Thursday, November 13, 2008

Section 6 - James

NBA season is getting into full swing and let me just say that I have been riveted to my seat so far. That's why I haven't even gotten a chance to put anything up on this site in a few days. I've been taking in all of the glory that is the beginning of what will be one of the most memorable NBA seasons of all time. You can pick any year from about 1981 - 1993 (maybe too generous) and find many reasons to choose that year as the best year in NBA history. Some may even take your argument that from 1995-1998 there were some top quality OVERALL NBA years (not just terrific Bulls years aka 95-96 team that went 72-10). However with the great season and post-season/finals that came last year, we are on the cusp of one of the best years. So keep your eyes wide open and pay attention. We have already had some great performances: Pierce's 22 in the 4th quarter, Wade's 19 in the 4th quarter, Lebron's scoring showcase, Dwight Howard's absolute MONSTER game last night, the Lakers starting 7-0, the Hawks starting hot. There are too many good young players and nicely assembled teams to not like. I'll explain more in my Dwayne Wade post sometime this weekend. Also, a post of why Role Models and David Wain are genius. But until then, here is the sixth section of "From Here to the Last Mound of Dirt." This is a James section if you have been following. Enjoy.


Eve is sitting next to me; she has the bottom of her dress pulled up a little bit so that the sun illuminates her already tan legs. Maggie is sitting out with us. This complicates things a little bit because I wanted time alone with Eve so that I could approach the situation in her womb that is taking shape with every passing second. But, I’m home now and when I’m home, I feel the need to be available for everyone in my family, to talk when they need to talk and push aside my business. And this time home is especially different since Mom isn’t here and it seems like the life has been taken out of everyone in one way or another. Everyone seems slightly deflated. I can’t tell what Dad is feeling, though. He seems sad, but I can see in his eyes the enjoyment he is getting from tasting liquor again – his dangerous vice. Although it wasn’t dangerous, he never destroyed anything, he never hit Mom as far as I’ve heard the stories relayed to me from Maggie, Mom and Uncle Connor. It was more of what could happen, he’d get carried away with his jokes and his charm and maybe he’d make a mistake.

“Everyone loved him,” Uncle Connor said. “He was young, handsome, funny and starting to meet people. He certainly didn’t neglect Maggie, but I think your mother saw that something was lacking.”

The pool is still open and because the lining is a dark blue stone, the water is very dark like a lagoon. The stones that surround the pool and line the patio are hot. Sweat rolls from the back of my knee down my calf. The sun is becoming more of a red and the afternoon is slowly giving way. Is this an Indian summer?

“So, Maggie,” Eve says. “Going anywhere exciting soon on assignment?”

Maggie drinks what looks like a coke but I think it is mixed with either rum or whiskey. “Yes,” she says. “Morocco. On the northern coast near the Strait of Gibraltar.”

“Wow, Maggie,” I say. “That sounds terrific.”

“How soon?”

“Oh, when this ordeal is over.” She drinks again.

“It is an ordeal isn’t it?” I say.

“Yes,” she says.

“Well we’re going to have to go through with it. We’re going to have to go to Mom’s funeral and empty the house in the next week.”

She’s looking at me and I know the look. The look of her green eyes that says to me you’re my younger brother and somehow everyone always looked to you for support, they looked to you as the leader of the family when I’m the oldest and I’m a capable woman who’s made a God damned success of herself and who’s seen a lot more of this big rock of a world than you have. And I know all of this is true. But it wasn’t my fault. I didn’t ask for any of it.

“Is there any convincing your dad to hold off on moving? I mean, at least until he sells the house?”

“No,” Maggie shakes her head. “He wants out. He’s got the money. He’s always been willing to take a hit in his wallet as long as he can keep moving forward. And by the looks of him and the way he’s holding that bottle, there’ll be no convincing him.”

“We’re just going to let him do it?” I say.

“What do you want to do? Mom’s dead. This is what he’s doing.”

“Exactly what she kept him from doing for thirty years!”

Maggie takes a drink and looks at me again. Flashing me the green while the sun adds a gleam to her auburn hair.

Eve is touching my arm. “Maybe it’ll be healthy for him.”

Maggie holds up her drink towards Eve. But she keeps looking at me scolding me silently. I look at Eve. She’s going to know soon enough. She’ll have to feel all of that energy of creation coming together in her body and then she’ll begin to have morning sickness. If only Maggie knew that too, knew what I was doing. Then she wouldn’t throw me that look because she’d know that I’m no leader. I’m afraid to face being a father while my father is inside holding onto a bottle of Cutty Sark.

I see some of the blackberry bushes past the far corner of the house.

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