Imagine All The People: Blondie
The following is one report of today’s activities on Planet Earth. We have a general idea of the location as Dahlonega, Georgia. This is a Fig Newton of the Imagination and does not purport to be an official 23:59 report from the United States of America.
It is impossible to fail when we imagine the possibilities to solve every problem. Our results may fail every so often, but when we collaborate to improve our methods then we will eliminate failure and deliver best results.
Here is what was downloaded from the Collective Consciousness. We hope you enjoy this story. Here it goes.
Dedicated in Loving Memory to Ms. Lillian M. Stratton
The Caregiver awoke before her new RCA clock radio alarmed with 540AM. The May air was impregnated with the scent of budding magnolias, freshly cut grass, and dew on their tiny, tidy garden. She gazed out the jalousie window of her little room in the double wide trailer at the Happy Haven Trailer Park. It was the best place she had been in a long time. Mr. and Mrs. Greene took her in to barter chores in exchange for room and board. Now that Dixie aka Joy aka Alegría aka the Caregiver was in residence, Mrs. Greene enjoyed the opportunity to rest, relax, and do her favorite aerobics video while Mr. Greene was at work. She knew better than to put in a Jane Fonda workout VHS tape when he was at home. Mr. Greene never spoke ill of anyone, but just the image of Jane Fonda robbed him of a peace that was often elusive after he returned to Georgia from Vietnam.
The Caregiver wondered when her peanuts would yield their tasty legumes. Would they be ready by August? Would she purée them with some basil leaves and pepper sauce to make peanut sauce? Would she make peach ice cream with the fruit from the trees generously lining their little lot? In the six months she had lived there, she had turned a cluttered space into a home that was well organized, sanitary, and super cozy. She had their home jam up and jelly tight, as Mother used to say.
Instead of her favorite new talk show host, a familiar disco song came on when the numbers rolled to 06:00. Heart of Glass by Blondie played as the Caregiver wondered where the man from Missouri who stood up for her Father was. Sometimes he talked crudely, yet he always stood for America’s Veterans. “What was his name?”, she wondered as she made her bed, washed her face, brushed, and plaited her long, curly, auburn hair.
As she made boiled eggs and oatmeal with raisins, pecans, and cinnamon for herself and the family, it came to her. She surrendered her brain activity to the wonder of the water rolling, boiling, and rushing over those farm fresh brown eggs. Rush Limbaugh. That was his name. She made the sign of the cross and prayed for him and his show to come on again soon. It seemed many people hated him, but he saved AM radio stations all over the rural Americas from going out of business. So it was with everyone. You had to find the good in everyone, even when you didn’t agree with them.
She had Mr. Greene’s Gazette ready with his coffee by the time he sat in the chair. “Thank you, Missy”, he said with a smile as he lumbered about the dining room in his overalls and socks. He read the paper quietly as she and Mrs. Greene chatted about the day’s events. She had to be at work in three hours. Mrs. Greene was always coaching her on how to be on time to Dahlonega Gardens. It seemed there was always something that pulled the Caregiver off her path and made her late everywhere. Truth be told, she was terrified to leave her bedroom, much less the house and the Happy Haven Trailer Park. Yet she pressed forward and understood how vital it was for her to be on time to relieve the night shift workers at Dahlonega Gardens.
Mr. Greene passed the Gazette to her, which she read as he chatted softly with his wife. Dixie, the Caregiver, read more about emissions control laws and wondered how Bessie Mae would make it to Atlanta in her Dodge Charger. Miss Bessie Mae could not afford the test and license, but she had to take her brother, Dwight, to the VA for surgery next month. She never drove except to get groceries or to Church. Dixie shifted her mind from these new laws and her eyes fixed on the cartoon page. There it was again. Blondie. The theme kept coming to her all morning. She never read the cartoons but studied Blondie Bumstead carefully as the kaleidoscope of colors in her beating heart played Heart of Glass by Blondie.
Her shift at Dahlonega Gardens started with the quiet cheer of helping Miss Freida walk without her cane. There is no way to avoid pain in this life, but the best way to power through pain is together. Miss Freida had been left alone in her trailer one unusually cold night after working her shift at the local Ace Hardware. She had done her best to keep herself and the little home she shared with her husband in ship shape, but it had been a challenge once he died.
When she awoke in the biting cold of the North Georgia winter night to discover the propane tank empty, she slipped on the porch’s invisible ice in an attempt to bring a space heater into her bedroom. She laid there in the cold singing “I’ll Fly Away” as loudly as she could until Bubba called 911 for help.
