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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Over Breakfast


I suppose I had no business saying those things to Julie.
She was just doing her breakfast thing, same as any other day
reading the back of my paper aloud over eggs, tomatoes, and sausage
knowin' full well I wasn't halfway through Landers and dead set on gettin into Marmaduke before Daryl show'd up

But as ma says, 
Eggs ain't eggs without somethin gettin broke
and that front page article on the Carter Parking Garage Killer had worn Julie paper thin.

She puffed out a tearful monologue
punctuated by toast shrapnel, 
I just don't… I don't… I can't understand how a person can just… KILL nine people… for no REASON. It's, it's… it's SENSELESS. You just NEVER know wha---

Well, I understand how a person could do that, I shot back from behind my paper. 

Wasn't more than four seconds of silence before I knew she'd never forgive it
I shoulda tipped the paper but I just couldn't look at that face she was surely makin
lookin like a rich walrus on tax day
Damnit, playin out these tired routines was enough to turn a man sterile

What I mean is… I can see---
Her chair bit into the floor as she clinked our dishes into a pile.

I can't believe you can just sit there… JUSTIFYIN… the killin of innocent folks, Wayne, she sputtered downward into the sink
like I was lookin up from the gunk.

I didn't say it was right, Julie Rae, I said I can understand it.

Well, I just don't know what to think about that. I suppose you think that's typical behavior, do you?

It was an awkward way to stick it to me, but I knew what she was gettin at
(when you've earned this much interest on a relationship, 
ain't no conversation you're gonna have that isn't colored by something you said while under some sort of influence - be it love or whiskey)
that, right there, was her thinkin back on that time we was at Billy and Michelle's 
and I was tellin them about how I'd found that sheep's skeleton up in the canyon when I was 12
kept it in a sack under my bed for months
'til ma'd found it and made me throw out the whole damned sack cause of the ticks
and I was really gettin into that story cause Billy was laughing and callin me Wayne Dahmer
and suddenly Julie was tearing towards the bathroom ballin her eyes out and wailin bout 
THAT AIN'T NORMAL WAYNE. AIN'T NO KIND OF WAY FOR A KID TO BEHAVE
Michelle chased her in there, no doubt stokin the fire like a woman does when she's tryin to put one out
THAS TYPICAL BEHAVIOR FOR ANY BOY SCOUT, JULIE RAE, I hollered after her, 
rollin my eyes at Billy 
and Billy rollin em right back 
Come the next mornin she was all kinds of sorry
made a big hash even though her head was poundin
but after that she watched me different
Like before I was a sheepdog
now I was a malamute.

What I'm sayin' is I can see how a man can end up in that place... 
where something senseless... makes sense. 
Ain't you never stared at somethin till it blurred? 
Er said a word so many times you stopped believin it was a real word? 

She didn't answer, but I knew she had

Ain't you never done that same thing with livin? Where you… 
where you and the world stop speaking the same language for a little while?
Like everything you done up to this point don't bring you any closer to understanding the next point yer supposed to shoot fer?
Like you stop believin in all that buddhist shit 
momentarily… momentarily, Julie
and you realize that maybe you ain't One with anything
ain't attached or related to nothin: 
not yer daddy, yer momma, yer fellow man
not the one you love
not the law
not even the ground.
You just a bunch of cells that got lost out there
and everything else is a bad dream.
Ain't you never been so lonely that you stopped believin the word "lonely" even exists…
cause ain't no one coulda understood it rightly before you?

She was frozen at the sink, 
hands on my dirty plate, 
water spillin over the basin
like I had my .38 to her head

Daryl blasted his stupid horn in the driveway in his stupid regular way

I walked over and turned off the water,
tried to kiss her forehead like usual
but now there was no usual
she'd be askin me to move on soon, I s'pose.

Got me wondering if maybe that's just a place the female mind can't ever go
Like maybe a man's heart has a drawer in it that women just don't have
and shouldn't never open. 

3 comments:

Maren B said...

I LOVE THIS and I love the references.

joe C said...

Great story Gavin. Thank You!

flutist said...

I don't understand Julie though I'm a woman. She sounds like my mother.