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Contingents

The Past of Lynchie and Future of Ashlyn

Documenting America’s Favorite Past... Time           June 16, 2006

“had a friend was a big baseball player/Back in high school/He could throw that speedball by ya/ Make you look like a fool” The Boss Springsteen

 

“i have to take your picture so just come on”

 

Ashlyn was rudely pleading with the star of the Bayla hitters to do as she was told to make him do.

 

“i don’t know what i am supposed to do.”

 

Russell Hughes was being neither polite nor cooperative.

 

“stand there. Look pretty like you always have. It’s the yearbook, you’re the ‘star’, i’m on the yearbook staff. Add two and two together Hew. Now just stand there and let me take a portrait and then you can go back to practice.”

 

“it’s Russell, Lynchcraft. And what if i just said no to this picture thing?”

 

“then i would have to get a picture of your big ass running off back to practice in those ‘conveniently’ tight pants and explain to Senor Loftan this whole situation and its entire stupidity.”

 

“now we couldn’t have the teacher mad at the teacher’s pet, could we? Where would have all that kissing up have gotten you at?”

 

“don’t end a sentence with a preposition Hew. And shut up. Stand up straight and smile or look baseball serious, or whatever you want to do, I just have to get this.”

 

He didn’t smile for her but did smile at her camera. He was the baseball star afterall and all of this must be accurately documented.

 

Ashlyn stood there in her uniform skirt and the long ago tucked in shirt hanging loosely all around. The camera, which she denied to put around her neck, took a flashless snap and swung by her side as she went back to her car and away from her ugly hew-ish past. Oh how she had grown.

 

Enjoying Tilting      June 17, 2006

a response to a tragedy

She had stopped believing in majick. It was fake and tauntingly false. Fools fell for and towards it, as they did for love, and books that contained it were labeled appropriately as fiction.

 

Her perfection with him may have been true but her supposed length of time with perfection was just as fictional as those stories with the boy with the lightning bolt. Things in reality always felt shorter than untainted dreams would have one believe they were.

 

Majick was no longer. A thing of the past.

 

She had wanted to kick him. Kick him in the shin. In the shins. The face. No feelings. Just pure bitchi-i’m over you-you’re out of my system-ness. If given the okay settings and chance, she would have. Probably. Right there in that Dollar General parking lot in Walden. No looks back. Hard and with no emotion, at least not anymore, she was prepared and equipped to rid of him of his title-less position in her life. Em or Gela or whoever was right.

 

He was just a boy.

 

A momma’s boy, yes. A Bayla boy, yes. A boy who danced dangerously all over her past, yes. A boy that she once got dizzy over, yes. A boy that was ever truly hers, no.

 

Then it happened. He was robbed. Robbed blind. Robbed of something that was irreplaceable. He was devastated. His family, too. News of his robbery spread like a nasty virus throughout the whole mountain and land. Even poor missed Gela heard about it way over in the south’s armpit.

 

She heard about it. Surprise confidant Lauren told her. Told her all about it despite her pleading denials.

 

Family and friends flocked. The math instructor from sixth came. Her baseball from first came, he was the uncle afterall. The brother-in-law to the deceased she supposed. The older-oh-so-gorgeous wrestling cousins came too. And she came.

 

She arrived after Maddenina and beautifulgorgeous and Bartis, because despite the over whelming importance of the situation at hand, She would always be insecure. Around Them.

 

She saw him. He said ‘hi.’ They hugged. She saw the smiling facade and the brokenness it costumed. He saw that she was there. They hugged once again, one last time.

 

It was short and sweet but fiction came over too, making it feel comfortably smotheringly long. She mingled with the little princess dahling cousins and impressed even herself with her outofnowhere small talk skills. Grade six math told her she was pretty. Grade one coach thanked her over and over, so much more polite than his son. They kept stealing glances throughout it all.

 

Time to leave. Trailing behind her mother, she saw him once more and took back her kick with a constricting sigh. Although she may never be his girl, and he was only a boy, he would always be her boy. And he had been robbed so unfittingly just the day before.

 

Majick did exist. And she believed in it. And its cruelty.

 

Yavid Durman necklace   June 17, 2006

“All of us get lost in the darkness/Dreamers learn to steer by the stars”  Rush

 

Her mother had let her wear it. Allowed her to adorn it at the service. It had hung down further than it does now because she had actually unexpectantly grown. Just a little though. It was designer, her mother would wear no other, except for what Mamaw and Papaw and given her long ago, when she was a different little girl all together. It looked simple and didn’t quite live up to its maker’s record of being diamondee and glitzee and all.

 

It was undemanding.

 

 Could be worn alone to bed or out with fellow sparkly pieces that she couldn’t afford but still owned. It had silver and gold and went with silver and gold. Perfect. For so long she put it on every morning by herself.

