Kamby Bolongo Mean River named one of 25 Important Books of the 2000s by HTML Giant

KBMR was named one of 25 Important Books of the decade by HTML Giant. And was a Page One selection of New & Noteworthy Books by Poets & Writers Magazine.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

No news today - Guest Post - Amy Albracht

My middle term memory is the only one worth a damn.

God grant me the ability to remember some of The Serenity Prayer. I know wisdom needs to come into play and saying that combination of words used to make me feel lighter. Somehow I managed to not tell off the social worker that said, “Anyone who has been sick for X amount of years is going to have some depression.” Sister, you are not going to pin denial on me.

It’s coming back to me now. Finding out what I can change and what I can’t change has used me up and I have burned like a seven-dollar tip on a table of twelve just to still be here.

When you are living on the old homestead people advise you on what kind of birdseed to buy. They push the songbird mix. My aim is to feed the guttersnipes and catfish birds so I just grab whatever is cheapest. I have a long list of errands to run, to get by the post office box and buy some more birdseed.

I’m so dried out that I’ve mashed up all my ex’s in my mind and I act like we’re all on good terms. And I don't exist to even a single one.

I heard a joke you would like. If you invite a Baptist to go fishing with you, why do you have to invite at least one more? There’s no point bothering with the punch line because you understand it better than anyone. You also know that I don’t like people watching me cook. I always get cuts and burns, but they are more serious when I am being watched. Turns out, no matter how big the kitchen, I’m still a messy cook. And if I’m a cook, then I might be a tax expert too, because I file those forms from time to time.

When I go to a potluck, I want my casserole to be popular because I know that all eyes will never be on me when I enter the bar. But that doesn’t stop me from making the rounds, alternating tequila and OJs and whatever light beer is on tap. Sometimes I prefer to bar hop during the day. In one of my regular spots the light breaking into the dusty stained glass flatters me. Jimmy tipped me off to this and it keeps me coming back. He said, “Your eyes are so blue today.” So I looked at him and saw that his Irish stubble was blazing red and I told him so. That was it. He returned to his position near the register and propped up a foot on the speed rack as I finished my Grasshopper.

But the best thing in that bar happened at night. I was sitting with my back to the wall and I saw all of it. A young woman with a face better than money stepped down from her bar stool. She was dressed in the fashion of her day. No. Her clothes ventured out in front of that dateline. Her costume came to a close with yards of pearls that looped around her neck and swayed to her little waist. She broke into a perfect Charleston that cancelled out the garbage coming from the jukebox. She had made her point when one of her perfectly crisp yet devil may care hands caught on a strand of her necklace. The string gave and the pearls went separate ways, filling the air like electrons are said to stake out solid objects. They hit the checkerboard tile floor all at once and jumped back up, head-high with the single crack of a thousand billiard racks being broken. From there, each pearl followed its own path. The crashing and bouncing and dribbling took an hour to die out. Her friends scattered to gather up the beads but some only leaned close to the floor and laughed.

The other benefit to drinking early is that by the time you are heading to check on your mother-in-law it’s dark out. You don’t have to look at the Jesus paraphernalia filling up the birdbath in front of the house at the turn. I guess it’s true that birds neither sow nor reap and make out fine, but clogging up their bath with propaganda seems like overkill. Hang in there, pigeons. Let’s everyone hang in there.

Amy Albracht is the author of countless e-mails. You can find other work by her at www.amyalbracht.com.

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