Wednesday, December 31, 2003

life of buddy don, chaptur 85:
the secunt questchun


ye mite could have noticed by now how a plot aint hardly worth readin whenever thangs is goin grate fer yer care ackter n thats kindly how thangs wuz fer me n emily durin the skool year startin in the fall of 78 n runnin thru the sprang of 79. twernt as if the times wuz easy, but they wuz reglar. i rote near all of my novel durin this time, gittin up over 500 pages by april. n i applied fer a skolarship to study in germuny, witch i applied fer a fullbrite n ended up gittin a deutsche akademischer austauschdient or d-a-a-d, in sted. n i tuck classes, germun n flossofy n relijun. twuz a struggle to git everthang dun, but twuz also a peaceful time, lease on the outside.


on the inside twuz a nuther matter on a counta emily n whut i wonted to do or not do. i wuz of two minds, witch in one i wonted to go to germuny alone so i could make shore i lernt all the germun possbull. i magined i wood be able to quit usin english fer innythang, even keepin my diary. but my other mind wuz my hart n i dint know how to say to emily i woodnt wont her to go long with me. ye mite could thank thangs wood be easy to figger. ifn i wuz in luv with her, i wood marr her n be dun with it. but twernt so simple. i had dun larnt ye could be in luv with moren one persun, even at the same time. or so thangs seemed at the time.


innywho, i wuz lookin into sum the thangs i saved frum that time n run up on a lil piece i wrote back in february of 1979. in the verr nex diary entry i claimed twuz only of passin innerest n dint really tell the hole story. my sayin that tells moren i knew i wuz a'tellin:



I am disgusted with myself and my life and the very fact that I am disgusted. I can't seem to find any satisfaction with anything. I hate the eternal wondering about such unanswerable questions as: why are we here? what are we supposed to be doing? what is love? what do I really want? why can't I be satisfied with anything?


My disgust with life shows itself most in my relationship with Emily. She drives me nuts with her cigarette smoking, messy habits, refusal to face reality, her spoiled brattish dependency and despondency -- sometimes I absolutely hate her, I mean it, I could literally beat her, she makes me so mad -- she won't eat half of the vegetables known to man, won't pick up after herself and expects me to love her all the more because of her childishness and her only-child-spoiled-rottenness. She sulks, cries or strikes out in anger if I criticize anything about her -- anything at all -- and if I finally put my foot down about anything -- particularly about her clothes, books, papers, empty cigarette packages, newspapers, empty match books, or you-name-it, all of which covers better than eighty percent of all total surface area -- including furniture surfaces -- in the apartment -- she reacts as if I'd beaten her or pulled her hair or gone out with another woman.


She expects me to understand her friendship with Ronnie Peck and to extend my own friendship to him as well, but she flies into a rage if I even mention Susannah's existence or if Suze calls, which she has done a grand total of five or six times since I moved in with Emily, or, heaven forbid, if Susannah should visit -- the gall of that girl, she's visited us twice already! -- and it all makes me so mad I can barely contain myself.


Another game we play revolves around the fact -- firmly established and finally proven, in her mind at least -- that I will eventually leave her, go out on her, no longer love her. This morning, for instance, she raised the question of whether or not it is, in my opinion, a sin for us to have sex together. I said I didn't think that sex per se is a sin but that my living with her when I am unsure of whether or not I'd like to live with her my entire life was a sin -- is, damn it all, I know it is -- a sin. Lest you mistakenly assume that new data was disclosed by my admission, let me assure you that I've told her as much many times in the past and that I'd done so before I moved in with her. In spite of this, her lip swole up and she looked as if I'd just slapped her. I told her that she knew already how I felt and that I'd hoped to avoid upsetting her. Had I upset her? "It's all right," she moaned, ever bit as convincing as a martyr.


Ach and ach and ach ach!


It makes me so mad. And what's most maddening of all is my awareness that I am the one who is wrong. I shouldn't remain with her knowing how she feels if I don't love her and if I don't intend to marry her. If I want to be with her, I ought to marry her. If I don't want to marry her, I ought to say good bye. But I can't seem to leave her any more than I can love her the way she wants to be loved: That is, as her mother loves her.


Don't get me wrong. If I can love -- a highly questionable "if" in the case of someone as vain, self-centered and selfish as I am -- I love Emily. In fact, I often feel that the only reason she can anger me so is that I do love her. Susannah and I never fought this way. Darlene and I never fought this way. But Emily and I fight at least half of the time -- bitterly, childishly, spitefully, unforgivingly -- and we teeter on the edge of a fight the rest of the time, even though we are "lovey-dovey" during this same teetering rest.


Ach -- the whole thing makes me feel so small and worthless. I am the problem and I seem helpless to do anything about it. I should get serious about the situation and do whatever is right, either get out or give in. But I don't know what is right. I can't imagine living my life in rooms filled with tobacco smoke and clutter for the rest of my days. I can't imagine spending my life fighting this way. But I can't imagine leaving her either because I seem to believe in my never ending conceit -- that she couldn't get along without me. She likes to play games, and though I despise doing so, I can't seem to lift myself above the games. When it's my move, I play with gusto!!


Yesterday morning she insisted on explaining the general outline of a paper she's writing on the relationship between Cluny and the Gregorian reforms of Pope Gregory VII. She explained that there are three schools of thought on the subject, neither of which even remotely entertains the possibility that Gregory could have been directed by God, as it is my understanding that it should have been if the Pope is what he -- or the church -- says he is. Even church authorities seem to find the three schools of thought more likely explanations than that assumed by and implied in the nature of such an office as the Pope. I interrupted to ask about this alternative and to find out what she, as a Catholic and as a budding historian, thought on the subject. She thought the possibility of God being involved was rather naive, adding with a laugh that the Pope wasn't declared infallible by the Holy Roman Empire, or anyone else for that matter, until the eighteenth century. I pointed out that she was a Catholic. She accused my point as irrelevant. "But aren't you, as a Catholic, supposed to give at least lip service to the doctrines of the church and the workings of its hierarchy?" Don't be silly, Buddy. All that junk is just doctrine. How can she take her religious beliefs so lightly, I wondered. I kept asking questions, finally angering her by trying, in  her opinion, to make her feel guilty. She's had enough guilt to last a life time, she promised. She became a Catholic because it seemed that their view of God was positive. But, I wondered, acknowledging that their view is positive is only part of the battle, is it not? Shouldn't you partake in communion and receive the fruits of this positive view of God? Oh, but of course: to partake in Communion one must confess and to confess one must promise to avoid the sin in the future and she couldn't 'very well be expected to do that, could she, since doing so would mean moving me out?


She started humming and trying to ignore me. I am an ass hole, I realize it, I don't mean to be, but I am. After all, I'm living with her as well, am I not? She got up and began walking away. I became so irate, as I followed behind her, that I finally grabbed her by the shoulders, about the time we reached the Tower, and screamed that she made me so angry I didn't know what to do. She started crying (tears bother me a lot less now that I've been exposed to so many of them), I apologized, told her I loved her, told her I didn't mean to attack her religious beliefs but added that the issues to which I'd referred are real and do matter. She turned away and continued crying. I went to class. Afterwards, she didn't meet me, breaking with tradition. Finally, following my next class, we met and talked. I explained to her that the depressions I suffer occasionally and about which I tell her nothing concerns these very issues. We are dying. Life seems meaningless. We feel so guilty. She said she'd already had enough guilt to last her a lifetime during her Church of Christ upbringing and she didn't want anymore of it. She believes that you've got to live life the best way you can, even if it means joining a Church, the doctrines of which you don't believe, so that you won't have to waste your time thinking about questions that can't be answered. But I can't seem to stop thinking about them and she hates me for it, or so it seems to me. What does she want with me? A life of bickering over cigarettes and messy rooms? A life of ever mounting responsibilities and stress thanks to our career pursuits, goals, aspirations, whatever? I told her I felt I had to deal with the questions that bothered me most of all first and spend my life living with her second. She can't take that answer or position or whatever the hell it is. She said that my position makes it look pretty bad for us, and I tacitly agreed, though she may not have realized that my silent answer was one of agreement. At this point, I had to go to class.


After class we walked to Revco to get cigarettes and asthma medicine, a perfect combination, the former for her, the latter for me. By this time I felt so depressed that I resisted crying only until we got home. Why, why, why must it -- life, we, I -- be this way? We cried during the whole of yesterday's eclipse. She for herself -- I mistreat her so -- I for myself. Finally, we made up. She said it would never be the same again, because I'd told her that due to the anxiety I feel over the fact of death, etc., that I couldn't seem to "let myself go" so I could love her as she wants to be loved. Something in me holds back, tenses up. Sometimes I hate her for telling me she loves me 50 times a day -- she requires an echo, you see . . .


I know this all sounds crazy. It is. I wish I were even more honest with you and with myself than I am. I usually prefer to look on the bright side of things rather than facing the truth. In actual fact, I am a horrible person. Contemptible in the eyes of God for my so called dedication to a search I never undertake but which prevents me from making the serious kind of commitment someone like Emily (or Susannah) wants and deserves. I want to be freed from women. I don't believe they are the answer. But I go from one to the next, unable to do more than act as if I were making the choices and guiding my fate. I know better.


