by Matthew PonY Bones
I begin with our escape. We was shooting and shouting with sincere attempts at guffawing round those country curves where Floyd county murders into Bartow County. Strange Country Roads moan with historical measured misery, here be we us in Northwest Georgia. This here is comedy in the tragedy.
We was blasting the country crooner for every working man, that is Mr. John Conlee. Songs like “Common Man” and “I Don’t Recall Lovin You” warmed our waxing hearts, which were still ice burnt by the melancholia of familiar family strife and comedic darkly severance. Suffer the dentures of geography. The spinster psychically controlled railroad civil war town of Kingston awaited us like a phantom dog sniffin our crotches.
Grandpa done died on Thanksgiving, which also was Father’s birthday. Immediacy thunderous! I had to drive down sodden with sorrow way on down down down fast from up NORTH, the bellicose barbwire of Yankee land. Like suckin bad rot pickled eggs in kerosene with shot of jizz from Mr. Death himself, we pursued to our destination soaked by despondency‘s piss. I seem to recall with vagrant clarity, one could not find very good country music stations on the radio rotations driving down the sinister spine of Appalachia from Alexandria Virginia. What the hell was going on?
Grandpa’s lungs filled with pneumonia floods and he drowned. The morphine kept prolonging him, yet finally slipped over to where death meets death. I saw him the last time past September, where He sternly told me at once to get him outta there. Out of that nursing home. Was he being nursed? He was being mystically knuckled and turkey vulture stalked by Alzheimer’s. He told me he had to make dinner for a dead man.
When we arrived it was all too late. It was one of those eternal repetition deer killing rifle kinds of a day where as if a certainly lewd Randy Travis circled our home maliciously with a lawn mower he had stolen from George Jones house 13 miles away. The sound was pulverizing and never twanging. Ears were belching blood.
Father was reeling in sobriety in the dark corner of his office. Mr. Father is weeping neath that flickering light bulb. He is bleeding and writhing throwing the spilled snack of sea salted peanuts into the coagulating puddle of his own gathering blood. “This will stop the Chinese communists,” he intones.
Grandpa, father and me, that is that wayward son blasted scumbag loser son, all shared the same middle name. The name is Doyal, which means dark stranger. Grandpa’s grandfather was a music man. He played the banjo gospel country music. I salvaged his ghostly green foggy 1902 photo portrait hidden behind a seditious metal filing cabinet. Grandpa’s mother, Lucy (maiden name Fowler) played a mean dixified piano. With old testament Godly pride, she would show off a luminous shining shotgun in the corner of her blue painted kitchen. She was no body’s cracker fool!
The truth of mourning feels like unbearable hallucination and makes madness in all of us divergently sinister whilst being strangling suffocating kudzu. Mother was yellin mean bitch dog barks at my best gal wife whilst hanging Christmas reefs. I yelled mean thangs barking back cuz Mom seemed she wuz pulling a crazy. Mom is occasionally all gone, yet I was up against the womb! I kept hearing the living apparition of Alabama sing that sad sadly song “Christmas in Dixie.” Tears and sobbin so do proceed the processions. I am hallucinating in the truth. My gal feel into broken heart deliriums.
Then inappropriately with appropriate maximum futility, old routines instinctually increase the façade of routines. He is father going faulty in the farther somewhere. Father is the doctor who goes to work working that day shining pale with sickness in the well waters of heart and biological body. He is the doctor who won’t do any of that Doctor heal thy self! Especially, he don’t believe in country music that much anymore, especially that city boy asshole Vince Gill, King of Smuck. Or for that matter the glory of John Conlee weeping beneath those sun blockading night blockadin rose colored glasses.
We walk the old Proctor farm land. I visit the rock grave of Smut the Cat. I hear Johnny Paycheck singin “Walk Through This World With Me.” Ruminating past tall grassy fields whistling with rustling autumnal wind, we walk down to Dykes Creek, hand in hand.
It was time to leave. Sometimes an out of tune song is just a God awful outta tune song. Sentimentality and childhood nostalgia stupendously strike stupid with furious epileptic possession. I steal my father’s Vince Gill tape, “I Still Believe In You.” Family is the living memory that sure won’t go away.