HEARERS OF THE WORD: Life in an old chaos of the sun

October Saturdays at our house are sepia-colored, cat-lazy, smell like cut grass and Pine Sol, move to the delayed “throp, thropping” of Harleys gliding down 301 South, Delta-wise, toward the casinos on a charity run.
“Have you filled the bird feeder?” the wife asks, over the sizzle of bacon.
“No, maw. I ain’t.”
I open a can of ranch style beans with my eggs and she tells me that’s the work of the devil.
Rather be whipped than go shopping but mama can’t carry 40-pound sacks of cat litter so I put on clean socks and tell myself it’ll all be over quick, like peeling a bandage.
Impossible to tell who I’ve offended each week so checking my e-mail is like reaching my hand into the garbage disposal.
Early afternoons I’m sipping coffee and buying diesel at the bait-and-tackle shop, nodding to the addicts that amble in with fistfuls of sweaty bills and craven faces.
Like intestinal parasites they’re good for harvesting the dried crust of deli bologna; good for a snaggle-toothed quip about the stuffed bear looming over the “Catfish Charlie.”
Once and again of a Saturday the Presbyterians bury somebody, half-mile chain of pickups and domestic sedans stretching to the intersection of 304. I disengage the PTO, tilt back my hat and just sit till they make the hill of the cemetery.
“We could go to Square Books, or at least to Cracker Barrel in Batesville,” the wife says, but that’s a lot to ask, and I’m not up to it.
“I’m pleased to hear the ‘mew’ of yard kittens under the evergreens along the edge of the drive,” I tell her, “waiting to be eaten by jealous Toms, and I like seeing that concrete ditch between me and the rest of the world.”
But that’s not Christian, and I don’t care.
By 6 p.m. my phone nearly vibrates off the table, but that’s time to start getting deloused, hunkered down for the SEC night game.
A good ration of smoked meat will do, and a book of Barry Hannah’s short stories for when I mute the commercials.
“I like Uga, or Smoky,” the wife says, sounding the barks of the mascots of Georgia and Tennessee. “They wear sweaters. Are they playing tonight?”
“Yaz’um,” I tell her, but not each other.
A cup of half-time coffee with a dash of old grandpa is good to start you toward your rest.
Third quarter I decide if I’ll get to Mass next morning early enough to be asked to read. Most times not. I’ve never been able to properly explain myself before 11 a.m.
“I have a mind to recite ‘Sunday Morning’ by Wallace Stevens if I’m drafted,” I tell her, then dissolve into lily-livered gibberish about green wings and oranges.
She watches my mind fly out over the wide water of our not-yet pond and tells me be content with watching the birds feed.

Contact Daily Journal religion editor Galen Holley at 678-1510 or galen.holley@djournal.com.

Galen Holley/NEMS Daily Journal

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