December 2, 2022

On the edge: fire the last time

Remember when I wrote about the 4th of July, the one where Alan and I burned down Skeeter O’Neal’s garage? How could you forget such a thing? We never did.

Anyone who heard the firecrackers go off that year is gone now.

I miss them, and the stories they told, even the ones they whispered that they thought I hadn’t heard.

But I did. And had brothers, smoking and drinking cold beer nearby, who were more than happy to explain them to me.

But garage fun came and went, like the flares my brakeman Uncle John brought, that lit up our purple nights with crimson fire.

Well, if it’s not yet the 4th, and the writer is sitting staring at the blank screen, hoping to write something funny and uplifting about the holiday.

But hasn’t it been a year for books? The war in Ukraine, for example; rising prices ; COVID hospitalizations are declining…for now.

And then, just as we fire up the grill and open a beer, here comes “Don” Alito, the Supreme Court godfather (who, by the way, appears to be Old Sister John Bosco’s grandson) saying the war on American women. , as if imitating a line from “The Godfather”.

“Leave the decision; take the cannoli.

It’s the Catholic “Don” telling the Jewish girl in St. Louis that new rules apply and she better behave.

It’s the new Supreme Court that shocks every pregnant woman in America, from Red Little Rock and Tupelo to Blue Chicago, who had made July appointments with their local doctors to terminate their pregnancies.

It’s not like canceling a dentist appointment or postponing a hair appointment, you know what I mean? It’s expensive and secret.

Imagine their surprise. Not just the innocent victims of incest or rape, but the MAGA wives of West Virginia and Mississippi, who woke up this week and said, “Surely not me.

I could tell you stories of women on the big screen, who did it in Paris, just before a dinner party, or in Beverly Hills, with the casualness of a Saturday at Gelson’s Market.

Of course, their “people” did the shopping – the little Mexican women who rode the bus from the barrios. I knew them too.

Some women I knew occasionally, like wrapping their presents at a bookstore, or just overhearing a conversation in the nearby booth at Nate and Al’s Deli.

Some were my friends, daughters of very famous stars. I forgot their names and their stories. Of course I have — haven’t I?

As an actor working for NBC in Burbank, I sat in corners and listened to conversations while nails were done, or in the make-up room at Warner Bros. or in the Universal Studios cafeteria.

The ladies of the moment never paid attention to the young actor sitting nearby, waiting for an audition, studying his lines. How would they know I was listening, or would ever write about them, long in the future and far, far away.

Most of them are now under the flagstones of the famous Hollywood Forever cemetery. And here I am; I don’t have any cards in this game. But you do.

JP Devine is a writer from Waterville.


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