i-ve been thinking mary—-dammit baltimore- you must always have the last word–

Try keeping some emergency bad ideas in your desk.

I am at a loss on several counts.

My sister and I are considering writing a book. I wonder if we should make an outline, or just attack with finger paints? I may start by making an actual visual map of everything I remember about early childhood. There’s the trailer, the addition to the trailer, the garage with the stash of St. Pauli girl bottles, the goat shed, the pile of red dirt I was not allowed to play in, the place where the cat got shot, the yellow jacket nest in the potato patch, my Sycamore tree. The yellow toyota with the Netherlands sticker, the old black truck with the running boards, the well, the Lady Slipper patch, the treehouse that was only 3 feet off the ground, the black tulips, the random sink sitting in the back yard, the root cellar. We had a dog briefly, named Barky or Bitey or something like that. He looked a bit like a beagle.

And there is more. Carpet in the trailer kitchen (ha!), lots of nudity, swimming, being allowed sips of beer, being hit with a shoe, books about proper British children, awful, awful food that once was part of the garden. Cherry trees, thick with worm nests. Drowning Japanese beetles from the grape vines in a bucket of water.

The Westvaco logging forest across the property line was filled with bulldozer piles. Sometimes you could find shards of china, with patterns. Exotic because we did not have decorative things. The ruts from the logging trucks filled with water and made bright red mud. We rolled in it and were hosed down before we could come inside.

The nearest town eight miles away. The shoe factory, the prison, the A&P, the library where I was forced to alphabetize at a young age. The nursing home, the railroad tracks, a snack bar in the gas station where I ate hamburgers with mayonnaise and once got food poisoning.


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