Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Angel From Montgomery

If dreams were thunder
Lightning was desire
This old house would have burned down
A long time ago
Make me an angel
That flies from Montgomery
Make me a poster
Of an old rodeo
Just give me one thing
That I can hold onto
To believe in this living
Is just a hard way to go
     --Bonnie Raitt, Angel From Montgomery

The old woman turned up the fire under her kettle of tea.

Outside the screen door, she yawned at the summer heat buzzing with cicadas over the hazy fields. She hated how much easier it was to sleep during the day. The porch roof sagged on posts carved by too many hands of children. She rocked on the weathered floorboards.

In the heat-buttered distance, a man sledge hammered a fence post. Sun glinted off his sweat and bare skin.

Muscles swung. The smack hit her ears a second out of time.

She crossed her legs.

And squinted through the circling bees.

Damn fine specimen, that young man.

She grinned, forgetting for a moment how tired she was. She knew what it would be like to saunter over there. Head cocked as she commented on the blazing day. The coy smile on her face. Touching the dress over her slim, young legs.

She'd touch the fence. Soft. Like she would touch his chest before she kissed him. And he'd pretend to be strong even when she held him in the palm of her hand. She would let him. So much better to play.

Inside, steam puffed on stove.

Once. Twice.

She blinked. It whipped up a long, wailing cry.

Her delicious smiled faded, and she dragged herself from the chair.

Shuffling into the kitchen with the flies, she grimaced at the pain in her legs.

She yawned.

And turned down the fire under her kettle of tea.


Anonymous said...

Ah, it's nice to remember back when ... I could just picture it.
I'm very envious of the heat too!

Little Girl Lost said...

jason, what lovely lovely prose, and what a stirring topic...
erotic memories in the tired mind of an old old woman.
it was unique. bizzare even. and very very beautiful...

i loved that he'd pretend to be strong even when she held him in the palm of her hand.

and i loved the expression posts carved by too many hands of children.

i loved this story.

Aniquez de los mil luces said...

Cat would love this one Jason.

I do too. :)
I love stories with flashbacks, history and dreams.

Angel From Montgomery, just added to its brilliance.

Karen said...

Certain things may be gone, but they're not forgotten! LOL

I'm glad she had a little respite from her reality.

SzélsőFa said...

Just fine.
Her past creeping into the present, her desire clashing with her realism.

the walking man said...

there is only one word I can use to respond to this...wonderful

Catvibe said...

Cat does love this one. Particularly this one. Cat feels like she could be this woman some day and in some ways she already is. You went right into the heart of me with this. And by the way, it's one of my favorite songs...

Gerry Boyd said...

what a beautiful and well-written vignette.

Woman in a Window said...

This line is enough to sustain me, "heat-buttered distance".
Nice, the long drawn out kinda nice that stays on the lips for a while.

Meghan said...

Muscles swung....Damn fine specimen, that young man.

Does anyone know where I can FIND such a fine specimen LOL.

Great job, Jason!

Sarah Hina said...

Sharp execution to this one, Jason. The tea kettle was a great touch!

Getting older is tough. The heart still burns, even as the body fails. I hope she had plenty of chances to make good on her love/desire in the past, and that she continues to enjoy her present daydreams. For at least as long as it takes to make a cup of tea. ;)

Anonymous said...

Aggie, I had no plans to write this vignette, but for the past day or two, I've been watching/listening to that video. The scene just butted into my head.

Little Girl Lost, thank you for all of the feedback, and especially for finding the vignette meaningful.

Aniket, thanks! I've been mesmermized by the video lately.

Karen, the forgetting of her age was poignant for me. A glimmer of life where pain has cemented.

Szelsofa, she's become part of the sleepy landscape. But not all of her is gone.

Walking Man, thank you for the very high praise!

Catvibe, I was touched by your response. I hope she's both friend and warning. The person you refuse to become. Make me an angel that flies....

Gerry, thank you for the link and for dropping the comment! I'm digging into your blog and enjoying the artistry very much.

Woman in the Window, you have an impressive blog! Thank you for stopping by to taste that buttery heat.

Meghan, we'll keep an eye out for one. :)

Sarah, I liked the tea kettle as bookends to the piece. It framed it nicely for me. I'm afraid the chances she had slipped through her fingers.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

One of my favorite songs of Bonnie's.

This vignette is superbly written. The tea kettle's heat, steam and wailing cry in keeping with her own thoughts at the time -and then, at last, having to "turn it off". Brilliant.

I love this one, Jason. Ranks among my favorites of your works.

Catvibe said...

I started refusing to be her a long long time ago, but I know her heart well....

joaquin carvel said...

one of my favorite songs ever (thank you john prine!), and a wonderful stolen glimpse to compliment it. "so much better to play" - i can see that smile, "delicious" and a little wicked - yep. "if lightning was desire...."

Anonymous said...

Kaye, I love hearing when something I've written rises above the others for someone! Thank you. :) That kind of feedback will help me to make decisions in the future about novels and elements of novels I'd like to write.

Catvibe, there's a strength in you that will get you where you want to go, I believe, if you stay firmly anchored to it and let it be your foundation.

Anonymous said...

Joaquin, I know I've heard this song before, but I never really gripped it and felt it before. I was mesmerized. This vignette is my version of the "old woman."