CRICKET, Part 10

Pimp My Lent/Day43

The Prompt:

From Mark Daves…

“There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.”

— Raymond Chandler (Red Wind: A Collection of Short Stories)

The Product:

To: jpMcD@4mcdougles4.cmp

From: lsds1015@camomail.net

re: GUESS WHAT JOHN PARKER!!

JOHN PARKER GUESS WHAT YOU NEVER WILL!

I got a pet!

I got a pet!

I got a pet!

I got a pet!

I got a pet!

His name is Rover which is a joke because Rover is a RABBIT! And yes, I am SO HAPPY I AM HOPPY! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!  Rover is half a lop and half whatever is not a lop. Only one of his ears lays down like a lop is supposed to, which is why I got him because the guy that Dad knows that has rabbits did not want him because of his ear sticking up. Dad says we should call him ROTOR because his ear looks a rotor blade of a helicopter.

Dogs are still better than rabbits but I am happy because Rover is smart enough to do some things like dogs can. When I rattle the food dish he will come and also when I call his name, most of the time. Dad likes him but Mom says “I HATE THAT (cussing) RABBIT because he is a chewing machine!!” He chewed the couch fringe, the laundry basket, Savannah’s rubber boat toy, one of the legs off one of Douglas’ collectable horses and ate one of Mom’s mom’s cookbooks and some pictures, and now we have no TV because he chewed the cord and it popped him good and it’s a miricle he didn’t fry! Dad say he knows somebody to fix it but still there is no more Rover hopping loose in the house which is good too because I am real, real, real, real, real, real tired of sweeping up rabbit poopies which are EVERYWHERE!

I am happy to have a pet who is pretty and so soft too. We do not have show and tell in my class but my teacher says that I can bring Rover on the last day if my Mom says its okay and she will take him home right after the class is done. I CAN’T WAIT TO DO THAT! I take him outside in his harness and a lease and we walk around the yard (he hops) and he nibbles EVERYTHING so I have to watch him closely. But it is kind of boring too because he doesn’t like to play. Dad says rabbits are just that way, which is why dogs are still better, but I am glad to have him. Lexi is real jealous because all she got was a gennie pig and it makes poop like it is going out of style!! But, if I keep up with a bunny every day, and keep him in food and water for a month WITHOUT BEING ASKED then Mom will maybe consider letting me have a very small old dog, like some old lady’s pet, and the old lady died, and it is very calm, and does not bark a lot unless people are trying to break in, or pee in the house all the time. I promised to Mom to do this and she said maybe yes in that case I maybe can have a dog, and Dad says that I am probably going to be a lawyer or a bulldozer driver because I am so full of it and pushy.  Ha, ha.

Got to go finish brushing my teeth real real good because we are going to the dentist today because once Dad is out of the Army it could be a while Mom says we better take care of everything NOW. I do not like going to the dentist AT ALL but Mom says to BE GRATEFUL CRICKET because she herself has a mouth full of feelings from when she was a girl and her parents did not think to take her to the dentist when she was little because people didn’t do that for kids like now. I still don’t like it but I will go so I am not looking like Bud Woodman with every other tooth AWOL!

Hasta la vista, baby! There is my Sapinsh lesson of the day just for you! Since you are moving to San Antonio soon you will need it, you Yankee dog! Ha, ha, ha.

Your cousin Cricket with shiny shiny teeth!

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To: ginMcD@4mcdougles.cmp

From: emNben1015@camomail.net

re: hey

You’re right. I was totally judging you, Ginnie. Please call me. I’m sorry for always complaining about my life, and I really do want to know what’s going on with you guys, always. And no matter what, I promise, I will NOT judge you – or if I do, you can call me out on it. Please call me. I love you very much, Virginia Sue.

