Earth People

“Now honey don’t just stand there, lookin’ like this dream will never end. Honey let me introduce you to my redneck friend”. – Redneck Friend – Jackson Browne

As the cold wind, in from Canada, races across the lake outside my writing window, I walk out to the porch at high noon to hear its fury and the sound of acorns falling. There’s a Woody Woodpecker scrambling his brain to peck a hole to hole up in for the coming winter. If he stays here year-round he must have a mate to keep him warm and those two must be hardy souls.

It’s hard enough to live with the woman you’re sleeping with; I’m living with three women, Mom; she 90 next month. She told me tonight I was too close to the TV and I’d wreck my eyes. She gets her way by force. My sister who’s a year older than me and trying, single-handedly, to break the Medicare budget; gets her way by just spazzing out. The third is unrelated and lives downstairs in a full on apartment I covet, by alas, bats for the other team. There all nice enough I suppose, nobody’s perfect, but these inmates definitely run the asylum.

My old man, who was the toughest guy I ever knew and the only man I was ever afraid of, checked out at 80, 14 years ago. He’d been to France and damn near bought it at Bastogne, but these women wore him down to a nub; and when he left he was a tiny squeaking gerbil. He’s probably sitting in the peanut gallery raining down laughter on me right now from the cheap seats and enjoying the show. I find the whole cabaret equal parts bone tickling funny and bone chillingly bizarre. My kingdom for a giant sock full of manure and a 55 gallon drum of industrial strength Valium.

If I weren’t made of that stuff my old man had in spades before the fall and other people’s petty annoyances didn’t bounce off me; I think I’d go bananas ala Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Perhaps it was the solitude Jack was in that will eventually do me in. Maybe I’ll start typing a ream of paper “book” writing the very same sentence over and over and come home one day with an ax. “Johnny’s Here”. Red Rum, Red Rum.

The natives here are grown like the corn; right from the soil. They have a social armor not unlike city folk but theirs derives from politeness and not the fear produced by too many rats in the maze. They seem to want to give you your privacy. So, of course, since I always have to go the opposite way of the dominant paradigm, just for grins, I give random strangers I meet in professional settings, the bank, bakery, hardware store or garage, the full 100 watt California high beam smile and warmed by the Sun Leo hello handshake.

This elicits immediate recognition of the kind I haven’t experienced since the Hippie days of the 1960’s. Once in this space you had better have packed a lunch because you’re gonna be here a while, while they chat you up like they been Robinson Crusoe stranded Tom Hanks style and you are Wilson. In a place where winters are long folk regard a new friend like they’re just discovered gold.

I’ve heard rumors of a regulation full-sized pool table not more than a few miles from this very spot in an old-fashioned saw dust floor bar with food. If this turns out to be true I will have to reconsider my position on the existence of a Supreme Being, the JFK and Michael Moore biographies I’m reading will get a rest and you all will be informed presently of the sure to be savory character I meet within.

Till then; keep the light on for me.

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About circusinpurgatory
Nick Masesso Jr’s fictionalized short stories, poetry and prose have been published in the Starry Night Review, Elegant Thorn Review, Language and Culture.net and Vagabond Press; the Battered Suitcase. His latest book “Armor of Innocence” and first book “Walking the Midway in Purgatory, a Journal” are available on-line and through bookstores.

One Response to Earth People

  1. James Mcfarland says:

    Captured the message, sentences jump around, get the ambience. 7.9 rating.

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