 

 Throughout her highschool years she wore it everyday to remind herself just how short her stay was. He had only been forty-four afterall. Her little crush turned love of life’s aunt had told her it was pretty and looked nice. She always liked that woman despite Gela’s protest.

 

 It’s aged now, she was only fifteen when she first showed it off. She’s twenty-five now. All grown up yet still braced to learn a great deal more. She stayed healthy and helps him at it too.

 

She once dreamed or aspired or even hoped to one day be a bigshot lawyer in the sleepless city o so far away. But now she’s what she never ever under any circumstances whatsoever wanted to be. And couldn’t be happier.

 

She cooks for him before he gets home. Daily she dusts her cased high-school diploma that thus far sits alone on her wall of accomplishments. He’s okay with that. She sweeps and mops and folds to old Elvis tunes because she still believes that the King is her one true virtuous soul mate. She still calls the south home and he tells her the big city would make her dizzy. Like he used to make her. He wants a houseful of children and she still wants to know how you can intentionally birth twins. Her own Robert and Benjamin after those who have left us.

 

She plays with it when he calls her at ten and twelve and three and when he is coming home. Their phone bills are quite high. He catches its chain on his lips when he kisses her neck and cheek and lips and nose and forehead hello once he gets home a little after five. Working nine till five.

 

Their children, if they have girls, probably won’t have necklaces like this. Not with this genuine gold or sterling silver. He’s done well for himself and for them, but he’s a union worker and makes nothing like her dad even at his best. Yet again, she couldn’t be happier. The children will grow up with the land, a present father with bearable hours, and a blonde mother that plans to head the PTA every single year.

 

She sits with it hanging down on her shirt. She wears rolled up blue jeans and a button down that once had been his but a stain she just couldn’t get out now makes it her’s. He sits across from her with his loosened tie, staring at it.

 

“You’ve always had that.” He says as a question.

 

“Had it as long as I can remember.”

 

Because now all she can remember is the part of her life in which she was undoubtedly headoverheels in love with him. Him, the human being that knew real forthright pain. And found the ability to conquer it and recover and discover the one that truly loved him throughout it all.

 

The next morning he helped that one true love put her decade old necklace on for the day. Before he left for work.

 

Lynn’s Lunch          June 18, 2006

“Watch your mouth/ Because your speech is slurred enough/That you just might swallow your tongue” Panic at the Disco

 

(read Yavid Durman beforehand. Or don’t, doesn’t matter.)

 

Lynn’s Market smelled incorrectly. What Ashley was doing she knew was completely wrong. Fitted the definition of wrong to a ‘”t”. Wrong: Not in conformity with fact or truth; incorrect or erroneous. This was erroneous. This was incorrect. And the moment Palmer asked her about it she would give a response that was not in conformity with fact or truth. Never left the house, right?

 

But sitting here at lunch with Taylor Anderson and the way he just made her smile felt completely right. He dug into the beginnings of a new joke while she played with her salad.

 

 They sat, entering their second hour together and he began to straighten up, a subtextal sign that he was getting out of the joking haze they had been inside all lunch.

 

 “How’s married life suiting you, Ashley? Ashley Wade. Sounds so wr-...different.”

 

 “To be honest with you dear Taylor, we are no longer in the honey moon faze... but I love him.”

 

Throughout her whole life which ended, or was beginning quite differently than she had planned, she was always sure of that one thing. She did love Palmer.

 

 “He has begun to work crazy hours. Chasing after daddy’s paycheck I guess, but he wants kids soon.”

 

 “Do you want that?”

 

 “Kids?”

 

 “No. You are a Southern woman. I know you want kids. One day. The paycheck, I mean, more money?”

 

 “I want my husband healthy and safe and at home. We were doing just fine in the beginning and I took comfort in waiting for my husband to get home, now I don’t even bother. Don’t ever know how long I will have to do that.”

 

 “Well, what do you do to past the time?”

 

 “I’ve taken up vodka and whiskey, of course my dear.”

 

He smiled a supposed-to-be-non-amused look in a cute way that she missed and Palmer probably still hated.

 

“Seriously. If you find yourself too alone and, bored I dare to say, you can always come down and clerk for me. I remember you once singing a tune about wanting to be a lawyer.”

 

 Her lips stayed stationaryily still, while her eyes smiled in a way that clearly stated ‘thanks but no thanks.’

 

“Suit yourself, but remember to never ever take up tequila sweetheart.”

 

Ashley leaned her body forward and her head fell backwards in a full laugh that Palmer hadn’t produced from her in a long while.

 

During this, Palmer’s body fell backwards in his car seat while his head hung low, all the while deciding not to lunch at Lynn’s for lunch.

 

This heart of mine keeps/Dreamin’ of you and it’s crazy/you’d think I’d had enough ~ Braxton