Tuesday, January 31, 2006

mizry of buddy don: day two

yesterdy i had to take zomig to keep from spendin the day vomitin. once i had squirted that nasal spray up my nose, i begun to git dazed till purty soon bout all i could do wuz sleep.

miz bd has been a'studyin alternativ healin, so she putt up her reiki table n tole me to lie down on it, witch i dun it n zoned out cumpletely till she woke me up to say twuz dun.

(i should menchun here how miz bd has dun gut certified in sum thangs n gut her a job wurkin with her mentor n doon thai yoga massage, reiki n aroma therapy.)

innywho, mayhap the reiki hepped, but i caint say since i slept rite thru it. then i went to bed n slept most of the day.

i call that sleep the black hole of zomig, a day cumpletely lost with nuthin to show fer it, not even much of a memry.

the secunt day after usin zomig the mane thang i feel is a hollow dazed sensayshun whar i caint hardly thank.

wurser, i have that feelin that if only i wood let myself upchuck, i wood feel better. i know frum past eggzperients that aint so, but the temptayshun is awful. i keep gittin hickups n a mouth full of saliva, witch tiz my bidy gittin reddy to reverse its ownself n send thangs back up out of my mouth whar they orta be a'goin in.

that probly means i need to take a nuther zomig n give up a nuther day of life to avoid the hours of suffrin that cums with waitin too long.

but that aint whut i wonta do. i wonta go to wurk n git into the swang of thangs till i caint notiss whuther i am sick. if only my bidy wuz subjeck to my will power to a grater degree than tiz.

im dun alreddy up n dressd, but my mind is a dazed blank.

thays more toot than that. i had me a good chinese medicin practishuner, but he went on sabbaticull. i called the folks he referrd me to, but they aint calld me back. i reckun i am a'gone half to try em agin. maybe them erbs wuz wurkin, witch i aint had nun fer nigh onto three weeks now.

tiz downrite deepressin.

Monday, January 30, 2006

mizry of buddy don: i thought i wuz dun with migraines ...

... but i musta been rong. had one start on saturdy n it still aint dun. time fer zomig n oblivion n miz bds a'gone do sum reiki on me. i really thought i woodnt have no more of this mizry, but it just dont quit. countin blessins i notiss how its better than twuz.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Friday, January 27, 2006

frustrayshun of buddy don: comments

i deecided i wood give up them halo scan comments n start usin bloggers built in kind, but nuthin i do makes em show up lessn ye click on the 'link', witch then thar they are. ifn i kin git myself to wurk on computers this weekend (after doon it all week), i will try to fix my template, witch tiz a ungodly mess innyway.

so ifn ye wonta comment on innythang, eethur send me email of click on the lank n go frum thar.

thankee fer droppin by!

life of buddy don, chapter 145: puzzles of the hart

in july of 1983 me n brew n his bes frien oscar clowder n daddy n roenas husbin jim coates tuck us a lil trip up to obed. everbidy brung em fishin poles but me. i brung me my diary, witch i hadnt writ nary a wurd in it fer munths. thay wuz a reason fer that.

durin the sprang quarter it had becum purty obveeus to me that cassandra had a crush on me. twernt the furst time a stoodent had dun that but thay wuz a lil more toot this time, tho i wudnt willin to add mitt it fer munths n munths, witch that wuz how i had a crush rite back on her. twuz a natchrul deevelopment on a counta how at all them reehearsals n other meetins of the drama club she wuz thonly stoodent i knew verr well, makin it easy fer the two of us to sit n talk while we wuz waitin fer the next time we wood be needed, witch fer them furst two plays i wudnt nuthin but the chaperone.

thang is, i knew fer a fack she had a crush on me fer minny a munth befor i could add mitt i had inny feelins fer her othern pity or cuncern fer a verr brite n talented stoodent who had survived a livin hell befor gittin to kc. as i gut to know her better, i larnt bout lil facks n lil facks till i knew a bit about her life histry.

she wuz born in atlanta to a woman name of joanna that left her in the hospitull the instunt she wuz born, witch her grandma cum to git her n take keer of her n she ended up a'callin her grandma 'mama' fer the res of her life even if her ackshul muther, witch cassandra dint never call her nuthin else but joanna, dint hardly wonta add mitt she wuz her muther even ifn she did go on to bear 10 children. a cuple munths after she wuz born, cassandra wuz tuck frum her grandma to live with joanna. lucky fer cassandra, she had a full older sister name of faith that lived thar too.

twernt long after gittin her kids back till joanna set that house on fire n left them two yunguns in it, witch faith happend to be eight whenever cassandra wuz born n she gut her lil sister n dragged her out into the street while that house burnt to the ground. after that, faith n cassandra lived with thar grandmama that they calld 'mama' n thar ackshul muther joanne dint try to git em agin. they even tuck the name of 'worthy' fer thar last names, witch twuz thar grandmamas last name.

the bigger influents on her life wuz her daddy, a feller that wuz in prison servin the thurd year of a 20-year sentents whenever i met cassandra. his name wuz daniel turner n cordin to her stories wuz a coke dealer n a pimp n mayhap a murder fer hire servus n a car dealer n had im nigh onto thirty children by eight or nine differnt women. all them kids wuz her half bruthers n sisters. she wuz his 19th child n whutever bad she had to say bout im, he kep a huge house n ever one of his kids wuz welcum to cum live thar, witch cassandra dun that a few times in her life whenever she couldnt git along with 'mama.' he finely up n marrd one of the women he had children by, a woman name of hanna, witch hanna insisted cassandra live with em till she larnt that she n cassandra hated each other.

i member thankin how hard tiz to figger folks out. i herd cassandra tell me a thousand tales of how awful her daddy wuz, how he wuznt never thar when she really needed im, how he dint keer much fer her ceptn fer bein proud she had been picked fer a local tv show whar she wuz the lead acter fer a speshul local ackcess program that wuz a kids vershun of the news. twuz hard to bleeve she had ever been so willin to perform in publick, but that wuz all befor she turnt thirteen, witch she playd a rape victim durin that time n it skeerd her so go thru it n to innervue sum ackshul rape victims to larn her role till she quit that show. but fer a while she wuz famus in a lil part of atlanta n her daddy wuz proud of er fer that.

but that wuz thonly good thang she could thank he had ever dun fer her. whenever it cum to goin to kc, twuz all set up by hanna, witch i sed that seemd lack a kind thang fer her to do but cassandra figgerd she jes wonted to git her outta the house fer good n since she gut a full skolarship n since daniel turner had lots of cash, twernt no skin offn hannas nose to make shore cassandra wuz sent away to collidge. she tole me minny a tale bout how cold her daddy could be, how he wood have folks killt or beat up, how he wuz a truly bad man. she showd me pomes she had writ bout how she had sufferd at his hand n been embarrassd at havin to watch im bein arrested n walked off in shackles n be in endless trials n such.

but then he wuz let outta prison to attend the funeral of one of her bruthers, witch i fergit his name but i do member cassandra splainin how he wuz killt by a rival drug dealer who wuz pertecktin his turf. thang wuz, cassandra couldnt thank of nuthin else but gittin down to atlanta to attend that funeral n see her daddy, witch she went n seen im but he dint have a chants to say a sangle wurd to er. i dint hardly know whut to say whenever she tole me this, witch i could see she wonted to cry but couldnt let herself go thataway. she wuz jes glad she gut to see im, even ifn twuz frum a distunts n even ifn he wuz in shackles n had guards on eethur side of im.

whenever skool ended kc wuz purty good bout givin jobs to them stoodents that dint have no home to go back to, witch twernt minny of em. three of my stoodents did stay, witch sharon n cassandra wuz two of em n tuthern wuz a verr capabull stoodent name of violet johnston. violet had been in the furst comp 102 class i had n she had aced it. sharon tole me i orta have the three of em over fer dinner the evenin cooley high wuz bein shown on tv, so i cooked up a huge pot of spagetti sauce n made sum garlick bread n went to git em. i reckun we woodnt a dun it ifn we had notissd how cooley high dint cum on till 11 pm, but once we had invited em, thay wudnt much we could do but try to stay awake fer the hole thang.

odd thang bout that nite wuz how cassandra wuz in a terrbull mood. she needed a heap of sugar pored into her spagetti sauce, witch that ruint it in my pinion. she couldnt eat no garlick bread but wonted sum cornbread, witch that wuz easy but not whut i wooda served with spagetti. that hole evenin violet wuz flirtin lack nobidys bizness with me n emily wuz havin fun with it her ownself, jokin bout whut a stud i wuz to have four women over at the same time. as the evenin went on, cassandra gut moren more withdrawn. i member how she needed a piller, so i tuck mine offn the bed n she curled up on the couch when that show cum on n dint say a nuther wurd near the entire nite.

once that movie wuz finely over i had to take em home. turnt out bof sharon n violet wuz stayin in a place over in east knoxvull n cassandra long with a stoodent name of milagros wuz a'stayin with a teacher name of susan browne who lived in collidge homes. violet needed to wurk the nex day, so i agreed to take her n sharon home furst n cassandra last.

i wont never fergit that ride. cassandra dint say nuthin the hole way thar n whenever we arrived, i figgerd she wood jes git out, but she dint do nuthin. she jes sat whar she wuz n i figgerd i wood wait her out. twuz one of them moments when i figgerd she wuz a'gone cunfess how she felt n i wuz wundern whut i orta say. but dint nuthin git sed ceptn wood i walk her to the door to make shore she gut in ok, witch she tuck off n i gut out to foller till she gut near the door, spun round n stuck out her hand, sayin, 'thanks for a wonderful evening, mr. duncan.' i shuck her hand but she dint let go. twuz dark near the porch, but i could see the lite frum the streetlamp reflecktin in her eyes, witch we stared at each other fer whut seemed lack a hour but wuz probly no moren ten secunts. then she pulld away n went in.

whenever i gut home n lay down in bed, that piller i had smelt jes lack her, a musky smell that wuz a mix of her perfum n hair treatment n jes her. i wuz dog tired n wonted to sleep, but emily wonted to talk. so i turnt over on my back n ast whut wuz it? she lay thar fer a long while till she sed, 'ye gut a crush on cassandra, dont ye?' i wonted to ast whut could make her thank such a thang on a counta how i hadnt give cassandra inny attenchun to speak of all nite, but i knew she knew, so i tuck a deep breath n sed i hadnt real eyesed it befor that, but i probly wuz purty sweet on her. she sed she thought so n thanked me fer add mittin as much.

we talked until near morning, when cassandra calld n wonted to speak with emily. during that talk, that bed wuz as uncumfterbull as ifn twuz made of nails. emily sed she had ast cassandra to call her back in the evenin when she could talk longer. then she turnt over n wuz asleep within three breaths. but i wuz awake fer a long time after that, my thoughts n feelins bathed in the smell of that pillar, the memry of her hand in mine, the lite in her eyes, the way i jes knew she wonted to say sumthin but couldnt brang herself to doot. i knew i had dodged a bullet when emily ast me whuther i had a crush on cassandra, witch that aint nuthin fer a teacher, but ifn she had ast me wuz i in luv with cassandra, i dont know whut i wooda sed.

so whenever we went up on obed that saturdy in july, i splained to daddy how i dint wonta fish but wonted to rite bout the mountins n all fer a novel i had been a'wurkin on fer a cuple years. he knew that novel wuz bout a father n his son, so he sed he understood, witch he dint but it give im a way of takin it. corse, makin notes fer that novel wudnt whut i needed to do. i needed to figger out whut i really wuz a'feelin, witch fer me i larn by trine to rite down whut i dont even know yet.

i caint say it no better now than i dun then, so heres whut i writ:
'When I began working at KC, I didn't know very much at all about Black people. In fact, it seems to me now that black people in general are almost invisible to white people (in this country anyway). White people certainly never see Blacks (or only rarely) when white people aren't a conspicuous majority, and Blacks are different when very few Whites are present.

