The 22nd

Finn likes my heating pad almost as much as I do.

New manuscript, old manuscript, notes on both, laptop repository. It’s slow going. But at least it’s going. My consultant chisels here, there, making the form clearer, not unlike a sculptor working in stone. It’s pretty exciting, though also daunting because it turns out I don’t know jack shit about comma-usage.

Notre Dame + PCC image + paper collage + iPhone scribbles

The temperature is supposed to drop down to 29 degrees tonight. You’d be amazed at how many leaves are still in the trees.

PCC image + photo of bulletin board in my studio

Among the many upsetting manifestations of red wing lunacy and racism lately, today of all days it feels particularly awful that QAnon followers still gather in Dealey Plaza. People of a certain age remember exactly where they were when John F. Kennedy was shot. Where were you?

I was six (earlier I’d written eight! Fell asleep thinking wait, that’s not right). My mother was ironing and crying in front of the television. My brother’s birthday party was cancelled.

10 thoughts on “The 22nd

  1. deb

    That first collage is stunning.

    The first Kennedy assassination. I had been 14 for a whole month and still not sleeping much since the Cuban missile crisis a year before. I was sitting in art class trying to figure out which shade of mud happened when mixing complementary colors of poster paint when the teacher popped her head in the door and just blurted out, “The president had been shot. He’s dead.” Looking back I have to wonder if she was a republican. Beyond that, it was a blur. Hovering in front of black and white TVs. I gave up any notion of surviving to legal drinking age so I stopped making plans and started living minute to dangerous minute. Life changing.

    1. deemallon Post author

      I’m always amazed at how different an experience this was for friends of mine who are slightly older. What a compelling response, Deb, both then and now, in writing.

  2. Nancy

    Oh that Finney!! I agree, that top collage…wow! Looks kinda like today’s sunset. I have no idea where I was, I was 4. But, in the years to follow, like you Dee, I looked to my mom for the meaning of these impactful events. She had a poster of JFK, MLK and RFK…sort of profiles of their heads only. It hung in the living room (I love that she did that) and even though I was young in those years, I knew those times to be powerful.

    1. deemallon Post author

      I wrote that I was right but I was six. Had to fix that. It is amazing that your mother hung those pictures. Last night on Maddow, she featured how many insurrectionists said they wanted to ‘shoot Nancy’s brains out’ (Pelosi). It made me remember.

  3. Liz A

    I was seven, in second grade … as we all poured out of school at the end of the day, I remember an older boy shouting something about “blowing his brains out” followed by coarse laughter … the sun was shining … from there my memory shifts to watching the funeral cortege in black and white at a neighbor’s house … and then moves to 1968 and two more assassinations … the world had gone mad

    Don and I went to Dealey Plaza on my first visit to Texas almost twenty years ago … it felt sacred … and so today, it feels desecrated … the world has gone mad, is still mad … will it always be so?

    1. deemallon Post author

      The sense of doom and out of control violence actually has long roots. I sometimes forget that. There was Malcolm X, too. But I do think the craziness today and the violence is both crazier and more widespread.

  4. RainSluice

    My JFK memory is of watching the B&W tv at your house and the hollow horror and sadness in the air. Was that after school? He was laid to rest on Monday the 25th and I bet there was no school that day. I don’t recall hearing about JFK being shot during the school day, but that’s just the kind of information that would pass me by. Weren’t we in 2nd grade? And, I did wonder how a birthday party could get cancelled.
    Commas: chalk up any oversights of correct comma usage to your law career 🙂
    Dee, you will persevere as always and succeed!
    When Notre Dame was burning I cried, and I’m not even Catholic.
    Love these collages.
    bye-for-now be warm and well.

    1. deemallon Post author

      I’m trying to remember if there was school that day and I can’t. I mix up the years but I do think we were in second grade which means you had just moved to the neighborhood, right? I think we were best friends immediately.

  5. roxanne g reynolds

    before retiring, my husband was head of graphics and publications for the Houston Independent School District. as a result, he did a lot of editing and rewriting. we were usually in agreement about commas but argued about hyphens endlessly. he would have hyphenated pretty much everything. his boss gave him a t-shirt reading ‘does anal retentive have a hyphen?’


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