I’m on a side mission to track down the music the Rock City Guards would have heard at their great public marches. And it turns out that there’s at least four possible pieces of music! I can’t tell if they might all be variations on a theme (though I don’t think so), but one is a march in 6/8 time, which, ugh, just shoot me now. I can’t imagine trying to march to that.
I’m over there wondering about just who’s being left out of our It City.
I’m in the middle of working out the details, so I’ll leave it intentionally vague, but I might have occasion in April to talk to people who are intensely curious about him about the kinds of things I’ve discovered, so that it might aid in their attempts to do their own research on him.
The absolute biggest obstacle to researching him is that his last name isn’t standardized, nor that distinct, and his first name is “Joe.” If you know that Timothy Demonbreun spent time in Vincennes, was an important politico in Kaskaskia, and traded down in New Orleans, as well as doing shit here, when you come across anything about Timothy Demorgbbuelrembum or Timothy Mmmmbmbmbm or all the ways they could have slaughtered his last name, you can kind of sound out the last name, decide it sounds close enough to “Demonbreun” and put it on your list of potential Timothy Demonbreun sightings.
But that’s not exactly the case for Joseph. However, once you know that the guy who is “Joseph Deraque” in the State Papers and in the state legislature records is also the guy married to “Granny Ratt” and thus also referred to as “Joseph Duratt” or “Joseph DuRat” and that Elizabeth Girard in the 1850 census living with Demonbreun grandchildren with children all named “Durard” is our same old Elizabeth providing us with two more forms of his name.
And then, interestingly enough, even though, in the State Papers, in his first person account, they spell it Deraque, at the end of one of the narratives, it says “Joseph Deratte, his+mark Robert Hays Justice of the Peace.” Now, the reason this interests me are two-fold. Deratte or De Ratte is a last name French people had in the 1700s and it would seem to indicate that, though they were spelling his name Deraque, he signed it “Deratte.” Meaning, that’s his name.
So, if you were going to look for his parents in Canada, you could do worse than to start there.
(Just as a side note, I’m not going to be at all surprised if Joseph and Timothy also end up being related.)
My efforts to pin down where Joseph Deraque might have some from are thwarted by the realization that “Deraque” isn’t an actual last name. So, the question is what kind of name is “Deraque” the messed up version of? If we search for Anthony Fagot–remember, he’s Joseph’s boss–the only historical reference I could find to him, other than in Arkansas, was as a merchant in Ste. Genevieve. The “St. Louis” clue is, as of yet, right now, unconfirmed.
So, I couldn’t find any names even vaguely like “Deraque” in any other French cities. But, there in Ste. Genevieve, in the early records I could find, there are Durands, Durochers, and Girards. Durand and Girard are both names “Deraque” has been Anglicanized to, which makes them possible cousins of Joseph. But I also found a really interesting footnote that I’d like to confirm, should I figure out who to ask, that the “illiterate” French folks along the Mississippi had a habit of pronouncing things oddly. So, some people said “Prairie du Rocher” like “Prairie du Roe-she” but with equal stress on both syllables and other said “Prairie du Rock-eh,” with, as far as I can tell, almost no stress on the “eh.” How close to “Deraque” might “Du Rock-eh” come?
Anyway, Ste. Genevieve is the best lead I think there is.
The 1859 city directory says it was at 10 North Front Street. Here’s what I learned today. At the time, the north/south dividing line was Spring Street. Even lots on the right, odds on the left. Spring Street is now Church. Jack Macon’s shop/office stood where the parking lot at the corner of Church and 1st Avenue is now. Judging by the ways other buildings are numbered, it seems likely that there was a 2 N. Front and a 4 N. Front and so on, so it probably sat 5 doors north of that corner. I would guess before the alley, judging by how many buildings (six) fit on the other side of the alley but I’m not sure.
Last month, I went to the city archives and I tried to learn about the slaves Nashville owned. Tomorrow, my story about it comes out in the Scene. I’m really proud of the story. But the difference between the version I turned in and the version that’s running gives me great pause. See, the version that’s running is very much like the version I turned in, but the edits have substantially improved it. They cut a paragraph or two, rearranged things where they made the cut and they turned the ending from sad into a kick to the throat.
I like the story I turned in. I 100% thought it was great. But it’s much, much better now.
