Eldest made stew. We do this occasionally… usually as a duo. He made this wholly on his own. Which is why it has okra. Which means I will not eat this.
Lil Miss: I’m done! See? (tips plate)
Me: great. put your plate in the sink or on the counter?
LM: on the whaaaa?
Me: the counter. or the sink.
LM: but I can’t put it in my butt?
LM: are you sure it won’t fit in my butt?
Me: I’m sure, yes. that plate will not fit in your butt.
LM: cuz it’ll hurt?
LM: and it’ll break my butt?
LM: and it’ll pop my butt?
LM: and I’ll be dead?
Me: I doubt that but you sure won’t be very happy.
Me: how about you put your plate in the sink
first, look at this: http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/279-82/13053-a-world-of-hillbilly-heroin
I’ll tell you my story:
When I stayed at the Salvation Army as a young runaway, there was a wild girl who stayed there too who LOVED drugs. Now mind you, I was no innocent; I’d done a few inebrients myself. A little acid, a little speed. Tried marijuana but wasn’t my thing (it makes me terribly paranoid and upset and nauseated) This girl, though, she was one of those types you figure will either be dead or paralyzed within the next decade. Or she’ll “find jesus” or something like that. You knwo what I’m talking about… if you don’t, let me assure people like that really do exist. She was once observe at a party hiding in the bathroom plunging a huge hypodermic into her thigh. WHen asked what the substance was she injected she replied “speed.. I think”
So one night, a male friend of mine drove up to the youth lodge to take us all out. All mean me and her. He had a nice car. Well she decided she needed to get some specific type of drug. I can’t even remember what it was, some pharmaceutical or another. I didn’t really truck much with pill-popping because it just seemed too risky to get the good stuff. Every now and then someone would hand me a pill and say “its black beauties!” or “it Praaludes!” and I’d pop it (I liked uppers) but if I didn’t know the pill I wasn’t popping it. I didn’t know a lot of pills so i declined most. And I was young enough, and cute enough that I pretty much never paid for my own drugs when I did them. People were always handing them to me. I was barely 4 feet tall and I think people thought it was funny to give the “little one” wacky stuff.
Anyway, I’ll call her Liza cuz frankly I can’t remember her name and she probably gave us a fake one anyway. Liza insisted on taking us all on a crazy drive out to get drugs from some distant relative of hers. We drove forever. We were in the STICKS. As in the frickin mountains upon mountains that blot out all city lights and not in a good way. Like you could hear “Deliverence” playin in the wind behind the mountain.
We drove through the woods for about ten minutes once we left the last dirt road behind and we finally came upon what I thought was a deadfall blocking the way. But she insisted we get out so I rolled up my sleeves thinking we’re going to have to clear the debris to continue on. I thought, wow we are so fucking far out that we have to pick up goddamn rotten trees to get to our destination.
It was actually her relative’s abode. There was actually an “inside” to this place. There was also uh.. furniature? I guess you could call it? It was hard to tell.
Now, I’ve been scared a few times in my life but never quite so bizarrely as walking through that pile of rotting wood with chickens everywhere. I could not wrap my mind around the idea that someone actually lived there, called this place “home”. Truth be told, it was impossible to really think of this place as anything even resembling a “home” -even to the chickens- what with the “walls” not actually shutting out the elements and the “roof” not actually sheltering us from anything above, including an occasional hawk that dove down trying to catch one of the lazy chickens. There was, of course, a nice fat layer of trash from bygone days and I actually found myself slightly interested when i realized some “junk mail” was from the forties but I lost all positive feelings whatsoever when she walked around calling her relative’s name and got no answer. I had a brief feeling of impending doom when it became clear that no one was going to give a “normal” answer of any type and it occured to me that said relative might, in fact, not be pleased as punch to see her there. Especially with a couple of strangers.
I grew up in the south and I know rednecks but I have to be honest when I say I’d had very little experience with… what we called “mountain people” and of course everything I’d heard was pretty damned bad. You didn’t mess with Mountain people. Basically my family made it clear that you pretty much didn’t have anything to DO with mountain people. If they showed up you humored them and waited for them to be on their way. Under no circumstances make fun of them and talk very simply to them, lest they take offense. They were known to be violent with a hair-trigger. The thing was that my family feared Mountain people, yes, but we felt a certain kind of patronizing kinship with them too. My father’s people were a long line of merchants, So we were never “down there” with mountain folk, but we certainly knew about them. Except me, of course, and i was terrified of them.
While I was busy figuring out that I was probably in the worst possible place I had ever been in my short life and how in hell was my family going to handle the notion that not only did I get killed but I was killed by a mountain person after all their warnings and sheltering, Liza was rifling through one of her relative’s medicine cabinets. He had six afixed to the walls. The reason she had decided to violate his uh, personal abode, was because her relative had apparently passed out on the floor and was lying in apuddle of his own refuse. I noticed the staining before I noticed the smell. I asked her if maybe we should check on him.
“him?” she sniffed, “no, he’ll wake up whenever”
Liza didn’t find whatever in blazes she was looking for and she seemed pretty convinced that cousin whosis had scads and scads of her drug-of-choice (who knew Mountain people could be so darned picky about their inebrients?) she just needed to find the right medicine cabinet. I did think it was odd that in a place so full of… chaos, her great-nephew had adhered to some semblence of order by using actual medicine cabinets to house his pill bottles. Maybe it made them easier to find than letting them lie around in chicken shit.