'I thought I knew a lot about Blacks, certainly more than most white people I knew. I concentrated on helping black students in writing lab, tutored at the Black Cultural Center, and even did a little "business" in Gamble Valley. Thus I knew several black individuals pretty well. I worked for Ralph at Carbide, also, which let me have good knowledge of one individual. In groups, however, Blacks are different, and I really began to learn that at KC.

'One of the problems for white people in seeing black people (in contrast to Blacks being invisible) is that for many white people, myself included, for most of my life, is that blackness becomes a uniform to a white eye. The eye sees the uniform, as in seeing a policeman or fireman or guard, and makes the only recognition it needs: a negro. Few whites around here know enough Blacks personally to have any reason to identify any individual Black. Thus, once a White sees it is a Black, he can stop looking. (The well-known low visibility of Blacks in the media also contributes to this problem). And in this way, the old saying is true: all Blacks look alike to many Whites.

'So it was for me when I began teaching at KC. One of the scariest moments I had was the first day of drills in Elementary Comp I (Fundamentals of Grammar). I called on students randomly and had to learn all of their names quickly. I did, but it was the first time I had to look closely at any group of Blacks as individuals. The longer I've been looking at Blacks this way, the better I've gotten at doing it.

'At first, I also didn't find black women very attractive. I had the usual complaints: hair too kinky, lips too large, nose too flat, or just plain blackness. I remember quite well when Kamal 'Too Short' Trotter pointed to Shantell Brown and licked his lips. I smiled and nodded, but I didn't find her very attractive (though I know now just how incredibly sexy she is). I enjoyed teaching (and still do) because the students were so eager to learn (and they still are – most of them). I became close to many students and one of those was Cassandra Worthy.

'I "met" her at drama club winter quarter. I'd had her in class for 1.5 quarters in elementary composition but I knew her only as a very bright student with a lot of problems, leading to her finishing the first quarter in one-on-one sessions due to her having left class following a very traumatic experience. When I began going to drama club, I was the only white person there and because of the different atmosphere, I felt nervous and uneasy. I recognize Cassandra and we gravitated to one another so we wouldn't feel so ill at ease. And we found we could talk quite easily.

'Some months later I realized she had a crush on me. And I also realized I'd "had a crush" on her for a long time. I don't know how long, but I did feel very happy about getting to know her the very afternoon following drama club (the oddity about that being that I didn't feel I got to know her very well when I was giving her one-on-one instruction in grammar). It took me several months before I could see how beautiful she is, and I only admitted to myself that I had a crush on her when Emily pointed it out to me.

'Of course, this brief note doesn't give you any idea of the many hours I've spent in Cassandra's presence. I haven't touched her at all, but the tension between us is great enough that Emily noticed it when Sharon Worth, Violet Johnston and Cassandra came over for dinner. She asked, after I'd taken the girls home, if I had a crush on Cassandra and I admitted I did. This caused us to talk at great length until morning. That evening, Cassandra called to talk with Emily. The two of them talked at length about a problem – Cassandra was raped by four men (or so she says – for some reason, I have growing doubts about the story). Emily and Cassandra had dinner together to discuss the matter and became friends (or so Emily says). Cassandra could be visiting Emily right now for all I know.

'I hate to write about or discuss feelings because I always feel foolish. But I need to talk about feelings, foolish as they be. I don't understand that heart at all. I "fell in love" with Darlene and against all reason, I had to have her, to marry her. I still love her. But I also love Susannah (or so I think). I hate feelings! But I do love Susannah. And I love Emily. And now I wonder if I love Cassandra. I certainly am attracted. Because of the many barriers between us, my feelings seem passionate, very demanding, urgent. I think about her very often, almost always. I can't remember feeling this carried away (which tells me the whole thing is ridiculous – it can't be the same) with anyone. I feel my love for Emily is sensible and sane and whole. I do not love her less due to whatever I feel for Cassandra, more if anything.

'But why must I feel this way? And my feelings are for a woman who would be trouble in every sense of the word. My family wouldn't soon (ever) accept Cassandra. Looseburg would kill me. It would probably ruin both Cassandra's and Emily's life. I probably wouldn't be as happy. My children with Cassandra would be black. Society would object. I am teacher, she student, so I'd lose my job. ETC!! And still, I am so strongly moved by her that I can't bring myself to write in my diary for fear of saying anything about it. How can my heart be so crazy? I have the perfect woman and I know it. Any such feelings of mine towards Cassandra serve no purpose, but I can't say I don't feel them or that I don't want to feel them ... even though I know of no sane way my feelings could be satisfied because I can't live two (four? counting Darlene and Susannah?) lives. I am especially happy now, so why such feelings? They only cause problems.

'But I do have such feelings and they're amazing to me – they excite me so, especially since they came upon me so unexpectedly. I had no idea such a thing could happen. I didn't realize a black woman could even be attractive to me, but one can and – damn it! – is. Now I find myself more attracted to black women than to white! That is, I will look at a black woman on the street before I will a white. Both are eye-catching, but the black gets me first, probably because I know where Emily is at any given time, but any black girl could be Cassandra, whose whereabouts I rarely know. So I check. Whites need no checking, I guess.

'Any "fulfillment" of my feelings – an affair, one night stand, marriage, etc. – is bad in more ways than I care to count. I want to be responsible, but I fear I lack the strength or the will.

'I pray this will pass. I look forward to the year in Germany when Emily has to go for her DAAD since I'll be away from all temptation, from Cassandra. But I dread it, too, and fear Cassandra will get over me before I get over her. What am I saying? Things are not so bad. I just wish I could lead two lives.

'But I need to say I love Cassandra.

'Are our bodies, our psyches, our souls – are they evil? Why do things like this happen? I do not choose to be evil. I do not choose to love two women at once. How can I? But I do, and I see each very often and I love each. I love Emily. I love Cassandra. I love so many people and I can't understand why it should be wrong. Of course, I know it is and I pray for strength to do right. Be a model for Cassandra as a writer, be her guide as a teacher; be a husband – a loving husband – to Emily. Accept it that I will love more people than I can marry and give my life to ... but it still hurts and I think and think and think. Surely this will pass! Surely this is like crushes I've had and forgotten, not like Darlene or Susannah or Emily. Surely.'
i member feelin as ifn i had let go of a lode of wurry n woe whenever i finishd ritin that entry in my diary. twuz a fine day in a beeyootifull place, so i lit a number n jes enjoyd bein hi in such tranquilty till tutherns cum back frum fishin.

they couldnt bleeve i had dun had me a good time. we cooked up a mess of them fish n baked sum taters in the fire n et us a real feast. as we wuz eatin, daddy ast me had i made inny progress on my novel. i tole im i had dun moren i had figgerd i could git dun. he sed twuz no sprize to hear me say that on a counta he always felt lack he could thank a lot strater whenever he gut away from 'the worl'. i had to agree.

but whenever i gut home, i found emily sittin in her chair n cassandra sittin in mine. emily had spent the day gradin papers fer a summer class she wuz teachin. cassandra had spent the day readin, furst the hobbit n then the catcher in the rye. emily had even give her the furst seckshun of crap notes. whenever i cum in, emily jumped up n give me a big hug n tole me she luved me. i sed the same back at her, but over her sholder i wuz a'lookin cassandra rite in the eye whenever i sed it.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

pallgies of buddy don: blogger wuz down

whenever i lef home this morning, after waitin fer blogger to cum back up, twuz still down. whut a huge dissapointment that wuz on a counta i had jes writ chaptur 145: puzzles of the hart. i hope to post thatn at my furst oppertunty.

meanwhile, my pallgies!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

pinions of buddy don: these aint yer daddys publicans

i wuz razed by a right wing publican. he wuz a marine corps raider in wwii, wurked as a speshul agent of the fbi, n spent the rest of his wurkin life wurkin fer the gummint in securty. he voted fer nixon in 1960 n goldwater in 1964.

he bleeved that the fedrul gummint shouldnt git too big, shouldnt spend money it dont have, n most of all, should stay outta the private lives of amurkin citizens. he wuz so out of it that he tuck all that foundin father stuff bout bein willin to sacrifice our lives, our property n all our worldly goods to make shore we wuz free frum gimmint intrudin on us.

tiz a lucky thang fer im that he wuz dun in his grave by the time the current bunch tuck cuntrol. fergit the spyin, fergit the lawmakin trine to deetermine whut a person kin do in the privussy of his or her own home, fergit the lawmakin trine to limit rites of folks that happens to be gay.

whut wooda been the biggest beetrayull of em all is how them publicans is borryin n spendin. as ye probly dint have a chants to notiss, tiz time agin to raze the fedrul debt limit.

as near everbidy knows, mr bush inherited a budget surplus frum mr clinton. he also had im a $5.95 TRILLION debt limit to wurk under. how has that gone? jes last munth he had to git mr treasury secretary john snow to send a letter to congress splainin how they wuz a'gone half to raze the debt ceilin fer the forth time since 2002. heres a lil recap of how thatn has gone durin the last three years or so:
  • 2001: debt limit whenever the spreme cort eleckted mr bush: $5.95 TRILLION
  • june 2002: congress has to raze the debt limit to $6.4 TRILLION
  • may 2003: congress has to raze the debt limit to $7.4 TRILLION
  • november 2004: congress has to raze the debt limit to $8.184 TRILLION
  • december 2005: mr snow has to ast fer that limit to be razed more sos the gummint dont go outta bizness.
whut gits me most bout this is how them publicans acks lack they wonta keep gummint small, but aint hardly nobidy othern lbj to grow it near as fast as mr bush n his totally cumpliant publican congress has dun. so how is that all addin up on us?

i putt a lil debt counter on my sidebar sos ye kin keep up with it. take a look at them numbers a'movin.

so aint it them dimcrats that runs up the debt? on a counta how much better them publicans is at makin ye bleeve thangs that aint necessarily so, most folks woodnt bleeve taint so. but check this lil graph.

so how are them publicans a'gone deal with this problem (besides razin the debt limit agin -- this time looks lack they wonta raze it by $781 BILLION)? cut taxes on rich folks, ack lack tax-free medicull accounts is a'gone address our health insurants problems, cut educayshun loan guarantees, make shore thar pharma n insurants speshul innerests is perteckted, n more of that same kinda thang.

corse thays sum pallgists fer innythang n everthang mr bush wonts to do that claims tiz only the percent of the gdp that matters. heres a lil disucsshun bout that:
The federal debt is so mind-boggling it's no wonder lawmakers would rather not think about it. In per capita terms, the current debt is about $27,000 for each of 298 million Americans.

But economists tend to look at the national debt as a percentage of the gross domestic product -- the sum total of all goods and services. This links the debt level to the nation's ability to pay and factors out inflation over time.

