I am in Monroeville about a year too late. Last year was the 5oth anniversary of the publication of To Mock a Killingbird, and also, coincidentally, marked 50 years since anything of notice actually happened in Monroeville. The signs are still up around town but if you turn up to see any kind of lecture or parade all you’ll get is a myopic old gent sweeping fag-ends from the street. I watched him work while I was sitting on the metal fire escape of my hotel, it was a sight to see. He finished up around 6 & scampered home no doubt to beat his poor wife. Legs crossed, the heel of one Beatle boot hooked ’round a balustrade, I am blowing the smoke from sixteen packets of Marlboro Lights into a god-like mist over the rooftops & chimneypots of Monroeville & singing the melancholy songs that I learned in Texas.
I still can’t remember whether Truman Capote lived here, or merely traipsed here one Spring day to have tea with Harper Lee and eat her wafer biscuits; I could look it up I guess but there are now as many dead flies as deadly sins along the window sill, all of which have died from boredom. Their sticky little legs and crumbled wings already tempt me to join them in their sweet repose, so I shouldn’t push it. This puts me in mind of another famous American literary femme, the ever youthful Emily Dickinson, who was from Massachusetts, nowhere near here, and nowhere I am ever likely to go, as I am terribly frightened of hippies, but that is another story altogether.
I heard a fly buzz when I died-
[skipping a bit]
With blue, uncertain, stumbling buzz,
Between the light and me;
And then the windows failed, and then
I could not see to see.
So you see where I am going with this.
Home soon, soon, soon & will be good to see everyone again.
Read Next: There’s No Place Like Home. In which I get home and carry on post-Texas.
Read More Texas:
Fine Dining Thru-Out the States. A collection of the best of the free diner postcards.
High larks in Amarillo, TX. In which I fondly recall the many and various horrors of Amarillo.
A Joint Outside of Town (Amarillo, TX). In which I recount my meeting with Billy Bob.
Texas Diary. I found my Texas diary in a box of junk in the attic and started the whole thing again. Evidently a lot that was at first repressed came back to bite me years later.
Runnin on into Shitsville. In which I recount my first impressions of Shitsville and its world-famous whorehouse and shitty saloon.
I was walking among the fires of Hell. An idle Tuesday afternoon amongst the damned in Shitsville’s finest saloon.