How I Lost My Virtual Virginity Selling Bibles in the South

You remember the end of sophomore year in college? You didn’t want to go home for the summer again, live under your dad’s roof and work for your mom. It was 1975, and you needed your freedom. You hungered for a chance to be your own person; to do adventurous, dangerous, reckless, shit and have more crazy sex than a good Baptist girl should even think about. Right?

Me too!  So I jumped at the dubious opportunity to spend the summer hitchhiking around the south selling bibles for the Thomas Nelson Company.bible

All I had to do was knock on every single door, in small town neighborhoods, and convince the “woman of the house” to buy a bible. It was a matter of odds. If I worked hard and followed the script, my product would sell itself. I had family bibles, children’s bibles, large print bibles and medical dictionaries.

A group of my friends were going, my boyfriend was going, so I was going too. My parents didn’t have the energy to stop me, and frankly, my dad was a “you made your bed now lie in it” kind of a guy, and I think he hoped I would learn a valuable lesson from my life on the road.

Let me give you a visual: I was a gullible, 108 lb, 5’7″ tall, mini-skirted, blonde chick, who wanted to see the good in everybody. I’d never known real hardship, hunger or sadness. I’d never been physically, sexually or emotionally hurt in anyway, and the possibility of such, never crossed my mind. I thought I was untouchable; a cute, middle class, peace and love, wandering waif, without a clue in this world.

Lessons learned indeed.

(To be continued)

 

Visit my website at JoettaCurrie.com

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“Hello, my name is _______________ and I’m a Projectoholic.” 

There’s something wrong with me.

Don’t worry. I’m not sick and dying, or wanted by the police, pregnant, having an affair, or in need of a sex change. For God’s sake I’m too old to be having a baby. But, I do have a terrible, life, long problem.

I must have a project. I need to design, demo, upgrade, fix, dig, plant, paint, repair, or caulk (Oh God, how I love caulk)!  I get the shakes just thinking about it.

nashphotoMy husband and I bought a sixty year old cottage in a small town in Texas, a few years ago. We were living in California at the time, but knew we were coming back to Texas and wanted to downsize and have a good place to retire and raise chickens.

Well, I wanted to raise chickens, but that’s a conversation for another time.

We took a 1500 square foot, two bed, one bath home, and made simple, but glorious, modifications. We gutted and redid the hall bath, installed a tankless water heater, (whoo hoo! ) created a master suite with a claw foot tub, marble tile and pedestal sinks, upgraded the kitchen with new appliances and counter tops, knocked down walls, added all new lighting, refinished our red oak floors, and painted and painted and painted.

bathunderconstrDuring most of the renovation, I had an upper respiratory infection. Parlay that with, no bathroom, except for a lone toilet in the middle of open stud walls, termites, and large holes in the floor that let in hungry creatures who scurried around in the middle of the night.  Add extreme noise and strange men (men who were strangers) in and out of our home, ten hours a day, I was in absolute misery. When I hit bottom, we checked into a hotel, just so I could take a bath and breathe dust free air.

Then we set our sights on the exterior. After eight pallets of sod, four new hallbathafterplanting beds, twenty four Earth Kind roses (that now struggle with Rosette’s Disease) and a white picket fence, we were finished. We looked at what we had done, and saw that it was good.

We were happy. I was happy…for a while. Then..I hear my self say, “you know honey, it would look nice if we could…”

My husband cringes, but he sighs, nods and goes to Home Depot with me. He’s a fricking saint.

I wanted a fire pit, a deck and outside lighting. I knew the porches would look much better if we added a little slate tile and a wicker swing. And why stop with the porch? Just look at the front walkway. Slate and brick pavers (that I found for a steal, on Craig’s List) would truly enhance our curb appeal.

Then of course, I needed a garden to grow tomatoes, a hammock when I wanted to nap, and studio space for my art work and classes. I couldn’t stop myself. I dreamt about it at night, waking up each morning with a drill in my hand and a metallic gleam in my eye.

It’s been over a year and I’m still coughing from the dust, my knees hurt, my husband’s back is shot and he pretends he can’t hear me most of the time. But we soldier on.  Because, if we just did this one more thing…

Some think I need professional intervention, but I can stop any time I want, and as soon as we finish this last project, I promise, I’m going to stop.

For sure.

“Hello, my name is _______________ and I’m a Projectoholic.” 

There’s something wrong with me.