Em

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To: jpMcD@4mcdougles.cmp

From: lsds1015@camomail.net

re: PAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am typing and taking a break from holding a bag of frozen peas across my whole mouth and jaw. My teeth hurt everywhere like I can feel every single one! Not like screaming pain more like leg-ache kind of pain. It hasn’t stopped hurting yet even with Tylenol but I just took it and Mom says BE PATIENT CRICKET. It was a month ago since the dentist pulled six teeth to make room for the braces to straigten up my teeth. The Army dentist had breath like unbelievable onions and hot sauce, and he had huge eyebrows like somebody glued a hairbrush to his forehead, and he breathed at me like this: “Paaah. Paaah. Paaaaaah.” Like his nose was stopped up so he had to breathe hot sauce onions through his mouth. But my orthadontist is very nice. He is Dr. Foster and he has big round blue eyes like a boy doll, they are so round and so blue. Lexi is jealous that I am getting to go because he is so cute, which is what she says but she is just trying to make me feel better because her teeth are okay and I have a big mouth full of train tracks which is what Dad calls it. I did not know I was going to the orthadontist they kind of tricked me and that made me SO MAD!!! But Mom cried so I stopped yelling because she is REAL REAL REAL unhappy about everything and we do not go to the army shrink now because we don’t have privileges for that anymore since Dad is out of the hospital now.

Douglas has failed the whole grade! He will go to summer school to try and get it so he can move up. It’s probably because he is 100% so worried about Miss Q who is having to stay rehab from a stroke that was worse than stroke #1 in that she is having trouble talking and walking is not so great now. Mom says it is a good thing that Miss Q is a Army widow from the good old days because that way her medical care is more than it would be if she was not. you know they are selling her house in Cache because she can’t live there alone ever again. Dad says we should live there, but Mom says no way she is ever living anywhere where other kids call a little boy a weirdo and say “hey you’re gay” all the time to him when he is just a little boy who is real nervous and likes art.

She said if she knew that that was happening we never would have stayed as long as we did stay but we did not know it because Douglas didn’t say anything about it not even to me and Lexi because we would have put the beat down on people for doing it if we’d heard it and only learned it from Miss Q before her stroke took her power of speech. Mom says its good to watch out for each other but we should not fight at school no matter what people might say to us because she will put the beat down on us if we do. Dad said that people called him names in school too because he was a real weirdo and he did not much like what other kids liked like TV and he knew the names of all the trees and flowers and nature which he memorized just because he was bored and too young to be chasing girls then. Ha, ha. Dad says he would make a good park ranger he thinks, which Mom is not 100% happy about but it is better than nothing she says, if he can get on with the service. I think it would be cool to be a park ranger and live in the wilderness but Mom says too much nature living gives her the scratch.

Thanks for saying nice things about Rover. Mom says she is sure that he will find his way back, but Dad says “Once a rabbit is gone honey, he is gone.” I still do not know how the cage got left open because I always, always locked it and so did Douglas, even if Rover was just partways his pet too. He feels real real bad that the cage had to be set outside because of his allergies, but I told him to nip it in the bud which is what Dad always says because he is Barney Fife’s number #1 fan (that is a stupid cop on TV who is very funny and on here in the daytime and Dad is watching TV every day because he is not fit for duty yet and when he is fit, he is asking to be discharged.

Write me more stuff about the space camp thing in Houston. I know it costs lots of money so don’t have to worry about me and Douglas showing there to embarrass you in front of your friends! Ha, ha.

VERY HOT here today and it is only springtime. Summer in Oklahoma is not for wimps.

Signed,

Cricket the grate!

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To: ginMcD@4mcdougles.cmp

From: emnben1015@camomail.net

re: I’m sorry.

Ginnie, please. Tell me what I can do to make this better so we can stay in contact. I had no right whatsoever to comment on how much you and may or may not drink, or your marriage. We both know that I was talking out of my ass because my own marriage is hanging by a thread. I don’t know if I love my husband. I try not to be this way, but lately I am either furious with Ben or have no feelings for him at all, which scares the shit out of me. I find myself wishing he was shipping out again. It’s crazy. I am crazy.

The psychiatrist said I need anti-depressants, but I’ve just been through it with Ben, the “break-through” period, the insomnia – we can’t have two parents walking the floor wringing their hands all night long.

God, even when I try not to keep harping on myself and how bad my life is — what do I end up doing but exactly that. Sorry.

I love you.

Emily

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To: jpMcD@4mcdougles.cmp

From: lsds1015@camomail.net

re: TORNADO!!!

We are okay, except for Lexi’s guinea pig which died of a heart attack we think, but did you hear about the tornado here? It was on the ABC news!  We did not get to see it live because we did not have poiwer then but we watched it later online and saw a LOT OF THINGS that we know in Fort Sill and Lawton and out in the Wichitas that were damaged and or are GONE gone.

