Sunday, December 07, 2003

life of buddy don, chaptur 79:

since ye live yer life lookin into a futchur that ye cant see, ye dont notice how makin one lil change is a'gone change everthang ferever. twuz so when i broke up with susannah n tuck up with emily. ye might coulda thought twooda been jes insertin emily whever susannah had been befor. twood all be out on the farm n the same folk wood be makin thar same reglar pearances here. but lookin back, ye kin see how die-reckly one lil change led to everthang changin.

nuther thang ye start to git as ye go long in life is how ye cant git thangs back to how they wuz. ever. n thats probly lucky.

innywho, along cum the summer of 1978 n i had to git me a job. i figgerd i wuz a'gone need to save a lil more money to pay fer everthang once the fall quarter gut a'goin, so i started lookin fer a job, witch i thought fer a bit i wood git a job as a ice cream man, but thatn fell thru. in sted, i gut a job at a place called the pantry, witch thays a strang of em over in oak ridge n round east tennessee in genrul.

lack i say, i wuz hopin to git a job as a ice cream man n i had a date fer the intervu on a mundy in june. that weekend i wuz over at emilys n she wuz talkin bout how she had to go to looseburg that weekend, witch thats whar she cum frum. she had always tuck the bus n one evenin when we wuz in the afterglow of the bedroom exercise, i ast her did she wont me to drive her down. ye mite coulda thought twuz christmas she wuz so eggcited, so we gut in the car on a saturdy mornin n drove down thar n i gut to meet her folks n all the gang down thar, witch ill git to splainin bout them die-reckly.

i stayed as late as i could on sundy n then deecided i wood drive back early mundy n still git thar on time but while i wuz a drivin back it cum a blowin rain the lack of witch ye aint never seen. twuz so awful i had to pull over n when it kep on i drove to a shoneys n sat drankin coffee till i knew twuz too late to git that ice cream man job. n watchin that rain, i figgerd it mite not be the kinda job i wood need.

twuz oscar clowder that gut me to apply at the pantry. he n brew wuz bes friends frum whenever they wuz both furst in robertsville junior high. they both luved fishin n wurkin n hikin in the smokies gittin high n all, only oscar lacked drank n brew lacked smoke. he had him a job at the new york avenue store so i went up thar n applied n purty soon they ast me to drive over to knoxvull to take a lie detector test.

i drove over to a place out kingston pike n the lil guy thar hooked me up to a nest of wires n started in to astin questchuns bout whuther i had ever stole thangs or cheated or lied n all. he ast me did i git hi n i sed i lacked a lil jack daniels now n agin n that i had smoked pot but wuznt a'doin it then. i wuz a lil wurried bout sayin that but twuz the literull truth that i wuz not smokin it then tho i wood smoke a lil later on that same day. i dint mentchun that n i past thar tes. twuz jes the one questchun bout drugs, witch that wood change to be thonly thang they carrd bout later on.

whenever i furst gut the job, they wuz movin me frum store to store n shif to shif lack crazy. twuz hard to git on a schedule when ye wood wurk one store frum 3 pm till 7 am n then the nex nite a nuther store frum 11 pm till 7 am n then a stretch of three day shifs in a row. i wurked twenty strate days when i started, tho mos of them days wuz at nite on a counta i had ast to have midnite shifs to i could take a german class that wuz startin my thurd week wurkin thar.

lucky fer me, ye mite could say, thay wuz a incident up at the store known as deathtrap, witch thats the one on the corner of illinois avenue n highland n ifn ye know much bout oak ridge, ye know tiz at the top of the hill on the way out of oak ridge hedded tords oliver springs. tiz near that whar i furst gut hi n twuz at that same innerseckshun whar becky turner wuz killt when that drunk run the red lite into thar car.

the incident wuz whar sumbidy cum in with a knife n robbed the nite man n cut him up sum kinda way, only later on they figgerd twuz the nite man his ownself who set it up with a frien n i wuz tole to call the po-leece rite away ifn i saw his accomplus or his car, witch that gut me to know bout callin the po-leece, witch ye gut to do ever now n then at a place name of deathtrap.

once i had me a reglar store, thangs wuz a lil easier. emily couldnt hardly stand not to be round me so we gut in the habit whar she wood sleep in my bed out at the farm, on a counta how twuz much closer to whar i wuz a'wurkin, n i wood sleep at her place in knoxvull after i went to class n all. in the mornin i wood pick her up n we wood drive in together jes as we wood drive out to the farm in the evenin.

so twuz that she gut to know mj n virgil n jill n brew n liza, brew's new gurlfrien, witch she moved in bout the same time me n emily gut together. mj wuz pregnunt with donavan at the time n emily lacked talkin bout that on a counta she never wonted to be no mother but she wuz fastenated by the topick.

