Tuesday, July 25, 2017

July 25: The Ice Cream Truck, Beverly Matherne, "Tit June Came Back on Christmas Eve"

This afternoon, I went chasing the ice cream truck with my son.  As I watched him running down the street, I remembered chasing the ice cream truck when I was a kid, how I would hear the music playing somewhere, and I would go running with my sisters, tracking it like a hunter tracks a wounded deer.

There my son stood in front of me, in his shorts and tee shirt, waiting for his Sno-Cone.  And I was him, excited with the July heat and freedom, my legs skinned and scabbed.  When he shoved the blue ice in his mouth, I tasted winter raspberry on my tongue.  He was my ghost, and I was happy to be on vacation from grade school, away from pencils and math, digging up dinosaur bones in the backyard.

Saint Marty was a little haunted this afternoon.

Tit June Came Back on Christmas Eve

by:  Beverly Matherne

Twenty years after Junior died, he came back.  He'd been gone so long nobody knew where he'd been or what he'd been up to, and nobody dared ask.

He had this air about him, sitting at the big table, Mama spooning rice, dipping gumbo, putting the bowl in front of him.

The boys, they told stories:  the one about Tit June ringing the church bell at four in the morning for six o'clock Mass, how everybody showed up a whole hour early, and Father Chauve, him, he thought he'd done wrong and we were protesting.  And that one about Doux-Doux splitting open his foot with a cane knife and all those stitches.  And, oh yeah, those pissing contests behind the levee.

I told my sister Rita sitting next to me, "Well, Tit June's dead, I know that," but she wouldn't admit it, and nobody paid me any mind; they all went along with the show.  Tit June, he just drank his cherry bounce, kept carrying on like he'd never been gone at all.

Soon as Christmas morning came, Tit June packed his bag and left.  Nobody knew where he was going or when he'd be back.  He didn't tell.  He knew something we didn't know yet.

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