By this measure, the national debt has ebbed and flowed with world and political currents. According to historical tables in the 2006 federal budget, debt peaked at 121.7 percent of GDP in 1946 because of World War II spending. It fell to about 33 percent of GDP in 1980, then roughly doubled to the 60 percent range during the administrations of President Ronald Reagan and the first President George Bush.

After hitting 67.3 percent of GDP in 1996, a few rare budget surpluses during the Clinton era drove the national debt back down to about 57 percent in 2001.
Debt as a percentage of GDP turned up again as the Bush administration began running deficits and now stands at an estimated 65.7 percent of GDP. The 2006 budget forecast predicts that the national debt will be 70 percent of GDP in 2010.

Nonpartisan budget watchers say the current debt load isn't the problem. They worry about what happens after 2010, when retiring Baby Boomers begin placing demands on Social Security and Medicare.

"It's not where we are. It's the trajectory we're on,'' said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who just stepped down as head of the Congressional Budget Office, the nonpartisan research arm of Congress.

As his last official act, Holtz-Eakin sent Congress six scenarios that look at federal spending and debt through 2050. All six assume that Social Security benefits will be paid as required by current law. The differences lie in how much inflation occurs in Medicare and Medicaid; higher or lower levels of taxation; and whether, or how deeply, Congress curbs spending on defense and other programs.

The scenario that follows current trends leads to an eye-popping national debt of 449 percent of GDP in 2050. Seen another way, in this business-as-usual scenario, it would cost 21.4 percent of GDP to pay just the interest on the federal debt in 2050. In 2005, the comparable figure was 1.5 percent.
i shore hope daddys coffin has a nuff room fer im to turn over. these shore aint his publicans!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

life of buddy don, chapter 144: a hauntin questchun

durin the sprang quarter of 1983 bof me n emily wuz busiern we had ever memberd bein. to this day the hole thang is a big blur with a few hi points that i wont never fergit.

the sprang weather with its warmin temperchurs n cool breezes n trees a'buddin n flowers a'bloomin seemed to stoke up her restless deesire fer sum kinda add ventchur. thang wuz, as far as i could tell, she wuz wontin the kinda add ventchur marrd women dont generly git to have. ifn i hadnt known no better, i mite coulda thought she wuz havin her midlife crisis. or mayhap twuz only a case of sprang fever.

corse, a lotta that had to do with her grad student countsler, a feller name of carroll brightman. taint fair, but i never warmed up to mr brightman much. i had bad memries of whut had happend whenever i cried at wurk n gut locked up in the oak ridge mentull hospitull n wurser memries of whut i had dun seen eli go thru with his illness. twernt atall fair, but i jes dint bleeve in talk therpy.

corse it coulda jes been plane jealousy on my part on a counta it dint take long ere emily had her a crush on carroll brightman, not to whar she wonted to sleep with im or nuthin, but to whar she wonted to tease im n see ifn she could git im to brake his perfesshunull manner. i knew thangs wuz a'gittin outta hand whenever she ast me did i thank she wuz dressd ok fer her countslin sesshun, witch she wuz a'wearin blue jeans n earth shoes lack she always dun but she had a verr thin n sprizingly sexy blouse on top ... with no bra on! now when ye see a woman that wears her underwired bra to bed mos nites, ye know sumthin is up ifn she wonts to go sumwhar with no bra on. did she wont me to reack? to show i wuz jealous? i caint tell, but she wuz laffin whenever she seen me turn a lil red in the face on a counta how i could see clear thru her blouse. i sed she wuz a grown woman n could deecide her ownself how to dress but that it hurt to see her a'wearin sumthin sexy fer a feller she wudnt marrd to when she made such a big point of not wearin sumthin sexy fer the feller she wuz.

'ye thank i should change?' she ast me n i tole her i figgerd she should save the blouse fer next time we wuz sparkin. 'twood be nice with a lil skirt n mayhap sum stockins n such,' i sed but she jes tole me to dream on, that she wudnt no doll fer me to dress up,. i wonted to ast why wudnt she? why couldnt she dress up jes fer me thataway, but i let it go n tole her i wood not be atall happy ifn she left the apartment dressed in such skimpy cloze. that made her happy sum kinda way so she tuck off the shirt n putt on her underwire bra n flannel uniform.

thang is, whutever wuz a'gone on with her wontin to tease that feller, thar weekly sesshuns wuz a'causin her to thank that she wudnt the kinda person she truly wonted to be. she wonted to be strong but felt lack a pushover. she tole me she wuz feelin morn she could feel, that sumtimes she felt lack a presshur cooker a'boilin with rage that she couldnt let out, that she feard she jes mite eggsplode n deestroy everthang she had wurked so hard to achieve, in short, that she jes dint know how to eggspress her anger.

ye mite could be thankin she wuz mad at me n i give her plenty of reason lack inny man wood, but whut wuz bothern her more wuz how she felt lack a pushover, that she couldnt say whut she really wonted to say, couldnt stop frum bein pushed around. i knew lots of that had to be a refleckshun of how she dint lack to go out to the farm but went innyway, dint lack a lotta thangs we had to do but she dun em deespite wontin to stay home n read.

but she finely pegged her frustrayshuns to never havin had her opportunty to greeve rite fer whut had happend the year she left home. twuz the kinda thang i had herd her rattle off a minny a time: thar had been a fire in thar home that deestroyed near everthang her fambly had. thar had been her boyfriend duke, witch they wuz thick as thieves fer the last cuple years befor she went away to collidge n he had im a mental brakedown jes befor she left, witch fer sum reason she felt guilty fer leavin even ifn duke dint never git outta that hospitull on a counta how severe his trubles wuz n turnt out he had been badly abused by his daddy whenever he wuz a lil boy. corse thay wuz her partns deevorce on top of everythang else.

but she hadnt never dealt with it, she sed, n twuz lack a world of hurtin that had to git felt n it made her mad to have to go thru all that. she bleeved that ifn sumhow she could deal with the pane of that one year, she wood be a freer n happier person.

i hate to add mitt it but i dint have no faith in all that. i figgerd she had dun gut thru that hard year n dun it by applyin herself to her wurk n skoolin. she had dun gut near strate a's as a undergraduwait n wuz a'doon purty much the same thang as a grad stoodent. tords the end of the quarter she won a Hilton E. Smith skolarship, witch that meant she wuz one of the best grad stoodents at the universty. the award cum with $500 cash dollars n she had dun made a plan fer it, witch she wonted to go to san francisco cum december sos she could attend the amurkin histry associayshun meetin, witch milly had dun cummited to goin with her. i figgerd she orta be happy bout how she wuz a'doon but she couldnt be happy while thay wuz sum mizry to be teased outta hard times she had dun made it thru.

on tuther hand i bleeve in faith n ifn emily had true faith in the graduwait stoodent name of carroll brightman then chantses wuz good she wood make progress on her trubles. but i couldnt quite keep my pinions bout talk therpy to myself n that led to a few fuss n fites. odd thang wuz how she insisted i be honest with her but it made her mad ifn i stated pinions she dint lack. but i tole her this other truth, that i luved her n that i figgerd we wood cum thru the hole thang together.

i wunder to this verr day ifn i wuz trine to cunvints her or cunvints my ownself. but i will git into that a lil later.

as fer me, i had a grate quarter. i had dun picked out the best stoodents frum my grammar classes to make a super comp 101 class. twuz one of the best i ever had n i knew them stoodents wuz larnin. thay wuz also them furst two perduckshuns of the skool of hard knox theatricull players. i had writ a lil play at the reequest of miz stokes, witch she wonted a lil transishun bit to take her stoodents from one opry aria to a nuthern. then once i had it dun i cunvintsed em twudnt wurth doin. i gut involved in the faculty meetins n gut to be a reglar part of kc. fack is, it lef to my gittin the gratest honor of my life up till then. heres whut happend.

i dun splaind how once ever week the collidge had em a meetin name of cuntemporairy issues, witch everbidy calld it cuntemp. twood happen ever thursdy in the auditorium of the colston center, a grate theeater space with seatin fer 1,100, moren a nuff fer ever stoodent n teacher n add ministrayter n innybidy else on that campus. they wood have em speakers n frum that i gut to meet lots of famus folks such as nikki giovanni n jesse jackson n vernon jordan n a minny a nuthern. twuz at a cuntemp whar we dun our perduckshun of Profile in Black America, as we cum to call it. the skool presdint wood speak now n agin. they mite show films of how thangs wuz in south africa or have madrigull sangers in or who knows whut. i dint attend everone of em, but i wood go as often as not, witch thay wuz a passel of perfessers n add ministrayters that dint never attend.

innywho, thay cum a windsdy mornin in that comp 101 class i tole ye bout bein so good when janine tooks calld me over to her desk n sed she had sumthin she had to say to me. i tole her i wuz a'lisnin, witch she sed she couldnt say it thar. so i ast her whut should we do? she tole me to read whut she had jes writ: 'It is imperative that you attend Contemporary Issues tomorrow.' then she ast me did i understand. i tole her i could read. then she pointed to the wurd 'imperative,' witch twuz one we had larnt her furst quarter. i deefined it to proov i knew whut it meant n she sed that wuz whut she had hoped it meant.

that nex day my offus wuz full of stoodents, witch thats how thangs generly wuz. cassandra wuz on her throne n holdin court, jokin with me by sayin i deeserved everthang i wuz a'gone git. twuz a grate joy to me how my stoodents lacked to use wurds we had larnt in grammar class n nobidy lacked to play it moren cassandra. she sed i wuz a'gone git a 'commendation' that i had earned by my 'exemplary' pedagogy. 'pedagogy?' i ast on a counta that wudnt one of the wurds we had larnt. she laffed n sed she could larn vocabulary on her own, witch that made me feel grate.

finely twuz time to go. cassandra n sharon n janine n a reglar posse of otherns insisted i sit with em rite down frunt. so i dun it n the program cummenced.

thangs gut off to a whizbang start with a cuple seniors i dint hardly know gittin up to attack the add ministrayshun. twernt lack the add ministrayshun couldnt use sum strate talk. the presdint, a preacher name of revernd forrest, had a bad habit of astin the stoodents to do thangs they woodnt never do, lack to save water he eggsplained how he wonted em to take thar showers: (1) git wet, (2) turn off the water n soap up n wash cumpletely and then (3) turn the water back on n rinse off. but the speakers dint make no points lack that. they jes called the add ministrayshun silly without givin a sangle eggzample n fack is, it turnt into a name-callin sesshun.

taint lack it wuz a'fallin on deaf ears. thar wurds wuz rangin thru the audients, witch they wuz a'talkin back by sayin thangs lack 'i know that's right' or 'well!' or "unh huh!' thay wuz the tipicull hoots n hollers n scatterd applause. they wuz catcalls n outrite screamin bout the visitayshun pallsies at Beveridge, witch that wuz thonly all womens dorm or even thonly dorm with inny women in it, period. then they cumplaind bout the food n bout havin a new dean of stoodents ever year n the deterioratin infrustruckshur n more thangs that idont member now.

them stoodents wuz mad n they wuz lettin it out, mayhap the way emily wished she could do. twuz a lil amazin to me. i half to add mitt i wudnt too impressd by whut the stoodents wuz sayin on a counta i figgerd they wuz pintin out the rite thangs but they dint have no argument to make bout it beyond saying thangs lack 'the dorm visitation policy at Beveridge is just silly' or 'four deans in four years is just silly.' silly wuz a big wurd that year, witch twernt one we had ever cuverd in inny vocabulary lesson n i wuz thankin how i hoped my stoodents woodnt git up n make charges without specifick eggzamples. but i figgerd the reason them stoodents wonted to make shore i wood attend cuntemp that day wuz to hear them stoodents standin up fer tharself even ifn i dint thank much of how they wuz a'doon it. but that wernt why they wonted me thar, as i wuz bout to find out.

