every time I don’t, I almost do

I secretly love when gas station bathrooms have grandma curtains

the shop smells a little less commercial, more residential

mothballs and hand cream

18 wheelers parked out back on the gravel, men sleeping in the lot

you have to figure out how to work the pump

once, it took me and two of my younger cousins to figure out how to make it work–how many rednecks does it take to pump gas, was the joke

but there’s something really soothing about passing by all the porch lamp, wood pile, see the TV through the front windows, barbecue grill smoking, kids throwing a ball around, grass needs cutting kind of moving pictures

I get attached to churches and cemeteries and hand painted signs

scrap art in the field, cartoon characters made out of old vehicle parts and some kind of silo roof thing

windmills

one Christmas, I drove two hours to go to Fred’s just like the one down the highway from my house…

one roll of wrapping paper and used the bathroom

giant bottle of dollar store water in the next town

economy bag of generic popped corn in the next

factory smoke high and tall over the hills

brush burning

singing with the radio

talking to Jesus

making up stories

I know all of the places for water and restrooms

I know all of the funny town names

river bridges

Little white house with the broken fence next to the farm supply is Ronnie Milsap

prison on the hill was Johnny Cash and I laughed because, well, it was funny

buy two save a half dollar Dr. Pepper with the mural on the brick wall outside

big, tall cowboy got out of the itty bitty sunshine yellow Beetle and I laughed because, well, it was funny

he held the door for me because…that’s what people do

I got into the car smiling

“Hey, how are you?”

I never know what to say

“Great, thanks. How are you?”

They look a little confused if you wait for the answer

“I don’t eat gas station oysters anymore”, I once heard my brother say

my jaw hit the linoleum

jaw and jowls confuse me

maybe it’s an accent thing

WHO EATS OYSTERS FROM A GAS STATION?

I never thought to eat food from a gas station, for whatever reason…

and then one day we were in Linden and I was sitting in the backseat reading my newspaper and here comes my husband back to the car from inside with a huge piece of pizza and some kinda donut-shaped pie thing, hugest grin ever on his face, ear to ear

If I ate one bite of either of those things, I would instantly toss my cookies

my aunt once told me, her teacher once told her, “Don’t ever eat in the car, while driving.” I think she found it unladylike

the things we remember

and the things we don’t wanna forget

 

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snapshot from Sunday

10 years of my life. Attempt. Attempt. Attempt. Attempt. This is a recording. 😉

Had to move this mountain to clean the floor in the spare bedroom. These are each unique proof copies of books from long, long ago, I never did anything with. And I thought it was all of them, but it’s not.

“And you say you never do anything,” my husband said.

I guess it feels like, when they’re all sitting on the floor in a spare room, all that time and energy is pretty much nothing. I keep telling myself one day I’ll have grandchildren who will find them in a box long after I’m gone and be like, “Cool, Grandma was crazy!” hahahaha The promise of the prospect makes it all worth it. 😉

Still no poem and it’s the end of the weekend. Maybe next week. 😉

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chronicles

Found this on my hard drive from when I first started collecting Alabama newspapers.

It was fun, spending a Sunday or Saturday driving 45 minutes out of the way just to stumble around some town I wasn’t all that familiar with, gas station hopping with my change purse, seeking out single editions of papers I didn’t already have one of. I was about halfway through, as far as I know, with the state, when I took a break and somehow forgot to finish.

It’s a geeky hobby, I’m sure.

I’m just wondering how many publications exist, around the state, that I haven’t found listed online and don’t even know about yet. Maybe some will shut down and new ones will begin by the time I’m finished with what’s already in existence.

Going to leave this here as a reminder for me to finish my collection.

