A Random Image

Archive for January, 2003

|| January 24, 2003 || 12:40 am || Comments (4) ||

The very first slogan that popped up whilst I was fiddling with the Advertising Slogan Generator:

It’s That Jett Superior Feeling.

It certainly is. Now I charge you, Dear Superior Muffinasses, to describe That Jett Superior Feeling in fifty words or less.

Okay, if it’s REALLY good, you can have seventy-five.

Also resulting in much delight were the following:
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Just Like Jett Superior Used To Make.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Does the Hard Jett Superior for You.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”It Could Be Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Bread Wi’ Jett Superior Taken Out.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Puts the Jett Superior in Britain.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”At 29p a Jett Superior, It’s Not a Stress on Your Pocket.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”3-in-1 Protection for your Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Did Somebody Say Jett Superior?”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Go Crack a Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Change Your Whole Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Takes a Jett Superior but it Keeps on Tickin’.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”The Jett Superior Effect.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Do You Eat The Jett Superior Last?”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”There’s More Than One Way To Eat A Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”The Too Good to Hurry Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Two Hours of Jett Superior in Just Two Calories.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Jett Superior-Lickin’ Good.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”I’d Like to Buy the World a Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Look, Ma, No Jett Superior!”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Jett Superior Comes to Those Who Wait.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”What Would You Do For A Jett Superior?”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”The Future’s Bright. The Future’s Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Snap! Crackle! Jett Superior!”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”It Makes Your Jett Superior Smack.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”This Is Not Your Father’s Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Jett Superior Born and Bred.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Jett Superior Keeps Going and Going.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Get the Jett Superior Habit.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Simple Impartial Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Feel the Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Come to Life. Come to Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Daddy or Jett Superior?”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”It’s Shake ‘n’ Jett Superior, and I Helped.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”It’s How Jett Superior Is Done.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”You Can Really Taste The Jett Superior!”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Monsieur, with this Jett Superior you are really spoiling us.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Gee, Your Jett Superior Smells Terrific.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”All You Add Is Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Moving at the Speed of Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Jett Superior Unscripted.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”The Good Jett Superior Kids Go For.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Make Room for the Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Whatever You’re Into, Get Into Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”And All Because The Lady Loves Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Wouldn’t You Like To Be A Jett Superior Too?”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”P-P-P-Pick Up A Jett Superior.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Behold the Power of Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Leggo my Jett Superior!”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”A Jett Superior A Day Helps You Work, Rest and Play.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”If Only Everything in Life was as Reliable as a Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”You Can Do It When You Jett Superior It.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Beware of Expensive Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Good Honest Jett Superior Since 1896.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Make Every Jett Superior Count.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Where’s The Jett Superior?”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Drinka Pinta Jett Superior A Day.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”It’s Just For Me And My Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Better Living Through Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Devon Knows How They Make Jett Superior So Creamy.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”It’s the Jett Superior You Can See.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Better Ingredients, Better Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Get Jett Superior or Get Out.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Fill It To The Rim With Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Don’t Forget The Jett Superior, Mum.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Jett Superior Just Feels Right.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Probably The Best Jett Superior In The World.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Uh-oh, Better Get Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”The Loudest Noise Comes From The Electric Jett Superior.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”The Joy of Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”It’s the Bright One, it’s the Right One, that’s Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”More Jett Superior Please.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Happiness is Jett Superior-Shaped.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”I Like the Jett Superior in You.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Choosy Mothers Choose Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Biting the Hand that Feeds Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”America’s Most Trusted Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”The Jett Superior of your Life.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Jett Superior Wanted.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”It’s A Bit Of A Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Australians Wouldn’t Give A Jett Superior For Anything Else.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Don’t Be Vague. Ask for Jett Superior.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Every Jett Superior Helps.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”Lipsmackin’ Thirstquenchin’ Acetastin’ Motivatin’ Goodbuzzin’ Cooltalkin’ Highwalkin’ Fastlivin’ Evergivin’ Coolfizzin’ Jett Superior.

Okay, this is madness, I’ll stop now….

