People and Persyn

Subj: People and Persyn
Date: 95-12-03 19:39:16 EST
To: El Polvo

Dear Dusty,

Persyn's story is a masterpiece, that's all. Unbelievable.

Pebbles has this little black pup out back that she plays with. A month or so ago some kids took a litter of pups down to the Manix store, they were giving away pretty lab and shepherd mixes, three golden, three black. One of the blacks had a broken back leg where the horse had stepped on her when she was out playing in the corral. Zachary and Cristina really wanted one of the pups and we almost...I mean we were really wanting a pup for ourselves and also for Pebbles and the kids, but we got rational all of a sudden and talked about how that would be just one more chore for us, what about their rabbits and the chickens they weren't yet taking care of etc. etc. making what was a beautiful thing into a moralistic pile of shit. So we didn't get the pup, but here this black one from that same litter turns up across the street in the house this couple with kids bought a month ago, and it spends all day over here playing with Pebbles when there's no food involved, or it's dry dog food that Pebble's won't eat anyway unless she is two minutes away from starving to death. But when there's what Pebbles likes involved then there's a lot of growling and yelps and snaps and rushes and running aways and clonks when the pup isn't watching where its going as it dashes for safety and comes up against the RV wheel or back porch or this garage where I'm sitting. The kids and I went to the Allen Manix store to get some milk and a Sunday paper and, it turns out, two candy canes, and we'd parked behind Steve McGill's store where there's one of those dumpster cans filled with elk and deer bones and piles of thin lean slices of meat frozen into ragged bricks, I mean this was fundamentally good meat, but tough, not thick enough for steaks, just slices of muscles from the shoulder blades and ribs, traps, delts, pecs. So Pebbles who was with us I gave her one of the bricks of meat and we passed some butchered legs, tibias and femurs still connected to the shoulder blades, decided I'd take a couple to haul them back for the dog and the pup, one apiece, easy. When we get back the pup is there as if invited for breakfast and Pebbles already has this idea from sitting next to the bones on the way back that they are all hers, she knows them intimately and is in love and it doesn't matter that this pup is all of two or three months old this Australian shepherd/coyote mix who is normally the most timid of critters sounds like that Australian devil monster from Looney Tunes, whirling dervish that is always growling insanely about to eat Bugs. So I place one leg at one end of the yard by the wood pile and the other over by the porch and Pebbles almost dies of exhaustion running back and forth protecting these things from this scampering pup, her stress gets way up there, she is having angina, trembling as she tries to cover both bases and then in a burst of intelligence drags one to the other so she can flop her heaving body over both and keep the pup from eating them all up. And the pup is just having fun, this is better than tag and hide and seek.

We were at Mel's diner on our way in to Great Falls and I'd called ahead to have two bacon cheeseburgers and a malt ready to take out, but we were so hungry that we took them out of the box and ate them there, shoved into a table where this cowboy was sitting sipping coffee, Mind? Marilyn asks as we are already slipping across the bench up against the wall and he says sure it's okay. He's talking with some other outdoor guys in other booths, we get to talking and he turns out to be Tom Troy, one of Kelly Troy's sons, about forty five, face that's seen some hard punches at work and maybe in the bar. We'd heard about him from his brother and some others when talking about finding a carpenter over the past few months but he was busy like his brother Tim. Out here if you're good at a job you're busy. He has laughing eyes hidden by protective folds that come from working outdoors a lot. We hit it off pretty well when I tell him that TJ, his nephew and a classmate of Zach's, is a kickass kid. TJ is direct and knows who he is, what he wants, and anyone who gets in the way gets run-over or has trouble on their hands. He and Zach are a lot alike.

We missed Christmas choir practice last week, we'd gone out to the national forest beyond Cody's and her husband's place where we found a pile of deer guts dumped neatly and intact in a pasture and the kids got an anatomy lesson from Marilyn. It was the only color out there in the greys and straw yellow of the fields, fire engine reds, crimsons and purples, cotton whites of frozen fat, webbed through with worms of small green intestine. The heart was big, tucked in just above the stomach laid over by pink lungs. Pebbles grabbed the tail with crop and a shoot of intestine and trotted off to snack, Marilyn poked through with a stick showing the kids the connections of all the visceral communities, explained how the system worked. I punched the truck key through the sac of stomach wall and squeezed out some digested grass in a bubbly curry to edge in on M's lesson. It really looked beautiful, like some alien flower or an alien itself puddled out in a field, caught in the cold the night before and left by its crew. We wandered off after awhile, the kids staying on till we were too far away for them to feel comfortable anymore.

We have the garage turned into a family room, tongue and groove blue-pine ceiling I put in, paneling on the inside outer wall, wallpaper on the inner, we installed a small pellet stove, this thing supplies compressed sawdust bits by way of an auger to a small crucible that is being bellowed from underneath by forced air. I ran the chimney out the wall horizontally and capped it, put in an air intake pipe next to it, turned the stove on--smell of burning metal, copper, wire insulation, check, electric motor driving the exhaust fan is frozen, really heated up and creating a fantastic magnetic field that pulls in all the nails from the walls and ceiling, six weeks work undone in five seconds and I look like San Sebastian. Call the retailer in Great Falls, he says this's never happened to him before in ten years of selling these Breckworths, and it's me to bring around this first time to him. (Zachary just called from the family room next door, the former garage, asking how to spell Kong, I call it back to him, there is a swelling of Nintendo success music then and he tells me I am a genius, he has won the game.)

I'm a great uncle, Ruby Redding was born to Fred's first born child, Cordelia, in Totnes, Devon, England the other day. Cordelia weighs 90 pounds, baby nearly nine. Whew! Jonnie, her husband, has a job as a cook, they're living in the place where Fred had his office for Run River Records, next to the main house, a three story affair built in Shakespeare's time. There's a pub attached to this where Fred and his wife and I used to play darts and drink whiskey and barley beer when I'd visit. A grand uncle, think of it. Cordelia is an accomplished artist in her 20's, work is really good. Loved your reference to your son Dances With Inmates. You getting on better? Must be to have him send something like that your way. That's a way of visiting you, isn't it, giving you a communication gift like that?

The weather here is friendly, the wind can get stout at times, like hurricane blasts, and still nights of just above zero, but the daytime temp. is more often in the 50's and 60's, sure that's November, December, what happens when real winter starts? We'll see, but I love this wide spread.

I understand the hyperlinks thing, like the idea, you want some photos, get'm scanned? How do other New users connect with this 'zine? What sort of audience might there be for it? Can we stay anonymous?

Using Charles Seiter's Internet for Dummies, Mac version, getting the understanding poco a poco, guess I told you that last night. Got to take the kids out to bike, they've been laying around all day watching the tube. I'll write in a few days.

Yours in God,

Sidney Yackowitz

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