Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Missing And The Dead



My parents often took me and my sister in yellow bucket seats on the back of their bikes for rides through Ft. Walters, the decommissioned army base that served as a centerpiece of my hometown. This was great as I did not have to pedal or do anything remotely athletic until one day my mother happened upon an enormous tarantula. "I want that spider, Don," my mother said, but she didn't have her usual pickle jar that she kept in the car for such an occasion. But she found an old milk carton, the kind that they put lost kids faces on, and caught that bad boy right quick. Neither she nor my dad could both bike and hold onto the prize; my sister was still a baby. So I had to hold the carton closed with the tarantula inside, crying hysterically. "Don't be such a pansy," my mother said. "You will carry the tarantula and you won't cry."

I stopped crying and kept a tight hold on the two small edges that kept the evil thing enclosed. If I had a therapist, this is the kind of thing I would tell him or her, probably him, preferably as close to Judd Hirsch in Ordinary People as I could get. He'd say really insightful shit like, Feelings don't always tickle and I'd nod my head solemnly, seeing the wisdom, that life was big, that experience couldn't be measured, and so on. Of course, I'd come from a super WASPy background unlike my own and have been numbed to my feelings and then wake up and start living. But I don't. I knew my feelings right then and there, got to own them as they say. And can look back at a strange fondness for that old milk carton containing such life with the faces of the missing and the dead on the sides, those sorrowful reminders that hope never dies, people still trying to find what they had lost, no matter how grim the odds.


Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Seven beers followed by two Scotches and a thimble of marijuana and it's funny how sleep comes all on its own." David Sedaris

Cocktail Hour
Drinking music suggestion: Salivation Terry Allen

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Thursday!

8 comments:

Cheri said...

Therapy is evil. I'm done with it.

Anonymous said...

Nice picture, you saucy minx.

Jon said...

Great post and a great Sedaris quote.

Lana Gramlich said...

Very interesting. I can't imagine just coming across a tarantula. Although I'd like to think that I'd be a trooper, I'd probably squeal like a schoolgirl & leap 15feet straight up in the air just from the surprise of it.

Sheila said...

If I came across a tarantula I would first be frozen stiff, then run screaming like a little girl

Spider Sabich said...

Claudine killed me. She was found not guilty of my murder. Andy Williams helped her out.

Charles Gramlich said...

The tarantula story is pretty cool. "You will hold the tarantual and you will not cry." There's something profound in that.

The ending here is bittersweet, though. It's very effective at leaving the reader thinking.

James Gandolfini said...

Hi, i'm still a flaming closet case, so don't get any ideas girlfriend.

Toodles hon,
James