Six months later, now she could walk on her own. She had great plans for winterizing the little trailer, whose most cozy feature is that it was clean, tight to the elements, and paid for in full. The Caregiver regarded Miss Freida’s presence as that of a Queen, as she did of all people who served the proper King in gentle, resourceful ways.
Second Story Johnny was the opposite of Miss Freida. He had been violent and greedy most of his life because that’s all he saw in the homes where he roamed in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood in Queens. A foster child who had never been affirmed as a worthwhile young man; he took to peeping on any woman he could. It made him feel closer to the mother who abandoned him in 1945, as happens during times of war. He could feel nothing but sorrow and hatred for both his mother and father, but he didn’t know who they really were. He only knew how short and wimpy he felt, how rejected and other he seemed, how he hated his own identity and preferred to be called by the insult of Second Story Johnny. The coal haired young man with wide dark eyes like olives and eyelashes like Queen Anne’s lace, who had been caught at age 9 ascending a stray carpenter’s ladder to place women under surveillance as they undressed and prepared for sleep, was really just a scared child making poor choices.
Although he had been caught in New Jersey and West Virginia for his crimes, he wasn’t truly repentant until he came to Dahlonega, Georgia. In the aforementioned jurisdictions, he had been caught by the ladder’s owners and arrested by proper authorities. In city centers, proper authorities are often only thought of as Law Enforcement. In rural Georgia and most of the world, proper authority is meted out by anyone who defends herself against an aggressor.
So, it happened one night after Second Story Johnny, now an adult man whose birth certificate said, “John Doe”, climbed up on the ladder left by Grandpa Davis in front of his granddaughter’s window near the Courthouse in Dahlonega. Grandpa Davis, an Old School Military Man, learned of this young man’s past and wanted to perform an experiment about justice and honor. Grandpa Davis had educated his sons never to disrespect women, and he educated his daughters always to believe they could annihilate any man who attacked. Here is the sex education the world needs.
What Second Story Johnny didn’t know is that Alethea had broken world records for softball, had just graduated from University of North Georgia magna cum laude, and was preparing herself to teach softball in Sweden. Grandpa Davis told her to watch out for herself, because she might experience trouble this evening. He told her with a wink that he left the ladder to complete the paint job outside her picture window. Intuitively, Alethea with her long black hair and green eyes knew what her beloved Poppy meant. She was to bait any malefactor new to town and introduce him to a better way of life by any means necessary.
She put on quite a show as Second Story Johnny watched from the highest rung of the wooden ladder propped up near the picture window with its lovely pink satin pillows and curtains. He gaped at Alethea as she primped in front of her vanity in her pink terry cloth bath robe, imagining what was underneath. He loosened his hands from the ladder to pleasure himself as Alethea took a large milk glass jar of Pond’s Cold Cream and appeared to rub it on her breasts. What she was really preparing to do only occurred to him when the heavy milk glass jar of Pond’s Cold Cream hit him like a cannonball in his left eye.
Gravity took care of the rest. Second Story Johnny landed in the gardenia bushes two stories below, a sticky mess of spoiled seed, blood, and broken limbs. By the time he got from the Emergency Room to Dahlonega Gardens, he had made world history. He had broken every limb in his body, his left eye socket, his back, his left jaw, and several fingers that could no longer be used to violate women and spoil his seed by such evil means. He was wrapped from head to toe like an Egyptian mummy and destined to be transported to Milledgeville to serve time for criminal insanity.
The Caregiver did not pity this patient known as Second Story Johnny, but she did pity the orphan child within him that had made such bad decisions. In his captive state, with his body broken and handcuffed to the bed, he moaned softly as the Caregiver said a decade of the Rosary and told him about two great gifts she wanted him to have. He hoped the Soldier of Fortune magazine when the Caregiver mentioned gifts.
He saw her reading the most current issue as she ate her peanut butter and banana sandwich, which he thought quite odd for a young woman to do. He learned more about the gifts she wanted him to have as she spoke softly over his broken body. The first was God’s amazing grace through Jesus Christ, and the second was His Mother. She told him how God’s Mother, La Virgen de Guadalupe, came to her and heard her when her own Mother María could not. She told him how her Mother María had suffered greatly as an orphan growing up in Cuba with hearing loss.
She told him of her triumphs as her own Mother María made a better life as a public-school teacher after her Father was killed in Vietnam. Finally, she shared with her captive Johnny how angry she still got when she remembered the day her own Mother María died of a broken heart and pulled the trigger years ago. Suicide was such an inhumane death, as there is no humane way to kill anyone.
