Thursday, August 23, 2007

on home&auntie--Nov. 2004

it's a funny thing the fact that home never seems to leave the blood or the mind. there sits Ms. Irma chatting with Ms. Bobbie and yes she too just said how she was walking through the bedroom door and here comes down the hallway a dark shadow. it moved from one side to the other, down the hallway then into another room.

And I said, if that's you Mattie, rest in peace. If that's you,
Georgia, leave me the hell alone.

there's more to Texas than politics. just yesterday the climate was so warm and crisp, we didn't need jackets. then today it rained in the morning and is now snowing as if this place beckoned it up. the flowers are not confused though, not like the bees or the dogs who howl with sirens as if to help the beginning of death ease into somewhere close to sanity.

then my great-Auntie comes out of the kitchen. in the doorway--her body stands at a permanent angle.

Arthr got my ass today!

she asks me if I want some fly swatters with my food. if I say no she will become quiet, astutely offended. so I say, one and even this response receives a dry, suspicious look. ox tails. as we eat she asks me about my dreadlocks. she does not care too much for this style. at least not yet. then she tells me that after a certain age a woman ought not dye her hair. she is about to start in on Ms. Verdie who is sweetly bald.

I don't give a shit how much you dye it, the body still gonna age.
You get me now?

i explain the equivalence of perms and dye. natural growth versus chemicals to straighten negro hair. one week from now she tells me my hair is beautiful. but says so with regal reserve.

someone is cooking meat on t.v. it is red inside and to me looks like one of many luxuries toward death.

Op! I don't like my meat that damn red. Shit no! Hell, you might
as well go out there and bite that cow on the ass! Op!

i laugh and overly agree. my side dishes are gone, but the fly swatter is still there. it is a delicacy I can definitely live without. but one I devoured throughout my childhood. I have revised my eating habits. but my Auntie will watch this tail on my plate and she will be greatly offended if i don't eat it. because I am home I put half of the tail in my mouth then the rest. it glides back past my lips, slippery. my fingers pull it through. it comes out with nothing now but a tiny bone. it is then and only then I am praised.

Girl, you still know how to work them lips and clean a bone. Now that’s
a work of art. Damn, Sam! Well, tomorrow I‘ll make us some neckbones and ...

at this offering i show neither excitement nor reluctance. i walk into the kitchen.

i simply peel back the foil to each side dish and help myself


S Y Ryan said...

wow. this is really amazing. you wrote this? this should be published! what are you doing keeping this all to yourself??

Spring said...

What a voice. So many fine entries in this blog, and this one is just fantastic. I am in love with this woman. "Bite that cow in the ass!" What a personality. Really, you should do more of this.