Today, me and Butch walked to the grocery store for a coke,
‘cause we were hot but didn’t have enough money for the pool.
We were picking up bottles in the highway ditch –
they’re worth two cents each at the store –
and Mama let us have the six empties
from a carton she drank last week.
Picking up bottles is hard work and we have to be careful
cause the big trucks go by fast
and don’t always pay attention to who’s walking alongside.
It’s best if we leave the little kids at home –
they slow us down,
and get up too close to the road,
and are always picking up beer bottles,
which aren’t worth anything at all.
Missus McAllister passed us,
driving slow with the windows rolled up tight.
She looked just like one of the mannequins in
the window down at Snow’s,
with her hair fixed just so and wearing those mod sunglasses
she bought in San Diego last year.
I just knew that the inside of her car
was so cool that just being in there would knock a person right out –
like a poison dart from a Pygmy blowgun.
(If I had one of those blowguns, I could
shoot that nasty Janet Miller –
I’d like to see that big fat pig sleep for a year.)
When we finally got to the store,
Missus McAllister was parked out front
and I was hoping that she would offer us a ride
back to our road after we’d bought our cokes.
But we never did get a chance to ask her,
cause she just sat there in her car –
without ever getting out to go inside.
Patsy Cline was singing loud over the car radio
all about how she went Walking After Midnight.
Missus McAllister sang right along with Patsy –
sealed up tight behind the windows of that ice cold caddy
in the parking lot of Hudson's grocery store.
This is the best one yet.
That's what I call writing.
that's what I call writing.
Since both comments were penned by "anonymous," I think it's only fair to point out that as far as I know, they may have been written by my best friend and my mother and are not necessarily an accurate reflection of my ability.
Beats having your best friend and your mother tell you you suck, though.
The walk back in time to Hudson's grocery brought additional recollections of...
the sun, truly blinding like the entire earth was a mirror. The heat and humidity that would take one's breath away and make the healthy seem asthmatic. The 10 blocks seemed like miles. White wooden picket fences that needed weeding around the bottom and painting on the top. Raised sidewalks from 40-year-old tree roots. The shade, 20 degrees cooler from the weeping willow trees. The smell of honeysuckle. The metal handle, just below the RC Cola sign, and the creaking of the overstretched spring on the wooden screen door. The jingle of the bell that let the butcher know a neighbor was in. The sound of stiff, white butcher paper being wrapped and taped on the thick cut bologna. The sound you made after that first big gulp from the ice cold coca-cola.
You’re right. "It didn't seem that long ago"... until I saw the picture. This one made me smile.
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