Monday, October 27, 2008

Section 3 and the Phillies on the cusp...

Welp, it's October 27th, 2008 and the Philadelphia Phillies might win the world series. I've grown up a Philadelphia sports fan for my whole life and seeing this would be magical, but not as magical as a magic trick most likely - although I saw someone reading a magic trick book on the subway today and I asked him to look at it and some of the tricks didn't seem so hard (it was a Dover Classic edition). If the Phillies do win, I will probably wax poetical about it tomorrow. For now though I am going to contemplate one of the great conundrums of any Philadelphia sports fan: do we take enjoyment in the fact that we have won, or do we prefer the great rage, tragic guilt, and comforting disillusionment that comes with having so many disappointments over the years and excuses to drink and wince as though we were being filmed in a movie. I'm going to think about it and drink a tall Busch beer.

On a side note, tomorrow night I am going to the listening party for the new Animal Collective album Merriweather Post Pavilion. I'll write up a review of that too so anyone that stumbles upon this space that happens to like that kind of thing can read it and enjoy it.

Section 3 of From Here to the Last Mound of Dirt is below.


I hear James and Eve downstairs talking to Dad. I heard them ring and I heard all of their knocks. I like the sound of Eve’s voice. I always have. It’s so womanly, not girlish like mine. Hers is a voice that wraps around you; I can picture her calling kids in for dinner, or on the phone giving permission for a sleep over. Even going out to a store, a young wife calmly putting down some loser that tries to hit on her. A loyal woman with a warm voice. Sort of like mom. But Eve is so much more sleek and stylish. She’s young, alive, and beautiful whereas Mom is…

Never seen Dad like this before, though. No one has except Maggie but she was so young – barely three – and she probably has no memory of it anyway. He’s been drinking since I got here. He still has his normal look. The playfulness he always had that frightened Mom so much. That’s what Maggie told me at least. Why Mom got him off alcohol. There is something different about him, though. His hair looks whiter. You couldn’t tell if you just passed him in the street or if he was doing a checkup on you in his office. But I’m one of his daughters so I know. The circles under his eyes are bolder too. His skin is tan but his face looks purple. He looks like a haunted movie star – a failed celebrity. Pouring that scotch down his throat. Do all guys have that inclination in them, especially as they grow older? Even the ones that don’t drink have the inclination in them I bet; they just use it for something else. That’s why all men need a woman in one way or another. They need someone to control them, to trim the edges. Pull the bottle away from their mouths like Mom did from Dad. I look out the window. The beginning of September is always so beautiful here. The trees are overhanging the streets, canopies of the still full summer leaves, the colors only slightly showing. I see Tom walking up the street. Just got back from his Saturday train ride. He’s a little like an old man that way with his routines. Look at his walk. His strides are full of purpose; he leans forward but holds his shoulders slightly back letting his chest stick out. The collar of his shirt is a little crooked as he walks through the black gate. I can see everything from this room and always could. James and I got the rooms with the best views out into the slope of the front lawn. I turn away from the window and look at the emptiness of the pink walls of my room. I’ll have less stuff to move out since I already had to pack it all up to bring to school. Already I’m back. Some part of me knew that this would happen. That the empty nest would bring Mom to her death even though she was already sick. She could’ve held on longer had I stayed. I walk over to the small light colored-wood shelf along the wall next to my closet. There is a dark wooden dolphin resting on two small dark wood planks of wood. The planks are curved upward so that when you push the dolphin a little it begins to roll and arch as if it were plunging and rising out in the distance of the sea mimicking the waves. But this dolphin is dark wood and swims through the air and all I want to do is cry looking at it, because on the base of this contraption my name is inscribed with the year 1991 alongside it. Below the year is a heart and below that Mom is written. My eyes are becoming moist now and I have to walk over to my bed and lay down on my old purple comforter. But it doesn’t comfort me. I hear Dad laughing downstairs.

There are steps coming slowly upwards. I know their speed. Tom is walking up to his old room too.