Thursday, July 29, 2010

Old stories

For the past couple days I've been organizing, reading and editing old stories, mostly from the 1980s and 1990s. I'm amazed at how many there are and how good they are. What was I thinking not to seriously pursue getting published. Because my attempts were sporadic and uninformed, and unsuccessful too. But I think now that I will re-submit these stories and see whether I can get some publications. Many of my stories were at least partly autobiographical and so I've been reminded of things that happened that I've haven't thought about for a long time. I've been reminded of the anger I felt and probably still feel toward my father, as he is a frequent character. It's kind of a bleak back side to the "shit my dad says" book and show. Like, it wasn't nice and it wasn't funny either, the things he said, and the things he did. I could write a flash fiction about all the stupid shit he did, right down to his last opiated days. But there are other things that I wrote that are funny. And there was a persona I created, a consistent character, not a real attractive character either. My self-image.

"When my father was thirty three he almost cut his finger off with a table saw. And then he hurt his back digging a hole. In both cases, he chose bourbon as a pain-killer. It's the first I remember of his drinking, except for the beer everyone drank when my parents went water skiing."

"In the last year of his life my father gave up drinking because he was taking enormous doses of codeine and later morphine for the cancer in his bones. He said he hardly noticed not drinking."

"My father's marriage to Leona was founded in desperation and ended the same way. She was a spiteful little woman, long-divorced and caring for her father who was nearly 100 years old, clutching as straws. My father was mourning my mother's death by replacing her with women he hated for not being her. One night they both got drunk and beat each other up. She got the house and he got a night in jail and anger-management and substance abuse classes. He always claimed that he looked worse after the fight than she did. For a while he didn't drink because the judge forbade him, but eventually he got over his fear."

"My father's marriage to Mary Jane was founded in false hope and ended in desperation, and then he died. She about bankrupted him with her crazy business and delusions of grandeur. Once they were at her daughter's home in California, on their way to Arizona for the winter, and my father got into some sort of drunken altercation with Mary Janes' son-in-law, and after that they were not welcome at their house."

"When I was home from college one summer, my mother and father went to a party at one of my mother's colleagues homes. There was lot of drinking. Someone said something to my mother that my father found offensive and he about threw the person in the pool. When they came home he came into my room with just a t-shirt on, his penis hanging down below, and told me the whole story. Then he went and pissed off the deck into the back yard."

There are a quite a few more to tell.

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