Autobiographicles Please

You’ve heard of the Tea Party? You know the thing Alice did with the Mad Hatter? Now c’mon. Not that kind of thing. Get your mind out of the gutter. They had tea. Lately I have been thinking about having me a Me Party.

You see I am three people in one. A Me, a Myself and an I. It’s time I let one of them loose to celebrate. So I am starting with Me. This Me Party will celebrate the Wit and Wisdom of Uncle Bardie’s Me self and will kick off the publication of “Me: The Autobiographical Uncle Bardie”. For those who can’t get enough of Uncle Bardie, there will come a sequel, “More of Me”, then a sequel of a sequel, “Most of Me”. Who knows where it will end? There might even be an “Uncle Bardie’s Magical Mystery Tour”.

All the greats and the near-greats and the not-so-greats and the none-too-greats get to extoll their virtues and their sins in memoirs these days. Why not Uncle Bardie? It is only fair to my multitude of fans. Though I have nothing to say about life, I figure I can say it better than all the others with nothing to say. After all, it wouldn’t be fair to those with inquiring minds if I didn’t. In fact, it would be downright cruel. Uncle Bardie, being a kind man, would never commit cruelty knowingly.

So where to begin? How about at the beginning. I can think of no better place.

I was born on a dark and stormy night in the best of times, in the worst of times. My mama was going to call me Ishmael but that name had been taken by some feller name of Melville. Like Abe Lincoln, I was born in a log cabin. Not actually a log cabin but it sounds better than a trailer park. When I say that, it makes me sound like some kind of Honey Boo Boo. We weren’t trailer trash but my mama sure knew what to do with the garbage. That was why we had a big green dumpster down the way from our trailer.

I was born on the cusp of Virgo and Libra. In other words, my Virgo was slanting into Libra. Guess that makes me a bi-cuspid. There are days when my Virgo gets out of hand and I want to study a problem to death. Other days the only fight I want to participate in is a food fight. Then I want to make sure that everyone in the fight gets at least one pie in the face. Anything to be fair.

The first word out of my mouth was “y’all”. Before I was knee-high to a grasshopper, my mama had me saying, “Y’all come back, you hear?” Like good old Abe, I walked uphill to school five miles, then I walked five miles uphill to get home. I know Abe may not have done that but it sure sounds good on my resume. And who am I to call Abe a liar? You can, if you want. That is your prerogative. Next thing you’ll be saying is that Abe didn’t lick them vampires. At least, Abe read books, which is more than we can say for some presidents.

Early on, I spent a lot of my time curling up into a feeble position. Then I became an introvert who overcompensated. I learned to twerk at an early age. It was my way of mooning the world. As I grew older, I did my best to nip it in the butt. But, as you can see, it didn’t take.

Guess Seinfeld was right. There’s a whole lot of nothing that can be said about nothing and still say nothing. And this is only the first chapter. Just think. This could go on for nine seasons and you’d still have nothing. Makes me want to rejoice in the nothing that is not there and do it nada-istically.

Talk about adverbs. That’s one heck of an adverb. Nada-istically.

If you were writing your memoir, what would its theme be?

Near 500 words: TW and the Postcards

Episode 9 of The Writer

“A horse. My spirit animal is a horse,” TW (aka The Writer) said, floating a foot off the floor in the arms of his wife, Sylvia.

With that, he returned to the present, dropping the carving on the floor. It was hot. Beside it was the mustang Sylvia finished carving the night before she left. Why had he left it in the box? Why hadn’t he left it where he could see it? Mostly because he wanted to forget.

And mostly he had forgotten. About once a year, a postcard came in the mail. He picked up the postcards and the other things and dropped them back inside the box and put the lid back on.As far as he was concerned, there was no use crying over spilled milk. She was gone and that was it.

Oh sure, he dated from time to time. Except for Helen, none of the relationships took.  He went to Helen’s wedding and then settled into his solitary way of life. As far as being lonely, he never thought much about it.

Then the robin appeared outside his house. Why?

He wasn’t sure why he did it, but he lifted the lid off again. He reached inside the box and picked up Sylvia’s postcards and put them in chronological order, the oldest on top. He looked at the oldest. A picture of Timbuktu on one side and a short note on the other. It was signed Helen. Under her beautiful script was a line of text that looked like Arabic calligraphy.

The next year the postcard was from Egypt. The pyramids and the note and the same calligraphy below her name. Then a third postcard. Jerusalem and the calligraphy again. Next was Petra, then the Parthenon, then whirling dervishes. Hagia Sophia was on the following postcard. On and on they went, each from a holy place. And each one carried the calligraphy below her signature.

Why didn’t he recognize the script below her name? It looked familiar and yet strangely unfamiliar.

Suddenly he was hungry. And not just hungry. He was famished. From the kitchen, Cat was meowing, giving the signal that she too was hungry.

“Okay, okay,” he called out to Cat. “I’m coming.”

He dropped the postcards onto the carpet, then headed for the kitchen. Outside the sun was setting. “When did it get so late?”

He reached into the cat’s food box and pulled out her food and poured the kibbles into her bowl. Absentmindedly.

For the next hour, he felt like he was sleepwalking, his mind elsewhere, as he prepared his food, watched the news and ate. Quickly he washed the dishes, then went back to the box and the postcards.

Year by year he laid the cards out on the table. First he laid them out with the photographs facing upward. They made a beautiful collage of color and images. He sat for over an hour, admiring them. Then he turned the cards over. He checked the postmark. All were dated the first week in April.

Then it hit him. One was missing.