Saturday, June 21, 2008
I was still upstairs doing my morning reading when Betsy called. I was pondering the weird dream I had in which snakes fled the light of a basement to congregate in the diningroom. I wish my dreams were more useful. Usually I remember them and ask myself, what am I supposed to do with this? And I'm trying to finish the last 100 pages of Murakami's Wind-up Bird Chronicles because Greenville County, TN public library needs their copy back.
I miss the call, but listen to the message. Betsy is on her way over with roosters. I had to listen a few times to get the rooster part. We'd talked about this but hadn't made plans. I guess she reached roosterus maximus and having caught the little bastards was bringing them directly over.
I'm okay with this. I'm quite happy. But I make it clear from the get-go.
"You do know--things get eaten here."
Not by me--though that has happened--but by the gentle woodland creatures. City folks have absolutely no idea how freaking savage nature is. I'm down to two guineas from the original six. They came up when they heard the roosters.
I love the sound of roosters in the morning. I like hearing them scratch around outside and watching the squabbles they inevitably get into. Even fat, placid standard roosters scrap now and again. Chickens really are like little dinosaurs. When they run you can see the movement and gait that you just know--because you've seen dinosaur skeletons--that the dinos must have had. When they fight, they rear their heads back and fan their hackles--puffing their breasts out. I like watching roosters. I like having them in the yard.
Ready for a little Porn & Donuts?
Lucius sat on the bed with his legs crossed and his bony knees poking outwards. He was nude and Kellie was in the shower. He heard her tuneless humming as he dialed his mother’s phone number on the cell phone. The phone rang and he waited for someone to pick up. The TV was showing the local news. He muted the volume.
“Hello?’ His mother’s voice trembled through the line. Lucius' shame made him queasy.
“Hey Mommy, it’s Lucius. I just got your letter.”
“Baby! It’s so good to hear your voice. I knew you’d come to the rescue.”
Lucius heard his mother call out to someone else in the house, probably his sisters, “It’s your big brother, and he’s going to help us!”
Lucius swallowed hard. He meant to come clean with his mother but the more she talked, the more spineless he became.
“Momma, Momma--you got to listen to me.”
“My own baby boy, comin’ to our rescue. When are you going to be getting here? I’ve got your old bedroom fixed up with new curtains and bed sheets and everything.”
Lucius cast his eyes down. He suddenly was aware of his nudity. It felt wrong talking to his mother without any clothes on. He grabbed a corner of the stiff hotel bedspread and covered himself.
He looked upwards as if the courage for truth would rain down on him from the stained popcorn stucco ceiling. He settled for more time.
“Momma, you got to give me a few days…maybe a week. I’m caught up in the middle of something right now.”
“Oh, Honey. We sure do need you. The funeral home keeps calling the house and I just don’t know what to tell them.”
“Momma, you just tell them I’m on the way. I promise. I’m coming. I’m going to fix this.” His eyes strayed to the television. A commercial for Los Tavernos Mexican Grill featured a blond man in a ridiculous sombrero backed by Mariachi band.
“Momma, the truth is, I’m out of the country. I’m in Mexico right now. It’s going to take me a while to get out of here.”
“Oh. Well. Okay.”
As they said their goodbyes, Kellie came out from the shower. Her towel was wrapped around her waist and her hair was plastered in places to her neck. Droplets of water beaded on her skin like they were sitting on a new paint job. Lucius felt the wrongness of looking at his naked cousin while talking to his mother. He felt a deep sense of relief when he hit the “end” button on the cell phone.
Kellie snapped the towel from around her waist and began drying her hair. She bent from the hips and shook her hair over her face. Her breasts bobbled back and forth under her.
“You know,” she said from underneath the veil of towel and hair. “I think I have an idea.”
She stood up, shifted her weight onto one leg, and tilted her head to the right.
Lucius looked at her, seeing only her nakedness. It was hard to concentrate with her shifting around, her flesh and bones jiggling here and jutting out there. He tried to think of something that would allow him to hear her while she was like that. He squirmed around underneath the bedspread.
She whipped the towel around herself, tucking it under her armpits and across her breasts and bounced down on the bed beside him.
“I think we need to pull a heist.”