Thursday, February 02, 2006

life of buddy don, chapter 146: the strange summer of 1983

the summer of 1983 wuz one of the strangest of my life. fer one thang, i dint half to wurk or attend skool all summer long, witch that give me plenty of time to rite n read a lot of novels n do all them other thangs i kept tellin myself wuz whut i wonted to do with my life. as it happens, i hardly writ a wurd innywhar, even in my diary. tiz sumthin i have notissd bout myself, witch i only kin git myself to rite whenever i barely have time to do innythang atall. but i did git a lot of readin dun n watched a lot of baseball on tv.

but that wudnt whut made it strange. nor wuz it the fack that twuz a time of relativ prosperty fer us on a counta how me n brew sold our share of the farm to virgil n mj. i wont bore ye with all the fussn n fitin we had to get thru before me n emily had our share. tiz a nuff to say that mj suspected us of cheatin her ever step of the way till the deal wuz dun, witch she felt she beat us then only we dint keer much. twuz a nuff to have it over with n to be dun with all the trubles ownin land together brung us.

corse havin a lil more money than emily figgerd on us gittin wuz a lil strange. we bought us one of them money market cds at 10.09% intrest n agreed to spend a exter $500 frum the deal as 'mad money', witch the mane thang we dun wuz git us a stereo that wurked after having a mono thang emily had gut fer christmus whenever she wuz in jr hi skool. we had cumpletely missd groups lack the police n the talking heads n the eurhythmics n even prince and michael jackson, witch we started catchin up rite away. that summer we musta listend to thriller n synchronicity n sweet dreams a million times.

in them days we wuz big baseball fans, witch emily rooted fer them houston astros on a counta bein sweet on alan ashby n i wuz a lifelong philadelphia phillies fan. in them days, ye could see ever braves game on tv thanks to the superstayshun n ye could see them cubs playin ever afternoon on a counta wgn bein broadcast everwhar n them cubs not playin nite games at home. so we spent minny a afternoon readin books n watchin baseball, witch ye could cumbine em by readin till the big plays cum up.

but that dint make thangs strange, jes nice. nor wuz it the fack that we house sat fer the morgans fer about a munth, tho twuz a lil odd to be livin over in west knoxvull in a fine house with a verr shy cat.

nor wuz it the fack that so minny of the old friends we had in graduwait skool wuz slippin away. frum that class i furst had in 1980 thay wuznt but a handfull left in town n i dint even notiss when most of em slipped away.

but everbidy notissd whenever johnny mayhew tuck it into his hed to move on up to new york city, witch we all kindly wonted to do sumthin lack that, lease me n bud rankin talked a lot bout a'doin it. problem fer me wuz how emily wuz still in the early phases of her docterutt n she wudnt about to transfer to no other skool, even ifn bof her majer perfessers sed she orta not git all three of her deegrees frum ut. we had us a lil party fer johnny whenever he lef n martha townsend give im a big sendoff that almost made im wonta stay when she spent the nite with im fer the furst time in munths.

i hated to see johnny go on a counta he wuz gittin to be my bes friend. he wuz verr good fer me on a counta how he lacked to wurk out n woodnt let me skip nun. after he wuz gone i wurked out with bud rankin ceptn bud wuz jes as lackly to wonta burn a number as lift weights.

n speakin of bud rankin, twuz along in this time that the two of us gut closer on a counta how he wuz brakin up with his wife. i wuz thonly person he knew that had dun been thru a deevorce, so he wonted me to splain everthang bout em, witch i tole im as far as i could tell each one wuz differnt, but we deevoted minny a walk all over the ut campus n downtown knoxvull n the smokey mountains jes goin over all the feelins n plans n cuncerns n fears he had. i tole im i wuz no eggspurt, but he wudnt lookin to hear whut i had to say as much as to have sumbidy to tell his world of woes to, witch that wuz fine by me.

in sum ways it seemd to me that bud wuznt bein fair with ginny on a counta he dint give her much attenchun n dint seem to preciate the fack that she wuz the one puttin im thru skool. corse, thays at lease two sides to ever story n thay wuz one thang i never tole im, witch twuz how randy fox had been seein ginny on the sly fer a while. he claimd she wuz verr hot n verr frustrated. twuz odd knowin how this whenever we wood have a group meetin the two of them wood step outside sos they could smoke, witch nobidy dint thank nuthin of it since dint innybidy else smoke much. but i figgerd whuther he knew it or not, bud had reason to be upset.

but whut made that summer so strange wuz how ever time ye turnt around, thar wuz cassandra worthy. seems lack emily n cassandra had plenty to talk bout, but twernt only that. me n emily lacked to go to flea markets to look fer used books n purty soon twuz normal fer us to have cassandra along with us. cassandra wood find a way to see me or us near everday. she mite call n ast wood i git her a notebook sos she could keep a diary of her own, witch i wood do that fer most inny student, so i dun it fer her n whenever i drove over to kc to drop it off, we wood 'conversate' fer as long as she could stay away frum her job, generly standin out in the hall of the add ministrayshun bildin.

