Thursday, July 29, 2004

life of buddy don, chaptur 125: bildin a fence

ye dun herd bout how fences makes fer good naybors n all. tiz a cleeshay to say it, but one of the thangs i larnt by a'studyin flossofy wuz how all the grate thoughts turnt out to be cumplex tellin of ole cleeshays. corse, tuther thang ye gut to know bout them grate cleeshays frum flossofy is how ye gut to larn em over n over agin.

mj n virgil wuz a'larnin em a nuthern of them cleeshays frum flossofy, witch thats the one bout, 'beware of whut ye wont on a counta yer lackly to git it.' a vershun of this wuz writ by ralph waldo emerson minny a year ago n furst time i red it, i figgerd twuz a wunderful thang on a counta i speckted it meant i wood be a grate riter n git rich off my ritins n all. corse, it dint eggzackly wurk out thataway, but it kep me a'goin. i reckun its gut me a'goin still, even if gittin whut i wonted turnt out to be a lil differnt frum whut i speckted it to be.

corse, virgil had dun herd it, but that dint mean he unnerstood it no better i dun. virgil had finely gut his degree n thay wuz eggspecktayshuns. he tuck im a job over at one of them injuneerin places in oak ridge that wuznt eether department of energy or union carbide. i dont recolleck eggzackly witchn twuz, whuther ortec or tennelec or whut, but he gut im a job as a injuneer n ye mite coulda thought a reglar paycheck n all wooda made folks such as mj happy, but twernt to be.

turnt out she had hopes that his job couldnt make cum true n she blamed us all fer it one way or tuther. thang is, i dint real eyes how upset she wuz bout the land on a counta thay wuznt no way me n emily could live out thar. we dint have no car, we had to be at skool everday, but mos importunt, thay wuznt no place fer us to put our thangs. brew had moved liza in with him even tho he had dun forbid me frum havin susanna livin with me or gretchen livin with him back whenever they wuz together. once he moved liza in, thay wuznt no room fer us.

we wuznt cumplainin nun about it n dint thank innybidy else wooda been, but we wuz rong.

i cum to find out thangs wuz gittin ugly out thar a lil while after eli gut outta the v.a. hospitull in johnson city. he wuz ritin lack a fool n i did my bes to git im to read me his stuff. twernt easy. he wood teez me with it, a'pullin out a sheaf of papers, all of em poems far as i could tell, n readin me one or two of em n then puttin the stack away. twuz frustratin, but thay aint no point in cumplainin bout whuther a crazy person is acttin reasonabull.

innywho, eli gut to whar he wuz sweet on a sangle muther name of patsy. she had a cuple kids that wuz always hungry n she dint have no job n eli had his v.a. check ever munth so he tuck a noshun bout movin in with her sos he could hep pay the rent n git her back on her feet. all them callus basturds frum the farm lacked to joke bout him finely 'gittin him sum,' but that jes made im mad on a counta he claimed twuz a platonick relayshunship. i bleeve im now n i bleeved him then. it botherd him how folks could jes make up thar minds whut he wuz a'doin n spout thar bleefs to innybidy with ears.

so it cum a day when he needed sum hep movin in. twuz summer brake, so i volunteerd to do whut i could. he borried mamas car n cum to git me. bout the time we wuz ready to leeve fer oak ridge the fone rung n twuz mj. whenever she wood call ye on the telefone, she woodnt never say hello or nuthin lack that. in sted she wood ast ye whut ye wuz a'doin. i had anserd the fone n when she ast me that, i splaind how i wuz heppin eli move. she ast me why dint i hep her move, witch twuz a sprize on a counta her livin on the farm. turnt out she wuz maddern a wet hen over virgils job n drankin n the farm n how her life hadnt turnt out lack she wonted it to. n wurse of all, she wuz bout to turn thurty years ole n dint thank she wuz wharever she had hoped she wood be by time she turnt so ole.