Don’t worry. I’m not sick and dying, or wanted by the police, pregnant, having an affair, or in need of a sex change. For God’s sake I’m too old to be having a baby. But, I do have a terrible, life long problem.

I must have a project. I need to design, demo, upgrade, fix, dig, plant, paint, repair, or caulk (Oh God, how I love caulk!) …I get the shakes just thinking about it.

nashphotoMy husband and I bought a sixty year old cottage in a small town in Texas, a few years ago. We were living in California at the time, but knew we were coming back to Texas and wanted to downsize and have a good place to retire and raise chickens.

Well, I wanted to raise chickens, but that’s a conversation for another time.

We took a 1500 square foot, two bed, one bath home, and made simple, but glorious, modifications. We gutted and redid the hall bath, installed a tankless water heater, (whoo hoo! ) created a master suite with a claw foot tub, marble tile and pedestal sinks, upgraded the kitchen with new appliances and counter tops, knocked down walls, added all new lighting, refinished our red oak floors, and painted and painted and painted.

bathunderconstrDuring most of the renovation, I had an upper respiratory problem. Parlay that with, no bathroom, except for a lone toilet in the middle of open stud walls, termites, and large holes in the floor that let in hungry creatures who scurried around in the middle of the night.  Add extreme noise and strange men (men who were strangers) in and out of our home, ten hours a day, I was in absolute misery. When I hit bottom, we checked into a hotel, just so I could take a bath and breathe dust free air.

Then we set our sights on the exterior. After eight pallets of sod, four new hallbathafterplanting beds, twenty four Earth Kind roses (that now struggle with Rosette’s Disease) and a white picket fence, we were finished. We looked at what we had done, and saw that it was good.

We were happy. I was happy…for a while. Then..I hear my self say, “you know honey, it would look nice if we could…”

My husband cringes, but he sighs, nods and goes to Home Depot with me. He’s a fricking saint.

I wanted a fire pit, a deck and outside lighting. I knew the porches would look so much better if we added a little slate tile and a wicker swing. And why stop with the porch? Just look at the front walkway. Slate and brick pavers (that I found for a steal, on Craig’s List) would truly enhance our curb appeal.

Then of course, I needed a garden to grow tomatoes, a hammock when I wanted to nap, and studio space for my art work and classes. I couldn’t stop myself. I dreamt about it at night, waking up each morning with a drill in my hand and a metallic gleam in my eye.

It’s been over a year and I’m still coughing from the dust, my knees hurt, my husband’s back is shot and he pretends he can’t hear me most of the time. But we soldier on.  Because, if we just did this one more thing…

Some think I need professional intervention, but I can stop any time I want, and as soon as we finish this one, last project, I promise, I’m going to stop.

For sure.

8/19/15

TalesofInsomnia

She was beautiful right from the start. A perfect birth, no complications, barely any of the nastiness inherent in the process. I didn’t know where I wanted her to go yet, but I knew I wanted her to be beautiful. I named her Amber. It was always one of my favorite names. Amber Wellington Bower. A beautiful name. I knew that she would hate her middle name, and eventually she would sign her name only as Amber B. But the sound of a pen writing out her name has always been music to my ears. She wasn’t the first character I had written into existence, but she would be the last.

As she grew on the pages of my book that would never be published, her features became more apparent, as did her character. Long, red hair that never failed to frizz up if there was a storm less than…

View original post 1,695 more words

Why I Will No Longer Follow You On Facebook

joettacurrie

I like Facebook. I get up at 6:30-7ish every morning, make a pot of coffee and sit down to check in on friends, family, fellow artists and writers.

It’s early, and I’m not the kind of person who jumps out of bed ready to go. As my dad used to say, “I need time to sit and soak up the day,” to prepare myself for things to come. The sun is rising, it’s cool(er) and it is my opportunity to think, plan and get energized for the day.

Rant2Lately, my “soak” time has been harassed by a handful of people. Some, I know and like, some mere acquaintances and some folks I’ve never met before. They fling their political, religious and self-important opinions at me as I scroll down the page.

I don’t like it. What I prefer, is to see updates from friends and family, baby pictures, vacation photos, images of beautiful places, interesting/educational articles, helpful tips, latest creations by fellow artists and former…

View original post 236 more words

Why I Will No Longer Follow You On Facebook

I like Facebook. I get up at 6:30-7ish every morning, make a pot of coffee and sit down to check in on friends, family, fellow artists and writers.

