that wuz a lot lack a tie football game whar neethur side cums out too happy.

them other parties wuz differnt. fer one thang, twuz jes the five of us, meanin jc harding, hoyt macinturf, lori jackson, darlene n me. dint nobidy smoke innythang at these parties. in sted, we wood have a bottle of wine n cheese n crackers or bread n cold cuts or vegtubles n dip. the musik wuz generly classicull thangs, speshly bach n haydn on a counta they wuz faverts of bof hoyt n lori. n we wood turn the musik down a bit n talk bout thangs lack books n histry n pall tics n whut could nixon do to git out of the trubles he wuz in.

jc n me gut to be rite good friens durin this time. we wood stop by the beer joints in midtown after class. jc wuz a dranker n he new more bout likker than innybidy i ever met befor or since. sumtimes we wood go out a drankin jes sos he could sho me how twuz done without gettin the lergicull symptums. but fer the mos part, we wood stop into a bar in midtown n have beer n shoot pool or talk to sum the gurls that mite cum in.

lord, thay wuz plenty a time when i wood pray that sumthin new wood happen to me. seem lack i wuz jes in range of the innerestin but couldnt quite touch it. thar wuz lori, who couldnta been inny more frienly n she had to no bout my crush on her, but even if thar were momints, lack say when we mite be dancin at a party, when twood seem lack she wuz a'warmin up, the plane fack wuz she had dun had darlene in one of her histry classes n she woodnt introod on our relayshunship. n them gurls in the bars wuz purty nice, but thay wuz a heap of truble in figgern how ye mite see one of em private lack on a counta jc wuz always thar, n fack is, jc wuz a ugly man n no woman wood give him the time of day hardly.

fack is, jc wuz a purtier woman than he wuz a man, n turned out once he gut to whar he could trus me, he tole me bout how whenever he wuz lil, he lacked to dress up in his mamas clothes, jes playin, n his mama thought twuz cute so she wood dress him up n sumtimes even put makeup on his face n he sed twuz a thrill he couldnt never git a nuff of. he dun had him a hed full of long curly har n his jaw wuz weak, only whenever he wood put on his dress n make up his face, ye couldnt hardly tell who twuz, n ifn ye dint no who went into the dress, ye woodnt no twuz a man. n thangs wuz hard on ole jc on a counta he wonted him a gurlfrien but he couldnt brang hisself to tell a woman bout how he lacked to git dressed up lack a woman.

corse, once jc had dun tole me bout his prefernce to dress lack a gurl, he wood wonta doot mos ever time we wuz a'gone do innythang. he new ifn he tole me i wuz a'gone tell darlene, but that wuz ok on a counta darlene dint care no how. so thay wuz times whar jc wood git all dressed up n ast me wood i take him sumwhar that dint nobidy no us so he could git the thrill of bein a woman out in publick.

n purty soon he got to whar he wuz a wontin to let hoyt n lori in on the secret on a counta then whenever we gut together he could 'dress,' witch he lacked to call it 'dressin' whenever he maskeraided as a woman. so he cum up with a plan, n that wuz to brang his weejee bord to one them parties sos he could have the noshun cum up from thar. so thats whut he dun to the verr next party, n even tho i dint thank eethur lori or hoyt or even darlene wood be the least bit innerested in foolin with no witchcraft n all, turnt out they wuz, n nobidy moren lori. so we tuck to testin the differnt combinayshuns of folks n twuz a setup of corse on a counta jc wonted it to be lori n me that run the bord n ye kin see by that he wuz a crafty fella on a counta he new i wood do mos innythang ifn i could doot with lori.

n shure a nuff, whenever lori n i parred up to try our luck with the weejee bord, the thang tuck off lack a scalded dawg. n that made jc rite happy but whut he dint no wuz that i wuznt the one controllin it, witch that meant twuz lori or else thay wuz sumthin to that thar weejee bord that we never specktid. witchever twuz i couldnt never be sartin, but lori swore up n down twernt her a movin it n seem lack she looked at me with suspishun till i tole her twernt me but her, n that settled it fer her. so we tuck to astin all kinda questchuns n gittin all kinda ansers. wood we fine true love? n twuz sed sum wood n sum woodnt. wood we git rich? n twuz sed lackly not. wood we git famous? n twuz sed we wood be better off ifn we could avoid it.

it never sed a wurd bout jc n his desire to dress lack a woman n that wuz a dispointment n it made jc mad on a counta he wuz a'countin on me. so i tride to force the matter, n seem lack i jes couldnt make it go whar i wonted it to. in sted, it tole how nixon wuz a'gone to resine frum bein presdint. n after that, lori woodnt play it no more n i agreed on a counta we bof wuz still rootin fer nixon n bleevd he wuz a good presdint a'gittin dumped on by theevil demcrats.

so jc give up his hope of dressin up fer one of our lil parties, n he settled fer goin out in knoxvul now n then. n i wuznt the leest bit happy. i wuz hopin fer real life, but spendin my spar time with jc, a lettin him git his jollies pertindin he wuz sumthin he could never be.

then cum the day fer nixon to resine, n corse them ut folk gathurd over to grant arnolds n had em a party to watch it, n they wuz all a'jumpin with glee n gloatin bout the end of nixon. i tride to tend lack i wuz happy, but i wuz feelin lack i had dun watched tennessee give the game to alabama on a unforced fumbl. i member rite after he give the speech n everbidy wuz a jumpin n hollerin n a'carryin on, n i tuck that momint to go to the bathroom sos i dint have to be thar fer sum of the celebrayshun. then whenever i wuz a cumin back, i herd grant arnold say to darlene that he betted her boyfrien wood be happy, n twuz sartin he dint mean me. he even sed sumthin lack too bad about yer husbin, tho i cant be postive thats whut i herd or only whut my memry hears now. but twuz no differnt than twood a been ifn i had herd it.

on a counta, that nite, i started changin my way of thankin bout mos thangs in my life. twuz the nite that started me on the rode to bein a demcrat sted of a publican. twuz the nite i had to begin ceptin that my marrg wuz a gone to end. but the wurst wuz still cumin.

darlene ansered grant arnold back that she dint thank i wood be too broke up overt on a counta seemed lack all i wonted to do wuz hangout with a transvestite n git drunk. twernt fair to jc but i never spent a nuther spare mint alone with him, tho i did go to his batchler party whenever he marrd that nurse from oneida.

but by then, darlene had dun moved out.

Monday, July 28, 2003

life of buddy don, chaptur 26:
them blues

once i gut my promoshun, they startid into larnin me how to program computers. ye mite not member how they wuz back then, but they wernt nearly the easy fun they wuz later to becum. in them days ye couldnt git thangs lack upper n lower case n ye had to enter everthang by either tellatype machine or punch cards or even paper tape. furst they put me thru a corse in basic, witch the hardest concep wuz whar they had i = i + 1. oncet ye gut past thatn, thangs gut a bit easier to unnerstand.

so they sent me to houston fer a class on the ibm 1800. this wuz a big time in our lives. i wuz makin purty good money, near $10,000 a year, so thay wuz no reason darlene had to keep a'wurkin. she wonted to study lecktricull injuneerin, n i wuz thankin bout maybe studyin english or philosophy or sumthin long them lines. we new twernt norml to send the wife to skool furst, but it made more sense on a counta they dont pay women the way they do men, least not back then n far as i kin tell, thangs aint much better now. n best of all, she wood be able to upgrade her educayshun frum roane state comunty collidge to the university of tennessee.

that month long trip to houston wuz a nuther of them dividin lines, witch in the calculus of life keeps slicin up the befors n afters, n this one changed fer good how i wuz gonna git mos of the money i mite git in this life. at the time, i dint seem lack no big thang, but twuz.