finely william wilson gut up to a chorus of will-ee, will-ee. but they shut rite up whenever he eggspressed his disappointment in whut he had herd that day. that led to boos n laffter n such but he stuck it out n sed he understood the frustrayshun n he felt it his ownself. but he dint thank callin names dun innythang positive. he pointed out that sayin sumthin is silly dont proov tiz n ifn thay is a reason fer sayin it, then the reason should be stated.

then he sed that the best way to make thangs better is not to tear down whut ye dont agree with but to reeward whut they figgerd wuz good, witch that led to a everbidy a'talkin at once n it got verr loud till willy will sed he wonted to announc the stoodents awards to teachers that wuz best in thar respective subjecks, at lease accordin to the stoodents. sumbidy hollerd out, 'who else matters?' n willy sed he knew that wuz rite.

then he announced each subjeck n who had won. evertime he announced a nuther award the perfesser wood cum up on the stage to po-lite applause. i gut to thankin i wuz lackly to win fer english on a counta thay wudnt but two or three of us, accordin to how ye cut it (wuz them speshul ed folks that cum thar to teach stoodents how to read english teachers?).

innywho, i figgerd i wood win n finely they called english. lack i sed i figgerd i mite win but i hadnt eggzpeckted how them students wood respond. the instunt my name wuz announced they jumped to thar feet n started chantin 'dun-can, dun-can, dun-can.' i could feel myself blushin lack nobidys bizness as i stood feelin very nervous with my colleegs. i could barly bleeve whut wuz a'happenin n even felt lack i mite faint. but the applause n chants jes kep on till finely willy will ast fer em to sit down n be quite. it tuck em by sprize n they all gut quite long a nuff fer rufus boudreaus voice to be herd sayin, 'well!' everbidy laffed n sat down. willy started talkin fer a bit n then sed he wuz a'gone give the award fer most outstandin teacher at kc. the audients went wild fer a bit n whenever he calmed em back down n menchuned the skool of hard knox theatricull players n then the choir gittin a scrip, i knew twuz a'gone be me that won. shore a nuff i did.

them stoodents wuz on thar feet n clappin n screamin n chantin thar 'dun-cans' till i dint hardly know whut to do, but willy cum n tuck my elbow n led me to the podium. he give me a plaque n shuck my hand n sed i had deeserved it. i felt sumthin ticklin my face n real eyesed i wuz crine. then i herd the stoodents a'callin fer a speech. i stood thar smilin lack a moron n blushin lack a virgin in a horehouse n dint have even a wurd i knew to say, just gigantick feelins that i hardly knew how to hold inside, as ifn i had the same problem emily had cumplaint of, feelin moren i could feel.

sum wood later say i wuz milkin the applause fer all twuz wurth, witch i caint say i wudnt, jes that i dint have no idee whut to say. but i knew i had to say sumthin, so i leant ford n wuz as sprized as innybidy to hear whut i sed, startin with a joke. i hadnt perpared nuthin to say, but once them wurds started cummin, they woodnt quit till i wuz dun. i cum home afterds n writ down as best i could member it how it had gone:
'One of the difficult things about being white (laughter) is that when you're embarrassed or touched, everybody knows it because you turn red.

'When I was told by several of my students that I should attend this day's contemporary issues, and when I heard the early speakers 'dogging out' the administration (more laughter, more applause), I assumed my presence was desired so that I could hear the students standing up for themselves and taking a real and active interest in their college. And I am very excited by what I heard today. I am pleased and proud of the students for becoming active and vocal. But I must admit I would have hoped the activism could have been a little more productive and effective than name-calling.

'I can certainly undersand the impulse, even the need, to criticize those whose performance we find lacking. I am reminded very much of myself when I was younger. I, too, found much wrong with this world, my parents, this country, and my place in it. I, too, criticized and protested in my own feeble way. I fought hard, too. I dropped out of high school – it was 'silly.' And I ran away from my 'silly' parents. And I ignored everyone's 'silly' advice and got married at the age of eighteen.

'Before you know it, I was a raging, angry, ineffective young nobody, flipping burgers for a living and getting nowhere. All my protest and anger did nothing but make my situation worse than it had been.

'After years of spinning my wheels in such fruitless activitiy and rage and after I'd suffered enormously, I had an accident, an automobile accident that could easily have killed me.

'When I crawled out of that wreck, I realized for the first time that, try as I may, I could only be sure of changing one person: myself. And when I began working on that person, the world began to get a little better.

'Much is still wrong with it, as we all know only too well, but we can't cause it to change by calling it 'silly.' We all have logs in our eyes. We all fall short of perfection.

'Let us begin by changing ourselves, each of us. And if we do, KC will become an even more wonderful place than it already is.'
i held up that plaque n waved it round to the crowd n let em cheer fer a spell.
'It is already one of the world's most wonderful places to me. This is the most outstanding moment of my life, and I am very grateful to you all. Thank you.'
as i dun writ, my lil speech wuz tuck purty well by them stoodents. i dont know whar it cum frum, eggzackly, but it dint seem to anger the stoodents nor the administrayshun. corse, me bein a white teacher n gittin that award did cause a lotta antagonism fer me amung the faculty on a counta thay wuz a good number that dint know me frum adam till i won that award.

afterds my offus wuz filld with stoodents. lots of talk n lookin at my plaque n such till sharon n cassandra n janine sed they wonted to take me to lunch to celebrate even ifn i ended up drivin n payin fer our feast at mack donalds.

after that i had becum a big player on the kc campus n wuz eggspeckted at sartin places such as ever cuntemp or even on the stage whenever a seeleckshun of faculty n add ministrayshun wuz leadin innythang. i member clearly sangin along with revernd forrest on a song that went 'Reach out and touch somebody's hand, make KC a better place if you can.' i wuz putt on the awards committee fer graduwayshun n invited to hep out with recrootin n such.

fack is, i felt downrite deepressed whenever the quarter wuz over. i wuz verr happy bout how thangs had gone at wurk. even emily wuz happy, speshly since thay woodnt be no more questchun bout whuther i wuz offishully full time. i had dun earnd that much.

but i couldnt feel rite bout thangs, witch mayhap thats jes a human way. but mayhap it has to do with a questchun that wuz a'hauntin me, a questchun a verr purty, verr lite-skinned stoodent name of gale blazemore ast me: 'Mr. D, you said winning that award was the most outstanding moment of your life. What about when you and Mrs. D got married?'

Monday, January 23, 2006

life of buddy don, chapter 143: buyin a car

round the end of winter quarter of 1983 i gut a big paycheck, witch thats the one add vantage to not bein paid everthang yer owed whenever yer furst owed it: ye end up savin up sum money whuther ye mean to or not. turnt out sum of my students dint lack seein me half to walk everwhar n they cunvinced one of em, a feller name of tucker james, that he orta sell his volkswagen beetle to me.

i larnt bout it frum cassandra n sharon, witch i dun splaind how cassandra had tuck up a claim on a stool in my offus n sharon tride to go everwhar cassandra went. i had gut to the point of leavin my offus open with cassandra watchin thangs whenever i wuz in a class, lessn she wuz in the class, witch i wood lock my offus up. so twood be a reglar thang to cum back to my offus n find out folks had left me messages, lack the time i cum back frum a comp 102 class n cassandra tole me tucker james wuz a'gone make me a offer i couldnt refuse.

'sounds ominous,' i tole her, witch twuz one of the wurds we had cuverd in vocabulairy class. she anserd that it could be 'lucrative.' so i ast her wood it have a 'deleterious' effeck on my life? she laffed n sed it should have a 'most propitious' effeck n possibully lead to a more 'commodious' way of livin fer me. so whut wuz i spozed to do? that made her laff. she splaind i wuz to 'rendevous' with tucker in the late evenin, round 'twilight' time. then sharon cum in n ast cassandra had she tole me yet, witch that made cassandra laff n say i wuz a'wurryin that maybe that 'crazy nigger' tucker wuz a'gone kill me. sharon tole me that 'cassie be trippin, mr d. everbidy know tuckers a big pussy cat.'

twuz near the end of the quarter so i had a huge heap of papers to grade on a counta my lettin folks re-rite thar 'f'' papers. in sum cases twuz a waste of my time, but in otherns, lack in the case of rufus coales frum sum island down in south carolina, ye could see im a'larnin frum one 'f' to the nex till finely he could rite a hole essay without two deadly errs in it. so even ifn twuz drudgry to git thru all them papers, thay wuz moments whar ye could see progress n that wuz my mane reason fer teachin. it sartinly werent fer the money!

innywho, i gut started on that pile n purty soon cassandra n sharon left. i dint generly have inny reason to be in my offus twixt the hours of 4 n 7 pm, so twuz a sprize to hear how quite everthang gut round dinner time. twuz almost as quite as twuz my furst day a'wurkin thar. i wuz headin fer the home stretch on them papers whenever i herd the cracked door to colston slam, witch the reason why twuz cracked wuz how dint seem lack they could ever git it tricked up sos it woodnt slam.

but slam it did that time n two secunts later, thar wuz tucker at my door. he wuz whut they call blue black n had putt sum kinda coconut oil in his hair to make it hang down long n curly. he had been in my comp 102 class n dun ok, witch he wuz a lot older than most of my stoodents n dint never say nuthin, jes writ n re-writ his papers till he gut out with a 'c' fer the corse. i had writ him notes bout how ifn he wonted a lil hep i wood give it to im n mayhap he could git a better grade, but he writ me back bout how he had im a job wurkin as bartender in a jook joint in east knoxvull n he dint have hardly no exter time.

he cum in n shuck my hand n looked me rite in the eye, witch i lacked that but wuz sprized at how few of my stoodents wood look me in the eye. i ast im whut i could do fer im n he tole me rumor had it i dint have no wheels. i sed twuz true. i made the joke bout usin my fiat n pointin at my shoes. he laffed n sed he had im a volkswagen beetle to sell me fer $1,000 ifn i wuz innerested. i ast im did it wurk n all, so he tuck me out on a drive. twuz as white as a car kin git n banged up here n thar, but it run lack a top. the radio had trubles, but the heater wurked bout as well as beetle heaters ever wurk. he wuz a meckanick his ownself n tole me ifn it wuz to quit wurkin durin the furst year, he wood hep me fix it at a fair rate, bettern i wood git at inny servus stayshun.

as we pulld into a parkin space near colston center, tucker ast me did we have a deal. i hadnt sed nuthin to emily yet n figgerd twood be best to check with her furst, witch tucker sed ifn i wood shake his hand then, i could drive it home. i tole im i dint have no insurants, witch he sed i wood half to drive it with no insurants a time or two till i could git me sum no matter whut. i sed i should probly talk it over with my wife, witch he sed he had dun had im a wife n wishd he had talked thangs over with her befor he had made sum big deecishuns that run im into trubles, but ...

but? but ifn i wonted that car, i wood half to take the deal he wuz offern rite then. he had dun gut a buyer fer more money ceptn he lacked how i wuz teachin at kc n figgerd i needed it more. i ast im how much wuz he losin on the deal n he sed he wuznt losin nuthin. twuz wurth the differnts to sell it to me. but he wonted to finish the deal rite then.

