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Saturday, January 24, 2004

Trash and Trailers
Did I ever tell you that on the other side of town, there’s a street called “Meredith”? Did I mention how I want to steal this road sign with a passion, in the dark of the night, and take it home to be self-affirmingly displayed next to my Jones Soda Bottles? Did I convey to you the urgency I feel whenever I drive past the glinting green sign?
As far as I can tell, the only the thing that’s really on Meredith Road is a trailer park named “Chateau Estates”. I find it intrinsically sad that all the trailer parks around here seem to have high-cultured sounding names: “Oxford Manor”, “Kensington Place”, “Thornapple Lake”. As if the residents are trying to trick someone into thinking of luxury; or worse, themselves.
Katie and Cassie were twins that used to live in Chateau Estates. Cassie had a small mole on her left cheek; Katie on her right. They had four other sisters living in the doublewide, and the basement reeked of cat urine. In it we watched EmmTeeVee Spring Break reruns into the wee hours of the morning, and then got up and went to the creek.
The creek was the haven of the Estates; it was secluded enough from the trailers for you to make-believe that you really were in some French garden. On the bridge stood Dan.
Dan was the pariah of elementary school. He smelled funny; he couldn’t read “good”; he threatened people with safety scissors. He and his four brothers lived kitty-corner from the twins; close enough for the girls to complain vehemently.
On that overcast May day Dan dangled a kitten from his cat’s recent litter over the creek and accidentally let go. I know it was accidental because we both let out a shriek at the same time; with the twins starting to cry.
He said it was too cold to get in the water to fish it out.
Katie and Cassie moved to Parchment a few years ago to be closer to their Dad’s job at the paper mill; I assume they’ve moved since. All of the mills are closed now.
Today I drove past the place and licked the salt off of my fingers, thinking to myself, “MeredithmeredithmeredithRoad”.

Fresh squeezed by melly at 7:02 PM

Monday, January 19, 2004

Because Mister Dee's inbox was full
She always wears those huge silver earrings that rest gently on her sloped
shoulders, the kind shaped like triangles that you would half expect to
chime if you could only hit them with your pencil. She hums the dance song
du jour under her breath as they speak to her, and you can imagine her with
Beyonce hair, freshly curled and dyed a prismatic blonde; dancing under
disco ball lights with those triangle earrings. And she'll hum, but the
music will drown her out; and in your head you'll say "She is the dancing
queen."
And then, just like that, she'll say, "Yo. Can I have a dollar?"
You wince. The "yo" is mentally assualting; Abba queens never say "yo" with
a Bronx twinge to their voices. Futhermore, in the mirage there was no one
to ask this question to. She was alone on a shampoo shoot, bright lights
reflecting off of her earlobes.
And you'll look at her and she'll look at you, both questioning each other's
faces. And you'll say vacantly that you're broke, which is not neccesarily
untrue and is quite convenient at the time, because you don't like handing
out money to people who say things like "Yo." And the triangles will sparkle
and you'll both turn to leave, with the very same twists to your faces, and
no one has to know now do they
now do they
now do they.
[Uncle Greasyhead always said that when you need to feel better, moaning
"melancholy" (but pronouncing it "mel-aaahnnchoooleeee") loudly a few times,
complete with head throws, is always good for something.]
meredith

Fresh squeezed by melly at 8:52 PM