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Monday, November 5, 2012

Like Pilar, Chugging Along

Day five, and I have officially reached my wordcount goal for today, even though I spent 13 hours of my valuable time at school and at least an hour embroiled in political debates on Facebook.

The best way to move democracy forward.

My favorite part about that picture is that several keys are missing or loose on that keyboard, presumably because of how angrily the child of Mike Dirnt and Justin Pierre was typing to his adversary.

I see it.

Anyway, I come bearing witty captions and an excerpt of my writing. Finally. I know this is the moment you've all been waiting for, but I didn't want to be a word-slut and just start posting my literature all over the place wantonly. But this is our fifth date, at least, and I think you all deserve it. Here we go!
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My brothers and I, a crowd of five pressed up against the faux-wood door to the kitchen, heard only one valuable word of the disgraceful conversation: suicide. Just the word buzzed like an alarm in our ears, even without knowing the meaning.

“Lee,” I whispered urgently when I observed my oldest brother, five years wiser than my vulnerable six years, moving away from the door as if it were blazing hot. “What’s ‘suicide’?”

He turned to me with wide brown eyes, a reflection of my own and descended from our father, his small mouth hanging open in macabre excitement.

“It means,” he started, and then paused, either for dramatic effect or to try to come up with the words that would convey the most shock value, “it means that Mrs. Rushmore took a gun and shot herself.” Tears welled up in my eyes even as my heart began to hammer.

“What d’you mean? Don’t she know guns are dang’rous?” This was something taught to us as soon as we could understand the concept, because our masculine father kept a hunting chest full of aging and rusting guns in the basement, with a combination lock on it. The ancient chest was passed through the family, down from his grandfather, who used to go hunting with the other Virginia rednecks in the woods for innocent animals. Even though my father had only touched the guns once in his lifetime, the time that the Smyth’s dog caught rabies from a skunk and he thought it was going to come near our house and threaten his children, I think it comforted him to know that, as the man of the house, he would be able to defend his children and wife if anything happened.

“Of course she knew guns are dangerous, she’s an adult. It means that she did it on purpose, stupid,” Lee said intently, waiting for my reaction.

“Why would she do that, Lee? You’re a liar,” I said, relieved that it was merely another exaggeration, an attempt by my brothers to scare the littlest child.

“You can think so,” he said, shrugging, “but you ask dad: suicide means she chose to die.” This was also a popular bluff, telling me to ask my parents in order to prolong my fear just a little longer, but something in how easily he gave up the gambit made me nervous.

“Okay, I will,” I said defiantly, though my fingers were clenched at my sides; growing up as the youngest in a household of five boys made me foolhardy, if nothing else. Neil, the second youngest child and only a year older than me, was similarly na├»ve and stood with me.

“I’m goin’ too. You’re pullin’ our leg, Lee,” he said angrily, and it was comforting to feel him at my side. “Let’s go, Laurel.” He grabbed my hand and steered me through the living room in search of dad, who was destined to find out about Mrs. Rushmore’s fate from work colleagues instead of the troupe of Southern housewives. That was one of the rules of society.
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WHEW.

To explain the title of this blog post, I would like to refer you all to the book Hemingway's Boat, by Paul Hendrickson. It is an incredibly insightful biography of one of the most complex American authors to ever grace the literary scene, and I love it. I'm also reading Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison, and that's even BETTER.

I have no mental power to make the rest of this post witty because I need to scurry off to bed. Big day tomorrow! All of the days are big days! I am slowly going crazy!

With too much work, eternally yours,

Abby




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