Friday, June 10, 2005

life of buddy don, chaptur 140: dont bitch on me

tiz a fack me n emily had us a spate of fussin n fitin over whut job i wuz a'gone take, but once we deecided twood be kc, we give up all the fitin. twuz one of emilys minny fine qualties how once ye dun made up yer mind about sumthin, ye dont go on n on fussin n fitin bout it. ifn ye cum to her to fuss n fite bout sumthin that wuz dun settled, she wood say, 'dont bitch on me.'

twuznt long after the new quarter wuz to start that i wuz to have my 31st birthdy. i tole emily how i wonted to make a book out of them stories i had writ fer the group n call it 'beyond tijuana' n have it open with that poem, 'beyond tijuana.' twuznt eggzackly a new idee. bud rankin had made a simlar colleckshun n give it to me n jake dawes n johnny mayhew n billy stewart, witch bud called it 'Everbody Starts Somewhere.' i lacked the idee on a counta i wonted to do sumthin to mark the end of one period of life, that part whar i rote short stories, n git a nuthern a'goin, witch i dint have no good idee whut that wood be, but i wonted to do sumthin else.

as a way to make the dividin line publick, i deecided i wonted to give that book to a few folks i wood invite to my birthdy party. it tuck me a lil while to cum up with sum purty clean manuscrips, witch twooda been rite nice to have computers back then but we had to make do with typeriters n twuz hard to type a purrfeck manuscrip. but i scraped together twelve of em n put em together with 'beyond tijuana' sos i wood have thirteen titles, witch i always had a thang fer the number 13 bein as i wuz born on the 13th of januwairy.

corse ye caint hardly git nuthin fer free, so we gut to calculatin how much twood cost to make them books. turnt out we dint hardly have a nuff money without gittin into our savins n i knew bettern to start that fuss n fite on a counta emily dint bleeve savings wuz ever to be tuck out, jes putt in. but i had me sum grate friens, startin with billy stewart, witch he sold copiers n tole me he could take keer of the copyin costs.

then cum the bindin, witch i found i could git paper bound (leatherette, they call it) fer $2.50 per book n i had ten books to make, witch i called mama n tole her i wonted to borry a lil money but i couldnt say why on a counta how i wonted to sprize her. she give me $35 n sed she wooda give me money fer my birthdy innyway, so we could call it even. but billy wudnt satisfied with that n tole me he wood pay the differnts to git em hard bound, witch that cost $5.20 per book, so he putt in the exter money to git it dun.

my birthdy fell on a thursdy that year, so we skeduled the party fer the follerin saturdy, witch so happend we had a group meetin the nite befor n that ment we had two events at our place on two suckcessive nites. at the group meetin i wuz sprized to have a cuple thangs writ bout me, a poem by jake dawes name of 'The Entrepreneurship of Bud Duncan' n bud rankin red a poem name of 'The Doctor's Birthday.'

nex day wuz a purty tipicull day fer us. emily woke up n gut herself into a state by worryin whuther she could git everthang dun on time. i tuck my seat in a huge wing chair daddy give me n she crawled up in my lap n gut to crine. i held her fer a while n stroked her hed n talked bout how ifn she wuz to git a lil wurk dun that day, i wuz willin to bet she wood git to feelin better. after tellin me that woodnt wurk since she couldnt even git herself to go outdoors, she agreed we could go git us a bite at smokeys palace. once we wuz thar, twuz easier to go by the graduwait liberry than twuz to go home, so we went thar n she gut to checkin a cuple thangs in the refernts room n then she gut a cuple idees n purty soon, i could see i wuznt needed.

i gut dun jes in time to meet johnny n billy at the aquatick center sos we could wurk out. twuz a good day fer me on a counta i finely bench pressed 75 pounds, witch that dont sound lack much, but i only weighed 130 pounds n when i started, i wuz humiliated to larn that i couldnt bench press moren 50 pounds ten times in a row. so even tho taint lack them fellers that bench presses double thar weight, twuz a sine of my progress to git so hi. i wunder could i do that much now? i doubt it.

