JIMMY THREE TAKES ON THE GRINNING GREEN CHEESE MOON

Listen to Jim’s 3-minute audio podcast:

http://redclaydiary.com/mp3/jimmythreetakesonthegrinninggreencheesemoon.mp3

or read his tale below:

 JIMMY THREE TAKES ON THE GRINNING GREEN CHEESE MOON

Jimmy Three, all half-dozen years of him, stoops low in the grassy front yard of his family home. His head is close to the ground, his fingers busy sorting through a patch of clover.

He is searching for a four-leaf clover, the most elusive and sought-after treasure in this week’s world of Summer Kids.

Jimmy Three plops down on his fanny to relieve the strain from bent knees, takes a look around to see what he might have missed during his focused quest. Not much, apparently. The concrete sidewalk still leads from front steps to asphalt avenue. The nearby ant hill continues to teem with critters oblivious to small boys on front lawns.

Jimmy Three glances up at the sunned wispy blue sky and notices that part of the daytime moon is missing.

He dabs at his perspiring brow, realizing that he has never thought much about whether the moon might collide with the sun one day. He giggles and realizes that something like that could probably never happen.

Jimmy Three searches for four-leaf clover until red bugs and growing thirst distract him. He runs into the house, scratching legs and grabbing a jelly tumbler from the kitchen cabinet.

Slurping cool water is good, he decides. He holds the half-filled glass up to the window and briefly imagines he is a swimming ant afloat upon a clover leaf, enjoying the prismatic light that bends and dances therein.

After sundown, after a day of play and quest and chore and reality laced with fantasy, fantasy laced with reality, Jimmy Three returns to the lawn, this time the backyard lawn, to watch for fireflies, listen to insects, identify which distant barking dog belongs to which neighbor.

Lying on the wood and cloth folding lawn chair and examining the sky, he watches stars peek out one by one. Lone aircraft blink red and white far far above. Way off to the west, Jimmy Three sees the glow from downtown Tuscaloosa and listens to train whistles to the north and passing cars to the south and radio comedy shows from across the street.

But he doesn’t see the moon.

Hmm, guess the moon can’t be around every night, but I sure miss it, Jimmy Three thinks. Being a wistful tad, he closes his eyes and examines the moon in his mind, remembering the time he trained a playmate’s binoculars on the partial orb to see whether it really looked like green cheese. He laughed in awe at the pock marks, the cool white glow, the mysterious distance, the unattainable puzzle of it all.

Climbing into bed at bedtime, hugging a pillow, Jimmy Three continues to allow the surrounding yard and sky to flow through him. The two open windows of the bedroom invite night sounds, nearly deafening silences, to jostle his imagination and feed his enthusiasm for the awaiting sunrise.

And later, in deep sleep, Jimmy Three views the rising moon, the rising green cheese moon that gently grins at him and soothes his red bug skin

© Jim Reed 2018 A.D.

jim@jimreedbooks.com

http://www.jimreedbooks.com

http://www.jimreedbooks.com/podcast

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MADE WITH REAL INGREDIENTS

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http://redclaydiary.com/mp3/madewithrealingredients.mp3

or read his story below:

MADE WITH REAL INGREDIENTS

Most of my headlong rush toward maturity consists of getting used to the joy and terror of Juxtaposition.

You know, Juxtaposition—that creepy humanity thing that allows me to hold within my head every contradictory fact or factoid or false fact or fake factoid at the same moment. Thoughts and ideas that have nothing to do with each other pretend to reside side by side. What a neighborhood.

Things that don’t seem logical or plausible whirl about in an admixture most puzzling.

Take the smallest thing, for instance. A packaged food label boasts, “Made with Real Ingredients.”

How am I to interpret this? Shall I take it for granted that this slogan means the food is safe, harmless, wholesome and nutritious? That it is edible? Doesn’t sound scientifically vetted, does it?

Made with real ingredients. Shall I pick apart the existential meaninglessness of the blurb and show off my superior knowledge of semantics and context and literacy?

Made with real ingredients. Shall I research the phrase and try to understand it by determining what kinds of food containers harbor Unreal Ingredients?

Imagine a world where just one person creates phrases like Made with Real Ingredients. This person no doubt also created the disclaimer, “This Material Contains Adult Content.” This phrase essentially reminds us that said material contains content.

Don’t most things contain content? Does this mean that there is a greater Big Content in the Sky that encompasses all other Little Content?

Or, to simplify, is this just a stupidly meaningless idea that has not been examined or corrected by the boss of the phrase-creator…possibly a boss who is no more literate than the underling?

A more entertaining food label: Contains Adult Content Chock Full of Real Ingredients.

But then, what would Adult Content be like? Is this grown-up food that kids are not interested in eating? Are there other products containing Child Content?

I’ve lost my way here. I suppose you have, too.

Let’s take a break and raid the refrigerator in search of a snack containing adult childlike contents filled with ingredients of the real kind

© Jim Reed 2018 A.D.

jim@jimreedbooks.com

http://www.jimreedbooks.com

http://www.jimreedbooks.com/podcast

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TEN FINGERS SPLAYED TWO PALMS DOWN JUST WEST AND SOUTH OF HERE

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http://redclaydiary.com/mp3/tenfingerssplayedtwopalmsdown.mp3

or read on…

TEN FINGERS SPLAYED TWO PALMS DOWN JUST WEST AND SOUTH OF HERE

Without budging from this spot, without straying from this moment, I can visit anywhere I’ve ever been, any time I’ve ever lived.

That’s the beauty of being a writer, a diarist, a teller of tales, tales both true and actual.

I can bounce about inside the bubble of memory at will. I can recall and re-examine  what has been. I can look over my own shoulder and observe what is happening this instant.

Here I am this very instant standing among chatting stragglers after an evening meeting in the western part of the county. While other attendees discuss the lecture we’ve just heard, I quietly look down, finding that my hands are resting on a lectern, ten fingers splayed, palms facing downward.

What causes me to pay attention is the uneven texture of the lectern’s surface.

I bend to examine the grainy wood. There are hundreds of scrawlings left by previous touchers of the lectern. In merry disarray, the carvings are evidences of errant  visitors who just had to make their marks with knife, pen, pin or random pointed object. There are dates, symbols, initials, first names, secret notes, Morse codes for those who know the language, indications galore that someone no longer present was just passing through this hidden rehab facility and needed to find a way to tell a life’s story.

While my hands and fingers run over the wood, I am suddenly transported to a long ago time, a place south of here, where another lectern is experiencing the pressure of my touch. This time, I am feeling graffiti of a different kind—the stitched softness of a hand-made quilt that covers the lectern.

I am in the presence of the women of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, where I and the attending crowd are enamored of the quilts, the quilts filled with signs and symbols and documentations of lives once lived. Stories told in code and in secret from a time when not all voices were allowed to be heard.

Ten fingers splayed, two palms down, just south of here, feeling the electricity of lives lived differently from mine…another time, another place, where people just like me thrived and left their marks for later archaeologists to bring forth for re-examination.

It is a privilege to be the designated Noticer at any place, at any time, the teller of tales who desires to point out that which is so obvious it just might go unnoticed.

Whether I am west of here or south of here, I know that right before me my ten fingers and two palms are just waiting to learn something new, anxious to discover something that might give me new hope or at the very least a momentary peek beyond my own bubble

© Jim Reed 2018 A.D.

jim@jimreedbooks.com

http://www.jimreedbooks.com

http://www.jimreedbooks.com/podcast

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