Right now, I feel that I want nothing more than to pack my things and go, leave Emily, the university, my land, my friends, my family. I want to put first things first, but what is actually, in specific terms, first, I can't say. I keep feeling that, deep down inside, I know what should be done -- confront the question directly, sever all attachments, challenge God to answer, to prove life meaningful. Leave everything, go down the road begging with nothing, not even a plan or direction or hope of success. Put myself in God's hands, trust in God to prove it worthwhile. And if God doesn't answer and death awaits, then I take it, since life without God seems not worth living. Emily and MJ and Susannah and Darlene and Betty Lou and Mama and Maisie and Roena May and Barbie and Trudy and Gail all think that I and others like me are crazy to think such thoughts, to believe such foolishness or to care bout the vital question. Life is to be lived, not questioned, after all! Then they assert that there is no basic difference between men and women -- but ask Eli or Fox or Virgil or Sam Coen or Steve Sorrel or Ronnie Peck or Shahram or me or most other young men, and the answer is different. We all seem to wish we had the courage to do what we know is right. It's not Emily that I hate, but the weakness in me. I don't have the courage to love her either, it seems. I want to be alone. Selfishly, I suppose.


but whut i dun wuz differnt. i stayed with emily n we wuz fine by the weekend. the hole relayshunsip wuz kindly in tents, n thats gut its good side n its bad. the sex wuz grate. life wuz easy in a way since twuz the furst time i wuz the clean one in a relayshunship, furst time i wuz the cook. emily dint lack to be yelled at, but she dint yell neethur. durin all that peaceful time, all i could thank of wuz whuther i should marr or not.


then i gut word that i wuz a'gonna git that d-a-a-d. i cum home n found emily balled up in a fetal posishun a'crine her eyes out. whuts wrong, i wunderd, n she give me the envelop. twernt even open, but she wuz shore twuz good news. twuz n i wuz kindly happy n kindly cuncerned at the same time. whut did emily say? she sed i wuz a'gone leave her n go to germuny for sartin jes lack laura bishop had dun.


but twuznt to be. on april 24, one year to the day frum whenever i furst met emily dickinsen smith, i ast her wood she marr me. virgil had cum over early on that fine sprang day n found me at home jes as i wuz gittin back frum brakefuss. we split us a quart of beer n talked everthang out. i wuz purty shore i wood ast her, n our talk dint put me off it.


so when she cum home, i ast her wood she take a walk. we walked over tords ramseys diner n on the way, i tole her i had two quetchuns to ast her, or only one if the anser to the furst questchun was 'no.' she wuz all smiles on a counta folks generly knows whuts cumin at a time lack that. so she ast fer the furst questchun, n i ast her did she wonta have sum children sumday. she sed she did. so i ast her the secunt questchun.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

life of buddy don, chaptur 84:
town n cuntry in marshall county


one of the thangs ye gut to cunsidder whenever ye take up with a woman is whuther yer willin to mix with thar relatives n home folk. ifn ye never go home with em, then the relayshunship is only gut limited potentchul.


fer emily thay wuz this assumpshun frum the verr cummencement of our knowin each uther abut how i wuz a'gone leave her sooner or later. twuz a odd thang to say n i wuz put into a tuff spot now n then to cunvints her twuznt nessarly so, witch i had to add mitt twuz one of the three possibilties.


i tride splainin sam coens flossofy, witch hes the jew fer jesus i dun writ about in chaptur 37, n how relayshunships has only three possibull ways to end: eethur (1) he gits tired of her or (2) she gits tired of him or (3) sumthin else gits in the way, lack death, disease, prison, war, yew name it. so no matter how ye cunsidder the situwayshun, my bein the one to leave emily wood half to be one of the three possibilties. but all my splainayshun prooved to her wuz that whut she claimed wuz a'gone happen wuz one of the two possibilties, witch she claimed thar wuz only two since thay wuz no way she wood be the one doin the leavin.


so when it cum to the questchun bout whuther i wood visit n mingle with her folk, thay wuznt no other choice but to go n doot since twood proov her point not to go n i still wonted to proov thangs wuznt the way she sed they wuz even ifn they could turn out thataway. n that meant i gut to know a passel of folks frum the flatlands of middle tennessee.


ifn ye aint frum tennessee, ye might never have noticed how the state is cut up into three parts by the tennessee river, witch folks calls em east, middle n west tennessee, lack ye mite speck.


way daddy always told it, east tennessee wuz differnt frum tuther two in a cuple of main ways. fer one, twuz the mountains n wuznt the kinda land whar ye could git ye a plantayshun goin. in sted, ye had yer hunters n trappers n coal miners n small time farmers n such. down in knoxvull thay wuz a lil industry a growin up. twuznt the kinda place whar ownin slaves wooda paid off, so thay wuznt minny of em thar. in sted, thay wuz free peeple of color livin in knoxvull. n partly on a counta that, east tennessee wuz publican n follerd lincoln n the north in the war.


twernt the same story in middle n west tennessee. thar ye could have yer plantayshuns n ownin slaves wuz common. ye had more commerce in west tennessee on a counta the mississippi n memphis, n ye had the gummint of the state in nashvull, tho twernt always so. so whenever the war cum, they wuz staunch rebels n afterds, thay wuz part of the solid south demcrats, witch twuz thataway till nixons southern strategy.


i had been told all this overn over agin durin dinner, but it hadnt meant all that much till me n emily gut to visitin bout ever three munths or so. rite away, i saw sum differntses, lease in the way the town folk acted.


i say town folk since thay wuz two distink sets of folks we wood visit ever time. her mama n her nanny lived in looseburg proper or at lease in the suburb part of it, witch emily called one grandmother 'nanny' n tuther jes 'grandmother.' tuther group wuz whar grandmother lived, way out on a farm that dint even have a paved rode goin toot.


tipicull visit wood start with us gittin to her mamas house n findin nobidy home. emilys mama lived in a split-level brick house with the garage below n the house proper above. we wood git thar, park in the driveway but leave room fer maureen, witch her mama wuz named maureen, to git to the garage. then we wood go in n put our stuff in her room. she had her room still setup with all the furnitchur she had whenever she wuz a'groin up. everthang wuz all in pink, witch i had always ast her to dress up in pink now n then, but she woodnt hardly doot. i reckon she gut sick of it at home.


odd thang bout that house wuz how thay wuznt hardly no books to read ceptin fer readers digest cundensed books. emily splained that she had tuck all the books to the liberry to trade em fer differnt books n she had the books she kep in our apartmint, witch we had bout 2,000 books when we put our colleckshuns together. ye wood thank my mixin my books in with hers wooda cunvintsed her to quit wurryin bout me leavin, but twuz a featchur of her personalty to wurry bout thangs lack that. no doubt that themes a'gonna cum back round.


innywho, we woodnt be thar longer than a nuff time to git her sum ice tea made n the cards found n a cigarette lited till here cum maureen hamilton smith. she wood generly have a carton of marlboro cigarettes fer emily n she wood give me a $20 bill so i could afford to have sum of my 'wacky tuhbacky,' witch she dint mind if i smoked theevil weed rite thar in frunt of her.


maureen wuz one of the mos effishunt folk i ever met, quite differnt frum her daughter in sum ways. she wuz neat as a pin, fer one thang, n she wuz a grate cook, tho she wuznt much comparrd to her mama, nanny. she lacked to take a drank or two or three of a evenin, as she wood put it, n while we wuz sittin thar, me a'shufflin the cards, emily smokin n pullin on her hair, maureen wood manage to change cloze n make her a drank n git set up at the counter so we could do the main thang we dun while twuz jes the three of us, witch we wood play rummy fer hours. tiz a good three handed game, n it give us a good chants to talk.


lack lots of the folk in looseburg, maureen wurked at the venus pencil cumpny. she wuz in accountin, but i never gut a clear idee of whut she dun. twernt sumthin they discussed much roun looseburg. her ex husband, pete smith, still wurked thar n he still cum by, fer that matter. often as not, he wood git thar round the time maureen did since they both gut out the same time. he wuz in purchasin n that meant he had a huge supply of likker the folks give im fer christmus. aint nobidy more poplar than a purchasin agent.


he wuz a quote stone cold alkahallic unquote accordin to emily n frum whut i seen, he could drank moren innbidy this side of uncle buster, rest his sole. thang wuz, lack lots of drankers, he could down a fifth of jack daniels without showin it much. so twuz clear he wuz drankin mos all the time, but twuznt clear he wuz gittin drunk. thang wuz, till he gut cleaned up, i hadnt never seen im sober, so i dint know whut he wuz lack.


whenever he cum in, we wood stop playin long a nuff fer him to have a wurd or two with emily n me, n then we wood git rite back toot n he wood sit watchin us n drankin n joinin in on the small talk. round the time the shadows wuz gittin long, he wood leave.


twuz almos always a fridy nite whenever we showed up n twuz a eggscuse fer folk to git together to drank. we wood go to the elks to eat n thar we wood run into sum tutherns that wood be cumin by later, witch that wood be milton mansfield n his wife jackelin n thar lil gurl savanah. thay wuz a stream of otherns that cum by, but milton n his fambly wuz the mane ones. fack is, emily counted milton among her bes friens.


i wuz rite srpized to meet sumbidy lack milton mansfield on a counta that book name of crap notes i wuz a'ritin. i had a care ackter in thar name of dick january n thang wuz, he wuz a hard dranker n had im a glass eye n used the term 'goddam' bout ever thurd wurd. thang bout milton mansfield wuz how he wuz a hard dranker n had im a glass eye n used the term 'goddam' bout ever forth wurd. he had im a nuther wurd he used way too much fer my taste, witch ima gone splain thatn direckly.


we wuz friens frum the instunt i splained bout my novel. bout thonly thang milton seemed capabull of doin when he herd it wuz to say 'i be goddam' bout a hunnert times in a row. then he tuck a drank n popped his eye out n looked at it lack he wood do fer a joke n then put it into his drank n say, 'i be goddam.'


tiz a fack that the parts of tennessee wuz also settled by differnt folk. them frum the east part of the state wuz scots n irish n germun n sum english, but in the middle part of the state, they wuz mosly english. i wood study bout that in germuny a lil later on, but at the time the main thang i noticed wuz how they sed a few thangs differnt. i wont take ye thru all of em, but thays three that give me sumthin to thank bout.


furstn wuz how they wood say, 'could ye carry me to town,' whenever they meant they wonted ye to give em a ride. furst time i herd it, i comminted on how twuz a odd thang to say n wuz i ever sprized to hear milton cum rite back n say, 'tiz a goddam mistry to me why inny goddam bidy wood drive sumbidy to town. sounds lack thay aint nuthin but goddam cattle.'


the nextn wuz how they lacked to use the term goddam so much. i hadnt never herd the lack of it in my life, n seemed to me lack a bad habit to git into. i couldnt hep membern how i had screamed out goddam whenever i wuz havin my acksident. thanks goodness god dint listen!


but the thang that gut me mos bout them folk wuz how they used the wurd 'nigger' all the time. twuz nigger this n nigger that the hole time. n taint as if they wuz inny more racist than the folk in east tennessee. far as i could tell, they wuz jes as lackly to be friens, mayhap a lil more so, but the way they wood use that wurd!


maureen wuz takin off her shoes one time. she looked down at how the strap had cut into her heel n furst thang outta her mouth wuz, 'i need to quit wearin these shoes. im gittin nigger feet.' milton wuz talkin bout how he had fixed thar commode by nigger riggin it. savanah wood git to whar she wuz whinin bout how she wonted to go home on a counta twuz past midnite n her mama wood say she wuz gittin her lips swole up lack a nigger.


