Monday, February 26, 2007
Nothing But The Dead and Dying
In my hometown, some boys used to collect scorpions and put whiskey on their stingers. The scorpions would sting themselves to death to get the whiskey and great hilarity would ensue for these bored hooligans who didn't have much upstairs, as the saying goes. Scorpions and cheap whiskey were easy to come by and it beat the rattlesnake game where you'd drop a cookie on the head of a rattlesnake in a box and try to snatch it off. When you can take the pebble from my hand . . . Badass or dumbass? It is, as one might imagine, a very fine line. I used to sing along with Simon and Garfunkel in those days, particularly the line, Nothing but the dead and dying back in my little town.
Even though I have not lived there for many years, I imagine that the same things happen now. It wasn't a bad place to grow up, though. When I return, the past comes flooding back, along with warnings from the locals about the dangers of living in the big city. What I don't say is that everything truly awful that has happened to me has happened in this small town. Even so, some part of me is deeply attached to it. You can't disown that which has defined you without paying a huge price. Besides, where else am I ever going to see someone try and take a cookie off a snake's head again?
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Went on with my life/ But that memory entering like a spike." Raymond Carver
Moving drinking suggestion: Jarhead
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Monday! Congratulations to Forest W. for winning the Oscar! I was thrilled. I also loved Ryan Gosling's performance in Half-Nelson, but Forest really deserved it. There's a great story about when he was on safari in Africa learning his lines. He wanted to see a lion, but everyone told him that it wasn't likely because the conditions weren't right. So he began to learn his lines and work on his craft and lo and behold, a lion appeared. He didn't stop, though, he just kept reciting his lines to the lion. This is a man who has worked on his craft for years, never getting the proper recognition. So writers, take heart! Your lion will appear.
41 days until The Sopranos airs!