She told how La Virgen de Guadalupe, Mother of God, would always be there to love, comfort, listen, and correct all of God’s children. Far from being a fictional pawn of authoritarian war lords, La Virgen de Guadalupe, Mother of God, was the only hope of humankind. It was not through Zeus’ head that Athena sprang, but from her own Mother Metis, whom Zeus killed. Men were not from Mars; men came from Adam and Eve. Mars came from Juno, and Venus came from Dione. The salvation of the world came from a humble woman who committed fully to God, a woman who knew that the birth of children would always be more important than the bloody battles of men.
The young man known as Second Story Johnny let tears flow down his face as this most obnoxious, beautiful, compassionate, and persistent person known as the Caregiver spoke to him in love. He endured the pain of touching his thumb to his index finger to grip the Rosary and moaned as the Caregiver placed a soft kiss on his forehead. The sanitarium transport company picked him up twelve minutes later to endure a ten year sentence in Milledgeville.
The Caregiver went to her wonderful siesta spot in the janitor’s closet. Mr. Cecil Johnson was a brilliant man, whose engineering skills came from a life of struggle, hard work, and genius that Black Veterans know well. Mr. Johnson grew up sharecropping peaches, and his Mother and Father endured the evil of legal slavery. Yet they pressed forward and taught all their children that life gets better with each generation.
Mr. Johnson cut a barter deal with the Caregiver. He fashioned a little bed above the rack of industrial mops and brooms in exchange for the Caregiver’s labor in the peach orchards he now owned. He learned always to follow his gut instinct when it came to helping people, and never to endanger his own survival as generations of his Ancestors had been forced to do. As a general rule, white women made him nervous with their forward & flirtatious ways. He knew how such things could still get a Black man killed in rural Georgia, and he only had eyes for his childhood sweetheart, now his bride of 46 years, Miss Esther.
Yet the Caregiver’s modesty, brokenness, and humility made the red headed freckle faced child one of his best workers and a great help to his Queen Esther. He pitied her and allowed her to sleep on the plywood shelf when need be. She settled herself in the Coleman sleeping bag and drifted into a refreshing slumber that seemed to last a trillion years yet lasted twenty five minutes. Blondie. She heard Blondie’s songs break into colors too beautiful to name. Heart of Glass. Rapture. One Way or Another. Blondie. Dagwood Bumstead. The cartoon family from the morning newspaper flowed through her mind superimposed on a map targeting the coastal midpoint of that beautiful country on the West Coast of South America. Lima, Peru. Lima. The shape of Peru’s capitol city, Lima, pulsed within her imagination every heartbeat, now superimposed on the scene of someone suffering and supine in the lima bean field between the Happy Haven Trailer Park and Dahlonega Gardens.
Dixie, the Caregiver, jolted awake and jumped with her feet flat on the floor and screamed, “Fire!” Only Mr. Johnson read her mind, as Black people always read minds, hearts, and situations as well as books. He called 911, and calmly followed the child to the lima bean patch where she ran to scoop up a creature soaked in the sugary smell of diabetic attack.
Her FedEx name tag read, “Blondie”, and she could barely open her eyes. The Caregiver pulled an orange from her fanny pack and began to feed each plump plug to this precious person, Blondie. Blondie was dressed in a FedEx uniform with sturdy work boots. Her breasts were tied down with gauze, showing signs of motherhood as milk flowed from her sports bra and the gauze bandages. Her beautiful black hair showed at the roots where the peroxide could not bleach. The Caregiver read her trauma as a familiar sight. Blondie was a person who did not want to identify as a woman to protect herself and her own child. People identified as someone other than their birth identities for various reasons, and trauma should not be one of them. She was working hard and running from someone or something.
The story on Blondie was that she was too scared and proud to tell her host family she had suffered gestational diabetes before she birthed her son, Abram.
She had only been in Georgia a few months from Lima, Peru. She was the only one who wanted to work the rural route and chose to make herself a man to get the contract labor from FedEx. This is how things were back in the day.
Her husband had been killed before Abram was born, and she relied on her Baptist faith and its charity to carry her family to safety. Wars and rumors of wars continued in South America, while God’s economy continued to operate on the kindness of strangers.
She was working hard to deliver packages on an empty stomach and hoped to find some muscadine grapes ripe on the chicken wire fence along side the lima bean patch. What other things that the Caregiver learned in her deep friendship with Blondie she would never tell. Respect individual dignity without living hyper-individuated was key to human health. Blondie reminded the Caregiver always to trust her own intuition, to depend on her neighbors, and be always of service.
This has been an unofficial 23:59 report from the Universe. Imagine the possibilities when we connect through compassion and mutual guarantee.
#planetearth #ourhome #unity #generosity #empathy