In Current reading, Games, Irish Mist, Local projects, Poetry, Revision, Sanford Meisner on November 10, 2014 at 8:08 am

“When somebody in Iowa gets a copy of Texas Monthly, they’re either going to think that we’re crazy or that this is the greatest thing ever!” . . .

Never mind Iowa, Sir. Wait until somebody reads this from France or, better yet, Syria or Lebanon. Irak, maybe? Try Erythrea. Have coach walk through the streets of Liberia wearing his cap that reads “Violence Solves Problems.” Come on, I dare you.

Hello? Hi. Good morning from lovely if somewhat chilly and overcast France. I’m sitting in what was once the dressing room between the two master bedrooms in a tannery owner’s home. I’ve tucked my bed plus a small table, a chair and a space heater in here. Makes for cozy if somewhat cramped living. Yes, I’ll have to find a better long-term solution to the heating problem in here. I doubt violence will do much to solve it.

Explanation about the Texas Monthly bit? All right. Every Sunday, I receive a Story of the Week by email from The Library of America. This being Thanksgiving and Football season in the States, the Story of the Week dealt with journalist Bryan Curtis’ season with a undefeated team of elementary school football players in a town called Allen, Texas. Where they take their football to heart, soul and pocket book.

After reading all about elementary school kids with boot camp sessions for the boys and pom-pom training for the girls, I gave myself a shot of heat from the space heater and thought long and hard – about my story, about Steinbeck’s  East of Eden which I’d finished reading just before I hit upon Friday Night Tykes. Had to wonder what it would be like, being born and raised in a city such as Allen, Tx if you are a boy or a girl with no interest in football and a huge fascination for bugs or ancient history or – yes, say it – poetry. If the winners solve their problems by stomping on you. If you’re doomed to fail if you attempt stomping back.

Sixty percent of the voters in Allen Tx accepted a tax increase in order to build a sixty million dollar football stadium for the High School. (Severe structural problems with the stadium have forced its closing, so maybe solid courses in engineering solve more problems than violence does, but I digress.) I have to wonder about the forty percent, or even about that one girl in the family that was designed to be a football team until she came along.

Having spent some time last night and this morning trying to imagine the life and times of an Allen Tx resident, I transferred my attention to an Allen Tx resident trying to make sense of the wusses over here lamenting the death of just one single person, for god’s sake. One. Or getting exercised over riot police beating on demonstrators. I mean, come on. There’s winners (us) and losers (them). Simple, dummy, get it?

Story? As we go ambling toward the words The End, what ending will it be, characters?


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