Sunday, December 5, 2010


I am a bit of a mess scrambling around in a bundle of exposed nerves. I think I am responsible for the enjoyment of about thirty men gathered in a lodge after a paid hunt. Men with large bank accounts. This is not in any way, shape or form comfortable for me. I don't want to be held responsible for their enjoyment. Truth be known they are enjoying themselves and if it wasn't for some type of self torture I would be at home. Yet I am here providing entertainment to one woman.

She is managing generous activity in a room the size of my entire living space. A purple Crown Royal bag is a make-shift doo rag and the loose clothing is draped around her large body. Shoes are an issue since she stands on her feet all day. She always needs shoes. The way she rambles around this kitchen, maintaining at least seven or eight pots, two large ovens and a deep fryer is a remarkable feat. One of those things I'd like to sit with my friends and watch except that would make me some lazy white girl. Opting to not gaze at Cirque Du Soleil I ask if I can help.

She turns and smiles. And giggles.

You can pour those peas in that bowl, she points. Like my Mom she prepares with thought placing the serving pieces out on the island so I do what she says.

She is so calm, so steady.

I finish preparing the peas for show and she tells me I can sit them out on a large table in the dining room.

I do as instructed and am stopped by a couple of men standing in the area. They need something or are just wanting to talk about the place, the hunt. I smile, say as much as I know and quickly return to her through a swinging door that seems to separate heaven and hell for me.

Once again we do our routine with me voicing concerns, when will the quail be done? do we have corn on the cob? One guy asked for it. Are you gonna make some fried pies? I think we'll have a revolt if you don't. A stammering mess.

She turns and smiles. And giggles.

It'll be just fine, Shea. Everything'll be alright, her voice is soft and tender. Never raised, nothing about it denoting authority but everything about it providing a knowing I could never question. One of those people you wanna be. Like my Mom.

I didn't know Modena had died when I asked Willie about her that night we went to Foxfire. I had thought about stopping by her house on my way out to Holly Springs. I am glad now I didn't but I wish I had when she was still alive. My only excuse was I thought she may need shoes and what if I didn't have enough money to buy her some good ones. Truth be known I coulda cut back on the cigarettes and bought her a nice orthopedic pair. I tell myself she would forgive me but sometimes the hardest person to forgive is yourself so out of duty and complete humility you say a prayer for forgiveness and remember that giggle and that smile and how she said everything would be alright.

Willie recently told me a beautiful story about her and I marvel in the gift of a friendship which entails the knowledge of her. And I think this must be a gift.



Anonymous said...

Talking about humility,how does one decipher it from the pin?READ!!!

Shea Goff said...

Everything'll be alright, Anonymous.

Slater said...

I am confused. Anonymous has what seems to be nonsense and a couple exclamation points... WARGH!!!