Tuesday, June 08, 2004

life of buddy don, chaptur 121: down frum the ivory tower

odd thang bout graduwait skool is how ye git so caught up in the lil cuncerns of life thar that ye fergit a lot bout how real life is. i wood spend my days readin books by the grate authors, so minny of em till i gut to feelin sick of student life. i had deecided to study english on a counta how i luved readin grate books, but by the third quarter of it, i gut to thankin the 'canon,' witch that means verr books i luved so much, wuz jes a colleckshun of wurks i had to git thru as quick n painlessly as i could. then we wuz eggspeckted to figger a new angle bout the book or the author or sumthin n once we had that, we wuz spozed to rite a lil essay bout it. i member thankin how i dint wonta add my meager pages to the grate trash heap of secundary materials. i wonted to rite primary materials.

part of whut i hated wuz the mechanicull methods we wuz a'usin in eggzaminin them wurks. we wood get into a seminar bout sumthin lack victorian novel or elizabethan tragedy or romantick poetry jes a'knowin we wuz a'gone half to cum up with a paper bout sumthin. whut that meant wuz how we wood check as much as we could bout whut had dun been writ bout a sartin piece of literchur n then see could we find a new lil chink in the skolarly recurd to fill in. mayhap ye mite notice sumthin new, witch that wood be the good case, only since thay wuz alreddy so much writ on ever topick we studied, twernt verr lackly ye wood find innythang new to say. in sted, ye mite use whutever the poplar method of the day wuz to look at thangs, witch whenever i wuz in grad skool, twuz a trick of deconstrucktin the wurk n arguin bout whut its center wuz n a bunch of thangs that i never gut cumpletely even ifn i did majur in flossofy as a undergrad.

so twood be temptin to thank i lacked gittin away frum skool n visitin the real worl, but thang is, the hole time ye were doin innythang, in the back of yer mind wuz the thought bout how ye could be readin this or that or tuther to find out ifn thay wuznt a angle ye could use to git reddy fer that nex paper or test. so even whenever ye wuz out in 'the real worl,' as everbidy in acadeem calld innythang that dint have nuthin to do with skoolin, ye tended to be bout half thar n half in yer worl of wurries over whut ye wuz a'gonna rite or how ye wuz a'gonna present yer paper n all.

but real life aint all that innerested in such trivia n long bout the end of the sprang, maisie n oscar clowder deecided to tie the knot, witch that meant thay wuz a passel of thangs the fambly had to do to git reddy. ever one of them thangs meant spendin time in the real worl n twuz kindly a shock after the neat lil preoccupayshuns of skool.

fer a few weekends in a row, we went over to mamas to sleep n attend to a sundry of lil tasks lack mamas cancer charity or the bachler party or jes a party that virgil wuz havin out at the farm on a counta he n oscar lacked to find a reason to git a keg of beer. all them events gut me to realizin how in the ivory tower of skool, everthang that happens is all in yer hed, but outside of that artifishull lil worl, everthang happens outside yer hed.

fer instunts, twuz along in this time that eli gut to hangin out with dale jamison, witch he wuz one of them fellers i rote bout in chaptur 83: three kings. thang bout dale wuz how he dint wonta do much moren git messd up n when ye mix that kinda persun with eli, ye gut a cuple of purty messd up fellers.

the weekend of the bachler party, virgil tuck us into oak ridge to mamas, witch she n daddy wuz bof at wurk. but eli n dale wuz thar n i ast em did they wonta git hi on sum weed that randy foxs bruther had give me. eli sed twuznt nuthin compard to sum colombian reefer he had gut fer maisie, witch he meant how he had setup the deal n she had paid fer it. he claimd that he n dale had dun drunk forty bottles of wine in jes the one week, witch twuz the kinda thang ye wood here eli say n ye wood know twuz sumthin to ignore. but aint no doubt they drunk a bunch of wine. dale tole me eli had dun blacked out four times that week, witch that wuz purty much whut happend evertime he drunk alkyhol while takin his medicayshun. i hated seein eli thataway, but i dint know then whut ye kin say to sumbidy who wonts to do tharself harm.

then cum the bachler party, witch twuz the same nite as the women wuz havin a shower fer maisie. twuz a verr ugly thang to attend. thangs wuz ok at furst. we all drunk sum beer n passd sum reefer n went out by the fire spot n had us a big ole bonfire, but purty soon twuz deecided we had to git more beer, witch that dint make no sense on a counta everbidy ceptn me n brew wuz drunk as could be n me n brew dint wont no more beer, but we sorta damped the fire till twuz safe to leeve it n went up to the lil house, witch thats whar virgil had sum more beer.

