Wednesday, November 07, 2007
The Kind Of Person Who Could Throw A Bomb
Here's the beginning of my latest story! I'll post the whole thing when I finish it.
Those were the days of the endless funerals, when I went through airport security and got hand-searched each and every time, people pawing through my gigantic purse and overstuffed bag, looking for what I could not imagine. Some were friendly -- You like the Sopranos? I do too! That Tony is one bad motherfucker! to the overtly hostile -- Why are you carrying so much stuff around? In these post 9/11 days, you endured much and kept your mouth closed. I wondered why I got stopped so much. You look, my sister said, like the kind of person who could throw a bomb. And I suppose she was right. I fit the female terrorist profile -- dark hair, pale skin, aggressive nature. But I didn't have the energy in those days to even say bomb and there was nothing in my purse except some outdated controlled substances which I kept in an Altoids mint container. Once someone got close to my Altoids mixed with morphine and I said in a light conversational tone, I just got back from my best friend's funeral. I'm sure my voice wavered; it wavered all the time in those days. This was true. I had sat through an overheated Baptist funeral and would return to a desolate cold region that I called home. I thought about his casket entering the ground and my dad touching it before it was lowered and saying, Goodbye old buddy. Afterward, I went out with my other friends who had been there to drink beer in an old quanza hut that had been converted to a bar. The beer I ordered was light, thin and watery, and I couldn't imagine how I would be able to drink enough to forget the day. And I didn't.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"The trouble with the world is that it's always one drink behind." Humphrey Bogart
Drinking novel suggestion: So The Wind Won't Blow It All Away Richard Brautigan
Benedictions and Maledictions
Grouchie went to his first gallery show this week! Here's the pictures and the artist statement, provided by a dear friend and reader.
How I shot 'The Holy Pear,"
by Whitey the Bear
It was a day I'll never forget, opening day of bear hunting season in Michigan. My dad and I were enjoying a jar of peanut butter in our favorite raspberry patch, deep in our woods just outside the city of Boone, in Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula.
We smelled the hunters before we heard or saw them, so we had a pretty good head start before the shooting began. My dad's last words to me were "Run for your life, Whitey!"
My dad was a lot bigger than I am, making him a better trophy, so I suppose that's why I survived and he didn't. We were both treed: my dad about fifty feet up in a tail oak; I was at about the same height in large beech. I couldn't see my dad, but I could hear the gunshots that eventually brought him down. I could hear the howls of the chocolate Labrador that was the hunters' dog.
The hunters had forgotten about me so I returned to the ground, only to witness the most tragic events of my life. Just as I stealthily came to within a few yards of the oak my dad was in, he fell from his tree, hitting the forest floor with the force of an earthquake. He weighed over 500 lbs. He was still alive, and with one mighty swipe of his right front leg he ripped out the throat of the howling lab that had sunk its teeth into my dad's nose.
The lab was dead but the four hunters let loose with a barrage of shotgun blasts that killed my dad. They put him on a trailer to one of their four wheelers with the chocolate lab on top of him and drove off. That was the last time I saw my dad, Blackie the Bear.
As I sniffed his blood at the base of the oak, I discovered the pear. I took it as a sign and decided to shoot it.
I retrieved my camera from the raspberry patch and along the way I found an aluminum hunting diary case that the hunters left behind. I knew it was theirs because the chocolate lab -- "Brownie" -- was mentioned in the diary. I decided to use the case as a backdrop to the pear.
When the film developed I actually wasn't surprised. The cross symbolized a kind of final resting place for my dad. And the link between the pear and the cross confirmed my belief in the connection between God and Nature. And that's how I shot "The Holy Pear."
Whitey the Bear
Editor's note: Whitey the Bear is a dwarf albino black bear living and working in Michigan. "The Holy Pear" is his first published photograph.