i had herd bout folk talkin lack that n daddy had made it sumthin we unnerstood wuz 'jes not dun, son.' but twuz dun n by folk who seemed lack they wuz normal in mos other ways. i wunderd whut daddy wood say, but twernt sumthin i wood thank on much once i gut home.


we wood generly spend fridy nite till near saturdy mornin drankin n listnin to elvis presly records, witch twuz thonly musick maureen wood listen to. ye mite git tard, but dint matter to milton nun. i member one time twuz gittin verr late. emily had been drankin a lil n she wuz gittin urges, witch seem lack she wuz always horny quick as she gut home. so she ast me to slip away back into her bedroom with her n i dun it.


we hadnt gut three buttons undone before the door opened, the lite cum on, n milton sed, 'i be goddam. whut ye doin?' so emily splained how we hadnt had a chants to do nuthin n we wuz bof in need. dint take more of a splainayshun than that n off went milton, sayin, 'buddy, i wont ye to goddam fuck this liln here n give it to her lack a nigger wood. i be back in fifteen -- ' but emily snorted, so he sed, ' -- make that half hour. buddy? ye here me? i wont her thoroughly goddam fucked.' with that, he slammed the door.


n shore a nuff, thar he cum in half a hour n twuz one of the hardes thangs i ever dun to git up, but i did n the party went on till four am.


twuz a verr differnt matter in the cuntry. thar we wood visit grandmother n the rest of pete smiths fambly, witch the strange thang bout that is how i never once knew of pete smith to visit his own mama. she lived with petes lil sister, witch they jes called her sister, n her fambly, witch she had marrd a fine man name of terry mccallister, n the two of em had four kids. they raised tobackuh n cotton n barly made a livin, but they wuz the happiest folk i ever met.


them kids wuz always playin with sum animull or other. they had rabbits n doves n chickens n turtles n pigs n horses n a pet raccoon n cows n i cant member whut all. i wood ride horses with the kids, witch emily wuz real impressed by that, but thay wuznt no way she wuz gittin up on a horse.


emily lacked to visit her grandmother durin the week when the stories wuz on, witch they always called soap opers 'the stories,' n emily wuz addickted as could be to em. twuz a mistry to me how sumbidy with her grate taste in literchur n knowledge of the western intelleckshewall tradishun could sit still fer such junk, but she could n she lacked me to cum. n we wood sit thar in that livin room with the breeze blowin thru till they had watched thar way thru three hours of stories.


in the cuntry, ye never herd the wurds 'nigger' or 'goddam.' when they made fried chicken, they killed the chicken furst n fer seasonin, they dint use nuthin but flour. the children wuz eggcited by the furst new taters in sprang or findin blackberries in the summer. they wuz happy bout new rabbits bein born. nobidy ever tuck a drank out thar.


on the way home one time, i ast emily bout witch of the two places she lacked better. she smoked fer a bit while she cunsidderd her anser. then she sed she wood die if she wuz stuck out on the farm with nuthin but nature. but she gut sick of all the smoke n likker n late nites in town. she sed one balanced out tuthern, n i reckon twuz so.


it splained lots bout the mistry of emily dickinsen smith, how she wood wonta be so prim n proper bout sum thangs, but as wicked as could be bout otherns.


then she ast me the same questchun, n i thought fer a mint before i cum to the realizayshun that i wuznt able to be part of neethur one of em. i wuz a outsider, watchin, recordin how thangs went, but not a part of it all. twuznt a new thought, but twood becum more importunt as time went on.


'well?' emily sed when i hadnt sed nuthin fer a few miles. 'witch place do yew lack better?'


i thought fer a secunt longer befor sayin, 'eethur one, longs im with yew.'


the facks wuz much more complex, but twuz the anser she wonted to here n i knew it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

life of buddy don, chaptur 83:
three kings


durin the time me n emily wuz a’livin over on 1300 clinch we wuz real busy with skool wurk n dint have much time fer friends. virgil cum over a lot n we wood see randy fox over at smokeys now n then, but othern that, we dint make minny friends. but thay wuz three fellas that gut to be purty reglar vistors n i always thank of em together due to this party one of em give.


furstn wuz dale jamison, witch i had furst met him way back in fourth grade when we furst moved to oak ridge. he n his lil bruther, witch everbidy always called him junyer on a counta he wuznt adopted lack dale, the two of em used to be reglars on the playground same as me n eli. we wood play baseball n football with a pack of kids frum the same nayborhood.


i los track of him sum time durin hi skool n dint see im agin till late 1978. i wuz sellin sum blood down at the knoxville plasma place, witch i wuz hopin to sell sum plasma but they woodnt let me on a counta me havin asthma n they wuz wurried i mite have a asthma tack while i wuz hooked up to the machine. but they sed they needed hole blood n splained how it dint take as long to give it n did i wonta give sum to hep them in need n i dint know how to say no, so i dun it.


nex thang ye know i wuz stretched out on the lawn chair n a gurl who looked to be sixteen wuz trine her bes to stick her needle in my vane. purty soon i noticed thay wuz sumbidys eyes on me n when i turnt i saw dale jamison strapped up to give plasma. he sed, 'buddy don duncan, rite?' witch i add mitted as much n sed wuznt he dale jamison n he wuz so we talked till my bag wuz full n then i waited fer him n we lef together.


i dint really have nuthin to say to im but that dint matter nun to him. he wuz fine jes to have cumpny of sum kind n could go fer longs stretches without a wurd bein spoke by nobidy. i aint met minny folk that could do that. seem lack mos of em lack to hear talk, speshly thar own.


corse i also had thangs to do n kindly wunderd how could i git out of hangin out with him? but befor i could say nuthin, he sed he had to git im a bottle of boones farm peach n did i wont inny n whenever i sed i dint, he wuz fine n sed he wood see me.


n he did maybe a week or two later. i wuz walkin along clinch frum the market back home n thar he wuz, sittin on a wall watchin folks pass by. we spoke n i ast him did he git hi, witch i knew he did on a counta how ye could tell he wuz livin on the street, n he sed shore so i ast him to cum home with me. when we gut thar, he wuz sprized to see i wuz livin in a rented apartment. he sed he figgerd i wuz livin on the street my ownself or why else wood i be trine to sell plasma n givin blood in sted?


i splained that i wuz a student n dint have no money n wonted to git emily sumthin to sprize her fer chrismus, witch emily wuz a penny pincher the lack of witch i hadnt never seen. ifn that penny dint scream, she woodnt let it go, so she knew whar ever penny wuz n that made it near impossibull to sprize her. so we gut to talkin till she gut home n i innerduced em.


purty soon we wuz sittin in the livin room. bof me n emily wuz reedin n she wuz smokin n drankin ice tea n i wuz drankin coffee. dale dint wont nuthin but water n he seemed jes fine to sit doin nuthin. after a while emily ast him whar did he live n he sed here n thar n she ast did he live on the street n he sed he did so she ast did he wonta take a bath. ye never saw nobidy look no happier. he sed he dint have no clean cloze, but he wood lack a bath. she sed she had a old pair of overhauls she could give im n wuz i ever sprized to see im cum out wearin the carbide overhauls susannah had give me but i dint say nuthin.


after that thay wood cum a tiny lil knock on our door ever now n then n twood be dale. he lacked to here me play peeano, so we wood walk over to the student center n i wood give a concert of instermental thangs. i wood git im hi ever time n i figgerd that wuz whut he cum fer but if he met me on the way to skool, witch that happend bout half the time, he woodnt wonta git hi furst but jes go here the music.


he wuz a puzzle fer me. at times he seemed jes fine livin with nuthin. other times he wood be so drunk or messed up on sumthin that he dint even know who i wuz. then he wood be fine agin, jes smilin n sittin on the wall. sumtimes he wood say hi n let me pass n sumtimes he wood ast did i mind cumpny. sumtimes he wood show up at our door, bruzed n bloody n twood be obveeus sumbidy had dun beat im up, but he wood be smilin n purty soon he wood ast wuz i plannin on playin inny peeano. n ifn i sed i wuz, he wood git up all eggcited lack a lil child. ye could wunder wuz he jes simple.


i knew sum of his story n gut to know more whenever he started cumin round, even if twuz hard to git im to talk much. he wuz adopted whenever he wuz near two years old. he dont remember nuthin frum befor then n he kin jes barly member a time when his lil bruther junyer wuznt in the worl, witch as quick as they gut dun adoptin dale, miz jamison finely cum up pregnunt, n that turnt out to be junyer.


ye could see how dale wuznt cunsidderd real fambly the same way junyer wuz n dale musta knowd it. turnt out he had dropped out of hi skool n runaway to californy same as me only he wuz jes fourteen whenever he dun it. he sed he wuznt lucky lack me n he had it ruff. he sed he had to do thangs n the way he sed it ye dint wonta ast whut thangs they wuz. but he gut by sum kinda way n hes been a'doin it ever since. he even lived up in new york city fer a cuple years, still on the street, spare changin n sellin plasma, collectin cans, whutever. he dint never seem to have no cumplaint n i dont know ifn he ever had a place of his own.


twuz a differnt matter fer junyer. he wuz sent to collidge rite frum hi skool n he wuz always bes in his class. he gut a degree in accountin n then a job with sum big firm up in new york city n marrd a woman frum up thar n gut im a big spred up in westchester. corse twuz all dale a'tellin it n almos seemed lack he wuz proud of whut his bruther had dun. i sed how his bruther mus be a happy man but dale sed he dint thank he wuz. i ast how cum n he sed, 'junyer never larnt to be happy. ifn ye cant be happy with nuthin, ye cant be happy no matter whut ye gut. he never larnt it.'


i ast him wuz he happy n he kindly chuckled n sed, 'i aint gut nuthin but aint nuthin i wont. so yeah, i reckon i am.'


i met the nex fella on the elevator cumin down frum mcclung tower. we wuz thonly two on thar n twuz in the early fall of the year. twuz a season of torment ifn ye wuz a lergick, witch turnt out weird walter hamblin wuz a lergick n i gut to know it purt near the instunt i met im on a counta how he sneezed n had the indignity of having a thick glop of snot cum out. i give him a tissue, witch daddy taught us to carry handkerchiffs but i always thought they wuz a horrbull idee so i carryed tissues.