thangs gut real ugly then. eli gut into his preecher mode n started astin everbidy embarrassin questchuns lack who all had they slep with n so furth. twuz a cruel thang to watch. he made virgil splain how he hadnt had sex with nobidy ceptn mj, witch thang wuz, eli made fun of im fer that n i thought how lil eli knew on a counta twooda been easy fer virgil to splain how he had dun it with darlene, but even drunk as he wuz, eli dint let thatn slip. eli then turnt his attenchun to dale n kep on till dale wuz crine on a counta how he wuz raped by a babysitter whenever he wuz bout 8 or 9 years old, witch that splained a lot bout whut wuz rong with dale n why he dint wonta live lack normal folk.

but wurse wuz whenever eli turnt his attenchun on oscar clowder, witch oscar wurked fer a eggsterminatin outfit that sprayed houses fer bugs n termites. eli kep pickin at im n pickin at im, finely sayin he dint wont oscars thang defilin maisies hole. twuz a verr quite moment on a counta oscar wuz too drunk to git it n everbidy else wuz verr ashamed to witness eli bein so cruel. but virgil cum to hisself n sed, 'its a little too late for that' n when everbidy laffed, eli wonted to go, so i tole brew i wood drive him on a counta twuz only brew n me left sober by then.

the hole trip eli couldnt shut up bout how sinful everbidy wuz ceptn him. finely dale ast him how minny women he had dun slep with his ownself n wuz he ever raped by a babysitter or had he ever dun innythang at all with eethur a man or a woman. furst eli tole dale he dint have no rite to ast such a questchun, but in a lil bit, eli wuz crine n sayin how he hadnt never dun nuthin real in his hole life n he hated everbidy who had a real life n he hated oscar most of all on a counta how maisie desurved better.

twuz a odd thang to here bout maisie desurvin better. dint nobidy know maisies hole story, why she wood have her aborshun, yew name it. eli sartinly dint know much about it then. but twuz sumthin i wood here agin the verr nex day. so happent that randy fox had a acksident whar he fell n broke the lil bit of his left femur that wuz still his to brake n that meant a nuther operayshun sos they could replace whut had broke with a artifishull bone of sum kind. i went by to see im in the hospital whar he wood be fer nigh onto two munths. he ast me could he speak alone to me on a counta how emily wuz thar, but i tole him innythang he wonted to say to me he could say in frunt of her. he gut real quite fer a bit n then sed he wonted us to make a promiss to im. we sed we wood do whut we could n ifn twuz a promiss we could keep, we wood keep it.

'then ye gut to stop maisie frum makin a huge miss take.' lookin back on it now, i kindly wish i wooda tole emily to step out fer a mint sos randy could splain whut he meant, but i wuz trine to make a point whar i dint wonta do much of nuthin without emily bein thar, the bachler party bein a obveeus eggcepshun. he jes sed twuz a criminull thang n then woodnt say no more bout it.

me n emily had borried mamas car to make our visit so on the way home we gut to speckulaytin bout why he dint wont maisie to marr oscar. emily ast me wuznt it jes as plane as the nose on yer face, witch i hate when folks asts that questchun ifn i dont know the anser. i ast did she mean how randy wonted her fer his ownself n she sed, 'bingo.' i tole her i dint thank so on a counta how i had dun talked bout this with randy a minny a time. but she reminded me of how he always lacked to give her sum of theevil weed n his perscripshuns drugs lack percodan, witch i hated how maisie seemed lack she luved gittin hi almost as much as eli dun. so i let it go n figgerd twuz as good a splainayshun as inny.

by time we gut back home, turnt out mama had checked herself into the hospital. she n daddy had a argument bout the cancer benefit, witch twuz a beeyootiful event but dint raise but a lil over $1,000 even tho the weather lady frum channel 4 had cum to read bout the fashions. dint matter whut the real topick of the argument wuz on a counta ifn twernt one thang, twuz a nuther. mama had this habit of checkin herself into the hospital whenever thangs gut to whar she wished she dint have to face em n i reckon they musta put her on a sedativ or sumthin n then she wood feel better. n corse, it had the added benefit of meanin daddy wuz a'gone have to face a nuther bill fer it. we went to visit her n ast whut wuz rong, but she only sed she wished she could go to sleep n never wake up. to be honest, twuz hard to feel much sympathy fer her.