after we had finished thar, billy cum by our place whar we burnt us a cuple numbers n shared sum grate conversayshun bout marrg n such. then he drove me down to pick up them bound manuscrips. i spent the afternoon pagin em n makin sum las mint correckshuns. then i kindly cleaned up a lil n gut myself cleaned up n made a lil dinner once emily cum home, witch she had been wurried bout the house bein a mess, so twuz a grate thang i had dun tuck keer of that. she wuz a'lookin fer sumthin to wurry bout so i ast her could she go thru one of them manuscrips, witch she found a few more errors that we 'fixed' by ritin in the correckshuns.

the party gut started round 7:30 pm n seem lack mos everbidy gut thar at the same time. we had us a bunch. mama n daddy, witch they wuz sprized we wood have em over with our friens. millicent n willy bohr gut thar nex, witch i woodnt never have invited em but emily dun it befor i could tell her how i druther not have milly a'ruinin my party, but twuz too late. i dint have no cumplaints bout the rest of em: bud n ginny rankin, johnny mayhew, randy fox, martha townsend, jake dawes, virgil n mj, billy n lauren stewart n corse, me n emily. twuz a fine party, witch we listend to ut lose thar basketball game, eggchanged presents (i wuz sprized to find three bags of theevil weed rapped up in a poster of steve carlton), played bof the dickshunairy n poetry games, witch daddy wuz good in bof em but mama dint wonta play, drunk beer n smoked sum of that reefer, witch bud rankin rolled up bout half of it, n herd sum stories. i red 'slave of desire' n 'beyond tijuana' by request n bof jake n bud red them poems they writ bout me.

corse, twuznt all sweetness n lite. thay wuz a ugly moment whenever milly made a point of sayin to martha how nice her breast enhantsments had cum out, witch martha knew fer a fack that thonly person she had tole bout that wuz emily. twuz a hard thang to watch them two fussin n fitin when they had been such good friens fer so long. after a bit martha cum over to me to sorta flirt with 'the birthdy boy' n give her a chants to ast me whut had emily tole me, witch the sprize wuz i hadnt herd nuthin bout no breast enhantsment till milly purty much tole everbidy bout it.

martha wuz mad as a hornet till billy stewart joked with her n johnny n bud n me over a joint bout how milly dint have nuthin to enhants. he figgerd she wuz jealus bout how everbidy always wuz sweet on martha, witch quick as he sed it he cummenced to blushin till lauren wonted to know whut wuz a'goin on. johnny sed billy had add mitted bout how everbidy had a hardon fer martha, witch lauren laffed n sed she could see why ceptn she never had one. that made everbidy laff harder n purty soon milly lef n tuck will with her, witch mama n daddy tuck the oppertunty to leave out thar ownself.

ye mite could thank me n emily wooda had us a fuss n fite after that, but turnt out she dint lack milly tellin on her thataway. i count it as one of my grate moments of prudents that i dint pile on or say nuthin agin milly, even when martha joined the conversayshun. turnt out emily wonted to make it up to martha n they gut to talkin till martha wuz the last one to leave n befor she dun it, we had us a lil group hug, witch befor nuthin could happen martha joked bout how twuz a'gittin too hot in thar fer her. then whenever she gut to the door, she turnt round n sed to emily, ‘i never told a one of your secrets to anyone.' then she lef.

i wuz tempted to ast emily bout them secrets but furst i had to go pee n by the time i gut finished, emily wuz in the bedroom with the door clozed. i figgerd thay wuz truble ahead. i tapped on the door n tride to open it, but she hollerd at me to wait jes a mint. twuz wurth the wait on a counta she cum out a'wearin her pink dress. i wuz a lil sprized n tole her i had been about to ast her sumthin, but i couldnt recolleck whut twuz. she kissed me n ast me dint i wonta open my birthdy present, witch once i started untyin the bow to that dress i cumpletely fergot whut i wuz a'gone ast her.

we wuz up mos of the nite n seem lack we couldnt hardly git a nuff of each other. twuz one of them high points of life, that nite, but thangs turnt purty quick. i dun splaind how i tuck the full time job over at knoxvull collidge, but i dint real eyes till twuz time fer my febuwairy pay that i wuz whut they call 'temp full time,' witch that ment i woodnt git paid till the end of the quarter in march. dr streeter could see how it made me mad, so he promissed to git me sum money n he wuz as good as his wurd, ifn 30¢ on the dollar is yer definishun of sum money. as ye mite magine, thay wood be a fuss n fite whenever i splaind that to emily, witch she dint know when we wuz spozed to git paid n figgerd i wood tell her direckly.