i drove to houston, takin the big old car n leevin her with the vega, witch it could still run at that time. twuz the furst time i had been away since californy, n i wuz calculatin the money i wood have to eat with. they wuz a'givin me 'per diem' rates to cover the costs of food n such, n i had this noshun i wuz a'gone save sum of it n have a big time. but jes tother side of cookvul i gut caught in a speed trap.

furst time that ever happened to me, n the main thang that made me glad wuz i dint have none of theevil weed with me. twoodnta mattered on a counta they dint search my car nor nuthin, but leest i wuznt all nervus lack i wooda been. but it made me mad n seemed lack a unfar trick on a counta i wuz goin egzackly the same speed as everbidy else, witch everbidy wuz runnin bout 10 miles over the limit, witch in them days wuz 75 mph. that kep me movin slower fer the res of the trip, n i couldnt seem to stop calculatin how much twuz gonna set me back on my budget a'havin to pay fer that ticket, witch twuz a whoppin $25!

i gut to texarkana n thought i mite stay the nite on a counta i wuz tard, but whenever i gut outta the car n walked aroun, seem lack the place dint feel the leest bit frienly, so i deecided i wood git back on the rode, n long story short i gut into houston after midnite, witch i had a open reservayshun at the shamrock hilton, a huge hotel with a gigantic frunt lawn.  they turnt it into a medicull thang in the mid 80s, but twuz in full swang whenever i wuz thar in the summer of 1973.

dont know whuther ye member much bout them daze. twuz a'gittin hot fer nixon, witch i had dun used my verr furst vote fer him n twuz fun joustin with everybidy down on the swang shif, witch i wuz still a'wurkin it whenever the leckshun cum around. everbidy else wuz a demcrat ceptin woody thomas, witch his real name wuz woodrow wilson thomas, n he wuz the only publican sides me. n twuz fun but too easy on a counta the demcrats had dun chose the radicull george mcgovern. turnt out even tho twuz a'gone be a landslide, nixon still had to cheat. i reckon you dun herd bout that.

thay wuz lots of other stuff a'gone on. elton john wuz bout the biggest thang on radio. the hole watergate thang wuz jes a'gittin startid. thay wuz a bunch of injuns took over woundid knee. lbj died. oregon decrimnullized theevil weed. folks wuz satisfide reedin books lack jonathan livingston seagull by richard bach or once is not enough by jacqueline susann. on tv we wuz watchin all in the family n the waltons n sanford and son n m*a*s*h, witch the movie wuz better. n this weirdo name of atkins cum out with a diet whar ye gut to eat jes meat n butter n such but no bred n that made no sense a tall to me. the nashnull debt kep a'goin up, hittin an amazin total of $466 billyun. cb radios wuz a quick fad. they made aborshun legal. billie jean king beat bobby riggs in tennis, n they made a grate big deal over it. that movie bout spiritchull possession cum out, witch that wuz the exorcist n i half to add mitt furst the book n then the movie scairt both darlene n me plum outta a good nites sleep. n whut wuz a hittin me on that trip wuz how gas wuz up to near 40 cent a gallon, witch bad as twuz, that wood seem lack a bargin purty soon.

but i dint cum to houston to study gas prices. i gut in on a sundy nite n classes begun the verr next day. i dont no ifn ye member the ibm 1800 data acquisishun n cuntrol center. i barely member it my ownself. we had ours in a speshull room to keep it cold. twuz made up of sevrul differnt parts that wuz all spread out on the floor: thay wuz the console, witch it looked lack a ibm selectrick typewriter only the computer run it most of the time. n thay wuz the card reader. n thay wuz a line printer. n the disk drives. i cant find much bout em at the momint, but if memry serves, they held bout 600 megabytes on huge brown spindles that had sumthin lack six platters strung together.

nowdaze this here cumputer ima usin is way more powerful than that ibm 1800, but in them daze, twuz sumthin to have. fack is, ibm purty much run the hole computin show in them daze. whenever i wuz furst promotid, they tuck me over to the computer center at k-25 n tole us how twuz lanked together sumhow with one over at ornl n a nuthern out at los alamos n thay wuz competishun twixt the various ones over witchn wuz the biggest.

witchevern twuz, twernt the 1800, witch they called a mini (or wuz it a micro?).

i half to add mitt i dint lack programmin computers at furst. fack is, i never gut to whar i wuz too awful fond of it n heres why. no matter how keerful ye mite be whenever yer settin up yer program n gittin the requester to agree on whut ye wuz about to do, whenever ye dun it, they hardly sed nuthin, witch werent much of innybidy who new how hard twuz to git a program to wurk jes the way they wonted it, well, ye wood give it to em, n they mite say thanks, but mainly the only time ye wood here bout yer program wuz when it dint do sumthin the requester thought twood do n then ye wood have to rite the hole thang over agin accordin to whutever the requester thought wuz wonted by then. fack is, the only time ye wood ever here innythang bout yer program wuz when thay wuz sumthin rong with it.

but i dint no much of that whenver i begun that class, n the furst week i tride my bes to pay keerful tenshun to everthang n larn it all bes i could. thay wuz a good 25 or 30 folks in that thar class, n we all had quote hands on unquote time n we larnt bout the operatin system n the deevice drivers n such lack.

durin the time we wuz thar, thay wuz a fire in a gay bar in new orleens. killt a bunch of folks, 30 or more as i recall, n twuz a topic of conversayshun durin brakes in the class. thay wuz a man thar with a crew cut. he wuz a army man n seem lack he couldnt say a nuff bout the far. he wuz the one sed the far couldnt have happened to a better bunch of folks, n thay wuz sum thar that lafft at that, n crewcut did his bes to git all the mileage he could out of his statemint. way he carried on ye could wunder why he wuz so concerned to let everbidy no he hated the folks that had jes been burnt.

durin one of the furst evnins, i walkt up to a park nearby called the hermann park. i dint no whut i wuz a'lookin fer, but purty soon this guy cum up to me n i half to add mitt i wuz a bit nervus about him. he wuz jet black n bout a half a foot taller than me n he pointid to his crotch n mumbled sumthin. i dint git whut he sed tho i wuz afraid he mite could have ast sumthin i dint wonta here nuthin about. i leaned back n sed, 'pardon me but i dint catch whut ye sed.' so he leaned in n ast did i wonta buy sum smoke. n that relaxed me a nuff to whar i ast how much n he sed $20 n i sed ok n that wuz the furst time i paid more'n $15 fer a ounce, n the odd thang wuz, i never found a $15 ounce agin.

corse, once i had me a supply of theevil weed, i had new trubles on a counta i wuz scairt bout whar i could put it n not git caught. i wuznt about to take it to class but if i lef it in my room, i wurried i could git caught ifn the maid servus found it. then i thought i could leeve the do not disturb sine up, but that seemed a lil suspishus on a counta when ye pay that much fer a room, witch twuz near $400 fer a week, then ye chantses are ye wonta take all the cleenin n servuses ye gut comin.

so i wint into one of them shops they had in that thar hotel n startid a'lookin round. thar wuz crewcut a'browsin n he nodded n i nodded back. a kind lookin young man cum over to hep me n i figgered i wood buy me a cigar that had a plastick case fer it, n i could cut off the tip of the cigar n put the ounce inside the plastick n then put the lil bit of cigar back on the end n mayhap that wood be a good place to keep the stuff. i startid in to talkin bout cigars n twuz purty clar i dint no much bout em. but that dint seem to bother the man, witch his name turnt out to be lance n we made friens. furst, tho, he ast did the man with the crewcut wont innythang else, n fer sum reason ole crewcut glared at me n sed no, n lance tole him they wuz bout to close n crewcut sed he had jes been lookin innyway.

