Show Mercy

Henry VIII marries his fifth wife in tonight’s episode.  She is a long skein of light tweed named Katherine Howard.  Her feet are huge; toes long and thick enough to flatten Akron, Ohio: a city that needs flattening.

A Katherine Howard stood in the back of my life in my version of Akron (OH).   In 1967 I shared this life with the following people who I would name except I fear them lobbing lawsuits at me, but Katherine stalked me.  She showed up quite unexpectedly in the old stone student union of Hiram College, home of the Bookends.  Tight, tight ski pants dug into the skin of her sturdy legs and noble rump.  Her breasts were airplane wings – blow a straight wind across them and she would lift off the ground, a few inches at least.  She didn’t belong here.  She was out-of-context.  I stared at her for a bit; like I said she was out-of-context.  When my brain finally placed her, I looked back me Hiram friends, clad in denim and suede.  They eyed her through the darkness of the room and could see (it was in her their eyes, especially from the eyes of Tim, the folk singer).  The polyester, the acrylic, the remaining shreds of  plastic — the Hiramites knew the girl from Akron was uncool.  “They call the wind Pariah”.

Of course, I about-faced and returned to Tim and the others.  Cowardice is comforting, at first.  The agony and the head spinning comes later along with the attempts to run the Old Clock backwards.  After a while one realizes that nothing good ever comes from following one’s friends.


The idiot is so stupid that when he dies, he won’t even know he’s dead.


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