Brad Smith (jesus_h_biscuit) wrote,
Brad Smith

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I think I am numb. I'm not sure. I feel very shaky and fragile and broken into a million pieces and I want to cry and cry and there aren't any tears left in me for right now. I cannot even remember when I was last in this place where I felt like this, where everything good and right and 'normal' is replaced with fragments of what contentment used to feel like, a bunch of incoherent pieces that don't have any matching parts to one another. And I'm too fucking tired to find any that fit.

All of this stuff just smashing down all around me, so much at the same time that it's like a bomb about to go off and I'm running but there is nowhere to hide from it, from anything. I can't even think in a normal way, everything is just so convoluted and overlapped. I'm only writing right now because I don't know what else I'm supposed to do. I don't know if I need it or just want it, but I wished someone who loved me were here to hold me right now so maybe I could sleep, but the world is moving like nothing has happened and I cannot expect it, let alone ask for it. I was doing just fine until D dropped me off last night and went home, now I just sit here and tap into this machine and wait for the next thing.

After my sister called me to tell me about my Aunt and my cousin, I sat on the side of Avery's bed in the back of the house in a complete state of overwhelm. D came into the room and stood in front of me at the side of her bed and put his arms around me while I cried and told him that I couldn't handle one more thing, I'm strong but I can't take one more thing right now. She had already been buried and in the ground for a few hours before I'd even got the call that she was gone. Apparently it happened Saturday, her oldest son was with her. She told him that she couldn't live anymore but she couldn't die either, that she wanted to go before Lynn died because she didn't want to live through that. Then she took a deep breath, and that was it - she was gone. For his part, Lynn is hanging on by a thread. He has had hemophilia since birth, and sometime or another got infected blood through a transfusion before the screening process now used took hold. He's lived with AIDS for years now, I'm not even sure how many. It is finally running its course and he's wasted away to practically nothing I understand. All I can think about are my favorite stories from childhood about us together, me spending weeks at a time with him in the summer and over Spring breaks. Going to the store and getting candy and balsa wood airplane kits and seeing how far we could fly them down Millican's hill. Hours spent in the near freezing water of Silver creek catching crawfish and rainbow trout by the dozens. Bonfires in the evening and family barbecues and roasting marshmallows. Watching Friday Night Video Fights on MTV when we finally got tired of playing Atari. Listening over and over and over to Prince's 1999 album on vinyl, then seeing his reaction the first time I ever played Bad Brains, The Damned, and Lords Of The New Church for him. Sneaking cigarettes from my Aunt and Uncle, a million walks down the railroad tracks looking for things that had fallen off trains here and there, and a million forts built out of anything we could find.

Possibly the best story involving Lynn and I involved my Papa Jack. I loved and adored my Papa Jack, he was one of the most loving and generous men I've ever known. He had this ridiculously deep and gravelly voice that made James Earl Jones sound like the castrati. He was an alcoholic and always smelled of beer or whiskey, but was generally lucid enough at all times to hold a conversation. He loved - loved - to terrorize Lynn, just annoy the everliving shit out of him until he would invariably fly into a rage and unleash a string of obscenities that would make Sam Kinison roll over in his grave. Being a hemophiliac, Lynn's parents were never able to successfully punish him for any wrongdoing by spanking him, to do so would start a hemmorhage somewhere. It happened a lot if he fell down and got hurt, especially if he cut himself. This usually happened at least once a month, and he would have to go to his doctor or the ER for a shot of clotting factor to stop the bloodflow. I never thought of it as odd or particularly remarkable, it's just what I grew up with. Many times when we were playing together we were admonished for being too rough, but that's what rowdy little boys do. As a result of his never really being disciplined, he cultivated a habit of being a complete 'potty mouth' whenever incensed. Anyway, back to the story...

Lynn and I had spent the afternoon looking for turtles and such in the creek, and decided we were hungry. Papa Jack told us to come over to his house at the foot of the hill from his whenever we wanted, and we knew he'd spent the morning at home cooking. That man could cook some of the most unbelievable stuff, if I think about it long and hard enough I can still remember eating to the point of getting sick on the vegetables alone. When we got to his house and started to walk in the front door, we found him sitting in his recliner watching TV and laughing. He always called everyone "Baby", in this slow, deliberate drawl that I will never forget - everyone except Lynn, and that was just another means of antagonization. He leaned forward and gave me a hug, completely ignoring Lynn and heading for the kitchen to offer us something for lunch. I asked him if there was anything to drink in the fridge, and he told me I could have anything I wanted. He asked me if I wanted a Coke (which, in the south is sometimes referred to as a "Cocola", and having once decided that were not clever enough in his drunkeness, Papa Jack resounded that it should heretofore be called "Kyokyoler") and handed me a frosty cold Coke in a glass bottle. Remember, this was in the late 70's/early 80's and aside from getting it in a 2 liter size, you only got it in glass bottles. I still maintain that Coke from a glass bottle tastes better than one in plastic, but I digress - once again, back to the story. Here's where it gets interesting.

Lynn asked if he could have a Coke also, and Papa Jack turned to him sharply and said "Hell NAW, you can't have no damned Coke! For a split second I got a bit nervous, forgetting that this was his pastime and stood there motionless. Lynn defiantly asked him "Why the hell NOT?" in a raised and angry voice. Papa jack leaned in close to his face and replied in a mocking and sinister tone "...because I want my Daddy's records back, that's why...". He stood up straight and went back to whatever it was he was doing. Lynn and I gave one another that look of confusion when you clearly have no idea what someone else is talking about, and he asked Papa Jack in so many words "What the hell are you talking about?" when it happened. In a thundering and booming voice that almost pushed me back a step or two, Papa Jack roared at Lynn "I WANT MY DADDY'S RECORDS!!!" at the top of his lungs. He screamed it two or three more times before looking quickly over to me and winking. I went to the living room so that my laughter wouldn't give it away, and Lynn followed me shortly after. Of course, Papa Jack was hot on his heels, "I WANT MY DADDY'S RECORDS!!! I WANT MY DADDY'S RECORDS!!! I WANT MY DADDY'S RECOOOOOOORDS!!!" when Lynn saw me laughing and told us both to go straight to hell, then headed for the door. I went after him and we headed off up the hill, me still laughing - Lynn still grumbling - and Papa Jack now on his front porch swing still screaming about wanting his Daddy's records. I turned to him to wave and tell him bye and that I loved him, to which he calmly but loud enough for me to hear replied "I love you too, baby..." then boomed once more to Lynn "I WANT MY DADDY'S RECORDS!!!" - and Lynn finally got the last word, yelling back to him "Bye, you old whore!" At this point, the three of us burst into laughter, I even saw Papa Jack throw his head back in the porch swing and start clapping his hands above his head, laughing loudly.

Somewhere I have pictures of all these people. I need to scan them in and post some of them.

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