so they closed n lance ast did i have plans fer the evenin n i sed no n he sed did i wonta go out n fine sum ackshun n i thought that wuz jes whut i wonted to do. i tuck my stuff up to the room, cut up the cigar, lit the big piece, n cum back down. he dint car fer my choice in cigars, but he dint no twuz fer the plastick holder n not the cigar, n purty soon i let him talk me into throwin it out the window.

we went to a cafeteria to eat n turnt out he had dun red most of the better books n he new his composers n fack wuz, he wuz a opry sanger in the houston grand opera, witch they wuz proud of theyselves on a counta they did opry in english, witch that wuz a blessin. later on i went to here him sang in a piece called william tell, witch they dun it in english, but i still couldnt hardly tell whut they wuz a sangin bout most of the time.

but that furst nite, we dint do nun of that. after we dun finished eatin, he ast did i wonta go to a bar n see whut kinda ackshun we could fine, n i agreed. my car wuz in the parkin garage so he drove. seem lack he couldnt hardly make up his mind, n fack is, he stopped n ast wood i wait while he checked the bar to make sure twuz ok but he cum back out n sed twuz a shitkickin bar n i dint need to see nun of that. so he kep on drivin n eventchully, he pullt into a huge parkin lot n we went in.

the music wuz loud, so loud that ye couldnt hardly here yerself thank. that song will it go around in circles wuz a hit n seemed lack they had to play it bout ever third or fourth song. i had dun tole him i drunk gin n tonic, witch twuz a lie i made up to make it seem lack i wuznt a lergic to alcohol, n i dint even bother to splain the problem to him. he went off to git sum dranks n while he wuz gone, i gut to lookin round n purty soon i could see sumthin wuz not egzackly right. thay wuz plenty folks in that bar, n sum of em wuz women, but problem wuz, the men wuz a'dancin with the men n the women wuz a dancin with the women, n bout then i unnerstood whut wuz a'gone on.

lance cum back with the dranks n we found a place to sit whar twuznt quite so loud n he wuz a lookin at me lack i wood hit him. he dun new i wuz marrd, but he figgered that since i always called darlene quote the wife unquote, he figgered i dint care fer it all that much. i splained that i lacked larnin thangs n i hadnt ever been in such a place but that i wuznt egsited by men. seem lack he figgered he could change my mine, n fer the rest of the time in houston, he tride.

he wuz a good guy n i larnt a lot frum him. he had me over to his place one time fer a stake dinner n he wonted to seduce me but twernt no way he could n i tole him n thay wuz a note in my voice that let him no i wuznt a'kiddin. n then he turnt his tenshun to playin beethovens third symfunny, witch i hadnt never much lacked thatn befor i met lance.

now i spoze i wuz spozed to be disgustid by the quote gay life unquote i wuz a seein. my daddy had made no bones bout how he thought twuz rong, n i spoze i wuz spozed to feel the same way, but fer sum reason, i dint feel thataway. fack is, lance wuz mosly sad. we wood talk bout how he wuz trapped in his body, that he had wished he coulda turnt into a gurl, that he wisht he wuz white sted of black, that it made him angry to see happy couples a'walkin round lack they desurved speshul treatmint, n fack wuz, he new twernt fair to be mad at folks fer whut they wuz. n he shed tears over sum of the stories he tole n he splained that the way his life wuz, he dint no why he dint jes end it.

n durin all this, he never quit trine to cunvints me to let him give me pleshure, n thar wuz a time he tride to the point it made me git a lil violent. we had gone out the same as always, n fack is, we purty much kep to the same bar. i wood dance with him, but not slow, n i wood try to git women to dance with me, witch they wood but not slow. he kep brangin me dranks ne when twuz time to go, all my lergickul symptums wuz kicked in. they dint have the idee of designated drivers in them daze, so even if we wuz bof drunk, sumbidy had to drive n he baiged me to doot.

so i did n tuck bout all the concentrayshun i had to keep the car on the rode. he scootid over nex to me n startid into undoin my pants. i tole him to stop, but i couldnt do too much on a counta twuz all i could do to drive. long story short, by time we gut to the shamrock hilton, he had dun got my zipper aloose n he wuz puttin his haid down in my lap. i pullt in n turnt off the car. he wuz a'gittin no reackshun to his treatmints n i wuz a tellin him to stop it, n he wuznt payin me no mind so i tuck a holt of his hair n give it a good sharp jerk till he sit strate up n sed he wuz sorry n he woodnt do that no more. n jes as he did, i looked up n thar wuz crewcut a lookin rite in my eye.

'damn!' i sed before i realized it.

lance ast whut wuz rong, n i splained bout the guy n how he kep a'goin on bout that firer in new orleens. n that made lance laff. i ast whut wuz so funny, n he sed, 'that old queer?' n then splaint that crewcut had dun tride to make it with lance, but lance sed crewcut wernt his type.

when twuz time fer me to drive back home, he gut me a 8 track tape of derek and the dominoes on a counta he sed i dun give him a case of them blues, witch he sed them blues wuz when ye new jes whut ye wontid n also how ye wernt never a'gonna git it. drivin home, i tuck the southern route sos i could go thru new orleens even ifn i did have to go thru alabam afterds. n i listened to them blues over n over n over agin n i wundered how folks could git to the point of wontin sumthin they couldnt have, n i couldnt git why they wood doot.

as turnt out, darlene wood larn me that it aint sumthin ye make up yer mind to do.

Sunday, July 27, 2003

life of buddy don, chaptur 25:
crossin lines

thays many ways ye could chop up a life into befors n afters, as ifn thay wuz a line that ye crossed, n whenever ye dun it, everythang wuz differnt frum then on. fer instunts, thars whenever i lef home. everythang since then has dun been differnt. same with wurkin n gittin marrd. seem lack i wuz a'crossin them lines lack nobidys bizness without a'givin it much thought.

n thats how twuz with theevil weed. i dun writ bout how theevil weed did a worl of good fer my relayshunship with my bruthers, speshully eli. turnt out he had dun been a'smokin pot fer a while so he wuz a'keepin it a secret frum me.

n thats one of the ways we crossed a line oncet we startid smokin. seem lack thay wuz a passle of new friens we made around then on a counta ye gut invited to parties ifn ye smoked that ye woodnt git invited to ifn ye wuz strate. n these parties wuz verr differnt frum them carbide parties. fer one thang, thay generly wernt no dancin n ifn thay wuz inny, twuz lackly sumbidy that wuz a'drankin. corse, ye dint see much drankin mongst yer smokers on a counta most yer smokers wood tell ye they wuz 'down on drankin,' witch that mint they thought ye wuz a'sellin out to the stablishmint ifn ye drunk hard likker. beer wuz differnt, but in them days, most folks jes lacked smokin.

in sted, folks wood put on music n listen toot. twuz right nice in my pinion on a counta mongst yer drankers, ye dint have no chants to here no musik n ye had to dance innyway. but yer smokers wonted to sit quite n listen keerful to whutever musik twuz they lacked. they wuz sum variety thar in oak ridge on a counta thay wuz folks into jazz n blugrass n corse everbidy wonted to hear yer pink floyd n moody blues n eagleswhostones n paul simon n james taylor n led zepplin n tangerine dream n tuther musik that soundid good when ye wuz hi.

only musik they woodnt abide wuz cuntry.

in the same way we wuz invitid to parties with differnt folks, we also startid havin differnt folks over, n mainly that wuz eli. eli wuz fifteen munths yunger n me n that meens thays no time in this life that i kin member that dont have him innit. we dun mos thangs together that ye kin do, fishin n playin baseball n listin to musik n readin books n all, but whenever twuz time fer me to go to hi skool, everthang changed n seemed lack i dint hardly see him much. mos kids hung out with stoodints in thar own grade, n so did we.

whenever i cum home frum californy with darlene, seem lack eli dint have hardly no time. he even wurked at shoneys a spell, but he never had no time to do much, n i wuz always with darlene n dont seem lack eethur of us noticed it much. then after darlene n me had been a'gittin hi ever weekend for a munth or so, we made a refernts to theevil weed sumhow, n eli pickt it rite up n nex thang ye no its our habit to have eli over fer pizza n music n gittin hi. h brought frank zappa n that wuz grate. we musta listened to 'we're only in it for the money' a thousand times.

