Thursday, May 28, 2009

M.I.A. (Not her, but I think she is sexy?)

Now, I know I have been missing in action for some time; I apologize for this. The last month has been very busy. I got my first vacation time from my job in the year I have been working there so I headed down to Virginia and other parts for a week or so, which kept me from updating anything. But also, I have been working on big music event that will be going on June 12, 2009 in DUMBO. The event is called the Brooklyn Invitational. My friend and I have booked six bands to play. Two or three of which I have mentioned on this very blog (Tony Castles, Motel Motel and Boogie Boarder). You can find all of the information about the event and these bands at the official Brooklyn Invitational blogsite -


Now as far as blog matters are concerned on this blog from blog to blog to blog to blog to blog to.
I have a few posts stocked up for you all (who all?). Namely, a review of the new Wilco album and how it will make you understand the band in toto (#1 NY Times Crossword answer). Also a review of the NBA Finals and my take on the Cleveland Cavalier (read LeBron James) collapse that is occuring. Then, ramblings on Faulker followed by a return to music with a review of the now released Grizzly Bear album Veckatimest.

So stay tuned. I will not treat you wrong, though I may become neglectful and busy, I will never abuse.

Now, the next installment of "From Here to the Last Mound of Dirt"


“Everything look in order for tomorrow?” Eve asks me.

“Yeah, I think so. She did a good job getting everything set up beforehand.”

“She was a very organized woman wasn’t she?

We’re sitting on the floor in my room, on the black carpet. The lamp in the corner is on. I can hear Tom and dad laughing downstairs. Sounds travel in this house; they always have. The rain on my window: pit, pit, pit, slowly. Are Liza and Maggie packing up their rooms too? This house needs to be empty by Wednesday.

“Yes, she liked everything to be in place.”

“Did she like me, James?”

I look at Eve in my dark room. Even with the top light of the lamp illuminating the blue walls and the white ceiling, it’s dark. Yes, of course mom liked her. She would’ve loved to be a grandmother to Eve’s child.

“Marry that girl, James. You’ll both make such handsome children.”

She always said things like that in an old-fashioned way. Handsome children. I think she might’ve been jealous of Eve in a way for taking me away. But maybe I’m being to full of myself thinking that way. I should say something instead of just packing these books.

“Of course she did.”

“Are you sure?”

“You knew that didn’t you.”

“It was tough to tell.”

This confuses me because I thought that mom was always warm and welcoming of her into the family. She never said a bad thing about Eve to me not once. But as honest and eloquent as mom could be, you always got a sense that there was a certain silence she kept. She could’ve had reservations about it, I’m sure that a lot of women do when their children get married, sons or daughters. But with the way that dad welcomed her into the family I figured mom must’ve felt the same. Maybe he knows something about it.

“She could be quiet at times, but I’m positive she loved you as much as my dad does.”

She nods at me and places a few more books in the box. The one on top is an old child’s book of mine with quick retellings of the Greek myths. The cover is brown and the print is old looking. It’s been old since I was young. There is a picture of what is supposed to be an ancient Greek looking depiction of Zeus’ face. Eve’s pushes the books down in the box and the cardboard rubs: eek, sccrrp. She’s quiet and her thin eyebrows are drawn down. I know she’s working something out. I know something is coming. Is it what I think it is? I should’ve been honest from the start. She exhales, closes her mouth, her lips part again.

“I sort of wish we could’ve had a baby before she died.”

I feel somewhat relieved and at the same time, I feel even guiltier. I’ll tell her after the funeral. I’m too wound up and concerned about what will happen tomorrow. What kind of behavior dad will be on. What kind of behavior we’ll all be on. Uncle Connor will no doubt be there and they haven’t spoken I don’t think in twenty years at least.

“We couldn’t have known how things turned.”

“I know,” she says. “It would’ve been nice. I know she wanted to be a grandmother.”

“Yeah, I think Maggie knew that enough.”

Eve laughs and then sighs again. She has so many different sighs. I can’t decide which one I like the best, but part of me says it’s the sexual sigh. And I know that’s right even if I don’t want to admit it.

“I feel bad for your sister,” she says.

“Why is that?”

“It seems like your mom put a lot of pressure on her as far as that’s concerned.”

It’s true. There was a lot of pressure put on Maggie, but more pressure put on me. She was the oldest, but she made it clear a long time ago where her priorities were. They belonged in Morocco or New Zealand or Iceland or the far side of Siberia. Whatever was on the other side of the lens.

“No more pressure than the rest of us.”

“I don’t know. I just think being the oldest and a girl maybe your mom expected more out of her. Expected her to be more of a traditional woman maybe?”

It’s amazing how intuitive she can be sometimes. I don’t know if what she just said is true. But it’s not because it isn’t. I never paid attention to that part of the relationship between mom and Maggie. I figured mom accepted who Maggie was after so long and especially after she broke up with Jake. We’d all figured he would be the one to settle her down a little. I liked him a hell of a lot. What is he doing now anyway?

“That could be. I never really thought about it.”

“I don’t know. I just kind of got that feeling. Your mom was intimidating in a way.”

“I never heard anyone say that. You think that?”

“Yeah. I do.”

I’m quiet thinking about it. Thinking about my mom cooking a pork roast on a Wednesday night when I’d come home sweaty and wet from some late March practice. The afternoons still cold and dark. There would be grass stuck to the elastic bands at the bottom of my green sweatpants. I’d put the stick down by the back door and my cleats outside and mom was by the oven. Everything smelled warm and roasting potatoes. I’ll never forget that sensation. That’s one of the things you can’t get back. Is it wrong to associate mom with cooking meat?

“I’m sorry if she was.”

Eve laughs. “It’s nothing to be sorry about…I just…”

She holds off.

“What?” I say.
“I don’t just wish we would’ve had a baby for your mother. I wish we weren’t having such trouble. I mean I really thought the last time…”

I put my arm around her back and pull her close to me. She’s starting to cry. She’s crying into my armpit. With my right hand I rub her back, with my left hand I rub her thigh. Her jeans are soft and worn in. She looks up at me, her face red and moist.

“Don’t you wish it were easier?”

“Of course I do,” I say. “I want kids as much as you do.”

She breathes in her nose, sucking up the loosened snot and making that gurgling stuffy nose sound. She nuzzles against my arm and armpit and I love the way it feels. But what is wrong with me? If I love even the sound of her snot and her puffy crying face then why am I afraid of her child? Our child. What don’t I want to give up? I’m already married; I didn’t have cold feet about that. I don’t miss any bachelor life. I’ve never been afraid to make the next step in my life, but something is holding me back right now. What would mom say?

“You hid my child from me? How could you do that? What is wrong with you?” Eve says.

I’m in court and handcuffed. There is a judge looming in front of me. He wears a wig like an old British aristocrat.

“We find the defendant guilty of cowardice. One of the high treasons of American society.”

He slams the gavel and the guards carry me away by the armpits.

Eve nuzzles me some more and puts her arms around me. She squeezes me tight. I wrap her up too and pull her close. I take in the shampoo of her hair. It still brings me back to our first date when she only kissed me and then gave me a hug. That long hug when all I could smell was her shampoo. That soapy smell like flowers. I knew it was artificial but so artificial that it was realer than real. More natural than natural. Each time I smell it that first love and nausea comes back to me. Even here and now on my floor where I used to pass out drunk or lay with caked sweat from practice when I didn’t even have a clue about her or that she would be pregnant and I’d be hiding from my wife.

I’ll tell her after the funeral.

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