Recently, I reflected on my birth order and whether I fit the associated stereotypes. I am the baby of the bunch: my dad, a young widower nearly ten years my mother’s junior, had two beautiful girls (eight and nine years my senior) when he met and married my mom. My mother had given birth toContinue reading “Shard in the Eye”
I stood out back, with an orange can of kerosene in my right hand, looking at the overgrown grass, hanging tree limbs, and corroding nails through the roof shingle lying at my feet. All times when walking in the yard I was careful; the fallen shake multiplied daily and soon the roof underlayment would be viewable from the street. Snow covered the descended pieces in winter and in autumn they were concealed by leaves. Those were cozier times; I could light a fire. The chimney smoke distracted from the balding roof, deciduous trees and autumn leaves peppering the ground; the celebration of fall transformed my signifying dilapidation into beauty. On summer days the yard was dry enough to discreetly pick the bits up after a day’s work, though it was the type of neighborhood open drapes display the booty of wealth-commitment; earlier in the day someone may have already had a peak.
Humility breeds optimism, so we had assurance in loads. Still, it pained me to go. The heartland, like the heart, is sick and deceitful; it cannot be trusted. The heart is what kept us in Wichita for two long years and had I continued to follow it, the girls and I would still be some fifteen hundred miles behind, away from the world’s best city.
In A Revolutionary Life, John Lee Anderson wrote Che Guevara had a sense of security only trust fund beneficiaries understand. Recently, I came across decade-old letters and emails I’d sent the administrator of my now dissolved family trust that made me both cringe at my audacity and smile at my courage. Funding requests for an automobile, back mortgage payments, gifts for my brothers, relocation, graduate school summer tuition, a kitchen remodel for mom’s home with a surprise truck on the side, and an appeal for funding to pay my housing for three years while earning an MFA in Creative Writing and Literature (a notably unprofitable degree I would complete a year early) littered my outbox and clear plastic file box. I imagined myself an attorney presenting my case for financial support on the latter matter, and with the beneficiaries—my two elder brothers, mother and I—evenly at odds on whether the trust should support my next academic endeavor in New York, I argued in the most upstanding manner I knew how, with a series of questions meant to illicit facts.
By the time I began visualizing what kind of sofa to manifest for my Moving On Up home during my divorced-in-my-mid-twenties years, mom announced she’d found it. “I saw your sectional at King’s,” she said during a standard unannounced drop-in, beckoning me into her Ford pick-up truck, bought with a secret appeal of on herContinue reading “Milo Baughman and Such Relics”