Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A Lake Filled With Garbage


When one of my friends landed a spot in Playboy (as a model, not a fiction writer -- that's my dream!), she sent her father a copy of the proofs. Her father was a deeply evil man who had once given me a serious case of the willies by undressing in front of me when I came over to pick up his daughter to go to Possum Kingdom Lake. My friend was running late, and I ran the hell out of that house, a house I remember well, decorated with all sorts of sayings from the Bible and Catholic saints left behind by her dead mother who had committed suicide a few years earlier. In a truly ugly turn of events, she shot herself in the head but did not die immediately -- instead she hung between life and death in an alley for a few days before being found and dying shortly after. My eyes scanned the Serenity Prayer framed on the mantle before making my escape. God, give me the courage to change what I can change . . . My car and I proceeded to wait further on down the road. These were the days sans cell phones -- timing was a bit dicier then. I never mentioned to my friend why I'd taken off so suddenly, and she never asked. I suspect she knew all too well.
I admired her act of aggression, sending her father the pictures. I'm not sure what the message was -- This is what you cannot have anymore or This is what you made me or something else entirely. He was a slight man, not someone anyone would have feared upon sight. Like many things lodged in my memory, I've often tried to use this incident in a story. I get stuck on where the story begins, but perhaps it begins in the lake we were trying to get to -- a lake filled with garbage and man-sized catfish, a lake surrounded by venomous snakes of every ilk, a place frequented by people tanked up on qualudes and Wild Turkey, looking for fun, looking for trouble. It's hard to tell the difference. The water is so dark that it doesn't give any clues to what it holds.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"At all crucial moments in our lives we want to speak without knowing what to say." Joyce Carol Oates
Cocktail Hour
Drinking movie suggestion: Office Space
Drinking short story collection: Faithless Joyce Carol Oates
Benedictions and Maledictions
22 days until The Sopranos airs!

23 comments:

Rodney Dangerfield said...

Joyce Carol Oates has never had a qualude(sic) in her life, if you know what I mean.

Reinhold Neibuhr said...

Thank you for the reference to my prayer.

Captain Boblo said...

Take a quaalude and you'll always know what to say, whether you want to or not.

Joyce Carol Wheatflakes said...

Huge Hefner was one of my first major publishers.

The Elephant Man said...

Marvelous photo,Michelle. Remember not to move your lips when you read, though. Hold a pencil between you lips.

the walking man said...

I know this is a blog and an open one at that;but can't the anonymous posters at least empathize with what's written?

I love a witty remark or reply. But don't you even have a sense of what the Playboy model went through in her life or can't you put yourself in the writers position of the reality of being in that house and the father stripping in front of one of his daughters friends?

Aren't you able to see the situation as it happened and the authors dilemma in wanting to write about this traumatic experience but not sure what the first line should be?

Because if these are the best comments you can make then it proves you are not even good readers and definately not writers in a literary sense. And to be honest with you, you even dishonor the people whose names you do use to post under. Because in my humble opinion your one liners suck and wouldn't even work at the lowest of comedy clubs.

Peace

TWM

Tim said...

Hey Michelle,
I feel sorry for your friend, growing up with a father like that. That kind of person,"not someone anyone would have feared upon sight", sometimes hides the darkest evil within them

Charles Gramlich said...

Perhaps we humans invented hell in hopes that people like that father could be made to suffer. Sorry about your friend.

Dan said...

(as a model, not a fiction writer -- that's my dream!)

Michelle, you could do either!

Bottom feeder said...

Cellulite ass kisser.

Susan Miller said...

"The water is so dark that it doesn't give any clues to what it holds."

Sounds like the Mississippi. You write some of the best lines.

I'm glad your friend had you.

tui said...

Great story. Shame it's true though!

Tristram Shandy said...

This is a cock and bull story if ever there was one.

Rodney Dangerfield said...

I'd let Tui put my pencil between her lips, if you know what I mean.

Rodney Dangerfield said...

It's cock with no bull, if you know what I mean.

Rodney Dangerfield said...

Wellcome to the great white north, Tui. Let's smoke some mother nature and drop some ludes if you know what I mean.

Anonymous said...

TWM is an ass

the walking man said...

TWM is an evil ass motherfucker who can kick the shit out of any one of you cocksuckers who want to give it an up and go.

Bring your lunch, your brothers and sisters (so I will have something to fuck when I am done fucking you all up) and rodney I had my pencil between your lips and to be honest it was better with your teeth out.

Vito Spadafore said...

It wasn't Rodney, it was me, you lovely Soprano blind boy.

the walking man said...

Heey Vito you motherfucker I am only blind in one fucking eye and if it had been you my pencil would have been up your ass, just to show you I ain't no mootherfucking boy...but you are my bitch that's why you sing soprano you nutless wonder

Vito Spadafore said...

The squirrels are looking for you. They think you are a lost nut from the Village People.

Sheila said...

I saw that playboy. Ashley is one of my favorite WWE wrestlers. Great picture! You are a true beauty michelle!

Anonymous said...

Keep on telling us your stories, Michelle. Some of us really do know how to read; we appreciate your candor and sophistication when it comes to confronting any crushing truth--you present us with a corpse and ask us "why?" with a few sentances. The most morbid part of that truth is that we've all seen these corpses in many different forms, whether from experience or from afar. Fiction or nonfiction, shit hits a lot of people downwind of the fan and you nail it most of the time.

Some of the other annons seem to really need illustrations and not pics. This is my first visit. I hope they whine with better language in the future.