We had no idea our hosts were evangelical Christians with a sinister agenda. But when we arrived at their compound, the look of it was bad enough to give us pause. Each detached “unit” was brand-new, but they were all made to look like crackers’ shacks. I made a sneering remark alluding to “Tobacco Road”.
It wasn’t long before they invited us to leave. At the farewell dinner, I annoyed our hosts by singing a parodic hymn of praise and thanksgiving, “Swirling in the Service of the Lord.” Then we helped ourselves to macaroons and bagels “for the road”.
Before I set off walking for the car, I went down to the basement and scooped up a boxload of drugs, also “for the road”. Waiting for the freight elevator, I spied a pair of shoes in a bin of items collected for a fundraising sale. I nicked them. “Like walking on peas,” they were.
At some point during the night, I had to wear a badge indicating that I was a Woman Who’d Had One or More Abortions. But that was a different story, I think.
The houses should have been built closer together. It would save the trouble and expense of pouring those five-foot-wide strips of concrete driveway in between them. Can’t fit a car worth owning.
There’s a bend at the end of the street, and a footbridge that cuts south to cross the ravine. The ravine is half inside the city limits and half outside. Stay on the road, though, and you’ll pass the cemetery. That’s where they bury their dead.
Strange to think that if Emmett Till had lived, he’d be seventy-one this day.
I met his mother once.
Barbara is a supervisor in the accounting department. She also volunteers at work for something called “Dining for a Cure,” the proceeds of which are supposed to be donated in support of cancer research. Each Wednesday, Barbara caters lunch and sells it along with a dessert choice that without variation is stale chocolate-chip cookies. Everyone participates.
One of the few people there without visible tattoos
a 2 hour video filmed in the 80s, painfully relaying information that could’ve been put on a single sheet of paper, bad actors answering obvious questions: what is mediation, what if i cant get along with my ex-wife? The most heartbreaking nugget of advice to not strike or scream at the other parent during your mediation.
A ten minute break to go feed the (2 hr max) meters outside the courthouse.
The goth chick in the front row with sleeve tattoos from wrist to shoulder, still wearing both rings. Looking more sad than goth, despite her elaborate makeup.
The black grandmother in the back with her (18? 20?yo son) asking lots of questions while her son remained silent
The perverse combination of drivers ed/jury duty, with your marriage being ripped to shreds
The guy who was clearly in a multi-year saga who called the second mediator to talk to us “a cunt” under his breath.
Three fanny packs???
The guy who alternated between snoring asleep on the table and reading his bible.
The final 45 minute video – talking head interviews with children of divorced parents, narrated by an adult female talking in persona child of divorce. “Don’t use us as spies.”
Glass Jaw by Michael O’Reilly was first shown to me in art school. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since my recent hospital stay.
This is of primarily local (Chicago) import and is not your typical clusterflock post, but what happened makes me so blistering mad that I want everyone I know to know about it and to keep their eyes and ears open.
STOLEN INSTRUMENTS alert! Violin and 2 guitars stolen from trunk of car outside The Whistler on Milwaukee on Sat night:
VIOLIN — Handmade, bears label: “Samuel Giovanni Casco in OÌˆrebro Anno 2010 For Ethan Adelsman”. The back has these measurements: 35.2 cm, 16.5 cm, 11.1 cm, 20.3 cm. The linseed oil-based varnish is a warm orange-brown color on a golden ground. The bow: Handmade by E. Herrmann of Brazilian pernambuco wood with silver mounted hardware. The bow bears inscription: E. HERRMANN *** Violin & bow were in a Bam Lotus case, black with grayish stripes on the top and black backpack-style straps.