Shorty Fingers, You’ll Never Reach Yuma
Posted: 06 July 2008 07:31 AM   [ Ignore ]
New Member
Total Posts:  4
Joined  2008-01-06

After reading “Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing,” I penned this short piece.  It violates all ten rules.

                              Shorty Fingers, You’ll Never Reach Yuma

  The rain came down in sheets.  A howling wind played the edges of the house like organ reeds.  Occasional lightning bolts pierced the darkness, followed by loud claps of thunder that rattled the windows.  Only those few thin panes of glass separated me from the mayhem.  I contemplated how I had come to this place, come to sit in this chair, how I had come to have my own set of life’s events to reflect on.  Yes, I had come to a fork in the road, but I had not taken it.  It had taken me, and here I sat.
  Spare the rod, and spoil the child—the mantra of every southern baptist.  Yet, I had come to know first hand the truth of this statement.  Are we creatures of chance, a roll of the dice, the arrangement of the stars at our birth?  No, we are formed as surely as Ernest Gallo made wine from the simple grape.  Every bump, crash and evasion in the bumper car game of life shapes us and directs our path.
  I was born in the Tri-state Mobile Obstetrics Clinic, a sort of sterile motor home used for the delivery of indigent young women across the deep south—similar in concept to a library bus.  Unlike today’s hospitals, the Tri-state Mobile Obstetrics Clinic was not into wrist bands and those types of things.  A fact that caused me much distress later for I was switched with another baby.
  My Grandmutta expatiated, “You should have grown up in Ferriday, Louisiana.” 
  She resolutely said, “By all rights, you should have been Jerry Lee Lewis, but you was switched as babies and you had to grow up as James Frost!”
  Suddenly, it became clear to me.  Those who argue that it is nature rather than nurture are full of clap-trap.  We are hewn from a slab of biological ooze, formed by every chink and rub from every person and event we encounter.
  The man I thought to be my father had black hair.  He was more rotund than me, but somehow passed to me his habit of putting both hands in his back pockets while in casual conversation.  His eyes were hazel, unlike my blues.  He couldn’t sing a lick.
  He instilled in me the wonky idea that hard work and education would take you to the places you were destined to go.  My Grandmutta said that Jerry Lee Lewis was living proof that wavy red hair and nimble fingers would take you where everyone wanted to go!
  I’m saving my money for a visit to Acme Biomedics.  They’re on Broad in the plaster building that looks like pistachio ice cream.  The windows are those glass cubes separated by that white rubbery stuff.  People there can extract DNA from one of the few brow hairs I have left, use the polymerase chain reaction to amplify even the smallest amount, extract a map of my double helix, and reveal my true parenthood.
  But what good will it do.  I’ll never be able to play the eighty-eights, and I’ll never be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  All because I was denied the nurturing that was my rightful due. 
  It’s just as well I suppose.  When my knockout cousin was thirteen years old—I was nine.

Posted: 23 July 2008 09:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Total Posts:  349
Joined  2006-08-03

This may have gotten more notice in the main forum.

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