New Life (Mary Jones)

Oh, I’m so happy. Albert said that Jed’s eyes were bright. I’ve never seen Jed’s eyes bright except when he was a baby boy toddling around with his daddy. Albert told me all about it and I had to sit down when he told me what happened on that cliff. I was always waiting to hear that Jed was dead. Always, but never did. Albert just got angry the more people said that he probably was. But there was no body in that car found in the river. I sometimes wonder about the strength that it took for Moxy to hide Jed all those years of his doing drugs. Some people would say that it was stupidity and weakness, that she was an ennabler. No, Helen was always a searcher just like Jed, just as wild as Jed was. To have let Jed go and love him at the same time just wasn’t possible to her because she knew his wild heart better than anybody and that includes me and Albert. Jed is Moxy’s lifemate. It was bonded in steel somewhere in the heavens apparently because she just would not let my son go. She knew what it would have meant. I guess she knew that if she let him go she wouldn’t ever, ever find anyone to replace him. Yeah, that had to be the case. Was the case with Tom. If Tom had fallen into heroin addiction, I would have nursed him forever just because there was no other Toms out there. I’d found my man and that was it. Come hell or high water that was it. Done. Me and Tom. Helen’s got that same thing. That stand by your man quality that’s become so outdated, but you don’t see those women yelling about freedom with men half as good and strong as Jed with Moxy or I was with Tom. These relationships stop on a dime these days. I guess maybe in some ways though I am old fashioned. Moxy did get rid of Jed, for several months. She told me she had to, that she was carrying Minnie inside of her and suddenly Jed wasn’t all important anymore. She wouldn’t stand for a man to be half a man, she could deal with it because there was enough man in half a Jed to last her, but not for Minnie. Minnie wouldn’t be strong. She would need to be made strong and for that she knew she needed a whole man. So she kicked Jed out and he went and got stoned for months until out of sheer force of will he pulled himself out of it and then he drove the car into the river and then came back home and was clean for two years until Albert found him and punched him in the nose for doing what he did to us, leaving us like that. I laughed when Albert came trudging in from New York City, his duffle bag dirty and stinking on his back and he said “found him, mom. Kicked his (I don’t like to curse, but Albert said it) kicked his “fucking” ass. I said “what?” and he told me what happened and I just laughed. It had all become so ridiculous. To think my boy was still alive, had been alive for ten years and he’d forgotten us completely, ignored us or feared us simply. I could forgive him for fearing us because fearing us, he really just feared himself. But that was a gift from heaven. Albert trudging off to find a ghost and finding him and then me sitting in the kitchen waiting to see Jed again. Albert just said he’d punched him, that was all. He’d just punched him. Enough said. But I expected Jed then. I waited for a phone call or for him to just show up at the door. Then he did. He and Moxy and little Minnie, almost two by then and suddenly I had my family back and more, oh so much more and I cried right there and kissed Jed over and over and over and then Moxy and then little Minnie and then Albert came out and he gave his brother a hug and they cried in each other’s arms. Then Minnie saw Teardrop. Teardrop used to live with us on the side of the house. I’d go to Teardrop sometimes and ask Teardrop questions. If Jed was alive I’d say twitch one ear or I’d make it easy and say don’t say nothing at all. Minnie screamed. She’d never seen a mule. Don’t think she’d ever seen an animal other than maybe a dog or a cat. She loved Teardrop so much right away. And we had a few chickens and Albert kept some rabbits and of courtse his hamster and Albert took little Minnie up and they walked over to the mule and right away I saw Minnie’s education begin. Albert read more books than anybody else in Millsville, but he wasn’t stuffy and he started telling Minnie all about Teardrop’s history. I’m not even sure Minnie understood people by then. She just seemed to point a lot, but that didn’t matter to Albert. I brought Jed and Helen inside and told Albert to come in and he said he would and he did a minute later and Minnie was so happy and we all sat down at the kitchen table. Albert brought a chair in from the living room and I made some coffee and some sandwiches and we sat there and I swear to God not a word spoken for over a minute. Nobody knew what to say.

Published in: on April 1, 2010 at 5:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

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