It’s early, and I’m not the kind of person who jumps out of bed ready to go. As my dad used to say, “I need time to sit and soak up the day,” to prepare myself for things to come. The sun is rising, it’s cool(er) and it is my opportunity to think, plan and get energized for the day.

Rant2Lately, my “soak” time has been harassed by a handful of people. Some, I know and like, some mere acquaintances and some folks I’ve never met before. They fling their political, religious and self-important opinions at me as I scroll down the page.

I don’t like it. What I prefer, is to see updates from friends and family, baby pictures, vacation photos, images of beautiful places, interesting/educational articles, helpful tips, latest creations by fellow artists and former students. And more recently, posts by publishers, editors and literary agents. All this is of interest to me, and to my FRIENDS sharing these things, I thank you.

I don’t mind the cartoons or positive thoughts, although, more originality would be nice. But, I don’t need to LIKE and SHARE, if I love my brother, my dog or would “never stomp on the American flag.” My brother and dog know I love them, and I don’t demonstrate allegiance to my country by not doing something  I would never consider in the first place.

It’s not that I don’t like you, (at least the people I actually know) and your opinions are important, just not to me. I usually don’t agree with you and often find your rants narrow in focus, reeking of prejudice and even down right mean.

However, if you are a friend of mine and our ideas differ dramatically, and you feel driven to share your thoughts with me, please, call me on the phone. Let’s set a time to meet, have coffee or a glass of wine and discuss our opinions in a mutually respectful way. Having them in my face and disturbing my early morning peace is no longer acceptable to me.

Hence, I will no longer follow you on Facebook. I understand that you will not feel a loss, and will probably Unfollow me as well.  May we both be better for it.

The images above are not my property. They were borrowed from an anonymous online resource.

A Sorry Thing

by Joetta Currie
Sorrythingporch

I’m mopping the kitchen floor with leftover dishwater when I see Leon peeling paint off the back porch, trying for a fast get away. I holler out the open window. “Get back here you ornery shit. You don’t need to be seeing that woman. She’ll poison you.”

“Catch me if ya can Meggy,” he yells running across the yard.

I grab something off the counter and fling it as hard as I can in his direction. He stops and drops. “Really?” I yell. “I’m not buying that, get up.”  He’s not budging. “I mean it, get your possum ass back up.”

Then I see the red. God Almighty. I run out in the yard and there’s a butcher knife sticking in his back. Where did that come from? I pull it out and wipe it on my shorts. “Oh no, Leon, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to, you know I wouldn’t hurt you for anything in this world.” I pull my blouse off over my head and put it over the bloody gash. Tears fall down my face. I’m pissed as hell. He used to be quicker.

He looks up at me grinning. “Meggy,” he says, “About time you hit something, but that rock’s gonna leave a hell of a bruise. Did ya need to use such a big one’?”

“Honey, it’s bad. Worse than you think.”

He reaches back and feels the wet, then brings his hand round to his face. “Jesus Christ, Meggy, what did you fling at me?”

“That ole butcher knife. I didn’t mean to though. I just grabbed something and sailed it. I wasn’t looking.”

Blood’s coming fast. I press myself up against him to trying to sop it up with the shirt. He gasps and blood bubbles up out of his mouth.

“You’re in trouble,” he says, trying to get a breath… “Pop’s gonna be… be mad…he’ll strap you half to death.

“I don’t care about Pop right now. I need to get you some help.” I look around and see a big, flat rock lying next to the fence. I scramble over, grab it, stuff my blouse in the cut as much as I can without hurting him, and lay the rock on top. “Don’t you move, I’m gonna get someone.”

“Stay.” He grabs my hand. ”Get our story straight.” He’s struggling now. “Tell Pop…I fell.”

“No, that won’t work and shut up talking, so’s I can run and get help. I’ll run up to Lizzie Hughes. She’s a nurse’s aid, she’ll know how to fix you. Stay put.” He closes his eyes and smiles.

“I’ll be here,” he whispers, “less she walks by…then I’m a going with her.”

“Shit,” I say, pulling my hand from his grip. “Don’t start with that mess again. It’s that woman what caused this in the first place.”  He starts to hum a song. “Stop it,” I say.  “She don’t love you, she don’t love anything but the devil in a man’s pants.”

His face pains. “Don’t talk about that…not your business.”

I stand up, start away, then stop. “Leon?” His eyes are closed.

He nods his head and whispers, “I know.”

I run, shirtless, my titties flicking up and down as I trip over tree roots and broken sidewalks. I don’t wear a brassier. Nobody here to help me with those things and there’s not much to deal with anyways. When I was little, Mama would brush my hair every morning and say, “You’ll grow up to be a beautiful woman someday.”

