Real & The
from the Heartland
It was a pretty day out today, and while I needed to wear a jacket
it was good to take the top off Da Z and enjoy what is likely to
be the last of the
Autumn days that will be so mild.
I started a "Language
Fast" at three o'clock the day before yesterday. No cussin' and
no negative verbiage. Words are things, and all that. By pretty
much just staying home and not talking to anybody I've only gotten
a couple dozen hash marks by now. I'm okay until
I get on the phone with Mom . . . then I just fall all apart and
get trashy, 'cause I figure that if I'm telling what has already
happened it don't count in the right now.
I think I will forever
remember Anthrax Day.
Pretty much like I remember JFK, Dr. King, Woodstock, Stonewall,
getting laid for the first time (that was when I wanted
it to happen) meeting (and leaving) my ex-. I'll forget the dates
and probably even the years. But the days, the smell in the air,
the quality of light, no, that will remain.
fixin' to head up to Omaha for my Monday class. I had been layin'
low in the wake of an ugly fall from my wheelchair, healing. The
bruises look nastier than they are. Fret not. I stopped in a side
street, out of traffic, to swap out the CD in the player and heard
Anthrax has been detected in ..."
tried to call ya'll. Can't look mortality square in the face without
saying "Thanks and I love you" to all the kin if you have a moment
to think on it. Clearly, I couldn't get through because nine jillion
people were doing exactly the same thing.
Got through to Mom and
told her that I loved her, just in case we all woke up alone except
for blistered corpses contorted in the final throes of what could
only have been an ecstasy of death.
laughed and said, "Oh, Honey they've found it all over the
Like that fixed some
fucking thing. I guess in a way it did. I suppose I would be more
comfortable rolling and choking alone, and so we were alike in that
" . .
. bye-bye Honey, I love you, too,"
then back to her crossword
puzzles or whatever. If Mister Anthrax come knockin' at her door,
well it's been a good run, ain't it?
I tried to get on the
Interstate at Waverly, but they were moving some enormous and incredibly
dense something, and had everything cordoned off, so I had to drive
along the state highway for several towns, ruminating on the improbable
likelihood of the events of the day, like maybe they found the spores,
and after quittin' time but before plumb dark what
mysterious (and evil?) thing could be so heavy that it takes two
of those big diesel trucks with the extra couple sets of wheels
(one pulling, the other in reverse, pushing), and a swarm of guys
giving all kinds of feedback as all of this was inching, and I do
mean inching, down the road, away from here and crawling towards
the Air Base in Omaha along the only flat access ramp anyplace,
while maybe Dubya is in the air already, going from one hidey-hole
When I came
home maybe three hours later they were still at it, and maybe only
a hundred yards further along.
The panorama was the
kind of view that makes living here worth it . . . the bright gold
of harvested fields, the tan of ripe grain. The sun was heading
into twilight, hanging there casting into high relief a line on
the horizon of dark green trees that, while perhaps individually
miles apart, looked like a solid line from where I was. Add to that
what was a very unusual contrailthat white signature a jet
(or a missile . . . ) makes at a certain altitude and speedthat
appeared to be headed pretty much right down in front of me, so
so the fakers got one past the watchdogs and Strategic Air Command
is toast. At least I'll get to watch the big show."
(You see, being nearly
in the middle of the country they thought we used to be pretty much
outside of missile range, so there used to be many
missile silos of our own among the amber waves of grain and
a bunch of bunkers for the leaders of our nation to hide in. The
old thought was that if and when the USSR nuked us, we'd just relocate
DC right here. The Omaha White House. Underground.)
Add to that, there were
two heavy storm systems, clear gold sun setting behind me in the
west, dark gray ahead, huge clouds that looked substantial, like
God's own zeppelins, trailing sheer skirts of rain, colliding. I'll
never forget what happened next: as the storm systems
met, a glorious rainbow whirled around upon itself so that it looked
like a double helix rainbow, a rainbow tornado. It was just jaw-dropping
serin-fucking-dippity. If this was the last sundown I would
get to see, then the show was worth the cover charge. I probably
will never see the like again.
So, now that I had my
little nighttime nappy I really, really would like some substantial
sleep. Anyhow, to all and sundry, I wish you
A good morning.
A good day.
© 2001 R.C. Hampton
you still don't know who R.C.
Hampton is, well . . .shame on you.
BENT: A Journal of CripGay