Random things that occur to me this morning

1. We once left a van full of valuable personal belongings running with the keys in it on a side street in the French Quarter in New Orleans because my dad didn’t have the heart to leave the dog behind and he didn’t want her to get too hot.

He reasoned that anyone who wanted the van would have to shoot the dog to get it and anyone who wanted the van bad enough to take it with a dog-blood soaked interior could have it.

This is also the man that parked our old Buick Sky Chicken (Shug’s affectionate name for the Sky Hawk) in a parking lot on the southside of Chicago unlocked, with ten dollars sitting on the dash (“for gas”) and a note that said, “Please steal” only to return three hours later and find it undisturbed.

Anyway, I often use the dog as a theft-deterrent device and I wonder if that’s fair to her.

2. Amanda over at Pandagon has an entry about music that’s interesting enough, but reading it made me wonder what lyric most moves Steve Pick. Steve’s got a musical depth that awes me and so I wonder if there’s still one lyric he hears that just does him.

3. Some dumbass accused Red of no longer being a redneck because she’s got herself an education. She dismissed him with good humor. But it got me wondering, and not just if we could find out who he was and, as Bocephus says, “spit some Beechnut in that dude’s eye.”

It’s got me wondering again how one navigates the transition from poor to okay. I never thought so much about class in my whole life as I do living in Nashville now. I never worried so much about how much I might unknowingly be giving away my lack of sophistication, because, until now, I never felt like it mattered.

It’s true that going to college and getting lucky and getting a good job do make you different from other rural poor people. But those things certainly don’t make you the same as other folks in your new-found income bracket. It’s tough. Being rural poor is like a sack of rocks you carry around with you every day and, if you’re lucky, you go to college and you get an okay job and it means you take some of the rocks out of your sack.

People who don’t have a sack of rocks like you ask you why you walk around so weird, and you’re kind of dumbfounded that they can’t see it. People who have their own sacks are quick to point out that your lighter load is a luxury they don’t have. That’s true enough.

But it doesn’t mean that I don’t know what it’s like to carry that load. And it doesn’t mean that I don’t remember the muddy stream full of tadpoles and dragonflies where I found the smooth stones. And it doesn’t mean that I’ve forgotten the black earth torn open in the spring and that I don’t know which of my rocks are from there.

Ah, Aaron Fox, now I feel a little bad about giving you such a hard time.