twuz one of them moments whenever ye know yer buyin whut could be a worl of woe, but i looked tucker in the eye n in my gut, i jes knew i could trust im. so i putt out my hand n he shuck it n he sed twuz a nuff fer him but could i drop im off at five points? i dint know whar that wuz at the time so he tole me how to go till i gut to a place whar five differnt rodes cum together. i hadnt never been thar before that (lease not that i could member) but twuz a mane spot in east knoxvull, witch mos everbidy a'livin thar wuz black folks.

then i drove with the gratest of keer till i gut home n found me a parkin spot on the street on a counta not havin no parkin sticker fer the parkin spot that cum with our laurel marrd stoodents apartment. then i went up to face the musick with emily.

twuz near 6:30 by time i gut home, witch we used to have dinner rite at 6 pm, so i wuz a lil cuncernd that before i could say nuthin bout the car we wood alreddy be in a fuss n fite bout whar had i been? but she wudnt at home, witch that meant i had a chants to set thangs up a lil better. i had gut pork chops n baked a cuple taters n whipped up sum corn bread on a counta that wuz one of her favert meals. i made sum fresh iced tea, witch i almost never dun that but she always wishd i wood larn how she lacks it, witch i knew how but fer sum reason dint figger i should half to make it on a counta i dint never drunk it my ownself. but i figgerd she wuz a'gone eggsplode whenever she found out i had dun spent $1,000 so i wuz a'pullin out all the stops.

she finely cum in a lil after 8 o'clock n i could see she wuz on the far side of tipsy. i ast her had thar been a change of skedule to whar them histry stoodents wuz drankin thar beer on a differnt nite? she laffd n tole me to guess agin. she cum up close to me n give me a lil kiss, witch i lacked that n frum it i could smell that twuznt beer she had been a'drankin. smelld more lack red wine, so i figgerd she had to be visitin milly. she laffed agin n sed i wuz gittin warmer. she started unbuttonin her flannel shirt n purty soon i wuz follerin along pickin up her cloze as she shagged em – her jacket, her jeans, her shoes – on her way to the bathroom, witch by then she wuz down to her home uniform of a pair of knee socks, a unbuttond flannel shirt, underwired bra n cotton panties. i watched her while she wuz peein n could see she wuz happy as could be bout sumthin, but i couldnt figger whut.

so i tole her i dint know whar she coulda been drankin but i shore lacked havin her home in such a good mood. i menchuned how i had baked taters n pork chops a'warmin in the oven. did she wonta eat? maybe later, she sed after wipin. she tuck my hand n pulled me tords the bed. i dint have no cumplaints bout that, but i did feel a lil cuncernd bout whuther i should menchun the car befor or after takin add vantage of the situwayshun. she tuck off her bra n started undoin my pants, witch that settled thangs. purty soon i pulled off her panties n could hardly bleeve how aroused she wuz, witch she wuz slow to git goin but could keep on fer hours. so fer a cuple hours we dun nuthin but make luv. twuz odd on a counta how much passhun she had n how ruff she wonted it. she had long silky hair n sumtimes she lacked me to grab it n tug her by it, make it sos she couldnt git to my mouth fer a kiss or to force her to do thangs she really wonted to do but dint wonta add mitt she did.

long story short, we wuz occupide till near 10 pm, witch thats way past my bedtime, but by then we wuz bof eggzausted n sweatin. i dint half to wurk the nex day ceptn to grade papers, so we gut up n i resurreckted whut i could of the dinner n we ate. she wuz bout as luvy-duvy as a person gits, hangin on me, grabbin me down thar, sqeezin to the point of pane n then laffin or gittin down on her knees n laffin whenever whut she wuz a'doon got me to fergit whutever i wuz trine to say, witch the mane thang i wonted to know wuz why couldnt we have sex lack that more often, but i dint say nuthin n jes enjoyd whut wuz a'gone on.

but finely she had me rite whar she wonted me, near nekkid n a'sittin in that big wing chair daddy give me with her in my lap a'kissin n squeezin n luvin on me whilst she splaind whar she had been. furst, she went over to find out bout gittin sumbidy fer her to talk to, witch they had em a program whar ye could git ye a graduwait stoodent fer talk therpy n she gut her one. i ast wuz they drankin wine thar, witch she splaind she woodnt git to meet her countsler till nex week. but she did tell me she had run into a ole friend.

i couldnt figger who to guess n she could see the fun had dun run out fer me so she sed twuz sumbidy a'livin rite in our buildin. that give it away, of corse. twuz martha. they had run into each other as emily wuz leavin mcclung tower after visitin with dr morgan. turnt out martha wuz leavin at the same time n they gut to talkin n then deecided to go down to that italian place that on cumberland, witch i never knew witchn she meant. they had em sum appetizers n putt away a bottle of chianti n talked n talked. bout whut? sex mostly. emily sed martha had always wunderd bout how emily felt bout her n emily had dun had jes a nuff wine to tell the truth, that she wished martha wuz innerested in women.

durin all this time, she wuz a'keepin me innerested by grabbin me down thar n squeezin n even droppin to the floor to give me a lil lick or two, so i caint say i wuz cumplainin bout whut i wuz a'hearin, witch i finely gut out the questchun i wonted to ast, witch wuz did they do innythang? she laffed agin n sed twuz sumthin fer her to know n fer me to find out. i dint much lack that n sed i figgerd twernt the way marrd folks is spozed to do. she dint git the lease upset n sed she knew i wuz hopin that sumthin had happend. dint i?

i dint have no anser fer that. i wuz glad she had sumbidy else to talk to, meanin the countsler, n i half to add mitt, i couldnt hep but wunder bout whuther she n martha coulda dun sumthin. corse, whut i really wonted to know wuz whuther i wuz a'gone be invited. i hate to add mitt that since twuz lackly part of whut emily wuz a'usin to keep frum thankin her life wuz jes too borin n reglar to be lived, witch that wuz one of her generull cumplaints bout thangs, but i couldnt hep but wunder.

but by then she had deecided we should go back into the bedroom sos i could tell her a lil story bout whut i wuz maginin could have dun alreddy happend twixt her n martha or mayhap witch mite could happen twixt em or, n she paused long a nuff to tell me she lacked her evenin lollipop n show me jes how much before sayin, or whut mite happen ifn we wuz to have her over fer a lil after dinner wine.

i shoulda tuck add vantage of the situwayshun n jes had me sum fun, but insted, i figgerd i could use that moment to splain bout the car. twuz a huge miss take, witch by time the shoutin wuz over, she had cunvintsed martha to let her sleep on the couch down at her place.

twuz a long nite of lil sleep. i wood drift off n have bad dreams n wake up to find the bed empty n that wood make me mad to whar i couldnt sleep n had to read fer a while till i couldnt keep my eyes open. by time twuz over, i wuz wore plum out, but i gut up, fixed my coffee n drove my car to kc. gradin papers tuck my mind offn my other problems fer a few hours. then i seen cassandra a'walkin cross the yard frum the beveridge dorm n i figgerd twuz moren i could handle then. so i gut in my new car n went home. i had dun graded a nuff papers.

emily wuz home when i gut thar, sittin on her chair, wearin her flannel shirt n knee socks n underwear, with iced tea n lit cigarette at her elbow, a book in her lap, n tuggin on her hair. as soon as i cum in, she jumped up n run to greet me, witch that dint happen much. she pall gized bout how she reackted to the car n ast me could i take it back. i sed i had dun give my word n i woodnt go back on it, so the car wuz ours. then i ast did she wonta see it?

thank god fer curiosity. we drove out chapman hiway to the krogers thar n gut a lode of grossries n by time we gut home n she wuz heppin putt away the grossries, witch she wuz glad we had them grossries without havin to have eli over, i could see she wuz dun fitin bout it. i had been trine to cunvints her durin the hole ride, splainin how i woodnt half to walk over to kc in the dark no more n how we woodnt be beggin rides all over the place n how we wood be able to go to the alcoa hiway flea market everday. i could tell she had quit the fite whenever she ast whuther did i thank it could git to looseburg n back. i tole her thay wudnt but one way to find out. did she wonta try durin the sprang brake? i could see she wuz thankin bout it, but she sed she had a lot of thangs she needed to look after n couldnt go jes then.

i wonted to ast did she mean her countsler? or martha? or whut? but i dint say nuthin.

Friday, January 20, 2006

life of buddy don, chapter 142: emilys cumplaint

emily wonted to talk bout how i dint give her a nuff tenchun. i member wundern whut did she wont? whut i could possibly do to pervide it?

taint lack she wuz sittin alone at our apartment with nuthin to do, waitin fer me to cum home. she wuz a'wurkin on her docterutt, witch that meant she had to spend near ever wakin hour readin n takin notes n studyin. she had classes to teach n papers to grade. she wuz takin trips with dr morgan to historcull conferntses n such. she had her friend milly to soak up plenty of her time n a group of histry students that lacked to gather at uncle sams to drank beer till they couldnt hardly walk home. i wood even cum down now n then tho i dint much keer fer drankin beer n dint find them histry students as innerestin drunk as they wuz sober. but whuther or not i joind in the drankin, i wood lease cum down to walk her home after they wuz dun.

but her mane cumplaint wuz how she wuz sartin as kin be i wuz a'gone leave her. she lackd to wurry n fear of me leavin give her plenty to chew on. she sed she couldnt hardly thank of nuthin else, that twuz hard fer her to concentrate on whut she wuz a'readin n studyin.

so i ast her whut wood i be a'doin that wood make her bleeve i wuznt a'gone leave her? i pointed out how i kep showin up ever evenin. cooked ever meal. let her sleep late n woke her with kisses n the mornin paper n coffee. cleaned up after her, witch twuz a big job to do that. so whut wuz it?

yer hart aint with this marrg, she wood claim, but with yer ritin n yer wurk n yer friends. so i wood ast back whuther thangs wood be better ifn i dint rite nor have no wurk nor no friends neethur, witch that jes made her mad on a counta she claimd it showd i dint understand. ok, sed i, then splain it to me.

thats whenever she pulld out my lease favert fuss n fite tacktick, claimin that ifn i dint know, twuznt sumthin she could splain n futhermore, the fack i dint know whut wuz rong wuz even more proof how rong thangs wuz. i sed ifn she couldnt splain it then mayhap twuznt sumthin that obveeus. besides that, since i had dun add mitted i dint know whut twuz, woodnt it be a hep to splain it to me? but she claimd that questchun jes proovd her point moren ever.

thang is, i did luv my wurk. i wish i could say i luvd my ritin too ceptn i wuznt doon near as much of it as i wonted to on a counta havin to wurk so much. as fer my friends, thonly time i seen em ceptn when they cum over to visit the two of us wuz whenever i wuz eether wurkin out with johnny n bud or playin racketball at the ymca with billy stewart. but i never dun nun of that when she wuz home, so i couldnt see the conflick.

corse i had my cumplaints bout her or mayhap jes the one cumplaint, witch i couldnt stand how whenever we wuz bout to have sum sex, she wonted to talk bout this verr topick. makin that cumplaint dint hep me git nun, tho, so i had to keep it to myself.

