Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 11th Installment

the down stroke,” Vern yelled. We bounced. Ugh, clang – whoops, clang – bounce clang – bounce clang – we were finally getting into the rhythm – clang – bounce clang. WHUMP! The tire broke from the rim. The digger bar jumped free, and the bar, Russ and I fell into a twisted pile of arms, legs, and a twenty pound steel bar. Ow! Ow! Ow! Crap that hurts. My eyes were blurry with tears that I dared not let the Old Man see.
As we unpeeled ourselves from the steel bar and moaned and groaned to our feet, Vern was already saying, “Walk it off, walk it off.” He always said, “walk it off” when we got hurt. I swear, if I cut off my leg he would probably say, “hop it off, hop it off.”
“What do you want?” Vernon was saying as he picked up his tools.
Time to bite the bullet or get another one in this case, I thought and almost snorted at my imaginary attempt at humor. “You gave us each a bullet and Russ killed one antelope, but I only wounded mine,” I trailed off.
What the hell, you missed!?” he glared at me. To the Old Man, a wounded animal was the same as a miss.
I immediately started explaining, “We waited for it to lie down and stiffen up, and then we tracked it. I think it was a gut shot because the antelope was running full speed, and I probably didn't lead it enough because we heard the tell tale thump sound of a gut shot.”
“You think? I know it was. I'll give you one more bullet and you’ll go back and put it out of its misery. You’ll need to leave it to the coyotes because a gut shot ruins the meat for eating. I’ll start your morning chores. You better take the Ford tractor so you can clean the mess up quicker. Such a waste, sending a kid to do a man’s job,” the Old Man was still muttering as he went to the house.
I was more than a little put off by the Old Man’s tirade; I didn’t think it was fair. “It was a full – out running shot from 100 yards, and I’m supposed to hit the animal in the heart?” I complained to Russ. However, I knew I better, I couldn’t argue; arguing wasn’t allowed; just get over it I thought to myself.
There weren't a lot ‘touchy–feely’ emotions, physical closeness or openness in our family. In fact, there were very little emotions allowed at all. I remember times when I said “I'm bored or I’m mad.” Edith would say “Get out and weed the garden, fix the fence, or clean out the barn. You can't be bored and work at the same time.” She truly believed that there was no such thing as bored, tired, sad, or especially 'angry.' These emotions were not allowed and the cure to any of these negative emotions was WORK.

500 more words tomorrow

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