Monday, August 11, 2008

Tour Of Duty



Hey everyone! Since I'm on a roll with this creepy birth theme, I'm going to stick with it. Thanks for reading!

My friend Hank's mother talked about giving birth to him while his father served his second tour of duty in Vietnam. "When Hank was born," she said, "I thought now I'll never be alone again." She told this story at Hank's funeral, the part after everyone goes to the church rec rooms to eat a potluck dinner, the Southern food in all that Pyrex, the potato salads and ham dishes. I popped another Vicodin but to little effect -- nothing could rival the morning high that had allowed me to coast through a breakfast at IHOP with a few friends, my ex-husband, and his new wife. I thought about how Hank was born during a freak snowstorm, born in the Crazy Water Hotel which eventually became a nursing home. So much to take in -- the snow in March, him born partially blind, his dad at war from which he would return, but not really the same, because let's face it, memory can't be altered and war cannot be forgotten and the body doesn't return to normal no matter how much your setting does.

Hank's dad said almost nothing ever. I do remember one story, about having to work one summer cutting down sunflowers in the Texas heat. "I hate sunflowers," he said. "Nothing uglier." I knew so little about him that this stayed with me. Although I loved all flowers, even weeds, I decided I could hate sunflowers as well in solidarity. I saw them on the sides of the roads, took in their beauty, and dismissed it.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"If you enjoy the fragrance of a rose, you must accept the thorns which it bears."
Isaac Hayes

Cocktail Hour
Drinking short story suggestion: Pleasant Drugs Kathryn Kulpa

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Monday!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Those sunflowers got to me, too.-V.V.G.

Anonymous said...

I love tours.--Lance

Anonymous said...

So do I.--St. Martin of....

the walking man said...

Michelle, this one I think put me over the top. You've given us enough information on Hank now, that I miss him too.

It is hard to see your friends go from life to death.

Be well.

Cheri said...

This made me so sad.

laughingwolf said...

a huge sunflower fan, incl seeds!

sorry bout hank :(

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