Closed Coughin’ (Ahem)

To conjure words to appear onto a blank space, and this includes the air, is a gift of those of a persuasive nature. One might think I should possess this ability due to my upbringing, what with my maternal grandfather’s having been an auctioneer and my mother’s participating in fortune telling rather successfully, I might add.

Sadly, this is not the case.

I grew up in a family full of ritual and contradictions. The extroverted tendencies of such an existence quickly turned to reflecting upon these contradictions. On the one hand, we had The Amazing Kreskin and a training game for mind reading as well as an Ouija board. On the other hand, we had a religion whose Bible strictly forbade fortune telling. Stir this with adults who believed in administering corporal punishment against a child for daring to be wise enough to catch these contradictions but not wise enough to understand her barbarian existence, and one conjures a nasty brew of poison against the mind.

No, this is not a summons to join in on a pity party. It merely points toward, as if by magic wand, a transformation of innocence brought on by the very people meant to nurture such delight. To further add confusion to sense, it was all done for my own good. In other words, these witches and warlocks concocted their potions for the benefit of my hardened soul.

For instance, Grandfather tied the one end of a string to my loose tooth, the other end was tied to a doorknob. One, two, three was the incantation (it did not even rhyme!) and he slammed the door and the force ripped out my tooth in a blood gushing spurt. He knew his stuff. After all, what did a five-year-old know? So, I must learn from my elders. “Sit still, Young Lady, or we’ll tan your hide!”

You better bet the unknown but inferred pain of a baby tooth being stripped from the gums was likely the preferred option over a black and blue ass.

Grandfather’s wisdom and predicting the future lasted only so long. He died in a head-on collision. The steering wheel of his car having been rammed into his chest and crushing his heart killed him instantly.

Seems the spirits spared him any long-term suffering. Then again, perhaps his actions were a result of some internal turmoil. His little grandchild will never know for she was only eight-years-old when what remained of his soul was taken for the eternal rest home if his spirit was permitted to rest. I remember thinking he looked asleep when I viewed his carefully prepared remains the funeral home put on display in an open casket.

I have to wonder to this day if that little girl was conjuring up the spirits of forgiveness. He was not really dead. He was only asleep. Practically, the adults would not feed into the fantastic imagination of a child. They implored the child to understand that Grandpa was dead. (Stupid kid.)

Thus, I filed away yet another contradiction. Death and Everlasting life. And kept my mouth shut.


3 thoughts on “Closed Coughin’ (Ahem)

  1. Forgiveness …



    Such words conjur in my head as how does one make peace with wast is the past – the fact – the truth immutable … or is it!? Is it the desire to win lost as there is no more viscious a circle than empowering negativity with the need to win over it … to not be so and so “damn them, I refuse” (but I am them yet free to choose their way or mine)

    How is it I’m shown say a religion of only negative outcomes for me seemingly yet at heart of theology it could be love? The worst enemies my church my “brothers! Sisters!” Yet to this day, I wouldn’t talk if it weren’t for 3 years public speaking trading through them! (Principal job skill) or should I say the confidence to do so not necessarily the skill.

    Or perhaps I learned everything slow… but after 3 rounds of lessons ooo I’m good! Kinesthetic soul with a visual learning mode who can’t see save by watching it done trying twice and finally succeeding? Forgive the fact – forgive the me! Because I do what most can’t – remember.

    Filing away my truth… nah. Sure enough to be jackass lite! 😉 but nah.

    Anyways nicely evocative piece


    1. Shit writing, really. Shoulda said, “I remember thinking he looked asleep when I viewed the magic the funeral home performed on his corpse before displaying it an open casket.” Ugh! I’ll never forgive myself for letting the original out the gate.


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