that conversayshun led to a hole round of belly achin by near everbidy that had ever been near the farm. mj wonted to sell. virgil dint. we dint. brew dint. but they all wonted mj to shut up to whar we wuz all cunsidderin it. so we had us a fambly council, witch the idee wuz to figger out whut we wuz a'gone do, but all we dun wuz git our list of greevuntses wurked up. i caint thank of no better way to show jes how divided we wuz than to give ye the list of upsets fer each person.

but furst twuz funny how we couldnt find a time when all of us could be thar at once. so we wood go out to the farm whenever we could n the summer projeck wuz to bild us a solid oak fence sos mj could cunsidder gittin her a horse. now aint that crazy? we wuz trine to git a council meetin together sos we could talk bout gittin rid of the farm but whut we dun wuz bild a fence. twuz a lot of hard wurk. furst twood be me n virgil a wurkin, diggin post holes n all. then twood be me n brew. then virgil n brew. mj wood stand on the side cumplainin as long as she could bleeve innybidy wuz listnin n then she wood git mad whenever she figgerd out nobidy wuznt payin her no mind. by the end of the job, she wuz pitchin in n heppin n whenever the day cum when we could all git together, she pitched in n hepped drive the las nail. once twuz dun, we wuz all proud n figgerd whuther we sold or not, the land shore looked a lot better with that fine fence running long the rode at the top of our holler.

then we had our meetin n gut to listin everbidys greevuntses.

mj wuz maddest so she gut to go furst. (1) she wuz tired of livin in the lil house. (2) she figgerd virgil orta be makin more money. (3) she claimed me n emily wuz takin add vantage of everbidy who lived on the farm, benefittin finanshully but not havin to do nun of the wurk, witch everbidy laffed on a counta i had dun the mos on bildin the fence. but truth wuz, we lived n wurked in knoxvull n dint git out to the farm much, speshly since emily never felt lack she wuz welcum thar. (4) brew dint have no rite to have the big house. (5) brew dint have no rite to have liza livin with him on a counta he never let susanna nor gretchen nor emily live thar. (6) me n emily woodnt never live on the farm agin n wuz jes trine to milk it fer all twuz wurth. (7) virgil wuz livin in a dream worl n dint have no innerest in her idee of startin a anteek shop or a baby cloze shop or a horse stabull. (8) nuthin ever gits dun at the farm, witch we laffd bout thatn too. (9) shes thurty years ole.

virgil went nex. (1) he never wonted a horse nor a fence nor a barn for a horse. (2) he felt lack he had ever rite to have as minny car carcases out in his frunt lawn as he could fit thar. (3) me n emily orta be more innerested in the folks livin at the farm even ifn we wuznt speckted to live thar or even wurk thar, speshly emily. we ast whar wood we live ifn we wonted to move out on the farm n thay wuznt no anser, so we thanked virgil fer statin the obveeus. (4) he dont lack wurkin alone n he dint wonta shar nun of his possesshuns nor innybidy elses, witch he wuz talkin bout his tools bein used fer wurk on the farm. (5) he wuz sick of mjs bitchin. (6) he sed it felt lack brew looked down on im n wood druther pay to rent sumwhars else than live in the lil house. (7) he thought liza wuz overly selfish.

