Thursday, December 06, 2007
Builder Of Boys, Makers Of Men
Here's the second installment. Tomorrow will be the end of the novella. Thanks so much for sticking with it all this time. You guys are the best!
I’m still alive, if not entirely well, which is more than I can say for my father. Liver cancer, no real surprise, but excruciating. He looked like the pictures that health teachers show you to counteract all those sexy ads that conspire to sell you the demon rum. What I’m saying is that he looked bad, then worse, then worse still, and then he was gone, a closed casket. At my grandfather’s funeral, my mother had put a lock of her hair in his coffin, telling us that she wanted part of her to be buried with him, she loved him that much. But isn’t that always true, whether we want it to be or not?
Josh and I flew to Atlanta for the funeral, and I fretted over the extra post 9/11 airport security, my illegally procured Vicodan stored in an Altoid box. That and Father’s leftovers got me through the worst of it before Roman got busted and I had to lay off, waiting for the rare dental procedure to provide access. Perhaps this is for the best -- I no longer have the physical tolerance for the abuse I once visited upon my body.
Josh and I no longer live together, that’s another thing. When Father died, Josh got better, stopped mutilating himself, and stayed on medication most of the time. His prep school did a round of lay-offs because of the flagging Detroit economy and Josh found himself back at Notre Dame, Builders of Boys, Makers of Men, or so says their sign outside the school. So back where he started and said he’d never return. Like the Fathers, his life is one devoid of women and the pleasures of the flesh, which, for him, have never been entirely pleasures.
At any rate, my main reason for living with him evaporated, and I could not come to terms with all that had happened to me there, and I got sick of living in Josh’s perpetual mess so I found a small townhouse by Lake St. Clair, a body of water that is beautiful in all seasons, but as polluted as a septic tank and unfit for swimming. Not that it’s warm enough to swim in and even with global warming, one is seldom tempted. I did see Coley and a little girl in a park near it once, and I waved at them. She did not seem happy to see me so I walked back to my place and never returned. I suppose she is afraid that I will tell Josh and that maybe he would want to be part of his child’s life. Or maybe, more accurately, she is afraid that he wouldn’t. Either way, it’s in her interest to maintain whatever illusion suits her at the moment, just like all the rest of us. She looked so much older that day in the park, and I wonder if I did too. It’s hard to know that about yourself since you age so subtly, day by day, year by year. What can I say? I look like myself, only a little worse for the wear.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"To destroy is always the first step in any creation." e. e. cummings
Drinking snack suggestion: Pigs in a Blanket -- live with it people; I am, sad as it is, from the south!
Benedictions and Maledictions
Many happy birthday wishes and much love to my dear friend Shawn!