'is the song over?'

n darlene discovered firesign theatre, n we listened to that n lafft n gut to whar we could quote the entire thang n sumtimes we wood git hi n do that. n sumtimes brew wood cum over too, but he wuz younger n never seemed cumfortable round darlene. back whenever we wuz wurkin at shoneys big boy restrunt we used to go fishin ever mundy with brew n whenever darlene got on out at the plant, she dint have time to fish no more, witch she sed sumthin bout fishin bein cruel n inhumane n that wuz a sore point. so mainly twuz eli n darlene n me.

corse, eli gut to whar he wuz a cravin sum female cumpny, so he wood brang over sumbidy now n then or we wood go out n then cum back to our place on a counta his wuz always a mess. corse we wuz always a'wontin to git hi n listen to musik, n when ye thank bout it, thats not the best sitchewayshun to meet sumbidy.

then he brung over a gurl name of magda mruzinski, witch she wuz a furst genrayshun polish gurl. she had green eyes n a millyun freckles n thick curly har the color of a carrot, witch they call it red but its really orange. turnt out i dun new her frum hi skool on a counta she wuz in the acksellerated classes. we hadnt ever spoken much till she cum over but that nite everthang i sed seemed to hit her funny bone. we wuz a listen to 'how can you be in two places at once when you're not anywhere at all' n we new all the words n she wuz amazed.

thang wuz, eli woodnt say a wurd, so twuz darlene n magda n me n befor ye new it, eli dun went to sleep on the couch, witch we wuz sittin in the floor lack we always dun.

sumtime after midnite darlene sed she had to go to bed n wood i mind given madga a ride on a counta she dint wonta wake eli. so i agreed, n twuz a miss take i dint even notice i wuz a'makin till i found myself a'sittin in our red vega out in front of magda mruzinski's parents' apartment up on hillside n we wuz laffin n her hand cum down on my thigh n that made us laff harder n nex thang ye no we wuz a'kissin n then she had her shirt unbuttoned n her bra cum undun in front. n seemed lack thay wuz no turnin back cept we had nary a place to go on a counta she lived with her folks.

twernt a obstackull to keep us apart fer long, n long bout wendsdy of the nex week, she wuz sittin on our floor n we wuz a smokin a joint n listnin to grateful dead. darlene wuz takin classes three evenins a week but i had wendsdy off. n no sooner did we finish a smokin that joint than we dun whut she cum thar fer on a counta we dint wonta cut thangs close on when darlene wuz a cumin home. n by the time we made our way back to our bedroom, witch i hate to add mitt the truth witch we dun it in our bed, darlenes n mine, but we wernt barly thar when i wuz a wunderin whut i wuz a'doin n a'wishin i could git out of it.

corse, i dint n whenever twuz over, witch i couldnt seem to reach my own satisfackshun but she gut hers n seemed lack she gut her feelins hurt on a counta she felt lack twuz her fault n i tole her she could see fer her ownself the effeck she had on me n twuz fun whut we dun n dint matter, n ye mite could say i tride to cunvints her that twuz ok but she woodnt buy it n i dont blame her.

twuz the only time we dun it tho i saw her now n then n we wuz friendly.

darlene cum home late that nite, n i wuz glad on a counta i wuz alreddy in bed by the time she got thar. she woke me up on a counta she wonted to talk. i could see she wuz trunled by sumthin n i wondered fer a hot mint did magda call her. but she had to pee so i gut up n smelt the bed to see did it smell of sex, witch i had dun swapt the sheets. she stayed in the bathroom long a nuff to change into a nite gown n i wuz sprized twuz a sexy one that she wood normly only whar ifn we wuz a plannin on havin sex, witch we dint do that whenever she had classes, least we never had.

she cum to bed n wuz all serius n she ast me to hold her n i wuz alreddy dun egsited frum earlier n that seemed lack it wuz too hot fer her to handle n i tride to pull away n she wonted to cry, witch i could feel her shakin n trine to hold in the sobs. then i pulled her closer n tole her twuz ok to let it out n cry ifn she had to n she cummenced a'doin jes that, long a nuff till my own egsitmint kindly begun a'droopin.

then she tuck to cumfessin bout how she had dun been havin this crush on her boss mr john post, n she dint seem to be able to git it outta her mind, n twuz a makin her crazed n frustraitid.

then she ast wuz thar sumthin rong with her. corse i ast her whut did she mean on a counta everbidys dun gut sumthin rong with em.

but she dint answer. in sted she sed she needed to tell me sumthin, n i sed she could go ahed, a'thankin i needed to tell her sumthin too.

n she tole me the story of her long crush on mr john post, on the way they flirtid at wurk n sumtimes he wood touch her behind jes a nuff whar she could feel it but not a nuff to whar she could holler bout it n she lacked it n wundered how she could git him to take the nex step but he dint seem to no whut to do. so she ast him to take her to lunch n when they wuz out she splaint to him bout our open marrg, witch it made my hart jump to here her say open marrg n i wuz a feelin all hot n ashamed.

fer sum reason my bidy tuck that momint to respond n she seemed lack she wuz happy with the develpmint n she kindly wriggled her bidy a lil closer to mine. then she went on to splain how mr john post tole her he wuz temptid n that he felt the same thang only he dint thank miz cecilia post wuz lackly to give him a deevorce.

at that, darlene stoppt n put her hed aginst my chest n ast me to fergive her fer whut she wuz bout to say, n i sed i wood on a counta what kin ye say in a spot lack 'at? so she splaint that she dun tole mr john post that she dint wonta git marrd to him ner nuthin lack 'at, jes to take advantidge of the fack that thays a sexshull revolushun a'goin on.

that turnt out to be sum powrful bait, n mr john post, he tuck it n sed when could they meet. n darlene ast him to meet her after her class n they wood figger sumthin out n she specktid he wood git a motel room or sumthin, but he mayhap specktid she wood do the same but they dint do neethur of em doot but so they jes parked up on the hill tween oak ridge n olver sprangs, witch twuz the verr same joe noles used whenever he wuz a larnin me how to git hi.

she cummenced to crine then so i waited but i noticed that the hole time she wuz crine she wuz a tremblin sos to rub up aginst me n keep me innerestid n twurked till whenever she tole how he touched her n how she touched him, twuz sum hot wurds she used n her moovmints wuz a match fer em.

n then put her lips rite nex to my ear n whispered who he baiged her to do sumthin that wuz well deescribed in that book name of mouth girl.

she lickt my ear n i shivered. agin she pullt me verr close n ast me to unnerstand, n she splaint how she wuz enticed into doin it, usin a nuff detail to make me unnerstan her seesire n all the while a'twitchin n turnin n keepin me on the edge. n whenever she wuz dun splainin everthang, rite down to how he dun tole her he dint thank they should do this kinda thang innymore, she ast agin could i fergive her n could i unnderstand how she felt.

but she dint need to ast, on a counta she could tell egzackly how well i unnerstood. n she tuck a holt of the evidents n away we went. twuz one of the hottest nites of our marrg.

so i guess ye mite could say thay wuz good reason why i dint tell her bout magda, witch we dun promissed each other we wood tell everthang ifn we ever dun innythang. so not tellin her wuz a lie on a counta when ye dont keep a promiss you turnt into a lie.

darlene lacked to sleep on her lef side with my rite hand in hers. she pullt me closer n seemed lack she wuz breethin heavy befor yer could say jimmy crack corn. but i couldnt sleep fer thankin n wunderin n feelin lack i wuz gilty of a crime on a counta whenever i dint keep that promiss to darlene, twuz the start of tellin her lies.

i had dun crossed a nuther one of them lines.

