Snatch the bag, spilling out the devil's bones. Tinkling across the floor, skittering away for what began as the last story I would tell my twenty year old son. Red raw, jumping and juking, I trip over the years. Only when the bones land upon the wicked truths am I paused. Truths told only between mother and son as the minute molecules of woebegone burst with the telling whiskey in the river.
WHISKEY IN THE RIVER by Jenny Socks
This true red letter was to be the last drip-drop story I would tell of our lives. With shoes pinching my toes, the society given shallow skills of shame and fear so cobbled these cold feet of mine. With time, my truth- telling finally kicked off those filthy shoes. Those shabby shoes now rest on the power-pole lines in my front yard as raw emotions choke from my throat. Dangling shoes so precariously hung by tattered shoe-strings that never could tie the bows for this life. Revealing, not so much the blow-by-blow accounting of life, but the ashy remains as the last of the hurtful pebbles shake loose from the hung shoes.
A soul-jacking score tells of the fairy-tale beginning to the stomping black boots of death in the end. The beginning-of-the-end sequentially goosestepped on with expert timing in the heavy footfalls. A dark purpose delivered, one stomp to the next, black boots hit upon black dirt. Spraying pebbles of grief from under massive boot heels, the wickedness of this life hatefully kicks it upon us. The precise death march booted on as my brother, husband and father die. Heels clunked. Soles smacked. Scraping violently, black on black, jack-boots ripped across the dirt, stomping powerfully for the kickback. Rocks hurl with every step as darkness drills this march. Utter blackness hijacking our time.
Fly upon the wall to witness the battles as life stepped in with a mallet, clubbing us to bloody slivers as the very best of us just slipped away. Boxing for balance those sharp jabs black-eyed us for years. Suited in our junk armor, we fought, fighting battles, that is, until we lost the war. Won many battles, but could not win the war would be the way of it.
Listen as I seat pride at the doorstep, slam the door shut and puke up slack reasoning from a pathetically shattered heart while my screams curse out the vile catchings of this life. The vilest of catches pitched up by the lip-servers and gossip-mongers yoked to my neck. Broken now, the story has left just a grimy penny in my hand. But, oh, how shiny the penny was in the beginning.
Life on the battlefield is not for the faint of heart. And, it is true that only the strong survive. My son and I have become survivors. Not through choice, mind you, we just played the cards we were dealt. Never did I know of the big-slick hand to come. I was just expecting another hand littered with deuces. But, I was wrong. Very wrong!
My stumbling led me to the river. Soaked clothes clung to me as this river wisdom changed me into a decent human being. So much so that the semi-slant-narcissistic bitch I once was is forever gone. Wisdom I never found by chance, but, found, just the same. These words speak of the withheld truths. Truths told only in the tiniest of spaces between a mother and a son as the minute molecules of woebegone burst forth with the telling whiskey in the river.
Hushed topics, so often smashed down into the gut, are strung on the laundry lines of this life. Winds blowing and skirting this laundry until, finally, nothing but the truth remains. Loosed from the fabric are the choking assumptions so known as culture in today's society. A must read that speaks to the core of every human being. This core carries tender humanity and mercy into a brutal world that so often fails. An excellent read for anyone who cares to read between the thumb-smudged lines of this life. For anyone who has fallen and needs the courage to get back up, this book compels them to believe. Smacking huge belief, front and center, for all to see, to believe in themselves and to know that they, indeed, have a valued purpose in this, at times, dogmatic and, perhaps, otherwise, dog mad world.