UPDATE: And this one FINAL slogan for Setharina the Sethtastic (drumroll, please…):

“Good Jett Superior Has Danish Written All Over It.”

|| January 23, 2003 || 7:28 pm || Comments (8) ||

Can I just say that it’s COOOOOOLD one good time?

SUPERIOR MUFFINASSES: How cold is it, Jettttt?

Well, my little muffinasses, it’s so cold that my nipples are exhausted from standing at attention all day. BaDUMpum, motherfuckers.

And that segues neatly into something I wanted to show you. NOT MY BREASTESSES, ya goobs, but my most recent favorite search referral: breast squiring pictures. Don’t ask me what in holy fuck it means, I just thought it was an amusing turn of phrase. You will kindly note that not ONLY do I hold the number seven (the magic number, hey-hey) spot, but the number six (six is a multiple of three, which is the other, less important magic number) spot as well. There were great things at work on this day. Mighty things. PAHRFUL THANGS.

Speaking of powerful things, I was discussing music with someone yestidday and I mentioned the ‘Goo‘ album by Sonic (youbetterbow,plebians) Youth. That particular platter has the song ‘Dirty Boots‘ on it, which ranks mightily in my “Preferred Ditties To Shag To”.

Long ago and far away, I was playing a game with a person that would end up fondling a big chunk of my life with his, and the question came up as to what the best shag song was. He cited ‘Dirty Boots’ and I didn’t hesitate before offering up ‘These Arms Of Mine‘ by Otis Redding.

We, of course, ended up road testing them one very hot and humid evening: Two tracks programmed into the stereo above our heads, repeat button pushed, over and over and over they played while over and over and over we played, discovering one another, palms to palms, mouth to spine, bitten lips and trailing fingertips, sticky with the heat and one another. Euphoria. Euphoria is dementia for lovers. He liked me best in denim cutoffs and raggedy boots, I liked him best after a hard day at the canvas, paint streaks on neck and forehead.

What song brings on the euphoria for you?

|| January 21, 2003 || 11:22 pm || Comments (8) ||

Stupidest line I’ve run across in my job hunt thus far:

“Must have proactive determination for attention to detail.”

Give me a fucking break, will ya?

The runner-up goes to this little beaut:

“We offer a good benefit pkg. & a work environment that is unsurpassed by none.”

Wonder if I could get a job writing companies’ want ads?

By far, the most interesting and unusual ad of the thousand I perused today was the following:

WANTED: Media-Savvy Duckmaster The Memphis Peabody hopes to find a Duckmaster, who has a love of animals and the panache to clean cages one minute and, in the next, be “articulate and at ease” with the national media. Our “VIPs” require special attention and tender loving care. Applications for the Duckmaster job will be accepted at 149 Union Avenue, Memphis, TN 38103 Monday-Thursday, 9am-1pm.

I think I’ll apply, just to see what happens.

|| January 20, 2003 || 11:14 pm || Comments (5) ||

Regarding Pig Latin:
In the case of words that start with two consonants, do you displace both of said consonants, or merely the first? For example, the word train (for all you Boxcar Bertha fans out there, BITCH!): would it be aintray or raintay?

I could be all snotty and tell you that I’m researching for a novel, but I’m not, so I won’t. These are just the kinds of things I wonder about.

|| January 20, 2003 || 7:49 pm || Comments (5) ||

‘Diplomatic’ is the peecee way of saying ‘peecee’.

If I titled all my entries that would be the header on this one. But I don’t, so there you have it.

Talking with my mother the other day, and her feeling my itch to get the hell on up outta Hellabama, led her to try and not-so-subtly nudge me in their direction. They recently moved most of their belongings out of the house in Memphis to a newly-purchased one up at the top of Arkansas, near one of my aunts and uncles, near one of my cousins. It is predicted that more of my aunts and uncles and mayhap even some cousins will end up there as well, an effective transplant of half of the relations from one part of the state to another.

What the fuck is the point? is what I want to ask them, but to each their own, you know?