Saturday, July 26, 2003

2nd of 7 dedly sins, take 3: sloth (yeah right!)

they say third times a charm, but theyre rong on a counta i thank ill take a nap in sted.

Friday, July 25, 2003

life of buddy don, chaptur 24:
theevil weed

while i wuz still on swang shif, i went thru a nuther change that i wood never have egspecktid n ye mite could say it opent my eyes to lots of thangs i tuck fer grantid befor.

as ye mite imagine, whenever i wuz on evenin shifs n cum off roun midnite, well, thay jes wernt much point in a'goin home on a counta i couldnt sleep no way fer a while n darlene needed her sleep n dint wont me a'wakin her up. the furst nite on evenin shifs i tride cumin strate home n endid up a tossin n turnin till darlene ast why did i cum to bed ifn i wernt reddy to sleep n i had to add mitt she had a point.

so nex nite, i tuck to drivin roun oak ridge to see whut could innybidy do at that time of nite. corse, mos everthang wuz closed, n fack wuz, it tuck me jes the one nite to figger that thay wuznt but one place still open, witch that wuz harlows donuts on the turnpike. turnt out harlows donuts wuz open all nite n everbidy who wuz still awake n awontin sum place to be wuz thar. twuz mosly other shif wurkers n kids n hippies, witch hippies cummenced to appear in tennessee roun then.

my furst nite thar, nuthin much happent. i gut me a coffee n donut speshul fer 3o cent, fifteen fer each, n i sat out in the cool of the evnin on the concrete stairs lack mos everbidy did cepn sum ole folks that wuz thar ever nite, n they tuck the tables inside n played cards or jes sat thar a'smokin n drankin coffee n havin argumints that sumtimes turnt into fuss n fites. n corse thay wuz plenty po-leece cumin by fer the free donuts, n ever now n agin they wood have to put a stop to a fuss n fite that wonted to git ugly.

twuz thar i met up with joe noles. ackshully, i dun been noin bout joe noles fer all my life on a counta we wuz born the same day n his mama n mine shard the same hospital room. we wuz also the only ones in hi skool to atemp growin a beerd, witch his wuz red n mine wuz black. we wuz both a'wearin em by then n far as i no, we dun been a'wearin off n on em ever since.

thang wuz, we new bout each other but fer sum reeson, we wuz never friens befor. i reckon twuz on a counta we went to differnt grammar skools n then whenever we cum to hi skool we dun made differnt sets of friens n sides that, i wuz in the so-callt advanced program n he wuz with the dummies.

but dint nun of that matter inny by time i met up with him at harlows donuts. we set on them concrete steps n sipped our coffee n talkt bout folks we both mite have new back when we wuz in skool ceptn thar wernt many bofus new. corse, we had to revue our bein born the same day n menshun anita davenport on a counta her mama wuz also sharin the same hospital room n she wuz also born the same day but dint neethur one of us care much fer her even tho she dun tride havin a crush on each of us.

n that led joe to sayin sumthin that sprized me a bit, speshully since thay wuz po-leece jes tuther side of the glass frum us. sed he, 'she ast me one time did i wonta fuck her, only she dint put it thataway, n i tole her i druther git hi n listn to sum musick n she never bugged me agin after that.' n i wisht ida tole her sumthin lack that sos i could brag bout it, but in sted i ast him whut wuz he a'doin, meenin whar did he wurk, on a counta i wonted a change the subjeck befor that po-leece man cum out n herd joe a'talkin bout gittin hi.

n he sed he wuz a pitchin newspaprs n did i wonta cum long with him to see how twuz dun nowdays. so i went n we had us a purty good time. he had him a lil vee dub beetle with a hole in the roof n he ast wood i drive n i did only i dint no whar to go n then he ast could i pitch papers n i figgert why not, so we switcht places n we drove all over town with him handin me the papers n me pitchin em up as close to the porch as i could git.

as ye likely no alreddy, mos of oak ridge in them days wuz prefab housin that they brung in whenever they wuz a bildin the manhattan projeck. them prefabs has lastid on a counta they dint no no better in them days n hadnt hurd of planned obsolessunts so they bilt thangs with better stuff than they do nowadays. n folks has bilt onto em n ye wood hardly no they wuz prefab a tall. but the point is, the porch wernt never too far frum the rode, n i had purty good aim so we gut dun in a cuple hours, witch he claimt he generly dint git dun till 4 am n we wuz dun by 2:30.

we dun had us such a good time a'doin it that whenever he ast did i wonta git hi, i figgered twuz bout time i tride it. so he drove out to a parkin place twixt oak ridge n oliver sprangs whar couldnt nobidy see us. he splaint how this place wuz good on a counta twernt egzackly in eethur the jursdickshun of oak ridge nor oliver sprangs neethur, but that dint seem to matter nun to me on a counta i wuz so nervous i wuz prackticully hi frum jes that. he turnt on the inside lite n tuck his baggie out n startid into makin a funny cigret, witch whenever its pot or grass or reefer or weed yer smokin ye call it a joint or a doobie or a number or mos innythang ceptn a cigret. i always found it strange how thay wuz so many differnt wurds fer sum thangs. whut ye call pot is a prime egzample. maybe sumday i'll make a list.

now thang wuz, that wernt the verr furst time i tride to git hi. that wood be one them evnins whenever virgil cum home fer a visit n stayed over in the valley with sum hippies he new n callt me to see did i wonta do sumthin n i tole him i wuz wurkin but could git off by maybe nine n he sed groovy n he wood meet me, n thar he wuz. he tuck me to meet a frien of his, n this frien had him a pink joint that wuz made with paper that tastid lack strawburries. so they tole me how ye wuz spozed to doot n i did it jes lack they sed, a'takin in air with the smoke n holdin it till either i coffed or couldnt hold it no more.

n soon as we dun smokt it they bof a wunderin did i git hi, n i tole em i couldnt tell ifn i had or not, n far as i could tell that nite, it dint have no effeck at all. but we went to see that movie callt mash n i never lafft so hard in my life, n that made virgil n his frien feel better on a counta they figgert we wuz laffin so hard on a counta bein hi.

innywho, i wuz splainin all this to joe while he wuz makin the joint n then he wuz a larnin me how to make it wurk, witch he wuz usin the same rules as befor, take plenty air with it n hold it jes long as ye kin. so we dun it, n far as i could tell, nuthin much happent.

joe noles had one of them 8 track tape machines in his car, so he put on a tape callt killer by alice cooper, witch i wuz never too fond a that kinda musick. ifn ye dont member, alice cooper wuz a man who dresst sorta lack a woman n sorta lack a vampire or sumthin n he sung songs bout the gruesomest thangs lack dead babies fer instunts. n i tole joe i dint much care fer that kinda thang, only he couldnt here me on a counta the musick wuz purty loud n he wuz busy a'makin a nuther joint, witch we smokt it soon as he finished, n thar cum a momint when that music startid to seem purty good n after a while i gut to noticin thangs about it, n then joe sed, git outta the car n take a step or two n yer a gone see that yer hi. n i dun it n he wuz rite.

