#2o Wal-Mart and beyond pt. 2
I'd already spent the morning chasing Greg down--a vomiting dog and the chance for him to meet his bio-mom made me happy to do it. Sure, all that Greg-chasing had interrupted my plans, but that's what I got for making plans, youknowwhatImean?
When I got the call that Greg 'would not come back here, ever,' however, I was kinda worried. Greg had had a pretty amazing day already, and had a lot of things to process: a new mom, a little brother, an obligation to his adoptive mom, a barfing barking dog.
Dad waved at me as I pulled out of the driveway and headed off to Greg's mom's house. As I pulled out of the drive, I thought perhaps I was off to rescue Greg. Then, when I hit the street, I thought perhaps I was off to rescue Greg's mom. Then, not quite to the highway, I realized I'd intended to go to my uncle Jackie's house, then to my grandparent's house, and that perhaps I should let Greg and his mom work out shit on their own. Then I realized I'd told Dad that Greg was administering his mom's pain meds. Then I realized.... whatever. By the time I hit the highway to head into town, I'd decided to call Greg.
"Come get me now," he'd said when he called me. This time he said, "Christ, just go get some Armor-All and Murphy's Oil."
I could hear loud banging sounds behind Greg's voice, as if he were striking a large bell. "Armor! All! And! Murphy's! Oil! Get! It!"
By the way, driving? I actually enjoy it. Seriously. I pretend I don't--I've had too many wrecks--but driving without wrecking? It's great. The sun was coming in thru the windshield, and the windows were down so there was some pretty bad-ass wind slapping me and my hair around, and this smell rushing thru the car, this clean, bright, quick smell... I rolled down all the windows, shot thru a red light, and screamed into the phone (I had to scream because the wind was so loud), "Murphy's Oil and Armor-All are two different things, Greg! I can get one at like Auto-Zone, and I can get the other at a furniture store. But to get both, I'll have to go to. You know. That place."
"I did not intend to go to Wal-Mart."
"Well, I didn't intend to have puke all over my mom's car when I took it out this morning. So we're even."
"No. We're not."
Flap flap flap. Spittoon-ding.
#21 Oh my god it's full of stars
Side-note: My mom lives far away from the city. She lives on the lake, no streetlights, no traffic. Water, grass, sky.
Sunday--last week--I took Waffles to my mom's pier. A storm was, as they say, a-brewin'. The night before, I'd walked down to the same pier, and took a good long look up into the sky.
Waffles seemed just as fascinated with the choppy water as I'd been the night before with the fragile sky. As I walked Waf along the pier, letting him smell the water, dip his nose into the small waves, I thought about the night before, when I'd stood outside staring up into the clear sky at the perforation of stars.
The storm rolled in. Waffles and I watched it move across the water, over the trees, pushing against the water of the lake so that the surface bent and broke.
#22 Amanda HugandgetbatteriesfromFred's
Amanda needed batteries. That was it. She needed batteries for her camera, and her camera needed to take a picture of us. "I have a lot of batteries in my bag," she told me. "But they don't seem to work." She juggled several batteries in her hand. She slid them into her camera. Every one failed.
So we walked. We moved from the bench to a path heated by the sun, and got to an intersection. Beside us was a statue of WC Handy--because why not?--and Amanda said, "Jesus I remember you hating that statue."
"He looks anorexic," I said. "I mean, it looks like a survivor of cancer decided to take up the trumpet."
And it does! It's a terrible statue. WC Handy: Great guy. Terrible memorial.
Greg called as Amanda and I crossed the street (slowly). He'd previously texted me, and now he called. "I can't take it anymore," he told me.
"You're cutting in on my Amanda time," I said.
"Sorry. Can you both cut in on my Mother time?"
Amanda and I bought batteries from Fred's, which is a sort of low-level Rite-Aid. Then we took a picture of ourselves. It was the first time, since 1999, we'd ever been together in one frame, and the first time we'd ever realized just how much had changed in our lives.
Change. It's good. Also bad. It happens. I have pictures to prove it.
#23 Wal-Mart Jesus Christ It's Awful Stop it part 3
I'm gonna make this as short as possible. I left dad's house, convinced Greg was about to drown his mom in pain meds, then thought perhaps it wasn't my place to intrude on mother-son matters. Wind blowing into the car. NPR blasting. Scenery rolling past. Trees, houses, bridges, water.
Then I ended up at Wal-Mart. It was shocking: Everyone was wearing pants. In my experience, the people who go to Wal-Mart don't feel the need to dress. Back in the day, when I went to Wall-Mart (or 'Wally-World'), everyone was naked. Naked is, like Salinger, an intrusion, but if you're purchasing 10 pounds of Pine-Sol, clothes are beside the point.
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