The boy named Rock was caught by his grandmother throwing stones at her chickens. The old biddy pinched his right ear between her talons and hauled his filthy carcass to stand before the hapless boy's mother.
Rock circled his torn sneaker in the dust and spat in the center of the whorl he had created, eyes down. Flies buzzed like Beelzebub. Dog shit stank. A switch whacked his ass with evil intent and Rock’s knees dive-bombed the ground at his feet. Lucky for him, the earth was just dust.
“Boy! You evil little creation that I would soon to disown. They chickens are our food and our pocket money. You and you stupid little turd brain gone break us child.” The apron and black patent leather shoes which was all Rock saw of his Mama, spun and fled to the house, chased by the dust devil her fury had invoked.
Granmama produced a sound that was like a cat about to mess your carpet, reached down to the boy on his knees, and swatted the recently pinched ear and made the bell within peal like Sunday morning. Then she too whipped the dust devil’s tail and furied off, no doubt to an ice tea left sweating on the porch.
Rock wished both of them instant ill. His intentions of malice, in return for sanction, were both more pure and more impotent than those of you and me after an unfortunate beheading by the boss. A small boy’s talent for well-dreamed monsters of retribution is legendary. And yet the same child cannot possibly have the cynicism to see such punishment through. Hot tears on damp pillows which capture and bury the angry sentences spoken from those lips of life’s early boyhood betrayals will fill oceans unvisited by all but their lonesome selves.
Chinking stones at the stupid chicken birds came naturally to Rock. Gawd, what dumb things. Such a stupid bird would run from any stone that hit it, or that came anywhere near. But it would only move a few steps away. What kind of stupidity was that? The damnfool bird would go back about its business (pecking the dust for putrid corn that was scattered there by Grandmama, or by the black boys), and as the fool it was, it would stand there and let you lob another stone its way.
Rock wondered why they ate such disrespectable birds. It seemed to him at his innocently won years of five and some, that it just made more sense to eat animals that didn’t somehow discredit their own existence. Eagles, cougars, and even coyotes had to be meted out some respect as they were creatures of intellect. Funny that a five year old offspring of a weathered maw hag and a no-account miscreant should realize such things. But there it was. Rock wanted to eat tiger meat.
Grandmama was indeed sitting on the sun-worn front porch, sipping (and sometimes gulping) iced tea from a large plastic tumbler, occasionally refilled by her own hand from a fat-bellied glass pitcher plucked from a squat pine chiffarobe which had relinquished any original pride decades earlier. Evelyn took in the awful sun of the day and the parchment dried swaddle of her life. Ice tea was good in that it tasted like cold water with the un-sweetened sweetness of earthy rich stones, leaves and needles. But the drink Evelyn had doubtless drunk ten thousand gallons of in her raisin-baked life, did nothing fundamental to sate her.
Evelyn hated this shit spit tit fit git hit sorry crying from her belly of hate goddamned (yes “fucking” would work here but she couldn’t bring herself to think it, much less intone it) life. What joy did she derive from that damn fool daughter of hers? Even more to the point, why should she have to continue to feel any obligation in favor of the proper rearing of the obviously short-in-the-brain/scrote/just-give-me-some-time-to-get-out-of-here-and, oh, I don’t know, die, kid?
Let’s be honest for just a minute. Evelyn (as Grandmama considered herself) was not a name that had been spoken in her regard for a quarter of a century. To her daughter she was “Mommy.” To her grandson (that stupid goddamned good for nothing sumbitch) she was “Grandmama.” But to Evelyn’s friends (all twenty-two of them, if you considered those currently residing below stones which recited their most fundamentally vital statistics), she was “the Dust Woman.”
Friday, July 6, 2007
I've deleted this entry because I've decided to get back to this story (actually it was Brandy's suggestion and I heartily agreed). See my main blog page for my current writing and musing. I probably won't post much here for the time being.
But you never know...
But you never know...