I’m dropping a few chapters of my book in here at a time because I’m mighty, mighty undisciplined and it’s forcing me to do a last edit as if, you know, people might be reading it. That’d be you, friend.
I’m sorry I thought you were an evil cunt all these years. See, my Grandma Florence told me you were. Well, she didn’t use the word “cunt,” but you get the idea. She maybe called you a mean old hag. An old bag? I have some recollection of Grandma referring to people she didn’t like as “old bags.” Perhaps even a bitch. No, probably not that. I don’t really remember the severity of her swears, precisely, except that by my recollection she never said fuck, but would frequently say with a sigh of exasperation, “Awwwwwwww chickyshit.” I’m pretty sure she never uttered the word “cunt,” at least not in my presence. I use the word merely for emphasis.
The jingle-jangle clink-clank-crush of exhausted Schmidt cans in an otherwise empty cardboard box, a pair of deer carcasses hanging from the rafters, the scriiiiiiiitch of skin peeled back from flesh; sounds and sights situating themselves among my earliest sensory memories. Death. Slow death, fast death, sustenance, nourishment. Heads and antlers propped in another cardboard box, tongues lolling out – pink, rough, scratchy, fresh – fresh flesh the smell of a fistful of pennies in your tiny little hand. I’d sit on the stoop in the garage, swinging my legs from the landing, listening to the men gossip late into the night.
Songwriter Harlan Howard once said, “Country music is three chords and the truth.” Outlaw country singer Elizabeth Cook then said, via Twitter, “Everytime a journalist says ‘three chords and the truth’ I’m going to shoot a country star’s baby.” My apologies to the offspring of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.
My baby was conceived in the hot tub of the hot tub suite at the AmericInn across the highway from the Walmart and nearer the only mall in my hometown on the South Dakota prairie. Only mall if you don’t count the original, the Super City Mall, built in 1964 and holding distinction as the state’s first shopping mall.