Dad, Savannah, me, and Douglas went into the bathroom downstairs and sat in the tub with the mattresses off Douglas and Savannah’s beds over us on our heads. Dad was good at keeping us calm and joking but making sure we were doing everything we were supposed to and then when it was over, he gave me his cell phone and told me to KEEP IT TOGETHER CRICKET while he ran out to look for Mom and Lexi who had just left just before to go to the PX just ten minutes before it hit. They were in the parking lot at the PX and the sirens were going WARNING!!! WARNING!!! And they had to run for it, real real fast and hunk down in the PX bathroom with a whole bunch of scared people in there too and Lexi said it roared like huge train headed for them. Lexi said it felt like forever because people were having to yell over it to be heard and Lexi HATES yelling and big noises.

She was scared so bad she was crying a lot and Mom was telling her not to cry but I don’t’ blame her it was SCAREEEEEY-SCARY. Before they got into the building they got some scratches and cuts on them from piecs of trees that were flying. Lexi got lots of them on her legs because she was wearing shorts because it was SO HOT and then it got COLD real fast and the winds were CRAZY! Mom got a cut on her face that has two stitches in it from something that hit her on the cheek bone and bruised it too and she doesn’t even know what was it that hit her it flew by so fast! Our car was thrown around into some other cars but it did not flip over like some of the other cars. It is in the body shop right now and Mom is driving The Tank which is what she calls the SUV they gave her to drive because they did not have a ecomony car like ours. It has a lot of room but the gas bills are going to kill us Mom says.

There are trees blown down everywhere. The post is full of very old very tall trees and many of them look like gaint shredded toothpicks stuck in the ground. Some of the new buildings were damaged but not the old part which is made of a lot of stone and have stood forever through a lot of storms. We did not lose power so we are luckyluckylucky because most of Fort Sill and lawton did too.  Lexi’s school still does not have power yet and they have had no school for two days past us. LUCKY LEXI!!

Dad says once school is out we and him are going on a long road trip – maybe to see YOU and got to Galveston, Texas to the beach together and give Mom a great big break!!

COOL, huh!

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To: ginMcD@4mcdougles.cmp

From: emnben1015@camomail.net

re: all’s well

Hey there –

Check your voicemail – we are all fine. The car is totaled, which hurts financially but otherwise, we are all here and relatively unscathed, and hey, our house is still standing. I did get cut, but I’m fine. Got hit in the face by debris and will probably have a small scar. Not a big deal, but you should have seen Ben’s face when he saw me. You know how head/face wounds bleed. It looked worse than it felt, and of course, I was completely zoned out after going through a tornado, and half-deaf from all the noise of it and being trapped in a bathroom with a bunch of screaming mimis, and worried about everybody at home, I didn’t even realize I was hurt. Ben saw me and tried to pick me up! He said that was his first impulse, to pick me up and carry me to the E.R. I’m like “Ben, that’s three miles,” and he says, “I know, it’s just the first thing I thought.”

Lexi and I were still hunkered down in the bathroom with all our new bffs, waiting for the all-clear siren (aren’t any, we found out). The power was out, and the electric doors wouldn’t open, so Ben and these two other GIs were trying to pry the doors open and the MPs thought they were looters, got them on the ground and had guns pointed at them! We come out – and they’re wrestling with Ben to get him up and put handcuffs on him, and he’s trying to tell them, “My wife and my daughter are in there” – but he’s so frantic, he’s completely belligerent. I don’t even see him over there, I’m on my cell phone, calling home and Cricket’s calm as a pond, asking “can we have Sonic for dinner” and “Is there’s anybody hurt near where you are, and if so can you describe the injuries because we had a unit on First Aid and I can help you help them.”  I can hear Douglas in the background screaming at Savvie because she’s taken his  pencil box (he’s very particular about his art pencils). Meanwhile, Lexi – my sweet little airy-fairy princess daughter – sees what’s happening to her dad, and she runs up and frogs this MP on the arm (Lexi did this!) and bellows, “HEY! MY DAD’S A WAR HERO! LET HIM GO, ASSHOLE!”

Yes.

I am.

The Very Proud Parent.

Of A Sailor.