befor i gut a chants to do that, i wuz attendin a staff meetin of the humanties department. i larnt i wood be able to move to a offus upstairs, witch that wuz nice. turnt out they needed my offus fer a nuther peeano practiss room, but it still seemed lack dr streeter wuz a'trine to make thangs rite by me.

but then he gut to sayin how the presdent of the collidge wonted a dramatick produckshun in the colston center fer the performin arts. as he wuz splainin that, i kep lookin round at everbidy in the room. dint look to me lack thay wuz innybidy to do no drama in that bunch. thay wuz mr larch, a white teacher of speech n sociology, witch mane thang he luved in life wuz jazz. thay wuz mr white, witch he wuz a white musick teacher n he had tride to git me to march agin aborshun with im n splaind how god wuz a'gone punish amurka fer murderin all them babies. it made im made whenever i sed i dint real eyes life begun till the breath of life wuz breathed into the baby once it cum out. i had a bible verse or two bout it, but that jes made im madder n he woodnt let me finish. but he kep after me even ifn he figgerd twuz a worthless cause. thay wuz dr tucker, witch he wuz a black histry teacher n dint agree with nuthin nobidy ever sed. thay wuz perfesser will the relijun teacher, witch the mane thang i member bout him is how he had such thick tufts of hair a'growin outta his ears to whar twuz amazin he could hear much of innythang. corse thay wuz miz esther james, witch she wuz the choir die-recktor n i figgerd she knew more bout thee-ater than innybidy else in that room, but she wuz a'shakin her hed to whar ye knew she had her anser reddy. thay wuz a few more, the voice teacher n the peeano teacher, but ye knew they wuznt a'gone do no thee-ater.

but befor the questchun gut anserd, the phone rung n purty soon dr streeter sed, 'let me put on mr. duncan. he is the most appropriate choice.' i wuz a bit sprized. mos appropriate choice fer whut? i tuck the phone n on tuther end wuz a woman name of wanda joyce, witch she tole me thay wuz a group of students that wonted to start a drama club n they needed a sponsor. she tole me she preciated me agreein to hep out. i wonted to say i hadnt agreed to nuthin. wonted to splain how i had read sum plays but never acted nor dun nuthin with thee-ater. i wuz tempted to splain how i had gut jes two b pluses in grad skool, bofem frum the same feller n fer the same reason, witch he dint lack how i treated the plays we wuz a'readin lack they wuz poems to be read n not plays to be performd.

but i dint say nuthin. i figgerd ifn thay wuz innythang that could git me to permanent full time n a reglar paycheck, twood be me showin how i wood hep out. so i ast her when wuz thay wontin to meet? she ast me whut i thunk bout meetin on saturdy afternoon? i tole her twood be fine.

then i had lots of splainin to do. emily dint know bout how our paycheck wuz a frackshun of whut it wuz spozed to be. she also had plans fer us to go with milly n willy bohr to the flea market out on alcoa hiway on saturdy. so i splaind the hole thang all at once, puttin the bit bout heppin out with the thee-ater longside the 30¢ on the dollar as part of my plan to git permanent full time. she flew mad whenever i sed our pay wuznt whut twuz spozed to be n then she wonted to fuss n fite bout me takin on the drama club. she sed a few thangs bout how ifn i had tuck full time at ut we woodnt be havin that crisis rite then. i reminded her how i wuznt a'gone git full time at ut n she reminded me how even with jes three classes i wood be makin more or at lease gittin paid more besides witch i woodnt be doin no drama club. i let her run on fer a bit befor i putt my finger on her lip to ast her to be quite jes sos i could say sumthin. she ast, 'whut?'

'dont bitch on me.' twuz the furst time i had ever sed such a thang n it tuck her by sprize till she had to laff.

n thats how i cum to be hed of the drama club, witch we named it the skool of hard knox theatricull players.

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