And that’s always what frustrates me about my fiction. I think it’s good. I know it would be better with an editor. I know I’d learn a lot from that experience. I don’t know. I can’t actually do anything about it at the moment but fret over it. But I have to figure out how to make that happen. I need to get over a hump I don’t even understand the scope of. Yes, I know, this directly contradicts my happiness about things earlier on this week. So, the truth is I don’t know.
Anyway, Allen is the slave I focused on, because he’s young, like my nephews. It’s easy for me to imagine what his life should have been like–had he not been the captive of our city.
But it got me thinking a lot about what we owe the people of the past. I mean, I drink water out of pipes Allen placed in the ground. I directly benefit from Allen’s enslavement. It’s not such a long time ago when I can open a faucet and, ta da, thanks, Allen.
One thing I think is that any discussion about this leads directly to reparations because it’s such a big distraction. It’s a way to talk about the issue in such big, abstract, impossible-to-achieve thus easy-to-dismiss terms so that we don’t have to consider a much more basic question. Like, what do we, as a city, owe Allen? And, given that we can’t give him what we owe him–what would come close to making us even for what we stole from him–what should we do to acknowledge that debt?
That’s the real trick. When you owe a debt that cannot be repaid, what responsibilities to your debtor do you incur?
So, the question isn’t “What do we owe Allen?” because it doesn’t matter. The legacy we inherited as the living embodiment of the city is that we can’t make it right with Allen. But what is our responsibility to Allen?
I think, in part, since we robbed him of his own people, we have to acknowledge our responsibility to act as his descendants. We stole it, but we’re his beneficiaries. Our responsibility is to remember him and to admit that we owe him a debt we can’t repay.
I am sick as shit. I want to stay home all day and drift in and out of consciousness on the couch. But I have a huge, important meeting this afternoon, so I have to get up and fake it for a while.
But, in better news, I have softened to my Andrew Jackson piece, seeing it live. I think it turned out okay.
I had such a nice day yesterday. I mailed my blanket to Australia and discussed with the postal worker the wonders of biscuits. I got my prescriptions from Walgreens and commiserated about the rising price of my eye drops. I was early to my coffee with S. and I saw a bunch of people I knew and had a nice chat with a woman who paints psychedelic buffalo. Coffee with S. was lovely. Then I went over to East Side Story and ran into another person I knew. And Project X is moving forward or at least there’s a game plan for moving it forward. And things are on-track for Proto Pulp.
So, that was nice.
Today I cleaned the bathroom. So, you know, I guess today has also been kind of productive.
One of my favorite things about Nashville is how easy it is to get someone to tell you a story. You just give them a little push and off they go, telling you something interesting. Yesterday, I had to go to the store because I forgot chicken broth and I was telling the guy who was checking me about about how I never can remember the difference between chicken broth and chicken stock and I always send the Butcher to the store for the wrong thing. And he told me about a guy they had in the other day who was buying four gallons of milk and five boxes of Jello among other things and the checker caught a glimpse of his list and realized that the guy’s wife had numbered her list–”F. gallon of milk. 5. Jello”–but dude was reading the numbers as an amount. and they could not talk him out of his mistake.
So, I know this guy who shares the last name with a minor character on True Detectives. It’s a pretty distinctive Louisiana name, so every time it comes up on the show, I have this moment where I’m like “Now, how would she be related to K.?” So, I asked him whether he’s watching the show and if it’s weird to have someone with his name on it. And he said that there was only one original guy with that name, so, even if he couldn’t understand why her family has been living that far below Lafayette, she must be one of them, because everyone with that name goes back to that one guy.
I love this so much. I mean, I love the ways fact and fiction can blur (in fun ways, not in distressing ways) and I love a kind of largesse that says “everyone, real and imaginary, with our name is ours.”
But I think it’s a similar thing–this idea that you have to be prepared to meet narrative with narrative, that people are telling stories and you best be ready to tell one right back.
My family is good at story-telling in some ways. I mean, we can tell a mean story, even a demonstrably untrue one, with the best of them. But we have trouble inhabiting a space it’s so easy to fall into down here–where everyone is kind of bullshitting (I mean, four gallons of milk? Really? I don’t know.) for the sake of amusing each other
Sometimes, when I meet new people, I think that I talk too much. I don’t know how to be quiet with you until I know you. But it’s also that I enjoy telling stories and I have this impulse that, if I tell you a great one, maybe you’ll turn around and tell me one even better.