Between Lexi and me, they finally understood what Ben’d been trying to tell them. They took the cuffs off – with a warning that he’d been “this close to going to the stockade” and Ben’s not even listening, he just, like, bolts for us. He grabs Lexi, then me – I guess he thought he was going to carry us both.  The damn MP was lecturing Lexi about respecting authority. I told him he was absolutely right, she should never had hit him, but could he please wait until we got the child to the E.R. so the medics can finish pulling pieces of trees out of her legs? He kind of slunk off at that point. Ben refused to leave us there and go back home, so thankfully our next-door neighbor and his mother (who’s 100 years old if she’s a day but “oh honey, I’m just too mean to die”)  were more than willing to help with the kids.

It seems that there is nothing like a great big tornado to kickstart your marriage. I will not embarrass us both, but you know the one thing what was not happening in my marriage? IT’S HAPPENING NOW. A LOT. And both Ben and I am very happy with this recent upgrade. We’re changing up the plans for the summer, somewhat.  Instead of him taking off with the kids for a week to give me a break, he and I are taking some time – at least a long weekend, somewhere – to give us one.

He is not his old self, and I don’t know how to “not be Army.” I don’t know anything. And by the time you get this, we could be back to “He’s crazy and it’s driving me crazy” again. Send another tornado this way, and maybe that’ll clear things up the rest of the way.

I was so glad to hear from you, Virginia Sue. I’m glad that you and your jar-head husband are also mending fences. “If you can get through this, you can get through anything”  — you and I need to have some t-shirts printed up. Or maybe tattoos.

BTW – to answer your question from a couple of weeks ago, no, my son is no longer  “Degas.”  Douglas decided that he wants to be famous and rich, and to “use art for that.” So we now have little Frank Lloyd Wright on our hands. He is currently drawing the house that he wants himself and Ben to work on together. There are the usual, kitchen, bathrooms, living room, bedrooms (each with its own private swimming pool), but my favorite room is the “Coo-Coo Crazy Room,” which has padded walls and a trampoline floor. It has a glass ceiling that lights up like a planetarium ceiling to tell you where the stars and constellations are, and, best of all, Dr Pepper dispensers built into the wall. So after we get thirsty from all that jumping and bouncing off the walls, we can just lean over and suck Dr Pepper out of a tube (each of us has our own tube, clearly marked).

And to answer your other question, no Virginia Sue, I did not leave the cage door open. That stupid rabbit probably chewed off the latch.

I love you, love you, love you. We are on track for today, that’s good enough. Right?

Em

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To: jpMcD@4mcdougles.cmp

From: lsds1015@camomail.net

re:  😦

Dear John Parker,

My mom told us today that your parents are divorcing. I am very sorry. I am crying for you. I know you are sad. I do not like it when mine are just fighting. It is AWFUL just then so I can’t believe how bad it would feel if they were not going to be together any more.

I wish I could send you some hugs or something but I don’t even really like to hug most of the time, so that would just be weird.

I am not supposed to talk too much about it because it might make you sadder or feel worse. I am going to find some funny cards or something to send you, or maybe  a stupid joke book.

Douglas is drawing houses for very little dogs that can be made out of coke boxes that fit in the refrigerator (before the dogs move in, not after). He is going to upload some of those for you because they are kind of funny but he wants to finish all the way before he does. So don’t hold your breath because he almost never finishes anything all the way but keeps going back and fixing stuff. Lexi said to tell you “hey.” And Savannah has cookie mooshed all over face and thinks it’s hilarious when it looks like Dad she has lepersy (meaning her face is coming off).

I have neon green and blue rubber bands on my braces. They look cool. I still hate them.

Mom says that’s enough now.

I am so very sorry for your grevious loss.

Sincerely,

Cricket

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To: ginMcD@4mcdougles.cmp

From: emnben1015@camomail.net

re: hey you

So how about you and the fellas here this summer, spend a week with us at Ben’s folks’ place? His discharge happens June 15th, so we’re told. You guys can meet us there, help us transition into civilianhood. We can keep each other from filling our pockets up with rocks and walking into the pond, the red dirt Virginia Woolf sisters.

Six days without wine is GREAT. Don’t downplay that — you go, sister!

Call me any time – day or night – I mean it.

Love,

Em

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About Vicki Caroline Cheatwood

Writerly. Rebooting. Evolving. Searching for great chicken salad.
This entry was posted in Cricket, Pimp My Lent, Short Story. Bookmark the permalink.

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