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‘My Better Half’
Thoughts on Frail Hope
“My sunshine in the darkest days, my better half, my saving grace.”
-Jason Aldean
Such is the song that the best woman I know is listening to as she cleans her daughter’s house for her granddaughter between shifts at the supermarket…
Megan would have made a great ancient wench, protective of children, fiercely loyal to the men she has named strong in her life, and savagely critical of the “sissies” that plague our version of The Fall.
This is what she had to say to her granddaughter three days ago when I showed up for a seasonal visit:
“Open the door and let the sunshine in, Pookie. We have a man in the house and won’t have to hide for the next few days.”
“That’s right, Emm, let the sunshine in.”
“Yep, tamarno too.”
“And the tamarno after that too. We deserve a break. We’re even going out for lunch.”
After her granddaughter exhausted herself for hours at the bouncy house and splashed in the tub upstairs, reciting a spontaneous song about a clean world without “stinky butts,” where bad people remain in the distant shadows and “stupid heads” don’t mess with her art projects, her grandmother confided:
“These yuppies and hipsters don’t add up—they make me sick. There’s not an actor under thirty with hair on his chest. They probably wax their balls. And they make these laws that say we can’t protect ourselves and their building roach motels for rapists a stone’s throw away?”
“Let me tell you, she’s her grandmother’s child and she will stand up for herself. These idiots treat her like some peasant wench. She has to clean up her toys, but the other kids sit back snacking while their parent cleans up their toys. They get what they want and she’s told “no.”
“Fuck that!”
“If it were a different time I would have had you take care of her problems. No child should have to go through life like Cinderella and be told that everything is her fault. She’s going to fight back one day and its going to blow their yuppie minds. I never knew how lucky I was to have parents who came up the hard way. These poor children who’ve been brought into this world by parents who never went hungry, never worked with their hands, never got fucked over by a n%&$@# ...they’re gonna have a hard way to go.”
“I know, baby. But it pains me to know I won’t be here in this cruel world when she really needs me. You know better than anybody that this shit’s all gonna fall apart. Look at the news. The first president we’ve ever had that gives a shit about us having jobs and he’s on trial every day.”
“I’ve got one wish, that after I go, that I could reach down out of heaven and strangle the first bastard that tries to ruin her life.”
“Thanks for being here with us—three days of freedom from a word of bullshit, not having to cringe like a mouse in a whole. It’s amazing that something so simple as having a man around willing to kick the shit out of whoever fucks with you makes such a difference. God, I miss my brother. I hope she grows up to meet some strong country man like your friends out west—an old Polack broad can hope anyhow…”
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