twuz a sundy whenever we gut into that long discusshun. i member how i wonted to finish sos i could git my papers graded, but i finely give up n let her cry her tears n sit on my lap till my legs fell asleep, witch even that made her mad. i finely got mad my ownself n tole her she wuz rite, i dint have inny idee whut i wuz a'doin rong, whut wuz a'bothern her, but plane fack wuz, i had a job to do, papers to grade. we hadnt et yet, so i gut up n started cookin, witch i reckun i wuz a'huffin n puffin n mayhap them pots made a lil too much noise till she couldnt stand it n run out the door, slammin it hard as she could.

thay aint no good anser fer that so i finishd cookin n et n left hers on the stove with a note splainin how she could heat it up ifn she wonted to. i dint here her cum in but she wuz thar sleepin beside me whenever i woke up. found she hadnt touched her food so i threw it out, made me sum coffee n cummenced to gradin them papers. i gut her up at the usual time in the usual way n not a wurd wuz spoke bout her cumplaint. on tuther hand, not a wurd wuz spoke.

ackshly, havin so lil sex wuznt my mane cumplaint. my mane cumplaint wuz how i had so much good wurk to do n jes wonted to doot. twuz true i wuz so busy to whar i couldnt hardly keep up with nuthin else, but twuz wurthy wurk. mayhap that wuz whut botherd her, that i lacked it so much, that i figgerd twuz wurth doin. that particlar week wuz tipicull fer how busy i always wuz, witch twernt much busier than she wuz! jes to give ye a idee of whut i mean, heres how that one week went.

twuz in february of 1983 whenever all this wuz a'happenin, witch twuz black histry munth. that week wuz lack most of em, a blur. that mundy, i hauled my book bag of graded papers over to kc. dr streeter had give me a offus upstairs with the rest of the staff, witch it seemd lack a honor but twuz manely on a counta his needin my ole offus fer a peeano practiss room. i taught class that day. gut papers frum my grammar class n frum bof my comp classes. spent the afternoon gradin them papers. cum home n fixed dinner, witch we dint hardly talk nun till twuz over. i then went over to kc (twuz dark n i dint have no ride since willy will wood only drive me home). we cast A Day of Absence that evenin.

on tuesdy we had a wurdless brakefuss. after that, i went over to kc whar i graded papers n had conferntses n such. twuz nice to be thar in my offus. kc wuz so small that everbidy knew everbidy n i wuz purty poplar amung them students. sharon n cassandra gut to whar they lacked to spend thar spare time in my offus. cassandra had cum so far in trustin me that she set up a stool in the corner by my desk whar she could sit. tuther students gut to whar they called it her throne. she wood sit n hold cort fer her friends while i wuz gradin papers. sumtimes we wood all talk bout whutever, often as not books cassandra wuz readin till sum of them other kids wood be readin books jes sos they could take part.

so twernt atall odd fer me to go to kc to grade papers even ifn i coulda dun it at home. thang is, emily had a full skedule of her own, but that dint stop her frum resentin me gradin papers at my offus in sted of at home, witch she dint never understand how i hate to wurk at home. fer me the threshold to my house should be whar my private life begins. to this verr day, even tho i kin conneck to my cumpnys network frum home, i still go in ifn ima gone wurk.

johnny mayhew n bud cum by in buds purple gremlin to git me sos we could have our wurkout. i member how i dint notiss how mad i wuz bout emily resentin me wurkin at wurk till i gut on that bench press. tiz a shame to add mitt, but truth wuz, i couldnt bench press my own weight, witch i weighd 130 pounds in them days. fack is, whenever we started in to wurkin out, i couldnt even bench press 50 pounds ten times! twuz a horrbull embarrassment to me. johnny wood yell at me lack i wuznt trine, but twuz all i could do to heft that fifty pounds even once. but on that afternoon, i tole johnny i wonted to try a hunnert pounds fer the furst time. 'dont be a fool, docter! ye jes barely dun 85 pounds on saturdy.' i tole im to putt the weight on n see ifn i couldnt doot. 'all rite, but dont fergit to breathe!' i jes putt all my frustrayshun into pushin up that bar n run rite thru my three sets of ten n ast im wood he putt on a nuther ten pounds, witch he dun it but even mad as i wuz at the situwayshun, i couldnt lift it moren three times. but it felt good.

that evenin after dinner, i chaird a panel discusshun on the topick of W.E.B. DuBois with dr greene n miz morgan fer panelists. thay wuz grate. gut home late n found emily in her usual spot, readin a book n sippin iced tea n a'pullin on her hair. she looked up but dint say nuthin, so i parked my book bag n went to bed. next day i taught my classes. afterds i went over to the undergraduwait liberry at ut n researched ML King, Jr. they had em a afro-amurkin seckshun. we needed a speech fer the feller playin MLK in one of the two shows we wuz a'doin name of In White America: Profiles of Black Leaders. i picked out a cuple speeches, the 'where do we go from here' speech n the last speech he made befor he wuz assassinated. me n emily met n walked down to wendys fer a early dinner of a wendys sangle with no meat (45¢) n fries n dranks, witch twuz one of the few places she could abide us eatin out since twuz so cheap. i dint even go back up to the apartment after but jes walked over to kc while twuz still lite out.

thursdy mornin emily left with dr morgan fer a consorshum on revolushunairy europe in charleston, south carolina. i wont never fergit the fite we had that mornin. i had me two sets of papers to grade n wonted to git goin early, but she figgerd that wuz a purrfeck eggzample of whut wuz rong. shouldnt i wonta stay with her till the last mint before she left? dint that show how i dint really keer bout her? beesides, she needed me to go to the bank to cash a check, witch she couldnt brang herself to git money outta the bank on a counta she hated add mittin that inny money ye putt in is a'gone half to cum out sumtime. so i dun it but i wuznt too happy n by time i left fer kc, twuz a'rainin cats n dogs n she wuz crine n twuz all my fault.

i graded papers all mornin n then bud rankin cum by to give me a ride to wurk out. johnny wuz wurkin n couldnt make it. whenever we wuz dun, bud offerd me a toke, witch i dint take it, n then he offerd me a ride back to kc, witch i tuck it happly. i graded more papers till twuz time to walk over to mcculloch hall fer another panel discusshun. thisn wuz a sorta deebate twixt the idees of W.E.B. DuBois n Booker T. Washington. i had dr greene n miz morgan thar. twuz spozed to end at nine pm, but thangs wuz jes a'boilin good by then, so we kept on till 10:30 when i called a halt by splainin twuz way past my bedtime n that i figgerd the deebate wood keep fer a nuther day, witch taint over yet.

next day, even tho i had been a'gradin papers most ever spare mint, i had a lode to git dun, witch i wurked lack crazy to doot n then taught my classes n finely walked home roun 4 pm. ate a pot pie n waited fer folks to show up fer group, witch twuz at my house. billy stewart brung over a copier n everbidy pitched in to hep copy scrips of A Day of Absence. funny thang wuz how i dint notiss till then how everbidy figgerd twuz sum kinda grate noble sacrifice fer me to be a'wurkin cross the tracks, so to speak, in whut they seemd to thank wuz deepest darkest africka or sumthin. we had a good meetin, manely on a counta everbidy feelin good bout heppin make them 25 scrips.

on saturdy i hauled all them scrips over to kc n we handed em out n had us a read thru. wurked out with bud n johnny that afternoon n then played racketball with billy stewart after that. stayed up till emily gut home round 9 pm, witch seem lack that lil bit of absents had cured a lotta her cumplaint even ifn it dint lead to no sex. but we wuz gittin along good a nuff that we went to the law liberry together the next day n gut a lode of wurk dun. after dinner we wuz bof whipped so much that she went to bed same time i did. we almost had sex till she memberd she wuz mad. she wonted to talk, but i turnt over n tole her she needed to find sumbidy else to talk to since i obveeusly dint git it.

she gut up n slammed the door on her way out. then she cum back in to say she figgerd i dint keer whuther she started seein a therapist. i wonted to ast her whut she wuz plannin to use fer money, but i dint say a wurd. i figgerd mayhap a eggspurt wood understand her cumplaint.

i shore dint n heres why: the more she cumplaind bout bein skeerd i wuz a'gone leave her, the more i wonted to leave her on a counta i wuz sick of the conversayshun bout her bein skeerd of me leavin. n whut makes it even wurser, lookin back now, is how we dint have no idee jes how good we had it then.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

ritin of buddy don: care ackter list

i sed yesterdy i wonted to git back to whut i started this blog to do, witch thats to finish a'ritin a novel name of life n pinions of buddy don, hillbilly. tiz easy fer me to git offn the track n lack i sed yesterdy i wonted to git back to doon whut i meant to do.

one of the furst thangs i discuverd wuz how i couldnt member all them names i had dun give to my care ackters. ifn ye wonta rite a novel, i wood offer jes a cuple pieces of add vice:
  1. dont start ritin atall till ye kin rite the last chaptur, witch ye mite half to rite it agin sumday, but ifn ye caint rite it at the beginnin, tiz lackly ye will rite minny a chaptur but never git to the end of yer story.

  2. start makin a list of care ackters as ye go along, witch i wish i had dun that frum the verr beginnin of that thar novel ima ritin. i dint, but i deecided to go back to the start of whenever i wuz teachin at knoxvull collidge n make my list.
thays a passle more thangs ye orta do ifn ye wonta rite a novel, witch mayhap sumday i will make a list of all the thangs i have larnt bout ritin novels n such.

fer now, i wood lack to share the care ackter list, witch it starts at chaptur 133: gittin a nuther job.

care ackters fer the skool of hard knox

dr gene streeter: head of humanities dept at knoxvull collidge

dr greene: head of the black studies progrum at utk; he hepped buddy don out by participatin in a series of panel discusshuns durin black histry munth of 1983

jerome johnson: furst student buddy don met; six foot six, football player, from libertyvull florda

rufus coales: verr dark-skinned, serious student, slow steady larner, frum south carlina, speaks good gulla

dolores g. miller: tall dark beeyooty, purrfeck delta (member of the delta sigma theta sororty) with amazin legs

kamal 'too short' trotter: feller frum pittsburg whose his furst eggsperients with death was havin his bruther die in his arms in a gang shootin

james coleman: nuther stoodent in comp 102, dead serious feller that lacked to win books; tuck richard wright's black boy fer his furst

randall rucker: verr smart lite-skinned stoodent; good artist; his sister wuz a nuther of buddy dons stoodents

sharon worth: 'gat-toothed' woman who knew bout chaucer n figgerd she dint have no opshun but to be loose, one of buddy dons furst friens at kc when she near choked n buddy don used the heimlick manoover on er

cassandra worthy: young stoodent who disappears frum buddy dons class; sharon worth splains that she wuz raped at utk; hard fer buddy don to win back to class, but he duz ... n then sum.

charley waller: feller in looseburg that abused emily whenever she wuz 12 or 13

fred: mamas boyfriend whenever buddy dons parnts wuz havin trubles

janine tooks: relijus stoodent frum dc in buddy dons grammar class; she tole buddy don twuz imperative that he attend contemporary issues on a speshul day

lita rodriguez: one of brews gurlfriends, good friend of mamas

eddie meyers: maizies tall boyfriend

wanda joyce: member of the administrayshun who wurked with buddy don on the drama club

william wilson: senyer, verr serious feller, nickname of 'willy will.'

