It's All About Age

August 20, 2017 by Rieshy

One shining morning at our Baltimore, Maryland kitchen table, with early a.m. sunlight glancing off a mixture of airborne dust motes and chalk dust,  my father let ME squeeze a bladder that puffed chalk off the surface of some ancient tablets while leaving chalk in the cuneiform impressions left by a thousand or two year old scribe. ME, small, young and hyper me, was trusted to hold the entire tool in my hand like a real archeologist.

It spurred me to find important artifacts on my own.  I dug in my back yard.  Some old milk jars and a broken bracelet were not that exotic and the holes left behind annoyed my mom, especially when she realized I had but a vague idea of where our property line was situated but when we went to Texas that summer I hit pay dirt.  A real artifact!  Something impressive that had been alive a long time ago:!

We had driven out to my grandfathers farm one hot summer day in West Texas with an Aunt following my granddad's El Camino pickup in our family vehicle, a Volkswagen Beetle, a dream vehicle lacking both air conditioning and space for its family of 6.  I remember dust and annoying my mother by asking why Granddaddy lived in town but farmed out of town while my other grandfather lived on his farm.  The niceties of a economically devastating drought decades prior not being quite proper to bring up.

I decided to distance myself from my inexplicably annoyed mom for a bit and found something wonderful.  Something large and mysterious and definitely within the purview of both an archeologist and paleontologist.  Something that Had to be taken home to investigate further and to use a prop for future pretends.  And with the mysterious power sometimes imbued to children under the age of six I managed to wrestle my find to the Volkswagen and stow it under the driver's seat completely unseen.

On the drive home after about 1 minute my mother suddenly asked, "Who stepped in a cow patty?"  Everyone dutifully looked- a task not made easy by how tightly we were all packed in that baby blue, 1975 Volkswagen Beetle.

1 minute more passed and my mother more sharply asked, "Who got manure on their clothing?"  Everyone was clean.

Ten more seconds and my mom jerked the car over to the shoulder and shouts, "Everyone out- someone stinks to high heaven!"

We all disembarked and were all visually checked and double checked by both my mother and my Aunt.  Suddenly I was nervous; things were often my fault.

We got back in.  My mother was gagging, everyone else was also now complaining of the smell.  My aunt suggested that there could be a dead animal in a ditch and that we just needed to drive faster.  We drove faster as my mom gagged more and more frequently.  The car swerved a final time to the shoulder and she leapt out, gagging quite grossly.  She had a sensitive nose.

But this time as my mom crouched by the car, head near the ground trying not to vomit from the mysteriously terrible smell with a car full of adolescent onlookers she spotted something white sticking up just a bit from under her car seat.  White and definitely not part of the car.

All I remember next is my mother's version of cussing (which never included any actual curse words) as she and my aunt worked for 15 minutes to get my find dislodged from underneath her driver's seat and tossed into the ditch.  I was heartbroken.

I learned then that it's age that makes things interesting; the tablets Dad had been translating were accounting lists of goods sold in an ancient Mesopotamian market.  And organic things must be very, very, very aged before you are allowed to either collect them or find them interesting.  Recently deceased and somewhat still-gooey cow skulls, even if they did have horns, were unequivocally not old enough to be interesting and more importantly not collectable.

My career trajectory was obliviated.  I was devastated and changed my future professional goals to things that wouldn't require as much time; settling for a future as a stunt double or spy.  Or both.



August 7, 2017 by Rieshy

Apartment complex leaf capped
brown branches
multi-storied above.

Swinging high
Swinging cold
Swinging sock-less alone.

Campfire smoking kerosene
log scented
pseudo wilderness below.

Swinging high
Swinging cold
Swinging sock-less.

till tree dumping to state park sounds
of exotic
bathhouse directed golf carts.

Swinging high
Swinging warm
Swinging surrounded

in borrowed socks.


Posted in Labels: | 0 Comments »

Moving Children

August 3, 2017 by Rieshy

Boxes and dust and questions.
That drawer full of miscellany ignored with determination
until unceremoniously dumped in a box at the last.

Every adult needs a drawer of easily accessible guilt.
Where to put it in the new house?

How do you pack a still-damp shower curtain anyway?
Why have I held on to this and not that and
where the heck did I pack my skillet?

Being taught how much wrapping paper is cushioning enough;
learning that that was not enough.

Leaving always has a being left.
Leaving is adventure.

Parenting is all about being left.
But there's joy there in the cascading crescendo of being left.
It starts with spoons held in chubby fists,
and ends... when they have a family confab and take your driver's license away.

Part of that joy?
Their junk drawer of remonstrances calls only to them,
and the damp shower curtain?

They"ll learn to leave it behind.


Posted in Labels: | 1 Comment »