The Good Times

Discovering there was one word for the day after today and another for the day before today

When my mother ran across the tomato patch in high heels in response to my screams due to getting my foot trapped  in a lumber stack at my grandfather’s lumber yard.

Realizing that my experience can never join  with someone else’s

Sleeping with my grandmother on the farm in North Carolina, listening to the coal settle in the grate of the woodstove and watching the lights of passing cars reflected all across the walls, silently.

Connecting with the red clay under the clothesline on the farm.

Taking naps on the farm in the attic with the rain tapping the metal roof over my head.

Watching an  ant parade on the farm and believing that they had left me a metal belt buckle, beside the parade route.

Winning a dictionary for my home room in a sixth grade poster contest with my friend Janet Rich.

Miss Arveson giving me two A+’s on my written Western Civilization assignment in the ninth grade.

Going to bed at night and holding my arm straight up until I felt it move as though by God, in Chevy Chase.

Finding my first flint spear point on top of the ground and under a big tree in North Carolina, and feeling a connection over time with when it came to be there.

Getting out of the tub in Gainesville, Florida, and receiving a revelation that in our dreams we’re all together, united.

My first taste of a Milky Way Bar after World War Two.

The first sight of my beautiful first born daughter.

On the way home, holding her up in my arms to see the world.

In Miami, my eleventh grade teacher mis-counting by one an answer on the semester test so that I didn’t have to repeat the entire semester after moving from South Carolina.

After telling my grandfather in Chevy Chase that Bob Swilling asked me out on a date, his response was not negative but “Do you want to go?”  (I didn’t).

My sister bursting into tears when I told her my last born was mongoloid.

My therapist telling me I had good protoplasm.

Graduate school, where everyone was on the same wavelength.

My son calling to say Happy Mother’s Day  today.

About Nan Mykel

I used to think I would be a child prodigy, but then I got old. Formerly I had fantasies of rubbing elbows with cultural and academic leaders but that did not come to pass because I did not become a cultural or academic leader or any other kind of leader, for that matter. I am not even an "Alpha Dog," a term learned from a friend who had to become "Alpha Dog" in order to influence her own pet. (When gazes lock, she never looks away.) For years I expected to become a published author, but in passing I could not avoid the fact that I had little to contribute to the world's bulging dumpsters. I'm embarrassed to report that I also considered my primary process artistic productions powerful, rather than mildly neurotic. Which is not to say that I disrespect myself, only that I am beginning to doubt my potential for making a mark on the world. If I focus on strict self discipline I may be able to keep my garbage removed on a weekly basis, to keep the kitty box changed, the clothes cleaned, the dog watered, fed and walked, but that just catches me up to the starting mark again. When writing I physically grapple with words, wrestling them from their indifference into attempted chunks of awareness. I sit heavily on my chair; I breathe in artificially cooled air; my ear drums note the tap tap of the keyboard and the steady uninterrupted sound of the air conditioner, What is that sound? The roar of the ocean from 30 yards away...Inside, my thoughts are are balls in an electronic game machine, bouncing hither and yon from lever to lever. I am a little grim and intent until I recall a dream related by a black man in the prison where I once worked. He said that when he was a small boy, back home, he dreamed he was standing on his front porch pissing, and that he suddenly found himself pissing stars...
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5 Responses to The Good Times

  1. An enormous smile on this side of the world that your son phoned wishing you Happy Mother’s Day!

    and from me too Nan. Happy Mother’s Day for Sunday! Love your list. Think I’ll make one too.

    Like

  2. jilldennison says:

    Simple, yet beautiful memories. This is what life is really about.

    Like

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