Not this one, but the one in the Lowe’s hotel. My co-worker has been talking all week about their Kopecky chicken sandwich and, on Friday, we decided we were going to have it. Well, we get there and it’s not on the menu. But the chef is there so he’s just going to whoop it up for us. And he did!
And then he came out and talked to us!
It was so weird and awesome. I mean, it’s not like you can’t talk to the cook at the Goodlettesville Mason’s, but you can see right in the kitchen there. Anyway, the Lowe’s Mason’s. He told us where our meat had come from and some of his thinking behind this spicy chicken dish he serves at the bar and it was just really, really cool.
So, even thought they’re very different dining experiences and only one features prominently in a ghost story I wrote, I can now recommend both restaurants named “Mason’s” in the area.
So, this weekend, I was talking to E. about my trip to the city archives on Friday and just how heavy-hearted it left me and how part of the problem with the past is that you are born complicit in some shitty things with no way to extract yourself–I’m not in love with the idea of drinking water that flows through pipes put in the ground by a 14 year old boy whose back was already “much scarred with the whip” by the time he got to Nashville, but here we are. I’ve drank a lot of water through these pipes and will continue to. Sorry, Allen.
But the other part–and it goes hand-in-hand with why you can’t even extract yourself from complicity–is that we don’t know our history and we don’t know what we don’t know. So, I brought up, as a for-instance, people touting how the owner of Nottoway Plantation (from the Ani DiFranco mess) having a meal with his slaves on New Year’s Day as an example of what a fine master he was, when, really, to force the people you keep enslaved to eat with you on New Year’s Day? Total dick move. A total dick move that makes sense–if ever there was going to be a moment of rebellion, it’s when you know which family members you’re going to lose tomorrow, but haven’t yet lost them.
She’d never heard that New Year’s Day was the day when slaves were rented to other plantations for the year or sold (slaves were sold year round, obviously, but, if you faced, say, a glut of 10-12 year old girls on your farm, or if you had a bunch of men fit for cotton but had decided to switch to sugarcane, New Year’s Day was, for lack of a better term, the traditional day for bulk sales of people). In some places, it was called Hiring Day (that’s how Harriet Jacobs knew it.) and it’s speculated that this is one of the reasons early emancipation celebrations centered around New Year’s Day–the first tangible difference that most people knew between being a slave and not being one was that, come January 1st, nothing happened. No one came to your door to tell you who was going away. It was a radical change.
So, yes, January 1st was the day you found out who you were going to lose and January 2nd was the day you lost them. Throwing a barbecue for your slaves and hanging out with them all evening on the 1st doesn’t make you a decent person. It makes you a wise person who knows from what circumstances trouble comes.
But E. had never heard of this. Which, of course, is why Nottoway can pass the January 1st story off as a good one instead of evidence of what a shitty person Randolph was. That bit of history is well-known in the circles it’s well-known in and passes unmentioned, untaught, in the wider world.
Anyway, just putting it out there so that it can be more widely known.
I had heard that Nashville owned slaves, but the story I was told was that it was just a small group of men who installed the water lines and did some maintenance on the roads and then Nashville got out of the slave-owning business by 1830. George Zepp’s excellent book suggested that wasn’t the whole story. But I kind of didn’t really let that sink in. But then there’s all this Ani DiFranco nonsense and, while I agree that there’s no need for social-justice song-writing retreats at plantations that gloss over their history and are owned by rightwing assholes, I kept thinking about Nashville–which doesn’t really acknowledge that it was even in the slave-owning business, that the water you’re drinking when you stay downtown is because of those men. And we’re governed by right-wing assholes. Sure, not at the city level, but at the state.
And I’m not trying to say, then, that it’s too hard to deal with slavery so it’s fine if Ani DiFranco wants to fart around at a plantation all weekend. I’m trying to come at it from the other direction–what she intended to do was obviously bullshit. But social justice icons play Nashville all the time. Hell, some of them play the Ryman, with its Confederate balcony. I don’t want to ask them not to play Nashville, to not play the Ryman. I don’t have a good reason why Nottoway is off-limits, but Nashville is okay. I just, honestly, want it to be that way.
But I also wonder why we don’t ask these big names, the ones who are devoted to social justice, to bring pressure on the city to acknowledge its direct complicity in slavery? Not just as a place where slaveowners lived, but as a slaveowner itself.
