Saturday, May 30, 2009

Fun With Jenners-The Inspiration for the Pharoahs and Tragedy In the Suburbs



Fun with Jenners is something I truly enjoy and get into. Check out her tale of woe at her site.

Louie Louie, The Untold Tale (Author's note: Don't drink and write)

Richard Berry in 1955 was at a crossroad in his career. After splitting up with the Flair's over artistic differences, Berry freelanced writing for others, even starting a new group called the 'Pharoahs' but nothing really hit home with America. He knew that he was drastically in need of something big to get his name out there, but what?

His agent had quit soliciting gigs and time seemed to be against him. He was in a funk, personally, professionally, and spiritually. He needed something divine to occur. Frankly, he needed a minor miracle to revive his career. So, he did what all do when miracles are needed.

He went to the bar.

Yep, Richard decided to hit a dive in Chicago, since he was a black man in the US a lot of the nicer bars wouldn't let him in the front door. He had accepted this fate reluctantly, but this was not a night to fight for civil rights. His mind was on music, plain and simple.

As he walked in, he noticed few patrons were loitering around on the stools. Three to be exact. He gave a thought to stepping outside and heading up the street for a little more crowded atmosphere, but he disregarded that thought at once. Solitude and alcohol seemed like a pretty good idea. He passed by to the end of the bar and waited patiently for the mustached white man to notice him. Eventually, he came by and took Richard's order. The bartender got a bottle of bourbon so cheap that Richard had never heard of it. But, he held it back as Richard dug into his pocket for some change. Four bits was put on the bar, and Mr. Mustache gave him a the bottle of bourbon, a glass, and walked down the bar to clean a spot. Richard poured a shot, downed it, then shook. "Damn, that's awful," he thought as he was already mechanically pouring another shot.

Before drinking another glass of rotgut, he decided to take in his surroundings. At the other end of the bar, a sad sack black man was drinking slowly, but with purpose. He had abandoned the shot glass and was downing the beverage from the actual bottle. Two guys set beside each other in the middle. One was shakily downing a beer as his companion looked to be passed out on the bar. Richard could see the drool coming out of the man's mouth as he snored away. Richard turned his attention to his glass as he downed another shot. God, he needed a miracle. But, he just couldn't expect a hit song to just come down in his lap from the heavens, could he?

"Hey, John!" One of the pair was getting the bartender's attention. "What's the time?"

The bartender looked at his watch and said, "A quarter after 1:00." Richard noticed the non sleepy member of the two some went pale. "Shit, I said I'd be home at 11. Dammit, we gotta go!!"

He turned to his sleeping buddy and started shaking him.

"Louie!! Louie!! We gotta go!! Come on!!!"

Louie, sort of snorted and sleepily replied, "Say what?"

"Damn it, I said, Louie!!! Louie!!! We have gotta go!!!"

"We do?" asked Louie.

"Yeah yeah yeah" said his partner exasperately. So, the two slowly walked out with a bunch of weaving out into the night. Richard grinned wolfishly. It seemed a song had dropped into his lap. He left the bottle on the bar and followed Louie and his buddy out into the darkness. While they went to parts unknown, Richard took another path...into history.

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Goodnight Moon (Authors Note: More than a little depressing)



(Video of the song is here)

Another night ended with Blake Reynolds reading to his three year old boy, Jake. This was something the youngest Reynolds dearly looked forward to. During the day, Blake was at work pretty much all day. Jake would sit with his mom watching Veggie Tales or maybe Loony Toons and wait for the time his Dad's key would hit the door. He would run and throw his arms around his Dad and the abbreviated night together would be full of fun and laughter. Then, his Dad would read 'Goodnight Moon' or something of the like to him as he fell asleep.

Blake was finishing it up, "Goodnight kittens, goodnight mittens. Goodnight.."

"Cars."

Blake looked at him and said, "Son, it doesn't say anything about cars."

"It need to say cars. We say goodnight to cats, why not cars?"

Blake laughed and said, "You're right. Anything else, Jake?"

Jake laughed and settled in as Blake continued and finished off the rest of the book. He gave his boy a headbutt and a kiss. The lights went out and Jake drifted off to dream again. Blake walked out of the room and found his wife sitting in a lounge chair. She looked at him quizzically, and Blake nodded.

