Monday, June 28, 2010

Hot Hot Heat

 No, this post is not about the 1995 crime drama starring Al Pacino and Robert Dinero, its about how godforsaken hot and humid it has been over the past few days.  I spent the weekend playing some pickup basketball near McCarren Park, which literally made me want to write another column about the pure joy of playing basketball.  However, I may have to pair the joy of playing basketball with another topic in order to write something that deserves full length.  

Now, I was exhausted from the weekend after I got back from work today, but I was listening to "Isis" by Bob Dylan and I realized in My Puddles of My Own Podcast that I should have said that "Isis" was my favorite song of all time.  And I may just write an entire post about Isis in the upcoming days.  However, I am lamenting the fact that it is doggedly hot and that I do not have any terribly new content to put up for all you poor Puddlers out there just trying to stay cool in Puddles of Myself.  But, I am working on a few podcasts for this week that had to be rescheduled.  I am editing From Here to the Last Mound of Dirt and I am working on setting up a real live reading of some of my work in the near future.  Things will be happening.  I should be finishing the recording of a podcast tomorrow night with Lauren Gidwitz and once I get back from that I will try to pump out a column for you all, either about "Isis" by Bob Dylan and some assorted delusions that are related to that song or a diatribe against all those who do not listen to Blitzen Trapper.  Or, I may just discuss the novel Stoner and my immediate impressions.   I definitely want to take a break from basketball as the hype for July 1, 2010 is rapidly becoming insane. 

Don't worry my Puddlers.  I got your back.  Just be patient with me.

However, now, I leave you with the next installment of From Here to the Last Mound of Dirt:


    Eve is holding the book in her hands and flipping the pages nonchalantly.  She is wearing a thin charm braclet with a whale’s tale as the only charm.  I can feel a slight breeze from the book pass across my skirt.

    “You can probably tell that this is much more my kind of book,” she says. “I know guys mostly like Hemingway, but this book seemed romantic to me for some reason even with all the bull fights.  There’s just something about Jake I like and that last scene with he and Brett. That last line.”

    “I’m not there yet.”

    “Oh,” Eve covers her mouth quickly and laughs.  “I won’t ruin it.”  She puts the book gently down on the table, pats it and crosses her legs.  Tom comes striding through the room with James following after.  I catch myself laughing at the reversal of roles;  though, Tom stopped following James after awhile.  Eve watches James as he passes.  You can feel the energy in the room change.  This girl – woman – sitting next to me gives off the strangest feeling when my brother passes by.  It was like mom and dad in a way.  They both did that for the other.  Maybe I’m exaggerating or maybe I am the only one who noticed because I was home alone the longest.

    Eve turns towards me. “How are you doing?”

    I feel water in my nose and I have to frown. “I think I’m OK.  It’s been a long day.  I don’t really know.”

    She leans over and hugs me.  I’ve been trying all day to figure out what perfume she’s wearing.  I can almost place it.  There is lavender in there somewhere, something strong and citrusy.

    “It’ll all be alright,” Eve says. She grabs my shoulders.  Her hands are actually strong. “I don’t know what else to say besides that.”

    My eyes are getting watery with tears.  I look up at her but I see the brick facades of the buildings at school and the titlted iron roofs over the walkways throughout the campus.  The walkway roofs are a sort of green – green rust comes from the rain.

    “You think so?”

    Eve nods.  Her brown eyes serious. “Sure. I think you’re a strong girl.”

    I laugh.  It sounds wrong coming from her.

    “What?” Eve asks. She laughs too. “I’m not a motivational speaker.”

    “No,” I say. “I think it will be alright.”

    “You’ll go back to school.  You’ll be fine.  It’ll be hard.  But it’ll be OK.”  She pats my hands.

    My stomach feels like its going up and down a hill.  Like Mount Grey Road with all of its hills which made the car fly.  I remember the night before I left for school. I was standing out in front of the garage and all of the trees were dark between our house and the neighbor’s house.  Light from the pool was on some of the leaves and the crickets were making their noises everywhere.  I looked into the garage at all of the things on the shelves: dad’s tools, the old sporting equiptment, the neon striped beach chairs – there just seemed to be too much in the world.

    Mom came out of the house.  She looked up and saw me.  She shuffled her sandals on the loose rug and walked down the steps.  She stepped out into the dark to meet me.  The moon was above her.

    “I can’t believe you’re going,” she said.

    “Oh, mom.”

    “I’m sorry.” She looked straight at me, tearing up.  I always hated to see her cry. “I got like this with the others too.”

    “But, Tom didn’t -”

    She shook her head.

    “What do you want from me, mom? Do you want me to stay?”

    Mom looked out into the dark. “Don’t talk so loud.”

    I felt so angry at her then.  The night was full of something, some life some moisture.  It was the end of summer and there was a breeze on my legs reminding me that I had soccer practice, but really didn’t because I didn’t have to do that anymore and I don’t have to do that anymore.

    “I’m sorry,” she said. “It’s  just hard every time.”

    “I have to go, mom.”

    “Yes, I know.”

    I wanted to hug her so badly, but all I could do was look at the line where the light concrete from the garage met the the black tar of the driveway.  There was still a small puddle from the rain.  I looked at her and the crickets were so loud.

    Eve is still looking at me. “What do you think?” she asks.

    I have to confess and it might as well be her who I confess to because she is so nice and she smells the way  I want to smell and I understand why James fell in love with her. Because she is just Eve and I don’t know what that even means, but it makes me want to tell her what I have to say. The feeling of the hill – the feeling of my stomach runs through me.

    “I killed mom, Eve.  I was the one who did it.”

    “What?” She raises her eyebrows. Her hands still on mine.

    “I killed her and  I couldn’t help it.”

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