> A stepmother, a common law, had a knack for telling
> the goddamnest stories about the misery of her life
> and everyone she knew. Nobody, as she chose to
> say, and she wasn't into singing, knew what troubles
> she'd seen.
> My brother and sister, older, left the room but I sat
> there crying like she spoke god's truth, what did I know.
> How she got hooked up with my father is no mystery:
> when she was with him she was all girlish giggles, and
> eyes bright and worry wrinkles gone, she danced to
> his singing and, wow, I wondered where were her
> Daddy never told a storty that didn't have a happy ending,
> and there were horrific parts that caused us kids to hug
> one another until he brought the characters out of their
> grim predicaments with amazing rescues, all funny and
> so believably true that each of even now can't remain
> sad for more than a few minutes until a joke leaps out
> of a hole, a bark, a fart, a dribble of pee or spit.
> When he was making this magic, our stepmother watched
> him closely, measuring the effect, noting the segues,
> and later, with us alone she retraced the stories reversing
> the good with the bad, same characters, same predicaments,
> different outcome, different truths, different command
> I didn't know then the two were called comedy and tragedy,
> and that there was such a thing as tragi-comedy and comedic
> tragedy -- black humor -- and lots of permutations of the
> best and the worst of being alive, being dead, being half
> one half the other, and other hybrids and cons and tricks
> of the mind and language and switching roles and mockery
> and irony and cruelty and those kinds of good stuff, good
> shit, good god man, woman, why you fucking with my
> head, you're sick, and so on.
> Why one person is obsessed with comedy, another with
> tragedy, another black humor, may be due to a cast of the dice,
> but I think the truth is, the truth is, shit: I forgot my point.
> I wanted to tell you a joke about my mama, when she fell
> off the porch laughing at daddy's telling about Raymond's
> getting buckshot running bareassed ... shit, that wasn't
> Raymond, that was me, I think.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Sun Nov 18 2001 - 12:13:00 PST