Don't keep us in suspense to long. I feel like I've just started a novel. Some weird psychothriller from down South. I mean really, this would be an excellent first chapter of a book.
I used to live in Furnace, Ky. for a while. I can totally relate. I hope you guys make it outta there...
Hey everyone...I've missed you guys. I haven't been off the grid or in jail or anything like that, just busy busy busy. Marjie and I have been in school for about a year now. She is progressing right along, but I really need to be in a graduate program, so for the time being I'm just biding my time, taking some humanities that I didn't get with my engineering curriculum, and learning about photography and graphic design.
The place we live is just out of reach of two different schools that would be good for me. One of them is UNC Greensboro...home of the Great Deadhead Scholar Rebecca Adams...so we figure we would be better off moving back down to Mobile so we could have that support structure everybody talks about when you have family around. We know people around here, but we'd be newcomers for another ten years if we wanted to make such a commitment...The best thing about this town is Merlefest...
Wilkesboro is where Nascar was born. Moonshine runners used to race their supped up rigs that had been built to out-run the police on moonshine runs. Now the remnants of that past lives on in this place. There are some good people here, almost good enough to stay here for...but the thing is, the town is wrought with criminals. Last week I was tutoring this guy in physics. He had questions about the law of conservation of energy and how it pertains to the equations he was trying to solve. So to preface, he arrives with his girlfriend and some other friend we didn't know...which meant Marjie and Jack were entertaining our guests whilst I studied with this guy from Traphill Road work out physics equations that I honestly think he got...I'd tutored him in Calculus before and I knew he got it in the end...I just couldn't get his attention this time, and there my wife was with his girlfriend and this other guy who for some reason has a fear of stairs and won't ascend the stairwell up to the studio where we usually do our "adult hanging out" if you know what I mean.
Anyway, this guy needs proper description...first off and foremost he comes from a place called Traphill, a place I encountered when we first moved here...a sinister place, a dark place...a hollar. You don't go there unless you are with someone you know. There's no reason for passing through, so even the store owners are suspicious of you when you are in their place buying something even...it's almost as if they wanna deny you the privilege of a fresh pack of smokes or a pepsi or something.
I know this guy from our early days of living here in this new town where we had bounced kind of like plinko chips on a North Carolina shaped plinko board...we were students at the local community college; Marjie to finish up her degree, and me, well you know, I just needed to get a few credits that will help me get into a graduate program that is more humanities related than my original degree, Marine Engineering...so I picked up smoking again which put me in close proximity to other smokers on break...eventually my face becoming familiar, people would talk to me and there you go...its better than joining a fraternity, or at leas quicker and cheaper and no less detrimental to your body...but the thing I was looking for, the thing that always made it difficult to move...a connection...once you have your connections locked in, and you've got your old routine, well then you can stay stocked up on what remains Alabama's number one cash crop...and it was in the smoking section that I met him, this guy I don't wanna say his name, but he was my first connection in town...the only catch is, he has no phone, he has no car, and he needs a ride daily out to his home in Traphill...a good thirty or forty minutes away. Plus he was taxing the shit out of us to boot...but we were new in town, and beggars can't be choosers...and so my adventure in Traphill North Carolina was born out of a need, and this guy just overwhelmed me with daily calling and eventual dropping by unannounced to hang out for several hours till his ride to Traphill came around...and in which case I would just take him right home...making my trips to Traphill a veritable daily ritual. Not only was it a fortune in gas, but it ate up my time as well. The guy wanted to be friends, I could tell...always wanted to smoke and stuff and never - okay see ya later - and he gets out and goes inside...no, I had to spend time out of necessity...
Don't worry, it didn't last long. It was real sketchy to say the least. For one, I could never ride with him where he was going to get the thing I needed hooked up with...so I had to be dropped off, send him with my cash, and wait...sometimes at the local connivence store where I would sit reading Kerouac while being eyeballed by reluctant cigarette salesmen, or he would drop me off down by the river, kind of under a bridge, but where an old saw mill used to be...this was my favorite place cause it was remote. I could stay under the bridge and read....and passers-by were none the wiser, no stares, no rumors, no nuttin' just the sound of the river and the occasional car or truck...I was deep in the country...so deep in fact, that it felt all too familiar, like home...then I would get my car back, my hookup, and drop off the guy...try to get outa there with just a cigarette and sorry I can't come in for a minute, and I'm gone...
Given the nature of his upbringing, doing hard drugs with his mom and all way out there where there is no radar to be under, you can imagine his appearance. Dirty clothes, mostly always dirty, jeans and tee shirts. He either wears a vulgar joke or a pot reference shirt, and that coupled with his outward appearance always made me paranoid to be around him. Black hair...Lithuanian dissent...he kept a goatee but always needed a shave otherwise. I've been guilty of this a time or two in my life, but this guy somehow just always seemed to look like he had been spit out of a blender somehow...pierced here and there and a couple a country-boy tats and there you have it, the only person we knew in town when we first moved here.
Needless to say I moved on to bigger and better things. I know people in town and so on and so forth...and so I've managed to ween myself away from this guy...that is until he needed help with his physics. Well come to find out, the guy with him, his buddy, was definitely mentally ill to say the least. He looked like one of those whipped puppies in trench-coats...the ones that eventually loose track of reality...this is the guy who wouldn't, or couldn't ascend our steps into the studio...and the dude's girlfriend, who is actually an anomaly and was easy to talk to despite the company she kept.
So the next day my wallet is missing. Man I looked everywhere for it...everywhere...and so did Marjie. It didn't have any money in it, just cards, but still it was missing, and I couldn't figure out why my pocket knife and cigarette lighter and phone were all present without my wallet. My only hope in this world is to be a creature of habit...otherwise I am blind to the location of the things I need most, and most readily usually...It had to be in my bag, or in the car under the seat....or maybe the camera bag...but no. Eventually we declared it had been stolen. I don't know for sure if it was "the guy" but it was the day after he had been over here, and he sat right here at the table where I keep my things, and my eye wasn't always on him...oh, and did I mention that he had been arrested for shoplifting and some other stupid thing...so now I've had my wallet stolen for the second time in my life.
The first time was in Charlotte, when Marjie and I came up to scout the area for a place to move way back when we left Mobile. Nothing was lost thankfully...there was nothing on any of the cards, and I always carry my cash separate from my wallet.
So it's time to move folks...the second week of February. All I need to do is call in a few loans, pack up the darkroom and whatnot...and get going on finding a graduate program I can take at the University of South Alabama. We have until then to make our way here. And in this place, everyone wants a piece of ya...it's a hard town.
More on that later you guys, Marjie is beckoning me away from the computer...
As always...Much Love
now levi has a little sis to grow up with. Blessings to you all!
Zoe, and congratulations to your proud parents!!!! What wonderful news, thanks Noonie!
Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge.
and welcome to Zoe Nova!
Congratulazioni per la nascita del suo bambino!!!
Congratulations to the Noonie family!!
starting to knit them tie dye dancing booties.
love and peace.
to all three of you. I love the name too.
hope ya got to play some dead for the little tyke.
After 3 hours of labor my wife delivered Zoe Nova weighing 6.8lbs sept27th at 10:24pm
music never stopped..