30 January 2010

“No! Hell, No!” –– Kristen Stewart as Emily Lewin, Adventureland, 2009

On the date of the 62nd year after Mohandas K Gandhi’s 30 January 1948 murder and from Holocausts, Chapter Three, “If you were not hysterical, Legion, then, … then is when I would be worried about you.” [--- Margaret Stanley, lifelong Quaker, on the telephone, while preparing for her nursing quest to China ---http://bluemAAs.public.iastate.edu/chapter_three] and responding to Factory Production Floor Worker and Teenager Eric's profundity on small men about their patriarchal entitlement to women's children and money, "And ... he takes it?!":

“Six Iowa winters I simply left the heat off in the house, there was no money. So cold, 34 degrees Fahrenheit in the kitchen when I actually measured it once, that Rex, a female, Eastern Florida kingsnake inside her aquarium’s hollow log, did not move for months and months and months each year. So cold I often wondered, ‘til late April, if she hadn’t up and died in some previous frigid period, and I, ‘course, during these spells just hadn’t known she was actually frozen to death.

Besides the vast amount of physical energy expended, I spent so much mental energy in just remembering that the heat was off. Always, even when I was away from home. The pipes might freeze, the few plants friends had given me and number one son Zane’s beloved dimestore zebra finch, Lady, might not make it although she ruffled as much as she could on her perch.

More than once no water came out of the dilapidated apartment’s shower faucet and the slop water in the toilet would nearly overflow until I could pour enough boiling water over the tub tiles or down the stool sewer, and the water pressure from behind the thawing obstruction could finally force the rest of the ice loose and down. Nearly every January and February noontime, many years oftener, I raced home from the university to check on the plumbing and the pipes. This meant, of course, usurping all the lunch hour in this endeavor. Parking around campus was so far from the office that half the time off for the noontime break was used up just in getting to, and back in from, the heap that is Ol’ Black, my incredibly faithful 1986 Chevy Eurosport wagon. Which I own and drive still today. Luckily, that rundown joint on Havencourt Drive with the mailbox – sized chunks of orange and brown wallpaper splashed upside the kitchen walls that had been my, the Boys’ and their pets’ wonderful little home now that Herry and I were divorced, was an inside unit of four of them lovingly referred to by its absentee landlord as condominiums. Had it been an end condo, the pipes would, indeed, have burst more than once. By my bedside, I placed two alarm clocks. One for the middle of the nighttime was set to scream at me at 2:30 am so I could rise to run all the faucets and flush all the drains. The second was set by which, then, I rose a second time – that time for the day’s labor. Every night. Four months. Six winters.”

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