Anyway, the region they moved to is nice, quiet, clean, on the edge of two smallish-but-big-enough cities. The small community that my parents now reside in is surrounded by even smaller communties by the name of Bono, Hoxie and Light. My dad jokes that he will be the Mayor of Light and we will change the Hoxie’s name to Moxie so that I can be the Mayor of Moxie, as those titles fit us wonderfully. What a card, right?

So my mom is on the nudge, something I’m unaccustomed to from her, and I’m trying with all my might to make her understand that I’m a Delta girl and even though she chooses to shuck her roots in order to become a rock farmer doesn’t mean that I have, or ever will, the inclination to do the same.

“Housing is so affordable here,” she says, to which I reply, “Well, then, the salaries aren’t all that great, now are they?” and she goes on to explain how “Nooooo, part of the low cost of housing is based on how much work a landlord has to put into a property, based on the condition it’s left in by the previous tenants, you know, based on the kind of people that occupy the property….you know what I mean.

Here I grind my teeth audibly and say, in a very crisp voice, “Yes mother, I know what, in your passive racist, bigoted way, you are trying to say.” Subject change.

It was the first time I’d ever called my mom a bigot, strung her up in the word racist, out loud. She knows my feelings on the word ‘nigger’, has for several years now, but I’ve only started voicing my opinion to extended family as of late.

“Look,” I told my cousin Johnno last Spring, “I don’t want my kids raised the way I was with regard to this: ‘Be respectful of EVERYONE, but it’s okay to insert the word ‘nigger’ into a sentence like any other ole noun.’ ” He nodded. “I getcha, Bit. Not many of them (tipping his head toward the knot of family in the yard) will, though.”

Sometimes, when I think really hard about it, it just astounds me. I come from good people. A family that started up in this country as slaves themselves, worked themselves into lowly sharecropperhood, worked themselves into their own little bit of land, worked themselves into owning most of a town, then all of a town. I have a family full of self-made folks; they own businesses and are well-known, well-respected members of a community that they give back to in money and in spirit. Many of them have black friends. I just don’t get it, I don’t get how this dichotomy works for them. Hell, my dad is of mostly Cherokee stock, and he knows the sting of words and deeds against one person based on their bloodlines, knows the rage of a people shunned and mishandled. My father, as well, he grew up poor white trash, but to this day he won’t wear a pair of chinos because all the black boys in his neck of the woods wore them as he was coming up and “I don’t wear nigger pants.” What the fuck?? Yet I remember some very nice chino-pantsed black gentlemen that he hunted and fished and played poker with.

My kids, until about two years ago, hadn’t really ever heard the word. I put the uncle that used it on notice: we don’t use that word here. He didn’t apologize, but he hasn’t yet uttered it in my home again, either. Still, I was left explaining it to my children over dinner one night when Scout, who never misses a thing, asked me in her dusky-soft voice what it meant. I put down my fork and a long, looooong discussion ensued. I told them some about how I was raised with this word being just any ole word and about how Miss Frances turned me slap around with one kind gesture and about how I was ashamed of none of my family, but this one thing brought me very near to it and made me incredibly, hopelessly sad.

They are good people, children, good GOOD people, but this is wrong and won’t ever be right. Just like, I might add, that the way that I am presumed to be the bad guy because of the color of my skin when I am the only white face in a sea of black ones. I’ve had that happen, too, on more than one occasion, with no provocation whatsoever. But that is another issue for another time, as I can’t possibly cover them all in one fell swoop.

When I was at my aunt and uncle’s house the day after Christmas, with four cousins and another aunt and uncle present, discussion turned to (as it always does) other members of the family, what they were up to, what they did wrong, what they did right. The subject of new and fairly-new babies came up, and the conversation took a natural turn toward my cousin Brennan and her choices as of late.

“She just started datin’ them ole black fellas to get a rise outta Romey and now look what!” one of my uncles said indignantly.

