Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Bring some change up to the bridge, bring some alcohol. There we'll make a final wish, just before the fall.


He drove along 151 South, toward Madison. He depressed the clutch, shifted to fifth gear and accelerated, enjoying the sunshine and hot wind whipping through the open sunroof and windows.

He turned on the radio, and heard the faint strains of Pearl Jam's "Daughter," fighting with the wind buffeting around the inside of the car. A quick twist of the volume knob all the way to right ended any debate firmly on the side of Eddie Vedder and company.

Mother reads aloud,
Child tries to understand.
Tries to make her proud.

Thoughts flitted through his head as he roared toward Columbus at 75 miles per hour. He wondered if she would be there this afternoon. He was nervous. "Do I look O.K.?"

He glanced at himself in the rear view mirror.

"Of course I look O.K."

Don't call me daughter, not fit to...
The picture kept will re-mi-i-ind me.

He wondered whether he would make any money on this deal, or whether it would fall flat. Again. "I'm not in this for charity," he firmly reminded himself. Too many deals had fizzled and died, and he had far too much invested to let it happen again.

She holds the hand,
that holds her down.
She will... rise above

"Uh oh. Speed trap." He saw blue and red lights, up ahead, under the overpass. There was a cop there. He hit the brakes, but not hard enough to draw attention.

Wait... as he drew nearer, he saw there were several police cars under the overpass. "Someone must have had an accident," he thought.

Don't call me daughter, not fit to.
The picture kept will remi-i-ind me.

As he came to the overpass, he depressed the clutch, shifted to fourth, and slowed to take in the scene. There were six police cruisers pulled over on both sides of the road, and there was a pearl Chevy Impala stopped in the right lane, blocking traffic.

He downshifted again, as he saw a cop running toward him, waving his arms. He took it down to second gear, pressed the clutch and brake, and glided to a stop in the left lane, under the overpass. The wild-eyed officer lurched up to the passenger side window, and yelled, "THERE'S A..."

A sharp, popping noise interrupted the officer, and a spray of bright crimson erupted from his chest. The officer fell out of sight along the car.

"What the..." he incredulously said, to nobody in particular.

Another officer carrying a shotgun sprinted over to the right side of his car, and knelt by the fender. The officer glanced up into the dark nook at the top of the overpass. He leveled the shotgun over the hood of his car, fired two rounds up the incline, and ducked back down behind the fender.

"This is not happening. This is not happening," he said. Terrified, he raised his windows, shutting out the sound of the officer yelling into his radio.

Don't call me daughter, not fit to.
Picture kept will remi-i-ind me.

He stared dumbly at the radio. This song started a lifetime ago.

The officer, on one knee, took aim over the hood, firing two more shots. The car rocked with return fire. His eyes widened as he saw holes appear in the hood of his car. The officer yelled and fell backwards, his shotgun clattering to the ground.

The window he had just raised exploded inward, covering him with glass.

"Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God." He snaked his hand down the left side of his seat, grabbed the lever and reclined his seat, slamming it into the back seat.

The overpass went eerily silent, and his ears rung from the gunfire. Faintly, he heard Pearl Jam.

She holds the hand,
that holds her down.
She will... rise above.

He laid there, heart pounding. "This is not happening. This is not happening."

Suddenly, he heard, "SIT UP, MOTHERFUCKER!"

He opened his eyes, and saw a large man in jeans and a work shirt standing just outside his window, pointing a large rifle at him.


He sat up, grabbed the lever, and the seat back, hit him in the back, forcing him to sit bolt upright. Wide eyed, he raised his hands in front of him.


The man yanked the door open.

"I..." He started to explain that he needed to turn off his car, but the man shoved the rifle in his open mouth, cracking off his front teeth. His eyes watered and he gagged around the hot barrel of the gun. It burned his lips. He moved his hands toward his face.


His eyes went wide with horror as he realized the car was still running, in second gear, and his foot was on the clutch. He tried to explain the situation.

"Mmmmph. Mmmlllllm. MMNNNMMMM!"

The man's voice went quiet.

"Do. Not. Fuck. With. Me. Now, get out." The man nudged his rifle up, causing his head to nod involuntarily.

Taking a deep breath, he took his foot off the clutch and the car leapt forward as the engine stalled.

It was the loudest, and last, sound he ever heard.

Copyright © 2005 Joseph Militello, Jr.

Now I love to feel that warm, southern rain,
Just to hear it fall is the sweetest sounding thing.

And to see it fall across your country dress,
It's like heaven, I must confess.
Yesterday, we went to town on the house, cleaning and organizing. My task was the floors, which were a pain in the ass. I vaccuumed up the tumbleweeds of hair on the wood floor. Then I mopped. But it was streaky, so I mopped again. And it was still streaky, so I swiffered.

India cleaned everything else but the floors, and cut fresh wildflowers.

Then I went over to Bells' house to play guitar for a couple hours.

They have an unbelievable garden...

Later, we moved the party over to our house.

Here is Mrs. Bells, who brought over homemade caramel black walnut ice cream...

Here is Bells, Jr.

After we ate, we headed into the meadow to scare up the hawks and watch the fireworks. The hawks circled and watched us as the sun went down. There were probably 15-20 different sources of fireworks that we could see from the meadow.

I am feeling lazy this morning...
P.S. Both of the Bells work for the Forest Service... and yesterday, we were chatting about the hike India and I took up & into Hellroaring Canyon and the Lee Metcalf Wilderness.

Bells informed us that the Lee Metcalf Wilderness is where they put the "Problem Grizzlies" from Yellowstone.

Nice to know that. Now. Maybe next time I won't slather myself with bacon fat before I hike there.