originally published in High Brow Mountain Mutant (http://highbrowmountainmutant.com/?p=11)
I don’t usually cotton to superstition but on Christmas Eve my aunt
showed me pictures she’d gotten of two wild
turkeys staring into her windows and then a whole group where the
family usually has picnics. She thought it was an
omen of a funeral. Christmas Day there was a death in the family. I
saw a deer in my yard that day and had
thought, is this a bad sign or a good sign?
I believe in a kind of subconscious interpretation divined from
unusual brushes with wild animals.
My grandmother’s brother; my Great-Uncle Glenn.
Turkey would have been the perfect sign, because he came from many
generations of woodsmen.
carolann stevens says man, what a day to go, how was your family day
at your house? (other than a death)
my party sucked. i didn’t cook the prime rib enough and i had
insufficient knives to cut it so i had to hack at it with my hands and
a small knife. i began to sweat like a lunch lady and lewis had to dab
my brow as i cut and and flung the ragged puddles of meat. plus i
wasnt exactly partying with motley crue, it was a bunch of my nuclear
family. i did embroider a boner in a quaint way to surprise my mom.
that was a hit and even my grandma laughed and forgave me.
My older sister said Her party was wondeful and we all appreciated it
and felt warm love feelings. There were gifts under and all around the
pretty tree. Animals for petting. Foor for eating. Toddlers for
talking with. Fellowship to be had a plenty!
I said Everyone hated the party and noticed that I didn’t dust shit.
My sister said Lindsay, it was a precious get together and so shut your
I said They had to drink the meat from cups such was it’s rawness and
they respectfully gulped it in spasms of frightchokes.
stop it, wrote my sister, you are denigrating the reality of your party!
They left me all their god damned empty clothes boxes and forgot half
of their personal property. I typed.
my memory is an iron trap.
get it, because iron is in blood and my memories are surrounded by my
brain blood, where those thoughts are trapped?
Do you ever have dreams about Mill St? I have had many. I remember
almost every detail. Those times were hard for everybody, but in my
memory I always see it literally bathed in a safe golden comforting
Memories, even “bad” ones are more precious than any property.
Memories are so much more relaxing than the present. You can explore
them without liability. You can think about them any different way.
You don’t have a schedule. You don’t have to be anywhere, you can just
walk around and look at things.
memories to me are always from the viewpoint of my regular eyes. like
in a dream, i don’t see myself in my memory.
Do you mind if I list what I remember. The driveway. The screen door.
The astroturf. The bright thorough clean and polished wood paneling.
knick knacks to the right that said Home is Where the Heart is. The
round rug. The lace table cloths. The grin and bear it magnets. The
secret door to upstairs. the big buttons on the couch. the
bookshelf.the turkey midsoar over the t.v. the low table with that
wedding picture. a large mirror? the lace curtains. the accordion
door.the bathroom decorative soaps. peach. bath grippers. the wood
chair outside the bathroom door. potato chips and french onion dip.
spoons tinkling against dainty cups of coffee and tea. those glossy
mini animal figurines. the angular and magical feeling of the upstairs
with floral wallpaper. a tea kettle. a tall faucet. a porcelain ?
counter. a mudroom/pantry i think tilted toward the yard. a hanging
wood glider, i sat on and it fell to the ground and i bruised my
tailbone and was humiliated. the barn. a clothes line. the mailbox.
the curve. the fireman’s grounds. the 3 10 market.
I remember you playing Nirvana in the car. I think Cobain was still
alive or recently died. It was the early nineties.
The very very last time I saw Great Grandma I was with dad. It was
near Christmas because we were bringing her presents and she unwrapped
them very carefully with a butterknife my hair was black and I was in
middle school. I actually have a photograph of that day. I was sitting
on the couch.
Sheepishly cherubic with a shiny t-zone.