Friday, June 18, 2010

It just be's that way sometime'

I think that there are some folks out there, some friends, some not, who think I'm joking or "upplaying" when I mention the folksy ways of the Duponts. I've had clipped conversations here and there about how things really were and how things really are in our little world of native dysfunction.
Here's the deal: It's all true. All of it. Even the bit about killing chickens and driving down some back country road to go to the "doctor."
The more I tell the stories, the more hesitant I am to tell the stories. I see some crumpled looks of doubt, some eyebrow raised up in disbelief (or horror, I can't tell) and that's when I think I should bring these folks to the house sometime. Just to see, or to feel the way we are when the clan gathers.
There is good strong coffee, always. There is quiet smoking in the driveway, shooting the sh*t about climbing spikes and good deals on log trucks and who's drinking what, or too much, or too little. There is the absentminded tousling of hair when one child or another runs by. There are beautiful, barefoot women basking in the heat of the noonday sun. There's tater salad, hot dogs, rare burgers if my brother is cooking, ripped up jeans, bitten fingernails, raunchy jokes, wiffle ball games, ice cream, yelling, near-dead name it. Name a cliche, and it's there.
I never minded it, in fact, I don't know what I'd do without it.
It's hard, sometimes, to strike a balance between the smart girl, professional persona with the girl who could sleep in jeans, wears a plaid granddaddy hat and still says "ain't" and "crik" and "anathang." I think I even used "ain't" in a text or two to a near-friend. He didn't say nothin' about it, maybe it was too confusin' fer him.
You get the point.
Yesterday, and this is my lede, I think, I made a stop on the way home from work. Wearing my fancy shoes, my black skirt and my "professional" top, I flew down the rutted cul-de-sac of a trailer park, threw the car in park, and was greeted at the door by a pregnant woman drinking coffee, a little boy with bare feet and a mangy, ribby dog.
I was there to get groceries. See, the boy is my adopted nephew, the woman is my sister-friend, the baby is another Dupont in the making and the dog, his name is Duke. This is my family, who, despite all, won't ever turn their backs on me. They know when I run out of air, and they show up with a life raft, an oxygen tank, a smile, and bags of food so that I can feed my babies. And they with so little themselves.
And yes, I do call a lot of people "baby." Consider yourself lucky. It means you're making your way into the fold, whether you like it or not.
Blessings, baby, blessings.

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