The Nashville City Cemetery shows that the story I was told about slavery in Nashville is a lie. I wrote them and asked them who “the corporation” was and the woman who wrote me back knew because The Corporation had owned the Cemetery back then–because it was the city. And so there are Nashville’s slaves, dying in the cholera epidemic in ’49 and later. And there’s a woman. Look at how young they are.
Sorting through Provine’s papers at the TSLA, I came across a couple of descriptions of it from when it sold in the 1820s and 30s. Here’s what Provine thought he knew–it was a huge stone building with 14 fireplaces and a horse barn that was amazing. It sat six hundred feet south of the split of the Clarksville Pike and the road to Springfield (Whites Creek Pike), probably about where the Anderson-Garrett Funeral Home is. It was sometimes described as a “bawdy house” but more commonly was described as a tavern or an inn. The earlier seller had improved the access to fresh water on the property (if you look at a map, you can see that this would have been the challenge of the spot).
Just being generous, knowing that Elizabeth and Joseph certainly didn’t build a tavern together before they met and they both had a lot going on for which they are pretty publicly visible in 1791-1793, the tavern could not have existed prior to 1795. And it had to be complete by the early 1820s, the first time it sold.
So, last night, I had coffee with a dude who used to work at the Rock Castle. So, finally, I had a chance to pick someone’s brain about the logistics of building a huge rock structure out on the Middle Tennessee frontier and, in talking with him, I firmed up some of the problems I have with this tavern.
1. Where did they get the money to set this thing up? We’re talking a massive stone structure and a woman whose biggest claim to fame is being charged with bastardry and a man who had an employer. Neither of these people should have had the money to build what had to be among the largest stone structures in the area.
2. Where did they get a workforce to build it?
3. Provine finds evidence of Elizabeth having had children with this Bennett dude, this Hensley dude, Demonbreun, and then Deraque (and possibly a Cagle later on). This isn’t more men than Adelicia Acklen tried to have children with, but none of these dudes were dead when the other dudes came into the picture and no one dueled over her. As the guy I was talking to last night pointed out–that’s really weird behavior considering the circumstances. Unless Elizabeth already had a social status that gave her access to a lot of men but left them unsurprised when she got pregnant with someone else’s child.
4. But, even so, if Elizabeth had been a bawdy woman from the get-go, that would have given her her own spending money (thus explaining how she had the funds to buy Lot 45 from Demonbreun in the first place), but enough money to build the tavern?
I wonder what it would be like to get into the archives at Kaskaskia or St. Louis during that time period to see who up there was sending money down to Nashville. I suppose Demonbreun could have been something of a backer, but I think that the money and the labor must have come not from Nashville, where there’d certainly be more of a record of it being amassed, but from Demonbreun and Deraque’s contacts farther west.
I think my instinct to look at Rock Castle and try to judge the layout and set-up of Granny Rat’s Tavern is wrong. I probably need to know how buildings that size and for that use looked in the French territories nearby.
I spent my morning at the Tennessee State Library and Archives, checking my research on my three folks for the Nashville encyclopedia. Everyone was in a good mood. All the staffers were cheerful and really helpful, so I accomplished a lot more than I thought I would.
And I discovered that Joseph Deraque twice petitioned the General Assembly to give him a little thank-you money for saving the city. They declined. I also got to flip through Paul Clement’s book which is, ugh, just so fucking amazing. I feel like we should give him a medal. Hell, we should let him petition the General Assembly for a little thank-you money!
So, this guy I know here in town posted this picture on Facebook. I’m not putting it up over here, because I didn’t ask him if I could and he is, apparently, mid-walk, so I can’t ask him now.
But I still want to talk about it, because it makes me so happy. So, yes, to start with, the filter he’s using makes the picture almost look like a drawing, like, if you were going to read a fairytale about Nashville, the protagonist would have to cross this bridge in order for the story to properly start. This picture would be the first illustration in the text. I love the craggly tree on the left, which, you know, is going to fill with crows just as you’re starting to step onto the bridge.
I love that the bridge looks like it cannot possibly be a bridge that exists in the world. And I love that I know right where that bridge is. I love the double x-es in the support of the bridge, which seems to indicate that crossing the bridge is a bad idea. I love the warm glow of the concrete path that still entices you to walk over it.
I love the double layer of fencing that suggests something is being held back, that, by crossing the bridge, you’re going into a place full of forces that take a lot to keep them from leaking into our world.
