show details 9:37 AM (4 hours ago)

Nope – didn’t have a stroke. Still here. Must’ve been lightning after all.

I think I might have been falling asleep.

show details Jun 12 (1 day ago)

Remind to tell you the story of the two German Shepherds…

In the meantime:

“What do you mean, he’s missing!?”

Momma is on her phone, standing up now, walking over to peek out the window and then pacing back over to the kitchen, where a bacon-y cloud of greasy smoke seemed to cover everything. “Damn!”

“No, I’m fine. So, ya’ll done called the police? Okay. Well, what was he wearing?”

“WHAT!? Ya’ll let an old man walk out of there in his damn pajamas!? You know, we got to talk about —” She got cut off, nodded her head listening a little.

“Yes, yes. I understand,” Momma was leaning on the edge of the little wall that separated the kitchen from the living room.

“Yes, I understand.” Momma waved me out me of my chair and flicked her hand toward the stove, the ruined bacon and spattered grease.

“Ah, Momma…” Man, couldn’t stand a greasy pan, gonna be smelling like bacon all dang day.

“Uh huh, well…actually, I’m almost positive GranDaddy wouldn’t go out in his pajamas. You know? He was probably just tryin’ to, you know, trick those night nurses.” Momma was twisting one of her braids now and I was not wiping up a dang thing, I was listening.

“Yeah, okay. Yeah. I understand. Yeah. Okay, I said I understand. Now let me get off this damn phone so I can figure this out.”

“Yes. I know, I’m sorry. It’s just, you know…it’s so hard to find a place…”

“Okay. Yes. I’ll call.”

“Tomorrow at 11am? Go in there? What for?!”

“Listen, I don’t know. We just gonna have to talk after we hear GranDad’s side of things.”

“Yes. Okay. Yes.”

“Uh huh…yeah. Bye.”

Momma clicks her phone shut and looks at me in the same way she did when the car all the sudden quit workin’ right when we were getting on the 565 and there were all those big trucks going by. It’s Momma’s “Oh Shit!” look and I’ve only seen it just a few times.

And then her face went back to it’s normal look, which is kind of irritated looking, and she took me by the shoulders and turned me around so I was lookin’ at the stove. “Clean it. Now.”

Her phone does it’s ringtone song and she answers it real quickly. “Hey. Naw. I can’t talk right now. No. Naw. He’s fine. Cleaning the stove for me.”

Momma turns and looks at me with her eyebrows up do-it-now look. I guess I was just standing there. Listening.

“Naw. GranDaddy took himself a little walk and we got to find him.”

“Could you! Now THAT is a good idea! Well, I’ll try not call those folks ’bout it. Thank you. Lord, I have got so many calls I got to make.”

“Yeah, well…they wanted me to come up there tomorrow have a “little talk” mmmhmmm – Well, I told ’em – I was all, we ain’t even found him yet and ya’ll want to be talkin’ ’bout kickin’ him…” Momma looked at me, probably saw how my mouth was hanging open ’cause she straightened up her face.

“Well, we’ll figure it out. Yeah, thanks for callin’ the church list. I’ll go out drivin’ around. Yeah, we’ll call you. Hey! You got the boy’s cell?…it’s 3386201. Yeah, you just call him if I don’t answer mine. Yeah, I reckon I better go try to get in touch with the police.”

“Yes! Of course they called the damn police!”

“I know…I know. Okay, bye.”

show details 2:34 AM (11 hours ago)

Momma clomped up the stairs and even through the concrete and carpet, her steps sounded heavy.
I tried to pay attention to the bacon pan – man, frickin’ disgusting, the way this pan smells with the dish soap and bacon grease.

It the smell I will remember about this day. See, that’s how I sort of like to try to remember stuff that happens – how it looks or smells or feels. I don’t really talk a lot about how I do this, ’cause…well, it’s a little weird.

I mean, I guess its weird? It feels weird sometimes. Like now, with Momma walking back and forth above me in her room, talking to what sounded like must be the police – I can tell by the short, muffled Momma-talk that I can only sort of hear. Not like when Momma’s on the phone with Auntie Joyce or one of the ladies down at the shop. You KNOW she’s talkin’ then!

