Friday, August 03, 2007

An Ambulance Ride During A Full Moon

Once a boy I was dating during the summer before my last year of college brought me a bunch of flowers that he'd stolen from the graveyard, the very one where everyone in high school went to make out late at night. I did not much like the boy at that point, having set my sights on another local laddie that I'd spotted at the Pink Poodle, the classy drinking establishment in Mineral Wells (the Saddle Club was the other, rougher version -- it was not uncommon to see bar fights ending in an ambulance ride during a full moon) so I looked askance at the stolen graveyard goods after he left, much to the horror of my mother. He brought you flowers, Michelle. Does that mean nothing to you? Of course, she threw them out when she looked down at the table, now covered in tiny black ants from said gesture. My relationship with Mr. I Don't Believe In FTD ended when I started seeing the other guy, who as my friend Hank reminded me, had wet his sleeping bag during a boy scout trip many years ago and obtained the unfortunate nickname "Wee Wee Willie." Friends, if you don't believe a small town can be too small, this should be all the evidence you need.

I dated the sleeping bag wetter for a few weeks until he left me to return to his ex, offering up as way of explanation, She's very good at math. Sweet Lord, good at math?! I didn't have a chance with men if this were the criteria. The summer was almost over. What did I have to show for it? Two boyfriends, both ending in a mess. Hank and I laughed about it all when we got back to campus, the way the very young can enjoy messes without consequences. We were still at the Pink Poodle, of course. The Saddle Club years loomed ahead of us, our lives punctuated by things that could not be so easily undone, a weight we only had an intimation of back in days when flowers by a grave didn't mean anything more than something to laugh about and discard.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I cannot and do not live in the world of discretion, not as a writer, anyway. I would prefer to, I assure you - it would make life easier. But discretion is, unfortunately, not for novelists." Philip Roth

Cocktail Hour
Drinking novella suggestion: Who Will Run Frog Hospital? Lorrie Moore

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Friday! And happy belated birthday wishes to my dear friend, Mark! Check out his wonderful observations on my link to The Walking Man!


Tony Soprano said...

I hope you wear that dress to the Emmmy Awards! Dynomite!!!!

Michael Imperioli said...

I hope so too.

Cheri said...

Michelle, I think that this was my favorite post of yours so far. It reminds me of my own life in a way, because I'm between the carefree-kiddy days and the harder-adult days now, and it made me feel nostalgic and apprehensive all in the same punch.

Jon said...

Lovely to see Lorrie Moore as suggested reading. Maybe with a side order of Annie Proulx?

Charles Gramlich said...

Flowers from the Graves sounds like a great title.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Funny, I've been thinking about that popular highschool cheerleader I took to see the Rockets in concert. I brought (and drank) a twelve pack of beer by myself. That was our first and last date ... I sabotaged any chances of becoming part of the in crowd.

Paul said...


the walking man said...

I do believe I know my drinking would have started at the saddle club, no sense in wasting time where the graveyard flower stealer's and wee wee's would have gone. That in and of it self would be enough to make the regulars howl for my blood at the first full moon.

Although at that age it would be a coin toss as to who would be riding in the ambulance.

Thanks for the belated birthday wish and for sending people by the blog which I deleted everything on again except for the one piece because that was all that I felt was relevent to this series of moments I am about to start going through.
Call it a cleansing, like scrubbing the toilet.
But in a day or two I will catch up with myself and ask me to post some new work there.

much peace


eric313 said...

Hope the best for you!All the Hank stories are favorites. He's you're best character, you know.

Thanks for all the stories and your example of strong will over terrible elements.

I feel better than I have in months, despite being worse off than almost ever. How is that?

It's writing. Every day. Thank you for having been the best teacher possible.

eric313 said...