It is a great pleasure to be able to feature this year's opening entry from a regular contributor to our competitions, Nancy McBride. Enjoy her highlight ROADHOUSE.
Guilly lived in a broken down, overgrown mansion, shaded by trees heavy with sorghum moss. After checking on his 101 year-old “Daddy”, we drove north to Mississippi (Meh-sippy) to visit his buddy who ran a roadhouse located just over the line from a dry county. Very dry.
We danced some, and had a beer or two.
A friendly lady at the bar asked me where I was from—my accent puzzling her.
I waited. She thought. Hard. Then she shouted, ”College! This woman, here, is from COLLEGE!” Both relieved, we laughed and hugged, celebrating. Then she and I danced.
Perception. Perspective. Twists. Humor. These, to me, are essences to storytelling. As Tim O’Brien revealed to me in The Things They Carried, stories are not what happened, they are what happened to you!
Things happen to me. Examples? A man fell from the ceiling onto my head in a restaurant. A kangaroo in a pink shirt bounced across the road in front of me in the outback of Australia. I scored a bull’s eye rifle-shooting in The Urals. I was struck by lightning. The Queen Mum was tattooed on my bum. I learned how to “be seen”, was “pregnant” with pop-corn, and put a sign on my car, “MASSACHUSETTS OR BUST”. Those sub-titles are just scraping the surface of the kind of ordinary-for-me experiences I inhabit. Doors suddenly open and I trip into the next dimension, illustrating to me that there are obviously an infinite number of dimensions. They don’t scare me. I’ve had a near death experience. I’m a walking happening. Perception. Perspective.
Being present to interpret my life and to allow it to “happen” is my shtick.
I’ve travelled. I’ve fallen. I’m a disaster. I’m a survivor. I’ve ruminated. I’ve worked. I’ve loved. I’ve raised kids. I blurt art. Life’s a story happening.