In any case, she was starting to get kind of pissy about it, making noise and all which alarmed me enough to realize exaclty how scared I really was – as was our driver, Tom who at that moment said “really, Liza, can’t we just uh, come back later?”
She looked at him like he’d lost his mind “and spend another four hours driving?!” well okay I guess that did seem a little nuts if you assumed he was telling the truth and was actually willing to come back.
At that point I decided I needed a cigarette and told her I’d be outside. As I turned to go (and began wondering if i’d make it outside as frankly every angle I turned the place looked like the same ungodly jumble of old papers, sections of sawed-off furntiature, chicken remnants and I-don’t-know-what-that-is-and-I-don’t-want-to…when suddenly someone appeared out of.. the back? of somewhere?
WITH A SHOTGUN IN HIS HANDS
I will not bother to accurately describe this..man? It is sufficient that you imagine the basic Mountain person stereotype. Battered brimmed hat, huge white beard, gaping toothless maw, grey clothes of an indeterminate nature… you get the idea.
Liza turned and said “Cousin Drew?!”
Drew opened his maw a little wider and said the words I was hoping he would not say “Who are you?!”
Liza opened her arms and walked towards him “DREW! ITS ME!!”
“damn, Liza, tell him your fucking name” I thought, “He probably doesn’t remember!”
“Liza??” he finally said
then he dropped the gun and they hugged.
That was enough for me. Nobody was getting shot. I was going outside. I waited until she was ready to go. Tom came out with her, pale as a sheet.
“are you okay? what happened?”
“nothing… he wanted to share his moonshine with me”
“are you NUTS? Don’t you know mountain shine can kill you if you aren’t used to it?!”
“oh okay so was he offended?”
“no, thank god”
“great, let’s go”
“yeah” said Tom
So we left.
I was at the first monthly stitch-n-bitch that my Alterna-mom group had put together when I got a call from the husband. Truth be told, when I’m out on social business I tend to “ignore” his calls because he’s got a history of calling about frivolous things on the spur-of-the-moment. However, in the past two years he’s really turned his history around (like to the point of “are you really the same person?” sometimes. I said SOMEtimes) so he’s knowledgeable about the fact that I will ignore his call if I’m socializing. So he called my best friend. For future purposes we shall henceforth refer to her as LaFemme. Cuz she is. Anyways, Baph (that’s husbands sobriquet) calls LaFemme right away and she answers cuz she knows if he’s calling HER it must be actually important. She hands me the phone.
“I fell off my bike” says Baph and immediately I envision him standing on top of the seat doing some kind of balancing act to the cheers of his friends and then falling down. This, of course, is ridiculous and not at all what he meant. I can tell because his voice sounds tense and shaky, just like someone who’s been in a wreck.
“I think I broke my leg” says he.
‘oh gawd,’ I thought,’ not another hospital co-pay’ because I am a devoted and loving wife like that. Meaning I’m so loving I thought that but didn’t say it at all.
“where are you honey”
“uh… do you want me to come and get you?”
“no, Lou’s going to drive me down home so you can take me to the ER”
“Honey, dont’ you think that if your leg is broken maybe you should go to the ER sooner? like NOW?”
“I called the Blue Cross Nurseline and she said I can put ice on it and come home”
“uh, okay I guess I’ll see you in two hours”
Well his leg wasn’t broken. Which is great because that’d really mess up a lot of plans we both have been making for the next few months. Like I said, I’m a devoted loving wife so I can tell you right now that I’ve been taking care of everything around here and filled with happiness to be waiting on my husband while he lays up his incredibly bruised and hideous-looking leg.
Well, I would be if it weren’t for the fact that this accident came about because SOMEBODY just HAD to go on a motorcycle ride with his pals while it was raining. yeah, see I am not particularly antsy about him riding, but I do get somewhat displeased when he rides in the rain. Every time he rides in the rain I can’t decide whether I want to brain him for being so stupid or disable his motorcycle until he promises to stop doing that. I know sometimes its really inconvenient to wait out the weather but you know, we DO have another vehicle so there’s always the option to call me and come get him. If he’s on a mountain ride? What is so outrageous about the idea of waiting once it starts to rain? I am willing to bet that any rain that happens is of the brief variety. Even if “brief” means 3 or 4 hours: I’d rather have him be late than have him make a call like that to me again.
So while I’m trying to be helpful and sympathetic, I have to admit to a certain amount of emotional salad: bitter “I toldja so”, anxious “why did you do that!?”, and angry “you DUMB SHIT!”
yeah there’s maybe a little relieved “well I’m glad you’re mostly okay”
Me: (woken up from disturbed sleep on couch) Huzzat? Wha?
Baph: (rather peeved being as sleeping on couch is agreed to be prime insult to other person in relationship) Why the hell are you sleeping on the couch?
Me: (groggily) because there was a monster in the bathroom.
Baph: (suspicious and still peeved) A monster?
Me: yeah. A monster…
Baph: (walking away, disgusted) yeah, right, a monster. Whatever.
MANY HOURS LATER:
Baph: (on telephone) Oh, I killed the monster in the bathroom this morning.
Me: (eternally grateful and relieved) You did?! Oh thank god.
Baph: Yeah, he wanted to take a shower with me.
Me: Ugh, was he nice about it, or nasty?
Baph: Nasty. I was thinking, “no!! You don’t get to shower with me! ONLY CASSANDRA gets that right!”
Me: UGH. *giggle*
Me: If I won’t go downstairs and kill a spider cricket, what makes you think I’m going to rob a bank for you?
Baph: there’s no bugs involved.