27. Dutchman’s Curve

There was a noise many folks mistook for the whistle at the prison and then an incredibly large explosion and then it was quiet. Just the sound of the wind rustling through the corn. You’d think that people would start screaming and crying out right away, but that’s not so. You need a moment to wait for your brain to accept that what has happened has actually happened.

Even then, it doesn’t seem quite real. And, if you aren’t in the middle of it, if you just hear about it, something so terrible, like two trains slamming into each other in the middle of a corn field, bodies and body parts tossed in with tattered luggage, it’s even harder to say, “Yes, this terrible thing happened here.”

The Monday after the flood, for instance, while people were still waiting to be rescued, while folks were just reentering homes to see how much they’d lost, while the police still blocked off roads, while the dead still remained uncounted, even while we were still shaken from the water that had just receded from our yard, we got in the car and went to look.

We smelled the putrid water. We walked to its edge and cried at the thought of the streets beneath it.

And we felt it, finally, in our bones, that this terrible thing had really happened and that we had seen it.

So, I understand why so many Nashvillians–as many as 50,000 in a city that, in 1918, had just over 100,000 residents–came out to see the aftermath of the great train wreck. How could you really know it unless you actually saw it? And how could you grieve it if you didn’t know it?

These are the ghosts that upset people, though. Many times I’ve heard from people who have been walking down the Richland Creek Greenway or standing there at the site of the wreck, reading the signs or gazing up at the track, trying to imagine what it must have been like, and they will catch out of the corner of their eye, a great crowd of specters approaching.

“How could they come to gawk?” I’m asked.

But when we go there, looking for ghosts, hoping to hear the century-old echoes of the dying, are we not also gawking?

Are we somehow less ghoulish?

The TNDP Does Campfield Wrong and Other Things

–I think Stacey Campfield is a vile fucker who never met a piece of legislation that stuck it to women (and babies he doesn’t like) that he couldn’t wait to skip down the hall and get Senator Bunch to co-sponsor with him. But suggesting that Campfield would put guns in the hands of convicted rapists or child sex predators is bullshit. Is there really no one at the TNDP to ask “How would we like it if the TNGOP pulled this crap with a Democrat? Oh, we would not like that. Therefore, we should not do it.” And great, now he rightfully gets to play the wronged victim of a smear campaign between now and the election. TNDP, do you want him to win?

Is that the plan?

Because that is a shitty, shitty plan.

I attempt to make a nuanced point. A commenter takes exception. One wonders about that commenter and whether “sit around being an asshole in the comments sections of blogs” is now a political job description, especially since he seems smarter than my normal trolls.

Ghosts of the Smithsonian (and just things that seemed like ghosts).

Sexy Halloween Costumes. The sexy naked lady one made me laugh. I honestly don’t know if that’s NSFW or not. None of them are actually particularly sexy.

 

Tomorrow

I went to Walgreens to buy make-up because the make-up I wear on the infrequent occasions I wear it is some eyeliner and some lipstick. And yet, when I go to be on TV in Chattanooga tomorrow (WTVC 12:30 their time), I need to wear something fitting for the TV lights.

So, I was standing in Walgreens and looking at everything and damned if I even knew what color I was. The woman at the counter had to help me pick shit out. But I think I’ve gotten that all resolved.  If I look weird, Chattanooga, just think of it as Halloween effects.

Still $40? Jesus Christ.

I’m glad I have a job that lets me skirt around most girly requirements, because I would not want to be shelling out money for make-up all the damn time.

Also tomorrow, my interview will be up on E. J. Stevens’ site, so be sure to pop over there. I will be!

And in something that has nothing to do with tomorrow, this site linked to “The Purple Impala” which tickled me a great deal.