My Trip Home - Day 4
This post is part of an ongoing tale of my trip back home to Mississippi to visit my family. To start the story at the beginning, begin reading from October 30, 2007.
Lunchtime found me in town on Saturday and that meant another trip to Sonic. I simply wasn't going to be happy until my blood consisted of bacon cheeseburgers and fries. Number of visits to Sonic: 2 in 4 days. Afterwards I dropped by The Plantation to see my mother and then I made a trip out to the cemetery where my father is buried.
This particular cemetery is outside of town few miles, not far from where my father grew up. It's attached to a rural church and is a homestead cemetery, which means you don't pay for plots there- you simply stake them out and mark them as yours. In addition to my father I have two aunts, an uncle, both of my fraternal grandparents and my grandmother's grandparents who are buried there. It's one of those funky old cemeteries where there's a mix of ancient headstones and newer ones all among one another.
My father's headstone is a double and is wide enough for me to sit on and that's what I do. I like to sit there and watch cars pass and I think about my dad. Sometimes they're not the happiest of memories but most of the time I think about how he was when I was very young.
My brother plays drums in a country/Southern rock band and they have a place in a town about 30 miles away where they play every Friday and Saturday. They used to play at the local Elks club but that gig ended since I was last in Mississippi. On Friday Brother wanted me and Sister to come down to see him play on Saturday night. "It's not as good as the Elks Club though. This place is more of a honky tonk."
Sister and I drove down there Saturday night around 8:30pm and I have to say that "honky tonk" dresses this place up a bit too much. It's a big metal building with a poured cement floor, a bar, some wobbly tables and chairs, two pool tables, a TV and a stage. The only thing missing would be the chicken wire fence across the front of the stage to protect the band from any beer bottle throwing and chair slinging that might be going on. I asked Brother if he worried about the lack of chicken wire and he told me the bouncer was pretty good about breaking up fights before they got too out of control. Great. I'm feeling more relaxed about this place already.
The band was just starting a set as we came in and we found a table at the front.
My favorite drummer:
It was a small crowd that night - Friday night it had been full and since tonight was a NASCAR race night there weren't as many folks in there as usual...only the hardcore regulars. And hardcore would be an apt description of these people.
I hate to say too much for fear of sounding like a snob but egad. I've known a lot of rednecks in my life. Hell, I've got a lot in my family. I've known a lot of low rent, country ass people in my day but I wasn't quite prepared for this lot. Men who would probably fall to pieces if you removed the film of sweat and dirt that likely holds them in one piece. Women who must have thought they were so sexy but in reality they looked either like stringy chickens or marshmallows wrapped in fishing line. And together? Dear lordy me. I could handle the dancing to the fast tunes but just as soon as a slow song would come on I had to look away. Lots of dry humping and making out. I saw more tongue that night than in a German butcher shop. And not just the same people with one another. They'd change partners just about every song and they seemed to believe proper roadhouse etiquette requires that they make out and grind hips with every dance partner.
The guy dancing in the front? He glued himself to every woman in there that would give him a second look. And if he smelled anything like he looked then I feel more than sorry for the gal he's got jerked up there against him.
You know I love my brother and the band is actually pretty good but damn! If I lived there then going to this joint to watch this band and let funky people rub up against me all night would be about the last thing I'd be doing on a weekend. I can't imagine how...I don't know the right word...small, I guess...the lives of these people are that this counts as fun and relaxation to them. Brother told me that he sees the same people every week and they all change around with one another from week to week. And I'm guessing that condoms are about as foreign to these folks as soap and water seems to be.
The band was so loud that it was nearly making my ears bleed but I had to wait until they played Purple Rain before I took my leave. While tooling around Sam's Club the day before Brother told me the lead guitarist/vocalist loves to sing that song and I had to hear how a Prince classic would sound coming out of the mouth of a near chinless redneck from northeast Mississippi. It wasn't half bad, actually.
A week later my brother played his final gigs with the band and then quit the band. His...shall we say...addiction difficulties...preclude him from spending his time in such places. In short, he's never going to stay clean if he's in joints like that every Friday and Saturday night.
Thank goodness I stuck around to hear Purple Rain. I would be kicking myself if I'd passed up that opportunity.
Tomorrow: Turkey and pomegranate margaritas.