Listen to Jim’s podcast: http://redclaydiary.com/
or read his words below:
Ahem and Moo Travel the Bessemer Superhighway Separately Together
I almost hurt my neck the first time I see Moo Cow beside the Bessemer Superhighway. I guess I’ve seen Moo lots of times, but today I really pay attention.
My name is Sollie. I’m too young to have a driver’s license, so I can only see Moo now and then when I’m a passenger in somebody else’s car. My Father says that girls my age should never ride a Birmingham bus alone, so I am not yet able to stop and see Moo up close. And I haven’t worked up the courage to ask Dad to pull over and let me pat Moo on the head. Would he laugh at me?
By the way, Sollie is a nickname. My real name is Solitude—from a poem by my father’s favorite poet, Rilke. Solitude fits me, I guess, because I spend most of my time alone, and I like it that way. Most of the time.
To entertain myself, I collect Dependable Friends. They are called Dependable Friends because I can count on them. They never look away or ignore me. They never fight or make fun of me. They Listen.
Here are some of the Dependable Friends I write about in my red velvet diary:
1. Moo Cow. Moo Cow is this huge brown and white statue of a cow facing the Bessemer Superhighway on the left as you head toward Midfield. I really would like to pet Moo. Maybe when I’m old enough to drive.
2. Little Vulc. Little Vulc is a statue that looks sort of like Vulcan, the old Roman god who stands on Red Mountain. Little Vulc is big, but not as big as Vulcan. You can see him on the side of the road to your right as you head toward East Lake on First Avenue North.
3. Big Guy. Big Guy is this big statue of a man that stands beside the road to your left as you head through Tarrant on the way to Jeff State College. He is about as big as Vulcan, but he’s down on the ground where you can get a good look.
Want to see the whole list? There are lots of other Dependable Friends on my list. As I tried to explain, they are Dependable Friends because I can always count on them to be there whenever I pass by. They are Dependable Friends because they don’t mind that I like to be alone most of the time. They understand that my name, Solitude, fits me just fine. But they would definitely call me Sollie if they could talk—because Dependable Friends respect my wishes. Dependable Friends don’t call me names or shove me or shun me.
By the way, I’ve been thinking about Moo’s name. I don’t really know whether Moo is called Moo by anybody else. I just came up with that name because Moo is the sound that cows make. Based on that idea, I think Moo should call me Ahem instead of Sollie. Moo is the sound that cows make. Ahem is the sound that people make. I notice that cows moo a lot. I notice that humans say Ahem a lot. Fits, don’t you think?
Anyhow, I’m still making a list of Dependable Friends. Here are a couple of others:
4. Miss Electra. Miss Electra is this twenty-foot-tall golden statue on top of the Alabama Power Company building Downtown. She is so beautiful, and she has this great hat. I hope you get a chance to see her. I would like to meet her in person someday.
5. Brother Bryan. Brother Bryan is a statue of a famous old preacher. He kneels at the intersection of Five Points South. The thing I like about him is that no matter what is going on around him, he stays peaceful and just stares up at the sky as if he would prefer to be alone, just like me. Maybe he doesn’t like to be shunned, either.
That’s enough for now. Maybe I’ll share more of my red velvet diary list some other time. I like to think that there are other people like me who would like to be named Solitude. The funny thing is, we don’t get to know each other because we stay to ourselves.
I had a new thought, so I’ll place it in my diary: If all those other Solitude-type people start making their own lists of Dependable Friends, maybe, just maybe, when they get their driver’s licenses, they might show up at one of the statues at the same time I do. Maybe we would meet and become Dependable Friends.
Wouldn’t that be awesome
© Jim Reed 2015 A.D.