thang wuz, i dint hardly have no time fer innybidy at the farm ceptn on weekends, n even then, i wuz lack as not with emily overn knoxvull or even in looseburg, so i dint hardly see the folks out at the farm. thang i dint know then wuz i never wood agin, lease not with me a'livin thar reglar.

that job wuz quite a eggsperients. i larnt a lot. we caterd to them that needed to satisfy sum cravin quick, generly sumthin they fergot or they wooda dun bought it sumwhar it dint cost so much. our main bizness wuz in feedin bad habits: gas, girly magazines, candy, soda, bad sandwiches fer the microwave n mos of all, cigarettes n beer.

twuz over the las item i had the mos truble. law in oak ridge at that time wuz whar ye couldnt sell beer after 3 am, n woodnt ye know it, ifn ye cater to a crowd that has fergot thangs, yer bound to git customers that dun fergut the time, so here they cum at 10 after 3 astin could ye bend the rules n sell em jes a quart or even jes a can, but i woodnt ever do it, not even to a huge fella wearin overhauls with a cunfederate flag across the chest n carryin a knife in his lef hand. he wuz upset n held up his knife, so i picked up the phone n dialed the po-leece, witch that made im madder to whar he jammed the knife down into the counter n starrd at me while i starrd back n served the dispatcher his helpin of yessir n nosir n thats right till the guy grabbed his knife n tuck the beer back to the cooler.

after that i gut in the habit of closin the store at 3 am fer fifteen mints sos i could take go take my daily dump n by time i cum out, twuz too far frum the line fer innybidy to baig me to bend the rules fer em.

bad thang bout that place wuz how twuz only six or seven blocks frum whar susannah lived. that mint she had to drive past it everday. we had broke up n all, but we sed we wood stay friens n even see each other now n then. she had half the crops in the garden so she had a rite to cum out to the farm, n fack is, she wuz out thar as often as i wuz. odd thang bout that wuz how virgil gut to whar he wuz feelin simpathy fer her in sted of me even tho he dint lack her whenever i wuz with her. but he also lacked emily a lot n he wood tell me he thought thay wuz sumthin fetchin bout her, witch that wuz thonly time i ever herd him use the wurd 'fetchin.'

so twuz jes a matter of time till the two of em met n it happend one evenin when i wuz on my way to wurk. we had stopped by the farm so i could take a bath n emily could stay the nite. susannah wuz alreddy thar, gittin sum food frum the garden n visitin virg n mj. so when we drove up n i saw that orange vw, my stumach wuz doin flips. it reminded me of whut gurdjieff had writ bout thar bein various kinds of intelligents inside ye, yer rashunull intelleck, yer spirtchul intelleck, yer emoshunull intelleck. n thang wuz, yer spirtchul intelleck wuz quickes n smartes, but twuz rare that ye wood listen toot. yer emoshunull intelleck wuz much quickern yer rashunull n twuznt always rashunull, but it made ye do thangs. n that gut me to wonderin on a counta even tho i wuz in luv with emily n wonted to spend ever mint with her, i wuz also still in luv with susannah n whenever i wood see her i wood feel jes as warm n eager to put my arms roun her as ever. i couldtn splain it, but twuz lack gurdjieff had writ bout that emoshunull intelleck. twernt rashunull, but twuz verr strong.

how kin a human thank such thoughts so quick? i dont know, but that hole thought n more run thru my mind in the instunt after i spotted that vw. i almos wisht i could disappear, but we went in n purty soon i wuz leavin the two of them to git acquainted while i wuz takin my bath.

after that susannah wood cum by the store ever so often in the mornin. n i had dinner over at her place on my way to wurk, even takin a bath thar, while emily wuz sleepin at the farm. twuz all a'wurkin out then on a counta how she had a boyfrien name of jeff or joe or sumthin.

twuz a time of grate intensity. me n emily wuz bout as in luv as ye kin git. twuz as if she had discuverd sex fer the verr furst time, witch ima gone address that topick at grater length by n by. mj wuz out to here by then but she wuz still wurkin in the garden. she wuz a'gone have the child deeliverd on the farm with a midwife name of sumatra kham, witch mj n virgil wuz agin usin hospitulls on a counta how they tuck the child frum the mother n thay bleeved it should start nursin rite away, witch sumatra kham splained how ifn that happens the after birth cums rite out. n they dint wont thar child havin no silver nitrate put in its eyes, witch twuz the practiss to put it in the eyes of a newborn to perteck agin infeckshun. so thay had it all planned out how the child wood be born in the lil house, n the plannin fer that gut maisie n gretchen n susannah n liza n emily n barbie n mos all the women roun about to hang roun n tell how they wonted to cum watch.

then susannah n her frien jeff or joe broke up n she gut to whar she wood cum by the store to stand n talk durin the mornin brakefuss rush, trine to git me to cum back. twuz a temptayshun on a counta how susannah wuz a verry independent person n twood be a much easier life. twernt so with emily who needed lots of tenchun n wonted to be with me ever mint if possibull.

