May 6, 2010

Gonna Have Us A Time

 So I've gotta write this one quickly -- it's 10:45 at night and too late really for me to be sitting at my desk, crafting a post. I was up late  on Monday night writing the last entry, and got my brain so fired up that I gave myself a terrible case of insomnia. I didn't fall asleep until around 4:30 in the morning, and was up at 7 again to start the day.

But my insomnia is what prompted this post.  It wasn't a typical bout of tossing and turning -- instead, I was even more tense and wired than usual. Just too much on my mind: the play date I was hosting at my house the next morning for several kids and their moms, what to buy my own mom for Mother's Day, my son's  doctor appointment so that I could turn in the paperwork for his kindergarten registration, remembering a check to write for a Brownie event.... and yadda yadda you get the idea.

And in the middle of all that, I thought, WTF? Or actually, I thought What the fuck, since (so far) I don't actually think in web-speak.  And I thought, "Where is the fun?" because dammit, isn't being a grown-up supposed to be fun, at least some of the time?  My husband is working extra hard again, work work work for easily 60 and sometimes 75 hours each week and if  you tell me, "well at least he's got a job," I'm gonna hafta kick you in the shins.

Listen, I know we've got it good. Better than many many people, I understand that.

Still.  Life is kinda just a lot of hard work right now. Very grown up work, lots of thinking about money,  and and trying to be  good citizens, and recycling plastics and carefully cutting out our Box Tops so our school can get extra dimes and yadda yadda you get the idea, again.  I think the official label is: a grind.

And then I thought of James McMurtry's song, "Choctaw Bingo" and it's long, long rambling description of a certain class of white folk who are going off to HAVE US A TIME.  And I thought, YES.  I need a rumbling old beater car with a missing headlight and a long drive to nowhere.  A pint of rot-gut bourbon on the bench seat. Maybe a snort of bad crank cut with Drain-O on the side. 

First few stanzas of the song:

Strap them kids in
Give em a lil bit of vodka in a cherry coke
were goin to Oklahoma, to the family reunion
for the first time in years
its up at uncle Slaytons,
cuz hes gettin on in years
He no longer travels, but he's still pretty spry
he's not much on talkin', and he's too mean to die
and they'll be comin' down from Kansas and west Arkansas
it'll be one great big old party
like you've never saw

Uncle Slayton's got his Texan pride
back in the thickets with his Asian bride
He's got an Airstream trailer and a holstein cow,
Still makes whiskey, cuz he still knows how
He plays that Choctaw bingo every Friday night,
you know he had to leave Texas but he won't say why

He owns a quarter section up by Lake Eufalla,
caught a great big 'ol bluecat on a driftin jugline.
Sells his hardwood timber to the chippin mill
He cooks that crystal meth cuz his shine don't sell
He cooks that crystal meth, cuz his shine don't sell
You know he likes that money, he don't mind the smell

and ends again with:

Yeah, we're gonna strap them kids in 
and give 'em a little bit of  Benadryl 
We're gonna have us a time
We're gonna have us a time.

Here in my house, we're taking it all just a little too seriously. I can recognize it, see it, feel it...but don't know how to stop it, really.  Maybe the whole damn country feels the same. We all seem so tense, so serious, so very earnest these days about every single mother-effin' detail.  Maybe a swing of the pendulum is coming.  Maybe soon the grown-ups will go back to jumping into jacuzzis and filching their teenagers drugs and even hosting key parties.  Maybe. (Maybe the '70s weren't exactly like The Ice Storm?)

Anyway.  Well, goddamn I like this song.  And that part about Lake Eufalla makes me smile, since my daddy's daddy was not from Oklahoma, but lived there the last thirty years of his life with his Cherokee second wife. Somewhere I have a picture of Myk and myself at Lake Eufalla on a visit there, standing in front of a huge fake bass.  

Here is Mr. McMurtry's song.  It is long. But worth the ride.

As for me, it's 11:30 and I best shut it down pronto, if I want to have a good Friday. But first, I just may go out to the mom-wagon and filch one of my own stashed Marlboro 100s from the glovebox.

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