Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Three Memories by Hal Parker

[Note that this post was written as a prank by the other Hal, -HP, 2010]

1. North Carolina. Growing up in the rural western reaches of North Carolina exposed me to many of the hardships of the all but lost rural agrarian section of American society. The hard manual labor from sun-up to sun-down, grimly winning from an unyielding Earth only so much food as was absolutely necessary to feed ourselves and our livestock, and growing tobacco on every other possible inch of land. The locusts had emphysema for miles. But there were fun times, too. The locusts had emphysema.

2. Being the youngest of three brothers brought its own hardships, too. Most poignant was the time that my oldest brother told me that I killed Ma by being born and that he'd tried to treat me like a brother for all those years but he couldn't do it anymore, he just couldn't do it, and then he charged me with the rake. The rake's progress was happily arrested by the beatific vision of my mother's ghost. Or, anyways, that's how I remember it. I don't know why I was in the hospital, though. Or why I went away to school later that year.

3. I loved trains. Model trains, real trains, abandoned, rusty trains full of stray cats and pet snakes, the low pedal tone of a distant freight rumbling through the Appalachian foothills, coins flattened by a train's passing. I didn't much like the hobos, though. They would ask me funny questions, and their eyes were always a dull red, like they hadn't slept in days. Or maybe they were zombies. That would explain the time one chased me with a rusty spoon.