brew cum nex. (1) he claimed he never gut no privacy on a counta how mj wuz up at his house ever spar mint. he wonted mj to git a job sos she wood have sumthin else to do besides countin her greevuntses n invadin his privacy. (2) he claimed virgil wuz livin in a fantasy worl of dreams he never wurked on, witch he called him the king of never never land n lacked to whistle 'the impossibull dream' whenever virgil wuz splainin sum of his inventchuns. he called it virgils theme song. (3) he wuz sick of livin in a place that looked lack twuz a junkyward on a counta all the used cars n pieces of cars sittin roun all over the place a'waitin fer virgil to wurk on em. (4) he wonted to clear at least 3 acres for pastchur but he knew virgil wuz agin it. virgil sed he dint thank we should ever cut a sangle tree, period. even if he agreed to let sum trees git cut, he wuznt a'gone hep nun. (5) virgil never heps out on no wurk, witch everbidy laffed agin on a counta the fence. corse, he wuz outvoted 2 to 1 by brew n me, so he sed he wuz wurkin agin his will. (6) he figgerd liza wuz way too selfish. (7) he thought virgil wuz a'drankin too much, witch mj sed she thought the same thang n wonted that added to her list, which everbidy started into yellin n sayin how twuz too late to add to her list since she gut to go furst. she sed she thought he drunk too much even ifn we woodnt put it on her list. (8) he sed he couldnt tell whuther he wuz havin trubles in his relayshunship with liza on a counta problems in the relayshunship or on a counta the stoteses, witch in case ye dun fergot, virgil n mjs las name wuz stotes. mj hollerd out how she wonted to add to her list agin on a counta she had the same prolbem only the questchun wuz whuther us duncans wuz ruinin thar marrg.

liza had her own list. (1) she figgerd me n emily wuz a'cheatin tutherns by not wurkin a nuff on the land. she claimed we had dun moved away of our own free choice, witch emily verr quitely sed she hadnt never been allowed to live thar n the hole room gut reel quite over that. (2) she wontd to git brew to sell outn move away frum his fambly on a counta how she bleeved he woodnt never feel secure nor happy neethur so long as his relatives kept a'holding him down. (3) she claimed to have the same cuncerns bout thar relayshunship brew had, witch she figgerd mj wuz makin it impossibull. (5) she agreed bout brews cumplaints bout havin no privacy. (6) she sed virgil wuznt nuthin but a jerk fer dranking so much n fer bein so honest bout his wishin he could have sex with other women. (6) she hated mj, period. (7) she sed mj had dun spoilt lil donovan, witch everbidy ceptn virgil n mj thought that.

they let emily have a say, even ifn she hadnt never been allowed to live thar n hadnt had nuthin to do with the land ceptn fer heppin to mke our part of the land payment ever munth. (1) she never wonted no farm. (2) she resented havin to bild a fence fer brew n liza n mj. (3) she figgerd that livin on the land should be a nuff compensayshun fer a'wurkin on it. (4) she dint never git to live thar, felt uncomfertabull whenever i made her go out thar n she resented bein criticized fer not goin out to the farm moren she dun, speshly since twuz generly jes a fuss n fite by the time we ever gut thar.

then cum my list. (1) i figgerd dint nobidy have no rite to criticize us fer not livin on the farm on a counta thay wuznt no place fer us to live thar. (2) i resented tutherns makin it sound as if we wuz a lie-bilty to live on the land. i ast em all did they wonted to move off n pay rent sumwhars else? (3) i wuz sick of mjs bitchin, virgils drankin n dreamin n doin nuthin, brews cumpalinin bout me not a'wurkin out thar n lize bein so selfish. (4) i dint wonta sell the farm atall, but i wuz so sick of the fussin n fitin that i wood sell jes to git out of it. 

after everbidy had dun stated thar lists, thangs gut reel quite. finely mj sed sumthin bout lease we gut us a new fence. sumbidy else sed we orta go take a look at it. purty soon, we wuz a'sittin atop that fence, talkin bout how strong twuz. the sun wuz a'settin, so brew sed sumthin bout we orta make a fire out at the fire spot. mj sed she had jes harvested sum of the bes of theevil weed she had ever growd. virgil ast me n brew did we wonta go git sum beer n we sed why not. liza sed she n emily could go git the fire a'goin.

we all jumped down offn that fence n started walkin back tords the house. then mj tuck to gigglin n that gut emily to chuckle, witch that tuck everbidy by sprize n that made allus laff.

twuz one of the bes parties we ever had out thar.

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