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In the True
by Dr. Lawrence Nannery
2016-03-31 10:03:08
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In the True

They thought that he would inherit the store, the pharmacy,
and go and make for themselves a decent life.

nann01_400But one day he took out the family car and went over to the bowling alley
and took away that girl of his that nobody knew, and they headed out.

They went upstate, in the mountains, to a defunct house with holes in it.
Weeds all around, abandoned, no one knew they were in there, off the road and up a hill.

They set down and there they lived their lives, he with any old job
and she the wife, and the four little ones, and cats and bunnies and horses,
dogs and sheep and who knows what else.

To be beholden to no man, to work with his own hands, to be loyal to the things that were his own –
that was what he wanted and how he explained himself to himself.
Odd jobs, carpentry, no telephone, no letters, just folks, beer at the tavern, beard stained with tobacco,
with food, with spittle maybe, kids all in a row, coming up like stalks one right after the other,
the usual spats, little tragedies, no big tragedies, on warm nights sitting on the porch
with hand-held fans, the small-town newspaper, Tess in the garden, growing their own
food, some half-assed guitar picking, humping home a used piano
for Jessica to practice on, used cars in the garage to tinker with,
fixing the roof, fixing leaks, fixing the truck, fixing broken windows, and building:
dog houses, tree houses, extra rooms for the kids, toys for the kids,
playing ball with the boys, playing cards with the girls,
no television, no politics, no family from before, no churchgoing –
just Bill and Tess, and what they had made themselves for themselves.

Years passed. Folks from the old wondered what had happened to those two.
They had missed even their own folks’ funerals.
His brothers sought him out, but by the time they found out where they’d lived
all those years, they found that they’d upped and gone once again, leaving no notice,
not wanting to be found, or so people thought.

Gone. Deserted. Private. Very private. Their lives.

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Emanuel Paparella2016-04-01 20:06:49
Indeed, the two extremes: on one extreme one finds in America a slavish conformism which allows millions to follow an ignoramus such as Donald Trump, on the other side one finds an Henry David Thoreau who goes to live in a wooden cabin for two years of his life away from everybody. There must be a more moderate middle ground! Aristotle's "virtue resides in the middle"?

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