And when I write about Nashville, this is so what I want it to be like–like something ordinary has had the right light shined on it, the right filter placed on it, so that you can see it for the mystery it could have, if only someone would imbue it with some.
When I first moved to Nashville, one of the things I found scariest about driving was that there was no universally agreed upon set of rules. Like, in Chicago, you know that everyone is going to be driving really fast, but they’ll slow down to let people on the interstate. In LA, the traffic is unceasing, but, if you signal, people will let you do what you need to do. In St. Louis, no one stops at stop signs, you just roll through them. Etc. Etc.
When I first moved to Nashville, you didn’t know what you were going to get. Some folks stopped at the end of entrance ramps, like the traffic was ever going to clear enough for them to get going from 0 to interstate speeds if they just waited. Sometimes, when three people came to a four-way stop at the same time, the two cars facing each other would go first, even if one was turning, before the car with no one facing it. Sometimes, the person to the farthest right went first and so on.
I’m not saying we’ve completely developed a driving culture in that time. But there’s at least a more uniform feeling of “I know what to expect from you” I think.
And, sadly, one of the shittiest things is that, in any weather event, people drive like they’ve lost their damn fool minds.
So, we’re expecting ice this evening and it’s raining now. I already know some asshole has hit a bunch of pedestrians right by where I work. So, now the question is, on a twenty minute drive, at best, how long is it going to take me to get to and from work today? Can I leave early to avoid the madness or is leaving early just going to put me in the heart of it?
And can I convince the Butcher to go to the grocery store or is that too cliched?
One thing that I wish I could learn to do for myself is to walk no matter what. I always feel better and more human after a walk and yet, I spent much of last week and all weekend meaning to go for a walk but not doing it. And thus, by yesterday, I was feeling rather crushed under the weight of my own “blah”ness.
This is another thing Sadie did for me that I didn’t quite realize. She gave me a reason to go out and move around, if only because she had to go out and move around in order to shit.
I woke up dreaming of Jack Macon. Not of him as a person, but how I wanted to write about him as a real person. One thing, just at the level of language, that’s so vile about the word slave is that it always puts you in relationship another person without quite being upfront about it. To say that Jack Macon was a slave makes it sound like a class issue almost, like it was just a caste he was born into. You can’t be a slave without an owner, but we use the word so that the person doing the slavery is left invisible, unindicted. But I don’t think that saying he was enslaved by William Macon is right, since he was, in fact, born into slavery. There was no moment when he wasn’t a slave and then he was enslaved. Also, he was first the slave of William’s father. But I think I might say that he was held in enslavement by William. To me that gets at the most honest fact of Dr. Jack’s life–that, even as he could come to Nashville and open a practice, he was still never, ultimately, free. His things were not his own. His money was not his. That office was, in the end, not his office. It was all William’s, as was Jack. There was no disentangling of Jack’s fate and fortune from William’s.
I have to admit, having lunch by myself at Noshville is kind of becoming my new favorite thing. Today I sat by a couple of people from Will Hoge’s team (management, I think) and they were trying to coordinate things for a tour and it was really fascinating. Do you pay people their per diems up front or weekly or what? How can we make sure the band gets to see redwood trees? What’s the best way to make sure things go smoothly between the artist and the venue? If we need to be in city x on this date, how early do we have to leave the previous city? Who needs to be where when? Do we have a driver we like for this stretch? And on and on. I have rarely ever been involved in a meeting that was as productive as these two guys were just whooping out over lunch
I didn’t hear any good Will Hoge gossip, but listening to them hashing out all these details was really interesting.
Just a reminder, if you want to do the book club, the deal is that you go to East Side Story, buy a copy of A City of Ghost and tell Chuck you’re coming to the book club. It’s at 6 p.m. on Friday, December 13th.
Right now, there are apparently only a handful of people signed up. And I am a little nervous that a discussion with so few people is only going to take fifteen minutes.
So, if you’re on the fence, please consider dropping into the field near me.
I went to Noshville for lunch and it was hilarious. They were swamped with Kentucky fans. It took me a half an hour to get my meal. And it was kind of sad because usually, when I go to Noshville, I’m with someone and we’re gossiping and laughing, but today, I just wanted fries and to be left alone, so I sat there and then bemoaned the fact that the Professor wasn’t there making me laugh.
But a guy with purple hair and mirrored sunglasses sat next to me and ordered the most food I have ever seen a person eat. And then he spent all this time making sure everything was exactly right–all his silverware in the right place, that he had the jelly he wanted, that he had enough napkins.
