Found a journal of the trip he took across the country in 1917. He must have been on his way to enlist. They didn’t have maps then, just a series of vague directions. Turn left at the green barn, go over a wooden bridge for a good while. Road might be muddy in the rainy season. That sort of thing.
He drove a 1902 Pan American made in Mamaroneck, NY. He had won it in a poker game in Baton Rouge, betting his father’s Civil War timepiece to do it.
He came back from France a changed man. They all did.
Your old man sure has a lot of weird shit.
Don’t you call it that.
Why? That’s what it is.
You stop. My dad’s a collector. Some of these things was made by artists.
You stop saying that word, Dennis. You think it makes you sound older but it really just makes you sound like trash.
Shit shit shitty shit shit!
I swear to heaven I’ll leave if you keep that up. I don’t need to hear your trash mouth.
Shit cunt fuck! Your dad’s bad luck!
Oh, you’re crying? What happened to sticks and stones?
His words wounded me deep. So ungrateful. He wouldn’t accept it, even as a gift. Of course, paying off my debt was never mentioned at all.
I used to look up to him. “He taught me everything I know,” I used to say.
Him turning his back on me like that changed me somehow. Nothing mattered no more. Not my life. Nothing.
So that very night I buried it deep on the side of his goddamned house. Chances are nobody’d find it, but if they did it’d be on him.
But I marked it, in case he changed his mind.
In my experience you won’t ever find nothin’ more useful than a bog. It hides many a sin, as they say. Oh yes.
Wait here long enough, they start coming back up. Might be only an arm that looks like a tree branch, of maybe an old femur with a bit of chain still on it. See, all of them in the city know about this place, know its usefulness.
And usually when they start to come up, it’s the work of city folks. They ain’t careful like we are out here.
They don’t know this place like we do.