innywho, i wuz on my way home n he wuz walkin rite along side of me, astin my pinions on thangs lack whuther thangs wood be differnt ifn thay wuz a tax on gasoline n how thang wooda been ifn germuny had won the furst worl war. the futher i walked tords home, the more i gut to wunderin whuther he planned on cumin home with me till we gut past the graduwait liberry n into the parkin lot behin n i had to ast him whuther that wuz his plan. he sed he wuz wunderin the same thang n turnt out he wuz livin in the verr house nex door.


so i invited him in n give im sum a r m, witch that stands for allergy relief medicine n twuz a antihistimean i used to take befor i larnt not to take inny of em. so we wuz talkin n emily cum home n whenever he herd she wuz a germun history majur he gut into his thang bout worl war one n the treety of versigh n shore a nuff, she wuz reddy to go. they talked fer a cuple hours while i made dinner n we fed him n then he lef.


after that, he wuz aroun a lot n twuz hard to take him on a counta how he wuz always wontin to do nuthin but analyze histry. he had long blond hair that he kep curled n nice n twuz part of his flossofy that white folks should let thar hair grow long on a counta only white folks had hair that cum in various colors. he had a grate man theery that i reckon ill get to by n by.


thang is, in his own way, he wuz more pitiful than dale jamison. he had im a car n he wuz good to take us to the kroger out on chapman hiway to git groceries or mos innywhar else we mite wonta go. at the time, ye could git the time n temperchur frum the park bank buildin, n ye could purty much see it frum all over fort sanders, so he had im this habit of copyin down the time n temp n locayshun he wuz in when he wrote it as he drove round town. ye wood be stopped at a light n he wood be ritin away n ifn he couldnt git dun when the lite turnt green, he wood jes sit ritin till he wuz dun even tho folks wuz blowin thar horns at im.


he couldnt cook nuthin n couldnt eat much of innything that wuznt beef or taters. he made ever histry perfesser he ever had so mad that he wood be kicked out of the class. his egypshun histry teechur tole him he dint need to take the class n that he knew more bout the subjeck than he did, witch weird walter splained that wuz the furst time the perfesser had been rite bout innythang. but he wood still git strate a marks in his classes on a counta how he wood do his wurk n take the tests n git ever thang purrfeck.


twuz a nuther mistry on a counta he dint seem able to live day to day life, but he wuz one of the smartest folks i had ever met, a encyclopedia of memorized facks n the ability to make solid argumints frum em, but he dint even know that oral sex wuz more than a man kissin a woman on the mouth. thays a lot more could be sed bout weird walter n mayhap ill git toot befor i git dun with this here life n pinions.


thurd fella ye dun met, witch thats my iranian friend name of shahram. ye mite member how durin this time the ayatollah ruhollah khomeini wuz challengin the res of the folk in iran to stand up to the shah of iran, witch he wuz the one we put in back in place back in the fifties. lack i dun splaint, shahram n me lacked to talk bout mistysism n all, speshly dervishes n mistycull poets frum persia. thang wuz, i wuz studin it n trine to figger out witch of the ways i wuz studyin i should folluh, but i wuznt goin in no particlar way. so i could study whutever without it makin me thank i had to do strange thangs.


twernt so fer shahram. he had to test god or his way of gittin close to god ever time he could. once we hiked up into the smokeys with ronnie peck in december. twuz bitter cold n thay wuz snow on the ground. we gut up to rainbow falls n sat long a nuff to smoke a joint n git real cold agin.


me n ronnie wuz reddy to go, but we seen how shahram wuz takin offn his cloze so he could go stand under the waterfalls, witch thay wuz ice all around n we tole him twuz crazy, but all he could do wuz tell me ifn i wonted to see god i needed to stand under that waterfall my ownself on a counta he could here god tellin im to give me this chants. i shrugged n kindly laffed n ast wuz he crazy. he give me that look n ast wuz i crazy a nuff to see god? did i wonta have god baptize me in that thar falls? corse i never dun it on a counta i wonted to survive. but he kindly tippy toed over that ice till he wuz standin under the water frum the falls n sangin sum song in that persian lingo. he had to be froze but he dint show no effecks frum it.


twuz the kinda thang he wood do, so twernt no sprize that whenever khomeini gut backin power, he wuz affeckted. furst thang he dun wuz shave his hed. he had dun quit goin to classes n spent all his time jes studyin the koran n them persian poets. he wood read em aloud to me in persian n splain em his own way, witch he wuz a poet but dint git nuthin writ down. or he wood read frum the koran in arabic n splain porshuns of it, n he knew i luved to here them langwages we dint git to here much, n he knew i luved to here how his relijun wuz just n bleeved in peace n all.


then in january of 1979 the shah lef n khomeini cum in bout two weeks after that. n shahram gut crazed. he tole everbidy how khomeini wuz talkin to him n astin him to cum hep n he wonted to worl to know bout it. then one day he tuck off all his cloze n walked across the henly street bridge on a day filled with snow till they tuck him to peninsula mental hospitull n kep him thar fer three weeks.


whenever he cum out, ronnie peck n me n sum of his other friens planned a party, only he insisted on doin the cookin. corse, he woodnt have no females thar. but i brung sum wine fer dale n sum jack daniels fer me even tho i knew shahram woodnt drank nun. dale drank mos the wine tho weird walter had im a taste n sed he couldnt take moren that on a counta how he wuz a lergick n everbidy laffed bout that on a counta they had dun herd me tell bout bein a lergick my ownself.


the dinner wuz grate, with rice n taters n lamb fer them that eats meat n fish fer them that eats fish n egg plant fer them that eats egg plant. n we all ate n purty soon thay wuznt nobidy lef but me n dale n weird walter. i wuz trine to git weird walter to go but twuz the furst time shahram had ever met innybidy frum amurka who knew much at all bout persian histry, n wuznt much of it weird walter hadnt dun memorized.


me n dale sat drankin, n when we wuz feelin a lil too good, my allergicull symptoms kicked in n i sed i wonted to make a toast. so shahram gut his coffee n weird walter his water n dale his wine n i put up my lil glass of jack n i sed i wonted to drank a toast to my three royal friends.


we drank a sip n they all laffed fer a mint till shahram give me that look of his. i told him not to say nuthin, that thay wuz more, n twuz one of them thangs i here my mouth do ever now n agin.


furst i herd myself sayin how fer the longes time i had thunk of the three of them as folk who wuz losers, as pitiful creachurs who couldnt even live thar own lives, as pathetic fools. i wuz trine to make it funny, but warnt nobidy laffin. so i sed i wonted to pall gize on a counta i realized i wuz the fool.


twuz a verr uncumfterbull moment. so i razed my glass n sed, 'a toast!' they razed thars n touched mine.


'i raise my glass to you, my three kings. i begin with you, dale jamison n i dub thee king of the hart, the only person i ever met who larnt how to be happy with nuthin. n yew, weird walter hamblin, yew i dub king of the mind on a counta thay dont seem to be nuthin the mind kin memorize that ye aint dun larnt. n i dub thee, shahram of persia, king of the soul, fer ye have traveled closer to god than innybidy i know.'


we drank n twuz quite till shahram sed he wonted to perpose a toast his ownself. we razed our glasses, n he sed, i wonta drank to yew, buddy don duncan, the only one of us who really is a fool. he waited a beat n sed how i wuznt no wizard of oz neethur no matter how i mite pertend.


weird walter laffed loud n dale kindly chuckled, but shahram dint, he only give me that look agin. i wonted to know wuz he a'givin me a honor or a insult but weird walter wuz reddy to go by then, so we lef.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

lost wurks of buddy don:
blogweaver 3, buddy don 0


once agin, i been beat by that stupid blogweaver program. i wuz near thru with a new chaptur name of 'lost souls,' when as im typin away, suddenly the program jes disappears, gone with no trace lef. i know i oughta save my wurk as i go along n i dun gut to the point whar i save it ifn im bout to do sumthing speshul, lack make bullet points or use numberin, but i guess i need to larn to copy everthang into notepad or sumthin ever time i git past a cuple paragrafs.


tiz a awful thang to lose yer creative wurk. ifn ye wont to git back whut ye los, ye half to rite it all down agin, n as inny riter knows, tiz near impossibull to cunvints yerself that the secund vershun is as good as the one that gut away.


ackshly, whut makes this hole thang so painful is how playin blogweaver is a lot lack playin golf: the only opponent ye gut is yer ownself.

Monday, December 22, 2003

styles of buddy don:
shavin the beerd off


me n miz bd gut marrd back in 1997, witch thars a huge tale that hangs by that n ye kin read the hole thang ifn i kin complete the life n pinions of buddy don, hillbilly. thang is, i had been keepin a beerd n must ash fer over fifteen years n bes i kin recolleck, the must ash hadnt been scraped off since the early 70s. so i promissed her i wood give her a look at my upper lip n so forth n since yesterdy wuz the winter solstice, seemed lack twood be a good time to doot. tuck a lil while to git all the hair cut off but now she kin see whut she aint never seen befor n so far she seems to lack it purty good. no doubt till be a topick ima gone half to splain to sum folks today at wurk. the result looks lack a plucked chicken to me, but miz bd sez it looks rite nice so ima gone see if i kin keep it off fer at lease a munth.


the idee is to give me sumthin i kin use to build my will power. ever mornin i git up n have maybe as much as 2 hours to surf the web n rite innythang befor i half to go to wurk. i figger if i kin make myself git into the shower earlier, witch havin to shave should make that necessary, then i should have a lil more time fer ritin. as ye kin see, it dint wurk so well today, but then my face is still a lil chafed frum bein scraped, so i aint shavin today.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

life of buddy don, chaptur 82:
them changes


leadin up to a day lack i jes deescribed wuz a worl full of changes that had all kinda permanent implicayshuns. fer one, rite as i wuz a bout to move out from the farm, maisie called me up n ast could she talk. turnt out she dint thank she could live in mamas house no more on a counta how mama wuz trine to cuntrol ever thang she dun. she wonted to know could she rent my room out at the farm, witch that wuz fine with me. i give her a speshul rate on a counta she had insisted on payin fer the aborshun same as kevin karnes dun, but i had dun promissed i woodnt tell bout him, so twuz a way of makin thangs a lil closer to even. corse twuz a comfort to rent her the room on a counta then twood be kep up n sides that, whut lil rent i charged her purty much tuck keer of half whut i owed in a munth, witch i had gut my paymints down to $80.