But she died and nobody tells me that now. I guess I never made it to beautiful and Mama was either pretending or she was just plain wrong.

I get to Lizzie’s and she’s hanging clothes on the line out back. I’m naked from the waist up, covered in blood and I’ve got a butcher knife in my hand. The run got me all worked up and I’m crying and wheezing and can barely get a sane word out of my mouth. “Le..Leon…Oh, Jesus, help…us. Leon’s gone an…well…he, he fell on a knife and died.” What? What am I saying?

“Lord have mercy! Give me that,”she says, jerkin’ the knife out of my hand. She drops a sheet off the line, wraps it around me, binding me up like a nut job in a straight jacket. I start to wail. She slaps me hard cross the face.“Stop it. What happened? What’s wrong with Leon? Where’s your Pop?”

“Pop’s working. Leon’s hurt. Please, we got to go save him.” The sun streams through the wet clothes. A pink, half slip, a girdle and two enormous bras, flip around in the wind, making the light flash and slow down time.

Why did I do that, what’s wrong with me? I’m the worst there is; a bloody, not beautiful, hateful, horrible thing, who just murdered her big brother.

Lizzie pulls me in the house, lets me free my arms up and makes me drink an Alka-Seltzer while she dials the operator. The fizz reminds me of the red bubbles coming out of Leon’s mouth. I jump up, untangle myself and run out the door. Lizzie drops the phone and follows, dragging the sheet along with her. When she sees him lying dead-like on the ground, she starts slapping me, once for every word: “What (slap) in (slap) God’s (slap) name (slap) happened?” (slap)

My head reels, but I deserve it, so I don’t turn away. “We was just fooling round and he fell.”

Leon hears us and opens one eye. His coloring is all wrong. “Just fell.” He mutters.

Lizzie takes the rock off his back, lifts my blood soaked shirt, and says,”help me get him inside.

She puts the sheet across his back and starts to roll him over. He’s a big man and Lizzie struggles to flop him on his back. I stand there sobbing, chewing on my fingers to make them hurt. Drops of sweat fall off her nose and onto my brother’s face. She pulls the ends of the sheet under his arms and back over his head and says,“we got to drag him.” She hands one end of the sheet to me. I put it over my shoulder and we start moving him towards the house. “Keep him high up,” she says. “You done enough damage already.”

“I didn’t…”

“Don’t lie to me Meg Porter,” she says. “Nobody stabs themselves in the back.”

“Yes ma’m, but I didn’t mean…” she gives me a look.

“Meaning and doing are two contrary things that usually gets a person in the same damn mess. If Leon dies, your pop will beat you to death. No man wants a daughter when he could have a son, specially a man without a wife.”

It’s hard to drag him up the porch steps without scraping his back. Leon cries out and a whoosh of blood spurts from his mouth. His eyes open, then he’s gone.

Lizzie and I sit down on the steps beside him and cry. She closes his eyes, smooths his hair and prays. “Lord, please take this boy’s soul to heaven instead of hell where it probably belongs. And forgive this foolish girl. She’s better than most people think. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

She puts her arm around me and says,”You done it now Meggy. Your pop won’t let you last the night.” She takes off her apron and ties it around my neck to cover me.

I shoo flies from Leon’s mouth and watch as cloud shadows change the blood from bright red to crimson. The factory whistle blows in the distance. I know what waits me. I’d just get up and run off, but I can’t leave him like this.

“Well,” I say to Lizzie. “At least that nasty woman won’t ruin him. That’s some comfort.”

Lizzie sighs.”You can’t take comfort, not after what you’ve done.

“Stay.” I say. “Stay till Pop comes. Maybe he won’t hurt me as bad if you’re here too.”

She looks out towards the road and says, “I’ll do more than stay. I couldn’t save Leon, but I’m gonna save you. She fumbles through his pants and pulls out his pocket knife, reaches under him to see where my cut is, lines up and stabs him in the chest hard enough to push through and stick out the other side.”

“Thank you,” I whisper.

We sit there till we see Pop come over the edge of the road. He gets a wild-eyed look and starts running towards us, jerking off his belt, and waving it buckle end out, before he even knows what happened.

Lizzie spreads her arms out, stands up in front of me and says, “No need for that, Mr. Porter. Leon did it himself. Meg and me tried hard to save him. It’s a sorry thing, but your boy fell on his own knife and died.”