… and you already know I have a temper.  And now I’m mad.  I’ve awakened cursing.  The dream ending now that I’m awake.  My eyes opening in that awareness of what lives and what dies.  And I’m sick of that smug patronage which in idle comfort judges the godless, what’s assumed as godless in the poor’s slavery to money and the death of a dream.  Like they were even given that choice, the choice which those that judge judge, as if they were burdened with that responsibility…  My granddaughter’s husband had a choice many don’t never have, and making it a choice between serving God and money is a denial of his privilege.  And he says he is an artist—hah!  He is poor and making my granddaughter poor by a choice that’s not his right.  That’s why I find it strange when we’re given a choice we choose to take that choice away.  It’s a slap in God’s face as far as I’m concerned.  For many are born without a choice, only having faith, the imagination to dream, dream that their limitations will one day be lifted, to not harden their hearts to possibilities seemingly out of their reach, to take what little is given them and make the best of it, to believe that one day they will be given a choice and will be ready to make it, make the right choice… and I don’t know the Bible that well, I ain’t no God-fearing woman chasin’ the devil’s tail, but I think it says for whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance, but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him,  for there is a balance—a balance to all our talents, our understanding, and rich or poor has nothing to do with money (though the same laws apply to it—how the rich get richer and the poor stay poor), but being happy with your time has nothing to do with where you live and the availability of your education, what’s in your house—it’s your spirit, and those without a choice have the most understanding of it is what I’m sayin’.  They know how to fight for what they have, cherishing what they got.  They know how to fight for what they don’t have.  This I believe God’s gift to those that are born poor, born without anything, for blessed are the poor in spirit…  Without a choice they have so much more.  They don’t have the consequences of choosing to take that choice away.  They don’t have the burden of making the wrong choice…  As far as I’m concerned he’s a fool.  Bethany was the best thing to ever happen to him.  She forgave him.  She forgave him of his past and gave him the promise of redemption, redemption in his children.  She banished him of all his naiveté, his ignorance to how people are, how a woman is, so he didn’t talk retarded.  And if he won’t take his choice now maybe I will.  I’ve been given another chance.  For when I heard my old man, my first husband Frenchie was in jail I was given a choice.  I was given the choice to love him again.  To look in his eyes like Bethany looked in David’s eyes the night they brought Pete Southhouse’s body home and mean it.  To let him recognize.  Recognize my soul…  And that’s one thing I’ve learned.  Learned from all my intemperance, my runnin’ around, what I learned from my mistakes, marryin’ that Bloodwood.  The children.  I learned how your children are an extension of yourself.  How it all seems so easy.  How death can seem easy to handle, divorce, all the stresses in life, how time just seems to take care of it while it’s happening, and how yet time gives you the pain in retrospect, remindin’ you when it all seems to draw out slow, when you’re all alone with it—alone with time.  Rememberin’ if you succeeded or failed—you bein’ alone makin’ all the successes seem like failures.  But the children—in the children you’re given a choice, cuz you see their successes are your successes, their failures are your failures, and they make you happy or hurt more than any of your own doings—they are your treasure and all your buried secrets…  So when I woke this mornin’ I woke up mad.  Mad that my children, my children’s children, were makin’ the same mistakes I made.  And if that boy dies, my firstborn great grandchild, I can’t just be mad at them.  I have to be mad at myself.  Because I can’t go back.  I can’t go back and do it all over.  I can’t go back and talk to myself—talk some sense into myself.  It’s too late for that.  That’s one choice ain’t none of us have.  We can’t go back into the past and change it, though it forever lives with us, never ceasin’ to flow back to us, borne ceaselessly back to us, comin’ back to us in our children…  So I guess I’ll just remain mad.  Mad and thankful.  Thankful to that ol’ dog—Frenchie’s dog—cuz that’s what woke me up the day Bethany’s twins were born, and not some rooster.  I heard that dog howlin’.  Howlin’ for his master…  I guess he couldn’t help it none.  He had no choice.  The poor thing.  He couldn’t help none when Frenchie stumbled onto his own property drunk, brandishing a gun, my daughter Nora watchin’ while that bitch’s sons beat the tar out of him and were within their right cuz of that restraining order, but he could go back, run back to the Lebeau house, the lights on in the window (candlelight) as Bethany suffered in labor, that ol’ voodoo woman still around, still spittin’ her rum, that ol’ Bluetick Coonhound (they are a very loud, constant, and howling barker) could make it back to my window, could hunt me down, and howl, a spirited howl, stirrin’ me from dreams.  And it gave me a choice.  And maybe that’s what heaven’s all about—being given the choice to make the choice.  And so I woke up thanks to that ol’ hound.  Glad.  Glad that he gave me somethin’ to curse.  Cuz curses means their blessings.  And that old dog barkin’ gave me the chance.  It gave me chance to help my old man, that horny ol’ devil who knocked me up three times so that what happened that night with Bethany and David could happen, so that Benjamin Threnody could be born.  It gave me the chance to help Frenchie locate his dog…

Advertisements