augustus 'gus' trent: one of the two guest die-recktors fer the furst perduckshuns of the skool of hard knox theeatricull players

janine toney: tuther guest die-recktor, tall purty woman

rufus boudreau: member of skool of hard knox theeatricull players, grate sanger

ophelia morgan: wife of dr morgan, emilys majur perfesser, who hepped buddy don out by participatin in a series of panel discusshuns durin black histry munth of 1983

clayton edwards: member of the skool of hard knox theeatricull players, knoxvull native with a five octave range, proud to be a 'legacy', witch his daddy had gone to kc n that wuz how he gut in even tho he had dropped outta hi skool.

re-rites of buddy don, chapter 141: thonly white man in heaven

dr streeter wuz as good as his wurd bout gittin me sum pay. twuznt whut i wuz spozed to git ifn i wuznt temporairy full time, witch i wuz gittin 30 cents on the dollar, so i swore i wood do whutever it tuck to git on the reglar full time payroll. my method wuz to volunteer, but twuznt only fer the skool of hard knox theatricull players. i vounteerd fer servul other thangs besides that.

furst thangs furst, tho, n that wood be that thar drama club. furst time we met wuz on a saturdy afternoon, witch twuz a bit of a sprize to walk thru that nayborhood in the middle of the day n see how nice everthang looked. i generly cum by so early in the mornin that i couldnt hardly see nuthin but twuz a sunny cold day n seem lack them projects wuz jes shinin, everthang as clean as could be.

even tho twuz cold, befor i had walked halfway to skool, i wuz generly too hot to keep my coat buttond or my scarf rapped round my neck. that wuz sumthin i went thru everday, gittin all bundled up n steppin out onto 17th street n findin myself near shivern, but i wood be brakin out in sweat by the time i gut to skool.

the meetin wuz fer 2 pm, so i deecided to git thar a lil early n mark a few papers whilst i wuz a'waitin fer the meetin to cummence. i half to add mitt i wuz a lil nervus bout it fer reasons i caint ritely splain. whenever thay wuz a class fer me to teach, thay wudnt nuthin to be nervus bout since i wuz the perfesser n gut to say how thangs wuz a'gone be. but this time i wuz jes one of the folks cummin to the meetin. i knew i dint hardly know nuthin bout drama, lease not doin it on stage tho i had dun red minny a play n seen a few. but thang wuz, sum of them students probly knew lots more bout theeater than i dun.

two o'clock cum n went without nobidy showin up. i deecided to check tuther rooms, a'wundern did i git the place rong. then i wunderd wuz it the time. but long bout 2:30, here cum a feller name of william wilson, witch he wuz a senyer that i had dun herd of but never met. folks calld im willy will n made jokes playin with his name, mayhap on a counta him bein such a serious feller. he had run fer skool presdent n lost. sharon worth had splaind to me how he dint have no chants on a counta bein a alpha n wuznt no way no alpha wood beat a q. i ast her to splain but she jes laffd n tole everbidy i dint even know whut a q wuz.

innywho, willy cum rite up to me n shuck my hand n sed, 'william wilson.' i anserd back, 'buddy don duncan.' he sed he had herd bout me but i couldnt tell ifn that wuz a good thang or a bad. seem lack he wuz a lil angry bout sumthin, witch i cum to find out later on that wuz jes his way. i ast whar wuz everbidy? n he laffed n sed they wuz runnin on cee pee time. i tole im hadnt never herd of that time zone n could he splain it? he splaind bout cee pee time bein colord people time. i sed, 'colord people time?' n he sed, 'yeah. thats whatever time we shuffle on in.'

lack i sed, he had a angry look to im n i figgerd i had made im a lil angry to whar i wonted to pall gize. seem lack he wuz playin on whut he speckted my prejudgments to be. i had gut my mouth open with sorry wurds in it but befor i could let one out, here cum wanda joyce frum the addministrayshun. 'hey willy,' she sed with her hand in the air, witch he slapped it. twuz bout the time when hi fivin wuz brakin out all over but that wuz the furst time i seen innybidy doot.

while they wuz a'doin that, i tuck a quick look at my watch, witch wanda caught me a'doon it n splaind that the meetin wuz fer two but twood be run on cee pee time. i looked at willy, witch he smiled n sed, 'we just hope everyone shows up. no point watching the clock.'

that seemd to be the flossofy n i wuz sprized by how fergivin a thang twuz. by 3 o'clock thay wuz a roomfull n then in cum a cuple older folks, witch turnt out they wuz the guest die-recktors. one of em wuz a short feller with verr dark skin. he cum rite up to me as ifn i wuz in charge, stuck out his hand fer me to shake n sed, 'augustus trent. call me gus.' i anserd, 'buddy don duncan.' befor i could say much else sum feller called out, 'we call him mr d.' i looked roun to see who twuz but even tho that room wuz a'gittin warm frum all the kids that wuz thar, i dint see nary a one of my students. the woman wuz a lil taller n verr purty. gus innerduced her as janine toney.

seem lack dint nobidy know who wuz in charge whenever wanda ast me did i wonta say a few wurds to git us a'goin? i dint, but i figgerd twernt no time to cumplain, so i sed how twuz grate we had such a fine turnout n how we had us sum good local talent cum in to die-reck the play, witch rite thar wanda tuck the floor n splaind how thay wood be two plays, douglas turner ward's day of absence n a nuthern name of profiles in black.

soons she dun that, everbidy gut to findin seats or standin round, leavin wanda n gus n janine standin in the center of the circle. i had tuck a seat my ownself on a counta havin no idee whut we wuz a'gone do. but wanda had it all under cuntrol n gut rite to wurk splainin bout them two plays, witch quick as she dun it, she wuz innerupted by gus. i figgerd he wuz a'gone be the leader by then, but quick as he splaind his idee fer profiles in black, he turnd to janine n splaind how she wuz a'gone die reck a grate play frum one of amurkas bes playwrights, witch i wuz a lil sprized on a counta i hadnt never herd of no douglas turner ward befor.

not knowin nobidy or even knowin bout that grate playwright or bout much of nuthin havin to do with the thee-ater lef me wundern whut i wuz a'doon thar. i kindly wishd i hadnt cum out n wunderd whut could i do when i felt sumbidy tuggin on my sleeve n astin wood i move over on the bench to whar she could git a seat.

i turnt n wuz sprized to see cassandra worthy. we hadnt spoke atall since i made her mad by tellin her how emily wonted to meet her, so twuz nice that she wuz bein friendly. turnt out she dint know nobidy verr well ceptn me.

gus n janine tuck turns splainin thar plays. janine wonted to know ifn innybidy could git sum copyin dun since we wood need copies of the play. i menchuned how i had a friend that sold copiers n i wood ast him ifn he could do us the favor, witch that wuz billy stewart n that verr nex fridy at when the group met, we all made n bound copies a nuff fer everbidy includin wanda n me. i dint need nobidy to tell me thay wuznt no place on campus to make them copies.

then gus gut to splainin his. turnt out the play he wonted to do wuznt all made up yet. he needed folks to do a lil research, to find sum speeches by grate black amurkins, witch the idee wuz we wood have twelve of em n each one wood say a bit of a speech n we wood end by sangin. nary a student volunteerd to do no research, so i sed i wood brang sum books by them grate amurkins we wuz a'gone be preesentin, witch i had dun been a'usin em in my class fer dicktayshun. fer sum reason, my offer seemd to rile im a lil. i hadnt barely gut the wurds out till he talked rite on top of me, witch i shut up to listn.

'we will present our speakers with the dignity they deserve,' gus sed, 'then we will gather together to sing young, gifted n black n lift every voice.' why dont we close by sangin it now. then iris chambers started to hum n everbidy but me n cassandra worthy started hummin the same note n then all stood up n held hands with thar naybors n tuck to sangin a beeyootiful song i hadnt never herd befor, witch twuz lift every voice and sing, also known as the negro nashunull anthem. corse, i had cassandra in one hand n a feller name of rufus boudreau in tuther. i dint know a sangle wurd of that song n felt a lil shamed, but i noticed how cassandra dint sang neethur n that made me feel a lil better.

soon as that song wuz over, wanda tuck over n sed thay wood be reehearsals ever nite nex week ceptn fridy even if all we could do wuz sang till we gut our scripts. then she thanked us all fer cummin. everbidy but wanda, gus, janine n me disappeard. then gus n wanda tuck time to tell me how nice it wuz that i wood cum out, witch i could tell whut they ment wuz how i wuz white n why wood i be a'doin this? they gut to pall gizin bout cee pee time n tole me i had better larn to set my watch by it, witch they laffd n i laffd along with em.

then wanda looked at me as ifn thay wuz sumthin on my face n ast me did i feel nervus. i allowed as how i did, lease a lil bit, but only on a counta bein with a bunch of folks i dint know verr well n not bein a eggspurt in drama n not knowin the wurds to lift every voice n fer that matter not even knowin thay wuz such a thang as a negro nashunull anthem. but she meant did i feel nervus bout bein thonly white man in a bunch of black folk. i jes laffd n sed i had dun gut over that fall quarter. besides, twuz a verr warm bunch of folk.

once it gut home, i started lookin thru my books. i needed speeches frum the followin folks:
  1. Harriet Tubman
  2. Frederick Douglass
  3. Sojourner Truth
  4. W.E.B. Dubois
  5. Mary McLeod Bethune
  6. Marcus Garvey
  7. Paul Robeson
  8. Fannie Lou Hamer
  9. Malcolm X
  10. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  11. Lorraine Hansberry
  12. Angela Davis
i gut all my books together n had speeches frum near everbidy but martin luther king, jr, witch that seemed lack a sprize since his 'i have a dream' speech wuz easy to find. emily lacked studyin in the graduwait liberry, so we went over thar n i gut to studyin up on how to git the speeches i wonted. i gut mlks speech purty quick n then tuck to lookin into sum of them otherns, trine to see ifn i could find better thangs. they had em a speech frum angela davis that i wuz havin truble findin, but turnt out to be a speech whar she wuz quotin a feller name of martin niemoller. but they deecided to use thatn innyhow.

i wuz so cawt up in it that i dint notice how twuz late sundy afternoon. i ast emily whuther she wuz reddy to go, witch she wuz past bein reddy, but i hadnt notissd. i needed to grade a slew of papers, so i figgerd once we gut home, thats jes whut i wood do. but emily ast me did i wonta go back into the bedroom fer a lil sparkin, witch thats a offer i dint never refuse, so purty soon thay wuz a trail of emilys cloze -- all but the flannel shirt n knee socks -- leadin to the bed whar she wuz a'lyin on her back with that look on her face. i give her a lil kiss or two, but jes as thangs wuz a'gittin a'goin, the fone rung.

mayhap i shouldnta paid it no mind, but twudnt sumthin i could do that easy so i tuck it n wuz sprized whenever twuz dr morgans wife a'callin me back. emily wonted to know who twuz n whenever i tole her, she gut to twitchin lack she wuz half mad. but that call wuz importunt n kep me distracted. miz morgan -- 'call me ophelia' -- wuz agreein to cum over to knoxvull collidge to do sum deebates we wuz holdin fer black histry munth. i had volunteerd to git sum folks frum utk to cum over fer that eevent n nex thang ye know, i wuz spozed to moderate the deebate.

i gut offn that fone feelin grate. twuz a big releaf to git speakers fer my panel. i had been wurried how i wuz a'gone git everthang dun, but once i had my panel, it all fell rite into place. i went to git my notebook n make a few notes fer the week a'cummin up. mayhap i gut a lil carrd away on a counta how i fergut all bout emily till i herd her cum out of the shower.