roun the time i wuz gittin together with emily, lack i dun mentchuned, brew wuz gittin together with liza, witch she wood move in jes after the skool year started. she wuz a smart gurl who could speak spanish n all n she had the greenest eyes ye ever saw. she caught brew at a good time on a counta he had jes been with gretchen n main thang she wonted to do wuz git hi. liza dint git hi but dint care if brew dun it. she did lack to reed, n since he had been wurkin as a guard fer so long, he had tuck up a cuple thangs, witch one wuz reedin n tuther wuz playin harmonica lack ye woodnt hardly bleeve. so she gut him reedin good books n that changed him ferever.


gretchen dint seem lack she wonted to give up on brew, but he wuz a one-woman-at-a-time man, jes lack me i reckon. turnt out maisie gut her a job wurkin fer the same dentists offus gretchen wurked fer, witch they wuz bofem dental hygeenists. purty soon they wuz thick as thieves. corse that mint gretchen n liza wuz thrown together a lot n dint neethur one of em lack it but thay wuznt nuthin brew could say.


as i splained befor, brew had im a friend name of oscar clowder, witch he wuz a big guy who dint hardly have to shave. he had blue eyes n pink skin n lacked likker bettern innybidy this side of virgil. he n brew had been friens frum robertsville junyer hi skool on, so twuz only natcheral that maisie n oscar wood git to be friens n then more. she moved in in september n by december he wood be stayin the nite often as not.


twuz a natcheral thang fer maisie n oscar to git together, i reckon, but at lease one person dint approve n that wuz randy fox. he wuz kindly sweet on maisie his ownself. turnt out his wife jenny skinner fox dint lack sex all that much n tho she wuz a good companyun, he wuznt all that happy. turnt out later that she wuznt all that innerested in men n that led to sum talks twixt randy n me, only we cum down on differnt sides of the isshoo. i figgerd it dint matter so longs the woman lacked sex n i figgerd hed have a chants with jenny ifn he wood jes shut up bout her innerest bein perverted. but twuz how he wuz n he dint wonta change.


so he lacked to spend time with maisie, witch she kindly lacked him as a frien, but she woodnt do nuthin with no marrd man n that led to sumthin that sprized me. he ast me could he talk to me alone one time so i left emily in the aparment n tuck a drive with him. he sed he wuz a'gone kill oscar clowder. i figgerd he wuz jellus, but he sed twuz on a counta how he wuz mistreetin maisie. i ast whut did he mean n could he proov it n he sed he dint need to. he could tell. i ast maisie n she sed she figgerd he wuz jes jellus so i let it go.


meanwhile, thangs wuz all differnt down to the lil house with virgil n mj. fer one thang, jill started furst grade that fall, n that meant a hole new worl fer mj to keep up with, witch she wuz the kind that wood be down at that skool volunteerin n gittin to know ever teechur n everthang bout the place. jill wuz a good studint n luved skool, but ye could see how she wuz changin n virgil dint lack it.


but he dint have much time to dwell on it. his hole house had also been kindly tuck over by donovan on a counta ye know how tiz with a new baby. it cums into a place n might jes as well be the new dicktater. it cries n ye do whutever tiz that the new lil dicktater wonts. twuz a trine time fer em. so as ye mite magine, virgil lacked to spend the night on our couch ever so often on a counta he needed a good nights sleep now n then.


corse my life had changed a lot. fer one thang, emily wuz a reader lack nun other i had ever known n that wuz sumthin we both luved. furst thang she dun wuz git me to read the master n margarita by mikhail bulgakov. after thatn cum the last temptayshun of christ by kazantzakis n then the tin drum by guenther grass n then twuz graham green n sylvia plath n hermann hesse n andre gide n marshall mcluhan n hundreds of otherns. twuz a deelight to have sumbidy astin me to read books they luved. to give ye a idee, she give me war n peace fer christmus n i give her a hard bound copy of the wasteland by t. s. eliot. we had dun red em by the new year.


who wuz this woman, emily dickinsen smith, mein liebes maedchen? she wuz one of the hardes to splain i ever met. she wuz small, bout five two maybe, n she had brown eyes n olive skin n long silky brown hair with natcherul blondish streaks in it. she lacked to wear blue jeans, flannel shirts, underwired bras, cotton briefs, knee socks and earth shoes. the most typical pose for her would be sitting with her legs propped in such a way as to hold open a book. in one hand she wood have a burnin marlboro cigarette, a glass of ice tea sittin nearby, tuther hand pullin on her hair, strand by strand. she wooda dun tuck her shoes n pants off, n twuz the home outfit.


sumthin that riled me now n then wuz how she never put nuthin up, ever. when she tuck off her jeans, they wood stay wherever she wuz when she tuck em off, in the floor that is underneath whar she wuz.


then thar wuz the smokin, witch twuz a problem fer me n minnys the time we wood fuss n fite bout it, witch seem lack the mane fites wuz whenever she had deecided to quit n the tole me i wuznt to let her have no cigarette ever agin n twernt one of the possibilities. i wuz sick a lot with bronchitis n the smoke made it wurser. i had always tole myself i could never stay with nobidy that smoked, yet thar i wuz.


i reckon i could cum up with a hundert other items to mentchun that wuz trublesum, but thang is, we wood git to talkin bout whut we luved, speshly books, n dint seem as if thar wuz innythang else in the worl. befor ye could shake a stick, seem lack i couldnt magine bein without her. 


bout then, we gut the news that laura bishop wuz comin fer a visit durin the holdays. i wuz a lil nervus, speshly after hearin whut all randy had to say bout jenny n how she gut to be once she started gittin back into 'the life,' as she called it. i ast him ifn he wood give me a ride out to the farm on a counta i wonted to give laura n emily sum space sos emily could be shore bout whut she wuz a'doin with me. randy tole me i wuz crazy, that i wuz astin to lose her. i tole him i figgerd twuz up to emily n ifn that wuz the life she had to have, dint matter ifn she larnt it now or later. ifn she wonted to be with me, she wood.


but i wuz nervus that night, n nex mornin i met her at smokeys. i ast her how had it gone. she sed they had gone out with a nuther gurl name of polly to the huddle n europa whar gay folk lacked to dance n drank. they dun sum of that n laffed n carrd on n all till after a while, they wuz back home only they had dun dropped polly off. even emily figgerd they wuz a'gone do the deed n i had dun deecided i woodnt make no big deal out of it ifn they did so longs emily wonted to be with me. but that warnt whut happend. they made it into the bed, but when laura tuck to touchin her, emily sed, all she could thank bout wuz me n purty soon laura sed she knew emily wuznt into it so she stopped n thay talked but when the mornin cum, emily sed, all she could thank wuz to git over to smokeys to see me.


them changes.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

life of buddy don, chaptur 81:
rite in publick


whenever i moved in with emily, we lived a short walk frum campus n dint hardly need no car. i tuck a job of shovelin coal into the furnace n gut the landlord to wave the rent n we dint have hardly no eggspences n the rent maisie paid tuck care of my part of the mortgage on the farm.


since i dint need it, i sold my car to eli, witch he wrecked it the furst week, but he gut it fixed n whenever emily n me needed groceries, he wood cum over n take us to the kroger out on chapman highway. but not havin a car meant i dint git out to clinton or the farm much ever agin.


in sted, i went to skool ever day n studied in the liberry nex to a unabridged dickshunary n wrote my novel n enjoyed bein in love with my maedchen, witch thats whut i called emily since it means lil gurl in german.


ye kin tell a lot bout a persons life by relatin a sangle day of it, n twood make ye see how thangs wuz back then fer me to tell bout one frum back in that time.


twuz a weekday in october of 1978. i gut up at 6:30 n pullt on a ole pair of carbide overhauls that susannah had give me n went down to the basemint to shovel the coal n warm the place back up, witch i used to sorta bank the coals at nite so twoodnt git to hot n burn up all the coal befor mornin since tiz hard to warm the place up once it gits too cold.


whenever i wuz a'pullin off the overhauls, i gut emily riled on a counta she wuz a'wontin to sleep sum more n i wuz makin too much ruckus n purty soon we wuz in the midst of a lil fuss n fite. i made thangs wurse once i gut into to bathtub by havin the radio runnin till she sed she couldnt sleep n gut up, witch twuz time fer her to git up innyway. she cum to pee n brush her teeth as i wuz leavin the bathroom n we kep up the fuss n fite till we wuz dressed n walkin over to campus.


we et at smokeys lack we dun ever day. ye could git ye a cheese omelet with fried taters, two do nuts n coffee fer $1.05. ye couldnt git a better deal ifn ye wuz a'cookin it yer ownself. we run into virgil thar rite away. durin brakefuss me n emily made up n that mint we had to kiss in publick, witch she knew how much i hated to do that n seem lack that made her wonta doot all the more. they left fer opposite ends of the campus, he fer ayers, she fer mcclung, n i stayed at smokeys long a nuff to finish reedin the chattanooga times, witch twuz thonly good mornin paper ye could git back then.


after i wuz dun i packed up my thangs, witch i always carrd a pack filled with my books n notebooks n pens n ink n pencils n whutever i mite need, n i walked over to the undergrad liberry n found a spot on the third floor near a english german dickshunary n tuck to doin my home wurk, witch we wuz reedin friedrich schillers wilhelm tell. i red thru the home wurk n then almos gut stuck in the cobweb lef by my other german teechur, witch she had give us this chart showin all the adjectives in whutever case ye wuz a usin with the propriate form of 'der' or 'ein' fer the word. i could git lost in sumthin lack that, so i made myself shut it up in a notebook n git out of thar.


i went over to the student center whar i knew ye could sneak into the auditorium n play thar peeano n i practiced fer bout a hour or so. once i wuz dun with that, i walked past the graduate liberry, thru the parkin lot, along the sidewalk tween our house n the house nex door, round the corner, up the porch stairs, into the door n up the wooden stairs to our apartment, witch thay wuznt nobidy home. i tuck a look at the furnace n kindly stirred it up n put a lil coal in on top of it n went up stairs n made a cup of coffee n loaded a lil bowl with sum of the homegrown frum the garden n begun readin bullfinches mythology.


