Family history…

what was it you were talkin’ ’bout…some kinda ghost story wasn’t it…some tale from a long time ago…maybe a family history or somethin’ like that…

was talkin’ ’bout the way this sadness lingers in my family tree…heard that my great grand daddy was a real sad fella…heard he used to take off and leave town when he got depressed…would wind up a few states over…sometimes they’d find him in Mexico…all drunked up and broke…other times he’d be ‘cross the border in Oklahoma…said he shacked up with some Injun women over there from time to time…nobody was really sure…never saw her…they were just rumors…

how’d he die…what happened to him…

hung himself from a tall oak one night over in Henderson…didn’t leave a note behind or anything…couple of whiskey bottles down below his feet danglin’…left a whole family behind…had trouble holdin’ onto a job…was always gettin’ fired from ’em…guess he got tired of it…got tired of all of it…

what ’bout your grand daddy…

he was a roustabout too…had trouble with the bottle himself…he’s the one that found great grand daddy hangin’ from that tree…said it did somethin’ to him…wasn’t quite right after that…he worked on the railroads…when he wasn’t loadin’ coal he’d be drinkin’ in the back car…always had a flask on him…used to could smell the gin from a mile away on him…had a big red nose…we used to honk it while we sat in his lap and he was passed out in the Lazyboy…passed out one day and just never woke up…grandma said he was takin’ a long nap…told us to go out in the cornfields and play for a spell…when we came back grandpa was gone…never heard from him again…

did your daddy drink too…

never touched it…drank soda pop like it was goin’ outta style…would go through a twelve pack a day…drank Pepsi from sun up to sun down…quiet man…never said much…we could tell when he was blue though…sometimes he’d spend two or three days in bed…not movin’ a muscle…just layin’ there waitin’ for the lord to take him…

when did the lord take him…

much later in life…when I was a grown-up…died of a massive heart attack…some said he was broken hearted from when momma left him for another man ‘cross town…said he never recovered from that…I can’t rightly say if that’s true or not…wound-up spendin’ his last few days in a rented sleepin’ room over on Broadway…that’s where they found him…sometimes at night I see him walkin’ ’round my house…doesn’t smile or anything…just walks ’round with an empty glass in his hand…look right at him sometimes…he don’t look back…

how you think you’re gonna go…

not rightly sure…could be one of a million ways…hell…I could take a vacation and die on a flight over seas…never gettin’ to see Ireland…always wanted to see Ireland…could die in the backyard while rakin’ up leaves…don’t rightly know…but it’s comin’…I know it’s comin’…

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