but that wernt all. she wood arrange with emily to git me to take her n sharon worth to the movies. i member how we seen flashdance that summer with cassandra sittin twixt me n sharon. she had a teasin way of grabbin my hand or slappin my thigh n i half to add mitt, twuz as well played a dance of seduckshun as ever i seen or herd tell of.

then whenever cassandras grandma died n her daddy daniel turner gut out fer the funerull of his mama, she ast emily wood we or i be willin to drive her down to atlanta sos she could be thar. emily wuz too busy to go her ownself, but she agreed that i could do the drivin n cassandra made a point of brangin along her roommate milagros.

twuz a verr long hard day with almost nuthin to show fer it. i couldnt figger out whut cassandra wuz trine to pull with me. she dint seem to go a sangle day without findin a way fer us to be in the same place at the same time, but thay wuznt never no time that we wuz alone together ceptn when i had tuck her home a cuple times befor i wuz hardly add mittin i had a crush on er. so twuz hard to figger why she made milagros cum along on this trip, witch i wuz hopin mayhap we wood talk bout thangs durin that trip. but we dint. we jes gut in the car verr early in the mornin, had us a lil fuss n fite bout me not lettin her drive n then a sullen silents fer the hole trip.

once we gut thar, a swarm of her half sisters cum out n tole her she better not let daniel see 'that white man' with her, witch that jes meant me n milagros had to go sum place else to spend the time of the funerull, witch we went to the mall n then to git sum coffee at a mack donalds. then we rode back with a verr angry cassandra, witch turnt out her daddy dint even notiss her or say a wurd to her. meanwhile thay wuz minny a nuther slite give her by other members of the fambly, speshly hanna her stepmamma. it made fer a verr tiresum trip fer bof me n milagros.

twuz strange to git home after bein on the rode n sittin behind the wheel frum 5:30 am till near midnite on a trip that emily setup only to find emily waitin up to let me know she wuz as mad as a wet hen. i wuz too tired to do innythang but let her fuss at me befor i ast her why had she let me go? her anser wuz a nuther bit of a sprize: she had eggspeckted me to say no, to know twernt sumthin i orta do but she shouldnt have to be the one to say 'no' to cassandra. thang wuz, twernt but a few days after this till we wuz over at cassandras fer dinner. agin, twuz sumthin emily set up or mayhap i should say twuz sumthin cassandra ast emily to attend n emily agreed.

that hole summer i never could be shore whar emily stood on the topick of cassandra worthy. as ye mite coulda notissd, emily wuz sweet on martha townsend n had fantasies bout thar bein a threesum with her. twuz a topick of stories i wood whisper into emilys ear whenever we wuz sparkin back in the bedroom. so twuz only natcherull that we wood discuss the topick of cassandra as the third party, witch thay wudnt no way eethur one of us figgerd cassandra would stand such a thang. i member how we wuz discussin this one time out at the alcoa hiway flea market. i looked across the way to see cassandra lookin thru a pile of books n wundern whut twuz about her that attrackted me so much. i couldnt splain it atall since she wudnt the type that had ever attracted me, not even amung black women, witch i had only jes begun to larn how to see em n see how purty they kin be. but emily dint feel no sexual attrackshun to her atall even ifn she did find her a cumpellin personalty.

a nuther odd thang bout all this wuz how emily reackted to the hole thang whenever it cum to sex. one of the issues twixt us regardin sex (besides me wontin more of it than she did) wuz how i wished i could git her to wear sumthin to bed besides her flannel shirt n knee socks n such. why couldnt she git sum stockins? or a sexy nitegown? or even a skirt? but that always led to a fuss n fite that tuck us cumpletely away frum sex, so after a while i quit trine.

so twuz odd how the nex day after i had tuck cassandra n milagros down to atlanta, i cum back frum a wurkout follerd by a number with bud rankin to find her wearin that same see-thru blouse she had wonted to wear to see her grad stoodent countsler carroll brightman ... with no bra ... n a skirt with sum short white socks n a pair of sandals with two inch heels ... n she had a few lengths of rope that she wonted me to use. twuz one of them afternoons that ye dont never fergit, that wood turn frum memry into fantasy as it grew older n gut shined up by my maginayshun.

i member how the next day i gut a call frum cassandra astin wood i brang her a book of poetry by sylvia plath, witch that wuz emilys favert n cassandra knew it. i wonted to tell her i wuz busy n even gut started whenever i seen emily lookin thru the books n befor i could say much of nuthin, she had found an exter copy of ariel, witch she tole me i could give it to cassandra to keep.

n that rite thar wuz whut wuz so strange bout that summer: i couldnt never figger out whuther emily hated cassandra or me or neethur or jes whut she felt, witch not knowin eggzackly whut yer wife is thankin aint all that strange. knowin shes thankin so minny cunflickin thangs, speshly bout a nuther woman that she knows her husbin has a crush on, thats whut wuz so strange.

1 comment:

red molly said...

OMG...I am really behind. I have been working way too hard; I just realize you posted another chapter. Something to look forward to for the weekend reading. Thank you Sir.