Part 2

We have a saying around the house when it comes to Rufus—“All heart, no brains.” He’s not exactly inherently dumb. But it does seems as if no one ever asked anything of him or expected anything from him before he came to live with us. It’s almost as if he did nothing until he came here and now, everything that happens that he gets to participate in is awesome.

Take, for instance, his favorite pastime—eating out of the garbage. He’ll go right into the garbage and bring out whatever he wants to eat and come sit next to me on the couch with it.

“No, Rufus,” I’ll say, taking the gross bit of garbage from him. “Bad dog.”

Then he looks around, like “Where? I want to see a bad dog. Where’s a bad dog?” It simply doesn’t dawn on him that I could mean him. After all, he’s having a wonderful time with people he likes.

And he loves my dad, like a total puppy. My dad comes to visit and Rufus is all “I should sit in your lap,” even though Rufus is at least a hundred pounds and my dad doesn’t have a lap that will fit him. One time, my dad was like “Damn it, dog! How would you like it if I sat in your lap?” And the dog got so excited. If he’d had a lap, he would have let my dad sit in it all day long.

But we have to keep our eye on my dad when he’s here, because Rufus has this friend, Monty, who’s a black lab mix. Monty’s favorite thing when he comes to our house to visit—aside from barking at the cats—is to rummage through the house and find all of Rufus’s toys. He brings the all into the living room, sets them on Rufus’s dog bed, and then climbs on top of them, like Smaug on his pile of gold. So, every fucking time my dad is here and Monty comes over, at least once Monty picks up my dad, brings him over to Rufus’s bed, and climbs up on him in order to claim him for himself.

And my dad is stuck there until someone comes to rescue him. And Monty and Rufus seem to think this is hilarious. Though, sometimes, they fight about it, too.

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allendale2

My Powers are Unlimited!!!

Well, not unlimited, but I have a treat for you, dear Tiny Cat Pants, readers, all 10 of you who are still around. Oh Halloween, here on this very blog, we’re going to go back to Allendale. I have a PDF from which I am, apparently, making a “chapbook” (like a poet!). But how would you get a chapbook if you wanted to read the improved story? You don’t even necessarily live here!

And that’s when my recently acquired ability to upload a PDF to this very blog comes in handy.

“Allendale” will be the Halloween night story!

Nathan Bedford Forrest

He’s the section I’m working on tonight. I want to keep his section short, because my goal is to write about the kinds of stories about Nashville we don’t tell about Nashville, though it’d be handy if we did because some shit would make sense and there are already A LOT of really good, thoughtful books on Forrest. The world does not need my prolonged thoughts on him.

But I think you’re missing something about how Forrest worked in the Southern imagination–why he was not used effectively by the Confederacy–if you don’t see how he plugs into that “scary man in the woods who’s going to kill you” myth.

I have no idea who’s going to publish this book when I’m done. I’m not even sure what done will look like. Right now I’m just trying to vomit up a first draft so that I can see where I need to do more research. But I am really enjoying writing it.