i figger thay aint inny point in tryin to deescribe whut its lack to be hi. ifn ye aint dun it, chantses are ye dont wonta no, n ifn ye have, then ye dun no howt feels. n thang is, taint neerly as evil as its crackt up to be.

the res of that week, we pitcht papers n gut hi n listent to alice cooper till i had to git me a copy of the album, n whenever i played it fer darlene, she wundered whut had dun happent to my taste in musick n i sed ifn ye wood listn to the wurds n all, but she dint wonta here eethur my splainayshun nor the musick neethur. i figgert ifn she wuz a gone ack that way, she probly woodnt take to gittin hi inny better.

corse, lack ye dun no, the nex week i wuz on days, n then midnites, so i dint see joe nor git hi fer a nuther two weeks, n thang wuz, i dint have no withdrawl simptums nor no other problems. fack is, i gut to wonderin whut all the fuss wuz about, n over the years, i cum to sum conclushuns, n i promiss to shar em by n by. but at the time, i wuznt thankin bout such thangs.

nex time i wuz on evenins, joe n me gut rite back in the same rut, only this time i ast him did he no whar i could git sum of that pot of my own, n he did. i bought a ounce of it fer $15, n then i had the problem of whar wuz i a'gone keep it? i gut home n sat in the car fer a good two hours trine one place n then a nuther, finely settlin on a lil nook under that dash bord whar even if darlene wuz a drivin the car, witch she had her own to drive, she woodnt have no reeson to go up in thar.

now i no thays lodes of problems with smokin, tho mos of em aint menshuned much whenever theys on tv trine to cunvints folks not to smoke. but i have to add mitt, theevil weed dun wunders to brang me back into reglar contack with my bruthers eli n brewster.

im fixin to tell bout that, but furst thars darlene to menshun. i no i dun tole bout our havin a open marrg, witch twuz a concep we dint do nuthin bout fer the longest. thang wuz, whenever i did do sumthin, i dint feel as gilty as i dun whenever i wuz a smokin theevil weed befor she new bout it. so finely, i deecided i had to tell her, n heres whar the open marrg cum in handy.

nex time i wuz on day shifs n we had dun had our dinner, i sed i had sumthin to confess. she went all red on me n a tear cum into her eye, till ye could almos thank she wuz the one a'feelin gilty. i tole her twernt nuthin to do with no other woman nor nuthin lack that. n that set her back a bit on a counta she couldnt imagine whut else could thar be to confess.

so i tole her i had dun started smokin pot. i let the sentence have a mint or two to sank in, n it did. i wuz half scairt she wood wonta deevorce. she dride her eyes n lafft a bit. i wuz reddy to say i wuz sorry fer whut i dun, but i dint git nary a chants on a counta whut startid as a lil chuckle turnt into a big laff. i waited it out, a wunderin whut wood be my fate. she caught her breath n wiped her eyes. then she smiled her speshul smile.

then she ast did i have inny more.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

life of buddy don, chaptur 23:
promoshun fer doin rong

lookin back, it dont seem lack much time tall past tween whenever darlene gut on out at the plant and i did, but at the time, seemt lack it lastid ferever. in fack, twuz barly six munths before i got on out at k-25 as a barrier operater wurkin swang shif.

ye probly no whut they meen by swang shif, but ifn ye dont, twurks thisaway. thays three weeks of swang shif the way we dun it at k-25. say the furst week is graveyards. that means ye git to wurk on mundy mornin at midnite, witch to mos folks, that feels a lot more lack sundy nite at midnite. ye wurk yer 8 hours a day fer five days n cum out dun fer the week on fridy mornin at 8 am. then next week ye go in on mundy afternoon at 4 pm n wurk till 12 am, n then ye git a week of days that wurks ye frum mundy mornin at 8 till fridy afternoon at 4. so ye had ye one big weekend n two lil uns.

now i aint permittid to tell ye much bout whut i dun cept in genrul terms on a counta i wuz wurkin in a job that tuck a q clearunts. that mint they sicced the fbi on yer past to deetermin whuther ye could be trustid with gummint secrets bout how thangs is made n all. fack is, dint seem lack i saw much that wuz all that secret, but innybidy gittin past the gate had to have thar q cleared.

whenever i startid awurkin thar, twuz on a counta they wuz a firin the barrier plant up agin. ifn ye no much histry bout how the a bomb wuz bilt, then ye no they dun made oak ridge jes fer that. time wuz when ye couldnt git in or out of the city ifn ye werent cleared. durin the war, they say oak ridge populayshun gut to frum 80,000 to sumwhars round 100,000 folks. then the war endid, n thangs changed at the plant. the barrier part wuz more or less moth balld, n the shifs wuz shrunk down to skelton crews. i wuz one of the secunt roun of three youngns they hired to join the skeltons that wuz dun alreddy thar.

they split us up one per shif, so that mint each shif had yer 20 or so skeltons n yer 2 youngns. they had em a union in thar, name of ocaw, but fer sum reeson, the youngns wernt all invited to join. n i spoze that had sumthin to do with how we dint look lack the skeltons. we had us one white woman name of princess, witch that wernt her reel name but only what the shif forman rogers james callt her n fack is, i dont member her real name. she wuz on our shif n everbidy new she gut speshul treetmint. then i wuz the other youngn on our shif. on the nex shif after ours, they had em a black guy name of hugh williams n a black woman name of aleesha green. tuther shif had em a white guy who had collidge n wuz trainin to be manjer n shorty, witch i dont member ifn he had a real name or not. my crime wuz my beerd n the fack that i wuz a publican.

they invited princess n the white fella with collidge to join the union rite away, even tho they had to wait fer thar three munths to be up. the res of us dint here nuthin till twuz too late, leest in my case. they had em a guy name of jarhed jones a runnin our part of the union, n fack of the matter wuz, he dint cotton to folks havin beerds or black skin or bein publican. he wuz sorta lack that guy in denmurk who wuz holdin his fanger in the dike, only his fanger wernt that big, n purty soon twuz a flood of folks with long har n black skin n mustaches n all kinda thangs jarhed sed wuz the ruinayshun of our cuntry. the only thang i couldnt figger is why he woodnt wont to take our union dues.

seem lack i gut in truble frum the furst day. fer one, jolly roger, witch thats whut everbidy callt the forman behin his back, he put me on the secunt mos borin job they had, witch that wuz the pick-em-up spot, n i reckon he wooda dun lef me thar fer ever ifn i hadnt stirrt up sum truble, witch hes really the one cawzed it. i cant give ye a name fer the post i wuz sined to, but twuz so borin that i larnt how to doot with my eyes closed. twuz assembly line stuff n that mint twuz dedly dull.

i ast roger could i larn sum tother spots sides the pick-em-up spot n he ast me whut wuz rong with the pick-em-up spot n i sed twuz dedly dull n he sed twuz wurk n twernt mint to be innertainin. i allowed he wuz rite on that, but woodnt it be better ifn everbidy new as many of the jobs as possbull? he allowed twood be maybe only why should he give a job to sumbidy that wuz cumplainin? woodnt that jes be rewardin bad behavyer? i give him the point, but i ast him dint he wont folks that could uphold fer theyselves, n kin ye bleev it? he wuz such a flatlander that he dint git the point.