“What?” say I, the family current events dummy. I am, after all, the one who has sent a Christmas card to my cousin Kerry and her husband Hootie for the last two years, when they’ve been divorced for going on three years now. Thanks for telling me the important shit, ma!!

So, it is quickly explained to me that ole Brennan’s runnin’ loose! makin’ like a crazy person! dating alla these black fellas, not one white boy in the bunch! and has now settled down with one! and just had her second baby with ‘im! “She just did it to spite her daddy,” my uncle concludes. I shake my head, puzzled.

“Wait,” I say, sour look on my face, and my cousin Chris shifts in the expensive leather recliner where she is seated because she knows what’s coming. “Wait a minute,” and I scrunch up my nose, looking into the sky in extreme concentration before settling my gaze on my uncle, then on the other people in the room, one by(God) one.

“Is Bren happy?” My question couldn’t have startled them more if I had shot sparks out my ass while I’d asked it. My Aunt Ev, the quiet gal, but the keeper of the family record and all-around go-to person, shrugged and said, “Well, yeah, she seems to be.” And the natural progression was, to me anyway, to ask about Brennan’s well-being, did this guy treat her right? Respect her? Take care of her and the babies? Was he an asshole, did he beat the wife and younguns? Drink and carouse and fool around on Bren, the way my own father had been known to do up until such time as my momma broke a good crockery pitcher over his head, packed his bags whilst he was passed out and rolled him out onto the veranda?

I was assured that none of this was the case, that he never disrespected his family, that they have a fine (albeit meager) home, that he works and provides and takes care of his own in a loving fashion. So of course I found it necessary to ask, “Then what’s the problem?” and point out the simple fact that she’s done one better than Romey’s wife, because he verbally berates my fine aunt and basically acts like a shit, out of hat and for kicks.

Woo! the sound of crickets, y’all. And the requisite topic change. But at the next gathering of folks I can just hear it, I can hear about how I’ve become a liberal do-gooder or somesuch and how I’ve come to support my cousin’s nigger-lovin’ ways even though we never have gotten along to a drastic extent over the years.

And hell, they won’t really say all that, but it just may be implied. Maybe.

One of these days, ohhhhh, one of these days I plan on rocking them back on their collective heels with the fact that, given a choice as a mother, I would rather have any of my children bring home a person of color that respects them and treats them lovingly and well than some white trash bullshit piece of work that mires them down for the rest of their natural born days in ugly living and even uglier feelings. The days that they will be bringing someone home are far enough away for this thought to be steeped in fantasy, but near enough that I’ve pondered the scenarios.

I’ve always loved little cafe au lait babies and it wouldn’t hurt my feelings any to rock some to sleep, to have them call me memaw. The only condition I place on this is that my children be grown and some semblance of educated (keep in mind that ‘educated’ wears many frocks) and able to provide for a family from an emotional and financial standpoint.

I think on the fact that my son has two best friends, one is Irish and as white as the down feathers I lie my head upon each night and the other is Hispanic and has dark, merry eyes. They all act boy-like and unencumbered when they are together, which is essentially a nice way of saying ‘foolish’. I think of how, if I were the person I was some five years ago, my son would be deprived of John, the boy who teaches my boy dirty words in Spanish with a mischevious glint in his eye and tells him that he is saying ‘Hellohowareyoukindsir?’, as a best friend. That kid comes from one of the best, most solid homes I know. He’s a damned good boy. He is well-mannered, cares deeply about the welfare of his younger sister, gets good grades, takes up for my son when some child of a hillbilly idiot runs roughshod over my boy’s feelings or makes fun of a flare-up of Tourette-related tics. My son, were I inclined to follow in bigotry’s footsteps –’diplomatic bigotry’ or not– would be deprived of a really wonderful person.

I’m trying, Lord knows I’m trying to get past the ‘old school of thought’, trying to chink away at all the ugliness, however slight it may be.