purty soon emily cum home n we agreed on havin a lunch of canned hot tamales n chilly beans, witch i figgerd thar wuznt a nuff meet in them tamales to make a fuss over. after eatin she turnt on the soap opers n i turnt my tentchun back to bullfinch n the gods n after jes a bit, virgil cum by.


he wuz in a good mood n wonted to git hi so i loded up a nuther lil bowl n we smoked n gut to talkin bout pi. i ast him did he thank twuz a real thang? wuz it truly a priori? n he sed twuz whut the universe wuz construcked on. n i ast him wuz it a formative cause or a material cause? he figgerd twuz formative so i ast him how did it operate n he sed twuz a law lack gravity. n i sed seemed to me lack twuz merely a human conventchun, a langwage device to hep splain whut humans wuz observin. n he gut to splainin how twuz ackshly how thangs wuz made n thats why we could observe it n discover the rule it wurked on. we went on n on till twuz time fer me to go to class.


the class wuz theology n literchur n twuz a goodn. that teechur, dr. saxon, had him a way of weevin in mos everthang frum flossofy to relijun to literchur. i never gut so minny idees fer thangs to read in my life. in class that day he wuz grate, weavin in meister eckhardt n mark twain n the bibl n lao tzu. he had me on the edge of my seat n barely able to make a note n then sed 'times up' n it broke the spell n we had to go. n thang wuz, one of the gurls in class had dun fell asleep!


after class i went back home n started fixin pizza fer dinner, witch i wuz the one to cook ever meal once i moved in with emily on a counta how she sed she coodnt boil water without burnin it. thay wuznt a nuff cheese to doot rite, but thay wuznt no money neethur so twernt verr good, but twuz fillin.


emily wuz eggcited bout seein a movie name of orphee or sumthin lack that over to the auditorium in the student centar whar i played the peeano in the afternoon. she sed twuz a grate film n she even wonted to git hi befor, witch she dint do that twice in a year. we walked over to the movie, bought sum gum n candy n tickets n went in. twuz all in french with subtitles only whoever twuz ritin them subtitles dint no english all that good n thay wuz lines lack 'we must discover what we must do!!'


on the walk home, i had to add mitt i wuznt too impressed by the movie n i wuz reddy to pall gize only she sed she wuz sprized how twuznt as good as twuz the time befor. n that gut us to talkin bout heraclitus n how ye cant step in the same river twice n hinduism n how everthang everwhar is changin all the time n ye cant even tell if whut ye member bein good wood still seem good.


she tuck a bath while i went to bed n gut back to readin bullfinch only i watched while she brushed the knots out of her long brown hair, witch she kep it silky by usin milk plus six n lettin it dry on its own. she went into the livin room to smoke n read fer a while, n whenever she cum to bed, i wuz near asleep. she ast did i member to bank the furnace n lack twuz mos nites, i hadnt.


while i wuz jerkin out the slag frum the day befor n dumpin it n shovelin in more coal n gittin it to burn sos i could bank it with new lumps, i gut to thankin bout heraclitus agin n how he sed everthang in life is lack fire, jes a'burnin. i gut the fire banked jes rite n thought bout how twood burn slow overnite, keepin thangs warm but not too hot n all.


life that fall wuz a lot lack that fire. warm, rich, barely changin but never quite the same two days in a row. i had kindly ansered sum of the big questchuns durin the sesshuns with el doc tore n i dint feel such pressure to anser them no more. i wuz in love n livin in such a purrfeck time of life.  i wuz applyin fer a fullbright n ritin on my novel till i had near three hundred pages n studyin german n trine to keep up with emily in readin. how deelishus!


i wuz thankin bout all this as i crawled in to bed beside of her. she tuck my arm n pulled it between her breasts till i wuz close, our bodies lack spoons. i sed mein leibes maedchen. she pulled me tighter.


nex mornin started much the same only i wuz keerful not to wake her n thay wuznt no need fer no fuss n fite. we had brakefuss at smokeys. randy fox joined us. he wuz goin to classes a'studyin draftin. i had classes in german n german lit n flossofy, so i went to em. after that i went over to the graduate liberry n wrote on my novel till emily cum over to git me. she wuz bored, reedin the tv guide frum chicago, pullin on her hair a strand at a time, as if lookin fer that speshul one. i wuz near dun but i strung it out sos i could watch her. she wonted a cigarette. she got bored of the tv guide n gut one of the volumes of the oxford english dickshunary n tuck to readin this n that, still a'pullin on her hair, still bored but waitin.


i couldnt hep but smile whenever i closed the notebook n she jumped up. she cum roun the table n into my arms n i kissed her, even ifn twuz rite in publick.

Friday, December 19, 2003

pinions of buddy don:
depends on whut the meanin of 'half' is


aint it grate how our gummint has gut em this plan to cut the deficit in half by the year 2009? questchuns ye mite have are


(1) half of whut? n
(2) whut is half?


as fer half of whut, tiz half of this years projected deficit of $500,000,000,000, witch that's half a trillion. ifn tiz half of that, twood be gittin it down to only $250,000,000,000, witch that aint no whar near the all time high frum last year of $374,000,000,000 n twood only be the fifth highest all time (up to now).


corse, thays sum that wood look at the deficit not as dollars but as percents. lookin at it thataway, this years projected deficit wood be 4.4% of the gdp, n half of that would be 2.2% of whut the gdp is speckted to be in 2009. ifn ye use that method, ye wood only have to git the deficit down to $320,000,000,000 to cut it in half, witch by then $320,000,000,000 wont be nowhar near a record innymore, tho tiz purty close at the moment.


how kin they git such a thang dun?


simple: limit spendin, witch as everbidy knows, is a speshulty of them publicans. they dun cut the growth in fedrul spending on innythang not related to the recesshun or the war on terror to jes a lil over half:


55% of increases are fer 'other spendin,'
34% fer defense, n
11% for 9/11 (lease accordin to the heritage foundayshun)


tiz real good news on a counta diggin yer hole by only half as much leaves ye with hardly a hole at all.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

intrupted sleep of buddy don:
fire



miz bd n me wuz woke in the middle of the night on a counta that speaker they gut in our apartment went off with a fella statin overn over agin bout 'yer attentchun please, yer attentchun please. a fire has been reported on yer floor, a fire has been reported on yer floor. please proceed to the nearst stairs n exit the bildin. do not take the elevaters. please proceed to the nearst stairs n exit the bildin. do not take the elevaters.' as ye kin see, this guy lacks to repeat hisself. twuz a nuff to kill our sleep n we dun jes whut he ast us even ifn twuz 2 am. we had to wait fer a hour or so till the firemen let us back up on a counta they dint find no fire, witch that wuz a blessin, but by time i finely woke up, thay wuznt time to do no proper bloggin fer the day. my pall gees fer that.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

pinions of buddy don:
now that we gut saddam, whos nex?


twood be nice to concentrate on gittin osama bin laden, but thatn mus not be all that importunt or else we wooda deadicated our mane effort n troop strangth on gittin him back whenever we wuz invadin afghanistan n throwin out the taliban. but lucky fer us, thays plenty of evil dicktaters to go after. here's five of em:



  1. kim jong-il of north korea on a counta how hes gut nuclear weppons n has killt or enslaved so minny of his own folk: Kim "lives like royalty in Pyongyang", Mr Bolton said, while "he keeps hundreds of thousands of people locked in prison camps with millions more mired in abject poverty, scrounging for food."
  2. robert mugabe of zimbabwe fer throwin out the jurnlists n killin or drivin out white landowners
  3. vladimir putin of russia fer his ackshuns in chechnya
  4. the saudis fer thar represshun of relijun n dissent
  5. wen jiabao of china fer represshun of relijun n dissent

corse, if we run out, thays plenty more, but jes gittin the folks who made this lis should keep us busy thru a cuple of eleckshun cycles. fer instunts, we could try to figger out whoevers responsibull fer the mass graves in congo, whar over 3.3 millyun folk have dun been killt since 1998, witch ifn ye figger thatn out on a calckulater, ye git bout 2/3 of 9/11 (over 1,800) per day.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

pinions of buddy don:
now that we gut saddam, mayhap we kin git sum ansers


ten questchuns i wood lack to have anserd:



  1. whutever becum of the $1.2 billyun in credit ye gut frum bush the furst after ye had been gassin them kurds, witch wuznt they yer own folk?
  2. whut did you n donald rumsfeld talk bout whenever he cum fer his visit on the tenth of december in 1983?
  3. whenever ye started the 8 year war with iran, wuz ye egged on by carter n brzezinski?
  4. how did ye feel whenever presdent raygun declared iraq wusnt no terrist nashun in february of 1982?
  5. whutever becum of the "computerized database for [yer] interior ministry, satellite military intelligence, tanks and cluster bombs, deadly bacteriological samples, and the very helicopters that [ye used] to spew poison gas over [yer] own Kurd citizens," witch thats jes sum of the stuff we dun give ye (barry lando)
  6. how minny of the folk in them mass graves wuz shiites that tride to rebel agin ye with united states encouragement after ye had been whupped in the furst gulf war?
  7. how minny of the folk in them mass graves wuz kurds that tride to rebel agin ye with encouragement frum presidents startin with nixon n keepin on rite thru clinton?
  8. kin ye call off them gorillas n git em to quit attackin coalishun forces?
  9. whar did ye hide yer weppons of mass destruckshun?
  10. since ye been in cahoots with him, mayhap ye kin tell us whar is osama bin laden?