And, at first, I was blown away by the idea that this guy who went to such lengths to portray himself as a hip rocker dude would be so precise in his eating.
But then I wondered if I wasn’t missing the precision involved in making sure you look like that every day.
Anyway, he was nice. I said goodbye to him when I left and he said, “It was nice to see you,” in a way that made me feel like I was nice to see. I don’t know. It kind of made me blush.
Yesterday, over at Southern Alpha, they put up a post titled “5 Nashvillians Who Changed The Course of History For Entrepreneurs.” On the one hand, it’s heartening to see people like R.H. Boyd on the list. On the other hand, they also put Ray Danner on there. Ray Danner, as you may recall, is infamous for using his company, Shoney’s, to oppress black people. He wasn’t just a racist. He was a racist who went out of his way to ruin black people’s lives.
From the Baltimore Sun.
Shoney’s said Mr. Danner would not comment on the settlement, but according to his own deposition in the suit, he was not shy about sharing his theories about hiring blacks.
“I have on occasion given my opinion that a possible problem area was that the specific store in question had too many black employees working in it as compared to the racial mix of the geographical area served by the store,” Mr. Danner said in the deposition.
According to a deposition by Mike Vinson, a manager of Shoney’s restaurants in the Prattville, Ala., area, managers with what were considered too many black employees were often told with a wink that it was “too cloudy” in the restaurant and were directed to “lighten it up some.” At other times, a white manager, Daniel Gibson, said in his deposition, Mr. Danner was more blunt, saying, “I don’t like niggers, and I don’t want to see them in my stores.”
Lawyers for the plaintiffs said blacks accounted for 38.6 percent of Shoney’s kitchen workers in 1989, 8.4 percent of servers, 3.7 percent of midlevel managers and trainees, and 1.8 percent of managers.
I’m not sure how Southern Alpha missed this part of Danner’s career history. Books have been written about it. And yes, Danner was an important entrepreneur but, holy Jesus, it’s not like he was racist a million years ago. The Shoney’s settlement was in my adult lifetime. What lessons, exactly, are entrepreneurs supposed to learn from Danner’s example? That, if you hate a group of people, you can use your power to deny them decent jobs and fire anybody who works for you who objects? And what kind of message are black entrepreneurs supposed to take from this? That white guys, no matter how racist, will be celebrated by your peers as long as they’re successful? I mean, maybe that’s true, but you’d think it wouldn’t be so blatant.
A commitment to diversity can’t just mean “and now we include minorities.” It has to mean, “and we make some value judgements about the guys who actively thwarted minorities.” I mean, think of it this way. If you were a young African-American entrepreneur who one day wanted to open your own restaurant chain, so you thought you’d go work at Shoney’s for a few years and move up the ranks and see how Danner did things, you could not. You could work in the kitchen, but look at those statistics. Were you going to ever be a manager? No.
The most obvious path to learning the skills you need–model yourself after a success like Danner–was closed to you because Danner didn’t want to see people like you in his stores.
Fuck this dude.
Was he successful? Obviously. Did he pave the way? For a lot of people in his communities, not only didn’t he pave the way, if he found a paved way, he tore it up so that the black people in his communities couldn’t benefit from him. We don’t have to make Danner an eternal villain, but come on! Why is anyone praising him like he’s a hero? And why would anyone who wanted to show the South as a diverse, inclusive place where anyone can be a successful entrepreneur celebrating a dude who actively worked to make sure that wasn’t true?
I wrote a piece about Joe Carr.. You can tell I was thinking hard yesterday about conspiracy theories and how they work.
And in the actual paper, not on the blog, I wrote a story about Nashville’s first real Thanksgiving and what took us so long to get around to it.
And J.R. Lind’s story about spiced round has convinced me to serve it this Christmas to my family. Bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha. I am trying to learn how one serves it, but that hardly matters. When reviving a dying tradition, ruin it! That’s what I always say. (Note: that is not what I always say. Obviously, what I always say is “When reviving a dying tradition, add the Devil and some fool who fucks him.” But that’s not how I want to spend Christmas with my family.)
I went to the park today, just to see if I could. I was lonely. And then, eventually, I was only thinking about the walk.
There was a blue heron in the lake and it watched me watching it. I wanted to think it was a sign of something, but it remained only itself.