Finish it, girl. 😉

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the bleeding

there’s a distant sorta ‘I’m still sleepy even though I been up for 6 hours’ kinda look on the faces of four or five generations in photos

I’m here but just barely

eyes sort of lazy, floating around

hair a mess

few pounds too many

I’m getting by

getting by

and I ache because I know I’m just as guilty as the first one

zoning out, just existing

getting by

we’re not supposed to just get by

but we’re grateful to do so

done with one and on to the next

 

they start with the booze at about 12

it’s funny

and it’s for now

until it’s routine

and it’s a vehicle

and it’s a one-car crash into a brick wall

the bricks are made from crushed and condensed too-late-Saturday-night and income tax times and ‘if I can just make it to pay day’

the dentist

and groceries

and how overdue can the car be before they actually pick it up and take it away?

how many times do we have to have this conversation over the course of 20 years before someone finally calls a spade a spade?

resistance is rueful

 

I can’t look at old pictures

I see the girl in baggy clothes

bad dye job

acne

overweight

sitting in a crowded room, smiling, laughing, joking

miserable

sad

in so much pain

suffering

help!

help me!

please.

knows how to please everyone except herself

she won at life and she’s still losing because yesterday’s unwanted visitors keep hanging around the house, even when its empty and there’s nothing to do but pace or sit on the spare bedroom floor until that becomes boring so she gets up and moves to the other bedroom floor, shuts the door, home alone, knees tucked up, just staring

half the time she’s still waiting for the monster to plow through the door and start wailing on her

she sobbed the first time someone called her a ‘bitch’, completely and totally heartbroken

 

help me help you so we can both stop drowning

I can’t help you because I’m the drowning anchor

cliche

drowning trying to save you

I cannot save myself

 

every time I see a pretty smile plastered over the mouth of a sad-eyed person,

I start spitting out cheesy knock-knock jokes and antidotes

relentlessly

begging

another cliche

the cute clown

court jester

I promise to say the right thing if you promise to say anything

please don’t be sad

at least not in quiet

be sad out loud

I promise I won’t ask you to not to

I’ll be sad with you if I have to

just don’t do it in quiet

 

you can not make me stop knowing what I know

 

5 in the morning and the roof still needs fixing

I hate the water stains

and the buckets and pots

and reminder that there’s something else in line to be done

nagging

at least a dozen times in two years I’ve sat in a chair in the dark, listening to the drip hit the bucket, thinking, the first time it rains after we finally get that thing fixed, I’ll break down and sob

 

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Back to Z

And since this feels like a  4-post day…

I’ve finished my season of “Z…the beginning of everything” <<—-lowercase because lowercase feels appropriate. First off, I would like to say, over the course of several episodes, Mrs. Fitzgerald grew on me. Not in a fungus, mold, mildew sort of way. I feel like I get her, is what I mean. Her husband, though, not so much–is it just me or was he a real delicate sort of control freaky manchild? (Sorry, not my best material. I’m sleepy. ) Point is, I like her. I knew I would if I just tried a bit harder. I knew it.

My internet research tells me Zelda died in a fire at a mental hospital where she was receiving electroshock therapy. What a tragic and curious way to go. I added ‘curious’ there because I really wanted to feel like the way she died was more than just sad and ‘curious’ kind of did the trick for me, in the moment.  I probably should have made that a parenthetical expression. <—-that too.

I’m sorry, I’m lazy…and as I mentioned before, tired too.

Promised my friend Russel I would try to write a poem soon, so if I do, I’ll post that here this weekend. Actually, I promised my friend Russel I would do this months ago and I just keep putting him off because I don’t feel very whimsical and fancy. Russel, if you’re reading this, can we pretend this never happened? 🙂

Til Next Time 🙂

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NoChips Earns her Name

Ever open a bag of chips and look in and there’s exactly two whole chips and one broken one and the rest of the bag is empty, and you can’t even be mad because it’s just so ridiculously funny, so you double of laughing like a mad woman, in traffic, brakes squealing, exhaust swirling, speakers booming, peopling gawking until they double-check their door locks and go back to staring straight ahead, stiff posture, eyes wide?

Me either.

Just asking.

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