Monday, July 07, 2014

Flea Market Monolouge

Well, hey sweetie... come on in here boy and sit yourself down and talk to an old lady...

Don't start that foolishness, I've been an old lady for a long time now... Oh lord it's hotter than hell today, ain't it?  There ain't gonna be any business today.  Those first Monday sales over to Canton and Weatherford always take our business this first week of the month...

You just hold this little dog of mine.  All the other vendors out here got that little thing spoiled rotten... but that's the point of a chiwheenie, ain't it?  He'll settle himself down in a minute... just hold him tight and he'll go right to sleep...

Oh, nothing too special... we just went over to my oldest boys and shot off some fireworks for the grandbabies.  You know, it's only the past two or three years that I could even watch fireworks.  But it's nice to see the grandbabies get so excited. 

It's been 19 years now, since my husband shot himself on the fourth of July.  The mess.  You have no idea of how much blood and fragments and just stuff is inside a person... Oh you didn't know about that?  I thought about everyone out here knew that... I'm sorry...

No, I can talk about it now.  Only the past few years I could.  He just took a rifle, put it under his chin... took everything from his chest up. 

Everybody asks that... no, I don't mind... to tell the truth, we didn't have any real warning, nothing out of the ordinary.  He'd been bad for a few years before that, about five... but he'd been saying things for so long that it was just him... you know, it was just normal for him, he wasn't a happy person.  It was just who he was... the Doctor had given him something, but this was before Prozac and all those MAOI drugs they got now.  Oh, I know all about those drugs now, me and my youngest got what ya call EXPERIENCE with those now.  But they were too late for him. 

My boy, my youngest Sonny?  You've met him, he comes out here with me sometimes, well it about ripped him apart... He walked in on that.. you don't recover from that... he got on the meth after that.  I always knew he was just trying to get away from what was in his head.  He was what you call self medicating.  When I hear about somebody on it, I just say a little prayer for em now, cause I don't know what happened to get them there, what they running from...

Now don't get me wrong.  I ain't no angel.  When I was running around there wasn't none of that stuff though... there was the marijuana, and there was the beer.  Lots and lots of beer... but that meth got my Sonny... there were times I wouldn't hear from him and I'd go over, terrified of what I was gonna find in that trailer, and he'd be in an armchair not even able to get up.  Once, it took me close to an hour just to wake him up. 

Well you've seen him... he ain't quite as tall as you but he's a big boy... he was down to a 26 inch waist.  Just skin and bones. 

You hear them holier than thou types... what's that they say... Oh, 'You're just hiding from your problems but it's not a solution... the problems will still be there later...' 

I just want to slap the bitches. 

I didn't like Sonny on that meth, but I couldn't blame him.  I knew.  I'd laid in my bed and looked at a stark white ceiling and just knew what was under those three coats of paint and 2 coats of that KILLZ primer.

Blood don't come out.  It may have looked like a plain white ceiling to anybody else, but that blood was still there under that paint and I swear to God I could still see it. 

I'm not excusing Sonny, but I'm saying that I understood him... I know that there are times when five minutes of turning your brain off, of not thinking about it, are just a blessing.

What happened was this... We had folks coming over for the fourth, we was gonna cook hotdogs on the grill and light some fireworks, so I was gonna mow the yard but our mower was broke, so I was gonna borrow miss Suzies from down the road, so I got Sonny to bring over the truck and take me down to Suzies to pick it up...

You don't mind me talking about all this, do you? 

It's just for years I couldn't say a word about it... you sure? 

So anyway, what happened was Sonny came to get me, and I told Jack that I was gonna pick up the mower, and I'd appreciate it if he got the grill out of the garage and maybe got it started for the hot dogs...

Of course, we were at Suzies for a bit, you can't just go grab someones mower, you got to sit and visit for a few, but when we got back, I saw the grill weren't out. 

I was madder than fire.  Sonny was gonna mow for me, but I had to clean the kitchen and get a shower before people come over, I didn't have time to go digging through that garage for that damned grill... I was fit to spit nails. 

Well Sonny went in the house and the next thing I know he was out in the yard again, I don't even know how he got out... he didn't say anything though, he was out in the front yard hanging onto that old tree out there, giving it a bear hug, making choking sounds...

I didn't go to him.  To this day I don't know why I didn't go to my boy. 

I just walked in that front door, and I think part of me knew what I was gonna find in there. 

He'd shot himself in the living room.  They tell me he'd probably put the rifle under his chin, and I certainly don't know how they can tell because I'm gonna be honest... everything from the chest up was gone.  Except it wasn't gone... it was all over.  There wasn't a wall in that room that wasn't covered, and the floor and the ceiling too... and not just the living room.  They said he'd been standing up, and the body had ended up halfway in the kitchen, and since the door to the bedroom had been open, it was on the walls and ceiling in there too... you just don't know how much blood and everything there is in a person, and I'm telling you right now, I hope you never find out. 

All that mess, and we had to clean it up ourselves.  There's no one out there to help you... the coroner comes and gets the body and all the rest is up to you. 

And it don't come out.  The carpet, the furniture, everything had to go... there's no way to get that clean.  I scrubbed walls till my hands were raw, and it was still there.  You do not know how many times I wanted to just light a match and be done with it.  But I didn't.  I don't know how I didn't, but I didn't.  All  I can say is that no matter how much you clean... there's always still more. 

Sonny's trouble started after that. 

Three years later he was in jail, and my heart broke all over again.  I would sit and wonder how that could happen, how did I have any heart left, but trust me, you always got more heart to break.

They put him away for 7 months... it could have been ten years, he got off  lucky, and when he came out he said "Enough Momma, it's just Enough" and he's never been in trouble again, thank you Jesus.  He stopped talking to those people he was running with, he got him a good job, and he's been the best daddy to those kids of his you could ever hope for.  It couldn't have been easy, but he did it. 

And he tells his kids about his troubles. 

I wasn't sure how I felt about that... but Sonny says he tells them because he don't want his kids to go through what hell he went through.  He wants them to know what drugs really are, and how they destroy you, and how hard it is to come back, and I have to say he's probably right. 

I couldn't watch fireworks after that. 

I hear that loud bang and I swear I'd look into the sky and all I could see was someones head exploding.  I'm not making that up, I would literally see someones head exploding.  It's awful, but that's what I saw. 

Finally, about three years ago, I was able to bear it... but I still don't really watch them.  Instead I just look at my grandbabies.  I don't even look up, all I want to see is right down here on the ground. 

It can still get to me sometimes though.  I was reading on facebook about those veterans who've come back and how the exploding fireworks mess with their heads... and God love em, I feel for them.  They've got that Post traumatic stress disorder, and they think they're being bombed everytime they hear a firecracker, and I know how they feel.  Not exactly but close enough...

But I survived it.  I managed to get through it.  I figured I ain't got no right to ruin it for my grandbabies, so I pull through. 

NOTE:  I was told this story this weekend at the flea market, and I felt compelled to write it down.  I have given all the details to the best of my recollection, but please be aware that memory is not perfect. 

2 comments:

  1. Claude,

    A most eloquent argument for tolerance. Until we know the cause for the reason someone has chosen a certain path we should reframe from making a conclusion or worse a judgment. A beautifully heart felt post. – gary

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  2. That poor family. I believe her when she says there is always more heart to break.

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