Now, standing here smelling how much I can’t stand bacon or Saturdays or phone calls or Police or meetings and really hating it that it seems like Momma will probably smack me if I so much ASK her to drive me over to the Game Trade and More.

Dang, man. She was supposed to take me up their last Saturday! But, of course, someone from the shop got sick or somethin’ and Momma had to go work. Stupid shop with it’s stupid shoes.

Naw, it isn’t like that. Momma loves that shop; that shop is her life. Well, and me. I know I am my Momma’s heart. She tells me everyday.

Drives me crazy. Course it’s easy to see. All the folks round here grow up with ‘problems’ are the ones that don’t have their momma’s – either they gone or they there but not there, you know.

That’s when Momma quit talkin’ to my cousin Suwanee – she had that baby and at for a little while it was okay and then it wasn’t okay and Momma tried to help, but ended up just causing problems cause the people who come over to run the community center started lookin’ at Momma takin’ care of Darrell – that’s my little cousin – and I don’t know the whole whole story, but I do know that some people came by to ‘visit’ the community center and Momma must’ve been tired or somethin’ ’cause I guess Darrell was cryin’ or somethin’ over by the bus stop. And Momma was tryin’ to call Suwanee. Now, see – I DO remember this: see ’cause I was out front waitin’ for Ron to get up so I could get at that new game system – I don’t remember which one it was, one of the PlayStations, I think. I don’t know it was a while ago.

So, I was standing there and it must’ve been around 9:30 or so ’cause the bus finally came to get Ms. Johnson and all her damn bags – that woman has got some damn bags! Ha! Yeah – it’s like she goin’ on a trip or somethin’ everytime she get on the damn bus! She got these bags hangin’ all off her walker…

So, yeah I was waitin’ for Ron to get up and it was the beginning of Spring and Momma was over by the community center hollerin’ at Suwanee on the phone. “Well, I don’t care if you don’t got no RIDE! You figure out a way to get yourself a RIDE!” is the way the side of our little street smells at 9:30 in the morning, on a Saturday in early spring – just when it starts to get warm: cold pavement, and grass that’s still damp, but drying.

They took Darrell and he lives over somewhere out in the county now. I don’t know. Damn Saturdays.

Seems like I ain’t never going to get to look for that game. See, GranDaddy, he is a flat-out trip. Seriously. Likes himself some women, still! Not in a for real way – you know, like FOR REAL – but, he’s always openin’ doors and pulling out chairs and takin’ off his hat. Oh man! His hat! He got this old grey hat with the black band on it and all and he wears that damn hat EVERYWHERE, we’ll be ridin’ him up to the Ingles and he’ll come out to the car in his damn hat! And his shoes! His damn shiny black shoes.

Yeah, GranDaddy is a flat-out trip. Like outta some movie or somethin’ except maybe not so much anymore.

Ah, hell. Momma just got on the phone with Auntie Joyce:

“Oh! You wouldn’t EVEN believe the way they acted. Like they a goddam dry cleaner lost a goddam shirt!”

Detail of Edge of Ill-Conceived Pond Appears as Sternly Sculpted Browline

show details 3:36 AM (10 hours ago)

This picture was taken yesterday. Kudzu was not growing along the Rocky Broad River (Hickory Nut Gap, NC) when photographic technology would have produced an image such as this.

Then again, maybe this is an antique photo of a road in Japan.

Back to REALITY. It is 3 o’clock in the morning and I have been up for the in-between segment of the day. I will go back to bed for a few hours in a little while. The children have finally figured out how to sort-of sleep through the night. The girl still comes and gets in bed with me a few nights per week. But, she is quiet and matter of fact about it and I suspect it is more habit than need and that she will be done with it soon.

People who discourage sharing a sleeping space with their young children ought to be mindful of the fact that, although there are millions of people who slept with a parent VERY close by for most of their childhood – there are very few teenagers who slumber snuggled in with a parent. Ew!!!

So, yeah – she’ll grow out of it, already is. However, I’m hoping that she will keep it up long enough to remember that she would wake up in the middle of the night and look for me and that I was always RIGHT THERE.

It’s important.

