Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Drume negrita

 Listening to You’re So Vain, Carly Simon

Drinking some red blend, I’m not going downstairs to report on this


Good call, Gayla. The passage as it had been written was far too repetitive. I think this works better:

Kris’s fists trembled, clenched with what she couldn’t say, slamming hands into her hips until she could accept his hug and tap the balls of her palms on his shoulders. “I think I got lucky. Got rescued before doing something really wrong.”

“I know. You don’t need to tell me. When I got here, I seen why ya got where ya got. Seen what you done, in a flash.” Releasing Kris from his grasp, Gramps stepped back far enough to touch the side of the trailer. “Can you see what I’m thinkin?”

Kris sat and turned her attention back to her work. “If you can see what I’m thinking, you should know that.” Brushing her fingers over varied keyboards, she pushed a series of buttons to mask her monitors. “You saw Augie and his friends rescued me?”

“Yeah. Made me wanna cry. You lookin so scared and sorry up there on that cross. What you got yo-self into with them folk.” Tears glistened ebony cheeks. “Why you throw in with em? You smarter than that, girl!”

Kris looked to the floor, held her gaze there. “Nothing made sense to me, papa. The Universal Resonator and how I invented it. Why I was in this world to create it. The Colonel’s words made sense in to me, helped me find my purpose.”

The rumble of rubber on asphalt, wind, and Kris’s computers conspired to create one dull, minor chord that hummed within their silence. Gramps stepped back then clapped his hands together into a single fist. “You Yamaguchis damn lucked out durin the war, never got took to one of them camps. Too buried up in the mountains to worry about, I guess.”

“Ma-Ma-San said we were protected by mountain spirits, blessed by the luck of her ancestors.” Christmas looked back at Gramps, tears in her eyes. “But Hero and Rye? Mom and dad? Where was the luck of our ancestors? Where were the mountain spirits for Baby Lilly and Mona?”

The wizard’s staff of Gramps’ two-handed fist and arms poked at Kris. “You done turned your back on them spirits. That crazy preacher man’s hate took you over. You damn lucky you didn’t do what he convinced you to do.”

“He convinced me that I wielded The Sword of God’s Mouth and that’s where I found my purpose. A hero of the Apocalypse. Defeating aliens with a machine that manipulates matter and energy.”

“Love is the only energy that matters. Whatever you doin? It ain’t mo important than that.” Gramps walked out from Kris’s computer lair to where Gooch drooled on a filthy pillow. “When I saw your truck over at that man’s place, it broke my heart. Don’t you know he think a colored man like me is less a child of God than him?”  

A trembling voice replied, “I did, papa. And I figured I loved you, but like a pet. And, I do love you, papa.” Christmas turned back to her monitors and tapped enough to bring one of them to life with coding on multiple windows.

“All your life you believed that?”

“No, papa. After mom and dad were killed? Their deaths didn’t interrupt work on my machine. But, them dead changed my mood. And that’s when I found meth. And people on the internet, mostly engineers.” Focus still locked on her monitors, Christmas tapped keys to make windows appear and disappear. “I love you, papa.”

“Like yer damn pet?

Christmas snatched the keyboard she tapped and tore it free from its tether, snapped it over her thigh, keys clattering on the floor of the trailer. “No! No! No! Papa! Not you!”

“Then who was you thinkin about?”

“I thought some people were meant to rule. And some are slaves. It made sense. I’m sorry.”

“Sorry? I’m your pet and your slave?”

Words got choked out, hiccupped through more tears. “I never thought that about you, papa. Never once. Never thought you were one of them sort of people.”

Gramps stomped back from where Gooch snoozed to get in Kris’s face. “My sort of people? What about your sort of people?” There was insistence in the grip on her shoulders. “Yo daddy and his brothas fought against your kinda people. Your uncles’ buried somewhere in Italy, died because they was fightin the same kinda people you threw in with.”

“Not anymore, papa.”

“Your kinda people hanged my uncle from a tree, set his body on fire befo he dead. And did it to a buncha other colored folk I knew.” After a few moments staring at the side of the trailer, Gramps folded his arms around Kris. “I know that’s not you, sweetie. Why?”

Kris picked up her ratty and torn comfort blanket from her chair, twisted her wrists in its tattered remnant. “It was all the prophet’s prayers and ritual that allowed Augie and his friends to get me out of there, right? When the smoke took me, and Sage carried me out, I saw what she’d been thinking. Not just her intentions but her memories.”

“I see your memories but not hers. Aren’t her memories your memories? Why can’t I see those?”

“You know why, papa.” Pacing effortlessly on the floor of a semi-trailer barreling down American roads, Kris switched between watching Gramps and her bank of monitors. “You told me this a long time ago. That you can’t see everything at once. Not all things.”

Gramps rubbed his nearly bald pate with the flat of a large hand, attracting a static bolt from his hair to his palm. “Well, ya can’t see everything. But if you focus, what ya do see might be something interesting.”

Still wrestling the rag in her hands, Kris shook her arms with a fury. “You stepped through a portal to be here, with me. Aren’t there other portals?”

Gramps was suddenly spun into a tunnel where various vortices opened and shut, their luminescent frames dilating and constricting like the lips of fish calling to him. Throwing out a hand with a stiffened arm, he was pulled through a portal that dropped him into the rear of Ra-Ra’s ride.


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