'what did miz morgan want?' she ast.

i dint real eyes till then how i hadnt sed a wurd bout it to emily n how could she know i jes happend by luck to run into miz morgan or ophelia that is when i wuz a'lookin to find dr green? so i had ast her could she participate n she wuz deelited but had to check her skedule n git back to me. turnt out she could make it bof nites we wuz havin them deebates. i couldnt hep bein a lil eggcited n i half wonted to thank her fer havin dr morgan fer her major perfessor, but she had them wurry lines on her face. i wunderd whut wuz rong? she sed ifn i dint know, thay wudnt no point in a'tellin me. tiz the wurst possbull anser to that questchun on a counta why wood i ast ifn i dun alreddy knew?

i dint wonta fuss n fite over it, so i went to bed. that nex week wuz so busy i dint hardly see emily even once. but i half to add mitt i dint miss her much. i wuz too busy on a counta my classes kep me jumpin n i had a slew of papers to grade most everday. besides that i had to git over to kc ever nite. ever other afternoon i wuz over at the aquatick center a'wurkin out with johnny n bud, witch she dint cumplain bout that on a counta it happend whenever she wuz holdin offus hours. but we dint hardly see each other on a counta me bein at skool so much.

one thang i orta menchun is how i still dint have no car n had to walk over to kc in the dark, witch i hadnt never been over in the projecks at nite befor. one of the furst times i dun it, i had me a lil skeer. i wuz jes bout to turn up collidge street n passin by a parkin lot near a lil cunvenients store. thay wuz a group of fellers standin out talkin n smokin n such. i reckun they musta seen me a'walkin by n notissd how i wuz white n all. that gut em to hollerin out at me n the chillin thang bout it was how they wuz a'callin, 'hey buddy! you lost? hey buddy! what you doin comin over here?'

i wuz purty skeerd bout then, but i tride not to show i even herd em. i dint look thar way n jes kep on a walkin, acktin lack i wuz deaf n dumb. i wuz sorely tempted to look back once they wuz behind me whar they could sneak up n do sumthin, but i reefused to look back. dint nuthin happen even ifn my hart near bust outta my chest.

once i gut thar, seemd lack everbidy wuz treatin me lack i wuz a lil prince on a counta i wuz willin to cum out after dark to the black side of town. willy will ast me how i gut thar that furst nite n i splaind i had walked.

he gut verr serious n sed, 'mr d, is you loco? you be wantin to die? they sum crazy niggers out thar.' i tole im i had to do whut i had to do, witch he hollerd out to everbidy to splain whut i had sed. dint nobidy thank i wuz doon the rite thang. purty soon willy insisted on givin me a ride frum then on. he wuznt even a'gone attend them panel discusshuns fer black histry munth, but whenever he herd i wuz runnin em, he insisted he wood be thar to pick me up n take me hom. them panels went well thanks to ophelia n dr greene n i larnt a lot.

whenever i wuznt havin them panel discusshuns, we wuz reehearsin, witch thats why i had sumthin near ever nite n i had duble duty them nites we had bof them reehearsals n them panel discusshuns.

on thursdy we had us a dress reehearsal n a lil celebrayshun. they had it over at austin east hi skool. i wuz ridin with willy n a carfull of stoodents n we wuz a lil late. as we wuz a'walkin in to the basketball arena, a feller name of clayton edwards ast me why i wuz thar. he sed it lack he couldnt figger whut wuz in it fer me. i dint hardly know whut to say. i splaind how i had made a commitment n had to keep up with it, how i wuz larnin more frum my job than i had dun frum graduwait skool. he sed he knew that, but i coulda stayd home that last nite.

i wuz bout to say sumthin bout how i wonted to be thar when i wuz sprized to here cassandra tellin clayton to leave me alone. when he ast her why, she splaind how i wuz a'gone be thonly white man in heaven. i hadnt give much thought to whuther i wonted to be thar or not befor that. fack is, i wuz jes trine to git on dr streeters good side. but whenever i herd cassandra say i wuz thonly white man in heaven, i felt lack i wuz eggzackly that. i real eyesed then that however much i mite thank i wuz doin good fer the sake of doin good, twuz as much vanity as innythang.

fack is, i wudnt livin in heaven. i wuz livin rite on earth, witch that verr nex sundy, i gut a reeminder when emily wonted me to putt down a pile of papers i wuz gradin sos we could go back into the bedroom. she had dun shagged her cloze by the time i gut back thar, but this time thay woodnt be no sparkin. she wonted to talk. about us.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

wake up call of buddy don: a lil robert service

i been readin a wunderful book name of Collected Poems of Robert Service that wuz give me by eric over at straight white guy.

tiz the kinda book ye caint rush thru. fack is, i sumtimes git stopped a'readin a pome over n over n over agin. them pomes is that good.

not only do ye find yerself unable to speed thru such a book, but the closer ye git to the end – n i only gut 80 pages out of 728 lef! – the more ye tend to slow down sos ye dont half to end it.

most folks woodnt thank a book of pomes could be so engagin, but them pomes of robert service is differnt. they rime n tell stories. sum of em sets up thar own meldies in yer hed. twood be easy to cunvert a minny of em to musick.

i wonta share one of them pomes with ye, witch taint the bestn, but it hit me lack a left hook i wuznt eggspecktin. it duz whut the best literchur duz, witch it makes ye questchun whut ye wuz a'doon with yer life, makes ye wunder ifn taint time to recunsidder thangs n try to git back on the rite corse.

whenever i wuz a'wurkin reglar in thee-ater produckshuns over in man hattan, i herd a feller eggsplain purty well whut good literchur duz:
good literchur calms the distrubed n disturbs the calm.
turns out one of the smallest lil pomes in all of them colleckted pomes of robert service is a'doon that to me. here tiz:
My Masterpiece

It's slim and trim and bound in blue;
Its leaves are crisp and edged with gold;
Its words are simple, stalwart too;
Its thoughts are tender, wise and bold.
Its pages scintillate with wit;
Its pathos clutches at my throat:
Oh, how I love each line of it!
That Little Book I Never Wrote.

In dreams I see it praised and prized
By all, from plowman unto peer;
It's pencil-marked and memorized
It's loaned (and not returned, I fear);
It's worn and torn and travel-tossed,
And even dusky natives quote
That classic that the world has lost,
The Little Book I Never Wrote.

Poor ghost! For homes you've failed to cheer,
For grieving hearts uncomforted,
Don't haunt me now…. Alas! I fear
The fire of Inspiration's dead.
A humdrum way I go to-night,
From all I hoped and dreamed remote:
Too late… a better man must write
The Little Book I Never Wrote.
i hope to git back to the real reason i dun started this here blog, witch i wonted to practiss establishin a bleevabull hillbilly dialeck sos i could tell a huge tale usin stories i dun lived thru or seen otherns live thru.

thang is, all my brayin bout pall ticks n such is jes lack ice skulpchur: twont last long. but ifn or when i finish ritin life n pinions of buddy don, hillbilly (furst draft of the furst 101 chapturs is here; furst draft of chapturs 102 to 140 here), then i wood have sumthin that wood always be wurthy of readin since twont be deependent on the news of the day. it mite not be red by too minny folks, mite not even git published. i caint cuntrol nun of that.

but i kin cuntrol this, at lease till death innerupts: twont be the book i never rote!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

pinions of buddy don: how that spyin is wurkin out

whut are we gittin fer lettin the presdint take the law into his own hands? heres three thangs fer us all!
  1. more fun fer the fbi, witch they git to play the gaime of trine to tell ifn they caught innybidy they woodnta caught otherwise
    Spy Agency Data After Sept. 11 Led F.B.I. to Dead Ends:
    WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 - In the anxious months after the Sept. 11 attacks, the National Security Agency began sending a steady stream of telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and names to the F.B.I. in search of terrorists. The stream soon became a flood, requiring hundreds of agents to check out thousands of tips a month.

    But virtually all of them, current and former officials say, led to dead ends or innocent Americans.

    F.B.I. officials repeatedly complained to the spy agency that the unfiltered information was swamping investigators. The spy agency was collecting much of the data by eavesdropping on some Americans' international communications and conducting computer searches of phone and Internet traffic. Some F.B.I. officials and prosecutors also thought the checks, which sometimes involved interviews by agents, were pointless intrusions on Americans' privacy.

    As the bureau was running down those leads, its director, Robert S. Mueller III, raised concerns about the legal rationale for a program of eavesdropping without warrants, one government official said. Mr. Mueller asked senior administration officials about "whether the program had a proper legal foundation," but deferred to Justice Department legal opinions, the official said.

    President Bush has characterized the eavesdropping program as a "vital tool" against terrorism; Vice President Dick Cheney has said it has saved "thousands of lives."
    But the results of the program look very different to some officials charged with tracking terrorism in the United States. More than a dozen current and former law enforcement and counterterrorism officials, including some in the small circle who knew of the secret program and how it played out at the F.B.I., said the torrent of tips led them to few potential terrorists inside the country they did not know of from other sources and diverted agents from counterterrorism work they viewed as more productive.
  2. good news fer them trial lawyers, witch they gut em a cuple more lawsuits thanks to the spyin – Two Groups Planning to Sue Over Federal Eavesdropping:
    WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 - Two leading civil rights groups plan to file lawsuits Tuesday against the Bush administration over its domestic spying program to determine whether the operation was used to monitor 10 defense lawyers, journalists, scholars, political activists and other Americans with ties to the Middle East.

    The two lawsuits, which are being filed separately by the American Civil Liberties Union in Federal District Court in Detroit and the Center for Constitutional Rights in Federal District Court in Manhattan, are the first major court challenges to the eavesdropping program.

    Both groups are seeking to have the courts order an immediate end to the program, which the groups say is illegal and unconstitutional. The Bush administration has strongly defended the legality and necessity of the surveillance program, and officials said the Justice Department would probably oppose the lawsuits on national security grounds.
  3. finely, they dun flushed al gore outta hidin with the hep of an ole enemy, bob barr! – (1) Gore Says Bush Broke the Law With Spying;
    (2) Transcript: Former Vice President Gore's Speech on Constitutional Issues:
    The FBI privately labeled [Martin Luther] King[, Jr.] the -- and I quote -- "the most dangerous and effective negro leader in the country" and vowed to -- again, I quote -- "take him off his pedestal."

    The government even attempted to destroy his marriage and tried to blackmail him into committing suicide. This campaign continued until Dr. King's murder.

    The discovery that the FBI conducted this long-running and extensive campaign of secret electronic surveillance designed to infiltrate the inner workings of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and to learn the most intimate details of Dr. King's life was instrumental in helping to convince Congress to enact restrictions on wiretapping.

    And one result was the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act, often called FISA, which was enacted expressly to ensure that foreign intelligence surveillance would be presented to an impartial judge to verify that there was indeed a sufficient cause for the surveillance.

    It included ample flexibility and an ability for the executive to move with as much speed as desired.

    I voted for that law during my first term in Congress. And, for almost 30 years, the system has proven a valuable and workable means of affording a level of protection for American citizens while permitting foreign surveillance to continue whenever it is necessary.

    And yet, just one month ago, Americans awoke to the shocking news that, in spite of this long-settled law, the executive branch has been secretly spying on large numbers of Americans for the last four years and eavesdropping on -- and I quote the report -- "large volumes of telephone calls, e-mail messages and other Internet traffic inside the United States."