on tuther hand, emily gut my juices flowin n my mind racin. she wonted to do everthang i did. we could talk fer hours bout books n histry n flossofy. she wuz verr intents. one evenin she gut a lil too much likker in her n dragged me down to the cathlick church, witch she had cunverted to cathlick while a'studyin the middle ages, only the cunvershun dint take fer long n the proof of how it dint wuz how she wonted us to go into the chapel n take off all our close n pray. twernt sumthin i wood do but i sprized her when we gut home by takin her in the hallway whar innybidy could cum upon us.

both women had thar appeal, in other wurds. i member feelin i wuz bein pulled in two twixt em, even ifn i wuz only touchin emily. it gut to whar i wuz thankin bout witch of four paths i wood take. i could go on with emily n have susannah fer a frien. i could give up emily n git back together with susannah, witch she had dun deecided she wood give up everthang she had been so adamant bout befor. (a strange thang i have noticed bout folks is how they fite till the end fer thar side. then when sumthin is over n they dint win, thar reddy to give in when tiz too late.)

or i could give em both up. or, in a fantasy only the greedy mind of a man could entertain fer morn bout three mints, i could have em both, live with the two of em. i knew susannah had been curious, as they say, n emily had dun thought she wuz a'givin up men altogether. corse, that wuznt nuthin but a fantasy n twood a turnt into a nightmare quick a nuff.

but it cum a time whar i felt lack darlene whenever i wuz roun susannah. twernt that i dint luv her, but that i couldnt be with her, witch thats eggzackly whut darlene had been a'tellin me n i had hated her fer it till the mint i felt the same thang bout susannah. seem lack she could read my mind the furst time that happend n after that, she quit trine.

then on a thursday afternoon in august, twuz the 9th, the phone woke me up early, bout 5 in the afternoon. i could tell by emilys half of the conversayshun twuz time fer mj to deeliver her baby, so i gut up n dressed n we drove out tords the farm jes a quick as the clinton hiway wood take us.

when we gut thar, mj wuz sittin in the livin room of her house, entertainin everbidy. she wuz in the prime of health n dint eat no meat nor drank nor smoke nor nuthin. but she did have a grate purple bud of theevil weed that she had grown fer herself n she sed she wuz a'gone lite it jes as soon as she finished deelivern the baby, witch she wuz havin cuntrackshuns even then. twuz only the two apprentiss midwives n virgil n emily n me that wuz thar then, but the res kep a cumin, furst barbie n susannah n then liza n then maisie with gretchen, witch they both wurked fer the same dentist n had gut to be bes friens. purty soon brew n oscar showed up.

then mj sed she figgerd twuz time, so she n the midwives n emily n virgil went into the nex room n we waited. n then emily fainted n they called me so i gut to see it. twuz a big sprize how mj wuznt a'lyin on her back lack i always figgerd thay dun. in sted, she wuz hunkerd down lack she wuz bout to take a dump, n purty soon, ye could see a tiny pair of feet peekin thru n then she split whar the apeasiotomy had been dun fer jill n a bloody bag of child begun to ooze out. i wuz holdin one of her legs n gut a purty good look till the midwives tuck hold of the child n nex thang i saw wuz lil donovan cuverd in blood a'lyin on his mamas stumach n alreddy nursin at her breast. n ye could see whar he woodnt take his eyes offn his mamas n she wuznt movin hers neethur.

they wuz lack that fer the longest till the midwives started crowin bout here it cums n shore a nuff, thar oozed out of mj a buckets worth of bloody afterbirth, witch everbidy kep sayin how twooda takin six weeks to cum out ifn the child had been deeliverd in a hospitull.

twernt but a nuther half hour till mj wuz up n walkin roun. n shore a nuff, she tuck that big old bud n started to roll up a number only randy fox had gut thar by then n everbidy knew he wuz the bes at it, so he made a gigantic number, biggern a cigar, n twuz passed all round.

purty soon twuz quite with nuthin but the sounds of lil donovan, witch he wuz sorta named fer me, sucklin at his mamas breast n liza rockin in the rockin char n jill talkin baby talk to her lil brother.

then randy fox ast mj could she brang the child up whar he could see everbidy. she dun it n the plop it made when she pulled him offn her breast made everbidy laff, n that made the child cry as she held him up. he wuz over nine pounds n had a full hed of hair n he wuz a crine fer all he wuz wurth.

eli walked in jes then. he went over n put his face rite on donovans, nose to nose, witch donovan stopped crine rite away. 'yew know whar yew are, lil sucker?' he kissed his forehed. 'ye dun made it to the deathtrap.'

twuz tipicull eli, but i made a joke out of it by sayin i had to git to my own deathtrap.

'thats rite,' oscar clowder sed, 'yer a wage slave, aint ye?'

'aint we all?' sed randy fox.

'then ye die.'

eli sed, 'thats rite. tiz the deathtrap.'

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