The blinding maelstrom of greenish-yellow vapor which surged tempestuously up from that hole as the floods of acid descended will never leave my memory. All along Peach Valley Drive and up toward town, people still talk about the yellow day, when a barge filled with god-knows-what leaked into the Cumberland River, but I know how mistaken they are to the source. They tell, too, of the hideous roar which came at the same time, possibly the hull of the barge tearing open on some long-forgotten building drown by the TVA—but again I could correct them if I dared.
I don’t see how I lived through it. Certainly none of the sensitive equipment we had carried into the basement with us did. All was ruined and the information on it unsalvageable. I passed out after emptying the fourth container, which I had to handle after the fumes had begun to penetrate my mask. But when I recovered, I saw that the bodies were all gone and the hole was emitting no fresh vapors.
The two remaining containers I emptied down without particular result, and after a time, I felt it safe to shovel the earth back into the pit. It was twilight before I was done, but the fear had gone out of the place. The dampness was less noticeable and all the strange fungi had withered to a grayish powder which blew ash-like all along the floor. Hell had received at last the demon soul of an unhallowed thing. As I patted down the last spadeful of dirt, I shed the first of many tears with which I have paid tribute to my beloved uncle.
The next spring, the daffodils bloomed at Allendale and shortly afterward the Fitzgeralds rented the place. The barren old catalpa tree in the yard was white with flowers, and last year the birds nested in its gnarled boughs.
I still have wolfish-dreams, dreams that I am being pursued by a thing, something like a cross between a bear and a wild hog and a wolf and a mountain lion. But my father assures me that this is another family matter, a separate problem unique to the Allens, long left in the past, nothing to worry about. And, as long as I don’t dream in French or wake to small scratches or bite marks, I shall continue to believe him.
Oh, you guys. you guys, you guys. Joel from Goat Farmer Records has recorded an audio version of “All the Same Old Haunts” and, as a Halloween treat, he’s graciously sharing it with us. Put it on repeat over your outdoor speakers to spook all your trick-or-treaters!
Listen to it in the dark. Or with one lone candle.
When I think on the ridiculousness of this afghan, I feel like nothing illustrates it as well as the fact that it takes two bags to contain all the squares. Oh, god, I hope this turns out okay, because it’s a lot.
I took the day to go down to the Nash-Up thing at the Frist which was really interesting and I ran into a shit-ton of people I knew and thought big thoughts with them, which was nice. And then Miss Beth showed up and we listened to Wayne White talk about his career and it was awesome.
But then I left because I was just done. My knee hurt and I wanted to be home with my dog.
I have some big thoughts on the whole thing, but I’ll get to them later.
The main thing I’ll say is that it’s hard for me to think of Nashville as one place. That’s just not my experience of it at all. It is better to think of it as a series of overlapping small towns–with those small towns being defined by interest or geographical location or shared work place. The folks who work at Vanderbilt sometimes say that they’re in the “Vandy Bubble,” but the truth is that the whole city is like a glass of milk some kid has put a straw in. Everyone has their own bubbles. Some touch. Many do not.
So, if that’s true, how do you talk about a “Nashville” anything? For instance, they had a panel that talked about Nashville as narrative and they had not one single local novelist on it. Which is fine. The panel was still good. But it just shows a blind spot. They did not realize they were missing a local from one of our more prominent villages. One that would directly inform what they were talking about.
Anyway, White talked some about longing and wanting to be in a world a little better than this one being at the heart of most art. It was pretty profound.
I can’t help but feel like Donovan is one of the most under-appreciated people who seems like he’s being appreciated just the right amount. Like, I say “Donovan” and you’re like “Yep, Donovan.” But then when you start to trace his influence on other musicians, you can’t help but feel like people should be all “Oh, yeah, Donovan.”
“Season of the Witch” is a fantastic song and one that you could spend all day on YouTube listening to different versions of. But what I want to point out to you is not just that folks love to cover this song, but that they do not want to stop singing or playing it.
You kind of get the feeling that they’re all metaphorically dancing around the fire, hands linked with shadowy figures they’ve been forbidden from consorting with, and no one wants to be the first to let go.