Thursday, March 10, 2011

More on Wednesday, 3/16's Readers

This spring is just filled with tantalizing true tales; with two amazing events up ahead, why not make it a very "True Story!" spring and come to both? We've told you about the unique nonfiction workshop and storytelling event with LA Times journalist and author Sam Quinones on Wednesday, April 13th.

And this coming Wednesday, we've got a traditional "True Story!"--with a trio of great readers who'll share artifacts from the past and tell their true tales.

Here's a taste-test of work from Lindsay Byron, Eileen Drennen, and Christal Presley.
See you at 8:00 at Kavarna.

Lindsay Byron,
from “Mono and MySpace”

“He’s got mono, and now we can’t kiss anymore, and he’s leaving in a week and a half so it might as well be tomorrow that I write, He’s leaving tomorrow, he’s leaving tomorrow. Before his diagnosis I had already resolved not to kiss him and my sister told me, Consider it over. And although I had planned to quit kissing him, I was momentarily devastated at the prospect of it really being over between us. I say that as if it ever began. It didn’t.

This one only ends.

But what does it matter that we’re done? My friend tells me this mono is a cosmic signal, and I am never more tempted to entertain such bullshit as now, when once again the circumstances of my life explicitly reveal to me that plans mean nothing and there is no meaning. I’d like to think, yeah, she’s right, this final biological attack on our pseudo-relationship is a clear portent of the universe telling me to stop. Stop with him. Every time we touch, it hurts.”

Eileen Drennen

My mother asks me to do her nails. So I get a bowl of sudsy water and play Madge from the Palmolive commercial, set the bowl on her rolling hospital tray, and soak her hands. I run the orange stick under her nails, clip and file each one, then rinse in cool water before rubbing lotion in with sleepy circles.

She likes her TV loud, especially for “The Quiet Man,” which never fails to bring back the Ireland of her happiest college days. Or the stretch in the 1960s and ‘70s when she visited yearly and everyone swore she hadn’t aged a day. Cousins ferried her to visit relatives or watch the horses or bask in the salt air of the sea. I have collected the stories she's told over the years like pink shells on a beach.

The pictures on the TV bring back the time when her world was wide open and she had no idea that love was no charm against trouble. Before she knew that families could splinter, or six children in 10 years might be too much, or that her life would become so small.
This is as close as she lets me be: warm suds in the afternoon sun, the chance to hold on to the person who made me. It is three years before she will leave me for good.

Christal Presley
from Thirty Days with my Father

“Dad says he’ll do it,” my mother says.

My hand is suddenly sweaty as I press the phone against my ear. Two days earlier, I’d called my mother to ask if she would relay a request to my father. I’d decided that would be the best way to gauge his reaction without actually having to deal with him directly. I wanted to know if he would be okay with my calling him every day for thirty days to ask him some questions about Vietnam and whatever else came up.

I’d thought I was finally strong enough to talk with him and hear whatever he had to say. But I now realized that my initial bravado had been resting precariously on my deep down certainty that my father would never say yes. He wasn’t supposed to say yes. Although I hadn’t consciously been aware of it when I made the call to my mother, I must have secretly believed he’d refuse so that I’d be able to tell myself I’d tried and go right on being angry with him as I had for as long as I could remember.

But he’d said yes. Now what was I going to do?

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