innywho, we had to git thru one more party out at the farm befor maisie n oscar finely tied the knot n that lil party almost led to a fite. twuz the same ole party with differnt folks attendin. we had too much beer n too much of theevil weed. we had the bonfire out at the firespot. virgil n oscar gut verr drunk, so drunk that they tole eli to shut up whenever he tride to preech at em bout sin n sex n all, witch he wuz so sprized that they wood say innythang that he deecided he wood walk home. by then even dale dint offer to walk with him till eli insisted. dint nobidy offer to drive him, not even brew or maisie.

then the fite broke out, witch twuznt much of a fite n happend thisaway. after we had run out of beer out by the fire spot, oscar n virgil sed we needed to git back to the house whar they wuz sum beer leftover. so we gut back thar n virgil wuz showin his beehind by playin the musick way too loud n then losin his balance till he fell into the stereo n made the needle scrape acrosst the recurd n make a god awful sound. then twuz so quite nobidy knew whut to do. maisie wonted to go n gut up to try to pull oscar along, but he sed she orta be keerful ifn she knew whut wuz good fer her. so she sat back down n lit a nuther cigarette.

twuz then virgil tuck it into his hed to baptize the weddin cuple. he stood up n pored sum beer on oscars hed, witch oscar tole him he better be keerful his ownself, but oscar wuz laffin. then virgil went at maisie n i wuz a lil sprized at myself whenever i stood up n tole him he wuznt about to pore no beer on maisie. it tuck him a mint to git whut i wuz a'sayin n then he wonted to push me aside, but i pushed him till he fell back onto the coffee table, witch it collapsed under his weight n made everbidy laff. thang wuz, he had been a'dancin on that same coffee table rite after he had turned up the musick too loud, but it dint brake then. he wuz verr riled by that point n wonted to know did i wonta fite. i laffd n sed twuz verr funny. then he threw his beer at me, but i ducked n it hit the wall n foamed out all over the rug, witch that made mj so mad she slapped him n tole him he needed to grow up. in sted, he went outside n clumb into their car n went to sleep. twuz the end of the party.

nex day he called me up to ast me to splain whut had happend. he dint even member nuthin, so i tole him he gut a lil drunk n went to sleep out in the car. he ast wuz he blacked out n i ast did he member how the coffee table gut busted n whenever he couldnt, i sed i reckoned he had blacked out on a counta twuz broke whenever i pushed him down on it. twuz one of the verr few times he add mitted he mite be havin a lil truble with his drankin n we ackshly menchuned alkyholics anonymus. but dint nuthin cum of it.

after all this, the weddin wuz whut at skool they wood call a 'anti-climax.' it happend on a saturdy afternoon n fack is, twuz beeyootiful. emily n liza n gretchen wuz bridesmaids n brew n virgil n i wuz ushers. brew wuz best man. we wuz a'wearin tuxes n emily wuz dressed in a bridesmaids dress, witch i dint hardly ever see her dressed in a dress, so twuz a bit of a treat. bof oscar n maisie wuz a lil hungover frum the nite befor, but the hole weddin wuz over befor ye could tell twuz a'goin on. oscar n maisie dint wont no recpshun on a counta they wuz a'goin to myrtle beech fer thar honeymoon n needed to git on the rode rite away. we all stood round makin small talk till mama sed we could borry her car ifn we wonted to git back to knoxville. she n daddy could cum by to pick it up the nex day.

on the ride back to knoxville, i ast emily not to take off the dress, lease not yet, but that jes led to a fuss n fite. why wuznt i happy with her jes the way she wuz. i tole her i lacked jes the way she looked whenever she wuz a wearin that dress n figgerd twood be fun -- but she innerupted n sed i wuz jes hopin fer a lil fantasy. i ast whut wuz rong with that? n later that evenin, we spent a few hours trine to catch up on our studies. we red side by side n dint even say a wurd. purt soon, i wuz back in the worl of wurries bout all the wurk i had to do fer skool. befor ye knew it, twuz a'gittin dark outside, so i sed i wuz a'goin to bed. by then, emily wuz a'wearin her knee socks n flannel shirt n she wonted to know ifn she should cum with me. i ast her why.

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