fack is, let me stop here n menshun sumthin bout oak ridge that made it differnt frum everwhar else, n that wuz whenever they startid up that manhattan project, they importid a bunch of folk frum all over the cuntry n frum all over the worl fer that matter. mos of em wuz not hillbillies, witch twuz hillbillies that wuz runnin the place befor they brought in all them other folk. as ye mite have noticed, seems lack ye kin always look down on yer hillbilly n make fun of em, n folks lacks to make thar fun. sum them outside folks in oak ridge lacked to brag bout havin the highest per capituh educayshun level in the worl on a counta all the degrees they gut thar, but that dint mean folks wuz the leest bit smarter or better. they jes lookt down on yer hillbillies n figgert they wuz rite on a counta them degrees. corse, sum them hillbillies gut to braggin bout the same thang even ifn they dint have no degrees thar ownself, but yer flatlanders wuz the wurst.

n jolly roger wuz one of em, a flatlander frum up north in ohio, n he claimt to be a real relijus type, only heres whut he tole me after he made it seem i wuz a doin rong by upholdin fer myself n astin could i larn one them other jobs. he pointid out that a person dint have to be bored a doin that job on a counta they could reed n doot at the same time. he tole me i should ast maddog fer a book.

now maddog wuz a guy name of matluck or sumthin lack that n lack the res of em, he dun been thar since the war n he new ever nook n cranny in the place. he new whar they had em a secret mattress fer takin naps or even doin wurser thangs oncet they had em sum women to do em with, n he new whar a person could hide frum the forman n ye name it, he new it. whenever i finely gut offn that borin pick-em-up spot, i wurkt with maddog fer a bit, n he showed me lots of his secret places.

maddog wuz one who couldnt never have a talk on innythang without sooner or later a'tellin ye bout how he dun had sex with this woman or that'n, n ever last one of em had 'tits out to here,' witch, he wood be holdin his hands out in front of hisself bout three feet n ye new he wuz a lyin. twernt jes now n then, but to here him tellt, he had him a new woman everday. n he wuz a ugly cuss with more wrinkles than one of them sharpee dogs, n he never let his cigret go out n smelt lack it, but that dint stop him frum a'tellin the same lie overn over agin.

so next brake, i ast maddog did he have innythang i could read, n he sed he did, n a lil while after the brake, he brung me a book name of mouth girl. twernt much of a book far as plot n care-acters is concernt, but it did have plenty of deescripshun of one thang, n fack is, twuz nearly as borin as the pick-em-up spot on a counta twuz verr badly writ. taint all such books is bad, but thisn wernt wurth yer time.

i dint cumplain, tho, jes tuck the oppertunty to brang my own books in, n purty soon, thay wuz truble.

see, oncet both darlene n me wuz a'wurkin at carbide, we startid into going to that roane state comunty collidge, n thar we wuz ast to read plenty of books, sum outrite homewurk n sum jes recomendid. i had dun alreddy larnt sum the tricks of the grade game frum darlene, n one thang i new wuz that ifn ye red all the books that a perfesser listed, speshly the ones ye dint have to read, then ye could make a good impreshun whenever ye wrote yer exam. i wuz a'takin a murkin histry class at the time, n they wuz a passle of recommendid books. seem lack jolly roger wuz rite proud of hisself fer gittin me to shut up bout the job, n i wuznt cumplainin neethur.

then sumbidy tole him i dun red a book by bertrun russell callt why i am not a christian. jolly roger pullt me aside after a brake, witch he made maddog take care of the pick-em-ups, n he ast me why wood i read such a book, n that gut us into a discushun bout relijun n the bibl n turnt out i dun red more of it than him n that seem lack it gut me off fer a nite.

then i brought in the nex book on the list, witch that wuz soul on ice by eldrich cleevers , witch he wuz one the ones that startid them black panthurs. this time jolly roger dint wait fer no brake. he cum up with a angry lookin maddog behine him n tole me to cum into his office, witch thats whut he callt the brakeroom, n fack is, twuz empty whenever twernt brake time, n then he used it fer his office so he could do whutever twuz he done besides a'tellin us whar to go n whut to do.

we gut in thar n he tuck the book n made a face. then he ast me wood i wont my sister a'marryin one, n the fack is, he really sed did i wont my sister a'marryin a nigger.

let me stop a secont on that wurd, witch thees days bout the only folks usin it is black folk n yer open racists, witch theys differnt frum yer reglar racists on a counta the reglar ones acks all shockt ifn ye say that wurd, but theys jes as lackly to tell ye that they aint prejudiss jes quote experienced unquote. fack is, fer me to tell this here hole tale, aint no way to pertend i never herd that wurd. twuz verr comunly used durin them years, n aint nobidy figgerd by then they could jes say quote the n wurd unquote n let it go at that.

but in this case, whut he sed wuz did i wont my sister a'marryin a nigger. n that gut me to upholdin myself in a stoopid way, witch i tole him he wuz a racist n that the only thang matterd bout my sister wuz wuther she wuz in luv, n ifn she wuz in luv with a black man, witch that made him mad that i woodnt say nigger, ifn that wuz the one she luvd, then i wood wont her to marry him.

so he tuck me offn the pick-em-up spot n put me on a much more innerestin machine whar ye couldnt possbly read callt the fair ruler, or leest thats howt sounds. n purt soon that led to more truble, n that truble led to me gittin a promoshun.

heres how't happent. the fair ruler dun jes whut ye mite speck, witch wuz put furls on the same thangs we wuz a'pickin up a the pick-em-up spot. ye dont need to no more'n that to git the point. ye wood lode one end with the thangs n they wood go thru n whenever they cum out, thay wuz a furl on eethur end of em. they wuz a counter on the machine, n that led to competishun twixt me and aleesha green.

furst nite i wuz a wurkin this spot wuz a tuff nite. mos innythang wood make the fair ruler quit, n ye had to keep a sharp eye out fer problems n ifn ye dun rite, ye wood meet the quota fer the nite, witch that wuz 4,000 units. my furst nite i hit 3,900 or so, n folks wuz impresst.

then nex nite i cum in n take a gander at the logs n thar i see that aleesha green dun hit over 5,000 units. so the race wuz on. i larnt that machine frontards n backards, n gut so i could see whar truble wuz a brewin befor it could stop the wurks, n purty soon i wuz able to beat aleesha green. then she wood beat me. n i wood beat her. n long story short, we gut up over 9,000 units.

i dont ritely member who won on a counta jarhed tuck me aside n splaint thangs to me. sed he, 'this here machines been a'makin 4,000 units a shif fer near thirty years, n we aint had the furst cumplaint. now we gut a problem on a counta frank aiken thanks we should raze the quota.' i sed sumthin stoopid lack why shouldnt we since ye could easy make more'n 4,000. n he splaint bout how manjmint wuz always trine to take advantidge n ye couldnt let em raze quotas or they wood till twood be near impossbull to meet em. ye could lose cuntrol thataway.

i tole him i unnerstood whut he wuz a sayin but that seem lack the job wuz more innerestin ifn ye were trine to git the numbers up. n he splaint how twuz wurk n twernt spozed to be innerestin. n he tole me he dun spoke with jolly roger, who agreed i should move to the nex stayshun, witch i wonted to larn more, but seemt lack we wuz loosin a importint point. he wood not agree. then i sed, so ye a'gone let thar shif beat ourn?

n he kindly stept back n then went to read the logs n then he tole me i could finish the week n then he sed he wuznt a'gone let me loose out to no nigger n he speckted i wood 'beat her at her own game.' lack i say, i dont member who won, but as i recolleck it, aleesha dint roll over n play ded.

