People get weird about school. When you’re a kid, you go where you’re told. But when you’re a parent, you care, because your choice will say a lot about you, and what god you love, and how comfortable you are with your children having friends who have witnessed a murder or know what a bail bondsman is.
On Friday, May 12, 1995, I stepped onto a bus in Jackson, Mississippi, bound for West Yellowstone, Montana. The journey would take four days, with no stops for anything but gas and cigarettes and the occasional disemboweling of one passenger by another. When I said goodbye, my father, who only embraces things when he is trying to kill them, hugged me. It was his way of saying: Your mother thinks you might die.
Let me start off by saying that I am not a gun nut. But really, is it wrong to be nuts about guns? And can you tell if I have a gun in my pants right now? Because maybe I do, maybe I don’t. This is my right, as an American, to put or not put things in my pants.
They say the South is full of storytellers, but I am unconvinced. It may be more accurate to say that it is full of people who are very, very tired. At least this was my childhood experience in Tennessee and Mississippi, where there was very little to do but shoot things or get them pregnant.
I grew up in a family where women did things for men. If you tell a roomful of my male relatives that dinner is ready, they will walk to the unset table and sit like dutiful children, waiting for the meal to be chauffeured to them by the nearest woman.