A ONE SENTENCE STORY
aka The Comma Story
aka The Beet Story
aka The House Story
Once upon a time, in a seven tiny room two story with two attics and a hatchway cellar house with maroon and red asphalt brick siding lived the Davies family.
I didn’t like beets. I didn’t like the traditional New Hampshire/Vermont boiled dinner they called it. My mother did hers in a pressure cooker.
Beets, potatoes, onions, turnips that were really rutabagas that she happened to love no matter the name, green cabbage and carrots all cooked up in a salted broth with a big cube of salt pork with a rind on it, that my mother sliced into perfect cubes that never fell from the rind, but as she long-forked it when it was all done and raised it from the pot to the platter the swollen cubes wiggled to be free, as I saw it, back then, as a child in that interesting asphalt seven room house, that I used to muse now and then, while rocking in the overstuffed to me at least chair looking about, surveying in my mind each room like an architect, that I’d rather have seven tiny rooms than four big rooms, that included by the way a porch my father called it, that was built in when the family grew and a lot of family at least years wise grew there, being that the house was the one my father was born in, raised in and then sold by my grandfather to my father for eight thousand dollars my mother once told me, being a family of five then and grandma and grandpa wanting a newer smaller house all on one floor, they had it built, sun room and all, and did I mention the front door was in my room, but it was mine alone, even though quite small, my closet being a wardrobe down cellar at the foot of the stairs, still it didn’t matter since I wanted my own room even if it had an accordion door that my youngest brother could slither under any time he wanted to come in and I had it locked, so much for privacy, it never bothered me though I did have to keep it clean and neat at all times in case anyone entered the house through the front door, it couldn’t look like a bedroom so I have an original history of changing the looks of things to meet the demand, whatever it is that’s imposed on me from the outside or something I impose upon myself just because I can
I did this as a gift with no hidden writing tips just for your enjoyment and/or amusement. It helps to free the mind up for whatever it needs to be freed up to do
Norman Mailer once said he wrote the longest sentence ever written in a book that he wrote in a segment on the inside of a slaughter house and I being the mildly competitive person with myself that I am and seeing some value to it did him one up, but only in the length department, since mine had little substance except a glimpse inside the mind of a child woman’s memory as it actually was, unadulterated, at the time, in other words the memory didn’t change over time as one might think, and that’s probably the startling view from which I write that prior to this meeting with you I couldn’t define, and probably I’m not defining it very well even now, at least not in standardized terms whereby his, although unadulterated, was a view of horror, mine a view of wanting more or better, sizing up the present situation finding ways to live within the parameters that exist now while reaching in one’s mind’s eye for improvements for later, how would I change the now to look the way I want it to look was always somehow within my reach like it was always just sitting there waiting for me to enter or it to envelope me which triggers in me the thirst for reality that there are many more things we can’t actually see touch feel taste than we allow ourselves to recognize, since nobody else can either, which puts the one who can in a position that makes others uncomfortable all the while they’re asking themselves why they are deficient, which of course they are, we all are, but imagine the confusion not being able to prove anything and the potential for corruption, so I do understand the need for standardization, but as always we humans go way overboard with it, applying it to every minute process all in the same way, making us all look like non-conformist robots, or enemy combatants, because although we are all the same in many respects, it is what makes us different that motivates the world to move in different directions always building a way to survive in spite of ourselves, because we are after all in a world without a beginning or end and as far as we know, we are the only such beings in the universe, or if not, then we can’t see what exists, so we can’t predict based on ourselves, because we don’t understand ourselves, or solely on the laws of physics, and that’s where our intuitive sense of another whole world of realities hits us like a black hole that we can’t see thus our understanding of it keeps changing with new knowledge thus the confusion of what’s real and what isn’t, so why were we created if we can’t use that which we possess to change what went wrong into something better and this is where the answer must come before the question, that answer being, we can, but if you ask ‘why were we created’ the answer is so complex that it would take too long to get it all right, and the question stops the progress anyway, by asking a question you know you can’t answer yet, instead of simply accepting you were created and using your capabilities to do what needs to be done now, while the why answers itself as you go along, it will open up to you as you live and experience it, so there is no need to dissect it when pressing matters need to be addressed and we all possess the capabilities to address them regardless of why I didn’t like my mother’s beets, but liked my father’s, and I know in advance the reader will be comparing genders and family position when it had nothing to do with that – one had an animal in it and the other (Harvard Beets) did not
I didn’t like the taste of salt pork so it wasn’t the beets, but because the beets were so obvious and they always had that salt pork in them and me not liking it transferred that dislike onto to the beets being the cause, but when my father first served Harvard beets at a Sunday dinner, which was our big meal of the week and always at noon after mass, a whole new world opened up to me, a new view on how we come to understand what’s in front of us, that we can actually see and how our interpretations often distort reality and it’s not always about somebody else’s stories where we see inconsistencies and rarely are they outright lies meant to deceive, it’s just the variables themselves though they don’t seek to deceive many times deception is the result, simply by how they are defined, which leads me to the ‘wiggle’, the impression on my brain that although I knew the pig was dead, it presented as a wiggle in my mind when my mother forked it, raised it, shook off the broth and veggies to lay it on the platter, that reminded me that the pig died which meant the pig was at some point alive
Did I tell you the story about the Salmon Wiggle my mother used to make? No? Later, then…
SWEET AND SOUR BEETS AND CABBAGE