Monday, December 15, 2003

life of buddy don, chaptur 80:
sex


one of the mos important ways way two humans gits along has to do with sex. tiz also a topick that aint polite to mentchun out loud cepten with them yer dun havin sex with. one result of this is hardly nobidy larns how to do it rite before they make a mess of it with sumbidy.


we have this idee that two folks will know by the romantick feelins they git who they oughta marry, only this idee is purty new in the hole histry of the human race. in mos times in histry, marrgs wuz arranged thangs whar older folks who new better whut it means to yer fine ants to be marrd wood pick out the rite match, often as not based on how the alinement wood affeck the fambly fortchun. tiz easy frum whar we sit to make fun of thatn, but after ye dun been round the romants n marrg block a time or two, ye git to whar ye kin see the value in havin sumbidy else pick out yer marrg partner in a way that makes shore nobidys a'gone go hungy.


corse that razes the questchun bout how is them folks spozed to be in luv ifn they aint the ones to pick out thar partners, but luv warnt the mane purpose. besides that, luv seems lack it brakes up as minny marrgs as it makes on a counta whut ye gone do ifn yer dun marrd n the fire goes out, lack loretta n conway used to say, leevin nuthin cold as ashes behind? n whuts the plan when tham romantickal feelins gits underway fer the rong persun, the wife or husbin of sum bidy else or jes a man or woman ye aint marrd to? ifn its romants that ye use in figgern out who ye oughta be with, then whut happens when yer romants gits ye off on a nuthern?


but thats jes the half of the problem on a counta this here chapturs bout sex, witch thats one of them topicks that ye cant hardly discuss even tho everbidys fascinated bout it. thang is, everbidy acks lack ye jes gonna know whut to do whenever the time cums. aint nobidy gonna tell ye how tiz spozed to go, lease not in the cultchur i wuz razed in.


fer one thang, twuz only one conversayshun i ever had with eether mama or daddy that wuz diereckly bout sex, n even then thar wuz other thangs thrown in. far as daddy wuz concerned, twuz sumthin ye jes dont mentchun. as he wood put it bout sartin thangs, 'it jes aint dun, son.'


he did let us know thay wuz thangs ye wuz never spozed to do ifn ye wonted to avoid bein called the worse thang thar wuz in his mind, witch that wood be ifn ye wuz called a sissy. ifn ye wuz too wurried bout how ye look, then ye wuz becomin a sissy. ifn ye wonted to give hugs to everbidy, ye wuz probly a sissy, speshly ifn ye give hugs to a nuther man. ye woodnt never tell no man, not even yer own daddy, that ye luved him. that wood make ye a sissy. n of corse, ye wood never 'play with yerself,' on a counta that wuz the last step on the rode to becumin a sissy.


bein the oldest, i bleeved everthang daddy tole me till i gut to the point whar i dint bleeve nuthin he sed, witch thats whar this hole life n pinions of buddy don starts out, with me leavin out of my home on a counta i dint bleeve the thangs my daddy sed no more. twuznt that everthang he sed wuz rong, but it shore seemed thataway fer a few years.


mama ackshly did discuss sex with me one time n with bof me n eli one time. furst time she splained innythang bout it wuz durin a drive frum knoxvull back to oak ridge. i dont member whar we had been, but she tuck it into her mind to splain the facks of life to us. seem lack she gut it splained jes as we topped the ole solway bridge. as i recolleck it, she led us to thank that sum kinda way the lil boys ding dong, witch she always called it a ding dong or jes a dinger, sum kinda way the lil boys ding dong wuz spozed to put sumthin in whar the lil gurls pee pee cums out.


it sounded awful n furst thang eli sed wuz how he wuz exter grateful fer havin life atall since bof mama n daddy had to go thru that awful painful ack. mama laffed n sed when two folks wuz in luv, twuznt awful or painful but twuz the mos beeyootiful thang ye could eggsperients. dint neethur one of us bleeve it n we bof figgerd thay wuznt no way we wood be havin sex ever. we had dun seen how tiny the place wuz on roena may whar he pee pee cum out, n we dint wonta thank bout whut twood take to git our ding dongs in such a tite place.


we musta been in thurd n forth grade whenever mama splained all this to us but we dint thank much bout it. we figgerd twuz one of them thangs lack goin to collidge or fitin in a war or bein judged wurthy of hell fire -- ye wood jes half to face it whenever the time cum n do yer bes with it.


but that wernt all mama tole me bout sex. fer sum reason, whenever i wuz bout to go frum the sixth grade into middle skool, she tuck it into her mind to splain three thangs all at once: sex, drugs n colored peeple. i dont know to this day whut triggerd that talk, but i knew in a instunt that twuz importunt on a counta how she turnt off the tee vee n tole tuther kids to leeve us alone sos we could talk.


i ast rite away whut i had dun n wuz daddy a'gone whup me agin, but she sed twernt nuthin lack that atall. she wonted to splain sum of the facks of life to me, n i figgerd twood be bout the mystery of the fat ding dong n the skinny place whar the pee pee cums out on a gurl. to save us the truble, i reminded her bout how she had dun splained thatn n how neethur one of us, eli or me, had inny noshun of ever doin it lessn we gut marrd to a wife that jes insisted on havin children.


she gut to laffin n sed twernt whut she had to say. she wonted to warn me bout three of lifes big temptayshuns, witch they wuz sex, drugs n colored peeple. she had em kindly all three lanked together in her mind n seemed lack she wood half to splain em thataway. so she started with the las topick n wurked her way back to the furstn.


furst, thars them wurds, 'colored' n 'peeple,' to discuss. as ye mite dun alreddy know, we americans dun been thru a passel of wurds to call folks that wuz deesended frum them that wuz brung here frum africa to be slaves. when i wuz young, twuz considderd polite to call such folks 'negro.' 'nigger' wuz not allowed in our house n wuznt cunsidderd correck fer nobidy to use far as my folk wuz concernd. 'colored' wuz allowed but 'negro' wuz real proper n 'colored' wuz ok but only among white folk. then thangs changed n twuz considderd proper to use 'black' n 'colored' joined 'nigger' as wurds ye wuznt spozed to use. as ye know, thangs kep a'changin n these days tiz cunsidderd proper to use the wurds 'african american' or even 'afro-american.' odd thang is, lots of black folk use this term 'peeple of color', witch seems lack thatns right on the edge of bein the same as 'colored peeple.' n corse, lots of folks still uses the wurd 'black,' n thats kindly whar im stuck, witch ima gone splain more bout that in later chapturs.


innywho, mamas talk dint have nuthin to do with whut ye call black folk. in sted, twuz to splain how twuz thar prefernts to be among thar own kind. they dint wonta intermangle amung white folk. dint wonta go to skool with us or to the same churches or live in the same nayborhoods with us n mos of all dint wonta git marrd to us. twuz a simple matter of how they lack to be among thar own, same as white folk, or so she splained it.


i had no idee why she wood be splainin thisn to me. i hadnt never seen too minny black folk. whut i dint know wuz how that wuz a gonna change once i gut to the seventh grade on a counta how in oak ridge all the black folk stayed over in the valley n ye dint cum into diereck contact with em till ye gut to middle skool. thang wuz, in them daze, i couldnt ackshly see black folk fer folk verr well. twood be minny a year before i wuz able n fack is, i dint have no noshun of trine to go to thar nayborhoods or do much of innythang with em cept maybe play sports. thay wuznt no way fer me to see how inny black gurl could be purty. i had dun been trained not to be able to see that, tho the trainin woodnt lass my hole life. but i promissed i woodnt never git involved with nun of em.


innywho, frum colored peeple we went strate to drugs, n thar wuz a tale that i could hardly bleeve. up till then i hadnt herd much bout drugs ceptn maybe heroin in a tee vee show or sumthin. the way mama splained it, drugs wuz all the same, jes lack heroin, n ifn ye try em one time, ye wood be addickted fer life. wurser than that, thay wuz these folk they call pushers who wonted to git as minny folk addickted as possibull. thang is, they wood do mos innythang to git a new addick, teven puttin dope on candy n givin it to lil babies to git them addickted. i ast mama how wood the babys mama know twuz a drug the baby needed, but she tole me to hush my smart mouth. long story short, i wuz not to try no drugs, no how, no way, lessn i wonted to end up a addick dyin in a tiny dirty room in sum cold city up north, n fack is, i dint wont nun of that n i promissed i woodnt never try no drugs.


n thurd thang wuz sex, witch she splained thay wuz a'gone be 'gurls in short skirts' that wuz a'gone cum along n try to cunvints me to have sex with em. i cummenced to splainin how thar wuz no way my ding dong wuz a'gone to fit in no -- but she slapped my face n sed i wuz to listn n not talk, so i shut up. she splained how sex wuz to be resurved fer marrg n that ifn ye had it befor marrg or even after marrg with the rong persun, twood cheapen it fer life. she ast me did i unnerstand? n when i thought twuz safe to talk, i splained how i wuznt never a'gone git marrd on a counta thay wuznt no way my ding dong wood ever fit in no -- but she slapped my face a secunt time n sed i dint know whut i wuz talkin bout n that i needed to pay tentchun. so she tuck off a thurd time n splained how the bidy is a temple n a person had to keep it pure n rightchus. ye dint wonta desecrate it by jes lettin in innybidy. mos of all, ifn ye save sex fer the one ye marr, ye git a better marrg n better sex too. she ast me did i unnerstand n i started splainin how my ding dong wuznt a'gone fit -- so she slapped me the thurd time n sent me to bed without dinner.


thang is, mos everthang she tole me bout sex mite could be true only the real thang i needed to larn wuz how ye go bout gittin yer ding dong to fit in that tiny place whar a gurls pee pee cums out. or mayhap twood be better to say that tiz odd that we git instruckshun in such detail bout how ye do thangs that ye dont hardly ever need to do, lack find the circumfernts of a circle, but ye dont git no instruckshun bout sumthin ye mite be hopin to do everday of yer life, witch that wood be how ye git yer ding dong etc.


twuz a shame how my ignernts on this topick led to such suffern. fack is, darlene n me could figger out how to git the ding dong in thar, but whut we cum up with wuznt the bes of all possibull thangs we coulda larnt on the topick. we had all these idees n noshuns frum whar folks had hinted that ifn ye had a good marrg ye dun it ever nite n how honeymoons wuz so hot n how marrd folks wuz hot to doot all the time n a millyun other lil hints but no specifick instruckshuns.


so darlene n me, bein the kind that masters the grade game n has to eggcell in everthang we dun, we tuck to doin it ever nite frum the day we wuz marrd. durin the honeymoon, we wuz doin it four or five times a day till thar cum a smell that seemed lack tuna n we couldnt figger whuther twuz a'comin frum her or frum me or mayhap frum the tent we wuz a usin on a counta we spent the furst few days of our vacayshun in yosemite nashunul park. lucky fer us thay wuz a woman thar who knew whut the smell ment so she splained it to darlene n splained how she wood half to wash 'down thar' n all.


but that dint solve the problem of sex. we kep rite on a'havin it ever nite but it gut so twuz as much lack a job as innythang. we dint know that folks wood slack off n git down to havin it ever other nite or even jes three times a week or even lessn that. we figgerd twuz add mittin a weekness to have it lessn ever nite.


