Monday, April 23, 2012

Beer on the porch

"I'll never be that thirsty," she said, looking as if she could smell the stink coming off the beer.

I followed her gaze to the beer, the cans moist and with bits of ice still clinging to the edges.

Looking past the four beers, still joined at the neck by a series of plastic loops, looking betwen the spokes of the bicycles locked to the porch rail, to the end of the driveway. I sat slumped back in the low, green folding chair she'd bought from the ValuTown just down the street.

I have no idea why there were four cheap beers sitting there at the end of the driveway. I'd seen them as I walked back up the street, returning from Ol' Pappy's liquor store with a bottle of rum and some ginger beer. Of course I grabbed them.

A car sped past as I tried to imagine not noticing I'd dropped my beer at the end of a driveway or putting it down for a moment then forgetting. How do you get four cheap beers this far up the hill and then give them up?

"Of course you won't," I said. I ripped one of the cans away from his family and pushed the rest back toward the bicycles. "You see beer and judge whether or not you'd like to drink one of whatever it is based on all sorts of internal judgements. I dont care. When it's sitting there I just see beer that nobody drank yet.

"And dammit! Dont get drunk. The truck's only there till seven." To this I tipped the beer back.

"What time is it now?" The beer tasted awful of course.

"Just now five."

"Aw shit, baby. Ain't nobody gonna eat up all the tacos before we get there. Drink a beer and relax. Thats what Mondays are for." 

Monday, April 16, 2012


Minutes ago I was on hold, my phone jammed between my shoulder and my ear. I appreciated, for a moment, a nice old fashioned telephone handset, the graceful curve of the handle between the ear piece and mouth piece was just the right size to be easily held against the ear by the shoulder.

I also miss the days when the college courses and mini degree seemed like good ideas. Life was great at the time. I loved my job, felt respected, was making money.

Who could have expected the looming Bush we were about to get with those heady days of Clinton such a powerful memory. I really never saw it tht way then.

I was a youngish father certain of so much yet so deep in the closet that it almost doesn't figure in this tale. But even so, I can't help but wonder what other decisions would have existed for me and how I might have decided differently.

I'm in a fair amount of debt based on decisions I made when I was only allowing myself certain options. I was completely unable to imagine the me that is now. I was sure of where my life was headed, and at the time I needed it to go that way. It didn't of course, and in many ways I'm still dealing with those facts and realities.

Did I mention it isn't all bad? Momma and the kids and the dogs are all great, and I love them one and all. I like Knoxville and have some great friends here. I'm reasonably good at my work.

There isn't really much to do right now but rant, and I really don't want to do that. I rant too much, and that's why I'm home now and not at work making money. It's not a long story,but I'm already tired of pecking at this tiny keyboard.

Really my point is that I never should have gone into this debt. The education I was able to get is not without value, but life has negated much of it, and much of it directly involves what I think I'd like to get away from.  Any educational benefit derived was in learning certain bits of math in a more formal setting as well as being forced to look at business from outside the narrow concerns of my own world of the kitchen.

I can't imagine the amount of money I owe is anywhere close in value to what little benefit I may have gained. It's frustratingto know that I did agre to this and can not reasonably refuse to fulfill my obligation, but it really does feel like I've been somehow taken advantage of. It also feels like getting fronted a bag then smoking it all before you actually pay or it.

One of the dangers of those old handsets was also a drawback to the shoulder hold. Kids today will never know the joy of the plastice handle meeting no resistance on the fabric of your shirt as it scooted free. The pressure of the hold propelling it away from you mid conversation. They'll never delight in catching the cord and drawing the phone back, barely missing a moment of the conversation.

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