Friday, December 12, 2014

ho ha hu

it's a merry ho ho ho kind of year but it's taking longer than usual for me to get in the spirit and just write the letter. i did however finish the calendar and i'm sitting here looking at a stack of them wondering if i should just send a few without the letter, or before the letter. for my sons, surely, i decided, and sent a couple of them off, or at least packaged them. the rest of them are in a kind of limbo. i have the intention to send. it will happen, and, in fact, there's still plenty of time.

so then, in a flurry that involved a leaky furnace, nights of lost sleep, broken dryer, fixing the basement, and beginning to pack up, what i decided was to just type my original collection of stories, unloading, which was paper, and only available through me, so that, if it were typed up well enough, it would go up on createspace/amazon and be available to the public. this i did, the solemn and serious typing was good for me and a welcome break from a frazzling semester. but i gleaned some insights from it too, as i saw my early esl career up close, and i realized how varied were the sources of my inspiration. and i turned around and wrote another story that very night, last night, one that perhaps has been simmering for a while.

there was a really bizarre accident in the community over the thanksgiving break, in which a 14-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his 10-year-old brother at a hunting camp where, apparently, a loaded gun was just sitting there. the school was traumatized, though the boy who was killed was one grade above my son, and the boy who shot the gun was one grade above my other son. in other words, the boys knew the kids, or at least knew who they were, as it's a pretty small school. and i have two sets of boys, four years apart each, so my ears came straight up as i listened for the details, but, as it happened, i knew more than most of my fellow parents out on the playground, most of whom were horrified and anti-gun in general. the community, however, is pro-gun, and i think you could say this about texas in general; almost all texas news channels underplayed the incident, touched it briefly, mentioned that it was an accident. a british newspaper, however, played it up, obtained and provided pictures of the family, pictures of the kids, etc. it was like, if you wanted to see what this kid looked like, you had to go to the british rag. i, however, wanted to know if i knew them (i didn't). i also want to know how any of the possible players in it, the 14-year-old, the father, even the mother - can even live with themselves; i certainly couldn't. it was a horrible, unspeakable tragedy.

i have one argument when it comes to gun control, and that is that it would be much easier than we imagine. we have the technology to prevent you from turning on your car when you're drunk, and to make sure the police know where you are at every moment. we now have chips that help us know where our keys are at any moment. we could very easily apply this to guns, so that every owner could find his/her gun at any moment, and know if it was loaded. so that, presumably, a gun hanging around a hunting cabin, if it was loaded but the owner was elsewhere, it would be shining a little light that made that a little obvious. or, so that you'd have to type in a password (as you do on your phone) before you are able to kill someone. we do that with cars, although it's usually in the form of a key, as the first gate.

so i spend my days hanging around the schoolyard, as my kids are fanatic hang-from-the-monkey-bar kind of kids, except the one who gets bored easily, and i talk to these other parents a lot, but because i'm outside a couple of hours every afternoon, and then walk about three miles at night, i'm pretty healthy, and sleep very well. i've been working on my stories a little, as i've said; i may have two sets out pretty quick, one a reprint of the old 2005 unloading, and another new one, not finished yet. a possible boxcars on walnut in storeboughten form; and finally, the 2015 e pluribus which i'm very proud of, and have been working on for a while. i'm also renovating my webpages, and adding a lighthouse tour. this will give a person a tour of my webpages, some of which i'm still proud of.

packing is big. i'm thinking, maybe i can find some old stories in there, to add to my collection. i'm trying to make the new unloading a kind of retrospective, a history of my own story-telling, stretching right on back through my esl years. stay tuned!

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