I am solid in the ways that count most. Still working on reclaiming dinner. We are a tough three to cook for. Me: would rather just eat nuts and seeds and fruit and cheese and bread and coffee and ice cream…

…things were really pretty topsy turvy around here for…well, pretty much her whole life…
My god.

Okay, so – yes: reclaiming dinner.

Just had the most pleasant interaction with the boy. I was sitting out front, finishing up that chunk of pure fiction that I am replying to.

(I like that I can say I am replying to a chunk of pure fiction and be speaking quite literally.)

“MOM!” The voice cuts through the air.

The timing was brilliant. I am wide awake. “Yes. I’m coming.” Ah, my voice sounds just like June Cleaver’s.

“Hey, Bud. What’s going on? You gotta use the bathroom?”

“Milk…I just really want some milk…”

I notice that amongst the giant fairly bad ass train track layout there is BROKEN GLASS! This is not surprising. A milk cup fell, broke, woke up the boy.

However, we were both calm and conversational.

Okay – real quick. Just heard mysterious squealing of brakes of a van with a bad engine, opening of doors – exchanging of voices. Footsteps running, toward or away.

This street is fuckin’ Zombie Land at 3 am. Everybody who walks by is staggering, their footsteps slap and drag on the sidewalk. Some of them wail. Some get out of cars to stumble into the street, some get into cars to stumble off of the street for some brief diversion.

The illusion of movement.

It is not constant, but it is noticeable. The sound of distant horns. Shouts and hollers, car doors slamming. This neighborhood is getting far better for the lucky, but is still the setting for the lives of the most vulnerable populations in this city (the residents of two public housing facilities that provide section 8 housing to the disabled and elderly, the homeless – who live in the pockets of woods that punctuate the edges of central Asheville, and the near-homeless: those who drift from apartment complex to apartment complex – as triangulating the S. French Broad, nay: River Arts District, are FOUR large general population public housing complexes.

This neighborhood has a different demographic than anywhere else remotely near here. Recipe for disaster or multicultural dreamland of Art and old trees, poverty.

Should make a good story.

(Crime Scene: Main Hall, 6:15 am, Thursday/
shrew – deceased, moth – badly wounded, leaves – witnesses)

Ah, yes – back to the boy. So, he watched as I carefully deconstructed the track and when he began a squeaking protest, I mused aloud regarding how fortunate it was that he’d waken up (Really!) can you imagine the nightmarish Sunday morning melee of broken glass and bloody feet. HORRIBLE to consider. Would have put me over the edge.

So, we chatted and used the bathroom and I cleaned up the glass and he was almost back to sleep when I’d finished putting the train track back together e-x-a-c-t-l-y as it had been. Or so I thought: I could not resist reaching up to the loft bed to pat the boy’s foot. “Goodnight, Bud.”


By the time I have navigated the train track and dragons situation to get to the door, he has sat up to look.

“Hey! Mom! That knight should be facing that dragon and that dragon should be facing the other way.”

I told him we’d deal with it in the morning.

show details 3:49 AM (10 hours ago)

Another fact of reality: I am busting out more work than EVER. Without even trying so hard. I have figured out that – for me – having a fully integrated and cohesive day, with the flexibility to sleep in two to four hour chunks of time (constantly indulged and refreshed!) Well, it helps immensely. Right now, I am getting to do what I have always wanted to do…how lucky!

Of course, I will not get to continue this indefinitely unless some major strings are pulled.

A cat is meowing somewhere.

No, will not go look for cat. Will not go look for cat.

Oh good, it was Gracie.

A lot of cicadas, fireflies. Big flashes in the sky though no clouds.

Lightning, theater…who knows? It’s all electricity as far as I’m concerned.

Yeah, definitely lightning. Very odd lightning that seems to originate from nowhere in a sudden concentrated blast.

Shit, I wonder if I’m having a stroke or something.

I have always been exceedingly aware that I could die at any moment. Really. I have never not had this mortality about me. It’s cause I spent a lot of time around old people and hospitals when I was a little kid.

I’m tired. Going to bed.

Coming Soon: Photos from Shipman (Real Live South-ern Folk Art) and a pair of crutches beside a baseball field and a chainlink fence. Hmmm…both would make good stories.

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