I got good people, and they’re better than all the foolish nonsense that they learned way back when.

pee ess…on behalf of my extended family, Happy Robert E. Lee’s birthday!! (Maxim said you will all be offended by that bit and I said ’since when have I cared about that?’ and he said ‘never.’ and I said ‘damn right, fool, and besides, all those people know I’m a tactless idiot with a fine sense of wry humor and if they don’t get it they can tell me to fuck off or send me hate mail, whichever they prefer.’ and he said ‘there’s just no telling you ANYTHING, wake me when you come to bed so that we can take a tumble’ and that was that.)

|| January 17, 2003 || 3:05 am || Comments (6) ||

American Gods was a sort of placeholder name, as was Neverwhere, and in neither case did I come up with a better one.”

Funny, it’s the same with my blog. Only my blog has yet to be is not, and has never been, on the New York Times bestseller list.


|| January 17, 2003 || 1:05 am || Comments (6) ||

“…now pumpkins remain pumpkins

mice remain mice

and I am only me.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp–Carolyn McDuffy

I am in love with something and I don’t think I’ve found it yet. No matter where I am in life, there always seems to be an unrest, a feeling of something lurking just beyond the next hill with my name scrawled all over it, looping and drunken, carved deep. Common sense (using my mother’s gentle, matter-of-fact Southern-aristocratic dialect) tugs at my insides, telling me that I make my own happiness, telling me that there is nothing wrong; I make the joy ephemeral, I do.

There has always been a defiantly posturing side to me, that something born to me that says regal comportment is a necessity. There is a practicality, too, that says, “You believe so in holding your head high, in keeping your chin up….do you forget, fool, that when your chin is high, it’s a clear target for blows, that your jugular is exposed??” Still, my chin stubbornly stays put.

I don’t know what defines me, even though you could gather handfuls of people and they could give you what they think are all the appropriate nouns and adjectives for who and what I am. I am almost sure that they would not be completely wrong but, by the same token, they would not necessarily be right, either. I had a feeling, once, that I was captain of my own ship, but nowadays I am not so infernally sure. Fuck, I don’t even know that there is a ship any longer. I just feel so lost in myself.

A large boy with the hair of a lion and eyes of disquiet who had never met me before read my cards nineteen or so months ago. As we sat down, he said, “You are a person of decadent tastes (what a nice way to put it, that) and of fiery nature.” Then he pulled three cloths from a bag, one of rough grey burlap, one of bright purple felt and one of buttery silk, the color of blood just beginning to dry. He put the burlap one aside, saying, “You are aware of your base nature, and familiar with it.” He pushed the felt away, likewise, saying, “False nobility is not an issue with you.” As he ran his fingers over the silk, smoothing and –I suppose– quietly blessing it, he stated, “This color, this fabric, suits your energy.”

Well okay.

I cut the deck (as is custom in such situations), cleared my mind (as is not) and let the cards fall where they may. I was open to whatever messages need be received. It was a simple spread, and as the boy with the hair of a lion turned the cards they were very clear…almost joltingly so.

He tapped a stout finger on the first one. “You have demons, and you have hurt. You are emerging from an intense period of exile, a situation that has quite literally shaken your world and sent it spinning off into new, unexpected directions. You have healed much, but there is work yet to do.” He observed the next card quietly, formulating the words.

“You have an exceptional amount of anger, and it comes from various sources.” Here he motioned to yet another card, “As with all your experiences and emotions, you are fully immersed in this anger.”

He lifted his eyes to meet mine as he gestured to another image, finely wrought in old bookplate fashion, and said, “You will ruin yourself unless you unlock yourself.”

“What? What??” I asked, and he was not slow to respond, “In order to better yourself, you have to give yourself away. From what I gather here, you need to find a capacity for giving to others, not monetarily, but spiritually. There are those that quite literally need what you have to offer. Find them. Your happiness will lie in the salvation of others. Your wholeness depends on it.”

It was all vague, and it wasn’t. I asked question after question until it became obvious that the boy was tired. Scoff if you must, but there was truth, not whimsy and pat philosophy, in that reading.