whut that ment most of all wuz how darlene had this infeckshun almos frum the time we gut back frum yosemite. wurse, even tho she claimed she wuz satisfide with sex, she wuznt havin no orgasums n twernt till two years into the marrg that we figgerd thatn out n even then twuz almos a acksident that we dun it. way it happend wuz we wuz drankin one evenin n we gut to doon it only i had gut in the habit of kissin her 'down thar' till she wuznt dry no more on a counta sumtimes twuz hard fer her to git lubricated fer reasons we wood bof unnerstand once twuz too late fer our marrg. innywho, it gut to a point we had reached before whar she wuz astin me to stop n claimin how twuz too much fer her to stan, but i wuz a lil drunk n had her fanny in my hands n jes woodnt let go till it happened finely. twuz the furst orgasum she had ever had n once she had dun had it, thangs changed fer the better, but she still had them infeckshuns n it gut so sex wuz nuthin but painful fer bofus, at lease now n then.


thang is, whenever i thank back on the sex we had, all i kin member is how twuz such a painful thang fer her, eethur durin or after if not bof. n ifn i hadda known jes a lil more bout sex befor we gut marrd, mayhap thangs wooda been differnt, lease as far as sex is cuncernd.


twuz durin my life in the jungle that i started larnin sum thangs bout sex, mos of em obveeus thangs lack how to know when a woman is reddy. problem fer darlene is she thought she wuz reddy her ownself even when she wuznt n that led to her havin them infeckshuns.


as i dun mentchunned, as much as i had larnt bout sex in the jungle, mainly that it aint wurth much ifn ye dont care fer yer partner lack ye wood lack to give yer life to, i larnt a lot more bout sex frum susannah.


but dint nuthin prepar me fer emily n all i wood larn frum her. n thang is, fer mos of the furst two munths of our relayshunship, we dint even touch, not even to hole hands. n then whenever we gut to touchin, we still couldnt do much on a counta she dint have no birth cuntrol n dint wont me to use no cundums. so twuz a long slow seduckshun, witch we talked bout sex as much as innythang durin that hole time.


heres sum the thangs i larnt frum her. fer one, she dint have no good orgasum her ownself till laura bishop gut her to masturbait even tho she had dun had a relayshunshp with a fella name of dwight thar in looseburg n she had orgasums but thay wuz painful on a counta how he dint know how to git her reddy. i musta blushed eleventy times whenever she sed that, witch she sed it a lot. corse, i wuz blushin bout how i had been jes as ignernt as dwight only twuz with darlene. fer anuther, she sed she dint unnerstan how she could have a hole bunch of orgasums, one rite after tuthern, but that wuz sumthin she had to larn frum her relayshunship with laura bishop on a counta sex with a man has one tale, witch it ends with the man gittin his satisfackshun n turnin over to go sleep, but sex with a woman has a nuther tale, witch tiz more lack eatin a big meal with servrul fine corses n kin go on fer as long as ye lack on a counta ye dont git full. the thurd thang i had to take on faith but tiz probly gut sum truth toot. she sed she bleeved everbidy wuz both strate n gay but that sum folks woodnt add mitt it. i cant say on a counta how i dont have no desire fer no man.


innywho, the long slow seduckshun of emily dickinsen smith taught me lots more bout sex n deesire. by time we finely dun the deed, we knew a lot bout each other n had talked a lot bout sex. all that talk wuz a real educayshun, witch i wished we had the habit of makin shore young folk everwhar gits it. twood save lots of marrgs n wood hep young ladies avoid lots of pain.


but it aint a'gonna happen. n why not? on a counta, lack my daddy dun sed, 'it jes aint dun, son.'

Sunday, December 14, 2003

happiness of buddy don:
one down


they gut saddam.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

recepts of buddy don:
dream tater soup


i wuz over to sugarfused a'reedin bout a dream she had bout her daddy, witch he dun past away 20 odd years ago but thangs still hurts. n whenever i red bout that, it put me in mind of a dream i had bout my own dead daddy n in that dream cum this recept fer tater soup that everbidy calls dream tater soup. i promiss to give ye the recept direckly, but furst ye mite lack to here how the dream cum to be.


on the mornin of 9/11, i wuz wurkin frum home n up early. me n missus buddy don had us sum visters at the time, witch twuz her son n his partner. they had been to see the empire state bildin on mundy n wuz a'fixin to go visit the worl trade center on that tuesdy. they had bought em a pass whar ye kin see sevrul of the sites in new york city fer one price kinda lack a ticket book at disneyland, n they wuz wurkin thar way thru the book.


before they could git out the door, we gut a call frum thar grandmom in ohio. she wuz riled up bout how them kids wuz not a'goin to no worl trade center that mornin so turn on cnn. we dun it n thar wuz the awful site of the furst tower burnin n then the wurser site of the plane a'hittin tuther tower. corse we spent the day in shock. tuck us sum pitchers of the towers burnin befor they closed down the 14th street pier. mingled n spoke with the crowds that wuz a'gathern everwhar. wundered whut wuz nex. here's a cuple pitchers i tuck:




we gut us the idee that we needed to git them kids to tennessee n ohio sos they could see sum reltives. missus buddy dons daughter cum over frum harlem nex day. my job wuz done that day on a counta my lil firm wuz bout three blocks away n coverd in dust n all our receivbulls wuz frum folks that had jes los thar offusses n mayhap thar counts paybull departmints. so we wuz quick a nuff to git a car to rent n tuck off fer tennessee n ohio.


we wonted them kids to see thar grandmom in ohio n my mama in knoxvull n thar granddaddy down near chattanooga, so we wuz a burnin up the rode. whenever we gut to thar granddaddy, witch he happens to be my own daddys bruther n sounds lack him n looks lack him n all to whar mos of the visit wuz him n me reminissin bout daddy. twuz hard on me on a counta how i hadnt reelized how much i missed my own daddy till that momint.


n fer sum reason, i gut to thankin how i missed seein him that las time n why n all. i had moved to new york in 1985 n gut me a job on wall street n everbidy thought i wuz sumbidy. he died in 1996 n whenever he tuck sick it so happend that the firm i wuz a'wurkin fer wuz movin frum one bildin to whenever. i had me a crew of techies n wuz mixed as thick into that move as ye could git. we wurked ever weekend that fall settin up the network n gittin folks hooked toot n wurkin rite.


so when mama called to say daddy mite not make chrismus, i tole her id be home thanksgivin. then whenever she called to say she dint thank he wood make thanksgivin, i sed give me one more weekend. on a counta i figgerd twuz importunt to make that las weekend move fer the firm. i gut on the rode by mundy, but he died that nite befor i could git back to see him.


that talk with my uncle put all these thoughts into my hed, n i jes couldnt shake em. purty soon, i feared id brake down crine, so when we gut to my bruthers place down on watts bar, even tho the nite wuz yung n folks wuz a'wontin to sit out by the lake, i went to bed n dreampt this here dream.


i wuz a visitin my daddy. fer sum reason, he wuz livin alone in a bad part of town in a single room occupancy basement place, the wurse thay is. he wuz pleased as could be that i had paid him a visit n we went in n i could see the place wuz a mess. i ast how he wuz, n he sed he wuz all rite but he wuz hungry.


whenever we wuz lil n thay wuznt nuthin else to eat, he wood make us tater soup. we hated it n wonderd why we had to have it but he always kep us fed. so twuz no sprize how he sed, 'we should make us sum tater soup.' soons he did i sed i wood make him that soup, n twoodnt be jes no plane ole soup neethur.


suddenly thar i wuz on martha stewarts show n i wuz the star of the segmint on a counta she wonted me to larn the folks how to make dream tater soup n thats whut i dun fer the res of the show. when i had made the soup n martha stewart had sed how twuz so deelishus n all, the audience tuck to clappin n i woke up. but i never gut back to my daddy with that soup, n it made me cry as hard as ever i did in my life.


but the nex day we had to git on the rode fer ohio n i jes kep goin over that soup recept in my mine till i had it memorized. twuz a verr hard week fer all kinda reasons but we gut home finely. the hole area wuz still covered in the dust n soot of them towers. seemed lack everbidy wuz walkin wounded. i had to look fer wurk n the vacayshun of the two youngns wuz ruint n we wuz wore plum out.


so i made us all a pot of that soup n we ate it n we wuz fambly together. n everbidy sed how twuz deelishus same as martha stewart had dun. twuz one of them momints fer me, n i felt a peace, lack twuz a present frum my daddy to me, that soup, even tho twuz a present i never give him.


but i will give it to y'all.


dream tater soup


gredients:



olive oil
cuple carrots
cuple stalks of celry
onion
four or five cloves garlic
taters: accordin to how big thay happens to be, ye mite need ye as few as three or as minny as six or so. i lack usin them lil red taters or new golden taters.
bout a quart of water dependin
bout a teespoon dill
bout a teespoon parsley
grated parmesan or romano cheese or bofem
sour cream
salt n pepper to taste


ye start by choppin up yer carrots n celry n onion n garlic bout as fine as ye kin. cut up yer taters but not too small. i lack mine in wedges, maybe half as big as a golf ball n sum of em half that big.


nex ye coat the bottom of yer skillet with olive oil. i never measure eggzakly, but i lack to use a nuff them vegtabulls litely coated in oil. brang up yer heat to bout halfway n when tiz hot, add furst yer carrots sos they kin git a lil hed start, then yer celery n onion. cook em till they gits to brownin jes a bit. put in yer garlic but dont cook it too much.


dump all this into yer crock pot or else into yer soup pot that ye put on low. put in yer taters. add a nuff water to whar tiz covern the res of the gredients by bout a half inch to a inch . git to boilin n then put on low. sprankle in yer dill n yer parsley. stir the hole concockshun up good. then let it simmer till them taters is soft. takes bout a hour or so. ye kin leeve it longs ye lack in a crock pot.


serve it with the cheeses n sour cream thisaway; ye dish it out n let folks add however much lil salt n pepper they lacks. then sprankle sum them cheeses over top of it n add a scoop of sour cream rite in the middle.


sum lacks to stir it all up together n they claim tiz good thataway, but tiz meant not to be stirred. ye keep them varius tastes a seperated thataway.


goes grate with a loaf of fresh rye bread, witch we lacks to bake our own.