In August I wrote my friend-back-home (Molly) a crammed-in story-short on the back of a Sandman postcard, and I had forgotten that I had taken a keepsake photo. The story is another Old John Grim-er, who is some disreputable character I fashioned after – and I just can’t be more honest! – Tom Waits (or my imagined-up, yellow-toothed crooked Tom) and my wild untameable backyard. No foolin’! I lost my eye to a creepvine (and I wear a daisy there for good measure).
Old John Grim sat on a porch and you smiled at him on your way to work, and he smiled back with teeth like yellow dominoes. He was smoking a pipe and he smelled like a clove and he had eyes like no man. And he was there in the morning, and he was there through the night. One day, for no particular reason, you said Hello. He said Hello. Then you said Goodbye – and he said Goodbye. And when he died, you gathered up all the old newspapers piled in his yard and you wrapped him up like a present and you mailed him to New Orleans, because that’s where he belonged. Then, one hot summer day, you got yourself a delivery. In a gold and charcoal box lined with shag was a 1952 quarter and a bag of yellow dominoes that smiled back at you when you opened it.
I thoroughly enjoy doing this stuff, and I think – I hope! – Molly got a kick out of it.