Saturday, June 6, 2009

Past family stuff

Where Were You in the summer of 1977?

1977 was the year Kunte Kinte showed the pride of his roots to the world. While my roots were ripped from tender ground, shook clean and tossed into the great salad of weeds. News from Utah was first since death penalty reinstated, requested death by firing squad, expelled rabbis and reverends. Chicago news was grim, complex, unknown. Young mother of two, widowed unexpectedly, abandoned by all including rabbis and reverends.

Adinamis Funeral Home, Western and Leland, overflowed with top hats and canes; royal blues and blacks; and strong, silent old-timer fedoras. July 1977, steamy concrete beneath crushed Kool’s and roaches; inside, I wanted only to fix his hair. I stared at handfuls of coarse Irish, German, Italian hair. Autopsy, mortician said. Cut off the top of his head, he said. Smirnoff called and I answered. We were inseparable lovers for the next four years.

1977, the 25th anniversary of Saturday mornings with Dick Clark; and Luke Skywalker left home to save Princess Leia from Darth Vader. Bouncy, swinging, and intriguing time, and I dreamed of a time he’d bound in the door to proclaim what a good hoax that was. Dreams of the striking face, the chiseled torso, conga drum hands, shattered by secret calls, and mob ties. World slowly crumbled, Supremes performed for the last time, Elvis died, and 19th nervous breakdown ricocheted off cerebral walls, while lustful father-in-law ordered Wisconsin retreat to recover.

Dreams lost, lovers lost, and children’s daddy lost. Innocence too jaded for loss.

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