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Showing posts from December, 2019

Short cuts: Requiem

The details from the news article are sketchy: police were called to the scene, responding at 11:24 PM, finding the victim, a 45 year old man, dead of multiple gunshot wounds. The incident began as disturbance between neighbors and turned violent. One person was briefly detained, but no charges were filed.

That last bit is puzzling. I assume it must've been a case of self-defense so obvious the person who pulled the trigger multiple times was only briefly detained. He (she?) must've been standing their ground, as the law states.

I hadn't seen this man who was killed yesterday in almost three decades, and we weren't particularly close friends even then. I'd heard his life had gone sideways in the time since I'd known him when we were kids growing up in the same church, for all the regular reasons. But this isn't about speculation. It's not about blame. It's about a memory.

It is 1981. Maybe '82. Somewhen thereabouts. I am perhaps seven years old,…

Short Cuts: Foreclosure

Even now, nearly thirty years later, I don't know exactly why we lost the house except that it had something to do with medical bills. Perhaps if my father were a drunk, he'd have gotten loose-tongued enough at some point over the years to spill it. But he's not, and we never talk about that dark time when the four of us lived in a camping trailer loaned to us by someone from church. We were eventually able (somehow) to get the house back, to stay on the sandhill field-and-pasture land on which my father had grown up, on which his dreams of having a herd of his own cows never materialized, so I guess it's a moot point now.

Still, there are things from that time that haunt me like dreams of a past life I can't be sure I lived: my eleven-year old sister having a friend's mom drop her off at the house and walking half a mile through the woods in the dark to where we really lived, the logistics of four people living in a camping trailer, the frustration of wanting…