My Bubba and I met feeding ducks, but I didn’t fall in love with him until much later. I liked him, after I found out he was a democrat, but he was difficult to communicate with. Over the years, I figured out what was going on with him, so by the time he died, he was a literal Chatty Cathy (that’s a doll from my childhood years, and yes, I’m giving away my age), and I didn’t even have to pull his strings to get him to talk endlessly, as one had to do with the talking doll.
Shortly after my brother died, I pulled a chair over to the kitchen counter, climbed up on it, and grabbed a jar of Sue Bee honey from the cupboard. My legs shook from standing on my tiptoes while holding the glass jar, but I made it down a-okay.
That’s what he called me until his last day on earth, Sue Bee, although sometimes he also called me Susie Q, especially when he was tickling me to death. He got to name me because Dad wanted to name me Ariel and Mom said it sounded like a tv antenna.
When My Bubba died on Friday, the 13th (April 13, 2018), I also came close to death. I stopped eating and drank very little water. I didn’t do this on purpose; I just had no appetite and forgot to at least sip water, so two weeks after he died, I ended up in the emergency room, passing a kidney stone — ouch. At the time, I was unable to leave my home, so when the paramedics took me to the hospital, I had no idea how I’d get back up my steps.
But I did, and I knew it was…
In this age of social media, I was trying to think of the last time I said goodbye. Nothing sprang to mind. I use x’s and o’s a lot at the end of anything written to friends on the internet, thank you to those I run into in the community who help in some regard, and when My Beloved Bubba died, I didn’t say a word.
As the paramedics carried him out of the house, he said, “I’m sorry,” but I sat in stunned silence. For weeks and months, I wondered why I hadn’t said “I love you, Bubba,” because…
I’ve never been to a Walmart. Except once, when an elderly neighbor asked me to take her there. That was back when I was mobile, a long time ago. I sat in the car and waited while she got her cheap shit, crap that shut down the “ma and pa” neighborhood stores, while Walmart got corporate welfare from the local politicians via tax breaks and other goodies that enabled them to set up shop.
This past weekend, I got a comment on a piece I wrote about six months after My Beloved Bubba died. It was a nasty comment, basically…
Evan, the 20-something grandson of a neighbor, came by to give me an estimate for the mess in my driveway and backyard.
First he looked at the mess of cinder blocks. “What happened here?”
“The four foot high by eight foot long wall fell into my neighbor’s yard in one solid piece.”
“So how did all the blocks get over here?”
“The neighbor broke up the wall, took each block and threw them into my yard.”
“I don’t know. I’m afraid to ask. How much to organize the mess?”
“Well, they weigh about 35 pounds each, and there’s a…
At six, my son fell in love with dog snot
That’s what he called the runny eggs I served
Before that he let them sit on his plate
Sometimes designing sun faces with them
Other times poking at them with his fork
Sending yellow rivulets here and there
My favorite photo of him sits there
The one where he’s wiping his face of snot
Next to the one where he’s holding his fork
Waiting for the peach pie he’s being served;
He dearly loved fruit pies, each one of them,
Clapping when a piece landed on his plate
I use the Olympic Rain Forest, the Cascade mountain range, and the Puget Sound as inspiration to write about causes, with a bent towards magical realism.