then next week wuz day shif n here cum jolly roger a grinnin lack a jack o lantern. he tole me frank aiken wonted to see me in his offus. that wuz bad news, or so i specktid, but twenrt. he tole me he wuz mitey impresst by my wurk n he unnerstood howt mus be ruff a'wurkin in a place that made ye wonta slow down, n i add mitted it. so then he ast me did i wonta larn how to program cumputers, n i wuz kindly shockt. wuz he suggestin i go skool n find a nuther job? but he lafft n sed they dun tuck apptitood tests on me n new i wuz a logickul type n had math skills, witch i dint no it till then, n they wonted to teech me bout cumputers n all. n he ast did i wonta doot, n i sed why not?

n thats how i gut a promoshun fer doin rong.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

life of buddy don, chaptur 22:
darlene gits on out at the plant

one of the thangs it tuck me too long to git thru my thick skull is how everthang is changing all the time. id later on git innerduced to herkleitos n larn bout how ye cant step into the same river twicet, but i only startid noticin how much thangs can change whenever darlene gut on out at the plant, witch that wood be union carbide in november of 1971.

ye mite not no it, but oak ridge is a cumpny town n the cumpny is union carbide (leest twuz back then). they cum in durin the manhattan project, witch thats the one whar they bilt the furst nukyalar weppons. that cumpny wuz the mane reeson we moved on back to tennessee on a counta most everbidy in the fambly eethur workt at one of them three plants at the momint or else in the past. so we figgert we wood do the same.

whut we dint figger wuz how twood take me twenty months to git on. fack is, darlene gut on furst, six months ahed of me. n rite soons she did, everthang changed.

heres sum egzamples:

1 - darlene made more money on one job than we wuz a makin on two at shoneys big boy restrunt.

2 - darlene gut a crush on her boss john post, witch that gut us to talkin bout a nuther change.

3 - tuther change wuz how we gut to thankin bout wuther we bleevd in havin jes one partner, witch ye gut to member how this wuz in 1972 n thay wuz this sexshul revolushun a gone on n seem lack we wuz a missin out, witch we wuznt but we couldnt figgert out till we dun tuck part in it n then we new better but twuz too late.

4 - we startid gittin invitid to carbide parties n larnin that i wuz still a lergic to hard likker, only i tride it more n more to make shure.

5 - we wuz eech led into temptayshun, witch ye dont need to here too much bout it to git howt messed thangs up.

6 - darlene gut us helth care inshurants n that mint physkulls fer me n a strang of docters fer darlene, witch she always had sumthin rong with her in a dishun to the yeest infeckshun.

7 - i gut to quit my job at shoneys big boy restrunt on a counta we dint need me to wurk in such a place.

8 - i tuck other jobs, witch im gone tell bout em direckly.

9 - we gut us a nuther car.

furst thang that sprized me wuz that oncet i could walk out on shoneys big boy restrunt without havin to wurry bout how we wuz a'gone eat n all, well, seem lack i dint wonta be membered fer walkin out in a rush. fack is, i had dun made day shift by then, n that mint i wuznt in as many rushes. n thay wuz no closin, jes prep wurk, witch that wuz a deelite compart to closin. not only that, but the day shift manjer wuznt no dick nor dictater neethur. twuz the overall manjer fer the restrunt, name of billie byrge, n oncet he could see i mint to do my job no matter whut, he gut to whar he wuz treetin me jes lack i wuz on his level. ye mite could say i gut to whar i lacked my job purty good.

corse, i dint feel thataway all the time, n one of the mane reesons wuz them parties that the carbide folks wuz havin. seem lack ever week or two thayd be one, n generly it consistid of the followin:

1 - ifn twernt at a cuntry club somewhar then twuz at sumbidys house, tho that dint make no differnts on a counta ye always did the same thangs.

2 - when ye gut thar, furst thang ye had to do wuz take a drank, n splainin bout bein a lergic only made em laff on a counta they tuck it fer a joke n sed i wuz witty, witch they mint it fer a complimint.

3 - lite yer cigaret, witch in this case nobidy could make me smoke on a counta i wuz bad a lergic to tubacka n had to go to the hospital a time or two when i wuz lil n tride to smoke one of my daddys butts.

4 - stand round n talk bout eethur carbide or whut ye dun fer a livin, n that rite thars whut made me wonta quit my job on a counta i dint no better than to be shamed of the wurk i dun.

5 - dance, only twernt specktid that ye wood dance with the one that brung ye but sumbidy else, n i dint no it at the time, but that wuz the point of the hole extercise, to git to hole sumbidy close who wernt yer wife or husbin.

6 - wate out yer chants to leev n take it ifn ye could, witch we dun purty good the furst time or two, gittin out whenever the furst folks startid leevin, but then thangs tween darlene n john post gut more promisin, leest frum her perspetiv, n that mint she dint hardly wonta leev till he did.

7 - n that mint twuz a problem how john posts wife cecilia or even jes celia tuck to grabbin me whenever the dancin begun n truth to tell seem lack she wuz a'gittin hotter fer me than wuz proper tho ye had to member how she wuz drunk n all. she wood take to callin me mr mustash cawz thats all i had back then on a counta ye could have a mustash but no beerd a'wurkin at shoneys big boy restrunt, n she wood git to strokin that mustash n then she wood pull herself closer n fack is she wuz a very sexy woman cept she gut drunk too quick n point is, ye kin jes magine how seein his wife a tuggin on my mustash or whutever, well, that dint sit too well with john post n sumtimes seem lack he wood up the ante by trine to touch darlene but much as she mite be sweet on john post, darlene dint bleev ye oughta do such thangs in publick.

8 - n purty soon miz cecilia post sed sumthin to mr john post or vice a versa.

9 - n we wood leev n drive home even tho we wuz too drunk to be a drivin. tiz a wunder we never crasht.

dont git me rong. them parties did jes whut they set out to do, witch is give a thrill to them that wonted it n twuz as close as sum folks ever cum to havin thar own sexshul revolushun n the wunder is them parties never turnt into outrite orgies, witch in a way they wuz, only folks got thar limits. tommy jones couldnt never figger why i dint try to quote hit on unquote miz cecilia post on my day off whenever she wood be home n her husbin at wurk n i couldnt splain it too well my ownself ceptin seem lack she jes wernt my type n seem lack twuz way more truble than twood be wurth. shame is i couldnt keep that same logic a'gone with later temptayshuns.

n that led to darlene n me a talkin bout the idee of a open marrg, witch yer tradishnul marrg is closed n cant nobidy else have sex with ye, n yer open marrg is whar ye luv one nuther so much that ye dont have to wurry bout havin sex with sumbidy else, taint no differnt than playin tennis or sumthin. corse, tiz differnt, but we dint no that fer sartin till twuz too late on a counta we had dun opened up the marrg by then. corse, jes sayin we wuz openin it dint make innythang change rite away on a counta we felt so good whenever we gut to add mitt we wuz havin deesires fer other folk n seemt lack we luved eech other all that much more, witch that wuz jes plane rong n im gone splain why direckly.

odd thang wuz how we had dun been hopin to git on at the plant, n we bleeved that oncet we dun it, thangs wood all git better, n tho we had more thangs, they wuznt no better, n purty soon, thangs wuz unravlin. but we couldnt no that then. in sted, we had a big dinner over to mamas n daddy seem lack he wuz mitey impresst with darlene n i wuz jes glad he kep his commints bout me to hisself cept whenever he made a joke bout wuther i wood ever mount to much.

n when he did, darlene tuck up fer me, a pointin out how i had dun got a offer cept i couldnt wurk at y-12 on a counta i couldnt be round burrilyum n they give me a restrickshun on wurkin thar. n then whenever we wuz playin on that game of risk, she tuck a cuntry in europ frum daddy n held it till we wuz reddy to leev. n fack is, i dont no that i ever loved darlene any bettern i dun at that verr momint.