"Yep, he's down."

"Awesome." She looked down and frowned. She had told herself that she wouldn't cry, but tears mutinously were threatening as she said, "Blake, does it have to be tomorrow?"

Blake knew that this was coming. His dear wife, Katie, was not one to let something big like this go without an arguement. "Honey," he began. But he was interrupted as Katie sputtered.

"You feel great, you look great, maybe it's gone...maybe we should try another round of chemo..."

Blake sighed, as she went on. His decision had been made. Months ago, he had found out that he had cancer in the marrow of his bones. He was labeled terminal. Three doctors had seen him and the best he had was seven months. Occasionally, he felt he had hope that everything would be fine. But, as the pressure in his back mounted he knew that his time was coming to a close. Soon, he would be laying in a bed praying for death. His son would only know of him as this wrecked body.

"Honey, maybe we should go to bed, now." His tone was matter of a fact, but there was something in it that made Katie stop. The tears flowed as he held her tightly.

The next morning he awoke. He quietly slipped out of bed as he layed the note he had written yesterday on her pillow. He stepped back. Blake realized of everything he would miss, she would be number one. She always had been number one ever since they had met in college. He used to joke that she ruined him for other women anyway, so they might as well get married. Katie was his soul mate.

He quietly showered and got dressed. Getting dressed and undressed was getting harder and harder, he thought wryly. Blake winced as he put the towel down, "God, this hurts" He stole another glance at his wife then quietly shut the door. He then looked in at Jake. Tears actually came to his eyes as all of the things rushed to him that he wouldn't be there for. Jake's wedding, grandkids, hell, even teaching him to ride a bike and shoot a gun. He shut his eyes as he closed Jake's door.

Blake went out into the street and got into his car. He knew that Katie would call and try to dissuade him again, so his phone was 'left' at home. Blake tried to get home and family out his mind. He would make sure they were taken care of now. $200,000 wasn't a lot of a legacy to leave, but it would be better than him wasting away and taking all of their life savings away.

No sir, he would not allow them to go through that hell. He would end it before it ended him. His mind was made up.

It would be his call.

But, how? Killing yourself and making it look like an accident is tough to do when you have stage four cancer. But, Blake had felt like he had given himself a decent chance for success. Even if they didn't get the money, he reasoned, they wouldn't be in debt and he would be in charge of this most important part of life. A busy street and 'accidental bump' into oncoming traffic and his time would end. Blake checked his wallet, yep, the money to pay one of the bums in the area by his work was there. Blake sighed and put his car into gear as he drove to meet eternity.

-------

Jake awoke to something he had heard to almost dailey for most of his life. He stumbled into the kitchen in his PJ's and a book in his hand to see his mother crying again. However, with her was two police officers. He thought men in uniform was very neat. He came to his mom and smiled at the men in uniforms. He looked up at his mom. His smile faded and he became worried. Every day before his mom usually stopped crying when he came in. But, this time she kept going. This confused, Jake. "Mommy, do you want to read me a book? That will make you feel better." She cried softer as she looked at the cover of the book.

Goodnight Moon.

"Daddy and I put cars in the book."

5 comments:

Kaleena said...

Oh my goodness, that 2nd story has got to be the most depressing thing I've read (today anyway!) I don't believe I'll ever be able to read Goodnight Moon again without thinking about that story. Good post, as usual though!

Jenners said...

Wow! Talk about two different stories! You are really good at these, I must say. I loved "Louie Louie." Such details and atmosphere. And then you ripped my heart out with the second story. I have actual tears clouding my vision. I'll never read "Goodnight Moon" again without feeling sad. As usual, an excellent job! Bravo!

septembermom said...

Both of these are so well written! You have a very defined voice as a writer. I enjoy your word choice and emotional layering in the stories. The second story tugged at my heart too! Thanks, Lane for sharing these stories with us!

Dani said...

Wow! The second story drew in my attention better than the first did. Man- I'm brought to speechless awe at that. Well done!

Mama Kat said...

You are clearly Jenner's favorite. Suck up.