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S. M. Bower Reporting Live and Un-cut from the Rising Shores of Lake Hartwell SC, Poising Pensively (Perhaps Triumphantly) with a Newspaper Sailor Sombrero | by S. M. Bower (yo soy el pinhole caballero)
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S. M. Bower Reporting Live and Un-cut from the Rising Shores of Lake Hartwell SC, Poising Pensively (Perhaps Triumphantly) with a Newspaper Sailor Sombrero

The Cholerics (in their enthusiasm) will lead us all over the cliff edge; the Sanguines will follow, skipping with complacency; the Phlegmatics will drag behind like sluggards (but they will follow yet); and it will be up to the Melancholics to cry and to wonder what the fuck and to catch them all in the field of rye before they spill off.


I read this week of a Texas man who, while jailed for killing his family, pulled his last remaining eye from his skull (he'd done this once before) and ate it. I think this world is going mad, mad, madder. Social heretics committing ocular heresy.


If the first nine days of 2009 were any indication of how the rest of the year will play out, I want 2008 back. If days subsequent to the said nine are any indication of what’s to follow – S. M. Bower will definitely be havin’ 2009. Sol Exposure pointed out to me a while ago that this is the last year we’ll be able to refer to as an “aught” year (aught-nine…) until the year 3000 rolls over.


This summer, I was sitting in Dennis’ cracked green vinyl barber chair with my head down towards my lap and an old man entered through the back door with jingles on it. He was crying quietly and sat down – it seemed to me that nobody took notice of him, and Dennis continued telling me about his vegetable garden. “My icebox watermelons get so ripe they ‘bout ‘xsplode.” I watched the old man weep in front of me. He put a few fingers to the tuft of hair above his forehead, trying to un-do a tightly lodged screw nut, untangle a thought. He stood up, still crying, and left quietly through the front door. The remainder of my haircut was conducted under green cracked vinyl barber shop silence. All done, Dennis shook my smock to the floor, said “Looks like the bottom might fall out.” Yessir, the sky appears it might could rain. He said “No son. I was talkin’ about that Old Sobbin’ Man.” Yessir. I haven’t seen Dennis since I started buzzing my own head. The other night I was lowering my own ears over my empty bathtub, watching the shavings fall in, noticed how dark my hair has become. I used to have platinum blonde hair when I was a kid. A tree climbing, toad catching, skinned-knee kid. I allow I might go see Dennis soon, have him square my neck away and tell me about his deer season. I think about the Old Sobbin’ Man sometimes. Sometimes I'll say to myself I wonder whatever happened to that Old Sobbin’ Man. One more thing without scheme. An old friend of mine has seemingly become the Old Sobbin’ Man as of late. Sabotaged his future and affronted the man he was becoming, the dreaming boy he used to be. I suppose it’s easier to dislodge your dreams than it is to see them through. Fruition is a word I believe is used in such context. If all dreams were realized, perhaps all nested bird eggs would hatch also, and we all know damn well that doesn’t happen. I was riding my bike once when I was a kid. Didn’t really see the fallen bird nest full of eggs on the sidewalk until my front wheel was upon it. Naturally, I was terrified and ashamed – visions of smashed blue eggs – furious at myself for not being more careful and watching where the hell I was going. I thought that if I told my mother, as much as I wanted to, that she would think me a bad person. Years later, my father told me that he once mowed over a fallen nest full of baby birds meep-meeping with mouths skyward and agape. I suppose we all break eggs. It felt pretty damn good finishing my qualifier exams last week. I think I’ll go cut my hair now.


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Taken on January 12, 2009