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Around The Block And Back Home
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Around The Block And Back Home
A slice of trailer home life.
|AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (7)
Christmas Verses (Poetry) I wrote these for a forum, in which members each contributed to a Santa Claus thread. [816 words]
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In 1968 - From A Letter To A Friend (Essays) I had arrived in New York in the same year that Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King got assassinated. [799 words]
Moon-Amber Nights (Songs) A passionate song of young love. [149 words] [Romance]
Reflection Song - Four Song Lyrics (Songs) Reflection Song was written for my son. Walks of Peace is constructed in a way that allows more verses. Children of the Ward is somewhat autobiographical. Mexico Linda - a whimsical song of a woman wh... [680 words]
Wild Apples - 8 New Poems (Poetry) Wild Apples, The Pterodactyl, Go Home Don Quixote, Mauve Her Eye, Where Shall We Meet?, 3 more [464 words]
Around The Block And Back Home
It began with an incident in my own little mobile home neighborhood, triggered by an incident involving my friend, Ben Grazingstern. Ben is a mild man of middle age, who minds his own business. He likes to putter and to fish. His wife and I exchange gardening tips and tidbits. It was a pastoral way of life, until a separate breed of trailer trash came along to challenge it by moving into the trailer house across the street. They brought, along with tattoos and gangs of people, air poisoning machines and a wall of sound. All day and all night , bikes roared and revved. In the interest of "getting along" my wife and I suffered it to happen, as did the Grazingsterns.
To complicate the mix, add this: My brooding son-in-law who thinks he is Hamlet lost his job and moved his entire family, lock, stock, and barrel, into my living room for a protracted stay. Our home is a two bedroom, just fourteen feet wide. Roy had some eccentric notions. He treated the entire neighborhood to himself learning heavy metal guitar out on my front porch. Roy whanged away remorselessly all evening long, chugging Busch Light and chain-smoking Dorals. I retreated to my room. Ben gritted his teeth.
One day Ben exploded. He charged into the street.
"Shut those things off," he bellowed at the motley crowd on the other side. "If you don't, I am going to call the police."
Not wishing to draw the attention of the law, they meekly to the last one complied. The bikers withdrew into their mobile home.
Ben did not miss a beat; he turned to Roy and his guitar, speaking as kindly as he could muster.
"Will you please turn that amplifier down?"
Roy gave the volume knob a token fidget then launched into his own rendition of "Old MacDonald's Farm."
"If you want a war," Ben warned, "I will give you one."
Roy started saying, "I have a right -" but something in Ben's face made him quit. He shut the amplifier down and retreated into the living room.
"I only came in to get him to calm down," he blustered. "I didn't have to stop playing. He's infringing on my freedom of speech. I have a right -"
After listening a few moments, "Roy," I said - and I stretched my arms out after the manner of a fisherman describing the "one that got away" - "one hand represents a man with all of his freedom. The second hand represents a second man with equal freedom." I brought the palms of my hands together as forcefully as I could. "This is where their freedom stops."
I felt a sudden release. Suddenly I had a doctrine. I was to become a teacher of the two handed method. I vowed to become as a stone that is cast into still water and create a circle that spreads until it touches every living person.
Needless to say, The Sound of Two Hands Clapping transformed my life.
Ah, but it is six weeks since I began my campaign to enlighten modern civilization. I have preached to one and all, tirelessly. Tonight I am in my living room where my loving family has gathered. Present are my wife, two grown daughters, Roy, and two grand baby toddlers. Roy is playing a video game on his 31 inch T.V.: Resident Evil. That is a game I have objected to in past days in the strongest possible terms.
"Roy," I announce loudly, "I am not going to be able to tolerate that game in my living room."
"How does this bit of Hitlerism fit into the Two Hands Clapping crap?"
"We are in my home," I say as I reach around him to unplug his T.V. "Only one hand claps in here."
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© 2008 Charles Turner
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