Nearly four years before that, a young man and I were drunker than Cooter and Maysie Brown (the eloquent redneck debauchery twins), tossing bottlecaps and coins and cards into a hat, shooting the shit. He and I had been quite good friends for some time, and in the quiet of the room, a slew of revellers passed out haphazardly about us, he began to speak from his great barrel of a chest.

Quietly. Lord, he had never spoken so quietly in all the time that I had known him.

“Not too many folks from around here know this, Beth,” he began, “but my gran was a Sayer. In are liddle town the Babtist wimmin all whispered behind thur hands that she was a witch, but they’d creep to her stoop in the middla the night, there to ask for all mannera things: ‘I need help gettin’ a baby in my belly’ en ‘I have turrble warts I need talked off’ en such.”

I listened quietly, only moving to take a pull off my beer or scratch my nose a little. “When she was dyin’, she called me to her bedside. She made me promise that I’d take care uv’er chickens, that I’d talk to tha Lord often and that I’d use my gifts when they was needed.

” ‘Gifts, gran?’ says I, but she said she wudden playin’ around there en I needed to listen up en listen good. She knew I had it too, only differnt from her in some ways.

“Said tha Lord told her as much.”

I was puzzled, wondering why he was sharing all this, because in all the time I’d known him he’d not breathed a word of it. People always have a way of surprising you.

“I’m tellin’ you this,” he said in answer to my unspoken question, “because I’ve watched en I’ve listened en there’s things that come offa you that yer none too aware of. You have the loudest spirit that I think I’ve ever come across and right now it’s cryin’ and tellin’ me there’s thangs that you need to know.

“I normally don’t do this, because it don’t always work out so good if people know what’s gonna be their life, but you havta be told.” He sighed heavily, like this experience was paining him, and I didn’t move the first muscle as he began telling me what was burdening him. I stopped him about four sentences in, asking if I could get a notebook and write all this down. He acquiesced, and I took notes as he spoke for what seemed to be an eternity, but was really all of forty-five minutes or thereabouts.

He outlined the coming twenty years of my life, hitting the high points and leaving out details that he felt might not be prudent to share. He answered some questions and some he patently told me that he could not or would not. When all was said and done, he heaved a great sigh and I had a neat little outline on the page in front of me. We never spoke of that night again, and some six months later I stashed that piece of paper, my This Is Your Life In Reverse, back somewhere.

Recently I came across it, and I was all rattled to find that the first seven or so things he told me had all come to pass and they had all happened in the order he had given, except for two items nestled side by side that had swapped out places like children in a lunch line. I am no complete fool, I know that the skeptics reading this will say, “AHHH, self-fulfilling prophecy or power of suggestion” or somesuch. Granted, we have much control in the way things are manifested in our lives, but some things you can’t push or place or wish into being for the life of you. Even if you could, some of the details would be off. These particular details were dead on.

And now that you think I am an absolute, utter turkey, I’ll tell you that after I unlocked the breath caught in my throat, I stuck that sucker back where I found it and went, amazed, about my business.

The things that he told me were not all things of comfort, but they were things of what seem to be practical truth, and that is comfort enough. I was told –in an extreme breach of protocol, he said– a general estimation as to when I would die and how. I was glad of this information, not freaked out by it, because I’ve never been one to look forward to being an old woman. I’ve packed a lot of living into my time on the planet thus far, and there is no romance for me in being a listless bag of bones, no matter how full of wisdom I become.

Our relationship altered that night, as I believe he knew it would. We still look in on one another from time to time, still pull beers or some of my daddy’s plum wine in the back yard while sitting in lawn chairs and taking note of fireflies. I still find my way into his arms for a brotherly embrace, I still fuss over him like I am always prone to doing with regard to the people I care deeply about. Things just aren’t the same, as they often are when you have to give someone the raw truth, no matter what that truth might be in reference to.

I just want to be settled, but I want to be free. That is selfish, I know, and damned near impossible; it just bothers me so as of late.